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Sweet Home is a survival horror role-playing game developed and published by Capcom for the Famicom in 1989. It is based on the Japanese horror film of the same name and tells the story of a team of five filmmakers exploring an old mansion in search of precious frescos hidden there. As they explore the mysterious mansion, they encounter hostile ghosts and other supernatural enemies. The player must navigate the intricately laid out mansion, battling with the enemies and keeping the player characters alive with the limited weapons and health restorative items available.

Gameplay

Sweet Home is a role-playing game set within a mansion that has a cohesive, intricate layout. There are five playable characters who can venture solo or explore in teams of two or three. The player can switch between characters and parties at any time. The five characters each have a unique item that is necessary to complete the game: a camera, lighter, medical kit, lockpick, and vacuum cleaner. Along with these items are others that can be picked up and dropped anywhere and retrieved later by other characters.

Sweet Home places an emphasis on puzzle-solving, item inventory management, and survival. The player must backtrack to previous locations in order to solve puzzles using items acquired later in the game. In this sense, the interconnected mansion is gradually explored in the style of Metroidvania games. Enemies are encountered randomly and the player must fight or run away through menu-based combat. The battles are presented in a first-person perspective, and there are a variety of enemies, including zombies, ghosts and dolls. The only way to restore health is through tonics scattered across rooms in the mansion.

The story is told through cinematic cutscenes and through optional notes such as secret messages and diary entries of past visitors scattered across the mansion, which also provide clues for solving puzzles. The game also features quick time events when the player comes across a trap that requires a quick decision to be made, or else be killed. When a character dies, they remain dead permanently for the remainder of the game. Items that serve the same purpose as the dead character can be found near their corpse. For example, should the team nurse Akiko die, the team may find pill bottles which can be used to heal ailments. Depending on how many characters remain alive after the defeat of the final boss, there are a total of five different endings the player may receive.

Plot

The story is based on that of the 1989 film of the same name, but the writers took some liberties and expanded on the film's plot. Thirty years prior to the story in 1959, famous artist Ichirō Mamiya hid several precious frescos in his huge mansion before he mysteriously disappeared. In the present day, a team of five documentary filmmakers seek to recover the paintings from the abandoned, dilapidated mansion. Upon entering, they are trapped inside by the ghost of an unknown woman, who threatens to kill all trespassers. The team decides to split up and find a way out, but the mansion is both in danger of collapsing and is occupied by countless monsters.

The team find a projection room, where they find a projector that displays an image of a couple and their baby burning. They discover that the ghost is that of Lady Mamiya, Ichirō's wife. It is revealed that thirty years previously, Mamiya's two-year-old son had fallen in the house's incinerator and was burnt alive, and Mamiya attempted to provide playmates for her son by killing several other children. She committed suicide shortly after and her ghost, unable to forgive herself, became trapped in the mansion. The team arrives in the main chamber and confronts Mamiya in a final battle.

Reception

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