- “Well, if I’m forced to give one redeeming trait, I guess I’d say I’m a little more optimistic than most people.”—Dangan Ronpa
Makoto Naegi is the main character of several of the Danganronpa games. Like Kyuu, he is a skilled detective and investigator. He is also a strong beacon of inspiration for his friends and can make pals with almost anyone. He also becomes one of the main protagonists in Rakenzarn: Frontier Story.
Makoto Naegi was an ordinary high school student with no special talent. He lived with his mother, father, and little sister. He had a rather normal life to the point of being entirely unremarkable. He was selected to attend Hope's Peak Academy after winning a random lottery (which is elaborated further in the short story, Makoto Naegi's Worst Day Ever). The previous selected student was disqualified through a chain of events that Makoto was unintentionally at the heart of, and he ended up being the student drawn in her place. Hope's Peak Academy granted him the title of “Ultimate Lucky Student”, a title given to one randomly-chosen student once a year.
Makoto lived in the Academy happily, spending his happy times together for around a year until The Tragedy occurred. During The Tragedy, Jin Kirigiri, the Headmaster of the Academy, planned to seal the school building and let the students live forever inside the Academy in order to protect them from the destruction of the Tragedy. His plan was agreed to by Makoto and the rest of their class, and they sealed the building together and lived peacefully inside it for a year without knowing that the Ultimate Despair members were already in their midst.
Days had passed. Makoto had just returned to Hope's Peak Academy after a short walk. When he entered the school, his vision suddenly became warped and he blacked out. He woke up in a classroom with bolted windows with little explanation beyond a crayon-written letter titled "Orientation Info". Unfortunately, he was suffering from memory loss and couldn't remember what had happened before.
He soon discovered that he was not alone in what he assumed was the Academy; a group of other students was locked in with him, each telling a story with one thing in common: they all woke up in a classroom after losing consciousness when stepping inside the school grounds. Without many other options, Makoto joined the present students as they made their way to the assembly hall where they're introduced to Monokuma. Monokuma gave the students a harsh choice: either live in the academy forever, or kill one of the other students without being found out to “graduate.”
After Makoto woke up from getting knocked out during a scuffle in the assembly, Monukuma announced to all the students that he had prepared a "gift" for them. The "gift" ended up being a DVD containing an incentive personalized to each viewer: Makoto's DVD was of his younger sister and parents at home smiling at the camera, then suddenly cutting to the room destroyed and his family is shown missing. Sayaka reacted the worst out of all the students and fled the room in a panic. Makoto followed her, and was able to calm her down by promising to keep her safe.
Unfortunately, a murder soon broke out with one of the students dead. Monokuma announced a 'class trial' in which the remaining students must determine amongst themselves who the killer is. If they failed to identify the killer, then the killer would be 'graduated' to leave the academy while the rest of the students would be 'executed.' If they succeed, then they would be safe but the killer would have to be 'executed.'
Without much choice, Makoto was thrust into the game of mutual killing.
Role in Rakenzarn TalesEdit
Makoto Naegi appears in Rakenzarn Tales, making his debut at the start of the Madness Syndrome arc, Chapter 9 in Version 2. The party runs into him and his friend Sayaka while they were fleeing an attack by the insane Kandur residents. Makoto is stricken by poison during the attack and the party must find a special herb to save him.
After healing him, Makoto offers to help the party by showing them a special route into Kandor, enabling the Suseki route. He also temporarily joins the party during that time. After helping the party in the attack on the Furude Shrine at the chapter's end regardless of the chosen path, he officially becomes a party member at the start of Chapter 10.
Naegi is described as both a Gradual Grinder type and a Buffer. His fighting style has been described as and inspired by Phoenix Wright in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 while taking a few cues from Danganronpa 1, Danganronpa 2 and Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. His primary weapon is a Megaphone Gun.
Naegi has two modes. His normal mode utilizes more defensive moves. He has very few attacks, but makes up with a few decent buffs. He also has area attacks while possessing Water and Light spells. Unfortunately, his weaknesses are his low defense and stat reduction.
His stand-out skill is his "Trigger Havoc" mode. While in this mode, Naegi has a completely different set of skills and status (even his battle picture changes too). He has more attacks and some of them can either weaken or drain enemies' health away. His physical defense doesn't change much, but it's his elemental defenses that increase dramatically. He is also immune to status reduction.
In Version 4 and onwards, Makoto Naegi is no longer a playable character but as an NPC, due to his role being the main character in Rakenzarn: Frontier Story.
Role in Rakenzarn: Frontier Story Edit
A different incarnation of Makoto Naegi is featured in Rakenzarn: Frontier Story as the main protagonist. In this universe, the Tragedy has not yet occurred. Makoto's title as the Ultimate Lucky student has also run out, as he has terrible luck and likened to a black cat. After a year at Hope's Peak, he finds himself targeted by unknown enemies and saved by Lion Ushiromiya. This leads him to arriving the Chamber of Rakezarn and learning that he is his world's Beholder, whose death by outside force will result in the destruction of their universe. Albeit unwillingly, Makoto ends up teaming with the Realmwalkers to find out the source of these mysterious attacks.
He is portrayed closely to his original series. However, at Chapter 4, it is revealed that underneath his optimism is a very conflicted individual suffering from existential crisis, something that separates him from his prime counterpart and even the rest of his other counterparts. As a result, he comes up as cynical but tries to cope with his situation.
Makoto is very middle of the road in terms of stats. All his stats grow at an average rate except his luck, which is triple the usual growth. As a result, classes that focus on buffs, debuffs and status aliment cures are recommended. His default Rune Class is Adept, which is relatively balanced with a few buffs and attacks but lacks any means of dealing bigger damages.
Players can unlock two other classes: Mediator (a support type class focused on buffing the party and weakening the enemies) and Gunslinger (a more offensive class that utilizes firearms).
Another thing that makes him different than the rest (including his 'Tales' Verions 2 counterpart), it's his ability to contain powerful entities into his body and summon them to aid them. The Summons have varied SP cost and their own abilities. It's possible that some Summons can have more than one attack, as shown with one of the two starter Summons having one multi-attack and the other being single target but reduces the target's status. Naegi can gain more Summons as the story progresses or through sidequests.