Character Showdown: Travis Touchdown vs. Jack Cayman
by: David Sanchez
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Who is the more likable character between Travis Touchdown and Jack Cayman?
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Who's the Better Character?
No More Heroes and MadWorld are easily two of the most memorable third-party games on the Nintendo Wii. No More Heroes and its subsequent sequel, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, introduced a new breed of game to Nintendo’s shiny console and gave mature gamers something to play aside from Zelda and Mario. The game was different from both Nintendo’s flagship franchises and the bevy of kid-friendly shovelware plaguing the console. Similarly, MadWorld packed ultra-bloody action and stylish visuals onto the Wii, giving gamers a simple yet enjoyable M-rated beat ‘em up experience.
Part of what made both No More Heroes and MadWorld so enjoyable was the inclusion of a memorable protagonist. The former starred a goofy otaku assassin named Travis Touchdown with an affinity for anime, a love of professional wrestling, and a perverted mind stuck in the gutter. The latter, on the other hand, put players in the shoes of a former marine with a retractable chainsaw on his right arm that did most of the talking for him. Looking at these two video game characters, which is the better star?
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When you look at Travis and Jack side by side, it quickly becomes evident that there are hardly any similarities between the two save for the fact that they both take on the role of lead protagonist for their respective games. The two characters are vastly different right down to their personalities. Travis is much more laid back, a bit on the lazy side, and much more likable. Meanwhile, Jack is a no-nonsense kind of guy with a gruff exterior and a high level of determination. And while he may be a likable character, his serious nature makes him less lighthearted than Travis, making him a bit tougher to understand.
Another trait that isolates Jack is his mysterious background. While MadWorld did a good job of keeping gamers interested in where the character came from, it was hard getting to know him in the process. Travis, on the other hand, is pretty much an open book. Players knew he was a loser right from the start of the very first No More Heroes, and they liked him for it because it made him seem very realistic.
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As goofy as Travis may be, when it comes down to brawling, he gets the job done. Armed with his trusty beam katana, Travis is a formidable opponent and one heck of a hero. He can impale enemies, slice them in half, or decapitate them, causing a flurry of blood and coins to spew out of his fallen foes’ lifeless bodies. Similarly, Jack is a pretty strong dude who gets his hands dirty, both figuratively and literally. Equipped with his right-armed retractable chainsaw, Jack can saw enemies about as well as Travis can slice them. He can also punch holes through enemies’ chests and pull their hearts out. And he’s especially skilled in turning everyday objects into weapons. Street signs, trash cans, tires, and bottles of soda pop are all useful weapons for Jack.
On the battlefield, both Travis and Jack pose an equal threat to their enemies. The hero of MadWorld may be more practical, turning anything he can get his hands on—or throw his enemies at—into a weapon and going for visceral kills, but Travis is no slouch either. Unlike Jack, Mr. Touchdown has the ability to upgrade to better blades, and we all know there’s nothing quite like trying out a new deadly weapon for the first time.
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Goofy Assassin vs. No-Nonsense Blood Sport Contestant
In the end, it’s tough picking a clear cut winner when comparing Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes fame to MadWorld’s Jack Cayman. They both have their motives, they’re both pretty awesome protagonists, and they both pack a mean punch against their enemies. Travis, while extremely silly and somewhat dimwitted, is ridiculously likable, and it’s a lot easier to relate to him than it is to the DeathWatch contestant. Jack, the more mysterious of the two, hides who he is but gives off an air of badassery that Travis really can’t touch. In terms of combat skills, both men are just about equal and have their individual strengths. If you were to throw Travis into the DeathWatch tournament, he’d likely take the top spot without a hitch. Alternatively, if Jack wanted to, he could easily become the number one assassin in the United Assassins Association.
Ultimately, however, Travis Touchdown has to be the favorite of the two characters. His charming persona, realistic characteristics, and unique personality make him both a much more colorful character (this is in no way a pun directed toward MadWorld’s black-and-white graphical style) and a cooler lead hero despite his obvious lack of cool. Jack is a tough guy and one mean brawler, but Travis gets the popularity vote, making him the winner of this video game character showdown.