Beetlejuice (NES)

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Beetlejuice - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1991
Developer: Rare Co., Ltd.

Beetlejuice is an action platformer based on the hit movie of the same name. The game was developed by Rare and published by the infamous LJN. In this game, the player takes control of the Ghost with the Most, Betelgeuse, and must traverse through 5 levels, each containing several segments. However, the game's instruction manual has Betelgeuse speaking to the player as if they're the Maitlands. Most of the game is played as a side-scrolling platformer, but some segments of the game are played from a top-down view. The first stage takes place in and around the Maitlands' mansion, where Betelgeuse eventually faces Otho Fenlock. In the second level, Betelgeuse is stuck in the sewer and eventually goes up against a giant frog, as well as one of the deceased football players. Betelgeuse also visits the graveyard, inside the Maitlands' mansion, and the afterlife waiting room.

The game also requires Betelgeuse to stomp on smaller bugs and defeat a few enemies by jumping on them, which results in Help Vouchers that the player can use at the shop to purchase powerups called Scares. However, the only way to see your total points is to visit the shops that are scarcely placed throughout some of the stages. Scares are weapons in the game that Betelgeuse can use to attack certain enemies; usually the bosses. However, these scares only offer a few shots each use, and getting hit even once nullifies the powerup.

The game was panned by critics for many reasons; the sluggish controls, confusing gameplay. The camera itself is even a problem; if the player moves down an area too fast for the camera, Betelgeuse will lose a life. The grinding and use of the Scares system was also a problem for the game. The game was also panned for not having a final boss. The game also has a plain-text ending, which many have said is not worth the frustration of persevering through the game.

A Game Boy version, also by Rare and LJN was released, but is a completely different game, and is based on the cartoon as opposed to the movie


Beetlejuice - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Beetlejuice - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The level map.

Beetlejuice - NES - Gameplay 2.png

Playing the first stage.

Beetlejuice - NES - Gameplay 3.png

The shop where you can buy powerups for Beetlejuice to use.

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This page needs more screenshots.



Beetlejuice does not contain any of the familiar Danny Elfman scores from the movie, but what is here is a cheery, yet spooky soundtrack composed by David Wise of Donkey Kong Country fame. Each stage has its own theme, which is lengthy; this is good, since each stage takes quite a while to complete. Most of the music has an admittedly unfitting happy tone to it, but some of the songs, such as the penalty room and the the Maitlands' house have a more somber approach to them. Wise also adds some atmospheric elements to each song.

The song titles and track orderings come from the NSFE file.

To write music on the NES, David had to write the music in 6502 assembly language.


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen David Wise 1:07
02 Shop David Wise 0:51
03 Level 1: The Village David Wise 2:21
04 Level 2: Storm Drains David Wise 2:24
05 Level 3: Maitlands' House ~ The Attic David Wise 2:37
06 Level 4: Graveyard David Wise 2:44
07 Level 5: Afterlife Waiting Room David Wise 2:33
08 Penalty Room (Saturn) David Wise 3:03
09 Level Clear David Wise 0:03
10 Lose Life David Wise 0:05
11 Ending David Wise 0:11


(Source: Verification from composer; game lacks credits.)

Like most of Rare's NES games, this one does not contain credits. According to various staff at Rare, this was to prevent their employees from job offers from other companies. We have contacted David Wise who has verified composing the game's soundtrack. Mark Betteridge may have also been responsible for the game's sound effects.

Game Rip




Ripping NSF music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

Audio Devices

The game uses the NES's RP2A03. It uses the later revision of Rare's sound driver, originally created by Rare founder Chris Stamper and modified by Mark Betteridge.


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Beetlejuice - NES.jpg
Title: Beetlejuice
Platform: NES
Released: 1991-05-??
Publisher: LJN Toys, Ltd.