Killer Is Dead – I Watched Mondo Zappa Finish Off A Boss, Learned About Gigolo Mode

By Spencer . March 28, 2013 . 6:05am


I met with Grasshopper Manufacture CEO Goichi Suda and Xseed Games for a first look at Killer is Dead. Although we’ve seen a trailer and concept art, we haven’t seen much about the gameplay.


Killer is Dead follows Mondo Zappa who is an executioner and his job is to kill people who live in the Underworld, not everyday people like an ordinary hitman. He works at Bryan Execution Agency, which is government funded. Suda gave him a suit and a tie so he looks like he’s a government official. Mondo carries a katana in one hand and his other hand is a transforming cybernetic arm.


Mondo will be sent out to work whenever a client stops by the office and tells the Execution Agency about a “problem.” When Mondo takes care of the target players complete a mission and get a reward. The whole game, Suda explained, is designed like one season of a TV drama and each mission is like an episode.




Sticking with the TV analogy, I caught the trail end of an episode. The Killer is Dead demo started at a boss fight. The villain in this episode is Victor who looks like a metal skeleton was the target. Victor stole all of the sound from the world so when Mondo meets Victor you can see his mouth moving, but you can’t hear what he says. Mondo picked up a helmet that allowed him to hear Victor talk. This build of Killer is Dead already had English voiceovers in it so I got to hear Mondo wisecracks like “I’ve come to take back my ears” while pointing his katana at Victor who wants to “mass produce sounds of madness.”


Mondo’s augmented arm was a gun for this fight, but bullets didn’t chip away much of Victor’s life. The gun basically knocks Victor off balance so Mondo can dash in and use his katana. Mondo has a basic set of slashes and a sidestep move to evade melee attacks. The key to boss battles is to hit and then use Mondo’s super fast speed to retreat. After injuring Victor, the boss changed from a humanoid form (Victor says he no longer needs a body of flesh) into a giant mecha-like creature that can make cones of static shoot up from the ground. “One of the strong points of Grasshopper Manufacture, is we like to have different kinds of fun boss battles with different styles of gameplay that players can enjoy,” Suda said while Mondo was weaving through columns of gray static. The boss battle ended with a finishing blow that decapitated Victor. Each boss ends with a gory scene because Mondo has to bring the head back as proof that he completed his mission.



“We concentrated on is how to visualize the game. As you can see, we wanted to have a distinct look. We didn’t want a photorealistic look or cel-shading because that would make it look a little too cartoonish. We’re calling this high contrast shading and it has a different look than our other titles,” Suda said when talking about the game’s art style.


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A feature we didn’t get to see, but is in Killer is Dead is something called “gigolo mode.” Mondo can seduce women in the story. Other side missions reward players with unlockable outfits, materials, and money to upgrade his weapons.


Killer is Dead is slated for a summer release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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  • Tom

    These images remind me of Killer7 on so many levels.

  • Gigolo Mode ? I just hope they dont plan on adding Rob Schneider into it.

    • Zach Hodgson

      I hope he is. How else are we supposed to get the HOT CHICKS? :D

      • Point taken.

      • Juan Andrés Valencia

        Or The Animal(s)?

  • Detrimont

    i’m still trying to figure out where i’ve seen an art style that’s really close to this before.

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      Wouldn’t you say that their Killer 7 or No More Heroes looked pretty close to this?

      • Detrimont

        kinda, but not what i was thinking of

    • venomryu

      marvel vs capcom 3

  • z_merquise

    Hope to see a gameplay video. I already like the concept and the visual style.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    This sounds interesting… Especially the Gigolo Mode :P

  • No9

    I’m in love with this game already. @[email protected] Please Suda, take all my money!

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Liking the TV drama format that they’re going with. Should make for some cool story situations. Just hope it’s a longer game than Lollipop Chainsaw; decent game but it was over pretty quickly. =/

  • isfuturebright

    I looks alot like the stuff they already made (No More Heroes, Lolipop Chainsaw, Killer7, Shadows of the Damned). I hope they are able to make another hit like NMH was and not just ok games like SotD and LC.

  • C_Diamond
    • z_merquise

      That artwork! It’s definitely Yusuke Kozaki (No More Heroes, Liberation Maiden, Fire Emblem: Awakening)!

      The girl with an umbrella looked like Shinobu so this may be related to No More Heroes.

      • Shinra

        Maybe Shinobu going back to Asia after she wasn’t able to get Travis to like her, I mean she is supposed to be Asia Champion right? Maybe the girl that is the protagonist is her apprentice or something. Although I think is a little early to speculate anything.

        • puchinri

          That’d be really cool~.

      • puchinri

        I was thinking the same. That pretty much has to be Shinobu. (And given how she goes through Japanese styles, maybe she’s finally hit her traditional one instead of a modern one.)

    • kazdamaz

      Awesome looks like Shinobu from No More Heroes may make an appearance.

    • puchinri

      Thank you for this~!

    • We’ll be able to talk about this later….

  • evilmoogle

    Gigolo mode?
    How will he seduce them? with his sword or huge arm?

    • fyi1191

      Look at them muscles.

    • ShadowDivz

      His arm trans-friggin-forms. If a woman can resist that, she’s clearly a lesbian.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    With the name Mondo, I wonder if this ties into the Syndrome/Silver Case/FSR universe

  • Göran Isacson

    All I hope for is that Gigolo mode isn’t JUST gonna be all about how suave and amazing Mondo is and how womens vaginas selfimplode with a single look from his steely orbs etc. I am expecting some biting social commentary about what kind of character a James Bond-type would REALLY be underneath the facade and on masculinity in general mr Suda, plz to not be letting me down.

    • puchinri

      I think Suda usually does approach both sides of it, the question is, how much. As much as parts of Lollipop Chainsaw really bother me, there are a couple of interesting things there, so maybe he will make commentary on the Bond-type. I really, really hope he does and I agree that it isn’t just, “look how suave and sexy Mondo is, no one can resist!”

      • Göran Isacson

        We can only hope, puchin. We can but hope.

    • Asura

      I don’t think I can buy Lollipop Chainsaw because it relishes too much in what it should be mocking.

      • Göran Isacson

        That is one of the iffy things about it, yes. Never not quite being sure WHAT they’re supposed to mock and indulge… I do hope that Killer won’t have that problem.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Is it me or that’s the best looking game (Art-style wise) out there?

  • AkuLord3

    If that is Shinobu, i wonder if we’ll get that bit from the old concept this game.
    You know explaining or showing off Dan Smith (but since Capcom has the rights to Killer7, maybe they have a similar character or do what NMH did with one of the Killer7 characters *shrugs*

  • Solomon_Kano

    I can’t wait til they show more footage. It looks amazing.

  • DemonKingAsura

    Episodic, huh?

    Looks like Goichi Suda and hiroshi matsuyama have been trading notes with each other. ;)

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