Designing avant garde games on the toilet

GamesRadar: No More Heroes is packed with punk rock spirit. It seems to disrespect and subvert all kinds of action game and movie conventions. Was that a deliberate rebellion against stale game design, or did you just do it because it you found it funny?

SUDA51: When I was young I was always listening to UK music, and when describing what sort of games Grasshopper produce, I always say "punk games". I always want to use the punk spirit in making games. Punk artists were always rebelling against something and they wanted to create a new sound, and that's the sort of spirit I want to bring to videogames. I'm rebellious against the market and I think people need someone like that.

GamesRadar: You've always said you're very inspired by music when designing. Aside from the overall spirit running through the game, were there any particular musical influences that affected specific parts of No More Heroes?

SUDA51: The title comes from a Stranglers record, so I got a lot of ideas inspired by that. And this fictional city of Santa Destroy is actually based upon San Diego and California, so there's a hip hip group from there that I took inspiration from. I can't remember the name of them. I gave those songs to Takada-san to listen to and said "Please make a sound inspired by these two".

Takada Masafumi: When I heard the songs for the first time, I didn't really remember the songs, but I remembered the atmosphere from San Diego. The blue skies. The ground below. I wanted to create melodies between those influences.

GamesRadar: You're known best in the west for two very violent games, No More Heroes a slick modern action game and the Killer7 more stylistic. How do you approach violence in your games? Do you see it just as a gameplay mechanic, or as an artistic or storytelling tool as well?

SUDA51: [Laughs] Good question. In No More Heroes, the story actually came up first and I designed the game afterwards. The story led the design of the game. When I was making Killer7, I was wanted to design a game mechanic that was very different to other games, and that idea came up. The story and the characters came afterwards to cater to the game design.

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