Out of seemingly nowhere (at least for me) Spike Chunsoft dropped the trailer for Master Detective Archives: CODE RAIN. The trailer included clips of gameplay, characters, and a storyline that is just as fascinating as what I saw in Trigger Happy Havoc for the first time. Danganronpa was an incredibly whacky game that I delved into thinking that it was going to be something like Ace Attorney, just a little more gothic in narrative and style. And oh, boy, was I in for a surprise.
What was Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc?
Now, you came here for the MDA: CODE RAIN, so why I am talking about Danganronpa? Well, you will notice some slight similarities between the two. Both in art style and narrative, these two games share a lot so it cannot be helped that they are going to be compared. We have the old team back again working on this project, so I expect to see the same twisted narratives and grisly murders of characters that I am going to know and grow to love.
Oh yeah, that is the whole premise behind Danganronpa. Stuck in a space with no way out, you are forced to use your peculiar but specialized skills against your fellow prisoners and get away with murder. Only then, will you be allowed to win your freedom, while the rest of the class is forced to take the fall. Lose or get found out for your crimes, however, and you will be the one biting the dust.
Trigger Happy Havoc held no prisoners when it came to putting its cast in peril, but it held a fascinating and dark narrative that had my attention for the bulk of the game. They had well-written characters that were completely out of this world and yet were fleshed out enough to where you did find yourself wanting to root for them in some form or fashion. Using you as the blank slate while figuring out these people and their motives allowed for a lot of immersion into the story down the slippery slope of twists and turns it would take you with Monokuma giggling over you all the while.
Solving mysteries in this high-stakes game was just the cherry on top of the sundae. So this leads to the ultimate question: what can we expect to see from Master Detective Archives: CODE RAIN?
What is Master Detective Archives: CODE RAIN?
From the looks of the trailer, the game is set in a world of detectives where it seems like job security relies on a multitude of unsolved cases. Our main lead Yuma Kokohead, is a detective-in-training and has no recollection of his memories beyond that, including what his innate Forensic Forte is. Oh yeah, that is a thing! In this world, detectives use special abilities that can be anything from Disguising oneself to Divination and Time Skipping.
Yuma is not alone however as his trusty sidekick specter, Shinigami, is busy haunting him and may occasionally lend a hand if she feels like it. In order to recover Yuma’s memories and get him licensed to be a full-fledged detective, they are going to need to work together to solve the cases they come across together with a band of detectives of all kinds!
Already this game shows immense promise by designing a world that we can actually explore as Yuma. This is not anything new, but it is a massive step forward from Trigger Happy Havoc which was in first person. It also will not just be the “lucid-noir” cityscape we will be investigating and exploring in, Shinigami seems to take us to another dimension to fight specters and discover special worlds. Perhaps a method where the player is able to search for clues.
Previous games in the serious often crafted mini adventures for the main character which took place in his mind palace. This allowed the main character to put clues together and construct investigative leads. It looks like mind palace will be taken more literally here. Instead of using a gun to shoot at people’s testimonies during a courtroom, Yuma has the ability to summon a sword from Shinigami, all Revolutionary Girl Utena-style. He uses that in a battle against specters to deliver his verdicts and defeat the main kooky-looking boss.
It would not be so similar to Danganronpa if it did not have clinically insane characters with a range of unique personalities. One of the most beloved aspects of Trigger Happy Havoc was that the cast of characters made the game and story much livelier. Nintendo has only released one part of the trailer thus far, and I suspect that there are going to be a few more down the line as we count down until the game’s release date. I believe that this game already shows a lot of promise and is sure to be an homage to the classic trilogy of games that completely altered the way I look at murder cases when going back to Ace Attorney.