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Video Game / Zanki Zero

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Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a survival-themed role-playing video game developed by Lancarse and published by Spike Chunsoft. It was released on PlayStation 4 and Play Station Vita.

On an island live eight human clones... humanity's last survivors. To ensure their survival, they have to develop facilities for daily life, raise their levels, explore dungeons, collect items, fight enemies... And, whenever necessary, revive deceased team members via cloning.

Notice the "whenever"—and not "when" or "if"—there? That's because the natural life span of each clone is only 13 days.

Their situation becomes more complicated when they receive the "Humanity Restoration" mission, that sends them to mysterious ruins that hold dark secrets to their pasts, as well the truth of what led to the one-day-long end of both humankind and the world it once inhabited.

English trailer, Teaser website.

From the crew who brought you Danganronpa, the game was released in Japan on July 5th, 2018, and in North America on April 9, 2019.

Zanki Zero contains examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: A clone's life cycle only lasts 13 days, then they die of old age. They can extend it to 17 by dying in each stage of life.
  • After the End: The Earth lies in ruins submerged in water, with only eight people left alive. And however it happened, it took place within a single day. Stage 7 reveals it was when a Luciora tank was destroyed which made each and every single clione rampage throughout the world.
  • Against My Religion: Olga and Yuma's reason for opposing cloning technology.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Sachika is missing her right arm and left leg.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Besides giant scaly boars, there are also giant chickens as well.
  • Anyone Can Die: And considering their short life spans and dangerous environment, everyone will. Good thing they can come back.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Zen utterly loathes his father, who set his sons up with women he found attractive so he could sexually exploit the unfortunate wives more conveniently. He's actually relieved to see he's the mutated boss Creature at the end of the Monkey Tree House and goes to put him out of both of their misery without a second thought.
  • Arc Number: 8 and 13.
    • There are 8 protagonists and the sideways 8—read: the infinity symbol—is shown in the game's title in the trailer (Zanki ∞ Zero).
    • Groups of 7+1 also crop up : 7 protagonists, associated with the Seven Deadly Sins and 1 with the original sin; furthermore, one summary of the game starts with "God created the world in seven days. It only took one day for humans to destroy the world."
    • Each clone's life cycle lasts for 13 days before they die of old age.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Animals, Creatures and bosses each have specific spots on them that can be broken off for parts, cliones as well as extra damage. Doing so on the Stage bosses gives achievements as well.
  • Awful Truth: After Stage 5, the group finds out that all the humanoid Creatures they're fighting are their own discarded clones.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The team defeats Terashima and stops his plan from recreating humanity as immortal creatures, but lose the only method of curing the aging process. Sachika is fatally killed after the battle and her X-Key is destroyed, the Unit 01 Extend Machine revives her as a newborn baby raised by the group. Sadly, the Extend Machine shuts down after five years of overuse and the team dies of old age days later, leaving their X-Keys behind and Sachika as the only one left. Though, Haruto remembers the function on the machine that counts human lives and learns there is another survivor somewhere on the planet, managing to inform Sachika of this before passing on. Months later, Sachika meets the other survivor, and the Extend Machine suddenly reactivates, with the human lives counter also increasing.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Sho Terashima (boke) and Mirai (tsukkomi) from Extend TV.
  • Bonus Boss: Monokuma is this later on into the game. He only appears in Garage Island within Difficulties 4 and 5, and the game warns you that you hear laughter. Even with the best armor and weapons, he can Total Party Wipe the party at worst or kill a few while leaving others in critical at best. Once he gets down to low health, he starts running away and you have to kill him or he flies away, prompting you to reload the last save and try again.
  • Book Ends: Haruto is the viewpoint character in the first chapter and again in the final chapter.
  • Bowdlerization: The overseas release removed some of the game's content that had pedophilic implications, such as every child bedtime event and Sachika showing her panties. Other than that, the game remained intact.
  • Broken Pedestal: What Yuma feels her father has become for her after learning that his investment in cloning technology only served to try and resurrect her mother and not the good of the company.
  • Crossover Cameo: Monokuma makes some appearances on posters (and even does his trademark laugh). Inspecting the posters gives a chance to have him spawn as an enemy on garage island. Having save data from a DanganRonpa game greatly improves the chance.
  • Death Is Cheap: Downplayed. Living team members can revive fallen ones by cloning them via the Extend Machine; the clones are biologically children, but retain their previous skills and memories. The catch is, that following the correct instructions to do so is easier said than done. A.) They must retrieve the deceased clone's X-Key and put it into the Extend Machine. B.) Each revival costs a certain amount from the Score points accumulated through gameplay.
  • Determinator: As said in the trailer: "Even if I had known about this pain, I still would have come for you." Not to mention, not even their deaths stop them from going on.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Terashima uses this phrase to chastise the group for thinking that the original Sachika was still present inside the clone.
  • Double Standard: The women mercilessly mock Haruto's naked body upon his revival, but they won't even let Mamoru check Rinko's health upon her being revived despite not knowing that cloning is safe yet.
  • Dung Fu: Enemies can shoot blobs that induce Stench on the party, increasing their Stress as well as letting every monster know where they are. Ebony monkeys can also hit them and drop... "monkey adhesive" that's used in base construction as well as weapon and armor making.
  • Easier Than Easy: Difficulty 1 removes every enemy from the Ruins, prevents status aliments from happening, and Grant's players the power to use a One-Hit Kill on bosses.
  • Everyone Is Bi: All of the clones can bond with each other without any regard for gender, even during 'bedtime' cutscenes.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: It gets revealed that all of the clones, including Sachika, had all gone to the same school together. During Stage 6, Rinko thinks that Haruto is Yosuke Kurosaki, the man who killed Sachika until it turns out that Haruto was one of the Garage Kids the whole time.
  • Explosive Overclocking: An organic variety. Using clione powers too much will kill the user, though dying that way allows their next life to have less corruption.
  • Faux Symbolism: Invoked by Mamoru. He chose the theme of the seven deadly sins since he thought it would make the situation seem more dramatic.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: As the characters age, their stats, abilities, looks and voice change accordingly.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: You can have your characters die of old age while exploring the ruins, but in cut scenes they will still be alive to speak their lines.
  • Game Within a Game: Reckless Skies, an arcade 2D shooter whose design principles factor into how the Extend Machine works, courtesy of Terashima being such a big fan of it that he wears a shirt of it every time you see him.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Whenever the characters get killed by a creature it would show the characters screen box fading while a scream is heard and the sound of they're bodies fading.
  • Gone Horribly Right: During Stage 6, it's revealed that Sachika got killed by Kurosaki because everyone else picked her as the black sheep under the assumption that none of the others would want to choose her.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: All female characters, and only female characters, have access to the ranged attack skills; similarly, every male character has access to the skills for multiple melee weapons, while each female character only gets one.
  • Harder Than Hard: Difficulty 5 amps up the challenges by a nook, giving enemies triple damage, higher score costs, status aliments happening faster and lower attack power. They also make bosses respawn as well.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Terashima, the true Big Bad of the story, was hidden consciously inside Sachika's prostectic arm.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Coromo Hot Springs is this which goes into Ryo's backstory. After it's cleared out, there are events as well for the party in adult, middle age and senior life cycles.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: A variation. Mamoru states that if he wanted to be all alone in the world, he would not have kept the Garage Kids alive as long as he did.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: The Extend Machine allows the cast to revive fallen characters via cloning, theoretically for an unlimited amount of uses.
  • It's All About Me: Ryo's mother had this trope down pat. She felt everyone paid more attention to her son than her, usually for good reasons (like she wasn't putting him in school) or bad reasons ( the manager of the hot springs secretly molesting him).
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Between the end of the world, the cloning, the connection that the characters share and the question of who killed Sachika in the past it takes a while for it all to fit together.
  • Loophole Abuse: Attempted by Sachika in the past when told to pick a black sheep. Since Kurosaki doesn't specify that it has to be one of their group, she tries choosing him. Unfortunately, see Gone Horribly Right.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Sachika is the only protagonist not associated with a deadly sin, but with the original sin. Additionally, she's the only clone not being able to age at all.
    • Also, she's the only one to not get a chapter from her point of view.
  • MacGyvering: The Workshop allows you to do this by combining different items into new weapons and armor, sometimes combining gear you've already made into newer and stronger versions.
  • The Many Deaths of You: You get buffs by exploiting the many ways your party can be killed either by combat, traps, old age or food allergies. The only one who doesn't have any age related deaths is Sachika.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. There's a Bowel Movement status, and ignoring it can be fatal to you and your party.
  • Power at a Price: Silburst allows a clone to have a massive burst of power that drains their health along with a huge Taking You with Me explosion once they die, but it can only be used on the last day of their life, so Sachika is unable to use it.
  • Oh, Crap!: All of the group has this reaction once they encounter Kurosuke.
  • Rapid Aging: The clones go from child to young adult to middle-aged and finally to old age within 13 days.

  • Red Herring: Thanks to the use of the phrase "black sheep" in Haruto's backstory as well as his resemblance to the man who murdered Sachika, the player's led to believe that he's the one responsible for the happenings in both past and present. In the end, he only looked similar to Kurosaki.
  • Rotating Protagonist: The player character changes with each chapter and everyone but the second Sachika gets their turn.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Extend TV, which also serves as a guide for the characters. Later succeeded by Shin Extend TV.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Seven of the characters have each one of the deadly sins assigned, plus Sachika and the original sin.
    • Haruto Higurashi: Sloth
    • Ryo Makijime: Envy
    • Zen Kubota: Wrath
    • Mamoru Ichiyo: Greed
    • Rinko Susukino: Lust
    • Yuma Mashira: Gluttony
    • Minamo Setouchi: Pride
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
    • People can't eat things they just pick up off the ground; food needs to be properly cooked or prepared or else expect stress and bladder levels to skyrocket. Furthermore, if you give a character a food that contains an ingredient they're allergic to, they'll instantly die. The same happens if you give them a dish with wild mushrooms or other things you just so happen to scavenge and not test for poison.
    • With no one to maintain the Extend Machine, it breaks down five years later, leaving the cast dying one by one and unable to come back to life.
  • Was Once a Man: It gets revealed much later on in Stage 7 that all the clione are the remains of the human race.
  • Younger Than They Look: Due to their Rapid Aging, the characters look way older than just under two weeks old.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: 13 days, to be precise. There's a way around it via the Extend Machine, though—sort of.