Suda Goichi (須田剛一) is a video game designer and the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture. The "51" in his nickname, Suda51, is a pun on his given name: In Japanese, go means 5, and ichi means 1, although the character for go used in his name does not actually mean 5. His most famous works include Moonlight Syndrome for the PlayStation, The Silver, Flower, Sun and Rain, Michigan: Report from Hell, killer7, and No More Heroes. He and his studio have also done work on numerous other projects, including the Fire Pro Wrestling and Fatal Frame series.
Suda was born in Nagano, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, January 2, 1968.
In the early 90's, he worked as an undertaker, but couldn't stand the job because of the smell, which frequently reduced him to vomiting. Wanting to get out of this job as quickly as possible, he applied to an ad for a position at Human Entertainment, which was looking for employees to work on Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Final Bout. Due to his knowledge and fandom of pro wrestling, Suda was convinced he would get the job, but several weeks passed without a reply. Thinking that he had not gotten the job, he decided he should settle into life as an undertaker, when he received a call from Human telling him he had been hired as a scenario writer, due in large part to the fact that the company was lacking in personnel with extensive knowledge of the sport. The next game he would work on, Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special, remains one of his most infamous due to its shocking ending.
Suda then worked on games in the Syndrome series until his departure in 1998 shortly before Human disbanded. He went on to form his own company, Grasshopper Manufacture, and began work on The Silver. This game marked the beginning of the company's signature "Film Window" style of editing, where text bounces and jiggles onto the screen at random. In 2001, Grasshopper produced Flower, Sun, and Rain, another Suda original. The studio also worked on Shining Soul II.
In 2005, Suda finally gained widespread recognition for his seminal masterpiece, killer7, which gained a great deal more media coverage than his previous efforts. While not a huge commercial hit, the game garnered a large cult following and in addition, killer7 also brought Grasshopper Manufacturer to the interest of many North American gamers who may not have known about it before.
Grasshopper later collaborated with Marvelous Interactive to release Contact for the Nintendo DS. The game was a much smaller hit than killer7, as the game's director opted for a more "family-friendly" title.
On December 6, 2007, No More Heroes was released in Japan, and later in the rest of the world during early 2008. Suda expressed disappointment in the Japanese sales of the game, saying that only Nintendo is doing well in regard to the Wii's success because of its adoption by casual gamers. He later stated his comment was being misinterpreted, saying his "point was that No More Heroes, unlike a lot of Nintendo Wii titles currently available is the kind of product which will attract a different kind of consumer to the hardware, i.e. gamers who are looking for a different genre to the products which have been successful on this platform thus far." Outside of Japan, sales of the game have fared much better. In the United States, around 200,000 copies have been shipped, with about 100,000 copies sold, as opposed to just 40,000 copies shipped in Japan since launch. 160,000 copies are expected to be shipped for the European release.
He apparently had some involvement in the development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as his nickname "Suda51" appears in the credits for the single-player Subspace Emissary mode.
In a March 15, 2008 interview with Computer and Video Games, Suda51 revealed that beyond the Xbox 360 game in development by Grasshopper, he would be interested in producing No More Heroes 2 for the Wii, on the condition that the game sells enough to convince its publishers.
Many of Goichi Suda's games developed under Grasshopper Manufacture exhibit similar trademarks such as:
- Deliberate pixelation of menu screens, or other elements (The Silver, Flower, Sun, and Rain, No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle).
- A backdrop showing the Moon (The Silver, Flower, Sun, and Rain, killer7 and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle).
- A video game within a video game (the virtual killer7 game in killer7; Dragon & Dragon and F-1 Racer in Contact; Pure White Giant Glastonbury in No More Heroes; Bizarre Jelly 5 in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; Acts 4-2, 4-4 and 4-6 in Shadows of the DAMNED; the playable arcade cabinets in Lollipop Chainsaw).
- Assassins as main characters (Garcian Smith in killer7; Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes; Travis Touchdown, Shinobu and Henry in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; Garcia Hotspur in Shadows of the DAMNED; the unknown hero of Killer Is Dead).
- Characters who break the fourth wall (Sumio Mondo, Sue Sding and Shoutaro Kai in Flower, Sun, and Rain; Travis Touchdown, Jeane, Henry and Sylvia Christel in No More Heroes; Travis Touchdown and Sylvia Christel in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; Johnson in Shadows of the DAMNED).
- Disembodied heads (Kyoko Kazan in Moonlight Syndrome; Susie Sumner in killer7; Death Metal and Speed Buster in No More Heroes; Bishop Shidux in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; Johnson in Shadows of the DAMNED; Nick Carlyle in Lollipop Chainsaw
- Excessively long passages (beneath Eleki Island in Flower, Sun, and Rain, the Senton Splash Tunnel in No More Heroes, the housing complex in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; darkness voids in Shadows of the DAMNED).
- "Film Window" style of editing text in cutscenes (The Silver, killer7, and to some extent, Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked).
- Frames dedicated to a single character (character and enemy introductions in killer7; the Professor's top screen in Contact; the splash screens that load when the player reaches the location of an Extreme Murder Battle Stage in No More Heroes; splash biographies that appear each time a Dark Purveyor is encountered).
- Heavy dialogue with various meanings or interpretations (particularly Flower, Sun, and Rain and killer7).
- Luchadore characters or other lucha libre imagery such as wrestling masks (El Crasher in Flower, Sun, and Rain; MASK De Smith in killer7; Mask of the Legendary Wrestler trading cards in No More Heroes).
- Music playing a strong part of the story and scenes (chapter names' theme in Flower, Sun, and Rain; the Dominican Republic singer's song in killer7; the song sung by Dr. Peace in No More Heroes; Margaret Moonlight's tune in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle; Justine Divangelo's operatic vocals in Shadows of the DAMNED).
- Pop culture and film references (conversations throughout Flower, Sun, and Rain; the pigeon names in killer7; the pop idol in Contact; countless cultural references in No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw).
- Some plot element with the suffix -man (the Decoyman stage in The Silver; the Cloudman stage and the Handsome Men in killer7; the character Destroyman in No More Heroes; the characters Million Gunman and New Destroyman in Desperate Struggle).
- Stages with a series of forks in the road, where taking the wrong path causes the player to be returned to the beginning of the path. Someone or something usually accompanies the player, giving them hints on which is direction is the correct one (Step Sding at the Randelman Garden in Flower, Sun, and Rain; music in the Dominican Republic in killer7; Thunder Ryu in the Forest of Bewilderment in No More Heroes; Act 5-4 in Shadows of the DAMNED).
- The death of a mentor (Thunder Ryu in No More Heroes; Morikawa in Lollipop Chainsaw).
- The inclusion of a boss fight in which the player has no control over the outcome (the Handsome Men in killer7; the CosmoNOTs' show in Contact; Letz Shake and Dark Star in No More Heroes; in the case of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, there are 14 unseen ranked assassins who are killed before they can be formally challenged).
- The prominent inclusion of hotels or motels (the Flower, Sun, and Rain hotel in Flower, Sun, and Rain; the Union Hotel in killer7; the Motel "NO MORE HEROES" in No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and in the latter, the Destroy Resort).
|Title||Platform||Release status||Credited as|
|Super Fire Prowrestling III: Final Bout||Super Famicom||Released in Japan (1993)||Scenario Writer|
|Super Fire Prowrestling Special||Super Famicom||Released in Japan (1994)||Scenario Writer|
|Towairaito Shindoromu: Kyuumeihen||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1996)||Director / Writer|
|Towairaito Shindoromu: Tansakuhen||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1996)||Director / Writer|
|Moonlight Syndrome||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1997)||Director / Writer|
|The Silver||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1999)||Director / Writer|
|Flower, Sun and Rain||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2001)||Director / Writer|
|Michigan: Report from Hell||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2004) and Europe||Original Plan / Edit|
|killer7||Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2005), North America, and Europe||Director / Writer|
|Shirubaa Jiken 25 Ku||i-mode and Yahoo! Keitai||Released in Japan (2005)||Director / Writer|
|Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2006) and North America||Writer|
|Contact||Nintendo DS||Released in Japan (2006), North America and Europe||Producer|
|Blood+: One Night Kiss||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2006)||Writer|
|No More Heroes||Wii||Released in Japan (December 2007), North America and Europe (2008)||Director / Writer|
|Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise||Nintendo DS||Released in Japan (March 2008), Europe(November 2008) and North America (June 2009)||Director / Writer|
|Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen||Wii||Released in Japan (2008)||Producer|
|No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle||Wii||Released in North America (January 2010), Australia (May 2010), the United Kingdom (May 2010) and Japan (October 2010)||Executive director / Writer|
|Shadows of the DAMNED||PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360||Released in North America (June 2011)||Executive director / Writer|
- Franz Kafka is among Suda's favorite authors.
- Suda has been quoted as saying "One day I wanted to make a character cuter than Mario."
- The lyrics heard in the theme from the original PlayStation 2 version of Flower, Sun, and Rain: Murder and Mystery in Paradise, "F.S.R. (Anata no Tameni)", were written by Suda. Years later, he also wrote the lyrics for the No More Heroes song "The virgin child makes her wish without feeling anything", which were translated into English by Kan Andrew Hashimoto.
- Suda's favorite film is Paris, Texas, which features Harry Dean Stanton in the lead role of Travis Henderson. Suda has named a character "Travis" twice in his scripts. The first, Travis Bell appears in killer7. The second and more popular character, Travis Touchdown, appears in No More Heroes and its sequel.
- Suda's favorite video game is Out of this World.
- Suda is a major fan of lucha libre wrestling. He became somewhat famous for wearing a luchador mask at killer7 promotional events, and can also be seen wearing one in the trailer for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
- Suda once appeared on the Kojima Production's Report and Hidechan Radio.
- Many of the biggest influences of Suda51 come from Mexico.
- In the Japanese release of the Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP he voiced the charcter Logfella
- He also voiced as a Masked Yakuza is the PS2 game Yakuza 2