Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi Talks Art Style, New Modes, Co-Op

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection marks the long awaited return of the classic series. Notorious for its extreme level of difficulty, Ghosts ‘n Goblins games have been pushing player skills to the limit since the ’80s and Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection made no concessions in offering up a grueling challenge. Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection reinvents the classic formula with an adventure for a new generation of players. We had the opportunity to chat with chief producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi about this latest entry.

[Hardcore Gamer] It’s been several years since Arthur last fought against the demon king. What made this the right time to bring back the franchise?

[Yoshiaki Hirabayashi] There are two main reasons we felt now was the perfect time to bring back the franchise. First, we’ve noticed recently that more and more users have been enjoying titles with classic gameplay, and we’ve seen many new games that provide this kind of experience. The Ghosts ‘n Goblins series also recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, so we felt now was a great time to create a new title for people to enjoy Ghosts ‘n Goblins once again.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is a reboot, taking inspiration from the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins and its sequel, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. The game starts off with the princess being kidnapped for the “first time” in the world of this game. Each of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins titles up until Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins had the same world setting and timeline, but we decided to give this title a fresh, new start.

Since the exclusivity period with Nintendo Switch has ended, will there be additional features added to Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection for the new platforms (PS4, Xbox One, Steam)?

We always wanted as many people as possible to enjoy Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, and we’re excited to bring this game to even more players with the title’s release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.

While the content for all platforms will remain the same, we hope new players will enjoy all of the features and modes we packed into Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection. With multiple difficulty modes and the addition of two-player local co-op mode, we hope players of all skill levels will enjoy making their way through the Demon Realm.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has a unique visual style that looks modern but stays true to the original. How did the team come to the decision to use this particular art style?

The decision to use this style was made toward the beginning of the game’s development. We felt this picture book-like style would be most effective in expressing the warmth that only a hand-crafted creation can provide. Additionally, the art style had to convey the frightening yet somewhat comical “horror theme park” motif that has been one of the hallmarks of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series since its inception. We hope Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection will show players the type of experience a 2D game can provide.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection introduced several new gameplay elements but maintained the feel of the classic titles. How important was it to maintain the gameplay style of the classic titles?

Another concept that has remained unchanged since the first Ghosts ‘n Goblins title is the sense of accomplishment players feel from overcoming challenges through their own efforts. When we set out to design Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, this was something we continuously thought about in order to deliver a game that was true to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. It will make me happy if players recognize and enjoy this element throughout the game.

The level and boss designs are among the more unique features of the game. Which level and boss enemy design are you most proud of?

I’ve never asked Director Fujiwara a question like this before, so I’ll just give you my personal response. To be honest, every enemy and every stage is tough and as a player, I feel like I love them all even though they tend to give me quite a challenge, haha!

Of course, there’s more than that to be proud of. There are a lot of different ideas scattered throughout the bosses and stages, and I think that’s what makes the whole gameplay experience so rewarding for players. The fact that this kind of question is being asked makes me realize our intentions have reached everyone and that’s what makes me proud.

Is there anything else about Ghosts ‘n Goblins you’d like to tell us that none of the previous questions have allowed you to discuss?

Director Fujiwara and the entire development team have worked together to create a challenging and satisfying experience that is true to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. However, I would also like to touch upon a new challenge that is not so traditional.

I’m referring to the game’s two-player local co-op mode, a brand new addition to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. In this mode, two players can enjoy battling through the various stages together and I think it will open up a lot of possibilities for players to get creative with their friends or family members.

The development team believed this co-op mode would be a fun way for players to work together – or interfere with each other’s progress. As an example, the support character Kerry can carry Arthur to safety, but the game also allows you to lift Arthur up and drop him off a cliff. I hope players will get excited to play this mode together and experience everything that the co-op mode has to offer.