Ghostbusters (NES)

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Ghostbusters - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1988
Developer: Bits Laboratory
Buy: Amazon

Ghostbusters is loosely based off the Commodore 64 version. The player assumes the role of 3 of the Ghostbusters (Winston doesn't make an appearance). The goal of the game is to make it into the museum (renamed the Zuul building in-game) and get to the top to fight Gozer. The game has several gameplay varities; the map screen, the driving segments, the ghost-catching segments, and the final battle with Gozer is played in a sort of vertical shooter. Because Activision did not develop games for the NES, they outsourced development to Japanese development studio Bits Laboratory, though they go by their original name Workss in the Japanese version of the game.

The game was largely criticized for its awful gameplay. Some of these points include dull graphics, even for NES standards, the Ghostbusters having to buy their own equipment, and the dreaded staircase scene near the end of the game. The Japanese version has an exploit where one can keep reselling a certain item and gain more money from it, showing the lack of care given to the game.

The game is also known for its infamous ending screen, which contains broken English. However, even worse is the Japanese version's ending; due to a bug in the programming, the ending text doesn't show up, and only presents you with the text りり (Riri), which has no meaning, and only appears due to the bug.


Ghostbusters - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen. GRSTBRSTRS!!!

Ghostbusters - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The overworld map.

Ghostbusters - NES - Gameplay 2.png

Driving to the shop to buy items.

Ghostbusters - NES - Gameplay 3.png

Buying items at the shop.

Ghostbusters - NES - Gameplay 4.png

Fighting the final boss, Gozer.

Ghostbusters - NES - Ending Text.png

The famous ending screen.


The game has the titular Ghostbusters Theme, and it plays in its full length. However, it's the only song in the entire game, so if you're going to play this game, then you'd better get used to it. There are two audio designers credited, so it's possible they both collaborated to make the Ghostbusters theme in full, as there are minimal sound effects.

The music was probably written in one of the to traditional ways of making NES music at the time; either a custom form of Music Macro Language or pure 6502 assembly machine code.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Ghostbusters Theme Ray Parker Jr.Yoshiaki Tsuruoka, Tadashi Sou 3:32



The credits display after beating the game, and after viewing the infamous ending message. In the Japanese version, the ending and credits are supposed to be there, but due to the game's buggy programming, all you get is a black screen, and after a few seconds, りり (Riri) will appear on screen. This is due to the wrong CHR-ROM page being loaded into the game's memory, and the text Riri doesn't mean anything. However, the game can be hacked to show the proper ending and credits. The credits are the same in both versions.

Game Rip






Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Ghostbusters - FC.jpg
Title: ゴーストバスターズ (Ghostbusters)
Platform: FC
Released: 1986-09-22
Publisher: Tokuma Soft
  USA.svg   USA
Ghostbusters - NES.jpg
Title: Ghostbusters
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-10-??
Publisher: Activision