Killer7 Key Art
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture

Suda51 has been a key, unique figure in the video game industry. The founder and CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, his games exude style, excess, humour, and violence, and as a result, Suda51 has become one of the most well-known directors today

Arguably the title that got Suda51's name on the map is the GameCube hit Killer7, which sees you control members of the assassin group 'killer7' in an adventure game with first-person shooter elements. Its conspiracy-focused noir plot, stripped-back controls, and cel-shaded visuals stood out back in 2005, and a recent rerelease on Steam means many can still enjoy the game today.

In an interview with DenFaminicoGamer (translated by Grasshopper itself and shared by Destructoid), Suda51 reveals that he was "a little surprised" by how much praise Killer7 got while reflecting on working with Capcom and co-writing the game with Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.

Killer7 was definitely the turning point. I think that being able to work with Capcom, and thoroughly create something with Shinji Mikami was a considerable asset to today’s Grasshopper. The reception from around the world was greater than what we were expecting, and when we completed it, there was a sense that we had made a game that no one had ever seen before. I thought that we had made a game that really fit the word ‘new’, and that it was something that would become synonymous with me.

The response was much greater than I expected. While traveling overseas for the promotion ofNo More Heroes, I heard the praise for Killer7 directly for the first time, and I was a little surprised by it. Also, it was from a different media outlet, but a certain editor-in-chief once said to me, “I was thinking of quitting and giving up on this industry, but when I came across Killer7, I thought that there may still be a future for video games. I’ve decided to keep at it.” That person may have forgotten all about it (laughs), but I was elated to hear those words. I wondered if I had really made a game with such power.

Imagine hearing that you made something that made someone reconsider their career direction! There's surely no better praise than that. Killer7's unique tone really touched a chord with many, us included,

Grasshopper isn't a big studio now and certainly wasn't back in the 2000s, so staff had to start smaller and work upwards to create something as ambitious as Killer7. Suda51 says his goal was "to start with an adventure game, then a 3D adventure game, then action-adventure", and that Killer 7 was the action-adventure game.

Since we were doing an action-adventure, and teaming up with Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil, I also felt like I had to invent something new. I decided on my own to carry the heavy burden of such a responsibility. So, with the mindset of wanting to newly conceive all aspects of the design, Kiiller7 was what I created.

So that’s why, from the story to the art to the controls, I wanted all of the design choices to be things that had never been seen before. I felt like I was building up the things that I invented, one by one. More so than aiming for a specific thing, I was conscious of Mikami-san while making the game. The whole time I thought to myself, “I absolutely have to make something that Mikami-san won’t be ashamed of.”

We don't think Mikami is ashamed of Killer7 at all, and the success of the game meant that Suda51 could go on to create his most well-known series, No More Heroes, which has "apparently" concluded as of the release of last year's No More Heroes III. Absolutely worth it in our book. We're still waiting for that Killer7 Switch port, though.

The full interview (which you can check out here) is a lovely read on Suda51's history in the games industry, from his rise working in a mortuary to aiming to "take a full swing at each and every ball, and aim for a home run” with every game Grasshopper creates. It sounds like even though the company has entered into a new partnership with Chinese games giant NetEase, Grasshopper's vision won't be compensated.

Have you played Killer7? Let us know what you think of the game down below!

[source, via]