For my final week of the project, I was beginning to run out of time. I’d only just come off the high of writing introductions. I was burning out. To that end, I stopped writing. I felt as if I had done enough, and that the academic side of my work had to be finished first. After all, my personal side of the project would continue on past college. It could go on for months, or even years.
Below is further insight into that, as well as how the rest of the prologue chapter will play out.
I had four stages planned for post-introduction material. In fact, this is the same kind of format used in the Danganronpa games.
- Talk — Someone finishes the introductions, and everyone begins to talk about what’s going on. What’s the bigger picture? Does anyone remember how they got here? Where’s everyone else?
- Move — A voice over the intercom tells people to meet at a certain location. Either people are wary, or are in denial and believe everything to be okay.
- Mascot — The ‘mascot’ character is revealed, and they explain what is going on, they are the start of the ‘Killing Game’. Everyone freaks out over this, because the mascot is never human. In canon, it was a talking stuffed bear.
- Suspicion — With the mascot gone, people dwell on their situation. Everything lines up with the Prisoner’s Dilemma, meaning that even if no one appears suspicious, everyone will get defensive. People will instinctively begin to doubt each other. It plays into the ‘trust is hard to build, but so easy to break’ idea.
My plan for the end was to throw a curve ball. Here’s how my plan would go.
- Talk — The same as above. Learning an odd thing from Atsuya Oikawa’s introduction, she brings it up to everyone else. They realize that, on top of losing their possessions (phones, etc), everyone blacked out at the same time (8:15AM) in the same place (in front of Hope’s Peak Academy) on the same day (the welcoming ceremony). People freak out.
- Move — The same as above. A voice over the intercom tells people to move to the Priority A door in 15 minutes, which is soon found after they leave the dormitory room. Miki has a chance to talk to people while she waits.
- Monokumo — The mascot. Monokuma is the name of the canonical mascot. Monokumo is my version. Why does it sound the same? Kuma is ‘bear’, playing into the stuffed bear’s appearance. Kumo is ‘spider’. It’s a pun. Her name literally means ‘black and white spider’, which…she is. She explains the killing game’s rules – kill someone without being caught and you’re free.
- Punishment — This is the curve ball. Monokumo disappears, ominously telling the others to run to the kitchen (Priority A happens to be the cafeteria, which the kitchen is linked to) in case they don’t believe her. One of the doors inside – the pantry – is locked. They hear someone shouting for help, whom they guess to be a member of staff. He’s desperate for help, but the door won’t open. All the while, everyone hears a beeping noise from inside. He grows increasingly frantic, before explaining that there’s a bomb attached to his head, and he can’t get it off….Even the burliest students can’t get the door open, and soon the bomb goes off. The door is then unlocked and opened. Everyone sees a disfigured body and blood strewn across the place. Everyone is unnerved by this, and realize that Monokumo’s threats were very real.
- Suspicion — A few minutes after they back away from the door, people begin to try and console themselves. Those in denial have had their wake up call. A few begin to get defensive, and the suspicion builds up. People want to believe and to have hope, but Miki realizes that it’s a pipe dream at this point.
This is to further raise the stakes, and show that this ‘killing game’ is a very real threat. The same punishment – or worse – could happen if any one student disobeyed Monokumo’s rules. With visceral detail of the corpse and the disturbing aftermath, the aim is to shock and unnerve the reader. That makes the story more engaging.
The ‘punishment’, however, was drawn from another game. In the Zero Escape Series, the first game has a very similar scenario. One man is shoved into a room, and inadvertendly disobeys the mastermind’s rules, causing a bomb inside his gut to explode. This is far more accidental (or rather, as the story plays out, it was intentional from a traitor within the group) than my play on the scenario, but I found it extremely effective. It clearly establishes tension, and everyone takes their predicament seriously.
This is a short extract of my play on the punishment scene.
Try as I may, I couldn’t budge the door open. Not even an inch, or a creak, or a groan of any kind! It was as stubborn as it was airtight, and I was breaking into a sweat – both from panic and from overexerting myself.
“MOVE IT! I’VE GOT THIS, PAL!”
Suddenly, a burly hand grabbed my shoulder and shoved me aside in a mere second. Daisuke was…was…a human steamroller, a ‘pain train’, a man made up of fridges! He pushed me like I was nothing, so I didn’t feel offended. Rather, I stepped away.
“SOUL RIPPER! JOLYNE! GIVE ME A HAND HERE, AND THE REST OF Y’ALL JUST STEP BACK!”
No arguments there. We all took a few steps back, while Jolyne and Soul Ripper dashed to help. Three pairs of hands gripped the handle, and…
Daisuke, Soul Ripper & Jolyne
…Nothing. Apart from their screams of effort, all we could hear was tense breathing and…that beeping noise. Beep. Beep. Beep. It was getting louder and quicker by the second. It didn’t seem like it at first, but…it was faster than it was before. How am I supposed to help?! How do we get this door open?
“IT’S A DOOR! IT’S JUST A SIMPLE, STUPID GOD DAMN DOOR!! WHY CAN’T WE OPEN IT?!”
“T-This isn’t good. Ghhh…damn it!”
In a fit of rage I hadn’t seen from her yet, Soul Ripper punched the metal door with her hand.
Understandably, given time constraints, not everything is finished. This hasn’t been edited, proofread or given any final changes. Thus, the story past introductions isn’t finished. This will be covered more in the evaluation, but I am a little bummed out that I wasn’t able to complete all of this.
Then again, that’s only within the project’s deadline. Once everything is over, I’ll be able to return to this. Regardless, I am happy with using a punishment idea. The canonical Danganronpa games do not typically use such a scenario. Instead, a ‘motive’ is released every chapter to goad people into killing. It’ll be the same here, but I wanted some added spice so that, from the beginning, the students are tense and panicking. It’s not too dark, but still gruesome.