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Killer (Shadow Hearts)

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People...call me Killer. And you?
~ Killer
...
~ Lady
Huh?...Lady, that's what I'll call you.
~ Killer first speaks with Lady; Shadow Hearts: From the New World

Killer is one of the main villains from the video-game Shadow Hearts: From the New World, he assists the game's main antagonist, Lady, with slavish devotion.

History

Killer was a common street thug wanted for several high profile murders. Killer's name is never revealed but the cops have simply referred to him as the Killer and he has never bothered to refer to himself by any other name. Killer was at last cornered by the police and thought his time had finally come to an end when Lady happened along. Though Killer was severely injured he managed to witness Lady slaughter the police squad that had surrounded him. As the life slipped out of Killers body he was revived by Lady with a kiss. Lady's kiss was less a sign of affection than her transfer method of power, with the kiss Killer filled with the demonic like energy called Malice that was bound up within Lady and was not only healed but made superhuman. Lady did not have the ability to speak and when Killer attempted to thank her or question her she did little more than stare at him. As Lady continued to wander Killer followed her wanting to find some way to repay his beautiful savior whom he had fallen quite in love with.

Lady, Killer and Gilbert

Lady, Killer and Gilbert team up.

When Lady happened upon Professor Gilbert he became fascinated with her and seemed to know much about her, little to none of which he went into with any detail. But Gilbert confirmed one thing Killer suspected, that she was not a human-being but at one point had been. Lady seemed passive to Gilbert's presence and did not attempt to stop him from following her, Killer on the other hand was highly suspicious of the scheming little man and said so, opting to simply kill him. Gilbert bargained for his life by exploiting Killer's intrigue in Lady by stating that he was the only living person who could interpret Lady's vague desires. Gilbert promised Killer if he let him tag along he would feed him a steady stream of information about whatever Lady's latest actions were geared towards.

As time progressed Killer eventually found out Lady had no desire to become human, rather the opposite, she wanted to escape her human form and return to a state of pure Malice and that doing so would destroy the world as he knew it. When Gilbert made Killer aware of Lady's true goals Killer was angry Gilbert had hidden it from him and once again threatened to kill him, but Killer's devotion to Lady was unchanged. Killer did not care if he was helping restore Lady's humanity, returning her home or ending the world, Killer was only concerned with one thing; making Lady happy.

Towards the end of the game the party corners Lady as she is about to open the Gate to the Malice home-world. To protect Lady, Killer transforms into a monster with the Malice in his body. After being defeated in this last encounter Killer dies. Killer's death is the only thing that seems to inspire any sort of emotional reaction from Lady and she takes his body with her into the Gate. But even on her home-world Lady can not revive Killer a second time, his body having been filled to the brim with Malice at the time of his death. Killer's irreversible death drives Lady over the edge and she goes through a breakdown.

Personality

Killer is originally made out to be, as his nickname implies, a enthusiastic and merciless killer, but one above the average street-tough only in skill, why or how he developed into such a life-style is never explored. Lady appears to be indiscriminately attracted to find, aid, and tolerate him based purely on the Malice in his heart and she is attracted to others like Edna Capone based on the same stimuli. Killer becomes intrigued with Lady after his initial encounter, at first of of curiosity with an underlining, low-key but unmistakable lust, over time the lust turns into genuine love and obsession as he begins comprehending what she really is. Killer justifies his interest in Lady as gratitude for saving his life but in truth becomes completely enamored to Lady on a conceptual level (the fact that she is an avatar for Malice). Lady's mutual affection for Killer is revealed after his death and for similar reasons to why he cared for her, because he was unapologetic evil. Aside from his obsession with Lady, Killer is characterized by his ultra-violent habits and short temper. He keeps Gilbert around at first only because he think he will be of use to Lady and later because he is the only one capable of interpreting her vague intent. Killer stops caring why Lady wants the things she wants, only that she wants them. Towards the end of the journey he accepts that she will never love him, or even acknowledge him but is committed just to making her happy anyway he can. The closing scene of Lady's death implies that his soul is considers any form of hell that awaits him heaven as long as it is going there with Lady by his side.

Skills and Abilities

Shadow Heart Lady, Killer

Kiss of Malice

Like Lady, Gilbert, Edna and all characters in the game (and indeed the franchise) Killer can use the Malice infused into his body to become superhuman, moving at super speed, with super endurance and super strength. Like with most other cases of Malice, when Killer concentrates his hatred he transforms into Eldritch monsters. Along with Gilbert, Killer is one of the only villains in the entire franchise to be able to use Malice to transform into a monster without becoming a mindless feral beast in the process, both Killer and Gilbert have the same reason for this somewhat unique trait, they openly and completely accepted the full hatred within their hearts back when they were still human, so getting a literal manifestation of Malice did no unhinge them in any way, except perhaps to make them more enthusiastic. Like Lady, Gilbert and Edna, part of the powers Malice affords Killer is the ability the disperse Malice as a raw destructive energy. The power comes with one major down side; with Killer animated and filled to the brim with Malice, expending it not only uses up his life force but prevents anymore from being able to recharge him as he was already saturated with it.

Trivia

  • Many fans have noted the fact that Lady bares a very similar facial features to Alice Elliot and Killer an aesthetic resemblance to Yuri Hyuga, hero and heroine of the last games, Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
  • An initial theory on the two was that since the bad endings of the previous games has Yuri and Alice losing their souls that Lady and Killer were a result of those possibilities, while Lady's backstory writes off her ties to Alice, Killer's mysterous past left the door open for him as Yuri at first. But Sacnoth writers and developers have admitted to the likenesses being simple red herrings.
  • The ambiguity of the characters is also removed in-game as Roger Bacon states he has never seen the Émigré Manuscript used successfully, something that would only result from Shadow Hearts: Covenant's good ending.


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