"The portal to carnage is about to open again..."

The House of the Dead 2 (ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド 2 Za hausu Obu za deddo 2?) is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed by SEGA AM1 (now WOW Entertainment) and released by SEGA to arcades in 1998. It is the sequel to The House of the Dead, and the second game overall in the House of the Dead series.

Set almost two years after the original game, The House of the Dead 2 follows AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart as they are dispatched to a creature-infested Venice, Italy.

The game was praised for various improvements over the original, but has been criticized for its voice acting. The House of the Dead 2 has received multiple console ports and spin-offs. A sequel, The House of the Dead III, was released in 2002.


On February 26th, 2000, AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart investigate an outbreak of vicious creatures in Venice, Italy. James and Gary meet their injured partner "G", who provides them his field journal of creature weak points.

James and Gary rescue civilians and defeat Judgment, consisting of the armored giant Kuarl and the imp-like Zeal, and the aquatic Hierophant. During a rendezvous with partners Amy Crystal and Harry Harris, the latter reveals that Caleb Goldman, CEO of the DBR Corporation, masterminded the 1998 Curien Mansion incident; Goldman funded the late Dr. Roy Curien's research, which he then used for Venice's outbreak.

In a phone message, Goldman invites the agents to meet him at the Roman Colosseum; they hesitantly accept and split up. James and Gary enter through the sewers, battling the Hydra-like Tower, while Amy and Harry directly enter the Colosseum. After losing contact with them, James and Gary fight into the Colosseum to rescue Amy and an injured Harry from the chainsaw-wielding Strength.

James and Gary drive Harry's car to Goldman's headquarters, in the process fighting a revived Judgement, Hierophant, Magician, and Tower. The agents confront Goldman, who claims that he wants to protect the life cycle from mankind. He awakens the Emperor, a creature intended to be humanity's ruler. After the Emperor's defeat, Goldman warns that "a successor will come". He then commits suicide by throwing himself off the roof of his building.

While unsure if their actions were correct, James and Gary vow to keep fighting.


One of three endings plays at the end of the credits. This is determined by the following:

  • If a solo game was finished as either player 1 or 2
  • If both players defeated the last boss
  • Number of continues
  • Points earned

Normal ending: Amy, Harry, "G", and a group of civilians appear outside of Goldman's headquarters. thanking the player(s).

Bad ending: An undead Goldman appears outside; James and Gary exclaim his name. The screen fades to white as a gunshot is heard.

Good ending: AMS agent Thomas Rogan appears at the entrance to Goldman's headquarters. He reveals that Amy and Harry are safe, and says "On we go, to our next battle". This prompts replies from either James ("As long as we have the will to live") or Gary ("As long as there is an answer").


Depending on the version of the game (Arcade, Xbox, PC, Dreamcast, or Wii), there are a variety of gameplay modes available.

Arcade Mode

Arcade mode is the standard mode of play. It features one or two players playing through the game normally without any bonuses. Each player's gun holds only 6 bullets per round. However, unlike the arcade game, the player is able to set the number of lives and continues on the options screen. This varies from the arcade, where each player's life value depends on what the operator set it to.

Original Mode

Original mode is similar to Arcade mode, except that it allows a player to use 2 bonus items prior to starting the game. These items have a wide variety of uses, including ones which make the game easier in some way (more continues, more lives), score enhancements (double points), or other random bonuses (costumes, alternate weapons). These bonuses can be collected throughout gameplay in Original Mode by shooting hidden items....

Training Mode

Training mode consists of 10 training stages which feature various situations that must be cleared in order to pass. Each training stage has different levels of difficulty.

Boss Mode

Boss mode allows the player to play a time attack on the game's various boss fights. Each boss must have appeared during normal gameplay (either Arcade or Original mode) before it appears in this mode. For bosses which have 2 forms (Hierophant, Tower, Strength), both are unlocked upon meeting either through normal gameplay. Once all the bosses have been unlocked, there is also a full time attack which allows the player to fight through the succession of all the bosses at once. For each choice, the time is recorded and stored on the records screen. You need to beat each boss 6 times by getting 5 gold stars next to each boss icon to face the Emperor.


The options screen gives the player various controls over game settings such as lives, continues, blood color, volume control, etc.


  • Although the game takes place in Italy, the cars used by the agents (Chapter 1 and 5) as well as the undead creatures (Chapter 5) appear to be a right-hand drive type (driver on the right), which is evident in cars in England as well as British-manufactured cars. All cars in Italy are left-hand drive type (driver on the left)
  • In The House of the Dead 2, in the final corridor to Goldman's office, as you exit the corridor you move to the left. In The House of the Dead 4, you turn RIGHT to get to Goldman's office.
  • In The House of the Dead 2, the elevator stops at the 50th floor which is the DBR's incubation laboratory and Goldman's office is accessed through a set of stairs still on the same floor. In The House of the Dead 4, the elevator stops at the 49th floor which is the Japanese corridor and Goldman's office is accessed through a set of stairs going up one floor.
  • The First part of the game takes place in Venice (North-East Italy) and then the playable characters rush to the Colosseum (Rome, Centre-West Italy). In real life there are something like 500 Kilometers between the two areas, but in the game it seems like it took them a few minutes to reach the ancient stadium from Venice.


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Arcade Version

The House of the Dead 2 has been released on Arcade, PC, Dreamcast, Xbox (as unlockable content in The House of the Dead 3) and Wii.

Chapters & Bosses

There are a total of 6 chapters (levels) in House of the Dead 2. Each chapter has a boss character who is fought at the end of the chapter. Some later chapters feature reappearances of bosses from earlier levels.



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