Danganronpa Spoiler Talk: Creator Sheds Light On Bringing Back Characters And How Monokuma Works
Recently, we interviewed Danganronpa's creator, Kazutaka Kodaka. Kodaka covered a lot of ground from how it feels to kill off his characters to what the future holds. However, he also answered a few questions that contain spoilers. We wanted to share his responses, but only those who have finished both games should read the interview below. You've been warned; spoilers are ahead!
How Monokuma Works
Monokuma is one maniacal villain, but as we found out later in the first game, someone was actually his puppetmaster. Junko was really behind the robotic bear, but it's never been clear how she controlled him. This was Kodaka's chance to set the record straight, but he left part of it up to your imagination. "There's a control room for Monokuma and Junko might be in there playing around with all the switches," Kodaka teases. "Hopefully, that's what happened. Remember, different Monokumas pop up in the first game, so it's possible they might have been set up beforehand in those rooms to pop out."
On Bringing Back Junko
After the final showdown with Junko at the end of Happy Trigger Havoc, she was supposed to be gone for good. But in the world of Danganronpa, there's always some interesting way for a character to come back (see: Nekomaru). Kodaka thought about many different avenues for who would end up the villain of the second game. He considered making it a past survivor or even the player character, but then he decided it'db be really interesting to make it somebody who we thought had perished. "When it came time for the second game, I felt there was no one greater than Junko as a villain," Kodaka says. "I don't know if you'd call it, 'I couldn't top that,' but she was so powerful as a character."
Kodaka also wanted to interject a new plot device and liked the idea of a computer program allowing a person to live on. In a way, even in death, they'd still be in control. "I liked the idea of a computer program that becomes larger than life," he says. "When I put two and two together, Junko is such a great villain and then having this computer program existing and being in control of things and becoming larger and larger, it was the best idea to go with."
Why The Returning Cast Showed Up So Late In Goodbye Despair
When you start Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, it feels very separate from the world we encountered in the first. For starters, you're not trapped in a school, but locked on a vibrant island. You also have a new cast. The ending of Trigger Happy Havoc was left a bit ambiguous, leaving fans to wonder what became of the survivors. The second game doesn't address this for a long time. Kodaka says that actually wasn't intentional. "Interestingly enough, it wasn't set up to surprise the players or [toy] with them."
At first, Kodaka wanted to avoid the first game entirely and make a new story in the world. But as he started writing more, he came up with the idea of having the survivors from the first game help the characters in the second. "That idea was really interesting to me and I wanted to explore it, so that's why you end up where you do in the second half of the game," he says. "Because there were these two different ideas I guess you could say two has its own self-contained story, but then you have this other half that ties into the first game. Both ideas ended up working together."
Check out more from Kodaka in our interview here where he discusses killing characters and his creative process.