The New ‘Nonary Games’ Remake Makes 999 Way Better

The New ‘Nonary Games’ Remake Makes 999 Way Better

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, a remaster of the first two games in the Zero Escape trilogy, were released this week on PC, PlayStation 4 and the Vita. If you haven’t played 999 or Virtue’s Last Reward before, this is the release to pick up. And if you have, the remaster of 999 is still worth it.

Virtue’s Last Reward hasn’t seen many changes with the remaster, but 999 got two key changes that make the game a thousand times better. 999 was originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2009, and it’s incredible. It’s a fascinating thriller with compelling puzzles and great writing, but with gameplay problems that get more obvious the older the game gets. In order to fully understand the story, you have to get a specific set of endings in a specific order, but the path to those endings can be obscure. On top of that, this is a plot-heavy game with a ton of reading between puzzle solving, which can feel tedious.

Why You Need To Play The Zero Escape Series

On Tuesday, publisher Aksys Games will release Zero Time Dilemma, the third and perhaps final entry in the Zero Escape series. You probably fall into one of two camps. Either you're breathlessly counting down the days until then, or you've never played Zero Escape.

Read more

The remaster makes two simple changes that make the game easier to play. It adds a flowchart to the game that shows you where the plot branches off. This way, if you’re trying to get the true ending, you’ll know how many endings you’ve already gotten, as well as what branch you’re currently on. If you don’t get the true ending, the sequels to this game really won’t make any sense, so it’s great that players now have a better guide to get them there.

999 is also fully voice acted now, in English and Japanese, and it sounds fantastic. Junpei’s English voice actor, Evan Smith, is a stand out. Playing a character who is thrust into a Saw-esque trap is not easy — in such a melodramatic situation, you don’t want to get too maudlin. But Smith’s performance is so natural that it’s very easy to get drawn into his headspace and be fully engaged with the sometimes over-the-top plot. Also, it’s great just to not have to read all the text. I cannot overstate how much text there is in the game. There’s a lot of text.

Every game in the Zero Escape trilogy is worth playing, and the improvements made to 999 make it easier than ever to play through all of them.


  • Fantastic. I loved the first two, and I’m glad they’re more available now. Just need to get around to that third one.

  • Considering how much the twist revolved around the DS mechanics, you’d lose a lot of the impact when it happens, not to mention that the True End is all about the dual screen functionality.

    I don’t count ‘reading is hard’ as a reason for voice work to be considered an improvement tho. Thats like saying audio books are superior to written books because you don’t need to read, at which point you’re left with the reader’s interpretation and voices for the story rather than your own.

    Although, when they left in James Marsters’ flubbing a sequence in one of the Dresden Files audiobooks, complete with an expletive when he realized it and then re-reading the section again, that was hilarious.

  • I played through 999 for the first time a couple of months ago, the main thing I’d want in this remake is the ability to skip whole sections of text/images that you’ve seen before in subsequent playthroughs.

    They let you hold right on the d-pad to quickly skip through text you’d seen, but even with that there would be some segments you’d be holding the button for minutes at a time waiting for the next decision.

  • Aww yis. I always wanted to play these but I’ve never could justify buying a handheld. Excellent news.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!