Earlier today, we learned that Zero Time Dilemma would be featured in Famitsu magazine this week. There will be an interview with Kotaro Uchikoshi, creator of the series: parts of that interview have leaked online, allowing us to get some new details about the game.
First, some details about the title. Previously, the series was known as “Extreme Escape” in Japan, but this third one will simply be called “Zero Escape”. In the interview, Kotaro Uchikoshi explains that this is due to the team wanting to refresh the image of the series in Japan. It’s for this reason that they went with the western title (Zero Escape), leaving it as it is.
In Japan, the first two entries in the Zero Escape (999 and Virtue’s Last Reward) didn’t really impress with their sales, and it was mostly thanks to sales in North America that Virtue’s Last Reward got greenlit. In fact, it was the poor sales of Virtue’s Last Reward that put the third entry into jeopardy. Therefore, trying to refresh the image of the franchise in Japan is probably for the best. But will it work?
Next, Kotaro Uchikoshi talks about the themes of the game. He explains that Zero Time Dilemma is a game that will make players think about “what is right”, and question their very notions of “right” and “wrong”. They will be faced with the “ultimate choice”, and the “right choice” may not be be “compatible” with what players consider is “right”.
That “ultimate choice” will put the life of people at risk. Kotaro Uchikoshi wants players to feel really worried and anxious: some very good news for players who missed the sense of tension of 999 in Virtue’s Last Rewards.
He also explains that he didn’t want to make any compromise regarding potentially violent or shocking content (especially in regard to age rating), and so the game will be as he imagined it. He laughed when saying that Zero Time Dilemma might become the very first Nintendo 3DS game to get the CERO Z rating.
Just like in the previous entries, the story will progress based on the choices of players. Those will have a direct impact on how the story unfolds, and which endings are reached. The “Dilemma” bit from the title refers to those many choices the players will have to make: what endings are “good”, and which ones are “bad”?
Good news for players who were not completely satisfied by the way Virtue’s Last Reward ended: all mysteries from the first two games will be solved in Zero Time Dilemma. In other words, Zero Time Dilemma will most definitely not end with a cliffhanger. What’s more, Kotaro Uchikoshi explain that the team is making sure that even those playing it for the first time will be able to enjoy it.
Finally, Kotaro Uchikoshi reveals why he didn’t chose Kinu Nishimura (who worked in the previous two entries) for the chara-design. He initially thought about asking her again, but he changed his mind when he found out he wanted to give players the impression the game has changed a lot (compared to the previous entries).
Another reason he didn’t go with Kinu Nishimura is because the game now features 3D cinematics, instead of characters standing in front of a fixed background. For that reason, he wanted a more “impressive” design for the characters. Finally, he explains that Rui Tomono was chosen as chara-designer for Zero Time Dilemma because his style would flow better with the western audience, but would still keep a distinct Japanese touch.
Zero Time Dilemma (3DS) comes out this Summer, worldwide.