The Typing of the Dead

The Typing of the Dead (ザ・タイピング・オブ・ザ・デッド, Za Taipingu Obu Za Deddo) is an arcade game that was developed by WOW Entertainment and published by Sega for the NAOMI hardware. The game was released in Japanese arcades in 1999 and was ported to the Sega Dreamcast in 2001 by Smilebit. A Microsoft Windows version was released in 2000 and a PlayStation 2 port followed in 2004.

The Typing of the Dead is a modification of Sega's 1998 light gun arcade game The House of the Dead 2 in which the gun is replaced by a computer keyboard. The player takes the role of a secret agent in a zombie-infested Venice and must quickly type letters, words and phrases in order to kill fast-advancing enemies.

Despite falling under the criteria of "edutainment", the game was lauded by mainstream game critics for its humor, difficulty and originality. The PC version of The Typing of the Dead sold 120,000 units in 2003.

A PlayStation 2 port was called The Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic. This version was released in Japan in late December 2004 and was packaged with a USB keyboard. The game was mostly unchanged, although the Dreamcast backpacks were replaced with PlayStation 2 backpacks and new minigames were incorporated into the main story. A sequel, The Typing of the Dead 2, was released in Japan in 2007. English of the Dead, another revision of House of the Dead 2, was released as a language-learning game for the Nintendo DS in Japan in 2008. In 2012, an iOS remake was released entitled Flick of the Dead. Typing of the Dead: Overkill, based on The House of the Dead: Overkill, was released on Windows in October 2013.

The Typing of the Dead has been described variously as a remake or as a mod of the original The House of the Dead 2. It retains the original's first-person rail shooter style, but instead of shooting zombies and other enemies the player must type out words or phrases to kill them. The required word, sentence or phrase is displayed in a box that appears with the enemy. The phrases' length and complexity increase as the game progresses. Other features retained include the rescue challenges that alter the path the game takes to its final destination and the secrets and bonus items hidden throughout the game.

All levels contain specific challenge areas in which the player is required to kill a certain number of zombies in a limited time. These end with a boss battle that uses some altered form of usual gameplay, such as a long phrase or a question whose answer must be correctly typed. The console ports have "Original" and "Arcade" modes for the main storyline and "Tutorial," "Drill," and "Boss" modes for additional typing training. Most other changes are superficial, such as replacement of the weapons wielded by zombies with harmless items and equipping the AMS agents with keyboards attached to backpack Sega Dreamcasts with oversized batteries.

The plot of the game closely follows that of House of the Dead 2. The story begins on February 26, 2000, when several AMS agents have been dispatched to investigate a zombie outbreak in Venice, Italy. The player can control two characters, James and Gary, who are sent to find the original game's "G" and then tasked with restoring order. Responsibility for the outbreaks is soon traced to "Goldman," a banking tycoon and scientist who attempts to end human control of the earth. Much of the game revolves around destroying Goldman's creations, concluding with the final boss of "the Emperor." One of three possible humorous ending sequences occurs, depending on the answers given to the questions asked to defeat the Emperor.

There are three possible endings:

  • Explosion ending: The character defeats the Emperor, then sees Goldman committing suicide by falling off the building. An explosion is seen as Goldman hits the ground. This ending is achieved by typing honest answers to questions asked in the boss fight.
  • Bungee ending: This is similar to the first, but a bungee cord can be seen attached to Goldman's leg. Goldman returns to where he was and belches. This ending is achieved by typing a combination of honest and untruthful or strange answers to questions asked in the boss fight.
  • Superman ending: This is similar to the first, but as Goldman bids farewell to the narrator, he raises his hands and rises into the sky. This ending is achieved by typing untruthful answers to questions asked in the boss fight.

Tags: Video Games