WMG: Virtue's Last Reward

Warning, spoilers ahead.

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    Virtue's Last Reward 

Zero III is the 9th Man.
  • Because why not?
    • How about it's an A.I. based on his personality?
      • Jossed, Zero III is an A.I. created by Zero II, who is a future version of Sigma.

New characters
  • Phi- Santa's daughter
    • Unlikely. The game takes place just a year after the first game. Unless time travel is involved, Santa is too young to have a daughter Phi's age.
      • Considering revelations made late in the game, it's possible for this to be true, although it's never confirmed nor denied.
      • It's actually not. While the game takes place 40 years later rather than a year later as is believed, Phi is one of the three characters who actually comes from the 'present', along with Clover, Alice and Sigma's consciousness.
  • Sigma- Ninth Guy's son
    • No word on this, but it's unlikely.
  • Old Guy- ?
    • Junpei.
  • Jumpsuit masked guy- Seven(???)
    • Jossed. He's a clone of Sigma.
  • Alice lookalike- Seven/Lotus's (Just Lotus?) daughter
    • The Alice lookalike seems like it will be the "Alice" that appeared in the end of game one. It will probably explain whether she is in fact an ancient mummy or whatever.
    • It has been said that her body is composed of Ice-9, so this can be considered confirmed.
    • It is indeed the Alice who appears in the ending of 999, but she denies being the ancient mummy and gives a (relatively) mundane explanation for her appearance in the desert.
  • Magician Guy- ?
    • New character.
  • Blond Boy- Old guy's grandson (This one is confirmed)
    • Apparently not. A newer trailer said they weren't really related, but hang out together.
      • I'd call it confirmed; he's an adopted grandson, but that's close enough.
  • Pink Hair- Somehow related to clover
  • Redhead woman- ?
    • Another new character.

New character expies

Sigma- Junpei
Jumpsuit masked guy- Seven
Alice lookalike- Lotus
Pink Hair- Clover
Redhead woman- Akane

The characters of the first game were developed to distort what you would expect them to be by their appearances and mannerisms. These characters, in suit, will have opposite personalities to the expied characters.
  • Eh, this one was more or less true. Sigma and Junpei were a lot alike (at least in terms of basic personality, their story/history differs wildly), Seven and K were both big amnesiacs, Alice and Lotus weren't too different, Pink Hair ended up being Clover, and in terms of temperament Akane and Luna weren't too different, even if, like Sigma/Junpei their backgrounds weren't alike.

Luna (the orange-haired woman) is a Cute and Psycho
"Not really what she seems to be, according to some rumors."
  • We can safely say this is Jossed.

Luna is a Red Herring.
In the anime promo, the camera notably lingers on her when Sigma asks "Who would do such a thing?" While she will turn out to have her secrets, she won't be responsible for the new Nonary Game — instead, she exists to make players think she's an Expy of Akane.
  • More or less confirmed. She's an AI who is working with Akane, but she isn't actually responsible for the AB Game.

Junpei is Zero the 3rd
The bunny motif, the betrayal theme of the third Nonary Game, it all seems to point to him.

Clover will be unsaveable in Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die.
As an unescapable Player Punch.

K is Ace.
Thank about it, what better way is there to punish the creator of the original Nonary Game than to have him participate in another, similar game? You know, while I'm at it...

K is one of the 9 people from 999, barring Clover or The 9th man.
Because why else would they put in a character who has amnesia, and whose face is hidden?
  • To hide the fact that he's a clone of the protagonist, perhaps?

Zero-3 will change depending on the ending.
It's a stretch, but it would be interesting.

The funyarinpa will make another appearance
Simply because it's too good a line to waste.

The game will suggest that June is pulling the strings.
And it will turn out to be just a cruel tease by the writers to make us think that Junpei had actually found her.
  • Actually, she IS pulling the strings once again. And the punch comes when Junpei states that because of what has happened, the Akane he cared about was gone. Ouch.

The ecchi promo game will somehow be plot relevant.
Maybe Zero 3's motivation is simply to see Clover's breasts?

Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die will lack a Golden Ending.
There may be a True Ending among all the Multiple Endings, but there won't be a single Golden Path that leads to an unambigiously happy ending where everyone gets saved. Instead, the endings will either be bittersweet or complete downers. The player will be faced with unavoidable Sadistic Choices no matter what they do.
  • [[Partially spoiler:Jossed. Everyone does get saved, but it's still more than a little bittersweet ...]]

Aksys WILL localize Good People Die, and has just been screwing with us.
Recently, the following quote appeared at the end of a post on the Aksys main page: "Bonus: You might want to pick up the next Nintendo Power, on stands on 2/28, for a very special announcement....." I'm thinking this might be the announcement that they are going to go ahead and localize it. I mean, they do still have that mystery game in the fall, and they know the demand is there... (A man can dream, can't he?)
  • Sweet Nonary Jones, CONFIRMED!

The characters, like in 999, will also be based on the Enneagram.
Tenmyouji is a Reformer (1), K is a Helper (2), Dio is an Achiever (3), Alice is an Individualist (4), Quark is an Investigator (5), Clover is (again) a Loyalist (6), Sigma is an Enthusiast (7), Phi is a Challenger (8) and Luna is a Peacemaker (9).
  • Confirmed, although their specific numbers aren't mentioned.

K is Zero, but he doesn't know it.
He wanted to play his own game, so he gave himself amnesia.
  • Very close to the mark - while the theory was right, it is Sigma, not K, who is the amnesiac (or more accurately, younger version of) Zero.

The creator of Zero III is...
June. That's why it refers to Clover as Cleaver (an Axe Ending reference only June would know about) and is a rabbit (Sub Ending reference that June would also be the only one to know about). Furthermore, the designation of the number III implies that the second Zero, if they aren't June or Santa, would at least be aware of their identity as the original Zero. Lord Gordain and Ace never used the moniker in their games. Therefore, June is either working with Zero or is Zero.
  • Confirmed. June is working with this Zero.
    • Clover as Cleaver in the English version only, in Japanese she's Yotsuba-kun. Much like Akane's fake name of 'June' being a clever translation. (Junpei mentioning as a child June was the last time he saw her.)

Sigma is a Homestuck fan, and his favorite character is Nepeta Leijon.
How else do you explain the cat puns?
  • Pawsibly a better explanation than that purr-vided by the Hidden Files.

Most people have noticed how incredibly brain dead Clover is in this game, especially compared to the last Nonary Game. You'd think that for someone who works for a secret agency by using her esper powers to prevent terrorist bioweapon attacks she'd be a little smarter or more educated. However, due to her presence in the last two Nonary Games as well as her powers with the Morphogentic Fields, Zero picked her to work with him in the NEXT Nonary Game/Mission in the Mars test facility. She was already told of everything by Akane and is merely faking surprise at the info Tenmyouji/Junpei tells her. Her purpose in this game is to prep Sigma about knowledge of the past Nonary games as well as let him feed off her weaker esper powers all while remaining under the radar with her "stupid girl" facade. Zero's future purpose for her is unknown, but undoubtedly important. She is far smarter than she appears in this game, and Zero knows that. However, too much suspicion cannot be drawn to her, as her being forced into coughing up details will ruin the current game's purpose. Therefore, she hides her inside knowledge and smarts by pretending to be dumb.

Sigma was born with one functional eye
That explains why he did not notice it was missing.
  • Jossed. It is stated in the Golden Ending that Sigma lost his eye and his two arms saving a random girl. That element will also appear on the next game, according to Word of God.

Phi survives/escapes in every timeline.
I don't remember the specifics of each timeline, but I recall not seeing Phi among the bodies in Alice's ending, and in K's ending she is injected with the tubocurarine antidote, and so can no longer be killed by the bracelet. We see her escape in her own ending as well as Dio's.
  • Jossed. Her body is among the dead in Clover's Ending and she is killed by the bombs in the Sigma and Alice Endings.

In the epilogue, Akane is Addressing the Player.
The player is the uncontrolled variable. Despite Phi, Sigma, and the real Kyle having already gone to the past, "Kyle" has a "spare" consciousness inhabiting him, and Akane tells him that he will also be going to the past. Her words make it clear that, despite having no knowledge of what went on in the Nevada Test Site, he will be going back to save the world, and he too has the power to travel through time and through worlds. Since this consciousness can do such a thing and has all knowledge of what went on in the game, it stands to reason that the player will be taking an active character role in the story.

As a variant to the above, the mysterious character is Blickwinkel
  • It may serve the same purpose, but unlikely. The writer was actually surprised that people outside Japan knew that Ever17 even existed.

Luna is based on a real person, a Free The Soul cultist who is responsible for unleashing the Radical-6 virus.
Consider the possibility that robot Luna was based on a real person. When the group finds the memory card containing a transmission from the Nevada Test Site, a female voice that sounds incredibly like Luna responds that she "killed them all" (referring to six others in the Test Site, and the "six billion humans" in the world), implying that she deliberately released the Radical-6 virus. Now consider that Luna is the only person that Dio votes "Ally" against, that Dio's fall from grace within the Myrmidons was due to sexual dabbling with a woman, and that Free The Soul tends to clone its most important members. Luna is either an identical copy of this cultist, or has enough similarities to her that Dio is reminded of her and is unwilling to vote against her.
  • Sigma, at one point, sacrifices himself to be practically mutilated to save a woman in the Nevada Test Site. This could mean that Sigma, in one way or another, cared deeply for this woman over the course of the game and, weather or not he did in fact manage to keep her alive, wished to keep her in his life in one way or another, and made Robot Luna a 'Mother' to his 'Child', in a way, making her his wife regardless if Kyle accepted her or not.

None of the AI characters ever actually broke Asimov's Three Laws.
Asimov's Three Laws actually do allow robots to sacrifice some people if, by doing so, they save more people than they sacrificed; when presented with a Sadistic Choice in which people get hurt no matter what they do, sufficiently intelligent robots are supposed to figure out which option that is least harmful, and then do that. (In Asimov's stories, being forced to actually make such a decision can end up causing the robot to break down shortly afterward, but some of them *can* make those kinds of decisions.) Because the Nonary Game deaths were the only way that they knew of to save billions of people from the Radical-6 virus, there's no need to invoke the Zeroth Law directly; the First Law, properly interpreted, is enough.

Speculation on the nature of timejumping
Sigma and Dr. Klim are the same person, differentiated by 45 years worth of mental information consisting of memories and probably other components of a human mind developed during that time. Likewise, Sigma from one timeline is the same person as himself in another excecpt for that information, which differs in each timeline. Sigma's ESP allows him to displace that information across time and space.

What happens when a jump occurs depends on if every one of his jumps was a 'swap' or not. If they were all swaps, then the relevant information from the person at Point B is removed and put into the one at Point A, and the one at A believes himself to be the one from B and vice versa. If the jumps were not all swaps, then for some of them the information at Point B is sent to Point A without removing it from its original location; the person at Point B continues with whatever he was doing, and the one at Point A becomes A + B (or A + some of B depending on the state of his memories).

Alice and All-ice
All-ice mentioned in 999 is actually Alice after she traveled back in time after Another End.
  • According to Word of God the entire All-Ice business was nothing but an Urban Legend in the first place. It's in the game to get you thinking about Ice-9 and how a change in inanimate matter can be contagious via the morphogenetic field.

Quark is Is Akane's son
Due to the Timey-Wimey Ball nature of the game and the fact that everything is interconnected in the game it would stand that Junpei just finding Quark in the middle of a thunderstorm isn't a random thing. What happened was that Akane got pregnant intentionally so that Junpei would wind up raising Quark. The reason for this is that Akane does know/knows/will know that Junpei will be heartbroken once he finds out what Akane has done to make sure that they can change the past. So when that happens Junpei might either commit suicide or just waste away. So she makes sure that he has something to live for so she gets pregnant. It also allows her to have a child with Junpei in a very roundabout way. This is also the reason that Luna saves him in most endings while letting others die. She was programmed that no matter what make it so that Quark survives. Akane is willing to let herself be killed, let Junpei and the others dies but as a mother she cannot let Quark die.
  • According to Word of God, Quark isn't intended to be anyone in particular, but the author likes the idea of him being the grandson of one of the 999 characters.

Quark is Dio's son
We know Dio had some dalliances with a woman, and that's why he fell out of graces with the Myrmidons. But what if, horror of horrors, this perfect clone being created in a perfect way actually fathered an imperfect child as well? When the woman he had been with presented him with his son, he panicked, slew her, and left her the child to die... only to be found by a salvage man named Tenmyouji... Support? Quark and Dio have the same hair color, and usually the same eye color as well. (Dio's eyes appear blue in some shots, but appear to be brown like Quark's in the official art.
  • According to Word of God, Quark isn't intended to be anyone in particular, but the author likes the idea of him being the grandson of one of the 999 characters.

Dio votes Ally against Luna because he's more cautious
One odd thing about Dio is that he will vote Ally in the first AB when going down the Golden Path. Seems to go against everything we've seen from his personality so far. However when you think about it, in this timeline before the game started he got decked from behind, in this timeline and only this timeline. He then woke up inside the AB Room with no idea how he got there and how he succeeded in getting accepted into the game. This means he knows someone else in the group knows that he's not meant to be there. So he votes ally to make the others be more trusting of him. He doesn't think he needs to this in the other timeline because he believes he has fooled everyone and can just blame the betray on Quark. In the Golden Timeline he knows someone has good reason to betray him but doesn't know who. He can guess it won't be Luna because she looks far to frail to knock him out so he takes a gamble on voting ally on the first round so whoever knocks him out might reconsider his opinion along with making him seen better in the eyes of everyone else.
  • Jossed. The creator stated on his Twitter that it's due to Dio having a crush on Luna.
    • That can be his sole reasoning. He has to at least justify it to himself. Liking Luna and thinking she's the kind of person who wouldn't betray him exactly fits in with Dio's alternate train of thought in this timeline.

Radical-6 is derived from Hinamizawa Syndrome.
  • The similarities between them are unsettling, and we already know that there was scientific exploration into the Syndrome. Perhaps someone in Zero Escape's past tried to use it, or a more controlled variant of it, for his/her own ends?

The cat Dio saved was the one that cursed Sigma.
  • Just to tie everything together.

Everyone has low level multiple timeline awareness abilities like Sigma and Phi.
That's why everyone's ally and betray answers change at the same time yours does, because like Phi they also vaguely remember when you picked different answers.

The events of the Zero Escape series take place in Sburb.
There's plenty of weird time shit going around, and the disaster with the annihilation reactors all exploding takes place on 4/13/2029.

Radical-6 was created by Brother...
...as a means of connecting to everyone through the morphogenetic field. It's heavily implied that Brother has esper abilities, and for him to be as influential and long-lived as he is, he may be as strong, or stronger, than Akane. We all know that the symptoms of Radical-6 alter the brain's perception of time, and the stress ultimately leads to suicide. But what if that's not really the case? What if the virus grants access, however limited, to the morphic fields?

Consider what Quark says when he gets infected. He shouts about how if he could just kill his body, his soul would be free. Sound a lot like Free the Soul's message? There's no way a virus could influence the words a person would say. So what if contracting the virus allows a person to access the morphic fields, thereby allowing Brother to urge that person to suicide? Remember that Free the Soul wants to cleanse the Earth by killing all those people whom they consider to be worthless. By using Radical-6 as a method to give Brother access to their minds, he can kill with ultimate efficiency, as he can spare anyone he knows to be loyal to him and his cause. Also, remember how it's mentioned that there was suspicion that the people who decided to use the annihilation reactors to cleanse the virus were already infected? What if that was true, and Brother used his access to their minds to detonate the reactors and create nuclear winter? Hell, what if that was his goal for the virus all along?

    Zero Escape 3 Speculation 

Zero Escape 3 Predictions
  • Akane is evil all along. Putting this here because I'm hoping it's NOT true.

Zero Escape 3 will have a Nonary Game.
The Nonary Game was based on an idea that members of Brother's cult came up with first, but Ace ultimately decided to use it as a way of training Espers. If the cult is behind the outbreak of Radical 6, then it seems possible that they infiltrated the Nevada Test site and set up a Nonary Game with the nine people at the site. And since the nine people at the test site couldn't contact the outside world due to restrictions set in place for emulating the Mars mission no one noticed that the people there were being forced into a Nonary Game.

Zero Escape 3 will have many returning characters.
Considering the hints dropped in the true ending Clover and Alice will time travel backwards and help out at the Nevada test site. Dio will kind of return by having another clone like him present. Junpei will return because we already know he had something to do with the test site. Naturally Sigma, Phi, and K will return as well. Its also possible that other characters from 999 will return as well.

Akane is actually BROTHER and Santa is the original Left
Also the whole point of the Nonary Game(s) is actually to give Akane the same ability to "Jump" as Sigma and Phi. Akane's brother dies at some point before the world goes to hell and causes her to start Free The Soul. After seeing how fucked up the world is due to her cult, Akane organises the Nonary Game on Rhizome 9 to send Sigma and Phi back in time to save her brother, who was also one of the people who died in the Mars incident. After that Sigma and Phi are brought back she plans to "jump" to this timeline and live out the rest of her life with her brother in a good timeline.
  • There's a problem with the timeline of this theory: you find out in this game that Gentarou Hongou and Cradle Pharmaceutical were funded by Free The Soul, which means that they were active while Akane and Aoi were still alive and playing the second Nonary Game.

Brother's divine revelation will be significant in the sequel.
It may turn out to have been due to esper activity.

Zero Escape 3 will have a final ending of Akane fleeing the law with Junpei in tow, while Sigma and Phi marry.
During Virtue's Last Reward, it is stated that Akane still has feelings for Junpei (That her life was saved by a man she loved, and that she wanted nothing more than to marry him and live a normal life with him). Now, after the events of the second Nonary Game, it's unlikely that she can entirely drop all the charges against her, but she can live as happy a life as possible by having Junpei, who wants nothing more than to be with Akane, follow her around. It's also entirely possible that the Akane that Junpei remembers and cares for still exists. K describes her as girlish in his memories, something that seems to hint at Akane being more normal that she indicates throughout the game.

The second part lies in another note from K's ending, where Akane recounts how Dr. Klim (well, younger Sigma) had fallen in love. While K prefers to believe that the person was her, there is a lot of implication that Sigma and Phi will get more character development together. On the same stream of thought, Sigma's missing arms and eye were to protect Phi in an incident.
  • The second part has been Jossed. Word of God is that Sigma and Phi will never become a couple, and that the woman Sigma saves is someone he met and bonded with at the test site, and that he later based Luna off of her.

Zero Escape 3 will feature mind swapping and amnesia, real and faked.
Hints in the epilogue and from the creator suggest that the sequel will have quite a few returning characters. However, if these returning characters are also participants in the test site challenge, this makes slightly easier to guess who the player's allies and enemies are. If the possibility of mind-swapping exists, it would be harder to guess who can really be trusted. The epilogue also suggests that Kyle and '?' are not the same person, and '?' is occupying Kyle's body for some reason.

As for the amnesia, it has showed up in the first two games and could serve to cast doubt on how cooperative one of the cast members will be towards the player, since an ally with amnesia may distrust you and be more interested in looking out for themselves. In the timeline where Kyle and '?' switched, the former had not been participating in the Nonary Game and would thus not have recovered from his dose of Soporil, so it is possible that whomever his mind is occupying is amnesiac.

  • Specifically, Akane tells Clover and Alice that she can send them back in time using "Schrodinger's Cat". The most likely way this can work is for someone to create a timeline in which they *didn't* spend all those years in cold sleep - if nobody opens the treatment pod, who's to say that Clover's still inside it? So Zero Escape 3 will include a version of Clover who has no memory of what happened in Virtue's Last Reward because she hasn't lived through it (yet, or ever) - no need for amnesia.

Santa/Aoi, and what he is up to
Santa/Aoi Kurashiki was more or less the other Zero is the second Nonary game of 999. If that's so, where is he for the AB game? Wouldn't he be valuable to Akane to help her with this project? Also, isn't it a little uncanny how much Phi and Santa look alike? There is little to no mention of him, let alone his involvement in the Nonary Game. Isn't it a bit odd how he seems to have just fallen off the radar while Akane is taking the full initiative? Keep in mind that he too was on the run after the second Nonary Game.

  • One possibility that comes to mind: Santa was at the Mars Test Site, and he was one of the ones who didn't make it out alive. This would explain his absence in VLR, and give Akane yet another reason to try to avert the Bad Future. Plus, if he's at the test site, then it would enable possible plot twists where he gets confused for Phi, or the other way around, due to their resemblance.

Phi's Identity
Phi is actually from the successful timeline where the earth isn't destroyed. That's how she knows to volunteer to be frozen, who to go to, and why she's so essential to stop Radical-6.
  • Furthermore, Alice and Clover both mention that bodies can be sent back in time as well, so Phi could have actually been born and lived in that successful timeline, though it isn't strictly necessary for anything in the game to happen.
  • Largely Jossed. The Golden Ending specifically says that it was older!Phi who went to Alice to be frozen — as in, the Phi who had already experienced the AB Project.

ZE 3 will have an Assimilation Plot
Considering all the talk of ants, termites and hiveminds.

There will be more than one Nonary Game going on in Zero Escape 3.
The ending of VLR suggested that K/Kyle somehow managed to jump back to 2028 despite not existing at that point. This suggests that it might be possible for someone to jump into someone else's body under the right circumstances. Also, Word of God has hinted that we'll find out what happened to some of the other characters from 999 in the Bad Future, suggesting that we'll be revisiting that future and the game won't take place entirely in 2028.

Perhaps one of the big twists in the third game will be that there are two (or more) identical Nonary Games going on at different times and places(one at the test site in Nevada, plus another). The protagonist of that game will end up jumping between the two games at random (maybe without even realizing it at first), allowing for surprise twists when characters act differently than they should because they're actually different people.

  • That does seem pretty interesting. Given the evidence we have for now, the most likely locationss for the Nonary Games would be the Mars Mission Test Site, natch, as well as the Chemical Plant that Alice & the SOIS was planning to attack on Christmas Day.
  • It's been hinted that Kyle can swap consciousnesses with Sigma, as he was originally created to be a spare if something happened to Sigma. So this may be possible.

Brother is Lord Gordain
The symbol on the robes from the first game had what was later revealed to be the symbol of Free The Soul on it. This suggests that Gordain and his compatriots were involved with the cult in some way. It'd be an interesting callback if the ultimate villain of the series turned out to be the creator of the very first Nonary Game. Perhaps Left's death is also tied to the Titanic sinking that Gordain was in.

Of course, Gordain is said to have died back in the 1930's, while Brother is still alive in the 2020s. Of course, Brother was said to be ancient enough to be virtually immobile, and only top members of FTS had ever seen him in person. Plus, Word of God suggests that he'd survived into the Bad Future of 2074 through some sort of psychic shenanigans. Perhaps this means he faked his death at some point, and kept his body alive through suspended animation (maybe with Ice-9) while directing the cult through his psychic abilities.

  • Left either died before or after the sinking of the Titanic in this case; the body was found by police elsewhere. Other than that, Gordain being Brother does make for an interesting theory. Perhaps he used the field to jump into someone else's body in the future (which creates some Nightmare Fuel in that someone else, most likely an innocent, died in Gordain's decrepit old body) or used "Schrodinger's Cat" to transport his body through the field.
    • This isn't the most sound theory: It's said that whoever killed Left bribed the police not to investigate. Gordain was a multi-millionaire, not to mention a LORD. It's unlikely that the police could be bribed off such a high profile murder case.
      • This scenario would occur back when Gordain was young, presumably before he became rich or gained his title.

Brother was a participant in one of Gordain/his successors' Nonary Games
Alternatively, perhaps Brother and Left were both participants in one of those first Nonary Games, and Left was one of the unlucky losers to meet his end in the incinerator. It would explain why his murderer was not prosecuted, and it would provide a bit of a parallel to Akane's situation.
  • Partially Jossed, Left was mentioned being found dead & covered in bruises. Hard to be examined by the police when Gordain's games ended with the losers being incinerated.

Brother is Ace
  • In-game, he is said to be a supporter of Free the Soul. More importantly, the Myrmidons all share a face, which might be a little jarring to some, but not someone with prosopagnosia who can't differentiate between them anyway. Brother is also the mastermind behind the first Nonary Game.

Brother is Green Suit Kid
In the original 999, there are flashbacks to the first Nonary Game, in which you can see Akane, Aoi, Light, and Nona, but being the Nonary Game there are still 5 people who never get introduced, two or three of whom are guys. Given that Brother has the ability to access the morphogenetic field, it's not impossible that he was present in the original Nonary Game, as was his brother. None of the other children shown look like Left, so he was likely in building Q.
  • Not possible. Brother had already established Free The Soul by the time of the First Nonary Game. It's highly unlikely that Hongou would have allowed his messiah be in any danger aboard the sinking ship of the Gigantic. Now, a first generation clone of Left on the other hand...

The epilogue of VLR does not take place in the Bad Future.
Or, more accurately, it both does and doesn't, thanks to the Schrodinger's Cat effect.

If Sigma and Phi succeed in stopping the Radical 6 outbreak, then where would their consciousness go when the second time jump happened? One theory springs to mind: in the "good future" where the disaster is averted, Sigma and Akane reinact the AB Game to perform the time jump, in order to prevent a time paradox. Of course, to do that, they'd have to create the illusion that the apocalypse had happened. This brings things back to the whole Schrodinger's Cat theme: the disaster both happened and didn't happen.

The "red earth" could have been staged through a few methods, such as a red lens between the earth and moon. Plus, most of our information about the outbreak and disaster comes from Tenmyouji. Given his true identity, it's very plausible that Junpei could have been working with Akane the whole time. Of course, the wild card in this theory is Dio: if the disaster had already been averted, then why would Brother send Dio to prevent the disaster from being averted?
  • Unless Dio's true purpose wasn't to sabotage the AB Project, but to hijack it by time-jumping into another Left clone at the test site to ensure the outbreak did occur.

We will end up revisiting Building Q in Zero Escape 3.
Both the Mars Test Site and Building Q are located in Nevada. This can't be a coincidence. Therefore, perhaps the two sites are connected in some way, and we will end up returning to the Gigantic replica for at least part of the third game. It would be fitting to bring the final game back to Where It All Began.

Phi may be Left or related to left.
Someone pointed out that a lower case Phi in the Greek alphabet looks like a 'Y'.
  • According to Word of God, the letter 'Y' represents the Eye of Horus.

Phi is actually two different people, whose minds have swapped places.

The Phi we see in 2074 is actually not the same one from 2028 who was cryogenically frozen, but an entirely different person. The story about cryogenic freezing was actually a ruse set up by Akane to make us believe that they were the same person so that their minds would be able to switch places. After all, K was able to send his mind back to 2028, even though he wasn't born yet. Maybe that revelation was foreshadowing that other people can swap minds.

A couple more points that could be seen as evidence in favor of this theory:

1. In the scene where Sigma returns to 2028, we never actually see Phi in person, since she's already in the cryo chamber. Perhaps this was done to hide the fact that 2028 Phi doesn't look like 2074 Phi.

2. At one point, Phi mentions that she's twenty years old, though Sigma thinks she looks younger. That, along with the C-cup joke, could be hints that Phi is in the same boat as Sigma, in that what she thinks she looks like and her actual appearance are very different. After all, Sigma didn't notice his mechanical eye until it was pointed out to him.

Phi is Diana, the girl who Luna was based on.
As a corollary to the above WMG. While the fact that Diana is supposed to look like Luna appears to Joss this theory, it could be re-opened by introducing the idea that there are two Phis who do not look like each other, but managed to swap minds. Perhaps there's some misdirection at work here.

After all, the recording of the Mars Test Mission we found suggests that only three people survived. Sigma and Phi have to survive the mission in order for the mind jump to work, and it's heavily implied that Tenmyouji/Junpei was there as well. Word of God also suggests that Diana is supposed to survive the mission, since she and Present Sigma have to meet after the mission in order for him to build Luna. That leaves four people.

There's two possible explanations for this: either the recording was made at a time when Sigma was believed to be dead(he did lose his arms and eye in an accident at the test site), or Phi and Diana are in fact the same person, and the developer's comments on Luna being based on Diana are intended as misdirection.

Of course, there is one hole in this theory - Phi doesn't seem to have any special reaction to seeing Luna, the way Sigma does when he sees K's true face.

If Gentarou Hongou...
makes another appearance, he will be against Free the Soul. His original goal was to gain the ability to differentiate faces, while one of the results of Free the Soul's goal will be the remaining population all having the same face. The two don't seem compatible with other.
  • Doesn't disprove this theory, but they can be compatible - if everyone had the same face, then everyone would have the same impairments Ace had - instead of giving himself abilities he doesn't, he'd be making everyone else's abilities useless, putting them on equal footing anyway. However, Word of God said that Gentarou didn't believe in Free the Soul anyway and was just feigning it to get their support in his projects, so he's already not really "with" them.

At some point, Sigma will hack into Free The Soul's servers, witness FTS assassinate someone, and have a one night stand with the mistress of a politician in FTS's pocket
At a point early in VLR, Sigma is wondering "Why me?" And lists a bunch of things that he might have done, including the above three things, as well as "Start a fight with a frightening and Mysterious new religion." Well, we know he's doing that, He kind of already has... so maybe the other things are things he'll do too.

Clones can jump back into the same body as their original host
This is pretty much the only way I figure the Golden Ending Epilogue makes any sense at all. Kyle and Sigma share the same DNA, and perhaps even the same soul. Something Kyle saw in his 23 years of life is important for the Mars mission test run, and jumps back so his memories are shared with Sigma's. It's the only way he can really make the jump to 44 years before his birth.

Phi is Sigma's daughter.
  • The woman (Diana?) who Sigma fell in love with as a young man is Phi's mother.
  • Shortly after Phi's birth, she either died in the Radical-6 pandemic, or she didn't die at all, but only disappeared as a result of something to do with the events at the test site.
  • Phi's esper abilities were inherited from Sigma.
  • Her name is a result of Family Theme Naming.
  • Word of God says she and Sigma will never be romantically involved, and aside from some general lechery on Sigma's part, they haven't really had any Ship Tease. This explains why.
  • It also explains the "connection" that Phi and K feel with each other. Neither can define it, but they describe it as a feeling that they're "similar" somehow. In fact, they're both Sigma's children. Note that this comes up on Luna's route, and Luna was created to act as Kyle's mother, while the woman she was based on was actually Phi's mother.
  • As Phi tells Sigma in what will turn out to have been a nice bit of dramatic irony, she has no idea who her father is or what he looks like, or whether he's alive or dead. Also, she lost her mother very young and doesn't have anything of hers except that brooch, which suggests that she doesn't know what her mother looked like. That's why she doesn't recognize Luna, Sigma, or Kyle.
  • The fact that Phi is only a little younger than Sigma at Point A on the timeline might not be an issue. She could be inhabiting another person's body - we know that time traveling espers can jump into other bodies. She could be a clone of herself, created in the past - we know that cloning technology has existed long enough for the fourth generation of Lefts to be adults in 2074, plus this would be another reason for her to feel a connection with K. And there's undoubtedly a lot we still don't know.
  • The woman at the test site will have the brooch.

Snake is Brother, or at least a clone of him

All of humanity will end up becoming espers, or at least low-level ones.
  • We know from both previous games that the chances of a baseline human manifesting psychic abilities increase if other espers are nearby or sharing a similar situation (For example, Junpei manifested because of the Power of Love, but Snake and Clover's close proximity likely helped. Sigma and Phi are in the game with Tenmyouji and Clover so they can manifest in the same way). The test site will presumably have a lot of normal humans and a lot of the cast's espers there, so why shouldn't there be a self-perpetuating chain reaction?
    • Also, a lot of the philosophical monlogues, especially in the first game, seem to be about humanity's collective potential for tapping into the morphogenetic field. It's odd that in the second game its more focused on individual espers - so it makes sense that those themes will be explored in full.

Hongou and Akane will work together.
  • Think about it. They have a common enemy now: Free the Soul. I can definitely see Akane putting aside her hatred for the man to work towards saving the world.
    • Hm. What could Hongou contribute to the plan that Akane can't?
      • Pharmacology, knowledge of FTS and its organization, maybe his inability to recognize faces can function as a Disability Superpower?

The next game will feature Schroodiver's cast
  • The first game featured time travel save scumming,so the second used it too,without ever an attempt to hide it(for those who played the first game anyway).Considering the large number of people we believe will participate (Diana,Sigma,Phi,Kyle,Brother,?,other members?(according to other speculations:Akane,Junpei,Clover,Alice,Dio,Hongou,Santa,etc.))it is not too unlikely that scroodiver's mechanics will make an appearance so that new characters can appear (if only because,even with overlaping characters (? and perhaps Kyle will probably overlap with someone)Brother and/or zero will become too obvious.So based on some choices prior to meeting all of the cast (or even after that,if masking gear/clones are involved)the cast will change.

The next game will be extremely confusing.
At the end of VLR, Akane brings up the idea of human thought shaping reality. Given how time travel has already made the series a beautifully confusing story, the fact that belief itself factors into it will be able to do things like alter reality in the different branching routes based on what the characters are led to believe. Mind Screw ensues.

Zero escape 3 will come out(or at least announced) in 2015
I've heard it has been hinted at

Dio's plan to sabotage the AB Project was designed to fail
Brother, as another esper, is more aware of how the Mental Time Travel mechanics work than we're led to believe. Therefore, he leads Akane and Klim to believe his plan was to have Dio sabotage the project by either killing Akane or setting the bombs. Yet, Dio proves to be rather obvious as a villain, and is eventually defeated in the timeline where the project works.

But what if this plan was actually a Kansas City Shuffle designed to distract us from the real plan: to have Dio hijack the time jump and jump into a Left clone at the test site to ensure that the Radical 6 outbreak happened as planned? After all, we've seen that Sigma and Phi weren't the only ones to go back in time; K apparently jumped back into the past as well.