New information and screenshots have been shared by Bandai Namco for Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. We now have some more information about Kizmel and Richter as well as gameplay mechanics like Sword Skill Connect.

Kizmel (voiced by Shizuka Ito) is a dark elf swordswoman who wields a one-handed curved sword. She’s a special quest NPC.

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Richter is quite a mysterious player. He seems to know Kirito as the Black Swordsman but it is not known how he knows that name…

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During battles you’ll be able to link together your sword skills under specific conditions. Linking them together will reduce the skills’ commitment window.

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When in the field you may trigger special quests known as “Event Fragments”. These quests are only triggered under certain conditions. By clearing these Event Fragments you’ll unlock larger-scale “Episode Quests”. By clearing these events and quests you’ll receive various rewards.

You should be careful when exploring the field as under certain conditions powerful enemies known as an Evil God may appear. To defeat Evil God’s you’ll need to work together with other online players.

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There will be a major (free!) update called Fighters of the Blue Sky available at the end of the year that will add an additional 20 hours of gameplay. You’ll get additional characters, story and map additions as well as PvP.

There will also be a DLC expansion (not free 🙁 ) called Shrine Maiden of the Abyss that will contain a new story told over three chapters.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is due out on October 27th in Japan, and November 8th in the West.