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In 1984 Activision released their adaptation of the classic movie Ghostbusters. I was 12 and remember after seeing the movie wanting the game more than George Michael's Careless Whisper which, in hindsight, was quite a sensible choice. Ghostbusters 1984 game The ghost of pixels past As Ray Parker Junior says "I ain't 'fraid …

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Anonymous Coward

One of the first games that I played until it was way past bedtime.

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Nev

Had the C64 version...

From memory, it was a bit more colorful[sic]

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Re: Had the C64 version...

And it talked!!!!!

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Happy

Re: Had the C64 version...

Yes, It took about five minutes of tape to load up the sample. Once you were done playing it, it spent another five minutes loading the game.

:-)

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Re: Had the C64 version...

It was a one-song Karaoke machine too, showing the song lyrics with the little bouncing ball marking the rhythm.

"He slimed me!"

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Boffin

Re: Had the C64 version...

"And it talked"

Ahem. The Spectrum version talked too. Kind of. If you heard a chap say "he slimed me" with a mouth full of porridge and hula-hoops in another room, you'd get the idea. Still, clever stuff from a single sound channel which could emit only beeps.

Halcyon days, rose spectacles, etc, etc. Man, I miss Trans Am.

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Boffin

Re: Had the C64 version...

Oh and it said "ghostbusters" too, only that was said with a mouth full of dry rice while frantically scrunching crisp bags.

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Re: Had the C64 version...

It must be hard for anyone who didn't born in 70s to understand the amazing thing. It talked.

Man, poor other 8 bit computer users, it was a shocking upperhand came from nowhere. "my Atari has 256 colors", "my game talks". Instant mute.

Also,c64 tape loading (thanks to turbo code) was light speed compared to Atari, spectrum etc. Weak machine on specifications, better developers...

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Happy

Hehe!

Spent hours playing this with my cousin on his CPC464 and had, until today, completely forgotten about it. Nice one Reg, that brought a smile to my face!

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I had this on the Master System, the dancing stay-puft wasn't the boss fight at all, it was the second stage of four. You needed to get past him, go through a platforming-style level of climbing the buildings stairs to the roof, then fight Gozer. Or did this version omit the last 2 stages?

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That's right; I had it on the Amstrad, and I always assumed that getting past Stay Puft was the climactic battle, and then when I played it on my friend's Master System, I was shocked to see that there was still more to do!

And who could forget the classic NES version's "ending sequence":

CONGLATURATION !!!

YOU HAVE COMPLETED A GREAT GAME.

AND PROOVED THE JUSTICE OF OUR CULTURE.

NOW GO AND REST OUR HEROES !

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This ending sequence is an easter egg in the new Ghostbusters game. (Well, it's a couple of years old now). The message is displayed on a computer screen in the fire house.

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Press Space on Intro

Had the C64 version

The Intro was a SID version of the Ghostbusters theme, with kareoke lyrics! Pressing Space on got it to say "Ghostbusters!"

I never did finish it, though I tended to buy the VW Beetle instead of the ambulance/hearse.

I recall getting to a ghost scene was a bit of a top down racing game where you had to catch ghosts.

And if you failed to catch a ghost, another bit of speech - "He slimed me!" revolutionary at the time!

One of the best film-to-game conversions until Goldeneye!

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Pint

8Bit

That ghost at the corner of 5th and Park Avenue looks like it's going to be sick!

Cheers! Here's to 2 glorious colours per 8 pixels.

(Ray Parker Jr. was apparently not afraid of no lawsuit either. Cheers to Huey Lewis while we're at it)

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Megadrive

The best Ghostbusters game by far was the Megadrive version. It was nothing like the 8-bit versions, instead an excellent platformer with Super-Deformed caricatures of the actors from the film.

It's still worth a play, great game.

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I believe Ecto1 was an ambulance not a hearse.

Mind you if Ecto1 was an ambulance, it must have had an umpalumpa crew.

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Re: I believe Ecto1 was an ambulance not a hearse.

Indeed, an ambulance. Anoraks at the ready: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostbusters_(franchise)#Transportation

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Re: I believe Ecto1 was an ambulance not a hearse.

The hearse/ambulance confusion comes from the UK not having ambulances that shape. Only one type of car with room for just one in the back this side of the pond.

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Killed my spectrum +2 playing this, left the old warhorse running a few days solid during the summer hols >.<

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Disappointed

I was a huge fan of the film as a kid but remember being massively disappointed by the game (ZX Speccy 48k). It was hugely repetitive and not much fun. I probably only played it a handful of times before returning to Penetrator or Green Beret.

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Megaphone

He's gonna take you back to the past....

I strongly suggest you watch the AVGN review of this (that is, the NES version)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLVGmvmNitg

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Re: He's gonna take you back to the past....

He also reviewed several other versions of the same game. I believe it became a trilogy of videos. He also thought they were a right lot of shit.

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Had this on the CPC464. Played in on a green screen though.

This article made me smile. Cheers.

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GB

This story brings back memories. Memories of GB not being a very good game. The author was 12. Embarrassingly, I was more like 17. How old were others ?

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

"In 1984 Activision released their adaptation of the classic movie Ghostbusters. I was 12 and remember after seeing the movie wanting the game more than George Michael's Careless Whisper which, in hindsight, was quite a sensible choice."

Hardly surprising really!

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ZX Spectrum

This article relates to the Spectrum version of the game. The endgame on this platform did indeed consist merely of trying to get past Stay-Puft and that was it. I did download a snapshot of the end sequence once as although I did reach it once I didn't get past it. It was very disappointing... just a brief message.

I believe that other 8-bit platforms had a longer and more elaborate ending... but I've never seen those either

As always the best thing (especially the 128k version) was the music!

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Boffin

Toasted marshmellow

It's worth bearing in mind that the original Ghostbusters game (for the C64) was rushed out in 6 weeks [*] - not quite as bad as the infamously short dev time for Atari's ET game, but still pretty bad.

Even so, it was surprisingly fun to play, though the gameplay was somewhat unbalanced - the driving/ghost-hoovering element quickly became repetitive and once you'd earned enough cash, you just had to sit and wait for the EP levels to reach maximum and trigger the end-game: you couldn't even go back to the shop to upgrade your equipment.

(though for Spectrum gamers (and possibly others - I haven't checked), there was a glitch/easter egg which could save you some cash during the initial game: entering "0" as the car-type gave you a solid black rectangle which was cheaper than the rest of the options!)

It's also worth noting that a nice person produced a remake of the Ghostbusters game - http://www.classic-retro-games.com/GhostBusters_193.html

Unfortunately, they then suffered a HDD failure and lost all of the source-code, which killed dead any chance of further updates and improvements...

[*] Wikipedia claims 8 months; David Crane states six weeks - http://www.edge-online.com/features/making-ghostbusters . Take yer pick ;)

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IR

Re: Toasted marshmellow

"(though for Spectrum gamers (and possibly others - I haven't checked), there was a glitch/easter egg which could save you some cash during the initial game: entering "0" as the car-type gave you a solid black rectangle which was cheaper than the rest of the options!)"

The problem with that was that you couldn't suck up any ghosts!

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Re: Toasted marshmellow

but what you could do was at the end of the game get a magic string (forgot if it was just a string or a username/passwd combo), and if you typed that magic string at startup of a new game, you did not start with $10K, but with the amount of money you ended the previous game with.

And then you could buy the hearse and all the other goodies, and earn more money and .....

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Re: Toasted marshmellow

S 20203002 tang billy?

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Memories lol

I loved this game (mainly as its one of few I have managed to actually finish lol ) so thanks for the link and your copping the blame for my afternoon being written off lol .

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Great game as a two player but I always found catching ghosts impossible solo. Thankfully my neice was quite good as the second player and we beat Mr Stay-Puft a few times.

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Mushroom

Just when you thought it was safe to make a cup of tea....

No mention of load-invaders? How dare you???

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Re: Just when you thought it was safe to make a cup of tea....

Yes, just what I was going to say! I remember Invade-a-load popping up the first time the game was loading and thinking it was an utterly brilliant way to deal with the long load times. Anyone know if it was C64 only or if the Speccy version had it too?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqCR6xnv1kE

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Re: Just when you thought it was safe to make a cup of tea....

It won't have been on the Spectrum; the C64 had specialised tape hardware that generated interrupts to signify incoming data. So the CPU sat there mostly idle, waiting to be alerted to input. The Spectrum essentially just had a 1-bit analogue-to-digial converter, so to load data the CPU ran a continuous polling loop, incrementing internal counters for timing. So if you want to spend CPU time on anything other than just watching the tape, you have to engineer suitable opportunities into your data stream, which means lowering the loading speed. So Spectrum games usually just left a static screen up and almost never went beyond a ticking counter. You could do a full game but then you'd need to ensure incoming tape data was really very slow indeed.

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Happy

I only got to play this in Boot's, (arcade of choice during the eighties),

C64 was the better version mind because of the music, (however never bought it), because didn't have a C64 at home.

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Fond memories

I bought the C64 version of Ghostbusters from a local department store, and I remember it as my first crack. A friend had shown me how to use the Hesmon assembler cartridge (this was before the days of Datel's Action Replay and push-button cracking!) to step through a game's code and track down the part that checked for errors on the disk - this was inevitably a copy-protection scheme (DRM on the C64 mainly consisted of deliberately writing errors on the disk and then checking for them, since an error wouldn't be copied by most disk copiers of the day.) He'd walked me through cracking Beach Head, but Ghostbusters was my first solo crack.

I still remember dancing with excitement around my bedroom after finally locating the disk-error-check code and replacing it all with NOP instructions, saving out the memory along with the auto-start pointer, and cheekily replacing the "Copyright 1984 Activision" message with a cracked-by notice, saving it all out to disk, and getting it working.

Especially considering the error-based copy-protection hammered the 1541 disk drive head out of alignment (but since when did DRM fucks ever give a shit about making your life hard or destroying your equipment if it means saving their precious intellectual property?) it meant that I would crack every game I bought thereafter, not only for the thrill but also to save my disk drive!

Fun times indeed...

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Atari 2600 version

Had the one for the Atari 2600, which was cut down, but still fun to play. Lent it to another family and the parents got the sound of the theme stuck in their head.

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