Retro Let's Play: "Typing of the Dead" / "House of the Dead"

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Oct 1, 2021.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Retro Let's Play for October 2021 is a series of games from the "House of the Dead" series, created by Sega and debuting in arcades in 1996.

    Click here for info on what this is, and why we're doing it.

    I reserve October every year to play exclusively scary or horror games, and with the last quarter of 2021 being pretty big on catch up for me, I wanted something lightweight I could play for a few minutes at a time and share with OCAU.

    So I've chosen a series of games. The first should be easy enough for anyone to load up quickly and play for a laugh, it's:

    Typing of the Dead

    551589-the-typing-of-the-dead-windows-front-cover.jpg


    Originally developed and released by Sega in 1999 to arcades (yes, an arcade machine with a keyboard!), this amazing game couples an educational touch typing tutor with zombie blasting action. Taken from the second of the light gun series, "House of the Dead 2" (I'll cover this below), it follows the arcade shooting game exactly, but instead of shooting zombies with a light gun, you must type words to deal damage and defeat them. As time goes on, the phrases get longer, and more random letter combinations get thrown in, upping the challenge considerably.

    The game features classic B-grade horror voice acting (honestly some of the most terrible voice acting you will EVER hear in a video game, and it's glorious), and some of the weirdest enemies around. Hidden power ups inside items around the map show up quickly as single letters, and if you can tap them quickly enough you'll be rewarded with extra life power ups and weapons. Hilariously the characters in-game don't have guns, but rather a Sega Dreamcast strapped to their back with a huge battery, and a keyboard in front of them. :lol:

    Sega ported the game to a range of different systems - easily for us the home PC version works fine on Windows 10 without issue, and will run on even the most potato computer. Your usual abandonware location has a copy that requires a couple hoops to jump through - install the game, then run the sound extractor, and you're good to go.

    Console ports exist as well - both the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 had home releases, each using a keyboard peripheral for that console. The PS2 version differs slightly from all others with the Dreamcast backpacks being switched out for PlayStation 2 console models.



    Several sequels of the game were released over the years. "Typing of the Dead 2" was a Japanese-only release based on the "House of the Dead 3" video game, and sadly is quite difficult for English speakers due to the word combinations. "English of the Dead" would be released on Nintendo DS as an educational game for younger Japanese kids to learn basic English. "Flick of the Dead" likewise was a Japanese-only iOS release of the game, unavailable to Western audiences.

    And finally, just outside our "retro 10 year" rule, released in October 2013 was "Typing of the Dead: Overkill". Based on the "House of the Dead: Overkill" 2009 Wii/PS3 lightgun shooter, it features a brand new story and cast, with a much more 1970's schlock / exploitation vibe to the whole thing. The visuals are greatly upgraded from the original, if you prefer something a bit more modern looking. You can buy it on Steam:
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/246580/The_Typing_of_The_Dead_Overkill/
     
  2. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And if you want a break from typing and just want some lightgun blasting, let's take a look at the contenders:

    House of the Dead
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead_(video_game)
    Released: 1996
    Platforms:
    * Arcade - emulates on MAME, but quite slow. Needs a very powerful PC. Emulates very well on "Model 2" by the Nebula team, however that doesn't work on Windows 10 any more.
    * Sega Saturn - excellent choice here if you have a Saturn Light Gun and a CRT. Emulates well on a PC with a mouse too
    * PC/Windows - great option, works well with mouse controls or a mouse-interface light gun like AimTrak.



    House of the Dead 2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead_2
    Released: 1998
    Platforms:
    * Arcade - Sega NAOMI hardware, which was based on the Dreamcast. Works well on emulators that also do Dreamcast
    * Dreamcast - excellent option with the Dreamcast lightguns, although needs a CRT to work.
    * PC/Windows - again, works well with a mouse or lightgun that emulates a mouse
    * Wii - part of the "House of the Dead 2&3 Return" pack. EXCELLENT option. Uses Sega's custom WiiMote drivers that are MUCH more accurate than the default Nintendo controls. A highly recommended port. Cheap plastic gun covers for your WiiMote can be found on AliExpress.



    House of the Dead III:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead_III
    Released: 2002
    Platforms:
    * Arcade on Sega Chihiro hardware, which is essentially an XBox in a box. No emulator exists.
    * Xbox - excellent port with the XBox light guns, although needs a CRT
    * PC/Windows - as above, play with a mouse or mouse-emulating light gun
    * PS3 - perfect port for graphics and gameplay, let down somewhat by the terrible "PS Move" controllers. DOES NOT support Namco's Guncon3 hardware.
    * Wii - part of the "House of the Dead 2&3 Return" pack. EXCELLENT option. Uses Sega's custom WiiMote drivers that are MUCH more accurate than the default Nintendo controls. A highly recommended port. Cheap plastic gun covers for your WiiMote can be found on AliExpress.



    House of the Dead 4:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead_4
    Released: 2005
    Platforms:
    * Arcade on Sega Lindbergh hardware, essentially a PC in a box. No good emulation options.
    * PS3 -like HOTD3, a good port technically, however you're forced to use the "PS Move" controllers which can be a bit hit and miss. DOES NOT support Namco Guncon3 lightguns.



    House of the Dead: Overkill:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead:_Overkill
    * A brand new series, new characters, and wonderful schlock/exploitation 1970s vibe.
    Released: 2009
    Platforms:
    * Wii - unfortunately a terrible port. Let down by the Wii's low power, and using the legacy Nintendo WiiMote drivers. A real let down compared to the 2&3 pack.
    * PS3 - like the other titles, a great port for performance, but the PS Move controllers are hit and miss.
    * iOS/Android - tappy tappy!

    Outside of our retro window is the newer "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn" for arcades using Unreal Engine 4, released in 2018. There's also a remake of HOTD1 due soon on Nintendo Switch. No details yet, but hopefully it uses the Switch's "WiiMote" functionality to give us some fun lightgun blasting action.

     
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  3. Trizae

    Trizae Member

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    I'm actually extremely keen and prepped for this I got a copy of TOTD Overkill earlier this year as I heard thats the best way to play Typing of the dead today used to love the series and actually helped me immensely with my skillset when I was a kid lol

    I own the original home pc version ( I think windows 98se or something version copy at my mothers house and the original HOTD overkill on wii its actually one of the strongest and awesome versions of the house of the dead series and is extremely unique if you like that whole grindhouse shtick

    the version that elvis linked above on steam comes with the extended cut of the game so you can play both The Typing Of The Dead Overkill, and play the original game with mouse/light gun its a great time.

     
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  4. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

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    I always found TDOTD to be way more fun than THOTD, personally. Was far more manic trying to get the right things typed than simply pointing and shooting.
     
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  5. power

    power Member

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    house of the dead quotes are the best!

    https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/320469

    I encourage you all to get family members to play typing of the dead with you, this is the one game my mrs absolutely kicks my butt in, hilarious.
     
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  6. hutts24

    hutts24 Member

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    I've never heard of this game or an arcade game with a keyboard, but I think this is going to be really fun!
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    pretty sure JPN only the keyboard looks exactly like the DC one, actually it's shorter with no numpad, but looks similar.

    upload_2021-10-1_10-55-54.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    That's the one. I played one just like it in Akihabara (Tokyo) a few years back.

    [edit] I'll try to do some video guides later of installing the PC version of the typing game, as well as setting up the Wii for the lightgun versions.

    [edit2]

    Watching the Long Play video in the first post, this part gave me a chuckle.

    Screenshot (122).png
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  9. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Got this on release when I got my original DC in the US. Many a night between work and in the lounge room scattered empty beers everywhere while the boys got on it with this. Awesome, Awesome game.. thanks for taking us back there Elvis. great choice. :thumbup:
     
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  10. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    HOTD2 technically has a port on original xbox within HOTD3 (completing the game unlocks it)
    Its ok with regards to performance but I found it was unstable sometimes and the game would break and ruin your run. Can't remember exactly how it happened but I remember not being able to actually register shots and/or the camera breaking so you were taking damage and not able to kill the enemies.

    I'll give it another go this month as part of this thread.

    I also picked up another 4gamers branded xbox light gun the last time I was at Eddies. Light guns aren't common for the OG xbox and for good reason. I expect I might be the only person playing it this way :p
    I replaced the right-angled 1.4mm micro switches for the triggers so they both feel fresh. I'd like to put a full size arcade switch in there but I don't think it would fit.
     
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  11. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    And HOTD2 has the greatest voice acting in all of gaming.

     
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  12. zed_kid

    zed_kid Member

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    Golden. Don’t come is forever burnt into my memory. My mate had this OG on the Dreamcast with the light guns, what a riot
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    100% agreed. All of the B-grade cheese you could ever want. Deadpan actors lacking in enthusiasm, and that WEIRD little flying demon thing.

    It's everything I love about B-grade horror... in a video game!
     
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  14. rireland

    rireland Member

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    any more history on the voice acting? was it intended to be bad, did they use actual actors?
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Some good discussion here. A little historical perspective, although I really would have liked more digging into the development itself.

    I'll dig through my Retro Gamer back issues to see if anyone's talked to the developers.

    Suggests that it's a lack of effort, but I feel like this was more intentional.

     
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  16. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    I thought I already had HOTD2 unlocked on this box but it wasn't so I maxed out the lives/continues and belted through HOTD3 to unlock HOTD2. [EDIT: "When a girl says no, she means it."]
    IMG_20211001_160427.jpg IMG_20211001_160511.jpg IMG_20211001_161449.jpg
    dat facial expression
    IMG_20211001_160835.jpg
    I got a Pfizer jab in my reload button arm about 4 hrs ago so I'm gonna take a break for now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  17. rireland

    rireland Member

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    interesting watch, I assumed a weak dub effort but it's actually the original audio and a combination of factors resulted in the poor performances. unnamed cast also leaves actors somewhat of a mystery, but a few suspected members were involved in resident evil which is also hilariously bad.
     
  18. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    Suffer, like G did?
     
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  19. power

    power Member

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    One of my favourite things about ToTD is the way the characters have Dreamcasts on their backs and keyboards in front. Whoever came up with that probably laughed their arse off when they thought of it. I know I would.

    upload_2021-10-5_10-44-24.png
     
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  20. Trizae

    Trizae Member

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    laughed my ass off at release still laughing now talk about attention to detail and not taking yourself too seriously. Thanks G
     

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