Crapsack World / Visual Novels

  • The Ace Attorney series shows just how common corruption and the ends justifying the means is in the world of law. Trials used to go at their normal pace until the public complained that trials went on for too long and nothing was resolved in a timely manner, along with correctional institutions being overcrowded with felons and suspected felons. To kill two birds with one stone, the courts decided that all trials have to be concluded within 3 days, which means the prosecution and the defense are under a strict time limit to prove that the defendant is guilty or innocent. It's even noted in game that many innocent people were sent to jail due to the new rules.
    • The courts are also heavily biased against defense attorneys due to said courts adopting the "guilty until proven innocent" mindset. The burden of proof falls heavily on the defense while the prosecution just needs to make a plausible case on why the defendant is guilty. You can see the concept of it all in every single case you play where the prosecution will pull every single stunt possible (within legal means, mostly) to make sure that you don't win. Phoenix Wright, a defense attorney himself and the main character in the "Phoenix Arc", is always riding by the seat of his pants and starts freaking out when things seem to be unwinnable for him until he can turn things around at the last possible moment.
      • This is also painfully Truth in Television, as the courts are based on the Japanese judicial system at the time the first game was released.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney explores the flaws of the court system further with Apollo noting that no matter what evidence, theory, or logic he comes up with, the prosecution comes up with a simple rebuttal that puts the game in their favor and Apollo feels like there's no true justice for the innocent. The broken law system is part of the reason why Phoenix helped create the Jurist System so that there can be people with an unbiased view overseeing the trial and the group can vote on a verdict.
    • By the time Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies rolls around, after several incidents of defense lawyers using forged evidence to win trials and prosecutors pressing false charges on the defendants to get them locked up happened, the public lost nearly all of their faith in the law system and "The Dark Days of Law" came to be. Defense attorneys and prosecutors will do anything to win, knowing that the public has given up on the system.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice decides to tackle a court system in a foregin country and it turns out the system there is even worse than the ones used in Phoenix's homeland. The nation of Khura'in enforces the Defense Culpability Act where if the accused is found guilty, their defense lawyer will suffer the same punishment as the accused. This caused a lot of defense attorneys to die or suffer a heavy punishment to the point where no one wants to be a defense attorney. All trials are now conducted with the prosecution giving their statement and evidence on why the accused is guilty, followed by a Divination Seance conducted by the kingdom's priestess/princess where the court sees the victim's final moments and they use that to seal the accused's fate. There's so much discontent with the law system that a group of rebels known as the Defiant Dragons are actively trying to overthrow the government and change things back, which has sparked a lot of clashes between the two groups. Throughout the game, you can just feel the sheer hatred and suspicion from the gallery in the courtroom in every trial Phoenix gets involved in due to their massive hatred for defense attorneys and demanding Phoenix to be executed for doing his job. Even when Phoenix proves the accused is not guilty, he's instead seen a foreigner bullying his way into affairs that are none of his business and is making a mockery of their traditionalists values.
  • Analogue: A Hate Story exists in one, made all the more worse by the fact that you can't actually do anything about it. The game's focused on reading through the logs of an ancient Korean Generation Ship, the Mugunghwa that was lost thousands of years ago in order to discover why the ship, and everyone onboard, disappeared in the first place. The only way to achieve this is by working with the ship's only working AI, *Hyun-ae, who is the brain uploaded version of the girl who single-handedly killed everyone on the ship by shutting off the life support systems. Of course, you don't find this out until the climax of the story, after discovering that the Mugunghwa was in a misogynistic and ignorant society where the average life expectancy was between 30 and 50 years old and where the knowledge of Hangul, the Korean alphabet, was all but forgotten. Of course, the world outside of the Mugunghwa is better, but still...
  • The world of DanganRonpa is a pretty terrible place to live for multiple reasons.
    • Hope's Peak Academy. Officially, it's a private school meant to groom society's elite, the absolute best of the best. However, it turns out to be a Gilded Cage with all windows and exits bolted shut, security cameras watching everything, and armed turrets almost everywhere. Fifteen students are trapped inside by a sadistic teddy bear named Monokuma and given a choice: either cut all ties to the outside world and live inside the school forever or "graduate." Graduating involves murdering another student and getting away with it, while the survivors investigate the crime and hold a class trial. If the killer is found, they will be punished and life will return to normal for the other students. If they're not, they get to leave while everyone else is punished.
    • And it turns out it was a pretty terrible place even before this. On the surface, it was a prestigious school where students were provided tremendous freedom and guaranteed success in life if they graduate. In reality, it was a research facility dedicated to studying talent. The students weren't really taught any practical skills like a regular high school, treated more like circus animals. The school was also funded by the Reserve Course, made up of talentless students who payed ludicrous entrance fees, faced severe discrimination, and were kept largely segregated from the rest of the school. Hope's Peak also had a tendency to cover up any crimes that took place on its grounds. Anything that was too big to be kept secret was blamed on any adequate scapegoat, who was then either fired or expelled. They were also conducting secret experiments on the Reserve Course students, trying to turn one of them into the Ultimate Hope for mankind by giving them every talent known to man. They succeeded, unfortunately.
    • The outside world ended up like this thanks to The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History. What began as a student movement against Hope's Peak eventually escalated into an uprising of the lower class against the elite. Violence gradually normalized until people started killing and waging war simply for the sake of causing destruction and despair. Strong people murdered weak people, weak people killed weaker people, and weak people formed factions to lynch stronger people. The members of Ultimate Despair served to fan the flames of this chaos, initiating countless terrorist attacks and coup d'etats all over the world. The atmosphere is also horribly polluted, turning the sky a dark shade of red.
    • And, as Danganronpa 3 revealed, the Future Foundation, an organization formed to defeat the despairs and restore the world, is hardly much better. They're lead by a bunch of bickering, self-important branch heads who see killing every last one of the despairs as the only option and are willing to execute members of their own organization who disagree.
    • Come to New Dangan Ronpa V3 in which while it doesn't take place in the same universe as the other games, it still qualifies as one. The game ended up having a Truman Show Plot that takes place within a reality show in which the characters are killing each other. Those characters have been willingly be part of the reality show. If the mastermind was to be believed, their entire existence have been replaced with new personalities, talents, and backstories though there is a chance of this not being entirely true. And the worst part is that the show has been going on for 53 seasons. There was also the state of the outside world in which while it has not been what that state was, it managed to have Gonta be driven to commit murder as an attempt to Mercy Kill everybody.
  • WORLD END ECONOMiCA : Both Earth and the Moon can be seen as Crapsack Worlds. Earth is described as a world that fell apart completely, falling victim to pollution, poverty, and overpopulation, leading to the Moon being colonized in order for humanity to get a fresh new start, and Earth economy cannot compete with the Moon's prosperity in any way whatsoever. Meanwhile, the Moon is a world entirely ruled by money, in which profit comes before morality, and things of emotional or spiritual value, like books or religions, are seen as worthless and futile.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/CrapsackWorld/VisualNovels