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"There is nowhere to hide. They just won't stay dead."
―Tagline

The House of the Dead III (ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド III) is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed by WOW Entertainment (formerly SEGA AM1) and released by SEGA to arcades in 2002. It is the sequel to The House of the Dead 2, and the third game overall in the House of the Dead series.

Set in a post-apocalyptic 2019, the game follows AMS agent Thomas Rogan's disappearance, and his daughter Lisa and former partner "G"'s journey to find him.

The House of the Dead III received generally positive reviews. A spin-off and several console ports were produced. A follow-up and prequel to the game, The House of the Dead 4, was released in 2005.

Plot

In a post-apocalyptic 2019, retired AMS agent Thomas Rogan and his team of military commandos raid the EFI Research Facility for the source of humanity's downfall. Death, a behemoth in a security guard uniform, kills team captain Dan Taylor and injures Rogan, who is approached by an unknown figure. Contact with him is lost.

Two weeks later, on October 31st, Rogan's 19-year-old daughter Lisa and former partner "G" arrive at the EFI building to search for him. They fight biologically-engineered creatures, including the Fool, a deformed sloth; the mutant plant-like Sun; and Death twice. Along the way, Lisa muses about her and her mother's estranged relationship with Rogan.
Daniel Curien 1st Flashback

A flashback depicting Dr. Roy Curien and his son, Daniel.

Flashbacks depict geneticist Dr. Roy Curien, the perpetrator of the 1998 Curien Mansion incident, in his pursuit to cure his terminally-ill son Daniel.[1] While successful, Curien went mad after his research team abandoned him, producing the Magician and the Wheel of Fate to "change the future."[2][3][4]

Lisa and "G" reunite with Rogan, whose savior was Daniel. While "G" cares for Rogan, Lisa and Daniel fight to the Wheel of Fate's laboratory. Daniel reveals that the Wheel of Fate is his father, whose body has undergone a 19-year resurrection process; he prematurely wakes it through hacking. The Wheel of Fate seeks mankind's destruction and resurrection. Upon defeat, he laments world overpopulation and begs for his son's forgiveness; Daniel, refusing to recognize the creature as his father, destroys him with Lisa.

While leaving the EFI building, Rogan and "G" discuss the uncertain future. Rogan is optimistic, stating that it is up to the next generation "to believe in themselves, and walk their own paths."

Endings

Depending on the player's performance and routes taken, one of four endings is shown.

  1. Outside, Daniel pauses to face the EFI building and bid his father farewell. Swearing to not let his father's efforts go to waste, Daniel promises to return if "[humans] go down the wrong path again." He and Lisa then leave.
  2. Daniel loses the will to move on and acts erratically. His voice turns deep and monstrous, and a close-up of his face reveals that he has become a creature. Lisa screams in the background.
  3. Lisa sees her car drive away, yet Rogan and "G" are behind her. It is revealed that a creature is behind the wheel. Lisa and Daniel give pursuit, with the former shouting "Hey, that's my car you slimy bastards! Say your prayers!" (The arcade version changes the first line to "Let's keep after him!")
  4. An unknown man in a business suit (revealed in House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn to be DBR Corporation member Thornheart), limps through the Wheel of Fate's laboratory to retrieve Daniel's genes. He mutters, "It appears that he [Curien] didn't understand its true purpose," and laughs.

New Features

The House of the Dead III brought a lot of new features to the series, including.

  • An End of Level Ranking System
  • A total of four endings
  • A standard weapon that is not a pistol
  • Being prompted to choose your own path
  • Bosses now have an additional attack bar that must be depleted to disrupt their attacks, as opposed to hitting them in their weak spot once.
  • Civilians are no longer present, but certain instances require the player to save their partners (accidentally shooting their partner in those instances does not result in any penalty)
  • A Time Attack mode, where Dr. Curien would give his analysis of the player's performance
  • The Wii version adds the ability to use the gun as a melee attack to block enemy blows, but must be reloaded after every use.
  • In some versions of the game, reloading occurs automatically, no longer requiring the player to shoot off-screen.

Chapters & Bosses

Except for the first and the last boss (Death and Wheel of Fate respectively), others can be selected by going through different selectable floors in the facility in game.

  • Chapter 0: Reminiscence (Boss: none)
  • Chapter 1: Chasing Shadows (Boss: Death)
  • Chapter 2: Bewilderment (Boss: Sun or Fool or Death)
  • Chapter 3: Sensory Chaos (Boss: Sun or Fool or Death)
  • Chapter 4: Ultimate Challenge (Boss: Sun or Fool or Death)
  • Chapter 5: Wheel of Fate (Boss: Wheel of Fate)

The Typing of the Dead II

The Typing of the Dead II is an education game and the sequel to 2001's The Typing of the Dead. While the first game was a reworked version of The House of the Dead 2, replacing the light guns with keyboards but otherwise retaining the same graphics and story, The Typing of the Dead II uses The House of the Dead III as a basis. Characters now wield keyboards shaped like shotguns, and once again wear a battery back with a Dreamcast on their backs. The game was released in arcades in 2007 and ported to the PC in the following year, but only saw a Japanese release.

Prototype

The House of the Dead III- Early Prototype Trailer

The House of the Dead III- Early Prototype Trailer

Trivia

  • During the game's early stages of development, screenshots that were released revealed that the game originally had a completely different art style than what is seen in the final game. The game originally utilized a colorful cel-shaded visual style that was popularized by Sega's own Jet Set Radio, in contrast to the previous titles that had a more realistic look and darker tone. The colorful look was later dropped and the final game looked more in tune with the previous titles, although some of the more colorful elements are retained. An official reason for dropping the new look was not given, but it is widely believed that it was due to negative fan feedback. It's also believed it was due to accusations made that the cel-shaded look was used as a gimmick to draw in more sales, or that the developers realized the new colorful art style would clash with what had already been established in the series in terms of its themes, mood and tone. Some screenshots of the game in the cel-shaded style indicate it may have pursued the XBox release in mind.
  • In the same stages of early development, the game was originally marketed with as "The House of the Dead 3" as opposed to "The House of the Dead III".
  • The new Attack Bar seen during boss battles, in which players must shoot their weakpoint multiple times and deplete it completely in order to disrupt their attacks, is a mechanic that was taken from 2000's Vampire Night, a light-gun arcade shooter co-developed by Sega's Wow Entertainment and Namco. Vampire Night shares enough similarities to The House of the Dead 2 that some considered it a spiritual successor or worthy spin-off prior to HOTD3's announcement.
  • Speaking of Vampire Night, the "Reload" voice clip from that game is reused in this game.
  • The original XBox port included a 13-minute preview at the then-upcoming House of the Dead film, including a behind-the-scenes look with input from director Uwe Boll.
  • The XBox version also included a port of the PC version of The House of the Dead 2. When selecting to play it, a unique mini-game would play in which players would time-travel in an elevator from 2019 to 2000, which would occasionally stop for players to shoot zombies and unlock extra content to use in HOTD2's Original Mode. This would be retained in the Wii Compilation.
  • This was the last game where Rikiya Nakagawa served as a producer before stepping down as the head of Sega's Wow Entertainment division. Nakagawa was the producer behind several titles developed by AM1, including the previous two House of the Dead installments, The Typing of the Dead, and Zombie Revenge. Seen as the face of the HOTD series at the time, it was also reported that both he and Peter Moore (the CEO of Sega of America at the time) made cameo appearances in the House of the Dead film as zombies.

References

  1. The House of the Dead III - First flashback
  2. The House of the Dead III - Second flashback
  3. The House of the Dead III - Third flashback
  4. The House of the Dead III - Fourth flashback

veTHoTD III logo
Characters
Lisa Rogan"G"Thomas RoganDr. Roy CurienDaniel CurienThornheartDan Taylor
Enemies
CraigFentonWaylonKageoEuniceEbitanTyroneFredericCharlesHoraceAztecaRaymondCainJulieJodiPikoMorrisHughMickeyJohnnyMurrerMokinDevilonRogan CommandosYukio
Bosses
DeathFoolSunWheel of Fate
Chapters
ReminiscenceChasing ShadowsBewildermentSensory ChaosUltimate ChallengeWheel of Fate