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999 Review/Thoughts thread


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I decided to play 999 because it was suggested to me.

I was promised a story focused and emotionnaly involving game. I wasn't lied to.

 

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     Synopsis.

The protagonist's name is Junpei, he was kidnapped and brought on a sinking ship together with 8 other participants to play a game called "The Nonary game".

His objective during that game will be to reach the last door and escape.

     Gameplay

The gameplay is central in 999. You will regularily have to solve some puzzles to solves. They are part of the said Nonary game.

This game is some sort of compromise between the adventure genre (games such as Runaway or Professor Layton) and the VN genre.

First thing that I have to say it that these puzzles are quite easy to solve.

Most of the time to path the solution is linear or plain obvious. Very often they are basic mathematic problems and the toughest ones can be solves by doing random stuff and eventually finding the correct answer.

So if you think mystery will be a problem, do not despair, it's really easy.

It's so easy that it became a little frustrating.

You don't get the enjoyement you'd usual get after beating a puzzle.

Thus, for me they were only a time lost and an irregularity in the pace of the story telling. Which is a shame.

     System

This is a DS game.

But I'll strongly suggest you play it on an emulator.

Reason is it has only a single save. The interface is non existant and you can't skip anything.

The emulator will allow you to use save states and play a little with the settings. That way you can win some time.

Simply because if you haven't been through a part or forgot to save. You can't skip it!

And you have NO WAY to accelerate the process. You can't mash your keyboard to pass the text, no, you have to wait for it to display from the first word to the last.

So make sure you save often in the emulator. Otherwise, prepare yourself to replay several hours of the over game again (Happened to me twice ... 4 hours lost...).

     Replayabilty

Once you completed a route, the game memorizes the segments you've already went through. You'll be able to skip them by pressing the forward button.

BUT

You have to redo all the puzzles even if you've done them before, and that is a pain.

The first puzzle, you will solve it at least 5 times if you want to 100% the game. And believe me when I tell you that you'll know the two required codes on heart starting your 4th walkthrough.

Once you know the solution it goes twice or 3 times faster, but still, it's not hard to code a "skip the god damn puzzle" button, is it ?

     Story

That I don't have much to say about. It had everything I expected of this kind of game.

A great setting, an interesting and charismatic casting, puzzles (even though they were easy), a deep, well thought and COHERENT story, and most importantly it had explanations for EVERYTHING - mostly.

I'm not saying the explanations were the best, one of them dissapointed me I'll be honest, but it had explanations !

And strangely, that is a great quality for these type of games.

I've played so many of adventure games who left unexplained mysteries behind. Shadowy parts which the devs didn't find the time or inspiration to explain, and which leave the reader/player frustrated.

So to all the game designers in the world : Please ! Explain ! Unfinished games are bad !

If you are looking for an emotionnal ride, it also does a good job at involving ones emotions. I was dead tired when I finished it so I can't say that it happened to me, but I know it could have.

One last thing I would have prefered is a proper conclusion.

     Art

It looks good, it's a DS game so you can't except the best of course. But It was really decent.

Sprites were animated, and the chara design was flawless. (Clover <3)

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     Music

Meh, once again, it's a DS game. So there were few background musics.

They reflected the atmosphere and the situations properly so I can't complain but I can't say any good about them either.

It wasn't really music, it was more of an ambiance sound, and it did a perfect job at being one.

     Conclusion

A very good and thrilling story which can become frustrating due to the interface and the puzzles.

Note 7.8/10

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If you like emotional, action, or mystery stories, if you do not have a problem with good characters, if you can endure over-intensive puzzle-solving, GET THIS GAME!

 

Actually, you should get this game no matter what. Emulate if you have to. You MUST play this game especially because it is the predecessor to my favorite game and VN of all time

 

10/10 game, in all seriousness. What it lacks in puzzles, it overcompensates for with its story. Maefdown, I'd recommend you play its sequel Virtue's Last Reward: It has better twists and better "gameplay", far better puzzles as well as an effing flowchart which I am surprised is not an industry standard by now.

 

A warning: Do not play VLR before 999.

 

Let me clarify.

 

DO NOT EVEN THINK OF PLAYING VIRTUE'S LAST REWARD BEFORE 9 HOURS 9 PERSONS 9 DOORS, DO NOT EVEN TOUCH VLR BEFORE GETTING ALL THE ENDINGS OF 999, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU FINISH BOTH

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999 is great, I'm glad you enjoyed it~

It truly is an amazing game both narrative wise and gameplay wise. I just like you was pretty annoyed by the fact I had to repeat every single puzzle, but I think it kind of grows on you after a while :D

 

Now onto gathering enough money to buy VLR :P

 

And all hail the mighty Funyarinpa!

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Ahhh the Zero Escape series... what a great series it certainly is, both for story and gameplay. While I still do prefer the Infinity Series also written (although only partly written in this case) by Uchikoshi Kotaro to this series, the stories in 999 and VLR are still equally amazing and well-executed. I think if a work of fiction can make you think and make you emotional almost entirely at the same time, then it has succeeded as a work of fiction. Other than that, I'm just really glad that this series is getting out to a lot more people being that it's in console game format. I guess you could say that the series has a lot of intelligence to it.

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999 was a great game for sure :D. I got hooked, especially toward the very end, and a little something in a later scene just blew me away. Although, overall, I was far less shocked by the events that unfolded because of Ever17. The two storylines are extremely similar, I feel. I loved how the writing had next to no fluff, truly a rare occurrence in VNs. The puzzles were fun at first but I lost patience after a while, largely because the story was great and I just wanted to keep reading :)

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I played both 999/VLR fairly recently. I'd say overall I like 999 slightly better. VLR is far more grandiose so it's not a common opinion, but I just had less issues with it. That said the presentation of VLR is countless times better. Voice acting, better graphics and perhaps most importantly a built in flowchart. Man do I love that flowchart, especially after needing to skip through 999 5 times for all the endings. Anyways both are pretty engaging, above average VNs.

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I'd say overall I like 999 slightly better.

 

I'm a huge, HUGE Zero Escape fan, and I would agree with this statement. I think, on the whole, VLR is a better game, both puzzle wise and presentation wise, but I still like the setting and tone of 999 a bit more. 999 felt like you were always under pressure, trying to escape from a life or death situation, whereas VLR didn't have as much tension. I still highly recommend seeing both games to their conclusion; each is a fantastic ride with a lot of twists and turns along the way.

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I'm a huge, HUGE Zero Escape fan, and I would agree with this statement. I think, on the whole, VLR is a better game, both puzzle wise and presentation wise, but I still like the setting and tone of 999 a bit more. 999 felt like you were always under pressure, trying to escape from a life or death situation, whereas VLR didn't have as much tension. I still highly recommend seeing both games to their conclusion; each is a fantastic ride with a lot of twists and turns along the way.

 

Uchikoshi said in an interview that Japanese fans were disturbed by the amount of gore and horror in 999, so it was lessened in VLR.

 

 

 

THAT WORKED OUT SOOOO FUCKING WELL, DIDN'T IT?

 

 

 It VLR had as much horror and gore as 999, I bet everyone would say VLR is the better game by now- but a game based on betrayal and killing, and the atmosphere is as calm and "sterile" as it is: It could have been MUCH better, even if VLR is an effing masterpiece already.

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Haha, I had no idea they reduced the gore because of fan reactions in 999? The horror was what I loved so much about the original game. My main thing with VLR is those 3D models, man. They just look so lifeless. I almost always prefer sprites. Static sprites are fine. Animated models is not exactly high on my requirements list.

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DO NOT EVEN THINK OF PLAYING VIRTUE'S LAST REWARD BEFORE 9 HOURS 9 PERSONS 9 DOORS, DO NOT EVEN TOUCH VLR BEFORE GETTING ALL THE ENDINGS OF 999, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU FINISH BOTH

Way too late for that. :P Since I had a Vita I got VLR instead of having to fuck around with DS emulators.

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Way too late for that. :P Since I had a Vita I got VLR instead of having to fuck around with DS emulators.

 

I feel genuinely sorry for you, especially since Desmume runs 999 without the slightest hitch- this is not like Danganronpa where you need to perform an average of 5 dark magic ceremonies to make it work. It runs without the slightest hassle... Oh well, too late now.

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Even thought the classification is on the edge I would say 999 is the game that got me interested in visual novels in the first place.  The story was just so interesting and dark that I couldn't help getting hooked into it immediately.  

The first ending I got was the ax ending, and I will always remember the feels I felt that day.

 I would actually say that I preferred the gore component to 999 and many of the characters a lot more than VLR but the constant plot twists in VLR were just as good.   Probably my favorite DS game of all time (although TWEWY comes real close). 

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Oh Jesus Christ

The axe ending in 999 scared the living crap out of me!

:( Because I trusted Clover who seemed so innnocent and she killed several people, really shocking :(

 

I have to say I preferred the overall atmosphere of dread and horror in 999, I think VLR had better puzzles/gameplay so could be considered a better game in that sense, the crazy plot twists in VLR were just so good but I think as an overall experience I preferred 999. I'll echo what another poster said, 999 was probably the game that got me interested and intrigued in VN.
I went almost the exactly the same way as you - 999 then VLR then Ever 17 :D But I played the PW games too if they count as VN way before 999.

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I've played 999 and I loved it, but I played it on iOS (Didn't have a DS/3DS at the time). Now that I've already experienced the story, is it still worth replaying on the DS even though I know what's going to happen (I already played through all of the endings/choices)? I think the only differences are the puzzles in the game, right?

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I've played 999 and I loved it, but I played it on iOS (Didn't have a DS/3DS at the time). Now that I've already experienced the story, is it still worth replaying on the DS even though I know what's going to happen (I already played through all of the endings/choices)? I think the only differences are the puzzles in the game, right?

 

Puzzles and the conservations that take place are worth taking a look.

Maybe even checking a second time.

Maybe a third time...

Maybe a fourth time...

 

Let's just say you'll REALLY miss the flowchart.

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But I strongly suggest you play it on an emulator, the reason being that it has only has a single save slot. The interface is nonexistent and you can't skip anything.

The emulator will allow you to use save states and play a little with the settings. That way you can save some time.

 

I strongly suggest against this, why ? story reasons ( you know what I mean ). also, there is nothing to distract you when you play it on the system itself, as it was made to be. btw, you should play Virtue's Last Reward! it was a real gem to me, and improved the formula in every way possible.

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I strongly suggest against this, why ? story reasons ( you know what I mean ). also, there is nothing to distract you when you play it on the system itself, as it was made to be. btw, you should play Virtue's Last Reward! it was a real gem to me, and improved the formula in every way possible.

 

Emulator is a last resort, but it still works fine. Nobody sells 999 over here, so I emulated it, but I'll buy it soon.

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  • 2 years later...

Like I said in my intro thread, I bought this game recently, and I've just completed my second ending... and I wasn't really satisfied. I "accidentally" got the Safe Ending on my second playthrough, yeah. Thought I was heading for the Knife Ending, but I guess I messed something up. And due to that, I've now ruined the whole pacing of the story by finding out certain twists that would have been much more satisfying later on, not to mention getting that emotional scene with "Snake" very early too. Sigh.

That's one of the complaints I have. I don't think you can accidentally stumble onto such an ending with Fate/Stay Night, IIRC. I don't know why the designers made it like this. It really ruins the experience. They should have kept it locked away like other visual novels.

Another complaint is that some of the characters, when trying to escape a room with you, would give you certain hints about how certain devices or mechanism would be useful later on. It's such a fourth-wall breaking moment they might as well wink to the audience in the screen and say, "Remember this thing! It will become important when you find this other thing later on!" Talk about bad writing. There's no way Seven would have realized what A would be used for before I find B later on.

Other than that, I want to say I would have enjoyed the story and characters were it not for the ruined pacing. I also accidentally spoiled myself about who the killer was beforehand, but that was a fault on my part. Oh well. Now that I've gotten the Safe Ending, I don't think there's much value in completing the other endings now though, and I might as well just head to the True Ending and get it over with.

There should've been a label on the game that says, "FOLLOW A GAME GUIDE AND DO THE ENDINGS IN THE CORRECT ORDER, STUPID!"

Also, regarding the characters... On my second playthrough, I tried to take a path that would allow me to get to know Clover much better, as she's almost absent the entire time before her "breakdown", rendering her an annoying whiner for the rest of the game. So I thought I would at least get to know her before the breakdown so that I could like her more and actually care for her fate. Buuuuut nope. Picking Door 4 or 5 doesn't matter because Clover gets separated either way, and by the time you come out and meet each other again later, the breakdown happens and she's turned to a boring shell of her former self. Great. There are other characters that I feel could've been written better as well, but let's leave that for another rant.

Edited by LemiusK
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