Let's talk about the Ganbare Goemon/Mystical Ninja series

Mar 30, 2015
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This brings back memories...I was a HUGE Goemon fan, actually ran a website that had the goemon.com domain called The Mystical Website of Goemon. If you go to GameFAQs, you'll see that I wrote quite a few FAQs under the name "The Mystic Ninja" for alot of the obscure JP only games. In my opinion, the ones you really need to play, if possible, are:

Ganbare Goemon 3: Shishijūrokubē no Karakuri Manji Gatame (SNES)
Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu (PS1)
Ganbare Goemon: Ōedo Daikaiten (PS1)

The N64 ones were excellent as well. I never played the PS2 and DS games.
 
May 15, 2006
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With all this talk about Ebisumaru someone has to mention his real life model, Etsunobu Ebisu! He was the director, producer and programmer on most of the Goemon games since the SNES games, and is currently the main producer at Good Feel, where he's worked on Wario Land Shake It, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Yoshi's Wooly World. You can see him at last year's Nintendo's E3 thing together with Takashi Tezuka. He not only did the Goemon games with Konami but also worked on the great Batman Returns, Castlevania Circle of the Moon, Konami Krazy Racers, and some other good games.

There are more ex-Konami people at Good Feel, specially from the Goemon team. It would be amazing if they did a "spiritual succesor" kind of thing next, or at least something in a similar style. Good Feel's founder, Shigeharu Umezaki, is another videogame legend of his own who directed or produced classics like Life Force, Contra, Super C, Gradius 2, Blades of Steel, Parodius, the Gomeon games, and a lot of other fantastic stuff.
Excellent post!

And yeah, as I said earlier, it's just great that these guys that left Konami ages ago are still able to make great games where you can see their prowess show.

Definitely would be all for if Ninty ever got the notion of letting them make a new IP that imbued all of what Goemon was. Especially if it was a 3D action-platformer a la the first 64 game.
 

EvilMario

Will QA for food.
Aug 24, 2007
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I rented the Super NES game a bunch. It was fun and quirky, but didn't really stand out that much. I bought Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon on the Nintendo 64 though. I can't remember what made me buy it, probably images in a magazine. But it was amazing, my sort of gateway to other more outwardly Japanese games, anime, media, etc. A shame it's dead.
 
Jun 3, 2013
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I was exposed to this series via the SNES game that was localized, Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Played it religiously as a kid and to this day, despite some frustratingly dumb sections.ll. still love it.

Played and owned (but never finished sadly) both N64 games released here.

I really wish, to this day, more of this series was localized... And now thanks to Konami being.... Konami as they are now... :-(

Really great series.

With all this talk about Ebisumaru someone has to mention his real life model, Etsunobu Ebisu! He was the director, producer and programmer on most of the Goemon games since the SNES games, and is currently the main producer at Good Feel, where he's worked on Wario Land Shake It, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Yoshi's Wooly World. You can see him at last year's Nintendo's E3 thing together with Takashi Tezuka. He not only did the Goemon games with Konami but also worked on the great Batman Returns, Castlevania Circle of the Moon, Konami Krazy Racers, and some other good games.

There are more ex-Konami people at Good Feel, specially from the Goemon team. It would be amazing if they did a "spiritual succesor" kind of thing next, or at least something in a similar style. Good Feel's founder, Shigeharu Umezaki, is another videogame legend of his own who directed or produced classics like Life Force, Contra, Super C, Gradius 2, Blades of Steel, Parodius, the Gomeon games, and a lot of other fantastic stuff.
Oh wow, did not know that!
 
Jul 27, 2007
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Oh god I remember playing Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon when I rented it from Blockbuster. At the time I was waiting for Ocarina of Time to come out and this was the closest thing to it. Fell in love with this game and its music. Its so weird and wacky but its awesome.
 
Jan 16, 2011
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Oh god I remember playing Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon when I rented it from Blockbuster. At the time I was waiting for Ocarina of Time to come out and this was the closest thing to it. Fell in love with this game and its music. Its so weird and wacky but its awesome.
I agree completely with this! It was phenomenal and is my favorite Goemon game. It was Ocarina before Ocarina came out here!
 
Nov 8, 2012
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The Sky-what now?

I always thought if there ever was a problem with this game was its lack of built in save feature (my #1 sin). Or just plain old Konami thinking it wasn't worth the effort because no one would want it.

Konami if you're reading this please release Mystical Ninja Starribg Goemon for the WiiU VC. I'll buy it, I swear!!
The skybox is, basically, the image that is used for the sky. From what I can remember, emulators had major problems with it and it glitches out. Konami wouldn't release a game on the VC with such a major graphical glitch.
 
May 9, 2013
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This series is the definition of bittersweet for me. I remember being enthralled by Mystical Ninja back when it came out, to then gradually discover to my dismay that the other 3 SNES games would never get localized.

I fell in love again with the N64 iteration, which I'd probably rank in my top 5 N64 games, though for some reason I don't think I've ever played the second game.

I was very much interested to get back into the series with the DS game, but we all know how that ended (i.e. another unlocalized game...).

Such a colorful, wacky and awesome series this is. A real testament to classic Konami and Japanese game design of that era. Such a damn shame we'll probably never see anything done with it anymore, even if it's a VC release or something.

With all this talk about Ebisumaru someone has to mention his real life model, Etsunobu Ebisu! He was the director, producer and programmer on most of the Goemon games since the SNES games, and is currently the main producer at Good Feel, where he's worked on Wario Land Shake It, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Yoshi's Wooly World. You can see him at last year's Nintendo's E3 thing together with Takashi Tezuka. He not only did the Goemon games with Konami but also worked on the great Batman Returns, Castlevania Circle of the Moon, Konami Krazy Racers, and some other good games.

There are more ex-Konami people at Good Feel, specially from the Goemon team. It would be amazing if they did a "spiritual succesor" kind of thing next, or at least something in a similar style. Good Feel's founder, Shigeharu Umezaki, is another videogame legend of his own who directed or produced classics like Life Force, Contra, Super C, Gradius 2, Blades of Steel, Parodius, the Gomeon games, and a lot of other fantastic stuff.
This is a very interesting, even somewhat comforting read - I never knew about Good Feel's link to old Konami! A spiritual successor (funded through Kickstarter) would indeed be appreciated. Between Contra and Rocket Knight, Ganbare Goemon would be my most desired classic Konami revival, and out of those three series, I think Goemon could offer the most because of its varied gameplay and humor.

Ps. Can someone tell me if Ganbare Goemon 2-4 ever got decent fan translations (preferably available on SNES reproduction cartridges)? Would love to try those games still.
 
Jan 15, 2014
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I love, love, love this series. I've beat all three of the console games and think they're all brilliant. (The Game Boy game is simply awful and I'm kind of annoyed that I actually bought that one new, and then bought it again on the 3DS Virtual Console.) Hopefully this thread serves as an early welcome to the N64 games on Wii U Virtual Console, maybe?

I keep thinking about importing some of the games, specifically one of the GBA compilations, but it never works out. Maybe I'll get some SFC games. I got one of the PS1 games on PSN but my Japanese is nowhere near where it'd need to be to make progress, and I got hopelessly lost very quickly.

On an unrelated note, Mystical Ninja 2 on the N64 has the best Game Over screen in any game ever.

http://youtu.be/zUcNZf7t-Vg
I haven't seen this in years and sort of forgot about it! Just brilliant.

Never owned the games but I watched the anime series on Anime Network.
I own the whole series on DVD and it's actually really bad. They nail the characters but instead of setting it in the rich world of Edo, they have all of them hang out with some idiot Japanese kids in Tokyo and it turns into a crappy yoma of the week show. It's basically Sailor Moon with the Goemon characters filling in as superheroes. What the hell was the point of that.

Interestingly one of the DVD extras shined a light on how half-assed ADV's job on the dubs was. In a commentary the actress who played the main kid said how she was reading through the script and I think Goemon or someone else just dies in a dream sequence. She said she was really shocked and upset that the character was just dispatched out of nowhere like that. The damn actors didn't even read their scripts ahead of time! What a joke!
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I love this series so much. I used the Hardcore Gaming 101 guide to get all the platformers in the series when I moved to Japan. A couple of the PS1 games took me so long to track down, that I forgot I got them and bought them for a second time. I don't much care for the famicom original, but I got from Ganbare Goemon 2 for famicom to the DS game save the menu-based RPGs, the puzzle/board games, and the really awful GB game that came stateside. I find it hard to pick a favorite (2,3, or 4 for SFC probably), but I did have some pleasant surprises.

Even though it looks bizarre and has a very different style than the others, the PS1 Shin Sedai Shuumei is quite good, and plays a lot like the SFC classics. It's also funny to see the character hiding (poorly) in the shadows. The other PS1 games are of varying quality, but I like this one the best.

Hoshizorashi Dynamites Arawaru for GBC does an amazing job of feeling like the SFC games, even if it is scaled down a bit.

The GBA remake of 1 and 2 is a lot easier with the on the fly character swapping and on-cartridge save, but it really makes sense to be able to change characters more easily, and it makes the games (especially 2) feel a bit like Castlevania 3. If it weren't missing 2-player, I might not have bothered with the SFC originals.
 
Feb 7, 2012
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I absolutely love this series pre-ps2 and was talking to friends the other day of how much of a konami casualty it is

This, along with the parodius games in the late 80s are really eccentric japanese style games that kinda died out as times changed
 
Sep 27, 2009
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Loved the first one on the N64. So much fun and such catchy music and so weird.

Shame it's a Konami IP. Please look forward to the Goemon F2P mobile game and/or the Pachinko and exercise machine combo. You know, if Konami even feels it'd be worth exploiting the IP for that stuff.
 
Jan 23, 2013
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The most clear example that how a great series die as time passes.

God i love Mystical Ninja, one of the first SNEs games i played after Super Mario World. Fun as f*ck!

I'm still waiting for a fan translations of Goemon 2, 3 and 4 (SNES) to the first two of PSX, and of course the NDS one.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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I own the whole series on DVD and it's actually really bad. They nail the characters but instead of setting it in the rich world of Edo, they have all of them hang out with some idiot Japanese kids in Tokyo and it turns into a crappy yoma of the week show. It's basically Sailor Moon with the Goemon characters filling in as superheroes. What the hell was the point of that.

Interestingly one of the DVD extras shined a light on how half-assed ADV's job on the dubs was. In a commentary the actress who played the main kid said how she was reading through the script and I think Goemon or someone else just dies in a dream sequence. She said she was really shocked and upset that the character was just dispatched out of nowhere like that. The damn actors didn't even read their scripts ahead of time! What a joke!
Damn, that really sucks...
 
Nov 10, 2007
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Aug 7, 2013
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In another (better?) timeline Goemon is in Smash representing Konami along with Bomberman still standing for Hudson.

Goemon games were nice, this thread will make me feel nostalgic just like the Bomberman one did a few weeks ago.
 
Aug 23, 2013
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How successful were the n64 goemon games? I thought it penetrated the western market pretty well and with a bit more of a push could have been a stable series like bomberman and co
 
Nov 10, 2007
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We're talking Goemon music? My favourite is this one from Goemon's Great Adventure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCrGFa213Dw
Ooo, that's a good one

In another (better?) timeline Goemon is in Smash representing Konami along with Bomberman still standing for Hudson.

Goemon games were nice, this thread will make me feel nostalgic just like the Bomberman one did a few weeks ago.
In a better world, Nintendo snatches up Bomberman and Goemon and actually makes new games out of them
 

SovanJedi

provides useful feedback
Oct 20, 2006
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www.jontendo.co.uk
I love love love the first SNES game. I played it through again quite recently, in fact - it's still silly and quirky and fun-spirited enough to hold up strong today. The sequel was damn good fun too.

So, unpopular opinion time: I... actually never really liked the first N64 game much. I think now I'd go back to it and enjoy it more than I did first time around, but it was at a point where Konami was starting to shit the bed with a ton of their 3D titles not called Metal Gear (remember this was also just before Castlevania 64 came out, and we all know how good THAT game was) As such it had slightly dodgy controls in spots, HORRIBLE camera and it just didn't look that great of a game. But, there was an undeniable, irresistable charm that shone through that I somehow managed to forgive the game's shortcomings for. Oh, and the Impact fights were kickass.

I have the second N64 game too, but it doesn't want to run on my N64 at the moment, which sucks because I really want to play it. :(
 
Mar 13, 2014
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Words cannot describe how much I love the first N64 Goemon game. It had its flaws but for a 1997 pre-Ocarina of Time game it was spectacular and didn't deserve to be so ignored.

For me it couldn't possibly had come out at a more perfect time. I was in 6th grade having recently discovered Dragon Ball Z and around the time I bought this game the same TV Network that showed DBZ in prime time here in Mexico (no kidding, 8pm on national TV!) began broadcasting Ranma 1/2 at 8:30 and fell instantly in love with its humor and wacky japanese culture.

It was eye opening and fun to see so many similarities in my new wacky very japanese game (my first Goemon game ever) to that new animated TV show I watched in the evenings. I always said Yae was practically Shampoo from Ranma 1/2 but with green hair.

I'd pay a lot of money for Mysitical Ninja Starring Goemon on VC.

But alas, Konami's shit.
 
Apr 8, 2012
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So, unpopular opinion time: I... actually never really liked the first N64 game much. I think now I'd go back to it and enjoy it more than I did first time around, but it was at a point where Konami was starting to shit the bed with a ton of their 3D titles not called Metal Gear... :(
I feel the same, and I've also been considering replaying the N64 games for the same reasons. Even Goemon's Great Adventure lost some of the charm of the originals in my opinion. I loved the graphical style of the SNES games and it is what drew me to them in the first place. While the music and overall style was in place in the latter games, I always felt they lost a bit of what I enjoyed most about them.

The 1st and 3rd (I think) PSX games return to the 2D style of the originals and I've always been fans of those two games as well - though they seem to have taken a hit in the level design department. Goemon's Great Adventure with handdrawn, 2D sprites would probably be my ultimate Goemon game.
 
Mar 13, 2014
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Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon only sold 55k in the U.S. Goemon's Great Adventure sold less at 50K.
Are those numbers for real? No wonder we never got another Goemon game in the west. That's fucking depressing! And I dont think Japan's sales helped a lot either what with the N64 being a distant 3rd over there even behind the goddamned Saturn!
 
Feb 5, 2009
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Nintendo please buy the rights and save Goemon (along with Bomberman and Mega Man)

Coming back to post this:Gourmet Submarine music
I love how the music changes in most castles as you approach the final area.

By the way does anyone knows what Yae says when she transforms into a mermaid. I know Sasuke says "henshin", but I'm not sure about Yae.
 
Apr 8, 2012
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I've been playing through Ganbare Goemon 4 on Super Famicom so I thought I would post some pictures I took of the game in action.

Ebisumaru boss battle:


Mermaid Yae:


Sumo robot thinks he's got me:


Ha!


Ouch!


Ebisumaru sweats even in cold weather...


and he gets a touch too excited when he wins...


Just your average demon hunk hoola-hooping. A recurring theme in Goemon game over screens.


End level tanooki gives you coins! or poop.


Ebisumaru attacks:


Sasuke in town:


These guys:


Yae attacks from above. Different characters have different uses.


Sasuke slices:



I'll post more later if I have time / if anyone cares to see them. As soon as I finish up 4, I'm moving on to Ganbare Goemon: Ōedo Daikaiten on PSX.
 
Feb 4, 2011
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I remember right after the whole debacle with Working Designs and the PS2 game I just said, "Screw it, the JPN version can't actually be that bad, control-wise" and bought a new copy in Japan during a trip soon after for like 600 yen, heh. And oh. my. god. the disappointment. Not just the disappointment over how Bouken Jidai Katsugeki: Goemon controlled and played but how glorious it would have been with Vic and the crew doing God's work on it. Sigh :-(
 
Apr 8, 2012
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What are the must play Goemon games?
The first SNES game (Legend of the Mystical Ninja in USA) is probably my favorite as well, but nostalgia likely clouds my judgement. It was really an event for me during my childhood.

That said, all four SNES/Super Famicom games are fantastic and quite different from one another. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

Both N64 games are also well regarded, though the first one is unlike any other game in the series for better or worse.

On PSX, the first game (Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu) is pretty good, though not as good as the SNES games. The third game (Ganbare Goemon: Ōedo Daikaiten) is also good, but very similar to Ganbare Goemon 2 on Super Famicom.

If you only play one game, I think Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a great choice. If you get into the series, though, all the ones I mention here are worth checking out.
 
May 10, 2013
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PURASUMAAAAA!

Pardon the necro-bump, but I think the first bit of news regarding this series in a while deserves it:

Seems as if there's going to be a 10-CD soundtrack box set released on May 25th for ¥15,660 ($138). Looking at the retailer's site, it seems the set contains everything from the NES-SNES eras. I can see why they would split it up, but I am slightly dissapointed they didn't do anything from the N64/PSX eras. (Anything afterwards could fit on one disc easily, though.

Art:


Store info page link: Here. I think it's a limited pressing, so if you want one, you'd best DASHDASHDASH to your favorite import site.