This is getting serious!
This article contains some serious spoilers. Read at your own risk!
The Khnum is a very dangerous and powerful enemy first introduced in Serious Sam 3: BFE, and then later appearing in Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE, Serious Sam 4, and Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem. It also appears in the Legend of the Beast DLC, where it serves as the boss. In Serious Sam 3 and Serious Sam 4, the Khnum is first encountered as a miniboss.
The Khnum is a large bipedal creature standing about twice as tall as an adult human. Their species are a sentient race of creatures that evolved on a planet in the system of Lambda Arietis. Powerful and aggressive, the Khnum crushed the other species into submission, and soon declared themselves gods and demanded to be worshipped. When they encountered Mental, they recognized his superior military might and willingly joined his army, where they occupy positions of great prestige.
Appearance-wise, Khnums are very large creatures with a head that features red eyes, a gaping mouth showing razor teeth and two prominent horns similar to a goat, but not practical for use as a weapon. Due to the shape of its horns, it is often associated with the Egyptian god Khnum. They do not have feet; rather, they have two large hooves that, while slow, allow it to walk as fast as the player. They do have hands, each with three fingers and what appears to be an opposable thumb. Their skin is extremely thick, with only rounds surpassing 30 mm caliber being able to penetrate it.
In Serious Sam 4, the Khnum has been given a different design; it is covered in patches of dark grey skin, has sharper horns, and its eyes are more orange than red. It also has new sounds.
Serious Sam 3: BFE
The Khnum first appears in Serious Sam 3 as a passing feature, looking at the player but does not engage, as if disinterested. The first Khnum encountered in the game serves as a boss. It is fought in Unearthing the Sun in an enclosed space filled with pillars, and has over twice as much health as a normal Khnum. Later on, Khnums appear most commonly alone or in pairs with groups of enemies. However, in the final level, several can appear at the same time. They usually appear with larger amount of weaker enemies. On easy difficulties, Khnums walk at a relatively slow pace. On harder difficulties, Khnums will walk/run faster at roughly the same speed as the player's walking pace.
Legend of the Beast
The Khnum appears in Legend of the Beast as the final boss of the 3-level mini-campaign. It is found waiting for the player on its throne in a sacrificial chamber and wears the Shrine of Amon-Ra. The room has a number of columns, which the Khnum can easily smash, but they can protect the player from incoming fireballs.
The room also has 6 switches and a metal platform in the middle, where a lightbeam shines. One of the switches is located above the Khnum's throne, and another one is on the opposite side of the wall, facing the one above the throne. 2 others are on the right and left upper wings of the room, and another group of 2 are on the right and left lower wings of the room. The ones on the lower wings of the room need to be activated in order for the one opposite of the throne to be activated. The one above the throne will not activate unless all others are active.
The Khnum has a tremendous health amount of 100,000 HP, which makes it the boss with the second highest health in the Serious Sam series, only exceeded by the Mental Institution (with 1,000,000) from Serious Sam 2. Canonically, the Legend of the Beast Khnum has the highest health of any Serious Sam boss. Given that fact, the player's weapons will do virtually no harm to it. Although, once all 6 switches are activated, if the Khnum is hit by the electric beam, the beam will erase 1/3 of its health if it stands in it for the full duration (the Khnum is stunned while hit by the beam). The Khnum will also punch the player if they get too close.
Unlike Khnums in the original version of Serious Sam 3, the Khnum from the Legend of the Beast is vulnerable to every weapon, aside from the Serious Bomb (which the player cannot acquire normally in the mini-campaign anyway).
Serious Sam 4
Like the Khnum in Serious Sam 3, the first Khnum that appears is encountered as a miniboss. It is first seen in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, carrying the beacon that Thomas Jones was meant to place, shortly before the Khnum eats him. Sam defeats the Khnum and, enraged, shoves the beacon right into its skull afterwards, avenging Jones's death.
In the later levels, Khnums start becoming more frequent, usually in groups of up to three. They become much more numerous in the final level.
Khnums, along with Major Bio-mechanoids, are some of the strongest and most dangerous creatures seen in Mental's Horde. As Khnums are very large and powerful creatures, they are mostly used for charging straight towards enemy forces in the line of fire and to deal a devastating strike with its charge attack. From a distance, Khnums are used for providing support to weaker forces with their fireballs and to flush out targets in open areas with little cover.
Behavior and skills
Khnums are extraordinarily strong and dangerous opponents. Their skin is remarkably thick and their tissue has regenerative capacities that are unmatched in the known universe. Although they are not actually divine, they are still formidable opponents and should not be underestimated.
When the Khnum spots the target, it has several attacks it may perform; if the target gets too close, it may attempt a swipe, which deals high damage. Also, it may use a hoof stomp attack which is faster, but does less damage. When a Khnum is close enough to the target, it will start charging towards them. In Serious Sam 4, the Khnum will only travel in a straight line when charging in a similar manner to the Sirian Werebull, unlike the Khnum from the previous games.
The Khnum's ranged attack involves conjuring one to three fireballs in its hand. It can toss it quickly for a quick attack, but this has less range and the fireballs are tightly grouped together. The Khnum usually performs this attack when it sees incoming projectiles from the player (such as rockets) and is strafing to dodge them. It may also charge the fireballs, which is easily visible by the glow in its hand. This will make the fireballs travel great distances and also spread them out. If a large portion of the Khnum's health has been depleted, or if it takes rapid damage, it will be temporarily stunned and unable to attack with fireballs. In the original version of Serious Sam 3, the Khnum throws three fireballs regardless of the difficulty setting enabled. In Serious Sam Fusion, however, it now throws only one fireball at a time on lower difficulties.
Although the fireballs have no target tracking of their own, the Khnum can throw them so that if the target is moving, it will hit the target if it continues its movement in the same direction. An easy counter for this is to change direction. The fireballs travel extremely fast and cause immense amounts of damage to the player's health, especially in the original version of Serious Sam 3, where they deal 60 damage. Unlike missiles and fireballs in earlier Serious Sam games, a Khnum's fireballs are immune to gunfire.
In Serious Sam 4, the Khnum can be ridden by the player if they have unlocked the respective skill in the S.A.M. system. When riding a Khnum, the same controls for riding a vehicle apply to the Khnum. The player can also fire their weapons from the Khnum while riding it. Like other mountable enemies, the Khnum's health will be displayed by a HUD icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen. Once the Khnum is dead or if the player presses the melee button, the player will be dismounted from it.
Serious Sam 3: BFE
- In the original version of Serious Sam 3, bullets bounce harmlessly off a Khnum, regardless of where they're hit. Only explosives and the XL2 Lasergun will damage a Khnum, with each explosive weapon sometimes being more appropriate depending on the situation.
- With C-4 equipped, a red C-4 target will appear on the Khnum's chest. Although effective, (requiring roughly two to three attached blocks of C-4) C-4 may not always be the best choice considering the distance required to successfully attach C-4. Khnums tend to run towards the player, bringing themselves, and the attached explosives closer to an unsafe distance. On the other hand, detonating an attached C-4 will always stun the Khnum, so consistently using C-4 can take it down without it attacking or advancing.
- The XPML21 Rocket Launcher is also another choice, but Khnums will actively dodge rockets shot at them, making hitting them difficult when not in close proximity. Khnums will also quickly throw single fireballs when dodging rockets, increasing the difficulty of successfully hitting one. This makes the rocket launcher one of the more challenging ways to engage Khnums, especially multiple groups. It is advised to fire rockets just as the Khnum starts charging, stop when the Khnum gets too close and then start firing again when it starts to use a ranged attack.
- The A-24 Devastator is a much better choice, doing roughly as much damage as the rocket launcher, but because the Devastator's projectiles travel faster, Khnums are unable to dodge each shot. Hitting Khnums with Devastator rounds also does not provoke them into doing their quick sidestepping fireball attack.
- The SBC Cannon is a very effective weapon to take a Khnum down, needing only two fully charged hits. In addition, it causes them to flinch after getting hit, preventing them from firing their fireballs. However, due to the rarity of cannonballs, players may opt in using other methods.
- It is possible to decapitate a Khnum with the Sirian Mutilator, but only with at least two players using the Mutilator simultaneously. If a player attempts to decapitate a Khnum alone, then it will grab the beam and pull the player closer, which puts them in danger of a melee attack and usually disrupts the beam's charging process. Even if the player holds the charge indefinitely alone, the Khnum will not be decapitated. However, using the Mutilator in singleplayer against the Khnum can still be useful as it temporarily stuns it, stopping its charge and making the Khnum vulnerable to C-4.
- With other enemies, Khnums are a medium-high-priority target. In some situations, they may be treated as high-priority targets. Their projectiles can be dodged at a distance but they deal a lot of damage and it can be hard to keep track of if other enemies are present.
Serious Sam 4/Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem
- Khnums are more dangerous in this installment due to their increased health. Even though this does make them tougher, they can still be harmed by bullet-firing weapons.
- Like other enemies in the game, shooting at a Khnum's head with any weapon (even explosive ones) will deal extra damage to it, allowing the player to finish it off quicker. This works especially well with strong weapons like the Devastator, especially if they are dual-wielded.
- The FRPCL is perhaps the best weapon to use against groups of Khnums; the projectiles fired from the weapon can destroy them in just a few seconds due to its very rapid damage output.
- The cannon remains a powerful weapon to use on a Khnum, but it takes roughly four fully-charged cannonballs to kill one. If using the cannon on a Khnum, fire at its head, as this will deplete 3/4 of the Khnum's health in one hit.
- If the Khnum receives a moderate amount of damage within a small period of time, it will become enraged and try to charge towards the player. This attack can be easily avoided by sidestepping.
- C-4 charges still remain a decent weapon against Khnums, but now require at least four to kill one (as opposed to just three in the original version of Serious Sam 3 and two in the Fusion version).
- The Khnum can be stunned upon receiving heavy damage dealt by C-4 charges or cannonballs. In this state, the player can execute or mount it if they have the appropriate S.A.M. skills.
- Riding a Khnum after severely damaging it is recommended as the Khnum can be used to easily destroy other enemies with its fireballs, which are five times more powerful than if thrown by an enemy one. This can be used to instantly kill any enemy up to a Common Aludran Reptiloid and severely damage tougher enemies like Scrapjacks and Major Bio-mechanoids.
- When riding a Khnum, however, the monster's slow movement speed makes it easily prone to Reptiloid projectiles, Hatchling and especially Adult Arachnoids, and swarms of weaker enemies like Gnaars, Processed Anthropolyps, or Kleer Skeletons. As such, Reptiloids and Arachnoids become high-priority targets when the player is riding a Khnum.
- The Khnum's fireballs travel in an arc trajectory, so it is recommended to aim upwards to make the fireballs hit enemies above or far away from the player.
Behind the scenes
- The Khnum originally appeared in a screenshot in a 2006 demonstration of Serious Engine 3, where it was smaller and had a slightly different face.
Serious Sam 3: BFE
|Decapitate a Khnum.|
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter
|Finish the Legend of the Beast campaign in single player or cooperative.|
Serious Sam Fusion
|Finish the Legend of the Beast campaign in single player or cooperative.|
- The Khnum is called "DeeDee" in Serious Sam 3's game files.
- The Khnum, along with the Kleer Skeleton and Ugh-Zan IV, are the only enemies in the original version of Serious Sam 3 that don't bleed (or splatter blood) when damaged or killed. They do bleed however in the Fusion version of the game and in Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope and Serious Sam 4.
- The models for the Khnum and Canned Cain were created as part of a temporary partnership with id Software, creators of the Doom franchise. The Khnum's appearance is similar to the Baron of Hell from Doom and Hell Knight from Doom II, as is the fact that it is first encountered as a boss and has pale skin like the Hell Knight.
- The way its legs bend mean it also slightly resembles the Cyberdemon, the second boss of Doom and final boss of Doom 3.
- In the Fusion version of Serious Sam 3, Khnums can be harmed by bullet-firing weapons, but they will be only dealt half of the damage. For example, shooting at a Khnum with the assault rifle will deal 5 damage as opposed to its 10 damage per shot. This is also shared with the Technopolyp.
- The Khnum is the first enemy in the Serious Sam franchise to be introduced in a new game and then retroactively added to an old one. In its case, the Khnum was introduced in Serious Sam 3 in 2011, then added to Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (originally released in 2010) in the Legend of the Beast DLC, which itself was released in 2012.
- The Khnum can be gibbed in Serious Sam 4 and Siberian Mayhem, unlike the Serious Sam 3 version.
Serious Sam 3: BFE
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Serious Sam 4
List of appearances
- Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (Legend of the Beast only)
- Serious Sam 3: BFE (First appearance)
- Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
- Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE
- Serious Sam 4
- Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem