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Ghosts 'N Goblins is a sideways scrolling action platformer spread over six levels, each of which must be completed within three minutes (or a life is lost), taking in forest, village, mountain and cavern settings with increasing difficulty.

Arthur the brave knight must rescue his beloved Princess from the Demon King Astaroth and his forces - amongst them are the various undead (ghosts, zombies), bats, ogres and goblins. Other challenges include moving platforms, ladders and water/fire hazards.

The player can walk left and right, jump, and is also equipped with a lance to use as a weapon. Getting hit by enemies causes Arthur to lose his armor and run around in his underpants, getting hit again will cause the player to lose a life. As in most games in this genre, the player can pick up power-ups such as daggers and bombs during the course of the game, giving the player greater firepower.


Ghosts 'N Goblins NES A haunted forest
Ghosts 'N Goblins Commodore 64 Title screen 2
Ghosts 'N Goblins ZX Spectrum In forest.
Ghosts 'N Goblins NES The bridge across lava; there is a powerful cross weapon here

Alternate Titles

  • "魔界村" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Makai-mura" -- Japanese title
  • "Ghosts & Goblins" -- Alternate spelling
  • "Ghost 'N Goblins" -- NES European title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The legendary difficulty of this title is balanced by great gameplay NES J. P. Gray (111)
Rescue your beloved from the legions of hell Amiga *Katakis* (38149)
Quite O.K. port for the Amstrad CPC. Kinda too hard and cut off though.. Amstrad CPC Optimus (80)

Critic Reviews

Zzap! Commodore 64 Sep, 1986 97 out of 100 97
Eurogamer.net (UK) Arcade Oct 25, 2007 9 out of 10 90
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sep, 1986 9 out of 10 90
Zero NES Jan, 1990 89 out of 100 89
The Next Level Game Boy Color Apr 29, 2000 B+ 83
Amiga Format Amiga Aug, 1990 80 out of 100 80
GamingEvolution Game Boy Advance 2004 8 out of 10 80
Mag'64 Wii Oct 28, 2012 7 out of 10 70
Power Play Atari ST Aug, 1990 61 out of 100 61
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Jul, 1990 4.6 out of 12 38


Topic # Posts Last Post
Wonderswan version should be split 2 Terok Nor (21952)
Nov 30, 2012
C16 port - split entry? 1 Rola (7745)
Aug 23, 2012


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Ghosts 'n Goblins appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Atari ST MIDI music

The Atari ST version has a special trick. The developers programmed the MIDI interface to play the game music. If you hook a MIDI synthesizer to the ST, the game music will play over your MIDI device.

Commodore 16 version

The C16 port is even shorter than the C64 version, as it features only the two first levels, with simplified gameplay (one weapon, less enemy types). There's no music and no title screen picture.

Spectrum version

The Spectrum version does not load on Spanish +2A or +3 models, as their ROM mapping is slightly different from the UK models. An unofficial patch is available however.


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #68 “Readers' Top 100”
  • Commodore Format
    • March 1991 (Issue 6) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
  • Happy Computer
    • 1986 - Runner-up as Action Game of the Year
    • Issue 04/1987 - #5 Best Game in 1986 (Readers' Vote)
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #39 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Phil King)

Related Web Sites

  • The Ghoul Realm (Fansite dedicated to the history of and information about Ghosts 'N' Goblins.)
Contributed to by Quapil (4721), Rola (7745), Michael Cassidy (16479), CrankyStorming (2757), 666gonzo666 (53804), Kartanym (10734), Sciere (361072), Kabushi (155178), Martin Smith (62998), Freeman (23407), gamewarrior (5060), Satoshi Kunsai (1807), faceless (388), *Katakis* (38149) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58393)