|“||I am Zero III, the king of this kingdom!||„|
|~ Zero III|
|“||You will all be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!||„|
|~ Zero III|
Zero III, officially designated as "Lagomorph", and nicknamed by the participants as Zero Junior, is an artificial intelligence and a character in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, (also known as Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die in the Japanese version), the sequel to the 2009 videogame Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Created by the mastermind behind the "Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition", he acts as the moderator and overseer of the game, explaining the rules to the participants and making sure the entire thing runs smoothly.
Taking the shape a rabbit, he normally appears before the players of the game on a large holographic screen in the Floor A Warehouse. Despite being nothing but a computer program he has a distinct personality, and is able to have full conversations with the participants. Although he represents the ones masterminding the entire game, he is in fact just a puppet, and he refers to the true masterminds as his "parents". Thus he is given the nickname of Zero Junior by the players, while they nickname the mastermind as Zero Senior.
Zero III is extremely sadistic and loves installing despair and fear into the players. He cracks jokes at them a lot, giving them insulting nicknames and being rather sarcastic in response to them. He also speaks in rabbit puns, and hides critical information that could endanger the player's lives. He is faithful to his "parents" and obeys them faithfully, in any given task.
The Nonary Game
Zero III first appears before the players of the game on small screens after they all wake up inside what appear to be elevators, in groups of either pairs of on their own. He informs each group that their elevator will soon fall, and that they must escape if they do not want to die.
After everyone has escaped from their apparent "elevators" (actually AB Rooms), they are greeted by Zero III properly for the first time, who explains to them that they have all been picked as participants in a death game called the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. The goal of the game is the escape through the "Number 9 Door" by gaining 9 or more "BP", which they will get by playing rounds of the AB Game against each other. Explaining the goals and the basic rules to everyone, he then informs them that the penalty for being penalized in the game is death, and that everyone's irremovable bracelets which they have been forced to wear will inject them with a deadly poison if they are penalized. He also informs them that the bracelets detect the wearer's heartbeat, and will not come off until it detects that their heartbeat has stopped.
Later on after the players begin their first "AB Game" to gain "BP", he appears again before them to explain how the AB Game works, the game basically being a variation of the prisoner's dilemma, in which members of a group pick whether to ally or betray each other. Depending on the voting results, players either gain or lose BP. After the results of the first AB Game, he then informs the players that if someone's BP drops to 0 or below, they will be killed. After this he tells the players that they won't see him again, since his job is done. He continue to watch over the game though, moderating it and making sure that the entire thing runs smoothly.
- Although such a thing is never said in game, it is highly likely that Zero III was designed after a traumatic childhood experience that Akane, one of his "parents", experienced during her childhood in which she found her pet rabbits slaughtered by an unknown killer.
- From an out-of-universe perspective, Zero III is likely based on the folklore of the moon rabbit, since the mood is where he was created and "lives".
- Zero III is reference in the third Zero Escape game, during an ending which does not lead to the events of Virtue's Last Reward, in which Sigma laments that he will never be able to create Lagomorph.
- Zero III's official designation, Lagomorph, is the scientific name for the order of which rabbits are a part of.