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Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti

Game Info | Screenshots | Weapons & Items | Characters | Codes & Passwords | Additional Info

Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Year: 1989
System: Nintendo Famicom

THE GAME

Not too many people are aware of the fact that the very first Splatterhouse game for a home console was for the Famicom. It used super-deformed characters, and didn't play like the arcade game at all. It was a completely new Splatterhouse, entitled Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti. Unfortunately, like a lot of Famicom games, it never made it over to the U.S., like Gradius II, Crisis Force and Konami Waiwai World, for example (see my site The OPCFG for more info on Famicom games that never made it to the U.S.). Given the subject matter, why this one didn't make it overeas is understandable. Nintendo of America would never have allowed it without major censoring, and that would have ruined the game.

I did bid on a copy of it on eBay some time ago and won! It comes in a hard plastic case, which it seemed that only Namco used for their Famicom games. It also includes a set of stickers, which you can see in the Additional Info section.

Truth be told, I'm not exactly where this fits into the rest of the Splatterhouse series continuity-wise, or even if it does. Based on the ending, it very well may be a prequel to the original, if it is truly part of the canon Splatterhouse storyline. The game starts off in a graveyard. Jennifer is there mourning Rick, who somehow ended up dead, don't ask me how. Suddenly the wind starts blowing, lightning flashes, and a bolt of lightning strikes Rick's grave. The grave bursts open and Rick sits up (at this point he is wearing the Mask). He looks at Jennifer, who starts jumping for joy. Suddenly a bolt of lightning strikes the grave to the left of Rick's and a giant jack-o-lantern comes out of the ground. This jack-o- lantern, the Pumpkin King (aka Pumpkin Daio, or Great Emperor Pumpkin, takes Jennifer and flies off with her. Rick jumps out of his grave, and takes off in pursuit of the Pumpkin King.

Once again, you control Rick as you hunt the Pumpkin King through seven stages. It plays quite a bit differently than the arcade game. You have a life bar to the left of the screen, and a level meter on the top of the screen. Believe it or not, you gain levels in Wanpaku Grafitti, and the more levels you gain, the longer your life bar gets. This is a good thing, as you only start with four bars.

The graphics are excellent. Despite being super deformed, a lot of gore is still present (gotta love the headless chickens and especially the hanging zombies - their bodies drop off and chase you while their heads shoot at you), and the backgrounds are very well done: the background even scrolls independently on several of the boards, which was almost unheard of on the NES. Rick himself looks excellent. It's a perfect SD rendition of the character, although I think they used a little too much orange on him. The bosses in particular are extremely well done. One of my favorites is the evil priest that attacks you in the church on level three. He summons cool looking little dragons to attack you, then he turns into a goat and tries to beat the crap out of you. I also like the "disco vampire" that's the first level miniboss: he summons zombies that dance around on his disco stage with him, and then they attack when the dance is over. The Pumpkin King himself is also extremely well done, for a giant flying jack-o-lantern at any rate.

Musically, Wanpaku Grafitti is a bit of a mixed bag. The level themes are done very well, probably some of the best music I've heard come out of the NES. There's some slight repetition, but the quality of the music is so good that it never becomes annoying. The sound effects are pretty good too. There's some good splat sounds whenever you whack a monster.

Rick controls beautifully, as well, responding perfectly to your commands. I'd have to recommended that you use a turbo controller, though. It's quite helpful. The way Rick controls and the overall feel of the game reminds me a lot of Monster Party, one of my all time favorite NES games. You only have one life to go through the game with, but you do have continues - only four continues, but they're more than enough, as the game is pretty easy. There is a password feature as well. At the beginning of each level, you're given a four digit password. If you run out of continues and put your password in to start the level that you were last on, all of your continues are restored, but your levels that you've built up are gone, to a point. You won't start on level 8 with the same measly four life bars you started the game with. You will have more, just not as many as you had. This is the only drawback to the password system that I can see.

One of the most interesting (and funniest) things about Wanpaku Grafitti is all of the movie parodies that are sprinkled throughout the game. The movie parodies Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, The Fly, Alien, The Exorcist, Jaws, The Burning and Friday The 13th. The Friday The 13th parody isn't just because of the character design (for the uninitiated, Rick, in all of the games, resembles Jason Voorhees, the killer from the Friday The 13th series). For example, one of the levels is called "Diamond Lake" - hmmmm. What do you think? The Alien parody is interesting. There's a girl - who may or may not be Princess Ki from The Tower of Druaga - whose chest bursts open and all of these little spider/facehugger things come swarming out (interestingly enough, when you kill them all, her chest seals up and she walks away. Weird.). Of course, the "disco vampire" bit in the first level is obviously a parody of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. There's a laughing deer head trophy in the last stage that's a parody of the laughing deer head from Evil Dead 2. The other parodies are sprinkled throughout the game. In fact, the tagline for the game is "In the haunted mansion, no one can hear you scream!", which of course is a spoof of Alien's tagline "In space, no one can hear you scream."

The movie parodies make sense, though, when you reach the end of the game and you're reunited with Jennifer. As Rick and Jennifer are hugging each other (and little hearts are floating to the top of the screen), the lights suddenly come up, and you see a film crew filming the whole thing! The director shouts "Cut!", and the ending goes from there. Rick walks up to the director, who proceeds to congratulate Rick, saying "That was some damn fine acting! This'll be a great movie! Nice job!". Rick jumps up and down, and the director leaves the room. Rick tosses of the mask and walks out, then the mask starts floating in the air, laughing and tossing chairs and lights around. Hmmm... it appears that there was more to this than meets the eye.

If you've gotten both crystal balls, you get to see the rest of the ending. The first screen shows Rick and Jennifer relaxing on a hill. The caption reads "The 2 are happy..." Then the next screen shows Jennifer running toward West Mansion, with Rick in tow, and he doesn't look that happy about it. The caption here reads "until tragedy strikes."

Or, to quote the back of the U.S. Splatterhouse 2 box, "It begins again!"

      

During the course of the game, you can find two hidden crystal balls that will give you two new screens during the ending. The first one can be found by doing the following: after beating the Fly boss at the end of level three, Devil Town, DON'T go to the far right of the screen. If you do that, you'll just go to the next level. Instead, walk around by the left hand transporter (the one with the open door that the Fly came out of) and push up on the controller. Rick will walk into the transporter... and you'll wind up in Japan. You then fight your way up to the top of a pagoda, fighting Japanese demons and tea cup throwers (?) all the way. When you reach the top, you'll encounter a girl in a kimono that you'll sit down with for tea. While she's doing her thing, you can press A and B to make Rick fart. After a minute or so, she'll say "Gee! How rude you are! Go home with crystal ball!" (if you don't fart, she just welcomes you and givs you the crystal ball). You'll then proceed to level 4, Diamond Lake. That sets you up with the first one.

To get the second crystal ball: while in the last level, Hell House, you'll encounter the same wizard from level three that I mentioned earlier. Whatever you do, don't attack him. Follow him until you reach a door, then go into it. You'll find yourself in Egypt, in front of a pyramid. Go inside and work your way through the pyramid until you reach the High Priestess. She'll writhe around on the floor for a minute, then say "Welcome to Egypt! I will give you crystal ball! Good luck to you!" Press the A button, and Rick will grab the crystal ball and proceed to a point close to the end of the level.

Crystal Ball #2Crystal Ball Ending Screen #1

Crystal Ball #1Crystal Ball Ending Screen #2

Read the Lost in Translation article to find out more about the enemies and storyline of the game.


From Gruesome Rick:

Just thought I'd tell you in case you didn't know, that "Wanpaku" means "Naughtiness" in Japanese.

So the best way to say Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti is just Splatterhouse: Naughty Graffiti.

It's called "Naughty" to go along with the SD Theme, since Rick, Jennifer and even the Monsters are obviously kids. The SD Artwork was called "Graffiti" due to the art style and the fact that it's a cartoony take of the original Splatterhouse.


Recently I recieved an email from one of the guys responsible for translating the Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Grafitti ROM, Spinner 8. He just wanted to let everyone know that he and a guy by the name of Xeur were originally responsible for the translation, and if anyone's interested in checking out other translation patches for different ROMs besides Wanpaku Grafitti (which is also on the site under NES translations), drop by his site, The Whirlpool.


From AlanB2099: You left out one of the parodies in Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti - the name of the final level is a parody of both the movies The Legend of Hell House (1973) and House on Haunted Hill (1959, remade in 1999).

From Arnold Rimmer83: ...before browsing your page about SD Splatterhouse, I wasn't aware you could make Rick fart during the scene with the princess in the hidden Japan level. If you sit through her dance without farting her dialog is different. Instead of calling you rude, she says "Welcome to Japan! I will give you crystal ball. Good luck to you!" Just a little interesting tidbit I thought you'd be interested in.

From Brick McBurly: Also, a fun little fact is that the Japanese Castle in the first secret level of Wanpaku Graffiti is Heijyo-'Peace Castle'. It's also an older name for the city of Nara (usually Heijyokyo).

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