By Joseph Leray
When it rains, it pours: Goichi Suda, CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, and director of “Killer7” and “No More Heroes,” is back in this week’s Famitsu Weekly spilling details on “Killer is Dead,” nary a week after his last outpouring.
“One thing we got to with this game is you fighting against a yakuza guy riding a tiger,” Suda explains to the mag (as transcribed by Polygon), in what’s got to be the best pull-quote of the year so far. “You’re in Kyoto, among all these old-style buildings, and Mondo is on this motorbike fighting against a yakuza on a tiger.”
That hint of silliness has always run through Grasshopper’s games — “No More Heroes,” “Lollipop Chainsaw,” and “Shadows of the Damned” are all good examples of that — but Suda introduces an edge to Mondo Zappa, “Killer is Dead”’s gun-for-hire protagonist: “Mondo’s an executioner, not an assassin,” he explains.
“You have that ‘execution’ nuance added to the act of murdering your foes. The hero’s job is to wipe out these serious villains, real AAA-class international terrorists,” Suda goes on to say.
Suda goes on to compare “Killer”’s visuals to the bright cel-shading of “Killer7,” a no-nonsense political thriller that was darker and grimmer than some of Grasshopper’s more recent fare. “‘Lollipop Chainsaw’ was a bright, cheery kind of game,” Suda says. “If that’s the ‘yang,’ then my was to go for the ‘yin’ next.”
“Killer is Dead” is slated for a summer release in Japan, but there are still no official plans to bring the game westward.
However, XSEED recently registered domains for killerisdead-game.com, killandlove.com, and loveandkill.com, according to Kotaku. The publisher specializes in localizing and distributing Japanese games in North America, so a publishing deal doesn’t seem unreasonable.