The end always comes quickly doesn't it. [sic] But now things are perfect. Soon it will all be over. I'll go after I finish playing with my friends. Please wait for me, Mom, Dad. [sic]ZED's journal entry, as shown in the attract mode.[src]
The game is considered a spinoff to Sega's House of the Dead series; one of its original titles was Blood Bullet: The House of the Dead Side Story, and there are numerous references to the original 1996 game. Zombie Revenge was ported to the Sega Dreamcast.
AMS agents Stick Breitling, Linda Rotta, and Rikiya Busujima investigate the zombie-infested Woodside City. The outbreak occurs a year after a bioterrorist named ZED gained control of Undead Soldier (UDS), a government plan to utilize the dead for military purposes.
In a warehouse, the agents encounter a girl being attacked by zombies; if rescued, she gives them a disc as instructed by a man "with a golden eye". Regardless of her survival, the agents find a message from ZED on the disc. Claiming that he is not their enemy, he shows them three cards to choose from and determine their fate.
In the city's chemical plant, the agents encounter ZED, who escapes as the building is about to explode. AMS agent Marco Cloud rescues Stick, Linda, and Rikiya by helicopter. Marco informs them that a train carrying the virus and rigged with explosives is set to crash. The agents manage to stop the train, but are captured by ZED.
Stick, Linda, and Rikiya awaken in the hills of Mt. Sacrifice and in front of a large mansion. There, ZED reveals that his parents were part of the UDS project, but were killed and used as experiments by Stick's father Gil; ZED has spread the virus in revenge. He also holds within him a powerful UDS that he calls the "God of Destruction", which he intends to release from him to kill all humans.
The agents defeat ZED in his underground base. He transforms into the "God of Destruction", the Black Magician Type 01 -- its powers determined by the card chosen by the agents -- which explodes upon defeat. While resting in a desert, Stick expresses shame over his father's actions; Rikiya reminds him that it is in the past. Marco rescues the trio again, informing them that "now he's hijacked a ship". Rikiya remarks that they have more work to do.
After the credits, a post-credits scene occurs in the warehouse from earlier. Depending on the survival of Yoko, the girl attacked by zombies in the first stage, the scene will alter:
- Saved: Yoko is waiting impatiently for ZED to reimburse her for delivering the disc.
- Killed: Yoko appears to be feeding on something. She slowly turns to face the camera.
Up to two players can choose between the three AMS agents, all with different attributes. Stick Breitling is considered to be the most balanced of the three, with decent physical strength, gun damage and speed. Linda Rotta is the stereotypical female, fast but physically weak, but excellent with a gun. Rikiya Busujima is slow but strong, and has more emphasis on physical attacks. Each character can engage in hand-to-hand combos, holds and throws, use melee weapons, throwable objects, and guns. This time however, all guns have limited ammo, and some appear only once in the game. If a character runs out of ammo altogether they will need to rely on their fists. Each character also has charge attacks, some involving weapons, as well as evasive moves that can also inflict damage. Using the handgun, if the player aims at an enemy while standing still, shooting the gun when the aiming reticle turns red will inflict massive damage.
Areas require that all enemies are defeated within a time limit, and players will lose a credit if time runs out. They will also lose a credit if if their life bar is completely drained. Players will also be poisoned with each enemy attack, shown in their life meter, which will affect their performance if it builds up high enough. 50% poison will leave them vulnerable to combo attacks, while 80% will affect movement and speed. Picking up an antidote will cleanse the poison from the character. In a two player game, if one player does not continue after losing their life, they will turn into a zombie and attack the remaining player. Continuing the game where the player last left off resets the score they have to 0.
Although the game does not have branching paths, players can enter rooms off the main path that may contain power-ups or enemies to defeat. Some enemies carry weapons to attack the player with, including guns. Bosses are fought in the middle and end of stages, some of which are accompanied with zombies or other enemies.
As well as having a wide repertoire of physical moves to fend off the undead, several different types of weapons are laid out throughout the game to take them out in style.
- Handgun (always equipped but requires ammunition to use)
- Stun Gun
- Land Mine
- Gasoline (needs to be poured then ignited, enemies can be hit with the canister)
- Machine Gun
- Dual Handguns
- Guitar Cases (Dual Machine Guns)
- Cannon Shot (Rocket Launcher in a guitar case)
- Chain Gun
- Laser Gun
Episodes and Bosses
There are a total on 7 episodes (levels) in Zombie Revenge. With the exception of the first level, each chapter has a boss character who is fought at the end of the chapter. Some stages feature midbosses, and some later chapters feature reappearances by bosses of earlier levels.
- Episode 1: Isolated Area (Midboss: UDS-03)
- Episode 2: Biological Weapon (Midboss: Warm Hedlin & Shell Hedlin, Boss: UDS-05)
- Episode 3: Enigma (Boss: UDS-02)
- Episode 4: Terminus of All (Midboss: UDS-07-Nikelle, Boss: UDS-06B)
- Episode 5: The Gate (Boss: UDS-TP II 00 & UDS-TP II 01)
- Episode 6: The House of the Dead (Midboss: UDS-03 Neclien, Boss: UDS-04C)
- Episode 7: The Dawn (Bosses: ZED, Black Magician Type 01)
Aside from the standard Arcade Mode, the Dreamcast home version included exclusive modes, some of which made extensive use of the Dreamcast VMU.
A faithful port of the original arcade game. Choose between the three agents to fight the undead with fists and bullets, with up to two players.
Unlike the arcade mode, Original mode is limited to one player. The game is separated into three different game modes: Normal Mode, Gun Mode and Bare Knuckle Mode, all of which affect the damage inflicted by guns and bare fists. Each character has a third costume exclusive to this mode. Certain cheats such as unlimited time, continues, life and stage select can be unlocked through a VMU mini-game. New food items not found in Arcade Mode will appear for use in other modes. Certain settings set in the Options do not carry over in this mode.
VS Boss Mode
Any of the bosses can be fought once they have been defeated in the main game.
Two characters can duke it out. Additionally, characters raised in the Zombie Revenge Raising Game can be used in Fighting Mode. Zombies may also appear to assist weaker players.
Players can download the Zombie Revenge Raising Game onto their VMU and raise a character to be used in Fighting Mode. They can also check the stats of their character here.
Zombie Revenge Raising Game
This game is played on the VMU. A virtual pet simulator, players can send a character to the VMU to be raised, and use them in Fighting Mode. Food items found in Original Mode can be fed to the character. Two mini-games can also be played: Zombie Fishing and Zombie Doubt, a fishing and memory game respectively, which increase attack and defense stats. Gaining high scores in these games will unlock the various cheats found in Original Mode.
Players can change the difficulty, number of continues in Arcade Mode, and adjust controller and audio options. They can also change various settings for Fighting Mode.
Connections to The House of the Dead
- Stick Breitling, Linda Rotta, and Rikiya Busujima are agents of the AMS, an American government organization depicted in the main House of the Dead games. The agency battles biological engineering-related incidents.
Enemies and Bosses
- One of the zombies is Ebitan, a green sludge-covered creature and a recurring enemy in the main House of the Dead series. He uses a recycled green variant model from The House of the Dead 2.
- The final boss, Black Magician Type 01, strongly resembles the Magician. Aside from a slight difference in appearance, more notable changes include a visible heart, open eyes and wings. He will gain powers based on the card the player chooses at the beginning of the game: Red (Fire), Yellow (Lightning), or Blue (summon enemies). If time runs out in any of the stages, the Black Magician will appear and kill the players in one blow. Unlike the other bosses in the game, Black Magician is not categorized by a UDS number, but with a "Type" like those of the main series.
- The frog and bat enemies are reminiscent of the Devilon and Bueel enemies in House of the Dead, respectively.
"The House of the Dead" episode
The sixth level contains the most references to the original House of the Dead in one place:
- The setting is the Curien Mansion. Players start in the front yard, battling their way past the fountain and through the front door.
- Ebitan creatures spawn from the fountain, like in the original game.
- One cutscene features the front door being shot repeatedly before being kicked in.
- The foyer is similar to the one in the original House of the Dead.
- There are bat and frog enemies.
- In the foyer, a pair of midget zombies attack from a chandelier; in The House of the Dead, a pair of Saruzou attack like this.
- The music of the stage's first section is from Tragedy, the first chapter in The House of the Dead.
- The credits sequence is similar to the original House of the Dead, journeying back through the game's stages in reverse order to the beginning of the game.
- The game has two endings, and in The House of the Dead tradition, the "bad ending" involves a character becoming a zombie (in this case, Yoko if she was not saved earlier).
- Yoko can either be rescued or killed; this is reminescent of civilians in the main House of the Dead series.
- The zombies' vocals and other sound effects are taken form the first two House of the Dead games.
- The House of the Dead series composers Tetsuya Kawauchi and Haruyoshi Tomita contributed to the game's soundtrack. Makito Nomiya would later compose part of The House of the Dead 4's soundtrack.
- In the opening introduction sequence, a photo of a child with a man and woman are shown (presumably ZED and his parents). The man on the left side of the picture bears a strong visual resemblance to Thomas Rogan.
- At the start of the game, computer icons of Rogan and "G" can be seen on Linda's desktop. Another icon is labeled "HOD".
- Statues of Stick Breitling and Rikiya Busujima were created in order to promote the game in Japan.
- This marked the first House of the Dead related game where the regular zombies were originally human, whereas all the enemies in the main series up to that point were bio-engineered creations. This would occur once again with the Rogan Commandos in The House of the Dead III and the majority of enemies found throughout The House of the Dead: Overkill.
- The train in Episode 4 has the word "NAOMI" written on the side of it. This is a reference to Sega's NAOMI arcade board, which Zombie Revenge was originally featured on. NAOMI hardware also exists in the Dreamcast hardware, which allowed for many "arcade-perfect" ports on the home console.
- The guitar cases seen in the game are a reference to the movie Desperado.
- Busujima's gun appears to be based on the .475 Wildey Magnum, a gun featured in the movie Death Wish 3.
- Most of Black Magician's voice clips are ZED's reused with an added sound filter. Both characters also share similar movesets as well.
- A PlayStation 2 port of the game was planned to be released by Acclaim, but was ultimately cancelled.
- Rikiya Busujima appears in Project X Zone, a crossover game featuring characters created by Namco, Capcom and Sega. He appears in his alternate costume. Busujima not only serves as the sole representative of the House of the Dead series in the game, but his appearance also makes him the only character originating from Zombie Revenge to appear in more than one game.
Like The House of the Dead 2, the game's English voice acting and dialogue was deemed poor by many gamers and critics, while the game's ending was considered by some to be nonsensical, alluding that ZED somehow survived and hijacked a ship moments after he was destroyed. Complaints also included the game's high level of difficulty.