The Town of Beginnings (はじまりの街, Hajimari no Machi?) is the main settlement on the 1st floor of «Aincrad», the beginning point of all players and also the largest town in Aincrad. It was also where a majority of the non-players in «Sword Art Online» (SAO) resided after the official launch of the game, before the total population within the city decreased to roughly under 2000 players toward the end of Sword Art Online.
The Town of Beginnings takes up twenty percent of the 1st Floor's surface, large enough to hold a Tokyo district, thus it is capable of housing over five thousand people. It has large stone paved roads, surrounded by street-lights.
There is a central circular plaza in the city. The north side of the plaza leads to the Black Iron Palace, a large black palace that is the biggest structure within the city and it is the first building seen in the game by new players and the place where the players gathered themselves when the game started.
- Black Iron Palace - Home Base of the Aincrad Liberation Force
- Monument of Life (Official SAO)
- Room of Resurrection (SAO Closed Beta)
- Monument of Swordsmen (ALO)
- Black Iron Castle Dungeon
The Town of Beginnings was first seen when Kirito and all other players entered the game at 1:00 P.M. on November 6, 2022. Just after 5:30 P.M. that same day, Kayaba Akihiko force teleported all players, including Kirito and his new friend Klein, back to the city and announced that SAO had become a mortal game. When Kayaba finished his tutorial before 6:00 P.M., Kirito chose to leave the place to gain a head start on leveling, advancing towards Horunka Village. He tried to offer Klein to come with him for more efficient leveling, but Klein refused, as some of his friends were still in the plaza. He chose to go back, after wishing Kirito good luck.
On April 22, 2024, Kirito, Asuna and Agil came to the Town of Beginnings to visit the Monument of Life to check whether Grimlock was alive before searching for him. They also confirmed that a player called Kains really did die that same day due to continuous piercing damage over time (DoT), but this was later revealed to be another player with no ties to the murder mystery.
On October 31, 2024, Kirito, Asuna, and Yui traveled to the Town of Beginnings to try to find someone Yui knew. Following a tip from a player they encountered in the streets, the three visited a church serving as an orphanage for child players, but were unable to learn anything about Yui's acquaintances. Not long afterwards, Asuna and Kirito saved several of the orphanage's residents that had been captured by corrupt members of the Aincrad Liberation Force (The Army).
- Although the city has a lot of facilities essential for adventuring with generally low prices and all sorts of inns, thus in terms of efficiency, it is the best town to be used as a home base, none of the higher level players have stayed in this city till the end. One of the reasons for this is the oppression from «The Army», but the main reason is that while standing at the central plaza, most people recall the events of the first day in the SAO official service.
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