Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Master Detective Archives: Rain Code

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7b1f7667_3a89_47af_a3a5_bd68458e635b.png
“Can you solve every mystery, my master detective?”

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code (originally titled Enigma Archives: Rain Code) is an Adventure video game co-developed by Too Kyo Games and Spike Chunsoft, written by Kazutaka Kodaka and Takekuni Kitayama, with other Danganronpa crew members involved in the production.

Players take control of Yuma, a young amnesiac boy and trainee for the World Detective Organization, as he sets off to investigate his past in Kanai Ward, a mysterious city of rain and neon. With the aid of the spirit Shinigami and his fellow detectives, he must uncover the truth behind a series of crimes - first in the real world by using his colleagues' special abilities to gather clues, then in mystery labyrinths, fantastical realms where the mysteries materialize, to solve the cases and recover his identity.

The game was released on June 30th, 2023 for the Nintendo Switch.

Following the game's release, four DLC packs (the last of which included two substories) were released in the subsequent months:

  • Ch. Desuhiko: Charisma Killed the Cat (July 27th, 2023)
  • Ch. Fubuki: Fubuki's Luckiest Day (August 31st, 2023)
  • Ch. Halara: Raining Cats & Dog (September 28th, 2023)
  • Ch. Vivia: Near Death Detective (October 26th, 2023)
  • Ch. Yakou: Thank You, My Detective (October 26th, 2023)

Previews: Announcement trailer, Nintendo Direct Trailer, Introduction Video, Release Date Announcement


Master Detective Archives: Rain Code contains examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 
    Tropes A - E 
  • Abandoned Area: Later in the game when the detectives finally have a lead for the Ontological Mystery in the form of a research lab for Amaterasu, Kurumi mentions an abandoned village within a restricted area that serves as a corpse disposal facility. Come Chapter 5, that village turns out to be real, and is where the bodies of the dead over the course of the game were dumped in order to prevent the truth of them being homunculi from being exposed.
  • Aborted Arc: In a few sidequests, Yuma encounters hooded figures who vow they will come back for him. They never appear again after Chapter 3.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers of Kanai Ward are, of course, large enough for grown men to traverse.
  • Abusive Workplace: The Amaterasu Corporation has a petty rival for power between its two leaders, specifically Makoto Kagutuschi and Yomi Hellsmile as the CEO and the Peacekeepers director, and the company's head researcher is a Mad Scientist willing to sacrifice other people for his experiments, including his own workers; even one of the head researcher's subordinates can attest to being constantly insulted by him.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Naturally, being a Dark Fantasy game. What can count as acceptable is the impossible physics in Halara's combat moves and the Forensic Fortes themselves, as they're actually possible to some degree and are actually normal in the game's universe. This is somewhat downplayed in the game's final murder case, however, as the culprit's trick relies entirely on the existence of Desuhiko's disguise and Fubuki's rewind ability to enter the research lab and allow Yakou to kill Dr. Huesca without dying after going through a security system that would most certain kill anyone permanently under normal circumstances, which takes advantage of Fubuki's impossible ability to resurrect people through time and the apparent ability for the detectives to bypass the biometric scanner in the entrance to Amaterasu Corporation.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Four DLC packs adding onto the main story were released following the game's initial launch, contributing extra content for the other Nocturnal Detective Agency members besides Yuma.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: In this world there are so many "mysteries" that there exists the World Detective Organization that has 1000 Occult Detectives deployed worldwide.
  • Advertising by Association: The first teaser originally named Enigma Archives: Rain Code, points out that the game is "brought to you by the creative team behind Danganronpa".
  • Advertised Extra: In true Kodaka fashion, a character that's been heavily advertised ends up being killed at the beginning of the game. This time, it's five of them. Zilch, Pucci, Melami, Aphex and Zange all end up dead in Chapter 0.
  • After the End: Played With. All of Kanai Ward's original residents died three years ago, essentially meaning that Kanai Ward is in a miniature apocalyptic state as its residents aren't human in the first place. Instead, they're defective homunculi that turn into mindless beasts upon being subjected to UV light that look human because Makoto's been pacifying them by blocking the sun out from Kanai Ward, but the fact that the original residents were Dead All Along isn't obvious at first because the homunculi pretty much replicate the behavior of a human exactly.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Icardi's plan to kill Shachi, cause chaos in the Resistance and the city, and use the chance to rob the bank and flee from Kanai Ward was doomed to fail because he was actually a homunculus, so he was weak to sunlight. Likewise, Dr. Huesca's plan to fake his death and flee Kanai Ward was doomed for the same reason.
    • Yakou's plot to kill Dr. Huesca to avenge his wife ends up being this since Dr. Huesca was not directly responsible for her death. While Yakou's wife blew the whistle on the original Dr. Huesca's leaking of Amaterasu's technological secrets, in the end, it was Yomi who ordered the fake Zilch to kill her since he was involved with leaking secrets as well. And it was Yomi who manipulated Yakou into killing Dr. Huesca, who had betrayed Yomi months ago. The tragedy is that Yakou ended up dying before he could ever learn about Yomi's involvement in his wife's and Dr. Huesca's deaths, which Yuma and Vivia lampshade and lament near the end of the chapter. Furthermore, all of them are homunculi duplicates created long after the death of the original Yakou's wife, arguably rendering the whole plot even more pointless.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The final Mystery Labyrinth features set pieces from most of the past cases in Kanai Ward, notably including the clocktower from Chapter 1, the school from Chapter 2, and the Dohya District from Chapter 3. Chapters 0 and 4 receive less direct cameos in the form of two of Makoto's attacks, flinging a train car from the Amaterasu Express and a giant Ama-Pal respectively.
  • Alternate Universe: The Mystery Labyrinth is set in one of these, connected to the main universe via a portal only Shinigami can access.
  • Always Murder: In typical Danganronpa fashion, every mystery that the story revolves around is a murder case.
  • Always Night: Downplayed. While there is enough change in lighting to tell the difference between night and day, the dark clouds that blanket Kanai Ward's skies mean it is always dark to some degree. This turns out to be protecting the residents from going on a berserker rampage and dying due to being defective homunculi, the constant protection from UV light being the only thing preventing this.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The Playable Epilogue has the player controlling Kurumi, showing what happened months after Makoto revealed the truth about Kanai Ward.
    • The DLC sidestories have you playing as one of the other Master Detectives in their own mini episode.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The game ends with Yuma / Number One arriving in a new city full of rampant crime and mysteries to solve, Kurumi venturing out into the outside world with the intent to reunite with him (and to return the Book of Death that he left with her, which she indicates she intends to read), and the people of Kanai Ward coming to terms with their newly-revealed status as immortal homunculi.
  • Answer Cut: Regarding the Ontological Mystery. At the end of Chapter 4, the detectives discover the "Great Global Mystery" is a global kidnapping case that the CEO of Amaterasu is involved in, an account from Halara that the restricted area truly serves as a corpse disposal facility after all, and that there's a taboo term going around known as the "Blank Week". Little does the player know, Makoto's sleeping gas trap would knock everyone out and send Yuma/the player to the restricted area itself in Chapter 5, which answers all the questions that were just asked with hard evidence as Yuma encounters the zombie homunculi within it and eventually visits the factory.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • After beating the game, alongside the hints to the Shinigami statuettes' locations you're now shown which chapters they can be obtained in.
    • If you use the feature to replay any given chapter, you keep your detective level and the corresponding amount of skill points which can immediately be redeemed, allowing you to choose how hard or easy the game should be.
  • Anti-Interference Lock Up: By the end of the game, Makoto does this to Halara, Desuhiko, Fubuki, and Vivia by locking them up in his penthouse once Yomi is successfully ousted from power, sending Yuma and Kurumi to the restricted area in order to separate them both while faking their deaths in the process.
  • Anyone Can Die: The game’s opening immediately makes it clear that not even the WDO’s Master Detectives themselves are safe from Amaterasu’s more lethal methods of keeping them in line as the first murder case involves a hitman sent to sabotage their mission to investigate Kanai Ward.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: The last kiss Shinigami gives Yuma, a kiss on his cheek.
  • Arc Number: 3 ("three years ago") and 6 ("six months ago") appear frequently in the form of references to past events within the story. 5 ("five years ago") appears too, in reference to when Yomi started his despotic takeover of Kanai Ward.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Corpses rot quickly in the rain." This line pops up whenever the Peacekeepers come to quickly clear away a crime scene, and it's eventually revealed that the corpses needed to be taken away quickly before they come back to life due to being immortal homunculi.
    • "Three years ago" and "six months ago" come up a lot too. The former time period refers to when the rainfall and homunculus research began, and the latter refers to the time when the Nail Man cases began with its first victim and when Aiko was killed in Aetheria Academy. In regards to the later game, the latter also refers to when Dr. Huesca and Yomi's relationship soured and Yomi decided to conduct a plot to eliminate him.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A detective rather than an actual martial artist, but Halara Nightmare can count, having Minored in Ass-Kicking while also having quite a superiority complex. And they get to show it off more than once too.
  • Artifact of Death: The Book of Death, which serves as Shinigami's origin point. To be exact, the book costs Yuma his life metaphorically speaking by having his memories of being the true Number One erased while also significantly shortening his lifespan, though it doesn't result in death specifically. On the inverse, it's also an Artifact of Doom as Shinigami is able to reap the souls of others and kill them, and is bound to existing within said book, only being released through opening it.
  • Artistic License – Law: Even factoring in Kanai Ward's isolation from outside authority, the Peacekeepers and their grave misconduct would have them removed from their power by an external constitution long ago, especially Yomi, who’s clear in his murderous intent and acts on it in Chapter 4. As for the Big Bad, Makoto Kagutuschi, CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, would not be allowed his position without a background check, therefore exposing his status as the Unified Government’s clone of Number One. Regarding how he achieved said position, he essentially also blackmailed the original CEO by demanding he be given the position in exchange for stopping the UG, an act of which would be legally dismissed due to being an act of coercion. However, this would require the government itself to be adept in finding out anyone acting illegally; it’s revealed that said government in this game, the UG, is, unsurprisingly, equally as corrupt, with their conduction of unethical homunculus research. Also, the UG was directly complicit in Kanai Ward's isolation and Makoto's ascent as CEO, so it’s no wonder they don’t do anything about it themselves.
  • Asshole Victim: Plenty, in varying shades.
    • Most of the victims of the Nail Man killings are presented to be immoral and deserving of their deaths, hence why others called hits on them to the Nail Man.
    • Karen, who killed Aiko impulsively after an argument, framed her death as a suicide, and managed to get away with it thanks to her father's influence. As a result, the other three members of the club, who were close friends with Aiko, conspire to poison Karen as revenge.
    • When the hitman — whose body he initially planned to use as a disfigured corpse to fake his death — doesn't show, it's speculated and heavily implied that Huesca was more than willing to let strangers concerned for his well being wander right into his death trap of a security system so he could use one of their bodies instead. And that's without going into his implied involvement in the death of Yakou's wife when she planned to leak company secrets...
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The cityscape in the title screen has Japanese, English and Russian signs, but these are too mixed up with each other to make sense.
  • Axes at School: In Chapter 2, Aetheria Academy includes a lab that apparently contains a lethal, but temporary, poison. The poison is used in a revenge plot during a rehearsal play to poison a girl named Karen on-stage by taking advantage of a scene revolving around poison, with the poison being applied instantly and during the play to avoid detection and to keep the potency of said poison.
  • The Backwards Я: Downplayed. A lot of the city's signs mix Cyrillic letters into English words, but the Cyrillic letters are always the phonetic equivalents of whatever Latin letters they replace.
  • Back for the Finale: All the dead characters that Yuma has met throughout the game appear in Chapter 5 because they are actually homunculi and come back as zombies a day after their deaths. The only ones who do not show up are the Master Detectives from Chapter 0 (since they were not homunculi), the Nail Man victims, and Karen, the last two of whom Yuma never got the chance to talk to before their deaths.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • The entire plan of the first culprit relied on Yuma getting passed out in the 1st car before the murders, breaking the door window with the prepared extinguisher after looking inside, putting out the fire, neglecting to check under the bed, leaving to find other Master Detectives right before the train entered the tunnel and finishing the investigation before reaching Kanai Ward. Any deviation would render the trick pointless.
    • The plan made by Chapter 4's culprit also relied on Yuma and company getting an Ama-Pal to get into Dr. Huesca's lab, and Fubuki being there to use her Forte to rewind time to go through the last security measure by using trial and error.
    • Following Yomi's eventual defeat, it's revealed that not only is the Kanai Ward division of the WDO, the Nocturnal Detective Agency, a pawn in Makoto's plan to seize control of Kanai Ward, but the WDO as a whole is too, since they also believed Makoto to be the true Number One, allowing him the ability to take over the WDO for himself and set up a global mass kidnapping for the homunculus residents of Kanai Ward to stay well-fed.
  • Battle Theme Music: Reasoning Death Match sequences are accompanied by a dance track of the same name. For the main culprits, the normal variation plays, which is heavily synth-based. Later on, when battling Yomi Hellsmile, and then Makoto Kagutsuchi, the music is upgraded to an even more energetic rock remix, which also adds an erratic organ sequence in place of the stock piano in the normal variation.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: In contrast to the Unified Government, the conspiracy that Amaterasu Corporation is involved in turns out to be altruistic but extremist, as all of Makoto's actions as the Big Bad are intended to help protect Kanai Ward's homunculi from the UG, which involves his excessive abuse of power as CEO, alongside all of his blackmailing, murdering, kidnapping, and impersonation crimes, and deceiving anyone who comes in contact with him, including the detectives.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: The constant Lampshade Hanging from Shinigami as well as the evolving questions regarding the functions of the main setting for the mystery-solving, that being the Mystery Labyrinth, and also the general criticism of the ignorance shared between the characters makes the dialogue in-game appear to be doing this.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Of course, it's not the game's direct threats who are working together, and are instead working against each other, but rather another villainous duo cooperating with each other. It’s revealed that, up to six months ago, Yomi and Dr. Huesca worked together to sell Amaterasu trade secrets to other companies and allow Yomi to reap the profits by bribing others to gain control over Kanai Ward, with Huesca likely also providing Yomi and the Peacekeepers his weapons, and they also had a hand in creating homunculus clones of Kanai Ward’s residents to rival the UG’s research, with Yomi ordering the blood samples and Huesca using them to create the clones. In the present, however, Yomi conducts a plot to have Huesca eliminated after Huesca decided he should escape instead.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While Yomi Hellsmile serves as the Amaterasu Corporation Peacekeepers' director getting in the way of the Master Detectives as they investigate Kanai Ward, serving as The Heavy, Makoto Kagutsuchi, Amaterasu's CEO, is the one who sends Master Detectives to investigate Kanai Ward in the first place, because he is in opposition with Yomi in their power struggle over the company and is using detectives as a means to an end. Makoto eventually takes Yomi out of the picture in Chapter 4, making him the Final Boss in Chapter 5.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Yuma, who usually rolls with the punches of Shinigami's snark and commentary, reaches a breaking point on two occasions.
    • Firstly, during Chapter 4's climax, when Shinigami believes Yakou was simply taking advantage of the Master Detectives just to get revenge on Dr. Huesca, she talks enough ill about him to get Yuma to yell back at her in his defense.
    • The second time, when Yuma discovers that the corpses of criminals captured by the WDA are used to make Kanai Ward's meat buns, he quotes the trope verbatim while fighting off the urge to hurl.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret is solved, Amaterasu Corporation reforms, and Yomi is no longer running the city under his law. However, Kanai Ward's original residents are still dead, and the homunculi that had their souls reaped and failed to revive are still in the restricted area, which includes Chief Yakou. As well as this, Yomi is very much still alive, and has vowed to take revenge on Makoto for taking him down, not having learnt from his actions, so he's still a very present threat despite being incarcerated.
  • Black Blood: Like Danganronpa before it, the game depicts blood as neon pink. Here, however, it is an actual plot point, being one of the two differences between humans and the homunculi of Kanai Ward.
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded: Even though the story forces the player to use the Mystery Labyrinth, and the game’s whole signature is the Mystery Labyrinth, Yuma’s regret following the death of each culprit, since he’s using Shinigami’s powers as a death god to kill them, makes the player also feel regret for doing something the player was narratively forced into doing.
  • Bland-Name Product: One of the drinks in vending machines are NaivE Natural Spring Water (a play on Evian Natural Spring Water, though Naïve also exists) and SharWater (a play on SmartWater)
  • Blood Magic: Shinigami slices open Yuma's neck in Mystery Labyrinths to display questions with his blood. Although this doesn't leave any lasting effects (the bleeding stops almost as soon as it starts), it still is not pleasant for him to go through and he is seemingly always a bit caught off-guard by it. The fact that all of them are red instead of the familiar Danganronpa-grade pink serves as a major clue to the residents of Kanai Ward...
  • Bookends:
    • The first and last cases (Chapter 0 and Chapter 5) are the only ones where only Shinigami assists Yuna, due to every other Master Detective (seemingly) being dead.
    • The first murder case and the last murder case both feature a hitman's direct involvement. Chapter 0's case involves a fake Zilch Alexander, a hitman hired by Amaterasu Corporation to kill the Master Detectives entering Kanai Ward, serving as the case's culprit. Chapter 4's case involves Fink the Slaughter Artist, a hitman the culprit, Yakou Furio, hires to use as The Scapegoat by framing him for Dr. Huesca's murder and using him for a Suicide by Assassin scheme.
    • In terms of musical Leitmotif, the inquisitive fast-paced mystery music when Yuma first encounters the Master Detectives for a meeting (on the train to Kanai Ward) is the same one that plays later on during the second meeting with "Number One of the WDO" in the Nocturnal Detective Agency's base of operations after Yakou Furio's death, when Makoto knocks out the detectives to kidnap them, making it the last time Yuma encounters them and is physically present with them.
    • The story as a whole both begins and ends with an antagonistic, conscious homunculus clone willingly impersonating someone and killing them to replace them while those around them are none the wiser. "Zilch" isn't a clone of Zilch from the WDO, but he's a clone of the assassin impersonating him, and said assassin killed the original Zilch to impersonate him on the trip to Kanai Ward in Chapter 0 so he could then kill the other Master Detectives onboard. In the Final Battle, while he fails to accomplish the replacement due to making his Heel–Face Turn, Makoto intends to replace his original self, Yuma, as both are the same person (Number One of the WDO) and Makoto can replace Yuma with ease.
  • Borrowing from the Sister Series: There's a fair amount the game borrows from Danganronpa.
    • The World Detective Organization and Forensic Forte seem to be based on Hope's Peak Academy and Ultimate students. Both are organizations that gather people with special abilities and use their abilities with the intention of saving the world, and the story is about how Yuma, someone allegedly without a Forte, can still be a detective without having one, in a similar fashion to Makoto and Hajimenote  who don't have talents.
    • Mystery Labyrinths appear to be based on Class Trials, with many of the minigames calling Trial minigames to mind:
      • Reasoning Death Match is a pretty clear parallel to Non-Stop Debate.
      • Shinigami Puzzle is Hangman's Gambit with a "popup pirate" theme.
      • The "Danger Dodge" segments are a Press X to Not Die-based variation on Logic Dive and Psyche Taxi.
      • GOD Shinigami invokes the different rhythm minigames (Bullet Time Battle / Panic Talk Action / Argument Armament), with smashing through a swarm of meaningless statements with properly-timed button presses to get to meaningful ones you can refute.
      • Deduction Denouement is also a relatively direct conversion of Climax Reasoning, being that you're filling in a manga recap of the chapter.
    • Once the true culprit is unveiled, they are summarily executed. Shinigami's reaping is about as bombastic as Danganronpa's executions, if not as terrifyingly wacky.
    • In an odd way, it also copies the more story-centric tradition of having five murder cases, the fifth serving as a Disc-One Final Dungeon for the actual Final Boss in the following chapter, with Chapter 0 being the first murder and Chapter 4 being the fifth murder, with the Final Boss being in the following Chapter 5.
  • Boss Game: During Mystery Labyrinths, Yuma battles against Mystery Phantoms representing the Peacekeepers or the chapter's culprit in the real world, and defeating each Phantom in the Mystery Labyrinth leads to the defeat of the enemy's real world counterpart.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every character is introduced with their name appearing on screen in slow motion the moment their name becomes known.
  • Breaking Old Trends: From Danganronpa.
    • To point out the obvious, none of the main cast consists of people stated to be high school students, as the Master Detectives consist of adults older than the main cast of Danganronpa (or people of Vague Age like Yuma and Desuhiko) typically already working in a professional job, that job in question being at the WDO.
    • Unlike Makoto and Hajime, Yuma's special ability is entirely natural, as his Coalescence wasn't something implanted in him like Hajime (as Izuru, he was given various Hope's Peak talents and became Izuru), nor was he given a label directly related to his special ability after proving himself to someone else like Makoto (Kyoko labels him the "Ultimate Hope").
    • In Danganronpa, characters with no Ultimate Talent were generally portrayed the most favorably. In this game, the one member of the Nocturnal Detective Agency without a Forte, Yakou, is the only one to commit a murder, while it turns out Yuma really does have a Forte all along.
    • Though there are various Ambiguously Brown characters, none of their names start with an A (like Aoi, Akane, Angie) and the only female who follows that trend (the nun) is unnamed. Amongst the main cast that the plot focuses on (in this case, it's the Nocturnal Detective Agency; in the case of Danganronpa, it's every student per class), there is no Ambiguously Brown cast member, with Yuma, Shinigami, Yakou, Halara, Desuhiko, Fubuki and Vivia all being light-skinned.
    • The results of the first murder case (Chapter 0, in this case) are entirely intentional rather than an accident of the culprit's misjudgment, as the fake Zilch intended to kill the Master Detectives on the Amaterasu Express, unlike Sayaka, Teruteru, and Kaede in their Chapter 1 cases.
    • The final murder case happens in Chapter 4 rather than Chapter 5. As well as this, the Ontological Mystery is uncovered in Chapter 5 rather than Chapter 6. This is partially downplayed somewhat as, narratively speaking, in Danganronpa, the Chapter 4 case is supposed to be the last murder case for each game, but due to someone trying to invoke a Disc-One Final Boss situation, Chapter 5's case ends up being the last instead.
    • Unlike the Big Bad in Danganronpa, Makoto Kagutsuchi constantly shows his face around the protagonist, unlike Junko, who works behind the scenes.
    • Barring Goodbye Despair which is set on an island with a lot of physical freedom, the game is set in an open world city isolated from the rest of the world rather than an enclosed singular building (Hope's Peak Academy/Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles).
    • There isn't a Stalker with a Crush character, or at least, one who has one consistently (Desuhiko switches constantly but typically doesn't focus on just one girl in the end; Toko, Kazuichi and Tenko fit the quota as they all focus on one character specifically).
    • Instead of the arc villains for each chapter being the individual culprits for each case, they are instead the Peacekeepers, who serve as defensive lawyers for the true culprit per each case by intentionally hiding the truth rather than the actual culprits.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 3 may be more action-packed than the previous two, but it serves as one emotionally. Chapter 1 dealt with the harshness of life in Kanai Ward, a Serial Killer based on a creepy urban legend, and had two culprits, one of whom was a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Chapter 2 involves the death of teenagers at a girls' school, had every suspect turn out to be guilty, meaning the case ended with five people dead, and said culprits were Sympathetic Murderers avenging the death of their friend, followed by the destruction of the Nocturnal Detective Agency's submarine and presumed deaths of all the Master Detectives. By contrast, Chapter 3 features only one victim and is the first case since Chapter 0 to have only one culprit, leading to the lowest body-count so far. It's also far less tragic, as it turns out Shachi and the Resistance really were as trustworthy as they seemed, the culprit was a lone-wolf traitor who didn't believe in their ideals, and is such a Hate Sink that even Yuma has no qualms letting Shinigami reap his soul. Chapter 4, meanwhile, not only takes the Nocturnal Detective Agency directly into the secret lab of Amaterasu Corporation, but has one of their own as the culprit, leading to Yuma having to fight his fellow detective in the Mystery Labyrinth when said detective realizes that Yuma is subconsciously running from the truth, culminating in an emotional reaping of the culprit's soul. The chapter then ends with the surviving detectives (plus Kurumi) being knocked out by sleeping gas and abducted by the Amaterasu Corporation, leading to the final confrontation in Chapter 5.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of Chapter 2, Desuhiko disguises himself as a female teacher who had left Aetheria Academy for the day. The same teacher appears for real in the next chapter as part of a sidequest where she hears about the rumors that there's two of her running around.
  • Brown Note: The Ontological Mystery reveals that UV light is this for the defective homunculi within Kanai Ward, as it causes them to go on a blind rampage where they're driven to mindlessly eat humans down to their bones and then eventually die if subjected to this state for too long, which is what led them to Kill and Replace the original human residents of Kanai Ward.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • In the beginning of the story Shinigami asks the player to select the difficulty. Then she disregards the choice.
    • In the final chapter, Yuma must make a decision to either destroy the Mystery Labyrinth or choose to stay within in. Both options lead to the same outcome with Yuma convincing Makoto to do a Heel–Face Turn and Shinigami allowing Yuma to use the emergency exit.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Played for Drama. Just when the detectives think they're going to successfully uncover Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret once Yomi and the Peacekeepers are gone in Chapter 4 after the WDO leads them to believe they're there to solve mysteries, Makoto reveals it was all a ploy and they were actually aiding him in usurping Yomi.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Yuma and Halara's relationship in Chapter 1, with Yuma being the well-mannered Nice Guy leading the investigation and Halara being the Sour Supporter who provides Haughty Help.
  • Cassandra Truth: Throughout the game, various characters, such as Halara, the Resistance, and Kurumi, all mistake Yuma for being a Master Detective instead of just a trainee, with Yuma being required to correct them that he is indeed a trainee; he decides to go along with it anyway, of course, especially with Kurumi. In a great irony, it turns out that their guesses were correct, as Yuma is not only a Master Detective, but he is also the true Number One, the top detective in the WDO, therefore making him not only a Master Detective, after all, but also the most qualified out of all agents.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Desuhiko Thunderbolt tries to chat up all ladies. Even those underage; his reasoning, given in Chapter 2, is that they're all ladies and one day they'll be old old enough. And yet, nobody is interested, given his obviously perverted nature; occasionally, he sees slightly more success when he acts differently under his Disguise Forte, but he can't keep that up for very long.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Obviously. If excluding the more normal citizens and the common Peacekeeper soldiers, the whole main cast is surprisingly unique within one another, protagonists and antagonists both, with their physical appearances and voices having plenty of colorful distinction.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: Fubuki in particular, who comes from an absurdly wealthy family. The entire cast seems to have plenty of money to boast on their person in one way or another, specifically by being detectives part of the wealthy all-powerful WDO, being a resident within the Amaterasu-controlled Kanai Ward, or being part of MegaCorp Amaterasu Corporation itself. As Amaterasu's CEO, Makoto is, of course, the wealthiest of the lot.
  • Central Theme: Love, as well as love vs. hate, is a major theme of the game, and this theme ties into the message of how you don't need to do everything by yourself. This theme can also be found in the motives of each culprit.
  • Character Focus: Every chapter, prologue and epilogue included, gives focus to a certain character to advance the plot. In order from beginning to end: Shinigami in Chapter 0, Yakou in the prologue, Halara in Chapter 1, Kurumi in Chapter 2, Fubuki in Chapter 3, Vivia in Chapter 4, Makoto in Chapter 5, and Kurumi in the epilogue.
  • Character Portrait: All the named characters, as well as more minor characters who apply to the narrative as a whole (excluding any unnecessary side characters), feature a stylized portrait on the left side of the text box during dialogue.
  • Chase Scene: In Chapter 3, while trying to escape from the Peacekeepers sent around by Guillaume Hall, Yuma and Fubuki, and eventually Kurumi, are forced to run around Kanai Ward to escape from arrest as they are chased around; if the player fails to respond to a given prompt, Fubuki rewinds time from before they were caught so the player can retry.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: At the very start of the game, a passing moment sees Yuma cut his hand reaching through a broken window. This ends up being the decisive evidence in proving who the murderer in that case is and then at the very end of the game is brought up once more to show that Yuma's blood is red, in contrast to the pink blood of the homunculi.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • It's mentioned very early in that Yuma's bios says he's a great cook, which mostly seems like setup for a throwaway gag for when his food actually ends up being terrible. This actually applies to the real Yuma Kokohead, and is how the homunculi's need to consume human flesh is ultimately circumvented. It's also possible Number One's cooking was perfectly paletable, he was simply serving it to a homunculus with strict dietary restrictions. The real Yuma also noted that his ramen was initially inedible to Kanai Ward residents and he had to work hard to replicate the flavor- and essential nutrients- of the meat buns.
    • Likewise, Yakou gets cravings for the city's trademark meat buns, and Kurumi also mentions loving the food, which seems to just set up the amusing contrast of Yuma being apathetic about it. Come The Reveal, and the meat buns are actually a centerpiece of the BigBad's ongoing plot, as the homunculi of Kani Ward genuinely need nutrients from the food to survive.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the second Mystery Labyrinth Shinigami mentions an emergency exit and that using it would come at a high price. After solving the final mystery, she summons it to allow Yuma to escape before he gets swallowed up and that the high price is his pact with and thus his memories of her.
    • The fact that Forensic Fortes connect with Coalescence and Shinigami's pact upon summoning the Mystery Labyrinth is used by Makoto Kagutsuchi later on as part of his plan to use the Labyrinth to Kill and Replace his original counterpart, having used his Coalescence to sneak into the Mystery Labyrinth and then leave the soul of Yuma/Number One to vanish by trapping him there and letting the cosmic time limit run out while he's inside of it. Makoto intentionally threatens Yuma into summoning the Labyrinth without all the information to incriminate Makoto as part of this plan.
  • Chewing the Scenery: If Yomi Hellsmile isn't maintaining a Creepy Monotone to make himself seem less threatening than he actually is, he's usually screaming his words out of anger and demonstrating his true threat level, which also ends up scaring those around him, bar Makoto Kagutsuchi.
  • Churchgoing Villain: Turns out the priest and worshiper at Kanai Ward's church both participated in killing someone as the Nail Man.
  • City in a Bottle: Kanai Ward is an isolated city of eternal rain where outside contact is impossible and its people aren't able to leave, while having to deal with the Amaterasu Corporation in control of it. While they aren't stated to forget the outside world, the citizens never refer to the outside world and have likely lost their sanity over the three years they've been stuck in that condition. This turns out to be protecting the citizens from going on a rampage around the city, as they're defective homunculi, which are vulnerable to UV light, and the CEO made a cloud machine to protect them from it, which also caused the rain. The isolation was also done to keep them from leaving, and that worked too well, it seems.
  • City Noir: Kanai Ward is basically this, being a dystopian city run by a corrupt security force with a corrupt corporation serving as its government, while blanketed in a gloomy, rainy atmosphere.
  • City of Adventure: The game takes place in the city of Kanai Ward where Yuma battles against the Peacekeepers and Amaterasu Corporation while searching for Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret, though you have to experience a train ride there alongside exposition in the prologue chapters before actually exploring it.
  • Clean Food, Poisoned Fork: In Chapter 2, Karen's murder occurs because the rim of the prop glass is painted with poison, not because the contents of the glass are poisoned. This is what disproves Kurumi as the culprit, as applying poison to the glass in such a way was only possible with multiple people working together, those people being Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane.
  • Clear My Name: Yuma has to find out how everyone on the train except him got killed in Chapter 0, as Swank Catsonell accuses him.
  • Closed Circle:
    • Amaterasu Express has all doors and windows shut until it reaches its destination and also blocks signals, so Master Detectives are unable to contact WDO. The emergency intercom to the train's HQ turns out to be disabled as well.
    • Due to Kanai Ward's isolation, outsiders aren't allowed to enter and any information from inside is unable to leak to the public, including any internal mysteries. Most of this is due to Makoto Kagutsuchi's blackmailing of the UG.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: The Master Detectives' Forensic Fortes. They may be helpful in investigating cases, but with their restrictions and conditions for use, they aren't much help to them personally, especially since they're trained to acquire them specifically for investigative purposes.
    • Regarding the Master Detectives on the trip, Aphex's Life Detection only scans within a small radius, and is only there to detect life. Pucci's Audial Aptitude comes at the expense of hyper-awareness, which severely impedes her sense of physical self. Zange's Thoughtography only captures one specific moment in time and he requires a device nearby to make use of it. Melami's Spiritism and Zilch's Animal Investigation isn't used, however, but Melami requires the body type of the dead to match her own, and Zilch's requires actual animals nearby to be of any use.
    • Regarding the Nocturnal Detective Agency, Halara's Postcognition can only be used at crime scenes where the condition of the crime scene when a third party first saw it is necessary in solving the case, Desuhiko's disguises and Fubuki's time leaping both significantly wear them down, and Vivia's Spectral Projection causes him to be aware of what people are like when others aren't around, making him overly cynical and bored of the despair he sees in other people.
    • With The Reveal regarding our protagonist, it's also shown that Yuma's Coalescence was actually from himself, not Shinigami, and he's actually Number One. Despite being the top detective in the world-famous WDO in reality, his Coalescence can't be used without holding hands with another Master Detective.
  • Cold Open: Chapter 0 and the prologue happen before the opening credits sequence, allowing the player to get involved in the setting before the main story begins.
  • Company Cross References:
    • While investigating Pucci’s teddy bear in Chapter 0, Shinigami warns Yuma that it might start going “Puhuhuhu!”. Yuma says that sounds way too strange to ever happen. On a similar note, one of the loading screen lore tidbits mentions a rare limited edition of the Ama-Pal toy robot that looks like a bear with differently-coloured left and right sides.
    • On the wall adjacent to the staircase leading to the underground in the north west of Kamasaki, a neon light in the shape of Monokuma's left eye can be seen.
    • During the sidequest tutorial Vivia tells Yuma about a book featuring a boy and a girl building a sandcastle, with the boy later discovering the girl destroyed it every single night.
    • The school uniform of Aetheria Academy closely resembles Maki Harukawa's outfit.
    • In Chapter 4's Mystery Dungeon, Mystery Phantom Yomi takes the form of an Angelic Abomination split in half with white and black sides matching Monokuma's scheme down to the mouth on the black side.
    • In chapter 5, the segment in which you are tasked to identify the real Yuma Kokohead is extremely similar in presentation to the culprit selection segments in the Danganronpa games, due to each person being represented by a picture in a circular formation.
    • When answering who used "Coalescence" in Chapter 5, answering incorrectly has Makoto Kagasutchi mockingly state "No, that's wrong!", in reference to the series-wide phrase when the protagonists catch a contradiction. Bonus points for sharing the same first name with Makoto Naegi.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Near the end of Chapter 5, Yuma resigns himself to dying in the Mystery Labyrinth since his friends are (seemingly) dead and there's no apparent solution for the Homunculi of Kanai Ward, so he sinks into a copy of the NDA submarine and is frozen there alone. All you can do is rotate the camera around him until Shinigami breaks down the door and breaks him back to life with a comical Neck Snap.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: The overall premise of the game is that the main detectives of the NDA (except for Yakou) willingly rebel against the almighty Amaterasu Corporation that's in control of the entirety of Kanai Ward's citizenry in their journey to investigate Kanai Ward, which is Played for Drama whenever possible.
  • Cool Train: Amaterasu Express is a fully automated train filled with rich decorations and neon lights.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Amaterasu Corporation’s CEO, Makoto Kagutsuchi, turns out to be involved in a mass kidnapping case involving the catastrophic results of Amaterasu’s prior homunculus research as the Big Bad. The kidnapping involves death row inmates who Makoto uses for Kanai Ward’s food supply, converting them into meat buns and feeding them to Kanai Ward’s residents. In the process of this, he tries to hide the truth of Kanai Ward's homunculus populace from the world, shuts down Dr. Huesca's homunculus research project, and blackmails the Unified Government with their own homunculus research to accomplish the task of isolating the city, and he also brought the Master Detectives to Kanai Ward to use them as mere pawns against Yomi Hellsmile, Director of the Peacekeepers, as part of his dastardly but well-intentioned plot to keep the city and its truth hidden from the world forever.
  • Corporate Warfare: The prologue is titled "WDO vs. Amaterasu Corporation", and of course, the story is about just that war between the two names. However, this also ends up including a third corporation, or rather, governmental party, that being the Unified Government, who is trying to control the actions of both.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Yes. By the end of the game, it's revealed that Makoto simply telling the truth of the residents of Kanai Ward being homunculi and negotiating with the Unified Government to accept them and sustain them (instead of keeping it a secret for three years straight) would have avoided the mountain of burdens and amoral acts he had to deal with.
  • The Coup: Amaterasu Corp conducted their seizure of power over Kanai Ward years ago, and as it turns out, it continues to the present day due to the power struggle between Yomi, the Peacekeepers director, and Makoto, the CEO, who are battling for ultimate authority.
  • Covers Always Lie: Like the other promotional material, the game teases The train detectives as playing a major part in the game, they only appear in Chapter 0 before dying and are never depicted wearing their rain coats.
  • Cowardly Boss: The Mystery Phantoms within the Mystery Labyrinth representing the case's suspects run away frequently when Yuma is accusing them in the final act. It particularly happens with "Zilch", the Aetheria Academy girls, and the Resistance.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: After Chief Yakou is stabbed by Fink the Slaughter Artist while in Amaterasu's research lab in Chapter 4, Halara desperately and tenderly performs chest compressions on him in order to keep him alive. As we find out in the Mystery Labyrinth for that chapter, this would be a futile attempt at saving him.
  • Crime of Passion: The victim of Chapter 2, Karen, is revealed to have killed Kurumi Wendy's Best Friend Aiko in the heat of the moment by striking her in the head with a brick. That said, she loses sympathy by covering up the death as a suicide, which ends up coming back to bite her when Aiko's friends in the theater club find out the truth and decide to poison her to avenge Aiko.
  • Cue the Sun: Kanai Ward is perpetually shrouded in clouds and raining. There's a brief glimpse of the sun in the final chapter, for a single scene. But when the final Mystery Labyrinth occurs everything is in a downpour again. When it's solved; the skybox is clear and blue, with nary a cloud, solving the mystery that was plagueing the game.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Exaggerated. Every character with blue hair has blue eyes. Why only blue characters specifically is uncertain. Shinigami's humanoid form also has pink hair and pink eyes, and the teacher Desuhiko impersonates in Chapter 2 has green hair and green eyes.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Kanai Ward fills many cyberpunk elements: a Neon City ruled over by a MegaCorp, massive wealth disparity between the city's slums and its highest echelons, and transhumanist themes with characters like the Cyborg Dominic Fulltank or rumors of Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret being immortal homunculi. And it's perpetually raining as a plot point, with many residents not caring about getting wet any more, or using high tech, hands-free drone umbrellas showing up in wealthier areas. The unnaturally lengthy rain is caused because the thick rain clouds are the only thing stopping the homunculi from going into a homicidal frenzy.
  • Dangerously Garish Environment: Much like its predecessor, the game's environment is filled with bright colors and smooth textures, but it's actually even more horrifying to look at than before as all of these technicolor elements are taken to extremes, as to cater to the intense cyberpunk aesthetic. Even the promotional and cover art apply this contrast.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • While Danganronpa is also quite dark in itself due to featuring some very intense story details (such as the Big Bad being a Hope Crusher who does things For the Evulz, direct brainwashing, intentional mind-breaking), the killing game concept not only hides this until the end when we learn the whole world is a dystopia, but it's also much more comedic and lighthearted than this game. Regarding this game, it is blatantly a dystopia and constantly reminds the player of this, and due to the characters (technically) not being trapped in a secluded location this time, and having outside contact (through a direct line at least), this makes the reveal that Amaterasu's CEO manipulated the detectives the entire time and essentially pulled them on his lead despite thinking they were sent there to do their jobs much more shocking. As well as this, the deaths are Bloodier and Gorier and the setting features characters far more likely to commit crime, something that also isn't hidden due to the disastrous events of Chapter 0.
    • Unlike Danganronpa, there are no Laughably Evil villains, with Monokuma's comedic side being replaced with a morally grey copy of him in the form of Shinigami, who is on the good guys' side, and Makoto's occasional jokes actually serving as a front for his pragmatism as the Big Bad hiding behind them.
    • The game's events are not caused by two bad guys working together like with the original Danganronpa series (note: Junko and Mukuro). In fact, Makoto Kagutsuchi and Yomi Hellsmile being in opposition is precisely what drive the plot in the first place, which means there's a lot more drama thanks to the conflict between the two of them.
  • Darkest Hour:
  • A Day in the Limelight: The DLC sidestories focus solely on one of the other Master Detectives at the NDA, putting them in the spotlight with Yuma nowhere to be found.
    • Ch. Desuhiko: Charisma Killed the Cat follows one of Desuhiko's misadventures in which he tries to uncover the secret of the mysterious nine-tailed cat thief.
    • Ch. Halara: Raining Cats & Dog has Halara teaming up with Yakou to investigate a murder scene that the Peacekeepers dismissed as an accidental suicide.
  • Dead All Along: The entire population of Kanai Ward is revealed to be this, as they were all killed from the results of Project Homunculus before the start of the game. The residents that live in Kanai Ward are just mere homunculus clones of them.
  • The Dead Guy Did It: In Episode 2, Karen is the culprit of Aiko's murder, despite being the murder victim in the present-day case. Then, in Chapter 4, the culprit is Yakou despite him being the case's second victim. He killed Dr. Huesca, willingly subjecting himself to the toxic gas to do so, then had Fink the Slaughter Artist stab him to obfuscate his cause of death.
  • Dead Serious: In the climax case, Yakou Furio and Yomi Hellsmile, the NDA's chief and the Peacekeepers' director, prove to the audience that they're both willing to go as far as they need to in their plot to successfully kill the all-important crazy head researcher of Amaterasu Corporation, Dr. Huesca, for their own reasons of vengeance, as Yakou frames Fink and Yomi proudly sacrifices Yakou in the process.
  • Defective Detective: They may be great occult detectives when they have to be, but usually, the Master Detectives that Yuma meets have some serious flaws and Skewed Priorities in mind, both the ones met on the trip to Kanai Ward and the Nocturnal Detective Agency themselves, though mostly the latter.
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: In the first case within Kanai Ward itself following Yuma's recruitment, the clocktower case, the most recent Nail Man case, that he investigates features footprints in the mud next to a suspicious shutter window, which is also used later to bluff the true culprit.
  • Deus ex Machina: Following the Mystery Labyrinths, Yakou in Chapter 0 (regarding Swank), the NDA at the end of Chapter 3 (regarding Guillaume), and Makoto in Chapter 4 (regarding Yomi) arrive just in time following the Mystery Labyrinth to stop the Arc Villain Peacekeeper from taking Yuma out of the plot through arrest or murder. If they had each arrived only a second later, Yuma would have most certainly suffered either of those fates.
  • Developer's Foresight: In Chapter 3's Mystery Labyrinth, if you do wait out the 15 minutes left on the timer, the bomb will explode and will cause massage damage to Yuma's health bar.
  • Dies Wide Open: The corpses of the murder victims for each of the game's cases have their eyes open in shock. Well, every case besides Chapter 0.
  • Dirty Cop: The Peacekeepers are corrupt, self-centered security officers who don't care for the truth and are abusive towards their suspects and the citizens of Kanai Ward, and do far more damage to the city than they prevent it, in spite of their obviously false claims that they do prevent it. To call them "security officers" in the first place would certainly be a stretch, considering that in action, they're really only bullies who have too much power over the populace.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The entire plot of the game occurs because of the Unified Government encouraging Yomi Hellsmile and Dr. Huesca to create homunculus clones of Kanai Ward's residents, ending up in defects that Kill and Replace said residents and turn Makoto Kagutsuchi from the law-abiding Number One into a criminal mastermind.
  • Disguised in Drag: Yuma and Desuhiko resort to this in Chapter 2 in order to infiltrate the all-girls Aetheria Academy; Desuhiko uses his Forte to masquerade as a specific teacher, whereas Yuma is simply dressed as a female version of himself until Karen's murder happens, at which point he disguises as various suspects in the investigation (as well as Martina Electro) in order to obtain information from other suspects.
  • Disney Death:
    • In Chapter 2, the submarine ends up exploding, and it is unknown if the other master detectives survived outside of Yuma. But in Chapter 3, Fubuki is revealed to have survived, and eventually so did the other master detectives.
    • In Chapter 5, Yuma sees homunculi devouring the corpses of his fellow Master Detectives...but it's later revealed in the epilogue that the Master Detectives were actually locked up in Kanai Tower by Makoto; the bodies were only given clothes like the Detectives' to make Yuma think they were dead.
  • Downer Beginning: The story opens with Yuma taking a train ride to Kanai Ward on the Amaterasu Express to meet the Nocturnal Detective Agency. This doesn't go as well as one would expect. Instead, the other Master Detectives that Yuma was riding with die to a Professional Killer hiding among them, and it's revealed in the prologue later on that Master Detectives took other routes to Kanai Ward besides the Amaterasu Express, of whom most definitely died on the way as well, leaving behind the four other detectives that made it. Yes, four remaining detectives out of who knows how many. The endgame eventually also reveals that the same one who killed those detectives was actually hired by Yomi Hellsmile himself so he could prevent detectives from uncovering his misdeeds.
  • Downer Ending: A later sidequest has a repairman asking Yuma to look into something called the "red rain" in Kamasaki District. Not finding anything at first, Yuma gets surrounded by strange men. He finds out that the Red Rain is the name of a cult, who think he wants to become a member. After barely escaping, he returns to the worker to report his findings. Only to find that he's been brainwashed into becoming a member of said cult, who state they'll follow Yuma until he becomes one of their brothers.
  • Drama Club: The all-girls Aetheria Academy in Chapter 2 features a theatre club, where, of course, a School Play is rehearsed. Unfortunately, one of the actors dies during that performance completely unexpectedly.
  • Dramatic Unmask: During Yuma's confrontation with Makoto in the Mystery Labyrinth, Yuma outs Makoto as Number One's homunculus copy, but that isn't enough for Makoto to drop the mask. It's only when Yuma realizes that he himself is actually Number One that Makoto's mask is finally knocked off, revealing he shares Yuma's face.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The Nocturnal Detective Agency, besides Yuma, uses Desuhiko's disguise kit to impersonate Peacekeeper officers and sneak into Amaterasu Corporation's research lab undetected. Though this is also to save Yuma after he was imprisoned by Yomi, it's actually for Yakou to take the opportunity to kill Dr. Huesca after getting into the lab with the other agents without being suspected.
  • Dungeon Crawling: While navigating the Mystery Labyrinth, Yuma must battle Mystery Phantoms blocking his path to discovering the case's culprit, while also getting caught in various deadly traps along the way.
  • Dying Town: Kanai Ward, having been overtaken by and becoming more and more overrun by the machinations of the apathetic Amaterasu Corporation. The Peacekeepers in particular are the cause of this, rather than the CEO, however, in that their leader, Yomi, only cares about himself, which in turn affects everyone and everything in the city. Ironically, this is more a case of "Dead Town", as Kanai Ward's original citizens died three years ago, with their homunculus clones serving as their replacements. However, they still suffer the same lives as their original selves: being forced to obey the Peacekeepers or being executed for disobeying them.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Everyone in the cast either suffers from a personal insecurity, a tragic past, abuse, betrayal, a strong need to cause chaos (Amaterasu Corporation/the UG/Shinigami to be exact), or some capacity of Survivor Guilt later on. Even worse is when regarding Kanai Ward itself as the whole place is overrun with greedy citizens due to Amaterasu's influence.
  • Dystopia: Kanai Ward is a Police State (as a result of senseless despotism) run by an organization of dirty cops known as the Amaterasu Corporation Peacekeepers and its current condition is marginally the responsibility of Well-Intentioned Extremist Makoto Kagutsuchi, the company's CEO, who, while certainly better than Yomi, is actually the same has him only with the altruism and empathy that Yomi lacks, who hides that the city's population are homunculus clones of their original counterparts and they've been tricked into eating human flesh as part of their dietary needs for the past three years.
  • Eldritch Location: Mystery Labyrinths. They embody a case's mystery, but if they go unsolved they continue to grow and start influencing the real world, turning people into murderers, thereby spawning more Mystery Labyrinths in an endless cycle. Solving the mystery leads to the death of the culprit who spawned it. Even among the Mystery Labyrinths, the Labyrinth from Chapter 4 stands out, as it seems to actively defy the rules of previous Labyrinths. Yuma and Shinigami are originally unable to get a starting question at all; hallways frequently loop back on themselves, dropping them and Vivia back at questions they thought they'd already answered; and at one point the group gets stuck at an intersection where every option- including the new one that appears after checking the initial three- is wrong, forcing Shinigami to brute-force a new one into existence. It begins to feel as if the Labyrinth itself is not merely alive, but actively taunting the investigators. This unusual behavior turns out to be because Yuma already suspects the Awful Truth- that Yakou is the killer- but is refusing to let himself see it.
  • Empathic Environment: All of Kanai Ward is filled with eternal rain. Naturally, this also reflects the horrifying Wretched Hive it is due to the Peacekeepers' misconduct all the way from three years ago when Yomi ordered that the blood of Kanai Ward's residents should be extracted to create homunculus clones of them. In actuality, the rain is there because Makoto is trying to protect the homunculi from their defect of being allergic to sunlight, blocking out the sun with a Weather-Control Machine, which ends up unintentionally creating constant precipitation due to how thick clouds need to be to block sunlight.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Following Chief Yakou's death in Chapter 4, the Nocturnal Detective Agency members leave the chair he once sat in at his desk empty, including Halara, who was once sat in it at the beginning of Chapter 2. Of course, they never get an opportunity to try to sit in it again anyway since "Number One" and Makoto Kagutsuchi interrupt them before they have an opening to, but they most definitely were intending to leave it alone for his sake.
  • En Route Sum-Up: The Master Detectives that Yuma meets on the Amaterasu Express give an Infodump about Kanai Ward, Amaterasu Corporation, and the Amaterasu Express itself during the ride as a relay of their mission to find out Amaterasu Corporation's secrets and worldbuilding for the player.
  • Episode of the Dead: The entirety of Chapter 5 is about Yuma's encounter with the zombie versions of Kanai Ward's deceased homunculi residents, which helps him to solve the game's Ontolgical Mystery.
  • Episode Zero: The Beginning: The story begins with Chapter 0 to show the events of Yuma's journey to Kanai Ward, rather than starting at the prologue after he's already arrived there.
  • "Everyone Is Gone" Episode: During the final battle, Yuma is thrown into the restricted area all alone, besides Kurumi, and the surviving detectives of the NDA are missing, though he eventually finds what appears to be their zombie homunculi-devoured corpses in the meat bun factory. Of course, while it at first seems like they died from the homunculi, they were just imprisoned by Makoto in Kanai Tower the whole time.
  • Exactly Exty Years Ago: The entire game's conflict begins 10 years ago before the present, when the homunculus research that was ordered by the UG started. Said research developed and the UG created the first homunculus. Three years before the present, panicked by the UG's recent success, Dr. Huesca created homunculi out of all of Kanai Ward in the hopes of catching up, and the event was covered up by Makoto and the UG when the research caused catastrophe.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Nearly every main character (including the villains) has some kind of unique symbol or shape in their eyes; Yuma has a keyhole, Fubuki has a diamond, Vivia has a plus, and so on. The game also has plenty of close-ups to let you see each and every one.
  • Experience Points: Checking props, answering correctly to questions and doing side-quests gives Yuma Detective Points, which can be exchanged for skills to make Dungeon Crawling levels easier.
  • Expositing the Masquerade: The entirety of Chapter 5 is basically Makoto Kagutsuchi, CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, or one of the deceased defective homunculi, expositing about the fact that Kanai Ward's residents are actually homunculus clones as a result of Dr. Huesca's failed homunculus experiment in his attempt to rival the UG's creation of a perfect homunculus, said homunculus being Makoto, Makoto's escape into Kanai Ward, and Makoto's kidnapping scheme to sustain the homunculi, after Makoto kidnaps Yuma and allows him entry into the restricted area where the truth Yuma and co. have been seeking really is.
  • Exposition Fairy: Shinigami, when not inside a Mystery Dungeon, will often fly towards items that are worthy of investigating and will give a voice clip.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: In Chapter 0 Yuma discovers that despite there being no one else on board, everyone else but him has apparently died, which is the main mystery of the investigation.
  • Everybody Did It: Turns out all three possible suspects for Karen's murder all worked together to do the deed. Their apparent rivalry against each other was faked, as they are not only good friends, but best friends with Aiko, whose death they seek to avenge.
  • Evil Chancellor: Strangely, Yomi Hellsmile himself, in that, while he (incompetently) manages Kanai Ward's law enforcement, he's only the rebellious right-hand to Amaterasu Corporation's CEO, Makoto Kagutsuchi, and not the company's actual leader, much to Yomi's disdain.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Though it's not obvious at first, Kanai Tower is actually this, as it's where Makoto Kagutsuchi, the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation and the Big Bad, lives, and it pretty much towers over every other building in Kanai Ward.
    Tropes F - N 
  • Fantastic Aesop: The story makes a clear lesson about reliance both for the Amnesiac Hero Yuma Kokohead and the overall Big Bad. Despite this, the fantastical elements make it impossible to apply in the real world for three reasons.
    • Said Amnesiac Hero is Number One of the World Detective Organization who erased his memories using Shinigami's powers as part of his Memory Gambit so he could learn to rely on others by forgetting his self-reliant Ineffectual Loner personality. It is impossible for a death god to possess someone, and magically enforced amnesia by supernatural means (especially through death gods) isn't possible either, meaning that the lesson of "learn how to be reliant on others by letting a death god possess you" isn't applicable in the real world.
    • The Big Bad is an Artifical Human clone created by the DNA of a detective organization's leader for the plot a Government Conspiracy conducted by a One World Order, of whom is making it his goal to protect other Artificial Humans less fortunate than him. This is impossible in the real world because cloning is currently impossible and the type and reason for the extremism of the Big Bad is highly illogical and inhuman, in the sense that he's one homunculus protecting hundreds of others through a Weather-Control Machine, and his inability to ask for help is what causes his desire to take Yomi Hellsmile out of the picture. In a similar fashion, he is based on Number One of the World Detective Organization, and said detective organization's existence is unlikely in the real world. The organization also attracts the attention of said One World Order enough to use the leader's DNA for an experiment, in turn creating the Big Bad, Makoto.
    • Makoto's final plan involves using his Coalescence to trick his original self, Number One of the WDO, into being taken into the Mystery Labyrinth so he can then disappear into oblivion and take his place, which is what necessitates Yuma to battle him and encourage him to work with others to protect Kanai Ward's homunculi. This whole sequence is only possible with the existence of Forensic Fortes and the Mystery Labyrinth in the first place, which absolutely don't exist in the real world either.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Kanai Ward in a nutshell. The Amaterasu Corporation taking over the city has evidently made everything worse for the citizens, but Yomi Hellsmile in particular is to blame for this, being the only outright monstrous individual within the entirety of the Amaterasu Corporation who actually runs the city like a dictatorship, and wants it to be like that because it keeps him in a position of power. He doesn't care in the slightest what happens as a consequence of his rule, and this only gets more evident when the player personally investigates the research lab in Chapter 4 and solves Dr. Huesca's murder, as it becomes quite apparent that no one - including the head researcher, the company's CEO, and the Nocturnal Detective Agency's chief - is spared from his cruelty.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: A Running Gag is whenever Yuma spends time explaining something to someone, the scene is given a fast-forward effect.
  • Finale Title Drop: The game's epilogue chapter is titled "RAIN CODE", like the Rain Code within the latter half of the work's title.
  • Fission Mailed: In the endgame, Yuma falls into despair and accepts his death in the Mystery Labyrinth temporarily, allowing the Big Bad Makoto Kagutsuchi to win against him. Then it turns out that Shinigami is here to help him get back on track, and he eventually defeats Makoto and gives him the retribution for his misdeeds once and for all.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • During Chapter 5, Yuma and Kurumi briefly take shelter in a building. After examining the area, the door is forced open by three zombies, with the one leading them wearing an Aetheria Academy uniform. After shoving them back, Yuma and Kurumi realize that the zombies are Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane, the culprits of Chapter 2.
    • After Yuma turns off the cloud generator and opens a bright sunny sky, there's a city alert broadcasting across Kanai Ward and everyone is hurriedly told to stay indoors. We soon learn that sunlight turns them psychotic.
  • Flashback-Montage Realization: This happens in Chapter 5's Mystery Labyrinth where we are shown a flashback of previous FMV animations throughout the game, such as the shots of the detective agency just before the end of the prologue, and Yuma playing catch with the boy's ball at the end of Chapter 1, among many more situations, as Yuma questions why he's been searching for the truth this whole time following Makoto's Breaking Speech.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Yuma has one before the start of Chapter 3, seeing a blurry vision of himself passing by Number One carrying the Book of Death while at the World Detective Organization. Or rather, he sees himself carrying the Book of Death and passing by the real Yuma, because he's actually Number One.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Later in the game, the detectives are unaware that Chief Yakou will die regardless of what they do to help him, since they have no idea that he's dying from a Suicide Attack on Dr. Huesca and think that he's an innocent hitman victim with only a healable stab wound as his cause of death.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Because of their unfortunately short presence in the game, the Master Detectives from chapter 0 are never brought up again after the case is solved, with the exception of (fake) Zilch, who briefly appears in Chapter 5 as a zombie, and Pucci receives a mention during a loading screen in Chapter 3.
  • For Science!: The reason why Dr. Huesca sent out a blood test to the entire population of Kanai Ward to create homunculus clones of them, besides Kurumi's grandfather, only for the experiment to fail and the homunculi to Kill and Replace the people of Kanai Ward with the clones in question.
  • Four Is Death: Chapter 4’s case is undoubtedly the most tragic case in the game. This can be attributed by the fact that everyone involved in the case is a leader in some way, starting from Chief Yakou, head of the Nocturnal Detective Agency, as the culprit, who dies in the process of the murder, to the victim being Amaterasu Corporation’s head researcher Dr. Huesca, and the two prime instigators being Yomi Hellsmile, the director of the Amaterasu Peacekeepers, and Makoto Kagutsuchi, the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, and the whole plot of that chapter being one huge Corporate Conspiracy.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: In the endgame. The Suicidal Sadistic Choice Makoto Kagutsuchi presents Yuma/the true Number One in Chapter 5's Mystery Labyrinth is to leave the Great Global Mystery case behind and leave him to become the true Number One, thereby keeping the truth of Kanai Ward secret forever, for the sake of protecting the people of Kanai Ward from the horrifying truth of what they are, or to expose the truth for the chance of a better future and leave nothing uncovered, while Makoto is indicted for his crimes. He chooses to expose the truth with some encouragement from Shinigami regardless of what Makoto says, leading to Makoto's defeat in the Final Battle.
  • From Bad to Worse: The game is a gradual progression from events that are already traumatic for the protagonists to something that eventually borders on existential horror. The game opens with a massacre of Master Detectives and a survivor Frame-Up in a plot by the Peacekeepers to prevent detectives from investigating Kanai Ward and a clear establishment of how bad Kanai Ward already is as a dystopia, being isolated from the world, and it having rained for three years straight. Then during the detectives' investigation itself, the continuous confrontation from the Peacekeepers eventually culminates in Yomi outright trying to brutally execute Yuma himself after snooping around in Amaterasu's research lab, and then that turning out to be exactly what the main antagonist, Makoto Kagutsuchi, wanted to have happen the whole time, as part of his plot to remove Yomi from his position... so he can protect the city. Why is he protecting the city? Because the residents were replaced with homunucli of which devoured Kanai Ward's original human population, and those humans having been long dead already with the detectives unaware of this.
  • Gambit Pileup: The game's main antagonists both have plans for the protagonists that culminate in the chapters where they pose as the individual bosses for each of their character arcs.
    • In regards to Amaterasu Corporation's CEO, Makoto Kagutsuchi brought the detectives to Kanai Ward so he could use them as opposition against Yomi and personally take him down so he could keep Kanai Ward safe from the world while continuing to pose as Number One of the WDO to prevent detectives investigating the city. He nearly succeeds at this too.
    • Regarding the more obvious villain, Yomi Hellsmile, director of the Peacekeepers, conducts an overarching plan involving using Yakou Furio to kill Amaterasu Corporation's head researcher Dr. Huesca for betraying him six months ago. Inevitably, this works out in Makoto's favor, as Makoto takes advantage of this so he can use it as his opening to personally eliminate Yomi by gathering evidence of his crimes.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In Chapter 4, after Vivia decides to oppose Yuma, you lose the ability to use the Assist ability whenever you're facing against Vivia in a Reasoning Death Battle.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • When the Master Detectives introduce each other on the train, Zilch always starts his introduction by saying he'll go first, even if he wasn't the first person the player selected.
    • To access the murder scene in Chapter 4, Yuma must use Ama-Pal Fubuki's forte to brute-force the floor tile passage. She gets exhausted from using it over and over, even if you clear it on your first attempt and she never has to use it more than once. This will also diminish a minor plot point during the Mystery Labyrinth in which Yuma feels guilty for killing Chief Yakou over and over, resetting the clock each time, despite that never actually happening if the password room is cleared on the first attempt after the reset from Desuhiko's attempt (meaning in that case only Desuhiko "killed" him via electrocution).
    • In Chapter 5, Yuma tries to talk to a man in a raincoat but Shinigami says they should avoid him. If the player tries to make Yuma simply walk past him without speaking to him, upon hitting this invisible wall the game has Shinigami yell at Yuma to talk to him.
    • The Gumshoe-Gabs always have Shinigami happily report on the current closeness of Yuma's relationship with his fellow detectives at the end of each conversation via a recycled line for each stage of closeness. This mostly works, except with Fubuki's final conversation, featuring her giving Yuma a Love Confession. Despite Shinigami spending the rest of the conversation watching and commenting in a jealous rage, she still reverts to the standard happy progress report at the end as if none of that happened.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Most of the unnamed peacekeepers are share the same model, but with different coloured gas masks. The only exception is "The chubby one" from Chapter 2. This makes for a Five-Second Foreshadowing when In Chapter 4 a very short one about Yuma's heigh sentences him to death. And it's Desuhiko.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The overarching mystery of the game is that a Mad Scientist named Dr. Huesca created homunculi out of the citizens of Kanai Ward and those homunculi replaced the city's original human population while the clones were none the wiser, with Makoto Kagutsuchi covering up the incident as the only one with stable genetics due to the genetics of the homunculi of everyone else in the city being flawed.
  • Genetic Memory: All of the homunculi have the memories of the originals up to the point when their blood was taken.
  • Government Conspiracy: The UG are the instigators of everything in the game, due to starting homunculus research in the hopes of obtaining an immortal army, and they were the ones who hired Amaterasu to do experiments on their own to boost research through competition. They also cooperated with Kanai Ward's isolation since it's a way to wash their hands from the whole homunculus fiasco and avoid the truth being brought to light.
  • Greed: Seemingly a Central Theme.
    • The entire conflict is driven by a MegaCorp named Amaterasu Corporation, which produces absolutely all kinds of daily life and entertainment necessities. However, this encouraged a need to control things, leading to them trying to take over Kanai Ward as well and control every aspect of it, which includes taking control of everything within it too and brainwashing people into following along with their whims. The Peacekeepers serve as law enforcement, and merely want to do the job easily rather than have dedication to the truth. This is especially prominent with Swank and Seth, who both know the culprits of the cases they interfere with, but are protecting the truth to further their own agenda, especially Seth, who protected the priest from being arrested as the Nail Man specifically to protect his source of income, albeit under Yomi's orders.
    • Most of the story is based on various characters overestimating themselves and taking too much for the sake of too little. Halara believes that the worth of their Postcognition is equal to that of a luxury car without proving it first; Yomi wants to take control over Kanai Ward for no reason but the satisfaction of control; Makoto wants to take control of Kanai Ward for the sake of his fellow homunculi without considering anyone else’s needs or the simple solution, and becoming the richest person in Kanai Ward due to becoming the CEO of Amaterasu; Yuma allows Shinigami to take his identity away from him so he can take on a global kidnapping case and a clone of him created from a Government Conspiracy; Yakou wanted to take vengeance against Crazy Survivalist Dr. Huesca at the expense of the entire Nocturnal Detective Agency, just because he was encouraged to do so, and planned out his murder in secret; Icardi caused chaos around Kanai Ward because he wanted to return to his normal life unrelated to Kanai Ward with ill-gotten money; the theater girls in Chapter 2 wanted vengeance for the sake of their own friendship by taking away someone else’s life. These are clear plot points where this happens, and it reflects the idea of greed and vanity very clearly throughout the story.
  • Hammy Villain, Serious Hero: The serious and professional Halara Nightmare battles against the larger-than-life egotistical Yomi Hellsmile.
  • Hand Wave:
    • In Chapter 2 Yuma uses Coalescence to power-copy Desuhiko's Disguise, who is too tired to use it himself. The thing is, Yuma has to hold another Master Detective's hand the entire time for it to work. After Yuma transforms offscreen, Desuhiko asks how did Yuma manage to change clothes while holding his hand and Yuma dismisses the question.
    • In Halara's second Gumshoe Gab, Yuma asks Halara how they got their psychometry from the start, and how they were born with it. They simply respond with a snarky, arrogant remark about how a "superior detective like Halara" can't be comprehended by someone like Yuma, seemingly shrugging the question off entirely.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: The Amaterasu Corporation is an Evil, Inc. that serves as an allegory for corruption in humans. This is clear even before the game was released, as there is a non-stop emphasis on the fact that the corporation is evil and completely unrestrained. Even when it turns out that the company CEO is actually an Anti-Villain and the Peacekeepers are completely self-centered security officers who abuse their power for the sake of power, it is made clear that said CEO is not justified In-Universe for his actions, and he is still an Evil Overlord who wants to cover up the truth of the city for an incredibly misguided purpose; the protagonist even counters his arguments with the fact that the motives are merely excuses for said corruption.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: In Chapter 1, it's revealed that Halara's preliminary estimates for doing their utmost efforts as a professional detective is five million shien, equivalent to that of a luxury car, with it also being implied that the majority of their former clients haven't yet paid them back. Skip to Chapter 4 and we find that Yomi is able to bribe his officers with 100 million and is able to just casually give it out like it's barely a cut of what he actually has, and he only got that money through cheating with his secret dealings with Dr. Huesca, as we find out in the very same moment. In a similar fashion, considering Halara's motive too, as revealed in the following chapter, while they've had difficulties merely starting a cat charity through honest means, Makoto Kagutsuchi himself managed to become a mega-rich CEO because he basically did the dishonest practice of blackmailing the entire government, which caused the former CEO to decide he was a better candidate.
  • Hate at First Sight: From the moment Kurumi shows up, Shinigami consistently insults her, asks Yuma to ignore the case until the new murder occurs and accuses him of having perverted motives when he continues to help. Shinigami softens a bit when Kurumi proves herself useful, but she still doesn't like Yuma interacting with another girl.
  • Heel–Face Town: After Makoto ousts Yomi from his position as director of the Peacekeepers, usurping control himself, and tells the residents they're all homunculi after keeping it a secret for three years straight firmly believing it's the right thing to do, the place of Kanai Ward becomes a lot less of a Wretched Hive with the residents becoming more accepting and there being less crimes committed. The detectives leave at the end for this reason, as they notice they don't have anything to investigate anymore after monitoring the city's activity for months.
  • Heroes "R" Us: The WDO and its various branches, being a gathering of numerous Master Detectives in a variety of branching agencies. The game focuses on the Kanai Ward branch, or in other words, the Nocturnal Detective Agency.
  • Hero with an F in Good: The actual Big Bad is Makoto Kagutsuchi, who is a Well-Intentioned Extremist for the homunculi of Kanai Ward. He does keep the city thriving, something he claims to Yuma in the Final Battle, which is true as there wouldn't be a city to be sent to in the first place if not for Makoto. However, he's also an overly ambitious criminal mastermind who is taking advantage of his identity as Number One's clone as a result of his extremism, which means he's also quite morally unwell, to put it lightly.
  • Hippie Name: Every single named character can count, with only two characters who have more normal forenames.
  • Hired by the Oppressor: The CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, the company of which the Master Detectives are investigating in the first place due to their severe oppression of Kanai Ward's citizens, requires the help of the titular detectives as part of his plan to "fix" Kanai Ward by removing the corrupt Peacekeepers, something of which he, Makoto, tells Yuma at the beginning of Chapter 3. Later on, in the final chapter, the meaning of this turns out to be much more twisted, as the real truth behind this is that they were actually pawns for his plan to outright usurp Yomi so he can permanently keep Kanai Ward a secret from the world, using his power as a clone of Number One of the World Detective Organization, but they never realize this.
  • Honesty Aesop: Fleeing from the truth only leads to tragedy over time. In Chapter 2, Karen ended up having to hide her impulsive killing of Aiko and got away with it because of her father's connections to Amaterasu, which caused Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane to kill her as the only way to wreak revenge, and by the end of the case, five schoolgirls in total have been killed off. In Chapter 4, Yakou being Dr. Huesca's murderer is a difficult truth for Yuma to accept, but in the end, it's necessary to face the pain that comes with the truth, or else Yuma will never be able to accept Yakou's death. And in Chapter 5, Makoto's whole dilemma is about how he has to resort to unethical means to sustain Kanai Ward, even if it involves lying to the residents about their true nature, and even though doing so has worn him down over time and can't continue forever, Makoto nonetheless sees no better solution.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The lip-syncing for the 3D cutscenes (particularly the high-res FMVs) isn't the best in the English dub, with many voice clips ending well before the characters' lips stop moving or not matching up with the animations.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Inverted Trope When Yuma reveals the final villain to be his homunculus, the game switches perspectives and instead of Mystery Phantoms launching statements at YOU, you're launching the statements at the Big Bad.
  • Humans Are Bastards: While the primary message of the game is that humans can be relied upon, in contrast, Yomi Hellsmile is a human being or at least a humanoid mimicking his original human self and he is depicted as an egotistical, remorseless, envious, power-hungry psychopath who only cares for what he gains from the destruction he causes, and his villainous actions are played completely seriously. Head researcher and Mad Scientist Dr. Huesca who worked alongside him until six months ago is no better than him, though his human self at least has a Heel Realization, unlike Yomi.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Played for Drama. One of the big reveals of Chapter 5 is that the meat buns which the citizens of Kanai Ward love so much are actually made of human flesh obtained by butchering the corpses of dead criminals, since the homunculi of the population are unable to subsist on anything else long-term. Upon finding this out, Yuma initially refuses to tell Kurumi what he saw, as he knows how horrified she would be to discover what she'd really been eating for the past three years. Once Makoto reveals the full truth to the city, the population understandably switches to an alternative food source (the real Yuma's special ramen) as fast as possible. The meat bun stand in Kamasaki is unceremoniously boarded and tarped over as a result.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: When starting the game, Shinigami gives the following difficulty options. After picking, she reveals that the choice was for how difficult she will be for you, and then admits the choice doesn't really matter since she embodies all four qualities at all times anyway.
    • "Lenient"
    • "Mean"
    • "Troublesome"
    • "Adorable"
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Yuma whenever he solves a Mystery Labyrinth. Despite having all the evidence required to point out the true culprit each time, and literally just solving the case by using that evidence, his mind draws a blank and he usually doesn’t just say the name of the true culprit to the Peacekeeper before him whenever he reaches the case’s true verdict, and unlike the other Master Detectives who join him, he doesn’t forget about the events within the Mystery Labyrinth either. Instead, he goes into a panic and questions what he should be doing straight after solving the case, admittedly usually due to how the Peacekeepers are not willing to hear him out anyway.
    • At the beginning of the game, Yakou tells Yuma how unwelcome detectives are in Kanai Ward, since the NDA was evicted from its previous location and is constantly butting heads with the Peacekeepers. The new NDA headquarters is a submarine, which one would assume is kept submerged in order to hide its location from the Peacekeepers. Yet Yakou and the other detectives never seem to think to submerge the submarine after it surfaces for Yuma, allowing the Peacekeepers to harass the NDA directly for the entire game, including outright destroying the submarine at the end of Chapter 2.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Downplayed. Homunculi of children will age normally until they reach adulthood and then stop, while homunculi of adults will forever be the same age as their human DNA donor at the time the DNA was sampled.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Pretty much everyone in the game, including the jaded Yakou Furio, features one of these, with an overwhelming amount of decorations, badges, symbols, cosmetics/accessories, and a burst of complementary colors on both said outfits and the characters themselves.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The 1-shien coin Halara flings up in the air in the Chapter 1 cutscene where they first take out the Peacekeepers somehow manages to travel left and quite a distance away directly into a Peacekeeper's head, allowing the opening for them to take the hit and save Yuma, despite it clearly being flung straight upward in the shot prior.
  • Indy Escape: One of the minigames in Chapter 2 is about running away from a giant boulder.
  • Inside Job: Yakou's murder of Dr. Huesca in Chapter 4 happens largely because Yomi gives him the map of the research lab, which was locked away in the storage room only he could access.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • A possibly unintentional one in Chapter 2. Check Karen's profile the moment it first becomes available, and it already has a photo of her as a Mystery Phantom.
    • Saving at any point during Chapter 3 will show that the companion for the case is Fubuki, despite the fact that she along with everyone else is initially believed to have died when the submarine was destroyed.
    • After the first conversation with Makoto, before he reveals his position within Amaterasu, his profile is already listed among the Amaterasu Corporation characters.
    • At the end of Chapter 4, as Five-Second Foreshadowing, Number One signing off the meeting is shown in the form of an FMV animation, giving away that something dramatic will follow. Indeed, drama happens immediately after when he's struck with an explosion and the detectives are struck by Makoto's Knockout Gas.
    • During Chapter 5, Yuma gradually discovers the bodies of the Master Detectives Stripped to the Bone by defective homunculi, convincing both the player and Yuma that they are dead, Makoto taunting him about it included and all. The profiles not changing to cater this immediately answers that these as mere faked deaths, however, as the Nocturnal Detective Agency's profile pictures never mark them as dead with a pink cross, unlike Yakou, who everyone saw die at the end of Chapter 4 and is marked as dead for real, meaning that they are in fact still alive and are only out of Yuma's reach.
  • Invisible Parents: Like the original Danganronpa, the characters' parents are seldom mentioned, and pretty much never show up physically, not even in a flashback. Halara, Fubuki, and Vivia's parents are mentioned, but that's all. There are certain cases where this is justified, like Aphex, whose parents were killed by the mafia, forcing him to survive on his own.
  • Irony:
    • At the end of Chapter 4, while the detectives are discussing the oddities of the mass kidnapping case revealed to them as the the true identity of the "Great Global Mystery" by Number One, the same culprit behind that case ends up kidnapping the detectives too.
    • Number One is known for hiding his face from the public to protect himself. It's revealed by the end that not only is the protagonist (Yuma Kokohead) the true Number One, who's been showing his face around the Nocturnal Detective Agency and Kanai Ward's public this whole time, but the Big Bad himself, Makoto Kagutsuchi, is technically the true Number One too, albeit only a clone, and he's showing his face way more than the protagonist by being the CEO, the top-ranking member, of the widely popular MegaCorp Amaterasu Corporation, drawing practically the entire world's focus on him.
    • Yakou claims in the prologue that Kanai Ward is "out of the UG's reach" due to the isolation. The UG helped enforce its isolation in the first place due to the Big Bad blackmailing them regarding their homunculus research.
    • Even though Yuma and Makoto are the same person, Number One of the WDO, and yet are each other's enemies, their actions mirror one another, despite Makoto still being an Evil Counterpart of Yuma.
      • Like Makoto, Yuma is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Similarly to how Makoto mass kidnapped criminals and built a Weather-Control Machine to keep the defective homunculi safe while hiding the fact they aren't human from the world, Yuma erased his memories, signed a pact with a death god, and hired a Body Double to trick detectives into believing it was the real Number One.
      • Both are strategic planners. While Makoto lured detectives over to Kanai Ward so they would oppose Yomi enough for Makoto to be able to expose him, Yuma erased his memories so he could get help from others, and used a death god to mask his Coalescence. He also hired a Body Double to pretend to be him while he could be present during his investigation of Kanai Ward at the same time.
  • Island Base: The giant Amaterasu Corporation building where its employees work in secret is located right next to Kanai Ward, separated by a large body of water with only a bridge connecting to it.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The detectives openly believe Yomi Hellsmile is their true enemy, being the Director of the Peacekeepers who’s obstructing the detectives. To some degree, this is true, since he’s the Greater-Scope Villain along with Dr. Huesca. However, the one they should’ve been concerned about all along was really the CEO of Amaterasu, the true Big Bad, Makoto Kagutsuchi, who is the very reason the detectives are in Kanai Ward at all, thanks to his scheming. Can be justified in the sense that it is personal as Yomi’s the reason the Master Detectives who tried to gain entry in Chapter 0 are dead.
  • It's Up to You: Halara in Chapter 1, Desuhiko/Kurumi in Chapter 2, Fubuki in Chapter 3, Halara again in Chapter 4, and Makoto in Chapter 5 all delegate investigation of the cases within the respective chapters to Yuma, the protagonist/player.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Turns out one of the Nail Man's killings was done by a copycat, and proven as such as the copycat's victim was killed with blunt force instead of strangulation.
  • Job Title: The game is called "Master Detective Archives" (originally titled "Enigma Archives"), and the protagonists of the game are those Master Detectives in question.
  • Jumped at the Call: The Master Detectives make no hesitation to take the opportunity to investigate Kanai Ward. This ends up being their downfall in two instances.
    • In the first case, their enthusiasm leads to the deaths of multiple detectives at Yomi’s hands in his attempt to deprive them of their forces, leaving behind the main four detective characters we end up with early on.
    • In the second case, it turns out that the whole reason they were there in the first place was to oust Yomi Hellsmile for Makoto Kagutsuchi, and once they did so, Makoto was perfectly willing to dispose of them.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The cases in Kanai Ward are a battle between Yuma in a duo with another member of the Nocturnal Detective Agency vs. a member of the Peacekeepers, with the former trying to uncover the truth and the latter trying to hide it.
  • Justified Title: The first part of the game's title (Master Detective Archives) refers to it being a telling of events related to Master Detectives, those detectives in question being those that appear throughout the game, as well as Yuma. The second part (Rain Code) refers to it being "part of an archive" in a way, in that it refers to the rain in Kanai Ward, the setting of the game, and that the game itself is one of the many "archives" based on the WDO's Master Detectives that there can be.
  • Kill and Replace: This is the nature of the Blank Week Mystery... and in an unusual twist, it was done purely by accident. After the defective homunculi escaped from the secret lab and massacred the entire population of the city, Makoto Kagutsuchi was able to create the machine which manufactured the rain around the city, blocking out the ultraviolet rays which drove them berserk. As a result, the homunculi — which possessed all the same memories of their DNA donors at the time the blood sample was taken — woke up the next morning thinking they were the original populace, with a week of their memories "missing". The only exceptions were people like Kurumi's grandfather who refused to let their blood be sampled, meaning that they had no homunculus to replace them and thus simply disappeared during the event.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Subverted. During Chapter 5, bodies are found, Stripped to the Bone by the zombie homunculi with nothing remaining but the clothes of the other Master Detectives at the NDA, with notes left on their person supposedly matching each detective's handwriting. Following Chapter 5, in the epilogue, however, it's revealed that Makoto disguised the corpses of people with similar body types to each of the detectives, and planted the clothes and notes to fool Yuma (and Kurumi) into thinking they had died gruesomely.
    • In Chapter 5, Fink the Slaughter Artist reveals that Makoto had killed him in order to tie up loose ends regarding Chapter 4's case and Makoto's involvement in Chief Yakou's murder plot.
  • Kirk Summation: Yuma and Shinigami do this during each Deduction Denouement in the Mystery Labyrinths, summarizing the culprit's actions before reaping the soul of their Mystery Phantom, in the same fashion as the protagonists of the Danganronpa games.
  • Knockout Gas: At the end of Chapter 4, following Yakou Furio's murder-suicide after killing Dr. Huesca, the detectives' guide, Number One, is Killed Mid-Sentence, leading to footage of the WDO being caught in a terrorist bombing. After the detectives take witness and nearly suffer a breakdown from the tension (barring Vivia, of course), a trap Makoto set in advance following Yomi's defeat is triggered, emitting gas that knocks out the detectives, leading to Uncertain Doom.
  • Late to the Realization: One based on The Reveal in the final chapter. In Chapter 5's Mystery Labyrinth, Yuma thinks the Makoto that is holding a Solution Blade and just took out an actual Mystery Phantom is a Mystery Phantom. It eventually comes to him when the stab wound he gives him via the blade causes him to bleed, and he realizes the actual Makoto somehow got into the Mystery Labyrinth. Cue Makoto's Dramatic Unmask and Motive Rant after that.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • When Fubuki doesn't remember Vivia's name in Chapter 3, he says it's because "He hasn't had much screentime".
    • The Final Boss involves more Press X to Not Die events, and instead of them just performing the action as always, now they're getting sliced in half and launched at the boss.
  • Left Hanging:
    • Who originally founded Kanai Ward before Amaterasu Corporation took over?
    • How did the WDO obtain the Book of Death and what did Shinigami do in the past for it to be locked up with such tight security?
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Ultra Despair Girls and Killing Harmony, this game's black comedy, intense moments, and language seem a LOT tamer. The epilogue is also much more optimistic and hopeful than your typical Danganronpa ending, showing an unambiguously brighter future for the people of Kanai Ward, although this did come with some sacrifice.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Being a mystery game, this is par for the course:
    • Chapter 1's mystery is centered around four murders discovered in locked rooms, all with the key being found inside.
    • The victim of Chapter 3 is found shot to death after running onto a rooftop with all the exits blocked off, with no apparent way for the killer to have escaped.
    • Finally, Chapter 4's victim is stabbed from inside a high-security lab, despite the only entrance being guarded by poison gas and shock traps, and the detectives being on the other side.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: The setting of Chapter 4's murder case.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The Forensic Fortes function with consistent rules throughout the story, that being that they are obtained via training and can be activated by focusing on it. The part about Coalescence bringing someone with another Forensic Forte to the Mystery Labyrinth also remains consistent as Yuma finds out when he's tricked into giving Makoto the opportunity for the latter to activate his Coalescence as Number One's clone, allowing Makoto to enter the Mystery Labyrinth via Coalescence in reverse.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: All WDO's Master Detectives have a supernatural ability called Forensic Forte.
  • Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: Chapter 1 has Yuma (masculine), Shinigami (feminine), and Halara (androgyne).
  • Masquerading As the Unseen: Threefold, as shown by the end of the game, and it's quite a Mind Screw. The Number One interacting with the Nocturnal Detective Agency is a Body Double hired by the true Number One, who is actually Yuma, who actually shows himself constantly around the NDA with them unaware he's the true Number One. Yuma Kokohead, the true Number One, pretends to be "Yuma Kokohead", a former trainee of the WDO who is now a mere citizen among the public. Makoto Kagutsuchi pretends to be Number One to the WDO, serving as the Body Double acting as Number One to the whole organization (as opposed to the one "Yuma" hired that speaks to just the NDA), taking advantage of the fact that the true Number One, who is the "Yuma Kokohead" we play as, never shows his face to the public (or other WDO agents, at that), and because he never shows his face, it's also the reason that he had to form a fake identity as "Yuma Kokohead" in the first place to keep the secrecy.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": All of the Nocturnal Detective Agency reacts this way to witnessing Number One of the WDO dying in an explosion right before they get hit with Knockout Gas at the end of Chapter 4.
  • MegaCorp: The Amaterasu Corporation produces almost anything and is very large, to the point that they are able to run Kanai Ward as a privatized city-state and keep it isolated from the rest of the world.
  • Mega City: While it's not immediately obvious since most of the game is based on exploration, when looking at it from a certain point, Kanai Ward is a city of great scale, having plenty of buildings and design features to create an overwhelming presence, especially with the giant Amaterasu Corporation building far away from the main city.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: The setting is full of characters with English and Japanese names such as "Seth Burroughs" and "Iruka". Some characters' names are a mix of Japanese and English, so we see names like "Yomi Hellsmile" and "Fubuki Clockford".
  • Meta Twist: The pink blood is actually acknowledged as pink in-universe, when most fans of the game's predecessor series probably took it for granted as an artistic flourish. It's a sign that most of the murder victims weren't actually human.
  • Million to One Chance: An optional conversation with Halara in Chapter 1 has them discuss that a Master Detective entering Kanai Ward using their powers to commit crimes is unlikely, since the city is isolated and no other detectives can get inside. The Big Bad turns out to be a clone of Number One of the Master Detectives of the WDO, Makoto Kagutsuchi, who uses his powers in intelligence to commit the very crimes and schemes driving the game’s immediate plot, and he entered into Kanai Ward three years prior, becoming the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation.
  • Minecart Madness: One of the mini-games has Yuma and Shinigami riding a minecart to piece together evidence and conclusions, similar to the Logic Dive in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and the Psyche Taxi in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Mirror Match: The final battle is basically the protagonist Yuma fighting himself. Or at least, his Evil Twin in the form of Makoto Kagutsuchi.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Chapter 4, involving the NDA (specifically Halara) leaving the case to Yuma's responsibility when Dr. Huesca mysteriously dies in his critical lab and the group is surrounded by Peacekeepers.
  • Missing Time:
    • Halara, Desuhiko and Fubuki upon leaving the Mystery Labyrinth, what with them not having a pact with Shinigami and not being able to recall the events that played out. Since their memories of the events within were erased, the time-frozen moment doesn't exist in their memories, so to them: Halara saw two of the churchgers they brought over for Yuma to identify randomly die before them, Desuhiko suddenly switched to a random position on the theater stage and saw three girls die before him, and Fubuki randomly ended up hearing about a Resistance member "suffering from a heart attack", all without any context as to why.
    • In Chapter 4, Yuma comes across a phrase called "The Blank Week Mystery" that's related to Kanai Ward's ultimate secret. Kurumi later explains that everyone in the city had a moment where they woke up and found out a whole week had passed without any recollection, which made it taboo to even discuss. Yuma discovers The Reveal in that everyone in the city was killed and replaced by a homunculus copy of themselves during that interval.
  • Money Is Not Power: A retroactive example. The Amaterasu Corporation Peacekeepers mostly gained their influence thanks to their director, Yomi Hellsmile, selling trade secrets to other companies and bribing other Amaterasu factions to follow his whims with the help of the head researcher, Dr. Huesca. While this may have secured their position of power over Kanai Ward, it doesn't stop the company's CEO from arresting Yomi, with the help of vice director Martina, for it still being an illegal practice at the end of Chapter 4.
  • Mood Dissonance: The story is set in a bleak dystopia involving a corrupt corporation that apparently has no problems with killing anyone opposing it. In contrast, Fubuki Clockford is a straight example of a Plucky Comic Relief character whose comedy comes from her odd thought process, and Shinigami is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath that is constantly cheerful, who both provide humor at completely inappropriate moments. This doesn't mean they don't act in accordance with the real mood of the story, though, as they eventually lessen the comedy by the time of Chapter 4 and are unable to cope with the situation themselves.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Chapter 2 has the Deduction Denouement end on a somber note as Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane all accept their defeat knowing they finally avenged Aiko, whose soul comforts them while Yuma still tries to contend with reaping all three of their souls, only for Desuhiko to kill the mood by still trying to hit on Shinigami and trying not to whine like a baby when she once again rejects him.
    • In Chapter 4, let's just say it can be quite jarring going from sending off the soul of Yakou having learned why he went through the lengths he did to kill Dr. Huesca, to almost immediately solving a Shinigami Puzzle where despite Yuma and Vivia's sadness, she still flaunts her body in a bikini for them.
  • Mook–Face Turn: At the end of Chapter 4, the Peacekeeper soldiers that have been causing hell for the detectives throughout the game on Yomi's behalf finally turn against Yomi and arrest him under Martina's orders, ending his tyranny.
  • Move in the Frozen Time: Whenever Yuma uses his Coalescence to copy a Master Detective's Forte, the additional user also connects to his pact with Shinigami, allowing them to move around freely in frozen time along with himself and Shinigami when time is stopped during Mystery Labyrinth journeys.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: The heroic Master Detectives that Yuma meets are associated with some kind of vice that creates Skewed Priorities on their part.
    • Aphex is associated with wrath and paranoia; Pucci is associated with paranoia; Melami is associated with vanity and lust. Zilch doesn't count, due to only being a hitman impersonating Zilch.
    • Regarding the main NDA agents: Yakou is associated with cowardice, cynicism and paranoia; Halara is associated with cynicism, greed, wrath, paranoia, and pride; Desuhiko is predominantly associated with lust; Fubuki is associated with foolishness, recklessness, and mischief; Vivia is associated with sloth, apathy, and solitude.
  • Nameless Narrative: In Chapter 1, all the victims and most of the suspects have no names and are simply referred to by their titles such as "Priest" and "Nun". This applies even to the boy, the one who asks Yuma to save his father, though his name's revealed to be Kei Colan in one of the loading screen tips.
  • Neon City: Kanai Ward, being filled with neon signs and lights all over the place, with various colors, even on the sidewalks and the decorations.
  • Never Suicide:
    • Aiko's death was ruled a suicide by the Peacekeepers, but that was due to Karen's testimony claiming such. The fact that the killer got away with Aiko's murder that three of Aiko's friends teamed up to get revenge. Kurumi also suspected Aiko's death was murder and asked Yuma to investigate.
    • The chapter 3 murder is also suspected to be suicide at first. Except for the fact that the murder weapon was found in the victim's right hand, and he turns out to have been left-handed...
  • Nightmarish Factory: The restricted area mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 4 turns out to contain one, as seen in Chapter 5. The factory is fully automated, desolate of any workers, and specifically produces the meat buns seen in Kanai Ward out of kidnapped death row inmates. Additionally, Yuma finds what he thinks are the gruesome dead bodies of the Master Detectives inside of it having sacrificed themselves to defective homunculi while researching within it, to his distress. Though the bodies turn out to be fake in the end, being a setup by Makoto.
  • No Conservation of Energy: The magic for Shinigami's portals, the Mystery Labyrinths themselves, and the Forensic Fortes for all of the Master Detectives seems to appear from and disappear into oblivion, with no explanation for the actual origin points of any of them, seemingly all stemming from an unknown unique energy without any conversion.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: In Chapter 4, following Dr. Huesca’s murder, Chief Yakou getting fatally stabbed by Fink the Slaughter Artist doesn’t stop the detectives from keeping him safe or attempting to revive him. Eventually, it turns out he was going to die anyway even without the stab wound, since he’s the culprit of the murder case, and Dr. Huesca’s security would kill him anyway. Once they eventually leave the research lab, they also take his body with them, but the player eventually finds out in the following chapter that Makoto stole his body and dumped it into the restricted area anyway, as to hide that he was actually a homunculus.
  • No Mercy for Murderers: Master Detective Archives: Rain Code has the core mechanic of the Mystery Labyrinth. Protagonist Yuma uses the power of Death God Shinigami to find the truth of his cases. After the Prologue Chapter it is established that to escape the Mystery Labyrinth after entering, the true culprit has to die. Their soul being the binding of the Mystery Labyrinth. Chapter 2 is where this is a factor. The culprit being three close friends of someone murdered by the victim. They were all motivated by Revenge for their dead friend knowing that their victim couldn't be prosecuted in their isolated city because the victim had powerful connections.
  • Nominal Importance: Every character that has a name is guaranteed to be plot-relevant or at least have a prominent role, even as a murder victim. Chapter 1 being an exception due to being a Nameless Narrative for the churchgoers.
  • Non-Governmental Organization: The World Detective Organization is described as an extralegal organization dedicated to wiping out the world’s unsolved mysteries.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In Chapter 0 Yuma has to prove he didn't kill Master Detectives, including the true culprit who is still alive. Shinigami kills Zilch from the Mystery Labyrinth, so Yuma complains how does that make him innocent, though Swank was planning to arrest Yuma regardless of outcome. Thankfully, Yakou Furio interfered in time and managed to persuade Swank into letting Yuma go.
  • Notice This: Items, areas, or people that can be investigated have a small circle with an exclamation point on them. If you're in Investigation Mode, Shinigami will often fly to them and deliver a line like "This guy seems really suspicious!"
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: The play performed by the Theater Club involves the character played by lead actress Karen drinking a poisoned glass. During the rehearsal performance, the wine glass is poisoned for real, leading to her dying on stage.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In Chapter 2 Kurumi finds Yuma and Fubuki holding hands. As Yuma tries to reassure her that it's important for the investigation, Fubuki adds that they are sharing time (as Fubuki is a Time Master) as partners until and after they die. Both Kurumi and Shinigami respond with sarcasm.
    Tropes O - Z 
  • Obfuscating Postmortem Wounds: In chapter 4, Yakou Furio is found dying with a knife in the chest, after being attacked by the same hitman who already went after the chapter's victim. Except the former victim, Dr. Huesca, was killed by Furio himself. Due to the fact that to reach the doctor's lab he had to pass through a room filled with toxic gas that kills everyone who came in contact with it after 30 minutes, he asked beforehand the aforementioned hitman - who helped him stage everything - to stab him afterwards so that people would believe that's the reason of his death.
  • Obstructive Vigilantism: This is how the Amaterasu Corporation Peacekeepers view Yuma taking it upon himself to investigate each case for them beyond the lazy efforts they make themselves by targeting the closest suspect, therefore getting in the way of those who are "real order within Kanai Ward" and provoking them.
  • Ocular Gushers: When spending time alone one v one with Desuhiko and the subject of women comes up. Expect a lot of bodily fluids from his face. Drool. Snot. Tears.
    • Yuma reaches a breaking point in Chapter 4 where he just cries nearly constantly. For good reason.
  • Occult Detective: In addition to an unstated number of normal detectives, the World Detective Organization consists of 1000 Master Detectives, each of whom have trained a superhuman or supernatural ability called a Forensic Forte. The protagonist Yuma is also haunted by The Grim Reaper.
  • Old, Dark House: Chapter 1 features a dark, dreary mansion visited by Yuma and Halara for investigation where a Nail Man murder case took place. Specifically, the chronological second case.
  • Once More, with Clarity: In Chapter 5, Yuma recalls the moment when he encounters his first corpse in Kanai Ward, in which he asks himself whether the corpse and the blood are real. It's natural to assume that he was reacting in shock to a dead body, but as it turns out, he was actually shocked to see pink blood, which is why he questioned whether he was looking at a real corpse.
  • Once per Episode: Barring prior to Yuma's arrival to Kanai Ward and following his eventual defeat where Yuma confronts the Big Bad Makoto instead, every chapter set within Kanai Ward ends with Peacekeeper director Yomi fighting back against the detectives in some way.
    • The first time, at the end of Chapter 1, Yomi and Martina visit the grounds where Yuma reaped the souls of the Nail Man culprits to indict Seth Burroughs for stealing from donations meant for the church (under Yomi's orders), before Yomi scolds the detectives for challenging him.
    • The second time, Yomi and Martina send a torpedo to the NDA's submarine with the intent of vaporizing it, but failing to do so, only destroying it instead. Yomi then orders Martina's execution for being tricked by a trio of schoolgirls and a couple of detectives, before leaving to find said detectives.
    • The third time, Yomi tries to execute Yuma and co. as a result of Yuma being manipulated by the case's culprit, Icardi, into setting up camera bombs around Kanai Ward, before Makoto intervenes and requests him to withdraw, which he does.
    • The fourth and final time, while Yomi serves as a constant threat during the detectives' raiding of Amaterasu's research lab, he personally confronts Yuma and Vivia when they investigate Dr. Huesca's security system, threatening to execute them both. He remains there during the Mystery Labyrinth, and then once the detectives return to expose him as the mastermind behind the murder case, Makoto comes in and places him under arrest instead, ending his reign over Kanai Ward.
  • One-Gender School: Aetheria Academy is an all-girls school, making it necessary for Yuma to disguise as a girl so he can help Kurumi investigate Aiko's death.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Amaterasu Corporation is effectively the law in Kanai Ward, controlling what passes for police and its administration. Well, that's how it seems at first; the police force in question is the one actually pulling the strings, and turns out to be much more abusive than the rest of the company. Their director, Yomi, bribed the other factions into following everything they said with the help of the company's head researcher, and in turn, became stronger over time until no one could argue against them. Despite this, it's depicted the whole company is responsible, when it's one faction that went mad with power that's to blame.
  • One-Winged Angel: Justified since the deduction portions of the game take place in a surreal world where Yuma fights a reflection of the culprits there. It's only natural that undergoing monstrous transformations are just one of the surreal effects.
  • Ontological Mystery: Two of them and solving them are the main objective of the Nocturnal Detective Agency. They are Kanai Ward’s Ultimate Secret (Everyone in the city are immortal, sun allergic, flesh-eating homunculi, unknowingly) and The Great Global Mystery (a global kidnapping case that is actually Makoto kidnapping and killing criminals to feed the aforementioned Kanai Ward homunculi).
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Homunculi all revive 24 hours after death, fully healed. However, the defective homunculi of Kanai Ward lose their intelligence upon doing so, becoming little more than mindless zombies hungry for human flesh. The people of Kanai Ward don't know about this due to the Peacekeepers transporting all corpses to the restricted area immediately. They also go into a berserk frenzy when exposed to sunlight, and will die if exposed to it for too long, which is why Makoto built the machine to blot out the sun with thick clouds, creating the perpetual rain as a side effect. Makoto himself, being the only non-defective homunculus ever produced, has all of the benefits with none of the above downsides. All of the defective Homunculi appear to have their own distinct souls as well, though said soul may depart after an initial death (given Shinigami has no trouble reaping their soul to cause said death), leaving at best a facsimile of a person behind when they revive and usually just being reduced to a instinctive beast.
  • Pacified Adaptation: The DLC packs focusing on the other Nocturnal Detective Agency members are far less chaotic and action-based than the main story.
  • Painting the Medium: During the final battle in Chapter 5, the Quick Time Event button icons themselves end up sliced in half by Yuma's Solution Blade.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Downplayed, as while Chapters can be replayed, several of the Memory Shards can only be gotten at very specific points in the story, such as during investigations, which you are unable to return to afterwards. Since your only options when replaying a chapter are starting from the very beginning, starting at the Mystery Labyrinth, or starting after the Mystery Labyrinth, some of them can be quite painful to go back and get if you miss them the first time around, even when fast-forwarding all text and skipping all cutscenes.
  • Planes, Trains, and Imbeciles: Well, "Planes, Trains, and Villains". When Yuma finally arrives at Kanai Station via the Amaterasu Express, the Peacekeepers confront Yuma and accuse him of conducting the massacre of the Master Detectives on his journey over. He has to prove his innocence, but it turns out they won't listen anyway and they try to arrest him regardless.
  • Plot-Driving Secret: "Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret", obviously. In the final confrontation, Makoto Kagutsuchi declares himself to be that secret in question.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The cases the Nocturnal Detective Agency takes on are specifically designed to enforce the use of their Forensic Fortes during every single chapter, aside from the Grand Finale where it's about Yuma's Coalescence instead. Each one requires the primary involvement a new Forte from one of the detectives: scrambling around whose Forte debuts in which case would render them impossible to solve.
    • Even Chapter 0 is designed this way: Aphex and Pucci are used to prove no one else is passenged on the Amaterasu Express, while Zange's Thoughtography is used to prove Yuma drank the spiked coffee given to him by Melami. The case revolves around a hitman impersonating a Master Detective who knocked everyone out with a sleeping drug and faked his own death to give the impression everyone besides Yuma had died. Proving the killer's identity is predicated on Aphex and Pucci showing nobody but the detectives were on the train, and Zange having an image of Yuma taking the sleeping drug coffee.
    • In Chapter 1, Halara's Postcognition is used to see the past states of the Nail Man crime scenes, being able to see them before they were cleaned up by Seth. Their power can only see the state of the crime scene at the moment it was discovered by a third party: as Yuma is among the first witnesses in every other mystery, this is the only situation where Halara's Forte is functional.
    • In Chapter 2, Desuhiko's Disguise is used for Yuma to masquerade as the three main suspects of the case (Yoshiko, Waruna, Kurane) and mine information out of others pretending to be the suspects. The case is based on a secret friendship between said suspects that could only be uncovered by pretending to be them and conducting a gathering of evidence through multiple perspectives.
    • In Chapter 3, Fubuki’s Time Leap is used to reverse time by a few seconds in case the player gets caught by a Peacekeeper. Reversing time is extremely powerful in this case, as the city is swarming with Peacekeepers, which Fubuki's Forte can be utilized to avoid. However, reversing time would not be useful in most of the other cases, as it would not reveal any new information due to Fubuki being unable to reverse time for more than a few seconds.
    • In Chapter 4, Vivia’s Spectral Projection is used to convert Yuma into a ghost, enabling him to observe the crime scene when he doesn't have direct access to it. The case involves the NDA being trapped in a room with a dying Yakou Furio as Yomi surrounds them and traps them in the lab, forcing Yuma and Vivia to sneak around and investigate Dr. Huesca's murder undetected and without the laws of physics restraining them. The whole Nocturnal Detective Agency is present, but Halara's Forte isn't useful because Yuma is the first witness to both murders; Desuhiko's Forte isn't useful after the initial infiltration because Disguise relies on his massive backpack, which he couldn't sneak into the room the NDA is trapped in; and Fubuki's forte is only useful for brute-forcing Dr. Huesca's password room, before the group is surrounded. When they're trapped later on, Time Leap stops being viable for finding places to hide or alternate paths forward.
  • Plot-Triggering Book: The Book of Death, containing Shinigami, whom the protagonist makes a pact with, setting the events of the story in motion.
  • Police Are Useless: The Peacekeepers are more likely to mastermind a case than solve it, aid the culprit of a case in their crimes than find and condemn them, actively make as little effort as possible in seriously investigating anything, and despise other law enforcers who know how to do their job better than them; unfortunately for Kanai Ward, they are the only law enforcement in the city, so naturally, this unethical behavior of theirs ends up causing more crime than solving it. One can even forget they're supposed to be security officers because of how little actual security they apply. This makes sense, though: they weren't trained to be real law enforcers, and the only thing they do know is how to abuse their power over others ruthlessly and selfishly.
  • Police State: Kanai Ward is pretty much ruled by the Peacekeepers, though they're completely incompetent at their jobs. Well, that's how it seems at first, until Makoto, the CEO, outwits them and takes their place by the end of the story.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In Chapter 3, Yuma spends most of the time worrying about the detective agency and wondering where they are after being separated. It turns out they were at a backup base, except Yakou neglected to tell Yuma about it and because Fubuki is a Forgetful Jones, even she failed to mention this.
  • Post-Final Boss: For Chapter 4. When you finally figure out the culprit, and the mystery phantom disappears. Vivia confronts you with the last "Mysteries". They're basically Quick Time Events and you have ample time to respond. It's more to provice the player with a cool down with the reveal and process it personally.
    • Crosses over with No Final Boss for You. The usual final Mystery Phantoms will have you taking down a Fortress. This segment has no Fortress.
  • Power Trio: Yuma, Shinigami, and Kurumi. They're also the only ones who uncover the Ontological Mystery in Chapter 5, or at least, Kurumi nearly does it with the former two before she faints from shock.
  • Prescience by Analysis: In Chapter 3, Halara states, with no hesitation whatsoever, "[Makoto] must be manipulating us in the power struggle for the company. This will come at a high price..." This is following Makoto's restoration of the agency's submarine after Yomi destroyed it. This turns out to have been exactly right, not that anyone listened to their warning. The agency was indeed being manipulated for that very reason, and it did come at a "high price", as Halara put it, that being the death of Yakou Furio.
  • Press X to Not Die: In several cinematics, the player has to quickly select an input to prevent Yuma from getting caught while in a situation with the Peacekeepers.
  • Pride Before a Fall: The WDO's Master Detectives (besides Vivia) repeatedly refer to having "pride as a detective." This mindset, as to be expected, inevitably doesn't hold up when they're in Kanai Ward, since it's a dark dystopia where, inevitably, pride repeatedly fails the detectives.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Before the protagonist actually starts to solve mysteries in Kanai Ward as is advertised, the entirety of Chapter 0 and the prologue following is an entire meeting sequence featuring Master Detectives who die immediately anyway that give a summary of Kanai Ward and Amaterasu Corporation, which serves to introduce the player to the Mystery Labyrinth due to it being a plot to frame any survivors of the incident by the Peacekeepers, and to introduce Shinigami, and after that madness, the Nocturnal Detective Agency then follows up with more exposition, Yakou Furio talking about Kanai Ward and the rest of the Nocturnal Detective Agency giving an Infodump about the WDO, Yuma's apparent amnesia, and it all finally ending with the order for the detectives to search for Kanai Ward's Ontological Mystery. Prolonged indeed.
  • Propaganda Machine: The plot of the Big Bad revolves around one, in that the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, Makoto Kagutsuchi, tries by any means necessary to hide that Kanai Ward's residents are actually defective homunculi instead of human beings as a result of Yomi and Dr. Huesca creating clones of them in the past, even resorting to kidnapping and abuse of his power and wealth in order to cover up the truth. He lured his original self (Yuma) to Kanai Ward so he could replace him as Number One of the WDO to prevent outsiders besides the Master Detectives from investigating the city any further. As a bonus, said propaganda revolves around a literal machine, as he built a Weather-Control Machine to keep the homunculi subdued by blocking out the sunlight, which unintentionally creates Kanai Ward's eternal rainfall.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: The WDO's Master Detectives are sent on assignments paid for them by their human resources department, and that's the only reason they end up doing what they do, as they are usually focused on the fact that they're on an assignment than the fact that they're trying to seek truth.
  • Puppet State: Kanai Ward's isolation and the homunculus experiments from Yomi and Dr. Huesca that led to it are largely the responsibility of the Unified Government than Amaterasu Corporation or the Peacekeepers. The UG directly hired the company to do the research for competition, and in the same way Makoto blackmails them about their homunculus research, the UG threatened to wipe out Kanai Ward in the event that the defective homunculi are revealed to them, with Makoto's extremist actions being taken to prevent this.
  • The Purge: According to the zombie of his hitman (the homunculus "Zilch") in Chapter 5, Yomi had said hitman kill countless people who dared to go against his word, from the Master Detectives that died on their way to Kanai Ward (leaving behind Halara, Desuhiko, Fubuki and Vivia), to Yakou's wife, and even the former CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, and an implied many more.
  • Quotes Fit for a Trailer: Various lines used for screenshot and preview-based advertising are used in the game officially, and they seem oddly out of place in their true context.
    • "Indeed, I cannot remember what I had for breakfast. I cannot even remember how I got here."
    • "Huh, are we late? Impossible. As if I would permit time to ever overtake me."
    • "You think I did nothing while waiting at the cafe? I gathered intel in order to move the investigation along."
    • "I have no obligation to help others, but I work sincerely according to the payment I receive."
    • "I'm so horny for mysteries right now!"
    • "Until recently, I thought paying reparations meant you were paying a repairman."
  • Race Against the Clock: The first Kanai Ward case involves Yuma and Halara racing around Kanai Ward to investigate all four Nail Man cases within a 3-hour time limit set on them by Seth Burroughs, in which they have to investigate in time before he orders Chief Yakou's arrest.
  • Rack Focus: At the end of the penultimate Mystery Labyrinth, the close shot of Makoto Kagutsuchi holding up evidence of Yomi Hellsmile's methods of getting into power switches to focus on Makoto himself staring at the viewer, with the file he's holding being out of focus instead.
  • Ragdoll Physics: In the endgame. In the final Deduction Denouement regarding the Ontological Mystery, the models representing Kanai Ward's residents returning for the finale drop completely limp when they represent the part about them "dying from the homunculi during the Blank Week".
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Nocturnal Detective Agency, consisting of Yuma Kokohead (and his unseen companion Shinigami), Yakou Furio, Halara Nightmare, Desuhiko Thunderbolt, Fubuki Clockford, and Vivia Twilight... and they're all friends.
  • Rainbow Puke: Shinigami pukes out the solution keys in rainbow colors before starting a labyrinth. When it's pointed out she asks if they should come out of "some other hole then", and later she confesses that she could've have just handed them over normally, but hasn't since Yuma didn't ask her to.
  • Raincoat of Horror: Invoked in the finale. While roaming around the restricted area, the first of the zombies that Yuma and Kurumi encounter feature yellow raincoats. Specifically, the deceased Aetheria Academy culprits besides Karen (Yoshiko, Waruna, Kurane, Aiko too), and the unnamed male zombie that Yuma has an encounter with. Part of the reason for this is because they're actually homunculi, of whom have to suffer through the rain to survive out of the sunlight, and Makoto is the one who gave them those raincoats.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending:
    • One sidequest features an Amaterasu worker giving Yuma a file of Amaterasu secrets for him to deliver to a reporter so he can publish it. Once Yuma hands it over, the reporter destroys it, saying he doesn't want to risk his family's safety. When he returns to where the employee was, he finds he's already been killed by the Peacekeepers. The only silver lining preventing this from being a Downer Ending is the letter left behind for Yuma, stating that he expected this outcome, but seeing Yuma help him means there's still hope for Kanai Ward.
    • In the final DLC, we find out where Zombie Yakou shuffled off to after his encounter with Yuma: his wife's old lab, where she managed to hide a sample of her research before she was killed. Said research being a pill that can repair nerve damage. The apparition of his wife that guided him there claims there's a chance it could also work on zombies to restore their intelligence by repairing their damaged brain cells. Even if the single sample can't be replicated, at least Yakou could potentially come back for a sequel.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Don't expect anyone to slip up on their words in this game, because they never will. Not even stuttering or saying unintended things, at that, because they will always say what they intend to.
  • Red Herring:
    • The narrative trope is referenced directly by name in the first Shinigami Puzzle.
    • In the mansion in Chapter 1, there's a projector that Yuma can interact with and even turn on to display a blue background on the opposite wall. It plays no role in the murder whatsoever.
    • The water pistol in Chapter 2. It was never used once during the murder and the only reason it became a solution key was to mislead the player.
    • In Chapter 4, Vivia is heavily implied, and eventually confirmed, to be able to see Shinigami, and to view Yuma with suspicion as a result, along with numerous comments from him indicating that their connection in some way will be the end of the world with the seeming implication he knows much more about the broader threat as the game heads toward the climax. Not only is this mostly just a fanciful description of his true concerns, ultimately the underlying mystery has very little to do with Shinigami and Vivia doesn't have any more pertinent info than the others. Similarly, he acts suspicious before and during the crime, Shinigami warns Yuma not to trust him repeatedly, and his Forte is added as a Solution Key. It turns out that while Vivia is fought in the chapter's Mystery Labyrinth, he's a Hero Antagonist trying to protect Yuma from the case's Awful Truth, and said Solution Key immediately clears him of the crime.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yomi and Makoto are a villainous example of this trope. While the both of them are dedicated to wanting control over Kanai Ward for their own reasons and are associated with Amaterasu Corporation, caring naught for who suffers in the process of their plans to dominate the city, Yomi is an Ax-Crazy sociopath who openly cares only about what he benefits from it, and is willing to crush those who get in the way or execute anyone who seems even remotely suspicious, seemingly being a Mood-Swinger with no sense of direction and going on a hapless rampage. Makoto, on the other hand, is much more dignified and reserved, and prefers to keep his agenda to control a secret, working from behind the scenes and actively outwitting Yomi by taking into account other people and his environment before making any moves, and while he does do it out of his own personal angst as a homunculus, he's also doing it because he believes in his purity and thinks that anything goes as long as it's for the sake of the other homunculi within Kanai Ward.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: At the end after it's revealed to the whole of Kanai Ward that they're Homunculi, Amaterasu develops several products to guard them against UV rays and turning psychotic from them such as sun-proof raincoats and body cream if they choose to venture outside of Kanai Ward. The real Yuma Kokohead also figures out a corpse-free food substitute in the form of ramen which is a huge success with providing their nutrients.
  • La Résistance: After Yomi blows up the NDA's submarine and Makoto returns Yuma to the site of the submarine, Yuma is taken away by one and asked to join them. The trope gets deconstructed when Yuma is framed as a terrorist to allow one of its members the opening to kill the leader, framing it as a suicide, and flee the city with ill-gotten gains.
  • Resistance as Planned: Regarding the main characters' rebellion against Yomi, it turns out that is precisely what Makoto Kagutsuchi wanted from them all along and they were doing precisely what he expected them to do, in which case, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • Revealing Cover Up: The culprit in Chapter 3 tries to hide their crime by faking the victim's death as a suicide. The culprit does this using a revolver the Gun Nut Iruka created for the victim, which was made specifically made to be left-handed. The culprit instead puts the revolver in the victim's right hand, revealing that the culprit wasn't aware of the victim's left-handedness. This is also what incriminates the culprit and reveals it wasn't a suicide.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: The game tells you in the prologue outright that the Amaterasu Corporation is responsible for everything going wrong in Kanai Ward, even if it's only a theory on the part of the detectives who tell you this. As a result, searching for the company's leaders is the actual goal of the game (and luckily, all of them are incredibly Obviously Evil to varying degrees).
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • A lot of Shinigami's talk about mentoring Yuma into becoming like the detective from her past whom she admired so much takes on a new light when it's revealed the detective was Number One, Yuma's past self. Same with her constantly admonishing him for relying on others.
    • Furthermore, regarding the Number One that the detectives are guided by, this becomes a whole lot more ironic when it's revealed that Yuma is the true Number One and had to disguise himself to avoid being identified, by means of his Body Double and his Memory Gambit. All of the talk about Number One never showing his face and not coming to Kanai Ward to solve the case himself becomes almost comical when it turns out that Yuma is Number One, which means he is not only showing his face around the agency, but also came to Kanai Ward for the very reason of solving the case.
    • Upon finding the present-day victim in Chapter 1, Yuma and Shinigami have an argument as to whether or not this is an abnormal occurrence. On revisiting the game, it's far more clear that what Yuma is actually alarmed about is the fact the blood is pink.
    • During repeat playthroughs of Chapter 2, what Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane say to the disguised Yuma takes on a whole new meaning knowing all three of them worked together to commit the murder. Such as "Waruna" being admonished for swapping the glasses around at an unusually slow pace or Kurane complimenting "Yoshiko" on her ability to play dumb. Additionally, in said chapter's Mystery Labyrinth you can see the back ends of the bricked-up walls in each of the "how" passages, which become relevant when it turns out they're all connected.
    • Makoto being surprised by Yuma asking him about Number One and making a joke about Number One's son being in trouble when they first meet is re-contextualized once Chapter 5 reveals Yuma is the amnesiac Number One and Makoto is the homunculus created from his DNA.
    • The whole story and the cases within it seem painful to watch again when seeing the characters desperate to escape from Kanai Ward's isolation, while describing the nuances of the homunculus research, or when discussing "three years ago", as the player is now aware that none of the residents of Kanai Ward are human and are in fact the homunculi being discussed in question, which means that they can't leave the city in the first place, nor can they escape from the constant rainfall.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Out of all the mysteries in the game, only a few go unanswered:
    • Who was the clock tower Nail Man victim in Chapter 1? Every other Nail Man killing was of an Asshole Victim or, in the case of the museum murder, was a copycat killing. Somebody must have hated this person enough to ask the Nail Man to kill them, but we never find out why.
    • In Chapter 4, did Chief Yakou only die when Shinigami reaped his soul, as was the case with the previous culprits? Or, as Halara suggests, did he die some time before, and Shinigami simply allowed his soul to depart for the afterlife? Neither we nor Yuma ever learn the answer.
  • Rival Science Teams: Amaterasu Corporation head researcher Dr. Huesca's rivalry with the UG's successful homunculus research is what ends up being the cause of a catastrophic experiment when he uses that rivalry to create homunculus clones of Kanai Ward's citizens in a restricted research facility in a desperate attempt to catch up. The result is that the whole of Kanai Ward's human population dies, being forcibly replaced with those clones, and Makoto, the UG's creation, ends up remedying the situation while deceiving the residents regarding what happened to them.
  • Role-Reversal Boss: The Final Boss is styled like a Reasoning Death Match, except for most of the fight, you are the one throwing statements, which the Big Bad can't dodge as they're all factually true. The camera is even fixed behind Makoto, though you still control Yuma.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: A majority of the Mystery Phantoms have a death metal design motif.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Ultimately, when neither Makoto nor Yuma are able to come up with the "perfect solution" for Kanai Ward on their own, Yuma's suggestion is that they should reveal the truth and put their trust in the people to work things out. As shown in the Playable Epilogue, Makoto follows through and it seems to have been for the best.
  • Royal "We": Halara applies this when giving Chief Yakou medical attention in Chapter 4. Even though it's only them who is providing that attention, Halara speaks as if it's the entire group giving it to him, by use of an inaccurate "we", for reasons unknown. These are the two cases when it stands out to the player the most.
    "We've provided first aid, but..."
    "I was hoping he would live until Yuma and the others returned, but there was nothing we could do."
  • Rule of Cool: Why can detectives use supernatural dispositions to investigate cases? Why can the protagonist be possessed by a Shinigami in the first place? Why add a city of eternal rain as the setting for all of it? Why make the CEO of a corporation a clone of the protagonist, who turns out to actually be the top detective of the organization he's a part of, of whom his clone is based off? Because you can write all of that into your story if you want to and it's also cool.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Surprisingly, this is applied to the camera shots within the 3D environment the game is set in, as notably every camera angle features a specific angle to convey the story to the viewer in either a stylistic or narrative context.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Yuma describes something lengthy to someone else Locked Out of the Loop, a fast-forward effect is applied as the screen fades to black during his explanation, before returning to normal for the aftermath.
    • While investigating the past Nail Man cases, in each locked room Yuma asks Halara if they have the solution already. Halara always quickly throws a judgemental "you haven't?" at him.
    • Yuma gets his throat sliced open by Shinigami to use Blood Magic in Mystery Dungeons and is always caught off-guard.
    • Yuma's debt to Halara. After the meeting in the cafe, Halara constantly reminds Yuma of it, and even mentions it at the end of the story when leaving Kanai Ward.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The Master Detectives in Chapter 0 who Yuma meets on his trip to Kanai Ward via the Amaterasu Express, who get permanently killed off as quickly as they're introduced.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The Big Bad Ensemble of Makoto Kagutsuchi and Yomi Hellsmile frequently abuse their power as Amaterasu Corporation's directors to commit crimes and avoid punishment for doing so, though especially the latter.
    • Makoto abuses his power as CEO in the backstory to refuse Yomi's and Dr. Huesca's complaints about Makoto shutting down Project: Homunculus to prevent them from creating anymore defective homunculi. Then, in the present, he spreads propaganda of the residents being human, kidnaps criminals for Kanai Ward's food supply, and aids Yomi in his plot for Yakou to kill Dr. Huesca under Yomi's manipulations by covertly introducing him to Fink the Slaughter Artist in his own plot to overthrow Yomi from his position, and he's able to get away with it because, as the CEO, he can hide anything from the residents and maintain his PR status.
    • Yomi abuses his power as the Peacekeepers' director in the backstory by bribing other Amaterasu factions to follow what he says, preventing others from having the authority to take him down from his position by questioning him, and he is able to do this because of his collusion with Dr. Huesca, Amaterasu's head researcher. He also uses it to retrieve blood samples of Kanai Ward's residents so that he and Huesca can make homunculus clones of them. In the present, he uses his power as an excuse to mastermind an execution of detectives from the WDO entering into Kanai Ward, and harasses the survivors of his massacre non-stop, with none of them being able to take him down personally due to being impenetrable. It's only when his relationship with Dr. Huesca is exposed that Yomi finally receives a comeuppance.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The meat buns everyone in Kanai Ward is addicted to are made from human flesh, because the homunculi can't get the nutrition they need from anything else. At least, not until the real Yuma develops his special ramen.
  • Sequel Hook:
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Master Detectives go through hell trying to find “Kanai Ward’s Ultimate Secret” and the “Great Global Mystery” after being sent to Kanai Ward by the WDO, while fighting against Amaterasu Corporation’s unrelenting forces and suffering through various traumatic experiences involving themselves nearly dying to pursue it, being their primary enemy throughout the story. It turns out that the thing they’ve been pursuing this whole time is the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation itself, Makoto Kagutsuchi, who is their most obvious target out of everyone they could’ve gone for by being the top-ranking member of the enemy organization that’s been trying to kill them the entire time, as his criminal acts are the direct cause of both mysteries. Along with this, everyone in Kanai Ward wasn’t actually human the moment the detectives set foot into Kanai Ward and everyone was actually a homunculus clone with the original residents’ memories, and they also went through hell trying to find out about homunculi even though they’ve been in front of them the entire time. To add even further, the Number One the NDA listened to wasn’t the real Number One, and the Number One they’ve been so desperate to see appear for real has actually been the “Yuma” working with them the whole time.
  • Shifted to CGI: Unlike Danganronpa before it, which mostly makes use of a traditional 2.5D environment and is illustrated mostly in a 2-dimensional style, the cutscenes and environments in this game are completely 3D and use computer-generated animations. The sprites, menu icons, and general control prompts are seemingly the only parts of the main game that are illustrated in 2D.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Downplayed in Chapter 2's Mystery Labyrinth. While comic relief is still provided via Desuhiko, the labyrinth only contains one Shinigami Puzzle, as more would likely clash with the tragic nature of the case.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: When Makoto explains the constant rain in Kanai Ward is a consequence rather than the point of the cloud machine, he notes that it is because how thick the clouds need to be in order to block enough light. In real life cloud cover indeed needs to be very thick and without gaps if it is to actually block a significant amount of ultraviolet light, as anyone who has gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day can attest.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The game is firmly on the cynical side, what with the story revolving around a dystopian hellscape called Kanai Ward where all manner of bad things happen there and the place is controlled by a corrupt corporation. The main characters themselves are also firmly cynical, with Halara being the biggest example of such, and the only truly idealistic main characters are Yuma, Desuhiko, and Fubuki, who aren't affected by the negatives of their environment or their personal life and keep up a positive attitude regardless. Alongside this, the Big Bad, Makoto Kagutsuchi, is highly motivated by cynicism above all else, as he sees the city as having no hope of survival if he isn't the one maintaining it by keeping it safe from society.
  • Society of Immortals: The identity of Kanai Ward's Ultimate Secret, that being that the city is a population of immortal homunculi resulting from a failed homunculus experiment conducted by Amaterasu Corporation three years ago. Makoto, the company's current CEO, turns out to be one too, except his genetic makeup is superior to theirs, absent of the scientific flaws that the defects have.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: The various unnamed Peacekeepers in Kanai Ward have no issues using Police Brutality on the Nocturnal Detective Agency, trying to hurt them and threaten their life by any means, being under the order of Yomi Hellsmile. Halara Nightmare is capable of countering them multiple times over, but the other members aren't so capable.
  • Speech-Centric Work: The story is primarily told through character dialogue, with the only real bits of prose being cryptic Yuma narrations at the start of each chapter. This holds especially true in the Final Battle.
  • Spoiler Cover: Putting Makoto front and center of the game's cover right next to the Peacekeepers, who are known to be villains even before the game's release, is not the most subtle hint that he's the Big Bad.
  • Spoiler Title: Three of the chapter titles give away a certain detail. "Massacre on the Amaterasu Express" hints at a large number of victims (in this case, all five Master Detectives end up being killed), and "The Nail Man Killings" also hints at multiple victims, though in this case, the identities of the victims end up being fairly unimportant, and the case is revolved around investigating three past locked room mysteries along with the present one. And as a curtain call involves the cast of a play returning to stage for a bow at the end of the show, "A Silent Curtain Call" implies that all its major chapter-specific characters will die, hence if the chapter had a curtain call, it would be silent.
  • Spot the Impostor: In Chapter 5, Makoto Kagetsuchi hides himself among two other Mystery Phantom duplicates of himself and all three dive at Yuma. The next QTE has you pick out the only attacker who doesn't have rainbow flames flying from their face.
  • Star Scraper: Kanai Tower is the tallest building in Kanai Ward, and Makoto Kagutsuchi's state of residence due to him being the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • Most of the final murder case is based on how the culprit bypassed Dr. Huesca’s security to break into the critical lab and kill him. Yuma highly overcomplicates it because he’s reluctant to accept the Awful Truth as in reality, Yakou Furio, the case’s culprit, simply went through it the easy way: sneaking through it without being noticed and subjecting himself to the deadly gas chamber, arranging for Fink the Slaughter Artist to stab him after completing the job.
    • Makoto's various crimes all orginate from how he couldn't figure out a perfect solution to keeping the homunculus of Kanai Ward safe, and his best efforts amounted to a bunch of short-term fixes instead. Yuma has to admit that he can't figure out a better solution either... but points out that when you can't do something by yourself, you ask someone else for help. Makoto is arguably the smartest man in the world, but had inherited Number One's I Work Alone tendencies and never really considered outside assistance. By the time of the epilogue, he's publically confessed the truth, and indeed other people, who have skills that Makoto lacks, have figured out much more sustainable and ethical alternatives for Kanai Ward.
  • Strange Cop in a Strange Land: The Master Detectives with supernatural powers were called over to the isolated Kanai Ward to uncover the mysteries surrounding it. Kanai Ward being an unfamiliar Wretched Hive and the detectives being total outsiders, this is bound to happen.
  • Suicide Attack: In Chapter 4, Chief Yakou is so willing to kill Dr. Huesca that he gets poisoned by the latter's security system in order to reach him, knowing that he'll die within 30 minutes.
  • Surreal Horror: One look at this game can say that "surreal" doesn't even begin to describe it. The cyberpunk aesthetic, the general sense of unease surrounding the whole story, the strange characters and plot, and the strange names, at that. Even in regards to the Ontological Mystery, immortal homunculi taking over an entire city of humans without a trace as a result of a forbidden science experiment resulting from Government Conspiracy, which leads to one homunculus protecting all at any cost and manipulating an entire detective organization to achieve that goal, isn't a particularly normal story in itself.
  • Sympathetic Villain, Despicable Villain: Makoto Kagutsuchi and Yomi Hellsmile serve as the main antagonists of the game, both seeking to take control of Kanai Ward for their own reasons. While Yomi just wants to be in power and doesn't care who gets hurt or killed so long as he gets what he wants, Makoto just wants to provide a safe place for the homunculi but crosses some ruthless lines in order to do so. They're both equally at odds with each other, but it's Makoto who ends up outwitting Yomi and becomes the sole antagonist. While Yomi undergoes a Villainous Breakdown after he's exposed as a criminal and vows revenge on those who opposed him, Makoto is able to come to an agreement with Yuma and reveal the truth to the populace, allowing them to come up with the solution to their problem as he works to atone for his actions.
  • Systematic Villain Takedown: The Peacekeepers are taken down one-by-one per each chapter, due to serving as an Arc Villain each, until eventually arriving at the director, Yomi Hellsmile, when he masterminds a scheme to kill Dr. Huesca, Amaterasu's head researcher, using Yakou as his pawn. However, in a surprise attack, when Yomi is also defeated, the player personally confronts Amaterasu Corporation's CEO, Makoto Kagutsuchi, once he kidnaps the detectives and forces Yuma and Kurumi to enter the restricted area in Chapter 5 as part of his plan to Kill and Replace Number One of the WDO. Unlike the Peacekeepers, Makoto instead undergoes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tamer and Chaster: As a result of being Darker and Edgier than Danganronpa, there is a lot less Fanservice, the most coming from Shinigami. The closest the player gets to it regarding the other main characters is Halara's legs and shoes being given intimate degrees of focus, which can come as pretty shocking to a viewer, even when replaying the 3D cutscenes they occur in, and Fubuki's "waitress outfit" introduction cutscene where she has a quite noticeable bounce to her in an outfit that really draws attention to the size of her breasts.
  • Testing Range Mishap: The homunculus experiment that Dr. Huesca performed in the game's backstory that ended up in disaster was performed in the restricted area of Kanai Ward. He purchased the area and sealed it off so he could work in secret.
  • There Are No Tents: The Master Detectives of the Nocturnal Detective Agency, besides Yuma, sleep in the Sun and Moon Hotel during their stay in Kanai Ward, the booking for them being funded by the WDO.
  • There Is No Higher Court: The Peacekeepers of Kanai Ward are all dirty cops who target the first suspect of the case, without any trials involved or the like.
  • Technicolor Blade: The Solution Blade used in the Mystery Labyrinth, which is purple.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During the Final Boss a Variable Mix of the regular Reasoning Death Match plays.
  • Thriller on the Express: Chapter 0, “Massacre on the Amaterasu Express” serves as a tutorial mystery as Yuma is confronted with the slaughter of five WDO detectives on the train into Kanai Ward.
  • Tomato in the Mirror:
    • "Yuma Kokohead" is actually Number One of the WDO, who struck a deal with the real trainee detective Yuma Kokohead in order to use his name and identity as part of his Memory Gambit.
    • As stated above, everyone in Kanai Ward is unknowingly a homunculus who went berserk and slaughtered the original human population before coming to their senses when Makoto blotted out the sun. Since they each had all of their human counterpart's memories up to the point of blood sampling but no memory of their creation or rampage, they mistakenly believed they were the originals and just picked up their lives where they left off.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Kanai Ward. The secret in question is why the WDO sent Master Detectives over to it from the start.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Much of the game doesn't come as a surprise with the advertising, as well as the character profiles on Spike Chunsoft's website, giving away characters' general personalities and the Master Detectives' Forensic Fortes before the game was even released. Along with this, the game's launch trailer also more significantly gives away the end of Chapter 4 involving Yakou Furio's death (his empty seat is shown), the footage of the WDO building caught in a terrorist bombing, and the detectives being struck by Knockout Gas. It also shows Dr. Huesca's final message and Yuma's encounter with an undead homunculus in the restricted area. At the beginning of said launch trailer, "Yuma" is also heard suspiciously discussing 'wanting to eradicate all unsolved mysteries' in an emotionless tone of voice, something that contradicts the nervous "Yuma" seen in the game... which hints that the "Yuma" we're playing as is actually Number One, the detective who discarded emotions for the sake of the truth.
  • Transformation Sequence: Before every Mystery Labyrinth, Shinigami transforms from a Cute Monster to a Cute Monster Girl a la Sailor Moon.
  • Trial by Combat: While in the Mystery Labyrinth, Yuma battles against Mystery Phantoms representing the Peacekeepers (the lawyers for the defendant) and the case's accused in a duel, mostly with the Reasoning Death Match sequences where the two parties throw statements at each other.
  • Two Dun It:
    • Chapter 1 has two culprits. The Priest is the Nail Man who committed most of the serial killings, but the art gallery victim was killed by a copycat, who turns out to be the Worshipper.
    • Chapter 4 essentially has two culprits. Yakou murdered Dr. Huesca and arranged for himself to die in the process, but Yomi manipulated him into doing it, as he needed the doctor dead for his own reasons.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Yuma Kokohead serves as the guy to the girls Shinigami and Kurumi Wendy in the game's Power Trio.
  • Underwater Base: The WDO detectives of Kanai Ward use a submarine as their base of operations.
  • Unexpected Kindness: In Chapter 4, Shinigami shows all the usual signs of finishing Yakou off with a Bello Fresco Grand Finale, before making the attack miss and suddenly embrace Yakou. Yakou cries as he evaporates, a much kinder method of reaping than the culprits in previous chapters got.
  • Unlikely Hero: Out of everybody in the cast Vivia steps up to the plate. He's just as capable as Halara in the cutscenes, just unmotivated. When he asks Halara to take "His share" of a bunch of Gas Mask Mooks and they quote him a price, he muses to himself that that could buy a book and opts to take down as many as they do
  • Unreveal Angle: At one point in Chapter 4, Makoto removes his mask in order to use a security system (implicitly some form of iris scanner or facial recognition software), but because it happens during a cutscene when the camera is facing toward the scanner, we- and Yuma- don't get to see what he looks like under there. That doesn't happen until late in Chapter 5.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: The original human residents of Kanai Ward who died during the Blank Week were tricked into offering blood samples of themselves to the head researcher of Amaterasu Corporation, Dr. Huesca, unaware they were really being used to create homunculus clones out of their DNA. Only a minority refused, and therefore never had a replacement clone when the other clones accidentally erased said human residents and replaced them with their clones.
  • Urban Fantasy: The setting has downplayed elements of this along with Magical Realism, with the story never really stopping to question how the Master Detectives are able to bend or break the laws of physics with their Fortes; they just kind of can.
  • Variable Mix: The last Mystery Labyrinth is about Kanai Ward, and a lot of its music themes gets remixed into it.
  • Victim of the Week: Yuma comes across a victim in each chapter and gets involved in solving the case. Much like Danganronpa beforehand, the case ends with the culprit getting executed.
    • In Chapter 0, all five Master Detectives as well as the culprit, who impersonated one of them, are killed off.
    • In Chapter 2, all four suspects of Aiko's death die off since Karen was the culprit behind Aiko's death and ends up being the victim of the present case, and the other three were responsible for Karen's death.
    • In Chapter 4, Dr. Huesca and Fink the Slaughter Artist, the only two named characters introduced in the case, die off, as Yakou kills the former, and Makoto kills the latter off-screen later.
    • As revealed in Chapter 5, however, the irony in all this is that except for the Master Detectives in Chapter 0, none of the characters actually stay dead because they're homunculi, though their fate as immortal zombies who are mindless or barely coherent is hardly any better.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Downplayed. The game doesn't explicitly show it, and it tries to make the themes challenging even if the mysteries sometimes aren't, but it repeatedly exaggerates solutions that are quite simple to understand, like "how a detective must search for the truth" and, along with this, making it ambiguous whether Makoto is a suspicious person, even though he is, and is obviously the Big Bad, which he turns out to be.
  • Villain of the Week: Alongside the Peacekeepers, the murder culprits serve as the antagonist for each chapter. However, the culprits themselves aren't the main antagonists, as the Peacekeepers take their place and oppose Yuma more with their determination on covering up the truth. In order:
    • Before Yuma even arrives at Kanai Ward, "Zilch" kills the detectives riding to Kanai Ward with him through immolation. Swank Catsonell serves as Yuma's main opposition for this case.
    • The Priest and the Worshipper are the culprits in Chapter 1, the former being a Serial Killer called the Nail Man and enacting Vigilante Execution, and the latter being a copycat killler. Seth opposes Yuma and Halara in their venture to solve this.
    • Yoshiko, Waruna, and Kurane are the culprits of Karen's murder in Chapter 2. Martina also interferes with the case.
    • Icardi is the culprit of Shachi's murder in Chapter 3. In his case, he actually intentionally provoked the Peacekeepers, allowing Guillaume and Dominic to work together as the chapter's other antagonists.
    • Chief Yakou is the culprit of Dr. Huesca's murder in Chapter 4. Downplayed, in that he isn't actually a villain himself, and was actually driven by a misguided sense of revenge provoked by Yomi, who is the chapter's true villain. Yomi himself is also the chapter's antagonist.
    • Makoto Kagutsuchi is the culprit of the kidnapping case revealed at the end of Chapter 4. Unlike the chapters prior, however, Makoto himself is also the chapter's antagonist, because he's also the game's overall antagonist and is above the Peacekeepers in terms of power (as the CEO of Amaterasu Corporation, of course).
  • Walk and Talk: At the end of Chapter 3, the camera follows the characters while Makoto is expositing about the power struggle between himself and Yomi as he's walking alongside Yuma and his surviving detective friends.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The truth behind Kanai Ward's never-ending rain is that it's engineered by a weather device created by Makoto with the intent of covering the sun to prevent the homunculi from turning into beasts.
  • Western Zodiac: On the Loading Screen for Chapter 3, there are horoscopes read by Guillaume Hall. Given that she's Ax-Crazy, all of them are hilariously unhinged.
  • Wham Episode: The entirety of Chapter 5 is one revelation after another regarding all events up to the end of Chapter 4, more surprising than the last, from Makoto revealing his true self to the reveal that Yuma is Number One, as well as both of them possessing Coalescence, and everyone in Kanai Ward being a homunculus, with everyone except Makoto being defective. Then after all of that, the Final Boss battle where we finally defeat Makoto himself to avenge those he caused trouble for.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Chapter 5, one single line from Fink the Slaughter Artist completely shifts your perception of Chapter 4's case and Makoto Kagutsuchi himself, revealing that Yakou was really nothing more than a Sacrificial Lion for Makoto's needs the whole time.
      "Makoto...Kagutsuchi...introduced me..."
    • In Chapter 5, we also receive this line from the Big Bad himself, which basically establishes the entire purpose of the game and the fact that the detectives were only falling into Makoto's whims the whole time.
      "So you've finally reached the conclusion. Behold, the truth that you've been seeking all along. You are Number One from the WDO, and I'm the homunculus created from your DNA."
  • Wham Shot:
    • In Chapter 0, shortly after meeting Shinigami for the first time, Yuma peers into the infirmary next to the restroom where he passed out to find Zilch's corpse lying inside. This in itself is surprising, but the real shock comes a few minutes later, when Yuma rushes into the dining car in search of help... and finds Melami's burned corpse on the ground in there. This is the first sign the player gets that they're not going to just be solving Zilch's murder; they're going to be solving the murder of all five other detectives, which accounts for nearly half the advertised protagonists. All dead before you've even reached Chapter 1.
    • At the end of Chapter 3, while the detectives are all talking amongst themselves, Shinigami feels something off and looks over...to see Vivia looking directly at her.
    • Chapter 5 has a lot of these:
      • When Yuma and Kurumi are taking shelter in the abandoned post office, they're attacked by three "zombies". Yuma tackles them out of the way, knocking off their hoods to reveal Yoshiko, Waruna and Kurane, the three culprits of Chapter 2 who had their souls reaped by Shinigami. This is your first sign that something is wrong with the residents of Kanai Ward.
      • Yuma and Kurumi had just found the very machine that created the rain clouds that had covered Kanai Ward for years, deactivating it. The zombies of the restricted area suddenly begin going even more berserk than before, making clear the daylight has a negative effect on homunculi… And then Kurumi passes out. Though the game itself plays coy a little while longer, any and all doubt about her and the rest of Kanai Ward’s people’s true nature was made clear then and there they definitely are not human.
      • A bit later, while held at gunpoint by Makoto, Yuma asks Shinigami to open the final Mystery Labyrinth; she does so, and time freezes as usual. After a personal moment, Yuma and Shinigami dive into the portal... and then the camera returns to the bath house, just as Makoto- who had not previously been shown to have a Forte- begins to move.
    • In Chapter 5 again, after finding out that Makoto is the homunculus copy of Number One and that Yuma himself is Number One, Makoto’s mask breaks in the middle of their duel to reveal him to have the exact same face as Yuma.
  • What Is Going On?: Following the story's climax case, the detectives horrifically react this way to seeing the WDO's Number One (or who they think is the WDO's Number One) getting blown up on the other end of the phone line linked to the WDO, the WDO building itself being shown thereafter via a news feed, in varying shades... except for, of course, Vivia.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Kanai Ward can be just about anywhere in the world, not just Japan. It's never specified where, especially with the Melting-Pot Nomenclature being prevalent throughout the game, plus the WDO and Amaterasu being international names In-Universe, therefore making it ambiguous what country the game is even set in too.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole: Chapter 4's victim, Dr Huesca, was an infamously amoral Mad Scientist who has a lot of enemies, already has a hitman after him when the case begins, and his death is celebrated by some of the lab's staff. It turns out he was never the hitman's target, but he was still killed by two people he'd wronged: Yakou murdered him out of revenge for his wife (who he'd assumed Huesca had silenced), but Yomi manipulated him into it because Huesca was planning on breaking their secret deals and fleeing Kanai Ward.
  • Wizards' War: As much as Forensic Fortes can be considered magic, that is. The story is a battle between the leaders of the WDO and Amaterasu Corporation, "Yuma Kokohead"/Number One and Makoto Kagutsuchi. Both of them are actually Number One of the WDO, who both possess Coalescence, and they finally duel each other personally in the Mystery Labyrinth in the Final Boss battle.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Not everyone, but there are plenty of characters with unnatural hair colors that are taken as normal. Blue shows up the most (Yakou and Fubuki in particular), with Shinigami having pink hair as a humanoid. Vivia has green hair with black streaks, Yomi has red hair, and Guillaume Hall has pink hair with blue streaks.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: No matter what Yuma or the player does, in the climax case, Yakou Furio will die before Yuma’s encounter with the Big Bad.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: How the story opens. Specifically, a lost and found room, being told you're Yuma Kokohead, a detective-in-training at the World Detective Organization and have been invited on a trip to Kanai Ward via the Amaterasu Express, and it all goes downhill from there.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the final chapter, you obviously solve the game's Ontological Mystery, that being Kanai Ward's population is actually full of defective homunculi as a result of unethical experimentations from the UG and Amaterasu Corporation's Dr. Huesca from three years ago, but as it turns out, that's not all! Amaterasu's CEO, Makoto Kagutsuchi, snuck into the Mystery Labyrinth without Yuma or Shinigami noticing, and he's prepared to enact a Kill and Replace plan since Yuma is the true Number One of the WDO, with Yuma being unaware the whole time, and he will not back down until he achieves it whatsoever. Actually, there's a whole Final Boss battle sequence for the guy. No way the story would be over that easily.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • The God Shinigami segment of Chapter 2 is notably easier than the others puzzle-wise; simply present each piece of the torn-apart picture of Aiko and the other three girls before presenting the complete picture. Played for Drama, however, as even Yuma realizes the tragic nature of the crime and is reluctantly continuing forward.
    • By the end of the Final Boss fight, your opponent is in such a Villainous BSoD that their Noise statements harmlessly fall to the floor before even reaching you.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One happened in the backstory where the entirety of Kanai Ward’s population’s worth of defective homunculus clones turned into mindless zombies upon being subjected to sunlight and murdered all of Kanai Ward’s human population.

Go forth, proud detectives! Eliminate all mysteries from this world!

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Bello Fresco Grand Finale

Shinigami reaps a culprit's soul by summoning a scythe and unleashing a blast attack that obliterates them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / FinishingMove

Media sources:

Report