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Video Game / No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

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"This isn't a battle anymore! It's a motherfucking war!"

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

The sequel to the surprise Wii smash No More Heroes, Desperate Struggle was released three years later in 2010, developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, with directorial responsibilities given to Nobutaka Ichiki. It made several adjustments to the gameplay design; most notably, the removal of the large city HUB. Ten years later, it got a port on the Nintendo Switch.

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 murders 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 glamorization 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 realizes just how screwed up everything to do with assassination and revenge is.

A Gaiden Game, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, was released in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. The game would set the story for the proper sequel, No More Heroes III, which was released on August 27, 2021.


This game features examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Dr. Naomi. Looks like the money spent on beam katana upgrades went to her chest.
  • Actor Allusion: Jennifer Hale voiced Kimmy Howell has a British accent and wields a double bladed energy blade, like Jennifer Hale voiced Bastila Shan of Knights of the Old Republic.
  • Actually Quite Catchy: When Travis faces Margaret Moonlight, she plays her music "Philistine" to him while trying to kill him. Even after Travis kills her, he admits to her in her final moments that her song was "catchy as hell" and that he completely memorized the song. He even whistles it on his way to the next challenge.
  • Affably Evil: Alice Twilight and Margaret Moonlight are both relatively friendly to Travis, and Alice outright wants to quit being an assassin. Charlie MacDonald is also very friendly and compliments Travis' name.
  • 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, who is completely unaware that he's part of an assassin competition, and only tries to kill Travis because he sees him as part of a long-settled conflict.
    • 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: 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!: The music theme of almost every boss in the game.
  • 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's Masamune-esque Beam Katana that lengthens when he's kicking ass. Skelter-Helter is similarly designed to resemble Cloud Strife from the same game, complete with a beam katana that looks like the Buster Sword.
  • Big "NO!": When finishing off Mooks, like in the first game, they'll have some last thoughts on their mind to reflect upon their incoming death. For some choice selections, normal sized Mooks will beg Pizza Ass Jr. to miraculously save them or will scream obscenities at themselves for how their lives have turned out, roided Mooks will scream "what the hell", showing their vanity and surprise at life not giving them what they want for a grim change, and scrawny Mooks will also sometimes think to themselves repeatedly saying no, knowing well this is how their lives are going to end.
  • Blatant Lies: When Travis enters Sylvia's office to find someone (Shinobu) 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!
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Really strange considering that the first game was quite graphic but the deaths of Million Gunman, Cloe Walsh and Margaret deserves a mention.note  The game was also released uncensored in Japan and Europe, unlike the first game.
  • 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!"
  • Bookends: Travis' first opponent since returning to the rankings is Skelter Helter, out for revenge due to Travis killing his brother. The Final Boss, Jasper Batt Jr., is after him for the same reason, bringing Travis' own struggle full circle.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Each boss stage comes with two treasure chests that drop pickups which restores Travis' health and battery to its maximum. Deathmatch mode removes these, and the pickups do not respawn between the Final Boss phases.
  • 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 Batt 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 this trope on the player.
  • Call-Back:
    • The first No More Heroes had Travis say to Henry "Let's 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 all wrapped up into one
  • Catchphrase: Arguably Shinobu with Moe, a word her "master" is fond of, although she doesn't know what that means exactly.
  • 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: Travis for the most part gets more cutscenes than even in the first No More Heroes that show what he's like off the killing floor. He does get back into the UAA to try and get into Sylvia's pants again, but he begins to show an actual reaction to the social conditions that exists in the now gentrified and rapidly displacing and developing Santa Destroy. Travis is also given scenes of general human interaction a bit more so than the first game, breaking the personal interpretation angle to a given and showing that he's not such a bad guy off the wetwork punch clock.
    • A major turning point for him is 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 or teamed up with the main antagonist) 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.
    • 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. This becomes all the more poignant when one recalls that in the beginning, he couldn't be assed to remember the name of Skelter Helter's brother; but he promises to remember Alice's name before defeating her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several from the first game, including but not limited to killing three business figures of Pizza Batt, 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. Symbollically, this is when Travis's Character Development comes full circle.
  • 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 or learn to parry instead of blocking attacks because it'd make the player make numerous retreats to recharge, making it more of a Glass Cannon.
    • The Tsubaki Mk. 3 is something of an inverse. No longer an Infinity +1 Sword like in the first game, it too is the other well-balanced weapon, but trades the Blood Berry's damage for slightly faster hits and a longer battery that makes it a strange durable example of Fragile Speedster.
    • 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 attrition. It could be considered an unusually offensive 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. Keep in mind too: For those who have played the game on Sweet or Mild difficulty, this is what Bitter will be like, and that's only for the bosses.
  • 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.
  • Cool Gate: Akashic Points, described as supernatural gateways.
  • Counter-Attack: Parrying from the first game has been revamped considerably, and takes advantage of Desperate Struggle's improvements to the combat gameplay.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Even for its more realistic gameplay and graphics upgrade this time around, all foes die blowing up into bloody chunks and bits as soon as Travis pulls off a Deathblow, Wrestling Throw, Down Attack, or Wiimote and Nunchuk Special Technique. Mooks don't even show realistic damage, the closest being using a Beat Attack to finish off their health, which then gets them to reel in pain as that point of health signals they can't take anymore damage. Granted, Pizza Batt is associated in the black market drugs trade, so that is a viable possibility.
  • 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: The central theme of the game. Travis wants nothing more to avenge his friend's death by climbing up the ranks of the UAA again, but as it goes on, he starts realizing how much the other assassins are also stuck in this job, having no way out and even culminating with him tearing down the UAA to prevent his fellow assassins from having to go through this hell.
  • 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. Their respective charge attacks are also projectiles, giving them access to ranged combat options Travis outright lacks.
  • Dark Action Girl: The female assassins, 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.
  • Decapitation Presentation:
    • Early in the game, a brown paper bag containing Bishop's head gets thrown through Travis's window.
    • Before the Final Boss fight, Batt Jr. presents the heads of Sylvia, Shinobu, and Henry on silver platters to rile Travis up. Thankfully, they're fake, as (the very much alive) Henry demonstrates.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Of the Revenge Movie and the rampaging heroic killing spree, and probably couldn't be done moreso with it taking place in California, the locales of famous revenge killing movies like Death Wish and Dirty Harry. Travis is out for revenge.... but the angle is rather unsympathetic in how he did cause the events that lead up to this installment. However, the game has major subtext that Pizza Batt is not as innocent as it seems, leading a major world mafia front and turning Santa Destroy into both a hotspot for assassins who can be hired out by anyone with the largest offer and a black market hub for all sorts of illegal and rotten trades. Travis also learns of his consequences, and along with not giving a shit who he is called or worshipped, he vows to be come a hero by his own terms and promises to clean up the mess that he acknowledges he made.
  • 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.
    • Before the Rank 1 fight, Travis and Sylvia finally have sex. Afterwards, not only is Travis's beam katana fully charged, but the battery power never runs out.
  • 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Rose Nasty
  • Dumb Muscle: Roided Mooks are tall and physically built thugs who either rely on hand to hand combat, wielding metal katanas, or wielding beam katanas, and all have a special mechanic in where they can counter in response to Beat Attacks with their own attacks and endure high levels of stopping power during their own attacks unless it's the Peony beating them to death. Of course, their vocabulary is limited to them screaming the word "fuck" a lot, and the lot of them are arrogant meatheads who apparently do the dirtier work for Pizza Batt's mafia, like breaking knees of debtors, killing witnesses, or are lowlife pimps and kidnappers in the human slave trade.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Jasper Batt Jr., when he transforms into his final parade float form. Say, why is it that the boss battle goes to hitting the nose? That's because if you look carefully, there are no nostrils on it, and if you see his form when he dies, it's actually a hollow form. This means that Batt is tucked away in its bulbous appendage in the fetal position, and controls the entire thing from that point as the "brain". Which means that the float is really a skin balloon. Rich assassins really do pull off the craziest shit.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Margaret
  • Emergency Transformation: Destroyman and Letz Shake survive the events in the first game this way.
  • Evil Minions: Suited normal sized Mooks who dress up in suits and wield heavy machinery intended wrenches. As their appearance and actions imply, they know presumably absolutely nothing about combat, but probably killing people. These nameless douches and their appearances strongly suggest they are not unlike the Pizza Butt thugs you faced in the first game, and that making way on Pizza Batt's corporate ladder probably requires also sucking up to Batt and showing how much you care for his own excursions, flawed or not.
  • 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.
  • Fake Difficulty: Exemplified by Mild and Bitter difficulty. Every foe, even mooks, will take forever to take down, due to being given more health and a higher stun value than normal, chances for Dark Side Modes are slimmed down, the Esctacy Gauge will have its cost and damage penalty increased, and battery life on Beam Katanas will have their mileage and power capacity either reduced or outright handicapped. While on Mild, this is only evident by the end game with diferrent color coded and skinned mooks and plays it rather fair, Bitter makes everything feel like you're punching concrete walls coated with a sheet of steel and reinforced with teflon (and that's even if you come around to the back of a foe and wail on them), and will make you extremely weary of using the Blood Berry. It's honestly not advised to start off a completely new game on Bitter because of this, it's that padded with bullshit.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: This game actually succeeds in making the first game look rationally sane in its level of violence, and there are many exceptional instances in a game full of them:
    • One would have to go to the unlucky scrawny mooks who wield knives and are nimbly agile; if the Deathblow prompt targets for a decapitation (ie right slash, downwards for Rose Nasty) or Travis finishes them off with the Nunchuck special technique or the Wiimote special technique with the Rose Nasty, half of their head containing the brain is then lopped off, before they get to flailing around helplessly without that source of intelligence bleeding out.
    • The Rose Nasty gets a deserved mention for fulfilling its namesake. One of its Deathblow motions may ask for a double swing in a heart or descnding crescent motion, which then leads to Travis then chopping up foes into fours in an X motion and leaving them to bleed out on the ground helpless.
    • Quite a few Wrestling Throws have impalement finishers that land on areas of the body that can be only summed up as looking like an extremely undignified death for Mooks. The Dragon/Full Nelson Suplex and Tiger Suplex both end with Mooks landing in a pose that can be essentially termed "ass to mouth", before the Beam Katana then lands into the lower pelvis, and even then, the Twisted Belly To Back Suplex takes this Up to Eleven, as the Mook is positioned to where the Beam Katana lands squarely into their sphinchter. The Backdrop Finisher, as used on Cloe Walsh, also counts, as it pins a Mook squarely where the lower spine connects to the pelvis and has them begging for help before dying of electrocution.
    • For a psychological angle, the Tiger Driver '97. Depending on the camera angle you get for the suplex execution cutscene, you can get angles where you can get a close up of the Mook you're going to pick off the mortal coil with after they've been driven into the ground with a spine shattering drop. Some of them will still have their eyes open, meaning that they're still conscious but can't move their bodies because of the fall trauma, until the millions of volts from the Beam Katana's blade forcibly has them act out in pain before dying shortly. Some of them will also look like drug addicts with baggy and narrow eyes, meaning their lives were also most likely fucked before they had the misfortune of fucking with Travis.
    • The Giant Swing helps to show why you should not perform these moves in real life and at home. As Travis grabs large Mooks by the legs and spins them around fast enough to have them land violently onto the pavement/reinforced flooring, all they can do is stare blankly as their spine is shattered in several places and possibly impaled with hard trash, glass, or otherwise, paralyzing them, before the beam katana drops down onto them, as they know by that point there is shit they can do about dying.
    • Another goes to the German Suplex, which is an example of Video Game Cruelty Potential by being always accessible and easily accessible by finishing a Mook from the rear with a Low Beat Attack. See below.
  • Follow the Leader: An In-Universe example, where Travis appears to have made beam katanas trendy among the assassin community. 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. Also, even more opponents can do charge attacks and mix in unarmed attacks with weapon attacks. Ditto two of the bosses: Kimmy Howell and Alice Twilight, with the latter's Duel Boss status being more pronounced due to her ability to Lag Cancel her attacks by rolling, just like what the player can do.
  • 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. Even her stage gets an honorable mention for this, being a total Mook Horror Show where Travis gets to have an enormous killing spree in the parking lot and most likely has the honor of being the stage with the highest Mook bodycount in the entire series.
  • Freud Was Right: Sylvia posits that to Travis, killing people is "just like getting off." He doesn't even blink.
  • Gag Boobs:
  • Gainax Ending: Surprisingly averted after the previous game; the ending is fairly standard, despite some minor absurdities.
  • 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.
  • Gigantic Moon: The moon is big enough to block out a huge percentage of the sky, as seen in the battle against Margaret Moonlight.
  • 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 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.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Beam katana Mooks are roided Mooks who wield beam katanas. Despite having them, they have the crappy off brand billionth rate beam katana mooks used in the first game, and despite their strength, are pathetically clunky in their attacks, with pathetic excuses for Slash Comboes and even a fake Charge Attack. Thankfully, they do not have the wannabe Blueberry Cheese Brownie attack similar Mooks had in the first game, making them only close ranged opponents at best. Parrying is their Weaksauce Weakness, as are actual Charge Attacks, which deliver huge amounts of damage, knocks them down, and the latter can instantly kill them.
  • Heroic Willpower: Of a sort. When Travis' health is depleted, he enters a dizzy state instead of collapsing on the floor dead. If the player mashes buttons hard enough, Travis will exit this state with a quarter of his health restored. This can be done a finite amount of times per encounter, and resets in a game over.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Surprisingly averted: Travis carries all of his beam katanas on his belt and can switch between them at his leisure.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Made much more pronounced as the sport originates in California, the entertainment capitol and cornerstone of the modern world, the UAA has grown from being a deadly underground curiosity, to a now worldwide bloodsport sensation aired on national television and enjoyed by the masses. Santa Destroy has also grown to be its own West LA and Westwood as well due to this, filled with aspiring and high ranked assassins all over its streets hoping to make it big in the world of killing with as much passion as aspiring actors and musicians on Sunset Boulevard and Studio City.
  • Immune to Flinching: One of the most annoying aspects of the chainsaw Giant Mook is that it's really hard to hitstun them, with the only reliable way being attacks from the Peony or going in from the back. Even then in the case of going to the back, you'll need a full Esctacy Gauge and High Beat Attacks just to get them down, which is annulled with just killing them outright with Low Slash Combos from that angle just to build that gauge up in the first place.
  • 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.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: Scrawny Mooks are the slimy small fry of Pizza Batt, and are whiny stool monkey sounding and looking goons who are so ineffectively pathetic at combat that they actually have a place in being a deconstruction of Mooks in a Suda 51 work. These Small Name, Big Ego Mooks wield knives and mess with Travis thinking they're modern day ninjas, having pathetic combo attacks, lunge attacks, and a throwing knife attack that only all serve to annoy you when other Mooks on the Pizza Batt shitting order are in, and in this case, they are typically paired with the fat Smash Mooks who wield chainsaws and axes.
  • Irony: You're trying to take down the president of a pizza company while regaining health by eating pizza.
  • It's Personal: The man responsible for Bishop's murder is also the Number 1 ranked assassin, so Travis has plenty of incentive to fight through the ranks this time around.
    Travis: "This isn't a battle, anymore. It's a motherfucking war!"
  • 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.
  • Jerk Jock: Normal sized baseball bat wielding thugs of Pizza Batt, who also have a wind up swing attack like Bad Girl from the first game. Many of them look to be either lower income or preppy jocks, the former being literal hood wearing hoodlums and the latter wearing button up shirts, and with the proximity of Santa Destroy University, it's implied they are in Pizza Batt by the more unsavory aspects of university life, like being in more unruly fraterinities associated with the company or are paying back Pizza Batt for crimes born out of spoiled mentalities.
  • Jerkass: And an entire army of them too. Pizza Batt's Mooks are extremely disrespectful whenever Travis faces them, and even to Shinobu, who acts as his proxy in her arc. It also doesn't help that they also don't show much teamwork or camaderie either, as they're likely looking out for Number One themselves and will eat each other in the theoretical case they are successful.
  • Jiggle Physics: Naomi, Sylvia, Strawberry, Nutberry, and even Ryan. Cloe Walsh, oddly enough, has her butt jiggle toward the end of her boss fight.
  • Karmic Death: There's probably a good reason why the Tiger Suplex, a suplex that locks a foe's arms behind their back and uses that as the leverage for the toss, is for the Personal Space Invader roided mooks.
    • Normal sized mooks often will like to say how much Travis is "going to get his ass kicked". Players have the potential to literally kick them in the ass and proceed to make them eat their words.
    • Hell, every stupid Mook Too Dumb to Live tends to say something to introduce themselves as Took a Level in Dumbass. Fat Mooks like to brag about how "I'm going to rip (Travis) a new one", roided Mooks like to say how much they're "gonna mess (Travis) up", and even the scrawny Mooks like to insult Travis telling him to "man up". The former two can be outright abused to death, while the scrawny Mooks can be manhandled with a Wrestling Throw just to rub in salt in their soon to be wounds.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Tall, ugly Yakuza looking methhead evoking creeps who wear open leisure shirts and 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. Beating them requires literally honing your kung fu down to invincible status, attaining a high grasp on Desperate Struggle's advanced techniques, like learning how to take advantage of the backsides of enemies, cornering down foes to divide and conquer, baiting out foes with Beat Attacks to your advantage, and paying attention to what's also outside of the camera, as these assholes enjoy trying to outflank you as well and come in with that dash attack of theirs to close in from a very far distance.
  • 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.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Low Beat Attacks, or kicks, always lead into specific Wrestling Throws, be it the Trap Suplex in front or the German Suplex from the back on normal sized Mooks. This may be due to how these kicks target appropriate parts of the body to weaken resisting Travis when he seizes them; with the Trap Suplex, kicking foes at their core wounds them from being able to squirm out more easier, while the German Suplex takes advantage of an area that's pounded away at the lower spine, the hip, and the leg sockets, making it harder for a Mook to try and run away or kick back resisting. For scrawny mooks, their backside instead gives way to the Reverse Armsault/Butterfly Suplex, which appropriately counters their lunging attack, keeps their knives at bay, and uses that posture for Travis to shatter their spine with upon flipping back and landing them like a pancake.
    • A Low Charge Attack is able to kill Beam Katana mooks with ease if they are performing their own pathetic excuse substitute for it. This is because their girth makes them much more slower in motion in momentum, leaving them much more vulnerable, while the horizontal slash openly cuts away at their lower body, which is exposed.
    • Why doesn't Travis just decapitate giant mooks? Lopping them off at the torso is a much more vulnerable spot, and these fatheads are likely that vain and concieted that their conquests are halted because they now don't have their intact body by their overt machismo bullshit standards and never tasted defeat before in their lives, which is why they don't fight back even as half of a man they used to be.
    • Slash Combos don't cause foes to normally retaliate back as would Beat Attacks. This is due to how Beam Katanas are also electrified as much as they are super heated beams of energy and are constantly tazing them as much as they are slashing away at them. This would also likely explain why Parrying works, as the electric charge on a metal weapon would increase throwing a foe off balance as much as the instantaneous countering force does.
  • 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: Unlike the first game, which had a mismash of whatever dregs from the street or unsavory sides of Santa Destroy, like methed up purple suited Yakuza, high school gang members, and the riot inducing Santa Destroy Warriors fanclub, all of them are consitently lowlives hired under the literal wing of Pizza Batt and are a mafia army hired out to kill Travis for a considerable bounty. Major hints are dropped that they are a part of a globally connected New Mafia also headed by Jasper Batt Jr., gathered from troubled and lost individuals of society who found solace in Nathan Copeland's Gangsta Rap and brainwashed into thinking "murder cures the nation", were once the denizens of the prison that Cloe Walsh resided in, and live out in squalor where Alice Twilight trains. Many of them are also strongly hinted to be doped up on drugs when they face Travis, as evidenced by their sour and rather dilapidaed facial features, which may explain why they may go super armor when Beat Attacked, are unnaturally freakish in girth because of steroids, the "legitimate business" near the border that Travis goes to clear out in his Revenge Missions, and a very probable Mad Scientist level chemical production level operation under Jasper Batt Jr. as the guise of a food additive subsidary is running. Don't feel bad for wasting them, either, they are also likely thinking they can get lucky killing people for a living on easy street and are caught up in the California glamour trap as well.
  • Mook Horror Show: The usual result of Travis transforming into a goddamn tiger.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Toss-up between Sylvia and Shinobu.
  • 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. Travis is also now able to pull off punch and kick combos with his Beat Attacks, and not only is he able to lead in Slash Combos with them, but is able to cause damage with them to lead into Wrestling Moves as their own Deathblow this time around.
  • 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.
  • No OSHA Compliance: With the shift to an 8-bit style, the job mini-games are much more comically hazardous than the first game's. Aside from job hazards from the previous game such as falling coconuts and scorpions, Travis also has to deal with angry customers throwing forks at his face or dealing with asteroids while picking trash in space. The intro text to some of these jobs have Travis taking these jobs because one of their employees died or became ill on the job. "Man the Meat" (the game with the aforementioned angry customers) had the previous cook somehow contract Mad Cow Disease and butcher the rest of the staff, and the end dialogue implies this a frequent occurrence. "Tile in Style" had the previous tile-layer accidentally fall into a vat of artisan concrete.
  • Nostalgia Level: When Shinobu sets off to defeat the Ranked 8th assassin in the UAA, she goes to Bear Hug Studios from the first game with even the same music, Cashmere Cannonball playing. By the end of the level, she also fights the same boss Destroyman too, albeit revived as the two cyborg Destroymen since Destroyman was bisected in the first game.
    • The last portion of the final level might qualify as well to a lesser extent. It features Travis fighting hordes of mooks in the clean hallways of a rich assassin's base of operations while NMH is playing as the backing soundtrack. It's somewhat similar to the very first level of the first game.
  • 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-Hit Kill: As with the first game, some (but not all) of the highest-ranked assassins possess attacks that either kill Travis outright or deal enough damage to bring him close enough. Also, unlike the first game, every single wrestling move is now an instant kill for every non-boss enemy.
  • 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.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Despite his reputation for being a supreme assassin, Jasper Batt Jr. barely lifts a finger himself the entire game, regulating all tasks to his henchmen and lackeys. As it turns out, the guy is a cowardly villain, manipulating everything with his wealth and power while using them to cower in his tower.
  • Parrying Bullets: Nearly all manner of attacks, and in this case, bullets, can be Parried. It's especially advised to learn how to do this, as later enemy positions will place normal gun and machine gun Mooks to snipe at Travis from an advantageous distance, and a major protip for those facing Chloe Walsh: this will be your lifeline in her stage, especially on Bitter.
  • 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.
  • Platonic Prostitution: The Framing Device of the game is Sylvia, reduced to working as a booth babe, narrating the events of the game that led to her fall from grace to an anonymous customer who only comes in to listen to her. By the end of the game, the customer reveals himself to be none other than Travis, who did these meetings to get Sylvia to open up and get her emotions out before inviting her to return to Santa Destroy together.
  • 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.
  • Real After All: Despite being revealed at the end of the first game as nothing more than a hoax of con artist Sylvia, in this game the UAA is a real organization, complete with both premises and employees.
  • 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.
  • Replay Mode: After the game is finished, the Deathmatch mode is unlocked to challenge any of the fifteen bosses from story mode.
  • 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. The whole reason why Travis got thrust into the assassin scene in the first place is because he wanted revenge on Jeane (unconsciously), not because of the ranks or Sylvia (which he conveniently forgot until Rank 1 fight). Jeane 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).
  • Say My Name: When Travis discovers Bishop's decapitated head in a paper bag thrown through his window. "BISHOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!"
  • School Setting Simulation: The Rank 49-to-25 stage takes place in Destroy University, and as Travis goes through its inner area he has to find and challenge Charlie MacDonald, a renowned American Football player. He is accompained by his cheerleaders (who are also part of the assassin rank, hence why defeating all of them nets Travis the 25th rank instead of merely the 49th), and the ensuing boss fight is a tribute to the Super Sentai franchise. In a later, optional stage, Travis has to tackle the outdoor area of the University to find and challenge another assassin, Kimmy Howell.
  • 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 its component robots all resemble those from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    • Santa Death Parade gets in on this too, highly resembling the Dekabutsu from the end of TTGL's first arc, 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 also looks akin to Gunbuster; Travis' poster in his living room even has it in the Gunbuster Pose.
    • 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. 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.
    • 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.
    • Margaret's muzzle flashes from her guns are in the shape of a Teutonic cross, just like those in Equilibrium. Margaret also 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 it's straight out of a fighting game.
    • Chloe 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 and another girl who even has similar poisonous qualities and has been locked up in isolation before.
    • 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 corruptions of Bruce Wayne and Batman respectively.
    • The manner which Henry was trophified by Dr.Letz Shake after being defeated by him is obviously a reference to what happened to Han at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
    • In a reference to a previous Grasshopper work, the brothel Sylvia appears in in the intermission cutscenes is called Heaven's Smile. (Though you'd only know this if you read the Japanese manual.)
    • A game about revenge, you go about a urban hellscape facing down foes to get to the bottom of the situation, the villain's henchmen are mostly suited Mooks and other dregs of society picked out by the handful, are strongly hinted to be in the drug trade and are developing new doping drugs as well, and the villain dwells in his penthouse tower.... And it's time to KICK THEIR ASS!
  • Shower Scene: Shinobu's Save Point.
  • Skyward Scream: Travis does this several times, most notably after defeating Ryuji in a duel and after killing Alice, the penultimate boss.
  • Smash Mook: Obese psychos wielding axes and chainsaws. These old curmudgeons literally can throw their weight around and sponge damage, but going in from the back is their Weaksauce Weakness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The final boss has a second form that is muscular and resembles a superhero, with an attack that summons a horde of purple bats. He is Battman.
  • 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!
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Dark Side Mode returns in this game, with the super modes Travis can attain being revamped. They now include:
    • Cranberry Chocolate Sundae: Travis morphs into a tiger, allowing him to move quickly and kill enemies swiftly.
    • Blueberry Cheese Brownie: Travis becomes capable of unleashing deadly sword beams.
    • Strawberry on the Shortcake: Time slows to a crawl as Travis's movement speed and attack speeds increase. He also becomes able to execute deathblows without needing to input Action Commands.
    • Gooseberry Sugar Donut: Travis unleashes an explosion that clears the room of enemies.
    • Aside from the super modes that are activated by deathblow-initiated slot machines, Travis also has a super mode he can activate at will when his Ecstacy Gauge is topped off, giving him super speed, infinite hitstrings, and invulnerability.
  • Sword and Gun: Skelter Helter. He doesn't skimp on either.
  • 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 a 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.
  • This Means War!: "This isn't a battle,'s a motherfucking war!"
  • Three Plus Two: What happened to the Bizarre Jelly anime over the past three years; two new members, Gooseberry and Nutberry, joined.
  • Too Awesome to Use: A variant. After Charlie MacDonald is defeated in a Humongous Mecha fight, the UAA confiscates Glastonbury from Travis after only one use in the entire game. Not only would it potentially break the UAA as a sport (as no other assassin besides Travis now has access to a giant robot), a civilian like Travis owning a giant robot could become a public nuisance.
  • Too Many Belts: Chloe 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.
    • A 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.
  • Underground Monkey: If the difficulty is set to Mild or Bitter, Jasper Batt Jr. will hire out Mooks with different fashion choices and Black and Latino Mooks to kill Travis.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Unlike the first No More Heroes, combat gameplay here is a lot more fluid, and the engine has been upgraded to give it a much more realistic feel to it. While nearly all of the combat features have returned, they have been either revamped, overshadowed, or play second fiddle to entirely new features to pick up this time around:
    • Beat Attacks are no longer simple punches or kicks dependent on wind up; this time Travis is able to combo hand to hand attacks, like fast streams of punches or a slow but heavy onslaught of wound up kicks.
    • Charge Attacks no longer instantly drain the battery (with some exceptions by difficulty), instead going for big amounts of damage by an efficent fraction cost of power.
    • Mooks are now given "stun values" and can go into an endurance state and retaliate if you Beat Attack them too often. Mooks also have AI and in turn different psychologies if you face them, which gets them to act in battle differently, which also plays into a small Fear system, where Mooks who survive and last with lower health can potentially get scared of Travis if the player kills any of their other fellow Mooks around them, and especially if Travis uses a Down Attack.
    • All physically confrontational Mooks have a single unblockable attack. While the first game had this, you are also confronted with a myriad and well defined army of shitheels with different niches and approaches they fill to kill off, making it somewhat unreliable to go on a defensive all the time, which in the first game, was crucial to unleashing Dark Step to open up vulnerabilities. Desperate Struggle this time around demands you to prioritize and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
    • Dark Step is toned down in these ways: Dark Step is useful on normal sized Mooks, but foes are all no longer confused, leaving them open to attack relentlessly, and you are not invulernable when it's active. This means that Mooks with guns can still harm you, and Beam Katana roided Mooks, who have an extremely large stun sponge mechanic when they attack, making Dark Step much more weary to take advantage of. There is what can be called "Dark Juggle", in where Travis can launch normal sized Mooks into the air to be helpless ragdolls upon lift off with the final blow of a Low Slash Combo however, and it is much more useful, but.....
    • As said before, foes are much more varied and on their toes to try to kill you. Along with the toned down usefulness of Dark Step, they have much lesser openings to engage in clashes with, and you can't just focus on one person at a time, because enemy behavior can have them attack by the handful. Travis now has to learn how to draw out foes and prioritize with tactics and strategy to quickly take out foes one by one. Going kill crazy and brutalizing foes may also be done to the player's liking, but if one wants to be absolutely flawless, they can't go in guns blazing.
    • As for mechanics, in return, this time, Travis has to learn how to parry and counterattack, and do it often, because of the now more realistic nature of its gameplay that creates more tension, and not even to forget to mention its advantage of unleashing extremely battery low cost Low Charge Attacks which is extremely useful for crowd control because of its spinning slash, long invincibility frames, tendency to cause large amounts of damage, and instant kills in tough spots. Parrying also is a miracle maker when facing gun boasting Mooks and for players playing on Bitter Mode.
    • The environment also plays a big factor this time, and is a major reason to be aware of your surroundings. Travis or Mooks can be thrown into the wall, which can inflict both knockdown and additional damage. While this is a plus for Travis, this can also be a major pain in the ass if Travis is on the recieving end. For Mooks, Beat Attacks always interrupt their retaliatory attacks and stun them, or there's an attack powerful enough, they always have them peel off knocked out vulnerable for Low Slash Combos, which have their own unique down attack based Deathblow, or a natural Down Attack.
    • The Ecstacy Gauge. The Ecstacy Gauge also acts as an adrenaline meter as much as a super meter; with a personal option of a spend or save risk-reward aspect, building and saving it up allows for Travis to have less dead vulnerability frames for standard Beat Attacks and dodging, expands upon his Slash Combos, and gives his attacks more strength and power, including allowing final attack Beat Finishers the edge of inflicting dizzying stun for an instant Wrestling Throw. Activating it allows for Super Mode, which allows Travis to access a more available Dark Side Mode in which he can kill foes quickly like Strawberry On The Shortcake and is entirely invincible during it, and keeping it also gives the slots higher chances for more standard Dark Side Modes. As it goes down anytime Travis takes damage, it also rewards the player for doing well, making it an incentive to keep it up.
    • Dark Side Modes have also been majorly revamped. Because of the addition of Super Mode, which is said by the manual that it is its own Dark Side Mode, Strawberry On The Shortcake has been retooled to be Cherry from the first game but with automatically performed instant killing finishers. Blueberry Cheese Brownie is now without its annoying glare and slow tank like mechanics, allowing Travis to kill anyone with its twin volly fireballs and can Deathblow if near death Mooks are in the way, at the caveat of a shorter duration. Cranberry Chocolate Sundae is no longer its "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody montage, instead being a display of Travis turning into a motherfucking tiger, and freely preying upon all of the Mooks who dare to face him as they shit and piss their pants in fear at how their lives have turned out. Gooseberry Sugar Donut replaces Anarchy In The Galaxy, instead being a limited radius instant killing blast from Travis.
    • As this entry suggests, you have to actually study what makes this game tick in order to get really good at it and not get thrown around, and not just foes, but Travis's own attacks and what effects they have, and even then, you have to use your exploits to go around the countering aspects that downplay the majority of the first game's mechanics. In example, instead of Dark Stepping, Travis can use the second punch of his Beat Attack combo to punch a Mook in the gut to create an opening around to their back; Beam Katana roided Mooks can be killed with countering their psuedo charge attacks with an actual Charge Attack; and if Travis has a low Ecstacy Gauge and uses a Slash Combo, if the player can time it all the way to the near end of an Mook's overwhelmed frame, they can insert a Beat Finisher that will instantly stun them.
    • Bosses are no longer waiting games of attrition; Ranked Assassins are a majority one on one deathmatches and they will always have attacks ready in the wings for you and you must take action when they come out. Unlike the first game, Beat Attacks actually have some use instead of being duds reserved strictly for defensive positions, and this opens up a lot more variety for Travis to use on Rankers. Parrying is also a major feature recommended to master in this subject, as attacks come out deafeningly quick by bosses, and even then, some attacks will cause Travis to be cancelled outright from doing anything, making it necessary to react quick when damaged or stunlocked to recover before they can pull off anything additionally deadly. Bosses will also come with their own unique gimmicks, but they are not 100% played for laughs this time around.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Chloe's level. Emphasis on "useful" when you play on Bitter, and on "useless" otherwise.
  • 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.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Combat in Desperate Struggle is a lot more realistic, and makes this game a lot more visceral than even the first game. For instance:
    • While stunning Mooks does allow for them to be vulnerable for an instant killing Wrestling Throw or Charge Attack, you can actually keep on attacking them from the back with Slash Combos, or if you position Travis right, keep wailing on them from the back with Beat Attacks until their health goes full empty red if you don't feel they'll be weakened enough for their inevitable undignified death.
    • If you have a mook of your choice against a wall, you can keep wailing on them with either Slash Comboes or Beat Attacks, as they'll be nothing but stunlocked until they fall over onto the floor when their stun endurance goes out.... and you can potentially then repeat the process until gameplay says "FINISH THEM!"
    • And if you feel especially cruel, you can peel foes against the wall, or have them be kicked hard in the gut enough for them to lay on the floor in pain. You can then proceed to stomp them into the ground, all while robbing them of their money, which all flies into Travis' pocket, until it's all done. And even then, you can keep stomping on them, even past empty health, until you get bored or decide to give them an impromptu defibrilation, or lift them back up on their feet by the collar, and give them both severe brain and spine trauma, and aforementioned said malpractice induced death. Fat Mooks are extremely exploitable to this.
    • And if you feel extremely cruel and have the right conditions, you can actually kill a Mook's allies and make some of them terrified that yeah, this is what is going to happen to them, before unleashing all of hell on to them as their bane and making them regret they ever thought to take up their now dead end path in life.
    • As a gameplay exploit, Low Beat Attacks on normal sized Mooks from the rear always gets Travis to perform the German Suplex, which can be summed up as Travis literally full brute force lifting them up over his head to violently slam them back head first onto the ground, before the Beam Katana lands itself into their bodies, and forces their deadass dead weight bodies, head now disconnected from the rest of the body by severe fall trauma induced permanent paralysis, to pathetically jut up in electric reaction trying to get up and not die with their entire life ending going literally belly up. If one has immense annoyance against a standard Mook who is giving them that much trouble, one could literally kick them in the ass and make them their bitch.
    • Some stages, specifically Rank 4: Margaret Moonlight at Supermarket Guan's and Rank 2: Alice Twilight at the third Akashic Point, have areas where cars driven by Mooks actively pull up and can run over either Travis or other Mooks. The former has a kill count mechanic where vans like a clown car full of Mooks will ride on out to the parking lot area, and Mooks can be run over like dumbasses, or even killed if they have low health (their heads only pop off instead of dying of severe internal damage however), and the latter has a long stretch area about a fifth of the way in, where cars will zoom in from both sides of the alley. Naturally, you can get Mooks to get run over by their own dumbass associates.
  • 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.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To the second act of El Topo, which was said to be the inspiration for the first No More Heroes.
  • 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, 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 have 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): No More Heroes 2


Margaret Moonlight

The moon in the 4th-ranked fight is utterly massive, to the point of taking up almost the entire background. Fitting, considering that Margaret's motif is the moon, and her surname is literally "Moonlight".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / GiganticMoon

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