Video Game / Ghostbusters (1990)

A side-scrolling action game developed by Compile for the Sega Genesis, based on the Ghostbusters franchise.

Not to be confused with the earlier 1984 video game released by Activision.

This game has examples of:

  • The Artifact: Buying items and pack upgrades and "driving" to haunted locations are holdovers from the original game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The "Barrier" upgrade, which makes you invincible but drains energy fast.
  • Bandage Mummy: Every time your character loses all his energy, he will become covered in bandages.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: You must battle your possessed teammates in the Castle level. In order to repossess them, you must get behind them and attract the very visible possessor.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Appears in the form of white tablecloth ghosts. As in: the tablecloth floats off the table, comes toward you, and "ties you up" if you don't shoot it down in time.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Most of the levels.
  • Blackout Basement:
    • The burning building level, which for some reason was bathed in pitch-black darkness note . Luckily, you CAN buy an Infrared Scope (read: Paragoggles) at the Item Shop. They're only useful on that one level, and the batteries wear out.
  • Bubble Gun: The bubble projectile, which can carry ghosts away to somewhere else. Depending on how good your jumping skills are, this may become useful in the Woody House, as there is one type of ghost (a blue fire porcupine) which isn't affected by any of the other weapons.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Four Boss Ghosts hold the pieces of a stone tablet. The fifth holds a red gem that, when placed in the center of the tablet, causes a gigantic hole to open right in the middle of New York City. The final boss holds a blue gem that, when placed in the center of the tablet, undoes the damage.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The player is given a choice between Peter, Ray, and Egon at the beginning. The two that are not picked will later be fought as bosses with the in-story justification of being possessed.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The Woody House level is full of fire-based ghosts, including a fast-moving "Fire Giant" and a dragon made of fire.
  • Evil Former Friend: "Arthur" to the Weapons Shop owner.
    "Did Arthur die? Once he was my friend. After he found the stone tablet he changed, but a long time ago he was a good man. To restore his good name, I'll repay you for your costs."
  • Giving Up the Ghost: The minibosses do this, and you have to catch the ghost with the Proton Stream and trap. It's most evident in the Castle level, when you have to exorcise your possessed teammates: the Green Ghost comes out of their mouths.
  • Goomba Springboard: There's a helpful ghost called Bouncing Buddy, who could get you out of a tight spot by bouncing you back up to where you fell.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: The game uses super-deformed sprites, but characters are normally proportioned in portraits and cutscenes
  • The Grim Reaper: A Grim Reaper-like miniboss is present in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Ghostbusters open a gigantic hole in the middle of the city when they put the "Eye of the Flame" jewel into the stone tablet. Fortunately, replacing it with a jewel called "The Storm's Calm" repairs the damage.
  • One-Winged Angel: Janna's final form.
  • Planimal: Scalon, the boss in "Home Sweet Home," and the Broccoli Worm, a miniboss in the Castle.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: You encounter the Silk Hatton, who can pull a deranged, chihuahua-looking ghost rabbit out of his hat.
  • Shout-Out: The Venus Flytrap ghost in the Castle level is one for Audrey II. Where, oh where, is Rick Moranis when you need him?
  • Snowlems: The "Apartment" level, which is a frozen tundra and filled with water, has these all over. There are small ones throughout the level, an Ice Golem named Crysta-Robo, and a snowman-themed final boss.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Janna, the final boss, is essentially a Palette Swap version of Gozer. Additionally, the "Banshee" found in the Apartment level looks like the ghost in Ray's dream.
  • Spinning Paper: There's a variant of this: the newspaper simply fades in, but the effect is the same. The headline is always "GHOST COPS BUST ___ STREET SPOOK."


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