The House of the Dead 2
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|The House of the Dead 2|
|Series||The House of the Dead|
|Arcade system||Sega NAOMI|
The House of the Dead 2 is a light gun arcade game with a horror theme and the second game in the The House of the Dead series of video games, developed by Sega for video arcades in 1998 and later ported to the Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows, and also found on the Xbox as an unlockable bonus in The House of the Dead III. The game appears in the compilation The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return for Wii. The Dreamcast version became one of the few Sega All Stars titles.
The House of the Dead 2 is a rail shooter light gun game. It includes an auto-reload feature that allows players to point their guns off-screen to reload their weapons without pulling the trigger. It also incorporates a branching path system that allows players to take a variety of different routes leading to the same point in the game's story.
The game served as the springboard for the arcade, Sega Dreamcast, and PC release The Typing of the Dead, the Nintendo DS release English of the Dead, as well as the inspiration for the Game Boy Advance game, The Pinball of the Dead.
The flashbacks to the first House of the Dead in the game's introductory sequence were recorded using the game's engine.
The game follows the fictional events of February 26, 2000, fourteen months after the Curien Mansion incident in The House of the Dead. Strange occurrences are reported to be taking place in the city of Venice, Italy, the last known location of AMS agent G, who has gone missing. Agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart are dispatched, along with Amy Crystal and Harry Harris, to investigate and evacuate the populace. Upon finding G alive but wounded, James and Gary converse with him and G gives them a field journal showing the bosses and weak points. The pair are then met with a massive undead hoard, similar to the kind from the Curien Mansion incident. They continue on, trying to save the town's civilians from the zombies.
During the chaos, James and Gary face Judgment consisting of the imp-like Zeal and his giant, headless, axe-wielding armored puppet Kuarl. After killing it, they meet up with Amy and Harry, who split up and try to meet at Sunset Bridge (or the wharf, depending on the player's actions). Upon getting there the group faces off with The Hierophant, an aquatic fish-like humanoid which heads an assault on Venice's waterways and Central Plaza. Upon defeating it, James, Gary, Amy and Harry get on a boat and continue through the rivers.
It is revealed that the zombies were created by Caleb Goldman, the man who funded Dr. Curien in making his creations during the Curien Mansion incident. It is also revealed that Goldman created the new zombies and released them into the city. Goldman leaves a message on Amy's phone, inviting them to meet him at the Colosseum. Although fearing it's a trap, the group continues on. James and Gary split up again, and face off with segmented serpents known as The Tower. After killing it, they receive a phone call for help from Amy, before getting cut off. The two quickly race to the Colosseum only to discover Amy and a wounded Harry, wounded by Strength, a giant, chainsaw-wielding zombie which wounds Harry and chases James and Gary throughout the Roman Colosseum. After they kill it, James and Gary push on, while Amy tends to Harry's wounds. They drive over to Goldman's tower, where they are confronted by Curien's masterpiece, The Magician, is resurrected by Goldman to oversee the birth of The Emperor, a shape shifting being designed to rule over nature and "destroy and hate mankind". In its prototype stage, the Emperor is not as strong as Goldman had hoped, and falls to the AMS agents. In order to evade being arrested, Goldman commits suicide by throwing himself off the roof of his building.
Players are given different endings based on the following conditions:
- If a solo game was finished as either player 1 or 2
- If both players defeated the last boss
- Number of continues
- Points earned
In the good ending, James and Gary run into Thomas Rogan, the main character from the first game, who tells them that G and Harry are all right, and that they should head off to their next battle "as long as we have the will to live" (in the case of James) or "as long as there is an answer" (in the case of Gary). In the normal ending, as James and Gary leave the building, they are greeted by G, Amy and Harry, as well as a large group of civilians, who thank them for their help. In the bad ending, James and Gary run into a zombified Goldman outside the building. As the screen goes white, a gunshot is heard.
- James Taylor: An American AMS agent sent to investigate strange occurrences reported taking place in the city of Venice and locate agent G.
- Gary Stewart: An AMS agent sent along with James Taylor.
- Caleb Goldman: CEO of the DBR Corporation and an expert on the genome theory who funded the experiments of the late Curien, he unleashed all the zombies to Venice to destroy humankind. He commits suicide at the end of the game.
- Amy Crystal: An AMS agent sent to evacuate the populace, it's hinted in the game she likes Gary.
- Harry Harris: Another AMS agent sent to assist Amy.
- Agent "G": An AMS agent investigating strange occurrences in Venice. He is found seriously injured by James and Gary.
- Thomas Rogan: An AMS agent and the returning protagonist from the original House of the Dead, known for his heroic actions during the Curien Case. While Sophie's survival depends on the skill of the player, canonically she survives. She marries Rogan and the two have a daughter, Lisa Rogan, in 2000. He is only seen in one of the game's alternate endings, informing James that their friends and allies have survived the outbreak.
The House of the Dead 2 was later ported to the Dreamcast (with it being an original launch title for the system), Xbox (as an unlockable on the Xbox port of The House of the Dead 3), PC, and Wii. It was also the second, and final game in the House of the Dead series to appear on a Sega console, with the original House of the Dead for the Sega Saturn being the first.
Famitsu gave the Dreamcast version of the game 33 out of 40. IGN gave the game 8.7 out of 10, noting the detailed level design, varied enemy designs and poor voice acting. GameSpot gave it a score of 6.7 out of 10, stating that "Just a gun that lines up with the sights doesn't seem too much to ask for." Game Informer ranked it at 99 in its best games of all-time list in 2001. The staff praised it for its expansion of its predecessor's gore and intensity while they noted that the lack of a light gun accessory for the Dreamcast version was disappointing.
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