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Fanfic / New Hope University: Major In Murder

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New Hope University: Major In Murder is a Submit Your Own Character Danganronpa fic by J Carp.The educational institution known as New Hope University routinely brings together sixteen talented young Ultimate college students, ostensibly to weed out any socially undesirable members of the group while ensuring that those who survive dedicate their lives to the benefit of society.

The fic can be found here, and is now complete.

Beware of unmarked spoilers!

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: invoked In a discussion of the biblical parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jane insists the actual moral is that helping the poor is wrong, because if they never have any possessions they can be greedy with, they can never sin.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Yuri Fan Katy insists this is a key aspect of lesbian fiction.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Giuseppe Perfetto, who chose his name as a child to deliberately annoy his commanders.
    "I just looked up at them and was like, 'Yeah, call me Joe Perfect.'"
  • Bearer of Bad News: At the end of the fic, the survivors break the bad news to the families of some of the dead students, including Nicole.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: Not only are there many surveillance cameras, but in the third chapter, Monokuma establishes that he can observe the protagonists without even needing to see them with his own robot body.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Unlike most Danganronpa fanfics, this takes place at a college, rather than a high school.
    • There is no student with an unknown talent or an Ultimate Luck talent in the class.
  • Bury Your Gays: Katy believes that a key part of lesbian romance is having the lesbian protagonists die, go insane or end up in prison. In-Universe, Katy's old girlfriend Mackenzie died of her illness. There's also Katy's second girlfriend, Lucina, who is executed in the fifth trial.
  • Chess Motifs: Saya assigns each character a chess piece to indicate how she sees them, not necessarily their role in the game. This ends up foreshadowing the mastermind's identity. Ashley, the Queen, was the mastermind, but Bepi, a Pawn, replaced her.
    • King: Saya herself.
    • Queen: Ashley.
    • Rooks: Earl, Barrett and Katy.
    • Bishops: Rodrigo, Jane and Rocky.
    • Knights: Lucina, JP, Therion and Nicole.
    • Pawns: Juliet, Bepi, Morgan and Emily.
  • Closed Circle: In this case, the sixteen students are trapped on a university campus that gradually expands over time.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Ashley suggests this is the cause of her stunted growth. This motivates her to kill her father, Eugene Alameda, with a meatball sub.
  • Dwindling Party: As might be expected from a Danganronpa fic, the body count starts piling up. At the end of the fic, there are five survivors, while the mastermind(who'd previously faked his death)'s ultimate fate is unknown.
  • Foreshadowing: In chess, pawns can be promoted to other pieces if they reach the other side of the board, and it's highly advantageous to make them into queens. Ashley, whom Saya had designated as the queen, was the mastermind before her murder, and Bepi, one of the pawns, replaced her.
  • The Future Is Shocking: Pretty much the entire premise of Rodrigo's character, who was raised in an isolated monastery with Medieval technology.
  • The Generation Gap: The cultural conflict between boomers and millennials is central to the story, and the ultimate villain is representative of Gen Xers with contempt for both sides.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: At the very end of the game, it's revealed that the administration building, which contains all the secrets of the school, is the same building as the dorm they've been living in the whole time.
  • Hollywood Board Games: Starter Villain Therion Suárez is forced to play Tic-Tac-Toe against Monokuma, the game overseer. They tie every time until the scoreboard crushes Therion. For having been the first killer, he sure gets a humiliating dead, tantamount to telling him he doesn't have the potential to be a productive member of society.
  • A House Divided: In the third Chapter, the group is divided into two factions- those who follow Earl and Ashley, and those who support Barrett and Nicole.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is titled after a college course:
    • Prologue: Intro to Psychology
    • Chapter I: Economics of Labor I
    • Chapter II: History of Hellenistic Art II
    • Chapter III Topics of Cosmology
    • Chapter IV: Seminar on Aging and Adulthood
    • Chapter V: Mimesis in Theory and Practice
    • The final chapter: Cram Session (the prelude to the final investigation), All Nighter (the final investigation), Final Exam(the final trial) and Have a great vacation(the conclusion to the final trial).
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The third Chapter. The first of the two murder victims is the mastermind.
  • Loophole Abuse: Monokuma is willing to let students take weapons out of the armory, but warns the class that anyone who does so will be recorded on the surveillance cameras, with the footage available upon request. The third culprit gets around this by firing a rocket launcher from inside the armory, meaning that the weapon never left the building.
  • Lost in Character: Juliet, instead of just being born evil, became evil because she thought it was what her parents wanted her to be, and her suggestible nature caused her to inhabit the persona completely.
  • Love Redeems: This is at least hoped for by Juliet.
  • Love Triangle: There's a Type 4 involving Saya, who is in love with Lucina, who ends up in a relationship with Katy at the start of Chapter IV.
  • Meaningful Name: Earl Morale, who is constantly trying to lift everyone's spirits, and Juliet Mountebank.
  • The Mole: This time, there are two suspicious students- one is a "holdover" from the previous killing game, and the other is the mastermind.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The plan of Therion, who committed the first murder specifically in order to improve the killing game.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Saya's typical strategy during trials. She often pretends to make mistakes so that people will correct her, thus causing them to think they'd come up with the ideas that she'd guided them toward.
  • Parental Neglect: To an extreme degree: Saya's father went through the pretense of raising her, but literally refused to speak to her.
  • Posthumous Character: Dr. Alameda has been dead for five years as of the start of the story, as revealed in the first Wham Line. His death is investigated during the final trial, and it is revealed that the mastermind murdered him.
  • Recurring Element: A few elements from the canon games seem to have appeared in this fic.
    • At least one of the students is a traitor. Another is a veteran of a previous killing game, like Rantaro in the third game.
    • The second trial results in one of the cast being outed as responsible for killing many people.
    • The third chapter features two murders, and, like the first game, one of the killers is killed by the other one.
    • The main character is forced to sacrifice a Love Interest who wants them to convict them for the murder.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: While most of the killers avert this, there a few cases. Lucina ends up killing Juliet, who's probably the worst person out of the cast, and is entirely willing to confess to the crime. In the final chapter, a retroactive example is revealed in the case of Earl, who ended up killing Ashley, the initial mastermind.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Dr. Alameda writes about this in his grant renewal request for the killing game.
    "My father used to tell me that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who fear chaos and those who embrace it."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Earl mentions the concept of the "gremlin," which only exists to destroy, and asks Saya if America has a concept like that. Saya mentions that she saw a movie about gremlins when she was young.
    • In the fifth Chapter, Juliet makes a reference to The Lady, or the Tiger?. This ended up being more meaningful than usual, since Saya faces a similar dilemma in the fifth trial. She must choose whether to expose Lucina as Juliet's killer(which is what Lucina wants), resulting in Lucina's execution, or lie to save Lucina, resulting in everyone else besides Lucina dying and Lucina hating Saya. Saya chooses the former, saying that it, like choosing the lady, is a selfless choice for the sake of one's beloved.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: The story's villain, Giuseppi, is revealed to be a perpetual fence-sitter who scorns both the rigid ideology of the old and the idealism of the young. However, this is just to mask his fear of taking any sort of stand.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: How Jane describes the Cricket, a machine that can detect lies. Amusingly enough, this statement is considered a lie.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Most of the time, protagonist Saya is a dorky, friendly person, but in class trials, she becomes cerebral, cold, and manipulative. Discovering this side of her personality surprises even her.
  • Suicide by Assassin: Juliet didn't prompt Lucina and Katy to try to kill her, but she tried to make it as easy as possible for them to succeed.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Faked multiple times in the second trial by Juliet, who was trying to get people to vote for her to save the real killer.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Chapter 1, Part D, the first murder victim is found- namely, the one student who'd left cryptic messages warning against Monokuma.
    • The end of the first class trial reveals that not only is one of the students the mastermind, but another is a holdover from a previous killing game.
    • The end of Chapter 3 reveals that Lucina has feelings for Katy, rather than Saya, resulting in a Love Triangle.
    • The fifth Chapter. The victim is Juliet, the Token Evil Teammate and the cause of much of the conflict in the story, while the killer is Lucina, the protagonist's Love Interest.
  • Wham Line:
    • The last scene of the first half of the Prologue ends with Dr. Alameda's assistant mockingly telling him that his project will continue before leaving Dr. Alameda's office. While it's initially presented as a one-sided conversation, this line causes the scene to take on a new meaning.
      Dr. Alameda did not react. This was not surprising. He had been dead for nearly five years.
    • At the end of the first trial, Saya gets a piece of paper, revealing that one of the students, apart from the mastermind (and presumably the first killer and victim) has participated before.
      Participant DR-0013333 once again refused to graduate and will therefore be re-enrolled into the Killing Game this term. Subsequently, only fourteen new recruits are required, and the attached list is therefore complete.
    • Shortly after the third trial, and not long after an awkward moment in which Saya rejects a kiss from her apparent Love Interest Lucina, Saya heads over to Lucina's room, but Lucina isn't the one who answers the door, indicating that perhaps Saya has competition for Lucina.
      The person standing in Lucina's doorway, staring back at me in shock, was not Lucina. This person's normally neat clothes were stretched-out and rumpled. Her hair, which was normally done up in elaborate tails, draped down over her back like blue-silver water.
      This time, finally, the message got through. Katy can surprise you.
    • Near the start of the fifth trial, after the class enters the virtual reality simulation, someone says, "Shut the fuck up" to the simulated version of Juliet. What is said is less important than who's saying it- Lucina, who had previously been established as being unable to speak.
    • In the final class trial, Saya, having learned that that the previous mastermind, Ashley, was killed, realizes the identity of the new mastermind.
      "...Friend Saya?" Rodrigo's voice was anxious, but he was standing firm. "Does... does this mean you know who the new Mastermind is?"
      "Yeah." I felt hollow but somehow also strong. "Yeah, I know."
      Again, everyone kind of freaked out. But I was confident. In chess, if you lose your queen, you can't ever get her back. Unless... one of your pawns makes it all the way to the other side.
      I just looked up at the ceiling, trying to find a camera or something. I couldn't find any, so I just directed my plea to the air, hoping it'd be heard.
      "Bepi?" I murmured. "It's over. Please come out."