The Wiki of the Dead
The Wiki of the Dead

For the prototype of the Sega Saturn port, see The House of the Dead (prototype).

The House of Dead (死者の家, Shisha no ie?) is a prototype version of the 1996 rail shooting arcade game The House of the Dead. It contains the first two chapters, Tragedy and Revenge, with various differences in audio, graphics, and gameplay. The prototype's original release date is unknown.

The ROM was dumped by arcade provider AndyGeezerServices on September 6th, 2018.[1] Many textures in Chapter 2 are corrupted, either due to a problem in the ROM dumping process or physical damage to the arcade hardware. This was fixed in a community patch.


Attract mode

Prototype Final Description
HODProtoIntro.gif HODFinalIntro.gif The prototype's introduction is simpler than the final version's; the camera slowly pans to the Curien Mansion and travels to the front door, where a creature (Sam) swipes the screen. There are no sound effects.
HODProtoTitleScreen.png HODTitleScreenFinal.jpg As previously mentioned, the prototype was named The House of Dead instead of The House of the Dead. The logo was also not outlined in bold, and lacked the creature hand and Thomas Rogan's silhouette.
HODProtoGameRules.gif HODFinalGameRules.gif In the prototype's game rules attract screen, the DBR researcher and the Cyril creature have different, much slower walk animations. Cyril also has no idle animation when the camera zooms in on him.

Chapter 1: Tragedy

Prototype Final Description
THoD Chapter Title.png THotD (Japan) Chapter Title.png The background of the chapter title card was more yellow, the text being in bold.

The Japanese title was placed above the English title instead of below, and there was a period at the end of the phrase, "The First Chapter".

The writing scrawls were also less haphazard, with most of it forming a "box" around said phrase.

THoD Briefing.png THotD Briefing.png The Japanese retail releases displayed a mission briefing from a commander that they had received intel that researchers were taken at Dr. Curien's mansion, and that the agents were to head there immediately.

While the briefing in the prototype is largely identical, the text had less color, as well as an explicit address to agents. Furthermore, the "MISSION:" part of the message poked through the top border.

Chapter start (prototype).png Chapter start.png The player(s) would assume control of their character(s) as soon as the Neil starts killing the researcher. In the final game, this only happens once Neil has just killed him.

Additionally, there was a blood effect (not pictured) when the researcher is being killed. This is removed in the final release.

The corpses in the background had a darker skin tone, which is also the case for any corpses that spawn in a scripted event. Their skin tone remains the same in the final.

Researcher's last plea (prototype).png Researcher's last plea (arcade release).png The font used for the Japanese subtitles was different. The dying researcher held out the photo he had in clearer view, and his dialogue was unvoiced.
  • Voice: "Others are still inside. Save them."
  • Subtitles (Prototype): 「仲間が。。。捕われて。。。早く。。。早く助け。。。(Others... were taken... Hurry... save them now...)
  • Subtitles (Final): 「仲間が。。。早く。助け。。。(There's others... Hurry. Save them...)

An unused voice clip in the sound test , which would have been used for this researcher, suggests Dr Curien was meant to be one of the people the player was to save, as follows:

  • "In the photo... Dr Cullen (sic) is about to... you must hurry to save him."
Helpthem1.png Helpthem2.png Out of the two researchers here, the one closer to the player will run towards them a little before walking away after a successful rescue. In the final, he just passes by the player.

The researcher also did not have his specific voice clip ("They're inside. Help them!"), instead using another one meant for later ("There's one more down there. Hurry. Go help him.").

Subtitle.png Subtitle2.png The Japanese subtitles in the prototype would be displayed on the left or right side of the screen depending on who is talking. Player character dialogue was shown on the left, while dialogue for other characters was shown on the right.

In the final version, the Japanese subtitles are always displayed on the right regardless of whose dialogue is being spoken.

Also, Sophie was simply crouching near the fountain, instead of lying face-down.

Dedog.png Dedog2.png Kenfis looked more like a regular dog in the prototype, where it had red glowing eyes, a less bony and fleshy body, and lacked wings.
Itsyou.png Itsyou2.png When Rogan first sees Sophie, the subtitles had a space between "Rogan" (ローガン) and the rest of Sophie's dialogue. Their lines were unvoiced.
Hangtake1.png Hangtake2.png Rogan called out Sophie's name right after Hangedman takes her away, with the creature only snickering a little. In the final, Hangedman snickers and says his line, while Rogan remains silent.

The snickering was also not subtitled in the prototype.

Fouebt1.PNG Fouebt2.png The Ebitan that attacks the player at the fountain did not have a complete attack animation; after jumping out of the water, it just lingered in place briefly before the player took damage.

Also, when it is killed, there is no splash effect as it falls back into the fountain.

Front.png Front2.png Originally, in a single player game, the player character was to have his own dialogue before he broke down the front doors of the mansion. In the final game, dialogue is present only when a two-player game is played.
  • Playing as Rogan: 「突入するぞ! (I'm moving in!)
  • Playing as G: 「この中に例のものが。。。(Those things are in here...?)
Help.png Help2.png There were no subtitles for this part (compared to the Japanese final).
Thkyou.png Thkyou2.png When the researcher gave the player a med kit here, it was shown as part of normal gameplay. In the final, the event is made a cutscene.

(The differently shaded "LIFE UP!" text is due to emulation issues.)

Axhit.png Axhit2.png Axes did not produce their own damage graphic upon hitting the player.

Thrown axes also disappeared on impact, while, in the final, they stayed on screen for a few moments before going away.

Gkhym.png Gkhym2.png The subtitles for the researcher (if rescued) at the end of the level mentioned a "file" (ファイル) which she would give to the player. There is no mention of a file in the final release.
Chariot prototype.jpg Chariot.PNG Chariot was originally named after Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, madness, and fertility. His weak point diagram also has more color than in the final version.

Chapter 2: Revenge

Prototype Final Description
Elev1.png Elev2.png The panel for the elevator used a different texture that had no arrow when it is headed upwards.

In this instance, if the panel is shot to make the elevator go down, the panel will disappear completely instead of changing its appearance.

Hanged1.png Hanged2.png Hangedman was holding the two researchers by their necks, instead of their arms. The researchers had no animation for their movement.

There was no dialogue before fighting it; it only laughs two times before dropping them.

Hngdman.png Handgedman.PNG Hangedman was originally named Devilon, which is now used for the bat creatures found in the House of the Dead series. His type number also was changed from 16 to 041.

Like Chariot, Hangedman's weak point diagram originally had more color.

The label "Weak Point" was also "Shield Wing", pointing to its armored wings instead of its main body.

It is at about this moment Hangedman would have laughed in the final. The prototype did not have him say anything when the diagram was shown.

Test menu

  • Exclusive to the prototype is a "Gun Blowback" option, which can be set on or off. In The House of the Dead's location test version, the guns had a "blowback" effect achieved via an air compressor. This was omitted from production cabinets due to mechanical issues.[2]
  • Rogan and G had different voice clips in the beta.
  • The blood color setting was not fully finalized; only red or green blood could be used. Additionally, if the color was changed to green, the gore for certain enemies would still appear as red.


Rendered models



  1. Kori-Maru (September 7th, 2018). "The House of the Dead Prototype Discovered After 21 Years". SegaBits.
  2. "代表作:『ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド』シリーズ ディレクター" (Japanese) pp. 1. SEGA Interactive Inc.. Archived from the original on October 10th, 2019.
veHouse of the dead 1.pngcontent
Thomas RoganGDr. CurienSophie RichardsDBR researchers
TragedyRevengeTruthThe house of the dead
Other pages
Lore (AMSBioReactorCurien MansionDBR CorporationThe House of the Dead Sub-Story)
Game modes (Boss ModeSaturn Mode)
Prototypes (The House of DeadSega Saturn prototype)
Guidebooks (The House of the Dead Dennou Shinan: Dr. Curien no Houkoku ShoThe House of the Dead Official Guide)
Action figuresThe House of the Dead: RemakeThe House of the Dead 1 & 2 Music CollectionUnused 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 GenesisOn ReelsTHE 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 Anseaume
Other content Hiiro SumomoReferences in popular cultureUnused content