Aksys games today announced that Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, the sequel to 999: 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors, will be headed to American 3DS and PSV handhelds soon. My personal surprise hit of the last few years was 999 as it was a brilliantly realized scenario translated fantastically by Aksys’ localization department. It stands as one of the top visual novels I’ve ever played. Not sure the game needed a name change to “Zero Escape,” but that’s really no skin off my back
Compared to the original, Zero Escape has 24 endings as opposed to the paltry 6 from the original. Exploration will now be in 3D and the audio will contain both Japanese and English voice casting. I’m pretty stoked for this.
Below you can see Aksys’ unique press release.
EPIDEMIC ALERT: Japanese Adventure Game Strain Identified in North America
Thousands expected to succumb by year’s end
Regional Office of the International Disease Organization, Washington D.C. – February 28, 2012 – IDO agents working in California report that preliminary findings indicate the exceedingly dangerous Japanese adventure game known as “Zennin Shiboudesu” has somehow crossed the Pacific. Attempts were made to contain it, but some carriers seem to have escaped the quarantine and are now at large.
This game is extremely virulent and can be transmitted through physical contact (via the dual “Nintendo 3DS™” and “PlayStation®Vita” retail vectors) as well as through the air (via the “PSN” vector), which has prompted the IDO to declare this a level 6 pandemic. All uninfected persons are advised to remain indoors and avoid contact with others. If you suspect you have been infected, or suspect a friend or family member of being infected, report, or have them report, to the nearest IDO quarantine facility.
Similarity to an earlier strain known as “Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors” has lead to a reclassification: Both strains will now be considered members of the “Zero Escape” game series.Exposure to North America also seems to have caused Zennin Shiboudesu to mutate, and after much deliberation it has been determined that it will be referred to in all future literature as “Virtue’s Last Reward” (see forthcoming department memo re: choice of strain name).
Virtue’s Last Reward—or, alternatively, “VLR”—has been known to exhibit the following symptoms. If you begin to display any of these, distance yourself from friends and loved ones immediately, and proceed at once to the nearest IDO center.
- Dual Language Support – Early cases show that VLR allows communication in both English and Japanese, with dialog playable in both languages. Whether or not this indicates damage to the languages centers of the brain is under investigation.
- Puzzles and Story – Preliminary investigations show that this game progresses rapidly through a repeating cycle of two distinct stages, which have been termed the “Novel” and “Escape” stages. During the Novel stage, subjects find themselves engaged by a complex and mysterious story. During the Escape stage, subjects have been observed solving numerous puzzles.
- Fully-Voiced Novel Sections – One of the indicators of the Novel stage is reportedly fully-voiced dialog: All characters except for the protagonist can be heard speaking during this stage.
- Numerous Endings – VLR has been shown to exhibit numerous paths of infection, most of which are lethal. At press time, 24 different “endings” have been observed, each unique.
- Immersive Three-Dimensional Environment – Many infected patients have reported a feeling of increased immersion in their surroundings, often manifested in the ability to rotate the camera around a 3D room rendered in-game and select and manipulate objects in three-dimensional space.
- Introduces New Characters, Brings Back Old Ones – Our files on 999 indicate that a number of the characters featured there appear again in VLR, although in what capacity is still unclear. This strain also introduces several new characters, all of whom merit additional investigation.