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"But don't you worry: a hero descends. What, there are no heroes in this world? Oh, but there totally are! My name is Travis Touchdown. I'm the last hero around, here to save the world! I'm also just a passin' assassin."
Travis Touchdown

No More Heroes III is the third mainline installment of the No More Heroes series developed and published by Grasshopper Manufacture. It was released for the Nintendo Switch on August 27, 2021, with a version for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC via Steam and the Microsoft Store released on October 4, 2022 courtesy of XSEED Games.

Continuing two years after the events of Travis Strikes Again, our unlikely hero, Travis Touchdown, finds himself once again fighting his way to the #1 spot of the rankings. This time, however, his opponents are not simply rival assassins, but a mysterious, very powerful army of self-styled "superhero" aliens known as the "Galactic Superhero Corps", led by the megalomaniacal Galactic Conqueror Prince FU, his childhood friend and Utopina CEO Damon Ricotello (who wants revenge against Travis for the events of the last game), and his ten elite assassins who came to conquer the world. With these not-so-heroic extraterrestrials promising to be the most challenging and bizarre foes he's ever faced, along with fellow professional assassins Shinobu Jacobs and Bad Girl aiding him in the fight for the planet, Travis will have to pull out all stops to come out on top: with his trusty Beam Katana, the varied abilities of his Death Glove, and a new Full-Armor transformation, he is the only man capable of saving the Earth by ensuring that, in the end, there are no more heroes!

The game continues the full-scale directorial return for Japanese game developer Suda51, who took a hiatus from game directing after the original No More Heroes in order to focus on game production. Unlike Travis Strikes Again, which was a game made to pay tribute to the indie games that reignited his creative spark, as well as commemorate Grasshopper Manufacture's history, No More Heroes III is a product Suda has stated is made with the fans in mind who have been waiting for a proper continuation to Travis' story. As such the game features an all-star cast of new staff members and returning series veterans; this includes Nobutaka Ichiki and Ren Yamazaki (director of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and co-director of Travis Strikes Again respectively) both assuming the role of co-directors, as well as long-time series character designer Yusuke Kozaki returning to provide character designs. Newcomers to the crew include pop artist Masanori Ushiki; responsible for the character designs of the majority of the game's alien cast, and comic artist Skan Srisuwan; who designed much of the games' sci-fi architecture, including Travis' Powered Armor and several other bosses. On the music side, composing duties were handled by alternative metal drummer Nobuaki Kaneko; who has released music from the game under a new band he'd formed during production called "Red Orca". The game further features a host of guest contributions by artists such as Inio Asano, Darick Robertson (The Boys), Mari Shimazaki (Bayonetta), and composer Kazuhiro Abo from Travis Strikes Again.

Announcement trailer, "The Return", October 2020 Direct Mini preview, February 2021 Direct preview, No More Heroes 3 - Series Digest MovieNo More Heroes 3 - Alien Superheroes?

No More Heroes III provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: In the otherwise traditionally-animated opening, the adult FU and his crew are rendered in CG, which sells just how out of place and otherworldly they are.
  • Action Prologue: A rather unique example; the first thing that happens after the game boots up is the title sequence for an old fictional video game called "Deathman". After Travis explains the game's premise (which is a parallel to the actual plot) and how much it meant to him since his childhood, you end up having to fight the final boss of the game, but after you beat it, the scene shifts before Travis finds out Deathman's true identity.
  • Alien Blood: As Travis is mostly fighting aliens this time around instead of humans, several types of enemies each bleed a different color of blood when sliced by his beam katana.
  • Alien Invasion: FU and his army are dead-set on taking over the world, which he's shown announcing to the public after the introduction.
    Travis: today the Fourth of July? If not, is the Empire striking back or what?
  • Aliens Speaking English: FU and his elite assassins all speak fluent English despite likely hailing from distant galaxies.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • The circumstances that led to Shinobu, Bad Girl, and Badman living in Travis's motel; Dr. Juvenile becoming Travis's ally and tech support; and the reason Travis starts this game off with a neck brace and leg cast, are never fully explained.
    • Dr. Naomi has somehow been transformed into a giant sentient cherry blossom tree in the basement of Travis’ apartment. How or why this has happened is never explained.
    • Sylvia somehow has the ability to fly, among other superhero abilities.
    • It's never revealed just what caused Henry to turn into an unhinged psychopath willing to ally with aliens, other than watching Thor.
  • Anachronic Order: FU's confrontation with Travis at his motel is implied to have taken place shortly after his televised announcement about the Galactic Superhero Rankings ("I saw you on TV, prince. What a lame-ass speech."); but it's shown after his conversation with Gold Joe, where FU remarks that Travis is weak but wily. Flashbacks to FU's meetings with the rest of his elite assassins on occasion also occur before their boss fights. This seems to hint at FU's being unstable and thus unreliable.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After a future Jeanne and Hunter murder FU's father and then revealing that Native Dancer is actually Travis's grandson, the three asks Travis for help to defeat Henry who aided with aliens into an intergalactic war before Henry kills off future Travis.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The various T-shirt aliens around the city will give you shirts after you satisfy various conditions. Finishing the story will get you the default outfits of the past games.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Retrying any battle after losing lets the player spin a roulette wheel for a chance to get a head-start boost; such as starting with 1.5 power-up in attack or getting Mustang Mode on the first roulette. Otherwise, landing on FU will start the fight with an empty battery. If you die multiple times, the roulette will spin slower to allow you to choose the slot you want more easily.
      • Averted on Spicy difficulty or higher, in which the roulette only features FU (empty battery, as stated above) or infant FU (no extra effect). It still spins slower after several deaths.
    • Due to FU's second boss phase having a ton of health and openings for damage being somewhat far between, Auto Mustang Mode is enabled for Perfect Dodges regardless of whether or not you're at full health to ensure that the player can get a lot of hits into every opening.
  • Arc Words: Each ranking battle is accompanied by a certain word or phrase in multiple languages, playing with the idea that each ranking battle is an episode of a TV series:
    • #10: Darkness
    • #9: Space
    • #8: Memory
    • #7: Sorrow
    • #6: Dead Cannon
    • #5: Hell
    • #4: Crosshairs
    • #3: Loyalty
    • #2: Flesh and Blood
    • #1: Friends
  • Army of The Ages: After the final battle, Travis and Sylvia's future kids travel back in time, along with an even further future version of their grandson, to recruit Travis to join them on a mission to kill Henry and save the future.
    Sylvia: Welcome, Travis, to the Garden of Insanity. Next-up: family war!
  • Art Shift:
    • Velvet Chair Girl's intro scene has deranged animation made by AC-BU of Pop Team Epic.
    • In the epilogue, the scene matches the style of the introduction, except the cast are Super-Deformed, matching their looks on the eyecatches.
  • Ascended Extra: Damon Ricotello, a minor character who appeared only during the Travis Strikes Back Visual Novel portions of Travis Strikes Again plays a major role in this game, starring in the introduction which details his connection to FU as childhood friends. He also becomes the True Final Boss of the game, once he finishes off FU.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The opening cutscene starts in a 4:3 ratio, encompassing the part where Damon spends time with FU as a kid. When the cutscene jumps to Damon as an adult, it is depicted in a 2.39:1 widescreen format.
  • Back from the Dead: Destroyman, who was bisected in the first game, then decapitated and blown up in the second game, returns for a third time as Destroyman True Face; a cybernetic form which the Japanese website describes as the "ultimate evolution". He's accompanied by mass produced army of clone units. This also happens to Travis after he gets killed by Henry, where Deathman sends Travis back to life.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first three trailers:
    • The reveal trailer opens with an unfamiliar man donning Powered Armor (with a Transformation Sequence) to fight a giant alien battleship. Once he breaks out the beam katana, however, he removes the suit, revealing Travis now in his signature appearance.
    • The second trailer initially presents itself as a reveal for a newly-announced game called "Goddamn Superhero", where a boy named Damon befriends the alien FU and helps send him home, only to discover upon FU's return 20 years later that he intends to conquer Earth as a "superhero". When the game's title card appears, Travis suddenly breaks through it with his motorcycle, revealing it to be a trailer for No More Heroes III.
    • The third trailer opens with the starting moments of the game's story, where a disheveled-looking Travis, along with Shinobu and Bad Girl, get ready to throw down with some aliens. Just as the fighting is set to begin, the video on the fictional streaming site ends and transitions to Sylvia's breakdown of the game.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Possibly the most this trope has come into play in a series already known for it. Native Dancer kills Black Night Direction (#8 in the rankings) and Kimmy Love kills Vanishing Point (#7), replacing them in their boss fights. Notorious kills Sniping Lee (#4), and is replaced by Destroyman True Face. Paradox Bandit (#2) is unceremoniously killed by FU before even having a chance to try to fight Travis, with his boss fight being replaced with Henry. Downplayed in the case of Velvet Chair Girl (#6), who Travis has to take on in a game of musical chairs, but who kills herself when she loses rather than directly fight Travis afterwards. Her pet, Ohma, takes over for the traditional boss fight.
  • Battle Rapping: Travis and Kimmy engage in one before her boss fight.
  • BBC Quarry: Midori accidentally teleports her and Travis to a rock quarry to which Travis notes that it's where Kamen Rider Zi-O is filmed.
  • Beware the Superman: In the intro, FU and his posse opt to style themselves as superheroes, but given they're all notorious intergalactic criminals and their intentions to use that identity as a means to take over the planet, they are about as far from heroic as you can get.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Prince FU, being the leader of the invading Galactic Superhero Corps and ranked No. 1 in the Galactic Rankings, and his childhood friend Damon, who wants Travis dead for beating him nearly to death in Travis Strikes Again, though FU is much more of an active threat throughout the story. After FU's defeat, Damon betrays him and takes over as the sole Big Bad.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the game during the final battle with FU, all of Travis' friends show up to help defeat the alien prince, striking him and preventing him from injuring Travis just in the nick of time. Shinobu is even the one who delivers the blow that forces FU back into his child-like ball of fluff form.
  • Bilingual Bonus: For some reason, Sonic Juice (#3 in the rankings), speaks Spanish from time to time. He yells '¡Cómete esto!', which means 'Eat this!' before some attacks.
  • Bleak Level: Call of Battle. While the other areas of the game are colorful and have at least some liveliness, Call of Battle has nothing but browns and greys and is full of ruins, being mostly devoid of life.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Yes, even by the standards of the series. Wide streams of blood fly out of enemies and even Travis with every strike, as opposed to the previous games where the showers of blood were reserved for the aftermath of finishing blows. Unlike other games in the series, however, the amount of blood that can be spilled in gameplay can be changed in the gameplay settings, and a large portion of enemies killed are aliens.
  • Boss-Only Level: Many rank stages start with a luxurious entrance area within FU's vessel (which include both a Save Point and a sushi kiosk for supply purchase), which is then followed directly by the relevant boss battle. There are exceptions, such as the Rank 8 stage (a secluded city within Thunderdome where Travis has to look for his opponentnote ) and the Rank 5 stage (an abandoned school where Travis has to "follow" the boss and then defeat several enemies within classrooms before reaching the boss fight).
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Z-Chip removes the cooldown on Death Glove Skills, allowing you to effortlessly throw enemies and bosses around until they lose health or keeping them in perpetually slowed down time, while you wail on them. Too bad you also have to beat several bosses on Death difficulty to get the materials to craft it. By that point in the game, you've already done practically everything there is to do. At least New Game Plus allows you to carry it over into a new playthough.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During the tutorial, Sylvia addresses the player and warns them to limit play to 10 hours a day or they're going to die. Paradox Bandit dies this way after an all-night gaming stream with FU as he's too tired to wake up and fight Travis.
    • When Travis meets Native Dancer for the first time, he asks if his mother raised to be a good boy. Come the end of the game, Native Dancer addresses Jeanne with "Mommy" and is given a headpat in return.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Travis' Powered Armor has a big glowing letter "T" across the front.
  • The Bus Came Back: Kimmy Howell is back as some sort of pop idol under the name of Kimmy Love, seemingly ready to take on Travis once again. Destroyman has also returned to haunt Travis once more. In addition, Dr. Juvenile returns as one of Travis's allies.
  • Call-Back: NMH III and its adverts make more than a few references to Travis Strikes Again:
    • Travis' Transformation Trinket is shown to be the Death Glove, the controller used to play the Death Drive Mk. II.
    • The game features Damon from the "Travis Strikes Back" scenarios as a major character.
    • The "Goddamn Superhero" fake title in the second trailer reveals that the game is for the "Death Drive 68000". Hazre, the company that made the other Death Drive models, is also on the title card.
    • The "COMING 2020" text used in the second trailer also looks like the text used by the Death Drive Mk. II.
    • After Travis dawns his Full Armored suit for the first time, he recreates the scene from the opening of the first game where he lands with beam katana drawn, shouting "Fuckheads!" as a group of enemies behind him fall to pieces. Shortly afterwards, he strides up to the door of the UFO, guarded by a fearful alien mook, and cuts both the door and mook in half and kicking them in.
    • Bad Girl calls her deceased father her “No More Hero” at his funeral, which was a title of Travis’s mentioned in Desperate Struggle.
    • The battle with Henry takes place outside of the "No More Heroes" motel just like the fight with him at the end of the first game.
    • Henry temporarily kills Travis while he’s taking a save, just like the Unknown Assassin tried to do at the end of the original No More Heroes.
    • The scene of Travis's resurrection, where he has a conversation with Deathman before he OneHitKills Travis's avatar via decapitation, is identical to the Mars cutscene from Travis Strikes Again.
    • Probably an unintentionnal one, but Ryuichi, Ryuji's older brother, shares the same boss battle theme as Midori Midorikawa as of the 1.02 update, similar to how his brother was reusing Matt Helms' theme back in Desperate Struggle.
  • The Cameo: The Radiant Gleam from Daemon X Machina makes an appearance at the end of the game, arriving at Travis' dimension to help him fight against Damon's mech. The sequence when Travis controls it is set to "Arms of Immortal" and "Battle Dance" - taken directly from that game's soundtrack.
  • Catch and Return: After announcing his global conquest, FU single-handedly grabs a trio of missiles sent by an army before launching them back towards where they came from, destroying an entire city in the process.
  • Casual Time Travel: Travis has a Time Travel Machine lying around in Naomi's Lab which he can use to revisit old bosses. Later on he's ambushed by his future grandson who wants to fight him before giving him power ups. Then Travis' son and daughter arrive to get his help for a new fight.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mr. Wormhole, the other half of the West Milky Way Hardcore Hole Brothers, is not even mentioned in the game, despite being the more dominant one of the pair in TSA.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Frequently used to make shout-outs, though names are bleeped out with a deep tone and asterisks.
  • Continuity Nod: It is made abundantly clear that Travis Strikes Again is essentially setup for this game.
    • Mr. Blackhole, one of the aliens sent as reconnaissance on Earth, return as ranked superheroes in the Galactic Superhero Rankings. Mr. Blackhole who is ranked No. 10 in particular was seen complaining about being overworked by a certain alien prince...
    • Damon Ricotello, a nasty minor character from "Travis Strikes Again", is indirectly responsible for the events of this game, with FU invading Earth out of a desire to fulfill a promise between them as children.
    • Bad Girl returns to fight off the alien invasion, having been resurrected in the previous game.
    • Badman also returns (albeit briefly before being unceremoniously murdered by FU.)
    • Bugjirou is back (somehow in the real world), with a ramen shack in Santa Destroy. He is joined by a fellow bug, Bugzaburou, who sells sushi.
    • Kamui Uehara, whom Travis struck up an unlikely friendship with, is also confirmed to be returning with the name "Newtype Kamui", and apparently holding Kosuke Kurumizawa in his hands.
    • Mr. Doppelganger also shows up in a sidequest, challenging Travis to find him.
    • After you beat all the bike missions with a gold rating, you can challenge Ryuji's older brother to a driving fight.
    • Travis's trailer from the previous game is behind the No More Heroes motel.
  • Contract on the Hitman: A returning mechanic from the first game, Travis is required to pay for the entry fee to enter each ranking battle, this time in Utopinia coins (Uc).
  • Cool Bike: Travis is shown to have a new ride; a hot red motorcycle that wouldn't look out of place in AKIRA (which Travis even references with his badass sliding-drift stop).
  • Darker and Edgier: The dark undertones of the plot are more serious overall than even No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (despite the minimal use of moodier fight environments), and they crop up more often the closer the player gets to the game's climax.
  • Denser and Wackier: This entry is more outlandish than ever, with the recurring sci-fi elements being given full emphasis, the fourth-wall breaking antics at their peak and the comedy frequent enough so that things aren't taken too seriously.
  • Deranged Animation: Some of Velvet Chair Girl's introduction are made by AC-BU, of Pop Team Epic fame.
  • Deus ex Machina: Or rather, Daemon ex Machina. A Radiant Gleam Arsenal arrives just in time when Travis needs to fight off Damon's Humongous Mecha which even he lampshades.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: FU announces his plans to take over the planet from the president's office, before killing the former and shoving his face onto the camera.
  • Downer Beginning: Even more so than in Desperate Struggle. After Mr. Blackhole's defeat, FU arrives to fight Travis, which results in the latter's defeat, Shinobu getting crippled, Badman's death, and Bad Girl too emotionally wounded to do anything.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For the series as whole, Travis started off living in an apartment with only one friend and got into the assassination business to become Number One and to "do it" with Sylvia. By the end of the game, he has grown up, is surrounded by friends and family — with Sylvia being his loving and supportive wife — and has become a hero by his own terms.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Despite referring to themselves as "superheroes" FU's cronies toe the line between this and Humanoid Abomination, with varying levels. With names like "Mr. Blackhole", with boss fights unlike anything seen in the series before, it only serves to enforce how otherworldly these new enemies are. We are treated to a shot of FU and his gang walking over the corpses of corporate suits lying dead in a pool of their own blood, implying that they were slaughtered by the extraterrestrials, but the presence of gas masks hint that they may have been killed simply from being in the same presence of the aliens.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Native Dancer actually being Travis's grandson makes him calling Travis "grandpa" much more meaningful; he was being literal.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Damon was established in Travis Strikes Again to be a very amoral man. However, he's the focal character showing that he genuinely valued his and FU's friendship to the extent that he eagerly awaited FU's return 20 years later. Of course, the friendship kind of starts to falter after FU reveals his intention to take over Earth and has his crew bombard the planet.
    • Midori Midorikawa is the #5 of the Galactic Superheroes, but she loves her children (who happen to be her hands, long story) and her boyfriend, Kamui Uehara. Subverted in that she was never evil in the first place.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Damon Ricotello in his brief appearance in Travis Strikes Again was shown to be a pretty nasty piece of work, violently assaulting Dr. Juvenile to gain control of "Serious Moonlight". However, he's shown to take pause with FU's crew laying waste to the planet.
  • Evil Makeover: Henry is back sporting one of these, which indicates the drastic shift in his character from cheeky affable rival to murderous psychopath.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Damon's Tower, a massive star-shaped building located in the middle island of Utopinia, and that can be seen from every map.
  • Eye Catch: After each ranked battle, an image featuring a chibi character with a line from another comes up.
  • Fictional Currency: Comes in two flavors — UtopiCoins, which is the standard currency of Santa Destroy used to purchase goods in the city; and WESN (World Ending Super Nova), crystals harvested from aliens used to upgrade Travis's stats and unlock new moves for him.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The battle with Damon takes place in an unfamiliar area that looks suspiciously like Ω Battlefield.
  • Foreshadowing: During the encounter against the Native Dancer, he repeatedly calls Travis "Grandpa". This isn't him mocking the difference in their ages; Travis actually is his the future. Also, if he truly wanted to antagonize Travis, why does he give him new abilities for the Death Glove? Moreover, he also sounds very excited to be fighting Travis...
  • Gainax Ending: FU's father arrives before being killed by Travis and Sylvia's twins from the future, revealing that Native Dancer is their grandson and having Travis ask for help in defeating Uncle Henry who has aligned with aliens in an intergalactic war (despite how much Travis already had to butcher him). Naturally, Travis is lampshading the absurdity of this and how the entire series is going to end on this note.
  • Game Within a Game: The Deathman arcade Beat 'em Up, which can be unlocked late in the game.
  • Given Name Reveal: The two men that accompany Sylvia to clean up the bodies in the previous games are Weller and Talbot, whose names were only shown in the first game's credits and Development Material cards (the latter only accessible in New Game Plus). Travis lampshades how he never knew that they even had names before now.
  • The Goomba: Bones are the easiest and most basic enemy in the game, being humanoids with a single melee attack and very telegraphed attack patterns that get slightly stronger variations over time. This is lampshaded in their intro card, with Travis explicitly calling them "a goombah".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: In the main areas, various collectibles around the game are figurines of characters, trading cards, scorpions, and Jeane's kittens.
  • Grand Finale: This game will serve as the end of Travis' story, as well as the end of No More Heroes as a whole, according to Suda51.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • In a series first, clearing the game once unlocks "Carolina Reaper" difficulty. It is, as the game describes, "the ultimate difficulty level - it is not to be undertaken halfheartedly".
    • The time machine also has its own Harder Than Hard difficulty, which is simply called "Death". Almost everything that hits Travis in this difficulty will end him in one go.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Even though Travis kills Henry at the end of his boss fight, He shows up again with an army of clones when Travis tries to go to the bathroom and proceeds to kill him anyway.
  • Henshin Hero: Utilizing the Death Glove, Travis can transform into an armored superhero, which he is shown activating by uttering the "Henshin" catchphrase.
  • Hourglass Plot: Travis started as a loser otaku with only one friend who only wanted to become an assassin for the glory and perhaps getting in bed with Sylvia while Henry was the cool handsome foil assassin. Come III, it's Travis who has matured and understood what it means to kill while Henry has Jumped Off The Slippery Slope. Notably in I, Henry called Travis an embarassment whereas in III, it's Travis who states that it's embarassing to have a deranged lunatic for a twin brother.
  • Human Aliens: Midori Midorikawa is unique among FU's gang for how she can pass as a human (save for her hands being semi-sentient and having eyes and mouths). According to Suda, it would've been revealed that she's the daughter of Fleming (from Shadows of the Damned), thus making her half-demon.
  • Interface Screw: As if to reinforce how alien the new enemies are, some of the alien bosses seem to have phases that completely deviate from the usual hack-and-slash format of normal boss fights. For instance, Mr. Blackhole's boss fight appears to start off in the series traditional format which transitions into a Phase 2 in a shooter game format. Sonic Juice is initially fought in a Final Fantasy-like turn-based RPG format.
  • Level Limiter: You can reset your upgrades by paying UC at Naomi's Lab.
  • Market-Based Title: Parodied. The reversible jacket for the Switch game card's cover has the game alternatively titled Goddamn Superhero, made for the fictional Death Drive 68000 console.
  • Medium Blending:
    • In the opening, the smoke from the aliens' initial attack on the city skyline is rendered as a wave of cartoony spirits with Deranged Animation faces.
    • In the game itself there's Netflix styled opening logos, an anime opening, a 70s mecha anime closing, anime commercial breaks with chibi designs, grindhouse cutscenes, PC adventure game sequences, 3D, 16-bit, 8bit, live stream, bizarre 2d/clay sequences, etc.
  • MegaCorp: Utopinia, which was described as an "urban development corporation" in Travis Strikes Again, was founded by Damon with the help of alien tech and seems to have total control over Santa Destroy. This extends to the economy, which sees Santa Destroy using "UtopiCoins" (Uc) as currency rather than the series' standard LB$. They also seem to be in control of the geography, as Santa Destroy (which was once part of California and right near the Mexican border) has been physically separated from the U.S. mainland to be part of the star-shaped archipelago that makes up Utopina.
  • The Men in Black: The opening cinematic shows Damon quickly grabbing FU and fleeing from them as they investigate FU's ship crash. They nearly get the jump on the two at their tree house, only getting blown away as FU takes off in his new ship.
  • Mini-Game Credits: Though not quite the end, the Thunder Break vs. Radiant Gleam sequence shows the names of major cast members with each successful prompt.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: One of the volunteer jobs in Santa Destroy has Travis picking trash in alligator-infested water. Alligators do not live in California, where Santa Destroy was stated to be located in previous games. Justified by a)Santa Destroy no longer being on the U.S. mainland and now part of a star-shaped archipelago and b)the alien invasion possibly causing some ecological or geography shifts and certain species getting transplanted or becoming invasive (the Coast Guard job mini-game on some of the other islands implies that the alligators are an invasive species to the Utopina archipelago).
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Travis's Beam Katana now has elements of multiple past Katanas, including the basic structure, name, and function of the Blood Berry, the multiple rotating sub-blades of the Tsubaki MK-II, the extended red blade of the Peony during Deathblows, and the long sustaining battery life of the Rose Nasty.
  • Money Is Experience Points: This game uses a separate currency called WESN, which can be used at a machine for upgrades. Other ways it can be spent is on gacha machines and replaying boss battles, though you'll probably be earning more WESN than spending it.
  • Money for Nothing: Averted. Instead of just being used for upgrades and clothing, money can be used to buy sushi that can replenish your health and temporarily boost your stats, allowing it to retain some use after you buy everything else the game has to offer.
  • Mood Whiplash: After killing Henry (supposedly) in a single slash, Travis seems on the verge of collapse. A moment later he's congratulated by Sylvia for winning and asking how does committing fratricide feel, with Travis stating he's feeling refreshed.
  • Musical Nod: When Dr. Juvenile sends an Arsenal Rollout Model to help Travis, "Arms of Immortal" from Daemon X Machina kicks in.
  • Mythology Gag: Posters of Shiroyabu, Kuroyanagi, and the Scarlet Cat can be found in Beefhead Videos.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: One of the jobs Travis can take is cleaning up trash in an alligator-filled area, and said alligators are at least twice Travis's size. Another is being a coast guard fending off giant alligators from reaching the shoreline using a tank, and the largest ones take multiples shells to kill.
  • Noodle Incident: It is never explained why Travis shows up in the beginning in bandages and a neck brace or how Naomi transformed into a cherry blossom tree.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Much like the previous games, some of the volunteer jobs are ridiculously unsafe. One of the jobs has you picking trash in alligator-infested water (and these gators are enormous), with only Travis's professional wrestling moves to defend himself. Another job has you mining WESN (an alien mineral and one of the game's currency) in a cave with lava pits and geysers, and said job is explicitly stated to be so dangerous that no one else has ever come back alive from it.
  • Old Save Bonus: The main shirts from No More Heroes 1 & 2, and Travis Strikes Again, will be available in III if you have data of those games on your Switch.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Exclusive to the time machine boss rematches is the Death difficulty, which makes everything kill Travis in one hit.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Per the games' official synopsis, fighting off an alien invasion is as far as you can get from Travis' usual dealings with assassins.
    The Galaxy vs. The Hood
  • Parlor Games: Velvet Chair Girl's battle is a game of musical chairs with the losers being disintegrated by Ohma's laser.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The "superheroes" Travis must contend with have been described as Thanos-level threats. As a demonstration of this, Velvet Chair Girl's pet, Ohma, nuked a city with a Wave-Motion Breath Weapon in the introduction. It winds up only really applying to FU himself and Ohma after her master dies in regards to threat level. Three members of their ranks even end up getting taken out by completely human combatants before they can even fight Travis.
  • Pixellation: When Travis is cleaning a toilet, pixels cover the inside of the toilet.
  • Powered Armor: Travis can use Henshin if he gets a Triple-7 on the Death Reel. In space battles, he uses an upgraded version of the armor throughout the fight. Later he gets an upgraded form of the armor titled Full Green that can be activated with green triple-7s.
  • Power-Up Food: Present and accounted for with sushi, served up at DonMai Sushi stands by Bugzaburo. Eating in at the stands provides buffs, while takeout sushi can be used to recover health or receive smaller buffs on the fly.
  • Real Is Brown: Parodied in the Call of Battle zone, filled with washed-out browns and greys and dust limiting your visibility.
  • Reconstruction: While the first two games intended to deconstruct the glamour around pop culture violence, this game serves more as a love letter to all the things Suda51 likes. Travis himself has come a long way from being the immature idiot of the first game, becoming more like a cult film Anti-Hero.
  • Replay Mode: Within Naomi's Lab, located in the same motel where Travis lives, there's a time machine that allows Travis to relive his fights against the ranked assassins he's met during the story. The added benefit is that you can select the difficulty level (though the higher ones need to be unlocked and then paid through a small fee). It's a good way to farm money, as well as materials for upgrades; and the higher the difficulty chosen is, the higher the rewards will be.
  • Retreaux: The Deathman Game Within a Game is very close to a Sega Genesis game, given the 16-bit color palette and synth soundtrack.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Once you learn how Native Dancer is actually Travis' grandson, it makes him calling Travis "Grandpa" much more meaningful.
  • RPG Elements: When Travis damages enemies, they take numerical damage, and Sonic Juice's battle is a turn-based RPG in the style of Final Fantasy.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The "Goddamn Superhero" teaser trailer had Travis quipping "2020 release? Heh, good luck!". The game would be delayed to 2021.
    • Possibly mixed with Take That! as the April 2021 livestream trailer makes mention of Travis Strikes Again's somewhat polarizing reception, with Sylvia calling it "the kind of experimental game that will get fawned over in ten years".
  • Sequel Escalation: After going from fighting regular assassins, undead maniacs, astronauts, and in-universe video games heroes throughout the previous games, Travis faces off against actual alien invaders.
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger after the credits teases a potential fourth main installment involving Time Travel.
  • Serious Business: If Velvet Chair Girl is any indication, musical chairs of all things is really important in some galaxy. It becomes an Absurdly High-Stakes Game during her boss fight.
  • Sidequest: Travis will need to work some part-time jobs to make the money needed to enter the ranked fights. Such jobs include:
    • Mowing lawns
    • Plunging toilets
    • Defense Missions, which come in two varieties: wave-based alien-slaying missions, and space-bound battles in Powered Armor
    • Collecting trash from crocodile-infested sewers
    • Helping the army fend off massive crocodiles
    • Chasing down targets on the road using his Cool Bike
  • Shout-Out:
    • Travis' reaction to the alien ship in the opening level:
      Travis: Was today the 4th of July? If not, is the empire striking back or what?
    • The way Travis breaks through the "Goddamn Superhero" title card in "The Return" trailer resembles the famous motorcycle shot from AKIRA. Additional references to AKIRA include Travis' new bike, the Demzamtiger, which has a stark red futuristic design, and he's also seen doing the motorcycle shot again in the Nintendo Direct 2021 trailer during game play.
    • Travis fights Sonic Juice in the style of a Final Fantasy encounter, right down to selectable commands and blue text box menus. The two even discuss Final Fantasy, with Travis trashing the character designs and claiming he won't touch the game (presumably VII) even if they remake it. Of course, it's mostly hidden by Clumsy Copyright Censorship bleeps. The uncensored conversation is far more explicit with the references, with Travis saying he broke his controller playing Final Fantasy VI, that he wouldn't play Final Fantasy VII even if they remake it, and that Tetsuya Nomura's designs looked stupid.
    • The shirt Travis is wearing in all the trailers is a riff on the famous cover of the album Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division.
    • The opening scene showing Damon's backstory of trying to send his alien friend FU home, while protecting him from government agents, is a big one to E.T. Incidentally, FU's name arrives from replacing the letters E.T. with their next respective letter in the alphabet.
    • The top of Travis's new Death Glove resembles a red-and-blue pair of Joy-Con controllers.
    • Then there is "NT Kamui", which stands for "Newtype".
    • The final cover art appears to be a mirror flipped version of the arcade art for Street Fighter Alpha 2.
    • Travis mentions the famous Toku quarry, and even namedrops Kamen Rider Zi-O (the subtitles censor the name, but the spoken dialogue doesn't). Though this isn't surprising if you already got to know that Suda himself is a Kamen Rider fan.
    • Jeane attempts to compare herself to Piccolo, but gets censored.
    • A large number of the Skill Chips for the Death Glove are named after Ultramen. There doesn’t seem to be any specific motive behind this, unlike in Travis Strikes Again where the references lined up with the abilities themselves, but much of this has to do with the fact that the Death Glove Chips in No More Heroes III give buffs to your current attacks as opposed to new moves like in the previous game. The references continue in the story itself with a VHS opening to every episode using a warped title card and villain silhouettes done in the style of the classic Ultraman openings. Gold Joe's name and design pays homage to King Joe from Ultraseven as well.
    • The first optional adventure game questline ends with Travis gathering six magical stones for a man who wants to use their magical power to erase most of the world' pie, his least favorite food.
    • After the battle against Velvet Chair Girl Sylvia appears for the usual cleanup dressed like Captain Marvel.
    • When Damon becomes the True Final Boss, he brings up Travis hitting him in Travis Strikes Again and mentions that not even his father hit him.
    • Damon being a wealthy and amoral business elite who's then revealed to be hiding a grotesque alien-like visage is a reference to They Live!, his demonic appearance particularly bears a striking resemblance to the aliens of that movie.
    • The icons for the podcasts look right out of Doctor Slump, and Travis' outright look like Taro Soramame.
    • Travis celebrates getting a collectable like how The Legend of Zelda's Link celebrates finding an important item with Travis' death chip creation sprite matching Link's NES design.
    • The Final Boss with Damon turns the game into Super Smash Bros..
    • Suda being a fan of pro wrestling and all, Travis will do the ProWres Love pose when he transfers the entry fee for the next ranked battle, and (sometimes) Hulk Hogan’s “Ichiban!” when he completes a request.
    • In an optional dialogue of Travis checking on Shinobu’s recovery, he tries to rouse her spirits with the story of Akira Maeda returning from the UK to defeat Paul Orndorff with a beautiful bridging butterfly suplex.
    • Suda noted ahead of release that most of the suplexes Travis can perform are pulled directly from Maeda’s arsenal, on that note.
    • Sylvia shouts out the Japanese indie studio AREA 35 for providing her the intergalactic battleship that she used to reach Sonic Juice's planet and save Travis. The studio was credited in the game for having worked on cinematics.
    • One of the mini bosses is named Leopardon.
    • Two of Travis' Full Armor modes turn him into the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn's titular mech, with the first form being based on Unicorn's standard mode, and the Green Mode being Unicorn's Awakened NT-D mode in design and colors. The space-only Full Armor Travis resembles a conglomeration of mecha from Gundam Sentinel, taking design cues from the S Gundam with Booster Unit, the Hummingbird, and especially the Gundam Deep Striker, the radome over the left shoulder being a dead giveaway.
    • To harvest the WESN from the trees he's planted earlier in designated spots, Travis climbs up them and backflips off of them while yelling "wahoo!".
    • In the end, Damon summons his giant mecha by pointing his index finger towards the sky while yelling "Thunder Break!", causing purple lightning to strike.
  • Special Attack: With the Death Glove, Travis can execute four different special attacks which function on a Cooldown timer: Death Kick (a dropkick that can stun enemies), Death Force (projecting a force field around enemies to push them away), Death Slow (creating an Area of Effect that causes all enemies inside to slow down), and Death Rain (creates a ring of tiny turrets overhead that pelts enemies with projectiles).
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: The cover depicts Travis calmly staring at FU while the latter is snarling in rage eager to tear him apart. Also happens in the actual game right before the battle with FU, with Travis driving FU to a Villainous Breakdown by calling him an immature Spoiled Brat and getting right up in his face challenging him to Bring It.
  • Stealth Pun: The two letters in FU's name come after "E" and "T" respectively. However, his name could also be pronounced as "eff you" when you pronounce both of the letters separately. Also, given his alien origins as well as being Rank 1 in the Galactic Superhero Rankings, he is a literal "Foo Fighter".
  • Story Difficulty Setting: Playing on Sweet will give you a permanent invincibility shield for combat segments. However, you can still fail side jobs from running into hazards, and both phases of Velvet Chair Girl's boss battles can still insta-kill you if you either do poorly at musical chairs or get hit by Ohma's laser.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: The opening of the game starts out as a stock-standard, heartwarming ET-like boy-meets-alien narrative... Except said alien returns 20 years later, having grown up to become a genocidal warlord planning to take over Earth.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Badman and Kimmy Howell/Love both end up getting killed despite surviving in their last appearances.
  • Summon Magic: Parodied during the fight with Sonic Juice. Travis can use the summon spell to call for assist from Bahamut, Ifrit, and Knights of the Round, only to be told they can't come due to being busy with something else.
  • Super-Deformed: In The Stinger, the cast becomes chibi-styled as part of the Art Shift.
  • Super Mode:
    • Rolling three BARs on the Slash Reel activates Mustang Mode, which increases Travis's movement and attack speed to ludicrous levels.
    • Halfway through the game, a "Full Green" transformation becomes available after rolling triple green 7's on the Slash Reel, giving Travis a brief but immense power boost.
  • Take That!: Despite largely being a celebration of otaku media, the game is more than willing to knock them down a peg as well.
    • Travis and Bishop's brazen gushing of Takashi Miike's filmography has its breaks pumped when Travis mocks the logic that someone being a hardcore fan of the source material means they'd be able to make a good adaptation, using the point to criticize Miike's live action adaptation of TerraforMARS. It doesn't stop the both of them from deciding to watch it again though.
    • Sonic Juice's boss battle sees Travis not only relentlessly bashing RPGs, particularly Final Fantasy, but he is also implied through censored dialogue to lampoon the designs of Tetsuya Nomura, pointing out that he wouldn't play the games even if they remade them.
    • Upon killing Kimmy Love, Sylvia berates Travis for thinking they could have teamed up to take down the big bad aliens like in a "superhero movie". This example winds up being at least partially subverted when Travis' friends do actually show up in the end to help him take down FU.
  • Take That, Audience!: Sylvia encourages players to "eat all the popcorn and chips they want" and "play until their controller is covered in grease" and warns them not to play more than ten hours a day, as if she's aware that the audience is made up of excessive gamers.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: The Death Glove gives Travis the ability to use special attacks from Travis Strikes Again, as well as functioning as a Transformation Trinket for his Full Armor form.
  • True Companions: Travis and his allies ultimately prove to be this, despite the very rocky beginnings he had with some of them. Besides the couch conversations they drop in on and the option Travis has to comfort Bad Girl (in his own bumbling way) after the death of her father, they all come to Travis's aid during his final battle with FU. It stands in contrast to FU, who treats most of his supposed friends more as novelties and has no problems killing them if they piss him off.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Velvet Chair Girl and Midori Midorikawa are the only two female members of the Galactic Superhero Corps.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Several times throughout the game:
    • Velvet Chair Girl‘s "boss fight" is a musical chairs mini game.
    • Midori Midorikawa’s level suddenly shifts into a First-Person horror sequence.
    • The first half of Sonic Juice's battle is fought in the style of a Final Fantasy-inspired turn-based JRPG.
    • At two points the game switches to Deathman, a old-school Beat 'em Up. The first Deathman segment is in the prologue, while the second is after Henry kills Travis.
    • The final fight against Damon is stylized like a Super Smash Bros. match, with a 2D perspective, damage percentage counters ticking up, and Damon needing to be defeated by a Deathblow-assisted Ring Out.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: FU is revealed to be a mass-murdering ex-con after the intro, and Damon who also appears in the opening was previously shown in Travis Strikes Again to be an unscrupulous business mogul. However, the aforementioned scene also showed the two together in their youth being much more starry-eyed and friendly. It's subverted in regards to FU however, who reveals to Damon that even back when they first met, he was already planning to conquer Earth.
  • Victory Fakeout: Happens a surprising amount:
    • Landing the killing blow on Mr. Blackhole leads to the kill-screen stating "Mr. Blackhole: DEAD?". Sure enough, the battle with him isn't actually over yet, as Travis gets sucked by a wormhole and must seek him out to trigger the second phase.
    • After Sniping Lee gets killed in a cutscene, the Ranking episode appears to end, and the usual Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame comes up. But then Sylvia points out the lack of a boss fight and summons a Mass-Produced Destroyman to trigger one anyway.
    • After the boss battle with Henry, the player gets to the toilet save screen, but it freezes up, making Travis complain to the game's staff about it. Of course, it turns out that the post-battle cutscene was still going, and a group of Henry clones shows up to kill him. This triggers a Deathman level before the episode ends for real.
    • Downplayed with FU's defeat. After the "FU: DEAD" kill-screen, the player gets to deliver two final power bombs at the start of the cutscene that shows his incredibly painful demise.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Many boss battles are preceded by a flashback showing FU treating each boss in question to a meal and just having a casual chat with them.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: After being absent in No More Heroes 2, the ability to roam through an open world returns in this game and is expanded upon: in addition to his stomping grounds of Santa Destroy, Travis can also explore the vast deserts of the Thunder Dome, the Japantown of Neo Osaka, the neighborhood of Neo Brazil, the high-tech Damon Tower, the idyllic town of Perfect World, and the Call of Battle warzone.
  • Wham Line:
    • After beating FU, we get this:
      FU: I love you, Damon.
      Damon: I loved you, too, FU.
      FU: Damon? Damon?
      Damon: Goodbye, FU. Now fuck off!!!
    • Earlier during Travis’ battle with Native Dancer:
      Native Dancer: There’s something I’d like you to have, Grandpa.
    • Speaking of which, what's the first word Native Dancer speaks at the end of the game? "Mommy". towards Jeane. And then they reply with:
    Jeane: Good job, Scott!
  • The Worf Effect: FU subjects Travis and his friends, who are accomplished killers in their own right, to a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle shortly after the first boss fight in order to demonstrate just how dangerous he is.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Whenever Travis uses the time machine to refight bosses, he gets shocked with a visible skeleton.
  • You Don't Look Like You: When the game begins, Travis looks noticeably different from his usual appearance: he is dressed only in a T-shirt, boxers, and sandles; he has bandages on his body along with a neck brace; and he has a beard and Messy Hair. It's only after transforming into his Full Armor form and boarding the first UFO that he regains his iconic appearance. There's no explanation as to how or why this happens. This look is later unlocked as an optional costume that the player can equip should they so choose.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?:
    • During the game's first level, after Travis' pet cat Jeanne reveals herself to be able to talk in a distinctly masculine voice and he calls her "basically his navigator", she compares her combat prowess to someone else (their name is bleeped out in both the subtitles and audio, but a distinct "Pic" syllable can be heard before the bleep starts). Travis tells her not to make that comparison again, saying that it will "make things more confusing".
    • Travis and Bishop's explicit mentions of the works of Takashi Miike are censored in the subtitles but this time not in the audio. The only exception are a few mentions of Girls x Heroine!, though a specific reference to Magic x Warrior Magi Majo Pures! gets censored. This is probably due to the fact that just saying the 'Girls' series or even the full title wouldn't turn as many heads as blatantly discussing Audition.
      • This seems to be the trend for any referenced works in the game. A reference to Kamen Rider Zi-O is censored in the subtitles, but not the audio. However, in situations where text is the only reference point, such as Travis discussing Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack? You're out of luck if you can't figure out what letters are being censored out.

Hey, gamers! Limit your gaming to ten hours per day! Any more, and you're seriously gonna die!


NMH3 - Emperor of the Night

FU sends the eighth-ranked member of the Galactic Corps; Black Night Direction, to eliminate Travis.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

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