Posted on June 19th, 2009 in Atari 2600, Axel Night, C64, Flashback, NES, Video Games by Axel Night

Ghostbusters TitleTry to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Total protonic Flashback.

System: Nintendo, Sega Master System, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and more!
Year: 1984
Company: Activision
Genre: Entrepreneurial Adventure

Wakka-wakka-wakka…
Say, which one of you is that chick ghost?
Ghostbusters Screenshot

If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?  Probably the police.  But in 1984, we called the Ghostbusters.  The movie was the hot digity dog, and we ate up anything it shat out.  Cartoons, video games, toys… I had the proton packs and trap, with the little pump peddle that opened it up from a distance, just like in the movie.  We didn’t have ghosts, exactly, but I was on an endless quest to trap the cat.

Developed along side the movie, rather than after it, the first video game was poised to leap on the success of the film, even before it succeeded.  Slapped together in a smattering of months, it hit the shelves hot for the Commodore 64, the premiere gaming computer of the day.  Unless you lived in the UK.  There, you had the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.  You poor bastards.  But fear not, you got your own version too.  Shortly after, the NES, Sega Master System, and Atari 2600 got versions too.  No joke, the game made it to the Atari 2600.  The graphics were brutally raped, admittedly out of necessity, but the complexities of the gameplay made it mostly untainted.

Complexities of gameplay?  Oh noes, Axel is going to tell us how the game works.  Abridged version, GO!  You have a map of New York City that would make Pac-man proud.  Buildings flash, so you move your NO FUCKING GHOSTS symbol to them, instigating an arbitrary driving sequence.  At the destination, a ghost flies around, so your Winston-lacking, white-power dicks of a team put down a trap and try to move in with proton packs in on either side, pincering the bastard in before setting off your trap, unless you’re playing the C64 version, where you can trick the game by both being on the same side and skewering the ectoplasmic entity through its apparitional ass, leaving his as mobile as an infant on a pike.  When your traps are all full or your ranks are all empty from your failure to do this one, menial task, you head to base, resupply, and do the whole thing over again and again until shit hits the fan and you’re sent for your final showdown with Stay Puft himself.

Every version was a little different, both graphically (every system was vastly different back then) and in gameplay.  Some made you keep your car full of gas.  Varying degrees of upgrades were available for purchase, some even offering additional cars other than the classic white Hurst.  And the endings differed from version to version.  Most popular is probably the shooty showdown with Gozer unique to the NES version, ending with a classic case of Engrish:

 Ghostbusters Ending

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