Game Center CX Season 2 – Back to Contents
Moving to "Demon Village" ("Makaimura")
It’s regarded as a timeless classic, but it’s one of the most challenging games ever. Capcom’s Ghosts ‘N Goblins is the game in this episode, and Arino doesn’t really seem to know what he’s gotten himself into. He does, however, have a new LCD TV.
Once he starts the first stage, Arino starts to realize what he’s in for. He scrapes by and reaches the halfway mark, where the Red Arremer gargoyle awaits. He tries hitting it from afar, but it doesn’t work. Only when he gets close enough does it fly up and swoop down in front of him, killing him instantly.
Arino tries again, hoping to hit the gargoyle at the right time, but he dies once more. Red Arremer’s pattern is just too much for him to handle, and the racks up a few more deaths. Even though it’s easily avoided, Arino is now determined to kill it. He keeps getting foiled over and over again. 21 Game Overs later, there’s still no sign of progress. And this is just stage 1! Finally, a handful of tries later, Arino destroys the cursed beast!
But just then, AD Sasano steps in. It’s time to go to the game creator interview (see below). Arino’s shocked, but there’s nothing he can do. As a consolation of sorts, Sasano gives him a Game Boy with the Famicom Mini version of GnG. Arino starts playing it in the car ride to Sega HQ, with Sasano continuing to advise him. Even after killing it once, Red Arremer is still a challenge.
After the interview, Arino heads back to the game and heads to the next half of stage 1. The flying ghost knights overwhelm him, and it’s back to the beginning again. He faces Red Arremer again, and this time it seems the Game Boy training paid off — he defeats it again! He heads to the end of the stage but practically runs straight into the boss. A few more attempts pass. On the last try, Arino keeps a safe distance, playing a game of chicken with the cyclops boss until he finally destroys it. Stage 1 is cleared with a total time of 5 hours, 23 minutes.
Unfortunately, Arino dies within seconds of entering stage 2, and gets another Game Over. Back to the start… Arino opens up a cold pad, and notices the package boasts that it lasts for 8 hours. Before he starts again, Sasano steps in and asks to play. As he does, he makes mention of the continue code (hold right and press B three times at the title screen), but instead he gets Arino back to stage 2 the long way. After that, he hands the controller back.
Arino gets to the second half of stage 2, but gets tripped up by the Stone Giant enemies, who rush at him without stopping and also shoot down at him from above. They take a lot of hits, and Arino can barely kill them all in one go. Sasano comes in again, and this time hands Arino a support item — the Hudson Joycard controller, which has turbo switches! It’s just what Arino needs, but he ends up dying another way by falling off platforms. Sasano takes over once more and gets up to the boss — two of the Cyclops! Sasano beats them with the help of the Joycard and continues to stage 3.
The stage 3 boss is a dragon that’s just as annoying as the Red Arremer. Arino gives it a try, but dies and ends up handing it back to Sasano, who beats it. He lets Arino start on stage 4. As Arino is riding a cloud platform across the stage, the screen reveals another Red Arremer! Arino groans, but stays the course and engages the demon. He dies, of course, and ignores it on the next try. But then there’s another one, and it kills him repeatedly. Eventually he destroys it and comes across the boss: yet another dragon. Arino turns around and runs back in fear, but goes right back to fight it. Since Sasano beat the last one, Arino has but a frame of reference to go on, so he dies in short order. Just then, the producer chimes in. It’s almost midnight, and he scolds Arino a bit for letting Sasano play so much. With that, Arino is sent home with the Famicom and the rest of the staff packs up for the day.
The next day begins, and Arino stumbles in under a sleepy haze. It’s a long road back to stage 4, but Arino makes it seem so easy now: he whips Red Arremer’s ass, pulverizes the Cyclops, and gets up to stage 3 with little incident. Sasano slides in to watch him work, but once again Arino dies at the stage 3 dragon. The two move to the whiteboard and Sasano helps draw out the dragon’s pattern to give Arino an edge. As long as Arino stays in one spot and ducks at the right time, it should be smooth sailing. And he does, within an inch (more like a millimeter) from death.
Back to stage 4. The nuisance Arremer is taken care of, but now there’s that other dragon… and it still wipes out Arino in record time. The trick from the last dragon is tried, and it works with the same results! The day hasn’t been too long so far, and there’s only 2 more stages.
…But since stage 5 is new territory, things start slowing down. The mess of enemies here just keep ravaging Arino. He pulls out another cold pad and hands one to Sasano as well. Arino takes a break to advertise the GCCX book, and then it’s back to the game. The boss, Satan (probably not the Satan) is rather tricky, employing a Red Arremer-like pattern. Arino goes through numerous lives trying to beat it, but to no avail. Things look bleak, so Sasano jumps up to the whiteboard again to put this into perspective. Arino goes for it: jumping and attacking when Satan is high, then ducking just as he swoops down. The strategy works, and stage 5 is in the bag.
We’re not shown much of stage 6 as it’s mostly a gauntlet of the last few bosses, but Arino and Sasano are just as proud to complete it. The final stage is the showdown against Lucifer, but since his pattern is pretty simple compared to, well, every other previous enemy, Arino has little trouble beating him. After 16 hours, it’s all done, and Arino and Sasano wait patiently for the ending.
But, like Challenger before it, the game repeats. The two men failed to notice the text after Lucifer is beaten, that reads "THIS ROOM IS AN ILLUSION AND IS A TRAP DEVISUT BY SATAN." Well, they are Japanese, so you can’t really blame them. But anyone familiar with GnG knows you have to beat it twice to get the real ending. The show ends with Arino letting Sasano finish the second quest and reach the "happy end."
Part 2 of the TRY Amusement Tower visit. Still on the retro game floor, Arino tries out the giant Night Striker machine near the door, but quickly dies (the game reads YOU ARE DEAD). From there it’s on to Altered Beast, Bravoman, Dragon Buster, Street Fighter, Magic Sword, Youkai Dochuuki, The Tower of Druaga and City Connection. Whew! And that Xevious pro is still at it.
I’d Like to Meet This Man: Yu Suzuki
Arino talks to one of Sega’s treasured game creators, Yu Suzuki. The creator of Hang On got his start on the SG-1000 game Champion Boxing, and then moved into arcade development. Arino and Suzuki then play Champion Boxing together. The two trade punches, knocking each other down a couple times each, but Arino eventually comes out on top.
Suzuki then talks about his 3D games, Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter, and what it was like creating them. And of course, there’s some discussion on Shenmue Online.
Game Collections: Sega SG series / Mark III