The Let's Play Archive

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

by Fedule

Part 170: K

That's a K in the title, not an H. Industria Solid is not a great typeface, folks.

VLR OST: [Placidity]

Listen in: [English/Japanese]

I don't think so.

Rraaagh! You're gonna pay for this!
When I get out of here I am going to fucking end you!


I guess we've figured out who the murderer was.
And we found Quark...


Why don't we head back to the warehouse and start from there?
They may have already returned.

Good point.

Let's go.

[Music fades out]

VLR OST: [Sinisterness]

Listen in: [English/Japanese]

Perhaps they went to look for us...

Aw man...
Now we've gotta go look for them.

How much time until the white doors open?

Then I don't think we really need to hurry yet.
Why don't we wait a little longer?
For all we know they're on their way back right now.

K and I nodded.

By the way... There was something I wanted to ask you guys about.

Oh yeah?

Yeah. ...Quark's bracelet.
When we found him in the pod, he wasn't wearing it.

How should I know?

Presumably it had been taken off before we found him.

So we have no idea where it is.

Pretty much...

I see. That's not good.
Without that bracelet, we won't be able to continue the game.


If we lose one...

Oh no! We wouldn't be able to go through the secondary door!


Who would be pairing up with Quark?!

Quark's bracelet should be a red solo.
That would mean he'd be with the cyan pair.

Who's the cyan pair?

Clover and Tenmyouji.

The two people who are missing.

Quark's bracelet is gone, and his two teammates have disappeared.

Wh-What's going on?
Does that mean Clover and Tenmyouji took the bracelet?

Well, if they found Quark before you did, yeah, there's a good chance they did.

Then...why aren't they back yet?

What? No, that's not possible!
The primary doors haven't even opened yet!

Perhaps someone opened one of them.


I don't know. But it's happened before.

Someone made one of them open.
Perhaps this is the same thing.

But... But that's against the rules!

Yes, I know.
But if the person opening the doors is Zero Sr., do you really think the rules matter?
Zero Sr. controls the entire game.

So are you saying Clover or Tenmyouji is Zero Sr.?

It is a possibility.

It would explain why they still haven't shown up...

Could they really have taken Quark's bracelet and gone through one of the white doors?

If they did, we won't know where they went until the doors open for the rest of us.

So I would assume.

Maybe we should go look for them again.
One of us can stay behind, so that we don't miss them if they come back.

Okay. I'll stay.

Sigma and I will go see if we can find them, then.

Make sure you get back 5 minutes before the door opens, all right?
Oh, and don't forget to bring Dio with you.

Of course.

[Music fades out]

999 OST: [Riddle and Puzzle]

Listen in: [English/Japanese]

So it would appear.

Well, looks like they're not here.

When we started looking for Quark, they were sent off to search everything beyond the red door...
...Which would have meant this room.

Not gonna do us any good to hang around here, though. Let's head upstairs.

Very well.

[Music fades out]

VLR OST: [Anxiousness]

Tenmyouji loves scotch so much, I thought we might find him here drinking some...


It was around that time that I noticed K was acting strangely.
He was staring at the shelf of alcohol in a way that I probably would have described as "blankly" if I could have actually seen his eyes.

Hey, what's up?
You want a drink?

Listen in: [English/Japanese]

Well, I would enjoy a drink, but this mask...

Right... Sorry, that sucks.
Honestly I'd gotten so used to the suit I'd kinda forgotten you were wearing it...
Why the heck did they make you wear that thing anyway?
You still don't remember anything?



[Music fades out]

I...I did remember a little...



What did you remember?

When dad you remember that? Did it just pop up out of nowhere?

Please, don't joke. This is serious.

So, you remembered who your father was?


What about your mom?

I...don't seem to have one...

So your dad raised you?


K stopped for a moment, then calmly folded his hands in front of him.

VLR OST: [Confession]

I was raised in the facility where my father worked.
He was the only person who worked there, which meant he was the only person I saw until I was older.
That had been the situation for as long as I could remember though, so I never thought it odd.

He wouldn't allow me to go near him while he was working, but the only times he wasn't working were the times when he was sleeping. As such, the only communication I had was with the education software he'd given me.

I suppose I was a fairly expressionless child then. We develop body language to communicate with others, and with no one else to communicate with I suppose it makes sense.

Once I learned to read and write, I began to realize that my situation was not...normal. Many of my books mentioned a "mother" as part of a family, and in several the mother, father, and children would eat meals together and talk to one another.

Soon I found myself longing for a mother of my own. Someone who would always be with me, who would scold me if I did something wrong. At night they would read to me before bedtime. If only I had a mother like that, I thought, I would be so happy.

So, for the first time in my life, I asked my father for something. He had finished working and, as usual, was making his way toward his bedroom when I stopped him and asked for a mother.

He looked at me silently for a long moment before finally responding: "Okay." I remember to this day how happy I was at that moment.

A few months later, he called me into his laboratory. It was the first time he'd ever done anything like that. My heart was beating quickly as I stepped inside.

Standing next to him was a young woman, and my hopes soared.

But when he said her name—or rather, her ID number—they were dashed.

He had given me a robot to play the part of a mother. I didn't want a mother that was just a machine who did what a human told her to.
When I told my father that, he looked surprised for the first time in my life.

Then he frowned, coughed, and admonished me for being "a whiner." He'd never scolded me for anything before. At first I was surprised, then angry. Hot tears streamed down my face.

My father ordered the robot to take care of me, and shooed us out of his lab.

The robot was very convincing, and she smiled and spoke as if she was a real person, but I refused to answer her and locked myself in my room.

You can talk to a robot, and it will respond... But in the end you're still talking to a machine, not a person. If that was what I'd wanted, I still had the education software my father had given me.

When I ignored the robot as it tried to take care of me, it looked sad. It couldn't really be sad, of course: It was only programmed to look that way. A robot's facade of sadness didn't mean anything to me.

After that, I stopped expecting anything from my father. We'd never really spoken to begin with, so it was easy enough for me to make sure we never saw one another. I lived my life as if he didn't even exist.

Perhaps it seems strange to you that I continued to live with him. But I never considered leaving. Perhaps in the hidden depths of my heart, I longed for a relationship with my father.

Everything changed when I was eighteen.

I left my room one morning to find a woman standing outside of it. She was the first human I'd ever seen, apart from my father, and I was understandably surprised.

For a moment I thought my father had created a new robot, but when I told her that she laughed and explained that she had come to help him.

As it turned out, she was a very mysterious person. She was much older than I was, but something about the way she behaved was almost girlish. She would tell me stories about the world outside in such a way that I was never sure if she was telling the truth or making up fantastic lies.

Ultimately though, the truth didn't matter: I loved her stories. She wasn't helping my father directly with his research, so I spent most of my days with her.

Before long I discovered she'd known my father when he was young. She told me stories of how he'd fallen in love as a younger man, and I began to imagine that the person he'd fallen in love with had been her, and that she was, in fact, secretly my mother.

After she settled in with us, our long-established routine began to change drastically.

First, we started to eat together. Before then, I had never shared a meal with anyone in eighteen years.

She scolded me for my table manners—or more accurately the lack thereof. If I was going to eat with others, she said, I would need to be more polite. Having eaten alone for my entire life, manners had never been something I'd even thought about.

My father got in trouble too, when he made the mistake of reading through research papers during dinner. The look of surprise and embarrassment on his face made me burst into laughter.

I couldn't remember the last time I'd shared a laugh with my father. It might have been the first time.

The room we considered our living room changed too. Before it had just been another room, but she made it...comfortable.

After we finished our dinner, I would sit on the sofa and relax with her and my father. Those times were the ones I cherished the most. For a little while every day I got the family I'd longed for ever since I was a child.

At her suggestion, I started to help with my father's research. He specialized in genetic engineering, and I discovered I had an interest in it as well. Time faded away as I lost myself in research.

Now that we were working and studying together, my father and I had a great deal to talk about. For the first time in my life, we began to speak with one another like a father and son.

Whenever I impressed him with something I'd learned I felt a surge of happiness, and it drove me to study even harder.

My days felt full, right, and meaningful, but most importantly I was happy.

Four years passed in the blink of an eye, until one day I happened to overhear my father and the woman speaking in the laboratory. Their tone was serious, so I listened closer, curious to know what they were talking about. That was when I heard her say that she planned to give her life to achieve their goals.

It was clear that she wasn't being metaphorical. She would have to die.

I was in shock. The research I had thrown myself into would lead to her death?

I asked my father to stop his research immediately. He refused to listen. She agreed with him.

She told me that she had been prepared for what she had to do since the day she came to our facility.

My father had known about it from the beginning as well.

Angry and disappointed, I began to investigate what exactly the research I'd been helping with was working toward. Perhaps, I thought, I could figure out a way to keep her alive.

I discovered much more than I'd bargained for. To begin with, I learned that the ultimate success of my father's research would require a good deal of sacrifice.

And I also learned that my own existence was just another part of his project. I had been created to function as my father's spare. If he died during his research, I was intended to continue it in his place.

I was stunned.

She did her best to convince me that I'd misunderstood, that everything would be fine...

As much as I wanted to believe her, I remembered in the back of my mind that she had been the one who pushed me to become involved in my father's research. Had that been an earnest desire to give me something to do with my life, or...

Still, I couldn't bring myself to hate her. She had given me a reason to live.

Even if she had conspired with my father to mold me into his replacement, the warmth she'd shown me had been real. She'd made me feel as if I had a real family, and that was something I wouldn't have given up for the world.

I pleaded with her to leave, but she quietly shook her head.

There was someone very special to her, she told me. He had saved her life once, and she felt her death would help to repay that favor. She would have liked nothing more than to marry him and live a happy, normal life together, but she couldn't. For his sake, she said, and for the sake of the future she had wanted, she was determined to see my father's research succeed.

I realized then that although she was the most important person in my life, there was someone more important than me in hers.

She tried to explain that beyond what we could see was a future where no one would have to die, but I refused to listen. What good was a potential future to me? It was what I had now that I wanted. I couldn't stand to think that she would give her life for a man I'd never even seen...

So I shut myself off from the world.

Perhaps that is why I lost my memory.

[Music fades out]

K let out a deep, tired sigh.

Listen in: [English/Japanese]

It's okay...

Not having any memories is less than desirable, but it could be argued that regaining them is almost more taxing.

So you remember almost everything...?

No. The details are still...indistinct.
Especially more recent events...


Would it be all right if I laid down for a bit?

What's wrong?

I don't feel very well...
It must be because I remembered so much so quickly...
My...head feels like it's...going to explode...

Are you okay?

Yes... I think I just need to rest.

Okay. Take as long as you need.
I'll go look for Clover and Tenmyouji myself.

I'm sorry... Thank you.

K lowered himself heavily onto the red sofa in the corner of the room.

Guess I'd better get moving, then.