Goichi Suda (須田剛一 Suda Gōichi, born January 2, 1968 in Nagano, Japan), better known by his pseudonym Suda 51, is the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture. The "51" in his pseudonym is a pun on his given name, as "Go" means 5 and "ichi" means 1. His works include Moonlight Syndrome for the PlayStation, The Silver Case, Michigan, killer7 for the Nintendo GameCube and most recently, No More Heroes for the Wii. He was known to make appearances wearing a lucha libre mask while promoting killer7. He is currently working on No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle for the Wii, and will also be involved in a project with Hideo Kojima tentatively titled Project 'S', following the release of Kojima's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Goichi 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 the 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 its shocking ending, in which the hero commits suicide.
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 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 Lospas, with the F.S.R. 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.
2005 brought Suda's North American debut, killer7. The player takes control of Harman Smith, a 60-year-old assassin capable of manifesting seven personalities into the real world, among them "the Cleaner," Garcian Smith. The player uncovers 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 to Grasshopper Manufacturer to the interest of North American gamers.
Grasshopper later collaborated with Marvelous Interactive to release Contact for the Nintendo DS. The game was a much smaller hit than killer7, as Suda instead opted for a more "family friendly" title. Contact is the story of a young boy who is mixed up in a battle between the Professor and a group of intergalactic characters known as the CosmoNOTs. The game was localized by notable Atlus writer Tomm Hulett, and released in North America in October 2006. There is also rumored to be a planned Contact sequel.
On December 6, 2007, No More Heroes was released in Japan, and later in the rest of the world during early 2008. The story follows Travis Touchdown, a stereotypical otaku living in near poverty in the motel "NO MORE HEROES" of Santa Destroy, California. After winning a beam katana in an online auction he becomes a hitman. When he runs out of money he accepts a job to kill Helter-Skelter, which earns him rank 11 by the United Assassins Association, a governing body of assassins. Realizing that he has now made himself a target for aspiring assassins, he sets out to secure himself the coveted position of number one hitman in the UAA.
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.
In a March 15, 2008 interview with Computer and Video Games, Suda 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.
Today, Grasshopper commands a total of 48 employees.
Many of Goichi Suda's games developed under Grasshopper Manufacture exhibit similar trademarks such as:
- Assassins as main characters (Sumio Mondo in Flower, Sun, and Rain, Garcian Smith in killer7, and Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes).
- Characters with strange last names (Kess BloodySunday in killer7 and Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes).
- "Film Window" style of editing text in cutscenes (The Silver Case, 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, and the splash screens that load when the player reaches the location of a ranking match in No More Heroes).
- Heavy dialog with various meanings or interpretations (the trailer for No More Heroes is often believed to be linked with the console wars between the Wii and PlayStation 3).
- Music playing a strong part of the story and scenes (chapter names' theme in Flower, Sun, and Rain and the Vincillum Gate theme in killer7).
- Pop culture and film references directly involving specific characters (the pigeon names in killer7, the pop idol in Contact, and too many cultural references to list in No More Heroes).
- The prominent inclusion of hotels or motels (the F.S.R. hotel in Flower, Sun, and Rain, the Union Hotel in killer7, and the motel "NO MORE HEROES" in No More Heroes).
|Title||Platform||Release status||Credited as|
|Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Final Bout||Super Famicom||Released in Japan (1993)||Scenario writer|
|Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special||Super Famicom||Released in Japan (1994)||Scenario writer|
|Twilight Syndrome: Search||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1996)||Director, writer|
|Twilight Syndrome: Investigation||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1996)||Director, writer|
|Moonlight Syndrome||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1997)||Director, writer|
|The Silver Case||PlayStation||Released in Japan (1999)||Director, writer|
|Flower, Sun, and Rain||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2001)||Director, writer|
|Michigan||PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2004) and Europe||Director, writer|
|killer7||Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2||Released in Japan (2005), North America, and Europe||Director, writer|
|Silver Case 25 Ward||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 (2007), North America and Europe (2008)||Director, writer|
|Flower, Sun and Rain: Unending Paradise||Nintendo DS||Released in Japan (2008), North America and Europe (TBA)||Director, writer|
|Fatal Frame IV||Wii||Released in Japan (2008)||Producer|
|The Silver Case||Nintendo DS||In production||Director, writer|
|Silver Case, 25 Ward||Nintendo DS||In production||Director, writer|
|No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle||Wii||In production||Director, writer|
|Untitled horror project||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Microsoft Windows||In production||Director|
- Goichi Suda's favorite author is Franz Kafka.
- He has been quoted as saying, "One day I want to make a character cuter than Mario."
- He wrote the lyrics for two songs used in his directions, a Japanese song in Flower, Sun, and Rain entitled "F.S.R." and an English song in No More Heroes entitled "The virgin child makes her wish without feeling anything."
- His favorite film is Paris, Texas.
- His favorite video game is Another World, known as Out of this World in the North America.
- Suda is a big fan of Hideo Kojima's Snatcher. After the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, he will be working with Kojima on a project entitled Project 'S'.
- Suda is a major fan of wrestling, precisely lucha libre. He wore a libre mask before the release of killer7 to promote the game.
- Suda once appeared on the Kojima Production's Report and Hidechan Radio.