"It feeds on your fear, don't go into the house... Alone!" - Subtitle of The House of The Dead Arcade Machine

The House of the Dead is the very first House of the Dead game created by Sega AM1 (now known as Sega-WOW) in 1996. The game features two agents, Agent Thomas Rogan and "G". Both of these agents are sent on an assignment to investigate Dr. Roy Curien's Mansion. It is said that Dr. Curien was obsessed with discovering the nature of life and death. However, the nature of his experiments drove him insane, and this resulted in him releasing the subjects into the world.


The House of the Dead is a rail shooter light gun game. Players use a light gun (or mouse, in the PC version) to aim and shoot at approaching enemies. The characters' pistols use magazines which hold 6 rounds; players reload by shooting away from the screen. A set of torches next to the magazine of each player represents remaining health. When a player sustains damage or shoots a civilian, one of their torches is removed. The player dies when all torches are lost. First-aid packs are available throughout the game which restore one torch. These are found either in the possession of civilians whom the player has rescued or inside breakable objects. Similarly, there are also special items located in breakable objects that will grant a bonus to whoever shoots it.

Throughout the course of the game, players are faced with numerous situations in which their action (or inaction) will have an effect on the direction of gameplay. This is exemplified in the opening stage of the game when a civilian is about to be thrown from the bridge to his death. If the player saves the civilian, they will enter the house directly through the front door; however, if the player fails to rescue the civilian, the character is redirected to an underground route through the sewers. If the player rescues all civilians, a secret room full of lives and bonuses is revealed toward the end of the game.


(WARNING: Spoilers Below!)

AMS agents Thomas Rogan and "G" are sent on an assignment to investigate a panicked phone call from Rogan's fiancée, Sophie Richards, and a series of disappearances at the Curien Mansion , home laboratory of Dr. Curien, an acclaimed biochemist and geneticist. Dr. Curien was obsessed with discovering the very nature of life and death, backed by the DBR Corporation and its scientists. The nature of the experiments, however, drove Dr. Curien insane, resulting in him releasing his experimental subjects onto the unsuspecting world.

Amidst the chaos wrought by Dr. Curien, Rogan and "G" face many formidable foes, including The Chariot (Type 27) a green/silver plated undead warrior who mortally wounds/kills Sophie; The Hangedman (Type 041), a gargoyle-like creature with bat ears and bandaged legs who sees to it that she cannot escape the mansion grounds, and also kills two DBR scientists in the grand courtyard; and The Hermit(Type 6803), a mutant 6 legged spider crab-like creature guarding the passageway leading to Curien's restricted research area. Upon confronting Curien, the AMS agents are treated to his greatest masterpiece, The Magician (Type 0), a grotesque, humanoid demon creature not yet complete with armor, which appears to have some exposed muscles (his weak points), ram-like horns, and a long red scar on his left eye. The Magician is especially notable for its pyrokinesis -- mastery over fire. Ironically, after he releases the creature from its incubation chamber, Dr. Curien is killed by his own creation, as The Magician seemed to have reached a state of sentience in which he feels an inferior being such as a human has no place in giving him orders. To prevent the Magician from escaping the mansion and destroying the world, Rogan and "G" are forced to confront it in one final battle. After a long and difficult battle, they succeeded in destroying Curien's creation and were given one last warning from the Magician itself, "You... haven't seen... anything yet!", which could be a foreshadowing to his later appearances.

The Magician (Type 0)

With those words, the Magician exploded and ceased to exist. (Nevertheless, he does return in The House of the Dead 2 and The House of the Dead 4 Special, which proves the warning.) Rogan and G leave the mansion, taking one last look at it from the outside, then the game ends.

There are, however, alternate endings in which the camera pans to the foyer one last time; the doors then open, showing either Sophie alive, running into the camera saying "Thank you!" 

Zombie Sophie

(suggesting that she was merely knocked unconscious by The Chariot, and might be the mother of Lisa Rogan in House of the Dead III), or Sophie as one of the undead. (which therefore might not be canon, and suggesting that she really was killed by The Chariot and rose from the dead as the only female zombie in the game), depending on the player's score and the number of continues used.


The House of The Dead can be played on the PC, Sega Saturn or at Arcades. You can purchase the game at many retailers on the internet such as Amazon.co.uk, Play.com or Game.co.uk. Currently, finding a copy of the Saturn game is rare and used copies consistently sell for more than $90 US.


The arcade version of The House of the Dead was generally well received. However, the PC and Saturn releases were both met with mixed reviews. The game received a percentage score of 70.54% by GameRankings. The arcade version received 4.5 out of 5 stars, while both the Saturn and Windows port were rated 4 stars by Allgame.

Chapters & Bosses

Walkthrough: Chapter 1 goes from the entrace of the mansion's courtyard, through the sewers/front door and out into the inside courtyard and finally into a room with the Chariot (Type 27) where the AMS agents battle against the Chariot and where Sophie is either killed or badly injured.

Chapter 2 goes through the middle of the mansion until the AMS Agents reach the roof of the building where they battle against the Hangedman.

Chapter 3 goes through further through the house until the AMS agents reach the entrace to Dr. Curien's restricted research area where they battle the Hermit who was guarding the entrace to the restricted research area. As the AMS agents arrived at the entrace to the restricted research area Dr. Curien was standing in a room above the AMS agents where he taunted the agents and escaped into his restricted research area.

Chapter 4 goes through the restricted research area until the AMS agents reach the chamber where Dr. Curien had fled to and where the Magician (Type 0) was kept who killed Dr. Curien.

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