The Typing of the Dead (original Japanese title ザ・タイピング・オブ・ザ・デッド) is an arcade game (later ported to the Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 2), released in 1999 based on The House of the Dead 2. While the latter is a standard light gun shooter, Typing replaces the gun with the keyboard.
While the game is an educational game, as it requires players to enhance their typing skills to be successful, it has been praised by critics primarily for its comedic content.
The Typing of the Dead has been described variously as a remake or mod of the original House of the Dead 2. Like the original, Typing of the Dead is styled as a first-person rail shooter game, but substitutes shooting zombies and other enemies with typing out words or phrases to kill them. When enemies appear, they are accompanied by a box showing a word, sentence or phrase which must be typed to neutralize the enemy. The length, and complexity, of the phrases increase during the game's progression. Other features retained include the challenges of saving survivors, which will alter the path the player character will take to his final destination, and the secrets/bonus items hidden throughout the game.
All levels contain specific challenge areas, where the player is required to kill a certain number of zombies in limited time, and are ended with a boss battle using some sort of alteration of usual gameplay (e.g. a long phrase, typing the correct answer to a question etc.) The console ports have two modes, "Original" and "Arcade," for the main storyline, as well as "Tutorial," "Drill," and "Boss" modes for additional typing training. Other changes are mostly superficial, including replacing the weapons wielded by zombies with harmless items and equipping the AMS agents with keyboards attached to backpack Dreamcasts with oversized batteries, and one of the bosses, The Tower, has three heads instead of five heads.
The plot of the game follows that of House of the Dead 2 almost completely. The story begins on February 26, 2000, where another zombie outbreak has occurred and several AMS agents have been dispatched to investigate. The player can control two characters, James and Gary, who are first sent to find the original game's "G" before being tasked with restoring order. Responsibility for the outbreaks is soon traced to "Goldman," a banking tycoon and scientist who is attempting 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." There are three possible humorous ending sequences, dependent on how the final questions asked to defeat the Emperor were answered.
The Typing of the Dead was first released for arcades in Japan in 1999 with a special arcade cabinet equipped with dual QWERTY keyboards. The game was one of the first developments by Smilebit, a developer team from Sega which had recently spun off as a new company.
The first home console release was made for the Japanese Dreamcast market on March 30, 2000. The North American release was made the following year in January. A PC port was produced by Empire Interactive, and released in September 2001.
The most recent port of the game was for the PlayStation 2, titled The Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic. This version was released exclusively in Japan in late December 2004, and was packaged with a USB keyboard. The game was mostly unchanged, disappointing observers hoping for an update of the graphics, although the Dreamcast backpacks were replaced with PS2 backpacks and new "minigames" were incorporated into the main story.
A sequel game, The Typing of the Dead II, was released in arcades in 2007. This version was a revision of The House of the Dead III, and has only been released in Japan as of 2008. Sega has also announced production of English of the Dead, another revision of House of the Dead 2 for the Nintendo DS, designed as a language-learning game.
Overall, The Typing of the Dead was well received by critics as being an enjoyable game. Reviewers appreciated the absurdist humor that the game's format created, especially in the unusual phrases the game generates during later levels. The sub-par voice acting of the original House of the Dead 2 was also considered to add to this aspect of the game.
One area of the game which was generally criticized, to varying degrees, was the quality of the graphics, which had not been updated from the original House of the Dead 2 's arcade version. PC World was so unimpressed with the game's premise they listed it as a runner up on a "Top Ten Worst Games" list.
Game Informer has named the game the weirdest game of all time.
ScrewAttack really enjoyed the game and dubbed it the 9th best Dreamcast game on their website and Gametrailers. They liked it so much that they are now making an iPod game paying homage to it called: "Texting of the bread" involving a girl with a minigun fighting Gingerbread cookies with milk bullets. The girl will be voiced by ScrewAttack personality Corey Pettit, also known as "Maixfent Corey."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Typing of the Dead. Planet Dreamcast. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2008-03-09
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Typing of the Dead. Just Games Retro. Retrieved on 2008-03-09
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "The Typing of the Dead (Import)". IGN. 2000-04-24. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/163/163515p1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Typing of the Dead". IGN. 2001-01-23. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/165/165674p1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ "House of the Dead 2". IGN. 1999-09-08. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/160/160956p1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ James: What the hell's going on in this city? / Harry: Don't know...but it's very similar to the 1998 Curien case.[...]James, go and prevent the confusion in the city. (The Typing of the Dead, Sega / Smilebit, 2001.)
- ↑ Harry: Well, the 1998 Curien case...guess who was behind it. It was Goldman. He's the head one of the most eminent financial group and an expert on the Geonome theory. We have to stop him. (The Typing of the Dead, Sega / Smilebit, 2001.)
- ↑ James: Goldman! Do you know what you're doing?! / Goldman: I'm fully aware of what I'm doing. Can't you see? Man committed a sin...disturbing the life cycle of nature...the original sin that man is responsible to...to protect the life cycle...I have made a creature to rule over mankind. (The Typing of the Dead, Sega / Smilebit, 2001.)
- ↑ The Typing of the Dead FAQ. passagen.se. Retrieved on 2008-03-08
- ↑ Typing of the Dead. Killer List of Videogames. Retrieved on 2008-03-09
- ↑ Smilebit. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-03-09
- ↑ "Sega Keys In Some More Typing Of The Dead Information". IGN. 2000. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/077/077192p1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
- ↑ Walker, Trey (2001-09-24). "Typing of the Dead now available". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/puzzle/typingofthedead/news.html?sid=2814312&om_act=convert&om_clk=newsfeatures&tag=newsfeatures;title;2. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Gantayat, Anoop (2004-09-17). "Typing of the Dead to PS2". IGN. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/548/548886p1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Torres, Ricardo (2004-09-24). "The Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic Hands-On". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/thetypingofthedeadzombiepanic/news.html?sid=6108585&om_act=convert&om_clk=gsupdates&tag=updates;title;2. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Sliwinski, Alexander (2007-09-19). "GameTap gets Typing of the Dead in October". Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2007/09/19/gametap-gets-typing-of-the-dead-in-october/. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Sliwinski, Alexander (2007-04-22). "Typing away the dead with words ... again". Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2007/04/22/typing-away-the-dead-with-words-again/. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ The Typing of the Dead II. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-03-09
- ↑ Fletcher, J.C. (2008-02-06). "Learn English like G did". DS Fanboy. http://www.dsfanboy.com/2008/02/06/learn-english-like-g-did/. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Park, Andrew (2001-10-09). "The Typing of the Dead (PC)". Gamestop. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/puzzle/typingofthedead/review.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Gerstmann, Jeff (2000-04-11). "The Typing of the Dead (Dreamcast)". Gamestop. http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/puzzle/typingofthedead/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=tabs&tag=tabs;reviews. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Bock, Dave. "Typing of the Dead". Monsters At Play. http://games.monstersatplay.com/review/dreamcast/typing_of_the_dead.php. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- ↑ Townsend, Ermu (2006-10-23). "The 10 Worst Games of All Time". PC World. http://www.pcworld.com/printable/article/id,127579/printable.html. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- ↑ "The Top 10 Weirdest Games of All Time," Game Informer 180 (April 2008): 28.
- site for the PlayStation 2 port (Japanese)
- 'The Typing of the Dead' at MobyGames
- The Typing of the Dead manual
- Audio Atrocities - Voice Acting samples