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Release Date: 3/18/1993 (U.S.)/3/19/1993 (Japan)
System: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan/U.S.)
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3
Alternate title: Splatterhouse Part 3 (Japan)
THE STORY *
Wall Street doesn't seem so brutal after
what you've been through. Better to face legions of feral
commodities traders than blood-thirsty zombies. To get
away from the noise and danger of the city you buy a nice
mansion in a sleepy Connecticut town. Life is good and
comfortable. The dreams of the terror mask are gone. The
whole experience fades into a blurry memory... an
occasional nightmare. You have a son. You have a future.
It doesn't understand time. It doesn't
feel fear... it hungers for power. Before science, before
fire, it was. Primal fury... waiting for a chance...
waiting for a tool... waiting.
Energy, the temples flowed with energy.
Then there was nothing. Dry dust and dreams of past glory.
Then the sun. Strange men and a new land filled with
energy. In their dreams they sense you. You are drawn to
one... Rick. You don't question. It is your destiny. You
tap your powers for Rick. The carnage, the marvelous gore.
Now back to the dust and dreams.
Once again, you feel the energy stirring
and you dream. Dream to Rick...
"Rick, it's time to play again..."
"Time to fulfill our destiny..."
"Dream with me Rick... we'll have fun..."
"We'll have power..."
"We'll have total control..."
Normally the familiar creaks and rattles
of your house settling are comforting; tonight, they seem
ominous. You pace, not wanting to sleep, not wanting to
dream. It's back. The mask... taunting you... and tonight
a winter storm is pounding outside. The perfect setting
for a B horror movie. Only you know it can happen.
You go outside. Thunder rolls across the
hills to the north spiking the air with ozone. Trees
whipped into a frenzy from the relentless wind. It's here,
you can feel it. Tonight is the night.
When I had first heard about Splatterhouse 3, I was ecstatic.
Here was yet another sequel to one of my favorite games, just one year
after the release of part 2. In fact (and some may see this as stupid
on my part), I traded in my Game Gear and the few games I had for it
just to get the cash for Splatterhouse 3. Yes, I traded away an entire game system
for this game. It worked out better for me, I think. I never played the
Game Gear anyway, and this I play often.
Splatterhouse 3 is set several years
after Splatterhouse 2. Rick and Jennifer have married,
and now have a son, David. However, Jennifer and David
are both kidnapped by the Evil One, who needs a psychic
child to unlock the power of the Dark Stone. David has
psychic abilities, as it turns out, and the only reason
Jennifer is taken this time is to keep Rick busy while
the Evil One tries to use David's abilities to unleash
the Dark Stone's power. You have to go through the entire
mansion to save Jennifer and David, then you have to find
the Evil One and defeat him. The Mask is your constant
companion on your quest. For the first time, the Mask
actually talks to Rick throughout the game. The fact that
the Mask is sentient also plays in the ending as well,
but I won't spoil it for those of you that haven't seen
I'll admit I was surprised when I first
popped it into my Genesis: first by the graphics, then
by the change in gameplay. The graphics were dramatically
improved over the first two, especially in the cinema
department. I'll admit, my jaw dropped the first time I
saw the opening. The digitized pictures in this were some
of the best I'd ever seen on the Genesis, and were
quite disturbing in spots, to say the least. The in-game
graphics were also improved tenfold over the first two,
as you can tell by the screenshots.
The gameplay changes were what surprised
me the most. Splatterhouse 3 took a quite different
approach. Whereas the first two games were strictly
sidescrolling action, this one feels more like a quest. You now have a huge mansion to explore. The game is still
divided into levels, but each one is one floor of the mansion, and quite large. To complicate
things, you have a time limit to complete each stage. If
you don't finish the stage by the time time runs out, you
don't die, but either Jennifer or David might, depending
on what stage you're on. Since the floors of the mansion
are so big, and certain doors might A) only open one way
or B) transport you to another part of that floor, you
can get lost pretty easily. Luckily you can press start
in an empty room to pull up a map of the current floor.
The other big change in the gameplay was
that it plays like a Double Dragon/Streets Of
Rage/Final Fight beat-em-up instead of playing like the
original two games. Besides your basic punch, you have a
variety of moves and weapons you can pick up to use
against the various monsters. You can do a spinning
roundhouse kick, headbutt and jump kick.
Another new addition to the game is the
POW meter. You pick up small blue spheres, called
Eldritch Orbs, that fill up that meter. When it's full,
and you press the A button, Rick's body expands and
becomes even more muscular. The Mask also looks
like it's become fused to Rick's body. You can do even
more special moves: body slams, chokeholds, and the best
one, where pieces of Rick's body literally EXPLODE
out of him, take out everything standing nearby, and then
go back into his body.
There are several weapons lying around
that you can pick up. However, if you drop the weapon
that you have (which will happen if you're knocked down
by an enemy attack), a spirit will fly out and carry your
weapon away to the Spirit Room, which is hidden somewhere
in the level. These spirits will take your weapon when
you drop it, no matter where you are, unless you pick it
up first. This can be especially annoying if you're
fighting a boss and this happens.
There are multiple endings to be had,
depending on whether or not you save Jennifer and David.
To get the best ending, it's best to take the shortest
route through a stage. The sooner you reach the boss,
the better your chances of defeating them before the time
Splatterhouse 3 is different enough from
the first two games to warrant a serious look. Personally
I prefer the setup of the first two, but there's enough
that I like about 3 that keeps me coming back. If you're
collecting Genesis games, and want one of the best ones
out there, this is absolutely one to consider. And if you
love Splatterhouse, it's a no brainer - buy it.
Read the Lost in Translation article to find out more about the original Japanese storyline.
To answer what seems to be the most
asked question about Splatterhouse 3, here's how to do
Mutated Rick's power move (U.S. version only):
When facing an enemy, push the D-pad away from it, towards
it, then away from it again and press the attack button. This must be
done in about one second or it will not work. The same also goes for normal
Rick's spin kick. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DO THIS MOVE - that's how it's
described in the instruction manual for the game... plus I've tried various
other button and D-pad combinations. That is the only one that works.
Credit for the following goes to Tim Meder Jr.
Super Chokeslam for Mutated Rick: While grappling a monster as Mutated
Rick, press Up, Down, Up (or the other way around) and jump. Rick will
jump out of the screen with the monster and return slamming the beast's
head on the ground. You can take more damage out by doing two lifting
chokeholds by pressing B and then doing the Super chokeslam.
Alternate songs in the Options Menu: Go into the options menu and highlight
music. Select a track you want to listen to by pressing A. Then press
A,B,and C all at once and you can hear an alternate version of that same
song. The only problems that I get with this cheat is that it doesn't
change the music during gameplay, and it doesn't seem to work on tracks
1 and 5.
The USA version of SH3 is the only one where left right left attack is
how to do the special (also the only one where Namco uses the Namco logo
rather than the Namcot logo, although it still uses Namco text in some
versions). In the Japanese versions and all the translated
cracked versions the special moves are performed using the attack and
jump buttons at the same time. Another thing is only the USA version has
a spin kick, every other version has more of a Roundhouse kick. Also the
USA version is the only one where the Mask talks to you after you start
the game (about the map screen).
So there it is - if you have the US version, the move I have listed above
is the only one that works, and in the import versions, as well as the
cracked and translated ROMs, the other method will work.
Evidence of a debug mode in Splatterhouse 3
From Jonny of Streets
of Rage Online
fame: Info on the Debug mode
From Patrick Haber: There is
NO European version of the game.
* indicates material taken directly from the U.S.