Ghosts 'n Goblins (video game)

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Ghosts 'n Goblins
GhostsnGoblins flyer.jpg
Promotional arcade flyer
Developer(s)Capcom USA
Publisher(s)Capcom (Worldwide, Japan)
Taito America (North America)
Director(s)Tokuro Fujiwara
Programmer(s)Toshio Arima
Artist(s)Masayoshi Kurokawa
Composer(s)Ayako Mori (Arcade)
Harumi Fujita (Famicom/NES)
Mark Cooksey (C64, Amiga, ST)
David Whittaker (ACPC)
Allister Brimble (GBC)
Platform(s)Arcade (original)
Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64 / 16, NES, Game Boy Color, IBM PC, MSX, ZX Spectrum
September 19, 1985
  • JP: June 13, 1986
  • NA: November 1,1986
Commodore 64
Amiga, Atari ST
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
CPUMotorola 6809
Sound2x Yamaha YM2203

Ghosts 'n Goblins (魔界村, Makaimura, lit. Demon World Village) is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Capcom and released in arcades in 1985. It has since been ported to numerous home platforms. It is the first game in the Ghosts 'n Goblins franchise. It was directed by Tokuro Fujiwara.


Ghosts 'n Goblins is a platform game where the player controls a knight, named Sir Arthur, who must defeat zombies, ogres, demons, cyclops, dragons and other monsters in order to rescue Princess Prin Prin, who has been kidnapped by Satan, king of Demon World. Along the way the player can pick up new weapons, bonuses and extra suits of armor that can help in this task.[1]

The player can only be hit twice before losing a life. If the player loses a life, they are returned to the start of the level, or the halfway point if they have managed to get that far. Furthermore, each life can only last a certain length of time. After defeating the final boss, the player must then replay the entire game on a higher difficulty level to reach the genuine final battle.[citation needed]


Ghosts 'n Goblins was ported to Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore 16, NES, Game Boy Color, IBM PC compatibles, MSX, and ZX Spectrum.


Commodore 64 version

The Commodore 64 version, released in 1986, contains music by Mark Cooksey, which borrows from Frédéric Chopin's Prelude No. 20. Due to the limited resources on the Commodore 64, it was somewhat different from the arcade version as it only features certain levels. The player also starts the game with fewer lives.[citation needed]

The version for Commodore 16/116 and Commodore Plus/4, also released in 1986 by Elite Systems, was even more limited than the C64 version. It was written to work on a Commodore 16, which had only 16 KB of RAM. Therefore, this version features only two levels and no music. In addition, the remaining two levels and the gameplay are simplified.[citation needed]


A version for the Amiga was released in 1990. While the hardware of the Amiga allowed an almost perfect conversion of the arcade game, it failed to emulate the success of the Commodore 64 version. The player starts the game with six lives, and no music plays unless the Amiga was equipped with at least 1 megabyte of RAM. The standard configuration of an Amiga 500 had 512 kilobytes.


The Famicom version was released on June 13, 1986, and was the first Famicom game to utilize a 128 KB cartridge.[2] The North American NES version was released in November 1, 1986. The Famicom/NES version was programmed by Micronics and published by Capcom.

Game Boy[edit]

The Famicom / NES ports served as the basis for the Game Boy Color version, which utilized passwords to allow the player to access certain levels.[citation needed]


Aggregate score
GameRankingsNES: 55%[3]
GBC: 76%[4]
Review scores
AllGameArcade: 2.5/5 stars[5]
NES: 3/5 stars[6]
Sinclair User5/5 stars[9]
Your Sinclair9/10[10]
ACE4/5 stars[11]
The Games Machine95%[12]
TouchArcadeiOS: 3/5 stars[14]
CrashCrash Smash
Sinclair UserSU Classic
Zzap!64Gold Medal

Computer Gaming World called Ghosts 'n Goblins "an excellent example of what the [NES] can do ... while hardly groundbreaking, [it] represents the kind of game that made Nintendo famous".[15]

Ghosts 'n Goblins was runner-up in the category of Arcade-Style Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.[16]

The NES version of Ghosts 'n Goblins was rated the 129th best game made on a Nintendo system in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[17] It was also a best seller for the NES, selling 1.64 million units.[18] Ghosts 'n Goblins is often cited as an example of one of the most difficult games of all time to beat, due to its extreme level of difficulty and the fact the player must play through the game twice in order to beat the game, without any way to save progress.



Ghosts 'n Goblins was followed by a series of sequels and spin-offs eventually becoming Capcom's 8th best-selling game franchise, selling over 4.4 million units.[19] Its sequels include Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, and Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins in addition to producing the Gargoyle's Quest and Maximo spin-off series. Though originating as an arcade title, the franchise has been featured on a variety of PC and video game consoles with the latest entries in the series, Ghosts 'n Goblins: Gold Knights, released on the iOS. Additionally, the franchise frequently makes cameo appearances — the character of Arthur in particular — in other Capcom titles, the latest of which being Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (in which Firebrand, the Red Arremer that protagonizes the Gargoyle's Quest spin-off, also appears).


The NES version was also re-released for download for Nintendo's Virtual Console in North America on December 10, 2007 (Wii) and October 25, 2012 (Nintendo 3DS) and in the PAL region on October 31, 2008 (Wii) and January 3, 2013 (Nintendo 3DS) while the Wii U version was released in both regions on May 30, 2013. The arcade version was released on the Wii's Virtual Console Arcade in Japan on November 16, 2010, the PAL region on January 7, 2011 and in North America on January 10, 2011.

The original arcade version of the game was also included in the compilation Capcom Generations Vol.2: Chronicles of Arthur for the PlayStation (in Japan and Europe) and Sega Saturn (in Japan only), which also contained Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The three games (based on their Capcom Generation versions) were later collected as part of Capcom Classics Collection. The game was also featured in the compilation Capcom Arcade Cabinet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The Game Boy version was included in the Classic NES series for the Game Boy Advance, but only in Japan.


  1. ^ "Ghosts 'n Goblins". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 5 Oct 2013.
  2. ^ "Famicom Disk System (Documentary)". The Gaming Historian (YouTube). Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  3. ^ "Ghosts 'n Goblins for NES". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  4. ^ "Ghosts 'n Goblins for Game Boy Color". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  5. ^ Cook, Brad. "Ghosts 'n Goblins - Review". Allgame. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Miller, Skyler. "Ghosts 'n Goblins -Review". Allgame. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  7. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  8. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  9. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  10. ^ "Ghosts 'n'Goblins". Archived from the original on 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  11. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  12. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  13. ^ "Zzap!64 100th Issue Pull-Out Special Page 5". Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  14. ^ Musgrave, Shaun (2017-03-17). "'Ghosts'n Goblins Mobile' Review – I'm Cold and I am Shamed, In my Boxers on the Floor". TouchArcade. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  15. ^ Katz, Arnie; Kunkel, Bill; Worley, Joyce (August 1988). "Video Gaming World" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 50. pp. 44–45, 47. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  17. ^ "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power. 200. February 2006. pp. 58–66.
  18. ^ "CAPCOM | Platinum Titles". CAPCOM IR. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  19. ^ "Capcom release lifetime sales figures". Edge. 2010-10-12. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2010-07-14.

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