I like this game, I like the gameplay and even some of the mini-games, and I'm laughing my ass off at the dialogue half the time, but... I know this game is meant to be satire, but I don't quite get it. I have a tendency to take everything at face value, so subtexts are usually lost on me... but I'd like to know exactly what to look for.
Well, it's pretty enjoyable regardless of what you run into. Travis Touchdown is a pretty typical parody of American geek cultures and their Marty Stus, what with the recharge animation, the goofy one-liners, and the entire break down of the story right before the number 1 ranking fight (which is pretty much a huge joke about Star Wars until the giant purple lightsaber dragon pops up). The (laughable) violence is probably meant to poke fun of games like Manhunt.
This Troper read somewhere that the development team's original idea was to try to be MORE violent than Manhunt 2. That's pretty much how Suda 51's crazy satirical mind works.
Funnily enough, this troper has and prefers the European/Japanese version, since not all of us like ridiculous amounts of violence. Having corpses turn to piles of ash makes the cutscenes rather Narmful... which probably doubles as another take on satirizing violence and censorship! Maybe. Half the problem with Suda51 is that you have no idea what's intentional and what's not... which he probably loves.
There's an interesting article pertaining to the satire in the game. I'm not sure if I agree with everything, but it does kind of make sense in the context of the more dramatic scenes. If anything, it makes this troper appreciate the game even more because even if Suda 51 is attacking social vices, at least he manages to keep it subtle and not be overtly Anvilicious about it, leading to a storyline that alternates nicely between the comic and the dramatic.
Maybe it's just the writer not having perspective, but I'd be surprised if Suda51 didn't slip some jabs at Japanese culture into there as well. The Serious Business weirdness surrounding each day job almost comes off as a parody of what I hear of the stereotypical Japanese work ethic. And it's kind of interesting that some people enjoy the minigames- Suda51 might just be getting the hang of making a game that is fun to play as well as sending a message...
Not to mention that he has no idea why he's fighting, or cares.
Not to mention Travis, while also being the American symbol of a 'gamer,' also follows the set-up and is in fact called an Otaku. An anime-loving, video-game playing geek. I think that a lot of parodies are actually bi-national; Values Dissonance isn't a constant factor.
That article is massively pretentious. Even if right about no more heroes, it is massively pretentious.
Alright, let me try my hand at explaining this. No More Heroes is a satire of the outlook one who collects video games would have. Travis represents a gamer, and the assassination missions, with their stylized, hyperviolent nature, represent videogames. The rest of the world, on the other hand, is monotonous and contains dull jobs which Travis is motivated to do only so he can get back to the missions. In other words, it is a satire of the sort of otaku who's only interaction with the outside world are purely for the purpose of acquiring more videogames/anime/etc or more money as to buy more videogames/anime/etc. Does that explain things alright?
The whole game is about a moe-fan-otaku turned assassin that jerks off a lot. The jerking off is the other half of the joke - the game is one big whack-off joke. What's hard to get about it?
The fact that Travis must go from rank #10 to #1 by killing other assassins feels like a satire of linearity in games, rather like Onett, Twoson, Threed and Fourside in Earthbound. The game isn't just linear, it actively rubs this in your face. Also, the ranks are essentially a countdown to the end of the game. Some gamers like to feel that a game might last forever until they actually get to the end, but NMH makes this impossible.
It's established at the beginning of the game that anyone on the UAA's ranking ladder can challenge the person above him to a duel to claim that person's place on the ladder, right? In that case, why doesn't, say, Shinobu ever challenge Destroyman for seventh?
Because Travis got there first.
Also, most sane people probably wouldn't pay a lot of money to fight an opponent who is probably much better than you, and will probably kill you. Especially since there doesn't seem to be many bonuses towards moving up the ranks apart from making you a bigger target.
My guess was that, by then, most of the UAA had figured out the scam behind the entire thing and were done with the whole thing, sitting on their current ranks and washing their hands of the whole thing. They are all still sociopaths, but they all seem to have some degree of deeper understanding behind everything that is going on, unlike Travis who hasn't caught on yet and is still merrily slicing and dicing his way to the "top".
I think it's because some of the assassins feel safe in their ranks. Death Metal and Dr. Peace especially. Shinobu wouldn't try to outrank Destroyman because that would make hiding her true self harder with a higher rank.
I thought the whole UAA business was a huge scam set up by Sylvia to make Travis feed her money. She is a con artist, after all.
If plot details on Wikipedia are to be believed, no. It is in fact real, and Travis' 3-year hiatus leaves him at the 51st rank.
The problem is that it isn't clear from the dialogue exactly what the scam was. As the ranking fights exist but have no cost in the sequel, the scam was apparently Sylvia tricking Travis into paying for what should have been free.
If they're career assassins as well as glorified gladiators, they may put more importance in the actual assassination part of the job. Travis had a reason to make it to Number 1 in both games, but no one else really did. They may consider their ranks incidental to the job.
WTF is up with the Garden of Madness?
You expect a place named the garden of madness to make sense?
All you need to know about the Garden of Madness is to trust your Force.
A friend of mine who knew some ancient slang suggested it referred to cunnilingus.
I figure it was just a parody catch phrase—like how a lot of video games have pseudo-philosophical dialogue to make it seem like it's actually art. NMH just doesn't care what it means.
Why does Sylvia's scam have such a fucking low profit margin? LB dollars seem to have an exchange rate of about 5,000:1 with American money. LB$550,000, then, are, only, 1,100 U.S.D. She rides chauffeured limousines, goes to expensive spas and eats at fancy restaurants. How does she make more than a few L Bs per victim?
It's possible the LB dollar has an exchange rate on par with the Japanese Yen. The game was made by a Japanese developer, and some of the prices used are comparable to price tags in Japan.
Your exchange rate is speculation. It's a bit believable considering how you can get 2000 L Bs in a dumpster, but still highly doubtful. My question is what the hell LB stands for?
Lb. is the abbreviation for pound. A pound is the (former) currency of Britain. Take from that what you will.
Actually GBP is the abbreviation for UK pounds. Lb pertains to weight, not currency.
Former currency? Last time I checked my wallet we were still using the Pound.
True, but it uses it to refer to a location, you know, like someone says "US Dollars" so LB must refer to a location of some sort.
This seems to be the case, as apparently there's such a thing as an "LB Army" in the game as well.
Maybe LB is an abbreviation for whatever the United states is called in the NMH universe?
The game takes place in Santa Destroy, California. You also find a box of US Military Secrets at one point as well. I have no freakin' clue either at what LB is supposed to mean, much less why it's formally abbreviated to LB$
Maybe the currency shares the name with Lovikov Balls, but it's shortened to LB to avoid confusion. Or it's just another reference to Lucha Libre.
Lebanese dollars? LBP is Lebanese pounds... Reflecting the Crapsack World state of the city?
Since Henry killed Letz Shake, shouldn't he have become the 5th Ranked, instead of Travis?
Henry couldn't officially challenge, since he was not 6th ranked; Travis was. Travis moved up by default.
Also, it appears Henry is already the number 0 assassin, and thus is already higher than Letz Shake.
Sylvia explained it: It was an official fight, and he'd win if his opponent died for any reason.
The UAA exists for the sole purpose of ranking the top assassins in America. Since Henry is probably an Irish citizen, he doesn't actually qualify for any UAA rank.
He could be naturalized. Keep in mind that Death Metal, Letz Shake, Harvey, and Holly all have accents too.
Considering the truth behind the UAA and Henry's relation to Sylvia, why would he be a part of the UAA at all?
And why can't it be hammerspace? It's a gameplay element. Jeez.
How come there are four save slots when it is only possible to load the most recent save?
You can load a different file from the pause menu.
Does "Pleather for Breakfast" actually have lyrics or is the singer just drunk out of her skull and slurring to the tune?
The lyrics are backwards. Same for Shinobu's theme as well.
No they're not. After listening to it for about 5 hours without noticing that I left it on I started understanding the lyrics: "I love you babe, that's a sickness. Heaven loves you for being a SLUT." The second half changes every now and then. Haven't caught the lyrics for those yet.
This troper heard; "I love you, Babe, Ecstasy Yes/No. That's the cue for me so let's go."
I think that it's actually "I love you babe, that's suggesti-No! That's the cue for me, so let's go!
I once saw it written as "'I love you, babe.' That's what you said, yes? No? That's enough of you for me, so let's go!"
Seen it writen once as "'I love you, baby.' That's what you said, yes? No? Well, that's the cue for me, so let's go."
So the UAA measures the top 11 assassins in the US. If the ranking is determined by the skill and success rate of the assassins, as pure semantics would indicate, wouldn't a more effective way to reach the top be simply to take a lot of assassination jobs of non-assassins? You'd avoid having to fight batshits like Destroyman and Bad Girl, and you wouldn't do your lower-ranked competitors the favor of increasing their rank for them. Sure, that'd make a duller game, but it's strange that no one even acknowledges that there's an alternative to Klingon Promotion.
It doesn't matter if you're the world's greatest assassin with the UAA. It's more of a glorified fight club that lends its services from time to time.
Or see another theory; "world's most deadly pyramid scheme". People with more pride, brawn and money than sense all getting suckered into slaughtering each other for kicks and self-importance, with Sylvia bankrolling.
Alternatively, the "fee" you pay Sylvia is partly used to take an assassination contract on the next ranked assassin, where she then warns that person ahead of time that Travis is coming after them
Why does Travis have a fax machine? Maybe Sylvia told him to get one when he joined the UAA but I dunno...
That's probably a slight cultural slip-up on Suda51's part. A fax machine in the USA (or pretty much any Western nation) is a rare sight, but Japanese use faxes almost constantly.
Considering Travis is an incredibly insane take on the Otaku, and that certain self-described Otaku obsessively try to emulate Japanese culture, perhaps Travis bought a fax machine to feel more Japanese.
Alternatively, he found it dumpster diving and thought that it looked cool.
The same reason I own an electric typewriter that I got for $10 at a garage sale...
I thought it was just another retro thing, whether in-universe or not. Travis also watches videotapes and doesn't own a computer.
Which makes even less sense as he won the Blood Berry off of a 'net auction. But then again, his best buddy at Beef Head Videos has a NOT Apple computer sitting on the counter, so I guess he could have been hanging out there one day when he bought it.
Travis won the Blood Berry on a net auction, but why doesn't he have a computer?
He used Bishop's.
In the little mini comic on the official site, it shows he has a laptop.
If they have to die when they lose, why are Shinobu, Kimmy and Travis still alive?(He surrendered, remember?)
Kimmy wasn't ranked, and Shinobu can probably fight well enough to avoid being killed by the UAA.
Actually,is strongly implied in the cutscene after Ryuji's death that Kimmy was killed by the UAA.
Sylvia esd referring to Shinobu. And she didn't imply so.
During Travis' fight with Henry you can hear him say "Do you even know what you're fighting for?"
Do they ever explain why Dark Star knows all this stuff about Travis?
Personally, it seemed as though Dark Star was genuinely mistaken about Travis being his son, and was nebulously referring to past events in some other twenty-something loser's life.
The player wanted the ten boss fights they were promised, but was cheated out of Letz Shake by Henry. That's why they're fighting.
Why does Travis say to press the A Button in the opening cutscene of the first game? Cutscenes are skipped by pressing the ''+ Button"
The A Button is what makes games start like the start button?
The A Button is what makes you draw your beam katana to start the first mission and - by extension - the game.
How in the hell can a Laser Sword be blocked by a freaking baseball bat?
This is the same baseball bat that can turn a human into an effective projectile weapon. Don't question it.
The beam katana isn't just a weapon made of a laser. There are solid parts to the blade, and that's what's being blocked.
Note that I have mostly secondhand knowledge, but people say that this is a satire of the "gamer". Only that doesn't make much sense, to me. Satire's intent is to condemn, but Travis Touchdown ("Travis T.") manages to become the best assassin in the United States via an eBay beam sword and sheer willpower. In the end of NMH1, doesn't he get the girl?. He's never really shown to fail in anything he sets out to do, as far as I know. I could buy Affectionate Parody or caricature, but the games seem far too sympathetic and condoning of him for them to be actual satire.
He doesn't. It's revealed that Sylvia is married to Henry, the UAA was a con so he isn't the best assassin in the United States, so Sylvia was just playing him the entire time. And really, it wasn't sheer willpower that made him join the rankings; he just wanted to get laid. He doesn't get the girl, he gets no titles, he gained no money, and now he has crazy assassins breaking into his house while he's taking a dump thinking he's some top ranked assassin. He's only slightly worse off than he was before all this
The sequel seems to prove that the UAA did exist, and Travis really was the first-ranked assassin.
It might be a little nitpick, but am I the only one that notices that Travis never wipes. And it's not like he doesn't have or can't afford toilet paper. He's got plenty of it in his bathroom. He just doesn't use it.
When we press A to save, the screen covers itself in toilet paper. He could have wiped up during that time. So yes, we are viewing the screen through his ass.
So what do Shinobu, Kimmy, and Sylvia actually see in Travis? The guy swallowed his own gargle water, never appears to wipe, nor wash his hands. Plus, he decided to take Rosie on a date with his brother was in the other room that lacked a door. Speaking of which, why was Henry shirtless when he woke up but earlier had a shirt on after the Letz Shake?
Kimmy hadn't met Travis before; she just idolized him because of his reputation as "The Crownless King". Shinobu becomes enamored with him after he defeats her and then spares her life, despite her having tried to murder him the whole time, and her being a teenager, it makes sense she might see more in him than there really is. And Sylvia ISN'T attracted to him until he gets a lot of Character Development towards the end of the second game and becomes a bit less of an immature borderline sociopath and a bit more of a badass antihero.
If Henry and Sylvia married 10 years ago, how could they have possibly both been in college? Henry would have been 17 and Sylvia would have been 14 (as she was 24 in the first NMH).
There are 17 year olds in college as freshman. And Sylvia could just be smart enough to graduate early/skip grades.
Was "Sylvia's Mom" just Sylvia messing with Travis?
Why did Travis care that Holly Summers was killed, compared to all the other assassins?
He spared Shinobu and was genuinely sad over Jeane's death. He just seems to have a soft spot for the ladies (except Bad Girl, but even then, he's nice to her in her dying moments).
Was the Garden of Madness a real place? Was it that forest at the end?
Who are the Mooks that keep fighting Travis before he reaches his target, and why do they keep fighting him? The first couple looked like they worked for their targets, but the rest don't.
Before each ranking fight, the lowdregs of society, wannabe assassins and hired thugs are, well hired and put as a warm up to the stage. Also, Holy's mooks could have worked for her, seeing as they were low-level military grunts.
Why did Travis want to be the first ranked assassin? Did he think he would get something out of it or was it ego?
Sylvia said she'd sleep with him if he got to #1. Plus, he'd just bought an awesome beam katana off the internet and is exactly the kind of person who would look for any available excuse to use it.
Why did Henry kill Letz Shake for you? Did he just want to troll Travis? Or the Association? Both?
Bad Girl's gimps: Whoever said they were clones?
Up until that fight, a lot of advanced technology has been seen. Speed Buster's Rooster Nuclear Laser Cannon, Destoryman's Voice Converter weapon and hell even the Blood Berry. So it isn't entirely in-plausible that the techno would be around. As to answer your question more directly, it doesn't seem like Bad Girl would go out regularly to find men to kidnap and use as her gimps.