Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, released in Japan as Kyokugen Dasshutsu Adventure: Zennin Shibou Desu (極限脱出ADV 善人シボウデス?), and in Europe as Virtue's Last Reward, is a visual novel developed by Chunsoft. It is the sequel to the Nintendo DS title 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and is created by the same staff, including writer-director Kotaro Uchikoshi and character designer Kinu Nishimura.[4] The game contains full voice acting (English and Japanese in the North American version and only Japanese in the Japanese and European versions),[4] and is rendered in 3D models, rather than 2D sprites like its predecessor. Though the story is self-contained, it contains several references to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.[5]

The title was officially confirmed for a late 2012 release by Aksys Games (which also published the North American version of its predecessor) in North America via Nintendo Power magazine's March 2012 issue. It was published in the PAL region in November 2012 by Rising Star Games.[1]


There are two main types of gameplay in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. As a visual novel, the game primarily involves interacting with non-player characters and making choices that alter the outcome of the story. The player is given the additional responsibility of choosing whether to betray a character, or to cooperate with them.[6] If both characters choose to cooperate, they both gain BP. However, if one character betrays another, the character being betrayed loses points while the traitor gains a greater amount of points.[6] If both characters choose to betray, no points are gained or lost. (This is a slight variation of the prisoner's dilemma, a classic problem in game theory.) The plot and ending of the game will vary depending on whether the player chooses to betray or cooperate with other characters. The game offers a timeline function that allows the player to travel to select points in which he or she can make different choices and replay puzzle sequences, the timeline function is also integral to the story overall.

Every moral decision made in the game can have a major impact on the direction of the plot, which can be radically altered by even the smaller decisions. [2] In total, there are up to 35 different possible ending scenarios. [3]

The game also contains various puzzles, in which the player interacts with the environment in order to escape from a room. Solving puzzles can drastically alter the environment of a room. If the player fails a puzzle too many times, the characters in the room with them will offer hints on how to complete it, eventually revealing the solution to the puzzle.[5] However, the game also introduces a slightly harder difficulty to the game in which during puzzles, the non-player characters will not give hints.


Sigma, the main character, is kidnapped and awakens in an elevator with a girl named Phi, who seems to know him. Zero III, a talking rabbit,[7][8] appears on a computer monitor in front of them and tells them they must escape the elevator; the pair find themselves in an abandoned warehouse alongside seven other people.[7][8] Their goal is to escape the building. However, they find themselves enrolled in a game known as the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition,[5] which relies on a system called "Bracelet Points" ("BP"), which are won by cooperating with or betraying other players. A player is allowed to leave the warehouse if only they possess nine or more BP; however, if a player's BP reach zero, they are killed by a lethal injection.[2]


File:Good People Die Characters.png

The game relies upon nine characters introduced at the start of the game. Each of the characters wears a watch-like device that identifies them, as well as keeps track of their score in the game.[7]

  • Sigma (シグマ Shiguma?)- An ordinary college student who has been abducted and thrown into the Nonary Game. Or is there more to it...? Sigma is a generally bright, honest young man, although he can be a little... inappropriate at times. He’s easily swayed by his emotions, which makes him a poor choice for a game about trust and betrayal. He serves as the game's protagonist. In the animated promotion movie, he is voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi in Japanese, and Troy Baker in English. He is unvoiced in the game itself.
  • Phi (ファイ Fai?) - Her cold intelligence comes across in her curt speech and no-nonsense attitude. Is she an ally? Or is she the enemy? She is voiced by Chiaki Omigawa in Japanese, and Karen Strassman in English.
  • Dio (ディオ Dio?) - A mysterious man with a singular sense of style. His comments are often insensitive or downright mean, although whether this comes from intentional malice or simple ignorance is unclear. [6] He is voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya in Japanese, and Liam O'Brien in English.
  • Tenmyouji (天明寺 Tenmyouji?)- A stubborn, grumpy old man. He seems to have no patience and less trust for anyone in the group. [6] He is voiced by Rokurō Naya in Japanese, and J. B. Blanc[citation needed] in English.
  • Quark (クォーク Kwōku?)- A sweet and cheerful boy. His childlike curiosity and boundless energy hide an exceptionally clever and analytical mind. [6] He is voiced by Rie Kugimiya in Japanese, and Erin Fitzgerald in English.
  • Luna (ルナ Runa?)- A kind and quietly intelligent young woman. She speaks softly, and always advocates for the most peaceful, optimistic solution.[6] She is voiced by Mamiko Noto in Japanese, and Laura Bailey in English.
  • Clover (四葉 Yotsuba?) - A slightly unpredictable young woman. Apparently this isn’t her first Nonary Game. [6][9] She is voiced by Yukari Tamura in Japanese, and Wendee Lee in English.
  • Alice (アリス Arisu?) - An exotic, focused, powerful woman. The reason behind her dislike for shirts is unknown. Her body water is rumored to be Ice-nine.[10] She is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka in Japanese.
  • K (K Kei?) - A mysterious man in a suit of what appears to be armor. His face is hidden by a mask, and no one knows his name or his age-not even him. [6] He is voiced by Daisuke Ono, and Travis Willingham in English.
  • Zero III (ゼロ3世 Zero San Sei?) is a CGI (Computer-generated imagery) rabbit that serves as the gamemaster and oversees the progression of the Nonary Game. An AI that gives penalties to those who go against the rules. It gets its instructions from "the true Zero", who appears to be one of the 9 players. It is voiced by Tarako in Japanese, and Cindy Robinson in English.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 88% [4]
Review scores
Publication Score A-[11]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9.0 / 10[12]
Famitsu 34/40 (9/8/9/8)
Game Informer 8.75 / 10[13][14]
GamesMaster 88%
GameSpot 8.5 / 10[15]
IGN 9.5 / 10[16]
Official Nintendo Magazine 88%
DarkZero 9 / 10
Destructoid 9.5 / 10
gamrReview 9.0 / 10[17]
Nintendo Life 10 / 10
RPGFan 90% [5]

Critical reception of the game has been very positive, with Famitsu giving it a score of 34/40 (9/8/9/8), IGN giving it 9.5 out of 10, GameSpot giving it 8.5 out of 10, and RPGFan giving it a 90% score.

On December 17, 2012, GameSpot named it the Handheld Game of the Year.[18] GameSpot also nominated it for the overall Game of the Year award, but lost to Journey.[6] IGN also gave it the award for Best 3DS/DS Story, in both the editors' choice and readers' choice categories. [7]

RPGFan awarded the game for both the "Best Graphic Adventure" [8] and "Best Story"[19] awards, beating The Walking Dead in both categories.

Publication Award Result
Game Informer Best Handheld Exclusive Won[20]
GameSpot Handheld Game of the Year Won[21]
IGN Best 3DS/DS Story of 2012 Won[22]
IGN (People's Choice) Best 3DS/DS Story of 2012 Won[22]
RPGFan Best Graphic Adventure of 2012 Won[19]
RPGFan Best Story of 2012 Won[19]
Pocket-Console Game of the Year Won[22]
1UP Favourite Games of 2012 List[20]
Electronic Gaming Monthly Favourite Games of the Year List[20]
GamasutraGame Developer The 10 Best Games of 2012 List[20]
Game Informer Top 50 Games of 2012 List[20]
Amazon Best of 2012 Nominated[23]
Game Developers Choice Awards Best Narrative Nominated[24]
GameSpot Game of the Year Nominated[25]
GameSpot (People's Choice) Game of the Year Nominated[26]
Game Trailers Best Adventure Game of 2012 Nominated[20]
Kotaku 2012 Game of the Year Nominated[27]
PlayStation Blog PS Vita Game of the Year (PSN) Nominated[20]
Pocket Gamer Overall Game of the Year Nominated[22]
Pocket Gamer 3DS / DS Game of the Year Nominated[22]
Pocket Gamer PS Vita / PSP Game of the Year Nominated[22]
Pocket Gamer Best Adventure/RPG Game Nominated[22]


Kotaro Uchikoshi revealed in an interview with Nintendo Power that a sequel to Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is currently in development.[28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gantayat, Anoop (2011). 999 Successor Dated. Andriasang. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  3. Yip, Spencer (2012). Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward Escapes To North America This October. Siliconera. Retrieved on 2012-06-10
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gantayat, Anoop (2011). ChunSoft Developing 999's sequel for Playstation Vita and 3DS. Andriasang. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hou, Laura (2011). Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die Had Many, Many Different Titles. Siliconera. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Yip, Spencer (2011). How The "Game" In Extreme Escape Adventure Works. Siliconera. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Thomas, Lucas (2011). Good People Will Die in 999's Sequel. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2011-11-05
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gantayat, Anoop (2011). First Look: Team 999's New Vita/3DS Adventure. Andriasang. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  9. Yip, Spencer (2011). Extreme Escape Adventure, The Cliffs Notes Explanation. Siliconera. Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  10. Characters: Alice (Japanese). Chunsoft (2011). Retrieved on 2011-11-04
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Awards/Accolades, Virtue's Last Reward
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6
  26. [1]
  28. Hoffman, Chris (September 2012). "Betrayal is a Virtue". Nintendo Power (282). 

External links