The Let's Play Archive

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

by Dragonatrix

Part 79: Escape

[Video: Sudoku]

[Music: Morphogenetic Sorrow]

This is really a fantastic setup for the final puzzle and--

Hang on, let's flip this around first.

Alright, that's better. Now for the first time in the entire game, Junpei is the transmitter and Akane is the receiver. The present is always the top, and the past is always the bottom... but transmission is done with the touch screen. Which is now on the top. This is a fantastically clever use of both the dual screens and that it's a handheld in the first place. This really wouldn't work on any other console.

As for the puzzle itself, we actually have a pretty easy sudoku. I get that it needs to be for accessibility reasons and all, but I find it to be a bit of a shame really. Like, I've seen ones outright intended for non-psychic children that are harder than this. Well, no matter; for every 3x3 square we finish successfully, one of the 9 squares on the top bottom screen get filled in with either a number or an addition symbol. There's no real way of telling which ones are tied together though. It hardly matters since we just need to solve the sudoku, but we have immediate feedback on whether or not a section's correct at least.

A minor bit of disappointment I have with this is that we don't have a 6 minute time limit. I get why, but that could've made for a cool game over.

...And I know some people reading this wouldn't have complained that Junpei got roasted alive this time too.

Still, it's a nice and easy puzzle so we don't have any real problems with it. I can get why Akane had trouble with it though; she IS 12, so she probably had never seen one before.

[Video: End]

Akane! Did you get it?!

Then what the hell are you waiting for!? Push it!

Okay! I will!

I hit the enter key.




Tears rolled down my face as I cried out to him, but they were a very different sort of tears.

A wonderful feeling of accomplishment and relief flooded my body. At the same time, what strength I'd had left disappeared, and I collapsed to the floor.

For a while I just lay there, laughing and crying, and enjoying being alive.

Every time I thought about him, I thought my heart would burst.

(I can't quite believe I did that...)
(But I am so glad...)
(I...I feel like my heart's on fire...)

[Music: Silence]

[Sound Bite: System]

(No, I don't have time to be thinking about that kinda shit.)
(I need to tell Akane...)
Akane! Sorry, but things are kinda busy over here.

Then I looked over at the corner of the floor...

There were the 2 bracelets Hongou had left behind.

(Well, Seven and Lotus don't look particularly happy with me. Not a very nice look to give someone who just saved your lives, guys.)
Junpei...are you...
Ah shut it.

(So what if I haven't pressed the 'Enter' key yet...)
(All right, nothing holding me back now! Here goes!)

[Sound Bite: System]

Automatic incineration will take place in...


[Music: Unary Game]

It...doesn't sound like it's stopping.

(Okay, maybe I didn't hit the key hard enough. Just hit it again... ...And again. ...And again...!)
(Okay, that's not working either. The alarm's still going off! What the hell is going on?!)

(So why the fuck isn't this thing stopping?!)

[Sound Bite: System]

Automatic incineration will take place in...

(Wait... Of course! That's what these numbers under the puzzle mean!)
([2 + 4 + 5 + 7 + 8])

(Then... Door [9]...)

(It's not even a number!)

...So close game. You were so close! This is meant to be a graphic of the note we had at the very, very beginning, but this is the only time the speaker gets credited for it. Somehow, this managed to piss people off even though it's just a very minor issue really.

Y'see, in the original Japanese version Zero did indeed tell everyone the basic rules and stuff. Here, Junpei read them off a note. The note was added in localisation to make this next bit still work.

(Then we just have to put the right number into the RED and...)

[Sound Bite: System]

Automatic incineration will take place in...

Run, guys! Get to the door! Run!
(Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit! Don't have much time!)

(All right, no time to explain, just go!)
Quick! Verify your numbers on the RED!
What combination?!


(Hurry hurry hurry hurry hurry!)

[Sound Bite: System]

Automatic incineration will take place in...

Central gate has been opened.

(No! No time to be happy! Time to go!)
Hurry! We've only got 9 seconds before the door closes! Go go go!
(C'mon guys, move it!)
(Okay, they're all through! Move it, Junpei!)

(No, don't calm down yet! You're not done! We've still gotta find the DEAD.)

[Music: Silence]

*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*...
*Pant*... *Pant*... *Pant*...
*Pant*... *Pant*... *Pant*...

Looks like we made it, huh? Ha... Ha ha ha! Ahahahahahahahaha!
(Man, that guy sure can laugh when he wants to.)
(Looks like Clover and Lotus are totally out of energy... I guess Snake probably can't see the sky, but he sure can feel the fresh air. I just want to take a nap...)

(I want to tell her we made it... I want to tell her how good I feel... But...nothing...)

Standing in front of it was my brother.



I cried his name, even though my voice was almost gone from screaming, and leapt into his arms.


[Music: Recollection]

"Oh, Aoi..."


I buried my face in his chest and cried again. I cried and cried and cried.

Just to be there felt like a miracle.

I hadn't felt the warmth of another human body in what had seemed like an eternity.

I just wanted to stay there in his arms forever...

But I couldn't.

I leapt away from him and looked around.

The door had already closed.

I spotted the DEAD only a short distance away.

It took me only a moment to get to, and scan all the bracelets. I left the ones Hongou had dropped on the scanner panel .

That was it...

The huge detective who we'd call [Seven] in 9 years and [Snake], the blind boy, were looking at me.

They seemed to have been utterly stunned by my sudden appearance. Their eyes were wide and their mouths hung open.

The mention of Hongou seemed to jar Seven and Snake out of their surprise, and they nodded.

We took off running, up the spiraling stairs, to freedom.

[Video: "1"]
Naturally, I very highly recommend watching this. To the extent that you probably should if you can.

[Music: Digital Root]

(But if they can get us outta here... No wonder we're running so hard. My heart's beating so hard I can barely hear... God I can't wait to breathe real air again... Huh? Is Seven talking?)

What's up?
That door, the one with a [9] on it. Why'd it open?
Yeah... All 5 of us verified our numbers on the RED.

It shouldn't have opened...
That's not like you, Lotus. I thought you would've figured it out already.
Huh? Why?

She did. Way, way back in the kitchen.

Yeah. What are the 2 numbers in base-2?
(0) and (1).
How about base-10...?
That goes from (0)-(9), right?
Then how about base-16?
(0)-(f). After (9), it starts at (a) and goes from there. (b), (c), (d), etc...
You're right. In other words, (a) in base-16 is (10) in base-10. (b) is (11)...(c) is (12)...(d) is (13)...and so on.
So? What about it?
You don't get it? What if we keep going with that pattern.

Why base-27? Why not 36, which we know has used before and has the exact same result. 27 is just arbitrary to go for here really.

Well, the numerical digits are the same... So I guess you'd add alphabetical digits... (e) is (14)...(f) is (15)...(g) is (16)...
(h) is (17)...(i) is (18)...(j) is (19)...
(k) is (20)...(l) is (21)...(m) is (22)...
(n) is (23)...(o) is (24)...(p) is (25)...

And what does that mean?

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I guess to put it another way... You could say that it was a [9] in base-10, but a [Q] in base-27.
(Time for more running... God, my thighs are killing me... I swear, any moment now I'm gonna tear a muscle.)
(I feel like every single cell of my body is dying for air.)

(Damn, every breath I take is a chore now. I feel like my lungs are gonna burst... Maybe just a short rest--)
(No, can't stop. Don't have time! C'mon legs, there can't be many more of these steps left!)

(Like a tornado cutting through a sea of clouds! I feel like we're running along the back of a giant, coiled dragon-- Finally!)

[Music: Silence]

*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*...
*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*...
*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*...

(No, Junpei, no time to rest! Pull yourself together! You're almost there!)
All right... I'm gonna open it...
We're finally here...
Please, do...
(Sure, you look like a big, heavy door...)

(But even more important than that, you're the only thing standing between me and Akane. You're gonna open, and you're gonna open now!)

I was so happy I felt like I could melt.

My heart was at peace.

And not only because my brother and I were back together again...

Thanks to the huge detective, all 9 of us who had been kidnapped...

Were finally able to escape from the Gigantic.

On the distant horizon, we could see the faint outline of the ship as it sank. It gave a thunderous roar as it finally slipped beneath the waves. Its last cry echoed out across the ocean, and then it was gone.

"It's over..."

Aoi whispered.


It was over... It was finally over.

Or...was it? Was it really?

(Gah! ...Damn that sun is bright... I can barely see anything...)

No way...
(You have gotta be shitting me.)
It can't be...
This is...

The mock experiment building...
Oh my god... This whole time, we were in [Building Q]...
(Sure enough... That's a desert out there, with mountains all around it...)

(I don't think I have ever been so happy to see a sunrise... Huh? Did I just hear something fall...?)

(Right... Our bracelets... I guess I've never really got a good look at the underside of one of these... Let's see what's inside you...)

(...That's it. There's nothing else.)

(There was never a detonator to begin with...)

(Heh. Guess I must be pretty crazy about the girl if I think I'm hearing her voice in the wind...)

The credits might be rolling, but we're still only halfway through the ending. You can tell these are the real credits because of the interspersed images from CGs along the true and safe ending paths! They're even split accurately still, so stuff from the first Nonary Game appears on the bottom screen whereas the second is on the top.

Though there is one image on the bottom screen at the end we haven't seen yet. It turns up immediately after the credits instead.

[Music: 9years]

"Are you...okay?"

"Aw, c'mon. This's nothing."



"You don't look okay..."

"How does it look, then?"

He was half-serious and half-joking.

I thought about it for a minute first.

"Um...well... Let's see. It looks like you kissed a toad and got warts but then they just kept growing and growing and growing..."

"See? I told you you're not okay. You're too reckless. You can't beat 5 8th-graders, Jumpy. That's crazy!"

"Yeah, but I couldn't just stand there! I mean...don't you think so? I had to do something!"

(For an SUV, this thing has a pretty smooth ride. Sure was nice of someone to leave it for us outside the building, keys in the ignition and gas in the tank... Almost like it was a present, you know? Anyway, we jumped in, and now here we are, screamin' across the desert...)

(Snake and Seven and I are all squeezed into the backseat here. I still can't believe we let her drive...)

This is so awesome! Driving is so great when there's nothing around! And there's no speed limit!
H-Hey, Clover... Watch those bumps, all right? This car jumps even a little, and I think I'm gonna get crushed to death.

Why don't you drive, Seven?
I'm a cop. I ain't gonna break the law.
He doesn't have an international license!
Yeah, but you could've sat in the passenger seat...

And Clover? There's no need to slow down.

Yeah. I saw some fresh tire tracks goin' out. There's no doubt about it.
Then we've got to hurry if we want to catch them, don't we?
Sure thing!

(Goddamnit she doesn't have to drive so fast!)
(Man, I didn't even think a car like this could go this fast... We're sure throwin' up a lotta dust...)

The moment we saw what they were doing, Jumpy ran up to them, furious.

"Hey! What the hell are you doing?" Then he jumped on them.

The policeman and I headed back to the hill...

"Because of what they were doing to the kitty?"

"Yeah, that too, but... I think they were the ones behind those murders our 1st semester...remember?"

"Oh... You mean the bunnies?"

"Yeah... The bunnies."

He plucked some grass from the ground and tossed it into the wind.

(Course, they probably don't know any more than I do...)
Like Ace... Well, I guess I should say Gentarou Hongou. Why did he create the Nonary Project? Anybody? Any ideas?

(Well, yeah, I guess I could...)

Ahaha. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

(Yeah, he is. Still tied up, I'm assuming, with his mouth taped shut. Well, might as well have a little chat with the old man.)
(...His eyes just look...empty. No emotion. He looks like he's just given up. I wonder if he even cares what happens to him anymore...)
Hey, were you listening to us?
(Yeah, go ahead and try to pretend you weren't, you old bastard.)
(Let's get that tape off your mouth.)
C'mon, I know you were. Answer me.
(You could at least look at me when you talk, man...)

I thought... I thought that if I could gain the ability to access the morphic fieldset, then perhaps I could see faces... By peering into people's minds, you could understand how they were processing the expressions of others.
That's it?

But if you are looking for a more philosophical answer, I can supply that as well.

All right, so what's your second question?
You said there were some things you didn't get, didn't you?
(Well, somebody's a little nosy.)
Well, my next question doesn't really have anything to do with you 2.

What's the deal with that?
Well... See, 9 years ago, after I escaped from the Gigantic... I kept goin' after Hongou on my own, hopin' I'd catch him when he finally slipped up. During the course of my investigations, I learned a lot more about the Gigantic. I also found out about Gordain and Alice.
You're not really answering my question...

Mmmm! Mmmm...mmmm!
(Sounds like Hongou has something to say...)
(All right, fine, I'll let you talk, but you gotta behave.)

9 years ago, I found Alice's coffin behind the library on the bottom deck. There was nothing in it but the root of a peculiar plant.

of the family Solanaceae. I was able to extract a particular alkaloid from it...

Its creation was a tremendous boon to my firm, and we grew rapidly--
(Shit, this is gonna go on forever.)

(The rest of my questions can wait a bit. For now, I think I'll just enjoy the ride...)


Jumpy pulled something out of his pocket and shoved out his arm toward me. In his hand was a doll made of yarn small enough to fit in his palm.

"Jumpy... Are you sure it's a...uh...'For-You' doll...?"

"H-Huh? Yeah, the lady at the shop said so. Th-That means it's for you...right?"

" Are you sure it's not a 'voodoo doll'?"



"Wh-What?! That's...oh man... Oh man!"

"He he... Well, it sure looks like a voodoo doll. I mean... You do know what a voodoo doll is used for...right?"

"I just thought I' know... Um..."

"So I...give this... It me... So we always...together..."

"Oh, Jumpy...."

"Thank you... Thank you so much, Jumpy..."

Before I knew it, I was crying. Tears streamed down my face, and fell onto June's tiny yarn body.

"Oh Jumpy, I'll never forget you... I promise..."

The sky was a beautiful crimson red as it melted down toward the horizon...

The last golden rays of sunlight stretched out across the city and painted themselves across the hills.

[Music: Silence]

...One thing?

(To be honest, it's the biggest mystery as far as I'm concerned, and also the only one that's really important...)

(Was it because I tapped into the morphic fieldset and saved her 9 years ago?)
(Hmmm... All right, let's say that makes some kind of insane sense...)
(If I did that, then...)

(Snake makes sense. He's blind. He couldn't have seen her body anyway. But Seven... He said he was sure he saw it.)

(Or...wait. Maybe that's not it at all... There is one other logical explanation...)

(You look...satisfied. No. No way... He couldn't--)


And, with that we are done with the true ending. It tried something different and on the whole I personally think it worked quite well. It's certainly not perfect by any means, and there's some bits that were definitely somewhat lackluster. Plus there's a ton of open questions that still remain. And absolutely none of them are going to get addressed in-game since we're finished with everything plot related.

Now, the game might be over but we're not quite done yet. We have a library and study to re-explore after all. And maybe there'll even be some other stuff, too.

Like, Developer Q&A stuff. I'll be including some of the more interesting bits of that, as well as some stuff that addresses the lingering questions you may have, because there's some really great stuff in there!