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Welcome, my AMS friends.

Magician to Kate Green and G.[src]

Type-0, codenamed "Magician" (魔術師, Majutsu-shi?), was a male, synthetic humanoid creature with pyrokinetic and levitational powers. He is a recurring boss throughout the mainline House of the Dead series, debuting in the 1996 video game The House of the Dead.

Originally created by Dr. Curien, Magician appeared in three biological engineering-related incidents, being destroyed each time by members of the AMS government agency. He boasted intelligence, fast and deceptive movement, and fire-based attacks. His weak points were his exposed, pulsating muscles. 

History

Creation

Main article: The House of the Dead (1996 video game)

Magician, alongside Wheel of Fate, began life as a gene developed by Curien during his time as the DBR Corporation's research director. He was incubated inside Curien's BioReactor, a machine that edited the DNA sequence in organisms.

Up to the point of being released, Magician was seen as a perfect creation alongside Chariot, Hangedman, and Hermit and was considered a masterpiece. However, Magician was also an unfinished project, lacking several pieces of armor on his body.[2][3][excerpt 1] Curien could control Magician at will, but an unknown individual changed the creature's programming.[4]

After curing his terminally-ill son Daniel, Curien obsessively pursued controlling life and death through science; the effort, funded by Caleb Goldman, produced hostile creatures and triggered staff walkouts. Curien went insane, releasing the creatures in his mansion on December 17th and 18th, 1998, but kept the Magician in incubation.

1998 Curien Mansion incident

Magician awakening.

Who are you? Nobody gives me instructions. I shall destroy everything!

An awakened Magician addressing Dr. Curien.[src]

On December 20th, AMS agents Thomas Rogan and G investigated disappearances at the mansion. They battled to a research center and confronted Curien, who unleashed the "masterpiece" upon them. However, Magician -- claiming that he is to obey no one -- killed Curien. Rogan and G defeated the being, who, before succumbing to an explosion, warned them that they "...haven't...seen...anything yet!"

First resurrection

Main article: The House of the Dead 2

I've been waiting for this time to come. You have no future. Either I get you, or the Emperor will. Either way, your fate is in our hands.

The Magician confronting James Taylor and Gary Stewart.[src]

Magician appearing outside Caleb Goldman's headquarters.

On February 26th, 2000, just over a year after the Curien Mansion incident, Magician was reanimated by Goldman, a financier who furthered Curien's incomplete research into life and death. Magician was loyal to Goldman and Emperor, a creature created by Goldman poised to rule over mankind. He ambushed AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart outside of Goldman's headquarters, but was ultimately destroyed again.

Second resurrection

Main article: The House of the Dead 4 Special

I have been waiting for this moment for some time. Now you shall have a taste of the pain that I have endured!

The Magician to Kate Green and G.[src]

Magician awakening yet again.

In 2003, Goldman staged a posthumous incident worldwide, wiping out most of civilization. After her partner James sacrificed himself to defeat Goldman's ultimate creation, the World, rookie AMS agent Kate Green collaborated with G to fight the incident back to its source. In an unidentified building, they found Magician, who emerged from a large glass chamber and vowed revenge for the pain he had endured.

Upon defeat, Magician summoned Pandora's Box, attempting to activate clones of himself; he was fatally wounded after a thrown grenade, declaring "Nothing can erase my pain" before exploding.

Appearance

Throughout the series, Magician is depicted as an armored, levitating humanoid with horns and talons. His lower right leg, upper left leg, lower right arm, and upper left arm have exposed muscles and (in the first two games) pulsating nerve-like appendages. In The House of the Dead 2, Magician is heavily scarred and rotten, with worms wriggling in his eye and other parts of his body. He returns in The House of the Dead 4 Special with a less-rotten appearance and electricity coursing through his muscles.

Other appearances

The House of the Dead III

Magician appears as a bonus item: the Mini-Magician, a small golden statuette found in destructible background objects. The Mini-Magician flies about in a quick manner like him, making it more difficult to shoot; a successful shot yields 2000 points to the player's score. In III, when the item is on-screen, a high-pitched version of his line "I've been waiting for this time to come" from 2 can be heard.

Furthermore, III's attract mode shows Magician's form in the first two games. Dr. Curien also mentions him in a flashback.

The House of the Dead 4

Once more, Magician makes a cameo appearance as the Mini-Magician bonus item. Its behavior is the same as in III, except when on-screen no line is spoken.

The Pinball of the Dead

Magician makes an appearance as the fifth boss in The Pinball of the Dead, and retains his appearance from 2. Similar to his appearances in previous games, Magician will quickly attack the players using fireballs, blocking their pinball from moving. He will also rapidly fly from one area of the screen to the next. However, unlike previous games, the player is not required to hit a specific spot on the Magician in order to damage him.

Magician's voice is also used to alert the player when they have the opportunity to enter a boss battle. The player will hear Magician say, "I have been waiting for this time to come", a line used before Magician's battle in The House of the Dead 2. Also, when the player gets a game over, he will say "You have no future."

Gameplay

Overview

In all of his appearances, Magician is an incredibly fast and dangerous adversary. His flight speed is unrivaled, and his teleportation around the battlefield disorients players as he hurls fireballs or attempts to charge. With some exceptions, most of his attacks throughout the series are the same.

Magician's weak points are his lower right leg, upper left leg, lower right arm, and upper left arm. They are classified as "unknown" in The House of the Dead and The House of the Dead 4 Special, but in The House of the Dead 2 they are revealed on his diagram prior to the battle.

The House of the Dead

Phases

  1. While spinning, Magician will hurl two fireballs from either hand at the player before flying to another spot. After doing this twice, he will hurl four fireballs from both hands, which are more difficult to shoot down. His fireballs can be shot down, and Magician can be damaged as he attacks with them. This phase ends when he flinches, causing any created fireballs to self-destroy.
  2. Magician will fly rapidly to the left or right of the arena to puzzle the player. After three teleports in either or both directions, he will charge at the player with a fireball in his hand, and this fast attack can only be disrupted with a successful shot to one of his weak points. Six successful hits end this phase.
  3. Magician will repeat the first phase followed by the second phase.
  4. Magician will fly to the middle of the arena and project a large group of fireballs in the air that will slowly rain down on the player, and must all be shot to avoid damage. Magician can only be attacked as he charges the fireballs when the camera is focused on him.

Strategies

  • Magician's flight is represented by differently colored afterimages of him:
    • Blue is his standard attack of throwing fireballs from a distance.
    • Red is his charge attack.
  • Magician is invulnerable while flying around. Only shoot when he is approaching or readying fire attack.

The House of the Dead 2

Phases

  1. While spinning, Magician will hurl two fireballs from either hand at the player before flying to another spot. After doing this twice, he will hurl four fireballs from both hands, which are more difficult to shoot down. His fireballs can be shot down, and Magician can be damaged as he attacks with them. This phase ends when he flinches, causing any created fireballs to self-destroy.
  2. Magician will fly rapidly to the left or right of the arena to puzzle the player. After flying rapidly three times in either or both directions, he will charge at the player with a fireball in his hand, and this fast attack can only be disrupted with a successful shot to one of his weak points. Five successful hits end this phase.
  3. Magician will repeat the first phase followed by the second phase. The difference for the second phase is that four successful hits end it.
  4. Magician will fly to the top of the screen and sends the fireballs straight at the player. He throws slightly fewer fireballs which are scattered around the middle and is vulnerable the entire time. However, this attack is faster as these fireballs do not slowly drift to the ground like they did in The House of the Dead. He will repeat this attack until he is defeated.

Strategies

  • Magician will be enveloped in white depending on the player's performance and difficulty level, or when he performs his final attack.
  • As with the original game, Magician is invulnerable while flying.

The House of the Dead 4 Special

Phases

  1. Before actually emerging to battle the AMS agents, Magician launches a salvo of fireballs at them from within his incubation chamber. This triggers a quick time event in which the players have to shoot all of the fireballs down to avoid taking damage. Magician emerges after the attack's conclusion, regardless of the player's success or failure in deflecting it.
  2. Magician will fly in any direction on the screen before performing one of three random attacks:
    • Magician will hurl two fireballs from either hand.
    • Magician will hurl four fireballs with both hands.
    • Magician will charge at the player with a fireball in his hand.
  3. At 50% health, Magician will hover upwards before performing one of two random attacks. He will continue doing so until he is defeated once more:
    • Magician will let the purple aura increase in intensity before hovering down to ram at the player.
    • Magician throws the fireballs into the air to home in on the player.
  4. After diminishing Magician's health, he will summon and attempt to open Pandora's Box. The player is given the chance to stop it with a grenade. If the player fails in stopping Magician from opening the box, he will proceed to release numerous clones of himself from incubation, showing that Magician had replicated himself. Laughing malignantly, he implies that he will attack and overwhelm the AMS agents and then all of humanity with his clones, resulting in the Bad Ending. In the Good Ending, Magician is fatally wounded by a grenade and succumbs to a violent explosion once more. With his final breath, he has time to utter one final monologue - "Nothing can erase my pain".

Strategies

  • Multiple shots on Magician are required to disrupt any attack. This is important when he does his charge attack which requires the cancel bar to be completely depleted to prevent life loss.

Quotes

The House of the Dead

Quote Audio
"Who are you? Nobody gives me instructions. I shall destroy everything."
"You... haven't... seen.... anything... yet!!"

The House of the Dead 2

Quote Audio
"I've been waiting for this time to come. You have no future. Either I get you or the Emperor will. Either way, your fate is in our hands."

The House of the Dead 4 Special

Quote Audio
"Welcome, my AMS friends."
"I have been waiting for this moment for some time. Now you shall have a taste of the pain that I have endured!"
(Before final grenade quick-time event) "This is the end..."
(Death) "Nothing can erase my pain..."

Development

The House of the Dead developer Sega AM1 conceived Magician after two days of brainstorming.[5] They wanted him to be strong, "cool", and "handsome" to contrast with the enemies of the game.[5][6] Director Takashi Oda was pleased with how Magician turned out. Oda remarked in an interview, "There’s no strategy for [Magician] other than shooting his weakpoint."[5]

A scrapped idea for Magician's fight involved a "perfect", angel-winged Magician who could not be defeated. Dr. Curien, atoning for his actions, would have hugged Magician, who self-destructed. In the bad ending, Magician flew away and the world was destroyed.[7][excerpt 2]

Trivia

  • With three major appearances, Magician is tied with Chariot as the most recurring boss in the main House of the Dead series.
  • Magician is also the only final boss in the series to make multiple appearances.
  • Magician is technically the first boss introduced in the House of the Dead series. In The House of the Dead's original arcade intro, he is seen in the opening screen before the player begins the game.
  • Magician is the only boss in The House of the Dead 2 to return from the first game.
  • Magician is one of the only bosses in the series who has an extensive biography. His creation is outlined in The House of the Dead's Sega Saturn manual, while The House of the Dead III later reveals that he was a mutated gene. More information can be extrapolated about him from his concept art on the back of the Japanese Sega Saturn manual (explained below).
  • Magician's concept art, as seen in The House of the Dead's Sega Saturn manual, seems to suggest that he is some sort of cyborg, or an artificially produced being. He is also shown to be originally designated as "Type B-1".
  • Magician's overall design appears to be incomplete. His left bicep, right forearm, left thigh, right shin and both ankles are exposed musculature as opposed to the uniform gray plating seen on the rest of his body. The right side of his face features a patch of seemingly skinned flesh as well. These exposed areas were blackish-red in the first game, pulsated red in the second game, and sparked with pink electricity in The House of the Dead 4 Special.
    • Magician's appearance in The House of the Dead 2 features red scarring and pulsating red appendages spewing out of various wounds in his body, implying he had either not fully healed from his defeat in the first game, or developed damage overtime while being housed at Goldman's headquarters. When he is next seen, Magician has been healed of these injuries, but remains incomplete.
  • Even though Magician's weak points were determined in The House of the Dead 2, they are unknown to the PDA in The House of the Dead 4 Special. This appears to be for the purpose of challenging new players to figure out what it is for themselves. In-universe, it could be simply because Magician was heavily altered in design in this incarnation, and the PDA failed to recognize the weak points due to the extensive modification.
  • Magician was to be included in the second series of House of the Dead action figures by Palisades. However, the line was cancelled before production.
  • The only time Magician is called by his name is in The House of the Dead 2 when playing alone as Gary, and by Curien in the flashbacks in The House of the Dead III.
  • Magician is the only final boss having multiple weak points (right side of his face, upper left arm, lower right arm, upper left leg and lower right leg).
  • There's a graphical glitch of Magician in The House of the Dead 2. If the players are not injured by him, his afterimages will turn white instead of red or blue. This will automatically be fixed if Magician successfully hits the players.
  • Magician's boss battle in The Typing of the Dead is particularly infamous in that it requires players type words without any mistakes within a short time for the majority of it.

Gallery

The House of the Dead

Concept artwork

Official artwork

Data

Screenshots

The House of the Dead 2

Official artwork

Data

Screenshots

The House of the Dead III

Screenshots

Data

The House of the Dead 4 Special

Screenshots

Data

Action figure

Other media

Sources

Excerpts
  1. Excerpt from The House of the Dead Dennou Shinan: Dr. Curien no Houkoku Sho, p.146:
    "人の上に立つある程度して創られた大型の作品。私が作り上げた作品の中で最も美しく、最も華麗な攻撃をくり出す者である。ただしゲーム上ではまだ開発段階。装甲の装着が間に合っ ておらず、右下腕(向かって左側)、左上腕(向かって右側)、右足すね(向かって左側)、左足太股(向かって右側)がむき出しの状態になっている。この部位に弾が 当たるとダメージを受けてしまうのである。完成すれば完壁であったことは言うまでもない。そう、主人である私の上に立つほどの完壁さである。"
  2. Excerpt from The House of the Dead Dennou Shinan: Dr. Curien no Houkoku Sho, p.158:
    "小田:あれも当初は天使みたいに羽根の生え た完全体のマジシャンが登場して、プレイヤ ーは絶対に勝てないんですよ。そこにキュリ アンが登場して「私の考えは間違っていた」 と言っ てマジシャンに抱きついて自爆するは ずだった。そこでグッドエンディングとバッ ドエンディングが用意されていて。バッドエ ンディングの場合はマジシャンが羽ばたいて いって最後に世界が滅びる。"
References
  1. https://chrisokawa.com/headshotresume
  2. "Interview: The House of the Dead", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 23, September 1997, page 60
  3. The House of the Dead Dennou Shinan: Dr. Curien no Houkoku Sho, pg. 146
  4. Kori (May 22, 2020). "The House of the Dead: Sub Story". The Website of the Dead. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. “In addition, it was a creature called Type 00 “Magician” that became the first creature to stand above the unfinished organisms. Dr. Curien made it possible to command the “Magician” at his own discretion, but it seems that the program was secretly changed by a mysterious man.”
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "The House of the Dead – 1997 Developer Interview" (English). Shmuplations. Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2020.
  6. "Interview: The House of the Dead", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 23, September 1997, page 63.
  7. The House of the Dead Dennou Shinan: Dr. Curien no Houkoku Sho, pg. 158
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