Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

It Came from Japan! Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti

4:00 PM on 10.11.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

The bizarre prequel no horror fan saw coming

It’s 1988 and Namco has just released one of the most violent, critically acclaimed horror-themed games to ever hit an arcade. Splatterhouse was unlike anything else at the time. It was a game made by horror fans, for horror fans.

Each of the game’s hellish stages contained weapons, enemies, and memorable boss fights that stood out from across the arcade hall. Smashing zombies with a 4-by-4, seeing monsters split in half from a shotgun blast, and witnessing one of the great plot twists of its era is what made Splatterhouse such a classic.

And then Namco put out Wanpaku Graffiti: a cute but average platformer for the Nintendo Famicom. WTF, Namco. What the literal f*ck?

Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (Famicom)
Developer: Now Production/Namco
Released: July 31, 1989
Current value: $30-50
Fan translation: Yes
For fans of: Monster Party, Splatterhouse, Boku Dracula Kun

Splatterhouse is a gruesome, difficult action-platformer where you punch giant monsters in the eyeball until they explode. Wanpaku Graffiti is a game where you fart on a geisha dancer to which she responds, “Welcome to Japan!”

Whereas Splatterhouse subtly cribbed from horror classics, Wanpaku Graffiti gleefully parodies everything from Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" to David Cronenberg’s The Fly. The difference between Wanpaku (“Naughty”) and other series entries includes aesthetics, controls, level design, system hardware, and everything in-between. As a result, series fans may detest it while others who never liked Splatterhouse may find this oddball entry charming.


Wanpaku opens with a cinematic in which series antihero Rick rises from the dead after lightning strikes -- a rather direct ode to Friday the 13th. Alongside him is his mourning girlfriend Jennifer and Rick’s new nemesis the Pumpkin King. There's nothing scarier than a guy with a giant pumpkin head. Assuming you don’t get hardcore spooked at the start, you’ll soon run into a vampire doing the Thriller dance at the end of stage one. It’s a frightening sight for sure.

It’s hard to talk about Wanpaku without making it sound awesome. This is why I always assumed the game must be a pretty fun parody, like Konami’s excellent Boku Dracula Kun and Parodius. Well, it’s not. But, it’s not awful, either. Wanpaku is just a very average platformer peppered with some inspired moments that will make both Splatterhouse and horror film fans grin.

The controls feel just alright. Chibi Rick is a lot lighter and faster than his adult form, so the game focuses on platforming more than any other Splatterhouse. You also don’t have the ability to punch or kick. Instead, you nonchalantly swipe demon spawn with a meat cleaver, occasionally replacing it with the series’ iconic shotgun (which still feels great!). Seeing the little guy lug around a weapon as big as his head is simultaneously adorable and disturbing. That kind of sums up Wanpaku.

Wanpaku brings some ideas of its own to the series but none of them feel fully realized, such as a leveling mechanic that increases your health bar as you defeat enemies. There are also collectible orbs that will give you an alternate ending. Otherwise, the game is a pretty straightforward and repetitive action-platformer that locks you in a room to fight books and knives one too many times. Splatterhouse managed to make a name for itself in arcades, but Wanpaku easily blends in with numerous other mediocre Nintendo platformers.


Wanpaku isn’t a good-sounding game, but it looks pretty nice for a late ‘80s Nintendo release. There is a novelty in seeing signature series enemies on the system’s limited color palette. It makes me wonder if there could have even been an effectively scary Splatterhouse for the system. Probably not. Instead, we have this rather wacky one with baffling Engrish, inexplicable movie references, and bosses that are more adorable than terrifying.

I’m hard pressed to think of another game that has a Tower of Druaga character and a pixelated Jeff Goldblum in it, but it’s the twist ending that really puts Wanpaku’s schizophrenic plot over the top. After defeating the Pumpkin King, it’s revealed to the player that Rick and Jennifer are on a film set and none of the game’s enemies were real. MIND=BLOWN, right? The alternate ending is a bit more grim, leaving the player at the start of the original Splatterhouse, establishing Wanpaku as a bizarre prequel.


Wanpaku is worth playing for the curious horror or Splatterhouse fan. It’s short, one of the easiest games on the Nintendo, and full of quirky moments worth seeing for yourself. I can’t for the life of me understand why Namco went the route it did, but Wanpaku remains one of the oddest left turns for a game series to ever happen. Wanpaku is a time capsule not only for Namco and its beloved horror series, but ‘80s horror cinema as well.

Also, you get to fight giant turds in a bathroom. Once again, WTF, Namco?

Why do you think Namco made this strange offshoot?

Name every game featuring Jeff Goldblum!

What game parodies do you enjoy?



Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Operative20 avatarOperative20
I really want to continue my RE playthrough but this FUCKIN JAVA PROGRAM JUST WON'T WORK WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE
SayWord avatarSayWord
Life is Strange Spoilers: I am about to start Episode 5 but noticed Uzumaki inspiration right away. Beginning scene with the town and lighthouse, tons of Spirals including the projections in the "End of the World Party". Anyone else notice this?
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Is it just me or with only one month and a week 2016 has been hit with some considerable losses, but in terms of severity and scope? From musicians and athletes to freaking websites...Let's keep riding this storm of sadness guys.
Parismio avatarParismio
Cam you believe that hot dog's with cheese in them exist? That is the grossest monstrosity to ever grace the market. The cheese belongs on top of the dog people! All over it!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Looks like I have a new job doing deliveries which is 50% sitting on my ass in the passenger seat. $12/hr. I wonder if I can do monster hunting during that 50%...
ObliqueZombie avatarObliqueZombie
Holy cow, Final Fantasy VII was actually REALLY good! The PS4/PC "cheats" really helped my enjoyment. Check out my Cblog for extended thought, and what do you think of FFVII with a 2016 outlook?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I regret nothing and I regret everything.
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
Hope my Flash Sale sense is correct this week. I was hoping for more than a Ubisoft sale. Also, is it just me, or does it seem like Ubisoft games are on sale every damn week?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
So far my blog has done quite well. Why not be cool, and read my delectable blog, then furiously fap it like its going out of style, as all of the cool people do? Give into peer pressure today, its what everybody is doing!!! Fap enough, maybe a waifu?
Rico the Penguin avatarRico the Penguin
The Localization team for Rune Factory 4 gets my seal of approval. It isn't every day that a dragon calls me a dumbass. 10/10
t0ss avatart0ss
Overwatch beta today!
trippytip avatartrippytip
Homework really sucks guys. I haven't played Yakuza 4 in weeks. I don't wanna totally drop it again ;_; *goes back to reading nonsense*
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Just started Pillars of Eternity and I'm elated I can play as a treeman druid! Which brings me one step closer to a game that lets me play as an Ent. Besides that walking tree simulator and WoW, are there any decent games where you can play as an Ent?
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Wampas are real and have been spotted in Spain. http://nypost.com/2016/02/09/yeti-captured-on-video-at-ski-resort-in-spain/
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Overnight, I dreamed Destructoid existed as an old-timey collectibles shop. Quickposts graced the shelves as paintings, available for purchase; the number of faps on a post directly equaled its price. Video games and VG accessories also were up for sale.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Usually I'm not comfortable showing stuff off like this, but this is something I've been working on for college work, and it's the first thing I feel like is at least halfway worth showing.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I don't understand how my wife's students could hate her if she ordered this for the classroom's Scholastic service.
weslikestacos avatarweslikestacos
My band's debut album is #31 on the iTunes country charts! Sorry for this shameless plug, but I'm pretty pleased about this!
gajknight avatargajknight
I've been listening to a lot of opera recently. I blame Cowboy Bebop and it's incredible "Ave Maria".
El Dango avatarEl Dango
It's [img]http://i.imgur.com/GIwY4vT.png[/img]
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -