Part 1: Update I
Well, here we are. We're greeted by the familiar Spike Chunsoft logo...
...the probably familiar Criware logo...
...and a piracy notice with some little Monokuma doodles...
♪ BGM: Absolute? Despair? Girl? ♫
...before being dropped on the main menu. While we're here, a quick word on the music. This game has gone with a bit of a different style of music compared to the first two games. To try and describe it, I would take this route: The first game was marketed with a tag of "psycho pop", the second game was marketed with a tag of "psycho tropical", and Danganronpa V3, the third mainline game, was given the tag of "psycho cool". I would give this game the tag of "psycho lounge", keeping in that theme. There's a fair bit of laid back themes with relatively simple tunes, some simple vocals that have no actual lyrics - just "yeah"s and "ooh"s, some minor scatting, that kind of stuff - and bits in the tracks where there's basically nothing going on - note in this track from about 35 seconds on, where there's a bit that goes for about 35 seconds with basically just percussion, bass line and some prolonged string notes, or whatever that wailing tone is supposed to be. I'm not a musical expert, and in fact am quite an idiot at musical stuff, but it really gives me a lounge feeling. There's a few tracks in particular that really nail that vibe, and I'll point them out when they come up.
We're not given a lot of options to start with. We can load, and we can start a new game. Let's start a new one, shall we?
We are next presented with the difficulty select. We get to pick between Genocide Mode ("Super Ultra Pumped Genocide Jack Mode * For those who just want to enjoy the story"), Komaru Mode ("Working Hard for a Normal Girl Mode"), or Despair Mode ("Ultra Despair Mode"). I'm not sure what the difficulty does exactly. I know it makes the game harder, obviously, but I never looked into what exactly it does.
As an aside, we get a choice in voices between English and Japanese here. I'm sticking with English for the reason of "I can understand it", because that's the kind of guy I am. Anyway, for the difficulty level...
...there only ever was one choice.
♪ BGM: Silence ♫
Before we get to start our game, we get some stuff to set up. Text from the system like this will be shown in italics.
With Auto Camera, you automatically follow the character you're controlling. And with Manual Camera, you can control the camera with the Mouse. This can be changed in Options later on, so choose the one you like for now.
I'll just go with Auto for now. I'll fiddle with it once proper gameplay starts. But now, we get our first cutscene!
♪ BGM: DSO_Beautiful Dead ♫
A fair amount of music in this game, as has become the norm in the series, are slight remixes of music from the first game. So here we have a remix of Beautiful Dead, one of the calm, but kind of somber exploration themes of the first game. One of my favorite tracks, that is.
According to what I've heard, the world is round... but is that really true?
Oh jeez, are we going to have a flat-earther protagonist?
Earth might have the shape of...
Oh, alright then.
Like that spiky lump of sugar your grandma would wrap in a tissue! ...but, I don't really know for sure.
It's not like I've actually seen the shape of the Earth. In the same way, I've never actually seen most things that are considered common knowledge. Common knowledge and what we take for granted.
We base our lives around such uncertain things. Well... not that it matters for me. I mean, my world isn't even big enough to worry about stuff like the shape of the earth or common knowledge.
In fact, it's pretty small. So small that it's actually a little funny.
This is my world. This two-bedroom apartment that I live in is my world. My life doesn't extend beyond these walls.
But it's not like I'm a shut-in or anything.
I am actually imprisoned inside this room. My name is Komaru Naegi. I'm a completely normal high school girl who lives an abnormal daily life.
And we have our title card!
♪ BGM: Silence ♫
She takes a running start, and...
♪ BGM: Beautiful Days ♫
This is actually just taken from my copy of the DR1 soundtrack, because I can't find this track in my UDG soundtrack. It's very clearly Beautiful Days, the happier counterpart to Beautiful Dead, but I don't know if it was remixed in this game.
Let me out! Let me out of here! Hey! Jeez, you can hear me, right?
Ever since my imprisoned life began, this pointless defiance became my morning routine. It was only in the beginning that I was seriously crying and yelling.
And with one final kick, she stops.
It's been a year and a half since my imprisoned life began.
Can you believe it? A year and a half! So long that I've become completely used to this life. It's frightening how well humans can adapt. I've learned that first hand through this imprisonment. But it's not like I've completely given up, of course. If I had, I wouldn't do things like change my uniform every morning. I just... don't wanna get my hopes up too much. Because through this imprisonment, I've learned too much about the horrifying despair that always follows hope.
Suddenly, the door bell rings.
Jeez! It's finally breakfast? It's about time, I'm starved in here!
But anyway. About this whole imprisonment... unfortunately, even I, the victim, have no clue whatsoever.
At least it seems they treat their prisoners well, whoever these people are.
Ever since I've been taken by strange people into this strange place...
I wanted Japanese style this morning...
...receiving meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner is the only communication I have with the outside. I haven't seen the culprit's face, or even heard their voice. I still don't even know why I'm imprisoned here. But regardless of how abnormal and unfair this situation is, this is my world and my daily life now, so it can't be helped. See? Sucks, right? My story ended before it even began.
Damn, looks like I'm going to be done with this really quickly then!
It's not like I still have hope that something... sudden will happen after all this ti-
We hear some rattling from the door.
♪ BGM: Silence ♫
Some more rattling.
Huh? What? What happened?
Could it be? Did someone come to rescue me?
Please, save me! I'm trapped in here! I'm begging you! Please, save me! I don't want to live this life anymore!
PLEASE, OPEN THE DOOR!
Something tells me that it's not standard rescue team procedure to jab what looks like claws through locked doors.
Also, I don't think the equipment would look like a paw.
Also, probably not going to bring the red laser eye.
Komaru, understandably, doesn't know what the fuck. Also, to note, "Komaru doesn't know what the fuck" is going to become a running theme here, so keep count at home how many times I bring that up.
The door gets crumpled rather easily and tossed aside by whatever is on the other side, and that whatever is revealed to be...
...an old black-and-white friend!
♪ BGM: Absolute Terrified Girl ♫
We now abruptly switch from the animated cutscene to an in-engine cutscene. The Monokuma stares menacingly as Komaru tries to crawl away.
Wait... what? What's going on?
And the Monokuma leaps into action!
Alright, we're now in control of Komaru. We've got ourselves a basic health bar with three hit points so far, and we're told that the WASD keys allow us to walk. Let's do that, then.
The Monokuma makes a run for us, so we just circle around the table and make a break for it out the now opened door.
However, when we get there, things don't look much better. There seems to be a lot of fire going on. We run down the corridor to the right...
...and the Monokuma is right on our tail.
A b-bear!? A black and white bear...?
Well, nothing much to do but keep running, so we do that for a bit.
After a short distance, the elevator comes into view. And heading towards it, we get another cutscene!
♪ BGM: DSO_Living to the Fullest ♫
The Monokuma is still in hot pursuit as Komaru makes a dash for the elevator.
Sadly, jamming on the call button repeatedly does not make the elevator come faster.
Hurry... come on, hurry!
The Monokuma is closing in...
...but the elevator opens!
And Komaru is shocked to see...
...guys in suits! One of them should look quite familiar to us!
The guy then pulls out a megaphone, which builds up some energy.
He blasts it at the Monokuma...
...and it turns out to be quite effective!
You must be Komaru Naegi.
Future Foundation, 14th division. Byakuya Togami.
Komaru, once again, doesn't know what the fuck.
♪ BGM: DSO_Despair-Syndrome ♫
Don't get the wrong idea and start crying. I'm not the one who imprisoned you here. Actually...I'm here to rescue you.
Future Foundation received intel that a Captive was imprisoned somewhere inside this building.
It would appear that intel was correct. However...
No matter how you look at it, the timing is just too perfect... Just as we show up, a riot breaks out... No, they must have known we were coming.
Perhaps the intel itself was a trap to lure us here...
U-Um! Wh-What do you mean, "riot"? What's qoinq on outside? And that black and white bear thing back there, what was that!? What's going on!?
So you don't even know Monokuma? That kind of ignorance must be nice. ...He was just like that the first time I met him.
You really don't know anything, do you? I guess I'll tell you...
But it will have to wait. Now's no time for talk!
Hrm, looks like these Future Foundation guys are having some trouble.
♪ BGM: The Warriors Of Hope ♫
Actually, I guess it seems like they have the situation well in hand.
More of them! What should I do?
"Should"? Do you really have an option other than "run"?
Byakuya tosses Komaru one of the megaphone things.
It's a hacking gun developed by Future Foundation.
It shoots program codes with electromagnetic waves. It appears to be effective against these Monokumas... though you should have discerned that from the test shot.
Read the operation instructions included with the gun. You're on your own from here.
What? What do you mean?
You can run, can't you? I'm busy now.
Now that I've seen these annoying bears, I can't just leave them be.
Run... but... where would I go?
A member of Future Foundation is on standby at the restaurant across the street.
Suddenly, Monokuma attack!
But it is helpless before the power of the megaphone.
Hurry up and go! You're just in the way here!
And as Komaru enters the elevator and prepares to head down, it seems like Byakuya has the situation well in hand. I'm sure he'll be fine.
Anyway, that'll be it for the first update. Next time, we step outside this building for the first time and see what awaits us there.