Spike Chunsoft, the publisher behind the Zero Escape and Danganronpa series of escape-themed visual novels, appears to be taking escape and survival one step further. In the latest Weekly Famitsu out of Japan, it was revealed that the company has a new IP on the way, known currently as Zanki Zero.
Zanki Zero is a survival RPG, and from the looks of its official art (and translated plot synopsis) has to do with a post-apocalyptic event that nearly wiped out humanity. The Famitsu article explains that much of the Danganronpa staff has been moved to Zanki Zero, including Yoshinori Terasawa and Takayuki Sugawara. Like Danganronpa and Zero Escape, the game follows eight dedicated characters seeking to survive their circumstances (though, notably, ZE often instead features nine).
Gematsu is responsible for securing a proper English translation, and was also able to obtain the following story overview for Zanki Zero.
Additionally, the following key points were obtained from an interview with Terasawa and Sugawara, the producer and supervisor on the project respectively.
- This project has been on the back burner since about six years prior to Dananronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.
- It is a post-apocalyptic survival RPG set in bright ruins.
- All eight characters that make up the party can be said to be the protagonist.
- The character being focused on changes for each chapter.
- Lively people of old age will appear and play a big role. (Editor’s Note: Famitsu has artwork of both the protagonists and their old age forms.)
- There is no transition between field exploration and the battle screen. It’s seamless.
- It’s an RPG with strong action elements. It will be possible to evade enemy attacks and attack.
- The main enemies are the animals that have adapted the environment of the world after it was destroyed.
- You can get materials and food ingredients by defeating enemies.
- There is a sheep mascot character more similar to Danganronpa‘s Monomi than Monokuma.
- It is completely different from the Danganronpa series, but will similarly offer surprises.
A bit disappointing following the substantial haul of information is that development on Zanki Zero is still very early – only 10 percent complete according to the Famitsu piece. Still, if development moves as expeditiously as Spike Chunsoft's visual novel counterparts, then 10 percent may not be as paltry as it sounds. We also know the title is planned, as of now, for release on both PS4 and PlayStation Vita.
In the meantime, you may want to sample some existing Spike Chunsoft titles, or check out our review of Zero Escape compilation The Nonary Games.