The Let's Play Archive

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

by Dragonatrix

Part 62: 7-1

Yeah. This ship.

He was entirely lost.

He had 1000 questions, but... It was probably best, he thought, to save them until Clover had finished.

Something about...

...Fields that you can't see...?

He'd heard something like this before...

Clover nodded.

Like, think about this...

[Music: Who is Zero?]

She pointed at the operating table.

On top of it was a somewhat mis-matched medical mannequin whose parts had been swapped with another mannequin. he really John?

All Junpei could think was "She has finally completely lost it."

Isn't this like Locke's socks? Or the Ship of Theseus...?

Junpei grew even more confused.

He'd never heard of either of those things, although they...sounded smart...

Junpei shook his head.

Clover laughed.

Okay, well pay attention then. This is how Locke's socks works.

One of them gets a hole in it. What would you do if that was your sock, Junpei?

No matter what we pick, Junpei ends up giving the same answer. So, might as well be honest; I'd toss it.

Well...I'd pitch it, I guess.
But it's your favorite pair of socks.
C'mon, who loves their socks that much?
It doesn't matter! Just suppose you do love them that much!
Well, I guess then I'd patch it.
But what if another hole opens?
I'd add another patch, I suppose.
What if another hole opened after that?
Um... Another patch, I guess?
Well, let's say you just keep adding new patches... Until eventually, the original cloth of the sock is totally gone. Once you get to that point...

H-Hmmm... That's...uh...that's tough...

Junpei crossed his arms.

So... That's the Locke's socks thing?

And what if you took all the old parts from the first ship, and build another one, somewhere else?

Then which ship is the real Ship of Theseus?

The one you repaired? Or the one you built with all the original parts?


It was an interesting question.

Clover could see Junpei was intrigued.

What's the same?
These guys. Is this John? Or is it Lucy now?

Junpei looked at the operating table again.

The part of the body that holds a person's identity is the head. Of course, for many hundreds of years, conventional wisdom had held that a man's identity resided in his heart, or any of a number of internal organs.

We're just like these mannequins.

She looked at Junpei again.

Think about it.

Maybe part of my arm is made of stuff from a fish I ate once. Or maybe part of your right side is made from a cow you ate. If you take it a little further those cows and fishes are made from something else too, right? That's how we're all connected.

The silence was broken by Seven.

[Music: Silence]

Seven's head appeared in the doorway.

He was not happy.

How long are you gonna make me wait?! We don't have time to screw around!

Seven seemed to catch on...

Oh? What were you 2 doing? Was this some sorta secret meeting?
No. It wasn't. We were just...

Let's go, Junpei.

Moving a little bit too fast to be entirely innocent, Clover headed toward the exit.

Seven stared after her, then turned to Junpei with an amused expression.

Didn't know you were into that kinda thing, Junpei...

Junpei dashed past him, and traced Clover's path out the door.

With a short laugh, Seven followed.

They stood, looking at the door.

Junpei took out the Jupiter key.

And from there, the rest of the scene proceeds exactly as we last saw it.

...Clover never did tell us about what she originally mentioned, did she?

I guess we'll have to try again through our next door. But before we can get there Ace, Clover and Seven have to enter the shower room, we need to take the Saturn key to the Elevator of Innuendo, go find Door 6, meet back up with Santa and Lotus who find Door 1, learn that Liquid Snake is dead, see it for ourselves, argue about what Zero's deal is and then try and decide who goes where with the paper ballots.

Speaking of which, Junpei needs to cheat again to pick the door we want. We're off through Door 1 to see if we can get Clover to tell us what she was going to in the first place. It's the only door we can go through where she comes with, so this is a nice and easy one to work out.

Once we're in the chart room itself, we're only interested in one thing - grabbing that pocket watch ASAP.

[Music: Quinary Game]

Oh, a pocket watch. Might I take a look at it?

He spun around to find Ace standing in the doorway.

Junpei shrugged, and handed him the pocket watch.

Hey man. What're you doing over in this room?
Oh, I just thought I'd come check up on the 2 of you. Is there a problem?

Uh, yeah, kinda. You have your own half of the room to deal with. Go do that!

You checked on us, now get outta here. We split this stuff up for a reason, all right?

It was a lie. There was no reason to split up the work. Junpei wanted to talk to Clover, privately.

That was why he'd sent Ace to the wheelhouse.

Ace opened his mouth, then took another look at Junpei and shut it again. A small smirk appeared on his face.

He looked Junpei over.

Then glanced at Clover...

I apologize for the intrusion. Well... Best of luck.

Ace gave Junpei a knowing pat on the shoulder and left.

[Music: Silence]

Junpei let out a sigh and brushed a few drops of sweat from his forehead.

He turned, and found himself looking straight into Clover's eyes.

She'd heard what Ace had said. She regarded Junpei with caution.

Oh, no no no no. It's not like that...
What's it like, then?

I didn't get a chance to ask you about it until now.
What story...?
About the experiment. Remember? The one you started to tell me in the operating room?

Clover bit her lip.

She stared down at the floor for several long moments, and when she spoke, it was barely audible.

I'm sorry, but... I don't want to talk about that right now... I'm just...not in the mood, okay?
You understand right..? I'm just... I keep thinking about my brother...

I can't forgive them. I'm not gonna let them get away with it... They're going to pay for it... I promise... So... So...

Her shoulders were shaking.

Drops of blood had sprung up on her lips where she was biting them.

She wiped it off, and looked up at Junpei, her eyes fierce and angry.

Her voice was cold, and scarcely above a whisper.

Junpei gulped.

[Music: Digital Root]

You need at least 3 people to open the numbered doors, and if you subtract Snake, that means there were at least 2 other people.
You're right. ...So what does that mean?
Well, if we just look at the bracelet numbers we should be able to figure it out. Who could have opened door [3] with Snake?
Well, really, who and who or who, who, and who...

Well... Technically, it's possible...

Um, I'll tell you later. Why don't we just assume it was only 2 other people, for now?
O-Okay... Got it. Let's do that, then.
Then who do you think it could be?

Junpei crossed his arms and thought.

Snake's bracelet number was (2)...

Which 2 bracelet numbers, added to (2), would give a digital root of [3]...

That's... a lot of options, yeesh. In fact, that's every possible duo if you remove Junpei and Clover altogether. Only one of them when you add an extra 2 leads to the 3 we want, though. We already know which one it is, at that - as you might recall, Clover outright said it in the Axe ending. Granted, we also know that they're all wrong in the end but that's not an option.

If we get it wrong, it just loops around back to here but none of the wrong options are particularly interesting so we won't bother with that.

What's wrong...?

Clover looked at Junpei, and he looked back at her.

There was no point in hiding it.

He told her his conclusions.

She looked less surprised than he'd expected.

Santa and Seven... If it was 2 people, then that's the only combination that works.
Hey, wait a minute there... Don't you think it's a little too early to be jumping to conclusions?
Well, all I said is that those 2 would have

There might be other possibilities.
Well? What other possibilities?

He didn't have an answer.

He was ready to admit defeat when Clover spoke.

I really don't think that's likely...
Can I...borrow your pen and paper?

Clover put her hand out expectantly.

Junpei pulled out his pen and pad of paper and handed them to her.

She opened the notebook... And wrote down several simple addition problems.

Eventually, she had 8 which provided a digital root of [3].

What's this...?
These are the combinations for 3 or 4 people.

I see...

O-Of course... Why would you need to ask that?

Of course. Just cross 'em out.

So...what does that leave?
(a) and (e).

Why not...?
Because June's in that one. There's no way in hell she'd do something like that!

I'd bet my life on it.
Okay then. Then I can cross off (a) too, right...?
Well... What have we got left?

Do you know what this means...?

Do you think that's likely?
If there were 4 people working together, they wouldn't be very cautious. I don't think they'd try that hard to hide what they were doing if they outnumbered us, right?
Well... You do have a point...
And besides, if Ace and Seven are working together...

But they didn't. They didn't even try anything. If they were the killers, why wouldn't they?

Her voice was calm, but Junpei had only to look her in the eye to know it was a forced calm.

There were tears forming at the corners of her eyes, and she was blinking furiously to keep them back.

Okay... Yeah, well, that does make sense.
It seems pretty unlikely that it was as many as 3 or 4 people.

That's how it looks...
But why would they do it...?

There was a moment of silence.

...What is it?

He laid his hand gently on her shoulder. He was close, so close, to the answer--

[Music: Silence]

Have I...interrupted something?
What do you want?

Could you come with me for a moment?

He turned on his heel, and walked back toward the wheelhouse.

Junpei looked over at Clover. He gave her a short nod, hoped that she would be willing to talk to him again later, and followed Ace.

Ace looked at Junpei and smiled. Perhaps more of a smirk than a smile...

There was something I wanted to...check.
Yeah? What's that?
If you'll excuse me...

H-Hey! What the hell are you doing?!

He reached for Ace's arm--

But it was already too late.

In the older man's hand were the pieces of paper Junpei had balled up and hidden in his pocket.

You switched them didn't you? When we voted.
Ah well. I can't say that I care.

When...why did you...?
Oh, simply curiosity. I hope you won't think ill of me for it.

Ace smiled, gave Junpei a friendly pat on the shoulder, and then turned on his heel and left.


There's absolutely nothing else of interest in the wheelhouse, so we'll finish up in there and head on through to the communications office and the captain's quarters. Of course, in there we'll find...

Captain Zero-Six very dead, with the axe right next to his body. Like usual, we're only interested in one thing though this time that one thing is not acquiring an item. All we're after is pressing the button on the keyboard that changes the monitors to read Z-E-R-O.

[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...

If Junpei says this line, you've done everything correctly and are on-track for the ending we're after. If Clover speaks here instead, you goofed somewhere. This conversation has no prompt, but it's technically the final flag that needs to be triggered.

The other four are getting the bookmark from Santa, learning about Ice-9 from June, talking to Seven about Alice and giving the bookmark to Clover. Miss a single one of those and you get axed in the face for your troubles.

Don't you get it?
The letters that spell "zero" on the tv screen... The captain's clothes he's got on... And, of course, the bracelet with a (0) on it...

Doesn't that seem kinda funny to you?

No, that's not the point.
I'm not trying to make fun of them for thinking a trick like this would work.

I think this is a challenge. A challenge from the person who's really behind all of this. He's making fun of us.
Don't you get it?
If whoever killed this guy really wanted us to think this corpse was Zero...

Walking about with a (0) bracelet would be like hanging a sign around your neck that said "I did it". Anyone with a brain would be able to see

Just like we did...
The killer must have known we wouldn't think he was Zero, and put the bracelet on him anyway. Do you know why?

It's the same bad joke a lot of criminals like to play. They'll just sit back and watch people run in circles.

"Look, here I am! What's wrong, guys? Come on! Catch me if you can!"

That's really...twisted... But it almost seems kind of...childish...
Yeah, you're right. It's really childish. It's like it's just a game to whoever this person is... That's what seems funny to me.

Junpei bent down next to the corpse.

Who killed this man?
I don't know...
And what's this guy's deal? Who is he?
How would I know that? If I knew anything, I would've told you...
You have no idea who he is?
Why would I?

Junpei sat back on his haunches and thought.

Gimme a hand here, Clover.
We've gotta flip him over. How else are we gonna search his pockets?

Clover didn't move. Junpei had no choice but to move the body on his own.

He grabbed hold of an area not completely covered in blood, and shoved.

It took a moment, but eventually Junpei felt the man's bulk begin to shift. But just as it did--

Something fell...

From the man's left wrist...

The bracelet with (0) on the face.

"Lastly, let us discuss [how to remove the bracelets]. There are only 2 ways to do so."
"One: You escape from this ship."
"Two: Your heart rate reaches zero."
"In other words, once the bracelet is taken outside the confines of the ship, or detects that its wearer's heartbeat has fallen to zero, it will shut down automatically."

Junpei stared at the bracelet.

No, it's just... I guess I didn't really think about it until right now...
If his bracelet's off, that means he's dead.
Well, it's pretty obvious that he's dead...

Yeah... Yeah, I guess you're right. It is pretty obvious.
He looks a lot better than the other bodies we've seen though, you know?

I mean, I know it's kind of a messed-up thing to say, but... He kinda has it better, you know?
Dying from a bomb going off inside you... I mean, that's just...

I think the explosion must have thrown him against a wall or something.

[Music: Silence]

Suddenly, Junpei realized what he was saying.

How could he have been so cruel? He clapped his hands over his mouth--

But it was already too late. He turned to look at Clover. She was glaring at him furiously.

Her words sounded cold.

He knew an apology could hardly atone for what he'd done, but he tried anyway.

Oh man... I am...I am so sorry. I shouldn't have said that, I really don't know what I was thinking. I mean--
No! That's not what I'm talking about! What did you say about his arm?!
Yes! His left arm! You said it, didn't you?
W-Well, yeah, I did, but--
I mean, didn't you see it too...?

Clover took a quick, deep breath.

Are you sure it was his left arm?

Junpei thought back...

And he had a broken bone, right?!
What the hell are you getting at here?

Junpei winced and swallowed.

Yeah, he did.
It was pretty bad too. The bone was sticking out of the arm...

Thank you...

It was close to the last thing he had expected to hear.

Junpei had no idea what had just happened.

He didn't think he'd done anything worthy of thanks, and he couldn't understand why she would have chosen that moment to begin crying.

So he simply stood there, confused.

Thank you, Junpei...

She thanked him again, and then something even stranger happened.

[Music: Recollection]

Clover threw herself into Junpei's surprised arms.

H-Hey... What's going on with you?
I'm sorry, it's just... I'm so happy...

We already know this, of course. Sadly, Junpei doesn't for obvious reasons so this is going to be a surprising revelation to him but it isn't to us. That's the one major flaw I can see with the way things are handled here: since you can find this out on 2 possible routes, it has be presented as a massive twist on both. This means no matter what, it's going to fall flat once. Still, it could be worse I suppose.

It's not Snake.
Why on Earth would you think that?

I'm sorry... I...really shouldn't be talking about this...

Junpei decided it would be prudent not to press her for any more information. If she did not wish to tell him, she certainly had a reason for doing so.

Perhaps more importantly, however, if Clover was so certain, then she was likely right.

That meant that the body in the shower room wasn't Snake. It wasn't much, but that knowledge lifted some of the weight from Junpei's heart.

He's still alive...

Junpei... You were right.

"You have to remember what's most

Clover reached into her pocket and pulled something out.

I...I only made it here because you gave me this. I was suspicious of everybody, and I was angry and miserable... But because I had this 4-leaf clover...

Thank you so much, Junpei.

She looked up at him.

He scratched his nose and pretended to notice something interesting somewhere else in the room.

Santa? Why?
Well, he was the one who gave me that thing.
And the words for each leaf? I got that from him too.

Then suddenly--

[Music: Silence]


He looked confused. He hadn't thought she'd react that poorly...

Clover began to pace across the room.

6 steps to the left... 6 steps to the right... Another 6 to the left... And then she stopped.

Her eyes were serious, but not angry.

Y-Yeah, he did...
Did I, uh, say something wrong?
Oh, no. Not at all.

You think?
Santa knew about the words and the clover... The only people who should know about that are the other subjects.
The other people who were in the

But, he's blind...

So neither of us would be able to recognize the faces of the people who were on this boat.

Let's just...calm down for a second, okay?
Start from the top. Don't start with the end, and then jump to the middle. You gotta start at 1, and then move to 2, and 3, and 4, and so on. If you don't tell me stuff in the right order, I'm never gonna be able to figure it out.

Clover nodded.

What happened on this boat 9 years ago?
Do you know about morphogenetic fields?

He did, and the realization sent chills down Junpei's spine.

[Music: Who is Zero?]

"Theory of the Telepathic Mechanism".

Junpei recounted what Lotus had told him earlier.

Clover nodded.

Hmm... Telepathy, huh...

So they were testing telepathy on this ship?
Yeah, I guess so.
So... What exacty did they have you guys do?
The same thing that we're doing now. Exactly the same thing.

Snake concept art #1. Complete with cool robe.