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Travis Touchdown

Voiced by: Robin Atkin Downes (EN), Kazuya Nakai (JP)

Theme: N.M.H.
No More Heroes
Click to see him in No More Heroes 2 
Click to see him in Travis Strikes Again 
Click to see him in No More Heroes III 

The Heroic Comedic Sociopath Anti-Hero of the game, who is out to go from loser Otaku to would-be badass assassin. Begins the game as the 11th ranked assassin in the United Assassins Association. His life becomes significantly more complicated by becoming an assassin, including running into several levels of Squick and family he didn't even know he had.

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  • Accidental Adultery: Travis' secondary motive in becoming the number one-ranked assassin was to sleep with Sylvia but it turns out that Sylvia was not only married, but to his twin brother Henry. In addition, their marriage was going ten years strong until Sylvia and Travis had the affair.
  • Action Dad: It's revealed in Travis Strikes Again that he has two kids with Sylvia. Becoming a dad hasn't stopped him being a badass.
  • Alliterative Name: It's an impossibly cool one too. Even Charlie MacDonald agrees.
  • Animal Motifs: Tigers. Several of his shirts have tigers on them, and his Cool Bike is named after them. The name is transliterated in Japanese as "Torabisu", and "tora" means tiger. Also, he can transform into a tiger for a short period of time in the second game. And his wrestling moves include the Tiger Suplex and Tiger Driver.
  • Animorphism: Somehow he can shapeshift into a tiger in Desperate Struggle.
  • Anti-Hero: Starts out bordering on Villain Protagonist, as an assassin with purely selfish goals. This changes a bit in the sequel, where thanks to deaths of the later assassins in Desperate Struggle, he swears to destroy the UAA because of how it destroyed the lives of his fellow assassins. He falls under Classical Anti-Hero now. Travis Strikes Again shows that this development stuck. While still fairly abrasive and foul-mouthed, he shows overt respect towards his opponents much more frequently, is empathetic to Dr. Juvenile's plight, and agrees to help Badman resurrect his daughter when he easily could've killed him. In III he fully becomes a hero as he goes to protect the world from the threat of FU and his alien superhero corp and Damon.
    Travis: "I wanna be a hero by my own rules."
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Lampshaded by Charlie MacDonald in the sequel. Made a little less awesome, however, if you shorten his full name to "Travis T."
  • Ax-Crazy: Anytime Travis becomes involved with a fight for his life—be it something he's seeking out or someone seeking him—he will enjoy it with a smile. Even after mellowing out in later titles, he still loves getting into any fight he can.
  • Badass Biker: He'll take his bike, Schpeltiger, into combat sometimes, like when he slaughters leagues of mooks at a baseball stadium before his fight with Bad Girl, or when he fights off enemy drivers before the final battle of the game.
  • Badass Family: Not only is he one of the most strongest assassins with his brother, his wife Sylvia inexplicably has the power to fly, and his two kids from the future single-handedly took down a colossal alien king alongside his future grandson.
  • Badass Normal: Travis, his beam katana and weird amount of durability notwithstanding, is able to fight against increasingly more badass assassins despite being an absolutely normal human.
  • Berserk Button:
    • A minor one. Travis really doesn't care for kill stealing and is quick to voice his aggravation for those who do. Despite his warrior respect for Alice Twilight, he refuses to let her claim the number one spot in the rankings before he can get revenge on Jasper Batt Jr..
    Travis: [after Henry kills Letz Shake] Fucking snatcher! I had him!
    • A big one. Whenever a friend Travis cares about is killed like Bishop in Desperate Struggle and Badman in III, it gets him real enraged that he will do everything in his power and goes on a vengeful run to take down the one responsible to avenge them.
  • Big Good: While Travis is far from the textbook definition of hero, considering the Crapsack World that is No More Heroes, Travis' actions come to do more good than he realizes. His UAA excursions in the first game were said to have scared off and slaughtered much of the town's irredeemable no-gooders and thugs, which was celebrated by the town and city hall, with even a statue erected of his likeness for this fact. In Desperate Struggle, while he did invite misfortune by killing off the heads of Pizza Butt, he destroys a rechristened Pizza Batt corporation before they could gentrify the town into another bland hellhole, which would have not only turned Santa Destroy into a total Vice City and a black market lynchpin, but also essentially corporatized and bastardized the world of assassination into a celebrity Blood Sport that would have had the entire world worshipping killing and bloodshed with all of Hollywood's glitz and glamour. By 'III, he's the hero going off against FU's group of "superheroes".
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Big time. His father, at least according to Jeane and (possibly brainwashed) Henry, was an abusive monster and possible Serial Killer who drove Jeane's mom to suicide by ditching her for Travis's mom, as well as regularly molesting Jeane after taking her in. Jeane herself quickly went off the deep end after killing their father for revenge and became a professional killer, not to mention sleeping with Travis while hiding from him that they're related. Henry came off as the White Sheep of the family for most of the franchise, but has since become an Ax-Crazy cult member who's intensely focused on murdering Travis. And of course, Travis himself is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, though he's been getting better as the series goes on.
  • Blood Knight: Travis apparently got started as an assassin because he bought a beam katana off the Internet and found his bloodlust after killing Helter Skelter.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The first game's opening is narrated by him, where he directly addresses the player. And then he does something similar in the ending sequences. He does periodically break the wall further throughout the second, with other characters like Sylvia chiming in too. The fourth wall pretty much doesn't exist for him in III, where he chastises Sonic Juice for his long walk-up cinematic during their fight.
  • Broken Pedestal: He secretly wished to avenge his murdered parents in the first game, only to find out from the one responsible that his father was a deadbeat rapist, and maybe even a serial killer according to III.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In III, Travis deliberately taunts and provokes FU just before the Final Boss, poking holes in his backstory while demanding FU get "all nice and salty for me". FU obliges, not that it stops Travis and friends from completely obliterating him.
  • Byronic Hero: At first. Character Development at the end of the game and continuing into Desperate Struggle helped greatly.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He even named them after attacks from his favorite Show Within a Show anime he's fond of. III has him calling out Death Glove abilities with shouts of "Death [ability descriptor]!"
  • The Call Knows Where You Live:
    • By the time of Travis Strikes Again, Travis has largely retired from the ranked assassination battles and went into exile at the middle of nowhere in Texas, mainly to prevent his family Sylvia and Jeane from being targeted by assassins, but also get inner peace. Sure enough, Bad Man, the father of Bad Girl (a previous target of his), wound up tracking him down for revenge anyway, kicking off the game's plot.
    • In III, Mr. Blackhole blasts part of Santa Destroy with a giant laser and sends out some of his Mooks to fight Travis, the site of this battle being just outside the Motel No More Heroes.
  • The Cameo:
    • A Mii Costume in his likeness appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as downloadable content as well as a post-launch Spirit.
    • Travis also appears as a pawn in the Japanese version of Dragon's Dogma, exclusively to the Switch version of the game.
  • Captain Obvious: There are a few scenes where Travis explicitly points out how something happening shouldn't possibly be happening. Most prominent in the aftermath of the Skelter Helter fight in the sequel, where Travis can't believe that Skelter is talking to him after Travis decapitated Skelter, which should have severed his vocal cords, let alone killed him outright.
  • Catchphrase Insult: Has a tendency to call people "dickhead" or "fuckhead", especially in No More Heroes III.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: In Desperate Struggle, following Henry's battle with Mimmy, Travis is seen masturbating on the couch. Henry's awakening causes Travis to quickly put his pants and zipper up.
  • Character Development:
    • While he did change a little bit in the first game, it's nothing near the growth he went through in the second. In the beginning, he's the same immature otaku that he had always been, but some of the battles throughout the game (namely Ryuji being heartlessly gunned down by Sylvia when Travis considers him an honorable man and a Worthy Opponent, his decision to leave Captain Vladimir's body unharmed by Sylvia's goons, and the outcome of his battle with Alice Twilight) completely alter his view on life, and by the end of the game, his goals have shifted from screwing Sylvia to being a hero in his own way.
    • His interactions with rival assassins also shows a great deal of development over the course of the series: he becomes a reluctant mentor for Shinobu after sparing her life in the original game, going so far as to spurn her sexual advances as it weirded him out a bit too much; he was all set to kick his brother Henry's ass six ways from Sunday in the original game, whereas in the sequel, he saves him from another assassin and lets him recuperate and watch some of his anime; but most poignant of all, in the beginning of Desperate Struggle, he couldn't be bothered to remember the name of Skelter Helter's brother, the first man he assassinated. As he finds Worthy Opponents throughout the game, though, he interacts with them more amicably, eventually culminating in his duel with Alice, the conclusion of which sees him promising to remember her name after he slays her.
    • Travis slowly becomes more of a genuine badass over time. In the first game, he's regarded as a Butt-Monkey idiot by most of the first half of the rankings, but the latter half of bosses seem to regard him as a genuine threat, especially Speed Buster and Harvey, hence their sneak attacks. In the second game, he's become a legend and is revered in Santa Destroy's criminal/assassin underground for his skills, to the point where many of the assassins in the game are itching to fight him instead of the other way around, including one ranked below him who comes to challenge him the same way he challenges the other assassins. In Travis Strikes Again, he's become a world-wide legend, with some of the most influential people in the world knowing him by name (including, intriguingly, the Smith Syndicate) and often aiding him in his and Badman's quest for the Death Balls purely out of respect for him. It's also worth noting that Travis gains a scar over his eye in TSA, and scarred or "silver" eyes in Suda51's mythos usually denote incredible willpower and strength, as well as immense bloodlust.
    • By the time III rolls around, Travis has a brand new perspective on life and the people he associates with, particularly with how old enemies like Badman have become Fire-Forged Friends. Whereas previously he'd shun Shinobu's insistence of being his pupil, he expresses genuine concern when she's put into danger and wants to be able to teach her more. He also tries to support Bad Girl of all people after the death of her father. While his overall ability to be emotional support is still sorely lacking as he projects his own sources of self-help and training material onto others (specifically anime), there's a clear indication that he's at least trying to be a reliable person now to his friends, and he has more of a paternal instinct carrying him than ever before. This culminates in him gaining the approval of the in-universe strongest hero, having his friends join him during the final battle, and saving the world; completing his transition into being a true hero.
    • This development of his also affects his relationship with Sylvia as well. In the first game, his rise through the ranks is motivated in part by the prospect of sleeping with her. They do get together by the end of Desperate Struggle, after Sylvia forms more respect for the more principled stand that Travis takes — so much so that they're already married with a daughter when Travis Strikes Again rolls around. Their interactions in III arguably show this off the best; whereas before Travis would have leapt at the chance to try and advance on her, or Sylvia similarly trying to throw him off by being cryptic or manipulative, both are able to hold more straightforward and caring conversations with each other.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: As impressive as Travis's wrestling moves already are, the trash-collecting mini-games in No More Heroes III show that he's capable of suplexing alligators twice his size.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Particularly whenever he enters a fight while in a good mood. The loading screen for the second game even shows a small picture of him sporting one.
  • Composite Character: Or Composite Weapon in this case. Travis's Blood Berry in III combines the structure of its namesake, the sub-blades of Tsubaki Mk-II, the expanding blade of Peony (albeit only expanding on Deathblows), and the long battery life of Rose Nasty.
  • Cool Bike: Travis' Schpeltiger, a large platinum bike with red pinstripe markings. He drives the Schpeltiger II in Desperate Struggle, after the original got destroyed in the first game, which looks almost the same but much longer.
  • Cool Shades: A pair of lightly tinted aviators. He's never seen without them. Knowing how Genre Savvy Travis is, this is more than likely invoked.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: As awesome the stunts you can pull off when in control are, it doesn't even compare to what Travis can do—and take—in cutscenes.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He asked Naomi to make a Humongous Mecha; that is some preparation. If there are any doubts, he says "I thought this might happen".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being a stereotypical loser, he's built up an impressive body count against other trained killers. And by normal human standards, he's outright superhuman.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Has a knack for causing this. By the end of III, nearly every one of Travis' allies has at one point or another tried to kill him.
  • Determinator: Becomes a gameplay mechanic in the second game. If you run out of health, you can furiously shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuck to come back from the brink with a few units of health (the number of times you can do this before dying for real varies on the difficulty.)
  • Disappeared Dad: In his escape to the Texas wilderness, it's revealed in Travis Strikes Again that he left behind a wife and child. It's revealed in the second DLC that he actually has two kids with his wife Sylvia.
  • Disney Death: In III, Henry actually manages to kill him, but Travis is brought back to life by Deathman. However, in the ending, his children from the future reveal that Henry will kill him permanently years later, which is what they've gone back in time to try to prevent.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: His beam katanas are often used for penis innuendos.
    • The way he recharges his beam katana is quite evocative, with him pumping it up and down in front of his crotch and breathing heavily. The faster you shake the wiimote, the faster you... finish. The sequel ramps up the innuendo with Travis shouting "Faster! Faster! Oh yeah!" and his panting sounding even more sexual.
    • At the start of Desperate Struggle, Sylvia is coyly discussing with Travis about her sexual prowess and her yoga techniques, and she ends it by kissing the tip of his Beam Katana (which he is holding at about crotch level) and it extends instantly.
    • His "Peony" beam katana in Desperate Struggle can extend as Travis's Ecstacy meter goes up.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Between the events of Desperate Struggle and Travis Strikes Again, he got married and had a child (later revealed to be two children; a daughter named Jeane and a son named Hunter) with Sylvia, but decided to leave them behind for vague reasons ("A man needs his hideout, y'know?").
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Prior to the events of the first game, he was drinking in a bar where he met Sylvia, who offered to help him get vengeance for his parents against Jeane.
  • Dual Wielding: He can equip Rose Nasty, a pair of smaller beam katanas. They do less damage per hit than the standard build, but are much quicker and easier to combo with to compensate.
  • Due to the Dead: While an otherwise unrepentant killer, he still shows respect to his deceased opponents, as seen in the events after his fights with Dr. Peace, Holly, Jeane, Ryuji, Margaret, Captain Vladimir, and Alice.
  • Dynamic Entry: His intro in the first stage of the first game, where he drives his motorcycle through the gates of a mansion, leaps into the air with Beam Katana drawn, then, upon landing, the two mooks behind him fall apart in a pile of blood and body parts.
  • Easily Forgiven: He's incredibly lenient towards Slyvia's cold treatment of him in the first two games, even looking past the fact she conned him in the first game and she's constantly condescending him in the second.
  • Energy Ball: "Blueberry Cheese Brownie" has Travis become capable of firing Energy Balls from his sword swings that can kill most enemies in a single hit.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the intro to the first game, Travis is riding the Schpeltiger towards Death Metal's mansion, breaks down the giant wooden doors outside, crashes into his fountain, jumps off, lands and yells "Fuckhead!", which is followed by two random, somehow-decapitated mooks' heads exploding into geysers of blood.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Throughout all three games, Travis never takes his weapon up against a civilian, killing only in UAA battles, events or assignments, or for revenge in the second game. In the first game, he expresses disgust at those who do (Shinobu, Destroyman, and Bad Girl, the latter two being shown as being irredeemable psychopaths). He's also really iffy about Shinobu's crush on him in the second game because he doesn't want to feel like a Dirty Old Man. He also refuses to step deeper into the criminal underworld than his ranking battles, despite the fact that he could easily become a borderline unstoppable murder machine.
    • In the first game, he's absolutely disgusted when he learns that his ex-girlfriend Jeane is his half-sister. He's also horrified as she reveals how she was sexually abused by their father.
    • By No More Heroes III, he is disgusted in having to kill Kimmy Love (who killed Vanishing Point) as his focus is only on the Galactic Federation and wishes to never kill another girl again. He also spares Midori after learning that she's a "mother" and girlfriend of Kamui.
  • Experienced Protagonist: As nebbish as the game likes to portray him, Travis has always had a dedicated training regimen par course training correspondence tapes and time at Thunder Ryu's gym. His wrestling prowess is also credited to how he once engaged in attempting to be a professional wrestler earlier in his life, and at one of the toughest real-world wrestling training halls, the Hart House Dungeon.
  • Expy: To Dante of Devil May Cry fame albeit with the half-demon's love of rock n' roll and more conventionally "cool" things replaced by adoration for much less laudable pleasures like anime and video games. Like Dante, Travis has a custom leather jacket, a twin brother rival, a motorcycle, and was originally going to wield a firearm alongside his beam katana in some of the game's earlier concepts. His roguish attitude, however, is much more vulgar and aggressive.
  • Finishing Move: If Travis finishes off an enemy with a suplex, he rakes his beam saber across their chest afterwards.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Travis and Badman go from trying to kill each other to being allies over the course of Travis Strikes Again. By III, which takes place two years later, Travis has grown to consider Badman an actual friend, becoming enraged when FU kills Badman right in front of him. During Badman's funeral, Travis calls him his "buddy".
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that the less than wholesome escapism aspects of his otaku lifestyle and drive into the assassination business to help fund it was caused due to Jeane's murder of his parents, and the need to murder her as vengeance for retribution for what she had done. Travis eventually outgrows his escapism and learns to confront his problems.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He starts out as just some random anime nerd that lives in a hotel, barely scraping by with random jobs. He buys a beam katana from an online auction on a whim... and then he swiftly becomes a feared/revered assassin, willing and able to slaughter anyone in his way, eventually achieving global fame as one of the world's deadliest warriors and even taking on near-eldritch alien overlords.
  • Glory Hound: In the first game, Travis was only an assassin because he wanted to prove himself as the best of the best. However, this eventually changes as he realizes how hollow being an assassin actually is.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While it may be a bit of a stretch to call Travis good as much as he is the hero of the story and has stronger morals than most of his opponents, but ever since Holly Summers, Travis won't hesitate to kill his opponent, even if they're unable to fight back and begging for their lives.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In the prologue and epilogue of No More Heroes 1.5, Travis's mass killings net him some major respect and even a statue in Santa Destroy due to his antics cutting down a lot of the more serious criminals of the town reducing the crime rate exponentially. Because he offed the three Pizza Bat CEOs however, Pizza Bat comes in a-knockin' with a wave of bloodshed, targeting Randall Lovikov, annihilating his statue, sending the Quintet and a batch of killers to his doorstep, the Quintet getting away, and Pizza Bat establishing its buyout of the city.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Of sorts—after his battle with Alice in 2, Travis resolves to become a true hero, starting with his vow to end the mindless bloodshed of the UAA. In an interview given to Nintendo Power a few months before Desperate Struggle was released, Suda expressed how he loved to picture Travis as a wrestler, and actually directly called it by the same term.
  • Heel Realization: Ever since the first UAA battle against Death Metal in the first game. It was not very apparent at first, but that speech he gives shows something nagging and tugging at Travis' soul, telling him to "get out" and "find a way to Paradise". Be it either his conscience or his heart, he came to realize that though his path of violence and bloodshed would likely net him a nice life like Death Metal's if he lived, that nagging feeling helped him realize that something more sinister and ominous was lurking underneath the façade.
  • Henshin Hero: In III, Travis dons a suit of Powered Armor for some of the ranking battles which dramatically increases his attack power, and this transformation is one of his Slash Reel rewards. Sometimes he'll even call out "Henshin!" when transforming.
  • Humble Goal: Travis initially only joins the ranking battles because Sylvia said she would bang him if he made it to the top. She also only seemed to have been manipulating him and he was simply stupid and horny enough to fall for it. This is ultimately subverted in both games, where Revenge against each Final Boss soon becomes the ultimate goal.
  • Humongous Mecha: He has Glastonbury in Desperate Struggle but it was taken by the UAA to pay for damages. By III, it's pretty much gone due to being constructed with too much dark matter. He does have a more than worthy replacement for it thanks to Dr. Juvenile: the Radiant Gleam from Daemon X Machina, adorned with the Glastonbury's colors.
  • Hypocritical Humor: His persistent disdain for cosplayers is rather suspect considering that he drives around town on a bike custom-made to resemble an X-Wing. And by the third game, his Full Armor modes have him dress up as an off-brand Kamen Rider or human-sized Gundam depending on the situation.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Travis learns new moves by renting wrestling videos, and "remembers" other moves by finding wrestling masks lying about with notes reminding him of them stuffed into the masks' mouths.
  • Iconic Outfit: His jacket, jeans, and Cool Shades have formed the basis of most of his designs, with occasional alterations to color between games, like purple in Travis Strikes Back as opposed to red from the first two.
  • Idiot Hero: Though Travis is very analytical and technically smart, he has a serious lack of wisdom and is easy to manipulate. Sylvia's able to reign him in with the promise of a date, and he also falls for the Faux Affably Evil attitude of Destroyman. By the sequels, he has wised up a little, but can still be duped occasionally.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A lot of his wrestling-move finishers involve laying his target out on the ground and then plunging his beam katana clean through their chest. That pointed tip on the end-cap is no joke.
  • Informed Flaw: We're all told that Travis is supposed to be a Basement-Dweller Otaku who isn't "normal" or "cool", but as much as his only real estate is a truck-towed trailer and presumably Death Metal's mansion, he doesn't owe anyone money outside of presumable bills and expenses we don't see or deal with, isn't miserable with his life other than being morbidly bored outside of combat, and he enjoys life at his own leisure. Also crosses into Underestimating Badassery, because Mooks tend to think he's nothing but a pushover joke they can kill off until they realize their bodies can't work being cut apart, maimed and electrified with a deadly weapon, or paralyzed with spine breaking crippling injuries before dying.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Even outside gameplay, Travis can take a lot of abuse and still live, whether he's electrocuted by Destroyman, blown up by land mines, or dropped in the middle of an ocean.
    • Some of the more hazardous job mini-games throughout the series can see Travis subject to all sorts of Amusing Injuries, some which should have killed him. These include getting coconuts dropped on his head, getting set on fire from overfilling cars with gasoline, getting blown up by buried landmines on the beach, stung by scorpions, getting forks thrown at his face by angry customers, asphyxiating in space, getting pummeled by asteroids, burning up in Earth's atmosphere, getting eaten by alligators, and falling in lava.

  • Jack of All Trades: Throughout the series outside of his assassin fights and gigs, Travis has shown to be able to do a lot of different jobs in Santa Destroy that each require a different skill and is surprisingly competent in them to get it done and be paid.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: So much. He's a vulgar, rude, perverted man who starts killing assassins for self-aggrandizing reasons. By the end of Desperate Struggle though, he seems to have developed into the "Heart of Gold" as the result of his increasing unease with killing. He's still kind of a dick in Travis Strikes Again, but his kinder aspects are more pronounced, especially with his interactions between him and Dr. Juvenile. In III, he is significantly nicer, but occasionally he has his jerkish moments, albeit only towards those who deserve it.
  • Karmic Jackpot: By sparing Shinbou's life in the first game — due to his code to not kill students, honoring her father's work and hopes to fight again when she's older — she returns the favor when Jeane is seconds away from killing him.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: It doesn't matter how much his first three weapons look like fluorescent bulbs with a handle, they're called beam katanas. Played straight by his ultimate weapon, which really is a curved beam of light.
    • Among the various beam katanas he wields, the Tsubaki models seem to be favorites of his. He begins the series using a prototype model, but can gradually upgrade it to higher marks. Mk. II is a heavier build comprised of multiple conjoined blades, and Mk III resembles a classic katana with a green Laser Blade. The Mk. III returns in Desperate Struggle as an unlockable weapon with a unique moveset.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Travis cares for his pet cat, Jeane. He plays around with her whenever he has the time to do so, even getting her back into shape in Desperate Struggle, III also has him searching the various cities for her lost kittens.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He's a huge fan of Takashi Miike, so naturally he's positively overjoyed and tripping over himself when his idol saves him in III after he's Buried Alive (sort of, it's complicated).
  • Laser Blade: "Beam katanas", Travis' preferred weapon. Befitting his general nerdy-loser aesthetic, his initial beam katana (the Blood Berry) and his first two major weapon upgrades (the Tsubaki Mk-1 and Mk-2) look more like a cosplayer's replica-lightsaber than anything, with the unsheathed and ignited blades looking a lot more like fluorescent lightbulbs than anything actually dangerous. It's only after Travis starts undergoing some serious growth and maturation as a person, culminating in the death of his master Thunder Ryu during their fight against Speed Buster, that he can finally develop and use the Tsubaki Mk-3, an actual katana-shaped lightsaber.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Held in high regard by some of the assassins in Desperate Struggle as "The Crownless King" or the "No More Hero," including Nathan Copeland, Kimmy Howell, and Alice Twilight. In fact, it's implied in the opening narration in Desperate Struggle that his actions in the previous game led to the UAA going from just a fake organization to an actual one. By the time of TSA, he has become so infamous he is considered in high regard by Dan Smith of all people, who considers him "the champ aboveground".
  • Leitmotif: N.M.H., which is the theme of the first game and is worked into many of the songs.
  • Made of Iron: Let's just say that, were this real life, the man's organs would be paste within a few levels. He takes a lot of over-the-top (sometimes comically so) punishment, especially early in the first game where he's shot, electrocuted, blown away by mines, etc. In the following sequels, he is able to survive even more life threatening attacks that should've really killed him.
  • Magnetic Hero: Despite being who he is, Travis tends to attract a surprising amount of allies over the series due to his rather unusual empathy for others deserving of it, especially from befriending his enemies. This is best exemplified in III, where his circle of friends includes three former enemies, a scientist who used him to get revenge on the CIA, a psychic who also attempted to kill Travis, the #5 Galactic Ranking Superhero (who also happens to be the girlfriend of the psychic), a heavyweight champion wrestler, and Bishop.
  • Master Swordsman: He can deflect automatic-gunfire with his sword, slaughter scores of mooks at a time and is able to defeat virtually every other swordsperson he encounters. So yes, he certainly qualifies.
  • Medium Awareness: Travis' Genre Savvy reaches these levels by the end of the first game where he can point out the tropes at play in his final battle, and the opening sequence of the second game shows that he's keeping up with it.
  • Motive Decay: Originally became an assassin to avenge his parents, but his lack of clues to their killer's whereabouts and his horror as to who their killer was caused him to all but drink the memory of his original motivation away as he failed to turn up any leads.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the third game, he's horrified when he becomes accessory to wiping out 2/3s of apple pie across all of reality, irrevocably making it a rare dessert.
  • My Greatest Failure: If only for a moment, but he felt bad for not letting Holly Summers die by his hand and instead resort to letting her kill herself in front of him with a sweet smile on her face and biting down on a grenade.
    Travis: Forgive me Number Six...I never meant to shame you.
  • My Parents Are Dead: Parodied in the first game. When the fourth-ranked assassin Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii invites Travis on stage as part of his magic show, Harvey compliments Travis on his name and his parents on choosing the name. Travis, smiling and cheerful, simply says, "My parents are dead!" At this point, Harvey regrets what he said, but Travis forgives him. It's actually a really important plot point. Along with money and, later on, "doing it" with Sylvia, this is why Travis became an assassin, with the Final Boss Jeane being the one who killed his parents.
  • Naked on Arrival: In Travis Strikes Again, everytime he enters a new world, he appears bared for a moment before his clothes materialize.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Travis's design is heavily based off of Johnny Knoxville... with a lot more otaku thrown in. His design is also reminiscent of Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in his first appearances in Fight Club.
  • Nosebleed: When seduced by Sylvia in Desperate Struggle, although it's hard to notice as she's simultaneously positioning his Beam Katana by his crotch and then proceeds to kiss it. Travis' nose erupts in a geyser of blood and his Beam Katana turns on.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Though this is a prerequisite for his line of work, when Holly asks if he likes fear, he replies, "Can't say. Never felt it." This boast is possibly somewhat subverted in III though where Travis chastises FU for never having known fear or understood it.
  • Odd Friendship: He ends up becoming legitimately good friends with Kamui over the course of Travis Strikes Again. Kamui revealing himself to actually be a serial killer out for Travis's blood does little to impact this, and Travis sparing Kamui because of their friendship causes Kamui to pull a full Heel–Face Turn. When Kamui returns in III, all Travis is really interested in is hanging out with him again.
  • Official Couple: With Sylvia, as of the ending to Desperate Struggle. And they did have sex before Travis went on to fight Jasper Batt Jr.
  • Older Than They Look: Travis appears to be aging remarkably well for someone who lives such an unhealthy lifestyle. Come Travis Strikes Back and even the promotional material for III, where Travis is pushing forty, he looks little different from how he did at the beginning of the series.
  • One-Man Army: He barrels through not just the ranks of assassins, but the countless Mooks in the levels preceding them, and very rarely does he ever require backup.
  • Only Sane Man: Travis seems to be the only one who is aware how insane the world he inhabits is, but ultimately this trope is subverted since, despite pointing out the insanity, Travis doesn't object to it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He really doesn't care about all the people he killed, but Holly Summers deciding to die by biting down on one of her grenades when he hesitated to kill her is one of the first times he starts considering the assassins as something other than targets to kill.
    Travis: Wait, Number Six! NO!!!
  • Otaku: Loves manga, anime and video games, but to the point where he's practically living in a hotel to support his hobbies. Even other characters call him an otaku. Unsurprisingly, one spoken major motivation going into the UAA was to help him keep the cash flowing for the merchandise.
  • Pet the Dog: He's very caring towards his cat, Jeanne. He's also unwilling to kill younger opponents like Shinobu and Kimmy until No More Heroes III and even then, he doesn't like it. He also instinctively stops himself from killing Native Dancer, once he begins to realize he's his grandson.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: In the third game, he has some rather off-color opinions about the character designs of a certain long-running JRPG series. It is subverted in the original voice files missing the bleeps. He's actually saying the characters look "stupid".
    "Because the characters look fucking ***!"
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Par for the course for Travis to deliver this against rival assassins, but one that definitely takes the cake is against Jasper Batt Jr.'s final form.
    "Come on, prez! Unleash your hate! Your anger! Everything! I'll take it all and fucking kill you with it!"
  • Progressively Prettier: While Travis wasn't exactly ugly in the first game, his face takes on a less haggard and generally friendlier appearance in Desperate Struggle, likely to reflect the character development he goes through over the course of the game. His design is revised yet again in III, where he's given a defined muscular build and more form-fitting clothing, putting him more in line with how a traditional Western superhero would be drawn.
    • To note, his artwork in the first game seems to have a bit of a receding hairline, an element that never really appears in any other official depiction of Travis.
  • Punny Name:
    • Travis Touchdown => Travis T. => Travesty, which is an apt description of what you're initially meant to view him as.
    • His Japanese name, Torabisu, means "Tiger Screw"; Tigers are prevalent in various parts of Travis' design, whilst Travis is into screwing in a more metaphorical sense.
  • Red Baron:
    • The manual of the second game, and at least two opponents, call Travis "The Crownless King" in reference to the events of the first: reaching Rank 1 and leaving the UAA behind once he kills his half-sister Jeane. Later on, Travis starts calling himself the "No More" Hero.
    • Technically, Death Metal bestows his title of "Holy Sword" onto Travis but he rejects the title stating that all he cares about is becoming number one. The title is never brought up again not even by admirers of his ability and like Alice Twilight in the sequel.
    • During the intro cinematic for III, every member of the Galactic Superhero Rankings is introduced with a title. Except Travis's is now simply "The Passing Assassin", based on what he refers himself as in the beginning of the game, which somehow makes him sound even more badass considering how legendary he is now considered in-universe.
  • Red Is Heroic: Subverted at first when he's still a Sociopathic Hero aiming to be the number one assassin. But as the series goes on, he develops his more noble qualities, and pulls a full face-turn in Desperate Struggle.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: Double Subverted, in Desperate Struggle, Travis is trying to avenge Bishop after he was killed under Jasper Batt Jr's order, who ordered the hit out of revenge for Travis killing his family in the first game. In the fight against Margaret Moonlight, the lyrics to Philistine berate Travis and the player for thinking revenge makes them a better person than their enemies. It's until Travis fights Alice Twilight that he finally absorbs the lesson that killing is wrong and violence is not as glorious as he once believed.
    "you act as though payback
    makes you a noble man is that a fact?
    Well, you're a goddamn philistine"
  • Rugged Scar: By Travis Strikes Again and III, Travis has a vertical scar over his left eye.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The theme of the second game.
  • Samurai: Designed in mind by Suda to be a modern-day samurai, with his red jacket (a common color for samurai armor) and his beam katana. Heck, maybe even a Street Samurai.
  • Say My Name: In Desperate Struggle, screams Bishop's name after his decapitated head was delivered to his motel room through the window.
  • Self-Made Man: Say what you will about Travis' bad habits and such, but he's this on many levels.
    • On a social level, Travis trades away his possibility of molding into mainstream and everyday society for his own social autonomy and freedom. Yes, it is not the most glamorous lifestyle, but Travis can decide for himself what he wants to do with his life, free from the expectations of others. This gives him a large amount of freedom, hence his multiple part-time jobs.
    • On a moral level, Travis further falls into his punk status due to how his life as an assassin isn't very much more than a gladiator in the most extreme and bombastic of situations. Sure, he did get paid from K-Entertainment, but nothing of his career saw him travel cross country to kill the president or major officials of government, or destroy entire literal armies and subjugate their nations for political intrigues and backstabbing. Yes, he did slaughter the CEOs of Pizza Butt, but you came to lose money if you killed anyone else but the CEO in question, they were packing heat already by the time you got there, and in context, no one likes corporate urban gentrification. Nothing Travis did really did defines him as a major underworld figure like Dr. Peace or Nathan Copeland, but an urban legend and a warrior who walked away without an estate made in blood.
    • On the level of the UAA. Sure, the first game was pretty much a scam, but everything about it was pretty dangerous. Travis ran the gauntlet once to just to get the money to buy his entertainment, and was even tempted by the allure of his first mark's lavish and alluring riches and surroundings, but he knew deep down that giving into temptation was not the right option. As soon as he went to the top, the glory is there, but nothing is waiting for him - nothing but the worst aspects of the hard and soul crushing work of assassination and a knife pointed as his back at all times. This, along with an implied lack of fulfillment with his life going down this road, is why he quit and merely considered that his victory than go down any further. If anything, this only proved not just to the world but himself that he was a badass in his own right.
    • He also does this with Sylvia, to an extent. While Sylvia is very attractive, Travis's character development impresses her enough that she begins to admire and respect him rather than just pretending that she wants to have sex with him to string him along for money. Come Travis Strikes Again, they're even married and have kids, though their relationship seems to be on the rocks when Travis hikes out to the Texas wilderness for a retreat.
  • Shout-Out: His character design is inspired by Johnny Knoxville, and his name is a reference to the protagonist of Suda51's favorite movie, Paris, Texas. He eventually has a kid named Hunter, just like in the film.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Over the course of the first two games, Travis:
    • Says "Fuck" 32.5 times.
    • Says "Shit" 19 times.
    • Says "Hell" 18 times.
    • Says "Damn" 13 times.
    • Says "Bitch" 9 times.
    • Says "Ass" 8 times.
    • Says "Bastard" 2 times.
    • And this is not counting the actual combat, where every other deathblow seems to be accompanied by a shout of "Bastard!" or "Fuckhead!"
  • Skyward Scream: Delivers one after finishing off Alice Twilight in Desperate Struggle.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Travis skirts this line, especially in the first game. Sometimes crosses over into Heroic Comedic Sociopath. To start off, he shows little empathy for many of his opponents, and is a self-admitted Blood Knight who "lives for killing". Starting with the last third of Desperate Struggle, he does begin to empathize with his opponents more or at least respect them unless they're remorseless killers in their own right, but he's still more than willing to fight them to the death. In III, he is a lot more kind and respectful, but still doesn't show mercy to those who really have it coming or explicitly refuse to stop trying to kill him (and even then he expresses displeasure towards having to kill the latter, as seen with Kimmy).
  • Stepford Snarker: The biggest hint is that when Harvey brings up his parents, he casually mentions his parents are dead as a joke, even though that's his entire motivation for being an assassin. Henry also reveals Travis used to cry a lot as a child.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: In the first game, every so often after landing a deathblow, Travis will enter a "Dark Side Mode" any time the slot machine matches 3 of the same icon, allowing him to pull off some crazy stuff while completely invincible. These include:
    • Cherry: Slows down all enemies to a crawl, giving Travis a powerful advantage. Notably absent in the sequel, with Travis' new Ecstasy Gauge dependent Super Mode granting the same effect while Strawberry on the Shortcake borrows the time-slowing effect as well.
    • Cranberry Chocolate Sundae: All enemies become scared witless of Travis as everything turns black and white and his movement slows down to a menacing walk. Upon approaching an enemy, Travis can execute a One-Hit Kill by following the Action Commands prompt. The sequel replaces this effect by instead having Travis transform into a full-on Tiger. While similar in the way enemies all become terrified and can be taken down with One-Hit Kills, he's also much faster as a Tiger.
    • Blueberry Cheese Brownie: Travis becomes capable of firing Energy Balls that can kill most enemies in a single hit. In the first game, he gains a targeting reticle and moves more slowly but these aspects of the power are gone in the sequel.
    • Strawberry on the Shortcake: Travis's beam katana becomes hypercharged, allowing him to initiate deathblows with a single blow. Curiously his hair turns blonde in this form. In the sequel it's been combined with Cherry and nerfed so while time slows down, he no longer gets deathblows with every swing. Still, this mode uniquely has him automatically perform a deathblow on enemies once he deals enough damage to them.
    • Anarchy in the Galaxy: Travis gains a Smart Bomb that he can set off at will, killing all enemies in the immediate area around him. In the sequel, it gets replaced by Gooseberry Sugar Donut which is essentially identical aside from the fact that Travis performs the move automatically and cannot store it for later.
    • Super Mode: Separate from these slot machine dependent power-ups, Travis in Desperate Struggle now has an Ecstasy Gauge indicated by the pixel Tiger in the corner of the screen. Once the Tiger turns red and is covered by a white outline, Travis can power up, slowing down time and greatly boosting the speed of Travis' swings for some improvised Blade Spam. Because it's not dependent on the slot machine that only activates on normal enemies, this is Travis' only Super Mode that can be used during Boss Fights.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: His response to assassins coming after him after he reaches Number 1 and walks away. "You've gotta be shittin' me!"
  • This Loser Is You: Travis is a cynical reflection of the type of gamer who may be interested in a game like No More Heroes: a 27-year-old Otaku obsessed with video games, getting laid, and becoming "number one" in spite of leading a boring, unfulfilling life made up of cheap gratification that ultimately gets him nowhere by the time the adventure comes to an end. The sequels to the original game, which are more focused on his character development, dial back some of the less flattering traits and do more to make Travis seem more sympathetic and noble.
  • Theme Twin Naming: With Henry. Their last names are Touchdown and Cooldown.
  • To Be a Master: His quest in No More Heroes is to be the greatest assassin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Has a bad habit of trusting his opponents even though he knows that they're ruthless assassins. In the first game alone, he would have died of this at least twice were it not for Iron Butt Monkey and Cutscene Power to the Max. This lessens with each sequel as Travis becomes more cautious.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the first No More Heroes, Travis was always usually placed in situations that helped him establish being the Johnny Knoxville inspired Iron Butt Monkey he was aimed to be, and combat wise, not only did he sound a lot more hesitant when throwing out his kill taunts, but he was lacking any special moves like his assassin contemporaries. In Desperate Struggle, Travis sounds a lot more in the zone confidence-wise, gains the passively empowering and super mode power up building Ecstasy Gauge, and has fewer Iron Butt Monkey moments. In III, Travis is a lot more stronger then before being able to fight on par with aliens, has the death glove with four different skills and a Henshin transformation ability.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By around the time of III, Travis is more compassionate and merciful when compared to what he was in the first game and this has earn him numerous friends some who were his former enemies like Shinobu, Badman and Bad Girl.
  • Totally Radical: He has the aesthetics of this, living in a South-California beach town and dressing like he came off the cover of a Nintendo Power magazine advert for the Power Glove.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: In III, he can use the Death Drive Mk. II's Death Glove controller to utilize Skill Chips, which give him access to a wide variety of abilities.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Travis's beam-katanas are all recharged by, er, applying kinetic energy via vigorous up-and-down shaking motion. Yes, Travis does this in exactly the manner you would expect him to, and yes, you have to perform the motion yourself, in real life, with the Wii Remote/PS Move to do it in-game. In III, he still does this, but can also do it while moving.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He's a sociopathic and Byronic Hero who kills people largely for fun while generally being a repugnant asshole, his character flaws are so pronounced that he ends up becoming hilarious. His screwed-upness is perfectly summed up in a single quote from Desperate Struggle: "Everybody deals with grief differently, right? Some people fuck at funerals. I cut off heads". This is ultimately Subverted by the end of Desperate Struggle, when he realizes how many lives the UAA has destroyed, and decides he has had enough with the assassination scene, he instead vows to destroy the UAA because of this. By III, he's become more sympathetic, almost becoming an actual hero of sorts.
  • Villain Protagonist: For a significant chunk of the first and second games, he's an amoral, unsympathetic jerk (albeit one usually played for laughs) who gladly kills his way up the UAA's ranks for the thrill of it. Over the course of both games, however, he gradually phases out these elements and becomes more along the lines of a Byronic Anti-Hero and by the third game he is a full-blown hero.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • His Beam Katanas are incredibly powerful weapons, but none of them are waterproof and a sustained shower is enough to put them out of commission until it's over, electrocuting him all the while.
    • The Tsubaki Mk-III, Travis's ultimate weapon in the first game, is a very impressive and powerful blade... and its battery will go from fully-charged to depleted after about 90 seconds of combat. A true, endcap-less lightsaber probably wouldn't be particularly energy-efficient, after all. You can buy an infinite-battery upgrade for it later on, but it costs all of the money you can possibly carry.
  • Worthy Opponent: While at first he didn't think much about most of the Assassins, he grows to respect a few of his opponents after the battle's over. Nathan Copeland, Ryuji, Margaret Moonlight, Electro Triple Star, Sonic Juice, and Captain Vladamir are some of the most prominent examples.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played Straight at first, but quickly and progressively downplayed. Travis can't bring himself to perform a finishing blow on a woman, as seen in his fights against Shinobu and Holly. Though as his fights against Speed Buster, Bad Girl, and Jeane show, he drops the chivalrous act when his female opponent (respectively) does something that really pisses him off, shows a complete lack of sanity and willingness to fight fair, or simply demands a climactic final showdown. By Desperate Struggle, he's completely over it. The only woman he spares is Kimmy Howell, and it's implied that his choice to spare her had less to do with her sex and more to do with the fact that she's still a relatively innocent teenager, and that by this point in the game, Travis is becoming disillusioned with the UAA and doesn't want more people blindly jumping into the bloodbath like he did, something he confirms in III where he's clearly not impressed she's still a killer. Even when he does kill her in No More Heroes III (taking place a decade since Desperate Struggle), he is solemn about the death, as he's only focused on FU and his aliens, and even tells Sylvia that he never wants to kill a lady again.
    Travis: Don't ever hit a girl. My grandma used to tell me that.
    • In his battle against Midori Midorikawa, he decides to Mercy Kill her after learning that she treats her hands like children. However, Kamui coming in just in time and having Midori explain that she had no idea what FU's motives were has Travis decided to let them go.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Spared Shinobu and Kimmy Howell, in part due to how young they were. Both times after sparing them, he offers to kill them for real if they come for a rematch after getting older; whereas Shinobu pulls off a Heel–Face Turn and becomes Travis' apprentice, Kimmy does get a second shot at Travis as an adult and fails. By this point, Travis fulfills his promise and kills her, but he's clearly disappointed at how Kimmy grew up and takes no solace in finishing her off.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: More than half of the throws he has are different suplex variants. It helps that these throws are not played for laughs or for kayfabe, as they are purposely performed to cause bodily trauma and spine damage with a hard bare floor. In Desperate Struggle, he's learned to toss his beam katana into the air before throws so that it conveniently lands on mooks and electrifying them to death for a finishing touch after he pulverizes them into the ground.
    • Also justified as he legitimately attempted to train to become a professional wrestler in the past. It's why he keeps getting letters from his former mentor to remind him of all the techniques he learned.