|Non Canon: Some or all events and details given in this article, may be considered non-canon to the main story.|
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (ソードアート・オンライン －ホロウ・フラグメント－, Sōdoāto Onrain -Horō Furagumento-?) is a Role-Playing Game (RPG) developed by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) as the second game adaption on console for the series. It is set in an alternative Sword Art Online storyline, just like Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment.
The game was released on April 24, 2014 in Japan. An English version of the game was released in North America on August 19, 2014 and to Europe and Australia on August 20, 2014, exclusively on the PlayStation Store for PS Vita[† 1].
The game has sold approximately 450,000 copies worldwide, including 70,000 downloads in North America, making it the number one Vita download in that region for 2014. It retained this position on the North American Vita PSN sales chart for 2015. It was the tenth-best-selling Vita download on the EU PlayStation Store for 2014, and the fifth-best-selling Vita download in that same region for 2015.
Hollow Fragment is divided into two parts. The first is the "floor clearing" chapter, which is basically a remastered version of the previous game, Infinity Moment. The second is a new "Hollow Area" chapter that allows multiplayer and adds new items, mobs, and story content, including scenes and quests, which involve the «Laughing Coffin» guild and a new orange player character, Philia.
The Floor Clearing part's story would mostly be same as the story of the previous game, with the exception of Sinon, Leafa and Strea appearing in the game early during the process of the clearing of the 76th Floor, the appearance of Yuuki after clearing this part of story for the first time, and some new scenes for characters that are only in this game, but not the prior one.
- Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto)
- Asuna (Yuuki Asuna)
- Yui - In-Game Daughter of Kirito and Asuna (MHCP-001)
- Silica (Ayano Keiko)
- Leafa (Kirigaya Suguha)
- Lisbeth (Shinozaki Rika)
- Sinon (Asada Shino)
- Strea - Mental Health Counseling Program Trial Product 002 (MHCP-002)
- Philia (Takemiya Kotone) - New character. Pivot character of the Hollow Area arc.
- PoH - Laughing Coffin leader
- Klein (Tsuboi Ryoutarou) - Leader of the WWFM guild
- Agil (Andrew Gilbert Mills) - Has a shop on the 76th Floor's main settlement, Arksophia
- Alberich (Sugou Nobuyuki)
- Heathcliff (Kayaba Akihiko)
- Sachi - Cannot be brought outside of the Hollow Area due to her Hollow Data identity. Unlock requirements detailed further below.
- Kibaou - Unlocked after completing his optional event line, which starts upon interacting with him in a specific garden in the Bay Area. Cannot be brought outside of the Hollow Area due to his Hollow Data identity.
- Yuuki (Konno Yuuki) - Will only appear after winning in the optional event fight directly after defeating Heathcliff at Floor 100. The prompt triggering the event fight is unlocked by defeating Hollow Kirito. The event fight is a Half-Loss duel, meaning that the outcome is decided upon either side losing over 50% of their Hit Points.
- More than 100 other characters that can be interacted with.
The region mainly consists of six areas, as shown in the map. There are also other hidden areas which can be explored, and several more areas will be available with a DLC that will be released later.
- For various Sword Skills in the game, see Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment/Sword Skills
Hollow Fragment's gameplay system is similar to the Infinity Moment's gameplay system. However, a burst gauge, which allows continuous attacks as long as the player has enough burst energy left, was added to its battle system. There is also a risk meter next to it, which increases whenever enemies target or attack the player, or whenever the player attacks them. The higher the risk, the longer it will take for the player's burst gauge to be replenished. Risk can be lowered by pressing the burst attack button at the right moment, dodging at the right moment or switching. Also, the system allows each player to create their own non-player character to battle alongside with, as well as linking up with a maximum of 4 other players who are playing the game on the PlayStation Vita to play the game simultaneously, allowing players to form their own raid teams. An added region called the «Hollow Area» was designated for such multiplayer gameplay.
As for the game's battle system, while it is defaulted to the automatic attack system in previous game, players can also switch to a manual attack system upon their desire.
Hollow Area Bosses
- Introduction : Hollow Deadening Reaper
- 1st Area - Sea of Trees Area : The Shadow Phantasm
- 2nd Area - Floating Rock Area : Zordiath the Blade Dragon
- 3rd Area - Bay Area : Detonator the Kobold Lord
- 4th Area - Void Area (Interim boss) : PoH
- 4th Area - Void Area : The Hollowreaper
- 5th Area - Outer World Area : Amedister The Queen
- Final Area - Control Area : Occuldion the Eclipse
- Final Boss : «Hollow» Kirito
Original Sword SkillEdit
An Original Sword Skill System is included in this game, but it completely differs from the Original Sword Skill system that appeared in ALfheim Online in the original series. The system in Hollow Fragment is more similar to Kirito's Outside System Skill, «Skill Connect». After unlocking the system, all Sword Skills the player uses will display a special purple light flash on Kirito's avatar that marks the time during which Skill Connect is possible. If any additional Sword Skills are inputted outside of the Skill Connect timing, any connect windows that have yet to occur will be cancelled and no more purple flashes will appear for the duration of the Sword Skill's animation.
Players need to first complete a task, called «Implementation of OSS that links multiple Sword Skills» (ソードスキル多重連携OSS仕様の実装, Sōdo Sukiru Tajū Renkei OSS Shiyō no Jissō?), in the "Implement Element" system that researches the possibility of implementing multiple attacks with Sword Skills. The mission can be completed by using Sword Skills 1,000 times during Hollow Missions, in order to allow players to create and record their own Sword Skills in the Administrative region. There are also sub-tasks that could be completed to increase the maximum number of consecutive Sword Skills possible from two to twelve, or reduce the SP cost of each linked Sword Skill by up to 30%.
- The player's skill proficiency and skill points: a certain value of proficiency points can be carried over. The proficiency portion of skill points can be inherited.
- The player's character's skill combination (learn/palette): will be reset, but some skill points would be given.
- The player's character's equipment and belongings: only those equipped will be transferred.
- Other players' AI info: inherited directly
- Heroines' AI info: inherited directly
- Gallery: inherited directly
- Remains Heart: the possessed portion will be inherited (max. nine)
- Bonus obtained from clearance of the previous game: if a user transfers from a cleared game save, an accessory called Infinity Moment will be given.
After the game was launched, updates have been released every week in terms of free DLCs that provide extra costumes/weapons and similar items, with details listed on the official site in Japanese.
A free major update, named as Shining Successor (皇輝の継承者?) (v. 1.05), has been released by July 10, 2014 for the Japanese version. The update includes the introduction of the Grand Quest and Esoteric Skills that it unlocks, the ability to partner with Argo and date with Sachi, the introduction of new volcano and snowy mountain areas, as well as the garden area and harder bosses, the availability of legendary weapons, and a level cap raise to level 250. The update will also include usability and game balance adjustments, increase of treasure, hollow missions, and the payback of doing missions. Furthermore, more than 120 new pieces of equipment will be released, more information will be provided by Argo, some areas will be expanded, the OSS system will be improved, the ability to show the difference of daytime/nighttime will be available, the addition of CG scenes, the addition of warp point for some floors in the Hidden Area of the Hollow Area, and so on. These would add ~30 hours playtime to the game. The update would be available for the Asian version by July or August, and the Western version as a free DLC starting September 23.
This section includes side stories that are new to the game and not found in the previous game, Infinity Moment. See the story for Infinity Moment for the plot that is common between the two games.
In Hollow Area, the player, as Kirito, encounters a hollow clone of Sachi, an AI. After Kirito met her at the location several times, Sachi told Kirito that she must fight and thus Kirito and Sachi grouped up. Then, according to Sachi's instruction, they went to a location within the Great Void which looked very similar to the place where Sachi died. Despite feeling very afraid, as Kirito held her hand to calm her down, Sachi still decided to carry on. If the player clears the designated monsters, Sachi will ask Kirito if she had fought well and claim that she was no longer afraid scared. She then shared her gratitude, which the real Sachi was unable to share with Kirito when she was alive, and hope that Kirito could live on without being hindered by the trauma. After these events, the player can partner with Sachi in that location within Hollow Area.
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Just like the previous game, Infinity Moment, Hollow Fragment features multiple endings for the floor-clearing part. Most of the endings are the same as in Infinity Moment, with the exception of the duel against Yuuki during the game's first clearance. The game also features an ending for Philia.
A Sword Art Online -Hollow Fragment- Soundtrack is bundled with the game's limited edition.
- Compared to Infinity Moment:
- In Infinity Moment, Leafa and Sinon appeared after the clearance of the 76th Floor boss, and Strea appeared after the 79th Floor was reached, in this game Leafa, Sinon and Strea appeared soon after the clearing group reached the 76th Floor, before there was any progress on further clearing. Their appearance have also been simplified.
- Strea's changes happened later on Hollow Fragment compared to original Infinity Moment.
- The floor clearing part also include some new CG and/or plot for Philia, Sachi, Argo, PoH and Yuuki (after the end of first clearance and for re-clearance afterward) that is not found in Infinity Moment
- Addition of the Hollow Area region.
- Addition of Philia's ending.
- Compared to the original works:
- The duel between Heathcliff and Kirito, after the 75th Floor boss fight, was altered.
- Hollow Fragment began in December 2024, while, in original series, the game was cleared in early November 2024.
- Kayaba Akihiko committed suicide roughly at the time when the 75th Floor was cleared, instead of when the whole game was cleared.
- The ALfheim Online incident did not take place in this game and thus the game did lead to negative consequences on the VRMMO game industry.
- In the game, Asuna returned to the real world at the same time as the others and thus there was no one month agreement made by Keiko (Silica) and Rika (Lisbeth).
- The management of RECT, as well as RECT Progress, were not changed, aside from those who supported Sugou Nobuyuki being dismissed from the company.
- No publication of The Seed was observed and thus Gun Gale Online and Project Alicization might not have the base to start on.
- In Yui's ending, Kirito and Asuna were invited by Heathcliff to join ALfheim Online, with their SAO human-look avatars and their items from SAO conserved. Additionally, Yui was also restored in the form of a fairy in the game.
- Pina was transferred into Silica's NerveGear storage in Silica's ending.
- Kirito knew Yuuki if the player successfully beat Yuuki.
- The party held after SAO game was cleared also included Shino and Kotori (Philia) (when the Hollow Area part is cleared) in it.
- While it was not clearly stated, Shino's further schooling would most likely be affected.
- In the North American release, the game's events start on December 2021, as opposed to 2024 when «The Skull Reaper» was actually defeated.
- The North American/European release, as well as the English subtitled version of Asian release, of the game features numerous spelling and grammar issues that while the North American edition corrected some of them, there are still considerable amount of these issue exists in the North American/European edition.
- Japanese Official site
- English (EU) Official site
- Weekly News update (Sword Art Today) (Not the SAO: IM version) (Japanese)
- ↑ , "Sword Art Online: Lost Song is developed by Artdink - Gematsu", Gematsu
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 USA PlayStation Store
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 EU PlayStation Store
- ↑ As stated on the game's official homepage
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/07/02/tales-hearts-r-sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-dated-america/
- ↑ http://www.bandainamcogames.eu/news/2014/07/02/new-details-on-sword-art-online-hollow-fragment/4461
- ↑ http://fair.bngames.net/2014gogoshop/top.html
- ↑ http://swordartonline-game.com
- ↑ Dengeki Online interview with Kawai Yasukazu, via http://gematsu.com/2015/01/sword-art-online-lost-song-developed-artdink
- ↑ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/01/16/playstation-store-the-top-sellers-of-2014/
- ↑ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/01/20/playstation-stores-top-downloads-of-2015/
- ↑ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2015/01/16/games-downloaded-playstation-store-2014/
- ↑ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2016/01/20/playstation-store-charts-for-december-and-full-year-2015/
- ↑ JP PlayStation Store
- ↑ http://sao-hf.bngames.net/chara/others.php
- ↑ A Japanese SAO HF wiki that describes the implement element
- ↑ 【ソードアート・トゥデイ】前作『インフィニティ・モーメント』からのデータ引き継ぎ内容が判明＆キリトを取り巻くキャラクターを紹介
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/08/12/sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-get-dlc-costumes-launch/
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