Video Game / Sweet Home

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Sweet Home is a hybrid of an RPG and an Adventure Game published by Capcom on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. Based on the movie of the same name, this game receives credit as the first game of the Survival Horror genre, one of the inspiring forces behind the original Resident Evil—the game that coined the genre's name.

The story of the game mirrors that of the film: A five-person film crew ventures into the long-abandoned mansion of famed artist Ichirō Mamiya, intent on filming a documentary while trying to restore his works. The group soon learns that the ghost of Lady Mamiya, Ichirō's wife, haunts the place—and she does not intend to let any intruders escape. The crew fights off monsters and dodges death traps as they search for a way to escape the mansion and exorcise the ghost of Lady Mamiya in the process.

Unlike many other RPGs of its era, Sweet Home has a permadeath system; thanks to a limited amount of item-carrying slots, losing even one party member makes finishing the adventure exponentially harder. This forces the player to conserve usage of limited items (especially healing items), keep all the party members alive, and use all of the crew's special items in tandem to survive.

This game has never seen a release outside of Japan, though an excellent Fan Translation can be found on the Internet.

The Happy Video Game Nerd reviewed this game; you can watch his review on RetrowareTV.


The video game version of Sweet Home includes the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Lady Mamiya accidentally killed her baby by turning on the furnace when he was playing inside it.
  • Achilles' Heel: Many enemies will take more damage if attacked with specific weapons or objects. While some combinations have a logic (e.g., a camera flash on bats or ghosts, a mallet that shatters evil mirrors), others are pretty obscure (e.g., using a small lighter on hordes of bloodthirsty worms).
  • Adaptation Distillation: The film fleshes out the background for the actual characters, but the game 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).
  • All There in the Manual: Asuka brings a vacuum cleaner to a haunted house. This may seem odd to people only familiar with the game, but the film shows that she is a professional art restorer and the vacuum is a precision item for cleaning neglected works of art.
    • Which makes it all the stranger that the player can use any old broom to do the same task.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: This happens to someone in the ending where Everybody Lives.
  • Anyone Can Die: Any of your party members can die. If they die, they are dead for good.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The frescoes count. There are also the notes left behind by a previous group that never made it out of the mansion.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: There are five main characters, but you can only have a maximum of three in a single party. All five characters can fight together in battle if you use the Call command, though.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The mansion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: This is what you get if you complete the game with at least one party member having died.
  • Book Ends: If you saw the film first, you would 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, which kickstarts 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: The zombies you fight are supposedly the remains of people who died during their own trip into the mansion. Given how many of these zombies the crew fights during the game, one has to wonder: Did someone lead an entire army in there?
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Yamamura's death has to qualify.
  • Crusty Caretaker: The crew encounters one later in the game. He refuses to let the crew pass until his master, Ichirō (who is dead), returns. You need two Jewel items to relieve him of his post.
  • Death Trap: The mansion has several of these, 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: Losing a party member does not necessarily stop you from completing the game…but it will make item puzzles far more difficult thanks to a shortage of item slots.
  • Door to Before
  • Doppelgänger: A group of these mimicking the crew appears in the final area. The path to the Final Boss only requires you to fight Akiko, Taguchi and Asuka, though—the Kazuo and Emi doppelgangers are an optional fight.
  • 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. Ichirō believed her death would stop the horror. He was wrong.
  • Early Game Hell: The mashup of Survival Horror-esque limited supplies and RPG-style Random Encounters gives the game a major case of Unstable Equilibrium. Once you gain enough experience to get over this very steep initial hump, the game becomes quite easy because your party is always given the first chance to attack.
  • Everybody Lives: This is the best ending, achieved by completing the game with all five party members still alive.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Aside from the zombies and other creatures, there are also dolls, walking suits of armor, flying chairs, knives, and other inanimate objects that are trying to kill the crew.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: This is done by certain enemies who turn out to be Two-Faced monsters. It also happens in the ending where Everybody Lives.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: This is one of the QTE random encounters that needs to be dodged if you want to avoid taking 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 story's events even take place, innocent children being burned alive is hardly family-friendly.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The last area where Lady Mayima is confronted takes place in a weird purple location, with branching paths crossing over each other repeatedly, filled with wisps that throw you out, evil doppelgangers, and haunting voices.
  • Final Death: Unlike most RPGs, there is no way to revive a dead party member in this title. In the movie, Taguchi, Asuka, and Yamamura all meet their deaths.
    • Furthermore, your game will be over if the entire party dies!
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Kazuo - He is the documentary's director and thus the leader of his crew. He has the highest HP in the game and good defense, and his Lighter deals fire damage in battle and burns flammable objects while exploring.
    • The Lancer: Asuka - An art restorer/reporter. She has low stats in battle and uses the Vacuum to clean dirty frescos and remove glass-shards on the floor while exploring. She serves The Lancer role more obviously in the movie.
    • The Medic/The Smart Girl: Akiko - A nurse. She is the weakest character in battle, and her Medkit cures any bad status aliments.
    • The Big Guy: Taguchi/Taro - The cameraman filming the documentary. He 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. She is the fastest character in battle and uses the Key to open locked doors while exploring. 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: Unlike the movie, this is averted.
  • Guide Dang It!: You have to make notes. And remember where you leave things, or find them. Because otherwise you're going to have a bad time.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The "Zombie" enemy, as well as the death scene displayed for Kazuo and Taguchi, both qualify.
  • Haunted House
  • Haunted House Historian
  • Helpful Mook: Some enemies in the overworld will not attack you; they will instead 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: There is an instant-death trap found early on in the game, complicated by how the item that triggers said 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 the best bet for beating the trap 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 and a weapon. Dropped items stay where they are, and you can pick them back up as needed. The tricky part lies in 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 Ichirō, you have to piece together the various bits of story from the frescos. Do so at your own risk.
  • Lazy Backup: Averted. The maximum size of a party is limited on the field, but all five characters can fight together in battle. The "Call" command has the engaged party call for help from the other party, which moves the second party into the battle so they can lend a hand.
  • Let's Play:
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: This game has both figurative and literal ones. It did help inspire Resident Evil, after all.
  • Malevolent Architecture: This is invoked by Lady Mamiya, who is haunting the mansion save for one specific part. When the incinerator is located at the end of a hallway from the back door of the mother's room, you have a messed-up house even without a ghost.
  • Mama Bear: Both the game and movie show just how screwed up this trope can be. Lady Mamiya wants to make sure her dead baby has "playmates" in the next world, so she kills a bunch of other children by burning them in an incinerator, matching the same way her child was accidentally killed. 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
  • Mirror Match: Assuming you have your whole team, you can have them beat the hell out of their “😈-(Name)” counterparts.
  • Mook Bouncer: Some areas have wispy blue ghosts flying past you or chasing after you. If they touch a party member, that person is taken to another area of the mansion.
    • Some random encounters have an attack that is basically a more annoying version of this, where the destination is not always the same.
  • Mr. Exposition: Yamamura.
  • Multiple Endings: There are five endings to the game; 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 either Tonics or one hidden late-game item. Oh, and the game has Random Encounters (i.e., potentially infinite enemies) to go along with those extremely limited supplies. But if a player is careful, this will only be an issue near the start of the game. Even the strongest enemies can be defeated in two or three hits (the size of the average party) if the characters are at a decent level, and enemies always attack last.
  • One-Winged Angel: Lady Mamiya is this. And a rather horrific one, too.
  • Plotline Death: Yamamura dies as part of the plot.
  • Posthumous Character: Kenji, Etsuko, Shogo, Takashi, and all of the undead monsters count.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Has a few, such as the Armor and Wisp enemies.
  • 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 a party member dies, a short cutscene plays that displays their death. Akiko, Asuka, and Emi collapse into a spreading pool of blood; 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 that acts as a tomb for Lady Mamiya's baby 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.
  • Underground Monkey: Several enemies have more powerful recolours in later portions of the game (e.g., Wisp and Bane, Hound and Wolf). One interesting variation is Ghoul, in which the more powerful version is not only slightly redrawn (i.e., missing an arm), but is also flipped upside down to make it look as if it is dropping down or hanging from the ceiling.
  • Trope Maker: The game is the precursor to the Survival Horror genre that was popularized and 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 cannot beat the entire game with only one character alive. It is possible to defeat the final boss if you are knocked down to one during the final battle, though.
    • There are places where you need to use Wood twice. 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...
    • Certain characters dying is not a problem. Not having their replacement item, however, can trap you in certain situations. The most obvious example would be in 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 into the mansion.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/SweetHome