Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts

(known as Choh Makaimura in Japan)

Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts Choh Makaimura


Third game of the saga and also the first one to appear exclusively for home systems, this game was one of the first titles released for the Super Nintendo (1991), and thus introduced some of the most frecuently used effects allowed by the hardware, like high-quality music, transparency, rotation and mode7. The results were quite nice, and the final product was more than worthy of its predecesors' legacy. Years later, this game would be ported to Sony Playstation I and II, among with the previous ones in compilation packs that included other CAPCOM classics as well.

A Gameboy Advance port of the game was also released in the year 2002, but this was not just a clone of the SNES title, but a remake with an arrange mode featuring extra stages (three remakes from the previous games, and one original), different item placement for the existing ones, a save feature, path selection based of your state at the end of a stage, and brand-new bosses, some of them old classics like the Dragon or the Unicorn, but also new faces like Vulba Ro or the Red Arremer Joker, the true overlord of the red arremer tribe. However, the music wasn't as good as the SNES version due to GBA's limited sound hardware, and many parts of the game suffer from severe lagging in FX-rich areas, something that probably could have been corrected with some more time of development.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts introduced the gold-for-credit exchange, double-jump, shields and magic weapons (bronze armor). However, it also removed the multidirectional shooting, the game physics feel a bit sluggy compared to the previous two games, and this is the easiest among the first three titles (there are still some insane areas, like the last stage revisited... *Points Nebiroth*).


Weapons are obtained from pots and chests, just like the previous title. Arthur's ever-growing arsenal can be upgraded with sorcery to create magically-enhanced weapons. Of course Arthur can still cast the spells sealed within them:

  1. Lance: Arthur's faithful weapon, flies horizontally until it dissapears from the screen. The enhanced Flaming lance leaves behind a trail of searing flames, and the spell within the lance is the Thunder magic that calls forth a thunderbolt that spreads to both sides of Arthur.
  2. Dagger: similar and way faster than the spear, but also weaker. A barrage of daggers results in a small spread-attack zone due to them being thrown at slightly different heights. The enhanced Magic dagger becomes a quick beam of light when thrown, and the spell within the dagger is the Fire Dragon magic that summons a flaming serpent that searches preys to torch around Arthur before leaving.
  3. Axe: a throwing axe that flies horizontally doing spyral patterns. Good attack power, but the throw speed is too low. The enhanced Hefty axe is a fast-spinning big axe that does an arc above Arthur, then deploys itself horizontally, killing various targets with a single shot (still slow, though). The axe's spell is the Lightning magic, which explodes in small beams that expand everywhere.
  4. Torch: does a short arc and then falls to the ground, bursting into a small wave of flames that advance a few steps. The enhanced Magic torch will cause more fire to rise when thrown, and it will also spread backwards. The torch's spell is the Shield magic, which surrounds Arthur with three shining spheres that will protect him.
  5. Crossbow: shoots two diagonal-flying small arrows at once, and even though it's the weakest weapon, it is pretty good to attack higher/flying enemies from a safe distance. It is not good against crawlers, though. The enhanced Magic crossbow shoots three enchanted homing arrows that seek their own targets, doing more damage than normal arrows. The crossbow's spell is the Seek magic, which reveals all treasure chests near the casting point.
  6. Scythe: can either fly straight ahead, or adapt its flying pattern to the road below if shot near ground level, just as the discus from the previous game. Attacks single enemies with a double slash, but it's quite slow to shoot, so it is not a good weapon for heavily-infested areas. The enhanced Magic scythe does more damage, but is as slow as the normal one. The scythe's spell is the Tornado magic, which summons two huge tornadoes (one at each side) that leave the screen doing slow, twisting movements. This is the most powerful spell available.
  7. Tri-Blade: magic sword that does various weird arcs and turns when thrown, and then returns to its owner. Whatever enemies caught in the flying pattern are sliced. The enhanced Shuriken is stronger, and does even more weird movements before returning to its owner. The tri-blade spell is the Nuclear magic, which causes a huge explosion that will incinerate everything near the casting point. This weapon only appears between stages 5 and 7.
  8. Goddess Bracelet: this game's version of the Psycho Cannon, it is a powerful blast of raw magic power with the highest attack power among weapons... when shot. The further it goes, the weaker it becomes, eventually dissolving in thin air. However, the bronze armor increases its attack range, and the golden armor will enable it to nullify enemy shots. This weapon can also do an extra hit to enemies who withstand the first blow, killing even red arremers with just two full-power shots. You can only find this weapon inside a chest on your second run of the game, after getting all the armor and shield upgrades.


The ever-present items and enemy-carried pots are here as well:

  1. Peasant Stone Statue: gives 200 points.
  2. Knight Stone Statue: gives 500 points.
  3. Money bags: lying all around the place. There are white (500 points) and golden (1000 points) bags. These are now important items, since the continues you get after losing all your lives depend of how much gold you collected (this restriction is not applied in Beginner mode).


Treasure chests are back, and this time the Magician is not the only unpleasant surprise they may hold:

  1. Steel Armor: Arthur's standard armor, may appear if he's deprived of any protection (lol boxers).
  2. Bronze Armor: low-level magic armor that enhances weapons with some of their own magic power, but without access to their full potential.
  3. Gold Armor: high-level magic armor that unleashes the full potential of the magic weapons, enabling Arthur to enhance his weapons with magic, cast their secret spells, and also use special shields.
  4. Moon Shield: supplied with the gold armor, it can block an enemy shot, after which it will disintegrate, keeping its owner safe.
  5. Sun Shield: this shield can block three enemy shots before disintegrating, and it also improves Arthur's spell-casting speed.
  6. Bear Trap: a sharp-teethed bear trap that will clamp on whoever steps on it. Appears randomly.
  7. Mimic: creature that disguises itself as a treasure chest, but that looks different than normal ones. It is vulnerable only when it opens, but that's also the moment when it shoots a spirit at you.
  8. Magician: jester-like being that pops-up from treasure boxes to curse you with a morph spell, then dissapears. These transformations reduce your abilities greatly. If cursed without armor, you become a baby that gets stunned after every jump; if cursed with the iron armor, you become a seal, a form that still allows double-jumping; if cursed with the bronze armor, you become a bee that flies slightly over ground level; and if cursed with the gold armor, you turn into a peasant girl that can only jump and move. All of these spells will vanish in a few seconds, provided you hold enough without taking damage.


Stages (Taken from The Ghoul Realm):


The Haunted Graveyard - From this forgotten cemetery, zombies arise to attack the living. Only the brave of heart will survive a journey through this cursed land.

The Forest Of Fear - Inside this dark tangle of branches lies the ruins of an ancient castle. Within its walls grows an unearthly plant that feeds on whomever or whatever passes through its domain.



The Graveyard Of Ships - Long ago, this thriving harbor was home to hundreds of sea-faring men. But now the entire port is laid to waste, and only the ghouls remain.

The Sea Of Despair - Between the human realm and the Phantom Zone lies the Sea of Despair. Its storm-tossed seas have caused the ehartiest of adventurers to go insane.



Crucible of Flame - Deep within the earth, the flame of evil brightly burns. Its glow forebodes despair and darkness to all who venture here.

Towers of Molten Steel - The sight of these twin towers strikes terror into the hearts of men. Within these walls, the ghouls of the Phantom Zone practice their darkest evils.



To enter the frozen lands of the Emperor of Evil, you must first pass through the vile Ghoul's Stomach.



Ice Forest - The blizzards constantly blow in this frozen world of ice and snow. Many have tried to conquer this land; none have yet returned.

Ice Wall - A wall of sheer ice surrounds the palace of the Emperor of Evil. All attempts to scale the ice have met with doom.



The entrance to the castle holds many traps. Pay close attention or disaster will strike quickly.



A few hundred yards ahead lies the throne room of the Emperor. Only a gauntlet of ghouls stands in your way.



Inside, Sardius awaits! Only the power of Guinevere's enchanted bracelet can destroy the Emperor of Evil.


The following stages are only available in Arrange Mode from the GBA port:


Remake of the Village of Decay stage from Ghouls 'n Ghosts. Taken by the Ghoul Realm, this village is once again inhabited by deadly Rock Turtles, Antlions and Ogre Mayflies. The second area is full of Fire Killers setting fire to windmills. The area is guarded by the mighty Red Arremer Joker.



Remake of the fiery cave stage from Ghosts 'n Goblins. The first half you have to travel through huge cliffs traveling on floating rafts, avoiding the occasional Rose Bud enemy. The second area is a set of frail bridges over a river of lava. The bridges are protected by a lone Red Arremer Ace that will follow and attack you all the way if you fail to eliminate it. You have to hurry if you want to make it to the other side before the heat and lava bursts destroy them, but be careful of the Blue Killers hiding under the bridges. The area is guarded by a remake of the Dragon boss from the original Ghosts 'n Goblins. Don't worry, this is way easier than the original.



Remake of the first stage from Ghosts 'n Goblins. The first area is swarming with Zombies and Weredogs, and a strange full moon fills the sky, growing unnaturally big. The checkpoint is guarded by a Red Arremer Ace, and the second area is a lake filled with petrified Woody Pigs that revive when touched. You'll be attacked from all sides by Flying Knights and Bats, so try to calculate every jump. The area is guarded by the King Unicorn, a remake of the Unicorn demon from the original Ghosts 'n Goblins. Again, this is easier than the original.



A completely original stage, this underground lake is inhabited by a huge acuatic beast named Vulba Ro. You'll have to travel through the area doing many dangerous jumps while avoiding water currents, Bats, Flying Knights, Fire Killers and Vulba Ro itself, who will tirelessly attack from below. Vulba Ro will destroy some areas of the stage to trap and devour you. At the end of the stage you will face this huge beast. This battle can be pretty tough if you don't finish it quickly.


This game was greatly enhanced in terms of graphics and BGMs compared to the previous titles. Stages like the sea of despair ride or the rotating ghouls' stomach, with non-average platform elements were not seen in any of the previous games. Arthur's sprites are quite similar to his previous incarnation, but the enemies' sprites are way more detailed (and some bigger) than before. The MIDIsh music from the previous game is replaced with rich themes, some of them almost sounding as CD-quality stuff (like the Deep Chill stage theme). The only flaw is probably the game's physics... they just feel weird and sluggy after playing the first two games. Perhaps the slowdown in Arthur's falling speed would be intended to give more control over the double jump, but it is still too slow compared to previous games. Also, there are areas that tend to lagg for no apparent reason (and the remake has even more such areas). Taking those low points in consideration, this game is still more than worthy of your time if you enjoy your everyday walk in the graveyard wearing your trusty underwear.


Snapshots (Original Game)


Snapshots (Remake)



Choh Makaimura Art

All hail, dauntless knight Arthur! Years ago you quelled the terrifying phantoms of the Ghoul Realm who hexed the earth, and rescued Princess Prin Prin. Since that time you've journeyed far over the world seeking the powerful weapons of White Magic.

But now the kingdom is shrouded under an eerie spell. Sardius, the Emperor of Evil, has snatched Princess Prin Prin away to the slimy crypts of the Phantom Zone. The Ghoul Realm has revived, and the Creatures of the Undead haunt the land.

Once again, you must survive the dangerous journey into the depths of the Ghoul Realm. You'll swat at horrid ectoplasms and ghouls whose touch is deadly. Vampires will swirl around your head. Voracious plants will snap at you, hungry for bones to gnaw. The earth will crack, the seas will swell, and the fiends of darkness will engulf you. Your courage and skill will keep you moving through overwhelming terrors. And on the path, a mighty weapon - Magic - awaits!

Buckle on your sword, Arthur. It's time to begin your quest!

Some of the info and artwork was obtained at Rob's now-defunct site 'The Ghoul Realm'.

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