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.hack//Another Birth Volume 1
New Novelization 「.hack」

.hack//Another Birth Volume 2
New Novelization 「.hack」

"Cover art of Infection featuring the main cast overlaid above Aura"
Release Dates
{{{Release Date}}}

.hack//INFECTION is the first entry in the Games Tetralogy released for PlayStation 2. Infection and the other games take place within the fictitious MMORPG called 「The World」. Infection came packaged with a bonus DVD of the OVA .hack//Liminality, "Liminality: In the Case of Mai Minase," which shows offline events occurring relatively concurrent with the events in-game. The events in Infection are followed by Mutation.


 You're in their WORLD now!
 Who is Aura? What is the Book of Twilight? Why did your friend, Orca, fall into a mysterious coma? As the outlaw player, Kite, you're on a mission of truth. Take a journey into a virtual world where anything is possible, and nothing is as it appears. Fight your way through contaminated levels of cyberspace as you take on and eliminate enemies, and unlock codes that will allow you to gate travel to even more environments - all in a desperate attempt to discover who or what's behind The World.
 Embark on an epic journey to unlock the truth lurking behind THE WORLD.[1]
 仲間とチャットしながらダンジョンを冒険し、リアルではメールやBBSで攻略情報の交換が楽しめる。そんな楽しいネットワークゲーム「The World」を始めたはずだった……。しかし友達が、ユーザーたちが、ゲーム世界が、何か見えない大きな意思に引きずられ、壊れてゆく!そして僕もいつのまにか……。[2]


Transcript of Game Events: Infection Transcript
The story follows protagonist Kite, who was invited to play the game 「The World」 by his friend Yasuhiko, who is known as Orca in the game. After a chance encounter with a monster chasing after mysterious girl in white, Orca is defeated and Kite narrowly avoids the same fate. Kite's computer crashes because of the incident, leaving him bewildered by the turn of events. Kite then discovers that Yasuhiko was rendered comatose after the incident. Kite's player decides to continue playing The World in the hopes of finding answers as to why his friend is now hospitalized.
Kite turns to the BBS to see if any other players may know about the bizarre incident, but his message is quickly removed. He also receives mysterious e-mails, some which aim to help while others contain thinly veiled threats.
While in The World Kite meets and teams up with BlackRose, a newbie who has her own reasons for pursuing the truth. Before Kite can learn more of her circumstances, they are attacked by a Data Bug. Balmung appears to warn them to stay away from the monster before witnessing Kite use Data Drain for the first time. Balmung mistakenly believes that Kite is behind the corruption of data and threatens him before leaving. A mysterious woman who has been seen watching over Kite mocks Balmung for his assumptions, informing him that Kite was a friend of his partner, Orca.


Main articles: In the Case of Mai Minase


Infection is set exclusively on the computer belonging to Kite's player character. When the game starts, it simulates booting into Altimit OS, where the player can access their desktop and log into The World.


The desktop features a reader for emails, world news, and a video player to rewatch cutscenes. The player can customize their desktop wallpaper and background music. Wallpapers, music, and cutscenes can be unlocked through game progress, which is tracked via the Books of Ryu.


Main articles: Infection Mailer

Throughout the game, the player receive messages from other players and system update information from CyberConnect, the developer of The World.


Main articles: Infection News

The game is shown entirely through the player's desktop so world building is done through reading World News. References to events in The World can be connected to events offline and the repercussions of the game's instability can be seen to gradually increase in severity.

The World

The World is the game within the game of .hack//INFECTION. It is a simulated MMORPG that allows players to enjoy a sandbox experience in which players choose how they wish to play the game on an individual level. There is no overarching goal for players to pursue outside of escapism and staving off boredom.


Main articles: Infection BBS

When players access The World's application, they can read messages from other players in the community forum known as the BBS, or Bulletin Board System. The board posts can expand the amount of areas Kite can access as well as unlock events and plot progression.


 Δ Server, Aqua Capital Mac Anu
 ϴ Server, Highland City Dun Loireag

Chaos Gate and Keywords

Main articles: Infection Keywords
Main articles: Gate Hacking


Main articles: Infection Fields


Main articles: Infection Monsters


Main articles: Infection Items


Main articles: Infection Characters

Kite Orca Aura Helba BlackRose Balmung
Kite Orca Helba BlackRose Balmung
Mia Elk Mistral Piros Natsume Sanjuro Gardenia
Mia Elk Mistral Piros Natsume Sanjuro Gardenia



Main articles: IMOQ Credits


Game Release

Merchandise articles: Infection PlayStation 2 Release
Merchandise articles: .hack//Vol.1×Vol.2 PlayStation 2 the Best Release

Japan Release North America Release Korean Release PS2 the Best Re-release
Title: .hack//感染拡大 Vol.1

(Kansen Kakudai)

.hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//감염확대 Vol.1 .hack//Vol.1×Vol.2

PlayStation 2 the Best

Language Audio: Japanese

Text: Japanese

Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English

Audio: Japanese, English

Text: Hangul subtitle

Audio: Japanese

Text: Japanese

Release Date: June 20, 2002 February 11, 2003 October 22, 2003 March 2, 2006
Developer CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd.
Publisher Bandai Co., Ltd Bandai America, Inc. Bandai Korea Co., Ltd Bandai Co., Ltd

CERO: 全年齢対象
(All Ages)


KMRB: 12

CERO: 全年齢対象
(All Ages)
Price 5,800 円[3][4] (Tax not included) $49.99 USD[5] (Tax not included) ₩ 49,500Regular

₩ 49,500Pre-order Edition

₩ 49,500Limited Edition



SLPS-25121 SLUS-20267 SLKA-25080 SLPS-73230


UPC/EAN: 4543112084477 045557180119 8809070472043 4543112415325
PAL releases
Australia English French German Italian Spanish
Title: .hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//INFECTION Part 1 .hack//INFECTION Part 1
Language Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English, French, German,
Italian, Spanish

Quickstart Languages: Swedish,
Finnish, Portuguese

Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English, French, German,
Italian, Spanish

Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English, French, German,

Italian, Spanish

Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English, French, German,
Italian, Spanish

Audio: English, Japanese

Text: English, French, German,
Italian, Spanish

Release Date: March 26, 2004
Developer CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd.
Publisher Bandai

Atari Europe SASU


Atari Europe SASU


Atari Europe SASU


Atari Europe SASU


Atari Europe SASU


Atari Europe SASU


OFLC: M15+

PEGI: 12+

USK: 12


UPC/EAN: 3546430109922 3546430109915 3546430109892 3546430109908 3546430109939

Initially, the Korean release of Infection was planned for October 15, 2003, but was postponed to October 22. 2003 to meet a higher standard of quality. While the game has Hangul subtitles for Japanese and English audio, Liminality was dubbed for a Korean audience as well as having subtitles.

Pre-order and Special Editions:

Korean Pre-order Edition

Korean Special Edition[6]


SLUS-29042 (Regular Demo) [7]

SLUS-28023 (Trade Demo)

Liminality Ratings:

BBFO: 12 Liminality

BBFC: PG Liminality



Version Differences

Main articles: Games Tetralogy Version Differences
Main articles: Infection Version Differences

User Interface Changes

The PAL version starts with a language select screen and Loading screen after choosing a language, before opening the Main Menu. The language selection determines the subtitle and written language. The game starts with English audio by default and cannot be changed to Japanese audio until it is unlocked when the game is beaten. Once unlocked, players can continue onto MUTATION and the other games with Japanese audio. All other versions of the game (Japanese, US/CAN, Korea) have audio and subtitle options under the "Options" menu.

The Japanese version has a copyright date of 2002. The US version has a copyright date spanning 2001-2002 and also includes the .hack 2001-2002 Trademark. The Korean version has a copyright date of 2003. The PAL version has copyright dates spanning 2001-2004.

The Japanese and Korean title screens keep the "Vol. 1" below the logo, matching the box art and branding. The US and PAL versions have "Infection" and drop the "Part 1" used in the box art and branding.

The Japanese, US, PAL English, and Korean versions use the same stylized word choice for the Main Menu buttons. The other PAL languages translate the words into their respective languages, uses cramped tracking[8], and spaces between words.

Name Changes

The PAL German version uses the default name "Drachen," the German word for kite.

Ninja Knife (EN) Couteau ninja (FR) Ninjamesser (DE) Cuchillo Ninja (ES) Coltello Ninja (IT)



The Japanese title of this volume is 感染拡大, the Hepburn romanization of which is Kansen Kakudai, lit. "Infection Expansion" or "Spread of Infection," using language evocative of both computer viruses and infectious diseases found in nature.

The US and PAL title is the word INFECTION, stylized in all caps. Unlike the Japanese and Korean release, which uses "Vol. 1" (i.e.,"Volume 1") to delineate the order of the games, the US and PAL releases use the word "Part 1."

The Korean title of this volume is 감염확대, the Romanization of which is Gamyeom Hwakdae, lit. "Infection Expansion," from the Sino-Korean words 感 (“feel”) + 染 (“infect”) and 擴大 (“expansion”).



PAL Version's Japanese audio is not available until completing the game.

General References


  1. BANDAI. .hack//INFECTION. North America and Europe/Australia release Game Packaging. PlayStation 2. CyberConnect2, 2003-2004.
  2. BNE .hack Page
  3. .hack//感染拡大 Vol.1 Product Page Wayback Machine (Archived from original, 2002 December 16)
  4. Inner cover 2-page Advertisement for the Games Tetralogy, .hack//The World Magazine, Volume 1. 2003, January 15.
  5. Smith, David ".hack Infection Preview" 2002 August 07, Wayback Machine (Archived from original, 2002 December 01)
  6. Korean .hack News article
  7. PCSX2 Wiki
  8. Letter Spacing, Wikipedia