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  3. Afterthoughts/Questions about VLR and ZTD -Spoilers-

User Info: badfarmer

badfarmer
1 year ago#1
I played 999 a pretty long time ago and loved it but I recently played through both VLR and ZTD and I have a few questions and thoughts about it.

-can anyone explain the another time end? Who is ? and if what they're saying is true, how come Kyle was never in ZTD? Weird...

-is Alice really not All-ice from 999? The whole Alice and All-ice connection was done really poorly imo.

-I felt like VLR and ZTD were actively trying to out-twist themselves throughout the story but at some points, it just seemed ridiculous. Their powers started off with telepathy, got upgraded to being able to shift though time but then MINDHACKING? Wtf is mindhacking? I almost laughed when he said it. Even Alice and Clover being secret agents and stuff felt silly to me tbh. Dressed like that?

-Why couldn't Junpei help Akane with the AB project? If it's because she needed another esper to fill in that spot in VLR, she could've just used Carlos, or heck, there are a bunch of espers in the series she could've used.

-Anyone feel like Junpei's emoness was uncalled for in ZTD? I know he went though some stuff but still it's only been a year. Also why did he have to become a secret agent too? Why did everyone become secret agents?

-Did it bother anyone that Junpei and Akane looked NOTHING like what they used to look like in ZTD? Again it's only been a year but they look like different people. Their hair colour isn't even right. Sigma and Phi I can buy, since you can tell they are they same people but if no one told me that was Akane and Junpei, I never would've guessed.

-what really is the point of the AB project or whatever Akane's plan was? I know it's to make jumping easier for sigma and phi but the old sigma didn't really have any new information about zero as opposed to the young sigma? He didn't have any upper hand whatsoever. Did they really need old sigma to play the ZTD nonary game?

-In the end...they didn't even save the world? Or did they? There's still those nuclear bombs/terrorist organisations etc...I honestly felt like VLR introduced too many elements it was almost impossible for ZTD to address and conclude all of them.

I probably have a few more questions but I can't really think of any right now, if anyone has anything they'd like to share on these topics, that'll be great!

User Info: SirHenryClay14

SirHenryClay14
1 year ago#2
badfarmer posted...
-can anyone explain the another time end? Who is ? and if what they're saying is true, how come Kyle was never in ZTD? Weird...


Uchikoshi has said that the another time thing is supposedly not supposed to be canon and was added later on in development. Was he just doing damage control or was it true? I don't know. No one can know for sure until we hook Uchikoshi up to a lie detector and ask him about it that way. Point remains, ? has no impact on ZTD as it was written.

-is Alice really not All-ice from 999? The whole Alice and All-ice connection was done really poorly imo.


She's not and yes it was done poorly.

-I felt like VLR and ZTD were actively trying to out-twist themselves throughout the story but at some points, it just seemed ridiculous. Their powers started off with telepathy, got upgraded to being able to shift though time but then MINDHACKING? Wtf is mindhacking? I almost laughed when he said it. Even Alice and Clover being secret agents and stuff felt silly to me tbh. Dressed like that?


Mind hacking is pretty self explanatory. It's controlling someone's actions via telepathy basically. And actually, telepathy is not how the series started, telepathy is just Delta's powers. Everyone else is basically just accessing the morphogenetic field throughout the game to either exchange information or shift to alternet timelines. Granted it's fair if you consider that to be ridiculous, which it is, but remember this is a work of Science fiction. Some suspension of disbelief is par for the course. And if fanservicey costumes is a surprise to you, you probably haven't watched much anime. It's just something that happens a lot.


-Why couldn't Junpei help Akane with the AB project? If it's because she needed another esper to fill in that spot in VLR, she could've just used Carlos, or heck, there are a bunch of espers in the series she could've used


Because Akane needed to recreate the events of VLR as she remembers them via the information she's accessed via the Morphogenetic field. And in those memories Junpei was not with her and he has limited knowledge when he enter the AB project. Other possible explanations include Akane needing to focus all her time and energy into the AB project and staying with Junpei could've gotten in the way with that.

-Anyone feel like Junpei's emoness was uncalled for in ZTD? I know he went though some stuff but still it's only been a year. Also why did he have to become a secret agent too? Why did everyone become secret agents?


I felt it was a bit odd at first, until I went back and thought about the first game and all the stuff he went through. You also have to consider the life he's led in his attempts to find Akane. Also, Junpei was always kind of an a******/dramatic person. He did not become a secret agent. He basically joined a sketchy detective agency. The only people who became secret agents were Clover and Snake, and that's because their abilities made them an asset along with their previous involvement with the events of 999.

-Did it bother anyone that Junpei and Akane looked NOTHING like what they used to look like in ZTD? Again it's only been a year but they look like different people. Their hair colour isn't even right. Sigma and Phi I can buy, since you can tell they are they same people but if no one told me that was Akane and Junpei, I never would've guessed.


It's the change in artist and the switch from sprites to 3D models that really had the biggest effect here. Personally, I recognized Akane when they first showed her character art.
This door is more than it appears to be. It separates who you are from who you can be. You do not have to walk through it. You can run

User Info: SirHenryClay14

SirHenryClay14
1 year ago#3
badfarmer posted...
-what really is the point of the AB project or whatever Akane's plan was? I know it's to make jumping easier for sigma and phi but the old sigma didn't really have any new information about zero as opposed to the young sigma? He didn't have any upper hand whatsoever. Did they really need old sigma to play the ZTD nonary game?


Along with training them to use their Shift abilities while retaining their memories, the point was also to send both Phi and Sigma back to the Mars test site mission. And older Sigma had plenty of knowledge young Sigma lacked including his knowledge about shifting, robots, AI, cloning, and in particular he was with Akane in trying to stop whatever caused Rad-6. Young Sigma would have no reason to participate in the Dcom event. Plus if Sigma didn't participate then Phi and Delta would've never been born and the whole bootstrap paradox that is the Zero Escape series wouldn't work.

-In the end...they didn't even save the world? Or did they? There's still those nuclear bombs/terrorist organisations etc...I honestly felt like VLR introduced too many elements it was almost impossible for ZTD to address and conclude all of them


By the logic of the series itself, there exists world(s) where they did save everyone and world(s) where they didn't. However, if there's no one to observe the world where they failed, does that reality constitute existence in our understanding of it? And yeah, VLR did introduce a lot, and the chances of ZTD being able to address/conclude them all was slim. This ruins the experience for some, and I respect that. Personally I love what we ended up getting and I'm very happy to have played it.
This door is more than it appears to be. It separates who you are from who you can be. You do not have to walk through it. You can run

User Info: badfarmer

badfarmer
1 year ago#4
Thanks for answering my questions! That does some things up. One thing though:

From the way Akane said things back in VLR, the whole AB project seemed to be preparation for the ZTD nonary games. At least that's how I interpreted it. If that's the case, then my question still stands; why did old sigma have to play the ZTD nonary game? His knowledge of robotics and medicine etc didn't help him at all. Nor did his shifting practice for that matter. Iirc he didn't even use shifting (I'm not 100% on this, sorry if it's wrong). Only C-team really tried to use shifting to their advantage. Also about Phi and Delta being born, Phi/Sigma had no way of knowing about it? That was one of Delta's motives and shouldn't have anything to do with Akane/Sigma's AB project plan. Unless I'm mistaken, the timeline is something like: fail the ZTD nonary game--->radical 6 gets out--->Akane and Sigma make the AB project---> old sigma can try again. Wouldn't it be easier to: fail ZTD nonary game--->shift to beginning of nonary game, retain information and try again? That's what they did in both 999 and VLR? If anything, the 45 year gap would make him forget about everything and it would be harder to succeed.

User Info: SirHenryClay14

SirHenryClay14
1 year ago#5
Sigma had to participate in the Dcom event in order to try and prevent the release of Radical-6. His knowledge of robotics and cloning and whatnot was essential in creating the AB game. As I said that knowledge in particular is not necessarily helpful for the events of the Dcom event, but the point remains that old Sigma, i.e. Dr. Klim is quite a different person than the young Sigma whose body participates in the Dcom event. Young Sigma would not have even participated in the Dcom event, as he was not aware of Rad-6, Akane, Zero, or any of that stuff.

Sigma and Phi did shift during the game, it just wasn't as pronounced as C-team's as the POV character for D-team was Diana. Phi even directly states that she and Sigma need to shift at a certain point. Sigma states he chooses not to shift in a certain timeline (the one where he and Diana are trapped) because he doesn't want to abandon/leave Diana. The most best example of Sigma and Phi shifting during gameplay is when discussing how Diana voted during the event where the three teams had to vote for a single team to die. Phi and Sigma had different memories of how Diana voted because they shifted from different timelines. Also, everyone shifts near the end of the game a few times. Firstly to the timeline where the force quit box is opened, and then to the timeline where they all lived i.e. the true end.

And yes, Phi and Sigma had no way of knowing about Phi and Delta being born, but once again this is a bootstrap paradox scenario. Sigma had to go to Dcom in order to try and prevent Rad-6. He had to do this because of Delta's plans. Delta could only be born because Sigma went to Dcom to prevent Rad-6. Thus the series itself is not a straightforward line, rather there are certain events that happen because they need to happen otherwise the series itself does not happen.

Part of the problem with them trying to just Shift to the beginning of the Dcom event is because of the memory loss drugs and the misinformation provided by Zero/Delta throughout the game. How can they know to shift to a certain point if they don't initially know it exists? They eventually overcome this by accessing memories via the morphogenetic field and sometimes just blind shifting. However retaining information doesn't necessarily help the events of the game. Recall, Diana, Carlos and Delta were making the major decisions that impacted the way the story unfolded. Delta also used his abilities to influence certain choices to cause branching timelines to occur. Thus whether Sigma remembers certain knowledge from say point B when he's at point A wouldn't change much. The importance of retaining memories while shifting is to find the timeline which does unfold the way they want it and to assure its creation.
This door is more than it appears to be. It separates who you are from who you can be. You do not have to walk through it. You can run

User Info: badfarmer

badfarmer
1 year ago#6
It seems like what you're saying is coming from a game dev's perspective where your point is 'it happened because it makes the rest of the game make sense'. That's a valid point but I'm talking more in the shoes of the characters in the story. I just don't see why the Sigma that fails the ZTD nonary game would go: 'well, now that I've failed, I need to wait 45 years before I can try again.' in the first place.

Yes, they took memory drugs that would make it hard to shift to any point they wanted, but they could always shift to a point a bit earlier, like when they joined Dcom.

And I agree, a lot of their retained knowledge wouldn't necessarily help because ZTD's nonary game is too chance based but that also means, there's no reason to 'prepare' for it. Would you study for a test where the only way to get an A was to roll 1's on die? I assume young Sigma would have just as much chance succeeding as old Sigma did. The point I'm trying to make is that this is a plot hole: no way the characters wouldn't have thought of doing this because this is definitely easier and more straightforward than the AB project route. Writers could have fixed this though, by forcing one of the final puzzles/decisions to involve making a radical-6 cure or some use of robotics. I assume Sigma created Axeliver so it would be a nice plot point. It would be a dead end for young sigma because he simply would not have that knowledge. That would solve everything.

Also side note: Does that mean shifters are immortal? They can always shift to a younger version of themselves with their own consciousness and seemingly live forever...

User Info: SirHenryClay14

SirHenryClay14
1 year ago#7
If they shifted to an earlier point like when they joined Dcom, how would that help them necessarily with the events as they transpired in the game? Knowing something bad is going to happen doesn't necessarily mean they can do anything about it. And Sigma is not saying he needs to wait 45 years before he can try again. Remember, the way that Sigma's consciousness travels is as follows:

Young Sigma before being kidnapped -> Shifts to old Sigma's body for the main events of VLR -> Shifts back to his young body post Dcom event -> Lives his life setting up the AB game -> Shifts to his young body to participate in Dcom

What happens after that depends on the circumstances of whichever world is currently observed.

They need to have some preparation for the Dcom event because they need Dr. Klim/Old SIgma and Phi ready to participate in the events with the knowledge and skills they obtained during VLR.

Taking your example, no amount of studying for an exam where the only way to get an A would be to roll 1's on die could help. It's pure chance. But the point is I have to know I need to take the exam in the first place to even take it. I have to be present at the examination site to take the exam. And lastly I need to be prepared to act in the case I don't roll 1's. That's why young Sigma wouldn't be of use. Because he didn't even know about Rad-6 or anything like that. Old Sigma did know and that's why he participated. That's why it's not a plot hole. Because if they just tried to tell young Sigma to go to Dcom to save the world, he'd probably respond with a cat pun and accusations of others being insane. He needed to experience everything in VLR to be in the proper mindset and motivation to act in ZTD.

Side note: Technically speaking I don't think we know exactly who created Axeliver. Dr. Klim is stated to have great knowledge of artificial intelligence, creating robots, and cloning, but I'm not sure if he created Axeliver. It's possible and likely someone else made it, because otherwise there would be no need for the VLR timeline. Phi being injected would be resolved immediately by Sigma saying "Hold on a sec, I can make a cure." Granted his arms were blown off at the time, but he'd still have the knowledge to cure it so it wouldn't have become an epidemic.

Whether a shifter is immortal depends on your understanding and thoughts on the concept of life and death. Technically speaking they could theoretically shift to another timeline or point in time given the proper circumstances in an infinite cycle to escape death. However at the same time, if someone shifts to them couldn't they technically end up in a situation where they might die? Also, theoretically are you continuing to live you've abandoned your own life as you know it and started living a completely different life? Yes your consciousness remains, but you're not the same person. Your relationships could be different, your circumstances, etc. It's a philosophical conundrum which the game itself did mention lightly during actual gameplay, not providing any big answers of its own, considering it's meant to be a thought experiment proposed to the player.
This door is more than it appears to be. It separates who you are from who you can be. You do not have to walk through it. You can run

User Info: badfarmer

badfarmer
1 year ago#8
If they shifted to when they joined Dcom and replayed the ZTD nonary game, it would give them a second chance to succeed. Going back to the dice test example, it allows them to re-roll the dice. The events of VLR is essentially is studying for this test. It wouldn't help them in the outcome, in the end, they too are going to roll again with the same odds. Thats why whether sigma knows about radical-6 and robotics is totally irrelevant/not helpful. You yourself have said something similar in an earlier response. Even if young sigma with all his cat puns came along to try the ZTD nonary game, he would have no disadvantage over the old one.

Now if the dice test had a subsection of questions that you had to answer before you can even attempt to roll the dice, that's where studying would be helpful. It would create a reason for old sigma to be needed and more importantly, a reason for the events of VLR to exist.

I think a simpler timeline without changing the story elements in ZTD would be this:

young sigma joins dcom->fails-> tries again by shifting to beginning, prompting him to rejoin dcom and loop.

It creates kind of a paradox where Sigma's original motivation to join dcom doesn't exist but since this game does a lot of these loops anyway (e.g Delta prompting his own birth even though if he was never born, it would be impossible for him to do) it would still be valid.

Also about Axeliver, that would make sense too. But then it means sigma hardly did anything useful in his 45 years...and by useful, I mean something that gives them an edge in the ZTD nonary game...

User Info: ZeroEscape3

ZeroEscape3
1 year ago#9
That kind of loop you propose isn't like the other bootstrap paradoxes. (Well, perhaps Delta's motivation for his own birth, but I think that's just a plot hole. He was dead, so it's hard to say how he could have known anything about that timeline.) In Zero Escape, the basic unit is consciousness (which would include the "motivation" you mention, or at least the reasoning behind it). In a bootstrap paradox, there's a causal loop: eg, Akane (in 99)/Sigma (in VLR) experiences a Nonary Game in the future, then returns to the past believing the game must be recreated in order to achieve the apparent goals of that game... and, with that motivation, plan everything out with a trusted partner. The game provides motivation which provides the game. But in your version, the motivation comes from nowhere. Or if you say that the motivation to play the game comes from their previous attempts... then they would have had to play the game an infinite number of times. See, in a bootstrap paradox, no consciousness experiences infinity... There is a loop of causality, but life goes on before and after for each consciousness involved.
(Admittedly there are some weird things, like Phi's brooch, with an inscription that nobody asked for and which must be indestructible because chipping it would prevent it from looking the same when it goes with baby Phi through the transporter ... etc. ... but that's matter, not consciousness. Uchikoshi may not be familiar with entropy.)

The real question is why Akane kidnapped Sigma in the wee hours of Christmas and froze him in a treatment pod instead of kidnapping him a bit later and bringing him to Dcom. Perhaps because Dcom is not a Nonary Game. Perhaps because it didn't happen that way according to their memories. Hard to say. There may have been original timelines and original motivations, but after that point they've been confounded by "fate": things happen the way they were previously observed. And the escape game designers of ZE seem to like following fate.
Makes you wonder if disobeying fate is an option. Are parallel universes as easy to access as they appear? Does recreating a timeline from observations prevent paradoxes (the contradictory kind)? If there are such paradoxes, would a paradox destroy a universe or just restrict the possible nature of that universe?

It's very complex. And since mortals (eg Uchikoshi) are fallible, there may not even be a good answer. Maybe ZE is fundamentally inconsistent.
Posted using GameFlux

User Info: badfarmer

badfarmer
1 year ago#10
You bring up a number of good and interesting points.

Also you're right, in my suggested timeline, the lost motivation can be considered a plot hole but imo, it's only a small hole that can be patched easily. Like you said, in the original timeline, Akane could have kidnapped Sigma and brought him to Dcom, starting the chain of events in ZTD. His failure then becomes his motivation for his loops in the later timelines. There wouldn't be infinite loops however as it would end when their ideal future timeline is created and branched off (like timeline E in VLR).

Thinking about it though, it opens up a whole new can of worms; how did Akane know to kidnap Sigma and take him where he needed to go in the original timeline? How did she meet Sigma etc? What is her chronological timeline before/after 999? *coughzeroescape4:akane'sstorycough*

Still, this isn't really relevant in the big picture, my original purpose for suggesting that timeline was to show a more logical flow of events rather than the line followed by the game. Unless you can convince me Sigma needed that 45 years for something, I feel like it's a plot hole/doesn't make sense. You did mention fate and how the characters are trying to recreate it but what made it happen in the first place? Do you get what I mean? The action or inspiration has to start somewhere, kind of like how you pointed out Sigma's loss of motivation would be a plothole in the timeline I suggested. Considering how complicated VLR was, I can't think of any reason they would do it if they didn't need to. It's like wanting to go from A to B but instead of going straight from A to B, go from A to C,D,Z,7,@ and then do a loopy loop over back to B. And I feel like disobeying fate should be an option honestly. Fate shouldn't restrict their ability to think. How can Sigma/Akane not think "wait, why can't we go back now?" or "why are we really doing this" once during 45 years?

Also, just thought I should mention but Delta knowing about his own birth isn't really a plot hole. Remember, he has the amazing power of mindhacking (lol) and can peer into his parents mind to see how he was conceived, as creepy and weird as that sounds.
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