The Pennant Race mode first appears here, but it is completely automated without any management simulator elements and doesn't allow the player to use their own characters. This was also the first one to allow players to keep previously seen epilogues in a gallery.
Outer Success Mode: Sunrise High School Edition"Hero 4" is a high schooler who's been transferred to Sunrise Island. While observing a memorial monument tablet, he trips over and collapses it. He becomes afflicted by a curse that makes his classmates disappear not just physically but from everyone's memories as well. He's told that achieving glory on a Koshien tournament can dispel the curse, but then his Baseball club spontaneously catches fire and his team is dissolved. It is time to rebuild it, and fast...
Inner Success Mode: RPG-style Fantasy EditionIn a fantasy world, an adventurer attempts to make the ultimate baseball player doll after a king's collection is destroyed.
This game features the following tropes:
- The Cameo: One of the menu icons shows original Glasses Clan member Akio Yabé surrounded by Yamada, Bonda and Kameda. While he's a deuteragonist in the main Pawapuro series, Akio never appears in person in the Pawapoke series, and Bonda and Kameda are absent from this one.
- Cartoon Bomb: Those are your best friend in RPG-Style Fantasy, for they can be stocked up and hit up to three enemies for a large amount of damage. In the right areas they'll nicely pay for themselves.
- Continuing Is Painful: If you get a Game Over you'll be forced to start over from the beginning. You can reset, but the game punishes that with stat losses and will eventually just erase your save file.
- Defend Command: RPG-Style Fantasy has a standard defend command and another one for shielding allies.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- On the menu for earned traits, the special skill for clearing a love interest's questline is placed at the bottom of the list instead of the top.
- There is now a Gallery for viewing epilogues, but there are no character profiles. The epilogue gallery for each individual custom character is still available.
- Fake Longevity: The game is genuinely replayable overall, but it forces players to clear Sunrise Highschool three times just to check out the RPG scenario.
- Final Death: Don't let teammates die in RPG-Style Fantasy. The game even keeps track of deceased friends to shame the player.
- Game Within a Game:
- The Gradius minigame is presented in-universe as an arcade game.
- Clear Sunrise High 3 times and you'll get a second scenario with RPG gameplay that's practically unrelated to both the rest of the game and baseball.
- Guide Dang It!: RPG-Style Fantasy can be a pain to play blind because it has several random events (and even mandatory ones in certain places) that will kill your teammates and even slap a game over on your face from out of left field. One example is meeting a fairy Norika at a lake on the north part of the map. She will reduce Hero 4B's health to 1 in an implied Black Comedy Rape scene, and if you happen to be poisoned you'll die right afterwards through no real fault of your own.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You start out by giving Hero 4 a name and a role on the team he's about to join.
- Inventory Management Puzzle: RPG-Style Fantasy uses the same inventory system from 3, and you must collect stat enhancers for both the hero and his baseball doll, among other things.
- It's a Wonderful Failure:
- There are two game over outcomes in Sunrise High. Failing to keep the Baseball club running gets Hero 4 dragged into a vortex of oblivion by a vengeful spirit, and then we see Yamada picking up his cap but not remembering who owned it anymore. Losing a match towards the end, on the other hand, gets the entire team erased from existence.
- The game over screen for RPG-Style Fantasy shows Yamada sadly leaving the protagonist's makeshift grave behind.
- Failing the Pennant Race mode lets you see the protagonist lying miserable in a pile of garbage.
- Luck-Based Mission: RPG-Style Fantasy has several random events in every area, for better and for worse. Even though you're under a limited amount of turns to clear the story, it has the jackassery to have mandatory boss events appear at random in areas such as the pyramid (the protagonist can even repeatedly get lost on the surrounding desert), and the act of sleeping to roll for those events can in itself trigger dangerous enemy encounters.
- Multiple Endings: Both story modes have a single main ending, but there are several dozen epilogue scenes, good and bad, that you can watch by achieving various conditions.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: After the literal collapse of Propeller Team in the last game, we are introduced to the Oogami mega corporation which is involved in all sorts of criminal matters. Throughout the series, it goes through several hostile changes of leadership and is renamed to "Wolf", "Tsunami" and finally "Judgment".
- Nintendo Hard: The combat system in RPG-Style Fantasy is quite simple and you should trivialize it with bombs whenever possible, but all the luck and management factors will make it difficult to clear the story and get a reliable custom character out of it.
- No Death Run: You only get one life to clear the Gradius minigame. During Sunrise High, you must at least get 10000 points to clear its sidequest (clearing the minigame is worth bonus exp points).
- Non-Standard Game Over: If Hero 4 gets injured from training during the Koshien, the story ends abruptly but lets you keep your custom character.
- Reused Character Design: The Inner Success stories now reuse characters from previous games in alternate universes.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: The protagonist from the RPG scenario is either a new guy or Hero 4 lost in another world. The game decides this at random.
- Timed Mission: RPG-Style Fantasy must by finished in under 200 in-game days.
- True Final Boss: If you're close to the deadline in RPG-Style Fantasy, a final battle is triggered when you finish the quest. To fight Kameda and his Gundar Golem, you must deliver the Baseball Doll on the last day.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change:
- You are required to clear 4 different minigames to recruit teammates. Clearing any of them will increase the difficulty of the next.
- From this game on, most Inner Success stories are turn-based RPGs. In those, the baseball theme is only shoehorned in so that the player gets a custom character to use after getting to the end.
- Un-person: The victims of Sunrise Island's curse disappear from everyone's memories.