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Retro Thursday: Ghosts’n Goblins
Welcome to Retro Thursday, Leviathyn’s spotlight on retro gaming. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and pay homage to our roots by highlighting the classics of yesteryear.
Thursday, May 10th
Of all the games that warrant a rage quit, Capcom’s Ghosts’n Goblins sits proudly at the top.
A mixture of maddeningly difficult gameplay and the temptation of trying again one more time in hopes of finally completing a level, the game is strangely as addicting as it is unforgiving, keeping players coming back for more in a twisted, masochistic cycle.
Originally debuting in arcades in 1985, players take control of Sir Arthur in a classic save-the-girl story as he battles a whole host of spooky baddies, from zombies and demons to dragons and ogres.
Looking back on the game’s difficulty, it’s hard to argue that we’re spoiled today, with games offering us generous health boosts, save points, and even regenerating health.
Weapon and armor bonuses were found scattered throughout Ghosts’n Goblins’ seven stages, and instead of being a tough bullet pincushion like so many of our characters are today, Arthur could only sustain two hits before dying; the first hit knocked off his suit of armor, leaving our hero to defend himself in nothing but his boxers, and the second reduced him to a skeleton, forcing players to try the level over again from the start (or the halfway point, if they were lucky enough to make it).
To add insult to an already frustrating injury, upon defeating the final boss, players were informed that this was not the final battle, but a trap, and if they wanted to see the ending, they’d have to play it through a second time on a harder difficulty to truly beat the game.
Made evident by the amount of controllers spiked at the floor in a mad fit of rage, Ghosts’n Goblins was not for the faint of heart, and a true testament to the difficult nature of games in the early age of gaming. Because of this, it still holds up as one of the most memorable video games of all time.