The Killer 7 (left to right): KAEDE, Con, Dan, Garcian, Coyote, MASK and Kevin.
Harman: You're awake from your dream?
Kun Lan: Harman, the size of the world has changed. It's changed to the size where you can control it with your hands just like a PDA. The world will... keep getting smaller...
Describe Killer7 here?Where do we start?In an alternate timeline Twenty Minutes into the Future, worldwide peace has finally been achieved after a total ban on nuclear weapons and research. The remaining warheads are fired into space, where they collide and destroy each other.However, this peace was not to last, for a group of mysterious creatures known as "Heaven Smiles" soon appear. Led by the enigmatic Kun-Lan, they began to carry out a number of terrorist attacks across the world with no discernible purpose other than to create terror for the sake of terror.To combat this supernatural threat, the American government call on the services of the Smith Syndicate, aka the Killer7. Led by the elderly and wheelchair-bound Harman Smith, a man who carries a history with Kun-Lan, the Killer7 are a group of specialised assassins trained to deal with high-level threats to the stability of the United States of America. And with each mission completed, they slowly draw closer to the truth behind the Heaven Smiles and Kun-Lan.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 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, its vignettes and non-sequiturs, and its tacked-on plot threads that don't come together until the ending. 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 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.
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'.
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.
Smile, Part 2 allows a lot more blood than other areas, though it's balanced out by only having a few Camellia Smiles, as well as Mithril Smiles and Broken Smiles, the latter being incredibly hard to get blood from, as regular, respawning enemies.
Apocalyptic Log: Hulberts cassettes in Smile Part 2 are full of exposition, and predictably, end with him being killed by the very man he was researching.
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)
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.
A minor one in Cloudman. "The name's Andrei Ulmeyda." Crowning Moment of Funny the first time, Tear Jerker the second time.
Boss Bonanza: The end of Smile, Part 2 and Lion, featuring fights with the final Duplicator Smile, the Galactic Tomahawk Smile, Greg Nightmare, Emir Parkreiner, and the Last Shot Smile all coming with, gameplay wise except for the last two, nothing huge in between.
Button Mashing: How you revive dead Smiths. The more stamina the higher the bar you have to fill (Try not to die as Harman).
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 weakest 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.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Essentially the entire point of the game: the whole game revolves around the conflict between American/Western and Japanese/Eastern values.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have a Nice Death: Your player character's head rolls over, opens its mouth and bellows a bloody Kanji.
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 herself by placing a barrier between her 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 means to avoid detection.
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, despite her status as Barefoot.
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.
To get an idea of it, imagine walking in a straight line for hours with four people talking at you about completely different things. Cryptically. Oh, and every five minutes, you have stop and think really hard about the first thing you see. When you've finally finished that, you discover that 50% of what you just did was All Just a Dream, yet 75% was real.
The Mole: Toru Fukushima has two: his secretary Julia Kisugi and apprentice chef Jean Depaul. Also, one of the theories spawned from the Last Shot Smile is that Iwazaru is one for the killer7.
Mook Maker: Mother Smiles, Duplicator Smiles, and Greg Nightmare.
Motif: Masks appear all over the game, tying in with the theme of deception.
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).
KAEDE's special ability as well.
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.
Which also explains why none other than Garcian/Emir can kill one of the black Smiles during the last boss.
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.
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."
A lot of the Smiths have rather strange reloads, with characters slapping bullets into revolvers with lightning speed or seemingly just willing extra rounds into the chambers. The only realistic reload is KAEDE's, which also gives her the slowest reload time of all the Smiths.
Vicious Cycle: No matter who wins each time, Harman and Kun Lan begin the game again in a hundred years.
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.