The Typing of the Dead 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.
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.
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Aaaaaaaaaaa it's so much fun! For one it's great feeling empowered by a skill that rarely gets to feel cool or flashy. Adding this kind of flair to typing is endlessly satisfying along with the gunshots on each key pressed.
The rail shooter underneath all this typing business is silly and overacted enough to be a great time, but the typing adds multiple extra layers which make it an absolutely wild experience. The game totally takes advantage of the disconnect between its rail shooter and typing game elements...while you're frantically hitting keys trying to keep up, what you're actually being prompted to type seeps in, but with no time for you to linger on it. Sometimes the words and phrases are complete nonsense and sometimes they're quotes, but it really shines when they're used to tell little stories between a few prompts. Sometimes it'll make fun of the player, saying if they finish typing that paragraph, they'll be alone for the rest of their lives, and sometimes it's strangely horny. When they aren't nonsense, the prompts are immature fun.
In addition, they do a great job of switching things up and making this more than just a test of typing speed. For instance, there are these quick thinking segments where you have to answer questions instead of just typing what's shown. The player has to constantly consider target priority throughout the game, which is probably what makes it still feel like a rail shooter at the end of the day. This was my biggest downfall, as I often started typing a sentence on an enemy in the back while several in the front would kick my ass. I love this shit.
First game played on my Thinkpad R52! :)
Insanely fun, but without enough effort to compensate for the difference in difficulty between typing and shooting (I finished in one try with credits to spare, while I'm not sure I'll ever see the ending of the original game). Mostly, it makes me think of how much I like House of the Dead 2, and notice what's missing here -- the risk/reward of saving civilians, the always legible enemy design allowing immediate enough understanding of their weak spots to allow careful aiming, and how much I miss these things while playing this. The third boss, who asks questions and requires you to type the correct answer from three choices, is a highlight, and an example of the type of gameplay modification this could've used more of.