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Roleplay / Doubt Academy

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Doubt Academy is a Tumblr roleplay that adapts the rules of the Mafia Parlor Game and Rabbit Doubt to the world of Danganronpa. As in the Visual Novels, a group of elite students, each possessing a talent considered to be incredibly vast for their age, find themselves locked inside a twisted mockery of Hope's Peak Academy by Monobear. Forced into a mutual killing game, they're presented with various motives to murder their peers, then ordered to investigate the crimes to try and determine who's responsible.

However, there's certain key differences in how this Monobear runs things. While the goal of the trials is to pinpoint the 'black' among them so they can be executed for their crimes, if the students screw up and condemn the wrong person, instead of punishing them all and letting the killer go free, he 'just' informs them they missed the mark and executes the unfortunate scapegoat, allowing the criminal to keep living among them, unpunished...

So their best hope for survival is determining who's behind the bear. The Mastermind must be living among them... but who could it be? Who among them could arrange such a horrible game? And will they be able to figure it out before it's too late for any of them...?

Be warned that all spoilers below are unmarked. It's virtually impossible to list tropes for this roleplay without spoiling everything or creating Self Fulfilling Spoilers.

Tropes appearing inside this Doubt-filled academy include:

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  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Based on information given in-game and through meta resources, it can be determined that the first five games take place between 2013 and 2018, staying a couple years ahead of the actual date in real life. While the technology is kept a secret within a few organizations, there are cases of Brain Uploading, sentient AI programs, human cloning, sophisticated created chimeras, and countless other things that push it into this territory rather than Next Sunday A.D.; the outside world isn't featured enough to make a call on which side it falls on.
  • Anyone Can Die: The nature of the game. Not even the Mastermind has Plot Armor; they can wind up murdering/being murdered/executed during a normal trial without anyone realizing it. The latter of those three scenarios finally ends up happening in Doubt Academy Alpha in the very first trial. Later on, in Kaze, the Mastermind dies in an accident during investigation.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The alibi system, especially in DA6, is an incredibly fun game mechanic that lets characters have more of a role in the murders and trials, without making the game into a total scavenger hunt for evidence. It also adds to immersion, especially when the murder takes place during the day. However, it's very difficult to keep track of everyone's - there are too many characters after all, and all of them are usually getting up to several somethings during any given alibi period. It also makes it much more difficult to get away with murder, a fun challenge in previous games, and puts a lot of stress on the people who have to create the alibis. However, overall it's a great mechanic that's added a lot to the games.
  • Brain Uploading: A plot element present in both DA2 and DA3, concerning the nature of the deceased students:
    • In DA2:
      • The tests the students were meant to go through involved recording data about their skills, personality, memories, and even appearance. Said data is then backed up in the Backup Simulation Grid. However, if the subject dies, then the saved data gains sentience, as if it's a ghost of the deceased, and is known as an Independent Program. This data can be uploaded into an appropriate body, and plans are made to revive one of the Masterminds this way, although one of the survivors kills the clone instead. That said, the survivors take all the drives containing the IPs with them as they escape, giving hope that they can one day revive their classmates.
      • This also becomes important for a few students that suffered some kind of corruption in their data. Angelo and Daiki were severely glitched and were unable to properly interact with anyone until Iko repaired their data. Yukiko's chip was damaged when she was decapitated, which also led to various glitches in her appearance and words that eventually clears up on its own. And Takara's chip exploded when he put in a wrong passcode too many times, resulting in the complete destruction of his data and no Independent Program to bring to life.
    • In DA3, this technology was intentionally developed in order to help those who are dead or dying. A less invasive way of collecting data than the chips is used, involving anklets and camera. The data is preserved in Elysium, and there are cloning machines in Arcadia that can recreate a human body for the data to be uploaded into. However, of the six researchers who know how to operate the cloning technology, five are killed during the Masterminds' coup and the sixth is imprisoned for the majority of the game. There also exists numerous robotic bodies that are supposedly meant to create soldiers that can fight again and again for the Collective. While the offer is made to upload the deceased into the robots, the survivors instead either leave without them or stay with the remaining researcher, helping him clone human bodies the upload the dead students' data into. One Mastermind does use the robot option prior to this choice, having died before endgame. However, not only does he hijack Monobear's body instead of getting his own, but a prior backup from right before his death is used, meaning that he doesn't have the new memories and personality his deadblog self has; it's implied that his newer data was incompatible with the robot for some reason.
    • This trope returns in DA6, with the students realizing they're in a virtual reality.
  • Career-Ending Injury: While there would be ways for them to get around it if they managed to survive, escape, and receive aid, the characters who are maimed and not killed as punishment often have injuries that are detrimental to pursuing their talents:
    • In White, Jun (Game Developer) has his eyes pecked out — and in response to this, Yukiko (Mangaka) cuts out one of her own eyes.
    • In Alpha, Nanoka (Koto Instrumentalist) suffers hearing damage, although the worst of this is temporary and pales to her other injuries.
    • In Rot, Manolo (Speedrunner) has his hands chopped off.
  • Clear My Name: Happens whenever somebody is accused of the crime and fights the charges, or when their friends do their best to help them. Of course, the question of whether or not they're actually guilty is very real.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The settings of the games are places where the students are free to do as they like (besides leave), and have all the food and resources they could ever need... which does very little to offset the horrors they're going through.
    Holly: All of the lounges on our floors at the hotel have TVs and movies and stuff. It’s pretty nice, I guess. It might sound stupid, but honestly, I would prefer to just be back home - we might not have had cable or anything, but at least, you know, it’s... anyways.
  • Crapsack World: As of Black/White, this is a world where students can be bought and sold in bulk for twisted experiments — from one of the most prolific schools in the world, no less! — and the group fighting against the shadow organization responsible for this is just as bad. After the third round, it's shown to be even worse than it seems: The broadcast from Doctrina Artifice sent Japan spiraling into chaos, gutting the government and economy and leaving the population trapped in the conflict between Doctrina Artifice and the Collective, which are both the only major powers in the country and also the least trustworthy ones. Tokyo is a hotbed for rioting, leaving many destroyed buildings and lives, and there are fears that outright war is on the horizon. And this kind of suffering and chaos is the very thing that spurs the Masterminds to action. The slightest comfort is that the situation isn't the worldwide apocalypse that several students assumed had happened.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The executions, which are tailor-made for each culprit. Usually, they either mock their Super High School Level talent or exploit their deepest fears, ensuring their punishment is as terrifying as possible. Occasionally, a murder victim also dies in a particularly horrible manner, up to and including being outright tortured to death. Emiko Shiromura was the first such death in Alpha, having her head cut off by a descending elevator for no reason other than she came across the murderer about to kill Takumi and attempted to intervene. The trend of horrific deaths only got worse from that point on.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Unlike canon, innocent students can wind up being killed for crimes they didn't commit without that immediately ending the whole game.
    • Deaths for both victims and culprits tend to be more agonizing and graphically depicted than the deaths in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
    • The third round of games has five murders that have warranted the use of 'read more' cuts and specific trigger warnings due to the goriness of their deaths, compared to the second round (one murder) and the first round (one execution). Reasons for these cuts include decapitations, evisceration, and severe facial mangling.
  • Driving Question: In every game, the overarching questions fueling the plot are 'Who Is The Mastermind' and 'why are they doing this?'
  • Evidence Scavenger Hunt: Especially in DA5 onward, with the introduction of point-and-click investigation as opposed to asking directly to do things.
  • False Confession: Occasionally offered by students trying to divert attention from a dear friend or protect somebody else.
  • Famed In-Story: Most of the students, though it ranges from being famed in their particular circle and relatively unknown elsewhere, like Shinji Shiomiya from Omega who was relatively unknown before entering Hope's Peak, to people who are national celebrities: those such as Emiko Shiromura from Alpha (a figure skater), and Larry Lang, from White (a boxer).
  • Fan Disservice: Frequently turns into this, thanks to causing somebody psychological distress and/or revealing a physical trait or injury they never wanted to show anyone. In a few cases, this even reveals an injury that decisively proves who the murderer is.
  • Fanservice: Two running gags in the games include this: People stripping off shirts and/or pants at a trial, under the assumption that the culprit sustained injuries, and dakimakuras featuring the students with significantly less clothing than usual, up to and including total nudity.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Often, relationships are formed due to the stress everyone is put under and the bonds created thusly.
  • Ghost Amnesia:
    • A necessity in some deadblogs due to the risk of metagaming through a trial using a victim's knowledge. A newly-murdered character will awaken with no recollection of how they died or who killed them; at earliest, their memories only return once the trial for their death is over, although it can take longer depending on the players' preferences.
    • Averted in DA5, due to the students being in a virtual simulation. In that game, the dead students' votes on who to execute are meant to be strategic about who should wake up in the mansion next, rather than actually finding the right culprit.
  • GMPC: From the second round onwards, the GMs of each game have one character in the opposite game, in order to interact with the other characters. In DA2 this was Gwendolyn Dominatus and Takahiro Hirano, in DA3 it was Saki Shimizu and Eikichi Baker, and in DA4 it was twins Brynja Sindrisdóttir and Bambi Sindrisson. DA5 added some familiar faces to the mix - former students Hikaru Ookami and Jaejin Kinjo, whereas DA6 gives us Touya Nakashima and Takeshi Mori... and later, due to real life circumstances resulting in others taking over running the game, EBULLIENCE and Genta Sugai. These characters are often doomed to be killed at the end of the prologue for pissing off Monobear, helping show that he's very serious about his threats towards the students; in DA5 and DA6 Monobear instead demands the students kill them as the first murder victims. It's been explained that this happens to avoid the chance of metagaming, as the GMs know all the important info of both games, including murderer and mastermind identities. It also helps to give those who die in the first few weeks another person to interact with in the deadblogs.
  • Kids Are Cruel: They're more forced into cruelty than anything, but this trope will be played straight, averted, subverted, and deconstructed several times per game.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Whenever there's a mistrial. Sometimes the circumstances behind the murder are even more tragic, such as an Accidental Murder or a Bungled Suicide Pact... However, in Monobear's court, All Crimes Are Equal, and always ends in somebody's execution. And if the students try to vote for the victim as a loophole, someone will be randomly selected to be punished. Sometimes, mistrials are intentionally invoked by the students if they can't find a clear suspect in their current trial. If there is still a confirmed or suspected murderer among them, there might be a push to execute that person as a scapegoat so that at the very least they can remove one threat to their safety. Black and Rubble have actually gone through with this.
  • Mystery of the Week: Aside from the occasional extended (Ab)normal Days period, most chapters follow a literal weekly schedule: The first days are dedicated to exploration and social interaction, before being interrupted by the discovery of a body. What follows are several days of investigation and debates. By the time the weekend comes around, a culprit (hopefully the correct one) is locked in and set to be executed right as the new week begins, continuing the cycle.
  • Not Me This Time: In a few instances, a culprit who survived a past trial and was later exposed as the true murderer of that case must try and prove they didn't kill again.
  • One-Steve Limit: Downplayed, with occasional aversions. It's possible for accepted characters to have the name given names or surnames, and as the roster sorting is randomized, it's also possible for them to be in the same game:
    • Surnames are the most common aversions, sometimes even within the same round: Abe (Kahori and Hirashi); Fukui (Hirashi- now Hirashi Abe- and Minoru); Fujiwara (Shizuka, Wakana, and Naohiro); Hasegawa (Yamato and Yumiko); Itou/Ito note  (Ayako and Minako); Sato (Hisoka and Arisa); Shinobu (Katsuo and Jun); Shiomiya (Machiko a.k.a Saori and Shinji); Smith (Emilia and Nicanor); Takahashi (Etsuo a.k.a. King and Hideki a.k.a. Chris Peril); Takeda (Kiyoshi and Yoshiko); Watanabe (Misaki (first game) and Noboru).
    • The fourth round provides the first complete aversions involving given names and nicknames:
      • Rot has Misaki Asano, who has the same first name as Misaki Watanabe from the first game.
      • Rubble has Naohiro Fujiwara and Nao Tamashiro; judging from the names on several application/roster lists, Naohiro also goes by the shortened name Nao, although he uses Naohiro in-game.
      • The real name of FATE STRIFEBRINGER from Rubble is revealed to be Haruna Himura; they share the same first name as Haruna Kita in Rot.
    • A variety of very similar first names have occasionally appeared in the same roster, sometimes resulting in odd coincidences:
      • Black: Rei Mikami, Reika Ichikawa, and Reisuke Kurosaki.
      • Black: Etsuo Takahashi, Etsuko Tachibana, Setsuko Kuramoto, and Atsuko Minami. Etsuo goes almost exclusively by his nickname "King"; coincidentally, White has Hideki Takahashi, who also uses an alternate name, "Chris Peril". King and Etsuko are both murdered in the same week. Additionally, Setsuko and Etsuko are girlfriends, while King and Atsuko are also dating.
      • Alpha: Yuu Sagara and Yuuto Ikeda. They are the first two to be executed, their girlfriends form the victim/killer pair of the first trial, and one half of the couple dies right after the other.
      • Alpha: Kosuke Aozora and Kozure Fierro. A messily-written note is discovered during the third case that could implicate either one of them; though the living aren't able to identify it for certain, the dead do a handwriting test with the victim and learn it's Kozure's name.
      • Alpha: Chie Narita and Chiemi Shinozaki. It's noted they even look similar. They quickly become romantically involved, although the stress of the game forces them apart.
      • Rubble: Chiyoko Ishihara and Hiyoko Niwatori. Hiyoko is the prime suspect in Chiyoko's murder, but the mystery persists for a while, as the class mistrials through a suicide vote and subsequent random execution. She's later executed for a different murder in part because of this lingering suspicion, and while Monobear refuses to confirm or deny it, she confesses to Nao over the radio that she did indeed kill Chiyoko.
      • Rot and Rubble: Yoshiki Shouda and Yoshihiro Shirayuki. They are the two students who are brought back to life following the resurrection motive of chapter seven.
    • While most of the characters involved are only mentioned and not seen, Alpha introduced Takumi Yoshirou (SHSL Gunsmith), Takumi Sagara (Yuu's brother), and Takumi Itou (Ayako's grandfather). The shared names leads to Yuu seeking friendship from Takumi; Ayako doesn't bring up her grandfather with either of them, however.
    • Etsuo Yamaguchi, one of Takeshi's friends, has the same first name as Etsuo Takahashi (a.k.a. King) from Black. He also has the same surname as Keita Yamaguchi of Rot. Similarly, Ataru Kato shares their surname with Noriaki Kato (a.k.a. T△K△) of Rot.
    • CU from Rubble, Si Hoo from Mizu, and Siyu from Kaze have very similar names phonetically, even if the spelling differs dramatically.
    • Rhiannon from DA5's given name is Chou Chikasue, meaning she shares her given name with Chou Nakahara from DA6.
    • Oh boy, in DA6 we've got Ryouji, Yuji, and Youji. Not to mention Jamie Fen and Youji Fenn, and Kazuki and Kazuko.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Frequently, sometimes ending in literal killing. Some characters cling to their secrets, others cast suspicion on others based on incomplete information about said secrets, and even simply misquoting something nearly gets an innocent person executed in Omega.

  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to both the fast-paced, fluid nature of the plot and the amount of control an individual player has, anything that affects their ability to play the game can drastically change how the story develops:
    • Sometimes a character is temporarily put out of commission through injury or illness until their player can return to the game, and depending on the timing this can render them immune to being chosen as a victim or a killer.
    • If a player is leaving the game entirely, their character will be killed off, usually outside of the typical murder-execution pattern. This can have profound effects on the remaining characters, changing their motivations in the process. Alternatively, if they're leaving the game before it begins or when it's in the early days, a new player might be brought in to take their place.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Murderers can still graduate by killing their fellow students. However, they need to get away with it three times.
    • The students can attempt a Mastermind vote three times. If they fail to correctly determine who's behind the bear before those three shots are used up, though, the game will end.
    • In the first game, Monobear even spells this out that he follows this while explaining to the students they only have one Mastermind Vote opportunity left. And when they appear to use it themselves (by successfully finding the culprit three times in a row), he claims he's almost proud of them.
  • The Scapegoat: Some of the falsely accused wind up as this if the heat can't be taken off of them. In other cases, a person who was known to have murdered before but wasn't convicted can be executed later on even if they had nothing to do with the current murder.
  • Taking the Heat: In several cases, students have offered false confessions and tried to convince others they were responsible for the crime in order to save somebody else. This has a tendency to backfire, since their peers poke holes in their claims and conclude they were on the right track.
  • There Are No Therapists: Because there are no adults. However, several students mention that they're likely going to need therapy after the games, so there are therapists, just not where anyone can actually get help from them during the game.
  • Timed Mission: To keep the game moving along, all investigations must be concluded before a realtime deadline. Same goes for the trials.
  • Translation Convention: All characters are presumed to be speaking Japanese unless otherwise noted, even though the game is written in English.
  • Translation Punctuation: When someone speaks in a different language, it's frequently noted with brackets. The type of brackets depends on the writer and, if they know more than one foreign language, which language the character is using.
  • Trapped in Villainy: If the students refuse to kill anyone, they're subject to usually-fatal motives. If they refuse to execute anyone, someone will be executed at random. They have nowhere to go and no power in the beginning to escape.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Since motives vary, some murderers can have noble intentions for killing someone, especially if the motive of the chapter is going to hurt innocent people if nobody commits a murder.

The original Doubt Academy contains examples of:

    Doubt Academy 1 
  • Acquitted Too Late: A tragic variation during the first trial: though Jack acknowledges before the voting even ends that Akari probably isn't responsible, she ends up being executed anyway.
  • Art Shift: The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth executions are just a few still pictures drawn in the style of the original game. In fact, in the first execution and the second execution, we don't even get a picture of the actual "moment of death". However, the sixth execution is different from the others because it's animated! It's even set to the music "Super High School's Desperate Punishment", the same soundtrack that was used when the Mastermind was being executed in the original Dangan Ronpa game.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Sure, the student Mastermind's executed, but the Headmaster gets away clean.
  • Bait-and-Switch: During Akari's execution, Monobear makes it appear like he's going to run her over with his Mono-zamboni, when he's secretly herding her towards thin ice.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hinging on a total Downer: the Mastermind's discovered and executed, and the four survivors of the DA Project get to leave Doubt Academy... but their reward is having their memories of Phase Two erased, and Hope's Peak covers everything up with claims of a terrorist bombing. So most of their friends are dead, they don't know the Awful Truth, and the Headmaster looks poised to get away clean and do the whole damn thing again.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Akari's extremely used to being praised, and doesn't take any sort of criticism well. During the first trial, she winds up melting down when her classmates fixate on something completely unrelated to the murder, and respond to her rage at the accusations by voting for her, causing her execution.
    • Misaki comes off to others as an Ice Queen, and the game puts her through an outright Trauma Conga Line, including unintentionally helping two innocents get executed, seeing both her love interests murdered right after they got together, nearly causing another innocent death by doubting where the evidence had led, and having all her efforts to see justice done rewarded by learning the hard way everyone suspects her of being the Mastermind. To top it off, she's murdered in chapter 6.
  • Cartwright Curse: So far, any Relationship Upgrades are soon followed by at least one of the newly formed pair dying.
  • Cruel Mercy: During the Epilogue, Headmaster Yasuda erases the survivors' memories of Phase Two saying that it's part of their reward: that they shouldn't have to live with the memory of what happened.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • Cited during the first trial as justification for lynching Akari, the idea being that doing so would prevent them from taking their vengeance later on.
    • Despite this, a vicious cycle does follow: Saiko kills Jack, and a mourning Misaki tells Monobear to make it hurt. Seeing that makes Seiichi snap, and he kills Kuu explicitly to hurt Misaki; notably, Kuu was also the one who killed Tama and let Akari take the fall. This cycle is also proposed as the reason why the one who killed Misaki couldn't have been Shibusa, Seiichi's friend, because in Roxy's words Misaki isn't moronic enough to trust Shibusa after beating Seiichi to a pulp right before his execution.
  • Fanservice: Only once, in the second trial, when Kuu suggests everyone strip down to their underwear so everyone can check to see who has a potentially incriminating injury. Not everyone strips (some opt to simply exercise rapidly to prove they don't have injuries that they could aggravate by said exercise), but for those who do strip: Roxy turns out to be wearing a strawberry bra and panties (we don't get to see a sprite), Misaki turns out to have a red bra and panties (complete with sprite), Shibusa wears simple lingerie (we don't actually get to see the sprite, but notably Shibusa is the least embarrassed at having to strip), Natsumi also strips but her underwear is neither given a sprite nor even described in the text, Seiichi turns out to be naked (but no sprite depicting this), Kuu strips shirtless and turns out to have "HURRICANE" written on one of his arms, Ryo turns out to be wearing a black tank top underneath (complete with sprite), Saiko is wearing plain, black undergarments (no sprite), and Hisoka is wearing pink boxers with white dots (complete with sprite). The rest of the cast just sticks with exercises.
  • Hope Spot: Monobear has included these in each of the executions so far:
    • The first: waiting until Akari has just reached the hole she fell through before freezing it over with the Mono-zamboni.
    • The second: setting a plane at the end of Saiko's obstacle course. It's only a model, though she doesn't get close enough to realize that before getting yanked back to face her demise.
    • The third: the death coaster completes its circuit, her seatbelt unlocks, and Emilia has a moment to catch her breath and stretch before the last marble catches up with her cart.
    • The fourth: Ryo reaches the 'exit' of the claustrophobic labyrinth, only to find it leads right into an iron maiden.
    • Defied, however, during the fifth: Seiichi's Genre Savvy enough to realize that while he could escape the ropes, there's doubtlessly a failsafe built in to ensure his demise.
    • And finally inverted in the sixth: The Mastermind, Nanase, asked Monobear to execute her, since the students won the game. So during her execution, where she's strapped to clock hands that constantly circle the clock before a "Monobear Cuckoo sitting on a blade" finally cuts off her head, absolutely no way out is presented yet Nanase is smiling the whole time.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: All of the students participating in the DA Project were subjected to this before 'Phase Two', so that the bonds they formed during the first phase wouldn't impact the results. After the mutual killing game ends, the Headmaster restores those memories, while erasing everything to do with Phase Two.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: During the fifth trial, Saiko tells Misaki they're more similiar than either of them would like. The latter silently comes to concede the point, but is too Prideful to admit it aloud. (Poor Ryo finds those claims resonate with them a lot as well.)
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Anyone who dies at Doubt Academy becomes a ghost bound to the school, able to interact with each other and observe, but unable to show themselves to or communicate with the living... except for by the fountain, or when Monobear opens up the channels at the trial. On top of this, ghosts can still cast votes during the trials, although they only count if required for tiebreakers. Or if Monobear opens the channels.
  • Out of Focus: Due to some players being less active, some of the students have a significantly lower profile. This is due to the beta nature of the first game. Lampshaded during the fifth trial when the survivors struggle to come up with suspects the reclusive Sadao might have trusted, and again during the sixth when Roxanne claims Misaki wouldn't trust Natsumi because 'she didn't even know her.'
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Delivered by poor Akari during the first trial when it becomes clear she's about to be killed for a crime she didn't commit.
    • In the second trial, the murderer calls them all out after confessing, pointing out how stupid they all are that it takes them coming clean for them to pinpoint the right culprit.
    • After the fourth trial, Monobear gives the students one after they botch their first Mastermind vote, claiming they've been focusing on the wrong things all along and hadn't given any real thought to who could be behind him.
    • The fifth trial keeps getting derailed by these, with Jack and Misaki calling each other out, followed by Saiko and Misaki, with Kuu and Akari getting involved.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Poor Kuu's death is Nothing Personal, as their killer informs them; they're just out to hurt Misaki instead.
  • Sequel Hook: The Epilogue establishes how the Headmaster's interested in doing other experiments along the same lines as the DA Project.
  • Ship Sinking: As of the fifth trial, Misaki is less than thrilled with Jack's apparent dismissal of her thoughts, and shares a Love Confession with Kuu.
  • Single Tear: Shed by the First Person Narrator during the epilogue when Yasuda goes to restore their memories of their happy school life while removing those of Phase Two.
  • Take Me Instead: During the second trial, Seiichi offers themselves up as a suspect instead of their friends. Ironically, this leads to their friends trying to argue the same thing themselves, and the real culprit confessing.
  • Taking the Heat: A confession in one trial is followed by accusations of this, as it seems too easy. Turns out they weren't lying.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Discussed during one trial, when Ghost!Tama notes how dying could lead to the Mastermind going undetected.

Black and White contain examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending: The survivors learn that Hope's Peak sold them to the Collective, and that at least half of the hell they went through was engineered by the rebellion Doctrina Artifica to help showcase the Collective's crimes. They return to Hope's Peak, where the Headmaster greets them with armed guards and offers False Reassurance about their safety with him. Before he can act upon whatever he's got planned for them, however, Doctrina Artifica hijacks a signal and reveals the Collective to the world, and launches a terrorist attack on the academy. The survivors manage to escape in the confusion.
  • Plot Parallel: In addition to both games being played at the same time:
    • Monobear draws first blood by executing an uppity Sacrificial Lion. Also, by some bizarre coincidence, in both Black and White, the uppity student is the one at the very bottom of the Class Roster. In Black, the uppity student is Gwendolyn, whose profile is at the very bottom of the Black class roster, and in White, the uppity student is Takahiro, whose profile is at the very bottom of the White roster.
    • Monobear has used I Have Your Loved One as a motive; in this case, it was the first motive in White, and the second in Black.
    • The first murder victims are killed off cuties considered Too Good For This Sinful Game.
    • Both of the second cases include extensive debate about whether or not the victim may have actually been Driven to Suicide by the motive. Also, in both of the second cases, this turns out to be wrong, and it was actually a murder, although the students only correctly figure that out in Black, while White incorrectly declares case 2 a suicide.
    • The third cases:
      • The third motive for both games was the same: the Cruel Mercy of potentially ending the game at the expense of leaving them trapped indefinitely.
      • The third cases appear to involve two incidents: the victim in Black ended up in the water twice, while the other revolves around the victim being poisoned followed by a violent attack. In both cases, somebody very close to the victim becomes the primary suspect.
      • Both of the third trials also feature somebody giving all of their classmates a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech about participating in the trials at all.
      • Also, the third cases end with the reveal that the circumstances behind the murders were beyond the murderer's control. One was a tragic accident, the other involved the murderer being possessed.
    • The fourth cases:
      • Both contain extensive debates about whether friendship is blinding the students to a painful truth, and the importance of trust.
      • Innocence versus evidence is another major theme in both of the fourth chapters. Despite his Revealing Cover-Up, Hiroshi is, in fact, innocent. While in White, confusion and paranoia over circumstantial evidence leads to their second mistrial — and the first of a living innocent.
    • Both of the fifth murders involve the victim having their throat slit. Also, the victims of both of the murders could be said to have karma biting them in the ass: Doubt Academy Black's chapter 5 victim was constantly begging to die throughout the whole thing, and Doubt Academy White's chapter 5 victim had previously gotten away with being chapter 2's murderer.
    • Both the Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White chapter 6 culprits are well intentioned extremists. The Doubt Academy Black chapter 6 culprit committed murder because he was hoping to graduate and get out... so he could call the police to come and save everyone else from Monobear. The Doubt Academy White chapter 6 culprit is a well intentioned extremist in three different ways: one, she felt guilty over her role in getting an innocent person executed in chapter 4. Two, that execution left said innocent person's love interest all alone, so the culprit killed the victim so the victim could be with her lover. Three, the motive for chapter 6 would have given the culprit crucial information about the mastermind; had the culprit succeeded, she would have given the information to all her peers.
    • The seventh case:
      • Chapter 7 of both Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White involves the students being offered temporary immunitynote  and two murders being committed.
      • Chapter 7 also sees both classes holding their first Mastermind Votes. Both fail.
    • Chapter 8 has the same motive in both Black and White: if a murder occurs, Monobear will open the monorail, which will lead to "a whole new world"; Monobear guarantees it!
    • However, there's a subversion of the parallel in at least one case: in the chapter 9 trial in Black, and in the chapter 8 trial in White, someone sacrifices herself (it's a girl in both cases) to be executed in the voted party's place by jumping in front of the "execution chain," which then takes her to her own execution. However, Monobear reacts differently to each case, even though each case starts out the same: in Black's chapter 9, Monobear was only trying to execute the innocent Yukie because he wanted an innocent to die out of frustration. So when Setsuko sacrifices herself to be executed in Yukie's place, Monobear is satisfied and Yukie survives. But in White's chapter 8, Larry was actually guilty, so when Tomiko sacrifices herself to be executed in Larry's place, Monobear simply laughs and executes Larry anyway, making Tomiko's sacrifice completely pointless.
    • Finally, the last parallel is in chapter 10, where by freak coincidence, both Black and White groups correctly figure out the Mastermind, so both groups win the game in the same chapter! And as another coincidence, in both cases, this is actually the second Mastermind vote, since both groups guess wrong the first time they had a Mastermind vote.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • After Black/White had an extended Abnormal Days period, this was folded into the game in the form of a shared motive. Having seen the students seemingly getting along without any murders, Monobear offers the Cruel Mercy that unless somebody gets killed within the next few days, he'll end the mutual killing early and leave them alone in their Gilded Cage forever.
    • Following several more extended Abnormal Days, another shared murder was offered for Chapter 7: potential immunity for anyone who got away with murder this time. This also entailed two murders being committed on either side.
  • Sadistic Choice: In chapter 10's trial in both Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White, after the Mastermind is executed, the students face a sadistic choice, although the choice is slightly different in both since the organization known as the "Collective" plays a slightly different role in each game.
    • In Black, the Collective is the only enemy organization, responsible for trapping them in the park and for the mutual killing game. So the choice is between either destroying their research to thwart the Collective's goals (but also destroying any evidence of what the Collective did), or saving their dead friends as data on hard drives and simultaneously preserving evidence of what the Collective did (but which would also preserve the results of the research the Collective performed).
    • In White, the Collective is merely the organization responsible for trapping them in the spa, a completely different organization known as Doctrina Artifice was responsible for turning it into a mutual killing game. So in White, the sadistic choice is between saving their friends and saving the evidence against the Collective, which would save their friends but allow Doctrina Artifice to get away with murder... or destroy the research and the evidence against the Collective to screw over Doctrina Artifice and punish them for the murders, but allowing their friends to remain dead and allowing the Collective to get away with trapping them in the spa in the first place.
  • Sequel Escalation: The first game featured sixteen students. The follow-up games, Black and White, are being held at the same time, with two different classes, each of which has thirty one seats available, meaning there could be a total of sixty two students involved.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Doubt Academy 1, the students could sometimes be rather cavalier about executing an innocent, one example being Jack coldly telling Akari in the first trial that Akari should stop screaming that she's innocent, does she think they want to execute an innocent? She's the best suspect, so it's the least risk voting for her! However, notably, in Black and White, the students are much nicer; they bend over backwards to try to avoid any possibility of executing an innocent person to the point of sometimes volunteering to be executed instead, and except for a couple hot-blooded people in each game, the students are generally much slower to jump to a conclusion about the culprit. They frequently verbally beat themselves up during trials for possibly being selfish, or possibly having not contributed to the investigation, or possibly almost getting an innocent killed, etc., as opposed to 1, where the students were much more focused on their own survival. Several of the murderers even end up confessing out of guilt or to avoid someone innocent being punished instead. While this paid off for a while, Jun was crippled after a mistaken 'suicide' vote in White's second trial, and Black's third trial ended with Monobear executing an innocent despite a successful vote. Followed shortly by another student getting killed for attacking him in a rage.

    Doubt Academy Black 
  • Accidental Murder:
    • In Chapter 3, it comes out that the culprit accidentally killed Iko when he pushed her into the pool. Neither was aware she was a robot, or that she wasn't waterproofed.
    • In Chapter 10 when Katsuo confesses after Khadija is incorrectly convicted, saying that he accidentally caused Atsuko's death while trying to defend himself.
  • Amusement Park: After its makeover into Doubt Land, Magicial Miracleland becomes an Amusement Park of Doom.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Oh, so nobody wants to see the Accidental Murderer executed? How about watching somebody else die instead?
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During his Breaking Speech after Chapter 4's Trial, Monobear comments that he's been going on for too long and that "This is too much for one bear to say!" He also claims he'll have it rewritten later.
  • Career-Ending Injury: The fifth motive; if a murder doesn't occur within the week, Monobear will cripple a random student.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Chapter 4's trial, Hiroshi confesses what happened midway through the trial, leading to extensive debate as to whether he's telling the truth. He is.
  • Cruel Mercy: For his third motive, Monobear states that if no murder occurs within the next few days, he'll end the mutual killing game and leave them alone... with no way to escape their Gilded Cage.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Following the third execution and its aftermath, Monobear and the hidden Mastermind have one of these. Monobear warns that they're considering dropping the Mastermind from the 'project'.
  • Decided by One Vote: Chapter 1's Trial ends with the students correctly voting for Reisuke by a single vote. An innocent person would have been executed if even a couple more students had voted wrong.
  • Domed Hometown: Following the fourth trial, Monobear enacts a special punishment on Monomi that culminates in firing her into the air so that she hits the ceiling, revealing to all the students they've been trapped in a dome the whole time.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Much of the second trial is spent debating whether the victim might have killed themselves in order to Take a Third Option and prevent Monobear from destroying everyone's loved ones and precious things. She didn't.
    • In the fourth trial, the victim did intend to kill himself, and although another party intervened, turning it into an Interrupted Suicide, things went awry and the victim died anyway.
  • Exact Words:
    • Monobear's first "motive" is a promise to restore the memories of whoever kills someone. However, after Mameko is murdered, and after Monobear is questioned as to when he's going to give the memories back if he hasn't already, Monobear responds that he never actually said he would give the memories back right away; the killer has to survive the trial first, and then the killer will get what's coming to them!
    • After the first execution, he then twists the knife by revealing they all have the opportunity to get some of their memories back through the Mono Machine, meaning the motive was completely invalid anyway.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Factors into the outcome of Chapter 4. Would this count as a murder in Monobear's Kangaroo Court? Hiroshi wasn't sure, and became desperate enough to avoid punishment that he tried framing Takeo instead.
  • Fanservice: Much like in the first game, Chapter 2 provides this when everyone has to strip in order to prove they weren't scratched while killing the victim. It turns into Fan Disservice in some cases, since a couple of students are injured under their clothing.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Monobear enacts one of these immediately upon arriving, wresting control away from Usami and declaring that Magicial Miracleworld is now Doubt Land.
  • I Have Your Wife: The second motive, for most students. Everyone gets a note threatening something very important to them; for the majority, it's a family member. In a few instances, it's something else entirely, though still personal.
  • Karma Houdini: Whoever killed Reika in chapter 8 gets off scot-free, because the students were more intent on punishing a previous Karma Houdini who had won an immunity for herself in chapter 7. Turns out it was Shizuka who killed Reika, and she will probably get away with it. However, Kyou, who was an accomplice, met his death. His murderer, Khadija, almost became a Karma Houdini as well but she became the scapegoat for Chapter 10. Which in turn, caused Katsuo to become a Karma Houdini.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • In chapter 1, Yukie Seki accidentally breaks a door handle. So Usami appears to give her a "punishment"... and no, it's not execution. Yukie is sentenced to wear a pink princess hat on her head, face the wall for 20 minutes thinking about what she's done, and then apologize to the door handle for breaking it.
    • Not long afterwards, Katsuo gets a time out for knocking Takara out with a pretty powerful punch. Takara also got a time out while unconscious, for slapping Hiroshi (The event that caused Katsuo to deck Takara in the first place).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The general reaction the students have after Monobear demonstrates one of his 'punishments' with Gwendolyn's help.
  • Miscarriage of Justice:
    • The third trial. Not only was the murder a tragic accident, but Monobear actually listens to everyone's pleas not to execute the accidental murderer. Instead, he executes the murderer's Love Interest. This leads to another student losing her shit and attacking Monobear, getting herself killed in the process.
    • The eighth trial is a weird deliberate example of this. The students are supposed to vote for whoever killed Reika in chapter 8. Instead, because Yukari killed Etsuko in chapter 7 and got off scot-free with an immunity, the students intentionally vote for Yukari instead of whoever Reika's murderer was, in order to retroactively take away Yukari's Karma Houdini status. Unfortunately it's still a miscarriage of justice since this just makes Reika's murderer a Karma Houdini instead.
    • The ninth trial. The students vote that Kyou's death was a suicide, but this turns out to be wrong. Unfortunately this leaves Monobear without anyone to execute, and he has to have an execution... so Monobear decides to execute someone at random and picks Nice Girl Yukie Seki of all people, prompting Setsuko to offer herself up and be executed in Yukie's place.
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • While Takara has a pretty reasonable argument as to why he thinks Reisuke committed the first murder, that gets muddied by his sheer arrogance. He doesn't present his case so much as declare he's right and they're all idiots for not seeing it, and gets upset with the others for trying to work through the evidence on their own. And then it turns out that Takara was actually right, the first culprit was Reisuke.
    • Yumiko gets her own turn at this when she tries to prevent the others from attempting their first Mastermind vote. While it's reasonable to protest that they don't have much evidence, the way she berates them, even going so far as to yell and rant about their stupidity, only leads to them mistakenly thinking she's the Mastermind and wasting their first vote on her.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Hiroshi's player was absent during the second trial period, so Hiroshi fell asleep at his podium for the duration of the trial.
    • Yukie's player was absent during the third trial period, so she fell ill and was excused from participating by Monobear.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Angelo delivers one during the third trial, calling out the others for playing along with the murder game and clinging to the illusion that what they're doing is okay so long as they convict the 'right' suspects. This is accompanied by a Rage Quit.
  • Rule of Pool: There is a pool introduced in chapter 3. Predictably, someone - King - falls into it while clothed and makes a fool of himself. And then later, Iko is found dead at the bottom of it.
  • Sacrificial Lion: One of the first things Monobear does after showing up is punish Gwendolyn for standing up to him.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The second motive makes it clear that unless somebody commits murder, everyone's going to lose either a loved one or something else very precious to them.
    • The third motive states that unless somebody commits murder, Monobear will end the mutual killing game... and with it, the chance for anyone to escape.
    • With the seventh motive, they figure out quickly the identities of both murderers, but are faced with one of these upon realizing they can only execute one during that trial, meaning the other will gain temporary immunity.
  • True Companions: Played for Drama in Chapter 4. Hiroshi's friends discover evidence linking him to the murder scene and try to help cover it up. This comes out during the trial, leading to many heated exchanges.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The events after the fourth trial. As a "special punishment", Monobear fires Monomi into the sky... which flickers with static, revealing it to be completely artificial. The students aren't trapped in an open amusement park, they're trapped inside a dome.
    • The ninth trial. The class is stumped on who could have killed Kyou. They end up with a tie between Rei and suicide, leaving the vote to the "secret panel" of dead students. However, it seems they are stumped as well and vote a suicide. In his anger, Monobear chooses a student at random to execute: poor Yukie Seki, who is innocent. She tries to prepare herself to die, but when the execution finally comes, she is saved by Setsuko's Heroic Sacrifice. Setsuko gets executed instead! Meanwhile, Kyou's girlfriend Shizuka is thrown so deep into despair from failing to find his killer that she loses consciousness.
  • Wham Line: From Yukari right before her execution, we have several at once:
    "In the database... Xiwei Yosheda, I don’t know who he is, but he could be important. Wataru, Atsuko, Yukie, Katsuo, thank you for being such good friends to me. If you get out, tell my family what happened. Tell my brother I’m sorry. I sabotaged him when he tried engineering. These glasses? Fake. They’ve always been fake. I don’t really know why I’m saying all this, I guess I just wanted nothing to be left unsaid. This... is... my last... chance..."

    Doubt Academy White 
  • Brutal Honesty: Usami's very upfront with the idea that they're going to spend the rest of their lives living at Bright Side, and doesn't seem to comprehend why this upsets her charges.
  • Career-Ending Injury: The second motive. Unless a murder happens within a week, Monobear declares he'll select one of the students at random and cripple them in a way that'll keep them from being able to use their talent anymore. However, it turns out that a couple of the students would not actually be significantly impacted by the motive. As Kanon muses, nobody could possibly take her apart enough to cripple her "spirit sense" as a SHSL Medium, and as Kiyoshi muses, he could maintain his faith as a SHSL Theologian if he were blind, deaf, and dumb. Following the second trial, Monobear declares that since the 'winner' was Shinya, and he hadn't committed suicide, then instead of executing somebody who hardly got any votes, he'll just follow through with the motive anyway. And unfortunately, he doesn't pick someone like Kanon or Kiyoshi, who as described above would not be severely impacted by crippling. He picks someone who would be severely impacted by the motive: he has crows tear out Jun's eyes, and Jun can't develop videogames if he can't see.
  • Dark Secret: For their fourth motive, Monobear gives each student an envelope containing a secret. If nobody dies within a week, he'll reveal them all publicly. As in the original game, though, not all of the secrets are necessarily that terrible. Just enough of them.
  • Decided by One Vote: Chapter 4's Trial ends with a tie — then Monobear reveals that others have been watching and cast their own votes. Of those cast for the two tied characters, it comes down two-to-one.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Chapter 5's motive. Monobear gets irritated at no murders occurring for a week, so he locks up all the pantries, restaurants, freezers, etc., and tells the students that he'll starve them all to death unless they kill someone.
  • Driven to Suicide: Much of the second trial is spent debating whether or not the victim killed themselves in order to save somebody from being randomly crippled. This is complicated by the fact that Shinya previously tried to get himself executed during the first trial because he considered himself less worthy of living than the actual murderer. They were wrong.
  • Favouritism Flip-Flop: Inverted when one of the students asks if they can throw a party:
    Monobear: A party!? That's ridiculous. I'll never allow it.
    Monomi: That’s wight! You haven’t even gathered the amount of hope shards required to unwock the pwivilege! You can’t even have cake yet!
    Monobear: ... Party hard! Eat cake if you can find some!
  • Four Is Death: Chapter 4 ends with their first execution of an innocent.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Bright Side Spa & Resort carries big, fluffy bathrobes with 'BS' embroidered on them.
  • I Have Your Wife: The first "motive" turns out to be a variation of this. Monobear simply gives envelopes to all the students, and the envelopes contain a threat: some value their families even over their beliefs, so in order to protect their families, "someone must die." Meaning, someone has to murder someone else, or all of their families will die. Kanon, however, muses to herself that she couldn't care less about the people who gave birth to her, so if those are the ones being threatened, Kanon will laugh in their face. In Ritsuka's case, her Sensei is threatened instead of her biological family. For Yoon-Ji, it was her entire career being threatened, rather than her family.
  • Made a Slave: After taking over, Monobear explicitly makes the newly renamed Monomi his personal masseuse.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: This ends up working against the students. The very attempt to avoid possibly executing someone innocent results in all the students voting for Shinya having committed suicide...which was wrong, so Monobear cripples one of the students as punishment.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Usami has a tendency to talk down to her students, treating them as if they were much younger.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The circumstances behind the first murder draw parallels with that of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. Koemi was killed around the time of a party whereas Togami was killed during one. A more meta example is Koemi being played by the same person as Ryo from the first game and Togami being the same person from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
    • In addition to the above, it shares a parallel with the first murder case in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: the switched plaques.
  • Never Suicide: Played depressingly straight. The students think Shinya killed himself in chapter 2. He didn't, so Shinya's killer is still on the loose.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Jun is blinded, Monomi makes them breakfast. Monobear learns of this and has her work through the night preparing breakfast for everyone on the day he announces their third motive.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Tomiko's player had to leave the game, resulting in Tomiko being written out by pulling a sadly futile Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the chapter 8 trial. Tomiko was originally planned to die protecting a rule-breaking Kazuya from Monobear's wrath (this got scuttled when Kazuya was chosen as a murder victim before that could be pulled off).
  • Riddle for the Ages: Nobody knows who killed Renée in chapter 4. The person who was executed in that particular trial, Ritsuka, was completely innocent. There was another person who was also a big suspect in that murder, but Yukiko is eventually executed for a different murder entirely, and before the execution Yukiko screams that while Yukiko is very sorry about Ritsuka's execution, Yukiko didn't kill Renée either. It's revealed post-game that Yukiko was the killer, but wasn't technically lying when she screamed it wasn't her—because she didn't actually remember killing Renée, since she had brain damage at the time.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Takahiro stands up to Monobear and gets a chestful of lead for their troubles.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The first motive amounts to 'Somebody better start this mutual killing game up, or else everybody loses somebody important to them!'
    • The second motive gives the students a choice of either committing murder or running the risk that they'll be the one Monobear picks to cripple.
    • The third motive boils down to 'if nobody kills anyone else in the next few days, I'll end the game and leave you all trapped here forever'.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: After the students mess up the second trial, Monobear declares that since the majority voted for a dead suspect, he'll add a new rule and enact the motive anyway, randomly choosing somebody to cripple.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Mimi actually gloats over the third murder victim, then acts offended when she gets slapped for it.
  • Sympathetic Murderer:
    • The first motive involved everyone having a loved one threatened, so while most were upset by the first murder, there was plenty of guilty relief that this seemingly ensured their loved ones' safety. When the trial ends with Fumiko confessing, many of the students express their sympathy and regret.
    • Potentially with the second, though the jury's still out on that one: they insist they believed it was self-defense. It's unclear whether that was the case or not, and regardless, an innocent was punished as a direct result of their actions.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • When Monobear declares the second motive (kill or he'll randomly dole out a Career-Ending Injury), Kazuya attempts to volunteer for it. Monobear replies that he'll just take his name out of the list of candidates and make him watch whoever gets crippled instead.
    • Kiyoshi briefly thinks about doing this, but it's dependent on whether or not he can persuade the others not to kill, so he hasn't voiced the offer out loud yet.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The second trial's outcome. Shinya didn't commit suicide, so Monobear carries out that week's motive and blinds Jun.
    • The fourth trial comes down to a tie, broken by a mystery vote — and officially convicting their first innocent.
    • The eighth trial: Just as Larry is about to be dragged away to be executed, Tomiko quickly rushes in and takes his place, and is dragged away to be executed in his place... and then Larry is dragged off to be executed anyways.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After the votes are tallied for the fourth trial, Jaejin calls out the other students for refusing to trust their instincts, pointing out that he hasn't been wrong about a culprit yet — and since the tiebreaker went to the innocent Ritsuka, they don't know if his suspect is guilty or not, but he's personally convinced.

Alpha, Omega and Epsilon contain examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending: A major part of endgame is dedicated to cloning the dead students, and everyone manages to escape Gaia alive. However, Japan is still reeling from the fallout of DA2's ending: The government and economy are in shambles, rioting is common in heavily-populated cities like Tokyo, and the Collective and Doctrina Artifice both have tight grips on the country. The A-Team and many students seem determined to rebel against these groups and restore Japan to normal, but it's unknown if they will succeed. Furthermore, some students are still badly traumatized by what they've been through, and a few are even shown to be highly likely to commit suicide.
  • Call-Back: Once again, the "uppity students who tell Monobear to screw off causing Monobear to kill them" are the students at the bottom of the Class Rosters: Saki, in Doubt Academy Alpha; and Eikichi, in Doubt Academy Omega, mimicking the situation on Black and White, where uppity students Gwendolyn in Black and Takahiro in White were killed off for standing up to Monobear. This is actually unintentional, because in all these cases, the ones who stand up to Monobear are the Game Masters' characters, and it just so happens that they usually throw GM characters at the bottom of the rosters so it's only a coincidence that the uppity students are always at the bottom.
  • Cute Machines: Usami has been re-purposed into this in Alpha and Omega. In Alpha, she's a robot bee girl. In Omega, she's a pink robot girl. After Monobear's Hostile Show Takeover, she's forced into her Monomi form.
  • Decapitation Presentation:
    • Within a very short period of time, Yuu, Emiko, and Fuuyuko all end up losing their heads. It's worth noting that only two of these were executions.
    • As of Chapter 9, there are now two more who lost their heads in succession: Nicanor and Tamaki. Nicanor having been murdered by Tamaki and Tamaki being executed for it.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • By the fourth chapter, three people have already lost their heads. In a darkly amusing detail, all three of them were killers (though one was an accident). Two were executions.
    • As of Chapter 9, there are two more without heads, one being killed and the other executed: Nicanor and Tamaki.
    • With the deadblog now public, it's now known that Ryota and Lee also inflicted this on themselves. For extra points, Lee's suicide happened during the trial for Nicanor's murder, shortly before Tamaki was executed, making three decapitations in less than twenty-four hours.
  • Please Select New City Name: When Monobear shows up with his mutual killing game, in Alpha, he changes Ouranos' name to Gaia since he's giving the students the ability to use the underground facilities and not just the city. In Omega, he changes Elysium's name to Tartarus since he now wants the place to be hell instead of paradise.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • When one of the players was in an accident, their character was given Plot Armor until they recovered enough to participate fully in the game.
    • Both Alpha and Omega had an "extended days" period in Chapter 2, which means there were no murders for two weeks instead of one. This is because one of the moderators had a real-life commitment that took up some time for that period.
    • Chapter 5 in both games includes a double murder. This is partly because the players of a student in each game had to leave, and this was worked into the story.
  • Robot Girl: Usami has been re-purposed into this in Alpha and Omega. In Alpha, she's a robot bee girl. In Omega, she's a pink robot girl.
  • Sadistic Choice: Aside from the usual ones, Monobear presents both classes with a new one at the start of Chapter 4. He's willing to give them a break from the usual Motive-Murder-Investigation-Trial cycle — and even let Monomi take over for a week! But in exchange...? They have to vote to execute somebody as a group. In a heartwarming development, both classes voted not to do this.
  • The Starscream: Part of the Masterminds' plans. Despite being employees of the Collective, they turned against the organization after Doctrina Artifice (which Wakana also happened to be a part of) made its broadcast and triggered nationwide turmoil. The two then began making plans to take control away from both groups, with Yuuto destroying what remained of the corruption in the world and Wakana leading the rebirth of society.
  • Title Drop: Done during the Omega mastermind's speech:
    "I... wished to see the world reborn, and he to see the remainders of it’s sins torn asunder. With his guidance, the world could be cleared of all obstacles. With mine, we could rebuild it, shining and beautiful, a world of peace and delicacy. He would reap the field so that I may sow it. Death and Rebirth. Alpha and Omega."
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • There are more students willing to be nice to Usami/Monomi in Alpha and Omega than there were in Black and White.
    • In Alpha, most of the students actually choose to vote themselves and possibly be killed rather than execute an innocent person - since they have no idea who did it. Unfortunately it doesn't work. The class still ends up voting for the wrong person as the culprit and executing him.
    • In Omega, once the true culprit confesses, several students go out of their way to comfort her before her execution. Also, before then, in general the Omega students were much less quick to jump down each other's throats and accuse people left and right than the Alpha students were, so the true culprit became obvious much faster without a bunch of competing suspects.
  • Wham Episode: At the start of Chapter 6, Gaia is hit by an earthquake, and Tartarus glitches out. When the Gaia students are led into the labyrinth, they discover the real bodies of the Tartarus students located underground. The survivors of both games are gathered together, marking the start of DA: Epsilon.

    Doubt Academy Alpha 
  • Acquitted Too Late:
    • Yuuto in Chapter 1 is eventually revealed to be an inversion. He didn't directly kill the victim, but as the Mastermind he's still responsible for everything.
    • Mitsu in Chapter 4. She intentionally confessed, partly because she remembered what happened in past mistrials and feared that the execution of another innocent was about to happen anyway because of the lack of progress — at least by putting herself out there, she could make sure no one else died. She still hoped they would find the holes in her testimony and put more effort into finding the real culprit.
  • After the End: Not literally, but their setting is meant to invoke this atmosphere, at least. Alpha takes place in a ruined city called "Ouranos", which is supposed to represent "safety in the skies of heaven" (or at least it will be after the students rebuild both it and community).
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Several students have been pushed to the fringes of the group, getting treated like crap even when they have a point or events have proven they were totally right.
  • Apathy Killed the Cat:
    • In stark contrast to Omega, Alpha's trials appear to fail because only a few people care about the victims, or about the consequences of a mistrial if it doesn't directly involve them or someone they care about. It's entirely possible that their apathy is what caused the victim in Chapter 3 to kill herself.
    • In the second trial, the person who just sacrificed herself with a false confession berates the class over their apathy throughout that week's investigation and trial, resulting in there being no clear idea of what even happened, as well as their disinterest in the medical and emotional support that she could have offered.
  • Arc Symbol: The moon, particularly in its crescent form, has shown up quite often in the game so far, from Kosuke's tarot readings to Sayuri's obvious worship of and devotion to it to a crescent moon being drawn in place of Emiko's head when she is found dead.
  • Bury Your Disabled: Obviously not intentional, but the three characters who were revealed to be mentally unstable, Emiko, Ryota, and Yuu, are killed in quick succession, horribly, fairly early in the game.
  • Bystander Syndrome: A distinct problem with their investigation/trial system, and the reason so many people are isolated. They don't stand up for one another, and when they do, it's often in direct ignorance of evidence and negatively affects the victim.
  • Call-Back:
    • In an unintentional parallel to the first DA, the first trial ends with a mistrial and an innocent person being executed. Continuing the parallel, the actual culprit of the first murder ends up the victim of the third murder. However, the genders are reversed: the true culprit of chapter 1 in Doubt Academy 1 was male, and he was murdered in chapter 3. The true culprit of chapter 1 in Doubt Academy Alpha is female, and she is murdered in chapter 3. Meanwhile, the "wrongful execution" in 1 was of a girl, while of a boy in Alpha.
    • There's also an inverted call-back: in Doubt Academy 1, the "ice-related talent" (in this case Hockey Player) was the wrongfully executed party, but in Doubt Academy Alpha, the "ice-related talent" (in this case Figure Skater) was the true culprit who wasn't executed but was then murdered in chapter 3. And as a final call-back, the Alpha chapter 3 is also a mistrial, just as Doubt Academy 1's chapter 3 was.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Emiko is found crucified in the Abandoned Ward, leading to many jokes about how they died for everyone's sins. Come the tenth trial, and it's revealed that the person who she allowed to be executed in her place was the Mastermind.
  • Clueless Mystery: Not normally, as Doubt Academy is a Fair-Play Whodunnit through and through, but the first murder and subsequent trial brings this to mind. The characters have absolutely no idea what happened - and the only clues they found that possibly related to the case didn't point to any one particular suspect. The culprit has, as of Chapter 3, been revealed: Emiko, the victim of the week. She leaves behind a confession detailing what happened. Therefore, the mystery was not clueless - her body paint was found at the scene, though she was able to pass it off as a frame.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: For his fifth motive, Monobear invokes this: should somebody get away with murder, he'll answer one question for them, about just about anything... although asking about specific people is out, so no learning who the Mastermind is.
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of these takes over the first few chapters. Ayako attacks Emiko in perceived self-defense, leading to Emiko accidentally killing her. The trial is filled with numerous theories, most of which point to either Emiko or Yuuto being the culprit, but Shay and Ryota cast a bit of suspicion on Chiemi. After the mistrial and Yuuto's execution, Yuu kills Ryota in part because of his accusation and in part to protect his girlfriend Emiko from the motive. He tries to frame Shay for the murder since he also accused Chiemi, but he ends up caught and executed. Later, Emiko stumbles upon Kozure trying to kill Takumi, and he chooses to kill her instead; notably, Kozure was the one most annoyed that people who had useful skills or tried to help in the Labyrinth kept getting killed. He decapitates Emiko post-mortem and leaves her head in Ayako's storage locker. Kozure is not caught and Nanoka is maimed in a random punishment, but there are no further attempts to bring him to task over the suspicions (unless one considers what would have happened if the dead students ever got their hands on him). The cycle itself ends here, barring one final act in endgame: Yuuto turns out to be the Mastermind. Emiko proceeds to show him exactly what she thinks of the way Yuu was executed.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The most notable example in Doubt Academy so far, barring Renee's death, would be the Chapter 3 death. Emiko Shiromura is found crucified and beheaded in the Abandoned Ward, with ritualistic symbols drawn on the walls around her in blood. It is the only death in Alpha so far that was meant to be a presentation by the murderer and not made into one by Monobear's announcement.
  • Decided by One Vote: In the third trial, the class was split between voting for Kozure and making a suicide vote for Emiko. If not for a last-minute vote, they would have gone to the dead students' tiebreaker, which had a slight majority for Kozure, the true culprit. Instead, Shun's vote pushed it in favor of Emiko, resulting in a mistrial.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Doubt Academy Alpha's chapter 2 motive. Monobear promises the students that they won't see a single piece of food in Gaia until someone dies, and Monobear adds another qualifier: starving to death won't get them the food back, only death by murder will. Interestingly, the person impacted by chapter 2's motive killed someone to get the food back for everyone else as much as for himself.
  • Divided We Fall: The students trapped in Ouranos/Gaia are very sharply divided among themselves, with several students getting pushed to the very outskirts of the group.
  • Driven to Suicide: Emiko attempts suicide due to the nasty treatment they receive from most of their fellow students following the first trial. Comes back to haunt the group later when they turn up dead and there's considerable debate over whether they were murdered or just successfully offed themselves this time. It was murder.
  • False Confession: In Chapter 4, we have a case where this tactic works. Sick of the mutual killing game, and trying to keep the people they cared about safe rather than risk them being randomly executed, the confessor offers themself up to prove a point.
  • Forced to Watch: While the survivors are always forced to watch the executions, Yuuto specifically demands that Monobear make everyone watch his execution so that they can't ignore how they sent him to his death.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: The people in Alpha seem to have a disturbing talent for pushing the deaths of their friends out of their minds. Though there are those who continue to be affected, such as Mitsu (for Ayako) and Chiemi (for Emiko and Yuu), there are a surprising number of people who were close to the deceased and moved on within a matter of days. This is possibly a coping mechanism. Doesn't help that in several cases, the ones who don't forget their fallen friends are also isolated from the others.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Two different variations of this, both nestled within the first trial:
    • Emiko implicated herself by smearing body paint on Ayako and leaving the paint elsewhere. She then explains in court that it could not have rubbed off of her skin and only comes off with certain materials. This convinces just enough people that someone else framed her that they vote for and execute the wrong person.
    • Fast forward to the end of the game. The person who was executed as a result of the mistrial? Turns out he's the Mastermind. Yuuto is technically responsible not just for Ayako's death, but that of every other character that died in Alpha and Epsilon.
  • History Repeats:
    • The first trial of Alpha turns out reminiscent of the first trial of the original DA, with a mistrial and an innocent's death. And just like in that first game, the first murderer winds up as the third victim, but their killer also goes free in another mistrial.
    • Within Alpha itself, the first mistrial was followed up by one student getting harassed and isolated over suspicion of her guilt. This plays out all over again with the second mistrial, with another student copping the same isolation and hateful treatment because his peers suspect he just got away with murder.
    • The first and fourth trials end with someone being falsely convicted for the murder of one of the few people they were friendly with, then spending their final words chewing out the entire class for what they've done. The exact circumstances of the conviction and the relationships between the characters do differ greatly, however, although by the end of the game, both pairs have become romantically involved.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • In a sense, the whole group gets this in Chapter 3. Their treatment of Emiko comes back to haunt them when they can't determine whether or not she successfully killed herself or was murdered.
    • The Mastermind is killed by his own game in the very first trial. His lack of respect for the victim's boundaries even contributed to her anxious and distrustful behavior, setting up the foundations for both their deaths.
  • Hope Spot: After Chapter 3's mistrial, Monobear contemplates his options and declares that he's going to reward the culprit by making things easier in the labyrinth. Problem is, he's going to do that by setting off some bombs underground. Why's that an issue? The court is underground. And they're still locked in.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Whoever killed the first murderer is a Karma Houdini, since the students incorrectly voted for a suicide and then decided not to try and vote them for the Super Motive.
    • As of Chapter 4, whoever killed Takumi is another Karma Houdini, in addition to whoever killed Emiko, since Mitsu confessed to chapter 4's murder but it wasn't her.
  • Mind Screwdriver: In Chapter 3, a note is discovered that clears up a lot of the confusion over the first murder, including who the culprit was.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Poor Yuuto tries to take the lead during the first trial and determine who the murderer is. Their efforts result in Monobear mocking them, being distrusted and doubted, and a mistrial, as enough people become convinced he's actually trying to frame his strongest suspect. To add further insult to injury, it turns out he was right all along.
    • In the second trial, Emiko works especially hard, partly to try and atone for what happened during the first trial. As a direct result of their efforts, the culprit is correctly identified... and it's her boyfriend.
    • Nanoka Era does their best to take charge during the third trial, directing everyone's attention towards their strongest suspect. It's still not clear whether Kozure was responsible or not, as the suicide theory won by one vote — and as luck would have it, Monobear's random lottery selected Nanoka as the one to get punished for their failure, leading to her losing her sight, part of her hearing, and breaking both legs.
    • This sentiment is at the core of Mitsu's calling the others out at the end of Chapter 4's trial, as they accuse their classmates of not appreciating how hard others are working to solve the cases.
    • In the deadblog, Ayako eventually becomes very active in trying to find information about the Mastermind, but rarely succeeds in finding hard evidence. However, she keeps pressing on even as the stress wears her down. When she finally gets a lead on the identity of the Mastermind, it points directly at her boyfriend. She takes this very, very badly.
  • Not Me This Time: After not one, but two murderers go free, characters are constantly worrying about if those people have struck again; they often ask if the skeleton key won from one of the motives has been used, and those convicted of other murders are usually asked if they had any part in the previous deaths. The deadblog characters in particular are very suspicious of Kozure, because they know he's one of the murderers. In every trial after he gets away, at least one person suspects that he's the murderer of that week's case. He never is. Additionally, Kozure is unable to hear and respond to their accusations, so he doesn't even have a chance to correct them.
  • Snow Means Death: Though there is no direct symbolism linked to this, the girl who is the most associated with snow, ice, winter, and the cold, is directly responsible for one death and indirectly responsible for three more (four including her own).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • The first motive involves cards being handed out to each student with something written on it that explains why Monobear thinks they suck (examples include Saori allegedly being only a pretty face, Shay's talent allegedly being a fluke, etc.), and this will drive at least one of the students to kill. Noticeably, a bunch of the students aren't affected by this, shrugging off the insults (such as Saori deciding she's beautiful on the inside thanks to her years of practice, and Shay having to keep from bursting out laughing and deciding if his talent doesn't work out he can always just do something else).
    • Mitsu gives the class one about not trusting each other or appreciating anything useful after they vote for her in chapter 4.
    • In deadblog, Ayako throws around a couple of these during the third and fourth trials. Both of them blow up right in her face, as one is directed at a living classmate who can't even see or hear her, and the other one hurts the recipient a lot more than she thought it would.
  • Running Gag: It seems that no matter what, after a murder occurs, someone from Alpha will always go and check the furnace and the lockers for evidence. And there's usually something there, as well! As the game progresses into Epsilon, the killers seem to be getting wise to this, though.
  • Skeleton Key: For the fourth motive, Monobear offers an All-Access Pass. If somebody successfully gets away with murder, they'll be able to reach and explore every part of Gaia. And with the mistrial, it's in play. It isn't used to aid another murder, thankfully; the owner only uses it to break into another murder victim's room to search for clues, and to access the information within a room that's still locked to everyone else. They even avoid using this advantage afterwards because of how the rest of the class constantly asks Monobear about it during future investigations, fearing that they'll figure out they were the killer.
  • Suicide Pact: Appears in Chapter 1. Facing the notion that they have no clue who the murderer is, and afraid of potentially condemning somebody innocent to death, most of the students start voting for themselves instead. This fails, as a single student gets a majority of votes anyway... and he's innocent.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Alpha, the students are noticeably cruel to the girl accused of being the first culprit, to the point of physically assaulting her and driving her to attempt suicide. They often insult her or claim that she and the second culprit, Yuu Sagara, are meant for each other because they're both murderers. Even when it becomes obvious that there is something seriously wrong with her, they don't relent. It isn't only her, though; during the second trial, Gei yells at Yuu for committing the murder, although at the time it appeared to be a self defense, and when Chiemi faints at the sight of blood while investigating Chapter 2's murder, the accompanying students' reactions were surprisingly cavalier. And Chiemi herself can dish it out; she responds to Kikuyo crying in chapter 3's trial by yelling in her face and telling her to grow up, and then physically attacking her. Eva intervenes on Kikuyo's behalf by slamming Chiemi's head into the podium, but then Dante assumes that Eva attacked Chiemi for no reason and gives Eva a huge lecture on how immature Eva is for prolonging the conflict, despite the fact that it was done to protect Kikuyo. And then, of course, there's the fact that Eva herself chose "slamming into podium" rather than simply "pulling Chiemi away from Kikuyo".
  • Tragic Bromance:
    • The friendship between Yuuto and Shun results in a lot of heartache after Yuuto's the victim of the first mistrial, up to and including Emiko's attempted suicide, murder, and mistrial.
    • Kosuke is similarly affected by Yuuto's death, especially after he gets to talk to Yuuto again in Tartarus; this gives him motivation to do all he can to keep everyone safe and identify the Mastermind.
  • Villains Never Lie: This is the chapter 5 motive. Monobear promises that if someone kills within a week and gets away with it, Monobear will answer any question the murderer asks him (with one exception; Monobear categorically refuses to reveal who the Mastermind is, so that question is forbidden).
  • We ARE Struggling Together: This has graduated to outright violence going both ways, isolated students contemplating suicide, the Dead Guy on Display incident, and in one trial, a student successfully falsely confessing to the crime in order to commit suicide by Monobear.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Chapter 3, it's revealed that Emiko was the first culprit. The Victim of the Week suffers one of the most gruesome deaths ever seen in Doubt Academy (rivaling Renee's): they were decapitated using an elevator and crucified. During the trial, a schism develops between those who believe Emiko committed suicide and somebody tampered with her body afterward and those who suspect Kozure did the deed. It comes down to a single vote in favor of suicide... and they failed, for their second mistrial. Monobear then follows this up by randomly selecting one of the students — Nanoka Era — and dropping them in the labyrinth before setting off a bunch of bombs. No death announcement follows, and she's later dug out alive, but blind, half-deaf, and crippled in both legs.
    • Chapter 4 provides a rare instance of a fake confession actually succeeding — and due to that, an unidentified culprit is now running around with a multipass that gives them full access to all of Ouranos.

    Doubt Academy Omega 
  • Cessation of Existence: Monobear threatens to do this to everyone as his fourth motive, specifically by turning off the power to Tartarus. To drive home how serious this is, he demonstrates by making five of the students temporarily disappear.
  • Dark Secret: Serves as the second motive. Monobear has given all the Omega students cards with their biggest secrets and weaknesses written on them; if a murder does not occur within 36 hours, Monobear will reveal everyone's secrets to the whole class. Several of the students are rattled at the possibility, while others are dismissive. Only Usoko is driven by this motive to kill, although there's a Red Herring when Akira pretends it's his secret that's the dangerous one.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: For Omega's Chapter 5 motive, Monobear's removed all food sources from Tartarus. There's no food in the pantry or freezer, and none of the food machines work. If the cast wants anything to eat, they'd better kill someone quick.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The outcome of the Chapter 5 trial is an In-Universe example. Several students are relieved that despite technically mistrialing, Monobear seems willing to show mercy for once by ruling that since the person who won the vote had killed somebody before getting killed himself, they still did their jobs. Others, however, think they're crazy for celebrating, pointing out that they still have an unidentified murderer in their midst.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Has developed into a Running Theme, due to the generally tighter bonds between the classmates. The first culprit was friends with several of the class, so they hug her before her execution. The second culprit was less popular, but one classmate tried to sacrifice himself to save her. The third culprit ended up killing her only friend because she lost her temper. The fourth kept up her end of a Suicide Pact as part of a sacrifice to protect the others from that week's motive, but the other secretly backed out and tried to prevent her from being identified.
  • Forced to Watch: While this always applies to executions, Monobear took this even further with how the first two end with the final blow being dealt right in front of the students. To be more specific, the first was dropped from high above and smashed to pieces on the courtroom floor, and the second was blown apart by machine gun fire while pounding on a glass wall separating them from the courtroom.
  • I Have Your Wife: Chapter 3's motive is that Monobear is throwing a huge party, and if you go to the party, you can find out how your loved ones are doing and whether or not they even miss you! The catch: only killers are invited to the party. So, to find out about their loved ones, someone has to commit a murder. It's then subverted since the motive ends up being unrelated to the murder; the third culprit commits murder due to losing her temper when her victim pointed out her personality flaws.
  • Inside a Computer System: Elysium is actually a computer program. This is surprisingly not a spoiler, because Monobear reveals to everyone as soon as he shows up that they're inside a computer program. Usami even chides Monobear for revealing the surprise that early.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: This is the first motive in Omega; since they are inside a computer program, if someone doesn't kill within 24 hours Monobear will take down the firewalls and let in some computer viruses so he can start randomly "glitching" students, with Monomi being used as a visual demonstration of what that would look like. However, most of the class dismissed this motive; only the first culprit thought the glitches could actually mess everyone up, and thus the first culprit killed in part to protect the class.
  • Shining City: Omega takes place in a bright and shiny paradise called "Elysium", which is supposed to represent a world without limits. It's then subverted when Monobear shows up and renames the place "Tartarus", though he only changes the name; the aesthetic is still a shining city.
  • Shout-Out: The Animus is one giant shout-out to Persona 4, since it's a mini-game where the class can fight "Shadow" copies of themselves in hopes of winning (however, in this case each classmate does not typically fight his/her own copy, it's usually a copy of one of the others). Eikichi has to fight his own copy though, and it kills him.
  • Suicide Pact: Appears in Chapter 4, where the victim agreed to a mutual suicide where they'd poison each other. However, the victim didn't follow through, leaving the other to be heartbreakingly convicted of his murder and killed anyway.
  • True Companions: Many of the Omega students become this with each other, even holding hands during trials in some cases. Unfortunately, in a game like this, that only makes it hurt more when people start dying.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 5 is a double murder, same as in Alpha. During the investigation, the students become convinced that the second victim actually killed the first, and was murdered in turn — but they can't figure out who was responsible for his death. As a result, the vote ties between him and their strongest suspect for his murder — and the tiebreaker deadlocked as well. Monobear then decides that since the second victim did, in fact, murder someone, they technically got it right... and implies he's going to let them go without an execution.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: As revealed during the merge between Alpha and Omega, all people who died in the virtual reality of Tartarus also died in their pods in Gaia.

    Doubt Academy Epsilon 
  • The Bus Came Back: From the eighth chapter onwards, dead students begin making appearances in Tartarus, interacting with other characters as if they were alive. The details behind why they're able to do this are not publicly explained, and it's implied they're restricted in both where they can go and how long they can stay, but their appearances still tend to cause a stir among those who recognize them.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Monobear gloats about how neither of the Masterminds had any clue that something could cause the games to merge.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: All of the Omega class are found by the Alpha survivors in these, inside an underground shelter. When the Omega survivors wake up, the games merge.
  • Sick Episode: During the sixth trial, a high amount of students seem to be ill or tired, which is mostly brushed off... right up until Monobear offers a motive immediately after the execution. It turns out that many students are infected with an unspecified but contagious disease that could eventually become fatal. The way to cure everyone, of course, is to murder somebody.
  • Wham Episode:
    • At the beginning of Week 8's (Ab)normal Days, no less than six dead students suddenly wake up in Tartarus; the exact circumstances behind their arrival are left unsaid, but what is known is that during the time they're there, they can interact with the living, verbally and physically. From this point on, other dead students begin to make appearances.
    • Chapter 9's Abnormal Days begins with Monobear splitting the survivors into groups and sending them out into three separate locations, all while making baseball jokes. Eva is found dead by one group... and the post ends with the words "strike one". That's right, there are three deaths, with Aome and Kaoru showing up dead shortly afterwards.
    • Chapter 10 has three major scenes:
      • First, Monobear announces a supermotive: Someone who gets away with murder that week will have their required kill count bumped down to two. And if they're one of the three who killed before, they'll automatically win if they get away with it this week. Out-of-character, this supermotive accepted volunteers instead of doing the usual random selection. And according to a question-and-answer session by the GMs, at least one of those escaped culprits did apply, although he wasn't selected.
      • Second, after the murder victim is discovered, Imogen furiously demands that the culprit show themselves, prompting Monobear to mock her on how she always does this and use Aqua's words against her. She then shoots him with her uzi, but all this accomplishes is pissing him off. Monobear executes Imogen right on the spot, using a bladed disk to carve straight through her chest.
      • Third, the two Masterminds are caught during Monobear Theater, marking two firsts in the history of the game: One Mastermind simply confesses right there, congratulating everyone for figuring her out and making her apologies and goodbyes to her dearest friends. The other one doesn't confess... because he was falsely convicted and executed in the very first trial.

Rot and Rubble contain examples of:

  • Back from the Dead: The supermotive of the seventh chapter is Monobear bringing one student back to life. At the beginning of the eighth chapter, he makes good on this promise, bringing back Yoshiki for Rot and Yoshihiro for Rubble.
  • Dead Person Conversation: At the beginning of the fourth chapters in both games, a few characters discover that they can contact Monomi and the dead students through the radios. Why this is possible is not publicly known, and neither is the nature of the afterlife, but slowly the information about the radio begins spreading throughout the classes.
  • History Repeats:
    • The fifth cases of both games turn out to be similar to the fifth cases of DA3, especially to Omega: All games had a double murder in the fifth chapter. In regards to Omega, one of the dead students murdered the other one, and though various interactions (which in Omega and Rot involve calling on the tiebreaker vote), the class ends up voting for the deceased culprit. Unfortunately for the students of DA4, this is where the similarities end. While Omega's Monobear grudgingly allows this to slide and settles for desecrating the dead culprit's corpse instead of executing anybody, in Rot and Rubble he berates everyone for trying to use that loophole and randomly selects one student each to be punished, injuring both of them.
    • Chapter 7 of both games share similarities with Chapter 7 of Epsilon. One member of an intimate trio ends up dead. In Epsilon it's Kikuyo + Kosuke + Shun, in Rot it's Kenshin + Iori + Manolo, and in Rubble it's Mayumi + Kaito + Nao. All murders involve the culprit trying to shift the blame to another killer who evaded execution:
      • In Rot's case, the trio involves two mild-mannered characters and one emotional, hotheaded person. One of the mild characters commits a murder, and the body is further mutilated after death in order to throw people off. The class is able to determine who the killer of this case is through a hearing test, as someone involved with the crime suffers ear damage from firing a gun. After the killer is executed, their remains are thrown right into the hands of the more emotional character.
      • In Rubble's case, the murder victim was not actually supposed to die but instead was accidentally poisoned by the actions of another classmate, which ultimately lead to her death. The part of the trio that dies one way or another this chapter is female. Additionally, at the end of the game, the two survivors (both male) make it to the final trial, but one of them ends up marked for an endgame execution.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Compared to previous games, Monobear is not nearly as lenient about students trying to take away the joy of execution from him by voting for a dead person, even when they're technically correct about that person being a culprit. He has claimed (and even demonstrated) that he'll run the randomizer if someone directly causes their own death Note , or if there are multiple culprits and the class votes a dead one instead of a living one. Note  In the case of the latter, when both games take this option in the same week, he mutilates one student each at random as punishment.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Through both the GMs' plans and the players' coincidentally similar actions, the fifth cases in both games end up following almost the exact same story, and what a story it is. Threatened by a blackout that puts everyone in danger, one student (Hirashi and Yoshiko) attacks and kills another (Remiel and Naohiro), but is then murdered themselves by a third party that apparently stumbled on the scene. In the trials, the top suspects (Cerys and Sasaki) give confessions, but their friends (Iori and Airi) give such passionate defenses that they manage to get more people to vote for the deceased culprits. It absolutely infuriates Monobear that they'd try to deny him his executions, and he runs the randomizer, selecting two people (Manolo and Chisato). They're dragged off to punishments that leave both permanently injured (amputated hands and lost voice), and their classmates are left to give them urgent medical care.
    • Despite the implications in the prologue that the two games might have been in competition, both games identify their Mastermind in the eighth chapter. This is notable for catching even the GMs of the games off-guard! They admit in the endgame announcement that not only did they not expect both games to hit endgame at once, but that not all of the areas of each game had been revealed at that point in time. There's also the fact that, for Rot, multiple characters admitted they didn't think enough evidence had been found and had only voted for the correct person because he was getting a majority anyway.
    • And what of endgame itself? It's revealed that the students had been in stasis for seven years, locked away in a dome as the world moved on without them. Nao, realizing the Collective has failed to care for his ill mother and that she is surely dead now, then shoots Kyoji Yasuda dead. Later, as some students go back to try and get their formerly-dead classmates out of the mountain, the rest all leave with Doctrina Artifice to safety... and then their escort orders a missile strike on the dome, destroying it and presumably killing all inside. It's only at the end that it's revealed that everyone who found shelter in the cave systems and mountain survived.

    Doubt Academy Rot (Pars Venatic) 
  • Crapsaccharine World: What a nice, homey lodge, with a fireplace, charming wooden walls and floors, and... trophy upon trophy of taxidermied animals.
  • Decided by One Vote: Rot's fifth trial has an instance of this when Cerys tries to convince everyone that she had murdered Hirashi. The vote would've ended in her getting voted for and executed if it weren't for a last minute vote by Sunny that made the vote end in a tie instead, leaving the vote up to the dead students and ultimately leading to Hirashi being voted for instead.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The title translates to hunting party.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: With the new updates following Chapter 1's trial, there is a reading room that is perhaps not quite this large, but rather spacious.
  • History Repeats: The victim in the second case is played by the same person who played Emiko in Alpha. Both of them died in the chapter immediately after someone dear to them was executed. The biggest parallel comes from the trial, however: People begin to wonder if P.K. hung herself, the same way people wondered if Emiko did. With no certain suspect, a majority of the class votes for P.K. herself, just as they did for Emiko – and this turns out to be incorrect, resulting in a randomized selection as to which innocent person will be punished for their mistake. Both characters who are selected (Nanoka in Alpha and Malachi/Shigeru in Rot) are thrown into an apparent execution that directly interacts with one of the areas in the game, but the scene ends with them meeting Uncertain Doom. Unfortunately, the similarities stop here: Nanoka is found alive but with severe injuries, but all that can be found of Shigeru is a massive blood stain with some gore and fabric mixed in.
  • Miscarriage of Justice:
    • The second trial becomes one, as the class votes that the victim committed suicide, but it turns out that she was murdered. Malachi is then randomly selected to be executed.
    • The fifth trial is another example. While it's determined that Hirashi killed Remi, it's unknown who killed him afterwards, and despite Cerys making a confession there's enough of a defense for her that the living votes tie and the dead votes go to Hirashi. Even though it's technically correct that he's a culprit, Monobear punishes the class for using a loophole and amputates Manolo's hands.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The death of Yoshiki in Chapter 1 is definitely a case of this. He was suspicious in his actions and reactions to horrifying things, and seemed to generally be a good candidate for a murderer or even mastermind. He ends up a victim - the first one! Later subverted when Yoshiki is revived as the result of Chapter 7's supermotive. Although the game ends in the next chapter and he's not involved with the murder, during the Mastermind discussion he passes on important information about where the dead students have been this whole time.
  • Wham Line: One of the best in the games.
    Sully: God, guys... I just wanted to go home. And yes, other people have families, Maeno, but are they doing anything about it?
    Sully: Asano was right, you’re wrong.
    Sully: I’ll save you all the air of mystery.
    Sully: I’m two kills ahead of all of you.

    Doubt Academy Rubble (In Regius Decretum) 
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of these gets set up during mid-game before exploding in the second half of the game. Starting in Chapter 3, Hiyoko (rightfully) becomes the prime suspect for Chiyoko's murder, and after the mistrial and random execution she remains suspicious in many people's eyes. In Chapter 5, Sasaki sees that Yoshiko has mortally wounded Naohiro, and in retaliation she slits her throat; the class spares her and votes Yoshiko as the culprit, although this leads to a random punishment. Following this, Shuu decides to kill Sasaki, and he enlists Hiyoko's aid, believing her to already be a murderer. During the trial, once he's discovered he throws Hiyoko under the bus, and she ends up being executed while he's sent away to be kept in a dungeon guarded by a few people, among them Mayumi. Airi tries to murder Shuu, but when she tries to incapacitate Mayumi she ends up killing her instead. With some uncertainty lingering about Airi's guilt, there's a push to execute known killer Shuu, which narrowly ends up going through. Airi then confesses but survives to the end of the game.
  • Miscarriage of Justice:
    • The third trial becomes one, as the class votes that the victim committed suicide, but it turns out that she was murdered. Yoshihiro is then randomly selected to be executed.
    • The fifth, sixth, and seventh trials become this due to a string of not executing known or suspected killers, at least not for the crimes they're actually responsible for. Sasaki killed Yoshiko after she mortally wounded Naohiro, but a slight majority spares her and votes Yoshiko as the culprit; though it's technically correct, Monobear punishes the class for using a loophole and destroys Chisato's ability to speak. In the following trial, Shuu admits that he killed Sasaki, but then says that his accomplice Hiyoko is very likely to be the culprit of the third trial. Once more, he is spared, while Hiyoko dies in his place. And in the trial after that, despite Airi coming under heavy suspicion, the living are split between her and Shuu, and the dead's tiebreaker chooses to execute the latter.
    • The eighth trial is another mistrial, as there isn't a solid suspect for the murder, and Chitose is wrongfully convicted by a narrow margin.
  • Sick Episode: The motive of the sixth chapter is Despair Fever, which not only causes those ill with it to act wildly out of character, but will also eventually kill them. It's highly contagious and will only be cured if a murder happens.
  • Wham Line: There is one that is memorable for serving as this to both the characters and the players.
    Monobear: But what kind of a person would do that to sweet little Chiharu-chan, hmm? The cutest Mori girl around, cute as a button! Not cuter than me, but still at least alright.
    Monobear: The correct kind. That’s right! She did kill Setsuga!

Kaze and Mizu contain examples of:

  • Call-Back: The changing portals link to locations from previous Doubt Academy games. It's a hint to the true identities and intentions of "Jaejin" and "Hikaru"; they are in reality fans of Hope's Peak Academy and its scandals, and they wanted to play out a killing game themselves, stealing the identities of former students in the process.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The Masterminds intended to trap the other "students" in an endless cycle of killing games, resetting their conscious memories each time but subliminally conditioning them into ruthless murderers, so that they can skillfully and fearlessly carry out a prison break. Thankfully, the coding breaks when the first loop is underway, and dead students get ejected from the program entirely, memories intact.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Aside from Haru and Tobio, none of the kids were actually a part of Hope's Peak Academy. They had been on a list of potential future students, but as part of the Masterminds' plans they were sent fake letters of admission, and they were knocked out and put into the virtual reality when they arrived at the location.

    Doubt Academy Mizu 
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One is almost performed in the second trial, by Hachi to protect Rhiannon. Luckily, it ends up being unnecessary.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The new investigation point-and-click adventure system has led to a bit of this, notably with the descriptions of less important objects.
    "You're running out of things to think about toilets."
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrative of the point-and-click investigation certainly comes off this way, often making odd comments or teasing the player for investigating in a certain place, such as a toilet.
    [upon observing a blast chiller]: "I actually had no idea these things existed until I watched Masterchef Jr. how are those kids so good"
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: During the first trial, a bunch of panicked kids were thrown into a courtroom and told to figure out an (admittedly difficult) case. They work hard to investigate, and all bravely present their theories... and the entire thing devolves into total chaos by the end, resulting in a mistrial.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of the students as of the second trial. Though they had more than their fair share of struggles, and suspicion was mostly cast on innocent parties, everyone still more or less kept their heads about them until the very end and worked together. And, in conclusion, they did manage to catch the culprit, even if it was with the help of a confession to seal the deal.

Parelthon, Tora, and Telos contain examples of:

    Doubt Academy Parelthon 
  • Bright Castle: It might be the site of a murder game, but Praetis is absolutely gorgeous.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: While it isn't unreasonable to expect that a castle might be abandoned, it's still oddly convenient.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the baseball game, multiple characters are distracted by Charmayne stripping. Bonus points to Piney Pines, who runs into a wall.
  • Fanservice: During the above mentioned baseball game, Charmayne removes her shirt to reveal the wonderbra she got from the Monokuma Machine. It did not go unnoticed.

    Doubt Academy Tora 
  • A Friend in Need: Surprisingly, the Tora kids really seem willing to stick together, despite their situation and respective personality types. In Chapter 1, Holly immediately takes Takeshi (who the class has been ordered to kill) under her protection in a fruitless attempt to prevent his death. In Chapter 5, several people come to the defense of Michiko Shoji, who is being framed.
  • Boring, but Practical: Tora's nightwatch system isn't particularly riveting for the characters doing the watching, and those involved aren't able to come up with otherwise hilarious and ridiculous alibis and actions for their characters to be doing, but it's allowed for them to catch every single murderer thus far and is a very solid use of the alibi system.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: More like conveniently empty city. Characters pointing out how much of a feat it would be to clear out a city without drawing attention to what's going on there is a repeated plot point, with a few suggesting either military influence or the possibility that it's not a real city at all. It later becomes further evidence that the characters are in a virtual reality.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted in chapter 2. Two characters try to save the victim this way, as the person died via drowning, but it doesn't work as they aren't allowed to remove the victim from the pool and therefore cannot successfully go through with it.
  • Declaration of Protection: In Chapter 1, Holly towards Takeshi. It's ultimately fruitless, as his death is a Foregone Conclusion (he was a GM character) but she took it very seriously and he only died because he snuck away from her while she was asleep.
  • Ghost City: The setting of the game. The fact that it's empty is shown to leave many characters unsettled.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Takahiro, the first chapter's culprit, was the youngest of the group and was overall childlike, with a pretty sympathetic motive. His execution really gets to many of the characters and bothers them for a long time.
  • Sick Episode: There have been a few. The second chapter's motive led to a few people falling ill with colds, or worse. Chapter 4's motive was all about this, though the emphasis was more on the characters' behavioral change, considering they were ill with Despair Fever.

    Doubt Academy Telos 
  • Almost Dead Guy: Genta Sugai, the victim of chapter 5, is able to drag themself into the hotel and try to speak before finally expiring.
  • And I Must Scream: Ryouji's eventual fate, being executed over and over and over and over and over again. It does seem to eventually stop, at least?
  • Back for the Dead: Ryouji is brought back late in the game, only to die the very same week as the culprit.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the very end of Chapter 7's monotheather section, Andrew Nyotei intentionally attacks Monobear and is executed.
  • Déjà Vu: According to Yuka, just after the Chapter 6 trial while the students were discussing Mastermind theories, Yuka brought up the possibility that the bad reputation and rumours about HPA was because there was a previous killing game before the one that the Telos class was experiencing. She claims the Mastermind of Tora told her this while talking to them on the mainframe computer found in the hotel.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Considering the fate in question involves dying over a dozen times that the characters witness, and countless more over the rest of monotheater.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: They may be a real patchwork mess of kids, but as of Chapter 7, neither class has mistrialed once.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Ryouji's execution was horrifying enough to watch, but it only grows more horrifying after it becomes clear that it's continuing on even though none of the students can watch anymore.
  • Rasputinian Death: Two of them. In chapter 5, Genta Sugai is murdered this way, with their death dragging out for several hours and culminating in a huge amount of injuries. In chapter 6, Ryouji Nomiya is executed this way, with about twenty different causes of death... to drive home the point that they're in a VR and Death Is Cheap.
  • Running Gag: Bleeding over from the previous two games, there's Holly physically dragging people places (usually Masashi), Valor's speedo from Chapter 1, Minions/Garfield (especially in chapter 5 where they're literally evidence, people who live in the hotel breaking rotten eggs while trying to open their doors during the Easter event... one very popular one is lampshading the fruitless nature of the handwriting checks, which is made fun of in trials, in investigation, in regular conversation during normal days, and even in the maps.
  • Scenery Gorn: The game's merging was a result of the Praetis castle crashing down into the city of Ateitis - this was bound to occur. There's rubble in some places, and trees and greenery have overtaken the city.
  • The City vs. the Country: The city - Ateitis - students and the country - Praetis - students tend to clash quite a bit and there's some mutual distrust between both groups, despite the fact that they're all one class now.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Holly's reaction to the very dead Ryouji showing back up is to look completely unsurprised and walk off not long after. She has a similarly normal reaction to meeting him again a little later on, to the point where she greets him like an acquaintance from school rather than someone she knows to have been gruesomely murdered.