.hack//Roots is the prequel to the second group of three PS2 G.U. games (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption). Roots is the story of Haseo, a black adept rogue who holds a secret not even he knows about. Set in The World:R2, it takes place around 10 years after Sign.
Again, strange things are happening and we search with the characters for answers. Haseo is recruited by Ovan and the Twilight Brigade guild, and also by the shady TAN guild. Other characters are introduced including Ovan, Shino, Phyllo, Kuhn, Tawalaya, Tabby, SakiSaka, Ender, Yata, Pi, and Tri Edge; it’s difficult to tell who is good and who is evil. The Twilight Brigade is searching for the Key of the Twilight. Does it exist? What is it? Again we are faced with mysteries, but this time, something darker is going on. What is causing player characters in the real world to fall into a coma, and become Lost Ones? Why is it happening? Who is responsible? Is there any way to save the Lost Ones? Why is there such an interest in Haseo? And what is with Ovan’s left arm, with its huge cylindrical container sealed with a massive lock?
As Haseo and his guildmates search for the Key of the Twilight, Shino is attacked by a mysterious PK (player killer) and becomes a Lost One. Haseo becomes obsessed with finding the one responsible, and finding a way to save Shino. Crazy and half mad, Haseo searches desperately, earns the nickname The Terror of Death, and trains to become stronger. While I personally find the Tabby-focused episodes a bit boring, she serves as a light counterweight to Haseo’s intense and brooding personality.
Roots brings you even deeper into The World of .hack. Everything we’ve learned about the creation of The World becomes the building blocks – The World is evolving. The mystery deepens and by the end of Roots we are introduced to the G.U. Project, Epitaph Users, Phases, Avatars, and AIDA. The story is now in full swing, leading into the G.U. video games.
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Some great music from Roots: