The Let's Play Archive

Dangan Ronpa

by orenronen

Part 2: Super High-school Level Update #2



Where... am I?

I woke up on top of a hard desk.
My entire body was awfully weary.

I fell asleep in the middle of a boring class before, of course, but...

...But, why am I sleeping on top of this desk right now?

Even stranger, this is a classroom I've never seen before.

What's... going on?

Tutorial posted:

Welcome to Hope's Peak Academy! Allow me to explain some basic controls, if you please.
You may move the on-screen target using the analog stick.
On any occasion the target lights up, you may push the circle button to investigate what lies under it.
Furthermore, you may use the directional buttons, as well as the L and R buttons to move your point of view around.
I humbly suggest starting by exploring this classroom.

The tutorial in this game is written in mock extra-polite Japanese, the kind reserved for very official occasions.

Here we are introduced to the game's main "Let's make our limited budget a feature with a cool name". The game's rooms are rendered in what the back of the box calls "2.5D Motion Graphics". What this means is that the rooms are actual 3D boxes you can pan around in (or, at the very least, about 45 degrees in each direction), but everything inside the room - props, furniture and characters - are 2D sprites that the game makes no effort to hide. The effect is kind of like Paper Mario - everything looks nice when looking heads on, but pan around and you see the objects as the cardboard cutouts they are. Anyway, let's make use of those L, R and circle buttons and look at some stuff!

The time is... just past 8.

I went into the school around 7:10. Did an hour really pass already?

Is this... a security camera?

The world has become dangerous lately. I wonder if it was set up to keep suspicious people out.

W... What's this?

If this is a classroom, this is where the window will usually be. But instead...

What looks like iron plates have been bolted into the walls.
When I tried hitting them with my fist...

*bang bang*

As I thought, they're iron plates. They look quite solid and thick, too.
But what's really important is -- why are there even iron plates here in the first place?

It's the desk I was sleeping on top of until a few minutes ago. There are still traces of saliva on it.

I suppose I should wipe them off later...

On top of the desk, I found…

Guidance for... New Students?
It's a cheap-looking pamphlet. And handwritten to boot.

"A new semester has started!”
"A revolutionary new world awaits you bastards inside these school walls."


What is this thing? Someone's idea of a prank?

Whoever wrote this note is addressing their readers as "omaera", which is an interesting word. Omae is one of the few second-person pronouns in Japanese. It was originally a super-polite way to address someone, but nowadays it has undergone a shift and is usually what macho men call women, or is used to show some disrespect for the person you're talking to. -ra is a colloquial plural suffix, and very rarely used with omae. Together, it's a word with many nuances to the Japanese reader. "You bastards" might not be exactly the same nuances, but I hope they're close enough.

So, judging from the state of things...

Did I faint out of excitement once I stepped into the entrance hall, and someone carried me into this classroom?

In that case, this classroom must be inside the school building.

But, something's weird...

Something's weird. Something isn't right.
The iron plates bolted on top of the windows... This overwhelming prison-like atmosphere...

I don't understand what it all means.

I should try going back to the entrance hall for now...
It's past the gathering time, the other students are probably already there...

Tutorial posted:

You may leave a room by pressing the cross button.

Cross button, pressed.

Somehow, even the corridor here is creepy...

The mysteries just keep on piling.

And they really are full-blown mysteries.

I should just find the entrance hall...

Tutorial posted:

When in the corridor, you may push the triangle button to gaze upon a map much like the one currently on the screen.
Pushing the triangle button one more time will make the map disappear. Isn't that splendid!

Moving between areas of interest in the school is done in a straight first person 3D viewpoint. The textures are bad, though I think it's intentional. To go to the entrance hall we need to turn around, but first - something catches my eye straight ahead.

"Despair Hotel"?

It looks like the entrance to a dormitory building. I should really go to the entrance hall, though.

Okay, okay. Gotcha. Enjoy the scenery on the way.

I stepped into the entrance hall for the second time. Inside...

They waited.

Are you... also a new student?
So, you guys are my...!?
Yeah. We're the new students who are supposed to start school at Hope's Peak Academy today.
With you there are 15 of us... I think we're all here, right?

They were the Super High-school Level students chosen by Hope's Peak Academy.

I slowly looked around at the faces of the kids around me.
It's probably an exaggeration to say they had a special aura around them.

Um, nice to meet you. My name is Makoto Naegi.
I don't know what happened, exactly, but somehow I fell asleep and now I'm late...

Eh? You too?

Things just get stranger and stranger, don't they?

It's abnormal! This is without a doubt a declaration of abnormal contrivances!
Um, what are you saying? I don't get what's going on, exactly...

You have kept us waiting!

Naegi-kun! Tardiness will not be tolerated!! You must have known you must be here at eight!

Ah! Wonderful Japanese honorifics! The cause of many flamewars!
So, yeah, I’m keeping them in, because they’re useful and can’t really be successfully removed in this type of work.
So, honorifics. In Japan, you usually add them to a person’s name when speaking to them or about them. Not using an honorific at all is reserved to family and close friends, and doing it to someone else is considered very rude.
-kun mainly serves two roles: it’s an all-purpose male honorific used between young people of the same age (say, classmates), and it’s also used when someone in charge addresses their subordinates, regardless of their age or sex.
And now, on to the rant already in progress.

Being late on the first day of school is outrageous! I will report this to the school officials and ask for appropriate punishment...

What the hell are you saying? It's not like he had a choice, you know.

Hey, shouldn't we introduce ourselves properly? I bet he'd like to know who we all are!

Introductions? This ain't the fucking time for them!!

But, before we discuss the problem at hand, wouldn't it be best if we come to understand one another?
If we don't even know what to call each other, we won't be able to achieve much progress.

I think she's right...

So... Let's introduce ourselves first, and then figure out what's going on.

"We have other pressing issues at hand, but first we must introduce ourselves.", is it?
If that's the case, now is my great chance.

I already looked up information about everyone here on the Internet, but now I get to see what these guys are really like...