Goichi Suda : biography
, also known as Suda 51, is the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture and a former designer at Human Entertainment. The "51" in his nickname, Suda51, is a pun on his given name. In Japanese, "Go" means 5 and "ichi" means 1. His works include Moonlight Syndrome, The Silver Case, Flower, Sun and Rain, Michigan, killer7, the No More Heroes series, and most recently, Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw. He was known to make appearances wearing a lucha libre mask while promoting killer7. He has been called an "auteur" video game director.
Suda and his studio also frequently collaborate with other developers, including creating the story sequences for the Wii title Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, Suda's involvement in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (his nickname "Suda51" appears in the credits for the game's "Subspace Emissary" mode), and a radio drama prequel to Snatcher with Hideo Kojima titled Sdatcher.
In August 2008, Electronic Arts announced a deal to publish Shadows of the Damned, an action horror game developed by Grasshopper in conjunction with Q Entertainment. The game was directed by Suda and produced by Shinji Mikami with music composed by Akira Yamaoka, and was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in June 2011.
On January 26, 2010, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle for the Wii was released in North America, with successive releases in Europe and Japan later that year. It is one of the few Suda 51 directed franchises commercially successful enough to earn a sequel.
Suda was working as an undertaker, enjoying the booming Japanese arcade scene, when he noticed an advertisement for an opening at Human Entertainment, best known for designing the Clock Tower and Fire Pro Wrestling series. Suda applied but for weeks had not received a reply from Human. He figured his application had been passed over and planned to continue working as an undertaker, a job which he found himself disliking. Suda finally received a call from Human, and was immediately hired. He began work as a scenario writer on Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Final Bout. The next game he would work on, Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special, remains one of his most infamous to date due to its shocking ending.
Goichi Suda then worked on games in the Syndrome series until his departure in 1998 shortly before Human disbanded. He went on to form Grasshopper Manufacture around this time, and began work on The Silver Case. The Silver Case (also known as Silver Jiken) marked the debut of Grasshopper's signature "Film Window" style of editing, where text bounces and jiggles onto the screen at random. The game's story was written into two chapters, one following the investigation of a series of murder cases, the other about a journalist covering them.
In 2001, Grasshopper Manufacture developed Flower, Sun, and Rain for the PlayStation 2. Flower, Sun, and Rain takes place on an island called Lospass, with the Flower, Sun, and Rain hotel placed at the center. The game was known for its twisted story, about a "searcher" who is forced to relive the same day, again and again. While going about his business, he is trapped within other characters' problems. As the game continues, his hotel room begins to twist and turn, and he loses his sanity piece by piece. An enhanced version of the game with added content was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008 in Japan and Europe, and in North America in June 2009.
In 2005, Suda made his North American debut with killer7. The player takes control of Harman Smith, a 60-year-old wheelchair-bound assassin with seven personalities who manifest themselves into the real world. Each personality has his or her own personal style of killing, and the group is collectively known as the Killer7. The dominant personality is Garcian Smith ("The Cleaner"), who, while in the presence of security cameras or television sets, has the ability to call upon the six other members of the Killer7 anywhere at any time. Unlike most multiple personalities, Harman does not just think he becomes someone else. Rather, his personae actually take on a unique physical body when called upon. The Killer7 uncover a political plot between Japan and the United States, as Garcian slowly begins to realize the truth behind his past. While not a huge commercial hit, the game garnered a large cult following and in addition, killer7 also brought Grasshopper Manufacture to the interest of North American gamers.
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