WARNING: The following article contains spoiler for Zero Time Dilemma
If you played Zero Time Dilemma, you already know what I’m talking about and why I enjoy this scene. Granted, it is stupidly cheesy but even though I’ve only experienced the game very recently, it instantly wormed its way into a special place in my heart.
First, some context (not all the context, though, because we’d be here for much longer otherwise). The Force Quit Box – which can be used to end the Decision Game that the main cast have been forced to play – has been opened thanks to the efforts of C-Team and Q-Team. All that’s left is to activate it, which falls to D-Team – Diana, Sigma and Phi. But the box needs two specific items placed in it to do so, with the only clue to what they are being “Each is a mother’s memento.” Now, if you’ve not played the game, this is where it gets weird.
Diana, through the morphogenetic field (Wikipedia it), is able to access memories from another timeline; one where she and Sigma were left trapped within the bomb shelter for a year and had twin babies together. One of those babies was Phi, who they were able to send a copy of back in time with a matter transporter… I told you it was weird.
When I found out that Phi was Sigma and Diana’s child from another timeline, I was kind of hoping all parties involved would eventually find out, if only for how awkwardly everyone would react and their sheer disbelief. But that’s not what happens. In fact, what actually happens is incredibly heartwarming.
Diana, upon gaining those memories, immediately pulls in Phi for a hug and just starts crying. Phi and Sigma are initially confused, but then they receive the memories of that timeline (the morphogenetic field may as well be magic at this point). And instead of questioning it, they readily accept it, with Phi returning the hug – having finally found out who her parents are after so many years. Even Sigma quietly joins in, with tears streaming down his face.
Seeing characters who are usually pretty rational simply accepting this truth may not be awkwardly funny like I wanted but, damn it, it got to me. And it’s all done with borderline no dialogue, which manages to make the scene a lot more powerful. While you could probably make an argument that these versions of Diana and Sigma technically aren’t Phi’s parents, all three of them don’t question it regardless, seemingly choosing to acknowledge each other as biological family; a fact that’s low-key acknowledged in a later scene.
I’m honestly aggravated that, unlike the rest of the cast, D-Team get no epilogue; we never see what becomes of the three after they escape, leaving me with nothing but a tonne of head-canons (which I may end up writing at a later date, maybe?).
Still, while I know plenty were dissatisfied with Zero Time Dilemma, I’m more than happy to have experienced it if only for this story arc. And trust me, if you had played it, you’d be feeling warm and fuzzy inside too.