999 And Sequel Virtue’s Last Reward Coming To PC

I suppose it seems inevitable in retrospect. Just last week “decision game” Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma launched on PC alongside its 3DS release, and now this week comes news that its two predecessors 999: Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward are both being ported to PC.

Or at least, I’m guessing they are. Technically the news from Anime Expo 2016 is simply that the games are coming to “other platforms”, but I’m going to make the risky decision to say that this means they’ll be coming to PC.

The horror trilogy is a visual novel with room escape puzzles which puts its cast of attractive teens into life-or-death situations and forces them to make horrible decisions about the lives of equally trapped peers. Developers Chunsoft showed a clip of the first game’s port at the show, while its sequel’s transition was confirmed via a less exciting presentation slide.

Chunsoft have been bringing a lot of their games to Steam of late, though Zero Escape is the first to be released at launch rather than months or years later. Other recent arrivals on Steam include the popular Danganronpa series, and RPG Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics is due later this summer.

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22 Comments

  1. dolgion1 says:

    Yay, the reasons for buying a console are becoming fewer and fewer.

    • UncleLou says:

      To be fair, these games have only appeared on handhelds, to which a PC isn’t much of an alternative, anyway.

      • malkav11 says:

        If you get any value out of it being portable, anyway. I don’t game on the bus or train, generally, and have tended not to get around to it on vacation (away from home, that is), either, so for me handhelds are something I end up pretty much just playing at my desk in front of my PC. I only own them because the games are almost universally not on PC (or haven’t been, previously) and both the handhelds and the games are sufficiently cheaper than full on consoles and their games that they present a much better value proposition.

  2. Jerppa says:

    Is Bray Wyatt still injured?

  3. Babymech says:

    Goddamnit… I just bit the bullet and decided to start up 999 on a DS emulator to try to get up to speed before buying Zero Time Dilemma, and I’m three endings into that horrible clunky interface… I have to imagine that the PC version will be better, but it’s too late to pause progress now.

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    As much as I detest 999, this news does actually make me pretty happy – as it means some kind of Mystery Dungeon game can’t be that far off. (Technically IIRC they’re releasing the updated version of One Way Heroics under that brand, but it’s not really the same.)

    • Babymech says:

      Why do you detest 999? I find it difficult to enjoy because of the extreme slowness and lack of gameplay – very little happens without 18 rows of unnecessary text and reaction shots,* which gets even worse when you’re backtracking, and the characters are all superficial and trope-y, but ‘detest’ seems like a stronger reaction than those shortcomings would warrant.

      *999 Masterpiece Theater presents: The Door.
      Seven: I’ll open the door.
      Santa looked at him and stepped back cautiously.
      Lotus: That sounds like a good idea.
      The others nodded.
      Seven: Okay, here goes.
      Seven positioned himself next to the door.
      Seven: HRNNNNGGH.
      Santa: Are you able to open it?
      Seven: It’s locked.
      The door was locked. They would have to try the door to the left instead.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        The writing is part of it – and it’s not simply that it’s over-written, some of the exposition is atrocious. Like when you-know-who makes a noble sacrifice with the anaesthetic and everyone’s protesting;

        (Noble character): Could you all be quiet, please? I’d like to… *yawn*… have a nice nap now.
        (Narrator): But Junpei knew (noble character) didn’t really want to have a nap at all!

        …I mean, Jesus Christ, give me a break, eh?

        But it’s the complete lack of any kind of surprise – you can guess how everyone’s going to react to everything based on thirty seconds when they’re first introduced. It’s the specific tropes, like throwing a “bad end” in solely for dumb, reprehensible slasher movie lulz. It’s the terrible plot, as well, and the way it acts as if it’s possessed of some deep wisdom simply because it’s dropping highfalutin’ theories and whatnot, most of which are flat-out hippy pseudo-scientific nonsense anyway. It’s blatantly, blatantly Dan Brown-calibre “I r so smart because I’ve heard of this cool thing which you haven’t”, only it doesn’t have the self-awareness to give the audience a knowing wink without making it seem like pantomime call and response (It’s totally true! But of course it’s not! But maybe it is! etc).

        It’s just an awful, awful piece of storytelling, and I’m not saying that just because it’s a Japanese videogame or I dislike anime tropes on principle or anything silly like that (as other people around here have alleged). There’s other games that cover very similar territory much better.

        • Babymech says:

          On the one hand, I agree with all you say. On the other hand, I do believe that all of what you said applies to 95% or more of all mystery anime that takes itself seriously. I can’t think of any that actually avoid those pitfalls. Which is why I only watch Space Patrol Luluco.

        • Chillicothe says:

          The further this series gets out of VN staples and writing styles, the better they get. 999 was several steps beyond them, VLR several leaps, and ZTD seems to be so far more still. You can tell the head writer is “free” from tired expectations, and it’s delicious.

          It’s no longer harem scarem and doomed lovers, long pointless describing what we’re seeing in the art anyways, or long rambling info dumps on topics and subjects dear to the writer. No, we’re doing some of the best writing of the type that can only be done in a video game here.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Oh, one thing I will credit it for: I don’t know how the DS version worked, but the iOS version did implement the same auto-skip that most visual novels have these days, so backtracking was never really a problem.

        • malkav11 says:

          The DS version I -think- has fastforward for visual novel sequences but the room escapes (which were apparently omitted for the iOS version) had to be done every single time. I opted to just read a Let’s Play.

  5. Zeroebbasta says:

    Good news, maybe I’ll finally manage to enjoy this game!
    I tried it on the DS, but the clunky interface was unbearable for a leftie.
    (Why DS devs always forgot about left-handed users? I had to give up more than one game due to this problem. The wonderful Elebits also comes to mind…)

    • GameCat says:

      “Why DS devs always forgot about left-handed users?”

      Still, DS have probably have more games with control schemes for left-handed players than any other gaming platform.

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    Dorga says:

    Mandatory to start from the beginning in my opinion.

  7. Zankman says:

    Just give us a new Fire Pro game already.

  8. malkav11 says:

    I wonder which version of 999 it will be – the original DS version complete with room escapes (but hopefully uprezzed etc), or the fully visual novelized iOS version? Or perhaps some new approach altogether?

    • BTA says:

      They showed a small clip; it’s indeed the former, and apparently even base voice acting now?

      • BTA says:

        *has voice acting, even

        Love you, sudden last second autocorrect, when I can’t edit.

  9. BTA says:

    Small correction: ZTD also came out on Vita. They actually haven’t announced the platforms for the 999 and VLR ports yet, but based on their hints, it’s PC and Vita.

  10. AlexStoic says:

    I can’t believe they even made a 3rd game, considering how long it takes to play the first two (which is absolutely mandatory to understand the third).

    I’d recommend just skimming through the first game, you can find a good LP in the Let’s Play Archives if you don’t want to suffer through excruciating slowness. Playing through the first two games just to get to the third could take upwards of 50-60 hours.

    • malkav11 says:

      At the time I finished VLR, word was there wouldn’t be a third game because of poor sales. I’m so glad that’s changed. (It’s a hell of a cliffhanger.)