第1話 剣の世界 ／ The World of Swords
Announce: Hi there! Time for this week’s MMO Stream. You just saw a promo of today’s featured game. And this is what last week’s launch day looked like. Can you guess what everyone’s waiting in line for? Sword Art Online!
Announce: The first person of the line camped out for three days. Hey, but if you [aren’t] core gamer, what would you do? On today’s episode of the MMO Stream, we’ll be covering internationally famous Sword Art Online, AKA SAO. Up to now, none of the NervGear software [???] seems to take advantage of the possibilities of the hardware.
Suguha: Hey, I’m off to practice now. See you later, okay?
Announce: …. Akihiko Kayaba. this is beyond MMO RPG that me and everyone have been waiting for. The beta testers say it’s incredible. I wish I could’ve [gotten in line???]. The first [???] was limited to only 10,000 copies, those funs in line snapped them up and on-line, the game sold out in seconds.
Kirito: Link start! Hello world! I’m back!
Guy: Well, I told him, so what’s his deal?
Guy: Why don’t we form a party?
Girl: Well, I don’t know, maybe.
Guy: Oh, come on! It’ll be great!
Klein: Huh? Hey, Bro! Wait up!
Kirito: What’s up?
Klein: Whew… You act like you know your way around here. You were in the beta test, weren’t you?
Kirito: Ah, yeah.
Klein: Cool! Today is my first day, so could you give me some tips on the lower floors?
Kirito: Yeah, I don’t know if…
Klein: Oh, please I’m begging ya! Look, my name’s Klein. Good to meet you.
Kirito: All right. I’m Kirito.
Klein: Argh! Oooh…hurts in the nuts… kill me now…
Kirito: Oh, come on, seriously? You can’t feel any pain.
Klein: Huh? Oh yeah, you’re right. Sorry, habit.
Kirito: Remember what I said? The first move is the most important.
Klein: Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. But he won’t stand still!
Kirito: If you do your initial motion right, and activate a sword skill at the right time… the system pretty much guarantees you’ll always hit your target.
Klein: Initial motion?
Kirito: Here’s an easier way to look at it. Right after you start your move, wait for a little bit. When you feel the skill start to activate, drive it home!
Klein: Drive it home?
Klein: Hoho! Yeah!
Kirito: Congratulations. That was nice. But that boar’s about as weak as slimes in other games are.
Klein: Holy crap! You got to be kidding. I thought that thing was a mid-level boss.
Kirito: Yeah, as if.
Kirito: Addictive, isn’t it?
Klein: I’ll say. So, these skills… There’s a ton of them like blacksmithing and stuff, right?
Kirito: Uh-huh. I heard the game has an unlimited number of them. All except for magic, though.
Klein: An RPG without magic? That’s a bold decision, man!
Kirito: So, what do you think? It’s kind of fun to move your body as you fight, isn’t it?
Klein: Oh, hells yeah!
Kirito: You ready to move on?
Klein: Yeah, man. Let’s keep going.
Klein: When I look around, I can’t believe it. We’re inside a game, bro. Whoever made it is a genius. This thing’s amazing. Makes me glad I was born when I was, you know.
Kirito: It’s not that big a deal.
Klein: Cut me some slack, it’s my first full dive!
Kirito: You’ve never used the NerveGear before today, huh? This is your first time ever?
Klein: Uh-huh. As soon as I got the money together, I rushed out and bought all the hardware to play SAO. Stood in line and scored one of the ten thousand hard copies. Guess you could say I was pretty lucky. Although, you sir, were ten times as lucky getting to beta-test it.
Klein: Dude, only a thousand people got the chance!
Kirito: Yeah, I guess I was lucky.
Klein: Hey, mind if I ask how far you got in the beta?
Kirito: Two months and I couldn’t get further than floor eight. But now, I think I can get there within a month, easy.
Klein: Sounds to me like you’re really into this!
Kirito: Yeah, you could say that. During the beta test, SAO was the only thing on my mind, day and night. In this world, a single blade can take you anywhere you want to go. And even though it’s a virtual world, I feel more alive in here than I ever did in the real one. Anyway, you want to go do some more hunting?
Klein: You know it! But the thing is…I’m really hungry. I have to log out.
Kirito: Too bad the food you eat here only satisfies your hunger virtually.
Klein: Yeah, for reals! That’s why I ordered a pizza for 5: 30!
Kirito: Wow, you’re so prepared.
Klein: You know it! Besides, the game can wait until I get my pizza on.
Kirito: I guess…
Klein: Hey, I was going to go meet up with some people I know from another game. I don’t know what you’re up to after this, so, if, uh, you know, if you want, you can friend them and hang with us. No, it’s cool if you don’t want to, no pressure. I can always introduce you to them another time or something.
Kirito: Yeah, sorry. Thanks, anyway.
Klein: No way! I should be doing all the thanking! Hey, one of these days, I promise I’ll pay you back for all your help! Virtually, that is!
Kirito: Yeah, right.
Klein: Thanks for everything, man, really. Guess I’ll see you around, then.
Kirito: If there’s anything else you want to know, message me.
Klein: Oh, sweet! I’ll do that.
Klein: Huh? Where’d the log out button go?
Kirito: It should be there.
Klein: Nope, it’s not there.
Kirito: It should be at the bottom of the main menu. Huh?
Klein: See, not there.
Kirito: You’re right, it’s not.
Klein: Oh well. Today’s, what, the first day out of beta? It’s bound to be some bugs! I bet the server people are freaking out right now!
Kirito: You will, too.
Kirito: Look, it’s 5: 25.
Klein: Oh my god! My teriyaki mayo pizza and ginger ale!
Kirito: Why don’t you just contact the game master?
Klein: Yeah, I did that, but nothing’s happening! He’s not picking up! Do you know if there’s another way to log out of this thing?
Kirito: No. Whenever a player wants to log out of SAO, the only way they can do it is by going through the menu.
Klein: That can’t be right! There’s got to be some other way out. Return! Log out! Escape!
Kirito: Told you so. And there was no emergency log out in the manual, either.
Klein: No way, you’re kidding…I know, I’ll just rip the NerveGear off my head!
Kirito: Don’t bother. Once you’re hooked in, you can’t move your body in the real world anymore. The NerveGear intercepts all the commands you give from inside the game, using an interface built into the rig.
Klein: Seriously? So now we got to wait until someone gets around to fixing the bug?!
Kirito: That, or until someone in the real world comes along and takes the NerveGear off us. That’s it.
Klein: I live alone. You?
Kirito: I got a mom and a sister. And I’m pretty sure they’ll notice by dinner time and come…
Klein: Y-You got a sister? How old’s she? What’s she like?
Kirito: Huh? She’s into sports, and hates games. And she’s totally not your type, man. She wouldn’t date a gamer if he was the last type…
Klein: Who cares?! I want to… Oh, right. Getting kicks in the balls doesn’t hurt.
Kirito: Get serious. Don’t you think this is weird?
Klein: Yeah, totally. But it’s just a bug.
Kirito: This isn’t just a bug. If we can’t log out, it’s going to cause some serious problems for the game.
Klein: Yeah, I guess you’re right.
Kirito: I wonder if the developers even know what’s happening, 'cause they could just shut down the server and log everyone out. But why haven’t they made an announcement?
[—Center of the town—]
Girl: Do you know what’s going on?
Kirito: Someone forced a teleport.
Guy: What’s going on here?
Guy: Look, up there!
Kirito: Now what?
Klein: What the hell is that thing?
Guy: Is that a game master?
Guy: Why doesn’t he have a face? Is this an event?
Girl: I’m scared.
Guy: Don’t worry. It’s just part of the opening ceremony.
Kayaba: Attention, players. I welcome you to my world.
Kirito: What’s he mean by that?
Kayaba: My name is Akihiko Kayaba. And as of this moment, I am in control of this world.
Guy: Wow, that’s some entrance.
Kayaba: I’m sure most of you have already noticed an item missing from your main menus, the log out button. Let me assure you, this is not a defect in the game. I repeat, this is not a defect. This is how “Sword Art Online" was designed to be.
Klein: He’s kidding, right?
Kayaba: You cannot log yourselves out of SAO, and no one from the outside will be able to shut down or remove the “NerveGear" from your head. If anyone attempts to do so, a transmitter inside the NerveGear will discharge a microwave signal into your skull, destroying your brain and ending your life.
Girl: What are you talking about?
Guy: Oh, come on! That’s such BS(Bull Shit)! This game sucks!
Guy: Let’s get out of here. Hey, I can’t get out!
Klein: Are you listening to this crap? He’s got to be nuts, right? Right, Kirito?
Kirito: He’s not. The transmitter’s signals in the headgear work just like microwaves. If the safety’s disabled, it could fry your brain.
Klein: Couldn’t someone cut the power or…?
Kirito: That won’t work. The NerveGear’s got an internal battery.
Klein: This is crazy! It’s totally crazy!
Kayaba: Despite my warning, the families and friends of some of the players have attempted removing the NerveGear, an unfortunate decision, to say the least. As a result, the game now has two hundred thirteen less players than when it began. They’ve been deleted from both Aincrad and the real world.
Kirito: Two hundred thirteen?
Klein: No way… I don’t believe it!
Kayaba: As you can see, international media outlets have round-the-clock coverage of everything, including the deaths. At this point, it’s safe to assume the likelihood of a NerveGear being removed is minimal at best. I hope this brings you a little comfort as you try to clear the game. It’s important to remember the following: There is no longer any way to revive someone within the game. If your HP drops to zero, your avatar will be deleted from the system… forever. And the NerveGear will simultaneously destroy your brain. There is only one way for a player to escape now — you must clear the game. Right now, you’re gathered on Floor One, the lowest level of Aincrad. If you can get through the dungeon and defeat the boss, you may advance to the next floor. Defeat the boss on Floor 100, and you will clear the game.
Girl: What’s he talking about?
Guy: Why should we believe any of the crap you’re saying?
Klein: We can’t clear all 100 floors…That’s freaking impossible… even the beta testers never made it that high!
Kayaba: Last but not least, I’ve placed a little present in the item storage of every player. Please have a look.
Kirito: A mirror? Klein!
Klein: You okay, Kirito?
Kirito: Yeah. Wait… Who are you?
Klein: I’m me. Who are you?
Guy1: Son of a… You’re a guy?!
Guy2: You’re not seventeen?
Kirito: Wait a second.
Klein: Is that you, Kirito?
Kirito: Is that you, Klein?
Klein: But, how?
Kirito: The scan.There’s a high-density signal device inside the NerveGear rig. It can see what my face looks like, but how’s it know my height and body type?
Klein: When you first put the NerveGear on, it had to do this… calibration thing. It asked you to touch your body all over like this, remember?
Kirito: Oh, yeah, you’re right. That’s where it got our physical data!
Klein: But, this is…What’s the point?! Why would anyone do this to us?!
Kirito: I think he’s about to tell us.
Kayaba: Right now, you are probably wondering why.Why would Akihiko Kayaba, developer of Sword Art Online and NerveGear, do this? Ultimately, my goal was a simple one. The reason I created Sword Art Online was to control the fate of a world of my design.
Kayaba: As you can see, I have achieved my goal. This marks the end of the tutorial and the official launch of Sword Art Online. Players, I wish you the best of luck.
Kirito: It’s not a game. It’s real. Akihiko Kayaba created a virtual world. He designed the NerveGear rig. The man’s a genius! I’ve been a fan of his for a long time… so I know… everything he just said… is the truth! If I die in the game, I’ll die in real life!
Silica: My god… No!
Guy: No way! Not cool, dude!
Guy: Let me out… Let me out of here!
Guy: I can’t stay here. I have a meeting after this!
Guy: Stop pushing!
Guy: You have to let us go!
Guy: Wait! Seriously?
Kirito: Come on, Klein.
Kirito: Okay, listen. I’m heading out right now for the next village. I want you to come.
Kirito: If what he said is true, and I think it is, the only way we’re gonna survive in here is by making ourselves as strong as possible. In an MMORPG, the money you can earn… the EXP… once the game starts up, there’s only so much of that stuff to go around. Look, the fields around the Town of Beginnings are gonna be hunted clean soon. If we head to the next village now, we’ll have an easier time collecting cash and points. Don’t worry, I know all the paths and places we should avoid. Even if I’m level one, I can get there easy.
Klein: Whoa… Thanks, but… you know those friends of mine I was telling you about… we stood in line for a whole night to buy this, and… They’re back at the Plaza, somewhere… and I can’t leave 'em.
Kirito: If it were just Klein… but two more… or even one more…
Klein: Sorry. Can’t ask a guy I just met to risk his life for a bunch of strangers, can I? So, don’t worry about me. Get your ass to the next village. I’ll be fine! Last game I played, I ran a guild, so I’m more than prepared. And with all the stuff you taught me, I’ll get by, no sweat!
Kirito: Okay. If that’s what you want, I’ll get going. But if you’re in a jam, message me, okay?
Kirito: I’ll be seeing you, Klein. Take care.
Klein: Kirito! I… Hey… Kirito. Um, you look better like this. Way cooler than your avatar.
Kirito: Yeah, and I think that scruffy face fits you ten times better, too.
Kirito: I’ve got this! I can do this! This world can’t beat me!
Kirito: I will survive!