Ghouls 'n Ghosts

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Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Ghouls and Ghosts sales flyer.png
Arcade flyer
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
U.S. Gold (home computers)
Designer(s) Tokuro Fujiwara
Shinichi Yoshimoto
Hisashi Yamamoto
Programmer(s) Hiroshi Koike
Masatsugu Shinohara
Shinichi Ueyama
Composer(s) Tamayo Kawamoto
Series Ghosts 'n Goblins
Platform(s) Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Android, Atari ST, CP System, Commodore 64, iOS, Master System, Sharp X68000, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, SuperGrafx, Mega Drive/Genesis, Virtual Console, ZX Spectrum
December 1988
Mega Drive/Genesis
  • JP: October 29, 1989
  • NA: September 1989
  • EU: November 30, 1990
  • JP: July 27, 1990
Master System
March 1990
iOS, Android
March 17, 2017
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system CPS-1
SoundAmplified Mono
Display Raster, standard resolution, horizontal orientation

Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Japanese: 大魔界村, Hepburn: Daimakaimura, lit. Great Demon World Village) is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Capcom and released as an arcade game in 1988, and subsequently ported to a number of other platforms. It is the sequel to Ghosts 'n Goblins and the second game in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series.




One storm filled evening, Knight Arthur and his love, Princess Prin Prin were enjoying a quite night in the cemetery together, when they were beset upon by a winged Satan. The Satan dove and captured the princess, and disappeared with her before Arthur's eyes. Without a moment's hesitation, Arthur donned his knight armor and picked up his lance, and set forth to Astaroth's castle where he knew he would find his abducted love.


Three years after those events, the Ghosts have returned with Ghouls for revenge, initiating a mortal holocaust on the Princess' kingdom as beams of light struck through countless villagers, when Sir. Arthur returns to the village, his rescue attempt was too soon as his beloved Princess Prin-Prin also has her soul taken away from her body infront of his very eyes. Now it's up to the heroic knight once again to slay his way to the hellish castle to defeat the evil Lucifer and his legion of demons and restore the souls of Prin-Prin and every mortal.


An example of gameplay in the arcade version. Ghouls 'n Ghosts Gameplay.jpg
An example of gameplay in the arcade version.

The gameplay for Ghouls 'n Ghosts is similar to that of Ghosts 'n Goblins. The player controls the knight Arthur, who must advance through a series of eerie levels and defeat a number of undead and demonic creatures in his quest to restore all the people killed by Lucifer (Loki in the English-language Sega Genesis and Master System versions), including his beloved Princess Prin-Prin, back to life. Along the way, Arthur can pick up a variety of weapons and armor to help him in his quest. While the core gameplay remains the same as its predecessor, the game now allows Arthur to fire directly upward and directly downward while in mid air.

By jumping in certain spots, players can cause a treasure chest to erupt from the ground. By firing his weapon at the chest, players may uncover new weapons, gold armor or an evil magician that changes Arthur into an elderly man or a helpless duck. The gold armor allows players to charge up the weapon to release a powerful magical attack. Each weapon has its own special attack, with the exception of the special weapon (see below).

There are six levels. To defeat the game, Arthur must complete levels 1 through 5 twice. Upon completing them the first time, Arthur is taken back to level 1, but this time a special weapon appears during the game. To enter Lucifer's chamber the player must have this special weapon equipped, and must have defeated the final Fly boss from level 5. After entering the final large door, the player goes directly to Lucifer's chamber.


The original soundtrack for the arcade version was composed by Tamayo Kawamoto. Many computer ports of the game include the soundtrack by Tim Follin which consists of arrangements and some new songs. Follin's soundtrack – especially Commodore 64, Atari ST (which both implement each machines' 'chiptune' synthesizers, although the selection of pieces and some scoring differs slightly between computers) and Amiga versions (of which the playlist is again slightly different) – is respected among computer game music listeners and also gained appreciation from reviewers when the game was published. [1]

Home versions


Aggregate score
GameRankings SMD: 80% [2]
Review scores
Crash 92% [3]
CVG 88% [4]
Sinclair User 82% [5]
Your Sinclair 91% [6]
Zzap!64 96% [7]
The Games Machine 90% [8]
ACE 905 [9]
MegaTech 93% [10]
Mean Machines 92% [11]
Zzap!64Gold Medal
CrashCrash Smash
MegaTechHyper Game
Mega23rd best game of all time [12]

In Japan, Game Machine listed Ghouls 'n Ghosts on their January 15, 1989 issue as being the second most-successful table arcade unit of the year, outperforming titles like Image Fight and Truxton . [13]

MegaTech magazine noted that although the Genesis/Mega Drive version was a good game, they felt the price of £45 was too high.[ citation needed ]

In 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly ranked the Genesis version as the 48th best console video game of all time, citing its close recreation of the arcade version. [14]

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  7. "Zzap!64 100th Issue Pull-Out Special Page 5". Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 78, May 1992
  11. "Out-of-Print Archive Mega Drive/Genesis reviews Ghouls 'N' Ghosts". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  12. Mega magazine issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, Oct 1992
  13. "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 348. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 January 1989. p. 25.
  14. "100 Best Games of All Time". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 129. Note: Contrary to the title, the intro to the article explicitly states that the list covers console video games only, meaning PC games and arcade games were not eligible.