|Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc|
|Platform(s)||PSP, iOS, Android, PS Vita, PC|
(JP) November 25, 2010
|Rating||CERO - 17+|
ESRB - Mature
ACB - M
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, often abbreviated to Danganronpa, is a murder mystery visual novel developed by Spike Chunsoft. In Japan, its name is Dangan Ronpa: Academy of Hope and High School Students of Despair (ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生, Dangan Ronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei). The script and storyline were written by Kazutaka Kodaka and the illustrations were done by Rui Komatsuzaki. The series' title, Danganronpa, is compounded from the words bullet (弾丸 dangan) and refutation (論破 ronpa).
A sequel was released on July 26, 2012 named Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Farewell Despair Academy (スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園, Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Sayonara Zetsubō Gakuen). The localization for the sequel, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (ダンガンロンパ2：さよなら絶望, Danganronpa 2: Sayonara Zetsubō), was announced Fall 2014.
On 6 July 2013, NIS America announced at Anime Expo that they would localize the game for North America and Europe with an English dub. The localization was entitled Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and was released in February 11, 2014 for North America and February 14 for Europe for the PlayStation Vita. The North American version of the game is compatible with the PlayStation TV (though the European release isn't). In June 2013, prior to the official localization, a fan group (Project Zetsubou) released an unofficial translation of the game for the PSP. 
The story is shown from the perspective of the protagonist, Makoto Naegi, who starts a new year at the elite private Hope's Peak Academy, a government-funded school which is renowned for educating students that are top of their expertise. These students are given the title of "Ultimate". However, every year the school hosts a raffle in which every average student nation-wide is entered, and a random student is selected to enter the school as the "Ultimate Lucky Student" - as is the case with Makoto Naegi, and is shown through the short story, Makoto Naegi's Worst Day Ever.
The story revolves around fifteen students who are trapped in the school under the control of a sadistic monochrome bear named Monokuma. They are forced to live a communal lifestyle together under a set amount of rules (included in the e-Handbook) for the rest of their lives, although it is possible to "disrupt the peace" in order to escape. In order to do this, a student must "graduate" from the school by murdering a classmate. After a body has been discovered, the rest of the students must work together to discover the culprit, who is known as the "blackened", while the innocents are on the side of the "whitened," playing off Monokuma's monochromatic color scheme. If the culprit can fool the rest of their classmates, then they alone can graduate the school while the rest of the students will be punished (executed). However, if the classmates uncover the true culprit, then the culprit alone will be punished with a gruesome execution while everyone else remains unharmed.
In each chapter, Monokuma releases motives to encourage students to commit a murder. During this time, the students attempt to uncover the secrets of the school, including why they were trapped there in the first place, as well as other ways to escape the school other than the graduation clause.
- Voiced by: Nobuyo Ōyama (Japanese); Brian Beacock (English)
- Monokuma (モノクマ Monokuma) is the main antagonist of the story and the "Headmaster" of Hope's Peak Academy. He is controlled by the mastermind, and he started and controlled the Killing Game.
- Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook (English)
- Makoto Naegi (苗木 誠 Naegi Makoto) is the protagonist of the the first game. An ordinary high school student who was accepted to the academy by raffle. Because of this, he was given the title Ultimate Lucky Student (超高校級の「幸運」), however it is frequently speculated to be Bad Luck. Later in the game, he was also given the title Ultimate Hope (超高校級「希望」) due to his talent in constantly staying optimistic.
- Voiced by: Makiko Ohmoto (Japanese); Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
- Sayaka Maizono (舞園 さやか Maizono Sayaka) is a cheerful girl who is the leader of an idol group which is nationally popular. When accepted to Hope's Peak Academy, she was given the title Ultimate Pop Sensation (超高校級の「アイドル」).
- Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese); Erika Harlacher (English)
- Kyoko Kirigiri (霧切 響子 Kirigiri Kyouko) is a female that appears to be very mysterious, however in discussion she has been shown to have a cool head and good reasoning skills. Due to her amnesia, she was not able to inform the player about her title in conversation, and so she was known as the Ultimate ??? (超高校級の「???」), however later she revealed herself as the person who has been given the title Ultimate Detective (超高校級の探偵).
- Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Jason Wishnov (English)
- Byakuya Togami (十神 白夜 Togami Byakuya) is known for being the successor of a highly successful family corporation. As a result of this, he appears to be very arrogant and considers himself superior to the other students of the Hope's Peak Academy. He has been given the title Ultimate Affluent Progeny (超高校級の「御曹司」).
- Voiced by: Kōki Miyata (Japanese); Dorothy Eilas-Fahn (English)
- Chihiro Fujisaki (不二咲 千尋 Fujisaki Chihiro) is a very shy character that frequently appears to be quite weak. He is very skilled in programming and one of his most notable works would be Alter Ego, an AI who helped the other students of Hope's Peak Academy to such a point that they even considered the AI a “friend”. His title is Ultimate Programmer (超高校級の「プログラマー」).
- Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (Japanese) Sean Chiplock (English)
- Kiyotaka Ishimaru (石丸清多夏 Ishimaru Kiyotaka) is an enthusiastically straight laced student who is a stickler for rules and order. As a result of this, he was accepted into Hope's Peak Academy under the title Ultimate Moral Compass (超高校級の「風紀委員」).
- Voiced by: Hekiru Shiina (Japanese); Marieve Herington (English)
- Celestia Ludenberg (セレスティア・ルーデンベルク Seresutia Rūdenberu), real name Taeko Yasuhiro, also known as the Queen of Liars, is a famous gambler that dresses in Gothic Lolita fashion. She is noted in the game for having defeated many high skill gamblers in the past. (She has even collected more than 10 billion yen at one point.) Because of her skill in gambling, she was given the title Ultimate Gambler (超高校級の「ギャンブラー」).
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese); Amanda C. Miller (Toko) / Erin Fitzgerald (Jack) (English)
- Toko Fukawa (腐川 冬子 Fukawa Touko) is a gloomy novelist with a persecution complex. One of her romance novels, “So Lingers The Ocean”, is a huge hit that managed to make fishermen extremely popular with teenage girls for a few months. Despite her young age, she has already won several awards and is constantly on top of selling list. She was given the title Ultimate Writing Prodigy (超高校級の「文学少女」). She also has an alternate personality named Genocide Jack, who is known under the title Ultimate Murderous Fiend (超高校級の「殺人鬼」).
- Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō (Japanese); Cassandra Morris (English)
- Aoi Asahina (朝日奈 葵 Asahina Aoi) is a well meaning student who may appear to be quite air-headed at times. She excels in athletic sports, most notably swimming, thereby giving her the title of Ultimate Swimming Pro (超高校級の「スイマー」).
- Voiced by: Kujira (Japanese); Jessica Gee-George (English)
- Sakura Ogami (大神 さくら Oogami Sakura), nicknamed The Ogre , is a fearsome student who is a world class fighter. She has muscular appearance and a deep voice, resulting in her being mistaken as a man often. She bears the title Ultimate Martial Artist (超高校級の「格闘家」).
- Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (Japanese); Lucien Dodge (English)
- Hifumi Yamada (山田 一二三 Yamada Hifumi) is an otaku student who is popular as a doujin manga artist, proclaiming that his interests are based solely on the “2D World” and “2D Girls”. He goes by the title Ultimate Fanfic Creator (超高校級の「同人作家」).
- Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese); Kaiji Tang (English)
- Yasuhiro Hagakure (葉隠 康比呂 Hagakure Yasuhiro) is a very laid back student, taking pride in his skill of fortune telling. He is revealed to be older than all the other students, due to being held-back. When attending the academy, he was given the title Ultimate Clairvoyant (超高校級の「占い師」).
- Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese); Keith Silverstein (English)
- Mondo Owada (大和田 紋土 Oowada Mondo) is a hot-headed student who is known for being the head of the largest bōsōzoku group in the country of Japan. He was given the title Ultimate Biker Gang Leader (超高校級の「暴走族」).
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Grant George (English)
- Leon Kuwata (桑田 怜恩 Kuwata Reon) is a brash teenager who is exceptionally good at baseball, however, in a later conversation with Makoto, he said he would like to be in a career that made him a musician. His title is Ultimate Baseball Star (超高校級の「野球選手」).
- Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese); Amanda C. Miller (English)
- Junko Enoshima (江ノ島 盾子 Enoshima Junko) is a charismatic gyaru fashion model who has appeared in many popular fashion magazines. As a result of this, she was given the title Ultimate Fashionista (超高校級の「ギャル」), however the Junko that is first introduced in the start of the game was in fact Mukuro Ikusaba, her twin sister, in disguise. The twins both go by an alternate title, Ultimate Despair.
- Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese); Amanda C. Miller/Erin Fitzgerald (English)
- Mukuro Ikusaba (戦刃 むくろ Ikusaba Mukuro) is a fearless soldier who was involved in Fenrir, a world renowned mercenary organization. She had an interest in military weapons and strategies ever since she was a child and thus was given the title Ultimate Soldier (超高校級の「軍人」). She is one of the Ultimate Despair, and the older twin sister of Junko Enoshima.
In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, the player controls Makoto Naegi. The gameplay is separated into two sections: Daily Life and Deadly Life. Daily Life is then separated into two modes: in the first mode, Makoto spends his time talking with his fellow students, known as "Free Time". By completing Free Time periods, the player will either get "Skill Points" (SP) or an actual skill, which can be equipped for use in the Class Trials. Makoto will also engage in scripted events, which include going to the cafeteria for breakfast, exploring the new school floor, etc. These events will either lead into a major plot point or a murder.
Once a murder happens, the game transitions into Deadly Life. Deadly Life is also separated into two modes: Investigation and Class Trial. In the Investigation, Makoto and his fellow students will go and search for clues, accounts, and anything else that they can use as an evidence in the Class Trial. Investigation has no time limit, and will end once Makoto has found all the accounts and clues. Both the clues and accounts are called "Truth Bullets" and are added into the "Truth Bullet" section on your e-Handbook.
Once the Investigation is done, Monokuma will call all the remaining students into the courtroom, and they will start the trial. In the Class Trial, Makoto and his classmates will start a discussion on who is the "blackened" of the case, and after numerous mini-games, everyone will pick the blackened by popular vote. If they choose the culprit successfully, only they will receive punishment, and the rest of the students will continue their school life. If they fail in doing so, the culprit alone is allowed to leave Hope's Peak Academy, and the rest of the students will be punished, ending their school life.
The game is divided into six main chapters, preceded by a prologue and followed by an epilogue.
Prologue - Welcome to Despair
We meet our protagonist, Makoto Naegi, who introduces himself as an incredibly average kid, mentioning that he tends to enjoy whatever is the most popular at the moment, and doesn't really stick out from the crowd. The only thing he thinks is relatively noteworthy about his personality is his optimism, claiming that he seems to be more "gung ho" than others. He expresses nervous tension about attending this high school, knowing from his online research that the other students in his class are all very talented people. Due to his nervous energy, he arrived much sooner than was necessary, and having time to kill, decides to take a look around the school to get acquainted with its layout.
As Makoto goes to the entrance hall, however, the room begins to swirl and everything goes dark. When he awakes, he finds himself in an unfamiliar classroom and looks around a bit, noticing several cameras and large iron plates covering the windows before heading back to the entrance hall to see if he can figure out what is happening.
There, he meets fourteen other students, all of which have found themselves in a similar situation. They introduce themselves to him one by one, and he begins to learn about his classmates. During his introduction with the Ultimate Pop Sensation, Sayaka Maizono, she soon recognizes Makoto from a previous encounter during their middle school days. However, their conversation is interrupted before she can tell him. They agree to catch up with what they were trying to say sometime later.
After introductions are made, they attempt to puzzle out their situation, although they are not able to come to a definite conclusion on their circumstance, some writing it off as the "opening ceremony" or an attempt to "scare" the new students. A high-pitched voice interrupts them over the intercom, directing them to come to the gymnasium. Upon their arrival, they are greeted by Monokuma, a strange monochromatic teddy bear who states that they must live inside of the school for the rest of their lives in a "communal school life." If someone should seek to escape and disrupt this harmony, they must "graduate" by becoming the "blackened" and killing one of their fellow students without being caught.
While most of the students protest against it or believe Monokuma is joking, Makoto is shocked by Monokuma's words. Little did they know that this was only the beginning of the academic coliseum...
Chapter 1 - To Survive
The next day, Makoto goes to the cafeteria to join the other students. One of them is Sayaka Maizono, Makoto's classmate from junior high. Sayaka recognized Makoto instantly, contrary to Makoto's belief that she had all but forgotten such a plain person like him.
Nevertheless, the two hang out for a bit before Monokuma calls the students back to the gym to give an “incentive”. He tells them that there are DVDs for each of them, and can be watched in a certain room. Makoto and Sayaka head to the A/V room, and the students observe their DVDs.
After Sayaka watches her DVD, she rushes off. Makoto tries to reassure her, but he only furthers her despair. Later that night, Sayaka asks if she and Makoto can switch rooms, due to her fears of the DVD. Makoto agrees. During that night, Sayaka is killed.
The following morning, the students are heralded to the gym. Monokuma tells them that due to Sayaka's death, the remaining students must participate in a Class Trial to determine the culprit. However, Junko Enoshima (a fellow student), refuses to partake in the trial.
She steps on Monokuma, and is immediately punished by getting impaled by the "Spears of Gungnir". With that, 13 students remain. Will the students be able to find Sayaka's murderer?
After this, the remaining students go off to investigate the murder, trying to find clues to who the killer is. Makoto investigates arguably the most out of the students, as most have already singled him out for the murder, due to the crime scene being his own room. After the investigation is over, Monokuma calls the students back, and the first class trial, billowing with hope and despair...Begins.
Chapter 2 - Boy's Life of Despair
Following Sayaka's trial, 12 students are left. The students successfully chose Sayaka's murderer, and the culprit was executed. The next morning, the students meet in the cafeteria to discuss what they will do for the day. When the students disperse, most head up to the second floor, which was recently opened.
The students explore, and discover a library, indoor pool, and another flight of stairs, currently closed off. The next day, Monokuma invites the students to the gym to receive his next incentive: the students' deepest secrets.
After everyone reads their secret, fellow student Chihiro Fujisaki begins to cry. Afterwards, she only tells them that she will become stronger, and when the time comes, she will reveal her “secret”.
Unfortunately, Chihiro is found dead within the changing rooms inside the pool. At the same time, Toko Fukawa begins to exhibit strange behavior- almost as if she's another person. Byakuya also tells Makoto that a certain serial killer, “Genocide Jack” the names are hiding among their numbers. Could Chihiro's murder be connected with Toko and Genocide Jack? It is up to Makoto and the remaining students to bring Chihiro's culprit to light.
Chapter 3 - A Next Generation Legend! Stand Tall, Galactic Hero!
With Chihiro's murderer executed, 10 students are alive. Following the end of the second Class Trial, Aoi Asahina lies in her bed, crying and stating that she can't participate in the Academic Coliseum anymore. She decides to have some donuts, as they usually cheer her up.
However, on her way she encounters an eerie green glow, and runs away screaming. The morning after, it is revealed that it is Alter Ego, an AI created by Chihiro before dying. The students treat Alter Ego like a regular classmate, relying on it for information.
Hifumi Yamada sees Alter Ego as a way to communicate with women, while Kiyotaka Ishimaru sees him as a way to communicate with his former Bro, whose death left him in severe shock and depression. Monokuma has also opened up the third floor, which includes an Art Room, Rec Room, and Physics Lab. He later calls the students for his latest incentive: he will give ten million dollars to the graduating students.
No one seems as willing to kill as opposed to the previous chapters, until the students find Celestia Ludenberg scratched up in the Rec Room. The students begin to suspect a murderer is on the rise, and their fears only heighten when they find Hifumi unconscious in the Library. He dubbed his attacker “Justice Robo”, an allusion to his outfit.
Panicked, the students wonder where the madman is hiding, only to have Celeste scream at the sight of him. It is only then do they find Hifumi's corpse. The students quickly look around for the madman, only to discover that Taka's corpse is in the Physics Lab. To confuse the students even more, both bodies are transported to the Art Room! At the same time, Kyoko Kirigiri finds Yasuhiro Hagakure trapped in the Justice Robo suit in the locker room inside the pool. Only eight students remain, could the culprit really be among them?
Chapter 4 - All•Star•Apologies
With the previous murder executed, the story enters its second half, with seven students remaining who have survived the despair-inducing murders and class trials. With the next incentive rolling up, Monokuma reveals a major twist: there was a mole working for Monokuma! An air of suspicion lurks within the halls of Hope's Peak, and ultimately, the mole is revealed to be Sakura Ogami, the Ultimate Martial Artist.
As the other students begin to ostracize her, Hina aggressively defends Sakura, even going as far to slap Byakuya Togami when he irks her. Unfortunately, Hina's defending is in vain, as Sakura is killed in a seemingly locked-room murder.
It is only up to the last six students to find out the true culprit of this murder. During the trial Hina accuses Byakuya, Toko, and Hiro of murdering Sakura due to the fact they both got a letter to meet in the rec room.
Only 6 students remain, can they vote the real blackened behind Sakura's murder?
Chapter 5 - 100 Mile Dash; Pain of a Junk Food Junkie
Makoto has a nightmare where the same masked figure who knocked him unconscious at the end of Chapter 3 tries to murder him in his bed, to no avail.
With only Makoto, Kyoko, Byakuya, Toko, Hina, and Hiro left tensions begin to rise... But new found hope rises once the group becomes baffled at how they stop receiving orders and communications at all from Monokuma. They even discover his robot body, an extremely sophisticated piece of machinery. As the group investigates, they discover a control room where they see themselves being broadcast. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Monokuma simply played them in a sadistic gambit to expose their misplaced hope.
Things spiral out of control once they discover the corpse of the masked attacker. But before they can unmask the newest victim, a bomb attached to it detonates, creating an unidentifiable body -- but things only become more ambiguous once Kyoko goes missing.
Can the remaining students identify and solve the true nature of their latest victim?
Chapter 6 - Ultimate Pain, Ultimate Suffering, Ultimate Despair, Ultimate Execution, Ultimate Death
As the group recuperates from the explosive twist the previous class trial left them, the real mastermind and controller of Monokuma reveals themselves, and the truth about the academy and the students is revealed. Can the final survivors reveal their true hope and defeat the mastermind, or will despair finally claim victory?
Epilogue - Goodbye Despair High School
The group executes their decision made in the previous chapter... Unaware of a certain survivor.
The game Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (both Japanese and English versions and the PSP version) had received very positive reviews from critics, IGN gave it an 8.5, calling it "a must-own game for hardcore Vita owners". Another publication, Made For Gaming, awarded the game with a score of 9, stating that the title is "one of the craziest, most disturbed Japanese game in history". It was released to PSP on November 25, 2010, and in August 25, 2012 it was later made available for iOS and Android OS in Japan. The game was released on January 13, 2014 in Taiwan, February 11, 2014 in North America, and Europe and Australia on February 14, 2014. It sold 25,564 copies in Japan in its first week, debuting in 8th place in the weekly game sales charts, and in three months of sales sold over 85,000 copies.
- As a game defined in part by it's bold aesthetics, Danganronpa was originally supposed to have a monochrome color palette of purely black and white, but with starkly red-colored blood in order to make instances of death stick out, similar to the hyper-violent Sega game MadWorld. Even after the color scheme was reworked to be more conventional, the blood was stylistically colored bright pink in order to create the same visual effect.
- ↑ Steam Store Page
- ↑ NISA Licenses DanganRonpa, Demon Gaze Games in West
- ↑ Article on Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc release on Steam
- ↑ Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Review - Made For Gaming
- ↑ "Gran Turismo 5 Tops the Charts in Japan"
- ↑ "Danganronpa Sells 85,000 Units, Spike CEO Grins Like Mono-Bear"