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Third time's the charm.
– Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Trailer.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, also known as
New Dangan Ronpa V3: Everyone's New Semester of Killing(NEWダンガンロンパV3 みんなのコロシアイ新学期 New Dangan Ronpa V3: Minna no Koroshiai Shin Gakki) is a visual novel game and the third main title in the Danganronpa series developed by Spike Chunsoft.
Like the title "New" implies in the original release, the game has a completely different storyline, characters, and environment than the first three games, with only the series' mascot Monokuma returning. According to the developers, the "V" in the title stands for "victory".
The overall theme is "psycho cool", unlike the "psycho pop" and "psycho tropical" themes of the first two games. The visual style will have a "cool adult-like image" and the Class Trials will have "high-speed reasoning action". While the storyline and the sixteen new characters are different, the gameplay is similar to the earlier games, including exploration, talking with other characters and the Class Trials. It will have notable additions and improvements, though, like the possibility to use your own lies to defeat opponents during the trials.
Danganronpa V3 is produced by Yoshinori Terasawa, and planned and written by Kazutaka Kodaka, while the character design is done by Rui Komatsuzaki. Terasawa and Kodaka described developing it as being difficult, since it was being developed at the same time Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School was being made. Both also described the game's production level as being significantly higher than that of the previous games in the series.
When deciding whether to create a sequel or something new for the third installment, Spike Chunsoft settled on both, since there was divided opinion among the studio.
The game was first teased in the first trailer of Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, followed by another teaser and a full reveal of the game during the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia press conference on September 15, 2015. It was then released in Japan on January 12, 2017.
The NIS America localization team revealed at the Anime Expo 2017 "Danganronpa V3 Localization Panel" that Danganronpa V3 is one of the biggest games NIS America has ever localized, totaling approximately 400 pages of text, 2.4 million Japanese characters, 96,000 English lines, and 12,000 voiced lines. The amount of content in Danganronpa V3 which needed to be translated and localized was equivalent to both Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (1.1 million characters) and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (1.4 million characters) combined.
This section contains SPOILERS for Danganronpa V3. It has been hidden from view to protect users from spoiling themselves. Expand at your own risk.
According to Kazutaka Kodaka, the game's major theme is "lies vs. truths". This is seen in the characters' fabricated identities, Kaede Akamatsu's role as the false protagonist, Kokichi Oma's character, and the overall ambiguity of what is true and what is not. Fitting the theme, some advertisement and Kodaka's earlier statements about the game ended up being untruthful.
Another major theme is "fiction vs. reality", with the characters' identities ending up fabricated. A major message is that even though something is fictional and thus not really true, the person's feelings about it are real and truths can be born from fictions.
Due to the last trial criticizing Team Danganronpa's viewers, some players assumed it was criticism against them. However, Kodaka has confirmed that this was not the intention, and that the viewers are from a completely different world from ours where people are obsessed with Danganronpa. He states that the plot twist's intention was to make the player sync with Shuichi.
Kodaka has also admitted that it was a mistake to have the trial focus so much on the fictional universe aspect. During the recording, the team did not expect all the voice actors of the older Danganronpa characters to turn up at the call. Because of such a rare opportunity, everyone had to get their own lines, causing cosplaying Tsumugi Shirogane to talk a bit too much than intended.
The gameplay is similar to the previous main games, with each chapter divided into three sections; Daily Life, Deadly Life, and Class Trial, although notable changes with class trials can be seen in the trailer. In it, you can see multiple Shirokumas and Kurokumas (most likely being used as placeholders to prevent spoiling any future characters) being elevated upwards from their respective seats, highlighting that class trials may have a more intense atmosphere. Additionally, the player can listen to multiple testimonies at once, more than ever before.
During the Class Trials, you'll defeat opponents with "lies", using fabricated truth bullets. There are situations where lying is necessary. To use it, you have to hold the fire button for the truth bullets. By doing this, you can change the "Truth Bulletss" into "Lie Bullets", and by doing so, you turn the original truth bullets into the opposite of what they were. If you fire a lie bullet into a weak point that matches up, you can break that statement. However, using lie bullets are optional, so you can advance the debate with just truth bullets. By using lie bullets, you can access a short-cut or back route to move through the game; this will lead to different developments from the straightforward route.
"Scrum Debate" is a new system that divides the debate into two sides with different beliefs.
"Panic Debate" is another new system where multiple students will talk at the same time. Because of this, the screen will be divided to several characters for them to give separate testimonies at the same time. A normal person wouldn't be able to tell what they are saying when they are talking all at once, much less who is saying what. However, Kaede, using her talent as the Ultimate Pianist, is able to figure out what is said and who said it. Her ability is similar to how Ibuki Mioda from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair was able to figure who said what in the dark during the first murder. This system is similar to a normal "Non-Stop Debate" but far harder because you have to keep up with multiple testimonies at once, all the while not confusing one testimony with another.
Along with the Class Trials, the game includes other familiar gameplay like exploration parts and talking with other characters, which have also been improved.
High school student Kaede Akamatsu is kidnapped and awakens in the "Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles", where she meets fellow student Shuichi Saihara and 14 others. Trapped inside with no escape, they are forced into a killing game by a robotic bear named Monokuma, accompanied by his Monokuma Kubs. The only way to escape is to successfully kill another student and get away with it in a subsequent Class Trial. If nobody is killed within two days, Monokuma will prematurely end the game by killing all of the students.
Monosuke is very opinionated and has no patience for Monokid's foul language. That being said, he is also the most rational member of the Monokubs, and often falls into the straightman role within the group's antics.
Monosuke believes that the Monokubs should be hostile toward each other, and approves of infighting among the group.
Ultimate Pianist (超高校級の「ピアニスト」) The main protagonist of the story. Kaede has been playing piano ever since she was a child, earning her the not-so-flattering nickname, "Piano Freak." After winning numerous trophies at piano competitions, she soon received the far more prestigious title of Ultimate Pianist.
Kaede has a positive personality and puts all her effort toward achieving her goals. She feels a deep resentment toward Monokuma for forcing everyone to participate in his absurd killing game.
Her wish is that she and her classmates will continue to be friends long after they've left the academy. For this reason, Kaede is determined to keep everyone's spirits up and help them escape.
Ultimate ??? (超高校級の「???」) Though Rantaro can't remember what his Ultimate talent is, he doesn't let that get him down. In fact, he's quite excited at the prospect of learning what his Ultimate talent actually is.
Though he comes across as a glib and laidback. Rantaro is the only one to remain calm and press Monokuma for information while the others panic. At times, his attitude suggests that he knows more about what's happening than his classmates, which only heightens the air of mystery surrounding him.
Ultimate Inventor (超高校級の「発明家」) An inventor who is responsible for creating a wide variety of commercial products, starting with her famous "Eyedrop Contact Lenses." However, Miu believes that coasting through life is the best way to live it. As such, she considers her eyedrop invention is a failure because she actually had to work to create them.
Her arrogance is matched only by her penchant for vulgarity. Every time she opens her mouth, a stream of dirty jokes and innuendo comes rushing out. Strangely enough, she becomes submissive and docile whenever anyone gives her any pushback.
Ultimate Supreme Leader (超高校級の「総統」) A boy whose Ultimate talent is being the supreme leader of an evil secret organization that boasts a membership of over 10,000 people. However, there is no proof that such an organization actually exists. Even Shuichi, the Ultimate Detective is unfamiliar with the identity of Kokichi's organization.
As a self-professed liar, Kokichi revels in blurring the lines that separate fact from fiction. He has a tendency to say whatever pops into his head, and is prone to theatrical outbursts of crocodile tears. But don't let his innocent smile fool you—as a supreme leader of evil, Kokichi feels no remorse over tormenting his classmates.
Ultimate Robot (超高校級の「ロボット」) K1B0—or "Keebo" as he is known colloquially—is a robot equipped with recording functions and a hyper-advanced artificial intelligence, allowing him to learn and mature like any other teenage human. Raised by his creator, Professor Idabashi, Keebo was allowed to enroll in high school alongside other humans. He was later recognized as an Ultimate due to his robotic nature.
Keebo has a very earnest personality and conducts himself in a proper manner. However, he is very sensitive about the issue of "robophobia"—prejudice toward robots—and will not hesitate to call out any and all instances of anti-robot discrimination.
Because he's a robot, he has a tendency to overlook the subtle nuances of human interaction, and often makes innocent comments that land him in hot water. Kokichi in particular enjoys teasing him over this quirk.
Ultimate Entomologist (超高校級の「昆虫博士」) As a little boy, Gonta was such an avid bug catcher that he got himself lost in a forest for ten years. During this time, he was raised by a pack of kindhearted wolves, and even learned to speak with animals and insects before being reunited with his human family.
To repay his forest family, Gonta strives to become a true gentleman and conducts himself accordingly. However, because he spent his formative years living in the forest, Gonta is somewhat naive and has difficulty conversing with other students his age.
Despite being as strong as his appearance would suggest, Gonta is a pacifist who has never killed any living creature, including insects.
Ultimate Detective (超高校級の「探偵」) A young apprentice detective who helped his uncle run a detective business. The bulk of their cases were small jobs that mainly involved investigating cheating couples. However, there was one occasion where Shuichi actually solved a murder before the police did.
For this, he was recognized as the Ultimate Detective. But Shuichi believes the case was solved by coincidence and luck, and that he does not deserve the honor of an Ultimate title.
Shuichi's insecurities tend to make him rather timid, but he is quick to act in situations where his keen intuition is needed.
Ultimate Cosplayer (超高校級の「コスプレイヤー」) Tsumugi is a very popular cosplayer who has received sponsorships from many different companies. If you ask Tsumugi, she'll tell you that she enjoys making her costumes more than wearing them. However, she can't stand seeing her costumes worn by attention-seeking cosplayers instead of true fans like her, so she often ends up wearing them anyway.
Tsumugi has a reserved, studious demeanor and a soft, kind personality. But whenever the subject of cosplay or fandom comes up, she becomes very passionate and outspoken.
She has a tendency to complete ignore those around her when she's especially deep in thought. She also has a habit of referencing anime, video games, and manga over the course of a normal conversation.
Ultimate Anthropologist (超高校級の「民俗学者」) Korekiyo has traveled around the world, studying many different cultures as part of his anthropological research. His travels have instilled in him an appreciation for the "beauty of humanity." For this reason, he observes his classmates with great curiosity, eager to see what sort of beauty they will produce given their unique situation.
Calm, collected and intelligent, Korekiyo's mannerisms and appearance can nevertheless be quite unnerving to some. Even his ethics and morality may be a departure from what one might consider normal.
Ultimate Aikido Master (超高校級の「合気道家」) Tenko is a practitioner of Neo-Aikido, a martial art that she created alongside her master by reimagining the style of traditional aikido.
To say she merely dislikes men is an understatement. As an androphobe, Tenko refers to all men as "male degenerates." Though compliments from a woman will make her heart aflutter, the same compliment from a man could result in him getting thrown across the room.
Tenko does not hide her emotions well, and she has a tendency to overreact to situations in an exaggerated manner. She also has a habit of yelling at the top of her lungs. Though she claims it helps bolster her fighting spirit, her frequent shouting often strikes others as incredibly obnoxious.
Ultimate Maid (超高校級の「メイド」) A calm, dignified young woman of sound mind and peak physical fitness. Kirumi made a name for herself while working as a part-time maid, earning a reputation for fulfilling to perfection any request made of her. However, she refuses all requests made by corrupt individuals.
As a maid, Kirumi embodies the philosophy of selfless devotion. Even while trapped in the Ultimate Academy, she continues to serve her classmates almost on instinct, such as by preparing meals and doing chores.
Ultimate Tennis Pro (超高校級の「テニス選手」) From middle school onward, Ryoma was a talented tennis player with a bright future ahead of him, and had won championships around the world. But after he used his tennis skills and a custom-made steel tennis ball to kill members of an organized crime syndicate, he was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to death.
Awaiting his punishment on death row before arriving at the Ultimate Academy, Ryoma claims he is no longer the same person who was bestowed the title of Ultimate Tennis Pro.
Displaying a maturity that is rare among teenagers, Ryoma seems older than his appearance would suggest. Even in the presence of pain and death, Ryoma remains unflappable.
Ultimate Astronaut (超高校級の「宇宙飛行士) Astronaut cadets must have a college degree and pass a rigorous exam before they can even be considered for the astronaut training program. Kaito, however, used forged documents to take the exam before he graduated high school, and became the first teenager to pass it.
Ultimately, Kaito's forgery was discovered. But his unorthodox approach to the exam piqued such interest that he was accepted as a cadet anyway. Though Kaito still has yet to visit outer space, his romanticized view of the cosmos remains stronger than ever.
Valuing dreams and passion above all else, Kaito often dispenses such wisdom as "Limits don't exist unless you set them yourself!" and "You gotta be a little reckless to make your dreams reality!"
Ultimate Magician (超高校級の「マジシャン」) A skilled magician who claims her tricks are the result of real magic. Himiko is the youngest recipient of the Magician of the Year award from the Magic Castle, an organization made up of stage magic enthusiasts from around the world. However, she claims this award was just a clever ruse to hide her actual magic powers from the rest of the world.
She complains about the constant requests she receives from people who don't believe her magic is real, but still want to see her performances.
Regardless of whether it's parlor tricks or real magic, Himiko has an uncanny knack for card and coin magic tricks, as well as making doves appear out of thin air. But despite the high demand for her magical aptitude, Himiko is also extremely lazy.
Ultimate Artist (超高校級の「美術部」) A zealously devout girl who claims that her island god, Atua, is always by her side. Though Angie draws and sculpts, she considers herself an instrument of Atua, and credits her artistic works to him and him alone.
She has an upbeat, somewhat ditzy attitude, and often says unique remarks such as "Bye-onara." Chief among her personality quirks is her claim to speak on her god's behalf, as well as her tendency to ask others for (non-fatal) blood sacrifices to Atua.
DualShockers E3 2017 Best VITA Game RPGFan Best of Show E3 2017 IGN Best of E3 2017 Nominee
On the 14th December 2016, Sony announced the release of 3 special edition Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony themed consoles in the lead-up to the release of the game. A Monokuma themed PlayStation 4 and two engraved PlayStation Vita consoles were released on January 12, 2017. Each console came in a Danganronpa V3 themed box and with a pre-installed Danganronpa V3 theme.
Completing the demo rewards the player a skill, a present (which unlocks a special event in Chapter 1), and 333 Monocoins once they start up the main game.
This is the first game in the series to be localized in French.
In the NIS America Press Event 2017, Kodaka said that the game's English title was changed without him knowing, but also said that he didn't mind "Killing Harmony" and thought it was cool.
This section contains SPOILERS for Danganronpa V3. It has been hidden from view to protect users from spoiling themselves. Expand at your own risk.
The title of Chapter 1, "Me and My Class Trial", refers to the switching of protagonists between Kaede and Shuichi in the first class trial.
In the Japanese version, "Me" was written as "私/Watashi", the way Kaede referred to herself, while "My" was written as "僕/Boku", the way Shuichi refers to himself.
The V in "V3" can be interpreted in different ways.
According to the developers, the V stands for "victory", "version" and "violence" among other things. "Victory" 3 may refer to the three survivors in the game.
In the game, the V is revealed to be a roman number which stands for 5. When put together, V3 would be 53, referring to the plot twist in the end where the killing game turns out to be the 53rd season of a popular reality show.