hack link anniversary higashi

.hack//Link Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

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.hack//Link recently celebrated its tenth anniversary on March 4, 2020 with art and a look back at the game. Part of the look back included a piece of celebratory art that was drawn by illustrator Higashi, which was featured in.hack//Fanbook Vol. 3” in Japan. (The fanbook is still readily available.)

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Additionally, the official .hack account showed off the original “Zettai Houi Pack” special edition of .hack//Link, which included the game, a Blu-Ray, and acrylics stands of Tokio and Saika.

.hack//Link was released back on March 4, 2010 for the PlayStation Portable. It launched with a bonus DVD. At the time, the game retailed for ¥6,279 (~$70). Currently, the game remains a Japan-only exclusive title and hasn’t received any ports to home consoles, though a fan-translation was released.

.hack//Link’s story was set in the far-flung “future” of 2020 and focused on Tokio Kuryuu, a middle-school student who loved games. After Tokio meets Saika Amagi, a new student at his school, she forcibly transports him into the realm of The World, and MMORPG world full of adventure. Inside The World, Tokio meets the legendary character Kite, who asks him to become a hero and save the Twilight Knights.

The .hack franchise hasn’t seen many releases in the past few years; in fact, the last major release was .hack//G.U. Last Recode, which was released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and PC. It is a fully remastered and updated trilogy containing .hack//Rebirth, .hack//Reminisce, and .hack//Redemption. It reached 300,000 digital and physical sales globally within its first year.

March 4, 2020 also marked the PlayStation 2’s 20th birthday in Japan. The PS2 was home to some of the .hack gaming library, including .hack//INFECTION, .hack//MUTATION, and .hack//OUTBREAK.

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Mercedez Clewis
Mercedez is a former staff writer, Japanese to English translator and a glasses-wearing, cardigan-loving gamer with a passion for visual novels, Etrian Odyssey, and peaches. They'll be covering Japanese gaming news on the reg.