The Let's Play Archive

Zero Time Dilemma


Part 58: Press the Button (3)

Part 58: Press the Button (3)

The thread is thirsty for blood.

Let's go press the kill button.


Music: Glacial Solitude

Eric sits up just as suddenly.

I see.

Missing Lip Animations: 45

Not sure why I'm still noting the missing lip animations. It's not like they're all that notable when they're there. I think maybe they're synced up to the Japanese dialogue, because they don't really fit the English words. I guess I don't want to quit halfway through at this point.

But then...the others will...

Way to be all accusatory when you were demanding the same thing.

C-Team and D-Team are gonna...!

No. We did.

There was no way around it.


I told you from the start not to push it!

I'll be right back. I'm going to go play a different fragment where I can kill Eric again. Stand by...

Ahh, that felt better. Let's continue.

It was obvious you were planning on pressing it!

But you're the one who actually did!

It was your hand! You pushed it!

You made a wise decision. You sacrificed the lives of others in order to continue your own survival.

It truly is a natural human reaction. You simply made an emergency evacuation. The action is legally justifiable. There is no blame to be placed on you for your decision.

Now, I'm sure you would like to get out of here immediately, but before that... I apologize, but you must all sleep again.


You have done exactly as I commanded. The memory loss drug will not be injected into the three of you.

There's a falling sound here, but it's not what you think.

It's just Eric falling to his knees.

I didn't do it! He's the one who pushed it! So he's--!

It would be...inconvenient if you forgot you caused the deaths of others...

But I already told you! I didn't kill anybody!

I was only watching! Dad, I was just watching!

Eric is having a flashback episode to when his dad killed his brother, again.

No... Chris didn't do anything wrong... I was the one who... Please... Forgive him, Dad... Cold. It's cold... The water was cold...

Well there's some new information. Part of Eric's guilt complex is that Chris got punished for something that Eric did?


And more falling sounds, for the expected reason, this time.

Static. Fragment over.

Also, fragment complete.

We're back at the Team Select screen, but we're not done with this update yet.

There's once again only one option for moving forward from here. (Why is Gab chained up?)

I know I called the single-decision, two-branch fragment structure the simplest one there is, but these ones prove me wrong.

Music: Sinisterness Phase 1

No fragment title is given up front. But I'm pretty sure I know what we're about to see.

C-Team instantly shifts from prone to crouched, then slowly stand up like zombies.

Where are we...

I think it's the Decontamination Room.

In this scenario, the other teams didn't push the button, and got their memory wiped of their last experience in this room.

Trapped in this room before...

Is it just deja vu...?

Either the memory-wipe drug isn't fully effective, or there's information leaking through the morphogenetic field despite it. D-Team in particular seems to get funny extra memories. Also the D-Team scene we see here is different from the one where C-Team pressed the button. I think D-Team plays off of whichever other team is also getting hosed down, so gets a different scene each time? For instance, when C-Team pressed the button, we saw D-Team first, and then Q-Team. Now with Q-Team pressing the button, we see C-Team first, and then D-Team. What will we see when D-Team presses the button?

So do I...

Wait, this button...

You feel it as well?

Yeah, not just her. I sense it too. Somehow this button is very important...

C-Team is also getting some extra information going on. Not that it's going to do either team much good soon. You do remember what we did at the start of this update?

The drugs in the bracelets...

Then what in the world...

The sound of liquid running through pipes is heard here. Like a muffled waterfall.

The heartbeat sound returns here. A moment of crisis for the teams, but there's no decision that can help them now.

So many screams.

And more screaming. Then a slow fade to white...

Farewell, C-Team and D-Team. Slow fade to black this time.

Music: Aftermath (Decontamination Room)

The Lounge?

What happened in the Decontamination Room...

The computer lady is here to give us our X-Passes.

[Computer Lady:] That is all.

DREAM for Carlos for some reason. Maybe his sister's Reverie Syndrome affliction? KEY for Akane is a reference to her Crash Keys organization I guess. QUARK for Junpei is a reference to his ward/companion in VLR. MOM for Diana, DEAR for Phi? No idea there; is Diana a mother? And ARM for Sigma could be a reference to him losing his arms in the VLR timeline?

Everyone... Everyone...

Settle down, you guys won, just put in your X-Passes and leave already.

An anguished scream from Eric here, which seems a little out of place given his attitude in other fragments.

He falls to his knees, again.

No need to blame yourself.

Forget about it. We need to focus on what's next.

We have six passwords, so can't we leave?

What I mean is... I know we're all in danger from this game.

Not that Eric has had any problem waving a shotgun and a grenade launcher around in different fragments.


The amnesia drugs in the bracelets...

Maybe we didn't get injected this time, but what if every time we wake up, we have to go through the same scenario over and over again...

Give it up. We don't need to talk about this.

Aren't we forgetting someone?

Dunno, looks like everyone's here to me?

Music: Quantum Computer Dome (Q)

Fade to black, and we're suddenly in the Quantum Computer Dome. First time seeing it, I think.

Oh, right, Gab. I guess every other scene we've had where people go through the X-Door, Gab just kind of is mysteriously already there. And this time, he's...not?

He's chained up? Who? How? Why?

That's so mean...

Why in the...

There's a sound of metal banging against metal as the chains are moved around.

Hey, about before...

It's like the Sleeping Beauty problem.

I went in a deep internet dive on this topic but the game actually explains it pretty well, so I'll just let it continue.

The experiment starts on a Sunday. The subject is put to sleep, and then a coin is flipped.

If it's heads, the subject is woken up on Monday, asked a question, and put to sleep again. And that's it. That's all they do for heads.

They're woken up on Monday, asked a question, and put to sleep.

To that point, it is. But it's different after that.

They are then asked the same question again on Tuesday.

It's obvious, there's a 50:50 chance of it being heads.

But when you're being asked it, there are three positions you could be in.

"The coin was heads. It is Monday," "The coin was tails. It is Monday," and "The coin was tails. It is Tuesday."

It's a coin. So it'll always be 50:50 odds no matter what.

But if it's tails, it ends up repeating ten thousand times.

Wake, question, sleep, memory erased... Wake, question, sleep, memory erased... Go through this ten thousand times... Does the probability still stay as 50:50 after all that?

Thinking about it, wouldn't the chances of it being tails be higher than heads?

If you put it that way, yeah.

More chain-clanging sounds.

No one knows.

Even the scientists can't decide between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3. It's an unsolved problem.

I read a random book on it once.

Metempsychosis basically refers to the idea of a soul reincarnating after death. So, living a new life but without any memories of the old one.

Says the kid with no memories.

You don't believe in it?

I meant, there's no real meaning.

Because when you're reborn, all the memories you had during your past life are already gone, right? That means metempsychosis isn't really needed.

Apparently murdering six people turns Q-Team into some kind of philosophical debate club.

Well, no one can perfectly remember things that happened when you were a kid.

Hell, sometimes you can't even remember something from a month ago.

Stop torturing poor Eric with brain teasers. Can we get Gab free or not?

Well, that was a fun 50+ images of philosophy class. But we finally fade to black.

Music: Solitary Snail

Well, it looks like we can't do any more...

All that talk for nothing, huh?

I'm really, really sorry...

We did everything we could.

Come on, let's go.

Another fade to black.

Music: Mischievousness (Consternation Remix)

Are you ready?


Go ahead.

It's been about 90 images and over eight minutes of gameplay cutscenes since the X-Passes were revealed here. I wasn't paying any attention (I often record long scenes like this without watching or listening, so I get better reactions out of myself when I write it up) and had to look wayyyyyy back in the log for them.

In fact you can see how far up the scrollbar on the left side is.

Anyway, they all work.

And the X-Door starts to open.

I've never figured out what the fog coming out of the door is supposed to be.

Anyway, the X-Door finally finishes opening with a slam.

Yes! It opened!

Eric and Mira run ahead.

A single, hesitant step.

What are you doing...


Music: Nostalgic Scenery

And the X-Door starts to close. Are you sure the dog is worth it?

The screen shakes as the X-Door slams shut. Forever. Probably.

That was a very long game over, but still a game over. If it's any comfort, Mira probably killed Eric a few days after they got out, again.

But we completed the fragment we were forced to do. I forgot to mention it last time, but the name "Standoff" oddly doesn't appear on the fragment select screen; instead it's just called "-----".

We've got one more Decontamination Room fragment to replay. Plus two more Execution fragments. And five new fragments, still, too. Select the story fragment.


Got some new files from when C-Team pressed the button, that I forgot to show, and two new files from this update:

'Leucochloridium' posted:

A parasite that uses snails as initial hosts, and then transfers to birds. The egg originates in the digestive tract of a snail, and then migrates to the tentacles. The leucochloridium causes the tentacle to take on the appearance of a worm or caterpillar, which draws the attention of birds. Once eaten by a bird, the parasite will lay an egg that leaves the body with the feces, which then becomes food for snails...and the cycle continues.

What if the snail mentioned in Zero's story had a leucochloridium inside...?

'Spinochordodes tellinii' posted:

Also known as the hairworm, it is thin and long. That larvae are hatched in aquatic environments and then consumed by water insects, which are then eaten by land-based bugs like crickets and praying mantises. Once the parasite reaches adulthood, it can control its host, leading it to water to drown it. The parasite then escapes the host and returns to the water where it reproduces. The larvae are eaten by water insects...and the cycle repeats.

'Toxoplasma gondii' posted:

A single cell organism with a width of about 2-3 micrometers and length of about 4-7 micrometers. One of the most common parasites, its definitive host is the cat. An infected rat loses its fear of cats, making it more susceptible to be preyed upon by its predator.

'Metempsychosis (1)' posted:

If metempsychosis really exists, what are the chances you are an intelligent life form in your next life, as opposed to everything else?

Taking a number of things into account, "everything else" has a much greater chance.

But if you were reborn as a duck, frog, or even a paramecium, there would be no way you'd be able to know and recognize your own existence. In effect, it's not any different from being a sponge or a rock.

That being said, rocks and sponges don't have wills of their own (aside from a few notable exceptions), so you wouldn't care about your next life. Why would you?

'Metempsychosis (2)' posted:

An example: You're in a totally dark room with a die in front of you. If you roll a 1, the light turns on, but any other number keeps the light off. You can roll it as many times as you wish. So what will the dice number be when you see it? One, of course, because you can't see any other result.

Another example: The whole world and everything on it stops in the next second. Exactly a minute later (disregarding who would be the one timing this) it all starts up again. No one will even notice that time stopped. In other words, there's no point to considering that 1 minute, as you can't say that it even existed.

It's the same as being reborn a duck, frog, or yellow sponge. The die in the dark and the halted world.

There are scholars who claim that if metempsychosis is absolutely true, you're guaranteed to be reborn as an intelligent life form. It's possible this is a result of the observable selection effect, an aspect of the anthropic principle.