© 1984 Activision


      While searching for homoerotic porn that involved the making of human s'mores, I came across something called the 'Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man'. At first I was a little disappointed that stay-puft had nothing to do with male genitalia, but my interest was piqued, so I continued searching and was taken a magical journey of discovery. It turns out that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was a giant monstrousity in the movie Ghost Busters. I then proceeded to type Ghost Busters into Google and pushed the 'I'm feeling lucky' button. The next thing I knew I was immersed in 8-bits and 16 colours of pure delight.

Sweet ass! So many choices, hmmm I think I'll go with the station wagon. That sounds exciting

      The game starts off with an absolutely bitchin' midi rendition of the Ghostbusters theme, complete with bouncing-ball lyrics. I know you may wonder why anyone would want to leave this screen, but don't worry, the theme song is the soundtrack for the entire game. The next screen asks you your name and whether or not you have an account. If you say yes, it asks you for your bank, account number, and PIN. Then it asks for all your credit card information and assures you that the information you just input will not, not be misused for any un-illegal activity. If you say no, it gives you $10,000 to blow. You have four cars to choose from, including the 1963 hearse, which costs $4800, just like in the movie. Once you have your car, you have to load it up with equipment. More expensive cars can hold more items. There are seven different items that have different uses in the game, though the only one you are required to buy is the ghost trap. Before I go into specifics, let's go through the basics.

One of these buildings is not like the others *Insert Ecto 1 siren sound here* Grab your sticks, heat 'em up

      The first screen is an overview of the city. As you can see, you have Ghostbuster Headquarters at the bottom, and Zuul in the middle. If you go to Zuul, Sigourney Weaver will try to have sex with you, so whatever you do, DON'T FUCKING GO TO ZUUL. When a house flashes red, it means that they are having an paranormal emergency. Not quite as serious as having muthafuckin' snakes on a Trans-Pacific flight, but still something you're gonna want a Jedi to take care of. And if a Jedi Master isn't available, your local Ghostbusters franchise will do. Once you navigate your logo to the building you want, the game cuts to an overhead view of the car. Depending on how much driving you did, sometimes it takes a while to get to the destination. If you take to long, sometimes the spectre will get bored and leave; That's bad for you, because then you don't get paid. If you do get there in time, you have to capture Slimer. Not the adorable, maladroit Slimer from the cartoon, but the evil Slimer from the movie.

Ghost Busters! He slimed me! Whatever you do, don't cross the beams

      When you arrive on the scene, you get to place the trap and your ghostbusters wherever you want. Once the beams are activated, they will prevent Slimer from going through them. Unfortunately, Slimer often floats higher than the beams reach, so sometimes they can do more harm than good. Triggering the trap fires a beam up into the air. If it happens to catch the green bastard, your boys will do a little dance and shout 'Ghost Busters!'. More importantly, you'll net yourself a cool $300-$800. If you don't catch him, the city's PK energy will jump by 300. This is bad, because once the PK level reaches 9999, the game ends. Also, if you miss Slimer, one of your team will get slimed, screaming 'He slimed me!'. While covered in ectoplasmic goo, your ghostbuster will refuse to work, so as your team only consists of three busters, and you need two of them to bust, if two of them get slimed, you can't make any cash. No worries though, if you head back to GHQ the boys will shower off and be back on the job in no time. The other outcome to a bust is if you happen to cross the streams of your blasters. To quote Egon, "Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light." Okay, so that doesn't happen. It tells you that your packs shorted out just in time, and you need to go back to GHQ to fix them. I guess games with instantaneous and irreversible game overs aren't very fun.

Code Purple is one step below Code Red The ethereal plane beckons *Insert suck joke here*

      The first thing available for purchase is a PK meter. Much like in the movie, at the beginning, business is pretty fucking slow. If you have a PK meter, sometimes a building will turn purple when you drive past. This means that the PK meter is picking some abnormal levels of Psychokinetic energy. If you stop at the building, sometimes you'll run into slimer, more other times you won't. I only recommend this item if you're one of those people who can't stand to sit around and wait for someone to call in an emergency. In the time it will take to drive around town, find a purple building, and drive to it, a red building would probably pop up. Then when you get to the purple building, there's a chance nothing's going on there, and you just wasted your time. This is especially useless later in the game, when multiple Slimers will be causing shit all over town faster than you can imagine. The next item is an image intensifier. This one's pretty simple, and pretty useful. Without it, Slimer is a little harder to see, as he appears over parts of the building, and disappears behind others. When you have the intensifier, he is always in view. Next up, we have the ghost vacuum. As the game progresses, ghosts will fly in from the corners of the screen toward Zuul. The higher the PK level of the city, the faster they move. If they reach the center of the screen, the city's PK level will go up by 100. If you drive past one on the city map, it will fly over your car on the driving screen. A simple press of the button will suck that motherfucker up faster than..., well..., something that sucks really fast.

Puff puff powder puff And guess who's gonna pay Marshmallow catastrophe averted

      When the city's PK level passes 5000, the Marshmallow Man will sporadically appear when you return to the map screen. You'll know this is happening because the four ghosts zoom to some point other than Zuul and then join together to form Puffy. When this happens, he'll stomp one of the buildings in town, doing $4000 worth of damage that comes directly out of your bank account. Even if he stomps the same building twice, he stills does the same amount of damage. The most effective way to stop him is to summon your Zords and link them up to form Megazord. Unfortunately, at this point, the Power Rangers were still about a decade away. If you have the foresight to purchase the ghost bait at the beginning for a mere $400, however, you can avoid all this unpleasantness. If you push the 'B' button before the four ghosts merge into Stay-Puft, they will form over the bait and pout before dispersing without incident. The mayor even awards you $2000 for your trouble. You can place bait at any time, and the ghosts will go to it and eat it instead of going to Zuul, but you only get four uses, so don't fucking waste them. One of the items you can buy is called a marshmallow sensor. You would think that it would give you some insight as to when Mr. Stay-Puft is going to show up. It doesn't. As far as I can tell, the marshmallow sensor is abso-fucking-lutely useless. The last item for sale is a portable laser containment system. Normally you can only bust as many ghosts as traps you bought at the beginning without returning to GHQ to empty the traps into the holding tank. With the PLCS, you just need the one trap and never have to go to GHQ to unload. The down side is that it costs $8000, more than most of the cars, and is only really useful near the end of the game when business is booming. The higher the PK level is, the faster it increases, so this item is useless for a lot longer than it is useful.

A dotted trail? What is this, the Family Circus? Should've bought the bait The Traveller has come
Even Zuul needs a place to do his banking Red beams are for portal closing You mean all this time I've been earning credit and not cash?

      Throughout the game the Gatekeeper and Keymaster can be seen wandering around the city. When the PK level reaches 9999, they arrive at Zuul. If you happened to suck really bad and ended up with less money than you start with, then you lose. If you have more money than you started with, you get to face the final boss. It's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and you have get yourself between his thighs. He bounces back and forth in a very regular pattern, but it still isn't easy to get past him. If you get tea-bagged twice, you don't have enough manpower to close the portal. Though despite the fact that Zuul takes over the city, the bank is still up and running and increases your credit limit to whatever you ended the game with. If you do get two men through those creamy white legs, you close the portal, save the day, and get an extra $5000. Then you get to play again with the money you've made. This continues ad nauseum until you die or decide to stop playing. Now if you'll excuse me, Zuul is still threatening the city, and I'm not dead yet.

Posted by: Valdronius

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