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Magician is the most recurring (and renowned) boss in the series.

Bosses are unique, powerful enemies in the main House of the Dead video game series and its spin-offs. They also appear in similar games Sega Golden Gun and Vampire Night.

Varying in size, species, character, and abilities, bosses can only be damaged by one or several weak points. Most bosses appear at the end of levels, with some exceptions.

The mainline House of the Dead bosses are named after Major Arcana tarot cards.[1] All bosses except two from House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn are also identified by type, which is composed of numbers, letters, Greek symbols, or a combination of the three.

List of bosses

Main series

The House of the Dead / Remake

In the original game, all bosses were created by geneticist and DBR Corporation research director Dr. Curien. They were the macabre results of his obsessive research to cure his terminally-ill son, Daniel, and were unleashed upon fellow researchers out of insanity. Two of his creations - Magician and Wheel of Fate - were to control the forces of life and death; the former remained in incubation until AMS agents Thomas Rogan and G confronted Curien in his laboratory.

The House of the Dead 2

In the sequel, all bosses are derived from Curien's research. His financier, Caleb Goldman, utilized it to create an incident in a large, unnamed city on February 26, 2000. The creatures took over the streets, canals, sewers, and Roman Coliseum. The resurrected Magician, who guarded Goldman's headquarters while Goldman's main creation, Emperor, remained in development.

The House of the Dead III

All bosses are encountered in various parts of the EFI Research Facility: Death guards the Information Systems Department, Sun resides in the EFI BIO facilities, and Fool lives in the EFI and DBR facilities. Wheel of Fate, the final boss, is Curien resurrected after nineteen years of development.

The House of the Dead 4

All bosses are part of Goldman's posthumous plan in 2003 to revert humanity to its "natural state." They are encountered either among a European city's ruins, underground sewers and subway, or Goldman's headquarters. His final creation, the World, had been in incubation beneath the courtyard of the building.

The House of the Dead 4 Special

Special has two bosses: Justice returning from 4, and Magician, who has been revived once again.

House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn

All bosses were created by Thornheart, an associate of Curien and Goldman. As part of his "Noah's Ark" project to decimate humanity, he unleashed the creatures upon Scarecrow Manor on December 6, 2006. Chariot and Hangedman, originally created by Curien, were resurrected and modified. Both High Priestess and Moon lack type numbers.

Spin-offs

The House of the Dead: Overkill / Extended Cut

All bosses were created by prison warden Clement Darling, who discovered an underground bunker beneath his prison and conducted experiments to cure his ailing mother. Crime lord Papa Caesar assisted Clement. Extended Cut, an expansion to Overkill, adds two new bosses: Coco and Sindy and Meat Katie.

Zombie Revenge

All mutated bosses were used by the United States government for military purposes. This project, Undead Soldier (UDS), was used by a man named ZED to kill and reanimate humans to avenge his parents, who were test subjects for UDS. ZED himself is the penultimate boss, before unleashing the UDS in his body: the "God of Destruction" (Black Magician), which is the true final boss of Zombie Revenge.

Loving Deads: The House of the Dead EX

Four bosses from The House of the Dead 4 are used in this non-canonical spin-off:

Non-HOD games

Vampire Night

All bosses except Auguste attack in two forms: human and vampire. In human form, Bathe'lemy and Rauoul can be shot for damage. In vampire form, all except Rauoul will have drastically different appearances and have specific weak points.

Development

The House of the Dead developer Sega AM1 prioritized visual individuality for the bosses; they are considered among the "main characters" of the games.[2] AM1 has also sought making each boss fight unique.[1] Believing that players would struggle finding the boss weak points on their own, AM1 chose to show the weak points before each fight.[3]

Trivia

  • As of Scarlet Dawn, the Devil is the only major arcana Tarot card that hasn't been used in the series.
  • The first two House of the Dead games feature "boss rush" segments in the final stages: earlier bosses must be fought again. Hermit and Strength are the only exceptions.
  • Some returning in said "boss rushes" often have altered attack patterns:
    • Hangedman's final charge attacks are gone.
    • Hierophant lacks the ability to summon Mofish.
    • Tower's blue hydra lacks the ability to detach itself once the other four are defeated.
  • Magician has the most appearances in the series: he is fought in the original game, 2, and Special, and is depicted as a bonus item in III and 4.
    • Other bosses fought multiple times include Justice from 4 and Special, and Chariot and Hangedman, which both appear in the original game and Scarlet Dawn.
    • Bosses fought multiple times in both the main series and spin-offs include Justice, the Empress, the Star, the Lovers, and the World, all of whom appear in 4 and Loving Deads: The House of the Dead EX.
  • Magician, Emperor and Wheel of Fate are the only bosses whose names are spoken in-game rather than only shown as text.
    • Magician is called by name in 2 when playing alone as Gary Stewart, and by Dr. Curien during a flashback in III.
    • Emperor's name is mentioned numerous times by Magician, Goldman and later by Emperor himself after his awakening.
    • In III, both Curiens call Wheel of Fate by name. Thornheart also does this in The House of the Dead 4: Special.
    • Additionally in 4, Temperance's name is referenced (though not fully spoken) by James with the line "Temper this, buddy!"
  • The bosses of the mainline House of the Dead series have been inconsistently referred to either with or without the determiner "the" before their names.
    • The weak point diagrams in the first three games name the bosses without "the", but several characters refer to Magician, Emperor, and Wheel of Fate with it. The exception is Gary Stewart from The House of the Dead 2, who says "You're the only one who's gonna get defeated, Magician!"
    • The weak point diagrams from The House of the Dead 4 use "the" before the names of the Lovers, the Empress, the Star, and the World. However, Magician from The House of the Dead 4 Special lacks the determiner.
    • House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn's International version uses "the" before the boss names, while the Japanese version omits the determiner.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 SILICONERA STAFF (April 16, 2012). "How Sega Created Bosses For The House Of The Dead 4". Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020.
  2. Kori (September 7, 2012). "Website of the Dead’s Exclusive Interview with Takashi Oda" (English). The Website of the Dead. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020.
  3. Interview: The House of the Dead", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 23, September 1997, pages 58-63.
veBosses
The House of the Dead ChariotHangedmanHermitMagician
2 JudgmentHierophantTowerStrengthMagicianEmperor
III DeathFoolSunWheel of Fate
4 / 4 Special Justice (4 and 4 Special)The LoversThe EmpressTemperanceThe StarThe WorldMagician (4 Special only)
Scarlet Dawn ChariotHangedmanHigh PriestessMoon
Overkill / Extended Cut JasperCoco and Sindy (Extended Cut only)ScreamerNigel and SebastianMeat Katie (Extended Cut only)CrawlerLobberBrutusMother
Zombie Revenge UDS-03Warm Hedlin & Shell HedlinUDS-05UDS-02UDS-07 ("Nikelle")UDS-06BUDS-TP II 00 & UDS-TP II 01UDS-03 ("Neclien")UDS-04CZEDBlack Magician Type 01
Vampire Night Bathe'lemyGuillaumeRauoulDianeAuguste
Sega Golden Gun Zhang JiaoGao QiuDa JiDark Emperor
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