The cutest little Purgatory you ever did see
We have something delightfully odd and delightfully dark coming from the fine folk at Hamster this week. Climbing out of Hades (not that one) and straight into your heart, this week’s Arcade Archives entry is Namco’s platform adventure obscurity Yokai Dochuki, now available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Released to arcades in 1987, (before later being ported to Famicom and PC Engine), Yokai Dokuchi tells of the escapades of a young lad, Tarosuke, who has been (somewhat harshly) banished to alternate hell “Jigoku” simply for performing childlike mischief. Yikes. In this cutesy take on eternal punishment, players must guide Tarosuke as he attempts to navigate the five levels of Jigoku in order to plead for mercy from none other than Buddha themselves… Good old-fashioned family adventure.
Check out the adorably Satanic action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Replay Burners.
Tarosuke dodges hazards and battles demons and monsters as they push their way through the afterlife. Each stage is helmed by an Oni, who must be defeated with the aid of summoned spirit “Monmotaro”. As Tarosuke progresses, he will gather treasures and secret items, which will eventually earn him (and the player) one of five different endings. Multiple endings in a 1987 arcade game! That’s novel indeed. Will Tarosuke find themselves languishing in grimness? Will they ascend to the heavens? And how did they even die in the first place? These questions and more may or may not be answered.
Yokai Dochuki is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.