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Civilians, also called survivors, are various random characters encountered in several The House of The Dead games who need rescuing from the zombies.
Civilians are found throughout the game in immediate danger of being killed by zombies, and the player must act quickly to rescue them before it's too late. If the player accidentally shoots a civilian themselves, they will lose one life. While most civilians will thank the player for rescuing them, some civilians will reward the player with a life bonus, and in the first two games of the series, could alter the path the player takes through the game. The player will also have an advantage of earning another life bonus depending on the amount of civilians rescued by the end of each chapter.
Survivors play a large role in the first two House of the Dead games. The survivors, as first featured in The House of the Dead were Curien's own researchers, and were encountered throughout
the first three chapters. Some, such as Sophie Richards, could not be saved in-game for story purposes. Civilians are featured again in The House of the Dead 2, now everyday citizens of Venice. The player encounters them while traversing the ancient city in the first four chapters. Civilians are also present in The Typing of the Dead. Zombie Revenge, a spin-off maintaining similarities found in the main series, features one civilian named Yoko, whose fate determines the ending seen in the game.
Civilians are not featured in the third and fourth game as during the events of these games, most of humanity is destroyed. They are featured again in Overkill, having similar roles like in the first and second installments.
- In The House of the Dead 3, due to the events of the game's storyline taking place after the fall of the EFI facility, there are no surviving civilians to be rescued. Hence, the game is interspersed with periodic life-or-death scenarios where the player must rescue their partner (either G or Lisa) from mutant hordes instead.
- they made a cameo in SEGA superstar tennis in the mission mode of the game where you need to kill zombies with tennis balls to clear the way for them so they can run to the other side in order to score points