.hack//Mutation (Japanese: .hack//
悪性変異 Vol.2 [Malignant Mutation – Vol.2])
is the second part in a series of four PlayStation 2 video games
based within the .hack
universe. The game simulates an MMORPG
entitled The World
and accomplishes this without requiring the player to ever actually venture online. The game is part of a serial storyline, with each of the four games slowly released over the course of a little over a year. .hack//Mutation
's storyline, preceded by .hack//Infection
, is followed by .hack//Outbreak
Each installment of the game is accompanied by a DVD containing an episode of the .hack//Liminality OVA series. The four episodes happen in the real world, as opposed to the fictional MMORPG, The World, in which the game takes place entirely in. The events of Liminality take place alongside those of the games.
The games themselves feature a linear storyline that concludes in each installment with the player receiving a Data Flag. Once the Data Flag has been received, the file may be converted to the next game, allowing a player to start each additional chapter with any items and level ups they may have had on their original file. However, players may still start the game without having played any of the previous installments in the series. This leads to later games being progressively difficult, as each game was designed with the previous ones in mind.
At startup, players find themselves facing a mock desktop, complete with icons reading "The World", "Mailer", "News", "Accessory", "Audio", and "Data". The last allows the player to save their game data, while Accessory and Audio allow players to customize their desktop – changing the wallpaper, what background music is playing, or watch cinematics from the game. While these choices are all limited early on in the game, performing various tasks will allow players to unlock more of these special features. News opens up a browser, displaying various news information going on in the outside world that the game is set in. Mailer takes players to their e-mail inbox, where various characters they encounter through the course of the game will write to them – sometimes with simply humorous greetings and other times with tips and hints that steer the story towards its next plot point. It is the last icon, located at the top of the desktop, that sends the player off and running into the game.
Marlo has a rotten personality on the surface. He has a hard time showing gratitude, and rarely says anything positive. He was typically a loner until he joined up with Kite. He seems to like Kite due to Kite tolerating his personality. His class is Blade master.Moonstone
Moonstone is the strong silent type to an extreme degree. Usually, Moonstone speaks in one word phrases. When he does speak in a complete sentence, it'll be short. He is obsessed with increasing the strength of his character, and has a great deal of respect for other strong characters. However, Moonstone does not force anything he desires onto other characters. Always leaving them the option of not particapating in his quest for strength. Moonstone's character class is a twin blade. He is also the first character to send you his address though e-mail.Nuke Usagimaru
Nuke is the host of a battle commentary show where he tries to tackle a powerful monster solo, providing humorous commentary and physical comedy while others watch. Though his shows are often failures, Nuke takes it in stride and is always using his past experiences to improve on future shows. Even in normal situations, Nuke acts in a flashy way; it seems to be an innate part of his personality. His closest friends in the game are Kite, who Nuke sees as the ultimate straight man and his ideal partner, and Rachel, who acts as his editor via e-mail. Nuke's character class is a Long Arm and his dress is something like that of a clown.Rachel
Rachel is greedy and money-obsessed. She's always cooking up a new idea for making money in The World. If there was an option to make a merchant character, that's what Rachel would have been. She drags Kite into helping her with whatever plan she has currently at work, even though her plans usually fail for various reasons. Despite her obsession with money, Rachel doesn't accept anything that is lown in quality. Her character class is a Blademaster.Wiseman
Wiseman is always calm and collective with an excellent perspective on business. He is greedy like Rachel, but shows it indirectly. He lets on a personality that brings people to think that he is always keeping something from them.
English language version
Japanese language version