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Box artwork for Splatterhouse.
Japanese titleスプラッターハウス
Distributor(s)Wii Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Arcade icon.png Arcade
Flag of Japan.svg November, 1988
Flag of the European Union.svg January, 1989
TurboGrafx-16 icon.png TurboGrafx-16
FM Towns icon.png FM Towns
Windows icon.png Windows
Wii Virtual Console icon.png Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s)Beat 'em up
System(s)Arcade, TurboGrafx-16, NEC PC-8801, FM Towns, Wii, Windows
Followed bySplatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchSplatterhouse Channel
This guide is for the 1988 arcade game. For the 2010 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and iPhone game, see Splatterhouse (2010).
This is the first game in the Splatterhouse series. For other games in the series see the Splatterhouse category.
Splatterhouse marquee

Splatterhouse (スプラッターハウス - literally Supurattāhausu), is a beat 'em up arcade game that was released by Namco in 1988, only in Japan; it runs upon Namco's System 1 hardware, and was never originally released in the US due to its violent nature as well as some questionable enemies including the fourth stage's boss (the inverted cross). As a result, it was the first arcade game to ever receive a parental advisory disclaimer, four years before Midway Games's Mortal Kombat was even thought of.

This is the first game in the Splatterhouse series. It was followed up by four direct-to-console sequels - the first of which was also released exclusively in Japan: Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (released on the Famicom, 1989), Splatterhouse: Part 2 (for Sega Genesis, 1992), Splatterhouse: Part 3 (also for Sega Genesis, 1995), and Splatterhouse (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and iPhone, 2010, and named after this game).


The place was called the West Mansion; but, to all those who had known the legend, it was known as "Splatterhouse". It was once the home of the famed parapsychologist, Doctor West - and there was a research laboratory in the house (where he had conducted some of his most gruesome experiments). It was even said that it was in this house that he created the most hideous creatures that ever walked the face of the Earth, but no-one knew for sure; he had not been seen or heard from in years, and no-one who had ever gone into the mansion had survived to tell the tale. Rick and his girlfriend, Jennifer, were parapsychology majors at their local university - and they were both very interested in the works of Dr. West, as he was the most famous parapsychologist in the world. One day, they decided to visit the abandoned mansion, as part of a project they were working on in school; as they walked towards that mansion, it started to rain. They entered - all went dark. Lightning cracked through the sky; there was a frantic scuffle. Then a scream - and suddenly Jennifer had gone. Rick's unconscious body was covered with blood; hours later, he awoke to a fantastic horror. He was alone, and also drenched with blood, but the most terrifying thing of all was that a hideous mask was covering his face - he had read tales of this mask (known as the "Terror Mask"), in Dr. West's writings. It was said to possess ancient spiritual powers; as his only hope, Rick must now depend on this mask, to grant him the strength and courage to find Jennifer. He has a total of seven stages to clear - and each one is gorier than the last.

Console Versions[edit]

The Turbografx-16 version in North America and Japan had gone through some censorship. The meat cleaver in the first two stages is replaced with a wooden stick, blood is either toned down and recolored, the crawling hand in the fifth stage doesn't flash the middle finger, and the final boss in the sixth stage simply bursts in flames instead of ooze embryonic fluids.

The North American version has a few more changes. Most notably, the Terror Mask is colored red instead of white, possibly to avoid a lawsuit with Paramount Pictures over Rick looking similar to Jason Voorhees. Crosses are also removed from the game with the inverted cross at Stage 4 replaced with a severed head and the final boss's grave being a tombstone instead of a wooden cross.

The Wii Virtual Console released the Turbografx-16 port to North America and Europe in 2007 as well as the arcade port to Japan in 2009.

The FM Towns port is considered to be the most accurate rendition of the original arcade with nearly everything unchanged as well as the sound and graphics looking very similar. It was ported by Ving Co.

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