- "Now, let's get this party starteeeeeed!"
Zero III (pronounced "Zero the Third"), official designation Lagomorph and referred to by the players as Zero Junior, is an advanced artificial intelligence powered by a quantum computer tasked with ensuring that the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition runs smoothly in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.
He usually speaks to the players via a hologram in Warehouse A which also displays the results of the AB Game. Despite being a computer, Zero III is capable of having full conversations with the players. His primary purpose is to explain the rules and flow of the game as it is introduced to the players.
Zero III is an anthropomorphic white rabbit. He has specialized face markings and a 6-petaled flower on his legs. He wears a red Changshan, which is traditional Chinese wear for men, and an emperor headpiece.
- "You will all be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!"
- — Zero III, to the players in the anime
Zero III is sadistic, psychopathic and sardonic. He enjoys instilling as much despair as possible into the players. Zero is very excited and enthusiastic about the Nonary Game, and he is loyal to his creators and obeys them faithfully. Zero tends to hide crucial information that can put the players' lives in jeopardy. He enjoys ridiculing the players by cracking jokes and provoking them, but wants to communicate with them to improve his speaking skills. He can get very sarcastic at times.
He also changes his voice occasionally, depending on the situation. He uses a variety of accents, such as mockingly valleyspeak to Southern American ones. Zero III also has a tendency to use memes such as "YOU MAD?" and "forever alone".
Zero has a tendency to say the following at the end of his conversations:
- Have a nice trace!
- Have a nice tragedy!
- Have a nice traitor!
- Have a nice trap!
- Have a nice trauma!
- Have a nice trick!
- Have a nice trouble!
- Have a nice trumpet!
- Have a nice trust!
He gives each of the players a condescending nickname:
- Sigma - Siggy (perhaps a reference to Ziggy Stardust, alter ego of David Bowie)
- Phi - Phido (perhaps a reference to "Fido", a common dog name. Phi is female, so it could be Zero's way of calling Phi a female dog, also known as a "bitch")
- Alice - Alas (a word that is an expression of grief, pity, or concern)
- Clover - Cleaver (a possible reference to the Axe ending of 999 and how Clover "cleaves" people with an axe)
- Tenmyouji - Tenmyoldy (a reference to his age)
- Quark - Quirk (a word which refers to "weird behavior")
- Luna - Moony (could be a reference to how Luna lives on the Moon, although the word "moony" is used to refer to someone who is dreamy and unaware of their surroundings, often because they are in love. It may be Zero III teasing Luna about how she is programmed to be in love with Sigma, although he doesn't remember her, making her sad. Zero and Luna both know each other and their roles in the Nonary Game.)
- Dio - B.O. (body odor)
- K - Potassium (K is the periodic table's symbol for potassium)
Lagomorph is an AI created by Dr. Sigma Klim for the purposes of the AB Project. He was mainly created by Klim, though Akane Kurashiki, one of the people behind the project, designed him based on a traumatic childhood experience she had involving dead rabbits over 50 years ago. His core is the quantum computer located in the Quantum Room in Rhizome 9 on the Moon.
Virtue's Last Reward
Before the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition began, Lagomorph purposely let Dio, the leader of the Myrmidons, into the Rhizome 9 facility and allowed him to murder Akane (in the Yellow/Magenta routes) so he could take her place in the Nonary Game, as a part of his orders. Dio quickly snatched the bracelet she wore and went into the AB Room containing Quark to pose as a participant. Lagomorph then tasked Luna, a GAULEM, to move the body into her AB Room so he could use the crane to move the AB Room to the leftmost side. (Alternatively, in the Cyan door route, Dio was knocked out by Phi and was dragged unconsciously to Quark's room).
When the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition finally began, Lagomorph, who introduced himself as Zero III, appeared on the small screen in each of the AB Rooms the participants were trapped in. He introduced himself and welcomed them to the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. Once all 9 players escape their respective rooms, he explained to them the basics of the game, how to win it, and how to work the Chromatic Doors.
After the ending of the first round, Zero III explained what happened when a person's BP fell below zero, angering most of the people who ended the first round with 1 BP left. Before he finished his message, he acted melodramatic, since he wasn't needed to explain the Nonary Game anymore, but quickly revealed to be an act. He then shut off, being inactive for the majority of the Nonary Game. Even then, he continued to watch the players, to see if anyone is breaking the rules of the game.
There are several allusions to Zero III throughout the puzzles in the Chromatic Doors, i.e. an amusement ride in the Rec Room, and a large doll in the PEC, that are designed after him. Several notes that are written in Zero III's style of speech (full of bunny/rabbit puns) can be found throughout the safes in the Chromatic Doors explaining other aspects of the game.
Zero III only properly appears under 2 circumstances following the aftermath of Round 1; during Luna Game Over 2, and during the Phi END.
Luna Game Over 2
In one of the possible scenarios for the Nonary Game, by choosing 'Betray' in the third round of the AB Game, Zero III reappears right after Sigma and Phi betrayed Luna and explained that she had trusted him, since Sigma chose to ally with her twice. He explains how Luna and Quark were able to escape, despite Luna not having 9 BP. He reveals that the penalty does not subtract BP. Before he disappeared, the duo begged for him to wait, but Zero III refused to comply, as he claimed he once waited for a tortoise and he was tricked because of it. Once he disappeared, Phi mentioned that the tortoise won the race as the tortoise didn't give up, so they decide to keep looking for a way out of the facility. At that point, Sigma jumped out of that version of the timeline and re-jumped to another point.
In an alternate past that led up to the Cyan route (in which Dio failed to kill Akane), Sigma and Phi managed to save Akane from Dio. Akane ordered Zero III to release her from her bracelet, which he did, and then Akane gave the bracelet to Dio.
- "I am Zero the Third! The king of this kingdom!"
- "I'm gonna give you a game to play! Yes yes yes! And I'm calling it... The NONARY GAAAAAAME! AMBIDEX EDITIOOOOON!"
- "Yes indeedy!"
- "If you don't get out of hare in 9 minutes, you're DEAD! Better get moooooving! Mmmkaaaay~ Well, gotta run! See ya laterrrrrr! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA~ Uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh~"
- "If you can't keep your head in the game, you'll end up deader than a doornail!"
- "Are you an idiot? I'm a RABBIT. You really think a TALKING RABBIT is a real thing?" (to Dio)
- "I guess God touched this one a little too hard." (to Dio)
- "You should know that the Soporil is only there out of the kindness of Zero's heart. Oh, and I mean the real Zero, not me. Zero just doesn't want to see anybunny suffer. Isn't that just soooo compassionate? If I had a heart, it'd be melting right now!"
- "Well, that's not gonna LAPIN!" (Lapin is French for "rabbit", and it rhymes with "happen")
- "Um.. well.. um.. 'cause I felt like it? I thought it might make me sound cute..." (when asked by Luna why he was making rabbit puns)
- "I had a hutch you might try that, so I closed those up tight while you were talking. So don't be hatching any hatch plans, you understand? I live in the master computer. That means all the electronic doors in this whooooole warren are under my control."
- "To make little boys ask questions." (when Quark asks why he should press buttons on his bracelet)
- "Lettuce review what we've learned!"
- "Good? Excellent. It looks like none of you have any questions. Yay!"
- "Because you're the only person who hasn't talked to me. I try to communicate with as many people as I can. It helps me improve, you see. I'm trying to get in the rabbit of doing it all the time." (to Clover)
- "Hey, B.O. My temper's got a hare-trigger, and you're awfully close to pulling it. So, I'd watch my mouth if I were you. Otherwise... Well, do you really need me to spell it out?" (to Dio)
- "Is it? Or is it that you're just a few carrots short of a bushel?" (to Dio who feels the Nonary Game is confusing)
- "Yooooooooooo! Wassssssuuuuppppp! Siggyyyyyyyyyy! Phidoooooooooo! Hey, what are you kids doing over there? We're about to announce the results!"
- "I'll... never... see you guys... again... *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* Waaa... Waaaaaaah... Did you really think I was gonna cry?! Nya nya nya-nya nya! Suuuuuckkeeerrrsssss! As if I'd cry over YOU DUMMIES!"
- "You mad?"
- "Well well well! Long time no see-ro!"
- "Aren't you hoppy?"
- "He he he... You must be feeling pretty good if you're able to joke around like that. I mean, six people just DIED here. Eh, it's not really a big deal... That's just how you humans are, after all. So long as YOU make it, nothing else matters. Am I right?"
- "No, I won't wait. I don't like waiting. I waited once, and some half-witted reptile got the better of me because of it. After that I learned to make sure to value my time."
- "Lagomorph" is the scientific name for the order to which rabbits belong.
- In the Japanese version, Zero III doesn't nickname the players with insulting derogatory nicknames, likely because it's viewed as extremely rude in the Japanese language.
- In the English version, Zero III makes rabbit related puns.
- In the Japanese version, Zero III ends his sentences with "Usa", which derives from "Usagi", the Japanese word for rabbit. This means that Zero's speech, and his voice acting, sound somewhat more serious and sinister in the Japanese version than in the English one which portrays him as more comical and humorous.
- A red silhouette of Zero was meant to be on the game's cover.
- In a flashback, Kyle is seen holding a rabbit doll. It is possible that Akane also modeled Zero using Kyle's rabbit doll.
- In Zero Time Dilemma, an achievement called "A Rabbit in My Future" is unlocked after D-END: 1, the ending leading to Virtue's Last Reward, which is a reference to Zero III. Additionally, in an ending to the game, Sigma laments over how he will not be able to create "Lagomorph, Kyle or Luna" in an ending that does not lead up to VLR.
- In his free time, Zero III enjoys playing Jeopardy and dancing with Skynet.
- Zero III is very similar to Monokuma from the Danganronpa series; they are both highly advanced technologies structured after animals that are intermediaries behind the mastermind and the players (though Monokuma is human-controlled, while Zero III is an AI). Both of them have highly erratic and ecstatic personalities, though occasionally lower their voices in threatening remarks. In the Japanese version of both series, they have been voiced by Tarako.