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Visual Novel / Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

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Third time's the charm. everyone feels that killing is wrong...But why is that? Of course I know it to be against the law. But laws are simple rules people decided upon. This is a space removed from those rules. Therefore, we've no need to follow them.
Korekiyo Shinguji
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, known as New Danganronpa V3: Everyone's New Semester of Mutual Killing in Japanese, is a
Visual Novel adventure video game by Spike Chunsoft, released in January 2017 in Japan, and later in September 2017 for America. It is the third main game of the Danganronpa franchise and fourth overall, released on both the Play Station Vita and PlayStation 4, making it the first game in the franchise released on a home console, as well as on Steam alongside its Western release. It represents the beginning of a "new" chapter in the franchise, set in the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles.

Kaede Akamatsu, the Ultimate Pianist, awakens inside a locker in what appears to be an abandoned school building with no idea how or why she ended up there. She soon finds a boy stumbling out of a different locker, who also doesn't know how he got there. He introduces himself as Shuichi Saihara, the Ultimate Detective. At the behest of five bear-like mascots calling themselves the Monokubs, Kaede and Shuichi explore the Ultimate Academy and meet 14 other Ultimate high school students, the very best in their fields selected by the government's Gifted System. Soon, however, they are introduced to the Monokubs' "father", Headmaster Monokuma, who explains to the sixteen Ultimates the rules of their new lives: they are trapped inside the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles, and the only way to escape is to kill one of their own and successfully get away with the crime in a class trial.


Kaede soon discovers that they are indeed trapped, and she, Shuichi, and the other Ultimate students are forced into playing Monokuma's sadistic Mutual Killing Game, with the Monokubs piloting Humongous Mecha called Exisals to enforce the rules.

The game retains the same basic set-up as Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, with once again the story being divided into segments of Daily Life where the player interacts with the other characters, and the investigations and trials where it must be deduced which one of the students is a killer. Many elements, however, have been updated, with many technical aspects changed, multiple testimonies displayed at once during debates, "Debate Scrums" where the students split into two sides in a debate and the new ability to utilize "lies" to solve trials. And, while Monokuma has once again returned, it was announced pre-release that previous characters will not make an appearance, with the setting being Hope's Peak Academy's Spiritual Successor.


Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-F 
  • Acquitted Too Late: Kaede was not actually Rantaro's killer; Tsumugi was. However, this isn't proven until Chapter 6, long after Kaede was wrongfully executed.
  • Advertised Extra: Everyone assumed K1-B0, the robot boy on the initial advertisement poster, would be the game's protagonist. However, the second trailer reveals that the game's true main character is a girl named Kaede Akamatsu. It then turns out to be a double Red Herring with Shuichi being the true protagonist, with K1-B0, Himiko, and Maki being playable for the last trial as well. In fact, with Kaito and Maki being two-thirds of the game's primary Power Trio and K1-B0's vitality in the endgame, ultimately taking down Danganronpa itself in a Heroic Sacrifice, while Shuichi spends so much time after The Reveal in a Heroic BSoD, it could be argued that the initial poster was right all along.
  • After the End: The aesthetic certainty looks this way. The classroom shown in the PV looks like it's been abandoned for a while, and there is foliage on the dome. That's because the backstory created for the game says that the school spent a few centuries looking for a new planet after the Earth's destruction was eminent from meteor showers and a virus pandemic, before Monokuma piloted the spaceship back to the now-uninhabitable Earth.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Western localizations replaced the ending theme, "Dan Kusari -break-" by Megumi Ogata, with an extended version of the opening theme titled "The END of DNG".
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Kaito always wears his left jacket sleeve and leaves the right side over his shoulder, but his Debate Scrum sprites when opposing the player are flipped so he wears his right sleeve. This is odd considering other characters' Debate Scrum sprites are customized so details such as Kirumi's Peek-a-Bangs and Gonta's bug box are always on the correct side.
  • Ambiguous Ending: In the game's ending, it is ultimately left unclear how much of what Tsumugi revealed is the truth and how much isn't. As Shuichi notes, the only thing that cannot be denied is that they're alive.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Many of the love hotel events are ambiguous about whether or not Shuichi ends up having sex with whichever classmate he brought with him. Some characters' events, like Kaede's, Tsumugi's, Angie's, Himiko's, Miu's, and Korekiyo's, strongly imply that they do end up sleeping with Shuichi (with or without his consent), but other characters' events are somewhat less clear. For instance, Maki asks Shuichi to "make a real family with her", Tenko insists that Shuichi can't be bullheaded if she asks him again to "do anything to her", and Gonta remarks that he's "not going to let [Shuichi] get any sleep tonight".
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After Kaede is revealed as the blackened in the first trial, Shuichi takes over as the main character. Then, at the final class trial, K1-B0, Himiko, and Maki all became playable characters.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In The Stinger, after Danganronpa has been destroyed, the final three survivors emerge from the rubble and wonder what is real or not about the outside world they are about to leave to.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In addition to the "Start from the beginning" and "Start from Class Trial" options when starting a chapter present since the first game and the "Start from Deadly Life" option added in the second, this game gives you the option to start from the chapter's first Free Time period, making it easier to get the Friendship Fragments. This is especially helpful for Kaede's events, which cannot be experienced in Love Across the Universe.
    • A unique case that happens in-universe. In the past two games, whenever the body discovery announcment played, Monokuma simply says that after a certain amount of time the Class Trial will begin after investigation. This meant that one of the three people that discovered the body usually has to go out and gather any one else present to the site of the dead body. Now, in this game, whenever there is a dead body discovered, Monokuma now tells everyone to meet up at the site where the dead body is.
  • Anyone Can Die: This is a Danganronpa game, where the cast is encouraged to kill each other to escape. No one is safe. Not even the character who was advertised as The Protagonist.
  • Apocalypse How: It seems that the meteors and the deadly virus they brought caused total extinction of all life on Earth, with the only exceptions being the students in the Gifted Inmates Academy. Outside of the academy, there isn't even any trace of oxygen to breathe. Then this all turns out to be false.
    • Class Z: Shuichi defies the fictional reality of Danganronpa by believing in his friends' effect as fictional characters changing the world as he knows it, by disappointing the audience rather than giving them the hope/good ending that they desire. The result of this is that K1-B0, the audience's protagonist, destroys the containment for the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles, and ends the universe of Danganronpa itself, allowing Shuichi, Maki, and Himiko to successfully escape.
  • Arc Number:
    • The number 3 shows up a lot in here.
      • During Chapter 3, there were three people that died in the chapter. There were also three "body discovery" videos, although the last one was fake.
      • There are also three main playable characters with ahoges in this game.
      • In addition, three people ended up surviving the killing game.
    • Five is also a common number in this game.
      • There are five characters with ahoges.
      • There are the five Monokubs.
      • There are also five playable characters in the game.
      • There are five official executions in the game if you don't include K1-B0 self-destructing the school.
      • There are also five different killers once you realize that Kaede doesn't count.
    • Fittingly enough, five and three together are 53, which is an important number, albeit only during the climax.
    • In reference to previous installments, 11037 shows up again, this time as part of a 59-digit code. It's also the price of the Hope's Peak Academy Monopad theme at the casino.
  • Art Evolution: Thanks to more powerful hardware, the game has upgraded considerably presentation wise. The new interface now allows the player character to appear on-screen during conversations, and the text font used in trials alters on context.
  • Artistic License – Music: In Kaede's execution, her hanging body is used to play "Der Flohwalzer" on a giant piano. The majority of the song is played with black keys, while Kaede only steps on white keys which are nowhere close to the keys used to play the song.
  • Art Shift: In Chapter 4, when Miu gets on her knees and begs everyone to listen to her, there's a Deliberately Monochrome reenacting of a Slam Dunk scene. Shortly after that in the Virtual World, the game takes on a top-down view and everyone becomes a pseudo-3D Super-Deformed avatar.
  • Ascended Meme: In the localized version of Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Kokichi refers to Fuyuhiko as "Boss Baby". It is a popular fandom meme to compare the two characters' designs.
  • Awful Truth: The main theme of the game as the truth isn't always what you want it to believe. This is apparent in Chapter Four where Gonta crossed the Despair Event Horizon by learning the truth of the outside world and believing that it would be easier to die, and the students not wanting to believe that Gonta was the culprit of that case.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The entirety of the first chapter is most appropriately defined with this characteristic. The events are as follows: Kaede unifies everyone; everyone tries to escape; Monokuma retaliates against Kaede's efforts; Kaede takes advantage of said retaliation to kill the mastermind; the attempt fails in two gray ways; the perspective of the player switches from her to Shuichi; after explaining why she tried to kill, Shuichi exclaims about the fact that there was never a mastermind and that his deductive skills failed; after the lament and motivation given to the group, she's brutally executed by Monokuma.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • In the demo, should the class trial proceed as usual, it's implied that Makoto Naegi is the culprit. That means that reliable senior who helps Kaede along is deliberately stranding her into making the wrong decision. Subverted in that Yasuhiro Hagakure is only pretending to be dead, and Makoto and Hajime Hinata are just acting. However it's actually a double subversion, because acting and pretending to take part in a killing game turns out to be a major plot point and part of the mastermind's plan in the main game, extending the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing title to Hajime and Yasuhiro as well. Or rather, their actors.
    • For the game itself, there's Tsumugi Shirogane, who seems like an innocent and harmless cosplayer, but is actually the mastermind of the game.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shuichi, Himiko, and Maki ended up escaping the killing game and they successfully ended the Danganronpa show but it came at a cost of K1-B0 sacrificing himself so they can survive, leaving them to wonder that Tsumugi was actually lying about themselves and set off to see how much of their actions affected the world.
  • Black Blood: In true series tradition, the blood is once again a bright pink.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Beating the Death Road of Despair minigame in its Chapter 1's difficulty will grant the player of the sight of the students are allowed walking out of the academy and ends with Kaede trailing of a Flat "What" before it fades to white. The player than gets an exclusive Monopad theme and 100 Monocoins.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Quite a few series trends we saw in the first two games were abandoned in this one.
    • Most notably, this is the first main series game where the protagonist is one of the murderers (or at least the person convicted for the killing), the protagonist dies, and the player takes control of a different protagonist for the rest of the story.
    • This is the first main series game to not have an Ultimate Lucky Student in the main cast.
    • This is also the first game where Megumi Ogata doesn't play a character. At least, not one introduced in this game, anyway. That doesn't stop her from singing the credits song as usual, though (at least in the Japanese version).
    • This is the first game where Junko Enoshima isn't the mastermind. Doesn't stop Tsumugi from pretending to be Junko Enoshima the 53rd in order to keep with tradition though.
    • Unlike the first two games, this game's Chapter 1 culprit will Face Death with Dignity and is prepared to be executed. And unlike the first two games, the Chapter 2 culprit tries their hardest to escape execution.
    • This is also the first non-spinoff game where the protagonist is a girl. For the first chapter, anyway.
    • This is the first game where the student with an unknown talent dies.
    • This is also the first game where the Ultimate Hope dies.
    • Unlike Makoto and Sayaka from the first game, and Fuyuhiko and Peko from the second game, none of the students knew each other before coming to the school.
  • But Thou Must!: At the end of every trial, you have to vote for who you think is the culprit, which you can either go with the rest of your classmates, or vote for someone else like the victim. However, in Chapter 5, the game forces you to vote for the culprit, and won't allow you to choose anyone else.
    • Subverted in a way at the end of Chapter 6. In order to actually progress and end the killing game, the player will need to ignore rigged minigames and questions by letting their time limit run out.
    • In the Ultimate Talent Development Plan, in one event involving a MonoMono Machine, both options are "Give it a spin!"
  • Call-Back: The Chapter 5 execution in this game is a throwback to the execution of Jin Kirigiri in the first game's prologue.
  • Captain Obvious: During Chapter 3, after the Caged Child ceremony, Korekiyo takes off the sheet off the cage to reveal Tenko, unmoving and lying in a huge pool of blood. Korekiyo's reaction? "Something... is amiss..."
  • Cash Cow Franchise: In-Universe, Danganronpa is such a cash cow that not only have there been fifty-three installments in the series without it losing any popularity (and that's not even counting Danganronpa Zero or any of the spinoffs), but somewhere along the way it was able to be adapted into a reality show on the scale of The Truman Show itself, where teenagers kill each other for real, and everyone (including the teenagers who willingly sign up to be contestants before getting mindwiped) is fine with that as long as it means they get more Danganronpa. Several "previous installments" with goofy subtitles are mentioned in the sixth trial. Almost makes one wonder if the writers are trying to make a point.
  • Casting Gag: Every character shares an English voice actor with a character from one of the previous games, leading to some amusing situations.
    • Leon and Shuichi share a VA, as do Sayaka and Tsumugi. This creates some nice Book-Ends for the series as a whole, since DR1's killing game began with Leon killing Sayaka and DRV3's killing game ends much the same way (with Shuichi exposing Tsumugi as the mastermind, leading to her death by falling rubble).
    • Chapter 1 essentially has Sayaka trying to frame the protagonist for murder once again, only this time she succeeds. In addition, Kaede has the same VA as Kyoko, so a mastermind once again tries to frame Kyoko for murder but succeeds this time around (DR1's non-canon Bad Ending notwithstanding).
    • In a much, much less obvious case with Sayaka and Tsumugi's English VA, Sayaka is once again fully and foresightedly in the foreground of an unexpected background Fanservice CG related to the academy's pool area, the only [chronological] difference of each event being that while Tsumugi is currently in the process of changing into her swimwear, showing her actual proportions off more, Sayaka is already clad with hers. Both moments are also the only ones involving the two blueheads in a more Stripperiffic state outside of their sprite uniforms and illustrations within their respective games.
    • Rantaro won the previous killing game. He also shares a VA with Hajime, who won the previous killing game that we got to see. Rantaro also got a number of perks as a reward for winning the previous game, making him somewhat overpowered compared to everyone else. Much like how Hajime became Izuru, who is very overpowered compared to everyone else. In addition, neither Hajime nor Rantaro can remember what their talent is.
    • Korekiyo shares a VA with Teruteru, who, let's face it, would definitely have sex with his own sister if he had one. They both also commit murder for the sake of a female relative (Teruteru so he can leave the island and check on his sick mother, Korekiyo to send more "friends" to his dead sister in the afterlife).
    • Miu and Akane share a VA, creating some amusing contrast since Akane is an Innocent Fanservice Girl who doesn't even seem to know what sex is, while Miu is a raging pervert to rival even Teruteru.
    • Kiyotaka and Monotaro share a VA, another contrasting pair since the former places great importance on studying while the latter is a Forgetful Jones who couldn't study his way out of a paper bag and only manages to get by through Achievements in Ignorance.
    • Nekomaru and Monokid share a VA. Monokid often yells about his "rock-hard rager", and a very noticeable feature on Nekomaru's (human) sprites is his massive bulge.
    • Gundham and Ryoma share a VA. Ryoma is a Death Seeker who, despite his efforts, could not find a reason to live and allowed himself to be killed, while Gundham believes that giving up on life is a blasphemy against life itself.
    • A non-DR-related casting gag occurs from Kokichi sharing his English VA with "Digimon Emperor" Ken Ichijouji. Not only is Ken actually the evil supervillain Kokichi claims to be (at least initially), but his Digimon partner and long-suffering lackey during his stint as the Emperor was Wormmon, a bug-like Digimon. Who does Kokichi always rope into being his lackey? Gonta, who is obsessed with bugs.
    • Kirumi's VA also voices 2B from NieR: Automata, and the two characters look quite a bit similar to each other.
    • Kokichi shares his VA with Fuyuhiko, and during his second Free Time Event he tells Shuichi to beg him for forgiveness by slicing open his own stomach, which is something that Fuyuhiko did in DR2.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: As always, the design for every character differ wildly from the other. Enforced In-Universe for the sake of the show: everyone arrives in relatively normal school uniforms, but are forcibly changed into more unique and colorful "uniforms" soon afterward.
  • Cathartic Chores: In the first chapter, Kaede, waiting in a classroom to see if her plan to capture the Big Bad has worked or not, becomes so anxious that she grabs a broom and starts sweeping the whole room.
  • Censor Shadow: Kaede's face and torso are completely shadowed out after she has died of asphyxiation and stoning while the iron maiden/piano lid shuts on her during her execution.
  • Central Theme: Lies versus the truth. Which is better—a comforting lie or a painful truth? Is it possible for a lie to lead to a deeper truth? Where does a lie end and the truth begin?
  • Closed Circle: This time around the students aren't stuck in the school building—the dormitory is a separate building, and the students are free to wander the grounds. It's still a closed circle: a huge dome encloses the entire area.
  • Color Motif: Pink/Magenta. The color has been heavily used in advertisement and in the game itself as a way to represent lies. Whenever lies are used in the court, pink eyes appear on the screen and a good part of the game interface switches to pink, including the bullets themselves (The Truth Bullets appear as white letters, while Lie Bullets are pink). During the game's opening, a pink eye appears blinking, right after a bullet is filled with pink. Also, a shadow of all characters appears during their introductions, with their pupils colored in pink. Kaede, the Decoy Protagonist, also wears pink clothing to better contrast her to Shuichi, our true protagonist, who's associated with "honest" blues.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Tsumugi claims that there is absolute peace in the outside world, but because everything is so peaceful, everyone is bored out of their wits and need to watch teenagers murdering each other on TV just to get some excitement in their lives. And said teenagers all willingly and eagerly sign up to get their minds wiped and Fake Memories implanted so they can murder each other on their favourite TV show, if the tapes are to be believed.
  • Crapsack World:
    • Chapter 5: The end of all life on Earth. After the Future Foundation was able to suppress the Remnants of Despair and rebuild the world, a meteor shower began, and these meteors carried a lethal virus that threatened to infect everybody. The participants of the killing game were immune to the virus (except for Kaito Momota) and were dragged into the Gofer Project to put them in cold sleep and send them into outer space until the spaceship colony found a new planet that could support human life. However, Kokichi Oma, a Remnant of Despair, brought Monokuma aboard the arc, redirected the spaceship back to Earth, and designed the killing game with the intention of plunging humanity's final hope into despair.
    • Chapter 6: Everything in the above bullet point is all a lie. The world was never destroyed in any sort of apocalyptic event, and the Remnants of Despair are nothing but fiction, as is Dangonronpa itself. However, the Danganronpa franchise is so popular that it spawned a reality TV show where teenagers willingly and excitedly sign up to be mind-wiped and implanted with the identites of Danganronpa characters so they can murder each other on TV, placating a world that has become too peaceful, laking any sort of conflict. At least, if the mastermind is telling the truth...
  • Critical Research Failure: Many In-Universe examples were made in regards to the fake memory of the cast being Hope's Peak Academy students, such as Junko Enoshima being the only thing to be referred to as the Ultimate Despair, Junko trapping them all of the Class 78 students inside Hope's Peak Academy for their killing game as opposed to Class 78 actually trapping themselves inside Hope's Peak Academy, and Hope's Peak Academy actually accepting applications for the school (when in actuality, students could only get in by being scouted). These examples were part of the reason why the cast figures out the flashback lights only gave fake memories.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many of the executions, with some of them being among the most gruesome in the series to date.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The PC port has many control differences compared to the PC ports of the previous two games. The right mouse click fires the truth bullet and left click fires the silencer, while it was the opposite in the previous games; Enter highlights observable objects rather than Tab, Esc fast-forwards through text and exits areas rather than Ctrl and R respectively, and F3 brings up the controls instead of Esc. Fortunately, all of these except the mouse can be changed by editing the game's config.txt file.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game has been described by the developers as "psycho cool", and uses a darker aesthetic compared to Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. The executions have also gotten much more violent, on par with or even surpassing the brutality of Leon Kuwata's execution.
  • Dark Reprise: During Kokichi's fake body discovery in Chapter 3, a high-pitched piano tune plays instead of the standard body discovery music. When the same music plays in Chapter 5 but eventually fades into the normal body discovery music, it's the first clue that Kokichi is the real victim in this case.
  • Deconstruction: The final chapter of the game deconstructs the entire franchise. Not only are the previous installments in the game actually fictional, as are all of their events in the world of V3 (Despite what Chapter 5 leads you to think), but the many aspects of the series are seen as nothing but amusement to the masses that watch the killing games happen, of up to 53 seasons worth. It even rips apart the Hope vs Despair dynamics of the previous franchise installments as well. While despair is still seen as horrible, Shuichi comes to the conclusion that Hope itself as portrayed in the series is just as bad, as Hope winning against Despair will merely encourage Team Danganronpa, the true masterminds of the franchise, to make more needless killing games. It takes not Hope or Despair winning, but Disappointment winning instead to end the grisly TV show, once and for all.
  • Death Trap:
    • The ramp of books and flashing camera set up in the library, intended to lure the victim to the bookcase while a cannonball rolls down the ramp and drops on their head from above.
    • The occult ritual, which has the participant unknowingly kneeling on a see-saw floor board, which is used to propel them upwards into a sickle blade sticking through the bars.
  • Demo Bonus: Transferring your save data from the demo into the full game causes you to start off with additional money, the Nail Brush item (needed to unlock one of the early extra scenes), and the Machine Gun skill (normally only available through playing minigames in an area that isn't even accessible until the second chapter).
  • Developers' Foresight: Subverted In-Universe. Occasionally, Kokichi asks Monokuma about how the killing game would go when faced with unlikely circumstances, such as two different murderers or the culprit vote at the end of each trial resulting in a tie. Monokuma actually lacks that foresight, though, and usually makes up something on the spot.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Many of the love hotel events strongly imply that Shuichi ends up "hooking up" with whoever they meet up with. Exactly how strong the implication is depends on the character.
  • Difficulty Spike: Shuichi's Mass Panic Debates for the remainder of the game are harder than Kaede's because his hearing isn't as good as hers.
  • Disability Alibi: In Case 4, the murder happened in a virtual world, that Miu altered, and planned to murder Kokichi in it. To make sure her plan would work, she altered his avatar so that when her avatar touched his, he'd be paralyzed. During the trial, when the player tries to defend Kokichi, this is pointed out, making Kokichi virtually and physically incapable of strangling her.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • In the localized version of chapter 5, the murder video shows Kaito's arm farther out from his body, and visible before the press goes down, which shows his shirt. However, Kokichi wasn't wearing a shirt when he entered the hydraulic press, so this is a plot hole. This was changed from the Japanese version (presumably to show the hole in the sleeve which was missing in the Japanese version), where Kaito's arm was closer to his body and thus hidden from the camera before it came down, which is how the switcheroo was pulled off. A similar error happens earlier, when the Chapter 1 verdict wheel is inexplicably changed to show Shuichi's pixel icon without his hat.
    • The game consistently uses a different word to refer to the Big Bad (首謀者, commonly fan-translated as "Ringleader", instead of the more common 黒幕), a nuance ignored in the localization, which sticks to just using "Mastermind". This causes problems because, in the final trial, Tsumugi says that, while she may be the mastermind (首謀者), the actual mastermind (黒幕) is the outside world desiring the killing games. This results in the localization having Tsumugi claim they're both the mastermind, turning a fairly major twist revealing the true meaning behind a seemingly minor detail into utter nonsense.
    • Also in Chapter 6, when the mastermind explains how the Danganronpa TV show is "everyone's killing school semester" (the game's Japanese subtitle), one of the audience comments says that they finally get it. Since the English subtitle is changed to "Killing Harmony," referring to Kaede's death in the first chapter, this instead comes off as an unexplained Late to the Punchline gag.
  • Dummied Out:
    • There is an unused sprite of Miu that can be found in the game's code, intended to be used for when she was angry. When it was first discovered, it became rather infamous in the fandom for obvious reasons. Warning: NSFW.
    • Rantaro has an unused Debate Scrum sprite, which was used in promotional materials to avoid spoiling that he's the first victim.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you manage to beat the punishingly difficult "Death Road to Despair" minigame in Chapter 1, Monokuma honors his word and opens the exit, allowing all of the students to escape before the killing game even starts. However, much like the escape button based scene from the first game, the ambiguity of the ending (and the story reveals in the main plot later in the game) put to question whether this is really a happy ending or not.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: The class trial portraits of the deceased students. Just like Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, the X crosses that go on the face of the deceased are customized, but this time, every single student has their cross personalized in some way to suit their character. Notable examples include:
    • Kaede Akamatsu, whose cross is drawn with a thin line and a thick line as if it was some kind of sheet music note.
    • Angie Yonaga, whose "cross" is replaced with a red halo and wings.
    • Tenko Chabashira's cross is shaped to look like a pinwheel, mirroring her hair ribbon.
    • Korekiyo Shinguji, whose portrait is covered with red fire, referencing him being boiled to death.
    • Miu Iruma, who has three X's side by side on her face in reference to her lewd personality and the skill you get for completing her Free Time Events.
    • Kokichi Oma, whose cross is lopsided so that it looks more like a check mark. In chapter five, his and Kaito's (who wasn't actually dead yet) crosses were instead question marks due to the uncertainty of the murder victim at the time.
  • Ending Aversion: Invoked. When Shuichi learns the whole thing was a reality TV show, his response is to create the most bullshit and unsatisfying ending he can think of by having everyone refuse to vote, getting everyone except the mastermind killed.
  • Everybody Cries: At the end of the third trial, Himiko takes Kokichi's advice to let all her feelings out. She falls to the floor and sobs, causing everyone else to cry as well.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Seemingly averted this time around. It's established that those accepted by the Gifted Program are scattered throughout the country and have never met one-another in person. Tsumugi later overwrote this setting with a setting where everyone went to Hope's Peak Academy in order to end Kokichi's stalemate.
  • Exposition Beam: The Flashback Lights Monokuma offers the students are originally presented as a tool for slowly curing their amnesia, giving them a glimpse at how they ended up at the killing game. Near the end of the story, it's revealead it was created to implant Fake Memories into its participants for the purpose of creating an exciting story for the Killing Game.
  • Famous Last Words:
    Rantaro Amami: Well, even if I did have an idea, I couldn't tell you. Can't risk anyone interfering.
    Angie Yonaga: Okie-dokie. Then Angie will pray for your strategy's success, Rantaro. But if you're lying, Atua says He will punish you for three generations to come, okay?
    Rantaro Amami: Haha, now that's a threat. Well, I'll do my best to live up to your expectations, hm? I guess...I have to do my best.

    Kaede Akamatsu: I believe in you guys! So please, believe in yourself! ...Okay? It's a promise.

    Ryoma Hoshi: got a reason to survive... That's the complete opposite of me... Heh... That's good... If you've got something to live for, it means your life has value. Hmph…

    Kirumi Tojo: I will live! I refuse to die in a hellhole like this! ...For my nation! For my people! ...I WILL NOT DIE!!!!!!

    Angie Yonaga: You must be tired, Tenko. I think it would be best if you got some rest. Sound good? Until then, I'll continue my preparations to welcome back our friend.

    Tenko Chabashira: Understood. I will not say a word until the séance is over! Okay, everyone! I'll see you guys after the séance!

    Korekiyo Shinguuji: I will watch over you all as a ghost! As your friend, I will watch over you!
    Korekiyo's sister: It won't just be me and Korekiyo... All those who died will be watching.
    Korekiyo Shinguuji: Kehehe... I'll be watching to see how you face the death of your friends. I'll be watching... forever and ever...

    Miu Iruma: My inventions will change the world... They'll make the world a better place! It's my duty as a genius inventor! S-So I can't afford to die here—

    Gonta Gokuhara: Gonta love you all...!
    Gonta Gokuhara (Alter Ego): Gonta is sorry... for being stupid!

    Kokichi Oma: The bastards who created this game to toy with our lives...and the shits enjoying it... They all...piss me off! Th-That's why...I'm willing to do whatever it end this game!

    Kaito Momota: Alright then! Let's end this with a bang! A special punishment suited for the Luminary of the Stars!
    Monokuma: You don't gotta tell me! I'm excited to get this started!
    Kaito Momota: Oh yeah? Well screw you! I'm not gonna die the way you want!

    Shuichi Saihara: If this is all just fiction, then everything we've achieved up till now might be a lie. But those lies... they changed the world. Even if we are just fictional characters someone made up. We were able to change the world.
    Tsumugi Shirogane: You're right. I feel the same way. My plan was such a flawless copy, it even failed at the very end... So I should be able to hold my head up high as a cosplaycat criminal, right?
    Shuichi Saihara: A cosplaycat criminal?
    K1-B0: ...Very well, let's begin. Or rather, let's end this! This is the will of the outside world!
  • Fanservice: Like in the previous games, some of the hidden bonus scenes are gratuitous fanservice.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Back from the franchise, this installment includes a backstory in which the government created a "Gifted System", that grants privileges to some. This is an advancement as the entire world is subjected to this system, instead of just Hope's Peak. This setting was replaced in chapter 5 for the usual Hope's Peak Academy one.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kokichi, Himiko, Tenko, and Miu don't consider robots people. K1-B0 also threatens legal action against Kaede should she make any discriminatory comments.
  • First-Episode Twist: Kaede is a Decoy Protagonist and is executed at the end of the first class trial, with Shuichi taking over as The Protagonist.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The final class trial. Shuichi Saihara refuses to continue with the class trial, and the mastermind forces mini-games onto the player which you all have to deliberately fail by letting the timer run out, in order to frustrate the mastermind and proceed with the story.
  • Fission Mailed: This happens when Shuichi Saihara succumbs to the Despair Event Horizon and triggers a Bad Ending. The player has to press the Don't Save option when prompted, then press the Remedy option. This unlocks the True Ending and begins K1-B0's playable segment.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Before the game even reaches the title screen, "Team Danganronpa Presents" pops up and you would assume that's just a nickname for the creators. Keep the name "Team Danganronpa" in your mind for the finale.
    • The game's start-up uses the "This Is a Work of Fiction" message, explaining all the characters and events are fictional. Which is quite odd as how it never appeared in the previous games. It turns out to be quite literal.
    • In the prologue when the Monokubs are explaining the killing game, Kaede has the following thoughts that hint towards the biggest twist in the franchise:
      Kaede: A lie... More like fiction... Like a story on TV... A scenario so removed from reality, we can hardly believe it's happening.
    • When Kaede first meets Tsumugi, she says that her favorite episode of Kiteretsu Daihyakka (Doraemon in the English version) is #53. This foreshadows the game being the 53rd killing game and her being the mastermind. According to Kodaka, she let that out because she was nervous.
    • Over the course of the game, characters occasionally but consistently use the words "lie" and "fiction" synonymously, one example being Trial 3 where Korekiyo declares that the accusations of him being the culprit are "just fiction".
    • A massive amount regarding a single twist. The mastermind being Tsumugi Shirogane:
      • The very first words out of Monokuma's mouth are a Death Note reference. Tsumigi later references Kira so it's likely not a coincidence.
      Monokuma: I am the god of this new world!
      • During the first trial, Korekiyo brings up the point of the culprit being the mastermind. Shirogane instantly shoots him down.
      • After the first trial, Tsumugi can be found around the sealed door.
      • In Chapter 5, Tsumugi is the one most reluctant to go along with Kaito's plan to fight Monokuma.
      • Later in Chapter 5, Kokichi claims that he is the mastermind. Tsumugi instantly reacts with shock.
      • The Flashback Light the group gets in Chapter 5 contains information that directly contradicts later revelations concerning Kokichi. That's because Tsumugi faked it so to try and realign the killing game.
      • Tsumugi's seat in Class Trials is right in front of Monokuma's throne - which was the real Junko Enoshima's seat in the original game.
      • Chapter 1: The scene where Rantaro Amami paints Kaede Akamatsu's nails while a jealous Tsumugi Shirogane watches takes on a new light after Kaede is executed for Rantaro's murder and it turns out that Tsumugi orchestrated the entire thing.
      • Why is it that Tsumugi's face is not shown in the Chapter One execution, compared to everyone else? Is she actually elated?
      • During the first trial, when Gonta tells everyone that he was watching a documentary about bugs to prepare for battle mentally, Tsumugi asks if he was trying to imagine himself as "a giant mantis with swords for hands". She was referencing the execution she had devised for him, which we see three chapters later.
      • Early in Chapter 2, Miu takes a jab at Tsumugi's plain appearance, pointing out that without her glasses, she wouldn't be noticeable at all. Tsumugi replies that her glasses are in fact the only thing hiding her terrifying true form. At the time it's easy to brush that remark off as the ramblings of a hardcore otaku, but come the final Class Trial, her words are chillingly prophetic.
      • After the trial where Gonta died, Tsumugi was the one to see Kokichi's completed message. It's very likely that it was not a coincidence that Tsumugi just so happens to see that message after Gonta died.
      • On a meta level, her English voice actress played Sayaka from the first game. Both of these women ended up starting the killing game in a way.
      • Her talent being the Ultimate Cosplayer is one of the obvious hints that make one indecisive. It's a more obvious hint to her being the mastermind of this game because it's one of the most meta concepts included in Danganronpa: a character who is the most talented at playing as other fictional characters, to the extent where she even says "Tsumugi Shirogane" is just another identity trick of hers.
      • It's subtle but there are a few rule changes that hint that the mastermind isn't Junko again. For example: when there's a double murder Kokichi asks for a clarification of the rules regarding multiple blackened. In every other game so far Monokuma always insists that mutiple blackened at the same time won't happen. But in this game he spontaneously decides that only the first one counts even though it's irrelevant since there is actually only one blackened.
    • The demo. During the class trial, there isn't enough room for the entire cast of V3 in addition to Makoto Naegi and Hajime Hinata, so Monokuma has Rantaro Amami and K1-B0 sit out. Who would ever think that one of them would actually be the first victim and not participate in any of the class trials?
    • During the prologue, the chapter title appears as normal, with the text perfectly straight. After getting their clothes from the Monokubs and are subjected to a blinding light before being put back where they came from, the chapter title is suddenly lopsided and everyone remembers their talents and background. A huge clue into the final twist of the game...
    • At one point in chapter 4, Himiko suggests that K1-B0 should self-destruct to open a hole in the wall, thus making himself useful. This remark loses the humor behind it when he does just that at the end of the game to let the survivors escape.
    • The Limited Edition box (which is also the "box art" of the English demo) featuring K1-B0 shows his true identity when it was revealed in Chapter 6 as not only as the Unwitting Pawn of being the cameraman working for Team Danganronpa, but also as the In-Universe "Protagonist".
    • The pre-release promotional materials (like official arts and merchandises) often paired Kaede with Rantaro. Before the game's release, many people speculated that they will be the new Makoto-Kyoko pair. In truth, they are the first characters to die in the game.
    • During the Chapter 2 class trial, Kaito Momota claims that he hid inside the girls' restroom to escape Gonta Gokuhara, who was dragging everyone to his entomology lab. There's a hidden passageway in a girls' restroom, but since Shuichi Saihara and Gonta are both boys, they wouldn't ever have the chance to find anything hidden inside.
    • Opening has a silhoutte for every character which has purple glowing eyes except Rantaro directly became a shadow, this foreshadows unlike everyone he knew what situation he was in due to his survivor status.
    • At the beginning of the virtual world segment in chapter 4, after Kokichi and Gonta's avatars appear, it takes oddly long before Gonta reacts to his surroundings and the avatars. Possibly an early indicator that Gonta mixed up the "consciousness" and "memory" cords in his headset. It's also hinted back in Chapter 1 that Gonta is left-handed, as he lifts the manhole cover with his left hand. This is significant, because Himiko used the trick to remembering which one is her right hand as "the one I hold my chopsticks in", which would be reversed for Gonta.
    • Chapter One's title (Me and My Class Trial, with the first "me" being written in Kaede's speech pattern and the second in Shuichi's) directly alludes to the fact that both Kaede and Shuichi are protagonists.
    • When Shuichi discovers his Ultimate Detective Lab for the first time in Chapter 4, he examines a bookshelf and finds "about 50" files that document murders and the tricks involved. If you actually look at the bookshelf, you can count exactly 52 files. All of the murder mysteries that occur in Danganronpa V3 will probably be included in the 53rd file if there ever is another killing game with another Ultimate Detective among the cast. Additionally, it's mentioned the earliest among the files include drawings instead of photographs. Tying into the fact the earliest killing games were fiction.
    • Before everybody uses the flashback light in Chapter 4, Kokichi tells Kaito that he doesn't have the balls to use the flashback light, which immediately provokes him into activating it. Come the class trial, Kokichi plays Kaito like a fiddle by making fun of him and his values, which nearly gets everyone killed by voting for the wrong culprit.
    • An early Monokuma Theater has Monokuma complain about how long the series has been going on.
    • In the trial intermission for Chapter Two, Monokuma suggested to skip to the next chapter. Monosuke then stated that they don't know who the culprit is, in which it was followed by Monotaro asking about the killer of the precious victim. This could be considered foreshadowing as how nobody really knows the true culprit behind Rantaro's death and how Kaede received a Miscarriage of Justice.
    • In Chapter Five, one of the Exisal's poses looks very similar to Kaito's Hand Behind Head gesture, hinting that it was Kaito inside there all along.
    • There has been a couple of hints that Kokichi was Good All Along.
      • In Chapter Two, Kaito suggested that it would have been better if everybody were to watch their videos together in which that was what Kokichi tried to do earlier in this chapter.
      • He outright calls Maki a worse liar than him, and he proceeds to out her true talent. From a Metaphorically True statement, Maki is a worse liar than him as Maki's criminal past is far more dangerous than Kokichi's criminal past as Kokichi's organization does not kill and only commits non-violent crimes.
      • Often times in the past games, some of the more Token Evil Teammates tends to show swirly eyes during their breakdowns. During Kokichi's "breakdown", his eyes remained the same and they did not show those swirly eyes.
    • All of the achievements/trophies regarding completing each chapter use TV scheduling terms such as "Sweeps Week" and "Graveyard Slot".
    • When describing her backstory to Shuichi, Maki states her personality was broken down to be molded as the people training her to be an assassin saw fit, which is exactly what happened to the rest of the cast before the killing game began.
    • Junko Enoshima's arrival in both the first and second games, as well as within Ultimate Talent Development Plan, is in her queen persona. In V3 proper she uses her rocker one, a hint that it isn't really her.
    • The first four culprits have their Fatal Flaw overshadow them the most throughout the game, and display a great possibility of their identity as the chapter's main antagonist.
      • Kaede assumes that no one will kill anyone even when a time limit that guarantees everyone will die simultaneously is started. This foreshadows how paranoid she is as the assumption is in itself a logical fallacy.
      • Kirumi is a character who would adhere to any request. Therefore, the motive videos showing someone's special acquaintance would make her be the most submissive to Monokuma.
      • Korekiyo constantly talks about love in the story, his sister in Kaede's Free Time events, and directly tells the player that he has the appearance and personality of a potential culprit during the investigation of Rantaro's murder.
      • Gonta and Kokichi are regularly seen together. Gonta also asks Kokichi's permission to converse with Shuichi after Chapter 1, since he fears that Kokichi would do something rash to him if he randomly disconnected from their bond.
      • Kaito's ideology of believing in others and not suspecting others creates an inversion of the trope would lead him to believe that working with someone else who wants to end the Killing Game (who turns out to be Kokichi, as Chapter 4 reveals) can create a plan that would actually end the game.
    • Very early in the Chapter 1 trial, Kokichi declares he knows who the culprit is. The Monokubs are shocked, since if he's right, he would set the world record for fastest class trial. They then reminisce wistfully about the previous record holder's amazing performance in trials and mourn for him as he is apparently dead. Initially, it just seems like the kubs are spouting random nonsense as usual, but with the revelation of Rantaro being the Ultimate Survivor who won the previous killing game, they were probably talking about him. Monokid's lament that he "soared through the enemy fleet all badass, just to die like a little punk" fits with this, since simply being snuck up on and bashed over the head would be a horribly anticlimactic and disappointing way for someone who was most likely the previous game's protagonist to be killed.
    • As mentioned under Artistic License – Music above, "Der Flohwalzer" is played on mostly black keys, but is played on only white keys during Kaede's execution. Kaede is not the blackened.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth floor of the academy has a spooky atmosphere reminiscent of a haunted house, complete with spooky music.
    • This same floor includes the two most sadistic murder plans in the game (compared to Kirumi's value-based murder of Ryoma the trial prior).
      • Korekiyo stabs Angie in her research lab with a katana after she's knocked unconscious, which is then transformed into a Locked Room Mystery that only Kokichi is able to access, by the floorboard used in the seesaw effect trap used to kill Tenko in complete darkness in the middle empty room.
      • Kokichi attempts a mercy kill, taking advantage of Miu's plan to secretly kill him in the Neo World Program and frame Kaito for committing it in the real world, and hires Gonta to execute the murder phase as Miu set his avatar to be paralyzed when touched. On both Miu and Kokichi's ends, this is the closest the black and white of a murder case has succeeded in getting everyone but the culprit executed, which is well evidenced in the fact that this is also the last straightforward victim identification in the series, and the fact that the motive this time is labelled as "the secret of the outside world", which is what ALL series motives can be technically portrayed as.
      • Appropriately, the trope is turned Up to Eleven for the above as it is also the fourth murder case.
  • Frame-Up: Kaede's shot put ball trap actually missed Rantaro entirely, and he was killed by Tsumugi, who hit him over the head with an identical shot put ball immediately afterwards.
  • Funny Background Event: In Chapter 6, basically all of the audience comments count as this, but special notice goes to one particular commenter who's apparently really horny for Shuichi, and the only thing they comment on is how nice his body looks.
    Tropes G-T 
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: When Kaede mentally urges Shuichi to out her as the first culprit and hands the player's control over to him, the UI, highlighted in Purple, turns off, then comes back on highlighted in Blue a second later when Shuichi becomes the protagonist. This occurs again during the last trial with the rest of the survivors, with K1-B0's being White, Himiko's being Neon Blue, and Maki's being Red.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Monokuma Files have their information written in Japanese and English, with the English texts looking like something out of Google Translate.
    • The Monokubs' theme, "Rise and Shine, Ursine!" has the lyrics "He is all that remains of a once-powerful nation. SHOWTIME." and "Right now, you're on the threshold of amazing adventure." The fourth execution music also has English lyrics sampled from the song "Bottom of the Sea" by Dhruva Aliman.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While the person controlling Monokuma in Junko-esque fashion and the "Ringleader" of this killing game turns out to be Tsumugi, she's really just another teen playing the role she was assigned for. The real Masterminds are actually the executives of the Danganronpa TV series and anyone else involved in its creation, and we never get to see them in the main game, as they reside outside the setting of the school.
  • Guide Dang It!: Angie's second Free Time Event is only available once Kaede's lab opens up. The game never gives any hints as to this.
  • Happy Ending Massage: During Chapter 2, Tenko Chabashira requests for a "celebrity-like vacation" to be initiated for her with the assistance of Shuichi, who has a parasol in his possession at the time (if the gift is somehow given to you before Chapter 2 starts). Both Tenko and Kirumi gather a few other people (Himiko, Angie, Keebo) to join Tenko in this event, something Shuichi was unsuspecting the possibility of, for other people to join her and "become a celebrity" too... She also provides swimsuits for the girls involved, something Shuichi (and not the player themselves as shown by the CG) is told not to stare at as the girls are actually casually clad in them. What this event ends on is a CG of Tenko getting a massage from Kirumi; in the process of this massage, though, Tenko gets very innuendo-prone with her happiness as her muscles are being thoroughly kneaded by the maid, making Shuichi in the background visibly show a rather...uncomfortable expression, both because he has to force himself not to stare by Tenko's orders, and because the very one who told him not to do that is doing something that would instinctively cause him to do it anyway.
  • Heroism Motive Speech: Shuichi gives a a massive one in the final trial of Chapter 6:
    Shuichi: When Maki said she was going to sacrifice herself just now, I thought...Why? So many of our friends have sacrificed their lives. Why Maki? Why now? Why do we have to go through it again? The sadness of losing Kaede..and Kaito... Why do we have to feel that sadness over and over and over again? Why do we have to bear that burden...? Well, I don't care how much the audience wants it, I'm not gonna feel that way anymore! I don't want anyone to feel that way anymore! Even if this is fiction, even if we're all fictional... The pain in my heart is real! The sadness I feel when I lose the people I love is real! I won't forgive this game that treats us like toys. And if this is what the world wants...then I reject that world! I'll fight the world that inflicts suffering for entertainment!
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Discussed and played with, but ultimately averted. The possibility is raised by the end of chapter 5 that it's Junko again, culminating in the real mastermind pretending to be her. She justifies how impossible it is for Junko to be back by saying that even if it's repetitive or nobody wanted it by this point, she's always been behind everything in the franchise, so it must be the case. In the end, though, this is a lie, and Junko is not actually related to the events at all.
  • Hope Is Scary: The usual climax of picking which side the characters would choose is getting harder in this game because both sides don't have a good resolution when they picked one of them. If they pick Despair, K1-B0 would get executed and the game will continue. If they pick Hope, then Tsumugi will get executed but Shuichi, Maki, Himiko and K1-B0 will have to pick two people on who will join for the next game. This was the reason why they pick neither of them.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of the Chapter 4 trial, when it looks all but certain that Gonta is going to be convicted as the killer, Kaito suddenly interjects that he has proof that Gonta must be innocent. He points out that Shuichi and Tsumugi met Gonta outside the entrance of the mansion in the Virtual World, meaning he couldn't have been on the roof, where the murder happened. Shuichi is forced to crush everyone's hopes by by pointing out that the killer could have used the roll of indestructible toilet paper found nearby to rappel off the roof.
    • After everyone is driven to despair in the Chapter 6 trial, Ki-bo's inner voice tells him that he must push on, and he boldly declare that he will never give up hope. Unfortunately, this prompts Tsumugi to drop another bombshell, revealing that Ki-bo is actually a first person camera for the audience and that the inner voice which has been guiding him is nothing more than an audience survey.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Given the new love hotel feature this game is certainly more "suggestive" than the previous entries in both the main story and the dating sim mode. Buying the "Key of Love" allows the main character to play out one of their classmate's most desired fantasy, with the player character being seen as that student's "ideal partner". Depending on who happens to show up when the player visits the love hotel, there could be a heavy implication that the characters end up sleeping with each other. More of the characters here are also more open about their sexual interests than those of previous games, like the two BDSM enthusiasts (Miu and Korekiyo) have this appear in just their character designs.
  • Imagined Innuendo: In Chapter 1, Kokichi asks Kaede how far she has gone with Shuichi. Kaede takes offense to that, but Kokichi just wanted to know how far they have gone in exploring the school.
  • Inconsistent Dub: In the NISA English localization, the same trial minigame is called "Mind Mine" in-game but "Imagination Excavation" in skill descriptions.
  • Insists on Being Suspected:
    • In case 1, Maki reminds Kaede that everyone—including her—should be considered possible suspects for the murder.
    Maki: ...Am I a suspect?
    Kaede: Oh, no! That's not what I meant—
    Maki: You should suspect me. In fact, you should be suspicious of everyone.
    Kaede: Huh?
    Maki: Someone got killed right after we all gathered here. The timing is too perfect. [...] So trust no one, Kaede... Or you'll lose, got it?
    • In the same chapter, Kaito calls out Shuichi (the insecure Ultimate Detective) for excluding him from the list of suspects without a good reason.
    Shuichi: Ah, don't worry... you're not a likely suspect...
    Kaito: Hey, that's not something a detective should say!
    Shuichi: What?
    Kaito: If you suspect me, you better pursue it to the end. Investigate until you're satisfied. If you don't do that, you'll never reach the truth. Rantaro will have died for no reason. This is where you need to let your Ultimate talent shine!
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Unlike the previous games, now you manually vote on who the culprit is at the end of the class trial. You don't have to actually vote for the culprit because everyone else will do so, but you do need to vote for somebody or you get a game over. The significance of this comes at the very end of the final case, where the remaining survivors perform a suicide pact by all refusing to vote for hope or despair.
    • In the first chapter, Kaede can't get more than two Free Time events from any character, because the game intends you to collect all of them with Shuichi instead.
    • On a less "spoiler" note and more "capable of being figured out by a perceptive player", you can get the sheet music and metronome presents from the MonoMono Machine, which would obviously be best appreciated only by Kaede as a recipient. There is also the "Gun of Man's Passion," which like the items "A Man's Fantasy" and "Man's Nut" in the first two games, unlocks a hidden fanservice scene of spying on girls bathing, which makes much more sense for a male protagonist.
    • Perceptive players will also notice that during a character's second Free Time event, they will speak a fully voiced line or two near the end, something only reserved for final Free Time events in Danganronpa 2.
    • Also, you can find hidden Monokumas as Kaede, but unlike the previous game there's no display rack for them in her room. The rack is in Shuichi's room.
    • In previous games, your Influence Gauge emptying would result in all the survivors voting the Player Character guilty, which, since said individual isn't the culprit, would result in Monokuma declaring that everyone besides the blackened will be executed. This time, however, the game over sequence cuts off just before the votes are cast. This is most likely because in the first trial, Kaede is considered the culprit (as the person who takes the fall for the mastermind's crime), so executing her would be the correct decision.
  • Ironic Echo: The series' Signature Song, "Danganronpa" is usually reserved for the final confrontation when the mastermind is taken down. Here, it's played when the characters are learning the Awful Truth about why they're participating in the killing game. Also counts as Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Japanese Ranguage:
    • The cover of the file about the Gofer Project reads "The Gophel Plan" in the Japanese version.
    • In both languages, the doors to the Casino and Love Hotel's area have the Latin words "Avaritia" (Greed) and "Luxulia" (Lust) written on them, though the latter should be "Luxuria".
  • Justified Title: The "V3" in Danganronpa V3 is meant to distinguish it from the anime Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, and indicate that it's the start of a new Story Arc. According to Word of God, the "V" stands for "Victory". However, the final chapter reveals that it's the 53rd season of the Danganronpa reality show, with "V" being the Roman numeral for 5. The Japanese subtitle, "Everyone's New Killing School Semester", refers to Audience Participation in which viewers can influence the K1-B0's actions through polls.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted too fast for it to even really be a Karma Houdini Warranty with Korekiyo. You've managed to get him to confess to Tenko's murder, but with a laugh, he reminds everyone of Monokuma's rule stating that if two different people commit murder at the same time, only the first body discovered counts for the trial, and the second one is a wasted kill with no blackened. He says he didn't kill Angie, whose body was discovered first and uses the fact that Monokuma didn't come up with that rule until after both bodies were discovered as proof that he didn't factor it into his murder plan. You then spend a little while refusing to let him be prematurely voted as Angie's killer, setting him up for this. It turns out he actually did kill both girls, and by admitting to killing Tenko, he ended up unwittingly providing evidence that links him to Angie's murder.
  • Kaizo Trap: After a grueling fight with the true final boss of the Despair Dungeon, Monokuma V3, you gain access to the final chest trove with the Ultimate Lucky Student Proof. However, by this point in the dungeon, you are probably at the money cap of 999,999 gold. You cannot open chests with gold if their contents put you over the cap. Five chests with 99,999 gold surround the Proof, so if you didn't dump gold on the card, pulls before killing Monokuma, tough luck. You'll have to re-enter the dungeon, spend gold, then rematch Monokuma.
  • The Killer Was Left-Handed: It may not affect the fact that Gonta was the culprit in Chapter 4, but it did affect the trial because he couldn't remember anything about it. That is because, when he had to connect the cords to the VR set, he followed Himiko's nervous instruction, which indicated that the red cord goes on the "hand you hold your chopstick in", referring to her right hand. No one knew Gonta was left-handed until he said it... almost at the end of the trial. It was a surprise.
  • Lighter and Softer: While a majority of the executions are much more brutal this time, Kaito's execution was this as that execution actually averted the Cruel and Unusual Death trope.
  • Light Is Not Good: Hope. In the finale, Shuichi Saihara rejects K1-B0's hope, as a hope-filled ending for this season of Danganronpa would stimulate the audience and lead to future killing games. Just as much as an ending filled with despair. The ending Shuichi goes for instead is an ending full of disappointment, where everyone threatens to commit suicide together with the intention of pissing off the audience so much that they never want to watch the show again, resulting in its cancellation.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: When Shuichi, Kokichi, Himiko, Korekiyo and Tenko perform a ritual in the dark, Tenko- who is inside a cage, under a sheet, weighed down by a statue - is killed in the time it takes to say the incantation once the candles are put out, without piercing or removing the statue, sheet or cage.
  • Locked Room Mystery: A body is found inside a room that could only be bolted from inside. The killer used a katana to push the bolt shut after they had left the room by stabbing it into a hanging sculpture, and twisting the sculpture's rope so it would spin when released.
  • Long Runner: In-universe. There have been 52 iterations of Danganronpa, with this game being the 53rd.
  • Love Hotels: If you buy the "Key of Love" item, the player can visit one and will meet up with any currently living student at random during the main game. If you have one during the Love Across the Universe mode this naturally means you can meet up with potentially any student, but you still can't control whose scene you get.
  • Love Hurts: In grand Danganronpa tradition:
    • Shuichi and Kaede get some pretty cute Ship Tease in Chapter 1. Turns out Kaede was the (framed) culprit for Rantaro's murder, and is executed while a tearful Shuichi watches. At the end of the chapter he's shown hallucinating her ghost and thinking back over their time together in a truly depressing fashion.
    • Kaito and Maki are pretty teased. In Chapter 5 Maki confesses to having "fallen for" Kaito before his execution, but he directs the conversation back to his and Kokichi's plan after telling her that if she fell in love with him, she can learn to love herself.
    • Tenko is clearly infatuated with Himiko, but due to their vastly differing personalities, Himiko usually responds with mild annoyance or indifference and starts to prefer the company of Angie. Just as it seems like the two of them have bridged the growing distance between them, Tenko is killed in the séance - and for added injury, Himiko would have died if Tenko hadn't volunteered to take her place.
  • Megamix Game: Characters from the previous game appear in the last trial, and each murder case is more thematic and exclusive compared to the previous two games.
  • Metal Slime: In Despair Dungeon: Monokuma's Test, copper, silver, gold and platinum version of the Monokumamels (the generic Mooks of the mode) will occasionally appear which are strong as hell by comparison. The higher the floor number, the higher the version will show up. They have really high defense and attack stats and can run away. However, they drop loads of gold and can drop rare materials for crafting high-level weaponry.
  • Meta Sequel: It's eventually revealed that this is not a direct continuation of the story told in the earlier Danganronpa works, but a story about a world where those are famous works of fiction that inspired someone to recreate them. Thus it has room to play with and comment on the familiar aspects of the franchise.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The morality of the cast is very diverse to say the least. Of the entire class, only a handful are outright good, and two (Korekiyo and Tsumugi) are outright evil.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: In Despair Dungeon, the true final boss, Monokuma V3, is simply Monokuma with a ridiculous amount of his arms in the background.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The demo uses Hagakure as the victim to hide Case 1's true victim, just like the first game. Monokuma even lampshades this stating how this was the "second time" Yasuhiro died.
    • This is not the first time a Previous Player-Character Cameo is liberally referred to as a "protagonist".
    • When Kaede gives Hajime her unconditioned trust in the demo, Hajime declines it by saying if Kaede really trusts him, then she should suspect him first. This is in line with his own game's Case 3, where "belief without doubt is a lie" is the underlying theme.
    • Kokichi dislikes pork's feet. This could be viewed as a reference to Hiyoko's nickname towards the Ultimate Imposter in DR2 with her calling them "Mr. Porkfeet".
    • Other items in Mind Mine in the demo besides the kitchen knife are a crystal ball and a dumbbell.
    • One of presents is a white grabbing hand called "Tentacle Machine", referencing Kotoko's "motivation machine" she used to molest Komaru in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.
    • The "Outlaw Run" game in the casino has you driving a car in Towa City and running over blue and purple silhouettes representing civilians.
    • During Rantaro's second free time event, he tells Kaede that he could be the Ultimate Murderous Fiend for all they know.
    • The first Rebuttal Showdown is against the victim of Chapter 2, just like Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.
    • By all initial appearances, it looks like Ryoma's Chapter 2 murder harkens back to an unused execution from the first Danganronpa game. In it, Aoi Asahina was put into a tank for a magic show trick, and when the curtain goes up again, only her bones remained.
    • Angie's first free time event makes a reference to Jabberwock Island:
      Angie: I sorta remember a place like that... Jabba-something Island, I think?
    • In the Neo World Program, Himiko is disappointed that it's a snowy mansion and chapel, and wishes it was a tropical island.
    • During the first class trial, everyone has to discuss the possibility that someone was able to kill the victim from another room by throwing a shot put ball at them with lethal force. Just like how Leon Kuwata used his throwing skills to access an incinerator that was blocked off with a gate.
    • During the third class trial, it was falsely suggested that one of the victims committed suicide just like in Danganronpa 2.
    • Kaede isn't the first musician in the series to be killed by strangulation with a rope and had her lifeless body left hanging. Additionaly, her execution finishes with a Casting Gag as her body is crushed. It gets even better when it's revealed that the Chapter 1 Class Trial, just like the Chapter 5 Class Trial of the original game, is a Frame-Up orchestrated by the mastermind in order to cover up their own crimes. However, it was possible for Makoto Naegi to outwit the mastermind in the original Danganronpa (and the canonical choice as well), to the point that even when Monokuma attempts to execute him in retaliation he's foiled by Alter Ego. By contrast, the mastermind's scheme goes off without a hitch in V3 as it's impossible to save Kaede even if you're aware of the truth.
    • Gonta's execution references how the past Chapter Four killers died as he was poisoned like Sakura and he was run over by animals like Gundham. In addition, an AI version of himself is executed as well, similarly to how Alter Ego was executed in the first game.
    • Just like in the first game, the Chapter Five victim was unknown at the start of the investigation.
    • Just like in the second game, Chapter Five has the Token Evil Teammate orchestrate his own death in a Thanatos Gambit.
    • Kaito's execution is a recreation of the Headmaster's execution in the first game's prologue. However, Kaito succumbs to his disease before it can be finished.
    • Tsumugi's skill is called "2D Love" which is a reference to Hifumi's love for 2D Girls.
    • The third murder involves a katana with gold leaf covering that easily rubs off, just like the first murder of the first game.
    • During the third trial, Tsumugi suggests that Tenko's murderer may have stabbed her from below by hiding in the crawl space under the floorboards and marking her location with glowing paint, which is how the first murder of the second game was carried out.
    • Once again, an Alter Ego character comes into play. This time, the survivors use Alter Ego Gonta to find out their motivation for committing the fourth murder, since the flesh-and-blood culprit is suffering from amnesia due to a botched entry into the Neo World Program.
    • The mastermind's room contains the same type of monitor seen in Danganronpa 3 Future Arc.
    • The Hope's Peak Academy Monopad theme costs 11037 casino coins.
    • In K1-B0's event with Miu in the Ultimate Talent Development Plan, she suggests giving him the feature to "cry" juice and tea from his eyes, similar to Mechamaru.
    • During the final trial, one of Tsumugi's lines is phrased very similarly to one of Junko's lines from Case 6 of the first game, though altered to reflect the nature of the new killing game:
    Junko (DR1): In other words, if you see despair as the enemy, then your the world itself!
    Tsumugi: So if you want to make me your enemy...then your enemy is the world of Danganronpa itself!
    • Then following that she says lines, cosplaying as different characters that are references to things they have said in the past games or that stay in-character: The final piece of evidence that reveals Leon as the first killer in DR1 is when the characters realize Sayaka's dying message was a series of letters not numbers.
    Leon: But isn't it just rad how it looks like a letter but it's really a number!
    • After Nagito earns the prize from the final dead room he learns Hajime has no talent:
    Nagito (DR2): An average, talentless human....That's right, you were never an Ultimate! you had no talent whatsoever.
    Nagito: You're just normal, average, everyday people, with no Ultimate talent whatsoever.
    • Chiaki's speech to Hajime during the final class trial in DR2 is said as words of encouragement to inspire the indecisive Hajime to just act, with the faith everything will work out. However, Tsumugi repeats this phrase, telling the V3 cast, they believed in their fake talents so much that just acting upon them led to desirable outcomes.
    Chiaki (DR2): I guess what I'm trying to say is... If you just do it, things will turn out okay.
    Chiaki: Kinda like a form of auto know like if you do it, it'll all work out.
    • In DR2 Sonia is a serial killer enthusiast. In V3 Tsumugi compares giving the V3 cast fake talents, personalities, and upbringings to what happens in the Netflix series Making a Murderer.
    Sonia: Much like that delightful documentary Making a Murderer.
    • In DR2 the 4th Trial is spurred on due to Gundham's displeasure with his friends resigning themselves to die and no longer trying to live, all to avoid killing each other. Tsumugi uses his line to show displeasure with everyone refusing to vote (grounds for immediate death), to end the killing game with a unsatisfying ending for the audience.
    Gundham: Such foolishness! To cast your life away is the height of stupidity./(Non-stop debate) To choose death is a blaspheme against life itself.
    • The DR2 ending was about Hajime moving to the future with all it's uncertainties, and the importance in deciding your own future. In the same Non-stop debate as above Tsumugi uses it as an excuse for why the V3 cast should move forward.
    Hajime: You can't throw away your futures.
  • Multiple Endings: This game has four endings.
    • Good ending: The kids make it to the end of the Death Road of Despair during the first chapter and everyone gets to leave without a single person dying.
    • Bad ending: Tsumugi succeeds at destroying everyone's hope verbally, they learned about their past lives and the fact they auditioned for the killing game... But it's actually a Fission Mailed.
    • True ending: (picking up where the false bad ending left off) Everyone gets their moment of glory and together they decide to end the killing game. Though K1-B0 sacrifices himself by killing Tsumugi and destroying the school.
    • Another bad ending that's more like a Non Standard Game Over: Shuichi ran out of time during the final investigation, and K1-B0 decided to destroy the entire school because of that.
    • The Dangan Salmon Team has three endings. You see the bad one if you haven't maxed out anyone's Relationship Values, and are told to try again. If you get to the evening of Day 10 with at least one classmate's values maxed out, you can view their endings. If you max out your relationships with everyone, you see the true ending, and can view all of your classmates' endings.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Ultimate Tennis Player Ryouma Hoshi is obviously named after Ryoma Echizen.
  • The Needs of the Many: A recurring theme: Kaede, Kirumi, and Miu all attempt murders at least partially out of a desire to prevent an even greater amount of deaths.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Promo material seems to build up Kaede as the protagonist. She isn't, and she gets offed early in the game.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: V3 as the numeric is...odd, to say the least. Word of God states that the "V" stands for "Victory". Turns out it's an almost literal meaning. There were 53 killing games including the current one. V can also stand for 5. There's also three survivors, or in other words, 3 people were victorious. This is also to differentiate it from the anime which completes the Hope's Peak Academy's saga — it should in theory limit confusion by not having the main games jump to the number 4.
  • Off-Model: Some of the cutscene CGs look like they are drawn by different people who are obviously trying to mimic the game's signature style. Also, Tenko is missing her left hand in the CG showing all the students after the killing game starts, and in the PS4 and PC versions, Kaito doesn't have his goatee in the scene where the students get their Ultimate clothes in the prologue.
  • One-Woman Wail: The track that plays when a corpse is discovered, as usual. The fact that the woman isn't wailing when his body is found in Chapter 3 is Five-Second Foreshadowing that Kokichi is trolling Shuichi.
  • Outside-Context Problem: No one considered the possibility of someone being killed during a murder investigation. It stops everyone cold and forces the Monokuma to make a new rule up on the spot.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • In the demo, Makoto Naegi refers to himself and Hajime as Kaede's senpai, offering her words of encouragement all throughout.
    • Knowing her death is approaching, Kaede entrusts completing the trial to Shuichi (as well as her role as protagonist).
  • Platform Hell: "Death Road of Despair". The difficulty approaches the level of the most infamous Platform Hell games, such as Kaizo Mario World, Syobon Action, and I Wanna Be the Guy: bombs falling out of nowhere, bombs disguised as coins that drop on top of you, bottomless pits and fire traps that appear out of nowhere, moving platforms that change speed when you approach them, all while you're being swarmed by flying exploding drones, and compounded with slippery controls. Of course, this is all intentional, since it's meant to emotionally torment the characters by giving them a slight hope of escaping, and completing it would make the rest of the game pointless, although it does grant an alternate ending. Later in the game, you need to clear the Death Road to advance the story, but this time you're armed with special hammers that can disable all the traps, making it much easier.
  • Pool Scene: The hidden bous scene in Chapter 2, where Shuichi sets up a parasol for Tenko at the pool, who brings Angie, Himino and K1-B0 along for a "celebrity like vacation" at the poolside, with Kirumi pampering them.
  • Power Up Letdown: The "better" Psyche Taxi granted by the Twin Six skill will just make you crash into the walls and other cars with its faster top speed and big fat ass blocking your view, while also causing you to miss letter cubes that would have otherwise been perfectly timed to move into your path if you were using the default taxi.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Two mannequins on the left side of Tsumugi's research lab feature the costumes of Sachika Hirasaka and Yuma Mashiro from Spike Chunsoft's then-upcoming game Zanki Zero: Last Beginning.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Clair de Lune by Debussy is used twice, when Shuichi grieves over Kaede at the end of the first chapter, and during the Rebuttal Showdown between K1-B0 and Shuichi. The Flea Waltz shows up as the tune Kaede forcibly plays during her execution.
  • Puzzle Reset: Danganronpa V3's last investigation features a time limit placed in by K1-B0, justifying itself with his claim about how much integrity his robotic body has. Despite the length being decent enough, every first attempt to complete the investigation in the set time period is impossible due to how slow the dialogue is. If the game allowed more than a possible whole hour before dawn came, then the player would be able to complete the investigation without potentially being crushed by K1-B0's debris.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Kaede's Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts killing machine in Chapter 1 is extremely impractical, relying heavily on precise, unlikely timing and positioning. Sure enough, it actually failed.
    • No matter how much you talk about The Power of Friendship, a Death Seeker like Ryoma wasn't going to last long in a Killing Game.
    • Kaede convinces the group to attempt the long, painful and frustrating Death Road of Despair over and over for a few hours. However, several members of the group eventually get exhausted and revolt against Kaede after Kokichi points out that her determination to escape is causing her to repeatedly subject the other students to torture. Kaede may be an extremely inspirational and encouraging leader loved by all the other students, but even she has her limits. Thankfully, they've all made up by the next morning.
    • The Love Hotel scenes have Shuichi taking a starring role in one of his classmates' fantasies. However, he has no way of knowing what that fantasy actually is beforehand, so he has to try to work it out while he's experiencing it. This often results in the classmate being upset or offended that Shuichi is seemingly playing dumb and forgetting their relationship, which he then has to smooth over.
  • Recurring Element: Recurring designs of previous installments have appeared again:
    • Gonta Gokuhara as the Gentle Giant, similar to Sakura, Nekomaru, and The Great Gozu. Also, Sakura, Nekomaru, and Gonta all die during Chapter 4.
    • Himiko Yumeno as the Token Mini-Moe, similar to Chihiro and Hiyoko. And like Byakuya and Sonia, she also has her own Stalker with a Crush.
    • Ryoma Hoshi as the Nonstandard Character Design, similar to Hifumi, Teruteru, and Bandai.
    • Angie Yonaga as the energetic dark-skinned girl, similar to Aoi and Akane.
    • Rantaro Amami is this game's Ultimate ???, similar to Kyoko and Hajime previously.
    • Tenko Chabashira and Maki Harukawa are female characters with spectacular fighting ability, similar to Sakura, Mukuro, Peko, and Akane.
    • Kokichi Oma is a cute Tiny Schoolboy much like Makoto, Chihiro, Fuyuhiko, and Ryota. Also similarly to Mondo and Fuyuhiko, he has a talent that is typically considered evil.
    • K1-B0 as the Token Non-Human, similar to Alter Ego, Chiaki Nanami (AI), and Miaya Gekkogahara. He can also be considered the "Naegi lookalike", similar to Komaeda.
    • For the demo, we have Yasuhiro being the victim, killed in the bathroom again. Monokuma even lampshaded this stating how this was the "second time" Yasuhiro died.
    • In the Japanese dub, there is a major male character voiced by a woman named Megumi. Both Makoto and Nagito were also voiced by a woman named Megumi.
    • The first culprit is attached to a metal collar and leash and is dragged by the neck to their execution.
    • In the Japanese dub, the real protagonist is a boy who is voiced by a woman. Both Makoto and Hajime were also voiced by women.
    • The Leitmotif that plays during murder investigations, "Despair Searching", gets a more dramatic remix that plays during the investigations of Chapter 5 and 6, titled "Hope Searching". Just like "Box 15" and "Box 16" of the first game and "Ikoroshia (Homicide)" and "Ekoroshia (Kill Command)" of the second.
    • The Chapter 5 class trial is completely rigged in an unfair sort of way, and leads to the execution of one of the most important cast members who never intended to commit murder. The first game's 5th trial is Monokuma trying to kill off Kyoko Kirigiri by framing her for a murder that Junko committed. The 2nd game's 5th trial has Nagito Komaeda, the victim, set up his own death so that the culprit is completely random, unaware, and unidentifiable, a la Russian Roulette. This time, Kokichi Oma and Kaito Momota work together to hide the identity of the victim's corpse and make it impossible to tell for sure which one is dead and which one is still alive.
    • The Chapter 6 class trial brings to light an earth-shattering revelation that renders everyone's motives for murder completely meaningless.
    • Similar to Sakura Oogami and Chiaki Nanami's roles as the "Traitor" in their games, K1-B0 joined in as one. Although, he wasn't aware that he is one.
    • In Chapter 3, there is always one fake-out death. The first game has Hifumi faking that he is dead to complicate the order of the murders. The second is Nekomaru's, who was barely alive after the impact of the missile. V3 has Kokichi looking like he's dead, but turns out okay before the cutscene ends.
    • Chapter 3 features two victims once again.
    • Shuichi Saihara fills the male high school student with an ahoge protagonist role as his predecessors did before. Chapter 1 protagonist Kaede also has one, as does in-universe protagonist Keebo.
    • The final victim, Kokichi, has the most brutal death, similar to Mukuro, Nagito and Ruruka. His body is so destroyed the rest of the group is unable to identify him.
    • The more a character was promoted during pre-release, the more said character is going to die in first chapter — Kaede is the newest member of the club, joining Sayaka, the Ultimate Imposter, and Chisa.
    • The highest title of the game similar to what Makoto Naegi and Hajime Hinata (as Izuru Kamakura) got as the Ultimate Hope was achieved by K1-B0, the In-Universe protagonist, in the final trial.
    • Maki has a hidden talent, similar to how both Toko and the Ultimate Imposter have hidden talents.
  • Red Herring:
    • When exploring the cold sleep room, it's revealed that Kaede has a younger twin sister, suggesting that maybe she could be the mastermind and the two are trying to emulate Junko and Mukuro. This turns out not to have a bearing on anything, and said sister may not even be real, especially since it was Tsumugi who suggested (and probably wrote) it.
    • In the first case, it's suggested that the victim could be killed with a ball thrown from a room directly opposite, and Gonta (who was in that room at that time) is implied as a possible culprit since he had the strength to kill with a thrown ball. In the end, this turns out to be irrelevant.
    • In Chapter Four the characters enter a virtual-reality world, using high-tech VR headsets. Miu speculates that if someone connected their VR headset wrong, they might "body swap with someone". After a murder happens in the virtual world, this throwaway line seems to hint that body-swap shenanigans are in play, e.g. the murderer body-swapping with the victim or something like that. Nothing like this happens, however (although the solution does involve one of the characters connecting the VR headset wrong and having their mind messed up as a result).
  • Red Is Heroic: Of the five Monokubs, the red Monotaro acts as the de facto leader of their sentai parody team and is the only one to briefly act on the side of the students. Also, when Kaito participates in a class trial inside an Exisal, it is the red one that is chosen but given how this is only because he's the blackened for this case and for most of it he's assumed to be Kokichi this may be a subversion.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted with Maki and Tenko. Maki's signature color is red, yet she's The Stoic and is rather distant towards the group, while Tenko wears all blue and is easily one of the most emotional characters in the game.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Replaying the second half of Chapter One knowing Kaede is the culprit makes a lot of seemingly innocuous things take on an entirely different meaning. It's also possible to pinpoint the exact moment during the trial that Shuichi realises she's the one who seemingly killed Rantaro.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In the third trial, Korekiyo gets accused of being both Tenko and Angie's killers a lot, though in nearly all cases until you actually accuse him of both it's for reasons the evidence contradicts. You even have a Debate Scrum for the sake of not prematurely voting for him after he's confessed to Tenko's murder but not Angie's!
  • Rotating Protagonist:
    • It first starts off in the first promo with K1-B0 as the protagonist, then in the second promo it became Kaede as the Protagonist, but turned out to be a Decoy Protagonist and it switched to Shuichi as the Protagonist in the real game, but then the cycle went back again with K1-B0 being the new protagonist in the Final Trial, and it ended with Shuichi being the protagonist again! Not to mention that you also get to play as Maki and Himiko for a short period of time.
    • The assistants in each chapter rotate. In chapter 1, it's Shuichi, in chapter 2, it's Kaito. In chapter 3, it's Maki, and in chapter 4 it's Kokichi. No one assists you in chapter 5 and in chapter 6; each of the survivors up to that point get a brief chance to act as Shuichi's assistant during the investigation.
  • Rule of Funny: Who's the victim in the demo? Hagakure, right down to reusing the image used of him for the first game's demo. In its ending, he rejoins Naegi and Hinata, with it being revealed that the entire scenario was set up. This later takes on a much darker tone since the actual game's biggest twist was also that the entire scenario was a ruse made up for the entertainment of others.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The Danganronpa series has always had profanity, but they were occasional and relatively mild in the first two installments. But Killing Harmony is much more offensive, with explicit sex jokes and harsher, constant swearing thanks to Miu and Kokichi.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Out of the playable characters, the three students with ahoges are the main playable characters.
    • Three people, Shuichi, Maki and Himiko, end up surviving the killing game.
  • Sad Battle Music: The final Rebuttal Showdown in the last chapter, with K1-B0, trying to talk Shuichi out of his Heroic BSoD following the revelation that everything he knew is fiction.
  • Sadistic Choice: As per series standard, the climax of the final chapter pits the remaining cast in one: Hope or Despair. Choose hope, and Tsumugi the mastermind shall receive punishment, but the remaining four will have to pick two to receive punishment as well (and by receiving punishment in this sense, it really means having to move on to the next iteration of the killing game). Choose despair, and K1-B0 is executed and the killing game continues. Either way, the audience is sated and Danganronpa will continue. The only option that won't allow Danganronpa to continue is by refusing to vote and giving the audience an ending they wouldn't like. However, doing so has another catch, as those who abstain from voting will be executed. Shuichi eventually talks the remaining cast into abstaining.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: The only source of information we have about the killing game and the outside world is from Tsumugi, who is very much an Unreliable Expositor and whose story is full of contradictions, especially upon looking back from the beginning. This obviously raises a lot of questions: Does the entire world really watch these killing games? Were those videos of the participants real or more Fake Memories? How much of their personalities are their own and how much are the product of the flashback lights? Even the three survivors question what they were told at the end as they prepare to venture into the outside world. Very fitting for a game about truth and lies.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: The final confrontation requires you to refuse to play the mastermind's game by letting the time limit run out several times and abstaining from voting.
  • Scenery Porn: The 2-3 seconds of exploration shown in the second teaser are absolutely beautiful.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: While most love hotel events are merely romantic, there are a few characters that aren't exactly ambiguous about what they want Shuichi to do with them. The events where a character successfully seduces him (Kaede's, Himiko's, Tsumugi's, Angie's) trail off before anything explicit happens.
  • Ship Tease: Invoked. Nearly all of the students were brainwashed into developing feelings toward one another in order to get more ratings for the Danganronpa reality show.
  • Show Within a Show: The Danganronpa franchise is revealed to be this. After the success of Danganronpa and Super Danganronpa 2, Team Danganronpa started producing a reality TV series of Danganronpa, with New Danganronpa V3 being its 53rd installment. Hope's Peak Academy and the events surrounding it does not exist, but the students of the Gifted Inmates Academy (who were originally ordinary talentless students, who themselves were devoted fans of Danganronpa) had their memories altered to believe that it is real. The real world that has been watching them is a peaceful world; so peaceful, that the denizens have become languid and bored, and need stimulus in the form of Danganronpa. Maybe. The Stinger suggests the possibility that Tsumugi may have been lying about some or all of this.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: This one introduces Mass Panic Debate, a harder version of the Nonstop Debate, where the characters frantically shout all at once, making the game even more confusing as the screen becomes a mess of panicked statements.
  • Spiritual Successor: What Gifted Inmates Academy is to Hope's Peak Academy, per preview material. According to the plot, the "Super High School Level" talents were scattered across the country, and only got gathered for the Killing Game.
  • Spiteful Spoiler: Played for Drama. During the fourth trial, Shuichi has to lie in order to keep things moving. This enrages Kokichi, who reveals that the culprit of the trial is Gonta. As he puts it, if he can't win the game, then he's going to make it boring for everyone else.
  • Standard Status Effects: Despair Dungeon, being an RPG, has a smorgasboard of them.
    • Sleep: Character can't do anything until they take damage.
    • Confusion: Character cannot be controlled, starts attacking allies.
    • Poison: Character takes damage over time.
    • Blind: Character cannot connect with physical attacks.
    • Curse: Character cannot use abilities.
    • Apathy: Character loses Awakening points with every turn.
    • All Down: All stats for the afflicted character. The opposite of this is All Up, which is only cast on enemies. Both skills are exclusive to the bosses.
    • Despair: Character cannot heal. Effect exclusive to Monokuma V3.
  • Stealth Pun: The subtitle, "Killing Harmony", takes on a literal meaning as Kaede, the initial protagonist and a pianist, dies.
  • The Stinger:
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: The Bait-and-Switch first chapter has players control female character, Kaede Akamatsu. Her role in the story, is to die early in the story in order to motivate male character Shuichi Saihara to be more confident.
  • Take That!:
  • Take That, Audience!: Essentially what the entire final trial is, but especially the Bad and Meta Ending is; a lampooning of the fanbase's enjoyment of the Danganronpa franchise by criticizing its desire to see more killing games just to see who lives and who dies, who the new mastermind is, etc. Even previously it had a scene that called out audiences with uneventful or mediocre lives who cling hard to fiction, sometimes to the point of wanting to BE in a game as dangerous as Danganronpa because it sounds so exciting compared to their peaceful lives. Indeed, Danganronpa is a massive source of Sailor Earth.
  • Taking You with Me: K1-B0 blows himself up to destroy Danganronpa at the end of the game.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Being the only female Monokub, Monophanie wears a bikini top.
    • During the initial explanation of the school rules, the boys and girls are represented by blue and red colored icons, respectively, though the girl icons also feature a red ribbon their heads.
  • Theme Song Reveal: To the point of nearly being a Musical Spoiler, but typically their significance isn't immediately obvious.
    • Two of the debate themes, Discussion -3rd Mix- and Discussion -PERJURY-, are almost identical, with a very subtle difference. When the latter is playing, you're able to lie.
    • When Kaede makes an objection, Exisal Tribe plays. This is the same music that plays when you're asked to select the culprit later in the trial.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The game's opening start-up uses this, even though no previous installment had such a disclaimer. It later turns out to be quite literal with its words.
  • This Loser Is You: The Makoto (not Makoto Naegi) in the real world who is hooked onto Danganronpa.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Revealed in Chapter 6 when Shuichi watches Kokichi's motive video and discovers that DICE had a strict no-killing policy. It is explicitly stated in the original Japanese version, although it's only implied in the English version despite being used as evidence in the trial.
  • Timed Mission: The final investigation is this. K1-B0 gives you until dawn to investigate the entire school. The timer is based on the number of things investigated and the progress of real-world time just to make matters more confusing. If you ran out of time, you will receive a Non Standard Game Over. Overlaps with Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, since if it happens it just rewinds to the last room you visited and refills half the timer bar.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 6 surprisingly drops "Danganronpa" with the reveal that the series is actually a reality show. The Japanese subtitle is also dropped: "everyone's killing school semester" refers to the show's enormous audience and its ability to influence the killing game.
  • Toilet Humor: Danganronpa V3 in particular features more crude, childish humor than the previous two games. An example is Miu's addition to K1-B0 to "analyze her turds." Since, even in this instalment, the script is aware enough to appear authentic, this was most likely an intentional trope since Danganronpa has continued for 53 whole seasons in a reality show. After 53 seasons of people being encouraged to kill each other by proxy of a motive, the humor in the script only gets stale. Conclusively, Miu's entire character is an example of how crudely the humor has devolved.
  • Torch the Franchise and Run: In-Universe, this is the gambit Shuichi employs in the climax in order to permanently end the killing game, by convincing everyone to abstain from the final vote so that the audience will be left disappointed. He even confronts them directly after they possess K1-B0 and emphatically states that the killing game is history. It works.
  • Total Party Kill: Subverted. At the end, K1-B0 levels the academy and self-destructs with the stated intention of ending the killing game permanently and making himself and the others Doomed Moral Victors. However, The Stinger shows he actually deliberately spared Shuichi, Maki, and Himiko.
  • Transformation Sequence: Kaede has a Magical Girl-style one when she changes from her high school uniform into her Ultimate Pianist clothes in the prologue.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: All the characters are participants in a Danganronpa reality show based off the video game series, currently in its 53rd installment (counting the ones who were actually games/animes/etc..
    Tropes U-Z 
  • Unreliable Narrator: Chapter 1 depends on this, because while the audience is privy to Kaede's thoughts during her attempted murder of Rantaro, all of the ones relevant to her plan are carefully omitted. Note that she never actually lies about what she's doing, she just doesn't elaborate — the part where she arranges the books selectively cuts off the audience's access to her thoughts at the time, she mentions within the narration that she "dropped" everything she was holding but doesn't specify the fact that she rolled a shot put ball through the vent, and all throughout the investigation, at no point does she actually express uncertainty as to who the killer the audience is instead inclined not to suspect her through her (completely genuine) horror that an innocent person was killed and her desire to expose the mastermind, expose the truth, and get everyone through the trial alive.
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: When Kaede and Shuichi first wake up as ordinary students, they recount how they got there. Kaede was walking to school as usual when someone shoved her in a van. Despite her screams of help, everyone ignored her, reminding her of how rotten the world is. Shuichi faced the same situation.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: It may be a new school, but Monokuma's still here to bring the despair! In fact, Monokuma is the only returning character from the previous games... mostly.
  • Wham Episode:
  • Wham Line:
    • From the Case 1 trial, the line which cemented The Reveal:
      Tenko: Do you know who the culprit is?!
      Kaede: Yep, I know. I've known for a long time. ... Because there was only one person able to set the flash on those cameras.
    • The very last line of Case 2, directed at Maki:
      Kokichi: Right...miss Ultimate Assassin?
    • This line halfway through Case 4's trial, heightened by two things: firstly, the speaker makes a Nightmare Face during it. Secondly, it's spoken without a hint of irony or sarcasm. The speaker is dead serious, making the implications even worse.
      Kokichi: Well then...the culprit is Gonta.
    • In Chapter Four, this line from Gonta basically confirms he has complete amnesia of the virtual world:
      Himiko: (referring to the port to plug the consciousness cord in) H-he couldn't have messed it up! I said it over and over! (holds up right hand) Right is the hand you hold your chopsticks in!
      Gonta, holding up his left hand: Oh, but Gonta hold chopsticks with this hand.
    • K1-B0's speech at the very end of Case 5 is this for two reasons: it heavily hints that K1-B0's now-broken ahoge was actually the source of his "inner voice", and it sets up the beginning of the end of the Killing Game at the start of Case 6.
      K1-B0: It's Quiet… Too Quiet... And yet this silence is quite refreshing. I used to hear my inner voice with perfect clarity... it would fill me with the power of hope... guide me along the right path... I can't hear it anymore. All I hear silence. That silence means my will is now my own. Even if despair is all we have to choose... even if hope no longer exists... I will never give in to despair! I...I will end this! No matter what, I will force this to end. This school, this Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles, is steeped in despair...
      (K1-B0 unveils several new upgrades and launches himself into the air)
      K1-B0 : ...And I will destroy it.
    • From case 6, the line which cemented the exact nature of this game's reveal:
      Tsumugi (as Makoto): If what I said was the truthnote  then Hope's Peak Academy was...
      Shuichi: It's fictional... It's all fictional?!
      Tsumugi (as Byakuya): The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History never happened... Hope's Peak, the Future Foundation, and the Remnants of Despair do not exist...
      Tsumugi (as "Byakuya"): Because it's all fiction. None of it actually happened in the real world.
      Tsumugi (as Kyoko): All of those events took place in a fictional world known as Danganronpa.
    • Approaching the resolution of the final class trial, Shuichi drops an unexpected objection:
      Keebo: Everything is gonna be ok! We'll definitely find Hop—
      Shuichi: What do you mean Hope? I reject that Hope!
    • At the very end of the 6th trial, after voting time and the students worry that abstaining from voting was pointless, because Keebo and the Mastermind will both vote for each other.
      Tsumugi: Oh, there's no need to worry about that. I didn't vote either.
  • Wham Shot: Shuichi demanded what was the real identity of The Mastermind and he got it:
    Shuichi: So who the hell are you!?
    Tsumugi: (turns into Hajime Hinata) I'm me. No one else.
  • You Bastard!: If you've read this far down the page, you've proabably already put it together that most of the final trial can be easily interpreted as calling you, the player, a bastard for enjoying a series where high school students are forced to murder each other and feel despair (despite constant denial from Word of God).
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Even while replaying the Chapter 1 class trial knowing that Kaede is in fact being set up by the real mastermind Tsumugi, it is impossible to successfully save Kaede and accuse Shirogane of the murder since the evidence that establishes her guilt hasn't been discovered yet.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Korekiyo invokes this when he admits that he killed Tenko and taunts Himiko that even though she hates him, she can't do anything to him because Monokuma states they're only looking for Angie's killer...unfortunately for Korekiyo, he left behind evidence that he did indeed kill Angie too.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Kaede starts the game finding herself waking up in a locker.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dangan Ronpa V 3, New Dangan Ronpa V 3


Danganronpa V3 - Interruption

Tenko repeatedly interrupts Kokichi to avert suspicious on Himiko.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / RapidFireInterrupting

Media sources:

Main / RapidFireInterrupting