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- "Welcome, to "The World"."
- — Ovan —
.hack//G.U. Vol.1//Rebirth (.hack//G.U. Vol.1 再誕) is the first of the three part video game series that launches .hack Conglomerate. The main theme to this game was "Gentle Hands" (やさしい両手) by Tomoyo Mitani (the track is titled "Kind Hands" as a background music in the US version of the game).
In Japan, Rebirth is packaged with a Terminal Disc containing chapters of The End of The World, which are unlocked upon acquisition of each new volume in the series. Preorders of the game also included the .hackers Premium DVD, a special bonus DVD featuring a prototype trailer for G.U., the First Login audio drama, and music videos to the four anime series.
In the US, the special edition of Rebirth contains the Terminal Disc and a Haseo action figure. Normal copies of the game come with just the game disc itself.
In Japan, if the player has a saved data from one of the .hack//Games, they receive an email from BlackRose (originally sent to Kite). If the player has a saved data from .hack//frägment, they receive an email from Hokuto (originally sent to Rena, who was mistranslated as 'Lena' in the e-mail).
In North America, if the player has a saved data from either .hack//Infection, .hack//Mutation, or .hack//Outbreak, they will receive the BlackRose email. If the player has a saved data from .hack//Quarantine, they will receive the emails from Hokuto and BlackRose. The e-mail BlackRose gives you will be the same one that she gave Kite at the end of .hack//Quarantine.
Due to a fire at the CC Corporation building, the MMORPG The World was shut down. CC Corp. was able to salvage some of the data and merge it with another project, forging a new version of the game called The World R:2, the setting in which the .hack//G.U. series takes place. Many players of the original game "The World" quit the game after learning that their old character data had been destroyed. Major guilds became a large part of the game and most players took sides; this led to the game being overrun with Player Killers.
The game follows Haseo, an Adept Rogue. During his first adventure in The World he was lured into a trap by PKers Asta and IYOTEN. Fortunately, he was rescued by a mysterious player named Ovan. Haseo went on to join Ovan's Guild Twilight Brigade, and in this Guild he met a player named Shino.
Eight months after he had joined the game, Haseo had developed an intimidating name as a powerful PKKer, known as "The Terror of Death". Hot on the trail of a PKer known as Tri-Edge he scoured the system, killing PKer after PKer in an attempt to gather clues on Tri-Edge and bring him out of hiding. His actions drew the attention of several powerful people, Bordeaux of the Guild Kestrel, who had been PKed by Haseo in the past, and Sakaki of Moon Tree, who opposed both PKing and PKKing.
Sakaki confronted Haseo in Mac Anu, introducing his subordinate Atoli, who shocked Haseo briefly, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Shino. He demanded to know why Haseo was so obsessed with bringing death and chaos to The World, but Haseo merely shrugged him off. Suddenly Haseo received a message from Ovan, who had been missing for over six months. Leaving Sakaki and Atoli behind he traveled to the Arche Koeln Waterfall to meet with Ovan.
Finally being able to meet with Ovan, Haseo grew angry. He demanded to know where Ovan had been the past six months. While he'd been gone not only had the Twilight Brigade disbanded, but Shino had fallen into a coma after being PKed by Tri-Edge. Evading Haseo's questions Ovan informed him that Tri-Edge would soon return to the place Shino had been killed, the Hulle Granz Cathedral. He promised to meet Haseo there, so they could face Tri-Edge together. With Tri-Edge within his grasp Haseo immediately traveled to the cathedral, located at Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground. There he encountered Tri-Edge, but was defeated when Tri-Edge attacked him using his Twilight Bracelet.
After rebooting his system in the real world, Haseo realized that his entire operating system had reformatted itself. Everything, including his old e-mails from Shino had been lost. Logging into The World, Haseo found that his character had been reformatted as well, and returned to level one with none of his job extensions. Catching a glimpse of Ovan in the crowd, Haseo pursued him through Mac Anu, but nearly ran into Bordeaux in his pursuit. Watching, and hiding, from a safe distance, Haseo overheard her making plans to get revenge on him for his PKKing.
Heading back through the city Haseo ran into Gaspard and Silabus, members of a Guild designed to help newbies to The World, entitled Canard. Mistaking him for a newbie, they dragged a reluctant Haseo along on an adventure with them. However, at the bottom of the dungeon they were encountered by Bordeaux, who had been tracking them. Laughing about how the "Terror of Death" had been reduced to nothing more than a newbie, she prepared to PK him, causing a strange power to begin welling up inside Haseo, which had consequently been released by his being Data Drained. Suddenly a strange woman named Pi appeared, and managed to drive off Bordeaux. She offered her help to Haseo, but he refused, comically saying he didn't want the help of an "old hag". Angered, Pi left, but not before warning Haseo that he had a dangerous power hidden inside his character.
Returning to town, Haseo bumped into Atoli, who said she was making it her personal mission to explain Moon Tree's teachings to him. She gave Haseo her member address. Later, Atoli invited Haseo to a field alone. It was a straightforward area, but after opening the Beast Statue treasure, Atoli's sensitive hearing picked up the resonance of a strange noise, which closely resembled the sound from a tuning fork. She and Haseo followed it, and was led to one of Tri-Edge's Signs. They activated it and were transported to the Lost Ground of Indieglut Lugh. There, they witnessed a mysterious player with a cat on his shoulder humming, and cradling a bunch of mysterious, floating, black dots. After noticing Haseo and Atoli watching him, he left. Atoli attempted to catch up to him, but an Anna-type AIDA appeared and attacked. Before it could do any permanent harm, it was stopped by Kuhn, who defeated the AIDA using his Avatar, Magus. After leaving the field, Kuhn gives Haseo the guild key to Raven. There Haseo met Yata, who told Haseo about a power his character holds, and recruited Haseo as a member of the guild to help the AIDA investigation in exchange for providing Haseo with information on Tri-Edge.
Back in the town, Silabus and Gaspard made Haseo run their guild shop. While selling items Haseo meets "Bo", the younger brother half of the character called Sakubo. Haseo quickly befriended him by giving him a discount on an item. Kuhn, in an e-mail, invited Haseo to go to an area to try and awaken his Avatar in preparation for combating AIDA. Haseo went along with him and Pi to the field but was ultimately unable to summon his Avatar. Haseo returned to town to find out that Silabus and Gaspard want Haseo to be the guild master of Canard, because, they tell him, he has good leadership qualities. To this Haseo grudgingly accepted.
After CC Corp gave news that the Omega Server Root Town, Lumina Cloth, was restored for the tournament, Haseo, along with Silabus and Gaspard, watched an arena battle of the Title Match for the Demon Palace Emperor. Here Haseo discovered that the current Emperor, Endrance, was the same man whom he encountered with Atoli in the Lost Ground. He also found out that Endrance has an Avatar himself, and used it against the enemy players. Angry, Haseo stormed out to confront him and met "Saku", the older sister of Bo, a huge fan of Endrance.
Endrance commented that even though Haseo can see his Avatar, he really has no power. Haseo retorted that he will be the one who will defeat him in the arena. Though Silabus agreed to help Haseo in that endeavor, he suggested that they should get themselves a third party member, preferably a cleric, as Gaspard doesn't like arena battles.
Haseo reluctantly decided to convince Atoli, who fits in that description, when he received an invitation from her to visit another favorite area of hers with just the two of them. Though he attempts to try to get along with her, Atoli's view on how The World should be played conflicted with his view and made him angry at her. He then told her to leave and not show her face to him.
Haseo returns to his guild with the bad news. To get a healer as a party member, Silabus posted a message on The World's forum. It was replied to by someone named "Sakura". It told Haseo to go to an area alone to meet the character. When Haseo went, he found it was a trap, with Bordeaux and her cronies waiting to PK him. He is saved by Moon Tree members Sakaki and Matsu, with Atoli leading the way. After everyone leaves, Atoli tells Haseo that she will be his third party member for the arena. Then, Haseo, Atoli, and Silabus start participating in the arena.
After their first arena victory, Haseo returns to the Hulle Granz Cathedral because of someone looking for Tri-Edge. This person is Piros the 3rd, who pledges to be Haseo's ally and friend in their pursuit of Tri-Edge.
Halfway through arena battles in which Haseo is trying to increase his arena ranking, Haseo is confronted by the mysterious Antares, who challenges Haseo to complete a dungeon. Haseo goes, only to find out that the dungeon is unnatural, involving platform-like rooms with multiple warp points. The goal was to make it to the Beast Statue. Along the way, Haseo receives many flash mails from Antares, pointing him in the right direction. Eventually, he reaches the end, and returns to town, annoyed.
During his first tournament match, Haseo's avatar, Skeith, awakens, meaning it "found" him. Pi tells him that he has to learn that using the avatar against other PCs is dangerous and that he has to learn how. Pi takes Haseo to a map where she shows him how to use the avatar in battle. After finding numerous AIDA and battling them, Pi is attacked by AIDA herself. Haseo battles Pi's infected avatar, Tarvos, and leaves the dungeon.
Advancing further in the tournament, Piros the 3rd tells Haseo that he has discovered an area with a Tri-Edge sign. Piros the 3rd and Haseo then meet at Δ Hidden Forbidden Bulwark. To Haseo's surprise, Yata and Ovan there as well. In their conversation, Ovan tells Yata that the wall hides something, and Yata says he thinks it's just decoration. Haseo tells Piros the 3rd that there is no point staying.
In the final round of the Demon Palace tournament, Haseo faces off against Kuhn, Pi and Antares. Since they both have the same goal, Haseo asks why they are getting in the way. Eventually, Haseo gets too angry and summons Skeith against Kuhn. Kuhn responds by summoning Magus. Haseo battles Kuhn in an avatar battle, but he gets out of control. Skeith relentlessly brutalizes Magus, without the influence of Haseo. This forces Kuhn to end the battle by allowing Skeith to data drain a propagated copy of his avatar, as per Magus's special ability.
The title match pits Haseo and co. against Endrance, who achieved his rank by battling with his avatar, Macha. As the fight goes on, Endrance decides that he can't win without summoning his avatar. Once Haseo finishes the fight with Macha, He learns that Endrances "cat" was an AIDA.
To coronate the arena emperor, a special event is held in the Hy Brasail, the Isle of Kings. During the celebration following the ceremony, Atoli is approached by Ovan, and he tells her about Haseo's relationship with Shino, as well as the fact that Atoli and Shino use the same character design. She yells at Haseo, telling him of all she's done to gain his approval, but that it was for nothing as she feels now that all Haseo sees when he looks at her is Shino, and nothing she herselfs does will matter. She then leaves the party by herself. Later on, Haseo gets an urgent message from Yata ordering him to report to the Serpent of Lore. Yata reveals to Haseo that Atoli is an Epitaph user. Yata then added that Atoli wandered off to Morrigu Barrow Wall, alone, and activated Tri-Edge's sign.
Haseo uses the sign to warp to a strange white room filled with lockers where he battles "Tri-Edge", who is actually Azure Kite. Upon defeating Azure Kite as Haseo's PC, it summons an avatar-like creature called Azure Flame God, which serves effectively as the final boss of Vol.1//Rebirth. Haseo manages to defeat and Data Drain Azure Kite. Azure Kite fractures and explodes. When Haseo seems to be making amends with Atoli, the lockers open. A new AIDA is shown and makes a sound that hypnotizes Atoli toward it. Haseo breaks Atoli out of the trance, but the hands of AIDA emerge and infect her. They leave Atoli's PC body and escape back to the lockers, which shut tight. Atoli falls down with Haseo running toward her. The screen turns black, then cracks. Haseo then screams Atoli's name.
Characters Introduced in this Volume
- Piros the 3rd
- The Japanese company Hori created a Rebirth style memory card.