The Let's Play Archive

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

by Dragonatrix

Part 43: Captain's quarters

[Music: Trepidation]


It was only then that Junpei noticed the stench of blood that filled the room.


[Music: Senary Game]

Jeez, apparently avoiding corpses is really difficult on this ship. We've been through 3 rooms with them in in 2 attempts to get out alive. That's quite not good.

Anyway, bizarre though it sounds... Clover has actually perked up a bit now!

Ah, this'll do. Watch.

There's nothing in it.

If all it took was seeing Mr. Monopoly butchered with an axe to cheer this girl up, I dunno why we didn't think of it sooner.

But, hey, now that we know she's okay let's leave her alone with the dead guy and go chill with Ace for a while.

only, uh...

I was gonna pop over to the communications office and talk to Ace.
You're...gonna leave me alone in here...?
You could, um, stay here with me a little longer. There are still lots of places we haven't looked...

We kinda...

There's this weird thing on the desk... Could you come take a look at it?


Junpei... Please...

Can't leave yet. There's something in here we need to do before we're allowed to go back to the Communications Room.

So let's ignore that plot flag entirely and look over at this camera by the door.

Don't even really have to try this door to know that it's locked.

Yeah, it's rather simple pattern recognition at this point.

So, the door's clearly locked and there's a conspicuous camera right here. I wonder what that's about.

It looks like it's pointed at the door.
Well, the power's on...
Why would someone want to videotape a door?
I think this kind of camera records to a hard drive...

What do you mean?
It's just sending whatever it sees to...something...
What does it see?
The door...

That's certainly odd, but all we learned is that... it's streaming the door to somewhere for some reason.

So instead let's investigate this chair covered in blood.

Well, okay, not really; that just gives us another new camera angle from which we can examine the bed better.

Somebody could hide down there.
Then you could hide...other stuff too...

Yeah, but... Whoever killed him didn't do that. Why not?
Well... Let's see...I guess I can think of 4 possibilities.

Or they didn't think of hiding the body. Or they didn't have the time to hide it, or...

Maybe they wanted us to find it, to prove a point or something.

Curiouser and curiouser...

But really, what's the deal with the chair anyway?

Do you think this was the...dead guy's...
Yeah, probably.

There's just one last little thing in this room now, and it's these rather weird monitors.

Oddly, there's seven of them. You'd think there'd be more.

Though it does explain how Zero was able to time his pauses really, really well when we first met everybody. He has cameras set up to view the rooms on the ship, so he does - or rather, did - monitor our movements throughout the ship after all.

The other monitors show: a room Junpei does recognise, a different room Junpei doesn't recognise (it's the first class cabin), a hallway with what appears to be a numbered door at the end of it, the large hospital room, the central staircase on C deck and... another room Junpei doesn't recognise.

But, since Zero's kinda dead now we can pilfer his stuff. Let's see if he left anything in this drawer.

This is... kinda confusing and useless. Let's ignore it.

Instead, let's play with this thing. It should let us observe other rooms.

They probably switch what you see on the screens.
Do you know how to work this thing...?
Um... Why don't we just press one of these...
Like...this one!

...Something looks different here.

Wh-What the hell is this...

Very different. I can't quite put my finger on what...

You're right.
So whatever that camera sees is sent to this screen in real time.


Okay, so the door is being streamed to this one monitor in this room. Sure, why not? That means it's probably relevant for a puzzle or something.

We also have these awful conspicuous monitors that spell out "Zero" for some reason.

[Music: Silence]

[Music: Chill and Rigor]

What do you think?

He turned to Clover, who was standing next to him. Her voice was almost too low to hear.


It seemed that she cared about little.

Of course, Junpei could hardly blame her.

Given the strain she was surely under, Junpei was somewhat surprised she had responded at all. Still, he had to ask.

He gestured toward the corpse.

Do you think that's really Zero?

Clover shook her head weakly.

Didn't I tell you already? Zero is one of us...
I know it's important to figure out who this guy is, but...

Please... I don't want to waste any more time...

Clover looked miserable, as if she could start crying at any moment.

Junpei just didn't have the heart to tell her no.

All right. Sure thing.

[Music: Silence]

It... wouldn't be the first time she'd done it since we entered the room.

[Music: Senary Game]

Ah well, we should probably take this chart before moving on. It might - might - come in handy sometime.

(There are 4 rows of numbers and letters. They all start with a "0", and end with "8", "f", "n", or "v", respectively. Maybe this has something to do with number bases.)

That's a bit needlessly complicated; it seems kinda odd that it'd bother with something like this. Like, the first one is nonary (because obviously) but the second one is hexadecimal in that case. That's kinda arbitrary and pointless.

I don't even know what the other two would be in that case, but it just sounds all kindsa wrong is the point.

Oh, right, and before we leave there's one last thing in Clover's half of the room: this keypad thing.

I don't think it's just about numbers. There's a hole in the bottom of it, right there.

Alright, fine. Let's go find this key then.

We've searched all of Clover's half of the room, and having switched the monitors to read "Zero" we can come visit Ace now.

A chair.

It's a chair...


There's quite a lot of weird things in the communications room that I don't really recognise all that much thinking about it. I can make a reasonable attempt at figuring out what they're for and do, but that's all.

There's something sitting on this desk...

There's the switchboards up top.

Perhaps we can use them to dismantle small devices?

I think we could probably use them to take apart, like...small things.

It seems a bit suspect that there'd be an entire new screen just for some tiny screwdrivers, so there's got to be something in one of these drawers.

...Only I didn't see a stamp coming.

oh uh oops.

It's filled with ink...

Well, this would be great if we had an old-school pen, but otherwise it's pretty useless.

Nothing else left over there, so let's go check out some of the communications devices.

How on Earth did you arrive at that conclusion?
(To be honest, I have no goddamn idea what this thing really is. It's probably some kind of radio transmitter.)

I'm sure not even Junpei could get this one wrong.

I can't hear anything... Guess whatever they were connected to doesn't work anymore.

...Okay, so what about this thing?

How on Earth did you arrive at that conclusion?
(It also kinda looks like someone who's been watching too much TV...)
(To be honest, I have no goddamn idea what this thing really is. It's probably some kind of radio transmitter.)

The whole thing appears to be connected to this drawer; I wonder what's inside it. Must be vaguely important.

I don't see a keyhole, though...

Take a look at the left side of the drawer...
Yeah, there's some cables over there.
(That must mean...)

We'll worry about that later; actually solving the puzzle is kinda mean, since you need to look in these drawers too. Given how every other side-drawer so far has been completely empty and not worth mentioning, you'd think this one would be the same.

You would then get stuck, because you are wrong.

It might not seem like much right now.

But without this completely blank piece of paper, you would be unable to solve a very important puzzle.

In fact, you can't even ATTEMPT it without this piece of paper. You'll see why.

For now, though, let's solve the mystery of the steam train monkey that wears glasses.

Most likely used to transmit a radio signal of some sort. I experimented with it earlier, but to no avail. I imagine it's broken.

...You could probably guess what Junpei's "clever" observation here is going to be. It's... really obvious this time.

I told you, that's a telegraph key! It is a device that transmits messages through Morse code.

(A telegraph key. There's no cheese on it, unfortunately.)

So... you feel like explaining how it works, or something?

Or, hell, does it work at all?

I tried sending an SOS earlier, but... I doubt that did anything. Zero would never make it that easy.
So you think it's broken?

I'm just not sure if actually transmits anything outside of the ship.

Okay, so we know that it works. We also know that the radio transmitter is connected to the drawer nearby.

In that case, let's do something that makes almost no sense at all and grab this music box.

Until now, it was thoroughly uninteresting but examining it from any other angle has the game tell you its there. And nothing else.

[Sound Bite: Music Box]

Every single time you examine the music box, this will play. Without exception. It gets very annoying, very quickly.

Why's it sound like that? Is it broken?
The pins on the cylinder are shaped all weird...

It looks like someone put something else on top of it. I think we're gonna have to take it apart to figure out what's going on, don't you?

Would you wind it for us, Junpei?

[Sound Bite: Music Box]

It sounds rather odd. Hm? What's this...? The pins on the cylinder look rather strange...

We'll need to dismantle it to get a better look.

Since both of our companions here agree we should take this thing apart, and it's kinda stupid annoying, I think we really should. Now... what do we have that can do that...

There are a number of pins and some pieces of metal that look rather like fans attached to it.

These pins, and this metal thing... If you look at them in 2 dimensions, don't they remind you of something?
What do you mean, "in 2 dimensions"?
What would the cross-section of 1 of these pins look like?
And what about the fans?
They'd just look like lines.
Exactly. Now...

A code with... dots and lines...?

Hmm, a code with dots and lines in a room to do with communication?

Nope, drawing a blank. Clover, you got any ideas?

Well, doesn't a music box have a little metal comb thingy that runs over the pins on the cylinder, and then that makes a song? It looks like there's something besides the pins on this cylinder, though.
Yeah, there's these things that look kind of like little, I guess.

It makes more sense to me to talk to them in this order at this step; by talking to Ace before Clover, it gives the impression that Junpei is just parroting what he heard. Doing it the other way around makes it seem like he noticed it himself and then spontaneously forgot within the space of a few seconds.

Now we're going to do something that doesn't appear to make any sense right now, but it's also the only next step that does make sense.

Why would you do that...?
I've got a theory...

...And, no, he doesn't elaborate any further. At least, not when talking to Clover!

Yeah. If I roll it across a piece of paper, the pins and the fans will leave marks on it, right? The pins'll make dots, and the fans will leave lines.
All right then, show us.

And if I'm right, the ink should...

Ah, now with this we can finally finish up in here!

Now you have a pattern of dots and lines on the paper. I imagine it's Morse code. These dots and lines are the dots and dashes of Morse code.

Going to show Clover the chart to see what she has to say about it...?

We have the Morse code message. Certainly you know what to do next?

I put ink on the cylinder from the music box. Then I rolled it across the paper, and it left this.
Is it some kinda code?

Oh...Morse code.

Until we get the code, we can't even try to use the telegraph device. Now that we have it, we can!

(If I do this right... Something will happen. I hope.)
All right! Let's give this a shot!

Minor problem: I, uh, I don't know how to use this thing.

M-My hand slipped! I'll get it right next time!

Naturally, there's not many messages for getting it wrong. In fact, that's all Ace says. When you try again, however...

You operate it by pressing this button. The dot, which is read as "dit", is the result of a light tap on the button.

(All right... So I press it once, quickly, for a dot and I hold it down for a dash.)
Okay, I'm gonna give it a shot.

[Sound Bite: -- --- .-. ... .]

That's right. Now, uh, if only I knew what it said. It's probably just "Zero" or something, or even complete gibberish, though.

Excellent work, Junpei! Good job! You seem to have figured it out! You've unlocked the drawer!

Awesome; let's take a look.

Just gonna grab that file, and...

[Music: Silence]

But...was it supposed to say "ALL ICE"? There wasn't a space between the "L" and the "I". Were they trying to say that "ALLICE" was a single word?

It was an interesting thought, but it left Junpei's mind quickly as he opened the file--what lay inside was far more interesting, and far more confusing.

Hey, cool; hieroglyphs! If only they weren't so small, it might be quite easy to translate this. As is, it's probably doable but undoubtedly rather difficult.

Doesn't look like it'd be very interesting since, from what I can see, it looks like both pages say the exact same thing. Verbatim.

They looked like tiny drawings of birds, snakes, insects, horned animals,wings, and even kneeling humans. There were many pages in the file, and each was full of these strange symbols.

What the hell is this...

He didn't realize he'd spoken out loud until Ace looked over at him.

They are hieroglyphs. A form of writing used in ancient Egypt.
...Ancient Egypt?
That's right.
Can you read them?
Of course...

What the hell...

Junpei flipped through a few more pages.

Trying to read them was pointless.

Junpei wasn't going to waste any more time with them. He made to close the file--

And something fell out.

He bent down and picked it up.

...Mars, again? No, something's a bit different.

There was a symbol on it that reminded Junpei of the symbols for the Saturn and Mercury key cards.

This one, however, had a dot in the center of the male symbol.

Junpei looked over to see Ace examining the card.

Was the bottom deck a library...?

Whatever might be there, however, would have to wait. At the moment, there was nothing Junpei could do.

He gripped the key card tighter, and shoved it deep into his pocket.

[Music: Senary Game]

One thing the game doesn't tell you explicitly is that the Uranus card isn't the only thing the file was obscuring. The second is...

Big enough to be seen just before the scene starts, but small enough to not be memorable during it. It'd be a nice touch, if the game didn't drop you off staring right at it once the scene ended.

But then again, if it didn't someone might completely forget its there and never go back for it.

It isn't metal... My guess would be ceramic. Junpei, have you found a keyhole that might fit it?

Seems that way.
The tip is square. Do you think maybe you're supposed to use it over there?

It's the only thing that seems like it would fit this rather weird lock. Definitely worth trying at least.

Junpei, look! There's a minus sign on the screen!
There're 8 of them. That probably means we've got to put in 8 digits.
Do you think you can figure it out...?

This, uh... this puzzle is... well, I'm not gonna lie here.

It's the only one that I needed these hints for, because I was adamant I wasn't going to look up any of the solutions.

I'm pretty sure I've searched every part of this room by now...

What it's asking you for, is really obvious and easy to figure out once you know what to do. It's just... getting to that point can be really obnoxiously difficult to decipher.

Hey, Junpei...

Don't you think that might be a clue?

So much so, that after giving up on it 4 times the game will finally throw you a bone and tell you what you're meant to do.

Hey, Junpei...

You think maybe the letters and the list have something to do with each other?

At least once you screw up enough times, the only thing that lead to further mistakes is mostly down to human error.

What the hell am I supposed to do?!
Hey, Junpei...

Y-Yeah... I think so.
What would the hexadecimal number "a" be in base-10?
What about "b"?
And "c"?

I guess so...
Well don't you think you could apply the same idea?

I'm sure you probably figured out exactly what we need to do a little while ago now, but if you manage to consistently screw up 6 times... the game basically tells you the answer.

There's no way in hell I'm gonna figure this one out...
Hey, Junpei, you know the letters on the screens? Maybe if you convert them into numbers, that'll give us the passcode.
What do you mean?

What would the number "a" in base-36 be in base-10?
What about "b"?
Or "c"?

Oh! I get it!

So, yeah, finally the game will come out and tell you that you need to convert "z," "e," "r," and "o" from base-36 into regular decimal numbers.

If you're an idiot ( me), you'll still manage to get it wrong by taking their alphabetical positions and adding 10. You really add 9, of course.

Or you can just count from the bottom line of that chart which gives you all the numbers you need... except Z, which is easy to count for at that point anyway.

So that's the final puzzle of the captain's quarters. We can now get the heck outta here!

Excellent! You seem to have unlocked it! Good work, Junpei.
All right. Let's go!