Headscratchers / Virtue's Last Reward

  • Some votes change depending on your vote - this is made a big deal out of with Phi and is part of how she and Sigma realise that they're both jumping around in time. They're affecting each other from multiple timelines, so they each incorrectly anticipate based on actions in other realities. Fine, that makes sense. But Alice (and, iirc, Tenmyouji) do the same thing at least once. In Alice's case, Sigma comments on how weird it was and talks about all the causality stuff. But why did her vote change? Not just her vote but the justification she uses for it seems completely out of keeping with the Alice who in every other timeline votes Ally in Round 1 (and gets betrayed for it). I was expecting this to lead to a reveal that other characters, not just Sigma and Phi, were also jumping around in time and that this is why they were all being jerks and betraying you at random, because they all had mixed-up information from other betrayals... but instead this was never dealt with. So what was going on? Tenmyouji and Clover at least had Esper powers so it wouldn't be hard to believe they were getting a little bit of timeline bleedover, but Alice isn't supposed to. So why did her vote change?
    • It's the Schrodinger's Cat theme. Observations in the present can change the past, or rather let you know which alternate timeline you're on.
    • To be a little more specific, Alice and Tenmyouji never change their votes, it's Sigma who's changing what timeline he's in by what he's voting. There's a timeline where Alice/Tenmyouji vote ally, and one where they vote betray. Depending on what vote Sigma puts in, determines what timeline he gets dumped into - The one where they've vote ally, or the one where they voted betray.
    • As it turns out, and by the way, Zero Time Dilemma spoilers, Junpei did a fair share of SHIFTing around at the Dcom test site in the events that lead up to VLR's timeline with a few other SHIFTers, which in turn strengthened his ability to SHIFT. Even though he has no memory of the events that took place there, his ability to SHIFT is still usable, means he's in the exact same position as Phi/Sigma's Ally/Betray in this game. As for Alice, it's explained in VLR that she was working with participants from both 999's Nonary Game and the game that took place 9 years before. As it's explained in 999, Espers strengthen theirs and others powers when in big enough numbers, basically boosting the potential to tap into the morphogenetic field. So Alice working with the Esper participants would certainly develop her own SHIFT ability, however weak and unusable by normal standards it may be.
  • A central plot point of Virtue's Last Reward and Zero Time Dilemma is the lunar eclipse on December 31, 2028. However, a gold file in-game specifically states that the eclipse can only be seen in the Eastern Hemisphere - no part of the eclipse is visible in the United States. Not least Nevada, where the test site is located. While the gold files are indeed non-canon to the plot of the game, it can be quite immersion-breaking should an astute player notice.
    • When it comes to the events of Virtue's Last Reward, this is actually supposed to act as a clue that what you see in the endings where you actually leave the facility isn't the Nevada desert. Although to be specific, the game never once claims that you're in the Nevada desert at any time. Such a thing is just relatively easy for 999 players to assume when they see the vast desert outside the facility. In Dio's ending Sigma specifically questions "which desert is this?" but no one ever claims they're in Nevada, at least to my memory. Outside of that, the eclipse isn't actually used for anything. I don't recall it even being mentioned in ZTD outside the occasional reference to the fact it's a thing that's gonna happen. With the radio transmission from control, if I recall correctly when the operator starts rambling to the subjects about the moon, he says "I wish you guys could see it— Oh wait, you're supposed to be on Mars aren't ya'?" From that it's pretty obvious that he was wishing they could see it from where they are in Nevada. Control was probably somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere, although I admit that does sound kind of a strange set up.
  • Okay, so the White doors were matched up with the bombs that Dio set up in Sigma's, Phi's, and Alice's endings. Well, it was revealed that the cast were infected with Radical-6 which slows down their brains to a degree of root-6. It makes sense that the doors would seem like it in the perspective of the people within it as Dr. Klim would set them up like that, but why would the bombs be like that too? Shouldn't they explode in their time limit real-time rather than Radical-6 time?
    • The only times the bombs are actually planted are in the routes where Akane was not murdered (the routes following the Cyan Chromatic Door), where Akane herself placed Dio in the AB Room and then put on the K suit. It is strongly implied that Akane slowed down the timers to compensate for the Radical-6. Note that the bombs do not have a clock face timer.
    • Not only implied, but actually confirmed by Word of God on its Q&A. Refer to Question #15.
  • Just after the Security Room puzzle, Sigma experiences a moment where Phi appears sped-up to him. If they're all slowed-down by Radical-6 already, how can he be doubly-slowed? (Phi couldn't have temporarily recovered either as she was messing with the hourglasses at the time and would've noticed something was wrong.)
    • It's the same reason that Quark and Alice experience the same thing during their freakout(s) in the Infirmary. Odds are, Radical-6 symptoms can become much more severe in some persons than others.
      • But if that's the case, why did Sigma and Quark both experience excessive slowdown without any symptoms of suicide? Sure, Quark becomes suicidal shortly after, but Sigma is perfectly fine after it.
      • Actually, this is feasible, since we learn in Zero Time Dilemma that Radical-6 only has a mortality rate of 75%. It's possible that Sigma (in this timeline at least) got lucky, whereas Quark and Alice less so.
  • How in the world did Sigma not notice himself getting a robotic eye, a deeper voice, and longer hair during the entire duration of the Nonary game? Even if he was feeling "out of it," those new characteristics are pretty hard to miss.
    • The voice is something he just got used to. The hair isn't much difference either (and probably isn't that long to show off the different hair color). The eye on the other hand is pretty unlikely to have not been noticed though. Zero Sr. probably should have invested in a replacement that completely fits in the socket rather than the one he wore.
    • His voice could be passed off as him thinking he was ill; people's voices do change a lot when they fall ill, and that he was just talking deeper than usual due to it. Either that or he just flat out didn't notice. It'd harder than you'd think to notice sudden changes in your own voice, because you don't really pay attention to that sort of thing, or if you did, your perspective of it would be skewed anyway since we all hear our own voices differently than others hear them. As for the eye, Sigma does note on a number of occasions about how his vision seems to be wavering, or that he's finding it difficult to focus his sight. It's possible that, since it's a far ways into the future from our present, that stuff like robotic eyes are near perfect and the user can't tell the difference between wearing one and having a real eye. If this is the case, the only difference Sigma would feel is the occasional inability to completely see, which we do see him experiencing occasionally. Although Sigma, and us when we first see it most likely, just passes it off as his stress and emotions over the situation he's in.
  • What exactly is Luna doing when she's "dead" in Clover's ending? As a robot, she shouldn't be influenced by Radical-6 and would have no reason to kill herself. The only thought I can come up with is that Lagomorph took over, and have her act as a "human" by going along with the death. Though, she would be contributing a pile of white blood to the mix of everyone's red blood underneath her then...unless she didn't cut anything that bled...
    • Odds are that it's an order that Akane gave to her: "If the most/all of the players in the timeline you are in begin to succumb to Radical-6, you are to shut down immediately and not help them". To Akane, it doesn't matter if the players (including Sigma) all die, Sigma got the information he needed to gain the password in K's ending.
    • Which explains everything except the pool of red blood under her. I'm guessing she was altered, or she did something to make it look like, when she killed herself, that she was bleeding red.
      • More likely Luna was the last to "die", moved one of the bodies and shut down ontop of their bloodpools to make it look like hers.
      • If you look carefully, You can see the slash wound on everyone, either on their neck or their wrists, but Luna's neck and wrists are all visible and clearly unwounded..
  • When you "ally" against Dio with the Axelavir why doesn't Sigma think to use the Neostigmine if he discovered it was a cure for Tubocoraine in another route?
    • Phi mentions that it's not a guarantee that they will have access to all of the memories from alternate routes. Not to mention that They didn't have the Neostigmine in that route, as the treatment center was never opened, or the urgency of the situation at hand.
  • If Sigma gets the bomb code from his future self, where did his future self get the code? It's mentioned elsewhere that if his past experience is his only source for the bomb code, it creates a paradox because there is no original source for getting that information, e.g. from Dio.
    • They are separate worlds, an alternate timeline. If you use the analogy of the biker gang from the Another Time section, you can consider that opening a new path does not destroy what happened in the original event, but creates a different reality where all the bikers survive. Now you have two realities, one where most of them are dead, and another where they survive. Use of information from one reality to another requires specialized skill (ie Sigma's abilities), but is, according to the game's concepts on time, possible.
    • It's a little less complex than that. Someone mentioned that the password to that bomb decodes as name significant to Akane. So she probably changed the password on the bomb and the password was agreed upon before hand. Plus this is also evidence that Akane probably tampered with the bombs' timers so that they would work in Radical 6 time. All of this was pretty much confirmed via Word of God.
    • Or it could alternatively be that as revealed in ZTD, Akane and Brother were working together on this so the passwords are significant to Akane because Brother made them so and sent what the passwords would be in advance. It would certainly explain how Akane, the last person to be an expert in bomb defusal/tampering would be able to so easily get past its passwords and change the timer. Since Sigma did all this to prevent VLR's events he wasn't in on it, but it's not out of the question that Akane could've spun a story about how one of her future visions made her see what one of the passwords would be so he could record it. Even if she had changed the password she would still have needed the original to do so.
  • During Quark's route, Dio threatens to smash the Axelavir if Sigma tries to tell anyone he's blackmailing him... and then proceeds to leave Sigma and Clover's side for large amounts of time. Even worse, he goes into an AB Room (which is soundproofed) before Sigma and Clover do. So what exactly is stopping Sigma from pulling one or more of the others aside while Dio can't see/hear him, telling them what's going on, and then jumping Dio the moment he stepped out of the AB Room?
    • Simple. If he's immediately cornered, he still has an opprotunity to smash the Axelavir. And even if the others were let on, Dio still has his awareness. If he noticed somebody else acting unusually, he wouldn't hesitate in destroying it. And the others would most likely react desperately, especially Tenmyouji.
    • Even simpler: Dio is an idiot. He falls for really simple "hey look over there" tricks from Phi and Tenmyouji, he takes Sigma's bait after only one or two attempts at denying anything, and he'll give out bomb codes just for a laugh. It seems perfectly believable that he would act this stupidly.
  • Why is it that, in the flashbacks in K's route, Dr. Klim isn't wearing the same robotic suit Kyle is supposed to wear in order not to let his muscles atrophy?
    • Maybe it's more important for K to do so because he's growing up on the moon, while Dr. Klim has been full-grown for a long time. We don't really know how moonbase environments work, so who knows, it could make a difference. Note that Akane doesn't wear a suit either. It's also possible that this was just a ruse to some degree, because Dr. Klim knew K would have to wear a full-body disguise during the Nonary Game.
      • It is indeed because K was born on the moon and would have otherwise had undeveloped bones. Akane & Dr. Klim had fully developed before they went to the lab.
  • Why did the Axelavir cure the Radical-6 infection in Quark and Alice, but they remain sick enough to experience time differently along with everyone else until the big reveal?
    • This is handwaved: apparently "some symptoms remain" after Axelavir is administered. Pretty convenient!
      • When one recovers from a major illness, their immune systems & body take time to recover. Same thing.
  • If everyone is already suffering from Radical-6, thereby perceiving time more slowly than it is actually occurring, then how does it seem to happen to some people again during the story? Specifically, in Alice's route, once she's been cured, she comments on everything seeming to be on fast-forward, while the same thing happens to Sigma himself in Luna's route. If everyone and everything had already been slowed down so as not to alert anyone who didn't already know that they were on the moon and suffering from Radical-6, how did the facade break like that?
    • Radical-6 was injected into everyone so they wouldn't know they were on the moon. Radical-6 speeds the world up, so that you perceive it at √6 of it's normal rate. This just so happens to be roughly the same amount of difference in gravity between the Earth and the moon. In other words, as demonstrated in game, if you were to drop an object on the moon and it takes 2.45 seconds to fall to the ground, if you did the same thing on Earth, where the gravity is roughly √6 of that on the moon, it'd only take 1 second. The same thing occurs for people walking, talking, ect. If no one was affected with Radical-6, everything would appear to be slowed down, although time itself would be going at the same rate. The affects of radical-6 balanced it out perfectly, so it appeared that everything was going at a normal speed. Therefore everyone processed time as being experienced like on Earth. This is what managed to break through on occasion. The fact they were experiencing everything in fast forward but not noticing due to the affects of being on the moon balancing it out. No one was "healed" or "got it again", just at times, maybe because the infection got worse or due to some other reason, some people began to notice the fact they were actually unwittingly perceiving everything in fast forward.
  • In Luna's route we learn that Zero Jr was ordered to move the AB Room. This seems simple enough, it's treated as a little strange but we're quite sure it was Zero Sr made the order. Only later on we find out Sigma is Zero. So did he make some off hand remark that Zero Jr mistook for an order? Or was it just because of the time travel he all the exact variables that had to occur for the plan to succeed?
    • It's the latter. In order to completely replicate the Nonary Game as Sigma had experienced it 45 years previous, Zero Jr was ordered to move the AB Room in the event of the murder of Akane. However, in the routes where the murder didn't happen, the AB Room never moved.
  • Sigma's true face is revealed when he bends down to look into the water in the B. Garden. Okay. So why didn't he notice during the puzzle in that room, where you're pretty much guaranteed to do the same as part of it? Or even just catch a glimpse of himself while waking over the bridges?
    • This is operating under the assumption that Sigma ever had a reason to look into the water, save for the Lion motif in the pond... during the day. The only time he looks at the water directly, it is dark in order to find the stars. It's reasonable there was no reason to go close enough that a reflection could be seen in the daytime anyway.
    • It's dark when the stars turn on, yeah, but they seemed to give off their own light. And for something that shocking, you'd think even a little would be enough for him to notice.
      • For a reflection to be cast on a transparent surface, such as glass or, in this case, water, a light source is required on the same side of the surface as the object being reflected. Since the light from the stars is coming from under the water, it is on the opposite side of the water's surface as the object in question, Sigma specifically, and therefore, no reflection is cast.
  • In K's route, who destroys Dio's bracelet? The characters hypothesize it was Dio's killer...who is later revealed to be K, who would have no reason to do so. Did Dio somehow break it as he was dying?
    • Word of God has it that K did indeed break it, in order to see who you would save: him or Phi. Also, the bracelet is seen intact when Dio's body is discovered, so it's impossible he destroyed it posthumously.
  • VLR does a pretty good job of covering its tracks and keeping everything in order, but there was one small Plot Hole I noticed: Assuming she was telling the truth about it being a pre-recorded message, how did hologram!Akane know that the players would refer to Lagomorph as Zero Jr., when he introduced himself as Zero III? Granted, its implied she can also jump through time like Sigma and Phi, but I doubt she would do so for such a small detail.
    • Actually, it's the other way around. In at least six routes, including Phi's, K is the one who comes up with the Zero Sr/Zero Jr designations. And remember who was in K's armor in that route? Akane didn't make the recording to fit the name, she came up with the name to match the recording, and also to match the histories Sigma experienced.
  • Why was the the entire Nonary Game important? Even Alice and Clover say it was important, and they don't get the satisfaction of revenge like Akane and Sigma do, but it's multiple timeline time travel, not "past gets overwritten" time travel. No one benefits from the whole thing.
    • While what you say is true, this isn't a plot hole. The game makes it quite clear that many people, including Clover, Alice and Tenmyouji think the entire thing was a very pointless and rather selfish affair, that gave no benefits to anyone from their timeline apart from Sigma and Phi. If the game never addressed this point, and acted like the entire plan was without any side-effects, then I'd agree that would be a problem, but as the game stood, it was put quite clearly in game as a negative trait of Akane's character and her plan rather than as an actual plot hole. So there's really no problem here in terms of plot.
    • I always assumed it was something like the following:
      • Timeline 1: Sigma does not have his time powers in 2028, and doesn't know anything about Free the Soul's plan. Outbreak happens, but Sigma survives.
      • Sigma trains his time powers over the next few decades and realises he could use them to prevent outbreak.
      • Timeline 2: Sigma travels back to 2028, but since he developed his powers significantly after the outbreak he is straining them to the limit to act that far back in his past. He is therefore unable to loop consistently enough and ends up losing both his arms.
      • Sigma survives the outbreak and comes up with the Nonary game plan.
      • Events of Virtue's Last Reward. Sigma, now Zero Sr, forces a younger version of himself, the player character, into his body to play the Nonary game. Over the course of the game young Sigma develops his powers.
      • Once game is finished young Sigma returns to his own time.
      • Timeline 3: Sigma has now mastered his powers in 2028 so he is able to use them properly when trying to stop outbreak. cf. possible 3rd game in series.
  • Sigma not noticing that he's actually in an old man's body is consistent with the fact that most of the mirrors and water you discover in the various rooms are mentioned to be broken or dirty, thus he couldn't see his reflection. Though the above example of the pond in the garden could be justified by saying he probably didn't have reason to look in the pond directly/for long enough to notice, but... the puzzle in the crew quarters includes a sheet of aluminum foil that's said to be really reflective. So reflective that it's part of solving the puzzle. How did Sigma notice its super reflective properties without catching so much as a glimpse of his face?
    • Go get a sheet of aluminum foil and look into the shiny side. Just because it's reflective doesn't mean the reflection is the slightest bit coherent. Most reflective surfaces you'll get an outline or a shadow at best, or a smudgy blur. If he did catch enough of a look for something wrong to be obvious, he could easily just dismiss it as a trick of the light.
  • What was the significance of the spotlights in the rec room being fake?
    • They make shadows of the puzzle solution, with the attacking knight wielding an ax, even if you haven't switched the weapons. It's a hint, since the fake shadow would presumably be showing what a real shadow would look like if everything was set up correctly.
  • Interestingly, it appears that Free the Soul and Akane have switched clothes in this game, with Free the Soul members wearing the gas mask and hood and Akane wearing the robes (as seen in 999). I have deduced that it's probably symbolic foreshadowing for the next game, in which (I'm assuming) the Zero of the new Nonary Game will be a member of Free the Soul, but are there any other reasons for the switch, or maybe hints that I'm forgetting?
    • When were FTS members wearing Zero outfits?
    • This is all explained in Zero Time Dilemma.
  • I always assumed Luna and K's ending acted out pretty similarly, at least in regards as to what happened to Tenmyouji and Clover. Until last night when I wen't back to play it just for fun. In K's ending the group specifically splits up into pairs. K and Sigma go to the Infirmary first, then the Treatment Center then the Floor B warehouse where Phi implies she and Dio had been waiting awhile. They then proceed to go to the Rec Room, reveal Dio as a murderer and bring him straight to the Treatment Center. Dio had no opportunity to do away with Tenmyoji and Clover. The only possibility is if, as soon as you left the Infirmary, Dio split up from Phi and murders the two of them (which if it happens the same way as in Luna's ending involves going to the crew quarters too before having a time consuming confrontation in the Infirmary) and get back to the Floor B Warehouse with enough time to spare for him to have seemingly been waiting for Sigma and K with Phi for awhile. Which seems incredibly unlikely given the fact that Phi never mentions she and Dio split up for any reason. Clover and Tenmyoji would have to agree to split up for some reason too. Any way I look at it Dio seems innocent of their deaths in K's ending meaning Clover and Tenmyoji just fell into a plot hole.
    • Actually, when you meet up with Phi and Dio in the Floor B warehouse, Phi's specific line when Dio says "you're late" is "You're one to talk. How much earlier did you get back? I'd be surprised if you even searched at all.", which implies that the two of them did indeed split up. It'd make sense if they did as well, since Phi was less than happy about having to pair up with him. Considering the length of time it would have taken K & Sigma to go from the infirmary, to the GAULEM Bay, then to the Treatment Center, then back to Warehouse B, it's hardly a stretch to imagine this series of events occurring: Sigma & K leave the infirmary - Clover enters - Dio enters - Tenmyouji enters and tries to stop Dio - Dio murders the two - Dio then makes his way to Warehouse B - Phi arrives soon after and Dio puts on an act of having been there for a while - Sigma & K turn up a while after.
    • For it to work, everyone except Sigma and K must have decided to split up almost immediately despite everyone agreeing it's best to search in pairs. Clover must have then decided to go to the Crew Quarters despite knowing Dio and Phi should be there. Tenmyouji would only logically go to the Pantry next since that's where he's meant to be searching (and he would have run into Sigma/K if he went to the treatment center and Phi if we went to the rec room). Then, instead of going back to Warehouse B like instructed Tenmyouji would have to decide to go to the Infirmary for no conceivable reason (though, trying to justify it I suppose maybe he wanted to see Akane's body).
After incapacitating Dio and returning to Floor B Warehouse they have fifty minutes until the white doors open. That means looking at the results, deciding to split up, searching, going to the rec room, going to treatment center and then back to Warehouse B took about forty minutes. Considering they spent about 10 minutes talking before searching in Luna's route the potential search time is twenty minutes at best. For Dio to kill the two of them he must have done it much earlier than Luna's ending, in the same location (since you go everywhere but the Infirmary after Sigma and K search it), with a completely different motivation (since Luna is already killed) all within an extremely tiny time frame that requires every character other than Sigma and K to go back on an agreement they just made. You're right, Phi does seem to imply she and Dio split up to some degree (though the way it's proposed is still clunky since her accusation means she'd have to know how long Dio was waiting for her before she arrived) but the setup still requires a pretty massive suspension of disbelief to to reconcile. It might be easier to just assume they succumbed to Radical 6 and killed themselves in this scenario (which would also provide a good explanation for why they ended up in the Infirmary. It's where the scalpels are).
  • Another thing that slightly bothers me, purely from a narrative standpoint, why have Dio, Phi and Clover go through the Treatment Centre? If they went through the GAULEM Bay then Luna could have opened the door to the Treatment Centre, K would have got his key from Dio and Sigma would have got the cure from the unlocked Treatment Centre. In which case there would have been no randomly opened extra room for no explained reason.
    • It's because they needed to establish that Dio stole the Neostigmine which would be used to save someone from the Tubocurarine. If they didn't go through the Treatment center, then Sigma would be at a standstill on how to save K and/or Phi, and thus not be able to get K's password. As for who might've opened the GAULEM Bay in that timeline, it was probably Luna, when she placed Quark in the Treatment Pod. She also had to open the safe and take everything out except for the key. Then she presumably went and "killed" herself next to Alice with the injection gun since she had no more role to play in that timeline.
  • The reason in-universe why Rhizome-9 is blown sky high after the bombs go off is the bomb set next to the control room. So why does Rhizome-9 still explode spectacularly after Bomb #2 has been disarmed and other bombs go off?
    • As discussed in game, the bombs have an explosive power of 45 billion joules, which is the equivalent to one ton of TNT. As Dio says, that's enough explosive power to level a 10 story building. Two of those bombs would almost definitely destroy the entire facility as shown in game. An annihilation reactor, as discussed by Clover and Phi, has explosive power that's equivalent to 10,000 times the power of the Little Boy bomb used by the USA on Hiroshima. That kind of explosion wouldn't just blow up the facility, it would pretty much annihilate every single survivor who's held up on the moon. And that's the best case scenario. The explosion we see when deactivating the bombs fail is the anitmatter bombs themselves detonating. The denotation of the reactor most likely occurs after that.
    • Plus, considering the moon's lower gravity and lack of atmosphere, an explosion would likely carry further than an equivalent force on Earth.
  • Some of the puzzle rooms would only work with specific requirements being met. For example, in the PEC room, Clover stormed out of the PEC chamber before the decompression. If she hadn't have done that all three of them would have been stuck in there without any way of finding out how to unlock the door. There's also the lounge. In-universe wise, it'd be possible for Sigma, Phi and Luna to make enough mistakes when trying to work out to mix the drinks, to basically render the password impossible to get due to running out of the contents of one of the bottles. I wonder what exactly would have happened if something like that did happen?
    • Zero III was likely ordered to close the PEC door if at least one person were searching either side.
    • As for the Lounge and other rooms, it's likely that Zero III was ordered to give the password in the event any puzzle was rendered unsolvable. For example, K and Dio enter the Security Room in the Luna end route, and the puzzle in there requires a female face be scanned. Since neither can solve that puzzle, it's likely Zero allowed them to bypass the puzzle or gave them the escape password outright. Luna was also probably told the passwords to each safe, so she could step in if all the alcohol was lost in the Lounge, for example. Akane would have known the puzzle solutions too.
    • It's also equally likely that no failsafe was programmed, and any team who could not progress would eventually be penalised.
  • Why does nobody ever try to open the big door on the Floor B warehouse after escaping through the Number 9 Door? It can be unlocked from the outside after the game ends, and it would ensure that everyone escapes. So why does nobody ever try it outside of the True Ending?
    • Because, of the participants that escape:
      • Dio has no reason to help anyone in the facility once he escapes - besides, opening that door for them would delay his mission. Plus, what difference does it make whether some imperfect "humans" die inside Rhizome-9 or elsewhere?.
      • Clover, Phi and K escape with the intention of finding help, and THEN returning to rescue those left.
      • Quark, in Luna's bad endings, has no reason to return to the facility - Tenmyouji is dead, and Quark wouldn't care if anyone was still in the facility.
      • Luna, betrayed by Sigma and Phi, has no reason to help them escape with her and Quark.
      • Sigma goes through the Red Door with Alice and Clover, and thus never sees the Floor B door. It therefore wouldn't cross his mind that such a door would exist.
      • If the other participants DO escape without Sigma in the Sigma bad ending, the group would be highly unlikely to want to open the door for him - even if Luna and Akane insisted.
    • Plus, even if the Floor B door is unlocked along with the other doors, there's no way to open it from the inside without the help of Zero III, who was likely ordered not to.
  • When Sigma learns in a timeline that K's identity is Kyle Klim, his son/clone, he jumps to another timeline. So in the Phi ending 2, he and Phi learns that in that timeline the identity of K is not Kyle but Akane. I wonder, why in these 2 timelines the words the clone and Akane say are the same before the timelines diverge? It's strange that 2 different characters say identical things.
    • You have to look at it from a fourth dimensional perspective. The idea is that they're both Akane and Kyle at the same time. Both of those possibilities exist inside that suit of armour before Sigma makes his first choice. The reason they say the same thing is because the events are only happening once. There are not separate versions of the opening timeline, it's the one branch the splits off. It's those splits that effect's who K is. The idea is essentially that they say the same thing because while they're saying it, they're both Kyle and Akane at the same time. On another level, it would also be weird if, after having his choice, the opening events are randomly altered in everyone's heads depending on what's been chosen. They've seen it, so it's what was said.
      • If you want a less complex explanation...I guess you could just say that Akane was purposefully saying the exact same things she knew Kyle would have said, given she's an esper and all.
    • And what about the key attached to Sigma's ankle? Are you telling me that if Sigma does all the things to get to the true ending, he always has the key to his ankle and that if he makes other choices, like going to the yellow door before AB Game 1, he doesn't get the key? The key cannot at the same time exist and not exist for Schroedinger's cat.
      • Yes it can. In the timelines that Akane dies, the key is likely still on her body. There's every chance it could have been found after the KURASHIKI card in Quark's ending, but Alice succumbing to Radical-6 conveniently interrupted. Failing that, it's also possible Dio looted it as part of his contingency plan, but left the card once he learned the username and password. Plus, it's likely Sigma would never notice the key in the first place, since the gravity of the moon would make it lighter and less intrusive.
  • Tenmyouji: I did have a difficult time accepting that his full name is Junpei Tenmyouji. Tenmyouji sounds a bit unusual for a Japanese surname; you would think Clover and Alice would have pressed him about it. Hell, there could have been a scenario where they would ask him about a guy named "Junpei" and he could have easily lied by telling them he's his grandson.
    • Tenmyouji is Japanese and, since rest of the cast except Akane, who knew anyway aren't Japanese, they almost certainly wouldn't be familiar with Japanese family names. Alice and Clover have no reason to trust Tenmyouji (or anyone else) isn't Zero, so they wouldn't ask (or even expect him to know) about the events of 999 without Tenmyouji raising the subject, which he wouldn't. Then, consider the matter of his name from Tenmyouji's own perspective:
      • Quark Tenmyouji is his grandson, and never refers to him as anything other than "Grandpa". Quark would never violate Tenmyouji's trust by betraying such a personal secret, and was probably told by Tenmyouji not to say anything while Sigma and Phi were solving the Elevator puzzle.
      • Clover and Alice would not recognise him due to his age, and don't know his surname. Zero ordered Tenmyouji to keep quiet about the fate of the world on the threat of his and Quark's life, and revealing his name to them would endanger Quark's life.
      • Luna bears an uncanny resemblance to Diana, one of the Dcom participants. Tenmyouji has no way to tell whether or not she is actually Diana, a relative, or someone unrelated.
      • Phi to Tenmyouji, has come straight from the Dcom test site and, like Clover and Alice, wouldn't recognise his surname.
      • Sigma is Zero, and ordered Tenmyouji directly not to give anything away that could compromise the AB Project. From Tenmyouji's perspective, Sigma already knows who he is, as the two met 45 years prior at the Dcom site.
      • Except Tenmyouji couldn't remember much if anything from the Dcom test site after being hit with a large dose of the memory-wiping drug. It's certainly likely if anything that he doesn't know Zero II's identity and had he met him in person it would've likely been done disguised.
      • Dio is unfamiliar to Tenmyouji, and as such doesn't need to know his name.
      • K is Akane, who knows who Tenmyouji is. Or, in other timelines, is Kyle Klim and has amnesia. Since Tenmyouji has no way to know who K is or if his amnesia is genuine, then the safest bet for him is to use his surname.
    • Finally, let's not forget that Junpei Tenmyouji joined a detective agency after the events of 999, frequently risking his life on missions and also building notoriety with Free the Soul. That, coupled with his Japanese heritage and nearly a half-century of living in the post-apocalypse has probably influenced how often Tenmyouji has needed to use his first name in the first place.
  • Why are some people put in treatment pods and others were called directly from Earth, i.e. Quark and Tenmyouji?
    • I'm assuming you're asking "Why are some characters put in the treatment pods while others were brought from Earth". In which case, it's because the plan requires the AB Game to be exactly how Sigma remembers it, which means it requires Tenmyouji to be an old man, but Clover and Alice to be young, so Sigma put them in the treatment pods to freeze them. It's also possible that Clover and Alice don't survive the Radical-6 outbreak - just look at how often Alice succumbs to the disease in the Nonary Game.
  • An unused vote in the AB game defaults to "Ally". Why does nobody ever even suggest people voluntarily staying out of the AB rooms to help maximize trust in the votes? Yes, the additional rules state that at least starting with the second AB game one in every voting pair needs to cast a vote and some participants would understandably oppose it, but it is still a valid strategy and it's weird nobody brings it up as a possibility.
    • This actually is suggested by Phi in Tenmyouji's ending, Tenmyouji in Clover's ending and several other times. Predictably, it was immediately shot down, since the cast (sans Luna) can't stop betraying each other.
  • Why does Dio never attempt to sow chaos into the group? Considering his goal, this should be the first thing he plans to do once he plants the bombs, but he never does anything of the sort. It's not like there aren't any chances, either. He could say that no, the Radical-6 newspaper isn't fake and proceed to explain everything that's really been going on (or even lie to make it seem worse than it is), but he just denies its existence and plays along with everyone else. Instead, his attempts to disrupt the game amount to...betraying everyone in the AB Game.
    • The preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that Dio is a complete idiot, but doing so would blow his cover. Dio doesn't know how many people were brought to the facility AFTER the apocalypse or even who Zero is. Dio "snuck" into the facility, and that information would immediately give away his identity.
  • Why doesn't Sigma ever read the files he finds in the safe? Why doesn't he ever share them? The other characters react to him inputting that password, and some even acknowledge that there are files in there, but nobody ever reads them. Considering some of them mention plot points well before you could reasonably reach them, it would give the cast a lot of knowledge about future events.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation. The gold file are a bonus for the players, and don't exist in universe, as it apparent by the way a number of them are directly written from an out of universe perspective and refer to the game itself.
      • But in that case, why have them react at all? Or if they do react, just have them wonder why the safe is empty to imply that only Sigma can see them. It would hardly be the strangest thing in the game.
      • A magical fourth wall breaking golden file that only Sigma can see, that exists for no reason in-universe, definitely would be the "strangest" thing in the game by far. In-universe there are no file passwords and there is nothing else in the safe. It's a gameplay gimmick. The characters just talk about it so it doesn't seem out of place.
  • Why does everyone not do anything to a character that isn't Sigma when they have enough BP to open the number 9 door? While it would be very hard to stop K, and they do admittedly occasionally put in a token effort with Dio, everyone seems content to merely yell at the person to stop...unless they're Sigma, and even if Sigma openly has no intention of leaving, as seen in Phi's bad ending where they knock him out as a "precaution". They even refuse to help Sigma keep Dio in during Quark's ending, despite the former having a death grip on the latter's leg. While it was part of Sigma's plan, having someone at least do more than gawk would be nice.
    • Discounting K (as it would be difficult for anyone else to stop him), the other characters could run under the door before it fully opened. The [<9] participants would struggle to run through the door, drag someone else back into the warehouse in the alloted time. Plus, if the number 9 door closed with no-one on the other side, who would escape to find help?
      • It's stated with some characters that they wait for the door to fully open instead of ducking under it as it opens (Dio, however, does duck under it when he feels threatened). While most characters that choose to betray go near the number 9 door if that betrayal would get them 9 BP as opposed to standing with everyone else and waiting to see the scoreboard, a simple glance at the door from a more logical-focused character like Alice, Tenmyouji, Dio, or K (assuming the latter two aren't the ones trying to escape and the former isn't suffering from effects from Radical 6) would also work for preventing that.
    • From what I can remember at least, during most occasions when Sigma gets 9 BP there's some sort of additional weight behind everyone's insistence to stop him from leaving. In Phi's bad ending, Sigma was the only one who betrayed that round so everyone was pretty much united against the one "traitor". The only other time I can recall Sigma getting to 9 BP and then getting restrained from escaping is in Clover's bad ending, where he takes advantage of a sick, unconscious kid who couldn't vote and was going to default to ally. It's sort of obvious in that situation that everyone wouldn't exactly be willing to just let him go.
      • But in Phi's good ending, she does the exact same thing Sigma does in her bad ending, except Phi actively tries to leave. Sigma stops her by standing in front of her and having a discussion, but none of the characters in the room (which, if memory serves, includes the physically capable K) do anything but watch. Phi betrayed Sigma, except shows that she has complete intent to leave, and nobody seems to care.
      • First off, to their credit they actually do attempt to stop Phi from getting to the door; the attempt failed however because Phi has the "ability" to jump high through the freakin' air. Second, it's pretty much guaranteed over and pointless if there's only one person (or two/three cooperating together) capable of opening the number 9 door and that person has their hand on the lever ready to pull down at a moment's notice. In Phi's bad ending Sigma never even gets close to the number 9 door before he is restrained, and in Clover's bad ending he's restrained anyway because Clover also happens to have 9 BP, plus they figure, "better that she leaves than this disgusting traitor." The only reason Phi isn't restrained afterwards is because she was in a guaranteed position to win the game and trap all of them, and was persuaded otherwise not to.
  • In the leftmost path (where Sigma and Phi team up with Luna), when Sigma and Phi go into the AB Room Phi demands that they vote betray. If Sigma votes ally, Phi is upset and says something akin to "maybe this time it'll be different" but doesn't explain what she means. Obviously this is a reference to her ability to jump to various timelines and having seen other AB game results before, but in this particular context, this means one of two things. Either 1: Phi believes Luna will vote betray based off of information gained from other timelines, even though she never votes betray in any timeline under any circumstance against any opponent that we see, and it's highly unlikely Phi saw any timeline that Sigma didn't. Or 2: Phi believes Luna will vote ally and wants to use that to get on the fast track to 9 BP, even though if she has seen other timelines she should know that voting betray in one round makes it very hard to get any more points in future rounds. Also, this seems to contradict her "maybe this time it'll be different" line. The only other option I can think of is that Phi has seen Tenmyouji and/or Alice vote betray when the Sigma/Phi team vote ally in round one and just assumes Luna will do the same.
    • It's either the latter (seen Tenmyouji/Alice betray and assumes Luna will do the same) or perhaps Luna somehow did betray them in another timeline. Remember, all the timelines that we see in VLR only constitute part of all possible timelines that could occur. As unlikely as it is to Luna's character, she is still capable of choosing "betray" in some unseen timelines. Heck, she doesn't even have to be the one making the vote; Luna is hooked up to the same quantum computer as Zero .Jr and it's known that Luna's access to her body can be cut off, so who's to say Zero III couldn't take over and make her choose betray? Of course since she has to remain undercover, she wouldn't be able to explain her "motive" for betraying and Phi would assume she's intent on betraying them.
  • Why exactly did Dio draw attention to the IG replicator just after escaping from the labatory? I guess that from an out of universe perspective, it's to ensure that Sigma & the player did actually get a chance to examine it since it wasn't a requirement to examine it during the escape. But why was Dio interested in drawing attention to it in the first place?
    • Maybe he was trying to make himself seem more natural to more easily swipe the axelavier. Just straight out asking about getting a closer look at the medicine would've been too suspicious.
  • Why is Phi the only character who can jump really high? I can get Sigma, Tenmyouji, and Quark not being able to jump high, maybe, for age-related reasons, and K has that heavy suit of armor, but the others should be as capable of jumping high as Phi. Do they just never try at any point during the game to jump?
    • The latter's probably it; just because they were capable of jumping high like Phi could, doesn't necessarily mean it could've crossed their mind. They still believe that they are in earth's gravity (sans Tenmyouji and possibly Quark who probably doesn't know much about the Moon's gravity) so they have no logical reason to believe they can jump that high. As for Phi, it seems like (ZTD spoilers) she is capable of jumping like that regardless of either gravity she's in; we see her jump kick Delta right in the face from halfway across the room. It seems that she is confident enough in her athletic abilities as to not have much qualms about doing such feats in the first place.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Headscratchers/VirtuesLastReward