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Zero Time Dilemma: Zero Escape 3


strawdonkey
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  • 5 weeks later...
On 8/12/2016 at 10:02, Thwomp said:

Fucking bullshit. 

 

 

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I'm playing as Delta in a wheelchair? Fuck off. This is the worst twist I've ever seen in a game

 

 

Yeah that's what soured the plot for me. Cheap.

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  • 7 months later...

With this being £12 in the recent sale it became cheap enough for me, I have been cracking on over the last few days.

 

I'm not too convinced about the new format - I preferred having to play a 'strand' through to completion rather than individual nuggets that you can replay straight away to see the other outcome. 

 

Story-wise, I'm only about 5 hours in so nothing has really happened yet. I can barely remember anything about VLR as my head was well and truly KERBLAMMed by the end. All I know is that I really hate Eric. 

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I blasted through this the other week hot on the tails of finishing VLR. I really liked it. At first I wasn't sold on the fragment idea either but as the plot develops it really gets good. I loved trying to work out what events were in what timelines although unfortunately the flowchart eventually shows you anyway. Some of the twists were epic and I really liked the new character models and full animation even if its a bit basic. It feels way more cinematic and tense. The way the plot crisscrossed turns out to be genius and some of the subplots have amazing concepts and impact. On the downside, the structure makes the pacing off, you get hit with all the puzzle rooms one after the other and then don't do any more. The story does get a little mental as you'd expect from this series and some of the character's are pretty rubbish with poor choices for voice acting, whereas other characters are great and voiced really well. Overall its still great but I would have preferred a less fragmented, longer version more along the lines of VLR. Still, some of the moments are just brilliant and the ideas blow your mind. It's a shame that the scenario writing and design was split between the main writer Ukoshi or whatever he's called and other writers, as you can really tell the strands he was involved in as they're way more engaging. Tricky to carry on a series like this that has a complex plot whilst still making sense and on the whole its a decent effort at achieving that. Really hope Ukoshi goes on to make more edgy games with mental timetwisting plots in future, the guy is a genius.

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I'm still angry about ZTD. I think the first game was the best in terms of atmosphere with the still shots of blood and guts, and the second game had one of the best twists I've ever seen. In fact the only negative thing about VLR was the rabbit, the futuristic presentation and characters were spot on, and the soundtrack was godly.

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Aside from the fragmentation structure spoiling the tension I think its also because jumping and the knowledge of it in this game removes the sense of threat. And because you are forced into bad decisions, but you rarely feel much remorse for doing so. Instead its more of a curiosity experience where you want to see how it all plays out. There's not so many hard hitting moments as the other games apart from a few places. Still, some of the bad endings are pretty great.

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Also I just wanted to highlight some bits of the plot I thought were great, big spoilers for this and VLR ahoy:



The teleporter strand where Sigma and Diana are left locked in the bunker was really nicely done. You see her slowly lose the plot and then the tragedy of having kids knowing they will probably never escape. That version of Sigma, Diana and the twins probably starve to death. I also always wondered why Akane never came back for them, but people have theorised on forums that it's because she gets injected with the memory loss drug before knowing that there are others still alive inside. Of course she is selfish and probably wants out but surely she's not that evil?

 

Anyway it was a really nice sombre thread, and then the events which spiral off from that are just great. When the Sigma and Diana duplicates enter a timeline where they're already dead everything kicks off in a great mishmash of timeline intersecting when Carlos appears too from his jumping jaunts. The Carlos/Akane/Junpei jumping thread is also brilliant, where they are jumping around trying to beat the system, and the evil Q appears and Carlos jumps to try and save Akane and Junpei. The way all of those timelines and jumps intertwine was the highlight of the game for me.

 

I think it's a bit of a shame that they used a visual effect to signify jumping. I can understand why as to some people it would be confusing, but I think it would have been much better to figure it out for yourself and tell just by the change in personality of the character. They also missed good opportunities to use this disorientation for intrigue in earlier segments of the game. In VLR the times when you see Phi has "jumped in" to the timeline were the first indicators that she had some sort of strange ability, and the times where she knew stuff she shouldn't made it all more intriguing. Sadly because everything is already explained for the 3rd game, you lose most of that mystery - the biggest reveal is Zero's identity and the questions you are asking are all about "what is the game for" "who killed X" "who is X" - instead of wondering about the bigger reality bending questions because it's already explained.

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  • 1 month later...

The story only gets more interesting about half way through and then there are some good interactions. In hindsight with the knowledge that the zero escape creator only wrote one third of the game you can really tell which stuff he worked on directly. I would say its worth sticking with as the way it all comes together is pretty cool.

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  • 1 year later...

I left three years or so between games (I finished VLR early in 2015, I think!) so a lot of the plot strands left dangling from VLR are a bit hazy. I think ZTD addresses everything, although I can't quite remember

 

who sets up the Ambidex Game in the future and why. Is it Akane and Sigma, or Junpei? Purely to make the jump/shift back to the Dcom place happen, or for some other reason? Oh, and what about the Sigma clone, what happened with that?

Something something timey-wimey?

 

Anyway, I enjoyed ZTD and found it to be a decent, if a little flat, ending to a remarkably bold and bizarre series. The puzzle rooms were just as good as previous entries (maybe a little easier), and there are some mindblowing kerblammo moments and clever story structuring, although nothing as "out there" as the stuff that happens in VLR unfortunately.

 

There's the usual clunky dialogue, awkward voice acting, naff animation ("hey, we couldn't be bothered to show this bit, let's look at the ceiling for a few seconds!") and strangely inappropriate costume choices, but that's nothing new.

 

Changing the timelines to fragments... I'm not convinced it was a good idea and I don't really see the benefit, other than intentionally confusing you? Good job, I guess. On the plus side, the non-linearity means the exciting moments can come quicker, rather than backloading them. VLR was very slow to get going, so I guess this is an improvement. There's still the usual late-game headfucks, so let's get onto the biggest one.

 

The big twist, then:

 

The boy isn't Q, he never was, nobody ever called him that! The old man was Q, but the game's camera never looked at him? Nobody ever spoke to him or let him join in because... he's deaf, dumb, blind and in a wheelchair? C'mon, that's fucking weak!  

Okay, so I gasped and thought it was very clever for about ten minutes, but then it started to not make sense the more I thought about it. Everyone knows there are nine players and nine bracelets, but if they all know Q is the old man, why aren't Q-Team more surprised that there's an extra player (Sean) with them, who also gets injected, passes out, wakes up, and can also die and give an X-Pass? In fact, the "Sean dies" outcome of the 3-way standoff actually has Eric kill Sean with the grenade, and then the announcer says that Q is dead! Like, did the explosion also hit Delta, and then nobody went to check on him? Mira and Eric just left? :lol:

 

 

VLR took great pains to explain its twists and tie up all its loose threads, with meticulous care as I recall! This was flimsy in comparison.

But I liked it and I think they've taken the storyline(s) as far as they can go without them becoming meaningless now. Branching paths, particularly when you can shift at will, take the impact out of choices.

 

After VLR, I couldn't even imagine how a sequel would play out. It seemed impossible to add anything new to this story, a story that seemed to be set up like clockwork to function a particular way and only a particular way. They took the multiverse theory option and ran with it, and I suppose it's about as good as it could have been, but the limitations are apparent.

 

Recommended, to finish the trilogy, but it's the weakest entry.

 

Bonus points for no fucking Ambidex Rabbit.

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8 hours ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

 

Bonus points for no fucking Ambidex Rabbit.

 

Awww, I like the rabbit. Only finished VLR this year but loved it, shame this one does not come as highly recommended. But of I can find it cheap on the 3DS somewhere its top of my list of games to buy

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9 hours ago, Sprite Machine said:

I left three years or so between games (I finished VLR early in 2015, I think!) so a lot of the plot strands left dangling from VLR are a bit hazy. I think ZTD addresses everything, although I can't quite remember

  Hide contents

who sets up the Ambidex Game in the future and why. Is it Akane and Sigma, or Junpei? Purely to make the jump/shift back to the Dcom place happen, or for some other reason? Oh, and what about the Sigma clone, what happened with that?

Something something timey-wimey?

 

  Hide contents

The boy isn't Q, he never was, nobody ever called him that! The old man was Q, but the game's camera never looked at him? Nobody ever spoke to him or let him join in because... he's deaf, dumb, blind and in a wheelchair? C'mon, that's fucking weak!  

Okay, so I gasped and thought it was very clever for about ten minutes, but then it started to not make sense the more I thought about it. Everyone knows there are nine players and nine bracelets, but if they all know Q is the old man, why aren't Q-Team more surprised that there's an extra player (Sean) with them, who also gets injected, passes out, wakes up, and can also die and give an X-Pass? In fact, the "Sean dies" outcome of the 3-way standoff actually has Eric kill Sean with the grenade, and then the announcer says that Q is dead! Like, did the explosion also hit Delta, and then nobody went to check on him? Mira and Eric just left? :lol:

 

 

 

In answer to your questions



If I remember right its Akane and Sigma who set up the VLR game, in an effort to change the events seen in Zero Time Dilemma.

 

Isn't the Sigma clone the android dude in VLR? Or its that they use the clone to replace Sigma in the gap when he's time travelling.

 

As for the big twist, check out YouTube as there's a few tiny clues earlier on that you can only really spot once you already know the twist. IIRC the grenade kills Q in that scene you mentioned (how convenient).  And yes, it's still lame as fuck overall. It's one of the greatest yet awful plot twists of all time. 

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5 minutes ago, Don Wiskerando said:

I've [not] played any of the games in this series.  Where do I start?

Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (999), originally released on the DS, now available for Vita and PC (I think?).

 

Then Virtue's Last Reward (VLR), for 3DS/Vita/PC/etc.

 

Then Zero Time Dilemma (ZTD), as above.

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As above but just be wary of which version of 999 you get. There is a version on tablet which may also be the PC version which cuts out a lot of the puzzles and simplifies the narrative. Personally I'd suggest the DS for 999, but VLR is fine on whatever system. There is also a Nonary games bundle on PS4 and PC (which has 2 or 3 of the games included) - but again check whether it has the neutered version of 999 in it. 

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5 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

As above but just be wary of which version of 999 you get. There is a version on tablet which may also be the PC version which cuts out a lot of the puzzles and simplifies the narrative. Personally I'd suggest the DS for 999, but VLR is fine on whatever system. There is also a Nonary games bundle on PS4 and PC (which has 2 or 3 of the games included) - but again check whether it has the neutered version of 999 in it. 

 

I think the PS4 and PC versions have the full game but with the good bits from the iOS version added in, like the flowchart showing which branches you have done. But I can't really imagine playing these on a TV, they just seem so suited to a handheld. Zero Escape is on sale on PSN at the moment, but I really want to play the 3DS version rather than a TV version

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6 minutes ago, Don Wiskerando said:

Is it an avoidable game breaking bug?

 

I didn't come across it when I was playing, but I was forewarned. I think there are a couple of rooms that if you save in the middle of the escape section it can corrupt the save file.

 

I believe this was patched in the European version, but not in the NA one. Will check that.

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7 minutes ago, Don Wiskerando said:

Is it an avoidable game breaking bug?

 

 

Yes, none of these are spoilers:

 

Quote

To preface my explanation, I will tell you that this game has Novel (story) and Escape (puzzle) sections.
To avoid the save corruption, never save in an Escape section, and definitely never save in the PEC, neither in the Novel nor Escape sections. (PEC stands for Pressure Exchange Chamber, but you don't need to know this, as it is always referred to by its acronym in the game.)

As for the freezes, the main culprits are certain mini-games, specifically the dice mini-games (which appear in two difference puzzle rooms) and the mini-game in the PEC. With the dice mini-games, don't move the dice too quickly and you should be fine. With the other one, just hope it doesn't freeze.

All in all, it sounds a lot worse than it actually is. You'll probably only encounter at most a couple of freezes in your entire run of the game, and as long as your follow the aforementioned precautions you won't lose your save file, either.

 

Copied from Game FAQs, I played it on Vita which didn't have this issue.

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2 minutes ago, SMD said:

 

Yes, none of these are spoilers:

 

 

Copied from Game FAQs, I played it on Vita which didn't have this issue.

And ignore my post, it wasn't patched in the EU version. Just don't save in an Escape section. 

 

I did have a freeze at one point, but was able to reload the game.

 

As I've said before, I think the 3DS is the perfect platform for this, but I can imagine the Vita version would be pretty good too. Shame about the bug on the 3DS.

 

I really need to pick up a Vita again.

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I have all of the systems but I've just bought a New 3DS XL to replace my original ambassador 3DS.  I'm doing the transfer tonight and then buying VLR from the eshop.  I've got 999 on the way from amazon,  and I'm on holiday for two weeks from this Saturday.

 

Good times.

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I didn't experience any bugs or freezes on VLR (3DS), but I also didn't save in any of the puzzle rooms just in case.

 

Remember, don't move onto the next game(s) until you've seen every ending (and your save file fills up with every ending 'icon'). With 999, this will require multiple playthroughs to get back to the 'branching points' (there's only like two or three per route, I think?), but you can skip through the already watched scenes quickly, and escaping the rooms again is pretty quick.

 

999 is the one that I think had the most thought put into its structure. The use of numbers to build a narrative, multiple narratives, is really clever. Especially when it throws in those twists.

 

Gah, I'm gonna have to play them all again aren't I? :lol:

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4 hours ago, SMD said:

999 is my favourite, it's a bit rough but there's an elegance to it and the way the story is told. VLR is a wonderful game though in its own right.

 

Can't imagine playing it on a normal TV, it's a handheld game for me. Plus if I pick up a Vita again it's sat on my PS+ library now.

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