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Protocol poster
Developer(s) Existence Software
Platform(s) PlayStation Vita (2013),
Nintendo Chrome (2015)
Release Date(s)

PlayStation Vita:
Japan: October 11, 2013
PAL: October 11, 2013
North America: October 4, 2013

Nintendo Chrome:
Worldwide: November 13, 2015

Single Player
Age Rating(s)
M for Mature
Genre(s) Puzzle
Visual Novel
Media Included PlayStation Vita cartridge
Nintendo Chrome optical disk

Protocol is an RPG puzzle game for the PlayStation Vita and, later, the Nintendo Chrome. The game centres around twenty captives with the objective to escape their prison and an artificial intelligence program that is hunting them down. The game was heavily inspired by the Zero Escape series and was announced during the Fantendo Holiday Showcase 2014. The game spawned a spin-off title named me and my shadow.


Protocol is a puzzle game with RPG-elements that take place within Cove's mind. The characters are trapped within an abandoned laboratory, with puzzles that must be solved in order to open more areas. These puzzles involve various items scattered throughout the room, that must be obtained to activate certain elements of the puzzle.

Most story sections of the game take place in a visual novel-esque gameplay section, that focuses on character interactions and choices that initiate which ending is obtained. There are twelve endings in total, with one "bad" ending, one "true" ending and ten that must be obtained to activate the true end.


“Why does my mouth taste like.... eggplant?”

Cove wakes up in a small silver box, alongside nine other people. The left wall, a window, shows ten others. With a single exit being the ceiling hatch that opens on both sides of the glass. The group decide to first escape the room, before introducing themselves and attempt to figure out why they're here. Once they escape their first prison, the group, in a state of confusion, meets their captor's avatar: Crux.

“Welcome to my glorious little kingdom. If you want out, there are only two exits accessed through dire trials. Either death at the hands of me, or death at your own hands!”


Silver Room

The Silver Room is the first puzzle in the game. The puzzle contains four sub-puzzles that must be completed to open the exit. The two sets of prisoners must work together on two sides of a glass pane to complete the puzzles, entering codes into six machines that are linked to each other. The first and second codes are carved into the ground of both rooms, though must be looked at from opposite angles to find the passwords for two of the consoles: 6686068 for the console in Cove's room, and 8909899 for the other.

The third and fourth clues are painted on the walls of both sides and must be unscrambled by looking through a slit in the glass wall.: 1357975 and 2468013.

The fifth and sixth clues, the final ones, are located within the two other clues. Cove, trying to solve the final puzzle, tries various combinations of the numbers given before ending up with the final two passwords, which he got from combining the two, alternating between the two sets to get the two passwords: 6387078 and 1959995.

After entering the three passwords, the two groups exit into a larger room, where they must line themselves up in their numerical order. They must do so with a tattoo of their number in roman numerals. Doing so finally allows them to escape, and they are greeted by Crux.

Test Lab

Reference Room



Recreation Room

Meeting Room

Quantum Mechanics Test Chamber



Name Description
Crux is the name of the personification of the person who captured the twenty people in the abandoned facility. Crux appears to the captives as an animated fox, though that is only through its own choices. He is sarcastic and sadistic, wishing for the others to feel and know the pain of death.
"Wow! You put two and two together! Do you want a gold star?"
Marvel is a man in his late 40's, whose real name is Robert James. Marvel is calculative, having a major in mathematics, though quite gullible.
"Bonjour, scholars!"
Cove is the main protagonist, a female who remembers more than the others. She is, seemingly, a normal high school student, though with abilities she is unable to understand. She loves to read, and is considered a loner by the others. She claims her real name is Jane Doe.
"I'll just take a look around. Alone."
Trap is a retired comedian turned into a hunter. He often cracks jokes and makes puns to lighten the mood, though he is doing so mainly for himself instead of the others. He claims he is physically incapable of swearing, though his puns prove otherwise.
"I don't give two fox about who you are. I just need to know where the exit is!"
A sophisticated teen with an IQ of 178, Trace loves detective novels and wishes to become a private eye in the future, which shows through her excitement of being trapped.
"I have but a trace of my memory, so I'll go with that. Please call me Trace."
Necro is a 50-something coach of a high school team, with anger issues and a hatred for losing, His team has won national championships several times, and he's become arrogant because of it. He tends to make bad jokes and puns.
"I'll put your head on a steak. The meat kind, that you can eat."
Luna is a conspiracy theorist, obsessed with aliens and supernatural creatures. She is of an English origin, often adding British slang into her speech patterns.
"Are you barmy? This is obviously the work of aliens."
Sorrow is a poet with a love for quantum physics. His real name is Harold Grey and he dresses in a Gothic fashion though does not act as such.
"This box has yet to be opened. Let's see if this cat is dead."
Numb suffers from emotional detachment- he is unable to feel emotions beyond anger. As such, he is not scared of the situation, nor does he really care for any situation he is in, he just aids the others due to being nice.
"I wonder how long it took to plan this thing out."

Cassandra Todd is a bossy girl obsessed with herself and goes by the name of Nine. The most popular girl in her high school, she bosses all of the students and teachers around by throwing money at her feet, but without either, she is pathetic; keeping up her act only to satisfy herself.

"Nine choices, Nine chooses. That's how it works."

A computer programmer who has created several hundred computer programs, whether artificial intelligence or internet security, Century knows everything about computers. She's a protege to a T; she's more into vandalism and only does programming for money.

"An adaptable artificial intelligence program created in order to interact with us, likely without anyone sending it commands..... Hey! You got a name?"

A bartender with an eye for fashion, Double (Java Mayagüez), loves coffee. He can not go a single minute without yearning for the black beverage, which makes him strange when he doesn't have some for long amounts of time.

"I make a mean coffee. When we get out of here, I will make you a glass of Double's double-double."

Egg is a psychopath with a deteriorating mind. He often acts like a child, but will often pose the threat of murder should the others not agree with him.

"Do you want to play a game? If you don't I'll murder you. Don't worry, it'll be fun."

Sixteen years-old, though she acts much older for her age. She is of average intelligence, though Clover shows that she knows more than she should.

"Thirteen? One and three.... four... An unlucky four-leaf clover, huh? I'll go with that."

Root is the guitarist in an aspiring rock band that he started with his friends in college. With anger issues and a magnet for bad luck, she takes shit from no one and is up-front with her ideas.

"Move it or die. Either way, you'd want to get the fuck out!"

Amelius is a 23-year old student with a photographic memory and a love for ancient civilizations. He has an encyclopedia of quotes from famous scientists and philosophers engraved in his mind, and lives his life by these ideas.

"I believe some famous philosopher once said.... If a fire is to warm something else, must there be a fire to warm that fire?"

Light is an eight year-old with a high IQ. He works primarily in a library with his younger sister.

"I could be the light in this darkness. Do not worry, I shall protect all of you from death."
"Ya callin' me short? Are you callin' me short!? I'm as tall as the next guy."
"Evil genius' plan: trap people, kill people, TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Yadda yadda. Go fuck yourself."
"I could go for a burger right now. I wonder if there is a burger joint around here."

Jule Kobashigawa, or Tumble, is a short seven year old girl with long dark hair that extends all the way down her spine. She is mute, though extremely intelligent, and communicates solely through gestures and writing.




  • The characters of Clover and Light are references to the Zero Escape series; specifically the first title, 999.
    • Clover's designated number, 13, also references 999 in that the digital root of 13 is 4.
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