The Let's Play Archive

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

by Fedule

Part 150: Escape: Director's Office

Today's escape: the Director's Office. Sigma (3BP, Blue Solo) is joined by the newly reunited Tenmyouji (8BP, Yellow Pair) and Quark (8BP, Yellow Pair).

VLR OST: [Director]

I have nothing of note to note about this track.

Okay put the recon on hold for just a second guys--

There's something on the screen...

Is that a lion eating a hamburger?

I...really don't think so...

I think the lion's got two heads.

Looks like a monster from Greek myth or something.

It looks like it's asking for an ID and password underneath the lion.


The keyboard doesn't seem to be working, though.

I guess we can't enter anything, then.


Okay. Might as well check out the rest of this desk since we jumped at it.

I checked it out earlier, but I think it's just a business card holder.

A business card holder?

Yeah. It's a file where you put business cards.
They've all got these weird shapes on the back...
I think maybe if you line them up in a particular way, then you'll get some sort of hint.

Hm. Well, I guess we can give it a shot.

A puzzle already!

You can look at the other side whenever you want, although it's not a great way to approach the actual puzzle. As is attempting it at all at this point, really.

Also of interest on the desk...

Yes of course there's a drawer and of course it's locked.

Is it locked?

Yeah, looks like it.

I don't see anything that looks like a keyhole, though. There's this diamond-shaped hole in the middle, though...
Do you think we're supposed to stick something in there?

And that's the desk. We can't examine the actual computer tower for whatever reason, nor can we take a closer look at that... whatever-it-is unit on the far side of the desk. Whatever it is. Fine, let's poke around.

The Director's Office is many things, but complicated in layout it is no--


You want it, Quark?

I don't need a balloon. I'm not a kid.

Really? How old are you?


What?! No way!

Gotcha! Ha ha ha ha...

Let's... just start poking at things.

This looks shady.

I think it's a facial recognition device.

A what?

You put your hands on either side and hold your face in front of that lens.
Then it checks your face against whatever it's got in its database.

Oh... Huh.
How did you know that?

I'm in the salvage business. Every so often one of these babies shows up.

It doesn't look like it's turned on.

Yeah, nothing happens when I put my face in front of it.

There's something to the right of the lens over there that looks an awful lot like a keyhole. If we had a key for it...

You think maybe we could turn it on?

I assume so.

Lots of locks.

Pulling round clockwise, we find... another locked thing. And some shelves.

Let's examine the most important-looking thing on the shelf.

Alcohol this bad shouldn't even exist.

So I think it's best if I dispose of it safely with my—

I'll be taking that.


Is it really that bad?



Well, I'll admit I can't be sure. It's hard to really judge a brandy until you taste it.



Here's some helpful easymode dialogue:

Ah, Sigma...
This bottle here...did you get it from over there?

Over where?


Thanks, Quark.

This is an option we have too, for some reason.

Maybe Zero only bought the cheap brandy because he already spent all his money on these useless tablets.

No... There's an empty slot on the back...

So it doesn't have a battery?

Guess not.

Then maybe if we can find a battery...

We might be able to turn it on.

Sigma's been very nonchalant lately, hasn't he?

We can also poke the books.

Do you think it has any hints to help us get out of here?

If it does, we're screwed.
I think we'd starve to death before we got through all four of those tomes.

I'm amazed you could get that far. I flipped the first one open and my brain just said "Screw this! I'm out!"

Good times.

I don't think you need to carry those around. Why don't you just put them back?

We can also put the books back on the shelf for whatever reason. Probably nothing though.

Safe time.

There's gotta be, like, a hundred billion dollars in there!

Heh. You're such a kid.

Maybe they're just hiding something they really don't want people to see.
Like some...videos...

I'm not sure I like the way you said that...

Let's just open it up and find out.

Ugh, I don't think...

Is it locked?


There's a circular input panel on top of the handle.
It looks like the one on the pressure exchange chamber's door.

So if we just do the same thing we did then...
All right, let's do it!

Sadly, we once again lack the necessary information to proceed here.

If you don't know that, you're probably missing some information.


What's up?

What about that globe...


Quark has irritating easymode dialogue.

This room is just full of weird shit.

What's this? Is it one of those vacuuming robots you see on TV?

You got me. Looks like a machine of some sort.

Well, is it turned on?

Don't think so.
Let's see if... Nope, no luck.

Huh. Nothing.

Might as well give up.

Yeah. Let's go look at something else. We can always come back to it later.


Let's look at probably the second most conspicuous thing in this room besides the bright pink balloon.

Well, it's not really a full suit of armor, is it?
I mean, it's missing the helmet.

So what would we call it?

I'm not sure...

Okay, well, I'm just gonna go ahead and call it a suit of armor, okay?

Suit yourself.

...Anyway, it's got some red paint on the neck and shoulder area.

Are you sure it's paint? It could be blood.

H-Hey! Don't say stuff like that!
Being in a room with a headless suit of armor is creepy enough!

As we can see, this armour is armed with arms.

If you look at the tip head-on, it looks kinda like a diamond.

A diamond, huh...

Not the most impressive weapon, but it's simple as hell and it won't jam like a gun.

Sigma also offers this:

I think perhaps there is something ingrained in our very DNA, passed down through thousands of years of evolution, that makes us really want to shoot something when we hold a slingshot.

Well that's that.

Finally we have this cabinet behind the stupid pink balloon.

That's the globe Quark was bugging us about up there.

Doesn't it look kinda weird?
I think somebody glued a piece of paper to it.

Let's see if we can get it off then...

(We can rotate the globe in the inventory screen and there really, really, isn't anything stuck to it.

Anyway, this is the only purpose the globe serves.

Can you imagine a room escape game with Phoenix Wright or Metal Gear levels of multifunctionality for your items?

This is the map. Subtle, isn't it.

There's something on it...

"Starting up. Please wait."

What is it starting...?

Beats me.

Well, my money says that just means it won't do squat if you mess with it right now.
How about you go have a look at something else?

You can tell that just by looking at it?

I can smell it.

That's some nose you've got there...

Here, just let me have a taste...

I don't think so.

How can you be so cruel...?

You already told me that...

Oh... Did I?

Yeah. Two hundred years is pretty impressive, though.

Yes, yes it is.
Then again, it's even older than that by now. Maybe it's gone bad.
It's probably just like water now.

I should drink—



Puzzle senses tingling.

The laser beam just went right through it.

Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing?!
If you keep frying it with that laser you're gonna ruin the brandy!
Pull it out of there right now!

Fine. Let's use something we won't pine over.

Yeah, it made a parallelogram.

Sure, whatever. All the ways to force this shape to appear and this is what they went with.

And with that we've rounded the room. Let's go chase down leads.

Since we've put bottle A on coaster B, we might as well balance things.

For whatever it's worth.

This is definitely going somewhere though. I can feel it.

You would think. Surely - surely - the spear is for the balloon. But no. There isn't even a dialogue for trying.

It's just a boring old key.

Our prize is...

Have you seen anything this key might fit into?

I'm starting to dislike this room.

Continuing our theme re: Quark's hints...

Hmm... A key with a circular tip...
Yeah, that keyhole was a circle, wasn't it...


Oh, nothing. I was just talking to myself.

So help me kid I will anesthetize you again.

All right, it's on. Now what?

Well, why don't we give it a face to look at?

One of ours?


(None of our faces work.)

Face not recognized. Gender mismatch.

What does it mean by "gender mismatch"?

Maybe it's saying that it needs a girl?

But there's only three of us, and none of us are women.

Well... Maybe if we dress Quark up like a girl...

No! No way!
Why don't you dress up then?!

No. Just thinking about that is making me want to puke.

Besides, do you see a wig or makeup or anything around here?
How would any of us dress up like a woman anyway?

Dude, you totally want to do it.

N-No I don't...




What is it?

Did you have an idea?

Well, it can't hurt to try. Yeah, definitely worth a shot.

(It looks like a piece of paper—no, it's a picture.
Oh yeah, I remember him looking at that in the infirmary.
I guess it's worth a shot—)


O-Oh my gosh! It's like we're in the villain's secret lair!

Huh... Didn't think that would happen.

I guess the recognition worked.


Hey! Stop—!


Well who is she, then?

Urgh... Damnit. Fine. You've already seen her, after all.
Her name is Akane Kurashiki.
I've been looking for her for...for a long time.


Because she's his first love.

N-No! You've got it wrong!

But you carry that picture everywhere.
I don't think I've ever seen you leave it somewhere.
And when you don't think anybody's watching, you talk to it. I've seen you do it.


Huh. Didn't mark you for a hopeless romantic, Tenmyouji.

Look, it's not about love, and I'm not a goddamn romantic!

Okay, okay. You don't want to talk about her, I get it.


Surprise plot point!

I could put a cliffhanger here but nothing in the latter half of this room really justifies getting an update to itself, so let's just forge on ahead while we ponder this revelation.

Let's have a seat while we contemplate.

Oh, hey, there's the helmet for the suit of armor.

Or at least I hope it's paint.

Hphm. I'm not so old I need the likes of you worrying about me.

That so? Well I think I'll just have a seat then.


You think maybe it's an...eye? Watching us?

Uh...I don't think so.

I think it's a target.

Like a bullseye?

Yeah. You're supposed to shoot it.

Shoot it with what?

Don't be an idiot.
You've already got what you need.

Okay, I'll just use this slingshot to—

Whoa, hold on there. Do you actually have something to fire?

Oh... No, I guess I don't.

What are you going to shoot it with, then?

With...mind bullets...

It's called "telekinesis," Sigma.
Anyway, I figured that'd slip your mind, like everything else. Here, I grabbed this off the floor earlier.

Take it.

Oh, this is the key we used to start the facial recognition device...
Thanks, man. I guess I don't have to use my special psychic powers after all!
Here goes.

You got it right in the center!

So yeah in case you didn't think the balloon could get any dumber the entire point of it was to prevent you from looking at this one particular bit of wall that you actually can see when just panning around the room.

This isn't even the reason a lot of people hate this room, either.

With even a bit more effort this could've been a really cool room-spanning puzzle. I'm a sucker for perspective-based stuff in puzzles.

Why don't you pull it?

What's going to happen?

C'mon, is it really that hard to figure you?

You think it's going to go back into the wall?

Pull the damn thing and find out!



You'd think this'd be a whole other room or something, but no, we can't even pan around in here.

Again with the complete lack of care.

Okay but at least we confirmed it was a battery.

Well, that was exciting!

Ah, whatever. Not like I have a choice.

And we're dumped straight back into exploration mode without so much as a word from Quark or Tenmyouji.

Of course. I mean, it says it right there.
It's a battery, right? Just a really thin one...

Maybe we're supposed to put it in some kind of thin electronic device.

Thanks Tenmyouji.

Look! Something showed up on the screen.

This is a laughably easy puzzle which you can almost certainly solve with only the "clues" we have, but let's be nice to the game and just pretend we don't need it's... assistance... with this.

On which note...

Good one Tenmyouji.


Time to address the safe. I mean not the safe but, y'know, the other safe.

The whole safe/password thing is
really lazy as a game mechanic when you think about it.

So anyway this puzzle is a bit of a motherfucker because the intuitive heuristic approach just gets you tied up in knots. Or, local maxima if we're going to insist on terminology.

We know what dots we have to connect, and the key to doing it is... remember to use the middle! This is the dial-a-puzzle game equivalent to putting the key to the near door behind the far one.

Mmm. Good work, Sigma.

Let's have a look inside.

A hundred billion dollars!


Yeah, yeah...

Sorry guys.
Looks like all we've got is a binder and...a deer.

So...a bine-deer.

What the hell is this? Is Zero just making fun of us?

Hm... What should we do with this stuff?

I vote we grab it.

Buck up, it's just a fake.

Take a closer look. I think it's just a replica.

You mean it's fake?


Whew. That's good to know.

You know, there's some red paint on its neck...

It's also got two pegs on the back of its board. Maybe we're supposed to put it up somewhere?

Maybe we are. Maybe we are.

It's got two pieces of paper in it.

Oh good, now we just have to find page t-

-well what the hell is even the point of there being two separate dialogs for this then?

Okay, good, good...

...and it's a logic puzzle! An alright one though.

It's actually possible to examine this straight away but most people wouldn't think to do it until they see beyond the balloon.

It looks like there's an outlet right next to it.

Why would somebody put an outlet this high up?

Well, it's...probably not an electrical outlet.

What is it then?

I think you're supposed to insert something into it.

Like what?

Maybe the deer...?

Yes! That's it!
Remember how there are two pegs on the back of the mount? I'll bet they fit perfectly.

Give it a try.

You're the boss.


...No, I still can't see it. I need... aid.

Let's deal with the business cards.

The first half of this is a freebie. The men's seats are all spelled out in the file.

Seating the women, however, will require

As with any logic puzzle like this, the key is to consider which of these conditions are the most restrictive in the light of the others.

For example, Ann and Ellen. There are only two places near Bob, but one of them is on the top of the board, so Ann has to go in the lower of the two otherwise Ellen can't be above her. This leaves only one space on the left, so that's Carole. You can do the same with Sophie and Kate. And that leaves one spot for Lola.


Then let's look at the other side!
Maybe the shapes look like something now!

The game lets us reengage with the puzzle just so we can look at the back.

It says... "BOOK 334."

What does it mean?

Well, a "book" is a bunch of pieces of paper that are bound together with—

I know what a book is...

Thanks, Quark.

On the one hand, this hint is kinda obtuse. On the other hand, it is in the service of a puzzle whose solution is
blindingly obvious so it's not so bad.

This is, of course, the actual reason we were able to put the books back on the shelves this whole time. And it's definitely not as much of a pain as the drinks puzzle in the Lounge.



Yes, the password is "help".

Looks like the password for the safe.

Awesome! Now we can open it!

Capital. But... how do we get the blue combination? We've already been through--

--Oh. Completely forgot about this thing.

That looks like a puzzle...

It is. It's a silhouette puzzle called a tangram.

I have no idea what that is. Let's give it a shot!

So. This puzzle.

This puzzle can die in a fire. Everything about it is bad.

First, what's the target shape? Does anyone remember? It's the parallelogram from the brandy bottle waaaaaay back when. Not a huge mental hurdle, though very obtuse and it sets the tone.

Oh, and god help you if you think you can just move the two obvious large triangles so they share a short edge instead of a long one. That doesn't get you the right
kind of parallelogram, man!

This kind of puzzle is built on physicality. It is very, deeply spatial. It works when - well, I should say it is not viscerally infuriating when - you are playing with blocks that you can pick up and feel and smash together on a whim. You work at it through experimentation. What the real-life physical version has is the ability to quickly try out ideas and combinations.

It does not work when you have to individually drag and drop shapes, one at a time, slowly, painstakingly.

Without that, you're left trying to solve the problem mentally to come up with a solution you can commit the time to putting together. And the spatial reasoning skills required to do this entirely mentally are somewhat uncommon across the totality of humans.

This is before we discuss how actually moving the blocks around is a pain in the ass on a handheld videogame console. On the Vita version, we have the luxury of a move/rotate toggle at the cost of the time it takes to use it. On the 3DS version, we'd have to drag shapes by their centers and rotate them by their corners, which is finicky but a bit faster.

Oh, and the in-game help isn't much good either. The long-ish explanation from Tenmyouji and Quark almost cuts it, but if you forget it you're stuck with Sigma's bullet point recap, which is:

All right, here's what they told me.
1: Make a trapezoid with a small triangle and the square.
2: Make another trapezoid with the other small triangle and the parallelogram.
3: That'll give me two trapezoids, which I then connect to one another.
4: Once I've done that, I'll get a shape that looks like a square with a V cut out of it, and I should be able to fit the mid-size triangle into that hole.
5: That gives me a square, which I can put in between the two big triangles.
And that should make a parallelogram just like the one the laser made...

Big help!

If there's one actual helpful hint that can be given for this puzzle, it is this: Break everything down into triangles. Geometry always involves breaking stuff down into triangles at some point.

That's as far as cleverness gets you though. You don't really have a good grip on the dimensions of the thing you're making so it's next to impossible to solve this properly without some serious nudges.

No wait, wrong way round because
fuck you.


That was amazing! How'd you do it? That puzzle was really hard!

Well done, Sigma. That was pretty impressive.

So, what do we get?

Look! There's something on the screen!

"IILP"? What does that mean...?

Fuck you, game.

That's not even a word!

Good job.

That was awesome!

The screen changed...

The symbols are different, and they're in different places.

Let's blow this joint.

Hm. Good work.

Hm... It looks kinda empty this time.

There're only two things in here.

First we've got...

Oh, these must be the star cards they were talking about.

There are two of them.

You guys take one, and I'll take the other.

Right. We're a pair, so we only need one for the two of us.

And the other thing is...the key, as usual.

Yes! Now we can get out of here!

Great! No point in sitting around!

Not so fast...

now we leave.

Huh. We never did find out what this thing was, did we. Or use the PC, for that matter. Not that the latter would have been much use, given what we know from other timelines.

You guys ready?


Mm-hm. Go for it.

All right.!

Before we rifle through the secret files, though, a "bonus" scene from my repeat run to get the Gold File.

This room has a particularly egregious example of forcing you to see a particular scene before you leave. If you cheat into the safe, this happens when you try to pick up the keycards:

There's something I wanted to have a look at before we go through the safe.
Can you come here for a minute?


(Why is he taking us to the facial recognition device...?)
(Now he's turning it on...)

After Quark activates the machine with his magical cheating powers, you get the scene with Tenmyouji tricking it with the photo. You are then automatically put back in front of the safe.

Time to see what's in this safe—

Hey, Mr. Sigma...

(Why's he whispering...?)

I know that stuff's important, but aren't you, you know, curious...?

About what?

Grandpa's picture. The one in front of the facial recognition thingie.
Don't you wanna take a look at it?


C'mon, hurry!

And so Quark drags us away from the safe again to go look at the picture and do that whole surprise scene.

To actually leave the room you have to open the safe a second time. Goddamnit Quark.

Secret file time!




Tenmyouji's Picture: