All-ice, later given the nickname Alice, is an urban legend alluded to in Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and briefly mentioned in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. All-ice is the name attributed to an Egyptian priestess who will bring a curse upon anyone who opens her coffin. The legend states that the form of ice she was preserved in is "ice-9", a special form of ice does not melt at room temperature; this is where the name "All-ice" comes from.
Her actual name is Amen-Ra, but it seems that due to a typo or mistranslation, she is called "Amon-Ra" in-game.
There is a character named Alice in Virtue's Last Reward, but aside the similar naming and ethnicity, there is no evidence to support that they are the same woman. During the game itself, Alice denies that she is her, and says that others have mistaken her for her in the past. As a result, there is no confirmation on the origins/veracity of the All-ice legend in the Zero Escape universe.
All-ice was originally the mummy of the ancient Egyptian priestess Amen-Ra that had been stolen from a pyramid.
There was, however, something very peculiar about the mummy. It was different from the other preserved mummies of its time, which were mummified through wax, a process known as saponification, which left the corpses rotten and shriveled over a long period of time. Instead, when Alice was first discovered, it was apparent that she had been preserved by freezing, not wax. The body was frozen perfectly whole and intact, in a large, solid block of ice. It was said that from the time of its discovery, all the way to when it got put on the Titanic, and even though it was carried through the desert, that her body never melted.
Ice-9 and CAS
It was later revealed that the reason why Alice's body never melted, even at fairly high temperatures, was because the water that preserved her body wasn't normal water. The water used wasn't ordinary water, but rather ice-9, a form of water that has an extremely high melting point of 96° F, making the ice especially resilient and allowing it to survive under extreme conditions, including transporting it across a desert without melting.
Ace revealed the existence of CAS, short for Cells Alive System, an advanced technology for freezing and preserving organic matter (also used for treatment pods), which may have been used to freeze Alice. As Ace explained:
- "Put simply, it is a technique that allows one to freeze things without the formation of ice crystals. Normally, if you freeze something fresh, water within its cells expands as it crystallizes, damaging the cell membrane. CAS, however, works differently. The object to be frozen is supercooled using magnetic fields, and then frozen instantly and uniformly, giving ice crystals no time to form."
- — Ace, detailing the process of CAS
Through the use of CAS, which would have been an astounding accomplishment by the ancient Egyptians, Alice's body could have been perfectly preserved down to a cellular level, leaving her looking in the present-day exactly as she would, in all her beauty, thousands of years ago.
With the combination of ice-9 and CAS, this raised the disturbing possibility that Alice could have even been frozen alive, and even more disturbingly, if she was indeed frozen alive, it then became possible for her to defrost and then start walking about like a normal person.
After exchanging hands numerous times, Alice eventually found itself as one of the cargo on the passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, on the ship's tragic maiden voyage. Allice was placed on the Titanic to bring the body to a museum in the United States. Up until this time, the mummy had already earned itself a bad reputation. Everyone who was involved with the handling and transportation of the mummy had eventually died from mysterious and inexplicable deaths; therefore, the artifact was considered to be cursed.
- "'Those who open the coffin will be forever cursed'... Haven't you ever heard that one?"
After the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, those who knew about the mummy's existence believed that the mummy's curse was responsible for the disaster. After the Titanic disaster, she was found by the rescuers from Halifax in the water near the location of the sinking and brought back to Canada with the other 306 bodies they found frozen in the Atlantic Ocean. While the other bodies started to decompose and smell, hers did not.
She was stolen under unknown circumstances, until bought by Lord Dashiell Gordain, a Titanic survivor and Titanic enthusiast, in the black market of New York City in 1912.
In 1916, Gordain bought the Gigantic.
Before he died in 1931, he told a friend that "Alice sleeps in a small chamber past the forest of knowledge, beneath the navel of the Gigantic." The forest of knowledge would likely refer to the library.
However, it is unknown what happened to her after she was put on the Gigantic, since she was never found.
Her coffin would later be found empty in of the settings for the First Nonary Game, the Gigantic ship or the Building Q in Nevada, in the study. When Gentarou Hongou discovered it, he only found a plant inside the coffin, which later was used to make Soporil, Cradle Pharmaceutical's magnum opus.
In 2018, the Gigantic sank during the First Nonary Game. If Alice was indeed on the Gigantic but hidden away somewhere, then Alice would have also sank to the bottom.
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
The urban legend, as well as information about CAS and ice-9, are brought up in several conversations to Junpei a few times throughout the games.
There are two coffins in Building Q that will likely make the player suspect they contain All-ice, but neither of them do. The first one is the one in the Chapel; it is where Santa placed Snake when he disappeared. During the Coffin ending, a knocking sound is heard coming from the coffin, but then the ending ends before it opens, so the player would likely presume All-ice was in there. The second coffin is in the Study; the coffin remains locked throughout much of the escape room, so the player may expect All-ice, but the coffin really just contains the Neptune key and the coffin emblem.
After Junpei, Clover, Seven, Lotus, Snake, and Ace had escaped the sinking ship, which was really Building Q from the beginning, they traveled through the Nevada desert with Clover driving a SUV they had found outside. At this point Ace had insisted that Alice doesn't exist because when he had found Alice's coffin behind the library, all he could find was a plant that was used to make Soporil.
The very last image shown in the game depicts a woman matching the in-game illustrations of Alice signaling for the vehicle the group is driving in to stop. Someone who has not played Virtue's Last Reward would likely presume that this was All-ice; however, it was revealed in Virtue's Last Reward that this woman was actually Alice, who claims she was dressed like an Egyptian mummy as a disguise on her secret mission.
Virtue's Last Reward
All-ice is briefly mentioned by Tenmyouji on Alice's route in the Treatment Center, when he asks Alice if she is the mummy from the Titanic. She denies the claim, stating that people have confused her for All-ice before.
- When questioned whether Alice from Virtue's Last Reward was the Egyptian priestess or not, Kotaro Uchikoshi stated that it is important to note any visual representation of All-Ice is based on Junpei's imagination.
- However, given the resemblance between Junpei's imagination and the Alice who appears in VLR, it can be construed that this resemblance is a byproduct of the morphogenetic field.
- In an interview, Uchikoshi essentially admitted All-ice and Alice are the same: "That's Alice. The Ice-9 melted, and she's in the desert. Alice's ice melted in a time prior to nine years ago. Lord Gordain purchased the Gigantic around 1920, and Ace subsequently opened the coffin nine years before the events of the story, so she must have broken out in the interim. I presume Alice breaks out just before Ace opens the coffin - about several months to a week before - and I suppose she learned about hitchhiking culture in the nine years since then."
- However, this goes against Alice's backstory in VLR, making it likely this was all retconned.
- The name All-Ice was used in the most recent game from Uchikoshi, AI: The Somnium Files, as an easter egg, although it wasn't referring to the same character.
Note that during the 999 Answers, the director suggested that the depictions of All-ice might be just Junpei's imagination.