- "Life is simply unfair, don't you think? There are moments when a single snail can make a world go extinct."
- — Delta, as Zero introducing himself to the Decision Game players
Delta, also known as Brother, Q and Zero II, is the main antagonist of the Zero Escape series. He plays the role of Greater Scope Villain in Virtue's Last Reward (in which he is mentioned as "Brother" but does not appear), and is both the player character and the mastermind behind the events of Zero Time Dilemma.
Delta is the founder of the organization Free the Soul (and by extension the commander of its military, the Myrmidons). It is implied that he keeps his true name hidden from Free the Soul and the Myrmidons and uses his alias Brother. He is the biological son of Sigma Klim and Diana, is Phi's twin brother, and the adoptive brother of Left.
Delta is an Esper, but unlike other Espers, he cannot transport his consciousness across different timelines; rather, he has the capacity to perceive others' thoughts, and by extension understand their memories of those other timelines.
Delta had a hand in funding the First Nonary Game that catalyzed the events of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. A year later, Delta orchestrated the release of Radical-6 into the world, killing 6 billion humans in the Zero Time Dilemma endings that lead up to Virtue's Last Reward. In this timeline, 45 years later, he dispatched Dio to interfere with the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. After this game, when Sigma and Phi returned to December 2028 to attempt to rewrite history, he masterminded the Decision Game to control the attempts.
- "My motives are... complex."
Delta is a somewhat difficult character to comprehend due to how little the games revealed about who he really is. He claims he has "complex" motives for his actions.
In a sense, this makes him similar to Akane Kurashiki. For example, beyond the obvious (they were both Zero at one point and they both ensured their own paradoxical existences), both Delta and Akane are ambitious, intelligent, and goal-oriented. Both are willing to do whatever is necessary to set their plans in motion. Both can be homicidal, vengeful, and manipulative. Both have goals that are ethically ambiguous, mostly due to a lack of canon explanation and partially (if they can be trusted about their goals) due to the fact that they both want to save the world but they're willing to incite destruction and pain in order to do it. Another similarity is that Tenmyouji comments that Akane "might not even be human anymore", and Delta possesses superhuman powers, so whether or not Delta can still be considered human is up to interpretation.
Whether or not Delta is evil or immoral is up to player interpretation since he claims he's doing what he does as the "lesser of two evils". Delta's actions could be interpreted simply as him needing to fulfill the necessary steps in order to ensure his birth. It's ambiguous whether or not he's a sadist who wants to see people suffer.
Delta is treated sympathetically to an extent. For example, he lost his younger brother and felt feelings of immense loss and despair. It is implied that Delta has had a tragic life of misfortune, and has lived through some difficult and painful moments.
Characters in Virtue's Last Reward paint Delta (Brother) as someone who is willing to kill humanity via a mass suicidal virus in order to "purify" it. In Zero Time Dilemma, Delta claims he only wants to kill another extreme terrorist who plans to kill all of humanity. It is possible that "Brother" and Delta are two different personas; after all, Delta is canonically shown (as "Q") pretending to be something he's not for the sake of his goals, unless he is torn between the goal of purifying humanity and saving it.
Delta seems fascinated by human psychology and why humans do what they do, and even what they don't do.
Delta was born in the Underground Shelter on November 16th, 2029 to Sigma and Diana during the events of Zero Time Dilemma in D-END: 2, with Phi as his sister. The original Delta probably starved to death together with his family in the shelter, but there is a chance the family was rescued.
The Delta during the events of the Decision Game could be considered a clone of himself; his body was recreated in 1904 along with his sister, Phi. When he was transported using the transporter, Diana sent him along with a blue bird necklace as a gift. By the time of Zero Time Dilemma, he mentions he's 124 years old. While Phi was reconstructed again in 2008, there's no mention or proof of Delta being reconstructed again using the transporter.
Growing up in the 20th century (presumably in Germany or Europe where the transporter was), Delta was adopted by a couple and raised in a poor family with a younger adoptive brother named Left.
Delta has a mysterious special power, described as being able to "touch the thoughts of other people and see into them" - mind resonance and the ability to see into the hearts of humans. These are Esper abilities. He calls this power Mind Hacking. Delta does not have the ability to SHIFT, but he can learn about what occurred in other histories by mind reading SHIFTers. He believes mind hacking has a genetic source, and that his power came from epigenetic changes in his parents' gametes, as a result of their stress during the Decision Game. Considering Delta would later believe he received a divine mission from God, it is also possible Delta believed God gave him his powers.
Unfortunately, this left him constantly exposed to the negative and corrupt side of humanity and all of humanity's worst aspects. This could have fueled Delta's misanthropy and disgust of humanity.
Delta realized humanity was being severely brainwashed and these contagious toxic thoughts were poisoning the morphogenetic field, like a cancerous consciousness. He realized this led to all kinds of negative emotions (impure thoughts lead to impure manifestations in reality, and impure manifestations in reality lead to impure thoughts, like a vicious cycle). He also realized this brainwashing dated back a long, long time - more than hundreds and thousands of years - since time immemorial. This explained the poor current state of humanity in his lifetime - all of the genocide and wars.
Of course, Delta could also read the hearts and minds of children and saw their purity and innocence in comparison to adults; however, Delta saw the same toxic poisoning of children's consciousnesses as they grew into partially corrupt teens and then into corrupt adults.
When Delta was 16 years old in 1920, Left was found dead, his corpse covered in bruises. The police did a rushed and poor job of investigating, and quickly ruled that Left killed himself.
Later, Delta found out that the killer paid the police a massive bribe to keep the truth hidden from the public, which made him unable to trust the corrupt police or any type of man-made authority after this such as police, law or government. Delta also realized that man-made authority is not synonymous to truth since the police did the opposite in regards to hiding Left's murder: hiding the truth.
A mission from God to purify humanity
Enraged from the revelation of another act of mankind being greedy and self-centered, especially at the loss of his beloved brother Left, Delta soon found himself immersed in cold despair. Anger, hatred, rage and despair filled Delta, and for nine days and nine nights, he was consumed by his own pain, misery and sorrow.
On the morning of the tenth day, however, he had a divine revelation: Mankind was rife with base, carnal, animalistic, primitive desires, and needed to be purified so that a new world could come into being. Mankind was completely corrupted by greed and Delta was tasked to purify the human race, bringing a higher level of purer consciousness, and to create a new world without corruption. God had spoken to Delta and given him a mission, as well as gave Delta his esper abilities to fulfill this mission and change the world. Delta decided to dedicate his life to fulfill this mission.
Establishing Free the Soul
- Main article: Free the Soul
When Delta was 26 in 1930, he created Free the Soul to teach humanity the truth and show humanity the way to salvation and peace. Free the Soul eventually amassed over 1,000,000 followers. Delta became known to his followers as Brother. Brother was worshiped and honored as a "holy father" and "holy master".
His teachings were considered too profound for ordinary people to understand, but the core ideas of his doctrine were to separate one's self from worldliness, to destroy greed, and divorce the soul from the body in order to cleanse it. The organization was originally called Free the Soul of Y, but Delta/Brother removed the "of Y" for reasons unknown.
Those who followed Delta/Brother's teachings with discipline and devotion would be reborn as a "new race", in an equal world with no war, conflict, poverty or starvation. They aim to do what they thought was needed to be done to bring them closer to the new world that Free the Soul promises. There were some people that might call them terrorists.
At some point in his life, he learned that a Religious Fanatic was plotting to destroy humanity by his Mind Hacking abilities.
Once Free the Soul was established, Delta devoted his resources to researching human cloning so that he could create the new species he foretold.
At an unknown point in time, he abducted a team of scientists that included from a research facility in the United States and, a year later, managed to have them create the first ten human clones from Left's DNA. Those ten clones were the first generation of Myrmidons, and were all given the name Left.
Obtaining the transporter
In 2009, Delta obtained the transporter from an American research facility. At an unknown point in time for an unknown amount of time, he stored it in the Transporter Room in his underground shelter. It is unknown if Delta or anyone else used since after 2009, but it can be theorized this is how the Myrmidons (Left/Dio clones) were produced - possibly sent to a variety of timelines.
Involvement in the First Nonary Game
Delta helped fund the First Nonary Game in 2018, an operation led by Free the Soul member Gentarou Hongou. The exact degree of influence/support he gave the project (and whether or not it'd have been possible without him) is unknown.
However, it seemed that Hongou was not a true follower of Free the Soul, and had only feigned as much to get Delta's support. Delta, with his powers, likely knew this, but Hongou's Nonary Game was a vital part of the time-loop that created him. This would change Junpei Tenmyouji and Akane Kurashiki's lives so that they would eventually end up at Dcom (Mars Mission Test Site).
In December 2028, Delta was responsible for the Decision Game. He kidnapped multiple participants at a Free the Soul-run location (Dcom) in Nevada, and forced them to play a horrific Decision Game in an underground shelter. The basic purpose of the Decision Game was to ensure his and Phi's birth, and unleash a virus in hopes for a 75% chance of killing the religious fanatic.
In a timeline leading to Virtue's Last Reward, Radical-6 was unleashed around the world from the underground shelter, killing an estimated 2 billion humans. Bodies began to pile up as people killed themselves by any means, even in groups.
- "Pretty soon the bodies started to pile up. Some people would take a dive off a building or shoot themselves in the head. You know, the classics. But for some it was poison, or fire, or asphyxiation, or the noose... Plenty of people jumped in front of trains or cars. One pilot on a passenger airline drove his plane into the ground. Most forms of transportation ground to a halt pretty fast. That meant food couldn't get distributed, and thousands of people who weren't even infected died from starvation. Everywhere you went there were just... piles of corpses, covered in flies and rats and crows. I don't know what Hell's like, but I imagine it's a lot like that."
- — Tenmyouji on the Radical-6 outbreak
On April 12, 2029, Delta and Akane had a discussion at a Free the Soul ceremony. It's unknown what they discussed, but she probably received information such as how to survive the antimatter explosions tomorrow (by going to the Moon), as well as their agreement to secretly work on the AB Project together. Delta knew about the AB Project because he was an esper who could read the minds of those (such as Akane) who were preparing for it. If he kept his promise, Delta also apparently reveals the "true god Free the Soul believes in" and "the secrets of the world" to her. He managed to convince her to wear a Free the Soul robe.
On April 13, 2029, the government blew up all 18 antimatter reactors on Earth, in order to destroy the virus. As a result of this, a nuclear winter occurred and even more people and animals died. The earth then became a wasteland. After the Radical-6 pandemic, the ensuing chaos and the antimatter plant explosions, approximately 6 billion were dead.
Eventually, in 2036, life started to recover, starting with vegetation growth, even though the atmosphere still contained radioactive materials. Humanity also expanded to the Moon and built underground shelters called Rhizomes.
Virtue's Last Reward
In January 2074, Delta (assumed to be 170 years old at this point if he didn't use the transporter again) sends his most trusted clone and leader of the Myrmidons, Dio, to infiltrate Rhizome 9 in order to "prevent Crash Keys' AB Project from succeeding". In actuality, Delta simply used Dio to help with the AB Project, as both Delta and Akane met back in 2029. The AB Project needed an element of danger and Akane allowed Dio to infiltrate the game and murder her in some timelines. Delta also needed the AB Project to succeed in order to create his timeline where no one dies. Delta is one of those also behind the AB Project in a way. A successful AB Project would ultimately lead to the development of the others' esper powers and get them motivated to stop the religious fanatic.
Delta gives Dio two orders: kill Akane and win the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. If he fails to kill Akane and win the Nonary Game, he must destroy Rhizome 9 using 4 antimatter bombs. Ironically (and most likely intentionally), the AB Project would not have succeeded without Delta's actions. In some timelines, Dio is successful. However, in the true canon ending, Dio's mission is prevented by the esper abilities of Akane Kurashiki, Sigma Klim and Phi. Sigma is Delta's father and Phi is Delta's sister, although the player is unaware of this during Virtue's Last Reward.
Zero Time Dilemma
Prior to the Decision Game, Delta (known as Q) was one of the subjects at the Dcom experiment where he pretended to be a deaf, blind, and mute old man in a wheelchair. He also contracted Mira to be his accomplice, although he gave her limited orders as she needed to be the danger variable in the Decision Game.
Delta is the main antagonist of Zero Time Dilemma, taking on the role of Zero II. On December 31, 2028, he dressed as Zero and initiates the coin flip, creating a branch of two timelines: one in which they win and are freed, and another where they lose and are forced to play the Decision Game.
During the Decision Game, Delta is the leader of Team Q, which also consists of Mira, Eric and a robot named Sean. Due to Delta faking his disabilities, Sean performs actions instead. The player is misled to believe that Sean is Q. During the game, Team Q simply doesn't mention Q's existence on-screen, although he is hinted at. Delta also monitors all the teams using his sunglasses connected to video cameras throughout the underground shelter.
In the study, on the screen to input who to kill, entering in "DELTA" will make Sean turn around towards the camera, say "I'm really sorry", and fire an arrow towards the screen. The arrow shot by Sean hits Delta, and the camera is Delta's perspective. Sean, Eric, and Mira turn to face him. As Delta begins to die, he says "Audentem Forsque Venusque iuvat..." (Fortune and Love favor the bold) and "This is yet... another... destiny..." before the screen fades to black.
Eric holds Sean hostage at gunpoint, insisting that he killed Mira. Sean detaches his head to prove that he is a robot, and explains that he was created by Zero. The group point out that he should therefore know who Zero is, and Eric insists he tell them.
He answers "Delta", and points to the old man in the wheelchair accompanying Team Q. The others are confused, saying that that man's name should be Q. Delta stands up from his chair and explains that he has been monitoring them through his HUD glasses, and using his "Mind Hack" ability to read their minds and influence their choices. His motivation is complex, but part of it is to ensure that he is born and has those powers.
Diana, Sigma, Sean, Eric, and Zero then head to the Quantum Computer Dome where they would learn more about Mira's murder and history. As Sean attempts to process the information, Zero Mind Hacks Eric into shooting him and Sigma with the shotgun, before Mind Hacking him into shooting himself. Diana stands in fear, as Zero stares at her, then calls her "mom".
Delta claims that he organized the Decision Game to ensure his and Phi's existence and to stop a religious fanatic from causing a nuclear war and destroying all of mankind.
Since the events from Virtue's Last Reward and the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition are necessary for the creation of the Decision Game (and thus, Delta's existence), it can be assumed he knew sending Dio to stop the AB Project from coming to fruition was actually vital for it to succeed, and never planned to foil it from the beginning. In a sense, Dio did exactly what Delta wanted, while thinking he had failed.
In the final timeline, Carlos wins the coin flip and the group is released. The group from the Force Quit timeline arrives and are once again confronted by Delta. The participants threaten to call the police on him, but Delta points out that he has not committed any murders in this timeline, and that he has removed all evidence of his wrongdoing from the facility. He reveals that his other purpose for creating the Decision Game was to train the participants so that they could stop the religious extremist from causing the nuclear war without resorting to Radical-6.
Delta hands Carlos a magnum and tells him that he has the choice to either shoot him since only they know of the murders that occurred in the other multiple timelines of the game or let him go. Carlos' choice is unknown.
If Delta survived, he may tell Free the Soul the truth of their organization, and perhaps motivate Free the Soul followers to stop the religious fanatic.
- "But that's just the way of life. Sinner or innocent, people will die or be killed in an unjust manner." (to Junpei)
- "Oh ho. To think you of all people would invoke God. Very well. I will let you see the true god that we believe in." (to Akane)
- "I have no more use for this history."
- "Mom..." (to Diana)
- "I created a future where mankind will be saved."
- It is unknown how Delta was able to discover that Phi is his sister and Sigma and Diana are their parents.
- It is unknown how much of Delta's claims, as well as the claims surrounding Delta, are actual truth. For example: Did Delta really receive a mission from God, or did he simply fabricate receiving this mission to attract followers into Free the Soul? Delta claims there's another religious terrorist who threatens to kill all of humanity, but is this really true?
- Delta is voiced by the voice actor of Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. There are many similarities between Delta and Albert, such as their sunglasses, unnatural eye color, supernatural powers, and plotting to kill humanity.
- D.C. Douglas also voiced Voyager in Xenosaga. Both antagonists have unnatural eyes, bald hair, have an age in their 120s, and telepathic powers due to being genetically modified.
- It seems that Delta's body ages slowly than normal humans.
- This is affirmed by 1904 Phi being a centenarian.
- According to Alice, by 2028, he is supposedly so old that he can't get out of bed. However, his mind is working very well.
- This is proven wrong in Zero Time Dilemma which shows that in 2028, he can freely walk around with no difficulties. He was merely faking his disabilities.
- Uchikoshi revealed he's still alive by 2074 (the time of the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition and Virtue's Last Reward): "He’s still alive. Whether he's alive using secret powers related to his ESPer abilities or he just had the best doctors because of his financial stability to keep him alive doesn’t matter, but he is for sure still alive. According to one theory, there are rumors that his body as a whole had time slipped to another time."
- It is possible this is a result of his possible slower aging, being frozen in a Treatment Pod, or being duplicated by the Transporter to 2074. There's also a slim chance the original Delta never starved to death in D ending 2.
- If Delta was still alive in 2074, then this would put his age at around 170.
- According to Alice, it's very hard to prove that Brother has any involvement in the misdeeds of the Myrmidons and Free the Soul -- this suggests that Brother was under unsuccessful investigations by the US government.
- His name comes from a combination of the Greek letter motif of Sigma's and the "D" in Diana. The letter Delta usually means "change" or in science, which could be a reference to his plan to change history.
- Delta is the oldest known living character in the series. In fact, at age 124 (170 if alive in VLR), Delta (assuming he never spent time in a cold sleep pod) would outlive the real life longest living human being on record (who lived for 122 years).
- He is the only incarnation of Zero to make a physical appearance at the same time as having a speaking role using his real voice (since Akane uses a sound filter when she has the mask on, and Zero Sr. only appeared in hologram form).
- He has purple colored eyes, possibly as a result of his modified superhuman genes. Oddly enough, Phi has blue eyes, not purple eyes, likely inherited by her mother Diana, although Sigma also has grayish-blue eyes.
- Delta's glasses are previously seen in Control.
- Delta's X-Passes (listed as Q) are Eye, Self, Age, and Bro.
- Eye - Delta's assumed blindness / His unnatural eyes / His watching the entire facility through the cameras.
- Self - Delta being primarily in the point of view of the player (and Zero) / Since Zero chose the codes, Q would be "himself".
- Age - Delta's old age.
- Bro - Delta is Brother, the leader of Free the Soul, and Phi's brother.
Hints of Q being Delta, the 10th participant
- In general, one of the major hints that Q does not refer to Sean is the fact that at no point in the game does any character refer to Sean as "Q".
- His wheelchair's shadow can be seen. This occurs in the Decontamination Room and the Pod Room.
- When Delta is born, Q's status screen changes from dead to alive.
- During murders, there is often an extra gunshot sound.
- When Q-Team are talking in the Decontamination Room, Eric explicitly says "Like the chair-bound old man..."
- If the player enters "Q" in the "who to shoot" scene, it will say to select Q's real name. If you input "Sean," it will give an error. If you choose "me" or "myself," the game will say "you cannot commit suicide."
- If you say that "Q" killed Mira, Eric will say "That's impossible!" and if you select "Sean" or "me" he'll say "I knew it was you!"
- "Let's inhibit the virus!" is an anagram for "The truth is invisible!", shown to Team Q. This could be referring the truth (Delta knows the truth) not being about to see (Delta fakes his blindness), or Delta not being on-screen.
- Delta is the 4th letter in the Greek alphabet. Crashkeys twitter did not reveal artwork for Participant 4, only showing eight participant images. None of them were Sean.
- At one point, Eric talks to Q and the player is misled to believe Eric is talking to Gab.(9:20)
- After C-Team survives the poison and hears the deaths of Q-Team, Junpei states "Even Q... He couldn't even see, or hear when...", making it seem to the player that Q is not Sean, as none of the members knew about Sean prior to the game. Junpei would also have no reason to believe that Sean couldn't hear or see (despite the possibility of the helmet limiting his senses), as the only time in that timeline where Junpei had seen Sean and his helmet was in Coincide, and their memories of that fragment were erased. Note that this would apply to any mention of Q by C-Team or D-Team that implies any foreknowledge of him.
- After D-Team survives Fire - Gun vs Incinerator and hears about the deaths of the entire Q-Team, Sigma comments "But, even Q...", to which Phi replies "He had to deal with a handicap... He probably didn't even realize something was wrong...".
Hints that Zero is Delta
- Hidden text is written on the side of one of the safes in the study, saying "ゼロはデルテです" or "Zero is Delta".
- The title Zero Time Dilemma is an anagram for "Me? I'm Zero; I'm Delta." This was not intended by Uchikoshi, but may have been done by Aksys.  However, the original proposed English title was "Time Dilemma," which would be an anagram of "Me? I'm... I'm Delta!" It seems likely that these anagrams are just coincidental, considering the somewhat awkward wording and the change in title.