- This article is about Fragment, the prototype of The World. If you are looking for the online PS2 game, please see .hack//frägment.
Fragment is the beta version of The World. Only 1024 players were selected to test it and all were offered a free upgrade to The World.
Fragment was programmed and designed by Harald Hoerwick, who based it off of the epic poem Epitaph of Twilight by Emma Wielant. After finishing the game, which he did completely on his own, he sold it to CC Corporation for practically nothing. CC Corp beta tested the game using a mixture of their own employees and testers brought in from outside the company. Though the test was considered a success, the beta was ended early for unknown reasons and the game was upgraded to the retail version The World. It is said that some of the players died from the game, and that the early end to the test was to cover this up. However there is only one confirmed case of a test player dying, and it appeared to be a suicide.
Unknown to all but a few programmers, Harald had hidden a mysterious Black Box inside of Fragment. This program was actually a womb for a new breed of Artificial Intelligence, and was designed to create an "Ultimate A.I." Not knowing what it was, CC Corp had the black box uploaded into The World, where it would eventually cause the Morganna Incident.
Differences between Fragment and The World
- Instead of using a three-word keyword system, it used a free-input system where any words could be typed in.
- The Hulle Granz Cathedral was surrounded by a lake, instead of by mists. Rumors speak of a strange Upside Down Man who appeared inside the Cathedral.
Of the 1024 test players, the following are confirmed accounts:
Note: Helba is also confirmed in Analysis to have been active in Fragment, though whether or not she had a normal account is unknown.