The other day I heard about Spike’s Dangan-Ronpa. It is a PSP game that was never translated/localized for any release outside of Japan, so I’ve been reading a fan-translated Let’s Play for the game. It’s incredible and I wanted to share it with you guys a little. As you may know, I completely adore strange, bizarre, obscure games, and this is basically Battle Royale (or the Hunger Games if you don’t know about the amazing that is Battle Royale) meets Phoenix Wright.
Sorry about the total animu of that picture. I didn’t want to look up any other pictures (SERIOUSLY DON’T if you’re going to read a Let’s Play of this game) for fear of spoilers. I am serious – if you want to experience this game, watch or read a Let’s Play online and do not look up any pictures, videos, or fanart outside of the Let’s Play.
With that out of the way, let me explain. The premise is the protagonist, Makoto Naegi, was the lucky person who was randomly chosen to attend Hope’s Peak Academy, a highly prestigious high school that only accepts people at the Super High School Level. Naegi was chosen to be Super High School Level Good Luck, which means he has no special talents at all other than being randomly chosen. Other attendees to the school are stuff like Super High School Level Idol, Super High School Level Hall Monitor (yes), and Super High School Level Wrestler. There are a ton of characters, and they’re all important.
As soon as Naegi arrives at the school, however, he blacks out, and when he awakens, all the windows in the building are bolted shut so he can’t see out, and the front door is barred with a huge metal Fallout-style gate. He and the other classmates meet Monobear, a creepy toy bear, who tells them that they must learn to live in peace in the school, and they will never be allowed to leave until they graduate.
Graduating from the school, of course, involves killing one or two other students without being caught. Gameplay involves walking around the school, talking with your classmates, until a murder occurs. Then, the game moves into trial mode, where you must investigate, collect clues, and then, Phoenix Wright-style, figure out the murderer and prove who it was.
As you can imagine, the game is violent, disturbing, and emotionally draining on so many levels. The game’s creator explained that he wanted to create a murder mystery where you actually care about the characters, and as you play (or read/watch, in my case), you definitely grow to feel an emotional connection with all the characters. It’s haunting and stays with you.
I can’t say for sure, but I suspect with the recent popularity of this game due to the Let’s Plays of it, there may in fact be an English fan patch for the game released at some point. If it does, I will definitely be buying the game and playing with the English patch.
Here is the Something Awful Let’s Play, but you will probably need a membership to read. Memberships are $10. It’s well-worth it though. If you don’t want to buy a membership, definitely wait for the patch! It’s well worth it.