(Sega AM1's universe)
A Prelude (序曲, Jokyoku) is the first chapter in The House of the Dead 2.
During a rainy day on February 26th, 2000, AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart drive into the heart of an unnamed city. They intend to meet their partner G in a nearby library. Suddenly, they are waylaid by a flying imp-like creature named Zeal, who threatens them by saying "I've already taken care of G! This is only the beginning. You're next!" He then flies away, but not before commanding the creatures below to "Get them!".
The duo kill the creatures before making their way into the library, where an injured G is hiding himself away. He tells them that fellow AMS agents Harry Harris and Amy Crystal are coming to back them up. With a final note, he hands the pair his journal containing illustrations and the designated weak points of various creatures. James bids him well before the pair depart.
After killing more creatures and saving many civilians, Zeal reveals himself once again, antagonizing the agents for not heeding his warning. He flies aside as a giant, headless suit of armor named Kuarl appears by slashing at two cars in his way with a large axe.
With the help of G's file, the agents discover that Zeal and Kuarl are in fact a deadly duo telekinetically linked together called Judgment. While Zeal attempts to use himself as a distraction as Kuarl menacingly approaches the agents, they shoot Zeal enough times to seriously injure Kuarl, who falls over and leaves the imp to defend on his own. Despite being a fast adversary, the agents defeat Zeal, who calls out "Sir...Gold..." before falling to a crumpled heap.
After the fight, James and Gary encounter Amy and Harry; the latter remarks that the citywide incident is similar to the 1998 Curien case. After a brief recourse, James and Gary split from the two, left to their own devices to continue forward.