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Ghostbusters (NES)

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Title Screen


Developer: Bits Laboratory
Publishers: Tokuma Shoten (JP), Activision (US)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: September 22, 1986
Released in US: October 1988

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

An appalling conversion of the computer game, the NES Ghostbusters is notorious for its poor presentation, badly-designed mechanics, areas that weren't an issue in the other ports, and a super-hard and grueling staircase sequence which prevents almost all players from reaching the final boss fight and finishing the game.

At least it has a pretty okay rendition of the Ghostbusters theme. Too bad it plays throughout the entire game.


To do:
Here is a prototype of this “grate” game: http://www.nintendoplayer.com/prototype/ghostbusters/

Unused Graphics

Ghostbusters NES unused GFX 1.png

Some unknown icons, including an unused version of a ghost sticking its tongue out. The last icon appears to be the Tokuma Soft logo, seen on the front of the Japanese version's manual.

(Source: NESRocks)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US
Ghostbusters - FC - Title Screen.png Ghostbusters - NES - Title Screen.png

The Japanese version simply says "PUSH START BUTTON", while the US version replaces the text with "LICENSED BY NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC." The text even flashes.

Copyright Screen

Japan US
Ghostbusters - FC - Copyright Screen.png Ghostbusters - NES - Copyright Screen.png
  • "INC." was added to the end of "COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES".
  • The "CO.,LTD." text for the Tokuma Shoten copyright was kept on the same line in order to make room for additional copyrights to Activision and Nintendo of America. Strangely, the Family Computer is still mentioned in the US release.
  • The Japanese version refers to the developer as "Workss", but the US version refers to them as "Bits". Additionally, the copyright year was updated.


Japan US
Ghostbusters - FC - Shop.png Ghostbusters - NES - Shop.png

The shop in the Japanese version is called "Shop Workss", in reference to the game's developer. This answers the AVGN's question of who is providing the Ghostbusters with their equipment - the game developers!

Ghost Alarm Resale Value

In the Japanese version, it's possible to earn enough money to enter the ZUUL Building early by buying and selling the Ghost Alarm over and over again as its purchase price is lower than its resale value. This oversight was fixed in the US version.

Missing Ending

The Japanese version doesn't show the ending and credits as a result of the wrong CHR-ROM page being loaded. Instead, beating the game produces a blank screen that lasts for about a minute, eventually followed by the text "りり" (riri) scrolling onto the middle of the screen.

...I feel insulted.

Game Genie code PAXKKLAA will fix the ending:

At least the Engrish is amusing.

This text is only slightly different from the US version's ending, with the latter correcting "grate" to "great". Still doesn't make it true, mind you...

Other Differences

  • During the driving segments, the Japanese version has you avoiding two cars at a time, which was reduced to just one for the US release.