Apr. 18th, 2017

kjorteo: Screenshot from Daedalian Opus, of a solved puzzle with the text "GOOD" displayed on underneath it. (GOOD)
Hoo boy do I have a lot to cover on this one. I love this game's story to pieces but it has so many issues in execution. It's the sort of game I absolutely could not put down on any given run (except one, which we will cover shorty,) but between runs I shelved it for months to almost years at a time because the thought of slogging through it all again was just... sigh. It lives right on the edge where if the story weren't as amazing as it was, I'd never have put up with all the glaring design issues and this would have been an ABANDONED entry instead. Of course, if the design issues weren't so horrible, maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to get through this game which I did ultimately like.

Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (or 999 for short) is a visual novel with miniature point-and-click room escape sequences in between stretches of pure reading. You play the role of Junpei, an ordinary college student and one of the titular Nine Persons who have all been kidnapped and forced to play their way through this twisted puzzle escape sequence on a very-slowly-sinking ship. Each Person has a number assigned to them from 1 to 9. Because of "it would take forever to explain" plot contrivances, the Persons must get through a series of numbered doors which will only open for sub-groups of no smaller than 3 but no larger than 5 Persons, and only if the digital root of the Persons in the sub-group equals the number on the door.

Digital Roots are when you add up a bunch of numbers, and if the sum is greater than 10, treat each digit as another number and add those up, until you're left with a single-digit number. For example, the group of Persons 1, 4, and 9 could get through door 5, because (1+4+9) = 14 and (1+4) = 5. The game is completely obsessed with digital roots and even gives you a automatic tool specifically to calculate them.

Junpei is Person 5. Person 6 (code name June) is an old childhood friend he hadn't seen since elementary school, and every other Person in the cast is a complete stranger. The cast must get to know each other and work together to solve puzzles and escape with their lives, all while working on the mystery of who kidnapped them, why them, and why this game. The overall plot is phenomenal, and no matter how much I hated the actual gameplay at times, I cared deeply about this mystery and I always wanted to know what happened and what it all meant, and that was what kept me coming back through... well....

Like I said, there are a lot of issues that drag the otherwise stellar experience down. I've been waiting to write this entry so I can rant about them pretty much since I started this project, so buckle up. Heavy spoilers, by the way.

Read more... )

Whew. Okay. So. That was easily the longest entry in this series I've ever done, if not one of the longest entries I've ever written period. I've been in a love-hate relationship with this game for years and I had so much I wanted to get off my chest now that I'm finally done. But... oh, God. It's over, both the game and this writeup. It's over. I... this is the most relieved I've felt to have finished a game since my Dagger of Amon Ra Let's Play.

It was a good game, though.

Mostly.

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kjorteo: Pixel-style portrait of Celine's face (Default)
Celine Kalante Love

July 2017

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