Speedrun Hype The 32 Best Horror Games For The Nes Famicom
Speedrun Hype The 32 Best Horror Games For The Nes Famicom
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The 32 Best NES Horror Games *Updated

Scary 8-Bit Fun

Below is our list of scary 8-bit games for the NES & Famicom ??

We tried to find all of the spooky, scary, and creepy games we could find.

UPDATED: Now ranked based on your votes!

If there are any we missed then let us know in the comments!

We’ll keep updating this list with new additions as we find them ?


32 – Dr. Chaos (1988)

The story revolves around Dr. Ginn Chaos, a mad physicist who spends his time away from society doing secret experiments in his extensive mansion. His latest invention is an Interdimensional Warpgate which grants access to another world. Shortly arriving at the mansion to visit him is his younger brother, Michael. Michael quickly realizes that Ginn is missing. Making matters worse, the mansion’s architecture is damaged, and is overrun with strange hostile creatures. Michael must now survive against the hostile creatures throughout the mansion, in his attempt to find his brother.



31 – Chiller (1990/Unlicensed)

The game consists of a series of screens representing various dungeon and horror movie settings. Most screens feature helpless NPCs bound or restrained by a variety of medieval torture devices. The player must figure out how to kill every NPC in as short amount a time as possible; although it is possible to simply shoot them to death, this process takes a considerable amount of time, as even headshots simply result in chunks of flesh and bone being blown away, leaving the victims alive. Rather, the challenge lies in finding ways to activate the various torture devices, resulting in quicker, bloodier deaths.

For each screen, shooting all available targets gives the player a bonus shooting round. The game features a Ghost counter on-screen scoring system named the “Ectoplasmic Tabulator”. It has very similar gameplay to “Crossbow” and other related Exidy 440 board system games.



30 – Getsu Fuuma Den (1987/Japan Only)

The first year of the Demon Age (魔暦元年 Mareki Gan-nen), the demon lord Ryūkotsuki (龍骨鬼) escaped from hell and plotted to conquer the surface world ruled by the three Getsu brothers (月氏三兄弟 Getsu-shi San Kyōdai). The Getsu brothers fought against Ryūkotsuki, each wielding one of the three spiritual Pulse Blades (波動剣 Hadōken) that have been passed within the clan for generations. However, the brothers were ultimately defeated by the demon and only Fūma (風魔), the youngest of the three, survived. Vowing to avenge his slain brothers, Fūma ventures into Kyōki-tō (狂鬼島 Mad Demon Island) to recover the three stolen Pulse Blades and summon the spirits of his brothers to defeat Ryūkotsuki.



29 – Frankenstein: The Monster Returns (1991)

Set some time after the Frankenstein story, the titular Monster (erroneously named Frankenstein as in many other sources) returns from the dead, leading a supernatural army – by way of magic. He razes several villages and kidnaps a beautiful maiden named Emily, with the intent on making her his bride. The Monster even manages to use his magic to subdue several mythical entities such as Death and Medusa as well. The player is a young swordsman of the village determined to stop the supernatural army, rescue Emily, and slay the Monster once and for all.



28 – Ghoul School (1992)

While taking the usual shortcut home through the cemetery from Cool School High, Senior Spike O’Hara found a strange, glowing skull. He put it in his backpack to show to his anatomy teacher the next day which happened to be Halloween Eve. When Dr. Femur wanted to keep the skull for a special study, Spike was concerned because it appeared that the skull was bigger than it was the day before. Little did anyone know that the skull had begun transmitting its message to the realm of the dead. The ghouls had begun their assault…

Ghosts/demons have taken over Cool School High. They have turned the teachers and football team into demons. To make matters worse, they have kidnapped Samantha Pompom, the head cheerleader. The player assumes the role of Spike O’Hara as he tries to defeat the ghouls and rescue Samantha. He will have to explore more than 200 rooms and defeat a large number of enemies. There are items and weapons throughout the game that O’Hara can find to defeat the ghouls, though many of these items are well-hidden.



27 – Uninvited (1991)

The unnamed hero must find the way through an abandoned house in order to rescue a sibling. The quest involves magic and solving logic puzzles while discovering sinister secrets of the house’s former inhabitants.

The player regains consciousness from a car crash in front of a large, old mansion. The player’s sibling (a younger brother in the computer version but an older sister in the NES version) is gone, and the car is soon lost, as it bursts into flames. The only option is to enter the mansion looking for your sibling, and for help. It is not long before the player is greeted by the first undead dweller, however.

It gradually becomes evident that the house once belonged to a sorcerer with a number of apprentices. Dracan, the most talented apprentice, became corrupt and killed the other inhabitants with his magic, resulting in the house becoming haunted.



26 – Swamp Thing (1992)

The NES version of Swamp Thing borrows the game engine from The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants. Its introduction features the origin story of Swamp Thing and as depicted in the 1991 animated series. The player takes the role of the title character battling foes throughout the Louisiana swamps and other locations in a side-scrolling format. Swamp Thing’s attack methods include punching and firing “sludge balls” which are acquired throughout the game. The player must venture through various stages, which include a graveyard, chemical factory, toxic dump, and finally, Arcane‘s lab. Bosses include Arcane’s Un-Men, Dr. Deemo, Weedkiller, Skinman, and finally, Arcane himself.[2]

In Game Boy’s Swamp Thing, stages include the Arctic, the desert, and contaminated rainforests. Swamp Thing also uses tools like camouflage and thorn skin, and he must recycle scattered garbage in order to score points and gain additional powers.



25 – Youkai Club (Youkai Kurabu) (1987/Japan)

A clan of apparitions which had thought to be long defeated in ancient times was successfully revived by the king apparition of evil. The king lead an assault against the land of mankind, and had breached its borders. Though only a boy, Akira was gifted with ESP talent that would allow him to avert the crisis. The army of apparitions has taken over a stronghold at the edge of town. The fate of the town is entrusted to Akira’s hands, and he must use his abilities to defeat the army.



24 – Werewolf: The Last Warrior (1990)

The game took place on “Red Earth”—Earth’s second colony planet.[1] Dr. Faryan adventured into a cave and awoke an ancient evil that made him turn into an evil entity.[1] Afterwards, Dr. Faryan created a bunch of evil mutants who imprisoned nearly everyone on Earth.[2] The only hope for humanity is a man named “Ken” who could transform into a werewolf named “Warwolf”.



23 – Monster In My Pocket (1992)

Warlock, wanting to have power and rule over all the other monsters, creates a shrinking spell to use as punishment for any who chooses to oppose him. As time goes on, all of the monsters choose to join his side – except for Vampire and The Monster. However, the spell was miscast – causing all of the monsters to shrinking in size. sends out his henchmen, led by Spring Heeled Jack, Bigfoot, Kraken, Gremlin, and Medusa while Vampire and The Monster are watching TV in the Miles home. They must fight their way through the upstairs and kitchen of the home, the street, and the sewer; they emerge in a construction site and an Orientalist garden before fighting Warlock at Monster Mountain, although that’s not the end of the game.

Vampire and the Monster’s abilities in the game are the same (though 2-player simultaneous action was an option): they can make an attack that can extend slightly beyond their bodies with a bit of a blaze, and they can make a double-jump from the height of their jump, something that has since become a common move in many video games.

The remaining good monsters from the comics—Werewolf, Vampiress, Golem, Swamp Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, Jotun Troll, Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, and Mummy—made no appearance whatsoever in the game, although Werewolf did appear on the cover. Warlock and Minotaur were the only two monsters from series 2 to appear in the game. In the comic book, however, Medusa declared that by her count, Vampire’s side had a majority, though all the other series 1 monsters were included as enemies in the game. Blemmyes appeared prominently on the cover, and the figure was distributed exclusively with the game, though did not appear in the game itself. It came inside the box, next to a smaller piece of styrofoam than NES cartridge boxes normally contained.



22 – Jaws (1987)

In the game, the player pilots a boat across the sea, randomly encountering groups of hostile sea creatures. When the boat hits something in the overhead map, the perspective changes to a side-view. The player’s boat releases a diver who battles various undersea threats such as jellyfish, rays, and smaller sharks. Occasionally, Jaws will appear on the map in the form of its familiar dorsal fin breaking the water’s surface. If players collide with Jaws’ dorsal fin, they can momentarily control their boat in the side-view encounter in an attempt to attack Jaws with depth charges. Jaws will always collide with the boat and release the diver into the water. Jaws will also appear after a brief moment if the player snags something in the overhead map with Jaws nearby.



21 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1993)

Bram Stroker’s Dracula is a side-scroller platform game loosely based on the 1992 film of the same name. Players take the role of Jonathan Harker whose mission is to destroy Count Dracula by first heading to Transylvania and then London. 

Jonathan Harker can move left and right, jump and attack with a weapon, the most basic of which is a knife. The status display on the screen shows Harker’s health bar, countdown timer to complete the level and currently held weapon. Throughout the levels question mark boxes (similar to the Mario games) can be found, attacking these will reveal power ups which include health restoration, timer increase and new weapons. Among these new weapons are axes, daggers and a shotgun. Question mark boxes can also be used as platforms to reach other areas and enemies. Each stage is divided into two sections: the ‘Daytime’ and the ‘Nighttime’. These are entirely different levels comparable to stage 1-a and 1-b. Harker must jump to various platforms and obstacles and defeat minor enemies throughout the levels. The end of a Nighttime level is usually guarded by a boss creature who must be defeated to progress.



20 – Akumajou Special Boku Dracula-Kun (Kid Dracula) (1990/Japan Only)

The self-proclaimed Demon King, Kid Dracula, has awoken from a long sleep, only to discover that the demon Galamoth has challenged him. Swiping his father’s cape, it is up to Kid Dracula to set out on an adventure to destroy the monster, and retake his throne. After battling through dangers and demons, Kid Dracula defeats Galamoth. This causes him to become famous throughout the land, with all the monsters in Transylvania showing up at his castle wanting to be his friend.



19 – Abadox (1990)

In the year 5012, the planet known as Abadox is soon eaten by a giant alien organism known as Parasitis. Once the planet has been consumed, the alien takes the form of the entire planet and seeks to devour other planets within the galaxy. The galactic military tries to fight the alien, but to no avail, as Parasitis destroys the entire galactic military, except for one hospital ship. It is then discovered that Princess Maria has been devoured as well. The galactic military decides to send out their best fighter, “Second Lieutenant Nazal”, to attempt to enter Parasitis’ body and rescue Princess Maria before it’s too late.



18 – Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (1989)

As Dr. Jekyll walks to the church with his cane in hand, several townspeople, animals, and other obstacles obstruct his path, causing him to become angry.[3] After your stress meter fills up, Dr. Jekyll will transform into Mr. Hyde. The gameplay then moves to a demonic world, where Hyde will fire out a “psycho wave” at enemies.[2] The Psycho Wave is in fact proudly displayed on the game’s cover.[4] If his anger reaches a certain level, he transforms into Mr. Hyde and is taken to a nightmarish world of monsters. As Mr. Hyde kills these monsters, his anger abates and eventually he transforms back into Dr. Jekyll.[3]

The game features six levels, but the levels differ between the Japanese and North American versions. The Japanese version follows this order: City, Park, Alley, Town, Cemetery, Street. However, the North American version replaces a few levels and follows this order: Town, Cemetery, Town, Park, Cemetery, Street. The North American version also removed certain sprites and segments from the original Japanese version.



17 – Fester’s Quest (1989)

While enjoying a night of moonbathing, Fester bears witness to an alien invasion and decides to take his blunderbuss and save the city.

Along the way, Fester gains new tools and weapons as well as clues for how to attack the alien mothership by fighting alien bosses. He can also get help from the various members of The Addams Family.



16 – Sweet Home (1989/Japan Only)

The story is based on that of the 1989 film of the same name, but the writers took some liberties and expanded on the film’s plot.[10][11] Thirty years prior to the story in 1959, famous artist Ichirō Mamiya hid several precious frescos in his huge mansion before he mysteriously disappeared. In the present day, a team of five documentary filmmakers seek to recover the paintings from the abandoned, dilapidated mansion. Upon entering, they are trapped inside by the ghost of an unknown woman, who threatens to kill all trespassers. The team decides to split up and find a way out, but the mansion is both in danger of collapsing and is occupied by countless monsters.

The team find a projection room, where they find a projector that displays an image of a couple and their baby burning. They discover that the ghost is that of Lady Mamiya, Ichirō’s wife. It is revealed that thirty years previously, Mamiya’s two-year-old son had fallen in the house’s incinerator and was burnt alive, and Mamiya attempted to provide playmates for her son by killing several other children. She committed suicide shortly after and her ghost, unable to forgive herself, became trapped in the mansion. The team arrives in the main chamber and confronts Mamiya in a final battle.



15 – Beetlejuice (1991)

Beetlejuice for NES borrows many of the movie’s visuals, including a Betelgeuse who looks kind of like the character played by Michael Keaton. The explorer with the shrunken head from Beetlejuice the movie serves as the game’s shopkeeper, and you’ll fight sandworms and a dead football player that look like their film counterparts.



14 – Zombie Nation (1991)

The plot of both Zombie Nation and Abarenbou Tengu takes place in 1999, when a meteor known as “Darc Seed” (Eva in the Japanese version) crashes in the Nevada desert. Darc Seed/Eva then shoots magnetic rays and turns the people of the United States into zombies. Darc Seed/Eva also brings the Statue of Liberty to life to follow its commands. The magnetic rays also allow Darc Seed/Eva to control many deadly weapons, including the most powerful weapon of all — the legendary samurai sword Shura.

The head of the samurai Namakubi hears of Shura falling into Darc Seed’s clutches. He then heads to the United States to destroy Darc Seed, free the American people from the looming zombification and reclaim the samurai sword Shura.



13 – Monster Party (1989)

The story centers on a child named Mark (originally known as Hiroshi (ひろし) in the unreleased Japanese prototype) who, on his way home from a baseball game, is approached by a winged, gargoyle-like alien named Bert (originally known as Varyū (バリュー) in the unreleased Japanese prototype) who seeks assistance in ridding “evil monsters” from his realm, “Dark World”.[1] Being the first person he encounters, Bert tries to enlist Mark as his aid in battle. Mark is reluctant to help, but Bert explains that anyone will do, and that Mark’s baseball bat will be as good a weapon as any. Bert quickly whisks him away, and on the way to Dark World magically fuses himself to Mark so that they are one being (with Mark able to transform into Bert for a limited time).

The bizarre premise and plot introduction sets up a game that is filled with variations on many traditional horror characters and themes (sometimes with ironic twists), as well as relatively novel [1][4] characters all its own. Some traditional horror bosses the game features include a mummy, giant spiders, zombies, Medusa, a Dragon, and The Grim Reaper. The game also features several enemies drawn from Japanese folklore and Japanese urban legends, such as Banchō Sarayashiki’s well and Jinmenken (human faced dogs). Enemies unique to the game include a large, talking caterpillar; walking pants; a giant cat that hurls kittens as projectiles; and a bouncing piece of fried shrimp.

After making his way through Dark World and ascending into what appears to be some kind of Heavenly realm, Mark fights and defeats the Dark World Master. His realm now free of monsters, Bert returns Mark home and leaves him with a parting gift for his help. When Mark opens the box, a beautiful princess emerges; after a few seconds, though, she transforms into a hideous monster accompanied by a few monsters who melts Mark’s flesh from his bones.

Mark suddenly awakens in his bed, his body intact. Believing his adventures in the Dark World was a dream, he prepares to leave the house to school, only to find Bert standing before the front door with Mark’s bat. Bert asks Mark if he is ready to go again, and the game ends.



12 – Maniac Mansion (1987)

Maniac Mansion is a graphic adventure game in which the player uses a point-and-click interface to guide characters through a two-dimensional game world and to solve puzzles. Fifteen action commands, such as “Walk To” and “Unlock”, may be selected by the player from a menu on the screen’s lower half.[5][6] The player starts the game by choosing two out of six characters to accompany protagonist Dave Miller: Bernard, Jeff, Michael, Razor, Syd, and Wendy.[7][5] Each character possesses unique abilities: for example, Syd and Razor can play musical instruments, while Bernard can repair appliances.[8] The game may be completed with any combination of characters; but, since many puzzles are solvable only by certain characters, different paths must be taken based on the group’s composition.[9][10] Maniac Mansion features cutscenes, a word coined by Ron Gilbert,[11][12] that interrupt gameplay to advance the story and inform the player about offscreen events.[5][9]

The game takes place in the mansion of the fictional Edison family: Dr. Fred, a mad scientist; Nurse Edna, his wife; and their son Weird Ed.[9] Living with the Edisons are two large, disembodied tentacles, one purple and the other green. The intro sequence shows that a sentient meteor crashed near the mansion twenty years earlier; it brainwashed the Edisons and directed Dr. Fred to obtain human brains for use in experiments. The game begins as Dave Miller prepares to enter the mansion to rescue his girlfriend, Sandy Pantz, who had been kidnapped by Dr. Fred.[9][13] With the exception of the green tentacle, the mansion’s inhabitants are hostile, and will throw the player characters into the dungeon—or, in some situations, kill them—if they see them. When a character dies, the player must choose a replacement from the unselected characters; and the game ends if all characters are killed. Maniac Mansion has five possible endings, based on which characters are chosen, which survive, and what the characters accomplish.



11 – Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei I (1987/Japan)

The Famicom version of Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei is a traditional role-playing video game in which the player takes control of a party composed of two humans and a number of demons. The party explores a large dungeon using a first-person perspective. The human characters use a variety of weapons and items, with the primary weapons being swords and guns. The items, which can range from healing items to different types of currency, are picked up from enemies or found in chests scattered through the dungeon. Weapons and accessories are purchased at different shops found within the dungeon.[1][2] Progress is saved using a password system.[2]

Battles are turn-based, with random encounters taking place while exploring dungeons. At the end of a successful battle, experience points, money, and items are obtained. Experience points are shared by Nakajima and Yumiko; by gaining enough experience points, their levels raise, and they are given one ability point each, which can be given to one of five character attributes: strength, intelligence, attack, dexterity, and luck. During battles, the player can try to persuade enemy demons to join them, in exchange for magnetite, money, or items. The player can keep seven demons at a time, of which up to four can be summoned at the same time; summoned demons aid the player in battles with physical and magic attacks, but cost money to summon, and consume magnetite as the player walks around. The demons’ attitude towards the player is governed by the moon phase, which cycles through eight phases from new to full. Demons do not level up; instead, the player can create stronger demons by visiting a special location and fusing two of their allied demons together into a new one.



10 – Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II (1990/Japan)

The story is set in “20XX”, 35 years after a nuclear apocalypse which devastates the world and permanently opens a portal to the demon world of Atziluth. Humanity is forced to survive in underground bunkers. Two such survivors, the protagonist and his friend, release a demon called Pazuzu from a video game. Pazuzu tells the two that they are destined messiahs who will save mankind. He grants the Hero the ability to summon and talk to demons, and his friend the gift of magic. Pazuzu gives them the mission of destroying the demon lords that have taken control of Tokyo, starting with Bael, the demon that sealed him inside Devil Busters. The heroes venture outside the shelter, and they are recognized as messiahs by the Church of Messiah. Upon reaching Tokyo Tower, however, the heroes find a witch who was also named a messiah by Pazuzu, but claims he has been manipulating them for his own gain. The friend refuses to believe that Pazuzu is using them. In order to progress in the story, the player has to side with the witch, causing the friend to leave and become his enemy. The Messiah and the witch travel around Tokyo and defeat the warring demon lords that attempt to take control of the city, disbanding the Cult of Deva in the process, and eventually kill Pazuzu himself. Meanwhile, the hero’s friend frees Lucifer from the seal placed upon him in the previous game. Eventually, the heroes reach Bael, who kills the hero’s friend as he attempts to fulfill Pazuzu’s will. The hero avenges his friend, and when he defeats Bael the demon turns into a tiny frog: the player can choose to kill the frog or take it with them.

The Messians instruct the hero to use the Seven Pillars of Solomon, collected during his travels, at ground zero of the missile attacks in order to open a gateway to the demon world of Atziluth and defeat the demons once and for all. Once in the demon world, the heroes travel through several areas and defeat the ruling demon overlords. If the heroes are carrying Bael with them, they can choose to restore him into his true form, the god Baal. The god Izanagi also asks the heroes to rescue the goddess Izanami, who has been killed by the demons. After defeating all the overlords and managing to revive Izanami, the gods help the heroes travel to Lucifer’s castle. If Bael has been restored into Baal, Lucifer explains that the demons are actually ancient gods cast into hell by the One True God, who is using the party to defeat his enemies, destroy both worlds and create a paradise where mankind will be under his rule forever. Lucifer offers to help the player prevent God’s plans, and claims that Satan, who was responsible for the nuclear war, must be dealt with. The heroes then travel back to the human world to confront Satan. If they did not accept Lucifer’s help and killed him instead, they defeat Satan and are then transported before God, who turns them into new deities and creates the Millennial Kingdom. If Lucifer is in their party, they have the chance to do battle with God. After defeating the god, he warns them that he will revive in time, and that without his help they have chosen a difficult path. Lucifer then returns to Atziluth with all the demons, sealing the rift between worlds and leaving humans to rebuild and recover from the war on their own.



9 – Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (1989/Japan Only)

Wanpaku Graffiti opens as Jennifer weeps over Rick’s grave. Lightning strikes, hitting the grave and reviving Rick, who has been wearing a mask. Lightning strikes again, hitting the grave next to Rick’s and revives the Pumpkin King, the game’s main antagonist. The Pumpkin King kidnaps Jennifer and Rick must go save her.

After fighting through several levels of super deformed monster parodies, Rick finds himself in the office of the Pumpkin King. Upon defeating him, it is revealed to the player that the whole game was merely a movie. A director congratulates Rick on his fine acting, Rick removes his mask, and they leave. Once everyone has left, the mask comes to life, revealing it is not what it seems. If the two crystal balls are collected, there is an extended epilogue. One crystal ball contains a picture of Rick lying on top a hill with Jennifer, stating that they live happily ever after. The second crystal ball has a glimpse of Rick looking uncertain as Jennifer excitedly approaches what appears to be West Mansion during a storm, ominously stating that they will face a crisis. This may imply that Wanpaku Graffiti was intended to be a prequel to the original game.



8 – Nightmare on Elm Street (1990)

The player takes on the role of an ordinary teenager.[1]:7 Additional teenagers can be controlled by up to three other players with the use of the NES Four Score.[1]:4 The objective is to scour the vicinity of Elm Street, collect the bones of the supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger and dispose of them in the local high school’s furnace.[1]:3

The game takes place in the neighborhood of Elm Street and is played from a side-scrolling perspective. The game’s environment is inhabited by hostile characters (such as zombies, cats, dogs, skeletons, bats and minotaurs[1]:13) that will attack the player character. Being attacked a certain number of times will cause the player to lose a life. Because the game takes place around midnight, certain areas are initially locked off from the player and require a key to be collected for later access.[1]:4 Within the individual buildings, the player must collect the bones scattered throughout the level before being able to leave. When all the bones are collected, a boss battle with Freddy will commence. Defeating Freddy will both allow the player to exit the area and earn the player a key that allows access to a new area.[1]:5

A game mechanic unique to the title is the “Sleep Meter”. The meter indicates how close the player character is to falling asleep. If even one of the player characters falls asleep, all of the player characters will be transported to an alternate version of the environment referred to as the “Dream World”, where the player is more vulnerable to attacks from Freddy. The Sleep Meter decreases automatically, but does so at a slower pace when the player character stays in motion. The Sleep Meter can be increased by collecting cups of coffee scattered throughout the levels.[1]:6 When in the Dream World, the player character can be returned to the default version of the level by collecting the boombox placed somewhere within the level.[1]:12 Collecting certain icons grants the player characters special powers while they’re within the Dream World, namely the ability to throw shurikens, javelins or magic projectiles.



7 – Ghostbusters (1984)

The player sets up a ghost busting franchise in a city with a rising Psychokinetic (PK) Energy level and has the ability to purchase equipment such as traps, or to upgrade their vehicle. The player then negotiates a grid representing the city. They need to stop the “roamers” from reaching the temple of Zuul (which causes the PK Energy level to jump). When the player moves to a city block that is flashing red, the game mode switches to an overhead view of the player’s vehicle driving to the location. The player must move left and right to vacuum up the stray ghosts and avoid cars. The player then moves to a screen in which a Slimer ghost must be guided with two proton streams over a ghost trap.

If the ghost is successfully captured, the player’s income increases. The aim is to have $10,000 by the time the city’s PK level reaches 9999, where in the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man will appear and wreak havoc on the city, thereby ending the game. In some versions (e.g. the Commodore 64 version), after the first successful game, the player is given an account number, which stores the amount of money the player had at the end of the game. This allowed for purchasing more expensive items for use (faster cars, more traps etc.). In order to win at these games the player was required to have earned more money than their initial account balance. This is one of the earliest uses of passwords being used as a ‘save game‘ feature on home computers.



6 – Ghostbusters II (1990)

Ghostbusters II is a side-scrolling action game.[5][6] It features various levels, including one in which the player, as a Ghostbuster, must avoid giant spiders and ghosts in a sewer. The game also allows the player to drive the Ectomobile, which must avoid obstacles and can shoot at oncoming ghosts. The player can also control the Statue of Liberty. In the final level, the player faces off against Vigo the Carpathian.



5 – Ghosts n’ Goblins (1985)

The main series consists of run and gun platformers with players controlling a knight named Arthur who must battle through hordes of the undead in order to rescue the kidnapped princess Prin-Prin (also known as Guinevere, or not named altogether depending on the game/translation) from the demon king Astaroth. Arthur’s health and magic level is represented by the armor he wears, with Arthur capable of finding better armor and various weapons in treasure chests hidden throughout the game stages; even so, regardless of how powerful is the armor Arthur wears, he will lose it with a single hit. Once losing his armor Arthur is left only wearing his boxers (an image which has become iconic for the series).[2] In most of the main series, once completing the game the player is forced to re-play the game’s stages at a harder difficulty level in order to receive the game’s “true” ending. The series has gained a reputation among gamers for its high level of difficulty.



4 – Friday the 13th (1989)

It’s a pretty typical summer at Crystal Lake. There’s a group of happy children staying in the Camp. You and your six Camp Counselor friends are watching over the kids while enjoying the lake and the wilderness. The days are bright and sunny. The nights are cool and clear. And Jason is on a rampage.

It’s up to you to stop him, but it’s not going to be easy. You must first fight your way through forests filled with man-eating wolves, caves covered with blood sucking bats and hordes of mindless zombies everywhere you turn. You must also help any friend who is in danger, or else you can just kiss them goodbye. And hiding in a cabin or staying adrift in a canoe won’t keep you safe – Jason will find you anywhere. The only way to survive this summer is to challenge Jason face to face, and destroy him.



3 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (1988)

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest[a] is a platform-adventure video game produced by Konami.[3] It was originally released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan in 1987 and for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1988. It is the second Castlevania title released for the NES, following the original Castlevania. Set sometime after the events of the first installment,[4] the player once again assumes the role of vampire hunter Simon Belmont, who is on a journey to undo a curse placed on him by Dracula at the end of their previous encounter. With Dracula’s body split into five parts, Simon must find and bring them to the ruins of his castle and defeat him.



2 – Castlevania III (1990)

Castlevania III abandons the action-adventure game and role playing game elements of its immediate predecessor Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest and returns to the platform game roots of the first Castlevania title. Unlike Castlevania, however, Castlevania III is non-linear: Trevor, the main character, can be assisted by one of three possible assistant characters, and after completing the first level, and at several other points throughout the game, the player is given a choice of two branching paths to follow. The player can obtain multiple endings depending on the choices they make throughout the game.

There are two main routes through the game’s sixteen stages, which are referred to as blocks – and broken down into several sections. The second stage is an optional excursion for picking up one of the three partner characters, and the main branch occurs part way through the third stage. Each route contains total of nine stages (ten if the player takes the optional second stage). The upper route takes the player across the lake to the main bridge, entering Dracula’s castle through the front gate, and is generally regarded as the easier of the two routes. The lower route takes the player through a series of underground tunnels and cavernous areas, eventually scaling the cliff side below the castle, and is generally considered more difficult than the upper route. The lower route also features one short branching section of its own at stage 6. The two paths converge in the main hall of the castle.



1 – Castlevania (1986)

Castlevania uses platform gameplay and is divided into six blocks of three stages each, for a total of 18 stages. Simon can move, jump, crouch, climb stairs, and use a magic whip as his primary combat weapon. When the player presses the button to crack the whip, there is a short delay before Simon actually does so.[9] The player begins the game with four lives and five hearts, and must complete the current block of stages before a timer runs out. Simon has a health meter, which decreases whenever he is attacked by an enemy or projectile; if Simon’s meter is fully depleted, he falls into a pit (even from an upper screen when there is ground on the previous screen that he walks up the stairs from), he gets hit by a moving spiked ceiling (which always instantly defeats him regardless of his health), or the timer reaches zero, the player loses one life. Hidden food items restore health, and bonus lives are earned at certain score thresholds. A boss character must be defeated at the end of each block in order to advance to the next one (and before advancing, an orb must be collected after defeating the boss); the ultimate goal is to defeat the Count at the end of Stage 18, triggering the collapse of his castle.

Throughout the game, the player can find and use various backup weapons. However, only one such weapon can be carried at a time, and it is lost if the player loses a life. Backup weapons require hearts for their use, which can be found or taken from defeated enemies. Other hidden items include point bonuses, temporary invincibility, whip upgrades (3 levels total), instant destruction of all on-screen enemies, and double/triple use of the backup weapon.

When all lives are lost, the player has the option to continue from the start of the block in which the game ended.


What do you think of our NES/Famicom Horror Games list? Are there any games you think should be included? Let us know in the comments!


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