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How Suicide Made This Japanese Game Developer Famous

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Suda51 (Goichi Suda) is one of Japan's most famous game directors. In the West, this is due to his cult classic PS2/GameCube title, Killer7, or his best-selling Wii series, No More Heroes. In Japan, however, he first became famous for another game entirely: Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special on the Super Famicom.


Back in 1994, Suda51 was tasked with writing and directing his second game in the popular Fire Pro Wrestling Series, Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special. On the surface it's pretty much what you'd expect. It's full of painfully transparent knock-off characters from all the popular early nineties professional wrestling federations and, as the eleventh game in the Fire Pro Wrestling series, the gameplay is about as tight as you can make it.

But what made Suda51 famous was neither the gameplay nor the characters; it was for the plot—specifically the ending.


The story of Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special, is uncharacteristically dark. You start as a rookie working your way to the World Championship. Along the way, however, tragedy repeatedly strikes with a string of defeats, the murder of your coach, and the accidental death of one of your closest friends in the ring—at your own hands, no less. And after all that, just before your

Illustration for article titled How Suicide Made This Japanese Game Developer Famous

championship match not only does your girlfriend leave you, but also the defending World Champion Ric Flair (called "Dick Slender" for copyright purposes) straight up murders your tag-team partner in the middle of the ring—and informs you he killed your coach, too.

The game ends after your match with Flair. As the new World Champion, you stand alone in the ring, having lost everyone you ever cared about. Surrounded by cheering fans and having attained your dream at last, you wonder if it was really worth it.


Three days later, you shoot yourself in the head.

With that scene Suda51 was catapulted into the limelight—a spot he still sits in comfortably to this day—and all it took was one convention-breaking, dramatic twist that no one was expecting.


To see the notorious scene, just check out the video above.

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I truly admire his work. Worth noting that Suda was a gravedigger (honest!) before he got his job at Human. Oh, and the sequel is the best SNES game ever made, even without the plot twist.