Super Nintendo, NES & GameBoy tomfoolery;

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Boy in Gray

You might have noticed that this October, I'm sticking pretty close to my theme of GameBoy games starring classic monsters. (Unlike last year, where I took the opportunity to mock Power Moves just cuz the last boss looks kind of like Frankenstein's Monster)
Well, this week that's all going to change, but for the best possible reason: laziness the discovery of something even better!
Classic B&W Monsters Part 4, Dis-interesting-able Mention: Bubble Ghost
I WAS going to talk about Bubble Ghost, but it turns out there wasn't a lot to say about it. It would have fit my theme, because you play as a ghost (though the "ghost" doesn't look any more spectral than Kirby). However his bubble-blowing adventures didn't really make for riveting gameplay, and I think I'd be hard-pressed to say more than a few sentences about him.
And why does he make bubble-blowing seem so dull? Perhaps first I should be more specific:
it's not a game about blowing bubbles out of your mouth to hit enemies, like Bubble Bobble and Milon's Secret Castle's a game about blowing ON a bubble, to propel it safely through the level's exit.
Basically it's something between Arkanoid, The Adventures of Lolo and a "protect the hostage" game. The only interesting idea is that the ghost is truly ethereal, and can't be damaged by the walls/hazards. The only way that he/she/amorphous-it loses is if its hostage-bubble pops on a wall or hazard before exiting the level.
And that's it; there's very little else to say about this game.
Sorry, I call it like I see it.
So we're moving on to ANOTHER GameBoy game --
And though it doesn't star a classic movie monster, it stars those who supposedly fight against classic monsters: cue up the Ray Parker Jr. and think about cartoon spinoffs of popular movies, because we're about to game with...
The Real Ghostbusters
Or perhaps we should say, "The Real Ghostbuster" (singular), because the other three are apparently on vacation. Solo Ghostbuster resembles the cartoon version of Peter Venkman, a/k/a the Bill Murray character in the movie.
(and if you weren't convinced by the picture above, look at his "Password Screen" face)
And what does your Real Ghostbuster do in this game? Well, if the movie's theme song had lyrics based on this game, it might go a little like this:
Bustin' makes me...
fall down a hole,
and engage in a non-interactive over-sized "Demo Level" where I try to gather Sparklies to open the level door,
and my proton pack is only useful as a Lode Runner/spitting Casper-esque "dig away certain kinds of flooring" power.
After that's been established, we get to the actual gameplay
You may notice that your character is much smaller than in the demo level, and the map is swamped with random items.
You'll use keys to open "walls", jump to avoid enemies, and duck to crawl through tunnels.
If you want, you can use that bomb to defeat the "wizard hat + shoes" enemy.
The "zap specific floor tiles" mechanic is still there,
but despite it having its own button, it feels mostly like an afterthought.
And because it bears repeating: your proton pack is not used to battle ghosts (or rogue wizard hats); instead it's sole purpose is to dissolve certain kinds of flooring.
Ok, you've just established that The Real Ghostbusters GameBoy game is both not monster themed AND what?
Would you believe...
I'm going to Disneyland!
Yes, here's where things get interesting: the Japanese version of this game has nothing to do with Ghostbusters, real or not. Instead it features Mickey Mouse...
...plummeting through a collapsing bridge,
and in a moment that makes even LESS sense than the "proton pack dissolves floors" thing,
Mickey Mouse fulfills his lifelong ambition to be a jackhammer operator.
Yes, the entire game is mildly re-skinned as a Mickey Mouse game.
...the Bomb is now a "magic wand", and the "1-Up" picture is now cheese. (because Mickey is always eating cheese, right?)
The mind boggles...
Is this a Mickey Mouse game that was "regionalized" as a Real Ghostbusters Cartoon game in North America, or a Real Ghostbusters game that got all Disney-ed up for the Land of the Rising Sun-that-drives-away-cartoon-Ghostbusters? Because actual research is for squares, let's instead look at some in-game evidence:
Why it might have started as a Ghostbusters game:
  1. There's an in-character reason why you have a "floor dissolving" item -- he doesn't plummet to the center of the earth just to discover his love of jackhammering.
  2. The "plant a bomb to blow up enemies" mechanic makes more sense (you pick up an un-lit bomb, you drop it and it lights); whereas for Mickey, you pick up a magic wand, then put it down again and now it's an ARMED magic wand.
  3. The great Ray Parker Jr. song is this game's background music.
Why it might have started as a Mickey game:
  1. The "Wizard Hat" enemy looks like a kind of Sorcerer's Apprentice thing
  2. There are no recognizable Ghosts
  3. The game intro looks less awkward with Mickey & Minnie both shown (rather than Solitary Ghostbuster falling, without any of the other ghostbusters appearing)
  4. The "Castle" setting is also appropriate for a Sorcerer's Apprentice game
  5. Does NOT contain the Ghostbusters song.
  6. The fact that the Jackhammer (your Floor-Destroyer) is something primarily designed to destroy floors
So, I guess there's more in-game reasons to believe that it probably started as a Mickey Mouse game. But the Mickey Mouse-with-a-Jackhammer plot is still brain-fryingly odd.
BUT WAIT -- there's more!
Guess what Kotobuki System Co.,LTD released in Europe...? we go again!
Let's count the ways in which this is wrong:
A) Garfield and Odie are usually antagonistic towards each other, not friendly
2) Garfield's mouth disappears while he's falling; which is ironic, because...
And by now you should know what's next...
"I hate Mondays...but I (evidently) love JACKHAMMERING!"
Though they give it a LITTLE bit of Garfield-ness by giving him Coffee for 1-Ups and a nice Garfield drawing on the Password screen,
most of the rest of it is identical to The Real Ghostbusters -- I'm looking at you, stupid Wizard Hat guy (though you're oblivious because your head is engulfed in that hat)
But here's where we get the spooky Twilight Zone-style twist ending:
Both of these cartoon characters were voiced by the late, great Lorenzo Music!
— carlmarksguy, 2014-10-24
The Ghostbusters/Mickey Mouse/Garfield game is in the Crazy Castle series, which is seriously one of the most screwed-up game series in existence. Others in the series have featured Looney Tunes, Roger Rabbit, Woody Woodpecker, and Kid Klown. Also, that proton pack/floor digging does NOT look right.
Oh, I'm familiar with the NES "Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle" (I think that's the one where you warp through doors, collect carrots, & kick anvils into Yosemite Sam's shins). How odd that its only continuity is through some parasite-like core mechanics that can't survive without some licensed-product host! :O
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