In the games of SUDA51 and Grasshopper Manufacture, there are lots of recurring imagery, tropes and themes, especially when it comes to titles belonging to Kill the Past. This page attempts to catalog them.

51[edit | edit source]

Goichi Suda's nickname, SUDA51, is derived from his given name, "Goichi". In Japanese, Go = 5 and Ichi = 1, hence, "Suda Goichi" is written as "SUDA51". The number 51 appears in many contexts throughout Grasshopper Manufacture games.

  • In Grasshopper games that have PlayStation 3 versions, the number of achievements in the game is often 50, making the addition of the Platinum trophy awarded for collecting every achievement on PlayStation 3 games bump the total up to 51. This is the case for No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, Shadows of the DAMNED and Lollipop Chainsaw.
  • In Flower, Sun, and Rain, the solution to the speaker system puzzle is 51.
    • In the DS port, Murder and Mystery in Paradise, 51 Lost And Found items with associated puzzles are scattered throughout the game. In addition, traveling 510,000 steps will unlock all bonus features.
  • In the trance mode of Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked, defeating 51 enemies will award the player an extra hit.
  • Multiple locations in No More Heroes: the store AREA 51, and the Road 51 the bus takes to Speed City.
    • In the PS3 port, No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, the online Score Attack leaderboards list the top 51 players, and some of the trophies in the game reward the player for killing 51, 510 and 5100 enemies, as well as destroying 51 and 510 objects.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Travis Touchdown starts at rank 51 in the United Assassins Association. Also, AREA 51's successor is similarly named Airport 51.
  • A sign in Shadows of the DAMNED denotes 51 Bridge Road.
  • In Lollipop Chainsaw, the achievement JULIET51 is awarded for performing 51 dropkicks.
  • The sole optional episode in Killer Is Dead is numbered 51.

Anime characters[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, characters will appear with anime designs despite existing in physical reality, to create an unsettling effect.

Assassins[edit | edit source]

Breaking the fourth wall[edit | edit source]

  • Sumio Mondo, Sue Sding and Shoutaro Kai in Flower, Sun, and Rain.
  • Travis Touchdown, Jeane, Henry and Sylvia Christel in No More Heroes.
  • Travis Touchdown and Sylvia Christel in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
  • Johnson in Shadows of the DAMNED.
  • Mondo Zappa in Killer Is Dead.
  • Travis Touchdown and Jeane in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.

Briefcases[edit | edit source]

Recurring names[edit | edit source]

A number of characters share the same name. Some of these characters are unrelated while others appear to be spiritually connected.

Cultural references[edit | edit source]

Main article: Cultural references.

Death and rebirth[edit | edit source]

Because of SUDA51's original job as an undertaker, SUDA51 began to piece together a fascination with death that permeates his games. Usually, death is not permanent in SUDA51's world, and many characters have opportunities to return to life, possibly reflecting the existence of extra lives in video games.

  • It is eventually revealed in The Silver Case that the original Kamui Uehara (and Ayame Shimohira) are long dead, but can be revived as personalities into various other bodies, allowing them to live on. Additionally, after acquiring a Silver Eye, Tokio Morishima is able to interact with "lingering consciousnesses", which are later elaborated on in killer7 (see below).
  • In Flower, Sun, and Rain, Sumio Mondo dies midway through the game, having been shot off the top of the Flower, Sun, and Rain. He returns to life after Toriko Kusabi strikes a deal with the man who killed him. It is also revealed later on that several characters have stock bodies as clones that would allow them to carry on after death.
  • Harman Smith, Kun Lan and possibly Emir Parkreiner in killer7 have several incarnations, meaning that even if they die they will come back in some form. In addition, Harman's Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon can resurrect people in two different forms: one, as personas, becoming new identities that the main persona can turn into, and two, as Remnant Psyches who hang around as ghostly advisors. He also seems to possess standard resurrection abilities, later owned by Garcian Smith.
  • In Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked, once Worso Tsurumaki becomes an oni, spirits of the dead arise to fight him in lieu of Lord Matsumae. Worso has to fight three bosses previously killed by Jin and Mugen - Zenbanosuke Kurata, Hanaoka and Tsubaki.
  • No More Heroes character Thunder Ryu returns from the dead to advise Travis, much like the Remnant Psyches.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Dr. Letz Shake and Destroyman manage to come back to life despite being destroyed in over-the-top manners in the first game.
  • Killer Is Dead opens this way, as an executioner in the first level is killed and then immediately resurrected by the Dark Matter from the moon. Later on, Bryan Roses survives getting hit by a train by purchasing golden replacement parts for his cyborg body.
  • LET IT DIE bases its gameplay around this concept, as when your character dies, it is uploaded onto a server and is born again in other characters' games as an enemy. If you manage to kill your own reborn character, or pay a number of Kill Coins, you can revive them back into your service.

Deliberately pixelated elements[edit | edit source]

Excessively long passages[edit | edit source]

Film Window text[edit | edit source]

Forked paths[edit | edit source]

Stages with a series of forks in the road often appear, where taking the wrong path causes the player to be returned to the beginning of the path. Someone or something usually accompanies the player, giving them hints on which is direction is the correct one.

Frames dedicated to one character[edit | edit source]

  • Character and enemy introductions in killer7.
  • The Professor's top screen in Contact.
  • The splash screens that load when the player reaches the location of an Extreme Murder Battle Stage in No More Heroes.
  • Splash biographies that appear each time a Dark Purveyor is encountered in Lollipop Chainsaw.
  • Enemy and boss introductions in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.

Games within games[edit | edit source]

Hotels[edit | edit source]

Kamui[edit | edit source]

"Kamui" is the conception of spirituality or the divine in Ainu mythology. It is somewhat similar to the Japanese "kami". Most Ainu gods have the title of "Kamui" in their name.

-man suffix[edit | edit source]

Masks and masked wrestlers[edit | edit source]

Wrestlers are another very common profession in SUDA51 games, and just as in real life wrestling (especially lucha libre), several of those are masked. The mask concept is extended to various other kinds of masks, as well, such as cartoon character masks and general face-obscuring masks.

Mentor's death[edit | edit source]

The Moon[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Moon.

The Moon, Earth's only natural satellite, is one of if not the most prominent theme(s) within SUDA51's games, so much so that it has its own page that lists appearances of the moon. It is also referred to in Travis Strikes Again when John Winter claims to have visited there once.

Motorcycles[edit | edit source]

Prominent music moments[edit | edit source]

No control during boss fights[edit | edit source]

  • The Handsome Men in killer7.
  • The CosmoNOTs' show in Contact.
  • Letz Shake and Dark Star in No More Heroes.
  • The 14 unseen ranked assassins killed by Dr. Letz Shake before Travis is able to confront any.

Phone calls[edit | edit source]

Severed heads[edit | edit source]

When a character dies from decapitation, their head oftentimes makes an appearance on its own, often within a paper bag. Sometimes, the heads will continue to speak after decapitation for one reason or another.

Shopping centers[edit | edit source]

Sticker power-ups[edit | edit source]

Three wise monkeys[edit | edit source]

The "three wise monkeys" is a visual from Japan embodying the phrase "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". It depicts three monkeys, Mizaru, who covers their eyes, Kikazaru, who covers their ears, and Iwazaru, who covers their mouth.

  • The protagonists of The Silver Case, Flower, Sun, and Rain and killer7 each represent one of the monkeys. Akira is mute from psychosis and thus represents Iwazaru, Sumio Mondo, being an alternate identity of Sumio Kodai, is either fully deaf or almost and thus represents Kikazaru, and Garcian Smith's third eye is closed, making him metaphorically and spiritually blind, thus representing Mizaru.
  • The Mikumo Boys in The Silver Case represent this concept through the injuries they received from the parades in 1979. Hiseki, whose eyes were gouged out, represents Mizaru, Sumio Kodai, whose eardrums were smashed, represents Kikazaru, and Fuyuki, whose mouth was sewn shut, represents Iwazaru. Alluding to this further, the letter they send to Central reads "The Monkey Laughs" and Hiseki's apartment building is the 3 Monkeys Apartment.
  • killer7 has another set of characters that represent this concept in the form of the Smith Syndicate's assistants, who may or may not be Remnant Psyches. They are Iwazaru, who wears a gag and holds his finger to his lips, Kikazaru, who has stitched up ears, and Mizaru who covers her eyes.
  • A visual of the three wise monkeys appears in the opening to Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked. There are also three unique monkey characters in the monkey gang, although it is unclear if they relate to the saying in any way other than number.

Tigers[edit | edit source]

Tigers are a recurring animal in SUDA51 and Grasshopper games. They are sometimes depicted as being enemies to dragons, an element of Chinese idioms and culture.

Tsubaki[edit | edit source]

Tsubaki is the Japanese word for the Camellia flower. In SUDA51 and Grasshopper games, Tsubaki or Camellia is a named used for a number of different things.

Wheelchairs[edit | edit source]

Whisper text-to-speech[edit | edit source]

Whisper, a text-to-speech voice on Mac computers, has been used at the end of Moonlight Syndrome episodes, in The Silver Case for Fuyuki's instructions, for the voice of Travis Bell in killer7, and for the announcement of the bosses' names in No More Heroes. In addition, several other Mac voices were used in killer7 for the other Remnant Psyches. Although its previous and subsequent appearances were mostly thematic, its appearance in The Silver Case was because the group using it, the Mikumo Boys, were disabled and had developed Internet accessibility tools for those with disabilities.

Backdoor sequels[edit | edit source]

Grasshopper has developed several games without disclosing their direct connections to past titles, surprising players when plots intersect as they play.

  • Flower, Sun, and Rain was not marketed as a sequel to Shirubā Jiken.
  • The opening of Travis Strikes Again is framed during killer7, specifically in the window after Curtis Blackburn's death but before Dan Smith and Christopher Mills are killed.
  • Travis Strikes Again contains a seemingly innocuous Death Drive Mk II game titled Serious Moonlight, however launching it reveals it is actually a Shadows of the DAMNED sequel.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.