Korekiyo Shinguji is a MILF

Danganronpa V3 spoilers ahead!

Kiyo

Korekiyo Shinguji is a MILF. And by that, of course, I mean a Mistake I’d Like to Fix, which now that I see it on the screen seems a bit harsh. After all I think he’s pretty far from a “mistake”. His design is great, one of the best in the Danganronpa series in my opinion; likewise I think he has one of the more interesting talents as well. Finally Todd Haberkorn really knocked it out of the park with his voice, especially during his breakdown in trial 3. Korekiyo was one of my favorite characters pre-release, and while I still really like him I think he could have been so much better.

THE MISTAKE

First off let’s take a look at the man of the hour. I’d ask you to point out all the creepy and unsettling parts but you presumably only have ten fingers. Of course I’m exaggerating but there are several parts of his design that definitely give off an unsettling vibe.

korekiyo.jpg

An important part of human interaction is reading the other person: checking their body language and facial expressions to see how they are feeling in regards to the things you say and do. I’ll gloss over the first part and go right on to facial expressions.  I don’t have to tell you that a lot of the expression on the face comes from the mouth or the eyes. Our friend Korekiyo has both of these important features downplayed. Most obvious is his mask, which spends almost all the game covering his mouth, the only time it isn’t present is when he’s “possessed” in the chapter 3 trial. Looking at this picture one can see his eyes are a good deal smaller than the other students’ as well. As a matter of fact, I measured the eyes of all the students (very crudely, mind you) and Korekiyo’s eye area of 56 pixels (14×6) is 28% less than second place Shuichi (and this is with Shuichi’s hat sprite where most of his eye is obscured) and 33% less than third place Kirumi.

Of course the physical attributes are but one side of things, but they compliment the creepiness of his general demeanor throughout the game as well. Outside of the third trial Korekiyo speaks in an eerily calm voice for the majority of the game, at odds with the situation the students have found themselves in and even contrasting with the strange things he has been known to say. And I’m not the only one who thinks so, countless times through the early game characters call him out on his “creepiness”. A few examples:

 

Kaede Akamatsu, during the prologue: “This guy looks like a creep… and it turns out he is one too.”

 

Korekiyo Shinguji: “My appearance and actions thus far suggest I am someone who would commit a murder.”

Kaede Akamatsu, internally: “At least he’s self aware.”

 

Tenko Chabashira: “With how creepy you are I’m sure that person didn’t want your love!”

 

Himiko Yumeno: “You really are screwed up…”

Miu Iruma: “Screwed up from head to toe! Even through your clothes I can tell!”

 

Put these together and you have a character that almost seems deliberately designed to be almost impossible to read. And that’s not getting into the weird things he spouts about “Humanity’s Beauty”.

So we’ve got a creepy looking guy who is hard to read and he’s a brutal killer, what’s wrong? The problem, to me, is how obvious a killer he is set up to be. He looks creepy, he talks creepy, he acts creepy, and he’s the double killer this go around. And I’m clearly not the only one to think so. In Japan he had one of the lowest survival chance predictions (each sticker represents a vote, Korekiyo is next to Tsumugi). Likewise in /r/danganronpa’s pre-release poll Korekiyo was voted as the most likely killer, with 209 votes (out of 301, listed by 69.4% of respondents) earning 10% more votes than 2nd place Tsumugi.

Therein lies the problem, at least to me: predictability. Now one of the main draws of Danganronpa to me is uncertainty. Who will snap and be a killer? Why will they kill? Will my favorites make it to the end? When you have someone who is so strongly assumed to fit a mold and they do so like a key it isn’t very rewarding. Similarly his motive or trial don’t stand out all that much either. Kiyo killed for a fairly selfish reason (maybe in his mind it wasn’t as bad, but I digress) and that’s about it. I know I’m not the first one to draw parallels to Celeste but they stand in that regard.

The Fix

So we’ve got the problem: Kiyo screamed murderer pre-release and we got just that with him, no twist or anything to really set him apart despite how obvious he was for the role. Now unlike many other places online I’m not just going to sit here and complain, I want to offer a solution. But since any solution would switch some deaths it’s important that I lay down some ground rules for myself.

For starters I don’t want to change the overarching story. I feel that’s too far, so chapter 6 would have to have the same “killer” and “victim”. Likewise chapters 1 and 5 are both important and therefore won’t be meddled with. Finally Miu must survive until at least chapter 4, for the whole VR chapter to work, since I wouldn’t want a whole rewrite of a chapter, and Maki must survive until 5, since she’s kinda the catalyst for the whole murder in that chapter.

Now my main idea for what would happen lies in the fact that Monokuma reveals that in the event of two murderers only the first one counts yet that information was never used. Keeping that in mind I wanted to see how the group would cope with living with someone who killed a classmate yet was not executed, and to keep with the theme of Danganronpa I just wanted some good ol’ despair.

First off I would keep chapter 2 the same, partially because I quite like Kirumi’s execution and partially for simplicity’s sake.  So that means that I’m keeping the first two and a half chapters exactly the same. Then chapter 3 continues very similarly, but with slightly less of Tenko prior to the first body discovery. Instead of her coming to Shuichi and Maki to talk Angie out of the ritual, the two decide to have Gonta get them in to talk with Angie to achieve the same goal. It shouldn’t be too big a stretch, Gonta has been shown many times to be easily manipulated. Angie again denies them, but this time Gonta has betrayed the council (though I’m sure it wouldn’t be as bad as Tenko’s betrayal, since Gonta, again, is easily manipulated). The rest of the chapter would go the same until the seance, wherein Tenko doesn’t offer to replace Himiko as the spirit medium, and Himiko is killed during the ritual. Afterwards it plays out the same again, until Monokuma is asked about the possibility of two culprits. Instead of an answer he just handwaives it “Puhuhuhu we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we”.

At the trial it is revealed that Tenko saw how dangerous the council was and only joined to protect Himiko. However she saw that the problems were less the council themselves and more Angie’s way of doing things. Even worse, in her mind, was that every day saw Himiko sway closer to Angie’s side. Therefore she decided to kill Angie, knowing full well she’d be executed, in order to protect Himiko. Korekiyo killed Himiko during the séance, same as he killed Tenko during the game.  Voting time would happen twice as each killer is voted on separately. Finally the execution involves both characters as we still don’t know what happens if there are two blackeneds. I picture Korekiyo and Tenko each on a rollercoaster car, on parallel tracks. After mirrored movements the two end up facing each other with a huge weight above them. It cuts back and forth between their eyes until a weight drops and executes Tenko.

Continuing to chapter 4, the group is now on edge due to Korekiyo murdering a classmate, which would be interesting to see how the remaining students handle it. For chapter 4 I’d see Miu’s plan actually work, but instead of Kokichi she has her sights on Korekiyo, and the plan isn’t foiled. Now Kokichi will have to do some more work to convinve the others he’s the mastermind for chapter 5 to follow the same setup, but I think it’s worth it for two reasons.

1) Gonta’s Survival: This plan would make Gonta survivor 3 instead of Himiko, joining Shuichi and Maki. The main reason I’d like to see his survival ties back in to the whole theme of expectations. Gonta made the main series games 3/3 in killing off the muscle-y character in chapter 4. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with a formula for the Killing Games (chapter 3 double murder, first victim is someone who seemed very important) essentially telling your audience that a character will bite it, and exactly when gets rid of a lot of mystery, which is important in these games. Having Gonta survive would mean that you couldn’t pencil in the muscle character as a chapter 4 death.

2) It Causes the Most Despair: Now each installment has their own theme, but the central theme to the Danganronpa series is certainly Hope & Despair. There’s a good amount of despair in V3 already, but I think that this would set it over the top. Tenko kills specifically for Himiko’s sake and she is murdered shortly afterwards. Not only that but her last sight is Himiko’s killer as she is executed yet he walks free. Similarly, Miu is executed for doing what everyone was no doubt hoping someone would do.

I know it’s not perfect, but I feel like it would add layers of depth to pretty much everyone involved, except Himiko. And it would turn the guy who everyone expects to be a killer and ends up being that, into a little more than we got, while still keeping his role similar, as well as quashing the muscle bound chapter 4 death.

Fallout 3 and Grey Mortality

So here we are: my first post. It’s actually a little funny, I’ve had my first post written for at least a month now but it’s been in the holster ever since. Again partially due to laziness, but also partially because the subject was fairly niche and I’d rather start with something that has more of a broad appeal. Enter this reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/8dxfb6/josh_sawyer_design_director_at_pillars_of/)

and I knew I had to respond and finally start my blog.

 

A little bit about me: Fallout 3 is my favorite game of all time. Don’t get me wrong, I can see its faults and I wouldn’t call it the [i]best[/i] game of all time, but nevertheless it’s my favorite.

 

Moving on, I was scanning the comments section when one thing popped out at me mentioning the lack of choice in the game being incredibly black and white and how most of the choices boiled down to super good guy or extremely awful bad guy. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree with this for the most part, most of the choices are very black and white, but the part that got me thinking was the examples given.

 

“Blow up Megaton or not”

 

Agreed. Very simplistic choice: either you’re incredibly good (disarm the bomb for free), good (disarm the bomb for the reward money), neutral (just leave the bomb), or evil (blow up the bomb and wipe out an entire city for money). There’s not much room for debate there and honestly most of the quests follow the same pattern. There is one I place above the others though, and it just so happened to be the one mentioned next.

 

“Kill the Tree Man or not”

 

And this is where I was lost. I perused the comments to see if anyone had the same thing to say, but unfortunately not. So rather than bump an old topic (especially from someone who only lurks there occasionally) I decided this was the kick I needed to start my blog.

 

Let’s start at the beginning though, for readers who may not be familiar with Fallout 3. The quest in question is named Oasis. This quest is started when you find a hidden away settlement full of lush trees hidden in the brown irradiated Capital Wasteland. You are introduced to the residents of this town, Oasis, who call themselves the Treeminders who worship a God who turns out to be a tree man. Well by speaking with this God, you learn he is nothing more than a human named Harold (who was also in Fallout 1 and 2) who through grave misfortune has become part tree. Although it’s more fair to say the two were combined but now the tree is taking over. Harold can still talk but is immobile. Before parting Harold asks a favor of you: Kill him and release him from his misery. Still with me?

 

As you’re traveling to a cave where his heart lies (as the trees roots have spread his organs around underground) an argument is witnessed between the leader of the Treeminders and his wife. Each offers you an item to use on his heart to either accelerate his growth, hoping to spread the greenery to the wasteland quicker, or to slow the growth, keeping the Treeminders safe from any undue attention that sudden greenery may bring. A speech check with a young Treeminder will give you your final piece of information on the quest: Harold is terrified of fire. You are then left with the choice on how to handle the situation.

 

Naturally it’s obvious which is the bad karmic choice in this situation. Burning Harold with a firebased weapon will not only kill him and tank your karma, but will make all Treeminders hostile. However it’s the other three options that I feel bring a shade of grey to the game that isn’t found otherwise.

 

The interesting thing, to me at least, is how each of the remaining three options can be seen as good depending on your outlook. Destroying Harold’s heart may be killing him, but ultimately he is in pain. I feel like assisted suicide is still a heavy topic that is quite divided. According to Wikipedia only 7 states in the USA and Washington DC allow assisted suicide. This also comes with the presumed side effect of the wasteland losing hope to get greener, at least using Harold as a source.

 

Similarly one could argue that reinvigorating the wasteland is worth the sacrifice of Harold being kept alive and in pain, and even the sacrifice of someone with bad intentions finding Oasis due to the sudden greenery appearing from there. I would consider this result aligning with the saying “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. What is a handful of lives in exchange for totally flipping the wasteland?

 

Finally I’d say there’s the least argument for the final choice, but if the Treeminders wish to remain safe I don’t see it as illogical at all. It may be denying Harold his release or the wasteland its rejuvenation, but I have a hard time thinking of it is morally bad either.

 

Now in my files I almost always kill Harold, and not only because the reward is the best (a perk) but because of my feeling on the subject matter. With that in mind, however, I think that outside of burning him there really isn’t a wrong decision in the quest and personally that makes Oasis one of my favorite quests in Fallout 3. So while I’m not going to go post in that thread, I hope if this post at least opens some eyes to the fact that not everything in Fallout 3 is so black and white, and though rare it can offer some very interesting quests that really make you think about life, both on a grand scale and a small scale.

Welcome

Hello everyone, I am Heals. For years now I’ve wanted to make a blog, but for one reason or another (usually general procrastination) I have not gotten around to it. But that ends now. So if you’ve found your way here, welcome!

First I’d like to just tell you a bit about myself, not that it matters, but it always helps to put a profile with the words you’re reading. I’m a 25 year old male in Illinois. Most of my free time is spent playing video games, which bring us to the meat of this post: what to expect from this blog.

I’ve wanted to start this blog to share my love of gaming with everyone. Expect lots of statistical looks into games, I feel like there are plenty of fun ways to analyze games that haven’t been looked into as much. Besides that I also love earning Playstation trophies, so expect posts about that semi-commonly as well.

I’m hoping that this will be a great journey not only for myself, but anyone who happens to stumble into my blog. Expect a new post every Friday night (into Saturday morning) to help kick your weekend off.

 

Thanks for reading,

Heals