Splatterhouse is a port of Namco's 1988 arcade horror action title. It was originally designed by A. Usukura. The PC-Engine version was originally released in Japan on April 6, 1990. The game was influences by Western horror and slasher films, and was known for its gore.
In the TurboGrafx-16 version, the violence and gore was toned down and featured less blood and horror sound effects. Stage 4, which originally featured a chapel setting for the "Evil Cross" boss fight, was replaced with a generic hallway and Nightmares demon skull boss.
In Splatterhouse, the player controls Rick Taylor, a parapsychology college student. He and his girlfriend, Jennifer Willis, enter a local landmark called West Mansion to take cover from a storm. The mansion, nicknamed the Splatterhouse, was home to Dr. West who conducted hideous experiments. In the mansion, they are attacked by creatures who fatally wound Rick and carry Jennifer away (These scenes were shown in the arcade version, but removed from the console port).
Rick awakens in the dungeon where he's been saved from death by the Mayan sacrificial artefact, the Terror Mask. The mask turns Rick into a monster with superhuman strength and urges him to go through the mansion in order to save Jennifer.
The Terror Mask was originally designed to look like the mask Jason Voorhees wears in the Friday the 13th series, but was changed in the North American versions so the masked Rick didn't look so similar to that character.
Rick can move left/right, duck, jump, punch and kick. Rick can also pick up weapons including the wrench, shotgun, rock, spears, and the golden cleaver.
The game includes 7 stages, each with a boss. The bosses are varied and require different strategies to defeat them. Certain stages also auto scroll, pushing the player forward instead of letting them move at their own pace.
Splatterhouse was followed up by two sequels on the Sega Genesis, entitled Splatterhouse 2
and Splatterhouse 3
. The original arcade game was included as an unlockable extra in the 2010 remake.