The Let's Play Archive

Zero Time Dilemma


Part 46: Time to SHIFT

Part 46: Time to SHIFT

How much power does the Power Room have? 1.21 Gigawatts?

This update is going to get heavy.

So let's make like a tree and get outta here.

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.

Because where we're going, we don't need roads.


Great Scott!

Music: Initiation (Preamble)

Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, Carlos! Think!

You okay?

Is this...before the AB Game?

Yeah, well, history is gonna change.


Should I keep going?

You've got to come back with me!


I always saw her sitting in a corner, curled up hugging her knees, and all alone. I--

Back to the Alternate-Present!

She went to their hutch, crying and apologizing over and over to them...

Did Akane tell you?


Then why...

So, gonna stay silent, huh?

Let's just get these votes--

That's probably enough movie quotes for now. You'll see the reason for them in a minute here.

Can't let that happen. It didn't go well the last two times.

We tried allying...

We tried betraying...


Hello, pot calling kettle!

Maybe the solution is to not play at all?

Akane stirs.

Now that the smart one's awake, maybe we can figure this thing out.

Music: Extreme Extrication 2nd Mix

Ah, I think I understand.

Missing Lip Animations: 33

Spacetime Human Internal Fluctuating Transfer.

Akane, is that...

The ability to send and receive information through the morphogenetic field. It's a simpler version of this.

Well, your consciousness at least.

Know what movie I'm talking about?

The high school protagonist almost gets it on with his own mother, and tries to get his awkward dad to marry her. That's the basic plot, right?

M uses the time machine built by his friend D B to go back in time thirty years, help his parents G and L hook up while defeating the bully B, then uses young D B's help to go B to the F. If you don't know what I'm talking about yet, you're requred to ask in the thread and admit that you're a child who doesn't get old movie references.

According to the plot, he's successful at getting his parents to marry, but history ends up changing slightly.

Upon returning to his own time, his father's a famous science fiction writer, and he's rich.

Well, it's a movie about time travel, so as such it's full of plot holes. Is that what you meant?

Just what happened to the M who lived in that fancy house?

I don't think the M from that history appears in the movie at all...

Scraping sounds. Is Akane drawing on the floor with the key?

More drawing sounds.

And the previous timeline is erased. I guess.

The other type is where "multiple histories" exist.

This is the many-worlds interpretation, one of the more widely believed hypotheses on multiverse theory. The world and universe split into branches as a result of one's decisions. It's a setup where each branch is able to exist in some form.

Guess which theory this game uses?

First, let's consider what happens with a single path history.

Maybe he met a really cute girl he liked, or was a winner of a contest... The possibilities are endless.

Every single one was overwritten when M came from another history.

Huh? But the history that disappeared was poor M's...

You're right. That's true. What was erased from existing in time was M's history... But the only memories that M retained...

In effect, the life that M2 lived through was overwritten, all because of the actions that the protagonist M took to save his own.

Well, that got dark.

Instead, a mystery remains. So where did M2, the version who remembers being well off, up and disappear to?

This is what I think. On the same day that protagonist M used the time machine, M2, for some reason, did the same as M and went back to the past. But then he did the exact opposite of M.

Missing Lip Animations: 34

It would keep everything consistent.

That's depressing...

What is?

He ends up getting the bum end of the deal regardless of which scenario happens.

Yes, that's true. But...

This is...rather difficult to say, Carlos. Your case may be exactly the same...


In exchange, the Carlos who was here originally...

Sent back to die in one of the prior two updates.

Another me is in...the other history...?

It's an interesting ethical dilemma that we'll proceed to conveniently ignore for most of the game.

There's no use in getting upset.

So every time we SHIFT, we send back a potentially innocent version ourselves back to experience whatever horrible situation we were running away from. Awesome.

But wait, Akane, how did you know that Carlos is able to SHIFT?

He mentioned before that he knows which path has Death at the end, and which is safe.

Music: Ustulate Pathos

An arsonist set fire to our house when I was 18. My parents didn't make it, though I was able to get my sister, Maria, out... But we didn't make a clean escape. Maria fell into some sort of coma. They first thought she had carbon monoxide poisoning. But that wasn't what it was...

[Unknown Male Doctor:] Reverie Syndrome. A variety of moments flicker in and out of the mind, as if one was constantly dreaming. We believe this is what your sister has...

Maria is either receiving large amounts of information from the morphogenetic field, or her consciousness cannot stop its jumping between multiple histories.

Yes, though it's slightly different. In Maria's case, that power is running rampant within her.


Missing Lip Animations: 35

A firm nod from Akane.

So there's some hope for her!

You were able to hear her voice, right?

[Young Maria:] Carlos, I'm here! I'm over here!

Maria? Maria, is that you?! Just stay there! I'm coming to get you!

No matter how you look at it, there was no way her voice could reach me. But I realized exactly where she was and I found her quickly.

After that I could hear victims crying out in the fires, and which way would lead to my death.

So far, so good. That explanation is pretty consistent with what we learned in 999 and VLR, and the plot of this game so far. But the story is about to have a little harder time hanging together.

So, Carlos. Junpei.


Well, as it stands right now, it's incredibly likely the both of you will decide to pick "Ally". But instead of going through that, it'd be better to SHIFT to another history...

...But why?

It'll work! The three of us will definitely be able to do it!

How can you possibly know that? In VLR, the presence of other SHIFTers tended to suppress the abilities of those around them, so that only Sigma and Phi were able to do it. And so far we've only seen Carlos with this ability from this group. Junpei in particular has been pretty clueless.

What do you mean by "danger"...?

Someone mentioned that C-Team and Q-Team both have a couple where the guy is a jerk (Junpei and Eric). But they have something else in common - the woman is a bit of a psycho (Akane and Mira).

Music: Strain 2nd Mix

[Computer Lady:] The control panel...has detected an the program. Main cord supply additional deuterium.

There are also alarms sounding here. ...What did you do, Akane?

[Computer Lady:] Please quarantine...or disconnect...the control panel.


Our lives have to be in danger for our SHIFT ability to manifest.

Akane looks very proud of herself. Blowing up the shelter and killing D-Team just so they can hop around the timeline, sending some other version of themselves back to die in their place. When we could just ally twice and walk out of here.

Even if we do manage to do this, the us who are from whatever history we switch with will end up--!

[Computer Lady:] The main cord is preventing the shield...from deploying. Please evacuate now... Please evacuate now...

Do you want to check it?

Ugh, just fuck already or something.

Junpei just sighs and turns away.

[Computer Lady:] Two minutes...until detonation.

While it would be cool gameplay and narratively impossible, we don't get to choose where they SHIFT to ourselves.

You see, Junpei has a plan.

Which one?!

Junpei pulls some shit out of his morphogenetic ass.

Wait, that sounds like a terrible history to go to.

We're just going to get ourselves killed!

[Computer Lady:] Thirty seconds...until detonation.

I trust you, Junpei.

Any port in a storm, I guess.

Aaaaagh! Dammit!

Okay, let's go!

[Computer Lady:] 3... 2... 1...

We don't actually see them SHIFT out, but the screen fades to white.

Guess we made it out, because that fragment is now complete. Oh and hey the one we were headed to is right next door.

Back at the Team Select screen, but we're not done yet. You see, we haven't actually reached a decision point.

We're railroaded straight into the next scene. The other two teams have empty fragment lists, so this one is our only choice.

To be!