Zero Escape 3: Zero Time Dilemma (Spoiler Thread)

  • This is a Spoiler Thread that will Contain Discussion for those who have completed the final, true ending and played 999, VLR

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    Now that this game has been out for some time, let's talk about how crazy this story has been so far.

    Just for a refresher, let me reintroduce the characters:

    TEAM C
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    Carlos - A fire fighter who joined the Dcom program to get money for his sick sister. New to Zero Escape and has the power to SHIFT. Leader of Team C.

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    Junpei Tenmyouji - Hero of 999 and participant of VLR (as an old man). Junpei joined Dcom to find Akane, and also posseses to SHIFT.

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    Akane Kurashiki - Participant/Mastermind/Zero of 999 and Mastermind of VLR. Akane joined Dcom with Phi and Sigma to stop Radical-6 from destroying humanity. She has the ability to SHIFT.

    Team Q
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    Q or Sean - A boy stuck inside a locked helmet, or so it seems, until he finds out he's a headless robot. New to Zero Escape and unknowing servant to Zero.

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    Mira - A lady with no feelings and apparently a serial killer. New to Zero Escape, and loves to take your heart out... literally. She also started some chain event in which a bunch of people died including Sean and Akane's Father. Also responsible for the spread of Radical-6.

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    Eric - A fairly useless ice cream store attendant that has an obsessive love for Mira. New to Zero escape, and is really emotionally distressed.

    Team D
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    Diana - A nurse who joined Dcom to get away from abusive home troubles. New to Zero Escape, but was mentioned in VLR to be Sigma's lover while on the Moon Base. VLR's Luna was modelled after her. It is found out that she is actually the mother of twins, one which is Phi, and the other which is the current Zero, Delta.

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    Phi - VLR participant and Sigma's partner. She joins Dcom with Akane and Sigma to stop the spread of Radical-6. She has the power to SHIFT, in which was given to her by her mother, Diana, when being born during a state of danger

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    Sigma - VLR Hero and the other mastermind of VLR's AB Project. Sigma is apparently very old in the mind with a younger body due to his power to shift through time by 45 years. Had children with Diana which turned out to be Phi and the new Zero, Delta.

    Other Characters
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    Zero - The mastermind behind the Decision Game and leader of Free The Soul. His real identity is Delta, the son of Diana and Sigma who was copied back in time to 1904. Delta's intentions was to stop terrorists from destroying 100% or 8 billion people of the human race, so he developed Radical-6 to only kill 6 billion, however, it turns out that Delta created the Decision Game in order to spark the resolve in the participants to find and stop the terrorist without Radical-6 being involved. Delta also has the power of Mind Hack, the ability to read a person's mind and control their body temporarily.

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    Gab - A dog. He's pretty old. Doesn't do much other than being a dog, but he sends messages around each team with his capsule leash. Likes cheese.

  • I really didn't like parts of the True Ending. I feel like the Mira plot was completely glanced over, also, Eric was a complete non-factor.

    The characters came out of the Decision Game with full knowledge of all timelines and history, but none of them seem to mind that Mira was a serial killer. I thought there was going to be tension between Mira and Akane since it's been hinted that Mira caused the death of Akane's father indirectly by getting him to be falsely accused from one of the murders and executed. I really thought it was a missed opportunity, and that Mira and Eric, both, weren't even necessary for the story.

    Eric, especially, has this family problem in which he has daddy issues. This was not really resolved or explored other than finding out he got his brother killed and it was traumatic.

    Other than that, I wasn't really feeling the whole bit about Zero mysteriously being in the game the whole time using the player's perspective. There are hints here and there about his presence, but it was a twist that wasn't really built up to. It's nothing like how Sigma finds out he's an old man at the end of VLR because it was assumed that Sigma was young due to previous scenes. Zero being present in the game just didn't feel like a good reveal.

    Overall, I like VLR better than ZTD. I read through 999's plot, but never played it, though I doubt I would like it better than VLR because VLR polished up the camera perspective in the puzzle rooms.

  • @Whoaness Basically everything you've said here is exactly what I'd say too.

    The whole thing comes across as really flimsy. "Sparking the resolve to find the terrorist" felt like a slap in the face compared to all the reveals at the end of VLR especially.

    It's weird, with VLR you ended up in a situation where you just kept naturally playing until bam there's now a whole bunch of new stuff on the flowchart and you're learning the specific answers to the stuff that blocked your path before... This one felt a lot different in that regard, where I felt a little bit like i was smashing my head against some of the more obtuse choices - yeah sure I'll just keep rolling dice until i get 111 thanks game - until I finally got through. I was also a bit annoyed that you have to go through and vote all the other teams to die just so the game can decide to unlock a bunch of scenes that aren't really related to the choice.

    On the other hand, actually using the memo system for the super important stuff was fun :D
    For context; I'd gone through VLR as intended, and remembered which scenarios were the ones that gave you certain keys, but I played that on trains and seriously could not be assed going back to the scenes and watching it all again so I had looked up the passwords which also inadvertently spoiled the fact that Luna was a robot. Though, I really should have intuited that through her laws of robotics speech.

  • @Mr-M Oh yeah, you reminded me of another annoying thing I felt about ZTD.

    It felt more repetitive compared to VLR due to the nature of constant switching of the flow chart. We're forced to see every scene, but so many scenes are so repetitive to the other team. When I was starting off, an early scene I played was melting the team's into goo with the decontamination chamber. After the first one, I was thinking I just go do the same thing with the other teams, so I was watching half an hour of the same thing.

    I could have skipped it with that skip option turned on, but I was expecting something to be different. Zero's droning on about "this button does that and you only have so and so seconds" throughout all the timelines makes it feel even more repetitive than it needs to be.

    I definitely prefer VLR's play one story to the end instead of these shorten story moments that break the continuity.

    Yeah, I also had some moments where I was stuck and couldn't figure out what to do. Had to look it up. Missed some choices by not answering the question and letting time run out. That dice one I got by luck because I accidentally played it again only to see that the dice changed.

  • I feel like many of ZTD problems are related to the switch of having everything play out as 3D scenes(I mean just the fact that this disqualifies certain narrative perspectives especially with the fact of following 3 separate teams) which I think cut deep into their budget.

    But man I don't know I still enjoyed it a lot and I say this in a year where I've played the Witness and DSIII, fact of the matter what ZTD delivers is something that I don't really get elsewhere. So it feels a bit hard to rag on it especially when there's also this part of me that appreciates them trying and pushing on certain things.

    Still in the back of my mind there is this questions of what if they went with the promo advertising art staying closer to the VN roots of the previous games.
    Weirdly what I hope for is more Zero Escape, well maybe not necessarily under that name if it means the whole 9 participants etc thing but I just would love to follow some of these characters a little bit longer. ZTD in the end didn't feel quite like a conclusion for me to be honest.

    Also seriously I really don't feel that Eric and Mira's presence were justified. Their reason for being there felt very shallow and thin. Those two only exist to hammer the point of obscure causality and how everything is linked, their characters themselves didn't feel very well developed to me. I'm not super fond of them.

  • @Holundrian Yeah I definitely felt the low budgetness of the full 3D model scenes.

    Like when they had the head blowing up scene where they got voted twice, I did that three times, seeing the cut away just felt low budgety because they keep doing that for everything. The part where they got "decontaminated", when team C got shot to heck (except when they protected Akane), it just felt like the cheap trick was being used again and again.

    It would have worked better if it didn't have the switch nature and repetition, but they opted to allow scenes to be repeated in such nature.

    As for Eric and Mira, don't miss out on the notes. It's still shitty, but at least there some conclusion for them even though it makes absolutely no sense why Mira would suddenly have feelings.

  • @Whoaness I read the post game notes they actually worsened my impression of both characters. It's just so weird in a way that doesn't sit right with me and I just can't write it off as both are just screwed up.

    Eric learns that Mira killed his mother making him the wreck that he becomes in the process and his reaction is "ok I convince her to go to prison but wait no I break her out of it after that to try to undo it in order for her to never be a serial killer". I just don't know....

    Yeah lots of death/execution scene would have definitely hit harder for me if they just let Uchikoshi's writing work his magic. This way we didn't get to see anything and the way they left it up to our own imagination was just less than I'm used to from the series. In a lot of way they just didn't play to their strengths with this title.

    But enough of that I will say that my two favorite things was seeing the way it connects to the VLR timeline(everything leading up to it), although the way it actually happens is a bit stupid(Diana having a moment of god knows what, maybe it was Delta mind hacking xD not sure though he might have been dead in that time line but damn just stupid).

    And the Phi/Sigma/Diana payoff was great as well although people guessed Phi's true identity for years now. Especially when the promo art for ZTD hit with her having reddish eyebrows.

  • @Holundrian I don't think the woman Mira killed was Eric's mom.

    Zero said Mira caused the deaths of 6 people:

    • the woman who was initially murdered
    • Akane's father, who was wrongfully convicted and executed,
    • the taxi driver whom Akane's father had called and stalled to be in the right place for...
    • the doctor to get in the taxi to go to the hospital
    • the driver who crashed into the taxi, killing all of them
    • the boy that the doctor was going to the hospital to perform a lifesaving surgery for

    If it was Eric's mom, there should be an additional death of the brother in Zero's statement, and I don't recall any notes or dialogue correlating Eric's mom to Mira's victim. Eric simply said she passed away, something you wouldn't say if she was brutally murdered.

    To me, Eric and Mira had nothing to do with each other except that dumb Ice Cream shop customer crap which makes this idea even worse.

  • The 3D models definitely felt very PS2.

    Honestly, I think the entire reason Mira and Eric existed were to push some more "sexy teen in B-movie horror" steretypes - psychobitch and useless wimp who turns out to be a psycho respectively. This one's probably the one that could be adapted to a movie/anime easiest because of that.

    A sequel would be nice if only to strengthen that "okay now go off and find that terrorist!" Ending that was really really flat. Maybe tie in that whole alien nonsense somehow? That whole aspect of the plot came really out of left field to me.