What is .hack?
A huge series of anime and games that is based on an MMORPG called "The World." The .hack titles consist of, in order of the 'timeline'...
.hack//LIMINALITY ...an anime
.hack//INFECTION ...the first game in the series
.hack//MUTATION ...the second game
.hack//OUTBREAK ...the third game
.hack//QUARINTINE ...the final game
.hack//LEGEND OF THE TWILIGHT BRACELET ...an anime
The world of .hack could certainly be coming to us in another five years or so, when virtual reality is harnessed completely.
.Hack is a mulit-media franchise by CyberConnect2 and Bandai consisting mainly of several games, anime, books, and manga. The world of .Hack (dot hack) focuses on the players of a fictional MMORPG called "The World", and is set in the near future.
.Hack//INFECTION, MUTATION, OUTBREAK, AN QUARANTINE:
A four part series of games on the PlayStation2 console. The story focuses on the players "Kite" and "Blackrose" fighting the cursed wave.
.Hack//LIMINALITY: A four part anime OVA taking place during the same time as the PS2 games, and focuses on a girl named Mai Minase, Junichiro Tokuoka, and others who are trying to figure out the cause of the recent occurances in the real world
A strangely animated story of the characters from both the four games as well as the anime (sign) as they search for the "twilight hot springs". This short feature is meant to bring some humor into the series, and in ways makes fun of itself.
The first .Hack anime. It focuses on the player "Tsukasa" (whose conciousness is trapped within "The World") and company, who are trying to find the reason behind Tsukasa's dilemma and find a legendary item called the "Key of the Twilight".
.Hack//Legend of the Twilight:
A manga series following the adventures of a brother and sister, Shugo and Rena, who have won the famous avatars of the heroes Kite and Blackrose.
.Hack//AI Buster volumes 1 and 2:
Novels. Volume 1 follows the life of a debugger with the username "Albireo", both in "The World" as well as the real world. He meets a strange Aritificially Intelligent NPC within "The World" called Lycoris, and is accompanied by an oblivious newbie named Hokuto.
Volume 2 consists of several stories, including a recap of the previous volume in Hokuto's perspective (1), a continuation of the previous volume (2), the story of Albireo's subordinate, Kamui (3), Rena looking back on an adventure with her previous avatar (4), and the story of Hotaru's life and why and how she became involved with "The World" (5)
(Both Rena and Hotaru are characters from ".Hack//Legend of the twilight". See above.)
Another novel series focusing on the adventures of Kite and Blackrose fromthe four PS2 games, but from the perspective of Blackrose (or "Akira"). These novels take a look into Blackrose's personal life and explains her reason behind playing in "The World"
Yet another novel series about a player in the world named Curl, and shows what becomes of the player "Sora" after he is trapped in "The World" by Morganna Mode Gone. (This event is shown in the last few episodes of .Hack//SIGN)
The collectible card game. No longer very popular.
A manga series which can be read in the magazine ".Hack//G.U.: The World". Focuses on events in "The World" in Kite's perspective.
An online RPG on the PlayStation2. It shouldbe noted that while it is online, you can only adventure with two other real people. (meaning it is in no way an MMORPG) This game is only released in Japan and will not be coming to North America, unfortunately.
PLEASE NOTE that the .Hack//G.U. series is not released in North America at this time, and it will spawn a new series of anime and manga and stuff like that. Yeah, .Hack is pretty big, eh?
It should also be noted that the G.U. series still revolves around the players of The World, though The World has been revamped at this point and is now called "The World R:2" It is esentially the same game but many details like monsters, towns, and other features are more technologically based.
.Hack//G.U. Volumes 1-3:
3 Upcoming PS2 games soon to be released in Japan. They focus on a player named Haseo trying to get revenge on an AIDA (artificially intelligent data anomaly) called Tri-Edge for sending his friend Shino into a coma. These games are the sequel to the upcoming anime, .Hack//ROOTS.
An upcoming anime, and the prequel to the 3 upcoming games. (see above). This follows the adventures of Haseo when he is a newbie in "The World". He meets players such as Shino and Ovan, and joins their guild, "The Twilight brigade".
There are several other manga series' based on the G.U. series that are not yet (or will never be) released in North America such as .Hack//G.U.+, .Hack//4Koma, .Hack//GnU, and .Hack//Alcor, as well as another novel series called .Hack//CELL.
For more information on any aspect of .Hack check the wikipedia article, or better yet, the .Hack Wiki, found at dothack.wikia/wiki/.hack//Wiki
Guy: Hey, what's .Hack?
Another Guy: A really awesome series. It's totally kickin!
Guy: Sex. I'll be sure to check it out.