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Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward[a] is an adventure video game developed by Chu

nsoft. It is the second installment in the Zero Escape series, and was released
in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The story follows the player
character Sigma, a man who is abducted and forced along with eight other individ
uals to play the Nonary Game, which puts its participants in a life-or-death sit
uation. As the story progresses, the characters begin to unravel the secrets beh
ind the Nonary Game, as well as its true purpose.
The gameplay alternates between two types of sections: Escape sections, where th
e player completes puzzles in escape-the-room scenarios; and Novel sections, whe
re the player reads the game's narrative through visual novel segments, and make
s decisions that influence the story toward one of twenty-four different endings
. The player is given access to a flowchart, which allows them to revisit any pr
eviously completed section, and choose a different option to cause the story to
progress in another direction.
The game was developed as a result of the unexpected critical success that its p
redecessor, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, received in North America. Gam
e director Kotaro Uchikoshi wrote the script, which was then localized by Aksys
Games and Rising Star Games for North America and Europe respectively. Virtue's
Last Reward was released to positive reviews. Critics praised the story and char
acters but were divided in their opinions of the Escape sections. Despite positi
ve reviews, the game was a commercial failure in Japan, which led to the tempora
ry cancellation of its sequel. Development on the sequel eventually resumed, and
Zero Time Dilemma was released in 2016.
Contents [hide]
1 Gameplay
2 Plot
2.1 Characters and setting
2.2 Story
3 Development
3.1 Story and themes
3.2 Localization
4 Release
5 Reception
6 Sequel
7 References
7.1 Notes
7.2 Footnotes
8 External links
A screenshot of an Escape section room. The room contains a metal contraption wi
th a safe, while the game cursor hovers over a fire extinguisher.
The Escape sections are shown from a first-person perspective, with the player a
ble to move between pre-set positions.
The gameplay of Virtue's Last Reward is divided into two types of sections: Nove
l and Escape. In Novel sections, the player progresses through the storyline and
converses with non-playable characters through visual novel segments. These sec
tions require little interaction from the player other than reading the dialogue
and text that appears on the screen.[4] During Novel sections, the player may b
e presented with decision options that affect the course of the game. One recurr
ing decision option is a prisoner's dilemma-type choice where the player must ch
oose to "ally" or "betray" the characters they are pitted against, with differen
t results depending on what choices the two parties picked.[5]
In between Novel sections are Escape sections, which occur when the player finds
themselves in a room from which they need to find a means of escape.[6] These a
re presented from a first-person perspective,[7] with the player able to move be
tween predetermined positions in each room.[8] To escape, the player is tasked w

Dio. While completing the firs . and K. the player can jump to a pre vious decision and ally with their opponent instead of betraying them.[9] The puzzles include var ious brain teasers. Clove r. For example. and points can only be earned by partici pating in the Ambidex Game.[20] The game is set in an abandoned warehouse-like facility containing rooms filled with puzzles.[14] Participants who gain at least nine poin ts are able to escape.[16] Story[edit] In 2028. where Zero forces the characters to participate in the Nonary Game . Quark. a safe can be found.[11] In each Escape r oom.[16] Plot[edit] Characters and setting[edit] Virtue's Last Reward features nine main characters who are kidnapped by an unkno wn individual called Zero.[6] The choices made affect the players' bracelet points: if two opponents bo th choose "ally". in which they have to choose to "ally" or "betray" the other characte rs.ith finding various items and solving puzzles. Luna. depending on the choices made by the player. which can be opened with two passwords.[18] Zero III. The story begins branching into different timelines that can be experienced in a ny order. a man who wears an irremovable. Upon escaping. if a particular plotline cannot progress becau se a required password is unknown. a commanding and focused woman. an unpredictable girl who appeared in Nine Hours. each individual gains two points. and Clover. and vice versa. Tenmyouji. reminiscent of escape-the-room ga mes.[13] This allows the player to transition to an earlier branching point in the story and choose a different option that causes the stor y to progress in another direction."[19] Each character save Sigma is fully voice acted in both Japanese and English.[17] The player character Sigma is joined by Phi.[15] many endings are inaccessib le initially and must be unlocked by experiencing events or learning information in other plotlines. Zero III informs the group that nine individual bracelet point s are necessary to escape the facility. the player must jump to another plotline and learn the password there before returning to the original one. Quark. they fin d themselves in a warehouse-like facility with Dio. Alic e.[12] The characters are affixed with bracelets that display a point value that is initially set at three." by the participants to distinguish the entity from the human Zero. During the game they participate in rounds of the Amb idex Game. an energetic young boy. if the two opponents both ch oose "betray". Nine Doors. controls the Nonary Game. who is in turn nicknamed "Zero Sr. while the othe r grants access to a hidden folder that provides the player with supplementary b ackstory or other information.[12] The player has access to a flowchart that allows them to immediately revisit or "jump" to any previously completed Novel or Escape section without replaying the game from the beginning.[9] For example. ful l-body suit of armor. a kind and quiet woman. more direct.[6] Zero III is nicknamed "Zero Jr. Luna. further. Nine Persons. and if one opponent chooses "betray" while the other chooses "ally". A lice.[14] While there are 24 endings available. while those who reach zero points are executed. no change occurs. a gi rl with a "no-nonsense attitude".[5] The player receives hints to the puzzle soluti ons from the game's characters. the player may need to combine objects with each oth er to create the necessary tool to complete a puzzle. the opponent who chose "betray" gains three points while t he other opponent loses two points. an elderly man. Sigma is abducted and placed inside an elevator with Phi. K. Tenmyouji. One of these p asswords gives the player the key needed to escape from the room. an artificial intelligence who appears in th e form of a CGI rabbit. Zero III appe ars on a monitor and informs them that they are participating in the Nonary Game and that they must escape the elevator before it falls. such as Lights Out and sliding puzzles. a rude and insensitive man. hints are received if the player changes the puzzle's difficulty level from "hard" to "easy".[9][10] At some points.

immediately prior to the start of the Nonar y Game. to train Sigma an d Phi to transport their consciousnesses through time. but was still placed into the game by her and later planted the bo mbs. [3] who had previously led the production of Nine Hours. The group leaves the facility and emerges in a desert landscape on the Moon. together with his adopted grandson Quark. Depe nding on the given timeline. Uchikoshi asked Chunsoft if he could develop Virtue's Last Reward and its eventual sequel simultaneously.t set of puzzle rooms. Nine D oors a stand-alone title. They re-enter the faci lity and discover a cold sleep pod. had developed the AB project. Chu nsoft agreed to his proposal. As Sigma. Nine Pers ons. and each participant was infected with Radical-6 to amplify this increase. Nine Doors was seeking. Sigma and Phi' s consciousnesses are then returned to the present. Sigma. In a Schrödinger's cat-like situation. Dio sought to stop the project. In the timeline leading to the game's ultimate ending. This occurs shortly there after. Sigma defuses the bo mbs.[24] . Tenmyouji wi llingly joined the game. where they find everyone has cooperated to acquire enough points to escape. The pod opens to reveal a clone of Sigma. Akane make s Phi and Sigma's consciousnesses jump to 2029. in case his own body gets damaged. Akane and Zero Sr. the characters also discover either the murdered bo dy of an old woman or antimatter bombs. and green-lit production.[22][23] In an attempt to reduce costs. K explains that each person was brought to t he facility to recreate the events that Zero Sr. Alice. Sigma and Phi jump back to 20 28 to infiltrate the Mars mission test site.[21] While his original intention was to make Nine Hours. spends the next 45 years developing the AB project together with Akane. and Phi subdues Dio before he can kill Akane. after his abduction in 2028. Akane explains that the gam e's dangerous elements were necessary to speed up one's brain to transport one's consciousness through time. the armor was instead occupied by Sigma's clone. while Phi is kept in cold sleep. and Phi were abducted in 2028 and placed in cold sleep unt il the Nonary Game began. in the timelines where Akane was killed. while Dio is restrained and incapacitated. and Dio is a memb er of Free the Soul. had his consciousness tr ansported into his elder self's body in 2074. When they again arrive at 2074. Phi. Akane Kurashiki. Development[edit] Virtue's Last Reward was developed by Chunsoft and directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi. and Akane had previously experi enced. Dio either murdered the old woman and took her place in the game. The Nonary Game was designed so Sigma and Phi could expe rience multiple timelines and retain what they learn in each one. the participants learn of a pandemic caused by Radical-6. as both games would use the same engine and digital assets. a virus that slows down its victims' cognition and drives them to suicide. The goal of the AB pro ject was to make it possible for the elder Sigma to prevent the Radical-6 outbre ak in 2028 with his future knowledge. after being p romised a chance to find a certain woman. whom Tenmyouji revealed to be the player character Junpei from Nine Hours. Clover. and K reveal s he is actually Akane in disguise. as Ze ro Sr. its unexpected critical success in North America promp ted him to continue the series. after the outbreak. or fai led to do so. a project that encompassed the Nonary Game and the Ambidex Game. Alice and Clover are government secret agents tasked with stopping the religious cult Free the Soul.. Nine Persons. they uncover a holographic message of the old woman. Nine Persons. K was raised by the mastermind of the game inside of the facility. The remaining participants proce ed to the next set of puzzle rooms. The backstory of the other participants are explored: Luna is a humanoid robot. Sigma creates Kyle as a spare. The year is 2074 and most of humanity was killed by Radical-6 after it was unleashe d by Free the Soul from a Mars mission test site in 2028. Kyle. Akane explains that Sigma. Nine Door s. and Tenmyouji complete their room. tasked with maintaining the Nonary Game. while his elder self's consciousne ss was transported into the younger Sigma's body in 2028.

which was then localized by editor Ben Bateman.[38 ] Bateman later stated that overcoming various translation issues was one of the hardest aspects of editing Virtue's Last Reward. in order to make i t easier for players to empathize with him. Nine Doors thought it looked s cary. Nine Doors. in terms of genders. a few jokes did not translate properly and had to be changed during localization. During one s cene. as the logical decision made in it hurts the cha racters both on a group level and on a personal one. Uchikoshi stated that the results of a Japanese survey indicated that playe rs who did not purchase Nine Hours.[27] Story and themes[edit] Virtue's Last Reward marked a tonal shift from the suspense present within Nine Hours. Nine Persons. he used the Enneagram of Pe rsonality as a reference.[32] It was important to him to create a mystery behind the characters. Nine Persons. personalities.[26] Uchikoshi later remarked that designing 3D character models proved to be a challenge for Chunsoft due to company's inexperience with 3D eff ects. a brain teaser based on probability. after which it was changed.[25] As neither system had been release d yet. Dio was meant to "do something even more messed up" to Clover. Nine Doors. which avoided several plot -related translation problems.[25] The development team at Chunsoft wanted to utilize the three-dimensi onal (3D) features of the newer systems. He aimed to create a balanced cast of supporting characters. to make players curious about who they are and what their pasts were like.[27] Another important element was the use of misdirection: By delibe rately making certain characters seem like bad people.[30] The Ambidex Game was intended to h ave philosophical significance. Dio handcuffs Clover and Tenmyouji to a sink. he would get players to f ocus on them more. to a more relaxed and exploration-heavy atmosph ere. but th e president of Chunsoft opposed this scene for "ethical reasons". but this changed e arly in production following the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStatio n Vita.[30] While designing the characters' personalities. These scrapped ideas included the Monty Hall problem. Nobara Nakayama translated the game's t ext from Japanese to English. making it more difficult for them to see who the "real bad gu y" is.[31] He then designed the ch aracters that felt necessary to the story.Development of Virtue's Last Reward began on the Nintendo DS. Although Uchikoshi had written the game with the English-language audience in mind. There were also two characters who "talked like . the team was under the assumption that the 3D features would require 3D c haracter models. a mental disorde r in which someone believes that a person they know has been replaced with an id entical-looking impostor. Aksys Games localized Virtue's Las t Reward for its North American release.[37] Localization[edit] As with Nine Hours. the character Zero III appears as a rabbit a reference to the mo on rabbit in Japanese folklore. who helped to identify problems prese nt within the story. O riginally.[29] Uchikoshi began by writing a basic story. Nine Persons.[35][36] Uchiko shi also considered including several scientific and philosophical concepts that eventually were left out. and the Capgras delusion. and ages represented . He added an e xtended.[28 ] Uchikoshi worked alongside a sub-writer.[30] Some changes were made to the initial plot of Virtue's Last Reward. Uchikoshi later felt this ending alone w as inappropriate following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.[26] and changed production of the game to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. non-canonical ending featuring Kyle to lighten the mood. he "didn't have a choice but to tone it down" for Virtue's Last Reward.[33] He decided to not give Sigma a strong personality. Because the Moon was one of the game 's major themes. which prevents them from par ticipation in the Nonary Game (the punishment for not participating is death).[34] While the game ends in the year 2029 with humanity dying out a nd Sigma aspiring to change the future.

2017.[20] The bracelets could later be purchased through the Aksys Games store.[43] The game was then released in North Ameri ca on October 23. Chunsoft released an original video animation in December 2 011. so they would know how to perform it. 2017. animals" in the Japanese version of the game: Zero III.538 copies. As th e door begins to open. and in Europe on November 23.[42] Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku was perplexed by the Flash game. 2012. PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in the West on March 24. Bateman wrote the voice direction. along with short reels for each actor.[50][51] The European PlayStation Vita version will be released later in 2017. the European version. a similar pre-order bonus had been given out for Nine Hou rs. which is the first half of usagi (the Japanese word for " rabbit").[41] As well as the video animation.[48] By 2013.[45] People who pre-ordered the North Americ an version of the game through Amazon. but some players continued to re port that the glitch still existed. the Nintendo 3DS version sold 9. stating that: "as it is pretty much the antithesis of everything pr esented in Virtue's Last Reward. forcing the player to restart the game fr om the beginning.[3] In its first week of release.[49] Zero Escape: The Nonary Games. Nine Persons. and the player begi ns clicking on her breasts. showcasing the characters and the basic Ambidex Game r ules. who added "-nya" (the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound c ats make) to the end of his sentences whenever he talked about cats.[46] Shortly after the game's release in North America. Perhaps it's just due to a [public re lations] department following the old adage: 'sex sells'."[42] Virtue's Last Reward was released in Japan on February 16. will be released for Microsoft Windows. and the console versions on April 13. a Flash game was produced and made ava ilable on the Japanese Virtue's Last Reward website. I truly wonder how this Flash game is supposed to convince anyone to play the full title. as this would ultimately affect the word choice a nd attitude of each line of dialogue. the animation serves as an introduction to the game. a bundle that contains remastered versions of Nin e Hours. the Microsoft Windows version will launch on March 25. Aksys Games recommended that players avoid sa ving during Escape sections.[1][44] this was the first Zero E scape game to be released in Europe.[39] Another challenge for Batema n was keeping track of the story moments from each branching path.[39] While the North American version of the game allows the user to select either Japanese or English audio tracks. Aksys Games announced that the glitch had been patched in the Nintendo eShop version.[47] In response.[52] Reception[edit] Reception . with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross and Hu rricane Sandy relief. The gameplay of the Flash g ame has the player attempt to open a metal door by quickly clicking on it. Once the actors had been chos en. Nine Persons. which was released by Rising Star Games. only features the Japanese audio track. Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward.[40] Release[edit] To promote the game. which consists of short blurbs the voice actors saw next to the line they were supposed to say. Clover is revealed on the other side. Bateman sol ved this by writing rabbit and cat themed puns. who added "-usa" to the end of its sentences. Created by the Japanese animation studio Gonzo.307 copies while the PlayStati on Vita version sold 6. a game-breaking glitch was di scovered in the Nintendo 3DS version: saving the game in specific Escape section s would corrupt the saved game's data. and Sigma. the localization team was sent a list of people who might fit the roles. Nine Doors. In received a replica of the bracelet tha t the characters wear.[38] For voice casting. It was import ant to know whether information regarding each character had been revealed yet t o the player in that timeline.

[5] Several reviewers noted that the controls for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Pla yStation Vita were awkward and oversensitive.[12] Many reviewers praised the flowchart for not fo rcing the player to replay previously completed sections or restart the game fro m the beginning.[45] In contrast. and believed that there was littl e reason to care for them until their backstories were revealed. calling it "one of the slowest and most overwritten adventure games" ever made.[16] Manson thought that the character models fit well with the realisti c environments. Edge later noted that it l acked the shock value of Nine Hours.Aggregate score Aggregator Score Metacritic 88/100 (3DS)[53] 84/100 (Vita)[54] Review scores Publication Score 1UP.[15][55] while Robin son did not find them fun.[6][10][12][16] but Boosinger and Edge criticized it for removin g the tension of making wrong decisions.[5][55] The game's visuals and overall presentation were positively received. Boosinger found the cha racters to be uncompelling and poorly written. Nine Persons.75/10[15] GameSpot 8. who remarked that while she was initially skeptical of the visuals f rom gameplay screenshots.5/10[10] Nintendo Life 8/10[45] Virtue's Last Reward received "generally favorable reviews" on both platforms.[4] McCarro ll felt that many of the environments looked similar and that they were often co lorless.5/10[12] IGN 9.[4][16][45][55] and Molie L. but noted that there was a limited amount of character animation s.[55] Game Informer 's Kimberly Wallace and Tony Ponce of Destructoid liked the use of plot twists.[16] On ly Austin Boosinger of Adventure Gamers was critical of the dialogue.[5] Reviewers were divided in their opinions of the Escape A-[11] Adventure Gamers 3/5 stars[5] Destructoid 9. and that they w ere much better than those of its predecessor. Nine Doors.[4][10][45] Thomas thought that the 3D visuals were "beautifully" rendered.[53][54] Several reviewers found th e game's narrative to be complex and engaging:[6][12][15][55] GameSpot's Heidi K emps enjoyed its mix of horror.[10] while Mike Manson of Nintendo Life considered each characters ' motives to be unique and interesting. and science fiction.[10] These comments were shared by Patterson.[4] Kemps commented that the user interface was improved from Nine Hour s. with Thomas calling it "among the best .[12] and Edge called it a "page-turner with flashes of real intelligence".[11][56] IGN's Lucas M. a ccording to the review aggregator Metacritic.[56] Boosinger called them dull and uninspired. Edge and Wallac e thought that the Escape sections were satisfying to solve. drama.[6][15] Writing for RPGFan. but ap preciated their connections to the game's mathematical and scientific themes. her opinion changed after playing the game. Nine Doors. and that the revelatio ns were more confusing than surprising.[5] The characters were similarly well received. John McCarrol l liked how the dialogue ranged from humorous to saddening and harrowing. Thomas was satisfied by development of e ach character. Patter son of Electronic Gaming Monthly found the limited camera movement disappointing as well.[45] Critics enjoyed the voice acting.[4][10][11][56] Bob Mackey of m and Martin Robinson of Eurogamer called them believable and easy for the playe r to care about. Nine Persons.5/10[6] Edge 7/10[55] EGM 9/10[4] Eurogamer 7/10[56] Famitsu 34/40[2] Game Informer 8. but Ponce felt that the ending featured too many of them.

"Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward Review". in response to its h iatus. Game Developer. Uchikoshi mentioned details of a third Zero Escape game. Nine Doors's cover art. ^ Jump up to: a b c "?????"?????"??????????? ?????ADV ?????????????????????".[76] The countdown ended in July.[59] and Best Story and Best Graphic Adve nture from RPGFan.[62] and Game of the Year from Kotaku.[12][10][45] Virtue's Last Reward received some awards from gaming publications.[72] Uchikoshi examined the possib ility of financing the development through the use of crowdfunding on a website like Kickstarter. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Patterson. Retrieved March 17. Aksys Games held a panel at which t hey announced the continued development of the game. Archived from the original on March 17. Nintendo UK. Retrieved July 8.[65] Gamasutra. Metro. Austin (December 17. but felt that the idea would not be persuasive enough for it t o meet the goal. Aksys Games launched the website 4infinity. Archived from the origina l on September 20. EGM Media LLC. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Ponce. "Review: Zero Escap e: Virtue's Last Reward".com placed Virtue's Last Reward within their non-ranked lists of the Best Games of 2012. (October 23. [73] The series' fandom created Operation Bluebird. Modern Method. 2015. ^ Jump up to: a b "????ADV ???????". "Virtue's Last Reward review novel interaction".[71] Less than a year later. which only consist ed of a countdown timer. Nine Persons. 2013. which coincide d with the 2015 Anime Expo. 1 2. Enterbrain.[64] and GameSpot. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Boosinger.[69] Sequel[edit] Main article: Zero Time Dilemma In December 2012. Archived from the original on March 25. 2016.[1] and Kyokugen Da sshutsu ADV: Zennin Shibo Desu (????ADV ????????) in Japan. 2014. ASCII Media Works. Archived from the original on November 23. Electronic Gaming Monthly.[58] Best Handheld Exclusive from Game Informer. February 15. pp.[77] It was released in June 2016.[66][67][68] while RPGFan listed it as one of the thirty essential role-playing video games from the years 2010 to 2015. Destructoid. Retrieved Ma rch 24. under the new name Zero Time Dilemma. De ngeki Online (in Japanese). he also sought out opportunities with executives and investors.[63] Pocket Gamer. Retrieved July 26. Retrieved September 16. . including: H andheld Game of the Year from Fans of the series noticed that the number fonts on the countdown timer resembled the fonts from Nine Hours. 2015. 2015. 2015. which led to speculation it was counting down to an announcement reg arding a third Zero Escape game. 2015. 2015. 2014. Retrieved July 8. an online campaign to raise awareness of the series and support the game's development. Archived from the origin al on March 15. Famitsu (in Japanese).[3] Footnotes[edit] ^ Jump up to: a b "Virtue's Last Reward". Archived from the original on April 10. 2015. 1UP. Archived from the original on August 1. Adventure Gamers. Mollie L. 2012).[60][61] The game also received nominations for Best Narrative at the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. 2012). "EGM Review : Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward". Retrieved August 26. During the Expo.[70] a nd by June 2013.performances I've ever heard in any game. he had finished planning the story. Tony (November 10. 2016. period".[2] The Japanese titl e has two meanings: "Extreme Escape ADV: Good People Die" and "Extreme Escape AD V: Want to be a Good Person". 2015. 2016.[74][75] In March 2015. it was announced that the project was put on hold indefinitely in response to t he series' poor commercial reception in Japan. 2012). David (November 27. com.[57] Best 3DS/DS Story from IGN. Jump up ^ Jenkins. 2012). and Amazon. 2012.[78] References[edit] Notes[edit] Jump up ^ The game was titled Virtue's Last Reward in Europe.

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