Ghosts 'N Goblins
(known as Makai-Mura in
The starting point of the whole saga and also the debut of Arthur (originally a nameless knight) and the Red Arremer. Released in 1985 initially as an arcade game, the success of the formula spawned many other ports for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Personal Computer, Gameboy Color, Amiga, Atari ST, Sony Playstation (I and II), and even for cellphones.
So what was this formula? An insanely hard platform game (the dificulty level of this saga is legendary among gamers) of a courageous knight carrying his own arsenal of weapons, fighting his way through legions of undead creatures... IN HIS BOXERS!
Yes, Arthur's trademark is that after being hit once, his armor is destroyed in a flash, and guess what: nothing below 'xept for his trusty underwear. It has to be cold in there, heh. Too bad our knight's defense isn't as good as his offensive power: anything, ANYTHING (even a feeble bird) will reduce him to a pillar of bones if he's hit a second time. But all is not lost... he can recover his armor by finding (mostly secret) power-ups, and switch between 5 different weapons at his disposal:
There are also various items/characters that can either do good or harm in our quest:
The graphics are quite detailed and clear, considering the year the game was released. The controls are also simple, and the challenge is, well... insane. Added to this, you have to clear the game twice and with a specific weapon to actually save the day. The BGMs are rather repetitive, and change every 2 stages, but they are not annoying, so at least they won't bother the player while he's cursing the red arremers or the dragons. A must if you're up to the challenge.
The beautiful princess Prin-Prin (AKA Guinevere) has been kidnapped by demons (while hanging around the graveyard with Arthur in his boxers... go figure), who take her to their master's chambers.
The corageous knight puts on his armor and departs on a dangerous journey to rescue his lovely princess and finish the threat of the devil king Astaroth, who is overlapping the human realm with the Makai, the ghoul realm, turning the once peaceful land into a living hell of ferocious monsters.