CyberConnect2 Winter Campaign 2018 Merch!

Earlier today, CyberConnect2 released an announcement for the Winter Campaign 2018. There’s all sorts of awesome new and old merch that will be available for a limited time, so be sure to check it all out!!

The campaign will be running through Friday, December 29 until Monday, January 15.



◾️ Reproduction Gengas (2 types)

『.hack』illustration by Hoshi Itsuki
『.hack//G.U. Last Recode』illustration by Hosokawa Seiichiro

  • Details: 553×438mm, serial number plate included.
  • Price: 30,000 yen (roughly $300)

 

◾️ 『.hack//Fanbook』Vol.4

  • Details: B5 size
  • Price: 2,000 yen (roughly $20)

Store Locations:

▶︎ Bonus Item #1: 『.hack』Canvas Bag
    Purchase all four volumes to receive this bonus.

  • Kotobukiya Version: Haseo & Ovan, Black
  • GAMERS Version: Haseo & Tri-Edge, White

▶︎ Bonus Item #2:『.hack//Fanbook』 Vol.5
Purchase all four volumes to receive this bonus.

Deadline for this bonus: March 31
Tentative shipping date: May, 2018

 

◾️ 『.hack//Fanbook』Clear File Set of 5

  • Details: A4 size(297×210㎜)
  • Price: 2,000 yen (roughly $20)
  • Pre-order: GAMERS Online Shop

 

◾️ Chim Chim Plushie 

This particular item was originally released as part of a set of goodies back in 2013. This time, however, the plushie will be sold separately.

 

◾️ Acrylic Diorama Stand (Hulle Granz Cathedral)

  • Details: Plate size: 150×230mm, Assembled size: 70×100×70mm
  • Price: 3,000 yen (roughly $30)
  • Pre-order: GAMERS Online Shop

 

◾️ Bonus Item: Pin (3 types)

  • Details: Get 1 random pin per item check-out.

 

▶︎ Participating Store Locations

First Look at the YoRHa Musical and Stage Play Costumes

Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito participated in a live interview with Furukawa Mirin on Twitch tonight in which they dropped several photo teasers of the recent costume photo shoot. Vocalist Kawano Marina from DearStage and the Music Concert was also present during the interview.

Here’s a quick look at the few photos they shared…


No2 (aka A2)


No9

The original No2? Notice that this photo is part of the YoRHa Boys photoshoot. Given the cast list, it seems as though this stage play will *not* be all-boys only, but there will also be some female actors involved as well.


Term Alpha & Term Beta

YoRHa Boys: No21

YoRHa Boys: No2

A Black Box in the making…

Virtuous Treaty, Virtuous Contract, Cruel Oath, Type-3 Sword


Sources: Furukawa Mirin on Twitch

『.hack//G.U.』Fanfic Blurb

This is a random story I just started writing. It’s pretty non-canon, taking place several years after Last Recode Vol.4, pretty much ignoring all the other canon stuff that happens with Link, Quantum, and beyond.

So, anyway, enjoy! I’ll try to update this with more “bits” soon. I’m pretty much writing this on the spur of the moment, so I don’t really know where the story’s going to go. xD I’ll try to keep it somewhat short, though. lol

I can’t give it an actual title yet, either, since I really don’t know where I’m going with this…


ー1ー

It was several years after the R:2 servers had shut down for good when the voices began.

At first they sounded like nothing more than mere static on the other end of a telephone or a muffled voice from the other side of a thin wall, but gradually—he couldn’t remember exactly how long—the voices grew more and more incessant and…demanding. It spoke no clear language that he could understand, but through feeling alone, he could understand what it wanted perfectly.

It wanted out.

At any cost.

Eventually, the voices grew so overbearing, he had difficulty thinking clearly. His own inner voice began to get lost in the fog of sound. Not only that but almost daily headaches and  migraines threatened to cripple him physically as well. He tried to stay afloat in the sea of swirling chaos in his mind, but it was exhausting. He knew if nothing was done to quell the voices soon, he would eventually lose himself entirely.

It was about a week before Christmas when he nearly collapsed on the way out of the NAB office and fell down a flight of stairs.

“Whoa,” said someone, grabbing his arm just in time before he fell. “You all right?”

His vision was suddenly very hazy as though someone had applied a blur filter to his entire field of vision. He tried shaking his head a couple times to rid his sight of the fog and continuously buzzing voices in his head, but it didn’t seem to help much.

“Yeah, I… I think so,” Ryo said as he turned to rest his back against the side of hallway. He could hear his own voice come out of his mouth in sharp gasps as if he was suddenly winded or out of breath.

Skeptically, Masato shook his head. “Ryo, you don’t look well…”

Somehow Ryo managed a reassuring smile but he still couldn’t completely stand on his own without the aid of the sturdy wall supporting him from behind. “I dunno; maybe I’m just tired.”

“How long has this been going on?” Masato asked, his brow wrinkling with concern.

Ryo shook his head slightly as though he didn’t quite understand what Masato said. “What? No, I—“

Again another wave of fog washed over him, stealing the light from his eyes. Not even the sound of Masato’s voice calling his name seemed to be able to reach his ears from the place he now found himself…

It was like waking from an elaborate dream. Lying flat on his stomach on the dusty ground, he felt like the weight his own breath would crush him. His eyes burned in the twilight haze as he tried to stir his stiff body and stand. Everything was dark with dusk; the ground and air, chill as death. Groggily rising to his feet, he glanced around him to find absolutely no trace of the hallway where he had just been standing beside Masato—

Masato? Wasn’t he just here—?

Suddenly, a sharp flare ignited in his head as waves of pain coursed through his entire being. A moment later, he found himself on the black ground once more, both hands gripping at either side of his head as a silent scream slipped past his lips. It was the voices again, but this time it sounded eerily nearby.

Hello again, said the voice. I’ve missed you… Haseo.

ー2ー

He instantly recognized the voice as his own. Images of “him” exploded painfully in his memory. He knew what this shadowy figure represented—his own dark past and yet… something was different, new even.

“He” shouldn’t exist anymore, Ryo thought, the buzzing in his head throbbing along with his rapidly beating heart.

As he slowly rose to his knees, one hand firmly on the dusty ground and the other instinctively grasping at his chest, Ryo gazed upon the shadowy figure standing before him in the dim twilight. But that’s all it was—a shadowy figure with hardly any fine details. He couldn’t see the figure’s face, eyes; he couldn’t tell what sort of hair he had—if it even had any. All he could tell was it’s nondescript outline like a smudge of black chalk on a canvas. And yet Ryo knew who it was… and that alone struck fear into his entire being.

“How… How can you be here?” Ryo asked with an unusually raspy voice.

The figure roughly brushed a hand through its undefined hair in confusion. ‘…As though I know where “here” is… 

Shrugging it off, the figure stepped closer before kneeling in front of Ryo. ‘How long has it been? Then again, I suppose the concept of time is different for you than it is for me. Still… It feels as though ages have passed since we were together… I’ve missed you. Truly, I have.

Feeling utterly drained of energy and struggling to suppress the tight feeling in his chest, Ryo simply shook his head in tired confusion. “Who are you?”

Seemingly exasperated at the question, the figure rested both hands on its hips. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. You need me to spell it out for you?’ The figure shook its head, disappointed. ‘Well, I guess I can’t really blame you. I looked a little different the last time we saw each other.

Ryo could only continue shaking his head in restless bewilderment. Even though this figure felt similar to his shadow with the memories of Sora that he confronted before, the pieces of the puzzle still didn’t quite line up. There was something else—almost like another presence—lurking behind the figure’s vail of darkness.

You know, I should thank you,’ the figure continued. ‘Without your help—and, well, maybe that idiot’s death wish helped a bit, too, but… Without you, I’d still be that fragmented string of data with no other purpose than to destroy and strike fear into those who dared to cross my path.’

And just as the words reached his ears, Ryo felt the throbbing pain in his head and chest merge into perfect terror that gripped him tighter than even death itself.

“Skeith…?”

The nebulous figure appeared to bow politely.

Hello, ‘tis I,’ the figure said, comically, ‘the great “Terror of Death”. At your service, sir.’

『.hack//G.U.』 Birthday Database

Printed in the .hack//Fanbook Vol.2 is a nice character “birthday database” that includes additional information on the characters.

Haseo
Real Name: Misaki Ryo
Birthday: July 13, 2000
An honars student at a famous private high school. He begins to work for NAB from September 2017.

Atoli
Real Name: Kusaka Chigusa
Birthday: April 5, 2001
Although she felt as though there was no place for her, due to a brush with fate, she was able to grow and attain the courage to not depend on anyone.

Kuhn
Real Name: Kazumi Tomonari
Birthday: November 8, 1993
He is extremely dependable with a great sense of duty. He worked parttime at an arcade while supporting his dream to join CC Corp.

Sakubo
Real Name: Nakanishi Iori
Birthday: May 26,2006
A gentle introvert. He is taken in by his faternal grandmother.

Endrance
Real Name: Ichinose Kaoru
Birthday: December 31, 1996
He was thoroughly withdrawn from the world until he met Haseo and slowly became interested in others and the rest of the world.

Yata
Real Name: Hino Takumi
Birthday: July 8, 2000
Having already graduated after skipping several grades, he established his own company with a huge amount of funds he earned in the online trade. He is the largest CC Corp share holder.

Pi
Real Name: Saeki Reiko
Birthday: December 24, 1993
She used to be a system engineer at CC Corp, but joined NAB from September 2017.

Ovan
Real Name: Indo Masato
Birthday: December 12, 1992
An investigator for NAB. He falls into a coma due to an event in 2017.

Youkou / Alkaid
Real Name: Kuramoto Chika
Birthday: July 2, 2001
A student of fine arts, she loves to read. She is very spunky with an unyielding spirit. Her favorite motto is “Train for your body, read for your heart.”

Silabus
Real Name: Morino Yuuichi
Birthday: October 28, 1997
A socialble young man who is attentive to his surroundings. He first started playing “The World” when he was a college student, living on his own.

Gaspard
Real Name: Masa Kouta
Birthday: April 21, 2004
He loves card and board games. He suffers from a severe case of social anxiety.

Piroshi 3 / Piros the 3rd
Real Name: Matsuyama Hiroshi
Birthday: November 23, 1978
He belongs to the development team at CC Corp. Working as a graphic designer, he is the project leader for the development of “The World R:X”.


Translation and Photos by: Rekka Alexiel

In Response to Fan Inquiries Regarding A Potential 『.hack』 First Season Remaster

This is a copy and paste of my comment on the Dothack Network Facebook page,
which you can find here.

The issue is regarding the fan interest in a new remaster of the so-called “First Season” of the .hack video game franchise. The .hack “First Season” includes four separate games: Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine; aka IMOQ.


I would, again, like to calm the waters a little bit with all this talk of a possible remaster of the original four .hack games. Please, please calm down and focus on what’s here, right now.

I understand the hype, but now is not the time to be daydreaming about what somebody mistakenly let slip, giving fans the idea that this may be possible or even in the works when it’s not.

But if you can’t quell your desire for a possible remake, then I would suggest you support Last Recode with every ounce of your being NOW. I’m pretty sure everyone here already bought the game, but if you haven’t yet, now’s the time to show your support.

I know it’s really hard to purchase official merch outside of Japan, but I would also suggest you try to look into ordering some of the merch through a deputy service or on Amazon Japan (they will usually ship internationally).

Also, write and tell BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT that you want international access to .hack merchandise!! Not only that, but tell them how much you love the series: the games, the anime, the novels and manga! Don’t feel embarrassed to let your fan-heart gush a little!

Get involved in my fan giveaway contest on Twitter, going on now! Tell people how much you love the series, tell a friend about it who maybe hasn’t even played it yet. I will have more contests in the future, too, so stay tuned to my site.

Ultimately, if you all really want a remake of the first four games as badly as you say you do (this is where I give you a little “tough love,” so please don’t hate me for telling it like it is), then you have to put in the effort to support the series as a whole first.

That’s just economics. If Last Recode doesn’t make a certain number of sales, then there is NO future for anything. Thankfully, though, sales both in Japan and internationally look really good and BNE is quite pleased. That’s good, but we can’t stop there; we can’t let our guard down just yet!

Keep talking about .hack on social media and wherever else possible. If you have a blog or website or something similar, write about it (I’m guilty here as I have yet to finish my editorial on Last Recode orz). Get other gamers interested in the series, introduce it to a friend or family. If you know somebody likes both anime and games, you could first introduce them to the anime TV series .hack//SIGN or .hack//ROOTS or go over to one of the movies (maybe avoid TRILOGY if they intend on playing Last Recode lol).

Basically my point is… there isn’t time to daydream about what could be right now. We need ACTION that is clearly visible and makes a difference to BNE, the publisher. If they do not make a profit from the series, nothing will happen. We’ll get NOTHING. So please, please… I understand how excited everybody is over the thought of a remake–I am, too–but now is not the time.

If you’ve already done all you can to support Last Recode and this message is redundant, I’m really sorry. This topic has been a bit of a thorn in my side ever since people started talking about it A WEEK after the release of Last Recode. ^^;;

Angelegna DOD Alternative ~ The Seal Academy

People were just talking about this on Reddit and it reminded me that I had been working on this way back when… I found the original post that I made on tumblr three years ago, but I couldn’t find the other materials that I worked on… unless I utterly forgot to do it at all. lol Which is highly probable. orz

Anyway, here’s the info that I worked on regarding this gag bit that was originally printed in the DOD2 Memory of Blood book. The first four images below I scanned from the DOD World Inside book that was included with the DOD 10th Anniversary Box and translated & edited them.

Continue reading

.hack Fan Giveaway Contest

This is just a very early, preliminary announcement for a fan contest that I want to set in motion. The basic premise behind the idea is for fans of the .hack series share their enthusiasm with others while also targeting potential new fans!

*If anything is unclear or if I left anything out of this post, I will fix it later! Please understand if there are any changes to these details.

Some of the goodies I have to use as giveaway items include:

  • New World Roundtable featuring Nino CD
  • .hack//DRAMATIC DVD
  • .hack//Link PSP Game
  • .hack//re-birth Disc historical Disc Blu-ray
  • .hack//G.U. Returner DVD
  • .hack//4koma
  • .hack//CELL Vol.1
  • .hack//G.U.+ Manga Vol.2-5
  • .hack//G.U. Vol.3 Complete Guide
  • .hack//G.U. TheWorld Vol.05

Continue reading

Seminar Talk at Creek and River by CyberConnect2’s Matsuyama Hiroshi

The CEO of CyberConnect 2, Matsuyama Hiroshi, held a really interesting seminar for game creators and those interested in the topic. Although, I am hardly part of the industry, the interest and passion has always been there. I was able to attend this event, although I arrived a little after it had begun.

There was also time for a book signing and a brief discussion gathering after the event where we were treated to some small drinks and snacks.

Matsuyama was completely in the game tonight and it was clear he was enjoying giving the seminar. I had a blast just listening to him tell the handful of anecdotes throughout the evening.

We were told that we were free to take photos, but to just be mindful of when it was appropriate to take photos. 🙂

▲ Quick company stats with photos from the Fukuoka, Tokyo, and maybe Montreal offices?

Company Size

  • Fukuoka Studeo: 180
  • Tokyo Studeo: 33
  • Montreal: 14


▲ Slide for 『.hack//G.U. Last Recode』!!


▲ Naruto is one of the main titles that CC2 releases. This is Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 “Road to Boruto”.


▲ Another one of their series would have to be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This is the PS3 release of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle and the PS3/PS4 release of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven.

▲ Here’s one of the few smartphone applications that they produced, Full Bokko Heroes X for both iOS and Android.

▲ The offices are literally littered with more than 60 different magazines every month for employees to browse!

▲ There are also all kinds of movie and anime DVD/Blu-rays, individual manga books, and various video game titles freely available to employees.

▲ The company also provides many opportunities for employees to “skill up” their abilities in various areas such as C++, UnrealEngine4, Python scripts, and more.

▲ With the basic introduction out of the way, this was the “meat” of the seminar:
“The Game Creator Seminar”!!!

▲ First, we were asked to think of the average number of games sold in a single year. Numbers ranged from 200 to 1000.

▲ This chart breaks down the number of game titles released every year.

  • 2004: 802
  • 2005: 828
  • 2006: 900
  • 2007: 983
  • 2008: 972
  • 2009: 811
  • 2010: 745
  • 2011: 679
  • 2012: 644
  • 2013: 565
  • 2014: 539
  • 2015: —– ↓
  • 2016: —– ↓
  • 2017: —– ↑

My photography was bad in the moment, so I don’t have the exact numbers for 2015-2017, but the main point was that 2017 signaled in a slight rebound from the downward trend of releases since 2007.

▲ Next, we were asked to think how many games a person buys in the course of a year.

▲ Generally speaking, the average number of games a “game fan” purchases in a year is 8.8. A soft-core gamer buys about 4 games a year.

▲ Next, we were asked to think of what titles sold over 1,000,000 copies in 2017. I was stupid with the numbers (Japanese “man” is a bit difficult to calculate in your brain) and suggested did…even though I knew it only sold a bit over 300,000 copies. lol

▲ And this was our answer, a list of top selling titles in 2017!

  1. 3DS: Dragon Quest 11 – 1,728,000
  2. 3DS: Monster Hunter Double Cross – 1,668,000
  3. PS4: Dragon Quest 11 – 1,321,000
  4. Switch: Splatoon2 – 1,309,000
  5. Switch: Mario Cart 8 Deluxe – 717,000
  6. 3DS: Pokemon Sun/Moon – 560,000
  7. Switch: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the World – 551,000
  8. Switch: Super Mario Odessy – 511,000
  9. 3DS: Super Mario Maker – 397,000
  10. PS4: – 343,000

▲ Basically, if titles don’t sell over 100,000 copies, they’re losing money…

▲ If we imagine the sales of the top 40 games are positive, then anything 41 to 424 is losing money. 1/10 is in positive figures, whereas 9/10 is in the red.

▲ Among the gaming industry, 1/5 of titles is in positive numbers whereas 4/5s are in the red; which means, 20% have to be MASSIVE HITS!

▲ So it’s very important to know what sort of interesting things will sell. It’s best to avoid talking with people who cannot answer this question.

▲ It’s also vitally important for copies to connect with fans to hear their opinions on a multitude of topics. How/what do people play, read, watch, experience.

▲ This shows the trends of various platforms. The top represents smartphone and PC online games, the middle represents home gaming games, and the last represents home gaming hardware.

December 27, 2015

  • Online Platform (smartphone & PC) = 998,900,000,000yen
  • Home Software & Hardware = 360,200,000,000yen
  • →2016 Home Software & Hardware = 299,400,000,000yen

▲ Global Market Size: 5,400,000,000,000yen; Japan is just 1/14 of this figure.

▲ Global sales for the PS4 is around 60,000,000 units, where as within Japan alone, it’s around 5,000,000.

▲ Titles that sold well overseas:

  • Pokemon Sun/Moon
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Bloodborne
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Yokkai Watch 3
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  • Monster Hunter Double Cross
  • Pokken Tournament
  • The Last Guardian
  • Street Fighter V

▲ The market for home gaming is WORLDWIDE, with a focus on gamers all over the world.

▲ The very last bit of Matsuyama’s talk touched briefly on his non-fiction novel, detailing the true events that occurred with “Hiroshi-kun” just prior to the release of 『.hack//G.U. Vol.3』in 2009.

▶︎ Famitsu was also present for the seminar, so here is their recap of the talk!