Good People Die

Just in case you’re wondering from the post title, I am not currently going through a crisis in regards to the connection between morality and mortality. Good People Die is the name of a computer game, and it’s a strong contender for my personal favourite title.

It’s not actually the name of the English version of said game, though. That would be Virtue’s Last Reward, the second entry in the Zero Escape series of visual novels and #4 on my 2014 Game of the Year list. Virtue’s Last Reward is a pretty boss title too, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to Good People Die.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well, let me explain a habit of mine that I engage in when I have consumed a particularly interesting piece of media. Not necessarily good, mind you (see: Sword Art Online), but interesting. The first thing I will do is fish for the opinions and thoughts of other people. This could be from the forums I regular, or the results of a quick Google search, or even the YouTube comments on a video related to said media (I know, I KNOW). The second thing I will do is open up the relevant page in tv tropes and get to scouring. If you know anything about tv tropes, you know that hole can get really deep really fast. It’s a sickness. I just need to soak up as much information about this interesting thing as possible, and quantity and ease of access take priority over quality.

What makes Good People D-*ahem*, VLR worthy of mention at this time is that it has evoked this habit twice now. Twice, that is, with roughly a year in between. Writing my top 10 list just led to me thinking about it again. My reflection led to me thinking up a good reason to go back to it, and then I remembered the English dub that I never got to hear (what the crap, European release?).

Aaand that led to me binge-watching a VLR let’s play. I tried two different ones, and I hated both for their exceptionally irritating commentary. Still I stuck with one of the two, skipping the puzzles and the more repetitive parts of the story. Then I did exactly what I described above, and ended up in tv tropes AGAIN. But it’s not enough to feed this renewed hunger.

What I’m saying is, I really, really, really REALLY REALLY want the final Zero Escape volume to become a thing. Also if I could go back and change my Game of the Year list, I would put Virtue’s Last Reward at #2.

It’s not for everyone. It’s convoluted, takes a while to get crazy… and then when it gets crazy it gets so unbelievably banana loco that some would straight up not be able to handle it. Plus, to get anything out of VLR‘s endgame you HAVE to have experienced 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine doors. And… that didn’t come out in Europe! But, speaking as someone that read through 999, and as someone that can handle pacing issues and convolution, it’s got to be in my personal top three of all-time favourite stories.

I’ve got to write more about it, because inspires me in that way. Look forward to more of that. And hopefully, looking as the creator’s recent comments, the game’s failure to reach a Japanese market has not cut the series tragically short. If it does indeed get announced soon, Zero Escape 3 will be, bar none, my most anticipated game until the moment it comes out.

Hey. If you’re at all interested in the series and you don’t want to get spoiled (and it is a VERY SPOILABLE SERIES)?

Go here. It’s the entirety of 999, presented in a readable format. Read it. Give it a good go. There are offputting elements of which I’ll go more into detail later, but it’s worth pushing past that stuff.

-Jesse (@Backblogguy)


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