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Box artwork for Labyrinth.
Japanese title ラビリンス 魔王の迷宮 (Labyrinth Maou no Meikyuu)
Developer(s) Tokuma Shoten
Publisher(s) Activision
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Adventure
System(s) Famicom
Players 1
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Labyrinth was released for the Famicom under its Japanese title, Labyrinth Maou no Meikyuu, which can be loosely translated as Labyrinth: Maze of the Goblin King. It is based on the 1986 film of the same name which was directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas, and featuring David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams. Although it was published by Activision, who held the world right publishing rights to video game adaptations of the movie, it is distinctly different from the version of Labyrinth which was developed by Lucasfilm Games (now LucasArts), and published by Activision for the Commodore 64/128, Apple II, and MSX2.

15 year old Sarah is so resentful of her baby brother Toby that she hopes he will just disappear. Her dream becomes reality when goblins kidnap the boy—but Sarah unexpectedly finds herself horrified by the loss. So she sets forth to retrieve him, and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. To accomplish her task, she will somehow have to reach the center of the fantastical labyrinth where the wicked Goblin King has imprisoned the lad. But the task is easier said than done, for the maze is filled with strange creatures and mind-bending puzzles that confuse the girl.

While the film was fairly successful in the United States, it developed a rather large following in Japan. Developed Tokuma Shoten created this action-adventure game that was more accurate to the film than the Lucasfilms Games version. The gameplay employed a top-down view similar to The Legend of Zelda, and featured many interesting tricks and puzzles, including levels that played with spatial relationships. Walking through certain avenues found in the levels would seamlessly warp you to another location in the level without any noticeable indication; the surrounding environment of the destination was designed to match the environment of the origin completely. Instead of using a health meter, a running clock displays how much time is remaining, and contact with enemies removes bits of time.


A beta patch to translate the ROM file of this game from Japanese to English has been released. It can be found at on this page. The author of the patch has not been heard from, and the translation group has disbanded, but despite the patch's beta status, it features a rather complete translation.


Jareth the Goblin King has taken possession of Sarah's baby half-brother Toby, and she only has 13 hours to solve the riddle of the labyrinth before Toby is lost to Sarah forever, and he becomes one of the goblin-kind. She'll have to navigate her way through a maze-like fortress that bends the very fabric of space itself, and avoid the goblins and monsters that seek to slow her down and harm her. But she doesn't have to do it all on her own; she can employ help from various locals, some of whom will join her by her side and protect her from harm, while others will offer her advice and sell her goods.

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