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In the near future there will be an invention called the NerveGear. This is a type of virtual reality (VR) helmet that stimulates all your senses and lets you control an avatar via your mind. This leads to programmers developing the VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game).
Season 1: Aincrad
Sword Art Online, or SAO as it is known, was a much-anticipated fantasy game utilizing the NerveGear. On it’s release day 10,000 people signed on, only to be greeted by a presentation from the creator. He says that there is no way out of the game unless they defeat all 100 levels of the tower Aincrad. There is not way to sign out of the game and if your forcibly disconnected from the outside, you will die in real life. Also, if you die in game, you die in real life. All 10,000 people were trapped in the game until someone defeated it. After this announcement, all the avatars were transformed to resemble what you really looked like in real life. Some pretty girl avatars became fat middle-aged men. While some older people became children. There was no hiding the real you in this game.
Some families, worried about their children or spouses tried to disconnect them from the game, only to end up unintentionally killing them. Once the word had gotten around in the real world about these deaths, none of the remaining players were forcibly disconnected.
Kirito was a beta tester for the game before release. As such he has a few insights into the game that others do not have. He had no idea he would become trapped when the game released and is one of the people stuck in the game. He sets out to defeat all 100 levels on his own. Along the way he befriends Asuna, a higher-level girl and they end up teaming up to defeat the tower together as well as fall in love and get married over the 2 years they were trapped in the game. During the duos adventures they make many friends that, in the end, assist with them figuring out what is really going on and freeing almost everyone from the game. I say almost everyone, but that is a story for the second season.
Season 2: Sword Art Online II
Kirito discovers that Asuna was one of 300 people that were not released from the SAO when he defeated the boss. He soon finds out that someone that resembles Asuna has been seen in another VRMMORPG called Alfheim Online. This word is different from SAO in that everyone has wings and can use magic. Upon logging in to investigate he discovers that some of his skills from SAO have transferred over to this game, as well as the AI he discovered in SAO that became his and Asuna’s in-game daughter. Kirito gathers the friends he made in SAO that survived and go in search of Asuna. He finds her and discovers the reason her and the others are still trapped in the game and eventually frees them all.
Season 3: Gun Gale Online
Bored with the same old games, Kirito and Asuna try another newer game. This one with guns called Gun Gale online. By this time Kirito discovers that his AI daughter can freely go from game to game within the VR universe. You would think after the first 2 seasons they would stay away from these VRMMORPG’s, but I guess they like to solve problems. The find out about this game because the discover that someone has a gun in the game that when you are shot by it, you die in real life. Naturally when people find out about this some do not play. Alas there are way more people that find this interesting and continue to play just to see what happens. Kirito and Asuna must solve the mystery of the Death Gun.
The series has had 3 seasons with 45 episodes, 1 movie and 11 video games. There is 1 spin-off titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online.