In my review of 999: Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors, I mentioned that Chunsoft had announced a sequel to the game. The name of the new game is Kyokugen Dasshutsu Adv: Zennin Shibō Desu, roughly translated as Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die. As discovered yesterday in an upcoming issue of Nintendo Power, Aksys would announce it was once again handling the North American localization. A concrete release date was not mentioned, but it was stated that Aksys was preparing for a release by the end of 2012. It’s important to note that the title of the game will likely change as 999 was known as Extreme Escape in Japan.
It was revealed in the article that the new game would feature stereoscopic 3D and full voice acting. In addition, the scope of the game is much larger, including a total of twenty-four endings compared to 999’s six. The game’s plot will revolve around a new type of nonary game, the classical prisoner’s dilemma.
The basics of the prisoner’s dilemma are thus: Two people are arrested, but the police have no concrete evidence against either. To remedy this, they present a bargain: if Person A stays silent and his partner stays silent, they both receive one month of jail time. However, if Person A rats out Person B while the latter remains silent, the rat goes free and the other gets a year of jail time. In the event that both betray each other, they each get a three-month sentence. Although it seems it’s in both of their best interests to stay silent, the odds are against them if they do. By staying silent, a person has a 50% chance of receiving a sentence of one month or one year based on the actions of their partner. However, if they choose to betray, they either get three months or go free. The options are better when one betrays, so the prisoner’s dilemma usually results in a lot of betrayal.
The new nonary game in this title works on a similar concept: points are awarded for cooperating, but one can gain extra points by betraying their partner; however, these extra points are actually taken from their partner. In order to escape, one must collect a total of nine points, but falling below a certain point threshold could result in death. Based on the title and past experience with 999, this is a very likely scenario. The game was released in Japan for both the 3DS and the Vita. Whether the localization will also be for both systems remains to be seen.
Analysis: Personally, I’m exceptionally excited for this release. We gave 999 an A on this site, which means the game is near-perfect. This was a game whose story was so compelling and intricately woven that I felt it truly deserved the grade. The music, plot, and puzzles were fantastic, not to mention that the game provides a good reason for playing through all six endings. We weren’t the only ones to feel this way, either: the game received very high scores across many sites. It actually did so well that the initial printing actually sold out, so Aksys had to have another run of the game printed. Visual novels generally don’t perform well in the U.S., but 999 has shown that they can be viable if done properly. It also proved that a truly mature title can have success on the DS, and by extension, the 3DS.
Everyone who has played 999 has great hopes for Good People Die. Chunsoft did a fantastic job on the first game and that same staff is making this one. Here’s hoping the new game is just as good and just as well-received. Aksys really took a heavy risk spending the time to localize such a text-heavy visual novel adventure game on the off chance that it might turn a profit. It did, so if we’re lucky, we might see similar games in the future.