XSEED Games and Grasshopper Manufacture's Suda51 showed us Killer Is Dead this past week during the Game Developers Conference here in San Francisco. Once we were done checking out the gameplay, XSEED opened up the meeting to let us pick Suda51's brain.
Suda51 is always fun to talk to, and this time was no different. The face of Grasshopper detailed a lot to us, from some of the influences that helped shape Killer Is Dead, what's going on with the soundtrack, and how the Samurai Champloo game changed everything for the development studio.
On the name Killer Is Dead
"I'm a fan of [The Smiths], the band, and they have a song called The Queen Is Dead. This was just a tentative title and I just switched out the Queen with Killer. There was talk that let's change the title to something else [as] it was sort of vague that it really doesn't describe anything. And then grammatically it might be incorrect, but I thought it gave more uniqueness that really matched what the gameplay was about so we decided to leave it."
On the soundtrack
Suda51 confirmed that Akira Yamaoka is indeed heading up the soundtrack to Killer Is Dead. As for what we can expect out of the music, Suda51 doesn't even know.
"In the very beginning I explained what the concept of this game is about and what I'm trying to do within the game. After that we came up with a few ideas of what to do, and did some idea exchanges. But other than that I just threw the whole thing at [Akira]. At this time he's still working in the Tokyo office, still chugging away."
On the Flower, Sun, and Rain connection
"There is some kind of similarity because Sumio Mondo was wearing a suit as well, and I just like that character. I don't know, they just look similar. And then I liked the name Mondo so I decided to make him in a more action game this time. Originally I was thinking about Mondo Smith, but it's a little close to Sumio Mondo so we decided to change it."
Both Mondos are two totally different characters, but they do share influences. "Just think of them like long distant cousins, or relatives," Suda said.
On the visuals matching Project Heroes (the concept video that would go on to become No More Heroes)
"I'm surprised you'd remember that, I sort of forgot! That was something that I really liked, and I wanted to put that in a HD format and I think in Killer Is Dead I was able to achieve that."
On the James Bond inspiration
"For this title, there isn't specifically a Bond movie, it was just that 007 as a series. He's a British agent that goes into different places, different countries to solve something. That was the backbone of how we created this.
"My personal favorite is probably Living Daylights. I really liked the theme song, that's my favorite Bond movie. I don't think that many people say that's their favorite [laughs]. It has that uniqueness that I really like."
On any influences from Killer 7
I wasn't really specifically thinking about Killer 7 when I was doing [Killer is Dead], but I think it's just a compilation of all the stuff that I was creating. This theme of executioner and the Killer 7 kind of matches. There's a lot of stuff that I'm utilizing from the back catalog, and ideas that I had. Nothing really specific that connects those two together.
How the Samurai Champloo game changed Grasshopper's design approach
When asked about why Grasshopper games continue to focus on melee combat action, Suda 51 said that he thinks it's a culture thing as Japan used to be a sword country. "I think it's in my DNA or genes," Suda51 told us.
Yet before the success of No More Heroes, Grasshopper had another successful title on their hands with Killer 7, a game that was primarily shooting focused. So how did the design direction shift come about?
"After Killer 7 we played around with a title called Samurai Champloo, and then from there the idea became No More Heroes. When we created No More Heroes and launched that it did really well in Japan, and abroad, and in the US [it was] highly recognized."
"And like the culture thing, I think it sort of spread throughout our staff members and they got the know how of what to do. From there it's sort of based on that, it did well, we really liked the slash action, and it just sort of continued on from there."
Suda specifically cited understanding the know how of going up close to an enemy and killing them while designing the Samurai Champloo game as being one of the major inspirations for No More Heroes, and pretty much everything else since.
Niero Desu Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menuFlegma Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.Agent9 Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong. Casus Gaming After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.lewness me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helmPixie The Fairy Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.Nekrosys Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?VIRGO Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.Parismio Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
http://ymirsbian.tumblr.com/post/133929995113/thepositivefuture-kuroutsubasaShinta Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.RadicalYoseph Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.OverlordZetta Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img]https://i.imgur.com/vq3nuYD.png[/img]The Dyslexic Laywer Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!Shinta https://vine.co/v/e30YQw30uTJ
You're welcome.GoofierBrute Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.Nekrosys I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?OverlordZetta Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.RadicalYoseph Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.EdgyDude Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to www.support-indivisible.com
Agent9 Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_-
I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.