Let’s Play – 999 feat NekoJonez – Part 2: Meet The Crew

Yes, that featured pic is gender flips of the cast. Why not? I risk spoilers if I go too deep in my search for memes. Anyway….

Previously:
– We escaped a room!
– We’re on a boat!
– Bracelets!
– People!
– DIGITAL ROOTS!

This music plays in-game during this section.

It’s exciting stuff, y’all. Let’s meet our fellow cast members, shall we?

So, where we left off is with this bo— fan service– I mean… dancer lady.

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???: I guess there’s another one of us now.

(The woman was dressed, Junpei thought, rather like a [dancer]. Her clothes covered very little, and her prodigious jewelry little more.)

Uh, yeah, I’d noticed.

Dancer: Hey! You! Come on! Hurry!

As you might remember, this lady’s dialogue will be in a similar sort of turquoisey colour to that thing that passes for a top.

(With no further ceremony, she ran, straight past Junpei and toward the doors behind him. The sudden proximity of a woman with such striking assets left Junpei
momentarily stunned…)

Breasts: preventing men from thinking straight since… well, forever. Do we know how old Junpei is? I’d guess early twenties, so he can probably be forgiven.

According to some sources, Junpei is 22. Fun fact, his birthday is a day later as mine. 8th of February. But hey, let’s get back to the dancer. 

(…But the others wasted no time, and quickly followed the strange woman.
The first to pass Junpei was a young man with [silver hair]. He threw a quick glance in Junpei’s direction as he ran, muttering…)

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Silver: Hmph. One of us, huh…?

We’re putting Silver in something like grey-blue, since white text wouldn’t show up too well!

Silver is my favorite color. But something I noticed during this section is that Silver’s right eye is drawn a bit weird in my opinion. It almost looks smaller than his left eye. Or is that just me?

I don’t know whether that screenshot just caught him mid-animation or something – I don’t remember whether the DS version had this, but this version has them sort of flapping their mouths when they’re talking in a slightly odd way.

(Following him was an older man, his face calm and without fear. Soft wrinkles sprouted from his eyes, and he came close enough as he passed for Junpei to see wisps of grey in his hair. His composure and shock of hair struck Junpei as rather like that of an elderly [lion].)

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Lion: Going up won’t do you any good! There are 2 doors, but neither of them
will open!

Mr. Lion’s in gold. Seemed appropriate.

(The next to speak was a girl with [pink hair] and a high voice.)

Pink hair: Come on! Aren’t you coming? You gotta hurry!

I don’t think I need to explain why her text is in pink.

Because it’s a girl… no? 

(Her small hand was wrapped around the wrist of another man… His eyes were closed, almost as though he were sleeping. His features were graceful, almost serene… And he was dressed rather elegantly for someone his age. Something about his posture seemed very refined, and Junpei couldn’t help feeling he was noble and dignified, somehow. He’d certainly never seen one, but this man seemed like what Junpei had always imagined a [prince] would be like.)

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Prince: That’s 9 of us, then. All of the cards are in hand.

This regal fellow will be represented by a royal shade of plum.

(What does “All of the cards are in hand” mean, he wondered. Junpei opened his mouth to ask what the other man had meant, but the girl with pink hair rushed past him, and they were gone. He turned just in time to see 2 more people running toward him. One of them had hair like a [bird’s nest], and looked as though a stiff breeze might topple him…
…And the other was a veritable [mountain] of a man.
The scrawny one said nothing, and scuttled past Junpei as though he were running from something…)

Mountain: Hey! What the hell’re you just standing there for!? Didn’t you hear him?!
Junpei: …
Mountain: The doors on A Deck are no good! We gotta check the doors on B Deck! Got it!? Now go!

I was gonna put the big guy in yellow to match his overalls, but it doesn’t show up too good, so he’s red. Junpei’s blue, because he also has a jacket that happens to be a colour.

(Before he had a chance to respond, the man laid a massive hand on Junpei’s shoulder. With no more effort than Junpei would have used to brush aside a fly, the man shoved him out of the way.)

Junpei: Whoa…!

(Thrown off-balance by the man and recent events, it took Junpei a few steps to get his bearings. He finally regained his balance and looked up, at what the other 7 had been
running toward. There were 2 pairs of large iron doors set into the wall in front of him. They looked quite sturdy, and each had handles jutting from them. Written across the surface of each door in red paint was a number.
The door on the right had a [4].
And the door on the left had a [5].)

Silver: They’re the same…

(The guy Junpei had decided to call Silver was mumbling to himself.)

Silver: The room I woke up in had a number on the door, just like that.
Lion: You too, eh.

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(With an arched eyebrow, the lion looked over at Silver.)

Lion: My cell was the same. A number upon the door. I opened it, ran down the hallway outside, and found myself in the rather grand room full of stairs, as, I suspect, did the rest of you.

At this point, I always wondered; did each person had the same sort of puzzle in their cell at the start? Curious Jonez is being curious again.

(It was as though the floodgates had been opened–they all began to talk at once.
“Me too.” “I did too.” “Yeah, a door with a number on it.”
It soon became clear that each one of them had awoken in a room with a locked door, and solved a puzzle to escape. They’d all ended up in the same room… Almost as though they’d been guided there…)

Dancer: Yes, we all saw the same thing! That’s not important! We need to hurry!
Silver: Ya think I don’t know that, lady!?

(Before the dancer had time to finish–
Silver was already running.
He grabbed hold of the door labeled [5] and pulled.
However…)

Silver: Fuck! It’s not opening! This damn thing won’t even budge!
Mountain: Move. You’re in the way.

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(The mountain grabbed Silver’s shoulder and tossed him aside. His path cleared, he took a few steps back, then threw himself at the door.
Once…
Twice… 3 times… 4 times…
The door shook as his body slammed into it, but showed no signs of breaking or opening. The mountain threw himself at the door again. Junpei turned toward door [4]. Next to the door, on the wall, was a small box.
It looked just like the one that he’d seen in his room, next to that door.
If it was the same, then…this door was likely locked as well…
Still, he had to check.
Junpei grabbed a handle and threw all of his weight onto it.)

Junpei: RRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHH!
Gah…!

(It was locked as tight as the door next to it, as he’d suspected.)

Junpei: Damnit!

(Junpei punched the door. It did not respond. Were these the only doors, he wondered. He’d barely finished the thought when the C Deck plate he’d passed on his way up sprang, unbidden, to his mind. His body moved before he had time to think.
Junpei turned, and ran back toward the stairs.
He had scarcely taken a step, when–
At the top of the stairs, next to an ornate clock embedded in the wall, he saw
a person.
It was a girl. She looked to be the same age as Junpei. He froze, unable to look away from her face. He wasn’t confounded by her beauty, or something equally silly… No, there was another reason he couldn’t take his eyes off the girl.)

Yeah, right. Control your hormones, Junpei!

(Junpei had seen her somewhere before.
He couldn’t quite remember where, but he knew… He knew he’d met her before. The girl, too, stared at Junpei, similarly stunned. Her response suggested she’d seen him before as well.)

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???: …
Junpei: …

(Without saying a word, Junpei walked slowly toward her.
She didn’t move. It was almost as though she was held in place by some sort of magic spell.
As Junpei stepped onto her landing, the spell broke. No sooner had he set his foot down, than the whole ship shook a second time.)

???: Aah!

This girl’s going to be green, purely because I didn’t have a lot of colours left to pick from.

(The quake caught the girl unprepared, and she fell–
Moving on instinct, Junpei leapt to catch her…
Or so he thought.
Her face was far closer than it should have been; mere inches from his own. He was flat on his back, and she had landed squarely on top of him. The girl seemed as confused as he did, and her face suggested she still hadn’t fully recovered from seeing him. For a moment that seemed to stretch for a very long time, they stared at one another.
The ship stopped shaking. Everything was quiet.
Water could be heard from the bottom of the ship, lapping faintly at walls and ceilings, but eventually that faded as well.
The silence was complete, a thick, muffling blanket…
At last, the girl opened her mouth.)

Mate, I don’t think Junpei is controlling his hormones at all. 

???: Oh my gosh… Is that you, Jumpy!?

(Jumpy… Jumpy…
Her words echoed through Junpei’s head, and suddenly, his memory returned.)

Junpei: A-Akane!?

(Why hadn’t he realized it before?! The girl was [Akane Kurashiki]. She and Junpei had been friends in childhood–they’d gone to elementary school together for 6 years.
But…what was she doing on the ship?!
Her soft eyes were only inches away from his own… He could feel the warmth of her face…
Feelings he’d thought long-forgotten began to work their way to the surface…
He could feel his face heating up.
At that moment…
A speaker crackled to life, and a cold, eerie voice filled the room.)

Wow, way to ruin a moment. I suspect this girl is going to be a sort-of love interest, but I get the feeling this game’s not going to get too romance-y. Too much imminent death and all.

???: Welcome aboard. I welcome you all, from the bottom of my heart, to this, my vessel.

(With the voice’s invasion, the spell between Junpei and Akane was broken, and
all hints of burgeoning romance instantly forgotten. They hurriedly untangled themselves from one another, and struggled to their feet. Their 7 companions had heard the voice as well, and many of their faces had gone pale.
They looked around frantically, desperate to locate the source of the voice.
At last they found it… A speaker set in the ceiling.)

???: I am [Zero]… The captain of this ship.
Zero: I am also the person who invited you here.

I’m not bothering with a colour for Zero. They can stay black.

(The voice was harsh, obscured occasionally by the crackle of static…
…But Junpei recognized it. How could he have forgotten it?
It was the same voice he had heard from the man in the gas mask.)

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Okay, so the person who abducted us is also the person who’s now speaking to us while we’re all kidnapped on a boat. I mean, I could probably have assumed that. What are the odds that a dude in a gas mask knocked us out, and then we woke up in a totally unrelated boat for entirely separate reasons?

Silver: Hey! Asshole! What the hell is this?! C’mon out here! I wanna get a
look at you!
Lion: What do you mean to do to us?!

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The voice acting’s not bad, but I kind of wish it wasn’t there. I think I have the option to change the spoken stuff to Japanese without affecting the text – might do that. It’s not terrible, just distracting.

Especially when you played this game on the DS without voice acting. But, it’s such a shame that there isn’t even an options menu in the PC port as far as I’m aware. Actually, on one hand, I’m glad that they added voice acting in this game. Since all other Nonary games got voice acting… But hey, let’s focus on the Let’s Play here. A review can come later. 

Zero: I mean to have you participate in a game. Some of you, I know, are familiar with this game. The [Nonary Game]. It is a game…where you will put your life on the
line.

See, that bit about some of them being familiar sounds like a throwaway line, but it’s pretty intriguing. Some of the people here, if Zero’s to be believed, either know what the Nonary Game is – and perhaps they know Zero too? – or they’ve got experience with it. Either way, it suggests the game’s been played before.

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Dancer: Nonary Game…?
Mountain: What the hell’s that?!

(The voice continued, implacable.)

Zero: The rules of the [Nonary Game] can be found upon your persons. They are simple rules. Read them.
Dancer: Nonary Game…?

Our well-endowed friend seems to be turning the words over in her head – notice that she’s just repeated the name of the game twice in a row – so I’m thinking she might have heard them before.

Silver: Hey… There’s something in my pocket… Check this out.

(Silver reached into his pocket, and pulled out a small slip of paper.
The rest of them reached into their own pockets, and pulled out similar slips of paper.  Junpei followed suit, and dug into the pocket of his pants. He felt the tell-tale crumple of paper, slightly damp from his earlier ordeal.)

Junpei: Hey, I got one too!
Lion: Then it would seem Zero has seen fit to grace us each with a letter. Would you mind terribly reading it to us, young man?

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(His request had been delivered to Junpei who, after a short moment of surprise, did as he’d been asked.)

Junpei: On this ship, you will find a handful of doors emblazoned with numbers. We will call them the [numbered doors]. The doors in front of you are a pair of the same.
The key to opening these numbered doors are the [numbered bracelets] that each of you possess. Should you total the numbers on your [numbered bracelets]… and find that the [digital root] of that number is equal to the number of that door, the door will open. Only those who have opened the door may pass through.


Junpei: There are, however, limits. Only [3-5] people can pass through one numbered door. All those who enter must leave, and all who enter must contribute.

([Bracelet], Junpei figured, had to mean the bulky thing on his wrist.
He glanced around. It looked like everyone else had one as well, and had come to much the same conclusion.)

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Junpei: The purpose of the game is simple. Leave this ship alive. It is hidden, but an exit can be found. Seek a way out… Seek a door that carries a [9].

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(Junpei had reached the end of the letter. There was a long moment of silence, and then the speaker crackled to life once more.)

Zero: There is one last thing I must tell you. As you have no doubt surmised, this ship has begun to sink. On April 14th, 1912…the famous ocean liner Titanic crashed into an
iceberg. After remaining afloat for 2 hours and 40 minutes, it sank beneath the
waters of the North Atlantic.

Zero: I will give you more time. [9 hours]. That is the time you will be given to make your escape.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s recap the rules of the Nonary Game, as I understand them.

  • The goal is to escape, and we have nine hours to do it.
  • There are nine of us, each with a numbered bracelet.
  • To open a numbered door, it takes three to five people whose bracelets have a digital root equal to the door number.
  • Only the ones with the right bracelets can go through the door after it’s open. (No tailgating.)
  • ‘All who enter must leave, and all who enter must contribute’. I don’t know what that means. If one dies, all die? If one doesn’t pull their weight, they’re not allowed to continue?
  • The final door is the number 9 door.

I’m assuming that each person has a bracelet with a unique number, one through nine. We know Junpei’s number 5, and there are eight others. So… if everyone makes it to the number nine door… hang on, let me do some maths. All those numbers added up make 45, which has a digital root of nine. Does that mean we all need to be alive to open the final door? Or are there other combinations that’ll work..? Either way, if one person dies, it’s going to screw up how many are able to open the final door.

Little known fact, Nonary also means base-9. I have no idea if this is going to be useful information later in the game. 

Oh, Christ, please say there aren’t going to be maths puzzles in base-9.

(The voice finished, and the speaker went silent. The sound of a bell tolling echoed through the hall. It came from the dance hall adjacent to the stairwell.
It took those assembled on the stairs mere moments to trace the sound to an antique clock embedded in the wall.
7…8…9…
The sound of the 9th bell faded away. The 10th never came. That meant the time was 9 o’clock. Most likely 9 o’clock in the evening.)

(When Junpei had peered out the window of his cell, he’d seen nothing but blackness.
It had to be nighttime.
If that was the case, then they would need to escape by [6 AM] the following day…)

Zero: Now, it is time. Let our game begin.

Zero: I wish you all the best of luck.

(The speaker went silent, and did not speak again. Silver yelled at the speaker with language coarse enough to embarrass a sailor, but the rest of Junpei’s companions were silent, deep in thought.
Junpei, too, was consumed by his thoughts.
There was a great deal he didn’t understand.)

(Who was Zero…?
What was the Nonary Game? Why had he chosen to make them part of it?
Was he a criminal who took delight in playing with his victims? Or did he have
some other purpose?
And why had Junpei been chosen as part of this insane game?
Why had any of them been chosen?)

These are all good questions, and ones I’m imagining we’ll be learning the answers to as we go along.

(But one question was foremost on his mind…
Akane.
They hadn’t seen one another since elementary school.
Why had she appeared now?
Coincidence…? No. That seemed impossible. There had to be a reason. He didn’t know what it might be, but… There had to be a reason.)

Lion: Very well!

(The lion’s voice seemed oddly loud in the silence.)

Lion: Standing around here won’t do us any good. Best we get moving, don’t you
think?
Junpei: …Get moving?
Akane: Are you planning to open the numbered doors?
Dancer: H-Hey! Wait! Don’t tell me you’re actually going to do what this…this Zero says?!
Lion: No, no, that’s not what I mean.

(The lion shook his head, mildly annoyed.)

Lion: I’m saying, let’s find another way. After all, we haven’t really examined this place yet.
Dancer: We…what…?

The gang decide that we should check out the lower decks, since nobody had time to examine them in detail while we were all running away from the waves of death and whatnot. In the DS version, and in the script, it looks like everyone goes off separately for a bit and then joins up together again; in the PC version, we all just sort of wander around together and ponder over how fucked we are. I think I’m also coming to decide that I might not include aaaall of the narration and dialogue, since there’s just so darn much of it, so let’s set the trend here and summarise what we learn from looking around:

The lower decks are totally flooded, but the water isn’t flowing, so Zero might have somehow sealed off the origin point. This seems to mean the water isn’t going to rise until our time runs out, so at least we won’t die that way; we are, however, confined to the dry decks: A, B, and C.

On C, there are a few doors, none of which are numbered but all of which are locked. One, in the back, has a keyhole; two look like elevators (or ‘lifts’, if you’re an Englishman like me) but seem to need a card, as they aren’t powered. The card reader’s got the astrological symbol for Saturn on it; the door in the back’s got the Sun symbol above the keyhole.

(They had seen the same symbols on A Deck. There was a door on either side of the stairs. The one on the left had a keyhole with a similar symbol engraved on it.)

Akane: This is an [Earth symbol]. The horizontal line symbolizes the equator and the vertical one represents the Prime Meridian.

Junpei checks out the ceiling: it’s got what looks like a hole cut for a skylight, but it’s sealed up tight with a big metal plate. In short:

Junpei: We’re trapped. All the exits go nowhere…

(Junpei was not happy.
The girl with pink hair spoke up.)

Pink hair: Well, I’m sure they go somewhere. We just can’t open them.
Mountain: You don’t know that. For all we know, they just open into walls, or take us in circles.
Prince: No, I’m sure they go somewhere. Otherwise, what point would there be? And we can open them. Well, 2 of them, at least.
Junpei: You mean the numbered doors…

(All eyes turned toward the doors with numbers on them.
The atmosphere in the room grew tense.)

Dancer: H-Hey… Wait a minute. I think I said this earlier, but I don’t think we should do that.

(The dancer moved in front of the doors, as if to block them.)

Dancer: We’d have to be crazy to open these doors. If we do that, we’re doing exactly what Zero wants us to do.

(Suddenly, everyone began to speak at once.
“I agree!” “I don’t! That’s a terrible idea!” “We should keep going.” “We should stay here!” “We don’t have any other way to open any of these doors.” “We should just wait. Someone’s bound to come find us!” “We don’t have time for that!” “In 8 and a half hours, this ship is going to sink!”
The clamor of voices made it next to impossible to determine who was saying
what. Their arguments grew more and more intense, until people were shouting and
screaming at one another.
Junpei had remained silent, but at last he could take no more.)

Junpei: Hey! Shut up!

Junpei says some stuff about how they shouldn’t fight, and somehow works that around to the fact that they don’t know anything about each other and should probably exchange information. It’s like networking, but deadly and weird. Most are reluctant, except…

Akane: I agree. I think Jumpy is right.
Mountain: Jumpy…?
Akane: Oh! I’m sorry. I’m talking about him… I just call him Jumpy. His name is Junpei… We’re childhood friends. We went to the same elementary school…
Mountain: Wait! Stop! Don’t tell us stuff we didn’t ask you about! Zero’s probably watchin’ us right now. What’re you gonna do if he’s listenin’ in?!
Akane: Would…that be bad…?
Mountain: Hell yeah it would! We don’t know how much that bastard knows about us. Maybe he just picked a bunch’a random people to kidnap. If that is the case, then it’d be dangerous for us to let him know too much. If Zero knows who we are, he could go after our families. Maybe he’d tell us he had ’em to get us to do stuff, you know?
Akane: But…we still need to know what our names are… It’s going to be hard to talk to each other if we don’t have names.
Mountain: All right, then why don’t we have code names?

To him, apparently, it seemed like the obvious solution.

He’s a big guy who thinks code names are a reasonable suggestion. He’s either an unusually bulky otaku or he’s ex-military or something.

Akane: Code names?
Mountain: Yeah, we’ll each pick somethin’. Like… I’ll be [Seven].
Junpei: Seven? Why are you Seven?

It seemed a fair question.
The mountain stuck out his left arm.

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Mountain: ‘Cause this bracelet number says (7).
Silver: Oh, I get it. Yeah, that’s a good idea.

Seven is a very creative chap, evidently.

He smirked.

Silver: All right, I’m gonna be [Santa]. Any of you chumps know Japanese? No? Well, “san” means “3”. So I’ll be Santa. You know like Santa Claus. Fits don’tcha think?
Lion: Then your bracelet number…
Silver: Yeah, it’s got a (3) on it. Good job, grandpa.

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Just like the mountain had done, Silver thrust out his left hand.
Sure enough, the face of his bracelet read (3).

Lion man is number one, so he picks ‘Ace’. Our dancer-not-dancer friend chooses ‘Lotus’, as it has eight petals and that’s her number. Prince forgoes Ace’s cards theme and goes for dice: he’s number two, snake eyes, so he’s ‘Snake’. (He’s also blind.)

This is revealed by Snake having a set of additional rules in braille in the DS version. I honestly can’t fully recall how it fitted in, but the additional rules are already presented by OverThinker earlier in this LP. 

Don’t worry, Jonez – we’ll actually be getting to that in Part 3. (Spoilers!)

Pink hair girl is number four: ‘Clover’, for good luck. Junpei’s five, as we know, but everyone already knows his name. Wonder what code name he’d have gone for?

Akane almost uses her real name too, out of some sense of fairness, but eventually they decide that as she’s number six, she’ll be ‘June’.

To be honest, I noticed a bit of a hole in the story here. Junpei wasn’t allowed to use a nickname since he kinda revealed his name in previous dialogues. But, Akane is allowed to use the code name June. Even when Junpei shouted her name out earlier for everyone to hear. Yeah. 

And that’s everyone! Or…

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(But there was still 1 person left… He was the man with glasses and hair like a bird’s nest.
He hadn’t said anything since they’d met on the stairs, and he didn’t look like the sort of person who was inclined to conversation. His skin was pale, his breathing was heavy, and he was soaked with nervous sweat.
His behavior seemed very suspicious, or perhaps simply emotionally unstable. It was difficult to tell. Whatever the case, it seemed clear that he had only a fingertip’s-worth of a
grip on his sanity. The girl with pink hair, [Clover], walked up to him, slowly.
She put her hands on her hips and eyed him suspiciously.)

Clover: What number are you?

(He didn’t answer.
His bloodshot eyes twitched from person to person, and his breath came in hot pants.)

Clover: Hey, I’m talking to you…

He points out that it’s pretty obvious which number he is, since we know everyone else’s and there are nine of us. (He’s nine, if that wasn’t clear.)

Clover: What’s your code name?
???: C-C-C-Code…n-name?
Clover: What do you want us to call you? We all made up names. You should too.
???: I-I-I-I-I d-don’t need one.
Clover: Why not?
???: B-B-B-Because I’m n-n-not going to stay here. …With y-you.

(He took a shuddering breath and exhaled.
Clover looked at him with something very like disgust.)

I’m not bothered about giving Number Nine a colour, for reasons that will become apparent shortly.

Clover: You’ve got some sorta plan?
???: I-I do.
Clover: Yeah? What’s that?
???: Y-Y-Y-You sure you w-want to know?
Clover: Yeah…?
???: A-All right. Let me sh-show you. I-I-I-I’m going to do this!
Clover: Aaaaiiiii!

(By the time they realized what he was doing, it was too late to stop him.
The man’s body moved like a snake’s. In the blink of an eye, he had slid around behind her, and wrapped his arm around her waist.)

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Santa: Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing!?

(Silver–[Santa] leapt forward, toward Clover and the 9th Man. He was halfway there, when-)

???: S-Stay back!

(Suddenly the man’s hand dove into his pocket. It came back out with a knife. A pocketknife. He held it to Clover’s pale, quivering neck.)

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???: I-I-If you g-get any closer–!
???: I-I’ll cut her open!

(Santa skidded to a halt. He snarled at the scrawny man with the knife and gritted his teeth.)

???: Y-Yes, that’s right…

(The man’s smile was neither friendly nor reassuring. Sweat poured down his
neck, soaking the collar of his shirt.)

Snake: Clover…are you all right?

(The prince–[Snake’s] voice sounded oddly concerned.)

Clover: Y-Yeah… I’m fine…

(Her voice shook, making her words even less convincing.)

Junpei: What the hell are you trying to do?!
???: I-I told you… This is my plan…
Seven: What’re you gonna do to her, you sick son of a bitch?
???: D-Don’t worry… I-I’m not going to d-do anything to her… If she just does what I t-tell her to, I’ll let her go.

(He started to move backward, slowly, keeping his grip on Clover.
Keeping their distance, Junpei and the others followed. Eventually, the man reached the wall. He gave a start as his back touched it, then glanced around quickly and spoke.)

Our unstable friend gets Clover to put her hand on the device next to the door, which is apparently some sort of scanner. Junpei twigs that this guy seems to know a bit more about how this all works than he ought to…

The blue glow thing seems to represent that Junpei’s thinking to himself rather than speaking out loud, by the by.

Mister Nine also gets Ace to scan his bracelet: now he’s got two people registered with the numbers 4 and 1, making 5. The door’s number is 5: remember, he needs at least three people to make it open, and the digital root needs to equal 5. So Nine makes the third person, and the total is 14: a digital root of 5.

(He pressed his own hand against the scanner panel. A 3rd asterisk appeared on the screen. He dropped his hand to the lever on the side of the device and pulled. The door opened with a heavy, metallic groan.
He let go of Clover.)

Junpei: Wait!

(Junpei leapt toward the 9th Man, but he wasn’t fast enough.
The man shoved Clover…)

Clover: Aaah!

(…And hopped through the door.)

???: O-O-Okay, have a good one, guys.
???: I’m going off ahead now. Well then…
???: Goodbye…

The door closes behind our friend the Ninth Man, and won’t open again despite everyone doing their best.

(That was when [Lotus], the dancer, spoke. Her voice was quiet.)

Lotus: Do you hear something…?
Junpei: Like…what?
Lotus: Like some sort of…beeping…

(Junpei pressed his ear against the cold metal of the door.
The others did the same.)

June: You’re right… I can hear it too.
Santa: What is it?

(Then they heard something else.
It was the 9th Man.)

???: Shit! Why isn’t it stopping?! Goddamnit! Y-Y-You l-lied!

???: Th-Th-This wasn’t supposed to happen!
???: This is wrong!
???: This is wrong!

(His voice shook with fear.
Safe on the outside, they stepped back from the door and looked at one another.)

Ace: What is happening in there…?
???: O-O-O-Open the door! Please! I’m begging you!
???: Help me! Please, get me out of here! Get me out of here!

(Junpei grabbed hold of the device. He slammed his hand on the scanner panel. Nothing happened.
Why didn’t it register him?! He looked at the display where the asterisks had shown up. It said “ENGAGED”.)

???: A-Ah… Oh my God, oh my God, there’s no time left…! Listen! I was lied to! He lied to me! He put me in here!
???: It was him! He killed me! It was him!
???: A…Aahh… Aaahhhh…
???: Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaght–!

20170730211134_1

(The explosion rocked the room.
Instinctively, they ducked, then stood up slowly when they realized there was no danger.
No one spoke.
Silence filled the room.
In that silence, the electronic tone that echoed across the room sounded as loud as a gunshot. All eyes turned toward it.
It had come from the device mounted next to the door.
The display changed from [ENGAGED] to [VACANT].)

20170730211150_1

Oh, okay. So… some stuff happened here. The Ninth Man went through the door alone, which was against the rules; he seemed to think he’d be safe and that Zero had given him some sort of guarantee of protection, suggesting he knew quite a bit more than everyone else about what this is and why we’re all here; alas, there was no such protection and the ‘acting outside the rules’ thing got him blown up. I guess we needed a sacrificial lamb to die here, near the start, so everyone could see that yes, we really will explode if we don’t follow the rules.

Seven: Let’s see if we can open it…

20170730211156_1

And open it we shall… next time.

Thank you for reading this second episode of the let’s play. Or is this a let’s write? Oh well, cliffhanger time. What happened? Find out in the next episode. Cheers.

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