In this installment: there are survivors from the fire of the West Mansion three months ago? West wanted to prevent the Evil One from coming to our realm? There's a place within the game called the "Slaughterhouse"? Better yet, there are some straight from the manual translations to be found here, so it's all official when mentioned, baby. So let's move onto the next installment.
Splatterhouse Part 2
Year: Three months after Splatterhouse; 1988 or possibly 1989 (remember, we're riding with the notion that the first game would take place at the year it was released in).
The plot: we're all aware of what it says in Part 2, in contrast to the Western releases - the "tragedy", not "escape", and so forth. But here's a look from what it says in the story page in the Mega Drive manual:
"It's been three months since the tragedy. Rick kept being haunted by nightmares because he couldn't save Jennifer. Then, the ominous Hell Mask appeared before him once again.
Hell Mask... it has an immortal soul, and it has given power to many (TN: not too sure on this line). It is a cursed Mask you could even say that was the trigger of that nightmare.
'Jennifer isn't going to/doesn't have to die. If you want to help her, go back to that cursed place. And look for the 'Hidden Mansion'. If you reach the Mansion, the "Secret Ritual of Ressurection" that frees all souls will be found. I will lend you my power again... if you desire that.'
All of the past crossed Rick's mind. Rescuing Jennifer was his only wish. And so the mask of ancient times was worn again... (TN: last line a bit adapted from what came out from the online translators to make it work)"
"Trigger of the nightmare". Kind of fits neatly with the Mask 'waking' West Mansion up as it is implied in the Ending Section of the PCE Manual, doesn't it? So while it doesn't attract or create monsters by will, the Mask has a substantial paper into shit hitting the fan in the original game...
But back to Part 2. Later, on the very same manual, at the beginning of the Stage Descriptions (pages 12-13):
"This is the place where I forever sealed my memories in the bottom of my heart. If it were possible, I would like to never set foot on that place again, but, once again I enter this place. To achieve my only wish, saving Jennifer, I will use whichever methods possible. Even borrowing once more the power of the abominable Hell Mask... I will fulfill the 'Secret Ritual of Ressurection', this sealed evil of old/ancient times, with my own hands..."
Oddly enough, the text says that with a picture of the New Splatterhouse as a background. But Rick's lines make sense if you apply it to the prologue of the game, before he set foot on the remains of the West Mansion. So, I'm guessing there was some miscommunication between the writers of the manual and the ones who pulled it's pictures together. Anyhoo, then the manual proceeds to somewhat lengthy descriptions of the stages narrated by Rick himself.
After going through the all-too-familiar hordes of Deadman, Body Eaters and such, Rick finds an ominous House in a lake - the Hidden Mansion (or House, as the English text in Part 2 calls it) the Mask spoke of. Upon entering it, he eventually comes face to face with a zombie throwing flasks at him - which is Dr. West in the (undead) flesh. After Rick splatters his brains all over the place with a well-packed punch, he comes across the book where the Ritual of Resurrection is found, and recites it at the Altar.
Also from the manual, here's an interesting bit about that place in particular:
"Here's probably the place where West conjured the souls to keep the life of the experiments present in this place. In other words, ths is the place that connects the real world and the world of the dead. If what the Hell Mask said is right, when I recite the enchantments of the 'Secret Ritual of Resurrection', my Jennifer will surely come back..."
Jennifer does appear in a ghostly form, but demons from the world of the dead pull her back. A monster is freed and after Rick wastes it, he removes the forbidden seal with the enchantment, and steps into the Land of the Dead itself. There he finds Jennifer trapped in a crystal - which the japanese manual labels the "Death Crystal". But wait, here's what it has to say about the "World of the Dead" stage:
"This is the habitat of evil and conspiratory people who couldn't ressurect. West used Jennifer as the key piece to block the coming of evil spirits. Jennifer has to be freed from here at once!"
If that baffles you, don't feel alone - I'm just as baffled. I mean, West'd probably have to gain with that, right? He's the one conducing these wicked experiments in the first place. Also, the bit about the "people who couldn't resurrect"... unless Rick's talking about things in a reincarnatory meaning, his line is even more baffling. After all it's not like resurrecting is something everybody and their mother could pull off - that were the case, Jesus wouldn't have such a large following. :lol But Dios did say he was going to check up to see if the meaning is more to the lines of "reincarnate", so there's also that.
Either way, Rick manages to destroy the Death Crystal and free Jennifer. Then, according to what I could make out of Japapedia, that's what freed the Evil One (which could also be translated as plain "Devil" or "Wicked God" for the looks of it), and yep, he'd be the one who chases Rick and Jen just as we'd been thinking all these years (the Stage 7 giant is just identical in design to the Evil One of Part 3, so there's that too), at least according to Japapedia. But seeing as how the Part 3 Story section even makes a direct mention to him being freed by the seal and etcetera, the likeliness of the Stage 7 pursuer being him is absurdly high, I'd say. So, if we're pulling the pieces together, Jennifer trapped in the Death Crystal would be the 'forbidden seal' Rick removed - and what allowed the Evil One to come to Earth. But he can't make it through the portal the Mask opens to the world of the living, so Rick and Jennifer are the only ones to leave the Land of the Dead - or are they?
The New Splatterhouse begins to collapse, "by magical power of the Mask" as Rick says in the ingame cinemas (hell, it could put the previous one 'to sleep', I'm figuring it could pretty much demolish this new place then). Rick and Jen take the elevator (wait a second, this is the exact same elevator that led to the underground that took you to the lake surrounding the New Splatterhouse - what's it doing inside the house? Well, let's ride with the fact that the New Splatterhouse also had an elevator, I guess, and chalk the similarities up to Namco just recycling backgrounds). They find a boat to escape to land, but are pursued by the Hell Tentacles, which Rick manages to dispatch using it's own poisonous needles.
After setting foot on land again, Rick and Jennifer walk across the surrounding forest just to find that they weren't the only ones to get out from the Land of the Dead - and an almost indescribable horror bars their way. This thing escaped from the Land of the Dead when Rick first opened the portal, and now is out for blood. After yet another brutal struggle, Rick manages to destroy the demon and it's real form - that of a hellish bat with somewhat human features.
The New Splatterhouse sinks deep into the lake. The Mask leaves Rick, but not before making a cryptic remark... "Don't forget, you removed the forbidden seal", and then bids him farewell. Peace returns to Rick and Jennifer... but for how long?
Differences between the English and Japanese releases: Splatterhouse 2: original Lost in Translation article - here, knock yourself out. Is that too cheap or what? Since the game states that Jennifer is trapped in the "Void", it lead many to think that what you fought in the first instalment was a demon portraying Jennifer. While it is a valid theory that holds some water, even without knowing about the Japanese version saying that Jennifer was killed, I really don't see what invalidates the real Jennifer being transformed to a demon, the mutation repressed, then she is 'imprisoned to the Void'. Also, I don't know what's with NEC/Namco and their antics when it comes to declaring a character dead. In the TG16 manual, West's death is changed to a 'disappearance'; in the Genesis version of Part 2, Jennifer's "just been a prisoner" all this time. But even the Japanese version seems to be "on the fence" about this - the Mask says that Jennifer "isn't going to die!" or "doesn't have to". Dude, she's in the Land of the Dead (not the movie. I haven't seen it, but fear not, Romero, you live in my heart). It's a little late to say that she won't. And hell, a Ritual of Resurrection surely works only on dead people.
As stated other times in the thread, there is absolutely no traces of a "Dr. Mueller" in any japanese material I can find. The second Splatterhouse is West's. In turn, while going by the Genesis manual we'd be inclined to think Mueller and Jack captured several "Screaming Mimis", in the Japanese version they're being raised, akin to what we've seen West do in official art before. Honestly, given the sheer amount of those things in capsules in the lab, I think the Japanese version works much better here. Otherwise the "Mimis" may be deadly, but are so fucking dumb that dozens of them could be captured by someone who admittedly isn't even that much of a hunter. And hell, they'd have captured even the strongest ones!
Also, the date on the entry about when Mueller claims he found the Terror Mask - August, 1989 - rides against the notion of the first game taking place in 1988. But no dates are ever given in either versions of the releases, so either Mueller found the Mask before West did, or after the Mask reassembled after the end of Splatterhouse it wound up in Cancun (don't ask me how), spent some quality time with Mueller "attracting monsters" and "sending primal shivers up his spine" until he succumbed and became a zombie. Don't ask me how on that, either, since not even West's transformation is clarified - they're pretty much "West lost his life, now he's a zombie and he's still up at it. Deal with it".
For all we know, as well, Mueller could've found the Mask before West did, and the apparition of the monsters on these areas again is because the Mask is supposedly attracting them (once again). It is stated in the TG16 manual that Rick did read about the Mask on West's papers, but it's never said West is the one who uncovered it. Mueller speciffically says it's a "breakthrough discovery". So that would push the original Splatterhouse going by the English storyline around to near the beginning of the nineties, I'd say, since Mueller'd need some time with the Mask, yadda yadda yadda, then West does his own papers on it, and you know the rest.
I honestly am at a loss as to what drove Namco to do these changes in the US version, because so much in the source material ties everything to West, that I don't really discredit what 5thman said earlier: "...maybe the US version's 'Mueller' is just Dr West arbitrarily renamed." - Mueller just as well might be an arbitrarily renamed West. He doesn't seem right in the head, at any rate (he doesn't seem to be sarcastic when he's saying how pleasant it is to see creatures 'drooling ropes of rotten flesh' in front of him). Also, Mueller says that the zombie he sighted drools red flesh. That's only true to the stage 1 "zombies", which are red - the ones on the proximities of would-be Mueller Mansion are blueish-green ones. And these are only where West Mansion used to be. So if he sighted those, West Mansion would've been burned to the ground already, so he'd have to find the Mask after West. Headache.
Another small diference is in an item. The vials on stage 5, that the derranged doctor (pick your favorite, Mueller or West) throw at you. The vials are named "Flasks" in the Japanese version and it says they contain an experimental liquid that bursts into flames when thrown. Mueller's vials however are "potassium bombs" (and I must remark, unless he imported that specific component from Kazakhstan, these bombs are made of inferior potassium).
Well, I don't think there's much more to say in that regard. Onto the bestiary, then. There are some interesting tidbits on the enemies here, so let's not waste any more time. All of the enemies' names were taken from the manual, except the ones marked with an asterik, and their descriptions were translated from Japapedia. Under parenthesis is the name given on english sources. Without further ado...
Lower-class experiment body. Because of the fire on the mansion three months ago, it's body is sore and has been burnt hideously. Some host parasitic Body Eaters.
Huge leech that hunts carrion that appeared in the previous installment. It's body is also badly burnt because of the fire of three months ago.
Deathnoid (Screaming Mimi)
Upper-class experiment body. It has a high jump power, and it shrieks while attacking with it's far-reaching nail.
Deathnoid Alpha *
Purple Deathnoid. It has a good endurance and appears the most.Deathnoid Beta *
Pink Deathnoid. It destroys the culture capsule it's in and then attacks. It has the highest endurance of the three types.
A sludge monster. Unless the right item is used, it can't be destroyed. The purple Mud Dead has swift movements and vomits sludge.
Lower-class resident of the World of the Dead. As a skull that flies through the skies, it attacks the enemy in numbers.
Ferocious flying fish type monster that has sharp fangs. It springs out from underwater and when it bites it's victim won't let go easily of it.
Zombie. It's movement is slow, and it is also weak though it attacks in group. Sometimes it also has only the upper body part left.
The enemy like a departed spirit. It does no damage if touched, but it inverts Rick's controls. It's endurance is high and it appears in large quantities.
Pitiful experiment bodies that end up in the "Slaughterhouse" (stage 3). It is hung with a rope through a hole in the ceiling. It vomits poison.
Evolved Uddei, who appeared in the previous game.
The stuffed animal head on the wall has a will of it's own. It vomits venom.
Deadman subspecies with an apettite that feeds on it's own species. Enormous, it attacks spitting poison.
Demon with an enormous face. It summons Hell Heads and spits masses of deep grudge called Demon Breath. It's eyes are its' weak points.
The mass of flesh that manipulated everything in the Slaughterhouse (the scissors, Chainsaw and the Braindead) to attack Rick, through powerful telekinesis, however the Evil Head itself is weak.
A product of Dr. West's terrible experiences, it has two forms. Firstly it attacks with the sliding kicks. When that flesh is ruined, it's cells change at once to a spider-like being.
Dr. West * (not found in the manual)
Thought to be dead, he converted himself into a zombie and continues his insane and hideous research. He is guarded by the Mud Dead and flees throwing the flasks at Rick. But once he is cornered, he is helpless. Plus, the flasks can be destroyed by kicking or punching them.
? * (not found in the manual)
Eerie small sized severed hands and heads attack Rick from the entrance of the World of the Dead.
The crystal Jennifer is trapped in. It attacks with light spheres and lightning.
Evil One * (not found in the manual)
Ominous (wicked) god whose seal was broken when the Death Crystal was destroyed. It chases after Jennifer and Rick. He can't be destroyed.
Hell Tentacles (Leviathan)
Octopus of strange boundary. As the boss of stage 8, it attacks throwing the poison needle. While in stage 4's first half it destroys the bridge, and pursues Rick. This time it does not throw the poison needle, but also it can't be attacked.
Hideous Pantheon (tentative translation)
Released from the World of the Dead, this monster has an enormous body that looks like an immense lump of flesh with faces in agony spread through it and it shoots many severed heads to attack. After a certain degree of damage has been dealt to it, it's main body of a bat-like creature will show up and fly about.
Next up: that bit about the forbidden seal being broken? It apparently comes back to bite the house of Taylor in it's collective butt. It's Splatterhouse 3, the final entry in the classic series!