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Visual Novel / Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

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Despair so nice they caused it twice.

”That was the beginning. The killing school trip has begun and this island was the stage.”
Hajime Hinata
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Academy in Japan), is the sequel to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, released in 2012. It is the second game in the Danganronpa franchise following the Danganronpa Zero books.

Much like its predecessor, the game begins with a new student starting their first day at Hope's Peak Academy, an elite private school that only accepts the best of the best of the best, no matter how eclectic their field. Hajime Hinata, the new guy, has always admired the school and is eagerly looking forward to attending... that is, until he arrives at the school for his first day and suddenly falls unconscious.

When he wakes up, Hajime finds himself trapped in a classroom with fifteen other new "Ultimate" students. They are greeted by a strange rabbit-like doll called "Usami", who promptly announces that they'll be going on a field trip. With a wave of her wand, the walls to the classroom fall apart to reveal that they have all been stranded on the tropical resort island of Jabberwock. Under Usami's instructions, the students must bond with each other to gain the "Hope Fragments" needed to leave the island.


All of this is sadly for naught when Monokuma suddenly shows up and violently usurps control of the island from Usami. He then reinstates the same "School Life of Mutual Killing" rules from the first game, meaning that the only way off the island is for one of the students to commit a perfect murder and sacrifice the other students so that they alone can leave. While the flow of the game remains largely unchanged, the dynamics of certain mini-games have been drastically changed and new ones have been added to the mix as well: for example, some segments of Non-Stop Debate task you with finding the right statement to agree with, and other classmates can now interrupt you with an objection, leading to a Rebuttal Showdown where you literally cut through their arguments until you finish them with a "Truth Blade".


After completing the game, an alternate story called Island Mode is unlocked where Usami strikes first against Monokuma when he appears and manages to beat him as a result, preventing him from taking over. The field trip goes exactly as planned, giving you plenty of time to bond with your fellow classmates in peace.

A localized version was released on September 2nd, 2014 for the Play Station Vita. This version was later ported to PC via Steam in April 2016. It was also released worldwide bundled with the first game as Danganronpa 1・2 Reload for the PlayStation 4 in 2017.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair provides examples of:

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  • Absence of Evidence:
    • Used to corner the first culprit. Teruteru claims to have been in the dining room with the others, but made no mention of Mikan tripping. This being Teruteru, the fact that he can't recall it is very suspicious indeed, combined with the fact that his voice was heard during the blackout...
    • Also used in the fourth trial. The murderer dropped a hammer at the crime scene to make it appear to be the murder weapon, but the fact that it doesn't have any oil on it proves that the murder weapon must have been something else.
    • Used in a somewhat roundabout way in the fifth trial, as well, where the cause of death is suspiciously absent from the Monokuma File. An element absent from the Monokuma File was pivotal to the last two cases, so Hajime realizes the case must be more complicated than it first appears — and indeed, it is.
  • Abusive Parents: Mikan implies that she was beaten at home as well as at school, which is how she became the Ultimate Nurse in the first place.
    • Kazuichi rather casually mentions his father beat him for skipping a school field trip. The way he says it implies that it happened a lot growing up.
    • Fuyuhiko's parents used to try to kill each other on a regular basis and he sometimes got caught in the crossfire. Well, they are Yakuza, after all.
  • Action Girl: Akane and Peko are the standout examples in the game.
  • Adaptational Distillation: Just like the first one, the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation cuts out several things for time, including; Twilight Syndrome Murder Case and Peko pretending to be Sparkling Justice in Chapter 2, Nagito catching the despair disease, Wizard of Monomi, and Nekomaru being rebuilt into a robot in Chapter 3, the entirety of Chapter 4, the bomb motive in Chapter 5, and finally Makoto, Kyoko, and Byakuya showing up in Chapter 6.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While his reason to do so was far from villainous, Gundham does not kill Nekomaru in the stage play.
  • Adapted Out: In the stage play, Nekomaru never becomes Mechamaru. Makoto, Kyoko, and Byakuya also do not show up in Chapter 6, with Monomi being the one who tells the students about the shutdown sequence. note 
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • In the official English translation, Gundham's "titles" for the four hamsters has been changed from "Four Dark Gods of Destruction" to "Four Dark Devas of Destruction."
    • "Despair Fever" is also called the "Despair Disease" instead.
  • Ambiguously Gay: At the end of the Chapter 3 trial, Mikan speaks of her "beloved". This person is heavily implied to be Junko. Throughout the game it is also heavily indicated that Nagito has romantic feelings for Hajime. In fact, in one of his free time events, he seems to be about to tell Hajime he loves him, only to ultimately back out and cover it up by claiming he is in love with "the hope that sleeps inside" Hajime rather than Hajime himself.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Between the surviving students' current personalities and their previous identity as Ultimate Despair. Hajime in particular is horrified to learn of his conversion from Hajime Hinata to Izuru Kamukura.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Hajime, who's most upset by the fact he can't even remember his talent. It's eventually revealed that he does not have one, since he's one of the reserve course students.
  • An Aesop:
  • And I Must Scream: Junko reveals that if the students choose to "graduate", the Future Foundation members who uploaded themselves into the program (Makoto, Kyoko and Byakuya) would be forced into an "endless cycle of repeating the grade" since you need the teacher's approval to graduate and well... like she's going to let them.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: When the two groups are separated in Chapter 4's investigation, you briefly play as Nagito and participate in an escape-the-room game.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Get all Hope Fragments from someone, and you'll get their underwear. Yes, even the boys.
  • Angrish: When Teruteru is cornered as the murderer, he undergoes a Sanity Slippage and starts spouting unintelligible gibberish, which Monomi has to translate because nobody can understand his accent.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Fuyuhiko's plea to Peko at the end of Chapter 2's trial, declaring that he needs her to stay by his side, and as a person, rather than as a tool. Whether this is platonic or romantic depends on your personal interpretation.
    Fuyuhiko: I... I never wanted a tool! I just wanted you! Only you! [...] Wh-Why!? Why couldn’t you understand!? We’ve always been together, ever since we were kids! [...] Please, Peko! Don’t go...! I need you! Don’t leave me!
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Each trial has an interval where the player is prompted to save their game. This helps break up the experience as completing a trial plus the aftermath can take well over an hour or more.
  • Anti-Villain: To an even higher propensity than the first game. Almost every single murder has a justifiable motive, or the villain otherwise has an understandable reason for committing the crime. Teruteru genuinely believed that Nagito was going to kill Byakuya and acted to save him, and only failed to admit it when he realized he could get out of this situation to see his ailing mother before she died. Peko only acted on Fuyuhiko's implicit orders to kill Mahiru for him, and positioned herself as a "tool for the blackened" rather than the blackened themselves in order to let Fuyuhiko escape the island. Unfortunately, Fuyuhiko doesn't view her as just a tool and Peko dies trying to protect him. Mikan is driven insane by the Despair Virus and regresses to her Ultimate Despair persona, and her sheer demeanor shift and brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech delivered to the class for failing to stop her being victimized makes it a hard pill to swallow. While Gundham plays up his villainy, it's heavily implied that he only killed Nekomaru to prevent the group from starving to death, makes very little resistance when he's accused of being the blackened, and it's also implied that Nekomaru agreed to fight Gundham to the death, making it one of the only murders in the entire series that has the consent of the victim. Nagito subverts this by being a troublesome and dangerous individual, but he still had a fairly reasonable motive- kill his fellow Ultimate Despairs to stop them from returning to the world to wreak even more havoc.
  • Anyone Can Die: It's more a matter of when, and guessing who the final group of survivors are. There is a glimmer of hope that they can still be revived, though.
  • Arc Words: "Create our own future". The word "miracle" also shows up several times in the last chapters.
  • The Artifact: The addition of the Consent system has made the notion of memorizing statements largely obsolete. The mechanic still shows up in situations where the debate is structured so that you absolutely have to shoot down an argument instead of agreeing with it, and the terms required to do that usually involve a concept so vague (such as "killer's mistake") that no Truth Bullet could reasonably be constructed for it.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Monokuma and Usami/Monomi are actually this. Also the case with Chiaki, Alter Ego, and Junko Enoshima.
  • Asshole Victim: In Twilight Syndrome Murder Case, both murderers view their victims this way. More specifically, F-suke/Fuyuhiko's sister was seen as a selfish Spoiled Brat who used her parents' connections to avoid any punishment for her cruelty to D-ko/Mahiru, and F-suke wanted to make certain her murderer/Sato was punished.
    • Though she was trying to improve herself, Hiyoko was not a pleasant person to be around (although this isn't why Mikan killed her).
    • Throughout the game, Nagito had been surprisingly helpful to his fellow students...but he'd also attempted a murder, been generally cruel and confusing in his conversations with them, and was also threatening them with bombs in an attempt to weed out the traitor. By the time Hajime and co. find his body, they're not actually that upset to see him dead, despite acknowledging that his death was too horrible for any of them to really conceive of.
  • Assimilation Plot: AI Junko's goal. If the survivors "graduate" the simulation, then she'll be able to download herself into the bodies of the deceased students. From there she can steal the technology from the Future Foundation and use it to infect the rest of the world.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Monokuma's Zoid-ish underlings that guard the gates to other island segments, as well as the representation of Junko's alter ego.
  • Ax-Crazy: The entire cast (sans Chiaki, who's an AI) were previously this, thanks to previously belonging to Ultimate Despair before they were put in rehabilitation. Mikan eventually turns back into this when she reverts to her Ultimate Despair self.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The game loves to pull this and play on your expectations from the first game.
    • Usami reassures everyone that they've been invited to an island to make friends with each other, complete with a peppy J-pop opening song... then Monokuma shows up and immediately reverts everything to the "murder" format.
    • In Chapter 1, Nagito confesses in court to a murder plot... but his plan actually failed.
    • The execution of Chapter 1 is a callback to the first execution in the original game... except Teruteru doesn't get bludgeoned to death, he gets deep-fried in a volcano.
    • In the previous game, anyone who was seriously accused of murder would end up surviving the killing game. Here, Nagito and Hiyoko are the prime suspects of Chapters 1 and 2 respectively, so you might expect the same for them. Nope, Hiyoko gets her throat slashed in Chapter 3 while Nagito sets up an elaborate Thanatos Gambit to create an unsolvable murder in a bid to get everyone but The Mole killed.
    • It is revealed in Chapter 5 that in Chapter 1, the victim is not Byakuya, as the player is led to believe, but the Ultimate Imposter pretending to be him.
    • Nagito spends the majority of the first chapter appearing to be a Makoto expy, but after he reveals his true nature in the middle of the first trial, he delivers a spine-chilling Callback line that tells the audience just how much they were terrifyingly mistaken.
    Nagito: You've got that wrong.
  • Barefoot Suicide: Averted with Ibuki's death as she is found hanged with her slippers on. However, this is because she was actually murdered.
  • Beach Episode:
    • During the Prologue, Hajime doesn't fully relax until Usami gives everyone school swimsuits and encourages them to play on the beach.
    • A more traditional type happens in Chapter 2. Naturally, it gets derailed by the discovery of a body before things can get into full swing.
  • Bedmate Reveal: In chapter 3, following the outbreak of the Despair Disease, Hajime wakes up in the hospital to find that Mikan has fallen asleep next to him. It also happens again just before the chapter's murder.
  • Belated Happy Ending: The original Bittersweet Ending (see below) has only Hajime, Fuyuhiko, Akane, Kazuichi, and Sonia escape the Neo World Program. Their friends are alive but comatose and the surviving five choose to care for them with the knowledge that it is unlikely their friends will ever wake up but the hope that they one day will. However, in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School it is revealed that all the comatose students were eventually woken up and prevented from reverting into their Ultimate Despair personas. They then leave Jabberwock Island to help save the day. This means the Goodbye Despair killing game in fact has a whopping fifteen survivors out of the original sixteen. Although, it is made clear that Chiaki (both the real girl and the AI) and Usami are really dead and only appear as a Spirit Advisor to Hajime.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Usami/Monomi and Chiaki, who were included in the Neo World Program to watch over the students. Usami was to act as a direct guide in the teacher role, while Chiaki was disguised as a fellow student whom the others would trust so she could help everyone get along. The fact that the students spend most of the game distrusting Usami/Monomi and the "traitor" goes to show how good Monokuma is at sowing suspicion and twisting the facts.
  • Berserk Button: Not that it's exactly hard to set him off anyway, but Fuyuhiko was going to call off the hit on Mahiru, only to almost kill her himself when she tells him that he had no right to murder Sato.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Monokuma. Even more so than the first game.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Makoto shows up during the final trial to save the remaining students. Subverted when it turns out to be a fake created by Monokuma to convince the students to Graduate (which would allow AI Junko to escape and possess their dead friends). Double Subverted when the REAL Makoto shows up in time to stop them from pressing the Graduate button.
    • Then later during the same trial, Makoto needs two more people to initiate a forced shutdown and stop AI Junko. Cue the arrival of Kyoko and Byakuya.
    • Then Chiaki Nanami manages to get one in the very very last trial. She abruptly inserts herself into a pair of otherwise impossible non-stop debates, before giving Hajime a literal magic bullet.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The five survivors (Hajime, Sonia, Fuyuhiko, Akane, and Kazuichi) escape the killing game simulation, stop A.I. Junko from entering the real world, and, miraculously, retain their memories of the island and don't revert back to Ultimate Despair. Through this, they stay on the Jabberwock Islands to tend to their comatose friends and have vowed to create a new future of hope for themselves. Also, despite the belief that Hajime would be "reset" to Izuru Kamukura and lost forever, he retains some measure of control and sanity, possibly via a Split-Personality Merge. However, the chances of any of the dead students waking up are close to zero, much of the world is still in post-apocalyptic ruins (although according to Kyoko many places have significantly recovered), and Chiaki and Usami have likely been completely erased from existence.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Funhouse. Naturally, figuring out how the area is constructed proves crucial for the murder that takes place there.
  • Black Blood: As in the previous game, the murder scenes are plastered in Pepto-Bismol pink, though the characters still see it as red. Also, when Mechamaru is killed, he bleeds oil, which is colored light blue.
  • Black Comedy: Most of the executions fit this trope well.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In comparison to its predecessor, which was already far from being gore-free despite all the blood being colored pink. The deaths of Nekomaru and Nagito in particular qualify for this trope: the former is smashed to pieces after falling from a great height, while the latter suffers a self-inflicted, borderline Rasputinian Death. Furthermore, Fuyuhiko has one of his eyes gouged out with a sword (albeit accidentally), and the final trial doesn't shy away from some of the horrors committed by the protagonists as members of Ultimate Despair - including mass murder, Cold-Blooded Torture, self-mutilation, and possible necrophilia.
  • Body of the Week: It is a murder mystery game, after all.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Monokuma puts on one of these acts with Monomi during Chapter 1.
  • Boss Corridor: Just before the Graduation Exam in Chapter 6, you go through a long, wireframe corridor with swirling binary surrounding it.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All of the cast members (except Chiaki), as part of the Ultimate Despair.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Chapter 6 onwards don't just break the fourth wall, they rip it into shreds.
    • Chiaki Nanami's talent as the Ultimate Gamer even, apparently, extends to Danganronpa 2 itself...
  • Broken Bridge: The Monobeasts serve this purpose, blocking off access to the other islands. After each chapter, Monomi clears away one of the beasts, allowing access to another island.
  • Call-Back:
    • All the murders, really. This is commented on in Chapter 4 when Nagito discovers records of the first game's events.
      • In Chapter 1, there is a failed murder attempt using a knife stolen from a kitchen, and the Ultimate Lucky Student is the first suspect. The culprit also tries to talk their way out of getting punished as they both believe their murders are justified. Both execution cutscenes also begin with the agitated culprit being dragged out of the courtroom by the throat. Furthermore, the first victim is someone important from the story's narrative (Sayaka is the first deuteragonist while the Ultimate Imposter is presented as Byakuya Togami from the first game). The culprits on the other hand were mostly comedic relief characters who got unlucky (Leon was targeted by Sayaka and had to react, while Teruteru overheard that Nagito was going to attempt to kill someone).
      • In Chapter 2, the victim is bludgeoned to death with a single blow. There are hints that a serial killer is responsible but that turns out to be untrue. Plus, the Panic Talk Action (equivalent to the Bullet Time Battle of the first game) isn't against the murderer, but someone trying to defend them. More subtly, the first murder of the first game has a baseball player use a sword to attack the victim, while this case has a swordswoman use a baseball bat to attack. Also, the dark pasts of both the victim and the culprit have been revealed in the case.
      • In Chapter 3, there is a double murder, and the first body found is actually the second to be killed. This victim is also someone who was deeply affected by losing their newfound friend in the previous chapter. The game also hints that two people are responsible (like the first game) but in this case it is a Red Herring. Also involves someone recovering their memories. It is also the only killing that was cold-blooded murder, with no sympathetic or noble elements to it (although Danganronpa 3 puts a different light on Mikan's case).
      • In Chapter 4, it is initially unclear on whether it is suicide or murder. The victim is the largest and strongest person in the class. The final words of the perpetrator motivate the students to keep living. Also, the culprit notes that there was a possibility of them being killed by their target instead, which would have led to a very confusing case ... just like with Sayaka Maizono in the first game. Furthermore, both cases have been committed in an act of sacrifice.
      • In Chapter 5, the murder is staged with the goal of having a specific target (or in this case, targets) executed by the trial. The victim's death also involves the Spear of Gungnir, and the initially suspected cause of death is not what killed them. Also both chapters feature a cutscene with a bomb that blows a character across the room (but doesn't kill them).
      • Chapter 5 also has a lot of parallels with Chapter 4 from DR1. Both deaths were initially engineered by the victims, and someone who isn't the blackened tries (and fails) to make the students lose the game and have everyone executed. The victim has several wounds that would have killed them before everything happened if not for their massive willpower (and luck), and it also comes off as a twist that the cause of death is poisoning. And as a little extra detail, both (ab)Normal Days/Daily Life sequences feature someone getting slapped for tormenting the future victim.
    • "Or, in other words... that one of us is a serial killer? That sounds like a plot twist from some kind of weird game or something..." referencing Toko's split personality as Genocide Jack.
    • The password the students were looking for ended up being 11037.
    • Nagito's suicide - stabbing himself, tying himself up, poisoning himself, and spearing himself, all inside a locked room setup - mirrors most of the DR1 deaths: Sayaka was stabbed, Chihiro was tied up, Sakura was poisoned inside of a locked room, and Mukuro was speared; additionally, numerous stab wounds on his thighs bring to mind Genocide Jack's habit of carving marks upon her leg. Seeing how he knows how the murder victims died, as he tells Hajime in Chapter 4, this is likely very intentional on his part.
    • At the end of the game, Hajime appears to converse with Chiaki's spirit. Afterwards, he gets white hair, red eyes, and a Battle Aura. This is basically what happened when Kiyotaka channeled Mondo's spirit in the first game, only this time it's Played for Drama.
    • Most of the characters are amnesiac members of Ultimate Despair, which is the same as the big twist of Danganronpa Zero.
    • A number of the presents directly reference the previous game, i.e. the gold-painted sword (complete with scratched sheath) and Yasuhiro's broken crystal ball from Chapter 1, Mukuro Ikusaba's knife, the Ogami clan guide to massage, and a sword technique named after Sayaka. It might seem strange to be able to obtain multiple copies of some of these items, but it makes far more sense with The Reveal.
    • In chapter 3, a sick Nagito will ramble about Ibuki having a twin sister, and how she's the "17th student", a nod to the plot twist of the first game.
    • When Hajime and Chiaki find Monokuma's poison inside Nagito's fridge, Hajime initially confuses it with protein powder, a nod to the poison/protein powder switch that was instrumental to the 4th class trial of the first game. The container even resembles the poison container from the first game
  • Cartoon Meat: One of the food items featured at the party in Chapter 1 is a huge piece of meat on the bone. It proves important, as Teruteru had hid the murder weapon inside it.
  • Central Theme: What do people define as "hope?" What are people willing to fight for?
  • Cheat Code:
    • In Chapter 2, Chiaki reveals that the cryptic message at the end of Twilight Syndrome ("Down five") is actually a hint to a cheat code that can be entered at the title screen, prompting the player to press Down 5 times. It's required to beat the game and reveal the "motive".
    • The garbled message on Chiaki's front door after the Chapter 5 trial (which may or may not have been her dying thoughts as she was executed) has her trying to recite the Konami Code.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Final Dead Room and Nagito's prize of the student profiles are this. They're used to ignite the events of the fifth chapter, and those events are mentioned by Hajime and Fake!Makoto again in the sixth chapter.
  • Chewbacca Defense: Gundham's initial Rebuttal Showdown argument in the Chapter 4 trial.
    Gundham: Even if the turbid box does not could travel through multiple planes...provided you use a spacious wormhole...however how frail, frail, I say! Your decayed illusion...shall I feed you to the progeny of vile deities!?
  • Comically Missing the Point: Kazuichi somehow manages to comically miss one of his own points during Trial #4.
Kazuichi: It appears it's just as Miss Sonia said...I'm just a, I'm not just a pest...I'm a total fucking pig...
Fuyuhiko: This guy...HE GETS OFF ON THIS!
  • Connected All Along: Danganronpa 2's cast and the protagonist's different identity exploits the viewer's suspension of disbelief by showing three red herring-type characters with irrefutable similarities to the previous cast (Nagito as Makoto, Akane as Aoi, Ultimate Imposter as Byakuya) that have them debate whether the two games are connected or the sequel is set in an alternative reality. By Chapter 6 and the mention of previous occurrences that are of Junko's responsibility, along with the appearance of Makoto, Kyoko, and Byakuya from Trigger Happy Havoc, at that point the player can successfully confirm that the two games are connected.
  • Continuity Nod: There's quite a few references to Danganronpa Zero sprinkled throughout. Not just in plot points from the novel coming into play at the end (The Reserve Course and Izuru Kamukura), but also in two of Nagito's favourite gifts, which both are references to the book.
  • Class Trip: The reason why the class has ended up on the island. At least, until Monokuma showed up.
  • Clock Tampering: This is done in the 4th case by Gundham Tanaka to initiate his murder plot 3 days after the students were nearly starved by Monokuma. On the second day the students are trapped in the Funhouse, they are required to attend Monokuma's Tai-Chi lessons in the tower at 7:30 AM sharp, lest they be punished. When they show their will to live deteriorating after the very first assignment, Gundham sets all the clocks in the Funhouse back 2 hours to 5:30 AM sharp while everyone is sleeping, making everyone believe that they still had more time to sleep (they were close to starvation and dehydration, so they wouldn't try to exert themselves). Because of this, the only one to go to the tower was "Mechamaru" who had a built-in clock tuned to the proper time. There, Gundham intercepted him alone and enacted his murder.
  • Closed Circle:
    • An isolated chain of islands, where there's no boats and the only planes in the airport are missing their engines.
    • The Funhouse. Monokuma describes the situation as "a closed circle within a closed circle".
  • Clothing-Concealed Injury: At the start of the third chapter, Fuyuhiko apologizes to the other students for his part in the previous chapter's murder. What they don't know (until he starts bleeding everywhere), is that under his clothes, he's already slashed open his stomach as an act of penance fitting of a Yakuza leader. He ultimately survives, however.
  • Comical Overreacting: Kazuichi, a lot of the time, handles all the weird things thrown at him by screaming.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character:
    • Hajime vs. Makoto: Both characters initially seem to lack a talent, but realize they are actually the Ultimate Hope during their game's climax. However, Makoto is simply naturally idealistic. Hajime's version of Ultimate Hope is a designation handed to him by the Academy—he is their great hope due to being brainwashed and modified to have every possible talent. They fit this personality wise as well; while Hajime proves to be a good person, he is much more outspoken and sarcastic than Makoto and is not afraid of confronting and arguing with the other students when he needs to.
    • Nagito vs. Makoto: They are both Ultimate Lucky Students voiced by Megumi Ogata (Bryce Papenbrook in the English dub). Makoto does have a certain level of luck, but it's subtle and mostly annoying or inconvenient for him. Nagito, meanwhile, has incredible good and bad luck—his life is a series of horrible incidents such as his parents dying or his plane crashing, but his luck will "cancel it out" and deliver him some kind of miraculous windfall afterward like winning the lottery as soon as his plane crashes or being accepted into Hope's Peak Academy right after being diagnosed with a deadly brain disease. Needless to say, the stress of this has warped his personality. Makoto also seems fairly comfortable with his supposed lack of talent, while Nagito has a huge Inferiority Superiority Complex that ruins his self-esteem and causes him to both idolize the other Ultimate students and treat normal people like garbage. As for both characters' relationship with hope, Makoto's version is for the most part played as a positive, while Nagito's version of hope drives him to cause despair so a "better hope" will rise above it.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The executions, of course. Monokuma is once again at the top of his game.
    • Monomi (first time): Poured full of bullets by the Monobeasts. Luckily, she has reserves.
    • Teruteru Hanamura: Blasted with batter and flour, then dropped into a volcano.
    • Peko Pekoyama: Overrun by an army of Monokuma robots, tricked into severely wounding her master Fuyuhiko, and finally impaled.
    • Mikan Tsumiki: Strapped to a rocket in the shape of a human arm, which is injected with steroids - she is blasted off to space.
    • Gundham Tanaka: Trampled by a stampede as his minions watch helplessly.
    • Chiaki Nanami and Monomi (second time): Placed into a Space Invaders firing squad which destroys all of Monomi's remaining bodies - when Chiaki attempts to flee with the last Monomi, she is chased by a Pac-Man robot into a giant Tetris machine, where both are crushed.
    • Also, Nagito's 'suicide' definitely counts. He ties himself down with rope, stabs himself multiple times in the thighs and slices his own arm open with a knife, jams the knife into his right hand, and tricks the remaining students into throwing a fire grenade filled with deadly poison at him. When he inhales the poison, he dies and drops a giant spear into his gut.
  • Cult of Personality: The Ultimate Despair group worships the original Ultimate Despair, Junko Enoshima, going so far as to carve up her dead body and surgically replace their own body parts with hers.
  • Cute and Psycho: Mikan. Good lord, Mikan.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: Byakuya talks about "things" in his past he can't tell anyone about, yet defers the question when Hajime asks him to elaborate, saying only that he can (and indeed may have to) explain later. Unfortunately for interested players, Danganronpa is a murder mystery series, and Byakuya ends up being the first victim.
  • Death by Irony: Not to as great an extent as the first game, but some of the executions still count. See the Fridge Brilliance page for details.
  • Death Is Cheap: Discussed and ultimately subverted in regards to the dead students. Fuyuhiko suggests that, since all the events went down in a VR simulator, the death of their classmates will not affect them in Real Life — however, since Your Mind Makes It Real, those students who felt they were dying have become braindead. The Ambiguous Ending leaves the survivors tending for the dead students in hope that they will awaken one day. The OVA Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the World Destroyer and the Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School anime reveal that all the students finally awoke, despite Junko's prediction.
  • Death of Personality: A few big examples in the story. The Ultimate Despairs are placed inside a machine in an attempt to 'rewind' their personalities back two years before they became completely obsessed with death and despair. Meanwhile, Junko as the Monokuma virus attempted to hijack the program and upload herself into the comatose bodies of the murder victims. Finally, there's poor Hajime Hinata, who had his mind essentially surgically altered and replaced with the personality of Izuru, a sociopathic genius who was Junko's right hand. How effective the death of personality is by the end is left uncertain, since the game does not definitively state how much of the original personalities vs how much of the killing island trip personalities have been restored. All that can be said definitively is that Hajime seems to retain his Killing Trip personality and some (all of?) Izuru's memories.
  • Debate and Switch: The outcome of the second case initially seems to hinge on the dilemma as to whether Just Following Orders is a legitimate justification/defence or not: Peko killed Mahiru, but after being voted as the culprit, she claims that she only did it because Fuyuhiko ordered her, and he should be counted as the culprit instead of her, as she's just his "tool". This would effectively make Fuyuhiko the winner of the killing game, so he would be allowed to escape while the rest of the group would die. The others argue that, regardless of the circumstances of her actions, she's a person, not a tool, so she's responsible and therefore the correct culprit. However, it then turns out that she was not, in fact, acting under orders in the first place, effectively rendering the moral dilemma moot.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: The entire game seems designed to play the similarities with the first game only to ultimately subvert them. The entire ending calls many things stated about the academy and hope itself into question.
  • Denser and Wackier: The setting is far more outlandish than that of the previous game, exchanging the sealed-off Academy for an entire series of tropical islands guarded by Humongous Mecha and including amusement parks and military bases with guns and rocket launchers just lying around everywhere. The executions are even more over-the-top, and one character is even turned into a robot at one point. It all makes more sense, though, once you figure out that everything is a VR simulation.
  • Deserted Island: The Jabberwock Islands. Subverted in that the islands aren't entirely devoid of civilization - there's a hotel and other buildings built there. However, other than the students, there are no other people around. This is mostly because of what it turns out they actually are.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With the exception of the fifth trial, all victims have same-sex culprits. Subverted with Akane and Nekomaru, who would fight each other regularly. Double subverted with Fuyuhiko, who was about to take out Mahiru until Peko did it herself.
  • Despair Event Horizon: All of the survivors experience this in the climax of the 6th Trial, with having to choose between returning to their former Despair Crazy selves and risk being killed by Future Foundation (and Hajime basically being erased), or retaining their memories but releasing AI Junko into the world to restart the tragedy.
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: Invoked by Peko, attempting to make Hiyoko leave a trail of footprints implicating her in the second murder.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • In the stage play based off this game, case 4 is skipped to save time, leading to Gundham and Nekomaru deciding to attack Monokuma, only to end up killed by him.
    • In addition, with the exception of Peko’s, all the executions have also been altered. Teruteru and Chiaki’s executions are changed to them being impaled with spears while Mikan’s is changed to her dying from a lethal injection.
  • Drawing Straws: Nagito suggests this as a way to determine who gets to clean up the lodge. He ends up with the short straw. Of course, this later turns out to be part of his murder scheme.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted with the Chapter 5 murder victim (Nagito Komaeda). He sets up the crime scene and self-inflicts most of his wounds in order to make it look like this is the case. But he only died when he inhaled the poison that he had earlier put in one of the fire grenades that the other characters used to put out the fire at the crime scene. Thus, the incident was a Thanatos Gambit on Nagito's part to make one of the others unknowingly kill him. To most people this would still count as Suicide by Cop, but Monokuma has a vested interest in interpreting every death possible as murder and therefore punishable.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The English localization is noticeably sloppier than that of the first game due to being rushed for release, with more than a handful of line breaks that make things difficult to read and typos. For the most part this doesn't affect understanding of the game with the exception of one present item: the memory notebook from Danganronpa Zero. The notebook belongs to a character named "Ryouko Otonashi", but the localization mis-renders the smudged-out text as "Ky...ko...Oto...", running the risk of anyone unfamiliar with the novel to mistake it for Kyoko from the first game.
    • The message at the end of Twilight Syndrome (in Japanese, "Gokai shita") is actually a hint to a cheat code that can be entered at the title screen. "Gokai shita" can be translated both as "You misunderstood" or as "Five times down". Hajime mistakenly falls for the former interpretation at first, only for Chiaki to point out the alternate meaning. There's no simple way to make this pun work in English, so only the latter translation appears, with Hajime needing a hint simply because he doesn't know what "five down" is supposed to mean. Luckily this didn't break any real puzzles, since in both languages Chiaki simply gives you the answer immediately anyway.
    • Sonia's comment about not being a virgin may be this, as the words for "young girl" and "virgin" sound almost the same when spoken aloud, and she may have misunderstood (perhaps because she's a foreigner) and thought Gundham was saying she was a young girl. But given a similar scene in Danganronpa 3, probably not.
    • It's stated at one point that one of Junko's followers had sex with her corpse, hoping to have her child. If that makes no sense to you (a pregnant corpse?), just know that the Japanese version actually states that a follower had Junko's uterus transplanted into her own body so that any children she bore would be Junko's.
    • The English localization can't seem to decide what language the characters are using. There are several moments where the fact that text is written in Japanese is explicitly mentioned, implying that it is out of the ordinary and the students aren't otherwise speaking/reading Japanese. In other instances, however, only Sonia as the resident foreigner is able to easily read English words, leading to a strange situation where the characters seem to be speaking neither the language of the original source material or the language of the dub.
    • In the first class trial, a major point is made of Byakuya's reasoning behind saying a particular line during the blackout. The actual translation of the line is more along the lines of "What are you doing?", implying that he could see someone in the dark (which he indeed could). The official translation went with "What the hell? This is...", which doesn't actually indicate that he could see anything.
     E - H 
  • Easy Level Trick: Racking up Monocoins - and, consequently, earning the Trophies/Achievements for earning 999 Monocoins and getting every Present in the game - becomes a cakewalk by simply farming Monokumas in the Pet minigame. For a paltry 9 Monocoins, one can turn a whopping 291 Monocoin profit in the span of under an hour, which is still considerably less time than it takes to earn a similar number of Monocoins via other methods. For bonus points, the Monokuma pet is the easiest pet to raise in the game once it reaches its evolved form, since unlike other pet types, it can’t die.
  • Eat the Dog: After the group gets locked in the funhouse in chapter 4, Kazuichi briefly contemplates having to eat Gundham's hamsters. Sonia quickly shoots that idea down.
  • Egopolis: Most of Jabberwock Island is this for Monokuma (with a few holdovers from Usami suggesting that it was supposed to be the same way for her, too). The Junko AI eventually plans to turn the entire world into "Junkoland" by taking over everyone on Earth.
  • Emergency Transformation: After Taking the Bullet for Akane, Nekomaru is turned into a Cyborg, but he still gets killed later.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Just like the first game, dead students are replaced during School Trials with a "memorial" picture that has their face crossed out. However, the game adds a bit more Black Comedy by customizing the cross marks of certain students. Teruteru's cross is a knife and fork; Mikan's cross is made up of bandages and rotated so it looks more like a first aid symbol; Peko's cross is a shinai and sheath; Ibuki's cross is two drumstricks; Gundham's cross is a capital letter "X"; and Nagito's cross is dripping blood.
  • Empty Shell: Monokuma claims the students killed in his game were reduced to this. Hope is held out in the end that their condition is more of a Convenient Coma—which thankfully isn't just blind hope, as there are several inconsistencies between how the Neo World Program is supposed to work and what actually happens, such as the forced shutdown sequence taking the form of the supposedly deleted Usami.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Hajime's reaction when he encounters remnants of Izuru Kamukura in his mind, during the final trial. A downplayed version of this trope is utilized for the other members of Ultimate Despair, although they never see what their true selves are like.
  • Evolving Credits: As the game progresses, the intro sequence tints the introduction screens of the deceased students in red. In addition, during the third trial where Nekomaru is incapacitated and unable to participate, his intro screen is darkened.
  • Exact Words:
    • Monokuma agrees that he promised to return the students' school memories when the killing started... but he never said he would return the memories right away.
    • Mikan uses this to sow further distrust of the Future Foundation among the class after she regresses to her Ultimate Despair personality, saying that they truly deserve to be called "World Ender" because they intend to destroy 'our' world. The world she's referring to is the post-Tragedy world of chaos and despair they brought about as members of the Ultimate Despair.
    • In Chapter 4, Monokuma claims there are "ship parts" hidden in the amusement park. Much to Kazuichi's frustration, the "parts" turn out to be the electric motor from a remote-controlled toy boat.
      Monokuma: Tee-hee! You totally got tricked! I never said a single word about the ship being real!
  • Eye Scream:
    • Monokuma inflicts this on Usami when he takes over, then mocks her about it, calling her Monomi from then on.
    • Later on, Fuyuhiko loses an eye when he tries to stop Peko's execution.
    • During a montage that demonstrates the kind of self-mutilation that members of the Ultimate Despair inflicted upon themselves, one of the examples is of someone who gouged out their own eye and replaced it with the eye of Junko Enoshima. He and Fuyuhiko might actually be the same person.
  • Failed a Spot Check: It somehow does not occur to Hajime that Mikan's strange behavior is a sign that she's caught the Despair Disease. Despite knowing that it alters your personality, and that she's been taking care of the students who had it.
  • False Confession:
    • During the first trial, Nagito presents himself as an increasingly obvious candidate for being the culprit. Helps that he really was planning to cause a murder...
    • Twisted all around during the second trial, where Peko claims after the trial she was taking the fall for somebody else so they could successfully graduate, assuming that this person merely saw her as their tool.
  • Famous Last Words:
    Monomi (Usami): I-I will protect everyone! Even at the cost of my life...I will protect everyone!

    Byakuya Togami (Imposter): Hey! Why can't you all act a little more mature...? ...Hm? What was that sound just now?
    Teruteru Hanamura: L-Lies… I won’t believe this… I...won’! ...MAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Mahiru Koizumi: The fact that your sister was killed is terrible... It's unfortunate...but... You shouldn't have killed that girl! You had no right do to that! Nobody has the right to judge others for their crimes! just wrong!

    Peko Pekoyama: Young...master? ...Young master!

    Hiyoko Saionji: S-Stupid! What are you saying!? Of course I can do it! Because...Mahiru taught me. That’s why...I can do it on my own.
    Ibuki Mioda: Yes! Understood!

    Mikan Tsumiki: Now I can go to my beloved who always forgives me...! I can finally see them. Please forgive me, the one who's going to die with the hope of finally seeing you!

    Nekomaru Nidai: Gaaahahahaha! You'll drench your soul with evil until the bitter end, huh...? SPLENDID! In response to your spirit...I shall kill you with all of my might! I won't go easy on you! Don't even think about holding back! Don't waste your breath on cowardly tactics! Give me everything you've got!

    Gundham Tanaka: In this world, I am only a temporary visitor... I was simply visiting for a moment...and now that my duty is complete, I must return to the darkness... That is why, until the very end... Pride! Conceit! Courage! Insolence! Fearful of nothing! Daunted by nothing! Let us laugh uproariously! That is Gundham Tanaka! I shall stick with my evil until the very end! Open Sesame, Pandaemonium! I shall fill hell with true hell! FUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Nagito Komaeda: I believe my actions will become the foundation of this world's hope. And...if that really happens... Praise me. Tell others what I've accomplished. Erect a bronze statue of me. Respect me. Please call me...the Ultimate Hope.

    Chiaki Nanami: Bye everyone... It's okay... A shining future will always be waiting for you. It's's absolutely true... Cuz...I know.
    Monomi: Bye-bye! Please don't forget about your teacher.

    Junko Enoshima (Alter Ego): Once you've experienced the despair I've suffered, there's no turning back. Living in the shadows of past memories... That's...too sad, you know... Ah, but I guess...I no longer...I no longer have to...hope for despair...
  • Fanservice: The prologue features some of the cast in the swimsuits Usami provided for them. These students are (left to right) Gundham, Mahiru, Sonia, Ibuki, Kazuichi, Nagito, Teruteru, Nekomaru, Pekonote , and Mikan.
    • Chiaki, Akane, Peko, and Sonianote  attend a party where they go to the beach to bond with one another.
    • A hidden event in chapter 2 allows Hajime to peep on Mahiru and Hiyoko showering together.
  • Feelies: As well as a soundtrack CD and artbook, the NIS America Limited Edition also includes a Monocoin replica, the "I'm sorry, I was born stupid" sticker from Chapter 3, and Monokuma-themed sunglasses. The Japanese Limited Edition includes a Monocoin replica, a small medal of the Hope's Peak Academy logo, Monokuma and Monomi keychains, and a plush of Monokuma's head.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the very start of the game, the scene fades out from Hajime being awoken by Nagito to a command line interface that ends with the words "GAME START". This is soon followed by Hajime's text glitching and him standing before a classroom door within an empty void. This doesn't come back into play again until the last trial, when it's revealed that the entire school trip was in fact a virtual reality.
    • In the hidden scene in Chapter 1 of the girls cooking, Chiaki invited Monomi despite most of the students disliking her, and feeds her some of the desserts she made in the same scene, hinting at their connection. She's also the one who gets Monomi to keep Monokuma from entering the old lodge during the party.
    • After the culprit of Chapter 1 is executed and before Monokuma uses Exact Words to go back on his promise to restore everyone's memories, Monomi acknowledges that everyone has indeed had their memories taken away from them, and she also implies that restoring their memories would be really bad.
    • On Peko's report card, her "like" is listed as the color black, hinting at her secret attraction to Fuyuhiko.
    • Early on, Monokuma announces that there is a "traitor" in the group of sixteen students. In many official images, such as the soundtrack album or even the image at the top of this page, Chiaki Nanami is either drawn separately from the main group or in a markedly different way (such as being upside down). She's the one who doesn't belong in the group.
      • This becomes particularly evident at the start of the fifth trial, when the students' portraits are shown. They're divided into three pictures, and they're blue if alive and red if dead; at that point, Chiaki is the only blue one in her picture.
    • Additionally, some of the decorated backgrounds behind the characters in the game's intro tell of later events. For example, Gundham's background is that of glowing "magic circles", and during his execution he tries to save himself by drawing magic protection circles on the ground.
    • On the topic of Gundham, his first Free Time event has him ask Hajime his "True Name". While it is a question asked due to Gundham's eccentric behavior, it seems more ominous given the reveal of Izuru Kamukura.
    • Another case happens with "The Wizard of Monomi", which was used as a basis for a "copycat murder" in Chapter 3. There were three deaths in the movie but only two murders in that chapter, because the most people a culprit can murder is two. The third unused death was "Tin Monomi being broken down into a heap of scraps." Guess what happens to Mechamaru the next chapter. For added irony, the person who points this out is the one who kills him.
    • During chapter 5 before one of the breakfasts, if you talk to Chiaki she will say that she had dreamed about a game involving Monokuma blocks that she couldn't win. Guess what happens to her after Class Trial.
    • The interface indulges even more in retro 8-bit aesthetics than the previous game, which hints at the events of the story being a literal game inside of a computer program. The prologue has some Ominous Visual Glitches which return at the end of Chapter 5, and the title sequence is that of a retro computer program startup sequence. This helped by the music suddenly turning into a chiptune version of the final investigation theme in Chapter 6 as the simulation continues to break down.
    • Red and black were the two colors Nintendo's [first] VR headset, the Nintendo Virtual Boy, rendered graphics in. Those two colors so happen to be the palette of choice for the pre-execution animations, which hints at VR being involved to whoever canny enough to make the connection.
    • Besides having gained a few pounds, Byakuya is a completely different person compared to the first game. Where in the first game he watched everything play out with an almost perverted sense of glee, here he immediately proclaims he won't let anybody become a victim. On the side, when it comes to gift-giving he now loves the junk food he previously rejected and hates one of his favorite presents from the previous game (Kopi Luwak/"civet coffee"). Come chapter 5 and it all makes sense.
    • While exploring the library at the beginning of Chapter 2, Peko is visibly unsettled by Sonia's admiration of serial killers. Her later claim to be one of them, a self-righteous Knight Templar, turns out to be false.
    • Monokuma also often directly makes references to them being in a virtual world pretty often typically in the form of Exact Words while being a Troll. Most obvious cases are insisting on addressing things with game terminology and the Stealth Pun he makes when telling them about how the Despair Disease spreads. To clarify: He tells you they are caused by invisible bugs. Upon The Reveal that everyone is an avatar and all their real bodies are in pods that make physical infections impossible, it's obvious he is talking about computer bugs that are causing these symptoms by messing with the avatar's data directly, causing massive behavioral shifts and unlocking previously inaccessible memories in the case of Mikan through the glitches they are causing.
    • When protecting Akane from a bazooka blast, Nekomaru manages to hang on long enough to be turned into a robot. Why wasn't he blown into pieces? Because he's in a game!
    • During chapter 4, Nagito intentionally makes a game of Russian Roulette more difficult for himself by loading up five bullets instead of one. This is similar to his "assisted" suicide in chapter 5, where he crafts a murder that is impossible to solve, meaning the culprit—one student out of six—must be picked randomly.
    • Mikan's unhinged, creepy behavior once she's exposed as the murderer in Chapter 3 makes a lot more sense once you reach the final trial and learn that the whole group were the Despair Remnants, and that the "beloved" she was referring to was actually Junko.
    • Up until his execution, Teruteru repeatedly says that everything happening isn't real. He may be fully in denial, but as it turns out, he's actually right- they're in a virtual world.
    • A subtle hint at Nagito being his own killer (even if it was through other person's hands) is given since the very beginning of the trial. Victims get rather similar-looking crosses over their portraits while perpetrators get distinctly customized ones (a first aid symbol for Mikan, a fork and a knife for Teruteru, etc.), and Nagito's cross is dripping blood.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Mikan is naked when she screams orgasmically during her execution.
  • Gainax Ending: The initial ending to the Twilight Syndrome game (at least until the secret code at the end is entered at the title screen to unlock the second part, which explains a lot more).
  • Game-Breaking Bug: While walking around Grape House in Chapter 4, you can randomly be teleported above the map. You can't move or fast travel, the only way out is to reload a save. At least it doesn't spoil the secret of the Funhouse on you.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: When everyone is trapped in the Funhouse in Chapter 4 and starvation takes its toll on Hajime, the movement speed is slower than usual.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • During chapter 4, everyone is locked inside of a funhouse with no food. You can still do free time events, even Akane's, who mentions having lots of food available during some of her events. You can also hand out food items as presents after spending time with someone, which they can even reject if they don't happen to like the gift, starvation be damned. But no matter how many bags of chips and cookies you are carrying with you, everyone will keep on complaining about hunger.
    • A gigantic case of this crops up when doing free time events in Island Mode, as lampshaded in the tutorial. In Fuyuhiko's very first event, which was originally scheduled for comparatively late in the game, there's references to his attempted suicide and Peko's death, and you can discuss this while you're on a tropical Monokuma-free idyll in which Fuyuhiko is still in one piece and Peko is very much alive.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Much like before, and now we even have a female mascot character to balance out Monokuma with Usami/Monomi. However, unlike in the first game, this is averted with the surviving cast (two girls, three boys).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe example: Sonia mentions a certain anime is insanely popular in Novoselic. She herself is a great fan of old Japanese police shows.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Chiaki slaps Akane in Chapter 5 when her attempted Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on Nagito goes too far.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Happens near the very beginning to represent Hajime's memory loss from being put into the simulation. Those who played the first game can easily put it off as just the memory being altered and not think about a virtual world at all. However, at the end of Chapter 5 this starts happening very frequently...
  • Godlike Gamer: The VN has Chiaki Nanami, the Ultimate Gamer. The only games she's bad at are Dating Sims.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Hajime Hinata's response to catching a brief glimpse of his past self (Izuru Kamukura) is to scream and deny himself.
  • Good All Along: The Future Foundation is portrayed as an antagonistic force until very late in the game. Though besides Makoto and his allies, they really do want the students dead, due to them being Remnants of Despair.
  • Grand Finale: While its not the end to the franchise itself, the game puts an end to the story of Hope's Peak Academy and Junko Enoshima. Junko even states in the final trial she won't be taking up the Monokuma handle again.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Junko AI wants to insert herself into the bodies of those who were either murdered or executed.
  • Hand Wave: After the true Makoto Naegi appears in the last trial, A.I. Junko Enoshima mentions how he doesn't look like he's aged a day because of the program recognizing him as a high school student (with the same presumably going for his two partners). Ignoring the question of why a program designed for a specific group of people would even have high school data on him while out of his uniform, the better answer is that the designers probably didn't want to draw new sprites for the returning characters.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: The subject of a monologue/Hannibal Lecture at the start of Chapter 2, where Nagito claims that unless somebody's born with incredible talent, they can never earn it.
  • Hate Plague: A non-supernatural version of this is essentially the end result of the Ultimate Despair's ideology. It began when the reserve students were Brainwashed and Crazy by Junko Enoshima and revolted against Hope's Peak Academy over their shabby treatment compared to the "main course" students. This spread into general social revolt due to the talents of SHSL Despair as the "have nots" rebelled against the "haves", and eventually descended into war without purpose.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: The entire point of the game's plot, and probably the most merciful thing one can do to a despair follower.
  • Heel Realization:
    • The entire main cast, who realize that they are the remnants of Super High School-Level Despair, and thus the students who caused The Biggest, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in All of Human History.
    • Hajime realizes that the person who allowed the events of the game to take place was himself, when he smuggled the AI Junko program into the system as Izuru.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted toward the end of the game. In order to beat AI Junko, the final five survivors all activate the Neo World Program shutdown sequence, which would also delete the memories they'd created up to that point (and in Hajime's case, his entire existence) and cause them to turn back into Ultimate Despair. However, the epilogue heavily implies that they made it out with their memories intact.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hope's Peak Academy itself — there were hints at this in the first game, but the sequel spells it out. It exists to foster an obsessive level of elitism, splitting the world into "the super-talented" and "the rest," a philosophy that wouldn't sit well with many people. However, the actions detailed in this game make it clear that it accidentally engineered its own destruction.
    • The academy only cares about talent. If you possess enough of it, even if it is a bizarre or very subjective or very similar to a talent they already have, you're in. No matter how unstable, unethical or criminal you might be, and even if your talent could be harmful to yourself or to others, you'll be accepted and thrown in with your more peaceable peers without any supervision. So when one of them (Junko) turns out to be a nihilistic sociopath, she has access to a pool of hyper-talented people she can bend to her cause — including her Ultimate Soldier sibling and a nigh-unstoppable Academy experiment.
      • Several of these talented people were also unstable in a way that let them be easily taken advantage of. Mikan had a very abusive and neglectful background, Nagito had a degenerative disease messing with his brain functions, Gundham seemed to be seeking attention by being overly dramatic. Some of them additionally would have still been easy to manipulate due to obliviousness like Sonia and Akane, though the former at least partially comes from culture shock.
    • Any dubious (or downright criminal) activity they might commit was covered up by the Academy for the sake of reputation, up to and including mass murder. As a result, Izuru is left running loose, and Junko uses the cover up for her own ends. Danganronpa 3 confirms the Academy also covered up Fuyuhiko's murder of Sato.
    • They used the Reserve Course to bankroll their super-special students (and the research the academy was doing on them). These reserves were only for use as cash cows for the Academy and received none of the special treatment the Ultimates did — and they were made fully aware of their second class status. Unsurprisingly, when the Reserves saw that the Academy treated them like dirt, only to use their money to create a mass-murderer, they revolted just as Junko wanted them to, which allowed her to further manipulate them later.
    • The Academy used (at least) one of those "mundane" students as a guinea pig by exploiting his admiration for Hope's Peak, effectively killing the good-natured original student and replacing him with what they saw as "The Ultimate Hope". They inadvertently created the killer who will be a major factor in the Academy's downfall - and even after he kills multiple people, they still insist he is "The Ultimate Hope".
    • In general, the Academy didn't supervise or rein in its students, and encouraged the idea that they weren't answerable to "average" people. The lack of supervision ensured that nobody even realized that Junko was a threat or that she was manipulating other students to bend to her will, and both the games and side materials indicate that having free access to the Academy's expensive and specialized facilities was extremely useful to Ultimate Despair (for example, the mind-wiping device — apparently nobody on the staff thought it might be a bit risky to have such a thing lying around).
      • Even after the event had gone on to the entire world and was causing endless havoc, the Headmaster still didn't know that Junko and Mukuro were part of Ultimate Despair because the lack of supervision left him with no idea who actually was and who wasn't Ultimate Despair. If they'd actually tried to get the murderers in the school arrested, instead of covering up every murder that ever happened, this situation likely could have been averted.
  • Hope Is Scary: Arguably the entire point of the game, for how interrelated hope and despair are as concepts.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When the Junko AI causes everyone to come close to crossing the Despair Event Horizon in the Chapter 6 trial, the next Nonstop Debate section glitches out: the screen darkens, Hajime's health bars begin to fluctuate wildly, controls become unresponsive (the evidence bullet can't be fired, no matter how hard you try), and Hajime's health bottoms out once the dialogue finishes.
  • Hope Spot: A rather cruel one appears in the fifth chapter. In the fourth chapter, characters point out how there's been a pattern between the events in this game and that of the previous one. In the first game's fifth chapter, a character actually manages to survive Monokuma's execution by a last-second interruption. So when Chiaki notices an exit door in her execution chamber and runs off with one of the last Monomi spares, you're briefly led to believe that they might make it out after all. Then she smacks into a glass wall, revealing that Monokuma planned for this to happen just to rub it in.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Teruteru, and Kazuichi to a lesser extent. Teruteru is an Anything That Moves type who hits on the boys just as much as the girls, while Kazuichi has Single-Target Sexuality for Sonia.
     I - M 
  • Idiot Ball: Briefly held by Hajime towards the end of chapter 4. Nagito, who's been established throughout the entire game to say things of questionable validity, claims the file only contained Hajime's school profile and Hajime doesn't bat an eye at this. Even Nagito is a bit confused by how such an obvious lie actually worked.
  • If You Can Read This: The diagram near the end of the game illustrating the procedure for the Hope Cultivation Plan includes tiny text that is actually a repeating news article about South Korea's economy.
  • I Love the Dead: In the NISA translation, members of SHSL Despair apparently tried to impregnate Junko's corpse.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: More or less the final nail in Mikan's coffin. Trying to shoot down the theory that she was the "Ibuki" in the fake suicide video, she states that it'd be impossible to spot any obvious differences between the two of them based on the video having only been shot from one angle - but since no one other than Hajime saw the video, the others quickly realize this means she's the one who staged it.
  • Impaled Palm: Nagito does this to himself during his elaborate suicide to make it seem like his right hand was incapacitated from the start.
  • Improvised Imprisonment: Kazuichi and Nekomaru tied up Nagito in order to prevent another murder from happening in Chapter 2. They have him chained up and kept in the lodge, where they regularly feed him meals to prevent him from starving.
  • Interface Screw: The investigation and second half of Chapter 6's trial has many of these.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you've been collecting all of the Hidden Monokumas, you may have noticed that there's always one in the victim's cottage (or motel room in Chapter 3's case), which you usually can't enter during that chapter until the investigation. However, in Chapter 4, you can explore all of the bedrooms in the Funhouse before they even get assigned to the students, and determine that whoever ends up with the room with the Monokuma in it will be the victim of that chapter.
  • Irony: In the first Danganronpa game, the mastermind's goal is winning a game of hope versus despair, and they use rules to create a killing game and they provide motives to tempt the cast into killing each other. However, the setting is grounded in reality and there is nothing stopping the mastermind from breaking said rules, besides the risk of "defeat by disqualification" in the eyes of those watching the game. In fact, the mastermind does cheat the game and break the rules in an attempt to kill off their most dangerous threat. In the second Danganronpa game, the mastermind's objectives are killing as much of the cast as possible, and luring their enemy into an extremely dangerous trap. In other words, the mastermind isn't playing a game here. However, since the setting is within a virtual reality (referred to as an actual game), and because the mastermind exists as an "NPC" within the virtual reality, they are physically forced to abide by the rules that already exist (though they can still add new ones). Because the mastermind can't kill the cast directly, they have to work around the rules and construct a fake killing game and either tempt or force (via Brainwashed and Crazy and/or Morton's Fork) the cast members to kill each other. The mastermind is even forced to save the lives of people that are mortally wounded if Monokuma was the one that injured them, assuming they aren't a rule breaker.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: During the first trial, Nagito reveals himself to be highly dangerous, essentially being the reason why the first murder happened the way it did, even if he's not the direct perpetrator. To their credit, some of the students decide that Nagito is definitely too dangerous to be left to his own devices and tie him up at the start of chapter 2... But after Monomi frees him in a misguided attempt at teaching forgiveness, the others just kind of forget about how much of a threat he is, despite him making it clear that his offer to cooperate with anyone planning to kill him still stands. Nagito is thus left to meddle with the following cases as much as he wants (which he surprisingly doesn't do much, but the others couldn't predict that). It takes until chapter 5 for them to attempt tying him up again, at which point it's too late to stop him.
  • Kill It with Fire: As the culmination of the various appalled reactions to the disturbing-looking memorial to Mahiru, Nekomaru proposes they burn it.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Monokuma reveals early on that all of the cast have had their memories stolen by the Future Foundation. This is true, but for good reason: they were all traumatic memories of their time as part of Ultimate Level Despair, and the Neo World Program was designed to create new, happier memories to fill the gap.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Even if he looks quite different in this outing, the presence of a character named Byakuya Togami with an identical talent suggests that he survived the first game.
    • Becomes an explicit spoiler in chapter 4, when the group find a report showing all survivors of the first game. Byakuya's presence there becomes a mystery that doesn't get resolved for a while.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Teruteru's execution involves him getting dropped into an active volcano, upon which he proceeds to float to the surface after being deep-fried.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Throughout the game Monokuma several times seems to subtly wink at the player. For example, shortly after his arrival he derides the sappy idea of a friendly school trip, since his "school life of mutual killing" is way more exciting. This is likely to evoke the player's feelings, who was presumably waiting impatiently to get to the juicy murder mysteries already.
    • After she mistakes sparring for a serious fight:
      Ibuki: I'mpanickingsomuchIdon'tevenhavetimetospacemywords!
    • In Chapter 6 after the reveal that the game took place within a program, Monokuma compares it all to a 'game world', leading to this from Kazuichi:
      Kazuichi: "If this is a game... are my words being displayed in a text window right now?!"
    • Also from Chapter 6:
      Sonia: "I do not want any more last-minute plot twists!"
    • Yet another from Chapter 6:
      Junko: "The game where you throw words back at my face is over."
    • And another from Chapter 6, after arriving in Hope's Peak Academy:
      Monokuma: "I went to the trouble to bring you to Hope's Peak Academy, and you don't feel surprised or nostalgic... Oh well, it's not like I did this for you guys. Even if you don't feel nostalgic, I'm sure *someone* is feeling nostalgic right now!"
      Hajime: "...Someone?"
    • Really, the very concept of them being in a game in the first place. Monokuma could have just called it a simulation, but he specifies that it's a game, and the dialogue afterwards creates intentional parallels between the game they're in and the game you're playing. Junko even asks the protagonist a question that prompts another gameplay section merely because it's the rules of the game.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Within the events of the story, this happens twice.
    • The first time this trope is invoked is in Chapter 4, when Gundham chooses to murder someone else over having everybody else starve to death. To test everyone's will to live and to subvert the trope, he made the case a Xanatos Gambit that would benefit him whether everyone eventually found out he was the culprit or not.
    • The second time this trope is invoked is in the last dilemma Junko gives to everyone before having her artificial intelligence corrupted by the Forced Shutdown. Between uploading their avatars into the system and, therefore, Junko herself into the system; or returning their consciousness to their Ultimate Despair forms before being transported to the Neo World Program, Hajime is encouraged by an apparition of Chiaki, who encourages the rest of the game's cast, to choose the latter choice as it will result in something less likely of a Class 2 edition of the Tragedy.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game starts out looking like this. Its first opening animation is very upbeat, almost dating sims like, and the colors of the characters and the environment are notably much brighter than its predecessor. And then Monokuma comes into the picture. In the end, the game arguably still qualifies. Compared to the original, the game keeps a much more optimistic attitude in regards to a lot of things and ends on a much more overtly hopeful note.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: During the party in Chapter 1, there's a blackout. The lights come back on to reveal... that Tsumiki has tripped again. It's a Double Subversion. The real victim was hidden underneath one of the tables.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The subtitle seems to be a reference to Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • After everyone has voted her as the blackened in chapter 2, Peko tries to argue that she is not actually the murderer, but rather the murder weapon: she considers herself to be a tool without free will of her own to be used by Fuyuhiko, who is therefore the real murderer. This would mean that he gets to go free while everyone else is executed, as the votes have already been cast. Monokuma says he is willing to accept this argument, but only if Fuyuhiko is willing to admit that he does not care about Peko. It doesn't work: Fuyuhiko says he never saw her as a tool and confesses he's actually in love with her, so she is considered to be the blackened. Which is exactly what Monokuma expected to happen, since he then basically admits he never planned on letting the "tool" excuse slide in the first place and only pretended to go along with the idea since he knew Fuyuhiko's confession would only cause both him and Peko to feel more despair before her execution.
    • In Chapter 5, Hajime demands that Monokuma stop Nagito from blowing up the islands by pointing out that it breaks the rule about an individual not being allowed to kill more than two people. Monokuma refuses, saying that since Nagito hasn't broken the rule yet, he isn't deserving of punishment until then. Of course, he possibly only said that because he knew Nagito's bomb threat was a bluff and in no danger of killing anyone.
    • The whole killing game is only possible because of this, something Junko lampshades explicitly at the final trial. Once Monokuma took on the authority of "teacher," he was forced to find loopholes in the school trip's unbreakable rules in order to create a killing game without also violating said rules. Because Usami was a highly-developed AI, the rules bound her (and later Monokuma) as much as the students to prevent her from going rogue or acting outside the bounds of her programming. Monokuma was subsequently caught by rules meant to ensure the students' safety: not only may he not harm any students directly (unless they break a rule), he also can't allow any innocent students to die. In order to get around this, Monokuma made the "student activity" the Mutual Killing Game, both so the students began killing each other (and each murderer would need punishment, as being discovered as the blackened would be breaking the first rule, hence it fitting the "execution" formula with little effort) and to avoid being forced to intervene to save the students — the teacher is explicitly forbidden from meddling with the student activity, regardless of what the student activity is. The fourth motive, making "see how long the students can last without food or water until a killing game starts" the student activity, also matches this loophole and the "No more than 2 victims per killer" is following the "no excessive violence" aspect of the first rule in the eyes of Monokuma.
  • Loss of Inhibitions: The Despair Disease in Chapter 3, which changes people's personalities, is revealed to have inflicted this on Mikan as well as restore her memories from before the Killing Game. During the third Class Trial, she drops her submissive persona and screams about her rage towards those who have tormented her, becoming much more assertive and even getting Nagito to shut up.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • The entire game is revealed to be this, as a radical new method for rehabilitating those who were Brainwashed and Crazy by Junko and the Ultimate Despair by replacing their traumatic memories with new, happy ones.
    • In the Chapter 6 trial, when a Sadistic Choice leaves Hajime paralyzed with indecision, the Junko AI fires a "Nihil Beam" that traps him in an endlessly looping Nonstop Debate with Usami and all of Hajime's friends, alive and well.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • Prologue: "Always always always..."
    • Chapter 3: "Not fair not fair not fair" and "Forgive me!"
    • Chapter 4 (in Hajime's head): "I'm hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry..."
    • Chapter 6: "death death death death death..." and "Disappear disappear disappear disappear disappear..."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: In chapter 2, Akane sees nothing wrong with going ahead with her beach plans despite having a gushing head wound from her sparring session with Nekomaru.
  • Mama's Boy: A sympathetic example with Teruteru, who's motivation was to get back to his sick mother, and he screams for his mother just before he's dragged off to be executed.
    • Also, Gundham mentions in his free time events that he'd eat his mother's terrible cooking because she'd cry if he didn't. He also refers to her as "an angel" when talking about his origins. Aw!
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Akane is the oldest of seven siblings and she had to take care of them growing up.
  • Meaningful Echo: Makoto uses 11037 as a pass-code for the students to use to assure their safety, the same "number" Sayaka scrawled on the wall to save him during the first game's first trial.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Jabberwock is a combination of Jabber (arguments) and wocer (result), according to Lewis Carroll.
    • The kanji for "Chi" in Chiaki Nanami, meaning "thousand," is the same as the "Chi" in Chihiro Fujisaki.
  • Meat-O-Vision: In Chapter 4, Sonia sees Hajime and Chiaki's faces as cake after nearly two days locked in the funhouse with nothing to eat.
  • Mind Screw: Everything after the Chapter 5 trial, with the entire plot getting turned upside-down, almost veering into Gainax Ending territory.
  • Mind Virus: The "Despair Disease" that Monokuma spreads in Chapter 3.
  • Moe: In-universe, this is invoked by Hiyoko to win more fans as a traditional dancer. As popular as this makes her, it's not her true personality.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several. Some of the more notable ones:
    • In Chapter 2, an extended Fanservice sequence ends with Kazuichi stumbling across the second murder victim. The murderer being wet in this sequence is later used against her.
    • In Chapter 3, Ibuki tries to raise everyone's spirits with a rock concert, provoking some hilarious reactions... until Monomi interrupts with the news that Akane is trying to kill Monokuma, and everyone runs off, which results in Nekomaru ending up almost killed.
      • Also, later on in the chapter, Hajime wakes up with Mikan in bed with him and starts frantically denying it to a scandalised Fuyuhiko...then Hajime sees the video of someone hanging themselves...
    • In his final free time event Teruteru has a typical end-of-free-time epiphany about what's really important to him... then apparently gives Hajime a Mickey Finn in a rice ball.
  • Mythology Gag: Several plot twists of the first game are discussed, usually to be made fun of.
    • After revealing information that made up one of the final, climactic reveals of the first game, Monokuma declares that "Only a total hack would wait until the end of the story to reveal a cliched twist like that!"
    • "Or, in other words... that one of us is a serial killer? That sounds like a plot twist from some kind of weird game or something..."
    • When infected with the Despair Disease and only able to tell lies, Nagito goes on a bizarre rant claiming that one of the students is actually a pair of twins masterminding the mutual killing.
     N - R 
  • Names To Run A Way From Really Fast: The Future Foundation is initially referred to by the name "World Ender," and Monokuma mocks the name, saying that an obviously evil name is something that only a kid would think of. The "World Ender" moniker turns out to be Metaphorically True, since the Future Foundation's goal is to bring an end to the world full of suffering and despair that Ultimate Despair brought about.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Future Foundation is made out to be this by Monokuma. At first Hajime believes it to be true because the Future Foundation took away his memories. Except it turns out that the Future Foundation was on the side of the students all along, and the entire game was an attempt to rehabilitate their Brainwashed and Crazy personalities instead of just killing them all. In fact, the final chapter has Hajime subverting the trope by shooting down his own arguments about how everything is the fault of the Future Foundation.
  • New Transfer Student: After getting the "lying fever," Nagito claims that Nekomaru succumbed to his wounds, and that an exchange student will be coming in to replace him. Given the nature of his condition, though, this doesn't end up happening. At least, not in the form of a completely new character.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Hajime, whose self-hatred and longing to be "talented" was so strong that he willingly took part in a project to suppress his real identity and be rebuilt as the multi-talented "Ultimate Hope", Izuru Kamukura. Then he fell under Junko's influence, murdered the student council, kickstarted The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident Of All Human History, and made the events of Super Danganronpa 2 possible by smuggling AI Junko into the Lotus-Eater Machine.
    • The chapter 5 murder is essentially caused by this. Nagito set up a crime scene that looked as though he had killed himself, culminating in starting a fire at the scene. However, he didn't actually die until the other students threw a set of fire grenades in an attempt to put out the fire. One of those grenades had been filled beforehand with a deadly, gaseous poison, by Nagito. So, by Monokuma's twisted definition of a murder, the student who threw that grenade was the one who killed Nagito.
      • Nagito's plan would likely have become this had it succeeded. His main intention was that he wanted the Future Foundation member to graduate and for the other students - the Remnants of Despair - to be executed by Monokuma. However, he clearly couldn't have known that the graduation process was highjacked by Junko, and would have caused all the dead students to be possessed by her...
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever embarrassing thing Sonia was up to in her bathroom that she fears would disqualify her from marriage/queenship, especially given that at an earlier point in the game she cheerfully let the others know she wasn't a virgin.
  • Nostalgia Level: The final investigation takes the students back to Hope's Peak Academy. For bonus points, while in there Monokuma refers to them as "the supporting cast".
    Monokuma: I went to the trouble to bring you to Hope's Peak Academy, and you don't feel surprised or nostalgic... Oh well, it's not like I did this for you guys. Even if you don't feel nostalgic, I'm sure someone is feeling nostalgic right now!
  • Not a Mask: At the start of Chapter 4, Kazuichi is convinced Nekomaru's new robotic body is an elaborate costume, until he tries to remove the "mask".
  • Not Disabled In VR: We find out in the final chapter that every one of the students besides Nanami were once members of Junko's despair group, and in multiple cases were covered in self-inflicted mutilations from their desire to feel despair (with some severing their own body parts to be replaced with limbs from Junko's corpse). The survivors from the first game placed them all inside the Neo World Program with the intent of reforming them by erasing sections of their memories from before they all entered high school and got involved with Junko in the first place, which restores them to their youth to keep the illusion real and gave them bodies to reflect this.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • In chapter 3, Hajime says this to Fuyuhiko, after he is discovered with Mikan in his bed (she crept into it while he was sleeping).
    • During an unlockable scene in chapter 3, Kazuichi drags Hajime into spying on Nekomaru and Akane after overhearing them talk about doing "it". "It" turns out to just be Nekomaru giving Akane a really intense massage.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Let Us Sing of a Hollow Victory" (Disc 3, Track 8 in the OST).
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Nagito claims to be this. Subverted, as he is insanely lucky. But played straight with Hajime, who has no Ultimate talent and is referred to within the text as this trope.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • Chapter 3's motive has this happen to several characters thanks to Monokuma infecting people with a "despair disease" in order to provide a "motive" to kill. Akane suddenly breaks down and cries, Ibuki becomes very serious and gullible, and Nagito tells obvious lies.
    • An unlockable scene in Chapter 2 also qualifies for Hajime, in which he decides to go spy on Mahiru and Hiyoko bathing. At the end of the scene, he even wonders to himself, "Was my characterization always like this?"
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: In chapter 4, when you're playing as Nagito, there's an escape-the-room sequence straight out of Zero Escape, another series by the same developer. (Sadly, you don't get a "SEEK A WAY OUT!" screen.)
  • Painting the Medium: By the end of chapter 5, dead characters start popping out of nowhere and the game screen starts becoming pixelated, with blocks of the screen falling off at any given time and text being placed where it really shouldn't be. This is to represent that the virtual reality the characters find themselves in are on its last legs.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • On a given playthrough, you obviously can't spend Free Time with someone after their death. In addition, if the player doesn't spend time with Nagito during the first two free time opportunities in Chapter 1, you can still spend time with him but cannot get his actual Free Time events.
    • The hidden Monokuma dolls can only be found in the respective chapters that revolve around the current island. They cannot be obtained by revisiting the previous islands in a subsequent chapter, so players may have to replay the required chapters if they wish to finish their collection.
  • Plot Hole: The Despair Disease in chapter 3 reverses the personalities of the people who suffer from it. Hot-Blooded Akane becomes a coward, honest Nagito becomes a compulsive liar and zany Ibuki becomes Comically Serious. But when Mikan gets it it restores her memories as a member of Ultimate Despair, specifically being cited as her getting a Remembering Disease. The only problem is that Mikan was never previously shown to be unusually forgetful. Rather her most defining characteristic was her timidity, so one would think she would act more like Akane usually does.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Basically the theme of Chapter 2, where the murder occurs because Peko fails to understand what Fuyuhiko wants from her. Mahiru also falls victim to this as well, yelling and chastising Fuyuhiko for his role in Twilight Syndrome when she wanted to atone for her actions. Hiyoko also ends up drawing suspicion to herself in the early part of the trial by falsely claiming she didn't go to the beach house.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Along with Kiyotaka in the previous game (although less important to the plot), Hajime's hair turning white is a perfect example of this in the final chapter.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Fuyuhiko succeeds in avenging his the cost of Peko and Mahiru's lives and the loss of his right eye.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Once the first trial is over and everyone has seen how insane Nagito is, Soda and Nekomaru decide to tie him and leave him restrained in a room where he won't be able to cause any more harm. When the rest of the class learn of this they point out that they will need to keep Nagito fed to avoid him staving, something Soda and Nekomaru failed to consider. While not everyone agrees with their course of action, they all acknowledge the fact that Nagito should not be allowed to roam freely.
    • Mikan Hates Being Alone and intentionally makes a spectacle of herself to garner attention. Both times that she does, everyone calls attention to how unlikely it is that she could land in such embarrassing positions.
    • When Monokuma releases the Despair Disease, Mikan's talents make her the most qualified to care of the infected. Unfortunately, being so close to them causes her contract to it as well.
  • Red Herring:
    • The fake Byakuya Togami. He just turns out to be the nameless Ultimate Imposter, who has no real identity of his own. Monokuma explicitly states that the mystery didn't turn out to be important.
    • Nagito Komaeda — though perhaps unintentionally. He looks like and has the same voice actor as Makoto, and his name is (accidentally) a Significant Anagram which suggests that Nagito is Makoto. It's all just a coincidence.
    • The countdown timer. Junko admits it was just there to provide atmosphere and to be a Self-Imposed Challenge on herself. invoked
    • In Chapter 1, before the murder even happens, Peko is left to guard the circuit breaker so that nobody can cause a blackout and commit a murder in the dark. A blackout indeed happens (with a subsequent murder), and it's later revealed that Peko left her post to go to the bathroom. It's implied that the killer had slipped her laxatives and/or tampered with the circuit breaker in the room. Both of these are false trails; Peko's stomach problems were just a coincidence, and the killer never touched the circuit breaker (although the circuit breaker was involved, but not in the way the characters believe.)
    • In Chapter 2, a significant chunk of the Daily Life is dedicated to talking about the mysterious serial killer Sparkling Justice and then Sparkling Justice's calling card is found at the murder scene, clearly trying to invoke the Genocide Jill reveal from the first game. This turns out to be a classic fakeout; none of the students have any connection to Sparkling Justice, and after Chapter 2 Sparkling Justice is never mentioned again and has no relevance to the plot whatsoever. Although, at the end of the second trial the killer (Peko) briefly pretends to be Sparkling Justice to throw the other students off the trail.
    • This can happen to overly paranoid players in Case 3. Fuyuhiko shares some very similar proportions with Ibuki, Akane explicitly states that the hospital gowns are unisex when she brings up the idea of taking Nagito's and you're unable to personally account for where he was when the murders supposedly took place. If accused, he'll threaten to cut his stomach open again to prove his innocence, and later on in the case he himself brings up the body proportions argument, which turns out to be perfectly meaningless and yet causes a slip of the tongue that leads to the real killer.
    • Also in Case 3, Monokuma's movie, despite Hajime seeing it during the investigation and suspecting the murderer was imitating it, turns out to have had nothing to do with the murder.
    • In chapter 4 there's mention of how some of the murders have been very similar to the events of the previous game, there's a statue of Sakura in the building and the person who died, Nekomaru, was a figure who cared about the others. From this and some of the oddities of his death the player can easily be led to think that his death was a mirror of Sakura's, where he killed himself to help the group. Though helping the group was part of the motivation behind it, it wasn't a suicide at all.
    • The Sonia/Kazuichi/Gundham relationship appears to be setting up to some kind of conflict, perhaps by creating conflict when one of the three is murdered. Instead, Gundham murders someone else.
    • At Sea King Industries, you find the construction site of the Monobeasts... as well as another station that seems to be building a human-looking android. This hints that one of the characters might actually be an android, but while there is an AI among the cast, the whole setting is a computer simulation so no androids are actually required.
  • Red Herring Twist: In Chapter 3 when Nagito, Akane and Ibuki all have the Despair Disease, Hajime and Fuyuhiko go check on Nagito and then start looking for Ibuki when she appear to be missing. Neither of them remember to check on Akane, but nothing comes of it, as Ibuki is the one who was murdered and Monokuma lifts the Despair Disease once a body is found.
  • Relationship Values: Like the first game, the protagonist can hang out with the other students and give them presents. This time, you'll be rewarded with Hope Shards which can be exchanged for skills during the trial sequences. Also, like the first game, there's a limited number of free time segments in each chapter, and you can't hang out with someone if they're dead. There are also certain characters who are unavailable at certain times for plot reasons. However, unlike the previous game, there is now one character that you can't make any relationship progress with unless you spend some time with them at least once before a certain event, so even though you can technically spend time with them afterwards, nothing will happen if you missed their "deadline" earlier, which is very easy on a first time un-spoiled play through.
  • The Remnant: The entire cast of students, except for Chiaki, are what's left of the original Ultimate Despair group that kickstarted The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident In Human History.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Aside from various visual glitches, dead characters inexplicably start appearing as if they never died.
  • Room Escape Game: Chapter 4 features one as a direct Shout-Out to Zero Escape - it's actually fairly difficult to the point that the game offers to let you skip it with no consequences (other than the loss of some Monocoins you would have received as bonus for finishing it).
     S - Z 
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Hiyoko teases Kazuichi by calling him a 'background character' who's doomed to suffer an early death. His profile on the official Japanese site even implies the exact same thing. Subverted, because he's not! He survives the entire game, while Hiyoko herself gets killed in chapter 3.
  • Sad Battle Music: In the final Rebuttal Showdown of the fifth trial, in which Sonia desperately tries to argue that Chiaki isn't the traitor, the background music is "All All Apologies" instead of the normal music.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Kill one of your classmates, or spend the rest of your life in captivity — and when it comes down to the trial, fess up and receive a gruesome punishment, or escape with the blood of everyone else on your hands.
    • For everyone else, the choice isn't much better. Sentence the killer to a horrifying and gruesome execution—or have everyone else suffer the same fate.
    • Chapter 4's motive boils down to choosing between starving to death alongside everyone else or committing murder to get out.
    • In Chapter 5, Nagito's Thanatos Gambit forces the students convict an innocent party (the one who accidentally and unknowingly killed him) so that the others can live.
    • In the final chapter, the students are given a choice: choose to "Graduate" and leave the island with their new memories but enable Junko's AI to hijack the bodies of everyone who died in the game; willingly stay in the Lotus-Eater Machine with all of their friends but doom the three members of the Future Foundation who came in to help them; or force a shutdown that would destroy Junko's AI but also erase their new memories, resetting them back to how they were before the game started along with the memories of all the atrocities they committed as part of the Ultimate Despair.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: The Big Bad makes a distinct effort to create this situation in the final trial, as if to make both hope and despair look unattractive.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: One of the options in the final trial offered by the Mastermind is to remain trapped on Jabberwock Island in order to keep her trapped with them.
  • Self-Deprecation: This game has its moments, such as when Monokuma criticizes stories that have last minute amnesia plot twists and when Kazuichi states that the global tragedy sounds like a bad story from a high-schooler. There's a lot more of it in the final chapter; Hajime constantly complains about the implausibility of some of the more unrealistic features of the school, like the indoor cherry trees in the dojo, and thinks that keeping dead bodies in the schools bio lab is "a ridiculous idea that should've been scrapped in development."
  • Sequel Hook: Makoto notes in the epilogue that, while the game's events are over, The Tragedy isn't.... Kyoko states that things have finally started to "calm down" during the sixth trial, but it's clear the world is still far from stable, let alone "normal."
  • Ship Tease:
    • Hajime gets a bit of this with Nagito and Chiaki. Nagito is never far from Hajime when help is needed, and is the first character to show care and concern for Hajime... which Hajime reciprocates until Nagito's terrifying instability becomes clear, and even then he still grumbles about being unable to cut himself off from Nagito completely. For Nagito's part, he does genuinely care about Hajime, albeit in a rather strange and scary way, culminating in what is often regarded as an Aborted Declaration of Love. Chiaki also fulfills a crucial role in assisting Hajime, providing emotional support when he needs it most, and he is absolutely destroyed when he has to condemn her to death. This doesn't stop her from coming back from the dead to reassure and motivate him. His final "thank you" also has overtones of an Aborted Declaration of Love.
    • Sonia and Gundham share some qualifying moments together as well. Even the other characters notice it. He is consistently impressed by her, and she clearly admires him. The most obvious incident is Sonia's devastation at Gundham's execution, and his attempts to soothe her before he goes to his death.
    • Akane and Nekomaru are clearly closer to one another than to anyone else. They're another pair who are separated by death, with Akane horrified and damaged at having lost Nekomaru twice.
    • Fuyuhiko and Peko, depending on how you interpret his Anguished Declaration of Love. Peko always puts Fuyuhiko first, and it's strongly implied that this bond is the reason Peko will not entertain the notion of a romantic relationship with Hajime.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Hiyoko makes one for Mahiru at the start of chapter 3, only to make it so poorly that everyone finds it horrendous, she breaks down crying soon afterwards.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • Ibuki, one of the more lighthearted and energetic students, is murdered in Chapter 3, and while the game still has its humorous moments thanks to Nekomaru and Gundham, they're not nearly as frequent. When those two end up being the victim and murderer respectively of Chapter 4, things immediately get much, much darker.
    • Done somewhat In-Universe, when Kazuichi gets Akane to turn off "Minimaru" during the Chapter 5 trial, so they won't be distracted.
  • Shout-Out: Can be found here.
  • Show Within a Show: In Chapter 2, Monokuma presents the students with a doujin game called Twilight Syndrome, which functions as Schmuck Bait: completing the game reveals a motive to kill, but if you choose not to play and someone else does, then you might be in danger and not know about it. In the end it gets revealed that the game covers two murders that happened during the period that their stolen memories are from, specifically the murder of Fuyuhiko's sister and that of her killer Sato.
    • It also counts into the "game (the motive) within a game (Danganronpa 2) within a game (Neo World Program)" premise of the chapter.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • A lengthy monologue at the start of Chapter 2 is finally cut off by an unknown speaker screaming "SHUT UP!" (It's later revealed that this was Kazuichi, right before he and Nekomaru knock Nagito unconscious and tie him up hand and foot.)
    • Chiaki calmly tells both Nagito in Chapter 1 and Monokuma in Chapter 2 to be quiet.
    • Mikan hits back at Nagito when he says he cannot forgive her for killing out of despair, saying she did it out of love and that he couldn't possibly understand because he's never been loved.
    • And, with some help from Chiaki, Hajime eventually retaliates in this way to the hallucinations of Izuru Kamukura in his head.
    Hajime: Even so!
  • Similar Squad: There are some noticeable similarities between the new students and the batch from the first game. However, much of it is used to later subvert audience expectations with Nagito's status as Makoto's Evil Counterpart being the most obvious example.
    • Of particular note are also Chiaki and Akane. Chiaki not only shares the same basic role as Kyoko, but they also have similar color schemes. Chiaki is also very similar in appearance and role to Chihiro. Since Chiaki was created by Chihiro and the latter may have incorporated some of his friends' personalities and appearances into her design, this is likely completely intentional. Akane, on the other hand, not only shares the same basic role as Aoi Asahina, but has the same skin and hair color.
  • Sock It to Them: A variant is used during Monokuma's Twilight Syndrome scenario. The murder weapon is eventually determined to be a stolen swimsuit, stuffed with gravel from the broken aquarium near the body.
  • Something Else Also Rises: When Hajime wakes up in the hospital with Mikan in bed with him in bed, his ahoge is sticking straight up.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Monomi is not executed alongside Chiaki in the stage play.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: This is how Chapter 2's murderer managed to leave the scene of the crime without leaving any footprints behind - by using her shinai as a ladder to reach a window high up in the shower room.
  • The Story That Never Was: Everything is all a computer simulation to retrain everyone to be better people. Well, at least that was the plan before Monokuma showed up and hijacked everything. A large part of the finale is about how to proceed with the situation, either undoing it all or letting the villain win. Despite all intents and plans, the reset turns out to somehow allow everyone to retain their memories and character developments, despite the timeline being thrown out.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In Chapter 5, Nagito decides the best way to flush out the traitor is to start blowing up everything, threatening to destroy all of the islands unless they expose themselves. It turns out to be a bluff.
  • Stunned Silence: Kazuichi is reduced to this after the "materials for a boat" Monokuma promised turned out to be for a toy boat.
  • Sub Par Supremacist: Zigzagged: Nagito is very adamant that Ultimates are inherently better than the untalented masses. However, Nagito has an Inferiority Superiority Complex in that he considers himself worthless despite having one of the most powerful talents as the Ultimate Lucky Student, but still sees normal people as beneath him. The other Ultimates do not condone his views and largely detest him due to his insanity.
  • Super Gullible: Near the middle of the third chapter, Ibuki Mioda catches a disease which Monokuma released on the island with random, personality-affecting symptoms. Among the three who contracted the disease, she was unlucky enough to get 'gullibility' as her symptom, which made it easy for Tsumiki — who was the nurse that was supposed to be caring for the sick — to strangle her to death; Ibuki quite literally went along with her own murder without suspecting a thing.
  • Supporting Protagonist: It's eventually revealed that the students are nothing more than pawns for the AI Junko to play with in order to lure out the real "main characters", aka the survivors from the first game. Once she finally makes her appearance, she continuously makes it clear that Hajime and co are nothing more than supporting roles in the big picture.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: After reading about Genocide Jack, Sonia warns Hajime to beware of middle and high school girls in Sailor Fuku. As you might expect, several characters across the franchise fit the description.
  • Take a Third Option: Chiaki's speech to Hajime in the final chapter essentially boils down to this.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: The mysterious voice who talks to Nagito in the mind-screwy "Chapter 0" believes that the world is like this, with talentless people hunting down those with talents and driving the world into an evolutionary dead end. It's revealed near the end that the voice belongs to Izuru Kamukura.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: Monokuma invokes this by announcing early on that there is a "traitor" in the group of sixteen students. Subverted on multiple levels: Yes, there is a mole. No, she is not a murderer but instead is a "mole" working for the good guys to observe and support the students. And no, the knowledge and suspicion of a "mole" does not lead anyone to commit murder: Nagito uses this excuse as a bluff to try and kill everyone but the mole.
  • The Mole: According to Monokuma, there's a "student" on the island who isn't supposed to be there. Subverted in that the "traitor" is not the students' enemy.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: Inverted in-series with the game Twilight Syndrome, which comes with a disclaimer that the events depicted are factual and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely deliberate. It's later is indeed this, with the evidence being enough for Fuyuhiko to order a murder.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Hiyoko is one of the shortest, youngest-looking members of the cast and she's also a foul-mouthed, cruel bully.
  • Together We Are X: Monokuma and Monomi do this when introducing their comedy routine:
    Monokuma: Hellooooooooooooooo, I'm Monokuma!
    Monomi: Um... I'm Monomi...
    Monokuma & Monomi: And together we are The Monokumas!
  • Tomato in the Mirror: One of this game's defining endgame plot twists is that the person who set up the killing game by installing Junko/Monokuma into the program was Hajime himself, or rather, his personality after being genetically modified to be an Ultimate with every possible talent, Izuru Kamakura.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Hajime, Fuyuhiko, Kazuichi, Akane, and Sonia already went through more than enough before trial six thanks to Nagito tricking Chiaki into killing him and learning about her being The Mole but after the reveals about their situation and who they are starts up it seems like one Break the Cutie moment after another. On top of losing their friends, they find out that they're Ultimate Despair, how monstrous they've become, they killed their friends, family, and parents; and the kicker...they are told that everything they went through will be erased. They will revert back to their despair selves, and their friends will possibly stay "dead" forever. Should they choose graduate, then they run the risk of letting AI Junko possess their friends (and eventually themselves) and finish destroying the world. Poor kids can't catch a break.
  • Treachery Cover Up: Hope's Peak attempted to cover up Izuru's murdering the student council because of his involvement in the Ultimate Hope Project. When Ultimate Despair revealed this to the world, all hell broke loose.
  • Trust Password: Used by Hajime during the final chapter to prove that Makoto, who joined the class trial to persuade the survivors to graduate, wasn't the real deal. The false Makoto, controlled by Monokuma, could not remember why the real one chose 11037 as the password to the ruins.
  • Two Girls to a Team: By the end of the game, only Akane and Sonia are left alive of the girls.
  • Two-Teacher School: Though the game doesn't take place at school anymore, there's still only two "faculty" members around; Monokuma and Monomi. And both of these are robotic stuffed toys whose interest in educational pursuits is questionable at best. At least Monomi isn't trying to get the students to murder each other.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hajime is very slow to pick up on all the bizarre glitching going on during and just before the final chapter, including several of his classmates apparently coming back from the dead. Likewise, even the classmates who are still alive seem to act like nothing's wrong.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Monokuma's back, and ready for more despair!
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Though he's not an out-and-out "villain", in Chapter 4, Gundham shoots back after being berated for being the culprit:
      If one would call murder so that one may live "evil", then what must one call surrendering on life itself?! If the world shall name it just, then I shall fight that world with all my strength! For to renounce life and choose death is to blaspheme life. It is the perversion of nature, the conceit of mankind!
    • Shortly after this, he says, "You must agree that this is a better outcome than us all starving to death in that surprise house...". Chiaki doesn't contest this reasoning, simply saying, "So that conviction led you to commit this crime..." with a sad and resigned expression on her face.
      • Though it doesn't excuse what she did, when revealed to be the murderer, Mikan says she became the way she is thanks to being bullied throughout her life and nobody ever accepting her. When you look back at how the group never call Hiyoko out on her merciless bullying of Mikan or reassure her when she called herself "worthless", she's not exactly wrong.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Sonia asks Gundham to take her along next time he goes to the amusement park of Hell. When he says that the admission is the blood of a virgin, she dejectedly says that her blood would not meet the requirement.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Future Foundation in general. Their goal is to bring hope back to the world, and they're willing to execute the remaining members of Ultimate Despair in order to do that.
  • Wham Episode: The ending of Chapter 5. Hajime goes out after a day of rest, on the last day on the countdown, and encounters Chiaki - who died in the last trial. Then the other dead students start appearing, although they're never displayed in-world. The survivors witness the last message left by Nagito, who gives them the password to the ruins on the second island - 11037. Then they actually get to the ruins, and everything glitches out of whack.
  • Wham Line:
    Teruteru: "I told ya to wait a sec, ain't IIIIII!?"
    • As Mikan is finally found out in the Chapter 3 trial and starts to really lose it, she drops a line that reveals that the events of this game aren't so disconnected from the rest of the franchise as one might have thought...
    Mikan: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...! Haaa... It's been suuuuuuuch a long time... This feeling... I know it well... Like the floor is collapsing... Like the sky is falling down upon you... ...This feeling of despair!
    • During the Chapter 5 trial, Chiaki starts acting strangely, ending with this, indirectly identifying herself as The Mole.
    Chiaki: "But ... there’s nothing they could have done ... since even if they had wanted to confess ... they couldn’t have ... Because they weren't made that way. So ... I want you guys to try and guess. (...) The Future Foundation spy, the traitor hidden amongst us... who do you think it is?"
    • During Chapter 6:
    Junko: Izuru Kamukura is very much alive. Isn't that right... Hajime!?
  • Wham Shot:
    • During the Chapter 1 class trial, Hajime and Chiaki identify the culprit that planted the knife under the table and went to grab it during the power outage. When the culprit is cornered, a distraught Hajime asks him to object or refute the allegations, but what follows is one laugh and twenty words:
    • During the Chapter 3 class trial, Nagito reveals that the rope that was presumably used by the victim to hang herself is frayed. As he declares that the victim was actually strangled, the player is treated to a narrative shot of the anonymous killer wringing the unconscious victim's neck with a smile on their face.
  • What Could Have Been: An odd, In-Universe example found in the Dojo. If you examine the targets, Hajime notes that they could have had a minigame here if the production team had more time. He then wonders why on Earth he was thinking that.
  • What If?: Completing the game once unlocks Dangan Island, an alternate scenario where Monokuma fails to take over and the class trip goes as planned, focusing on socializing and getting to know your classmates better.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sonia chastises Fuyuhiko in the Chapter 2 trial for lashing out at Mikan when she starts agreeing with Hajime that Hiyoko likely didn't kill Mahiru. Interestingly, she doesn't scold Gundham for the same thing when Gundham does it to her earlier.
    • The group react like this towards Hajime when he and Nagito conclude that Mikan killed Hiyoko and Ibuki, finding it unlikely she'd have it in her.
    • Mahiru does this twice to Fuyuhiko - once in the first trial when he threatens to sell Mikan to a whorehouse when she says Byakuya could not have been killed with a knife, and again when she calls him out on murdering Sato. The second time it costs Mahiru her life.
  • World of Buxom: The female cast members (except for Mahiru and Hiyoko) are drawn this way in the Super High-school Level Good Luck and Hope and Despair spinoff manga.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Despite the students being trapped in a massive computer simulation, the program works too well, meaning that anybody who dies inside it effectively becomes braindead in the real world. Possibly.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Interesting variation: Sparkling Justice is consistently referred to as a serial killer who targets criminals, when most people would call that sort of person a vigilante.
    • Though it may simply be that our interpretation of Sparkling Justice is colored by Sonia's description. Given that all the source material we know on the subject comes from her own mouth, and Sonia herself is known for having an intense fascination/admiration of serial killers in general. Not helped by the fact that the only known publication on the island pertaining to Sparkling Justice was seemingly in Spanish, which presumably only Sonia was able to read and translate for the others. The only person we know of that Sparkling Justice killed was the journalist who they murdered after their interview. And Sonia was apparently easily able to accept that Mahiru could have been murdered by Sparkling Justice for the crime of being an accessory via not revealing a killers identity to the police. It may simply be that the people Sparkling Justice executes are "criminals" by their own view only, and not necessarily have committed any real crimes.

Alternative Title(s): Danganronpa 2, Super Dangan Ronpa 2


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