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    Plot Analysis/FAQ by Shockley_Haynes

    Version: Final | Updated: 09/14/05 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    James Clinton Howell
    Final revision: 14 September 2005
    I: INTRODUCTION                                              [#I]
    II: THE LONG VIEW: FOUR NARRATIVE LEVELS                    [#II]
         A: The Cosmic Level (Gods)                            [#IIA]
         B: The Political Level (Governments)                  [#IIB]
         C: The Individual Level (Folks)                       [#IIC]
         D: The Spiritual Level (Ghosts)                       [#IID]
    III: SYMBOLISM                                             [#III]
         A: Yin/Yang VS God/Devil                             [#IIIA]
         B: Chess                                             [#IIIB]
    IV: HISTORY LESSONS                                         [#IV]
         A: Reagan, the Japanese Diet, and New Diplomacy       [#IVA]
         B: Miscellaneous World War II Allusions               [#IVB]
         C: November, 1942                                     [#IVC]
    V: QUESTION AND ANSWER                                       [#V]
         A:  Three Harmans?                                     [#VA]
         B:  Which One Is God Again?                            [#VB]
         C:  Surveillance Cameras                               [#VC]
         D:  Handsome Men                                       [#VD]
         E:  Iwazaru                                            [#VE]
         F:  Vinculum Gate, Gateman, and the Coliseum           [#VF]
         G:  Screaming in the Trailer                           [#VG]
         H:  Kun Lan and H. H. Gunned Down                      [#VH]
         I:  Time, Space, and Trailers                          [#VI]
         J:  The Forbidden Room                                 [#VJ]
         K:  Greg Nightmare                                     [#VK]
         L:  Murderer Keane                                     [#VL]
         M:  The Golden Gun                                     [#VM]
         N:  Why 1996?                                          [#VN]
         O:  Silent Man at the Union Hotel                      [#VO]
         P:  Bondage Suicide                                    [#VP]
         Q:  Whistler's Murder                                  [#VQ]
         R:  Mills' Assassin                                    [#VR]
         S:  Dan's Hatred for Harman                            [#VS]
         T:  Ulmeyda                                            [#VT]
         U:  LOVE                                               [#VU]
         V:  Union Hotel                                        [#VV]
         W:  Samantha Sitbon/Smith                              [#VW]
         X:  Curtis Blackburn                                   [#VX]
         Y:  Ayame Blackburn                                    [#VY]
         Z:  Kevin Smith                                        [#VZ]
         AA: Dogs and Monkeys                                  [#VAA]
         AB: Kenjiro Matsuoka                                  [#VAB]
         AC: The Answering Machine                             [#VAC]
         AD: Garcian's Attache Case                            [#VAD]
         AE: Garcian's Memory                                  [#VAE]
         AF: LION and the Attache Case                         [#VAF]
         AG: Samantha and the Lights                           [#VAG]
         AH: KAEDE and MASK's names                            [#VAH]
         AI: Yoon-Hyun's Death                                 [#VAI]
         AJ: Russian Roulette                                  [#VAJ]
         AK: Green Eyes in LION                                [#VAK]
         AL: Remnant Psyches' Speech                           [#VAL]
         AM: Travis' Tux                                       [#VAM]
         AN: Master Harman at Restaurant Fukushima             [#VAN]
         AO: Three Harmans in One                              [#VAO]
         AP: Garcian's Power of Resurrection                   [#VAP]
         AQ: Susie and Ayame Blackburn                         [#VAQ]
         AR: Hulbert                                           [#VAR]
         AS: Dan Smith's Hesitation                            [#VAS]
         AT: MASK De Smith Among Killers                       [#VAT]
         AU: Personae's Revival in the Gymnasium               [#VAU]
         AV: The Personae's Powers                             [#VAV]
         AW: MASK De Smith's Power-Ups                         [#VAW]
         AX: Alter Ego Guitarist                               [#VAX]
         AY: The Odd Engravings                                [#VAY]
         AZ: Susie's Story                                     [#VAZ]
         BA: Mills' Cars                                       [#VBA]
         BB: Japan's Fate                                      [#VBB]
         BC: Different Anime Styles                            [#VBC]
         BD: Garcian's Power to Resurrect                      [#VBD]
         BE: 100 Years Later in Shanghai                       [#VBE]
         BF: End of ANGEL Speech                               [#VBF]
         BG: Harman's Suit in LION                             [#VBG]
    VI: THEMATIC OBSERVATIONS                                  [#VI2]
         A: Smile Static                                       [#VIA]
         B: Traitorous Stains                                  [#VIB]
         C: ISZK                                               [#VIC]
         D: Fallen Angel                                       [#VID]
         E: Heaven Smiles, as Kamikaze Fighters                [#VIE]
         F: Andrei Ulmeyda: Descendant of Internment Prisoners [#VIF]
         G: Post World War II Japanese Thought, and Killer7    [#VIG]
         H: Further Thoughts on the Yakumo                     [#VIH]
         I: Lion Flag                                          [#VII]
         J: Battleship Island                                  [#VIJ]
         K: Channels Eleven and Twelve                         [#VIK]
         L: Racism in Killer7                                  [#VIL]
         M: Harman and Freud                                   [#VIM]
         N: Three Monkeys                                      [#VIN]
         O: Messiahs                                           [#VIO]
         P: Matsuken as Representative of Yosuke Matsuoka      [#VIP]
         Q: Notes on Emir Parkreiner's Name                    [#VIQ]
         R: Killer7 as Commentary on Japanese Pop Culture      [#VIR]
         S: Suggested Political Meaning of Killer7             [#VIS]
    IX: LEGAL NOTES                                             [#IX]
    APPENDIX: "HAND IN KILLER7"                            [APPENDIX]
    I: INTRODUCTION                                         [APPEN-I]
    II: "HAND IN KILLER7" TRANSLATION                      [APPEN-II]
    III: COMMENTS ON "HAND IN KILLER7"                    [APPEN-III]
    IV: CREDITS                                            [APPEN-IV]
    V: LEGAL NOTES                                          [APPEN-V]
    I: INTRODUCTION                                              [#I]
    This document is a Plot Analysis of the Capcom release Killer7 
    (2005). A few points should be clarified up front.
    First: since this is a Plot Analysis, it will drawn support 
    for its conclusions from all parts of the game. Therefore, I 
    assume that the reader will have played the game at least 
    once--having watched all of the cutscenes and talked to all 
    the NPC's--before reading this guide. This also means that the 
    Plot Analysis is one huge spoiler. 
    Second: since Killer7 is such an open-ended game, no single 
    understanding of the events of the game can be regarded as 
    "correct" above other understandings. The purpose of the 
    analysis in this guide is not to establish a final authority 
    on the events of Killer7, but to provide one unified grasp of 
    the game that answers the majority of the questions presented 
    within the game. 
    I would like to address one frequently asked question that is
    directed at this document, rather than at the game.  That
    question is:
    [Q]: Why can't you just give straight-up answers to the questions
         put forth in your guide?
    [A]: This game is not simple.
    Appearances in this game are often deceptive.  If I give a direct
    answer to a question, the answer will likely contradict what 
    seems to be true.  For example: if I merely wrote that Kun Lan is
    the Devil-figure, and left it at that, I am guaranteed to receive
    fifty eMails asking, "But wait!  Kun Lan has the Hand-of-God!
    How can HE be the Devil!  Because Harman has the power of the God
    In other words, the answers are written the way they are because
    they are complicated answers.  That's why this is a complicated
    game.  That's why this plot analysis document exists.  Writing is
    written so that it may be read, not skimmed.  Likewise, I assume
    that anyone reading this document will have the intellectual
    engagement to read its contents, rather than expect it to run
    like an answer key to a multiple-choice quiz.
    I hope you enjoy reading this Plot Analysis.
    II: THE LONG VIEW: FOUR NARRATIVE LEVELS                    [#II]
    Interpreting Killer7 is like jumping into a cold swimming pool 
    on a hot summer day. There is no warm place to stand and get 
    used to the water. You just need to jump in--or get pushed.
    Either way, you have to start tying things together by their 
    loose ends--and the knots you use aren't going to be 
    everyone's choices. With that in mind, I'll start with some 
    assertions that have a basis in the game's story, and I will 
    then explain the entire story of the game based on those 
    assertions. From here on out, when I write "such-and-such 
    means" or "such-and-such is this way," I'm reasoning the 
    conclusion either from the clarity that the definitions bring 
    to the story, or from a historical or mythological 
    relationship between a fact in the game and the historical 
    world we live in. 
    A pre-release article on Killer7 described the game thus: 
    "Killer 7 will contain five storylines that span through four 
    different worlds in two time periods, the present day and the 
    year 2005."
    Amendments have been made, of course, to the narrative since 
    the publication of the article. For all of the differences 
    that developed between the earlier concept and the finished 
    product, though--I'm thinking specifically of the five 
    storylines and the two time periods--the "four different 
    worlds" facet stuck with me. 
    As I have played and studied the game, I have concluded that 
    the plot of Killer7 exists on four different levels of 
    narrative reality. These four levels of narrative reality are: 
    the Cosmic level; the Political level; the Individual level; 
    and the Spiritual level. To simplify the distinction (and to 
    prevent this document from becoming confusing), I will refer 
    to each level of narrative reality by a nickname. 
    The Cosmic level is Gods.
    The Political level is Governments.
    The Individual level is Folks.
    The Spiritual level is Ghosts.
    All of these narrative levels progress at the same time, and 
    they interweave through each other. In the interest of keeping 
    my explanation unconvoluted, I will describe the flow of each 
    of the four narrative levels, insofar as they operate 
    independent of each other. 
    A: THE COSMIC LEVEL (GODS)                                 [#IIA]
    The Cosmic Level of the narrative is the easiest to describe. 
    However, I should clarify up front that there are three 
    different entities known as "Harman" in this game. They look 
    alike and speak alike; they are related to each other; 
    however, they are distinct from each other. 
    I will describe each of them, as they relate to their 
    respective levels of narrative. The "Harman" on the Cosmic 
    Level of narrative is the character who I refer to as "Hasidic 
    Harman," or H. H. I name him "Hasidic Harman" because his 
    manner of clothing suggests that he belongs to a spiritual 
    tradition related to Western religious heritage, which is 
    dominated by religious traditions that find their roots in 
    Hebraic history. 
    H. H. is described as "the God Killer." His rival is Kun Lan, 
    who is described as wielding "the Hand of God."
    H. H. represents Western culture and civilization: Europe and 
    the Americas. Kun Lan represents Eastern culture and 
    civilization: the Asian continental nations and Japan.
    At the end of the ANGEL episode, we see that H. H. uses 
    Garcian and the Smiths (in the Killer7 group) as 
    transportation. He and Kun Lan have a long history of 
    friendship, though they seem to regard each other with 
    professional (rather than personal) affection. They reflect 
    upon their competitive relationship as experienced via chess 
    games; most of the time, H. H. wins. 
    SUDA 51 (the visionary developer of the game) has been quoted 
    as remarking that H. H. and Kun Lan represent "the futility of 
    war." This seems most keenly expressed in the game's final 
    epilogue, which occurs 100 years after the game's events in 
    Shanghai. I do not disagree with SUDA 51's comment; I would 
    add, also, that it seems to represent the inevitability of war 
    and the eternal irresolution of differences between East and 
    West, so long as one attempts to aggress upon the other. 
    At the end of ANGEL, H. H. fires a tank-piercing bullet at Kun 
    Lan, who catches and drops the shell after having been 
    propelled backward by its impact. This moment signifies the 
    beginning of the "chess game" that occurs in the Union Hotel's 
    top floor suite, through the course of the game's events. The 
    only time H. H. appears is when he is in the company of Kun 
    The conflicts between Kun Lan and H. H. involve human 
    political, personal, and spiritual affairs. These three levels 
    of existence are the media through which they war. Everything 
    that occurs on these levels of existence (and narrative) are 
    related to their actions. Importantly, these two figures are 
    not absolute dieties: they can "recruit" individuals, nations, 
    and spirits into their leagues--and the power that the 
    formerly subordinate entities gain from their recruitment 
    places them on a tier higher than most mortals. 
    B: THE POLITICAL LEVEL (GOVERNMENTS)                       [#IIB]
    In order to understand the political narrative of Killer7, we 
    must first look at the enigmatic "Yakumo." Hints are given on 
    what it is, in the game, but it's never really made clear what 
    its contents are.
    GameFAQs message board user Yoshiko Ohier has offered the 
    following information on the Yakumo:
    "Acoording to the CAPCOM official web site in Japanese, Yakumo 
    is a text which was created by 7 Japanese 
    founders(politicians) in the past. The Yakumo (text) is said 
    to have a power to change the world. And, Ulmeida (Cloudman) 
    got somehow a part of the text and thanks to that, he could 
    develop his company to one of the biggest corporation in the 
    world. Here, I'll give you translations of two names: 
    "Yakumo = (Ya)eight (kumo)clouds
    "KumoOtoko (title in Japanese) = (Kumo)Cloud (Otoko)man
    "Ulmeida has gotten one Kumo (Cloud). Maybe that's why the 
    title was named 'Cloudman'. Well, this is what I think...".
    Given the close relationship that the Yakumo, in Killer7, 
    shares with Japanese nationalism, it is pleasant to note that 
    the first recorded piece of Japanese poetry begins with the 
    very words "Ya kumo."
    I would like to quote Patrick Smith's book "Japan: a 
    Reinterpretation" regarding this matter:
    "The importance not only of belonging but of being hidden 
    within can be judged from the first lines of poetry Japan ever 
    "Eight clouds arise.
    The eightfold fence of Izumo
    Makes an eightfold fence
    For the spouses to retire within.
    Oh! that eightfold fence.
    "These lines are about the whole of Japan. There were eight 
    clouds and eight fences because in the old chronicles Japan 
    consisted of eight islands."
    During his brief scene, in SUNSET, Toru Fukushima described 
    the Yakumo as a policy that was created by the Union-Seven. 
    However, he expressed his revulsion with Japan as being too 
    weak of a nation to handle the power of the Yakumo. The 
    contents of the Yakumo are implied to be able to propel a 
    nation toward total domination of the world--or, at least, 
    primary control. 
    When I first played Killer7, my impulse was to regard the 
    phrase "U. N. Party" as indicative of the United Nations' 
    presence in the fictional universe. However, the U. N. Party 
    is not the United Nations. Travis' speech is most useful in 
    determining the role and identity of the U. N. Party. 
    Travis says: "Japan is controlled by the United Nations Party. 
    If the UN Party goes down, Japan's minority party will take 
    control. In other words, the Liberal Party would take the 
    reigns. There's some nasty shit cooking in this restaurant. 
    And it ain't momma's fried chicken." 
    During his brief scene at the start of SUNSET PART TWO, 
    Kurahashi says that all of the U. N. Party's efforts will be 
    destroyed, and that they have been in motion for "65 years" 
    since Japan's American occupation at the end of World War II. 
    Most historical resources seem to agree that Japan's struggle 
    after World War II involved two major ideological forces: the 
    liberal, individualistic ideas that wanted to depart from 
    Japan's culturally historical means of thinking and acting--
    and the conservative, collectivistic ideas that wanted to 
    return the government to the control of an oligarchic shadow-
    government and the pursuit of Shinto and Bushido ideals. 
    If we judge the political quality of the U. N. Party by their 
    apparent means of self-government (Kurahashi and Akiba reveal 
    that they dealt with succession by killing their elders) and 
    their contrast to the Liberal Party, we may conclude that the 
    Yakumo--as a governmental policy developed by the Union-Seven-
    -is enmeshed in those conservative Japanese ideals. 
    Another historical departure might be useful, now. Japanese 
    foreign policy was established early in the second millenium 
    of the Christian calendar as "Hakko Ichiu." The ideology holds 
    that the Japanese emperor is not merely the sovereign 
    authority over the Japanese people, but over all people of all 
    races. The self-righteousness of their cultural self-
    perception was manipulated easily during the Second World War 
    by Japanese Emperor Hirohiko (also a high Shinto priest who 
    very much believed in his own deity) into justification for 
    all types of nationalistic aggression. Translated, the foreign 
    policy aims to bring "all the eight corners of the world under 
    the roof of Japan." 
    The U. N. Party comes from this cultural tradition. The 
    Yakumo--a policy of "eight clouds," implying the literary 
    association with the first Japanese poetic expression of 
    nationalistic identity--seems to be a renovated form of "Hakko 
    Further, this policy may have been developed strictly for 
    Japanese execution, but (as Fukushima admits) Japan is too 
    weak to implement it on her own.
    Now, let's look a little at the supposed history of the U. N. 
    Party. Fukushima appears to be the party's leader. After all, 
    his political clout is the reason he is the Killer7's target 
    in SUNSET. Fukushima explains that he became frustrated with 
    Japanese politics, because of its inability to become anything 
    more than play-acting upon a stage. Yet, he explains, he got a 
    call one day from someone asking if he would like to be "an 
    Two questions stem from this root: first, who called 
    Fukushima; second, what sort of architecture?
    I'll answer them in reverse order. The architecture is 
    Japanese; it is deliberate, I think, that Fukushima's estate 
    is so Japanese you can taste the Pocky. It is the only 
    location that is idiosyncratically Japanese in the whole game-
    -even moreso than Battleship Island. The cultural history 
    implied by Fukushima's restaurant's architecture, along with 
    his description of his work as that of "an architect," 
    suggests that the more abstract and political "architecture" 
    he designed was an extension of Japanese, Shinto-based 
    As for his caller--I think he was (who else) Kun Lan. Akiba 
    and Kurahashi seem to recognize Kun Lan easily enough, when he 
    appears to them and Matsuoka. Most probably, Kun Lan is the 
    head of the U. N. Party; by extension, it would make sense 
    that Kun Lan would have recruited Fukushima to create a 
    governmental structure--the U. N. Party--through which the 
    Yakumo could be realized in the field of world politics. 
    So--what are the eight clouds?
    I'm unsure, exactly. It might be good, though, to consider who 
    possessed the Yakumo at what times. Fukushima was supposed to 
    have had the Yakumo, but Julie Kisagi appears not to have 
    found it on him--even going to far as to demand it of H. H.! 
    At the KAKU Building (where the second half of SUNSET occurs), 
    DePaul's ghost says that Matsuoka has the Yakumo. 
    When we speak to Ulmeyda's ghost in Curtis Blackburn's home, 
    during the second part of ENCOUNTER, he says that he gave 
    Clemence (the boy who was featured at the end of CLOUDMAN) the 
    Yakumo. Clearly, Ulmeyda possessed some measure of the 
    Yakumo's wisdom. The postal clerk describes Ulmeyda as "an 
    asshole" who seemed to have gotten lucky, and who seemed to 
    have risen out of nothing to his current status. Ulmeyda is 
    regarded by the townspeople as a mysterious local who rose to 
    prominence through his corporation "First Life," yet we learn 
    from Ulmeyda that the company doesn't exist: they simply run 
    Ulmeyda's success, it seems, is owed to the governing ideals 
    and methods described in the Yakumo.
    "But wait!" you may say. "Travis said that the Yakumo had the 
    power to let the United States dominate the world! If Ulmeyda 
    had the Yakumo, why didn't the do just that?!"
    I answer: because he was a postal clerk. He's neither the 
    United States nor the U. N. Party. Even Garcian says of 
    Ulmeyda (when Master Harman asks if Ulmeyda is a 
    revolutionary), "No sir, no one of that calibre." Despite the 
    admittedly sadistic whims he displayed--such as destroying an 
    entire stadium during a concert and subjecting his heir to 
    "driving yourself to death"--he clearly possessed some 
    humanitarian impulses. Even though his decision to inject 
    himself with lethal diseases was a self-oriented action, to 
    make himself feel alive by courting death, his decision to 
    make his blood available for others to immunize them against 
    those diseases is humanitarian, surely. 
    I think that the Ulmeyda episode illustrates the manner in 
    which the Yakumo serves as an extension of the Shinto-based 
    policy of "Hakko Ichiu." In Andrei Ulmeyda, we see the 
    convergence of political leadership (he runs the town that has 
    his name) and religious leadership (he has a cult). However, 
    Ulmeyda's simplicity as a man and a leader only allows him to 
    create a facade of government. (Notice how that giant 
    corporate cathedral fell down, as mere plywood, and revealed a 
    desert in which Ulmeyda tested the limits of both his and his 
    acolytes' bodies.) Understanding this makes the intervention 
    of the U. S. military at the end of the CLOUDMAN chapter more 
    sensible: they seem to have neutralized Ulmeyda to retrieve 
    the Yakumo, which the United States has been trying to get for 
    a year. 
    I initially thought that "Yakumo" referred to a political 
    party; however, it does not. It refers to the cabinet policy 
    of the United Nations Party within Japanese government. The 
    irony of the party's name becomes more apparent, when we 
    recognize that the Yakumo is a revised version of "Hakko 
    Ichiu": a surface interpretation of the name "United Nations" 
    would lead a person to think that Japan had renounced its 
    attitude of racial entitlement to global rulership, and wish 
    to become united with other nations; however, since the nature 
    of their cabinet policy is nothing more than a revision of the 
    same ideology that led to the belief of racial entitlement, 
    they are claiming (oppositely) that they want to unite all 
    nations--UNDER JAPANESE RULE. 
    The curious thing about the Yakumo, to a Western (and 
    specifically American) mind, is its implied blending of 
    spiritual and governmental activity. On the one hand, it is a 
    governmental party's policy, and therefore it is governmental, 
    practical, executable; on the other hand, it seems to be 
    communicated only after harsh spiritual experiences, such as 
    Matsuoka's "enlightenment" by Kun Lan in the introductory 
    sequence of SUNSET PART TWO. In understanding this, it will be 
    important to remember the cultural tradition out of which the 
    "Hakko Ichiu" policy and, in turn, the Yakumo are derived. 
    Shinto religion held that the Japanese Emperor was supreme 
    over all, as a governmental authority as well as a spiritual 
    authority. Nationalism and government were inextricable from 
    spiritual identity. In his biography "Hirohito and the Making 
    of Modern Japan," author Herbert P. Bix writes of "Hakko 
    Ichiu" (also called "the Imperial Way"): "The 'imperial way' 
    was a motivating political theology sprung from the idea of 
    the emperor as the literally living embodiment of Japan past 
    and present, a paradigm of moral excellence all should follow. 
    The term denoted a kind of ideological warfare but also, on 
    the other hand, an action plan. It was designed to make Japan 
    free of all externally derived isms, such as Western 
    democracy, liberalism, individualism, and communism. Free to 
    be itself only, the nation would regain self-esteem and be 
    able to wage a 'holy' war of ideas against Western political 
    doctrines." For an incredible span of world history, Japan 
    violently resisted involvement with Western culture. At one 
    point, early after Western culture's introduction to Japan, 
    the Japanese took all Japanese and non-Japanese Christians, 
    physically crucified them, and displayed the crucified 
    practitioners of Western culture on the islands' coasts--so 
    that all Western ships passing by would know what sort of 
    welcome to expect. 
    Emperor Hirohito is described by Bix as having believed in his 
    own deity: "In a wooden building in the southeast corner of 
    the palace compound, he regularly performed complicated 
    rituals that clearly implied his faith in his mystical descent 
    from the gods, and the sacred nature of the Japanese state and 
    homeland." Hirohito continued to serve Japan, as emperor, 
    after their defeat and occupation during the Second World War. 
    Under his emperorship, then, the United Nations Party 
    developed and grew--the Yakumo was developed for execution by 
    what seemed to be a democratic nation, rather than a 
    theocracy--and Fukushima created the stable political 
    organization for the Yakumo to become active through. 
    Most American players--and I include myself in the category of 
    "most"--will see the theme of usurpation of American 
    democracy, during their first play-through of Killer7. 
    Understood against the cultural and historical tension of 
    post-World War II Japan, Killer7 is also the story of the 
    usurpation of Japanese democracy. 
    So, now that the Yakumo is understood, what can be said about 
    the political narrative of Killer7?
    On July 3rd, 1998, the world trashed all of its nuclear 
    missiles and set up an island in the South Pacific for the 
    disposal of radioactive waste. Not all missiles were 
    destroyed, though: ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) 
    I would like to quote the narration during the opening 
    animated film of SUNSET PART ONE: "The international society, 
    under the motto of 'Protecting the world from international 
    terrorism, ideology terrorism, and cyber-terrorism,' stopped 
    all air transportation and closed every network station in the 
    short span of two years, to reduce the likelihood of 
    terrorism. The world had changed. 
    "In the year 2002, a network of intercontinental expressways, 
    bridging the Atlantic Ocean, opened, connecting the two major 
    sides of the world. In the following year of 2003, the 
    construction of a mass scale distribution system began, and 
    the man-made landmass large as a city was built over an ocean. 
    The use and research of nuclear energy was banned, and all 
    radioactive waste and materials were disposed of at an energy 
    disposal facility in the Gibsoft Islands, a remote set of 
    islands off the coast of the Indian Ocean." 
    So--all this has happened. Soon afterward, though, a terrorist 
    group called "the Smiles" began attacking government meetings 
    and figures. Their modus operandi seemed to be to suicide-bomb 
    their targets. They were a hard group to catch, and--developed 
    to catch them--an underground society of assassins served to 
    kill targets who threatened the stability of the new-found 
    global peace. Among these, the group known as "the Killer7" 
    were supremely skilled. 
    Presumably, since the early 1980's, Coburn Elementary had been 
    taken over by the U. N. Party of Japan. There, they raised 
    children in the cultural image of the Yakumo. They taught that 
    the President of the United States was always decided upon by 
    "the Chairman of the Education Ministry." (This may be taken 
    as a misnomer for "the Secretary of Education," since the 
    American form of democratic government does not describe 
    itself in terms of "ministries.") In other words, they taught 
    that democracy did not exist--and they replaced the 
    ideological education of children under democracy with the 
    education of children under the Yakumo. 
    According to Hulbert's tapes, the children who graduated from 
    Coburn were prepared for post-graduation careers in government 
    service. In exchange for their service, Hulbert explains, they 
    were "promised their life." Those who did not comply with the 
    expectations of the United Nations Party and the Yakumo were 
    killed, although it is also highly probably that they were 
    deported and sold as orphans on the black market--or, they 
    were killed and their organs were sold on the black market. 
    Other students were recruited to serve as assassins, in the 
    interest of defending and supporting the Yakumo. 
    In 2010, a terrorist group called "the Heaven Smiles" began 
    attacking the United States. Their organization was unknown, 
    as was their leader. They were most troublesome, as 
    terrorists, because of their relative invisibility. Only one 
    counter-terrorist group (the Killer7) could see and kill 
    Heaven Smiles. In all, there seemed to be three "types" of 
    Heaven Smiles: first, people who looked human and wore strange 
    smiles; second, Heaven Smiles borne from eggs out of egg-
    machines; third, Heaven Smiles cobbled together out of organs 
    harvested by black market organ sellers, like Pedro and Curtis 
    Apart from the Heaven Smiles, tension existed between the East 
    and West--specifically, Japan and America--during the 1980's, 
    1990's, and first decade of the 21st century. Japan had become 
    a husk of a country, politically; it had so little political 
    clout, its most powerful political party (the U. N. Party) 
    cannot even appeal to the United States to save it from 
    imminent destruction. Missiles were fired from an unknown 
    Asian source at Japan, and, after much suspense, the United 
    States launched missiles westward across its Californian 
    border to stop the missiles of unknown origin. 
    Why did the United States launch its missiles to defend Japan, 
    when it seemed the entire U. N. Party was finished? Because of 
    Coburn graduates, subordinate to Matsuken, who held positions 
    in American government.
    Over the course of the next year, the Heaven Smile problem 
    became more unmanageable. Military research on captured Heaven 
    Smiles had enabled the United States military to extract a 
    viral serum that, when injected into a host, would turn the 
    individual into a Heaven Smile. Seeking to test their 
    concoction on a man with high viral resistance, the U. S. 
    military assaulted cult leader Andrei Ulmeyda and infected him 
    with their homebrew strain. The virus overpowered Ulmeyda, and 
    the resulting transformation destroyed all of the military 
    officers present. The Killer7 group killed the Heaven Smile 
    diseased Ulmeyda, who passed his spiritual legacy (and the 
    Yakumo) on to Clemence, his chosen heir. 
    Later that year, Curtis Blackburn--a former officer of the 
    self-defense department--raided the Immigration Headquarters. 
    His violence prompted the U. S. government to call (again) 
    upon the Killer7 group. The Killer7 group tracked Curtis to 
    ISZK LAND, an amusement park that served as a front for 
    Curtis' black market kidnapping ring. They confronted Curtis' 
    adopted protoge, Ayame Blackburn, and followed the escaping 
    bus (filled with kidnapped young girls) to Blackburn's 
    residence. After raiding Blackburn's home, killing Ayame, and 
    discovering Blackburn in a secret chamber beneath his estate's 
    swimming pool, Dan Smith of the Killer7 group slew Blackburn. 
    During the raid, it was discovered that Blackburn had traded 
    selling orphans on the black market for selling orphans' 
    organs on the black market. The organs were used for the 
    genetic cobbling of the experimental Heaven Smiles that the 
    Killer7 group had found during their otherworldly passage 
    through the Vinculum Gates. 
    With Blackburn killed, exportation of girls' organs slowed 
    significantly. Since Blackburn had killed his former cohort--
    Pedro--the two oldest and most professional salers of black 
    market organs were dead. The production of experimental Heaven 
    Smiles slowed. 
    By this point in the story (around mid-2011), the Heaven 
    Smiles had become regarded practically as their own species. 
    They were deemed racially acceptable to exterminate. The 
    United States military--deciding against their former policy 
    of harnessing the Smiles' strength--purportedly developed the 
    group "the Handsome Men" in conjunction with Trevor 
    Pearlharbor (a clairvoyant comic book artist) to combat the 
    Heaven Smiles. However, they abandoned their plan and turned 
    on Pearlharbor when his clairvoyance departed from their 
    interests, resulting in the assassination of a Democratic 
    Party senator by the Handsome Men. 
    The Handsome Men became regarded as terrorist threats 
    themselves, and the Killer7 group was dispatched to kill 
    Trevor Pearlharbor--who was believed to have been the guiding 
    force of the team of heroes-turned-terrorists. The Killer7 
    invaded Trevor Pearlharbor's home in the Dominican Lost City. 
    When they discovered Pearlharbor on his veranda, drawing, Dan 
    Smith confronted Handsome Black, who was summoned by Trevor to 
    stop Dan Smith. Handsome Black, however, turned on Trevor who 
    died confused as to why his clairvoyance had failed. Dan Smith 
    killed Handsome Black, and the remainder of the Handsome Men 
    vowed to avenge Handsome Black's death by a formal duel in 
    Times Square, New York. 
    The Handsome Men and Killer7 group battled one-on-one in Times 
    Square. When the final confrontation came between Handsome 
    Pink and Garcian Smith, Handsome Pink transformed into her 
    alter ego, known only as LOVE. LOVE revealed herself as the 
    force responsible for the Handsome Men, and gave the Handsome 
    Men up to their losses at the hands of the Killer7 group. 
    The Presidential elections passed (in 2011, for some reason), 
    and the Republican candidate was elected President.
    In winter of that year, the Killer7 was sent to contact and 
    capture Kenjiro Matsuoka--the recognized leader of Japan's U. 
    N. Party and the possessor of the Yakumo. Matsuoka received 
    information that he was targeted by the Killer7, and used his 
    informant's advice to locate Hiro Sakai. Having located Sakai, 
    Matsuoka tortured and killed him, making his death seem like a 
    After a long, self-revelatory journey between Washington State 
    and Pennsylvania, the Killer7 group became pared down to Emir 
    Parkreiner. Emir overtly joined hands with Kenjiro Matsuken to 
    work together and eradicate the Heaven Smiles. 
    Three years later, on Battleship Island, Matsuken had trapped 
    the final Heaven Smile. Emir arrived to dispose of the curse 
    for good.
    Here, the path splits, and the words of Linda Vermillion (the 
    assassin who killed Mills) come back to mind: "See the system 
    with your own eyes, and then decide." Emir chooses whether he 
    believes in Western democratic ideals (by killing Matsuken and 
    destroying the remains of the Yakumo)--or if he believes in 
    the Japanese "imperial rule" revised in the Yakumo (by letting 
    Matsuken live). 
    C: THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL (FOLKS)                            [#IIC]
    On 22 November 1942, Emir Parkreiner is born.
    Among other levels of significance, Emir Parkreined is symbolic of 
    Japan's national well-being. He is born at the time when the 
    Japanese imperialist Empire is at its strongest, historically. 
    In 1946, as alluded to by one of the Japanese diplomats during 
    the introductory sequence to SUNSET, the atomic bombs are 
    dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the period during which 
    Japan is an occupied nation begins.
    As a reflection of Japan, Emir naturally would be aligned with 
    Kun Lan--in Harman's hemisphere. With the ultimate 
    establishment of Modern Japan--out of the Western remodeling 
    of Occupied Japan--it may be inferred that Kun Lan's powers 
    weakened, correspondingly. This may account for Emir 
    Parkreiner's recorded death in 1952--it corresponds with the 
    "death" of isolationist Japan. However, as Japan was "reborn" 
    into Modern Japan, Emir also was reborn. 
    Hulbert's tapes indicate that Emir was "living with his 
    parents at the time of his death." Who else would be the 
    father of the Soul of Japan, but Kun Lan himself? This 
    implies, of course, that Emir has a mother. I assume that Emir 
    would have endured his "rebirth," while still in his mother's 
    It may seem improbable that Emir's physical life and death 
    would correspond with the life and death of a 
    political/cultural body, but I think that the symbolism is 
    intended, to evince the game's general statements about the 
    relationship between Japan and America. 
    Thus, Emir Parkreiner's second cycle of life begins around 
    1952. He would be ten years old at the outset of the Civil 
    Rights movement; he would be twenty when the Civil Rights 
    movement had reached full swing. The narrative supplied by Kun 
    Lan, during Garcian's first visit to the "Forbidden Room," 
    applies to Emir's second cycle of life. I will provide a 
    transcript of the dialogue, to keep the reference present 
    alongside my argument. 
    Kun Lan: "There once was a young man who had a promising 
    future. The centerback position was his to keep, and no one 
    could take that away from him. Any play was a fair play; no 
    one blew the whistle on him. Everybody loved him. Not to 
    mention his campus sweetheart. Oh, she was something! They 
    were the perfect couple. He graduated from Columbia with an 
    MBA. His opportunity was infinite. He could do whatever he 
    wanted with his life . . . but was he satisfied? No! Every 
    night he would cry, begging the Lord; something deep within 
    needed awakening. Then one day it happened....that moment, 
    when the subconscious rises to the surface. Well, the way it 
    triggered was very simple: it happened when his mother came on 
    to him one night. As if the spirit of Jack the Ripper had 
    taken over his body, he stabbed and stabbed until you couldn't 
    tell who she was. You know what I think? An angel whispered 
    into his ear. The angel gave him the exta courage he needed, 
    to give her the divine retribution she deserved." 
    H. H.: "Sure she wasn't . . . a Hell's angel?"
    Kun Lan: "I'm pretty sure she only had good intentions."
    H. H.: ". . . you really are a villain."
    Kun Lan: "I had nothing to do with it . . . but I must admit, 
    my memory has become a bit misty these days." 
    During Emir Parkreiner's second cycle of life, he was a star 
    football player, had a great girlfriend in college, and--in 
    general--turned out to be the All-American Ideal.
    Yet, despite his attainment of the All-American Ideal, 
    "something deep within needed awakening." That "something," I 
    think, was the buried memory of his earlier incarnation--as a 
    child of Kun Lan. Here we have one of the layers of irony: the 
    soul of Japan, reincarnated into the body of the All-American 
    Ideal, wrestling with a painful emergence of identity. Kun 
    Lan's coyness strongly suggests that he is accountable not 
    only for Emir's awakening--but what awakening within him. 
    Such an awakening could not have occurred, though. Thirty 
    years after Emir's reincarnation--in 1983--a new diplomatic 
    relationship between Japan and America was established, 
    through Ronald Reagan's formal address to the Japanese 
    legislature. This indicated a crucial change for Japanese and 
    American culture. In the same manner that Emir's soul 
    reincarnated when Modern Japan was formed, his Japan-Soul-
    Inside-The-All-American-Ideal ruptured and caused another 
    reincarnation. The crucible for this rebirth, though, was much 
    As a young man, during his second cycle of life, he held 
    within himself both the Soul-of-Japan and the All-American-
    Ideal--both of which resided in his genetic memory. (Remember, 
    Emir has special DNA; I expect that his "immortal" qualities 
    allow him to retain the memory of previous incarnations.) 
    During his second cycle of life, his mother tried to sexually 
    molest him. Something in the act of molestation brought forth 
    the tensions that had been boiling within him, spiritually, 
    since his birth in 1942. Perhaps, it can be chalked up to the 
    fact that the taboo against mother-son incest is one of the 
    few cultural similarities between the East and the West--
    allowing him to judge him using the full force of both Eastern 
    and Western parts of his soul. When he slew his mother, he 
    reincarnated again--awakened, now, but uncontrollable. 
    H. H. and Kun Lan, likely, were aware of his trifold 
    existences. By positing Emir Parkreiner's unaccounted history 
    above, we can account for his age at the time of the murders 
    of the Harman Assassins, the time of his recorded birth and 
    death, as well as the events of the narrative supplied by Kun 
    Lan in the forbidden room that--owing to cinematic techniques 
    that deflect the stress of the story onto Garcian--most 
    probably describe Emir's past. 
    H. H. appears not to have known about Emir's dark awakening, 
    at Kun Lan's behest. (Note that H. H.'s line, "You really are 
    a villain," refers both to the atrocity of awakening Emir's 
    darkness--and prompting the slaying of his ex-wife.) Since Kun 
    Lan awakened Emir--and since the "government" of United 
    Nations Party members within the U. S. government are 
    reflections of Kun Lan's activity--they naturally would have 
    been led to find Emir and place him in Coburn. 
    At this point, Emir is a loose cannon. He is uncontrollable 
    because he lacks the ability to identify himself as either 
    Japan or America. In the terminology of games, he is the Joker 
    card: neither one thing nor the other, but with the potential 
    to be both at any given moment. 
    Now--we need to cut away from Emir Parkreiner, and look at 
    Harman Smith.
    Harman Smith is the man who was once the Principal of Coburn. 
    At the time of Hulbert's cassette tapes' recording, Hulbert 
    says (of Harman): "He's the key person linked to some 
    underground organization." Note the tense that Hulbert uses: 
    "He is--". This implies that Hulbert has no reason to believe 
    that Harman is dead, at the time of the recording. 
    Let's do a little bit of symbol-digging, to try and figure out 
    when Harman was killed along with the Harman Assassins.
    The full moon is a symbol of transformation. It throbs full 
    screen while each mission loads. As well, when Garcian sees 
    Emir standing, dazed, atop the Union Hotel, the full moon is 
    in the background. I take the persistence of the full moon as 
    a symbol that the Harman Assassins--and Harman himself--were 
    killed during a full moon. If, as I think, Emir has killed 
    Harman and crew just before killing Hulbert, then Harman and 
    the Assassins were killed a full three days befor the 
    recording of Hulbert's cassette tapes.
    If you look at a lunar calendar, for the month of November in 
    the year 1996, you'll see that the date described as the time 
    of Hulbert's first recording falls three days after the full 
    moon. Hulbert says that he begins recording on "the fourth 
    Thursday in November." This also places Emir's assassination 
    of Harman and his Assassins very close to the Presidential 
    election, which Hulbert describes as being a few days from the 
    time of his first recording. 
    So--why would Emir choose to kill Harman Smith, his mentor, 
    during the full moon--along with the other Harman Assassins?
    Simply put, Harman Smith is a type of anti-Christ figure. He 
    looks like H. H. and talks like H. H. Yet, he is in league 
    directly with Kun Lan. I think that, because of his alliance 
    with Kun Lan, he is given Kun Lan's power of light and 
    Travis describes himself as "the chief's first kill." He also 
    dates his death at "thirty years ago," seemingly parallel to 
    the promise of diplomatic responsibility offered by Reagan in 
    his address to the Japanese Diet. He describes himself as "the 
    killer who got killed on the job." 
    I think that Travis was the first assassin sent to kill 
    Harman, and that Harman had never actually killed before 
    Travis. If the diplomatic unity between Japan and America are 
    regarded as H. H.'s victory over Kun Lan, then it seems 
    natural that H. H. would want to neutralize the most violent 
    threat to the stability: Harman Smith, then Principal of 
    I think that Travis is the reason why Harman gathered the 
    Harman Assassins together. Not only did Harman Smith perceive 
    that his own life was in danger, but he perceived that the 
    interests of his boss--Kun Lan--were in danger. So, the Harman 
    Assassins were gathered together from a diverse range of 
    killers across the North American continent. 
    We're at the point in the long-term timeline, now, when Emir 
    kills everyone: 25 November 1996, the full moon of November.
    The next question is: how does Emir know where everyone is 
    staying? I suspect that Yoon Hyun tipped off Emir, while Yoon 
    Hyun was still alive.
    As we know from the locations of the Soul Shells in the first 
    part of SMILE, and the locations of the Harman Assassins' 
    deaths in the second part of SMILE, the Soul Shells correspond 
    with each of the Assassins' deaths. Yet, a seventh shell is 
    found--outside the same Suite where Garcian finds Harman 
    Smith, with Johnny Gagnon. 
    I think that this means that Emir killed Harman in the lobby 
    area of the Suite. He took the body back to Coburn--all the 
    way back to Washington State. This would put Emir's return to 
    Coburn at almost the same time that Hulbert infiltrates the 
    building, looking for answers for the investigative committee. 
    Hulbert describes Emir as "an ace brought out by the Yakumo." 
    That means that, somewhere in all of this, Kun Lan's plans are 
    on track. This, I think, accounts for Kun Lan's presence, 
    denoted by the strange laughter that Hulbert reports having 
    heard. While Hulbert is snooping around for clues to aid his 
    investigation, Emir has taken Harman Smith's body to the 
    Principal's Office--and stuffed it in the safe. 
    We see a red scar appear across Garcian's forehead, when he 
    opens the safe that Harman's body was stuffed into. SUDA 51 
    has commented on this moment, in an interview: "His awakening 
    as a bloodthirsty ghoul is represented by having a 3rd eye. In 
    the High School, Garcian's eye bleeding is shown as a way of 
    indicating that he was in conflict with his past memories and 
    that his eye was beginning to open." I take this to imply that 
    Emir's third eye literally began to appear when he stuffed 
    Harman Smith's body into the safe. (This might also suggest 
    why we never see Harman--in any of his forms--standing up, 
    except for his playble form as Young Harman. Emir must have 
    broken his back at least once stuffing him in there.) 
    The awakening of Emir's Third Eye, I think, accounts for the 
    "surreal" phenomena that Hulbert experiences in the school. He 
    has inherited Harman Smith's vision ring--as well as the Third 
    Eye. The spirits of the remnant psyches have gathered around 
    Emir, and they are becoming bound to him. "Inside the walls of 
    this school, the voices continue to echo," describe's 
    Hulbert's presence during the formation of Garcian--the 
    Killer7--and Kun Lan's binding into Iwazaru. 
    So, what is the significance of Emir's name changing to 
    "Garcian?" "Garcian" may have significance as a play off the 
    French word "Garcon," or "servant." The change in his names 
    likewise reflects his change from Kun Lan's home-bred messiah-
    -and into H. H.'s personal task force, unified under the 
    powers previously held by Harman Smith. 
    Again, the ironies stand out: Harman Smith, a messianic image 
    of H. H., is aligned with Kun Lan--and Emir Parkreiner, a 
    messianic image begotten by Kun Lan, is reigned by H. H.
    D: THE SPIRITUAL LEVEL (GHOSTS)                            [#IID]
    The ghosts are the souls of the dead and the living, as they 
    interact with supersensual beings (such as Emir Parkreiner and 
    Harman Smith).
    There are two types of ghosts in Killer7: Personae and Remnant 
    Personae are ghosts who have been killed, and who have been 
    bound in such a way that they are wholly controlled by H. H. 
    and Garcian. Master Harman--who is in the wheelchair in 
    Garcian's trailer--is the "Harman" on the spiritual level. 
    Why, then, does he need a caretaker (Samantha)? Why is he 
    physical and able to interact with living people?
    The important thing to note about the Personae is that they 
    are ghosts who can be given PHYSICAL EXPRESSION. The themes of 
    death and rebirth run all through Killer7; when one persona is 
    dispersed, it "dies," and the physical manifestation of 
    another persona forms out of the dispersed physical material 
    that comprised the FIRST persona's body. 
    This is why Trevor Pearlharbor and Curtis Blackburn can see 
    Killer7 as Dan Smith. This is why Jean DePaul can see Killer7 
    as MASK De Smith.
    The Remnant Psyches are the ghosts who have been killed by 
    either Harman Smith or the Killer7, and who have been bound to 
    the psychic matrix formed around the former Emir Parkreiner at 
    Coburn, in 1996. Some of the Remnant Psyches stick around of 
    their own accord; some of them stick around because they are 
    forced into service, such as Iwazaru. 
    The gameplay sequences all take place on the spiritual level 
    of the narrative. Even the Heaven Smiles exist on the 
    spiritual level, although some of them may bear human 
    appearance on the individual level. When you are playing 
    through the game, with the exception of scripted events, you 
    are Smith--the general combination of the Personae. 
    While playing through Killer7, I was perplexed at who the 
    Remnant Psyches addressed when I spoke to them. I could deduce 
    a few things: at the end of ANGEL, Travis addresses the player 
    as "Emir," and the player is forced to speak to him as 
    Garcian. Therefore, Travis recognizes Garcian as distinct from 
    the other Personae. Susie addresses whomever approaches her as 
    "Smith," suggesting her awareness of the multiplicity of the 
    player's identity--and, also, her uncertainty as to who is the 
    "true" character. Therefore, she addresses the player by the 
    name common to all the Personae: Smith. 
    Iwazaru addresses the player as Master, and he seems be 
    uninterested to differentiate between the Personae, when he 
    addresses Master. He speaks to the core energy of the 
    Personae. When he explains his grudge against the current fad 
    of abbreviations (at the beginning of SUNSET PART TWO), he 
    says that he would abbreviate the Master with "M. The Big M." 
    None of the Personae have a name that begins with M--except 
    MASK, who is clearly a secondary figure to Iwazaru since he is 
    referred to with distrust in ANGEL. 
    Travis seems to have the best grasp on who he's talking to, 
    spiritually. He generally refers to the player as "chief," who 
    is distinct from Garcian as the leader. His former master was 
    Harman Smith, who Travis recognizes as being nullified as an 
    active force--which implies that Travis, at least, regards 
    Master Harman as the real listener. 
    Master Harman, then, is a Persona, given physical expression, 
    in need of at least superficial care. With the exception of 
    Samantha, no one knows that Master Harman exists in Garcian's 
    trailer. When Garcian explains Master Harman's disappearance 
    to Mills, Mills awkwardly tries to find a way to explain that 
    Harman has been dead (to him) for years. 
    In discerning Master Harman's nature--as distinct from the 
    mortal nature of Harman Smith and the immortal nature of H. 
    H.--I think the best place to look is the television. In one 
    of his letters, Johnny Gagnon writes: "The members switch 
    using the medium of television. But I have yet to determine 
    what governs the switches." Notice the differences between the 
    television, when accessed from Harman's Room in the field--and 
    Harman's Room in the trailer. When in the trailer, Garcian can 
    only access Master Harman; the other Personae--even his own--
    are not selectable. When in the field, the other Personae are 
    present and selectable--yet, Master Harman is not in the room. 
    Master Harman governs the switches. When Garcian is in the 
    field, I think that Master Harman actually manifests himself 
    AS HARMAN'S ROOM. When we are inside Harman's Room, in the 
    field, we are inside Harman himself. From within Master 
    Harman, we can access the other Personae and wake them up; we 
    can give the surgeon (also Master Harman) blood from our kills 
    and strengthen him; we can save our progress, when Samantha is 
    in a mood to serve. Samantha's felicity in saving the game is 
    a reflection of Master Harman's experience with her, as a 
    caretaker: she only does her job one eighth of the time, and 
    the rest of the time she's slacking off or behaving abusively. 
    Why is Master Harman catatonic most of the time, then?
    Master Harman's catatonia is a safeguard of H. H., to prevent 
    Harman Smith's spirit from becoming uncontrollable. When he 
    was given a physical body and free will, Harman Smith allied 
    himself with Kun Lan. He became a traitor. When H. H. had Emir 
    kill Harman Smith, he incorporated Harman Smith's ghost into 
    the whole psychic matrix--but, he did so in such a way that 
    would leave Harman Smith unable to betray H. H. again. 
    Master Harman is what happened to Harman Smith, when his ghost 
    was incorporated into the psychic matrix as a Persona. Since 
    most of the vital energy of the whole psychic matrix exists 
    within Garcian, Harman Smith's Persona can only become 
    activated if Garcian chooses to engage him. Here, then, is the 
    safeguard: Master Harman can only become active when Garcian 
    wishes to activate him--and, he can only speak and act 
    according to the ways in which Garcian desires him to speak 
    and act. Garcian desires a Shogun-like master: therefore, 
    Master Harman speaks to Garcian in the tone of a warlord 
    sending a loyal soldier on a mission. Master Harman only 
    carries authority because Garcian wants him to have authority. 
    Garcian serves as both the lock and the key for Harman Smith's 
    psyche. When Master Harman disappears--as Garcian explains to 
    Mills--something happens that H. H. didn't expect. As the 
    chess game parallels the dramatic events on the spiritual 
    level of the narrative, let's look at what happens in that 
    game, when Master Harman disappears: 
    Kun Lan: "Check." *moves*
    H. H.: "What a coincidence. Check." *moves*
    Kun Lan: "This time, the game is mine." *moves*
    Kun Lan appears to have made a surprise move that nullified 
    the defense that H. H. established, in the chess game. This 
    "surprise move" is reflected on the spiritual level of 
    narrative, in the awakening of Harman Smith's Persona. 
    How did Harman Smith's Persona awaken? Johnny Gagnon.
    While we don't know how, Gagnon is implied to have clairvoyant 
    powers. He can perceive and communicate how Garcian and the 
    Killer7 use the medium of television to communicate. However, 
    he cannot perceive the Remnant Psyches, which is implied by 
    his observations of KAEDE: 
    "Kaede Smith spurts blood from her arms. What a sick sight! 
    And then what did she do? She flattened a wall, right before 
    my eyes. She must have taken out some kind of barrier. That's 
    what Kaede's blood can do! Sometimes her arm sucks blood. 
    That's some stuff I didn't need to see, either!" 
    He attributes KAEDE's barrier-breaking abilities to her blood 
    alone, and he does not mention Iwazaru's wife. His accounts of 
    the deaths of the Remnant Psyches are historical observations, 
    rather than explanations of the ghosts who he sees around the 
    Killer7. He also believes that the Harman Assassins are a 
    different group from the Smith Syndicate. 
    In his final letter, he writes: "I asked Master Harman. Asked 
    him to kill you."
    Given Johnny Gagnon's extraordinary resourcefulness in digging 
    up information, it is likely that he found Master Harman in 
    Garcian's trailer and "used all of [his] resources" to wake up 
    Harman Smith.
    Johnny Gagnon is Kun Lan's secret piece, used at the right 
    time to make a devastating move against H. H. Emir Parkreiner 
    has been asleep for years; H. H. would have no interest in 
    dispersing the veritable powerhouse he has in the Killer7. 
    Only Kun Lan has the motivation or power to have instigated 
    Gagnon's investigation, by prompting Gagnon to gradually 
    awaken Emir from his identity as Garcian. In the process of 
    awakening Emir, Gagnon also awakened Harman Smith. 
    The experience of rebirth, in most instances, involves a death 
    to past life and a clean slate. When Emir Parkreiner became 
    incorporated in the psychic matrix that deconstructed and 
    reformed his soul, he was "reborn," albeit not as an infant. 
    He was "reborn" as a monster, a shape-shifter. However, in 
    most religious beliefs of reincarnation, a reincarnated 
    person's former identities are accessible still, as memories. 
    Certain chance encounters with objects and experiences, in a 
    current life, that associate with an earlier life may bring 
    about a recognition of memory that was buried at the time of 
    Gagnon's purpose is to give information to Garcian--and to 
    Master Harman, who experiences everything that Garcian does in 
    the field--that other people will not provide. It is implied 
    that the people around Garcian deliberately shield him from 
    his own history, since Mills apparently knew about Garcian's 
    belief in Harman's existence WHILE KNOWING that Harman was 
    dead, physically. Gagnon was used as an informant who did not 
    know the consequences of giving information. As Master Harman 
    gained more information through Gagnon's letters, he began to 
    awaken from his sedation--and more fully became Harman Smith. 
    When Garcian meets Harman Smith for the first time, in SMILE 
    PART ONE, Harman Smith directs Garcian to Coburn Elementary so 
    that Garcian can retrace, finally, the buried history that led 
    to his present identity. However, Harman Smith is not fully as 
    strong as he might become. He reappears, briefly, in Harman's 
    Room in Garcian's trailer as a subdued Persona, between SMILE 
    PART ONE and SMILE PART TWO. As well, he seems to remain 
    attached to Garcian's physical presence, given his immobility. 
    (Notice that, even after he's awakened to his identity as 
    Harman Smith, he is still never seen standing.) 
    Only after Garcian finally learns his original name--Emir 
    Parkreiner--can Harman Smith separate himself from Garcian's 
    control. As Garcian moves through the Union Hotel, during 
    SMILE PART TWO, he revisits each of the Personae's death. 
    Without the Vision Ring, Garcian cannot retain the Personae 
    any longer; when he remembers how he killed each of the 
    Personae, he is forced to confront the fact that he--Emir--is 
    psychologically distinct from the given Persona. In other 
    words, when he revisits his murder of Kevin Smith, in the 
    lobby, he must recognize psychologically: "I am myself, and 
    you are not me. Because we are not the same person, I can kill 
    you." As he realizes that he is NOT the Killer7--but only Emir 
    Parkreiner--each of the Personae enter into the Forbidden Room 
    and excuse themselves from H. H.'s service. 
    During the second Forbidden Room scene, Kun Lan snidely 
    remarks that "[they've] been interrupted again." H. H. then 
    asks, "Has another come to surface?"
    Kun Lan's dialogue implies that they have been visited 
    recently by successive people. H. H.'s dialogue implies that 
    these visitations are the "surfacing" of people. I propose 
    that, here, Kun Lan and H. H. allude to their experience of 
    Garcian's awakening into his identity as Emir. As Garcian 
    revisits each murder, the spirit of the victim "surfaces" like 
    a bubble--that is, he or she rises to the top of the hotel, 
    through the elevator, and enters the Forbidden Room. These 
    events occur parallel to Garcian's loss of each Persona, 
    because he can no longer identify himself AS them. 
    When Garcian enters into the Forbidden Room, the second time, 
    Harman Smith (having traveled with him) kills the impressions 
    of both Kun Lan and H. H. Afterward, Garcian goes to the roof 
    and frees himself from Harman Smith's power, by killing the 
    Third Eye on his teenage self. He opens the case, sees the 
    Killer7's weapons, and collapses: bewildered and truly alone. 
    Here, the credits roll: Emir Parkreiner has become whole 
    again. The consequences are two-fold. First, he is aware of 
    himself, completely. Second, he is alone for the first time, 
    spiritually, since his birth in 1942.
    Afterward, Emir Parkreiner assumes his identity without the 
    Killer7, as the true son of Kun Lan. While he is alone, 
    spiritually, he is not yet free of the spirits that associated 
    with him. Since H. H.'s psychic matrix has been dissipated, 
    the Remnant Psyche of Kun Lan--Iwazaru--is now free. The sole 
    influence left within Emir is the diminuitive Kun Lan. Because 
    of this, he cooperates with Matsuoka. Without Kun Lan around 
    to control the Heaven Smiles, the Heaven Smiles no longer act 
    in the interest of terrorizing America alone. 
    As the leader of the Japanese people, Matsuoka desires to 
    protect Japan from the Heaven Smiles, who are now without 
    their Shogun, Kun Lan. Three years pass: Emir and Matsuken 
    work together to eradicate the Heaven Smiles. Emir seems to 
    have retained his reputation as a shape-shifter, since 
    Matsuoka says to Emir: "You boys are almost done. You don't 
    need to go around killing everybody anymore." Without the 
    balance of H. H.'s presence within his soul, Emir becomes 
    violent under the impulses of the diminuitive Kun Lan. 
    Yet, Emir also possesses some free will. Because he possesses 
    free will, he can decide whether or not to kill Matsuoka. If 
    Kun Lan were fully in charge of Emir, he would not have 
    allowed Matsuoka--and the Yakumo--to die. 
    What happens to Emir, after the credits roll?
    There's absolutely nothing in the game that so much as hints 
    at what happens to Emir after the end. However, I will hazard 
    a guess, based on the rules that seem to govern the spiritual 
    universe of Killer7.
    When Emir kills Kun Lan's spiritual remainder, he becomes 
    mortal. His immortal qualities have depended upon his identity 
    as his father's son--as the son of an immortal, cosmic being. 
    When he kills the last Heaven Smile, he destroys the last 
    shred of immortality within himself and becomes only human. 
    This fate, I think, explains why Matsuoka says: "No more 
    terrorism, hail to the free world. But I wonder, what'll 
    become of you guys if terrorism is the law of nature? You 
    know, you should kill me now, because you don't want us 
    hanging around. Know what I mean? If I'm alive, I'll give you 
    a run for your money--even an assassin like yourself. Better 
    be prepared, because blood must atone for blood." 
    As an "adopted son" of Kun Lan, Matsuoka has insight into 
    Emir's existence that most people do not. If the last Heaven 
    Smile is also the last bit of immortality left in Emir, then 
    Matsuoka knows that Emir will be mortal and MUCH less powerful 
    after killing the remainder of Kun Lan. "If terrorism is the 
    law of nature," then Emir will have a lot of people after him-
    -and he won't have the resources left to defend himself. 
    Emir will not be reborn. His death is the end of his cycles of 
    life, and the end of the drama until Shanghai, 100 years 
    While the game is rife with symbolism, two issues seem most 
    frequently called to the audience's attention: first, the dis-
    tinction between forces of good and evil; second, the use of
    chess as a metaphor for the events of the game.  I would like
    to use this section to address these issues exclusively.
    Other symbols are present in the game, even if they are not 
    mentioned in this section.  In other sections of this document, 
    I have addressed less significant symbols as they have seemed
    relevant to the story.
        AND KUN LAN                                           [#IIIA]
    I think that the yin/yang VS God/Satan issue can be resolved 
    by looking at the theme of hybridization that permeates the 
    game. The color schemes in the game suggest that a yin/yang 
    interpretation is valid: H. H. wears all black, and Kun Lan 
    wears all white. Yet, there's even a reversal here, because H. 
    H. controls white chess pieces, while Kun Lan controls black 
    chess pieces. The yin/yang distinction is a decidedly Eastern 
    dichotemy; a more Western dichotemy is the God/Satan 
    distinction, which alludes more to the Western spiritual 
    tradition of Zoroastrianism. 
    There are ironies laid out all over the place. Harman is the 
    Yin: passive, white-dressed-in-black. Kun Lan is the Yang: 
    active, associated with light. Yet, Harman's "Queen" piece is 
    Garcian: black-dressed-in-white. In the Eastern sense, Harman 
    and Kun Lan are complementary opposites; yet, along the more 
    Western lines of Zoroastrian spirituality, they use the 
    elements of the world to dramatize their struggles with each 
    I don't think that they are impossible to discern, though, 
    simply because they are ironies. Part of thesignificance of 
    Kun Lan's irony, for example, is that he is the active 
    principle of the East (Yang)--associated with light and 
    heaven--and, yet, in the symbolism of the West, he is 
    associated with Lucifer, the light-bearer who masquerades as 
    an angel. 
    (B) CHESS                                                 [#IIIB]
    Think about Emir's "rebirth," at the time of Reagan's address 
    to the Japanese Diet, in 1983. Now, think about his movement 
    to the age of thirteen, when he kills the Harman Assassins and 
    gains the power that we control, as players, during the game. 
    This suggests to me the act of promotion, in a game of chess. 
    When a pawn reaches the other end of the chess board--and has 
    completely infiltrated the other player's territory--it 
    becomes promoted to whatever piece the player would like, 
    usually a queen. 
    Consider, then, that young Emir Parkreiner was Harman's pawn--
    reborn as a queen, with all of the abilities of movement of 
    the other pieces (except, of course, for the knight).
    Consider, also, that in addition to the pawns, there are seven 
    chess pieces besides the Queen in an opening chess set-up. 
    Harman would be the king: essentially immobile, and, yet, the 
    most precious and valuable.
    Con and Coyote would be the knights: able to move in ways that 
    the other pieces cannot.
    KAEDE and Kevin would be bishops: able to move in diagonals, 
    as a way of getting around obstacles that would take more 
    effort to confront head-on, such as KAEDE's barrier breaking 
    skills and long shot, and Kevin's invisibility. 
    MASK and Dan would be rooks: no-bones-about-it, head on power.
    If the player talks to Iwazaru outside of the Ladies' 
    Restroom, during SMILE-PART 2, Iwazaru comments on "those 
    two," though the people referred to are not specified: "But, 
    who are those two? Acting like kings . . . ." While it is 
    uncertain whether Iwazaru comments upon Harman Smith and 
    Johnny Gagnon, sitting in the 7th floor Suite, or Kun Lan and 
    H. H., sitting in the rooftop Suite, his language suggests a 
    connection between Kun Lan and H. H., if we take the chess 
    As the Kings of the metaphorical chess game, Kun Lan and H. H. 
    are "immune" from the effects of the activity occuring on the 
    playing board. The noteworthy laziness--even malaise--that Kun 
    Lan and H. H. exhibit when Harman Smith enters the room 
    suggests that the game has become unwinnable by either Kun Lan 
    OR H. H. In other words, the game is a stalemate. 
    Harman Smith decides who "wins" the chess game by totally 
    annihilating both kings. He tries to destroy the whole game. 
    This is contrasted with Emir's decision, near the end of the 
    LION mission, when Emir is forced to choose between the United 
    States or Japan. Cosmically, the stalemate was resolved when 
    Harman Smith annihilated Kun Lan and H. H. Politically, the 
    stalemate was resolved when Emir Parkreiner chose to save the 
    United States or Japan. 
    As I stated in the preceding section of this document with
    respect to symbolism, this section intends to call the reader's
    attention to specific historical occasions that seem relevant
    to this document's interpretation of the events of Killer7.
    However, not all of the relevant historical allusions are covered
    in this section.  Other relevant historical allusions are
    explained in the sections where they are most relevant.
    I'd like to explain what I think was meant by "the promise 
    made 30 years ago." Since Garcian delivers the quoted words in 
    2010, he indicates that the promise was made in 1980. I have 
    researched lightly Japanese-American diplomatic relationships 
    during 1980, and I discovered nothing significant. However, a 
    significant occasion occurs in 1983, when President Reagan 
    addressed the Japanese legislative assembly (the Diet). The 
    contents of his address seem to relate most closely with the 
    events of Killer7, and I think that it may be the "promise" 
    alluded to in the game. 
    I will highlight some of Reagan's remarks, and comment on 
    their relevance to the game. You can read the entire text of 
    the speech here: 
    The outward, visible alternative political history of Killer7 
    starts in 1998, I think. Almost everything before 1998, in 
    real political history, can be considered relevant to the 
    Reagan's address to the legislature--the Diet--was the first 
    formal address given by an American, to a Japanese political 
    group, in a very long time. It marked a new understanding of 
    Japanese-American relationships. The diplomatic interests are 
    clear in Reagan's speech: "The bonds of friendship which unite 
    us are even greater than the ocean which divides us." And, 
    later: "Japan will not have to bear the burden of defending 
    freedom alone. America is your partner. We will bear that 
    burden together." 
    As well, the speech emphasizes the parallel development of 
    Japan and the United States: "In 6 years you will celebrate 
    your 100th anniversary of representative government in Japan, 
    just as we will celebrate the birth of our own Congress. I 
    bring you the best wishes and heartfelt greetings from your 
    American counterparts, the Congress of the United States." 
    Taken in the context of the fictional history of Killer7, some 
    of Reagan's remarks foreshadow the dissolution of airlines and 
    commerce, in the interest of retarding terrorism: "Our two 
    great nations, working with others, must preserve the values 
    and freedoms out societies have struggled so hard to achieve. 
    Nor should our partnership for peace, prosperity, and freedom 
    be considered a quest for competing goals. We cannot prosper 
    unless we are secure, and we cannot be secure unless we are 
    free." It is worth noting that the siezure of airlines, as a 
    way of retarding terrorism, was given historical precedent 
    well before September 11, 2001; a while before Reagan's speech 
    to the Diet, over the Sea of Japan, 269 people were killed 
    when a Japanese civilian airplane was shot down. 
    Reagan remarks upon one of the hottest issues of the times, 
    which we see reach a half-conclusion in "the missile shows": 
    "Arms control must mean arms reductions. America is doing its 
    part. As I pledged to the United Nations less than 2 months 
    ago, the United States will accept any equitable, verifiable 
    agreement that stabilizes forces at lower levels than 
    currently exist. We want significant reductions, and we're 
    willing to compromise." 
    Even the Japanese "occupation" of the American government in 
    Killer7 is foreshadowed. Reagan comments upon the Japanese 
    economy's strengths, over the United States', and says: 
    "Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't further our friendship by 
    sending our Congress here and you coming over and occupying 
    our Capitol Building for a while." 
    I believe that the political circumstances in Killer7 are 
    science-fiction extrapolations of Japanese-American diplomatic 
    relations, as they are communicated in Reagan's speech. I 
    wrote that I thought that Hulbert's cassettes were recorded in 
    2000, but now I change my mind. I think that they are recorded 
    in 1996. I think it more probable that electoral suspicion 
    would arise in a president who was so interested in pursuing 
    the goals of global disarmament, that he would dissolve some 
    of the sovereignty that separates America from Japan. 
    (B) WORLD WAR II ALLUSIONS                                 [#IVB]
    Emir is noted as having died on 28 April 1952. This date 
    corresponds to the exact day before the end of Japan's post-
    World War II occupation, and the beginning of modern Japan. 
    The occupation of Japan involved Japanese disarmament, as well 
    as the establishment of a new Japanese political Constitution-
    -drafted and finalized in the image of the American 
    The comic book artist's name is Trevor Pearlharbor. The 
    allusion in his last name is screamingly obvious to anyone 
    raised in the American school system. It is significant that 
    Trevor Pearlharbor is the comic writer who designs and 
    narrates the adventures of the Handsome Men--and that the 
    Handsome Men (according to Mills) are a force designed by the 
    military to combat the Japan-affiliated Heaven Smiles. 
    The role of the Handsome Men, of course, is subverted. They 
    are used to assassinate American political figures--and, 
    ultimately, used to assassinate Trevor Pearlharbor himself. 
    While they appear to originate from the United States, they 
    turn out to be controlled by Kun Lan. Kun Lan's appearance at 
    the very end of the ALTER EGO chapter--as he puts down a video 
    game controller, after the faux-credits of a Capcom fighting 
    game scroll past--suggest that they were his characters to 
    control in his and H. H.'s "game." 
    Before I get to further discussion of the World War II 
    symbolism, I'd like to note one narrative parallel: as I have 
    stated in an earlier post, Garcian can switch between the six 
    main members of the Killer7, because he stays behind at the 
    television. A subtle layer of irony work, here: Garcian 
    controls the Killer7 from the television screen, just like we 
    (as players) control Garcian and the other six characters from 
    our television screen. When we see Kun Lan on the other side 
    of the monitor, putting down his controller, after watching 
    the faux-credits, we (as players) as being addressed somewhat 
    directly. We have played a scripted game of "Handsome Men 
    Online Battle" against Kun Lan, over a fictional online game. 
    In the opening of Sunset, Part 2, one of the old men says: 
    "For 65 year, we give everything we have to restoring this 
    country. Now, all our efforts will end up in smoke once again, 
    by the hand of the same country that put us here." If 65 is 
    subtracted from the date of this statement (2010), we find 
    that the year referred to is 1945--the year of Germany and 
    Japan's defeat by the Allied Powers. As well, this is the same 
    yeat that the United Nations charter was signed. It is also 
    (importantly) the year in which the Atomic Bomb was used 
    against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 
    (C) NOVEMBER 1942                                          [#IVC]
    Emir Parkreiner was born in 1942--the year that the Japanese 
    Empire was at its height. You may view a map of its land 
    possesssions here:
    The only remarkable information that I've been able to dig up 
    about Japanese war activity during November 1942 is (1) the 
    Battle of Tassafaronga, and (2) the naval battle of 
    Guadacanal. My natural knowledge of World War II is 
    unimpressive, therefore much of my information is the result 
    of immediate research. In general, 1942 was a very, very good 
    year for Japan. November, specifically, saw Japan endure (and, 
    in one instance, win) a couple of naval battles that--judging 
    from the numbers--they shouldn't have won. 
    Emir was born when Japan was at its height, as an Empire.
    Here, I will address specific questions that have recurred on 
    message boards and via eMail sent to me, from readers.
    A--[Q]: Who are Harman Smith, H. H., and Master Harman? Why 
            are you describing Harman as three people?          [#VA]
    [A]: "Harman Smith" is the man who used to be principal of the 
    school visited in the "Smile" chapter. He was the man who ran 
    the school that trained Japanese terrorists, and he was also 
    the man who was Emir Parkreiner's mentor. He was an agent of 
    Japan, and in league with Kun Lan; as an agent of Kun Lan, he 
    is granted power from the "Hand of God": he can resurrect 
    whomever he wants. 
    "Master Harman" is the man who Garcian addresses as "Master 
    Harman." He lives in the room in the trailer-house, and he is 
    taken care of by Samantha. He is the Remnant Psyche of Harman 
    Smith. Due to the circumstances that led Emir (as an agent of 
    God) to kill Harman Smith, he is subdued in a wheelchair. He 
    can only act and speak, when Emir turns to him on the 
    television--and, when he acts and speaks, he acts and speaks 
    as the voice of H. H., who I will now describe. 
    "H. H." is "Hasidic Harman." He is the man who wears 
    traditional Jewish men's clothing. He is an eternal figure, 
    and his power complements the power of Kun Lan. Kun Lan has 
    the "Hand of God," which enables him to bestow life on 
    whomever he pleases. H. H. (Hasidic Harman) has the power of 
    the "God-killer," meaning he can kill those creations of Kun 
    Lan that normal people are unable to destroy. You see H. H. at 
    the chessboard with Kun Lan, and you also see him at the ends 
    of Angel and Lion. Anytime you see one of the three Harmans 
    interacting with Kun Lan, it's H. H. 
    B--[Q]: You describe Kun Lan as a Devil-figure, yet he has the 
            "Hand of God;" also, you describe H. H. as a God-figure, 
            yet he is designated the "God-killer." Aren't these 
            contradictory?                                      [#VB]
    [A]: I think it is significant that Kun Lan has the "Hand of 
    God," whereas H. H. is the "God Killer." Each represents 
    different aspects of existence: life and death. If we assume 
    that President Harman was under the control/mentorship of Kun 
    Lan, then it seems more natural that President Harman would 
    have the power of Kun Lan: the power to give life. 
    Some see Kun Lan's ability to give life as proof that he is 
    the holy part of the pair; oppositely, I see him as the unholy 
    part. He may create life, but the ends to which he creates 
    life are twisted. H. H. may destroy life, but he destroys the 
    twisted life created by Kun Lan. 
    Also, I think it's worth noting that many of the people who 
    the Killer7 kill over the course of the game show up as 
    Remnant Psyches-and thank Killer7 for having killed them! A 
    person who kills psychopathically expresses hatred for life; 
    their true desire is to die themselves. As the death-half of 
    the divine presences in the game, H. H. uses the Killer7 to 
    murder those who want death. In a sense, he delivers both 
    mercy and retribution at the same time! 
    I think it is ironic that the characters who serve Kun Lan-the 
    life-giving divine figure-desire death more than anything.
    C--[Q]: What's the deal with the surveillance cameras?      [#VC]
    [A]: I think that their locations a due mostly to narrative 
    convenience. For instance, when Travis addresses Garcian as 
    "Emir," the cameras are set up deliberately to ensure that you 
    will play as Garcian during that sequence-and, again, set up 
    deliberately to ensure that you will face Kun Lan as H. H., 
    rather than Garcian. 
    I believe that the cameras are connected to the "medium of 
    television," as Johnny Gagnon puts it. I also think it's 
    connected to the overlapping layers of the narrative.
    Think about it this way: when you watch television, you 
    control what you watch, because you can change the channel. 
    When you operate a cam-corder, however, you experience an 
    added level of control: you control what you watch, and you 
    alter the content insofar as your power as director allows. 
    The television represents Garcian's free will, with respect to 
    his use of personas. When you play as any of the six main 
    characters of the Killer7, Garcian is not selectable from the 
    Smiths menu. This implies that all of the Smith characters are 
    present, on screen, yet Garcian is not. Likewise, when you 
    select Garcian, none of the other characters are available 
    under the Smith menu. When one of the personas is selected, 
    from within Harman's Room, I believe that Garcian stays in 
    Harman's Room; when you switch characters in the middle of 
    gameplay, Garcian has changed channels, within Harman's room. 
    This also explains why none of the other characters are 
    selectable, when you play as Garcian: none of them can change 
    the channels, and the channel-changer is out in the field. 
    The camera, though, represents H. H.'s control of Garcian. 
    Garcian cannot select when to use H. H. in the field; H. H. 
    apparently chooses this of his own accord, and he uses the 
    medium of the cam-corder to do so. Notice that the first time 
    Garcian changes under the view of the cam-corder, he turns 
    into Dan; Dan then looks up at the camera, with both surprise 
    and recognition. The transformation has been enforced upon 
    Garcian, according to H. H.'s will. 
    D--[Q]: What do the Handsome Men have to do with anything?  [#VD]
    [A]: The Handsome Men serve a number of purposes, to the plot. 
    One of those purposes, I think, is the continuation of the 
    theme of creations-turning-against-their-creators. Just as 
    Trevor Pearlharbor is killed by the Handsome Men, Kun Lan and 
    H. H. are killed by Young Harman--who is both of their 
    creation. (Similarly, as I believe that Emir is the son of Kun 
    Lan, he turns against his "creators," by killing his mother 
    and eventually killing his father.) 
    The "video game" layer of the ALTER EGO mission takes the game 
    to a more metaphorical level. We see Kun Lan putting down a 
    controller, after we watch the credits for what looks like an 
    online fighting game made by Capcom. This implies that we, as 
    players, have been playing an online video game against Kun 
    In terms of a formal analysis of Killer7--meaning, an analysis 
    of the form used to present the narrative--the "video game" 
    layer of ALTER EGO connects to the means of using a television 
    to switch between personalities. Recall that Garcian can 
    change Smiths, when he is not selectable from the pause menu--
    which implies that all of the Smiths are in the field, while 
    he has stayed behind in Harman's Room. He is controlling the 
    Smiths from afar, using a television screen--much as we, the 
    players, are controlling the Smiths in their virtual world, 
    using a television screen. One might even posit that Garcian 
    is controlling the Smiths in exactly the same way that we, as 
    players, are controlling the Smiths: in a virtual sense, as 
    though playing a game. 
    Throughout all of the "game-playing," controlling the Smiths 
    from afar, Garcian has been battling the Heaven Smiles--the 
    cultish army of Kun Lan. As we learn by the end of ALTER EGO, 
    the Handsome Men were controlled by Kun Lan. The image of Kun 
    Lan putting down a game controller puts everything I have just 
    discussed into the context of Kun Lan and H. H.'s "game." 
    This also relates to greater meaning of the game, beyond the 
    specific details of the plot: how Eastern and Western cultures 
    have intermingled and influenced each other. It is important 
    that 1983--the year that Reagan addressed the Diet--was also 
    around the time that Japanese pop culture began to influence 
    Western, American culture more apparently. I think 
    specifically of the greater appearance of anime, as well as 
    the domination of Japanese-made video games. At least three of 
    the bosses of Killer7 (the Angel in ANGEL; Ayame Blackburn in 
    ENCOUNTER; and the Handsome Men in ALTER EGO) are made in the 
    image of stock types out of Japanese anime and manga: the 
    seraphic figure head; the Sailor Moon-esque schoolgirl who 
    transforms into a fighter for justice; and the team of 
    futuristic, helmet-wearing martial artists. 
    <1980's-fanboy> I'm sure that some of the younger generation 
    reading this are jumping up and exclaiming, "But those weren't 
    Japanese characters who the Handsome Men were parodies of! 
    They were parodies of the Power Rangers, who were American pop 
    icons!" I'll let you know that the Power Rangers--much to the 
    disgust of many of my generation--were mere copies of VOLTRON, 
    who preceded the Power Rangers by at least ten years and were 
    infinitely better. </1980's-fanboy> 
    The mere fact that we, as gamers, garner so much of our 
    entertainment and our favorite myths from video games attests 
    to the cultural "invasion" of the East. I think that this is 
    one of the over-arching messages of Killer7.
    I should note, here, that VOLTRON was not the first embodiment 
    of normal-people-who-gain-awesome-powers-and-dress-up-to-
    fight-evil, in Japanese entertainment. The whole motif falls 
    under the general description of Sentai--or, if there are 
    gigantic robots involved, Super Sentai. A number of readers 
    have pointed this out, and the knowledge has led to an 
    extension of my thought regarding the significance of the 
    Handsome Men. 
    According to my resources, "sentai" loosely means "task 
    force." The term was originally employed by the Japanese Army 
    Air Force, in reference to their fighting squadrons.
    The Handsome Men kill Trevor Pearlharbor--just like the World 
    War II Sentai bombed Pearl Harbor. There seems to be an 
    implied connection between Japanese pop culture, and Japanese 
    military aggression.
    E--[Q]: So, Kun Lan was Iwazaru? Why is he in Garcian's 
            basement?                                           [#VE]
    [A]: I think that this goes back to my assertion that Kun Lan 
    was originally inside Principal Harmon--and, then, Emir "ate" 
    Principal Harmon's powers, granting him the Third Eye. Since 
    Garcian can resurrect his fallen members--a power inherited 
    from President Harman, who (in turn) had inherited it from Kun 
    Lan--it may be reasonable to assume that a remnant psyche of 
    Kun Lan exists somewhere within Garcian's psyche. Since H. H. 
    overwhelmed Kun Lan when Emir killed President Harman, Kun Lan 
    appears within Garcian's psyche as a defeated character: bound 
    in bondage gear and subservient. 
    I don't think that Kun Lan has remained active within 
    Garcian's psyche, opposing Harman in the form of Iwazaru; I 
    think that Izawaru is the remnant psyche of Kun Lan's earlier 
    habitation of Principal Harman. In the same way that Principal 
    Harman (as an aspect or avatar of H. H.) contradicted the 
    spiritual being in whose image he was made, Iwazaru 
    contradicts the fact that he has been made in Kun Lan's image. 
    I don't think that he was in Garcian's basement. First, I've 
    lived in trailers. They don't have basements--especially not 
    as spacious as the area that Garcian chased Iwazaru/Kun Lan 
    through. Second, Garcian's trailer seems connected with 
    Battleship Island, outside of the boundaries of space-time. 
    The Forbidden Room door leads to a suite on the top floor of 
    the Union Hotel, and the Basement door leads to a winding 
    network of passages in Battleship Island. These strange 
    alterations of space-time represent the cosmic nature of 
    Garcian's existence, as well as the psychological qualities of 
    each room's inhabitant. 
    At the end, we see H. H. asleep on the floor of Harman's Room. 
    While H. H. is asleep, Kun Lan (AKA, Iwazaru) is loose and 
    alive. Emir kills Iwazaru/Kun Lan and effectively frees 
    himself from the influence of his father. Kun Lan's presence 
    in Garcian's basement suggests strongly the subconscious 
    memory of Kun Lan, as a father figure. 
    F--[Q]: What's the deal with the Vinculum Gate and the Gateman 
            and the Coliseum?                                   [#VF]
    [A]: The Vinculum Gate is a sort of barrier set up by Kun Lan, 
    to prevent H. H.'s Killer7 from getting to their goal. Think 
    of it as a "castle" move, from chess. A Vinculum, literally, 
    is a mathematical mark used to connect two ideas together. 
    Since the Vinculum Gate transcends space-time, it takes the 
    Killer7 through the Coliseum--which, by the end of the game, 
    we know is the base of Japanese military strength, Battleship 
    Island. Also, importantly, Battleship Island is the 
    experimentation headquarters, for the creation of new types of 
    Heaven Smiles.
    Markus Pfeffer, a German reader of this document, has eMailed me
    with the observation that the German version of the game trans-
    lates "Vinculum Gate" as "knotentor."  In German, this means
    "knot door."  This description of the Vinculum Gate is excellent,
    since it conveys both the nature of the door as a "connector," as
    the motion of the on-screen character through it.  Notice that
    the character goes straight through the Gateman's Hallway, into
    the Coliseum, and then takes a curve.  Then, from within the
    area where the Killer7 fights the new Heaven Smile, the character
    runs straight--only to appear out of the SIDE DOOR of the Gateman's
    Room!  Then, the character enters the left hallway, from the
    Gateman's Room.
    The character's physical movement represents a knot tied in a
    piece of rope, ending with the parallel placement of two pieces
    of the rope.
    G--[Q]: What's all that terrible screaming in Garcian's 
            trailer?                                            [#VG]
    [A]: I think that it's the remnant psyche of Principal Harman, 
    AKA Harman Smith. He's bound and immobile--a juxtaposition to 
    Iwazaru, who is also bound and immobile. (Note that Iwazaru 
    can only move via his bungee cord, vertically, whereas Harman 
    can only move via his wheelchair, horizontally.) Since 
    Principal Harman is doped up, owing to his binding, he has all 
    the coherency and grace of an Alzheimer's patient on crystal 
    As well, we know from the end of LION that Iwazaru's "home" is in
    the Basement section of Garcian's Trailerhouse.  In the field of
    action, Kun Lan is bound as Iwazaru; however, at home, as we see
    in the final segment of LION, Iwazaru has his bond released.  His
    fetishist bulb is removed from his mouth.  It is also likely that
    the screaming is also the noise made by the captive image of Kun
    Lan, in the Basement of Garcian's Trailerhouse.
    H--[Q]: Who gunned down Kun Lan and H. H. during the second 
            cut-scene of the Forbidden Room?                    [#VH]
    [A]: Good old Harman Smith.
    Notice that H. H. looks at the person who enters the Forbidden 
    Room and says, "Well. Look who it is. Haven't seen you in a 
    long time." When I first watched this scene, I thought that H. 
    H. spoke with inappropriate condescension to Garcian. As well, 
    his remark that he hadn't "seen [him] in a long time" didn't 
    make sense, since he was in fairly regular communication with 
    Then, I figured it out: He spoke condescendingly, because he 
    was addressing the Remnant Psyche of Principal Harman. He had 
    obvious disdain for the man who looked like him, but betrayed 
    Further, as we see when we play as Harman Smith in Killer8, 
    Harman is the only character with a Tommy Gun, which is what 
    seems to have been used against Kun Lan and H. H. 
    It seems that old President Harman knew his number was up, as 
    a Remnant Psyche. The six main killers of the original Killer7 
    had already been laid to rest: as soon as Garcian destroyed 
    the Third Eye on Emir, President Harman's Remnant Psyche would 
    be released, too. He took the last possible chance he had to 
    get revenge on the two divine beings who had caused so much 
    havoc in his life. 
    I--[Q]: In the LION mission, how can Garcian/Emir run from the 
            Coliseum (in the Pacific Ocean) to his trailer (in 
            northwest America) to the Coliseum again?           [#VI]
    [A]: I think that Garcian's Trailer-House, the Forbidden Room 
    of the Union Hotel, and the Coliseum are all connected-and I 
    mean physically, though not concretely.
    Lemme try to unknot that for you. For reasons that are never 
    explained directly, the Coliseum (in the Pacific Ocean) goes 
    down to a sublevel-where you can walk into Garcian's living 
    room. This is either a tremendous glitch, or an important 
    Likewise, the basement of Garcian's Trailer-House goes down 
    into the depths of the Coliseum. Somehow, he is able to run 
    about fifty feet on an island in the Atlantic Ocean and make a 
    detour by his kitchen, in Washington State. 
    Similarly, Garcian is able to walk through the back door to 
    his Trailer-House, and walk into the top floor suite of a 
    hotel in Pennsylvania. (Note that I think that the room he 
    walks into, after finding Samantha dead, is the top floor of 
    the Union Hotel. Look through the windows during the cutscene: 
    you'll see atmosphere that you shouldn't be able to see from 
    the one floor of a Trailer-House.) 
    A couple of other things strike me as odd about the set up. 
    The most major one is the fact that it's a Trailer-House. 
    Those things don't even have basements. Likewise, unless it is 
    a double-wide, I can't imagine having enough room for a large 
    room, like the suite. The second fact-more subtly-comes from 
    something Kun Lan says, during gunning scene in the Forbidden 
    Room. He says, "Time here is warped." 
    J--[Q]: What happened with H. H. and Kun Lan, during the first 
            scene in the Forbidden Room?                        [#VJ]
    [A]: I believe that the two freak out, because "things are 
    astir." (Not a quote from the game; my own phrase off set by 
    quotations.) Samantha is dead; Harman is gone; and Garcian has 
    just overheard them describe the trauma of his past. Clearly, 
    things are going a little rustier than they expect, in 
    Garcian's mind. 
    An interesting aspect of the divine/immortal beings in Killer7 
    is that they depend upon human beings, as hosts or vessels. At 
    the time of the gunning scene in the Forbidden Room, both Kun 
    Lan and H. H. seem fatigued-bored, even. I think that this is 
    because both of their "vessels" have disintegrated: H. H. is 
    losing Garcian/Emir, and Kun Lan has just lost Nightmare. 
    Their chess game has even come to a halt-the game they love 
    more than anything. Without their physical vessels, the chess 
    game (which is a symbol of all of the activities in the human 
    world) cannot resolve because neither divine being has the 
    energy he needs to play. 
    I don't think that Garcian could have entered the Forbidden 
    Room, from his Trailer-House, unless the remnant psyche of 
    Principal Harman had awoken. The remnant psyche of Harman is 
    the sole layer between Garcian and H. H.--and with that layer 
    absent, Garcian can intrude upon the very working of the 
    spiritual fabric that dictates historical events. 
    One important difference between the two Forbidden Room scenes 
    is how Garcian and Harman react to the presences of H. H. and 
    Kun Lan. Garcian only gives them a little shock. Harman mows 
    them Al Capone style. Harman's got a lot more rage pent up 
    than Garcian does, apparently. 
    K--[Q]: The whole set-up with the gymnasium at Coburn seemed a 
            little deliberate. Who set it up?                   [#VK]
    [A]: I expect that Kun Lan set it up. If he can dissolve 
    Garcian's spiritual balance (psychotic though it may be), he 
    can unravel H. H.'s vessel--and, therefore, gain the upper 
    hand. To do this, he has to awaken Garcian to his past 
    identity: Emir. 
    Note how the entire scenario in the gymnasium plays out like a 
    chess game, visually; also note how it plays out like a trap. 
    A number of Heaven Smiles appear, and they are equal to the 
    number of personas within Garcian. They are totally black, 
    like Kun Lan's chess pieces. And they take them out, one-by-
    one, diagonally, like pawns taking more powerful pieces on the 
    board. (Also note that Garcian's suit is white--the color of 
    H. H.'s pieces.)
    I expect that the flaw in Kun Lan's plan came from the 
    Benjamin Keane. Kun Lan likely expected Nightmare to be ready 
    for Garcian, with the Golden Gun and black Heaven Smiles at 
    his command. However, the Ben Keane caught him off guard and 
    hoisted him on the stage rack. 
    L--[Q]: Why would Benjamin Keane kill Greg Nightmare?       [#VL]
    [A]: Greg Nightmare who controls Coburn--and, by consequence, 
    controls who will become the next President of the U. S. A. 
    Keane didn't win the "election" like he hoped.
    In other words, Ben Keane wanted the elections rigged in his 
    favor--so, when this didn't happen, he rigged Greg Nightmare! 
    M--[Q]: What's the deal with the Golden Gun?                [#VM]
    [A]: Think of the Golden Gun as a holy sword. The Golden Gun 
    was Emir's token, I think. The usual signifiers are at work: 
    the gun is made of gold, connoting that it is special; 
    further, it is the weapon of an agent possessed by God (or a 
    God-analog); as well, it is made of the metal that was deemed 
    most holy by alchemists. (Nevermind the fact that an actual 
    golden gun would melt after the first few shots.)
    The black Heaven Smiles, I think, are pure Heaven Smiles. I 
    think they are the raw essence of the evil within a Heaven 
    Smile, without a human host. Previously, the Killer7s' guns 
    could kill the Heaven Smiles, because they could kill the 
    physical body of the host. Now, they cannot, since no physical 
    body is present. Nightmare is in possession of the Golden Gun, 
    to keep Garcian away from the one weapon that will work 
    against the black Heaven Smiles. Note, also, that Garcian 
    lacks the Vision Ring. He most probably sees the Heaven 
    Smiles, now, as those three victims in ANGEL saw them. 
    The Golden Gun may have been a reference to the popular James 
    Bond movies, which are also referred to in Johnny Gagnon's
    "Pigeon Letters."  (The names of the pigeons are also the names 
    of women characters in the films.}
    N--[Q]: The game doesn't give a specific date for the 
            recording of Hulbert's cassette tapes, in the SMILE 
            chapter.  How do you come up with the year 1996?    [#VN]
    [A]: Hulbert opens the first tape, by explaining: "It's been a 
    few days since the Presidential election. Today's the fourth 
    Thursday in November."
    So, let's look at election years. The last one we had was in 
    2004, and they occur every four years. These are the 
    possibilities, then: 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1976, 
    1972, 1968, 1964, 1960, 1956, and 1952. I stop at 1952, 
    because this is the election year closest to Emir's death. 
    Hulbert describes Emir's birthdate as "1942," and then pauses 
    and says, "That's over 50 years ago."
    From this, I conclude that the recording of the cassettes 
    comes at least 50 years since 1942. 1942 plus 50 equals 1992.
    The first cassette tape explains that the first cassette is 
    recorded during an presidential election year. I assume that 
    the only election years in question are 1996 and 2000, because 
    the election of 2004 would have been at least 60 years since 
    1942. Given that it seems likely that Hulbert would have 
    expressed the time span in tens, I think that 2004 is too late 
    of a date to place the recording of his cassettes.
    Between 1996 and 2000, I choose 1996. The intro movie of 
    SUNSET describes the resolution to ban nuclear weapons in July 
    3, 1998. It seems more likely that concern would arise (with 
    respect to electoral validity) given the later developments to 
    stop all international commerce. 
    To quote the narrator, again: "The international society, 
    under the motto of 'Protecting the world from international 
    terrorism, ideology terrorism, and cyber-terrorism,' stopped 
    all air transportation and closed every network station in the 
    short span of two years, to reduce the likelihood of 
    terrorism. The world had changed. 
    "In the year 2002, a network of intercontinental expressways, 
    bridging the Atlantic Ocean, opened, connecting the two major 
    sides of the world. In the following year of 2003, the 
    construction of a mass scale distribution system began, and 
    the man-made landmass large as a city was built over an ocean. 
    The use and research of nuclear energy was banned, and all 
    radioactive waste and materials were disposed of at an energy 
    disposal facility in the Gibsoft Islands, a remote set of 
    islands off the coast of the Indian Ocean." 
    In other words, the resolutions of 1998 began a process that 
    resulted in U. S. cooperation in a global unification of the 
    economy. Note that Hulbert's communication comes a few days 
    after the election--meaning, someone suspected fraudulent 
    practices only a short time after the election had taken 
    place. Since the winner of the 1996 election is held 
    responsible for the U. S. policy changes that resulted in the 
    1998 resolutions, I expect that that was the year of Hulbert's 
    cassettes' recording. 
    O--[Q]: Who's the guy sitting next to Harman Smith, in the 
            Union Hotel?                                        [#VO]
    [A]: Quick answer: he's Johnny Gagnon.
    Johnny Gagnon's last letter narrates that Harman Smith was 
    laughing with him. Laughter, of course, is Kun Lan's calling 
    card. We also know that Kenjiro has been touched by Kun Lan, 
    from the intro scene to Sunset, Part 2. Since Harman Smith--in 
    the suite of the Union Hotel--is aligned with Kun Lan, and 
    since his identity is the Harman who worked with the Yakumo, I 
    believe that he and Kenjiro would cooperate with each other. 
    When Harman Smith explains that he already sent Kenjiro away, 
    I believe that he sent Kenjiro away to make a hit on the man 
    who is seen gagged, and who falls off the building.
    Harman tells Garcian that he "handed over" Kenjiro, to get 
    Garcian to go to the school. Johnny Gagnon knows what Garcian 
    looks like--but not what Emir looks like. In his mind, Garcian 
    (as part of the Killer7/Harman's Assassins) is distinct from 
    Emir. Therefore, when Harman tells Garcian that "the man you 
    are looking for" is at the school, Johnny thinks that Garcian 
    is going to kill Emir. 
    Between the time that Garcian goes to the school, and the time 
    that he returns, Harman Smith has killed Johnny Gagnon, and 
    Johnny Gagnon is a remnant psyche of Harman Smith. In other 
    words, the man who we see handing Harman Smith the hat is a 
    subservient ghost of Johnny Gagnon. 
    P--[Q]: Who's the man who falls from the roof of the building, 
            in the opening to SMILE?                            [#VP]
    [A]: I think that the man who falls off the building is Hiro 
    Sakai, Garcian's contact at the opening of SUNSET, Part 2. 
    Since Harman Smith would have been "within" Garcian at the 
    time that Garcian met with Hiro Sakai, he would know that Hiro 
    was an agent against the Yakumo's agenda. 
    Q--[Q]: What is that song that Emir whistles, during the 
            flashback sequences of SMILE?                       [#VQ]
    [A]: The tune is "Greensleeves," and the music is named so in 
    the credits. However, other players and I think that the music 
    is intended to reference "What Child Is This?"
    The main reason given against interpreting the music as "What 
    Child Is This?" is that the credits do not list the song as 
    "What Child Is This?" Despite this discrepancy, a number of 
    reasons exist that favor the interpretation of the music as 
    "What Child Is This?" 
    First, there's the literal matter of tune and song. The song 
    "What Child Is This?" puts lyrics to the tune of 
    "Greensleeves." Since no lyrics were sung, it's plausble that 
    the tune may be credited as "Greensleeves," while the song 
    "What Child Is This?" is the intended reference. Second, 
    there's the metaphorical matter of meaning. The themes of 
    divine incarnation and birth present in "What Child Is This?" 
    cohere more meaningfully with the themes of Killer7--as 
    opposed to the theme of "Greensleeves," which more often than 
    not is about romantic love. 
    R--[Q]: Who's the woman who killed Mills? What's her purpose 
            in the story?                                       [#VR]
    [A] Her name is "Linda Vermilion."
    I think Linda Vermilion is a functional character, whose 
    purpose is to allude to contextual information that is useful 
    in understanding the plot. I don't think she's connected to 
    anyone, right now.
    The reasons that I think she was introduced are mostly 
    technical reasons, relating to the story-telling. First, 
    Garcian needed someone for a contact, with Mills dead. Second, 
    Linda alludes to the dual functions of Mills and Garcian, as 
    assassins: they ostensibly work for the American government, 
    but they are forbidden to do anything "in the interest of the 
    country." Linda is positively spiteful toward Mills, when she 
    says, "Is making a move in the interest of the country an 
    assassin's job, too?" 
    Mills loved his job, I think, because he loved his country. He 
    was unaware that his country-or, at least, the part of it 
    through which he served-was corrupt.
    It's also useful to note that Linda is Japanese-or, if not 
    Japanese, markedly Asian. It suggests that, even though 
    Garcian's orders appeared to be coming from a Western source 
    (a white American man with a New England accent), he was being 
    monitored by and controlled by an Asian source. 
    Most of this information is made directly available to the 
    player, later in the game; however, I think that it is 
    suggested by Linda's presence (I assumed all these things when 
    I saw her scene in the game, anyhow) as foreshadowing for the 
    revelations to come. 
    Also, she serves as one of the few definitely-human-characters 
    to interact with Garcian directly, and to react to him. 
    Garcian and Mills appear to have been working together for a 
    long time-enough to know each other's habits, certainly-and 
    Garcian clearly seemed unprepared for another contact who 
    would become irritated at his lack of punctuality. (At the 
    start of ANGEL, we see that Garcian has been on thirty formal 
    missions. I expect that he and Mills have worked together for 
    most of them-or, if not most of them, enough for them to have 
    developed a personal affection through their professional 
    Her interaction with Garcian also suggests Garcian's own 
    blindness. At least three people seem to know more than 
    Garcian does, about his own past: Mills ("Garcie, thirty years 
    ago-"), Linda ("Must be nice being you, able to come and go as 
    you please-"), and Matsuoka ("There are more important things-
    like finding out who you are."). I don't think that any of 
    these characters have a whole vision of Garcian's/Emir's 
    history and circumstances, but they certainly know enough to 
    suspect a larger picture-and, until SMILE Part 2, Garcian 
    doesn't seem to know enough to cause him to doubt his 
    assumptions about his existence. 
    S--[Q]: The instruction booklet says that Dan wouldn't 
            hesitate to kill Harman. This never gets played out in 
            the game. What's up with that?                      [#VS]
    [A]: Please read the entry titled "FALLEN ANGEL" in the 
    section "Things That Don't Belong Anywhere Else."
    T--[Q]: What's the purpose of the Ulmeyda episode 
            in the game?                                        [#VT]
    [A]: I think that the Ulmeyda episode is meant to illustrate a 
    few aspects of the Heaven Smiles, as well as show how 
    thoroughly the Yakumo had infiltrated the American government.
    Ulmeyda's religion seems antithetical to the Heaven Smiles. I 
    draw this conclusion from a few instances: first, Ulmeyda's 
    followers do not bear the smiling, near-manic demeanor of the 
    Smiles; second, when Clarence (the boy who "wins" the car) is 
    pulled aside, he is ecstatic at having "won," but Ulmeyda 
    discourages his smiling because he'll "frighten off lady 
    luck;" and, third, he obviously fears the Heaven Smiles as a 
    disease, since he asks Garcian to kill him in the instance 
    that he is "infected" as one of them. 
    This illustrates a few things about the Heaven Smiles, I 
    think, on the cosmic level of the narrative. However, it 
    illustrates those characteristics of the Heaven Smiles, as 
    they are antithetical to Ulmeyda. Ulmeyda, importantly, 
    represents most of the characteristics of Western religion. As 
    we know from Clarence's monologue at the end of CLOUDMAN, 
    Ulmeyda's followers drank Ulmeyda's blood; this reflects the 
    ritual of the Last Supper, in Christian tradition. Further, 
    Ulmeyda delberately infected himself with various lethal 
    diseases, and overcame them. His blood is filled with numerous 
    antibodies to genuinely deadly diseases, giving his blood a 
    degree of "healing power," much as Christ's body is believed 
    to have held in the Christian tradition. 
    (It seems suggested, though, that Ulmeyda's blood also 
    contains traces of the original diseases. Notice the different 
    reactions in the military officer and Clarence, when each is 
    showered with Ulmeyda's blood. The military officer screams 
    and falls over, as though the blood were acidic; Clarence 
    simply tastes it and recognizes it as Ulmeyda's. This 
    suggests, to me, that Clarence had developed an immunity to 
    the diseases still in Ulmeyda's blood, owing to his earlier 
    drinking of Ulmeyda's blood.) 
    In fact, when we see Ulmeyda infected with the Heaven Smile 
    virus, we may be looking at the process of "conversion" to the 
    Heaven Smile cult.
    The irony, here, is that the American military has infected 
    Ulmeyda with a disease that is the aggressive force of Kun 
    Lan--the East! I think that this is another instance of the 
    irony of East-in-West--Kun Lan's use of Western power, to 
    achieve mastery for the East. 
    Clarence, at the end, sells the car to Mills. Presumably, he 
    continues Ulmeyda's cult. In a way, he is the Saint Peter to 
    Ulmeyda's Christ.
    Ulmeyda's real motivations seem to be what they appear. He 
    wants to do good things for humanity, yet he is only happy 
    living when he's risking death. (We learn this, when talking 
    to Ulmeyda's remnant psyche, post-CLOUDMAN mission.) In the 
    process of amassing his empire, he has (naturally) garnered a 
    lot of attention, and he fears being exploited by the Heaven 
    U--[Q]: That girl just appeared while I was fighting Handsome 
            Pink!!! WTF? Is this game SERIOUSLY punching my brain and 
            NOT apologizing!?                                   [#VU]
    A: Yes. It is punching you in the brain and not apologizing. 
    Viva SUDA 51!
    That girl introduces herself as LOVE. The short answer: she's 
    Trevor Pearlharbor's agent, and she is the one who really 
    controls the Handsome Men.
    Here's the scene, since it's easy to miss stuff:
    Garcian: "The girl's an avid gamer. Her world of games and the 
    real world co-exist as one."
    LOVE: "Nice to meet you, Mister Killer Garcian. My name is 
    Garcian: "How do you know my name?"
    LOVE: "Because I write the story, mister."
    Garcian: "I don't follow."
    LOVE: "Here's the thing, I work for Electro-inline Inc. I 
    create propaganda using media--you see?"
    Garcian: "You're saying . . . that they're all Electro-
    inline's advertisements."
    LOVE: "That's why I'm gonna bring 'em down. I'll make 'em pay 
    for Trevor's death."
    Garcian: "Can you really do it?"
    LOVE: "I'll make sure justice is done. But in MY book though. 
    You be sure to check it out in next week's issue. I'm really 
    glad we met, Mister Killer Garcian."
    Garcian: "The pleasure's all mine. LOVE, your passion is 
    inspiring to us all."
    LOVE: "Thank you. I'll be watching you, mister."
    *LOVE disappears*
    First off: I am not sure if the company's name is "Electro-
    inline." I'm uncertain of the written letters around where the 
    hyphen is.
    In order to understand what LOVE is saying, we have to look at 
    what Travis says during the ALTER EGO mission. As he describes 
    Trevor, the comic artist is egoistical, arrogant, and elitist-
    -he secludes himself from his artistic team. Travis explains 
    the rationale for the hit: "We all know the guy owes his 
    success to his representative's finesse. He doesn't have the 
    skill to make it on his own, thank you. Straight up, he puts 
    an angle on a comic, and the same shit goes down in the real, 
    3-dimensional world. The guy's a seer, man." 
    When Dan Smith walks into Trevor's veranda, it's clear that he 
    thinks the world of himself. He squeals, "I didn't think I had 
    such power!" He then brags that Dan can't kill him, because he 
    wrote the comic so that Dan will die. Trevor mistakes his 
    ability as a seer for the ability to create the future. He 
    brags about the superior strength of the Handsome Men, because 
    they are his creations. 
    Yet, he is killed by Handsome Black. Trevor Pearlharbor is a 
    fanboy unrequited.
    The entire second half of ALTER EGO is akin to a blend between 
    a video game and reality--or, to speak from our side of the 
    television screen, a video game WITHIN A VIDEO GAME, and the 
    reality within the video game Killer7. 
    The video game that runs its credits notes that it is an 
    online game. This means, it could be played by LOVE from an 
    undisclosed location.  LOVE is not present, physically; 
    Garcian and the Killer7, however, are.  Even so, the space 
    created for the fight appears to be unreal, given the absence 
    of ANYONE in Times Square.
    Since the space for the HAJIME fights is a synthetic creation 
    of a video game and reality, it follows that part of the space 
    is created by a television--on LOVE's end.  This may account 
    for how all of the Killer7 (and Master Harman) can exist in 
    the same physical space, at the same time.  All of them can 
    exist on different channels, in the television, and through 
    the combined television-reality of a video game they can all 
    share physical presence.
    The purpose of the HAJIME fights is to destroy the Handsome 
    Men.  LOVE is Trevor Pearlharbor's representative.  She writes 
    the stories--Trevor "predicts" their outcome, and he takes 
    credit for it.  In other words, LOVE is the person who 
    manipulates the Handsome Men through the medium of a video 
    game; Trevor is the person who takes credit for the 
    predictions and the actions of the Handsome Men.
    Garcian and the Killer7 are sent to kill Trevor Pearlharbor, 
    because Trevor is the person who is responsible, publicly, for 
    a senator's assassination.  However, the Handsome Men arrive 
    to assassinate Trevor, too--controlled by LOVE!  Likely, she 
    sent the Handsome Men to kill Trevor, so that Trevor would 
    know (at the last moment) that he was powerless.
    We can take away some useful observations, from the 
    conversation between Garcian and LOVE.  First, they do not 
    regard each other as enemies; this is quite different from all 
    of the preceding interaction.  She refers to Garcian as 
    "Killer Garcian," because that is the name that he will have 
    in the comic book.  Remember, Mills showed Garcian the next 
    issue in which Harman Smith was portrayed as a monster, and 
    the Killer7 were named as the Handsome Men's next opponent.  
    That means that Garcian and the other members of Killer7 will 
    be in the issue, and they will likely have names patterned 
    similar to the Handsome Men's.
    For example: "Handsome" is like a family name, and the 
    specific color designates the individual.  So, you'll have 
    "Handsome Red" and "Handsome Blue," and you'll know they're 
    part of the same group because they're both "Handsome."  
    Similarly, you'll have "Killer Garcian" and "Killer Dan," and 
    you'll know they're part of the same group because they're 
    both "Killer."  The language pattern reflects the Japanese 
    custom of placing a person's family name before his or her 
    personal name--suggesting that the comic book is an American 
    knock-off of Japanese Sentai motifs.
    Therefore, when LOVE says, "That's why I'm gonna make them pay 
    for Trevor's death," she's speaking ironically.  Garcian 
    smiles, and says, "Can you really do it?" with the incredulity 
    of a secondary character who hears a comic's lead character 
    vow to do something noble.  (E.G.: "I'm off to kill Tetsuo!"  
    "Can you really do that?!")  LOVE makes a point of 
    highlighting that "justice will be done" in HER book--not 
    Trevor's.  She's killed Trevor, in other words, to advance her 
    own career.
    Notice the trio of dots, on LOVE's hand.  The camera focuses 
    on this little tattoo twice, suggesting that it is important.  
    The triangle, pointed upward (as LOVE's tattoo points) 
    symbolizes masculine power and fire.  It also symbolizes the 
    Third Eye: two dots for the two normal eyes, and one dot for 
    the third.
    Therefore, when Kun Lan appears on the other side of the 
    television screen, the trio of dots suggests that either LOVE 
    was being controlled by Kun Lan--or, that LOVE never existed, 
    but, rather, was a fašade adopted by Kun Lan for the sake of 
    the game.  Sure, Kun Lan is male and LOVE is female--but how 
    easy is it to lie about one's gender over the internet?  
    Further, how much less willing to question the lie will a 
    person be, if the name tantalizes him, somehow, like "LOVE"?
    V--[Q]: How did Emir know that Harman and his assassins were 
            staying at the Hotel Union?                         [#VV]
    A: My belief is that Yoon Hyun tipped off Emir. I think so, 
    because of Johnny Gagnon's description of him, in his next-to-
    last letter:
    "The informant's name is Yoon-Hyun. He's the owner of the 
    Union Hotel Group. He met an untimely death at the Union Hotel 
    in Philadelphia. Many celebrities were at the reception, but 
    nevertheless, there were few witnesses to the murder, and many 
    of the facts don't add up. Yet one thing is for sure: he was 
    involved with the Smith syndicate. Rumor has it that an 
    incident that happened at the hotel was swept conveniently 
    under the rug." 
    Yoon-Hyun is an informant. As a member of the Smith syndicate, 
    he knew the whereabouts of the Harman Assassins--and, as the 
    owner of the Union Hotel (where the seven were murdered), he 
    knew which rooms they were staying in. 
    Why, then, would he betray the rest of the Smiths? A couple of 
    reasons suggest themselves to me. 
    The first reason is fairly easy, I think: as a likely Yakumo 
    affiliate, Yoon-Hyun would have been the best person for Emir 
    Parkreiner ("an ace of aces brought out by the Yakumo") to 
    contact for information. Since both Emir and Yoon-Hyun worked 
    for the same organization, Yoon-Hyun would have been loyal to 
    his greater master: the Yakumo. 
    The second reason is a little more difficult. The Remnant 
    Psyches all are represented metaphorically, I think. Travis 
    was a go-getter, so he's often shown exercising; Susie 
    frequently "lost her head," so she's shown disembodied; Kess 
    was a handbag of insecurities, so he's blind and constantly 
    beseiged by dreams of monsters; and Yoon-Hyun (I think) was 
    happily traitorous . . . for the right price. 
    Notice that, as an informant, Yoon-Hyun is happy to provide 
    general information and banter for free. If you want the real, 
    direct information, though, you have to shoot the mask and pay 
    up. Yoon-Hyun then addresses "the chief" and refers to himself 
    as "the True Mask." I think that this is a symbolic expression 
    of Yoon-Hyun's inner character, and how easily he was bought.
    W--[Q]: What's the deal with the Save Maid? Is she Samantha 
            Sitbon or Samantha Smith?                           [#VW]
    A: At the end of ANGEL, Samantha is introduced as "Samantha 
    Sitbon." However, I am informed that, in the Japanese release, 
    she is introduced as "Samantha Smith." In both releases, she 
    refers to herself as "Samantha Smith," in Johnny Gagnon's 
    final letter. 
    I would offer the explanation that Harman has identified with 
    Samantha Sitbon (who I call the Save Maid's real-world self--
    the abusive caretaker), and has established a spiritual 
    connection with her that allows him to take advantage of her 
    identity as a Remnant Psyche--before she is actually dead. 
    When Harman Smith finally rapes and reaps her soul, she is 
    fully Samantha Smith--one of the Smith syndicate, in death. 
    X--[Q]: What's Curtis Blackburn's deal? Did he just fly through 
            those corridors?                                    [#VX]
    A: Yes. "How," you ask? Ninja magic.
    Simply put, Curtis has Awesomeness, with a capital-A. He can 
    levitate down corridors; he can lie on the surface of water 
    and even use his Awesomeness to levitate upright and stand on 
    the water's skin. The man has 'leet skills. 
    Y--[Q]: Who is Ayame Blackburn?                             [#VY]
    A: In what may be one of the most memorable moments in my 
    video game career, Ayame Blackburn introduces herself as "the 
    Chairman of the Educational Guidance Council."
    Ayame might have explained herself a little better for an 
    American audience unfamiliar with Japanese government and 
    bureaucratic structure. The Japanese government is very 
    similar to the government of the United Kingdom, employing 
    many of the same terms and relationships between structures as 
    does the government in the U.K. Either Ayame Blackburn is 
    confessing that she holds a position in the Japanese 
    educational system--or, she is confessing that she holds a 
    position in the American educational system which (in the 
    political universe of Killer7) is defined in terms of Japanese 
    bureaucratic structure. 
    The equivalant to American bureaucratic terms would be 
    something like "Chairman of the Board of Education," most 
    likely in the Seattle region, since this is where Curtis is 
    based and where Coburn elementary exists. 
    I have learned from various sources (which I will specifically 
    describe, when I have those bearings together) that Ayame 
    Blackburn is Curtis Blackburn's adopted daughter. She is about 
    sixteen years old, and Curtis has trained her personally. This 
    is how she can run invisibly through poorly lit areas, and can 
    run at incredible speeds. 
    Ayame Blackburn is one half of another light-and-dark 
    juxtaposition. Remember that Curtis Blackburn also taught Dan 
    everything that he knew. Presumably, given Curtis' unique 
    skills, he also taught Dan how to perform the Collateral Shot. 
    Ayame Blackburn's strength is found by entering into darkness; 
    Dan's strength is found by emitting light. I suspect that they 
    are two halves of Curtis Blackburn's total knowledge.
    Z--[Q]: Where was Kevin during the flashback sequences?     [#VZ]
    A: This is the most frequently asked question that I receive 
    via eMail, so I'll include it here: Kevin was the bellhop.
    Yes, that's right. The bellhop.
    AA--[Q]: I didn't understand what was going on in the KAKU 
             building. Who were those four guys playing Mah-jong?
             Why were they talking about dogs and monkeys?     [#VAA]
    A: According to the translation of Capcom-Japan's Killer7 web 
    site provided for me by Yoshiko Ohier, the men in the KAKU 
    building playing Mah-jong were named Dudley, Jeffers, Ohta, 
    and Kuramato. Dudley and Jeffers were American diplomats, and 
    they were the ones referred to as "Dogs." Ohta and Kuramato 
    were Japanese diplomats with the Liberal Party, and they were 
    the ones referred to as "Monkeys." 
    I think that these nicknames correspond with the archetypal 
    dogs and monkeys of the Shinto zodiac. In the Shinto zodiac, 
    monkeys are erratic geniuses, clever and skillful when working 
    on large operations, innovative, and original. These 
    characteristics would seem to describe the Japanese politicians 
    in Killer7: all of them innovatively find ways to undermine their 
    opponents, and they pursue these plans in large-scale ways. Yet, 
    describing the Japanese as "monkeys" is ironic, given the 
    ambiguous success that the Japanese seem to have in these 
    endeavors. Dogs, in the Shinto zodiac, are imbued with strong 
    senses of duty and honor. They are extremely honest, and try 
    to maintain good relationships with others. They inspire 
    confidence and can easily persuade others to keep secrets. 
    This sort of blunt, emotional personality is an appropriate 
    description of the American politicians in Killer7; certainly, 
    the American military officers seen in the opening cutscenes 
    of SUNSET showed sincere concern for the lives of the Japanese, 
    who (to those officers) were known national allies. However, 
    describing the Americans as "dogs" is also ironic, given 
    the fact that the Americans would have betrayed Japan's 
    friendship were it not for Matsuken's intervention on behalf 
    of the U. N. Party. 
    AB--[Q]: Who was Kenjiro Matsuoka? And why was he called 
             Matsuken?                                         [#VAB]
    A: Yoshiko Ohier explained to me that "Matsuken" is a nickname 
    for Kenjiro Matsuoka. In Japanese language, family names are 
    written before personal names, opposite how they are written 
    in most Western languages. Matsuoka's name would be written 
    "Matsuoka Kenjiro." The nickname is simply a combination of the 
    two names: "Matsu(oka) Ken(jiro)." 
    Matsuken was a lower, younger member of the U. N. Party, until 
    he became frustrated with the seeming ineptitude of his party 
    elders. He shot them--Akiba and Kurahashi--and prepared to shoot 
    himself. However, Kun Lan touched him and "adopted" him with 
    the "Hand of God." 
    Matsuken represents the violent anger in Japanese culture 
    toward America, due in large part to the destruction of Hiroshima 
    and Nagasaki with the atomic bombs. Yoshiko has explained that 
    the Capcom-Japan Killer7 website that Matsuken was born in 
    Hiroshima, and is 30 years old at the time of the story. He was 
    born in Hiroshima. Further discussion of the significance of his 
    age and birthplace can be found in the section of this document 
    titled "MESSIAHS." 
    After becomig "adopted" by Kun Lan, Matsuken takes the reins 
    of the U. N. Party. He is responsible for the murder of Hiro 
    Kasai, the Japanese man who informed Garcian of the talks being 
    held in the KAKU building at the opening of SUNSET PART TWO. 
    Hiro Kasai was a member of Japan's Liberal Party--the domestic 
    opposition to Matsuken's U. N. Party. 
    Some players believe that the man who Matsuken kills is Iwazaru. 
    I do not think this is correct. First, we are given no indicators 
    that suggest that the scene on top of the roof in Washington, 
    D.C., is a flashback. It occurs within the narrative linearity 
    of the game's events. At the time of the murder atop the D.C. 
    building, Iwazaru was already a remnant psyche. As well, whether 
    or not a reader accepts my interpretation of Iwazaru as a remnant 
    psyche of Kun Lan (Emir's father), it cannot be argued that 
    Matsuken had a known motive for killing whomever Iwazaru was in 
    life. On the other hand, Matsuken has the knowledge that would 
    lead him to kill Hiro Kasai (since Harman Smith is now alive as 
    a Persona), and he has the motivation to kill Hiro Kasai, since 
    Kasai is a leading figure in the Liberal Party working against 
    the U. N. Party. 
    At the end of the game, if the player allows Matsuken to live, 
    we see him standing with a stern facial expression as Japanese 
    military technology hurtles toward America. Given his "divine 
    ordination" and the Japanese political party that is most closely 
    aligned with conservative Japanese political ideals, I think 
    that Matsuken represents the reinstatement of Japanese 
    emperorship and the destruction of democratic freedom.
    AC--[Q]: Who is the person who leaves messages for Garcian on 
             the answering machine?  What's that message about?[#VAC]
    A: The person who leaves messages for Garcian on the answering 
    machine is Christopher Mills, the contact agent between the 
    U. S. Government and the Killer7.  The message is a code, so 
    Mills can let Garcian know that there is work to do.
    The message is: "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."
    The meaning of Mills' contact message is subtle.  We should look 
    at his use of the terms "election," "vote," and "Republic party."
    "The election is drawing near," Mills says.  "Election" carries 
    weight as a political word in both democratic and dictatorial 
    contexts.  When we speak of "an election," in American democratic 
    politics, we refer to a specific instance when citizens who are 
    registered to vote cast ballots for candidates; the winner "wins 
    the election."  In a dictatorship, "an election" is the assignment 
    (often the self-assignment) of a political figure to a given role.  
    One may be elected to a position of power by popular consent, as 
    in an ideal democracy, or one may be elected to a position by 
    hubris, power, or divinity.  Often, the phrase "divine election" 
    is used with respect to a person or group of people who are chosen 
    to carry a significant burden for the sake of others.
    Matsuken was "elected" to the position of the U. N. Party's leader 
    by Kun Lan's intervention, much as Emir Parkreiner was "elected" 
    to the role of the killer (and consumer) of the Killer7, including 
    Harman Smith.  These elections occured in the past; they were 
    epiphanies wherein indecision had reached its climax and a single 
    path was chosen.
    The irony of Mills' use of the word "election" involves Emir's fate, 
    and the host of the Killer7.  When Garcian (as a "game player" 
    controlling the Killer7) chooses between the Personae, he is casting 
    a "vote" for each of those Personae.  A person is elected to carry 
    out a designated task; likewise, Garcian elects certain Personae for 
    certain tasks.  MASK is chosen for the removal of specific obstacles; 
    Coyote is chosen to move around difficult terrain; and Garcian himself 
    is chosen for the recovery of the dead.
    Regardless of the Persona "elected" to a given task, Emir Parkreiner--
    as the base personality on whom the Personae and Harman Smith are piled--
    votes for all Personae except his own true identity.  One "election" that 
    draws nearer with each mission is the final encounter at the Union Hotel, 
    wherein Emir effectively eliminates all of the possible candidates for 
    his identity, leaving only himself.
    Once the internal "election" is resolved, Emir may turn his vote--his 
    power to decide--toward the outside world.  At the end of the LION 
    chapter, the player is given the option to either kill Matsuken or 
    let him live.  This is a moment of election, wherein Emir is no longer 
    elected by anyone--neither Kun Lan nor H. H.--and takes the power that 
    they once possessed as his own.  He "votes" for either Japan or America.
    The use of the phrase "Republic Party" struck me as awkward, when I 
    reflected upon it.  A casual listening might lead a player to conclude 
    that Mills has disguised himself as a campaigner for the REPUBLICAN Party.  
    In American political culture, the Republican Party is currently the more 
    ideologically conservative political force; prior to the election of 
    John F. Kennedy, however, the Democratic Party had been the more 
    ideologically conservative party.  (The Democrats' election of Kennedy--
    a Catholic--into public office aroused the prejudice against Catholic 
    Christianity in the politically conservative South, starting a regional 
    migration of political allegiance toward the Republican Party.  
    Prior to this shift, the Democrats had been ideologically conservative.)  
    The history of the Republican Party is important, here, because it 
    reveals that the ideological identity of a given political party is 
    not static.  Ideas change, and so do political parties' identities.
    So, if Mills had meant "Republican" party, we would be led to believe 
    that he was posing as a conservative ideologue; however, in the projected 
    political future, even this identity would be hard to determine, since 
    "Republican" has meant both ideological liberalism and conservatism.  
    I think that this suggests that we should pay attention to the specific 
    word he chooses: "Republic Party."
    Any reference to the American government's structure as "a democracy" 
    equivocates America's real political operation.  Certain, America is 
    "democratic"; however, it is not a democracy.  A true democracy entails 
    the literal voting participation of every single member of a nation.  
    On a small scale, true democracy is more probable to succeed, since the 
    number of votes are maintained more easily than with a large population.  
    On a large scale--such as the United States' current size--such a method 
    of governmental operation is impossible to execute efficiently.  Instead 
    of a true democracy, the United States of America's government is a 
    "democratic republic."  Note that "democratic" is the subordinate word, 
    and that "republic" is the dominant word.
    When Mills describes himself as "from the Republic party," he confesses 
    that he sides with the United States of America's historical identity.  
    Mills believes that the United States' political structure allows power 
    to politicians because of the population's conscientious approval.  In 
    the world of Killer7, he could not be more wrong.
    Linda Vermillion calls Mills a slave because "the government's interest 
    was his interest."  She asks the rhetorical question, "Is making a move 
    for the interest of the country an assassin's job?"  She then introduces 
    herself as "a protector of the country."  While her references to "the 
    government" and "the country" seem equivocal, the distinction implied 
    in her speech is important.  Mills believed in the government, as he 
    learned of its structure; Christopher Mills was a patriot who served 
    his country through the underground societies within its bounds.  
    Regardless of the culture of deception and intrigue that he surrounded 
    himself with, he never doubted that the authority of the government of 
    the United States of America--a democratic republic--trumped all of the 
    subversive crowds within its borders.  When he began acting in the 
    interest of the nation he believed in, the shadow government (whose 
    disguise was a democratic republic) murdered him.
    Linda Vermillion contrasts herself with Mills, when she describes herself 
    as "a protector of the country."  She protects the shadow government 
    whose activities Mills threatened, by acting on his belief in the power 
    of a democratic republic.
    Mills' use of the phrase "Republic party" implies that he and the Killer7 
    believe that they work for America's historically recognized identity as 
    a democratic republic.  At the end of the game, Emir Parkreiner--a mass 
    murderer who may still be noble, as a political character--must use his 
    power to decide whether he will defend the Republic or not.
    AD--[Q]: Why does Garcian find all of the personae's weapons in 
    his attache case?                                          [#VAD]
    [A]: My and other's initial reaction to Garcian's discovery of 
    the other personae's weapons in the attache case was to conclude 
    that Garcian, himself, was all of the Killer7.  However, I do not 
    think that is the correct conclusion.
    The six members of the Killer7 who the player can choose among, 
    while in the field of action, are considered separate from Garcian 
    Smith.  However, since Garcian seems to be either a stable physical 
    entity (as Garcian Smith) or a fluctuating physical entity (as the 
    other personae), it makes sense that he would carry all of the 
    other killers' weapons with him.  They come in and out of 
    existence, using his body, and he must carry their guns with him.
    AE--[Q]: Why doesn't Garcian remember having killed Harman Smith
    and the other assassins?                                   [#VAE]
    [A]: "Garcian Smith" did not exist until Emir Parkreiner had killed
    Harman Smith and the other assassins, and then had gained the psychical
    powers of Harman Smith.
    Think of "Garcian" as the identity created within Emir, when he
    became the master of the psychical universe that the Killer7 inhabit.
    When Emir Parkreiner's memory was recovered, "Garcian" died.  Emir
    remembered killing Harman and the assassins; Garcian could not,
    because his identity and memory began immediately after Emir took on
    Harman Smith's powers.
    AF--[Q]: Why does Emir still carry the attache case in the LION
    chapter, if he no longer has the third eye?                [#VAF]
    [A}: The most immediate answer that I would give to this question
    is that the developers didn't have the time or interest to create
    a whole new character model for Garcian, just for the LION chapter.
    Even if it is laziness, though, the evidence is in the game that 
    Emir continued to carry the weapons of the Smiths after he became
    "freed" of their existence as personae.  It is possible that the 
    end of SMILE only dramatized the end of H. H.'s existence within
    Emir Parkreiner.  Garcian died, because "Garcian" only existed as
    a "servant" of H. H., who communicated with Garcian through the 
    form of Master Harman.
    The condition of Kun Lan's binding, though, has also been removed.
    H. H. is no longer within Emir's psyche to keep Kun Lan chained, 
    and the power of resurrection that Emir gained from killing and
    "consuming" Harman Smith were originally gifts from Kun Lan.  So,
    it seems likely that Emir retained his power to shape-shift and
    resurrect the dead; he simply lost the guidance and control that
    H. H. had had over him, when he was Garcian Smith.
    Also, note that when Matsuken addresses Emir, he says: "You boys
    are almost done.  You don't need to go around killing everybody
    anymore."  Matsuken seems to know that Emir represents a group
    of psyches, since he refers to Emir as "you boys."  Surely, Matsuken
    has spent quite a bit of time around Emir, since his later words
    imply an extended professional relationship: "I wonder.  What'll
    become of you guys if terrorism is the law of nature?  You know, 
    you should kill me now, because you don't want us hanging around."
    I think that all of this means that Emir retains the power to
    change forms.  Consequently, I think that he carries around the
    attache case with the others' weapons, so that he can do his work
    as a professional assassin.
    AG--[Q]: What's up with Samantha and the lights?           [#VAG]
    [A]: I think that this has to do with the white/black, light/dark
    distinction between H. H. and Kun Lan.  Kun Lan is associated with
    white; H. H. is associated with black.  Darkness is H. H.'s true
    environment.  Presumably, since the chain of inheritance of Kun
    Lan's power (from Harman Smith to Emir Parkreiner) still has the
    power of Kun Lan--white--at its root, it would make sense that 
    Master Harman would only be able to communicate with Garcian in
    the light--through the power of Kun Lan that has been manipulated
    to serve H. H.'s ends.
    When Master Harman asks Samantha to turn on the lights, he is
    returning to darkness--returning to his natural element within
    Emir's psyche--and giving the "light" of Kun Lan's powers back to
    Garcian, so that he can use it in the field of action.
    AH--[Q]: Why are KAEDE's and MASK's names capitalized?     [#VAH]
    [A]: This question has a simple answer.  They are capitalized because
    they are the only first names out of all of the Smiths' that were
    originally written in Japanese characters, in the Japanese release.
    The other Smiths' names were written in English characters.
    AI--[Q]: What are the circumstances surrounding Yoon-Hyun's
    "untimely death"?  Did Emir kill him at the same time as he 
    killed the other members of the Harman Assassins?          [#VAI]
    [A]: Emir did not kill Yoon-Hyun at the same time that he killed
    the other members of the Killer7 group.  Yoon-Hyun was crucial to
    the effort to silence all media attention to the murders of the
    Harman Assassins.  He would not have been able to do so, had he
    been killed.
    The specific circumstances surrounding Yoon-Hyun's death are
    unknown.  It seems likely that he would have been killed because
    of his knowledge of the murders of the Harman Assassins; having
    the knowledge that he had, when involved in government intrigue,
    makes for a shortened life span.
    AJ--[Q]: What's the deal with the whole Russian Roulette scene?
    [A]: Benjamin Keane's a little crazy.  He says so himself, in fact,
    when he says, to Garcian, "We're sick people, you know that?  We
    only feel alive when our lives are on the line."
    Benjamin Keane started the Russian Roulette game for the thrill,
    and, also, to create an impromptu "contract" with Garcian Smith.
    He seems likely to have known who Garcian was; he wanted Garcian
    to kill the President, so that he (Keane) could become President.
    Keane also just assisted in the murder of Greg Nightmare.  The 
    man had more than enough reasons to play a suicidal game.
    Thematically, the game also touches one of the themes in the
    game's narrative: voting.  What determines whether or not the
    bullet will be in the chamber, when a player of Russian Roulette
    pulls the trigger?  Arbitrary chance.  What are the consequences
    of that arbitrary chance?  Life or death.
    Think about the choice at the end of the game.  Emir must choose
    whether or not to kill Matsuken.  This, in itself, is like Russian
    Roulette.  If Matsuken dies, Emir lives; if Matsuken lives, Emir
    dies.  Likewise, if Keane dies, Garcian lives; if Keane had lived,
    Garcian would have died.
    AK--[Q]: Why are Emir's eyes green in LION?                [#VAK]
    [A]: SUDA 51 has answered this question in an interview, 
    explaining that the eyes are green to indicate that Emir has
    awoken fully to his bloodthirsty nature.
    The green eyes indicate that he is fully under the power
    of Kun Lan, his true father, who also has green eyes.
    AL--[Q]: Why do the remnant psyches sound like they are talking
    through a garden hose?                                     [#VAL]
    [A]: There are two answers to this.  First, when the game was
    made originally in Japanese, the characters' lines were spoken
    in clear English.  However, the language was closer to Engrish:
    English made slightly incomprehensible through Japanese trans-
    lation.  Knowing that native English speakers would be disturbed
    by the poor grammar and syntax, the developers decided to present
    the voices garbled and accompanied with grammatically correct
    The second answer is that the voices help convey their other-
    worldly nature.  When we, as players, can only understand the
    content of their speech by reading the subtitles, we are given
    more strongly the impression that Emir has a complex, intimate
    relationship with the shades.  When we talk to the remnant 
    psyches, we are encountering them through Emir's perspective;
    he possesses the power to converse with them, and we can only
    take meaning from the subtitled text, his mental "interpretation"
    of the remnant psyches' speech.
    AM--[Q]: Why is Travis in a tuxedo?                        [#VAM]
    [A]: Straight up, the man's got class.  He's not all wife-beaters
    and jeans, you know.
    AN--[Q]: Was Master Harman really at the table with 
             Toru Fukushima?                                   [#VAN]
    [A]: I think so, yes.
    Fukushima sits at the table, and so does Master Harman.  No other
    chair has been presented to Master Harman, implying that he has
    his own chair.  Second, after Kisugi has shot Fukushima, Master
    Harman escapes Kisugi's gunshots by pressing on the table and
    rolling backward.  This choreography would not be possible, if
    the person was sitting in anything other than a wheelchair.
    AO--[Q]: Are the three Harmans separate identities, or are they
    all the same person?                                       [#VAO]
    [A]: I think that the entity collectively known as "Harman" is
    expressed differently, in each of his three parts.
    Think of the concept of the Christian tripartite God, who is
    divided into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The
    Father is the transcendant, holy absolute; the Holy Spirit is
    the will of God working in the world; and the Son is the human
    incarnation of the Father's love for the world.
    In Harman, then, we see an analogous division: H. H. is the Father,
    since his will is the absolute moral authority; Harman Smith is 
    the Holy Spirit, since he is the "active" will of Harman in the
    world; and Master Harman is the Son, since he is the human incar-
    nation of Harman.
    Harman's biggest problem is Harman Smith.  Imagine if the tri-
    partite God had sent His Holy Spirit to the world--and the Holy
    Spirit was able to decide and act against the Father's desires.
    This is something like what happened to Harman.  When his Holy
    Will--Harman Smith--entered the world of men and politics, he
    became corrupted toward Harman's nemesis: Kun Lan.  (This cor-
    ruption is how Harman Smith gained the powers of resurrection.)
    By sending Emir Parkreiner to kill and "consume" Harman Smith, 
    then, H. H. was able to bring his delinquent part under control.
    Without this, the total identity of Harman would be always off-
    In a real sense, Harman is at war with himself.
    AP--[Q]: How did Garcian gain the power to resurrect the dead?
    [A]: Originally, Harman Smith had the power to resurrect the
    dead.  However, when Emir Parkreiner killed Harman Smith, he took
    Harman Smith's Vision Ring.  With the Vision Ring and the awaken-
    ing of Emir Parkreiner's "third eye," he was able to consume
    the souls of those who he had killed along with their powers.
    So, for instance, when Emir consumed Dan Smith, he was able to
    use Dan's persona along with the Colatteral Shot.  Likewise, 
    when he consumed KAEDE Smith, he was able to use KAEDE's persona
    along with her Blood Shower abilities.
    His slaying and consumption of Harman Smith, then, allowed him
    the ultimate power of all: the power to resurrect from the dead.
    AQ--[Q]: Are Susie and Ayame Blackburn the same person?    [#VAQ]
    [A]: No, they are not.  Ayame Blackburn is alive and VERY well
    during the game--specifically, during the boss fight of the 
    first half of ENCOUNTER.  Susie Sumner has been dead for quite
    a while, by this point.
    AR--[Q]: Who was Hulbert?  What was his purpose?           [#VAR]
    [A]: Hulbert was an FBI agent, who was murdered on a mission to
    investigate Coburn Elementary School to determine the political
    integrity of the United States' voting system.
    AS--[Q]: Dan Smith beat Emir to the draw in the Union Hotel
    flashback, but he didn't shoot.  Why not?                  [#VAS]
    [A]: In my layout and timeline of the events of the Union Hotel
    murders, Dan Smith the last of the Smiths killed before Emir took
    on Harman Smith.  Also according to my timeline and interpretation,
    Dan Smith had been resurrected from the dead at least once before
    his murder at the Union Hotel.
    He knew that his boss could resurrect him from the dead; he knew
    his boss was a total badass assassin.  And his boss was on the
    floor immediately above him.  He may have waited to shoot because
    he was pretty sure he wouldn't be permanently killed by the shot.
    AT--[Q]: MASK De Smith seems out of place among the Killer7.  He
    isn't bloodthirsty, and he's a hero to children.  What's with 
    that?                                                      [#VAT]
    [A]: I think that this is intended to call our attention to the
    nature of heroes.  A quotation from the Konami game "Metal Gear
    Solid 2: Sons of Liberty" reads: "There's not much of a difference
    between heroes and madmen."
    In the way that comic book characters often are heroes, MASK De
    Smith is a hero.  He has a secret identity; he undergoes multiple
    transformations, each time revealing a deeper super identity; and
    he is portrayed as a defender of the weak.  When he speaks his 
    classic line to Jean DePaul, he implies the purity of his own
    strength: "Children are pure.  They know who is the strongest."
    When MASK De Smith kills, it is for the sake of justice.  When
    Dan Smith kills, it's because he's crazy and he simply loves
    killing.  Both are the same, in their actions.  We judge them 
    differently based on their motivations toward identical actions.
    AU--[Q]: Why couldn't Garcian revive the Personae after they were
    killed by the Black Smiles in the Coburn Elementary Gymnasium?
    [A]: A couple of reasons suggest themselves.
    First, Garcian no longer possessed the Vision Ring.  His powers
    of clairvoyance and resurrection seem to have been contingent upon
    both his "third eye" and his possession of the Vision Ring.  The
    "third eye" allowed him to perceive supernatural activity; the 
    Vision Ring allowed him to act within the supernatural realm.
    Once he lost the Vision Ring, he lost the ability to act within
    the supernatural realm.  However, until he climbed to the roof of
    the Union Hotel, he could still perceive the supernatural realm.
    Second, even granting Garcian the power to resurrect the dead after
    giving up the Vision Ring, he had none of their remains.  It is 
    important that after every death of a Persona, in the game, Garcian
    can retrieve some parts of their body in a brown paper bag.  He
    doesn't have any of this, after they are killed by the Black
    AV--[Q]: Is there any significance to the way that the Personae's
    powers work?                                               [#VAV]
    [A]: Yes, I think so.
    All of the Personae's powers suggest elements of their deaths, in
    the Union Hotel.  All of the powers are inversions of the elements
    of their deaths.
    Kevin Smith was in disguise, but his disguise failed.  In the
    Killer7, Kevin Smith's disguise is perfect: he turns invisible.
    Con Smith did not hear Emir enter his room, and he did not run 
    away.  In the Killer7, he has perfect hearing and he can run at
    impossible speeds.
    MASK De Smith was completely nude, exposed, and he died without
    putting up a fight.  In the Killer7, he is disguised entirely, and
    he is the superhero-in-residence.
    KAEDE Smith was a coward; she ran away when she had the chance to
    warn the remainder of her comrades, and she hid in a closet.  In 
    the Killer7, she instead slits her wrist and showers forth blood--
    an action reminiscent of self-sacrifice, the opposite of her be-
    havior in the Union Hotel.  As well, instead of placing a barrier
    between herself and a threat--as she did when she hid from Emir in
    the closet--she removes barriers.
    Coyote Smith hid unimaginatively from Emir.  In the Union Hotel,
    Coyote had the option of climbing onto the fire escape to flee.
    Lacking the imagination to do so, however, he was killed when Emir
    instead used the fire escape to catch Coyote off guard.  In the 
    Killer7, then, Coyote possesses the ingenuity and cleverness that
    he failed to display at the Union Hotel.
    Dan Smith talked a lot of trash, bragged to Emir's face, and even
    beat Emir to the draw.  In the end, though, he was unable to cash
    the check his mouth had written.  In the Killer7, then, he is
    still a braggart, but he is able to follow through with the claims
    made in his speech.  He is even able to fire the devastating
    Colatteral Shot--a supernatural version of the gunshot that could
    have saved his life from Emir Parkreiner, in the Union Hotel.
    AW--[Q]: Why does MASK De Smith get so many powerups, when the
    other members of the Killer7 do not?                       [#VAW]
    [A]: Again, I think that MASK De Smith's powerups are intended to
    reflect his quality as a superhero.  Every superhero transforms
    from his or her "secret identity" into a super identity.  MASK
    De Smith is such a superhero, he transforms from super identity
    into super identity into super identity.
    He rocks the proverbial party.
    AX--[Q]: Does the singer with the guitar at the beginning of
    ALTER EGO have any significance?                           [#VAX]
    [A]: Mostly, I think he is present for flavor.  However, he also
    serves as a guide, much as do the twin boys in the cathedral.
    AY--[Q]: What do the Odd Engravings mean?                  [#VAY]
    [A]: At this point, I do not have any insight into specific meaning
    created by the design of the Odd Engravings.  In general, though,
    I would observe that the precise detail given in the Odd Engravings
    contrasts the abstract geometry of the rest of the game's visual
    atmosphere well.
    AZ--[Q]: What's the deal with Susie?  What's her story?    [#VAZ]
    Susie is a Remnant Psyche, of the Killer7.
    She has a troubled and stressful past.  At one point, her mother
    committed suicide--and took Susie with her.  Susie's mother died,
    but Susie survived.  Susie got in trouble quite a bit--she had
    typical American teenager angst--and she seems to have had a hair
    trigger temper.  Once, a young man came to take her out on a date
    in secret; he threw some rocks at her window, and accidentally
    hit her in the face.  This tripped her wire: she got her father's
    gun and shot the erstwhile beau to death.
    Susie was later confined to a mental institution.  She killed a
    few of her nurses, and then escaped.  According to Johnny Gagnon's
    letters, she requested work from the Killer7--though, it is un-
    clear whether this means that she had requested to work FOR the
    Killer7, or that she had requested that the Killer7 do a job for
    Either way, she was killed, and the exact details of her death are
    unknown.  However, she appears to the Killer7 as a severed head,
    and is part of the psychic phenomena that surround them.
    BA--[Q]: Why does Mills have the car that Clemence drove at
             the end of Cloudman?                              [#VBA]
    SUDA 51 has been interviewed on this issue, and he is quoted as 
    having said that in the interim between Cloudman and Smile, Mills
    bought the car off of Clemence, who felt uncomfortable owning the
    vehicle that was dyed red from his former master's blood.
    After Mills is assassinated, Garcian/Emir buys the car, which is
    what he drives across the intercontinental interstate to get to
    Battleship Island.
    Interestingly, when Garcian and Mills converse in the car that
    Mills bought from Clemence, Garcian sits on the right side, as 
    the passenger.  In the car that Mills owned BEFORE he bought the
    car from Clemence, Garcian is seen riding on the LEFT SIDE, as
    the passenger.  (You can see Garcian riding on the left side in
    the anime-style cutscene introducing the ALTER EGO chapter.) This
    implies that Mills' first car was not a vehicle manufactured for
    use in the United States; European roads require that the driver
    side be located on the right of the car, since European driving
    laws require drivers to stay on the left side of the road.
    This is a nice detail, because it further evinces Japan's 
    impotence: since Japan is no longer manufacturing cars for global
    purchase, Europe has picked up the slack and manufactures cars
    that are exclusively designed for European use.
    BB--[Q]: What happened to Japan, at the end of SUNSET?     [#VBB]
    The game does not make the fate of Japan very clear.  The most
    confusing scene plays at the end of SUNSET, when missiles fly
    over Mills and Garcian standing on the highway overpass.
    According to the game, the only person capable of convincing the
    U. S. Government to intervene and intercept the missiles is Toru
    Fukushima, since he is the head of the U. N. Party--the strongest
    political party in Japan.  However, the Liberal Party sends Julia
    Kisugi to kill Fukushima, to retrieve the Yakumo.  (The Liberal
    Party could not have chosen a worse time to do so.)
    During the cutscene that opens the second part of SUNSET, we see
    Matsuoka become the new leader of the U. N. Party, since Fuku-
    shima is now dead.  Matsuken leaves, after having been touched by
    Kun Lan's "God Hand," and attends to matters that are not speci-
    fied in the game.  Since Fukushima is the only man who could 
    entice the U. S. Government to intervene because of his position
    as the head of the U. N. Party, it is possible that Matsuken left
    to encourage the U. S. Government's aid in saving Japan.
    The meeting in the KAKU Building, of course, was between members
    of Japan's Liberal Party and the U. S. Government.  However, 
    since the Liberal Party held no real influence with the U. S.
    Government, it is unlikely that they could have engaged serious
    consideration for the U. S. Government's intervention.
    As of the end of SUNSET, the situation looks like this, then:
    Matsuken is the new head of the U. N. Party and is the only
    one who could encourage the U. S. Government to save Japan.  The
    Japanese Liberal Party is losing the negotiations to save Japan.
    Matsuken leaves to attend to unknown business, at the time when
    the U. N. Party wants to save Japan.  We have circumstances that
    allow for both possibilities: Japan could have been saved by
    Matsuken's intervention, or Japan could have been destroyed be-
    cause of the Liberal Party's ineptness.
    This brings us to the scene at the end of SUNSET, when the missiles
    fly over Mills and Garcian.  The missiles are said to have been
    launched from an unknown location in Asia.  Mills and Garcian are
    standing on a bridge in Seattle, Washington.  If someone were to
    launch missiles as Japan, from Asia, it is unlikely that the 
    missiles would need to pass over Seattle, Washington, to arrive
    at their destination.  Further, if Mills and Garcian are standing
    on the bridge, facing west--that is, toward the Pacific Ocean and
    Japan--then the missiles that fly over them would have most pro-
    bably been launched from WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.  This suggests
    that the U. S. Government decided to intercept the missiles, by
    launching its own missiles to intercept those heading toward
    The cutscenes and the in-game information is ambiguous, though
    the evidence suggests that Japan was most likely saved from total
    annihilation by the United States.  (After all, Battleship Island
    is not far off of Japan's coast, and it certainly would have been
    destroyed in a nuclear explosion.  Yet, we see that it has 
    BC--[Q]: The anime styles used in the CLOUDMAN and ALTER EGO
             chapters are different.  Why is that?             [#VBC]
    I don't know a whole lot about anime.  I will agree, though, that
    the styles used in CLOUDMAN and ALTER EGO are different enough
    that it jars the audience's expectations.  I think that the
    importance of the anime cutscenes in ALTER EGO should be addressed
    before explaining why they differ from those in CLOUDMAN.
    Anime characters and images appear frequently in "Killer7," and
    they mostly appear in association with anti-U. S. forces.  Think
    about the associations between anime influences, and the boss of
    ANGEL and Ayame Blackburn in ENCOUNTER.  (For a fuller treatment
    of the significance of Japanese pop culture in the game, please
    read the last section in section VI of this document.)
    Importantly, anime is a medium that is a sort of extension of
    Japanese comics, much as American animation has become an exten-
    sion of American comic books.  One presents static pictures that
    tell a story, when viewed in a certain sequence, and the other
    presents dynamic pictures that tell a story, when viewed in a
    certain sequence.  Like comic books, most of the popular anime
    involves a superhero--think of Japanese manga and anime such as
    "Fist of the North Star" and "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure."
    When the player encounters Curtis Blackburn's remnant psyche,
    Blackburn urges the player not to trust superheroes; he insists
    that they are fakes.  Curtis's advice is ironic.  At first, he
    appears to be talking about the Handsome Men; however, he may 
    also allude to Emir Parkreiner's "awakening" from his possession
    by H. H.
    The anime cutscenes in ALTER EGO express Emir Parkreiner's gradual
    recognition of his pre-Killer7 memory.  The members of the Killer7
    are all fantastic beings--Johnny Gagnon's letters even describe
    Dan Smith's Collateral Shot as a move straight out of an anime
    movie.  Prior to ALTER EGO, all of the members of Killer7 are per-
    ceived as real, flesh-and-blood figures.  During ALTER EGO, they
    are perceived as cartoon characters: larger than life mirages.
    During SMILE, they are perceived as ghosts and dismissed.  The
    chronological order of the chapters reflects the movement of Emir's
    mind toward recognition of his identity; the anime cutscenes of
    ALTER EGO suggest that Emir is recognizing (on some primordial
    level) that the Killer7 Personae are not the real, flesh-and-blood
    figures he has believed them to be, until this point.
    Since Emir's awakening is central to the plot of "Killer7," I
    think that the significant anime cutscenes of ALTER EGO are more
    important than those of CLOUDMAN.  Consequently, I think that the
    anime style in CLOUDMAN is used precisely because it is so diff-
    erent from that used in ALTER EGO.  The difference calls the
    audience's attention to the anime cutscenes of ALTER EGO, to
    make the audience question the meaning behind them more explicitly.
    BD--[Q]: How does Garcian resurrect the dead Personae?     [#VBD]
    Following this document's interpretation that Garcian controls
    the Killer7's Personae from within Harman's Room--thereby explain-
    ing why he does not exist in the field, when any of the other
    Personae are out there--I think that the player's actions when
    accessing the television screen in Harman's Room are reflections
    of Garcian's own actions.  In other words, Garcian controls the
    Killer7 in ways similar to the way that we control them--through
    a video game.
    Yet, when we access the television screen, Garcian Smith appears
    as an option, and he addresses the audience to indicate that he
    is inside the television--not accessing it.
    All of the Killer7 and the phenomenae of H. H. and Kun Lan's game
    requires Emir Parkreiner's identity as a resource to use.  Emir's
    body can shapeshift and assume the appearance of the various 
    Personae; the material of his psyche is needed to create the
    personalities for each of the Personae, much like a yard of cloth
    can be used to make a shirt, a dress, or any number of garments.
    When we resurrect a fallen Persona, we are required to "infuse it
    with life."  The energy that brings the Persona back to life must
    exist in some other form, before it is transmitted into the dead
    Persona.  In the relationship between the player and the game, 
    the player's own physical energy is used to resurrect the Persona,
    since the player must press the A button rapidly in order to bring
    the Persona back to life.  Likewise, in the game, it seems that 
    the resurrection process involves "reinflating" the dead Persona
    with energy from Emir Parkreiner's psyche/soul.
    Since Garcian is the only member of the Killer7 who bears any
    relationship to the previous identity of Emir Parkreiner, it is
    natural that he would be the only one who can bring the Personae
    back to life.  In a sense, he is a ward over Emir Parkreiner's
    soul, and he is responsible for infusing the dead Personae with
    Emir's spiritual material.
    BE--[Q]: What's the deal with the epilogue sequence that takes
             place 100 years later?  Why is it in Shanghai?    [#VBE]
    The "100 Years Later" epilogue conveys that the battle between
    Harman and Kun Lan is never-ending.  SUDA 51 has commented that
    it represents the endless cycle of war.  I would also add that it
    represents the INEVITABILITY of war, as long as extremist cultural
    factions within the Occident and the Orient fight each other.
    The setting of the conflict, 100 years later, leads me to think
    so.  Again, I interpret the significance of the setting in terms
    of allusiveness to the Second World War.
    Prior to Japan's fated participation in the Second World War,
    Japan had staged several ethnocentric and imperialistic conquests
    into China.  Japan saw itself as the purifier of the Asian nations,
    and it sought to conquer the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean pop-
    ulations in order to subjugate them under their proper ruler--
    the Japanese Emperor.  While Western political powers were aware
    of Japan's military advances into China, they disapproved of the
    aggression without seriously challenging Japan.  One of the moments
    that brought the West's attention to Japanese continental expan-
    sion was the Shanghai Incident.
    Japan's war against the Chinese spread to Shanghai in February
    1932.  Until that point, the United States government held a re-
    action called "the nonrecognition principle" to Japan's territorial
    conquests within China.  The "nonrecognition principle" was a
    diplomatic trick that allowed the United States to refuse to re-
    cognize Japanese possession of conquered Chinese terrority (which
    protected them from appearing to support the Japanese expansion
    to the Chinese).  Until the Shanghai Incident, the Japanese
    expansion had occurred mostly in the north and east of China;
    however, the United States and Britain had significant commercial
    interests in Shanghai.
    With the attack upon Shanghai, Japan began to irritate Western
    powers more directly with its imperialistic activity.  Neither
    the United States nor Britain could retaliate, due to the trouble
    caused by the Great Depression; however, the Shanghai Incident 
    marked the beginning of the West's wariness of Japan.
    During the "100 Years Later" epilogue, Harman fights Kun Lan in
    Shanghai.  The location in Shanghai, I think, suggests another
    policital circumstance, in the future, which will result in another
    struggle between Harman (the West) and Kun Lan (the East).
    BF--[Q]: At the end of ANGEL, the boss says that four of their
             children did not die in vain, but that the Killer7
             killed the other nine children needlessly.  Who were
             those children?  What did she mean by 'not dying in
             vain?'  Who were the other nine?                  [#VBF]
    At the beginning of ANGEL, Mills tells Garican that there are
    fourteen Heaven Smiles inside, including the leader.  Add four
    to nine, and you have thirteen Heaven Smiles referred to by the
    ANGEL boss.  Include the angel just beyond the boss fight room--
    the one that Kun Lan hides behind--and you have fourteen.
    As suggested earlier in this guide, three ways appear to exist
    for making Heaven Smiles: conversion (like in the intro to ANGEL), 
    Frankenstein-monster creation (using the organs harvested by Pedro
    and Blackburn), and viral infection (as seen at the end of CLOUD-
    MAN).  However, the egg-laying Duplicator Smiles seem to create
    weaker, less substantial Heaven Smiles.
    The existence of the Duplicator Smiles seems to have been a sur-
    prise to everyone involved; even the Killer7's pre-operation
    intelligence lacked mention of them.  (Remember Dan's comment:
    "The bastards are breeding!")  The ANGEL boss doesn't appear to
    recognize the Heaven Smiles created by the Duplicator Smiles,
    when she mentions thirteen of her "children."
    Importantly, three humans die in the course of ANGEL.  (I do not
    include the person in the foyer, since he became a Heaven Smile
    and died in that condition.)  These, I think, comprise the "four 
    children" referred to in the ANGEL boss's speech.  However, the 
    ANGEL boss herself is an extra presence in the building.  With 
    her present, the total number of Heaven Smiles reaches fifteen.  
    On her back, four faces that look like Kun Lan represent her weak 
    spots, during the boss fight.
    I think that her statement that "four children" did not die in
    vain alludes to her own creation, as a Heaven Smile entity.  The
    four faces are representations of each of the people in the
    building who died in the building.  The man who turns into a 
    Heaven Smile in the building's foyer explains that people inside
    have already died; likely, he alludes to the certain death of
    the other three people, in addition to another person who died
    before his encounter with the Killer7 in the foyer.  Owing to
    whatever engineering process the Heaven Smiles use to create new
    beings, the three witnessed deaths and the fourth unwitnessed
    death contributed to the creation of the ANGEL boss.
    The "other nine children" referred to in the ANGEL boss's speech
    are the Heaven Smiles in the building who were converted, rather
    than generated by the Duplicator Smiles.
    BG--[Q]: Which Harman is lying on the floor, at the end of LION,
             and why is he wearing all white?                  [#VBG]
    The Harman lying on the floor at the end of LION is the whole
    Harman--all three of the earlier divisions again unified into
    one entity.  Master Harman no longer exists as a mediating figure
    between Harman Smith and H. H.--H. H. no longer has to deal with
    controlling a delinquent Harman Smith--and Harman Smith no longer
    has to deal with a dominating H. H.  They are unified, and they
    are at rest.
    The white suit that he wears is related to the black suit that
    Emir Parkreiner wears, in the LION mission.  Master Harman's and
    H. H.'s white-in-black appearance signified a relationship to
    Garcian Smith, whose appearance is black-in-white.  Now that
    Harman and Emir are separated, the parts of each other that they
    possessed are returned to the original entity.  Harman is no
    longer fractured by his possession of Emir Parkreiner, and Emir
    Parkreiner is no longer fractured by his possession by Harman.
    Consequently, each character appears as a solid color, rather
    than as contrasting colors.
    Think of this as a junk drawer for observations on the formal 
    and plot elements of the game that don't belong, really, to 
    any of the other areas.
    A--SMILE STATIC                                            [#VIA]
    While playing through SMILE-PART 2, I noticed that the sound 
    of television static vaguely resounded, in the background of 
    most of the music and sound effects. At first, I thought that 
    my television was acting up. I recorded some of the audio from 
    the game onto an outside MP3 recording device--and, still, the 
    static showed up. I even switched televisions and cables--and, 
    still, the static showed up. 
    The conclusion that I draw from this is that the static is not 
    a technical malfunction on behalf of my PS2, television, or 
    A/V cables--but, rather, that the static is an intentional, 
    formal element of the game.
    Two things combine, in SMILE-PART 2, that suggest an 
    explanation for the static. First, recall that television is 
    the medium for Garcian's communications with the personas. 
    Second, recall that SMILE-PART 2 is the chapter, in the 
    narrative, when the patchwork of Remnant Psyches and personas 
    within and around Emir's soul begin to dissolve. 
    When changing personas, in Harman's Room, the player hears 
    static most noticeably while changing channels. Though 
    television static is avoidable today, mostly owing to cable 
    and digital transference of image and sound, it is extremely 
    common on old television sets that use rabbit-ear style 
    antennae for their reception. The static during SMILE-PART 2 
    is a formal hint that the once-reliable medium of television 
    (as a way to manipulate the personas) is dissolving. 
    B--TRAITOROUS STAINS (Special recognition goes to Sam Ellis, 
       who directed my attention to this.)                     [#VIB]
    If you used Coyote to unlock the door to Room 406 in ANGEL, 
    you can talk to Travis as he shuffles a ghostly frying pan 
    over the eye of the stove. Travis explains that the Camellia 
    Smiles are stained with blood, because red bloodstains are the 
    marks of a traitor--and the Camellia Smiles are supposedly 
    Garcian's contacts within the Heaven Smile. 
    If we take the definition of red-on-white as a symbol that 
    recurs in the game, it raises questions about both KAEDE and 
    Garcian. KAEDE is the only one of the Killer7 to have retained 
    any scar or mark of her death. If the image of red-on-white 
    applies to her character, what betrayal did she commit? 
    KAEDE's act of betrayal may relate to her flashback, as Emir 
    goes through the Union Hotel killing the Harman Assassins. 
    Circumstantial evidence suggests that that, 
    during the flashback sequences, KAEDE had just left Coyote's 
    room. KAEDE is the only character who seems to have had 
    knowledge of Emir's killings, before he arrived at her room. 
    Perhaps her "betrayal" lies in her efforts to save herself, at 
    the expense of warning her fellow assassins about Emir's 
    killing spree. 
    Another possible explanation of KAEDE's betrayal may be her 
    relationship to the political circumstances in the game, given 
    her ethnicity. (A Japanese Killer7 guide states that KAEDE is 
    Japanese American, born around Oregon.) Given the location of 
    Coburn elementary in Washington State, her ethnicity, and the 
    region of her childhood, it's possible that KAEDE was trained 
    as an assassin by the Yakumo. Hence, her inclusion within the 
    Killer7 group, as a group of assassins who work for the West 
    (AKA H. H.) makes her a traitor to the values and allegiance 
    that she was raised under. 
    Garcian's traitorous action may be similar to the second 
    possibility ascribed to KAEDE. At the end, once he has seen 
    thirteen-year-old Emir Parkreiner shoot himself through the 
    mouth, his white suit is stained red. In terms of being a 
    traitor, Garcian's all over the place. Born as the son of Kun 
    Lan, THREE TIMES, and working for H. H.--yet, while working 
    for H. H., serving the interests of the Japanese contingency 
    within the shadow-government of American politics--Garcian's 
    certainly earned that blood. 
    C-ISZK                                                     [#VIC]
    The letters "ISZK" appear frequently through the game: from 
    the television set used to change personas to the name of the 
    amusement park that Curtis uses as a front for his collection 
    of orphans. Kess Bloodysunday is the only character who gives 
    a meaning for "ISZK." He remarks that he can't believe he's 
    actually in "Ishizaka Land." 
    I believe that this is a reference to the post World War II 
    Japanese novelist, Ishizaka Yojiro. I have not read any of 
    Ishizaka's novels in translation, so my information (at this 
    point) relies upon critical literary summaries and biographies 
    that I have located on various digital servers. All sources 
    describe Ishizaka as a Japanese novelist who helped introduce 
    the idea of a "New Japan": a post-World War II Japanese 
    culture that could see a future for itself, beyond the shock 
    and depression of the horror of the atomic bombs. 
    In an eMail written to me, Cyril Lener cogently argues that the
    use of the initials ISZK may refer to the game's art director,
    Akihiko Ishizaka.  Lener quotes the Brady Games Guide interview
    with SUDA 51, who explained that the Designer considered the 
    real meaning behind each secnario and tried to represent it 
    physically."  Given the idiosyncratic, personal approach that 
    Akihiko Ishizaka has taken to depicting the spirit of the world
    of Killer7, it is likely that the recurrence of ISZK (as well
    as the naming of the television station that Ulmeyda uses to 
    broadcast his invitation to Garcian, ZAKA) may be Akihiko Ishi-
    zaka's artistic signature on the game's visual art.
    D--FALLEN ANGEL                                            [#VID]
    After defeating the Ceramic Smile in ENCOUNTER-PART 1, Dan 
    Smith's Demon Gun is "revived." Dan receives both the Demon 
    Gun and a Soul Shell from a figure named only "Fallen Angel."
    The Fallen Angel is not elaborated upon at any other point in 
    the game. Within the bounds of the interpretation of Killer7 
    provided in this plot analysis, I suggest that the Fallen 
    Angel represents Dan Smith's ascent toward the ultimate power 
    he can amass, to confront Curtis Blackburn.
    Dan Smith was killed by Curtis Blackburn. Some have suggested 
    that Curtis only wounded Dan severely, and that Harman Smith 
    came along and bandaged him up afterward. Following this 
    reasoning, they explain that Dan Smith (in the Union Hotel, 
    during the flashback of his murder) was bandaged up from his 
    I disagree with the interpretation just described. First, 
    Travis and Garcian both specifically state that Curtis 
    Blackburn KILLED Dan Smith. Second, Travis repeats the 
    question, "Did you recover the body?" to the player, during 
    ENCOUNTER-PART 1. Travis' use of the word "body" strongly 
    suggests that Dan Smith, in fact, died. 
    Within the bounds of the interpretation ascribed to in this 
    plot analysis, Harman Smith was given the power to resurrect 
    the dead from Kun Lan. As a strong ally of Kun Lan, Harman 
    Smith was given a share of Kun Lan's "Hand of God," his 
    ability to create (or restore) life. Travis seems to suspect 
    that Harman Smith (before being killed by Emir) came upon 
    Dan's corpse and restored it to life. 
    If we go with the idea that (from a certain perspective) Kun 
    Lan is a Devil-figure, Dan's resurrection is akin to having 
    made a deal with the Devil. In a sense, Dan Smith has made a 
    Faustian bargain: he gave Harman Smith his soul, in exchange 
    for the longevity of existence that would allow him to get 
    revenge against Curtis Blackburn. 
    Some argue that Dan's "death" actually occurred while Dan 
    Smith was under Garcian. That is, they argue that Dan Smith 
    was used as a persona on one of Garcian's missions, and that 
    the mission involved the confrontation of Curtis Blackburn. 
    During that mission, Curtis killed Dan Smith; consequently, 
    the Dan Smith persona desires revenge. 
    I disagree with this theory. A few pieces of evidence suggest 
    that Dan's death at Curtis' hands occurred well before Dan 
    Smith's incorporation in Garcian's complex life. First, Dan 
    was killed by Curtis Blackburn, WHILE Dan was still working 
    with the self-defense department. Since Dan's existence and 
    appearance can only be maintained by Garcian at the expense of 
    the appearance of the other personas (as well as Garcian), it 
    seems unlikely that Garcian would have dedicated enough time 
    as the Dan Smith persona to have established a career in the 
    self-defense department. Second, Dan Smith's reaction to 
    Curtis Blackburn (during the cut-scene before the boss fight 
    of ENCOUNTER-PART 2) suggests that the last time he and Curtis 
    met, Curtis was much younger--placing Curtis and Dan's fight 
    before Emir Parkreiner's raid on the Union Hotel. 
    Now, let's bring this back to the enigmatic Fallen Angel. Dan 
    Smith died, and Harman Smith took his soul in exchange for 
    prolonged life during which Dan might avenge himself. When 
    confronting Curtis, Dan says, "I went to see the Devil. Now 
    it's your turn." Within the context of the interpretation 
    favored in this plot analysis, Dan (in this scene) refers to 
    his exchange with Harman Smith. The Fallen Angel is a 
    representation of his decadent decision: it holds both a Soul 
    Shell--a representation of Dan's soul, when he gave it to 
    Harman Smith--and Dan's Demon Gun. I deduce from the use of 
    the term "revive" that Dan once used the Demon Gun, before his 
    murder. The Fallen Angel is the keeper of Dan Smith's greater 
    strength, as well as his mortal soul. 
    Some might ask (reasonably): "If the Soul Shell held by the 
    Fallen Angel represents Dan Smith's soul, and so does the Soul 
    Shell in the 6th floor of the Union Hotel, are you saying that 
    Dan has two souls?" My answer: yes and no. Dan's first soul 
    was given to Harman Smith--and, when Emir Parkreiner killed 
    him in the Union Hotel, Dan Smith's "second soul" (the 
    animating force bestowed upon him by Harman Smith's miniature 
    Hand of God) was contracted by Emir Parkreiner. In a sense, 
    Dan Smith and Garcian Smith are incredibly alike: each man is 
    running off of his third "incarnation" in life, only for 
    different reasons. 
    The above interpretation would also explain the game 
    instruction booklet's claim that Dan would kill Harman at any 
    time. If Dan sees Harman Smith as his "owner," he would want 
    naturally to deprive Harman of the authority that a master has 
    over a slave. Doctor Faustus would have killed Satan, 
    certainly, if doing so would release him from his unholy pact. 
    Also, if this is accurate, Dan's relaxed reaction to Emir's 
    slaughter of his teammates might be more understandable. Dan 
    had a deal with Harman: he would kill for Harman, and Harman 
    would keep him alive until Dan got revenge on Curtis. He 
    likely did not expect Emir to kill Harman--and, instead, 
    expected Harman to kill Emir and then resurrect Dan. 
       TACTICS                                                 [#VIE]
    The Heaven Smiles have bombs planted inside them, and these 
    bombs detonate upon their contact with their target. This 
    bears a stark similarity to the grim tactics of Japanese World 
    War II kamikaze pilots.
    Further, the Japanese kamikaze fighting tactics came from a 
    cultural history steeped in Bushido. Historically, "Bushido" 
    incorporates a highly idealistic philosophy with formal social 
    customs and martial arts practice. In the event that a person 
    must choose between honor and death, he must choose death 
    (according to Bushido ethics). The culmination of such 
    idealism resulted in kamikaze pilot tactics. The level of 
    idealism may seen distant (even impossible) to us, but during 
    World War II volunteers for kamikaze missions flooded and 
    amassed to three times the number of aircraft available for 
    such missions. 
    Another important connection between the Heaven Smiles and the
    Second World War's kamikaze fighters lies in the broader appli-
    cation of suicide-bombing tactics.  While kamikaze tactics were
    originally confined to air force pilots--often, young and inex-
    perienced pilots who wanted to help the Showa Emperor's war
    effort yet who had no combat ability--the suicidal attacks were
    refined for implementation in all areas of military force.  Kami-
    kaze fighting tactics were the core of Japanese specialized mili-
    tary force.  The following excerpt from Herbert Bix's excellent
    biography "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" indicates
    the extent to which Japan applied the suicide-bombing tactics of
    kamikaze fighting:
       "From April 8, 1945, until its capitulation, the Suzuki
       government's chief war policy was "Ketsugo," a further refine-
       ment of the "Shoshango" (Victory Number 3) plan for the defense 
       of the homeland.  Its defining characteristic was heavy reli-
       ance on suicide tactics, and the manufacture of weapons solely
       for the purpose of suicide missions using massive numbers
       of kamikaze 'special attack' planes, human torpedoes shot from
       submarines, dynamite-filled 'crash boats' powered by truck
       engines, human rocket bombs carried by aircraft, and suicide
       charges by specially trained ground units."  [pg 495]
    The fighting tactics and the shocking variety of suicide attacks
    reflects the mobilized forces of the Heaven Smiles, in Killer7.
    Even the name "Heaven Smiles" bears similarity to the literal
    interpretation of the Japanese word kamikaze: "Divine Wind."
       PRISONERS                                               [#VIF]
    As a Southerner (with family from Alabama and South Carolina) 
    who lives in the South, I asked myself, "Who the hell would 
    have the name 'Andrei Ulmeyda'?" The sounds are uncommon in 
    the South, to say the least. However, Ulmeyda lives in Texas, 
    where the cultural history deviates from most of the region 
    that I recognize as the American South. 
    I must confess, though, that I have been helped toward the 
    direction of thought that I will soon describe. Many warm 
    thanks are due to Pedro Giglio, who offers the following 
    observation from his home in Rio de Janeiro: 
    "'Andrei Ulmeyda' sounds like 'Andre Almeida', and
    the Brazilian flag on the Ulmeyda Collection logo menu sounds
    suspiciouis enough that he isn't from the U.S., but an 
    immigrant (possibly illegal? who knows, he's just some postal 
    Intrigued by Pedro's suggestion, I researched Texas World War 
    II history, the possible etymology of Ulmeyda's names, and 
    derived a possible explanation for Ulmeyda's presence in 
    Texas. His presence in Texas, of course, relates to the theme 
    of U. S. World War II politics. 
    Ulmeyda City (in Killer7) is located in the same general area 
    as Crystal City, Texas, during World War II. During World War 
    II, the United States bureau of Alien Enemy Control either 
    kidnapped German-descended South Americans, or it coerced 
    South American nations to deport German-descendant citizens to 
    the United States. During a legal hearing in the 1980's, 
    Edward J. Ennis (the Director of Alien Enemy Control during 
    World War II) described a federal program that involved the 
    kidnapping of "alien enemies from other countries in South 
    Pedro suggests that "Ulmeyda" is a bastardization of 
    "Almeida," and he then posits that Ulmeyda may have Brazilian 
    roots. His suggestion, I think, is apt.
    The possible decision to name Andrei Ulmeyda after the 
    Brazilian surname "Almeida" suggests an interesting 
    correlation. John Almeida was a 16th century Catholic 
    missionary, born in London, who traveled to Brazil during his 
    life of devotion and prayer. His name was originally "Meade," 
    but became changed to "Almeida" owing to the Portuguese 
    surroundings. The connection suggests that "Ulmeyda" was a 
    deliberate decision to link Andrei with Catholic piety--and 
    not the easy kind, either. As Ulmeyda infected himself with 
    various lethal diseases, John Almeida inflicted great pain 
    upon his body to learn to endure suffering; he wore hair 
    shirts, iron chains, and even wore metal plates with sharp 
    points piercing his flesh. 
    The Ulmeyda-Almeida connection notwithstanding, the surname 
    certainly suggests that he has Brazilian origins. Why, then, 
    would he be related to the internment camp at Crystal City? 
    His first name, Andrei, is a Germanic variation of the name 
    "Andrew." His family seems to have been of German descent, 
    living in Brazil, and were deported to the central-south Texas 
    region during the World War II internment of suspected enemies 
    of the United States. 
    Another variation upon Ulmeyda exists, in Catholic history: 
    Saint Almedha. The biggest difference between Saint Almedha 
    and Andrei Ulmeyda is gender; however, two notable parallels 
    exist. First, those homes that refused to offer Saint Almedha 
    shelter during the time of her persecution (immediately 
    preceding martyrdom) were beset with disasters that led to 
    their quick destruction. (This suggests the fate of the 
    military personnel who suffer under Ulmeyda's rain of blood.) 
    Second, the legend surrounding her martyrdom holds that a 
    healing spring appeared at the site of her death. (This 
    suggests the "healing spring" of blood that appears at the 
    site of Ulmeyda's death, to which Clarence reacts without 
    suffering--which, also, is full of antibodies to various 
    lethal diseases.) Finally, Saint Almedha was beheaded--which 
    Ulmeyda certainly was. 
    Another observation is that Ulmeyda figurine number two--the
    one in which Ulmeyda wears a karate gi--the left breast of his
    uniform has a logo variation of the Brazilian flag.
    G--IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL                            [#VIG]
    Through the course of my research into aspects of Japanese 
    culture and history that I (previously) knew nothing about, I 
    have run across paragraphs pertaining to U.S./Japanese 
    relations since World War II that seem highly relevant to 
    Killer7. I will quote these excerpts, and follow each 
    quotation with a comment connecting the excerpt to the game. 
    EXCERPT: " . . . [The] critic Eto Jin . . . has characterized 
    the [post-WWII] Occupation as a period during which the 
    Japanese psyche was recast in an American mold--and with such 
    success that the Japanese virtually lost the power to think 
    critically about their national identity. Eto sees the 
    operations of the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) as one of 
    the Occupation's most powerful tools. With it, he says, the 
    Occupation was able to cut Japan off from the rest of the 
    world and to wage, within this 'sealed linguistic space,' an 
    'invisible war of attrition' against Japanese thought and 
    culture." (Rubin, Jay. "From Wholesomeness to Decadence: The 
    Censorship of Literature under the Allied Occupation." Journal 
    of Japanese Studies. Winter 1985. Pgs 71-103.) 
    COMMENTARY: Since so much of the historical context of the 
    political emotion in Killer7 is drawn from post-WWII Japan, it 
    seems fitting to read a critical assessment of the 
    U.S./Japanese cultural relationship during those years. 
    Killer7 effectively reverses the cultural subterfuge that 
    Japan experienced after World War II--and it combines both 
    invisible military domination with the cultural infiltration 
    of pop Japanese cultural symbols, like anime angels, 
    transforming anime school girls, and Sentai action heroes. 
    EXCERPT: The excerpt recounts the Japanese writer Sakaguchi 
    Ango's reaction to the post-WWII disillusionment with warrior 
    ideals. "Japan lost and Bushido perished, but humanity was 
    born at last from decadence, the womb of truth. Live! Become 
    decadent! . . . Human beings have not changed; we have simply 
    become human again. People become decadent. Heroes and 
    heroines become decadent. It cannot be prevented, nor can 
    preventing it save us. People live, and they become decadent. 
    It is our shortcut to salvation." (Ibid.) 
    COMMENTARY: The author of the article comments that "Ango 
    feels a fascination for the transcendent and superhuman, but 
    he has the sense to step back and say no." One might read some 
    of this into Harman Smith's slaying of Kun Lan and H. H., at 
    the end of SMILE. Kun Lan and H. H.--the transcendant and 
    superhuman embodiments of the cultural values that both vied 
    for his soul--are rejected violently; Harman Smith wins by 
    taking the path of human decadence, forsaking his 
    superhumanity, and becoming only human. Because of this, I 
    think, his soul is asleep in Harman's Room, at the end of 
    H--FURTHER THOUGHTS ON THE YAKUMO                          [#VIH]
    The rings that the Killer7 receives from Susie during the 
    game seem to be embodiments of the Yakumo.  Once more, 
    "ya kumo" translates into "eight clouds."  Andrei Ulmeyda is 
    supposed to have gotten the eight part of the Yakumo, and this 
    is responsible for the success of his business.
    When the Killer7 talks to the cult member inside the restaurant, 
    in CLOUDMAN, the cult member asks if we have seen "that adventure 
    movie about the ring."  He then describes the movie as Ulmeyda's 
    autobiographical thanksgiving for his success.  This suggests that 
    Ulmeyda received his portion of the Yakumo in the form of a ring, 
    much as the Killer7 have received their "powers" in the form of 
    A final note about the Yakumo: "Yakumo" is the name of a German 
    digital hardware company that manufactures (among other products) 
    PDA's.  (Special thanks goes to Sam Ellis, who pointed this out
    to me.)
    I--LION FLAG                                               [#VII]
    If you reload your Save File after completing the sixth chapter, 
    LION, you'll see the silhouette at the Mission Select screen 
    filled in, like Kun Lan's in ANGEL and Curtis Blackburn's in 
    ENCOUNTER. The flag is (presumably) a territorial flag for 
    Battleship Island. 
    The flag is the symbol of the aggressive, militaristic U. N. 
    Party in Japan. Toward the stern of the battleship's silhouette, 
    we see the rising sun and its rays extending to the flag's 
    extremities. The image of the rising sun with extended light rays 
    is a direct allusion to the Japanese Naval Battle Flag, which 
    features the risen sun with red rays emanating to the rectangular 
    flag's borders. After World War II, the flag became regarded as 
    distasteful, even socially offensive, since it represented the 
    violence and aggression enacted by the Japanese within Asia during 
    the nation's imperialism. (An American might consider it similar 
    to the Confederate Battle Flag, in terms of the popular emotional 
    reaction it incites.) 
    The deliberate allusion to Japan's World War II battle flag 
    hammers home the idea that the U. N. Party seeks--not retribution 
    for the East--but specifically Japanese retribution for the 
    use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The extension 
    of the light rays from the lower right corner of the flag (symbolic 
    of the eastern direction) extending forward beyond the battleship 
    visually resonates with the image of Matsuken watching Japanese 
    missiles and fighter planes screaming toward America. 
    The above explanation is incomplete, however. The flag also 
    suggests the ambiguity found in the ending.
    Inasmuch as the red ball on the lower right of the flag could 
    represent the rising sun of Japanese nationalism, it also could 
    represent a much crueler reality for the Japanese: the detonation 
    of hundreds of nuclear missiles on their soil. If we view the 
    flag from the perspective of a player who chose to kill Matsuken, 
    then the red ball and the light represent Japanese destruction. 
    J--BATTLESHIP ISLAND                                       [#VIJ]
    Readers who lurk or post on the Gamecube Killer7 boards will 
    recognize the information on Battleship Island from various 
    threads on the board. I do not have information on the first 
    person to have recognized the connection between Battleship Island 
    in Killer7 and Gunkanjima in Japan. To whomever first noted the 
    connection, I apologize for the omission of your due credit. 
    However, I can credit (again!) Yoshiko Ohier, who redirected me 
    to a web site that features the work of Japanese photographer 
    Saiga Yuji. Saiga Yuji took many exquisite photographs of 
    Gunkanjima, and the physical presense of the island in the 
    photographs resonates with the images during the LION chapter 
    of Killer7. 
    Saiga Yuji's professional web site, in English, may be 
    accessed here:
    Another equally professional web site featuring photographs of 
    Gunkanjima Island is available at the following URL:
    The name "Gunkanjima" translates into "Warship Island," because 
    its silhouette looks like a battleship cruiser from a distance. 
    (See Saiga Yuji's first picture for a stunning example of this.) 
    Since the word "Island" is included in the original name 
    "Gunkanjima," I will not refer to the locale as "Gunkanjima 
    Island," since this would be redundant. (Another name for the 
    island is "Hashima Island," though I will not refer to it by 
    this name.) 
    The descent into the center of the Coliseum, down several 
    hundreds of feet of subterranean elevation, is plausible given 
    Gunkanjima's remaining structure. Tunnels originally constructed 
    for coal mining run from Gunkanjima's surface to below the 
    ocean floor. The island's coal-mining days ended in 1976, when 
    the industrial life of a coal-miner finally became obsolete; 
    however, the structures remain. 
    In his article "Hashima: The Ghost Island," Brian Burke-Gaffney 
    writes: "The history of Hashima Island reads like a chronology 
    of changes in Japan's energy policies from the Meiji Period to 
    modern times." Before its popular recognition as a fuel source 
    in 1890, Gunkanjima was dominated by the Fukahori family; 
    since coal was the best fuel source next to pine wood, the 
    island's resources were in high demand. The island's mined coal 
    became a centrepiece of the region's economy. After Japan became 
    accessible, economically, in the 1850's, the island received 
    greater attention: Nagasaki--only 15 kilometers from 
    Gunkanjima--was one of Japan's most lucrative ports, especially 
    to China. 
    In 1887, the Fukahori family installed the first real mining 
    shaft in the island. Unable to do much more with modern technology, 
    though, the family turned the island over to the Mitsubishi 
    Corporation. Under Mitsubishi's ownership, the island whose 
    legacy we recognize in the modern, industrial ruins of Gunkanjima 
    Before Mitsubishi took over, the Fukahori family had mined coal 
    using pre-modern methods: picking and chipping at exposed rock. 
    Mitsubishi plunged mine shafts deep into the island, to extract 
    coal from its source at a vein that ran beneath Gunkanjima and 
    its neighboring islands. 
    Using the slag from the excavated minerals, Mitsubishi engineered 
    a flat surface on top of the island's natural terrain. Upon this 
    flat surface, the corporation built the homes and industrial 
    workspaces that now exist as colossal ruins. The island was home 
    to Japan's first noteworthy concrete structure--erected to prevent 
    typhoon damage. Successive concrete buildings were erected, and 
    the island became an industrial city unto itself. 
    Gunkanjima was one of Japan's top producers of coal fuel. Its 
    continued operation was crucial during World War II--a war in 
    which victory depended keenly upon modern industrial technology 
    and the resources that make such technology possible. The island 
    became a sort of concentration camp, where Japan sent Korean and 
    Chinese captives to work as miners. These prisoners were kept on 
    starvation diets and were only regarded as work labor; the death 
    toll among those workers was high. These prisoners were forced 
    to die while working to supply their captors with fuel for naval 
    warships and steel for ammunition. 
    After World War II, Gunkanjima's resources were used to rebuild 
    Japan out of wartime defeat. A community grew around the economy 
    of the island. Almost all of the social effects of normal, 
    mainland life were available for the island's residents, from 
    housing to a Shinto shrine to groceries. As much as Gunkanjima's 
    economy depended upon mined coal, though, it depended just as 
    much upon imports from locations beyond the island's walls. As 
    packed as it was, the island could not afford any land to grow 
    food upon--in fact, given the terrain's history, it is unlikely 
    that food could have been grown there at all. 
    Gunkanjima's life started fading in the 1960's, when petroleum-
    based products replaced coal as the main industrial fuel resource. 
    By 1976, the island's whole operation was closed; everyone 
    How, then, is Battleship Island significant?
    Gunkanjima was key to Japan's military mobilization. As a 
    threat in the Second World War, their industrial resources 
    depended upon the wealth of coal-based products available from 
    the coal mined at Gunkanjima. Similarly, Battleship Island 
    (in Killer7) is implied to be the base of operations for Japan's 
    military activity. Here, the Heaven Smiles are "built" and 
    experimented with; here, missiles are installed to launch at 
    the United States. 
    In addition, the economic life of Gunkanjima reflects the 
    political reality of Japan, as it is explained in Killer7. 
    In the game's hypothetical years of 2010 and 2011, Japan 
    depends upon the help of other nations (most notably the United 
    States) for its economic stability. It is also a site of notable 
    resources, making it the "prize to any neighboring country" 
    that Travis describes it as. In the same manner, Gunkanjima 
    was useful as a community that provided coal resources, but 
    it was entirely defenseless and unable to support its own 
    (You can't eat coal, after all.) 
    K--CHANNELS TEN AND ELEVEN                                 [#VIK]
    After the player has unlocked Killer8, channel 10 on the 
    television screen offers Young Harman as an available Persona. 
    This brings the list of channels and Personae to completion:
    Channel 1: Master Harman
    Channel 2: Garcian Smith
    Channel 3: Dan Smith
    Channel 4: KAEDE Smith
    Channel 5: Kevin Smith
    Channel 6: Coyote Smith
    Channel 7: Con Smith
    Channel 8: MASK De Smith
    Channel 9: Harman Smith
    Yet, channels ten and eleven remain blank. 
    Some players ask why.
    First off: no new Personae are available on channels eleven and 
    twelve. At all. Ever. In the name of Harman.
    Second: I've considered channels ten and eleven from a variety 
    of metaphorical and symbolic points of view, and I can refine 
    no conclusion about any meaning of the channels beyond a simple 
    wish (on behalf of the design team) to remain true to the 
    representation of the technology. 
    Back in the proverbial day, televisions had channels one through 
    eleven, and an extra band for UHF transmissions. The UHF band in 
    Killer7 is changed to the dial spot where the player transfers 
    blood to the surgeon. That, however, seems to be the extent of 
    the significance of the television channels. 
    L--RACISM IN KILLER7                                       [#VIL]
    Some have inquired whether or not Killer7 is another anti-American 
    rant, designed to lampoon American ideology and political culture. 
    The curious fact about opinions of the game is that people find 
    it difficult to say whether or not the game favors America or 
    Japan. After all, the player is given a choice at the end of 
    the game, without editorial comment from any of the characters, 
    whether or not to destroy America. 
    Killer7 carries ambiguous anti-nationalist and racist undertones 
    that are difficult to extricate and understand. The cultural 
    and political history of Japan creates great difficulty in 
    separating racial distinctions from national identity, with 
    respect to a plot that centers on Japan-U.S. tensions. 
    Historically, as an island-nation, Japan has forcibly isolated 
    itself from other countries' political and spiritual ideologies; 
    specifically, Japan has reacted against Western ideologies: 
    until the nation was forced into Western subjugation following 
    World War II, it's elite cultural figures considered Communism 
    and Capitalism equally detestable because of their Western 
    Therefore, Japan came to associate its physical characteristics 
    with its national identity. Shiratori Kurakichi, a turn-of-the-
    20th-century Japanese scholar who was charged with the education 
    of Emperor-to-be Hirohito, wrote a five volume discourse on 
    Japanese history, titled "Kokushi." In explaining Japanese racial 
    origins and national ideology, Shiratori wrote: 
    "The imperial house unified our land and people and created the 
    empire. Not only did it rule as the head of state, it also became 
    integrated with the people and the head of their religion. 
    Because of the ineffable feeling of intimacy between the throne 
    and the people, the imperial house was able to create an extremely 
    firm foundation for a state. However, just as the imperial house 
    is a line of emperors unbroken for ages eternal; the people too, 
    from generation to generation, father to child, have propagated 
    down to today. Not once has there been a change in the race. 
    Therefore we, descendants of the people who assisted the founder 
    at the time of her creation of the state, have carried out the 
    will of our ancestors and become eternally loyal subjects. The 
    successive imperial families have loved the loyal subjects of 
    their progenitor and always trusted in the people's cooperation 
    in carrying out their grand plans. This indeed is the essence 
    of out kokutai . . . . There is no mistake . . . in saying that 
    we have been a homogeneous race since antiquity" (Print source: 
    Bix, Herbert. "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan." Page 71.) 
    Certainly, the concept of homogeneous racial identity may be 
    disputed; the important aspect, however, is that Japanese culture 
    implied a self-perception of racial purity. As well, this racial 
    purity was tied directly to the people's relationship to their 
    emperor. In other words, Japanese racial identity and political 
    identity were regarded as inextricable. The United States shared 
    Japan's racist views, as illustrated in its internment of Japanese 
    descended Americans during World War II. As a nation at war, the 
    United States regarded all people "of the Japanese race" as 
    allies to the Japanese Emperor and, by extension, the Axis powers. 
    I do not think that Killer7 ascribes to the type of racism 
    described above. However, since that racism was a cultural ideal 
    that began to change as a result of the Japanese's occupation 
    by Allied forces after World War II, I think that Killer7 taps 
    into that tradition of Japanese racial-political succession for 
    part of its atmosphere. The Yakumo, as described in section [#II-B] 
    of this document, is connected directly to Japanese nationalist 
    identity. It is important that all of the members associated 
    with the U. N. Party are visibly distinct as Japanese men. 
    The anti-American sentiments present in Killer7 stem largely 
    from the implied attitudes of racism, on behalf of the 
    conservative Japanese ideologues in Killer7, such as Akiba, 
    Kurahashi, and Matsuoka.
    As an American myself, I am more sensitive to the game's criticism 
    of America than I am to the game's criticism of Japan. However, 
    as a scholar who has become more aware of Japanese history, I 
    must recognize that I have become more sensitive to the game's 
    criticism of Japan, too. The game describes Japan in the 
    harshest terms, just like it does America: it is a politically 
    corrupt state, war-mongering, ignorant, and hateful. The scene 
    in the KAKU Building at the end of the SUNSET mission, wherein 
    the diplomats from the U. S. and Japan's Liberal Party shoot 
    each other over a symbolic game of Mah-jong, illustrates the 
    dual criticism of American and Japanese political ideology. 
    Harman's division into three parts suggests another aspect of 
    Western thought: Sigmund Freud's division of the psyche into 
    Superego, Ego, and Id.
    Freud's psychological theories evolved constantly, during his 
    work as a professional psychoanalyst. Owing to the complex nature 
    of his theories, as well as the ways in which Western culture 
    has assimilated his ideas into popular awareness, a stark 
    difference often exists between the popular notions of Freud's 
    theories and Freud's actual ideas. A prime example of a popular 
    misuse of Freud's theories is the Austin Powers film series, 
    which mostly boils Freud down to phallic and vaginal symbols. 
    In the interest of specifying Freud's relevant ideas from the 
    popular notions that (often) distort his thought, I will describe 
    the Superego, Ego, and Id, as well as their relationships to 
    each other.
    The Superego is a residual memory of the father-figure, often 
    perceived by an individual as God, a higher moral consciousness, 
    or any authority whose mere will is a moral expectation. H. H. 
    is the Harman-figure who embodies the Superego. 
    The Id is the individual's raw bestial energy. These are the 
    elements of the individual's being which are trimmed and 
    domesticated by civilization, because they are inherently 
    unsociable. They can be understood most simply as sex-impulses 
    and violence-impulses, all of which involve the assertion of 
    the individual's power upon the world beyond himself. Harman 
    Smith is the Harman-figure who embodies the Id. 
    The Ego is the individual's most acute layer of consciousness. 
    It mediates between the separate demands of the Id and 
    Superego--and, further, it mediates these two forces' desires 
    with the forces that intrude upon the individual's awareness 
    from outside the body. Of all three faculties, the Ego does 
    not generate anything except combinations of the demands given 
    by the Id and Superego, in response to objects that it 
    perceives as existing outside the mind. Master Harman is the 
    Harman-figure who embodies the Ego. 
    The psychic world created around Emir Parkreiner is a sort of 
    miniature version of the order of Western civilization, according 
    to Sigmund Freud's theories. Emir, a member of Western 
    civilization, goes to Master Harman (the Ego) with news from 
    the outside world; Master Harman, as the combined expression 
    of H. H. and Harman Smith, balances this knowledge against 
    the "holy" desires of H. H. and the violent desires of 
    Harman Smith. 
    Importantly, the development of Superego, Ego, and Id is started 
    by the problematic Oedipal complex. When the individual 
    (as an infant) internalizes the moral expectations of his 
    father, he creates the Superego; however, since the power of 
    this moral code outlasts the physical life of his father, it 
    becomes translated into what psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan called 
    the "Name-of-the-Father." In other words, it is the father's 
    law given lasting power as an abstraction. 
    In this sense, Iwazaru's incantation "In the name of Harman" 
    carries great significance. The relationship between Iwazaru 
    and Master Harman becomes more interesting, here; as both 
    represent "fathers" of Emir Parkreiner, both seem to carry a 
    similar presence within the psychical world. (Note that Master 
    Harman and Iwazaru both inhabit the same location, in Harman's 
    Room.) When Iwazaru speaks to the Killer7, his intonation 
    "In the name of Harman" suggests that he speaks on behalf of 
    the "Name-of-the-Father," or the Superego. 
    At the end of the game, when Harman Smith kills H. H. and 
    Kun Lan in the Forbidden Room, we see a dramatization of the 
    triumph of the Id over the Superego. As a psychic force within 
    Freud's theory, the Id must be frustrated, necessarily, by 
    the Superego: the Superego is the psychic force that deliberately 
    restricts the Id from doing whatever it pleases. As a result, 
    the Id desires to kill the Superego because it wants full 
    freedom; in Freud's Oedipal Complex, this is expressed 
    symbolically by a man's desire to kill his father, from whom 
    the moral code is taken. 
    N--THREE MONKEYS                                           [#VIN]
    Many individuals with some education in the Japanese language 
    have remarked that Iwazaru, his wife, and the spirit who helps 
    find the Soul Shells are named after the Japanese words for 
    "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil." Iwazaru's name 
    translates into "Speak no evil;" Mizaru's name translates 
    into "See no evil;" and Kikazaru translates into "Hear no evil." 
    Their names suggest a close relationship to each other. Mizaru 
    and Iwazaru's relationship is apparent enough; they were married. 
    If you ascribe to the interpretation of the game described in 
    this document, they were Emir Parkreiner's parents. However, 
    not enough information is provided for Kikazaru to determine 
    what relationship, if any, he has to the other two. 
    Their names suggest qualities of their relationship to their 
    former lives. As Iwazaru was the former psychic presence of Kun 
    Lan within Harman Smith, he is given the name "Speak no evil," 
    meaning that he is to speak nothing against H. H. ever again. 
    (Note, also, that Kun Lan's calling card laughter is also an 
    extension of the mouth and speech.) As Mizaru was Emir 
    Parkreiner's mother--and she sexually desired her own son--her 
    name is "See no evil;" the eyes are credited often as cultural 
    symbols for desire and lust. 
    Again, as little information is provided regarding Kikazaru, it 
    is difficult to speculate on his identity. As such, it is 
    difficult to speculate on why he earned the name "Hear no evil."
    O--MESSIAHS                                                [#VIO]
    In the Christian tradition, Jesus Christ began his ministry on 
    earth when he was thirty years old. His ministry lasted for 
    three years, at the end of which he was crucified by the Roman 
    Empire and resurrected from the dead. His resurrection resulted 
    in the opening of a relationship between God and humanity, 
    through which human sins could be overcome. 
    The messianic symbolism is used heavily in Killer7. When we 
    start the game, we learn that we are starting "Mission 34" of 
    the Killer7's career. Symbolically, we are in a dangerous area, 
    since we are past the messianic point of no-return. Further, 
    Garcian Smith is described as being thirty years old--the age 
    at which Christ began his ministry on earth. 
    Likewise, Kenjiro Matsuoka is thirty years old. While Matsuken 
    has not shared the personal history of rebirths that Emir 
    Parkreiner has, he is "adopted" by Kun Lan. (One might almost 
    call Matsuken's scene at the opening of SUNSET PART TWO his 
    Think of Emir Parkreiner and Kenjiro Matsuoka as messianic 
    opposites; given the relativism of the game's political 
    perspective, this makes both Emir and Matsuken messiahs and 
    anti-messiahs. Both are born in the "heartlands" of their 
    respective countries. Hulbert's tapes recognize Emir as having 
    been born in Alabama, in the American South, from which almost 
    all of the United States' culturally distinct art comes. 
    (Think: jazz, blues, rock and roll, and William Faulkner all 
    come from Southern roots, and all the art is based in the life 
    of the American South.) Matsuken is described on Capcom-Japan's 
    web site as having been born in Hiroshima, the heart of Japan's 
    post-World War II self-consciousness. Alabama and Hiroshima 
    are twin Bethlehems for the messiahs of Killer7. 
    The time period between the end of SMILE and the LION mission 
    is three years. Since both men are thirty years old at the time 
    of SMILE, this makes them thirty-three years old at the time of 
    LION. In other words, both of them are ripe for crucifixion; if 
    the player chooses to crucify Matsuken, then Japan's messiah dies; 
    if the player chooses to let Matsuken live, he implicitly crucifies
    Emir as America's messiah. 
    Going along with the parallel relationships between the ideological 
    factions in Killer7 and the ideological differences that arose
    within (and against) Japanese political culture around the time
    of Japan's involvement in World War II, we might view Kenjiro 
    Matsuoka as a reflection of Japan's WWII foreign minister, Yosuke
    Matsuken (from Killer7) represents conservative, isolationist 
    Japanese ideals of total domination and the capitulation of 
    flaccid democratic ideals.  In a 1940 interview given by Yosuke
    Matsuoka, in order to provoke the American public's awareness of
    Japan's military and ideological presence, is quoted as having
       "In the battle between democracy and totalitarianism the latter
       adversary will without question win and will control the world.
       The era of democracy is finished and the democratic system is
       bankrupt.  There is not room in the world for two different
       systems or for two different economies . . . .  Facism will
       develop in Japan through the people's will.  It will come out
       of their love for the Emperor."
       [Print source: Bix, Herbert.  "Hirohito and the Making of Modern
       Japan.  Perennial Publishing: 2001.  pg. 374.]
    Even in the selection of Matsuken's name, we see a parallel between
    the game's political entities and the political activity of WWII
    "Emir" is a name derived from an French word, "?mir," which in 
    turn is derived from the Arabic word, "'amara," which means 
    "to command." As a name, "Emir" means "a prince, a chieftain, 
    or a governor." It can apply to the leader of a holy Muslim 
    pilgrimage; in general, it connotes a leader of people who are 
    traveling or working toward an ultimate destination or goal. 
    "Park" is a cognate, between German and English. It can mean a 
    literal park; as well, it can connote a garden.
    "Reiner" is a German adjective, generally meaning "more pure;
    clearer; more chaste."  On the meaning of "Reiner," Markus Pfeffer, 
    a German reader of this document, writes:
       "There's more: 'Reiner' (also written as 'Rainer') is a 
       common german name. Looking it up in a name lexicon reveals 
       the following: It is derived from the medieval name Raginhari, 
       which translates to "the words 'decision' and 'army'. It is 
       not clear if it is a decision OF or FOR the army."
    Again, Pfeffer is due credit for informing me on the specific
    use and nature of the word "reiner": the word is a comparative
    word--meaning, in English, that it would end with the suffix
    '-er' to imply that one object has more of a certain quality
    than another object.  It is not a superlative word--meaning,
    it does not mean "purest" or "most chaste."
    Taken all together, the name "Emir Parkreiner" can mean 
    "Leader to the Holy Gardens."  Importantly, the identity of the
    "Holy Gardens" is qualified using a comparative adjective.
    The gardens are more pure than other gardens, and these two
    places are being compared with each other in terms of holiness.
    The comparative nature of "reiner" reinforces the decision
    made at the end of LION.
    With all of the symbolism and historical references woven 
    through Killer7, one should ask, "What is intended to be 
    communicated by these references?"
    Many answers to this question can be provided. The one that 
    most interests me, now, is the ironic inversion of the fate 
    experienced by post-World War II Japan, at the hands of the 
    Allied (American) Occupation. 
    At the time of the Occupation's end, Japan was ostensibly 
    "reborn" as a Western democracy. The specific factors involved 
    in the "rebirth" were cultural. Three central influences were 
    regarded as having led to Japanese participation in World War 
    II: first, Bushido ideology; second, an isolationist (yet 
    imperialistic) foreign policy; and, finally, a cultural belief 
    in conservative Japanese values--values that regarded the 
    family as higher than the individual, the emperor-god higher 
    than the family, and the god of the emperor higher than the 
    emperor-god. The Allied Occupation's specific goal was to 
    convert the defeated nation of Japan from its feudalistic 
    origins--including cultural socialism and Bushido ideology--
    into a state modeled as a Western democracy. 
    In order to accomplish this goal, the Allied Occupation was 
    forced to filter and censor the literature created by native 
    Japanese writers. The two biggest targets of censorship were 
    (1) anti-American sentiments and (2) any explicit reverence 
    for the conservative cultural values that made the Japanese 
    participation in World War II possible. Through the control of 
    the media, the Allied Occupation Forces succeeded in 
    establishing a long-term democratic state out of the feudal 
    conditions of pre-World War II Japan. 
    This is very important to keep in mind, when we think about 
    how Killer7 reverses this against America. First, think about 
    how the American Allied Occupation Forces undermined Japanese 
    culture: control of the media and the cultural images. Now, 
    think about all of the images in the game: anime angels, Ayame 
    Blackburn's transforming schoolgirl routine, Sentai heroes, 
    and ISZK branded on the televisions and amusement parks--
    representing "Yoishi Ishizaka," the post-World War II Japanese 
    fiction writer. All of the cultural images rendere from 
    Japanese pop culture are throw-backs to pre-World War II 
    feudal Japanese culture. The anime angels and the transforming 
    schoolgirl routine express the absolute certainty of virtue 
    assumed by one who lives according to Bushido ethics: the 
    morality implies an intrinsic superiority of the challenger 
    (either angel or schoolgirl) over the challenged forces. As 
    well, the Handsome Men Sentai fighters suggest the activity of 
    Bushido values. Instead of settling the battle with Dan Smith 
    at Trevor Pearlharbor's Dominican home, they arrange a formal 
    duel in New York City--and take death before any loss of 
    In the fictional world of Killer7, we see a reverse of the 
    "cultural persuasion" that the West forced on Japan: we 
    undermined traditional Japanese values with Western ideals of 
    individualism that exceeds loyalty to code and government, and 
    the Japanese (in Killer7) are undermining Western ideals of 
    individuality and a reverence for private truth with Bushido 
    ideology, that emphasizes self-sacrifice and righteous 
    During the Allied Occupation, the cultural subversion occurred 
    parallel to Japan's governmental reformation. In Killer7, the 
    cultural subversion is likewise accompanied with governmental 
    reformation. There are two different layers to this 
    reformation, though, and I want to present this carefully. It 
    can get tricky. 
    The first layer is the most obvious: by controlling the key 
    voting district in the United States, Japanese interests will 
    prevail through the accepted means of American governmental 
    operation. This is accomplished through Coburn Elementary 
    School's brainwashing--which involves the indoctrination of 
    young students into the ideals of the Yakumo. 
    Earlier in this document, I quoted GameFAQs user Yoshiko 
    Ohier, who explained: 
    "Acoording to the CAPCOM official web site in Japanese, Yakumo 
    is a text which was created by 7 Japanese 
    founders(politicians) in the past. The Yakumo (text) is said 
    to have a power to change the world."
    In other words--just as we indoctrinated Japanese children 
    with the ideals of Western democracy, at the expense of their 
    native religion and government, THE JAPANESE ARE 
    INDOCTRINATING AMERICAN CHILDREN under the ideals of Japanese 
    governmental ideals at the expense of their native belief in 
    individuality and democratic process. 
    The second layer is quite difficult to explain. I will try my 
    best. I will start by addressing the fallacy of the location 
    of Coburn Elementary school, with respect to the claims made 
    about it.
    Of Coburn Elementary school, Travis says: "This is the spot 
    where the homeland's elections originate. The spot for the 
    primaries for the first presidential election. The first 
    president of the US was the principal of this school. Win over 
    your neighbors, and win over the world. That's the way 
    politics works." 
    Two things seem off, in what Travis says. First, the ideal of 
    "Win over your neighbors, and win over the world" does not 
    express the ideal execution of a democratic republic. Rather, 
    it suggests the warring territoriality of feudalism. Second, 
    Travis claims that "the first president of the US was the 
    principal of this school"--yet, the school is in Washington 
    State--and Washington State only entered the Union after the 
    Civil War. (Needless to say, the first presidential election 
    was finished by that time.) 
    The easy way to resolve this would be to conclude that the 
    game developers didn't know much about American history when 
    they made the decision to place Coburn in Washington State. 
    However, that conclusion seems inconsistent with the care 
    taken to associate characters and events with specific 
    historical occasions. 
    The more difficult way--and, from my perspective, the truer 
    way--is to conclude that the OBVIOUS fallacy behind the 
    suggestion that George Washington was the principal of a 
    school that existed in a state that was only a guess on the 
    left edge of a map of the New England territories MEANS that 
    we are being lied to. 
    What are we being lied to about? "That's the way politics 
    If we, as players role-playing Garcian/Emir's circumstances, 
    believe that politics works just as Travis explains, then we 
    have lost our Western identity and accepted feudal ideals in 
    their stead. Linda Vermilion tells us to "see with our own 
    eyes how the system works, and then decide." Yet, all of the 
    information that leads to the conclusion that politics works 
    as Travis has described is SECOND-HAND information. We haven't 
    seen how the system works at all, if we are going by Travis' 
    What, then, can we say that we saw? When the curtain pulled up 
    behind Greg Nightmare's bloated corpse in the gymnasium, we 
    saw a stage running into the distance, filled with voting 
    booths. Think of voting booths on the stage, and think of who 
    fills them (American citizens of a democratic republic)--and, 
    then, think of Benjamin Keane's words as a Remnant Psyche: 
    "The actor pulls the curtain himself." The one who opened the 
    curtain--Garcian--is also the actor, the voter. Taken 
    together, this affirms that a democratic process exists in the 
    fictional America of Killer7--but it also affirms that the 
    democratic process is DYING, owing to both terrorism and 
    Americans forsaking their native culture and governmental 
    system in the interest of ancient Japanese culture and 
    The Yakumo represent the ancient Japanese culture and 
    government. One layer of significance to the scene at the 
    opening of SUNSET-PART 2 is its illustration of the principles 
    by which the Yakumo operates. The principles of the Yakumo's 
    operation seem remarkably similar to the operation of Japanese 
    culture and government during the Meiji and Showa periods of 
    Japanese history--the decades before Japan's occupation by 
    Allied forces! 
    Before I explain how the old men (Kurahashi & Akiba) in 
    SUNSET-PART 2 illustrate pre-Occupation Japanese ideology, I 
    would like to draw a parallel between the education given to 
    the students at Coburn Elementary, and the educational goals 
    of pre-Occupied Japan. 
    Pre-Occupied Japan educated its children to be able to 
    mobilize as a violent force, as well as to conform to the 
    culture's religious and nationalistic ideals. The training 
    described by Hulbert, in his tapes, suggests that the students 
    at Coburn Elementary are trained in precisely the same ways: 
    they are either trained to become assassins (a mobilized 
    violent force) or they are indoctrinated with Japanese 
    nationalistic ideals, in order to pursue those ideals from 
    within American government positions. 
    Now, to address the relevance of Kurahashi and Akiba. Their 
    actions offer a direct insight into the principles that the 
    Yakumo seems to advocate, and they are similar to the 
    political realities during the Meiji Period. During the Meiji 
    Period, the emperor's power was superceded by a small group of 
    elite elder men. They possessed political control of the 
    government, despite the Japanese Emperor's more public 
    presence. Prior to the Meiji Period, a more rugged version of 
    oligarchy prevailed during the Edo Period, when samurai and 
    shoguns possessed most of the political power. Succession in 
    power was either determined by familial relationships, or by 
    vassal relationships. Often, though, a younger man with great 
    expectations might kill an older man whose position he wants 
    to fill. 
    When Kurahashi and Akiba tell Matsuoka to kill himself, they 
    are suggesting that his suicide would be better for him than 
    his dishonor as an inept young member of the U. N. Party. This 
    accords with Bushido ethics regarding honor and its 
    importance. However, they also say that they killed many of 
    their own elders when they were younger--and, further, that 
    they are prepared to die at any moment! They talk as though 
    they have lived through a time dominated by Bushido ideals, in 
    which political succession is determined by the violence of 
    ambitious youth against the older generation. 
    Kun Lan's manipulation of Kurahashi and Akiba--transforming 
    them into Heaven Smiles--also suggests the influence of the 
    Shinto reverence for ancestors. The contradiction in this 
    management of political affairs seems obvious: one can only 
    ascend to political significance by killing one's elders--yet, 
    once killed, one's elders become more significant. Much as 
    Matsuoka becomes more in tune with the Yakumo ideals followed 
    by Kurahashi and Akiba (after he is touched by Kun Lan), a 
    successor in a Shinto culture would simultaneously dispatch 
    his elders, and then fall into a reverent relationship with 
    These, then, are some of the principles of the Yakumo ideals 
    of political operation. Emir Parkreiner has already enacted 
    the Yakumo ideals by killing Harman and the Harman Assassins. 
    He is named SPECIFICALLY as "the successor" to the chief, and 
    he earned that position by killing Harman Smith--his childhood 
    mentor. Before we take control of the Killer7, the Japanese 
    process of succession of power has already been put into 
    Yet, when we play the game, we interact with the Killer7 
    through means similar to the process of voting on a candidate 
    in a democratic republic! We approach the television, as 
    though it were a voting booth, and we select the "candidate" 
    who seems most likely to overcome the obstacles that confront 
    Julie Kusagi tells the player to "hand over the Yakumo," 
    insinuating that Garcian possesses the knowledge of the code. 
    If we look at the seven virtues associated with the Bushido 
    ideology, and if we compare them with the members of the 
    Killer7 (counting Harman as one of the seven), we see that 
    each member of the Killer7 represents the opposite of one of 
    the Bushido virtues. 
    Courage (Yu)--This conflicts with Kevin Smith, who turns 
    invisible and can escape a fight better than any of the other 
    Honesty (Makoto)--This conflicts with Coyote Smith, who is a 
    Respect (Rei)--This conflicts with Con Smith, who's a fourteen 
    year old punk.
    Loyalty (Chuugi)--This conflicts with KAEDE Smith, whose 
    bloodstained clothes suggests that she is traitorous.
    Honor (Meiyo)--This conflicts with Dan Smith, who (as the 
    Hellion) will kill however he can.
    Benevolence (Jin)--This conflicts with MASK De Smith, whose 
    pure power does not admit to any of the restraint required for 
    benevolent action.
    Rectitude/Right Decisions/Justice (Gi)--This conflicts with 
    Harman Smith, who is unjust and brutal.
    If, as Yoshiko has suggested, Andrei Ulmeyda possessed the 
    "eight part" of the Yakumo--possibly his blood, for its 
    purity--then Garcian is in full possession of the seven 
    "clouds" or "spirits" that constitute the remainder of the 
    Yakumo. Notice how Garcian speaks to Master Harman (as 
    distinct from Harman Smith) with reverence, like a samurai 
    addressing his shogun. Garcian is in full possession of the 
    Yakumo--and he is fully possessed by it, as well. 
    What, then, does this mean for us, as players who do not live 
    daily in the world of Killer7?
    I believe that Killer7 is a subtle and brilliant cultural 
    criticism of the intermingling between Eastern and Western 
    cultures and ideals. it artfully juxtaposes actual historical 
    relationships between the United States and Japan with 
    fictional circumstances that illustrate the reality of the 
    cultural relationship between America and Japan. In Killer7, 
    we see a description of our age--and, perhaps, a choice about 
    how to react to it.
    The political meaning of Killer7 should also be addressed, as a
    related (but different) subject from the cultural meaning.
    Since the game involves the political activity of both Japan and
    the United States of America, it will be useful to regard the
    narrative as a commentary upon the political characters of both
    After the Second World War, liberal-minded Japanese citizens used
    Japan's defeat as a circumstance to advocate "degeneracy."  By
    "degeneracy," they did not mean insurrection, violence, or other
    criminal behavior; rather, they meant a cultural "degeneracy"
    from the conservative Bushido and Shinto values that resulted in
    the manipulation of the Japanese population during World War II.
    As explained elsewhere in this document, "kamikaze" fighting was
    the Japanese military's most unique and idiosyncratic tactic.  It
    developed as an extension of Bushido ethics, specifically with
    respect to an idea called "kokutai."
    The "kokutai" is, literally, "community spirit."  However, such a
    minimal interpretation neglects to explain the whole meaning of
    the idea.  Japan's kokutai is its spiritual existence, which is
    also its political existence.  The concept was most actively em-
    ployed for the purpose of political persuasion before the Second
    World War.  Essentially, it was a belief steeped in Shinto reli-
    gious doctrines that Japan (as a nation) had a soul, and each of
    the Japanese were portions of Japan's soul.  Various factions
    defined the kokutai differently, over time; by the time of the
    Second World War, the faction with political power defined the
    kokutai along conservative ideological lines.  The spirit of 
    Japan lay within the imperial house, and it was nothing less than
    the continued existence of the Emperor and his throne.
    Kamikazi fighting tactics, in a sense, were violent expressions
    of the kokutai.  The "divine winds" alluded to in the name given
    to kamikaze fighters were important facets of conservative Japan-
    ese ideology, as explained in the following excerpt from Herbert
    Bix's biography of Emperor Hirohito.
        "[The conservative pamphlet 'Kokutai no hongi'] emphasized
        the centrality of the family-state, home, and ancestors, and
        reminded readers that the 'divine winds' (kamikaze), which
        had twice saved Japan from Mongol invasions in the late
        thirteenth century, proved indisputably Japan's divinity
        and indestructability" (pg 314).
    Indeed, ancestry connects the thirteenth century "divine winds"
    with the Second World War kamikaze fighters.  Japanese Lieutenant 
    Colonel Eiichiro Jo, a skilled figher pilot who drew up the first
    detailed plan for the military use of suicide pilots, was descended
    from the Kyushu warrior Takefusa Kikuchi, a samurai who partici-
    pated in the same wars against the Mongols that involved the
    intervention of the "divine winds."
    The idea of the kamikaze fighters--a violent expression of Japan's
    justification as a divine presence--may be argued to serve as an
    image of extremist, conservative Japanese ideology.  When the war
    became more clearly lost by Japan, the emperor and his court be-
    lieved that even the horror of the atomic bombs would not deter
    Japan's victory.
        "Mobilized in the service of death, the collective memory of
        the 'divine winds' (kamikaze) that would save Japan helped to
        maintain the will to fight on" (Bix 496).
    American intelligence analysts observed the Japanese population's
    behavior, especially after American bomber dropped leaflets into
    Japanese cities to drop the nation's morale toward the war effort,
    as a means of psychological warfare.  Much to the Americans' sur-
    prise, the psychological tactics were ineffective.  Bix explains:
        "They saw how the Japanese had fought and died on Okinawa--
        thousands almost daily for eight-two days--and how the whole
        nation had become enveloped in the imagery of national sal-
        vation through mass suicide" (pg 496).
    Kamikaze tactics, extremist conservative thought, war in the name
    of Japan's kokutai, and Bushido ethics--liberal-minded Japanese
    writers saw these influences as factors that contributed to Japan's
    destruction during World War II.  They believed that these influ-
    ences resulted in a nation that would destroy itself, trying to
    destroy others in the name of Japan.  In a pivotal post Second
    World War essay, Japanese writer Sakaguchi Ango contrasted the
    conservative Japanese values with an idea that he gave the name
    of the essay: "On Decadence."  Disgusted with the worship of a
    political idea of honor, Ango declared that "Japan had lost and
    Bushido had crumbled, but humanity had been born for the first
    time in the true womb of decadence.  We must live!  We must fall
    into decadence!"  Ango argues that decadence is humane, and it is
    the weakness and the ugliness that Japanese honor--Bushido--sought
    to defend human dignity against.  Ango argues that he intervention 
    of Bushido honor upon human nature, though, is ghastly.  In an
    important passage, he writes:
        "There is no way to prevent humanity itself from its natural
        degeneration from virtue to mediocrity, then finally into hell.
        Even if we establish moral codes such as those forbidding a
        virtuous widow from looking at another man or for a loyal re-
        tainer from serving another lord, there is nothing we can do
        to stop the degeneration of humanity.  We can successfully
        preserve a woman's virginal purity by killing her, but when
        we hear the footsteps of decadence approaching with the inev-
        itability of waves crashing against the shore we cannot help
        but remember that preserving her petty virginal purity through
        petty human action holds nothing more than the empty trans-
        ience of a phantasm."
        [Digital source: http://mcel.pacificu.edu/aspac/papers/
    Ango affirmed that the Japanese people could no longer follow the
    strenuous demands of Bushido ethics.  In his essay "Occupation
    Censorship," published in the Journal of Japanese Studies, Paul
    Rubin writes that:
        "The last thing [the Japanese people] needed was high-minded
        idealism, more preaching about 'spirit' triumphing over the
        'material civilization' of the West, such as had gotten them
        into the war to begin with."
    The cultural and political change that Ango called for--and that
    liberalism in Japanese culture stood for, after the Second World
    War--was a retraction from Bushido and cultish worship of the
    Killer7's political commentary directed toward Japan is most
    striking during the scene at the beginning of SMILE, when Liberal
    Party member Hiro Kasai falls from the top of a building in
    Washington, DC, while U. N. Party leader Matsuken watches.  The
    scene has led many players to think that Matsuken killed the man
    who became Iwazaru, as a remnant psyche.  However, the bondage
    gear does not signify that Iwazaru and Kasai are identical; rather,
    it signifies that they are similar in their relationship to the
    sadist-figure, the domme.
    Byron Fenstermaker, a reader of this document who has written me,
    provides a fascinating insight regarding Kasai's appearance in
    bondage gear:
        "To make a broad and sweeping generalization, Japanese, as a 
        nation, are generally repulsed by the notion of body modi-
        fication. Tattoos alone are frowned upon, and no Japanese 
        businessman or official who wanted to retain ties to any 
        branch of government would EVER have nipple piercings. In a 
        country where one can lose their job for wearing a colored 
        suit to work, and where unemployment and suicide do go 
        hand-in-hand, any informant who underwent modification -- 
        tattoos, piercings, and similar -- would be worse than 
    Fenstermaker follows his explanation with this suggestion:
        "It may be possible that Harman orchestrated his death, but 
        he seems to be a willing participant, perhaps looking for 
        the ultimate danger, sexualizing it, and allowing him to end 
        his own life at the same time."
    Before I continue to use Fenstermaker's suggestions and insights
    as supports for my understanding of Killer7, I would like to note
    that he wrote the cited quotations while arguing that the jumper
    was not Kasai, but, rather, Iwazaruscof.  We disagree on this point,
    but I am delighted use his correspondence to build a relevant 
    argument of my own.
    Kasai, then, bears the appearance of one who practices forbidden
    self-mutilation, according to Japanese cultural expectations of
    politicians.  As well, he appears at least somewhat willing to
    stand on the edge of the roof with Matsuken.  It seems clear that
    Matsuken is the individual responsible for Kasai's body-mutilation.
    Despite the fact that they are political rivals, Matsuken and
    Kasai both appear as willing participants in--as Fenstermaker
    writes--sexualizing or fetishizing their political opposition.
    I believe that the scene suggests the difficult relationship be-
    tween liberalism and Bushido conservatism in Japanese political
    culture, as it intensified after the Second World War.  A liberal
    approach requires a refutation of conservative Bushido principles
    and Shinto-based ideals.  Yet, Japanese cultural identity is in-
    tertwined with those same ideologies.  The architecture of Toru
    Fukushima's restaurant visually embodies much of conservative
    Japanese culture: the Shinto arches, the paper-door architecture,
    and the directional guardian statues standing at the North and
    South of his Guest Rooms all hearken to the mythic emperor-shogun-
    retainer ideals of Japan's past.  Yet, a Japanese liberal holds
    his political and ideological views in order to SAVE Japan--
    culturally, politically, and materially--from the destruction that
    allegiance to Bushido ideals required from Japan in World War II.
    Japanese liberalism exists in a state of contradiction: it must
    refuse to live according to customary Japanese values, in order
    to save Japanese identity from self-destruction--and the Japanese
    identity that it must save lies precisely in those values that
    Japanese liberalism must deny.
    The scene on top of the building in Washington, DC, dramatizes
    the relationship between Japanese liberalism and Bushido values.
    Liberalism, in Japan, is described as masochistic; Kasai allows
    Matsuken to torture him, as a sexualized dramatization of Japanese
    liberalism's relationship to conservative reverence for the
    kokutai.  Killer7's statement on Japanese politics is harsh: the
    effort to reform Japanese political activity will capitulate be-
    cause of Japanese liberalism's worship of its own shame, in front
    of Bushido values.  When the time comes for either liberalism or 
    conservatism to rise above the other, liberalism will die willing-
    ly because it will love Bushido conservatism for punishing it.
    Hiro Kasai lives the fate of those who embrace "decadence."
    Killer7's criticism of contemporary American politics is easier
    for me to identify, since I (as an American) am more intimately
    aware of American political activity.  In short, because of the
    narrative's implication that the U. S. Government has been taken
    over by politicians raised under the influence of conservative
    Japanese ideology, the United States is compared with pre-Second
    World War Japan.  Comparison between pre-Second World War Japan
    and contemporary American politics reveals strong similarities.
    Two similarities stand out among others, between Showa Japan and
    contemporary U. S. politics: hegemonic wars and the identification
    of national aims with divine aims.
    Currently, America is involved with a difficult war in Iraq.  The
    war has been pronounced "over," even though soldier still suffer
    by the work of terrorists and insurgents.  The circumstances
    leading to the United States' attack on Hussein's Iraq and the
    circumstances leading to Showa Japan's attack on China bear
    remarkable similarities.  As well, the results of the invasions
    are likewise similar.
    First, some history should be given on Showa Japan's assault into
    China.  As stated elsewhere in this document, Japan believed that
    it was the spiritual and political ruler of the East.  It sought
    to save the East from contamination by the West.  In order to do
    this, it needed to expand its political and military control into
    the Asian continent.  Such expansion was difficult, however, due
    to Russia's presence just north of China; during Emperor Meiji's
    reign, a war between Japan and Russia left relations between the 
    two nations sour.
    To understand the development of Japan's attack and acquisition
    of Manchuria, it should be understood that pre-World War II
    Japan's political and military groups were not organized as the
    United States'.  While the United States military is subject to
    orders from the political body, the Japanese military, navy, and
    political government were separate entities who coordinated with
    each other.  Owing to the principle of the kokutai, and that the
    soul of Japan resided in the imperial house, the political gov-
    ernment (whose center was the imperial house) was regarded as
    the body from whom approval must ultimately come for justifica-
    tion of any military action.  However, owing to a breakdown in
    military discipline and an increasing disillusionment among 
    members of the Japanese army and navy, these factions often acted
    on their own accord, seeking approval for their actions AFTER the
    On 18 September 1931, the Japanese army in China--the Kwantung
    Army--ignited the string of battles and political decisions that
    began the Manchurian war that resulted in the establishment of
    Manchukuo, a Japanese state in China.
    The leaders of the Kwantung Army wanted to increase the Japanese
    Empire's presence in continental China; however, imperialism is
    never justified, diplomatically.  The imperialist impulse is to
    take, and not to justify the taking; when a nation must be held
    responsible for imperialist action, though, some justification
    must be offered to other nations, to whom the aggressor is 
    accountable.  In 1932, Japan was held accountable to the League
    of Nations, formed at the end of the First World War.  However,
    Japan perceived the entire League of Nations as a conspiracy
    against the East--it believed that the rules of the League that
    banned aggressive warfare could not work in the East.
    The pretext for their attack on Manchuria was self-defense.
    Acting without informing Emperor Hirohito of their plans, Kwan-
    tung officers led by Lieutenant Colonel Ishiwara blew up a
    Japanese-controlled railway line.  As they had vandalized their
    own nation's property covertly, they blamed the explosion on
    the Chinese military.  Using the artificial attack as a pretext,
    the Kwantung Army attacked the Chinese soldiers stationed
    Even though the Kwantung Army acted independently, their actions
    were not without sympathizers in Japanese political life.
        "On every occasion between 1928 and 1931, [Japan's politicians]
        sought to leave open the possibility of exercising force in
        China in the name of self-defense" (Bix, 224).
    Even after having learned that the Kwantung Army had acted without
    respecting the need for imperial approval of aggressive actions,
    Emperor Hirohito did not intervene.  None of the conspirators
    were punished; in fact, many of them were given imperial rescripts,
    which were high honors bestowed upon military figures from the
    Emperor.  When questioned by other nations' diplomats regarding
    the apparent violation of the Covenant of the League of Nations,
    the Japanese government defended itself by arguing that the Army
    had acted without imperial approval, on the grounds of "operational
    autonomy"--that is, the authority to respond to an emergency sit-
    uation without waiting for approval from the Japanese Emperor.
    (The fact that the emergency was fabricated by the Army itself
    was still a dubious matter, with respect to the information avail-
    able to other nations' diplomats.)
    Emperor Hirohito allowed the Kwantung Army to continue acting
    without respect to imperial will, because "[he] was not seriously
    opposed to seeing his army expand his empire.  If that involved
    a brief usurpation of his authority, so be it--as long as the 
    operation was successful" (Bix 240).  The Emperor's Machiavellian
    approach to discipling his military forces supports the idea
    that the political figures (including the Emperor) had wanted to
    attack China while remaining legal within the rules of the Covenant
    of the League of Nations.  When the Kwantung Army advanced into
    Manchuria, they were not seriously opposed to the mutiny, because
    the Army had accomplished what the politicians had wanted all 
    After the initial attack, subsequent assaults by the Japanese
    were similarly rationalized.  Japan's foreign minister sent a
    message to the Associated Press of New York that some of the
    battles had been fought because "[when] the Chinese attacked,
    [the Kwantung Army] could not but perform the duty for which they
    were there--namely, to repel the attack and prevent its re-
    petition" (Bix 243).
    After the fighting, justified on the pretext that the Japanese
    were saving the lives and well-being of Japanese people in China,
    Japan established Manchukuo--a puppet regime that deferred its
    resources and land to Japan.  Japan often tried to have Manchukuo
    recognized as a nation, but the efforts never succeeded.
    Japan had won its war in China.  The rest of the world disapproved,
    but did nothing beyond light economic sanctions.  Happy with vic-
    tory, brimming with national and racial pride, Japan thought of
    itself in terms that would ultimately bring the nation to defeat
    during World War II.
        "[Japan's most chauvanistic political party's leader] had
        publicly rejected the League of Nations' recommendations on
        Manchuria and declared (in a phrase that recurs through the
        whole history of twentieth-century Japanese diplomacy) that
        Japan should 'escape from the diplomacy of apology' and de-
        velop a 'new, more autonomous road'" (Bix 245).
    Aggression given bad justification was permitted, internationally.
    The next step was aggression without justification at all.  Japan
    had the former Manchuria's resources, and it had obtained it as
    an expression of its national worth.
    Japan's involvement with Manchuria is similar to America's present
    involvement with Iraq.  Credible allegations exist that suggest
    that the United States' invasion of Iraq was planned at the begin-
    ning of President Bush's administration.  The United States pre-
    varicated its motivations to attack, describing them as a "pre-
    emptive strike."  The associations made between the Iraqi targets
    and the supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's) were self-
    serving allegations, offered to provide international justification
    for an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation.  Yet, the justifi-
    cation for invasion was not regarding WMD's alone, but in the in-
    terest of "protecting American citizens" from extremist aggressors
    in the Middle East.
    On the pretext of preventing harm done to American citizens, the
    United States attacked Iraq when the nation had not provoked a
    war.  In both Japan's Manchuria Incident and America's Iraq War,
    the violence was ignited on unjustifiable grounds and eventually
    led to a protracted battle between local insurgents and the inva-
    ding armies.  Both Japan and America attempted to establish gov-
    ernments in the conquered territories that seemed distrustfully
    identical to the government of the invading country.  And both
    countries conveniently "defended themselves" against opponents
    whose land held valuable resources for the invading nation's in-
    dustrial activity.
    Beyond the Manchurian/Iraq similarity, present-day America bears
    similarity to Showa Japan, with respect to its patriotic ideals.
    Both opponents and proponents of the United States' Patriot Acts
    are engaged in an ideological battle that centers upon the defin-
    ition of a single word: patriotism.  The question arises: what
    does it mean to have patriotic spirit?  To whom is one's patriot-
    ism ultimately responsible?
    This document's purpose is not to attempt to answer these questions,
    but to show that the game Killer7 implies a connection between
    Japan's cultural struggle to define "kokutai" and America's struggle
    to define "patriotism."  Further, I would argue that the game
    suggests that the definition of patriotism that is winning, cul-
    turally, is closer to the imperialistic definition of the Japanese
    kokutai than anything else.
    In order to illustrate the relationship between Showa Japan's and
    present-day America's cultural disagreements on the meaning of a
    nation's identity, some explanation of the varieties of interpret-
    ations of "Japan's kokutai" should be given.  A conference presen-
    tation by University of Toronto History professor John Brownlee
    provides a useful overview of the varying definitions of kokutai,
    within Japan's political culture.
    The most liberal definition of the kokutai was presented by a
    man named Hiroyuki Kato.  Brownlee describes one of Kato's more
    important details, in his kokutai definition:  " . . . Kato made 
    a distinction between the Kokutai, the National Essence, and the 
    seitei, the form of government" (Brownlee 2000).  The kokutai was
    the eternal Japan that transcended human governance; the seitai
    was the current governmental body of Japan.
    Pushing Kato's liberal definition a little further, writer Yukichi
    Fukuzawa claimed that the kokutai was not a matter of Japan's
    government's structure, but in its national sovereignty.  By
    placing the spirit of Japan within the context of national sover-
    eignty, Fukuzawa ran headlong into the conservative definitions
    of his political countrymen, who believed that the kokutai re-
    sided wholly in the Japanese imperial house.  
    The Japanese Emperor was the conservatives' idea of the kokutai.  
    They believed that only Japan had a line of emperors whose un-
    broken line of succession extended back to primordial history,
    and that the emperor was always a direct descendant of the gods.
    To the frustration of many secular Americans, the group of
    people known as "the religious right" often expresses approval
    with President Bush's policies and ideals on the grounds that
    he is a confessing Christian who wants to involve his religious
    beliefs in political activity.  In America, similar debates
    occur on the definition of "patriotism," and most often the
    conservative definitions require deferment to Presidential 
    authority as key factors in patriotic behavior.  More liberal
    definitions, however, believe that the "patriotic spirit" of
    America exists independently of the government, and that the
    government should be viewed as transient with respect to the
    nation's identity and well-being.
    In an eMail dated 5 August 2005, from Jack Thompson (Florida 
    attorney) to Patricia Vance (President of the E.S.R.B.), 
    Thompson argues for the re-casting of Killer7 from a Mature 
    rating to an Adults Only rating.
    Thompson reasoned that the content of Killer7--in the wake of 
    the "Hot Coffee" controversy directed at Rockstar Games' 
    release Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas--could not stand the 
    scrutiny of an eye that valued the protection of children from 
    sexually explicit material. Presumably, the same standards of 
    decency and honest evaluation that the E.S.R.B. is accused of 
    having relaxed for GTA:SA have been relaxed for Killer7, too.
    Thompson cites Matt Casamassina's review of Killer7, written 
    for IGN.com and published on 1 July 2005, as evidence against 
    Capcom's experimental release. Specifically, he quotes 
    Casamassina's statement that: "We can't stress it enough: kids 
    should not play Killer 7. Not just because there's an M on the 
    box, but because for once that M really means something. 
    There's much more than blood and guts in the game. Everything 
    from the design of puzzles to the subject matter is designed 
    for older players and it's really that simple." Thompson later 
    quotes Casamassina's comment that "And there are cinematics 
    that feature full-blown sex sequences" (Web resource: 
    Since this Plot Analysis addresses Killer7 as a game that "is 
    designed for older players," I believe that it should include 
    a brief commentary on Casamassina's quoted statements, as well 
    as Thompson's activity and claims. 
    I agree with the spirit of Casamassina's comments. As a 
    twenty-five year old college graduate, who has traveled 
    globally and experienced many things, I reacted emotionally to 
    the scene in which Curtis Blackburn threw Pedro's daughter's 
    severed head at him. This scene alone is reason enough to deny 
    almost all gamers under the age of 18 access to the title. The 
    violence is more intense than mere senseless violence--it is 
    infused with an intelligence that acts cruelly, deliberately, 
    and without penitance. Certainly, I do not believe that the 
    material should have been removed from the game; the purpose 
    of Curtis Blackburn's portrayal is to create pathos in the 
    player against him. It is essentially good Greek drama, 
    wherein pathos is created for the purpose of later catharsis. 
    This type of villain, however, is inappropriate for almost all 
    Thompson offers a cunning piece of sophistry, with respect to 
    Casamassina's statement that "for once that M rating really 
    means something." Thompson argues that--because Killer7 
    deserves the rating it received--it should be given a harsher 
    and more dishonest rating: Adults Only. 
    Many commentators on the E.S.R.B. rating system have ridiculed 
    the distinction between the ratings of Mature (17+ only) and 
    Adults Only (18+ only). They focus on the single year of 
    maturity that sets the ratings apart, and conclude that the 
    difference is arbitrary. While their argument may be valid, it 
    is distracting from the real significance of the difference 
    between the ratings of Mature and Adults Only. The Adults Only 
    rating is a symbolic statement of the game's content--implying 
    that the content has portrayed adult circumstances in such a 
    way that the portrayal lacks redeeming merit, and has become 
    simply obscene. The "Hot Coffee" segment of GTA:SA certainly 
    stepped across this chasm into obscenity; neither the sexual 
    content nor the violence of Killer7, however, cross that 
    boundary. Even the most violently distressing scene in 
    Killer7--involving Blackburn and Pedro--ultimately redeems 
    itself as a stress, because of its function as a creator of 
    The aspect of this controversy in which I am critical of both 
    Thompson and Casamassina--though moreso Thompson--involves the 
    appraisal of the game's sexual content. Since Thompson uses 
    Casamassina's assessment to draw his conclusion on Killer7's 
    appropriateness, I first will address Casamassina's review 
    The assessment of the sexual content of Killer7 as "full blown 
    sex sequences" is misleading and exaggerated. Only one scene 
    in the entire game qualifies as sexual, and--insofar as it 
    contributes to the game's characterization and content--it is 
    portrayed tastefully for the game's intended adult audience. 
    The specific scene that I refer to is a cut-scene, at the 
    beginning of the CLOUDMAN mission. Samantha Smith--the Save 
    Maid and caretaker of a catatonic Master Harman--is 
    interrupted while molesting Harman in his wheelchair. She 
    wears sexually suggestive clothing--a Catholic school uniform-
    -and audibly climaxes during the sequence. Then, exhausted, 
    she collapses in a nearby chair--with suggestive posture--and 
    offers Garcian sexual favors. Importantly for the game, 
    Garcian refuses the invitation. 
    Other scenes contain sexually adult circumstances, but they 
    are implicitly sexual (rather than explicitly sexual, as the 
    scene described above). The two most notable scenes involving 
    Samantha Smith are the animated cutscene at the start of the 
    ALTER EGO mission--wherein the camera's point-of-view hints at 
    a shot of Samantha's crotch while she is wearing a skirt 
    (although showing neither genitalia nor much underwear)--and 
    the cutscene the start of the SMILE mission, wherein Samantha 
    is discovered dead and appears to have been raped. 
    Naturally, the implicit and explicit sexuality of these scenes 
    have not been created for an audience of children. Within the 
    context of the narrative of Killer7, however, they are 
    justifiable characterizations within adult circumstances. 
    Description of these circumstances as "full blown sex 
    sequences" implies a greater degree of explicit, pornographic 
    sexuality; it also implies interactivity, such as was 
    implemented in the "Hot Coffee" sequence of GTA:SA. Neither 
    greatly explicit presentation nor interactivity are elements 
    of the sexual scenes in Killer7. However, I am not critical of 
    Casamassina for having described Killer7 in the terms that he 
    has; the ambiguity of individual value judgments, with respect 
    to what constitutes a "full blown sex sequence" and what 
    constitutes a sexually allusive sequence, suggest that he and 
    I played the same game and are describing the same scenes. 
    Casamassina's description of Killer7's content seems to be 
    Thompson's greatest leverage for his criticism of the 
    E.S.R.B.'s rating. Thompson, then, has relied upon a 
    misleading and ambiguous description of the content of the 
    game--and, from this reliance, has thrown insupportable 
    accusations at the game and the E.S.R.B. 
    I do not think that Casamassina is at fault, here; his 
    quotation about the sexual content of Killer7 is excerpted 
    from a review article, and (as anyone who has read a review of 
    any media that he or she enjoys may attest) review articles 
    are highly subjective compositions. I may disagree with the 
    language used in Casamassina's review article, but I do not 
    believe it is inappropriate for the subjective claims of a 
    review article. 
    Jack Thompson, however, has excerpted a subjective description 
    of Killer7, and he has used it as a means of spreading 
    disinformation about the game's content. Not only are 
    Thompson's claims sensationalistic and unfounded, they are 
    dishonest and undermine the sincere efforts of conscientious 
    adult gamers to create room in the gaming medium for mature 
    creations--while restraining the medium's corporations from 
    making mature games available to immature gamers. 
    On a concluding note, I would like to add that maturity is a 
    relative term. Some gamers (almost always teenagers) prefer to 
    think of maturity as a character quality that transcends 
    years; often, the age at which maturity can bloom fully is 
    (coincidence!) the same age as the gamer. This is rationale is 
    self-serving, I think. A minority of gamers, below the age of 
    18 years old, can handle the difficult scenes in Killer7; I 
    would like to stress, however, that this minority should be 
    recognized as exceptionally mature by their authority figures 
    before being allowed access to the game. 
    Please keep thinking about the game.  As I am ready to move on to
    other projects, this version of the plot analysis document con-
    stitutes the final revision.  It may be updated in the future with
    the completed translation of the "Hand in Killer7" book, but other-
    wise, that will be all.
    I apologize to all who have eMailed me and nore received a re-
    sponse.  Feedback on this document has been almost overwhelming,
    and I am deeply grateful for everyone who has taken time to write.
    I may be contacted at: LOGOS_AWAKENING@BELLSOUTH.NET.
    Thank you very much--especially to all of the wonderful 
    readers who have written their questions and recommendations. 
    I really appreciate all of your communication.
    VERY SPECIAL THANKS goes to Yoshiko Ohier, Sam Ellis, and Jerel
    And, of course, to Iris, whom I love for all my life.
    I have titled this segment "Apologetics," because of a type of 
    criticism that I have received for my writing on this game. I 
    refer to a particular breed of criticism, chiefly defined by 
    its antagonism, animosity, and aggressive dismissal of 
    everything written above. 
    This plot analysis is the document that it is, because Killer7 
    is the game that it is and I am the gamer who I am. Any 
    analysis, no matter how scientific its context, is ultimately 
    an act of interpretation. In scientific analysis, the 
    difference between analysts depends upon their relative 
    experience and talents. The difference also lies in their 
    priorities: two scientific analysts, one with the military and 
    the other with consumer products, could look at the same 
    general information about, say, heat generation, and draw 
    different conclusions about the information, because one needs 
    to make better bombs and the other needs to make better 
    As a creative writer--a poet, in fact--my analytical 
    priorities are aesthetic. I desire to analyse a story in terms 
    of the beauty and pleasure it inspires; and the beauty and 
    pleasure it inspires, I think, depends upon its sense of 
    balance and its ability to convey a relevant truth. The latter 
    aspect is WHAT a story does, and the former aspect is HOW it 
    does it. 
    With that said, I will offer examples of the criticisms 
    leveled toward my interpretation of Killer7, as it developed 
    on the GameFAQs message boards: "ShockleyHaynes, no offense, 
    but your posts are closer to fanfics than plot analysis. Maybe 
    you should go make your own thread;" "your theory only holds 
    together if the reader accepts distinctions and terminology 
    that you made up;" "you made **** up to fit your ideals! Well, 
    whatever;" and the classic: "Yeah, you would know better than 
    the game creators huh?" 
    Those who level criticism of this sort mistake "self-
    confidence" for "certainty of truth." Yes, I am self-confident 
    that my interpretation is sensible, coherent, and respects the 
    content of the game. No, I am not certain of the absolute 
    truth of my interpretation. 
    I believe in history; I believe in culture; I believe in myth; 
    I believe in the human need to understand coherently the world 
    of experience. I am a Southern American man whose family has 
    roots in Alabama and South Carolina, and I was raised on 
    German military bases until I was ten years old. I have lived 
    in a number of European countries, have traveled to most of 
    them at one time or another, and lived in Finland for four 
    months. I love learning. I am, in short, an American scholar--
    specifically, a Southern American scholar, which comes through 
    most keenly when discussing post-modernity, a worldview of 
    which I am skeptical when it is taken as a faith. 
    Yes, our times may be described as "post-modern," eminently 
    subjective, ultimately pointing toward no absolute truth. Yet, 
    we conclude that no truth can exist, because no truth can be 
    absolute. This is as ridiculous as Beat Poetry and pure 
    atheism. Everyone over the age of twenty has a value system; 
    and interpretations are born from value systems, whether 
    ancient or invented. 
    In most plot analysis documents, this sort of long and 
    abstruse explanation of the plot analysis would be quite out 
    of place. Killer7 is a post-modern story, and (as such) leaves 
    many holes for the gamer to fill with his or her personal 
    explanations. If I wrote this plot analysis with the intention 
    of wresting those holes from the reader and filling them with 
    my own explanations, then I would have betrayed the vision of 
    the creative team. 
    This game can be anything from the extended commentary on 
    Japanese-U.S. relationships that I have suggested above, to a 
    story involving the bad-ass adventures of Garcian and Dan 
    Smith. Pick your cup of tea and drink it, but don't say that 
    because you have a choice of cups, there is no tea. 
    IX: LEGAL NOTES                                             [#IX]
    The entirety of this document (with the exception of such 
    passages as are quoted directly from the copyrighted video 
    game Killer7 [Capcom 2005] and specifically cited materials from
    other literary or historical sources) is the intellectual property 
    of James Clinton Howell. No one except the following web sites 
    may host this document: 
    Killer7 SINdicate (http://www.tekcities.com/killer7)
    Anyone knowingly hosting this document, without specifically 
    crediting James Clinton Howell as the author, violates the 
    legal copyright stipulations defined in Section IX of this 
    APPENDIX: "HAND IN KILLER7"                            [APPENDIX]
    Publication information for "Hand in Killer7":
    "Hand in Killer7-Kill the Past, Jump Over the Age."
    Published August 2005 by CAPCOM CO, LTD.
    ISBN: 457516445.  95 pages.
    The international copyright for "Hand in Killer7" belongs to
    CAPCOM CO., LTD.  This document is not an attempt to infringe upon 
    or challenge that copyright.  If an English-language version of
    this book is published, the following translation will be removed
    in accordance with international copyright laws.
    I: INTRODUCTION                                         [APPEN-I]
    Please enjoy the following translation of "Hand in Killer7!"
    "HAND IN KILLER7" TRANSLATION                          [APPEN-II]
    Translated by Yoshiko Ohier; edited by James Howell.
    Proofread by Yoshiko Ohier and OVERDRIVE JEREL Smith.
    I: FACTIONS                                           [APPEN-FAC]
      A: The United Nations Party                       [APPEN-FAC-A]
      B: The Liberal Party                              [APPEN-FAC-B]
      C: The United States of America                   [APPEN-FAC-C]
      D: The U. S. Government                           [APPEN-FAC-D]
      E: The U. S. Opposition Party                     [APPEN-FAC-E]
      F: The International Ethics Committee             [APPEN-FAC-F]
      G: The Yakumo Cabinet Policy                      [APPEN-FAC-G]
      H: The Asian Security Protocol                    [APPEN-FAC-H]
      I: Fireworks                                      [APPEN-FAC-I]
      J: International Mass-Scale Transit System        [APPEN-FAC-J]
      K: Network                                        [APPEN-FAC-K]
    II:  TIMELINE                                         [APPEN-TIM]
    III: CHARACTERS                                       [APPEN-CHA]
      A: Harman Smith                                   [APPEN-CHA-A]
      B: Kun Lan                                        [APPEN-CHA-B]
      C: Garcian Smith                                  [APPEN-CHA-C]
      D: Dan Smith                                      [APPEN-CHA-D]
      E: KAEDE Smith                                    [APPEN-CHA-E]
      F: MASK De Smith                                  [APPEN-CHA-F]
      G: Con Smith                                      [APPEN-CHA-G]
      H: Coyote Smith                                   [APPEN-CHA-H]
      I: Kevin Smith                                    [APPEN-CHA-I]
      J: Samantha Sitbon                                [APPEN-CHA-J]
      K: Christopher Mills                              [APPEN-CHA-K]
      L: Travis Bell                                    [APPEN-CHA-L]
      M: Iwazaru                                        [APPEN-CHA-M]
      N: Kikazaru                                       [APPEN-CHA-N]
      O: Mizaru                                         [APPEN-CHA-O]
      P: Yoon-Hyun                                      [APPEN-CHA-P]
      Q: Susie Sumner                                   [APPEN-CHA-Q]
      R: Kess Bloodysunday                              [APPEN-CHA-R]
      S: Gate-Keeper                                    [APPEN-CHA-S]
      T: Mad Doctor                                     [APPEN-CHA-T]
    I: FACTIONS                                           [APPEN-FAC]
    A: THE UNITED NATIONS PARTY                         [APPEN-FAC-A]
    After the Second World War, the United Nations Party was 
    founded by former members of the Liberal Party.  Since its 
    establishment, it has become Japan's leading political party. 
    Toru Fukushima is the party's leader; he is a former member 
    of the Liberal Party.  Some members of the party are older 
    men, like Hiroyasu Kurahashi and Shinya Akiba.  The party 
    also includes younger people, whose leader within the party 
    is Kenjiro Matsuoka.
    When Fukushima was killed, the party briefly fell into chaos.  
    Fukushima was supposed to attend the Japan-U. S. meeting in 
    the Kaku Building; in his place, the Liberal Party sent its 
    members.  Negotiations between the Liberal Party and the 
    U. S. Government had concluded well before the meeting in 
    the Kaku Building, so the meeting was intended to be a mere 
    formality.  Unexpectedly, the U. S. Government broke off 
    negotiations; as a result, both sides ended up killing each 
    B: THE LIBERAL PARTY                                [APPEN-FAC-B]
    The Liberal Party is the second most powerful political party 
    in Japan.  Ohta and Kuramoto (the men who attended the 
    negotiations in the Kaku Building) are members of the Liberal 
    Party, and Hiro Kasai works as an informant for the Liberal 
    Party.  Intent on destroying the U. N. Party, the Liberal 
    Party wants to reclaim its lost place as the forerunning 
    political party in Japan.
    The Liberal Party desired an extension of the Asian Security 
    Treaty, and therefore kept its relationship with the U. S. 
    Government in good condition.  Oppositely, Toru Fukushima 
    completely severed his relationship with the U. S. 
    Government; he ended the security treaty in the interest of 
    establishing Japan as a truly independent state.
    When the Liberal Party learned about Fukushima's annulment of 
    the Asian Security Treaty, it sent Julia Kisugi to 
    assassinate him.  As well, Kisugi was instructed to retrieve 
    the Yakumo.  The Liberal Party wanted to reclaim control of 
    the Japanese Government, to protect the Japanese people's 
    interests.  It regarded Fukushima's action as reckless.  
    Since the Liberal Party desired a more complex relationship 
    of support with the United States, it was only natural that 
    they should try to assassinate the leader of their Japanese 
    Kasai asked the Killer7 to eliminate Jean DePaul.  He wanted 
    the Japan/U. S. Government meeting in the Kaku Building to 
    succeed, in order to strengthen the security treaty.
    Fukushima, however, had known for years that the U. S. 
    Government was plotting against Japan.  He took his 
    anti-U. S. position in preparation.
    C: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA                     [APPEN-FAC-C]
    Since the foundation of the United States of America, many 
    organizations and political parties struggled for power.  
    Although history recognizes the United States of America's 
    government as a democratic republic, it is rumoured that a 
    shadow government really runs the country.
    D: THE U. S. GOVERNMENT                             [APPEN-FAC-D]
    The U. S. Government's cold attitude toward Japan resulted in 
    a rupture in its relationship to Toru Fukushima.  The Killer7 
    recieves its missions from the U. S. Government, through 
    Christopher Mills.
    Jeffers and Dudley--the U. S. representatives at the meeting 
    in the Kaku Building--were sent to the meeting in order to 
    break off negotiations with Japan.  They were expendable 
    pawns, who were sent to end the negotiations by killing the 
    Japanese representatives--and being killed themselves.
    As a result, Japan was thrown into total chaos.  Some 
    wondered whether Japan's disorder was the President and the 
    U. S. Government's intention from the start.  However, the 
    President's delay in response was due to the prolonged 
    settlement on the distribution of Japan's land and natural 
    resources, with European countries.
    The true "test of Japan's value" for the U. S. Government was 
    nothing more than determining what benefit the U. S. would 
    recieve from Japan's destruction.  If the U. S. had received 
    fewer concessions and benefits from Japan's destruction, the 
    Fireworks are likely to have been launched.
    E: THE U. S. OPPOSITION PARTY                       [APPEN-FAC-E]
    Behind the scenes, the U. S. Opposition Party is connected 
    with Kun Lan's EAST; it tries to help him crush the United 
    States.  The U. S. Opposition Party controls the U. S. 
    Immigration Bureau.
    The International Ethics Committee [IEC] is a peace-keeping 
    organization that mediates in international conflict.  The 
    IEC intended to make the United States attack Japan.  It sent 
    Jean DePaul to Restaurant Fukushima with orderst to eliminate 
    Kisugi, to destroy Japan's Liberal Party.  (If Fukushima was 
    allowed to live, Japan's isolation would be maintained.)  The 
    rationale behind sending DePaul to the Kaku Building was 
    similar: to break off the negotiation by killing members of 
    Japan's Liberal Party, who wanted to extend the security 
    treaty.  However, DePaul encountered MASK De Smith before he 
    reached the meeting room; DePaul's mission failed.  His life 
    was wasted, since the IEC's desires were fulfilled without 
    the need for their intervention.
    The next objective of the International Ethics Committee is 
    to colonize Japan with Russian and Asian populations.  They 
    have already occupied Hokkaido and Kyushu; now, they are 
    arguing over concession of Honshu with the United States.  In 
    Singapore, the negotiations regarding the division of Japan 
    G: THE YAKUMO CABINET POLICY                        [APPEN-FAC-G]
    The Yakumo Cabinet Policy was created in 1953.  It was the 
    work of the group known as the Union 7, who were young 
    members of the Liberal Party.  The Yakumo Cabinet Policy 
    (called "Yakumo" for short) addressed such subjects as "the 
    ideal nation," foreign policy, and other matters of 
    nationalism and diplomacy.  The policy was given to the 
    Liberal Party's chief secretary, after which it disappeared.  
    The Union 7 was forced to disband, owing to internal conflict 
    within the Liberal Party.
    Julia Kisugi was hired by the Liberal Party and sent to the 
    United States, to retrieve the Yakumo.  She was hired as a 
    secretary by Toru Fukushima, who she later killed.  However, 
    the Yakumo had been taken by Jean DePaul (a spy from the 
    International Ethics Committee), who had taken work in 
    Fukushima's restaurant as an apprentice to the head chef.
    The whereabouts of the Yakumo were unknown, after that.  
    However, it was rumoured that a young mail clerk in a small 
    Texan town named Andrei Ulmeyda had found part of the Yakumo, 
    somehow.  Ulmeyda established a company called "First Life."  
    As his company grew, he employed most of the town's 
    residents.  "First Life" developed the town and became much 
    more than a simple business.
    H: THE ASIAN SECURITY PROTOCOL                      [APPEN-FAC-H]
    One of the primary causes of international conflict is the 
    limited number of energy resources, in conjunction with 
    different economic systems and environmental concerns.
    In 1975, in Hakone, Japan, an international conference met to 
    find solutions to energy security problems, specifically as 
    they related to Asian countries.  The Hakone Protocol 
    contained three different possible routes:
    [1] The Pipe Plan.  This plan was advantageous to oil 
    producing countries in the Middle East.
    [2] The Civic Plan: This plan was advantageous for China and 
    its allied countries, all of whom had a high dependency on 
    [3] The Massive Plan: This plan was advantageous for the 
    United States and Europe, who desired oil concessions from 
    the Middle East.
    One of these three plans was adopted by the countries who 
    attended and voted during the international conference.  
    However, there was no formal announcement regarding which of 
    the three plans was selected.
    I: FIREWORKS                                        [APPEN-FAC-I]
    In 2003, the United Nations Army intervened on international 
    conflicts and brought true peace to the entire world, for 
    people of all races.  The United Nations declared world 
    peace.  [EDITOR'S NOTE: The "United Nations" referred to here 
    IS NOT THE U. N. PARTY.  The U. N. Party is specifically 
    Japanese, and specifically operates within the context of 
    U. S./Japanese diplomacy.  The United Nations, in this 
    section, refers to the real-world global welfare 
    Global disarmament commenced.  All members of the United 
    Nations signed a formal agreement, dedicating their countries 
    to a total abolition of weapons of mass destruction.  The 
    agreement stipulated that the disposal of the weapons of mass 
    destruction must occur within plain view of the entire 
    world's population; this meant that undersea or underground 
    detonations were not allowed.  The United Nations decided 
    that the missiles should be launched outside the Earth's 
    atmosphere, then intercepted by other missiles, thereby 
    exploding all missiles at once.
    These explosions lit up the night sky.  Because of their 
    resemblance, these explosions were called "Fireworks."  They 
    were the most anticipated event in the history of the world.  
    The International Photographic Mapping Office transmitted 
    photographs of these explosions all over the world, so that 
    anyone who missed the explosions could see proof.  In April 
    2005, the Fireworks took place in the sky above Ibiza island.  
    The sky over Japan was chosen, also, as a point of 
    All this is how history records the events.  However, in 
    reality, the "peace for people of all races" was imposed by 
    the United Nations Army, and the World Peace Declaration was 
    superficial.  Oppositely, racial tensions increased under 
    pressure from the United Nations.
    The United Nations feared that it could no longer control the 
    international market, owing to the hastened development of 
    means of distribution of materials.  Therefore, it enacted 
    greater restrictions on the air transportation industry.
    Additionally, research institutes reported that an unknown 
    virus was transported via airplanes; this virus had the 
    potential to spark a global epidemic.  A decline in the use 
    of airlines was inevitable.  In order to replace air 
    transportation, a network of "Intercontinental Expressways" 
    was planned for construction.
    After the construction of the Intercontinental Expressways, a 
    next-generation distribution system was slated for 
    construction, using the Intercontinental Expressways as their 
    foundation.  For its successful operation, a newly discovered 
    power source would be used to move a a gigantic metal plate 
    across the sea floor.  The plate would have a base area of 
    several kilometers.  This next-generation distribution system 
    was called the "Intercontinental Mass-Scale Transportation 
    Construction of the new transportation system began in 2003; 
    by 2005, forty percent of the project had been completed.  As 
    of the events of Killer7, construction continues.  Many 
    politicians became rich from under-the-table concessions 
    granted to private corporations, who supplied materials for 
    the large-scale construction.
    As of 2005, the project had concluded its experimental phase.  
    It was proven workable.  However, nations still struggle 
    between each other, over concessions promised at the 
    beginning of the project, regarding the maintenance of the 
    K: NETWORK                                          [APPEN-FAC-K]
    In 1996, the International Photographic Mapping Office was 
    created as an organ of the United Nations.  Initially, the 
    office was supposed to sort and distribute aerial photographs 
    for the United Nations Army.  Several years later, however, 
    the office was involved fully in controlling media and 
    commercial images.
    In 1998, the private use of the Internet was banned globally 
    by the United Nations.  Under the influence of such 
    organizations as "Security Council," "Economic and Social 
    Council," and "Human Rights Committee," regulation on the 
    uses of the Internet was reinforced.  The restrictions were 
    established to help protect national secrets, as well as 
    individual information, and to protect against cyber-
    terrorism in the global market.
    As a result, analog devices replaced digital devices to 
    support the networks and other media.
    However, even after 1998, a computer network still operates 
    that supports hackers and devoted online gamers.  Love Wilcox 
    rose to celebrity status among the members of this 
    underground subculture.
    II: TIMELINE                                          [APPEN-TIM]
    [ 1750 ]
    New Southampton, Wineport: HARMAN DELTAHEAD was born.  He was 
    the first-born son in his family.
    [ 1750 ]
    Lhasa, Tibet's capital: KUN LAN was born.  From birth, he was 
    the heir of the governor.  He was born an adult.
    [ 1753 ]
    Kun Lan (at the age of three) became worshipped as the 
    reincarnation of a demon.  An underground organization 
    recognized him as their leader.
    [ 1758 ]
    Harman Deltahead (at the age of eight) met a man who 
    introduced himself as Harman's neighbor.  The man had an 
    angelic smile.
    [ 1768 ]
    Harman Deltahead's beloved Susan was murdered.  Until this 
    point, Harman had lived an ordinary American life.  With his 
    loss, he went mad.  He first encountered the REMNANT PSYCHES 
    at the villa where Susan had been killed.
    When Harman entered the villa, he saw a vision of six corpses 
    and Susan, who was tied up.  The neighbor with the angelic 
    smile had guided him to the villa.
    It was then that Harman Deltahead decided to change sides: 
    from victim to killer.
    [ 1772 ]
    Harman Deltahead joined the JIM TOWNSEND SURVEY COMPANY.  
    While the J. T. Survey Company outwardly portrayed itself as 
    a census institute, its real work involved taking 
    "contracts"--missions of assassination.
    Harman entered the world of professional killers.
    [ 1774 ]
    Harman Deltahead left for a mission that brought him to the 
    Union Hotel.  On the rooftop, he met a man named DIMITRI, 
    whose nickname was "Three Eyes."
    The neighbor with the angelic smile--Kun Lan--appeared in 
    front of Harman Deltahead.  Kun Lan became the medium through 
    which "Three Eyes" spoke.
    Harman and Kun Lan quickly became close friends.  They met 
    for tea regularly.
    [ 1775 ]
    Harman Deltahead killed Jim Townsend, head of the J. T. 
    Survey Company.  Harman was revered as one of the world's 
    best killers.
    He formed the FIRST SMITH SYNDICATE and changed his name to 
    "HARMAN SMITH."  Harman Smith was feared globally as one of 
    the most horrific assassins.  
    Dimitri was the first member of the First Smith Syndicate; he 
    was Harman's first victim, and the origin of Harman Smith's 
    "God Killer" powers.  Dimitri was believed by others to be 
    Harman Smith's bodyguard, and inspired fear equal to that 
    inspired by Harman Smith.
    This was the start of Harman's multiple personalities.
    [ 1778 ]
    Harman Smith unexpectedly quit professional assassination.  
    He disappeared from society and history.
    Dimitri was rejected by the core persona.  The core persona 
    separated from Harman Smith and became Harman Deltahead, once 
    [ 1780 ]
    Harman Deltahead founded Coburn Elementary School and became 
    the school's first principal.  Secret underground 
    organizations funded Harman Deltahead and Coburn.  They 
    wanted Coburn to specialize in educating individuals who 
    would spread and cultivate capitalism.
    [ 1789 ]
    The first presidential primary election was held at Coburn 
    Elementary School.
    [ 1820 ]
    The dead bodies of Harman Deltahead and Kun Lan were found at 
    Coburn.  They had been killed while playing chess.
    [ 1942 ]
    EMIR PARKREINER was born.
    Dimitri disappeared from society and was not heard from 
    [ 1946 ]
    In the political turmoil following Japan's defeat in World 
    War II, the LIBERAL PARTY proved itself so inept that it 
    couldn't pay for the rental of its own facilities.  TORU 
    FUKUSHIMA was working as an aide to a member of the Japanese 
    Diet, when he was contacted by the U. N. PARTY.
    Fukushima became a political "architect" for the U. N. Party.
    [ 1948 ]
    According to official records, Emir Parkreiner's parents died 
    in a car accident.
    [ 1952 ]
    Emir Parkreiner killed his parents and disappeared from 
    society.  At the time, he had been living with his parents, 
    under the surveillance of the U. S. Government in an isolated 
    [ 1953 ]
    The "UNION 7" wrote "the Yakumo Cabinet Policy" [YAKUMO].  
    The Union 7 was comprised of young Japanese political 
    figures, who were members of the Liberal Party, though they 
    stood apart from the internal conflict that threw the party 
    into chaos.
    The Yakumo was given to the Liberal Party's chief secretary, 
    but it vanished.  The Union 7 was dissolved as a group.  The 
    following year, the U. N. Party overtook the Liberal Party in 
    the political arena.
    [ 1954 ]
    The horrific crimes committed by the killer known as "THE 
    BLOODY HEARTLAND" became serious problems to society.
    [ 1955 ]
    The Union 7 attended a secret meeting at the Union Hotel, 
    which was called "the Yakumo Secret Meeting."  They were 
    killed by a serial murderer, though the whole incident was 
    hushed up.  The affair was called "Killer7."
    On the rooftop of the Union Hotel, Harman Smith met a dying 
    boy with three eyes.  The boy was Emir Parkreiner.
    Harman Deltahead and Kun Lan resurrected.
    [ 1957 ]
    The SECOND SMITH SYNDICATE was formed with seven personae.  
    They were called "KILLER7".
    [ 1959 ]
    CURTIS BLACKBURN was in his mid-teens.  Though he became 
    notorious among Seattle's underground societies, he did not 
    belong to a criminal organization.  He worked for the 
    government, and his work consisted of contracts from the 
    U. S. government.
    [ 1960 ]
    Japan and the United States signed a security treaty.
    [NOTE: the text of this treaty may be read here: 
    docs/19600119.T1E.html ]
    [ 1967 ]
    HIRO KASAI met Harman Smith in Hakone, Japan; he had a 
    mission for Harman.
    Kasai wanted Harman to investigate the security of the votes 
    of countries involved with the Asian Security Treaty.  After 
    his investigation, Harman promised Kasai that the treaty 
    would be ratified, and gave Kasai the report of his 
    Harman Smith met the chairman of the countries who were 
    members of the Asian Security Treaty.  The treaty was 
    ratified, and Japan became a member of the council.  In front 
    of Harman, the chairman committed suicide.
    [ 1969 ]
    TRAVIS BELL became the first victim of the Second Smith 
    [ 1973 ]
    Harman Smith lost his chess game against Kun Lan.
    As part of his loss, Harman promised to give Kun Lan control 
    over the major cities of the west coast of the United States 
    of America.  Harman began the process by sending DAN SMITH to 
    Curtis Blackburn in Seattle, to destroy the small gangs there 
    and establish Blackburn's control.
    CHRISTOPHER MILLS, as a young boy, became Blackburn's 
    informant and entered the world of underground society.
    [ 1975 ]
    Blackburn ended his role as Dan Smith's mentor.  On a 
    basketball court, Curtis shot Dan to death.  
    GARCIAN SMITH recovered Dan's corpse, and he obtained the 
    power to resurrect the dead.
    [ 1978 ]
    The Killer7 took a mission from the head of a Spanish 
    organization that specialized in cleaning up the aftermath of 
    accidents.  They left for Spain.  The target was the son of 
    one of the organization's workers: KESS BLOODYSUNDAY.
    [ 1980 ]
    KEVIN SMITH fought the pharmaceutical mafia in Miami, 
    Florida.  During the fight, Kevin killed the man he loved.
    [ 1982 ]
    In Madison Square Garden, , MASK DE SMITH fought a decisive 
    battle against an army of prototype Heaven Smiles and "Mask 
    Kun Lan's shadow began to creep over the Second Smith 
    [ 1987 ]
    Using their connections within Seattle's base for the 
    nation's Self-Defense Department, Curtis Blackburn and PEDRO 
    MONTANA created a black market organ-trafficking route.  They 
    did this by manipulating the Immigration Department's 
    [ December 1990 ]
    In southern France, the Killer7 took on a mission to dissolve 
    a secret meeting that was scheduled to be held at a first-
    class resort hotel.  There, they confronted large numbers of 
    "Rollout Heaven Smiles."
    The Killer7 decimated the Heaven Smiles, but an unknown woman 
    appeared in front of them.  She killed one persona after 
    another; she nearly annihilated the Second Smith Syndicate.  
    In the end, though, Harman Smith successfully cut her down.
    The personae were so heavily damaged, it took Garcian Smith 
    ten years to resurrect all of them.  During this time, the 
    activity of the Second Smith Syndicate was suspended.
    SAMANTHA SITBON began serving Harman Smith.  In the absence 
    of the other personae, she took work as a persona of the 
    [ 1992 ]
    HULBERT, an FBI Special Agent, infiltrated Coburn Elementary 
    School and was murdered.
    [ 1998 ]
    The world enjoyed its first year of total peace.  The 
    international community banned all air transportation, in the 
    interest of suppressing terrorism.  The analog network system 
    rapidly developed.
    [ 1999 ]
    Samantha Smith--who was a temporary persona of Harman--killed 
    [ 2000 ]
    Garcian Smith succeeded in resurrecting all of the fallen 
    personae.  The Second Smith Syndicate was back.
    However, Dan Smith tried to kill Harman in a fit of lunacy.  
    Harman was wounded mortally; he fell into a state of 
    suspended animation.  Samantha left her work as a killer-
    persona and began taking care of him.
    [ 2002 ]
    The Network of Intercontinental Expressways opened.
    [ 2003 ]
    Construction of the International Mass-Scale Transportation 
    System began.
    Radioactive waste and other materials were sent to an energy 
    disposal facility, a dome structure built in the Indian 
    Ocean.  The international community's ultimate goal was to 
    eliminate all intercontinental missiles.
    The number of terrorist attacks using "Heaven Smiles" 
    [ 2010 ] ----- ANGEL
    Harman Smith returned.  The battle in the "Celtic Building" 
    [ 2010 ] ----- SUNSET
    200 missiles launched toward Japan.
    JULIA KISUGI was contracted by Christopher Mills to kill Toru 
    Fukushima.  At the restaurant Fukushima, Kisugi, JEAN DEPAUL, 
    and the Killer7 met.  DePaul was an agent for the 
    International Ethics Committee.  Kisugi killed Fukushima, but 
    the location of the "Yakumo Cabinet Policy" was unknown.
    Hiro Kasai informed Garcian Smith that Jean DePaul had 
    infiltrated the Kaku Building, wherein the final secret 
    meeting was held between the United States and Japan.
    The Killer7 headed for the Kaku Building.  There, they fought 
    a spiritual battle with Hiroyasu Kurahashi and Shinya Akiba.  
    Meanwhile, Kenjiro Matsuoka was chosen by Kun Lan as his 
    The missiles hit Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo: the four 
    major cities in Japan.  Japan was obliterated.
    [ August 2010 ] ----- CLOUDMAN
    Andrei Ulmeyda announced on television that the amphitheater 
    wherein Stacy Spangles was giving a concert would be blown up 
    by Heaven Smiles.  During his public declaration of the act 
    of terrorism, Ulmeyda challenged Garcian Smith to "find him 
    Garcian left for Texas.  There, he witnessed Ulmeyda turn 
    everything over to Clemence.
    [ 2011 ] ----- ENCOUNTER
    Dan and Curtis had their final confrontation: between the 
    master and the disciple, Dan brought Curtis to his end.
    [ 2011 ] ----- ALTER EGO
    The comic editor of ZTT published "Handsome Men."  Each time 
    an issue was published, the events of the comic book occurred 
    in the real world.
    The Second Smith Syndicate fought the Handsome Men, in order 
    to stop the serial murders committed by the Handsome Men.
    Love Wilcox enacted her vengeance toward the largest 
    advertising company in the world--Eloctro & Line Inc.--the 
    force that controlled the crimes and the comics' stories, 
    behind the scenes.  The use of advertising as a means of 
    propaganda and control was destroyed.
    [ 2011 ] ----- SMILE
    Hiro Kasai, a member of the Liberal Party, fell from a 
    building rooftop in front of Matsuken.
    Garcian Smith recovered Emir Parkreiner's memory.
    The Second Smith Syndicate dissolved.
    [ 2014 ] ----- LION
    The Bloody Heartland--Emir Parkreiner--was awake.  He entered 
    Battleship Island alone to end everything.
    Deep underground, he encountered Matsuken.  He killed the 
    final Heaven Smile--"Last Shot"--who bore a striking 
    resemblance to Kun Lan 
    [ 2017 ]
    The United Nations dissolved for the sake of global reform.
    The world entered an age of total globalization.  National 
    barriers ceased to exist.
    [ 2020 ]
    Part of the "Yakumo Cabinet Policy" was made public.  It 
    became the subject of devout worship.
    [ 2050 ]
    A new type of terrorism appeared: "Heaven Tears."  The 
    meaning of "terrorism" changed, again.
    [ 2053 ]
    The Third Smith Syndicate was formed to combat the "Heaven 
    Tears" terrorism.
    ----- 100 YEARS PASS -----
    [ 2115 ]
    In Shanghai, the battle between Harman Smith and Kun Lan 
    [ 2170 ]
    The final battle takes place in Detroit.  Billions of 
    "Final Smiles" fly to Detroit from the East.
    OVERDRIVE MASK De Smith--the main persona of the Fifth Smith 
    Syndicate--confronts the horde of "Final Smiles."
    [ 2171 ]
    The chess game between Harman Smith and Kun Lan never ends, 
    fearing HIS apparition . . . .
    III: CHARACTERS                                       [APPEN-CHA]
    A: HARMAN SMITH                                     [APPEN-CHA-A]
    "Good night, child.  It's past your bedtime."
    (1)  Born in New Southampton, Wineport, Harman Smith is of 
         Irish descent.  He is sixty years old and handicapped.
    (2)  He is the Deltaheads' first born son.
    (3)  He is the leader of the world's most powerful group of 
         assassins, the Killer7.
    (4)  Because of his power, he is known as the "God-Killer."
    (5)  He is the origin of the multiple personae.
    (6)  In his twenties, he worked as an agent for the Jim 
         Townshend Survey Company.  He has been an assassin ever 
    (7)  His weapon is an armor-piercing rifle.
    (8)  He is better than Kun Lan at chess.
    (9)  In 2000, he was nearly killed by Dan Smith.
    (10) In 2010, he was resuscitated.
    (11) He is tied intimately to Coburn Elementary School.
    B: KUN LAN: Terror from the East.                   [APPEN-CHA-B]
    "Harman . . . the world won't change.  All it does is turn. 
    Now, let's dance."
    (1)  Half Tibetan and half Chinese, his age is unknown.
    (2)  He is the son of a governor.
    (3)  He is an incarnation of the demon, Marla Parpiner.
    (4)  He became the leader of underground societies at the age 
         of three.
    (5)  His power has made him known as "God's Hand."
    (6)  He studied at a prestigious American university.
    (7)  He lost his Tibetan citizenship when he was twenty-four 
         years old.
    (8)  Using fake passports, he has moved through underground 
         organizations all over the world.
    (9)  In the past, he worked as a taxicab driver in Japan.
    (10) His objective is the destruction of nations, using billions 
         of Heaven Smiles.
    (11) Kun Lan is Harman's most distant neighbor, closest observer, 
         most sympathetic companion, and target.
    C: GARCIAN SMITH: The man who killed the past.      [APPEN-CHA-C]
    "I feel something . . . like somebody's calling out to me."
    (1)  Garcian Smith was born in Miami, near the border with 
         Mexico.  He is thirty-three years old.
    (2)  His nickname is "Garcie."
    (3)  He can see Heaven Smiles, using his powers of 
    (4)  His weapon is a handgun, with a silencer attached.
    (5)  He is not good at fighting; he is the weakest in battle.
    (6)  After recovering a body, he has to tap the button on the 
         controller rapidly.
    (7)  He was "killed" by Harman in the past.
    (8)  Presently, he is Harman's faithful servant.
    (9)  Garcian is a sweet man who would not hurt a fly.
    (10) He is the most important personality in the story.
    (11) He is "the third eye."
    (12) The Golden Gun rightfully belongs to him.
    (13) He is also known as "the Bloody Heartland."
    (14) His birth name and identity is Emir Parkreiner.
    D: DAN SMITH: A tyrant in a three-piece suit.       [APPEN-CHA-D]
    "I went and saw the Devil.  Now it's your turn."
    (1)  Dan Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan.  Of Irish descent, 
         he is thirty-three years old.
    (2)  He is a tyrant--the true Hellion.
    (3)  His weapons are a revolver and the dreaded Demon Gun.
    (4)  He is best at eliminating the Duplicator Smiles with his 
         Collateral Shot.
    (5)  He is a former agent of the Seattle Self-Defense 
    (6)  He and Mills have known each other for a long time.
    (7)  Curtis Blackburn was his mentor--and his mortal enemy.
    (8)  His room in the Union Hotel was #601.
    E: KAEDE SMITH: She walks in a storm of blood.      [APPEN-CHA-E]
    (1)  KAEDE Smith was born in Portland, Oregon.  Of Japanese 
         origin, she is twenty years old.
    (2)  Her nickname is "Barefoot."
    (3)  She cuts her wrist to send out her "Bloody Shower."
    (4)  Mizaru serves her.
    (5)  Her weapon is an automatic pistol, with a scope attached.  
         She reloads slowly.
    (6)  She is a formidable fighter with kicks.
    (7)  Her brother is a member of the Liberal Party.
    (8)  She was killed by her own brother, who received his orders 
         from Matsuken.
    (9)  Her body was recovered by Garcian.
    (10) Her room in the Union Hotel was #404.
    F: MASK DE SMITH: A profesional wrestler, the strongest. 
    "Children are pure.  They know who's the strongest."
    (1)  Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the masked man is 
         thirty-eight years old.
    (2)  In MASK De Smith, Luchadore meets Lancashire: Mexican 
         wrestling with Anglo-Irish tactics.
    (3)  He is very strong, even without weapons, using his 
         German Suplex and Headbutt moves.
    (4)  His weapons are two grenade launchers that fire normal 
         shells, Shock shells, and Focus shells.
    (5)  He is the most destructive member of the Killer7.
    (6)  His room in the Union Hotel was #306.
    G: CON SMITH: Sound hunter, speed star.             [APPEN-CHA-G]
    (1)  Of Chinese descent, Con Smith is blind at fourteen 
         years old.
    (2)  He is known for his supersonic footwork.
    (3)  He has perfect hypersensitive hearing.
    (4)  His weapons are two automatic pistols.
    (5)  He is a big fan of the Handsome Men.
    (6)  He is very attached to Coyote Smith, and he hates Dan Smith.
    (7)  He whistles, when he is in a good mood.
    (8)  His room in the Union Hotel was #203.
    H: COYOTE SMITH: The Hellion's nemesis.             [APPEN-CHA-H]
    (1)  Coyote Smith is Puerto Rican and twenty-eight years old.
    (2)  He is known as the Thief, and he is extremely athletic.
    (3)  He has the power known as "Deadly Jumping" for use in 
    (4)  His weapon is a modified revolver.
    (5)  He loves to unlock heavy padlocks.
    (6)  In the past, he was killed by Dan Smith.
    (7)  His room in the Union Hotel was #502.
    (8)  He speaks in the dialect from Hiroshima.
    I: KEVIN SMITH: The taciturn killer.                [APPEN-CHA-I]
    (1)  Born in England, Kevin Smith is thirty years old.
    (2)  He wears sunglasses.
    (3)  His weapons are a large knife and smaller throwing knives.
    (4)  When he turns invisible, he can bypass security systems 
    (5)  He is taciturn.
    (6)  He hates heights and loves dark places.
    (7)  His eyesight is weak.
    (8)  His shoulders are sloped, and he sometimes has bad posture.
    (9)  In the dark, his eyes are supposed to shine.  However, this 
         has not been confirmed.
    (10) His place in the Union Hotel is in the lobby.
    J: SAMANTHA SITBON: Obedient, aggressively sexual, and cruel.
    "Don't worry about him.  This gruff loves to play rough.  You 
    wanna have a little fun, too . . . ?"               [APPEN-CHA-J]
    (1)  Samantha Sitbon is a college student.
    (2)  She takes care of Harman for three days out of the week, 
         for scholarship aide.
    (3)  In reality, she molests Harman.
    (4)  Sometimes, she teases Harman.
    (5)  She is mentally deranged.
    (6)  When Harman is awake, she completely changes into a loyal 
    (7)  She appears in the Pigeon's Letters.
    (8)  At the end, she obtains the name "SAMANTHA SMITH."
    K: CHRISTOPHER MILLS                                [APPEN-CHA-K]
    "What's sad is that we've gotten used to this.  I mean our 
    senses . . . it's pathetic."
    (1)  Born in Seattle, Christopher Mills is forty-nine years old 
         and of Scotch descent.
    (2)  He is the Killer7's informant.
    (3)  He is the connection between the U. S. Government and 
    (4)  He is the U. S. Government's dog.
    (5)  He was Curtis Blackburn's informant, when he was a boy.
    (6)  He and Dan Smith are old acquaintances, but their 
         relationship is very bad.
    (7)  Mills is also an assassin, but his skills are terrible.
    (8)  He is in possession of the car covered in Ulmeyda's blood.
    L: TRAVIS BELL                                      [APPEN-CHA-L]
    "This just ain't right.  Is it?  Is it right for time to
    march on like this?"
    (1)  Travis Bell was the first victim of the Second Smith
    (2)  On a hot, humid summer night, he tried to kill the Killer7.  
         Instead, he died by their hands.  He then became a Remnant 
    (3)  He recalls that the feeling of being killed was exhilerating 
         and exciting.
    (4)  Now, he stalks both the Killer7 and underground society.
    (5)  He is obsessed with T-Shirts.  His emotions and states of 
         mind are always printed on his shirts.
    (6)  He has a wealth of information regarding underground society.
    (7)  His last words to the Killer7 are: "Die like a dog, and then 
         laugh it off."
    M: IWAZARU                                          [APPEN-CHA-M]
    "In the name of Harman . . . ."
    (1)  "Master, it is I, Vincel Dill Boris VII, Iwazaruscof!"
    (2)  "We are in a tight spot!"
    (3)  "This is harsh/"
    (4)  "Ew!  Major grossness."
    (5)  "It's wonderful!"
    (6)  "Enough!"
    (7)  "Very good . . . ."
    (8)  "That won't do."
    (9)  "This is it!"
    (10) "This is hot!"
    (11) "I can feel it!"
    (12) "In the name of Harman . . . ."
    N: KIKAZARU                                         [APPEN-CHA-N]
    (1)  Kikazaru is Iwazaru's retainer.
    (2)  His favorite things are the Soul-Shells, which the Master 
    (3)  He crawls everywhere, to inform the Master of the Soul-Shells' 
    O: MIZARU                                           [APPEN-CHA-O]
    (1)  Mizaru is Iwazaru's ex-wife.
    (2)  She is KAEDE's servant.
    (3)  Her cue to appear is KAEDE's blood shower.
    (4)  When she is called, she appears, shielding her eyes.
    P: YOON-HYUN                                        [APPEN-CHA-P]
    "Ah, welcome, my little loser.  I don't see you going places...."
    (1)  Yoon-Hyun was the Killer7's first informant.
    (2)  He desires thick blood.
    (3)  He possesses the True Mask.
    (4)  He regards the Master as a loser.
    (5)  His most frequently repeated quotation is: "Tomorrow, it 
         could be you."
    (6)  The last advice he gives is: "Don't count on the others."
    Q: SUSIE SUMNER                                     [APPEN-CHA-Q]
    "I'll leave the rest to your imagination.  The imagination of a 
    killer . . . ."
    (1)  She always says, "Hello, Mr. Smith," as her greeting.
    (2)  She is portrayed always as a freshly severed head.
    (3)  She is responsible for returning the rings.
    (4)  She loses her temper very easily.
    (5)  Her favorite hiding place is inside a dryer.
    (6)  After diving from the second floor of her home, mutilating a 
         man by castration, loving chocolate sundaes in the South, 
         using her father's rifle to kill a young man who courted her, 
         and spending time in an isolation room, Susie Sumner died the 
         death of a killer.
    (7)  She frequently uses Internet emoticons.
    R: KESS BLOODYSUNDAY                                [APPEN-CHA-R]
    (1)  Kess Bloodysunday is a boy who lives in his nightmares.
    (2)  He is always lost.
    (3)  Kess is keenly aware of someone having suddenly disappeared.
    (4)  He only sees all white, in front of his eyes.
    (5)  The scenery of his nightmares often fades.
    (6)  He confessed: "When I grow up, I will become the President 
         of the United States."
    (7)  His fantasy is to go someday to ISZK-Land.
    (8)  A serial killer, he became a murdered killer.
    (9)  His final memories are of his mother, father, and the monster 
         with three eyes.
    (10) His final words are: "Who is the person taking my hand?"
    S: GATE-KEEPER                                      [APPEN-CHA-S]
    (1)  The Gate-Keeper is the guard of the Vinculum Gate.
    (2)  He will let a person challenge the demons beyond, if they 
         give him enough Soul-Shells.
    (3)  If the person is not serious about challenging the demons, 
         he will not let them pass.
    (4)  The Gate-Keeper is a fearsome man.
    T: MAD DOCTOR                                       [APPEN-CHA-T]
    (1)  The Mad Doctor can strengthen the Personae.
    (2)  He must be given blood, before he will help a person challenge 
         the demonic forces.
    (3)  He uses a mysterious blood machine; it operates similarly 
         to an espresso machine.
    (4)  Sometimes, the blood machine is out of order.
    IV: "Study Article on Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon"
    [Editor's Note: The following selection from "Hand in Killer7"
    is a news and research article written within the universe of
    Killer7.  Think of it as a file you might have found in the
    "Study Article on Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon"
    by Jack Foley
    After his disappearance from his professional and social circles
    for twenty-three years, the body of neurologist Graham MacAlister
    was found.  His death is a mystery.
    The following article (his professional legacy) was published
    in the monthly magazine "Spreading the Truth" (August 1998).
        I first met Harman Smith in 1975.
        I had driven to Seattle to visit my old colleague, Doctor
        John Gibbon, who practiced clinical psychology in the area.
        When I rolled through downtown, it was already very late.
        I felt a premonition--something dark.
        To complicate matters, my naturally bad sense of direction
        caused me to become lost in the city.  I ended up in a back
        alley, and I met Harman Smith.  He was in trouble; someone 
        had stolen his car.  (Later, I learned that the car belonged
        to Harman's companion, Christopher Mills.)
        When Harman and Mills saw my car crawling down the alley,
        they forced their way into the passenger and back seats.
        I should have panicked.  I should have run from the car-jackers,
        but I didn't.  I allowed their presence.  Maybe it's because
        of my premonition--some dark fate I knew I could never escape.
        I surely would have fled, had I known what was in their luggage:
        a stiff corpse.
        They told me in the car that they had no where to stay the 
        night.  I pitied them, and I let them stay in my hotel room.
        They removed the corpse from the bag, and told me that they
        needed to hide in my room for the night to avoid pursuers.
        When I saw the body, my face palled.  I boiled with self-
        loathing at my foolish invitation for them to stay the night.
        My recrimination quelled, though, after I saw their "ritual."
        Curiosity and inquiry--how much human despair has grown from
        these tendencies?
        The "ritual" concluded by Harman absorbing the corpse--into
        his own body!  When Harman focused his mind, the corpse changed
        into thousands of small particles; Harman's body then absorbed
        these particles.  Harman's middle-aged body then transformed,
        and he took on all of the physical features of the absent corpse!
        Harman more than resembled the man--he BECAME the man.
        The man who he became--his name was Dan--insulted me a few
        times.  Then, Dan turned into those small particles again,
        and Harman returned before my eyes.
        I had witnessed an true phenomenon.  In my excitement, I asked
        Harman for specific descriptions of his methods.  I thought I
        had begun to annoy him with my questions.  Instead of shutting me
        out, though, Harman smiled; he held up a hand to silence me.  A
        normal person would have fled at the sight of the phenomenon,
        but my abnormal curiosity intrigued him.
        The notes that he allowed me to take read as follows:
        (1) He can only absorb corpses that meet unknown requirements
            for compatibility.
        (2) When Harman's consciousness recognizes that a corpse is
            compatible with Harman, the corpse transforms into thousands
            of small particles, which Harman's body absorbs.
        (3) Incredibly, the absorbed body exists within Harman--with its
            own personality completely intact!
        (4) When a persona becomes manifested, Harman's physical form
            changes completely, as it did when he transformed into the
            late Dan.  Additionally, Harman's mental qualities change, too,
            adopting the total personality associated with the body.
        (5) In addition to Dan (the persona whose corpse had been absorbed
            in my presence), another persona exists inside Harman.  That
            persona is named Garcian.
        The situation bore similarities to Disassociative Identity Disorder, 
        in which the patient completely changes his personality.  For readers
        of this article who are unfamiliar with Disassociative Identity
        Disorder, I should explain that it is a severe mental problem.  In it,
        the patient creates a new identity for himself; the new identity
        is severed consciously from the patient's original identity.  Through
        the new identity, the patient loses contact with the original identity's
        perceptions, self-awareness, and memory.
        The similarities do not mean that Harman's condition is identical
        to Disassociative Identity Disorder, though.  A patient with multiple
        personalities only manifests the new identities; Harman actually
        morphs into the other identity's body.  Needless to say, the creation
        of a physically new person in time and space is rare in any field
        of medicine.
        Further, in most cases of Disassociative Identity Disorder, the 
        multiple personalities are created when the patient believes them
        to exist outside of himself.  A patient may have a personality named
        John and another named Eric; John and Eric believe that each exists in
        another body apart from each other.  This is not so with Harman.
        In his case--or, rather, in THEIR case--the separation of the spirit 
        creates a new body.
        In most Disassociative Identity Disorder patients, the different 
        identities (or personae) pile up inside the patient.  They stack one
        on top of the one before, burying the original identity (or persona)
        at the bottom.  In Harman Smith, the personae all exist parallel to
        each other; their identities and their bodies keep their individuality,
        yet they are bound to each other.
        I call this the Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon.
        The next day, I begged Harman to hire me as his private physician,
        even though I knew that he was a professional assassin working with
        the criminal underworld.  Harman Smith granted my wish.
        I never met with Dr. Gibbon.  As a scholar, it has been my duty
        to document and understand the Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon.
        During my study of Harman Smith, I learned that he can absorb
        adult men--and, also, women and children.  If Harman tries to absorb
        a body, and if his consciousness rejects it as incompatible, the
        personality becomes a phantom.  I name the rejected personae 
        "remnant psyches."  (I will describe the remnant psyches in detail,
        in a future essay.)
        Writing all of this down is like drafting my own will; it is suicidal
        to betray Harman's trust.  The contract I signed bound me to remain
        silent about the Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon, except with certain
        people.  The contract never stated my punishment for crossing Harman,
        but I am no fool.  Harman Smith is a professional killer; I know what 
        will happen.
        Perhaps I am a slave to my greed for knowledge.  Whatever the 
        consequences, though, I could not neglect these phenomena, as a
        scientist.  Future generations must receive some record of the strange
        power of Harman Smith.
        I only want the public to know; as much as I can, I have revealed the
                                                 Graham MacAlister
    The document printed above was found on Dr. MacAlister's body, which was
    found hanging from a noose.  The doctor disappeared from his social and
    professional circles in 1975, because he was regarded as a delinquent by 
    the medical community.  He fervently proposed a psychological theory that
    was fundamentally delusional.
    In addition, an employee of the Union Hotel (where MacAlister stayed)
    confirmed that MacAlister showed exceptionally strange behavior.  At times,
    he would shriek without reason; he showed symptoms of mental derangement.
    For these reasons, the police concluded that MacAlister had committed
    suicide, impulsively, as a result of his mental illness.  The document
    referred to in his article on the Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon, which
    described details of the so-called "remnant psyches," was never found.
    [MORE TO COME 2 September 2005]
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