Data Hacker: Initiation sets the stage for the Datastream saga; an epic series of tales revolving around the possibility of virtual realms existing beyond our current reach. Once the bridge is crafted, everything will change.
User reviews: Positive (23 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 21, 2014
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Recent updates View all (7)

January 28

Free DLC!

Free DLC
As well as fixing a few minor (mostly graphical bugs), we've added a whole new dungeon!

The Grindhouse is a series of rooms in which one can acquire cards by defeating enemies. Using these cards to unlock doors determines what will await you in the next room!

You can also reset doors as you see fit, to change things around (though each room can only be exploited as a treasure-chest type once).

This dungeon is pretty much intended as 'endgame' content, and is therefore relatively tough to work through.

Those of you wishing to acquire the 'Voidwalker' recruit can also do so by hacking the boss monster that can be found in this area, negating the need to hack a player character (and therefore breaking your 'good' streak. In addition to this, to negate the need to run several NG+ runs, the boss has a chance of dropping the elusive 'Growth Ribbon', which is utilised in recruit maturing.

To access this new dungeon, you need to speak to the enigmatic bald man at the Summit.

Hope you like this new addition to the game. I should also note that I intend to integrate this dungeon into Corruption too ^.^

Additional Patch Notes:
  • Fixed a bug regarding a player graphic change when getting disqualified from the Dododrome
  • Fixed a significant amount of minor graphical, functional and grammatical errors throughout the game
  • Added the Grindhouse dungeon
  • Ended the January Event
  • Stopped players from being able to access the 'old' HC after Masamae's story arc
  • Hopefully fixed the bug that prevented Odd Books from carrying over!
  • Fixed a bug with some player being unable to rent their house out
  • Players can now CHOOSE their desired item when completing the tower
  • Pet summon items will now carry into NG+

0 comments Read more

January 8

Happy New Year!

Hi folks! It's 2015 already and I'm bringing you a basket of gifts!

First of all, upon logging in you'll automatically receive a bounty of Credits, with the amount depending on your current level.

Second, if you head into HC-2 you'll now notice that a door has appeared without Jay's input. It was no accident, this door, and should you find your way inside (you will need to find the key), you will be rewarded with a stock of Data Cores.

Also implemented with this new update:
- Several minor bug fixes and balance tweaks
- Doubled the amount of rent received from renting out your house
- Removed physical resistances from several mobs
- Increases drop rate of Trioarch cards and other rare items
- Added some Trioarch treasure chests to Strife and Leonhart
- Increased Credit rewards from Faballa questlines

Well, that's everything for now. Rest assured, we're going to keep working on Initiation, Corruption and the upcoming Reboot for a long, long time.

Have a great new year, Hackers.

5 comments Read more


“Definitely a very pleasant surprise ! rich, intelligent and terribly addictive! Do not hesitate, for sure a great game, thanks for this nice stuff :)”
10 – Desura - Danteros

“Has a great story concept and it's well written.”
9 – Desura - Jamier

“All in all, I really have had a blast playing this and I'm eagerly awaiting the followups”
9 – Desura - Sabin1981

About This Game

The beginning of the Datastream saga...

Set some years in the future, following a global economic and social crash, Data Hacker Initiation follows Jay; a retired hacker in search of vengeance. Jay is a prolific player of Online World: the escapist's dream game in a backwards-future, until an ironic case of mistaken identity, whereupon he is banished from the refuge that he so loved.

Enraged, Jay seeks to re-enter the game with a new agenda: wreak havoc for the administrators and key-holders of Online World. Little does he know; he is about to enter upon something great, and terrible- a twist that nobody saw coming.

Just what lies behind Online World?

What is its true purpose?

Initiation features-
An original, intricately crafted narrative,
Monster and player hacking!
Around 25 hours of core gameplay AND new game+
Trioarch, the addictive featured trading-card game!
Over 50 class archetypes, with over 180 unique skills,
Real choice. Will you fight for the players of Online World, or will you seek power only for yourself?
Load your progress in Corruption...

Data Hacker: Initiation sets the stage for the Datastream saga; an epic series of tales revolving around the possibility of virtual realms existing beyond our current reach. Once the bridge is crafted, everything will change.

Don't forget to vote for the sequel to Initiation on Greenlight!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 2.0 GHz equivalent or faster
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Card capable of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher desktop resolution
    • Hard Drive: 320 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Basic Sound Card
Helpful customer reviews
15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
71.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
I have very mixed feelings about this game, but I think it’s better than a lot of the RPG Maker junk cluttering Steam, though it’s also not as good as a large number of freely available RPG Maker games out there. I didn’t mind finishing it, but I loathed some parts of the game (core hunting, specifically). There’s also a new game + mode, apparently, and I’m not too thrilled about the prospects there. If you want a TLDR, you just read it - if you want to know more, I’ll start by discussing what I felt was poorly done in the game, then finish on the positive notes.
(Also, item farming spoiler below.)

The first real issue that I want to bring up is that the plot makes itself scarce. The game sort of hinges on being a simulation of an open world where the main character has no idea what’s going on (in a style similar to .hack and its game series), but that makes for very little character or story development. I’m pretty sure most of the game’s story-related dialogue would fit on 3-5 pages, depending on your font choice. It really reminded me of playing .hack on the PS2 because you really don’t get much back-story… but .hack had the breadth of the manga and anime to draw from, where this game sort of leaves you in the dark because you know nothing about the world going in.

Another flaw, or host of flaws, is the lack of polish that the game has in certain areas. To be fair, there was actually a massive graphics overhaul done on this game and it did make it much easier on the eyes… but it made it the spots in the game that were missed in the respriting effort and the quirks caused by bad QC during respriting much more apparent. For example, you can often find NPCs that are a few pixels misaligned on their sprite sheets, which causes floating pixels around them while they walk. Additionally, a number of the sprites weren’t updated to the larger side afforded by the graphics update, so they look *really* out of place when they show up.
There are also a number of typos in item descriptions and even one in the battle status ailment prompts. It’s pretty off-putting.

To wrap up negatives, I’ll bring up what is probably a personal issue brought on by my playstyle in both .hack and Data Hacker: the data core collection. I didn’t really spend a lot of time hacking enemies in this game (or .hack) when I realized that you don’t get experience for battles afterward. In .hack, there’s always the possibility of grabbing an interesting piece of equipment, but you usually just get data cores. In Data Hacker, all you have to look forward to are data cores. When Jaque, a main character to the plot, tells you to sell him your cores the second time you meet, it even makes collecting them seem pointless unless you need money - I can see people that haven’t played .hack making that mistake. But I digress. Farming for cores is time-consuming and rather boring. I spent several hours trying to locate a good dungeon to grab the final “Tz” cores from with any regularity when it came time for their use. In that vein, to anyone who reads this:
Core Farming Dungeons
AlZo Dungeon, second floor near the two doors: Al, Zo, Ki Cores
ZoTz Dungeon: Ma, Ge, Tz Cores

But, now, on to the good: this game is playable. If you like RPG Maker games, Data Hacker doesn’t disappoint because it’s very clearly an RPG Maker game. There are some interesting tweaks to the engine and some clever uses. Even a minigame (which I did manage to lock up the game with - don’t walk up to the tournament NPC from his right side) that’s… pretty similar to that card game from FFVIII. The creator obviously put a lot of work into it and, as long as you don’t focus on things you might want to nit-pick, you should be able to see this game standing quite a bit higher than many of the RPG Maker titles out there.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
As far as RPG Maker games go, this one is pretty top-tier.

The story is coherent, there are multiple (two) endings that affect the story of the sequel, there is quite a bit of customization in party composition, and there are a fair number of side-quests. There is also a New Game+ mode that changes up quite a few loot drops, and adds a few new encounters and bosses.

The developer is also prompt with addressing reported bugs and issues.

All of that said, there are some drawbacks. Around half way through the story can turn into a grind-fest for items needed to unlock essential dungeons, if you haven't been hacking and stockpiling these items beforehand. There are also a number of fights where the difficulty curve goes fairly insane without much warning - this is especially true of some fo the optional content of NG+. It is also very easy to fall into the "hacker" ending through sidequesting, without really realizing it until the end.

I would recommend it on story alone; it is reminiscent of the .hack series, but taken quite a bit further in the sequel. The combat is decent, fairly standard RPG fare that is spiced up a bit with a decent number of classes for your AI companions. With two endings, and a number of items and companions that cross over between playthroughs - and some that are only available in the second playthrough - it has a bit of replay value.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
28.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 17, 2014
Simulating an Online world, but playing with "other Players" is almost nonexistent. (Even if you find someone - they dont really matter. And they won't even care if you hack the whole game while they are in your party)
And that's only one of the minor points which could be better.
While the game is pretty good, there is much potential wasted in simulating the "Online world"

The story itself is uniqe, and not in a bad way.
The characters are likeable, well maybe the dept of the characters are sometimes a bit shallow.

The battles are repetive. Usually a map has 2 different enemies. Welcome to the slaugther.
The hacking is kept simple. I think the whole "hacking" idea is much improveable in the game. Hacking other People doesn't really give you anything. (some exp, some gold, horray. If you go hunting monsters you'll get the same or more exp in the same time). Hacking Monsters it is then (and Town Guards -I like those guys)

The bosses are good and hard. This is not one of the games which you can breeze through easily.

Good and plenty of sidequests, which tell own stories in the online world. Liked them.

the card game in the game suxx - a big no go for me. Maybe because i don't really know how to play and always lose...
But then there never was any explanation how to play this silly little gimmick.

Sometimes i miss explanations in the game, like the card game or the grow ribbon and how it works.
Also you get a quest journal so you can read up on active quests. I didn't know until i found it in my inventory... :p

Would i recommend the game ? Yes. This is despite some flaws a pretty good RPG. For 5 Euros a definitive buy.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Data Hacker: Initiation is a RPG Maker game that goes the extra mile. That's rare enough to mention.
It is focused on content and story. The writing is good bringing a strong plot, humor, and wits.

I have put many hours into Data Hacker : Initiation pre Steam release. I replayed the start to be able to write this review. Yes it is not the strongest start you may have, especially if you are familiar with dotHack, SwordArtOnline or LogHorizon. However the game builds its own unique and engrossing story and will keep challenging you.
And it takes a few gibes at the last decade of MMORPG on the way.

The main developper, Ross, has been funding the Datastream saga through kickstarter. he has a very open and reactive approach, that allowed a very high level of polish in his games.

Hacking can be a dangerous chance game, but it delivers appreciable rewards for the challenges it may pose.

Although DH:I relies mostly on standard RPGMaker assets, the OnlineWorld rendering has a strong atmosphere.
The soundtrack is enjoyable, but I prefer the one in the second installment of the saga, Data Hacker : Corruption.

Overall I recommend the Data Hacker games to any JRPG player ready to let their imagination work a bit instead of relying purely on their graphics card.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
57.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Before the new update came out my review said this:

"An rpg with a great story, but it's only about farming exp.... "

Now i say this

The game feels much better with the new update. It's more easy to get the credits and more easy to defeat some mobs and get the exp. The new area "The summit" was really fun to solve the puzzle behind that new area. It's more easy to get the Trioarch cards now has they are spread across the map in treasure chests in Strife and Leonhart. The bored part of the game was removed, farming Data Cores. "The summit" area rewards you with cores for doing the puzzle. The story is still the same, a great story. Right now i'm playing the New Game + trying to get the good ending so i can advance to the sequel. "Data Hacker: Corruption" The game has a few easter eggs, until now i only found three, i wonder if there are more.

The game devs are great and hear the community to try to make "Data Hacker: Initiation" a perfect game for anybody to enjoy.
Thank for hearing us and making "Data Hacker: Initiation" a game that anybody can enjoy! :D
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
Disclaimer: I played the game some time ago (right after the kickstarter for the second game in the series) so the game will most likely have changed a bit since then.

Anyhow the game I played had an interesting concept that I think for most part was well executed. Especially story and setting wise it worked very well. I was rather engulfed by it.
The combat was okay, but I actually stopped playing roughly 10-20 (can´t remember) hours in because of an insane spike in the powerlevel of a boss, I had no chance of taking it down.
But from my experience, absolutly a game I would recomend, it´s not the best RPG-maker game I have played, but it´s well worht the money, especially if you think the setting is interesting.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
A fun RPGMaker game that's well worth your time, if you're into classic JRPGs!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
Didn't know what I was getting myself into at first... but this game really is good! (at least it has been :P)

The story isn't bad either and the gameplay is quite fun, in a way it adds a nice touch to combat where you either decide to kill the monsters for exp and loot or hack them for datacores which you can sell for gold.

All I can say is, if you enjoy RPGs and/or geeky computer stuff like hacking and etc then you will most likely enjoy this game as well :)

Single player MMO, and because of that, I don't really expect to run out of content any time soon :P

Get it, you won't regret it ^^
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
I absolutely love the old school RPG style games. That being said, Data Hacker: Initiation really goes the extra mile to get you deeply immersed in the story line too. It's not all "click.. click.. click". There's humor, there's intrigue and there's fun! It's really a well rounded game. Just be careful when you start playing... make sure you have several hours to spare, because you lose all track of time very easily! =)
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
This is like if you took the tedious boring stuff that nobody liked about the original .hack// games and then threw it into RPGmaker. Don't play it, play .hack or an actual mmo game instead.
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31 of 43 people (72%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
=Full disclosure=

I'm an original backer of this way back during the first campaign and I've already put well over 20 hours into the backer version before it hit Steam, thus my low playtime count as I've only just activated this today.

That being said; this is one of the rare few RPG Maker titles that I genuinely wanted to drop money on. It's fun and engaging and harkens back to the PS2 legendary series Dot Hack. I've had a blast playing this in the past and I'm looking forward to a replay once Reboot Initiative is ready to go, the new art style and enhanced atmosphere and mapping look great, and I know Ross - the main developer - has been busting his ♥♥♥ on the trilogy so far :) I do have to question the two negative reviews below, however, as they seem highly unfair. Games have bugs and issues, that's just what happens in development, but when it comes to indie devs they actually LISTEN to your feedback; so if you have any troubles, such as rare showstoppers or even just an impassable tile in some random dungeon, please.. take to the forum and report it! Leaving negative feedback on the game, especially on LAUNCH DAY, is really harsh and does more harm than good.

As a backer of the Kickstarter, I've been privileged to watch the game grow through the development process and it's been really enjoyable. You can really feel that a lot of love and attention to detail went into this project and while there's a fair amount of RTP present, it has been put to great use. The scenario of "Online World" is great, with an engrossing plot and an enormous amount of areas to explore and do battle in. Character customisation is extensive and the ability of Jay, the main pro(an)tagonist, to hack his own avatar and generate his own customised class is unique and enjoyable. What sets this game apart from others is the inclusion of the Hack ability, which allows you overwrite the code of enemies, granting you bonuses against them - or debuffs against your party if the hack fails, and even new and unique items as rewards.

Being able to hack enemies and gain Cores for use as currency, or even combinations to access new areas, is extremely satisfying - especially against tough foes. You can even use the Hack ability to hack other play characters, which you can do to acquire new members for your party, or even just massive amounts of experience points/cash for bolstering your existing one.

Audio and Visual wise, it's mostly standard RPG Maker, but NRG have put great attention to detail and the use of both custom and standard visuals in order to create the Online World. I have to say though, not once did I feel like the visuals were a detriment to the game, RTP or not, and the atmosphere itself was brilliant. Far better than a lot of other cut'n'paste - expensive - commercial RM titles, that's for sure. The custom soundtrack is especially enjoyable though.

All in all, I really have had a blast playing this and I'm eagerly awaiting the followups now. Good luck New Reality Games!

The showstopping bug has since been fixed (same day as release! Like I said; indie devs listen!) so having negative reviews up just harms public opinion of what is a truly great RM title. It's indepth, has an enormous world - worlds, for those familiar with Dot Hack - to explore and with the overhaul coming it's only going to get better. Good luck to everyone playing and I'll see you in Online World \o/
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13 of 21 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
First let me state that I have put many hours into Data Hacker - Initiation pre Steam release

I know many will simply say "Oh look...another crappy RPG Maker game" In my opinion that is not he case. New Reality Games has done a great job with RPGM and and did a great job with Creating an imersive and compelling world. If you have ever been a fan of JRPG's "DO" give this game a try.
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16 of 28 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
Please bear in mind, I am writing this review after only a short time in the game.

Now: I remember, on the PS2, there was a series of games called dotHack that had a similar premise. I tried it and could never get into them because I felt the interface was poorly implemented (in the first one, at least).

This series seems to have a similar idea, but the interface stuck with the old-fashioned, turn-based combat standard to RPGMaker, so it works better. So far, so good!

Edit: After discussing with the dev and other gamers, it turns out that F1 -> reduce screen flickering will resolve the screen tearing issues I encountered.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
Data Hacker: Initiation is an old school RPG with a well written story. For the most part the graphics/audio are what you'd expect from an RPG Maker game but that isn't necessarily a bad thing especially if you're a fan of classic 2D RPGs. If you are a fan of the genre then this is a game well worth checking out.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
haven't played it on steam yet, but it was a good game before when i tried it out.

love the fact that we can take different paths and little things like whether to hack someone or not.
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21.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
I will continue updating this review as the game changes.

--Jan. 9

Yesterday's update considerably reduced grinding. Quests give a decent amount of cash now. I definitely saw a difference in enemy difficulty now that some enemies no longer have physical resistance. I defeated the boss I was stuck on, and it was still challenging without being too tedious.

So, I feel like the first two flaws listed in Dec. 30 are somewhat solved at this point. Perhaps hacked character growth could be closer to recruited character growth. Trioarch card drop rate increased. I can't give a fair assessment on that since I haven't dropped any. The Limit skill seems to be much stronger now. I confirmed that the escape option isn't available even in normal battles. Also, the game still has cramped maps.

I recommend Data Hacker: Initiation to anyone who enjoys classic RPGs, with hope that the developer will continue improving it.

--Dec. 30

I tried to enjoy this game, despite its flaws, but eventually it just wasn't fun anymore. Maybe some of these problems are nonexistent later on in the game, or maybe I'm just playing it wrong.

A few of the flaws are:
-Lots of grinding
-Slow growth/weak stats/weak skills
-Cramped maps
-Can't escape from battles(?)
-Small amount of equipment

First, the grinding. I think I was getting about 7-30 gold per normal fight, and maybe 50-100 in the arena. It seems like the fastest way to get cash is to do races which give 175 on the level 4 version. The reason this is such a grind is because each skill is 600-6000 gold. Most of my playtime is just me doing races, and I'm still stuck at the first(?) boss because he's like level 70. The Trioarch card game is a bit of a grind since I lost my first match, and now don't have enough cards to play. A guide says enemies have a 1/50 drop rate for cards. I don't think levelling takes as long, the main character is level 20 at this point, however it does seem to take forever because:

Characters are weak. Even at level 20 and with Jaque level 15 or something, a hacked party member at level 17, and the pet slime thing at level 20, enemies I've been fighting since level 10 can still quickly kill off the hacked party member and the slime. Fighting is a bit easier with skills, I guess, but the only ones that are useful are Vendetta and the triple hit skill for gunner. I thought Healing would be nice but it heals barely any health compared to enemy damage. Also, I grinded up cash because I thought Limit would help me kill the boss, and it only deals 300 damage, less than Vendetta despite costing more gold as well as TP and MP. Limit does target all enemies but I expected it to help me defeat the boss. Anyway, that's where I gave up, because I didn't feel like grinding up more cash for more useless skills. Oh and Jaque's skills are rather useless too. I saw very minor differences when using his attack and defense reduction skills. I should probably replace the hacked gunner with a recruit, but all of the NPCs I talked to refused so yeah. It would be nice if more of them accepted. And again, maybe later on there are useful skills.

Another thing that makes fights more difficult is that a lot of enemies have resistance to physical attacks apparently, which makes your already weak attacks even weaker. Perhaps this could be avoided by using magic, but I didn't buy any magic/elemental skills since the first one you get (fire) is extremely weak even against beginner enemies that are weak to fire. I would also have to play a lot more racing in order to afford each one. Regardless, I think the player should be able to get through the game with just physical attacks, if they choose.

Next, the game has cramped maps. For example, the forest maps have a ton of one-square tunnels. This wouldn't be so bad except enemy AI on the field is designed to relentlessly follow the player. You can count on starting a fight with nearly every enemy whether you want to or not. On top of that, there doesn't seem to be a way to escape from battles. Going back in the battle menu shows an escape option, like other RPGMaker games, but it's greyed out. Maybe that was during a "boss" fight, though, I don't remember.

Lastly, there's a low variety in equipment, at least for now. This also wouldn't be a big deal if characters weren't so weak.

So I have a few questions:
-How many NPCs in Strife can actually be recruited?
-Why do quests give much less gold than races? The quests are way more difficult.

I'd also like to note that if the game is intentionally hard (battles don't get easier as you level, no escape, etc.), that's fine, but grindy != hard. If I'm going to fight difficult enemies, I want some worthwhile rewards. As someone commented on another review, "it's based on an MMO." I enjoyed .hack, but it feels like Data Hacker's main inspiration is free to play MMOs. If these issues were fixed, Data Hacker would be a favorite of mine. I'm really interested in the story and it's a decent RPG otherwise.
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