Semester of Desolation is a submission-based tumblr RP set in the Danganronpa universe, albeit one where the events of the game have yet to happen. Players will take the role of Super High School Level students, recognized by the elite school Hopes Peak for their unique and exceptional talents and invited to participate in a new Semester at Sea program aboard the grand Stella Maris, the star of the sea. However, instead of the peaceful school life they were expecting, they instead find the captain dead and replaced with the sinister Monobear.
Ordered to kill their classmates or suffer often severe consequences, the students must unravel the mystery theyve found themselves enmeshed in, and struggle to survive
The sequel game takes place in Meridian, a city carved into the cliffside of an American desert. What should have been a peaceful semester abroad takes a turn for the worse as the mayor of the town is revealed to be Monobear, who once more delivers the students deadly ultimatums.
Tropes related to the series as a whole include:
- A Student Body Divided
- Amateur Sleuth: Just like in the source material, the students have to solve the murders of their classmates.
- Anyone Can Die
- Cast of Snowflakes: Every character is played by a different person.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: A staple for a game such as this.
- Dwindling Party
- Famed In-Story: A few of the students are famous or well known before their admittance into Hope's Peak, such as YuudokuWIRE, Najwa El Gariani, and Damodara Chaudhary.
- Mystery of the Week: The murders are set up in this basic format.
- Public Execution: The conclusion of the trials, to whoever accrues the majority vote.
- Timed Mission: The cases have a timeframe of two weeks.
- Translation Convention: All characters are speaking Japanese unless otherwise noted, although the game is in English.
Tropes related to the first game include:
- Acquitted Too Late: Najwa, in the second trial.
- Chekhov's Gun: During the second chapter, Najwa falls ill for unknown reasons following the motive announcement. During the trial, she uses her illness, intentionally or not, to convince everyone that she is suffering from blood loss and is therefore the real culprit.
- Cool Boat: The setting of the game is a large, luxurious cruise ship called the SS Stella Maris.
- False Confession: In the second trial.
- Horrible Sailing Trip: The students involved were invited on a trip, that is, until Monobear decides to take over.
- Kangaroo Court: The trials so far have been absolutely ridiculous, with the first one climaxing with a fight breaking out in the courtroom, and the second involving mass confusion and suspicion being sowed by Najwa claiming she was the killer and distracting the class. What do you expect from a group of teenagers?
- Miscarriage of Justice: So far, this has happened twice.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, there are two Mikamis. There is also a Minami, as well as Rei and Rie.
- Sea Stories: Has been confirmed to take place aboard a cruise ship.
- Ship Tease: Besides being a great pun, there's a lot of this going on. Julia and Koharu are very close, for example, and the duo of Yuu and Janet are even referred to as a couple by Monobear during the first body discovery.
- During the second trial, Najwa has a great deal of this with WIRE. After her execution, Ichigo has a dream that implies he had feelings for her as well.
- Taking the Heat / Take Me Instead: The culmination of the second trial.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At least one killer so far.
- What You Are in the Dark: For the first two executions, there is an element of this. Neither Ryo or Najwa is aware that the class is watching them be executed, and yet they still attempt to save the cat and the boy, respectively anyways. This does not go well for them.
Tropes related to the second game include:
- Acquitted Too Late: Occurs in the third trial. Played with in the seventh, in which the unique circumstances of the culprit means that an innocent gets executed with her.
- Asshole Victim: The murder victim of Chapter 7. Few characters mourn when Monobear dies, and at most people are distraught by the loss of stability that his death brings. A trial is still enforced as if he was a student, though.
- Baleful Polymorph: Though the methods are unknown, this is done to several students, first to the GMPC characters Siyu and Hinata after they snoop around a bit too much for Monobear's taste, and much later to Kimi, to explain what happened to her after she went missing in the forest for weeks.
- Crime of Self-Defense: Becomes a recurring point of contention, especially thanks to the harsh rules that any student that kills another person is considered a murderer, regardless of context or intent.
- Chapter 1: Kohaku says that Matsukaze attacked them first, and they only fought back to save their own life.
- Chapter 4: Rover believed, mistakenly or otherwise, that the masked person who startled him in the forest was a would-be murderer, and reacted accordingly to protect himself.
- Chapter 6: Similar to the first case, Haku had tried to kill Ran first, just for her to turn the tables on him.
- Festival Episode: Chapter 4 has the mayor throw a summer festival for the class, offering them features such as food stands, wish trees, and a Minnow Scooping Game; they're even provided with yukatas designed to their tastes. It's a surprisingly fun time for many of the students and lets them unwind after a highly stressful week. And then there is an unexpected blackout and fire that cuts the festivites short, after which Yutaka is discovered dead. The students who are still wearing their yukatas end up keeping them on throughout the investigation and the trial.
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: A recurring theme throughout several investigations is one or more students taste-testing mysterious substances, including bleach, laxatives, and tranquilizers. Others try to identify chemicals by smell, resulting in several people nearly passing out from the fumes. None of this goes without comment, with students pointing out this is a very bad idea when investigating a murder.
- Miscarriage of Justice
- The third trial. It isn't realized until near the end that Naoya and Kenichi were responsible for Shion's death, but in the ensuing confusion and rush to vote, Kenichi is mistakenly believed by a majority to be the one who actually dealt the killing blow, resulting in a mistrial (albeit one that still takes out an accomplice).
- The fourth trial. Due to confusion over what happened and a desire to protect one or both of the people involved, the votes are split between Haku and Rover. Worse still, there's another faction that takes a third option and votes for Naoya despite him not even being involved this time. This results in a three-way tie, and the dead students' backup votes tie again. Monobear is furious over this and chooses to randomly select Naoya to be executed, using a rhyming game to pick him.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: The dead students outvote and veto the call for a mastermind vote in Chapter 7, preventing the class from going in against the wrong suspect. In the next chapter, an exchange of information back and forth with the living kids results in the real mastermind being identified.
- One Steve Limit: Averted: Shigure and Tohru have the same surname Fujiwara. There is also a Kimi and a Kimiko, and a Kohaku and a Haku, which can cause some confusion when other characters try to use casual, shortened names for them. Many characters also have important people in their backstories who share names with their classmates in Meridian.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: A downplayed variant in Chapter 6's trial, as no one goes any further than removing their tops. When Mei realizes the culprit might be injured, she suggests doing a check under shirts; after being met with silence, she proceeds to take off her blouse without any prompting, leaving her in an undershirt. And then Isamu follows her lead and goes totally shirtless. Several classmates implore them to put their clothes back on, mostly because the temperatures are still freezing cold thanks to the motive. (Subsequent checks are done offscreen in one-on-one privacy.)
- Taking the Heat: The third and fourth cases feature this: The respective accomplices (who helped with at least the cover-up, if not the killing itself) try to redirect votes towards themselves to protect the true culprits. It works in the third case, but in the fourth it contributes to a totally unrelated party taking the fall.
- They Know Too Much:
- Hinata and Siyu spend much of the early game breaking into rooms they shouldn't be in and checking out locations that are supposed to be locked. The mayor tries to punish them for this and their open displays of disobedience, first by trying to execute them, which does not go as planned, and then by turning them into a fox and a cat respectively, which actually does stick.
- Discussed in-universe concerning the eighth victim, who had recently discovered and spread a lot of information concerning the Mastermind's activities. Subverted, as her killer had been a totally unrelated party who had neither planned to target her nor known about her activities.
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: Used as the murder motive for Chapter 6; an endless eclipse causes temperatures to plummet, putting everyone at risk of freezing until someone is murdered. Several students question how the eclipse is possible, but it's ultimately forgotten once the effects of the cold and dark kick in.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 7. Monobear threatens to destroy the Shinai facility and the dead student AIs inside it as a motive, and that very same night he himself ends up becoming the murder victim, forcing an unidentified new person to take over as the mayor. This is followed by a trial packed full of revelations and twists: Rover is alive but unable to leave the facility after breaking into it, Mitsusuke was mortally wounded during the murder and dies in the middle of the trial, Kimi's been turned into a mismatched rabbitlike creature, and Starre is actually two sisters who've been acting as one person.