Ghosts 'N Goblins

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Arcade cabinet (Taito version).

Ghosts 'N Goblins is a Gothic fantasy-themed platform shooter video game developed and published by Capcom originally for the arcade on 1985-09-19 as the first game in the Ghosts 'N Goblins series. As it is a pioneer in the genre, the game became quite popular and was ported to about a dozen other platforms. In Ghosts 'N Goblins, you control Arthur who must rescue princess Prin Prin who has been kidnapped by demons. The NES port was made by Micronics who made a faithful conversion, which is a shame because, shortly after its release, Capcom discovered it's far better to retool their arcade games to better suit home platforms.

I learned about Ghosts 'N Goblins because of its inclusion in The Official Nintendo Player's Guide, but I never played the game in its heyday, not in the arcade or on home consoles. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't spend any money on it because it is so obscenely difficult it would only cause me frustration. I have tried my skill at the arcade and NES ports of this game a couple of times, but I always get frustrated and give up. The game has never been that important to me personally, however, I do have to give the game credit for being so influential, both to platform shooters and Gothic fantasy.

Status

I own this game for the NES, but I have not beat any version.

Review

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4 4 6 6 3 46%

Best Version: Arcade

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • For 1985, the game has really good graphics and sound.
  • I like the Gothic fantasy theme.
  • Though it has many faults, this is one of the first platform shooters, and it pioneered a lot of elements of the genre.
  • Having Arthur's armor shatter to reveal his boxers underneath is a good gag, and the death animation is great.
  • The NES port thankfully gives you unlimited continues.

Bad

  • Being able to only take two hits before dying is not nearly enough for such a difficult game. This could be forgiven if the game was more liberal in rewarding replacement armor, but it's stingy.
  • The weapons are not very evenly matched. The dagger is objectively better than the lance, and the torch and axe are pretty awful.
  • Most ground-based enemies are allowed to walk through solid walls, which hurts the immersion.
  • The game has terrible engrish.
  • The NES port is pretty buggy.

Ugly

  • The game is stupid difficult; partly because enemies move way too fast, suffer very little knock back, and attack at odd angles, partly because the player is slow and unresponsive. Even on it's easiest setting, the game is very hard, and, if you're good enough to beat it, it unlocks harder modes which are even more ridiculous!
  • Punishing players for keeping the best weapon in the game to the final level by sending them back two levels is very mean.
  • Requiring players to beat the game twice in order to see the proper ending is cruel.
  • The home computer ports are especially terrible, and some of them cut out large portions of the game.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Graphics

Screenshots

Fan Art

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Ghosts 'N Goblins
Japanese 魔界村 Makai Mura Demon World Village

Links

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