The Smith Syndicate is a group of assassins managed and lead by Harman Smith in killer7. Although the group goes through various incarnations in the game's setting, the members of the Second Smith Syndicate, popularly known as the killer7, are the game's titular protagonists. Members of the Smith Syndicate change their last name to "Smith" while working as assassin personae, hence the name of the group; they also usually become personae of Harman through the Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon. They are also informally known as "the Smiths", and are alternatively known as the Harman Alliance.
First Smith Syndicate
Second Smith Syndicate
- Harman Smith
- Garcian Smith
- Dan Smith
- KAEDE Smith
- Kevin Smith
- Coyote Smith
- Con Smith
- MASK de Smith
- Samantha Sitbon
- Young Harman Smith
Fifth Smith Syndicate
- OVERDRIVE MASK de Smith
The First Smith Syndicate was formed by Harman Deltahead in 1775, which is when Harman changed his name to Smith. The only other known persona in the Syndicate was Dimitri Nightmare. However, the Syndicate came to an end only three years later when Harman Smith splits from both Dimitri and the "Deltahead" identity, which was the start of the multiple Harmans.
The Second Smith Syndicate was recruited almost two centuries later by Harman Smith, which started up in 1957 and consisted of seven members besides Harman. They quickly became the most famous and skilled assassins association in the United States, and took on several jobs, including those from the government.
One of the first people they killed was Travis Bell, who was attempting to take them out; he subsequently joined the killer7 as a Remnant Psyche, as would other targets such as Susie Sumner and Kess BloodySunday. At some point later in the century, Emir Parkreiner slaughters the other members. He becomes the dominant personality of the psyche-complex; however, as Garcian Smith, he is unaware of this fact, and continues to act subservient to Harman. They also add Samantha Smith to their ranks after she almost kills them following one of their battles against prototypes for the Heaven Smiles. They become located in Seattle after earlier dealings involved them there, and old ally Christopher Mills becomes their contact with the government.
When the Heaven Smile crisis breaks, the organization is assigned a number of counter-terrorism operations, first to investigate the cause of the problem, in which they encounter Harman's enemy Kun Lan. They are then sent to assassinate a foreign spy, Toru Fukushima, and end up learning more about the increasingly tenuous Japan-US relations in the process. They are then summoned by Andrei Ulmeyda to take him out at his own request. Following this, they are assigned a mission to stop an organ-trafficking program run by Pedro Montana and Dan's old partner Curtis Blackburn, and end up pursuing Blackburn to his personal residence in order to kill him. A dangerous rival assassin group appears, this one called the Handsome Men; the killer7 travel to the Dominican Republic to take down their apparent director, Trevor Pearlharbor, and end up squaring off with them in Broadway, New York.
Finally, Garcian investigates his past at Coburn Elementary School. In the course of the events there, the personae of the original six assassins are destroyed by the Black Heaven Smiles, and shortly thereafter Garcian travels to the roof of the Hotel Union, where Parkreiner's persona reasserts itself, ending the Second Smith Syndicate.
Hand in killer7 suggests that there would be at least three and likely more Smith Syndicates throughout the future, although the members of each is mostly unknown. The Third Smith Syndicate comes about in 2053 in order to combat a new form of terror known as Heaven Tears, although Harman Smith presumably is missing until he reappears in Shanghai, so the leader of this group is unknown. A Fourth Smith Syndicate is never directly mentioned, but is likely a group that Harman forms to battle Kun Lan in 2115. The Fifth Smith Syndicate is led by OVERDRIVE MASK de Smith, although how MASK could have reappeared is unknown. In 2170, he battles yet another form of terror known as Final Smiles who fly to Detroit from the east. Because Harman and Kun Lan continue to battle for eternity, it's likely that other Smith Syndicates would form forever.
The choice of the name "Smith" as the surname of Smith Syndicate members carries with it many meanings. The most surface-level of these is simply that director Goichi Suda is a huge fan of the band The Smiths, and references them very frequently in his works, killer7 especially. However, Smith as a last name has many further historical and cultural meanings. Most prominently, it is such a common name that it is frequently used as a pseudonym, and is often thought of as an anonymous name, or the name of a secret identity, which is ultimately true of the members of the Smith Syndicate who have changed their names to act as assassins under Harman. More specifically, though, there have been many historical instances where non-Americans, or non-white Americans, changed their names to the archetypal American "Smith" in order to blend in better. Indeed, most of the members of the Smith Syndicate come from non-white/non-American backgrounds, and when they join the Smith Syndicate, they are joining Harman in his allegiance to America and the West. "Smith" can also be seen as a possible pun on their job as assassins, as it originates as an occupational surname for smiths, those who forge metal by hitting it ('to strike/hit' also being an old etymology of smith); in other words, men who hit, i.e. hitmen, now used as a term for assassins.