Warning: There will be spoilers from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, this is assuming you already completed the game. Read at your own risk!
A Choice was made to change things before the 53rd season was set into motion, without the would-be mastermind's input.
Shuichi Saihara is convicted of the murder of Rantaro Amami, leaving Kaede to continue on her own that she must keep trying to solve the mysteriousness that is of the Gifted Inmates Academy without her partner.
Ready for the wild ride that is Lorealie's story, Back Route?
This Fan Fiction contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: All the videos from chapter two's motive are shown this time around, expanding on incomplete ones like Kaito's or Maki's and making new ones for those not seen in game. This later happens again when the "audition" tapes for the surviving students get used as the chapter four motive, rather than "the secret of the outside world".
- Aspects of certain characters like Korekiyo's older sister and Angie's god "Atua" also show up more than they did originally.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Character specific and plot relevant twists can appear earlier than expected from how Shuichi's game went.
- Unlike Kaede's conviction, Shuichi didn't believe his trap was what killed Rantaro. He admitted to setting the death trap the same way she did in the original game, but was convinced someone else took advantage of his trap to frame him from the evidence he found. While his argument wasn't enough to avoid his execution it did convince enough students so that his votes weren't unanimous and opens the possibility of Monokuma "cheating" early.
- As Kaede mentions spent her first two free time events with Kiyo before the story's start it's not too surprising when aspects of his sister get hinted at early. Here her first direct interaction with the cast happens during the "talent show" of the chapter two equivalent, though this isn't made explicit until she officially reveals herself to the cast in chapter four since she had no reason to show up in three.
- Kokichi acting as Kaede's primary ally enables him to voice suspicions about the setting in a way he was never capable of in the original game. His motive video being seen by the cast during the chapter 2 equivalent, rather than being a post-mortem find in chapter 5, also ends up killing his Token Evil Teammate act extremely early.
- Kibo's abilities as a robot get addressed out of order, either from Miu messing with him differently or it not being relevant enough for him to address. Most tellingly since the first free time event segment we see is from his perspective him being used as a literal Audience Surrogate is alluded to long before he has any idea what his inner voice actually is.
- Adaptational Heroism: Kokichi's gone from being the game's main rival to Kaede's partner, helped in no small part by his motive video being shown early at his own behest and revealed his genuine distaste for murder so he can't act like he's enjoying the horror and tragedies of the killing game the way he had before. Doesn't make him that much less of a jerk though.
- Some Monokubs try their shot at this too. With Monotaro and Monokid gone, Monophanie and Monodam both try getting closer to the gifted inmates when they rebel against Monokuma. It doesn't make them stop the game, but compared to Monosuke's attempts they try to make themselves useful to encourage a "peaceful" school life.
- Adaptational Villainy: Zig Zaggged with Shuichi Saihara being convicted of the murder of Rantaro, as its been heavily implied that he like Kaede in the canon game was framed.
- Miu Iruma is the culprit of Himiko's death during the talent show. Even with counting the good intentions they had.
- Angie is technically a killer in this continuity, but unlike the other students that expressed an interest in committing murder in chapter four that hadn't in canon this was an accident caused by a misunderstanding. They hadn't even known they committed a murder until well into the trial due to the surrounding events.
- A Day In The Lime Light: Kaede's not the story's only POV character here. Free Time Events, Love Suite scenes, and some trials or other major events result in different characters being followed instead, each with their own narrational quirks.
- Alone with the Psycho: One of Kokichi's concerns in a later chapter stems from how he left Kaede and Kiyo alone in the latter's lab while exploring the fourth floor when he starts figuring out something is dangerously wrong with the guy. Made worse when a later trial reveals that Kaede did nearly get herself killed by going out of her way to get closer to Korekiyo out of concerns that his motive video was meant to cause him despair like Ryoma's was.
- Ascended Extra: Kaede obviously, as Shuichi was given her original role of Decoy Protagonist so she serves as the real protagonist here. Kiyo also plays a much larger part than the original as he gets away with committing a murder this time around and spends more time with Kaede than other students. Ryoma ends up filling Shuichi's spot as Kaito's designated side-kick as well, and gets more focus as a result. Kibo also tries taking a more proactive role, where before he was largely a bystander, since Miu's early execution has caused him to doubt Kaede's leadership abilities and wants to help keep anyone else from feeling like they have to commit murder to survive.
- Bi the Way: Kaede more or less admits to being attracted to a few of her classmates during the talent show, such as Kiyo and Kirumi.
- Chekhov's Gun: The night after the second trial Kaede finds Miu left her a gift and message in her backpack from when she offered to put it away for the talent show. Three EMP grenades Miu salvaged after the Monokubs destroyed the project Kaede had her working on, much like what Kokichi commissioned from her in canon. Each functions differently as they were prototypes rather than finished products and Kaede has yet to use them or make anyone else aware they exist to keep this hidden from the mastermind.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Played with. During the talent show Kiyo chooses to go in a female styled Kimono, but considering how creepy he is in general this makes him more normal looking, much to the other students chagrin. And since he's not wearing his mask it's not exactly crossdressing either.
- Death by Adaptation: Naturally Shuichi's is what kicks off the story's start, and many other deaths can happen sooner than expected.
- Despair Event Horizon: Kaito crosses it after chapter four's trial. Between losing both Maki and Ryoma, failing to get Maki out of her shell before her death, Ryoma having died attempting to kill Kiyo against Kaito's best efforts to keep the latter alive after finding him contemplating suicide, his health deteriorating to the point he likely only had days left to live, and their most recent murder having been a genuine accident he snaps after the votes are counted and the blackened is set for execution trying to save Angie despite their poor history rather than just stand by and watch her die. And seeing this happen on top of the surrounding events doesn't do any of the other kids any favors either.
- The fourth motive serves as one for Korekiyo. Seeing his audition tape causes him to doubt how "real" his sister is, by extension making his murder of Kirumi (and attempt on Kaede's life) pointless, leaving him heartbroken and making him all too aware of how rightly alone he is. According to Tsumugi this was a design decision on her part, as she was expecting it to be enough to make him kill himself if she needed to get him out of the way. (Un)luckily for him, even if his sister is not a ghost her control over him is real enough to prevent that purely for the sake of her own survival.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Despite being a different medium the story still references aspects of the game like this. Characters use their Monopads to find one another around campus like the player does, when Kibo's thinking about who he should spend time with Maki's treated as unavailable for votes like she was during that chapter, executions still end with characters getting a Tragic Keepsake related to the blackened, and the "optional" Love Hotel scenes are treated as events that do happen even if the person being visited doesn't remember them.
- The Lost Lenore: Being Dangan Ronpa we get a lot of them.
- Shuichi is this for Kaede, as the story continues she blames herself for not preventing his death or being anything like him during investigation.
- Ryoma's experience with his girlfriend before the killing game allows him to relate to other students who have to deal with similar situations as it goes on.
- Kiyo still has his sister, which serves as an initial bonding point between him and Ryoma early on as he avoids addressing his "previous partner's" true relation to him.
- Chapter Two results in Himiko for Tenko and Miu for Kibo.
- In keeping with the ongoing theme of the swapped roles for this trope in this story, Maki for Kaito.
- In Medias Res: The story starts two days after Chapter One ended, with Kaede going over the events of the first trial as a prologue with the implications it was near identical to how it worked in canon with the exception of who set the trap that resulted in Rantaro's death.
- In Spite of a Nail: Events from canon do still crop up, chapter two still has Himiko do a magic show which leads to a murder being discovered, chapter three has Angie reform the Student Council and intend on using the Necronomicon motive to bring back a dead student, chapter four still sees the return of the Neo-World Program, etc.
- Lotsa People Try to Dun It: Chapter 4 has this be the case towards Kiyo, in light of him getting away with killing Kirumi in cold blood, had attempted to kill Kaede, and confessed to being a serial killer to prove he was not the mastermind. As it goes on almost half the surviving cast seriously considers getting him killed or doing the job themselves. Ironically he's not the victim for that chapter either since the murder was caused by interrupting an attempt on his life.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Comes up when the nature of Kiyo's current "relationship" with his sister is addressed, since in addition to speaking to him during his POV chapter she appears as a separate person in the virtual world who can be given her own avatar. The context on the killing game makes it difficult for the students to prove anything regarding her, but Kiyo gives up on believing she's really his sister's spirit in light of his audition tape.
- Angie's case of Atua also comes up as while the virtual world doesn't cause any oddities with her, her POV segments reveals she really does hear someone else's voice in her head. Since no one's any more convinced of "Atua's" existence here than in canon whether this is a genuine entity or a form of schizophrenia isn't addressed.
- Odd Friendship: Kaede bemoans how she unintentionally made herself the closest friend of the creepiest guys she knows, even if Kiyo was a case where she was worried he wouldn't have any friends otherwise and she has little issue dealing Kokichi's antics. Angie and Tenko also grow closer here after Himiko's death which can be ironic given Tenko's firm distrust of her from canon, and Kokichi pokes fun at how Kaito made a professional assassin and the convicted "Killer Tennis" his new "sidekicks".
- Ship Tease: The Love Hotel bonus chapters focus on this between whoever ends up getting matched, and when Monodam asks Kaede if she'd like to use the Love Key she got as a gift he lets slip they sort out who gets visited based on perceived chemistry among the cast and Monophanie's personal preferences. When told her current odds make her most likely partners for the night Kiyo, Kokichi, or Kaito she firmly turns it down.
- Team Pet: Tenko ends up adopting one of the doves from Himiko's lab, and as an attempt to help bond with the others asked for them to help name it when she starts bringing it with her around campus.
- Token Evil Teammate: The "first come, first served" gets used here, resulting in the remaining cast needing to sort out how they want to deal with a murderer among them who avoided execution. With said killer gladly throwing their own two cents in on the matter to further ruffle feathers.