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Ghouls'n Ghosts (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Ghouls'n Ghosts

Also known as: Dai Makaimura (JP)
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Arcade (CP System)
Released internationally: December 1988

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Three years after Ghosts'n Goblins, the demon realm has reappeared, and the people in Arthur's homeland have had their souls stolen. Arthur doesn't cotton to that.

He also enchanted his sub-weapons with magic power. Too bad he didn't do anything about the one-hit armor.

Debug Functions

There are multiple debug functions hidden in the game. Place this MAME code in ghouls.xml to change the Cross Hatch test in the service menu to the appropriate test.

  <cheat desc="Replace Cross Hatch Test with...">
      <item value="0x0006">Layer Viewer</item>
      <item value="0x05AC">Scroll 1 Test</item>
      <item value="0x0768">Scroll 2 Test</item>
      <item value="0x08A6">Scroll 3 Test</item>
      <item value="0x0C38">Object Test</item>
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Layer Viewer

Each stage has three options: Scroll 1 (doesn't seem to do anything), Scroll 2 (foreground layer), and Scroll 3 (background layer).


  • 1P Joystick: Move camera.
  • 1P Button 1 + 1P Joystick: Move camera faster.
  • 1P Button 1: Animate tiles (Normal speed).
  • 1P Button 2: Animate tiles (Slower speed).
  • 1P Start: Exit test.

In the level viewer, there's a small gray cursor at the center-bottom of the screen. The level viewer also gives out information on what's currently selected by the gray cursor.

  • Block: This is the current 384x256 block ID.
  • Code: This is where the block graphic is stored in memory.
  • Color: This is the palette ID of the currently selected block (actual value is 40 + Color value).
  • Atari: This is the collision information ID of the currently selected block.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Character Viewers

GhoulsGhostsArcScroll1Char.png GhoulsGhostsArcScroll2Char.png
Layer 1 Test Layer 2 Test
GhoulsGhostsArcScroll3Char.png GhoulsGhostsArcObjectChar.png
Layer 3 Test Object Test

These are rudimentary viewers for all three tile layers and sprites.


  • 1P Left/Right: Selects between Char Code (ROM offset), H Flip, Color / Stage, and V Flip.
  • 1P Up/Down: Increases / decreases Char Code or Color.
  • 1P Button 1: Toggles H Flip / V Flip or increments stage counter (capped at 03).
  • 1P Start + 2P Start: Exits test.

Hidden Credits

GhoulsGhostsArcCreditsHold.png GhoulsGhostsArcCredits1.png
GhoulsGhostsArcCredits2.png GhoulsGhostsArcCredits3.png
When the game gets to Knight Arthur's scene in the cast list, hold 1P or 2P (Depending on which player beat the game) Up + Button 1 + Button 2 before the scene cuts out to see a list of designer and programmer credits.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Cut Levels

Game Designer Tokurou Fujiwara mentioned a more ambitious design for the game in a 1991 interview:

"Also, we originally had a far grander design in mind for Daimakaimura. After the second stage, each stage would have branching A and B routes, and you’d get to choose your path after every stage. Then on the second loop you’d be forced to play the stages you didn’t choose the first time around. Unfortunately, we ran out of memory and time so those extra stages had to be cut. However, even though we shelved those stages, the alternate stage 2 (the water stage) was secretly resurrected and used in the Super Famicom Choumakaimura as the second half of stage 2."

(Source: Shmuplation's translations)

The stage list in the level viewer has slots assigned for the alternate stages:

ID Stage
00 Level 1 - The Execution Place
01 Level 2 - The Village of Decay
02 (Alternate Level 2)
03 Level 3 - Baron Rankle's Tower
04 (Alternate Level 3)
05 Level 4 - The Crystal Forest
06 (Alternate Level 4)
07 Level 5 - Lucifer's Castle
08 (Alternate Level 5)
09 Final Level - Lucifer

At the time the game was completed, only Stages 02 and 04 had any work done on them, though their block IDs and graphics were overwritten at some point in development. Stages 06 and 08 are empty and use placeholder foreground and background palettes.

Stage 02

Seems to be a vertical and horizontal level. The block IDs were reclaimed in the final game's penultimate level (Stage 07 in the level viewer).

GhoulsGhostsArcLevel2PaletteFG.png GhoulsGhostsArcLevel2PaletteBG.png
FG Palette BG Palette

It's likely that Stage 02 was the alternate stage 2, with the seven-by-three block near the start of the stage being the ghost ship and the long horizontal stretch being the long sea area. The foreground and background palettes seem to support this theory.

Stage 04

A pretty long horizontal level. The block IDs were reclaimed in the final game by Level 4 (Stage 05 in the level viewer).

FG Palette

It's less clear on what this level was; it doesn't seem to have been ported to Super Ghouls'n Ghosts. The palette suggests a fiery or volcanic level. There's no background palette for this level, but it's unknown whether the background wasn't finished in time or if the level just didn't use the background layer.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Music

Track 03 Track 04

Tracks 03 and 04 are used for the Top Score and High Score tracks, respectively. However, only 22 seconds are heard from either track. They're actually much longer, and they fit perfectly with the ending sequence!

Track 03 was used for the ending text.
Track 04 was used for the cast list, though it only syncs up if it starts playing when the first boss appears. The minor enemies were probably added in later to sync with the new, longer track.

The final track used for both sequences is track 19.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

Not legal tender. Hey. Hey buddy. Your bag's leaking.
Sprites for coin and money bag bonus items. These both appeared in the first game, but they're absent in this game.

The man who would be King.
A king that doesn't appear in the final game. Is this Princess Prin Prin's father?

More wrecked than intended.
Only a few tiles from the cut water stage weren't overwritten by other graphics. The palette may not be correct, but it's the closest match in the Stage 02 palette set.

Ghouls'n Ghosts Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
Old wood New old wood

One cluster of unused tiles is almost identical to a similar chunk from Super Ghouls'n Ghosts.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan World USA
Daimakaimura Ghouls'n Ghosts (World) Ghouls'n Ghosts (USA)

Known as Daimakaimura (大魔界村, "Great Demon World Village") in Japan. When the logo appears in the Japanese version, the "Dai" in Daimakaimura is hit by lightning, which then flows through the rest of the logo, making a pulsating border. Besides the different title name, the international version was completely redesigned with a spectral gargoyle as a backdrop. It still kept the pulsating border from the Japanese logo but added flickering flames inside the letters.

The international (World) version has different gameplay demos compared to the Japanese and American versions. It shows the same parts of the game but the gameplay is slightly different.

Archangel Michael

World USA
albe able

The typo "albe" in St. Michael's message was fixed in the American version.


World USA
Amazic! Proofread.

Despite the poor translation and numerous typos in the ending text, only "mazic power" was fixed in the American version.


World USA
A conspicuous blank space. The first one, I guess.

The USA version is the only version that credits Hiroshi Koike with an actual game.


The level of difficulty varies significantly between the three versions, with the Japanese version being the hardest and the American version being the easiest.

  • The USA version is by far the easiest version of the game with armor found in every two chests, bosses have fewer hit points, and it provides multiple checkpoints per stage. In comparison to the Japanese version, which only provides one checkpoint per stage. (The stage map still reflects the original checkpoint system.) This altered checkpoint system can either be a blessing or a curse as it even let you restart at boss encounters. This means that you are not able to build up your character if you die, and if you happen to reach Ohme on stage 4 with a sword you are not able to progress any further as that boss requires that you have a long range weapon.
  • The international version (World) has the same checkpoint and treasure chest system as the Japanese version but enemies are less aggressive in their patterns and movement speed. (The enemy respawn rate may differ as well.)