Yokai Dochuki

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Yōkai Dōchūki
Yokai douchuuki arcadeflyer.png
Japanese arcade flyer.
SeriesYōkai Dōchūki
Platform(s)Arcade, Family Computer, PC Engine, Wii (Virtual Console)
  • JP: April 1987
PC Engine
  • JP: February 5, 1988
Family Computer
  • JP: June 24, 1988
Virtual Console
  • JP: February 20, 2007 (PCE)
  • JP: April 28, 2009 (AC)
Wii U
  • JP: February 22, 2015
Arcade systemNamco System 1
CPU2x Motorola M6809 @ 2.048 MHz,
1x Motorola M6809 @ 1.536 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63701 @ 1.536 MHz
Sound1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x Namco CUS30 @ 96 kHz,
1x DAC
DisplayVertical orientation, Raster, 288 x 224 resolution

Yōkai Dōchūki[a] is a 1987 platform arcade game developed and released by Namco in Japan. The player controls a young boy named Tarosuke as he must make his way through Jigoku, the Japanese concept of Hell, in order to make his way to Buddha to determine his final fate. Tarosuke can fire small "ki" bullets at enemies to defeat them; he can also charge them to increase their power. Enemies will drop money when defeated, which can be used to purchase weapons and other items in stores. It ran on the Namco System 1 arcade board.

Yōkai Dōchūki was Namco's very first 16-bit arcade game. A translated English version of the game is known to exist, renaming the game to Shadow Land, however it was never officially released. Upon release, Yōkai Dōchūki received a mixed to positive reception, with critics praising its protagonist and controls while criticizing its high difficulty. Ports for the PC-Engine and Family Computer were released in 1988, as were versions for Japanese mobile phones in 2006. In 2009, the arcade version was ported to the Wii Virtual Console. Two spin-off games were released in 1990, Kyūkai Dōchūki and F1 Dōchūki.


The player controls a boy named Tarosuke, who travels through "Jigoku" (the Japanese concept of Hell) fighting off "yokai" (mythical Japanese monsters) on his way to his final fate, as determined by Buddha. He destroys his enemies by firing small Ki bullets, which can be charged to increase their power; however, if overcharged, he is left unable to move or fight for a few seconds. During boss battles, Tarosuke kneels at a shrine to Buddha and prays, summoning "Monmotaro" (not to be confused with "Momotarō"), a spirit which floats in the air and drops energy balls on the boss and any lackeys he has. Once the boss is defeated, Tarosuke goes to the next stage.

Like Clovis from Dragon Buster, Taira no Kagekiyo from Genpei Tōma Den, and Momo Chan from Wonder Momo, Tarosuke has a life bar (labeled as "POWER") but only one life; if the meter is empty, the game is over (unless he has a certain item). There are no scoring systems present, but the game utilizes currency (only referred to as "MONEY") which is used to buy items, among other things.

There are five stages: Jigoku Iriguchi (Gateway to Hell), Kugyou no Michi (Path of Penance), Yuukai (Ghost Sea), Sabaki no Tani (Valley of Judgment) and Rinnekai (Land of Transmigration). There are multiple paths which can be taken in many stages, which may influence which of the five endings the player gets. One of the paths leads the player to a fairly racy dance hall show, after which he is given a box. If he opens the box, he might get 10,000 in money, or might be turned into an old man until he buys a particular item in a shop (this is based on the tale of Urashima Tarō). There are five different endings depending on what Tarosuke did in the game:

  1. He goes to Hell.
  2. He goes to Hungry Ghoul World.
  3. He goes to Beast World.
  4. He returns to Human World.
  5. He goes to Heaven.

The endings are listed in ascending order of difficulty; to get the last one, the player must not collect or kill anything for Stage 5.

Ports and related releases[edit]

The game was later ported to the PC Engine, and Family Computer consoles (this version adds a "pious" counter) with several additions and different level design; the PC Engine version and the arcade version were both later re-released for the Japanese Virtual Console. The game was also followed by a Japan-only spin-off in 1990 named Kyūkai Dōchūki, which is a "yakyū" (baseball) video game that plays similar to the entirety of Namco's own World Stadium series.

Tarosuke also appears as a playable character in the Japan-only role-playing PlayStation 2 game Namco X Capcom, where he is teamed up with Taira no Kagekiyo from Genpei Tōma Den. He also makes a cameo appearance in Project X Zone 2 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Yokai Dochuki made a brief appearance in the anime and manga Hi Score Girl where it is referred to as Shadowland in the dub, referencing a fan-translated version of the game


On the Famicom version's release, Famicom Tsūshin scored it a 30 out of 40.[1]


  1. ^ Japanese: 妖怪道中記 Hepburn: Phantom Travel Journal


  1. ^ 30 Point Plus: 妖怪道中記. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.257. Pg.40. 12–19 November 1993.

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