Youkai Douchuuki

Shadow Land
Arcade flyer of Yōkai Dōchūki.
Arcade flyer
Developer(s) Namco
Now Production
Publisher(s) Namco
Platform(s) Arcade, Family Computer, PC Engine, Wii (Virtual Console)
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP April 1987
PC Engine
  • JP February 5, 1988
Family Computer
  • JP June 24, 1988
Wii Virtual Console
PC Engine
  • JP February 20, 2007
Arcade
  • JP April 28, 2009
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single player
Cabinet Upright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade system Namco System 1
Display Vertical orientation, Raster, 288 x 224

Shadow Land (妖怪道中記 Yōkai Dōchūki?, lit. "Phantom Travel Journal") is an arcade game that was released by Namco in 1987. It runs on Namco System 1 hardware. This game was not released in the United States, likely because of its questionable (by U.S. standards) content. However, there is an English-language version of the game, which playable on the MAME.

Gameplay

The player controls a boy named Tarosuke who travels through "Jigoku" (the Japanese concept of Hell) fighting "yokai" (mythical Japanese monsters) on his way to his final fate, as determined by Buddha. He destroys his enemies by firing small Ki bullets, which can be charged to increase their power, though if overcharged, he is left unable to move or fight for a few seconds. During boss battles, Tarosuke kneels at a shrine to Buddha and prays, summoning "Monmotaro" (not to be confused with "Momotarō") a spirit which floats in the air and drops energy balls on the boss and any lackeys he has.

Like Dragon Buster and Wonder Momo, Tarosuke has a life meter (labeled as "POWER"), but only one life; if the meter is empty, the game is over (unless he has a certain item). There is no score counter, but the game utilizes currency (only referred to as "MONEY"), which is used to buy items, among other things.

There are a total of 5 stages:

  • "Jigoku Iriguchi" (Gateway to Hell)
  • "Kugyou no Michi" (Path of Penance)
  • "Yuukai" (Ghost Sea)
  • "Sabaki no Tani" (Valley of Judgment)
  • "Rinnekai" (Land of Transmigration)

There are multiple paths which can be taken in many stages, which may influence which of the five endings the player gets. One of the paths leads the player to a fairly racy dance hall show, after which they are given a box. If they open the box, they might get 10,000 in money, or might be turned into an old man until they buy a particular item in a shop (this is based on the tale of Urashima Tarō).

There are 5 different endings depending on what you do during the game:

  1. you go to Hell
  2. you go to Hungry Ghost World
  3. you go to Beast World
  4. you return to Human World
  5. you go to Heaven

The endings are listed in ascending order of difficulty.

Ports and related releases

  • The arcade game was later ported to the Nintendo Famicom (this version adds a "pious" counter), and PC Engine consoles with several additions and different level design. The PC Engine version and the arcade version were both later re-released for the Japanese Virtual Console.

Reception

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Famicom version of the game a 30 out of 40.[1]

References

External links

  • Killer List of Videogames
  • Shadow Land at arcade-history
  • Yōkai Dōchūki at arcade-history
  • Shadow Land guide at StrategyWiki
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