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zero escape is not perfect (critical review of 999 and VLR) (SPOILERS)


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Summer is closing in and every  cool boys and girls are hyped for zero escape time dilemma . But I want to say sorry to you all  because I’m not going to hype the fuck out of it. Instead I will write a critical review which reveals some bullshit Uchikoshi ran away with.  

Let’s start with 999 shall we?* HUGE SPOILERS SO NO COMPLAINTS IF YOU RUIN YOUR EXPIERIENCE OKAY? *

Spoiler

 

“Plot”

            First of all I have to say that Uchikoshi is undoubtedly very talented at foreshadowing events, plotting a great mystery and writing an entertaining dialogue. He is also aware of plenty of facts and information which helps him to write an interesting premise and present thought provoking ideas. However the biggest problem in his writing style is that the plot drives everything. Meaning that the mystery, suspense and SHOCK FACTOR are more important than character motivation and free will.

        This becomes clear when you realize that almost all of the characters in 999 end up being reactive. Ace is the only proactive dude because he is the main villain and he wants to change the world with science. In order to save herself Akane reacts to his evil deeds and makes a nonary game. And everyone else including future Ace reacts to the nonary game. So basically the plot is a giant reaction circle which makes it harder to see proactive goodness and establish strong themes.

        The other problem is the “JUST AS PLANNED” syndrome which turns the far simpler death game into a huge  master plan. Young Akane saw everything through Junpei’s eyes and made a carbon copy of the game in the future to save herself in the past ( like if that makes any sense) and to take revenge on the evil adults. And you know what? Everything happened exactly as the way she wanted. In other words JUST AS PLANNED BITCHES. This makes our MC Junpei to be nothing more than a tool for their project. Whatever our main character does he will always fall into Akane’s twisted plan and do her bidding. However I think Uchikoshi saw a way out of this and that is presenting choices which the player can choose. Now the game feels as if it could go either way. There are bad endings which benefit the villain to escape unharmed as well as the true ending which was heck  of a mindfuck. Which leads to my next complaint. If she can see the future why can’t she just force junpei to take certain routes. That way you won’t end up making a timeline where Ace wins all the bitches.

     The 9th man and the other creators of the first game always ended up dying. They didn’t have free will because Akane forced them to their death. Why can’t she do the same? Of course she can’t because that way the game will have fewer endings. You know what? I don’t care about those bullshit endings. The axe ending was the only route which showed development regarding Clover and even that was over the top and silly. The others were just plain SHOCK FACTOR. Sub end in particular didn’t make sense at all. We the players just assumed it was Ace who killed all of them. We didn’t see how Ace executed his plan. And where did Akane find the sun key anyway?   

   The other bullshit Uchikoshi likes to include in his work is the amnesia.  In most fiction the one who has amnesia ends up being a soulless shell with no personality. However in this case it’s a generalized amnesia which means Seven will still retain his personality. But the thing is that in both VLR and 999 the one who has amnesia has the most vital information. And they suddenly remember those vital information only when the plot requires it. Why didn’t seven remember everything by the mention of the name “Hongou”. Heck why didn’t he remember everything when he saw Akane, Santa, Ace and Snake in the central staircase. Furthermore when Seven remembered the stuff that happened 9 years ago he wasn’t even telling the truth. Uchikoshi himself said that zero did some alteration to his memory which I call bullshit because there was no foreshadowing and how the hell did that kind of technology existed when there is none in VLR. It was a stupid troll so that the players can scratch their heads and overthink why Akane was alive until it reveals that she wasn’t dead all along.        

      And finally “The Feels finale” where Akane and Junpei connect with the morphogenetic field through time and space.  I like the way Uchikoshi introduced Morphogenetic field and I admit it’s a cool concept which makes people connect each other with their mind. But through Time? Isn’t that too much?  Although this part of the story is the biggest plot twist and the most FEELSIE moment, the mere introduction of time travel ruins all the logic the game had. And yes this part also excuses the intention of the nonary game but it’s still faulty. But I guess I’ll forgive this one mainly because it was foreshadowed and followed the theme of the game.

“Characters”

              Ace

          The badass villain of the franchise. He had an interesting motive for the first nonary game. And only if Uchikoshi made him to be more grey of a character he would have been the main star. But we can’t have that. He must be an evil dickhead who yells like a maniac and victimizes little girls. But regardless he is a fine character.

             Snake

          The other badass of the game. Clever, nice, loyal, interesting characterization. Despite the low screen time he managed to redeem himself in the safe end. Best character of the game imo.         

             Santa

        The obnoxious angry man of the game. Some might like him as a character because of his speech in the safe and knife ending. But come on he lied about his backstory thus he is a manipulative bastard.

            Clover

           The yandere loli of the game.  Basic personalities aside I find her to be an interesting character because of the axe ending. Yes it was done for shock effect but it did established character development  and it actually presents a theme of what a person will turn into if they lose someone they trust and cherish. Okay character.

             Junpei

          Besides the ladder jokes and the confrontation scene in the hospital room there isn’t much to his character besides being a lover boy. Yes the feelsie ending makes you feel other wise. But feels doesn’t make him a deep character okay.

              Akane

         “Oooh she is so Kawaii I want to protect her. She is the Ideal waifu” some of you may say. Well I say NOT. Because the revelation of her love, all those cute moments including the elevator scene were all just an act. She was zero and she was playing dumb the whole time. And this is why crazy plot twists don’t benefit the narrative. She is a manipulative bitch who kept lying till the end. And I’m still mad at her for cock blocking junpei for 45 years( but that doesn’t mean I hate her though).    

              Seven

Samuel L Jackson in anime format.  Nice characterization, badass backstory. There isn’t much to him other than that but still cool. 

              Lotus

Bitch of the team. I get she is a mother and all but what purpose does she have in the game other than solving the computer puzzle? Useless character and the least appealing.

Overall 999 is damn well made game. Yes it isn’t a perfect because of the reasons above. But it did have some really great mysteries, well foreshadowed plot twists. While I find some characters to be useless they become very relatable and likable towards the end you felt like you always knew them due to their well handled characterization. And the game actually presented a very strong theme saying “everything is connected” and while it may sound stupid on paper but the power of love was a nice core theme. That is why despite the bullshit morphogenetic connection the finale seemed epic and heartwarming. In the end the game almost felt like it wanted to say  “no matter what happens you are not alone because everything is connected and the strength of that connection is love”.

I give 999 a score of 8/10 ( very good). Don’t be mad at me man. I take storytelling very seriously and this is the best score I can think of.

As for YOU virtue’s last reward I have many things to complain about.

“Plot”

       There are many bullshits that I consider a huge problem in VLR. And those are time travel, radical six and unbelievable twists.

       I forgave time travel in 999 mainly because it was restricted, foreshadowed and somewhat excused. But in VLR things get very out of hand. Our MC Sigma can gather information from any timeline without restriction. This instantly makes him super OP. Who needs brains to solve mysteries when you have bullshit time traveling powers. And while it may seem like Sigma’s powers are charged by tension and willpower, the jumps are way too convenient. Why did Sigma gather so much information specifically in the true end? Why can’t other Sigmas in other timelines do the same thing? Face it these jumps aren’t controlled by Sigma. Uchikoshi himself is just using them as a stupid excuse to further the plot. Hell, why can’t Tenmyouji and Clover use these powers too. Phi is weaker than Sigma but she can use her powers without being dominated by his.

             And the fact that Uchikoshi tries to make sense of this confusion is even more pitiful. Radical six can strengthen the brain’s processing speed, I can get that. But by that logic every esper who was infected by radical six has super ultra special powers.

             Also your actions in the future influence the past is an interesting idea but this whole thing made the AB games pretentious as hell. If you choose ally the opponent chooses betray. If you choose betray the opponent chooses ally. In other words no matter what you choose your gonna fucking lose. We people have a thing called personality and morality. Choosing ally or betray means that we are making a morale choice. And we make morale choices depending on our experiences. Yet it feels as if everyone is acting out of character. Sigma in particular has no personal beliefs since we are making the choices for him. 999 made sense because we were choosing from doors.  And if every choice we make creates another timeline why aren’t there 4 timelines deriving from a single AB game. It’s a stupid gameplay gimmick to troll the players.

            Radical six is also very faulty because what urges the deceased to commit suicide is very convenient and follows no logic. Why did everybody kill themselves in clover end and not in any other route? And how are they even communicating?

               What is even more dumb is that how they did not notice they were on the moon. Everything they lift and throw will travel at a farther distance and every move they make will feel  unrestricted. You can say it was foreshadowed but it is still bullshit because they should have noticed right away.   And something even more crazier is that Sigma was a perverted old man with a cybernetic eye and nobody mentioned a damn thing. NO, foreshadowing just isn’t enough. They were playing the Nonary game for 14 hours and in different timelines, someone should have said something.  In the end Uchi was just trying to top the twists from the previous game. This is why twist centeric stories fails in general. You will have a blast if you turn off your brain. But if you look back on it and judge it from a critical perspective noting makes sense.        

               The game also inherited bullshits from 999 which includes amnesia and just as planned syndrome. Restriction of free will has become a huge issue in VLR because Akane can see everything and anything and this mess of a plot full of convenience and plot holes is actually the result of her master plan. 999 had this problem but it was somewhat justified because everything didn’t go as planned all the time and in the finale Akane basically begged Junpei to save her. But not here. Akane can access any information from any timeline so basically she is a god and everything happens as she wishes. And if that’s the case then what’s the point of doing anything if everything you do is already prearranged.

          And they kept saying stuff like timelines might disappear if you don’t do something. Which is false because if timelines had actually disappeared then this master plan wouldn’t work in the first place. And this fact creates another issue. Why can’t any of the espers just jump to point E with their mind and live happily ever after there? The other form of yourself gets thrown back sure. But since Akane is a god I bet she can merge two consciousness into one.  

         Characters

          Sigma

Perverted mad man. Lacks proper development due to being a self insert thus becoming worse of a  character than junpei.

           Phi

Interesting character but she can be replaced by any other esper in the world and it won’t make a difference.

          Luna

Best character in the game.  Not just because she is a perfect waifu material but because the luna end showed her true nature and the theme of “robots are actually more human than humans” was very strong. Sadly the theme of a robot disobeying the master’s order because of the chinese room was weakened by  the “just as planned syndrome”. It would have been perfect if Akane just placed something similar to a heart to fool the players but it backfired and she acted on her own. But that didn’t happen because Akane is GOD and she plans everything so all of that emotion filled moments were all programmed and prearranged making the whole thing pointless. Fuck conspiracies.

         K

Just like Seven. Fun personality, interesting backstory, Nothing else

        Dio

Not as cool as Ace. Seriously though was anyone shocked when they knew he was the killer? But still very fun to follow.

        Tenmyouji

I like this version of Junpei better because he developed far more after the events of 999 and has far more interesting personality. He is very loyal to his loved ones but has his selfish sides too. Good character.

         Clover

She lost her interesting side and was very dumbed down. Not really likable.

         Alice

Lotus of the game. But she is a better character in comparison than her because of the alice end.

         Quark

Useless character. That is all

 

Overall VLR might seem like an epic tale but in reality it is a trainwreck. Noting makes sense and I bet ZE3 will have a hard time covering up it’s bullshit. I give VLR  as score of 6.7/10( above average) just because it introduced interesting brainstorming ideas and had some great characters.

Despite all the things I said I am still pretty hyped for ZE3. But I think it will be really hard to wrap things up. Until the game releases you can bitch about how it will make sense later on in the comments. 

Edited by Eclipsed
spoiler tagged'
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You must put a big SPOILER SPOILER alert, as you spoiled everything for anyone who did not played the game. Do it ASAP, before you spoiled one of the few decent plot twists to someone who did not played it yet.

This is not a review at all, this is more like plot and character analysis.

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I played VLR in 2014 and found it perfect; it was the handheld game that hooked me the most and I couldn't stop playing for a week until I beat it. The Escape Rooms posed an adequate challenge (had to look up some of them) and the thrill of your first Nonary Game is something great. The story is very convoluted and involves suspension of disbelief but it's alright I think. In a normal progression VLR should be the third part as it's the last to happen timing-wise, so if anything Uchikoshi took a valiant stance to make it a middle installment in the series, and prequel to the ending.

The thing about Sigma's OP-ism is justification for the way the game unfolds. You had to be locked away from the endings early on and were encouraged to try some other timelines in the tree in order to unlock them. I found this gameplay pretty cool, but it causes bullshit plot-wise. But it was all designed to make the game more interesting, so I can cope with that.

I liked Phi, I don't agree she's generic, she's the co-protagonist and has a lot of weight in the story. There are some secrets to her that will be material for ZE3.

I got into 999 in 2015 and the playing order was critical. I couldn't help comparing it with VLR and the latter is the more advanced game. Also it's from a later generation of gaming. The story of 999 was simpler and with a smaller scope [saving Akane]. Anyway as a DS game it should be admired.

I agree Akane is a gray character but that's the fun to her. Her methods are not always gentle, but prove to be effective. The cockblock to Junpei has to be further explained yet.

Somehow I expect ZE3 won't be as good as it's looking and I think it will leave some (maybe many) questions unanswered. As a story and closing part of the series it's a great endeavour.

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Funnily enough I disliked 999 much more than VLR. I tend to love fucking insane bullshit stories allot more than the more restrained story that survives on a few strands of craziness. Yes, I'm that asshole that prefers Doctor Who over Star Trek. 

Can't wait till ZE3 so I can finally figure out WHO THE FUCK WAS PHI TALKING TO WHEN SHE SAID, "I LOVE YOU". It's keeping me up at night I tell yeah.

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6 hours ago, Palas said:

EDGY

Agreed

Most of the complaints about VLR not making sense are ehhh, it's sci-fi fiction, they explained most things within the confines of their universe, don't need to try to be all logical with it:makina: (especially with the time related elements!)

~~
Clover was dumbed down, I'll admit it, despite my absolute love for pinks. Least she got hawter :SmallKappa:

 

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Didn't played ZE yet, but seeing comments like that:
 

55 minutes ago, Eclipsed said:

Most of the complaints about VLR not making sense are ehhh, it's sci-fi fiction, don't need to try to be all logical with it:makina:

my hype is going down rapidly. You serious? If anything ever should be logicall and 'to the point' is sf genre. Unless it's science-fantasy, like star wars. But maybe your comment was just some kind of irony I didn't get (it's typicall for me).

So can anybody tell me without spoilers:
is ZE just filled with bullshity plot twists without logic, but 'muh plot twist, imma so hyped nao!',
or is it logicall and gives you 'damn, that was a fantastically written complex story' moments? 

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I disagree with you in a lot of parts, but the main one is how "VLR doesn't make sense".

It does, but it does going with the reality from the series, not ours. I mean, we all knew all along about the morpho something field, so in the end it made sense to see it being used by Junpei and Akane. Knowing it exists, we can understand how Sigma got the information from other routes. Notice that he only gets the information after the realities happen, so, if you pick wrong choices, you will destroy the possibility of having that reality and will not know it at all.

Junpei also knew everything from the bad endings from 999, so I cannot see VLR coming as a surpriste to an old reader.

And it is not like Akane did everything by herself. The third nonary game still is Sigma's plan, and IIRC, it was not the first time he did it, so they knew what was going to happen anyway.

They didn't find out about the Moon because the place they were was specifically designed to look like Earth. They even had to go through... depressuring? to go out from there.

And man, VLR is a lot of years after 999, almost the end of the 21th century. Why don't you believe they have technology to, like they do, travel in time using a "power" that was already available at 2029? Again, I think you're judging the game by our 2016 real world reality and not considering the game happens in a different one.

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1 hour ago, Vorathiel said:

Didn't played ZE yet, but seeing comments like that:
 

my hype is going down rapidly. You serious? If anything ever should be logicall and 'to the point' is sf genre. Unless it's science-fantasy, like star wars. But maybe your comment was just some kind of irony I didn't get (it's typicall for me).

So can anybody tell me without spoilers:
is ZE just filled with bullshity plot twists without logic, but 'muh plot twist, imma so hyped nao!',
or is it logicall and gives you 'damn, that was a fantastically written complex story' moments? 

The second one. The twists are what make you wow at the game, but everything, mostly on 999 is made for you to feel the twists were something natural. The whole experience is good, or even excelent, which would make a good story even without twists.

And you have to consider how the creator, in general, loves twists. See Ever17 as the biggest example.

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1 hour ago, Vorathiel said:

Didn't played ZE yet, but seeing comments like that:
 

my hype is going down rapidly. You serious? If anything ever should be logicall and 'to the point' is sf genre. Unless it's science-fantasy, like star wars. But maybe your comment was just some kind of irony I didn't get (it's typicall for me).

So can anybody tell me without spoilers:
is ZE just filled with bullshity plot twists without logic, but 'muh plot twist, imma so hyped nao!',
or is it logicall and gives you 'damn, that was a fantastically written complex story' moments? 

everything (mostly everything) is explained within the confines of VLR's established universe and lore. and every. twist. is foreshadowable.

I mostly said that cuz OP's complaints were about 'why didn't they just do this instead, or notice that sooner' or my personal favorite, timeline mechanics not making logical sense

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Okay, let's go paragraph by paragraph. Untagged spoilers, obviously.

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

First of all I have to say that Uchikoshi is undoubtedly very talented at foreshadowing events, plotting a great mystery and writing an entertaining dialogue. He is also aware of plenty of facts and information which helps him to write an interesting premise and present thought provoking ideas. However the biggest problem in his writing style is that the plot drives everything. Meaning that the mystery, suspense and SHOCK FACTOR are more important than character motivation and free will.

That's because Zero Escape is a sci-fi thriller at heart. Complaining that "the plot drives everything" is nonsensical, because it is structured in a way that an intricate framework of events is unveiled through the characters, and there is nothing wrong with a story prioritizing plot over characters, especially in a series like Zero Escape which doesn't have some 50+ hours to leisurely build character through character interactions. That said, do you think that character motivation isn't present enough in Zero Escape? Really?  Check out the bad endings. So often, the characters' own motivation brings demise to the participants. Axe END. Practically every betrayal in VLR. The identity of Zero in each case. Even if you think so, Zero Time Dilemma will be significantly more character-driven as it's about the same length as VLR (confirmed by Aksys PR) but now we have insight into the general personality and motivations of many characters. Haven't the slightest clue what you mean to say about "free will". If you want an Uchikoshi VN that deals more with that theme, go play Remember11.

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

This becomes clear when you realize that almost all of the characters in 999 end up being reactive. Ace is the only proactive dude because he is the main villain and he wants to change the world with science. In order to save herself Akane reacts to his evil deeds and makes a nonary game. And everyone else including future Ace reacts to the nonary game. So basically the plot is a giant reaction circle which makes it harder to see proactive goodness and establish strong themes.

A group of (mostly unassuming) people thrust into a completely unexpected situation in which their life is in danger? Of fucking course they would react. Zero Escape's circumstances put human nature to the test. Family with Clover-Snake. Deceit with Akane and Santa. The shadows of one's past with Ace. ZE is a treatise on how humans react and change when put under extreme pressure, and since it's a trilogy about people trying to survive a death game desperately, it doesn't make much sense that it would need to include much "proactive goodness". Not much connection with "strong themes" either, life in itself is a "reaction circle" and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a fictive work taking the approach of character building through analyzing reactions to particular circumstances. Nonsensical claim, in other words.

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

The other problem is the “JUST AS PLANNED” syndrome which turns the far simpler death game into a huge  master plan. Young Akane saw everything through Junpei’s eyes and made a carbon copy of the game in the future to save herself in the past ( like if that makes any sense) and to take revenge on the evil adults. And you know what? Everything happened exactly as the way she wanted. In other words JUST AS PLANNED BITCHES. This makes our MC Junpei to be nothing more than a tool for their project. Whatever our main character does he will always fall into Akane’s twisted plan and do her bidding. However I think Uchikoshi saw a way out of this and that is presenting choices which the player can choose. Now the game feels as if it could go either way. There are bad endings which benefit the villain to escape unharmed as well as the true ending which was heck  of a mindfuck. Which leads to my next complaint. If she can see the future why can’t she just force junpei to take certain routes. That way you won’t end up making a timeline where Ace wins all the bitches.

And here is where you display a fundamental misunderstanding of the plot. Akane is not able to DIRECTLY make Junpei do things, even though the narration is by Akane you make the door choices and whatnot as Junpei himself. Akane merely observes and receives information. It is only by the true ending (TRUTH HAD GONE) that Akane manages to convey something to Junpei in the future, hence triggering the sequence of events that culminates in Junpei solving the sudoku and saving Akane. If the plan does not work out, it causes a paradox- hence, Akane disappearing in Safe END I think it was.

On the first half, that's THE FUCKING POINT. Akane is Zero, and the fact is made all the more harrowing by the fact that she was forced to do that because she needed it to survive the Nonary Game as a child. She had to be a conniving, sly, cruel person to accomplish that -she had to risk the life of a childhood friend to save her own- and understandably she also wanted revenge. The thematic significance you seek is right there. Is Akane moral? What does the events of 999 mean to Junpei? How will the others be affected? As for the "as if that makes any sense" part, it is fucking fiction. The liberties the game takes from reality -The relevant one here being the morphogenetic field- allow the existence of such an event. Unless you believe the morphogenetic field theory as presented ingame is self-contradictory, this claim is factually unsound. Complaining about the game being a "master plan" instead of a "simple death game" also seems to contradict your sentiment that you want to see "stronger themes", which wouldn't be possible on the same level if 999 were a "simple death game".

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

The 9th man and the other creators of the first game always ended up dying. They didn’t have free will because Akane forced them to their death. Why can’t she do the same? Of course she can’t because that way the game will have fewer endings. You know what? I don’t care about those bullshit endings. The axe ending was the only route which showed development regarding Clover and even that was over the top and silly. The others were just plain SHOCK FACTOR. Sub end in particular didn’t make sense at all. We the players just assumed it was Ace who killed all of them. We didn’t see how Ace executed his plan. And where did Akane find the sun key anyway?   

Murdered people have no free will now? Are you for fucking real? 

"Why can't she do the same?" What the hell do you even mean? Think you forgot to type something there. Also lol, 6 endings and you fucking complain that they went for too many. Some of them are ob-fucking-viously bad endings, as in, game overs. In a horror/thriller game, it is expected that there would be shock factor. "We didn't see how Ace executed his plan." - Why the hell is this even a problem? That adds to the mystery and the shock. Would have to reread it to see why Akane has the sun key.

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

The other bullshit Uchikoshi likes to include in his work is the amnesia.  In most fiction the one who has amnesia ends up being a soulless shell with no personality. However in this case it’s a generalized amnesia which means Seven will still retain his personality. But the thing is that in both VLR and 999 the one who has amnesia has the most vital information. And they suddenly remember those vital information only when the plot requires it. Why didn’t seven remember everything by the mention of the name “Hongou”. Heck why didn’t he remember everything when he saw Akane, Santa, Ace and Snake in the central staircase. Furthermore when Seven remembered the stuff that happened 9 years ago he wasn’t even telling the truth. Uchikoshi himself said that zero did some alteration to his memory which I call bullshit because there was no foreshadowing and how the hell did that kind of technology existed when there is none in VLR. It was a stupid troll so that the players can scratch their heads and overthink why Akane was alive until it reveals that she wasn’t dead all along.

Seven was possibly made to lie. Also remember that Junpei's actions throughout the game determined the past (Akane heating up in Sub END was due to the heat of the incinerator from 9 years ago for example), so it is entirely possible that the past was indeterminate until Junpei took certain actions. Unless Junpei connects with Akane at the sudoku, Akane dies- since Junpei has not yet connected with Akane from the past, they exist in a possible paradox. You have to change the past by saving Akane. Don't remember the memory alteration deal.

 

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

And finally “The Feels finale” where Akane and Junpei connect with the morphogenetic field through time and space.  I like the way Uchikoshi introduced Morphogenetic field and I admit it’s a cool concept which makes people connect each other with their mind. But through Time? Isn’t that too much?  Although this part of the story is the biggest plot twist and the most FEELSIE moment, the mere introduction of time travel ruins all the logic the game had. And yes this part also excuses the intention of the nonary game but it’s still faulty. But I guess I’ll forgive this one mainly because it was foreshadowed and followed the theme of the game.

You do not even mention which aspect of time travel ruins the ending or the story, or what exactly is its "fault".

 RE: character complaints

Ace- A person who is okay with (dangerously) experimenting on kids for money but yet cracks under pressure in the game, a conniving bastard, yes. His depth comes from the contrast of his façade and his true self, does not have to be likable.

Santa- Again, unlikable =/= bad

Akane- Yes, it was all a ruse, THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT. THAT'S WHY PEOPLE FIND THE ENDING EMOTIONAL. IT'S THE INCREDIBLE STRING OF EVENTS BEHIND AKANE'S MOTIVATIONS AND PERSONALITY THAT MAKES 999'S ENDING SO MEMORABLE. 

Lotus- Again, not everyone has to be a central character. Let me introduce you to the concept of a "side character".

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

As for YOU virtue’s last reward I have many things to complain about.

Hoooooo boy.

 

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

I forgave time travel in 999 mainly because it was restricted, foreshadowed and somewhat excused. But in VLR things get very out of hand. Our MC Sigma can gather information from any timeline without restriction. This instantly makes him super OP. Who needs brains to solve mysteries when you have bullshit time traveling powers. And while it may seem like Sigma’s powers are charged by tension and willpower, the jumps are way too convenient. Why did Sigma gather so much information specifically in the true end? Why can’t other Sigmas in other timelines do the same thing? Face it these jumps aren’t controlled by Sigma. Uchikoshi himself is just using them as a stupid excuse to further the plot. Hell, why can’t Tenmyouji and Clover use these powers too. Phi is weaker than Sigma but she can use her powers without being dominated by his.

Sigma is more powerful than Junpei.

The VLR Nonary Game was structured (with all the AB game stuff) to train Sigma and Phi's jumping abilities. Sigma receives information from other timelines in the true ending, but this ability is imperfect in terms of retaining memories from other timelines until you finish the rest of the game and develop Sigma's time jumping ability. From Sigma's perspective, there's a linear line, which an observer from outside would interpret as jumping back and forth in time. There's an AB round where if you ally, you're betrayed. Then you jump and pick Betray, and Sigma, after the other person allying this time, mutters something along the lines of "Weren't you supposed to betray?!", surprising himself too. In short, Sigma's abilities aren't consistent throughout VLR- they develop as you solve more and more and more rooms and mysteries.

Tenmyouji and Clover are weaker espers compared to Sigma and Phi, so their strength gets channeled. Nothing in VLR suggests that Phi is more powerful- they are of equal capability, likely the reason why both of them can use their abilities at the same time.

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

And the fact that Uchikoshi tries to make sense of this confusion is even more pitiful. Radical six can strengthen the brain’s processing speed, I can get that. But by that logic every esper who was infected by radical six has super ultra special powers.

             Also your actions in the future influence the past is an interesting idea but this whole thing made the AB games pretentious as hell. If you choose ally the opponent chooses betray. If you choose betray the opponent chooses ally. In other words no matter what you choose your gonna fucking lose. We people have a thing called personality and morality. Choosing ally or betray means that we are making a morale choice. And we make morale choices depending on our experiences. Yet it feels as if everyone is acting out of character. Sigma in particular has no personal beliefs since we are making the choices for him. 999 made sense because we were choosing from doors.  And if every choice we make creates another timeline why aren’t there 4 timelines deriving from a single AB game. It’s a stupid gameplay gimmick to troll the players.

Although I don't remember much about Radical-6 strengthening esper powers, it doesn't immediately mean everyone would be as capable as Sigma or Phi. 

No single choice is affected solely by morality, feelings and particular circumstances do come into account. Not exactly sure how the vote-switching-in-the-same-round works, but I think it was with Phi and morphogenetic shenanigans were involved. You don't explain how that counts into everyone being allegedly out of character. Sigma does have beliefs, it's just that they don't differ all that greatly from the average altruistic person- when you betray Luna, he does feel heavy regret for example. The flowchart is based on choices YOU make, hence why they have two branches, ALLY and BETRAY.

 

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

Radical six is also very faulty because what urges the deceased to commit suicide is very convenient and follows no logic. Why did everybody kill themselves in clover end and not in any other route? And how are they even communicating?

               What is even more dumb is that how they did not notice they were on the moon. Everything they lift and throw will travel at a farther distance and every move they make will feel  unrestricted. You can say it was foreshadowed but it is still bullshit because they should have noticed right away.   And something even more crazier is that Sigma was a perverted old man with a cybernetic eye and nobody mentioned a damn thing. NO, foreshadowing just isn’t enough. They were playing the Nonary game for 14 hours and in different timelines, someone should have said something.  In the end Uchi was just trying to top the twists from the previous game. This is why twist centeric stories fails in general. You will have a blast if you turn off your brain. But if you look back on it and judge it from a critical perspective noting makes sense.        

Not sure about the inconsistency of the virus myself. What do you mean, "how are they even communicating"? Everyone's brain is slowed down by root 6, so relative to each other they speak at the same tone.

Sigma's age IS mentioned, several times. Not hard to imagine that cybernetic implants are common by 2028. Their moves wouldn't feel less restricted since the mental slowdown accounts for that, and the internal pressure of Rhizome-9 is suitable for living and thus, likely to be similar to the feeling of the Earth's air. They don't throw anything. That said, it is kinda weird that the stuff left out in the open doesn't easily float. Hmm.

 

15 hours ago, bilguun alix said:

The game also inherited bullshits from 999 which includes amnesia and just as planned syndrome. Restriction of free will has become a huge issue in VLR because Akane can see everything and anything and this mess of a plot full of convenience and plot holes is actually the result of her master plan. 999 had this problem but it was somewhat justified because everything didn’t go as planned all the time and in the finale Akane basically begged Junpei to save her. But not here. Akane can access any information from any timeline so basically she is a god and everything happens as she wishes. And if that’s the case then what’s the point of doing anything if everything you do is already prearranged.

          And they kept saying stuff like timelines might disappear if you don’t do something. Which is false because if timelines had actually disappeared then this master plan wouldn’t work in the first place. And this fact creates another issue. Why can’t any of the espers just jump to point E with their mind and live happily ever after there? The other form of yourself gets thrown back sure. But since Akane is a god I bet she can merge two consciousness into one.  

Akane's wishes are not just her own, her wish is to save the world, and she needs other espers for that. Not everything is "prearranged"- point E, ZTD's goal for the VLR cast, does not yet exist.  It's the same reason as to why people in 999 claim Akane died, it's because the past needed to be tampered with. The difference between 999 and VLR timelines is that 999's bad endings create a paradox (Akane wasn't saved by Junpei, but is present in the new Nonary Game). Compared to those divergences, VLR and Point E's timelines can coexist.

You seem to hate to see how the pieces of the puzzle that is the games' storyline fit together, impressive that you still like 999. For most people, that cathartic feeling of the game being a very intricately designed puzzle is what makes Zero Escape so amazing.

edit:

Think of it this way: Everything isn't "predetermined", instead, think of it as every single detail about the world and characters being an integral part of the story. Isn't that a beautiful thing?

Moreover, according to ZE Wiki, people DO feel a bit weird due to being on the Moon. I think there was a bit of dialogue about this in the lounge somewhere.

 

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2 hours ago, Vorathiel said:

damn, that was a fantastically written complex story' moments? 

This one by the fucking far. There's no "Here's an over-the-top twist, suck it fuckers" in Zero Escape to the level it is in, say, Danganronpa. Some twists may strain the suspension of disbelief for some people, but they're all reasoned well. 

 

Now get the hell out of this thread before you do get something spoiled.

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