Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Go To
"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:

  • 100% Completion: The process to complete the game 100% is more straightforward than with its predecessor, due to the lack of a Hub Level. As long as you don't miss any of the collectible goodies (such as furniture for your apartment, anime posters, etc.) in the rank stages and revenge missions (since they cannot be replayed upon clearing), you'll be fine. All other stuff (namely the purchasable lightsabers and clothes, side job minigames, weight exercises with Jeane, and the training lessons from Ryan) can be accessed anytime until entering the Rank 1 stage (since it's a Point of No Return, especially when you use the Save Point right before the Final Boss).
  • Abnormal Ammo: Million Gunman has a gun that shoots tightly packed wads of cash.
    Fuck you, I shoot money!
  • 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.
  • The Alcatraz: The Rank 23 stage is set within a high-security prison. Travis has to avoid being spotted while he's sneaking around the outdoor yards, or else he'll have to fight all guards earlier than necessary. Once inside the facility, he reaches a jail room where he has to dispatch all enemies under a time limit. The boss at the end is Cloe Walsh, a woman with a poisonous breath.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: There's a football-themed boss who has a harem of 25 cheerleaders as groupies. And those cheerleaders are helping him assemble a Humongous Mecha to challenge Travis.
  • Already Done for You: Here you actually get to fight Letz Shake, unlike in the first game; however, he kills ranks 11 through 22 off-screen. You also skip the fights for ranks 5 and 6; to repay Travis for getting him out of a coma, Henry kills them, gives Travis the ranks, and sends him pictures of the aftermath just to rub it in. He also mocks the player for complaining about it by saying something about there being no way you could have done these fights anyway, because the game is already packed full.
  • 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.
  • American Robot: While not explicitly American, Santa Death Parade does embody the classic American sport of football (complete with football projectile attacks), and contrasts with Travis' more Japanese-inspired Humongous Mecha.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: There's a couple of levels where you play as Shinobu, and a dream sequence where you control Henry. Both of them end up helping Travis. He doesn't appreciate it.
  • 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.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: There are two secret items in each stage that can be used to decorate Travis' apartment, one of which relates to the last boss he fought.
  • 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.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Travis can't believe Sylvia when she says he's just fought an undead child powered by the devil. This is coming from a guy whose master's ghost ran his own gym for a while after dying, guided him through a forest, and handed him a farewell note. This boss was at the first of three Akashic points in the game. The mere fact that he even got there by some strange sort of teleportation should tell him something's off. It's lampshaded after Travis beats the first Akashic boss, where Sylvia tells Travis the undead devil kid's story, and Travis simply shrugs and replies with "All assassins are fucked up somehow. Hell, nothing surprises me anymore."
  • 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.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The minigame Getting Trashed has Travis gather pieces of debris floating above the Earth's atmosphere to prevent it from falling down into the planet. The problem is that there are several meteors moving aimlessly through his vicinity, and getting hit by them will mess up his mobility. For extra difficulty, Travis has to keep and eye on his Oxygen Meter so he can refill it periodically by returning to the spacecraft, and not falling down into the atmosphere (which can happen easily due to the meteors). The minigame has four levels, and each following one increases the number of meteors present.
  • 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.
  • Back from the Dead: Both Destroyman and Letz Shake from the original No More Heroes return despite having seemingly been killed off (and the latter not even getting a proper boss fight). Travis makes sure Letz Shake's sticks this time, but it takes until No More Heroes III when Travis kills Destroyman for real. Bishop also gets upgraded from being an NPC at Beef Head Video to actually getting a cutscene with voice acting, just in time for his death to spark Travis' Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: has more, numerically speaking. Out of the 51 ranked assassins in the United States, numbers 49 through 26 are cheerleaders who work with the 25th ranked assassin, Charlie MacDonald, to form a Humongous Mecha. Assassins ranked 22 through 11 are participating with Travis (ranked 23rd by this point) in a free-for-all battle where they are killed by the tenth ranked assassin, Dr. Letz Shake (ironically, the brain from the machine that Letz Shake used in the last game). Finally, after Henry comes out of a coma thanks to Travis, he goes out and kills the fifth and sixth ranked bosses for Travis off-screen, giving the victories to Travis and sending him pictures of the aftermath; he also chides Travis for being upset about it because the game already has 15 bosses and more would be unreasonable. All in all, that's 39 bosses that the player does not get to fight (when Henry killed some assassins for Travis, he gave three names, but Travis only went from rank 7 to rank 5, which implies that either one of the bosses worked as a team with another, or attempted to reclaim Travis' current rank like Kimmy Howell beforehand. That or the creators just can't do math).
  • Battle Against the Sunset:
    • The seventh ranked assassin Ryuji fights Travis while the sun is setting, with the first phase being a duel on their bikes that highlight them in shadows. After that, Ryuji's Miyamoto Musashi motifs come into play, with his boss fight being another duel while the sun sets. While Travis tries to complete the homage by defeating him in an honorable duel, Sylvia guns him down instantly once Ryuji is on his last legs.
    • The Number 2 ranked assassin in the game, Alice Twilight, has its level and boss battle take place at sunset. It serves as an emotional Climax Boss that makes Travis realize how the UAA's Ranked Matches have perpetuated a cycle of violence that he resolves to stop once his own goal for revenge has been fulfilled.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: A rather weird one where Henry, while unconscious, fights against Mimmy, a manifestation of Travis' various fetishes (being a Moe Robot Girl), which is apparently brought on by Travis "watching" anime in the other room.
  • Battle Theme Music: Most bosses have their own battle themes, based on Autobots, Rock Out! There is, however, an exception for the game and the series with Ryuji, who borrows the music of Matt Helms ("Subuta 2"). Also of note is Henry's theme ("We Are Finally Cowboys"), which was originally heard during his True Final Boss battle against Travis at the end of the first game, and is remixed into a more dynamic version in this game when he is fighting Mimmy.
  • 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 Bad: Jasper Batt Jr. is the CEO of Pizza Batt and head of the United Assassins Association who rules Santa Destroy with an iron fist, organizes the deadly fights between assassins for his amusement, and kills Travis' best friend, Bishop, to get back at Travis for killing his father and brothers, sending Travis on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Rank 24 stage is set in an abandoned cemetery, while the boss (an undead creature called Matt Helms) is fought inside a decrepit house.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The minigame Bug Out! has Travis visit an apartment to exterminate a large group of grasshopers, bees, mice and scorpions, all of them being the same size as Travis himself if not bigger. The minigame is divided into four levels, with each one taking place in a wider room or floor than the last, and thus having more crawlies to deal with.
  • 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!
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Million Gunman, the Rank 9 assassin, uses a pair of gold-plated C96 Mausers that actually shoot money.
  • 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.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Travis meets up with Cloe Walsh, an assassin bound inside a container. She is possibly the most utterly evil assassin in the game (considering that she seems to have more control over herself than Matt Helms while still being just as sadistic), and one of the first things Travis says to her is "You're lucky I don't have a bondage kink."
  • 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!"
  • Book Ends: 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 Corridor: Compared to the first and third games, this one has shorter corridors preceding the boss fights (and some don't even have one) as Sylvia doesn't call Travis to encourage (or discourage) him before the battles this time around.
  • Boss Game: Made more prominent than the first or subsequent games, because everything except the bosses (and the short levels leading to them, sometimes not even that) are optional (there's no need to pay a fee before the fights, for starters).
  • Boss-Only Level: The Rank 10 and 7 stages, as well as the Henry stage. In the former two, Travis manages to reach the whereabouts of the bosses without needing to go through a path filled with enemies, while the latter one has Henry being trapped within a nightmare because Mimmy won't allow him to wake up (thus forcing the battle as soon as they finish talking).
  • Boss Remix: When you do get to play as Henry in his boss fight against Mimmy, the Golden Brown remix of "We Are Finally Cowboys" plays during the fight.
  • Boss Subtitles: Compared to the first game, this one uses a different approach, in reverse: The boss' name gets revealed after the battle is won, along with the subtitle stating that they are defeated.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Margaret Moonlight's theme song "Philistine" plays during her boss battle, and has two purposes: To explain why Margaret is awesome, and to demoralize her opponents.
  • Brain in a Jar: When Dr. Letz Shake comes back for the 10th ranked battle, it is revealed that he is the brain-powered earthquake generator. It's hinted that this is the same Letz Shake from the first game after an Emergency Transformation.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The game begins by doing this, with Travis asking "aren't you going to explain what happened since the last game?"
  • Brick Joke:
    • When first seducing Travis, Sylvia mentions one of her favorite "yoga position" 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.
  • Bubble Gun: Kimmy Howell, an optional boss, wields a double-sided beam katana that emits a flood of pretty bubbles when she spins it. Unlike most examples, however, they explode with surprising force and cannot be blocked. The best defense is simply to get out of Dodge.
  • Bullet Hell: Bizarre Jelly 5. Notable for its special difficulty, unlocked after clearing hard without losing a life. Reaching the end of this mode results in a Superboss fight against the Glastonbury. While tough on its own, it unleashes Bullet Hell upon reaching its last breath. And you can't continue in this mode after losing your three lives.
  • 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.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: Travis Touchdown after having an intercourse with Sylvia prior to the Rank 1 stage.
    "Downward Fucking Dog!"
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: After having been caught in the bathroom by an assassin in the first game's ending (which would have costed his life if it wasn't for Henry), Travis keeps his beam katanas at all times in his belt, even when he's in bathrooms or restrooms. It's unclear if Shinobu does the same with her samurai sword when taking a shower.
  • Captain Ersatz: Skelter Helter is Cloud, and Squall, and Tidus all wrapped up into one.
  • Cast from Money: Although it's not immediately obvious, Million Gunman actually uses up rolled up wads of cash as ammunition for his guns, as can be seen from the large clouds of floating bills whenever you get hit by them. Then again, considering that bills fly out of any enemy you stomp repeatedly or cut in half with your Beam Katana, his choice of weaponry isn't really that surprising.
  • Catchphrase: Shinobu with Moe, a word her "master" is fond of, although she doesn't know what that means exactly.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down:
    • Pay attention to Travis after Henry wakes up from his dream fight with Mimmy. He's sitting in his chair jerking off, and freaks when Henry wakes up. It gets even funnier when you hear the Bizarre Jelly theme in the background.
    • 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. His final form is an immobile, goofy mascot balloon with a weak, easily blockable laser as its main attack, plus a very inaccurate punch.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The battle between Travis and Skelter Helter is mostly a swapping of constant "FUCK YOU!"s.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium: The coconut grabbing minigame from the first game returns, now in Retraux form. Once again, Travis has to kick the palmtress to make their coconuts fail and grab them carefully, as getting hit in the head with one will leave Travis stunned for a while (and there's a time limit to deal with). He also has to dodge numerous bees as he looks for the coconut trees, and the minigame now lasts four levels.
  • Cold Sniper: Margaret Moonlight uses more ordinary weaponry and is incapable of one-shotting Travis, unlike Speed Buster from the first game, but she has the ability to teleport, thus allowing her to aim at Travis and whittle his health down and warp elsewhere if he ever gets too close for comfort.
  • Collection Sidequest: The trope is downplayed due to the absence of an overworld, but there are still many goodies (such as Bizarre Jelly 5 posters and special furniture for Travis' room) that are present in the rank stage as well as in the optional Revenge Missions.
  • Combining Mecha: There's a version of the Glastonberry built for himself in the event that he's ever staring down a giant robot.
  • Comeback Mechanic: The game allows Travis to recover from 0 to 3 HP if the Wiimote and Nunchuk are aggressively shaked. It works up to four times, but if the last hit before the potential death is landed when Travis is knocked to the floor, or is One-Hit Kill, Travis will invariably die.
  • 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.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: After Travis fights and defeats Matt Helms, Sylvia shows up and tells him that the 24th ranked assassin was originally a child abandoned by his parents in the very house he and Travis fought in. He made a Deal with the Devil with his dying breath and killed them afterwards, feeding on the suffering and hate in the forest. Travis remarks that "all assassins are fucked up somehow, or we wouldn't be in this profession", adding that nothing surprises him anymore.
  • 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.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The battle against the returned, Emergency Transformation form of Letz Shake is a variation; it is a circular area rather than a corridor, but the rest of the criteria is there. His main attack is sending a massive shockwave through the entire arena, and if you haven't made it to one of the few stable chunks of ground in the area when that happens, say bye-bye to half your health.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: Helter Skelter's brother Skelter Helter is one to Cloud Strife. His main weapon highly resembles the buster sword and he even sports spiky anime hair and they both try to avenge the loss of a loved one, Helter for Skelter and Aerith for Cloud. However, Skelter's angst is much more hammy and noticeable compared to Cloud's bitter and sorrowful view and he has none of the latter's more positive traits.
  • Counter-Attack: Parrying from the first game has been revamped considerably, and takes advantage of Desperate Struggle's improvements to the combat gameplay.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Starting from this game, Travis delivers one during the cutscene of a boss's defeat to kill them (or in one case, incapacitate).
  • Crashing Dreams: In the part where you play as Henry, he gets into a bizarre stage where he fights an anime girl named Mimmy who welds a mini mech. After the battle, he wakes up and finds Travis watching one of his animes, suggesting the whole encounter was influenced from the noise of the show.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Travis Touchdown arrives at the Rank 49-to-25 fight, assassin Charlie MacDonald and his cheerleading squad transform into a Humongous Mecha. Travis responds: "I thought something like this might happen." He then summons his own Humongous Mecha and he and Charlie proceed to have a giant mecha fight in the middle of Santa Destroy.
  • 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.
  • Crosshair Aware: Halfway through her fight, Rank 4 leaps onto a high platform and starts sniping at you. She tracks you with a laser sight, which grows much more opaque just before she fires.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The game has decapitation, horizontal evisceration, head explosion, being chopped to pieces, arms being chopped off followed by decapitation, then having the still living head being sliced to bits, another decapitation with the same result, being stabbed through the head, the having the blade grind into the skull, machine gunned, disembowelment, suffocation, and finally being sliced in half from diving at Travis.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Subverted. Right before the final battle with Jasper Batt Jr., Batt reveals to Travis that Henry, Shinobu, and Sylvia were all brutally killed off by having some Mooks deliver him their severed heads on platters. And then right before Batt goes all One-Winged Angel, Henry shows up...and reveals that the heads were just very good replicas. And then Sylvia saves Travis from his fall from the top of Pizza Batt tower. Shinobu is nowhere to be seen but she later turns up alive and well in the sequel.
  • Cute 'em Up: Accessing the TV lets you play a Bullet Hell game based on the Show Within a Show, Bizarre Jelly 5.
  • Cute Kitten: Jeane the cat returns in this game, much chubbier. A major sidequest is to bring her back down to brainshattering cuteness, which also nets a nice extra.
  • 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.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Rank 10 is equal parts a damage sponge (it's a giant Brain in a Jar, they take some killing) and a "Get Back Here!" Boss, making the fight feel even longer.
  • 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.
  • Dance Battler: Nathan Copeland, although his main weapon is a rocket launching boombox that turns into robotic arms, so he is perpetually dancing around the battlefield.
  • Dark Action Girl: The female assassins, just like in the first game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the first game. While it still retains the quirky, paradoxal, fourth wall-breaking, Tarantino-esque qualities of the first game, it continues the series’ theme of revenge that was only brought up at the end of the first game, a noticeably angrier Travis, and the brutal murder of Travis' friend Bishop, with his severed head in a paper bag being thrown through Travis' window at the beginning of the game. Interestingly, the second game also features some actual Character Development, with Travis starting to get sick of mindless killing and eventually deciding to quit the UAA because it disgusts him, as opposed to the first game, where he was just a violent, foul-mouthed Blood Knight. The darker tone of the game is echoed by the ambiance of the levels, most of them being explored during dusk time, representing an important transition for Travis and the characters supporting him.
  • 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: It's possible for the final boss in his second form to instantly kill Travis by punching him out the window. This fact is actually foreshadowed as early as the scene where Travis meets with Sylvia outside a restaurant, where a guy falls out from the sky into a car. Seems to be a favorite of his. Travis then does the same to him, but the latter survives by going One-Winged Angel.
  • 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.
    • Not to be outdone, Shinobu "recharges" her katana by... stroking it. Sure, she's actually sharpening it, but still...
  • Double-Meaning Title: The game builds on the Crapsack World direction of the first game, while also putting it in an entirely new context — Travis has become legendary as an assassin who climbed to the top but managed to free himself from the bloodshed (for a time being), earning the veneration of those similarly trapped in the cyclical business of killing and revenge, calling him "The Crownless King" or the "No-More Hero".
  • Downer Beginning: The game opens with Travis's best friend, Bishop, being murdered by hitmen after he rejoins the ranking battles. The following morning, the assassins deliver Bishop's severed head to Travis's motel room.
  • 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 Boss: New Destroyman, two cyborgs made from the severed halves of the original Destroyman. One of them fights Shinobu up close with punches, while the other one fights at a distance with Eye Beams and runs away a lot. Because they have separate health bars and can revive each other if one dies, this fight becomes a very annoying game of chase.
  • Dual Wielding: Travis gets a beam katana two-set called the Rose Nasty. The one he holds in his left hand is shorter than the right hand one. It's also the fastest beam katana in the game, although it's also the weakest.
  • Due to the Dead: Travis refuses to let Sylvia and company "clean up" the body of the third-ranked assassin, a cosmonaut who had returned to Earth for the first time in decades. Travis insists that he be left where he is, to be with the Earth he had so missed, finally with her once more in death.
  • 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.
  • Early-Bird Boss: Fighting Skelter Helter is literally the first thing you do after the opening cutscene. The game even tries to teach you the controls mid-fight. Fortunately, if you've played the first game already and have a good handle on the controls, he shouldn't be too hard... unless you're fighting on Bitter Mode. The game still goes through the tutorial, even on Bitter, which can actually mess players up.
  • Earthquake Machine: After its interrupted performance in the first game, it ends up coming back in this game in the form of the newly-rebuilt Dr. Letz Shake, adapted into a smaller, but still devastating Spider Tank version of itself. This time, he actually is fought, and while his earthquakes are much smaller, they can still sap 50% (75% in Bitter) of Travis' health if he stands in the wrong spot.
  • 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.
  • Electric Joybuzzer: New Destroyman tries the Destroy Spark trick on Shinobu, but she already could tell its a trick and cuts his hand off before he could activate his spark ability.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Margaret rocks this style. The look of her outfit seems to be a Shout-Out to Suigintou, along with the hair color and all.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: There's a brief cameo by an unnamed character who shows up out of nowhere, monologues in horrible, broken, monotone English, hands over a new weapon, and vanishes. The reason this character's English is so terrible? He's Takashi Miike, As Himself.
  • Emergency Transformation: Destroyman and Letz Shake survive the events in the first game this way.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In comparison to talking to Travis about the thrill of fighting like she usually does while informing him about his opponents in the brothel scenes before the ranked fights, Sylvia talks about Margaret Moonlight being able to make you feel ice in your veins, before admitting she heard her whistling from a 100 yards away, and getting so scared she passed out for a week, before dreading the idea of listening to it up close, telling Travis to change the subject.
  • 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: The Final Boss and Rank 1 assassin, Jasper Batt Jr., is fought in the highest floor of his luxurious building, specifically in his office. Watch out for that massive window.
  • Expressive Health Bar: Alongside a traditional battery symbol, the player's current energy meter for his Beam Katanas is also represented by a very phallic, smiling, bouncy blob which shrinks and becomes less happy as the player runs out of energy, requiring recharging with a suspicious shaking motion.
  • 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.
  • Fat Bastard: They're a mook type often seen eating a whole box of pizza if Travis hasn't caught their attention yet.
  • Feelies: The Japanese version comes with a book of official artwork, a mini-soundtrack, and a small graphic novel.
  • Flash Step:
    • Henry's Dash ability in his one playable level in the sequel.
    • Jasper Batt Jr. is capable of doing flash step punches in his second form, and when he's low on health he starts shooting tornados out of his fists as well. It's easily one of the most aggravating attacks in the game.
  • Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: When Sylvia meets Travis again, she once more tempts him by offering to sleep with him if he gets to 1st rank. He doesn't buy it at first, but becomes interested once she tells him she's a "yoga master" and how many "positions" she knows. When they have their Pre-Climax Climax, she actually proves this to be true, as the sex is so mind-blowingly good that it causes Travis to briefly step out of the apartment just to shout "DOWNWARD FUCKING DOG!" to the city.
  • 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.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Subverted. Bishop's murder, while setting off the whole plot, quickly falls by the wayside for most of the game. Aside from one cutscene about two-thirds through the game, it's hardly mentioned again— until the final boss fight, where it quickly thrusts itself back into the forefront.
  • Four Is Death: Margaret, who is the Rank 4 assassin. 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.
  • Funny Background Event: Shortly after the Rank 51 fight and the murder of Bishop, while Travis and Sylvia are talking at a restaurant, a man randomly falls out of the sky and lands on a car in the background. This event attracts the attention of everyone except them, though they're likely focused on discussing an already serious topic (the aforementioned death of Bishop). Ironically, the unlucky man's fall is caused by the very villain Travis is aiming to kill in the game; said villain used his One-Hit Kill attack aganst that man, so this also counts as Foreshadowing.
  • Gainax Ending: Surprisingly averted after the previous game as well as the next ones; the ending is fairly standard, despite some minor absurdities. If anything, much of the weirdness present comes from the Final Boss battle before the ending, enough to make Henry lampshade about it.
  • Game Within a Game: "Bizzare Jelly 5", a spin-off of the in-universe anime of the same name, is a video game you can play from the start of the game.
  • Gemini Destruction Law: New Destroyman is a partial case. The Destroyman who can fly and attacks mainly through projectiles can revive the other Destroyman. The other one, who fights mainly through hand-to-hand combat, has no such abilities. However, the one who can fly spends most of the battle out of reach, making it hard to actually finish him off first before the close-range one pummels you.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The game is relatively light on this due to not having as much input from Suda, but it's still there. Several characters in it were inspired by Travis' actions in the first game and idolize him, and the main villain is getting revenge for what seemed like minor throwaway side missions in the first game in which Travis killed CEOs of a random corporation. This time, Travis experiences Character Development as he's three years older than he was in the original, and while he doesn't exactly become a good guy, he does express disgust at it all and only reluctantly returns to the assassin job.
  • 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.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • Million Gunman. Add his unblockable ricochet attack that can hit you from any position, the sudden Platform Hell level with not-so-friendly jump physics, and his extremely annoying Boss Banter, and you have a hard opponent.
    • Margaret. Luckily, she's not that hard to beat, and even engages in melee when Travis is close enough.
    • Letz Shake, mixed with Corridor Cubbyhole Run where you must stand in particular parts of the ground to avoid his earthquakes.
  • Get It Over With: Nathan Copeland, an enlightened Dance Battler fought early on who seeks combat against Travis Touchdown in order to liberate one or both of them from their cruel, pointless lives as assassins. His last words as Travis impales him for the killing blow?
    Nathan: DELIVERANCE!
  • Giant Mook: Downplayed. One of the mook types are really fat guys armed with chainsaws. They lack finesse to block or counter-attack, but take a lot of damage before they flinch and dish out plenty of it in return.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Mimmy. Even in a series known for having eccentric, wild bosses, Mimmy's unique for 1) not being a ranked assassin on your kill list, 2) inexplicably taking place in a dream world, 3) having an unexpectedly cutesy anime design among a stylized, but generally realistic world, and 4) not even being fought using Travis, but his brother Henry, marking the only moment in the game you play as him. Considering the intensity of the previous boss fight against Ryuji (as well as how Mimmy is never mentioned again following the fight), it's almost like the game going "Yeah, we're sorry if the last scene upset you, here's a wacky brawl against an anime girl to lighten the mood."
  • Gigantic Moon: The moon is big enough to block out a huge percentage of the sky, as seen in the battle against Margaret Moonlight.
  • Gimmick Level: The Rank 23 stage is a Stealth-Based Mission, though being spotted doesn't make you fail the level - you simply have to deal with enemies much earlier than planned.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: Travis Touchdown to Skelter Helter, the younger brother of a man he killed in a trailer for the first game:
    "When you see your brother in hell, tell him he's STILL a DOUCHE!!!"
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: Completing the Game Within a Game Bizarre Jelly 5 unlocks the opening of its Show Within a Show adaptation, which takes this trope to the next level: The resident Magical Girls have their clothes blown off by an attack, then instantly sprout new, frillier ones.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The ranked assassins, once again. Due to his inactivity after reaching the top spot in the first game, Travis is ranked 51st at first, but several assassins along the way are killed in groups, and a few others are killed by Shinobu and Henry, so Travis doesn't take too long to meet the 1st-ranked assassin once again.
  • Graffiti Town: The Rank 2 level, which culminates in a fight against Alice Twilight in the roof of a building, is set in a dense urban area filled with tall brick buildings, one of which has a gigantic graffiti modeled after Travis' face.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Travis Touchdown and Shinobu both blurt out "Moe!" for something good. The latter does this to emulate the former, though she pronounces it awkwardly ("Mo-Way!") and doesn't know what it means despite being the #1 Assassin of Asia. This has an extra twist, since the term started as schoolgirl slang until Western fans began using it ironically. Shinobu's real name is Scarlet Jacobs and she's (presumably) American - she just took a Japanese nickname (the dictionary form of shinobi) for no apparent reason.
  • 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.
  • Haunted House: Travis fights Matt Helms, a ghost kid who haunts his creepy, abandoned house, complete with a graveyard on the front lawn.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The plot is centered around Travis Touchdown gradually turning from a mostly remorseless killing machine into a better person. Although a point can be made that he treads the line between heel and face during the course of the first game and a good portion of the sequel too. Indeed, if he weren't a merciless assassin, this would almost be a case of Neutral No Longer, due to his attitude during most of the series. And then there's one of the ranked assassins, Shinobu, whom Travis spared, who becomes his ally and self-proclaimed apprentice.
  • He Had a Name: Travis says this to Sylvia after killing Alice, the second ranked assassin. Given how metaphorical is the game and how often Travis likes Breaking the Fourth Wall this could either be a Take That! to the industry, a You Bastard! to the player or maybe even both.
  • Heroic Resolve: The game has this to an extent as a form of Last Chance Hit Point, if you shake the controller hard enough after Travis takes a fatal blow, he will prevent himself from falling and replenish 4 blocks of health.
  • Heroic Second Wind: When Travis' health is depleted, there's a small window to shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk enough to come back with a small amount of health. The number of times you can do this per level/boss fight before going down for good depends on the difficulty level.
  • 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.
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song: The Rank #4 assassin, Margaret Moonlight, spends her entire boss fight singing an incredibly catchy song with parts insulting our "hero", Travis Touchdown:
    Thigh-high socks are my absolute territory
    Go on and drool; the otaku cannot resist
    You think the fire in your eyes makes you a tiger in disguise?
    Dream on, you goddamn pussy.
  • Hide Your Children: the only child in the game, Matt Helms, is immortal, since he made a pact with Satan. Also, he's a killer himself, and rarely looks like a kid.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The game is quite a bit kinkier than its predecessor, with its female bosses catering to all sorts of fetishes: Charlie McDonald's cheerleader underlings, Cloe Walsh, Margaret Moonlight, Alice Twilight, Kimmy Howell...even returning characters Dr. Naomi and Shinobu get hotter! And that's before even mentioning that late in the game, Travis and Sylvia finally do it...
  • Humongous Mecha: You go up against a football player and his horde of assassin cheerleaders who pilot one of these... with your own Humongous Mecha, Glastonbury (from a Show Within a Show). After the fight it gets confiscated, though.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Surprisingly averted: Travis carries all of his beam katanas on his belt and can switch between them at his leisure.
  • I Can Still Fight!: As long as Travis is still on his feet when he loses all his health, the player can furiously waggle the sticks to make him regain a bit of health and keep fighting. It can be done up to four times.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Like in the first game, the difficulty levels are labeled as Sweet, Mild and Bitter (the last one, once again, being exclusive to a New Game Plus).
  • 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.
  • I Have Many Names: As of this game, Travis Touchdown has been bestowed upon the titles of The Crownless King, The No More Hero, and the one everyone apparently forgot, Holy Sword.
  • 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The tutorial boss uses a revolver that revolves revolver cylinders. It gets crazier from there: There's a boom box/rocket launcher that transforms into a giant pair of robot arms, a flamethrower axe, a pair of sniper rifles/scythes, a double beam katana/recorder that shoots deadly bubbles, a pair of guns that shoot money, a giant football-themed robot, an improved, upgraded version of the first game's brain-powered quake-maker, and a backpack covered in waldoes, most of them with lightsabers on the end. It even delivers on the lightsaber dragon from the first game somewhat with a beam naginata that summons giant laser dragons. There's also the Peony, a beam katana that grows in length with the user's fighting spirit, until it's longer than Travis is tall.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The game has a gatling revolver, a boombox/power fist that can shoot missiles, a sports themed humongous mecha formed by a jerk jock and an army of assassin cheerleaders, a recorder that turns into a doublesided lightsaber, a flamethrower axe, perfect poison, the earthquake thingy again, a gun that shoots money and ricochets off walls, the crotch laser guy again, a laser blade that fires Laser Blade dragons, a pair of scythe/anti-material rifles, a Kill Sat, a multitude of Laser Blades that get thrown around...
  • Indecisive Parody: The game almost attempts to deconstruct the previous game, but still being similar enough to the previous game on its face that it ends up in here.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: The game, not wanting to be overshadowed by its predecessor, features several characters that invoke Rule of Cool for the sake of it, without much backstory or justification. Standouts include the Japanese guy with the beam naginata who can summon laser dragons, the woman with poisonous breath that was held captive inside a high-security prison, and an astronaut who apparently lost all grasp of time and awareness after being in space for so long, among others.
  • Inferred Survival: Just before the Final Boss, Jasper Batt Jr. reveals the severed heads of Sylvia, Henry, and Shinobu. Over the course of the fight, it's revealed that, at the very least, Henry's and Sylvia's heads are props, and that they're still alive, as they appear to assist Travis. While Shinobu doesn't reappear at all and her survival is not explicitly confirmed, the game makes the possibility real on the basis that Jasper just wanted to spite Travis and thus made him think that Shinobu was killed; her appearance in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes and No More Heroes III makes it an easy given that her death in 2 was fake as well.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Mooks often let out a cry of "MAMA!" as they're killed.
  • 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.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Henry's recovery from his Harmless Freezing involves fighting a little girl with Humongous Mecha arms (AKA Travis' fetish) in his mind. However, it's implied that it's influenced by the show that Travis was "watching" while Henry was out cold.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In the first game, Sylvia Christel played Travis like a fool and manipulated him into becoming the #1 ranked assassin under the false promise of sex. She got away completely unpunished when the game ends. In this game, we learn that her husband divorced her and she is shown miserable working in a strip club.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Kill Sat: Captain Vladimir, the Rank 3 boss, has a radio uplink to an old Soviet Union satellite cannon called Volk. It has two functions: a rain of smaller beams that deal good damage, and the "big beam". The big one's a One-Hit Kill.
  • Kill Steal: Henry (again), Shinobu, and ironically Dr. Letz Shake do this. Like the cases in the first game, the kills still count for him.
    • Dr. Letz Shake kills twelve in what was supposed to be a battle royale that you missed the majority of.
    • Shinobu kills two of the assassins on Travis' behalf while Travis is doing other stuff. You actually get to play as Shinobu for both the levels and the boss stages.
    • After Travis rescues him from the above Dr. Letz Shake, Henry kills three, who are suggested by earlier statements in the story to be two assassins and a challenger, since the math didn't add up for three ranked assassins. None of these are actually playable, though he does have a different playable boss fight. He even leaves Travis/you a message and sends pictures just to rub it in.
    Travis: You've got to be kidding me! Would you fucking people stop stealing my kills?! ... Dammit! Irish ass. He could at least have told me more about those assassins.
    Henry (answering machine message): And in case you were wondering, I took pictures of the three scangers as souvenirs. You'll just have to drool over 'em, 'cause there's no way you can play through these fights. The game's stuffed full as it is.
  • 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.
  • Laser Blade: In addition to bringing back the original Beam Katana and the purchasable Tsubaki-III, the game also introduces a large, thick orange laser blade that is slow but very powerful (Peony). Later still, Travis acquires two short, yet agility-friendly pink laser blades (Rose Nasty). One of the last bosses, Alice, can also shoot laser blades from her spider-like mechanical limbs.
  • 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.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Travis kills Alice, the 2nd ranked assassin, he unleashes all his bottled rage due to Character Development at Sylvia. Except if you take the rant for yourself, it strikes really close to home.
    See that? Now THAT was a BATTLE! Look at this blood! We HUMANS are ALIVE! Even if we ARE assassins! Doesn't matter if it's a video game, movie, drama, anime, manga... We're ALIVE! People shed blood and die. This isn't a game! You can't selfishly use death as your tool! THIS is Alice's blood! I bet you've already forgotten she existed! Same way you would have forgotten me! And that's why I'm tearing down the UAA!
  • Literal Split Personality: In No More Heroes, Travis sliced Destroyman along his line of symmetry to kill him. Destroyman returns in this game, with each half now gaining a robotic other half, effectively making him two people. Both are still the murderous jerks they were before, but now they have a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic: One of the Destroymen is hot-tempered and easily angered, while the other one is calm and polite in an Affably Evil way.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Loading times are frequent, and the screen uses a star that is big and is in the center of the screen; it rotates faster as you press B repeatedly while waiting for the load to complete.
  • 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.
  • Loony Fan: Kimmy Howell, a fangirl of Travis Touchdown who eventually decides the only way to prove herself worthy of her crush is to kill him. Travis gives her a back-bodydrop and tells her to get over it.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: There are several pieces of music that are inexplicably played for very brief segments of the game, so often that it's a wonder that the game doesn't lampshade it. "No More Riot", which could easily double as a boss battle song, is only heard in the enemy-less stretch before two battles(Rank 50 and Rank 4, specifically), when the player is probably spending more time saving(where no music at all plays) than listening to the BGM. "Pi Pa Po" is heard only on the bike ride on the way to Rank 3,'' and then never again. "Tooth Paste" gets about a minute of playtime in part of the final area of the Rank 2 level...and for most of it, it's drowned out by the sound of the enemies.
  • 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...
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The player is capable of charging a large-scale sequence of missile shots in the mecha fight against Charlie MacDonald.
  • 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.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Matt Helms, a Psychopathic Manchild wearing a creepy cartoon mask and wielding a combination axe/flamethrower.
  • The Mall: The final stage is set in a highrise whose first few floors are taken up by a shopping mall. Despite the Rank 4 battle set on the roof of a place sometimes called "Guans Shopping Mall," it's actually a supermarket, and the game calls it on the map as a supermarket.
  • Marathon Level: The Rank 4 and 2 stages. Rank 4 starts with a seemingly endless battle against Mooks in the parking lot of a supermarket; this on its own can take twenty minutes, and you haven't even entered the market yet! Rank 2 is short in comparison, but still stretches on a long way.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Like the first game, every character is not so much an "Assassin" as they are "Lunatic with Random Weapon."
  • Meaningful Background Event: During an early cutscene, a man falls from the sky and destroys a car across the street from where Travis and Sylvia are sitting, without even getting a notice or mention in their conversation. What at first seemed like a random incident turns out to be the final boss' One-Hit Kill trick during one of his phases.
  • 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 Moonlight has a pair of weapons called "Le Croissant du Ange" [sic], or The Crescent of Angels. These are sniper rifles with stocks that are scythes.
    • Matt Helms has a fire axe/flamethrower. As a transforming weapon, Nathan Copeland has mechanical arms / boombox rocket launcher. Suda51 was so disappointed that he had to take Nathan out of the first No More Heroes that he was the first boss worked into the second.
  • Money Fetish: Million Gunman, a pastiche of Bond villains who's fought in a bank, fights with guns that shoot coins, and during his boss fight never shuts up about how much he loves money.
  • Money Mauling: Million Gunman, the ninth-ranked assassin, wields guns that shoot rolled-up dollar bills.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The beginning again comes across as crude yet hilarious, especially when you see Travis summon the Glastonbury. But later on, starting with Ryuji, the fights stop being funny entirely (except the last fight) with Travis respecting Ryuji's strength and sparing him, only to get unceremoniously gunned down by Sylvia. Then you come across Alice and Margaret, and Travis is not happy about killing either.
    • The final battle zigzags drastically between serious and funny. The final confrontation starts before the level, with Travis and Sylvia having sex in one of the most hilarious scenes in the series, then the actual level to the final boss is rather serious and sort of tough. Then you get to the final boss, who looks absolutely ridiculous, but presents Travis with the severed heads of Sylvia, Henry, and Shinobu on platters, and asking him how it feels to lose everything. Then the battle starts, and the boss is so laughably pathetic that you almost feel bad for him. Then he captures and nearly kills Travis, only for Henry to break in and stop him and tell him that the heads are fake. Then the boss turns into a ridiculous superhero looking thing and is absolutely monstrous to defeat. Then he turns into a colossal cartoon creature so ridiculous looking that Henry refused to fight it and left you to fight it alone. Then Travis jumps out the window of a 60 goddamn story building to cut him in half, only afterward realizing that he's about to fall to his death, only to be rescued by Sylvia, ending the game on a slow and sort of touching moment.....which then ends with Sylvia driving up to the Hotel NMH and flinging Travis off the back of a moving motorbike.
    • Also, in the second game, the scenes between the 2nd and 1st assassins cuts from one of the most serious moments to one of the funniest moments.
  • 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: Travis' new Dark Side move allows him to transform into a tiger. While you're in this form, Mooks go from trying to beat ten shades of shit out of you to tripping over themselves in their efforts to get the hell away.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: The Rank 3 assassin is a Soviet cosmonaut who got stuck in space until well after the Soviet Union's fall. He's notable for being the first boss in the game with a One-Hit Kill.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Alice is a female assassin who faces Travis while using Spider Limbs, each ending in a Beam Saber. From the distance, she can throw these sabers at Travis, and during close combat she uses all limbs to perform deadly combos.
  • 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 Plus: 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.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: Sylvia decides to start changing the rules to the UAA matches, such as setting up a Battle Royale, allowing Charlie and his 24 cheerleaders to fight as a team, allowing Shinobu to fight for Travis but giving Travis the ranking, and killing assassins who lose the ranking match without dying by their opponent's hand.
  • 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 One Should Survive That!: Skelter Helter provides the page quote for Normally, I Would Be Dead Now, a couple of bosses from the first game return for the sequel, and then there's the terms on which a few bosses in this sequel are fought.
  • 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.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Skelter Helter, whose decapitated head keeps talking and takes Travis by unpleasant surprise.
Travis Touchdown: Pain in MY ass. Why aren't you dead yet?
Skelter Helter: Such blind arrogance! Like the naked emperor...
Travis: Seriously! I cut off your head!
  • Nosebleed: Parodied. Travis suffers a major nosebleed when Sylvia kisses his beam katana, incidentally located near his crotch. It's hard to notice since his beam katana also extends at the same time.
  • 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 side job minigame unlocked is the scorpion hunt from the first game, taking place once again in the grassy field of Santa Destroy. It's even played just like before, without switching to the Retraux style as done with all previous side job minigames.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: There's a completely insane example in the ending. After finishing off the final boss, Travis plummets several hundred feet to the pavement, and Sylvia catches him... out of the air with one hand, while he's an inch from hitting the pavement, and slings him onto the back of her motorcycle.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Subverted. The #1 assassin presents Travis with the severed heads of Sylvia, Henry, and Shinobu on platters, only for Henry to come crashing through the window midway through the battle, telling Travis that those heads are fake; all three characters are alive, and Jasper just wanted to piss Travis off by making him think otherwise.
  • Obsessive Love Letter: Kimmy Howell gives Travis a letter that starts out pretty standard... before taking a turn for the Ax-Crazy.
  • 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.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: In the Rank 1 stage, Travis smashes his way into Jasper Batt Jr.'s office at the end. If you look, you will see many screens on some of the walls, and close inspection of some of them show that Jasper has been keeping an eye on you, Henry and everyone else.
  • 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; Captain Vladimir's stronger version of his Kill Sat attack and Jasper's Destination Defenestration trick come into mind.
    • Unlike the first game, every single wrestling move is now an instant kill for every non-boss enemy. Also, Travis gains a new Limit Break attack that turns him into a tiger and allows him to chew the then-horrified mooks to instant death.
  • The One Who Made It Out: A major theme of the game is Travis' status as this in the UAA. During the events of the first game he managed to kill his way up to being Rank 1 in the rankings and then just... left. When he eventually comes back and is forced to restart from the lowest rank, motivated by the new Rank 1 killing his best friend, multiple assassins, most notably Alice Twilight, ask how he managed to get away from both the lifestyle and UAA itself.
    Alice: We've all become trapped, don't you see? Addicted to the violence, to a life in the shadows. Once we join the ranks, we can never get out.
    Travis: Don't be stupid. If you get tired of the battles, just fucking quit!
    Alice: But that's why we all want to fight you. To learn your secret. Don't you get it?
    Travis: Get what?
    Alice: You are the Crownless King, the one who got out. You reached the top, then walked away.
  • 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.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: The first boss, Skelter Helter, lives for about a minute after being decapitated by Travis, long enough to give a Hot-Blooded speech to him about revenge, then dies by tearing off his head again. Million Gunman also lives and speaks for some time after Shinobu sliced his head off.
  • Optional Boss: Kimmy, a school girl with an unhealthy obsession over Travis. You only fight her if you don't go back to the Motel between fights with Charlie and Matt, making her the only assassin in the series who's optional.
  • 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.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: There's Ryuji, with a full dragon theme to complement Travis's tiger motif. And a lightsaber dragon of his own.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience:
    • The game flirts with this in the fight against Matt Helms, who's basically one giant slasher villain homage, and who's backstory is one of the few times the game and its predecessor deals with supernatural elements (his stage is even reached through an Akashic Point, another one of the rare supernatural elements).
    • The ranked battle against Charlie Macdonald is more akin to a 2D Fighting Game with Super Robots.
  • 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.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Travis still lives in a motel despite all the money he gathered in his previous adventure; since three years passed between the events of both games, he likely spent on anime merchandise and games once again. It's also revealed that at one point he commissioned a full-scale and fully functional replica of a Humongous Mecha from one of his favorite animes. Granted, it turned out to be useful but still...
  • 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.
  • Player Headquarters: The No More Heroes Motel, like in the first game. It now lets Travis move around and play several minigames, other than occasionally talking to his friends, since the lack of a playable overworld would render all his destinations inaccessible otherwise.
  • 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 Plus.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: One of the bosses is Mimmy, a strange little girl who Henry fights in a dream. After he defeats her, he stabs her in the back, which somehow causes her to inflate to enormous proportions until she explodes. It's bloodless, but as weird as it sounds.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Sylvia, despite avoiding comeuppance for scamming Travis in the first game, does make good on her promise to hook up with Travis, but instead of waiting for him to get to Rank 1, she visits him right before his fight with Pizza Batt, Jr.. Obviously, we don't see anything, but it's implied that Sylvia wasn't lying about her "yoga skills". See for yourself. In addition, this causes a Relationship Upgrade from a brash and uncouth, but surprisingly gentle guy and a possessive and berating, yet sweet lady, with tons of Unresolved Sexual Tension to the Official Couple. You can tell they're not just Friends with Benefits when Sylvia refers to Travis as "my No More Hero". There's no word if Jeane (Sylvia's daughter who only appeared in an epilogue from the first game) is their child though.
  • Predatory Business: Pizza Bat, which has hurt the local fast food places like Burger Suplex.
  • Prison Level: The Rank #23 battle takes place on Prison Island, where Travis has to sneak in to assassinate its sole inmate. The level is structured as the game's Stealth-Based Mission as Travis must sneak past the guards Metal Gear-style — on most difficulties, this is more of a suggestion since all getting caught results in is having to hack-and-slash your way through the level as usual, but it's practically imperative on Bitter difficulty as every mook carries a deadly machine gun.
  • Promoted to Playable: The game has missions where Shinobu and Henry are playable. They first appeared in the first game as bosses.
  • 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.
  • Racing Minigame: One of the retro-styled side jobs has Travis deliver a pizza (from a chain unrelated to the shady Pizza Butt brand, named Pizza Suplex) while he drives his Schpeltiger II at full speed across a high-traffic avenue, Mach Rider style. He has to avoid the vehicles as well as the oil stains in the road. He can also grab the nitro bottles to boost his motorbike's speed. The minigame is divided into four levels.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Doctor Shake returns and combines this trope with Robo Speak. "Wouldn't you agree, question mark." "Behold! Said dramatically." and "BATTLE CRY.", among other lines.
  • 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.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: Travis has apparently wised up and keeps all of his beam katanas on him. That they all have their own battery meters and he is invulnerable while changing swords makes this option capable of making certain attacks piss easy to avoid or absorb.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The game features the Game Within a Game "Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly 5," a Bullet Hell game starring Moe Magical Girls, which also features a trailer for an anime of the same name.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rank 4 assassin Margaret features "The Reason You Suck" Song (heard during the boss battle against her), insulting Travis at every opportunity. Here, listen to it.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: You have New Destroyman, who was cut in half in the first game, and his two halves got two different personalities. And android halves. The Red one is in the background, calling Shinobu a whore and the like, while the Blue one at least offers to shake hands. It's worth noting that the former has a blue eye, while the other's is red. Also, Travis Touchdown has a red tiger, and a trailer indicates that his twin brother Henry was supposed to have a blue tiger.
  • 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.
  • Regional Bonus: The game was launched with several exclusives in Japan (where it was made, came out last, and with the smallest sales).
  • Remixed Level: The game features the return of Bearhug Studios from the first game as one of Shinobu's levels, complete with a rebuilt Destroyman as the boss; the stage itself plays very differently thanks to Shinobu's ability to jump. There's also Destroy University, which serves as the setting for both the Rank 49-to-25 stage and the optional rank defense stage; whereas the former takes Travis into the interior of the University to reach the American football stadium to meet Charlie and his cheerleaders, the latter has him detour to the front yard to meet Kimmy Howell.
  • Replay Mode: After the game is finished, the Deathmatch mode is unlocked to challenge any of the fifteen bosses from story mode.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Mocked, naturally, when you complete the "Stings So Good" minigame.
    "Amazing! You've restored my faith in mankind! Actually, no, I still hate mankind. But at least you're okay."
  • Retired Monster: Travis doesn't even remember the first assassin he killed when his brother comes for revenge. Well, he is this to a point... He most likely still hasn't gotten past how he dishonored Holly Summers by not killing her in battle when she wanted such a fate. Otherwise, he doesn't care to get back into the games until Bishop is killed and Sylvia "convinces" him, perfectly fine with his pathetic lifestyle. It's mainly because killing has become boring to him after killing the best of the best. He does regret killing Charlie's cheerleaders but that and Holly seem to be is only two regrets. He gets a few more moments, such as being enraged at Sylvia for shooting the dog when he wanted an honorable duel with Ryuji, preventing the UAA from tampering with Captain Vladimir's corpse, honoring Margaret's last request to memorize her song, and simply venting his disgust and anguish over the death of Alice, the one Assassin in the game whose predicament best mirrors his own and who desperately sought to escape the UAA. That last one, in fact, marks the biggest milestone in his character progression; from that point on, Travis vows to become a real hero, starting by ending the perpetual bloodshed brought by the UAA and their twisted fights.
  • 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).
  • Revenge by Proxy:
    • Travis is confronted by an Emergency Transformation form of Letz Shake, the well-known Bait-and-Switch Boss of the first game who was killed by Henry before Travis could get to him. Travis points out that it was Henry who killed Shake, but it turns out that he had already gotten to and beaten Henry, and just wants to take down Travis too, just for the hell of it.
    • Remember the assassination gigs in the original game? Remember those gigs to kill the CEOs of Bizza Butt? Apparently, Jasper Batt Jr., the youngest child of the family, didn't like it very much. To get back at Travis, he stages the assassination of Bishop Shidux. He even recruits other characters craving revenge against Travis in the game to help him achieve this, like Skelter Helter, brother of Helter Skelter from the original game.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: A Double Subversion. Travis Touchdown 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 not until he 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"
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Skelter Helter, the first boss, has a revolver that revolves revolvers. 36 bullets, right? Nope, he never runs out.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: see above; but mainly during the fight against Jasper Batt Jr.
  • Robo Speak: Dr. Letz Shake, a previously-unfought enemy from the first game but rebuilt into a giant robot carapace. In addition to an (admittedly quite loud) Machine Monotone, he also verbally expresses his mood, intonation, and punctuation aloud.
    "Who is my next victim. Question mark. Surprised gasp. [...] Do you remember me. Question mark."
  • R-Rated Opening: Travis delivers a Precision F-Strike in his very first line.
  • Rule of Seven: Both training courses in Ryan's gym have seven levels each.
  • Save Point: Toilet rooms, like in the first game. As a special note, 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!!!!!!"
  • Scary Scorpions: The game brings back the scorpion hunt minigame from the first game; scorpions are also enemies in some of the 8-bit retro minigames, serving as mooks.
  • 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.
  • School Swimsuit: Mimmy wears a white version of this swimsuit. Justified, since she's essentially a personification of all of Travis Touchdown's anime-related fetishes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Henry leaves you to take on the final boss alone because the Big Bad is too stupid for him to be associated with.
  • See You in Hell: One of Ryuji's quips to Travis is this, should Travis lose a weapon clash.
  • Sequential Boss: The Final Boss, Jasper Batt Jr., has three phases. In the first, he's driving a hovering car and attempts to run over Travis; in the second, he takes a tall, muscular form and gains several attacks, including a sequence of teleport punches that are difficult to dodge; in the third, he inflates his body so much that only his belly can be hurted, and gains slow yet powerful attacks (though they're easy to avoid).
  • Serial Escalation: The first game is already offbeat, featuring an Occidental Otaku with a Beam Katana fighting a wide range of colorful assassins, including (but not limited to) a private detective with a revolver, an African-American school girl with a katana, a homicidal Henshin Hero, and a cranky old lady with a Wave-Motion Gun concealed in a shopping cart. The sequel then outdoes it with more assassins to fight that are even more outlandish, such as a rapper whose boombox turns into armored gauntlets, a college football star piloting a Humongous Mecha (which you fight with a mecha of your own), a slasher villain with a combination axe/flamethrower, and a Russian cosmonaut with a Kill Sat.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Prior to the Rank 1 stage, Travis Touchdown locks himself in with Sylvia, and all we hear is shotgun blasts coming from inside.
  • 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: The Save Point is a toilet when you're playing as Travis. During the sequence you play Shinobu, it's a shower. Much like Travis can always find functional toilets, she can always find surprisingly elegant showers.
  • Sinister Scythe: Margaret (" Greek, you geek / it means 'a pearl'...") Moonlight has two anti-tank rifle scythes.
  • 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.
  • Snow Means Death: "For the first time in 120 years, snow had fallen on Santa Destroy." And that night, two things happen: One, Travis fights Skelter Helter to death as soon as the game begins, putting him back to the assassination games against his will. And two, Travis' best friend is killed by a mob hired by the game's villain.
  • Something Else Also Rises:
    • Sylvia is trying to convince Travis into climbing the UAA Rankings again, she offers to sleep with him if he reaches 1st rank. She further tempts him by bragging she's a Sex Goddess and starts listing all the "yoga techniques" she knows, finishing by placing his beam katana near his crotch and kissing it, and it immediately turns on as he gasp. She has to do this because Travis is skeptical about the offer of participating in the UAA rankings for a second time.
    • The beam katana's charge meter appears quite phallic, being quite tall and erect when fully charged and slowly becoming smaller and more limp as the katana runs out of juice. The symbolism is all the more overt when you consider what it looks like when Travis recharges his katana.
    • In a cut scene, Sylvia tells Travis that for him, killing is just like getting off. With every hit you land, a gauge called the ecstasy gauge fills, shown as a tiger that is lying down and then rises up and starts roaring. Also, the beam katana called the Peony lengthens as the ecstasy gauge fills.
  • Space Madness: Captain Vladamir. Possibly as a Shout-Out to the Fury, he was a cosmonaut who went insane from isolation and didn't realize he was back on earth until he dies at the end of the fight when his helmet is shattered.
  • Spider Limbs: Alice Twilight, the Rank 2 boss, has these tipped with beam katanas. One of her attacks even ends with her in a position that makes her look very much like a spider.
  • 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-Based Mission: The Rank 23 level, leading to the battle against Cloe Walsh, is a prison complex which you are instructed to sneak through. On normal difficulties, this is more of a suggestion since if you end up getting caught, hordes of mooks will be after Travis and the gameplay will shift back into reaching your destination through a brawlfest; but on harder difficulties, stealth is strongly advised as every enemy is fashioned with machine guns.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger: The game ends with the person Sylvia's narrating the story to being revealed to be Travis himself, and the two planning to return to Santa Destroy.
  • 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!
  • Superboss: Completing the Game Within a Game Bizarre Jelly 5 in the hardest difficulty level without losing a life unlocks a Harder Than Hard setting for it. It adds an extra boss that is smaller than the standard one, but it's much stronger as it employs a Bullet Hell sequence that is harder to dodge; it is more enduring as well.
  • 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 Fist: The game revamped Travis' punch and kick attacks to do decent damage, along with mixing up sword attacks with non-sword attacks, and on top of stunning mooks and bosses.
  • Sword and Gun: Skelter Helter has a revolver that is twelve revolvers, and a katana that is three katana. His brother Helter Skelter from the trailer for the original game had a different variant, where his revolvers turned into swords.
  • The Syndicate: The Pizza Bat corporation is in control of a mafia the size of a small army. Their strong influence makes them run the city.
  • Take Your Time: You (Travis) have urgent revenge to get against Jasper Batt Jr., which you are letting drive and consume you. You also want to beat him as quickly as possible, as there's 49 other assassins gunning for him, including the number 2 ranked assassin who could take him on at any time. You still have plenty of time to work a few odd jobs for cash for clothes, including one which requires your going into space, plus time to: watch porn, babysit your comatose twin brother, let several days pass, and still make it to fight the second ranked Alice just before she was ready to take on the number one. Fortunately, Batt at least is patient, as he's been wanting to fight you or engineer your downfall for three years, and wants you at your best before hand.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Henry leaves an answering machine recording that replies to what Travis is saying, and the player is thinking.
    Henry: Travis... Forgive your big brother, who was too much of a shitebag to thank you face to face.
    Travis: How does he know which one of us popped out first?
    Henry: You're prob'ly spoutin' off about which one of us popped out first. Point is, there's no honor in getting rescued by my younger, BABY brother. So, I took it upon myself to proper kill Scott Gardner, Greg Cantrell and Massimo Bellini. [...] I took pictures of the three skangers as souvenirs. You'll just have to drool over 'em, 'cause there's no way you can play through these fights. The game's stuffed full as it is.
    Travis: How long is this message?!
  • Teleport Spam: Jasper Batt Jr. will use this during the second phase after Travis depletes the first 1/3 of his HP; each teleport gives Jasper an opportunity to land a hard hit on Travis, doing it three-to-four times in a row. It's very difficult to dodge, and near the end of the battle he combines it with a tornado attack that is almost impossible to evade.
  • 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.
  • Third Party Stops Attack: After Travis reached Rank 5, it's revealed to the player that the fight between Travis and Henry at the very end of the previous game was ceased by Sylvia, much to Travis's annoyance. The fight was about to reach a climax during a Blade Lock between the two combatants.
  • This Is the Final Battle: There's a line like this spoken by Jasper Batt Jr. just before the fight starts. But since this is No More Heroes, which just loves to break the fourth wall, it makes a bit more sense than most other instances.
  • 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.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: There are lots of explicit Tiger association with Travis Touchdown — on top of how spelling "Travis" in katakana gets you Torabisu, one Super Mode ability turns him into a rampaging tiger, and he names his bikes Schpeltiger. The other half of this comes in the form of Ryuji, the samurai-esque rank 7 assassin who comes with Dragons Up the Yin Yang, including the ability to summon a giant laser dragon to demolish Travis with. Fittingly, their duel happens to be one of the most dynamically symmetrical in the game — Ryuji's attack strategies are just as plentiful and effective as Travis', and even when Travis wins, he very much considers Ryuji a Worthy Opponent deserving of honor.
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: From Travis' TV in his apartment room, it's possible to access a Game Within a Game based on Bizarre Jelly 5. Completing it on any difficulty unlocks an anime opening scene based on the game's fictional anime adaptation.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Destroyman comes back after having been cut in half in the first game. Someone just added a cyborg half to each side, so now there are 2 of him. Also, Letz Shake comes back, but he's an earthquake generator like Dr. Shake in the first game.
  • The Unfought: Travis never actually fights any of the 22nd through 11th ranked assassins... since they're killed by Dr. Letz Shake, settling a proper battle against him. Then later on, Henry kills the 6th and 5th ranked assassins for Travis as payback for Travis saving his life. He even lampshades this trope in an answering-machine message, telling Travis (and the player) not to complain about missing out on those boss fights, and offering polaroids "so you can imagine what it might have been like".
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: In addition to having Bitter unlockable for the New Game Plus like the first game, it also has an extra difficulty level (Special) for the Bizarre Jelly 5 Game Within a Game, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.
  • Unseen Audience: Sylvia is reduced to working in a seedy peepshow, recounting the game's story over a phone to an unseen, unheard customer. The ending reveals that it's Travis, who's waiting for her to work out exactly why he's there. Once she does, he takes her away from the show.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Chloe Walsh's level. Emphasis on "useful" when you play on Bitter, and on "useless" otherwise. Right from the start, you are encouraged to hide from the stage's spotlights and guards, but getting caught only means that you have to fight all the guards instead and they each go down in 2-3 hits. Plus, the poorly implemented stealth mechanics make it far more difficult not to get caught. On Bitter difficulty though, the guards are much stronger, so stealth is encouraged.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The 1st Rank assassin (Jasper Batt Jr.) awaits you at the very top of a large and ominous skyscraper, filled to the brim with his guards. Hilariously, it's also right across the street from Travis' home.
  • 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 crazier.
  • 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.
  • Video Game Dashing: Henry's quick dash is one of his basic moves. Several must be linked together for faster motion.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Henry trades his Badass Longcoat in the first game for one of these.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If Skelter Helter didn't mess you up for the tutorial, then the 50th ranked assassin, Nathan Copeland, most definitely will. If you haven't learned how to evade attacks, say hello to a rocket to the face. If you haven't learned to dodge when danger signs flash, say hello to a metal fist in the face. Plus, his arena becomes more and more dangerous as the fight drags on, forcing you to get used to being very attentive to your surroundings. And blocking his attacks will, once again, burn through your battery like nothing else.
  • Warmup Boss: On lower difficulty levels, Skelter Helter. He serves mainly as a tutorial to the game's controls and is therefore rather easy to beat. At least until you fight him on Bitter...
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Destroyman returns. Both halves of him. As well as Dr. Letz Shake.
  • Whack-a-Monster: Million Gunman's boss fight functions in this way, even if not visually. You fight him in his bank vault, with many doors lining the walls leading to hallways and elevators. You can't go through the doorways, but he can, and his battle strategy involves popping out of a random door, shooting at the player character, and retreating back in.
  • 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.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The game deconstructs this when it's revealed the whole plot is a revenge scheme against Travis for killing the Final Boss's father and brothers in a number of side missions during the first game where they appeared as mooks only discernible by their lack of hair.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To the second act of El Topo, which was said to be the inspiration for the first No More Heroes.
  • Window Love: Shown right at the end of the game, where Sylvia and Travis each press a hand against a window, with the former telling the latter "Travis... my No More Hero".
  • Worthy Opponent: Travis gradually gains more respect for his opponents as part of his Character Development. There's Ryuji, who Travis believes fought honorably and is disgusted when he is promptly gunned down after his fight. Then there's Captain Vladimer, whose body Travis refuses to let the UAA destroy. Then there's Alice Twilight, an assassin with ideals so close to Travis' own, that he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn after being forced to kill her.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Travis Touchdown got over his inability to kill women in the the first game, but he still can't bring himself to finish off schoolgirl assassin Kimmy Howell.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Travis goes on to fight even more women in this game than in the first, killing a total of 27 and knocking one out because she was just a teenager. Also of note is that 24 of them transformed into a Humongous Mecha being piloted by a man, and were the only female mooks in the series. After the fight he comments "I gotta admit though, this leaves a bad aftertaste. I mean, ripping through a bunch of mostly harmless cheerleaders?", though at the prospect of his victory being nullified, he says "Whoah, wait! I mean, they weren't that harmless. You can tear some shit up with a pompom."
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl:
    • Travis seems to have gotten over it by this game, 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. In No More Heroes III, this is sadly revealed to not be the case.
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: In all games in the series, before Travis has to fight a boss, he saves by... taking a nap on the can; and most places he goes have a simple bathroom for him to use. Meanwhile, whenever Shinobu in this game needs to save, she... takes a shower. In an immaculate bathroom. Which just happened to have a sterling tub and shower. Even in an abandoned movie studio...
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • After becoming ranked 23rd in the UAA, Travis is told by Sylvia about a battle royale between him and ten other assassins, and if he wins by killing them all, he will be 10th. But if ten opponents face him, then he should remain in 13th at most. Granted, when he arrives the battlefield, Dr. Letz Shake gets rid of all of the opponents so Travis only has to fight him; but even if he was the one ranked 10th, positions 11th and 12th are still empty.
    • After becoming ranked 7th in the UUA, Travis's brother Henry awakens from his coma and reveals via a telephone message that he had already beaten three more assassins for him. As a result, Travis's ranking drops to 5th, instead of 4th. The only way this can make sense is if one of those fights was a Rank Defense match similar to the fight with Kimmy Howell, but it's never stated in any way.
  • 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. 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 Have Researched Breathing: Completing all the revenge missions unlocks a reward. That is, the ability to take off your jacket.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): No More Heroes 2


Yoga Master

Sylvia brags about being a yoga master

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlexibilityEqualsSexAbility

Media sources: