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"This is state of the art horror."
―Tagline

House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド 〜スカーレット・ドーン〜) is a horror-themed arcade rail shooter released by SEGA Interactive in 2018. It is the fifth installment in the House of the Dead series.

The game is an interquel between The House of the Dead 4 and The House of the Dead III. Taking place on December 6, 2006, it follows AMS agents Kate Green and newcomer Ryan Taylor on an undercover mission at Scarecrow Mansion. When creatures besiege a dinner service, the pair discover a plan which threatens the world.

Gameplay

Like past installments, players are tasked to kill enemies that are standing in your way with the gun controller, now modeled after the H&K MP7. Unlike past games, the guns are now automatically reloaded once it's emptied, though the standard shake to reload mechanic is still available.

Numerous past gameplay mechanics made a return to the series. Civilians and Partner Rescue mechanic both made a return to the series after being absent from previous installments. The Partner Rescue in particular recieves a change, in which it will no longer occur during specific moments, but rather anytime during the game. The player must save their fallen partner, should the player failed to save the partner before the time ran out results in a life penalty, or in 2 player mode, the downed player's life penalty. The players can also be knocked down similar to "The House of the Dead 4", however the player will no longer be damaged during their downed state, but instead was tasked to clear out the surrounding enemies. Failing to do so before the time ran out also results in a life penalty.

The Stage Select system which first was used in "The House of the Dead III" also made a return. Completing the prologue chapter and the 3 main stages will lead the player to the final chapter of the game.

There are several new features added to the game, most of which were Japanese exclusive. First, the game features two modes: Normal Mode and Master Mode. The Normal Mode is the game's default gameplay setting, however, in Master Mode, the enemies' durability has been increased, the amount of enemies has been doubled, and several weapons that were used in the Normal Mode (with the exception of two weapons) were removed entirely, leaving the player with only the default gun, and the items the player will purchase (more on that later).

New to the series is Quick Time Events, in which the player was tasked to shoot a specific marker in a short period of time. Most of the time, failing the QTE will not result in a life penalty, however, failing the QTE's would effect your rating on each chapter.

Another new mechanic to the series is HOD Coins and the Item Shop. Killing the enemies with a critical shot, obtaining collectible items, saving civilians and completing the QTE will reward the player with HOD Coins. The player can use these coins to purchase items in the Item Shop in the beginning of each level. Up to two items can be bought per stage. The player can switch between items by pressing either the side buttons or the secondary trigger of the gun. The amount of uses for each item is limited and they cannot be replenished until the player completes the stage or by using a credit after losing all of their lives. The items are as follows:

  • Shotgun
  • Shotgun + (unavailable in International version)
  • MGM700 (Insta-kill one enemy)
  • Machine Gun + (unavailable in International version)
  • Machine Gun EX
  • Gatling Gun
  • Laser Gun
  • Heat Ray
  • Hand Grenade
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Incendiary Gun
  • Energy Cannon
  • Rocket Launcher
  • SW Cannon
  • Shield
  • Life (unavailable in International version)

Another new mechanic to the series is Aime Accessibility. By using Aime cards, the player can store their progress, keep their collected HOD Coins, check their highest scores, complete achievements, and partake in nationwide leaderboards. A level system was also added to the game as part of the Aime features. By beating the stages, the players will recieve XP. Once the bar filled up, the player will level up, and will be rewarded with HOD Coins. However, this feature is Japanese-exclusive, and is not available for the International release.

The scoring system for the game has also been tweaked. The ranks are based on 5 categories: Score, Enemies killed, Critical Shots, Accuracy, and Events. A minimum of 4 "Perfect" ratings and 1 "Excellent" rating are required to receive an S rank on each stage. At the end of the game, the player's final rank will be calculated based on the ranks on every stage. The better the player performs, the higher their final rating will be. Just like previous installments, the player's performance will determine the game's ending.

The International version receives major changes to the game. First the game has a single mode, though the player had the option to start anywhere after the prologue chapter, called Training Mode. Aime Accessibility and HOD Coins were removed altogether, as a result, the player will no longer worry about the purchases in the Item Shop, as the player can chose the items as they wish. In addition the criteria of the game's endings has been tweaked.


Plot

On December 6, 2006, AMS agents Kate Green and Ryan Taylor, the brother of the late James Taylor, are dispatched to Scarecrow Mansion for an undercover investigation of "Code R". During a dinner service, the party host unleashes hordes of zombies upon the guests; the agents fight to safety. A rescue helicopter arrives, but crashes, and the building collapses. Escaping with no backup available, Kate and Ryan explore the mansion.

In the annex, the agents discover a computer room with a world map, and are ambushed by a resurrected Chariot. After they kill Chariot and rescue hostages, Kate reveals that "Code R" is a mysterious project called "Noah's Ark".

In the underground laboratory, Ryan accidentally triggers an alarm, trapping them and activating the self-destruct system. The agents fight to the control panel and stop the countdown. Ryan finds a picture of the party host with Dr. Roy Curien and Caleb Goldman. Kate recognizes the party host as Thornheart, previously thought to have died from an illness, whose ancestors founded the DBR Corporation. The agents fight Priestess, a squid-like creature, and eventually burn it with flammable chemicals.

In the eastern house, Kate and Ryan discover Thornheart's room and learn that he is at a nearby church. They fight to a helipad, but a resurrected Hangedman destroys the chopper. After killing Hangedman, the agents rush to the church; Ryan worries that he will die like James.

Fighting through the church, the agents find monuments dedicated to Curien and Goldman. They confront Thornheart, who reveals that "Noah's Ark" is designed to destroy and replace the corrupted humanity with "a new evolution." He releases his masterpiece, Moon, who is impervious to gunfire and constantly grows. Ryan impales Moon with a metal rod, which kills the creature when struck by lightning; Kate believes this miraculous event was a divine intervention from James. With the threat finally neutralized, Kate and Ryan leave Scarecrow Mansion as the sun rises.[5][6]

Endings

Like previous House of the Dead titles, the game features multiple endings. So far, four endings were produced.

Here are the differences between the JP version and US/EU version in how to get endings.

Ending 1, shows Thornheart, alive and unharmed in the underground laboratory. This initially is believed to be triggered by completing the final QTE, but was later debunked when it was discovered that failing the QTE also triggers this ending.

  • In the JP version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game in Normal mode with a continue used.
  • In the US/EU version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game with rank 3-8 in overall rating with a continue used.

Ending 2, shows Thornheart on the church, saying that the ordeal has just begun. He suddenly went down before rising up again, possibly turning into a zombie, before the video glitched out.

  • In the JP version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game in Normal mode without any continue used.
  • In the US/EU version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game with rank 2 in overall rating with a continue used.

Ending 3, shows Thornheart, back at the church, unharmed, as he discusses his next plan.

  • In the JP version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game in Master mode with a continue used.
  • In the US/EU version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game with rank 1 in overall rating with a continue used.

Ending 4, achieved by clearing the game with an S rank in Master Mode, shows Kate and Ryan discussing James after Moon's defeat.[7]

  • In the JP version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game in Master mode without any continue used.
  • In the US/EU version, players can achieve this ending by clearing the game without any continue used.

At the end of the endings , the words "To be continued in the next House of the Dead" are shown.

Characters

Chapters

Zombies

New

  • Rogers
  • Allen
  • Santana
  • Bryant
  • Wilson
  • Suzuki
  • Park
  • Mac
  • Smoker
  • Bruce
  • Samson Jr.
  • Janish
  • Ratstar

Returning

Bosses

Development

Following a 12-year hiatus on the franchise, House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn was announced by SEGA Interactive on January 14, 2018.[9] The game will run on Unreal Engine 4 within an enclosed "deluxe" cabinet featuring vibrating seats and motion sensors. A preliminary location test was held at the SEGA Akihabara Building 3 in Tokyo, Japan from January 19 to the 21st.[10] SEGA released a promotional website as promotion featuring gameplay screenshots.[11]

It was announced that civilians will return, as well as the "Rescue Mechanic" from The House of the Dead III. Multiple weapons could be equipped, including shotguns and grenade launchers. The Chariot, a boss from the original House of the Dead, was revealed to be returning. [12]

During JAEPO 2018, Sega released an official trailer for the game, revealing new scenes, including the confirmation of a new boss.[13] Sega held more location tests: one in Round One Arcade, Yokohama on March 3rd to March 5th; and anotherin Rakuichi Rakuzen Arcade, Kawaguchi on March 16th to March 18th[14].

On July 9th 2018, another location test, featuring new stages, enemies, and bosses, was held in three places: High-tech Land Sega in Shibuya, Sega Tokyo Dome City, and Sega Shinjuku Kabukicho. On the same day, it was confirmed that Scarlet Dawn is directed by Takashi Oda, who had worked on previous games in the series.

Kevin Bachus, the Senior Vice President of restaurant and video arcade chain Dave & Busters, announced that all locations will receive Scarlet Dawn cabinets in October.[15]

Trivia

  • House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn is the first House of the Dead installment to be released in the 2010s. The last House of the Dead game before "Scarlet Dawn" was The House of the Dead: Overkill in 2009.
    • Excluding "Overkill", "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn" is also the first canon installment in the franchise to be released in the 2010s, after "The House of the Dead 4", in 2005.
  • Unlike past installments, which indicates Player 1 in Red and Player 2 in Blue, the color for Player 1 and Player 2 is switched.
  • For some reason, the name of the game has dropped the "The" from "The House of the Dead"'s title.
  • This is the first game in the series to feature automatic reload (the ammunition will be automatically filled once it's emptied) as a default function. As such, the standard "Reload" sound effect and notification are removed.
  • This is the first game since The House of the Dead III to have a prologue chapter (Chapter 0).
  • With an overall total of 5 chapters, this is the shortest House of the Dead game since the original game.
  • Curiously, this is the first canonical game to not feature "Type numbers", and the second game in the series to do so, following The House of the Dead: Overkill. This is possibly because Thornheart developed the monsters by himself and not as part (but still based on) of Curien and Goldman's creations.
  • House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn" is the first game since the original (excluding Overkill) to feature the short version of the "Stage Clear" theme. The latter part of the Stage Clear theme in this game is the remix of "Ranking" from The House of the Dead 2.
  • This is the first game in the series in which the route travelled by the characters is shown regardless if the player completes the game or not. In past entries, the route is shown only if the player loses the game and shows up to the point where the character is defeated.
  • This is the first game in the entire canon series to not include a "Bad Ending".
  • "House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn" has similarities to "The House of the Dead 4":
    • Both games featured a "veteran" character and a "rookie" character (James Taylor is the veteran and Kate Green is the rookie in 4, while Kate is the veteran and Ryan Taylor is the rookie in "Scarlet Dawn").
    • Both games featured "the ground shaking" during the opening cutscene.
    • Both games introduced the Player 2 character first (Kate Green in both 4 and "Scarlet Dawn").
    • Both games featured a "glass scene"; zombies breaking through the glass during the opening chapter.
    • Both games feature a similar plot: The AMS agents attempting to stop the antagonist's plan of human extinction. Though the main motivation behind such attacks was different.
    • The second chapter in both games begins with a flashback sequence, the remaining chapters of both games feature the main antagonist.
    • Both games feature the same death animation in the route display (P1 laying down with one arm holding the chest, and P2 falling down with one arm extended upwards)
    • Both games utilize machine guns, however House Of The Dead 4 uses a lightweight Uzi (ingame the model is based on a modified Steyr TMP) whereas Scarlet Dawn features a standard assault rifle-like gun based on the Heckler and Koch MP7.
  • This is the first game in the main series not to feature the character G.
  • This is the first House of the Dead game to have main differences between the International and the Japanese version:
    • The Japanese version had 2 modes, Normal Mode and Master Mode, while the International version removes said modes.
    • The International version removes the Aime card accessibility, which in turn removes the HOD coins, player levels, and achievements.
    • Lifes, Shotgun +, and Machine Gun + are not available to purchase in the Item Shop in the International version.
    • In the Japanese version, getting an A+ rank will reward you with 1 life bonus and getting an S rank will reward you with 2 life bonuses. In the International version, the game would only reward the player 1 life bonus should the player gets an A+ or S rank.
    • In the International version, the bosses' names had the word "The" in front (example: The Chariot, The Hangedman, etc.). In addition, The Priestess' is now named "The High Priestess"
    • Subtitles in the International version were removed almost completely. Hangedman's dialogue, Moon's dialogue, Stage Clear monologues, and Overall Ranking monologues are the only ones that received subtitles.
  • The Japanese release date for House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn is the same date as the original game's release date: September 13th.
    • In addition, the Japanese release date marks the 22nd anniversary of the series.

References

  1. http://dengekionline.com/elem/000/001/664/1664660/
  2. http://arcadeheroes.com/2018/05/31/sega-confirms-house-of-the-dead-scarlet-dawn-for-a-western-release/
  3. https://mobile.twitter.com/Soshi_fujisawa/status/1035074922840649729
  4. http://arcadeheroes.com/2018/10/10/segas-house-of-the-dead-scarlet-dawn-arriving-at-dave-busters-locations-now/
  5. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qcZ8OIOL27M
  6. http://segabits.com/blog/2018/01/18/house-of-the-dead-scarlet-dawn-location-test-footage-hits-the-net-looks-amazing/
  7. https://youtu.be/BWJzQEHV6a4
  8. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qcZ8OIOL27M
  9. https://hod.sega.jp
  10. http://segabits.com/blog/2018/01/14/house-of-the-dead-scarlet-dawn-announced-for-arcades/
  11. https://hod.sega.jp/
  12. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1383719155067386&id=171238962982084
  13. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf5gnOMTaGU
  14. https://hod.sega.jp
  15. http://arcadeheroes.com/2018/07/09/segas-house-of-the-dead-scarlet-dawn-headed-to-all-dave-busters-locations-this-fall/
veLogo
Characters
Kate GreenRyan TaylorThornheart
Enemies
Rogers • Allen • Santana • Bryant • Wilson • Kageo • Suzuki • Cyril • Park • Mac • Ebitan • Smoker • Simon • Bruce • BentleySamson • Samson Jr. • Rubin • Drake • Janish • MurrerDevilon • Ratstar
Bosses
ChariotHangedmanPriestessMoon
Chapters
Scarecrow Manor • Kate and Ryan • Homo Sapiens • Pandora's Box • A Glimmer of Hope