Ghouls 'n Ghosts

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Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Ghouls and Ghosts sales flyer.png
Arcade flyer
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
Tim Follin (western home computer versions)
SeriesGhosts '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: August 3, 1989
  • NA: September 1989
  • EU: November 30, 1990
  • JP: July 27, 1990
Master System
March 1990
iOS, Android
March 17, 2017
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
Arcade systemCP System

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 quiet 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 in front 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.


Arcade version screenshot.

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[edit]

Ports of Ghouls 'n Ghosts were released in Europe in 1989 for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. These ports were all handled by Software Creations and all omit a great deal of detail from the arcade version.

A Sega Genesis port of Ghouls 'n Ghosts (programmed by Yuji Naka) was released by Sega in 1989 in Japan and North America, and in 1990 in Europe. This version was re-released as a handheld TV game with Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition in 2005 and as a downloadable Virtual Console game for the Wii in 2007. This version was also included on the Sega Genesis Mini in 2019. Sega also released a Master System port in 1990. This version introduced a power-up system that allows the player to enter secret shops and upgrade parts of their armor. This includes helmets, which give the player access to new weapons and magic spells; chest armor, which allows the player to sustain more damage; and boots, which increase the player's speed.

A SuperGrafx port of Daimakaimura was released by NEC Avenue in 1990. This version was included on the TurboGrafx-16 Mini in 2020. A version of Daimakaimura was released by Capcom in 1994 for the Sharp X68000.

A version for the Capcom Power System Changer was planned and previewed but never released.[2]

In 1998, Capcom released Capcom Generation 2 for the PlayStation and Saturn in Japan, a compilation which included Ghouls 'n Ghosts along with Ghosts 'n Goblins and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The PlayStation version of this compilation was released as a bundle in Europe with three other volumes titled Capcom Generations (in plural) under the title of Capcom Generations: Chronicles of Arthur. Capcom later released in North America Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005 and Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable in 2006, which includes all the Capcom Generations titles. The arcade version of Ghouls 'n Ghosts was re-released as one of the included games on the Capcom Home Arcade console in 2019.


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 month, outperforming titles like Image Fight and Truxton.[13] It went on to become the eighth highest-grossing arcade game of 1989 in Japan.[14]

MegaTech magazine noted that although the Mega Drive version was a good game, they felt the price of £45 was too high.[citation needed] It received a Hyper Game award from MegaTech, as well as a Gold Medal from Zzap!64, Crash Smash award from Crash, and C+VG Hit award from Computer and Video Games.

The Genesis version received the 1989 Electronic Gaming Monthly awards for Best Game of the Year, Best Graphics, Best Sequel and Coolest Boss.[15] In 1992, Mega magazine ranked it as the 23rd best game of all time.[16] 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.[17]


  1. ^ "Tim Follin". Next Generation. No. 3. Imagine Media. March 1995. p. 51.
  2. ^ "カプコン アーケードオリジナルボード CPSシリーズ+CPSチェンジャー 限定販売決定!!". Club Capcom (in Japanese). No. 2. Capcom. Spring 1994.
  3. ^ "Ghouls 'n Ghosts for Genesis". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". ACE. Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". The Games Machine. Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Ghouls And Ghosts". Archived from the original on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  10. ^ "Zzap!64 100th Issue Pull-Out Special Page 5". Zzap!64. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  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. ^ MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 78, May 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. ^ "第3回 ゲーメスト大賞 〜 インカム部門ベスト10" [3rd Gamest Awards – Income Category: Best 10]. Gamest (in Japanese). Vol. 41 (February 1990). December 27, 1989. pp. 49-79 (79). Lay summary.
  15. ^ "Electronic Gaming Best and Worst of 1989". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 5 (The 1990 Video Game Buyer's Guide). December 1989. pp. 17–24.
  16. ^ Mega magazine issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, Oct 1992
  17. ^ "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.

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