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Kill the Past

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Kill the Past is the collective term for a number of related video games directed by Goichi Suda, also known as Suda 51. Not only are these games often thematically similar, but they also feature a number of recurring trademarks, for instance: severed heads (sometimes in paper bags), the death and resurrection of playable characters (as well as the meaninglessness of death in general), the Moon, assassins, the medium of television, and occasionally even recurring characters. The main theme in "Kill the Past" titles is the necessity for their protagonists to destroy relics of their past that burden and prevent them from moving forward. Oftentimes, characters find themselves at odds with previous events in their lives that must be confronted head-on for them to be at ease.

Although each game in the series can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, if taken as a whole, "Kill the Past" builds an overarching plot that does not end so much as it carries on where the last title left off. Characters seem to be expendable and serve only to advance the plot; once they have lived out their purpose, it is common to see them killed or simply dissipated from the story.

The literary trend and style known as postmodernism features heavily in "Kill the Past". The nature of the work as a game is not only brought up for comedic value, but also to support the underlying themes, some of which have to do with video games themselves. It is a recurring theme for the protagonist to mirror the player in some way.

The earliest games essentially considered to be a part of the "Kill the Past" collection are Human Entertainment's Twilight Syndrome and Moonlight Syndrome, titles Suda helmed early in his game director career. However, some sources choose not to include these games in their interpretation of the "Kill the Past" line, despite their concise connections to related games published in later years, particularly The Silver Case. This is largely because the events of "Kill the Past" are not considered canon to the Syndrome series, which continued even after Suda's departure from Human. The main "Kill the Past" titles form something of a trilogy, with Grasshopper Manufacture's The Silver Case, Flower, Sun, and Rain and killer7. At the time of release, Suda reported that the No More Heroes franchise was a body of work separate from the "Kill the Past" titles. Despite this, the Lovikov Balls sidequest and other minor elements seem to suggest a connection; later on, references to Santa Destroy and Lospass Island in Diabolical Pitch retroactively connected it and No More Heroes to "Kill the Past"'s universe by association of Flower, Sun, and Rain. Killer Is Dead has thematic ties with "Kill the Past"; however, it is not connected on a narrative level.

In-universe, the words "Kill the Past" were originally created by Kamui Uehara in a video project he made with Ayame Shimohira.

TitlesEdit

While thematic elements are what originally established Kill the Past games, a growing number of recurring characters, objects and references suggest new titles are building a shared universe. The strongest components of the Kill the Past body appear in bold lettering.

Killers of the pastEdit

The titular element of these stories is protagonists first having a past that has been "killed" through repressing memories or ignoring it, but then having to properly acknowledge and confront it in order to truly "kill" it and move on.

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