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File:Killer7 better.jpg


 A postmodern devil, thou art.

"…I don't follow."
—~ Garcian Smith

Describe Killer7 here?

Where do we start?

In an alternate timeline, a worldwide ban on nuclear research -- and the firing of all nuclear missiles into each other high in orbit -- allows mankind to finally achieve world peace several years into the 21st century.

During this peacetime, a group of mysterious, vicious creatures known as "Heaven's Smiles" begin to attack; they start by attacking delegates at a key treaty signing, then begin striking at random from there. The Heaven's Smiles appear to exist specifically to cause terror, but only one person knows their true purpose: their leader, an enigmatic man known only as Kun Lan.

To stop Kun Lan and the Heaven's Smiles, the elderly, wheelchair-bound Harman Smith -- a man who bears a grudge against, and shares some history with, Kun Lan -- utilizes "Killer7", a group of specialized assassins trained to deal with high-level threats to the security of the United States.

While this plot summary appears clear and concise, it only scratches the surface of the game's story. As the Smiths keep getting called in to deal with each new threat from Kun Lan, a deep conspiracy with ties to the origins of both Killer7 and the Heaven's Smiles comes to light, and dozens of twists and turns follow.

With that, we depart from the realm of sensibility. Killer7 can become an exceedingly confusing game, thanks to its multiple layers of metaphor and symbolism. Themes of war, religion, personal conflict, and politics all weave into one gigantic Mind Screw, wrapping around each other like the bondage straps around Iwazaru.

In contrast to the Mind Screw storyline, the developers uniquely streamlined the gameplay of Killer7: a character moves along a set of predetermined paths, so all a player can do is choose forks and turn around. When attacked, players hold down a button to switch into first-person view and aim crosshairs manually (similar to Resident Evil 4). The Heaven's Smiles remain invisible until players use another button to scan for them; as they approach, players can see an obvious glowing spot upon them, and while shooting this spot results in their instant death, players will find it difficult to do so. Any enemy who gets in too close to the player will laugh at the player before exploding and causing damage. Death Is a Slap on The Wrist most of the time -- as Garcian can retrieve the severed heads of the other Smiths and revive them -- but if Garcian himself dies, the game ends.

While players can practically count the polygons in the characters's faces, the game makes excellent use of shading and shadows to create a unique graphical style. Two levels also feature anime cutscenes, both done by different studios.

Suda 51 (who went on to do No More Heroes) created this game, and Capcom published it on the Gamecube and Playstation 2. In 2012, Suda began work on Killer Is Dead, a game project he says will serve as a Spiritual Successor to Killer7.


In the name of Harman...

  • Action Bomb: The Heaven's Smile.
  • Adult Fear: This scene (warning: NSFW) basically sums up a most horrifying scenario for any parent.
  • Aerith and Bob: On the same team, we have KAEDE, Garcian... and Kevin.
  • A God Am I: Kun Lan and Trevor Pearlharbor both have shades of this.
  • All There in the Manual: Hand In killer7, which actually makes the story even more complicated, though mostly because its based on an early version of the game's story, which had a few differences with the final version.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Travis Bell, Harman's first hit. Appears in a variety of suggestive poses with flamboyant, sometimes innuendo-laden tank tops, usually in hot pink print ('Bad Girl', 'Sexual'). In a library area in the first level, he describes himself as 'the Chief's first catch', then describes his death like it were an orgasm: 'To be honest, that shit felt good'.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Garcian Smith, aka Emir Parkreiner, in Target 05: Smile.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The Final Heaven Smile.
  • Anti-Grinding: You can only process a certain amount of Thick Blood per level, though that amount is usually high enough that you can make use of SOME grinding.
  • Arc Words
  • Badass: Many characters, especially Dan Smith.
  • Badass Family / Badass Crew: The Smiths.
  • Badass Grandpa: Harman Smith.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Dan and Garcian both wear tasteful suits when out killing. MASK also starts off with a flashy suit, but changes into a wrestler costume later.
  • Badass Normal: Andrei Ulmeyda is able to hold off on becoming a Heaven Smile for a surprisingly long time, and when he does it's far from a mundane transformation.
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: That's why they call Emir the Ace of Aces:
    • Kevin, the master of disguise, was identified instantly and gunned down.
    • Con, the blind gunman, was taken by suprise in his own room.
    • Kaede, who finds hidden paths, could not hide from Emir.
    • Coyote, who can get to hard to reach places, is out flanked.
    • MASK, the superhero, was struck down when he was unmasked and most vulnerable - in the shower.
    • Dan, hard boiled Badass, can't beat Emir in a one on one stand off. (Doesn't help that Emir's immortal)
  • Beyond the Impossible: A fully upgraded Mask De Smith cannot kill the invincible smiles at the end of the game, but he can destroy the frame rate and the console trying.
  • BFG: Harman's rifle. He calls it the "God Killer", and it's supposed to be an anti-tank gun.
  • Big No: One of the the most horrifying examples, ever, courtesy of one Curtis Blackburn.
  • Book Ends: Harman confronting Kun Lan atop a tall building; Suda 51 has identified this as representing the futile nature of war.
  • Button Mashing: How you revive dead Smiths. The more stamina the higher the bar you have to fill (Try not to die as Harman).
  • Call Back: This scene from "Alter Ego" is notorious for not making sense, even in the game's context... unless you've played Moonlight Syndrome, a previous Suda 51 game which has never been officially released outside of Japan.
  • Calling Your Attacks: HANDSOME WINK!
  • Carnival of Killers
  • Chasing Your Tail: Fighting the Ceramic Smile.
  • Catch Phrase: Everyone has a special one for when you hit an enemy in its One-Hit Kill spot, when you deliver a counter attack and when you kill a nearby enemy when he's crawling towards you.
  • Cel Shading
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Emir to a staggering degree.
  • The Chessmaster
  • China Takes Over the World: The ending implies thatby the 22nd century, China has succeeded the USA as the world's dominant superpower.
  • Cosmic Chess Game
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Ayame Blackburn.
  • Creepy Child: Kess and Susie. Susie especially--not only because she's a head, but because holy crap she's murdered a lot of people!
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Rave On
  • Dark Messiah: Ulmeyda. But he's actually not that bad a guy.
  • Daylight Horror: And the bright lighting emphasizes the bizarre, cel-shaded, technicolor palette, making the world around you only look that much more alien and hostile.
  • Dead All Along
  • Dead Man's Chest
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Apparently played straight, but in the long run, it's subverted. Dying as Dan, Kaede, Kevin, Coyote, Con or Mask simply transports you back to the last Harman's Room you visited. You can then switch to Garcian and make your way back to the place where the persona got killed, retrieve it, get transported back to Harman's Room and resurrect it by repeatedly pressing X. You even get to keep all the blood you've collected. However, this means playing through the same stretch of level at least three times: 1) the original run before dying, 2) as Garcian up to the spot where you died, 3) a third run with the restored persona. Considering that the enemies respawn constantly, and Garcian is the weaker member of Killer7, dying isn't the walk in the park it's supposed to be. Although, technically, all the characters are dead already.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The Smith's aren't Harman's split personalities. They're Garcian's. Somewhat of a subversion considering Harman barely gets any screentime anyway.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In the prologue, Kun Lan tells Harman, "It's Friday night... LET'S DANCE." The mission takes place on January 20, 2010. A Wednesday.
    • You could also take this as the essentially immortal Kun Lan losing his grasp on time after many futile battles with Harman.
  • Door to Before: Many.
  • Downer Ending: No matter which option the player takes in the game's Sadistic Choice, it's a pretty unhappy ending, and it is implied that the entire process will begin again in another century.
  • Earn Your Title: Garcian is The Cleaner, he retrieves dead bodies and brings them back to life; Dan is the Hellion, because of how reckless and violent he is; KAEDE is named Barefoot, because she never wears shoes, and so on.
  • Easter Egg: Hopper7, where the regular Smiles become HopperMen. Only the first level is available and all the enemies die in one hit.
    • To get that, even you must beat Killer8, which was downright brutal at points (as far as this game goes).
  • ~Everything's Deader With Zombies~: One of the boss fights consists of two elderly Japanese gentlemen who had their heads blown open. You have to blow their brains out, literally to kill them...again.
  • Evil Albino: Kun Lan; Kevin Smith.
  • Expressive Shirt: Travis has several.
  • Fan Disservice: Samantha has one (thankfully not graphic) sex scene. It's with Harman. In his wheelchair. While he's near-comatose.
  • Final Speech: Subverted; Dan kills Curtis partway through his.
  • Foot Focus: KAEDE "Barefoot" Smith.
  • For Massive Damage: Every Heaven's Smile has a glowing weak spot that instantly kills it. This is the easiest way to gather Thick Blood, which is needed for character advancement.
  • For the Evulz: The Heaven's Smiles aren't trying to change anything-they just want to cause havoc.
  • The Four Gods: At one point you have to match them to their directions.
  • Friendly Enemy: Harman and Kun Lan play a lot of chess.
  • Fragile Speedster: Con.
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire game, as revealed in the supplementary material, Jacob's Report. An FBI agent who lost his family to the Heaven Smiles uses a machine that predicts the future to predict the Last Smile. As the probability of the predicitions happening increases with each one that comes true, he sets the events of each mission in motion.
    • It should be noted that much of the supplementary material outright contradicts the game.
  • Gangsta Style: Coyote and Con.
    • Con does so while Dual-Wielding, but Coyote has an especially bad case - he does not merely hold his gun sideways, but DIAGONALLY OVER HIS HEAD. Possibly subverted somewhat, as he has serious kickback and is one of the most difficult characters to aim with.
  • Genre Busting: Both the story and gameplay are nearly impossible to neatly categorize. In terms of gameplay, the limited movement, fixed camera angles, and light Adventure Game elements suggest a Survival Horror game (not surprising, seeing as it was produced by Shinji Mikami), while the combat resembles a Rail Shooter and the powerup system is more reminiscent of a traditional action game with RPG Elements. The plot, meanwhile, plays out like a bizarre lovechild of Hideo Kojima, David Lynch, and Quentin Tarantino.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Harman and Kun Lan..
  • Go Out with a Smile: The Heaven's Smiles don't seem to care whether or not they ever reach their target.
    • Most of the deceased characters you meet don't hold grudges, even when talking to the one who made them deceased in the first place. So, really, it's after they go out. Susie seems to be the exception.
    • Well it is Susie...
  • Guns Akimbo: Con and Mask (technically Grenade Launchers Akimbo for Mask).
  • Handguns: what most of the characters are armed with.
  • Heal Thyself: Using the blood of their enemies, no less.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Ulmeyda is voiced by Cam Clarke, who you might recognize as Liquid Snake, Kaneda, and Leonardo.
  • High-Pressure Blood: KAEDE, Andrei Ulmeyda.
  • Hints Are for Losers: You don't want the expanded hints. Trust us.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dan finishes Curtis off by activating the machinery in the room they fought in-- Curtis is subsequently cleaned and hung up to dry.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Ulmeyda.
  • In Medias Res: Target 00: Angel pretty much throws you straight into the game without a single bit of exposition.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "Ayame Blackburn, Survive!"
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: In the end, it's incredibly easy to miss the connections.
  • Karmic Death: Oh boy.
    • Dan can talk, but can't back it up. In death, he has the strength to back it up.
    • Coyote is outwitted by Emir. In death, he has the ingenuity that could have saved his life.
    • KAEDE tried to save her own life by placing a barrier between herself and Emir. In death, she can commit suicide in order to break barriers.
    • Con could not hear Emir coming nor could he escape. In death, he gains super hearing and super speed.
    • MASK presents the image of an invulnerable superhero with his mask, but is killed effortlessly whilst not wearing it. In death, his mask grants him incredible powers, making him the strongest of the group.
    • Kevin's lackluster disguise fails to prevent Emir from detecting him. In death, he gains the ultimate disguise.
    • Last but not least, Garcian (Emir) kills the others, and then commits suicide out of guilt. In death, he can revive the other personas.
    • Less ambiguously, several targets including Curtis being killed by his own organ harvesting machines, and Trevor Pearlharbor having a hole blown through him by Handsome Black's Handsome Wink.
  • Kick Chick: Kaede's counterattacks, even despite her status as Barefoot.
  • Knife Nut: Kevin Smith.
  • Let's Play: By Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus, seen here. Ironicus's thoughts on the ending: "Nothing has anything to do with anything."
  • Limited Wardrobe: Harman only ever wears traditional Hasidic Jewish gear, Garcian a white suit, and Kevin nothing but sunglasses and chinos. MASK changes his clothes exactly three times in the game, and in each case it's a plot point; on the other hand, before finding the blue mask, he wears a different mask in each level. In contrast, Dan, KAEDE, Coyote, and Con wear different clothes in each level, albeit always of the same style.
  • Locked Door: And Coyote's a thief; do the math.
  • Losing Your Head: Susie Summers.
  • MacGuffin: Soul Shells, which are required to advance to the next stage.
    • The Yakumo.
      • Don't forget Odd Engravings and Color Samples.
  • Magical Girl: Ayame Blackburn is an Homage to the genre.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai
  • Mask Power: MASK de Smith, pro wrestling god, who even powers up by finding new masks.
  • Metal Slime: Camilla and Mini Smiles.
  • Mercy Kill: Ulmeyda specifically hired you to kill him when he becomes a Smile.
  • Mexican Standoff: Subverted; it looks like one, but then everyone opens fire.
  • Mighty Glacier: MASK de Smith.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The United States government is controlled by Japan through a Seattle elementary school... really.
  • Mind Screw: Don't think about it too hard or your brain will start crying.
  • Mook Maker: Mother Smiles.
  • Mr. Exposition: Travis and Iwazaru, but can you trust either of them?
    • Considering Iwazaru is Kun Lan in disguise...
      • Not exactly, since Kun Lan had his newly made apprentice strip him and knock him off a building first, and that was near the end
        • Actually, The man who was pushed off the building wasn't Kun Lan, it was Kasai, the man who hires you to kill Jean De Paul at the start of Sunset Pt. 2 Although Kun Lan WAS machine-gunned to death with/by Harman at the end of Smile Pt. 3, so it's very likely there's more than one. Not a stretch considering that there's at least THREE Harmans.
    • Besides them, the Smiths travel with a whole bunch of quirky Remnant Psyches who give them help, advice, items, confusion and nightmares.
  • Not So Stoic: Garcian has a difficult time coping with the final reveal.
  • Off Like a Shot: Con's speed-up power.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Remnant Psyches. They're... I don't know what the hell.
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze-Frame: The end of several cutscenes.
  • Pop Quiz: On the way to Ulmeyda's lair.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Handsome Men, a Super Sentai parody.
  • Rain of Blood: Ulmeyda gives one off when he transforms into a Heaven's Smile. His blood is so full of diseases that it kills everyone present except his followers (who regularly partake of his blood) and the Smiths (who are Dead to Begin With).
  • The Reveal: Many in the final chapters. * Ahem* Garcian is actually Emir Parkreiner, who killed all the Smiths which resulted in his (not Harman's) split personalities, who really can't be manifested in real life as shown by their weapons being carried in his suitcase.
    • The Smith's existence/nonexistence is debatable, since until Young Harman killed Old Harman, Garcian was linked to Old Harman who could manifest the other Smiths.
  • Russian Roulette: "This gun holds seven bullets."
  • Sadistic Choice: Presented to the player at the end of the game: kill Matsuoka, and the US will nuke Japan off the face of the planet; spare him, and Japan will attack the US, triggering World War III.
  • Secret Character (Young Harman)
  • Shout-Out: Some of Travis's T-shirts are references to Tyler Durden's in Fight Club. Appropriate, given Travis's relationship to the protagonist and the Trick Twist of the game.

 Old Harman: Tricks are for kids, Kun. I'm an old man...

 Kun Lan: Harman, the world won't change. All it does is turn.

  • Smart People Play Chess: Harman Smith and Kun Lan play chess while not engaging in their neverending conflict.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Dan Smith.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Greensleeves" over a murder scene, loud (and awesome) techno as you're walking down a completely ordinary hall... it goes on.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Oh so many instances.
  • Split Personality: The Smiths; it's on the box cover. But when it comes to whose personality they split from, Covers Always Lie. Samantha also counts to an extent, switching between Meido and Alpha Bitch depending on whether or not the lights are on. At least until the last chapter, when she is raped by Harman and/or dies, fully becoming his servant.
    • To make matters even crazier about the history of the Smiths, the supplementary material makes it clear they were dead when Emir killed them, and Harman had been using them as split personalities as the Killer7 syndicate. So, they've been killed at least twice, can apparently manifest themselves seperately from one another, can be endlessly resurrected by Garcian/Emir... Supplementary material calls this Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon, rather than Multiple Personality Syndrome.
    • The fact that Dan wants to kill Harman is a bit of Truth in Television. It isn't uncommon for real life split personalities to want to kill each other.
      • Coyote's hatred of Dan could also qualify. Supposedly, he and Dan were rivals, competing for KAEDE's love before they died.
  • Spy Speak: used by Cristopher Mills, in fear of wire tapping.
    • "Hello Mr. Smith, the election is drawing near. Have you decided on your vote? If you haven't, please let the Republic Party make the most of your precious vote. Thank you and have a nice day."
  • Surreal Horror: Many parts of the game.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Steward, who replaces Samantha after she is killed by Harman.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: The Heaven's Smiles, identified by a narrator as "terrorism for the sole purpose of causing terror".
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: Oddly enough, Ministry of Education, the final boss's theme, sounds a lot like Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (c.f. here).
  • Tomato in the Mirror: All the Smiths, with the exception of Harman, are actually Garcian's split personalities.
  • Trailers Always Lie: This trailer, from way back in 2003, is particularly interesting as virtually none of the dialogue or cutscenes in it appear in the game itself.
    • An article in a gaming magazine prior to the game's release stated that the characters would each have different abilities than what made it into the game.
      • KAEDE was supposed to be able to kill the Smiles by raining blood down on them, like she does with the barriers. It was supposedly because she had some kind of toxin in her system.
      • Coyote was supposed to be able to preform a roundhouse kick, that would clear a room full of Smiles.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Con reloads like he's playing hackeysack.
  • Vicious Cycle: No matter who wins each time, Harman and Kun Lan begin the game again in a hundred years.
  • Wake Up Call Boss: Kurahashi and Akiba are quite a bit harder to deal with than the Angel first boss.
  • The Walrus Was Paul: Many believe the entirety of the game's plot to be an extreme example of this.
  • Wasted Song: Rave On is the most popular song in the entire soundtrack. The location where it plays? A completely featureless corridor of stairs that takes all of 20 seconds to walk through.
    • The aforementioned Let's Play turns these scenes into a Crowning Moment of Funny by having the characters "dance" to the song via timed presses of the "go forward" button.
  • Wave Motion Gun: "Collateral shot!"
  • What Could Have Been: Some of the earliest trailers had different character designs for the crew, and (possibly) the plot would have been different. Kaede wore a white collared shirt and pants, Harman was thicker and didn't have the goatee, and Heaven's Smiles were not zombie creatures, but berserk humans with joker faces.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Possibly the intention of Suda51 because he loves to do it. What's more awesome than walking up a staircase with a rave in the background?!
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic / Rule of Symbolism: In spades.
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