Zettai Zetsumei Toshi (Japanese for "The City Of Certain Death") is a series of games by Irem in which you play as someone trying to escape a city as it is destroyed around you. The games are fairly well-known for cheesy voice acting and awkward controls, but if you can overcome those, a rather engaging series of adventure games awaits you.
The game did well in Japan and in other countries. Unfortunately only the second made it to the states and Europe in the form of Raw Danger; the third was confined only to Japan, and the fourth was flat-out canceled due to the earthquake in Japan.
A fourth game was planned for a Spring 2011 release, but thanks to a massive earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in March of that year, the game was instantly branded as being Too Soon by its publisher and killed. However, it is being redeveloped with cooperation from the Kobe Fire Department and it was released on November 2018.
Granzella, founded by the previous games' producer Kazuma Kujo, is now the owner of the IP and re-released both Disaster Report and Raw Danger as PS2 Classics on PlayStation 3 in Japan, and work on the canceled sequel was restarted for the PlayStation 4.
The games are as follows:
- Zettai Zetsumei Toshi (Disaster Report)
- Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 2: Itetsuita Kiokutachi (Raw Danger)
- Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3: Kowareyuku Machi to Kanojo no Uta
- Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 Plus: Summer Memories
See also City Shrouded In Shadow, a game also developed by Granzella that has similar gameplay.
- Always Close: Zigzagged. Most of the time, the protagonist has a set amount of time to escape from an area before they die, but there are a few instances that will always have the section they were just in collapse right after they make it past it no matter how long they took to get through it..
- Badass Bystander: Every single protagonist. They're just normal people, yet they have enough physical fitness to escape the jaws of danger again and again.
- Big Dam Plot: Raw Danger has the city's dam burst halfway through the game, causing the flooding to go From Bad to Worse.
- The Conspiracy: Every game has one going on behind the scenes as the disaster happens, with it being slowly revealed as the game goes on.
- Holler Button: Present in every game, but it usually doesn't do much aside from a few instances and occasionally causing some humorous moments.
- Multiple Endings: Every game has different endings for the protagonists depending on what dialogue options or other choices they make, whether it's them escaping from the city or being trapped atop a sinking building with no hope of rescue.
- Relationship Values: Each game has a different companion that you can treat in various ways. Generally, taking good care of them by giving them items often and making dialogue choices that satisfy them will make the protagonist more liked by them, while neglecting to give them items and going out of your way to pick a dialogue option that infuriates them will generally result in the protagonist being disliked by them.
- Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: In between each level in Raw Danger, a map of the city appears that shows how flooded each district of it is, along with a News Ticker that gives updates on the flood and rescue efforts.
- Story Branching: Oh boy. Every game has at least one dialogue option that changes how the plot advances, whether it's going through different levels or one character deciding to leave the city by themselves and ending their part of the game early, you definitely aren't going to see everything in one playthrough.