Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beware the mansion of Dr. West.

The Turbografx-16 arcade game port that in my youth caused my friend John/Brian and I to stalk the aisles of Montgomery Ward after school in hopes that this 'controversial' title would find its way to a shelf near us. As Montgomery Ward's was the only store to carry the Turbografx system it was our best bet and only way to get our hands on this horror title.

The story of Splatterhouse is pretty simple horror fare. Two teenagers, Rick and Jennifer, decide to escape a horrible storm by finding shelter in the West Mansion. The legendary home to Dr. West a famed parapsychologist who is now missing and at the time was accused of sadistic experiments at the mansion. Leading the place to be nicknamed Splatterhouse.

Once inside the West mansion the two are attacked, Jennifer is dragged off by what looks like demons and Rick is fatally wounded. Rick awakens to find himself in the dungeon of of the mansion, kept alive by the powers of the Terror Mask that has bonded to his skull. While Rick cannot remove the mask he has been bestowed supernatural strength by the mask and he can only remove it once he has gone on a demon and monster killing spree through Splatterhouse and rescued Jennifer.

Unfortunately for Rick when at last he is able to rescue his true love she is transformed into a fanged monster, pleading for Rick to save her...which he does by killing her. With her last breath she thanks him and as she passes on, Rick filled with white hot rage, descends deeper into the Splatterhouse until he finds evidence that the mansion is in fact now alive. As he descends further and further the walls give way to flesh until he reaches a 'womb' that is spewing forth the monsters. Destroying the 'organ' causes the house to shake and catch fire.

Now the port is a little different than the arcade version. For one, instead of a meat cleaver to hack your way through the bad guys you are given a 2x4. Though you eventually pick up weapons suited to a game called Splatterhouse, like a shotgun, and a chainsaw.

Secondly, the gore and violence from the arcade game has been toned way down for the Turbografx-16 version. Though you do have to kill a 'womb'.

Third and most importantly, at the end of the game, the cut scene when you reach the ending depicts the Terror Mask shattering and Rick escaping from the burning West mansion, while in the background the shattered mask reforms and laughs. On the Turbograxf-16 version you are treated to the mask exploding while the mansion burns in the background and credits roll.

So for the longest time in our youth, John/Brian and I thought that your reward for beating Splatterhouse was that your head exploded.


Dax said...

I rented the Genesis version of Splatterhouse once. I was really scared my mom would find out.

Vic Sage said...

Did she? Did she find it?!

Stewed Hamm said...

While Dax's mom is a really nice person, she finds the strangest things to obsess about her son owning. Case in point: Dr. Mindbender.

I'd totally back her on Splatterhouse, though by that point Dax was far beyond redemption.

Dax said...

No. Pretty sure she never thought to keep an eye on what video games I was playing. Though I must've openly played Contra about a bazillion times...I'm sure at some point she must've noticed me exploding a giant alien heart with a machine gun.

Vic Sage said...

Wait a minute...she had an issue with Dr. Mindbender?