Do You Need to Play Travis Strikes Again to Understand No More Heroes III?

Is the spin-off's plot critical to the new game?

When it comes to the No More Heroes series, “understanding the plot” is all relative. It’s a trilogy of wild twists, some it decides to introduce at the very end as a “gotcha” moment, and for a lot of people, understanding things that happen is about as deep as understanding a reference. However, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, flew under a lot of people’s radar when it launched back in 2019. It was an arcade-y spin-off that played different from the mainline games’ action combat focus. So it raises the question: do you have to play Travis Strikes Again to know what’s going on in No More Heroes III?

General plot details for No More Heroes III and Travis Strikes Again follow:

The short answer is: yes. Travis Strikes Again sets a lot of foundation for No More Heroes III, especially in regards to the state of a handful of characters. This includes bringing some old friends back from the dead, introducing new ones that will make appearances in the third game, and setting up the state of certain relationships by the time the game starts.

If you’re not feeling the game’s arcade leanings and don’t want to play it, you could always watch a Let’s Play, watch a recap, or read a summary. Whatever you decide to do, it would behoove you to at least be aware of Travis Strikes Again’s plot beats before heading into No More Heroes III. Then you’ll be entirely in the know if a No More Heroes IV ever happens. Which seems to be a fair way’s off, if it ever happens.

If you’re already caught up on the No More Heroes series before the third one (which launches today), be sure to check out Fanbyte’s review of the game on your way out.