Freaky Fridays: The Typing of the Dead

Listen, Typing of the Dead may be the best game ever.  It mixes equal parts comedy, terror, and usable life skills with rotting corpses.  Everyone knows the basic workings of the game; plug in the keyboard, type to kill zombies.  But did it elevate itself past the House of the Dead series and become the seminal zombie game of its generation?  Hit the jump to find out (spoilers: its involves typing)

Typing of the Dead is legitimately scary.  When the zombies creep closer and closer, the boxes around the words turning from yellow to flashing red, and they finally lunge at you just as you finish to type the “!” from “That a boy!”  Your adrenaline will be pumping.  Sometimes a zombie will swipe at you and your only half way through a word, but you’ll blow off his arm thus sparing your life.  That zombie isn’t done though; he’ll dive at you, biting at your throat until you finish the sentence.

You can shoot fun power ups and novelties throughout the game.  Molotov cocktails and extra lives are helpful getting through the game.  Others, such as diamonds and necklaces, are extra points used towards a better score.  But some are the craziest things ever.  There’s zombie mode, which makes the main characters zombies and makes the cut scenes even funnier.  The similar word power up can be useful in the sense that you know what will be coming next, like when you get Greek mythological creatures (kraken, Cyclops, Medusa, etc).    But once I got periodical elements and I got creamed.  Sure, zinc and argon aren’t that tough, but it was all bohrium and roentgenium and the like.   Holy cow, I cannot type all those u’s and m’s quickly.  But the best power up is Golden Hands, which makes any key the correct key to type.  Go ahead and mash that keyboard for ten seconds, rack up the perfects, and get a great score.

Saving people in this game is hard.  The only person I can constantly save is a man in a boat.  And all he does is say “thank you for rescuing me.”  What, no health bonus, not even a point boost?  When you do save other people, however, they can give you items or open new paths for you.  Let’s hope you have a quick draw though because you’ll only have one second to kill their stalkers before they become zombie chow.

In the options you can set the difficulty from Very Easy to Very Hard, but the really tough challenge comes from switching the word size from Normal to Large.  Instead of having to type “Room,” you’ll have to type “Roommates.”  Only the most badass typists can take this level.  I took a typing course in high school so I could get better at this game and I can barely make it past level 3.  For those of us less gifted, we can train in Drill Mode.

One of my favorite moments is when we meet G!  He’s near the beginning game telling you to hurry up and not to underestimate the enemy.  Who would underestimate an enemy that is destroying a city? Don’t let it be you.  And clearly he’s suffering because he’s holding his stomach.  Perhaps he’s eaten some bad thai food? In that case, Lord knows I’ve suffered like G did.

It's G! And he's suffering!!!

Not enough can be said about how funny some of the things you have to type are.  “Brain Douche,” “Girlie show,” and “Potato man” are genuinely goofy things to say, but just the context of having to type “Don’t blame yourself” or  “Is there a reason my stomach is queasy?” while a zombie attacks you put a smile on my face.   The zombies themselves are amusing as well.  Their designs straight out of House of the Dead 2 (not a bad thing), but such “enhancements” as spatulas and big rubber mallets are nice sight gags if you take the time to look.  However, you’ll probably get bitten if you do.  Some of the funniest bits come from the story telling.  Lines like a dead pan “My God” to “The city’s chaos is increasing” will make any party the happening place to be.   Lets hope you have a bouncer to keep out the frat pack and let in all the lovely ladies.

Bosses change the pace up by injecting limitations and new rules to the typing game play.  With Hierophant, you can only type when the chest plate is open, cutting off words and forcing you to restart your brain for the next opening.    Strength (yes, a boss is named Strength) chases you through a coliseum with a chainsaw as you have to type out a story, my favorite containing the lines, “I’m dating the head cheerleader, and I’m one of there best teachers.”   My favorite is Tower, a three-headed hydra that asks you a question, and then you have to pick and type an answer underneath one of the hydras heads.  You choose the wrong answer; your going to get bit my friend.  Boss battles are much tougher than the regular zombies and give you a grandiose feeling once beaten.

Easily the best part of the game is how anyone can play it.  If you can type, you can kill zombies.  People who hate videogames get down on Typing of the Dead.  Heck, my Mom loves it.  It’s a game that makes you want to type and get good at it.  And as most of us know, typing is an invaluable skill in the information age. This Halloween, if you have this game, bring it to a party.  I can’t guarantee you’ll get laid because of it, but if you pair it with a sweet costume (say Burt Reynolds from Striptease), it can only help. (ps don’t steal my Burt Reynolds from Striptease idea, that’s mine!)

What are your favorite lines from Typing of the Dead?  Favorite bosses? Any earth shattering moments from playing the game?  Type your thoughts in the comments below. Who knows, you may end up killing a zombie and saving a life, your own.

  • Manic Maverick

    Hahah, “ENORMOUS HAIR.” Amazing. XD

    I actually haven’t played this game before. Well, I think I played a bit in the arcades, but that’s it. I’d like to play more, however. I know I’d be good at it, since people hear my typing and think I’m flailing my hands over the keyboard. XD Although I guess typing speed is only half of the equation.

    So, “ENORMOUS HAIR” will always remind me of Typing of the Dead from here on out. Because “ENORMOUS HAIR” is hilarious.

    “ENORMOUS HAIR”.

  • This is actually especially “freaky” for me, because I just won this game in an auction and received it in the mail TODAY. AND IT’S SEALED!!

    I bought it mainly for a LAN party coming up, and I don’t doubt it will get the most play, and introduce the ladies to my exquisite typing skills.

  • Scotty, you are a lucky man. if you can get two keyboards, you will get all the ladies. You’ll have to use a broom to push back all the babes that will be throwing themselves at you.
    I know, because ITS HAPPENED TO ME!!!

  • Noisetank41

    The hydra boss was pretty awesome. I loved the Dreamcast backpacks that they wore with keyboards on front. Changing things like that just makes a ridiculous game like House of the Dead 2 even more ridiculous.

  • Manic Maverick

    “ENORMOUS HAIR.”


  • Alex Barbatsis:

    Scotty, you are a lucky man. if you can get two keyboards, you will get all the ladies. You’ll have to use a broom to push back all the babes that will be throwing themselves at you.
    I know, because ITS HAPPENED TO ME!!!

    LIVING PROOF! AMAZING.

    And I actually own 2 keyboards! Now I just need a BROOM!!

  • Manic Maverick

    “ENORMOUS…..HAIR.”

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