Before there was the fancy 8 MEGA MEMORY Strider for Genesis that most people think of when you say Strider, there was the original NES version that has always held a special place in my brain. To this day, I still remember the password for the last level (it’s DMCC BGCP CPOD, if you were wondering). I don’t know what it was about this game that gave me such a semi-obsession as a kid. Looking back, it’s a glitchy and clumsy game, that is far from the tightest thing Capcom has ever produced, even by 8-bit standards. The level design and amount of convoluted backtracking involved is questionable, to say the least, and the jumping is just a mess, but dammit…I like Strider. The weird levels, interesting enemies, bizarrely barely coherent plot, and awesome Capcom 8-bit music just won’t let me let go of my Strider fixation. It’s still a game that I have to pick up and play again every few years and I doubt I’ll ever stop.

Oh, Ghosts ‘N Goblins. The game that everyone in 1985 thought was so cool, but no one could even come close to beating. It’s weird that you never seem to see this one mentioned on any of the goofy “top 10 hardest old games” lists you always see. This was much worse than Battletoads. Seriously, if you ever meet someone that says they can beat this game without cheating, call the fucking FBI or something, because that person is some kind of evil mutant or wizard and they’re probably about to suck the life force out of you.

Not content with simply being perhaps the most difficult game ever released on the NES, Ghosts ‘N Goblins also trolls the shit out of you like you wouldn’t believe. If you somehow manage to make it all the way to the last boss and beat him, the game tells you:

and you not only are sent back to the beginning, but now the game is even fucking harder. That’s not everything either. If you manage to do it all again and finish the level right before the final boss again, if you don’t have the cross weapon equipped the game happily tells you that your weapon is useless in this battle and doesn’t just send you back to the beginning of the level where you can find a cross, but shoots you back two whole levels, because fuck you, that’s why! If you somehow manage to make it through ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT, which let me tell you, it’s not easy even using save state spamming, you finally win and

Hooray! I’ve always wanted to beat that game. Now let’s never, EVER speak of this again.

5 comments on “

  1. Ghost N Goblins sounds like it was coded by a troll. I would probably smash the TV if my only reward for overcoming all those hurdles was an end screen that has a typo.

    • Back in the day a crappy misspelled text screen ending was pretty common, so we probably wouldn’t have thought much about it at the time. Always makes me appreciate modern day endings more, like when I see all those people complaining about Mass Effect 3’s ending I’m just like YOU YOUNG PUNKS, BACK IN MY DAY WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE ENDINGS!

      • Many old games are virtually impossible to beat so I guess the developers didn’t think it was worth putting much effort to make a screen most people won’t see. Ghostbusters on the NES has a really terrible end screen too.

  2. Red Metal says:

    It sure is nice having save states; a lot of these games, though not super-long, are quite demanding to play the entirety of in a single sitting. That’s not even getting into those times when a freak accident knocks out the power, causing you to lose all of your progress. That never happened to me, but I can imagine it would be exceedingly frustrating.

    • This always takes me back to Rygar. That game was so good, but so completely impossible to finish in a single sitting in a single day and with no level skipping, saves , or password system at all. All you could do was pause at bedtime and pray that no one noticed the NES was still on until you could get back to it.

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