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#51 by [deleted]
2014-03-17 at 14:54
The intention for this kind of pacing is to exhaust reader's trust in the reality of what is happening, build up suspense and intrigue, give reader the time to try to come up with solutions by himself and when he succeeds - introduce a new mystery/problem to him.
This would have been far more effective if it wasn't for the scenes from the perspective of other characters (the omnipotent audience) which removes the ambiguity of whether an event was just a delusion. On a side note, if you enjoy mysteries and misdirection then you should give Umineko a read sometime.

Not sure what you mean by omnipotent audience. That we get to see details about what's happening out of Takumi's perspective? Well, I don't see this as something bad, for me it made things only more intriguing. Although, I would probably left scenes with committee meetings out of the story, but then it would seem like the Big Bad appeared out of nowhere.
I have three problems with the 3rd party scenes such as the committee meeting. (1) It utterly destroys the mystery aspect of the novel if you have the villains explain exactly what they're doing and why, and it provides proof that he isn't entirely crazy (which would have been the most interesting route IMO). (2) It distances the audience from the protagonist, we can no longer share his confusion. (3) It's lazy writing. Watching the villains have a secret meeting where they unnaturally introduce who they are and what they are planning to do is something I'd expect of an old Saturday morning cartoon, where the young audience can't be expected to infer ambiguous identities and motivations so they explain it all beforehand.

it's also not really close as whole to Chaos;Head. And in Details, I think that Total Recall shares a little more common with Chaos;Head.
I'll probably reread it in some near future, or watch the movie which I haven't seen.
You're right, Total Recall is closer to C;H. I'd consider the Scanner Darkly to be more like what I wanted C;H to be, less action, fewer (real) conspiracies, and more on the protagonist's warped perspective.

As for the film, I didn't expect the nature of the Scanner Darkly to be compatible with film but I was wrong, it's pretty darn good and may be the most faithful adaptation of any of his books. It's definitely worth a watch, even if only to view the trippy rotoscoping effect they used.
#52 by guiltyweek
2015-02-21 at 09:02
I really enjoy this game cuz of its vaguely disconnected early 1900s design of the ship. there's something about everything that strangely comforts me
#53 by adormus
2016-12-13 at 11:28
I don't like it to be honest. Yeah, I've read every single route and up til the True End I was quite intrigued with a solid (psycho-)thriller. But once on that route it became just plain silly. Not so much because of the underlying metaphysics that made no fucking sense. I usually just accept those things as they come, since its a fictional story. So it might as well have fictional physics.

The problem howver is, that the games einding is unpredictable. Like "Predicting Trumps election back in 1995"-unpredictable. There's just nothing pointing towards it apart from the morphogenetic field nonsense. And even with that knowledge its a HUGE stretch.

ever17 did a way better job a this. There's hints everywhere pointing to the true end. Names, Dates, conversations. Stuff that felt off somehow or just didnt match suddenly made sense. Thinking back about the story of ever17 shortly after reading it made me realize just how obvious all of it was. Well, obvious when looked at in hindsight of course.

But 999? Nothing. It just came out of nowhere. And that's very poor writing in my book.
#54 by loctar87
2016-12-13 at 23:23
@53 There were some hints, especially in the Safe ending: The fact Santa's sister died 9 years ago, June's disappearance in the Safe ending, the fact that the previous Nonary game involved two sites with psychic communication, the fact that "Zero's" bracelet is actually a 6. I would agree it wasn't really solvable in any real sense, but it didn't completely just come out of nowhere.

(Also, why isn't Umineko on your VN list? If you like mysteries and are willing to overlook random metaphysics, then it's a natural fit for you!)
#55 by adormus
2016-12-14 at 21:25
I began reading Umineko some 10 months ago. But my HDD became an EXHDD. Didn't start it again since. But I guess I'll give it another shot soon. It's just that the "childish" art style puts me off a bit.

That's one thing I really liked about 999. The character sprites were awesome. Especially for a low pixel DS release.
#56 by adormus
2017-02-09 at 12:12
Well, now I've read all three Novels. VLR did a way better job with the pacing, hints and conclusions. It's overall a way better VN. I especially loved how Phi's first greeting already spoiled the whole story in retrospect.

ZTD had some good parts, but is imho the worst part of the series, since it becomes overly easy to predict the outcome. Everyone should know who Zero is 3-5 hours into the game, depending on your fragment selection. But what really killed it was the excessive shifts. It just killed any real anxiety in the game. Granted, that happened in VLR as well, but it wasn't this bad.

Also, the voting in VLR had a personal component to it. You saw your fellow victims and had to argue with them afterwards, which left a greater impact if you chose betray.

Oh, there's also a part I hated about every part of the trilogy: The cast never questions Zero. I can't count how often the phrase "This can't be because Zero said xyz" came up. As if a perceived psychopathic murderer couldn't lie about rules. A lot of the friction in VLR came from the conclusion that one of them had to be a murderer. And they believed that because Zero said there were only 9 people in the complex. But why would you swallow that so easily? It makes no sense to me.
#57 by any13th
2017-03-23 at 00:15
I just beat all 3 ZE games, and it's been quite fun, even if it gradually declined from game to game.
I feel that the decline was because of an attempt of one-upping the previous game in shock-factor.
-As well, the endings got worse, with 999 being conclusive and satisfying and hence the best ending. VLR had a great twist imo, but got a little convoluted and didn't conclude in the way that 999 did, as it was setting up for ZTD. ZTD of course is the worst ending, with its epilogue being put in text and the ending left annoying up to interpretation.(Not to mention the tons of unresolved plot holes)
To add on, each game had it's own set of weak characters. 999 had Lotus and the 9th Man(I see them as filler spots). VLR had Alice and Quark.(Not as bad as the others) ZTD had Eric and Mira(My issue with them is that they were just aggressors and rather simply written characters).
I hope that Kotaro Uchikoshi's next game, which all we got is the title "Project Psync" uses ZTD's shortcomings as a model of which to make itself better.
#58 by any13th
2017-03-23 at 09:11
To add on, ZTD set up pretty well for another game where they fight the "religious fanatic", but they just decided to end it there. Additionally the fact that the epilogue was delivered in files got on my nerves. I wanted some type of bonus ending like in VLR with ?'s ending. The closest I got was the perspective ending, which doesn't even compare. If only there was another ZE game... It'll live on in spirit I guess. Perhaps Kotaro could at least make his next few games exist in the same universe as Zero Escape.Last modified on 2017-03-23 at 09:13
#59 by bunny1ov3r
2017-04-23 at 02:48
I am just wondering, for the steam nonary game version played on pc, how can I skip through the texts?

So far I know pressing on "Q", "space", or "enter" are the equivalents of going to the next line, but I haven't found the skip function yet.

Thanks in advance.

PS: currently I am just pressing on Q, space, and enter like mad with my two hands, rather tedious.Last modified on 2017-04-23 at 02:53
#60 by loctar87
2017-04-23 at 21:53
When you are on previously read text, cycling through Auto mode also includes a Skip mode. And, of course, 999 now includes a flowchart you can use to jump around so there's significantly less skipping required than in the original.

There's also an All Skip option that lets you skip through all text, including text you haven't read yet, which is enabled from the options in the main menu before entering the game. Not recommended unless you've already 100% the game in the past.Last modified on 2017-04-23 at 22:00
#61 by bunny1ov3r
2017-04-23 at 23:32
alright thanks

edit: I literally can not believe it. The same trick! Almost the same trick as ever 17! Came out of nowhere, unexpected! Wow! I'll admit it got me again.Last modified on 2017-04-24 at 08:32
#62 by eacil
2018-04-15 at 01:54
I started it and after one (bad) ending, I can say the map feature is badly made.

- It's unreadable. I used it near the end because I didn't remember all the door's location and numbers/symbols and the rhythm was starting to suddenly speed up but I couldn't trace down my path exactly. It's blurry and the big green rooms are bleeding on the corridors. Sometimes, they zoom on some zones and everything becomes clear with the door and all. Really sloppy work.
- It has no indications. You can't use it to remember the numbers/symbols. Useless.
- It's spoilerish. They spoil you the rooms from parallel routes. Thank you very much.

I had to export the map piece by piece and draw over it to be able to follow what is going on. Not really appreciated.
#63 by tyr
2018-04-15 at 09:44
Yes, the remake is terrible. Your fault for not playing the original game.
#64 by cross
2018-04-17 at 20:27
The ps4-version also has an "interesting" feature, it doesn't show you most of the text by default, you have to activate a specific reading mode for that...
#65 by eacil
2018-04-17 at 20:58
I should have started that in t8987.
You can switch between NOVEL and ADV modes. The ADV mode cuts all the narration and retains only the dialogues when NOVEL appears to be the raw output. That said, even in ADV, they force NOVEL mode when required.

How was the map in the DS release for it to be good?

Another thing I discovered is the fact that the map is
- incomplete. No steam room or torture room for example.

What I also not like is the fact that you are _forced_ to use the flowchart when you reach an ending. It's like savestates in an emu, if you use them, you lose the general completion of the game.
That said, I guess you can resolve that by ignoring the flowchart and just keep going with your saves before using the flowchart for speed completing a save when you have done everything. I don't know if some routes are not unlocked only when you trigger some flags, though.Last modified on 2018-04-17 at 21:00
#66 by tyr
2018-04-18 at 15:07
There is no map feature in the DS release.
You never know where in the story you currently are and you also notice the pattern of the routes only when you have already finished them.
I'd argue that this is the reason why there is more tension in the original.

I think they changed that in the remake because players were too stupid to get the obvious hint in the safe ending and didn't know how to get to the true end lol.

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