極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 (Zero Escape: 999) 🗝 Week 1 (Visual Novel Book Club)

Week 1: Starting March 31st

極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 :old_key: Home Thread!

This is being read as part of the Visual Novel Book Club.

Next Part: Week 2 (starting April 7th)


This week we’re reading the first 3 scenes, or squares on the flowchart.

Note: it’s not always obvious when a section ends, so try to keep an eye on the flowchart when you think you’re getting close to the end. Below is a screenshot of how your flowchart should look and where the section ends. Screenshots are under a double spoiler so you can unblur one at a time (minimizing spoilers).

Screenshots (potential spoilers)

Current flowchart:

Stop here:

General Advice

In the remastered version, novel sections have two reading modes: novel and adventure. The mode you are currently in is displayed in the top right; click on it to swap between the two. Novel mode includes both dialogue and narrative text, while adventure mode includes only dialogue. Which you read is up to you; novel mode generally gives you more information by nature of writing out descriptions of events, while adventure mode is less reading by nature of being only dialogue.

Note: the game will occasionally force you into the other mode. When this happens, you can simply click the button in the top right to swap back; however, if it forces you into novel mode, there may be a reason it does so, so proceed with caution!


The choices are under a double spoiler so you can unblur one choice at the time (minimizing spoilers).

No choices this week!
Guides if you want to check choices yourself (beware of spoilers!)

From what I can tell it seems like major spoilers and puzzle answers are hidden, but proceed with caution!

Japanese guide
English guide


In case anyone has trouble with the puzzles or that just isn’t their thing, I’m including the relevant puzzle instructions. Of course you’re welcome to ask for help in the thread as well! If you are trying to figure it out I’d recommend asking for hints here first, as the guides are somewhat hit or miss with how much they reveal and how quickly.

Puzzle guides

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter/part and any content in future chapters/parts.
  • When asking for help, do your best to provide context. Pasted text, screenshots, descriptions, etc. Unlike book clubs we can’t flip to relevant pages, so we may need a little help identifying exactly what is being discussed.
  • Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Clubs live and die by participation, and asking whatever question you have, no matter how silly it may seem, helps others who are reading it and even the answerer themselves.
  • Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible :slightly_smiling_face:


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m planning to read this VN but will start later
  • I am not reading this VN

0 voters


It’s about that time, get excited! Like I said before, if you’re looking for any indication of length this section took me about 1h 30m, but of course that’ll vary wildly depending on reading ability and familiarity with the game and all that. If anyone’s able to get a workable character count I’ll add that here too, though with how textractor’s been I’m not sure how likely that is :laughing:

As you guys get into it let me know how pacing and such feels; I’ll post a poll later in the week to gauge where everyone’s at but please share any thoughts you have! Also if there’s anything else you think I should or shouldn’t be including in these posts let me know :grin:


The “where to stop” screenshot is very useful. Apparently I played way further than that when I was first trying out the game to see whether I was interested in joining. :sweat_smile:
I’ll now wait for the club to catch up with me so we can continue together. I think I haven’t made an important choice anywhere, but we’ll see next week I guess.

Fun so far, although for some reason I expected more interactivity. I should have suspected from the name “visual novel” that you basically just click and read. (yes, it’s my first visual novel, how did you guess? :joy:)


A little suggestion for the puzzle section: Lots of items have bonus flavortext if you click on them multiple times - I highly recommend exhausting all the dialogue for terrible puns.


The time has come (/・ω・)/

Looking forward to reading this with you all :slightly_smiling_face: . 頑張っていきましょう。

I’ll go with a mix of Textractor for the novel part and ShareX for the puzzle parts so hopefully I can arrange this, depending on how reliable the OCR is… it’s usually hit or miss. If it has a nice contrast between background and text it tends to pick everything up pretty nicely, but if it’s more fuzzy it can miss a lot. I suppose Game2Text works similarly, we’ll see.


Fingers Crossed :crossed_fingers:
Also my first Visual Novel. I started Danganronpa once not knowing what kind of game it was and thought I was progressing through a very long game introduction for days.

Haven’t been able to get texthooking to work. Texthooker doesn’t find the game executable. OCR works for the moment though.

While waiting to start, I’ve been playing on the DS as well. Just up to the first item interaction a few times. Maybe I’ll juggle both at first. Treating the DS version as the preliminary read and then fully diving in on the PC.


If you’re using textractor make sure you run the x86 version. The other won’t detect it.


I appreciate the help. I have been trying to use Textractor x86 actually. Must have crossed keywords subconsciously.

What has me stuck probably has something to do with the processes running in different environments. I’m trying to accomplish this on a Linux flavor btw.

Essentially trying to start Textractor in the same environment setup by Steam (proton) by using protontricks. There are things I haven’t had time to try yet that might work in theory but I’ve spent enough time on it already to say I’m ok with just using OCR if that’s how it has to be.


I finished the section in one go! Feels good. First of all, thanks a lot for running this @natarin , such a good VN. Also big thanks to @Voi for posting the exact hook code – I dunno why, but searching for text wasn’t working for me. I failed a few times then manually input the code and got it going. Very helpful. Game2text was performing kind of poorly on the parts that mattered to me in the puzzle section, so I ended up just doing manual lookups. I can probably get by on those.

I’ve read this VN before so I’ll be careful about how I talk about it, just some appreciation for things on the Japanese reread from me. It’ll be so cool to see some people coming at this blind.

I gotta say, voice acting and especially the lip flap took me off guard, haha. I forgot about all that. I’ve played this a few times before, but only on the DS previously, which lacked all of that.


This is a nice little week 1 slice; it gives everyone an opportunity to get acquainted with the puzzle sections, see how the overarching situation works, and have the briefest glimpses of the cast to start wondering about.

I collected the first meeting photos here cause I like them, but maybe it’ll also serve as a quick refresher for anyone starting out since we only barely heard from some of them.

The Japanese is so hard to understand through the gas mask, haha. This upscaling made me reappreciate how cool design is on that “face” though. Early impressions of the voice casting are good too – Junpei especially sounds sufficiently dopey, haha.


Zero Escape’s definitely on the more interactive side as VNs go too :joy:

But it’s exciting how many people seem to be trying out VNs for the first time here, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!!

No problem, it’s been a fun adventure so far :grin:

For that sort of thing I’ve actually had good luck with the google translate camera feature! There’s a setting where it just scans the text in the picture so you can copy and paste it elsewhere and I don’t think I’ve actually seen it render anything incorrectly… pretty convenient honestly.

That has me curious actually, what’s the spread here?

Have you played Zero Escape before?
  • Yes, the whole (or most of) the series!
  • Yes, 999 (this one)!
  • I’ve played some/know some things about it, but never finished
  • I’ve never touched a Zero Escape in my life

0 voters


You know, in addition this VN… I’m about to be out of town for a few days with just Octopath 2 on the Switch for Japanese reading, and I was already thinking manual lookups will be a lot more annoying when I don’t have access to my desktop PC. You might save me a lot of trouble with that, thanks. :grinning:


Read through scene 1 today, going to do the next part tomorrow and scene 3 throughout next week as I get time. It’s kinda weird to hear it in Japanese, the English voices are so good Ive always just done dub.

It took me about 40 minutes with lookups, lots of vocab and some kanji I don’t know as usual.

I also saved the output from textractor into a txt file. If anyone wants it I can upload it. I think I’ll try and save the novel parts but not the puzzles since it’s more cumbersome to do so.


I never played any of the series but had long had figured I would some point since at least when Zero Time Dilemma came out (I remember Vinny talking about them a lot on the giant beastcast) and avoided paying attention to anything too concrete about them (I had vaguely assumed “Nonary” was just like, the name of the development team or something, for example). My backlog system tends to move… slowly. So this one’s been in the front of the queue for a while but hasn’t gotten picked, so this seems like a good excuse to get around to it at last.

I flew through the section! Easy peasy! This level of text isn’t a problem for me anymore hardly at all and I moved through it quickly without needing a dictionary, but it still adds a little thrill to puzzle solving to remember all the past study that quietly went into being able to know what to do.

The voice acting seems quite good although I regret that it prevents the opportunity from getting to read aloud and do voices… I’ll still wring the narration for all its worth! and I like how zippy it is in interacting with stuff and giving you a puzzle to solve. If it hadn’t been for @omk3 's comment and the note about there not being any choices I surely would have assumed the scenes were counted by escape sequences only and ended up quite ahead, but I wouldn’t have minded.

The red and blue file motif (and the pre-rendered environments for that matter) made me think of Myst – it’s a pity there probably isn’t going to be any live-action FMV footage…

Out of curiosity, how is the アオ/ アカ puzzle localized?


I was hoping to start yesterday but I had so much work to do even though it was Saturday… but I can start today! I’m in the middle of Scene 2 (the escape room) and I just read through the 数字根 file. It’s actually surprisingly fun to read about math in Japanese!

Gonna be real, I’m skipping all the yellow tutorial text even though it could be good reading practice b/c I just couldn’t be bothered to read all that, I’d rather read the actual story

During mid-escape room cutscene

This was a question I had, but I figured it out, so I’ll share what I found in case anyone else is confused ^ _ ^

I was confused what ギリリ meant since it’s not on Jisho nor in my usual onomatopoeia dictionary, and when trying to type it my IME won’t suggest it. So for a moment I wondered if it was a typo for ギリギリ or something like that since I know the ENG version has a couple typos and I’ve been fearing that the JP version might as well. But I found it on kotobank!

① 物の軋る音を表わす語
② きつくしぼったり、巻いたり、回したりするさまを表わす語。

It’s meaning 1 here: the sound of something grinding

edit: oh it turns out ギリギリ can mean “grinding sound” too? I just knew about the “just barely”/“only just” meaning. so maybe ギリリ is short for ギリギリ? not sure though, the definitions seem a bit different

Response (puzzle spoiler)

They just used triangles instead. Grabbed these off the wiki, from the DS version but it still applies



And instead of there being a note that tells you what ア、い、ウ etc. mean, it said what the triangles mean. You had to look at both memos to open one case.

I like how the puzzles are a bit different in JP! Guess it makes sense but I didn’t think about it

ikr? I’m so used to the game starting with Junpei yelling "OOOOWWCH GODDAMNIT! as he careens off the top bunk :rofl: I’ll miss Evan Smith’s Junpei voice :cry: But I like Junpei’s JP VA so far!


For what it’s worth I would probably put it less as one being short for the other, and more as like, ギ+リ being the sound grinding makes and there being some allowable variations in how to convey that in the form of an onomatopoeia. Along the lines of like, ふわふわ vs. ふわっと or what have you.
I’d speculate the “just barely” meaning of ギリギリ is probably a lot more common than grinding for it at this point, so that may be why ギリリ variation would be used to unambiguously mean grinding.
(not basing any of that on specific sources though)

Ahh, thanks! Interesting!! I didn’t think of that solution, I was too set on preserving the “color written in a color that it isn’t” aspect.
Definitely seems a bit less elegant than the original (funny it needs the arrow to prevent rotating it the wrong way around), but hey it gets the job done!


Got started playing on the PC yesterday. While I may have been making slower progress with OCR than texthooking I was enjoying the experience. Until I started having technical difficulties. The kind that led to me installing different video drivers. Which led to my game not launching anymore.

Rather than attempt fixing the PC issue right away I started playing on the DS. Much slower progress still :sloth: I must have toggled Dialogue mode on the PC without realizing because I was getting a lot more text now. Played comfortably through the part I left off at on the PC and progressed beyond the first door.


Worrying somewhat that I’ve either missed the stopping point or vastly underestimated the reading volume. Playing on the DS Lite doing physical dictionary look-ups is probably the very slowest I could be going but I’ve been at it for three days. Trying to reach something that others have done in forty minutes. Still can’t use the map button, still haven’t made any branch choices. I’m assuming I’m really just slow and proceeding.
Doesn’t really matter though I suppose. This is my new thing now. Already a plateau buster.
Not really sure how to reference the sentences I have questions about. I’ll have to work that into my notes in the future.


I’m not 100% sure how the DS one differs, but this section doesn’t involve any branch choices or anything so you’re good on that. If you tell me like what’s currently happening where you are in it I could let you know if you’re past the stopping point or about how much you have left!


Currently covering the bangle numbers and codenames. Maybe some blindness in number 2.


Oh yeah that’s all next week, this one ended when they went to look downstairs and it was all flooded, the exact screenshot is in the main post. You’re all good!