Soul Hackers takes place in a highly technological/futuristic city called Amami. Once a small urban town, Amami is becoming the hub for everything that a tech lover would drool over. With the help of technology, the Amami government have provided rampant use of computers, the world's fastest and most connected internet/network, and the launch of a virtual world called Paradigm X.
Paradigm X is a virtual 3-D city created for the citizens of Amami to enjoy. At the time of the game, the virtual city is still in its Beta testing phase and the only way to gain access to it is through the winning of a lottery. The city provides pretty much anything a real city does. With a colonial style look to the building, the city offers everything from shops, hang out clubs, and a movie theater. Inside the city, players can interact with other members of the city. Basically it's like The Sims but a lot cooler.
The Protagonist is a 18ish year old who is part of a hacker group called the Spookies. At the start, not much is known about the Spookies except they seem to be the type of hackers who just do things because they can. The group consists of Leader (The Leader), Lunch, Six, Yu-ichi and the protagonist's best friend, Hitomi Tono. It is with the help of Hitomi that the player hacks the Paradigm X server to help gain access to the beta.
As the title inclines, demons are a very large part of the game. The player is first introduced to demons in Paradigm X while being taken through a vision quest (one of three). In the quest, the player takes control of a famous summoner as he finds his way through the HQ of the company responsible for Paradigm X. These vision quests are positioned to advance a story in a different way by providing the player a little behind the scenes look at what they are dealing with. As for the first vision, the player is shown the most important tool in the game, the Comp.