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At last, Elite have released a decent arcade conversion on the 64, in fact the best to date. Chris Butler has made a marvellous job of converting the game -- just think what he could have done with
Commando if he had been given more time. Mark Cooksey's music and FX are also superb -- very atmospheric -- which surprised me somewhat since his Bomb Jack music was poor to say the least. Anyway, I love Ghosts 'n' Goblins, it's brilliant. I've played it and played it, and completed it and completed it, and I still play it.

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After playing the arcade game at the local fair I've been waiting for this with baited nostrils. When it finally arrived I was amazed, it's absolute perfection! In fact, if it was a female I'd ask it back to my place! The graphics are really brilliant, with the best sprites I've ever seen outside an arcade, and the backdrops are just stunning, something I thought wasn't possible with the Commodore's sixteen colours. The game plays incredibly well too, and although in places it's not completely faithful to its arcade counterpart, it's more absorbing than anything else I've played this year -- I was glued to it for hours and hours and hours.
Dropzone was previously my favourite game on the Commodore, now I can safely say that a year later, Ghosts and Goblins has ousted it from its position. And that's about the highest recommendation I can give.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Ghosts 'n Goblins
1986 Elite
Programmed by Chris Butler
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

GHOSTS 'N' GOBLINS
Elite, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick only


September 1986


It was a cold, harsh and miserable night in the middle of winter (ah! cold, harsh and miserable it was!), and Mr Knight was sitting in his cosy semi-detached hut, enjoying the company of his prospective spouse, Ms Damsel. There they were, talking about the weather (cold, harsh, miserable), when suddenly, in burst Mr Demon, a fat, red Demon King with an acne problem. With a look of abject lust in his eyes, he whisked away the frail form of the distressed Ms Damsel into the night, without so much as a by your leave.


'Dastard!', proclaimed Mr Knight, and off he strode after Mr Demon, determined to reclaim his property (bit of a chauvinist is Mr Knight). But, he soon found that the path to true love is a long one, and fraught with ghosts 'n' goblins . . .

Clad only in a pair of brown underpants and a suit of armour, Mr Knight has to make his way through the Demon King's domain which comprises of four different areas, full of evil creatures which must be shot or avoided. He has three minutes to pass through each area, and failure to do so within this time limit results in the loss of a life.

The first time Mr Knight collides with one of the Demon King's underlings he loses his armour, and has to continue with only his undies to cover his modesty. So amused by this are the undead (ha ha! he he!), that they temporarily forget about Mr Knight, thus allowing him safe passage for a few, vital seconds. However, they quickly recover their composure, and a second encounter proves fatal for the knight in shining undies.

Fortunately, Mr Knight is initially armed with an infinite supply of sawn-off lances which can be thrown at anything that looks remotely ominous. Other weapons can be picked up along the way, such as fire, swords, hatchets and shields. Some weapons are more convenient than others, but only the most recently acquired weapon can be used.

If Mr Knight manages to rescue Ms Damsel, then, just like a bad dream, he has to start all over again . . .

 

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THE DEMON KING'S UNDERLINGS

ZOMBIES rise out of the ground and take a quick stroll, some brandishing pots which contain either a valuable item, such as a statuette or a bag of coins, or another weapon. If the zombie is shot or returns to its resting ground, then the contents of the pot are left behind for the taking.
LARGE RED RAVENS usually attack Mr Knight on sight.
CARNIVOROUS PLANTS spit deadly venom on sighting Mr Knight.
DEMONS lie in wait and must be shot many times.
GHOSTLY KNIGHTS bob up and down across the screen, some carrying pots.
GHOSTLY MONKS fly overhead, brandishing -- and occasionally dropping -- spears.
THREE FAT OGRES guard the entrances to further levels, and must be shot several times. A key then falls from the sky, and when collected it allows access to the next level.
SMALL FAERIES flit about the screen, some carrying pots.
BOMB JACKS hide inside derelict buildings, and on espying Mr Knight they attack.
FAT GHOULS pace back and forth derelict buildings, dribbling evil white phlegm on passers by.
BATS hang from the ceiling of the cave, and swoop down when they smell Mr Knight.
TWO-HEADED STATUES turn slowly from side to side, spitting deadly spheres as they do so
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THE DEMON KING'S DOMAIN

THE GRAVEYARD
Several gravestones to jump and zombies to kill. Watch out for the ravens and carnivorous plants, and the demon at the end.

THE FOREST
A couple of small pools to jump, and many ghostly knights and monks to kill. Beware the fat ogre!

THE ICE PALACE
A devious arrangement of platforms to negotiate, and umpteen faeries to kill or avoid. There's also a carnivorous plant to contend with.

THE GHOST TOWN
Lots of ladders, platforms, Bomb Jacks, fat ghouls, and ravens. And then there's a fat ogre . . .

THE CAVERNS
Two sets of moving platforms to negotiate.

THE BRIDGE
A dilapidated bridge runs over a flaming pit. Flames and asbestos faeries shoot up along the way. At the end of the bridge there is a fat ogre.

THE SUBTERRANEAN PASSAGES
More ladders and platforms, zombies, bats, spitting statues, ghostly monks and demons galore.

THE DEMON KING'S CASTLE
The final frontier . . . One demon and a rather large 'Chinese Dragon' to kill.

     

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I've been waiting for this since I saw the Spectrum version, and the wait has been worth it. Ghosts 'n' Goblins is a brilliant translation of the arcade game, and well worth a tenner. The sound complements the game perfectly and it grows on you the more you listen to it. Ghosts 'n' Goblins is very playable and addictive, I've ended up playing it all day. After the disappointing Bomb Jack, the people at Elite seem to have got the right Commodore mixture. Ghosts 'n' Goblins is one of the best arcade-Commodore conversions of this year. One to break the summer blues, if you miss it you'll regret it.
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Presentation 93%

Arcade quality, which sadly means no restart option or pause facility.

Graphics 98%
Varied backdrops and sprites with first class definition and animation.

Sound 96%
Arcade quality tunes and spot effects create a gripping atmosphere
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Hookability 98%
Immediately impressive and playable.

Lastability 95%
Addictive and compulsive, although interest may wane once the game is completed.

Value For Money 96%
A worthy investment.

Overall 97%
An outstanding arcade conversion.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 Feb 2007)

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