(Takashi Oda's universe)
There is nowhere to hide. They just won't stay dead.Tagline
The House of the Dead III (ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド III Za Hausu obu za Deddo III ) is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed by WOW Entertainment (formerly SEGA AM1) and released by Sega to arcades in 2002. It is the sequel to The House of the Dead 2, and the third game overall in the House of the Dead series.
The House of the Dead III received generally positive reviews. A spin-off and several console ports were produced. A sequel, The House of the Dead 4, was released in 2005.
In a post-apocalyptic 2019, retired AMS agent Thomas Rogan and his team of military commandos raid the EFI Research Facility for the source of humanity's downfall. The raid is botched, as the entire team is killed, leaving only Rogan and team captain Dan Taylor alive. When the duo finds the source, Death, a behemoth in a security guard uniform, kills Taylor and injures Rogan, who is approached by an unknown figure. Contact with him is lost.
Two weeks later, on October 31st, Rogan's 20-year-old daughter Lisa and former partner G arrive at the EFI building to search for him. They fight biologically-engineered creatures, including Death twice; the Fool, a deformed sloth; and the mutant plant-like Sun. Along the way, Lisa muses about her and her mother's estranged relationship with Rogan.
Flashbacks depict geneticist Dr. Curien, the perpetrator of the 1998 Curien Mansion incident, in his pursuit to cure his terminally-ill son Daniel. While successful, Curien went mad after his research team abandoned him, producing Magician and Wheel of Fate to "change the future".
Lisa and G reunite with Rogan, reveals his rescuer to be Daniel Curien himself. While G cares for Rogan, Lisa and Daniel fight to Wheel of Fate's laboratory. Daniel reveals that Wheel of Fate is his father, whose body has undergone a 19-year resurrection process; he prematurely wakes it through hacking. Wheel of Fate seeks mankind's destruction and resurrection. Upon defeat, he laments world overpopulation and begs for his son's forgiveness; Daniel, refusing to recognize the creature as his father, destroys him with Lisa.
While leaving the EFI building, Rogan and G discuss the uncertain future. Rogan is optimistic, stating that it is up to the next generation "to believe in themselves, and walk their own paths".
Depending on the player's performance and routes taken, one of four endings is shown.
- Outside, Daniel pauses to face the EFI building and bid his father farewell. Swearing to not let his father's efforts go to waste, Daniel promises to return if "[humans] go down the wrong path again." He and Lisa then leave.
- Daniel loses the will to move on and acts erratically. His voice turns deep and monstrous, and a close-up of his face reveals that he has become a creature. Lisa screams in the background.
- Lisa sees her car drive away, yet Rogan and G are behind her. It is revealed that a creature is behind the wheel. Lisa and Daniel give pursuit, with the former shouting "Hey, that's my car you slimy bastards! Say your prayers!" (The arcade version changes the first line to "Let's keep after him!") while the two agents watch.
- An unknown man in a business suit limps into Wheel of Fate's laboratory to retrieve Daniel's genes. He mutters, "It appears that [Curien] didn't understand its true purpose," and laughs.
The House of the Dead III retains the gameplay of its predecessors: as the camera travels a predefined path, players shoot enemies to avoid the loss of lives through damage. Barrels and other objects can be destroyed to reveal bonus items, which will either increase the player's score or award extra lives.
III introduces pump-action shotguns as the standard weapons. They can hold up to 6 bullets before reloading and can hit multiple enemies at once, especially those approaching close together or in a line. The arcade version has physical shotguns which must be pumped to reload; console versions either have automatic reloading or require players to point their aiming device off-screen instead.
Instead of civilians, there are "partner rescue" sequences where one player character will be isolated and trapped by creatures, requiring the other to save them. The most dangerous creatures are highlighted in red before the event begins. Success results in a bonus life; failure does not, although there is no life penalty if a trapped partner is attacked or accidentally shot. In multiplayer games, the captured player's weapon will be disabled during the sequences. Successfully finishing all "partner rescue" events unlocks a secret stash of bonus items at the end of the game.
Boss battles now have a smaller meter beneath their health bars. This meter must be emptied via repeated shots to boss weak points so that their attacks are disrupted. Some bosses also appear in the middle of levels, rather than the end.
Other features III introduced to the series include:
- An End of Level Ranking System
- A total of four endings
- Being prompted to choose your own path
- A Time Attack mode, where Dr. Curien would give his analysis of the player's performance
- The Wii version adds the ability to use the gun as a melee attack to block enemy blows, but must be reloaded after every use.
The House of the Dead III consists of 6 chapters, with the first (chapter 0) being a prologue:
Chapters 2 through 4 take place in three player-selectable areas. Because of the game's branching path mechanic, each area has two versions; these vary depending on the route taken in chapter 1, and the order of which the three areas are chosen.
The Typing of the Dead II is an education game and the sequel to 2001's The Typing of the Dead. While the first game was a reworked version of The House of the Dead 2, replacing the light guns with keyboards but otherwise retaining the same graphics and story, The Typing of the Dead II uses The House of the Dead III as a basis. Characters now wield keyboards shaped like shotguns, and once again wear a battery back with a Dreamcast on their backs. The game was released in arcades in 2007 and ported to the PC in the following year, but only saw a Japanese release.
DevelopmentThe House of the Dead III was developed on the Naomi 2 arcade hardware before ultimately being released on the Chihiro, an Xbox-based arcade board. It was originally marketed as The House of the Dead 3 (lacking the roman numeral) and had cell-shaded graphics. Both were scrapped for no official reason; it has been speculated the change was due to negative fan feedback, and that the art style clashed with the themes, mood, and tone already established in prior House of the Dead games.
- The new Attack Bar seen during boss battles, in which players must shoot their weakpoint multiple times and deplete it completely in order to disrupt their attacks, is a mechanic that was taken from 2000's Vampire Night, a light-gun arcade shooter co-developed by Sega's Wow Entertainment and Namco. Vampire Night shares enough similarities to The House of the Dead 2 that some considered it a spiritual successor or worthy spin-off prior to The House of the Dead III's announcement. Along the same vein, the "Reload" voice clip from Vampire Night is reused in this game.
- The original XBox port included a 13-minute preview at the then-upcoming House of the Dead film, including a behind-the-scenes look with input from director Uwe Boll.
- The XBox version includes a port of the PC version of The House of the Dead 2. When selecting to play it, a unique mini-game occurs in which players time travel in an elevator from 2019 to 2000, which occasionally stops for players to shoot creatures and unlock extra content to use in 2's Original Mode. This would be retained in the Wii Compilation.
- This was the last game where Rikiya Nakagawa served as a producer before stepping down as the head of Sega's Wow Entertainment division. Nakagawa was the producer behind several titles developed by AM1, including the previous two House of the Dead installments, The Typing of the Dead, and Zombie Revenge. Seen as the face of the House of the Dead series at the time, it was also reported that both he and Peter Moore (the CEO of Sega of America at the time) made cameo appearances in the 2003 film as zombies.
- ↑ The House Of The Dead III Xbox version manual, pg 8
- ↑ The House of the Dead III - First flashback
- ↑ The House of the Dead III - Second flashback
- ↑ The House of the Dead III - Third flashback
- ↑ The House of the Dead III - Fourth flashback
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 IGN Staff (April 16, 2008). "IGN Interviews Rikiya Nakagawa". IGN. Retrieved on June 25, 2020.
- ↑ U64 STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS (April 16, 2008). "House Of The Dead 3 [Cell Shading Proto"]. unseen64.net. “The causes of abandonment are still unknown, but it is thought that the idea of a graphic “cartoon” in a game as violent as HOTD III would not satisfy the fans, who would definitely prefer “normal” graphics.”