Kirito was chosen to be one of the one thousand beta testers for the closed beta of Sword Art Online, the first ever Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) for the NerveGear, and later joined the official version of the game. He thus became one of the 10,000 players who were trapped in Sword Art Online, where he remained a solo player for the majority of the game, willingly taking on the role of a Beater to reduce discrimination against other former beta testers, as well as actively taking part in Boss battles as one of the Clearers. Kirito temporarily became a member of the Moonlit Black Cats after helping them safely escape a dangerous dungeon, but returned to being a solo player when a fatal error, in the death of the other guild members. At some point in the game, Kirito became known as the «Black Swordsman» (黒の剣士, Kuro no Kenshi?) due to his tendency to wear black clothing. Near the end of the game, Kirito joined the Knights of the Blood due to losing a wager with its leader, Heathcliff. Kirito eventually put an end to the game by defeating the final boss, thus clearing the game. As Asuna and a small group of Sword Art Online survivors were not logged out from Sword Art Online in the aftermath of the incident, Kazuto began playing ALfheim Online as a Spriggan due to seeing an in-game screenshot of what resembled Asuna, and thus wanting to investigate the matter.
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After freeing the three hundred remaining captives, Kazuto continued playing ALfheim Online, under new management, with his old friends from Sword Art Online, as well as new friends from ALfheim Online. Due to the request of Kikuoka Seijirou, Kazuto temporarily converted his ALfheim Online avatar to Gun Gale Online via The Seed to investigate a series of strange deaths, rumored to be associated with a mysterious player, referring to himself as Death Gun. Thus, Kirito took part in the largest tournament in the game, the Bullet of Bullets, to attract the attention of the mysterious player. In the aftermath of the incident, Kazuto returned with his avatar to ALfheim Online and continued playing it with his friends. Several months later, Kazuto was offered a part-time job to test a new FullDive machine known as the Soul Translator, but unbeknownst to him, he was actually helping with a military project known as Project Alicization. Kirito's SAO Closed Beta Avatar. Kirito described the appearance of his avatar at the beginning of the game and the beta-testing phase as having the appearance of a ridiculously handsome protagonist from some fantasy animation, looking noticeably older than he actually was. His in-game height was equal to that of his height in the real world to prevent the extra height from hindering his movements. In the full version of the game, during Kayaba Akihiko's tutorial, all player avatars were changed to reflect their real life appearances. After this change, Kirito's SAO avatar had slightly long but neat black hair and black eyes. His delicate face showed no trace of masculinity, allowing people to easily mistake him for a girl.
In the last months of the game, he used «Elucidator» and «Dark Repulser» as his main weapons.
Kirito as the Black Swordsman. Kirito as a member of KoB. Kirito's clothes later in the game consisted of black pants with a black belt that had a large silver buckle, a black V-necked shirt that was worn underneath a black trench-coat with gray lining going down the sleeves, and black boots with silver plates to protect his shins. He had a silver plate worn on the left side of his coat, and a pair of black fingerless gloves. He wore a strap that went over his right shoulder and under it to wrap around his left side. In the last months of the game, he used «Elucidator» and «Dark Repulser» as his main weapons. After being defeated by Heathcliff in a public duel and being forced to join his guild, Kirito donned the red and white uniform of the Knights of the Blood. Kirito as a child and later as a young adult in Underworld.
Kirito as a first-year student at the Sword Mastery Academy. Kirito as an elite swordsman-in-training. Kirito following the battle at the Central Cathedral. At the beginning of Project Alicization, Kirito wore a hand-sewn pale blue short-sleeved shirt with a V-shaped cut on the chest which was tied with a light brown cord along with trousers and hand-sewn leather shoes. Two years later, after he became a valet in the Sword Mastery Academy, he wore the standard gray uniform, like all first years and non-elite swordsmen do. In the second year of the academy, after he became one of the twelve elite swordsmen in the academy and was allowed to choose a color for his uniform, he wore a pitch black uniform. Kirito's initial appearance was that of a default «Spriggan», which he chose because of the race's black-themed equipment. Instead of the normal black forelocks hanging from his head, his black hair stood in natural spikes. His large eyes appeared mischievous, his ears were pointy, and he had dark greyish blue wings. He was equipped with a large greatsword, intended for larger players, such as «Imps». On June 23, 2025, Kirito changed his previous spiky hairstyle into his old SAO style due to Yui complaining about it being hard to sit on the spiky hair. Kazuto's avatar in Gun Gale Online belongs to the rare «M9000» series.
It is an avatar that many male players dream of having, due to its feminine appearance. Kazuto's avatar in Gun Gale Online is both shorter and more slender than his spriggan avatar in ALfheim Online. Although the two avatars share the same black hair and eyes, his hair now flows down to his shoulder blades, while his eyes are larger and shinier. The innocently bewitching gaze from his eyes, framed by long eyelashes, was so different from his previous avatar that Kirito himself momentarily forgot that he was looking at himself when he inspected his appearance for the first time. The avatar also has pale white complexion and red lips. These characteristics often allow others to confuse him as being female. This often causes great confusion to people, such as Sinon. He is equipped with a 5.7mm «FN Five-Seven» handgun and «Kagemitsu G4» photon sword. This is due to him not having many friends and closing others off because of his love for computers. Thus, he can appear to be rude to others, such as Lisbeth and Sinon. Sometimes, he actually seems to enjoy angering and teasing people as well. Also, from time to time, Kazuto can be quite overconfident thinking he can do things others cannot. Kazuto is almost always a calm and collected character, rarely showing any signs of distress. When Kayaba Akihiko announced that Sword Art Online had become a Death Game, Kirito was able to quickly accept the new conditions of the game and take immediate action to increase his chances of survival. However, Kazuto is actually a kind person, willing to sacrifice himself to help others.
When the death of Diavel during the 1st Floor Boss battle, in players accusing Kirito of withholding information as a beta tester that led to their leader's death, he decided to become a scapegoat by naming himself a Beater to distance himself from the average beta tester, ensure that they would not become victims of unfounded hate by drawing all the ire of the players onto himself. He also tends to comfort others when they experience arduous, such as Silica after she lost Pina. Kazuto is also a very emotional person and lets his emotions control him from time to time. The deaths of Sachi and the Moonlit Black Cats had haunted him until his marriage with Asuna in Sword Art Online. Sachi's death, in particular, had a huge effect on his personality and motives, making him very distant from others for a while. Kirito also temporarily lost his will to live when Asuna was killed by Heathcliff.
Kazuto discovering his erased family records.
Kazuto is a person with incredibly strong resolve, willing to do anything and everything in his power to accomplish something that is important to him without any hesitation. When Asuna was being held in ALfheim, Kirito was bound and determined to set her free and immediately attempted to fly up World Tree when Yui confirmed that she detected Asuna being at its top, despite this being an impossible task. He also attempted to fight his way to the top by himself twice despite being annihilated the first time. After escaping Sword Art Online, Kazuto attempted to atone for his past mistakes, such as mending his relationship with his cousin Suguha, whom he had ignored before becoming trapped in the death game. Kazuto discovering his erased family records. Born on October 7, 2008, Narusaka Kazuto was adopted by his aunt and uncle a year after his birth, when his biological parents died in an accident. Raised by his foster parents as a son, Kazuto was originally forced to train with his cousin in the neighborhood kendo dojo; however due to his aunt's influence as an editor for a computer systems magazine, Kazuto became more interested in computers and dropped kendo after two years. This decision earned him a heavy beating from his grandfather, prompting Suguha to defend him by promising to practice enough for both of them.
One of the lucky 1000 players accepted into the closed-beta, Kirito logged hundreds of hours of playtime. Kirito and Klein seeing each other's real life appearance. Shortly after logging in to the fully released SAO, Kirito was stopped by a stranger. Klein, a new guy, asks for his help in learning how to play. After befriending each other and training in the fields for several hours, they were forcefully teleported back to the Town of Beginnings, to receive an announcement from Kayaba Akihiko. He revealed that the lack of a logout function, which they had recently realized, was a "feature" of his new game, and that forced removal of the NerveGear headpiece from the other side would fry the person's brain using microwaves. Kirito headed to the next town. The only means to escape was to clear the game, in other words, to successfully defeat all 100 floors of Aincrad and defeat the final boss. Kirito immediately took Klein and ran off, and after hearing that Klein would remain with his friends here, left him and headed off to the next town. Kirito spent the first day making his way to the next village. He decided to complete a quest, which he knew of from the beta period, to download a new sword. During this quest he encountered another player, a beta tester named Coper, who proposed forming a party and completing the quest together. After killing many «Little Nepenthes», two more Nepenthes, one with the required item and another with a fruit, appeared.