In addition to the generic populace of common infected zombies in the The House of the Dead series, there exists multiple archetypes of "special" enemies whose mutations grant them unique attacks posing a far greater threat than the ordinary opposition faction. Referred to as "bosses", they are generally undead creatures, though they are more mutated or technically formed than the standard creations encountered. They exist due to the experiments of Dr. Curien, and represent his attempts to push the boundaries of power that his monstrosities could wield. All are virtually impervious to conventional attacks, with the only method of damaging them being via one to several weak points unique for each boss, sometimes highlighted in the AMS files. Final bosses may not have a weak point indicated and players will have to find this themselves. Each is named after one of the Major Arcana tarot cards (with the dubious exception of House of the Dead: Overkill) and given a corresponding Type Number, Letter, alphabet or some combination of the three. While a high number of them are undead, not all are made from a human base (such as Lovers and Tower), hence they take many forms, from animals to plants and snakes to spiders. Generally speaking most possess low intelligence, with their mindset comparable to that of a guard dog, but a select few (such as Hangedman, Magician and Star) demonstrate high-level brain functions, seemingly capable of arranging and acting towards pre-arranged endgames.
Evolution of Mutation Edit
The first revelations of mutation occurred during the events in Overkill. The extent here wasn't as colossal as those created by Curien, Goldman and Thornheart but has proven to rewrite the biological anatomy of organisms to the point of being inhuman or otherworldly. These organism range from humans to animals and the creation of hybrid species. Since the mutagen was newly founded at the time and started progressive formulation, specimens under its alteration show numerous signs of physical abnormalities like protrusions from their flesh, increased skin and flesh thickness, heightened senses and others of the like. But apart from the usual changes, they have also possessed capabilities beyond our capacity such as levitation and telekinesis. This is evident when Jasper Guns injected himself with the formula and was granted abilities to float in mid-air and throw objects with his mind. Although these enhancements are impressively grotesque, it seems unstable mainly due to the formula's abandonment after the Cold War and perhaps, improper treatment of experimentation. This leads to not only receiving a repulsive appearance to its subjects but offering a disadvantage in the form of sensitive organs and body parts. Because of this, the AMS had responded by recording files and creating devices specifically in pinpointing the exact part of weakness.
Years later, the mutagen would continue its progression through the research of Dr. Curien but also having a major upgrade and overhaul from its base formula. These enhancements have more menacing features and complete alterations like artificial tissue and manipulating natural elements that can only be described as "supernatural". Specimens under Curien's creation and so forth were given titles from tarots cards of major arcanas depending on their purpose. These creatures have higher brain functionality as opposed to their earlier iterations. They can be seen holding weapons, equipped with armor and have the ability to use their vocal chords. Curiously, these mutations can be controlled by the orders of their masters. It is unknown if this was implanted during their incubation or were commanded after. Up to this day, it is also and still unknown of how Curien, Goldman and Thornheart had reached an advancement in all forms of science to achieve a devastating yet overwhelming modification, adaptation and metamorphosis of the natural law.
List of BossesEdit
The House of the Dead / MobileEdit
These Mutations arose as a result of the first experiments using the mutagen that created all the creatures. All of them (except Magician) served as guards to Curien's laboratory, with Hangedman being the only one with a slightly different purpose, which was to assure the death of anyone on the grounds, rather than lab defense from inside the house. These Mutations would form the basis for almost all subsequent Mutations, with Chariot and Hangedman directly serving as the templates for both creature components in the boss Judgment in The House of the Dead 2.
These Mutations were created by Goldman (utilising Curien's mutagen, with Magician being an almost exact replica of the original) to wreck havoc on the streets of Venice. Thus they were generously deployed throughout the city to sow unspecified chaos. Many of them claimed a particular territory for themselves, but were put down nonetheless one by one by the AMS agents. Magician personally oversaw the defense of the Goldman Building as its one-man bouncer. Strength was created and deployed solely as a suicidal gladiator against the AMS in the Coliseum, while Judgment, Hierophant, and Tower took over the various parts of the city (the streets, river canals and sewers respectively).
Goldman demonstrated his ability to repeatedly produce these creatures by resurrecting all of the fallen ones after the defeat of Strength, so as to challenge the AMS agents once again. However, having defeated them once before and thus being familiar with their weaknesses, the Mutations were once again put down by the AMS. Strength was never revived for undisclosed reasons, possibly due to lack in time between its first defeat and the agents storming DBR corporation. After Goldman witnessed the defeat of Emperor, he said that "a successor will come", and then committed suicide by throwing himself off the roof of his headquarters.
These mutations were left at the EFI research facility and they made home to particular areas. Death guards several areas as if it was still in operation, Sun has taken over the Bio-research plant while Fool recludes in the DBR institute awaiting prey. The Wheel of Fate was defeated in its incubation chamber, and intended to escape to the outside world.
These mutations were sent out across the city as per Goldman's plan. Similar to the first outbreak, Justice, the Lovers and Temperance were sent out across the city to wreck general havoc (the sewers, streets and other areas). Empress was sent to kill the AMS agents like Strength (chainsaw and all) while Star guarded the DBR building. The World was the checkmate piece, but fell without leaving the courtyard.
Unlike the previous games, Overkill's bosses aren't named after cards of the Major Arcana. This is likely because most bosses in previous games were based on Dr. Curien's experiments, while the creatures in Overkill were created before Curien's descent into madness.
These mutations are created or upgraded from the previous version by Thornheart, an associate of Curien and Goldman who shares their ideal and goal, and are unleashed upon the Scarecrow Mansion as part of his Noah's Ark project.
Main Series: The only remaining Tarot cards that have not shared their names with a boss in The House of the Dead series is The Devil (Tarot No. XV), and Minor Arcana.
- No. VII The Chariot (HotD 1)
- No. XII The Hangedman (HotD 1)
- No. IX The Hermit (HotD 1)
- No. VII The Chariot (HotD 1 *repeat fight*)
- No. XII The Hangedman (HotD 1 *repeat fight*)
- No. I The Magician (HotD 1 Final Boss)
- Zeal and Kuarl, No. XX Team Judgment (HotD 2)
- No. V The Hierophant (HotD 2)
- No. XVI The Tower (HotD 2)
- No. VIII Strength (HotD 2)
- Zeal and Kuarl, No. XX Team Judgment (HotD 2 *repeat fight*)
- No. V The Hierophant (HotD 2 *repeat fight*)
- No. I The Magician Version 2 (HotD 2)
- No. XVI The Tower (HotD 2 *repeat fight*)
- No. IV The Emperor (HotD 2)
- No. XI Justice (HotD 4)
- No. VI The Lovers (HotD 4)
- No. III The Empress (HotD 4)
- No. XIV Temperance (HotD 4)
- No. XVII The Star (HotD 4)
- No. XXI The World (HotD 4)
- No. XI Justice (HotD 4S)
- No. I The Magician Version 3 (HotD 4S)
- No. VII The Chariot Version 2/No. II The Priestess/No. XII The Hangedman Version 2 (HotD:SD Note: these bosses can be fought in any order the player chooses)
- No. XVIII The Moon (HotD:SD)
- No. XIII Death (HotD 3)
- No. XIII Death/No. 0 The Fool/No. XIX The Sun (HotD 3 Note: these bosses can be fought in any order the player chooses)
- No. X The Wheel of Fate (HotD 3)
- Jasper (HotD O)
- Coco and Sindy (HotD O:EC)
- Meat Katie (HotD O:EC)
- The Screamer (HotD O)
- Nigel and Sebastian (HotD O)
- The Crawler (HotD O)
- The Lobber (HotD O)
- Brutus (HotD O)
- Mother (HotD O)
- The names of the bosses (except those from Overkill) are named after Tarot cards.
- Although none of the bosses from the main series were based off the Devil (XV) tarot card, Magician and Moon do have hints of demonic imagery to them; Magician being a typical, horned, fire-wielding monstrosity comparable to a demon, while the Moon, initially appearing as a tree-like monster, grows a pair of glowing wings during later segments of its boss battle, much like Lucifer from the Bible is cited as a fallen angel.
- So far, only the first two games feature a rematch with bosses in toward the final stage(s).
- This is presumbly due to the fact that both Curien and Goldman have been long dead in the 3rd and 4th game respectively.
- Hermit and Strength are the only two bosses to not be fought in their debut games during the rematch battles near the end.
- Tower is the only revived/recreated boss to be weaker in the rematch battle, with the blue hydra lacking the ability to detach itself once the other four were defeated.
- Magician, Emperor, Wheel of Fate, and Temperance are the only Tarot bosses called by name.
- Magician is called by name in The House of the Dead 2 when playing alone as Gary, and by Dr. Curien in a flashback in The House of the Dead III.
- Emperor's name is mentioned numerous times by Magician, Goldman and later by the Emperor himself after his awakening.
- Wheel of Fate is called by name in The House of the Dead III by Dr. Curien and Daniel and the Mystery Man in The House of the Dead 4: Special.
- Though Temperance isn't called by name, in The House of the Dead 4 its name is referenced by James's line "Temper this, buddy!".
- So far, The Magician, Justice, Hangedman, and Chariot are the only bosses with multiple appearances in the main series.
- The Magician appeared as the final boss of The House of The Dead, the penultimate boss of The House of the Dead 2, a secret item in The House of the Dead III, and the final boss of The House of the Dead 4 Special.
- Justice appeared in The House of the Dead 4 and The House of the Dead 4 Special, both as the first boss of the game.
- Chariot appeared as the first boss in The House of the Dead, and again as the first boss in the upcoming entry The House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn.
- Hangedman appeared as the second boss in The House of the Dead and again as a boss in The House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn.