Dr. Roy Curien (キュリアン 博士) is the main antagonist of The House of the Dead and The House of the Dead III. A renowned scientist, his obsessive research resulted in him threatening the world with his biologically-engineered creations.
Born into a noble family, Curien and his ailing son, Daniel, lived in a mansion. Hoping to find a cure, he conducted research on removing the barrier between life and death. His efforts were noticed by businessman Caleb Goldman, who funded Curien's "Bio-Reactor" project, established the DBR Corporation to avoid suspicion, and made Curien the research director.
Working in a research facility within his mansion, Curien's ambition earned him respect from fellow researchers. Among them was Sophie Richards, the fiancée of AMS agent Thomas Rogan; him and Curien met several times, as the AMS had secretly began monitoring Curien's activities.
Many researchers abandoned Curien because of his project's inhumane nature. This, coupled with his obsession with curing Daniel, drove him mad. Curien used his own personnel as test subjects, and on December 18th, 1998, unleashed his creations upon the DBR research staff.
Sophie left an urgent phone call to Rogan, who arrived at the mansion two days later with his partner, "G". The two infiltrated the mansion, battling hordes of Curien's creations, including the Chariot and the Hangedman. They finally encountered Curien in a cultivation dome, who complimented their efforts before escaping. Killing the Hermit, Rogan and "G" chased Curien into an underground laboratory.
Boasting that the AMS agents would never defeat him, Curien activated his "masterpiece", the Magician. However, the Magician did not recognize Curien as his master, and, refusing to take orders from him, fatally wounded Curien; in his dying breath, the doctor expressed confusion over his creation's loyalty. Rogan and "G" eventually defeated the Magician, ending Curien's plans. In subsequent games, the events would be referred to as the "1998 Curien Case" or the "Curien Mansion Incident".
In home releases of The House of the Dead 2 (including The Typing of the Dead), a flashback depicting the first game's events is shown before the normal attract mode. In it, Goldman is shown standing over Curien's body, hinting that he took Curien's research with him.
A second outbreak took place in Venice on February 26, 2000. It is revealed that Goldman had financially backed Curien's research – either as a partner or used Curien to further his own goals – making him the mastermind behind both incidents. While Goldman's plans were foiled with the defeat of the Emperor, he arranged a backup plan that would lead to the world's collapse in 2003.
In post-apocalyptic 2019, Rogan and a team of military commandos raid Curien's EFI Facility Center to find the source of the world's collapse; Death, one of Curien's creations, kills captain Dan Taylor and injures Rogan. Two weeks later, Rogan's daughter, Lisa, teams with "G" to find Rogan. Fighting hordes of grotesque creatures (including Death, the Fool, and the Sun) they finally reunite with Rogan, discovering that he was rescued by Curien's son, Daniel.
It is revealed that, after his death, Curien's body underwent a nineteen-year resurrection process; he is to be transformed into a powerful being, the Wheel of Fate. Cured of his terminal illness and disgusted with his father's crimes, Daniel teamed with Lisa to stop Curien and save humanity.
Identifying itself as Curien, the Wheel of Fate stated that it would "destroy [and] resurrect everything." Upon defeat, it claimed that the world was overpopulated, its collapse was what humans wanted, and pleaded for Daniel's forgiveness. Angrily refusing to recognize the being as his father, Daniel opened fire alongside Lisa and destroyed him.
No longer bound by the past and now looking toward the future – yet willing to carry the burden of Curien's crimes – Daniel bid his father farewell while leaving the EFI Facility Center. He stated that he wouldn't let his efforts for him go to waste, yet vowed to return if humanity needed it. Meanwhile, inside the lab where the Wheel of Fate was defeated, a mysterious man picked up the vial which Curien had showed Daniel years ago; the man remarked that Curien didn't appear to understand its "true purpose."
Between stages, flashbacks depict Curien and Daniel's relationship, as well as the former's decent into madness. At first, Curien is portrayed as a loving father who would step into "forbidden territory" to save his son's life. However, he becomes increasingly disillusioned by his researchers leaving him, even questioning the morality of his project. By the time Curien is able to manipulate life and death, he has gone insane.
During gameplay, portraits of Curien can be seen in the EFI Genome Ward in the beginning of the stage. Curien also appears as himself in the game's Time Attack mode, providing an analysis at the final results screen and commenting on the player's performance, the average kill time or kill distance.
Curien is depicted with contrasting personalities in the games that he is featured in. In The House of the Dead, he is as intelligent as he is mad, only concerned with the destruction of mankind and the Magician's completion. He guiltless and remorseless over his actions. Curien treats Rogan and "G"'s struggles as if they were nothing more like a game, and is so confident in his success that he barely considers the AMS agents a threat to his plans.
In The House of the Dead III, flashbacks depict Curien with much deeper and sympathetic intentions. He is portrayed as a loving father who would step into "forbidden territory" in order to save his son's life, and that his discoveries to control life and death were all for Daniel's sake. It was only after he discovered the genes that would change the future of humankind that he descended into complete madness. When he is shown in the present, resurrected as the Wheel of Fate, it bears very little resemblance to the father Daniel knew. When the Wheel pleaded to Daniel that he needed him, Daniel refused to recognize it as his father.
In the Time Attack mode of the game, Curien encourages the player to do better and compliments them on their performance, but expresses sympathy for his poor zombies.
- Dr. Curien's name is likely derived from that of acclaimed French physicist Hubert Curien.
- Dr. Curien was originally named as Dr. A in a early development of the original House of the Dead game.
- The same concept art was also used as a portrait of Dr. Curien in The House of the Dead III, as seen in the EFI Genome Ward.
- Dr. Curien's movie counterpart also appears in the House of the Dead 2 movie, addressed as Professor Curien, portrayed by Sid Haig. His son Rudy Curien appeared as one of the main characters of the first movie.
- Dr. Curien appears as the main antagonist in Loving Deads: The House of the Dead EX with a slightly different look where he commands his creatures to imprison Zobiko in the dungeon.
- Curien has heterochromia, as shown in the intro behind his glasses.