You may not be familiar with Winkysoft’s rather decent and zany “Denjin Makai” series of scrolling beat’em ups. Like so many others they stubbornly remained Japan-only affairs, with both games (the titular “Denji Makai” and the sequel “Guardians”) sticking to Japanese arcades. But not all hope was lost, as Banpresto published a rather solid conversion for the Super Famicom, giving avid import gamers a chance to experience the action in the comfort of their homes.
Yet like many other arcade-to-Super Nintendo ports, some concessions had to be made. The biggest lapse was the playable character roster. In the arcade original you had a cast of six strange and wonderfully zany characters to pick from, but on the Super Famicom edition (rebranded “Ghost Chaser Densei”) due to cartridge ROM size constraints that number was cut in half. Only the Ryu lookalike and titular Makai, the beast girl Iyo and the cyber-enhanced Belva made the cut for home use. Fortunately and unlike early Capcom ports, the two player mode was kept intact. This was one of the main distinguishing gimmicks of the series; not only did every character have an insane number of special moves by themselves, they also had specific co-op special moves depending on who they paired with.
The plot was, however, quite text heavy between levels, with your boss and characters having dialogues before and after each cleared mission. Thanks to the efforts of AgentOrange, MrRichard999 and rainponcho who have released a complete English translation patch for the game, we can now confirm what we always suspected: the “Ghost Chaser Densei” plot is essentially “Bubblegum Crisis: The Fighting Edition”, as in your favourite cyberpunk '80s anime turned into a '90s 16-bit side-scrolling beat 'em up. You can check out some gameplay with the new translation patch applied below.
Be warned the Super Famicom version has a slightly annoying kink: the contrast level is very low, making the game image look rather dark, something that you can easily fix by tapping that contrast button up on your TV remote (while we added a positive 30% increase to our video rendering for the above results). You can apply this patch to your original Super Famicom cartridge on your RetroN 5 or Retro Freak consoles.
Another day, another Japan-exclusive title opens up for Western retro gamers. Did you stumble upon this one back in the day or is Winkysoft’s entry in the crowded scrolling beat 'em up arena news to you? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!