Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection

By Kevin, June 7th, 2021

Took some time off from posting for a little while, a lot has been going on. All good stuff, just super busy.

I don't get to play many games at all anymore other than the once in a while Dead Cells run, so last weekend I took a break from everything and purchased Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection for the Playstation 4. This is a remake/reboot of an original Capcom title released in the 80s that annihilated waves of players and their quarters and often left them broke and still on level 1, or not much farther than that.

I originally rented the game on the NES back when I was 7-8 years old - likely one of the first game titles we ever rented. I can't remember if it was this, Wizards and Warriors, or Castlevania which was the first rental, but it was definitely one of them. The box had really awesome art on it, which is probably why I wanted to play it.

What young me did not know at the time is that this was and still is considered one of the most notoriously difficult games to ever exist. Despite playing Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Wizards and Warriors, Double Dragon and a good lot of those early NES titles - those games are very easy in comparison. For starters, none of them are designed with scripted traps and triggers to try to insta-kill the player like Ghosts 'n Goblins is. If you've played the game, you know exactly what I mean by that.

Soul crushing, but not impossible

Despite its difficulty, the original has unlimited continues. Due to that, I was able to persist and persevere and take Arthur through the relentless gauntlet and to the end of the game. Of course, I did not know at the time (few did) that to really "beat" the game required a second consecutive playthrough and to beat the final boss with a specific item. I just felt good reaching the end, a far cry beyond where classmates or other adults were getting.

Even though it is begrudgingly difficult, I still really enjoy that game. The NES version has a certain charm to it, from the art to the music and its hair raising platforming sections. So when the remake was announced, I knew I wanted back in - I had to complete what I began so many years ago and beat it for real.

Much like the original, it has unlimited continues. But as most remakes go, it does save your progress so you can stop and come back later. There is no chance in hell you are doing this in one sitting, so this is a good addition. Because you will die, and you will die a lot. It is not often I come across a game as challenging, taunting and often times trolling as Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection tends to do. It will make you angry. It will make you despair. You will often ask yourself what just killed you, or flat out reset the level if you run into a red devil. Just reset.

This time around, you are required to not only beat the levels twice through (and the second time, the levels are changed and much harder), but you have to locate all hidden stages and 3 hidden orbs to be able to reach the final boss, and ultimately the real ending. I was a hair from just walking away from it, but what would younger me have said? We wouldn't have gave up then, so I did not give up now.

The game is an exercise in patience, resolve, wits, and timing. It is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible.

After a couple of serious attempts on Sunday, I had done it.

ghosts n goblins resurrected all achievements unlocked
Platinum! Burying Ghosts n Goblins six feet under not long after its release.

A good bit of distraction for a few days with a difficult, but very beautifully designed game. It was released to retail only days ago, but I was determined to retire this game and not let it linger in my mind.

At the time of this writing, there are no known 'guides' or entries on GameFaqs at all. There are few YouTube videos. That is almost unheard of for a game these days, even obscure games have something. The Nintendo Switch version has been out since February, and still nothing exists. I take that as a measure of its unwavering brutality on the player.

If you found your way to this post, you are probably wanting to know how to get platinum status (unlock all trophies) in the game.

Finding Umbral Bees

Every level hides a certain number of 'bees' you can collect and turn in for magic spells. You cannot learn any spells without collecting a number of bees in every level. Two trophies require you to find all bees, and learn all magic. You cannot do one without the other.

Most comments I had read around the internet consist of players unable to find the last few bees in certain levels, despite playing dozens of times, not dying, and trying all sorts of ways to get them to appear. I'm one of them. 

Call it RNG (random) or call it malicious design on Capcoms part, but the reason you likely are not getting those last ones is that some bees have very specific requirements to getting them to appear. So if you are missing the last 10 or so like I was, you need to play the levels and do/try the following:

  1. Find all 6 hidden chests in the level.
  2. Open the forth through sixth chests with gold armor (Cast Armor counts)
  3. Open other chests with normal armor (NO cast armor)
  4. Play the shadow citadel hellhole hidden area with normal armor - keep trying it until the bee spawns. 
  5. In the shadow citadel, open the first chest with no armor.

The reason I could not get the last few is because I was playing the third playthrough using the Cast Armor, a bonus item reward for beating the game. The problem with it is you cannot die, therefore you don't lose armor on hit - so certain bees will just never spawn for you at all and prevent getting those last few trophies. 

That is rude.

But that is Ghosts 'n Goblins.

(AVGN fans - yes, I did in fact beat the game multiple times using only the knife weapon. It is the best.)