The Beheaded Kamikaze (or Headless Kamikaze in Serious Sam 3: BFE) is an enemy that has appeared in every Serious Sam game. The Kamikaze is one of the best known (and most revered) enemies in the Serious Sam series.
The Beheaded Kamikaze appears as a headless, shirtless (excluding Serious Sam 2) man wielding two bombs strapped to each hand.
The Beheaded Kamikaze is an executed Sirian soldier, raised from the dead by Mental and controlled by a "Life Control Unit" (LCU). The head of the Kamikaze has been ruined, therefore, he is employed for suicidal attacks, in the form of fragmentation grenades. In combination of both this and the scream produced by the LCU's basic vocal synthesizer, Kamikazes can both confuse and instill fear in enemy forces. However, the LCU has limited AI and usually cannot discern obstacles, only some cliff faces or sheer drops, leading them to getting stuck regularly or entering friendly fire.
In The First Encounter, Kamikazes are generally common enemies, mostly appearing second to Kleer Skeletons. Considerably dangerous, they tend to appear in groups and solitude. Groups can consist of them spread out from different directions or packed together in a giant mob. The Second Encounter holds this same tradition. In both Serious Sam HD and Serious Sam Xbox, the breast area has a strange black-marking tattoo.
In Serious Sam 2, instead of carrying a bomb in each hand, a gigantic bomb is placed on his neck, attached to a spring. This bomb has painted markings to represent an evil smiling face with a curving mustache.
In Serious Sam 3: BFE, the appearance is highly similar to first one, except for the red mechanical eye around the neck base. As in previous games, Kamikazes are extremely threatening enemies if their number is high, especially due to the smoke effects from the grenade detonation. However, kamikazes in this installment are much slower, with the player being able to outsprint them. They are staggered for longer after getting hit as well.
Kamikazes have but one purpose: they will run directly at the player, regardless of distance or location, until they are at a close enough range to explode. This detonation occurs at an approximate radius of 2-3 feet. If shot to death, the Kamikaze will explode.
Kamikazes are very fast, tending to hunt in groups. While extremely weak compared to bigger, tougher enemies, their attacks can leave any target in devastation, ripping through Armor and Health. However, they are not immune to their own grenades, where larger attack forces produce mass-explosions, which can additionally downsize other enemy health.
In all installments of the main series but TFE Classic and Serious Sam 2, a Kamikaze will sometimes move sideways to dodge your attacks when you merely put your crosshairs on him at medium to close range while rushing straight at you at other times - this tactic may let groups of Kamikaze surround you. Kleer Skeletons sometimes employ the same tactic.
Beheaded Kamikazes are extremely easy to kill, though because of their sheer numbers and their tendencies often rush in among other enemies, they should be dispatched of first and foremost. Ideal weapons are the Tommy Gun or other automatic weapons, which usually kill a Kamikaze with two bullets. Shotguns have limited effectiveness, as the player will require closer range to use these weapons effectively, an alternate option that's not frowned upon too often. Explosives are also effective, but should only be used as a last resort, due to inefficient and wasteful usage of ammunition.
Because Kamikazes explode upon death, it is ideal to have them explode near other targets, dealing damage or causing a chain reaction among other Kamikazes.
If a Kamikaze is almost at detonation range, the player can fire at him once with a low powered weapon, such as the Schofield .45 and especially the pistol in Serious Sam 3. Firing one shot (if he is at or close to full health) will make him flinch, causing him to halt for a moment and giving the player enough space to retreat and finish him off. The same tactic can also be used against groups of kamikazes by shooting the one in most front once and then killing it when the rest of the group catches him.
In SSHD (for Second Encounter only), the player also can fire a shot of Napalm from the XOP Flamethrower to stunt Kamikazes if they get too close to player. When Kamikazes stunt a few times from fire damage, the player can get a chance to escape before he explodes. However, if the Kamikaze's health appears low, it is not advised to do so.
In Serious Sam 3: BFE, depending on the difficulty level, sprinting may outrun them if running away in a straight line, avoiding sudden curves.
As Kamikazes cannot typically be avoided, they are top priority targets when other enemies are present when Kamikazes are at close to medium range. However, there are times when the enemies shielding Kamikazes may have to be taken out before Kamikazes themselves. Since Kamikazes have low durability and do not have a ranged attack, Beheaded Kamikazes are a medium priority target at far range as enemies with more immediate attacks should be dealt with before them.
Test 1 shows that the Kamikaze had a sharp metallic mechanism attached to his back. In the final version, this is replaced with a different object that connects from the back of his neck down to the end of the spinal column. Aside from this and a small pants and boots re-texturing, Kamikazes retained a very similar appearance to his final state, a trait shared among other headless enemies.
Ironically, "kamikaze" is Japanese language for "Divine Wind" (神風). This word is referent to the Japanese myth where a Mongolian invasion fleet had been destroyed by a heavy storm. It also refers to a Japanese aviator's suicidal attack on American warships during World War II. Though, the usage of the word is common to American language to refer to suicidal attacks of any kind.
In all Serious Sam games, Kamikazes are referred to as "Beheaded", but in Serious Sam 3: BFE, the title is changed to "Headless".
In some games, Kamikazes have appeared in various ways in some secrets. In The Second Encounter, one secret shows it disguised as a bush, and another appearing as a colossus-sized nuke.
In Serious Sam HD, it is actually possible to exploit the coding to "ride" Beheaded Kamikazes, by timing a careful jump. If performed correctly, the player will land on top of a kamikaze, and he will continue to try and chase the player above fruitlessly.