Imagine if you will: you and your girlfriend, both parapsychology majors from a local university, decide to take a trip to an abandoned mansion that had the reputation of housing evil experiments run by the mad scientist known as Dr. West. On the way, you‘re hit by a rain storm and decide to take refuge within the infamous West Mansion. As you enter the place that had once been called the “Splatterhouse”, everything goes dark. You find yourself attacked and on the floor followed by Jennifer‘s scream trailing off in the distance. You fall unconscious and wake to find Jennifer gone, you covered in blood and a red hockey-like mask attached to your face. From your studies you know it is the “Terror Mask”, which gives its wearer great strength thanks to the ancient spiritual power that lies within it. With the mansion‘s history of being the home of many a hideous creature born from the twisted mind of Dr. West, you know you‘re in for the fight of your life as you enter the hallways to rescue your girlfriend. Sound interesting? This is the tale behind one of the most classic side-scrolling games of its time: Splatterhouse for the TurboGrafx- 16.
Splatterhouse was originally released in arcades in 1988 by Namco, the famed maker of Pac-Man. Splatterhouse was considered a pretty violent game at the time with its themes ripped straight out of 80‘s horror films. In this side scrolling beat-em-up, the player-character resembled Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies and the game play involved animations of monsters getting blown away, hacked in two or bashed with weapons like a shotgun, 2×4 and a meat cleaver. True to the game‘s name, the creatures that got in your way ended up in gory pieces with guts splattering and squirting everywhere. The game was then released in April of 1990 for the TurboGrafx-16 Entertainment Super System (TG-16), which unfortunately was “censored” for the North American market. For example, content such as images of inverted crucifixes for an enemy boss were removed and the gorier death scenes for monsters were toned down.
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