The House of the Dead
|The House of the Dead|
The logo of the first and second games, as well as their appearances in other games. Latter installments feature their own logo and styling
Light gun shooter
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Saturn, Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Mobile phone, Steam, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch|
|First release||The House of the Dead|
|Latest release||House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn |
The House of the Dead is a horror-themed rail shooter video game franchise created by Sega in 1996. Originally released on arcade, it utilizes a light gun on the platform, but can be played with standard controllers on consoles and a mouse or keyboard on home computers. For the PlayStation Network releases of III and 4, they can also be played using the PlayStation Move controller.
As of 2018, there are six House of the Dead games originating in a first person rail shooter format available. The main series all have common elements of a pair of agents teaming up to take on hordes of biologically engineered undead (referred to as 'mutants' in Overkill). The games are divided into chapters, each of which culminates in a boss battle against usually massive, terrifying creatures. The bosses in the first four games as well as the sixth are all named after the Major Arcana of occult tarot.
Gameplay elements differ among the different games in the series, with each having different characters, firearms, and types of enemies. In many of the games, there are branching paths (determined by one's actions) and unlockable bonuses, along with different endings based on one's performances.
Several spin-offs to the mainstream storyline have also been produced (including a virtual pinball game, an English tutorial and a typing tutorial), as well as a film trilogy. In addition, select enemy characters appearing in the first two games were adapted into fully articulated action figures by Palisade Toys, which canceled the second toy line before street release due to limited returns from the first series.
The House of the Dead has been, along with Resident Evil, credited with popularising zombie video games as well as re-popularising zombies in mainstream popular culture from the late 1990s onwards, leading to renewed interest in zombie films during the 2000s. The House of the Dead has also been credited with introducing fast running zombies, which became popular in zombie films and video games during the 2000s.
The main gameplay mechanic is the on-rails shooting mechanic. The player must clear each area of enemies before advancing to the next area. The first two installments featured pistols, the third featured a shotgun, the fourth and Scarlet Dawn featured a submachine gun. Overkill features different firearms which can be changed to the players' liking. The instructions on the cabinets note that a head shot is the most effective way to kill zombies.
Successful clearing will result in boss battles. Before most battles, the game will show what the bosses' weak point is. Final bosses have no identifiable weak point. If the boss is shot enough times, it will recoil; otherwise, it will take one of the player's lives. In most of the games, the bosses are named after Major Arcana cards. They are also classified by 'types', which are shown as either a number or Greek letter.
There are also some different branching paths in the games, that are usually accessed by shooting a door or an object and sometimes when a civilian is killed.
The first two The House of the Dead games featured civilians. If the player successfully rescued civilians from the zombies, the civilian would sometimes reward the player with an extra life. The fourth did not feature civilians. In the third game, occasionally the player's partner would get in trouble and the player would be rewarded if he or she saved the partner's life. Players can also obtain extra lives by shooting boxes, crates, vases and destructible scenery. Scarlet Dawn once again features the civilians from the first two games, alongside the partner rescue mechanics from the third game, alongside new mechanics such as weapon switching and quick time events.
All main games have multiple endings, depending on how well the player did in terms of civilians rescued, shooting percentage, score, and lives left. Every main game excepted the last one have "bad" ending, usually involving one of the characters transforming into a zombie. In 1 the character turning was Sophie Richards, 2 is Goldman, III is Daniel Curien and 4 is, once again, Goldman.
The House of the Dead (1996)
On December 18, 1998, the insane and disillusioned Dr. Roy Curien plans to mobilize his armies of undead against the unsuspecting populace. AMS agents Thomas Rogan and "G" are dispatched to his mansion to stop Curien and rescue Rogan's future wife, Sophie Richards.
The House of the Dead 2 (1998)
On February 26, 2000, Goldman, the man behind the Curien Mansion case, claims responsibility. Fueled by his detest of humankind's complete lack of responsibility toward its assigned task, Goldman initiates an undead outbreak on Venice while his Emperor project develops. Two new agents named James Taylor and Gary Stewart are sent in order to stop Goldman.
The House of the Dead III (2002)
In the post-apocalyptic world of 2019, Thomas Rogan and his team of commandos infiltrate the EFI Research Facility in hopes of finding the source of the planet's collapse. Losing contact with him, his daughter Lisa Rogan and his former partner "G" set out on a search and recover mission, unaware that what awaits them has ties to the distant past and the very genesis of the undead horde. Daniel Curien, son of the late Dr. Curien, later teams up with Lisa to help complete the rest of the mission.
The House of the Dead 4 (2005)
In the year 2003, veteran AMS agent James Taylor (from The House of the Dead 2) and newcomer Kate Green are investigating the Goldman Incident of 2000. Following a sudden earthquake, they are shocked to discover that the undead from three years prior have returned, seemingly unharmed, and locked in a lab, but they soon break out and wreak havoc once again. Intent on preventing a nuclear disaster, they must once again cross paths with the seemingly deceased Goldman.
The House of the Dead 4 Special (2006)
Set shortly after the end of The House of the Dead 4, AMS agent Kate Green join forces with fellow AMS agent "G" in order to destroy the "source" of the outbreak.
House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (2018)
On January 14, 2018, Sega announced House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn for arcades.
On December 6, 2006, three years after the events of The House of the Dead 4, Kate Green joins forces with Ryan Taylor - the brother of her late partner, James Taylor - on an undercover mission in a dinner event within Scarecrow's Mansion, until the mysterious manager unleashes his army of creatures upon the dinner guests, and soon the world.
In September 2019, producer Takashi Oda revealed during an interview with SEGA Interactive that he wants to produce three more games for the series.
The Typing of the Dead (1999)
The Typing of the Dead is a revision of The House of the Dead 2 that replaces the game's light guns with QWERTY keyboards. Enemies are defeated by quickly typing out words that appear on the screen, and introduces a variety of challenges. Although designed to improve typing skills, the game has been lauded by critics for its humor and originality. The game was released for arcades, Dreamcast and PC, while a revised version was released for the PlayStation 2 only in Japan.
Zombie Revenge (1999)
Zombie Revenge is a beat 'em up title that was released in arcades and the Dreamcast. After a zombie outbreak devastates the city, AMS agents Stick Breitling, Linda Rotta and Rikiya Busujima are sent to eliminate the threat using their guns, fists and a variety of other weapons, while uncovering the truth behind the mysterious Zed. The game makes numerous references to the series on which it is based, including the Curien Mansion from The House of the Dead serving as the final stage. Also, some of the zombie noises were recycled from the first House of the Dead game.
Vampire Night (2000)
Vampire Night (ヴァンパイアナイト, Vanpaia Naito) is a light gun game produced by Sega's Wow Entertainment, distributed through Namco and released in 2000 for video game arcades. It was later ported to PlayStation 2 in November 2001.
The Pinball of the Dead (2002)
The Pinball of the Dead is a pinball game released for the Game Boy Advance. Tables, bosses and enemy designs are derived from The House of the Dead 2.
The Typing of the Dead 2 (2007)
Similar to its predecessor, The Typing of the Dead 2 is a revision of The House of the Dead III while retaining the typing gameplay elements of the previous title. It was only released in Japan for the PC.
English of the Dead (2008)
Released in Japan exclusively for the Nintendo DS, the game is designed to help Japanese speakers improve their English language skills. Playing similar to the Typing of the Dead games, enemies are defeated when Japanese words shown on-screen are translated into English. The game makes use of the DS touch screen and speakers.
The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)
In 1991, Agent G, on his first assignment, teams up with local cop Issac Washington to investigate mysterious disappearances in Louisiana. Unfortunately, they encounter hordes of mutants in Bayou City.
The House of the Dead EX (2009)
The House of the Dead EX is a more casual spin-off to the main games and adds a more humorous twist to the series. Players play either as Zobio or Zobiko, a pair of young zombies in love, who seek to escape from captivity. As opposed to the general gameplay of the series, EX's levels are made up of a series of minigames. Sections are split up into various paths, some of which use the lightgun, such as shooting apples, and others which use a foot pedal on the machine, such as stomping on spiders. The goal of each level is to fulfil a quota within the time limit, indicated by long hands reaching towards each other. It runs on the Lindbergh arcade system and is also the first game in the series to use a pedal. The game was slated for release in December 2008, but was released later in 2009.
Sega Golden Gun (2011)
Sega Golden Gun is technically not part of The House of the Dead series, but is related due to using The House of the Dead 4's engine. The game features a Chinese setting, and not only has zombies, but also phantoms and related fantasy creatures, the latter of which are reincarnated through resurrected historical figures (Zhang Jiao (from Romance of the Three Kingdoms) as the Black Tortoise, Gao Qiu (from Water Margin) as the Azure Dragon, and Daji (from Fengshen Yanyi) as the White Tiger). The game has three stages which are linear depending on which stage was selected first, all of which also include a mid-boss battle against Sun Wukong (the game keeps his real identity a secret while nicknaming him "The Monkey King") from Journey to the West.
At the end of the game the players face off against the final boss, a revived gigantic Emperor with the Vermilion Bird possessing him to gain the ability to levitate.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill (2013)
Released for PC via Steam, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is the second sequel of the original spin-off game, The Typing of the Dead. Unlike previous installments, there is no arcade version of this game, though it does come with a mouse-based version of The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut. Like its predecessors, the game replaces the usual rail-shooter gameplay with typing gameplay elements, this time with a modified The House of the Dead: Overkill engine.
Darts of the Dead (2017)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2017)
Darts of the Dead is a darts game themed around House of the dead on the DARTSLIVE2 platform.
The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (2008)
The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return is a re-release of The House of the Dead 2 and III for the Wii. It is largely the same as the originals, except for minor changes. A new melee attack can be used to defend oneself and the game is Wii Zapper compatible.
In 2003, the first film, directed by Uwe Boll and produced by Brightlight Pictures, was released. Given a limited theatrical release with the intent of becoming a cult film, it served as a loose prequel to the game, but received very poor reviews and little box office return.
In 2004, a sequel to the first film was greenlit but direct-to-DVD. The previous director was unable to direct the sequel due to commitments to his other films, and Michael Hurst was chosen to take his place. the sequel is closer to its source, featuring AMS agents going to a school to stop a zombie outbreak from spreading. however the film was also poorly received.
Another sequel was announced. Mindfire Entertainment co-founder Mark Altman has stated in discussions that "It's a completely different approach to the material than the first two films." It was also stated that it may not be called House of the Dead 3 as Sega wasn't releasing the latest installment on home consoles." Eventually, Mindfire Entertainment released Dead and Deader starring Dean Cain and the House of the Dead name was not attached.
In Walt Disney Animation Studios' 52nd animated feature-length film, Wreck-It Ralph, a Zombie with axes based on Cyril (the hatchet-wielding zombie) appears with numerous other video game villains in the Villain's support group Bad-Anon. The Zombie tries to reassure Wreck-It Ralph that labels won't make him happy and that good or bad, he must love himself for who he is.
In December 2016, Variety reports that Stories International and Circle of Confusion will produce a new House of the Dead film.
Appearances in other games
- The House of the Dead appears as one of the mini-games in the EyeToy game, Sega Superstars, in which players move their body to attack zombies.
- The series is represented in Sega Superstars Tennis, where the mansion is a playable court and there is a minigame in which players must aim their shots to fend off a horde of oncoming zombies. In this game, the series is referred to as "Curien Mansion" instead of The House of the Dead because the series is banned in Germany.
- Again represented as Curien Mansion, the series is represented in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with three race tracks, and the rider's duo Zobio and Zobiko (only Zobio on the Nintendo DS) from The House of the Dead: EX. During their All-Star move, Zobio drinks a magic potion which makes him grow in size and he then slams his opponents with his strength while Zobiko rides him.
- A racetrack appears in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, with zombies and various monsters making appearances. Zobio and Zobiko make cameo appearances in the stage as well. Once again, the series is called Curien Mansion.
- Zombie Revenge's Rikiya Busujima appears in Project X Zone with references made to The House of the Dead.
- Dr. Curien, Agent G, Thomas Rogan, and Ebitan appear as playable characters in the mobile RPG spinoff title “SEGA Heroes”.
According to Kim Newman in the book Nightmare Movies (2011), the "zombie revival began in the Far East" during the late 1990s, largely inspired by the Japanese zombie games Resident Evil and The House of the Dead. The success of these two 1996 zombie games inspired a wave of Asian zombie films, such as Bio Zombie (1998) and Versus (2000), for example. The zombie revival which began in the Far East eventually went global following the worldwide success of Japanese zombie games such as Resident Evil and The House of the Dead. Their success led to a wave of Western zombie films during the 2000s, such as 28 Days Later (2002) and Shaun of the Dead (2004), for example. In 2013, George Romero said it was the video games Resident Evil and House of the Dead "more than anything else" that popularised his zombie concept in mainstream popular culture.
The House of the Dead has also been credited with introducing a new type of zombie distinct from Romero's classic slow zombie: the fast running zombie. After first appearing in The House of the Dead, they became popular in zombie films and video games during the 2000s, including the Resident Evil games and films, The House of the Dead film adaptation, and the films 28 Days Later (2002) and Dawn of the Dead (2004).
- ザ･ハウス･オブ･ザ･デッド2＆3ストーリー Archived 2007-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
- Romano, Sal (January 14, 2018). "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn announced for arcades". Gematsu.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- A Light-Gun Shooter Built For Romance. Kotaku.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-31.
- McWhertor, Michael. "The House Of The Dead EX Is All About Zombie Love And Mini-Games". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "House of the Dead EX". Highway Games. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "House of the Dead 3 Movie Coming news from 1UP.com". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
- "Dead & Deader". 16 December 2006 – via www.imdb.com.
- Dave McNary (December 5, 2016). "Sega's 'Altered Beast,' 'Streets of Rage' Games to Be Adapted for Film, TV". Variety. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
- SEGA Superstars Tennis Q&A Feature Archived 2009-07-04 at the Wayback Machine. Webcache.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-31.
- Newman, Kim (2011). Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s. A&C Black. pp. 559–566. ISBN 9781408805039.
- Weedon, Paul (17 July 2017). "George A. Romero (interview)". Paul Weedon. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- Diver, Mike (17 July 2017). "Gaming's Greatest, Romero-Worthy Zombies". Vice. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- Levin, Josh (2007-12-19). "How did movie zombies get so fast?". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-11-05.