Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39652)
Written on  :  Jul 05, 2016
Platform  :  Arcade
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Summary

An excellent Capcom platform game with a few cool features

The Good

Tokuro Fujiwara only developed two games for Konami before moving over to Capcom where he created Ghosts 'n Goblins (魔界村 Makaimura), which received top marks from various computer magazines at the time. It was certainly a refreshing change from the vertical shoot 'em ups – such as Galaxian – that invaded the arcades back then.

King Arthur is having a quiet picnic with his girlfriend, Princess Prin-Prin, when a demon kidnaps her and takes her back with him. Vowing to go rescue her, Arthur navigates the six areas full of zombies and demons with a variety of weapons. Access to the next area is blocked by a gate guarded by a boss, who must be defeated to get a key.

Graphically, Ghosts 'n Goblins looks quite nice for its time, and there are plenty of smooth animations everywhere you look. The overhead map looks excellent, and it is nice the game lets you know how long you have to walk until you get to the castle. The map is useful for checking whether you made it to one of the checkpoints. For the sound department, the background music changes every two levels, and so does the boss music. It is the type of music that you can always remember.

Normally, when you are hit by an enemy, you would lose a life. However, this is not the case in the game. When you are hit by an enemy, you are stripped down to your underpants make up for its difficulty. Get hit by an enemy one more time, and you are reduced to a pile of bones. There are only two checkpoints in each area; and if you don't cover a certain distance, you are sent back to the start of the area. This high difficulty is common in other games Fujiwara has developed, not just Ghosts 'n Goblins.

To make matters much worse, you are sent back all the way to the first area again, once you defeated the final boss the first time, and the difficulty gets ramped up. Imagine how many people were furious that they inserted a lot of coins into the machine for nothing. When you defeat the final boss for the second time in a row, the game awards you with no ending and you are sent back to the first area once again. Then, it's just a matter of seeing how far you get without losing all your lives.

The Bad

Apart from the difficulty, I found nothing bad about Ghosts 'n Goblins.

The Bottom Line

Ghosts 'n Goblins is an excellent game, released around the time when Capcom was beginning to make more high-profile games. The graphics and sound is very good, and there are a few features that make up for the difficulty. Its success in the arcades warranted a release on the popular eight-/sixteen-bit systems of the time, with the Amiga and NES versions being more faithful to the original game than any other version out there.