Story/Puzzle Discussion Thread

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#51 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

just beat the game. ending is crazy.

#52 Posted by LarryDavis (876 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

Not totally relevant, but anyone else find it weird how Clover's character model is practically always smiling even though, often, that's totally inappropriate for what she's saying and the emotion in her voice?

Yes. I'm not far into it, just got past Crew Quarters (is there a reason it was some other order than 1689? I just tried all permutations and got the gold file and escape key) and this was pretty weird in the main area.

I'm glad this one has the branching Radiant Historia-style chart with the ability to jump to points. Fast-forwarding in 999 WASN'T FAST ENOUGH.

No spoilers necessary, but does this game ever go to the totally goddamn batshit stuff from the true ending of 999? That shit made my brain hurt, even Junpei was like "uhhhh this doesn't really seem possible, but whatever!" and it ended.

#53 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

@LarryDavis: yes it gets even more crazy than you cane even imagine

#54 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1670 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: Yeah, I'm with you, Clover's constant playful, weird, winking expressions are so out of place. But it feeds into my notion that she's a crazy fucking psychopath (having played 999 and a good chunk of VLR so far), so it all evens out.

@LarryDavis said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Not totally relevant, but anyone else find it weird how Clover's character model is practically always smiling even though, often, that's totally inappropriate for what she's saying and the emotion in her voice?

Yes. I'm not far into it, just got past Crew Quarters (is there a reason it was some other order than 1689? I just tried all permutations and got the gold file and escape key) and this was pretty weird in the main area.

I'm glad this one has the branching Radiant Historia-style chart with the ability to jump to points. Fast-forwarding in 999 WASN'T FAST ENOUGH.

No spoilers necessary, but does this game ever go to the totally goddamn batshit stuff from the true ending of 999? That shit made my brain hurt, even Junpei was like "uhhhh this doesn't really seem possible, but whatever!" and it ended.

Yes, I am eternally grateful that this game has the branching chart as well. A smart design choice this time around.

As for the Crew Quarters Puzzle, there are a couple shapes (triangle and one of the others) that are upside-down in the poster relative to how they are displayed in the desk. Using the upside-down versions of those numbers in the code (I believe you flip 6 and 9 upside-down) gets you the alternate code.

#55 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1670 posts) -

@SlightConfuse said:

just beat the game. ending is crazy.

Okay, wow, you were not kidding! Some of the initial final reveals I had already figured out earlier on (i.e., actually being on the moon), but then they keep opening more and more paths on the flowchart and piling on the fucking craziness. The A/B/C/D/E chart with the timeline that lays out how everyone's consciousness switch back and forth that they keep referencing still makes my head spin, thinking about it - to their credit, it is meticulously explained, as are most of the details of the story, but I had to sit and think everytime they brought it up to get everything straight.

Also, another quick ending question:

Do they ever actually explain what happened in the Mars test mission facility: how the Radical-6 gets out, and how Zero loses his arms and eye? It gets brought up a couple times, and then pushed aside. Just making sure I didn't miss anything.
#56 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

@beard_of_zeus:

sleep on the chart it will make more sense.

as to you other question:

no that is assumed to be the setting for the next game. where phi, old sigma in young sigma;s body and ?K try to infiltrate the facility. my theory is that radical 6 was developed to make the trip notfeel long. since it reduces your brains processing a 5 year trip to mars would feel like 1.(arbitary numbers). but it falls into the hand of the free the soul. its why the gravity on the moon seemed low

also sigma losses his eye and hands failing to save a woman in the test site. its rumored to who luna was based on.

so short anser wait till volume 3 :)

#57 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1670 posts) -

@SlightConfuse:

Ah, if they are planning on leaving the facility infiltration for another game, I guess I can see why they were so obtuse about the details there. Your theory about Radical-6 seems reasonable - if you can't make space travel faster, just make it SEEM faster! 1 year suddenly seems like 1/sqrt(6) years!

I remember them mentioning the incident about the traps in the test site, I guess I just wanted more details about the whole facility. But I guess I will have to freeze myself in a pod until the next game comes out :)

I thought the end of Ghost Trick on the DS or the original 999 game was crazy, but this game beats all of those, hands down!

#58 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

yea its the only game that explains why the protaginst is silent.

#59 Edited by AndrewB (7500 posts) -

@SlightConfuse: I could name a couple more that do that,

which is how pieced together parts of the Sigma twist before they happened (actually, before owning the game).

But one thing that surprised me even though it shouldn't have is

the whole flow chart storyline thing opened from the beginning. I thought they were just streamlining the most annoying part of 999, which was going back and having to redo things you had already done to get to other story branches. Took me quite some time to figure out what was really going on (even though it *is* still an ingenious way to pull that off and still remain relevant to the story). I always love diving into these things knowing to expect all sorts of crazy yet totally explained things to happen, and I still end up surprised. There were points later in the story where I was actually saying aloud "how did I miss that?"

There's just two things that disappoint me about Virtue's Last Reward though.

The first is the ending. Part of the reason I love the Infinity series is because they take place in theoretically the same universe and share major world events and such which shape the stories in those games, but each one of the stories is a self-contained piece and you don't have to have played the rest of them to enjoy it. Virtue's turned out to be a much more direct sequel to 999 than I thought it would be, and will be even more so for the third game the way things are headed. While they'll come up with all sorts of new twists, I can't help but feel the wholly convoluted story arc will grow to Metal Gear Solid levels of irritating and lose its appeal. Unfortunately, this is about the closest thing to a popular visual novel the western market has seen in a long time, and there's nothing really to take up that mantle besides indie groups of translators.

Number two:

many of the plot elements in Virtue's have steered very close to those used in the titles in the Infinity series. That's fine for the majority of the populace here who hasn't played those, but for someone who has... well, like said, there were a number of major plot points I got either half-right or guessed outright, from the beginning or at least early on. It's still a lot of fun trying to piece together everything as it's happening instead of waiting for the moment where you're expositioned!

Also totally noticed the Clover thing. I'd make a joke about "Clover never changes expressions." It was offputting at times. She does get angry though. Also, her voice acting feels the weakest of the bunch, which is sad considering how much I love the character in spite of the crazy. Alice had some great acting moments, Tenmyouji was weak only when getting angry (his acting wasn't forceful enough compared to his character model) but overall good, Dio was amazing, and Zero III is definitely the best this year (and it sounds like the voice actor had a lot of fun with the role from the enthusiasm and switching between accents and such).

I don't want to sound down on Virtue's at all though. It was an improvement upon its predecessor in sooo many ways, especially mechanically. Never having to redo a puzzle sequence was a breath of fresh air, there seemed like there were more puzzles, and they were all more streamlined and focused, and more Layton-esque puzzle-y than the first game (in a good way).

Just do a better job of bug testing next time, because the freeze glitch and (especially) the corrupt savegame glitch on the 3DS is a *disaster* of a problem, and made playing the game a lot more of a hassle than it needed to be.

Oh. by the way, was anyone else able to guess that

Akane was the one in K's suit at some point? The mannerisms were a giveaway to me, although it did throw me off when I got K's ending and it was "Sigma"/Kyle.
#60 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

So I feel like I'm almost done with this game, but something that I can't help but express my frustration towards is:

Cyan door > Betray > Red door > Ambidex Game:

I feel as though the game is implying that every player chose "Betray" as their first option, which is why Phi seeks revenge. The first thing I chose when going through that path was "Ally", so it was a bit weird when Phi was talking about payback that time. But that was fine; expected with all of the weird time travel stuff they're experiencing. BUT, when I went back and chose Betray and she chose Ally, I was extremely annoyed that Sigma made no reference to Phi choosing Betray "last time" and he just stayed quiet as though the decision was all his fault and he didn't know why he made it. PLUS, going through the "Ally" path once again now, both Sigma and Phi are talking as though the first thing I ever chose in that path was Betray, which is absolutely wrong.

That's probably the only thing that's irked me in the narrative so far.

#61 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1670 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ:

I was actually curious about that, so after I ran into the save game glitch and had to start over, I did those in the opposite order as the first time, and I feel like I remember them being consistent in both cases, and Sigma mentioning what happened "last time", but I might be thinking of a similar branch, where that happens with Alice.

But, considering how air-tight the rest of the narrative is, I think I'll give them a pass for one small goof-up :P

#62 Posted by Devoid (429 posts) -

Regarding the very ending:

Had Akane ended by straight up calling you "Blick Winkel", I would have forgiven everything about how much the game was setting up a sequel.

That would have been the greatest thing, and I would be calling it GOTY right now.

#63 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -
#64 Edited by Shinmaru007 (265 posts) -

I'm roughly 30 hours in and have seen three main endings (Dio's, Clover's, and K's). I keep running into bad endings and To Be Continued spots even though I have explored almost all of the branches, haha. (I'm making my way through the right side at the moment.) Every time I think I have some things figured out, the story throws me another curve ball ... Dio is the only one I really think I have a handle on, though by saying that, I bet there's something else screwy waiting around the corner.

Definitely enjoying the game, though -- the extra conveniences on top of the text skipping are quite helpful, especially since there's a TON of content in this game even when you skip around. It's kind of crazy!

#65 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

So after 41 hours, I've finished the game. I played through the whole thing with the Hard difficulty and the only puzzles I went to a FAQ to complete were both of the ones involving dice positioning. I actually found "Q" to be enjoyable for the most part and the AB puzzle was certainly interesting. I haven't read any of the secret reports yet, though.

The first time I had went through the game and obtained the Dio ending, I wondered to myself, jokingly, why Troy Baker wasn't part of the voice cast after hearing the rest of the VA. Funny how things turn out...

So, uh,it's fairly obvious that Zero Escape: Volume 3 will be a more direct sequel to VLR than VLR was to 999 and it will take place in the Mars mission test site. The ending to VLR kinda blew my mind and following the timeline stuff was kinda difficult, but I loved it.

Questions I have that will probably be explained later are: Who replaced Kyle's consciousness and why do they know everything about the events that occurred? How did Akane state that Alice and Clover could actually bring their physical bodies into the past without creating a paradox?

Also, I think I found a small plothole:

The first time Sigma meets Akane through the pre-recorded hologram, she says something quite similar to "Lagomorph, the one you've dubbed as Zero jr..." Well, this doesn't work since that message was pre-recorded to before the start of the Nonary Game and she wouldn't have known that they would call Zero III "Zero jr.", right? It's a really small thing, and it could be subverted by some jumping nonsense, I suppose. For the most part, everything seems to hold together well.

I'm looking forward to Volume 3.

@SlightConfuse said:

yea its the only game that explains why the protaginst is silent.

I must have missed something, but how exactly is this explained?

I thought it was a way for them to avoid revealing how old Sigma's present body really is, but I can't think of an explanation they gave to explain why he was silent the whole time.

I also thought that the "hidden/security camera" aesthetic of the game's UI would turn out to be some kind of twist, which didn't happen.

#66 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: i meant in the fact that as the player it seems that they went for a slient protaganist. but it was more subtle than that.

as to your second thing

since she can she multiple paths like in 999 she saw her path as K?

#67 Posted by Bocam (3672 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

Who replaced Kyle's consciousness and why do they know everything about the events that occurred?

He's "Blick Winkel"

#68 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@Bocam said:

He's "Blick Winkel"

Pf, that sounds like wild speculation to me, going from the little I've read about that on Wikipedia.

#69 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@SlightConfuse: Ah, I understand that.

Also, yeah, I guess it could be explained by some jumping business since she's an esper. I guess it's just difficult to track just how many significant jumps the characters are doing throughout the story.

Another question, but relating to VLR and not a sequel:

In several timelines, Dio talks about how, during the AB games partnered with Quark, Quark was the one who pushed "Betray" and he painted a pretty cruel picture of him, like in one of the timelines where Dio claims Quark said that Tenmyouji was gonna die pretty soon anyways and that since he trusted Quark, he would press Ally so they would get 3 points each. In another, the Dio/Quark duo vote ally vs. Luna, who would have died if she was betrayed, but it seems Dio is pretty much out of sorts during their conversation after the results are shown and, really, it seemed like Quark was lying as to their justification for choosing Ally.

Honestly, it didn't seem like Dio was lying about Quark's attitude. He even says something like "Claim whatever you want to kid, but they'll know sooner or later." If he was lying, wouldn't he be much more defensive about it, in typical Dio style? Am I the only one who thought Quark had a more villainous side to him than the game portrays?

#70 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -
#71 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

So the scenario writer for the series has been saying some interesting stuff about Zero Escape 3 on Twitter such as Junpei appearing as a participant in the next game.

Also, I loved VLR, but like some others have been stating, some of the twists don't make much sense to me.

I like subtle hints towards future twists like the two images above or even the box art (where Sigma has grey hair and his left eye is glowing), but I don't feel that it makes sense that Sigma would just discover his aged body when he sees his reflection in the water. All that time and he never noticed wrinkles that shouldn't be there? Or noticed his own change in voice? He never once touched his face and immediately felt his cyborg eye? Any of those would have immediately told him that something was wrong with his body.

I'm also not feeling the low gravity twist. Ever since the Dio ending, my first one, I thought that the game might be taking place in space (though I was thinking Mars and not the Moon), but justifying Phi's supernatural jumps with that as well as slow movement of the environment making sense because of Radical-6 symptoms doesn't do it for me. I'm sure a bunch of inconsistencies could be found because of that twist such as the lounge, right? In the lounge, one of the puzzles requires pouring wine into glasses but that would be impossible in low gravity; the liquid would just float. The throwing dart puzzles also wouldn't work, because Sigma wouldn't be able to throw the darts onto a board in space, right? Or maybe I'm missing something.

All in all, I feel that 999 had a better ending/twist and I also enjoyed its "master puzzle", which VLR lacked.

#72 Posted by Bocam (3672 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

So the scenario writer for the series has been saying some interesting stuff about Zero Escape 3 on Twitter such as Junpei appearing as a participant in the next game.

Also, I loved VLR, but like some others have been stating, some of the twists don't make much sense to me.

I did not know he knew English. Also most of the twists would make much more sense if you've played his other games.

#73 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@Bocam: I added some explanation to the problems I had with the two major twists. Reading some of those tweets has made me want to check out Ever17, though.

#74 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

Since that character was involed in the mars stuff i expect him to be in the 3rd game.

also in the art book, it says phi was made to look like Santa on purpose

#75 Posted by Bocam (3672 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: Don't play Ever17 first. Play Remember11.

#76 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@Bocam: Didn't Ever17 come before Remember11? Though, my interest in those is more of a passing curiosity because of the writer. Don't know how much I'd like them compared to the Zero Escape series because there's a lot about it that appeals to me.

#77 Posted by Bocam (3672 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: The chronology of the Infinity games goes like this.

Never7 (This one is more like a dating sim.) -> Remember11 -> Ever17 (Has a shitty translation. Is the most like Zero Escape.) -> 12Riven -> Code18 (These last two are not translated)

#78 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: @Bocam: Hey, I'd like one of you to do me a favor, or anyone else who reads this. I may have spoiled something for myself and I'm kind of bummed out now. I finished 999 last week, it was pretty great, of course. I'll be getting VLR (I went with the Vita version) after my next paycheck, probably Thursday or Friday. Anyway. Here's my issue, and I'll label it a spoiler just in case.

I made the mistake of looking at the characters list on the wiki, because I was curious if it was all new characters, or if there were returning characters. Junpei was on that list, and one of the descriptions I read said he was involved in playing the third nonery game. However, I just watched the anime prologue and he was nowhere to be seen. Obviously I fucked up, but I'd like to know how bad. There's a robot thing in the prologue named K, who has... fucking amnesia, because of course he does. Is Junpei in the fucking robot suit? Hopefully that wasn't one of the main twists. Even better, hopefully that's not the case. It's going to bug the hell out of me if I have to play that game constantly assuming that Junpei is in there- I'd rather just know. If it's not him, please don't tell me what role he plays (you know, if any).

Just- one of you send me a PM letting me know where I stand. Thanks.

#79 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@TooWalrus: Don't worry. That's one of the game's most minor of twists, and is really just stated offhandedly because no one cares about him. Also, I won't tell you anything about K except that he has nothing to do with any character from 999.

Now stop reading VLR stuff before you play the game!

#80 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: I know I know I know I know I'm sorry I know :-(

On a somewhat related note, it's no wonder these games don't sell. It's probably partially because the only place they're available for purchase is the internet. I have $20 in Best Buy cash sitting here, I tried to get it this morning, but they don't stock it- they've got less then a dozen Vita games on the shelf. Over the past few days I've been in Best Buy, Target, Walmart etc and the only thing they stock for handheld systems is some major Nintendo releases, and then third party shovelware. I'm sure they don't stock them because they don't sell well in the first place, but still, it's kinda disheartening.

#81 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@TooWalrus: Yeah, it's kind of like Atlus USA with their games where they ship a small amount they know they'll sell instead of overshipping and losing money because of that. Smart strategy when they know their fanbase, but can be hard to find past the release date because of that.

#82 Edited by Bocam (3672 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: VLR still sold a lot more in the US than it did in Japan.

Also I can't stop laughing at Patrick's take on Junpei and June's relationship.

#83 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ Forget what I said about wanting Chie and Akihiko to partner up in Persona 5- so far, that's basically the plot of VLR... Actually, looking at this list of VAs here... Aigis, Mitsuru, Rise, Dojima... Wow. I'm actually way into this, these guys are quality VAs. The controls kinda make me wish I'd gotten the 3DS version, though.
#84 Posted by BeachThunder (11709 posts) -

ok, a couple of things:
 
Why was Alice needed to calculate something - surely Luna would be better at calculating things?
What is the significance behind the game's name?

Online
#85 Posted by JoeyRavn (4949 posts) -

@BeachThunder said:

ok, a couple of things: Why was Alice needed to calculate something - surely Luna would be better at calculating things? What is the significance behind the game's name?

Spoilers for the true-true (truer?) ending:

Both Alice and Clover realize that their importance in the AB Game was... debatable, at best. Clover does admit that she is an esper (i.e. people who can tap into the morphogenetic field, like Akane, Junpei, Sigma and Phi) at one point in the story. If there are two or more espers near each other, the most powerful one will "cancel" the others' powers and amplify their own. In this case, Sigma was the most powerful esper (though I'm not sure how it works with Phi around... maybe it has something to do with the person who's in Kyle's body?), so Clover's powers didn't manifest. Going by what is said by Alice and Clover at the last ending you can unlock, there is a way for them to go back in time, both in mind and in body... so I guess that Alice was also an esper, and her presence in the AB Game was meant to help Sigma (and Phi) get a better hold over their own powers.

Also, I guess that Luna could could do those calculations, but it would have raised too much suspicion over her. She had to "act normal".

As for the title of the game, I think it's one of those weird uses of the English language Japan is so fond of. The "reward" part refers to whether you betray or not the trust the your opponent puts on you. And in the large scheme of things, the "reward" for all the characters (if they choose to trust one another) is to escape from the Nonary Game.

#86 Posted by BeachThunder (11709 posts) -
@JoeyRavn:
 Oh and :D VLR as your GOTY too.
Online
#87 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -
#88 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

Finished it today... just now, actually. It's good stuff. Two things:  
1. They never explain Quarks  stupid   hat.  
2. Do you think it's too much to read into it that -

#89 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@TooWalrus said:

1. They never explain Quarks stupid hat.

They do in one of the secret reports titled "The secret of Quark's hat":

For your point #2, that's definitely a possibility. The writer has stated that Junpei will return for Zero Escape 3, after all.

#90 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: WOW. I said that as a joke but I didn't mean anything by it. I should read through those secret files. 
 
Anyway, I was trying to stay away from VLR information after I almost spoiled it for myself, so I didn't know he was writing a third game. I'm really happy to hear that, they wrapped stuff up in a satisfying way, but I'm definitely interested in more.
#91 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@TooWalrus: When you say you finished the game... are you sure? I just want to make sure you didn't miss anything, like young Akane or playing in Kyle's body with a different consciousness. And yeah, he's writing a third game. He says that it'll take place in the mission test site where Radical-6 initially escaped from.

#92 Edited by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

 
@FluxWaveZ: Anyway, how are you doing the spoiler block? The button seems to have... disappeared from Parchment v2
#93 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@TooWalrus: Ah, I can see that, but it leaves many open ends such as the mystery of Alice and Clover being able to return to the past in their physical bodies that I wouldn't be too happy if those weren't explained.

And that's weird. The "Spoiler" button is right next to the "Spoiler Block" button in Parchement v2 for me.

#94 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: Nevermind about that, I... yeah, didn't notice the "more" and "less" button on the right side.

#95 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1593 posts) -

Just finished this game a couple of days ago. Some thoughts on the ending:

Definitely saw some of the twists coming (Tenmyouji is Junpei, the old woman is Akane, you're in the distant future, you're not on Earth), but just like in 999, they somehow went WAY CRAZIER than all that, to the point where I'm left wondering if there was just too much going on at the end there. I was pretty sleepy by the time I got to the breakdown of that crazy time map, so that certainly didn't help. And then Sigma's consciousness was in his clone or some shit? And it was Troy Baker? So that, and I felt like it was a little too much setting up for the sequel. Not enough resolution. Like, what's the deal with Phi? I can't say I'm left chomping at the bit for the sequel at this point. If it does in fact take place in that facility where the Radical-6 gets out, then I already know too much for that to be particularly exciting. A lot of the appeal of the first two games is that everything is unknown from the start. But I'm probably just setting up my expectations for them to completely catch me off guard for the third time. Okay, I'm still kind of excited.
Online
#96 Edited by ike7779 (286 posts) -

I just finished it today and I'm still letting it simmer for a final opinion. I really enjoyed it but I think I liked 999 a little better.

Also, after being madly in love with her, seeing Luna's ending says SO MUCH about me.

Correct
#97 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1593 posts) -

@ike7779 said:

Dude, Sigma was so skeevy sometimes. If the game is putting me in control of this guy, the least it could do is not make him some pathetic, desperate creep.

Online
#98 Edited by pdawg17 (8 posts) -

Just finished it today...

I must admit after the Another Time End I was looking on the timeline for the trip to the Mars sim mission and to find out who's consciousness was in Kyle's body...I guess that will be the next game? I guess I'm disappointed that there was so much reveal and then it came to a screeching almost "incomplete" halt...
#99 Posted by vorpalparasite (275 posts) -

Just finished it... I uh, I don't feel well.

#100 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

Just finished it. I think I like it more than 999. The voice acting was a big difference for me.

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