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Japanese arcade flyer of Splatterhouse.
Japanese arcade flyer of Splatterhouse.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) A. Usukura
Platform(s) Arcade
FM Towns
Virtual Console
Release date(s) Arcade
JP 1988
NA 1989
TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine
JP April 6, 1990
NA April 21, 1990
FM Towns
JP 1992
JP 2003
Virtual Console
JP March 26, 2009
NA March 19, 2007
Genre(s) Beat 'em up, Horror
Mode(s) Single player
Input methods 8-way Joystick, 2 buttons
Cabinet Standard upright
Arcade system Namco System 1

Splatterhouse (スプラッターハウス Supurattāhausu?) is a 1988 beat 'em up arcade game developed and published by Namco (now merged with Bandai as Namco Bandai Holdings). It is also subsequently the title of the entire series of games released in home console and personal computer formats.

Due to its violent nature as well as some questionable enemies, the TurboGrafx-16 port of Splatterhouse had a "parental advisory warning" of sorts printed on the front of the box.

Namco Bandai has announced a next-gen adaptation to reboot the franchise to be developed by BottleRocket Entertainment. On February 9th, 2009, Namco split ways with BottleRocket Entertainment as the developer.[1] On March 12th, 2009, Namco announced that the split from BottleRocket was due to "performance issues".[2]



Splatterhouse is a sidescrolling beat 'em up video game in which the player controls Rick, a parapsychology student who is trapped inside West Mansion. After his resurrection by the Terror Mask, Rick makes his way through the mansion, fighting off hordes of creatures in a vain attempt to save Jennifer from a grisly fate.[3]

Similar to many sidescrolling beat 'em up games, Rick can only move in a two-dimensional environment. The playing field does not feature a three-dimensional area, a feature that was added later in the series with Splatterhouse 3. He has the ability to jump and can punch and kick. Rick also has a Special Attack, where he will perform a drop kick that sends him skidding along the ground, damaging any enemies he hits. Rick can also perform a low kick, low punch, and jumping attacks, as well as pick up and use various weapons placed in the levels.

All of the levels consist of walking left to right, with occasional auto-scrolling segments. However, alternative pathways through sections of the house are possible by falling down through holes or jumping up onto ladders. In this way, branching gameplay is possible, if only prevalent in the middle levels. Levels culminate in boss fights that take place in a single room. Unlike traditional side-scrolling fighters, boss fights have varying objectives and styles.


Two university students, Rick and Jennifer, take refuge from a storm in West Mansion, a local landmark known as "Splatterhouse" for the rumors of hideous experiments purportedly conducted there by Dr. West, a renowned and missing parapsychologist. At the mansion, the two are attacked by demonic creatures that drag Jennifer into the house and fatally wound Rick, leaving him for dead.[3]

Rick awakens in the dungeon of the mansion to discover that he is still alive thanks to the influence of the "Terror Mask", or in some versions, the "Hell Mask", a Mayan sacrificial artifact from West's house which is capable of sentient thought. The mask attaches itself to Rick, fusing with his body and transforming him into a monster with superhuman strength. With the mask's encouragement, Rick goes on a rampage through the dungeon and the mansion grounds, killing hordes of monsters.[3] Inside the mansion, Rick finds Jennifer, prone on a couch and surrounded by a throng of creatures that retreat upon his arrival. After their departure, Jennifer transforms into a giant, fanged monster that attempts to kill Rick while begging him for help. Rick kills Jennifer, who transforms back into her normal self and thanks him before she dies. Infuriated, Rick tracks the remaining monsters to a giant, bloody hole in the mansion's floor. Upon entering it, Rick discovers that the mansion itself is alive. He follows a bloody hallway, the house's "womb", which is producing fetus-like monsters that attack him.[4] Rick destroys the womb, which causes the house to set ablaze as it "dies".

Escaping the burning mansion, Rick comes across a grave marker. The Terror Mask releases energy into the grave, reviving a giant monster that claws its way up from the earth and attempts to kill Rick. Rick destroys the creature, which unleashes a tormented ghost that dissipates into a series of bright lights. As the lights vanish, the mask explodes from Rick's face, turning him back to normal. Rick flees as the house burns to the ground. However, after he leaves, the pieces of the Terror Mask reassemble themselves and laugh.


Rick wields a weapon in the 2D game environment.

Splatterhouse was released in various home version ports on the TurboGrafx-16, FM Towns and PC. Though the Japanese PC-Engine (the Japanese name of the TurboGrafx-16) version of the game remains largely unedited, the Western TurboGrafx-16 version features a number of changes, as well as standard changes for an arcade port at the time, caused by the less-powerful hardware of the console (loss of graphical detail, removal of some sounds). They include the following:

  • The arcade version opens with animation of Rick and Jennifer running through the storm and into the mansion, followed by an exterior shot of the mansion and the sound of Jennifer screaming. The console version opens simply with the exterior of the mansion, and no sound effects.
  • The arcade version begins by tricking the player into believing that they've somehow done something wrong and lost the game before gameplay even begins. Following the cut scene, the standard "Game Over" screen appears, making it appear as though the game has ended. Shortly thereafter, another cut scene plays, in which the Terror Mask appears and fuses with Rick's face. The "trick" and sequence of the mask fusing with Rick is completely absent from console versions, and gameplay begins immediately following the shot of the West Mansion.
  • The Terror Mask is changed from a white hockey mask to a red mask with black accents. This is to keep Rick from looking too much like Jason Voorhees. The mask became more skull-like in later games.[4]
  • The first weapon in Stage 1 is changed from a meat cleaver to a 2x4.
  • The overall violence and gore is toned down; enemies bleed less and the sound effects are less gruesome.
  • In the arcade version, the Stage 4 boss fight takes place in a chapel. After defeating the boss, Rick approaches an altar with a crucifix and sunlight shines in through the windows as a hymn begins to play, only to be cut off by Jennifer screaming. In the console versions, the chapel is a generic hallway. After defeating the boss, Rick inexplicably approaches a large, empty room; the hymnal, sun animation, and Jennifer's scream are left intact.
  • The Stage 4 boss in the arcade version is "Evil Cross," a giant, inverted cross surrounded by floating severed heads. In the console version, the cross is replaced with a new enemy, a demon's skull called "Evil Sleep." The heads are referred to as "Nightmares," and only three of the six present in the arcade version appear. Also, the weapon for the boss is changed from an axe to a gold meat cleaver, the only cleaver in the game.
  • The death of the womb boss of Stage 6 is changed from a graphic spilling of embryonic fluids into a generic fiery explosion in the console versions (both western and Japanese releases).
  • The final boss uses different attacks in the console version.
  • The final boss' grave is changed from a wooden cross to a tombstone in the western console version.
  • The end cut scene is changed from the original arcade ending, in which the mask breaks from Rick's face, followed by a shot of him walking away from the burning mansion and an additional cut scene showing the mask reform and laugh. The ending in the TurboGrafx-16 version only shows the mask explode, followed by a picture of West Mansion burning while the credits roll, and finally a large red and orange "End" is displayed.

The TG-16 version was also released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe on March 16, 2007 and in North America three days later on March 19, 2007. The version of the game ported to the Wii Virtual Console is the western TurboGrafx-16 port; therefore it is the "censored" version as opposed to the "uncensored" original arcade game. Namco Bandai had announced that the arcade version would be ported to the Japanese Virtual Console and was released on May 26, 2009. There are currently no plans for a U.S. release.[5]

The FM Towns version, ported by Ving Co. and released only in Japan in 1992, is a pixel-perfect rendition of the original arcade, with no substantial changes apart from a new menu interface in the title screen. There was also an LCD handheld version released, Splatter House, but it is not a port of either games. It is considered to be an original Splatterhouse game in and of itself, though many elements in it are similar to the original game.[4]


 Splatterhouse (VC)
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameStats 6 out of 10[6]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 4.7 out of 10[7]
IGN 6.5 out of 10[3] Recommended[8]

IGN's Lucas M. Thomas said of Splatterhouse that "Putting aside the aesthetic design and just looking at the game on the merits of its mechanics, Splatterhouse is lacking."[3] He complained about the limited variety of attacks, one way scrolling, and censorship present in the North American console version. Thomas did, however, compliment the game's horror themes and music, noting that the console graphics, despite being "toned down", are a "good representation of the arcade original."[3] Frank Provo of had similar complaints about Splatterhouse. "Ultimately, the problem with Splatterhouse is that there's not much to it. There are only seven levels, and you'll finish each one in just a few minutes", he wrote, going on to explain that the enemies all follow easily memorized patterns, making the game very simple to play.[7] In particular, Provo criticized the fact that the Virtual Console version was the censored console version, noting how he missed the meat cleavers and extra violence of the arcade game. A review at praised the game, saying that "Namco’s arcade beat ‘em up Splatterhouse was one of the earliest games to receive the attention of concerned parents, and its twisted imagery would go on to pave the way for other horror-themed games."[8]


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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Splatterhouse.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Japanese title スプラッターハウス
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
System(s) Arcade, TurboGrafx-16, NEC PC-8801, FM Towns, Wii Virtual Console, Windows
Players 1-2
Followed by Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti
Series Splatterhouse
This is the first game in the Splatterhouse series. For other games in the series see the Splatterhouse category.
Splatterhouse marquee

Splatterhouse is a beat 'em up arcade game that was released by Namco in 1988 only in Japan. It runs on Namco System 1 hardware and was never released in the United States due to its violent nature as well as some questionable enemies such as the fourth stage's boss (an inverted cross). As a result, the game was the first to ever get a parental advisory disclaimer, 4 years before Midway's Mortal Kombat was released.


The place was called the West Mansion. But, to all who knew its legend, it was known as "Splatterhouse." It was once the home of the famed parapsychologist, Dr. West. There was a research lab in the house where Dr. West conducted some of his most gruesome experiments. It was even said that it was in this house that he created the most hideous creatures that ever walked the face of the Earth. But no one knew for sure. Dr. West had not been seen or heard from in years, and no one who has ever gone into the mansion has lived to tell the tale. Rick and his girlfriend, Jennifer, were parapsychology majors at the local university. They were both very interested in the works of Dr. West as he was the most famed parapsychologist in the world. One day, they decided to visit the abandoned West Mansion as part of a project they were working on in school. As they walked towards the house, it started to rain. They entered. All went dark. Lightning cracked through the sky. There was a frantic scuffle. Then, a scream. And suddenly Jennifer was gone. Rick's unconscious body was covered with blood. Hours later, Rick awoke to a fantastic horror - he was alone and drenched with blood. But, the most terrifying thing of all was that a hideous mask covered his face. He had read tales of this "Terror Mask" in Dr. West's writings - it was said to have ancient spiritual powers. As his only hope, Rick must depend on this mask to give him the strength and courage to find Jennifer.

Table of Contents


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) A. Usukura
Release date Arcade:
1988 (JP)
1989 (NA)
April 3, 1990 (JP)
TurboGrafx 16:
April 21, 1990 (NA)
Virtual Console:
March 16, 2007 (EU)
March 19, 2007 (NA)
July 3, 2007 (JP)
Genre Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
TurboGrafx 16
Virtual Console
Platform(s) Arcade
TurboGrafx 16
Virtual Console
Media HuCard
TurboGrafx 16
Input Arcade:
8-Way Joystick, 2 Buttons
Turbo Pad
Gamecube Controller
Wii Remote
Classic Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Splatterhouse is an arcade game released by Namco. The game was later ported to the TurboGrafx 16 and later followed up by Splatterhouse 2 and Splatterhouse 3.


Rick and his girlfriend, Jenifer, are parapsychology majors and they go to the parapsychologist, Dr. West. The game takes place in West's mansion which has been given the nickname, the Splatterhouse. As Rick enters the mansion, he is knocked out by some unknown assailant, while his girlfriend is captured. A mask finds Rick and attaches itself to his face giving him the ultra human strength he needs to fight his way through the mansion. Rick goes through the mansion, fighting ghouls and creatures in order to reach the end. The last boss of the game is Jenifer, who has been transformed into a monster.


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