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The Wiki of the Dead


Face your worst fears.

Tagline

The House of the Dead 4 (ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド 4, Za Hausu obu za Deddo 4?) is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed by Sega AM1 and released by Sega to arcades in 2005. It is the sequel to The House of the Dead III, as well as the fourth installment in the main House of the Dead series.

Set three years after The House of the Dead 2, the game follows AMS agents James Taylor and Kate Green as they race to prevent a nuclear disaster that was masterminded by James' late adversary Caleb Goldman.

A launch title for the Sega Lindbergh arcade hardware, The House of the Dead 4 introduced machine guns and hordes of enemies to the series. It was the first light gun arcade game with a high-definition widescreen display.

Critics praised The House of the Dead 4's detailed visuals and intense gameplay. The House of the Dead 4 Special, an arcade attraction that continues the original game's story, was released in 2006. Both games were ported to the PlayStation 3 in 2012.

A sequel under the working title The House of the Dead 5 was developed in 2012, only to be shelved.[1] A redeveloped sequel, House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn, was later released in 2018.

Plot

Characters

Synopsis

In 2003, AMS agent James Taylor reopens investigation of the 2000 Goldman incident, believing that the ordeal has not ended. While he and partner Kate Green gather intelligence in the AMS' European branch office, an earthquake traps them in the basement. Days later, they find hordes of creatures on the security cameras.

James and Kate escape, aiming to reach the surface. After battling the four-armed Justice in the sewers, the agents discover that nuclear missiles will be launched worldwide. They attempt taking a construction elevator, but it is destroyed by The Lovers, a pair of giant tarantulas, detouring them to the subway.

Evading The Empress, a double-ended chainsaw-wielding creature, James and Kate reach an underground shopping district. They defeat the obese Temperance and reach the surface, but find the city obliterated.

James and Kate confronting The World.

James receives a PDA message from the late Caleb Goldman, the mastermind of the 2000 incident. Goldman, who planned a series of events before his death, activates a countdown to the nuclear missile launch. The agents race to Goldman's abandoned headquarters, defeating The Star, a levitating creature who wounds James.

In flashbacks to the 2000 incident, Goldman rants about how humanity's self-destructive tenancies have threatened the world. He tells James and agent Gary Stewart that "Pandora's Box is opening".

In the present, James and Kate stop the missiles. However, Goldman states in a recording that he only wanted to revert mankind to its "natural state", and that he cannot stop Pandora's Box. His successor to Emperor, The World, is released from beneath the building courtyard. Seeing that The World cannot be killed, James sets his PDA to self-destruct, tells Kate not to give up hope, and sacrifices himself to destroy The World in the following explosion.

A shaken and distraught Kate leaves Goldman's building.

Endings

Depending on the player's performance, one of four endings will play after the credits. After each ending, the text "The story continues in THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 3[sic]..." appears.

Image Criteria Description
HOTD4GoldmanEndingMessage.png
Normal Ending: Finish the game using continue(s) and/or have a rank 3 or higher. The view returns to Goldman's office computer, continuing his pre-recorded message. He gives a final statement as he walks away: "Ah yes, there is one thing I forgot. The human race has not been eliminated. Travel north... hope is such a splendid thing."
HOTD4GoldmanCreatureEnding.png
Bad Ending: Finish the game without continue(s), but not have a rank 3 or higher. It is the same as the above ending, except when Goldman mentions hope, he takes off his glasses and the camera zooms on his face. His eyes are glowing red and his face is pale.
GHOD4Ending.png
G Ending: Get an S rank on the last Chapter and get minimum of A rank on every other Chapters. Standing near the site of The World's destruction, AMS agent G vows that the creature threat will be fought back to its source. He tells James to "rest" and leaves. The camera pans up to Goldman's building before cutting to black.
Mystery man sitting.JPG
Thornheart Ending: Get an S rank on three Chapters and get minimum of A rank for the rest of the Chapter(s). A mysterious man sits at a desk in the corner of an office, stating: "Goldman, you are soft. These wretched humans have no need of hope. Soon, the true end shall begin... There is more than one Pandora's Box".

Gameplay

With larger hordes of creatures than previous games, The House of the Dead 4 introduces Uzi-like machine guns and grenades to dispatch them. The guns hold 30 rounds, allow fully automatic fire when the trigger is held down, and are reloaded by shaking the controller or pointing the gun out of the screen.

Grenades are thrown via a button alongside the gun controller (Arcade version) or one of the PlayStation Move controller's action buttons (PlayStation 3 port). Holding down the button before releasing it aims and throws grenades. By default, the player initially has three grenades but can earn a maximum of five by finding more in destructible objects. If the player completes a level with two or fewer grenades, they will be restocked at three for the next stage.

In addition to inflicting regular damage, most humanoid creatures will also grab or push the player down. When prompted, the gun controller must be shaken vigorously to push back creatures; failure results in damage or player's character being knocked down and vulnerable. In the latter situation, any surrounding creatures must be killed before they stomp on the player.

Game scoring operates on a "critical shot" mechanic. Consecutive headshots award increasingly higher points and ranks, from GOOD, EXCELLENT, AMAZING!, and finally PERFECT!!. The streak resets to GOOD if the player takes damage or kills any enemy without a headshot. Some exceptions to this rule include non-humanoid creatures like Murrer.

Like The House of the Dead III, The House of the Dead 4 has an end-of-Chapter grading system that awards bonus lives for high letter grades. One bonus life is awarded for every B or A rank (unlike The House of the Dead III, in which one life is awarded for A rank only), while two lives are awarded for every S rank. The ranks are calculated based on the player's score, accuracy and headshot count. Most find that in order to obtain the A rank or higher, they need to have at least 60% accuracy and have as many PERFECT!! counts as possible, as both grants a high score on the Chapter.

Boss fights are also similar to The House of the Dead III, with a "Cancel" bar that must be depleted to stop boss attacks and deduct from their main health bar (with the exception of Temperance, the fourth boss). Civilians are absent once again and the partner rescue mechanic from The House of the Dead III does not return.

The first four Chapters have branching paths based on the player's decisions. Several paths can be chosen via prompts, while others are determined by the player's success or failure in "controller shake" sequences, killing enemies, or destroying certain objects. Each level also has hidden bonus rooms and areas if the player shoots a nondescript object, throws a grenade in a specific place, or reaches the final Chapter without using any continue at all during the game.

Chapters

Bosses

The House of the Dead 4 Special

See The House of the Dead 4 Special.

Sometime after its release, The House of the Dead 4 received a small follow-up in the form of The House of the Dead 4 Special. The story takes place shortly after the events of The House of the Dead 4. Initially released to arcades, The House of the Dead 4 Special was later included in the PlayStation 3 port of its predecessor.[2]

Development

Arcade version

The House of the Dead 4's director Takashi Oda (left) and producer Yasuhiro Nishiyama (right).

During the production of Uwe Boll's 2003 film adaptation of the House of the Dead series, developer Sega AM1 (then named Wow Entertainment) reportedly secured images, motion capture, and other materials for The House of the Dead 4.[3] Several sources, including Boll himself, claimed that the game was to be based on the film.[4][5]

The House of the Dead 4 was directed by Takashi Oda and produced by Yasuhiro Nishiyama.[6] Two of the designers were Takeshi Inaba and Nobuto Iwao. After the game's production, they became the president and art director, respectively, of graphics company Agni-Flare Co., Ltd., which would collaborate with Sega on House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn in 2018.[7]

The game was a launch title for the Sega Lindbergh arcade hardware, which boasted higher performance and more realistic graphics. These features fulfilled Oda's desire for larger hordes of enemies with a "slimy" aesthetic. To take advantage of the Lindbergh's graphical prowess, 62-inch widescreen displays were installed on the arcade cabinets.[6]

Oda maintained that the gunplay needed to "feel good". AM1 sought conveying this through "flashy" death animations and more realistic audio. To balance the difficulty of fighting more enemies, a machine gun was chosen as the player's default weapon.[6]

The bosses were designed by Iwao.[7] The development team wanted each boss fight to be unique. Temperance's fight, for example, utilizes the game's "unique force feedback system". The creature's gluttonous appearance was intended to contrast with its namesake cardinal virtue, which represents moderation or self-restraint.[8]

PlayStation 3 port

The House of the Dead 4's PlayStation 3 port took almost a year to complete. The challenges for the team responsible included the OpenGL and data format conversion, as well as the PlayStation 3's smaller RAM space compared to the Lindbergh board. Sega upscaled the resolution and game render buffer up to 720p, and remade most of the UI (user interface) in HD.[9]

Release

The PlayStation 3 port was announced by Sega on 5 January 2012.[10] The game launched on PlayStation Network in the United States on 17 April 2012 and in Europe the following day. [11] In the weeks before and after the game's release, PlayStation Plus users had limited access to a demo, an exclusive PlayStation 3 dynamic theme and avatars, and a 30% discount on the full game.[12]

The port includes The House of the Dead 4 Special, PlayStation Move support, local co-op multiplayer, online leaderboards, and an interview with series director Takashi Oda and producer Yasuhiro Nishiyama.[12] After five hours of gameplay,[13] a 3D House of the Dead 4 arcade cabinet-themed item is unlocked for use in the now-defunct social gaming platform PlayStation Home.[12]

Due to a restructuring of the PlayStation Store ahead of the PlayStation 5's November 2020 release, as of 19 and 28 October 2020, The House of the Dead 4 is no longer purchasable on web or mobile-based devices, respectively; players must instead access the store directly from a PlayStation 3.[14]

It was announced in 2021 that PlayStation 3, PSP and Vita games would be discontinued from the PlayStation Store on 2 July 2021.[15] This meant that The House of the Dead 4 would be unavailable for purchase, though those who had already bought and downloaded the game could play it. However, Sony revised this decision on 19 April 2021, with PlayStation 3 and Vita games remaining available, while the PSP will discontinue as planned.[16]

Trivia

  • The House of the Dead 4 is the first game in the series to have lessened violence. The creatures cannot be decapitated; instead, a "skin damage" mechanic is used in which when an enemy is shot anywhere, bullet holes are visible in the enemy, revealing red flesh underneath. This can be clearly seen when an enemy grabs the player.
  • The televisions used are Mitsubishi's 2005 62" DLP 16:9 ratio widescreen model for the "Super Deluxe" cabinet, Mitsubishi's 2005 52" DLP 4:3 ratio model for the "Deluxe" cabinet, and a Sanwa 29" 4:3 ratio television for the "upright" cabinet. The game runs in 1080p.
  • The final two Chapters of the game take place in the same locations as the last two Chapters in The House of the Dead 2: Point A0063 and Goldman Building[sic]. The background music for both stages are The House of the Dead 2's original songs that have been remixed by their original Composer, Haruyoshi Tomita. They are respectively titled "Dawn (Remix of Year Seventh)" and "Original Sin (Remix of Year Seventh)" on the game's soundtrack, referring to the seven years since the song's debut at the game, as The House of the Dead 2 was released in late 1998 and The House of the Dead 4 at the end of 2005.
  • During the game there is a flashback in multiple parts where Goldman spells out his motive; in the final part it is revealed he is speaking directly to James and Gary, thus depicting a scene from The House of the Dead 2. The speech Goldman has been giving throughout the flashback is notably different from the actual speech in the previous game.
  • The fourth Chapter, Despair, has the same name as The House of the Dead 2's fourth Chapter.
  • This game is the first in the series that was set in the past (released in 2005, set in 2003), as all of The House of the Dead (released in 1996, set in 1998), The House of the Dead 2 (released in 1998, set in 2000), and The House of the Dead III (released in 2002, set in 2019), were set in the future. Excluding spin-offs The House of the Dead 4 Special (released in 2006, set in 2003) and The House of the Dead: Overkill (released in 2009, set in 1991), the next game in the series to follow this is House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (released in 2018, set in 2006).
  • With G's cameo in one of the endings, he is the only human to have appeared in at least four installments in the arcade series (five if one counts the spin-off The House of the Dead: Overkill).
  • James is the second controllable character to be killed in the series, with the first one being Dan Taylor from The House of the Dead III (despite sharing the same surname, it remains unknown whether they are related or not). However, James is the first character to suffer that fate chronologically; he died in 2003, while Dan died in 2019.

Gallery

Wiki-wordmark.png To view the The House of the Dead 4 gallery, click here.


References

  1. "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. 1-2. SEGA Interactive Inc.. Archived from the original on October 10th, 2019.
  2. SILICONERA STAFF (March 13, 2012). "House Of The Dead 4 For PS3 Is Almost Like Playing The Arcade Game At Home" (English). Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved on March 3, 2020.
  3. Harris, Dana (May 14, 2002). "Boll KG to visit 'House of Dead'" (English). Variety. Retrieved on January 31, 2022.
  4. Ahmed, Shahed (September 20, 2001). "New The House of the Dead game in development" (English). GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 1, 2020. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  5. Ahmed, Shahed (September 20, 2001). "The Arrow interviews...Uwe Boll!" (English). Arrow in the Head. Archived from the original on June 21, 2003. Retrieved on January 31, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "ゾンビがいっぱい『HOD4』" (Japanese). Sega Voice. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 UE4をベースにHoudiniも活用! アーケード人気シリーズ最新作『HOUSE OF THE DEAD ~SCARLET DAWN~』 | 特集 | CGWORLD.jp (Japanese). CGWORLD.jp (October 10, 2018). Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. “ボス「チャリオット」のデザインのひとつ。前作でもボスデザインを担当した岩男氏によるもので、本作も大半のボスをデザインした。”
  8. SILICONERA STAFF (April 16, 2012). "How Sega Created Bosses For The House Of The Dead 4" (English). Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. “...the name of the stage four boss, Temperance, literally means ‘restrict from something.’ We came to the idea that if you did not restrict food you would become overweight, which led to the design. From this initial profile, we created a suitable attack method for this large body type—rolling. We also made full use of the game’s unique force feedback system with Temperance. Overall, we tried to make each boss encounter a unique experience for the player.”
  9. SILICONERA STAFF (February 16, 2012). "House Of The Dead 4’s PlayStation 3 Conversion Took Almost A Year To Complete" (English). Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2020.
  10. Moriarty, Colin (January 5, 2012). "The House of the Dead 3 and 4 Coming to PSN" (English). IGN. Retrieved on October 11, 2020.
  11. Moriarty, Colin (March 14, 2012). "The House of the Dead 4 Gets PSN Release Date" (English). IGN. Retrieved on October 11, 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "The House of the Dead 4 Coming to PSN in April" (English). PlayStation.Blog (March 14, 2012). Retrieved on October 11, 2020.
  13. "PlayStation Home (Archive): THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 4 Arcade Cabinet (from www.yourpshome.net)" (English). YourPSHome.Net. Retrieved on October 11, 2020. “Rewarded for 5 hours of game play (you need to save and reload the game after)”
  14. Yin-Poole, Wesley (October 9, 2020). "PlayStation Store on web and mobile to stop selling PS3, PSP and Vita games this month" (English). Eurogamer. Retrieved on October 11, 2020.
  15. McKeand, Kirk (March 22, 2021). "Report: PS3, Vita, And PSP Stores To Be Permanently Closed In A Few Months" (English). TheGamer. Retrieved on March 25, 2021.
  16. Ryan, Jim (March 22, 2021). "PlayStation Store on PS3 and PS Vita Will Continue Operations" (English). PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved on April 19, 2021.

External links

veLogohotd4.pngcontent
Characters
James TaylorKate GreenCaleb GoldmanGThornheartGary Stewart
Creatures
David • Stones • Roses • Costello • Mackey • Ebitan • Damian • CharlesMurrer • Bern • Taran • Kevin • Kageo • Jimmy • Victor • Devilon • Laban • Constantin • Gauvain • Agent • Bain • FrankLanceEric
Bosses
JusticeThe LoversThe EmpressTemperanceThe StarThe World
Chapters
EscapeLostEmptinessDespairReunionHope
Other pages
Lore (AMSAMS European branch officeAMS PDACaleb Goldman's headquarters)
Official Sound TracksThe House of the Dead 4 SpecialUnused 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
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