Suda51 Talks Killer Is Dead And How They Struggled To Pick Mondo Girls

By Sato . July 12, 2013 . 6:00pm

Grasshopper Manufacturer’s next game, Killer is Dead, is an action game that is said to bring out a more comfortable feeling the more you play it. The protagonist is an assassin by the name of Mondo Zappa, who will be taking out targets for the Bryan Execution Agency. 4Gamer caught up with executive director Goichi Suda to talk about the upcoming title.


Goichi Suda, also known as Suda51, started the interview by talking about how his love for the style of foreign TV shows and his favorite Japanese show Aibo (a Japanese detective series) influenced him to make Killer is  Dead into an enjoyable game, episode by episode.


“For example, if you play up until episode 4 and you go a week without playing, even if you forget some of the story, you’ll still be able to pick up episode 5 and enjoy it as a new story. I believe it brings a sense of comfort,” says Suda as he explains that he had written the scenarios for Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw with a different approach.


Killer is Dead will have various chapters that take place in different parts of the world. In the chapter called “The Tiger That Vanished Into Darkness,” Mondo will be facing a yakuza leader and a vicious tiger that appears from his tattoo. Suda explains why he chose Kyoto as the setting that represents Japan.


“As Japanese people, there was a part of us that also wanted to see Japan be part of a stage. That’s where we’ve decided that Kyoto would be the best to represent Japan,” Suda explained. “I’m not sure if you’re aware, but in the back areas of the mountains in Kyoto, there are actually plenty of tigers and yakuza.”


4Gamer seemed rather doubtful on that part as Suda continued, “Yes, the back areas of Kyotos mountains are very dangerous… and I wanted to somehow show that to the people around the world. Yes, it’s a message I really wanted to put into Hamadayama’s episode.”


Aside from the fact that Bryan runs his own Execution Agency, not much is known about the man himself. According to Suda, it is one of the agency’s mysteries. Another mystery is, why does the country allow such an agency full of mysterious people to keep going?


“It’s kind of like… here you go, a dangerous group for another dangerous group, a poison for poison. I wanted to write a story that would depict the dark side of the world, and this is the result of what we got,” says Suda, explaining that the Bryan Execution Agency is also a substructure of the Pentagon.


While on the subject of mysteries, 4Gamer points out the Killer is Dead enemies known as “Wires”. Not much is known about them or how they came to be. According to Suda, they come from the dark side of the moon and they’re under the influence of a malicious particle called Dark Matter.


4Gamer tried asking Suda about how they arrived on the planet Earth, but he asks for them and everyone else to find out after playing the game. However, he hinted that the setting will be about an all-out war between the moon and Earth, which common people aren’t aware of.


4Gamer mentioned that during their playthrough of Killer is Dead, they were reminded of No More Heroes’ Travis Touchdown. While you do play as a man that wields a weapon similar to a katana, however, they felt that Mondo’s personality is the opposite, as he’s cool-minded and is actually good with the ladies, unlike Travis.


“That’s right… actually, no,” Suda replies. “Mondo is also an idiot. Especially with his Gigolo Mode out there. As he acts cool with his Gigolo Glasses, he’s seeing through clothes to get a peek at some underwear. Isn’t that cute?”


The Mondo Girls are female characters you’ll get a chance to woo during Gigolo Missions. As you may have noticed, they all appear to be quite different. You get a femme-fatale brunette in Natalia, a gorgeous blonde nurse in Scarlett and a kimono-wearing beauty in Koharu.


“The Gigolo Mode was made from a representative system,” Suda reveals. “The specification base was made by Shin (director Hideyuki Shin), me and Kadokawa Games president Yasuda, as we’ve become the main people in charge of the game. Over time, each member would say ‘This is what I think Gigolo Mode should be!’ and draw out their stories.”


“This was followed by other participants expressing their opinions, which continued on a weekly basis. That’s when Shin prepared a visual, depicting 10 different kinds of beauties from around the world. From there, we were supposed to narrow it down to 3~4 girls and put it into data, but…”


Suda continues, “That was the start of a fierce tug-of-war. Firstly, president Yasuda is the one with an absolute vote in everything. When he says ‘This,’ it will go in the game. Then my vote is next? Or so I thought, but the people in charge at Kadokawa Games don’t easily hand things over. For this reason, the remaining one or two (girls) that were chosen by the two of us, were settled after we all got together and balanced things out, and finally came to a decision.”


“Things got pretty heated. Both the temperature of Kadokawa Games’ meeting room and the argument itself continued to rise rapidly. By the end, we were covered in sweat. So, please enjoy the beautiful girls that were selected in such a manner,” Suda concludes.


4Gamer asks out of curiosity, “So, by the way, who did president Yasuda pick?”


“Koharu. He wanted a beauty in a kimono,” replies Suda.


Killer is Dead is slated for release in North America on August 27th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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  • Thomaz Barros

    Ah Waifu Wars
    Truly the most heated fights in humanity history

  • Altin

    President Yasuda has good taste. I personally would have preferred Betty though. Koharu reminds me too much of Tsuhiki.

  • Göran Isacson

    Gotta admit, I’m a little dissapoint. At first glance I thought this game would try to evoke the mood and personality of Killer 7, but the more I see the more this makes Mondo look like yet another character in the mold of Travis/ Garcia/ Juliet, airheaded and kinda dumb… and while there’s room for that it’s like that’s ALL that Suda’s written lately. I want to see him try and tackle a TRULY cool and unsettling character like Garcian Smith again, but I guess I’ll just have to keep on wanting…

    • abysswalker

      I agree, it would be really nice for a change

      • Göran Isacson

        Mmm. I guess that Suda is satisfied with games like these keeping his audience satisfied and money rolling into Grasshopper studios, but man if it’s not getting a little repetitive…

    • biskmater

      You should have thrown that off the window the moment you heard the words “gigolo mode” And personally, I think it is more enjoyable to create and amusing character than a twisted one. As a consumer you may disagree, but only your money talks.

      • JustThisOne

        I admit, that gigolo mode is a pretty big indicator that things are going to stay wacky. I enjoy both of Suda’s directions, really. SotD wasn’t flawless, but it certainly had it’s moments. Lolipop Chainsaw was definitely fun.

        But what I think he’s saying is that we haven’t seen a game in the vein of Killer 7 for awhile. Killer is Dead could have been an excellent opportunity…

        But hey! At the same time, who knows? It might still be. I’m looking forward to some interesting twists. We still don’t know for sure yet, right?

        • Göran Isacson

          Mmm, I know that Suda has said he plans to include some dark themes here (like the character that says that an assassin needs something to anchor them, or they will go insane sooner or later), but when every commercial so far seems to sell this game as a “wacky fun-time assassination game with pretty girls!”-type of game, I hope you understand why I don’t feel very keen on buying it.

          • JustThisOne

            Oh, I totally understand the feels. I truly do miss his Killer 7 and Flower, Sun and Rain days.

            I’m kind of hoping one of the girls has prosthetics, bombs strapped to her, or some crazy supernatural body deformity that can only be revealed by xray. That would be a cool twist to the gigolo glasses. *___*

          • Göran Isacson

            That WOULD be kinda cool, actually. I have kind of hoped that there would be some twist to the X-ray glasses ordeal that will turn things around, but… well, as I heard someone put it before: “hope in one hand, shit in the other, see which hand fills up first”.

          • JustThisOne

            I have never heard anyone put it that way before. Very eloquent – I like it.

      • Altin

        It could be worse – for instance, if you have to play as Rob Schneider.

      • Göran Isacson

        I suppose you are right. At first I thought the flirting with women was supposed to play off James Bond tropes, maybe even include a subversive element or two, but it really looks like they’re just playing it straight and including these girls as eyecandy and eyecandy alone. Shame, but what can one day except not buy the game, like you say.

  • Somehow when I think of a grown man leering at undressed women without their knowledge, “cute” is not the word that comes to mind.

    • puchinri

      Heh, right? I don’t think the word means what he thinks it means~.
      I did arch a brow at that.

      It’d be one thing to include a fanservice mode and play off the Bond tropes, but there’s a difference between “cute” and (borderline) skeevy. I guess I’m just disappointed because I know that even when it comes to fanservice, Suda could handle it better. And this just feels so blatant (and a bit lazy and pandering).

  • puchinri

    The game changed a lot from what I initially thought, so I won’t pick it up, but it probably will be fun to watch my friend play through. I am curious about when we get more news on the other title Suda is working on~. Is that game also with Kadokawa, by the way?

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