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The video game continuity for Sword Art Online which exists as an Alternate Continuity from the original story of the light novels/anime. Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, they feature a third person role-playing gameplay, with the majority of games having Kirito as the Player Character. Fatal Bullet is the first game which offers a customizable player.

The games have been released on an annual basis since 2013 and has spanned the majority of story arcs for the main series, along with some original story lines.

    List of games featured 
  • Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment for the PSP.
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for the PS Vita and a social network game for Japanese smart phones called Sword Art Online: End World. Hollow Fragment includes an enhanced version of Infinity Moment and was released outside of Japan to Asia with PSN releases in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.
    • Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is an Updated Re-release for the Playstation 4 and arrived in summer 2015 in Europe and North America. Notably, it features a vastly better translation than the PS Vita version. A PC version was later available early 2018 as a Pre-Order Bonus for Fatal Bullet, and months later, it was sold separately.
  • Sword Art Online: Lost Song, Asia-wide release in early-mid 2015, with a European and North American release in November 2015 for the PS Vita and Playstation 4. A PC version was later released in late 2018. Lost Song is a direct sequel to Hollow Fragment and takes place in Alfheim Online.
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, released for the PS Vita and Playstation 4 on October 2016 in Japan and November 2016 everywhere else, with a PC release worldwide in October 2017. A Nintendo Switch release is announced for a 2019 release. A sequel to Lost Song, it takes place in a new VRMMO called "Sword Art: Origin" which appears to be eerily similar to Aincrad.
  • Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight, a video game crossover with Accel World based in ALO for the PS Vita and Playstation 4 released in Japan during March 2017 and in the west in July 2017.
  • Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, a third-person shooter role-playing game released in February 2018 worldwide for Playstation 4, XBOX One, and PC, with a Nintendo Switch release scheduled for 2019. A sequel to Hollow Realization, it takes place in Gun Gale Online and uniquely does not have Kirito as the main character, but a player-created avatar filling the role.
  • Sword Art Online: Integral Factor, a free to play MMO for mobile devices. It adapts the Aincrad arc starting from Floor 1 and gradually exploring every floor one-by-one (Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment started at Floor 75). It allows playing as a player-created avatar rather than Kirito. It is set in its own Alternate Continuity from both the canon and the other gameverse timelines.
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, confirmed for worldwide release for Playstation 4, XBOX One, and PC. Unlike the preceding games, this game is announced as a straight adaptation of the Alicization anime (and by extension, the light novel)

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Kirito appears to be stronger in the game adaptations than he is in canon.
      • Unlike canon, during his duel with Heathcliff, Kirito fares much better to the point where he isn't pressured into activating a Sword Skill, thereby preventing Heathcliff from shattering his sword. The only reason he doesn't succeed in killing Heathcliff is because the glitches start buzzing in and teleport Heathcliff away just as Kirito stabs him through the chest.
      • He doesn't lose to Yuuki in their duel when he got beaten in canon.note 
      • In Alfheim Online, Kirito is able to use the Sword Skill "Starburst Stream" having successfully recreated it as an OSS, while in canon he stated this was the one Sword Skill he was struggling to recreate.
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    • Lisbeth and Silica were not strong enough to be Assault Team members in canon, being mid-level players at best. But in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, they are strong enough to accompany Kirito on the hardest missions and boss fights.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Leafa and Sinon debut during Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment which is the Aincrad arc adaptation, even though in canon they don't appear until after SAO got cleared. The explanation given was that they got glitched into SAO from outside the game.
    • Sugou shows up in SAO as Alberich, where he serves as the new Big Bad after Heathcliff's defeat on Floor 75. Even though in canon he only showed up after SAO was cleared during the Fairy Dance arc. The explanation given was that he noticed the glitching in SAO as well as Heathcliff's disappearance and tried to take advantage of both to get more subjects for his mind-control experiments, but ended up trapped in the game with his admin privileges intact.
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    • Yuuki has an Early-Bird Cameo as a Post-Final Boss in Hollow Fragment, even though she doesn't appear in canon until Alfheim Online. Though she does make her proper debut there as a playable character.
    • Alice and Eugeo make their first appearance in DLC for Hollow Realization, which is chronologically set before the Alicization arc.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment explores all 100 Floors of Aincrad, by having the game continue after Heathcliff's defeat on Floor 75.
    • Hollow Fragment also explores the new "Hollow Area" as a secret side area in Aincrad. It contains higher level monsters, as well as many characters from SAO making a return as Hollow Data versions of characters such as Sachi and PoH.
    • Lost Song features a literal ALO expansion, introducing the new realm known as Svartalfheim, a floating island.
    • Fatal Bullet shows Gun Gale Online in much greater detail outside of the Death Gun and the "Bullet of Bullets" Tournament that the anime focused on. A lot more locations and maps, game mechanics, and quests are shown off that the anime glossed over.
    • Memory Defrag shows off Asuka Empire for the first time outside of Sister's Prayer along with bosses and monsters available in the game.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Kirito and Sinon's Fire Forged Friendship they had in canon is averted and they become friends straight away. This is due to the awkward situationnote  that led her to be mad at Kirito never happening. Rather than beginning as rivals and slowly coming to trust Kirito like in canon, she is taken under Kirito's wing as his The Apprentice early on. Although as a Mythology Gag to the anime, Fatal Bullet still did a version of said incident that got Sinon and Kirito off on the wrong foot.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For the games, Sinon gets her own spotlight in the advertising for Fatal Bullet for one good reason... She's always been known as the girl from Gun Gale Online, and Fatal Bullet IS Gun Gale Online.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • In Hollow Fragment, where the system creates a Hollow copy of PoH, who is just as Ax-Crazy as the real one and nearly succeeds in killing every player. And at the end of the main story, Strea gets corrupted and becomes the last floor boss.
    • Tia in Hollow Realization also goes down this path, carrying out the wishes of her former master, Genesis, bring about Ainground's destruction.
    • Lievre in the Fatal Bullet DLC story line, who is an ArFAsys who seeks to destroy the Glocken by removing the parameters that make it a combat free zone. She holds a Fantastic Racism towards humans and wants the machines to take back what is rightfully theirs. Though it's subverted when it's revealed she's acting under the orders of a human player, Subtilizer.
  • A.K.A.-47: Fatal Bullet uses real guns (save for the optic ones, of course), but with fake names, such as "Prosti" for the Norinco Type 54 and "AMR Breakthrough" for the PTRD-41 (Referencing Team SHINC's use of this anti-tank rifle to "break through" M's starship plate shield in AGGO canon). However, there is a theme naming going on with certain weapons in the game, and a few names reference qualities of the guns they're based on, or even the weapon's actual name; for example, the AKM itself is named the "Robust," a reference to the real-life gun's famous durability.
  • All Deaths Are Final: For Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, if any of the Assault Team members die then you won't see them for the rest of the game. If Kirito or a canon character dies, then it triggers a game over. This also extends to the major characters introduced to the game continuity.
  • Alternate Continuity: The video games are this: in their continuity, the Sword Art Online and Alfheim Online VRMMOs both exist at the same time independently developed.
    • Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment starts off with Kirito killing Kayaba but the game continues on to floor 76 and beyond. Also, Sachi never died though the Sachi that Kirito meets was revealed to be an AI, Kirito makes two new friends in the form of Philia and Strea, the latter of which is actually an AI just like Yui, and Leafa and Sinon also become trapped in Sword Art Online, the former after attempting to use a NerveGear to log in, and the latter after a Medicuboid experiment by Nobuyuki Sugou she volunteered on went wrong. Also, Sugou ends up in Aincrad due to attempting to trap players for his mind-control experiments and ultimately becomes the main antagonist. He is defeated and is publicly revealed for his corruption, preventing the events of the Fairy Dance arc entirely.
    • Lost Song is a sequel to Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment and takes place in Alfheim, but with a new plot involving a player named Rain and a guild called Shamrock with its leader Seven and nothing with Sugou because he got caught and imprisoned at the end of Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment. Also Yuuki shows up in an adaptation of Mother's Rosario and doesn't die.
    • Hollow Realization is the sequel afterwards and takes place in an all-new VRMMO called Sword Art: Origin, based off the data from the servers of the original SAO. Sinon's sidestory events also include a retelling of the Phantom Bullet arc complete with Kyouji and XaXa eventually appearing and revealing Sinon's Dark and Troubled Past, as well as teasing the antagonist of the next game. At the end of the game, Kayaba returns as a Virtual Ghost due to the actions of the Cardinal System and gives Kirito the World Seed, allowing for the widespread creation of VROMMOs.
    • Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight is a crossover with Accel World, involving elements set in ALFheim Online, but also involves time travel to and from the future. Accel World characters like Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime also join the adventures of Kirito's gang. Overall this game appears to be in its own continuity separate from the other games, due to lack of continuity involving certain characters. Black Lotus had previously made a guest appearance in Lost Song where she met and fought Kirito, however when the two meet again in this game they show no signs of familiarity with each other. Also in Hollow Realization, both Alice and Eugeo had appeared in lengthy DLC side stories, yet when they appear in this game, Kirito doesn't appear to know either of them.note 
    • Fatal Bullet is set in Gun Gale Online, and while it incorporates elements from the Phantom Bullet arc, it diverges heavily from the plot. For starters, all of the SAO crew have converted over to GGO with new avatars suited to the game, including new avatars for Kirito and Sinon that look different to their canon GGO avatarsnote . Rather than playing as Kiritonote , the game features a custom player character as well as other original characters: Kureha, ArFAsys, Zeliska, and Itsuki, who join Kirito's friends in their adventures.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A quest rewards are accessories that can be equipped for the custom Kirito.
  • Another Side, Another Story: For the majority of Fatal Bullet it focuses on the custom Player Character. However you can unlock an achievement which allows access to "Kirito Mode" and play from Kirito's POV.
  • Artificial Intelligence:
    • Strea is revealed to be another MHCP and Yui's "sister" of sorts.
    • All of the Hollow Data versions of characters in the Hollow Area of Hollow Fragment are AIs created from player data.
    • Turns out in Hollow Realization that every NPC in Ainground is an AI, though on a far lower level than Yui or Strea, and by killing them, they cease to exist and a new one is generated to take their place. In effect, they're living in a death game just like SAO players.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your party members throughout the games basically require you to take the lead in every battle, as they're insanely incompetent on their own. Hollow Fragment pushes you to babysit some people that venture into the wilds as a result, as they're likely to pick a fight with an enemy that will kill them permanently.
    • Nowhere is this more apparent than Fatal Bullet, given the game's difficulty doesn't mix well with how stupid your partners can be. From lagging behind you in dungeons if you play any faster than a casual jog, to having no strategies for independent foes besides "spam support abilities and not understand what weak points are" and blindly rushing in with photon swords even if it's suicidal to do so. It's entirely possible to see your ArFAsys run into a room you just got downed in, and stand there in the open, getting shot as they wave at your body. In prior titles, party members at least followed your movements a lot more precisely, and were capable of keeping the pace in battle - but in Fatal Bullet, the game being so much more fast-paced, dodge-centric and intense gameplay means your party members are simply not competent enough for surviving.
  • Art Shift:
    • The games feature 3D rendering for gameplay while switching to 2D style for most cutscenes. Though there are certain cinematic cutscenes that are still animated in CG.
    • Hollow Realization uses a noticeably different art style to previous games, with different texture and finer feel.
    • Fatal Bullet went and used 3D CG art even for the cutscenes, with the occasional anime style still shot.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Supporting characters like Lisbeth, Silica, Yui, Klein, Yuuki, and especially Argo all get much more focus in this series with many scenes of Kirito interacting personally with them.
      • In Yuuki's case, she wasn't really an official part of Kirito's circle of friends in canon, but here she's a member of the main cast.
    • Even Sugou is given greater focus, as Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment promotes him to Big Bad during SAO.
    • Kirito himself has this in Lost Song for the Mother's Rosario adaptation. In canon he had taken a back seat for this arc and Asuna took over as The Protagonist, but in the games he joins Asuna and Yuuki the whole way through.
  • Big Good: In Hollow Fragment, Asuna takes over as the new leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath, after Heathcliff disappears.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Kirito's love for spice is even more emphasized in the game than in the anime. He's eaten excessively hot food with no trouble at all, with many of his unwary friends suffering for due to being unaware of how hot it really is.
  • Body Horror: Strea merging with the final boss of SAO is a particularly chilling sight.
  • Breakout Character: Yuuki's Popularity Power allowed her to be Spared by the Adaptation in the game continuity, where she becomes a permanent member of the main cast.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Klein is an even bigger one here than he is in the main series. To correspond with his hopeless romantic behavior being amplified, his friends also treat him with far more annoyance, especially from the girls. He has a long line of humiliating rejections in response to his 'smooth-talker' courting moves.
    • Poor Silica. Here she's constantly assaulted by tentacle monsters, being reminded of her lack of assets, having animal mobs attack her, and nearly damages her clothes. Her first scene in Accel World vs Sword Art Online has her running away from mobs by hiding in a barrel...and then getting stuck and needing help to get out.
  • Call-Back:
    • In Lost Song, Yuuki's duel with Kirito at the end of Hollow Fragment as a Post-Final Boss is brought up when the two meet. Confirming that this event is canon in the game timeline.
    • In later games, characters like Sinon and Philia recollect Kirito helping them or saving their lives during previous games like Hollow Fragment.
    • In Fatal Bullet, Alice and Eugeo make a return after their appearance in Hollow Realization. Turns out they didn't manage to get back to their own world and instead ended up in GGO.
  • Call-Forward: The games often drop a lot of foreshadowing of events to come that light novel readers or anime fans are already aware of.
    • In Hollow Realization, Kyouji/Richter stalking Sinon and being in love with her for her Dark and Troubled Past would resurface in Fatal Bullet. The antagonist is even teased when XaXa uses the Richter avatar to talk with Kirito.
    • In Accel World vs Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight, it's mentioned a few times that Sinon has started playing a shooter VRMMO, which is of course Gun Gale Online.
    • In Accel World vs Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight the Alternate Timeline Eugeo that Kirito meets drops a lot of reveals for the then unaired Alicization arc including the fact they grew up together as Childhood Friends and trained to be Integrity Knights.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Unlike the main series, characters will constantly call out the names of their Sword Skills.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • The system glitching and interrupting Kirito's duel with Kayaba can't account for Sachi still being alive because she's actually an AI copy of her. Furthermore, the English release attempts to explain this: Suguha/Leafa had managed to get her hands on a NerveGear and was actively using it when she was "imported" into Aincrad. Likewise, Sinon was supposedly taking part in a hospital test case to see if MediCuboids (whose technology derives from the NerveGear) could be used for therapy purposes. The glitching in SAO registered several of these NerveGear derivatives as SAO players and "imported" them into the game which is presumably also how Yuuki Konno ended up in Aincrad as the Post-Final Boss.
    • In Lost Song, as a result of Sugou becoming the Big Bad in SAO before being subsequently defeated and arrested, he's completely absent by the time of Alfheim Online. The SAO gang also spend their time exploring the new area known as Svartalfheim rather than journeying to the World Tree like in the Fairy Dance arc. In addition, the Mother's Rosario adaptation is pleasantly different, with Yuuki surviving her fight with AIDS and becomes a permanent member of the cast!
    • Fatal Bullet features a drastically different story line. For one, all of the SAO characters convert over to GGO, while the game's plot is an original story. The Phantom Bullet arc gets adapted as a special side story where Kirito and Sinon's canon outfits are featured as a Mythology Gag.
    • Integral Factor has the biggest changes yet, with Leafa, Yuuki, and Sinon ending up in SAO near the time of launch, while Alice and Eugeo get pulled into SAO rather than a subsequent game.
  • Canon Foreigner: A lot of characters were made specifically for the games who did not appear in the light novels or the anime including: Strea, Philia, Rain, Seven, Premiere, Kureha, and several others. See this page for more details.
  • The Cavalry:
    • In Lost Song, remember that awesome moment in Mother's Rosario where the Sleeping Knights go up against a raid party and Kirito pulls a Big Damn Heroes to Hold the Line? In Lost Song Kirito joins the Sleeping Knights in their raid, while all of their friends (Klein, Lisbeth, Leafa, Silica, Strea, Philia, Sinon, Agil) arrive to keep the raiding party at bay.
    • In Fatal Bullet during the DLC storyline, Lievre starts an invasion on the Glocken and threatens to destroy the devices that are keeping it a combat-free zone. After the boss monsters she summons threaten to overwhelm the heroes, they finally get reinforcements arriving in the form of every GGO character to date: Itsuki, BoB competitors (Dyne, Yamikaze, and Musketeer-X), Squad Jam competitors (Clarence and Shirley), and even Team LPFM (LLENN, Pitohui, Fukaziroh, M).
  • Character Exaggeration:
  • Continuity Nod: Despite being in a separate continuity, the games make a number of nods to the main series.
    • Kirito and Asuna sharing cream topped buns in their first meeting is brought up quite a few times. In Hollow Fragment Asuna manages to recreate the cream and makes it for Kirito and Yui as a surprise. While in Hollow Realizations, Asuna gets a craving for it and sneaks off on a quest for cream so that she can eat some.
    • In Hollow Fragment, Agil still remembers Kirito coldly brushing off his desire to taste the S-Class Ragout Rabbit, so the second time round they get an ingredient Kirito does agree to let Agil have a taste.
    • In Lost Song and Accel World vs Sword Art Online, Alicia Rue and Sakuya once again try to seduce Kirito by each grabbing one of his arms and pretty much wearing him. Some of the dialogue is word-for-word such as Alicia's advertising the perks of working as a mercenary for the Cait-Sith.
    • In Accel World vs Sword Art Online, Sinon still remembers Kirito pulling her her tail despite there being no indication of the Caliber arc happening.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Gun Gale Online existed during the Aincrad Arc. Problem is, GGO was developed from the Seed, which didn't exist until after the destruction of SAO.
    • Ordinal Scale further retcons the video games, by establishing the final boss of SAO is "The Incarnation of Radius" and not the Game Master avatar that Heathcliff used in Episode 1.
    • Integral Factor makes things even more complicated, as both ALfheim Online and Gun Gale Online already existed alongside SAO at the time of launch. Leafa and Yuuki both entered SAO using their ALO avatars just a few days after SAO's launch, while Sinon implies she played GGO beforehand. Also Eugeo and Alice already exist and are teenagers, with Alice already being an Integrity Knight, when in canon they should have yet to even be born for several years.
    • Memory Defrag makes continuity particularly confusing, as the main campaign is exactly the same as the canon story line, while the extra stories integrate video game continuity alongside canon material while treating both as valid. In fact the implication is that the side stories take place inbetween the canon arcs, which leads to a lot of problems when the continuities starts conflicting such as Yuuki's death or lack thereof, Eugeo and Alice meeting everyone much earlier, or the video game exclusive characters like Strea, Rain, Seven .etc. There's also different designs for the same characters, such as the Norse Gods featured in both games.
  • Crisis Crossover: Accel World vs Sword Art Online is one of the only games where characters from all over the franchise and Kawahara's other works can all meet up together, all due to the crisis of Persona Vabel invading different time periods and kidnapping Yui.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Strea in most games, with her weapon having an exceptionally high DPS and starting at Kirito and Asuna's level.
    • Black Lotus in Accel World vs Sword Art Online.
    • Fukaziroh in Fatal Bullet, due having high VIT and DPS.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Accel World vs Sword Art Online is this for the video game continuity, headlining with the plot of Yui being kidnapped by Persona Vabel. Followed by the very real threat of Yui dying.
    • Fatal Bullet follows suit, bringing back the 'death game' stakes that were averted after Hollow Fragment, especially the ending where potentially Kureha or Zeliska will die if not all game conditions are met.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • The physical appearance of Cat Pina varies between the manga and Hollow Fragment.
    • The Norse Gods look very different in Lost Song compared to Memory Defrag.
  • 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 reveals 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.
    • Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight, due to the time travel shenanigans of the game and the fact the game continuity is an Alternate Timeline to the canon continuity, Kirito ends up meeting a version of Eugeo from another timeline (who is implied to be the canon version). Upon seeing Kirito, Eugeo mistakes him for his Kirito and tries to get him to remember, only to be disappointed that this Kirito has no memories of their time togethernote . However after having a friendly duel with Kirito to test him, Eugeo realizes that while this is a different Kirito, it is still Kirito who fights the exact same way. He then takes up on Kirito's offer to hang out and party with him until he's able to return to his own timeline.
  • The Dreaded: Kirito is this even more so in canon. In Hollow Fragment, one event has Kirito and friends filling in at Agil's bar on a busy night. When Silica encounters trouble with two scary customers, Kirito goes to check out what the commotion is about. The customers immediately recognize him, apologize for being jerks to Silica, and proceed to bail the scene in fear.
  • Duel Boss:
    • In Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment there's Heathcliff and Yuuki.
    • In Lost Song there's Sumeragi and Rain.
    • In Hollow Realization: Genesis.
    • In Accel World vs Sword Art Online: Black Lotus, Silver Crow, Oberon, Alice, and Eugeo.
    • In Fatal Bullet, Death Gun.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Sinon and Yuuki make their first voiced appearances in Hollow Fragment, which was a whole year before SAO II had aired.
    • Alice and Eugeo debut in Hollow Realization DLC, which is years before Sword Art Online: Alicization had even been announced. They go on to make subsequent appearances in every game after this.
    • LLENN, Fukaziroh, Pitohui, and M all make their first appearances in Fatal Bullet a few months before the anime adaptation of Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online had begun airing.
    • Subtilizer makes a surprise appearance in Fatal Bullet DLC, a month before Sword Art Online: Alicization was set to air.
  • Engineered Public Confession: In Hollow Realization, Kirito tricks Genesis into giving one while Seven is listening, giving the SA:O admins the proof they needed to terminate his account and send a warrant for his arrest.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • In Hollow Fragment. Kirito's Hollow Data counterpart is the Final Boss of the optional Hollow Area story arc, and it's just as strong as the real Kirito, effectively making it a Mirror Boss.
    • In Fatal Bullet, several players have a doppelganger ArFAsys impersonating them, including: Kureha, Itsuki, Zeliska, Kirito, Asuna, Dyne, Yamikaze, and Musketeer-X. Although in Kirito and Asuna's case it's not a perfect copy with their color schemes being an inverse of the originals. The Player and their party are forced to fight several of these imposters.
  • Fanservice: Both of the copious amounts of Mythology Gag that reference and homage countless things from the anime and light novels alike along with plenty of Foreshadowing of later things to come, and also in the sense that every game continued to amp up the fanservice designs and scenarios. It gets to the point that by Hollow Realization, only a handful of female characters aren't wearing a Dangerously Short Skirt and prone to a Panty Shot. Fatal Bullet toned this down significantly by comparison, keeping the fanservice almost entirely to affinity events.
  • Final Death:
    • Zig-zagged in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment. As in the anime, anyone who dies in SAO dies for real, so any member of the Assault Team who dies is gone for the rest of the game. For main characters like Asuna or Klein, however, their death constitutes an automatic Game Over, the same as if Kirito dies.
    • Also played with in Hollow Realization: players such as Kirito, Asuna, and some NPCs can respawn if they die. In-universe NPC characters, on the other hand, don't: if they die, they don't come back for the rest of the game.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In Hollow Realizations Leafa somehow swaps avatars with Lisbeth and quite enjoys being the Blacksmith, but awkwardness ensues when she runs into Kirito and she decides to take the opportunity to find out what Kirito thinks of her (Leafa). While Lisbeth (as Leafa) is very annoyed by the development having returned from her break with her appearance changed. Kirito never figures out what's going on despite 'Lisbeth' calling him "Onii-chan", referring to herself in the third person, and asking very personal questions about Leafa.
  • Gag Boobs: Leafa has this even more than the main series. Endless jokes are made about her enormous bust, to the point where she has D-Cup Distress.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: In Hollow Realization during a sleepover event, she utterly freaks out as Lisbeth is telling a ghost story. She practically has a heart attack when she thinks a real ghost (actually Leafa who logged back in after accidentally logging out from falling asleep) pops up in the room, and later refuses to let Kirito fall asleep until she does.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Agil runs one in Arc Sophia in SAO, as well as in Svartalfheim in ALO.
  • Guide Dang It!: Fatal Bullet has a case of Multiple Endings, but it doesn't even attempt to explain how to get the Golden Ending. You need to complete the Kirito Mode story, have at least 75% affinity (basically all of the final date scenes) with the game's personal original characters, and at least the second main affinity scene of every SAO character (besides DLC and Alternative cast members) before completing the SBC Flugel boss fight. Only after all of this, will your ArFA-sys give you a charm - that actually has no bearing on the plot and just serves as an event trigger. If that weren't enough, you also have to shoot the Final Boss in their mouth when they charge a specific attack up, or else you'll get one of the bad endings anyway.
  • Harem Genre:
    • The games crank up the harem aspects of the series, by introducing the 'Courting System' where Kirito can share a bed with every girl (and some guys) in the game. While the main girls like Lisbeth, Silica, and Sinon, who had explicitly decided to give Kirito and Asuna space in the main series, all continue showing very obvious attraction to him in the games.
    • In addition, several other girls have been added to the harem including: Strea, Philia, Yuuki, Rain, Seven, and Premiere.
  • Heroic Mime: The Player Character for Fatal Bullet is one. While their voice can be heard in combat, cutscenes have them being completely silent save for the occasional response selected from a list of options.
  • Honest Axe: In Hollow Realizations, one quest had Lisbeth reenacting this fable, only with the ax replaced with her blacksmith hammer. While Lisbeth plays out most of the story the same way, by being honest to the forest spirit and admitting her real hammer was not the gold or silver one, but her iron one, before being rewarded both hammers for her honesty. However after acquiring said precious hammers and feeling how heavy they were, she further adds that she felt wasn't ready yet for said hammers and thought it better she stuck to her original one. The forest spirit is amazed by her level of honesty and as a further reward decides to enchant her original iron hammer to maximum efficiency which Liz overjoyed by.
  • Indirect Kiss: Has happened a few times with Kirito.
    • In Hollow Fragment, when Kirito finds Silica working as a maid and gets served by her, he tries some of the food and offers some to Silica too. Silica obliges and loves it, before suddenly becoming flustered and claims it's because a maid isn't allowed to eat on the job. She is then heard muttering "indirect" to herself as she walks off.
    • In Hollow Realization, Kirito helps Yuuki complete a quest for a drink called a Honey Bee. After completing it and Yuuki is rewarded with the sugary sweet drink, she offers Kirito a taste too. However, Yuuki notices they used the same straw and wonders if that meant they indirectly kissed.
  • Lethal Chef: When Kirito tries his hand at cooking in Lost Song, he makes something that's too spicy for normal people to safely eat. Of course, Kirito's sense of taste is far from normal so he had no problem eating it.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • Philia and Kirito clash blades after a Crash-Into Hello has her mistaking him for an enemy.
    • Yuuki serves as a Post-Final Boss in Hollow Fragment. Now you can fight the best with the best!
    • Rain is the True Final Boss of Lost Song after defeating Seven. Kirito forces a duel out of her after suspecting she hadn't shown a fraction of her power. Turns out she has an even bigger trump card than Kirito and might very well be the World's Best Warrior of ALO.
    • The Player Character of Fatal Bullet and Kureha face off against Kirito and Asuna at the start of the game to compete for the ArFAsys. They end up as friends shortly afterwards.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Hollow Realization also does this, making the game safe so that you don't have to worry about being killed. Averted for the NPCs, however, who are all unique beings with their own personalities on account of being low-level AI.
    • Pretty much the whole video game version continuity is Lighter and Softer as characters like Sugou and Shinkawa have their worst moments Adapted Out, Yuuki didn't suffer the terminal illness, and the first game even starts with alternate end of the Aincrad arc which didn't involve Asuna and Kirito nearly dying.
  • Like Brother and Sister: The games add this dynamic between Kirito and Yuuki. The two of them share quite a few scenes together, where Yuuki loves to tease Kirito like a cheeky little sister, while Kirito looks out for like he does with Suguha or Silica. In Hollow Realization Yuuki and Kirito having a tickle fight during a pillow talk, while in Fatal Bullet Kirito piggybacks an exhausted Yuuki home to which she remarks this is what it felt like to have a big brother.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In a franchise already saturated with characters, the gameverse adds even more that are exclusive to the games, especially Fatal Bullet which had the biggest roster of characters to date.
  • Mirror Boss: The boss of the Hollow Area is Kirito's own Hollow Data AI copy, who is just as strong as the real Kirito.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The main girls are all this to some degree, but the biggest one is Strea due to being a Shameless / Innocent Fanservice Girl
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Fatal Bullet gives Kirito and Sinon different outfits for GGO than the ones they had in canon, especially Kirito who looks like his real self instead of his Attractive Gender Bent avatar. However, in the Bullet of Bullets Tournament which adapts the Phantom Bullet arc, both of them are given their canon appearances. In the case of Kirito it's an alternate account which is named "Kiriko", which was once a fan nickname.
    • The DLC that introduced Alice and Eugeo into Fatal Bullet armed them with the Daewoo USAS-12 shotgun and the Steyr AUG assault rifles as their respective long guns. These two weapons first appeared during the novels' Alicization arc, with the USAS-12 in the hands of ROK operators, and the Steyr AUG in the hands of the 12-man team from Glowgen Defense Systems.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The unnamed raid guild that attempt to stop the Sleeping Knights in Mother's Rosario is named Shamarock in Lost Song.
  • No Poker Face: In Hollow Fragment, the gang decide to play a game of Texas Holdem. Leafa evidently has a very poor poker face and her brother Kirito is able to see right through her bluff. However the biggest offender has to be Klein, who tries to bluff with an All-In when he only has a measly hand of a pair of 4's, which Kirito immediately picks up on and beats him to.
  • One-Winged Angel: Most NPC villains in the game will have a monstrous battle form which serves as a boss fight.
  • Panty Shot: Sure, the series has its Fanservice, but you'll quickly realize that these games avert the Magic Skirt, and the camera might get flashed just by a character sitting down. It hits the point where Hollow Realization not only gives a Dangerously Short Skirt to nearly every piece of armor in the game if you go with a female avatar compared to Hollow Fragment enforcing Bifauxnen due to wearing outfits made for Kirito, but the game has dynamic skirt physics and characters running at an angle almost intentionally trying to invoke this.
    • Fatal Bullet takes a step back, removes skirt physics, and gives all the female outfits with skirts a pair of Modesty Shorts, which works considering the much more dynamic animations and flips the characters pull off in gameplay. At least, until the Dissonance of the Nexus post-story DLC, where suddenly the game delivers a Fanservice Pack of having most of the new skirted outfits lacking said modesty shorts - even canonical outfits adopted from characters like Asuna, Sachi or Yuna. This gets the most apparent with the series' signature school uniform outfit, where it's practically a Panty Shot a minute depending on your play style.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The achievements/trophies "Powering Up" and "Second Helping" in Fatal Bullet are missable if the tasks for unlocking these two achievements were performed on a trial version of the game that is later upgraded to the full version, as the trial version doesn't have achievements. The only way to obtain these achievements in such a case is with a new character or a New Game+.
  • Post-Final Boss:
    • Yuuki shows up in Hollow Fragment as a secret boss if you choose investigate the strange area after defeating Heathcliff. She ends up being glitched into SAO and requests a duel with Kirito. Defeating her allows her to be recruited on a New Game+.
    • Silver Crow is one in Accel World vs Sword Art Online, where he and Kirito have a duel after the main story campaign ends.
  • The Rival: Sumeragi takes Eugene's place as Kirito's main ALO rival.
  • Secret Level: Also In-Universe, the Hollow Area of the video game spin-off Hollow Fragment is a secret world hidden in SAO where secret research and development is conducted. The Hollow Area is also home to AI duplicates of SAO players, including PoH and Sachi.
  • Sequel Hook: Several games will tease at the events of the next game through an Early-Bird Cameo of character who is yet to appear.
    • Yuuki shows up as a Post-Final Boss in SAO during Hollow Fragment despite not being scheduled to appear until the Alfheim Online game.
    • Kyouji/Richter's avatar gets used by XaXa during Hollow Realization where he speaks with Kirito and warns him about making him pay for his transgressions, teasing at him being a villain in the next game.
    • Subtilizer shows up in Fatal Bullet DLC to coincide with appearances from Alice and Eugeo, paving the way for the Alicization arc.
    • Fatal Bullet gets a second one at the end of Dissonance of the Nexus, where Itsuki shows up to talk to Eiji about their mutual interest in the protagonist, and implies that he's working with Shigemura and even Rath behind the scenes. It caps off with Itsuki departing - but not before sending an anonymous message to the protagonist with a friendly We Will Meet Again.
  • Sherlock Scan: In Lost Song, Kirito is able to figure out that Rain was lying about being a new player, and she had been the one who had been stalking him, based on her shoes being of high level quality. He also worked out how strong Rain was and that all this time she was actually hiding her true power.
  • Ship Tease: Kirito with every girl in the main cast, even ones who didn't explicitly have crushes on him in canon and the game original characters, especially through the 'Courting System' where Kirito can sleep in the same bed as a girl of his choosing and have 'Pillow talks' with them. The list includes: Asuna, Lisbeth, Silica, Leafa, Sinon, Yuuki, Strea, Philia, Rain, Seven, Premiere, Alice, and even Klein and Eugeo.
  • Sleepyhead:
    • Kirito loves taking naps, often in public places and in broad daylight. In Lost Song, when Alicia Rue offers to hire Kirito as a renegade in exchange for three meals and naps, Silica and Sinon immediately tease Kirito over how he keeps napping on the spot anytime, anywhere.
    • Leafa is revealed to be one in Hollow Realization, where Kirito states her superpower is being able to fall within seconds of finding a comfortable spot. During one event with a sleepover, she literally plops down onto the bed and talks about how much fun they're going to have before literally falling asleep and disconnecting from the game (since the Amusphere automatically logs out anyone who falls asleep while playing) so fast that everyone but Kirito wonders what just happened. She logs back in right as Lisbeth is telling a ghost story, which manages to freak all of the assembled out with her utterly oblivious.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • In Lost Song, Yuuki gets spared the fate of her canon counterpart, surviving her Tragic AIDS Story and becomes a permanent member of the main cast.
    • While Kirito and Asuna didn't truly die in canon, in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment their HP never hit zero during the fight against Heathcliff so they weren't even endangered to begin with.
    • In Fatal Bullet during the BoB Tournament, Pale Rider narrowly manages to avoid his canon counterpart's fate where Sinon instead chose to snipe him rather than Death Gun, so that he gets killed and taken out of the game before the Serial Killer could do it in real life.
  • Status Quo Is God: Whenever one of the girls try out a temporary new look, they always end up reverting back to their standard attire shortly afterwards, with the usual In-Universe explanation being they get embarrassed over Kirito staring at them.
    • In Hollow Fragment, Sinon tries on a pair of glasses that Kirito buys as a gift but takes them off since she doesn't need them in VR and she got suspected Kirito was thinking of dirty thoughts.
    • In Hollow Fragment, Leafa unties her hair and lets it flow down, which leads Kirito to be taken aback by how different she looks. Despite Kirito's positive thoughts on her new appearance, Leafa puts it back in her usual ponytail as she doesn't want Kirito to keep staring.
    • In Hollow Realization, Sinon tries out a ribbon, but after Kirito thinks it's cute she immediately discards it in anger.
    • In Hollow Realization, Yuuki is having fun making ribbons and teaches Kirito how to do so, to which Kirito suggests she should try one on since she made so many. Yuuki complies and Kirito approves of the look, but she gets rid of it as she's embarrassed over how Kirito keeps staring at her. Then as payback, she makes Kirito wear the ribbon he made.
    • In Fatal Bullet, Silica goes fashion shopping and tries out a new look to make herself seem maturer. It works and Kirito is so taken aback that he urges her to go back to her standard appearance.
  • Swapped Roles: After the many times Silica has been caught by Naughty Tentacles, Kirito decides to take the initiative to remind her about these traps... only to step on a vine trap himself. Now it's Silica's turn to rescue Kirito from the vine that has snagged him by flying up to slice the vines. However she's still subjected to the danger of a panty-shot due to the angle Kirito is in. When Kirito tries to warn her, she accidentally kicks his face in panic.
  • Team-Up Series: The whole point of the Accel World vs Sword Art Online crossover was to have the Sword Art Online characters teaming up with the Accel World characters.
  • Theme Naming: Some guns in Fatal Bullet follow a certain theme in their names. For example, all the optical weapons are named after constellations and celestial bodies. The three guns chambered for the 5.7x28mm round (Five-SeveN, P90, and AR-57) are all prefixed with "SPB" and then suffixed with something relating to their wielder.note . Some weapon re-names also serve to reference something about the weapon's wielder within the main continuity (The Steyr AUG is named "AR Blue Rose", referencing the "Blue Rose" sword wielded by Eugeo), while the simple appearance of the weapon can also do the same (The TDI Vector, appearing as the "SMG Technical", is used by Gabriel "Subtilizer" Miller, referencing the account he uses during the Alicization arc to dive into the Underworld).
  • Title Drop:
    • Hollow Fragment: Near the end of the "Hollow Area" story, Philia thanks Kirito for helping her overcome her Cloning Blues: before they met, after having faced her Hollow clone, she felt like little more than a "Hollow Fragment".
    • Lost Song: The most powerful event boss is literally named "Lost Song", and defeating it unlocks Seven, who so happens to also be a singer, as a playable character.
  • True Final Boss:
    • Heathcliff shows up as the true boss for Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment after the defeat of the Strea merged boss.
    • Rain serves as this of sorts for Lost Song after the defeat of Seven, where Kirito has a friendly duel with her. Kirito even calls her this word-for-word.
  • Unwanted Harem: Kirito's harem is much more prevalent in the games, what with the 'Courting System' that allows him to share a bed with any of the girls and have 'pillow talks' with them.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: This is a plot point in the Hollow Realization game, where the NPCs are in reality AIs who permanently die if killed, while players revive. Using NPCs as bait in the game is a legitimate, if frowned upon by some, tactic, and the system brutally punishes players who actually attack NPCs to minimize this.
  • What If?:
    • Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment: What would happen when a glitch interrupts the death duel between Kirito and Heathcliff, forcing the players to continue clearing to the 100th floor while some players from ALO arrive in SAO?
    • Lost Song: What if Sugou was never involved in ALO and the players could enjoy the game peacefully as it was intended to be?
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In Hollow Fragment, Kirito starts considering the possibility he's a Hollow Data copy and not the real Kirito, although his friends snap him out of this and a test from Yui confirms he's the legitimate Kirito.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Leafa and Sinon are featured in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, despite this being chronologically before their appearance in the canon story line. Nonetheless they are heavily featured as they are too iconic to leave out.
    • Starting from Hollow Realization, Alice and Eugeo are featured in every game as part of DLC due to their overwhelming popularity.
    • The cover and banner for Fatal Bullet prominently features Kirito and Sinon with the appearance taken from the Phantom Bullet story arc while the main characters isn't those two and Kirito and Sinon wear something different most of the time.
    • Death Gun gets heavily advertised for Fatal Bullet and even headlines the opening, despite being a side boss and not the main focus of the story.

Alternative Title(s): Sword Art Online Video Game

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