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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is a Lighter and Softer alternate universe of Berserk in the form of a videogame:
  • Kirito and Guts are the Black Swordsmen who travel alone for the most part till later.
    • Both were in a guild/merc group until the death of a member of said guild/merc group (Sachi/Gambino)
    • Both heroes have to travel to another place to save their lovers. (Alfheim/Elfhelm)
  • Asuna is a super feminine version of Casca, both being upper class fighters in their organization.
    • The former was nearly raped, but the latter actually was, in front of their lovers
  • Heathcliff is Griffith pre-Face-Heel Turn. (Knights of Blood Oath and Band of the Hawks)
    • Both defeated the heroes of their respective story, and had them join them.
    • In turn, Sugou/Oberon is Griffith/ Femto post-Face-Heel Turn
The time acceleration technology in the Alicization arc is the foundation for Brain Burst in Accel World
  • Given the timeframes mentioned, and the fact that Accel World takes place some time in the futureish or so.
    • Add the Alicitazion Arc there and were near to the truth.
      • Well... The latest, as of now, 22nd episode of Accel World makes mention of Nerve Gear and Brain Implant Chip as examples of obsolete Full Dive tech that made Augmented Reality possible, the later of which is mentioned by Kirito in interlude of Volume 9.
    • It's confirmed that STL speeds up the mind by the same amount as Brain Burst (1000 times), and can erase memories that people gained inside it. In the OVA included with the Accel World videogame, the Accel Assault server also looks like it's made out of Light Cubes.
Yui and Star Sapphire are the same person.
  • Pixies anyone?
For that matter, Kirito and Leyfon Alsief are related.
  • Badass hero who has multiple swords, hides his skill, tries to atone, and has a harem. It's all there.
Akihiko Kayabaya is/was affiliated with the Templars/Abstergo.
  • Fulldiving technology is similar to the Animus, the only difference is the compactness and how they are used. Both are virtual reality systems, and the users seem to have some skills transfer to the real world (bleeding effect).
  • As Heathcliff, the uniforms of his guild the "Knights of Blood" is vaguely similar to the uniform of the Knights Templar.
"PoH", the leader of the "Laughing Coffins", will return in a future arc.
  • His subordinates, "XaXa" and "Johnny Black", have already made a reappearance, so it seems natural that PoH will turn up as well.
  • PoH's return and final fate have already been detailed by Kawahara in the web novels. They'll be published soon enough.
The last scene of the anime episode 11 is a metaphor for something else.
  • In the scene some Front soldiers have cornered some young children and their caretaker in a blind alley demanding money for taxes but "that's not all they want". The soldiers also demand their victim relinquish their equipment, "Everything, including your armor. Every last thing you have."
  • Considering the circumstances (especially since the kids aren't wearing armor), and that clothing is equipment which can be equipped and unequipped, "armor" could be understood as a euphamism for "clothes" which would mean it wasn't just a shakedown - Kirito and Asuna saved them from being raped.
  • There is no rape in SAO. The Ethic Code don't allow it (that's why Kirito and Asuna have to turn it off before getting it on). Even with a stolen kiss, one touch on the warning window that pops up and the criminal is sent to Black Iron Prison for the rest of the game.
    • There is no rape by force because of the Ethic Code. Rape by duress, on the other hand, became a possibility as soon as it became a death game. They simply had to make the threat: "Turn off the Ethic Code or die," and see who was willing to comply.
  • Incidentally, the kids had armor and weapons. They're piled up at the kids' feet (they're later shown fully equipped). The soldiers were talking to the adult, not the children. They probably just wanted to see her naked to humiliate her.
Sword Art Online and Accel World are set in the same universe with .hack//
  • Virtual reality MMORPGs with cool gadgets of its time? I don't see any reason why not?
Kirito and Asuna's pseudo reality warping abilities
There are a few moments in Aincrad where it's described that Kirito or Asuna so things that shouldn't be possible in the system of Sword Art Online. There is some speculation of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, but in reality it is simply a function of the Nerve Gear, albeit an unsuspected one. In times of great worry or duress, it's been shown the human body can do things far beyond normal physiological limits. Since the Nerve Gear works by intercepting signals meant for the body and transfers them to the avatar, it only makes sense that these "override" mental signals would transfer as well.

Future plots and stories:
ALO and GGO will connect with each other.
  • At the end of Fairy Dance Lyfa remembers Kirito talking about ALO connecting with another VRMMO, making a nexus. GGO will join this nexus.
    • If you look at the maps of ALO and ISL Ragnarok where the BoB took place, they look similar in certain areas.
There will be prequel stories/novels covering the adventures of Suguha/Lyfa in ALO and Shino/Sinon in GGO before Kirito joined each respectful game.
They would flesh-out more on the other characters like Lady Sakuya, Recon, Sigurd, Dyne, and Spiegel.
We will learn what the other Unique Skills from SAO are.
We already know 2 of 10 them, Holy Sword and Dual Blades; the other 8 were not elaborated on. When ALO implemented Sword Skills it is said that 10 were removed and there were 10 Unique Skills.

The SAO game contains an early version of the Incarnate System
At the end of volume 1 (episode 14 in the anime), this is how Asuna and Kirito were able to cancel a paralysis condition and delay their avatar's death, respectively.
  • In volume 10 it's confirmed that the Incarnate System exists in Underworld, which was built on the Seed Engine developed from SAO.

An American-based company will cause trouble late into the story.
  • Sugou mentioned selling mind-controlling technology to American company when he first met Kirito.
  • In GGO arc, Kikuoka mentioned that nobody is quite sure where Gun Gale Online come from. This troper only remember that it was from mysterious western company. Zasker, based in America if this troper recall correctly.
  • At the beginning of Underworld arc, Sinon tell us that she fought against Subtilizer, a strange American player in a GGO tournament. The weird part is Subtilizer said creepy things to Sinon, unusually great combat awareness and the fact that there should be no US entry in Japan-based tournament, as servers are now separated for each region.
  • The company could be Private Military Contractors hired to take cutting-edge tech.
  • Kind of right. It's not a company, though it's a branch of the CIA which tries to break into Rath, disable Project Alicization and steal Alice's (who is the most advanced) fluctlight. In addition, Subtilizer, AKA Gabriel Miller, is the leader of the CIA assault-though he plans to rogue. In fact they even have contacts within the Japanese Navy who are resentful it will lead to a loss of jobs for soldiers, and move their escort out, allowing the assault-foreshadowed in the prologue/interlude of Volume 13.

Akihiko Kayaba is still alive, in hiding and watching/helping Kirito and his friends from afar.
  • in the anime it is revealed that upon his defeat in SAO he preformed a high power microwave scan on him self (basically the method by which SAO players were killed on avatar death but with the nervegears detectors active) and copied his brain it to the internet and he does show up to give Kirito admin privileges in ALO and the world seed
SOA takes place in a world where the Virtual Adepts won.
  • The goal of the adepts was to create a world built around virtual reality, the digital web and augmented reality technologies. All of which are growing dramatically in spite of the negative press generated by the story arcs. The VRMMORPG boom is one step in the Adepts plan to win the final battle for Reality, allowing people direct control over the world they live in.
  • Also this means that Kirito is likely a young mage or sorcerer in the VA paradigm explaining some of his system bending abilities, and Kayaba is a VA Master or possibly a Marauder.
Sachi is alive. In a manner of speaking.
  • We know the Nerve Gear kills its victims with a high-powered scan of the brain. We also know that Kayaba used this feature for his ascension into the digital realm after his death. In the novels his assistant claims that the process had roughly 1-in-1000 odds of working, but how were those odds determined? Simple: the process was tested on the SAO players. Of the 4000+ victims of Sword Art Online, four are still alive in the same state that Kayaba is now. We've seen one of them: Griselda's ghost.
    • I figured that they guessed the one in 1000 odds via some kind of Fermi estimate, and Kayaba tested it on the players to see if it would work before trying it on himself. After all, if it does enough "brain damage" to kill 99.9% of the people it's used on, then when someone does survive they won't be in very good condition.
    • Sachi is still alive in a sense, or rather left another last message for Kirito, it's been explored in 'The Day After' and that also included Griselda's ghost phenomenon.
Full-Dive technology is The Ancient Precursor of neural interfacing/capsuleer technology in EVE Online.
It somehow makes sense that way, seeing what Kayaba had been able to do (high-powered scan to convert himself into digital data) - the reverse of that, although extremely difficult, seems plausible - it is the foundation for clone-jumping technology in EVE that keeps capsuleers immortal. In the same sense, the capability of controlling one's avatar in-game by using the brain can easily be transmuted to 'controlling a spaceship with nothing but your mind through a neural interface/link'. It is also stated that the ancient civilizations that existed in wormholes e.g. Sleepers were masters of virtual reality.
The fact that Kirito is an orphan is actually a plot point and the identity of his parents will be explored later on.
  • Besides a convenient way to make Kirito and Suguha cousins rather than true siblings, Kirito's parents are probably important people who will be explored later in the story. Probably co-researchers with Kayaba or something...

We haven't seen the last of PoH

So far two high-ranking members of the Laughing Coffin have made a comeback. I see no reason why their leader, the game's most feared Hero Killer, should not make one as well.
  • Confirmed. See the spoiler in character page.

It is revealed that since entering SAO, Kirito has been his own version of The Truman Show.

The Beta Testers for SAO weren't actually there to beta test the game. Unknown to the players, it was actually an audition process, for one "lucky" player to become the star of their own series. Kayaba, likely, was the actual producer of the show, selecting Kirito personally. By the time the game proper started, the actual game was able to happen at the same time, on another server. Kirito, and 10000 actors were all placed into the series we saw. This in turn would explain all the aspects of the "game" that didn't quite make sense. Kirito's unexplainable ability to be far more powerful than anyone else? The plot said so. The huge number of girls who all clamor for our hero? Potential love interests to see which one had the most chemistry before being written as Kirito's girlfriend. Asuna got the highest ratings, so she was chosen... And unfortunately, her character development dissipated when she suddenly needed to be the main love. None of the players actually died, they were just written out of the show for dramatic effect. The final clash with Kayaba? Season finale. (Which, of course, when it didn't go as planned, required a little Ass Pull to keep the plot going.) And the whole plot of ALF? New season... Which of course wasn't as good due to Seasonal Rot.
  • How are they supposed to get together TEN THOUSAND actors?

Sword Art Online (or one of the other games) will allow married couples to create AI children.
Because The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.

Kirito will become a police officer specializing in investigating internet crimes.
The fact that they make VR helmets that can kill people if they die in a game means that the police force will need to investigate a whole new brand of crimes that they don't know how to investigate. Enter Kirito, who has been doing this for years to same his own life and the people he loves.

The guardians in ALO were Alfs.
Just because no player could ever turn into one, doesn't mean they weren't in the game.

All the guys that played as women in SAO where stuck in the female underwear
It's said that when you switch cloths underwear shows for a brief moment. It's said that you don't actually put on or take off cloths like normal. The underwear is meant to be there for modesty. It's said you cant take it off. It's said in the books that peoples cloths didn't change and the anime explicitly showed this to be true. So logically a large number of men, specifically ones who started the game as G.I.R.L.s would still be have that as the default.

Kirito and Asuna survived the final battle of SAO because Akihiko Kayaba spared them.
He wrote it into the game that instead of killing the players ten seconds after their HP hit 0, anyone who was defeated during the final battle would not be killed until Kayaba won the battle, and tie goes to the players.

Ginta Toramizu was an SAO player.
Come on, he's obsessed with fantasy- could he really ignore the premiere of full-immersion gaming?

Red-nosed Reindeer was Kirito's confession to the families of the fallen Black Cats of the Full Moon.
That's why it's in Volume 2 and not Volume 1. Though it's set during the Aincrad Arc, it's actually Kirito telling the story after he got out to the families of his fallen comrades. He wants to confess his fatal omission and let them forgive him or take their revenge as they see fit.

Someone will pull a House of M on Kirito.
Some villain will kidnap Yui somehow, and from her memories extract enough information to create convincing replicas of the Black Cats of the Full Moon. When Kirito tries to rescue her, he ends up getting sucked into their illusion, which was the plan the whole time. In order to escape, he'll have to reject the illusions of a world where the Black Cats of the Full Moon never died.

The survivors of SAO meet up once a year to remember all they've been through together and the ones that didn't make it out.
Those who are old enough toast sake To Absent Friends.

SAO will get a video game for the PS 4 that will allow you to play through the entire 75 or 100 floors.
Also, the Black Cats of the Full Moon side plot will allow for multiple endings, not only for the Romance Subplot but for the entirety of the game. Kirito will have the choice to join or not to join the Black Cats of the Full Moon, and if he joins them, the incident leading to their deaths will be avoidable. Not joining the Black Cats of the Full Moon or saving them will completely alter the course of the game.

There was no violation of the program with anything Kirito or Asuna did.
Asuna breaking the dexterity limit? Kirito just miscalculated. Asuna freeing herself from paralysis? Kirito programmed that in while he was saving Yui. Kirito launching a final attack with his HP at 0? Players were always able to do that; the only difference is that Kirito knew about the 10 second grace period because of the events of Red Nosed Reindeer.

Akihiko Kayaba is Kirito's Evil Uncle.
Based on the fact that it's Kazuto and Suguha's mothers who are siblings, it seems pretty reasonable to assume that he wasn't born with the surname Kirigaya. He took on that name when his aunt and uncle took him in and raised him as their son. So are there any clues about Kirito's birth name? Well, after he hacked into a government website at the age of ten and discovered that he was adopted, he confronted his aunt about who his real parents were. After that happened, he started withdrawing himself into MMORPGs and almost completely avoiding Suguha. Akihiko Kayaba was an idol of his until he found out that Akihiko was a nutcase. Akihiko, in turn, seems unduly interested in Kirito. So what's Kirito's birth name? Kazuto Kayaba, son of Akihiko's older brother. Akihiko was the quiet genius of the family, whom Kirito wanted to be just like until he found out that quiet genius was hiding criminal insanity.
  • Afterall, Kirito mentions in the SAO arc that, after he refused to be trained in kendo by his uncle (instead withdrawing), he became mildly abusive, berating him constantly until Suguha stepped in. Cue with Owen Lars in Star Wars who, without being bluntly abusive toward Luke, tried constantly to prevent him from leaving Tatooine and forbid him explicitly to see "Ben" Kenobi. The parallel is striking: Kirito's aunts was trying to pressure Kirito into physical achievements to keep him away from the digital world that turned his father insane, much like Owen Lars was trying to keep Luke away from the Jedi to avoid him from suffer Anakin's fate.

Suguha and Shinichi will get together eventually.
He certainly wants them to be more than just friends, and she seems like she'd be interested if she ever manages to get over Kirito.

Kayaba never intended for SAO to be cleared or for anyone to die.
He was actually hoping that everybody would give up on clearing the game, at least after they found out he was the final boss, and that everyone would be content to spend the rest of their natural lives in Aincrad. Why else would he write the game so that he either dies in the end or kills everybody unless they choose to stay in Aincrad? Why else destroy Aincrad when he is defeated? The death game was just his way of choosing virtual reality over real life and preventing anyone else from choosing to go back to the real world.

Kirito saved himself against Heathcliff, thanks to Klein.
  • While we never know what Klein did with the special device Kirito obtained (in vain, to save Sachi) that could revive someone within 10 seconds of death, we might see Klein saving the device for this very moment—presuming he, like Asuna, can pull off the ability to move while paralyzed.

Sugou actually wanted Kirito to log into ALO.
  • While Sugou's choice to taunt Kirito at the start of the ALO Arc, telling him of his villainous project and giving him a week to stop him in-game before he can marry Asuna and take full control of RECTO and the digital universe may seem your average villain rant, and while Sugou becomes increasingly Ax-Crazy during the entire arc, he may, afterall, have shown some wisdom.
He knows, because he explicitly mentions that in a conversation with Asuna's father, that Kirito is the "Hero of Aincrad", the one beating Heathcliff/Kayaba and pulling impossible stunts during the whole Aincrad caper. His brain could have been a nice addition to his experiments in mind control applied to the digital world: Kirito is the best specimen one could ever hope to find. However, when Kirito started againto pull his stunts against him, Sugou blew his remaining sanity.

Keita had a crush on Sachi.
It is implied that the other Black Cats were Keita's only friends, which would explain why he killed himself after learning that the others died because of Kirito's silence. But what really crushed him was the death of the Girl Next Door that he had secretly loved for years, and she never knew.

Kirito is an Unreliable Narrator.
He remembers his feelings from the past as what he currently wants to remember them as. His memories of declining to escort Fuurinkazan on day 1 were colored by his experiences with the Black Cats of the Full Moon. He says that Silica reminds him of Suguha based on how he chose to remember her, not how she actually looks or acts. He downplays his relationship with Sachi after falling in love with Asuna because those memories are both painful and an unwanted interference to his current relationship.

Kirito and Asuna are dead, and everything after their conversation with Kayaba Akihiko is a shared hallucination
Because it's not a WMG page if someone hasn't suggested that the series is All Just a Dream.

Kayaba had accomplices inside the government.
Or at least he was able to bribe some officials to look the other way during safety testing.
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