The IntraWeb is an ongoing action-drama series by Wither, inspired to an extent by Homestuck and The Matrix. The series' art style is highly variable and consists of various styles in one, but the main characters generally have designs somewhat similar to anime.
The IntraWeb revolves around a group of humans between 9 and 24 years old in present day 2019 who reincarnate as data entities inside of an internet and video game-like world after dying in the real world. Each of them is appointed a "Class" that determines their talents and general being.
The kids find out that a real life organisation known as the ICITS (the International Consortium for Information Transmission Structures; abbreviation pronounced as "Eye-see-tee-es") has been working on a virtual world, a cyberspace known as the Infobahn, and spread an artificial protist that would transfer the mind and body of whoever it infected into the Infobahn when they die.
Lastly, they also discover that their deaths had been planned and orchestrated by the ICITS to test if the protist worked. The series follows those kids as they come to terms with their forced existence in this Infobahn and rid it of evil.
In the first arc, the kids are trapped inside of a video game known as Turbo Striker III; the arc revolves about the kids freeing the game from the tyrannical rule of its Gamedev, who trapped all of its actors within the world of the game and rules over the game like a dictator.
After the humans defeat the Gamedev, they escape Turbo Striker III and advance into the wider Infobahn, specifically in its internet section known as the IntraWeb. From there on, the series' main villain is up to continous change.
One consistent factor with the villains is that they are regularly (but not always) a parody of common gaming and internet-related subjects; for example, Rootware is a parody on malware, Pascal C. Fortran is a parody on programming and the Vexus Collective is a group of hackers, internet trolls and video game griefers.
In addition, the Network Operation Collective (NOC for short), a terroristic organisation bent on taking over the Infobahn and censoring free speech is a parody of various cases of reducing freedom of the internet, such as Article 13, the removal of Net Neutrality and various censored internets all over the world, such as those of China, North Korea and Iran.
After being unseen and merely mentioned for a while, the ICITS makes its grand return as a plot twist in Season 4, where they start sending various soldiers into the Infobahn to assume total control of its multiverse now that beta testing has ended, their army consisting of custom data entities and humans who have been transferred to the Infobahn.
As an even greater plot twist, the ICITS reveals that the Gamedev, Pascal Fortran and the NOC were sent or created by them and that they were really the mastermind all along. From this point on, Marion Lechter, the CEO of the ICITS, becomes the main antagonist of not just post-Season 4, but the entire series as a whole.
There are three types of lifeforms within the Infobahn:
- Actors: Sometimes referred to as NPCs, Actors are entities fabricated within game worlds that run by its logic a bit more than other lifeforms. Actors are almost always made with a pre-set table of characteristics and are set to be bound to their code, unless they break free from it; this is only possible by Actors with high amounts of unbreakable will, or if someone else frees them. If an Actor is killed, they remain dead, unless they have the "Backturn" Skill, then they will respawn if the one who killed them leaves the level, loses a life or goes far away from the area where they killed the Actor.
- Players: Players are fabricated outside of game worlds and usually hail from the IntraWeb. They have more freedom than Actors and are unrestricted by game logic. More often than not, Players also have special abilities, usually things like freezing time (through the Pause Menu Skill), warping game rules (through the Option Menu Skill), teleporting between worlds, respawning and possessing Actors (through the "The Player" Skill. The most powerful Players, like Francis, can even possess other Players). Players also have a Health Bar that guarantees their survival for as long as it isn't empty, allowing Players to shrug off far more and heavier injuries than Actors, and they have a Life System that allows them to auto-revive / respawn a select amount of times after death. Unlike Actors however, Players do have the weakness of being bound to certain Needs, like Hunger, Thirst and Energy, represented as bars. Should the Energy bar be empty (recharged by sleeping), the Player will fall asleep on the spot; should the Thirst or Hunger bar drop to zero (replenished by drinking and eating respectively), the Player will die. In addition, if a Player dies on their last life, they encounter a Game Over and are permanently dead unless revived with a Continue.
- Intelligence: Intelligence are essentially AIs; they don't have the Needs of Players nor the restrictions of Actors. This makes them into some of the most powerful creatures, as they lack the limitations of both Players and Actors. Their only weakness is that they can be killed through things like the Task Manager; additionally, entities with the "Cursor" skill are able to close them, rendering them inactive, and for all purposes practically dead until something invokes them to reopen. The most powerful Intelligence, Malware, are exempt from those weaknesses but can be destroyed through the "Antivirus" skill, possessed by powerful Intelligence like McAfeel, AMG, Lavast, Horton, Rophos and Wylance (parodies of the McAfee, AVG, Avast, Norton, Sophos and Cylance antivirus software respectively).
- Bots: Bots have none of the weaknesses of Intelligence, Players and Actors but do not have any form of sentience. Bots do not think, decide or feel and are programs operated by Actors, Players or Intelligence. The only way to destroy Bots is by killing their operator. A Bot that somehow does achieve independence (like Relay) is called a Crawler; due to their complete lack of weaknesses, Crawlers are extremely tedious to take down. Relay is the only bot to have ever naturally became independent, this due to a glitch in his code; however, due to his Intra-Spider Skill, Relay was able to turn other Bots into similar, semi-independent lifeforms known as Agents.
All Actors, Players and Intelligence have a certain Class that often determines many of their characteristics — and their general being. Some Classes are locked (e.g. Administrator), meaning one can't be born with them. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Classes.
All lifeforms nonetheless of type can potentially use various types of special abilities. These are grouped into three categories:
- Skills: The main category for special powers. Skills are the main techniques that lifeforms can utilize; the strongest skills for Players usually usurp a tiny bit of their Mana Bar. When said bar is empty, the Player can't use any skills that require Mana. Not all skills require Mana however. The term "Skill" is extremely broad and can vary from elemental abilities, lasers and mind control to teleportation, intangibility, shapeshifting and sometimes even reality warping.
- Resistances: A Resistance is a type of ability that renders the user resistant or possibly even immune to certain effects, Skills, ailments and more.
- Passives: An effect that is passively active and does not have to be deactivated — for example, Francis' unexplained ability to naturally bend universal laws, logic and physics in his advantage and Triguza's passive ability to make those around him feel paranoid.
All Actors and Players go by a Level system. They start at Lv.1 and can gain EXP, Experience Points, from various tasks that differ from person to person. Collecting sufficient EXP will cause the individual to level up; e.g. from Lv.1 to Lv.2. This renders the person stronger and sometimes unlocks new Skills, Resistances, Passives and weaponry for them. Some powerful Skills can allow the user to temporarily or permanently skip arrays of levels or change the level of others.
With this Level also come stats; these are POW (Power), ATK (Attack), DEF (Defence), STA (Stamina), SPEED, MANA, M.Atk (Magical Attack) and M.Def (Magical Defence); these respectively govern the users' physical strength, attack strength, durability / endurance, stamina, speed, mana, magical power and resistance to supernatural abilities. These stats increase naturally when one levels up, but certain Skills can increase and decrease them as well.
The main character of the series. He hails from New Zealand and was 15 years old when he died because of sudden pneumonia (later revealed as a custom pneumonia virus created by the ICITS). His Class is the "Hero"; as a result of that, Brennan is bestowed a sword and mastery over it. A kind person, Brennan develops feelings for Sophie as the series progresses. He's slim, tall and has light brown hair and green eyes.
One of the main characters in the series and Brennan's crush. She was 14 years old at the time of her death by car crash and hails from Toronto, Canada. She has long blonde hair, blue eyes and is generally slim just like Brennan. She was given the "Hacker" Class and as such is able to use various hacking-like abilities such as ESP, Teleportation, Aimbot, Invisibility, Noclipping, One Hit Kill, Invulnerability and various others.
She and Brennan eventually get together near the end of Season 1 and become a couple following that.