The Ghostbusters (the ones with Slimer, not the ones with the Gorilla. That's another company and another story entirely) are a franchise I grew up with. More accurately, they're THE franchise I grew up with, but while there were the two (fantastic) movies and the (also fantastic) animated series, there was never really much in the way of videogames. There were two on the NES, one of which was so terrible noone knew how to begin the first level, then there was an arcade game that was originally some other, non-ghostbusters game about aliens, and that was pretty much it. Or so I thought. Somehow or other, I was completely unaware of the Genesis title until only a few years ago when I discovered it through the internet. While not exceptionally fun, it's definately fun enough, with good graphics and a wide variety of ghosts to make it perfectly worthy of its name.

   Except, that is, for the terrible music and the fact that Winston Zeddmore doesn't exist anywhere in it. Ah well...what's important here is that it's
not the NES one.
Dooo.... ...EGONNN....
  You may choose between Peter, Ray or Egon before playing, but you're stuck with your choice for the entire duration of the game. Peter is the "normal" one, Ray is slow-moving but can take the most damage, and Egon is the fastest but the frailest. You never really need to move quickly, so I went with Ray and things turned out fairly easy. When you lose all your HP, you fall to the ground as a mummy (or maybe it's a full-body cast, I don't know)

   There are four basic stages that you can play in any order you wish, though they are numbered in order of their difficulty. Each represents a different haunting to take care of, and you'll be awarded a hefty sum of money for defeating the stage's boss and "middle ghosts" (minibosses). When a middle ghost is defeated, it leaves behind a wimpy little green spook that you can reel in and nab in your ghost trap. This requires some timing and you're given only two tries before the ghost escapes, but it's fun to do and increases your payment. You can leave a stage at any time through its main exit, but you won't get paid until you locate and destroy the head boss.

   Money is used to purchase a small but fairly diverse variety of weapons, upgrades and powerups. A few of them are quite useful and even vital, but most you can do without. When all four main stages are cleared, a fifth (the haunted castle), opens up. When the fifth is cleared, you're automatically whisked away to a sixth and final stage.
What, you've never been to the city of SEGA?
The Ghosts
  Our old pal Slimer appears frequently and drops health or weapon energy pickups when blasted. He'll do damage if you touch him, but he doesn't have any interest in attacking you. He is usually found flying high overhead just before you reach a boss.
  Another helpful spirit, this blue ghost cannot damage you at all and is rarely encountered, but jumping on him sends you bouncing high into the air to reach otherwise inaccessible platforms.
  This is the pitiful little guy left behind by a defeated miniboss. The goal is to catch it in your stream and pull it down directly over the trap. The ghost, however, will simultaneously drag you forward. If your timing or positioning is off, you'll be pulled too far past the trap while the ghost gets close enough to damage you.
Basic Enemies (info on mouseover)
Haunted tableclothes that try to smother you.
Haunted tablecloths that try to smother you (like so!).
Haunted tablecloths that try to smother you. These inadvertantly dig you a path through the ice on their way to attack you.
Ghostly faces that emerge from the walls to spit at you.
Ghostly faces that emerge from the walls to spit at you.
Hopping blue jellies.
Tiny flying ghosts that spit pellets
Tiny flying ghosts that spit pellets These inadvertantly dig you a path through the ice on their way to attack you. These inadvertantly dig you a path through the ice on their way to attack you.
Little eye ghosts that bounce all around the rooms. Little eye ghosts that bounce all around the rooms.
Tiny flying ghosts that spit pellets Hopping blue jellies.
Plantlike barriers in the castle stage that shoot trios of pellets. The core is the weak point.
Cool, ghostly giant squid are the only aquatic enemy.
You have to blast off the tentacles, then the head, but they'll regenerate fast!
Boring ice guys that walk around being ice guys.
Neat-looking eye bats with sucker mouths!
Neat-looking eye bats with sucker mouths! Neat-looking eye bats with sucker mouths!
Neat-looking eye bats with sucker mouths!
Little flaming, leaping hedgehogs. Little flaming, leaping hedgehogs.
Zombies! They run around being zombies! Zombies! They run around being zombies!
Zombies! They run around being zombies!
Haunted teddies that run after you, swell up, and explode! Haunted teddies that run after you, swell up, and explode!
Haunted teddies that run after you, swell up, and explode!
Haunted teddies that run after you, swell up, and explode! Immobile cactus things in the final stage. Some pulsate and shoot needles.
Mini eye-worms that crawl on ceilings in the high rise building.
Haunted teddies that run after you, swell up, and explode!
Mini eye-worms that crawl on ceilings in the high rise building.
1st Case: Home Sweet Home
Middle Ghost
  This small stage has only one middle-ghost, but it's one of the strangest. This tap-dancing, haunted tuxedo flips open its top hat to reveal a giant, monstrous version of your creepy neighbors, small, monstrous dog, which spits little green gobs of slime at you. The tux can also send its lower legs after you while the rest stays in place. When the body is destroyed, the ghost dog's headless body and/or floating head continue the battle.
Sweet home Boss
  This cool, comical bag of scales seems angry at being woken up, or something. Did I mention that the bosses speak before battle, but in Japanese? No? Some of the game is translated and some isn't. Well, anyway, this guy attacks in two ways: either by rolling its head at you (the body completely vanishes) or scattering its scales, which swarm in the air and spin towards you like tiny blades. The latter attack exposes his real body (far right), which is the only time he's at all vulnerable.
2nd Case: Apartment
Middle Ghost
  This plodding, crystalline creature attacks with electrical bolts or by swinging from the ceiling. Its bolts sometimes create smaller clumps of crystal that damage you on contact and eventually fly apart.
Middle Ghost
  A flying banshee that spits trios of red energy bursts. She periodically stops in mid-air and splits into three identical spirits This is the only time she can be damaged, but only if you hit her true self. Yeah, one of those bosses.
Apartment Boss
  Completely making up for the boring middle ghosts of the apartment, this freaky-looking, floating snowman is the source of this stage's frozen state. Both of his mouths release smaller floating snowmen who can, in turn, fire their noses at you like missles. Notice the bucket on his head as he melts and dies - was that his true body? A haunted bucket? I like to think so. That's the kind of thing I like to think.
3rd Case: Woody House (teehee)
Middle Ghost
  You guessed it. The Woody House is a fire stage. I guess you can't very well have a boring, generic ice stage in a game without a boring, generic fire stage as well. This first middle ghost is remarkably easy - if you jump at just the right moment when he rises from the floor, he'll be stuck blowing fire clear over your head when you land. Then you can just shoot him in the face until he's done and repeat the process over and over.
Middle Ghost
  This devilish fire guy leaps and spins around the room like a ninja. Or maybe he's a pretty, pretty ballerina. I don't have much else to say, unless I tell you about how this one time I sneezed and an entire, unchewed crown of broccoli flew out of my throat even though I couldn't remember the last time I had broccoli, but I don't think you want to hear that story. Oh, wait, you just did, and now you can NEVER forget it. You suck.
Woody House Boss
  You'll come face to gigantic face (I made a funny. Ha.) with the boss of the woody house (it's woody!) in a small room with a pit in the center. The boss will emerge randomly from either wall, sometimes upside-down, and can only be damaged in the mouth. Once fully extended from the wall, it either shoots a trio of energy bullets or spits up a single crawling jelly-blob. Unlike the blue, leaping jellies you encounter as enemies, these things are invincible. Luckily they are slow-moving and will either fall into the pit or disappear into the opposite wall.
4th Case: High-rise Building
Middle Ghost
  One of my favorites, this flying chain of eyes winds all around the room and can only be damaged in the head, which causes it to break off and float about seperately while the segment behind it becomes a replacement head. After a while, the entire worm will split itself apart into all its individual segments, which ricochet madly around the room with all those extra heads you created. If you don't destroy all of them, they'll reform into a whole new, fully rejuvinated worm.
Middle Ghost
  An interesting flying thing that hides behind its indestructible wings. It either closes up and bounces off the walls or flies overhead firing energy beams straight down from its three tubes. The eye changes into a mouth before it attacks, but this doesn't seem to mean anything.
High-Rise Boss
  That's right! It's Mr. Stay-Puft! Straight from the first Ghostbusters film. You fight him from the top of the building, blasting his head as it peeks over the roof while avoiding his fists from either side. He also has eyebeams and fireball spit. Gosh, I don't remember that part.
5th Case: Castle
Middle Ghost
  Before entering this stage, both other Ghostbusters (whoever you didn't pick at the start of the game) will be kidnapped by some guy named Arthur who has his own castle. Both busters show up as seperate middle-ghosts, controlled by green phantoms that float behind them. These phantoms are your target, but the possessed buster will mimic your attacks. Luckily, you can't actually hurt your buddies, and you won't take any damage from touching them.
Middle Ghost
  The Grim reaper's primary method of attack is called "if I need to tell you the grim reaper's primary method of attack you are clearly an idiot". Sometimes he stops and creates four flaming crescents that bounce around the room. Like most other bosses, his weakness is his face.
Middle Ghost
  Because one giant worm made of eyes is NEVER enough, this creature creeps along the ground in an inchworm-like manner. When the head is destroyed, the eyeballs fly around near the ceiling and swoop down on you when overhead. They also rapidly grow and shrink, making them trickier to hit. Despite similarities, this is not the previous eye-worm with a hot new look; its proportions and behavior are completely different.
Castle Boss
  Most of the castle looks like, well, a castle, but the walls are awfully mossy...TOO mossy! The closer you are to the boss's chamber, the slimier the scenery. The culprit? Either copyright infringement, an attempted homage, or Audrey II followed Rick Moranis into the wrong franchise. Whatever the case, it attacks with a massive blue beam from its mouth while mini-audreys sprout out of the ground/ceiling and launch their heads at you.

   You can easily avoid both attacks and defeat this boss by simply crouching and crawling for the whole fight, which I guess means it isn't Audrey II after all. As if the six eyes and muscular biceps weren't suspicious enough,the Audrey II
I remember would never lose to a crawling Dan Akroyd.
6th Case: Deep Hole
  The middle ghosts of the Deep Hole consist of all four previous stage bosses. Boring and predictable, yes, but this time you'll be able to finally trap them like any other middle-ghost. Too bad they just turn into the same old green phantoms; they should've had their own, unique trappable forms. Ah well. Once you've cleaned all four reruns out of this spiny, purple labyrinth, the chamber of the FINAL boss (and true cause of all this sudden paranormal chaos) is opened:
Jenna, the Goddess of Death and Destruction
  Jenna won't stay pretty for long. As soon as she's done talking to you (whatever it is she's saying), she'll become a massive aztec-looking demoness rooted to the cavern floor. She inititally attacks by throwing her sword like a gigantic boomerang and dropping giant, bouncing human hearts. When her health is about halfway gone, her heart-throwing arm will fall off, her color and face will change, and she'll detach from her slimy roots to float freely around the room. This actually makes her a bit easier; if you step back and crouch as she throws the sword, it won't even be able to touch you. Keep blasting her in the face and she'll finally explode. Then you're rewarded by the city Mayor and the credits roll. Yep, another otherwise cool platformer with a boring non-ending. Hooray!


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