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Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Release Date: 8/3/1992 (U.S.)/8/4/1992 (Japan)
System: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan, Europe, U.S.)
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Nintendo Virtual Console/My Arcade Namco Museum mini arcade
Evercade/Sega Genesis Mini 2/Sega Mega Drive Mini II

Alternate title: Splatterhouse Part 2 (Japan)



Excerpted from The Journal Of Paranormal Phenomena, August 1989

"In the thick Jungles of Cancun I discovered the site of an ancient Mayan temple. Most unusual was the discovery of a mask quite unlike anything that has been found before.

Carved from a bone like material it seems to be a representation of a deity. This mask was attached to the wearers head with interesting straps that were fashioned to look like skeletal hands. Ruins found in the area refer to this relic as the 'terror head' or perhaps a better translation would be the terror mask. This is a breakthrough discovery."

Excerpted from a letter of Dr. Mueller to a friend

Dear Klaus,

"This mask is incredible. You mentioned reading my piece in JOPP. However, I couldn't mention in the article the aura of power surrounding this thing. You pick it up and shiver. A primal wave rushes up your spine. When you visit, we'll have to go over it. The lake is lovely this fall and the fish are biting. See you."


You've come to dread the night. In the clutches of sleep the nightmares begin. Always the same, Jennifer screaming in the dark until suddenly she stops. Silence, then the infernal whisperings of the mask begin again.

"Rick, we can save her...
"You know we can...
"Remember the power...
"Remember how much you liked it?
"The house, Rick...
"Jennifer's waiting...
"And I'm waiting for you."

Awake in a sweat with your heart racing you can almost remember the last time. Locked in the mask, body surging with feral rage and an insatiable hunger. The cold steel pipe in your hands slick with gore. Under the mask you were smiling. You know you have to go, to save Jennifer... or so you say.


When I read in Gamepro magazine that Namco was making Splatterhouse 2 for the Genesis, I was thrilled. This is something I'd wanted ever since I played the Turbo game: a version of Splatterhouse on the Genesis. Since I didn't have a Turbo at the time, this was definitely the next best thing.

This also shows how long ago this was, as I haven't touched an issue of Gamepro in years.

When I finally got my hands on a copy of Splatterhouse 2, the first thing I noticed was the cover artwork, which didn't grab me at all. I thought it looked extremely cheesy. Still do, actually. Upon playing the game, I realized that the cover artwork was not indicative of the game itself. This was classic Splatterhouse action.

Splatterhouse 2 begins three months after Splatterhouse ends. Rick is told by the Mask that Jennifer is still alive, after her mysterious disappearance in the first game, and that he can help him get her back. Rick ends up going to the charred remains of West Mansion (which had burned to the ground at the end of Splatterhouse) and somehow ends up unconscious. He wakes up with the Mask on his face again and the carnage starts anew.

Over time, though, a few things began to bother me about Splatterhouse 2. It seemed to lack some of the atmosphere that the first game had, which kind of lessened the experience for me. The Mask itself was changed, and now looks like a human skull. Personally, I prefer the look that it had in the Mega Drive version. The music didn't quite seem to have the same flair as the original either, and the graphics were somewhat darker and muddier in spots (although still a hell of a lot better than a lot of Genesis games).

Don't get me wrong, these are just minor gripes. Gameplay-wise, Splatterhouse 2 favorably stacks up to both the arcade and Turbografx games. Rick controls exactly the way he did in both of the other games, and responds perfectly to your commands. On top of that, the new password feature comes in quite handy. Some of the creature deaths are quite well done: the stomach of the first boss, Deadman Fat, explodes upon defeating up and the contents spill out all over the ground. The eyeballs of the second boss, Demon Face, explode. My favorite boss death would have to be the third boss, Evil Head. When you kill it, it explodes and splatters of blood cover your screen. Then the whole screen is coated in blood, which runs down from the top.

Splatterhouse 2, despite my minor gripes, is a definitely a great game. Any Splatterhouse fan should have this in their library.

Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to Rick during those three months that transpired between Splatterhouse 1 and 2, there is no official story from Namco that explains what happened. However, to make up for that, I have written my own story about the events that transpired, entitled Splatterhouse: Patient #6504. You can read it in the Fan Fiction section.

Read the Lost in Translation article to find out more about the original Japanese storyline.

Splatterhouse 2: the arcade game?

Rumors have been floating around for years that Splatterhouse 2 exists in arcade form. To date, no one has stepped forward to provide any concrete proof of this. Below are the entries I had on the former SH2 arcade section of the site:

7/28/01 - The Splatterhouse 2 arcade game does not exist. According to the Official Namco History, which can be found on all of the volumes of the Namco Museum for the PlayStation and lists every arcade game that Namco has released since 1978, there is no such game. It lists the original Splatterhouse game, but that's it. It's too bad - I would have loved to see one.

9/3/02 - KLOV has removed their listing for Splatterhouse 2 completely. Still, I know there are several people who claimed to have seen a Splatterhouse 2 arcade game. As there is still no proof of an official Namco-created Splatterhouse 2 arcade game (their official arcade history still only lists the original), this may be one of two things: a pirate version of the original that was somehow altered, or a MegaTech system running the Mega Drive version of Splatterhouse 2. If you can provide me with concrete proof of any Splatterhouse 2 arcade game (pics would be nice), then I'll be glad to put it up.

Evidence of a debug mode in Splatterhouse 2

From Jonny of Streets of Rage Online fame: Info on the Debug mode

Differences between the Japanese version and the Stateside release.
from Patrick Haber:

Okay, the first thing I should start with is the difficulty level, it is set COMPLETELY different...

In the Japanese version you can chose between the difficulty levels:

- Normal, to start with the amount of 5 hearts, instead of the 4 in the US release.

- Difficult, is exactly the same as in the US release: You start with the amount of 3 hearts

- Very Difficult (instead of Game Master), to start with the RIDICULOUSLY amount of 1 (!) heart instead of the 2 in the US release.

And after you've finished a stage, you get two hearts added back to your life bar (just like in part 1), instead of the full energy as in the Western versions.

...But the most "terrible" (I'd like to call it that, anyway) differences of the difficulty set are as follows:

The Japanese version has NO PASSWORD FEATURE !!! (Unfortunately, I'm not kidding).

And you ONLY have 5 credits / continues !!! (I kid you not, just once again).

Although the difficulty set of the American / UK versions look rather mild in comparison, the final boss' second form is almost impossible to beat in the Western versions (due to the fact that the highest amount of hits Rick can take are 4 per life), might I add.

Okay, another difference is the 3rd boss' second form:

In the Japanese manual, it also looks entirely different (in-game-look, no artwork). This look is difficult to explain... It looks human-heart-like, and believe me, A HELL OF A LOT more threateningly... But in the game it looks absolutely the same as in the US / UK releases. (What sure does suck!)

Yet another difference between the US / Jap releases is as follows: The in-game textes are also in English with Japanese "subtitles" which do appear (upside down) on the right top of the screen.

The story is also in English as previously stated,...BUT...

It tells you something entirely different.

For example:

In the US / UK versions, the first dialogue of the intro tells:

"It's Been Three Months Since Your Escape..."

In the Japanese version of the game, it tells you:

"It's Been Three Months Since The Tragedy..."

And anyone who'd played the first part, would agree that it was a "Tragedy", not only an "Escape".

There are some MINOR graphically differences, too:

At the title screen of the Japanese version there is spelled "Splatterhouse Part 2" like on the cover (as you know), instead of the dull Western versions title screen where simply is spelled "Splatterhouse 2".

And about the mask Rick wears, it is NOT exactly the same as he wears in the US-Turbografx-game of part 1. It is NOT only a white version of this mask, it differs slightly graphically.

In the Japanese version you start with 2 lives per continue, instead of starting with 3, as in the Western versions.

So that's it.

But there's something I should mention, the Japanese manual is (as usual) in full colour and shows artwork never seen in the Western versions.

Differences between the European version and the Stateside release.
from Brick McBurly:

It's identical to the US version (except for the second screen after start up-EU version only has 'Sega Enterprises', US version has 'Namco Under License From Sega Enterprises' or something like that. Also, the EU game works in the US Genesis unit (unlike the JP Mega Drive game that you'd need an adaptor or surgery on a Genesis in order to fit into the game slot).

* indicates material taken directly from the U.S. instruction manual