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Video Game / The Real Ghostbusters (Data East)

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This video game adaptation based on The Real Ghostbusters is a 1987 arcade game created by Data East. It's pretty basic top-down view run-and-gun where you control one of the busters to blast ghosts out of your way over the ten stages.

Although the game uses the name of The Real Ghostbusters, its relation to the animated series is superficial at best, and feels like the license was slapped on it in the last minute during the development. In fact, it's known as completely different game in Japan called Meikyū Hunter G, which almost looks and plays alike (minus Ghostbusters theme song and the ghost-catching gameplay mechanics). Due to lack of record, it's not clear which version came first, but it's often assumed The Real Ghostbusters is a revised version of Meikyū Hunter G, because Ghostbusters has a number of exclusive contents that the other didn't get (such as expanded arsenal and actual ending).


The game was later ported to various European computers (Commodore 64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST) around 1989, published by Activision.

This game provides examples of:

  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The game distinguishes the playable characters by giving them different-colored jumpsuits. The left-side player wears a blue jumpsuit, the right-side player wears a yellow jumpsuit, and the center player (exclusive to machines that allow three players to play at once) wears a red jumpsuit.
  • Difficulty by Region: The weapon options in Meikyū Hunter G aren't as fancy as the ones in The Real Ghostbusters, so it's often easy to find yourself quickly overwhelmed by sheer amount of ghosts.
  • In Name Only: Aside from the use of the Ghostbusters theme song, the Ecto-1 appearing in the opening cutscene, and one of the bosses resembling the Class 10 ghost from the episode "Ghosts R Us", the game doesn't really have anything to do with the titular animated series (as noted above, it started as an unrelated, original game).
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  • Mythology Gag: The monsters take their appearance from the earliest production artwork, developed during the "Original Promo Pilot" stage.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Much like most games in the same genre, it only takes a single hit to kill you.
  • Run-and-Gun: The game's main objective is to go around and shoot at every enemy in your way.
  • A Winner Is You: The ending consists of only two lines celebrating your success before it switches back to high score board.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Several boss fights consist of the player(s) being pitted against a wave of regular enemies.