Bosses are unique, powerful enemies fought in both main and spin-off titles in the House of the Dead video game franchise, as well as similar games Sega Golden Gun, Vampire Night, and Zombie Revenge. Typically found at the end of levels, they can only be damaged by one or several weak points, which may or may not be shown to the player. Bosses vary in size, species, and abilities.
In all five mainline House of the Dead games, bosses are named after tarot cards from the Major Arcana. With the exception of two bosses from House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn, they are also identified with a type number, which is composed of numbers, letters, Greek symbols, or a combination of the three.
List of Bosses
In the original game, all bosses were created by geneticist 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.
In the sequel, all bosses are derived from Curien's research; his financier, Caleb Goldman, utilized it to create an outbreak 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 his main creation, Emperor, remained in development.
All bosses are encountered in various parts of the EFI Research Facility: Death guards the Information Systems Department; Sun resides in the BIO Lab; Fool lives in the DBR Institute. Wheel of Fate, the final boss, is Curien resurrected after nineteen years of development.
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.
All bosses were created by Thornheart, an associate of Curien and Goldman and descendant of the DBR Corporation's founders. 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.
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.
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", which is the true final boss of Zombie Revenge.
All bosses except Auguste attack in two forms: human and vampire. In human form, Bathe'lemy and Raoul can be shot for damage. In vampire form, all except Raoul will have drastically different appearances and have specific weakpoints.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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!"