Goichi Suda (須田剛一), better known by the pseudonym SUDA51, is a Japanese writer, video game director and the chief executive officer of Grasshopper Manufacture. Beginning his career as a scenario writer for Human Entertainment, Suda departed five years later and formed Grasshopper in Suginami, Japan. He became popularly known as SUDA51, a pun on his given name Goichi, where go means five in Japanese and ichi means one. SUDA51's roles in the games made at his studio have varied over the years, however he has not limited his work only to Grasshopper titles. During his career, SUDA51 has also lent his talents to other video games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Liberation Maiden SIN and Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day.
Goichi Suda was born in the city of Nagano, in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan on January 2, 1968. Much of his early life has not been discussed publicly. In the early 1990s, Suda worked as a funeral director, though the stench disagreed with him and he continued to search for job openings elsewhere. One of the advertisements Suda responded to was for a position at video game studio Human Entertainment, where work was beginning on Super Fire Prowrestling III: Final Bout. Suda was convinced his knowledge and passion for wrestling would guarantee him the job, however his excitement weakened after weeks passed without a reply. Suda eventually received a response from Human, who hired him as a scenario writer largely because they needed more designers with wrestling knowledge. Suda promptly left his job as a funeral director.
Suda wrote scenarios for Super Fire Prowrestling III: Final Bout and Super Fire Prowrestling Special, the latter shocking players with an ending where the hero commits suicide. His somber themes flourished even greater when he had the opportunity to direct Towairaito Shindoromu: Tansaku-hen and Towairaito Shindoromu: Kyūmei-hen, as well as write Moonlight Syndrome. These were the only five titles Suda worked on with Human, as following the release of Moonlight Syndrome in 1997, he left the company to form a studio of his own.
Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. opened its doors on March 30, 1998 in Suginami, Japan. Suda was joined at first by only three other designers forming Grasshopper's programming, art and sound departments. Severely restrained by a lack of manpower and resources, Grasshopper combatted this by developing a game engine which would make their text adventure stand out from traditional ones. Suda also wrote a story connecting it with his last game with Human, Moonlight Syndrome. Securing a publisher in ASCII Entertainment, Grasshopper released its first video game, Shirubā Jiken, on October 8, 1999.
Shirubā Jiken carried over some trademarks from the Towairaito Shindoromu series, as well as establishing several new ones which continue to echo through the games Grasshopper releases today. Shirubā Jiken itself received spiritual sequels in the form of Flower, Sun, and Rain and killer7, with all three games collectively forming a body of work dubbed by players as Kill the Past. killer7 brought significant attention to Grasshopper and SUDA51 in 2005, as its affiliation with Capcom and Shinji Mikami garnered extensive media coverage including making the cover story for the April 2005 issue of Nintendo Power. While not commercially successful, the game exposed audiences outside Japan to Grasshopper for the first time, and is believed by many to be SUDA51's magnum opus.
Franz Kafka is among SUDA51's favorite authors. His favorite film is Paris, Texas, in which the lead character Travis Henderson is believed to have inspired the names of two SUDA51 characters – Travis Bell and Travis Touchdown. His favorite video game is said to be Another World.
SUDA51's passion for wrestling was instrumental in his hiring at Human Entertainment, where he began his career in video games. SUDA51 somewhat famously donned a luchador mask at killer7 promotional events and could also be seen wearing one in the No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle trailer. Wrestling plays various roles in several of SUDA51's works, particularly his Super Fire Prowrestling games and No More Heroes.
- Super Fire Prowrestling III: Final Bout – director
- Super Fire Prowrestling Special – scenario writer
- Towairaito Shindoromu: Tansaku-hen – director
- Towairaito Shindoromu: Kyūmei-hen – director
- Moonlight Syndrome – director, writer
- Shirubā Jiken – director, writer
- Flower, Sun, and Rain – director, writer, lyricist
- Shining Soul – producer
- Shining Soul II – project manager, story creation, scenario writer
- Michigan: Report from Hell – director, original planning, editor
- killer7 – director, writer, designer
- Shirubā Jiken 25 Ku – director, writer
- Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked – director, writer
- Contact – producer
- BLOOD+ One Night Kiss – writer
- No More Heroes – director, writer, lyricist
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl – "special thanks"
- Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen – director, scenario writing
- Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise – supervisor
- No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle – executive director, writer, designer
- No More Heroes 1.5 – writer
- FROG MINUTES – executive producer, original concept
- Shadows of the DAMNED – executive director, writer
- Sdatcher – writer, voice actor
- Evangerion Shin Gekijōban -Saundo Inpakuto- – producer
- Sine Mora – executive producer
- Diabolical Pitch – executive producer
- Liberation Maiden – producer, writer
- Lollipop Chainsaw – creative director
- Black Knight Sword – executive producer, writer
- Killer Is Dead – executive director, writer
- Liberation Maiden SIN – writer
- Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day – writer
- Tsukikage no Tokio – writer
- Kurayami Dance - writer
- The Silver Case – producer
- LET IT DIE
- Astro Boy: Edge of Time - member of redesign team