The House of the Dead 2

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The House of the Dead 2
Arcade flyer
Developer(s)Sega AM1
Director(s)Takashi Oda
Producer(s)Rikiya Nakagawa
Composer(s)Tetsuya Kawauchi
Haruyoshi Tomita
SeriesThe House of the Dead
Microsoft Windows
  • JP: November 20, 1998
  • NA: December 1998[1]
  • JP: March 25, 1999
  • NA: September 9, 1999
  • EU: 1999
Microsoft Windows
  • NA: July 6, 2001
  • NA: March 11, 2008
  • JP: March 19, 2008
  • AU: March 27, 2008
  • EU: March 28, 2008
Genre(s)Rail shooter
Light gun shooter
Horror game
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemSega NAOMI

The House of the Dead 2[a] is a horror-themed light gun shooter arcade game and the second game in The House of the Dead series of video games. The direct sequel to The House of the Dead, it was developed by Sega for arcades on the Sega NAOMI board in November 1998, and received several home ports, starting with the Dreamcast in 1999, Microsoft Windows in 2001, Xbox in 2002 as a bonus in The House of the Dead III and on Wii as part of the compilation The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return. It would also serve as the basis for several spinoff games in the franchise, most notably The Typing of the Dead.

The story picks up slightly over a year after the original game, and follows several AMS agents investigating a zombie outbreak in Italy. The protagonists are tasked with finding the source of the attack while also locating a fellow missing agent, known as G.


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. Players must shoot their way through hordes of zombies and other monsters while attempting to rescue civilians being attacked. Health is represented by torches at the bottom of the screen and are lost when the play is hit by an enemy or shoots a civilian. Bonus health can be awarded by rescuing civilians and finding first aid kits hidden in crates and barrels.

As in the first game, this game incorporates a branching path system that allows for a variety of different routes in each stage depending on the players actions. This is expanded upon with more paths than the original which also lead a greater variety of stage layouts and locations, although the general story itself will always remain the same.

The flashbacks to the first The House of the Dead in the game's introductory sequence were recorded using the game's engine.


AMS Agent G's further investigation on the 1998 Curien Mansion incident leads to his mysterious disappearance upon his discovery of the remnants of Dr. Curien's operations in Venice, Italy, where a zombie outbreak takes place.

On February 26, 2000, AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart are dispatched with their fellow agents, Harry Harris, and Amy Crystal, to find Agent G and evacuate the civilian populace. They soon encounter a massive undead horde, similar to the kind from 1998. The agents locate G in a library, alive but wounded, who provides them with a field journal containing information on the enemies. They continue on, trying to save the town's civilians in the process.

During the chaos, James and Gary face Judgment, consisting of the impish Zeal and his giant, headless, axe-wielding armored puppet, Kuarl. After defeating them, they meet up with Amy and Harry, who split up and plan to meet at Sunset Bridge. Upon meeting, the group faces the Hierophant, an amphibious monster which heads an assault on Venice's waterways and Central Plaza. After defeating it, the group takes a boat through the rivers.

It is revealed that Caleb Goldman, a wealthy businessman who financed Dr. Curien's creations leading to the 1998 incident, is now responsible for the new wave of zombies attacking the city. Goldman leaves a message on Amy's phone, inviting them to meet him at the Colosseum, which Harry fears to be a trap. James and Gary split up from the group again, and encounter five giant serpents known as the Tower. After killing them, they receive an emergency call from Amy, before getting cut off. The two quickly race to the Colosseum, only to discover Amy and a wounded Harry, injured by the Strength, a massive, chainsaw-wielding zombie, which James and Gary manage to kill. While Amy tends to Harry’s wounds, James and Gary drive to Goldman’s headquarters.

Upon arriving at Goldman's tower, James and Gary are confronted by Curien's masterpiece, the Magician, revived by Goldman to oversee the birth of the Emperor, a shapeshifting crystalline entity designed to protect nature and destroy humanity. After defeating the Magician, they fight their way to the top of Goldman's Headquarters, eventually finding and confronting Goldman, who releases the Emperor. After one final battle, James and Gary defeat the Emperor. With his plans ruined and left with no escape, 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 other 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 they 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.



The House of the Dead 2 went on to receive several home ports. In 1999 the game was ported to the Dreamcast, as a launch title for the system, then to PC in 2001, on Xbox as an unlockable on the 2002 port of The House of the Dead 3, and Wii, in a double release with The House of the Dead 3. It was also the second, and final game in The House of the Dead series to appear on a Sega console, with the original The House of the Dead for the Sega Saturn being the first.


In Japan, Game Machine listed The House of the Dead 2 on their January 1, 1999 issue as being the third most-successful dedicated arcade game of the month.[17]

The Dreamcast version received "favorable" reviews, while the PC version received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[13][14]

AllGame gave the arcade version a score of four-and-a-half stars out of five.[18] In Japan, Famitsu gave the Dreamcast version 33 out of 40.[6] IGN praised the same console version's detailed level design and varied enemy designs but criticized poor voice acting.[12] GameSpot said of the same console version, "Just a gun that lines up with the sights doesn't seem too much to ask for."[10] Game Informer ranked it at number 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, but noted that the lack of a light gun accessory for the Dreamcast version was slightly disappointing.[16]

Blake Fischer reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "Without the light gun, this game is a complete loss. With a gun, it's better, but not for very long."[15]

A consensus among reviewers was that the quality of the English voice acting was very poor, with one calling it "easily some of the worst in the genre".[3] Others found it to be so bad that it became amusing.[19][20] In 2020, The House of the Dead 2 was ranked as the best game in the series by Screen Rant.[21]


The House of the Dead 2 was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the most iconic entries in the series. Its impact on the franchise is also the result of it having served as the springboard for the arcade, Sega Dreamcast, and PC release The Typing of the Dead, and the Nintendo DS release English of the Dead. The game also severed as the inspiration for the Game Boy Advance game, The Pinball of the Dead.


  1. ^ Japanese: ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド2, Hepburn: Za Hausu obu za Deddo Tsū


  1. ^ "Domestic and Overseas Arcade Game List (1971-2005)". Internet Archive. 2005.
  2. ^ House, Matthew. "The House of the Dead 2 (DC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  3. ^ a b Knight, Kyle. "The House of the Dead 2 (PC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  4. ^ Edge staff (May 1999). "The House of the Dead 2 (DC)". Edge. No. 71.
  5. ^ "House of the Dead 2 (DC)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1999.
  6. ^ a b "ドリームキャスト - HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2". Famitsu. Vol. 915. 30 June 2006. p. 35.
  7. ^ "The House of the Dead 2 (DC)". Game Informer. October 28, 1999. Archived from the original on 2000-06-05. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  8. ^ Scary Larry (1999). "House of the Dead 2 for Dreamcast on". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  9. ^ Baldric (November 1999). "House of the Dead 2 Review (DC)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2000-01-24. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  10. ^ a b Fielder, Joe (1999-03-30). "The House of the Dead 2 Review (DC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  11. ^ Fragmaster (1999-10-18). "House of the Dead 2". PlanetDreamcast. Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  12. ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop (1999-09-08). "House of the Dead 2 (DC)". IGN.
  13. ^ a b "The House of the Dead 2 for Dreamcast". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  14. ^ a b "The House of the Dead 2 for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  15. ^ a b Fischer, Blake (September 1999). "Finals". Next Generation. Vol. 2, no. 1. Imagine Media. p. 84.
  16. ^ a b "Game Informer's Top 100 Games Of All Time (Circa Issue 100)". Game Informer. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  17. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - 完成品夕イプのTVゲーム機 (Dedicated Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 579. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 January 1999. p. 29.
  18. ^ Williamson, Colin. "The House of the Dead 2 (ARC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15.
  19. ^ This Game Has Such Bad Voice Acting It Used To Make Me Cry, Ebaumsworld
  20. ^ A new House of the Dead is heading to arcades Archived 2020-11-27 at the Wayback Machine, Eurogamer
  21. ^ "Ranking the House of the Dead Arcade Games, Worst to Best". Screen Rant. 22 April 2020.

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