Author Topic: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors  (Read 19965 times)

Parallaxal

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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« on: January 07, 2011, 01:13:13 AM »
It's only been a week or so since I tried playing it, but I just had to make a thread for what's probably the best video game I've seen in the past year or so.


Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (often referred to as just 999) is a DS game that has just recently been released in English. It's a survival horror game that's primarily a point-and-click adventure visual novel (sort of like the Ace Attorney series) with puzzles to solve (think Professor Layton). It's made by Chunsoft and localized by Aksys, plus its author is also known for writing Ever17. Since its release, it has received unanimous praise from critics and gamers alike. However, it's still not very well-known due to its small initial release, so I feel it needs the attention that it deserves.

Character Trailer
Launch Trailer

The gameplay is solid, with puzzles that are quite intuitive in hindsight. I don't think I've ever been required to make any weird leaps of logic to figure out how to use an item or discover where to look (no pixel hunting!). The puzzles draw from an eclectic mix of subjects, such as mathematics, chemistry, history, literature, and more; however, everything you need is provided to you, so long as you look carefully. But as sound as the gameplay is, the real gem in this game is the story. I have never been as engrossed in a video game's story as I have here; it's just that good.

The game follows a 21-year-old college student named Junpei, who was kidnapped one from his apartment one night. He wakes up to find himself on board what looks to be a replica of the Titanic, and eventually meets eight other people who went through the same circumstances as he. A mysterious voice comes on over the ship's loudspeakers and informs them all that they have been selected to participate in something called the "Nonary Game", and each person has been given a bracelet (numbered 1-9) that's the key to solving the puzzles within the game. The bracelets come with a detonator, though, and breaking the rules of the game will cost the person their life. The ship will sink in 9 hours, so the participants must work together to find a way to escape. Which areas of the ship to explore, and which characters Junpei is willing to trust, are all up to the player to decide.

This game is rated M (a rarity for the DS) for the intense violence that may or may not result depending on the choices you make, as the danger of Junpei's situation will feel very real. While the images in the game tend to show discretion with the gorier scenes, the writing does not shy away from describing in grisly detail the demise of any unfortunate person. The game has several different story branches and endings (as much as 90% of the story and gameplay can be drastically different on any given playthrough), and there are very real consequences for your decisions. In other words, if your favorite character dies, it's all your fault and you should feel bad. However, the game does let you skip through dialogue that you've seen before, and it greys out decision choices that you've made prior, so subsequent playthroughs aren't that time-consuming or difficult to navigate. And trust me, you WILL want to replay this game.

The writing in this game is absolutely top-notch, which is important given how story-intensive the game is. Each of the characters may seem like trite stereotypes at first, but every single character is far more complex than they appear. During the puzzles and story sequences, you'll get countless opportunities to interact with them and hear what they have to say, which really fleshes them out and makes them seem more like people than video game characters. The excellent writing does a good job of making you care for them, so much so that their potential deaths will leave you anxious to play again just for a chance to save them. At its core, it's the characters that really carry this game, and I'm willing to bet you'll find at least some favorites among them.

Lastly, I just want to say that I've recently unlocked the game's true canonical ending, and I must declare that the final puzzle felt more epic to me than any final boss battle of any video game I've ever played. The build-up and execution of it was just phenominal.

Anyway, hopefully I've accomplished my mission of getting people interested in checking out this game. If you're curious about it, I recommend trying out the free playable demo of the game at the official website. It's definitely the most satisfying game I've played in a very long time, and I hope you guys would agree.

If anyone wants to discuss the game's intricate story and other things with me, I'd love to do so! However, I have to emphasize the use of spoiler tags, because a story-driven game like this can really be ruined for people who are sensitive about such issues.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 02:16:34 AM »
In short this game is  :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :*

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 02:30:30 AM »
Hmm, this sounds really interesting.

I might want to check this game out.
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Garlyle

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 03:47:44 AM »
I did not read a word in this thread, for good reason: It's only polite to black-bar talk about this game like a CIA document 8D

Also I haven't played it yet because my copies have not yet come in, but... I -do- have a kickass metal watch.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 03:52:48 AM »
The gameplay is solid, with puzzles that are quite intuitive in hindsight. I don't think I've ever been required to make any weird leaps of logic to figure out how to use an item or discover where to look (no pixel hunting!).
Spoiler:
Except for that goddamn rusted knife in that tiny ass box

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 10:03:58 AM »
Be prepared for the biggest mindfuck if you plan on getting the best ending to this game.

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KEEP YOUR DIGNITY.

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 08:21:04 PM »
I've played this game through 3 times, and I got bad ends every time. :<

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 08:36:50 PM »
The true end is actually kinda difficult to get to without a guide as it not only requires unlocking, but specific choices to get (while almost every other path is decided just on door choices).

Parallaxal

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 02:56:26 AM »
The path to the Safe and True endings seemed arbitrary to me at first, but after thinking long and hard about them, I noticed that the correct paths had something very unique and significant about them that wasn't true for any of the incorrect door paths. It's really quite cool in hindsight, I think. I'll try to explain it without any story spoilers (just which doors lead to which paths and which characters are available for each door), but just in case:

Spoiler:
It occurred to me that the Safe and True ending paths are the only paths where Junpei will work with every single other participant (other than the 9th Man) to solve the puzzle rooms. The only exception is if you didn't click the safe but still pick the correct doors for the Safe ending (which gets you the Knife ending, I think). However, if we go by just the numbered doors, then there is no combination that could let you work with all seven other characters and not lead to either the Safe or True ending. Observe:

Sub Ending:
Spoiler:
You have to pick Door #2 as your third door to get this ending. It's impossible to work with Ace for any of the first two sets of doors, as the only times he joins you are for Door #1 and #6. If you pick Door #2, you can never work with Ace for any of the puzzles.

Coffin Ending:
Spoiler:
If you go down Doors #4, #7, and #1, before getting the Safe ending, you never work with Snake.

Knife Ending:
Spoiler:
This is the bad end for the Safe path, so you have to pick Door #6 as your third door to get this ending, but if you didn't pick the correct choices for the Safe ending beforehand (Door #5 and #8), then you miss out on working with someone. If you picked #4 and #8, you never get to work with Seven or Snake. If you picked #5 and #7, you miss out on teaming up with Lotus. If you did #4 and #7, you also miss working with Snake.

Axe Ending:
Spoiler:
This is the bad end for the True path, and requires that you pick Door #1 as your third door. If you didn't pick Door #5 as your first door, you miss out on working with Snake. However, if you worked with Snake for Door #5, then you never get to partner up with Santa and June, because neither is available for Door #7 and #8, and you're stuck with #1 as your third door if you want this ending.

Safe Ending:
Spoiler:
Ace (#6), Snake (#5), Santa (#6), Clover (#8), June (#6), Seven (#5), Lotus (#8). Interestingly enough, for the Safe path, you end up working with everyone for exactly one numbered door.

True Ending:
Spoiler:
Ace (#1), Snake (#9), Santa (#4), Clover (#7, #1, #9), June (#4), Seven (#7, #9), Lotus (#4). I find it amusing that Clover gets by far the most screentime for this path.

Spoiler:
So if I'm not incorrect, then it looks like it's impossible to pick the "wrong" set of doors and still end up working with everyone at least once. This might be just one more hint that the game throws at you to help you pick the correct doors.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 03:09:41 AM »
Wow nice find. I remember being consious of something like that during my first few runs but then when trying for the coffin end I didn't get to it because I didn't say the right thing to Seven at one point (it seemed so arbitrary too...) so I went screw it walkthrough time :V

Be prepared for the biggest mindfuck if you plan on getting the best ending to this game.
Spoiler:
Especially if you're bad at sudoku :V

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 12:11:50 PM »
On my second playthrough (after getting the Axe ending D: ), and I gotta say, all the characters are fucking geniuses except Nine
Spoiler:
who kinda died quickly
, even the ones you wouldn't expect, like Seven and Asuka June.

TakuTaku

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2011, 12:45:17 PM »
Oh la la~

Definitely putting this on my to-play list

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 02:31:42 PM »
Oh la la~

Definitely putting this on my to-play list
Yeah, it's very much worth it: cool puzzles without being too much of a headache, and the story unfolds in a very interesting way.

Just got the sub ending (I'm on a boat, mother fucka!).
Spoiler:
Seven
felt it necessary to drop some heavy duty bombs on me.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2011, 11:16:25 AM »
Some of the endings are tricky to get, because not only do they depend on rooms you go into, but who and what you talk about, as well. For instance, I was having the hardest time trying to get the Coffin ending until
Spoiler:
I talked to Seven about ice-9, who then told me about Alice the mummy
.

EDIT: Anyways, I'm about to try to get the final two endings, but I have a horrible, sinking suspicion as to what's going on, and how the situation will be resolved.
Spoiler:
All the playthroughs are canonical: Clover mentioned that the experiment involved trying to have two groups solve the nonary puzzles via the cell telepathy. The coffin ending ends with Clover, Junpei, and Seven left behind, and someone trapped inside a coffin with a combination lock that no one has the combination to. Clover believes that Snake's still alive (likely because he has a fake arm, which runs against what Junpei saw). There's still the safe inside the room behind Door 5. Santa had a sudden and inexplicable change of character.

So, in the aptly named Safe ending, we'll find out what's in the safe, which will likely be the combination to the coffin that someone (probably Snake) is trapped in. That information will, somehow, be transferred to the minds of at least Junpei and Santa. Santa realizes that Snake's in the coffin, but can't really figure out a good reason to try to leave behind the correct people, so he uses the gun to force everybody in two groups. Snake will then get free and join Seven, Clover, and Junpei to form a team with a number of 9. Both doors will lead to the library where Alice is.

That, at least, is my theory. It'll be interesting to see if it holds up, because even I can see that there's major flaws with it.

EDITEDIT: Now, since I'm thinking of it, I might as well share my other theory, about how Junpei and June are connected to the entire thing.
Spoiler:
Everybody but those two, Nine, and Ace have revealed ties to the ship or experiments: Seven was a cop investigating, Lotus's daughters were experimentees, Santa, Clover, and Snake were all also experimentees. My gut feeling is that Nine was one of the researchers involved with the experiment, and Ace is either also one of the researchers, or somehow connected to Zero himself (I was initially pegging him as BEING Zero, but a few things lead me to think that he's not). Now, Junpei said that he read an article where 16 children were kidnapped and returned, and Seven and Clover both claimed that one of the children died. However, Clover also said that there were 18 test subjects. So, I think that Junpei is a test subject, and has selective amnesia. June, however, I have two differing theories on: she is either another of the test subjects, or she's the test subject that died, and was replaced by... Alice.

... I know that last one sounds pretty stupid, and I don't really have anything backing me up other than Clover being interrupted when she was about to reveal the name of the dead girl (which I think is Asuka).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 12:59:02 PM by Sect »

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2011, 08:06:58 PM »
I wonder why Clover is so popular when she
Spoiler:
killed Junpei for pretty much no reason. It's one thing to kill the others out of paranoia, but then to after that she went on a total Yandere streak. I kinda wish they had a bonus scene for that end where she duels Ace.

Maybe it's cause June is already taken :derp:


SFOAHIF)A(FJ)(FJKSDFOPDKD@#K#_

I JUST REALIZED THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FINAL PUZZLE

Spoiler:
Sudoku has 9 columns, 9 rows, 9 numbers, 9 boxes

HOW DID I NOT REALIZE THIS BEFOREHAND :getdown:
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 08:21:29 PM by Suikama »

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 08:23:42 PM »
I wonder why Clover is so popular when she
Spoiler:
killed Junpei for pretty much no reason. It's one thing to kill the others out of paranoia, but then to after that she went on a total Yandere streak.
MAINDO BUREEKU Clover is also hawt cute hawt.
Spoiler:
I kinda wish they had a bonus scene for that end where she duels Ace.
Spoiler:
Not possible as by that point Ace would've (spoiler of some larger degree)
Spoiler:
killed Lotus at that point
and (safe ending spoiler)
Spoiler:
gotten through door 9 with the 9 bracelet currently in his possession. 1+8+9=(ry
.
Spoiler:
Maybe it's cause June is already taken :derp:
Spoiler:
Spoiler:
so jelus :3c

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<>
[07:59] <Sapz> ベーティさんは馬鹿っぽいだろう、この「っぽい」好き者


JT

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2011, 08:43:16 PM »
I wonder why Clover is so popular when she
Spoiler:
killed Junpei for pretty much no reason. It's one thing to kill the others out of paranoia, but then to after that she went on a total Yandere streak. I kinda wish they had a bonus scene for that end where she duels Ace.

Maybe it's cause June is already taken :derp:

Here's the problem I had with that ending:
Spoiler:
How do they expect me to believe that a tiny Asian girl took down Junpei, from the front, with an axe? A fire axe is a terrible melee weapon, even on someone who has the strength to swing it properly. That's not even to mention the entire group of people who took the elevator, including Seven, who's like three times her size and presumably has police training.

Clover is also hawt cute hawt.
Spoiler:
Agreed. :smug:

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2011, 08:48:10 PM »
Here's the problem I had with that ending:
Spoiler:
How do they expect me to believe that a tiny Asian girl took down Junpei, from the front, with an axe? A fire axe is a terrible melee weapon, even on someone who has the strength to swing it properly. That's not even to mention the entire group of people who took the elevator, including Seven, who's like three times her size and presumably has police training.

Agreed. :smug:
Well if you remember for Junpei
Spoiler:
he was pretty much mesmerized by her sexy yandere face :V. As for the others, I'm guessing she attacked Seven first from behind, and then maybe Santa and June just gave up since saving everyone was now impossible.

Or she's just a beast :V


And Akane is so adorabubble.

JT

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2011, 09:22:54 PM »
Spoiler:
OK, I'll buy that she was able to kill Junpei, but the idea that Santa and June let her kill them doesn't add up. 3+4+5+6=18, which gives a digital root of 9. We'll also throw Ace and Lotus in there, since nobody knows yet that Lotus is dead and Ace is crazy -- that just brings us back to 9 again. There's no reason why they can't still save everybody who's still alive. All they would have to do is take out Clover and take her bracelet... or (cough) restrain her. :derp:

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2011, 09:32:07 PM »
Spoiler:
OK, I'll buy that she was able to kill Junpei, but the idea that Santa and June let her kill them doesn't add up. 3+4+5+6=18, which gives a digital root of 9. We'll also throw Ace and Lotus in there, since nobody knows yet that Lotus is dead and Ace is crazy -- that just brings us back to 9 again. There's no reason why they can't still save everybody who's still alive. All they would have to do is take out Clover and take her bracelet... or (cough) restrain her. :derp:
Spoiler:
Well Seven was the one who saved Santa and tried to save Akane so I doubt they wanted an end where he dies

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2011, 10:12:04 PM »
Man, this game's writing is top-notch.

Spoiler:
I can't really see Clover taking out Seven, unless she hit him from behind in the neck or somewhere really lucky on the spine. Normally he would have been prepared for that, but he's got amnesia and probably doesn't remember most of his self-defense lessons aside from what's instinctual.

All that aside, my favourite scenes in the game always seem to involve Lotus. Stripperific, well-read computer-savvy mom? Awesome. Towards the end of it all, June started to get really grating, making Lotus seem so much more fleshed out in comparison.

Erm. Pun not intended. :colonveeplusalpha:

JT

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2011, 11:30:03 PM »
Spoiler:
Well Seven was the one who saved Santa and tried to save Akane so I doubt they wanted an end where he dies
Spoiler:
Wouldn't he already be dead at that point anyway if Clover had axed him first? I'm not really following you.

Also:
Spoiler:
or (cough) restrain her

[nsfw]http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/1218/wipg.png[/nsfw]

:derp: :derp: :derp:

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2011, 11:40:44 PM »
Spoiler:
Wouldn't he already be dead at that point anyway if Clover had axed him first? I'm not really following you.
Spoiler:
I meant Santa and Akane would not want a future without Seven so they just gave up on that world once Seven gets axed.

[nsfw]http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/1218/wipg.png[/nsfw]

:derp: :derp: :derp:
This works too :3

JT

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2011, 11:52:12 PM »
Spoiler:
I meant Santa and Akane would not want a future without Seven so they just gave up on that world once Seven gets axed.
Ohhhh, alright. Yeah, guess that works.

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2011, 11:56:56 PM »
I'm feeling too lazy to check, so I'm just gonna ask.

Is this game made by Atlus? It really looks like the kind of game Atlus makes.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2011, 12:09:45 AM »
I'm feeling too lazy to check, so I'm just gonna ask.

Is this game made by Atlus? It really looks like the kind of game Atlus makes.
Read the OP silly :V

Mr. Sacchi

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2011, 12:11:27 AM »
Read the OP silly :V

Quote
It's made by Chunsoft and localized by Aksys, plus its author is also known for writing Ever17.

I Seriously, need, sleep.

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Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2011, 12:13:35 AM »
Oh sweet, a 999 thread. Played through this game a couple of weeks back, including going through the whole true-end in one long sleep-deprived run. Here's my outlook of how things turned out.

Spoiler:
OK, so the first Nonary Game 9 years ago was legitimate, but Akane never died. The game starts, per se, during her time in the incinerator, when she taps into her powers and basically starts predicting and manipulating the future. Up until the last segment of the true end, the game is Akane examining all the possible routes and paths that would lead, finally, to Junpei giving her the answer to the Sudoku 9 years in the future.

The failed endings - especially the Safe ending - are the result of failures on Akane's part. Failing to take into account Clover's psychotic nature, failing to predict Ace turning rogue, and so on. Eventually it turns out that to bring around the solution she has to literally send Junpei information he shouldn't know - the code for the watch in the True end that gets Snake out of the coffin.

Anyway, with all that out the way, Akane escapes, reunites with Aoi, everyone gets off the ship alive. Only there's one problem - they need to close the time loop by putting Junpei through all that crap again 9 years in the future. And no matter how badass June and Santa are, they're not going to just convince Ace to hand over Building Q for their use.

So here's the main gist of my theory:
Spoiler:
The entire second game is faked, and the only person not in on it is Junpei. Think Ever17, minus all the 4D madness.

Spoiler:
Think about it. Why does everyone conveniently have a story to tell about the morphogenetic field? Worst of all, Lotus - the woman who at one point in the True Ending starts screaming about not knowing what the hell is going on - gives Junpei JUST the right information. The experiment from Sheldrake, for one, and more decisively the explanation on prosopagnosia which leads to him solving the murders in the Safe ending.

The deaths of the 3 members of Cradle were faked. Think about it - except for Junpei's deaths in the bad ends, at no point in the entire game is a murder committed onscreen. The most obvious hint to this is the death of the Ninth Man - he was apparently blown up by the detonator in his bracelet, but after the escape in the True End Junpei notes there were no detonators in the watches. Even in the Safe ending, when Snake gets shot half a dozen times, he doesn't die until he's conveniently out of sight. The Cradle Pharmaceutical company has been convinced to repent for its sins, but in order to make things work Ace has to play the bad guy again. So he does, and damn convincingly.

As for Alice? A myth, quite simply. The ending shot is a hallucination of June [remember, these people have been up all night fighting for their lives for 9 hours with no rest or food or sleep or anything, and they're driving in a stuffed up car in a Nevada desert]. Note that there was no mention from anyone that they'd seen Alice, just that SOMETHING was there.

At least, that's my say. In other less Wall-Of-Text notes, Seven needs more appreciation because he is fucking awesome. If there was a spinoff where he and Snake teamed up to fight crime I would buy the box set before it was even fucking released.

Also, to anyone who's finished the game: Watch the previews. Pay close attention to what doors are shown. Slam your head into the wall when you realise the game was showing you how to get the best endings the whole fucking time.

Re: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2011, 12:43:03 AM »
Also, to anyone who's finished the game: Watch the previews. Pay close attention to what doors are shown. Slam your head into the wall when you realise the game was showing you how to get the best endings the whole fucking time.
In fact the preview cutscenes even show spoilers
Spoiler:
such as Ace being the culprit.

Also that theory is pretty solid. In fact you could probably extend it and even say
Spoiler:
Seven faked losing his memories so he had an excuse for not recognizing Ace immediately. The only thing is if that was true I don't see why they wouldn't reveal it to the reader at the end.

About Alice, I get the feeling they just threw her at the end for the lulz, but the thing that makes me think otherwise is the fact that Seven smiles right before they met her, as if he knew. Maybe Alice was pulling a lot of strings during the second game?