By its very nature, this fanfiction contains spoilers for all of Super Dangan Ronpa 2. Please take that into consideration before reading.When Monobear took over the school trip, nobody wanted to participate in his Deadly Game of mutual killing. Well. Almost nobody. Like it or not, the tragedy was kick-started despite Togami's attempts to prevent it.But what if the first murder played out differently? When one plan fails, and another succeeds... How will changing the victim change their fates?CarthagoDelenda's System Restore sets out to answer that question, as well as explore the friendship that develops between Hinata and the canonical first victim as they struggle to prevent any further deaths.
Sonia Nevermind, while relatively well-intentioned, still committed a murder, which is more than can be said for her canon counterpart.
A case can be made for Komaeda and Pekoyama. Their motives are largely the same as in canon, (fostering hope and enabling Kuzuryuu to escape, respectively), but since they're hinted at posthumously, along with the knowledge that they were considering murder, they do come off as less sympathetic.
A Day in the Limelight: The bonus chapter 'Ibuki's Greatest Ambition' gives her perspective on the events of the first two chapters, particularly focusing on her pursuit of Togami.
All There in the Manual: The author provides little character arc explanations and summaries on a blog made specifically for System Restore that can be found here.
Togami's response when Sonia and Nanami try to call him out for trying to sacrifice himself:
Sonia: This cannot be sensible in any situation! Togami: Any situation? I’m surprised you’re reacting this way, Sonia Nevermind. As the princess of Novoselic, I would think that you, more than anyone, would understand. Under the right circumstances, wouldn’t you be willing to die for one of your people?
When Koizumi finally calls Saionji out on her bullying:
Koizumi: Why don't you ever LISTEN when I tell you to stop?!
Beneath the Mask: After Nanami reveals that she knows that the Impostor isn't the real Byakuya Togami, the mask comes off and the Impostor's behavior changes for the rest of the scene. Their posture is different, their voice is softer, and their behavior is much more subdued. They even dissociate themselves from the Togami persona, referring to it as separate from themselves, which is reflected by the narration which shifts from referring to them as Togami and using male pronouns for them to addressing them with only the gender neutral variations of "they".
After the second murder, Togami goes off on Sonia and the others for trying to reassure themselves that they'd done all they could to prevent this.
Togami: What could we have done? Are you saying you don't know the answer to that? Saionji: What, and you do? Wow, good job keeping that to yourself. Togami: I don't think that anyone didn't know that preventing (the murder) would have been a simple matter of not setting fire to her cottage.
Saionji flies into a screaming rage when she sees Souda's shrine to Sonia.
Hinata's feelings about Komaeda following their death.
During the second trial, Monobear deliberately invokes this by showing everyone footage of Pekoyama playing Lady Macbeth to Kuzuryuu. Koizumi's especially crushed by this, having considered Pekoyama a friend.
And then there's the second murderer... Sonia freaking Nevermind.
But He Sounds Handsome: A dark version appears in Chapter 3, when "Sonia" talks up the virtues of the mysteriously absent "Souda-sama".
After the second murder, Monobear calls it romantic and just the sort of death Taeko Yasuhiro would've wanted.
In the second trial, Kuzuryuu acts even more like an Expy of how Togami acted in the first game, right down to giving a big, condescending speech to everyone professing to know exactly what happened. He's wrong.
After the votes are tallied for the second trial, Monobear scolds two students, who had difficulty accepting the culprit's guilt, for voting wrong:
Monobear:Tanaka-kun, the dramatic device of voting for yourself is one-use only!
In Chapter 3, Part 3, Kuzuryuu still attempts seppuku. He still fails, except he's unable to even cut himself due to the knife slipping out of his burnt hands.
Also in Chapter 3, Souda, like Ishimaru, devastated by the outcome of the last trial, starts acting like the culprit... or an idealized approximation of her, at any rate. He then ends up as one of the two victims in the next case, but did not die (well not anymore).
In Chapter 3, part 5, has two victims just like the chapter 3 cases of both Dangan Ronpa games but with a twist: Souda survived despite being attacked not unlike what happened to Leon, before he killed his attacker instead, and Hifumi, only without dying from his injuries soon after being discovered by his friends or faking said injuries in the first place.
Chapter 3 part 6 makes the murder attempt on Souda have even more Ishimaru parallels: It seems that Mikan, who was the first body found, was his attacker not unlike how Ishimaru was killed by Yamada before the latter faked his injury. She also lured him to the Titty Typhoon in a manner not unlike how Hifumi set up Ishida. This is in addition to the other Dangan Ronpa chapter three "Tradition" of having The victims being found in a different order than when they actually occurred.
The Chains of Commanding: Togami feels personally responsible for looking after the others, and any problems weigh heavily upon him.
Clear Their Name: In Chapter Three, Nanami is set up as a potential suspect for the murder, and requests Hinata's help for their own investigation.
Cover Identity Anomaly: The Impostor seems to be under the impression that the real Togami would also have assumed leadership and attempted to save everyone if he had gotten into a similar situation. Clearly they don't know what actually happened in Danganronpa.
The second murder. Pekoyama is trapped in the fiery rubble of her cabin, and by the time she's finally retrieved she's completely covered in third- and fourth-degree burns...and she's still alive for a short time after this, unable to do anything more than take ragged gasps for air. Even the murderer later admits they can't imagine the pain the victim went through.
Despair Event Horizon: After the second trial, Sonia, who has calmly accepted her execution even as the Big Bad Wolf threatens to kill her, happens to glance out at the audience of her classmates, and she realizes that not a single one of their expressions shows that they sympathize with her motives. It completely shatters the hope she had in her justification for the murder, and she dies screaming as the wolf devours her.
Despair Speech: Kuzuryuu gives one to Togami and Hinata after realizing they suspect he might have been involved in Pekoyama's death, confessing to plotting revenge and no longer caring about anything other than revenge on the one who killed Pekoyama
Kuzuryuu attempts suicide a few days after the second trial. He fails mainly because he can't grip the knife properly.
Saionji callously suggests that Togami isn't on time to breakfast the day after the first trial because he did himself in.
Eating Contest: Akane challenges Togami to one. Specifically, a speed-eating contest, which she wins.
Eureka Moment: Part Four of Chapter Two ends with Togami and Hinata realizing that Pekoyama let Kuzuryuu play the game.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When Monobear tries tempting Togami following his breakdown in Chapter 3, the bear specifically declares that he doesn't understand why he hasn't murdered anyone before now.
Evil Gloating: Monobear really hams it up after the second murder. Partly because several students obviously aren't in the mood to deal with his celebrating.
Fainting: After the second execution, Souda passes out on the elevator.
First Episode Spoiler: Togami lives through the first murder, but Komaeda dies. It's impossible to talk about this fic without mentioning the former, and fairly difficult to avoid bringing up the latter.
First Name Basis: Hinata's surprised when Kuzuryuu starts using Pekoyama's first name.
Nanami, under the influence of the despair fever, calls everyone else by their first names without honorifics, in contrast to normally using last names, with -kun for males and -san for females.
Hinata's idle musing about how they can arrange the eating contest gets taken by Togami as volunteering to find Pekoyama and another guard for Twilight Syndrome. He gets this again after Togami loses and has to do the double shifts.
Akane drags him into waking up everyone the day after the second trial so they can all go eat together.
Graceful Loser: Surprisingly — and frighteningly — the second murderer, who calmly bids the others farewell and encourages them to do their best.
Gratuitous English: Played for Laughs in Chapter 3 with the reveal of Titty Typhoon. Hinata isn't very good with English, so he has no idea what the name means, and when he asks for clarification from those who do understand it...
Have You Told Anyone Else?: Nanami is asked this by Togami after admitting to knowing the latter's secret. The former did, however, take precautions, by calling two people over and sending them away, so that if the former ends up dead, everyone will know that there's only one possible suspect.
Heel Realization: Word of God says that the second murderer, at the moment before her death, realized "what a wrong and selfish decision" the murder was.
Hinata starts breaking down during the first trial after Togami reveals Komaeda was planning to kill someone — especially as all the pieces click together in his head so that he can't even mount a defense.
Another mass example comes after Pekoyama's death.
And then again after the second murderer confesses. Everyone progresses at different rates, but after the execution they're basically all BSODing.
Togami has one in the second part of Chapter 3 when Nanami reveals she knows his secret. It's so severe that he nearly kills her before breaking down over what he almost did.
History Repeats: In Chapters 2 and 3, Koizumi's personal history is echoed by events on Jabberwock. It's revealed that in the past, Satou's attempts to protect her led to two murders; on the island, the same thing happens with Pekoyama's murder. In the subsequent chapter, they acknowledge that Saionji is also ignoring what Koizumi actually wants when she mistreats others.
Hope Spot: After Pekoyama's pulled out of her cabin, Nanami points out that Monobear hasn't announced the discovery of a body, even after three people found her. The chapter ends with said announcement.
Despite Togami's efforts, a murder still occurs at his party.
Similarly, he is unable to prevent the mutual killing game from continuing despite blocking off access to the motive.
Pekoyama still dies in Chapter 2... but as the victim.
Likewise, Kuzuryuu is still injured in the process of Pekoyama's death. This time, instead of losing his eye, he severely burns his hands.
Instead of getting a horrifyingly calm Motive Rant during the first trial, it comes later on, during the second trial... from somebody nobody ever expected to crack.
Chapter 3 begins with somebody setting up a Shrine to the Fallen. Ironically enough, however, the one who does this in canon protests the most forcefully to it, since the shrine is to the murderer, who made the protester's best friend cry.
Ibuki still makes a mini summer festival with fireworks and yukatas from her item based special event (not shown in the Something AwfulLet's Play) and Kuzuryuu still tries to commit Seppuku, though here he fails since he can't keep his grip on the knife.
Ibuki is still one of the people who catches the despair fever.
Tsumiki still dies in Chapter 3. Like Pekoyama, it's as a victim this time.
Chapter 3 still involves two murder attempts, and somebody still suffers near fatal injuries... Only here, the latter is because one of the murder attempts fails.
Pekoyama plays with this role after Kuzuryuu plays Twilight Syndrome. Despite stating they'll abide by whatever the other decides, it's clear she really wants him to graduate.
This turns out to be why Sonia killed her and left Kuzuryuu alone. She tells everyone at the trial that without Pekoyama around as a corruptive influence, she doubts he'll follow through with murdering Koizumi.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: In addition to their lost memories of their time at Hope's Peak, anyone who came down with Despair Fever can't recall any of the time they were infected.
Like Brother and Sister: Akane describes her relationship with Nidai this way. Saionji tells her to 'kiss him anyway'.
Madness Mantra: Souda develops one after narrowly surviving a murder attempt and waking up in the hospital with no real memory of what happened primarily consisting of "I'm sorry" and " I don't wanna die".
Mass "Oh, Crap!": Several are sparked in Chapter Two during the cabin fire incident.
Monobear prefers to lay the blame for everything that's happening at the students' feet. Played for Laughs in Chapter 3 when he teleports in and lands right on Hinata's breakfast, then scolds Hinata for this.
While most of the students feel sorry for the first murderer and their horrific death, Saionji doesn't give a crap about murderer or victim, and makes this very clear.
The second murderer expects to be given the same sort of sympathy Hanamura did. She can't find it before she dies.
The Irony about the above is that Sonia herselforiginally shows no remorse for their actions or empathy for the mourning Kuzuryuu. This was significantly softened.
Koizumi doesn't show any sympathy to Togami, even after he steps down as leader. In fact, she gets even nastier after this, claiming that he's turned his back on them just because the going got tough. Word of God says this is in large part due to being emotionally affected by Pekoyama and Kuzuryuu plotting to kill her, with the former being killed by Sonia for her sake (which she didn't take well), and the latter still possibly being willing to kill her.
Not long afterwards, Hinata notes that nobody seems to be paying much attention to Tanaka, Souda or Kuzuryuu, even though they were hit especially hard by the outcome of the second trial. Instead, they're getting excluded from the rest of the group, which doesn't bode well...
After the second trial, the second murderer compares themselves to Togami, likening their decision to murder in order to protect Koizumi to his attempt to sacrifice himself to save Hanamura. They also see their actions on par with what Hanamura did.
Hinata draws a parallel of his own when he looks back and forth between the second murderer and Komaeda's portrait, realizing that after what he's learned, he sees each of them in a different light.
Not So Stoic: Togami generally seems to have a harder time staying cold and detached compared to how he acted back in Dangan Ronpa. This is more proof that it's not the real Togami.
Tanaka's reaction to Togami's conclusion that the only people without confirmed alibis for the second murder are him and Sonia, because he realizes since it wasn't him, it must have been her. It gets worse when Koizumi provides evidence that rules out Tanaka.
Togami has one that he tries to keep subdued in Chapter 3 when Nanami hints at knowing his secret.
Parrot Pet Position: Hinata's startled to see Jum-P in this location in Chapter 3. Primarily since he's on Ibuki's shoulder at the time.
Pass the Popcorn: Monobear invokes this by pulling out a popcorn bag while gloating about the second murder. And pouring the popcorn on himself without eating it. And throwing the popcorn all over the Monobear file.
Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Koizumi and Togami when they butt heads over Koizumi secretly arranging a girl's day out without informing him of their plans.
Koizumi: “Okay, fine. But you just said you didn’t have a problem. So it sounds more like you just want an excuse to talk down to me again.”
Togami: “Is that what this is to you, then? A power play? There’s no reason for it to be. I am merely cautioning you to inform me next time, especially if you are going to arrange such a large gathering. The unstable are drawn to such spectacles, and if you don’t take the necessary precautions-”
Koizumi: “Wait – what are you implying? Why would any of us do anything like that?”
Togami:“I’m not implying anything about anyone. I’m simply making sure you remember that there’s a precedent of such things occurring, and that no matter what you may think of someone, you don’t know what they’re thinking.”
Koizumi: “That’s not news to me. But since I actually talk to the people on this island, I think I know them better than you do, especially the girls involved. And I think we’ve learned a thing or two from Komaeda and Hanamura’s mistakes.”
Plot Parallel: In Chapter One, Hinata is hit very hard by learning about Komaeda's plan to kill somebody, and is left questioning Was It All a Lie? In Chapter Two, Togami finds himself going through a similar reaction after discovering Pekoyama, whom he trusted to help guard the Twilight Syndrome cabinet, let Kuzuryuu play it.
Precision F-Strike: When Monomi shows up with the worst timing in Chapter 3, Saionji tells her to F-off.
The Promise: Togami repeatedly promises that he will protect the others.
Reaction Shot: Since the first execution is the same as Canon, it isn't shown. Everyone's reactions to it, however, are.
Togami: “You – that – Komaeda manipulated Hanamura into killing him! Did you think I wanted Hanamura to do that? Did you think I ever wanted that to happen again? You weren’t manipulated. You killed Pekoyama by your own volition for fully selfish reasons. How dare you compare yourself to him! I trusted you. I thought you, of all people, could be reasonable. I can’t even comprehend you trying to justify your actions like this. You can’t. You won’t. You’ve done nothing but play into Monobear’s hands!”
The Reliable One: Togami sees Hinata, Pekoyama and Sonia this way. Pekoyama ends up letting Kuzuryuu play the game, and Sonia kills her.
Following the second murder, Kuzuryuu implies they're going to get revenge on who they suspect is responsible, even if that just gets them killed.
This also turns out to be the second murderer's motive. Specifically, Sonia knew those seeking revenge cannot easily be reasoned with, and chose to murder Pekoyama instead.
Revision: After the second trial was completed, the author went back and revised the first seven chapters. This was primarily to add details and strengthen the build-up to The Reveal of the second murderer's identity, making the Foreshadowing clearer in areas. In addition, the culprit admits to being more conflicted about their decision and shows more empathy towards Kuzuryuu and Pekoyama. Compare the following two lines.
Original: I certainly had no intention of killing Pekoyama-san, not until I had a reason to.
Revision: I had no intention of killing anyone, especially not Pekoyama-san… not until I was given a reason I couldn’t avoid.
Part 5 of Chapter 3 was revised (the first time) to deal with Unfortunate Implications, particularly relating to Souda's Despair Fever symptoms, in which he imagines that he is Sonia. There was later a second revision made in regards to Souda's death in general, which was causing confusion based on the wound described and the actual wounds caused by the intended weapon (after toning down said death already) and deciding against having 2 murders in chapter 3 since it was simply done to follow Dangan Ronpa's "tradition".
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: After the second murder, Monobear announces that the culprit also destroyed the security camera and monitor inside the cabin in the process. While this destruction of school property should've gotten them punished, he declares that they'll get off scot free provided they graduated.
Ship Tease: Ibuki's crush on Togami becomes increasingly obvious throughout Chapter 2.
Shipper on Deck: While gossiping with the other girls, Hiyoko encourages Akane to pursue Nidai despite her feelings and responds to Ibuki admitting her crush with "Mr. Porkfeet's going to get his mack on!" This being Hiyoko, of course, it's hard to judge how serious she's being about it.
Ibuki's joke about Jum-P and Owari is a reference to Ranma ½'s Ryoga Hibiki, who could turn into a pig nick-named "P-chan", and his crush Akane Tendo.
Shrine to the Fallen: One is set up at the start of Chapter 3. Leads to some drama since it's dedicated to the murderer.
Spared by the Adaptation: Some characters have survived longer than in canon. Togami is the most obvious example, but there's also Koizumi, who avoided being murdered in Chapter 2, and Saionji and Mioda, who avoided being murdered in Chapter 3.
Monobear: “Ugh! Why do you keep assaulting my ears with all these speeches speeches speeches speeches! It’s as if you actually think you’re an important character or talent or human being! Nope, I’m done, I’ve decided. Done listening to people who think they’re in charge. I think it’s time I showed you bastards who really was.”
Sink or Swim Mentor: Togami has shades of this at times, such as when he pressures Hinata during the first trial despite his obvious distress. Nanami gently calls him out on it, saying that with fifteen students, they don't need to pressure one to participate, and shifts the conversation to one where Hinata can contribute more easily.
As in Canon, the first murderer plays with this: Hanamura killed Komaeda because he was plotting to kill somebody at the party... but also because he thought that was the only way he could get back to his ailing mother.
The second murderer also sees themself as this, as she killed Pekoyama to keep her from pushing Kuzuryuu to murder. They also freely admit they wouldn't have minded graduating, but seem satisfied with the results.
Take a Third Option: When Monobear presents them with the second motive, and makes it clear that destroying it will just get them punished, Togami decides they should take turns guarding it instead.
The Watson: Hinata plays a bit of this as Togami's assistant.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Considering how compressed the events of Chapter 1 were, Komaeda and Hanamura both died extremely quickly. Komaeda does subvert it a bit as a Posthumous Character in the Komaeda theater segments, though.
During the second trial, the murderer's confession.
Sonia: “Monobear’s lack of cooperation won’t be a problem, Togami-san. My day clothes are wet, at least from the knees down. This ties me directly to the crime, and I don’t mean to make a scene about it like Hanamura-san. So I confess. I killed Pekoyama-san. My methods were exactly as you said.”
For Togami, Nanami informing him in Chapter 3 that she knows the real Togami.
Nanami: “But you were compromised from the moment you set foot on this island. Myself and the other person…we’re somewhat acquainted. I knew in an instant…”
During the first trial, Nanami gently tells Togami not to put any more pressure on Hinata to think through the mystery while he's still having difficulty accepting that Komaeda was plotting murder, saying that with fifteen people, he shouldn't stick all the responsibility on one person, before turning the subject away from the victim.
Following the first trial, Sonia and Nanami try calling out Togami over his attempt to sacrifice himself. However, he responds with an Armor-Piercing Question.
Near the end of the second trial, no one is pleased with Sonia committing murder to save Koizumi, and Togami and Koizumi are particularly vocal.
In the second part of Chapter 3, Hinata calls out Kuzuryuu, saying that his actions caused the murder:
Hinata: You knew what playing that game would do and you did it anyway. You put everyone's lives in danger. Pekoyama and Sonia are dead, and if you knew what happened yesterday—
Later on in Chapter 3, Koizumi finally takes Saionji to task for how she keeps picking on Tsumiki and Souda, even after one's been murdered and the other's barely alive.
What You Are in the Dark: During the second chapter, Monobear keeps trying to tempt everyone charged with guarding access to the motive to take a look, claiming "Nobody will ever know!"