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So, I really love Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. Ever since it released last year, it's quickly become one of my favorite games of all time, and at this point is possibly on par with one of my other favorite titles, The World Ends with You, as my favorite DS/3DS game. Ever since I got my 3DS XL last week, I've been replaying the game(especially because I've screwed up my Fire Emblem file twice, and felt like a break before I dive into my third attempt.
In any case, a thought occurred to me today about writing this blog. Why? Because this game has so many plot twists that are so masterfully done that you can't help but love them. You're able to see hints of each as they build and build throughout the game, but they still get you.
So, without further ado-my top ten moments from Virtue's Last Reward. SPOILERS, obviously.
10. Luna is actually a GAULEM
GAULEMs, in the Zero Escape universe, are basically robots made to look and act exactly like humans, being they are "General-purpose AUtonomous Labor Electronic Machines". In Luna's ending, it is revealed that she was created by Zero for the purpose of helping Sigma and Phi in the Nonary game. While this one was hinted at a bit more than some other twists, it was a surprise, and was one of the more emotional states of the game, when she starts to deteriorate.
9. Meeting Phi
Phi is one the best characters ever, in my opinion. Her attitude is brusque, but something about the way she operates makes everyone who plays the game like her, it seems. She is the most important character besides Sigma, and is very mysterious, to the point where even beating the game doesn't reveal tons about her. Volume 3 hopefully expands upon her lore, because I really cared more about her than Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite.
8. Hitting a lock
While some games may have branching paths, not every one has you required to go down different ones. To get the true ending, you need to play through almost every ending, in order to gain information. For example, if you can't get past one part, you will receive a lock that says something about "how can Phi and K be saved?". These locks just enticed me to keep playing, because I wanted to get rid of them and see the story play out.
7. Dio is a terrorist, and a clone
The fact that Dio is a rude, terrible person is established in his first few lines of dialogue. He lies, thinks only of himself, and acts as though everyone else is an idiot. The real big thing though, found out in his ending, is that he's a terrorist of the group Free the Soul, and was sent to infiltrate the Nonary Game being played, and sabotage it. It also turns out he is the clone of Free the Soul's founder's dead brother, named Left, which is just weird, since his other fellow terrorists are as well.
6. K is actually a clone of Sigma
In the K ending, the played first sees that K has the face of Sigma, which greatly confuses him. Then, in the Phi ending, when Sigma discovers he is in his future self's body, he also finds out that K was a clone of himself, named Kyle, who was created in case he should die when creating the Nonary Game.
5. The callouts to other franchises
This is from when Sigma makes an accusation against Dio.
Some of the easter eggs in Zero Escape are really awesome shout outs to other franchises and properties. The above screen of course, relating to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. There's also a reference to Professor Layton, and, along with the prior 999, takes an idea from the novel Cat's Cradle, the idea being ice-9.
4. The game takes place in 2074, and the facility they are in is on the Moon
While there are various hints as to major things happening between Sigma's abduction and the start of the Nonary Game, there isn't a lot of evidence that points toward the gap being about 50 years. Clover, Alice, and Phi are from the present, and they were cryogenically frozen for that time until the start of the game, with everyone else being from the future(except for Sigma's consciousness, as it had jumped).
3. Zero is Sigma...of the future
Sigma ends up seeing his future self also, in a hologram...this would look so weird to a bystander.
Early on in the game, Zero III claims that one of the 9 players of the Nonary Game is actually Zero, the one behind the game. Throughout the whole game, Sigma contemplates who is Zero, not knowing that he himself actually is, or would be. Conveniently, Sigma never looks in a mirror, and we are never shown his face either-in every scene that has Sigma's body being shown, it always cuts off just below his head. Throughout the game, I never really thought of this, and the reveal at the end blew my mind. It is revealed that after Sigma's abduction, he goes to the moon and researches genetics and physics, to prepare the Nonary Game. Also, after his abduction, his mind jumped to the start of the Nonary game, going into his 2078 self's body.
2. Tenmyouji is actually Junpei
They grow up so fast, don't they?
This is the best tie in to the original Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors. This old, grizzled man, is actually the protagonist of the first game, and that is awesome. I was freaking out when I discovered this, and replaying the game, it's just such a weird thought. But it makes complete sense with everything, and again, is just...so great. This is the main reason a person should play the original first.
1. Phi and Sigma are meant to save the world, by sending their consciousnesses across space and time.