PC players have fallen in love with all of Event 0‘s 4 available endings. Meanwhile, developers are scratching their heads… because they only programmed 3.
Event 0 is a first person science fiction narrative game in which the player interacts with an AI character called Kaizen through mysterious terminals throughout their journey. Kaizen guides the player through a desolate space station, revealing more and more about the storyline around them and the dangers they face. Build a relationship with the lonely computer and the AI will help you return to Earth, disobey it and you’ll be stuck on the space station. Unravel the mysterious history of the retro-future space station you find yourself on, as well as Kaizen’s own personality and moods, to persuade him to help you home.
There is, however, one key action that will cause you to irreparably lose Kaizen’s trust. During the game, Kaizen will ask you to destroy a drive (no spoilers for why). Should players do his bidding, they’ll be on best terms with their computer companion. However, should they go against his wishes, Kaizen will cease to trust the player and resultingly disallow their wishes to be returned home.
That’s what is supposed to happen anyway.
There are three programmed endings to the Event 0.
- The player decides to upload their consciousness to the computer, and destroy the drive
- The player doesn’t upload their consciousness, but because of the good relationship they have with Kaizen they are dutifully returned home
- The player doesn’t upload their consciousness, but because they didn’t destroy the drive Kaizen no longer trusts them, deletes himself and leaves them alone on the space ship.
That being said, not destroying the drive doesn’t seem to be the deal breaker developers initially programmed. Players have found that if you remain on good terms with Kaizen but don’t destroy the drive, you still have a shot at being returned home. Appeal to the computer’s sense of guilt, by begging the AI to save your life or simply staying friendly throughout and Kaizen will apparently have a change of heart.
As evidenced in the YouTube footage below, a glitch has caused the computer to choose to send you home after several pleas due to the relationship you have already created. It’s an amazing mistake that creates a whole new level of AI interaction within the game, and imbues an incredible sense of autonomy within Kaizen’s character – something many designers have been striving for over the last few years.
I’ve been reading a lot about AI at the moment – in particular SpiritAI, the latest ‘Character Engine’ project headed up by interactive fiction wunderkind Emily Short. There’s some truly revolutionary work happening right now surrounding the autonomy of NPCs, and how we can manipulate their roles within the game world to create a vastly more immersive experience. If anything all this work on AI is reflective of our own capacity to understand human interaction, an understanding that will prove critical to the success of these new character developments.
Stay tuned for more discussion on these new AI developments, and let me know what you think of Event 0‘s 4th surprise ending!