Danganronpa Attraction in Namja Town Lets You Hold Your Own Class Trial

posted on by Kim Morrissy

To celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Danganronpa mystery game series, the Namja Town theme park in Ikebukuro has opened a limited-time Danganronpa attraction where visitors can participate in their own class trial. Called "The Real Class Trial," the attraction is a logic-based detective game based on the characters and setting of Danganronpa V3.

The attraction works like this: everyone in a group of 3-8 players picks a character among the 16 ultimate high school students depicted in the Danganronpa V3 game. Depending on which character they choose, they will have access to different "skills" that can be utilized during the game. For example, Shuichi's ability lets him find out more information about characters he investigates if he's the detective.

After everyone has chosen their characters and the staff have explained the rules, the players are randomly associated a different "role" that comes with its own victory conditions and unique abilities:

Hope: No abilities. They can only fight for their side through debate and carrying hope.

Detective: In the phase before the debate, they can investigate one character and will be told whether that person is the culprit.

Magician: In the phase before the debate, they can swap cards with another player. Both players will learn of each other's roles.

Soulmate: In the phase before the debate, both players who are soulmates will learn each other's identities.

Culprit: In order to win, the other players must vote only for people who are innocent. In the case that there is more than one culprit, the culprits will learn each other's identities in the phase before the debate.

Cultprit (mastermind): In order to win, the other players must vote only for people who are innocent. In the phase before the debate, the mastermind will learn everyone's roles.

Accomplice: If investigated by the detective, the detective will learn that they are "not guilty." Their victory conditions are the same as the culprit.

Despair: Although they have no special abilities, if the class votes for them, the Despair will win and everybody else will lose.

During the debate, everyone has a conversation about their roles and who they think the culprit is. Players can, of course, attempt to lie or mislead the other players. After the debate, the players vote on who they think the culprit is. The non-culprit, non-despair side will only win if the majority of votes go to the culprit. If there is no culprit, everyone besides Despair will win if they choose not to vote for anyone.

Everyone who participates in the attraction receives a sticker, although the illustration will be different depending on whether you won or lost the game. If you lose, you also have to sit through a punishment, which involves a lot of spiders. If you're not a fan of creepy crawlies, you're well in your right to refuse. (Now if only Monokuma in the games offered that right to others.)

Overall, the setup of the game is rather similar to the Town of Salem browser game where players aim to discover the killers among them, but with a Danganronpa twist. Having tried the attraction myself, however, I will note that the experience is not exactly comparable to the video games. For one thing, debating some strangers you just met in a theme park is not going to produce the same zaniness and chemistry the characters of Danganronpa have with each other. The debate I experienced was polite and awkward more than anything. In fact, the guy who chose Iruma, the foul-mouthed inventor, as his character, was the person who politely started off the debate with a "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu" (let's all get along).

We also had the misfortune of sitting through the punishment as a group - because we turned on each other even though it turned out there was no culprit. The prospect hadn't even crossed our minds until it was explained to us afterwards, but looking back, that was a very Danganronpa-esque moment. It's a good thing that the video game characters were cleverer than us or they would never have gotten anything done.

As you may also imagine, this particular attraction was not available in English. Although it's possible to have the rules explained to you in simple English, you have to converse and debate with strangers in Japanese. Unless your Japanese language skills are at a conversational level, you probably won't be able to contribute much to the game.

The attraction will run from November 30 to January 27, 2019 and costs 700 yen (US$6) per try. Tickets for Namja Town need to be purchased separately.

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