At a Glance: According to the all-seeing nerd eyes of gamefaqs, FCI, Inc worked on Phantom Fighter right after making both Dr. Chaos and Hydlide, almost automatically placing Phantom Fighter right in the center of my heart. Thus I've had my heart removed and replaced with a can of sour cream and onion Pringles, which not only keeps me from feeling any form of love but pumps the type of pure, mind numbing flavor you need to play a game like this.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 133k
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Game Plot: Ghouls have arisen from their graves all over China when the post-it notes that sealed them within their graves having fallen off. The townspeople needed a fighter to combat these phantoms. A street fighter, a street fighter alpha 3, and a kabuki quantum fighter later they eventually put their heads together and sent word for a phantom fighter. After only two days of watching the promotional "Karate Karl's Phantom Kung-fu Fighting for Beginners", you walk into the first village with your promotional servant you found in your cereal that morning.
Your sacred duty as a phantom fighter is to punch/kick the ghosts out of every building in each town. FAST FACT: China only had eight towns at this time (the little known Lazifuck dynasty.) After each vicious beating you deliver you are either given a variety of useless things (in order of importance): orbs, scrolls, items, self esteem. All of these items are equally worthless in your hands, except for the orbs which allow you to pass through the town onto the next and the scrolls which allow you to get new skills from Sensei Goofy.
Enemies: Ghouls. Short ghouls, tall ghouls, fat ghouls, small ghouls, wide ghouls, blue ghouls, kid ghouls, cool ghouls, green ghouls, slow ghouls, pink ghouls, glow ghouls, noodle ghouls, ghouls shaped like tires, ghouls that speak Spanish but not very well, ghouls that put the cheese in the crust, and ghouls that do your taxes but purposely mess them up so you get put in jail. Ghouls.
It should be noted that the biggest enemy you have in this game is not so much the ghouls but yourself (not a joke). As you upgrade yourself you end up becoming a faster, but not Tonka tougher, phantom fighter (joke). The faster you are the easier it is for you to run straight into their claws which they keep straight forward. The best description of their mannerism is to describe them as "perpetually about to dive off of a very high diving board." The hop around with their feet held together and just poke at you. Having fun imagining that? Now imagine the shame you feel if you die because of them. Now imagine me riding on a unicorn without a shirt on wielding a battle axe and asking you to ride with me towards the sunset. I need you.
Weapons: After you're done pounding the brain juices out of a ghoul and lighting them on fire, a villager can either give you an item or a scroll in hopes you don't grind their bones to dust with your mighty fists. Items such as the illustrious "sacred sword", blessed by Saint Givesashit from the village of Who, capable of delivering one blow before exploding into a thousand pieces. How is this useful? The pieces make excellent potpourri.
Levels: Repetitive to the last, with each town containing a temple, some places to get orbs, a training hall, and a bunch of houses with items or scrolls in it. Each town requires more and more scrolls for you to learn the necessary skills to capture the orbs. Thankfully, Phantom Fighter eases the pain of having to go in and out of the same houses for scrolls by making the exit dialogue run unbearably slow. Your manservant, his brain beaten into fine chowder by you, can only speak at a speed it takes a turtle to win a triathlon riding on the back of a snail that has the bends.
Bosses: Ghouls who can do something weird, like throw knifes or something. That's about it.
Defining Moment: After strangling the life from Danny Phantom using the intestines of The Phantom Killer, I dodged below the ghostly hands of the Phantom of the Opera and beat him to death with the special edition copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Subduing pulp comic icon, The Phantom, with a well placed sacred sword to the throat, it was down to only me and one last phantom: The Funky Phantom. Hate burned in his eyes. I could see a thousand of my deaths being planned within his mind, but none would come to pass. He charges. The rest is left to history&
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).