Killer7 is an action adventure, on-rail shooter game that was published and developed by Grasshoper Manufacture and Capcom as part of 5 Gamecube-exclusive games nicknamed the "Capcom 5" (Of which one tanked, one was cancelled, and three were ported to the Playstation 2, but that's neither here nor there). The game was released on June 9th, 2005 in Japan, July 7th in North America and 15th July for Europe. Killer7 was highly anticipated due to its original artistic style and gameplay, and also known for its unique cel-shaded graphics and bizarre, nonsensical storyline. The game was written and directed by Goichi Suda, popularly known by his nickname, "Suda51", and produced by Shinji Mikami. Mikami is also well known for being the creative force behind a group of stylish, original titles including Resident Evil, Viewtiful Joe, and Devil May Cry.
The story of Killer7 revolves around Harman Smith, a sixty-year-old schizophrenic assassin who is crippled and forever bound to a wheelchair. Fortunately for his career, he possesses the power of "God-Killer," which renders him invincible and gives him extraordinary supernatural powers. He is also capable of manifesting his seven alternate personalities into the real world, each with their own weapon and personal style of killing. This "group" of professional assassins is collectively known as the Killer7 Syndicate. The main antagonist of Killer7 is Kun Lan, who possesses the "God-Hand." With it, he can transform people into mindless, invisible time-bombs called the Heaven Smiles, and seeks to wreak havoc across the United States. The US government has called upon the Killer7 to destroy the Heaven Smiles, take out Kun Lan, and end the threat that surrounds the country.
The dominant personality is Garcian Smith, who, while in the presence of security cameras or television sets, has the ability to call upon the six other members of the Killer7 at any time. He is the only one who can directly communicate with Harman Smith. Unlike most multiple personalities in fiction (and all real forms of the disorder, obviously), Harman does not just think he is someone else; rather, his personae actually take on a unique physical body when called upon.
Killer7 takes on an unorthodox style of first-person shooter, with combined elements of third-person and on-rails shooter. Advancing in-game does not require moving the left analog stick, but rather holding down the A button to move forward, and pressing triangle to turn backwards in the PlayStation 2 version. For the Gamecube version, it would require pressing the A and B buttons. The player then reaches these "junctions," or intersections throughout the game. The player then has to choose which path to continue on when traversing through a level in the game.
Combat in Killer7 is rather simple; the player holds the right trigger to go into a "first-person" target-shooting mode, to target the "Heaven Smile", the main enemies of the game. Heaven Smile are almost invisible in regular mode, and can only be traced when the player hears their hysterical, psychotic laughter. Once in target mode the player needs to use the left trigger to scan the area for any of the Smiles. Killing them requires "locking on" and shooting at them, or finding their instant-kill point (they appear yellow in color). Once the Heaven Smile reaches the player, (the player sees a 'flash' in front of the screen), it explodes, causing damage to the persona. However, the player can press the counterattack button on time, and it initiates an instant kill on the enemy.
Regular kill results in "Thin blood," while shooting the weak points gives the player "Thick blood" that can be converted to serum in Harman's Room. The serum is then used to level up certain abilities and can improve each assassins' skills, like causing specific weapons to deal greater damage to the enemy, or somehow causing the Heaven Smiles to have larger instant-kill points. This also unlocks special moves, such as stamping on crawling enemies. Thin blood is used to recover lost health and for performing special character moves, like Dan's Demon shot, or Coyote's jump. Thin blood is carried over as the player progresses to another level, while thick blood does not. There is also a limit to the amount of thick blood that can be collected at a level.
When any of the assassins die, if Garcian Smith survives, he can use his powers to bring them back to life, by collecting a doggy-bag item located at the place of the persona's death. The player can then resurrect the persona in Harman's Room.
The adventure side comes through the use of puzzles in the game. In order to advance to the next level, the player has to collect "soul shells." Those are given once the player solves different puzzles. Other times, puzzles are needed to be solved to open another part of the level. Puzzles are either solved by the use of a ring, usually of an elemental type (fire, water, etc.). Other puzzles require a unique ability of a certain persona, memorizing a picture, or pictures shown prior, or collecting clues in a level.
Also known as the Smith Syndicate, Killer7 is led by Harman Smith.
Leader of the Killer7 syndicate. Though bound in a wheelchair, Harman Smith has the ability to manifest seven personalities at will, each with his/her own abilities. Harman has a maid named Samantha Sitbon who takes care of him.
Nickname: "The Chief/The Old Man"
Height: 5' 8"
Ethnicity: German-Polish mix
Weapon: Large Rifle Cannon
Unique Abilities: Invulnerability, infinite ammo.
Voice Actor: Dwight Schultz
Garcian is the public figure of the Smith Syndicate and the only member who is able to revive other characters and as such, the player will face an immediate game over should he ever falls in combat. He can also lock on any Heaven Smile while in Target mode, even without scanning first.
Nickname: "The Cleaner"
Height: 6' 3"
Ethnicity: Native American/African-American Mix
Weapon: Supressed SIG P230 / Golden Gun
Unique Ability: Reviving dead members
Voice Actor: Greg Eagles
Dan is the third strongest of the Smith syndicate. With the "Collateral Shot," he is as deadly as his choice of words. Hates Harman Smith.
Nickname: "The Hellion"
Height: 5' 6"
Weapon: Colt Python .357 / Demon Gun
Unique Ability: Collateral Shot
Voice Actor: Michael Gough
The only female in the syndicate, KAEDE may be the second weakest but her ability to zoom in to her enemy at a great distance makes her a force to be reckoned with. She possesses the power called "Blood Shower," which Kaede uses to break down barriers and absorb blood with the assistance of Mizaru.
Height: 5' 1"
Weapon: AMT Hardballer Longslide in .45 with attached scope and extended magazine.
Unique Abilities: Breaking down barriers, sniper scope
Voice Actor: Tara Strong
Con is the fastest member of Killer7. Rumor has it he can outrun any Olympic champs. By using up a blood vial, he can sprint through the level with incredible speed. Though he is blind, Con has great auditory sensor and can squeeze in to small confine spaces due to his size. Hates Dan Smith.
Nickname: "The Speedster / The Punk"
Height: 4' 6"
Weapon: Dual Glock 18s
Unique Abilities: Quick run, sonar hearing, entering small spaces
Voice Actor: Jun Hee Lee
The soft spoken Coyote is a professional thief that can pick any locks and jump great heights. Hates Dan Smith.
Nickname: "The Thief"
Height: 5' 7"
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican
Weapon: Modified Enfield No. 2 Mk. I
Unique Abilities: Picking locks, jumping great heights
Voice Actor: Benito Martinez
A mute assassin who is the second quickest, Kevin wields throwing knives that requires no reloading. He can turn invisible by taking his glasses off, which grants him the ability to pass through enemies and laser security.
Nickname: "The Ghost/The Four Eyes"
Height: 5' 7"
Weapon: Various knives used in both short and long ranged combat
Unique Ability: Invisibility
Voice Actor: N/A
With his dual grenade launchers, MASK De Smith is the second strongest assassin. He can penetrate boulders and crack walls to open new pathways by using his wrestling moves. Despite his appearance, MASK is actually a really nice guy.
Nickname: "The Mask"
Weapon: Dual Modified M79 Grenade Launchers
Unique Ability: Breaking physical barriers with his wrestling moves
Voice Actor: Miguel Caballero
The Remnant Psyches
Remnant Psyches are apparitions that Killer7 meet during the course of their mission - providing relevant information and useful items. They are all previous victims of the Smith Syndicate that now exist as "ghosts" or the assassin's subconscious. They all speak in a gibberish manner that can only be understood using the game's subtitles.
Vincel Dill Boris VII Iwazaruscof, or better known as Iwazaru, swore his allegiance to Harman Smith and the Killer7. Throughout the game he supplies the player with tips, hints and any needed info. He truly cares for the Harman and wants to use all his efforts to aid him in his missions.
Travis Bell was the very first victim of Killer7 and as their remnant psyche, he provides reliable information regarding the game's plot, mostly about the political situation between the US and Japan. He is often seen wearing a tanktop with words that changes during the course of the game.
Mizaru is the ex-wife of Iwazaru who works closely with KAEDE Smith. KAEDE can summon her at certain points during the game by creating a blood shower, whereupon Mizaru will appear, point strangely at an invisible barrier without looking at it, and shatter it before disappearing.
Another remnant psyche related to Iwazaru in some ways. Her purpose is to assist the Killer7 in searching for the Soul Shells.
Susie is a decapitated head that usually carries a power ring in her mouth that the Smith Syndicate can utilize. Susie was a troubled child with a heavy history of violence and mental illness, which she relates anecdotally, piece by piece, often using Japanese emoticons.
Kess is a young little boy with a horrific and shock expression on his face. He acts as an informant, giving information about the Heaven Smile.
An informant for the Killer7 who usually supplies them much needed information for their current mission. Garcian is usually the only member of the Killer 7 to meet with him. He is one of the Killer 7's greatest allies because of the crucial information he supplies them with.
Samantha is Harman Smith's maid. She is a college student who takes care of Harman for three days out of the week, mainly for scholarship aides. Her relationship with Harman changes over time. When Harman is "awake", Samantha is a loyal, humble and obedient servant wearing a maid uniform but other times, she is an aggressive and impatient punk who abuses Harman in so many ways.
Tha main antagonist in Killer7. He is the creator of the Heaven Smile thanks to his "God-Hand" power that grants him the ability to manifest unearthly creatures. Though evil and ruthless, Kun Lan was once Harman's old friend and his chess companion.
Heaven Smile is a terrorist organization in the video game killer7 headed by demi-god and main antagonist Kun Lan. While it is considered a terrorist organization, its members are actually demonic, mutated beings that also act as living bombs.
The Heaven Smile consists of the following:
- Protector Z
- Protector ZZ
- Galactic Tomahawk Smile
Masafumi Takada is the music composer of the Killer7 Original Soundtrack. The soundtrack features all 61 original compositions in a 2-disc set, and was released on June 20, 2005 by Sony Music. Masafumi Takada is also known for his works in No More Heroes, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, God Hand, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Takada experiments on techno music, dance, classical, pop, rock, and other musical genres. Jun Fukuda co-wrote and performed some of the tracks as well.
1. Setting Sun - 1:22
2. A Fierce Good Fight - 1:47
3. Blackburn - 4:14
4. Where Angels Play - 2:32
5. Shoot Speed - 1:21
6. Succession - 1:50
7. Election Plot - 4:59
8. American Diplomacy - 2:38
9. Russian Roulette - 3:54
10. Geopolitics - 1:05
11. Department in Defence - 1:12
12. Back to the Light - 1:52
13. Vote Falsification - 0:52
14. 3rd Foundation - 1:24
15. Stoned - 2:47
16. Love - 1:19
17. When the May Rain Comes - 2:26
18. Resound in Silence - 2:27
19. Postgasse - 3:13
20. ( ` 曲 ´ ) - 2:23
21. Sloped - 0:58
22. Nest - 1:57
23. Island Edge - 3:29
24. Betrayal - 1:10
25. Errand Boy - 0:29
26. Oh My Julia - 1:19
27. Sweet Blue Flag - 3:40
28. Angel's Despair - 0:43
29. Reunion - 0:13
Disc # 21. Rave On - 4:28
2. Visionary Community - 2:07
3. Emigrant Song - 1:59
4. Sweet Relief - 3:09
5. Over Look - 1:05
6. Cuisine - 1:42
7. Sceneman - 2:10
8. Multiple Personality - 3:19
9. Residence - 2:09
10. Windmill - 1:46
11. Maze - 2:55
12. Tecks Mecks - 2:28
13. Corridor - 3:51
14. Santo Domingo - 2:06
15. White Sugar - 4:19
16. Margarita - 3:26
17. Taxidermy - 0:59
18. Original Personality - 1:01
19. Outhouse - 0:56
20. Elegant Petal - 3:23
21. Electronical Parade - 2:52
22. Hero Worship - 0:52
23. Heroic Deeds - 2:14
24. Heroic Verse - 0:32
25. At Parting - 0:51
26. Reloaded - 1:42
27. Fatal Bonds - 1:24
28. Ministry of Education - 2:05
29. Soul on Ice - 2:50
30. Host Personality - 1:46
31. Dissociative Personality - 3:12
32. Reenact - 1:25
When the player first beats Killer7 on any difficulty, they instantly unlock a harder version: "Killer8". In this version, all the personas can die from only one blow from a pouncing Heaven Smile. This mode features an exclusive eighth persona: a younger version of Harman Smith, who, aside from not being crippled, can take more damage and is equipped with a Tommy Gun. Additionally, instant kills on various Heaven Smile are still possible but the glowing weak points are no longer visible.
Also, when the player beats Killer8, another mode is unlocked: "Hopper7." This mode is more of an easter egg, as it only plays through the first level and all the Heaven Smiles are replaced by weaker enemies wearing a grasshopper mask and a striped shirt.
So far, there hasn't been any news of a Killer7 sequel. When asked by IGN in 2007, creator Suda51 said:
"I don't exactly know whether there will be a sequel, because the Killer 7 IP belongs to Capcom. I am not at all opposed to the idea of developing sequels to the game at all, but I always want to challenge and create games with new ideas if possible."
However, in a 2010 interview with Cubed3, Suda51 expressed his interest in making a sequel.
"Killer7 is a very very important game for me. The creative challenge of both the team at Grasshopper and me is packed into the game. Killer7 is the part of my soul. A remake? No, but if I get the opportunity, I am certainly interested in making a new Killer7."
- The Golden Gun Emir Parkreiner uses is a reference to The Man With the Golden Gun, a 1974 James Bond movie.
- The courier pigeons the player encounters throughout the game are named after the Bond girls.
- The messages carried by the carrier pigeons are named after various songs by the band The Smiths - including Rusholm Ruffians, Back to the Oldhouse, Half a Person and Still Ill.
- The Handsome Men is a parody/reference to the Power Rangers/Super Sentai series.
- Resident Evil 4 features a weapon called the Killer7, which is a replica of the AMT Hardballer used by Kaede Smith.
- Iwazaru, Kikazaru, and Mizaru are meant to represent the three philosophical tenets of speak no evil, hear no evil, and see no evil.
- Linda Vermillion's character design was based heavily on Mary from the Quick Girl skit featured in the Vermillion Pleasure Night series, who herself was based off Lady Scorpion from the 1970s Japanese erotic film Female Convict Scorpion.
- Mask de Smith's bizarre presence can be attributed to Suda51, the game's director, who has a fascination with Lucha Libre wrestling, and is known to incorporate luchadores in his games.
- Killer7 is Suda 51's proudest achievement.