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No More Heroes
United States boxart
|style=""||Developer(s)||Grasshopper Manufacture||style="background:#f0f0f0;"||Publisher(s)||style=""||Designer(s)||Goichi Suda||style="background:#f0f0f0;"||Platform(s)||Wii||style=""||Release date(s)|| ||style="background:#f0f0f0;"||Genre(s)||Action-adventure||style=""||Mode(s)||Single player||style="background:#f0f0f0;"||Rating(s)|| CERO: D|
|style=""||Media||Wii Optical Disc||style="background:#f0f0f0;"||Input methods||Wii Remote and Nunchuk|
No More Heroes (Template:Lang Nō Moa Hīrōzu) is an action video game for the Wii video game system. It was directed by Goichi Suda (also known as Suda51), developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Marvelous Interactive Inc., Spike, Ubisoft and Rising Star Games. The game was previously titled Heroes.
The game is not a sequel to Suda51's earlier game, killer7, but an entirely original game running on a new engine. Though the two games have stylistic similarities, Suda51 has said that while killer7 focused on political issues, No More Heroes focuses on social ones.
In a March 15, 2008 interview with Computer and Video Games, Suda51 revealed he would be interested in producing No More Heroes 2 for the Wii, on the condition that the game sells enough to convince its publishers.
Throughout the game, the player controls the character Travis Touchdown. The game has a free roaming world, allowing Travis to move around on foot or on his motorcycle, the "Schpeltiger". Gameplay is open-ended, with the concession that the player must kill the top ten assassins in order to make the storyline progress. There are numerous part time job side quests to earn money which can be spent on weapons, training sessions, clothes and video tapes.
Control is handled through the Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment, with the Remote controlling his weapon, the beam katana, and the Nunchuk moving Travis. Most attacks are performed using the "A" button, with certain other moves, including the "death blow" and sword lock struggles, executed by following on-screen instructions. Further, since the beam katanas run on batteries, they must be charged from time to time by pressing the "1" button on the remote and shaking it. The beam katana can also be upgraded and replaced throughout the game by visiting Dr. Naomi. While the katana does not follow the exact position of the remote, it is able to distinguish between a "high" and "low" position which varies the character stance and the attacks done. In addition to attacks with the beam katana Travis can kick and punch, and when enemies are stunned he can throw them with a number of professional wrestling maneuvers, done by manipulating both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
Travis has a secondary mode, "Dark Side", that is accessed when three icons line up in a slot machine after a successful death blow.
The story follows Travis Touchdown, who is a stereotypical otaku – his motel room decorated with professional wrestling and anime collectibles – living in near poverty in the No More Heroes motel of Santa Destroy, California. After winning a Beam Katana in an internet auction he becomes a hitman. When he runs out of money to buy video games and wrestling videos he accepts a job to kill Helter Skelter, also known as "the Drifter," which earns him rank 11 by the United Assassins Association, a governing body of assassins. Realizing that he has now made himself a target for aspiring assassins, he sets out to secure himself the coveted position of number one hitman in the UAA.
The Japanese release of the game included a manga with the instruction manual titled United Assassins Association Official Manual that contained much of the backstory about the UAA and Travis' first kill. This manga was not included in the North American release of the game, but part of the manga is available on the official website.
Above Travis in the UAA are ten other assassins. The person that provides ranks and sets up matches for the assassins is Sylvia Christel, a "mysterious" and "cold" woman. Travis is aided by a weapons maker named Doctor Naomi, Thunder Ryu, and a drunk, Randall Lovikov. Naomi sells beam katanas and upgrades for them, Ryu operates a gym and trains Travis - allowing him to increase his strength, combos and health for a small fee - and Lovikov is a drunken old man who teaches new maneuvers and techniques.
No More Heroes was initially planned as an Xbox 360 game, until Yasuhiro Wada suggested the Wii and its unique control structure to director Suda51. Suda has cited the film El Topo among the inspirations for No More Heroes. In one interview he went so far as to say he would try to make it "as violent, or even more violent than Manhunt 2," a game that received an AO rating from the ESRB in its original form. A trailer shown at the March 2007 Game Developers Conference featured Travis Touchdown using the beam katana to decapitate or cut enemies in half, with copious amounts of blood being spilled. Later videos featured clouds of black pixels and objects resembling coins spurting from enemies instead of blood. it was later explained that the "black clouds" version would be released in Japan, while the United States and Europe would receive the game with the previously seen blood. Later, however, Suda51 decided to release the bloodless version in Europe as well. In the American version, the enemies are generally decapitated or split in half with large quantities of blood gushing from them. Overall, the two versions feature common enemies eventually burning away and a fountain of coins, with or without the inclusion of blood.
Yūsuke Kozaki, who has previously designed characters for Speed Grapher, designed the characters for No More Heroes. Others on the team include costume designer Okama, who designed the OP for Densha Otoko, and weapons and mechanics designer Shigeto Koyama, who worked on Eureka Seven as an illustrator.
- Director: Suda51
- Character designer: Yūsuke Kozaki
- Costume designer: Okama
- Weapons and mechanics designer: Shigeto Koyama
- Writer: Suda51
- Voice-over director: Kris Zimmerman
- Music Composers: Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda
Despite the amount of major and minor characters in No More Heroes, not all of the characters in the game have their voice actors credited to them during the game's end credits. The reason for this occurrence has not been revealed.
- Robin Atkin Downes – Travis Touchdown
- Paula Tiso – Silvia Christel/Mrs. Christel
- Grant Albrecht – Death Metal
- Richard McGonagle – Dr. Peace
- Kimberly Brooks – Shinobu
- Josh Keaton – Destroyman
- Kim Mai Guest – Holly Summers
- Dee Bradley Baker – Helter Skelter/Letz Shake
- Fred Tatasciore – Dr. Shake/Randall Lovikov
- James Horan – Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii
- Mitzi McCall – Speed Buster
- Kathryn Fiore – Bad Girl
- Steve Blum – Dark Star
- Kari Wahlgren – Jeane
- Quinton Flynn – Henry
- Paul Nakauchi – Thunder Ryu
- Vanessa Marshall – Doctor Naomi
- Keita Sakai – Manager of Job Center
- Mask de Uh – Manager of Area51
- Naoko Mori – Manager of K-Entertainment
Three voice actors from Suda51's previous production, killer7, returned for the voice casting of No More Heroes: Robin Atkin Downes (who voiced Hiro Kasai, Hasegawa and Edo MacAlister in killer7, and Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes), Steve Blum (who voiced Kenjiro Matsuoka, Benjamin Keane and Trevor Pearlharbor in killer7, and Dark Star in No More Heroes), and James Horan (who voiced Jean DePaul in killer7, and Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii in No More Heroes). Kris Zimmerman, the voice director for killer7, returned to direct the voice recording for No More Heroes. Zimmerman and many of the voice actors in No More Heroes have also worked together on the Metal Gear Solid series. Also, Quinton Flynn's brother, Bart Flynn, had previously worked with Suda51 as well, voicing Christopher Mills in killer7.
The song "Heavenly Star" by Genki Rockets is used in many parts of the game. In the Japanese and European version, a music video of it can be watched on Travis' television, but it was replaced with the original Heroes trailer for the game in the North American version.
The No More Heroes Original Sound Tracks, featuring all original compositions by music director Masafumi Takada, was released on January 23, 2008 in Japan. It contains 71 tracks spanning over a 3-disc set. A second, remix soundtrack entitled No More Heroes Sound Tracks: Dark Side was later released on March 14, 2008.
Overall, No More Heroes has received positive reviews. The game received a 34/40 from Famitsu. GameSpot gave it an Editor's Choice Award, praising the unique story, gameplay, and sense of humor. X-Play gave the game 5 out of 5, citing "exceptional writing, sharp satire, satisfying game progression, unique visual style, intuitive controls, and a catchy and distinctive soundtrack." Cheat Code Central called the game "a must-buy blast that out-shines all other third-party Wii titles to date." GamePro magazine also praised No More Heroes with a Game of the Month Award and Editor's Choice award, saying "The entries for the best new character of 2008 are closed here's your winner (Travis Touchdown)" and that the game "easily ranks among the Wii's finest titles." Gametrailers.com, although reviewing the game positively, found its open world to be somewhat limited, an assessment shared by IGN, who went even further, claiming it ground an otherwise exciting game to a dead halt. Despite awarding the game a less positive review than others, IGN awarded it "Game of the Month" for January, calling it a "must-play" despite its flaws.  Game Informer gave it one of the lowest scores, stating that "the repetition and lack of substance behind the flash" was among the many problems they had with the game.
For the Japanese release, a poorly attended launch event for the game was held on December 6, 2007 at Akihabara's Sofmap Amusement featuring both Suda51 and Wada Yasuhiro signing copies of the games and giving away premiums. After 20 minutes passed without any purchases, a Famitsu reporter had a copy signed while others took photos. No More Heroes sold approximately 10,000 copies on its first day of release in Japan.
Suda51 expressed disappointment in the Japanese sales of the game, saying that only Nintendo is doing well in regard to the Wii's success because of its adoption by casual gamers. He later stated his comment was being misinterpreted, saying his "point was that No More Heroes, unlike a lot of Nintendo Wii titles currently available is the kind of product which will attract a different kind of consumer to the hardware, i.e. gamers who are looking for a different genre to the products which have been successful on this platform thus far."
Outside of Japan, sales of the game have fared much better. In the United States, around 200,000 copies have been shipped, with about 100,000 copies sold as of Mid-February 2008, as opposed to just 40,000 copies sold in Japan since launch. 160,000 copies are expected to be shipped for the European release.
Shortly after No More Heroes's European release, PAL publisher Rising Star raved about its sales, with manager Martin Defries proclaiming:
"We are weeping with delight. Especially as sales should improve further with the TV campaign moving up a gear from tonight. It is a verification of all the posturing and ambitious claims made these past months. I think a 'told you so' would be apt at some point.
Thanks to Nintendo and the Wii console. Thanks to Mastertronic for their sales efforts and all our retail partners. Most of all thanks to Grasshopper for the greatest of products"
- An assassination gig in the game directs Travis to kill the CEO of a fast food restaurant chain looking to open in Santa Destroy called "Pizza Butt," a reference to Pizza Hut.
- At various points throughout the game, usually following the death of the main character, Travis, a "ZaKa TV" screen is displayed. ZaKa TV is a news station featured in two other Suda51 titles Michigan: Report from Hell and killer7.
- Behind Travis' armchair is a shelf containing many collectible items, among them a Nintendo 64. Also, the cartridge of the Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Travis' television after defeating Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii resembles that of a Nintendo 64 cartridge.
- Death Metal's saber, the Orange II, has a symbol which parodies Apple Inc.'s logo as it was designed by the fictitious Orange Computers, also a parody of Apple Inc.
- Destroyman's alter ego, John Harnet, bares a strong resemblance to American heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter, Josh Barnett. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers.com video interview with Suda51.
- Dr. Peace's weapon, a golden revolver, is a possible homage to Emir Parkreiner of killer7's golden gun. Goichi Suda also featured the golden gun in killer7 as a reference to the same weapon publicized in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, and its novel.
- Each region of Santa Destroy is named after a wrestling move, such as "Tag Team Taco Twins" and "Body Slam Beach".
- Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii bares a resemblance to real-life magician Criss Angel.
- Helter Skelter was named after the Beatles song of the same name.
- Jeane references the manga Miyuki while fast-forwarding her side of her story.
- Santa Destroy's baseball team, the Warriors, is named after the film of the same name. However, their appearance are similar to the film's fictional gang, the Baseball Furies, sans the corpse paint.
- Silvia Christel's name is an allusion to European actress Sylvia Kristel, who is known for her Emmanuelle movies.
- The game frequently breaks the fourth wall. In the opening sequence, Travis references the average gamer's lack of patience, and then says, "for you, there, holding the Wii Remote like that? Just press the A button." In one of the final scenes of the game, Jeane says, in reference to her dark back story, "it alone would jack up the age rating of this game even further," as well as, "What if the game gets delayed? You don't want this to be No More Heroes Forever, do you?" a reference to Duke Nukem Forever, a game infamous for its protracted development schedule. The reference to age rating is analogous to Suda51's claims of making No More Heroes more violent than Manhunt 2, a game which was originally rated Adults Only by the ESRB. In the game's "real" ending, Henry also expresses that he "would've thought [Travis] and the player would have figured it out by now," in reference to the truth that he is Travis' twin brother.
- The game makes several references to Suda51's previous production, killer7. Examples include Bad Girl's fridge in the Destroy Stadium basement containing a label reading Chiller7, techniques taught to Travis by Randall Lovikov being named after the likenesses of the Smith syndicate, and Ermen Palmer, an assassin who breaks into Travis' motel room, attempting to kill him while he is defenseless on the toilet in both of the game's endings, being a homage to Emir Parkreiner. Another possible reference to the game are the splash screens that load when the player reaches the location of a ranking match, which show a black silhouette of the mission's target, synonymous of the level select menu of killer7.
- The game also makes several references to Star Wars. Examples include the beam katana, the death of the protagonist's mentor before his eyes (Thunder Ryu), a character "revealing" himself to be the protagonist's father (Dark Star), masked bikers who bear a resemblance to Darth Vader, and credits of the game's first and untrue ending parodying those of Star Wars (featuring a song entitled "Staff Wars EPISODE I"). Another possible reference to the film series is when Silvia Christel calls Travis' cell phone before ranking matches, telling him to "trust [his] Force," likely a reference to the power of the same name used in Star Wars by the Jedi and Sith. In the video store is a poster parodying that of Revenge of the Sith, bearing the title "The Third Story." Also, upon scoring a special move with the slot machine that spins for every kill, Travis enters "Dark Side Mode" - a reference to the Dark side of the Force in the Star Wars universe.
- The game shares its title with that of an album by The Stranglers.
- The game's pause menu graphically resembles that of a second generation video game console. The Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Travis' television assumes the appearance of a second generation shoot 'em up as well.
- The Japanese version of the game's instruction manual comic references Super Fire Pro Wrestling Lucha Libre. Suda51 previously worked on two titles from the Fire Pro Wrestling series, though the Lucha Libre installment referenced is apparently fictional.
- The visor Letz Shake dons during the set-up phase of Doctor Shake resembles that of Nintendo's Virtual Boy, while Doctor Shake contains engines that refer to the PlayStation 3's cell microprocessor and the Xbox 360's Trinity engine.
- Three trading cards in the game are of professional wrestlers "The Flower," The Sun," and "The Rain." Also, a Japanese two-page print advertisement for the game features Silvia Christel sunbathing in a monokini sporting the letters "F.S.R." These are obvious references to Flower, Sun, and Rain, one of Suda51's previous productions.
- Travis bears a strong resemblance to former Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers.com video interview.
- Travis can be seen in an early cutscene placing his hands on a Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly poster, uttering the words "MOE~" (pronounced "mo-eh"), a slang term frequently used by otakus, like Travis himself.
- Silvia Christel once tells Travis to "Go get them, Tiger!", which is a quote of Mary Jane Watson from the Spider-Man comics.
- The To Be Continued logo at the end of the game is a reference to the movie, Back to the Future.
- The crotch grab from Letz Shake is based on Michael Jackson's dance moves.
- The game makes several references to tigers, such as on the wrestling cards, a pixellated tiger in the upper right corner of the screen, Sylvia making several tiger related remarks "Go get 'em tiger", "...Eye of the tiger". This is due to Travis' name in japanese (TORABISU) means, roughly, tiger
- Mask De Panther is a reference the the Fire ProWrestling series. Mask De Panther is the name Given to most of the incarnations of Tiger Mask, So as to avoid legal trouble when the games were brought to america.
- List of No More Heroes characters
- No More Heroes Original Sound Tracks
- No More Heroes Sound Tracks: Dark Side
- ↑ Rising Star Games - No More Heroes. Rising Star Games. Retrieved on 2008-02-22.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 No More Heroes. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
- ↑ Eason, Pat (2007-08-10). No More Heroes Previewed. My Arcade Planet. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
- ↑ Wii Interview: A chat with Suda 51 - ComputerAndVideoGames.com
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Casamassina, Matt (2007-02-16). Suda 51 on No More Heroes. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Ogden, Gavin (2007-04-12). Interview: No More Heroes man talks shop. CVG. Retrieved on 2007-06-19.
- ↑ Harris, Craig (2007-09-21). TGS 2007: No More Heroes Hands-on. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
- ↑ Travis Touchdown has a comfortable home life. Nintendo Wii Fanboy. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
- ↑ Media | No More Heroes | Ubisoft
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 No More Heroes: Characters (Japanese). Marvelous Interactive. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.
- ↑ No More Heroes. Wii Previews. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.
- ↑ Ingham, Tim. No More Heroes began life on 360, says developer. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
- ↑ No More Heroes Trailer, Videos and Movies. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
- ↑ Walker, Torrey (2007-09-19). First hands-on impressions of Suda51's newest Wii title. 1Up.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
- ↑ Plunkett, Luke (2007-09-22). No More Heroes Violence Toned Down For Japanese Market. Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved on 2007-09-24.
- ↑ Parfitt, Ben (2007-12-12). Studio boss chose to censor Euro No More Heroes. MCV. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
- ↑ No More Heroes: Staff (Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment Inc. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Keil, Matt. No More heroes review. X-Play. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ Cabral, Matt. No More Heroes review. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ Rudden, Dave. Review: No More Heroes for Wii. GamePro. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ No More Heroes: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews. GameTrailers. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ Bozon. No More Heroes Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ Bozon. January 2008. Game of the Month. Retrieved on 2008-02-02.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Ashcraft, Brian (2007-12-10). Mini-Skirt or Not, No More Customers. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
- ↑ DS「テイルズ オブ イノセンス」初日で約7.5万本を販売、他 (Japanese). 忍之閻魔帳 (2007-12-07). Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Suda 51: Third party Wii games aren't selling. Computer and Video Games (2008-01-16). Retrieved on 2008-01-17.
- ↑ Suda 51: Misinterpreted Comment. Grasshopper Manufacture (2008-01-20). Retrieved on 2008-01-21.
- ↑ No More Heroes Does OK In America (Probably Better In Europe). Kotaku.com (2008-02-15). Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved on 2008-02-15.
- ↑ Rising Star enjoys Wii chart success - www.mcvuk.com
- ↑ No More Heroes with Suda 51. YouTube.com (2007-05-19). Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
- ↑ No More Heroes Jeane's revelation spoilers. YouTube.com (2007-12-24). Retrieved on 2008-03-02.
- ↑ Miller, Ross. No More Heroes may go online. Joystiq. Retrieved on 2007-11-01.
- ↑ Warning: Japanese No More Heroes ad may make you vigorously shake your sword. GoNintendo.com (2007-12-05). Retrieved on 2008-03-17.
- ↑ No More Heroes with Suda 51. YouTube.com (2007-05-19). Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
- Official American website
- Official European website
- Official Japanese website
- Unofficial English wiki
- Unofficial Japanese wiki
- No More Heroes Page
- No More Heroes at IGN
- No More Heroes at GameSpy
- No More Heroes at GameStats