Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris might star Kirito as the main protagonist, but you’ll be able to recruit over 20 unique characters as companions. Some of these characters include Cardinal and other Integrity Knights. Here’s our mini-guide to help you out. Oh, and before I forget, there will be major spoilers ahead.
Note: For more information, check out our Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris guides and features hub.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris – Integrity Knights and unique characters
Many of the characters featured in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris will be familiar to long-time fans of the anime. To be fair, though, the game does take a lot of liberties when it comes to the plot (such as Medina being a central character to the narrative).
Anyway, the game is divided into six chapters and, towards the end of each, some Integrity Knights and unique characters will be available to join your party. Here’s a quick breakdown.
Note 1: Although characters will join you periodically for their personal quests, some of them will not be available as party members for regular exploration until certain points in the game.
Note 2: This is your last chance to avoid major spoilers. You have been warned.
Before we continue, here’s a (partial) list of some of the unique characters that can join your party. This image was taken during chapter 6, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris‘ final act.
- Eugeo – Is the first major character who buddies up with Kirito. He will temporarily be available in chapter 1 (due to being one of the Integrity Knight boss encounters) before permanently joining.
- Medina – Joins as a companion temporarily during chapter 1, but will leave eventually (more info below).
- Alice – Will be encountered as an Integrity Knight boss towards the end of chapter 1 before permanently joining Kirito and co.
- Asuna, Sortiliena, Ronie, Tiese, Silica, Lisbeth, Leafa, Sinon – These characters will join Kirito’s squad from time to time during chapter 1. However, it’s only during chapter 2 when they become permanently available.
- Medina – She will rejoin the team during this chapter, but there’s trouble ahead (more info below).
- Eldrie – This Integrity Knight will battle Kirito during chapter 1 and at the end of chapter 2 after you defeat Ziczi and the giants. He can be a party member after that.
- Selka – Alice’s little sister is met during the first chapter of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, though she doesn’t become a playable character immediately. Instead, she’ll join at the end of chapter 3.
- Deusolbert – This Integrity Knight is one of the bosses in chapter 1 and he’ll also fight you at the end of chapter 3. He’ll be a companion after this point.
- Linel and Fizel – These trainees under the tutelage of Deusolbert get kidnapped in chapter 3. They’ll become companions after they’re rescued at the end of the act.
- Sheyta – This Integrity Knight will be a buddy at the start of chapter 4. However, she’ll become a foe for a short while before finally joining.
- Medina – Once again, Medina will leave your party. This will happen almost at the start of chapter 4. In fact, the entire chapter will revolve around her. Don’t worry, she’ll rejoin you again soon thereafter.
- Fanatio and Renly – Fanatio was one of the boss battles in the first chapter, and Renly’s just Renly. They’ll both join once you finish chapter 5.
- Bercouli – The commander of the Integrity Knights joins you but only temporarily during the previous act. However, he caps off the fifth chapter of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris with a climactic battle against Kirito. He’ll become a companion after that point.
Note: Other characters that join your party will start out with zero weapon proficiency and can only equip the sword skills unlocked by Kirito. Bercouli is different since he has access to all katana sword skills, including those you’ve yet to unlock.
- Cardinal – The wise Cardinal is a character you’ll have dealings with at the start of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris. She’s also the highest-leveled companion in the game. Once you reach chapter 6, her nameplate is no longer greyed-out which means she can join your party. Unfortunately, by that time you’re already doing a main quest that prevents anyone else from joining (including her). Once you’re done with that main quest, Cardinal is “off to do something else,” so she can’t join.
Note: Cardinal doesn’t use sword skills or combat skills and she can only equip passives. Likewise, you can’t change her Ex skill/AI tactics in the records menu. This limits her practical use since you can’t have her join in chain burst combos.
How she joins: You’ll want to finish the game to get a “campaign cleared save.” This will unlock the gallery and credits screens (those “?????” selections that you keep seeing on the main manu). Additionally, when you “continue” the game, you’ll be at a spot just before the final battles (or the “point of no return” in your campaign). You can fast travel outside to continue exploring and Cardinal will also be able to join your party by then. You can even boost her affinity via heart-to-heart conversations (seen below).
Note: Technically, all the characters in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris will be completely available if you’re continuing from the “campaign cleared save.” One particular character (not Cardinal) will even have a moment in chapter 6’s final battles. By having a “campaign cleared save” and continuing, you’ll still be able to go on adventures with this character (since you’ll load just before the point of no return).