The Let's Play Archive

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

by Fedule

Part 54: Escape: Laboratory

Time to show the Laboratory who's boss. Sigma (1BP, Magenta Pair) and Clover (6BP, Magenta Pair) are stuck with Dio (6BP, Yellow Solo) for a room.

VLR OST: [Biology]

This room's music is pretty inoffensive, really. I don't like it that much, but it doesn't bug me like some tracks in this game do, and I can respect that.

The room is in the shape of a quarter-circle and we can pan all the way around the curved edge. Nice and simple.

Not pictured: The exit off to the left of the shot, and the entrance off to the right.

We're going to start at these shelves and work our way counter-clockwise around the room.

Maybe, but there's nothing in them right now.

Not all of them are empty, though!

Like this one!

What the hell, Clover? What if that had been poison or something?!

He he. You worry too much. I just pretended to drink it.

Then how do you know it's saline solution?

It says on the underside of the lid, silly.

Does it...?

And there's another one behind it!

Don't give it a name.

Aww... It looks like he's dead.

Yeah, he's probably been preserved.

I think the liquid inside is ethanol.

How do you know?

The smell!


Yeah, it smells like disinfectant, right?
And besides, scientists preserve stuff in ethanol all the time.

You mean with Lord Hopppington.

I don't care what you named it!

We probably need to find more clues.


The devil's in the details, you know.

For some reason, Dio chimes in if you examine a shelf from which you've already got everything important.

Looks like they're empty.


Moving on.

Maybe it's a fake beard.

Have you ever seen a person with a beard like this?

Yeah, my grandpa had one.

It looks like a root. It's probably some kind of preserved specimen.

And finally...

They're not nuts. They're seeds.

Nuts are seeds too, you know.

Uh, I guess...

Why don't you try one?

No thanks. I don't want one of them to take root in my stomach.

There doesn't seem to be anything else in here that we can use.

These two spaces over here are somewhat easy to overlook.


Stop throwing them around like that! They're not roasted soy beans!
Besides, today's not Setsubun. Well, probably not.

You know about Japanese culture, huh?

One of my friends at school is a Japanese exchange student, so I've picked up a little bit.

That's a drain! What is wrong with you?!

This must be some kind of waste tank.

It looks like a thigh tank.

Are you for real?

Keep that thing in mind.

Now, over here...



Sorry. It's a scalpel.

Dissection, huh?

Is that a cat playing with a ball of yarn?

Uh... what?

Sorry. It's sort of a tic I picked up when I was a kid.
Whenever I talk about cats, I kind of... Well, you heard.

Th-That's pretty weird...

Alright then. Moving on.

We can't examine the stuff on the raised part of the surface here but we can examine the stuff in the foreground.

A whole mess of stuff here.

There's some paper inside.

Let me see that.

Says "Steps for dissecting a frog".

So it does.

Yeah. Let's see here...
"Hydroponics Research: 1"... and "2".


Three things, in fact.

There isn't anything in it.

Do you think we're supposed to stick this metal part into something?

And a second, identical one of these.

What is it?

These are the same shape as the ships the Nibiru aliens fly!

That's some imagination you got there...

Finally, there's this.

What's this?

Who knows?


Moving to the other side of the surface now...

I tried looking into the eyepiece, but it's pitch black in there.

Well, there're these four holes on top of it. Maybe we need to stick something in 'em?

This room is a little trigger-happy with the hint dialogue at times. There're a fair few references to things we haven't examined yet. This is only the first one I've shown you - there were others.

Anyway. Finally, the right wall.

Let's just skip over this thing for now...

...and look over here.

It says "DNA extraction instructions".


That thing on top looks like some sort of industrial-strength lid.

Maybe it's for scientific experimentation? We are in a lab...

Hmm... Yeah, you could probably pulverize just about anything with something this heavy-duty.

And finally, some more seeds, which don't have any extra dialogue. Boo.

We've opened up a few avenues of investigation now, so let's get on that.

Let's begin with the frog!

I'll just pour the froggy ethanol into the drain...


Are you gonna cut Lord Hoppington open?

Well, I don't really have a choice, do I?

But... Poor Lord Hoppington...

What are you freaking out about? It's dead.

That's not the point! It's still sad!

Yeah... It is kinda sad...

Oh for the love of... This frog is dead! It is an ex-frog!


Ugh. Fine. I'll do it.

Hey-- Well, I guess that saves me the trouble.

Then... could his soul be in here...?

O-Oh jeez... I didn't think of that...

Uwaaaa... Duke Hoppington...
You were taken too soon...
Baron Hoppingtooooooon!

Oh, was there a regime change?

You left us too sooooooooon!

Shut up!

It's not immediately intuitive that the tank should be up for grabs unless you're consciously thinking about how DNA extraction requires ethanol and we just threw the only sample in the room down the drain.

Right now it's full of the ethanol that the frog was in.

So, on that note, let's go look into that.

This is a fairly boring sequence of unnotable things. The upshot is, we throw the root in the mixer and blend.

Then, per the instructions, we pour in the saline solution...

And follow with the ethanol.

The resulting goop goes into one of our empty capsules.

Naturally, the DNA or whatever we've got in here is absolutely unaffected by any matter from the frog that had previously been floating in our ethanol supply.

I mean, not here here, okay?

I get it!

Just put it in the hole!

You're making it worse...


Thank you, Clover.

We're actually not done here yet.

Yeah. You think I shouldn't?

No, I just mean, don't you think you should put all of them in?

You mean all five different types of seeds?


Hm. Interesting. Why not?

Everyone knows the greatest scientists start from "why not?". I'll just cut to the chase...

No dialogue for this one.

All right, time to mess with the pipes.

Man, look at all these pipes...

I think they run down to the beakers underneath.

There are handles where the pipes meet.
If you turn the handle right, the liquid goes right...
And if you turn it left, the liquid goes left.
So maybe if you put it in the middle, half goes to the left and half goes to the right?

What is this liquid then?

Ummm... Probably water.

What do the numbers mean?

Are they supposed to indicate the amount of water that flows out of each pipe?
There aren't any units, but it looks like 80 somethings of water come out of the center pipe...
...And then each pipe after the split gets 40.

So we're supposed to regulate the flow of water with the handles so that each beaker gets the correct amount.

I could solve this... but I'd much rather have kindly old Mr. Dio take us through it.

Did you take a look at that binder we found?
The "Hydroponics Research: 1" one?

It had a section on preparation, I think.
"Prepare the five different hydroponic fluids. Dilute with water in a ratio of 1 part fluid, 10 parts water."
Anyway, the stuff in these beakers is obviously the undiluted liquid.

I'm guessing the numbers on them represent the amount of liquid.
You get what I'm saying?

I need to pour ten times that amount of water into each one, right?
So the one with a 3 needs 30 units of water, the one with a 2 needs 20, and so on.

Yeah. That's the idea.

Go on.

How much water do you need to add to the red liquid?

30 units.

So which way do you turn the lever underneath the 40?

Well, left is no good. That would pour all 40 units into the red liquid.
I guess my options are 40, 20, or nothing.
If that's the case, then putting the lever in the middle is the only way to do it.
Then the red liquid would get 20 units of water.
...But then I'm still short by 10.
Although if I take half of the other 20, then that would be ten...

Mm-hm. That'd make 30.
So what does that mean?

Well, the lever below the 40 and the one below that one would both need to be in the middle.

Fascinating. Continue!

If that's the case, how much of the 40 from the left source will be going into the yellow liquid?

Half of half of 40 would be 10.

So how much more do you need?


So let's get that 20 from the 80 source.
How are we going to do that?

Well, we'll take half of 80...

Yes. And...?

Both levers before the 80 will need to be in the middle.
That means the green liquid will get 20, which is how much it needs.

All right! Bring it on home, Mr. Dio!

If that's the case, how much water is the cyan beaker going to get?

Well, half of 80 is 40.

How much more do you need?


Let's get that 10 from the 40 source.
How should we go about doing that?

First we'd take half of 40...

Right. And then...?

Both of the handles underneath the 40 source should be in the middle.
That also means the blue liquid would get 30 units of water, which is what it needs.

So, to sum up, this somewhat complicated looking puzzle has a really anticlimatic solution...

...just point every handle to the middle.

You did it!

We sure did.

Now what?

Didn't it say something about preparing five types of seeds?
You've got them all, right?

So this is a sort of halfway nifty puzzle. We've got to match each seed to a beaker, ostensibly using the guidelines from earlier. For reference:

But honestly I think there's a better way this could have worked.

Note how each seed gives you a visible success/fail light when you submit your solution:

What would've been much better is if this puzzle had been a sort of figure-out-the-rules style puzzle like something out of Logical Journey of the Zoombinis or something. Of course, that'd require some more complex rules, and that'd require more thought than seems to have gone into a lot of these puzzle segments so hey. But it's fun to dream.

Also, once again the solution is kinda anticlimactic, what with the solution state being only one move away from the initial state.

Don't... say that.

Huh? Why not?

Just... don't.

Quiet, you two. Look at this.

It looks like these holes are just the right size...

Well, our work here is done.

The last piece of the puzzle is the microscope. Let's start inserting the capsules and--


It turns out that the yellow capsule is all you need to trigger the File Password here. That means the entirety of the optional puzzle is dumping the seeds into the blender and repeating the exact same process to extract DNA from them.

What's going on?

You put in the yellow capsule, right? I think it reacted to that.


But I was just thinking...

Thinking what?

Well, that thing we just put in had plant DNA in it, right?
Maybe that caused this...

Anyway, let's go have a look!

They have a look. It is a password.

Now for the actual puzzle.

What's wrong?

I can see something in here!

What do you mean... something?

Arg, just look! It's easier than explaining!

Probably a simplified version of a DNA sequence.
A is adenine... G is guanine...
C is cytosine... T is thymine.

I think we can manipulate it...

Yeah... I think the puzzle has to do with pairing these bases.


DNA is made out of four bases; adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.
However, you can only bind A and T, or G and C.
Anything else just won't work.
These are called complementary base pairings.

You sure know a lot about this stuff...

Eh, I guess so.
Anyway, you should be able to solve the puzzle now.

Give it a shot.

So, this doesn't look too hard, right?

Well, here's the thing.

It does that "classic" thing where some rows are tied to other rows so you have to figure out the order.

You can do it!
You can't spell Sigma without "G" and "A"!

Uh... what on Earth...?

Maybe, but without the "T" and "C" all you'll get is total crap.

Ooooooh, I get it.

Dio! Help!

Yeah. When I move one row, another row moves with it. It's driving me nuts.

Well, they don't all move, do they?

There should be some rows that you can move without affecting other rows.
I'd save that row for last.

So I should wait to move the row that can move by itself until the very end...

God you're hopeless...

Okay, try moving the top row first.
Try and get the first and second rows so that their A and T pairs and G and C pairs stick together.

Now for the third row... Actually, just leave the third row alone.
If you move it, you're going to mess up the second row.
So move down to the fourth row, and line up all the letters between the third and fourth row like you did with the first and second.
Once you've done that, what's left?

Just the fifth and sixth rows...

Right. The rest should be easy, okay?
Just make sure to slide the row that moves on its own last.

Thanks, Dio!

Good job, Sigma! That was awesome!
You want a treat?

I'm not hungry.

You're Turkey!

What in the hell...?

Stop screwing off. We don't have time for that.
Now get over here and look at this.


There's something on it.

Alright! Now to wrap up.

Yeah. It's just like the one in the AB Room. I saw one in the infirmary too.
If we punch in the right password, it'll open up. At least it should...

You did it!

Okay, what've we got here...
First is...

It says "FLOOR B".

The one I found in the infirmary said "FLOOR A".

So did the one from the lounge.

Then that would make floor A the top floor, right?
I mean, we rode the elevator down to get here...

Yeah, I guess so.

These are...

Each one's got a picture of a moon on it.

Then these have to be the cards the announcer was talking about.

Looks like they gave us two, just like with the sun cards.
I'm a solo, so I'll hang onto one.

Sure. Fine.

(I can't read any of this... Are these even letters?)
What the heck is this?

Isn't it a journal? It's got dates and stuff.

Maybe, but I can't read any of this...

What language is it?

Who knows. Maybe it's Brazilian?

They speak Portuguese in Brazil.


What else have we got here?

What's it say on the label?

A X E L A V I R...
Axel... ehvur?

Axe lever?

Wait... Didn't Luna say something about... um... Axelavir?



You're right!
This is it! This is Axelavir! It's the cure for Radical-6!

Later! We need to get out of here as quick as possible!

Yeah, we need to get this stuff to Quark!

First we've gotta get out of this room.

Yeah, but that's easy! You've got it, right?

Don't have to tell me twice.

Just one thing, though...

Awesome! The suspense was killing me!

Alright, NOW let's go.

Yeah! Let's do it!

Just get it over with.

Okay, here we go!
Three... two... one!

Let's talk a bit more about Hidden Files.

Remember how I said that the files were dumb and contained spoilers? Mostly it's just been minor annoying shit. I've only been showing some of the files - mainly because some of them are just flatly restating information we already know (like, say, the Nonary Game rules) - but also because of this spoiler bullshit. As of right now, three files have been kept from you due to spoilers or spoiler-ish stuff that I think it's too early for you to be thinking about right now. That said, two of these, despite spoiling stuff we haven't seen yet, will also still be amusing and/or interesting when I do decide to show them. This is the third;


...Yeah. This is from the Security Room and, well, yeah. Why? Why do that, game?

Anyway. I bring this up now because, of the seven files we have just acquired, five of them are being withheld due to spoilers. And these are BIG spoilers this time. Four of them drop central, sweeping mysteries like it's no thang, and the fifth file asks you an innocent sounding but jarring question - entirely unrelated to anything we've seen in the game thus far - that will send a sufficiently inquisitive mind (or, say, an LP thread audience with time to spare) careening directly into what might be THE defining spoiler of this game's plot. So that's something.

If there's a silver lining here at all, it's the two files that are both interesting and not spoilers, one of which I know some of you will be particularly delighted to see.

Floor A and Floor B

The Mystery of Quark's Hat