Arcade Video game published 35 years ago by NAMCO

Listed in MAME

Splatterhouse screenshot

Splatterhouse © 1988 Namco.

In a dark and stormy night, Rick and his girlfriend Jeniffer take refuge in the creepy West mansion, only to find himself dead and Jeniffer missing! Now, a mysterious sacrificial mask with amazing powers brings him back from the dead and in order to free himself from its curse, he must destroy the evil lurking deep within the mansion and save Jennifer in the process! Features some of the goriest graphics ever seen at its release date, awesome music & sound effects, lots of the typical toys seen in horror flicks (knives, etc.) as well as lots of challenge!

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Namco System 1 hardware
Game ID : SH

Main CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sub CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sound CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
MCU: HD63701 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.57958 Mhz), Namco advanced 8-channel stereo WSG, stereo DAC

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 288 x 224 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz
Palette colors : 24-bit RGB palette

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2


Splatterhouse was released in November 1988.

Licensed to Atari Games for distribution in the USA (February 1989). Only 100 PCBs were produced by Atari because the game was banned in most arcades in the USA due to its violent nature as well as some questionable bosses such as the chapel boss (The inverted cross). Splatterhouse was the first game to get a parental advisory disclaimer.

Rick makes a cameo appearance in "Point Blank 3".

Splatterhouse's developers seem to have been inspired by many known and a few lesser known horror flicks such as...
* Friday the 13th movies : The third boss wears a bag for a mask just like Jason Voorhees did on the first three movies and Rick's mask resembles the well-know hockey mask that Jason wears in the later movies of the series until the Jason X movie in which he gets a totally different new look.
* Evil Dead movies : Many concepts were borrowed from these particular movies such as : House deep within the woods where a famed scientist unleashes some very evil demonic power; The fight between Rick and his evil twins; The evil severed hands that even taunt him; The possessed room with flying furniture; The necromancer's zombies that just won't die, Rick's quest to rescue Jennifer, only to find her possessed and turned into a cackling demon hungry for his blood!
* The Exorcist : When fighting against demon Jennifer, she recovers her sanity for a few brief moments and begs for your help just before turning into a demon once again, something quite similar is seen in this horror classic.
* H-man : The sludge monsters seen in the sewer levels seem somewhat similar to the liquid people seen in this old japanese horror flick.
* Poltergeist : The possessed room may also have been inspired by this movie.
* Parasite : The leeches seen at the end of the first stage as well as in many other later levels are cleary based on the creatures seen in this pseudo 3-D movie.
* Rejuvenator : The big headed monsters whose heads fly off and attack before dying are very reminiscent of the gruesome brain-eating monster seen in this film.
* Re-Animator : Dr. West is largely believed to be Herbert West who was featured prominently in H.P. Lovecraft's story Herbert West : Reanimator, who was subsequently featured in the "Re-Animator" film series.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Winning Run : G.S.M. Namco 2 - D24B1003) on 21/07/1989.


* Slide Kick : Rick's most powerful attack is also the trickiest move to do in the game! Do a big jump (hold the jump button) while walking either left or right, then as Rick comes down from the jump hold diagonally down-left or down-right and press the attack button JUST BEFORE Rick's feet touch the ground. Use this move to take out many enemies at once and to quickly reach a level's exit but be sure not to slide right into a trap such as a pit, an acid puddle, etc.!

* Reaching The Exit Is More Important Than Fighting! : When you are close enough to the end of a level, Rick will automatically walk towards the exit and he becomes completely invulnerable to any incoming enemy attack!

* Save Your Ammo! : You can only use your weapons while standing or jumping. This means you are free to low kick or slide kick your enemies in order to save your weapons for tougher enemies in a particular level. Also each time you pick another weapon, Rick will drop the previous weapon slightly ahead of him allowing you to pick it up again. This is particularly useful against the third stage's boss since you'll be able to easily blow him away with two shotguns!


1. Splatterhouse (1988, Arcade)
2. Splatterhouse - Wanpaku Graffiti (1989, Famicom)
3. Splatterhouse Part 2 [Model T-14143] (1992, Mega Drive)
4. Splatterhouse Part 3 [Model T-14153] (1993, Mega Drive)


Director : Mr. Yokoyama
Producer : Kazuu
Associate producer : Haya Paya
Programmer : PSQGL
Art director : M. Ishida
Special visual effects : T. Oda
Special makeup designed and created by Daihadan13.
Original music : Katsurou Tajima, Yoshinori Kawamoto
Title designer : Mr. Usukura
Special artist : Y. Komoriya
Data processing : Mr. Natsui, Miss. Chiiko
Debug chief : Sisyo Seto Kyososama


[JP] NEC PC-Engine (1990) "Splatterhouse [Model NC90002]"

[JP] FM Towns CD (1992) "Splatterhouse [Model HMD-146]"
[JP] PC [MS-Windows, CD-ROM] (2003, "ULTRA series" from Media Kite under Namco license)

LCD handheld game (1988) "Splatterhouse [Model LCD-113]"
[US] Arcade (2018) "Pac-Man's Pixel Bash"


Game's ROM.