There are two new epilogue chapters in the game, Yami and Whiteout. What inspired this additional content, and what can players expect from the new scenes?
While we were working on the remaster, when I had some free time, I thought about really revitalizing The Silver Case, so I had Ooka-san add a new part for the Placebo side of the story. He created the short scenario called YAMI. I then realized that, if Ooka-san was going to be working on something new, then I should too. This is where the White Out chapter comes from. I thought of it as a way to link this game to Ward 25, the sequel.

I felt the game had been reinstalled into me, as it were. So, rather than just reviving the game, I wanted to make a statement, that I had returned to the visual novel genre. Ooka-san is up to speed, as well, so we could make another game like this.

We know that you want to bring the sequel, Ward 25, to the west. If that happens, would you ever consider continuing the series and making a third Silver Case game?
The Silver Case is set in 1999 in the Kanto region. Then Ward 25 is set in 2009. Now if I were to make a new game, it would be set in 2018-2019 or maybe even 2020 for the Olympics. I would love to see how that world is at that point. The characters would all be older. I want to meet those characters and see how they are now. I’d like to show the fans where they are now through a new game. I’d like The Silver Case to be something where we all age together. Right now, there are a lot of remakes or new works from on old series set today coming out; some of my favorites like Twin Peaks and Trainspotting 2, for example. It feels like bringing those characters into the world of today is in vogue at the moment, so I want to give fans a new take on them. At the time of The Silver Case, Tetsugoro Kusabi is 44 years old. So, if I were to write him 20 years later, he would be 64. I want see what he’s like at this age. If Sumio Kodai is still alive, he would be 46 — a bit younger than I am now. So yes, I’d love to bring those characters to this current time.

Speaking of Sumio, The Silver Case, Flower Sun and Rain, and Killer is Dead all feature that character. Is he just an inside reference, like Cid in Final Fantasy, or is there a greater thematic significance to this?
He functions as an actor for me as in The Silver Case, Flower, Sun, and Rain, and also as Mondo Zappa from Killer7. It’s as though all three parts were played by the same actor. That’s so that’s why their names are the same. Osamu Tezuka had a similar concept called the Star System, and the same characters appear in his various works, but in different roles. I’ll bet that these characters functioned as actors for Tezuka and so he used them like this in various roles. Movie directors are the same, aren’t they? They use actors they like in different roles. It’s the same for me; characters that I like exist within me as people to be used in various roles. Plus, I want to see them from time to time! I create them as characters and so I must use them.

If you could reach through time to send a message to your younger self, what would it be?
"You made an amazing game. You made a game you can be proud of.” I'd like to tell him that and let him know that people all over the world are playing his game. 

Your games often come in one of two flavors: hard-boiled surreal drama, like Silver Case, Killer7, etc. or wacky comedy with thematic resonance, like Shadow of the Damned or No More Heroes. As a storyteller, is it easy for you to jump back and forth between those two dissonant moods, or is the tone something that comes about after you decide the story you want to tell?
It’s all reaction. When I write something hard-boiled and dark, the reaction is that I want to create something lighter. If you look at Killer7 and No More Heroes, you can see the big reaction there. Killer7 is a game that I put a lot of effort into and went deep into. With No More Heroes, I wanted to make something more easygoing. With Killer7, I wanted to make something completely original, completely uninfluenced by anything else and unlike anything anyone had made before. And then with No More Heroes there’s lot of parodies and homages in it. I didn't even really think too deeply about game design; I just made a third-person action game. It’s a game where I let myself relax and tell a silly story. With Killer7 you have seven characters and the allure of the world itself. So, as a reaction to that, Travis is the singular lynchpin, the main focus. Everything within No More Heroes is a reaction to Killer7, even to the setting itself, which is some kind of West Coast, good-times atmosphere. That’s probably where I wanted to be at the time. [laughs]

Many of your games feature high-profile collaborations. You worked with Shinji Mikami on Shadows of the Damned, and James Gunn (director of Guardians of the Galaxy) on Lollipop Chainsaw. You also worked with Hideo Kojima on the Snatcher radio drama. How does sharing duties with top talent compare to when you're taking the lead on a project by yourself?
I don't think Mikami-san feels this way, but to me, he is like my teacher. I’m not a part of Capcom, but the making of  Killer7 was a very instructive time. I learned many things from him. He gave me courage and confidence. He told me I was a first-rate creator, even though I didn't have that kind of confidence at the time. Even before Killer7 came out, he really supported me. He taught me about action games through Killer7. For example, the speed of the playable character, the action of shooting guns and the subsequent feedback. All of this formed the basis of Grasshopper’s action games. What I learned with Killer7 I put into practice with Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked. So, Mikami-san is very special to me and, again, like my teacher. I would love to continue to make games with him from time to time. There’s still a lot that I can learn from him. It’s very fun to work with him.

For James Gunn, Warner Bros. brought him out for us and he really improved the game. Kojima-san gave me a lot of freedom to write the story during our collaboration. I wouldn’t really so much say that the process is all that different, but that these collaborations come about as a matter of necessity. When I make games by myself, it's because I feel they are things that can only be done that way, with me by myself. 

Do you want to buy any of your other older titles and make them shine on current-gen machines? Twilight Syndrome, Killer7, Michigan: Report From Hell? Would you opt for straight-remasters, or full-on remakes?
As the need arises, I would love to make that happen, though the rights are held by other people. The rights for all three games you mentioned aren’t held by Grasshopper. However, for Twilight Syndrome, I feel that it wouldn’t easily by understood by foreign people even through a remaster or remake. For me, both Moonlight Syndrome and Twilight Syndrome weren’t scenarios originally done by me, so I’m not too interested in revisiting them. 

As for Michigan, I'd love to remake it in VR. That game is definitely suited for VR more so than any other game out there. I do have a good relationship with Spike Chunsoft, and I always talk about it with their president, Sakurai-san, so I’m hoping to be able to make it some day.

You've made lots of games, some of which have found more fanfare than others. Which one do you wish more players would have enjoyed in its time and why?
One is Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked. It has a really interesting combat system and I'd like for people to revisit the game. Although it came from an anime, the game's story is entirely original; I didn't use anything, story-wise, from the anime. I would call it a real Grasshopper game, even though it's a game based on another work. Still, it isn’t really well-known. As I mentioned when talking about Killer7 and Mikami-san, I learned a lot from him about action games. Samurai Champloo is the first time we tried to make an action game. After that, we made Blood Plus, then No More Heroes. To reach No More Heroes, those two previous games were very important. With those, the development team really gained the know-how for action games which allowed us to make No More Heroes. 

Blood Plus; I personally consider that game to be Moonlight Syndrome 2. Blood Plus is also based on an anime, but has an entirely original story. I didn't use the anime story at all. Whenever I deal with anime-based projects, I don’t like to use the anime story. So when I spoke to Bandai Namco about it, I told them I wanted to make my own story; I was able to do that, and Blood Plus is a very experimental game. It never came out in the West, but you can get the import version for cheap. 

These two games are like the appetizer for Grasshopper action before No More Heroes. They were created with a lot of time and effort – it would be a waste for them to be forgotten. I would love for these two to be given some attention and championed by the media.

For more from Suda 51, check out some details about his next game which is planned for Switch. To see us play Michigan: Report From Hell in its entirety, check out our Super Replay of the game.
For other interviews with prolific figures in Japanese game development, check out our chats with Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima and Resident Evil VII producer Masachika Kawata.