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My First Killing Game – 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors



There was a time earlier than I knew about killing video games. Earlier than Starvation Video games, earlier than Danganronpa, earlier than Squid Sport. After which, I performed 999.

On the face of it, killing video games appear sociopathic: We are likely to comply with a single “participant” who’s unwittingly enrolled in a sport the place solely the strongest, cleverest, or most underhanded individual can survive, and win the prize. Everybody else will die, or be killed, in traumatic and gory methods designed to entertain the fictional viewers. The issue is that the fictional viewers can also be an actual viewers — an viewers of 1. The participant. You. The premise of the killing sport is that it’s important to be fairly sick to get pleasure from this spectacle of horror, however the truth that killing video games persist in media implies that they are satisfying. Does that make us sick?

999: 9 Individuals, 9 Hours, 9 Doorways is a Noticed-like killing sport that takes place in a mysterious sinking ship filled with locked doorways, scrawled with big, single-digit numbers in purple paint. There are, because the title suggests, 9 folks aboard the ship, every with their very own digital watch-like machine bolted onto their wrists, every with a special quantity on mentioned machine. The gamers should group collectively to enter the numbered doorways by including collectively their numbers — 4 and 1 can go right into a 5 door, for instance — but when a participant goes by means of a door they should not, or tries to take away the machine, they explode.

Unsurprisingly, folks begin dying fairly rapidly, as a result of nearly everybody on board has secrets and techniques, and a few of them are the murdery variety. However that is probably not the crux of the story in 999, because it slowly turns into clear that there is one thing else happening. Why are you all right here? Who put you right here? Who’s everybody? And is it truly potential to flee?

I do not need to spoil the sport, as a result of I believe everybody deserves an opportunity to play it themselves, and have the mind-blowing twists and revelations occur in real-time. Additionally, I am not totally positive I might clarify the plot, even when I wished to — it is the sort of story that solely actually is smart in the event you’re actively following it, and there are many bits that you simply would possibly must have data of fundamental philosophy to know. So as an alternative, I need to discuss what 999 represented on the earth of gaming — and what killing video games actually imply.


As a result of, proper, pay attention, I am not a sociopath. Or a psychopath. I am fairly regular, and able to distinguishing reality from fiction. I’ve by no means, not even as soon as, trapped an assorted group of teenagers in a warehouse, a college, or a ship, and made them bump one another off. I haven’t got the sources for that! However enjoying killing video games like 999, Danganronpa, and Advantage’s Final Reward is an enchanting look into the human psyche, accompanied by good writing. (Effectively, more often than not, anyway. Let’s not discuss Danganronpa’s love of dodgy and infrequently creepy tropes.)

Killing video games should not unique. From the gladiatorial fights of the Romans to the 1924 story “The Most Harmful Sport“, people have all the time been fascinated by killing for sport, and there may be nearly all the time a category system concerned to find out who has to play and who will get to observe. It is principally a hyper-extreme model of contemporary poverty, the place billionaires hoard wealth and people under the poverty line starve, besides that the sport permits the latter to probably develop into the previous… whereas the wealthy patrons of the sport watch.

In 999, unusually, the sport is just not divided amongst class traces — the poor, the younger, the previous, and the wealthy mingle alike within the captive area. As an alternative, the motive right here is to not elevate oneself above poverty, however it’s twofold: One, for the captives to flee (the reward is their lives) and two, to unwittingly kind the answer to an previous drawback, and be the unaware cogs in a machine constructed to enact revenge.

Time to do some maths, yay
Time to do some maths, yay

As Junpei, one of many folks trapped on this killing sport, you might be anticipated to crew up with a handful of different folks to unravel a bunch of logic puzzles to unravel every room, after which make troublesome choices when the complete group joins again collectively once more after every puzzle — choices like who to crew up with subsequent, and probably who to go away behind if the numbers do not add up.

Because the participant, you are not truly confronted with the specter of demise, as a result of you possibly can simply put the DS down at any level — however the stakes for every puzzle are sky-high nonetheless, as every character that you simply meet is gorgeously intricate, complicated, and deep, and also you need to see every of their tales to the tip. It is not nearly rescuing Junpei, your avatar — it is about looking for the very best answer, the one the place everybody lives.

So sure, there’s maybe a small crumb of sociopathy within the enjoyment of a killing sport — or at finest, a morbid fascination, simply the identical as individuals who get pleasure from true crime. It helps that we have now far from the tales, both as a result of they’re fictional or as a result of they’re being instructed as if they’re fictional, so we by no means have to come back face-to-face with the true folks behind the tales. Nevertheless it’s not nearly having fun with the macabre. Killing video games permit us to witness the depths of human depravity — but in addition human generosity.


Starvation Video games reveals its protagonist giving an impromptu funeral to a younger woman, although it places her in danger. Squid Sport reveals its protagonist taking good care of an previous man, although the previous man is statistically the worst sport companion to select. And 999 reveals us individuals who need to escape, however not all the time at the price of the deaths of others. The best answer to 999 is to kill everybody, and use their bracelets to flee with out having to have a bunch of tedious conversations. However killing video games can be boring if everybody in them was a sociopath; the thrill and intrigue comes from the truth that these gamers care an excessive amount of to take the simple method out.

999 is without doubt one of the finest killing sport video games on the market, and so is its follow-up, Advantage’s Final Reward (the third within the trilogy, Zero Time Dilemma, is not fairly pretty much as good), and that is largely on account of its completely good story, and its distinctive narrative presentation. It is extra twisty than a bag of fusilli, and extra turny than Lot’s spouse, however that is not its solely enchantment: None of its characters are who they first seem, and by the tip of it, you may need to save nearly all of them — even having seen their worst flaws. The take a look at is not simply finishing the puzzles within the escape-room segments. It is discovering humanity in an inhumane scenario.

Funyanrinpa says "leave a comment below expressing your love of killing games"
Funyanrinpa says “go away a remark under expressing your love of killing video games”

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