Dead Ritual

Dead Ritual is a homebrew game for the N64 by Team Half An Octopus and released on 30 Oct 2022 for the 2022 64brew Game jam. It’s a first person shooter where you walk through a forest and town shooting zombies. Classic!

You can download the ROM from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password residentritual or see the source code on Github and download from Drive.

Dead Ritual style and gameplay

Style & setting

Dead Ritual is a 3D first person shooter style of game, the first of its kind (that I know of) in the Nintendo 64 homebrew scene. It has a zombie theme to it, which is kind of reminiscent of game like Left 4 Dead or Zombie Army Trilogy.

The training area is what looks like a dark forest or swamp at night time, but the main game takes place in a city.


The training area is what it says on the tin: a training area in which you can get used to the controls and get some target practice gunning down some zombies with the pistol, shotgun and assault rifle.

The main game takes place in a city. The city streets are devoid of zombies but there are a few weapons scattered around. At first it’s not entirely clear, but the buildings have doors which you can enter for the second part of the game.

The interior areas are where the action takes place. Indoors you can find some interconnected square rooms crawling with zombies. Well, there’s about 10-15 of them.

The walls are all white so it’s kind of hard to tell which room you’re in, so just go exploring till you find some zombies. The objective is simple: gun them down till none remain. Be careful though – they like to appear behind you without warning!


The controls are a bit odd for someone who is used to playing FPS game on the Nintendo 64. Here is how the controls differ between this game and Rareware/Iguana FPS games:

ButtonRarewareIguanaDead Ritual
Control stickMoveAimMove
C buttonsAimMoveAim
A ButtonChange weaponChange weaponOpen door
B buttonReload/interactChange weaponChange weapon
Z triggerShootShootShoot
R buttonScope aimScope aimReload

It takes a while to get used to. I kept on changing weapons when I wanted to reload, and reloading when I wanted a more precise aim.


There are four weapons available in Dead Ritual.

The pistol is the classic basic weapon. It has infinite ammo but a small magazine and low damage output.

The shotgun shoots slow but kills zombies in one shot in a wide area. Boom!

The assault rifle shoots as fast as a pistol and does the same damage, but has a large bullet capacity.

The sub machine gun (SMG/Uzi) does low damage but shoots very quickly.

‘Spooky’ theme

This one is kind of obvious, but zombies are fairly spooky. This is the only game in the 2022 game jam which tries to go for a bit more of a mature horror setting.


Dead ritual was made by Team Half An Octopus, which consists of:

Conclusion and review

The first first-person homebrew game I’ve seen on the Nintendo 64 was Wizard of the Board, but Dead Ritual is the first one to be an actual first-person shooter in the traditional sense.

The game controls fairly well, the movement feels like a real N64 game like Turok, but with a bit of leeway so that you don’t need very precise aim to make a hit.

The gameplay is simple and blasting zombies is a lot of fun. However, the lack of objective makes it short-lived. It could have been fun to go to different houses and shoot zombies, or just stay in the indoors area and shoot respawning zombies until you die for a high score.

There isn’t much audio in the game which makes it hard to have awareness of when a zombie is creeping up behind you. Not to mention that they can walk through walls so you never really feel safe. Though since this is a survival horror, maybe that’s by design.

Team Half An Octopus have said that they’d continue working on Dead Ritual after the conclusion of the game jam. As of writing this post, they’ve carried on making amends to the code for a month after the jam ended, so I’m looking forward to see what they come up with.

Articles across the web

Dead Ritual is a FPS homebrew game for the N64 made by Team Half An Octopus where you explore a city overrun by zombies.
Article published on N64 Squid


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