The Let's Play Archive

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

by Fedule

Part 91: Escape: Control Room

Escape duty rolls around once more! Today, Sigma (6BP, Yellow Pair) and Luna (5BP, Yellow Pair) will be accompanied by Phi (6BP, Magenta Solo).

VLR OST: [Annihilation]

Today's soundtrack falls on the happy side of the fine line between atonal and noise. It's surprisingly pleasant for something so discordant.

From above, and from the map, this room looks like a square, but we're confined to an L-shape in one corner of it. The result is a room where turning around to look at the thing directly behind you is a lot more arduous than it perhaps needs to be.

And turn you will, because there's a lot of stuff on the back wall.

But, uh, I think there's one thing in particular we should maybe check out first.

An octopus?

That's a pretty big octopus!

Yeah, it'd take us all our lives to eat something that big...

Don't eat it...

Um... uh...



A-Annihilation?! You mean... like that bomb?

Yes. The core of the annihilation bomb would work on the same principles.
I think Phi knows a lot more than me about these things, though.

Well, I wouldn't say that. I've just picked up a few tidbits of information here and there.

Tidbits, huh...

If it is what Luna thinks, it should be pretty simple.
There's going to be a bunch of matter and antimatter in there -- probably hydrogen and antihydrogen -- bumping into one another.
When they do they annihilate one another -- that's where you get the name -- and release a bunch of energy. You can actually calculate how much energy by taking the mass defect and--

Gah! Stop! Too complicated!
You're saying that octopus thing is a machine that runs off annihilation energy, right?

Well, "machine" is a weird way to put it. It's more like an engine, like a steam engine or an internal-combustion engine. Just... better.

All of the electricity in this facility is generated by Mr. Octopus.

So that would make this room...

Sigma refuses to mess with the control panel. Probably for the best.

That won't stop him from messing with all the other stuff in this important-seeming room, though.

Like this laptop.

It's got something on the screen.

Yeah. It looks like a memory stick.


Unless I miss my guess, it's actually a portable scanner.
See? There's a thin slit on the end.
Just wave that part over any images or text you want to scan.

Then you can just plug it back into the laptop...

And look at whatever you scanned. Neat.

Do you think it's because you pulled that thing out?

There are two bundles of folded cardboard boxes...
Just like the ones behind us.


Um... Look at the space between the boxes on the left and the wall... Is there something there?

Let's go take a look.

That would require looking directly behind us, which takes too long in this room, so let's just keep inspecting.

For one, this clipboard looks suspicious.

Look at this... "TEST" was written with a highlighter, wasn't it?

Yeah. Each letter's a different color too.

So do you think that the letter "T" you're seeing on the laptop might be an image capture by a scanner or something?

Huh? What do you mean?

Sometimes scanners don't pick up stuff written with certain colors of highlighter.
Maybe this one didn't like the blue, yellow, or pink highlighters.

And that's why we only got the green "T"?

Can't be sure, but it seems pretty likely to me.


Then I scanned the letters on it, but...

Why don't you try plugging the scanner back into the laptop?


I think you might be able to see what you scanned that way.

What am I going to do then?

Well... I don't really know.

Let's find out.

This is...

You think this is for the panel on the safe?

I assume so.

So yeah, not the most deviously hidden blue code in the game by any stretch.

Over to the right of the laptop are some levers.

Oh, you're right...

It says "OFF" on the top and "ON" on the bottom.


Well, we can't really do anything with this for now. Unless we want to brute-force through 64 configurations. Which we don't.

That's all from the control panel for now - but for the sake of tidiness we're going to pan back to the other end of the room and deal with the back wall from there.

First stop... whatever this thing is.

I would guess it's used to analyze things.
It looks like it's missing a part, though.

Phi, this isn't a basketball hoop.

I... okay.

There's also this.

It's got all these pipes...

Look at the black and yellow lever.
It says "Power" under it.

Do you think the tubing has electrical cables in it or something?

Maybe flipping these levers will let us change the amount of electrical current.

What would that accomplish?

I don't know...

Well, I'm guessing the "Power" lever is the source.

Hmm... Might as well give it a--

Wait. Don't get ahead of yourself. Look at the 320.

Without a replacement lever, I don't think we'll be able to do anything.

This also looks important.

Y-You didn't have to read the whole thing out loud...

Look, there's a hole in the middle of it.

How specific.

Further along, we have some lockers.

(Even the puzzle panel looks similar.)
Let's figure out how this works first.

Oh god.

The game gets weird again here; it looks like the game isn't acknowledging that we don't have the combination yet.

Clocks again.

Looks like the hands stopped at midnight.

That means 510 minutes, right?

I would assume so.

Well, the clock doesn't seem to be working, and the hands are pointed to midnight.
So maybe it's suggesting that the time we're supposed to get from it is 510 minutes past midnight.

Oh. Hm...

What time would that be?


510 divided by 60 is 8.5, so, 08:30.

Shelves of stuff. With files.

Let's see here...
...Damn. I can't understand any of this. Is it some kind of code?
...None of these have anything useful. So much for that.

A cardboard box.

Filled with... complicated machinery.

Do you think we can use it?

I don't even know what it is.

[√] Obligatory Metal Gear reference

Oh boy.

You remember what they're for, right? You use them to figure out angles.

There's a red line 30 degrees away from the 90 degree mark.
What's it mean...?

Maybe it's telling you to set some angle to 30 degrees.

Do you think we're supposed to use this for something?

Well, usually you use a compass to draw circles...

Where should we draw a circle, though?

On a piece of paper, I would assume...

How big of a circle?

Hmm... I don't know.
If we had an angle to set the compass to, that might help...

An angle, you say? I think we might just have something!

Capital. Let's file this away and keep circumnavigating the room.

At long last, our destination!

PP bands...?

Rope made of polypropylene.

But... there isn't a bathroom anywhere...

So there is a sense of humor behind that mask.

Sh-Shut up!

These are the boxes we saw on the laptop screen...

Okay, let's try moving them.

The color of each digit seems to be random...
Green, blue, yellow, pink...

They all look like highlighter colors.

Hm... Highlighters, you say...


Time to turn to face directly behind us again! Let's continue counterclockwise; we're almost done.

Let's pre-empt the identical dialogue here and cut to the chase; 11400sec / 60sec/min = 190min = 3:10.

Hi safe.

We've got some sort of dense, technical thing and a... novel?

Hmm... Doesn't look like there are any clues here, though.


"With no moon in the sky, the night was black as pitch, and neither of us could see the other's face. Only in that blessed darkness could I venture to bare myself to him, body and soul."
"I slowly drew my silk nightgown upward, its soft folds caressing my--"



O-Oh my goodness! Th-th-this is... This is depraved! How could this girl let--Oh goodness!
What did you make me read?!

Oh, uh, Gosh... I... had no idea...

I can see right through you! You knew exactly what this was, didn't you?!

You're a monster, Sigma! A base, corrupted animal!

C'mon, Phi, back me up here...

Oh no. You're on your own here, pal.

Come on...

And with that our tour of the room is complete. Time to follow up on leads.

We once again complete our goal of turning around on the spot so let's deal with the data from the numbers clipboard.

Huh. It changed.

Huh? That's weird...
This is the paper with the numbers on it, right?
It's only showing four digits, though...

And the reason we couldn't have just read the green numbers directly off the clipboard is...?

Let's return to the two lockers. We've got what we need this time.

This first puzzle is the exact same as the Crew Quarters lockers, just with bigger numbers and a weirder way of getting the code; it's the times shown on the two clocks.

See if you can open it!


What is that thing?

I think it's a root system from a tree.

What?! Come on, no tree has rainbow roots!

I don't think it looks like that naturally. They probably painted it.

It's pretty ugly.

I agree.

So what am I supposed to do with it?
I'm sure it'd make a delightful souvenir, but I don't think I'd make it past customs...

Maybe you're supposed to... put it somewhere.


Well, on that machine, perhaps.

One locker down, one to go.

This is actually not nearly as awful as it might first seem. Despite the numerous options available, three of the digits can be gotten using the plus operator and the last is just dividing a number by itself to get 1. Kind of a letdown, really.

Good work. Now open it.


It's pretty big.

Maybe you're supposed to wear it like a crown.

Why the hell would I need to do that?

Well, it could be part of a machine?
If it is, you probably need to attach it to something...

Right... We'll file this away for now. We've got other leads still open.

Like this!

I just put the compass needle in here...

And now the circle touches specific words.
Maybe those words are a clue?


In order? What order?
Where should I start?

Well, you see how there's a vertical line in the center?
Start from where the line and the circle intersect, and then go clockwise from there.

Okay, that would give me... ON, OFF, ON, OFF, OFF, OFF.

The third "ON" is white with a black border, but none of the others are...
I wonder if that means anything.

Let's walk all the way along the wall again to reach the levers!

Intriguing. We won't get any help with this, but it's pretty obvious...

S-Sigma! What are you doing?! Don't break it!

Ah! No! It wasn't me! It just fell off!

Are you sure...?

Yeah I'm sure.

Well, it's off now so no point crying over spilt levers. Maybe we can use it somewhere else?

Like where...?

Like somewhere where there's a missing lever!

Not pictured: More walking around the room.

Anyway, this thing looks awfully familiar, doesn't it?

I found a manual on the floor over there.
It says that this machine doesn't really use electricity in a conventional way...


Those tubes use some kind of special liquid to transmit electricity.
Actually it's pretty complicated...

The simple version is that you can adjust the voltage by adjusting the flow of liquid.
So let's say you turn the right-most lever all the way to the left.
If you do that, then all the liquid coming from 240 will go to the left tube.
Turn it all the way to the right, and it all goes to the right tube.

What if you put it in the middle?

Then it gets halved--each pipe will end up with 120, instead of one getting 240.

So what's the deal with the question marks?

Those represent unknowns in the target values.
The one with three question marks means it's supposed to be a three-digit number, while the ones with only two mean those are two-digit numbers.
And of course a single question mark means that value is only a single digit.

What about the one that starts with 3?

Well, I would guess that means the hundreds digit has to be 3.

So ?4? means the tens digit has to be 4?
And ??5 means the ones digit has to be 5, right?

Yes, I think so.

So let me see if I've got this...
We need to adjust the levers so that the liquid gives us the right numbers on the bottom?

That's correct.
Once you've got all the levers set...

Then I think you pull down on the power lever, like this.

Ah. Makes sense.

I think that about covers it.

Oh, wait, one more thing!
The liquid will only flow from top to bottom.
The manual was very specific about that.

Okay. Let's do this thing.

This is some seriously contrived bullshit. And besides, shouldn't adjusting the flow of liquid in this ridiculous contraption affect current, not voltage?

Well, the last one of these just had all the levers in the middle. Surely they wouldn't...?

Darn. Guess we'll just have our team solve it.

Note, for whatever its worth, the red and green lights at the bottom - at least we get to know which nodes are getting the correct flow.

Oh, give me a break. If I can't figure it out, I can't figure it out. What do you want me to do?

Fine. I'll give you a hint.

If you know how to do it why the hell am I wasting my time? You solve it!

Hell no.

Why not?

Because watching you sweat is way more fun.

You're a monster...

I'm sorry, did you say something?

Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.

I'll start with the rightmost tube, then.
How much liquid needs to go in there?

Well, there are two question marks, so... Something with two digits.

And Luna told us that it only flows from top to bottom, right?


So that means the rightmost pipe is only ever going to get liquid fro 240.


So how many levers are there between it and 240?


Then that means you can get 240, 120 or 60.

Oh! I get it!
The only two-digit number is 60, so that means I'll have to halve 240 twice.

Which means...?

The top rightmost and bottom rightmost levers will both have to be in the middle.

Wonderful. Keep going!

Sorry... Do you think you could give me another hint?

Take a look at the second one from the right.
We know that the two levers to the right of it have to be in the middle.

So how much liquid are you going to have from that?

Well, with 120 and 60, you'll get 180...

But that's not what you need here, right?

Yeah. The final number here needs to have a 4 in the tens place.

So what do we need to do?

We'll need to bring some liquid over from the 320.
Not all of it, though.
320 added to 180 wouldn't get you a 4 in the tens place, after all.

So that means...?

We'll have to take half of 320, which is 160.
If you add that to 180, you get 240, which meets our conditions.

What do you do with the 320 lever, then?

I guess it goes in the middle too.

One of these damn things has to not be in the middle!

Well, actually I was trying pretty hard...

You already know three of the lever positions. You only have five more to figure out.
A first-grader could figure this out.

No, I don't think so.

Well, at least they'd be able to figure out how to get the right amount of liquid to the single question mark.


The source for this one is going to be 320. Even if you halve that twice, you're only going to get as low as 80.
So what does that mean?

Then it has to be 0! We have to keep any liquid from getting to that one!
And to do that, I need to turn the left lever all the way to the left!

Progress! Just a little more!

Not you too, Luna...

Then show us you can solve it on your own!

I-I'm doing the best I can...

Very well. I suppose I can give you a few hints.
Look at the number on the far left.
You can only get liquid from 240 and 210, but there are a lot of levers in-between.
Do you know how many possible combinations you have?

Um... Seven, I think?

And what would those seven be?

450, 345, 285, 240, 225, 180, and 120.
...I think.

If you already know all that, the answer should be easy.
You need an amount of liquid somewhere between 300 and 399...

Of course! 345! That's the number I need for the leftmost box!

Then... um...

Think about it! If the bottom left number is 345 then you have to add half of 210 to 240, right?

But now you have 105 left over. Where is that going to go?!
It has to go to the second spot from the left!
That's the only number set that is a three-digit number ending with a 5!

You can't halve 105, and if you add 0 to that second spot you won't get the number you need!
That means the only way you can flip that lever is to the left!

Do you understand? This is important!
The spot on the left needs to be 345, and the one to the right of it needs to be 105!
Now do it!

...But... you didn't tell us how...

Forget it. I've had enough.

You're tired. Maybe you should go lay down for a while.
I'll do the rest myself.


I'm going to turn the bottom leftmost lever, the one to the right of it, and the one to the right of that all to the left.
All you need to do is pull the power lever.

Despite all its talk, the game appears to be technically incapable of having your buddies actually interact with puzzles on your behalf, so we still have to actually input the solution Luna spoonfed us ourselves. Woe is us.


Let's go check it out, then.

I think we're missing a part. Without that...

That must be what this thing's for!

Here we go...

Cool. Now what?

I feel like we're missing something...



I think I could put that rainbow-colored root here...



Nothing's happening.

Hold on. It's...

It's moving!

Looks like it's finally ready.

But ready for what?


This screen?

Yeah. I think.

Okay, but first let's just admire the specimen a bit more.

I know... Isn't it beautiful?

Are you kidding? It's gross.



You mean like from a hospital?
One of those things that can take pictures of cross-section of your brain and organs and stuff?

It can image things other than the human body, too.

Like this root, for instance.


I think so.

What are we supposed to do then?

I think trial and error is going to be the best way to figure this one out. Just start messing with it, and we'll see what happens.

All right...

For all the surrounding technobabble this puzzle is actually quite blunt. Also, the assistance you get from Luna and Phi isn't that interesting so we're just going to solve this one normally.

There are only three layers to deal with, and the meaning of the numbers on display should be fairly self-evident.

First, we'll want to figure out that missing fraction. Not too hard; I remember primary school maths! 4/16 simplifies to 1/4, 3/15 to 1/5 and 6/20 to 3/10. Those convert tidily into percentages; 25% yellow, 20% red, and 30% green, meaning blue has to be 25% to make up the whole.

Now, since 100 units went in at the top we now know how any units need to be in each colour group, and we can just fill in the missing numbers so yellow and blue get 25, red gets 20 and green gets 30. Easy.

You sure did! That's amazing!

Good work.

The color changed!

Hmm... I wonder...
Have a look, Sigma.

I knew it. You've seen a password like this before, haven't you, Luna?

Yes. In the AB Room and the infirmary.
It'll open the safe, right?


Capital. Let's move.

It looks like the ones I saw in the AB Room and the Infirmary.

So if we put in a password, it should open...
Looks like it works the same too.

Okay, let's get our prizes.
First we've got...

It says "FLOOR B".

The one we found in the crew quarters said "FLOOR A".

So did the one in the infirmary.

Hm... We came down here using an elevator, right?

So that would make A the top floor.
Seems weird. Don't the numbers usually count up from the bottom floor?

Well, look at it this way. A for "above", B for "below".

Why does that seem... ominous...

Our next prize is... Let's see...

They have a moon on them.

That means these are the moon cards the announcer was talking about!

Now we can play the next AB Game!

They gave us two, just like with the sun cards.
I'm a solo, so I'll take one.
That's fine with you guys, right?

Sure, go for it.

And a cable connected to the top...




We can worry about it layer.
Might as well take it with us for now, though.

The key.

We can get out now!

This should unlock the exit.


In a sec.

Alright. Now we go.

Yes, let's.

I agree!

Three... two... one!

There's not really much to like or dislike in this room except maybe the whole having to walk around the room thing. And the fact that, like the lounge, if you leave before examining a certain object (in this case the central reactor) Phi will point it out as you leave and do the conversation there. Although at least in this case it doesn't come completely out of nowhere.

Hidden file time! One file redacted for spoiling things, some others withheld for being boring.


Anti-hydrogen Atom:

TNT Equivalent: