Spike Chunsoft, publisher of perennial madman Kotaro Uchikoshi’s mindbending visual novels, posted a brief teaser on twitter earlier today, suggesting a return to the ship that 999 takes place on. Lead writer Uchikoshi then posted a tweet which read “It looks like a STEAMship” (emphasis his). Eight hours later, another tweet came through, supposedly clarifying his position by saying that it was a “vital steamship,” yet the suggestion had already been done.
For those not in the know, 999 was a visual novel originally released for the Nintendo DS, then ported to iOS some four years after its original release. Known for dealing with mature themes and intense depictions of violence, it was one of six games rated “M for Mature” here in the US. The plot of the game is thus: nine strangers are locked in a cruise ship that is sinking and must figure out a way to escape before a bomb in their stomach explodes. Split between locked-room puzzles and visual novel sequences, for many here in the States, it was their first exposure to anything in the visual novel medium, and it does so masterfully.
This rumor of 999 coming to Steam might be backed by the fact that Zero Time Dilemma, the third game in the semi-connected trilogy is being released on Steam two days after it comes to handhelds. As the games in the “Zero Escape” series have done exceedingly well outside of Japan, it would make sense to release more games in the trilogy for all to play. Regardless, with E3 coming up, we very well could see more news and a confirmation shortly.