Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors Character Design Remarks & Kinu Nishimura Comments

The following comments were taken from the Extreme Escape: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors & Good People Die Official Artworks artbook from SoftBank. The first two sections for each entry are written in an unspecified third-person voice; the third consists of commentary direct from Kinu Nishimura herself. There was a project to translate this commentary on a Tumblr page that linked to scans of the artbook; that page is now gone, and the project was in a half-finished state the last time I checked before it went down. My apologies if I'm stepping on anyone's toes or issuing a redundant document here.
For convenience's sake, this document uses the U.S. character names. Anything in brackets is commentary from me, the translator.


An extremely unremarkable college student, he is the only one of the nine to use his true name. An average young man living in an apartment in the city, a sudden visit by Zero lands him in the Nonary Game. Personalitywise, he has a strong sense of justice and is the softhearted type; in elementary school, he even had the guts to confront some middle-schoolers who were picking on some animals. He unexpectedly reunites aboard the ship with his close childhood friend June, and they keep each others' spirits up as they challenge the riddles Zero has set.

He gives the impression of being an extremely run-of-the-mill young man with unremarkable style: a casual hoodie with a down vest and sneakers. It's a fresh-faced look typical for his age. However, when he was kidnapped by Zero and locked in a cabin, his face is like a dead man's, drained of life and vitality. He has a slim build, but he has a side to him that won't run away from a fight, and he has a surprising athletic side. He also has a soft spot for women, such as when he cheers up Clover when Snake goes missing.

Kinu Nishimura:
As you might suspect from his name, it went: "if we were doing this live action, we'd use Junpei Mizobata!" "Got it!". This was my very first time doing character designs for "modern-day, ordinary people" concepts, so I put a great amount of effort into the other characters - but Junpei, I feel, just came together like that. Probably because of the "protagonist = hero" thing. He was surprisingly stylish nine years ago!

[Note: Do an image search for Mizobata; he really is a dead ringer for in-game Junpei, particularly around the eyes. 999 was released in 2009 in Japan, in case you need a time frame.]


A female college student who is Junpei's childhood friend. Nice and neat and modest, but a bit clumsy and prone to blurting out ridiculous things. Sweet and gentle, she continues to speak and act in a forthright manner among her increasingly-jumpy colleagues. For some reason, during the Nonary Game, she occasionally comes down with a fever and collapses. "June"* is a code name given to her by Junpei due to her bracelet number, 6; her real name is "Akane."

[Note: Akane's code name in Japanese is "Murasaki." As you've doubtlessly heard, the original Japanese code names incorporate elements of Japanese numbers; Junpei chose "Murasaki" for Akane in part because the "mu" recalls the Japanese counter for "six," "muttsu." Also, "murasaki" means "purple" in Japanese, while "akane" is a type of red, etc. etc.]

Her long hair and simple dress give the impression of a mild-mannered girl. She's beautiful, but she's rather subdued & modest for a modern female college student. She seems to be a late bloomer when it comes to romance - as she herself said, the number of men she's dated is "18 times 0." She's physically slender and gives the impression of being frail - the type of woman men unconsciously want to protect. However, she has a core of steel. Her BWH measurements are a secret.

Kinu Nishimura:
"Modest and ladylike - the typical nadeshiko fair flower of old Japan, the ultimate traditional heroine" - that was the order. I've never made a girl like that before! I thought, so it was a tough job. In any case, I worked frantically to make her a cute girl~ The rough sketches of her in-game expressions and whatnot have a touch of charm to them; I tried my best to create a character that would make even a woman such as me think, "oh, she's so cute!". Her "nine years ago" incarnation ended up seeming like a rich girl. I like her unruly hair!


A self-righteous young man who takes his sweet time and acts when he wants. He is apparently the same age as Junpei and Akane, or perhaps a bit older. Utterly lacking in a spirit of cooperation, he prefers to act alone. He has a cunning side and for some reason takes actions to disrupt the harmony of the group. He pretends to be devil-may-care in both looks and attitude, but he occasionally betrays flashes of unexpectedly sharp insight.
His selfish demeanor and actions command attention, but he is in truth just playing the role of the callow young man. It is eventually revealed that he lost his parents at an early age and lived together with his little sister, with whom he was very close. To her, he was her Santa Claus, which is why he chose his code name. However, she appears to have been killed in the Nonary Game nine years ago...

He's quite fashionable. His hair is silver, and it seems he gives considerable attention to its styling. He seems to be particular about his shoes, afraid that they will be stained by blood from the corpse. Given his attitude, he appears to be the typical modern young man concerned only with his appearance, but that is merely an act for the benefit of those around him... Incidentally, he was really shivering when he was locked in the galley freezer because of his outfit - that tank top and those thin pants.

Kinu Nishimura:
Originally, this design was for "an androgynous character who you didn't know if they were male or female, but who was really female." Both the request and this design brought to mind "that's Rei Ayanami..." for me, so I tried sweeping up the bangs to at least change that impression. For a female character, it's a stoic look, but for a male, it's an out-there, otherworldly design that makes you think, "is this gonna work~?" - the type of design I probably never would have tried if it were a male concept right from the very start, so it ultimately turned out OK, I guess. He has this manga-like design, and yet nine years ago, he's in this standard school uniform - I like that, it's funny. With his hair all silver.


A girl who just graduated from high school. She is Snake's sister, and she relies utterly on her older brother. She has a cheerful personality, but when it comes to her brother, she is deadly serious and has a dangerous side that will stop at nothing. She comes across as a bit childish for her age. Of the nine participants, she and her brother were the only ones who were shut up in their cabin as a pair. Sometimes when she's excited, she'll literally jump for joy - but she also has an emotionally-unstable side that will burst into tears at the drop of a hat. In particular, when Snake goes missing, she loses all affect and barely speaks.
Snake has forbidden her from discussing it, but she was actually a subject in the experiment nine years ago.

Her style consists of a loose-fitting jacket with a school uniform necktie and matching miniskirt. Her hands are always half-hidden in her sleeves. As one might gather from her clothing, she has a very infantile personality. The boa legwarmers on her lower legs make her look even more adorable. Her hair is in pigtails. Perhaps the earmuffs she's always wearing symbolize her rejection of the outside world? Every time she jumps up, her pigtails bob up and down, and she seems so childishly cute.

Kinu Nishimura:
"A little devil of a high school student, sexy but cute" was the word in the initial proposal! She ended up being a kogal* (what a dated word)... At first, I submitted drafts where she looked scary, something like a yamanba*, but of course, they didn't fly (I mean, what was I expecting...). You can see traces of this in her earmuffs and boots! The marks near her eyes are meant to be decorative rhinestones. I got her "hilarious~" expression into the game [top middle of pg. 21; the "jump for joy" pose] as that ultra-cute animation, and it made me go "!?". Her eyebrows were so cute and wooly nine years ago, weren't they?

[Note: A "kogal" (or "kogyaru") is someone whose personal style is based on Japanese schoolgirl uniforms but with alterations such as shorter skirts and baggy socks. Clover's legwarmers and the jewel stickers beneath her eyes are apparently typical of this style of fashion. The word was coined in the 1990s.
yamanba style is an offshoot of the ganguro style, where young women sport dark tans, brightly dyed hair, and white makeup on the lips and around the eyes; in yamanba, the tans are very dark and the white makeup heavier, among other differences.]


Clover's older brother; a young man who comes across as an intellectual. He has lost the use of his eyes, but his hearing and other senses are sharp. He alone among the group has received a letter from Zero, in Braille. There also seems to be another part of his body besides his eyes that differs from that of other humans... Together with his sister, he was forced to participate in an experiment nine years ago; when the other members began to fight amongst themselves, he lifted the group's spirits and assumed a leadership role. In this game as well, he helps the group progress at times with his sharp observations. He also seems to be quite learned, as exhibited by the vast array of knowledge he demonstrates in the library.

A young man with graceful features and a delicate build, befitting Junpei's first impression of him as a "sleeping prince."* His outfit is indeed suited to a prince - a military-style jacket with a necktie & slacks. He seems to be prefer neat, form-fitting clothing, such as his smart leather shoes. When he is taken by Zero, he is put in a robe that serves only to accentuate his slender build even further.

[Note: In the Japanese version, Junpei's description of Snake plays on a couple of the Japanese names for Sleeping Beauty, "Nemureru Mori no Bijo" ("Sleeping Beauty of the Forest") and "Nemuri-Hime" ("The Sleeping Princess"). He reflects that "rather than a Sleeping Beauty of the Forest, he might have been a Sleeping Prince of the Forest."]

Kinu Nishimura:
At first, Snake's concept was that of "an androgynous character who you didn't know if they were male or female, but who was really female." I transferred that design to Santa, and I used the concept I had designed as Santa for Snake - that's how it went. I put a Napoleon jacket on him, which were kind of all the rage at the time. The character can't see, so the design comes off as having a slight dark undercurrent to it, but I guess I could have made the design a little more audacious and hot~. If I'd known he had such a good role, I would've made him a little more...well, I guess he's fine. In his expressions in his "nine years ago" concepts, he came off as looking much older than he was, but in the cutscenes in the actual game, I got him looking like this sweet older brother - which was a big relief (this happens a lot~). Him leading Clover by the hand makes me cry!


A woman who speaks her mind with no reservations. She apparently worked for a security software company, and she puts those skills to use in the Nonary Game to crack the password in the laboratory. She also seems to have a head for math and uses that knowledge on occasion to support Junpei. She has a selfish disposition, and her self-centered nature often sparks fights. Seven calls her "old lady," and they frequently bicker. She also has a sneaky side that shows itself in her "proposal" to Junpei & June and her attempts to outwit the others. Despite this, she ultimately attempts to save everyone at the cost of her own life. She also seems to love and cherish her twin daughters very much. In fact, Lotus's daughters were also participants in the experiment nine years ago, about which she unexpectedly learns the truth from Seven in the course of this game.

She comes off as an exhibitionist dancer - a flashy woman with ostentatious accessories. Junpei gives her the nickname of "Dancer." A woman in her prime, she has a fairly smart and glamorous sense of style. Perhaps out of confidence, she wears bizarrely scanty clothing, which lead Seven to jeer indignantly, "Nobody wants to hafta look at a chick who looks like a half-naked raisin."* Though she is supposed to have given birth to twin daughters, it goes without saying that it hasn't affected the shape of her body at all.

[Note: Seven's line in the original Japanese, at least the part quoted, is a bit less colorfully-worded: "Babaa no hadaka wa mitaku nai," or, "I don't want to look at some naked old lady!"]

Kinu Nishimura:
The concept was for a woman in her mid-40s, voluptuous with a languorous air, so I let her handle the sex appeal. She looks awesome, but I thought, "this type of woman probably belly dances as a form of self-expression~" and settled on this costume. I gave her too many accessories then, which gave me a tough time, so for Alice in Virtue's Last Reward, I made up my mind to go for something simplified. The character was rather unsavory in concept, so I drew her expressions to be rather hard-edged as well, but in the game I gave her rather soft expressions, and she ended up being cute. In the concept for her character nine years ago, there was an idea for her being Ace's mistress, so I drew her as such.


A man rough in word and deed, he doesn't get along with Lotus and constantly argues with her. He seems to have lost all his memories of the time before he was brought to the ship. Up until the game's middle stages, cold sweat occasionally appears on his brow, and he will be pained by his loss of memory. However, he regains bits and pieces of his memory as he participates in the Nonary Game, recalling everything in its final stages. Seven is actually a detective; nine years ago, he came to this ship following a lead on a kidnapping case involving seven children.

A massive man built like a rock - tall, with a rather forceful look. His style is typical middle-aged uncle: overalls with a track jacket and knit cap. Occasionally, he'll take off his knit cap and clutch it as he grapples with his missing memory. He appears to pride himself on his strength; he'll approach puzzles with brute force, trying to force something open or break something. The chiseled physique one would expect from of a detective is one of his charms (?).

Kinu Nishimura:
I was told, "draw just this huge guy who just looks like this villain, this utter bad guy!". At first, I had him in a suit, but I thought, "that's boring~" so I tried putting him in a knit cap and overalls. It ended up lending a touch of cuteness to his character, so I was glad I did it, I guess~. I heard he had an appropriately cool, meaty role, so I thought, well, it's OK if I make him homely! His crew-cut detective incarnation nine years ago is a little slimmer and has more of a bad-guy look, doesn't he?


A middle-aged man in his prime who never loses his cool and is the most level-headed of the nine. He is a fatherly presence, trustworthy and dignified; at times, he assumes a leadership role. When one of the group has to sacrifice themselves, he promptly nominates himself. He is, perhaps, the very image of a gentleman.

[Note: I have to remark at this point that these character profiles are frequently wrong in depicting characters as inhabiting their expected roles and that one the great strengths of the cast is how often they do defy cliches. You would expect the older, imposing man to adopt a leadership position, but he doesn't. You would expect the brat to disrupt the group selfishly, but he urges cooperation and getting down to business. You'd expect a hulking powerhouse to be all brawn, no brain, but he's very often the smartest man in the room.]

His attire is tasteful and understated: a loose turtleneck in black, something resembling a trenchcoat, and work boots. His subdued sartorial sense suits his age. He's tall, and what one might call a rather cool older man - his style evokes a middle-aged executive on the weekend.

Kinu Nishimura:
The order was for a cool, sharp-dressed older man with salt-and-pepper hair - a dandy. You'd honestly never guess what he does for a living with his design! Thinking about it now, I wonder if it would've been better to put him in a suit all the time? But I probably was eager to distinguish him visually from his appearance in the other game, so I put him in that~. But, well, if you consider him a type you don't see that often elsewhere, then I suppose he's all right... I like his short-sleeved trenchcoat. Nine years ago, I was told to give him kind of a Mafia feel, so I gave him that sort of look. He's relatively hot; it makes me laugh.


A middle-aged man who acts suspiciously and has no cool. His cowardly nature is his downfall; desperate to save himself, he takes the reckless action of forcing his way into a door alone. It is eventually revealed that he was a central figure in the experiment nine years ago. Fearing his true identity would be betrayed, a certain individual killed the ninth man to silence him - but this was also the will of Zero. One might call him a target of Zero's vengeful plan.

An older male character with a twitchy demeanor and a sullen, craven attitude. His hair is disheveled like a bird's nest. He sports an unexpectedly stylish look: a vest with skinny pants and work boots. He's completely color-coordinated: his socks are even purple to match his shirt. But his fashion is a casuality of the early game - blown up with the rest of him...

Kinu Nishimura:
He's a relatively stylish character; I like him. Even though he dies right away... I like the rough sketches of his expressions, too~. He looks more ordinary nine years ago, but he maintains his sense of style! This is the first time recently that I've gotten a request for "ordinary people from modern society," not out of a robot anime or martial arts story, so I had to struggle and fumble in my own way toward an idea of what those "ordinary people" might seem like... I ended up having a really high percentage of neckties, didn't I~? (Snake, Kubota, young Akane.) What do I think is "ordinary," exactly? It kinda makes me smile.


Let's take a look at the other characters outside the main cast who appear in the game. You'll encounter some of them only in certain branches of the plot, but they all have connections to the heart of the game.

Fake Zero

The body in the Captain's Quarters in captain's clothing with a "0" bracelet on his arm. He seems to be closely connected to Cradle Pharmaceuticals...


These children were kidnapped nine years ago for an experiment by Cradle Pharmaceuticals. All but one were rescued, but due to pressure from Cradle, the case was suppressed. As a demonstration of morphogenetic field theory, almost all of them are believed to be siblings.

Queen Alice

When the Titanic sank, a mummy of a queen of ancient Egypt was also rescued. The queen remained so beautiful that it look as if she were still alive. By some miracle, though the inside of her sarcophagus was frozen over despite being room temperature. She therefore was dubbed "Alice," from "All-Ice." It is said that that very Alice is hidden aboard this ship...

Lotus's Daughter Nona

Lotus's daughter Nona was a participant in the experiment nine years ago, though she apparently has never herself spoken as to what sort of experiment it was. Lotus could ask nothing and, though she investigated, never found the truth. Could it be mere coincidence that Nona's mother would be taken aboard the same ship nine years later?...

Translated by R. Capowski,, 3/23/2020. 999 is property of Chunsoft & Aksys; this translation is not officially-sanctioned.