'''''The House of the Dead''''' (abbreviated as '''''HotD''''') 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 Shoot 'em up/and rail shooters 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-off]]s 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 figure]]s by Palisade Toys, which canceled the second toy line before street release due to limited returns from the first series.

==Main series==

===The House of the Dead (1996)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead (arcade game)}}

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)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead 2}}

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)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead III}}

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, 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)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead 4}}

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.

=== The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead: Overkill}}

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.

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.

==Spin-off titles==
*''[[The Typing of the Dead]]''
*''[[The Pinball of the Dead]]''
*''[[Zombie Revenge]]''
*''[[Sega SuperStars|Sega SuperStars' The House of the Dead EyeToy minigame]]''

===''The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return'' (2008)===
{{Main|The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return}}

''The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return'' is a re-release of ''[[The House of the Dead 2]]'' and ''[[The House of the Dead III|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'' (2008)===

''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. 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.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=The House Of The Dead EX Is All About Zombie Love And Mini-Games|last=McWhertor |first=Michael||language=English|accessdate=2008-07-19}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=House of the Dead EX|publisher=Highway Games|language=English|accessdate=2008-07-19}}</ref>

===''Sega Superstars Tennis'' (2008) ===

''Sega Superstars Tennis'' features a House of the Dead (called Curien Mansion) court, along with a Curien Mansion level. The objective is to hit the zombies with tennis balls before they can attack you.

==Film adaptations==
{{Main|House of the Dead (film)|House of the Dead 2 (film)}}

In [[2003]], the first film, directed by [[Uwe Boll]] and [[film production|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 [[box office bomb|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."<ref>[ House of the Dead 3 Movie Coming news from]</ref> Eventually Mindfire Entertainment released ''[[Dead & Deader]]'' starring [[Dean Cain]] and the House Of the Dead name was not attached.<ref></ref>

==Key terms==
* '''AMS''' - A government organization dealing with paranormal activities. Their ranks form the protagonists of the series, but by 2019, the program has been disbanded.

* '''DBR Corporation''' - A business conglomerate headed by Goldman, which funds Dr. Curien's inhumane experiments.

* '''Pandora's Box''' - Taking its name from the [[Pandora|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 HotD 4, where an unnamed character notes how multiple similar boxes exist. Nevertheless, it seems to be some sort of underground vault connected to the secret DBR Laboratory, where viral samples and advances specimen are kept prior to being released.

*'''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 (video games)|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 [[civilian]]s. 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.

Each game has [[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. There is also a different ending if two players are playing opposed to one.


==External links==
* [ Sega's official Japanese <nowiki>''The House of the Dead III'' page]</nowiki>
* [ Sega's official Japanese <nowiki>''The House of the Dead 4'' page]</nowiki>

{{House of the Dead}}

[[Category:The House of the Dead]]
[[Category:Video game franchises|House of the Dead, The]]
[[Category:Zombies and revenants in fiction]]

[[es:The House of the Dead]]
[[it:The House of the Dead (serie)]]