It has been a while since we had any news about the new No More Heroes title. The Switch presentation was in January where we had Suda 51 himself tell the world about the new game. Well at the end of August here we are with a new No More Heroes trailer, I cannot believe I am still typing this up right now. No More Heroes started in 2007 on the Wii and Suda and Grasshopper themselves are giving No More Heroes its anniversary title on the Nintendo Switch with, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Now what is quite interesting is that this game is not called No More Heroes 3: Travis Strikes Again. I think it is actually a smart move because No More Heroes and well Grasshopper games in general have been more of a cult following. To better advertise this new title, they want to make the fact clear that Travis is back! It does not matter how many games it has been, Travis’s last game was 2010, so he needs a strong comeback.
This image alone was keeping me happy for these many months
Now let us take a deeper look into this trailer and pick piece by piece, because I need to see what is exactly going on here. In terms of story, No More Heroes has been rather interesting. The first game is confusing, but is done on purpose since we deal with violent stereotypes being shown in a realistic angle and how they cannot live with those mindsets. No More Heroes 2 is a revenge story through and through while still showing how silly violent media can be. This game seems to be really going back to the first one in terms of tone. There are already strong connections to the first game, but one to me was how Travis was acting. Sure in the second game Travis was still very much waving around his Beam Katana and killing foes left to right, but he started to understand things about fighting. Travis is acting more like how he started in No More Heroes since he is already breaking the fourth wall and taunting his foe with his silly little monologues. How Travis did his fourth wall breaking in the second game he was still rather serious about it with the death of Alice, who in his eyes was a true warrior. Maybe with all the gaming Travis has been doing lately has brought him back to his little fantasy world?
It is also interesting to note that Travis is on his own with a trailer this time, not an apartment.
The biggest connection we got to the first game is this new character called, The Bat, which could also be a reference to the second game as well. In the first game, Travis fought Bad Girl for the second rank and killed her like the rest. Bad Girl was always this character that was rather straight forward in her approach. We never learned her real name and she never talked about her past. Bad Girl was always this cool mystery of a person and now we get to learn a little more about her. The Bat is clearly Bad Girl’s father as we see him have a picture of Bad Girl and he calls her Charlotte. The Bat even mentions his daughter to Travis which he could have probably forgotten knowing how he forgotten Helter Skelter which was a character that was killed in the first trailer for No More Heroes in general. This man even resembles Bad Girl in many ways. First off, is the weapon of choice he uses is a baseball bat. He even drinks heavily just like his daughter and uses baseball mannerisms. The Bat could also be a reference to Jasper Batt Jr, a young boy who wanted revenge for what Travis did to his family.
The clothing Charlotte wears does resemble what she wore for her Very Sweet outfit from No More Heroes: Paradise
Let us also dabble into some character designing because The Bat is already proving to be an awesome character! I so hope he is going to be an actual in-game boss and not have the curse that Helter Skelter had. With The Bat as I said before he carries many similarities to Bad Girl, but this man clearly has aged which is fun to note. From No More Heroes to Desperate Struggle that was already three years and now it is the third title that The Bat is out to kill Travis for revenge. When looking at his tattoos you can understand why this he took his time. On his left arm there is a knife tattoo with the word “Forget” next to it. The knife is even pointing to his wrist as this could be a reference to suicide as I bet this father took it hard that his daughter died. Then his attitude with the situation now is shown off with the anchor where it says “Sink or Swim.” The Bat is out for revenge and he does not care how much this ruins his life, he wants revenge. At his waist line there is the line, “Love without cause” I hope this means he tried to be a good father to Bad Girl. There are also pictures of a boxer, flowers, more knives (one being stabbed into his skin near the neck none the less), birds, a naked lady, and even Micky Mouse. Next to Micky Mouse there is “Death” being said right there. Combine all of this with his dirty shirt and baseball jacket, the torn pants (which is an obvious reference to the Red Sox), the beer belt, the mask, and his dirty appearance we got a perfect representation of depression and revenge with The Bat. Again the game is not out yet and I am already getting a feel for this character. I already feel this guy could be one of my favorites because his introduction was already so strong, he even tries bringing Travis back into reality when he tells Travis, “Your fight is in the real world!” (Just learned that his name is actually Bad Man, just like father and daughter.)
On the back of his jacket it says “Batter Up” which is what Bad Girl said during her fight against Travis.
Now let me just go crazy and just get a list of all the things I thought of when seeing this trailer. The first frame of seeing The Bat driving down the road in his car made me think of Killer7 oddly enough. The art style of the trailer really brings back the insane look that game had which is what No More Heroes had this look for the first trailer for No More Heroes. The big reason I thought of Killer7 was because of the red sky with a car driving dead on straight. It reminded me of the Cloudman section of Killer7 where a boy is driving endlessly until the blood of his mentor paints the sky and his car red. The dark woods enviroment makes me think of Killer is Dead since it has that blue shading to show off darkness. When The Bat drives passed the trailer, we can see a cat on top of it which is clearly Jeane, Travis’ cat. There is a funny t-shirt saying “The flick of the Switch,” it is a sexual reference that happens to say the console’s name. Along with that we see Travis playing Hotline Miami which is an indie game Suda 51 himself has loved and supported. Funny enough when The Bat approaches the dummy Travis, the game stops on the Grasshopper mask.
When The Bat knocks the dummy’s head off, this reminded me of Lollipop Chainsaw when Juliet would decapitate her foes and all the confetti would just jump out. On the head of the dummy we can see it was wearing a luchador mask which is a reference to how much Travis loves wrestling. In the first game Travis collected cards of these masks and in No More Heroes and then in Desperate Struggle you could decorate the apartment with these masks if you had a No More Heroes save file present while playing the second game. Travis is back with the Blood Berry which is his default Beam Katana from the previous two games. An interesting change to Travis is that he wears a purple jacket now and not his usual red jackets. There was a purple jacket in the second game and I feel that this is reference to Garcia Fucking Hotspur from Shadows of the Damned. As I said before, Travis breaks the fourth wall in the new trailer which reminds me of the introductions in the first two games. We get a freeze frame on Travis with the announcement that the Unreal Engine 4 is being used and Travis’ shirt even says “Unreal Engine is killing wasted resources.” This is not the first time a Grasshopper game is using the Unreal Engine since Killer has used a previous version of it.
Now the most interesting aspect has to be the reveal of the Death Drive console being mentioned. This is a direct reference to Let it Die where a game console is used in the world to experience the adventure. The version Travis has seems to be an upgraded version though. Where did Travis get this console? Maybe it is canon that Travis participated in Let it Die and won and probably stole something for a reward. Now the two gloves come out and seem to attack both men. Now the gloves are an obvious reference to the Nintendo Power Glove. This phantom game console seems to have some VR stuff to it as well as Travis and The Bat are going to experience more video game worlds. Travis Touchdown is going to be going through other video games as this was stated. It will be classic No More Heroes styles of game play and level design, but the ascetic will be other video games, more importantly indie games like Hotline Miami. I do wonder if Travis will be invading other types of games, like other Grasshopper games. Also how much is this just being a tease to Smash Bros at this point. Travis is literally forcing his way to make a crossover with other games.
Travis even has a scar on his left eye, how did he get that?
Now there are somethings in this trailer that does concern me. One being Travis’ voice. For the first two games, Travis was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes and I loved his performances so much. In this trailer it does not sound like Robin, but the person doing Travis right now is still pretty damn good and does his best to recreate the voice. The new voice actor does put a little more insane touch too. Another thing I noticed is that the voice director is not Kris Zimmerman who was present for the first two games as well. No More Heroes 1 and 2 had some of the best voice acting I ever heard in video games so I do hope that can continue. Now the first ever voice for Travis was not Robin as the first trailer had some random person do it and then it got switched to Robin later on. The same could happen and Kris could still be apart of the project too, it’s just Suda and Nintendo wanted to get that trailer out. There are familiar names in the credits though like Yusuke Kozaki who did the character designs for all of No More Heroes. I even see Jun Fukuda who not only worked on No More Heroes Soundtracks, but also Killer7. The concept art was done by Tadayuki Nomaru who did the art for Shadows of the Damned and Killer is Dead. Now the voice director present for this trailer was James D. Mortellaro who directed games like, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Professor Layton, Breath of the Wild, and Let it Die. So there are easily talented people working on this project none the less. Just for me personally, I want to hear one of my favorite voice actors do my all time favorite character.
Overall, I am extremely excited to see what this new title has to offer. No More Heroes has always been crazy with everything regarding video games. Suda 51 is back as a director for this game and I cannot wait to see what mayhem awaits me. Now if you excuse me I am going to watch this trailer again and again until the next one comes out.
I have just gotten more information about this game. First off, the time setting is one year after the first game. Things make more sense now with the fact that Bad Man is after Travis. This then explains, Travis’ personality in the latest trailer. Now this does seem to mean that previous characters will not be reappearing. Slyvia vanished after the first game and Travis met her again for the first time in the second game. Maybe others like Henry and Shinobu can still show up. Actually knowing how the original game ended, Travis could have received that scar from the battle fighting Henry at the end of No More Heroes. Now what is going to happen with this game console is that if Travis defeats all six games, he can get a wish. I do not know what might happen if Travis gets this wish, but since we know this is before the second game, Travis is going to be just fine. Still I wonder why Travis ventured out on his own. Either way things are just going to get more interesting from here on as we really get to have another adventure with classic Travis Touchdown! (This was the first update)
Okay I am getting confused here because now there is a confirmation that this game is seven years after No More Heroes 2. “Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes takes place seven years after the events of No More Heroes 2.” (Suda 51) So my original thoughts were correct. This is after No More Heroes 2. So in terms of No More Heroes story, this game is taking place ten years after the first game. Since the second game was three years after the first and just add-on the seven we got ten years. This is just a nice reference and joke for the anniversary of No More Heroes since the first game was released in December of 2007 in Japan. There is also a tease about multiplayer being a thing as the second playable character could be Bad Man. This is quite surprising if this is the case and I do wonder how this will be working since Badman is clearly out to kill Travis. I guess the two help each other to get out of the video games or there could just be another character to show off… like HENRY!!!
Please come back with Quinton Flynn as your voice actor!
Suda 51 has also went into more detail to why this is not being called the third game. For the first two games, Travis fights other assassins to climb up the ranks for a purpose. This game is taking after both games, but Travis is not climbing the ranks this time and no other assassins are in the mix (Henry was never part of the ranks). Bad Man is a man out for revenge for the murder of his daughter and then the two are taken into video game worlds [correction he is an assassin, he became one after his failed baseball career because of his drinking problems, (Suda 51)]. Suda has said that this is the stepping stone for the actual No More Heroes 3 though. So this is pretty much No More Heroes 2.5 which there was No More Heroes 1.5 (it was not a game, but an animated short that came with the Hopper Edition of Desperate Struggle). To be honest, while I am looking into the details, my inner-self is just happy to see a new No More Heroes!