- "You have a gift, Haseo."
- — Ovan —
Welcome to "The World" is the first episode of .hack//Roots.
Haseo, after logging into The World R:2 for the first time, is PKed by Asta and IYOTEN. Fortunately for Haseo, Ovan, the Guildmaster of the Twilight Brigade, appears and revives him from the PK and dispatches the two PKers. As they leave the area Ovan warns Haseo of the PKers that now inhabit The World R:2. He also tells Haseo that there is something about him that only he possesses, and that he must become stronger.
Meanwhile, Shino, a member of the Twilight Brigade, and Tabby find a Beast Statue with a pair of rare Cat Claws that compliments Tabby's appearance and Tribal Grappler class. Shino is suddenly contacted by Ovan and heads to Arche Koeln Waterfall to speak with him about Tabby and his meeting with Haseo.
Noticing Ovan's movements Naobi, the guildmaster of TaN, calls Ender and Tawaraya in to gather information on Ovan and what his interest in Haseo is. Meanwhile Haseo meets Phyllo, a sage-like player with an interest in Haseo. After berating him for not reading the game's manual, Phyllo informs Haseo that Ovan had been trailing him from the moment he'd first logged in. Confused Haseo travels to a dungeon and encouters Ender, who had been waiting for him on Naobi's orders. She threatens him with PKing while she asks him about his relationship with Ovan and why he plays The World R:2, but eventually becomes bored with his weak nature and leaves.
Returning to the Root Town, Haseo overhears two PKers talking about their bounty and he quickly gates to a new area. As Haseo reaches the Beast Statue the same two PKers come up to him and attack him, playing a cruel game of cat and mouse as they knock him around the room. Right as they are about to finish him off, Shino appears. Realizing she is stronger than them, the two PKers flee. Approaching Haseo, she begs him to continue playing the game. He says that there is no point in playing "a game like this." Shino tells him that he does have a purpose, he is needed. Reaching down to help him to his feet she welcomes him to The World R:2.