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Video Game / Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
aka: Disgaea 3

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The Netherworld, a world spoiled by spite, cruelty, blood soaked taboos, and boundless riffraff.
They say that dark dwellers run rampant, causing horrifying disasters in these lands.
In the center of this Netherworld lies a school that endlessly continues to expand its grounds.
—The Nether Institute, Evil Academy.
With the Overlord as dean and greater demons for teachers, demon students that follow their baser instincts are labeled as honor students at this school of torment.
This is the root of evil in this tumultuous Netherworld...the Pandora's Box that spreads corruption and destruction.
Still, many continue to be fascinated by this darkness. If you have the courage to descend upon the lands of this Netherworld, beware of losing your mind to the chaos.
This is your only warning...

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is the third game in the Turn-Based Strategy series Disgaea by Nippon Ichi. It was released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3.

The game involves the students of the Nether Institute, Evil Academy, an entire Netherworld devoted to "teaching" demons how to be evil. Honor students are those who beat up other students for milk money and cheat during exams, while delinquents attend class and perform good deeds in the community.

Mao is the Evil Genius son of Evil Academy's Overlord, and is considered the school's No.1 Honor Student because he hasn't attended a single day of class. Looking to take out his father, Mao researches a method using manga and video games as reference material and comes to the conclusion that since The Good Guys Always Win, all he needs to do is become a Designated Hero (by mugging a "Hero" title off of some sap) and then victory will be assured.

Unfortunately, his plan fails, and Mao discovers to his horror that getting rid of the "Hero" title is going to be a lot harder than it was to acquire.

Joining Mao is Almaz, a timid fanboy whose homemade "Hero" title was stolen by Mao; Raspberyl, Mao's childhood friend and rival whose goal is to become the worst delinquent in the history of Evil Academy; Princess Sapphire, the sweet but Ax-Crazy noble that Almaz has a crush on; and Mr. Champloo, the Hot-Blooded Home Economics teacher.

The game features a lot of Downloadable Content which allow you to recruit characters from previous games or other Nippon Ichi games.

Got an Updated Re-release called Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Return/Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention on the PlayStation Vita.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    • The School Board President and her PTA army. The Diez Gentlemen may qualify as well, the ones specifically working under Aurum at least.
    • The Student Council also determines what clubs you have access to and what quality of goods are available in the school shops, right up to who among the Diez Gentlemen you may talk to and (in a specific instance) how fast your equipment improves. Also, the senior council members are level 1,000, even before you start levelling the enemies up. You're expected to be about level 100 by the time you reach the epilogue.
  • Academy of Evil
  • A.I. Breaker: You can use your base panel and the warp gates to block enemy units. This includes Baal.
  • Almighty Home Economics Teacher: Champloo. Salvatore notes this during her Heel–Face Turn, admitting she'd been shown the error of her ways by 'a mere chef'.
  • An Aesop: Titles are meaningless. Calling yourself a Hero or a Super Hero in no way makes you heroic (and calling yourself an Evil Genius doesn't actually make you smart). Being good or evil isn't what you're called, it's what you do. More than in the other Disgaea games, the characters are all way too hung up on "roles" that they must conform to (even if they make absolutely no sense, such as the school punishing those who attend its classes).
  • Animal Lover: Goro loves monsters (although they don't like him back and once tried to eat him). Also, the Beast Tamers like the monsters and are liked back by the monsters.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: On the Vita Remake, if you unlock the additional episodes when your party's level, calculated off Mao's level, is too low, the additional episodes scale back the enemy levels so they are still a challenge, but can be overcome by careful levelling of your characters.
    • However, as a subversion, most of the characters won't be unlocked until you get to the post-game anyway, to stop a common issue with previous DLC characters, where they could one-shot the entire game on their own.
    • In previous games, if you get a game over, you go back to the Title Screen and lose all progress you made before your last save, which is more frustrating if you haven't saved in a while. The Vita Remake just has you get sent back to the Nurse's office in your base. Though, defeats that result in an alternate ending, and thus a forced New Game Plus, still has that ending happen. This feature has debuted in this game and has been used in every Disgaea game since.
  • Anti-Hero: Almaz starts out as a Classical Anti-Hero (i.e., kind of a loser). Much of the game's plot revolves around him graduating into a proper hero.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Mao to Master Big Star, after part of the latter's name is stolen.
    Master Bigster: I have too much pride to be prancing around with this ridiculous name.
    Mao: Would you rather keep your new name for the rest of your life, Master Bigster?
    Master Bigster: Eh...! Well...!
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI is prone to some frankly unexplainable cases of blind, insane aggression with no regard for friendly fire. The cases where they use wide-hitting skills and hit their allies in the crossfire is one thing that can be tenuously justified by those skills having a fixed strike zone, but it is also incredibly common to see them use magic to hit both you and their allies when they're close enough that they could reach with a single-target version of the same spell anyway. Particularly a hassle in some cases, as this behaviour can rob you of EXP.
  • Auto-Revive: Hero Prinny is able to revive at the Base Panel when he's killed; however, it still lowers the number of units you can take out.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Adell and Rozalin in their DLC — both of them came to the Disgaea 3 game world to make money for a gift for the other, if you do the first character's DLC mission first then the second, the second's mission changes to have the first character come in and confirm this. Sorta.
  • Ax-Crazy: Most exemplified by Sapphire, the ditzy human Princess who just happens to think that assassination is a great way to avoid having to worry about future enemies and has the skills to back her ideas up, too.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Taken to full-circle conclusions. Since the game is set in a school for demons, naturally the students are expected to do poorly, to slack off and bully each other. Therefore, "delinquents" are students who work hard and get good grades, in order to seem badass... by being good.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Mao. There is nothing quite as geeky yet menacing as a demon with a stack of books in one hand and a BFS in the other. He has a serious mad scientist thing going on, as well. In one scene, he demands to know if Love is a disease, an acid, an alkaline, and... if it has a chemical formula. Later, after beating a rather strong boss, specifically the Final Boss, instead of merely killing him, he kidnaps him and straps him down in his secret lair to do research on him!
    • Raspberyl also applies. Bonus points for literately fighting with a book. Nasty spell caster to boot.
  • Badass Normal: Almaz is a good fighter. Sapphire is a jack of all trades type character but with an Archer student, she becomes nasty with a bow or gun.
    • Giving Sapphire an Axe is a pretty good idea, since she makes just as good a frontline fighter as Almaz. It's also rather fitting, seeing as how Princess Sapphire is an utter psychopath. (But in a good way.)
  • Batman Gambit: Mao's father pulls one of these from beyond the grave to counter The Plan of Aurum. Essentially, he uses the personalities of Almaz and Raspberyl as pawns and Champloo (one of his most trusted servants) as the manipulator that put it all together, all in order for Mao to open his heart.
  • Battle Couple: Almaz and Sapphire.
    • Also to an extent Laharl and Flonne (though that may be more of a Fan-Preferred Pairing), Adell and Rozalin, Captain Gordon and Jennifer (who also form a power trio with Thursday), and tons more with all the DLC characters.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Any time a level takes place within Mao's heart, it's essentially this. Fighting off parts of Mao's personality will actually change him in subtle ways even he doesn't notice.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When her mother died, Sapphire was decried by most people as a heartless monster for not mourning her death (which she couldn't do normally, as she's Unable to Cry). One day, passing by the guards' barracks, she heard one boy not only defend her from these accusations, but noticed that she actually did mourn her mother's passing via an Important Haircut. This boy was Almaz.
  • Benevolent Boss: The previous overlord was quite good to work for.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sapphire. Her idea to "open the heart" of someone involves a chainsaw — or if they complain, a scalpel. Upon hearing that an enemy would be busy in class, she suggested that it would be a great time to assassinate them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Raspberyl pulls this when Savvy Mao refuses to let Almaz and Sapphire turn Mao's heart back on. Turns out right parodic when the moment suddenly turns into a graduation ceremony for Raspberyl and friends, with Savvy Mao waiting for the graduation to end before confronting them again.
  • Bland-Name Product: Mao's Slaystation Portable in English. In Japanese, it's Death-OmegaStation Portable.
  • Blood Knight: Aurum combines this with Manipulative Bastard.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: The Land of Carnage makes a return, but with a vengeance. In the first two, you could take solace that at level 9999, enemies were capped. In this game, however, any enemy that would pass level 9999 gets a 1 percent stat increase for every 20 levels above said Cap, and thanks to how the Land of Carnage works (2000 percent level increase plus 200, and double stats), late-game enemies in the Item World will have ridiculously high stat numbers. Baal in this one has a base level of 4000, doubling to 8000 in every subsequent fight afterwards, though he has reasonable stats. Fighting Baal in the Land of Carnage after the first battle bumps his level to 9999, but thanks to all those extra levels being converted into stats (around 168k levels), his stats swell up considerably (in the area of about 40-50 million).
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The game allows the player to purchase and download additional sidequests during the post-game, almost all of which have new characters as rewards. The player will have to fight most of these characters in order to recruit them. Many of the characters themselves are ridiculously powerful on their own, but some also have absurdly good equipment during the recruitment battles, which they don't get to keep after they join... unless the player steals it from them during the battle. The player may also get some pretty sweet new weapons during the course of Raspberyl Mode.
    • All of the Disgaea games Lampshade this. The player can bribe members of the Dark Assembly with items in their bag to rule in the player's favor, making bill passing easier. Of course, if that doesn't work, the player can just force them through battle.
  • Butlerspace: Geoffrey combines this with Crazy-Prepared. Whenever Mao orders him to prepare something, he would appear almost instantly with everything already finished.
  • The Cameo: The Tera spells in the Updated Re-release. Tera Star has Terra from Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, Tera Fire has Pirohiko from Zettai Hero Project, Tera Wind has the Putties from Phantom Brave, and Tera Heal has Alouette from La Pucelle. The Tera Ice spell is interesting; the character is from early concept art of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. She was apparently supposed to be Rozalin's mom.
  • Chainsaw Good: Sapphire in perhaps the most memorable joke of the game.
  • Chastity Couple: Almaz & Sapphire; they get married but have not even held hands. They even spend their "honeymoon" in the Netherworld, helping Mao fight more demons.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Geoffrey. Champloo has some elements of this which are revealed in chapter 8.
  • Chew Toy: Almaz in the third. The universe does eventually decide to throw him a bone for all the crap it's put him through.
    • In light of this, the Almaz ending is just plain cruel.
  • Chewing the Scenery: TO MY LAB!
    • In a series where every Netherworld is a World of Ham, the Super Hero manga at the beginning of the game stands out as possibly the hammiest moment in the entire Disgaea series.
  • Childhood Friends: Mao and Raspberyl.
  • Clothing Switch: The final DLC allows Raspberyl and Sapphire to swap clothes.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Sapphire is a rather Axe-Crazy version.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Raspberyl is more interested in her actions being seen as "good" (especially to other demons) as opposed to whether or not good actually happens because of them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During the third chapter of Raspberyl Mode, one of the angels comments on how Raspberyl's "invasion" of Celestia reminds her of Laharl's invasion in the first game. Later in the same chapter, Flonne has a monologue about how the heart of an angel and the heart of a demon is no different, which she often did in the first game. At the end of some of the episodes, Flonne would end by saying "And someday...", which she does do by the end of the third Raspberyl Mode chapter.
    • In the same chapter, there is one stage which has a Flora Beast called "Vulcanus", whose title is "Former Archangel", referencing how Vulcanus got turned into a flower in the end of the first game.
    • Unlike Disgaea 2, Disgaea 3 uses the On the Next Episode segments from the first game in between each episode, with each of the main characters taking turns as the star of the segment. Then, once you beat the main game, you get one last On the Next Episode segment starring Etna, who did almost all of the segments in the first game.
  • Cool-Down Hug: See Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?.
    • Descends into a parody of this and Big Damn Heroes when one is delivered to Mao by Raspberyl, then Almaz and the rest of the group... followed by almost every single character that appeared in the game. At the same time. Regardless of importance or screentime.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Geoffrey in the third game, often lampshaded by the rest of the cast. Usually, when this happens, he begins by saying:
    Geoffrey: I thought this might happen, so I...
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Almaz. Normally a coward, but when Sapphire's around, he becomes much braver and matures quite well as a hero.
    • Also implied in the flavor text for the Dreamer Axe: "Don't Underestimate a Dreamer."
  • Cruel Mercy: Mao to Aurum in the normal ending.
    • The Getter Mao DLC in the 4th game reveals that Aurum is now being used as a living power source for Mao's Humongous Mecha.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Almaz starts growing these as part of his transformation into a demon.
  • The Dandy: Master Bigstar.
  • A Day in the Limelight / Another Side, Another Story: Much like Etna before her, Raspberyl gets a chance at being the main character in the downloadable Raspberyl Mode.
    • Absence of Detention has four new scenarios, including one starring two entirely new characters.
  • Dead All Along: Mao's father, the previous Overlord who Mao had revealed the weakness of to Aurum. A combination of that and avoiding killing Mao with an Area of Effect nuke attack. His ghost barely hangs on until Mao can come to grips with the guilt of what he did; something he buried tightly in his memory, literally, with the Heart Vault.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almaz; justified as he's the Only Sane Man.
  • Death Seeker: Aurum attempted to end his own life by fighting the strongest Overlord, Mao's father. Then when he won, he decided to raise Mao to become even stronger still. Even at the end of the game, though, Mao chooses not to kill him and instead uses him for experimentation.
  • Developer's Foresight: Nippon Ichi are notorious for having multiple Non-Standard Game Over conditions for losing to people you really should be able to defeat... Disgaea 3 has them for WINNING on a stage! Basically, WINNING against Mao's father in the first chapter of the game. The script basically goes 'That Just Happened?!?' and everything falls apart.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Raspberyl keeps Mao's REALLY evil side in check by hugging Mao, twice.
  • Double Entendre: Mao knows. We all want that sandwich.
  • Downloadable Content: In addition to making almost every character from the past two games in the series plus other Nippon Ichi characters downloadable, players can download Raspberyl Mode, which takes place some time after the events of the main game with Raspberyl replacing Mao as the main character.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Super Hero Aurum gets a massive tongue-lashing from the entire party in the last chapter. Karma eventually bites him HARD. Also in the same game, Raspberyl chews out Mao when he plans to destroy the human world, saying that's not something an honor student does, but something scum does. This is a reoccurring theme between the 3 games, along with What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? and Noble Demon.
  • Evil Laugh: Mao. "Muahahaha!"
  • Expy: Geoffrey looks alot like The Schoolmaster from The Wall, and shares a few similarities, even, what with having a very strict agenda of constantly keeping the protagonist in unaltered shape.
  • Eye Catch: Used to break up episodes, along with a short skit.
  • A Father to His Men: Master Big Star.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Mao tries to tempt Almaz into doing terribly naughty and perverted things to Sapphire... like sipping drinks from the same glass or getting her to make him a sandwich.
    Mao: We all want that sandwich.
  • Field of Blades: The 'Infinite Graves' sword-special. Probably a direct reference to Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Fission Mailed: The end of the first boss battle.
  • Flipping the Bird: During the game, you have to fight the hands of Mao's father. The middle finger of each hand (named the Bird, of course) has an evility where its stats double when it's the only enemy unit left standing. If you check its in-battle stats, it is also described as "cruel".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Funnily enough, the little cutscenes that played before you fought and recruited DLC characters foreshadowed Raspberyl Mode slightly.
    • At one point, Raspberyl mentions that one's full potential could be unlocked by "reviving from the brink of death, or your best friend dying". Guess what happens to Almaz a few chapters later...
    • Chapter 4 shows that Mao employs regression as a means of psychological defence against painful experiences, which is exactly what he's been using to forget his involvement in his father's death for 200 years. Or that his father is dead at all.
      • After the first fight with his father, he says "Can't you rest in peace?!" Turns out no, he literally can't.
      • Even before that battle, he makes an off-hand comment and boast: "I see through your moves. Dad, you're already dead."
  • Friendlessness Insult: The Vato brothers try this on Mao, only for him to brush it off and declare that he doesn't need friends, which disturbs Almaz.
  • Full Health Bonus: Kyoko and Asuka have Evilities that increase their speed and attack power, respectively, when they're at max HP.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The P.T.A. = Perfectly Trained Assassins. Or, in Japan, Perfect Terminator Agents.
  • Genre Savvy: Everyone, with the exception of Aurum, who doesn't realise he's the bad guy until he goes One-Winged Angel.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Sapphire and her chainsaw in perhaps one of the funniest moments of the game. Also proficient with axes.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Vato Brothers. When you meet the first one, the screen initially identifies him as "Obviously Weak".
    • They're even in not one, but two joke levels, where by simply tossing an exploding barrel at a nearby Prinny, you'll cause an explosive chain reaction that wipes them out (along with every other enemy) in the first, and severely weakens them in the second.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Master Big Star in the Japanese version.
    • In the Japanese audio, the suave side of Mao uses English phrases like "Hey boy!" instead of the Japanese equivalents in practically every line he says.
  • Grooming the Enemy: Super Hero Aurum had been posing as Mao's butler, Geoffery, to guide him towards becoming a more powerful and evil overlord than his father had ever been so he could defeat him, believing he no longer had a purpose after defeating the strongest villain.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Raspberyl reacts in this way when she's asked by others if she has a thing for Mao.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Etna shows up to announce Disgaea 3's "sidequest" — i.e., postgame — has started after the end credits. And during the postgame, Laharl valiantly leads (or tries to, at least) the main cast of the original game in repeated attempts to reclaim the role(s) of main character(s).
  • Hot for Student:
    • A couple of the teachers at Mao's school have...deep..feelings for their students. Of course we should probably expect this, seeing as they often are Succubi and Incubi. Since it's the Netherworld, stuff like that may even be encouraged.
    • A full chapter is devoted to going to class so that Ms. Machiko, the "sexy teacher" (that is her in-game title) can teach you how to use the power of "crush"... by wiggling your butt at people. Complete with demonstrations and practice.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Mao's reaction to Almaz's death, which involves, among other things, ordering him to come back to life.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Mao, due to Super Hero Aurum.
  • An Ice Person: Mao, Rozalin, and Pram.
  • Image Song: Both Mao ("Go, Mao!") and Almaz ("Unlucky Hero") have one.
  • Incoming Ham: Mr. Champloo announces his presence by making a bold speech about the passion of cooking — and for bonus points, he is literally inside a hunk of meat while doing so.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Mao starts off as one of these. The whole story is about him learning to open up a bit.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • So to recap everything we hear about Evil Academy, its purpose is to teach students to be proper demons, but they're discouraged from ever attending classes, and in fact teachers will try to stop you from attending classes to so they don't have to work, because they get paid regardless, and nobody ever graduates, except Raspberryl, Kyoko, and Asuka because the teachers were sick of them. Really, the "school" is nothing more than a money pit where teachers are paid to do nothing.
    • As it's a boarding school, one could easily imagine demons sending their offspring there simply to get them out of their hair for a few centuries. And considering the satirical nature of the series, it may be a somewhat cynical Batman Gambit; if your goal is to make sure your kids end up as cruel, lazy, violent cheaters, what better place to put them than high school?
  • Intangible Theft: In the post-game, a mysterious thief steals Salvatore's "womanliness", a "space and letter A" from Master Big Star's name (turning him into Master Bigster), Prism Red's friends, Laharl's height and his screen time in the new game, Axel's stardom, Marona's "pure heart", and a game in which Asagi (a Running Gag N1 character) is the main character. When Salvatore shows up in DLC for Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, her character description claims her "womanliness" is still missing. The mysterious thief is Overlord Baal in his incarnation as an insanely overpowered yet cutesey mushroom. He says he doesn't remember all of the things listed, meaning some might be just insurance fraud.
  • The Jeeves
    "Unnaturally efficient as always, Geoffrey."
  • Joke Character: Prism Red. Other than one S-Rank magichange skill (which generic monsters usually have), he only has ONE skill with the lowest base power in the game and that hits only one adjacent enemy. He also can't learn secondary evilities by himself and his unique evility is way below average for a primary evility.
  • Just One More Level!: Lampshaded in the PSN trophy "Consult your physician" (seen here).
  • Karma Houdini: Super Hero Aurum in the Super Hero Mao ending.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Nether Academy finally gets rid of Raspberyl and her cronies by making them graduate. Raspberyl is quite happy with this outcome because it makes her the first student to ever graduate from Nether Academy, thus securing the place in history she desired.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": An important plot point, even. Mao was a big fan of Aurum, so when the Super Hero shows up on his doorstep after his dad accidentally crushes his Slaystation, he's happy to trade the Overlord's location and weak points for an autograph. It doesn't occur to him that he's just condemned his father to death until it's too late.
  • Lady of War: Sapphire.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The net source of Almaz's Throw the Dog a Bone and Rags to Royalty moment.
  • Little Miss Badass: Raspberyl.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Thoroughly spoofed in one of the endings, where Laharl pops up and claims to be Mao's father, while Flonne and Etna have trouble deciding which one of them is the mother. Mao reasonably finds the whole thing ridiculous.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Gender-flipped in an omake sequence. Female shapeshifter Beyond X switches through a variety of forms, stopping with Super Hero Aurum, at which point she emits a cloud of hearts until interrupted by the real Aurum.
  • Marshmallow Hell: A girl-on-girl example where Sapphire picks up the tiny, fun-sized Raspberyl and subjects her to Marshmallow Hell. Unsurprisingly, this has sparked a pairing.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • Present during the story, as Mao thinks that to beat the Overlord, he must become a Hero and thus works to change his class to said title, and exaggerated during the post-story, with characters trying to become the main cast so they have more screentime and other exclusive features.
    • The event in which Captain Gordon, the Defender of Earth is recruited. Simply put, Mao is suspicious of Gordon being the real deal and checks Gordon's status screen, with his proof being that Gordon is wielding a weapon specified only for monster-types. Then to further prove his point, he dares Gordon to magichange, which Gordon accepts, only to plop on the ground as a lightsaber.
    • Everyone in the world seems to wear a nametag or something (not shown in their portraits) bearing their name and title, too. There's the whole deal with Mao stealing Almaz's homemade Hero title, plus there's...
    Mao: Huh? What's happened to your name?
    Master Bigster: As you can see, someone has stolen the space and letter "a" from my name. And I could only afford a new "e"...
    (a bit later)
    Mao: Maybe it's a text bug.
    Master Bigster: Impossible. I've reported it five times already, and they always say that's how it's supposed to look in this scene.
  • Moment Killer: Raspberyl's gang never learned how to Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone.
    Kyoko: Ahh! My lady, watch this! It's a love scene, like we read about in our study guides!
    Asuka: Could it be possible they might do the high-level skill from the 48 expressions of affection, "the Kiss"!?
    Beryl: Calm down! Don't get too panicky! Kyoko, you go get the camera! Asuka, you prepare for the interviews!
    Almaz: Um, do you mind not mocking us?
  • Morality Pet: Raspberyl to Mao. Becomes a Morality Chain when she dies in the worst ending. Him losing it is the understatement of the century.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When Mao eats the dragon egg, the music and background change a upbeat tune and space background.
    Mao: The Armageddon of Egginess!!
  • The Musical: While the first two games have more traditional eyecandy-for-the-sake-of-it sequences set to an Anime Theme Song, the third game instead presents its opening as a showtune with of course completely contextual lyrics and the voice actors themselves singing. It manages to be evocative of The Nightmare Before Christmas, "Thriller", and "Hare Hare Yukai"...all at once.
    • YMMV on which style of opening works best, but NIS seems to have returned to the original formula as of Disgaea 4.
  • Nerf: The Majin class, again. Lowest movement in the game, shortest throw range, lowest aptitudes, requires twice the amount of exp. points to level up. The only point in raising one is to have it learn one of the most powerful evilities in the game then pass it to everyone else.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At one point, Almaz turns accidentally reduces Mao to having the intelligence of a baby (though he still plays the same gameplay-wise, just with all of his voice-over lines chanced to "Babloo", and his title changed to "Baby").
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mr. Champloo = Emeril Lagasse. BAM! Er, BOOM!
  • No Fourth Wall: Especially jarring here, wherein several characters comment that helpful explanations by various characters are "awfully useful for those out there playing this game for the first time."
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Almaz in the Almaz ending.
  • Noble Demon:
    • The delinquent Raspberyl fits this bill (Subverted/Lampshaded as she's considered the worst delinquent in school because she's a Noble Demon).
    • Champloo doesn't seem to bother with even the rudimentary evil most Disgaea demons display. Unless there's something sinister about being a Hot-Blooded Large Ham chef, he might qualify as the nicest guy in the whole game, humans included. He is at least rumored to keep students prisoner indefinitely until they can cook to his absurdly high standards, which is why no one at the school can tell you where his class is.
    • In the Mao's Ambition Ending, Almaz becomes so Noble, he's actually Apologetic about it.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Several of the DLC characters, such as Gig and Revya, owing to the fact that they come from games with wildly different art styles compared to Disgaea, Phantom Brave, or Makai Kingdom
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Plenty as usual. Notably, it even allows for Mao to actually win against his father, something which completely ruins the entire plot!
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: The "Almaz" ending has Almaz personally standing up to Mao and kicking his ass, impressing Mao's father so much that Almaz is declared the next true Overlord. Throw the Dog a Bone, right? Wrong. Mao ignores any sort of moral epiphany present in the regular ending and prepares to research how to kill Almaz. Sapphire decides she needs to assassinate Almaz sometime in the future because "all Overlords kidnap the princess!" Raspberyl and her friends say they can't possibly hang out with an Overlord, leaving Almaz friendless and confused. Worst promotion ever.
  • Ojou: Subverted with the Axe-Crazy Cloudcuckoolander Sapphire.
  • Old School Building: The setting for part of the second chapter.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: NIS games normally devolve into extreme offence postgame, but it shows up much sooner here compared to other Disgaea games thanks to some damage formula changes.
  • One-Winged Angel: Played straight with Super Hero Aurum, who had absorbed so many dark overlords and gods that his own class was "Dark God" during the fight. It's played with, though, when he decides to go to another area after you defeat him so he can let you save.
    Mao: Damn you for using such a convenient game mechanic!
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Raspberyl and Mao, though technically the whole point between their rivalry is not necessarily to defeat each other, but to better each other as both a Delinquent and an Honor Student, respectively. Their rivalry is explored more heavily in Raspberyl Mode.
  • Only Sane Man: Almaz, Master Big Star.
  • Optional Boss: The Vita port also adds Fuka and Desco as optional bosses.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Mao's Dad. His hand is one of the stages. He's possibly the biggest character in the Disgaea series. One has to wonder how his son wound up normal-sized... or how he... um... maybe there's a reason we don't know who Mao's mom is...
  • Personality Swap: After Mao steals Almaz's "Hero" title, their personalities switch about; it's a bit of a subversion, though, since they act very much themselves.
  • Playing with Fire: Raspberyl.
  • Poke the Poodle: In the worst ending, Mao goes to the human world to wreak terror upon it, and you even get news reports on how Mao is conducting experiments on thousands of people. But when his former friends confront him, he claims he's just been switching street signs, hiding people's shoes and making prank phone calls and that Super Hero Aurum is lying about him. His old friends don't believe him. Then his Morality Chain is murdered and he proceeds to wipe out literally everything but himself.
  • The Power of the Unknown Cosmos (Which is definitely not friendship): Mao gets a storyline powerup based on this. He refuses to acknowledge it, though.
  • The Power of Love: Spoofed with Mao's attempts to unlock the Power of Love via research and mad science while completely failing to get what love actually is.
  • Prejudice Aesop: Human guardsman Almaz even brings mention to his own prejudices against demons prior to working with Mao and company, coming to view the group as good friends.
  • Rags to Royalty: Almaz.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: ...Or, more accurately, real men teach Home Ec. And they do without a license or benefits!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: There's a lot, but the most biting one comes from Mao chewing out Super Hero Aurum.
    Aurum: Oh, don't gang up and bully me now. It was necessary. All of it.
    Mao: ...Hmph, I stay quiet and listen, and you continue to blab. It was only you alone that wanted any of this. Was a hero such a dinky existence that you couldn't shine without an enemy? Were you so pitiful that you had to watch out for what the people thought, and be afraid of being forgotten? Is is a hero's job to raise an enemy just to make yourself look greater? Did you want praise for your efforts?
    Aurum: You...! You dare insult me, the Super Hero?!
    Mao: Shut up, you fool! You're no hero, nor human! You're just miserable evil clutching to distorted justice. The human world is what you should've been protecting! The moment you stopped, you lost the right to be a hero! "A hero must act with courage to protect that which is precious!"
    Aurum: Huh! That's...!
    Mao: For those whom you must protect, for things precious to you, a hero squeezes out every bit of courage he has... Yes...a guy like this Almaz is the true hero, don't you think?!
  • Running Gag: Almaz owes Raspberyl upwards of three autographs.
  • Samus Is a Girl: As Mao and co. find out when they meet Salvatore of the Diez Gentlemen. In fact, half of the Diez Gentlemen are made up of girls.
  • Save the Princess: Subverted. Almaz makes the instant assumption that Princess = Must Be Saved, even if said princess is a trigger-happy Lady Of Ax-Crazy (Sapphire). The situation ended in comical pain.
    • In a more serious note, this is why Sapphire is crazy. As a child, she witnessed a constant stream of heroes going out and getting themselves killed in her name. She swore that this would never again happen, no matter what she had to become.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: A Succubus teaches a class on how to "influence" people. We don't see her "lecture", just Mao's excited reaction... And his attempts to imitate her moves.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Almaz and Sapphire after they get married.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sapphire.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses Mao. Raspberyl tends to take them as her own on occasion (see the picture) as if to cement her Smart Guy status. She eventually gets her own pair in Raspberyl Mode.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: Almaz apologizes to Princess Sapphire that he couldn't keep his promise to not die for her sake, after being pricked with a poisoned needle in a trap aimed at her.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Referenced by Mao after he learns why Almaz was in the Netherworld in the first place.
  • Status Infliction Attack: The Sorceror, who specializes in using ailment spells. The remakes gave them the "Curse Storm" skill that can inflict all ailments to enemy targets.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Mao's reaction to Raspberyl's death in the worst ending.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Mao would have gotten one, but...
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: In Chapter 3, Mao chooses to abandon the competition to become Freshman Leader in order to rescue Beryl. This decision impresses his peers enough that they make him leader anyway. However, this was done with the idea of, basically, "The Student Council must be defeated! Then I will truly be evil!"... which is mainly why he became Freshman Leader anyway.
  • Take That!: The dialogue before the DLC battle against Thursday is an obvious take that at fuel companies and their recent price gouging. Go Mao.
  • Taking the Bullet: Double Subverted. Almaz takes the brunt of a trap intended for Sapphire, and much dramatic grief over his sacrifice ensues before Almaz points out that he's perfectly fine... at least until the Incurable Cough of Death begins.
  • Team Dad: Mr. Champloo tends to act like this, BOOM!
  • Tender Tears: Almaz sheds a few for Mao after Mao is accepted as Freshman Class Leader and even right before his own death.
  • Theme Naming: The names of the main cast are connected to science, in a way.
    • Mao, aside from literally meaning 'demon lord', can also stand for monoamine oxidase.
    • Almaz, Almandine, Beryl, Sapphire, and Rhodonite are gems or minerals.
    • Aurum is Latin for gold.
  • Third-Person Person: Gold Knuckle.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Almaz.
  • Try Not to Die: Sapphire is horrified when Almaz tells her that he would die for her if necessary (particularly since she's seen far too many would-be-heroes charge to their deaths for her sake), and instead makes him promise that he'll stay alive for her instead. This doesn't stop him from Taking the Bullet for her.
  • Tsundere:
    • Mao and Raspberyl. Being rivals, they constantly fight and mock each other for choosing their respective positions in the Academy, but they occasionally show that they do care about each other. However, if they are questioned about it, they instantly deny it and say that their actions were only meant to further their own goals. Depending on how one may look at their relationship, it may be a case of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • If you fight Adell after defeating Rozalin in the DLC, Raspberyl gets overly excited over Rozalin's use of the Tsundere Skill (Rozalin hiding the fact that she's getting Adell a present).
  • Unable to Cry: Sapphire can't even cry for the death of her own mother, and finds herself labeled as cold and heartless by those around her.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Geoffrey at the start of chapter 6.
    "I wore a Bulletproof Vest."
  • Unwinnable: Spoofed in the Mao's Ambition ending, where Mao and Almaz accidentally render the game unwinnable through some Sequence Breaking.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Mister Champloo. BOOM!
    • The Prinnies, dood!
    • And the Vato Bros., Homes! (Ese!)(Weddo!)
  • Violence is the Only Option/Violence Really Is the Answer: Even the good demons are subject to this trope. As long as it results in you making friends, Raspberyl encourages people to break into another person's house and challenge them to a fist fight.
    • Also, a meta example: The Majin class demon's last Evility is often seen as the best, as it boosts all stats by 50%. Granted, it cuts EXP gain, but at lv9999 that doesn't matter. The name of that Evility? Violence.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Sapphire. Already Axe-Crazy as is, many of her murderous impulses are derived from this trope.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: A meta-aversion in Absence of Detention. Generics all have unique abilities now. Before you could justifiably say they existed only to prop up the story characters whose stats are better, but a lot of their unique skills and spells bring a whole new level of utility to the generics.
  • Where It All Began: The final episode of the main story and the final battle of the Raspberyl story both occur in the same location as episode 1.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Parodied. Mao, once he defeats the hero fanboy Almaz and steals his power, starts slowly acting like a hero himself. Likewise, Almaz starts slowly acting less like a hero, and more like a demon.
  • World of Ham: It is a Disgaea game, after all. What did you expect?
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Mao is convinced that studying video games, manga, anime, and toku shows is the way to learn how to beat an overlord, and attempts to use his knowledge of Fantasy / Scifi RPG tropes to further his goals. Unfortunately, Disgaea is, for the most part, a parody of those tropes...
    • At least as far as plot is concerned. Now, if he had only studied up on acquiring Game Breakers and proper Level Grinding...
    Mao: I don't know the meaning of the words "level grinding"!
    • That's because grinding requires patience and hard work and there's no way the top Honor Student would bother with that. Plus, he makes the Prinnies do the grinding for him.
    • When Almaz points out the necessity of level grinding, Mao retorts that most games also have an instant max level cheat ("What was it? Up, up, down, down..."). He is annoyed that Disgaea is apparently not one of these games.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Geoffrey, aka Super Hero Aurum, grooming Mao to be the perfect overlord so he would have a new opponent to beat, or at least go down remembered as a hero. It doesn't work. The reason being that someone decided to Take a Third Option to counter it. Champloo instructing Almaz on the heart of a hero so he can help Mao open his. It flies in the face of Aurum's gambit, too, effectively nuking two hundred years worth of work, though Aurum has no idea until it's too late that this was all engineered against him.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Almaz ending.

Alternative Title(s): Disgaea 3