Hour One: Junpei's On A Boat
I just can't seem to do one liveblog at a time, and since I pretty much have to play 999 upon request from a friend, I'm going to liveblog it.
I know absolutely nothing about it. I've never read any reviews, walkthroughs, articles, anything on it. I've never even seen a commercial for this game. I've only watched the trailer on YouTube
, and that was some months ago when I said I would play it, but obviously didn't. I do know that it's for the DS, it's some kind of mystery... survival... investigation kind of game, and it is apparently made of pure awesome, according to the friend that is making me play 999.
It's not going to be that interactive, if only because I don't know how open this game is to reader input and also because I've already got one interactive LB going, and if this goes the same as my interactive L Bs
have in the past, I'll probably be finished with the game long before I even finish the LB itself.
But anyway, let's dive into the mysterious world of 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors.
The game starts off with this cool intro, which I'm going to skip, since it's basically just the game trailer thrown in before the start screen, and provides no real bearing on the story, other than suggesting there may be occult forces at work here.
Once we start the game proper, we're treated to the sound of a roaring ocean... or a close approximation of a roaring ocean, at any rate. Some fog rolls about onscreen as several steel things that look like doors scroll by.
Suddenly, several smokestacks on a ship◊
and a digital countdown appear, accompanied by an extremely irritating beeping noise as the numbers count down from nine. Once they hit zero, the ship glows blue, then explodes.◊
We're then treated to the first bit of narration for the game:
A loud noise startled Junpei awake, and his eyes snapped open. As they adjusted to the light, he realized that he did not recognize his surroundings.
We can now see what Junpei sees◊
on the top screen, while the narration continues along the bottom.
With a crack, Junpei's head connected with something metal. He rolled over and threw out his hand to steady himself, but he found himself groping at empty air. His balance lost, and his still-fuzzy mind struggling to understand what was going on, Junpei tumbled down to the cold, gray floor.
Yeah, he really says it that way.◊
Too bad this game has no voice acting.
Junpei: Gah! What the hell!?
He also has a bit of a potty mouth, or so I've been told. So do I, which is why you won't see me complaining about it.
Junpei glared around the room, still trying to determine where he'd woken up. The fall had shaken the last cobwebs of sleep from his mind, and he finally understood where he'd fallen from. It was a bed.
A 3-level bunk, in fact.
I sure hope the narrator doesn't hold our hand like this the whole game.
Junpei had fallen, apparently, from the topmost bunk.
If it was apparent, then did you really need to explain it?
His shoulder hurt, his knee hurt, his hip hurt... His entire body hurt.
I would imagine so.
He could feel a bump forming on his forehead, where he'd slammed it against the low ceiling. He wondered if that bump was the reason he felt his vision wavering a bit, but that seemed unlikely.
Sounds reasonable to me.
At first, he thought the tremor that ran through his legs was just another effect of his rude awakening, but as he looked around, he realized it was real... The whole room was shaking. Was it an earthquake, he wondered. It didn't seem likely. It was shaking far too quickly for an earthquake.
This kid is such a doubter.
Then again, Junpei had no idea what it was, if not an earthquake. He tried to tell himself it was important.
Uh, yeah. Usually when you're in a room that's shaking for no apparent reason, that tends to be kinda important. Just sayin'.
Junpei rubbed the growing bump—
—on his head—
—and gingerly climbed to his feet. His balance regained, he finally took his first good look◊ around the room...
...And muttered to himself.
Junpei: Where... ...Am I...?
His pain momentarily forgotten in the face of the confusion of his circumstances, Junpei looked around the room once again. Minutes passed while Junpei struggled to get his bearings.
Then, as suddenly as they had begun, the tremors ceased. A cold silence fell over the room.
From somewhere far away, Junpei could hear the sound of metal squeaking. He felt his stomach tighten. There were a thousand things the sound could have been, but none of the things he could think of were good.
Then he's clearly not thinking of everything.
In an attempt to distract himself, Junpei looked around the room once more. There was a stove◊ that looked more antique than functional. The 3-level bunk bed◊ had mattresses that were so thin that they were little more than blankets.
On the other side of the room was an identical bed, and set in the wall between the beds was a slightly dirty iron door.◊ The first thing Junpei noticed about the door was the number roughly emblazoned across it.
On the surface of the door, in red paint, someone had written...
Junpei: ...? What's this  mean...
It means that someone likes math and vandalism? ...Damn, now why does that sound familiar?
Suspicious, and still utterly confused, Junpei approached the door, slowly. Standing, at last, in front of the door, Junpei grabbed hold of the L-shaped handle.◊ A push yielded no movement, and a pull the same result. A few more tries cemented the truth in Junpei's mind: it wouldn't open. It didn't matter how much he pushed and shoved. The handle wouldn't budge.
Oh well. Better luck next time, Junpei.
Next to the door was an odd-looking device◊ that reminded Junpei of a card reader. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the odd-looking device was keeping the door shut.
I would hope so.
Junpei knocked, hard, on the door.
Junpei: Hey! Hello? Is anyone there!? Open the door!
There was no response.
Junpei threw his left fist into the door—
...The knocking I could understand, but... Who punches a solid steel door with their bare fist?
Junpei Dumbass Count: 1
Junpei: What the hell is this...
He wasn't really sure what else to say. On his left wrist was a bracelet of a sort he'd never seen before.◊ In the center was a large LCD display. It looked like nothing else so much as a watch, but it clearly wasn't that. After all, it showed only a single number.
Say hello to what I can only assume is your standard Deus Ex Machina plot device— now in wristwatch flavor!
Junpei: (5)... That's...that's the same as the door...
He can count! Aw Junpei, I knew you had to be good at something!
True, the numbers were the same, but he had no idea what that might mean. All he knew was that it was strange, and new, and he wanted it off. Junpei flipped his hand over, as if to remove a watch, but... The other side of the bracelet was solid: no buckle, no clasp, nothing.◊
Expect me to get nitpicky with how often they seem to like referring to his plot device as a bracelet. It just looks too much like a watch for it to be a bracelet of any kind.
He sighed, and flipped the thing back over. There were a number of rivets around the rim of the face. Perhaps... He pushed them, but nothing happened.
THE RIVETS, THEY DO NOTHING!
On a watch, they might be dials for adjusting date or time, but on this bracelet they did nothing.
I'm sure they do something.
That would be stupid to mention them if it's not relevant somehow. They wouldn't do that. ...Right?
Junpei was at a loss. What was he going to do? Growing more desperate, he began to tug at it.
Seems a lot of this narration becomes interesting out of context. Expect me to comment a lot on that, too.
Junpei: Urrrrng! Damn! Ugh! It's no good... Damn thing won't come off!
A steel ring ran from the face, around Junpei's wrist, and back in to the face. He wouldn't be pulling the bracelet off any time in the near future.
Junpei: What the hell is the deal with this thing?!
Frustration and desperation were beginning to mix as the reality of the situation began to dawn fully on Junpei. So much was happening, and none of it made sense. Junpei felt as though he were about to explode.
Junpei: Where am I!? And why the hell am I here!? Why! Why!? What the hell happened to me!?
It was at that moment that he noticed the window. The window was round, rimmed in riveted brass, like a window from an early 20th century ship.
...A ship? Wait a minute... Didn't we just see that ship explode not five minutes ago?
Junpei: What...? Wait... Am I in a ship?
Junpei walked slowly toward the window.◊ He could see nothing beyond it but thick, impenetrable darkness. Junpei squinted, trying to see something...anything...
It was at that moment—
Junpei: What the—!? ... You gotta be kidding me!◊ Wh-What the hell is going on here?!
A crack split the glass of the window, and for a moment Junpei stared at it. Then the window burst, and water began to pour into the room.◊
This doesn't bode well.
Junpei: WHAT THE HELL! GODDAMN IT!
Junpei yelled, and spun around. His feet slipping on the water already coming through the window, he ran for the door.
Junpei: Hey! Anyone! Is anyone there!? C'mon, if you're there, say something!
There was no reply.
Unable to escape the flood, Junpei drowned and the ship sunk to the bottom of the dark ocean. Some say his ghost still haunts the sea to this day, screaming profanities at passing ships and raving about bracelets...
Okay, so maybe that's not exactly
how it happened.
As Junpei screamed, and pounded on the door, the water began to rise. It was now ankle-deep on the floor, and rising quickly toward his knees. Things were not looking good for Junpei. Not good at all. He needed to find a way out—and quickly!
Junpei ran a hand across his forehead, brushing the sweat out of his eyes, and looked around the room.
And now we get to the 'exploring the room for shit' phase, or the 'SEEK AN ESCAPE!' mode, which we will cover in the next installment.