By the time you begin playing Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, you’re no stranger to the antics of the series. In the first game, it took some getting used to, going through class trials to solve the grizzly murders of our friends, but by the sequel, we’d bet you’re something of a professional.
Still, with so many things happening throughout the game, each trial came with its own challenges. We had locked room murders, another double-kill, and the strangest fruit-themed prison house, to name a few. The trials are always dependably amusing, but some naturally proved more challenging than others.
6/6 Chapter One
Though there were a number of twists in this trial, and a fandom meme that came with “meat on the bone”, the first chapter of a game should be relatively simple to ease you in. Danganronpa 2 relies on you having played the first game, assuming you’re familiar with the dynamics of the game but still giving you a challenge right off the bat.
While Nagito is cleaning the Old Lodge for the party “Byakuya” is throwing, Teruteru — who’s catering the party — notices Nagito acting strangely. What you don’t learn until later is that Nagito wanted Teruteru to try to kill him, so that his death might bring Hope to the classmates in a roundabout way.
But “Byakuya” sees him acting weird during a sudden blackout and runs to push him. Unfortunately, this happens just as Teruteru moves to kill Nagito from under the floorboards, hitting “Byakuya” instead. After roasting Peko for having a sour stomach and calling half the classmates into suspicion, Nagito stops siding with Teruteru and the bite-sized chef is found guilty of his crime.
5/6 Chapter Three
For the second time in the series, we got to experience the trope of “third trial is a double-murder”. Your group quickly begins to succumb to Monokuma’s next motive — Despair Disease, which presents differently in everyone. The sick are relegated to the hospital and left under Mikan’s care, with Hajime and Fuyuhiko there to help.
However, Mikan, with her constant exposure, also contracts the Despair Disease and remembers her life as a Remnant of Despair. Eager to begin bringing about more Despair, she kills Ibuki by strangling her. And it would have gone over, had Hiyoko not walked in on the preparation. To keep her quiet, Mikan kills her as well.
During the trial, it comes out that the marks on Ibuki’s neck appear closer to strangulation impressions than those of hanging, which calls Mikan into question immediately. As the Ultimate Nurse, she’s been doing autopsies, and she said Ibuki died from hanging. Although the classmates initially disagree, they come around and Mikan is voted guilty.
4/6 Chapter Two
Fuyuhiko made it no secret that he didn’t intend to be anyone’s friend, isolating himself early. He’s the first to play the arcade game that serves as the second motive and is therefore the one to receive photos confirming that the game is real: a girl named Sato killed Fuyuhiko’s sister to protect Mahiru, Fuyuhiko killed Sato as revenge, and the remaining members of their group are the girls on the island.
The complication comes from everyone being labeled as Girls A-E, but Fuyuhiko knows who’s who. Eager to avenge his sister, Fuyuhiko summons Mahiru to the pool house, as he’s learned in the gamified motive that Mahiru knew Sato killed his sister and said nothing. Just as he’s about to kill her during their argument, Peko steps in before Fuyuhiko can and murders Mahiru in the heat of the moment on Fuyuhiko’s behalf.
The trial is long — Hiyoko looks like a suspect, everyone is buzzing about the game, and there’s the notion that there might be another serial killer a la Genocide Jack. Eventually, you learn the truth: Peko has spent her life protecting Fuyuhiko, and declares the classmates are wrong and must be executed for voting her guilty, as she’s not a person but simply Fuyuhiko’s tool. He can’t bring himself to agree, and Peko is executed.
3/6 Chapter Four
The trial for this chapter is definitely not intended to be straightforward. The group is locked inside a funhouse divided into Strawberry House and Grape House, and they’re led to believe that the two connect via a circular room in the center that rotates.
The group splits in two and spreads between the houses, and they learn that no food will be provided until someone is murdered. The group attempts to keep their spirits alive, but hunger sets in fast. Gundham and Nekomaru realize the severity of the situation and agree to fight to the death.
Chapter Four is complicated because not only is there the riddle of exactly how the houses were connected, but there’s also the Final Dead Room to pass as well. You play it as Nagito, whose Ultimate Luck is the only reason he survives to learn all kinds of truth: the buildings are on top of one another, he can move between houses with a secret latch, and everyone is a Remnant of Despair. The trial is complicated due to its twisting nature, but the outcome, however heartbreaking, was incredibly noble.
2/6 Chapter Six
After solving the murders of your classmates, you’re onto the final challenge of the game: to wander the halls of Hope’s Peak Academy, collect clues toward just what the heck is going on, and then head to a final trial against Monokuma to end the Killing Game once and for all. You’re not solving a murder here — you’re solving the mystery of the whole game. No pressure.
You patrol around looking for clues to bring to trial and eventually realize that you’re not only a Remnant of Despair, the group who obsessively worshiped Junko and helped her spread Despair, but you’re also in a simulation. The Future Foundation, headed up by Makoto and the other survivors of Trigger Happy Havoc, has put you there to try to decondition you. However, the Despair slipped into the program, and Alter Ego Junko corrupted it to turn the peaceful simulation into another Killing Game.
The twists in this trial were indeed many, and it once again came down to you persuading your remaining friends toward your school of thought with Hope. Every time you think you’ve figured out what’s going on in this game, it reminds you that you’ve actually got no idea.
1/6 Chapter Five
The trial to figure out who killed Nagito in such a horrific, torturous way was confounding for a number of reasons. Not only was his death gruesome and drawn out, but Nagito, always with something up his sleeve, has split the group at the last possible moment and made it damn near impossible for anyone to have an alibi.
The chapter begins with him blowing up the hotel, threatening the group that he’ll blow up the rest of the islands, too, if the traitor whose presence they’ve known about refuses to step forward and admit to what they’ve done. While the group is scrambling to find the bombs, Nagito sets up maybe the most elaborate suicide we’ve ever seen. After replacing one of the fire-extinguishing bombs with vaporous poison, he tortures himself and sets up a domino effect with Monokuma cutouts that’ll set the warehouse on fire when the group opens the door.
There’s a lighter nearby, which the cutouts tip over to cause the building to go up in flames. The group darts for the firebombs and throws them to extinguish the blaze, one of them unknowingly lobbing the fatal poison at a barely-alive Nagito amid the flames. Inhaling the vapors is what actually kills him, and you learn he relied on his Ultimate Luck in hoping that the traitor would be the one who threw it.
So much of this trial is complicated, beginning before Nagito has even actually died. Chiaki is the “traitor”, and you learn that she’s actually a good guy, there to help run the school trip that was corrupted into a Killing Game. You also learn that she’s not even actually a real girl, either — in the game, she’s simply another AI, installed to help The Future Foundation.