The Let's Play Archive

Zero Time Dilemma


Part 43: Ambidex (2 of 2)

Part 43: Ambidex (2 of 2)

Music: Sinisterness Phase 3

She's okay. She's just unconscious. Her breathing and pulse are normal...

I see...

Sure, now seems like a good time for the computer lady.

[Computer Lady:] That is all.

Same X-Passes we saw at the end of the Infirmary, and at the end of the Trash Disposal room where all of D-Team lived. Guess we're on that branch?

Y-Yeah, you're right...

I think this is the first time we've seen a team question the truthfulness of the reported casualties.

You seem to be forgetting that the exit's still locked...

The fragment title is "Ambidex". And now we have a terminal with "Rules of the AB Game". Feeling familiar?

Junpei also walks over.

Hopefully away from the electrified water this time.

No clue. Something's up on the monitor though...

We're now interacting with the monitor ourselves. Click to proceed!

Other than having to vote at the same time, the setup seems a lot like the AB Game in VLR so far. The characters were in separate rooms for those votes, though.

BP = Bracelet Points. In VLR, each character wore a bracelet that showed their current point total (as well as the random team assignment after each round of voting).

The voting results are different here though. In VLR, both characters allying would result in a 2 BP gain for each character.

VLR also had a double-betrayal resulting in no change to BP.

In VLR, a single betrayal would result in a 3 BP gain for the betrayer and a 2 BP loss for the one betrayed.

The principle is the same, though - an individual always gains better results from betraying, but the group always gains better results by both players allying. This type of setup is known as a prisoner's dilemma, and refers to two prisoners/arrestees being offered deals to get one to implicate the other. If you played VLR, you had this concept beat into you throughout the game.

Of course, a key element of a prisoner's dilemma is that the two players are not allowed to talk to each other. We're free to do so here. We can get to 9 BP with a single betrayal (which will also execute the one betrayed), or with two rounds of mutual allying. Seems simple, right?

Well, this game has a wrinkle. Junpei's fate is shared with Akane. And the survivors of a betrayal will have enough X-Passes to leave the shelter immediately. That might complicate everyone's reasoning.

Even a normally-selfless Carlos might hesitate with other people sharing his fate.

Junpei kicks the stupid machine.

I don't know, this room seems pretty tame compared to the others C-Team has done.

Complicating this decision for a player with VLR experience, is Junpei Tenmyouji's voting history in that game. He almost always betrayed. Will Junpei do the same here?


Or "Betray"...

What're you saying? Isn't it obvious?!

We choose "Ally" twice. We'll add 6 additional points to our initial 3, and we'll both end up with 9 BP. No one dies, no one gets hurt. The exit door will open, and C-Team will be able to get out.

Nice flashback to the screen we just saw. But otherwise sounds like a great plan. Not sure why Carlos refers to himself and the others as "C-Team" instead of just saying "we", though.

There's nothing gained by choosing "Betray", right?

Right? Right, Junpei?

It's just like the execution vote. Where...we...betrayed and executed Q-Team. Maybe not the best example...

I'm not sure I like Junpei's body language there.

The characters walk out as we fade to black. What, you didn't think we'd just jump right into the decision without more , did you?

Music: Morphogenetic Sorrow (Mix 3)

This girl here, she's always been really smart. If she thinks the tiniest thing is off, she'll start debating with "buts" and "ifs" like someone at least twice her age.

But to all of us back in grade school, she was pretty strange. Well, I guess she came across as scary...


I decided that I'd stay by her side, to watch over and protect her if I could...

She didn't take it well. So, without telling me or the teachers, she went to their hutch, crying and apologizing over and over to them...

That was over ten years ago. A memory that's been tucked away in my brain, covered in dust...

I know she always goes and just quietly shoulders everything herself.

I wanted to help her bear whatever weight she's taken up. I truly felt that. But...

Well... I dunno...

Hell, I couldn't understand why I even cared.

You mean my sister?


Above anything else, I want to save her. I want to see her smile like before... That's what I decided... That's why...

That's why you need the 500 thousand dollars.

There's no motion, but Akane can be heard moaning here.

And neither of us can afford to die now...

I'm not sure that was the right argument, Carlos... You've not only given Junpei a reason that he can't afford to ally, but one that you can't afford to ally, either.

We'll work on getting out of this shelter after that.

Junpei nods.

Okay, let's get this over with!

Fade to black with Junpei holding Akane.

Music: Ambidexterity 2nd Mix

Don't get the timing wrong, okay?

All right. Here we go.

One heartbeat.

Another heartbeat.

3, 2, 1!

Music: Ambidexterity 2nd Mix

Yeah, it just starts up the same track again.

Pretty simple. Just like VLR, right? Ally or Betray?


This file was actually from living through the Rec Room. I told you that 2^100 was a ridiculously big number.