Major Characters (Kazuto Kirigaya, Asuna Yuuki) | Aincrad | Alfheim Online | Gun Gale Online | Underworld | Antagonists | Video Game Exclusives | Alternative Gun Gale Online | Others | Mobile Game Exclusives
This page details the various characters that debuted in the first story arc of Sword Art Online.
Note: Unmarked spoilers ahead.note If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!
Argo (SAO, ALO)
Voiced by: Shiori Izawa (Japanese), Cassandra Lee (English), Jocelyn Robles (Latin American Spanish)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Throughout the light novels (mainly Progressive), Argo's design is fairly consistent as one of the many cute faces of the cast. The anime, going with her being Demoted to Extra, kept her fairly plain-faced by comparison besides her whiskers while toning down the blonde color of her hair (though it might be due to her one scene being at nighttime), and her concept and card designs at the time even gave her Blinding Bangs and a rougher face as if to downplay her appearance for a one-off character in the adaptation. When she was brought into the game continuity which uses the anime designs as a basis, her design was noticeably bumped up in quality and consistency, and stayed that way for the rest of the games.
- Adaptational Dye Job: Most mediums be that lighrmt novel, manga, or games all depict Argo with blonde hair. The only exception is the anime where her one off appearance in Episode 3 made her a brunette.
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Argo was a recurring minor member of the cast during the Aincrad arc and boosted up to a major character spot in the Progressive novels, but got heavily Demoted to Extra for a single scene appearance in the anime likely due to the anime predating her fan-favored debut. Despite this, she appears at the end of season one's guest artwork cast roll by the light novel's artist alongside every other notable and heroic character, likely to the confusion of many anime-only viewers. And the fact that the Unital Ring arc brings her back to the main cast is bound to cause confusion as a result, if the anime ever adapts it.
- Animal Motif: While she's known as "the Rat", she has plenty of links to cats, including her whisker marks, laughing with a "Nyahahahaha", the fact she's a Cait Sith in ALO, and her crippling fear of dogs.
- Affectionate Nickname: Refers to Kirito as "Kiri-bou" or "Kii-bou" while calling Asuna "Asu" or "A-Chan".
- Ascended Extra: Originally just a minor character role in the original novels, Progressive made Argo into a major cast member throughout Aincrad. Consequently, this led to Argo becoming enough of a Breakout Character that the game continuity took her surge in popularity, made her a Guest-Star Party Member, and then ascended her to part of the main cast. She even got an ALO avatar of a Cait-Sith in Lost Song, whereas Argo had completely disappeared in the canon continuity post-Aincrad. Until her surprise return in volume 21 of the light novels, likely also stirred by this trope.
- Boyish Short Hair: Of the side fringe variant. It's especially hard to tell whether she's a boy or girl when she's wearing her hood.
- Breakout Character: A downplayed case, as she's not helming any spinoffs or significant franchise ventures of her own, but Argo's popularity exploded thanks to her Ascended Extra role in Progressive and the game continuity, up to fan favorite levels alongside Yuuki, which is saying a lot. And as of volume 21 of the light novels, Unital Ring seems to finally be ascending her to a main cast member with her official return.
- The Bus Came Back: After a lengthy absence since the Aincrad arc, with her fate not even being known, Argo makes a return in Unital Ring to the main cast.
- She also appears in her ALO Caith Sith avatar in chapter 23 of Girls' Op
- Cat Girl: She is extremely cat-like in personality and appearance, made even more prominent where she plays as a Cait Sith in ALO.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite being a recurring character throughout the novels in Aincrad, Argo basically disappeared from the cast and plot partway through the arc in the main continuity as the story gradually turned away from separate short stories through the floors and more towards the completion of Aincrad itself; besides an offhand reference here or there, starting with the Fairy Dance arc she might as well have never existed. Girl Ops hinted at her survival, though with nothing entirely concrete, but the game universe kept her fresh in memory as a fan favorite. Until her return in volume 21 of the light novels. It counts as an in-universe Big "WHAT?!" for Kirito, given how out of left field it was.
- Cool Big Sis: Progressive bumps her up to acting as one for Asuna at times, when she isn't being The Gadfly. She also serves as one for Yui in optional scenes in Hollow Realization.
- Dance Battler: Uses a style that is even named Wild Dance.
- Demoted to Extra: In the anime, she only appears in one brief scene towards the end of Season 1 Episode 3. The anime launched in July of 2012, so the staff likely had no idea that Progressive would greatly expand her role come the first volume's release that October.
- Dual Wielding: Her weapon is a pair of Wolverine Claws.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- She refuses to sell the identities of other beta testers. The fact that she didn't do this helps Kirito realize that the only reason Diavel knew about Kirito's status as a beta tester was because Diavel was also a beta tester.
- In Hollow Realization, Richter/Kyouji bought personal information off her about Sinon. This creeped Argo out so much she informed Sinon of this completely free of charge.
- Facial Markings: She has whisker markings, which she applies with make-up. The information on why she has them has a high price tag of 100,000 col. She originally got them as scars during the beta test, when she tried and failed the quest to unlock the "Martial Arts" Extra Skill. When her character was transferred to the main game and the scars vanished, she liked the markings enough to apply them using makeup. In Hollow Realization, she eventually finds actual whiskers as an equipable item in the shops, which she immediately bought.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Kirito and company. Shown in special detail in the videogame continuity, where she's counted among Kirito's circle and despite still selling info and demanding payment, is noticeably much more personable with them than nearly anyone else.
- Flechette Storm: Carries throwing pikes as one of her weapons.
- Fragile Speedster: Her dash exceeds even Asuna's speed! She also takes more damage because she doesn't have knightly armor like Asuna.
- Fun Size: She acts like she's older than Kirito and Asuna, yet she's a head shorter than them.
- The Gadfly: One of the biggest trolls in the entirety of Sword Art Online, being relentless with teasing others when the opportunity comes up.
- In Progressive, she's not above teasing Kirito and Asuna alike just to get a reaction even if it's not for information, and especially takes a lighthearted advantage of her friendship with Asuna to troll Kirito.
- She loves making fun of Kirito's love life. From his relationship to Asuna, his being Oblivious to Love, and that he might harbor feelings for her.
- Idiot Hair: A strange case in that she's far from an idiot, but is depicted as having two tufts upraised in an uneven, U-like shape. These carry over to her thus-far limited appearances in real-life.
- Incompletely Trained: During the Beta she tried to get the "Martial Arts" Extra Skill but gave up.
- In the Hood: A Knowledge Broker has to keep her ID secret, you know.
- Intrepid Reporter: Publisher of the Weekly Argo and always in search of new information and rumors. When Kirito was going to propose to Asuna and they met Argo he was quite afraid to be tomorrow's headline.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her greedy and trollish personality, when the opportunity presents itself, Argo is shown to be a very kind and principled person who will put her love of money aside for the sake of others.
- Just a Kid: She keeps calling Kirito a kid and acts as though she's older, even going so far as to refer to herself as "Onee-san", despite being a great deal shorter.
- Knowledge Broker: In SAO, being a beta tester she has some info only she knows and sells them for col (the currency of SAO).
- Meaningful Name: Argo means "swift" in Greek and her character build is focused on agility.
- New Transfer Student: She appears in-person for the first time in canon at the very end of volume 21, explicitly stating she's transferring to the school for SAO survivors. Kirito suffers a Delayed Reaction, given that he's not seen her in several years.
- Only in It for the Money: She is incredibly sly and greedy, and will sell any piece of information for the right price, including the identities of her clients and the information they bought from her. She observes that as soon as someone buys information from her, she gets a new piece of information (X bought Y from her) to sell. Though she draws the line at selling the identities of other beta testers. She is also the author of a free strategy guide for beginner players, detailing the hazards and best hunting spots of each floor. Kirito observes that this is probably her way of "atoning" as a beta tester. She's also decidedly honest about the information she sells; when Kirito inquires about the "Nicholas the Renegade" quest on SAO's first Christmas Eve, she tells him that there's nothing worth charging money for, and shares what she knows without charging half a Col.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "Argo" is the character name that she's known by, which the games have stuck with consistently. Nowhere has her real name been discussed, not even in Progressive which briefly showed her in real-life for the first time. This might change after her reintroduction to the cast at the end of volume 21.
- Platonic Life-Partners: She and Kirito are longtime friends and clients, but their relationship remains strictly professional. This is subverted in the gameverse where Argo has shown Ship Tease moments and might as well be part of Kirito's Unwanted Harem, even being one of the girls Kirito can court and have a pillow talk with.
- The Rat: This is her title because of her sneaking and shiny object hoarding (i.e. Col) behavior.
- Red Baron: She is known as "The Rat", due to her whiskers and her selling info.
- Shipper on Deck: In the manga adaptation of Sword Art Online: Progressive she seems to be one. Given her reaction to rumors that Kirito and Asuna are a couple, and actively selling information that seems to encourage it. She even tells Kirito: "You've got dibs on that girl. Don't you know what you got?"
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Her relationship with Kirito largely consists of the two playing mind games and seeing who can get under whose skin first.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Argo loves sneaking up on people and seemingly appearing out of nowhere.
- The Tease: She's relentless when she finds something worth teasing about, and seeing people squirm just convinces her to go further. Justified in that it gives her yet another edge when it comes negotiating as an info broker.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Memory Defrag has Kirito explain that he met the Moonlit Black Cats and helped them defeat a boss for a lot of Col to purchase their guild house, which earned him a number in their ranks and their trust. However, Kirito had hired Argo to help him reduce the boss HP to half before the Black Cats arrived, and then she would disappear so it seemed like he did the work himself; this meant that Argo unwittingly helped get Kirito into the position that would lead to the Black Cats being wiped out, and likely was kept in the dark about it given Kirito's immense self-loathing and guilt complex over the incident.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Argo is one of the few named allies of Kirito whose fate is completely unknown. While other side-story characters like Lisbeth and Silica continue to make appearances in the main light novels, Argo disappears after her story concludes.
- She reappears in the game Sword Art Online: Lost Song as a Cat Sith in ALO, confirming her survival in the game continuity as she joins the cast semi-consistently from then on.
- She also made an appearance in the Side Story, The Day Before which tells the story of the day after Kirito proposed to Asuna. So it can be assumed that she survived up to that point but anything after that remains a mystery.
- She has an Alfheim account in Girls' Ops Volume 5, and gives Lisbeth, Silica, Leafa, and Lux tips on finding a recipe they need for a quest.
- As of Volume 21 in the Unital Ring arc of the light novels, Argo makes a surprise appearance at the very last page, finally confirming that she canonically survived SAO. Kirito is completely taken off-guard and even thinks to himself about her being alive, indicating that she suffered from What Happened to the Mouse? in-universe as well.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Runs away screaming in panic as soon as she sees a dog, which fits into her cat motif. In Hollow Realization, she considers a quest where she has to take care of a little puppy to be harder than fighting a floor boss, though she starts to warm up to it when Yui starts helping her.
- Wolverine Claws: One of her weapons are claws she wears over her hands.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Much like Kirito, who plays the "Beater" role much more directly to be a Hero with Bad Publicity that can be blamed by the normal populace, while Argo plays up her Knowledge Broker aspects to take the heat off of other beta testers when it involves the spread of "misinformation". Few ever find out that the tutorials and guides everyone gets their hands on come from her, and she prefers it that way.
Voiced by: Shizuka Ito (Game)
A Dark Elf and royal knight of the Pagoda Knights Brigade in the service of the kingdom of Lyusula from the third floor of Aincrad. She is an elite quest NPC for the Elf War quest campaign that joins Kirito and Asuna's journey through the third floor despite the fact that she was scripted to sacrifice herself like in the beta.
Returns in Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization as an NPC and recruitable character.
- Adapted Out: As she was introduced in Progressive which wasn't raised released until after the anime, she never made it into the anime series with the Time Skip glossing over the floors which she is present on.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Kizmel had a twin sister named Tilnel who was killed by the Forest Elves.
- Artificial Intelligence: Is noted at multiple points to have an unusually advanced mindset for a simple NPC, to the point she's comparable with Yui and other humans at times. There's little explanation for this, though it's implied she's "learned" through her interactions with Kirito and company. She even talks how she has had several dreams of her encounters with Kirito during the beta test.
- Ascended Extra: Originally a minor character in the Progressive series, she makes a return as a recruitable party member in Hollow Realization and is given a larger roles in Integral Factor.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She's a royal knight in service to her kingdom and one of the most powerful and reliable NPCs Kirito and Asuna have ever encountered.
- Boobs of Steel: Well-endowed and a powerful fighter.
- Crutch Character: She's on the third floor, but she and most of the elves are on par with enemies on the seventh floor, making her much stronger than Kirito and Asuna when they first meet.
- Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: In Hollow Realization, Kirito and Asuna encounter a version of Kizmel in SA:O, but since she was generated by a different game she has no memories of the Kizmel they met during Progressive. Though Kirito and Asuna are still hellbent on saving her life when she gets petrified. Kizmel herself still has an odd feeling she knew them in a previous life.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the SAO beta she was supposed to sacrifice herself during an event, but Kirito and Asuna save her. In Hollow Realization, she does it again to save Kirito from being hit with a spell that would have turned him to stone. Unlike the original SAO, both Kirito and Asuna aren't sure if she was programmed to do it or if she did it of her own free will, which considering the fact she is an advanced AI the second option might not be too out there. Luckily, she got better.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Dark Elves have no sense of modesty and she does not understand why humans like Kirito are so embarrassed to bathe with someone of the opposite gender. Downplayed in that she covers up just fine most of the time, but when it comes to bathing she has absolutely no problems going full in naked with either a male or female audience present. She personally just doesn't see the point of segregated baths, though she's willing to be modest for Kirito's sake.
- Invisibility Cloak: Her Mistmoon Cloak grants her the "Hiding" skill, which lets her turn invisible. It works even better during the evening and morning hours, to the point she can make some physical contact with other things without her "Hiding" status breaking.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Don't let her species name of "Dark Elf" fool you. She's undoubtedly a heroic and honorable fighter who's saved Kirito and Asuna's lives on several occasions. She's also an official royal knight.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: During her travels with Kirito and Asuna in Aincrad she used a small shield in conjecture with her sword. She can be equipped with a new one in Hollow Realization if so chosen.
- Ms. Fanservice: Kizmel gets two bath scenes in Hollow Realization and several in the Progressive series, all of which are rather extensive and show off her body. She's also willing to bathe with Kirito though both Kirito and Asuna spend their time washing her back instead of anything else.
- Our Elves Are Better: She is a Dark Elf.
- Past-Life Memories: In a strange way. She confesses to Kirito that she's had several dreams which he realizes she could only describe if she actually remembered the events of the beta test, where she always died. In Hollow Realization, she also hints that she recalls some of what happened in Aincrad during her travels with Kirito and Asuna.
- Promoted to Playable: In Hollow Realization, she can be recruited into the party after finishing her event.
- Purple Is Powerful: Has purple hair, Purple Eyes and shades of purple in her outfit and armor, and she's one of the most powerful recurring NPCs around.
- Sinister Scimitar: Her main weapon in Hollow Realization, though she herself is anything but sinister.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's slightly taller than Kirito in the novel and one head taller in the manga.
- Taken for Granite: In Hollow Realization she gets hit with a curse that turns her to stone after forcing Kirito out of the way. Kirito and Asuna use one of the items needed for the quest to save her.
- Uniqueness Value: Kizmel's circumstances are unlike any other NPC in Aincrad. After Kirito and Asuna saved her when she was scripted to die like in the beta, any other player taking the quest encountered a different dark elf in her place. She possesses a high level of intelligence that at times leaves people wondering if she's actually human rather than an NPC. She also admits to Kirito she had several dreams that relate to her encounters with him during the beta test, where she always died. Exactly why this happened is a matter of debate, though there are hints that she's "learned" through her experiences with Kirito and company to the point her AI has evolved.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: Like Premiere she can be made a party member, but like her if she dies it's Game Over since NPCs die for real. Luckily, like her there's a very generous timer that counts down 99 seconds before that happens which stops and resets if she's being revived and even if it fails, so it's a more forgiving example than most.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
- Her Artificial Intelligence is so advanced that the heroes don't just think of her as a run of the mill NPC program but as an actual friend.
- This is brought up in Integral Factor where Koharu treats Kizmel and all of the elves like real people who are alive, in contrast to Sinon who is unable to see them as NPCs who are nothing more than data composed of 1's and 0's.
- Wistful Amnesia: In Hollow Realization, the Kizmel Asuna and Kirito meet and recruit isn't the exact Kizmel from Aincrad and is simply based off the data from the original. However, this Kizmel at multiple points acts outside of her programming to help them and admits that she feels a strange sense of camaraderie towards them. It helps that both Kizmels are noted to have very advanced AI compared to other NPCs, which may play a role in the connection.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her Avatar has purple hair.
Aincrad Liberation Front
Thinker (SAO, ALO)
Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese), Victor Sgroi (English)
Administrator of "MMO Today" and co-leader of Aincrad Liberation Front, the largest guild in SAO. Thinker's leadership and influence have slowly been eroded thanks to his co-leader Kibaou, and he's eventually trapped unarmed in a dungeon, prompting Yulier, his real-world and virtual wife, to request Kirito and Asuna to help rescue him.
- Distressed Dude: His status as one is what drove Yulier to contact Kirito and Asuna.
- Happily Married: Eventually to Yulier, both in-game and IRL.
- Horrible Judge of Character: How could he trust Kibaou, like, at all?
- Informed Attribute: He's the leader of MMO Today and later the joint guilt of the Aincrad Liberation Force. Though it's never really explained what's so special about for him to earn the position of leader to begin with.
- Nice Guy: He had this "hands-off" style of management because he didn't want the ALF to become an oppressive force. In the end, he was a bit too nice, to his detriment, which allowed the hardliners in ALF to marginalize him into a figurehead.
- Too Dumb to Live: Willingly walked unarmed into an obvious trap set by someone he knew was going to betray him. If not for a safe zone within the dungeon and some quick thinking from his love interest, he would certainly have died.
Yulier (SAO, ALO)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi (Japanese), Amanda Céline Miller (English), Rosa López (European Spanish)
A senior member of ALF and wife to its leader Thinker, both in the real and virtual worlds, who disapproves of the current hardline direction of the guild. She requests Kirito and Asuna's help to rescue Thinker.
- Happily Married: Eventually to Thinker, both in-game and IRL. She's quite devoted to him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ignores Thinker's cries when he warns her a corridor is trapped and triggers the boss monster that Yui deletes, causing Cardinal to delete Yui.
- Not So Stoic: She breaks into tears when she begs Kirito and Asuna to help her save Thinker.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Before arriving in the game she was all silk; a docile House Wife. After arriving in the game, the steel revealed itself; a powerful guild member.
- Statuesque Stunner: While her height is never specified, she is described as being of tall stature and significant beauty.
- Undying Loyalty: She's quite devoted to Thinker. It's soon clear that she has strong feelings for him, which he reciprocates.
- Whip It Good: Her weapon of choice is a whip.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Strongly gives off this vibe, so much so that Asuna is awed when she first meets her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her Avatar has grey hair.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Derek Stephen Prince (English), Rafael Ordóñez Arrieta (European Spanish)
A warrior who participated in the 1st floor boss raid who has a dislike for beta testers. He founded the Aincrad Liberation Squad before it was later merged with MMO Today to become the Aincrad Liberation Force, however he was later exiled for the trouble he caused with Thinker.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: He's a lot more approachable in Integral Factor, being less of an outright Jerkass and more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. While initially still being cold to Kirito for being a beater, he does come to uphold a begrudging respect towards both him. He's also pretty kind to the Player Character.
- Adaptational Villainy: Of a sort. While he is an antagonist towards Kirito and Beta Testers, it is another player named Lind who accused Kirito of getting Diavel killed by withholding information. His version in the anime appears to lack his light novel counterpart's Hidden Depths.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Alongside Kayaba and Laughing Coffin, Kibaou is the other main source of trouble during the Aincrad arc.
- Composite Character: In the anime he becomes the one who accused Kirito of getting Diavel killed. Taking on the role of Lind.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He becomes one later on as part of The Army. His group of followers are really nothing more than a bunch of extortionists. He later tried to get rid of Thinker rather than having to answer for his screwup that cost him a few men.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In Episode 1, his name is one of many seen on the Monument of Life.
- Everyone Has Standards: While he's fairly belligerent and reluctant to trust those outside his group, he tells Joe, one of his underlings, to shut up when Joe tells him not to believe Kirito, and again, when Joe suggests walking out of a tense negotiation with the DKB.
- Evil All Along: While he was always an asshole, he could be interpreted as being stern but well-meaning initially. This changes after the incident with MMO where Kibaou lured Thinker into a trap to try and very nearly got him killed.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Beta-testers. Coins the term "Beater."
- Hate Sink: The point of Kibaou's character is to show that even in a life-or-death situation, people can still be jerks.
- Hidden Depths: His portrayal in the Progressive light novels is a bit more nuanced. He's still a jerk whose mistrust of beta testers and rivalry with Lind and his faction divides those trying to clear the game, but he is somewhat more reasonable than people like Joe, and gradually seems to be developing a grudging respect for Kirito. He also honestly thinks he's following in Diavel's footsteps.
- Incoming Ham: When he first makes his appearance, Kibaou loudly demands everyone's attention before flamboyantly hopping his way down to Diabel's stage.
- Irony: Greatly respects Diabel, not knowing that he is actually a beta tester and is just using the raid group to get a rare floor boss item via exploiting the last hit system and screwing over Kirito. He respected the very type of player that he hated.
- Jerkass: He's easily the biggest one in the Aincrad arc, and a contender for the biggest one in the show, considering how not only did he put Kirito in a tough spot by labeling himself as a "Beater", resulting in his first girlfriend and her group's deaths, but also once he becomes a power-hungry leader of extortionists. It's revealed in Progressive that he's not just an ass to beta players either, but also discriminatory against low-level newbies.
- Karma Houdini: It's unknown if he ever got any punishment for trying to get Thinker killed in-game, but there's no doubt he escaped punishment following the dissolving of Aincrad.
- The Load: Complains much and contributes little. By the end of the second episode he incites a witch-hunt against beta-testers that dissembles the coalition Diabel put together.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Lind, given that he's hotheaded and quite open with his distrust of others.
- Spiky Hair: Sports random, protruding spikes from his hair that resembles a mace.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He wasn't likable to begin with, where he's derogatory to beta players coining the term "beater" for Kirito. However he gets a lot worse when he becomes a Corrupt Corporate Executive who extorts taxes from lower level players on Floor 1, sends his men on a suicide mission to gain reputation, and tries to trap Thinker at the mercy of an unbeatable boss under the guise of a peace treaty. He goes from jerk to full-blown criminal.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: Rolls some rugged r's to match his rough personality.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Kirito saves his ass from the 1st floor boss, and what does he do? He accuses his savior of being as greedy as the other Beta-testers.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Because of his witch-hunt, Kirito labeled himself a Beater. Because of that, he was put in a tough spot when he was hanging around with a certain doomed guild. So, Sachi died because of Kibaou.
- Uriah Gambit: It's revealed in the twelfth episode that he pulled this on Corvatz in a bid to gain power.
- You Are What You Hate: He dislikes Beta Testers because they tend to abuse the system to obtain power. A couple of years later, and he's doing the same thing with the Aincrad Liberation army.
Voiced by: Tetsu Inada (Japanese), Raúl Solo (Latin American Spanish)
The leader of a raid party sent by Kibaou to explore the 74th floor. He ends up getting himself killed by the floor's boss when he refuses to back off despite Kirito's warnings.
- Determinator: A particularly stubborn case of this, since he doesn't Know When to Fold 'Em despite being clearly overwhelmed by The Gleam Eyes.
- Honor Before Reason: Refuses to back off from a fight because he sees it as cowardice.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Because of him, Kirito was forced to reveal his Dual Blades skill to defeat The Gleam Eyes and save the remaining party members before they were killed too, causing the news to spread like fire.
- Too Dumb to Live: Challenges a dungeon's boss with a small party that is clearly exhausted, and completely dismisses Kirito's warnings to get more backup before facing it. Sure enough, he doesn't live through it.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Killed off in the same episode he's introduced.
Black Cats of the Full Moon
A guild made up of friends from the same computer club in the real world. They were the first guild that Kirito joined in SAO.
- And the Rest: Whenever Kirito refers back to his old guild, he either refers to the guild, or to only Sachi and/or Keita. Note that this is NOT an insult.
- Band of Brothers: They were originally from the same school club, but in the game they practically became a family. This is what ultimately convinces Kirito to join them, since he was feeling lonely after a whole year playing solo.
- Doomed by Canon: Kirito tells Asuna about them in Volume 1, though their actual tale takes place in the next volume.
- Five-Man Band: Before Kirito joined, they were a five-man guild. Keita is the The Leader because he is the levelheaded guildhead who sets the strategies. Sasamaru is The Lancer because he is the Number Two and he literally has a spear for a weapon. Tetsuo is The Big Guy because he is physically fit enough to wield a giant bludgeoning weapon. He's also the team's only shield user. Disarming traps is Ducker's role in the guild which makes him The Smart Guy. Sachi is the lone female that most of the guild, and especially Kirito, are invested in protecting because she contributes with kind words and love, making her The Chick.
- Kill Em All: They end up getting completely annihilated in a trap not a while after Kirito joins.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Their real world names are unknown, unless, like Asuna, their game names are the same as their real world name.
- Poor Communication Kills: Had Kirito told them what he knew from the start, they wouldn't have been wiped out in the first place because they either would have respected his experience and stayed away from the trap, or stayed where they were instead of going higher than they could manage.
- Sentai: Note their color-coded outfits, with the guy in red being the leader and black-themed Kirito as their extra man.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Kirito was only partly to blame for their doom. The other half of their sorry story is that they explored a dungeon well above their level and triggered a Shmuck Bait trap. Ducker assumed he could disarm any trap they ran across, Sachi assumed that Kirito would save everybody if anything happened (which is probably one reason she didn't blame Kirito for what could happen to her), and Sasamaru and Tetsuo were just overconfident. Boy was their confidence misplaced.
- Their acts throughout the game were reckless. Pressuring Sachi to be a shield user was merely a symptom of the fact that their egos were writing checks their bodies couldn't cash. Kirito blames himself for their deaths, but in all probability, Kirito's actions extended their lives.
- Total Party Kill: The sole survivor was, ironically, their extra man.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese), Lucien Dodge (English), Víctor Ugarte (Latin American Spanish), Enric Puig (European Spanish)
Leader and founder of the guild.
- A Father to His Men: He's the resident Team Dad, and the rest of the team respond accordingly. Kirito admits that his way of running the guild was one of the main reasons why he joined them, hoping that his way of thinking would help the people trapped in SAO to complete the game someday.
- Driven to Suicide: After Kirito informed him that the rest of the guild died, he jumped off of Aincrad.
- Fantastic Racism: Not as bad as Kibaou, but he wasn't fond of learning that Kirito hid his "beater" status along with his guild being wiped out.
- Jerkass Has a Point: It's a minor example. If you count the "jerkass" as someone who also doesn't like "beaters", he was right about the fact that the guild perished due to Kirito's dishonesty. Then again he didn't know the whole story about Kirito's reason for being dishonest and was too emotionally shattered to care about that or the fact that he and his group were being too reckless and probably would have been dead a long time ago were it not for Kirito.
- The Leader: Guildhead of the "Black Cats of the Full Moon." He's the levelheaded type.
- Simple Staff: His weapon is a bladeless pole arm.
- The Strategist: He's also the guy who creates the team formations and strategies, more than someone who's in the middle of the fight.
Voiced by: Kenji Akabane (Japanese), Tyler Shamy (English), Alan Fernando Vásquez (Latin American Spanish)
The mace user of the guild.
- The Big Guy: He's physically fit enough to wield a giant bludgeoning weapon. He's also the team's only shield user.
- Carry a Big Stick: Wields a mace.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Also wields a shield to protect himself and his fellows.
Voiced by: Tsubasa Yonaga (Japanese), Bobby Thong (English), Arturo Cataño (Latin American Spanish)
A spear man of the guild.
- Blade on a Stick: His weapon is a spear.
- The Lancer: A contrast to the leader with a literal spear for a weapon.
Voiced by: Takuya Eguchi (Japanese), Erik Kimerer (English), Miguel Ángel Ruiz (Latin American Spanish)
The thief of the guild.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Repeatedly pick-axed to death by Dark Dwarf Miners, screaming in pain with each hit before dying.
- Knife Nut: As a thief, this is his natural Weapon of Choice.
- Nice Hat: Wears a knit cap.
- The Smart Guy: Disarming traps is his role in the guild.
- The Sneaky Guy: Sneaking around comes with being a thief.
Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese), Xanthe Huynh (English), Nina Romero (European Spanish), Azul Valadez (Latin American Spanish)
The sole female member of the guild and the first girl Kirito set his eyes upon during his earlier days in SAO.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In canon she doesn't appear for several months when Kirito joins her guild. In Integral Factor she's seen as early as the first day of launch and had a scattering of appearances afterwards.
- Adaptation Expansion: Integral Factor sheds light on what Sachi was up to before Kirito joined her guild and is a far more prominent character to the point where she's practically part of the core SAO gang.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In Integral Factor, Asuna gets to meet Sachi which never happened in canon.
- All Deaths Final: After Sachi dies, the revival item that Kirito uses doesn't work on her.
- Artificial Intelligence: In Hollow Fragment, Kirito meets an AI duplicate of Sachi. This happens again in Fatal Bullet's Dissonance of the Nexus DLC, though thanks to a quest reward her data is saved and allows her to become a party member later on.
- Ascended Extra: In Integral Factor she's more or less part of the core SAO gang that made up Kirito's Unwanted Harem, partaking in countless stories and getting far more focus than she did in canon.
- Beauty Mark: Has one near the outside corner of her right eye.
- The Big Gal: Keita wanted to make her into the guild's second shield user. Kirito eventually convinced him to change his mind because Sachi had neither the physical build nor the mentality for it.
- Blade on a Stick: Sachi uses a two-handed spear in combat. The reason for this is she's terrified at the mere sight of monsters if she gets to close, so her friends figured a spear would allow her to fight from a distance.
- The Chick: She can contribute with kind words and love and is also the lone female that most of the guild, and especially Kirito, are invested in protecting. This also makes her The Heart.
- Cynicism Catalyst: One of her friends outside of the Black Cats died on the first floor despite being incredibly careful. As such, Sachi became convinced that she didn't have much of a chance of survival.
- Dead Man Writing: Recorded a Christmas card for Kirito and left it in their shared inventory. She mentions in the recording that she would have deleted it and told him its contents in person if she had survived until Christmas Eve. In the recording she tells Kirito she knew about his high level and not to blame himself for her death, telling him to continue surviving so he could find out why this world was created. She ends the recording by singingnote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for Kirito, before telling him "thank you, goodbye".
- Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: In Hollow Fragment, Kirito encounters a Hollow Data version of Sachi, his deceased first love who he failed to save. Although suspecting she's not real, Kirito is hellbent on protecting her at all costs so she won't die again. Eventually Sachi does reveal she is indeed not the real Sachi. She also remembers the words the real Sachi never got to say to Kirito, which leaves him distraught and shaken, but also giving him closure.
- Go Out with a Smile: She dies giving a smile to Kirito.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Her Avatar has blue hair.
- Image Song: Memory Heart Message.
- The Lost Lenore: She is the first love interest for Kirito. Her death in particular is what causes Kirito to go solo for so long.
- Nice Girl: Although she's not a good fighter, what she can contribute are kind words and love.
- Posthumous Character: Most of Sachi's non-canon appearance in games are this, where any time she shows up it's established she's already dead and is either a memory or an Artificial Intelligence copy. Integral Factor is one of the few stories which features Sachi alive and well before she met her tragic demise.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: It wasn't until six months after her death that Kirito learns she was aware of his actual level, but refrained from telling anyone.
- Shrinking Violet: An extremely shy girl who's too fearful to fight monsters out on the fields.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the "Black Cats Of The Full Moon."
- This Is Gonna Suck: Implied. Sachi knew that Kirito's level was double what he said it was, and would therefore logically know that if Kirito thinks opening that chest is a bad idea, it's because opening that chest is a bad idea. The fact that the others decide to open it anyway means that she knew that something really bad was about to happen and there was nothing she could do about it.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A light of innocence and hope that was destined to be snuffed out.
- Virtual Ghost: A trace of Sachi's digital data makes a return in a novel sidestory titled, "The Day Story". Asuna kept experiencing memories that were not hers, leading to her having Out Of Body Experiences while in Full-Dive. Yui and Kirito figure out that it is Sachi's player data trying to make contact, with it being exactly two years since Sachi died. The reason Asuna was contacted was because Kirito was using a different avatar to his one in SAO, while Asuna's was the same and contained a 'hidden' married status to Kirito. It ends with Asuna experiencing a vision of Sachi who requested her to tell Kirito she was happy.
- You Did Everything You Could: She did this for Kirito through a Recorded Christmas card for Kirito and left it in their shared inventory to snap him out of his despair- she figured she wouldn't survive until Christmas and that Kirito would blame himself for her death, so she recorded a message thanking him for the time they had together and for giving her joy and hope, as well as telling him not to blame himself for her death and asked that he survive in the world of SAO to find the reason why such a world was built.
Knights of the Blood Oath
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese), Kevin M. Connolly (English), Luis Porcar (European Spanish), Rafael Pacheco (Latin American Spanish)
The leader of Knights of Blood, of which Asuna was a member. Known as "The Holy Sword", Heathcliff is a legendary player whose HP has never dropped below 50%. He possesses the Unique Skill "Holy Sword", which lets him use his tower shield as an offensive weapon.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In canon, Heathcliff and the "Knights of the Blood Oath" don't really show up until around Floor 50. In Integral Factor, Heathcliff first debuts on Floor 11 where he pulls a Big Damn Heroes in the fight against the floor boss, while he debuts proper and in person on Floor 12 introducing his guild at the same time.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As the leader of the "Knights of Blood."
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Because he's Akihiko Kayaba, creator of the game, he has an intimate understanding of how the various Sword Arts work. Near the end of his second duel with Kirito, he's thus able to see through and defend against his opponent's system-assisted combo, and then attacks him while he's vulnerable, simply.
- Big Damn Heroes: In Integral Factor he pulls this several times, first on the Floor 11 boss fight where he shields the Player from the Boss and coordinates an attack. Later on Floor 12 he saves Leafa from a guild of orange players looking to kill her.
- Big Good: Since he's the head of the number one guild on the front line, he's the highest authority among the heroes clearing levels for the others, although he often leaves leadership to Asuna and his other subordinates. Too bad he's actually the Final Boss.
- Brought Down to Badass: In his second duel with Kirito, he turns off his administrator abilities. Then Kirito realizes that he didn't need them. He's a beast all on his own.
- Cast as a Mask: To hide his true identity, Kayaba and Heathcliff are given different voice actors in both Japanese and English.
- Crutch Character: Heathcliff is something of a meta-example of this trope; he's the ultimate tank who fights on the front lines with his men, and created the strongest guild specifically to collect the game's biggest badasses. He also intended to betray the players on the 95th floor to set himself up as the Final Boss.
- Deus ex Machina: Serves as this in ALO, as it is through Kayaba's Heathcliff avatar that Kirito assumes superuser control of the system. Since this is effectively a god granting a hero divine power, it's like a modernized classical example.
- Distinctive Appearance: Unlike other members of the "Knights of Blood", his uniform is primarily red with white trimmings as opposed to white with red.
- Establishing Character Moment: In Integral Factor he has two of these, he's first shown as a mysterious player who intervenes in the Floor 11 boss fight and saves the Player's life. He then reappears on Floor 12 where he blocks several player killers from attacking Leafa and knocking them back with a simple sword skill.
- Famed In-Story: He is well-known as the most powerful player in game, the leader of the strongest guild in the game, a wielder of an Unique Skill (Holy Sword), and is considered Aincrad's greatest hero all before his reveal as Kayaba, spawning many Red Baron titles as mentioned below.
- GMPC: He's actually Akihiko Kayaba. As Kirito points out, "there's nothing more boring than watching someone else play an RPG."
- I Have Many Names: His Red Baron titles include "The Living Legend," "The Strongest Man," and "The Paladin."
- Lack of Empathy: He watches people die on raids and doesn't care about their loss. His acting this way after the arduous battle with the Skull Reaper gives Kirito a Eureka Moment, and he manages to confirm that Heathcliff is Kayaba.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Double subverted. His first official duel with Kirito was rigged because of his GM abilities. For the second duel, he turned off those abilities, up to and including Complete Immortality.
- Light Is Good: His title is "The Paladin" and his skills are Holy Sword and Spiritual Light. Unfortunately, he is also Kayaba.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His weapon "Liberator", a sword and tower shield combo. His Holy Sword Unique Skill allows him to use his shield as an offensive weapon.
- Master Swordsman: Kirito notes that he is intimately familiar with the dueling system and so his skill level is above even his own. This is because he created the dueling system.
- Non-Indicative Name: His Holy Sword unique skill boosts his attack and defense and lets him Shield Bash.
- The Paladin: His title and his light based skills invoked the trope.
- Red Is Heroic: He is the only one in Red Armor. Inverted since he is the Big Bad. Therefore, Red and Black and Evil All Over is more appropriate.
- Shield Bash: Kirito undergoes so many levels of Oh, Crap! when he gets the receiving end of his Holy Sword during their first duel.
- The Stoic: His expression never changes; it's just varying degrees of seriousness.
- Stonewall: As mentioned above, he's an incredible, seemingly invincible tank player. As also mentioned, this is justified because he used his GM powers to give himself god mode.
- Strong and Skilled: He's the Game Master of SAO, and thus has OP admin privileges. And since he was the one who created the game, no one understands the game's mechanics better than he does. Even after voluntarily turning off his admin privileges and leveling the playing field, he's still able to hold his own against Kirito and would have beaten him if it wasn't for a combination of blind luck and The Power of Love.
- Walking Spoiler: He's actually Kayaba.
- World's Strongest Man: He is considered as the game's most powerful swordsman, thanks to his incredible reflexes, his impossible speed, his truly invulnerable shield, and his incredible sword. "The Strongest Man" is also one of his titles.
Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese), Doug Erholtz (English), Sergio Capelo (European Spanish), Christian Strempler (Latin American Spanish)
A Two-Handed Sword user and Asuna's bodyguard.
- Ax-Crazy: Laughs madly while slowing killing and torturing Godfrey, then takes his sweet time trying to torment Kirito as the latter lies paralyzed.
- Bodyguard Crush: A very twisted version. He uses his position as an excuse to exclude Asuna from romantic rivals like Kirito, though it obviously doesn't stick.
- Dirty Coward: He poisons the rest of his party, paralyzing them, and slowly tortures Godfrey to death before trying to do the same to Kirito. When Asuna turns the tables on him and nearly kills him, Kuradeel pathetically tries to appeal to her conscience before trying to kill her.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In Episode 1, his name is one of many seen on the Monument of Life.
- Hate Sink: He was already pretty unlikable given how much of a clingy stalker of a bodyguard he was for Asuna, while being extremely condescending towards Kirito for being a kid and a beta-player. However he loses all sympathy when it's revealed he's actually an Ax-Crazy murderer who is a member of the Laughing Coffin.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the anime, Kirito blocks a strike from Kuradeel intended for Asuna (at the cost of his hand) and then proceeds to stab him in the ribcage with an Embracer speartip hand. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to attack her in front of Kirito.Kuradeel: God damn you... you murdered me.
- Irony: Asuna was the object of his crazed affections, and he personally tries to make sure no one can get near her. In the light novels, it's Asuna who personally kills him without a moment of hesitation or feeling any guilt over it once he reveals his true colors.
- In the anime, since he's using his position as a guard to keep romantic rivals away from Asuna, it's also pretty ironic that Kirito is the one who kills him.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Pulls this on Asuna in the anime. It works unfortunately, and Kuradeel knocks her rapier away before attempting to kill her.
- Jerkass: He treats Asuna like a trophy despite being her subordinate and treats Kirito like trash despite being ten levels lower than him. Even in his dying words, he accuses Kirito of "murdering" him, even though he tried to kill Kirito and Asuna (and did kill Godfrey), forcing them to fight back in self-defense.
- Stalker with a Crush: Towards Asuna. He lurks around her house at morning (and implied at night) because "it's his job" as her bodyguard. Asuna doesn't appreciate this.
- Tattooed Crook: He bears the Laughing Coffin insignia on his forearm.
Voiced by: Masashi Ebara (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
Another member of Knights of Blood. He was assigned to form a party with Kuradeel and Kirito to assess the talents of the latter.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Towards Kuradeel after getting paralyzed and killed.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Acted a bit rough with Kirito at first, believing Kirito had yet to prove himself, but ultimately seemed to be a pretty decent guy with Cool Big Bro vibes.
- Red Shirt: Getting assigned with the main character and an undercover Laughing Coffin out to kill the former was bound to spell doom for Godfrey.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets killed in the same episode he is introduced in to establish Kuradeel's intentions.
Golden Apple Guild
Yuuko / Griselda (SAO)
The Leader of the Golden Apple Guild. After she was killed, the guild was disbanded. Her real name was Yuuko.
- Cool Big Sis: Yolko had a great deal of admiration for her, which implies Griselda was this to her.
- Happily Married: According to Yolko, she and Grimlock were this, both in the game and IRL. Subverted when you consider that Grimlock never truly valued her as a person.
- The Leader: A Charismatic type for the guild, since she led by virtue of being respected.
- Personal Effects Reveal: After her death, all her items fell on the ground, including her two rings- her guild sigil and wedding ring. This proves that she didn't actually wear the agility ring, as Grimlock said she did.
- Posthumous Character: She was killed before the arc began.
- Peaceful in Death: A vision of her appears before Kirito and Asuna.
- Took a Level in Badass: She became more confident after coming to SAO.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: She was evolving into this since she started enjoying the game and became stronger and braver. This did not sit well with her husband, who apparently liked her better as an Extreme Doormat.
Voiced by: Ken Narita (Japanese), Matthew Mercer (English), Carlos Hernández (Latin American Spanish)
Griselda's husband, both in the game and IRL. He was the one who hired the Laughing Coffin guild to get her killed and planned to off the rest of the members of this former guild when they investigated the truth of her murder.
- Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: He arranges for Laughing Coffin to kill Griselda, expecting that when the game ends, Kayaba will be blamed for anyone who dies since he was the one who set up the death game in the first place.
- Evil Is Petty: This bastard arranged for the assassination of his wife just because she changed and was no longer the woman he loved. Both Kirito and Asuna are rightfully disgusted.
- Happily Married: Was this to Griselda before the game, as Yolko says. At least until she was no longer an Extreme Doormat, which means he didn't really love her in the first place.
- Hate Sink: Arranging for the murder of your own wife is a low few characters sink to, even by the standards of Sword Art Online villains.
- Karma Houdini: We never do actually know what happened to him after he got arrested, so it's safe to assume he escaped his fate once Aincrad was dissolved.
- Loving a Shadow: Asuna points out that if he was disturbed by the idea of Griselda changing, he never truly loved her.
- Motive Rant: Tries to justify having killed his wife because she was no longer the woman he used to love. Asuna replies that if that's the case, he only saw her as an object and never actually loved her.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Asuna's speech seems to sink in as he realizes the truth of her words and the heinousness of his actions.
Voiced by: Nozomi Yamamoto (Japanese), Natalie Hoover (English), Elizabeth Infante (Latin American Spanish)
A former member of the Golden Apple guild went her own separate ways with her boyfriend, Caynz, who gets murdered in a safe zone and enlists Asuna and Kirito's help. Turns out it was a ploy to try and uncover the truth of Griselda's death.
- Guile Hero: Her plan to set up the staged murders for Caynz and herself helps track down the real killer, and she determines Grimlock's guilt by proving that since Griselda was wearing her guild leader's sigil and wedding ring at the time of her death, the agility ring could only have been in Griselda and Grimlock's shared inventory, not where her body was discovered, something that impresses Kirito.
- Faking the Dead: She faked her own death to create a witness with Kirito and Asuna to lure out Griselda's murderer.
- It's All My Fault: She blames herself for Griselda's murder, as a result of going along with the decision to sell the ring. In reality, the issue was more or less irrelevant to why the murderer wanted Griselda dead.
- Nice Girl: She's very kind and polite and even apologized to Kirito and Asuna for using them as witnesses in her fake murder.
- Pet the Dog: Kirito interprets her making Asuna and Kirito her in-game friends to be proof that she's a good person at heart, since while it potentially jeopardized her plan to fake her own death by virtue of showing her status, it signifies genuine trust in and friendship with the two of them.
- Shrinking Violet: She seems to be very shy and easily terrified. Subverted, as it might just have been all an act.
Voiced by: Tokuyoshi Kawashima (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
Yolko's boyfriend, who somehow is murdered inside a safe zone of the game. Turns out it was an act to lure out Griselda's murderer and discover the truth of her death.
- Faking the Dead: He faked his own death to act as a lure to expose Griselda's murderer and discover the truth of her death.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A weapon through his mid section killed him; well, appeared to kill him anyway.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The fact that his name is "Caynz" rather than "Kainz" is a plot point. There was an actual Kaynz who happened to die on the same day a year ago, and by giving the wrong spelling of his name, Yolko fools Kirito and Asuna into thinking that he had actually died.
Voiced by: Masayuki Katou (Japanese), Kaiji Tang (English), Manuel Pérez (Latin American Spanish)
Another former member of the Golden Apple guild. Joined the Divine Dragon Alliance after Griselda's death.
- Red Herring: Yolko and Caynz suspect he might be responsible for Griselda's murder. Turns out that he isn't, although he does feel guilty for her death, to the point he believed her ghost was after him.
- Stone Wall: Chose to become a super defense type because he was afraid of dying.
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (Japanese), Sean Chiplock (English), Miguel Ángel Leal (Latin American Spanish)
A "knight" who organized and led a raid against the L1 boss. He is actually another beta tester and exploits the group in order to ensure that he lands the last hit, which would maximize his chance of obtaining a unique drop. Recognizing Kirito as another beta tester, he also takes steps to actively hinder him by manipulating Kibaou and assigning back row duty to Kirito's party.
- Adaptation Distillation: In the light novel, he's practically the Big Bad of the 1st Floor arc. The novel contains an additional subplot about a mysterious benefactor trying to buy Kirito's sword, later revealed to be Kibaou (acting as Diabel's middleman) as part of a scheme to weaken Kirito and further lower his chances of getting the final hit. The novel also contains more implications that Diabel is a Beater, making note of the obscene amount of Col he can throw around (on the first floor) and his possession of rare items such as his blue hair dye.
- Adaptational Heroism: Implied, but the above parts not making it into the anime makes it easier to interpret his anime version as a well-intentioned but misguided leader than a self-centered and power-hungry manipulator.
- Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair to match his blue eyes.
- Death by Materialism: He gets killed because he was so determined to get the Last Attack Bonus and by extension the reward, that he charged right at the boss and straight into an attack that depleted all his HP.
- Didn't See That Coming: The Level 1 boss has a different weapon and style when it Turns Red, which was much different from what was stated in the manual.
- Evil Counterpart: In the light novels only he serves as one to Kirito. He was depicted as being a true Beater who abused his beta tester knowledge to get ahead of everyone else, whereas Kirito was wrongly accused of being one but still accepted the title as part of his Zero-Approval Gambit.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His beater knowledge proves to be his downfall as he became too confident in what to expect.
- Mauve Shirt: He led the players in their victory over the first floor, but he didn't live long enough to see it.
- Meaningful Name: Diabel (spelled Diabeł) means 'Devil' in Polish. It's explained in Integral Factor that he intentionally choose this name as he probably planned on being a G.I.F.T., before bring trapped in a death game made him prioritize his morality and aid the players.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Diabel is a natural leader who rallies the players and inspires courage, unlike Kirito who is a loner and gets ostracized. Although this is a case of Adaptational Heroism, as in the light novel he's a Manipulative Bastard.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In Progressive, he was the one who formed the clearers into a unified group. Even after his death, the clearers continue on (albeit divided), to carry on his mission.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In Integral Factor, he's fortunate enough to be spared his canon counterpart's fate, due to the Integral Factor Player Character managing to block the blow that would have killed him. Though his fate was only postponed as he has an Uncertain Doom later on.
- Survivor's Guilt: It's implied the reason he assembled the strongest players in the game into a raid party was because of his own guilt as a beta tester who stood by and watched as thousands of newbie players died. This is confirmed in Integral Factor, where Diabel took Kibaou's discrimination against beta players personally.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue, which is unnatural and the result of Diabel's use of a hair dye item.
Another warrior who participated in the 1st-floor boss raid who much like Kibaou had an intense hatred toward beta testers. Founder of the Dragon Knights Brigade.
- Art Shift: In Integral Factor, prior to Floor 20, he was given the design of a minor character with no facial details. After Floor 20 he was given eyes and distinctive hair color.
- Demoted to Extra: Aside from a brief cameo in episode 3 he has no appearance in the anime, where his role as the one who accused Kirito of killing Diavel is given to Kibaou.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards Beta-testers much like Kibaou.
- Jerkass: Much like Kibaou and often a much larger one throughout Aincrad's early floors. In Progressive, his jerkish tendencies are more subtle compared to Kibaou, but he makes it clear that he doesn't fully trust Kirito.
- Named Weapon: A scimitar named Pale Edge.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Kibaou. He's relatively calm but makes it clear that he doesn't fully trust Kirito.
- The Rival: To Kibaou after forming a rival guild.
- Sinister Scimitar: His scimitar is a contrast with Kirito's straight sword.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Some time on the 2nd floor after the 1st-floor boss raid. He dyed his hair blue in honor of Diavel.
A blacksmith who turns out to be a scammer, stealing items that players give for him to upgrade and selling them while claiming that they broke.
- The Atoner: Kirito convinces him to become this, and switch his Blacksmithing skill for a Martial Arts skill so that he can fight with a chakram
- Driven to Suicide: He becomes suicidal after being exposed.
- Handicapped Badass: He has a Full-Dive Nonconformity that renders him almost blind in SAO, and thus, unable to fight well. With a chakram, though, he becomes quite effective against his enemies.
- Head Desk: In the light novel version, he does this. While it does nothing, Kirito and Asuna realize that he's suicidal.
- Heel Realization: He has this when he sees the customer's face the first time he scams someone out of a sword, but when his guildmates are amazed at how he succeeded, he feels as though he has no choice.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Kirito and Asuna found out about his scam, but kept quiet about it in exchange for helping him put his talents into a more positive direction. When he arrives to the second boss battle and saves the group with a chakram, some people ask about his chakram, and things go downhill from there.
- Nerves of Steel: As he confesses to his part in the scam, his avatar's only outward show of emotion is a furrowed eyebrow. Kirito points out that since SAO's system for displaying player emotions tends to exaggerate, Nezuo must have had impressive self-control.
- Odd Name Out: Nezuo's name seems to be the only one of the Legend Braves who isn't an actual hero, but Kirito realizes, with some help, that it's actually Nezha or Nataku.
- Pose of Supplication: The Legend Braves do this while exposing themselves as Nezuo's accomplices.
- Put on a Bus: The Legend Braves' better gear was the only way they were able to keep up with the other clearers, so once it's sold off after their actions are exposed, they're no longer able to help out until they catch up.
- Silent Scapegoat: When he's confronted, he plans on taking the fall for his friends until the others confess.
- Spell My Name with an "S": An In-Universe example, as Nezuo's name is actually Nezha, or as the Japanese like to call him, Nataku.
- With Friends Like These...: Kirito believes, and not without good reason, that the Legend Braves will hang him out to dry when he's no longer useful to them. Thankfully, with a bit of encouragement from Kirito, they also take responsibility for having him scam others.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kirito fears that his friends will do this to him if he gets caught or they no longer need his services.
A mysterious player who appears to be obstructing the efforts to clear the game for some unknown reason.
- Arc Villain: He was one of the main threats during Progressive.
- Evil Counterpart: Like Kirito he identifies himself as a Beater, but unlike Kirito who was pretending to be a bad person due to his Zero-Approval Gambit, Morte is legitimately evil.
- Faux Affably Evil: Kirito notes that Morte speaks in a polite tone, but this only serves to make him unnerving.
- In the Hood: He wears a chainmail coif that, while less protective than a helmet, can also hide his identity.
- Manipulative Bastard: He taught Nezuo and the Legend Braves their scamming trick, and appears to moonlight in the DKB and ALS, possibly to play both factions against one another.
- Multi-Melee Master: He's skilled in wielding swords and axes, and does so to help keep up the illusion that his personas for both factions are different people.
- Predecessor Villain: He gave a taste of what was to come in the form of Laughing Coffin.
- Pungeon Master: He makes a lot of puns, including making fun of the term "beater."
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Laura Post (English), Rosa López (European Spanish), Cristina Hernández (Latin American Spanish)
The leader of Titan's Hand.
- Evil Redhead: She has no qualms with making other players miserable or even outright killing them if it means getting ahead.
- Fatal Flaw: Her vanity leads to her downfall at Kiroto's hands.
- Fate Worse than Death: Yes, Kirito spares her life, but he sends her straight down to the Black Iron Dungeon instead. The anime, however, is more of What Happened to the Mouse? scenario.
- Faux Affably Evil: Posed as Silica's friend all the while looking to exploit her for a rare item.
- Femme Fatale: A rare nonviolent one. What makes her dangerous is that she fools other players with her "green" cursor status.
- Hate Sink: She has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She seeks out and assesses players as potential prey, uses her green cursor to lure them into danger, then either forcibly robs them or has her Titans Hand thugs kill them.
- Lecherous Licking: She's often seen licking her lips in a creepy manner.
- Manipulative Bitch: Several unwitting male players seem to fall for her charms, but luckily, Kirito wasn't fooled by her.
- A Million Is a Statistic: She either doesn't believe that people are actually dying when they're killed in the game, or just doesn't care. She claims that there's no proof, though exactly what she was doing when Akihiko informed everyone (with sources!) that people were actually dying is a mystery.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her hair covers her right eye. Obviously, there's a side of her that she's keeping hidden from others.
- Smug Snake: She had no idea who she was messing with when she picked a fight with Kirito.
- The Vamp: Her appearance and vain attitude lean her in this direction.
- Would Hurt a Child: She and her guild were planning to attack Silica, a 12-year-old girl, to steal a rare item.
Sasha (SAO, ALO)
Voiced by: Kyouko Fujii (Japanese) and Erika Harlacher (English)
A priest-type player who takes care of the younger players in SAO.
- Badass Preacher: She dresses like one and lives in a church to boot, but she is ready to use her knife when necessary.
- Hair Colors: Depending on the media she will have different ones: reddish-brown in the anime and dull-blue in the novel.
- Good Shepherd: A priest-type player who cares for younger players.
- Knife Nut: Her primary weapon is a knife, which is at odds with her priest-type character.
- Mama Bear: She's ready to fight to protect her children, even if she's no match.
- Nice Girl: She decided to take care of the younger players in SAO because she couldn't stand watching them suffer.
- Parental Substitute: For the children she takes care of.
- Ambiguously Bi: They originally looked like a bishonen boy and a cute girl before Kayaba revealed their true appearances. But they still remain hanging with each other and may or may not have had a Relationship Upgrade. Though both of them display attraction to girls like Silica and YUNA.
- The Bus Came Back: Two of these. At least one of them got trapped in ALO by Sugou, with the two of them meeting each other in the hospital and hugging each other upon waking up. They also have a cameo in Ordinal Scale being among the SAO survivors attending YUNA's concert.
- G.I.R.L.: Miyurin originally made himself a girl avatar before Kayaba switching everyone's avatars to their real appearances exposed his true gender. Though for unknown reasons, he continues wearing the pink girl's armor for the entirety of his time spent in SAO.
- Named by the Adaptation: They remain unnamed across most media. Integral Factor finally provides their names. The G.I.R.L. is named Miyurin and the fat guy is named Ulrik.
- Recurring Extra: They have a scattering of appearances throughout the Aincrad arc even though they never play any significant role to the plot.
- Those Two Guys: Even after discovering their real appearances, the two of them remain friends for the rest of their time in SAO and even after they return to the real world.
Voiced by: Saito Shiro (Japanese), Doug Stone (English), Carlos Águila (Latin American Spanish)
A player living out on the 22nd Floor and a friend of Kirito. He is often seen fishing.
- Comical Overreacting: Has an over the top freak out when Kirito invites him over to try Asuna's soy sauce substitute.
- Cool Old Guy: Kirito finds out he's pretty good company out on a fishing trip.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He first appears in Episode 11 watching in amusement at Asuna riding on Kirito's shoulders. He properly debuts in Episode 13.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Strikes up quite a close friendship with Kirito while living on the 22nd Floor.
- Nice Guy: A kind old man who managed to enjoy his life in SAO, spending his days fishing.