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Video Game: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
aka: No More Heroes Desperate Struggle

Everybody deals with grief differently, right? Some people fuck at funerals... I cut off heads. -Travis Touchdown

The sequel to the surprise Wii hit No More Heroes (the bestselling game Suda 51 has made). It allowed use of the Classic Controller in addition to using the motion control setup from the first game. It also got rid of the Wide Open Sand Box city, which was the most widely-criticised part of the original game.

Three years after the events of No More Heroes, the city of Santa Destroy has become famous thanks to Travis Touchdown's bloody antics and expanded into a seedy urban hub where televised assassin fights are a popular and profitable form of entertainment. Travis himself has retired from the assassin's lifestyle, but leaps back into the spotlight when a gang of thugs hired by the current #1-ranked Assassin murder his best friend Bishop. Hungry for revenge, Travis must murder his way back up the ranks of the United Assassins Association for a shot at the culprit, but due to his years of inactivity he must start from Rank #51.

The game is mostly a Pastiche of the Revenge Movie genre while continuing the systematic deconstruction of the Professional Killer trope and Otaku culture in general. Throughout his journey, Travis meets many people who have been negatively influenced by the assassin lifestyle (including the assassins themselves), the glamorisation of the lifestyle (like when he meets a Fangirl who wants to be just like him) or just an inability to let go. Unlike the first game, which presented Travis as a dislikeable Anti-Hero to the end, Desperate Struggle actually features some true Character Development as he slowly realises just how screwed up everything to do with assassination and revenge is.


This game features examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Dr. Naomi. Looks like the money spent on beam katana upgrades went to her chest.
  • Affably Evil: Captain Vladimir, Alice Twilight, Skelter Helter, and Charlie McDonald. Vladimir hardly knows what's going on, Alice wants to quit being an assassin, Skelter wanted revenge for Travis killing and not even caring about his brother, and Charlie isn't even that bad of a person, he even compliments your name...which is to be expected, as he's a football player.
    • Margaret Moonlight too.
  • Akashic Records: A few boss fights take place at Akashic Points.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Margaret, Ryuji, Captain Vladimir, and Alice Twilight. Even Skelter Helter could be considered this since he wasn't very evil to begin with.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. All Covers are intense, though the Japanese cover (especially the Hopper edition cover) might fall under even more hardcore compared to the US/EU/AU one.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Or lack thereof. Apparently Travis took a vow to never be without a jacket until he had completed all the revenge missions.
  • Anti-Villain: Captain Vladimir.
    • Skelter Helter wasn't all that evil either. He only wanted to kill Travis as retribution for him killing his brother.
  • Artistic License - Biology: Deliberately invoked.
    "Pain in my ass... Why aren't you dead yet?! [...] Seriously, I cut off your head!"
  • Ascended Extra/From Nobody to Nightmare: The Pizza Batt corporation. It was a minor, optional antagonistical group in the first game where Travis killed a different CEO for each of the three assassination gigs related to them. The company went on to take control of Santa Destroy and their new CEO is the Big Bad as a direct result of the three former bosses, which were his father and brothers, being killed in the aforementioned assassination gigs.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The mech duel, and Jasper Batt Jr.'s final form
  • Attempted Rape: The crasser half of New Destroyman tries to pull this on Shinobu. She immediately slips away, though, and stabs him in the head.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!
  • Automatic New Game: The game does this, only pausing to let you choose your difficulty level and then throwing you in. When you have files saved, it gives you the option to pick which one to load.
  • Bag of Spilling: Travis hasn't fought or exercised between the games, so he lost all his health and strength upgrades, and wrecked his bike at the end of the first game, hence the replacement. But he still has all the masks you collected in the first game, as well as some moves he learned from Lovikov.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shinobu and Sylvia are portrayed this way.
  • BFS: This time around, Travis can gain the Peony, a Sephiroth Masamune-esque Beam Katana that lengthens when he's kicking ass, and Skelter-Helter uses a Katana that looks like a Buster Sword.
  • Blatant Lies: When Travis enters Sylvia's office to find someone just exiting the back door, he asks who it was. Sylvia says it was, uh, the paperboy, and the emergency exit is faster.
    Travis: [Beat] That's true. The paper boy's a genius!
  • Bond One-Liner: Though Travis doesn't actually kill Kimmy, he lets loose with one of his better ones after taking her out - "Come back after you graduate and I'll school you again!"
  • Boss-Only Level: The Rank 10 and 7 stages.
  • Brick Joke: When first seducing Travis, Sylvia mentions one of her favorite yoga positions is the Downward Dog. After they finally have sex, Travis walks outside and shouts "DOWNWARD FUCKING DOG!"
    • Near the beginning of the game Travis and Sylvia are talking about his having to get to the top of the UAA rankings to get to the man that killed Bishop who resides in the building across the street from where they are when a man suddenly falls from the sky and smashes the roof of a car. Guess what the Number One assassin's instant kill move does.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Travis claims not to know who Skelter Helter is trying to avenge (Helter Skelter, who only appeared in an early trailer for the first game, and who got about 2 seconds of actual screentime). But as the fight starts, he delivers the immortal line: "When you see your bro in hell, tell him: HE'S STILL! A DOUCHE!".
    • Remember the Pizza Butt executives you took care of way back in the first No More Heroes? The ones that didn't get any dialogue or cutscenes? It turns out that they were Jasper Batt Jr's father and two brothers, and their deaths are the reason why Batt's pissed off. That's right, they pulled off a But for Me, It Was Tuesday on the player.
  • Call Back: The first No More Heroes had Travis say to Henry "Lets find that exit they call paradise!" while in the sequel as he is riding away with Sylvia he says "Sylvia, now that's paradise!"
    • Skelter Helter attacking "Travis" in the elevator is a call back to the original NMH trailer.
    • Travis's Mecha used in the 25th ranked fight is modeled on the Mecha used in the bullet hell mini game from the original.
      • Said mecha comes out of the pool at (the late) Death Metal's mansion.
  • Captain Ersatz: Skelter Helter is Cloud, and Squall, and Tidus.
  • Catch Phrase: Arguably Shinobu with Moe, a word her "master" is fond of.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Henry wakes up to Travis with his pants down watching something on TV.
    • Bishop was also "busy" when Batt's hitmen came in to kill him.
  • Character Development: After Travis takes down Alice, he realizes that the other assassins are just as human as he is, and decides to take down the UAA because he's sick of people killing themselves over what is essentially a game.
    • Earlier than that, even—the turning point seemed to be the fight with Ryuji, and watching Sylvia coldly gun him down. Travis became a lot more compassionate towards his opponents (or as compassionate as you can get when you're killing them in a mad quest for vengeance simply because they're in your way) after that, from Margaret on to Alice.
    • He rejects Shinobu's sexual advances, saying that their age difference makes their relationship unhealthy ("I feel like a pervy teacher in a porn!") A big step for him, considering that in the first game, his entire motivation was getting into Sylvia's pants, though it may be that he does find Shinobu's advances a bit squicky as he is still trying to get into Sylvia's pants to an extent. Also, Shinobu is very moe looking, a strong fighter and a willing partner. Travis was downright gentlemanly at that one.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several from the first game, including but not limited to killing three business figures of Pizza Butt, Travis' "Vengeance begets vengeance" line (Actually make that all the symbolism from the Jeane fight) and even as far back as the first trailer what with Helter Skelter's lil' bro waging war on Travis once again.
  • Climax Boss: #2 Alice Twilight, who comes at Travis with beam katanas and a fighting style that's not unlike Travis' own, only with the ante significantly upped by the fact that the boss wields 5 swords.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: The final, building-sized form of Jasper Batt, Jr.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of Travis' katanas is balanced differently...
    • The Blood Berry has balanced speed and strength, but it has very powerful Low attacks and very fast High attacks at the cost of battery life, making it wiser to dodge instead of blocking attacks because it'd make the player make numerous retreats to recharge, making it more of a Glass Cannon.
    • The Camellia Mark III is a Fragile Speedster, having low strength but faster attacks and more battery life than the Blood Berry.
    • The Peony is a Mighty Glacier, with slow and powerful attacks. Its also Difficult but Awesome because using it correctly requires knowledge of when to use charged attacks and the step-in slice and only reaches its true potential with a full Awesomeness Meter (which means it can't be used in boss fights as it resets if you continue).
    • The Rose Nasty can do many weak but plentiful attacks to keep pressure on the opponent and has the largest battery life of them all, making it ideal for winning long battles of atrittion. It could be considered an unusually agile example of a Stone Wall.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: On Deathmatch, the bosses can interrupt your attacks at will. Unless you exploit very specific windows to fight them, they will always counterattack and knock you down. Oh, and if the two of you attack close to each other (leaving aside Blade Lock), the boss's attack always wins.
  • Continuity Nod: Glastonbury's launchpad is Death Metal's mansion from the original game.
    • Travis has also scribbled over the photo of Jeane he keeps next to his telephone with a marker, due to the events at the end of the first game.
  • Cute 'em Up: Accessing the TV lets you play a Bullet Hell game based on the Show Within a Show, Bizarre Jelly 5.
  • Cycle of Revenge
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The B button is normally used for melee attacks, but is changed to jumping and dashing when you play as Shinobu and Henry, respectively, which can wreak havoc when you see those stars dancing above the enemy's head and reflexively try to do a throw on them. Shinobu does have a throw, but you have to be close to your opponent and immobile to perform it.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The final boss, Jasper Batt Junior, who points out how common the theme of revenge, and You Killed My Father in particular, is in the media, including references to Shakespeare.
  • Dark Action Girl: The female bosses, just like in the first game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the first game.
  • Death Seeker: Several assassins in Desperate Struggle seek Travis, the "Crownless King", precisely because they've felt their lives have lost meaning. The 2nd Rank, Alice, says many of them want to know how Travis 'got out' of the life, even if it means escaping only in death.
  • Destination Defenestration: A particularly annoying aspect of the fight against Jasper Batt, Jr. He can knock you out of the windows of his penthouse, and if he does, you're dead instantly.
  • Did the Earth Move for You, Too?: Just before the Rank 1 fight, Travis and Sylvia have sex so good that it causes the entire Motel No More Heroes to shake and causes letters to fall off of the sign, turning it from "No More Heroes" to "More Ero".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The customers in "Man the Meat" will throw a fork into your eye if you cook their orders wrong.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly 5". Just take out the "5" and it looks like a certain thing that comes out after a certain event.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Ryuji, the sole Asian challenger to Travis, is able to create an eastern dragon from his sword made of electricity and lasers. It is possible that Dark Star from the original No More Heroes follows this too, as he used the same weapon, but his continent of origin is left unaddressed.
    • Tiger Versus Dragon: Invoked in the fight, of course. It's only natural that Travis finds him to be his first worthy opponent in the game and gets incredibly pissed off when Sylvia decides to kill him herself.
  • Dual Wielding: Rose Nasty
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Margaret
  • Emergency Transformation: Destroyman and Letz Shake survive the events in the first game this way.
  • Executive Suite Fight: where you fight the final boss.
  • Expy: Jasper Batt Jr. and his alter-ego Pizza Batt Man are obvious parodies of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Jasper is a wealthy young man who inherited his family's business after his family was murdered, just like Bruce. The main difference, of course, is that Bruce eventually got over wanting revenge and decided to use his talents to help people, while Jasper cares only about revenge. Pizza Batt Man also has a bit of Bane in him, being created after Jasper injected himself with a Venom-like mystery substance that caused him to become disproportionately muscular.
  • Follow the Leader: Travis appears to have made beam katanas trendy among the assassin community. Just about every other boss - and more than a couple mooks - in Desperate Struggle seems to use them. Helps that at least a couple all but fess up to being inspired directly by Travis himself.
    • Even more opponents, even Mooks, can do charge attacks and mix in unarmed attacks with weapon attacks.
  • Four Is Death: Margaret defiantly qualifies. If her scythe/guns and Gothic Lolita fashion sense aren't enough to convince you then just listen to her boss song.
  • Gag Boobs / Gainax Bounce / Jiggle Physics: Naomi.
  • The Grim Reaper: Margaret Moonlight fights with a pair of huge scythes that double as anti materiel rifles, the motif is Lampshaded by the song that plays during the fight.
    Reaper, Reaper./ That's what people call me, why?/ Cuz they all die.
  • Guide Dang It: You can't advance the final boss battle in Desperate Struggle unless you willingly clash with one of the boss's attacks, which isn't alluded to anywhere.
    • At least in this game, the final scorpion minigame gives you absolutely no direction on the controls.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This fail by Nathan.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Surprisingly averted: Travis carries all of his beam katanas on his belt and can switch between them at his leisure.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the second New Destroyman is killed by Shinobu, Henry defeats Mimmy and Travis dispatches Dr Letz Shake and Margaret Moonlight.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Parodied, Henry comes in to help Travis fight the final boss, but then walks out during the final phase, because he finds the boss to be just too ridiculous.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Rank 25 and his 49 through 26 ranked cheerleaders control a Humongous Mecha. Travis fight them aboard Glastonbury, the Combining Mecha from Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly.
  • Irony: You're trying to take down the president of a pizza company while regaining health by eating pizza.
    • Suplex Pizza was the reigning Santa Destroy pizza shop before Pizza Batt moved in. It's not known whether or not they survived the competition (Burger Suplex survived okay), but it's most likely that the pizza health powerups are just a graphically upgraded Call Back to the first game's 8-bit version.
  • Ironic / Meaningful Echo: After gunning Ryuji down in the aftermath of the Rank 7 fight, Sylvia chides Travis about trying to fight with honor, and that the ranking fights are no sport. Ironic in that the fights have precisely that thanks to the new UAA and the televised ranking fights. Alice hearkens back to this precise point before her fight, citing her dissatisfaction with what she feels has demeaned the life-and-death battles of the assassins.
  • Jiggle Physics: Naomi, Sylvia, Strawberry, Nutberry, and even Ryan. Cloe Walsh, oddly enough, has her butt jiggle toward the end of her boss fight.
  • Kung-Fu Proof Mook: They carry metal katanas, they have a tendency to go invulnerable in the middle of your attacking them while also charging up their own dash attack, and they're a royal pain in the ass to fight in large groups.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: You can survive fatal injuries during Travis's death throes if he dies standing and you waggle or rotate the control sticks enough. Travis can survive up to 5 times, and will gain a sliver of health in the process. If you're on the ground or in a grapple though, you have no chance to recover from fatal damage.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Hilariously lampshaded as Sylvia points out that there are people starting at the sequel who don't care about continuity.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Travis is to take part in a twelve-man battle to determine the 10th ranked assassin. He waits impatiently behind a gate for hours, then it opens just in time to reveal the other assassins getting blown to hell by a returning Letz Shake.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The latter two levels of Getting Trashed throw so many meteors around at once that you can be knocked all the way across the screen immediately after exiting the space shuttle, only to get bounced around until you run out of air.
  • Macho Camp: Ryan, the gym trainer. He dons a tight purple suit and frequently tries to hit on Travis.
    You couldn't get any stronger, Travis! Look at those muscles! More powerful than a locomotive! You know... I'd take a ride on that train...
  • Made of Iron: Skelter Helter. He survives having his head cut of, manages to give a speech, then rips off his own head. Consider what Destroyman came back from, one wonders if this death will stick or not..
  • Male Gaze: Used extensively during the "Phone Sex" exposition segments.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Like the first game, every character is not so much an "Assassin" as they are "Lunatic with Random Weapon."
  • Mini-Boss: There are five in the game (in comparison, the first No More Heroes didn't have any). They're the five guys who kill Bishop at the start of the game, and you'll get to fight them during the revenge missions (available only after beating Kimmy Howell).
  • Mirror Boss: Alice, if you pay attention, has quite a few of Travis's attacks. Too bad you don't get the "throw beam katana with such timing that it makes it nearly impossible to get up thanks to the lack of Mercy Invincibility" attack. The big thing that makes Alice stand out from other potential Mirror Bosses, such as Ryuji and Skelter Helter, is that Alice borrows a trick that most bosses in any game (save Fighting Games) don't have: canceling her own moves with a dodge-roll.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Margaret, the Rank 4 boss, has rifles with scythe blades in the stocks.
  • Mook Horror Show: The usual result of Travis transforming into a goddamn tiger.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Toss-up between Sylvia and Shinobu.
    • Though Alice and Margaret (as the latter's music implies) make a pretty good show of it as well. And then there's Naomi.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Despite only using swords, Travis' beam katanas are so fundamentally different that he counts as one of these. You'll often switch from one blade to another depending on the enemy.
  • Never Forgotten Skill: Played with. Despite being out of the game for three years, Travis Touchdown can still pull his combat skills like a pro, and he only has to improve on his Stamina and Muscle. However, one of his Dark Side abilities is absent and has been replaced with the ability for Travis to transform into an actual tiger.
  • New Game+: Starting a new game lets you keep all the swords, upgrades, and clothes that you got in your first play. And you're going to need all of it just to pass the tutorial boss if you're playing on Bitter.
  • No Fourth Wall: Travis, Sylvia, and Henry know that they're in a video game and will frequently break the fourth wall for laughs. Skelter Helter will mockingly suggest you go through the tutorial again while you fight him.
  • Not So Different: Jasper Batt Jr.
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: Henry vs. ranks 6, 5 and (possibly) another unranked assassin. The game then proceeds to mock the player over it by saying that they've fit too much into the game already.
  • Oh Crap: The mooks' reaction anytime Travis turns into a tiger.
    • Charlie MacDonald's cries of "HOLY SHIIIIT!" , while he is getting his ass handed to him by Travis.
  • One-Winged Angel: The final boss pulls off a particularly painful one for his second form, he attempts to take it a step further with a third form, but it doesn't pan out.The absolute absurdity of both OWA forms is a jab at the gaming stereotype of it seeming to be almost a necessity in video gaming for this to happen.
  • Optional Stealth: In the prison infiltration level, you can easily charge through the prison killing mooks on Mild since they die in one hit. Averted on Bitter setting.
  • Panty Shot: Parodied in the BJ 5 video you can unlock.
    • Margaret's death scene practically shoves one right in your face, about a second before pulling the sword out.
  • Personal Space Invader: Grappler mooks like to pin your arms behind your back so one of their friends can wail on you. Unfortunately for them, wrestling savvy Travis and his mentality desiring revenge will see to it that he shows them how it's really done.
  • Pet Peeve Trope: In-universe, when Jasper Batt Jr. pulls a Make My Monster Grow, Henry is disgusted with how the events turned out and prefers leaving Travis to fight him alone than being associated with "that travesty".
  • Point of No Return: Accessing to the Rank 1 stage. Upon doing so, it won't be possible to return to the other locations until the New Game+.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Gradually deconstructed. The player initially empathizes with Travis' desire for revenge after Jasper has Bishop killed. Until, like Travis, we see the true horror of what it is that Travis has been doing for the last two games.
  • Red Baron: Travis Touchdown, aka The Crownless King, aka The No More Hero. Surprisingly, nobody ever points out the fact that he's also The Holy Sword.
  • Reconstruction: Of video game Anti heroes, just as the first game was a Deconstruction.
  • Reference Overdosed: As with the first game, see the shout-outs below.
  • Revenge: The basis for the game's plot. Travis is thrust back into the UAA rank fights after finding out his best friend from the first game who would bring you Schpeltiger, Bishop, is murdered.
    • Turns out the revenge aspect of the game comes from both sides. Obviously, Travis participates in the Ranked Fights due to wanting revenge for Bishop's death, but it turns out Bishop was killed because Jasper Batt Jr. wanted revenge on Travis for killing his father and brothers in the "Pizza Butt" missions of the first game. And the reason why Travis got thrust into the assassin scene in the first place is because he want revenge on Jeane (unconsciously), not because of the ranks or Silvia (which he conviently forgot until Rank 1 fight). Speaking of Jeane, She herself wants revenge because she was abused by Travis's father.
    • Revenge drove Skelter Helter to help plan with Jasper Batt, Jr. about killing Bishop, and that his challenge to Travis was to ruin his life and everyone he loved by being forced back into the meaningless assassination game, given his last, poetic words before he rips off his own head.]]
    • A lot of the characters seem to represent some aspect of revenge. Dr. Letz Shake wants to fight Travis after getting his revenge on Henry despite how purely illogical that is (and even admitting it), Matt Helms turns into a villain with no purpose in life, Batt is no less deserving of getting his revenge than Travis getting his revenge on Jeane who killed Travis' family (except Travis never went after Jeane's loved ones...assuming she had any), Skelter Helter said that his quest for revenge destroyed him (and it was ultimately futile), Henry wants to settle the score between him and Travis (probably for saying he did his wife in the first game, which may or may not be true) and Shinobu attacked Travis in the first game because she thought he killed her master (he didn't). We also have New Destroyman, who came Back from the Dead to fight Travis (he brawls - and loses - to Shinobu).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: see above; but mainly during the fight against Jasper Batt Jr.
  • Robo Speak: Letz Shake. Exclamation Mark.
  • Save Point: As mentioned below Shinobu saves by taking a shower. Strangely, there's a pristine women's bathroom complete with luxurious shower in an abandoned warehouse (Women's bathroom in a bank is somewhat plausible, since the boss is Million Gunman).
  • Sequential Boss: The final boss. It gets exponentially tougher with each phase, until the very last one.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Chloe Walsh.
  • She's All Grown Up: Shinobu was a cute (if murderous) schoolgirl in the first game, but here, she's become a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Shirtless Scene: Travis gets a couple, which prove there's at least one Otaku stereotype he doesn't fit—he's in pretty good shape. Henry gets one as well.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The third and second ranked boss fights are notably more somber in tone than the previous ones, and even the first ranked fight, despite being as ridiculous as they come, is both preceded and followed by serious cutscenes.
  • Shout-Out: The Glastonbury and it's component robots all resemble those from everyone's favorite drill-based giant robot anime series.
    • Santa Death Parade gets in on this too, which makes sense, given who voices its pilot.
      • In addition, the way Glastonbury rises out of the pool is reminiscent of Mazinkaiser, one attack is essentially a Macross Missile Massacre, and another is fairly much the Zeta Sword. Glastonbury looks akin to Gunbuster (Travis' poster in his living room even has it in the Gunbuster Pose), and Santa Death Parade looks a lot like Dekabutsu.
    • The prison infiltration level is a clear reference to Metal Gear Solid's intro level, right down to the Soliton radar and searchlights. And when you get caught, you're bum-rushed by gun-wielding mooks. On Mild, they die in one hit and don't do that much damage, so if you're clever, you can charge through the level and butcher the lot of them. Trying that will usually get you killed in Bitter, though. One wonders how Snake would have fared...
    • You can buy a pair of sunglasses that resemble Geordi's visor from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    • Kimmy Howell wields a double-ended beam katana similar to Darth Maul's.
    • One of the side missions reveal that Santa Destroy has rocketed its garbage into outerspace
      • Before and after the "Getting Trashed" mini game you can make out that the building is the Death Star. The building is called Star Chores and there's Star Wars stuff all around, including R2D2.
    • The sequel to Show Within a Show Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly is Bizarre Jelly 5.
    • Ryan, the gym trainer, is at least physically patterned after Freddie Mercury. Right down to the incredible mustache. Though he is considerably doughier in figure.
    • Matt Helms is a homage to American slasher films - and the environment as much as the man himself, right down to your combined ability to smash almost everything to smithereens. He also looks entirely too much like Chucko from Batman Beyond for it to be a coincidence.
      • The lead-up to Matt Helms looks and feels so much like it was ripped directly out of one of the environments of Resident Evil 4note  that it cannot be a coincidence.
      • Matt also does quite a bit of posing like the Pyro from Team Fortress 2, and also has a similarly psychotic laugh and wields a flamethrower that also doubles as an axe.
    • Margaret's muzzle flashes from her guns are in the shape of a Teutonic cross, just like those in Equilibrium.
      • Margaret looks quite a bit like Suigintou, and is the only boss who has a boss theme with lyrics, sung by the character herself, which may too be a nod to Rie Tanaka, who also voiced Suigintou.
    • Alice looks an awful lot like Marluxia.
    • The Boss Rush select screen is set up to look like its straight out of a fighting game.
    • Cloe Walsh's introduction shows her bound in an incredibly high-security cell with no actual way to move, and her fighting abilities show that she's in there for a very good reason. Reminds one of another girl who's completely bound in an ultra-high security cell for good reason.
    • One of the assassins Henry killed was named Scott Gardener, possibly referencing two of the Green Lantern Corps.
    • Rich corporate leader Jasper Batt Jr. who lost his family and his bat-themed super powered alter ego Pizza Batt Man are pretty much corruptions of Bruce Wayne and Batman respectively.
  • Shower Scene: Shinobu's Save Point.
  • Smash Mook: Wielding axes and chainsaws.
  • Smashing Survival: Waggle or rotate the control stick to break free of grapples and win Blade Locks.
  • Spider Limbs: Alice.
  • Split Personality: Literally with New Destroyman. After being bisected by Travis in the first game. Both of his halves ended up rebuilt as cyborgs with two different personalities. One is all business and straight to the point. The other is lewd and crass as all get out.
    • Sylvia... maybe.
  • Stealth Pun: In Japanese, bara means "rose" and barabara means "separated" or "in pieces." The only beam katana Travis gets that's in two separate pieces is the Rose Nasty.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Inverted, with Travis saying it to the last form of Jasper Batt Jr. Counts as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner (and an awesome one at that).
    Travis: Unleash your hate! Your anger! Everything! I'll take it all and fucking kill you with it!"
  • Sword and Gun: Skelter Helter. He doesn't skimp on either.
  • Take That: A clothing store in the final stage of the game, the Santa Destroy Junction Mall, is named Uncanny Valley, and is the most prominent clothing store in the entire building. Considering Santa Destroy's monopolization and this is a game with subtle hints of symbolism made by Suda51, it's nothing short of necessary.
    • Each Akashic Point takes Travis to a Shout-Out stage to a game series made by one of Suda51's friends (Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid). This is, except the last one, which takes you to an overly long city stage with no BGM, very little in the way of color, and repetitive street areas that all look the same—an obvious Take That at Grand Theft Auto, and overly realistic urban environment games in general.
  • Teleport Spam: Jasper Batt Jr's second form combines this with an attack that gets even worse after a certain point.
  • The Syndicate: Pizza Bat's mafia.
  • Title Drop:
    • "Before you start your Desperate Struggling, you should drop a nice save."
    • Near the end of the game, Travis starts getting referred to as the "No More Hero", apparently because he managed to become an ranked assassin but leave it so easily (the "no more" hero).
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Henry does to Travis and the player in the second game via answering machine.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: If you listen to the lyrics to the music in the fourth rank fight in the second game, you'll notice that it's basically just Margaret insulting you.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Ryuji as the dragon and Travis as the tiger. Travis is definitely the tiger in all things, and has the motifs as well, and from what little we see of Ryuji, he has the dragon style to match his own motifs.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Shinobu likes to cut off heads and then cut the heads into pieces. Given what Destroyman came back from, it might not actually be that unreasonable.
  • Three Plus Two: What happened to the Bizarre Jelly anime over the past three years; two new members, Gooseberry and Nutberry, joined.
  • Too Many Belts: Cloe Walsh wears little besides belts, and hits you with belts on her arms. Travis has some pants with pointless belts attached to them for style, though at least a few are used to hang his beam katanas from.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Minor examples: one of the earliest trailers had a silhouette of who would eventually be the Rank 2 boss, Alice, while a later one spoiled Travis' line before the last phase of the Final Boss; see Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred above.
    • A more major one came from the Henry trailer. The fact that one of the scenes in the trailer hasn't happened by the time that Henry, Sylvia, and Shinobu are supposedly killed clues most people in that, at the very least, Henry is still alive.
  • True Final Boss: Interestingly enough, while the main game lacks one, the Bizarre Jelly 5 minigame has one: Glastonbury, only fightable on Special difficulty.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Chloe's level. Emphasis on "useful" when you play on Bitter, and on "useless" otherwise.
  • Vocaloid: Bizzare Jelly 5's theme song.
  • Vice City: In the first game, Santa Destroy is a bleak and quiet place where people either desperately want to leave or resort to violence. In the sequel, it turns out Travis has started a title fight craze, and the city has become more populated, commercialised and even more crazy.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Destroyman returns. Both halves of him. As well as Dr. Letz Shake.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There is no mention of Sylvia's daughter, Jeane in the sequel. Shinobu disappears completely from the story after appearing for a short while, as does Takashi Miike after visiting Bishop's grave and giving Shinobu the Rose Nasty dual beam katanas to give to Travis.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl:
    • Travis seems to have gotten over it by Desperate Struggle, considering he chops up the girls the first boss was hanging with, and kills other female assassins. Although he only killed them because said assassin tried to use them as weapons.
    • He still can't kill Co-eds, though, as he spares Kimmy's life by powerbombing her instead. It's implied that part of the reason Travis didn't kill Kimmy was because she still considered the assassin gig a game and didn't bother to consider any of the consequences of getting into it. Since it seems a bit unlikely that she had actually killed any other Ranked Assassins before that point, he may of figured she at least still had a chance at having a normal life.
  • You Bastard: Travis directs one at the violence-loving player at the start of the game. He's one to talk.
    • Travis' rant immediately after hitting Rank 2 definitely seems to be this.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Averted rather annoyingly. While you have such power when knocked down, you don't have it when you have just got up. The number 2 ranked assassin takes great advantage of it and has a move that seems to be designed to lock you in a knocked down state until you die.
  • You Killed My Father: Travis having killed Jasper Batt Jr's father (and brothers) in the first game is what spurs him to arrange for the events in the second game to take place.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Shinobu's constant inappropriate usage of "moe" in an attempt to emulate Travis
  • Zerg Rush: A lot of the levels before the bosses are basically the game throwing 5 enemy types with about 7-8 skins between them over and over, but that parking lot. It's about twenty minutes of killing the same guys over and over.
    • It's not so bad when you use it to learn all of the different Beam Katanas, as at that point in the game all will finally become available.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Dr Naomi and Margaret. The latter even mentions it in her song:
    /Thigh-high socks and my absolute territory/Go on and drool the Otaku can not resist/

No More HeroesCreator/Grasshopper ManufactureShadows of the Damned
No More HeroesCreator/Ubi SoftOutland
No More HeroesCreator/Suda 51 Shadows of the Damned
No More HeroesUsefulNotes/The Seventh Generation of Console Video GamesPlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
No More HeroesMature RatingNo One Lives Forever
No More HeroesHack and SlashOnechanbara
No More HeroesWiiObs Cure
Girly BruiserImageSource/Video GamesMix-and-Match Weapon

alternative title(s): No More Heroes2; No More Heroes Desperate Struggle; No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle; Desperate Struggle
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