- "Consider this a privilege. You have been chosen. You are going to participate in a game. The Nonary Game. It is a game... where you will put your life on the line."
- — Zero, speaking to Junpei in his flashback
The Second Nonary Game is the game that is played during Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The game takes place on November 1st, 2027. At first, the players theorized they were in a replica of the RMS Titanic, possibly the Gigantic, but it is eventually revealed they were in Building Q in Nevada.
Participants and relevance to the game
Codenames are in brackets. Listed from lowest bracelet number (1) to highest (9).
- Gentarou Hongou (Ace), the mastermind of the First Nonary Game and chief executive of Cradle Pharmaceutical
- Light Field (Snake), one of the participants in the First Nonary Game
- Aoi Kurashiki (Santa), one of the participants in the First Nonary Game; a co-mastermind of the game (bracelet displays a 3, but its true value is 0)
- Clover Field, one of the participants in the First Nonary Game (albeit played separately from Aoi and Light), also the sister of Light
- Junpei Tenmyouji, the childhood friend of Akane; although not relevant to the events of the First Nonary Game (unlike all of the other players), Junpei was chosen because his connection with Akane would enable him to save her in the past
- Akane Kurashiki (June), the mastermind of the game and brother of Aoi; her true bracelet value is a 0, although it displays 6; Akane constructed the game to save her life and amass revenge on Cradle Pharmaceutical
- Seven (real name unknown), the police detective who saved the children kidnapped in the First Nonary Game
- Hazuki Kashiwabara (Lotus), the mother of two of the kidnapped children in the First Nonary Game
- Teruaki Kubota (The 9th Man), the right-hand man of Hongou that devoloped the bracelets and numbered doors, who was killed early on before the first Numbered Doors were entered
Rules, objective & structure
9 hours after the game begins, the ship it takes place in will overflow with water, drowning anyone inside it. The only way to escape the ship is to go through Door 9 (a door emblazoned with a 9). The only way to find this door is to enter other numbered doors to traverse through the ship. The first available numbered doors are Door 4 and Door 5; the second set are Door 3, Door 7 and Door 8; the final set are Door 1, Door 2 and Door 6. Going through these 3 sets of door will eventually leave you capable of finding Door 9. (NOTE: The game actually takes place inside a building; the idea that it took place in a ship was a lie designed to make the players fearful and determined.)
To enter a numbered door, 3-5 players must go through the RED and DEAD system. To do this, they must scan their bracelets on the RED outside the door so that the value of the 3-5 bracelets scanned equates to a digital root equal to the number on the door. Then, they must enter the door; but once they enter, the bracelets will trigger an 81-second countdown, which will kill them at the end of it via bombs placed in their stomachs (though the bombs were just a hoax, with the exception of for Kubota, who was intended to die at the beginning so as to convince the other players of the bomb's validity). The only way to stop the bombs is to, somewhere through the Numbered Door, use the DEAD to scan the same bracelets used to enter the RED and deactivate the bombs.
No players who didn't scan for the RED shall enter the door; otherwise, they will not be affected by the DEAD's deactivation and will inevitably die. Likewise, any player who did scan for the RED must enter the door; otherwise, the parties that entered will not be able to properly trigger the DEAD, and will inevitably die as well.
Once a Numbered Door had been entered and the DEAD correctly triggered, a series of escape room puzzles would be in the door, at the end of which the players would be able to leave. Whilst a player is inside and alive in a Numbered Door, the RED at it's entrance will read "VACANT", meaning that only 1 group of 3-5 players can be inside an RED at a time.
There is no way to remove the bracelets, which trigger the bomb, apart from escaping the ship or from being killed. REDs and DEADs only scan the bracelet, meaning that if a person is killed, then their bracelet can be taken and used by another party later.
Escape Rooms Within
|First Set of Doors|
|Second Set of Doors|
|Door 3||Shower room|
|Door 7||Operating Room|
|Third Set of Doors|
|Large Door 9 (Safe Ending only)||
Incinerator (not escape room)
|Small Door 9 (True Ending only)||
Excluding the Door 9 visited in the Safe ending which contains no escape rooms, the character who travels through the most doors with Junpei is Seven, with 5. Clover is in second place with 4. Akane, Santa and Lotus are all tied at 3. Ace and Snake are tied at two.
Motivation, purpose & truth
- "I must punish them. For the innocent lives they sacrificed. This is the only warning they will receive. That innocent souls might be saved, I now state the truth."
- — Note found in the safe in the 1st class cabin, signed by Zero
The game was masterminded by Zero, who is Akane Kurashiki, with the assistance of her brother Santa (really Aoi Kurashiki, who together led the organization known as Crash Keys. The Second Nonary Game had two underlying purposes.
The first, and minor, intention was to get revenge on the members of Cradle Pharmaceutical, even if the methods to get rid of them are unorthodox or sociopathic. It originally was a straightforward game, but when the players started getting killed, they realized that one of them is Zero. Unknown to the nine players, two other people were kidnapped. They were who the players called Guy X (Nagisa Nijisaki) and Cap (Kagechika Musashidou). Akane specifically gave a note to Hongou:
- "Number (1).
There are 2 ways you might survive this ordeal.
The 1st is to win the [Nonary Game].
The 2nd is for you to confess your sins of 9 years past.
I have prepared a camera in the captain's quarters.
The images captured by that camera will be streamed through a satellite and distributed across the world.
Simply look into the camera and repent.
Once you have confessed everything, I will release you from this ship.
To make your confession more credible, I have left you a [witness] in the captain's quarters.
Perhaps he will confess with you.
The decision is yours. Do as you please.
The ninth man, Teruaki Kubota, had an actual bomb placed in his stomach unlike the other players (including Ace). This was done to convince the other players of the game's genuinity.
The game's primary purpose was was for Junpei to save June (Akane Kurashiki) nine years in the past, in order to prevent a time paradox by securing Akane's existence. In 2018, Akane saw a vision of a future - a very specific timeline in which very specific events occurred - in which she survived through Junpei's eyes in 2027. To secure her existence, Akane would need to recreate this vision as accurately as possible, even if it meant betraying some of the logical "rules" the Nonary Game would supposedly follow; for example, she didn't put bombs in everyone, she brought in two extra players, some of the supposed bracelet values are dishonest, etc.
Zero intentionally made this game winnable by default, unlike the first one, which wasn't completely safe. If there were no interferences in the players' lives, everyone could escape, including Cap and Guy X (since as Snake revealed, without a bracelet, the bomb won't activate after the other players enter a door). However, the outcome cynically pleased Zero, since three of the four masterminds from Cradle Pharmaceutical fell to gruesome deaths by Ace's hand.
The main purpose of this game is to have all of the players escape the "ship" they are trapped in through a door that carries a "9". However, since none of the players knew that there were two "9" doors, one of them resorted killing the players one by one, while under the impression there was only one "9" door. The exit of the "ship" is through the incinerator, where a similar door carrying a "9" lies ahead. However, the "9" is really the number 9 in base-10 and q in base-27, hence making the final door Door q.
In the end, eight of the players escaped, but only six of the players were seen alive, as Kubota had suffered an unpleasant death early on in the game, and Santa and June had disappeared by escaping earlier, their whereabouts unknown. Upon escaping the six players discovered that there were no detonators in their bracelets, meaning that they were safe from the penalty from the start.