Welcome back! It’s 999 time – if you haven’t been keeping up, I’d suggest starting at the beginning to learn about the formatting and how the whole thing works.
We’ve cleared our first non-tutorial puzzle of the game, and now we’re… er…
… talking about funyarinpa. Anyways, let’s return to your usual sort of scheduled program.
(They stepped through the door to find themselves in a wide hallway.
Junpei, June, Lotus, and Santa stopped for a moment, and looked at their surroundings.
A short distance away, a metal grate extended across the width of the hallway. They took hold and shook, but it refused to move. Nearby was a pair of elevators.
It took only a few button presses to determine that the elevators would not respond to their efforts.
They could only assume the elevators were not powered.
There was only one door left.)
Junpei: Well, looks like we don’t have any choice.
June: Sure does.
Lotus: Well then, let’s open it.
(Junpei grabbed hold of the knob, and quietly pushed the door open. He entered, slowly, trying to take in as much of his surroundings as he could. The others followed shortly.)
Santa: Oh… So it’s a kitchen…
(Santa did not look pleased.)
June: What were you expecting?
Santa: Isn’t it obvious? The exit. I was hoping this would be the way out of here.
Junpei: Heh. You really think it’d be that easy?
Santa: Yeah, yeah, I know. Still…
I’m kind of with Santa on this one; I was hoping that getting through the Mars door would lead us back to the deck, where we could hook up with the others again. Looks like it might not be that simple, though.
(As they talked, Lotus headed deeper into the room.
…Until at last she stood in front of a door.)
Lotus: If we can just get through this door, we should come out on the other side of that grate we saw earlier.
Junpei: But…don’t we need a key for that…? …Sorry. I guess that wasn’t very constructive…
(Neither Junpei nor Lotus looked terribly happy. Junpei dug the ship map from his pocket, and spread it out in front of him.
As he did…)
Santa: What’s that?!
Junpei: Huh? Oh, yeah, I guess I forgot to tell you. I found this a little while ago. It’s a map of the B Deck–
Oh, for heaven’s sake, Junpei. That’s a Very Important Thing.
(Before Junpei could finish, Lotus snatched the map away from him.
She ran her finger across it, muttering to herself.)
Lotus: I knew it. See? Look.
(Junpei did as he was told.
Santa and June moved over to look at the map as well.)
Lotus: See? We came in here. If we go out there, then we’ll be on the other side of the grate.
(With her finger Lotus traced a path on the map. She was right. Satisfied that she had been correct, Lotus folded the map and handed it back to Junpei. He took it, and slid the valuable piece of paper back into his pocket.)
June: There’s a card reader on the right side of the door.
Santa: Then that means the [key card] is somewhere in here, right?
Lotus: That seems the most likely.
Junpei: All right, we know what we need to do then. Let’s get moving! First off, I say we split up and look for clues.
Okay, so there’s more than just the one puzzle behind each of the numbered doors.
And NekoJonez here got a music cue for you! Yeah, until now, the DS version was silent besides the sound effects for the text appearing.
Good to know! Let’s just examine some stuff. We’ve got… round plates!
Lotus: I think there are 15 of these plates. I’m assuming they’re for seafood…
Junpei: How the hell can you tell that? They look just like any other plate from the 99-cent store…
Lotus: If you ever take a lady out to dinner, you’re going to embarrass yourself. I feel sorry for June.
Junpei: Wh…wh…wh…why the hell are you bringing up June!?
Lotus: The lady doth protest too much, methinks. You are not terribly subtle.
Junpei: Those 9 plates look pretty expensive.
Lotus: They’re plates for appetizers. Remember, appetizers usually come on square plates.
Junpei: Okay, okay. Well excuuuuuuse me, princess.
Oh, you did not just go there.
This was actually the first time that a game has thrown a meme in my face.
Deeper round plates!
Junpei: 1, 2, 3… There’s 10 of ’em. If you flip these over, they look like hats. The middle is super deep for a plate…
Lotus: They’re soup plates. They’re made that way so that the soup doesn’t spill. If we ever get out of here, you should treat yourself to a nice dinner out.
Junpei: What makes you think a poor college student has the money to do something like that?
Junpei: There’s a bunch of little wavy ridges on this plate.
Lotus: Those plates are for serving meat. Ugh. You really are ignorant, aren’t you?
Junpei: C’mon, it’s not like I need to know this crap… Geez…
A note! About plates!
Junpei: This voucher doesn’t match the number of plates on the table…
Lotus: It says “Appetizer 9, Meat dish 10, Soup A, Seafood dish F” on the voucher. And the plates on the table are… “9 Appetizer, 16 Meat, 10 Soup, 15 Seafood”. Maybe they’re using [hexadecimal] here.
Junpei: And hexadecimal is…?
Lotus: It’s a number system that goes 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10, 11… You’re familiar with base-10, right? That’s the “normal” system of numbers. The base-10 equivalents for hexadecimal numbers would go like this: A = 10, B = 11, C = 12, D = 13, E = 14, F = 15… And 10 = 16. The 10 becomes 16 in base-10. I know it sounds strange, but you can think of it as just 6 letters
added on to the normal number system after 9.
Junpei: (thinking) A = 10, B = 11, C = 12, D = 13, E = 14, F = 15, 10 = 16, and so on… I think I get it…
Oh, bugger. Maths puzzles. This is gonna be fun. Well, I guess the plates that are going to be important are the ninth appetizer, the sixteenth meat, the tenth soup and the fifteenth seafood. Can we do anything with that information right now?
Oh, wait, the voucher just lists how many there are. I guess it’s a hint that we’ll need to do something in hexadecimal later.
Well, about hexadecimal. Since I’m quite interested in computer science; this is somewhat common knowledge to me.
How about the counter over there?
Kay-o. Let’s check around a little more. To the left, we’ve got a table with a little pot on.
Junpei: Wow. This pot looks like it’s made out of silver.
June: I bet drinking tea from this pot would be really yummy.
Junpei: (thinking) Spending a day off with June, drinking tea… Could such a day ever happen
Junpei: Oh, nothing. We don’t really need hot water, so we should be moving on.
How about this noticeboard?
Santa: It’s a note. It’s got a bunch of stuff written on it, but it doesn’t look like a code or anything like that.
We try the door, opening into a room full of… what looks like cheese?
Yup, that’s cheese.
I don’t know for sure, mate. I think that we should write “Cheese” on all of them. I mean, how else is the waiter going to find the cheese that says “Cheese”? Yeah, think about that. Is this cheesy enough for you or does it need more cheese?
Junpei: Hey… There’s something behind the cheese.
June: You’re right. Why don’t we move some of the cheese.
Junpei: All right guys, time to move it. June and I need to look behind you… There’s a little green bottle back there.
The bottle in question contains oil, apparently. Maybe we’re gonna have to cook something.
On the shelf next to the cheese, we have a little case with a rusty knife in. So that’s fun.
Junpei: A rusty knife… I don’t think we’ll be able to use it while it’s like this…
(The knife seemed important, Junpei thought, but it wasn’t going to be much use the way it was.)
June: It’s futile.
June: You know… A waste, useless, pointless…
Junpei: Oh… Um… Any particular reason you wanted to bring that up?
June: Oh, no reason, really… I was just thinking about Futility…
(She wasn’t making much sense… Junpei tried rephrasing his question.)
Junpei: Why were you thinking about Futility?
(At last, she answered.)
June: Well, it has something to do with the Titanic.
Junpei: The Titanic?
June: Yep. Have you ever heard the story that the sinking of the Titanic was
June tells us a story… about a story. It’s a long one, so I’m just going to sum up the main points.
In 1892, 14 years before the Titanic sank, an American called Morgan Robertson published a novel called Futility. In the novel, a large cruise ship collides with an iceberg and sinks. It just so happens that the ship in the novel bears an awful lot of similarities to the Titanic, and some of those similarities are on the novel’s Wikipedia page. It’s quite weird.
Well, June is quite interested in this stuff. Remember last episode? We also got to talk about the Titanic a bit.
Oh, yeah. Everyone on this boat knows stuff. Let’s hand back to June.
June: Everything matches the Titanic almost exactly. It was almost as if he’d seen the whole thing happen. But this book was written 14 years before the Titanic sank.
June: But that’s not all. It wasn’t just “Futility” that predicted the sinking of the Titanic. There were 2 other, similar stories written by a man named William Thomas
Stead. Both of them before the accident… One in 1886, and one in 1892. Stead wrote 2 stories that had striking similarities to the Titanic disaster. In one, 2 ships collided, and many of the passengers died because there weren’t enough lifeboats. In the other, a ship collided with an iceberg, and sank.
Junpei: Hmm… I dunno. I mean, I’ll give you that it seems a little weird, but… I’m pretty sure it wasn’t too uncommon for ships to hit icebergs back in the day, or even other ships.
June: Right. I knew you’d say that.
June: But…what if Stead had some sort of special powers…? To be more specific, what if he had the ability to do automatic writing…?
Junpei: What? Automatic writing? Wait, are you… Are you talking about that thing where someone says they’re possessed by a spirit and then they write a bunch of stuff without knowing what they’re writing?
Junpei: What do you mean “yes”… That stuff’s a load of bull!
Junpei: Okay, so let’s say–hypothetically–that automatic writing isn’t a total load. These guys still couldn’t have predicted the sinking of the Titanic. When this Stead dude wrote his thing… Nobody had died on the Titanic yet. So if automatic writing is about being possessed by spirits of dead people… Who the hell possessed him so he could write that stuff?
June: That’s not it.
Junpei: What’s not it?
June: Stead wasn’t possessed by a spirit. He was doing the possessing.
Junpei: What are you smoking?!
June: William Thomas Stead was a passenger on the Titanic. He just wrote down what he saw with his own eyes. …20 years before it happened…
(He decided it was probably best to say nothing. What June was saying was insane and utterly absurd. If he tried to take what she was saying seriously, he’d go mad.
Junpei smiled uncomfortably.)
Junpei: Well…uh… Why don’t we talk about this some other time…okay?
June: Huh…? But…
(Her voice trailed off, and she glanced at the floor, troubled.
Junpei tapped June gently on the shoulder and awkwardly reached around her to pick up the knife from the box.)
Well, that was a really long stream of uninterrupted chat, but I think it needed to just be there. I mean, it’s some intense stuff. Is it important? I have no idea. I mean, what have we learned in the relatively short time we’ve been playing this game? We’ve heard about a frozen, unmelting Egyptian princess, Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance, now time-travelling Titanic passengers… somehow I get the feeling that all this stuff is actually going to be relevant and come into play at some point, which can only mean that the plot’s going to get really fucking weird pretty quickly.
This is why I love this game series so much. While this game has a lot of horror elements, it’s not in your face with jump scares or monsters. The story and setting are so creepy that it crawls under your skin quite quickly. Yet, they are useful memories to have, no?
Anyway, the main thing to take away from this for our immediate purposes is a rusty knife, and we’ve got that, so… woop. I feel like that must be what we needed from this room, so let’s head back out to the wider area and do some more digging.
Over here we’ve got some bins (empty), a rolling pin and a colander (‘nothing useful’, to quote Santa), and some unremarkable plates. We can also have a look at the oven-like thing in the background (an oven, I presume).
It’s got a drawer for cleaning out the fat and juice that drips through the grate, but the drawer’s stuck. I try the oil, just in case we can somehow douse the whole thing and lubricate it sufficiently to pull it open, but no luck. I guess we’ll have to come back.
There’s a cupboard with a combination lock. I don’t think we’ve got any clues as to what the code might be yet, but let’s have a look anyway.
Oh, it’s not a cupboard at all. Whoops.
Lotus: This is probably what you’re supposed to use to enter the password. Maybe if we put in the right number it’ll open the oven door. Junpei, maybe the note you found earlier…
Junpei: Yeah. I know.
The one with the plate numbers in hexadecimal? Hmm.
Junpei actually just tries Lotus’ suggestion without me having to do anything, but no good. We’ll have to find something else. Still, plenty of places to search in here!
Over in the corner is a door locked with a card reader, so maybe we can expect to find the key card behind the combination lock. In another corner is another door, this one with a rusted bolt lock.
Junpei: (thinking) This bolt is rusted in place. It won’t budge. Of course! Maybe if I put some oil on it…
Junpei: Just a little bit of oil, and… Come on! Come on, you little son of a bitch!Whoa! …Ha! Yes! Got you, you little bastard!
June: You did it, Jumpy! You’re so smart!
Junpei: (thinking) The bolt is off! It’s all oily and gross, though…
Genius. Let’s see what’s behind this door…
(As Junpei walked into the room, a blast of cold air washed over him. Almost instinctively, he folded his arms tight across his chest, doing what he could to conserve body heat.)
Junpei: Brr… It’s cold in here! What is this place…
Santa: Are you blind? It’s a freezer.
Aha. Maybe there’ll be something to eat!
(Santa’s teeth had already begun to chatter. Hardly surprising… The freezer was far too cold for someone dressed as he was. Lotus, however, was in an even worse situation.)
Lotus: Oh, no way! That’s way too cold for me. I’ll freeze solid in seconds. Sorry, but I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on this one. I’m going to leave the rest to you.
I kind of can’t blame her, to be fair. She’s wearing basically nothing, and all that jewellery would get really cold really fast.
Personally, I hate cold places myself. Since I’m quite sensitive to it and I can easily have a cold because of it.
Understandable, but I’m guessing you’re not usually dressed like Lotus when you go to cold places…
(And with that, she ran out of the room. As Lotus left, June came in.)
June: Whoa… It’s really cold in here…
(White puffs of steam hovered in front of their faces as they talked. June had already started to shiver.)
Junpei: Hey, you don’t need to be in here. You had a fever just a little bit ago. You should stay outside. We got this.
June: No, I’m fine. My fever’s gone now.
(Junpei had scarcely opened his mouth… when the thunderous sound of metal upon metal rang out from behind them. In unison, they spun around, to find that the door they had only recently come through…
How do you pronounce that?
Hrm, I think something like a worried gasp. To be honest, I think it’s more of a facial expression with a sound. Like you realize, while you are in the shower, that you left something cooking down stairs. You know, something like that.
I always hear it as the sound effect that plays when guards notice you in Metal Gear Solid.
(Junpei rushed to the door. Desperately, he grabbed hold of the doorknob–)
(It was cold–beyond cold. Merely touching it was painful. The doorknob had been frozen solid. They quickly deduced that the pipe next to the door had ruptured. Water released by the rupture had hit the door and frozen instantly.
Santa shoved Junpei aside and pounded against the door.)
Santa: Hey! Lotus! You’re out there, right? Open the door!
(She wasted no time in responding.)
Lotus: What do you want? What’s going on?
Santa: The door won’t open! Try opening it from that side. Please!
Lotus: Ugh, fine.
Wow, thanks for the enthusiasm. To her credit, she does give it a good go…
Lotus: Nggrrr… Arrrrrgh! NNNNNNNNNNNNRRGH!
(Then the grunting ceased, and they could hear light panting, as if from exertion.)
But no dice.
Oh, for heaven’s sake. Not good.
(Santa was shaking like a newborn deer. June was hugging herself and was shivering violently. Even Junpei, with the heaviest clothes of any of them, was clearly feeling the
With every breath they took, they could feel the cold working its way deeper and deeper into their bodies.)
Junpei: A-A-Anyway… L-Let’s f-find a way out… If we don’t get moving, w-we’re gonna be permanent residents!
June: T-T-Two heads a-a-are better than n-none. I-I’m sure we’ll figure something out…
Santa: Y-Y-Y-Yeah. Y-You’re right. L-Let’s just take a good l-look around this room, okay?
(They pushed in close to one another, and began to search.)
Okay, so we’re now having to ‘SEEK A WAY OUT’ of the freezer so that we can get back into the room we’re supposed to be ‘SEEKING A WAY OUT’ of. Hopefully there’s something useful in here! (If it turns out this room was optional and I’ve just locked myself in here for no good reason, I’m calling bullshit.)
Our only points of view are facing straight forward into the freezer and looking back at the door, the latter of which isn’t going to be something we can do much with until we’ve found a solution, so let’s check out this room’s chilly contents.
In the big unit over by the wall – which I would call a freezer if we weren’t already in one, so maybe it’s a freezer within a freezer? – we find a nice little bag of dry ice, which will surely come in handy in such an already cold place.
So, about that freezer in a freezer thing. I honestly think it’s just a cupboard designed to look like a freezer…? That’s the best thing I can come up with.
(Junpei picked up the dry ice with his sleeves so as to avoid burning himself.)
Santa: Dry ice is just frozen carbon dioxide, right?
Junpei: Yeah, it is.
Santa: I wonder how warm it has to get for it to turn back into gas again…
Junpei: Hell if I know. How’s that gonna help us, anyway?
Santa: Oh, well, I figured we might be able to use it to get out of here.
(They were about to move on when June spoke up.)
June: Carbon dioxide’s sublimation point is -109 degrees. Any warmer than that, and it’ll turn into gas. Any lower, and it becomes a solid.
(Junpei looked at her, dumbfounded.)
Junpei: How do you know that?
June: Tee-hee. Despite my looks, I’m the Qleen…bleh. Ahem…the Queen of random knowledge.
Junpei: Looks bad to mess up when you’re showing off.
June: Argle mouf *Mumble* *Mumble*
Junpei: Oh, you’re so cold your mouth’s going numb?
June: Yef. Wats wite.
Junpei: …You’re just doing that on purpose, aren’t you?
(June giggled, and did her best to hide her guilt. At least she was still feeling good enough to joke around, Junpei told himself.)
Santa: C’mon guys… Don’t you think that’s kinda weird? I wonder why it doesn’t turn into a liquid first…
(Santa was now shivering at an astounding rate, but his curiosity seemed unaffected.
Junpei, however, was not in a mood to discuss science.)
I can choose to either ‘want out of the freezer right now’ or strike up a discussion about it being a bit odd. I mean, yes, it is peculiar, but we really do need to be getting out of here ASAP and so in the spirit of not dying, I’m going to try to wrap this up. Something tells me we’re going to be getting a science lesson anyway.
(His patience was wearing thin.)
Junpei: How the hell would I know!? And how the hell is that gonna help us get out of here?! We don’t have time for this crap–
(Junpei stopped mid-sentence, surprised by June’s interjection.)
June: Under enough pressure, carbon dioxide will turn into a liquid.
Junpei: This isn’t really a good time for a chat about science!
June: But…I was wondering the same thing…
Junpei: Wondering what!?
June: Wondering why carbon dioxide doesn’t turn into a liquid unless it’s under
Santa: Right? It just seems weird… Water’s a liquid between 32 degrees and 212 degrees… So why isn’t that the case for carbon dioxide? H20 and C02 are pretty similar.
Junpei: No, they’re not! They’re totally different substances! Look, guys, if we keep this up we’re just gonna freeze to death! You good with that? You wanna die talking about sublimation and gases?! ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t!
Yeah, that was kind of my thinking, too. I’m getting the impression that this game is going to have a lot of very long and detailed chats about things that don’t appear relevant at first, but which will probably all come together at some point. I rather like it! I mean, I did study literature and philosophy for three years; that’s pretty much just long and detailed chats about things that don’t appear particularly relevant.
Well, you can keep asking questions about everything. One time, I heard somebody say that the most annoying game in the world is the “Why?” game. Always answer with the question “Why?” on every reply you get.
I basically have a degree in asking ‘why’ to everything. My other half’s much more scientific than I am, so she hates things not having a final answer. Me, I like questioning every answer, but it does annoy her after a while!
But, we are getting off track here. So, this IT-guy decides that we continue with the Let’s Play.
(He fixed both of them with a glare.)
Junpei: Now let’s get back to work. Assuming you don’t want to end up like a pair of ice sculptures.
(Junpei turned around, the problem dealt with.
…Or so he thought.)
June: There’s a kind of ice that doesn’t turn into liquid when it goes above 32 degrees. I…heard about it… Its melting point is 96 degrees.
Santa: Its melting point is 96 degrees? You mean there’s water that freezes at 96 degrees?
June: Yeah. Well, you could also look at it as ice that won’t melt until it’s
Junpei: (thinking) “Water that freezes at 96 degrees?” “Ice that won’t melt until it’s 96 degrees?”
Junpei: So what’s this ice with a melting point of 96 degrees called?
June: I heard it’s called [ice-9].
June: Originally, [ice-9] was a made-up substance invented by a science-fiction
author. …But recently, scientists have discovered that such a substance
Hm. Another instance of writers describing things before they happen, like the bloke on the Titanic. Is it to do with that morphogenetic field thing? Can Lotus’ idea of telepathy work as a form of time travel or future prediction, too? That’s the only way I see this all linking together, even if I don’t see how it’s all likely to make sense yet.
Junpei: Wait. Hold up. So is this thing called [ice-9]? Or is it water?
June: Like I said, if the ice is over 96 degrees it’ll be liquid, if it’s under that, it’ll solidify. So you could think of it as a polymorph of H2O. Here, think of it like diamonds and graphite… They’re both made of carbon, right? But depending on the structure of the crystallization, the hardness and structure are completely different.
Junpei: So you’re saying normal water and this ice-9 are like that…
(She wasn’t finished.)
Of course she wasn’t.
June: Have you heard the story about the crystallization of glycerin? For 150 years after the discovery of glycerin, people cooled it, warmed it, and did all sorts of things to it… But whatever they did, it never crystallized. However, one day in 1920…
June: Some glycerin that was en route to England by ship was discovered to have
crystallized during the trip. Naturally, scientists worldwide wanted to research this new, crystallized form of glycerin, and began asking for samples of the seed.
A seed is, of course, a sample of the original crystallized substance. With a seed crystal, further crystallization of glycerin would be a simple matter.
However… Something very strange happened.
Not only did the glycerin encouraged by seed crystals begin to crystallize, nearby samples did as well. It didn’t end there. After that day, all glycerin in the world began to crystallize naturally when cooled to less than 64 degrees.
Before that day, no matter how glycerin was cooled, it refused to crystallize.
But once the crystallization had begun…
It was almost like… How do I put it… It was almost like all the glycerin in the world was communicating. Communicating in some way that we can’t sense…
That’s fucking weird. Is this stuff true? I mean, did this actually happen in real life? And how the heck does this tie into the Nonary Game? I mean, it must be important somehow, otherwise we wouldn’t be hearing about it. I feel like the whole morphic resonance thing is going to be a big deal somehow.
I gotta hand it to the girl: even if this isn’t completely true, it’s thought-provoking.
Jonez, I daren’t look this stuff up for fear of spoilers; d’you know whether this is legit?
In this case, I was also interested. So, I googled Ice-9. And here is the strange thing. I found a Wikipedia page that might claim this is real, but I also find a Wikipedia page claiming that it’s fake. Decide for yourself, here is the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-nine_(disambiguation)
Okay, so it looks as if Kurt Vonnegut was the writer June mentioned (I knew the term sounded familiar; it’s from his story Cat’s Cradle), and there is a real substance called ‘Ice IX’, but it isn’t quite the same as ice-nine. As for the glycerin thing, not a clue whether that’s real. I’m hoping there’s some sort of ‘The Science of 999’ blog/ series somewhere, but I’ll have to wait until after finishing the game to go looking for that.
Don’t worry, the stuff you will need to know will be explained in-game. So, you don’t have to look anything up. Unless you are interested in the theories after you finished this game.
Oh, I’m 100% going on a crazy science binge after we’re done playing this.
(…Was honestly impressed.
It was, in fact, a pretty interesting story.)
Junpei: Wow… That’s pretty interesting. But…uh… What does that have to do with ice-9?
To his surprise, it was Santa, and not June, who answered.
Santa: What she’s saying is that it’s a lot like ice-9. What happened, I mean.
Junpei: A lot like…? That would be bad. If water everywhere started freezing at 96 degrees… Man…
Santa: It’d be the end of the world.
Hm. Maybe there’s some ice-9 on the boat, and at some point we’ll discover it and that’ll cause all the water surrounding the ship to spontaneously freeze? That would be… intense. It’d be interesting if future puzzles use this idea somehow, but also probably really irritating to figure out.
(Junpei felt that Santa might not be treating the idea of the end of the world with the proper concern.)
Santa: At any rate, we’re not gonna have to worry about the end of the world unless we can get out of here pretty damn quick.
(He was right. Junpei shivered.)
Santa: All right guys, I think that’s enough of that. I didn’t think we’d get quite this far off-topic… I mean, I know I’m kinda at fault here, but we can’t be screwing around
any more. Seriously… I might go by the name Santa right now, but I didn’t grow up in Iceland. I freakin’ hate the cold. So, let’s get crackin’ all right? We gotta find a way out of here.
(Santa stomped off, clearly doing his best to pretend the cold wasn’t affecting him.
Selfish, isn’t he, thought Junpei to himself. Still, Santa was right, and it was high time they got back to their search. The story of [ice-9] had him interested, but there’d be time to think about that once they’d gotten out of the freezer. Junpei looked at June, nodded, and resumed his search of the room.)
I can’t deny that I’m very intrigued by all of these little things we keep learning in our conversations with everyone. If nothing else, we do all seem to have one thing in common: extraordinary and specific knowledge about eclectic fields of science and pseuodoscience. It also gives us a nice sense of each character’s personality, which is a hard thing to do with a main cast of eight – but then, only having a couple around at a time also helps with that.
Back to it! In the same box thing where we found the dry ice, we also pick up some frozen chicken. This doesn’t prompt a conversation about telepathic chickens, slightly disappointingly. That seems to be all in there, so we have a look at the other shelves in the room and find…
….one big old hunk of frozen pork with something sticking out of it. Maybe a clue to the way out? If we can get out of the freezer, we might be able to use the oven to defrost the meat and reveal the solution.
June: Jumpy, is there a slip of paper in that meat?
Junpei: I think there’s something written on here, but I can’t read it like this… If we try and pull it out, it’ll probably rip…
Santa: You need to defrost that. Don’t think we’re gonna be doing that in this room.
I can’t see anything else of interest, so let’s quickly check the area around the door, where I haven’t really looked yet.
Apparently the water dripping out of the pipe almost feels warm. Hm. I doubt it’s warm enough to defrost any of the meat. Maybe we can… warm up the dry ice to make… wet ice? I dunno.
Ah, that’ll be what we’re meant to be doing. I don’t think this is airtight, though. Must be something else we can use… I haven’t examined the chicken yet, so just for fun let’s see whether that gives us any hints.
June: It’s really hard. It’s frozen stiff.
Junpei: Hey, June, can you say that again?
Junpei: Say it again.
June: It’s…really hard.
June: It’s…really hard.
Junpei: Th… Thanks.
Santa: Somethin’ wrong Junpei? Your face is bright red.
Junpei: N-Nothing. I’m fine.
June: If it’s that hard, you can probably use it as a hammer.
Junpei: Yeah, good point. Maybe we can use it to break something.
These two are hilarious. I examine the chicken a few more times for a laugh.
Oh, for heaven’s sake, June, you know what you’re doing.
Don’t worry, one of the best scenes with these two has yet to come. It got me laughing so loud, I had to put my DS down for a bit. Also, I have to agree with you. The writing can be really funny in certain parts of the game.
I’m having a really hard time categorising this game into any genre. It seems like a mystery with horror elements on the surface, but it’s hinting at elements of the supernatural or science fiction, plus it’s starting to feel like a weird philosophical surrealist comedy.
June: Jumpy… It’s…really hard. It’s like a hammer. Nom nom…
Junpei: Don’t eat it!
So the overall gist seems to be that the chicken could be used to break or crush something. I try using it on the doorknob and a few other things, but to no avail, until I eventually have a thought and attempt to use it on the dry ice.
Right. Good. That’ll be… helpful, somehow, presumably. I guess we’re looking for an airtight container so we can blow the door. Hopefully it won’t cause too much of an explosion.
I turn around again, looking for anything that might be useful, and for the first time I spot what seems to be a hatch in the floor.
In the little space, we find some rope and a bottle. I figure the bottle is the container we’ve been looking for, so I shove the dry ice inside.
June: So you put the dry ice in the water bottle, Jumpy? If it explodes, it could probably blast away the ice on the door.
Santa: So…how are we gonna get it to stay against the doorknob?
Ah, that’ll be what the rope’s for.
Junpei: All right, that’s set. So…uh…what do we do now?
Santa: We just need to give it a little, uh, tap. The bottle’s already about to pop. If we just throw a rock or something at it, it’ll go off all on its own.
Junpei: A small rock? A small rock…
(Junpei looked down at the floor… Scattered across it were pieces of dry ice left over from the larger chunk he’d crushed earlier.)
Junpei: All right, this oughta do the trick.
(He pulled his sleeve down over his hand to keep from getting burned, and grabbed the chunk of dry ice. It was a pretty good size… About as big as a pool ball. He figured it would be just about the right size.)
Junpei: All right guys, stand back. Actually, we should probably hide somewhere.
(Both Santa and June looked at him with new concern.)
Santa: Where, exactly, do you expect us to hide, genius?
June: There isn’t really anywhere big enough…
Junpei: Yeah, there is! Look! Right here! We can hide in there!
(Junpei pulled open the door to the small cellar.)
Junpei: Come on! Get inside, quick!
(Santa and June nodded and jumped down, into the hole. Junpei quickly followed. In his hand, he could feel the chill of the frozen carbon dioxide, even through his sleeve.
He tightened his grip, took aim, and prepared to throw.)
Junpei: All right, here it goes!
June: You’re counting the wrong way!
Junpei: All right, for real this time. You guys ready?
June: Yes! Whenever you’re ready!
Santa: Just throw the damn thing…
Junpei: All right, here I go!
(Junpei threw the chunk of dry ice as hard as he could. With the same motion, he ducked down into the cellar with Santa and June, just as–)
(Junpei leapt up out of the cellar and ran to the door.)
June: Jumpy! The ice on the door! Is it gone?!
Junpei: Yeah! It’s gone!
Santa: The blast must’ve shattered it!
Junpei: Yes! All right, let’s see if it opens!
(Junpei grabbed the knob and pushed, with all his might. The door gave way easily, and all 3 of them tumbled out of the freezer at once.)
June: Hooray! We’re out!
Sweet! We still have to complete the rest of the puzzle to get out of this room, but at least we’ve got out of that room and back into this one.
(June, relieved, collapsed onto the floor.)
(Santa shoved past Junpei and ran straight to the grill, which he immediately grabbed.)
(He proceeded to kick the grill in a futile but amusing fit of rage.
But…where was Lotus? It took Junpei only a moment to find her… She was sitting on the counter, idly scratching her chest.)
It’ll take her a while to scratch all of that. *seedy chuckle*
I’m sorry, you guys, I feel like I’m making way too many jokes about Lotus’s boobies. It’s just low-hanging fruit, y’know?
Well, the animation doesn’t always boing– help, I mean. I swear I meant to say help.
Oh, yeah, that’s a point. You guys are just getting screenshots, but whenever Lotus changes her pose there are a couple of animated frames, and they’re a bit… bouncy, sometimes.
Lotus: *Yawn* Welcome back. I was starting to get tired of waiting for you guys.
(With a great yawn, Lotus lowered herself off of the counter. Junpei clenched his teeth and walked toward her.)
Junpei: What…were you doing…?
Lotus: What do you mean, what was I doing? I was waiting.
Junpei: We were gonna die!
Lotus: Oh yeah? But you didn’t, so everything worked out all right, didn’t it?
Junpei: What the hell…
Lotus: Just kidding! It might not look like it, but I was really worried.
Junpei: Don’t gimme that crap!
Lotus: I’m telling the truth! I mean, if you died, then I’d be in trouble too. If you died, then I’d be stuck here, and I’d die too. See?
Lotus: I did all I could. I even looked around to see if there was anything I could use to pry
open the door. But I couldn’t find anything. …So all I could do was wait. I mean…what else did you want me to do? Call the cops?
(It was true that there wasn’t much she could have done, but something about her tone…
Junpei gritted his teeth.)
Junpei: Fine. But there’s one thing I have to ask you.
Lotus: What’s that?
Junpei: You didn’t close the door…did you?
Lotus: Wh-What?! You think I closed the door on you? Why would I do something like that?! It closed on its own! I told you before, if you die, then I die too!
(She was right, and Junpei knew it. Without them, she’d be in very serious trouble. It seemed that an accident was the only explanation for the door’s closure. If Lotus had really wanted to kill them, all she would have had to do was bar the door from the outside…
And she hadn’t. Well, she hadn’t done anything.
The most she was guilty of was laziness, or negligence, not attempted murder. Junpei swallowed his anger, and did his best to apologize.)
Junpei: Well. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I doubted you.
Lotus: Hmm? Oh. Yes, well, that’s all right. As long as you understand.
(Lotus looked away and twirled her hair between her fingertips. His vengeance against the grill complete, Santa swaggered back toward Junpei and Lotus.)
Santa: Hey! No more screwin’ around you 2! Break time’s over. Especially for you, lady. You’ve just been sitting on that fat ass of yours while we were freezing to death.
Lotus: How rude! I was plenty busy!
Santa: Yeah, yeah, how about you put all that energy into something besides
bitching. Let’s go!
I like these two idiots. Let’s see about defrosting that pork…
Lotus: Hey, what are you doing!? What are you going to do if the paper burns!?
Santa: C’mon, it’ll be fine. I mean, it’s not like it’s gonna burn right away, right? We just gotta keep an eye on it, and the paper’ll be fine.
Junpei: (thinking) Well, they can argue all they want. I’m gonna keep an eye on this pork…
Junpei: Cool, looks like it’s about time. I’m gonna try taking the paper out.
June: Jumpy, be careful.
Junpei: (thinking) Sweet of her to care, but I know what I’m–
June: See…? I told you.
Santa: Hey, what the hell are you doing? Hurry up and take the paper out–
Junpei: It’s not coming out. This thing’s frozen stiff. I can’t get it out.
Lotus: So are we going to have to cut the meat?
Junpei: Yeah, looks that way.
Hm. I don’t think the rusty knife will do the trick, but it’s all we’ve got, so let’s give it a bash.
Nope. Must be something we can sharpen it on, though.
Next to the sink, I find a whetstone, which is exactly what I need. Thanks, Zero!
Yes, Junpei, that would make sense.
RUSTY KNIFE EVOLVED INTO KNIFE. Let’s try this again.
Aaaand we get ‘pork note’, one of my favourite names for an item ever. C + 10 + F, it says. Okay, so C was 12, 10 is 16 and F is 15, which makes… er… 12 + 16 is 28, plus 15 is 43, right? Is that the code, just ’43’?
I always wondered what they did with the rest of the pork…
Lotus: “C + 10 + F”… Do you think it’s some kind of code?
Santa: Damnit! They’re just screwing around!
Lotus: Junpei, do you know what C and F stands for?
Junpei: You think maybe it means “Corporate Finance”?
Junpei: I thought it was “Clever and Funny”.
Nothing on the back. I’m not really expecting this to work, but let’s give it a go.
Huh. What do ya know.
I have to admit something here. I got somewhat stuck here in my first playthrough; for some reason I thought this was a digital root puzzle too… So, I kept trying 7 and it didn’t work.
Inside, we find a key card, which I can only assume will open the door to our freedom! Well, the next puzzle. Eventually, freedom. Maybe. Y’know.
We’re out! I mean, there’s probably going to be more to do on the other side of this door, but that seems like something to find out next time. See ya again soon!
And we are out as well, join us next time when we will do something … something that might turn the story in a whole new direction…