This starts the moment you SEE the title of the game. At first, I was wondering: "Hey, why did they call this game No More Heroes?" And then, I watched the prerelease gameplay trailer, and you know what? The game was actually going to be named "Heroes". But, the trademark was already registered on the TV series 'Heroes'. So, which name this game was given? That's right, No More Heroes. Brilliant!
Apparently the title was supposed to be a reference to the song of the same name by the Stranglers. Not counting general thematic similarities, it's worth noting that said song references the assassination of Leon Trotsky in the lyrics.
The title gets justified in the sequel, where several opponents admire Travis for the simple fact that he willingly withdrew from assassin fights after reaching the top in the first game, culminating with Alice Twilight calling him the "No More Hero". As in, he's viewed by these assassins that are still stuck in the game as a hero for saying "no more" to killing.
At first I wasn't big on Henry in No More Heroes... and then I saw the credits. Henry's voice actor is Quinton Flynn. Quinton "Raiden" Flynn. Either it's a beautiful coincidence or Suda51 knew exactly what he was doing, because giving the most divisive character in the game the voice actor of the most divisive character in gaming history is perfect. Completing the game also made me less wary of the announced sequel—at the end, Travis asks how they'll settle the game, and Henry drops it on his shoulders, much to his dismay. How do you wrap things up with thirty seconds to go? Another game, of course! Beautiful, even if it did turn Sylvia's last line into a lie - and what the hell, she's a con artist anyway. - Man Called True
Suda51 and Hideo Kojima are supposedly pretty good friends and call each other Hide-chan and Go-chan. So the setup for that casting decision was there, at least.
Also, Kris Zimmerman did the voice direction for both the No More Heroes and Metal Gear Solid series. It's not unlikely that given the large overlap in voice casts, Quinton Flynn came along as part of her Production Posse.
Speaking of the sequel, the Environmental Symbolism starts to kick in. There's a rough system at work here: Lonely at the Top bosses ( Death Metal, Speed Buster, Alice, Jasper) are fought in either abandoned urban areas or among their own riches, particularly unsympathetic to Ax-Crazy foes ( Destroyman, Bad Girl, Million Gunman) in abandoned warehouses, and sympathetic foes ( Dr Peace, Jeane, Captain Vladimir) in wide open areas. Not every boss works this way but it's a trend.
Why did they get rid of the sandbox Santa Destroy in the second game? Was it because it was considered a weak point of the original? Or was it because since Bishop is dead, there's no one to bring your bike to you which would make things difficult? (Naw, it's the first one, but the second is logical.)
Henry invokes this ingame during Travis' fight with him, by asking Travis "do you even know what you're fighting for?" Travis has spent the entire game going "I want to be number one!" whenever someone questioned his motives for pursuing the assassination gig. Beyond that sociopathic "number one" ideal and wanting to get in Sylvia's pants, Travis has no actual reason to be murdering people, assassins or otherwise. By asking this, Henry is calling both Travis and the player out; Travis for killing people for a petty reason, and the player for going along with Travis' bullshit excuse.
Why would Travis whack off with Henry in the other room, a room did not have a door, and get pissed off when he wakes up?
Because Travis is a self-centered perv. That's kinda his major character trait.
I see that, but still, he couldn't do it in the bathroom? And why was Henry shirtless when he woke up, yet he had a shirt on earlier?
This troper, after repeatedly beating each of the bosses in the original game, reviewed each of the throws that Travis uses on them. Brilliance kicks in when apparently each of the throws manage to use the strengths and weaknesses of each of the bosses to Travis' advantage. Examples:
Bad Girl's throw is the Double Wrist Suplex, where Travis spreads her arms apart before following up. He isolates the arms to prevent Bad Girl from using her bat. Take note, most of her bat attacks are two handed.
Destroyman's throw is the German Suplex. Since Destroyman was the bulkiest (and arguably the slowest) of all of the bosses, the throw allows Travis to surprise Destroyman and use his own weight against him.
Holly Summers' throw is the Belly-to-Belly Suplex, in which Travis wraps his arms around Holly and then flips her over so she lands on her back, with Travis on top of her. Given that Holly's shtick is explosives, it makes sense that Travis would want something between him and the ground; if he happened to suplex her onto a land mine her body would absorb the explosion.
Henry's suplex is the Tiger Suplex. Here, Travis manages to trap Henry's arms, preventing him to use his beam katana. He also manages to prevent any sort of escape from the boss as well.
Since Jeane uses MMA, of course none of Travis' professional wrestling moves would work. On the other hand, this might be why he got a beam katana from NMH's version of eBay in the first place.
If you look closely you'll notice that Travis does most of his wrestling moves the wrong way. It's especially noticeable in the second game, if you tried that on anyone in real life it would either cripple them through spinal injury or kill them outright. What makes this a part of the Fridge Brilliance page is that as an assassin, this is exactly what Travis would want.
It's worth noting that wrestling moves are an instant kill on all mooks, although that could also be attributed to the falling beam katana. The only people who ever survive more than one are the other assassins, who are supposedly the 10 toughest people in the U.S.
Fun fact: All bosses from Shinobu onward possess an unblockable attack that will more often than not instantly kill you. With the exception of Shinobu herself, all the boss throws learned from that point on are all instant kills on regular enemies.
Why does Holly Summers have a prosthetic leg? Because one of her attacks involves her stomping on a landmine.
One of the lines in Margaret's song says "You think the fire in your eyes makes you a tiger in disguise/ Dream on, you goddamn pussy!" Seems like another shot at Travis' manhood...until you remember the more innocent use of the word "pussy".
Also, Travis can turn into a tiger. Though whether his transformations are canon to the story or not is leaning on the probably not likely side.
There's a brief gag during the Speed Buster intro where she claims to be hard of hearing while getting ready to duel Travis. We're meant to believe that it's just her stalling for time, but really, given her preferred means of assassination, is it so hard to believe she might actually have a hearing problem?
Each of Travis' Dark Side moves in the first game (excluding "Anarchy in the Galaxy") gets the first word of its name from each of the main characters in an in-universe anime series Travis watches called "Bizarre Jelly".
The song that NMH gets its name from references the assassination of Leon Trotsky, as well as Lenny Bruce, who was known for pushing the boundaries of comedy and censorship with his use of strong language. Guess what two of the defining traits of Travis are.
Helter Skelter's name might be a reference to the Beatles song of the same name or the infamous "Helter Skelter murders" it accidentally inspired. This could also emphasize how Helter Skelter technically "inspired" Travis to rise through the ranks.
The building that gives out the assassination missions in the first game has a sign referring to it as "K-Entertainment". This means that either the company occupying it has been using the name as a cover story, or Travis has been making snuff films.