Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
|Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair|
Cover art featuring Monokuma (left), Monomi (right), and the students of Hope's Peak Academy
|Platform(s)||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Android, iOS|
|Genre(s)||Adventure, visual novel|
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair[b] is a visual novel adventure game developed by Spike Chunsoft. It is the second game in the Danganronpa franchise, following 2010's Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. It was first released in Japan for the PlayStation Portable in July 2012, with a port released for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in October 2013, and worldwide by NIS America in September 2014. A port for personal computers was also released in April 2016, as well as a bundle containing the first Danganronpa for the PlayStation 4 in March 2017, called Danganronpa 1-2 Reload.
The story follows a group of high school students who are trapped on a tropical island by their high school's headmaster Monokuma, a sentient stuffed bear, along with a relative of Monokuma's, Monomi, a sentient stuffed rabbit. Similar to the first game, students are told to kill one of their peers and not be caught in the subsequent investigation and trial in order to leave the island.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is followed by the canon spin-off Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls released on September 25, 2014, and the anime Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School which ran from July 11, 2016 to September 29, 2016 and consisted of three parts that wrapped up the storyline. A loose sequel to the series called Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony was released on January 12, 2017 with similar gameplay, but a different storyline.
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Similar to the previous game, Danganronpa 2 features two main styles of gameplay; School Life, which is split into Daily Life and Deadly Life sections, and the Class Trial. In the Daily Life section, players interact with other characters and progress through the plot. Conversing with characters during 'Free Time' sections earns Hope Fragments, which can be exchanged for skills that can be used in the Class Trial. Performing various interactions increases the player's level, allowing them to equip more skills during trials. Monocoins, earned by finding hidden Monokuma Figures or performing well in trials, can be exchanged for presents that can be given to other characters during Free Time segments, with certain items able to trigger special events. The Deadly Life section, which occurs when a crime scene is discovered, has the player search for evidence that will assist them in the Class Trial.
The Class Trial, in which players must determine the identity of a culprit, features the same aspects as the previous game, but with new gameplay elements. Like before, Class Trials are largely formed of Nonstop Debates, in which players must look for weak points in the students' discussion and shoot them with "Truth Bullets" that contradict them. This time around, the yellow-colored 'Argue Spots' are joined by blue-colored 'Agree Spots', which must be shot with a Truth Bullet indicating someone is telling the truth. Hangman's Gambit now requires players to combine matching letters coming in from both sides of the screen before they collide into incorrect matches. Combined letters may then either be destroyed, or used to spell out the clue. The Bullet Time Battle from the previous game is now known as Panic Talk Action, featuring largely the same mechanics of using rhythmic timing to break through a student's mental defenses. Controls are revised slightly from the last game, and players must now spell out a phrase in the correct order at the end of the section, rather than firing a specific Truth Bullet. Finally, the Closing Argument, in which players fill out a comic strip depicting the events of a crime, is adjusted so that players select panels from stocks of panels, as opposed to having access to all the pieces at once.
Various new gameplay elements have been added to the Class Trial. Rebuttal Showdowns take place when a student attempts to refute the player's logic. In these sections, players must slash apart their opponent's argument to gain dominance in the conversation and reveal new information, before using a "Truth Blade" to strike through the correct weak point when it appears. Logic Dive is a snowboarding minigame, in which players steer down a logical tube whilst avoiding obstacles and pitfalls, occasionally choosing between multiple routes based on a question given, in order to arrive at a logical conclusion. Finally, Spot Select requires players to examine an image and indicate an important spot.
There are also various modes outside the main game. Players have a virtual pet that can be accessed from the pause menu, which grows as players take steps in the game and earns the player rewards based on its Hope and Despair stats. Magical Girl Miracle☆Monomi is a minigame in which players control Monomi fighting off against waves of cute monsters. Island Mode, which is available after clearing the game once, is an alternate mode where the students are not subjected to Monokuma's killing game and instead aim to make friends with each other and earn Hope Fragments. This allows players to bond with characters more easily than in the main story mode. Danganronpa IF, a short story depicting an alternate storyline for Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, is also unlocked after clearing the game once.
Following a similar premise to the previous game, Danganronpa 2 puts players in control of Hajime Hinata, an amnesiac boy who has just become one of Hope's Peak Academy's 'Ultimate' students, alongside fifteen others. The students find themselves taken to the remote tropical Jabberwock Island by their alleged teacher, a small, rabbit-like mascot named Usami, who claims it to be a simple field trip. However, things turn out to be too good to be true as Hope's Peak Academy's notorious principal, Monokuma, announces they are stuck on the island for life unless they can murder another student and get away with it. If the students can determine a murderer in a Class Trial, that culprit is executed, but if they make the wrong assumption, then the killer walks home free whilst everyone else is sentenced to death.
Over the course of the game, several students are murdered, and thanks to Hajime's investigative skills, their killers are found out and executed. However, Hajime begins to realize something isn't quite right with the world, and discovers a terrible truth. He and his fellow students are in fact the surviving members of Ultimate Despair, a group led by the first game's antagonist, Junko Enoshima, whose sole purpose was to spread despair to the world. They managed to instigate a worldwide rebellion that caused society to collapse. However, one group, called the Future Foundation, has been attempting to undo the damage Ultimate Despair caused. They captured the surviving members, but instead of executing them, decided to try and rehabilitate them by erasing their memories and putting them in a virtual reality program.
Upon finding out that they are in a program and that all of the students are merely artificially constructed avatars, Hajime is then contacted by Makoto Naegi, the protagonist from the first game and now a member of the Future Foundation. He warns Hajime that an artificial intelligence copy of Junko Enoshima, based on the "Alter Ego" AI from Trigger Happy Havoc, has hijacked their program, and is trying to manipulate events so that once the surviving students "graduate", she can possess the bodies of the deceased students, which are still intact in the real world. Alter Ego Junko's ultimate plan is to download herself into every person on the planet. Makoto tells Hajime that if the class votes not to graduate, it will allow him to reset the system and purge Alter Ego Junko. However, that also means that the student avatars will be deleted, along with all of the memories they gained while in the simulation.
Junko attempts to convince Hajime by revealing that he was formerly the genius leader of Ultimate Despair, Izuru Kamukura. He and the other students hesitate, afraid of reverting to their original personalities. However, Hajime eventually finds the inner courage to thwart Alter Ego Junko's plan, and convinces the other students to refuse graduation, saying that they will create a future where they don't have to forget. Finally, Hajime, Makoto and the others reset the system and delete Alter Ego Junko, retaining their memories by clicking both buttons.
In the epilogue, Makoto, and fellow survivors and Future Foundation members Kyoko Kirigiri and Byakuya Togami look on as the students decide to return to the island. They muse that they are already vastly different from their original Ultimate Despair personalities, choosing to stay behind on the island to look after their comatose friends who were "killed" in the simulation. Even though the chance is extremely small, Makoto is confident that the students will find a way to revive their friends.
Super Danganronpa 2 was originally released for the PlayStation Portable in Japan on July 26, 2012. A limited edition was available, which included a Monokuma PSP pouch, an art booklet, a soundtrack and audio commentary CD, keychains and badges, and a download code for a custom theme. A compilation of the game and its predecessor, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, titled Danganronpa 1・2 Reload, was released in Japan for the PlayStation Vita on October 10, 2013, featuring new touch controls and high resolution graphics. After releasing the Vita remake of the first game in North America and Europe in February 2014, NIS America announced it would release the sequel in Western territories in September 2014, under the name Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. As well as a standard edition, a limited edition will be released via NIS America's online store, including an art book, soundtrack CD, stickers, Monokuma medals, and a pair of sunglasses. Danganronpa 1・2 Reload was also released in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4 in March 2017. Android and iOS ports were released on August 20, 2020, under the name Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition.
Danganronpa 2 debuted higher than its predecessor and received "generally favorable" reviews, selling a total of 69,000 copies during its first week on sale in Japan and was the fifth best-selling game of the week. Famitsu gave the game a score of 37/40, based on four scores of 10, 9, 9 and 9, and was voted the best game of 2012 by its readers, with an average reader rating of 9.79 out of 10.
Upon its release in North America, the game was met with praise. Japanese game specialist Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4.5/5, and Push Square gave it an 8/10. Cubed3 awarded a 9/10, highlighting an "exceptional plot" that "is every bit as an emotional rollercoaster as the first game," going on to say, "Coupled with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, this is a series no visual novel aficionado can do without."
In Japan, the PSP version sold a total of 162,408 copies during its lifecycle.
Other media and appearances
Various manga publications based on the game have been released. A direct adaptation began serialization in Enterbrain's Famitsu Comic Clear magazine from December 10, 2012. Three other spin-off manga, Dangan Island - Kokoro Tokonatsu Kokoronpa♪, Chō-Kōkō-Kyū no Kōun to Kibō to Zetsubō, and Nanami Chiaki no Sayonara Zetsubō Daibōken, have been published by Mag Garden from October 2013. Another spin-off, Nangoku Zetsubo Carnival!, has been serialized in GA Bunko's magazine from April 2013. The game has also received 4Koma Kings and Comic Anthology compilations by various artists. Dark Horse Comics will release the Chō-Kōkō-Kyū no Kōun to Kibō to Zetsubō manga in North America under the tile Danganronpa 2: Ultimate Luck and Hope and Despair.
Monomi appears at the end of the final episode of the first game's 2013 anime television adaptation, Danganronpa: The Animation. An anime adaptation of Danganronpa 2 was initially planned, but the producers instead chose to make an original anime series, Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, which aired between July and September 2016. The series' second part, Despair Arc, focuses on the characters of Danganronpa 2 prior to the events of the first game. An original video animation, titled Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaisha (スーパーダンガンロンパ2.5 狛枝凪斗と世界の破壊者, Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of Worlds), was released with the Japanese limited editions of the game Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony on January 12, 2017.
A Monomi costume is also available in the Japanese PS Vita and PlayStation 3 versions of Terraria. Downloadable outfits based on Monokuma and Monomi also appear in the Super Sonico game Motto! SoniComi.
- Known as Spike during development; additional work for Windows, OS X, and Linux by Abstraction Games
- Known in Japan as Super Danganronpa 2: Sayonara Zetsubō Gakuen (Japanese: スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園, Hepburn: Sūpā Danganronpa Tsū: Sayonara Zetsubō Gakuen, lit. Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye, Despair Academy)
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