Gosutohanta is a survival horror/puzzle game for PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and PC/Mac (Digital). It was released in turn 29. It marks the return of Tanoshii Urban Entertainment .
Gosutohanta is a survival-horror game with puzzle elements. The camera is fixed and tracks the player as they walk through the area. However, it only changes when the player enters a new room to make the playstyle more fluent. However, on stages with long hallways, the camera appears over the character's shoulder.
There are three main controls in the game: using the left analog stick to move, using the action button to start puzzles and open doors, and using the right analog stick to move the camera slightly.
In order to defeat ghosts, players must dodge their attacks. This increases their "will to live" and causes the light of the candle to grow. Once it reaches a certain point, it can envelop the enemy and defeat them though it extinguishes the flame of the candle. The ghosts will drop a memento of their past lives, which are needed for certain endings. The ghosts themselves resemble victims of the atomic bombs. The demons, however, appear ghoulish and hellish. Ghosts attack usually by reaching out their hands or surrounding an area in shadow, while demons can also throw black balls of fire at the player. Getting hit causes the flame to decrease in size, and once it goes out the game is over, represented by a picture of a demonic Haruki.
The player can save the game whenever they walk through a blue door or enter the main area. For example, the player can save after boss fights because they have entered the main area of that level. Also, if the player solves a puzzle and defeats a ghost, they can save once they leave that room and enter the main area.
There are two game modes: Normal Mode, and Demon Mode. Normal Mode is the regular difficulty. Upon getting the true ending, Demon Mode is unlocked. Receiving the true ending on Demon Mode unlocks and Extras feature, showing a behind-the-scenes making of the game including sketch drawings, beta screenshots and levels, interviews with the people behind the game, and backstory on the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
Upon beating the game on the Normal Mode difficulty, players gain the Demon Mode difficulty. Beating the game and getting the true ending on this difficulty unlocks behind-the-scenes extras.
Gosutohanta opens in a small town in Japan. At dusk, a twelve year-old boy, Haruki, reads a comic book about murderous ghosts as he lies on his bed. Through the window pops out Miyu, his thirteen year-old best friend. Miyu runs her hand through Haruki's shaggy black hair as he pushes it away. She smiles while adjusting her headband and tells him to come follow her outside. They go to a dark, abandoned house where Miyu says (in Japanese as the game is only subtitled in other languages) that she "needs to get something" from the house.
The opening cutscene ends as the two children enter the dark house. Shadows bounce off the wall to create an eerie vibe through the corridors. The player guides the kids by entering rooms and gauging where to go next based on Miyu's response. The sights of the house include a painting that Haruki says stares at him, an old bath tub that has been filled to the top with water for a lengthy amount of time, and a photograph of atomic bomb survivors standing near rubble which Miyu takes before Haruki can see. She eventually says to try the basement. The stairs leading to the cellar creak loudly as the kids walk down them. In the basement they find an old candle, a box of matches, and a necklace, the item Miyu was looking for. As they grab the objects, the camera pans back to the bathroom to show an old, decaying man rising nude from the tub. The kids hear the moans as the player is tasked with escaping from the house. As they reach the top of the stairs, a cutscene plays out where they come face-to-face with the ghost. The children slip down the stairs and Haruki paralyzes in fear as the old-man ghost comes towards them. Miyu tries to light the candle with a match and succeeds just before the ghost reaches them. The ghost is destroyed, but pulls the children through a portal.
Haruki finds himself transported to his hometown, but in a different time period. He shouts for Miyu's name, but to no avail. The entire town seems deserted. He walks back to his house to find a newspaper on the porch naming the date August 8th, 1945. He remembers that the date is important but does not know why as he enters his house. In the corner he finds a candle and picks up a candle. Haruki reminds himself that a lit candle defeated the ghost back in the abandoned house as he reaches in his pocket to dig out matches. He finds them and also Miyu's necklace. The player takes control again as Haruki walks through his house. Exploring the house will find puzzles and locked rooms. The player can either solve these puzzles and enter these rooms or just go into the unlocked blue doors to advance the story. Inside of the locked door are ghosts that will need to be defeated to gain an item from. In this level, the unlocked blue door is that of Haruki's room. Upon entering, Haruki finds a young boy crying in the corner. He asks him what is wrong, to which the boy replies that Haruki should know but he'll never experience it. The boy turns around to display to Haruki his flesh-burned face and tells him that if he wants to find the girl, he is going to have to go to the neighboring village. The boy then asks Haruki to please help him. Haruki appears puzzled as the boy shape-shifts into a demonic ghoul. Once defeated, he turns back to his original, normal non-burned form and enters the afterlife.
Haruki travels through the woods holding the candle. The player can follow the path or go off it to find boxes with items in them, like those found in the locked rooms of the last level. As the player walks, shadows move unprovoked around trees and the trees themselves suddenly shake violently as the player approaches. About halfway through the path, demonic dogs with red eyes confront Haruki. They chase the player around the maze-like path, leaving two choices: either fight the dogs, or outrun them.
Once Haruki reaches the next town, he finds Miyu's headband outside of a large house. He enters it to find that the building is larger on the inside than it appears. The player can again solve puzzles to enter locked doors, defeat ghosts, and gain items, or just go through blue doors.
The first blue door leads to a long hallway filled with paintings, with the eyes always following Haruki as he walks through the hall. The hallways turns left, and a woman in a large dress appears to be running in the opposite direction of the player. She stops then turns around, revealing a head with no face, just skull, and runs into what appears to be another entryway. As the player approaches, they discover that the entryway is actually an indent with a large-sized mirror. As the player walks Haruki farther down the hall, footsteps can be heard following the player. Turning around reveals nothing behind Haruki, but continuing down the hall makes the footsteps sound louder and faster. At the end of the hallway is another blue door, and upon reaching it and turning around the player finds a tall ghost standing close to him (which can be defeated for another item).
Going through the blue door takes Haruki to seemingly a new place. Again, by completing puzzles the player can enter locked doors and defeat ghosts to gain items. Entering the blue door here confronts the player with himself. The other Haruki explains to him that the ghosts are victims of what will happen in a few hours. Haruki then remembers that on August 9th, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing tens of thousands of people. The doppelganger tells Haruki that Miyu was taken back to that city. After this, the other Haruki changes into a demonic apparition, screaming, "It hurts! It hurts!" Upon defeating him, he changes back into a boy younger than Haruki but who looks like Miyu. He creates a portal upon his defeat, which Haruki walks through.
With the sun in the sky, Haruki is transported to a destroyed Nagasaki. He can see Miyu at the top of a burned out building, so he enters it. Upon entering the blue door, the player is chased through a hallway by ghouls. Once he defeats them all, he climbs the next floor. On the second floor, he finally finds Miyu, who yells bitterly at him to help her escape from this place. Haruki looks behind him to discover that the door he just entered is now gone. Again, they are attacked by ghosts which must be defeated to open another door. This one leads them to the third floor. Miyu berates Haruki for going the wrong way as they continue to fight ghosts in this hall. Upon defeating them all, Miyu antagonizes Haruki again, causing him to snap at her. As he begins to apologize, she turns into a demon, revealing that she never was Miyu and only wanted "out of this hell," and that since he could not do that she will just make him as miserable as her. Once Haruki defeats her, he enters the fourth floor.
On the fourth floor he meets a teenage boy with burns on his body. He explains that he is Miyu's older brother and that he, Miyu, and their younger brother all died when the bomb fell on Nagasaki. The spirits of his brother and himself were trapped in this purgatory, but Miyu managed to escape. Demons tried to bring her back, but upon doing this Haruki was brought back as well. He has been encompassing the spirits in the light of his candle, allowing all of them to enter the afterlife. Miyu's brother thanks him for what he has been doing, but warns Haruki to escape while he can, although he does not know how to escape himself. Miyu's brother then turns into a demon. Once the player defeats him, he thanks Haruki as he passes into the afterlife. Haruki thinks to himself that Miyu escaped once before, so maybe she will know how.
Haruki enters the last door and finds Miyu. She apologizes for bringing him into this hell and for allowing herself to escape in the first place. Haruki tells her to not be sorry, because he got to meet her. Miyu says that spirits already in the afterlife allowed her to escape to his time, but she cannot find them again. Haruki runs up to her and embraces her, telling her that they will find a way. Suddenly Miyu shrieks. Haruki backs away and watches her become a demon. In a battle ranging three forms, demon overlords taking over Miyu's body yell at Haruki for allowing the souls of the dead to reach the afterlife yet contemplate the satisfaction they will receive by turning him into a puppet for their control. Once Haruki defeats them, the player will receive one of three endings depending on how they played the game.
There are three endings. The first is accomplished by receiving less than half of the items dropped by ghosts. In it, Haruki defeats the demon overlords possessing Miyu, allowing her to go on to the afterlife and stranding him in the purgatory. The second is completed by finding half to nearly all of the items. In it, Haruki defeats the possessed Miyu, sending her to the afterlife. Spirits from the afterlife appear and send Haruki back to the present day. He wakes up in his room, pondering if it was all a dream, and finds himself holding Miyu's headband before he starts to cry. The true ending is received by collecting all of the items dropped by ghosts. In this ending, once Haruki defeats the demon overlords possessing Miyu, the spirits from the afterlife, including Miyu's two brothers, send them back to the present day. They find themselves back in Haruki's room and the two characters embrace.
The score features music performed by an orchestra. The creepy music is lead by a piano with backing violins and basses. The tempo is slow for most of the levels, but in the boss fights the tempo is fast.
Creation Pack DLCEdit
Gosutohanta's first DLC, named simply Creation Pack, will be released in Turn 31. Creation Pack brings in new single-player levels and a unique editor that allows players to design their own puzzles, levels, and enemies using a development kit provide and then share them online. Also provided are several custom levels designed by TUE's American studio, who were scarcely involved in the original development of Gosutohanta.
Creation Pack DLC will be available for $5.99.
None of the content is stored on the disc/download.
In stores where the game is available (both online and in stores), players can purchase the comic book that Haruki reads in the opening scene. The comic book, titled "The Book of Lost Souls," includes illustrated stories about people meeting grisly and supernatural ends. Stories include "Prisoner #117895," in which a murder is killed by the ghosts of his victims, "The Gang," where a teen boasting about his alleged gang shootings is shot by ghosts of dead gang members, and "The Father," where an abusive father and husband meets his maker at the hands of women and children who have been beaten to death. The price of the comic book is $7.95.
Gosutohanta received very positive reviews, with most critics citing the gameplay as unique, and terrifying. Some critics were torn on the story, but in the end, most agreed that, in the least, it pushed the game along.
"Gosutohanta is the type of game that doesn't come around too often. Let me just put it out there: This is how a horror game is done. The gameplay is very unique, and utilizes the environment and setting to a level not seen in recent times. The combat is unique in that, you can't directly harm the ghosts, instead you have to dodge their attacks, which causes the flame of your candle to grow, eventually enveloping them, but extinguishing the candle. It's a clever system, and calls back to the likes of Fatal Frame in the sense that head-on combat isn't possible here. The story is a deep, interwoven tale of two children who find themselves in a dark house alone at night. From there, the story swells, and slowly peels back its layers one by one. There's a lot of freaky moments in this game, so make sure you're playing this one with the lights off and the volume cranked. The inclusion of multiple endings really help to give this one some replay value. I could talk about Gosutohanta all day, but in the end, it's a great horror game, the puzzles are great, as is the story. The graphics are sub-par, especially in the light areas, but that's a minor gripe. Pick this one up if you're a horror fan for sure." OVERALL SCORE: 9/10
"Gosutohanta is quite possibly the best game I've played in the last few years. The atmosphere, the gameplay, the story, they're all unique in their own way. Playing it feels like losing yourself in this world that Tanoshii Urban Entertainment have created. This is a true AAA experience, and everyone should pick it up immediately. The story pushes things forward with a looming mystery, and the horrors could be around every corner. This game will make your skin crawl. I could go on about the gameplay, or the story, but the less you know, the better. Go out, buy it, and experience it first hand." OVERALL SCORE: 10/10
"Gosutohanta is the type of game that, after reading the reviews, I find myself slightly disappointed with. After expecting such an immersive experience, that the combat ended up feeling far too basic, and the story seemed to convulted for its own good. Now, before you throw your vegetables at me, I did find the game scary, and at times, terrifying. The combat did make for some tense scenarios, and I was genuinly scared at a few moments. However, even after beating it, I can't shake the feeling that this game could've been much more, given a few more turns in development. Still, it's not bad, just not great." OVERALL SCORE: 7.5/10