Ghouls 'N Ghosts

aka: Daimakaimura, Ghouls 'N' Ghosts
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Description official descriptions

Three years have passed since Arthur defeated the Demon King Astaroth and rescued his beloved Princess Prin-Prin (see Ghosts 'N Goblins). A new villain, the Great Demon King Lucifer (Loki in some versions) has become the new leader of Ghoul Realm. While returning from a journey, Arthur sees the Princess' castle and her village under attack by Lucifer's forces. While rushing towards her beloved knight, the Princess is struck by one of Lucifer's laser beams.

Now, Arthur must venture back to the Lucifer's palace and destroy the demon in order to rescue the Princess' soul and bring her back to life! And it won't matter whether he fights in his shining armor or in his underwear alone...the bravest Knight in the land isn't going to be stopped by some monsters! Although the game starts with graveyard and marsh territory familiar from the first game, later levels are set in a tower, a mass of skeletons, and a castle.

Players progress from left to right (from bottom to top in level 3), and have to hack down the aforementioned monsters with a sword. The journey includes ledges, ladders, lava pits and slippery slopes. Different weapons can be collected, by finding suits of armor inside chests. Each of the five stages has its own setting and a final boss.

In comparison to the first installment, gameplay was tweaked and some additions were made. Arthur can now fire vertically and is able to collect weaponry from fallen enemies. The landscape is littered with a number of treasure chests that erupt out of scenery, some of which are hidden and has to be found by way of a well-timed jump in a certain place. The treasure chest can be opened with projectiles resulting in one of three occurrences: the reward of a new weapon, some shiny new golden armour or a hostile wizard who turns the player into the old man or a duck. The golden armour gives Arthur a chargeable "super" attack which varied depending on the currently possessed weapon. These attacks range from a huge lightning bolt that cut a swathe both vertically and horizontally across the screen, to a spell that creates a mirror-like clone of Arthur, effectively doubling his attack power.


  • 大魔界村 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

7 People

Game Designer
Sound Composer (uncredited)



Average score: 83% (based on 60 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 125 ratings with 4 reviews)

The original flagship of the Sega Genesis.

The Good
Back in the day this was the greatest game around (the day being sometime in 1989). It was a great translation of the arcade without too many compromises or losses. Ghouls was the new standard in the side scrolling platform game. It controlled great, had a variety of weapons, and was extremely challenging. At the time the next best thing was Legendary Axe on the ill-fated Turbo Graphics 16.

Ghouls was actually better as a home console game than an arcade game because it was so immensely challenging that you needed to be able to play for a long time to get the tactics right. Unlike many arcade games of the day, most people hadn't gotten very far in this one in the arcade so when they bought the cartridge they were still likely to have a lot of the game left to explore.

This game also pushed the Genesis color display to the edge and you wouldn't have known that it could only display 64 colors at a time. This was true of most of the early Genesis games, but not of most of the titles released after 1990, which tended to be washed-out looking.

The Bad
In some places the control was quite unforgiving. Especially, for a pre-teenager or a child. Only an adult mind could really get the timing down on a lot of the jumps and strategies you needed to use to get farther than the first 3 levels of the game.

The game was also exactly the same length as the arcade game and could have used a few more levels. Unfortunately, at the time it was pushing the limits for how much memory a cart could use. It was a 5 or 6 megabit game when most games were 1 or 2 megabit.

The Genesis motorolla 68000 processor was not capable of duplicating the Capcom CPS1 games such as Ghouls'N Ghosts (especially not at under 8 megabits). However, Sega still managed to pull off some amazing translations with Ghouls'N'Ghosts, Strider, Forgotten Worlds, and later Street Fighter 2 and Final Fight. However, when I played these titles I was keenly aware that they were graphically inferior to the arcade (with the exception of Strider).

The Bottom Line
Its a great game that can be a little too frustrating for younger players. Ghosts'N Goblins, Super Ghouls'N Ghosts, and Demon's Crest will also interest fans of this title. If you want the original arcade it is available on the Playstation 2 in the "Capcom Classics Collection".

Genesis · by Majestic Lizard (670) · 2006

The greatest series just got better

The Good
Capcom made some great games back in the Eighties, and Ghosts 'n Goblins (魔界村) was no exception. It was an excellent platform game known for its high difficulty. It was also ported to the popular platforms of the day, with the Amiga version being closer to the arcades, as much as it could. It was a huge success that Capcom delivered a sequel three years later running on their CPS-1 hardware and featuring the same mechanics that made the original great while adding new features.

In Ghouls 'n Ghosts (大魔界村), you play as the legendary knight Arthur once again who had a lot of trouble rescuing Princess Prin-Prin in the last game. Three years later, he finds that he must rescue her again. This is done by going through six areas, battling monsters and unlocking gates at the end of each one by defeating a guardian who holds the key to the next area. Once you complete all six areas, you are jettisoned back to area one where you need to find a special weapon needed to defeat Lucifer, the final boss.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts shares a lot of things with the first game in terms of visuals and sound. Both games have you going through a gravesite and village in the first two levels, and the music in area one is an extended version of the same music from Ghosts 'n Goblins. Even some of the enemies from the first game make an appearance, from the gargoyles to the Demon King. But that's where the similarities end.

Some of the areas boast animated backdrops that are just stunning to look at, and an example of this can be seen while you are fighting the guardian in area one, and the guardians themselves are much bigger (with Lucifer being the biggest of them all). Most of the soundtracks in this game really suit the theme of each area. The sound effects blend in with what you are doing.

The new features of the game include the ability to fire upward and downward while in mid-air. This is useful for killing the vultures that sit up on the huge brown tree on level one, and dealing with the gargoyle that dodges your shots. There are also treasure chests that either contain a weapon or a magician that turns you into an elderly man or a duck if the player doesn't immediately take him down. However, the highlight is the gold armor that houses a powerful magic attack that will likely wipe all the monsters on screen, and these attacks vary depending on what weapon you have. It's certainly a great way to deal with the guardians.

The Bad
I didn't like the way the grim reapers rise out of the ground below you in area one, forcing you to jump immediately or complete the area as a skeleton. The only music that I hated in the game is the one played for level two, because I think the piece is so kiddy, and it really doesn't suit the theme of the game.

The Bottom Line
Ghouls 'n' Ghosts shares the same mechanics as its predecessors, while adding new features that make the game even greater. I am sure most people got pissed off because they have to get through the game twice, and I don't understand why Capcom didn't make you get the necessary items that are needed to defeat Lucifer the first time round. Most substandard home ports were available, that change either the music or gameplay. The exception, however, is the Sharp X68000 port, which provides a pixel-accurate conversion of the arcade game.

Arcade · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2017

This is one of my favorite games for the Genesis, let alone, my favorite game of the GNG series.

The Good
They put a lot of work, porting the game into the Genesis. The graphics aren't as good as the arcade but still top-notch for the early days. The game still have the hard-challenging addicting gameplay that the series is known for. Also, though the beginning intro is gone from the port, but the ending is there, at least. And finally, even when I beat the game, I still come back to it.

The Bad
The music, just like most games of the Genesis back in 1989, just has that tingly feel in the music and it's annoying. The backgrounds are ridiculously messed up. There's barely any detail in the backgrounds and I come to think of it, "Where is the background?"...Also, the lack of the beginning intro from the arcade (so what?) and the difficulty even on "Professional" is below the difficulty of the arcade, which makes it easy (I beat this game a few times without using a continue).

The Bottom Line
Despite it's downgrades from the arcade, it's still a pretty good port and this is the game back then, I played this a lot in my days and I still do it, today. This game, I love it even with it's negatives. I love it so, much...this game, is my favorite game of the GNG series. This port proves the Genesis still has it's power from the port. This game is exactly Strider-material, but it's still one of my favorite games ever on the Genesis.

Genesis · by Mavi Bacon (13) · 2009

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Subject By Date
C64 Disk Edwin Drost (7088) Mar 31st, 2017


1001 Video Games

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


Ghouls 'N Ghosts was the second game, after Forgotten Worlds, which used the new Capcom Play System-1 (CPS1) board in 1988. The superior performance both graphically and sonically offered by the board was apparent and was considered as an improvement on the original.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1989 (Issue 4) - Game of the Month (Genesis version)
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Best Game of the Year (Genesis version)
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Best Graphics in a Video Game (Genesis version)
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Best Sequel to an Existing Game (tied with Mega Man 2)
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Coolest Boss Attackers (tied with The Legendary Axe)
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Worst Stomach Problem in a Game (for projectile vomiting animation)
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #47 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Genesis version)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #67 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.

Amiga added by EboMike. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. J2ME added by Will Jordan. iPhone, iPad, Android added by Sciere. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior. Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor. SuperGrafx added by Unicorn Lynx. Amstrad CPC added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Alaka, Игги Друге, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added June 10th, 2002. Last modified October 2nd, 2023.