Amy Ferrero (Act 1)-01

Riverport University students and Monarch Security stand frozen in mid-action within the "Zero State" or "Stutter".

"Zero State..."
Sofia Amaral[1]

Zero State (also known as a Stutter) is a Chronon related phenomena in which time stops and falls out of synchronization.


Zero State

A Zero State is created when an area has been depleted of Chronon particles, typically by a fault in the Meyer-Joyce field that encompasses the universe, instigated by a Fracture. Essentially, time freezes for a period of subjectively experienced time.

Zero State is considered the final stage in the progression of time breaking down. Time does not resume[2], and Chronon is not restored to the environment as a result of damage sustained by the Meyer-Joyce field.


Stutters are the beginning of the Zero State process. Time becomes frozen for short periods of time, during the initial Fracture. The flow of Chronon particles within the Meyer-Joyce field fall into a state of flux. The echos of persons trapped in stutters are often heard in distorted and stretched out echoes, and caught in loops of the last action before the stutter occurred.

A stutter is unstable, certain areas of a stutter will be caught in a temporal loop, most notably explosions and falling objects, creating an extremely dangerous environment for anyone capable of moving around in it, Chronon active or harness-protected.[3][4] The Chronon harness the individual is wearing is damaged, they will become trapped in a stutter. Similarly, if they're killed, they will become frozen in time, no longer functioning outside time itself.

Stutters can progress to a point where timelines are not concurrent with each other; time can flow normally in between beginning and end of stutters, creating very different accounts of what happens in real time. Older timelines begin to overlap with current ones.

Stutters can be artificially created by destroying magnetized containers holding Chronon particles.[3] Chronon active individuals can create pocket stutters by depleting a singular area of Chronon.[5]


Stutters or permanent Zero State can be traversed using Chronon Harnesses, devices that create localized Chronon fields around its wearer, situating them outside the normal flow of time that has stopped moving forward altogether. Stutterproofing systems for non-portable uses can protect entire buildings or a single rooms in the event of a stutter.[6][7]


In an move to stay ahead of the oncoming stutters created by the Fracture, Monarch Solutions's Chronon division created a device that could detect when stutters would occur.[8] The device was implemented primarily for field work by Monarch Security, who were trained to defend against the threats that would reside within Zero State, such as Shifters.[9][10]


Fall back

The original depiction of Zero State, as seen in the Quantum Break E3 2013 trailer, lacks the visual effects of the final product.

During the early production of Quantum Break, Remedy Entertainment's first visualization of the stutters lacked any of the special effects present within the final version of the game. Early footage that featured early versions of Jack Joyce and Kate Ogawa, moving through stutter in a manner suggested that no special equipment was required to move through them.[1]

To create a visually distinctive look for Stutters, Remedy referenced the Avant-garde technique of Cubism. Additionally, they referenced Glitch art, slit-scan and long exposure and strobe photography.[11]

To create the overexposed look of stutters, infrared photography was another reference used. Remedy used 2D fluid animation to insert distortion waves and projected them onto the overall environment.[11] The environment of stutters was directed by the audio of the game, which was rendered directly from the game's engine, Northlight Engine.[12] When a stutter is triggered, sound and music becomes equally distorted and is empathized to a greater degree when the player uses Time Powers.[12]