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Travis Touchdown (aka The Crownless King) is the main character of No More Heroes and its sequel, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle.
He is a 27-year-old American assassin and stereotypical otaku – his motel room decorated with professional wrestling and anime collectibles – living in near, but comfortable and habitable, poverty in the motel "NO MORE HEROES" of Santa Destroy, California accompanied by his kitten Jeane (most likely named after his lost love). He appears to have interest in lucha libre and Japanese pro wrestling icons (like Thunder Ryu), as well as a moe driven anime series called Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly; his apartment is filled with such mentioned merchandise.
After winning a beam katana in an online auction, he is hired by a woman called Sylvia to be a hitman. When he runs out of money to buy video games he accepts a job to kill Helter-Skelter, also known as "the Drifter," which earns him rank eleven 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 as number one in the UAA, also making a deal with Sylvia that if he becomes number one, they will "do it". He gets around on his motorcycle, dubbed the "Schpeltiger."
He is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes, who also voices Kazuhira Miller.
Travis' past is somewhat explored in the game, and at times deliberately (and humorously) muddled, and filled with stereotypes. His parents were killed when he was young, apparently by his love (and though unbeknownst to him, sister) Jeane who had a traumatic and complex past, leaving Travis on his own. He had a twin brother, Henry, he never knew, who apparently grew up in Ireland. Travis has apparently had interest in being a pro wrestler at one point, and trained himself in the use of the sword via a mixture of Thunder Ryu's training, correspondence courses, and videotapes. Travis Touchdown as he appears in the Desperate Struggle trailer.
Though it is heavily implied in the cliffhanging clash of the real ending of No More Heroes that Henry and Travis honorably kill each other, it is revealed that both Henry and Travis seem to be dissatisfied with the fight since Sylvia had interrupted it before one could kill the other.
Touchdown returns in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, set three years after Touchdown becomes the top assassin in the UAA. Desperate Struggle finds Touchdown withdrawn from the ranks of the UAA, rejoining as the 51st in rank after killing Skelter-Helter. While initially motivated by Christel with the promise of sex (again), after finding out that his best friend, Bishop Shidux, has been killed by hitmen hired by the 1st rank assassin Jasper Batt, Jr., he seeks revenge and rises up the ranks to kill Batt.
After the events of No More Heroes, he and Sylvia have truly gotten together, and planned to go back to Santa Destroy. Whether or not he stopped his profession as an assassin is unknown.
Personality and Appearance
Travis usually wears a light weight leather jacket, t-shirt, jeans and sunglasses, though his outfit varies more in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Travis has dark spiky hair, and blue eyes. His apperance is said to be based on Jackass's Johnny Knoxville. The game's creator would even often show the game's staff a clip from Jackass: The Movie where Knoxville gets his nipple bit from a baby alligator to show the staff what kind of character Touchdown is.
His red jacket, unique swordplay, physical abilities and amoral persona are comparable to Samurai Champloo's Mugen (curiously, No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture was involved in the video game Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked).
While Travis displays crude, punkish and immature behavior, and is especially cruel toward the male assassins he fights, he displays normal and decent behavior whenever he isn't on the job.
Travis is relatively calm about killing people, and has been shown to be sexually stimulated by it in Desperate Struggle. In his starting days of the first No More Heroes, killing women made him feel uncomfortable, until Holly Summers told him that all assassins, no matter what gender, must die when they lose. He is capable of being touched by people's emotional and personal experiences, seeing that he didn't seem entirely settled after killing Dr. Peace , whose daughter was estranged from him, and with Margaret Moonlight, where he fulfilled her dying wish by remembering her song.
Travis also has a certain amount of honor and respect for people he believes to be "true warriors" as he tries to spare the assassin Ryuji in Desperate Struggle, and soon shows a great deal of his humanity after the death of Alice Twilight, weary of the arranged manslaughter he accidentally promoted and by the various corporations that took advantage of it.
Touchdown is very driven to prove himself, is shown to be highly intelligent and a quick learner, and can be surprisingly witty and even poetic. Travis takes his friendships very seriously as well, as evidenced by his quest to avenge the murder of Bishop Shidux, after which he seems to learn something about the repercussions that death has on others aside from the one being killed. Travis only ever removes his aviator glasses on-screen once, when he embraces with Sylvia Christel.
Abilities, Powers and Combat Skills
Travis is a very formidable assassin, being skilled in the art of swordplay and physical combat. After becoming acquainted with Randall Lovikov, the town drunk, Travis is able to rely on Lovikov to teach him special techniques that compliment his fighting and questing skills. He is able to snap into a "Dark Side" mode by lining up three objects in a slot machine mini-game after executing a Death Blow. Each trance of Dark Side Mode entails Travis with superhuman strength, speed, invincibility and other powers. By Desperate Struggle, Travis appears to have gained limited yet passive powers over his ki, which culminates at its maximum as a power known as Super Mode, and gives him immense vitality and speed.
His preferred weapon is the beam katana, which he relies on scientist Dr. Naomi to design for him, and to optimize the models he already owns. Throughout No More Heroes, Travis acquires the Blood Berry, followed by the durable Tsubaki, the heavily upgraded and empowered Tsubaki Mk-II which is comprised of five rotating beams, and requires more finesse to wield, and finally the Tsubaki Mk-III, a very showy beam katana designed from the beam Samurai sword of his mentor, Thunder Ryu. In Desperate Struggle, Travis also gains the beam katanas Peony, a heavy, but powerful and potentially far reaching blade, and the dual katanas Rose Nasty, which gives Travis a powerful balanced edge to accomplish his ends.
His former experience of pro wrestling training through the use of correspondence tapes and some experience in Calgary allows him to use a great variety of wrestling moves to take down foes. Because of the dangerous nature of his career, Travis does not engage in the on stage act of kayfabe like in much of the on stage pro wrestling world, using the throws to its fullest and unrestrained (as well as fatally hazardous) effect on pavement and other outdoor environments, while also taking creative incentive to allow his Beam Katana to haphazardly finish off his intended targets, literally "pinning" them when they are aggravatingly traumatized, often onto vital areas of the body.
Travis also shows to have some resistance to firearms, one instance being when Helter-Skelter riddled him with bullets and rockets, which culminated with absolutely no effect. In the lowest difficulty of No More Heroes, Travis is able to automatically block ranged bullets as long as the player does not move the Control Stick. Furthermore, in all subsequent difficulties, all it takes for Travis to block oncoming bullets is to guard using the Z Button. Aside from bullets, Travis also survived an electric shock and several laser attacks from the assassin Destroyman as well as three concussive grenade explosions from the assassin Holly Summers .
Travis Touchdown is shown to have a high degree of durability. Travis is extremely resistant to firearms as mentioned above. He is also extremely resistant to poison as shown when he does not die upon inhaling Cloe Walsh's mist of poison. In addition to that, he is able to withstand nearly, if not all attacks that common enemies or bosses deal to him. He is able to withstand the devastating blades of a chainsaw, beam katanas and the massive earthquake that Dr. Letz Shake has created during in-game. In fact, he is able to withstand Jeanne's punch through the gut and still stand on his two feet, he is able to endure Bad Girl 's endless hits and even withstand Alice's attack in which the beam katana pierces through his chest during the clash battle.
Travis also seems to be very lucky. He is always rescued from his untimely death. In the first series of No More Heroes, he could have died from Bad Girl's endless hits with her bat if she did not succumb to her wounds. During his battle with Jeanne, he could have been killed if it weren't for Shinobu's timely arrival to save him from being killed. In No More Heroes:Desperate Struggle, he is once again rescued by luck when Henry came crashing in at the right time when Jasper had Travis' life in his hands.
- He is mainly based off of Jackass star Johnny Knoxville and UFC Fighter Josh Barnett, who is known to be an otaku outside of the ring.
- Travis' Beam Katana, though seemingly based off of the Lightsabers of the eponymous Star Wars series, is actually based off of "The Schwartz" of the sci fi parody movie Spaceballs.
- His hometown of Santa Destroy, is said to be based off of both the Dogtown area of Venice in Los Angeles, California, and the San Francisco setting of Dirty Harry. With the Star Wars references and mention of the run down nature of Santa Destroy, its basis appears to also cover the city of Modesto, California, the hometown of Star Wars creator George Lucas.