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The Typing of the Dead

The Typing of the Dead
The Typing of the Dead Box Art (original Japanese Dreamcast)

Japanese Dreamcast cover art

Developer(s) WOW Entertainment
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Masamitsu Shiino
Producer(s) Rikiya Nakagawa
Shun Arai
Composer(s) Tetsuya Kawauchi
Platform(s) Arcade, Dreamcast, Windows, PlayStation 2, iOS
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP 1999 (1999)
  • JP March 30, 2000
  • NA January 23, 2001
  • JP December 7, 2000
  • NA September 23, 2001
PlayStation 2
  • JP December 22, 2004
May 10, 2012
Genre(s) Survival horror, educational
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

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 Windows version was released in 2000 and a PlayStation 2 port followed in 2004.[1]

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.[2]

Despite falling under the criteria of "edutainment", the game was lauded by mainstream game critics for its humor, difficulty and originality.[2][3] The PC version of The Typing of the Dead sold 120,000 units in 2003.[4]

A Sony PlayStation 2 port was called 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, although the Dreamcast backpacks were replaced with PS2 backpacks and new minigames were incorporated into the main story.[5][6] A sequel, The Typing of the Dead 2, was released exclusively 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.[7] In 2012, an iOS remake was released entitled Flick of the Dead.[8] Typing of the Dead: Overkill, based on The House of the Dead: Overkill, was released on Microsoft Windows in October 2013.


  • Gameplay 1
  • Plot 2
  • Endings 3
  • Credits 4
  • Releases 5
  • Reception 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


A screen in which the player must type the names of flowers to kill zombies

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.[9][10] 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.[3]

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.[10] The console ports have "Original" and "Arcade" modes for the main storyline and "Tutorial," "Drill," and "Boss" modes for additional typing training.[2] 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.[2]


The plot of the game closely follows that of House of the Dead 2.[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.[11] 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.[12]


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.


A player who types out the entire credits is rewarded with a dancing zombie that breaks out from a test tube. All of the zombies are freed if the player types the full credits with no mistakes. The dancing zombies will then be shown from various angles.


An original arcade cabinet of the game

The Typing of the Dead was originally released for arcades in Japan in 1999 with a special cabinet equipped with dual QWERTY keyboards.[10][13] The game was one of the first developments by Smilebit, a team of Sega developers that had recently spun off as a new company.[14]

The first home console release was for the Japanese Sega Dreamcast market on March 30, 2000. The North American release took place the following January.[15] A PC port was produced by Empire Interactive and released in September 2001.[16] A second PC release, Typing of the Dead 2003, featuring support for higher resolution and a "Kid's mode" featuring a new character with Japanese voice acting, was released in Japan only; several other Japanese-exclusive PC versions followed. The original PC version was made available on GameTap in October 2007.[17]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (DC) 82.76%[18]
(PC) 70.67%[19]
Metacritic (DC) 83/100[20]
(PC) 75/100[21]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame (PC) [22]
(DC) [23]
Edge 7/10[24]
EGM 7.5/10[25]
Eurogamer 8/10[26]
Game Informer 9/10[27]
GamePro [28]
Game Revolution B[29]
GameSpot (DC) 8.7/10[30]
(PC) 7.5/10[31]
GameSpy (DC) 8/10[9]
(PC) 78%[32]
GameZone 8/10[33]
IGN (DC) 9/10[2][3]
(PC) 8/10[34]
PC Gamer (US) 69%[35]

The Typing of the Dead was regarded overall by critics as an enjoyable game. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 82.76% and 83 out of 100 for the Dreamcast version,[18][20] and 70.67% and 75 out of 100 for the PC version.[19][21]

Famitsu gave the Dreamcast version of the game a score of 35 out of 40.[36] Reviewers appreciated the absurdist humor of the game's format, especially in the unusual phrases the game generates during later levels.[3][9][10] The sub-par voice acting of the original House of the Dead 2 was considered to enhance this aspect of the game.[9][30][31]

The quality of the graphics was criticized to varying degrees, as they had not been updated from the original House of the Dead 2 arcade version.[31][37] PC World was so unimpressed with the game's premise that they listed it as a runner up on a "Top Ten Worst Games" list.[38]

Game Informer has named the game the weirdest of all time.[39]


  1. ^ "Typing of the Dead: Arcade Data". Arcade Museum. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Chau, Anthony (2001-01-23). "Typing of the Dead (DC)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gantayat, Anoop (2000-04-24). "The Typing of the Dead (Import) (DC)".  
  4. ^ "Consolidated Financial Results for the Year ended March 31, 2003" (PDF).  
  5. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2004-09-17). "Typing of the Dead to PS2". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  6. ^ Torres, Ricardo (2004-09-24). "The Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic Hands-On".  
  7. ^ Fletcher, J.C. (2008-02-06). "Learn English like G did". DS Fanboy. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  8. ^ Spencer (May 9, 2012). "Text Or Die! Typing Of The Dead Gets iOS Remake". Siliconera. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d zerothreat (2001-02-20). "The Typing of the Dead".  
  10. ^ a b c d "The Typing of the Dead". Just Games Retro. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  11. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (1999-09-08). "House of the Dead 2 (DC)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  12. ^ "The Typing of the Dead FAQ". Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  13. ^ "Typing of the Dead". Killer List of Videogames. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Smilebit Games". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  15. ^ Kollin, Mike (2000-03-28). "Sega Keys In Some More Typing Of The Dead Information". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  16. ^ Walker, Trey (2001-09-24). "Typing of the Dead now available".  
  17. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2007-09-19). "GameTap gets Typing of the Dead in October".  
  18. ^ a b "The Typing of the Dead for Dreamcast".  
  19. ^ a b "The Typing of the Dead for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  20. ^ a b "The Typing of the Dead Critic Reviews for Dreamcast".  
  21. ^ a b "The Typing of the Dead Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  22. ^ Knight, Kyle. "The Typing of the Dead (PC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  23. ^ Frankle, Gavin. "The Typing of the Dead (DC) - Overview".  
  24. ^ Edge staff (January 2001). "Typing of the Dead".  
  25. ^ EGM Staff (March 2001). "The Typing of the Dead (DC)".  
  26. ^ Taylor, Martin (2001-02-15). "Typing of the Dead Review (PC)".  
  27. ^ "The Typing of the Dead (DC)".  
  28. ^ Dan Elektro (2001-01-26). "The Typing of the Dead Review for Dreamcast on".  
  29. ^ Liu, Johnny (February 2001). "Typing of The Dead Review (DC)".  
  30. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (2000-04-11). "The Typing of the Dead Review (DC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  31. ^ a b c Park, Andrew (2001-10-09). "The Typing of the Dead Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  32. ^ Bub, Andrew S. (October 2001). "The Typing of the Dead (PC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2004-09-09. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  33. ^ Bedigian, Louis (2001-10-09). "Typing of the Dead Review - PC".  
  34. ^ Sulic, Ivan (2001-10-04). "Typing of the Dead (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  35. ^ Kuo, Li C. (2001-12-25). "The Typing of the Dead".  
  36. ^ "ドリームキャスト - THE TYPING OF THE DEAD".  
  37. ^ Bock, Dave. "Typing of the Dead". Monsters At Play. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  38. ^ Townsend, Ermu (2006-10-23). "The 10 Worst Games of All Time (Page 7)".  
  39. ^ "The Top 10 Weirdest Games of All Time," Game Informer 180 (April 2008): 28.

External links

  • The Typing of the Dead at MobyGames
  • manualThe Typing of the Dead
  • Audio Atrocities - Voice Acting samples
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