|World of Swords|
|Romaji||Ken no Sekai|
|Air Date||July 7, 2012|
By the year 2022, humanity has fully developed a Virtual Reality Mass Multi Online Role Playing Game (VRMMORPG). On Sunday, November 6th, Sword Art Online (SAO), the highly anticipated and renowned online game of the year, has already sold 10,000 copies.
The episode begins with the protagonist, a young 14 year old male player, accessing the game at 13:00 (01:00 p.m.). Using the commonly known helmet game console identified as the NerveGear, he enters the online virtual world of «Aincrad» using his game avatar «Kirito» from his beta-version gameplay after the «NerveGear» has finished calibrating his virtual body.Once inside, he finds himself in the main town of the 1st floor: the «Town of Beginnings». Kirito tries to maneuver himself into one of the game shops, until a new player, called «Klein» asks for Kirito’s help in learning the game's mechanics after deducing that Kirito is a beta tester.
While engaging in battle against a level 1 monster, called «Frenzy Boar», Kirito teaches Klein about the necessary motion for the use of «Sword Skills»; the essential feature of the SAO virtual world. Another feature of the game that Klein learns is that the player cannot feel any pain; instead there will just be an unpleasant feeling in its place, alongside the depletion of the player’s health gauge when hit.
Even though eating the virtual food in the game world can get rid of the unpleasant hungry feeling when playing, it does not help the player’s body in the real world. So Klein decided to log out when the time was nearly 17:30 (5:30pm). After saying their goodbyes, Klein opens the menu to use the «LOG OUT» option, however, to his and Kirito’s surprise, the option was not included and they could not exit the virtual game world. After waiting around for some time with no word from the game administrators, the town bells from the 1st floor central town started ringing. Suddenly all the current players were forcibly transported to the centre of the «Town of Beginnings» via forced teleport.On the virtual screens at the sky, there was a system announcement that alerted everyone’s attention. Suddenly, a giant, robed, faceless figure appears, identifying himself as «Kayaba Akihiko»; the creator of the game and the only person with control over the game. Addressing the missing «Log Out» option, he announces to the players that he had purposefully removed it from the game as another one of its feature, trapping them in the game world called «Aincrad».
While all the players were alarmed by his announcement, he continues on by pointing out that trying to forcibly escape by removing the «NerveGear» will result in the player being killed by having the player's brain fried by the NerveGear's microwaves, using the internal battery of the helmet as a power source. Having informed the outside world of the situation, he reports that friends and family members of some of the players had already ignored his warning; therefore 213 players have already died.
Kayaba declares that the revival option is now terminated, so when a player loses all his/her health and dies, their avatar will be permanently deleted, and their real body will be killed by the NerveGear's microwaves. He then states that the only way to log out is by completing the game, which means clearing all 100 floors of «Aincrad» and eliminating the final boss.
As he finishes his announcement, he leaves a "gift", a «Mirror», in everyone’s inventory as the players are engulfed in a blinding white light and their avatars change to the players' their true appearances; sharply dropping the amount of female players by revealing that many male players were masquerading as female characters (though some female players were also masquerading as males). Finally Kayaba vanishes after his «Tutorial» is finished, leaving with his motive greatly unclear.
As everyone remains in distress after Kayaba’s departure. Kirito quickly acts and tries to bring Klein with him to the next nearby village, stating that the surrounding resources will be limited. However, Klein cannot leave his friends behind at the town plaza. Kirito is troubled by this, as he does not think that he can protect more than one other player with his current skills, and would thus be blamed for someone else's death by the others since he was the one who suggested leaving.
Klein notices Kirito’s worries and politely tells him that he should go ahead by himself, as he planned to go back to lead and protect his friends with the lessons that Kirito had taught him. He then tries to cheer Kirito up with a joke about his slight feminine appearance, to which Kirito retaliates by stating that Klein’s unkempt face suits him better. They then part ways. Alone by himself with no one else to depend on, Kirito runs through the town and outside the gate, vowing that he will survive in this game world and be free from the virtual imprisonment while swiftly taking out a wolf standing in his way.
By December 2, 2022, approximately a month later, 2,000 players have already died, their departed name being crossed out on the «Monument of Life» simultaneously, and the 1st floor has yet to be cleared.
- Kirigaya Suguha (Cameo)
- Kayaba Akihiko (in his game master avatar)
- Asuna (Cameo)
- Silica (Cameo)
- Lisbeth (Cameo)
- All Players
- Hand Mirror - Received from GM
- Reaver - Klein & Kirito
- Kirito's House
- Aincrad Floor 1: Town of Beginnings, Black Iron Castle, West Field, Path to Town of Horunka
- Adapted from Sword Art Online Light Novel Volume 01
- It did not mention that the release of the SAO game was still limited to Japan, and not yet allowed global.
- Kayaba was supposed to announce to the players that their bodies had already been moved into hospital care, when he broadcasted his crime to the public of the outside world, as well as the location of each player.
- Kirito in the novel had reached the tenth floor during beta testing period rather than the eighth floor mentioned in the anime.
- "In this world, a single blade can take you anywhere you want to go. It's a virtual world, but I still feel more alive here than I do in the real one" - Kirito
- "Make your way through each dungeon and defeat the Floor Boss, and you will advance to the next level. Defeat the final boss of the 100th floor, and you will clear the game." - Kayaba Akihiko
- "Why would Kayaba Akihiko, the creator of Sword Art Online and the NerveGear, do all this? My goal has already been achieved. I wanted to create this world and intervene in it. That is why I created Sword Art Online." - Kayaba Akihiko
- "This is a game, but it's not just something you play." - Kayaba Akihiko
- "If I die in this world... I'll die for real." - Kirito
- "I'll definitely survive... ...in this world!" - Kirito