There was a time before I knew anything about killing games. In front hunger gamesbefore Danganronpa, before Squid Game. And then I played 999.
At first glance, killing games appear to be sociopathic: we tend to follow a single “player” unknowingly enrolled in a game where only the strongest, smartest, or sneakiest person can survive and win the prize. Everyone else will die or be killed in traumatic and bloody ways to entertain the fictional audience. The problem is that the fictional audience is also a real audience – a one-person audience. The player. You. The premise of the killing game is that you have to be pretty sick to enjoy this spectacle of horror, but the fact that killing games persist in the media means they do are enjoyable. Does that make us sick?
999: Nine people, nine hours, nine doors is one Saw-like killing game that takes place in a mysterious sinking ship full of locked doors scrawled with huge single digit numbers in red paint. As the title suggests, there are nine people on board the ship, each with their own digital watch-like device strapped to their wrists, each with a different number on the device. Players must group up to enter the numbered doors by adding up their numbers – 4 and 1 can go into a 5 door, for example – but if a player is going through a door they shouldn’t do it or try to do that Remove device, they explode.
Not surprisingly, people die fairly quickly because almost everyone on board has secrets, and some of them are homicidal. But that’s not really the gist of the story in 999, as it’s starting to become clear that there’s something else going on. Why are you all here? who brought you here who is everyone And is it actually possible to escape?
I don’t want to spoil the game because I think everyone deserves a chance to play it themselves and experience the mind-blowing twists and real-time reveals. Also, I’m not entirely sure could explaining the plot even if I wanted to – it’s the kind of story that only really makes sense if you actively follow it, and there are many parts that you might need a knowledge of the basic philosophy to understand. Instead, I want to talk about what 999 represents in the world of gaming – and what killing games really means.
Because, right, listen, it’s me not a sociopath. Or a psychopath. I’m fairly normal and able to distinguish fact from fiction. I’ve never, not once, trapped a mixed group of teenagers in a warehouse, school or boat and got them to beat each other up. I don’t have the means for that! But playing killing games like 999, Danganronpa, and Virtue’s Last Reward is a fascinating insight into the human psyche, accompanied by brilliant writing. (Well, most of the time anyway. Let’s not talk about Danganronpa’s love of seedy and occasionally spooky tropes.)
Killing games are not original. From Roman gladiator fights to the story of 1924”The most dangerous game“People have always been fascinated with killing for sport and there is almost always a class system that determines who has to play and who gets to watch. It’s basically a hyper-extreme version of modern-day poverty, where billionaires hoard wealth and those starving below the poverty line, except the game allows the latter to potentially become the former…while the game’s wealthy patrons look on.
In 999, unusually, the game is not divided between classes – the poor, the young, the old, and the rich mingle equally in the arena of captivity. Instead, the motive here is not to rise above poverty, but is twofold: first, that the prisoners escape (the reward is their lives) and second, to unwittingly find the solution to an old problem and the clueless cog to be in a machine built to exact revenge.
As Junpei, one of the people trapped in this killing game, you are expected to team up with a handful of other people to solve a series of logic puzzles to solve each room and then make difficult decisions when the entire Group regroups after each puzzle – decisions about who to group up with next and possibly who to leave behind if the numbers don’t match.
As a player, you don’t really face the threat of death, as you can simply discard the DS at any time – but the stakes for each puzzle are still sky-high, as every character you encounter is delightfully intricate. complex and deep, and you’ll want to see each of their stories to the end. It’s not just about saving Junpei, your avatar – it’s about finding the best solution, the one where anyone Life.
So yes, there might be a tiny morsel of sociopathy in the delight in a killing game – or at best a morbid fascination, just like people who delight in true crime. It helps that we have some distance to the stories, either because they’re fictional or because they’re being told as if They’re fictional, so we never have to meet the real people behind the stories face-to-face. But it’s not just about enjoying the macabre. Killing games allow us to witness the depths of human depravity—but human ones too generosity.
Hunger Games shows how its protagonist gives a young girl an impromptu funeral, even though it puts her in danger. Squid Game shows its protagonist taking care of an old man, although statistically the old man is the worst playing partner. And 999 shows us people who want to flee, but not always at the cost of the deaths of others. The easiest solution for 999 is to kill everyone and use their bracelets to escape without having to engage in a ton of lengthy conversations. But killing games would be boring if everyone in them was a sociopath; The excitement and fascination comes from the fact that these players care too much of to go the easy way.
999 is one of the best killing games out there, as is its sequel, Virtue’s Last Reward (the third in the trilogy, Zero Time Dilemma, isn’t quite as good), and that’s largely due to its utter brilliance as a story and its unique narrative presentation . It’s curvier than a bag of fusilli and curvier than Lot’s wife, but that’s not its only appeal: none of its characters are the ones who appear first, and by the end you’ll want to save almost all of them – even if they’ve seen their worst mistakes. The test isn’t just about solving the puzzles in the escape room segments. It finds humanity in an inhuman situation.
https://www.nintendolife.com/features/memory-pak-my-first-killing-game-999-nine-hours-nine-persons-nine-doors My First Killing Game – 999: Nine hours, nine people, nine doors