Hell Night Arcade
- Full Name: Hell Night
- Tech: M2
- Type: Shooting
- Developer: Konami
- Publisher: Konami
- Release Date: 1998
- Region: JP
Hell Night, also known as Evil Night in certain countries, is a horror-themed rail shooting game developed and published by Konami to arcades in 1998.
The story follows Henry Jones, Alicia Sevigny, and Joe Hamilton, three people who venture into a zombie and ghost-filled mansion to rescue their kidnapped friend Liv.
The game offers three-player cooperative play, with a shotgun and two pistols featuring charge-up bullets. There are also branching paths and multiple endings based on the player's performance.
Hell Night's design, presentation, and poor-quality voice acting have been compared to Sega's The House of the Dead rail shooter series. Like the other four Konami M2 arcade titles, Evil Night was never ported to consoles.
Three people — Henry Jones, Alicia Sevigny, and Joe Hamilton — search for their kidnapped friend Liv in an old mansion. They battle ghosts, zombies, giant snake, and a chainsaw-wielding butcher.
Depending on the routes taken, more backstory is implied. A journal reveals that a group of researchers or archeologists discovered an ancient ruin beneath the mansion; they sought discovering a certain room's purpose. Henry, Alicia, and Joe also find medieval paintings of Liv.
In a library, Alicia finds a mysterious black book. Discovering an underground passage to the catacombs, the group battles a ball and chain-wielding zombie and a giant lizard-like creature.
Henry, Alicia, and Joe reach an underground ruin, where a demonic creature threatens them. They later find Liv being held captive in the graveyard. The creature — a descendant of Liv — plans to use her in order to achieve immortality. He transforms into a flying horned beast. After her friends defeat him, Liv uses the book Alicia found to destroy him with a spell.
Depending on the player's performance and how many items they have collected, the ending will differ. There are currently three known endings:
- Normal: Henry, Joe, and Alicia reunite with Liv, who, while leaving, looks over her shoulder as the cemetery gate closes. The camera cuts to the foot of the previously-defeated final boss stepping into the ground, implying that he survived.
- Good: While reuniting with her friends, Liv accidentally drops a spell book, which sets the mansion ablaze. Before the credits roll, Liv narrates: "After that day, we never heard that voice again." This ending is achieved by collecting the third hidden key.
- Bad: As they reunite with Liv, the final boss transforms the protagonists into zombies. Liv, who appears to be in a demonic trance, returns to the slab in the cemetery where she was restrained.
Hell Night's gameplay is similar to The House of the Dead. Players battle approaching enemies with light guns, with the camera traveling a predefined path. If damaged, a player loses one life; when all of their lives are gone, the game is over. Lives can be restored by collecting first aid kits.
The biggest difference is that Hell Night supports up to three players at once. Players 1 and 3 use handguns, which hold six bullets and must be reloaded by shooting outside the screen. Furthermore, pointing the gun's muzzle up charges a strong "penetration bullet" that can kill multiple enemies in one shot. Player 2 wields a pump-action shotgun, which boasts four high-damaging bullets and widespread range.
Hell Night is divided into five levels, called chapters. The first four levels are non-linear, with branching paths taken based on the player's decisions. At the start of Chapter 1, one of three paths may be selected. Other paths are influenced by shooting locked doors or gates are shot, or collecting hidden silver, bronze, and gold keys.
In addition to the keys, there are two collectable books that add to the story. Hell Night has multiple endings which are based on the player's performance and the items they've collected.
1. Unforgettable Night
Three cops enter the Mansion of Death to find their missing friend Liv. They must then travel the house to look for clues of their friend's disappearance and fight the terrors that lurk this accursed place.
- Course A
- Course B
- Course C
- Male Zombie
- Female Zombie
- Chainsaw Zombie
- Hedge Clipper Zombie
- Limbless Zombie
- Torso Zombie (Course C only)
- Giant Eye (Course A only)
2. The Gateway to the Hell
- Giant Snake (miniboss; encountered twice).
- Underpass Zombie
3. The Ruler of the Darkness
4. The Voice
- Hammer Zombie
- Cleaver Zombie
- Cult Worshipper Zombie
- Hedge Clipper Zombie
- Water Zombie
- It is the only chapter that has no boss; instead, the players face a swarm of Ghosts in a volcanic core.
5. The Horror
Ascending from the Ruins, the three cops now find themselves in the battle against the Ruler of the Darkness himself, who attempts to force Liv into performing an ancient ritual that would grant him immortality.
It is up to the cops to save Liv from this primary evil and his minions from the underworld.
- Knife Zombie
- Male Zombie (Variant 3)
- Cleaver Zombie
- Devil (second form)
Fans have compared Hekk Night with The House of the Dead. Some have named it "a decent The House of the Dead copy." Its gameplay has been praised, though its voice acting has been criticized for being cheesy and out-of-place, similar to SEGA's The House of the Dead 2. On GameFAQs, the game has a rating of 4/5 stars based on three reviews, in which the most recent review was written on April 30, 2014.
Because of the Konami M2's notoriety for hardware failures, Hell Night has disappeared from most arcades as of 2017. However, as of 2019 the game is playable on the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME).
Notably, two arcades in the Philippines and Indonesia removed the game in 2010 and 2013-2014, respectively. Four locations in the U.S. State of Illinois are currently listed on Aurcade, though most have since closed. Reportedly, the Japan Game Museum (located in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture), has a playable Hell Night cabinet.
Despite this, Hell Night still has its fans who fondly remember playing the game in their youth. A low-key online movement was started in 2017 to remove the game from its current obscurity; a TV Tropes page and an unofficial Facebook page have been created.
The full soundtrack was first obtained in mid-2017 and was uploaded on YouTube in December 2017.
- The game is known as Hell Night in Japan, sharing the same title with a survival horror game for the Sony PlayStation released by Konami in 2000--no doubt confusing players in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Some consider Hell Night to be the spiritual successor to Crypt Killer, another three-player light gun game by Konami that was released two years prior; the Player 2 shotgun is similar, and the runes stage is very reminiscent of Crypt Killer's ancient-themed levels. Henry Jones, the player 1 character, is likely a reference to the Japanese title of Crypt Killer, which is Henry Explorers.
- Hell Night has always been compared to The House of the Dead series of light-gun games. Coincidentally, Hell Night and The House of the Dead 2 were both released in 1998, with some considering it to be a "mockbuster" of the latter.
- The players enter a dilapidated mansion and fight the monsters within it.
- The players have to rescue a woman just like in the original The House of the Dead.
- The final boss resembles the Magician in its first form. During its second form, it attacks using fireballs similar to how the Magician utilize pyrokinetics to attack the players.
- The Bad ending has players turning into zombies, just like how Sophie Richards turned into a zombie in the bad ending of The House of the Dead.
- The first full playthrough of Hell Night was posted in YouTube by the end of May 2012. It only consisted of Course C. In April 2017, roughly 5 years later, a walkthrough on Course A and B was done. This followed with the first known footage of the Good Ending and the Name Entry screen.
- Unknowingly, there was an Hell Night walkthrough already posted in a Japanese video-sharing website. It was recently discovered in July 2017 and posted the first known footage of the Bad Ending.
- The same Japanese video-sharing website has a solo shotgun walkthrough.
- A full captured card walkthrough was uploaded in November 2018 followed by a full shotgun walkthrough in May-June 2019.