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The House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn location test builds were two prototype versions of the 2018 horror-themed rail shooting game House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn. They appeared from January to July 2018 in select Japanese arcades, with customers invited to play and give feedback.

The builds varied in completeness, with the earliest one missing levels and gameplay mechanics that were added in later builds. There were also changes to gameplay balance and sound effects.

Footage of these prototypes is scarce; brief direct captured clips were shown during Scarlet Dawn's JAEPO 2018 appearance, and two off-screen playthroughs were shared online by players. The ROMs have not been dumped, thus their data cannot be analyzed.

First build

The first build was location tested in the SEGA Akihabara Building 3 in Tokyo, Japan from January 19th - 21st, 2018; Round One Arcade in Yokohama from March 3rd - March 5th; and Rakuichi Rakuzen Arcade in Kawaguichi from March 16th - March 18th.[1][2][3][4] Players were polled over interest in a console port of Scarlet Dawn.[5]

Two off-screen playthroughs of the build were filmed by YouTuber SpeedBeatz and gaming community Throwback Tokyo.[6] The latter removed their video after being criticized for filming, as it was forbidden.[7] Throwback Tokyo's playthrough was later reuploaded to the Chinese video-sharing website Bilibili.[8]

The build had several differences in gameplay, presentation, and sound.

Differences

Gameplay/Graphics

Location test Final Description
HODSDLocationTestPathSelect.png HODSDPathSelect.png The build had only two levels: the prologue chapter Scarecrow Manor (not pictured), and the Annex. The Laboratory and the Elevator Lobby thus could not be selected, as reflected in the original path selection screen. The stage previews also lacked names and used concept artwork as placeholders.
HODSDLocationTestAmmo.png HODSDAmmo.png The build lacked special weapons and the Item Shop, with only the player's default weapon being available.

Sound

  • Kate Green and Ryan Taylor had different voice acting: Kate originally sounded younger, while Ryan was goofier and more exaggerated than in the final game. It is unknown if Sega changed the voices due to criticism over their quality, or because they were placeholders.
  • Some voice lines are missing, while others were changed or removed in the final release:
    • Most of the quick time events lack dialogue, either before they start or if the player successfully completes them.
    • In one of Scarecrow Manor's cutscenes, after talking to Ryan about his brother James, Kate says "We must leave at once!" despite her mouth not moving. Likely due to this error, the line was cut from the final game.
    • Ryan says "Shoot down the door!" during a quick time event in the motorcycle section. This line was also cut.
    • Kate says "You're great, you know that?" if the player shoots the motorcycle in another quick time event. This line was replaced with Ryan saying "We did it!"
    • Kate's line "When in doubt, head left", along with Ryan's response "What? Why?" when the player takes the Annex's left elevator path are missing.
    • Before the chandelier quick time event, when the camera pans down to show creatures ascending a stairwell, Ryan says "They're headed this way!" in response to Kate's line "Let's head down." There is no dialogue during the quick time event itself. In the final game, Ryan instead yells "Shoot the chandelier!", which is delayed to the start of the quick time event.
    • Ryan's line after defeating Chariot is "How do you feel? Feeling good!" The final release changed the "Feeling good" to "Cool, yeah?" Kate's one-liner after the fight was not filmed, so it is unknown how different it was then the final version.
  • There are no sounds alerting when partner rescues and quick time events start.
  • No chime sound effects play when creatures are killed with headshots. This may have been because the Japanese-exclusive HOD Coin mechanic was not implemented yet.

Miscellaneous

  • The end-of-stage result screen categories (Score, Enemies killed, Critical Shots, Accuracy, and Events) are displayed slower than in the final version.
  • There are no end-of-stage life bonuses if a high grade is earned.

Second build

The second build was location tested on July 9th, 2018 at High-tech Land Sega in Shibuya, Sega Tokyo Dome City, and Sega Shinjuku Kabukicho.[9] Reportedly,[10] this version added the following:

  • Special weapons.
  • Aime and BANAPASSPORT amusement card functionality.
  • An achievement system.
  • The ability to purchase sub weapons via the coins collected by the player throughout the game (this is feature is exclusive to the Japanese version).
  • All three remaining levels.
  • Separate high score lists for single and multiplayer games.
  • Route map and music for game over.
  • Balanced game difficulty (reduced health for the Simon and Samson creatures, easier partner rescue sequences, and added end-of-stage life bonuses for ranks of A+ or higher).

Gallery

References

  1. "Sega To Begin Testing House Of The Dead Scarlet Dawn This Friday" (English). Arcade Heroes (January 14, 2018). Archived from the original on December 22, 2019. Retrieved on May 24, 2020.
  2. "『ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド』最新作のロケテストが秋葉原で開催中。音が! 風が! ギミックが楽しい!" (Japanese). Denkegi Online (January 19, 2018). Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved on May 25, 2020.
  3. George (January 14, 2018). "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn announced for arcades" (English). SEGAbits. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
  4. ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド ~スカーレットドーン~ | HOUSE OF THE DEAD ~SCARLET DAWN~ | セガ (Japanese). Archived from the original on May 25, 2020.
  5. Barker, Sammy (January 19, 2018). "SEGA Polling Fans About Port of New House of the Dead" (English). Push Square. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020. “...according to a ResetEra member who posted photos of the cabinet, the Japanese publisher is quizzing fans on whether they’d be interested in a console version upon trying the title out.”
  6. George (January 18th, 2018). "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn location test footage hits the net, looks amazing" (English). SEGAbits. Archived from the original on January 7, 2020. Retrieved on May 25, 2020.
  7. ThrowBackTokyo [@ThrowBackTokyo] (July 10, 2018). ThrowBackTokyo on Twitter: "@s_s_score @always_player2 この情報を共有してすみませんです。 私たちはHotDシリーズの大ファンであり、他のファンと情報を共有したいと考えていました。 私たちからの更なる更新はありません。" (Japanese). Twitter.
  8. "死亡之屋:血色黎明 试玩关卡完整流程" (Chinese). Bilibili (January 20, 2018). Retrieved on August 28, 2020.
  9. George (January 14, 2018). "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn announced for arcades" (English). SEGAbits. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
  10. Kori (July 9, 2018). "House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn ~ July 9th Location Test Details *Possible Story Spoilers*" (English). The Website of the Dead.

External links

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Characters
Kate GreenRyan TaylorThornheartUnnamed party guests
Creatures
Rogers • Allen • Santana • Bryant • Wilson • Kageo • Suzuki • Cyril • Park • Mac • Ebitan • Smoker • Simon • Bruce • BentleySamson • Samson Jr. • RubinDrake • Janish • MurrerDevilon • Ratstar
Bosses
ChariotHangedmanHigh PriestessMoon
Chapters
Scarecrow ManorKate and Ryan (Annex - Laboratory - Elevator Lobby)Homo sapiens (Annex - Laboratory - Elevator Lobby)Pandora's Box (Annex - Laboratory - Elevator Lobby)A Glimmer of Hope
Other pages
Lore (AMSAMS PDAScarecrow ManorThornheart organization)
Spin-offs (Battle GenesisTHE ATTRACTIONWebsite minigame)
Hiiro SumomoLocation test buildsORIGINAL SOUND TRACKSUnused content
veThe House of the Dead games
Main series The House of the Dead (Remake)2 (Remake)III4 (Special)Scarlet Dawn
Spin-offs Zombie RevengeThe Typing of the Dead (2Overkill)The Pinball of the DeadEnglish of the DeadEX slot machineThe House of the Dead: Overkill (Extended Cut)Loving DeadsDarts of the DeadScarlet Dawn (Battle GenesisTHE ATTRACTION)Reels
Prototypes The House of the Dead (arcade prototypeSega Saturn prototype)2 (Original Sin prototype)Scarlet Dawn (location test builds)
Compilations 2 & 3 Return
Mobile games MobileNightmareZombie Utsu: Flick of the DeadOverkill: The Lost Reels
Non-HOD games Vampire NightSega Golden GunSonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Gameplay mechanics Bonus itemsBranching pathsCiviliansHealthWeak points
Developers SegaSega AM1NamcoForever EntertainmentMegaPixel StudioTA Publishing
Staff Takashi OdaRikiya NakagawaBenjamin AnseaumeZbigniew Dębicki
Other content Hiiro SumomoReferences in popular cultureUnused content
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