Through the development of the game, the Heaven Smiles had an interesting evolution: in the original concept trailer they looked like “normal humans“.
As we can read in the “Hand in Killer 7” book, it seems that they were really just normal people that were somehow “possessed” by Kun Lan:
A: “Heaven Smiles are born when the light from a certain man’s right hand shines on a human being. This is called ‘the Hand of God’.”
ST: “You mean to say that Heaven Smiles were originally human?”
A: “Yes, precisely. Most of them were converted by the Hand of God, but there are others whose bodies were bought through the underground organization of human trafficking.”
Below we can see an interesting scene from the original concept trailer: an early version of Kaede is going to be hit by a “First Generation Heaven Smile” that fights with… a stick? In the final version the enemies just explode near the player (or they shot a laser / missiles from long distance) to kill, but they never use near-distance weapons. Grasshopper Manufacter created this scene when the Heaven Smiles were going to be “normal people” and so it was just right to think that they would had fight like “normal people“.
A second generation of Heaven Smiles were created from human experiments and trafficking: these ones could have been the human-alike enemies that we can see in some early trailers and screenshots:
We could name these “Prototype Heaven Smiles” (as in the “Hand in Killer 7” book we can read that MASK DE SMITH fought a decisive battle against an army of Prototype Heaven Smiles and “Mask Smiles” in Madison Square Garden). It’s interesting to notice that these Prototype Smiles were soon removed from all the official media: a second batch of screens / videos from the same places were released with other Heaven Smiles that look more like the final ones. Maybe they changed them so fast because of censorship problems?
Here are the third version of the “Heaven Smiles” while they are getting shot by Con, on the same staircase from the image before. Now they look more like the final version:
In 2003 a new Killer 7 trailer was released in 2 versions, that were almost the same apart from the look of the Heaven Smiles:
Original video (with Proto Heaven Smiles):
Modified video (with “Third Generation” Heaven Smiles”):
Here are some more screenshots in which Coyote and Kevin are fighting with “Prototype Smiles”.
Here’s another description from the “Hand in Killer 7” book in which a character talks about how they created the Heaven Smiles army:
In the beginning, only one type of Heaven Smile existed. But, as we altered the characteristics of the light from the Hand of God, we were able to create different types of Heaven Smiles. Additionally, we learned that it was possible to reshape them using machines. In this manner, we varied the possible types of Heaven Smiles. When a man receives the light from the Hand of God, he experiences pure ecstasy. Heaven Smiles exist in a constant state of joy and pleasure. That’s why they smile. However, simultaneously, their consciousness is under the simple order: ‘One Heaven Smile must kill one human being.’ They kill using the bomb-organ inside their bodies, made with technology, as their modus operandi.”
We can speculate the First Generation Heaven Smiles were not able to explode (as we have already analized in the screen with beta Kaede and the Smile with a stick) because the bombs inside the final Heaven Smiles were created with some technology and only those enemies created with that technology had the ability to explode.
As we can read they were able to artificially create “different types of Heaven Smiles” as the “Prototype Smiles” and the “Third Generation Heaven Smiles“. In the screenshot below there are some color variations of the “Third Generation Heaven Smiles”: even if they look almost like the final ones, i dont remember so many different colors in the final game (but i could be wrong).
Probably each one of those colors had a different ability.
Here’s a screenshot with a base Heaven Smile from the final game:
As we can see in a beta trailer, there was a Third Generation Heaven Smile that was able to move fast to avoid gunshots.
I though that this enemy was removed from the final game, but as Kingson1 from the K7S has made me to notice, it is Speed Smile, a mini-boss that is still in the final game. The strange thing is that in the beta video, Speed Smile seems to have been found out of the “miniboss phase” so maybe it was going to be a “normal” enemy in the beta version.
Here’s a video of Speed Smile in the final game:
To complete the “Beta Enemies” section, here’s an early design of Ayame Blackburn. In this beta version he looked a lot more like a character from the anime “Sailor Moon” ..probably even too much. It’s possible that they had to change her features to avoid copyright issues.
Here’s Ayame in the final game:
And here’s a character from Sailor Moon:
Killer 7 – Beta Enemies Analysis COMPLETE.
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