The Transporter is an important device in Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma which essentially acts as an atomic level 3D printer. It is also compared to a fax machine that can copy matter, even an organism like a human, and send them backwards and forwards in time, space, and throughout multiple histories. However, the original matter or body will still remain, so it should be thought of as a duplicator, not necessarily a portal.
Unfortunately, it takes a massive amount of energy to do this and it takes 10 months to recharge after a single use. It is unknown if this is an original limitation of the device, or simply an alteration made by Zero (to allocate enough time for a certain pregnancy and birth).
This is the "history" given by Delta, assuming he isn't lying:
The transporter was discovered in 1888. Sometime during this year, a German expedition became lost while exploring an area at the South Pole. They stumbled upon a weird device which resembled a tree root with two pods.
The device was carefully transported to their homeland and researched in secret. They uncovered that was capable of transporting things through spacetime and was subsequently called "transporter".
However, the device was not made by man but it came from a distant planet or some alternate world by some sort of intelligent ancient alien civilization. The output pod looks like an insect pupa, or chrysalis. When someone uses the transporter, they are "reborn" from it as well. This could be the idea behind its design and also brings the idea that organisms that form pupa exist in foreign civilizations.
After the Germans lost in World War II, American troops confiscated the transporter. They brought it to an American laboratory/research facility and studied it. This continued until 2008, since in 2009, Delta was able to obtain it. At an unknown point in time for an unknown amount of time, he stored it in the Transporter Room in his underground shelter. It is unknown if Delta or anyone else used since after 2009, but it can be theorized this is how the Myrmidons (Left/Dio clones) were produced - possibly sent to a variety of timelines.
Zero Time Dilemma
The transporter is used multiple times during the game:
- Diana and Sigma use it to transport themselves to a different timeline in an effort to find Phi.
- Phi and Delta are transported by their parents into the past in an attempt to ensure versions of them survive, as the entire family was likely to starve to death in the shelter.
- Junpei and Akane transport themselves on Carlos's advice as they try to find a better timeline.
- Carlos uses it to go back in time to save Junpei and Akane.
In the True Ending of the game, Delta mentions that the transporter was taken out of the shelter, loaded onto a truck and taken away.
The files imply Sean/Mira/Eric head for the transporter device in hopes of using it send Mira back in time to stop herself and atone for her murderous crimes. Sean claims he knows where the transporter is being stored.
The central computer for the transporter, resembling a tree root.
The object to be transported is placed within the input pod, which then reads its composition. That data is then sent through spacetime to the nucleus.
Data from the nucleus is sent to the output pod, where it is read. The object is then recreated inside.
The material tank contains elements stored individually. The tank contains the materials used for transportation. A selection of the elements within include: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, sodium, chlorine, iron, zinc, magnesium, fluorine, silicon, titanium, rubidium, strontium, bromine, lead, copper, aluminum, tin, cerium, cadmium, boron, iodine, molybdenum, barium, manganese, selenium, nickel, mercury, arsenic, lithium, cesium, silver, germanium, antimony, chromium, cobalt, and vanadium.
- Sigma and Diana apparently have sex in the Transporter. It is possible the alien technology influenced the genetics of Phi and Delta.
- The Transporter is a controversial point of discussion in the Zero Escape fandom. Some fans found it to be an interesting concept, while others have labeled it the "alien fax machine" and a literal "deus ex machina" of the plot. It also spawned the game's ALIENS memes.
- The Transporter also means that the Akane and Junpei in Virtue's Last Reward could be considered "clones" of their original selves, which may be an off-putting idea.
- Some have theorized that in the VLR timeline, Clover/Alice/Luna/Quark/Tenmyouji/Kyle could find the Transporter (wherever it is) and duplicate themselves back to the past (i.e. the true canon ending timeline of ZTD). Since Akane was in contact with Delta, who is said to still be alive in 2074, he would probably know and it may happen.