極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 (Zero Escape: 999) 🗝 (Visual Novel Book Club) // Currently Reading!

Welcome to 極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉! :old_key:

What’s happening here?

極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 (aka Zero Escape: 999) is being read as part of the visual novel book club. 999 is a mystery puzzle game; you can learn more about it on VNDB!

Where to buy

Steam (includes second game)
PS4 (includes second game)
XBox (includes second game)
DS (original version, not voiced)

Schedule (very tentative)

Week Start Date Reading
Week 1 Mar 31st 3 scenes (3)
Week 2 Apr 7th 3 scenes (6)
Week 3 Apr 14th 3 scenes (9)
Week 4 Apr 21st 4 scenes (13)
Week 5 Apr 28th 4 scenes (17)
Week 6 May 5th 4 scenes (21)
Week 7 May 12th 4 scenes (25)
Week 8 May 19th 4 scenes (29)
Week 9 May 26th 4 scenes (33)
Week 10 June 2nd 4 5 scenes (37)
Week 11 June 9th 5 scenes (42)
Week 12 June 16th 5 scenes (47)
Week 13 June 23rd 5 scenes (52)
Week 14 June 30th 5 scenes (57)
Week 15 July 7th 5 scenes (62)
Week 16 July 14th 5 (?) scenes

Discussion Guidelines

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the game than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:


This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice

  • When asking for help, try to give context and/or a screenshot of the relevant text if possible, but be careful to tag spoilers!

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!


Will you be reading with us?
  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Maybe
  • No
0 voters
Which version will you be reading?
  • PC
  • PS4
  • Xbox
  • DS (original version, unvoiced)
  • Other (comment below!)
0 voters

Don’t forget to set this thread to Watching in order to be notified when weekly threads get posted!


Alright, preliminary home thread is a go! :tada: So we have some orders of business to take care of, first off:

When should we start?
  • March 24th (a week from now)
  • March 31st (two weeks from now)
  • April 14th (a month from now)
  • May 7th (summer almost I guess?)
  • Other (comment below!)

0 voters

Second, routes and scheduling; as far as order of routes, I know a couple of you have mentioned some suggested route orders. I figure anyone familiar with the game who has any particular opinions on what order we should do can put forth their view (tagged for spoilers of course), and we’ll see if there’s any major disagreement. I also think we should do all of the endings as I assume that is what’s included in the estimated lengths we’ve seen, but if anyone feels strongly on any of these points let me know and we can do votes as needed! I just don’t know how we’d do a general route vote without spoilers honestly :joy: veterans only!

Schedule-wise, the game is generally split up into scenes which I think should function well enough as our measures here. I’m sure they vary quite a bit in length (though I really don’t remember which ones tend which way), but I think generally going for a set number of scenes each week with some leeway for logical conclusions and extremely long or short ones is a good way to go. That said, how fast? I’ve thought up some options:

How fast should we go?
  • 3 scenes per week (~21 weeks)
  • 4 scenes per week (~16 weeks)
  • 5 scenes per week (~13 weeks)
  • Start with 3 scenes per week, increase to 4 partway through (~20 weeks depending when increase happens)
  • Start with 4 scenes per week, increase to 5 partway through (~14 weeks depending when increase happens)
  • Start with 3 scenes per week, gradually increase to 5 (~16 weeks)
  • Other (comment below!)

0 voters

Of course, if you have other ideas on how we should split things please let me know! We will figure this out together :muscle:


I’ll reiterate the route order I suggested in the VN club here: sub, knife, axe, safe, true. BadPlayer also suggested coffin before safe, which I’m equally down for if others familiar with the game feel strongly about it! I’m especially partial to sub first because it has the biggest “what the hell just happened” hook at the end, and lets you stew on it for several more routes.

We would probably want to choose doors so that none of the endgame route scenes will trigger early, maybe 432 > 486 > 571? That’ll get all three bad ends and cover all the rooms with little repetition (should anyone choose the DS version).


I think that’s a good order and routing. I think it also gets us both alternative dialogs in door 6 (one is only possible to see in the knife route IIRC)

Edit: There’s also alternative dialog behind door 8 depending if whether door 4 or door 5 preceded entering it. The latter is more interesting because it gives character backstory IMO but not as much as getting both dialogs after door 6. Maybe we can spike this out for anyone wanting to skip around to see it?


Yeah, with the small caveat that that scene happens outside of the puzzle room, so it’s entirely possible to accidentally skip it in the port when you’re unlocking safe route. (One of my many gripes with that version :pensive:) We’ll probably need to remind people not to miss it once we’re closer.

Edit: The door 8 alternate dialogue won’t be a problem, the game does force you to replay that scene on safe route - it’s only the Santa scene that’s skippable


Hi everyone :wave:
I’ve never played a visual novel in my life (although I’ve played lots of adventure games in the past), but this one looks vaguely interesting to me, and I’m thinking it might potentially be a fun opportunity for combined listening/reading practice. I don’t see a demo in Steam though. Do you know if there’s a demo available anywhere? I’d like to make sure I enjoy playing it before I actually buy it, especially since I have zero visual novel experience.


Great job, @natarin!

I do have a friendly reminder. The estimated character count for this VN and the suggested weekly character count decided by the general VN club suggests completion within 14-17 weeks. Not saying that is a strict limit, the only strict limit we have is 5 months/ca 22 weeks as max length, so the slowest option is fine on that point. But we are in general aiming for a higher reading speed.

But I also know that when it comes time to actually plan VN reading speed, well, stuff gets hard. xD

In the end, the readers of this particular VN gets to choose speed as long as it is under the max. So no worries, just a “keep in mind” kinda thing. ^^


There is no demo, unfortunately - there used to be a flash demo of the DS version that is long since defunct. But, since most of the gameplay is reading, watching part of a playthrough could probably give you a good idea of what it’s like, or alternatively, I think Steam lets you refund the game within a certain amount of playtime if you decide it’s not for you.


Thank you. I had a quick look at a gameplay video and it does look very much like a classic puzzle adventure game, which is the kind of game I like. I may give this a try :slight_smile:


I played this one a really long time ago on the DS but the steam sale was too tempting so I’ll be enjoying the text hooking and voice acting this time I guess! Hopefully I’ve forgotten enough about the details that replaying is still engaging. Was definitely one of my favs back when I played it, and seeing what was lost in the translation should be fun.

I don’t have a strong preference on the starting date and on the pace I voted a bit blindly since I have no idea how long each ‘scene’ is. In any case I’d recommend starting with a lower amount at least on the first week since it’s usually hardest getting used to the setting, and then go to the average of 4 scenes per week (or whatever is chosen). Regardless, I think in this kind of club it’s a good idea to check in from time to time to see if the majority want to slow down or speed up since VNs are a difficult medium to organize. @MissDagger has done that with BU$TAFELLOWS and I think it’s worked quite well.

I’m going to be reading B$ as my first priority so I hope I can keep up with with this one as well :sweat_smile:


Agreed, I more put those options for the sake of covering all my bases in case people really wanted those options for some reason, but I agree we should tend to try for faster!

That’s the trouble isn’t it :joy: yeah whatever we go with there is definitely going to be more of a guideline than a set rule. The length of what I’m calling scenes varies so I’m sure there’ll be situations where one ends up being way longer or shorter than we anticipate and so we’ll adjust on the fly. Theoretically it should average out to about the same amount each week (hopefully) :laughing:


Using @AAABatteries suggested order, this would be the estimated number of scenes for each route. I’m assuming a scene is one block on the flowchart, which can either be VN or puzzle, and not counting repeats unless required

Opening - 5 scenes


Route 1 - 14 scenes
Route 2 - 12 scenes
Route 3 - 14 scenes
Route 4 - 3 to 5 I can’t remember how much needs to be replayed to trigger flags so expect some margin of error
Route 5 - 13 to 16


I have this on Vita. So I’m thinking about joining.


My thoughts on route order are basically the same as AAABatteries. At first I was going to rec axe knife sub safe true, but I like the idea of going sub knife axe safe true like what was already recommended. The main thing I want to add is that I absolutely think we should do coffin ending too. I say put it right before safe. So it’s sub knife axe coffin safe true


Route order discussion time:

Based on what you guys are saying, I think sub - knife - axe - coffin - safe - true works well for the order. At least I don’t remember anything in particular that would make me disagree :joy: so unless anyone is opposed, I think we’ll go with that! A little poll to gauge how the 999 veterans feel:

Route order thoughts?
  • I agree with the order proposed above
  • Objection! (explain below)
0 voters

It hasn’t been very long so schedule polls are definitely still open, however as of now I’m leaning toward starting with 3 scenes to give people time to get adjusted and then increasing the pace as people feel comfortable. Of course if the votes change we’ll reevaluate, but I think that’s a good plan to work with for now! Start date-wise I think if we get everything sorted out to start March 31st then we can, otherwise we have a bit of buffer room to get things figured out.

It’s been a while so I’m not 100% which dialogues you guys are referring to; do you think we’ll end up encountering all of them by nature of replaying scenes if we plan it out right?

Yes this is how I’ve been using the terminology; honestly unless I’m forgetting things I’m not sure that repeats need to be counted at all. By the time we’d be doing any of that people will have had time to acclimate to the writing and such, so a few extra lines here and there from making different choices probably wouldn’t make a huge difference. Even if it did, that brings me to my next point -

I’m gonna try to read ahead each week to scope out how long the scheduled section would be, and if there are any aspects in particular we need to figure out. That should help with adjusting the intended number of scenes if any are extreme lengths, as well as confirming the exact choices and all that. Between that and feeling out how everyone feels with the reading speed as we go, I think it’ll work out well!


I think we should be fine. The first 3 routes will get us the regular versions of all those scenes, and then we’ll have to play the alternate versions to unlock the other routes. The flowchart marks every key scene except, for some reason, the door 6 scene (Santa w/ the photo on the stairs) we mentioned above. That particular scene isn’t required to unlock the ending, but we can make sure to read it before doing so. (It’s probably because it happens directly after the puzzle and not during - not sure if it’s an oversight or just wasn’t deemed important enough?) There are a few other alternate lines of dialogue depending on route order, but IIRC it’s mostly minor stuff about who went through which doors or has which keys.

FWIW I think some of the “scenes” on the flowchart aren’t very long at all, and are basically just branch points for decisions.


Oooh okay yeah that makes sense. Yeah we should definitely hit the Santa scene, I can put a warning or something in the guide when that comes up.

Absolutely, they vary pretty wildly so there’ll be some guesswork with trying to come up with a reasonable assignment for each week, but between me scouting it out ahead of time and seeing how others feel as they read it I think we’ll work it out!


Hello everybody! :smiley: :wave:

I really would like to join this book club, because I always was interested in reading/playing the zero escape trilogy, but never got around to do so. And I thought since it got chosen it would be a wonderful opportunity. But I fear my japanese knowledge is not yet good enough to read it without any assisting tools. :sob:

So yesterday I tried if I get textractor or game2text to work with 999. Needless to say I failed with both :sweat_smile:
For game2text my problem is, that after I mark what should be “read” by the program in the upper half, nothing happens - no text appears in the lower textbox…
And for textractor nothing really worked, but admittingly I haven’t tried for long, since I already read in the VN home thread that others failed to hook the game (?).
Has anyone successfully set up game2text (or anything similar) with 999? And can give me a hint on how to do it? Maybe had the same problem as me in the beginning and solved it?

I guess I will give it a try anyway when the bookclub starts even without those tools. But it would be way slower :sweat_smile:


Heya, welcome to the community! :slight_smile:

I was checking yesterday again to see if I could hook the game in Textractor like I could last time some time ago and I had success with one of the manual hooks just like I did back then. Unfortunately none of the automatic hooks it gives you when you attach it to the game are useful. I think these hooks are H-codes, they start with the letter H.

Because none of these automatic ones work, I did a manual search in the very first sentence of the game. You can do this by going to Textractor:

  1. Click search for hooks in the menu to the left, then click ok.
  2. Tick “search for chinese/japanese/korean”.
  3. Click on search for specific text.
  4. Type some of the text you see, ideally from the beginning of the sentence (in this case “けたたましい衝撃音”) then click ok.

Now you should have some R-codes to choose from, they start with the letter R. One of them should display all the text and work fine. I might be mistaken because I’m not too knowledgeable about these things but I think R-codes work a different way and sometimes I’ve had trouble saving them in certain games (9-nine-, another VN some of us are reading, is a bit of a pain with them because they don’t save). Luckily for us though, that doesn’t seem to be the case in 999 and they save just fine so they will be there when you reopen the game next time. This hook returns some gibberish as symbols but this can be easily filtered out using the Regex Filter extension, but I haven’t configured it yet so I will need to update on that some other time if someone hasn’t done it by then, but it’s also pretty easy to use so we should have a good working hook.

For the parts that can’t be hooked with Textractor, I’m not sure about Game2text because I don’t use it anymore, but I can sincerely recommend ShareX’s OCR tool. It’s what I use constantly for video games in general, I find it pretty accurate most of the time and it can automatically paste into Yomichan (or to the HTML hook file that Textractor uses I suppose, since both read the clipboard). I’m not sure about Mac, but if you are on Windows you can read about how to set it up here.


Thank you so much for your detailed answer!! I will try what you wrote and give an update later if I got it to work.

And it is the first time I heard about ShareX’s OCR tool. I will try this as well.

Thanks again!! :smiley: