Part 65: EpiphanyObviously before we continue, there was a wee bit of a contradiction in the order of events before that needs addressing. The Coffin non-ending is basically the game's way of telling you that you did everything right. But you were too early. You need the Safe ending first; if you don't have that, you get a sudden "To Be Continued." If you do have that, you get to progress to the next bit.
But, of course, this means if you get the Safe ending without ever taking this route first then you can't get the Coffin ending. So, in that case (like here, for example) you actually get both the ending we're really en route for AND the Coffin ending at the same time. But just explaining it then wouldn't really help understand the "when" aspect of it.
Plus me throwing in the inexplicable "To Be Continued" when you wouldn't expect it is pretty damned close to giving people who haven't experienced it before the same feeling that you'd get when playing it.
Confusion alleviated? Okay, good. Let's continue.
[Sound Bite: The Coffin]
[Sound Bite: The Coffin]
Suddenly, there was a voice, inside of Junpei's head.
"Ah, now truth is asleep in the darkness of the sinister hand."
Okay, so this bit right here? This bit is basically the whole point to making you get the Safe ending to continue here. Which makes no sense. It's unneeded: Clover has the note which contains this same clue! We know she has the note! Her having the note will never be mentioned again! There's other stuff which makes marginally more sense to plot-block that revolve around getting the Safe ending first but... not this one. There's other stuff they could do with this that they don't and we'll get to that later. As much as I like the game as a whole, it dropped the ball big time here.
Junpei was utterly and completely baffled.
Huh? What're you talkin' about?
So all he said was...
He cleared his throat a little too loud, and looked pointedly down at his bracelet.
[Music: Digital Root]
There were a pair of small buttons protruding from either side of it...
<<...Pressed the buttons on the bracelet...>>
We already know what the answer to this is; the game's not even checking if you remember, since if you pick wrong answers it spells it out for you. Somewhat. It only gives you clues if you pick specific wrong answers.
But even those are boring. The only interesting wrong answer is the one that's the mirror of the right answer (so left/right/etc.).
If you don't, then why did you bother to look at the bracelet? You already know that "the darkness of the sinister hand" is telling you to look at the "bracelet on your left hand". That's why you looked at your bracelet. Right?
That was it.
8 numbers blinked on and then off on the bracelet display.
Junpei checked one last time...
Hey... What the hell were those numbers!?
Oh my gosh... Are those--?!
Junpei didn't answer. He simply walked straight to the coffin.
With trembling fingers, he punched them in.
There was a moment of complete silence.
Someone sat up out of it--
Oh my... How did you...
Junpei... And Seven? Is that you? Is everyone else there as well?
Clover's eyes were filled with tears.
With a cry of joy, she leapt into Snake's arms.
This right here is probably my favourite image in the game
Gently now! My body's still a little weak...
You're back... You're really here...
Her voice was happy, but almost desperate--as if she feared he would disappear again if she stopped talking to him.
Tear after tremendous tear rolled its way down her face.
Her small arms strained as she clutched Snake's body as tightly as she could.
Perhaps she had to convince herself he was real. Perhaps she was worried he would be gone the moment she let go. Perhaps she simply didn't know what else to do.
Ohhh... You're back...
Come now, what's gotten into you?
Not "as though"! You did! I really thought you were dead!
You jerk! Idiot, idiot, idiot!
Even though Junpei knew they had little time, and every minute they waited was a minute they wasted, it felt cruel to pull them apart.
Junpei and Seven sat down on one of the pews, waiting for Clover to calm down before explaining to Snake what had transpired.
In the shower room, there is a dead body wearing my clothes. Because of that, you thought that I was dead. Correct?
He had quickly and neatly summarized the events of several hours.
You also discovered a corpse in the
Do I have it straight?
Seven had been rather surprised to learn of the dead body in the captain's quarters.
With everything that had taken place, Junpei had simply forgotten to mention it to him.
Well then... I've got a pretty decent idea of what happened while I was indisposed, but...
The corpse in the shower room that looked like me... And the corpse in the captain's quarters... Why were they killed in the way they were?
You don't know?
No. Why would I?
Anyway, this Mr. X is wearin' Snake's clothes. But you're wearin' some kinda weird robes... That means someone took your clothes and put 'em on Mr. X. We need to figure out who that was.
I only just now woke up. I was unconscious during all the events you just described to me. They must have undressed me and changed my clothes during that time.
When were you knocked out?
Where did they get you? Do you remember?
It was a small room in one of the hallways on C Deck.
The same thing that happened to every one of us when we were abducted.
I believe the gas is some sort of incapacitating agent.
Then, that means it was...
Looks that way, huh.
There's nothing else I have to tell you. When I woke up, I was in this coffin.
It was a mystery. Junpei couldn't make sense of it.
Seven had asked him about it while they waited for Clover to finish crying. He'd had no answer for him then, and he still didn't.
All he could say was that it seemed to have been a subconscious reaction. His fingers had simply moved of their own accord... It was the only explanation that made any sort of sense, and it made almost no sense.
Junpei had no idea what any of it meant.
And of course, Snake and Clover had been subjects in a similar experiment 9 years ago...
The first is "epiphany"... And the other is "danger"... And... And... Someone did...actually die... A girl... Her name was... Um...
Morphogenetic field theory...
The 2 murders...
The Nonary Game...
And whatever strange thing was happening to Junpei himself...
The maelstrom in his head spat out words and ideas that disappeared back into it almost as soon as he grasped them.
He was the ringleader; the person who had trapped 9 people on a sinking ship.
At any rate, we'll have plenty of time to decipher the details later. For now, it is of utmost importance that we escape. Junpei, it was 4:30 the last time you checked the clock, yes?
We must hurry!
H-Hey... Uh, how are we gonna get out of here?
Oh! Oh yeah! Yeah, you're right! With Snake, we can open the door!
Don't tell me you hadn't figured that out...?
As they sniped back and forth, Junpei glanced at Snake's left hand. He was wearing a bracelet with a (2) on it.
C'mon, you gotta tell me these things!
Gah! Forget it! Let's just get goin'!
Seven stomped off toward the smaller number  door.
Clover, Snake, and Junpei followed.
Seven quickly laid his hand on the RED. An asterisk appeared on the screen.
Junpei and the others followed suit, and laid their hands on the scanner panel.
Soon, there were 4 asterisks on the screen.
Seven glanced at them, then laid his hand on the lever of the RED.
Junpei paused for a moment.
Before we go in, I'd like to check something.
You want to...check something?
Yeah, but before I do... Seven, could you pull the lever?
Wadda you mean? We don't need--
Just do it, all right?
Please. This is really important.
I really need to check this, okay? Work with me here.
Junpei looked directly into Seven's eyes.
The older man looked back for a moment, then nodded.
Seven pulled down on the lever and door  creaked open.
Then they waited.
After 9 seconds, the door closed.
All right, that means the 4 of us can go into door .
Obvious... Yeah, you're right. It is.
Hehe. So you did know I had it... I picked it up 'cause I thought it might be useful sometime.
She reached into one of the pockets of her voluminous jacket and produced a bracelet.
Junpei took it from her and turned to Seven.
If you look at it, you can see it's got a (0) on the face. Just to make this a little easier to talk
If Cap was really Zero...
But most importantly, if you were Cap, and this was your game...
Anyway, let's just give it a shot. Clover, give me your hand.
After he and Clover scanned their bracelets, he waved Cap's over the scanner panel.
Then he pulled the lever. However...
I knew it. Now... What does this tell us?
No, that's impossible.
Did you see how the panel showed a 3rd asterisk when I scanned Cap's bracelet? Whether or not it's on your wrist doesn't matter.
Seven waved his bracelet in front of the scanner panel.
Sure enough a single asterisk appeared on the RED.
Huh... Looks like you're right.
See? So, what does that mean? There's only one possibility.
Is that what you're saying?
Then...what number is it...?
Let's find out.
Junpei scanned the bracelet with this combination...
We already know exactly which one will work, and which ones don't. None of the wrong ones are particularly interesting, and there's no alternative way to the one we did before that will get it to work either. Sadly, adding Clover to the party did nothing for this bracelet.
What!? Why?! What does that mean!?
Both Seven and Clover seemed rather shaken.
As they turned to look at Junpei for answers...
The door slid heavily shut. Junpei raised an eyebrow.
Isn't it obvious?
But...doesn't it say (0)...?
The symbol on here isn't a number (0)...
Whoa, wait a minute... I don't get it. I mean, we figured out that Cap's bracelet is (6), right?
Before Junpei could answer, Snake spoke up.
There is, most likely, only one person with a (6).
But... I don't get it... What about June?
Well, this is only an educated guess, but...
In other words...
June's real number is...
Why would you say that?
Because! If June is (9), then the numbers wouldn't match up.
Clover grabbed Junpei's notebook and began to write furiously in it.
Junpei leaned over to look at it.
"List of all the numbered doors June's gone through:"
There's one thing about this section... one teeny thing.
All right, I made a list of all the numbered doors that June has gone through so far. I wrote down which door she went into, and with who. And I wrote what all the numbers were. So if you switch (9) in wherever there's a (6), the numbers don't work.
If the digital root is (2), then you can't open door ...
Clover... Do you notice anything interesting on that list?
What do you mean?
You're talking about (3), right?
That's what you're saying, isn't it?
What about it...?
That's quite simple, really. You told me that the first time you came to
Now, doesn't that beg the question "why?" Why would Santa do such a thing? The answer is easy.
Of course, there's only one reason for that... His number isn't actually (3). Santa's real number...
Seven took the pen from a confused Clover, and began to adjust her calculations.
Thank you. That is exactly right, Seven. Santa's true number wasn't (3).
Personally, I think that this scene is where Junpei's inexplicable epiphany should be were he to have one. Notice how no one mentioned Lotus just happens to go through every single door on that list too. They will continue to completely ignore this fact, because... uh... the 8 becoming a 5 is less numerically convenient, I guess.
Snake concept art #2. Originally he was going to be able to see. And be named Santa.