The Let's Play Archive

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

by Dragonatrix

Part 30: 2nd class cabin 3

[Music: Binary Game]

I dunno about you, but I think we should get out of here as soon as we possibly can at this point.

(I saw a particular tile when I looked through the hole in the shower curtain. Maybe if I look in the same place over here...)
All where was it...

What are you mumbling about, Jumpy?
Oh, sorry...
Uh, could you be quiet for a minute? I don't wanna forget this.

That would be somewhere in this region.

Here it is!
(...Yes, this one's loose! I think I can get under this with my nails, and...yes!)

You did a good job finding it.
So one side has a design like the rest of the bathroom tiles and the other side has the black and white design.

I'm pretty sure I have too, but I can't quite remember where... eh, it's probably nothing important.

I doubt we're going to get much more from this room, so let's head back to Lotus and Santa. There's some stuff there we've got left to do, at least.

It was on the wall in the other bathroom.
Heh. Good job.
I get it... One side has the same pattern as the rest of the bathroom tiles...
Yeah, and the other side has that black and white pattern.

We know where there's one tile left to get, so let's head on over there.

Yes! It opened!
All right, pull that shit open!

There's nothing else in the cabinet we need to worry about, so let's just grab that tile.

Yeah... I think I saw it somewhere...


Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Let's go do that.

Here, take this.

Santa pulled something out of his pocket.

[Music: Silence]

It had a [4-leaf clover] in it.

What is this...?
I found it in-between some of the cushions on the sofa. Pretty sure it ain't gonna be any help to us, but I figured we might as well hang onto it anyway.
Then why don't you hold onto it?

Santa gave him a wry smile.

[Music: Who Is Zero?]

You know what I hate most in the world? I got 4 things:

"Hope", "Faith", "Love", and "Luck"...?
Damn straight.
And you...hate these things?
Yeah, you got a problem with that?
Uh, not really, but...

Junpei tried to figure out how best to phrase what he wanted to say.

Santa scratched the back of his ear, and looked awkward.

Well, see, each leaf on the 4-leaf clover has a meaning to it, okay? And that meaning is pretty much those 4 words. It's like...a flower language. Well, I guess it's not a flower is it? So a

Leaf words...

Junpei looked at the bookmark.

Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck...

So...yeah. I want you to take it, okay?

Take the damn thing, all right!?

Santa pretended to shiver with disgust and shoved the bookmark into Junpei's confused hands.


This choice seems somewhat superfluous, doesn't it? There doesn't appear to be any reason to (not) take it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that no one had ever opted to not take it.

So, of course, we're not taking it.

It's kinda weird to be getting presents from another dude, you know?

Santa's eyebrows went up. Apparently, he hadn't thought of that. I guess you do have a point. I won't force it on ya. Sure you don't want it?

The game is oddly determined to have you take the bookmark, it seems.

There's still no reason to either take it or leave it though. Except one little detail: if we choose to not take it, this scene just ends immediately afterwards. If we
do take it, then we get a longer scene.

If Santa wanted him to have it that much, Junpei couldn't see any harm in taking it.

Geez. Just make up your mind, all right?

Before Junpei could change his mind again...

Phew. Man, I feel a lot better now. That thing was a real pain, you know?
Do you really hate those 4 words that much?
Yeah, well, they can all betray you, you know?

For a moment, they looked at each other.

Well, that's not my only reason.
That's not the only reason I hate the 4-leaf clover. I just can't bring myself to like the number (4).

Nah. C'mon man, that's just silly. Maybe back in the Dark Ages that kinda crap scared people, but this is the 21st century, and I'm a 21st century guy.
Then why do you hate (4) so much?
'Cause it's a half-ass number.

(9) is a way better number. So what if it's last place, right? Least it's not some lameass middle number.

Santa's explanation made no sense. Junpei was even more confused than before.

You play?

So, this choice is a bugger. One of the options only really works on a first playthrough, meanwhile the other only works on a second (or later) playthrough. It took me quite a while to decide which one to go with, since they're both vaguely useful in their own way.

I picked "both."

Uh, yeah. Of course. What else would I mean?

But the lowest, most worthless cards, the 0s, they call "monkey".
Just like the guy in charge of this game, huh?

Ahahahahahahahahaha! Ha...! Oh man, you're totally right! The guy who trapped us in here sure is one hell of a monkey...

That was when Lotus spoke up.

Apparently, she'd been listening.

Of course, it doesn't use any of that stupid [digital root] junk. You just drop the tens digit, and that's it. Still, it does have the same idea of your final number needing to be a single digit.
Oh... Yeah, I guess you got a point.

The person who makes (9)...wins?
Did you forget already? Don't you remember what Zero said?
"The exit is hidden, but it is there. Seek the exit... Seek the door that carries a [9]."
So, if we wanna get off this boat...

And only the people in that team are going to make it out alive...
Of course! That's why it's called the [Nonary Game].
You don't know?

It's derived from the Latin prefix "nona", which means 9. While we're at it, the prefix for 1 is "uni". You know, like the unicorn--the horse with 1 horn. 2 is "bi" binary. Binary means composed of 2 parts. 3 is "tri". I'm sure you've heard that one plenty. Like trio, triple, and triangle... You get the idea. After that you have quart, quinti, sext, septim, and so on. And of course the prefix for 8 is "octo", like octopus. It's called that because it has 8 legs. Get it?
I see...

Lotus nodded.

So, how many of us are trapped on this ship?
That'd be 9.
And what are the bracelet numbers we have?
They go from 1 to 9.
And our time limit? How many hours did we have?
Zero said 9 hours...
And get out of this ship?
We need to find the door with a [9] that's hidden somewhere in the ship.
By making a team with the digital root of 9...

Lotus nodded again.

And there you have it.

He's got a real theme of (9)s for this whole thing. No wonder it's called the [Nonary Game].

[Music: Silence]

Somewhere far away, Junpei heard the creak of stressed metal. It sounded almost like Zero laughing at them...

...Or the sad, desperate scream of a pig headed to the slaughterhouse.

...Yeah, not a lot new there but at least we can pretend it still matters or something. You're basically expected to pick Door 4, take the bookmark and then choose "gambling" here on a first playthrough. Kind of a stretch, huh?

No matter, now we can go back and pick the real choice we're going with.

[Music: Who Is Zero?]

Nah, that's not what I mean. Why the hell would you think that?

This last statement, more or less thrown away by Santa, caught Junpei very much by surprise.

You!? A stockbroker?!
Yeah. Got a problem with that?
No, you just...don't look like the type.

Man, that stuff's just like gambling, you know? All you gotta do is bet on the winning horse. Nothing that hard about it.
You sure sound pretty confident. So...are you betting on winning horses?
Course I am. You remember a couple years back when

Stacked a few bills over that, if I do say so myself.
Uh huh...

Fortunately, he was saved quickly from further embarrassment.

Stop screwing around!

The voice screaming at them from the other room was unmistakably Lotus'. Junpei and Santa looked at each other.

...The lady has spoken.

Santa sighed.

We'd better get back to work before we really piss her off.

And with that, Santa walked off, slowly...

Hey, wait! We weren't done!

He started after Santa, intended to catch him, but...


Lotus appeared from the next room, blocking his path. Her posture suggested she was not about to let him pass.

There was nothing for it. He had lost.

[Music: Binary Game]

There's nothing much left now, so let's just check out the one aspect of the room we haven't dealt with just yet.

(So I guess I'm supposed to put tiles in the empty spaces...)
All right! I'm gonna give it a shot!

Jesus, Junpei. Did you really have to make such a goddamn mess of this thing when you put the pieces in? You couldn't have put them in so it was solved already? Nope. I'm not bailing you out of this one.

Is it really that hard?

Okay, fine. I changed my mind. Let's do this after all.

Could you please do it right?
O-Of course! Just leave it to me!

(So if I can just make it look like that one...)
All right! I'm gonna give it a shot!

Actually, nah. I don't feel like it now.

Junpei... Maybe there's another picture that we could use a reference? If we could find something like that, it'd be much easier to figure out this pattern.

Okay, now I feel like it. Junpei has been told off enough for me to consider it worth our time.

(There. Picture, complete!)

Wh-What's this?
Wadda you mean "what's this"? Pretty obvious, isn't it? It's a hole in the wall. Like a hidden safe or something, you know? Anyway, let's take a look. I think there's something inside.

The door at the end of the hallway! It has the same symbol engraved on the keyhole!
Then...that's gotta mean...
Yes! We can use this key to get through that door!

Hurrah, looks like it's time for us to leave. Took long enough.

[Music: Silence]

[Music: Riddle and Puzzle]

Santa had only been mumbling to himself, but it drew Lotus's attention. She looked at the picture, and paused.

I...I think I've seen this picture before.
In a book.

This is a real man. He really exists, he's really a biochemist, he's really English... and the stuff Lotus is about to talk about, he really did come up with and write about.

He's still alive now even.

He has a rather interesting theory. I saw this picture in his book.
What's this interesting theory?

Man, I can't deal with this. Just listening to you talk about it is giving me a headache.

Santa put his hands on his head, as though he were in great pain.

Lotus merely arched an eyebrow in his direction and continued.

It's not a difficult concept to grasp. In essence, he states that the "shapes of living organisms and their behavioral patterns are

Uh, what part of that isn't difficult, exactly?

Lotus did not look pleased.

All right, how about this...

Yes, telepathy. Well, perhaps not exactly telepathy, but... It is close enough, for a simple approximation.

Santa suddenly burst into laughter.

HAHAHAAHA! Are you serious!? Telepathy? Who do you think we are? Kids from the 70s? I can't believe someone would actually do serious research on something like that.

I read the book, but I can hardly say I understood it. I'm in no position to defend or condemn anything it said. It was probably just someone latching on to a statistical outlier from some study and turning it into a ridiculous theory. There's no scientific merit to any of it, I'm sure. But even so... I...
Anyway, I saw a picture like that one in his book.

Lotus indicated the picture they'd all been looking at.

After a moment she walked up to the strange picture, examined it, and then spoke.

Santa answered first.

Wadda ya mean? Isn't it just, like...abstract, or something like that? It's just black and white scribbles. There's no meaning there. That's it.
What about you, Junpei? Does it look like anything to you?
Hmm... I guess it looks like...

...a Rorschach test?

Sadly, that's not an option. But that's okay, because 5 of these might as well not be either. There is but one choice here that is accurate, and I know that you know what it is, so we'll be doing that one.

See...? I mean this totally looks like one... Here, and here...

Junpei indicated parts of the picture that looked exactly like the other parts.

After 3 seconds of silence, Lotus looked at Junpei.

What do you mean "what the hell is a funyarinpa"? You don't know?!
How the hell would I know!?
How could you not know?!

Goodness, you are such a rude woman.

Another 3 seconds of awkward silence went by.

Lotus opened her mouth as she shook.

Junpei, are you just screwing around?
Forget it. I'm just gonna tell you. this.

Lotus pointed out parts of the picture, and eventually a dog took shape in them.

It was a dog. Santa also nodded in agreement.

So? Now we know what it's a picture of, but... I don't see how that helps us.

Lotus nodded, and began to speak.

this is a bit of an understatement

They took 2 similar pictures. Both of them were difficult to identify, initially... But once you'd figured out the answer, you couldn't see it as anything else. The first picture was a woman wearing a hat. The other one... Well, to make it easier...

So. Their experiment...

To Ireland, the U.S., Africa, Europe, etc. Then, in each country, they gathered a number of test subjects. All in all, there were roughly 1,000 people.

Those 1,000 people were shown the 2 pictures, and asked "What does this picture look like to you?"

The results, in and of themselves, were not terribly interesting...

[3.9%%] saw the dog in the dog picture.

Then, 2 days later... They broadcast a new show. During the 30 minute show, they broadcast the dog picture, and its solution. The audience was estimated to be 200,000 people.

After another 2 days had passed, they gathered a number of research subjects from areas where British TV and radio did not exist.

They were, however, given the same test, and the same 2 pictures.

The results...were shocking.

[10%%] of the people saw the lady in the lady picture. The previous test had yielded a [9.2%%] success rate--the change was not statistically significant.

So, do you understand? Do you realize the significance of this experiment? There was no way the second group could have seen the picture. They lived far away from Britain, and couldn't have seen the picture.

Why? How did that happen? What does it mean?

Lotus looked back and forth, from Junpei to Santa and back again.

Normally calm and collected, she looked now as though she were very nearly possessed, and there was something manic about her manner.

Santa took an involuntary step backward.

Junpei didn't budge, and stared straight back into Lotus's eyes...

Does this have something to do with that "field" or whatever it was that you were talking about earlier?

So if more people know the answer... then that information will pass through the field...

Her manner suddenly shifted, and Lotus smiled broadly at Junpei and Santa.

She waved her hand dismissively, doing her best to laugh the whole confrontation off.

Oh, I was just kidding. You really shouldn't take me seriously.

But the results of that experiment really aren't anything to go by. They could have easily falsified them. In the end, I'm sure they were just in it for the ratings. They are a TV station, after all.

At last, it seemed that Santa had gained control of his composure.

I, uh, really thought you were serious...
*Giggle* Of course not!

O-Oh, okay, right! Ha ha ha hahahaha!

All right, enough nonsense. We've got the key. Let's get out of here.

[Music: Silence]

Lotus and Santa walked away from the picture.

...But Junpei stayed, staring at the picture of the dog.

[Music: Binary Game]

There's absolutely nothing left now, so let's just go.

All right! Let's go to the hallway!

Roger that.

Sadly there's little in the hallway we can do. We can't even examine the DEAD! Let's just go grab June and then leave.

Oh, uh... I was gonna go get you...
I know, Santa told me. Come on. Let's go!

If we examine the door without equipping the key, there's nothing of interest unfortunately. Let's just use it and go!

Yes! It unlocked!
Good job, Junpei!
Good, now we can get going. C'mon, what're you guys standing around for?! Let's get outta here!