Originally titled Blood Bullet: The House of the Dead Side Story, the game was later renamed Zombies Nightmare before Sega decided on the name Zombie Revenge. This game serves as a spin-off to the House of the Dead series.
"The end always comes quickly doesn't it. 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."
A top-secret government plan to utilize the dead for military purposes called UDS, Undead Soldier, is thrown into darkness by some unknown entity. A year later, Woodside City becomes ravaged by zombies. Three of the best AMS agents are sent in, Stick Breitling, Linda Rotta, and Rikiya Busujima. They are sent out to eliminate the threat and track down the person behind the spread of the virus, a man known only as ZED.
During the outbreak, a young girl named Yoko arrives to the scene with her boyfriend in hopes to see some zombies in action. However, they are attacked and her boyfriend falls prey to the undead. While escaping, she encounters a man "with a golden eye" and given a disc to give to the AMS agents. By the time they find her, she's about to be killed by zombies. Regardless if she is saved or not, the agents retrieve the disc. Exploring its contents, it contains a message from ZED, who shows them three cards to choose from. ZED taunts them by saying the card has determined their fate, and they might understand its meaning if they survive long enough.
The agents finally encounter ZED in person in the city's chemical plant, who only laughs at them before the place explodes. They are rescued by helicopter, piloted by fellow AMS agent Marco Cloud, who informs them that a train carrying the virus and rigged with explosives is set to crash. They succeed in stopping the train in time, but they are captured by ZED. The three 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 they were killed by a scientist who used them as his experiments: Gil Breitling, Stick's father. ZED has since swore revenge by spreading the virus. He also holds within him a powerful UDS that he calls the "God of Destruction" that he intends to release from him to kill all humans. The agents are sent deep into his underground base, where ZED finally faces them head on and is defeated. With his dying breath, he unleashes the God of Destruction from his body, Black Magician Type 01, ready to fulfill his purpose.
During the final showdown, the Black Magician is granted powers based on the card that was chosen near the beginning of the game. After a hard grueling fight, the agents succeed in destroying it. They find themselves in a desert during sunrise, reflecting on what ZED had revealed to them. Stick expresses shame because of his father, in which Busujima stops him, telling that it's in the past. Linda spots a helicopter approaching, and Marco is quick to inform them that "now he's hijacked a ship." Busujima remarks that they still have a lot of work to do as Stick looks on.
Back at the warehouse, Yoko has been there the whole time. If she was saved, she is waiting impatiently for ZED to come back with the money he owes her for delivering the disc. If she was not saved, she will appear to be feeding on something before slowly turning her face toward 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.
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 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 House of the Dead
Although the game does not mention the House of the Dead name upfront, it is very apparent what series the game was based on.
- Many vocal sound effects from the zombies are taken from the first two House of the Dead games.
- The main protagonists are AMS agents.
- 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".
- There is an instance where the player needs to prevent zombies from killing a civilian.
- The Curien Mansion appears as its own stage, which itself is called "The House of the Dead" (Episode 6). The player fights in what appears to be a faithful representation of the front courtyard, accompanied by enemies and music from the first game. A cutscene is also shown where the front door is shot repeatedly before being kicked in. However, aside from the first room, the interior sections are completely new.
- The final level of the game has the player fighting previous bosses, similar to the final stages in the first two House of the Dead games.
- The final boss of the game is called Black Magician Type 01, clearly based on another familiar boss in the main series. 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 that of the main series.
- The credits sequence is similar to the first game, journeying back through the game's stages in reverse order to the beginning of the game.
- The game has two endings, and in House of the Dead tradition, the "bad ending" involves a character becoming a zombie. In this case, Yoko if she was not saved earlier.
- 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.
- 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 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.</span>
- Rikiya Busujima is set to appear 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.