The House of the Dead is a series of coin-op and home video games from Sega. You can recognise it in the arcades – It’s a tall cabinet with a large screen. There are two plastic guns tethered to the cabinet: one is blue. The other is pink. The colours of the guns corespond to the colours of the bullet holes that appear on the screen.

In the game, two FBI agents must blast their way through 6 zombie-infested levels. Each agent has a pistol that must be re-loaded after eight shots by shooting outside of the screen. Players must clear each level of baddies efficiently, attempting to save as many human lives as possible on their way.

Zombies attempt to charge at the players. The best way of stopping them is with a head-shot. It will take more bullets to “kill” them if you shoot them in the body or arms. Enemies come in about ten varieties, from chainsaw freaks, to knife throwers and even zombie owls.

This series is famous for it’s relentless shooting action. After a ten-minute game your trigger finger will hurt. It’s also well known for an appalling translation (from Japanese) and really-bad voice acting. Whilst not as memorable as “All your base are belong to us”; after a few games the voices get on my nerves.

The House of the Dead parts 1 and 2 still remain popular machines in arcades round the world. The House of the Dead 1 was re-released for the ill-fated Sega Saturn. Years later, The House of the Dead 2 was released as a launch title for the Sega Dreamcast.

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