Characters / .hack//First Generation

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.hack//AI Buster

    Harald Hoerwick 

Voiced by: Takumi Yamazaki (Japanese); Crispin Freeman (English; Liminality Only) Brian Dobson (English; IMOQ only)

World Identity: Numerous AI avatars in The World's Black Box areas, cryptic at best, and incomprehensible at worst. It's possible that one or more of them represent his actual living consciousness. Morganna destroys them as she becomes aware of them.

Real Identity: Harald is the original programmer of the game Fragment, later "upgraded" by CC Corp as The World. He wrote it while studying the human consciousness in order to create Aura, a true AI: a testament of his love for Emma Wielant, and their daughter in spirit.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, the four R:1 .hack games, .hack//Liminality. What appear to be the very last remnants of him also appear in Roots, before the area he inhabits is deleted...

Tropes Associated With:

  • Black Box: He is the programmer of the black box that The World and its reiterations run on.
  • Body Horror: His AI forms are all horrible. Combined with his face on every one of them... The tamest one is him sitting on a chair... made out of humanoid shaped flesh, and the chair's arms grasping at the chest.
  • Creating Life: Harald's goals: To immortalize his beloved's poetry through The World, to create a true artificial intelligence, and to create the daughter he and Emma would never have.
  • Cryptic Conversation: His A.I. copy is prone to engaging into this with players, when it's not rambling to itself.
  • Designer Babies: Wishes to create one to replace a child who wasn't even born.
  • Dummied Out: Much of the bizarre elements in The World are partially written code from the original game, Fragment. The current programmers don't know how to deal with them, and sort of write around them instead.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: The only thing that keeps him from embodying this trope completely is his good intentions.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: His attempts to create Aura did involve creating Morganna after all. Although he had no way of predicting that Morganna would rebel the way she did, at the end of the day, all of the .hack universe's problems, with the exception of Pluto's Kiss, can ultimately be traced back to his actions.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: His obsession with Emma Wielant - even after her death - has nearly crashed the Internet numerous times, and has placed people into comas.
  • Mad Scientist: The fact that he designed an MMORPG as a front for the creation and fostering of an A.I. child with traits of himself and his Unrequited Love should be enough of an indication of this.
  • The Muse: Emma Wielant took inspiration from Harald's work in neurobiological theory; Harald was interested in her, but she was romantically involved with another man during her and Harald's friendship, and showed no romantic interest in Harald.
  • Virtual Ghost: His AI selves. Possibly.

    Emma Wielant 

World Identity: Emma does not appear in The World, although fragments of her poem appear in places.

Real Identity: A German poetess who wrote "The Epitaph of Twilight", the poem that Fragment was based on, shortly before her death. It told of the end of the gods in a battle between the "Twilight Dragon" and "The Cursed Wave." The original text has been lost, leaving only recovered fragments of the original and various rough drafts.

Mentioned in: .hack//AI Buster .hack//SIGN, the four R:1 .hack games, .hack//Liminality

Tropes Associated With:

  • The Faceless: In the game 3D model, she looks suspiciously like having no head at all. In the .hack//Another Birth novel illustration, she has a head, but still...
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Was a member of an extremist environmentalist group, "Mama", along with the founders of ALTIMIT, dedicated to halting mankind's activity on earth in order to preserve the planet.
  • Gratuitous German: Justified by the fact that she's German. But also gives chance to the game's developers to do this. Her "Epitaph of Twilight" poem and her gravestone epitaph are all in German.
  • Ill Girl: Was prone to this, due to stress and overwork.
  • The Muse: Her poem was Harald's inspiration for The World.
  • Muse Abuse: A possible interpretation of her ambiguous relationship with Harald Hoerwick; she was intrigued by his theories of neurobiology, but ambivalent to his affections.
  • Non-Idle Rich: As a young heiress to be, Emma worked as a nurse and was involved in environmentalism.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: She holds this in The World, to cover her face.
  • Posthumous Character: Even though she's long gone, she still affects various events, both through her poem and the MMORPG it inspired.

    Albireo 

World Identity: Captain of the Cobalt Knights; a group of system administrators. Albireo is tasked with removing Vagrant AI and other irregularities that are the result of the previous games. He witnesses Balmung and Orca's defeat of the One Sin which made them legends. His hunt of a prototype to Aura named Lycoris led him to the discovery that there is far more to the game than he realized; and that the AI are people. This realization led to his deteriorating health and withdrawal from the game. His distraught assistant later becomes Kamui.

Real Identity: Kazushi Watarai, an employee at Cyberconnect, or "CC Corporation" and head of its debug team, the Cobalt Knights; was blamed for the Twilight Incident and forced to resign.

Appears in: .hack//AI Buster, cameos at the end of .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, .hack//Link

Tropes Associated With:

  • Blade on a Stick: His weapon in .hack//Link.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Really, had he just explained things better to his assistant, a lot of problems in .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet would have been avoided.
  • Death from Above: His Cross Rengeki in .hack//Link.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Averted, Albireo was unknowingly given his spear by Morganna, which had the power to delete AI. Trying to use it on Macha resulted in its destruction. He also tried to save Tsukasa during the events of .hack//SIGN, but was prevented by being Data Drained by Macha before he could come close.
  • Meaningful Name: "Albireo" is the name of a binary star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Many captains are named after stars in .hack.
  • Public Domain Artifact: "Wotan" is Odin under his name Anglo-Saxon myth. So essentially, Albireo's wielding Gungnir.
  • The Scapegoat: Kazushi Watarai was turned into this by the higher-ups of CC Corporation to protect the company as a whole from complete blame for "Pluto Again." Despite being hospitalized prior to the beginning of the Second Network Crisis, Watarai was held responsible by the company for letting the situation get out hand, leading to his forced resignation.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: Kamui based her character's heterochromatic eyes Albireo's own pair, which were originally stylized to go along with his character's name.

    Orca of the Azure Sea 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Orca%20Avy13401.jpg

World Identity: One of the so-called "Descendants of Fianna", who defeated a supposedly Hopeless Boss Fight called "The One Sin." Orca was actually the original person chosen to receive the Key of the Twilight from Aura; but Skeith got to him first and Data Drained him.

Real Identity: Yasuhiko, a high school boy, and friends with Kite in real life. Him going into a coma is Kite's entire motivation for investigating what is happening in The World. He just wanted to show Kite a cool game.

Appears in: .hack//AI Buster, .hack//R1 games, .hack//Unison

Tropes Associated With:

  • Badass Cape: In .hack//Link.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Together with Balmung, they defeated The One Sin. And once again, he joins Kite to save The World and the real world too.
  • BFS: His weapon of choice is a broadsword, which fits his burly appearance and nicely contrasts Balmung's lighter sword.
  • Gentle Giant: He may look big and intimidating, but between him and Balmung, Orca is the friendlier of the two, and is willing to help newbies understand how the game works, despite his fame.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Balmung.
  • Legacy Character: The original.
  • Red Baron: He's titled "Orca of the Azure Sea", one of the two legendary "Descendants of Fianna" who managed to defeat The One Sin.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: He was supposed to get the Twilight Bracelet, but being comatose kinda wrecked that.
  • The Roleplayer: Takes his character role as a medieval warrior pretty seriously, adjusting his manner of conversation accordingly.
  • Screaming Warrior: Yasuhiko plays Orca like this.
  • Meganekko: In the real world.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's offed in the very first dungeon of Infection while teaching Kite about the game's system.

    Balmung of the Azure Sky 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Balmung.jpg
Bomb diggity.

Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (Japanese); Doug Erholtz (English, Infection); Crispin Freeman (English, Mutation onwards)

World Identity: The other "Descendant of Fianna", who was rewarded with customized wings on his character model for dealing the most damage to "The One Sin." He takes his status as a legendary player of The World rather more seriously than Orca does.

Real Identity: A high school student as of SIGN and the R:1 games. Formerly a beta-tester for Fragment, he's been a gamer his whole life. Becomes a system admin for The World between the games and Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Appears in: .hack//AI Buster, .hack//R1 games, .hack//Legend of the Twilight, .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

  • Been There, Shaped History: Together with Orca, he defeated The One Sin. And after a frosty start, he joins Kite to save The World and the real world too.
  • Bishōnen: His character model is very attractive. In fact, Albiero's first impression of him is that he looks "too handsome", possibly from being self-conscious about his looks in real life.
    • He's implied in R1 and Twilight to be a true good-looking guy with a good portion of fangirl following in real life; it's just that he's "socially awkward" due to being a long-time gamer.
  • Characterisation Marches On: In the R1 games, he's a dead-serious player. Since then, however, he's joined up with CC Corp and lightened up so much that, by the time of Legend of the Twilight, he's done a complete 180. He becomes a goofy, fun-loving admin with a penchant for making really weird events, though he's still has a few solemn moments.
  • Chaste Hero: Balmung's real-world player apparently has girls all over him, which he can't understand.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Orca, since they're battle partners (and, like Kite, saving Orca is his main motivation). After he mellows out, and joins the protagonists, he becomes this with Kite as well.
  • I Work Alone: He's spent the majority of his time in The World as a solo player until Orca defrosted him. Through much of the R1 games, he's an Aloof Ally, but becomes more friendly towards Kite and company.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Has the looks of one, but he's far more aloof and serious minded than the usual iteration of this character type.
  • Man in White: He has a white/silver color theme, which matches quite nicely with the angel wings he got from The One Sin event.
  • Power Gives You Wings: After defeating The One Sin, he accepted the wings as a customization on his gaming avatar.
  • Promoted Fanboy: By Legend of the Twilight, Balmung's become an administrator for CCCorp.
  • Red Baron: Descendant of Fianna, The Azure Sky.
  • Totally Radical: "This shindig looks like the bomb diggity." Thank you, Unison dub.
  • Tritagonist: Of the original tetralogy, seeing as though he has motivations similar to Kite's, and is commonly depicted as the third player alongside Kite and Blackrose in their party.
  • Winged Humanoid: His in-game avatar sports a pair of white wings, which he won after defeating The One Sin.

    Lycoris 

World Identity: An AI prototype of Aura. Looks very similar to Aura, but with shorter white hair (With red accents based on Whooper Looper) and dressed in red.

Real Identity: None.

Appears in: .hack//AI Buster

Tropes Associated With:

  • The Cameo: She appears in Legend of the Twilight as a data fragment in the Net Slums, unable to rest until Zefie terminates her.
  • Cute Mute: Until regaining her voice.
  • Driven to Suicide: Considers herself a failure because she cannot become Aura, and so eventually deletes herself using Albireo's spear.
  • Flawed Prototype: Hence the reason why she is a Death Seeker
  • Death Seeker: Once regaining her memory file she remembers how she is still being hunted by Morgana who's omnipotence allows her to continue tracking her down and won't stop till the deed is done. While it is Albireo who is doing the actual work, and his Colbalt Knights brigade around the first time he "deleted" her Morganna "whispers" her location to admins so they'll delete her.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Survived the first attempt at deletion by scattering various parts of her program. One of the pieces that got lost was her memory.
  • Meaningful Name: After her death, lycoris blossoms begin appearing in the game; it's hinted that her code was recycled into this scenery.

    Hokuto 

World Identity: Hokuto is a newbie Albireo meets while he is in Mac Anu with Lycoris. Childish and restless, she gives Albireo a bit of grief as she forcibly tags along with him on his quest. This personality is eventually revealed as a fabrication; she is actually secondary character of one of the game community's poets and long-time players, W.B. Yeats.

Real Identity: Haruka Mizuhara. Due to her behavior, Albireo assumes that she is a young girl roughly around the beginning of her teen years. She is actually a professional translator several years Watarai's senior who plays online with Hokuto just so she wouldn't get caught by her boss, who knows her main character.

Tropes Associated With:

.hack//SIGN

    Morganna Mode Gone 

Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Japanese); Valerie Arem (English)

World Identity: An AI designed to be Aura's guardian until she was complete, but she becomes resentful of her role and actively resists Aura's development in a bid for independence. She manifests as a godlike being; a disembodied voice and psychic presence. Until Aura's birth she's the core of The World and as a result, as she breaks down, so does the game.

Real Identity: None.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Abusive Parents: On both ends. Harald created her to compile Aura and was willing to let her cease to exist once she finished. Needless to say, this didn't foster positive feelings for either her "father" or daughter.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: She's basically GLaDOS with Data Drain instead of Deadly Neurotoxin.
  • Big Bad: She's the main antagonist of every non-Legend of the Twilight entry of R-1.
  • Despair Gambit: Tsukasa's despair is all she needs...
  • Deus Est Machina: Before the full awakening of Aura as the Ultimate A.I. She is occasionally referred to as the "Old God" of The World in-universe.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Good lord, perhaps even more so than Cubia. She literally was The World until Aura took over, and as such is mostly unseen for a very Ultimate Evil effect. Her method of doing battle with the heroes is through the Phases, who count as lesser Eldritch Abominations themselves. The title "Old God" also rings somewhat familiar in tone to something like "Elder God" as well, a usual Eldritch title.
  • False Reassurance: She gives this to Tsukasa to keep him under her control.
  • Genius Loci: Until Aura takes the reigns at the end of the original tetralogy, she's IS The World.
  • God Is Evil: She's the de-facto God of The World, she's also the Big Bad.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Word of God has it she was originally based on the Queen of Hearts.
  • The Faceless: She lacks a physical form to begin with (unless you count the divided components of her program, the Eight Phases), with the exception of the non-canon manga based on the IMOQ tetralogy.

    Macha 

World Identity: One of the Eight Phases (see below) of Morganna. Looks like a humanoid cat wearing a witch's hat and patched clothes, floating in mid-air. Later appears after getting Data Drained by Morganna as Mia in the R1 Games, where she is now much taller, has a more human-like body, and acts like a Player Character rather than an AI as well as no memory of her time as Macha. Once Kite starts defeating the phases she realizes what she was and turns into her True form as the 6th Phase, Macha the Temptress.

Real Identity: None.

Appears in: .hack//Sign, .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Cute Is Evil: Subverted. Sure, she was summoned and shaped by an evil being for an evil purpose, but she is definitely not evil by the end.
  • Cute Mute: Subverted, she actually has voice.
  • Facial Markings: Star-shaped around her left eye.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Macha was simply a tool through which Morganna could manipulate Tsukasa... at first. After Tsukasa shows Macha a bit of kindness, Macha saves him and is Data Drained by Morganna in the process, prompting her transformation into Mia.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: In written works, anyway. It is pronounced "Ma-Ha". No, this isn't a misspelling. Obviously, this is less of a problem in the anime and games, although the spelling might still confuse some people at first. Ironically her name was misspelled as Maha in the Japanese Games.
  • The Scream: When she was killed by Morganna. And that was the only one that has the voice of hers.
  • The Unintelligible: Played with. Macha speaks in text-only, which is viewable by characters, not the viewer. Once she becomes Mia, she gains a voice Her text becomes readable in some of the novels.

    Aura 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dothack_aura_infection200_5187.jpg

Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese); Lia Sargent (English)

World Identity: The ultimate artificial intelligence, the child Harald Hoerwick and Emma Wielant would never have, and the entire purpose for The World's existence. She appears as a young white-haired girl in a simple white gown. By the G.U. games, Aura has left The World entirely to exist elsewhere in the worldwide network.

Real Identity: None.

Appears in: Everything but Roots. And she's referred to in that one, too.

Tropes Associated With:

  • A God I Am Not: Eventually she came to dislike of being worshiped as the goddess of The World, so she leaves the Cathedral, hence why her statue disappears from the altar in R:2.
  • Angelic Beauty: Just look at her picture!
  • Apologizes a Lot: She sends a lot of apology e-mails repeatedly to Kite, because she got him involved in such a massive conspiracy beyond his comprehension.
  • Asleep for Days: In .hack//SIGN before she was awakened.
  • Big Good: She's the one who gave out the Twilight Bracelet, and the only way for Morgana to be killed is for Aura to "be born".
  • Body Horror: In her final boss form in Link.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Due to the bugs spread by Tokio unintentionally.
  • The Corruption: In where Geist used Tokio to spread bugs all over her.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: She was even "born" on Christmas Day.
  • Controllable Helplessness: In the Final Boss, you try and fight against Aura but in the end she is invincible due to being god in every sense of the word.
  • Deus Est Machina: She becomes the "New" God of The World after becoming the Ultimate A.I., and her years of overseeing the game are referred to as the game's "Golden Age." The Jun Bansyoya of the Terminal Disc states that her influence extended not only to The World, but to all the net-based technology in the real world as well. When she disappears at the end of the game's Golden Age, problems around the net began to occur as well, with all affected technology returning to their "normal specifications."
  • Distressed Damsel: Thanks to Skeith at the beginning of Infection.
  • Expy: Design-wise, to a girl in the movie Angel's Egg by Mamoru Oshii.
  • Facial Markings: In her final boss form in .hack//Link.
  • Final Boss: In .hack//Link.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: A teddy bear is shown on her bed in .hack//SIGN.
  • God Is Dead: Seen this way in Roots and G.U.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted as she didn't die. She shields Carl with her own body from Skeith's body, giving Carl the proof that Aura wasn't the one who caused Sora's abnormal behavior. On top of that, taking a deathblow from Kite at the end of the tetralogy brings an end to Morganna.
  • Hope Bringer: Averted only in .hack//G.U. where she can't stop Cubia.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: She can't be infected by any sorts of viruses and other anomalies. Though this subverted in .hack//Link.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Outside of SIGN, where she had Purple Eyes.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: More like "just add players to the game". If Morganna hadn't rebelled, she would have been born using data collected from players.
  • Lady and Knight: She acknowledges Kite as her knight. Aww...
  • Love Freak: In the end of .hack//Link, in her brainwashed state, she forces the Children to accept her love and go to sleep to be awaken in the next time.
  • Messianic Archetype
  • Motifs: Infinity symbol. Lampshaded in Link where a door leads to her in Akashic Records has this symbol.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Goddess of The World" and "The Ultimate AI".
  • Nice Girl: She cares for every player in The World.
  • Power Floats: Subverted, for most of the time. But in Beyond the World, she walks on the ground.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In her final boss form.
  • Replacement Goldfish: A unique example as there wasn't an original version, rather Aura was what "could have been".
  • The Scream: When she was infected with Data Bugs by Geist through Tokio.
  • Tareme Eyes: It depends on the artist, actually.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: She forgives Morganna, despite of all things Morganna has caused. She even still refers to Morganna as her "mother". In .hack//G.U. Redemption, she even addresses the Epitaph Users (which all of them hold Morganna Factor) as the "Children of Morganna".
  • Woman in White: It's actually a pale lavender as shown in the image. The exact shade varies between media as Lavender, white, silver and slightly prismatic.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her existence is unknown later in Guilty Dragon. To be precise, in The World: Armed Conflict.

    Tsukasa 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b666996832697d40d8d13c95f9ddb490-1.jpg

Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese); Brianne Siddall (English)

World Identity: An antisocial Wavemaster, his only associates being the enigmatic Macha and a Guardian that attacks anyone threatening him. He's the central character of the SIGN series, as his ability to fully experience The World, and inability to leave, is the mystery that drives the plot.

Real Identity: An Shouji, a high school girl who retreats to the game to escape a miserable home life with a deceased mother and abusive father.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine, .hack//LINK

Remnant data appears in the fourth Game and is fashioned into an AI by Helba and can be added to the party after the game is cleared. Not the real deal of course. They also appear in Ghost Events which re-create the events of SIGN.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Initially antisocial and hostile to anyone who tries to reach out to her. She eventually accepts help from others, especially Mimiru, Bear, and Subaru.
  • Expy:
    • An Shouji, in addition to being subject to a Gender Bender, is quite literally a Gender Flipped Expy of Ikari Shinji. Though her given name is written with the kanji for Anzu, it is read as An, which can mean either "copy" or "rough draft". Her surname, Shouji, can mean "devotion"... and so can another Japanese word, Shinjin. Add in the abusive parents, the depression, the escapism, and the inability to connect with people, and recall that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who worked on Evangelion and .hack, talked Hideaki Anno out of his initial female character concept for Shinji...
    • Also interestingly, her real-life self looks remarkably like Mana Kirishima from Girlfriend Of Steel, a spin-off game of Evangelion.
      • Justified Trope: The two series share the same character designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Distressed Dude: In the .hack//Link manga, where Trommel kidnapped Tsukasa to get his Chrono Core.
  • Facial Markings: Two red marks along his cheekbones, as are standard for the avatars.
  • Finger Twitching Revival: Happens to Tsukasa within the first two minutes of the first episode.
  • Freak-Out: In the .hack//Link manga when he sees the product of other players messing up with Trommel. They become data cubes.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: In Versus, his Guardian can do this.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Surprisingly. Sometimes, he playfully pokes any animal he encounter.
  • G.I.R.L.: Inverted.
  • The Quiet One: He mostly won't do conversation unless someone's started one.
  • Reluctant Warrior: In Versus, one of his pre-battle quote is, "Guess I have no choice but to fight..."
  • Samus Is a Girl: Is revealed at the end to be a girl in real life, but uses a male avatar in the game
  • Squishy Wizard: Subverted at the point where he faces the Silver Knight without his Guardian.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In Link, it was shown that although his level is far below Haseo's, he still can keep on without serious injuries.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Her father resented her not only for being a girl, but for being alive. He took severe issue with An showing any feelings or even wanting a bra.

    Mimiru 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/resize_6200.jpg

Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese); Amanda Winn-Lee (English)

World Identity: A brash, energetic, and happy-go-lucky Heavy Blade, and the first person Tsukasa meets after becoming trapped in The World. Unlike many other characters in the series, she plays purely for the fun of it.

Real Identity: Her name is never given. She's a high school student who we can safely assume is much the same in real life as she is in the game.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine, .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

  • The Glomp: In .hack//Link, gives this to Tokio at the end of her Xth Form Cross Rengeki.

    Bear 

Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakata (Japanese); Paul Mercier (English)

World Identity: A Blademaster of respectable power who considers himself a friend to new players throughout SIGN. He's very much a parental figure (Mimiru has a habit of calling him "Old Man"), giving his adolescent friends sage advice for their personal lives along with help in the game.

Real Identity: Ryo Sakuma, a father, divorcee, and successful author in his late forties. He plays for creative inspiration and to mentor younger players.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine, .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

  • Badass Bookworm: In the game, anyway. At one point, he seems to resent that his real-life self is less badass.

    Subaru 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ba5dacd0c607c3e8b81003cee1f229ce4ff.jpg

Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka (Japanese); Kim Mai Guest (English)

World Identity: A strong-willed yet waifish and soft-spoken Heavy Axeman who commands the Crimson Knight guild in SIGN. With an unwavering sense of fair play, she and Crim founded the guild to stop player-killers and hacked characters from ruining others' fun.

Real Identity: Mariko Misono, a high school girl whose legs were paralyzed in an accident years before, a secret she's kept from everybody but Crim. She plays the game to experience a sense of freedom.

Appears in: .hack//Sign, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine .hack//Roots (cameo), and .hack//Link

Like Tsukasa and Sora, she has an AI copy that appears in the fourth game. Notice a pattern?

Tropes Associated With:

  • Gender-Blender Name: Subaru doesn't sound like a name for girls...
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Tsukasa became the "Most Important Person" to Subaru, "despite being a girl." Ten years later, in the manga of .hack//Link, they're revealed to be living together and are in a relationship.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Her Cross Rengeki in .hack//Link.
  • Last Girl Wins: See above.
  • Meganekko: Is this in real life.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Her outfit in .hack//Link.
  • Nice Girl: Is a sweet and gentle girl who wants to help everyone, founded the Crimson Knights to stop Player Killers from ruining everyone's fun, and reaches out to Tsukasa, drawing him out of his shell.
  • Not So Weak: Subaru. It's considered a major turning point for her when she disbands the Crimson Knights after putting up with their bull for too long and then getting rid of a stalker fan by herself.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her clothes during her early days with the Crimson Knights.
  • Power Gives You Wings: In .hack//Link, though she can't fly literally.
  • Protective Charm: Sort of. In .hack//Link, she gave Tokio a feather when he's about to save Tsukasa. She gave it to Tsukasa too, later on.
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: Subverted. Subaru starts off as a headstrong leader of the Crimson Knights, but after Crim left as co-leader, she found her grasp of power slipping while Silver Knight slowly asserted himself over the first half of the series. He tells her that she's not cut out for leading the guild and takes control, but she later puts her foot down once and for all by disbanding the guild.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: The in-game persona.
  • Shrinking Violet: Subaru isn't outright shy, but she begins to show the common signs associated with one over the course of the series. She finds comfort and happiness in her friendship with Tsukasa though.
  • You Are Not Alone: Says this to Tsukasa
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Both her in-game avatar and her real life self have this.

    B.T. 

Voiced by: Akiko Hiramatsu (Japanese); Donna Rawlins (English)

World Identity: A Wavemaster more known for being an information broker rather than an adventurer. She's initially detached and somewhat condescending, treating only older men like Bear and Crim as friends and equals. Of the main characters, she's the last one to fully join in with Tsukasa and friends.

Real Identity: Machiko is the only name given, apparently a single businesswoman in her late '20s, and a former model. Appears to resent her experience in high school, and her attempt at dating Crim's player went poorly.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine, .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

  • Break the Haughty: Despite trying to maintain an aloof and confident image, she is repeatedly killed by other players who hold no respect for her at all.
  • Death Is Cheap: Justified since this is a MMORPG. Doesn't make her being a magnet for PKs any less noticeable. Lampshaded in GIFT when Mimiru mentions she's used to dying.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: An entire episode showed her interacting with various characters in the show, as she realizes she doesn't have many, if any friends, online or offline. This realization, combined with Tsukasa showing up to help her when being attacked made her decide to start acting more friendly.
  • Does Not Like Spam: B.T. hates the lettuce on BLTs.
  • Meaningful Name: Averted. It turns out "B.T." is the name of her favorite sandwich. Hint, she doesn't like lettuce.
  • Satellite Character: Somewhat by her own choice.
  • Squishy Wizard: She doesn't actually level up much, as she uses the game more for gossip. As such she is frequently attacked by player killers.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The B.T. sandwich. So much that she turned it into an online handle, apparently. (See Meaningful Name.)

    Silver Knight 
Voice by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese) Douglas Rye (English; SIGN) Trevor Devall (English; Roots)

World Identity: A Blademaster and Subaru's second in command of the Crimson Knights through much of SIGN. He works relentlessly to identify and hunt down player-killers and hacked characters. His passion for justice and fair play is matched only by that of his role as Subaru's knight.

Real Identity: His name is never given. He works in a video store, and is apparently in his early twenties.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, Mutation, Outbreak and Quarantine, Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, .hack//Roots, .hack//LINK, .hack//Quantum

Tropes Associated With:

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His Cross Rengeki in Link, combined with Large Ham below.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Many early fansubs gave him the name "Ginkan." This led to some confusion when his name was officially translated as "Silver Knight," which is what "ginkan" means. Which side is being the blind idiot depends on how literally his name was meant to be read.
  • Continuity Nod: Silver Knight (and his player) are the only ones who appear in all three .hack anime series. In particular, at the end of Roots, he's already familiar with Haseo's situation and sympathizes, possibly referring to his own experiences with data draining and player-killers. This could be extra-interesting if he knows who Haseo's player is.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He views himself as a hero and uses a sword.
  • Hidden Depths: In Link, he seemed like a calm person, but when you do Cross Rengeki together with him...
  • Knight in Shining Armor: What he becomes after realizing what a jerk he's been.
  • Knight Templar: What he is at first.
  • Large Ham: In Link. "THIS IS FOR SUBARU-SAMA!! - SUBARU-SAMA!! - SUBARU-SAMA!!! - SUBAARUUU-SAMUAAAA!!!"
    • Taken up to eleven in his Xth Form Cross Rengeki.
  • Lawful Stupid: His personal vision of justice has little room for empathy or individual judgment, at least until he stops taking it all so danged seriously.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Of the "declaration of loyalty" variety. He obviously has it bad for Subaru, though he apparently never tells her (and if she knows, she never acknowledges it).
  • Screaming Warrior: Notably in Link.
  • Spikes of Doom: In Link, he got a pair of horns on his helmet.

    Crim 

World Identity: Crim the Red Lightning is a Long Arm and one of the game's most powerful characters at the time of SIGN. He's a carefree role-player, an over-the-top wandering warrior of chivalry. After helping Subaru, they founded the Crimson Knights, which he later left once it stopped being fun.

Real Identity: No name or age is given, but likely a corporate businessman. He plays purely to blow off stress, and believes in keeping reality and the game separate, though he did try dating B.T.'s player, and gave Subaru his phone number as a gesture of support.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

    Helba 

Voiced by: Yumi Touma (Japanese); Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English)

World Identity: An infamous hacker, named for one of the principal characters in the Epitaph of Twilight. She plays a heavily-edited Wavemaster, and possibly comes closer than anyone to understanding the secret purpose of The World. Luckily, she uses her talents to help our heroes in the fight against Morganna. Runs a private server known as "Net Slum" which is basically a collection of data deleted from the game proper, it is accessible from the game proper via the proper channels.

Real Identity: Unknown, and for good reason: after the "Pluto's Kiss" incident, hacking has become a capital crime.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Shown in the game's 3D model too.
  • Ambiguous Gender: It's unknown if Helba is a guy or a girl in real life. Or for that matter, if the player is even a single person or a group.
  • The Archmage: With maxed out stats, she is the most powerful Wavemaster.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Not exactly but it's still shown.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She is the Queen of Dark according to Emma Wielant's Epitaph of Twilight poem.
  • Enemy Mine: Reason for her team-up with Lios, though they seem to get along fine afterwords.
  • The Faceless: Her online avatar. The Upper half of her avatar's face is obscured at all times apart from one non-canon manga.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Averted. Proof that Helba is as good of a hacker as is claimed? When Helba becomes recruitable (after defeating Corbenik in .hack//Quarantine), she's at max level and all of her stats maxed (which a player will note isn't possible without hacking). She literally broke the game and allows the player to break the rest of the game with her.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: At the end of her Cross Rengeki in Link.
  • Playful Hacker: She's like this throughout most of the R1 Games. She gets serious, however, when trouble escalates.
  • Power Floats: In .hack//Link.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted; her eye color is unknown, but her visor has red "eyes".
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen: Her real life self. Her player(s?) face(s?) is (are?) never seen.
  • Stripperific: Her outfit can be accurately described as a sexy space-pope.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted. Many may think her this when she comes to your party. See above.
  • Token Evil Teammate: She's a criminal hacker working with the good guys. Where she falls depends on which of the other characters is speaking of her.
  • Woman in White: Unlike most characters on this page, it's most likely an illegal modification.

    Sora 

Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (Japanese); Dave Wittenberg (English)

World Identity: A Twin Blade player-killer, and the strongest character in SIGN aside from Crim. Wild and immature, he loves nothing more than screwing up other people's plans just because he can, though he's also fond of assaulting female characters and demanding their contact information.

Real Identity: Ryou Misaki, a fourth-grade student. Seven years later, he'll create the character of Haseo in The World R:2, with ironic consequences.

Appears in: .hack//SIGN, .hack//R1 Games, .hack//LINK

Like Tsukasa and Subaru, has an AI copy that appears in Quarantine.

Tropes Associated With:

  • The Rival: Eventually seems to regard the "old school" Crim as a nemesis.
  • Too Clever by Half: One of The World's most powerful characters and skilled players, with maxed-out level and attributes, and he's fully aware of how good he is while being insufferably immature about it all.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Has an adult avatar in the game, but is a young kid in real life.

.hack//Infection-Mutation-Outbreak-Quarantine and .hack//Liminality

    Kite 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kite_7135.jpg

Voiced by: Sayaka Aida (Japanese); Mona Marshall (English)

World Identity: A newbie Twin Blade, and the main character of the R:1 games. He's introduced to The World by his best friend Orca, who soon gets data-drained by Skeith. Kite receives the Twilight Bracelet from Aura before Skeith catches her, giving him the power to fight Morganna and her agents, and save Orca and Aura.

Real Identity: A junior high school student and best friend of Orca's player. Enjoys soccer and sci-fi literature.

Appears in: .hack//IMOQ, .hack//Legend Of the Twilight (cameo), .hack//Link, .hack//Versus

Tropes Associated With:

  • Alliterative Name: One possible Canon Name for him is Kaito Kuramochi.
  • Badass Bookworm: In the real world. He loves science fiction novels, and he has read his favorite ones "like a million times".
  • Been There, Shaped History: By having his place alongside Orca and Balmung. And his character template was the most used by the newer generation players.
  • Big Damn Heroes: To Tokio in .hack//Link.
  • Blade Run: In .hack//Link.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Every time he does Sansoenkon.
  • Canon Name: According to some official archives, several proposals for his possible real name were Daichi, Riku, Kaito, and Yutaka (with the constant being the surname Kuramochi).
  • The Captain: Of the Twilight Knights in .hack//Link.
  • Chick Magnet: If BlackRose, Natsume and Ryoko Terajima are any indication. Cello in .hack//LINK also shows signs of having a crush on him after he saves her from a monster in X'over mission #3.
  • Crossdressing Voice: In both versions.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He takes time to help a lot of different people during his quest to save The World. On the plus side, it does get him a small army of grateful allies for the final battle.
  • Composite Character: A strange example in that he's composed primarily of himself. In the fighting game .hack//Versus, he takes after various versions of himself across the continuity. His design is based off his original look from the first four PS2 games, and his normal attacks are based off the basic Twin Blade skills from those games. His standard battle pose is based off one of Azure Kite's poses from one of G.U.'s cutscenes, and his Exceed surrounds him in an aura of azure flames. Finally, his special skill during Exceed mode is Sansouenkon, Kite's signature attack from .hack//Link.
  • Deadly Upgrade: His Data Drain can either bring advantages or disadvantages to the party. In the worst case, it can induce a Game Over.
  • Energy Bow: In his Xth Form in .hack//Link.
  • Expy: Design-wise, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto said that he designed Kite's proportions based on Naruto.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Played with. While Kite the character has a definite character, Kite the player was originally represented by the player (to the point where you can change his name if you wish).
  • Healing Hands Using Repth and its variation skills.
  • The Hero: In addition to his role in the original games, he's considered to be a legendary hero in The World a decade after his exploits. He's constantly referenced in .hack//Versus by Ovan, who has different pre-battle quotes depending on whether he's fighting the real Kite or one of his expies.
  • Lady and Knight: Knight to Aura's Lady. Even she acknowledged this.
  • Legacy Character: He's the original. So far we have Kite himself, Shugo, Azure Kite, Sakuya, and Kite (Sora).
  • Lightning Bruiser: In .hack//Link he evades all of Flugel's attack without problem.
  • Love Triangle: He doesn't realize he's in the middle of one between BlackRose and Terajima Ryoko.
  • Marked Change: He initially wears olive green in-game. However, receiving the Key to the Twilight permanently changes his avatar to be wearing red with orange markings - said shade of red (and markings) aren't available for character creation when Kite receives it, and it shows that he's special within the game. Unfortunately for him, it also makes it look like he hacked his avatar to get an otherwise-illegal appearance, so CC Corp is out for him. At first.
  • Meaningful Name: Two of his possible first names, Kaito and Daichi, have more meaning than they initial seem. Daichi means Earth, making him an unofficial Azure Earth to complement Balmung's Azure Sky and Orca's Azure Sea. On the other hand, Kaito, meaning Phantom Thief, references the game originally being a fantasy epic starring one (plus, it justifies his player name, as Kaito can be romancized as Kite).
  • Mistaken Identity: In .hack//Versus where Haseo thought that he's Tri-Edge due to the uncanny resemblance.
  • No Name Given: His player doesn't have an official name. Likewise, the in-universe reason why he calls his character Kite is never explained. According to official archives though, he was given possible names in the form of Daichi, Riku, Kaito, and Yutaka (with the constant being the surname Kuramochi).
  • Playing with Fire: In his Super Mode.
  • Red Baron: Kite the Azure Flame.
  • Signature Move: Sansoenkon. Even copied by Ovan to accuse Azure Flame Kite to be Tri-Edge due to their similar appearence.
  • Super Mode / Wreathed in Flames / Battle Aura: In azure flames in .hack//Versus.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Literally starts at level 1 in the first game, and rises up to be the number-one combatant against the challenges and threats that occur within R:1 games. There's a reason why he's got the longest-standing legacy in the entire franchise.
  • The Unchosen One: Aura meant to give the Twilight Bracelet to Orca.
  • Wolverine Claws: Some of his weapons are these.

    BlackRose 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BlackRose%20Avy35267.jpg

Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Japanese); Wendee Lee (English)

World Identity: An aggressive and confrontational Heavy Blade. She's new to the game, and after meeting Kite and hearing his story, quickly allies herself with him.

Real Identity: Akira Hayami, a young high school girl whose little brother also went comatose from playing The World. She's exceptionally talented at tennis, which got her placed on a team with jealous upperclassmen who bully her.

Appears in: .hack//IMOQ, .hack//Legend of the Twilight (cameo), .hack//Link, .hack//Versus

Tropes Associated With:

  • Academic Athlete: In the real world. She likes physical sports, she loves swimming, and she also joins tennis club in her school.
  • Demoted to Extra: Subverted, she was actually planned to appear again in .hack//G.U., but due to time constrains and her indifferent look, the developers cancelled the idea. But if you still have the .hack//Quarantine save data, you will receive an e-mail from her.
  • Grin of Audacity: Can be seen in a flash in her final attack in Versus.
  • Heroine of Another Story: The point of the "Another Birth" novels in a nutshell, they show the events of the first four games from her point of view.
  • The Lancer: To Kite.
  • Legacy Character: She's the original of which Rena and Mary's characters are based.
  • Love Triangle: She and Ryoko immediately don't like each other and compete for Kite's affections (not that he realizes this).
  • Meaningful Name: She chose it based on a recurring nightmare she'd been having.
  • Mighty Glacier: Before Orca can come back to your party, she's the tank.
  • Official Couple: In the G.U. games, Haseo can obtain a copy of a very old e-mail from Blackrose that was sent to Kite, where she confesses her feelings for him.
  • Phony Veteran: BlackRose tries to pull this on Kite, but gets almost immediately shut down.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: A series of novels known as "Another Birth" retell the games from her point of view.

    Elk 

Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese); Brianne Sidall (English)

World Identity: A Wavemaster who looks nearly identical to Tsukasa. He is very shy and socially withdrawn, and the only real friend he seems to have is Mia, without whom he is rarely seen.

Real Identity: Kaoru Ichinose, a middle school student. Just as socially awkward in real life as he is in The World, he mainly plays to make new friends. Later creates the character of Endrance in The World R2.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Crazy Jealous Guy: He will do anything for Mia's sake and to stay by her side always. In Infection, he tricks Kite to come with him to an area alone to make give him the Bracelet to get Mia's attention back.
  • Expy: Of Tsukasa. Even voiced by the same actresses in both the Japanese and English dub.
  • Shrinking Violet: He's a rather shy and soft-spoken kid who signed up on the game to make friends.

    Mia 

Voiced by: Minami Takayama (Japanese); Debra Rogers (English games); Kari Wahlgren (English Unison and End of the World)

World Identity: A Blademaster who takes the form of an anthropomorphic, purple, female cat. Due to this unique character design, many believe that she is a hacker who extensively modified her avatar. She is very good friends with Elk, and has a fondness for a completely useless item called "Aromatic Grass". Is in actuality Macha, reincarnated after being Data Drained in SIGN.

Real Identity: None, as she's an AI disguised as a PC.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: She remembers nothing about being Macha. Additionally, after she is reborn at the end of Quarantine, it is shown that she remembers Elk and nothing else.
  • A Little Bit Beastly: She looks like an anthropomorphic cat.
  • Mind Rape: Want to know why she's absent from GU? She was used as the template for the eight Epitaph PC's by Project GU... which meant that she underwent the digital equivalent of vivisection, and the Mia personality was Killed Off for Real. She still exists in the form of the Avatar Macha, however.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: She's Macha, one of the Eight Phases.

    Mistral 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mistral%20Avy29340.jpg

Voiced by: Atsuko Enomoto (Japanese); Sandy Fox (English)

World Identity: A very cheerful and somewhat childish Wavemaster who likes hunting rare items. Initially ignorant of the real purpose behind the conflict (even after fighting Skeith), she's just in it for fun and for seeing Kite use the Bracelet, by which she is fascinated.

Real Identity: Mayumi Kurokawa, a woman in her late 20s, pregnant with her first child. She and BlackRose form a friendship in the real world, after she stops playing out of fear for her baby, the future Mirielle. She returns for the finale but Balmung forces her to the sidelines for the final battle due to said pregnancy. Her husband is one of the security guards in Liminality. By the time of Legend of Twlight, she's quit her unspecified admin job to be a full time housewife.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games, .hack//Another_Birth .hack//Legend of the Twlight Braclet

Tropes Associated With:

  • Cheerful Child: Her online persona.
  • Cute Little Fangs: In .hack//Link.
  • The Ditz: She always burnt her dinner. Given that she's playing a game, this means she's leaving her cooking unwatched.
  • Emoticon: Sometimes she uses these in her speech.
  • Genki Girl: Very cheerful and optimistic.
  • The Glomp: Give this to Tokio at the end of her Cross Rengeki.
  • Hidden Depths: Her offline self is touched upon more in "Another Birth", a retelling of the games from BlackRose's point of view. The two strike up a friendship and later meet offline, leading to her becoming a Cool Big Sis type to BlackRose. She's shown here to be mature and dependable, a contrast to her online persona.
  • Older Than She Looks: In the real world, she's a grown woman.
  • Onee-sama: To BlackRose in "Another Birth".
  • Something Only They Would Say: Near the end of "Legend of the Twilight", Mireille falls asleep, letting Mistral take over the character. Balmung identifies her by "Mireille's" sudden hidden depths and the minor differences in their online persona. She confirms it by calling him "Baltan", her nickname for him.

    Wiseman 

Voiced by: Steve Blum (English)

World Identity: A powerful Wavemaster who is well-known as an information broker and trader of rare items. After getting caught up in Kite's quest, he becomes one of the strategists of the group, often coordinating their plans with Lios and Helba, though he will fight on the front lines if asked to.

Real Identity: Takumi Hino, an elementary school student, in stark contrast with his very mature, knowledgeable online self. Plays soccer and collectible card games, and does not like carrots. Later goes on to create several characters in R2: Naobi, Yata, and Nala.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Knowledge Broker: Has a great deal of information contacts, including Helba, and quite possibly knows more about the Epitaph of Twilight than any other single person.
  • The Strategist: It's him who comes up with the ideas for the group's offensive tactics against the Wave.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Is an elementary school student in real life, but has the persona of an old knowledgeable sage in the game.

    Lios 

Voiced by: Tomomichi Nishimura (Japanese), Bob Papenbrook (English)

World Identity: The head system administrator of The World. His avatar is an NPC shopkeeper, although, being an admin, he has numerous powers unavailable to anyone else, such as the ability to outright delete AI and character data. He is highly distrustful of Kite and especially Helba, but very reluctantly joins them after he's convinced that they are working to fix the problem, rather than aggravate it.

Real Identity: Unknown, although it is known he is an employee at CC Corp.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games

Tropes Associated With:

  • Enemy Mine: Although Lios is definitely on the heroes' side, he sees his partnership with Helba as this, since she is an illegal hacker and exactly the kind of person he's supposed to oppose.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Helba seems to take great delight in taunting Lios, often referring to him as "the pig-head". Other characters (including, hilariously, Balmung) start calling him this from time to time as well, to his consternation.
  • Meaningful Name: "Lios" is derived from the King of the Light ("Lios"), Apeiron, in the Epitaph. Apeiron and Helba, the Queen of the Dark, team up to oppose the Wave in the Epitaph. The coincidence is noted by an amused Helba when she meets Lios. He seems unaware of this meaning until Helba tells him and it is hinted that CC Corp assigned the name to him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's naturally suspicious of anything in the game that isn't under his control, but once he realizes the situation proves to be one of the greatest allies the heroes could ask for.

    Sieg 

Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Anthony Pulcini (English)

World Identity: A powerful and popular Blademaster seeking to surpass the "Descendants of Fianna" in fame. While showing the game to his girlfriend Mai, he's attacked and data drained by Skeith.

Real Identity: Tomonari Kasumi, a high school boy. He runs his school's gaming club, and appears to be a fairly ordinary kid. He later goes on to create Kuhn in The World R:2.

Appears in: .hack//Liminality

Tropes Associated With:

  • Meaningful Name: He named his character "Sieg" to express his intent to dominate Balmung - in Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, Siegfried is the hero and Balmung is his sword.
  • Unknown Rival: Balmung's one of the few high-level characters who's never heard of Sieg.

     8 Phases in General 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Morganna_Phases.jpg
Your guess is as good as ours.

World Identity: The Eight Phases as spoken of in the "Epitaph of Twilight" are the agents of the Cursed Wave that threatens all. For whatever purpose Harald originally created them, Morganna has usurped them to serve as her own agents. Each takes the form of an unbeatable game monster, some with literally indescribable appearances. In order, they are:

  • Skeith, the Terror of Death
  • Innis, the Mirage of Deceit
  • Magus, the Propogation
  • Fidchell, the Prophet
  • Gorre, the Machinator
  • Macha, the Temptress
  • Tarvos, the Avenger
  • Corbenik, the Rebirth

Real Identity: None.

Appears in: Sign (Macha, and Skeith, briefly), R1 Games, Roots (sort of), GU, Link

(For tropes associated with Macha, see Macha in the Sign section and Mia above in this section.)

  • Alien Geometries: As stated above, these are just about the most bizarre-looking things ever. Skeith isn't too bad, looking like a rather thin golem, but Innis is a wall, Fidchell is... sort of... mask-like, and Tarvos is a snake coiled around a spike that is driven through its head. Becoming Avatars in G.U. somewhat fixes this, with all of them having more humanoid forms resembling their Epitaph PCs. Macha, in particular resembles Mia with a veil and a giant rose for a skirt. Their aesthetics also look more clean and colorful.
  • Badass Boast / Boss Banter: Fidchell likes declaring things like "All will tremble beneath my terrible will!" when he uses his strongest attacks.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Literally, in the games, since all of these guys have infinite HP. Yes, there's a way around that.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Not to the same extent as Cubia, but they're definitely Eldritch when you consider how much they break The World when they're around. Helps that they usually look extremely bizarre, too.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The symbol for Morganna is an eye, so all of the Phases have eyes on them. Gorre is the only one who has them in a normal place.
  • Meaningful Name: The keywords for the levels featuring one of the Phases are connected to the Phase in question. Some are more obvious before the fight, while others make more sense in retrospect.
  • Monster of the Week: Aside from Skeith, and to a lesser extent Macha and, ultimately, Corbenik, all the phases are like this.
  • Red Baron: Each Phase has its own epithet beyond its actual name. Skeith, the Shadow/Terror of Death is the most memorable for most folks.

    Skeith 
  • Final Boss: Of Infection, but for the R1 games as a whole, he's a mere Climax Boss.
  • Grim Reaper: Ovan even refers to Skeith as such.
  • The Heavy: Skeith is the one phase that, due to rendering Orca comatose, is a direct Arch-Nemesis to Kite, and it's the Final Boss, and only fought phase, in Infection.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Barely, but he's much more human shaped than the rest of the Phases.
  • Light Is Not Good: Downplayed. At this point, Skeith and Haseo have become united, so the former no longer goes berserk and now has an angelic form.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: For Haseo, as he awakens Skeith in his 2nd Form. Skeith himself gets this when Haseo gains his 3rd Form.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Terror of Death"? And even Skeith's basic name means "shadow".
    • He's also known as the "Shadow of Death" in the epitaph. And to go one further, the area he resides in has the keywords "Chosen Hopeless Nothingness." Must be a nice place, right?
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Avatar Skeith is oddly the smallest of the Phases in G.U. This is probably to emphasize the typical size dissonance between playable character and boss monster.
  • Power Gives You Wings: His third transformation, upon Haseo gaining his Xth Form, renders him as a bizarre angel-of-death-like form. His wings come in the form of seven (eight in the official artwork) swords, each representing the pieces of the other seven Phases he's Data Drained.
  • Promoted to Playable: In the R2 games, kinda.
  • Sinister Scythe: Averted in the R1 games, as his weapon is a large wand with a Celtic cross, (altered to be Q-shaped in the English versions). Played straight in his G.U. incarnation, to further emphasize the theme of death that both he and Haseo embody. While Skeith the 3rd no longer has a physical scythe, he can conjure an energy one.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Apparently with Sora, and then eventually with Haseo.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Audibly proclaims "I have found you!" when Haseo awakens him, with the other exception(s) being Fidchell and possibly Innis. Later on, he reappears before Haseo in a white version of his 3rd Form, but speaks in a manner not unlike Sora. It's heavily implied to actually be Sora, or rather the fragments of his data absorbed by Skeith.
  • Super Mode: However, it's closer to being an 11th Hour Superpower, as it's only playable against Cubia's outer shell
  • Superpowered Evil Side: For most of Rebirth, he's this to Haseo, prone to going out of control as Haseo abuses him.
  • The First Of These Is Not Like The Others: In both R1 and G.U., Skeith always stands out compared to the other seven. In R1, he's the only full humanoid, discounting Macha in all her forms. In G.U., he's the smallest of the seven, for some reason, and the only one playable. In both series, he's the only Phase who uses a weapon.

Tropes Associated Specifically With Corbenik

  • 11th Hour Superpower: Supreme Defense and Drain Heart
  • Final Boss: Of the R1 games and Reminisce.
  • Kaizo Trap: Plot wise, after losing, he unleashes Drain Heart and would have hit everyone, Kite included, and put them all in comas had not Elk intervened.
  • Marathon Boss: Thought the bosses took long enough? Corbenik is basically three in a row, with cutscenes every now and then.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Notably, he averts this trope, unlike every other boss besides Cubia. Then he puts Supreme Defense up...
  • Red Right Hand: Ovan's infection carries over to Corbenik, resulting in the same hook arm. It grows to encompass his entire left arm into a giant Arm Cannon in the rematch.
  • Sequential Boss: Three forms.
  • Villain Override: It's implied Morganna hijacked him after his Supreme Defense was destroyed.

    Cubia 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cubiabeta.jpg
Nightmare Fuel at its finest.

World Identity: An inexplicable destructive phenomenon often taking the form of a massive skull-faced, somewhat shapeless monster. Called an "anti-existence", it's a shadow born of the light of the Key of the Twilight, with proportionate power. Cubia is created from the use of the Twilight Bracelet in the R:1 games, and from Haseo's Xth form with fully-powered Avatar in the G.U. games. Takes a player-character form in both XXXX and LINK.

Real Identity: None, though Cubia's existence wreaks havoc throughout the internet.

Appears in: .hack//R1 Games, .hack//GU, .hack//XXXX. .hack//LINK

Tropes Associated With:

  • Bare Your Midriff: In his PC form.
  • Dark Is Evil: Definitely associated with darkness, to the point where it's commonly, and aptly, referred to as a shadow to the Key of Twilight, whatever form it may be in. Not to mention how it seems to really like skulls. Also, some attacks it uses in G.U. definitely seem to revolve around darkness motifs.

    Mai Minase 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/imagesCAL98LVZ5813_jpg_100.png

Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese); Michelle Ruff (English)

World Identity: Sieg(2), a copy of her boyfriend's character (see above) as well as her own unseen character.

Real Identity: A high school girl with no interest in video games, she was nonetheless convinced to give The World a try by her boyfriend. She went comatose along with him while playing, but woke up several days later. She joins Tokuoka as they search for clues about the coma victims in the real world.

Appears in: .hack//Liminality

Tropes Associated With:

  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: An usual example of a female sporting these. Noticeable, but rarely mentioned in the OVAs.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Her training as a musician allows her to discern a tone that sounds whenever a Phase is about to show up. It was hearing this sound that forewarned her of Skeith's approach and allowed her to avoid the worst of the Data Drain.
  • Cross Player: She controls Sieg(2).

    Junichiro Tokuoka 
Voiced by: Masashi Ebara (Japanese); Jamieson Price (English)

World Identity: Tokuoka does not have a character in The World, however due to his work for CC Corp he is familiar with almost all aspects of the game and knows many backdoors into the game's system.

Real Identity: A 34-year-old divorcee who has worked for CC Corp. He becomes concerned when several players of The World begin falling into comas and decides to investigate.

Appears in: .hack//AI Buster, .hack//ZERO, .hack//Liminality, .hack//Another Birth

  • Mistaken for Pedophile: His approaching Mai, a high-schooler, does get him nearly branded a creep, but once it's clear that isn't the case, Mai quickly teams up with him.
  • Must Have Nicotine: Is a habitual smoker throughout the OVA series.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Despite being warned by CC Corp not to look too much into why several players of The World were falling into comas, he persisted, all the while knowing the danger it could put him in.

.hack//Zero

    Carl 

World Identity: A female Heavy Axemen who runs into Aura and Skeith/Sora, who eventually Data Drains her for protecting Aura.

Real Identity: Junka Nimura, Junichiro Tokuoka's daughter. She lives with her mother and grandmother and her father is only referred to as "Mr. T"

Appears in: .hack//Zero

Tropes Associated With:

  • Battle Ballgown: Black one.
  • Blood Knight: She enjoys destruction and chaos wherever she goes. Anyone?
  • The Corrupter: She plays the game to spread some ill will to The World.
  • Can't Spit It Out: It seems that she slowly develop feelings for Sora. But until her story ends, she has no chance to tell him that she likes him, also because Sora was already Data-Drained by Skeith.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To anyone else, except... Sora.
  • Fingerless Gloves: In her original design for .hack//ZERO. In .hack//Link, her hands are fully covered.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She PK's whoever annoys her. But she didn't have pleasure to do it.

.hack//Legend of the Twilight Knights

    Shugo 

Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook(English)

World Identity: He retains his real name even in The World; he's only in it for fun...at first...

Real Identity: A middle school kid who gets roped into playing the game by his twin sister, Rena. He finds himself whisked into a plot set by by Aura near the end of R:1 after he finds Aura's daughter, Zefie, and is accused of being an illegal player.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Ascended Fanboy: In his backstory, he did say he always wanted to be a hero... To Aura. Who set the whole situation up to fulfill this and to keep herself from getting bored.
  • Big Brother Instinct: For Rena. Balmung and especially Komiyan can just keep the Hell away.
  • Blessed with Suck: Aura resurrects him and gives him a Data Drain bracelet at the beginning of the story. It rarely works for him and actually attracts the attention of the Cobalt Knights, which causes all sorts of crap for him and his team.
  • Chick Magnet: Downplayed. He's surrounded by beautiful girls, all of whom have affection for him (though not necessarily romantic), but in Komiyan's head this gets exagerrated — he imagines Shugo lying around like some pimp while all the other girls fawn over him. And then there's Aura and Zefie, who've both kissed him. (Yes, that Aura kissed him).
  • Chivalrous Pervert: His first real moment of interest in the game is when he realizes that female character models use bump-mapping. While he initially expresses dismay at how skimpy Rena's outfit is, he has less of a problm indulging in the odd fanserviced-up vision of her in his own head. It helps that he's in a team with beautiful women.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In the Japanese version, Averted in the dub however
  • Dismotivation: His primary character trait in the beginning is his desire to simply just make it barely through life. The entire manga is largely about getting him out of this slump.
  • Dual Wielding: He's a Twin-blade player.
  • Expy: Of Kite, which is obvious since he won Kite's character design.
  • Flanderization: In the manga, he's less than thrilled about Rena's skimpy outfit, but after he gets used to the World, he's more or less content to indulge in the Fanservice surrounding him (even a little from her). In the anime, they ramp up the Brother–Sister Incest by making him enamored with her.
  • Got Volunteered: He never really wanted to play the game, has little enthusiasm for it except for his own prurient interests. And then he got killed by a Level 40 Golem within his first ten minutes of gameplay, got resurrected by Aura and given the Data Drain bracelet.
  • Jumped at the Call: Inverted. See Got Volunteered above.
  • The One Guy: And informally the leader at that.
  • Took a Level in Badass: This keeps pace with his Character Development throughout the manga.
    Ouka: Quite the stud all of a sudden, isn't he?

    Rena 

Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (Japanese); Allison Keith (English)

World Identity: Retains her real name. She plays what appears to be a chibi-fied version of Blackrose She just wanted to spend more time with her brother. And then Zefie came into the picture... Unlike Shugo she's an experienced player, having previously played a Blade Master named Bridget.

Real Identity: A middle school kid who gets her brother to join The World after she wins limited edition costumes of the dot hackers Kite and Blackrose. See Shugo for more details.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Incest Subtext: It's the last summer before High School exams kick in, and Rena really wants to do something together with her brother. Problem is, Shugo doesn't really want to go along at first, and when he finally does get involved, all these other girls (like Ouka and Zefie) show up and start distracting him.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Technically, they're twins, but this is how she treats herself. Incidentally, Zefie is The Rival for her in this regard.
  • Tsundere: Type B, toward Shugo.

    Mireille 

Voiced by: Yuki Matsuoka (Japanese); Sandy Fox (English)

World Identity: She's a wavemaster who takes on her mother's avatar and joins Shugo and Rena on their adventure; she provides the two a hangout for them to meet and discuss in.

Real Identity: She's the daughter of Mistral. She's actually about 4 years old.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: When you learn how old she really is, you begin to understand why she and Zefie seem to get along better than the other girls.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: A few in-the-know characters mistake her for the Dot Hacker Mistral. This is because she is Mistral, after a fashion, not that she knows it. She was given the original Mistral account by her mother and plays it under a different name.
  • Expy: Of her mother Mistral, which is expected as her character is her mother's account with a name change.
  • Teen Genius: Exageratted — she's a preschooler, but you wouldn't know that if you met her online.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: The first time she's seen, she's following Shugo and Rena while hiding inside a barrel.
  • Randomly Drops: Her hobby is collecting rare items. It doesn't matter if it's useful or not; even if your reward is clothes; if it's rare, she wants it.

    Ouka 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ouka1.jpg

World Identity: A powerful player who enjoys fighting monsters and believes that people should get stronger the honest, old fashioned way, rather than resorting to cheating. Is famous among other players and called "Ouka the Divine Fist". She plays a "Werewolf" class charcter which is mentioned as a speical class added for high-level players in an expansion pack. Originally she was a un-named fist using class that was added in the same expansion pack.

Real Identity: She's is in fact Mireille's babysitter and Tutor, and is somewhat of a withdrawn mousey woman in reality.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Big, Friendly Dog: Generally behaves like one in wolf form, subverting any expectation that she'd be fiercer that way.
  • Marshmallow Hell: During the final arc of the story, Shugo hesitates to meet with the group because it might mean trouble for them, only for Komiyan to lose patience and kick him forward... headlong into Ouka's cleavage. The instant she realizes it's Shugo, however, Ouka seizes him in a bearhug and wedges him in even further.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Played straight most of the time, but amusingly subverted at one point when the characters are at the beach and Ouka arrives belatedly. Shugo's thrilled at the opportunity to see Ouka in a bikini... but she appears in wolf form.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Ouka can transform into a straight wolf if she desires.
  • Sexy Mentor: Ouka helps Shugo level up and learn the game along with Mirielle and Rena. She doesn't seem to mind Shugo's developing hormones, and plays along with it.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Early English-language printings of the manga romanized her name as "Orca."
  • The Tease: She first appears to Shugo in wolf form, and he naturally takes her for a "doggie" and even gives her a collar. When it's revealed she's a beautiful woman, she keeps the collar and starts mercilessly teasing Shugo, humiliating him and causing Rena to be infuriated with him.

    Komiyan III 

World Identity: A "handsome prince" who goes everywhere accompanied by his loyal Grunty, Oscar. He is obsessed with winning Rena's heart and despises her brother Shugo.

Real Identity: Komiyama, a geeky 14 year-old boy who attends Shugo and Rena's math class. He and Shugo are rivals, though ironically enough, neither of them are very well-liked by others in their class.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

    Zefie 

World Identity: The daughter of Aura; she gets separated from Aura in The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet and asks Shugo and the others for help. Despite being so adorable, she can really be a handful, constantly teasing the gang (she even went as far as giving them afros at one point).

Real Identity: n/a

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. Link

Tropes Associated With:

  • Adapted Out: She makes no appearance in the anime, and as such the plot is vastly different.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Shugo and Mireille seem to think she's this. The other girls... not so much. Zefie herself actually tends to zigzag between naivete and incredible depth of expertise depending on the subject.
  • Precocious Crush:
    • Downplayed with Shugo, whom she takes as her big brother... which causes no small conflict between her and Shugo's real little sister, Rena.
    • Subverted with Komiyan III. When she moves to fix his face, she leans forward and makes as though she's going to kiss him.
    Close your eyes... AND TASTE MY FIST!!
  • Reality Warper: Zefie has authority over The World, much like her mother, and can override things like character designs and administrative prisons.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Less formal overrides are often enacted by Zefie punching someone in the face.
  • Troll: She has a clear lack of respect for anyone on the team who isn't Shugo (her "big brother") or Mireille (to whom she's neutral), and will often go out of her way to get under Rena's skin.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Shugo.

    Kamui 

Voiced by: Sakiko Tamagawa (Japanese); Melodee M. Spevack (English)

World Identity: Leader of the Colbalt Knights after Albreio and Lios, and a ruthless AI killer who believes all anomalies in The World should be destroyed, even Zefie and Aura.

Real Identity: Little is known about her real self, except that she worked with Albireo and was upset that he got fired, believing that the AIs were to blame, hence her reason for wanting to destroy them. She serves as the Big Bad for The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. Her real name is Saki Shibayama.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. Minor appearance in .hack//AI Buster but only offline.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Big Bad: Of The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, being a constant antagonist to Shugo and co.
  • Blade on a Stick: She carries a spear fashioned after Albireo's Weapon of Choice.
  • Break Them by Talking: She goes after Shugo's team with this, pinpointing Mireille's, Ouka's, and Hotaru's weakpoints in order and threatening them with losing their accounts. She also manages to do this indirectly to Rena, who gets sick and tired of being treated like a criminal and decides to log out before her account is deleted.
  • Eyes Always Shut: When she first appears to the team, she looks like this... which actually makes her look much less assuming and aggressive, given her character design.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She develops a sort of respect for Shugo in the end, and ultimately lets them go.
  • Hero Antagonist: All things considered, she's just doing her job.
  • Knight Templar: She's The Leader of the Cobalt Knights, and is quite fanatical in her lawfulness.
  • Manipulative Bitch: When the gang is looking around for information on Vagrant AIs like Zefie, she appears and feeds them information on the Net Slums and suggests that one of the ways to get there is by cheating. Given that she's effectively Police Chief of the World, she comes very close to nudging honest players into committing straight up crimes.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: Kamui took a particular cue from Albireo's character: his heterochromatic eyes. Unlike Albireo's reason for having them, her pair symbolizes her connection to him.

    Magi 
"Even if it kills me... I will not let you interfere with my mistress."
Voiced by: Asako Shirakura (Japanese); Amanda Winn-Lee (English)

World Identity: Kamui's second in command.

Real Identity: A CC Corp Employee named Asako Saito and Kamui's personal assistant.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Hidden Depths: She first appears as a Shrinking Violet, but then when she appears before Reki to relieve him of some data she's so ice cold about it that it's almost terrifying.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: She participates indirectly in Kamui's JF with Balmung. In an omake she wrings a rag of dishwater into the real world Balmung's coffee.
  • The Rival: She seems to develop this relationship with Ouka during their PVP match near the end of the story.
  • Shrinking Violet: She's this in her first appearance, flustered and apparently struggling to keep up with her workload. However, she's really nothing of the sort.
  • Squishy Wizard: Subverted. She's apparently good enough to fight Ouka to a standstill.

    Reki 

Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (Japanese); Derek Stephen Prince (English)

World Identity: Balmung's assistant.

Real Identity: A young CC Corp Emplyoee named Satoshi Fujio.

Appears in: The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

Tropes Associated With:

  • Beleaguered Assistant: Balmung's not the best boss to work under.
  • Butt-Monkey: As mentioned above, Balmung's not the best boss to work under.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the anime, he joins Kamui; a stark contrast to in the manga.
  • Facial Markings: A tapering blue stripe under his left eye.
  • Foil: To Balmung; he tries to be strict and professional... unlike his boss.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Not long after the formentioned Face–Heel Turn in the anime, he realizes he made a big mistake.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Balmung's. Balmung so hard to deal with that Reki refers to him as the toughest boss at CC Corp. .
  • Jurisdiction Friction: As event characters, Shugo and Rena are technically under his and Balmung's supervision... except Aura gave Shugo the Data Drain bracelet and Zefie the Vagrant AI has latched on to him, which the Cobalt Knights take as sufficient reason for them to step in. (It's also implied that CC Corp didn't even run the event. Aura did to help Shugo fulfill a promise he made to her while messing around on a character belonging to Kazu)
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Balmung.

    Kaz 

World Identity: A powerful Wavemaster who knows the Dot Hackers intimately. He appears during the final stages of the Legend of the Twilight to provide aid to the heroes.

Real Identity: A young man and family friend known by Shugo and Rena as Kazu, who used to live in their apartment building with his older sister but their family moved away .

  • The Cameo: Indirectly. He's involved with the Dot Hackers and briefly mentions to Balmung that "big sis" says "Hello". He's BlackRose's little brother, after awakening from his coma.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/DotHackFirstGeneration