Ghosts N' Goblins is another "arcade hit"; a side-scrolling action game released in 1985 for the arcades and later converted to almost every home computer and console. The Amstrad CPC version was developed in 1987.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The story takes place somewhere in the Medieval times. You’re a knight named Arthur who must fight zombies, demons and other creepy creatures to rescue your love interest, Princess Prin Prin (quite funny name huh?) who's been kidnapped by a vicious demon. Your mission is harsh, as the enemies are attacking from almost every direction! The game is a typical eight-way arcade platform with some action shooting elements. You climb ladders to reach higher grounds either to kill enemies or to find a better weapon/armor to use. Along the way you can pick up new powers, bonuses and a special armor that can deflect a single hit. You can also jump over incoming enemies (zombies and demons) or even duck to avoid birds and deadly, hovering ghosts! Another hard part is the traps and the gaps and the most frustrating aspect of the game is that, once you lose a life, the game takes you a few screens back. Ghosts N' Goblins is among the toughest retro games of all time, from the arcade to every other conversion! So it needs patience and some skills to complete.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Amstrad CPC version features nice graphics and a special sprite drawing method. This technique displays and disposes sprites in a very fast way but limits the number of colors used on screen to just...seven! Yes, unfortunately the graphics offer 3 colors for each sprite and 4 colors for background details while the CPC computers can handle up to 16 colors on screen. Also the CPC version runs in flip-screen mode. Soundwise, the game is quite good offering a well composed tune during gameplay but no sound FX at all (!). The playing environment is divided into single-screen portions and the next screen is shown by having your character/vehicle exiting the current screen.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.