Sweet Home (スウィートホーム Suito Hōmu) is an RPG horror game developed and produced by Capcom, released only in Japan for the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1989. Famed director Juzo Itami served as producer. It was produced to coincide with the (now obscure) Japanese horror movie of the same name that it is based on, and the film's trailer also advertises the game. Sweet Home was also supervised by the film's director Kiyoshi Kurosawa and is a forerunner of Capcom's Resident Evil horror game series.
The game received a lot of praise from critics, and it is considered not only one of the best Japanese RPG games but also one of the best games released on the Famicom/NES.
The game features randomly encountered battles which the controlled character or party of characters must fight or run away from. When a character dies, a death animation depicting him or her is shown and he or she cannot be revived throughout the remainder of the game; furthermore, the game will be over if all five characters die. The five characters have a specific skill that is necessary to complete the game, although items that serve the same purpose can be found if one of the characters dies. For example, should Akiko (the team's nurse) die, the team may find pill bottles which can be used to heal ailments. If all five characters remain alive after the defeat of the final boss, the player will receive the best ending.
Thirty years prior to the story, 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 filmers 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 discovers 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.
The game is stated as being a major inspiration for the Resident Evil games, and is widely believed to be the prototypical survival horror game (although the term did not come into popular use until after the release of the original Resident Evil years later).
Though it is a role-playing video game, Sweet Home served as the main inspiration for the seminal survival horror game Resident Evil, which was originally intended to be a remake of Sweet Home.
The first Resident Evil borrowed many elements from Sweet Home: the mansion setting; the puzzles; the item inventory management and limited inventory; the emphasis on survival; the "door" loading screen; the use of scattered notes as storytelling mechanics; multiple endings depending on how many characters survive; backtracking to previous locations in order to solve puzzles later on; the use of save rooms to store items when the player's inventory is full; the use of death animations; dual character paths; individual character items such as a lockpick or lighter; story told through frescos; and brutally horrific imagery.
Producer: Juzo Itami
Planner: Hatchan, Tomo
Character: Step.M, Fish Man, Takepong, Linda, Bandy, Bambi Sakasa, Hamao Hamamura
Programmer: M30, Twilight
Scenario: ©Probit, Hatchan
Special Thanks: Arthur King
Supervisor: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Presented by: Capcom