HorrorHound Magazine #14, Nov./Dec. 2008: Rabid Gamer: Splatterhouse: The Original Video Game Bad Boy by Rob Strangman with Jon St. Pierre and Derek Dandurand: Cover Page 28 Page 29 Page 30
It has been said that the original arcade Splatterhouse had a parental advisory disclaimer on it, but no confirmed proof of that exists. It is also rumored that the arcade game was limited to a Japanese release only. This too is unconfirmed, but highly unlikely, as people have claimed to have seen and/or played the game at various locations in the U.S. (myself included: Universal Studios Florida, 1991).
The Turbografx-16 version contained a small warning on the front of the box. This warning read as follows: "The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children... and cowards."
The U.S. box cover had a similar warning. It read: "Warning: This game contains scenes depicting graphic violence which may not be suitable for younger players."
The U.S. box cover also carried the same warning as 2, but also had one of Sega's (short lived) game ratings on the cover as well; in this case, MA-13.
Read the instructions!
In the instruction manual of the U.S. version, Dr. Mueller states the following:
"Screaming Mimi: Fascinating creature. There seems to be several types leaping about the woods. They all emit a piercing scream. Jack and I have set several traps to attempt to capture one for closer study."
In the game, you can see that Mueller and Jack were successful in their efforts: the Screaming Mimis that they captured are all encased in tubes on level 5-3.
Gone but not forgotten?
I just thought I'd give you a scan of a rather unique Splatterhouse
treat I just found. It's a Japanese Manga based on Namco characters, including
Rick of Splatterhouse. Rick is on top of that Japanese Girl's
Smash Court Tennis 2/Anna Kournikova Tennis: PS1 - Japan/Europe - 1996
In the Exhibition
mode a Splatterhouse building can be seen in the background.
Gunbalina/Point Blank 3: Arcade/PS1 - Japan/USA - 2000/2001
Rick does make a cameo appearance in Point Blank 3
along with several other famous Namco characters, as shown here (that's
Rick there in the lower left hand corner).
Kaze no Klonoa 2/Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil: PS2 - Japan/USA/Europe - 2001
There's a level in Klonoa 2 (PS2) where part of
it is a tribute to Splatterhouse. In the amusement park level
in the funhouse, there's a room where there's objects flying around
of their own volition. Just put a big creepy painting of an eyeball
there and you got the poltergeist room of Splatterhouse 1!
Namco X Capcom: PS2 - Japan - 2005
Although Rick (or
any other Splatterhouse character) does not appear in the Japan-only game Namco
X Capcom, there is an item whose title, when translated,
means "Mask Of Rick." However, if Rick did appear in Namco
X Capcom, he might look like this: (courtesy of SHOH @ Level-Zero)
Tekken: Dark Resurrection: PSP - Japan/USA/Europe - 2006
From the Wikipedia Splatterhouse article: "...the Terror Mask (named here "Splatter Mask") can be purchased as an accessory for Craig Marduk. The mask resembles its appearance in Splatterhouse 1 (a hockeymask rather than a skull) and emits an animated purple aura of evil."
From Brick McBurly: (Here are) pics of the 'Splatter Mask' in action in Tekken: Dark Resurrection. It was nice that the creators gave it to a guy that can pass for "Monster Rick', and as you see in the pics, you can plug his name in as well. Pic 1 is the 'purchase' screen-the others show the 'Haunted Mansion' level, which could easily pass as the Splatterhouse. Finally, there's a pic of 'Rick/Craig' charging the camera, which ended up with a cool multiple exposure of the mask (sorry about the pic quality-I shot these all straight off my PSP screen)."
pic #1 pic #2 pic #3 pic #4 pic #5
Mysterious Bob sent in the following high-quality pics:
Technic Beat: PS2 - Japan/USA - 2002/2004
This rhythm game features a digital hardcore remix of Splatterhouse 1's first stage music (with a portion of stage 2's music thrown in for good measure). Thanks to both Captain Yashiro and Risingzan for the info. Download the mp3 here.
The Complete Sounds of Katamari: music CD - Japan - 2005
Disc 2 of The Complete Sounds of Katamari contains a vocal arrangement of the song "Sento Nel Core", which is the end credit music from the original Splatterhouse. Download the mp3 here (thanks to Earl Green for the mp3).
Family Tennis Advance: GBA - Japan - 2002
This tennis game was developed by Natsume for Namco, and was not released outside Japan. Rick is among the many classic Namco characters that appear in-game. View the official site here. For the record, the list of characters is as follows: Alice (Marchen Maze), Bravoman, Hitomi Yoshito, Taira no Kagekiyo (Genpei Toma Den), Valkyrie (Valkyrie no Boken), Klonoa, Heihachi Mishima (Tekken), Gil (The Tower of Druaga), Ki (The Tower of Druaga), Susumu Hori [Taizo Hori's, aka Dig Dug's, son] (Mr. Driller), Anna Hottenmeyer (Mr. Driller), WadaDon (Taiko: Drum Master), Wonder Momo, Pino (Toy Pop), Rick Taylor and Pac-Man. Thanks to Sgraff on the forum for the heads-up and the character list.
Tales of Eternia/Tales of Destiny II: PlayStation - Japan/NA - 2000/2001
Rick appears in the Aifread's Tomb dungeon to bar the player from advancing through certain doorways. Thanks to Sgraff on the forum for the pic.
Definite and possible cinematic & literary inspirations:
The Friday the 13th series:
Splatterhouse's hero looks just like Jason Voorhees, but of course is just an average guy, college student Rick Taylor, wearing
the "Terror Mask".
The disembodied hand seen in all
of the Splatterhouse games seem to be a reference to the film
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, in which the hero of the movie, Ash
(played by Bruce Campbell), cuts off his own right hand with a chainsaw
after it's infected by the evil awoken by the Necronomicon. The hand
(now with a life of its own) goes after Ash and tries to kill him. The
same scene is shown in the sequel, Army Of Darkness, even though
the hand doesn't show up in the movie.
Supposedly the mansion in the original Splatterhouse
is the mansion of Dr. Herbert West, from H.P. Lovecraft's Reanimator.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure:
The "Hell Mask", also know as the "Terror
Mask" or simply "The Mask", despite looking like a hockey
mask, is intended to be an Mayan sacrificial mask, like the one in the
anime/manga Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
I've found new stuff that links both the Evil Dead and Splatterhouse
series. First, in both cases, the Mask/Necronomicon has been found by
a scientist in ancient ruins.
Then, in the three Evil Dead movies, flying objects (poltergeists)
are very important and deadly, like in Splatterhouse.
In Splatterhouse 1, Jennifer becomes a monster, and tries
to kill the hero, like in The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2.
In Splatterhouse 1, Rick must fight his image in the mirror,
like Ash does in Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness.
Rick and Ash both have a chainsaw and a shotgun as favourite weapons.
In Splatterhouse 2, blood floods the room while in the level
with the undead fetus hanging from the roof. In Evil Dead 2,
blood floods the whole room after Ash tries to kill his possessed hand.
Splatterhouse 3 has very similar stuff: there are horrible
flying corpses covered by drapes in Splatterhouse 3, and there
are arms with claws which go out of their mouth to grasp for Rick. At
the end of The Evil Dead, after killing the zombies, the very
same horrible hands come out of the corpses to grasp for Ash!
In Splatterhouse 3, as Jennifer is infected by the boreworm,
some kind of black web spreads under her skin, which is the same visual
effect as in The Evil Dead when the girl (perhaps she's also
called Jennifer, I don't remember) turns into a zombie.
From Psychadelic Death:
I noticed something when looking over the characters for SH: WG...The
clock and deer head look like they might be Evil Dead 2 parodies...
In Evil Dead 2, there's a clock that stops whenever something's
going to happen. In one scene Ash has a mental breakdown where he sees
everything in the house laughing. The first object that starts laughing
is a deer head mounted on a wall, that's followed by lamps, bookshelves
curtains and other inanimate objects laughing.
Another possible movie that may have influenced Splatterhouse. These are some trivia facts I wanted to add (tho not 100% sure):
The teethed slugs from the original Splatterhouse look identical
to those from the monster/gore movie Deadly
Spawn (1983). A lot more than say the baby alien that bursts
out of chests (but the ones in Deadly Spawn were based on them).
Here's a bit of info about a possible musical influence on Splatterhouse 3:
For any of you Splatterhouse music buffs, it may interest you
to know that the music played during SH3 's opening demo (when
the diamond spins endlessly) sounds incredibly similar to one of the
songs that can be heard throughout the 1986 film Gothic.
Although I have always thought highly of the Splatterhouse
score (particularly with regard to the second instalment of the series),
I find it somewhat distressing to know how uncanny the music sounds
in comparison to the music of Gothic . Seeing as how Gothic
was published in the mid-80s, this may mean that yet another apparent
factor of influence has been uncovered (unless the verbatim is all an
From Chris Eisenlauer:
Chris has clued me
in on another film that Splatterhouse may possibly have been
based on - or, at the very least, Namco may have gotten the concept
for the Mask from this film. Check it out and decide for yourself.
The Mask (1961)
Summary (from the IMDb) - A young archaeologist believes he is
cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly
to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist,
Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.
Summary written by Jeff Hole (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From Lane Graff:
Here are some more
possible cinematic inspiration for events and creatures throughout the
Here are some of the movies that (Namco) put in their (Splatterhouse)
games. I cant prove that they are based off of these movies but if you
look them up you'll probably agree with me.
- Splatterhouse: WG (the shadowy figures with the silverware
in their hands).
The Dead Pit
- Splatterhouse 2 (when Jennifer is held over the pit and hands
reach out and grab her).
Zombi 3 - Splatterhouse
(when you punch the large head demon guy and his head falls off and
flies at you).
In Splatterhouse 2 the heads are tossed at Rick from the final
boss come from different films. The one with its mouth gaping open is
from The Fly (1986),
the most human looking head with the wormy looking things is from From
Beyond, and the one with the sagging eye is from The
From Stu MacBride:
"As most people know, while Rick has the Mask on he looks just like
Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies, but Jason doesn't
wear a mask until Friday the 13th Part 3... in Part 2
Jason wears a bag over his head, just like "Biggy Man". Here
is an image I made comparing the F13 characters to the Splatterhouse
From Joe Drilling:
"...the Splatterhouse ads for the TG-16 version were a reference to ads for the original Last House on the Left, which stated "In order to keep from fainting, just keep repeating 'It's only a movie, only a movie, only a movie, only a movie (etc., etc.).'" Check it out here.
Splatterhouse: The PORN movie?!?
Yep, you heard me right. There is a series of compilation flicks by
Pleasure Productions that also go by the name Splatterhouse,
but are no relation whatsoever to the games. As opposed to the sticky,
red stuff that get splattered in the games; it's the sticky white stuff
that gets splattered in the movies. That's it - pretty much four hours
of sex scenes with money shots at the end of each. I haven't done a
whole lot of research on them, but as far as I can tell these did come
out before Namco published the original arcade Splatterhouse
(I may be wrong about this, though), and some of the higher profile
"older" (re: early to late 1980s) stars appear in them, like
Seka, Ginger Lynn, Kim Alexis, Nina Hartley, Ona Zee and Ashlyn Gere.
The highest number I saw listed in the series was #64, but given how
porn companies release tapes in series like this, there's probably a
lot more than that. So in case you happened to ever see these listed
anywhere and were wondering what the deal with them was, now you know.
And no, we're not putting up any pictures of them here. Those
you'll have to go out and get for yourself. ^_^
Splatterhouse 2 sampled by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
According to Stan Stepanic, the industrial band My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult has sampled Splatterhouse 2 several times, most notably in the song "Delicate Terror", which is track two on their 1993 album 13 Above The Night.
"Splatterhouse" by The Koffin Kats
From Brick McBurly: "The Koffin Kats on their 2006 CD Straying From The Pack have a song called 'Splatterhouse' (track 2) that references the games. I downloaded it from Amazon, and either my speakers are shot or it's damn near unintelligible!"
From Robert Preziose: "In a movie called Alien Abduction,which
is a really horrible movie not really even worth watching, there's a
where the main star is being given a mental health test and she's being
showed images on cardboard, one of the images is one of the characters
the splatterhouse games."
He sent me a screen capture shortly thereafter, and sure enough, look who shows up:
Splatterhouse 3 featured in the 1993 Violence In Video Games
In 1993 Nintendo and Sega faced a U.S. Senate hearing on violence
in video games. Led by Senator Joseph Lieberman (D - CT), this hearing
focused on games like Mortal Kombat (multiplatform), Street
Fighter II (multiplatform), and Night Trap (Sega CD). During
the course of the hearing, one of the games brought up was none other
than Splatterhouse 3, which had just been released. During the
brief time it was discussed, this ad was brought up by Sen. Lieberman. The transcript is as follows:
Time: 126:54 - 129:04
Video Game Violence
Dec. 9, 1993
Senate Committee Governmental Affairs: Witnesses testified concerning violence in video games produced for Nintendo and Sega. Graphic scenes from a number of Sega games were shown throughout the hearing.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman: Okay, uh, again in terms of your emphasis on the ratings system, um, Attorney General Dan Lundgren of California who, uh, is also not one of your fans, uh, spoke with me the other day, and as you know he's been troubled by, uh, by the violence and graphic sex in the videogames. He, uh, discussed with me and sent me an ad from GamePro magazine. Now these involve Sega products, I see that it's placed by Namco. You'll have to tell me if you're responsible for it or not.
Sega of America representative Bill White: No we're not, I'm sorry, we're not.
Lieberman: Okay, let me just direct you, and I don't know what extent you have any ability to control this. At the top it says "He's back! Splatterhouse 3 for the Sega Genesis is the kind of game ratings systems were invented for." Now, and then it goes on at the bottom to advertise that it includes "deadly new weapons, six levels of monster bashing mayhem" and "killer special moves." Um, don't you agree that, uh, that that kind of advertisement makes a mockery of your rating system? By that I mean to say that the specific reference that this is the kind of game that rating systems were invented for.
White: I haven't seen this advertisement, Senator Lieberman, and we don't have control-
Lieberman: Well, you've got it now.
White: We don't have control over what-
Lieberman: No, I understand-
White: -an independent publisher would say about our system, nor would I believe the motion picture industry would have control over what an individual studio might say about the MPAA guidelines.
Lieberman: But wouldn't you agree just having seen it now that that makes a mockery out of your rating system? I can't believe that's what you want your independent producers to do with your rating system.
White: We want to go to the next step, Senator, and that's why we've worked around the clock over the last two weeks to establish an industry coalition, to work with your committee and the other members of Congress to develop an industry-wide system that will be more effective.
Lieberman: Okay, well there's a lot of work to do, um, my, to um, to put it mildly.
Splatterhouse: the pirate Famicom multicart?
Andrew Ballard recently
brought this to my attention:
A pirate Famicom multicart with Splatterhouse artwork adorning
it! However, according to Andrew there is no version of Splatterhouse
on the cart, not even Wanpaku Grafitti. Odd. I wonder where the
artwork came from, though... I've never seen it anywhere before. It's possible it
originated in Japan, as Rick looks like he comes from the PC Engine game (note the white mask
and golden cleaver). Perhaps it was from a game magazine in Japan, or from a piece of
promotional material Namco created for the PCE game that has yet to surface.
Splatterhouse: The Metal Band!
There's now a death metal/grindgore band on the Razorback Records
label that goes by the name Splatterhouse! The name is not a coincidence,
either - the band has said that the Splatterhouse series has
been an (subconscious) influence on them in the past, as both Jason
Voorhees (guitars, bass, vocals) and Dr. Freudstein (vocals, lyrics)
are fans of the games. If you like death metal and/or grindcore music,
you may want to check them out! Visit their homepage here, and their MySpace page here.
Also check out Razorback Record's homepage.
Interestingly, the cover for the recently released Splatterhouse/Gruesome
Stuff Relish CD shows artwork that's very similar to one of the most
memorable scenes from Splatterhouse 2. Check it out:
Konami's tribute to Splatterhouse?
In Kid Dracula, by Konami for Gameboy, Rick makes a cameo appearance!
He appears at the end of stage two, disturbed that Kid Dracula has intruded
on his cabin in the woods. He pulls his axe out of a nearby tree and
attacks. When he's close to defeat he jumps in the cabin, pulls out
a shotgun and starts firing. He looks just like Rick does in Splatterhouse:
Wanpaku Grafitti, even down to using the same two weapons you get
in the game! Check out the pic below to see what I mean.
Granted, it could be that this is actually supposed to be Jason Voorhees,
but I don't recall him ever using a shotgun in any of the Friday
the 13th movies. For all intents and purposes, I consider this to
be Konami's little nod to Splatterhouse. And in that spirit,
I present a little piece of artwork created from the above screenshot:
Kid Chameleon: Rick Lookalike?
From Andrew Ballard: "The Sega Genesis game Kid Chameleon featured a
powerup that would turn Kid Chameleon into a Rick-like character. See
the photographic evidence here."
Of course, it could also be argued that Sega took the inspiration for that form from the Friday the 13th films. We may never know for sure, so you'll just have to decide for yourself.
Capcom takes inspiration from Splatterhouse?
From Alex Poindexter: "I just got Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo Gamecube and
it has a lot of references to Splatterhouse. There is a big fish thing
in the lake that you have to throw Harpoons at, and it looks like the
monster on the last level of Splatterhouse 2! And the Zombies with the
chainsaws have bags over their heads and look almost exactly like the