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.