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Shadow Land
Box artwork for Shadow Land.
Japanese title 妖怪道中記
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Distributor(s) Wii Virtual Console
Release date(s)
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Genre(s) Platform
System(s) Arcade, NES, TurboGrafx-16, Wii
Players 1-2
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer (alternating)
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Shadow Land, known as Youkai Douchuuki (妖怪道中記? lit. "Phantom Travel Journal") (On'yomi reading and Furigana: ようかい どうちゅうき, Youkai Douchuuki) in Japan, is Namco's first 16-bit arcade game, released in 1987, and running on the company's then-new System 1 hardware (two Motorola M6809s running at 2.048 MHz, with a third Motorola M6809 and a Hitachi HD-63701 running at 1.536 MHz). It is a platform game in which the player controls a boy named Tarosuke travelling through "Jigoku" (the Japanese concept of Hell) fighting off yokai (mythical Japanese monsters) on his way to his final fate, as determined by Buddha. He destroys his enemies by firing small "Ki" bullets, which can be charged to increase their power; however, if over-charged, he is left unable to move or fight for a few seconds.

Each version of the game has different graphics and sounds.

The English title for this game appears to be the result of a ROM hack that someone released with the words "Shadow Land" above the Japanese title screen. This version of the game has never seen an official release. Some sources also say that the game was distributed to the Wii Virtual Console, some say only in Japan, but neither has been confirmed.

As with Clovis from Dragon Buster, Taira no Kagekiyo from Genpei Touma Den and Momo Chan from Wonder Momo, Tarosuke has a life bar (labeled as "POWER") but only one life; if the meter is empty, the game is over (unless he has a certain item). There are no scoring systems, but this game utilizes currency (only referred to as "MONEY") which is used to buy items, among other things. During boss battles, Tarosuke kneels at a shrine to Buddha and prays, summoning up "Monmotaro" - a spirit who floats in the air and drops energy balls on the boss and any lackeys that may appear.

There are a total of five stages and there are multiple paths which can be taken in many stages. One of the paths leads Tarosuke to a fairly racy mermaids' dance hall show, after which he is given a box. If he opens the box, he will either receive 10000 in money, or be transformed into an old man until he buys a particular item in Zakka's shop (this is based upon that tale of Urashima Tarō). There are also five different endings in this game, which are dependent on your performance through the final stage.

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