A brave knight is just about to propose to his dusky-eyed maiden when out of a dark sky swoops a huge salivating demon. Before the knight can so much as re-buckle his armour, the horrible monster seizes the knight's beloved and sweeps her off to its foul lair.
Thankfully the scene of this Capcom arcade conversion is set in days of old when knights were bold, so the love-lorn hero sets out on a quest, a quest to rescue his damsel. Scampering across a scrolling landscape, he must make his way to the demon king's murky lair. Our hero really has his work cut out for him - the path to the demon king's abode is filled with nasties who are all determined to end the knight's mission of mercy prematurely. To make things even more tricky, each section of the game has to be completed within a time limit.
The knight starts out, resplendent in shiny armour as he scuttles towards the demon king's lair and a romantic reunion. Contact with the monsters in the game results in the knight losing something vital. After his first encounter with a nasty, he is so shocked that his tin suit falls off and he is left scampering around in his undies. Following the second clash he loses a life and his skeleton crumples to the ground. The knight is provided with nine lives, and each time a life is lost he is returned to the start of the current segment of the game.
In the first zone, the gallant knight battles through a graveyard filled with zombies crawling out of the tombs, arms out-stretched to meet him. Unfortunately they're not going to give our hero a sloppy kiss on the cheek. Killing him is more what they have in mind. Apart from the zombies patrolling around the graveyard a number of other nasty creatures hinder his progress. Kamikaze owls swoop down from great heights, and carnivorous plants shoot gobs of acidic digestive juice at the chivalrous crusader.
The knight is not totally defenceless. At the start of the game he is provided with a weapon. This can either be a lance, a sword or a magic fireball - all activated by a press of the fire button. Some weapons are more effective than others: the fire bombs are lobbed into the air and careful timing Is needed to dispose of nasties, while the fire button sends out a stream of daggers at gizzard height if the hero is equipped with the little knife. Points are collected for each nasty killed. Some of the Demon King's minions carry weapons, and when they are killed the knight's weapon changes automatically - care is needed if you are to avoid being lumbered with a weapon you don't want.
Once the knight has managed to get through the perils in the graveyard, there's a rather large overweight demon to destroy. The larger characters in the game take several hits before they are killed. Once the demon is dead, the knight has to cross a lethal lake by using a raft. With or without his armour, the knight sinks without a trace into the lake's murky depths if he misjudges the leap. Swimming is apparently not a skill taught on chivalry courses...
Through a dark wood, avoiding more diving owls and witch creatures, and it's time for a showdown with an ogre, affectionately called Fatty Stomper by his friends. When the knight manages to blast him into little puffs of oxygen and ozone he gains the key to the Ice Palace and a new suit of armour if he happens to be In his undies at the time. This section of the game is played on a backdrop which scrolls in four directions, and the knight must leap from platform to platform killing evil goblins that look rather like winged teddy bears. They are far from cuddly, swooping down from great heights with murder on their minds. Fireball-spitting veggies also inhabit the Ice Palace, and bonus points can be collected by nabbing priceless treasures carried by some of the evil creatures. Mistiming a leap can be fatal - the Ice Palace is build above water, and knights can't swim...
After the Ice Palace comes a ghost town, populated with all manner of weird and wonderful monsters that swoop out of shuttered windows and chase the questing knight. After the town the hero has to negotiate a platforms and ladders section - the Monsters' Den populated by by large and hardy demons that only die after a handful of hits.
A double dose of guardian demon has to be overcome at the end of the Den before access is gained to the final section of the game - the Cavern System. The mission is nearly over. Mr Knight's beloved is within sight. Unfortunately, she is being guarded by a rather large Chinese dragon who doesn't look very friendly at all. The knight is rather tired after his long and perilous journey. If he makes one last supreme effort, then his bride to be will be his for evermore and he can carry her over the threshold in true romantic style as befits a knight of the realm. Even if he is only wearing underpants.
Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: your character can blend into the background, but neatly done nevertheless
Graphics: good animation; faithful to the original within the Spectrum's limitations
Sound: more of it would have gone down well
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling playing area
'Elite have come up with another arcade winner. Ghosts and Goblins is a genuine first rate copy of the arcade game. The thing that amazes me most about this game is the beautifully smooth scrolling - its strongest point and one that makes it amazingly playable. The graphics are very similar to those of Green Beret, and the problem of losing your man when he's against a bit of background in the same colour is here too. Ghosts and Goblins still contains the addictiveness of the arcade game and the graphics are an almost perfect copy - bar colour of course. The only bad bit about it was the presentation which is limited to a very basic scoreboard and no sound to shout about. This is due to memory restrictions so I was told. Despite this, Elite have come up with another arcade classic.'
'I saw the arcade game all of a year ago and was predictably impressed. When I heard that Elite were to convert the game it caused much amusement, as we dismissed the deal as a triumph of marketing over the possible. Well, Keith Burkhill has proved my intuition well and truly and completely wrong and has gone and produced an excellent interpretation of the arcade original equipped with perfectly smooth scrolling and all the gamey bits that made the original Ghosts and Goblins so much fun to chuck ten pee bits into. Though a little bit hard at first it shouldn't take long to get yourself into the Ice Castle, battling off the fatal advances of the flying killer teddy bears. All in all a really outstanding release from Elite despite the rubbish advert (you know the one, drawn in crayon by a juvenile) and represents unusual value for money.'
'Yippee!... What a game! It's so compelling I have to fight through the Zzap! reviewers to get a game in! Although the conversion only contains three levels (the original was massive) there's more than enough to keep you busy. Graphically, Ghosts and Goblins is certainly very good if not excellent: your man leaps around, runs and crouches - all nicely animated and very smoothly at that. The sound leaves a lot to be desired. I was terribly disappointed that there wasn't a larger vocabulary of sound. This game is very good. It is compelling beyond belief and well worth the money. My only gripe is that it is let down a little by the boring front end and unoriginal Spectrum character set. Minor moans, though...
Another arcade conversion of yesteryear, Ghosts 'N Goblins pounds back on rerelease. The game' s still a fun bash 'em up today and is all about a gallant knight who tries to rescue a fair maiden. The silly girl has gone and got herself caught by the evil overlord, and now you must help Mr Knight (didn't he have a car called KIT?) in his quest.
Various types of ghosts and goblins must be sliced with a sword, or jumped over if you are a bit thicken, as well as some rather larger beasties that take a bit more pounding before they let you past. The game splits into several levels, each with a different layout and new problems for the player. The ghostly graphics are split into monochrome blocks, but are well defined and cartoon style, so this doesn't spoil the action. If the knight gets hit by a ghosty he doesn't automatically die: First of all his armour is knocked off and he has to go around in his undergarments (oo-er!), but hit again and he dissolves to a pile o' bones. The few sound effects in the game aren't much and there is no tune but the addictiveness makes up for this if you' re looking for a cheap game packed with playability and challenging problems Ghosts 'N Goblins is here.
It's close to midnight and the shivers are running up and down my spine - which wouldn't be so bad only they're wearing spiked running shoes!
The reason for my terrible state is that the living dead are out to get me and I don't mean the staff of YS - they're just brain dead! Instead we're talking about tho abduction of my beloved (not Gwyn - you're welcome to him) by a gargoyle, and if that leaves a nasty taste in your mouth then gargoyle with antiseptic.
Being a noble noble it's all in a knight's work to nobble the forces of evil instead of snaring another bird. So hi-ho, hi-ho, it's gravely to the cemetery we go, where all manner of unmannerly man-monsters are massing for a massacre. It's a clear case of never mind the warlocks, here's the six six six pistols.
When you face these felons you must be feline happy because you get nine lives, that're effectively doubled because when you're first grazed by a whisker you leap out of your armour but not your skin. Be glad the Spectrum isn't hi-res when you run around in your undies or everybody would be able to see if you're wearing clean combies!
If the ghouls grab you, the raven swoops down or the punk plants gob on you in this state of undress you're a gonner, taking the Z(ombie)-Plan diet and becoming a bag of bones in a trice. It's also back to the start of the section, so watch it!
After you've conquered another gargoyle (it'll take several hits) you're in for a little island hopping on a moving island before you're ready to face the frights of the second sector. How I wish I could report on these terrors but I'm still battling the guardian of the gates. Apparently next up are lifts and the game goes platform, so look before you leap because the sky is alive with the sound of monsters.
This is another superb arcade conversion from Elite who's really doing great things in this field - or should that be graveyard? It's very difficult, but also highly addictive. There are slight graphics problems with a little flicker in the graveyard and sometimes the sprite collisions aren't as accurate as they might be - though as this is in your favour I wouldn't complain.
Your monochromatic noble is also indistinct at times when he's against a dark background but at least there are no attribute clashes to brighten the sombre mood and if the front end seems bare as bones that's surely because the memory is all used up for gameplay.
In short, play Ghosts 'n' Goblins and you'll be grabbed by the ghoulies. And as a non-sexist note for that half of the population without ghoulies, don't worry - it'll give you the willies!
Oddly enough. I'd never played this before - even though it was number one for about a year in '85 or 86. Like many games that have followed it, it's a multi-scroller in which the distance you cover depends upon how many nasties you can kill and how many unpleasant nasties and projectiles you can avoid. Sounds a bit snoresville, doesn't it? Well, I thought so too, as I started battling through the first level or so, but there is something strangely addictive about it all. It's not easy, by any means, but the learning curve is not outrageously steep, and you soon begin to realise what's what. Of course, it all looks a little dated now. and the graphics are plain, to say the least, but you still find yourself coming back to it - even when you've got other games to review, as I have. Zombies appear from underground (zap em), some carrying cauldrons (collect 'em). Watch out for vultures (zap 'em too) - in fact, shoot first and ask questions later, if at all. Good stuff - I think just one more go , or possibly two...
Yup, Elite's done it again. After bringing arcade classics like Commando and Bomb Jack to your micro - both Spectrum chart-toppers - it's now produced Ghosts 'n' Goblins. And a very creditable version of the original it is too.
Be warned, Ghosts 'n' Goblins is pretty difficult and you'll be going places where angels fear to tread. You start off in the graveyard, hopping over gravestones and up and down a cliff face while avoiding the zombies. The screen scrolls extremely smoothly from left to right as you move, and the zombies, with arms outstretched shamble after you in droves. Though high scores can be earned by standing still and knocking them off as they appear from under tombstones, that cuts down your time to complete the level, and with only three minutes for this section, you need every second you can get.
It doesn't leave much time for weapons collecting. If you see a zombie struggling along with a cauldron, shoot him and you'll be able to pick up either a dagger, a lance or a fire ball. These have various properties and each has its uses. The dagger is the fastest and you can have four in the air at a time. The lance is marginally slower and only three can fly at a time. The fireball can only be lobbed a short distance and is probably the most unwieldy weapon to fight with.
A neat twist is that in each game you get two chances. The first time you charge into a zombie, you give a huge shudder and your suit of armour flies off into the night, leaving you naked and almost defenceless. Next time you're hit, you're jolted off your feet and fall back as a heap of bones. One of your five lives lost.
As you attempt to climb the cliff you'll come under attack from killer owls (killer owls?) which dive down, and deadly weeds which lie in wait as you clamber on to the next level - they spit at you and it is as much a matter of luck as good judgement if you manage to survive the combined ministrations of these two killers. Both behave intelligently and move or fire at you when you move - they're deadly accurate too. Told you it was difficult. We're not even half way through the first level and already I've been killed a billion times!
Eventually you'll meet the gremlin - a real pleasant character. As soon as you see it take a few steps back and daggers at the ready, fire. As you do, it rises into the air. Jump up and continue firing. You'll need several direct hits.
The graphics up to this point are very close to the original arcade game and Keith Burkhill, the programmer, has managed to reduce colour clash to a minimum. Use of simple colours reduces attribute problems still further. The trade-off is that the graphics for the central character has had to be kept small and because of the lack of colour it is often difficult to make out objects. For instance, if you run over a zombie and pot, the weapon left behind is difficult to depict. The same goes for the owl, perched like a stone just waiting for you to move.
These are minor problems though and in no way detract from the game play. Later screens combine a number of exciting features from the arcade game, and these prove even more difficult to overcome. Each level has three areas to get through, with different scenery and problems. At the end of each level is a 'special' monster, or two which must be killed to gain access to the next.
Fight through the freezing corridors of the ice palace and avoid the floating goblins. Then make your way through the slums, avoiding the devils and into a warehouse, full of pipes, levels and lots and lots of big, big, goblins. These need to be hit more than once, are semi-intelligent, and make sure you've sussed out an escape route. Then on to the guardian monsters and into the third level, which is so tricky that even the Elite programmers have problems getting through it.
Ghosts 'n' Goblins is for the nimble fingered only. It's frustratingly addictive, extraordinarily difficult, requiring impeccable timing and not a little luck. And if you manage to get all that together you might just save the princess.
OK, so like Imagine's Green Beret, Ghosts 'n' Goblins is really no more than a levels and ladders game, but that doesn't seem to matter. The original graphics and furious action more than compensate.
Very playable and very just one-more-go-ish.
Reviewer: Clare Edgeley
Do you wanna see something really scarey? No, you'd rather play a coin op wouldn't you. Well look no further Mr Albert Mucus of Harrowgate, because GHOSTS 'N' GOBLINS, the authentic Spectrum version of the classic Capcom arcade game is now available at a silly price courtesy of Encore.
Those of you who've never heard of it must have been dead it must have been dead for the last few years.
Those of you who've never heard of it must have been dead for the last few years but for those of you who missed it first time around here's a quick rundown.
You are a faithful knight and some evil fiend with leathery wings and a nasty case of demonic possession, has run off with your girlfriend. Don't worry now; you don't think that she'd run off with him of her own free will do you? No, certainly not. Well it's up to you to strap three hundredweight of armour to your lovelorn body and go off and rescue her. (Ahh my hero).
Play begins in a graveyard and everything is as quiet as a grave - but not for long. Being absolutely appalled by fleshy ones, bodies rise out from the ground with one soul (sic) purpose - to relieve you of your life. A few well thrown swords will put paid to them as you leap over gravestones on your mission of love. (Yuccckky!) You can collect gold that some monsters will leave behind once you have (re)killed them with the sometimes leaving extra weapons behind which can be swopped with the one in current use, each one having it's own particular advantages.
There are six levels, each one trickier than the last and the game progressively gets harder. The graphics are disappointing, but after playing any arcade conversion, I feel this is usually the case.
I felt a little let down that there was no Sinclair joystick option on the tape which led to me using the keys and proved to be extremely difficult. This aside, GHOST 'N' GOBLINS remains a classic game and this is a competent conversion, although some of the colours used make following the action a little tricky.
Joystick: No Sinclair option
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
Spectrum, C64, Amstrad
Ghosts and Goblins was one of the first really huge arcade adventures to appear in the arcades. It was so big, and so tough that you had to pump pockets full of change into it to get anywhere. For this reason most people believed the Capcom title would convert well to home use.
Which indeed it did. You play a Knight in shining armour sent on a mission to rescue a princess. Scrolling horizontally you have to waste the various ghosts, ghouls, and living dead who emerge from their graves to thwart your quest. Well decorated with Magazine accolades when it was launched in Winter '86 and, in 1989, a solid budget purchase.
MACHINE: Spectrum/Amstrad and Commodore 64/128
PRICE: £7.95/£8.95/£9.95 (tape)/£14.95 Commodore and Amstrad disc
Ghosts 'n' Goblins, the smash hit game from the arcade, has finally reached the home computer. It's been worth the wait.
The plot is identical to the arcade game, and similar to a large number of programs that have emerged over the past few months. While out strolling with your girlfriend, a demonic overlord swoops down from on-high, as they do, flapping his wings and making a frightful din. Amidst the confusion, he snatches your gal - and flutters away - leaving you in considerable consternation. As it's been a rather boring day so far, you decide to go and rescue her. Chivalry is back in style.
The game plays some very peculiar music once it's loaded. The screen is presented side-on, with your little man (in armour at first) running for all he's worth left and right across a scrolling landscape. As soon as you start, you will discover that the game is far from easy; there is a positive horde of creatures just dying to drag you down into a decidedly unpleasant grave. The most prominent nasty on the first stage is the zombie, a rather sad creature when you think about it. They simply plod around, arms outstretched, hoping for a hug.
This brings up another interesting point. The first time your character gets attacked, he will be stripped of his armour. The next time and, well... one life gone. You have five men to begin with. Because each has a new suit of armour, you effectively have ten lives. This may make the game sound easy. Wrong. The creatures come at your from every possible angle, and will strike you dead without a second thought.
There are a large number of inventive touches in the game. After your lose your armour, you will be granted with a short period of invincibility. This is pretty vital, as it gives you a chance to escape a particularly ferocious attack. There's not much point having the protection of armour if you get killed as soon as you lose it!
There is a wide variety of creatures which will attack you. There are (deep breath) zombies, gremlins, ogres, demons, venus fly-traps, birds, little funny blue things that spin around, ghosts and flying goblins. Also, there are a number of static problems; huge pits in the earth are numerous. There is also a small bridge to cross. Not much of a problem, until the fire leaps out from below and cooks you alive!
The tombstones mentioned earlier literally litter the scene. You can't move for more than a few feet before one of the damned things pop up and you have to jump over it. The problem is, they're whacking great things. On the Spectrum version, things aren't too bad. You can fly through the air with minimal effort. Commodore owners, though, have a slightly more difficult time of things. I found it very difficult to clear the stones, invariably getting caught pressed up against one, unable to jump forward. In this situation, it's necessary to back up a little (usually involving walking through the very people you are trying to avoid.)
The game has a number of levels, each with a different backdrop such as a town adjoining an ice palace and the initial graveyard scene. The ogres will appear at the end of each section, in an attempt to prevent your progress, usually by stomping on your brains. As this is far from desirable, you have to try and fell this rather enormous foe before he can get his feet near you. This is the most tricky part of the game. Unless you cheat...
The game involves a good deal of concentration if you hope to get anywhere. Each time you lose a life, your man will be thrown back to the last "marker" that the programmer has included - you don't go all the way back to the start of a level if you have progressed a fair way into it.
The actual physical action required to play the game is not too extensive. But you will have to improve on your reactions.
After some time playing the game, you will find yourself hopelessly addicted and very, very determined to beat the blasted thing. Arcade conversions have built a reputation as being a bit naff. G'n"G should change things. The programmers, Keith Burkhill for the Spectrum version, and Chris Butler on the Commodore, have made stout efforts to produce games that are not merely satisfactory, but surpass that level.
The scrolling on CBM and Spectrum has to be admired. Commodore owners may believe that this goes without saying, after seeing the quality of Uridium. Spectrum users may be surprised to hear, though that their version is very nearly up to the same level.
The Amstrad version of the game isn't really up to the quality of the others. The graphics are colourful, but they are just too flickery to watch. For some reason, you play on a magnified area of the screen, too. This results in everything being blown-up. This makes for even more blocky pictures.
Music on this version is disappointing too. It's quite good the first time round, but as the tune is extremely short, and repeats itself ad nauseam during play, I was glad to have a volume control on the machine.
Ghosts and Goblins is the game to buy for your 64 or Spectrum.
As brave Sir Knight, take on the worst that the Devil can hurl at you in your quest to res cue a fair maiden in distress. Beginning in a dark, zombie-ridden graveyard you must do away with your attackers, climb ladders, jump gaping chasms, pick up new armour when you lose yours and generally survive all the way to the last level, where it's a quick one-two with Lucifer before you get the gal.
Ghosts 'n' Goblins has lost none of it's appeal after all this time - it's still one of the most impressive arcade conversions ever on the Spectrum. Colour clash rears its ugly head now and again, but that is in no way detrimental to play. The sequel to Ghosts 'n Goblins, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, is out soon - what better way to prepare yourself for it than to practice with this?
Elite have only just released 16-bit conversions of this classic Capcom coin-op but 8-bit versions have already had their second birth. Noble knight Arthur's girlfriend has been kidnapped by a dragon (original) and you must guide him through five horizontally scrolling levels, Many spooks 'n' monsters attack him but Arth has a limitless supply of lances at his disposal, replaceable by daggers, axes, fireballs, etc as he goes on his way. If damaged, Arthur loses his armour first, losing a life the next time he's hurt.
The Spectrum's graphics are detailed monochrome, the C64's blocky but colourful, but both have good animation and scrolling. C64 sound effects are great and music's simply brilliant, sophisticated voices used in a fun, energetic piece.
While both are top-notch, C64 Ghosts 'n' Goblins is especially good, one of the most playable and addictive coin-op conversions ever. Difficulty level is a little irregular, the game suddenly becoming noticeably tougher halfway through level two, but it's such a jolly jaunt that you can't resist having 'just one more go'.
NOT JUST GHOSTS 'N GOBLINS BUT GARGOYLES TOO IN ELITE'S MEDIEVAL RESCUE MISSION!
Well first of all Elite ought to consider supplying some sort of instructions for the game along with the packaging. The outside of the cassette inlay claims 'full instructions inside', but the little leaflet that comes with the game only tells you that you can move left/right and so on, in half a dozen languages. There is a bit of self congratulatory blurb along with this that tells you what a terrific version of the original arcade game Elite have produced, and the assumption seems to be that everyone will know all about the original because there's absolutely no explanation of the plot, the purpose of the game, scoring system or anything else. As a result it took me ages to even figure out the game mechanics - admittedly I began to enjoy it once I'd worked out what was going on but it was a bit of a chore getting there.
It seems that your girlfriend has been captured by some sort of winged gargoyle and it's up to you to fight your way through haunted cemeteries and castles to rescue her. You are equipped with a suit of armour, one of several possible weapons, and a total of nine lives to help you achieve your goal within the time limit.
The first section of the game is a bit like a medieval version of Green Beret. You run across a scrolling landscape (in this case a cemetery) being chased by zombies who rise from beneath the ground. Some of these are fairly harmless, but others will rob you of your armour and leave you vulnerable to the next blow that strikes you. Dying causes you to go back to the start of that section.
Further into the graveyard there are birds that swoop down on you as well as plants(?) that hurl fireballs at you. Some fancy footwork can get you past these and all the creatures that attack you can be destroyed with the weapons you carry. If you get far enough you'll then be faced with the gargoyle who stands between you and the later sections of the game.
These later stages of the game combine elements of the Green Beret format with the good old fashioned platform, and throws in a bundle of additional monsters for you to cope with. Despite the relative age of the platform game by now. this one. along with the combat element that's been added, is enjoyably addictive. It's not as sophisticated as some games these days, but it's still fun.
The graphics are good, though not outstanding, and the colours tend to be a bit on the dark side - but this is probably dictated by the game scenario, ghosts and graveyards and the like. The scrolling landscape works well, and the controls respond quickly and smoothly which adds to the game's playability. I did find the 'front end', the choice of joystick/keyboard controls, and redefining option a bit fiddly. On several occasions I redefined the keyboard controls only to find that the game was still on joystick control, so I had to wait until I'd lost all nine lives and then start again. This could have been avoided if more detailed instructions had been included.
Once more Elite have done a good job in converting a popular arcade game onto a home micro, but it's a little unfortunate that a bit more care couldn't have gone into the presentation. Ghosts 'n Goblins is a good game, but one or two easily rectified flaws have crept in which mean that it doesn't quite match the heights of boggle-eyed addictiveness that Elite's recent conversion of Bomb Jack achieved.
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