999 for Nintendo DS surprised people with its mixture of puzzling gameplay, and surprisingly dark and mature, decision-driven storytelling, and its success led to the also very well regarded Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, which brought the concept to 3DS. The series is set to continue with Zero Time Dilemma, which just had its official Japanese website launch, along with plenty of new story and character details.
This time around, nine characters are divided into three groups and locked in an underground bunker with only a single elevator shaft leading back up to their freedom. However, their way is blocked by a locked door that needs six passwords to be opened, and each password requires someone to die. So, much like in the other games, it sounds like the player will be given plenty of life or death decisions with major repercussions on the game’s story.
The first group is Team C and it includes Carlos, the main character controlled by the player. In addition to our heroic lead, Team C includes Akane, who puts on the guise of the ideal demure Japanese woman despite running a secret organization working peace, and her friend Junpei, a detective.
Team Q, quite appropriately, contains Q, an amnesiac child wearing a large helmet for mysterious reasons; Eric, a friendly ice cream shop worker; and his girlfriend Mira, an attractive yet emotionally cold woman.
The last group, Team D, features Diana, a cheerful nurse with a love for pacifism; Phi, a smart and calculating young woman who volunteered to help save the world; and Sigma, who is actually an curmudgeonly old man stuck in a young man’s body.
And then there is Gabu, a little, old dog that can squeeze into tight spaces like air vents, thus allowing the divided groups to send messages to one another.
Last but not least is Zero, the individual behind everything who’s motives are just as mysterious as he is.
At this time, all of this information is based on translations of the Japanese website, so there might be small changes here and there as the game is localized ahead of its release sometime this summer.