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- "A deadly judgment... A deadly deception... A deadly betrayal... A deadly riddle, a deadly defense, a deadly faith... A deadly...class trial...!"
- —Makoto Naegi
Class Trial is a series of discussions and mini-games (in the games only), held after a student has been murdered. It is up to the remaining students to discuss the crime, make logical conclusions, and discover the Blackened - the student who committed the murder. The class trial ends with a majority vote for who the students believe the Blackened is.
If the students vote incorrectly, the true blackened will “graduate”, and all of the remaining students will be executed. However, if they correctly vote for the true blackened, the blackened alone will be executed. Class Trials are only featured in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
Within the trial, the player must complete several activities to continue the flow of the trial. The main components are as follows:
Over the course of the trial, the player must complete several Nonstop Debates. Within these debates, the students will give assertions. Certain phrases will be highlighted, these are “weak points”. These can be refuted by using Truth Bullets, various pieces of evidence that contradict the statement, and Makoto or Hajime will shout “No, that's wrong!”. Sometimes the given Truth Bullets may not correspond with the contradictory statement, so the player must convert other “weak points” into Word Bullets.
Danganronpa 2 adds blue "Agree Points" into the mix as well. Unlike weak points, where the player hits it with a truth bullet that contradicts it, agree points must be hit with a truth bullet that supports it. When done correctly, Hajime will shout, "I agree with that!" Many nonstop debates in the game will have a mix of both weak points and agree points. A weak point converted into a truth bullet cannot be used on an agree point.
Sometimes the player, as Makoto Naegi, Hajime Hinata, or Kaede Akamatsu must remember certain words or clues to further the trial along. The player then “travels” into Makoto/Hajime/Kaede's mind to select certain letters to complete the phrase or word. Letters will float around the screen and can be “hit” to fill in the word. Certain letters must be hit more than once to be captured. When the player completes the word, the trial resumes.
Hangman's Gambit was altered in the second game. Now letters will come from all around the screen on a direct pathway. The letters that do not match cannot collide or else the player will lose points in the player's influence gage. Matching letters must be combined and then selected in order to form the word.
In Danganronpa V3, the letter balls are obscured by darkness, so Kaede has to shine a light on them every so often and really study where they are. This time the player really need both the “flash” and the player's observational power to clear. While pressing the circle button, the player can light up the center of the screen in exchange for the player's Concentration meter depleting. This makes it easier to find specific letters, allowing the player to finish the answer.
Bullet Time Battle/Panic Talk Action/Theory Armament
A rhythm-based minigame. Sometimes a character refuses to give up a certain position, whether it be admitting to being the culprit, defending a character, or refusing evidence, the player must negate the assertions by engaging in an B.T.B. The setup is very similar to Nonstop Debates, as there are weak points, and a final Word Bullet to end the B.T.B. During the B.T.B, the player must “lock-on” to the character's assertions and obliterate them with bullets, while staying in rhythm. The tempo will gradually increase if the player can continously lock-on and obliterate assertions. After taking down your opponent's influence gauge, you must present the right Truth Bullet to the contradicting argument your opponent made.
Panic Talk Action is exclusive to Danganronpa 2. P.T.A. is very similiar to B.T.B., but you have to take down your opponent(your opponent is the real blackened in the case)'s "shielded heart", and must present your final argument to why your opponent is the killer. Once the 'shield's are down, you must present your argument. Four words (Sometimes fragments of words, and even numbers in one instance.) will be displayed in the top, bottom, left and right of the screen. The circle, triangle, square and cross buttons (or WASD/XYAB buttons in the PC version) each match one word. Instead of presenting a Truth Bullet, you must combine those four words correctly. Then the argument will be formed, and the final contradiction will tear your opponent's argument to shreds.
Theory Armament is exclusive to Danganronpa V3. The frenzied participants of the trial will sometimes arm themselves with their own theories, rendering the player unable to question them further. When that happens, the Theory Armament rhythm game occurs. Knock out the outbursts to the rhythm to advance the debate.
As the name implies, this component is the climax of the Trial. Similar to a setup of Epiphany Anagram, Makoto/Hajime delves into his mind to fully explain the murder. Several panels of images will appear, each depicting different elements of the murder, like a manga page. However, some images may not appear, and they must be filled with smaller images that correspond with the page. When Climax Logic is finished, the “manga” will read normally, showing the progression of the murder.
In Danganronpa, the player is given all of the missing images at once. Once the player believes they have the right combination, they submit their answer and Makoto starts describing the series of events. If a wrong answer is given, the explanation stops at that point, the player takes damage and has to return to the closing argument to correct it.
In Danganronpa 2, the player is given missing images in "stocks" of four to five images; Some which may be irrelevant. Unlike the first game, answers are checked on the fly, and when all the relevant images of that stock are in their correct place, the irrelevant images are removed and the player moves onto the next stock of images. This process repeats itself until all the missing images are correctly filled in.
Rebuttal Showdown is exclusive to Danganronpa 2. After Hajime has found a weak point, a student may provide a counter argument. In a similar fashion to Nonstop Debate, the player must use their “Truth Blade" to slash through and negate the opponent's argument.
In order to progress through the argument, the player must cut through their opponent's statements using the d-pad or by swiping the touch screen. The screen will shift depending on who the argument is currently favoring. At the end of a sequence, if the argument is going in favor of Hajime, the showdown will advance to the next sequence. If the argument is going in the way of his opponent, he takes damage and retreats to the previous sequence in the argument. If neither student in particular is winning the argument, then a "Cross swords!" Section will begin, where the player needs to button mash to advance, or they will be pushed back.
Much like in nonstop debates, weak points are scattered through the showdown. The player must hit the correct weak point with the correct Truth Blade to end the showdown.
Logic Dive is exclusive to Danganronpa 2. Logic Dive is a snowboarding minigame, in which players steer down a logical tube whilst avoiding pitfalls, occasionally requring to choose between multiple routes based on a question given, in order to arrive at a logical conclusion.
Scrum Debate is exclusive to Danganronpa V3. The group-driven Scrum Debate occurs when those participating in the school trial break down into groups representing two different opinions. The player must find the subject of the argument from the opposing camp as their comments are fired off in turn, then have the correct character on the player's side speak back on the matching subject to progress the debate.
During a Scrum Debate, the subject keyword for each camp will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Because the opposing camp’s keyword will be hidden, the player must discern the subject from what they say.
Excamagination (lit. Imagination Excavation) is a puzzle-style mini-game exclusive to Danganronpa V3. Break the blocks to see the pictures underneath to answer the question. The blocks come in three colors, so if the player adjoin blocks of the same color, the player can break all of them at once. If the player does that, then other neighboring blocks will change their color, so the player can use this rule to continually break blocks quickly.
If the player clicks on a lone, leftover block multiple times, it will be smashed to pieces, but the player will be hit with a ten seconds penalty.
When the player excavates enough, the player can choose the picture that answers the question. So long as the player uncover the correct answer's picture, the player can clear the game even if there are blocks left on the field.
Brain Drive is a new game exclusive to Danganronpa V3, this time a racing-style one. The player collects letters on the road to complete the question and then answers it. Because in this game the player answers multiple choice questions as the player progresses, it's similar to the previously seen Logic Dive, but it has been adjusted so that it's easier to play.
Once the player complete the question, Thinking Time starts. Because there's a girl who can submit a reply waiting on the player, hop into the driver's seat with the girl who's right and drives on.
Represented by pink hearts in Danganronpa and by a long, pink bar in Danganronpa 2. This is the player's "life gauge" during the trial. Can be depleted by incorrectly playing through the components. Can be restored by picking right answers on multiple choice questions, presenting the correct truth bullet when asked, or picking the correct person as the killer/suspiscious person. If the player's Influence Gauge runs out, the player fail the trial and the game is over.
Represented by blue stars in Danganronpa and by a short, blue bar in Danganronpa 2. Has various effects depending on the minigame. Is activated by holding down the R button. Gradually restores itself when not in use.
During Nonstop Debate, Rebuttal Showdown and Hangman's Gambit, this will cause the debate/gambit to slow down as well as reduce how much the crosshair drifts, allowing the player to better line up a shot.
During B.T.B./P.T.A., this activates Fever Time, which allows the player to ignore the tempo markers and act however they like. In Danganronpa, fever time activates when you press the R button and deactivates automatically when the concentration gauge runs out. In Danganronpa 2, fever time remains active until the R button is released or the concentration gauge runs out.
Not used during Closing Argument or Logic Dive.
Used to aim at Weak Points during Nonstop Debates and at letters during Hangman's Gambit. Drifts from target naturally, can reduce drift by using the Concentration Gauge, or by applying Skills.
Abilities that can help in the Trial. Some include speeding up the recovery of the Concentration Gauge, increasing your Influence Gauge, and extending the time on Trial components. Acquired by spending time with students at certain locations and times during Free Time.
Outside of minigames, the player is required to answer questions related to the case at hand. This typically comes in four different forms:
- Multiple choice questions
- Presenting the correct Truth Bullet
- Guessing who the killer or most suspicious person is
- Pointing out something suspicious at the crime scene or another relevant location (Dangan Ronpa 2 only).
Answering incorrectly will cause damage to your Influence Gauge, while a correct answer will restore a part of your Gauge if it is not full.
Your "evidence" that is converted into Truth Bullets. Truth Bullet are loaded into your e-Handbook during Investigation. As new information pertaining to the case is discovered during a Class Trial, Truth Bullets may change. Danganronpa 2 introduces a similar mechanic called Truth Swords during Rebuttal Showdowns.
At the climax of a class trial, the students who participate in the Class Trial must vote one person as the culprit of the case. If the majority are correct, the culprit is executed - if they are wrong, everyone except for the killer will die. In-game, the decision only affects the Influence Gauge. If you answer correctly, your Influence Gauge will be restored a tiny bit if it is partly empty. If you answer incorrectly, your Influence Gauge will slowly deplete.
In most cases, everyone answers correctly if they are convinced enough by your evidence. However, there are some exceptions:
- Kiyotaka Ishimaru voted for himself instead of the true culprit, Mondo Owada in the second case in Danganronpa. This was implied to be out of denial that his "bro" had murdered Chihiro Fujisaki.
- In the fourth case of Danganronpa, Aoi Asahina tried to get everyone to vote for her to be the culprit of Sakura Ogami's murder, but Sakura actually committed suicide. This was explained to be Hina's attempt to "avenge" Sakura, who she believed to have committed suicide out of despair from the other students' distrust of her.
- In the fifth case of Danganronpa, Monokuma ends the trial prematurely and forces the students to vote before Mukuro Ikusaba's true killer is revealed. This can either lead to a bad ending where Kyoko Kirigiri is executed, or proceed to the sixth case with Makoto Naegi surviving his execution.
- In the second case of Danganronpa 2, Peko Pekoyama successfully led the other students to vote for her, believing that Monokuma would consider Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu to be the true culprit of Mahiru Koizumi's murder. Unfortunately for Peko, she was considered to be the culprit due to Fuyuhiko's reluctance to discount her as a mere "tool" of his will - thus, the votes were considered to be correct.
- Main article: Executions
- Logic Dive is actually a joke about Hajime's character. Hajime's voice actress's, Minami Takayama who is also voicing Conan Edogawa from Detective Conan, who is known for his turbo skateboard.