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Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

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Zero Time Dilemma
ZTDcover
Developer Spike Chunsoft
Publishers JP Spike Chunsoft
NA Aksys Games
EU Aksys Games
Release dates 3DS and PS Vita
NA June 28th, 2016
EU June 28th, 2016
JP June 30th, 2016
PC (Windows Steam)
WW June 29, 2016
Platforms Nintendo 3DS
PlayStation Vita / PS TV
PC

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma is the third and final installment of the Zero Escape trilogy. It is the sequel (and chronologically, a prequel) to Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. It is developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Aksys Games in North America and Europe.

It was released for the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita / PlayStation TV, and PC on Steam in June 2016. The game is digital download only for Europeans. All versions of the game feature English and Japanese dual audio.

The game's genre is a mix of psychological horror, mystery, suspense and thriller. The story also contains major science-fiction elements, preventing it from being a realistic murder mystery. The gameplay is a mix of escape-the-room and puzzle.

The story primarily follows three people: a nurse named Diana, a firefighter named Carlos, and a boy with a spherical helmet named Q. The three protagonists are trapped in a facility along with six other participants. The nine are forced to participate in the Decision Game, a deadly game which involves bracelets that inject them with a drug every 90 minutes which induces memory loss, killing at least 6 out of the 9 players, exploring the facility and solving escape-the-room puzzles in order to survive and escape, and figuring out the truth behind the game and Zero's identity.

Plot

Background

"Six of us are... dead. Counting myself, there are only three left. They were killed... I... I guess you could say I killed them... No... no, that's not quite right. Not just them. Not just these six... All of them... All six billion... Soon, I will have killed six billion people."
— Diana to the Operator, about the dire situation in the facility
Graves

Millions of graves for the deceased, full of millions of mountains of dead, rotting corpses everywhere.

Brother, a misanthrope who despises the human race and wants every single human on the planet to die, has decided that humanity has long overstayed its selfish, greedy existence on planet Earth. Brother has received a mission from "God": to purify humanity via its death and extinction and create a utopia in which every single human is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man named Left with the exact same face and everyone has the same beliefs, thoughts, opinions and values with no sense of individuality, since that only leads to conflict.

In order to kill every human on the planet, his organization of over a million followers, Free the Soul, have developed and prepared a suicide virus known as Radical-6 to be unleashed to the entire world in 2028. This will determine the ultimate fate of humanity and all life on the planet.

Dcom experiment

ZTD cast transparent

The Dcom participants, except for the helmeted boy on the second right, who joins them in the Decision Game.

On December 25, 2028, several people have been sent to the Mars Mission Test Site, also known as "Dcom", in Nevada to simulate a manned mission to Mars, and experiment if life is suitable there. They include:

However, six days into the project, on December 31st, the nine participants wake up together in a celled room and find unremovable black bracelets on their wrists. It turns out that Dcom is secretly part of Free the Soul, and the participants were probably gassed with anesthetic while they were sleeping.

Zero appears

ZeroCane

Zero wants to play a game.

As the Dcom participants are locked in cells, they find a boy with a spherical helmet among them, but none of the participants recognize him.

A masked man dressed as a plague doctor, Zero, then appears. He tells them life is unfair, and says that all it takes is one snail for the world to be destroyed. He forces them to play a game - a game which will determine the lives of them, him, and the rest of humanity. He flips a coin with red on one side and blue on the other and hides it under his foot. He asks the players which colored side is facing up, but they will only be able to guess once. If they guess correctly, Zero will release them and set them free. However, if they guess incorrectly, they will be forced to play a game in which at least 6 of them will die.

Zero leaves the decision to Carlos, and tells him that he is a snail. The player is required to incorrectly guess the coin flip to initiate the Decision Game.

The Decision Game begins

Xdoor

The X-Door to escape.

The participants are then moved to an underground shelter, split into three teams called C, Q, and D:

  • Team C: Carlos (leader), Akane and Junpei
  • Team Q: Q (leader), Eric and Mira
  • Team D: Diana (leader), Sigma and Phi

The teams are forced to play a series of miserable games. In order to escape, they must collect 6 X-Passes to open the X-Door that blocks a central elevator hall. However, a password is only revealed when a person dies. They cannot escape without sacrificing six of their people.

In the beginning of the game, the participants of the game must decide which other team they want to kill. This is done by computers and a majority vote means that if a team has 2 votes from other teams, all three members are killed. Only the team member can vote and they can only vote once. If a team refuses to vote, all three of them die.

This leads to four timelines:

  • Everyone spreads the votes and no one dies
  • C-Team is executed
  • Q-Team is executed
  • D-Team is executed

The executions are performed by trapping the three team members with exploding bomb collars around their necks.

Q-Team is executed

If Q-Team is executed in the vote, C-Team awakens in the infirmary and survive being poisoned by finding the correct antidote.

D-Team awakens in the facility's trash disposal room, and discover Phi locked in an incinerator. Sigma is restrained, and Zero forces Diana to play Russian roulette with her friends' lives on the line. If she pulls the trigger on a revolver pointed at Sigma's head, Phi is released; the revolver is loaded with three live cartridges and three blanks. If Diana refuses to shoot, Phi is incinerated. If the revolver contains a bullet, it leads to a game over.

Diana refuses to shoot

Zero Escape 3 Zero Time Dilemma- Phi in the Incinerator (Don't Pull The Trigger)07:18

Zero Escape 3 Zero Time Dilemma- Phi in the Incinerator (Don't Pull The Trigger)

Phi burns to death in the incinerator.

In the timeline where Diana refuses to shoot, Phi is killed.

In the Control room, Carlos and Junpei are killed by carbon dioxide gas shortly afterward, and a heartbroken Akane escapes on her own, abandoning Diana and Sigma.

Diana and Sigma discover an alien device called a transporter capable of copying matter and sending it through the space-time continuum. Diana and Sigma send duplicates of themselves to an alternate timeline, and then spend the rest of their lives in the facility. They give birth to fraternal twins, who they name Delta and Phi. Diana and Sigma use the transporter to send duplicates of their children to the past where they will live healthy lives, and then presumably die when the facility's food runs out.

Diana shoots and Sigma dies

After killing Sigma, Diana proceeds to kill herself, leaving Phi alone. Her fate is left unknown.

C-Team awakens in the Rec Room.

Diana shoots and Sigma survives

If Diana shoots Sigma with a blank cartridge, all three survive.

Zero Time Dilemma Betray game03:13

Zero Time Dilemma Betray game

Akane bashing to death Carlos 18 times.

C-Team awakens in the power room, and Carlos and Junpei are forced to participate in a prisoner's dilemma with their lives on the line. Carlos lives through both a timeline where he chooses to cooperate, but Junpei betrays and kills him, and a timeline where he chooses to betray, killing the cooperative Junpei and resulting in an enraged Akane beating him to death with a fire extinguisher. Carlos returns to the decision and learns from Akane that, when under threat of imminent death, he can jump between alternate timelines. Akane jury-rigs a bomb to kill them all and uses the danger to jump to the timeline where Diana shoots Sigma with a live cartridge, and then completes suicide in despair.

There, Carlos and Junpei allow a booby trap to kill them so that Akane can learn their passwords. The three of them then jump to a timeline where they survived this booby trap and attempt to use the passwords, but they are set at the moment of death and therefore worthless. A robot resembling Q attacks them, and Carlos promises to save them and jumps to another timeline.

C-Team is executed

If C-Team is executed in the vote, Q-Team awakens in the facility's biolab. Zero explains that they may have been infected with a disease called Fanatic Bio R, and that the only cure is an injection of Radical-6, which is antagonistic to FBR. Q-Team can either inject the virus or refuse.

Q-Team doesn't inject Radical-6

If Q-Team refuses, Mira pockets a syringe of Radical-6 for later use.

SigmaNoArms

Sigma with his arms blasted off.

D-Team awakens in the manufacturing room and discovers a bomb; they decide to use it to blow open an alternate escape route. Zero punishes them for their rule violation by placing the anesthetized Q-Team near the bomb, where they will almost certainly be blown up and killed. If Diana chooses to allow the bomb to detonate anyway, Sigma stays behind to try to disarm it, but to no avail; the bomb explodes, kills Eric and Q instantly, blows off Sigma's arms and right eye, and mortally wounds Mira. Mira injects Phi with the Radical-6 out of spite before dying, and Diana defies Sigma and Phi and takes them to the surface, causing a Radical-6 pandemic. This timeline leads to the events of Virtue's Last Reward.

Q-Team injects Radical-6

If Q-Team takes the virus, Mira murders Eric and stabs Q.

Later, after escaping from the Healing Room, Mira kills the entirety of D-Team and escapes on her own.

Left behind and trapped in the facility, Q directly confronts Zero, who reveals that Q is a quantum artificial intelligence named Sean. Sean is capable of jumping between timelines like the group's human psychics and explains that the computer contains memory from multiple histories.

D-Team is executed

If D-Team is executed in the vote, Carlos and Akane awaken in the facility's pantry and discover Junpei's dismembered corpse. An altercation ensues where Akane accuses Carlos of murdering him. Carlos can either agree with the accusation and complete suicide, or kill Akane in self-defense.

Carlos kills himself

In the timeline where Carlos kills himself, Q, Mira and Eric locate a study where they begin a three-way stand-off.

Carlos kills Akane

Zero Time Dilemma - WHO KILLED JUNPEI? (OPTION A)06:21

Zero Time Dilemma - WHO KILLED JUNPEI? (OPTION A)

Akane Kurashiki dies.

In the timeline where he kills Akane, Q and Eric awaken in the facility's pod room. Eric obtains a shotgun crucial to solving that room's puzzles, and the two discover Mira has been strangled to death. A crazed Eric accuses Q of killing her at gunpoint, but if Q does not name a potential killer, he ultimately calms down.

The Diana and Sigma who were sent through the transporter in the Q-Team timeline arrive in this timeline; they discover a passage between wards D and Q and regroup with Q and Eric. They are then joined by the Carlos from the Q-Team timeline, who is inhabiting the D-Team timeline's Carlos' body. The group discovers that the entire facility consists of a single ward and that Zero has staggered the awakening times so that no two groups are active at the same time. The still-unhinged Eric confronts the others and demands to know who killed Mira. Carlos provokes Eric into shooting him and jumps back to the Q-Team timeline, where he defeats the robot and transports Akane and Junpei to the Virtue's Last Reward timeline. He then jumps to yet another timeline so he can follow them in the alternate transporter, and rescues them from the facility. Akane uses the memory drugs to wipe Junpei's memory of the Decision Game, and leaves to begin the AB Project.

DeltaGlassesOff

Delta reveals his complex motives.

In the confrontation between Eric, Q, Diana, and Sigma, Q recovers his memories of the timeline where Mira escaped. He reveals his robotic nature and deduces that Zero's true identity is Diana and Sigma's son Delta. It is revealed that the character identified to the player as Q is not and has never been Q; the other participants have always known him as Sean. The person who the participants know as Q is in fact Delta, an old man who presents himself as wheelchair-bound, deaf, blind, and mute and who Q-Team has treated as a piece of the background. Delta explains that when Diana and Sigma sent him and his sister Phi back in time, they arrived in 1904 in Germany. The German researchers sent Phi forward to 2008, where she became a participant in the Ambidex and Decision Games. Delta also reveals that if the Radical-6 outbreak does not occur, a religious extremist will start a nuclear war that will destroy all of humanity; he sees Radical-6 as the lesser of two evils. He finally reveals that he has the ability to read and control other people's minds and has been using this power to learn all about the alternate timelines the participants have been going through. Having decided he no longer needs this timeline, Delta forces Eric to shoot Sean and Sigma and complete suicide with the shotgun.

No one is executed (True ending route)

In the timeline where all three teams vote differently, nobody is executed. The three teams are sent to the decontamination room. Delta attempts to convince each team to push a button that will douse the other two teams in hydrochloric acid, allowing them to escape. Once a button is pressed by a team, the other two teams are doomed.

Zero Time Dilemma Diana's Box OPEN02:26

Zero Time Dilemma Diana's Box OPEN

Phi reunited with her parents.

If none of the teams press the button, they discover a box marked "Force Quit", which they unlock. All three teams regain their memories of the alternate timelines except for Eric and Mira, who are not psychic; Sean explains the events so far to them. Phi, Diana and Sigma also have an emotionally touching reunion.

The nine of them meet up and are confronted by Delta, who has the shotgun. Delta explains that during a routine jog, a woman (possibly Eric's mother)'s usual route was blocked by a snail. The woman went down another path, and was subsequently murdered by a girl (possibly Mira, who would go on to become a sociopathic serial killer who gouges out her victims' hearts in order to understand emotion). Akane's father was falsely accused, convicted, and executed; her mother completed suicide shortly afterwards. These events placed Akane in position to be abducted and forced to play the original Nonary Game, causing the events of 999, and by extension the whole series. Akane would eventually go on to create the AB Project in another timeline, leading to the timeline where Diana and Sigma gave birth to Delta and Phi. One of Delta's primary purposes for creating the Decision Game is to close the predestination paradox that results in him and Phi being born.

GabDead

Gab, dead in blood, on the floor.

Phi and Eric disarm Delta and activate the Force Quit box, which turns out to be the facility's self-destruct mechanism. Delta then reveals to the players that he killed Gab. Delta forces Eric to shoot him dead using Mind Hacking, leaving the nine participants trapped.

The group agrees to jump to the timeline where they won the coin flip and were all released by Delta, using the resonance of their SHIFTing powers to take Eric and Mira with them.

CQD-END: 2

In the final timeline, Carlos wins the coin flip and the group is released. The group from the Force Quit timeline arrives and are once again confronted by Delta. The participants threaten to call the police on him, but Delta points out that he has not committed any murders in this timeline, and that he has removed all evidence of his wrongdoing from the facility. He reveals that his other purpose for creating the Decision Game was to train the participants so that they could stop the religious extremist from causing the nuclear war without resorting to Radical-6.

CarlosAimsDelta

It is unknown if Carlos shoots Delta.

He offers Carlos a handgun and gives him one last decision to make; he may let Delta leave without receiving any comeuppance, or shoot him dead. Carlos picks up the gun, and the game ends, implying that for the first time, the characters are making the decisions themselves, without Delta's influence.

The post-game epilogues reveal that in this final timeline, Carlos' sister recovers from an illness and also gains the ability to jump between timelines. Carlos has become a brother figure to Akane and Junpei, who are to be married, and the three of them vow to stop the religious extremist. Mira has turned herself in for her killings and married Eric, but Sean breaks her out of prison so that they can use the transporter to stop Mira from committing her murders in the past. It is revealed that the 1904 version of Phi is speculated to have become a researcher who studied the transporter well into her 100s, which would mean she may have adopted herself.

Endings

Main article: Zero Time Dilemma endings

Zero Time Dilemma features seven named endings and a number of unnamed bad endings where the story hits a dead end without it being a true ending.

CQD-END: 2 is the true canon ending, although the player is required to experience other endings, meaning that all of the other endings are also "canon" in a sense in their own way.

Zero Escape 3 Zero Time Dilemma- Perceptive End00:50

Zero Escape 3 Zero Time Dilemma- Perceptive End

Perceptive End.

List of endings:

  • CQD-END: 1 - Achieved by correctly answering the coin flip in the beginning of the game. Everyone escapes.
  • C-END: 1 - Continuation of D-END 1
  • Q-END: 1 - Team D executed by vote; Carlos completes suicide; Shoot Eric in 3-way standoff
  • Q-END: 2 - The real Zero is identified.
  • D-END: 1 - This ending is the one that causes VLR to happen.
  • D-END: 2 - Diana and Sigma transport themselves, then their own children.
  • CQD-END: 2 - Continuation of CQD-END 1, True ending.
  • Perceptive End - Choosing to shoot Delta in the 3-way standoff for Team Q. Reveals that Delta is watching everything that occurs in the facility.

Characters

CarlosThumbnailTrans
Carlos The leader of Team C and one of three protagonists. A hot-blooded man with a strong sense of justice. He cares deeply for his younger sister, who is suffering from an incurable disease.
EricThumbnailTrans
Eric A member of Team Q. A young man working at an ice cream shop who is in a relationship with Mira.
PhiThumbnailTrans
Phi A member of Team D. A curt young woman who joined the DCOM experiment to save the world.
QThumbnailTrans
Q The leader of Team Q and one of three protagonists. A young boy who has lost his memories and who is wearing a mysterious spherical helmet.
JunpeiThumbnailZTDTrans
Junpei Tenmyouji A member of Team C. After the events of 999, he joined a detective agency to track down Akane, who had vanished completely.
AkaneThumbnailTrans
Akane Kurashiki A member of Team C. Though she appears to be a proper young woman, her true personality is Machiavellian.
DianaThumbnailTrans
Diana The leader of Team D and one of three protagonists. A pacifistic young woman who hates fighting. Works as a nurse.
MiraThumbnailTrans
Mira A member of Team Q. A young woman who is in a relationship with Eric.
SigmaThumbnailTrans
Sigma Klim A member of Team D. Although only 22 years old, he seems to have led a long and complicated life. Occasionally called "old man" by Phi.
ZeroThumbZTD
Zero An unknown person hiding their identity behind a mask and disguise, who seems to be controlling the deadly games. Their goal is unknown.
Gab
Gab An old dog able to fit through air vents too small for humans, making him able to travel between sections of the facility. Participants attach messages to his collar to try and communicate with other Teams.

Gameplay

Cutscenes

The game has fully animated visual novel parts, but they are in the form of more cinematic cutscenes. The usual narration is all replaced by voiced dialogue.

This is because the developer felt most modern gamers simply don't like reading much these days, and that cutscenes are much more direct and easier to keep players invested in a story, similar to a drama being watched. It would also make the game more accessible to those not interested in the text-heavy visual "novel" aspect (999 on DS, for example, contains hours and hours of clicking and reading).[1]

The text skipping function from Virtue's Last Reward that doesn't skip new text returns.

Escape rooms

NewSeek

There are 13 escape rooms, 3 less than the 16 of both 999 and VLR.

The escape rooms have additional objectives similar to the Secret Archives of Virtue's Last Reward known as "Quest Files" and serve the same purpose they did in Virtue's Last Reward.

YouFoundItZTD

Decision Game

Main article: Decision Game
TrailerMontage

The Decision Game is life-or-death.

Zero Time Dilemma does not feature a Nonary Game, but instead, a Decision Game. Each team from time to time are presented with a series of tragic, heartbreaking, sadistic, horrifying, intense and emotional mini-games. Each entails lethal risks to the participants, often resulting in one or more player's deaths. The ending results are much more extreme and gorier than in previous installments - so much so that the previous two entries have Japanese ratings of ages 15+, and Zero Time Dilemma is ages 17+. The European rating of Virtue's Last Reward is ages 16+ and Zero Time Dilemma is ages 18+.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 5.28.18 PM

Q in one of the game decision parts, with a time limit of 9 seconds with 7 seconds left.

Unlike previous games where the Nonary Games only occasionally end on a bad note, the Decision Games are filled with extreme scenarios that often do not have a singular right answer. Often, the answers come with clear options while others are simply left to fate and luck.

  • Do you choose to press a button that says "Do not push"?
  • Do you pull the trigger on a gun that contains three bullets and three blanks?
  • Do you take a mysterious vial containing what is claimed to be an antidote to a poison you were forcibly given?
DeadAlive

A status screen shows who is dead and alive. The player can escape with six X-Passes.

Some options lead to "best" endings, others are left with not positive viable options - hence the "dilemma" in the subtitle. Moral elements are the main theme of the game and are meant to intensely shake the player's way of thinking, values and virtues. What is right? What is good? What is evil? What is wrong? For the extreme decisions, they are often accompanied by scenes where someone's life is on the line. Ultimately, all Decision Game dilemma's choices and outcomes are dictated by the Team leader's Carlos, Q, and Diana.

Randomized outcomes

CoinFlip

Zero: "Life is simply unfair, don't you think?"

Decision

"Make your decision!"

The Decision Game has some randomized outcomes, utilizing elements of pure luck and chance instead of skill.

For example, at the beginning of the Decision Game, Zero says, "Life is simply unfair" and flips a coin - one side is blue, one side is red. Carlos can guess whether the coin will be red or blue. If the player guesses correctly, all of the players can escape, but if they guess incorrectly, the players will be forced to play the Decision Game which will kill 6 of them.

Randomness, chance, and unfairness is a core theme of the game, just like how life operates under these principles. A major component of life does not rely on actual effort, talent or skill.

SigmaZE3

Diana firing a gun that has a 50% chance of killing Sigma in order to save Phi.

For example, after a certain puzzle Sigma will be trapped in a chair. The gun pointing at Sigma's head has three live rounds and three blanks, i.e. a 50/50 chance of killing him. The game calculates the odds each time so in one playthrough, he may live, while in another, he may die.

The player may replay sections of the game to trigger alternate probabilities. The game's probability generator is also heavily weighted to outcomes that have not yet been seen. Like Virtue's Last Reward, some fragmented events are required to be seen in order for certain endings and decision choices to be available.

Floating Fragment System

Main article: Floating Fragment

Zero Time Dilemma features three main playable characters, taking control of the three Team's leader's Carlos, Diana, and Q. However, due to the nature of the Decision Game where at the end of each round, the cast is subjected to a powerful drug that erases all events that occurred during their investigations, the chronological events of the game are unclear as the player begins a new Event chain. Until the puzzle room and the respective decision game are completed, the player won't know where in the global flowchart this fragments falls into.

Using the Floating Fragment system, the player can freely jump to different event fragments for each team at their own leisure. This also allows them to revisit old Decision Games and choose other outcomes. The fragments have no set order in which they are completed or randomization. Players can choose to complete all events of a singular team at a time or jump in between team events.

Several Event Fragments require that the player have seen/completed another fragment however - these are known as Fragment locks which are similar to the locks in Virtue's Last Reward. An example of a fragment lock is not knowing who the murderer is.

Music

ZTDOST

Zero Time Dilemma soundtrack.

Shinji Hosoe composed the music for Zero Time Dilemma.

The game features several remixes from 999 and Virtue's Last Reward, although there are considerably more Virtue's Last Reward remixes than 999 remixes.

Early orders of the PC version came with a digital 12-track mini soundtrack which is 39 minutes in length. However, this is not the entire soundtrack.

  1. Zero Times - New song, plays in intro.
  2. Quondam Monitors - Plays in Control (remix of "Monitor").
  3. Ustulate Pathos - New song.
  4. Tough Decision - New song, plays during decisions.
  5. Trash Disposal - Plays in Trash Disposal Room.
  6. Glacial Solitude - New song.
  7. Transient Tranquility - New song.
  8. Unliberated Library - Plays in Study (remix of "Pantry").
  9. Nostalgic Scenery - New song.
  10. Sacrificial Demise - Remix of "Demise".
  11. Extreme Urgency - New song.
  12. Interminable Dilemma - New song.

It is unknown if a full official soundtrack will be released later. When Shinji Hosoe was asked, he said "we will prepare".[1]

A fan ripped music from the game and it contains 56 tracks and is 3 hours and 17 minutes in length. There is also one mysterious unused song that is found in the Vita version.[2]

Development

Operation Bluebird

The main icon of "Operation Bluebird". Without Operation Bluebird, Zero Time Dilemma would never have been created.

Due to the low popularity of the Zero Escape series in Japan, as well as budget and financial matters, the game was put on hold "indefinitely" in 2014, meaning that there was a possibility Zero Escape 3 would never be made, greatly upsetting the series' fanbase.[2]

Soon after, a Facebook group "Operation Bluebird" was created by fans, supporting the Zero Escape series, posting images of their Zero Escape collection, often with a message supporting Zero Escape 3.[3]

Kotaro Uchikoshi posted on February 17, 2014 "That matters are now under consideration".

During a week-long stretch from June 15-22, 2015, this game was the most anticipated game in the world according to fan voting on Most Anticipated Games.[4]

Zero Escape 3 was officially announced at Anime Expo 2015 on July 3.[5] A press release revealed the title for the game, Zero Time Dilemma.[6] Uchikoshi said that without fan support after 999, both Virtue's Last Reward and Zero Time Dilemma would have likely not have been made.

Both the Japanese-language and the English-language versions were developed simultaneously. All versions of the game were released June 2016.

Reception

Zero Time Dilemma has currently received a generally positive reception.

Destructoid gave the game 9.5 out of 10, calling it a "hallmark of excellence" ruined only by the "abysmal presentation" of the cut scenes.[3]

IGN gave it 9.2 out of 10.

Some criticism has been directed at the game's character movement animation, with reviewers feeling that they move stiffly, awkwardly, and unnaturally.

The English voice acting has received mixed reception, some feeling it is good, while others feeling it is inconsistent. The lip sync has also been a point of criticism for both languages.

The non-chronological Floating Fragment system has received a mixed reception. Some fans feel that it is an interesting mechanic; others note that it can detract from some of the game's emotional scenes. For example, Phi can be incinerated to death, and then the player can simply jump to another fragment and see her alive again.

Some of the supernatural and sci-fi elements of the story have a somewhat mixed reception, especially since it increases the amount of supernatural and science fiction. Examples of these include:

  • Drugs so powerful that they can erase someone's memory of 90 minutes
  • Time travel and jumping between histories
  • SHIFTing
  • Alien technology (i.e. the Transporter Room) which can duplicate humans and objects and send them to the past, present, and even to other histories
  • Mind hacking
  • Technology which can change the appearance of walls and furniture (i.e. the Lounge and Healing Room)

The amount of supernatural and sci-fi elements may be seen as a contrast to the fairly realistic grounding of 999.

The plot has also been criticized for dropping the ? and Kyle and Left clone subplots, and not mentioning what happened to Clover, Alice, Snake, and Quark.

3DS, Vita and PC differences

All versions of the game contain three save files.

Unlike Virtue's Last Reward, the 3DS version of the game lacks 3D support. The 3DS version has been criticized for containing some blurry textures. It uses a slightly different lighting system which gives the characters a more "yellow" or "pink" look compared to the Vita and PC versions. It also has slightly more compressed audio. Some players feel that the music is louder than some of the voice acting, and that Zero's voice can be hard to hear. Some players have had some minor issues with the escape room puzzles due to the lower resolution of the 3DS - some examinable objects and items are difficult to read and there isn't always a zoom-in option.

The Vita version has trophies, and it looks very similar to the PC version, essentially having the same textures and lighting system. The Vita version has one annoyance if played on a real Vita: the Vita's screen auto-dims after 1 minute of no input from the player and there's no way to disable auto-dim, meaning that it's essentially impossible to watch the game's hours of cutscenes at full Vita brightness - this doesn't apply if the Vita version is played on PlayStation TV.

The PC version also features achievements. It has a higher-resolution than the Vita version. The Vita's resolution is 960x544, but the PC version can go up to 1080P (it is currently unknown if the PC version can go higher than 1080P such as 4K). The PC version is also 60 FPS.

Because of this, the PC version is, arguably, the definitive version of the game from a graphical and audio standpoint, with the Vita version in second and the 3DS version the worst. In addition, there may be some players who prefer the 3DS' lighting over the Vita's and PC's, although considering that the textures were downgraded for the 3DS version, it can be assumed that the PC or Vita version was the main platform of development and that the PC and Vita's lighting were the developer's intentions.

Trivia

ZEPremium

Zero Escape Premium Booklet.

Ztdirlbracelet

Diana cosplayer wearing a pre-order bracelet.

  • The game's length is around 20-25 hours.
  • Zero Time Dilemma is currently the only Zero Escape game which has been officially released on PC. PC ports of 999 and VLR are in progress.
  • Exclusively in the United States, there is a limited edition pre-order bracelet watch.
    • Shortly before the game's release the watches were damaged during transit and were sent back to the factory. As a result the release of the watches was delayed by a few weeks and will be shipped separate from the game. An additional bonus will be included as compensation for the delay. [4]
  • There is a 48-page A5-size full-color art book called Zero Escape Premium Booklet. It contains illustrations from character designer Rui Tomono and background design. It also includes a Kotaro Uchikoshi-written prequel detailing the events of the participants at Dcom/Mars Mission Test Site before the Decision Game, a summary of the previous games, and a booklet-original "mystery".
    • In Japan, this was a pre-order bonus.
    • Outside Japan, this was a bonus for those who bought the PC version between launch and July 8. However, this version was digital, not physical.
  • The art style of the characters is a mixture of the previous two games. In 999, they were 2D sprites with black outlines. In Virtue's Last Reward, they were fully 3D with no black outlines. In Zero Time Dilemma, they are fully 3D with black outlines, creating a cel-shaded look.
  • The game's plot took Uchikoshi about a year to write.
  • This is the first game in the series in which both the American and Japanese versions were developed at the same time, the second Zero Escape game to be released in Europe, and the first Zero Escape game to be released outside of Japan first.
  • Sigma was intended to be the sole protagonist, but that was changed early in the game's development. Uchikoshi felt that giving the players control of someone who knows everything from the previous game would be undesirable for new players, hence why all three protagonists are ignorant to the events of previous games.
  • Uchikoshi had planned to ask Kinu Nishimura to return as character designer, but once he hammered out how Zero Time Dilemma would differ from the past games, he decided to ask Rui Tomono. This was also because they needed to make the backgrounds and characters more cinematic.
  • This is the first game in the Zero Escape series to have multiple playable characters.
  • The title Zero Time Dilemma is an anagram for "Me, I'm Zero, I'm Delta". This was not intended by Uchikoshi, but may have been done by Aksys. [5]
  • The cover of the game shows the three team leaders in the middle: Carlos, Diana, and Zero. Sean is placed slightly to the right, but close to the center to deceive the player into thinking that he is the leader of Q-Team.

External links

References

  1. http://www.siliconera.com/2016/03/25/zero-time-dilemma-director-randomized-events-graphic-game-will/
  2. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132227-Zero-Escape-Conclusion-Put-on-Hold-Indefinitely
  3. https://www.facebook.com/operationbluebirdze3
  4. http://www.favslist.com/MostAnticipatedGames
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdg_jkK2Byo
  6. http://gematsu.com/2015/07/zero-escape-3-announced-ps-vita-3ds

Videos

Trailers

Gameplay

Gallery

Artwork

Screenshots

NOTE: For organizational purposes, please do NOT post images of characters in this gallery. Instead, please check their respective galleries.

General

Infirmary

Manufacturing

Study

Start a Discussion Discussions about Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

  • Do I have terrible RNG luck? (Spoilers inside this topic)

    5 messages
    • No, it's confirmed that the 3rd try is the correct one. The same happened to me and to everyone XP
    • Maybe a bit late, but the game remembers your decisions in the Execution vote. If your last decisions for both C- and Q-Teams were to exec...
  • NEW TRAILER

    307 messages
    • glad I helped
    • Thank you again! :D Now- how do I do the laser puzzle in the Power room (The fragment is called Ambidex)? I've always sucked at those things, ...

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