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Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (トラヴィス ストライクス アゲイン: ノーモア★ヒーローズ) is a video game for the Nintendo Switch console. It was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, and was published by Marvelous Entertainment In Japan and Nintendo In North America on January 18, 2019.

PlotEdit

Seven years have passed since Travis Touchdown last participated in the United Assassins Association.[1] He has since isolated himself and lives in a trailer in the woods with his cat Jeane. One night, Touchdown is tracked down by Badman, father of the deceased assassin Bad Girl, who Touchdown killed on his first climb up the UAA rankings. Badman attacks Touchdown, but their fight is cut short when Touchdown's "phantom" Death Drive Mark II game console absorbs them.

Within the Death Drive, Travis and Badman have to battle their way through six different games. By completing the games, Badman hopes to earn a wish as the urban legends have foretold, which he wants to use to resurrect Bad Girl. Travis, on the other hand, is more preoccupied with the eradication of bugs that have appeared within the games.

ChaptersEdit

CharactersEdit

Playable
Supporting
  • Dr. Juvenile
  • White Sheepman
  • Death and Drive
  • Electro Triple Star (Tim Ford) - A world-class architect and electrotechnical engineer. He was the architect of Electric Speed City and lives in town with his beloved wife and two daughters. A huge fan of comic book heroes, he's been remodeling and modding appliances and electronics since he was a child. He loves electric-type weapons. He met his wife at the Toast Gym.
  • Mr. Doppelganger - Doppelganger was once a social worker, helping young people who had fallen through the cracks of society. One day, something set him off, leading him to murder his wife and then all of the "garbage people" throughout the city, claiming 3200 victims as a newly-minted serial killer. His weapon of choice was a corkscrew.
  • Brian Buster Jr. - Prince and next in line to the throne of the small Scandinavian country of Ulmarc. After having both eyes gouged out and his father assassinated, he is able to meet his father once again - in the form of a robot. Quite a handsome man, he worked as a model while still in school.
  • Ulvarian (Brian Buster Sr.) - A robot into which the brain of the 28th king of Ulmarc was transplanted. An almost legendary figure, also known as the "Wooden Suit", which was said to have been piloted by the first king of Ulmarc when he unified the kingdom.
  • Smoking King - A former junior champion sumo wrestler. After teaming up with the Kinryu-gumi yakuza syndicate and becoming involved up in the brutal murders of said syndicate's rival family, he was able to get off by claiming self-defense - but was also forced to retire. Since then, he's acted as a bodyguard for the Kinryu-gumi while also racing for them in the Golden Dragon GP. While he races for the sake of making the Kinryu-gumi the world's top crime syndicate, he wears masks to prevent anyone from finding out his true identity.
  • Silver Face - The Main Character of Killer Marathon. He is angry for being a DLC instead of being apart of the campaign of TSA he even said that the only reason people would get the DLC is just for Bad Girl.
  • Eight Hearts - The reborn form of former demon/skull Johnson. Recognizable by his, uh, eight hearts. Able to transform into a variety of “guns” to launch attacks, just like Johnson did.

Downloadable contentEdit

The Black Dandelion expansion is slated for release by February 28, 2019. It will unlock Shinobu Jacobs as a playable character with two exclusive skills and introduce six Badman Strikes Back scenarios. The Bubblegum Fatale expansion will then be released by April 30, 2019. This will unlock Bad Girl as a playable character with two exclusive skills, a playable version of Killer Marathon, a new skill and one bonus Travis Strikes Back scenario. Jacobs and Bad Girl can only be selected once the base game and Killer Marathon have been cleared respectively.

Connections to past Grasshopper titlesEdit

Travis Strikes Again is described in its opening video as a 20th Anniversary Commemorative Title and as such it contains numerous references and connections to other Grasshopper games. The opening video is set from the lens of killer7, using its graphics and the characters Dan Smith, Christopher Mills and Curtis Blackburn, as well as its "Celtic" Building. Past characters Sundance Shot (Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise), Uehara and Kosuke Kurumizawa (The 25th Ward: The Silver Case), Garcia Hotspur and Johnson (Shadows of the DAMNED) and Mondo Zappa (Killer Is Dead) also interact with Touchdown, and Nigel McAllister (Diabolical Pitch) is briefly referenced. One Death Drive Mk II game begins normally before revealing itself to be a Shadows of the DAMNED sequel complete with an opening cutscene and references to different characters and the original game's development process peppered throughout. Michael Gough, Steve Blum and Greg Ellis also reprise their roles as Dan Smith, Garcia Hotspur and Johnson, as well as voicing new characters in Travis Strikes Again.

Once again Travis Touchdown has a motorcycle at his side, however it does not resemble either of his previous two makes, Schpeltiger and Schpeltiger II, and may be a new model altogether.

DevelopmentEdit

Continuation of the No More Heroes seriesEdit

SUDA51 spoke of a third No More Heroes title many times throughout the years. In anticipation of Desperate Struggle, one critic questioned SUDA51 on the possibility of a sequel developed for Nintendo DS. SUDA51 assured no such game was in development but expressed interest in a WiiWare installment. While promoting Desperate Struggle, SUDA51 also confessed that, "Wii is a great platform, but we've done everything we can with it now." This statement triggered confusion among fans, unsure whether SUDA51 intended to keep the series exclusive to Nintendo but preferred to wait until its next platform released, or if he was expressing openness to developing for Xbox or PlayStation consoles next. Speaking to 1UP during the website's five-day Desperate Struggle cover story, SUDA51 confirmed his statement was likely misinterpreted, clarifying that, "What I wanted to say was, looking at the Wii, I think No More Heroes 2 will probably be the last iteration for this current platform. But there's probably going to be a "Wii 2" or other next-gen system from Nintendo at some point, so I was saying that I would want to do another game in the series on the next Nintendo platform."[2]

At a charity event for the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, SUDA51 reconfirmed his interest in producing a second No More Heroes sequel, though he added, "it won't happen soon."[3] Speaking to Destructoid's Jonathan Holmes at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, SUDA51 mentioned he had played Wii U and was now evaluating how to proceed with a third No More Heroes game on that console.[4]

In 2013, the unannounced Lily Bergamo briefly caused a stir when No More Heroes character Shinobu was mistakenly identified in a piece of concept art.[5] The rumor was swiftly debunked, and at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, SUDA51 sounded less confident about a third game, while assuring, "Travis is one of the characters I'm really fond of, that means a lot to me. So if there was the opportunity to create another sequel then yeah, I'm always up to the idea."[6] The game's intended console was also no longer certain. While SUDA51 reiterated that Nintendo consoles were "very important" to Grasshopper,[7] the studio by then worked heavily with Unreal Engine 4,[6] which was not supported by Wii U.

The premise of a third game has varied over time, with SUDA51 suggesting in 2010 that the game would star a new hero, while in more recent years expressed the return of Travis Touchdown to recover something he has forgotten.[8] SUDA51 referred to the game explicitly as No More Heroes 3[5] in lieu of a real title during this time. SUDA51 initially gave a release window between 2030 and 2040, attributing the distant date to his desire to work on new properties before returning to an established one.[8] He also spoke positively about crowdfunding the title.[8]

Travis Strikes AgainEdit

The third No More Heroes game took one step closer to reality on January 12, 2017, when SUDA51 appeared at a Nintendo Switch event to announce the return of Travis Touchdown on the platform. Concept art of Touchdown wearing a "Travis strikes again." shirt was presented, however no game footage accompanied SUDA51's announcement.[6] SUDA51 later appeared briefly at Devolver Digital's 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo conference, where he ended his video appearance when he jokingly realized he didn't know what Devolver was.[9]

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was shown for the first time on August 30, 2017 during a live Switch Nindies Showcase.[10] It was also confirmed that Grasshopper is working with six indie developers to adapt their games into the plot of Travis Strikes Again, which finds Touchdown pulled into a game console where he must fight across six different real life indie games, one being Devolver Digital's Hotline Miami.[10] The short trailer confirmed several returning elements such as Touchdown's cat Jeane, his continued use of the Blood Berry beam katana and a plot kickstarted by a vengeful relative of one of Touchdown's slain enemies. Touchdown's left eye was also shown heavily scarred for the first time since his last appearance.

Initially, there was confusion surrounding Travis Strikes Again with early press releases implying that Touchdown would be able to enter the worlds of indie games as a part of the collaboration. SUDA51 later clarified that the six "worlds" would be original environments based on different gaming genres, though indie titles would feature prominently in the game's "T-shirt collaboration".[11]

Indie titles for the T-shirt collaboration include Hotline Miami, Shovel Knight, Ruiner, and Serious Sam.[12]

The post-credits stage of the game which reverts the camera and controls back to those of No More Heroes and Desperate Struggle was inspired by the excitement of Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credit scenes.[13]

Release historyEdit

  • North America cartridge – January 18, 2019 (Nintendo, LA-H-AR9RA-USA)
  • Europe cartridge – January 18, 2019
  • Australia cartridge – January 18, 2019
  • Japan box with digital download – January 18, 2019 (Marvelous Entertainment)
  • South Korea cartridge – January 18, 2019
  • Europe Collector's Edition bundle – February 2019 (Pix’n Love)
  • Europe Collector's Edition Signature bundle – February 2019 (Pix’n Love)

ReferencesEdit

  1. We talked to Suda 51 about Travis Strikes Again, Super Smash Bros. and Fire Pro Wrestling. Video Game Choo Choo. Andi. September 5, 2017.
  2. Goichi Suda Interview. Ray Barnholt. 1UP.com. September 21, 2009.
  3. No More Heroes 3 'won't happen soon' - Report. Tor Thorsen. Gamespot. March 30, 2011.
  4. Suda speaks part 3: Wii U, No More Heroes 3, and more. Destructoid. Jonathan Holmes. June 13, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Suda51 And GungHo's CEO Talk About Lily Bergamo For PS4. Siliconera. Spencer. April 15, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Suda 51 and Grasshopper are using Unreal Engine 4 'heavily'. Joystiq. Sinan Kubba. June 19, 2013.
  7. Suda 51 Interview – Indie Games, Nintendo and How To Become A Game’s Writer. Expansive DLC. Tom Regan. November 15, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Suda 51 Hopes To Release No More Heroes 3 By 2040. My Nintendo News. lmcontaldi. July 2, 2015.
  9. Travis Touchdown Is Back With A New No More Heroes On Nintendo Switch. ComicBook. Nathan Birch. June 12, 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again Officially Revealed for Nintendo Switch. IGN. Jonathon Dornbush. August 30, 2017.
  11. Suda51 clears up confusion concerning Travis Strikes Again's indie collab and gameplay style, talks boss battles. rawmeatcowboy. GoNintendo. September 5, 2017.
  12. 【ファミ通】『ノーモア★ヒーローズ』始動! 須田剛一氏が新情報を語る!!. ファミ通TUBE. YouTube. September 8, 2017.
  13. Suda51 talks further about Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes’ ending, wants to make an announcement at E3. Brian. Nintendo Everything. January 25, 2018.
Grasshopper Manufacture games
International Shining Soul · Shining Soul II · Killer7 · Michigan: Report from Hell · Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked · Contact · No More Heroes · Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise · No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · FROG MINUTES · Shadows of the DAMNED · Sine Mora · Diabolical Pitch · Lollipop Chainsaw · Liberation Maiden · Black Knight Sword · Killer Is Dead · Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day · LET IT DIE · Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Japan-exclusive Shirubā Jiken · Flower, Sun, and Rain · Shirubā Jiken 25 Ku · BLOOD+ One Night Kiss · Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen · Evangerion Shin Gekijōban -Saundo Inpakuto- · No More Heroes: World Ranker · Dark Menace
Upcoming Third No More Heroes title
Other Suda material Super Fire Prowrestling III: Final Bout · Super Fire Prowrestling Special · Towairaito Shindoromu: Tansaku-hen · Towairaito Shindoromu: Kyūmei-hen · Moonlight Syndrome · Sdatcher · Liberation Maiden SIN · Tsukikage no Tokio · Kurayami Dance · Suda Fables