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CONSOLE: Arcade DEVELOPER: Capcom PUBLISHER: Capcom
RELEASE DATE (NA): September 19, 1985 GENRE: Platformer
// review by Meow

This will require all your strongth...

As much as technology has evolved since the 1980s, game companies have always been concerned with how to milk as much money as possible out of people. Back in the day, though, DLC wasn't really a thing. So they had to be concerned with how to make their games as unimaginably unfair as possible, all the while masking it and getting players hooked. A prime example of this is the infamous Ghosts n' Goblins.

Ghosts n' Goblins (referred to as GnG from here on) features the knight Arthur on a quest to save his beloved Princess Prinprin from the devil himself. Arthur has his work cut out for him, though, as there are six dastardly levels of terror that he has to overcome, from a haunted forest to a boiling volcano. Fortunately, Arthur has five weapons at his disposal for taking care of the fiends that stand in his way. Unfortunately, they're mostly all useless save for daggers and Arthur's trusty lance.

Each stage of the game is divided into two sub-themes that give the game some nice variety, such as one level starting you out in an "Ice Palace"; making your way past that in the same level will lead you to a town under siege by imps, orcs, and video gaming's most devious and notorious fiend of the 8-bit era: birds. At the end of each stage is one of three bosses: Unicorns (which is a Cyclops with a horn), Dragons, or Satans. And yes, plural. And also yes, they're different from Lucifer, who is the final boss of the game.


I wish I was this tough shirtless.

Infamous for its difficulty, GnG is an absolute Coin Guzzler™, being unforgiving and having a heavy amount of RNG (Random Number Generator) nonsense going on. However, there is also some smart AI programmed into the game that makes the game seem even more random, making it all the more difficult until you learn just how the game thinks. GnG also is infamous for making you play through the game TWICE for you to get the true ending of the game, as well as requiring for you to have a special weapon to take on the final boss, else the game boots you back some stages until you find, in this case, a shield (or cross in the Japanese version). May RNG have mercy on your soul in getting it when you need it and not a moment before.

So, what keeps people abusing themselves, playing this abomination of a game? The music is a good place to start, having a good handful of catchy and memorable tunes, with the first stage being essentially the series' most iconic theme used for every Stage 1 of each sequel. The game also had some pretty nice graphics for the time period, having a bit of a cartoonish style to them, but they are gritty enough to make things seem somewhat menacing as well as silly.

This is not a game I recommend playing while you are in a bad mood. It will only worsen your mood, causing you to slip up, leading to an even worse temperment. I honestly hardly recommend playing the game to completion, period, to be honest. As much as I love the series, this game is frantic and unpleasant. If you want to take a look at some good gaming history, seeing where a once-popular series got its start, then here you go. Most people are used to the NES version, which has a few tweaks to make the game easier (all the while adding resistances to certain weapons to bosses), but I can't vouch for that version since I've not tried it. The specific version I played is the Capcom Classics Collection version on PlayStation 2, which is based on a revision of the original game that balances things more. However, it's still obnoxious. Definitely a game I recommend watching rather than playing if you're curious.


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