I’ll only say it once: If you haven’t played 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward, and you intend on playing both of these games before checking out Zero Time Dilemma, turn back now. This article contains a list of details we’ve learned about the game from the recent content drop, and will contain major spoilers for the first two games. While game director Uchikoshi has mentioned that Zero Time Dilemma’s story will be accessible even for first-time players, he also notes that this entry will answer questions that were raised in the previous games.
So if you want the full Zero Escape experience, I’d highly recommend checking out 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward first. For the longtime fans, read on.
– Zero Time Dilemma is set several years in the past, in between the events of 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward. It’ll be set on the Mars facility, where a certain virus broke out.
– There will be nine characters (of course). They will be split into teams of three as they work together to try to escape.
– Team C is comprised of Carlos, Akane, and Junpei. Carlos is described as a hot-blooded firefighter with a strong sense of justice. He dotes on his younger sister, who has an incurable disease. Akane is described as a shrewd woman skilled in trickery and deception. She is the head of a secret society working towards a peaceful future. Lastly, Junpei, the protagonist of 999, joined a detective agency a year ago in an effort to track down Akane. He has become rather hard-hearted since the events at the Nevada facility.
– Team Q is comprised of Q, Eric, and Mira. Q is a young boy who wears a large helmet, not unlike a certain someone who appeared in Virtue’s Last Reward… He has lost his memory, and is described as a naive and kind boy. Eric is an ice-cream shop clerk who can have quite the temper when he falls in to crisis. He is also in a relationship with Mira. Mira appears largely emotionless, though she reasons that she is “just insensitive.”
– Team D is comprised of Diana, Phi, and Sigma. Diana, who was mentioned briefly in Virtue’s Last Reward, is a nurse and a pacifist who dislikes fighting. Phi, who certainly isn’t Superman, that’s for sure, is a woman who speaks bluntly. She’s taken part in this experiment with Akane and Sigma in an effort to save the world. Sigma is a 22 year-old with the mind of a 67 year-old man.
– There is a character named Zero, of course. This time, he’s sporting a beak mask that looks a lot like the crow mask worn by Eileen in Bloodborne.
– All nine people are trapped in a facility where the only escape is through a central elevator that locked behind six doors. A password for each door will be revealed for every person who’s been killed in the experiment.
– Instead of text-heavy segments, Zero Time Dilemma’s story will be told through cinematic cutscenes which are fully-voiced. This means that you can play the game without having to read numerous lines of text.
– The narrative flow of Zero Time Dilemma will be all over the place when you first begin. In the story, all nine characters are injected with a drug every 90 minutes, causing them to lose their memories. To that end, the story can be experienced out of order. The game will provide a flowchart that shows you the chronological placement of whatever segment you just played.
– There is an element of randomness in Zero Time Dilemma. Kotaku’s preview of the game mentions that there is a segment where Diana has to make a crucial decision. She has to fire a gun, loaded with three blanks and three live rounds, at Sigma. This means that Sigma has a 50% chance of dying. Upon firing the gun, the outcome of the situation will be random and independent of whatever you might’ve done before this.
– There’s still no official confirmation on whether 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward will be coming to Steam.
– Zero Time Dilemma will have dual audio options, just as VLR did.
So, who do you think’s gonna be Zero this time? Personally, my money’s on Snake or Santa. Zero Time Dilemma is set to be released for the PS Vita and 3DS on June 28.