In 1989, Capcom
published Sweet Home
; based on the movie of the same name
, this RPG
with Adventure Game
elements set the stage
for the Survival Horror
genre. The game often receives credit as one of the inspiring forces behind the original Resident Evil
— the game that ended up coining the genre's name — and potentially inspiring its English title (at one point in Sweet Home
, a character refers to the Mamiya mansion as a "house of residing evil").
The story of the game mirrors the film's: a five-person crew
ventures into the long-abandoned mansion of famed artist Mamiya Ichirou, intent on filming a documentary while trying to restore Mamiya's works. Upon entering the mansion, the group discovers that the ghost of Lady Mamiya, Ichirou's wife, haunts the place…and she does not intend to let the intruders escape with their lives. The crew must try to find a way out of the haunted mansion alive — and lay Lady Mamiya to rest once and for all in the process.
While the game never saw release outside of Japan
, you'll have no trouble tracking down its excellent Fan Translation
on the Internet.The Happy Video Game Nerd
reviewed this game; you can watch his review on RetrowareTV
Sweet Home contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Murder: Lady Mamiya accidentally killed her baby by turning on the furnace when he was playing inside it.
- Adaptation Distillation: The game arguably does a better job of conveying a horror atmosphere (what with the constant tension of not letting your characters die and the emphasis on teamwork to survive) than the movie it is based on. The film fleshes out the background for the actual characters, however.
- All There in the Manual: It seems weird that Asuka brought a vacuum cleaner to a haunted house — however, the film shows that she's a professional art restorer, and the vacuum is a precision item for cleaning neglected works of art.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: This happens to someone in the ending where Everybody Lives.
- Anyone Can Die: Rarely for a video game, no member of your party is safe. Take care of them!
- Apocalyptic Log: The frescoes. There are also the notes left behind by a previous group that never made it out of the mansion.
- Big Boo's Haunt: The mansion.
- Bittersweet Ending: The various endings obtained if anyone in your party died.
- Book Ends: If you saw the film first, you will know that the memorial tower erected by the sole survivor — yes, it is possible to finish the final boss battle with only one character alive at the end of it — is just like the one that Taguchi knocks over in the film, starting all of the horror in the process; it is also where you later get the Low Key.
- Boss Banter: The heroes and Lady Mamiya trade quips between hitting each other and using items to send her back to the netherworld. Mamiya's banter is actually vital to winning the battle.
- Clown-Car Grave: Supposedly, the zombies you fight are the remains of people who didn't survive a trip into the mansion. Given how many you fight, though... did someone lead an entire army in there, or what?
- Crusty Caretaker: There is one later in the game who blocks your path. He refuses to let you pass until his master Ichirou (who is dead) returns. You need two jewel items to relieve him of his post.
- Death Trap: Several, most of which appear as Random Encounters in appropriate areas that can take away HP if not dodged correctly. A couple are automatically triggered at certain points, however, and can be Instant Death Traps.
- Difficulty Spike: Although losing a party member won't stop you from completing the game, it will make the item puzzles more difficult as you have less carrying capacity.
- Door To Before
- Doppelgänger: They appear in the final area. Notably, the path to the Final Boss only requires you to fight Akiko, Taguchi and Asuka; Kazuo and Emi's doppelgangers are completely optional.
- Driven to Suicide: After Lady Mamiya was cornered by the townspeople when she was alive, she threw herself in the furnace that killed their children. Ichirou thought that that would stop the horror. He was wrong.
- Everybody Lives: In the game, this is the best ending.
- Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Aside from the zombies and what not, there are also dolls, walking armor, flying chairs, knives, and more that are trying to kill the protagonists.
- Face-Revealing Turn: Done by certain enemies who turn out to be Two-Faced monsters. Also happens in the ending where Everybody Lives.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: One of the QTE random encounters that needs to be dodged. Otherwise, you'll just take damage.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: See Really Dead Cutscene below.
- In perhaps the most infamous scene in the game and the movie, Yamamura's skin melts off, leaving only his skeleton behind. In the movie, even that collapses.
- Even though it happened before the events of the game/movie even take place, innocent children being burned alive is hardly family-friendly.
- Final Death: Any character that dies is dead for good. There's no way to revive a character who's been killed. This is the fate of Taguchi, Asuka, and Yamamura in the movie.
- Five-Man Band
- The Hero: Kazuo - The leader of the crew of five who are creating his documentary. Has the highest HP in the game and good defense, and uses the Lighter, which deals fire damage in battle and burns flammable objects while exploring.
- The Lancer: Asuka - An art restorer/reporter. Has low stats in battle and uses the Vacuum, which cleans dirty frescos and removes glass-shards on the floor while exploring. Serves The Lancer role more obviously in the movie, being uncooperative with the group at first.
- The Medic/The Smart Girl: Akiko - A nurse. Is the weakest character in battle, and uses a Medkit, which cures any bad status aliments.
- The Big Guy: Taguchi/Taro - The cameraman filming the documentary. Has the highest Defense in the game and good HP, and uses the Camera, which damages bats and ghosts in battle and reveals hints from frescoes while exploring.
- The Chick: Emi - Kazuo's daughter. Is the fastest character in battle, uses the Key to open locked doors while exploring. However, she is a bit of a Tomboy which shows when she is the only female character able to equip axes.
- Sixth Ranger: Yamamura - Introduced later in the game/movie and isn't trusted by Kazuo at first.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted, unlike in the movie.
- For Massive Damage: Many enemies take more damage if attacked with specific weapons or objects. While some combinations have a logic (like a camera flash on bats or ghosts and a mallet that shatters evil mirrors) some others are pretty obscure, like using a small lighter on hordes of bloodthirsty worms.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: The "Zombie" enemy, as well as Kazuo and Taguchi's death scenes.
- Haunted House
- Haunted House Historian
- Helpful Mook: Some enemies in the overworld will not attack you and will give you information.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Yamamura does this to unlock access to Lady Mamiya's room.
- Homicide Machines: The incinerator.
- I Drank What?: The fountain of blood. Nothing's stopping you from drinking it again and again, though.
- Indy Escape: An Instant Death Trap found early on, complicated by how the item that triggers the trap must be reached by laying down a series of rickety boards, which the player has already learned at this point will break after being walked over too many times or by too many party members. This means that your best bet is to send one member over alone, grab the item, and run like hell.
- Infant Immortality: Horribly subverted.
- Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Because heaven forbid your characters step over the broken glass on the floor or those freaky looking shadows on the ground, despite easily treading into harmful thorns, rushing water, blood/slime, squirming corpses, or even raging fires.
- Inventory Management Puzzle: Each character can only hold two items plus a weapon. Dropped items stay where they are forever, to be picked back up as needed, but the tricky part is remembering where you left everything.
- Each character also has a unique item (see Five-Man Band) that can't be given to anyone else. Replacements/counterparts for these items can be found so that the player won't be completely stuck after losing somebody, but these still take up one of your two item slots.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: To understand exactly what happened to Ichirou, you have to piece together the various bits of story from the frescos. Do so at your own risk.
- Let's Play: DeceasedCrab has one, which begins here.
- Lock and Key Puzzle: Both figurative and literal ones. The game did help inspire Resident Evil.
- Malevolent Architecture: Invoked by Lady Mamiya, as she's the one haunting the mansion, except for one specific part of the mansion: when the incinerator is located at the end of a hallway from the back door of the mother's room, you've got a messed-up house even without a ghost.
- Mama Bear: Both the game and movie show just how screwed up this trope can be. To wit: Lady Mamiya wants to make sure her dead baby has "playmates" in the next world, so she kills a bunch of other children in the same way her child was accidentally killed (being burned in an incinerator). When someone digs up her baby's corpse, she returns as a ghost, terrorizing her mansion and brutally killing anyone who comes near.
- Master of Unlocking: Emi, naturally.
- Mirror Monster
- Mook Bouncer: Some areas have wispy blue ghosts flying past you or chasing after you. If they touch an ally, they get taken to another area of the mansion.
- Some random encounters have an attack that is basically an even more annoying version of this, where the destination is not always the same.
- Mr. Exposition: Yamamura.
- Multiple Endings: There's five endings to the game, and each one is dependent on the number of party members still alive at the end of the game.
- Nintendo Hard: There are only twenty-one tonics in the game, and tonics are the only way to restore health points. Prayer points can only be restored through tonics, or one hidden late-game item. As stated several times before, if a character dies, they're not coming back. Oh, and the game has Random Encounters (i.e. potentially infinite enemies) to go along with those extremely limited supplies. However, if the player is careful, this will only be an issue near the start of the game. Even the strongest enemies can be defeated in 2 or 3 hits (the size of the average party) if the characters are at a decent level, and enemies always attack last.
- No Export for You: According to Nintendo Power, plans were actually made for a North American release of Sweet Home. Unfortunately, the game contained so much inappropriate content that it was completely impossible for anyone to tone it all down to an acceptable level in accordance to Nintendo's censorship policy.
- One-Winged Angel: Lady Mamiya. And it's a rather horrific one too.
- Plotline Death: Yamamura dies as part of the plot.
- Palette Swap: This applies to a couple of enemies(i.e. Man! and Madman, Wolf and Hound, etc.).
- Posthumous Character: Kenji, Etsuko, Shogo, Takashi, and all of the undead monsters.
- Puzzle Boss: At the end of the game, Lady Mamiya can only be defeated by using four special items in a certain order.
- Quicksand Sucks: Several sand traps are found in the dungeons. Anyone who falls in can be rescued with rope, but pulling off a successful rescue takes timing. Naturally, the Infinity+1 Sword is found at the bottom of one of these pits.
- Really Dead Cutscene: If one of the characters die, a short cutscene plays that drives home their death. Akiko, Asuka and Emi collapse into a spreading pool of blood, while Kazuo and Taguchi become Half The Man They Used To Be. Oh, and Yamamura melts.
- Say My Name
- Scare Chord
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Memorial Tower where Lady Mamiya's baby is entombed is the only thing stopping Mamiya from haunting the house and continuing to kidnap babies.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Taguchi, Asuka, and Yamamura all die in the movie, but Taguchi and Asuka survive the game in the "true" ending.
- Trope Maker: The game is the precursor to the Survival Horror genre that was popularized/codified almost a decade later by Resident Evil.
- True Companions: Invoked in the game. You will have to learn to depend on your other characters and not to leave them for dead.
- Universal Antidote: Akiko's Medkit can cure all of the various Standard Status Effects. This makes some sense with things like poison, but what kind of medkit includes everything needed to dispell curses?
- The Pills, which are a replacement for the Medkit if Akiko dies, also count.
- Unwinnable: You can't beat the entire game with only one character alive, although it is possible to defeat the final boss if you're knocked down to one during the final battle.
- In places where you need to use Wood twice to get to: if you used up all your Wood/didn't know the blue wood is long-lasting/didn't know you can pick wood back up...
- Also, getting certain characters killed and not having their replacement item acessible can trap you in certain situations. The most obvious example would be by losing Emi in the early parts of the game.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: A trippy, twisted pathway lined with doppelgangers of the five crew members.
- Was Once a Man: All of the undead enemies are the remains of people who didn't survive their trip to the mansion.