.hack//INFECTION is the first of its kind. You play as a person who is playing an MMORPG called “The World”. The main menu of the game is really the persons desktop, and you can look at message boards, read email, and join the game, You can even change your desktop picture. The story spans several games, and after you beat one, you can move that save over to the next one with all your items and skills. Each game also comes with an anime episode of .hack that sets the premise for the game.
Before you interface with the actual game part of the game, you are brought to the user’s computer desktop. From here you can check email, look at news, customize the user’s desktop, and of course, enter the game. Sometimes you are required to surf the news, forums and even read email to progress through the game. When you select log in you are teleported to the last checkpoint, or “Chaos Gate” you used last and from there you can check out the city, buy items, talk to NPC’s raise Grunties, or just sit around and chill, like in a real MMO.
Once you are ready to enter the fields, you go to the chaos gate and are given the option to input a set of three different words in order to generate an instanced field just for you. In each field are a large number of guys, but you can take out, but the meat of the field, is a dungeon placed somewhere that you must find. Inside each dungeon is usually a payoff of a rare item of sorts, along with a pseudo boss to defeat.
As for the battle system, each character has their basic attack, as well as skills to employ. All skills are elemental based and the skills themselves come from the equipment you use. These skills use SP which, unlike your health, will gradually recover over time. The main character also has a unique skill that only he can use. It’s called “Data Drain” and when used on normal creatures will weaken them (usually turning them into a small cruddy monster) and provide you with an easy kill. Other times kite is required to use it in order to defeat certain enemies that won’t go down using conventional methods. Sometimes a creature may have infinite health, an impenetrable barrier, or just simply won’t die, this is where the data drain ability comes in handy. However, if the ability is used too often you can get some pretty nasty side effects that can range from a simple side effect, to an instant game over, yikes!
The World is the biggest MMORPG in the world, and biggest game for that matter. It has gathered a large portion of the world as a user base, so naturally this is where you start, a new user. Your player name is Kite and you were brought into the world through suggestion from a friend, a popular player in the game world for helping out new people his names Orca. As Orca is giving you the rundown of how the game works, you encounter a weird floating girl who is seemingly in distress and being chased by a very menacing looking character. As you chase them through the dungeon, you eventually come face to face with the two of them. The menacing character is revealed to be Skeith, a Data Drain user himself, and the girl he was chasing, Aura. Skeith attempts to kill the girl, but Orca steps in, and is subsequently taken out. After Skeith takes out Orca, he turns to Kite, but just in time, a strange character known only as Helba, comes to save the day. She is apparently a hacker, and after she works her magic, the server crashes. You then find out your buddy Orca has gone into a Coma in real life, then things begin to get weird. You find out that more than just your friend orca has fallen victim to comatose state from the game. When you enter the world again, you find that from your encounter with Aura you now have the Data Drain ability that Skeith had used. Because of this ability he is subsequently targeted by the games administrators, known by the name of CC Corp.
|The main character of the story, and the person you are assuming control of in real life as well. He is overly courteous to all he meets, and his only goal is to help out his friend Orca. He is driven to find the cause of his case, and how to cure him of it. With the Twilight Bracelet in hand he is given the ability to use Data Drain whenever he pleases, will he use it for good or evil?|
|This is Kites friend and a renowned player in the game for helping many a new player to get their start. However, after a routine walk through with Kite to teach him the basics, he encounters Skeith, who uses Data Drain on him and subsequently is thrown into a coma in real life. This is a cause of concern for Kite, and the motivation for him to find out the cause of this, not only for Orca, but for everyone else its happened to.|
|Your partner in the game, driven by the same motivation that Kite is, but instead of a friend, its her brother that’s in a coma. She’s a tough on the outside, mush on the inside personality and is a newbie much like kite, though she tries to hide the fact.|
|A weird amalgamation of a rabbit and cat looking character, together with her friend Elk, they are on a quest to find Aromatic Grass (drugs?). The oddity in her comes from her ability to see Kites Twilight Bracelet (not visible to normal people).|
|Mia’s companion , he is overly loyal to her as he is out to help cure the condition that mia suffers from. This is why they are out to find aromatic grass.|
|A feminine male who believes he is the main character of the game, and as such, has a noble-esque type of speech. He is prone to causing trouble and relies on kite to bail him out.|
|A noob treasure hunter in the game that joins kites brigade for no other reason than to obtain shiny objects. Probably one of the only characters who doesn’t have her own secret agenda to attend to. She has a very annoying appeal to her, using a lot of smiley faces in her emails, and is always bugging you for your treasure. She is mostly drawn to Kites Twilight Bracelet.|
|An Otaku in real life, and Samurai in virtual life. He is always telling you about his favorite samurai movies or what not. He is an option character obtained from answering his forum post to help him find a rare katana.|
|A true romantic , she loves flowers, and has her own fan base of creepy stalkers. While she appears mysterious and a bit lucrative, she has no outside influence on kites quest, she is just along for the ride and tries to drag the group to fields dealing with flowers. Also an option character like Sanjuro, you must save her from her creepy stalkers.|
|The same character type as Kite, she strives for become the most powerful player in The World. She is also optional and must be acquired the same way as Sanjuro, by offering to help her find a weapon.|