|Non Canon: Some or all events and details given in this article, may be considered non-canon to the main story.|
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (ソードアート・オンライン －ホロウ・フラグメント－, Sōdoāto Onrain -Horō Furagumento-?) is a Role-Playing Game (RPG) developed by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) as the second game adaption on console for the series. It is set in an alternative Sword Art Online storyline, just like Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment.
The game was released on April 24, 2014 in Japan. An English version of the game was released in North America on August 19, 2014 and to Europe and Australia on August 20, 2014, exclusively on the PlayStation Store for PS Vita[† 2].
The game has sold approximately 450,000 copies worldwide, including 70,000 downloads in North America, making it the number one Vita download in that region for 2014. It retained this position on the North American Vita PSN sales chart for 2015. It was the tenth-best-selling Vita download on the EU PlayStation Store for 2014, and the fifth-best-selling Vita download in that same region for 2015.
A port of the game, Re: Hollow Fragment, was released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) on July 28, 2015 in North America, on August 4, 2015 in Europe, and on November 19, 2015 in Japan. The game is also playable on Playstation 5 through backwards compatibility, but does not feature a PS5 optimization patch.
Hollow Fragment is divided into two parts. The first is the "floor clearing" chapter, which is basically a remastered version of the previous game, Infinity Moment. The second is a new "Hollow Area" chapter that allows multiplayer and adds new items, mobs, and story content, including scenes and quests, which involve the «Laughing Coffin» guild and a new orange player character, Philia.
The Floor Clearing part's story would mostly be same as the story of the previous game, with the exception of Sinon, Leafa and Strea appearing in the game early during the process of the clearing of the 76th Floor, the appearance of Yuuki after clearing this part of story for the first time, and some new scenes for characters that are only in this game, but not the prior one.
- Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto)
- Asuna (Yuuki Asuna)
- Yui - In-Game Daughter of Kirito and Asuna (MHCP-001)
- Silica (Ayano Keiko)
- Leafa (Kirigaya Suguha)
- Lisbeth (Shinozaki Rika)
- Sinon (Asada Shino)
- Strea - Mental Health Counseling Program Trial Product 002 (MHCP-002)
- Philia (Takemiya Kotone) - New character. Pivot character of the Hollow Area arc.
- PoH - Laughing Coffin leader
- Klein (Tsuboi Ryoutarou) - Leader of the WWFM guild
- Agil (Andrew Gilbert Mills) - Has a shop on the 76th Floor's main settlement, Arc Sophia
- Alberich (Sugou Nobuyuki)
- Heathcliff (Kayaba Akihiko)
- Sachi - Cannot be brought outside of the Hollow Area due to her Hollow Data identity. Unlock requirements detailed further below.
- Kibaou - Unlocked after completing his optional event line, which starts upon interacting with him in a specific garden in the Bay Area. Cannot be brought outside of the Hollow Area due to his Hollow Data identity.
- Yuuki (Konno Yuuki) - Will only appear after winning in the optional event fight directly after defeating Heathcliff at Floor 100. The prompt triggering the event fight is unlocked by defeating Hollow Kirito. The event fight is a Half-Loss duel, meaning that the outcome is decided upon either side losing over 50% of their Hit Points.
- More than 100 other characters that can be interacted with.
- Main article: Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment#Setting
The Aincrad portion of the game is imported from the game's prequel, Infinity Moment, with several Hollow Fragment-specific changes. It encompasses the gameverse-original versions of Floors 76-100 of the floating castle, which had not been reached by the players in the main Sword Art Online universe. Each Floor contains a main town and a Labyrinth.
- Main article: Hollow Area
The Hollow Area is a Hollow Fragment-original location. It had been used by Sword Art Online developers and the Cardinal System to run tests on new elements, such as enemies and items, before introducing them to the game proper. The Hollow Area contains six primary regions.
- For various Sword Skills in the game, see Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment/Sword Skills
Hollow Fragment's gameplay system is similar to the Infinity Moment's gameplay system. However, a burst gauge, which allows continuous attacks as long as the player has enough burst energy left, was added to its battle system. There is also a risk meter next to it, which increases whenever enemies target or attack the player, or whenever the player attacks them. The higher the risk, the longer it will take for the player's burst gauge to be replenished. Risk can be lowered by pressing the burst attack button at the right moment, dodging at the right moment or switching. Also, the system allows each player to create their own non-player character to battle alongside with, as well as linking up with a maximum of 4 other players who are playing the game on the PlayStation Vita to play the game simultaneously, allowing players to form their own raid teams. An added region called the «Hollow Area» was designated for such multiplayer gameplay.
As for the game's battle system, while it is defaulted to the automatic attack system in previous game, players can also switch to a manual attack system upon their desire.
Hollow Area Bosses
- Introduction : Hollow Deadening Reaper
- 1st Area - Sea of Trees Area : The Shadow Phantasm
- 2nd Area - Floating Rock Area : Zordiath the Blade Dragon
- 3rd Area - Bay Area : Detonator the Kobold Lord
- 4th Area - Void Area (Interim boss) : PoH
- 4th Area - Void Area : The Hollowreaper
- 5th Area - Outer World Area : Amedister The Queen
- Final Area - Control Area : Occuldion the Eclipse
- Final Boss : «Hollow» Kirito
Original Sword Skill
An Original Sword Skill System is included in this game, but it completely differs from the Original Sword Skill system that appeared in ALfheim Online in the original series. The system in Hollow Fragment is more similar to Kirito's Outside System Skill, «Skill Connect». After unlocking the system, all Sword Skills the player uses will display a special purple light flash on Kirito's avatar that marks the time during which Skill Connect is possible. If any additional Sword Skills are inputted outside of the Skill Connect timing, any connect windows that have yet to occur will be cancelled and no more purple flashes will appear for the duration of the Sword Skill's animation.
Players need to first complete a task, called «Implementation of OSS that links multiple Sword Skills» (ソードスキル多重連携OSS仕様の実装, Sōdo Sukiru Tajū Renkei OSS Shiyō no Jissō?), in the "Implement Element" system that researches the possibility of implementing multiple attacks with Sword Skills. The mission can be completed by using Sword Skills 1,000 times during Hollow Missions, in order to allow players to create and record their own Sword Skills in the Administrative region. There are also sub-tasks that could be completed to increase the maximum number of consecutive Sword Skills possible from two to twelve, or reduce the SP cost of each linked Sword Skill by up to 30%.
- The player's skill proficiency and skill points: a certain value of proficiency points can be carried over. The proficiency portion of skill points can be inherited.
- The player's character's skill combination (learn/palette): will be reset, but some skill points would be given.
- The player's character's equipment and belongings: only those equipped will be transferred.
- Other players' AI info: inherited directly
- Heroines' AI info: inherited directly
- Gallery: inherited directly
- Remains Heart: the possessed portion will be inherited (max. nine)
- Bonus obtained from clearance of the previous game: if a user transfers from a cleared game save, an accessory called Infinity Moment will be given.
After the game was launched, updates have been released every week in terms of free DLCs that provide extra costumes/weapons and similar items, with details listed on the official site in Japanese.
A free major update, named as Shining Successor (皇輝の継承者?) (v. 1.05), has been released by July 10, 2014 for the Japanese version. The update includes the introduction of the Grand Quest and Esoteric Skills that it unlocks, the ability to partner with Argo and date with Sachi, the introduction of new volcano and snowy mountain areas, as well as the garden area and harder bosses, the availability of legendary weapons, and a level cap raise to level 250. The update will also include usability and game balance adjustments, increase of treasure, hollow missions, and the payback of doing missions. Furthermore, more than 120 new pieces of equipment will be released, more information will be provided by Argo, some areas will be expanded, the OSS system will be improved, the ability to show the difference of daytime/nighttime will be available, the addition of CG scenes, the addition of warp point for some floors in the Hidden Area of the Hollow Area, and so on. These would add ~30 hours playtime to the game. The update would be available for the Asian version by July or August, and the Western version as a free DLC starting September 23.
The game opened with Kirito meeting Philia in the Hollow Area and engaging her in battle. The battle was interrupted by the appearance of the Hollow Deadening Reaper. The two players decided to halt their conflict in order to defeat the boss together.
This section includes side stories that are new to the game and not found in the previous game, Infinity Moment. See the story for Infinity Moment for the plot that is common between the two games.
In the Hollow Area, Kirito encountered a hollow clone of Sachi. After Kirito met her at the location several times, Sachi told Kirito that she must fight and thus Kirito and Sachi grouped up. Then, according to Sachi's instruction, they went to a location within the Great Void which looked very similar to the place where Sachi died. Despite feeling very afraid, as Kirito held her hand to calm her down, Sachi still decided to carry on. If the player clears the designated monsters, Sachi will ask Kirito if she had fought well and claim that she was no longer afraid. She then shared her gratitude, which the real Sachi was unable to share with Kirito when she was alive, and hope that Kirito could live on without being hindered by the trauma. After these events, the player can partner with Sachi in that location within Hollow Area.
|This Section is missing some information.|
You can help by adopting it and adding the missing information.
|This Section is open for adoption.|
Just like its predecessor Infinity Moment, Hollow Fragment features multiple endings for the floor-clearing part. In addition to the original endings from Infinity Moment, the game also features an extra ending for Philia if her side story is completed. Additionally, when the player finishes the floor-clearing story in Hollow Fragment for the first time, they are able to engage in a duel against Yuuki after the 100th Floor Boss fight on subsequent playthroughs. The game also adds an ending for Strea in the Re:Hollow Fragment port, provided the player has completed a special quest in the Hollow Area.
After Heathcliff's defeat, Kirito and Philia discussed the challenges they might encounter by returning to the real world, eventually arriving to the conclusion that they could handle any of them after everything they had experienced in Sword Art Online. Upon being thanked by Kirito for her contributions to clearing the game, Philia in turn expressed her gratitude to him for teaching her to trust others, as well as for giving her the strength and courage to stand by his side. Before being logged out, the two of them shared their real life names, promising to find each other in the real world.
After their return to reality, Kazuto visited Kotone in her home. While drinking tea, Kotone reminisced about the tree they had raised together in SAO, which she considered a symbol of the forgiveness Kazuto had shown her, as well as a symbol of her own feelings for him. After thanking him again for saving her, she kissed him on the cheek as a sign of her gratitude and their closeness to each other.
After Heathcliff's defeat, Strea approached Kirito and Yui to bid them farewell, since she could not accompany them to the real world. As the three of them began crying over the prospect of leaving her behind, Strea's body suddenly started glowing, which prompted her to check her status window. To her surprise, she discovered a new option to convert herself into an object like Yui. Overjoyed at the possibility of being reunited with her friends again someday, she urged Kirito to take her with him out of the game.
Sometime after their return to reality, Strea joined Kirito, Asuna, and Yui in playing ALfheim Online. Having dispatched some monsters, she engaged in a good-natured squabble with Yui over being reckless in battle. After apologizing to each other, the pair continued their adventure with Kirito and Asuna in Alfheim.
- Main article: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment/Trophy List
A Sword Art Online -Hollow Fragment- Soundtrack is bundled with the game's limited edition.
- Compared to Infinity Moment:
- In Infinity Moment, Leafa and Sinon appeared after the clearance of the 76th Floor boss, and Strea appeared after the 79th Floor was reached, in this game Leafa, Sinon and Strea appeared soon after the clearing group reached the 76th Floor, before there was any progress on further clearing. Their appearance have also been simplified.
- Strea's changes happened later on Hollow Fragment compared to original Infinity Moment.
- The floor clearing part also include some new CG and/or plot for Philia, Sachi, Argo, PoH and Yuuki (after the end of first clearance and for re-clearance afterward) that is not found in Infinity Moment
- Addition of the Hollow Area region.
- Addition of Philia's ending.
- Compared to the original SAO series:
- The duel between Heathcliff and Kirito, after the 75th Floor boss fight, was altered.
- Hollow Fragment began in December 2024, while, in original series, the game was cleared in early November 2024.
- Kayaba Akihiko committed suicide roughly at the time when the 75th Floor was cleared, instead of when the whole game was cleared.
- The ALfheim Online incident did not take place in this game and thus the game did lead to negative consequences on the VRMMO game industry.
- In the game, Asuna returned to the real world at the same time as the others and thus there was no one month agreement made by Keiko (Silica) and Rika (Lisbeth).
- The management of RECT, as well as RECT Progress, were not changed, aside from those who supported Sugou Nobuyuki being dismissed from the company.
- No publication of The Seed was observed and thus Gun Gale Online and Project Alicization might not have the base to start on.
- In Yui's ending, Kirito and Asuna were invited by Heathcliff to join ALfheim Online, with their SAO human-look avatars and their items from SAO conserved. Additionally, Yui was also restored in the form of a fairy in the game.
- Pina was transferred into Silica's NerveGear storage in Silica's ending.
- Kirito knew Yuuki if the player successfully beat Yuuki.
- The party held after SAO game was cleared also included Shino and Kotone (Philia) (when the Hollow Area part is cleared) in it.
- While it was not clearly stated, Shino's further schooling would most likely be affected.
- In the North American release, the game's events start on December 2021, as opposed to 2024 when «The Skull Reaper» was actually defeated.
- The North American/European release, as well as the English subtitled version of Asian release, of the game features numerous spelling and grammar issues that while the North American edition corrected some of them, there are still considerable amount of these issue exists in the North American/European edition.
- The game is playable on Playstation 5 through backwards compatibility, but does not feature a PS5 optimization patch.
- Simply put, the US/Eu/Aus Vita releases will be digital download only.
- "For Ages 15 and up"
- Suitable for ages 12 and older
- Japanese Official site
- English (EU) Official site
- Weekly News update (Sword Art Today) (Not the SAO: IM version) (Japanese)
- , "Sword Art Online: Lost Song is developed by Artdink - Gematsu", Gematsu
- USA PlayStation Store[Clarification needed]
- EU PlayStation Store[Clarification needed]
- Hollow Fragment's official homepage
- http://www.siliconera.com/2014/07/02/tales-hearts-r-sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-dated-america/[Clarification needed]
- Bandai Namco EU announcing the release of Hollow Fragment
- Dengeki Online interview with Kawai Yasukazu, via Gematsu
- JP PlayStation Store[Clarification needed]
- A Japanese SAO HF wiki that describes the implement element
|Console Games Navigation Bar|