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The House of the Dead (series): Wikis


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The House of the Dead
House Of The Dead, Thelogo.png
Genre(s) Light gun shooter
Developer(s) Sega
Wow Entertainment
Publisher(s) Sega
Platform of origin Arcade
First release The House of the Dead
Latest release The House of the Dead: Overkill

The House of the Dead (abbreviated as HotD or HOD) is a video game franchise published by Sega and created by in-house designer Atsushi Seimiya of AM1.

As of 2009, there are five 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. The games are divided into chapters, each of which culminates in a boss battle against usually massive, terrifying creatures. With the notable exception of one game, the bosses in the other four games are all named after the Major Arcana of occult tarot. The games are all controlled with a light gun in the arcades, but can be played with controllers or a mouse on consoles or the computer.

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 performance.

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 two films. 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.


Main series

Every game in the main series is an on-rails light-gun style shooter and chronoligically runs as follows: House of the Dead Overkill, House of the Dead, House of the Dead 2, House of the Dead 4, House of the Dead 3.

The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)

In 1990, 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.

Plotwise, Overkill is the first game in the series. Overkill is also the first game to use bosses that are not named after Major Arcana cards.

The House of the Dead (1996)

On December 18, 1998, the insane and disillusioned Dr. Curien plans to mobilize his armies of undead unto the unsuspecting populace. AMS agents Thomas Rogan and "G" are dispatched to his mansion to put a stop to the madman and rescue Sophie Richards, Rogan's fiancée.

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 attack on Venice while his Emperor project develops. Two new agents named James Taylor and Gary Stewart are sent in to tackle this case.

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 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.

The House of the Dead 4 (2005)

This game is set in the year 2003 and fills the gap between the second and third games. It features veteran AMS agent James Taylor (who was one of the protagonists in The House of the Dead 2) and newcomer Kate Green, who 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.

Spin-off titles

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 Nintendo Wii. It is largely the same as the originals, except for some minor changes. A new melee attack can be used to defend oneself and the game is Wii Zapper compatible.

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 as either Zobio or Zobiko, a zombie couple escaping 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.[1] The game was slated for release in December 2008, but was released later in 2009.[2][3] It is unknown as to whether this game will be released in the U.S. or not.

Appearances in Other Games

Zobio & Zobiko in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.

Sega Superstars

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.

Sega Superstars Tennis

The series is also represented in Sega Superstars Tennis, where the mansion is a playable court and there is also a minigame in which players must aim their shots to fend off a horde of oncoming zombies. In this game, instead of The House of the Dead the series is referred to as "Curien Mansion" because the series is banned in Germany.[4]

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Again represented as Curien Mansion, the series is represented in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with a track, and the rider's duo Zobio and Zobiko from The House of the Dead: EX.

Film adaptations

In 2003, the first film, directed by Uwe Boll and produced by Brightlight Pictures, was released. Given limited theatrical release with the intent of becoming a cult film, it served as a loose prequel to the game, but received poor reviews and little box office return.

In 2004, a sequel to the first film was greenlit. 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. This movie is the closest to its source, featuring AMS agents going to a school to stop a zombie outbreak from spreading.

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."[5] Eventually Mindfire Entertainment released Dead & Deader starring Dean Cain and the House Of the Dead name was not attached.[6]


  • Thomas Rogan: One of the main protagonists in the first The House of the Dead video game. He reappears in the third game, leading a strike force to investigate a zombie-infested facility with his commanding troops. He also makes a cameo appearance in House of the Dead 2 in the "good" ending, where he tells the player that they will go onto their next battle.
  • James Taylor: The main protagonist in House of the Dead 2 and 4. He dies in the fourth game when he sacrifices himself to kill the World, the final boss.
  • Gary Stewart: He is the other protagonist in the second game.
  • Daniel Curien: Daniel is the son of Dr. Roy Curien, the main antagonist in the first game. In the third game, he saves Thomas Rogan from the zombies and assists Lisa Rogan in destroying his father's last creation, the Wheel of Fate.
  • Isaac Washington: He is the cop who assists Agent G in the game Overkill. GameInformer ranked him among the "Top 10 Heroes of 2009," declaring that "Foul-mouthed, uncompromising, hard drinking, and unceasingly funny, Isaac Washington keeps everything grounded when the world is going crazy all around him. With tongue set firmly in cheek, Washington is a stereotypical career cop who can't finish a sentence without a few expletives thrown in for color. He keeps the action going, and never fails to say what the player is thinking when the zombie outbreak gets out of hand."[7]
  • Agent "G": Agent G is one of the protagonists in the first and third arcade games, as well as Overkill. He also makes cameo appearances in the second and fourth games. He is the only character to appear in every game.
  • Lisa Rogan: Lisa is the daughter of Thomas Rogan and Sophie Richards. When her father goes missing in the third game, Lisa teams up with G to find and rescue him.
  • Kate Green: Kate is James' partner in the fourth game. In the Special cabinet version of the fourth game, Kate allies herself with Agent G to help fight the monsters.
  • Curien: A scientist who created the zombies in House of the Dead. He is killed by the Magician at the end of the first game. He makes cameo appearances throughout House of the Dead III in flashbacks.
  • Goldman: Goldman is the villain in House of the Dead 2, and Curien's boss and financial backer. He leaps off the building at the end of the game. He makes cameo appearances throughout The House of The Dead 4.
  • The "Mystery man" is a shadowed figure in a suit who appears at the end of the third and fourth games.
  • Dan Taylor a young man aged 31, one of the minor characters and protagonists who first appeared in III, teams up with Rogan. However he is killed by Death. He is also last seen in the prologue after the mission with Thomas Rogan did not go well.

Key terms

  • AMS - A government organization dealing with paranormal activities. Their ranks form the protagonists of the series, but by 2019, when House of the Dead III takes place, the program has been disbanded. It is unknown what AMS stands for.
  • DBR Corporation - A business conglomerate headed by Goldman, which funds Dr. Curien's inhumane experiments.
  • Pandora's Box - Taking its name from the relic of Greek mythology, this pyramidal structure is a major plot device in the fourth. No specific details have been given, apart from a special ending in the fourth game, where an unnamed character notes how multiple similar boxes exist.
  • Genome Theory - A supposed theorem to approach immortality by cheating death. Both Curien and Goldman have proposed this theory and Harry mentions it in The House of the Dead 2.

Gameplay elements

The main gameplay mechanic is the gun. The type of gun varies with the game. The first two installments featured pistols, the third featured a shotgun, and the fourth featured a submachine gun. The player must clear each area of zombies. 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. In some cases there is no identifiable weak point. If the boss is shot enough times, he or she will recoil; otherwise, he or she will take one of the player's lives. Almost all of the bosses in the House of the Dead series are named after "Major Arcana" cards. They are also classified by 'types', which are shown as either a number or Greek letter.

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 last two games 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.

The first four arcade games have multiple endings, depending on how well the player did in terms of civilians rescued, shooting percentage, score, and lives left. Every game has one "zombie" ending where one of the characters turns into a zombie. The ending will also change depending on if one or two players are playing. The House of the Dead: Overkill is the first game to only have one ending.


External links

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