Grabbed by the Ghoulies
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|Grabbed by the Ghoulies|
|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release date(s)||April 24, 2004 (JP)|
October 21, 2003 (NA)
November 21, 2003 (EU)
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, beat 'em up|
Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a beat 'em up video game released on the Xbox in late 2003. It was developed by Rare and published by Microsoft. Grabbed by the Ghoulies is the first Rare game that was released for an Xbox console, following the Microsoft acquisition in 2002. The game stars Cooper, who goes on an adventure to rescue his girlfriend, Amber, and other teenagers in Ghoulhaven Hall from Baron von Ghoul and a group of ghosts named the Ghoulies.
On February 16, 2009, Grabbed by the Ghoulies was ported to the Xbox 360 as a downloadable Xbox Originals, priced at 1200 Microsoft Points. The Xbox Originals release is mostly identical besides a minor graphical glitch that causes certain smoke effects to have a thin line through them. Grabbed by the Ghoulies is one of the 30 games featured on the Xbox One compilation, Rare Replay. The Rare Replay version was remastered to run natively on Xbox One, increasing its resolution and framerate relative to the original Xbox release.
As advertised on its box art and television commercial, Grabbed by the Ghoulies was made by the creators of Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie, and shared a largely similar development team. Grabbed by the Ghoulies features several cameo appearances of the Banjo-Kazooie series, the Rare logo, and Rare's earlier releases.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies's story is told using animated scenes, including character dialogue, within a storybook. It is divided into five chapters.
The game starts with Cooper and his girlfriend Amber looking for shelter from a storm. They come across Ghoulhaven Hall, a haunted mansion owned by a man named Baron von Ghoul. Amber suggests that they take shelter there, but Cooper is reluctant. He points to a "Ghoulsville in the Gloom" sign, indicating it is 6 miles from Ghoulhaven Hall. Cooper claims that haunted areas such as Ghoulhaven Hall are filled with "creeps". Baron von Ghoul, overhearing Cooper and Amber's conversation, takes offense at Cooper's comment, so two shiny silver gargoyles, who were disguised as statues, kidnap Amber, open the front gate, and take her into Ghoulhaven Hall. Cooper runs after them and also enters the mansion.
Inside Ghoulhaven Hall, Cooper slowly walks down the dark hallway. The front door closes and is blocked off by large, green vines that prevent Cooper from leaving. As Cooper continues down the Grand Hallway, several pairs of red eyes appear and surround him. A nearby door is then opened by a butler named Crivens, who is wondering about the commotion that he is hearing. Crivens then turns on the lights, revealing that Cooper is surrounded by Imps. Both Cooper and Crivens get a scare, but the latter runs back into a room and closes the door, forcing Cooper to fight the Imps by himself. However, Crivens still gives basic instructions for Cooper to fight the Imps and other Ghoulies that he later encounters. After Cooper defeats the first couple of Imps, Crivens goes on to teach him how to pick up objects, such as furniture, and use them to attack enemies. Cooper is given a chair to practice with, and another group of Imps enter the Grand Hallway, starting the first Challenge. Once the second group of Imps are defeated, Crivens opens a door, re-enters the Grand Hallway and congratulates Cooper for defeating the Imps. Both of them formerly introduce themselves to one another, and then Cooper continues into the following room, starting the first chapter.
Chapter 1: The Rescue
The first chapter is about Cooper searching for Amber. It also serves as a tutorial chapter, and Crivens teaches Cooper other basic controls to help him progress. At the end of the chapter, Cooper finds Amber. Before the two of them can escape, the mad scientist Dr. Krackpot appears and transforms Amber into a Ghouly, marking the end of the first chapter.
Chapter 2: The Restoration
The second chapter is about Cooper and the mansion's cook, Ma Soupswill, finding the ingredients to cure Amber from being a Ghouly. Following Crivens' instructions, Cooper enters the Kitchen, where he meets Ma Soupswill. At first, she is being attacked by Fire Imps, and Cooper must use the Fire Extinguisher to defeat them.
After Cooper rescues Ma Soupswill, he tells her that needs a cure to turn Amber back into a human. Ma Soupswill tasks Cooper with finding three ingredients for her Special Potion. The first one is Glow-worms, which are found in the Lighthouse Lantern Room. Just before entering the Boathouse, which appears before the Lighthouse, Cooper meets the groundskeeper, Fiddlesworth Dunfiddlin. The second ingredient is a Giant Egg in the Chicken Shed. After Cooper obtains the Giant Egg, Mr. Ribs appears and steals it. Cooper chases him back into the Kitchen, where they get into a fight. Ma Soupswill eventually intervenes and tells Cooper that Mr. Ribs is her assistant. The third and final ingredient is Dungweed, which is found in the Walled Garden.
After gathering the ingredients, Ma Soupswill gives Cooper a jar of the cure. When Cooper pours the cure on Amber, Ma Soupswill is shown to have mixed up one of the ingredients, resulting in Amber transforming into a bigger, hostile Ghouly. Cooper is nearly overpowered by Amber, but Soupswill arrives and applies the correct cure, transforming Amber back to normal. Just as Cooper and Amber are about to leave, they are stopped by Mr. Ribs, who asks them to free the other teenagers held captive in Ghoulhaven Hall. This ends the second chapter.
Chapter 3: The Riddle
The third chapter is about Cooper having to find three pieces of a rhyme so that he can enter the The Baron's Quarters. Cooper learns of this in Crivens' Quarters, after he rescues Crivens, who explains that a powerful spell blocks the door to The Baron's Quarters. The three pieces are found in the Greenhouse, the Stables, and Krackpot's Lab respectively. The chapter ends with Cooper standing in front of the door to the The Baron's Quarters and saying the rhyme. Just before he can enter, Cooper has to fight several Imps and a Haunted Door.
Chapter 4: The Reckoning
This is the fourth and shortest chapter. It only consists of a boss battle against Baron von Ghoul. The chapter starts with Cooper entering the The Baron's Quarters, witnessing the shadows of Crivens and Baron von Ghoul fighting. Crivens manages to retrieve the skeleton key, although when Cooper tries to take the key, Crivens attacks him and removes his disguise, revealing that he was Baron von Ghoul all along. After a boss fight, Cooper throws Baron von Ghoul out of the mansion and retrieves the skeleton key. The chapter ends with Mr. Ribs taking the key and instructing Cooper to follow him as they go to rescue the prisoners in Ghoulhaven Hall.
Chapter 5: The Race
This is the fifth and final chapter. In it, Cooper and Mr. Ribs have 13 minutes to rescue the ten prisoners before Ghoulhaven Hall's doors are permanently locked, meaning that the prisoners would be permanently trapped in the mansion.
If Cooper succeeds in freeing every prisoner on time, he and Mr. Ribs leave Ghoulhaven Hall and go to the Front Gate, where they are confronted by Imps. Cooper is knocked unconscious and Mr. Ribs is decapitated, but before the Imps can feast on them, Ma Soupswill arrives and fights back the Imps. Cooper regains consciousness and is thanked for his efforts by Ma Soupswill and the rest of Ghoulhaven Hall's staff. Cooper and Amber then walk off to a nearby village, unaware that Baron von Ghoul is following behind them in his makeshift plane. If Cooper does not save all the children in time, the scene in which Ma Soupswill defends Cooper and Mr. Ribs from the Imps is omitted.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a linear action-adventure title that plays like a beat 'em up game. Cooper is locked in various rooms of Ghoulhaven Hall, many of which are filled with Ghoulies. Cooper cannot freely explore Ghoulhaven Hall at any part of his adventure, and he is forced to progress by following a set path. Often, whenever Cooper enters a room, he has to complete one or more Challenges to open the door to the next room. The game is divided into 100 "scenes", each taking place in a room, including some that Cooper has visited earlier. During a Challenge, the door to the next room has a large, light green question mark painted on it. The door from which Cooper has entered or can only access at a later part in his journey are blocked off by large, green spiky vines. Once Cooper clears the Challenge(s), the large question mark disappears, and the door opens. If Cooper loses all his health during a Challenge, he has to restart it.
Cooper's health is represented by a heart icon, which is displayed at the upper-right of the screen either if Cooper enters a new room, the game is paused, or if Cooper takes damage from either an enemy or a hazard. Cooper can have up to 50 Energy, although starting with the second visit to the Billiard Room, Baron von Ghoul changes Cooper's health every time he enters a new room.
Ma Soupswill's Super Soup cans are scattered all around Ghoulhaven Hall, and they can be used by Cooper. There are different types of Super Soups, which can be identified by their icon. Most Super Soups have a helpful effect such as restoring some health or granting a temporary power-up. Some Super Soups have a negative temporary effect, such as reversing the game controls or removing all of Cooper's energy; these can be identified by a black ghost icon.
In every room (except the Trophy Room), there are objects that Cooper can break, and sometimes they reveal a Super Soup. There are many objects that Cooper can pick up and use as Temporary Weapons against other enemies, such as chairs, paintings, or even a dead swordfish. After one or a few hits, the Temporary Weapon breaks. Sometimes, a helpful staff member of Ghoulhaven Hall gives Cooper a Permanent Weapon to use for a few levels, such as a water squirter or a Fire Extinguisher. Unlike Temporary Weapons, a Permanent Weapon does not break after a few uses.
Another obstacle are scares, which are unexpected events, such as a Haunted Telephone ringing, that manifest themselves as manically laughing red spheres. If Cooper gets caught in one, he becomes spooked temporarily, during which he walks slowly, is unable to attack, and takes twice as much damage each time he is hit. There are also Super Scary Shocks, which occur when Cooper is directly scared by certain types of monstrous Ghoulies. During a Super Scary Shock, the player must press the A, B, X, and Y buttons in the order indicated on screen. In later parts of the game, more buttons have to be pressed. If the buttons are pressed on time, Cooper shrugs it off, but if this is not done on time, he loses 10 Energy. In either case, the Ghouly that caused the Super Scary Shock goes away afterward.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies has a "Features" menu, where Cooper can replay scenes that he has already completed in the main adventure. There are also Bonus Challenges which, as their name suggests, are extra challenges that are not connected to the main adventure.
There are several different types of challenges in the game. Each challenge is named in the game manual. Several of the Challenges can have their rules broken, such as "Don't Defeat" or "Weapons Only"; this also applies to Challenges involving a time limit, including "Survive" and "Time Limit". Whenever Cooper breaks the rules of a Challenge, The Reaper appears in the room. It is still possible for Cooper to clear the room, although he must avoid being touched by The Reaper, as this instantly defeats him. The Reaper also destroys enemies that it touches, and Cooper can use this to his advantage, especially to defeat stronger enemies, such as a Haunted Door or Jessie & Clyde.
Cooper can unlock Bonus Challenges by collecting Bonus Books along the way. A Bonus Book is hidden within each scene, so there are 100 Bonus Books in total. For every five Bonus Books Cooper collects, a Bonus Challenge is unlocked. As with regular challenges, Bonus Challenges have a variety of objectives, including some unique ones such as where Cooper fights The Reaper. If Cooper completes a Bonus Challenge, he is awarded a bronze, silver, gold or platinum medal based on his performance. Every time a Platinum medal is earned, a piece of concept artwork is unlocked.
Once a gold or platinum medal is earned for all 20 Bonus Challenges, a hidden 21st Bonus Challenge is unlocked. This final challenge is essentially a "hard mode" of the main adventure, and has Amber as the playable character instead. Throughout the adventure, Amber has very low health and cannot use Super Soups. Completing the 21st challenge unlocks the game's E3 2001 trailer and a deleted cutscene in the bonus gallery.
The Bonus Challenges are named as following:
- Billiard Room Bust-Up!
- Bring out the Imps!
- Super Duper Super Scary Shock!
- Friday Night at the Embassy!
- A Touch of Frost!
- Poor Ol' Fiddlesworth!
- Who's the Daddy?
- Smash the Study, Buddy!
- Chop Socky Whacky!
- Amber Wants a Kiss!
- Hey, Big Swinger!
- Gone to Pot!
- Kick 'Em Quick!
- Take out the Trash!
- Dirty Laundry!
- Catch the Cowards!
- Bedtime Gory!
- Who's Still the Daddy?
- (Don't Fear) The Reaper!
- Play it again, Son!
- Cooper: Cooper, the game's protagonist, is a teenage boy who must brave the horrors of Ghoulhaven Hall to rescue his girlfriend.
- Amber: She is Cooper's girlfriend and the main focus for the first two chapters.
- Baron von Ghoul: The insane owner of Ghoulhaven Hall and boss of the Ghoulies. He has a habit of kidnapping children, who appear tied up around the mansion.
- Crivens: Crivens is the feeble old butler of Ghoulhaven Hall. He helps Cooper in various parts of his adventure.
- Ma Soupswill: A strange chef who leaves her Super Soups around Ghoulhaven Hall. During chapter 2, she helps cook a mixture for Cooper to return Amber to normal.
- Mr. Ribs: Ma Soupswill's cooking assistant, Mr. Ribs is a skeleton and the only friendly Ghouly whom Cooper encounters.
- Fiddlesworth Dunfiddlin: Fiddlesworth is the friendly yet bumbling groundskeeper of Ghoulhaven Hall.
- Babs Buffbrass: She is the cranky cleaning lady of Ghoulhaven Hall. Babs hates it when any kind of mess is made.
- Dr. Krackpot: A mad scientist who briefly turns Amber into a Ghouly.
- Ancient Mummy
- Cursed Mummy
- Fire Imp
- Flying Imp
- Ghoulie Amber
- Haunted Chair
- Haunted Coat
- Haunted Door
- Haunted Painting
- Haunted Television
- Jessie & Clyde
- Ninja Imp
- The Reaper
- Vampire Chicken
- Zombie Pirate
- Zombie Pirate Captain
There are five Ghoulies who try to inflict Cooper with a Super Scary Shock. Although they are different creatures, every Ghouly in this category have the exact same role.
- Grasping Hand
- Mingella the Guard Dog
- Stuffed Heads
- Tentacle Terror
Chapters and scenes
Grabbed by the Ghoulies has a total of 100 scenes.
|Chapter 1: The Rescue|
|1||Grand Hallway||50||Imp||Defeat All|
|2||Trophy Room||50||Stuffed Head||N/A|
|4||Gaming Room||50||Imp, Skeleton||Find the Key|
|5||Billiard Room||25||Skeleton||Number (8 Skeletons)|
|6||Lower Corridors||15||Haunted Telephone, Spider, Skeleton||N/A|
|7||Cinema||15||Skeleton, Imp, Big Head Imp, Hag, Haunted Television, Spider||N/A|
|8||Gaming Room||25||Haunted Chair, Skeleton, Spooky Grandpa||One Breed (Haunted Chair)|
|9||Basement||10||Spider, Imp, Ancient Mummy||One Breed (Ancient Mummy)|
|10||Relic Store||20||Ancient Mummy||Defeat All|
|11||Ye Olde Archives||5||Skeleton, Hag||N/A|
|12||Cellar||30||Spider, Imp, Big Head Imp, Skeleton, Haunted Door||One Breed|
|Chapter 2: The Restoration|
|1||Kitchen||15||Fire Imp, Skeleton||Defeat All|
|2||Scullery||40||Zombie, Spider, The Reaper||One Breed (Zombie), Time Limit (25 seconds)|
|3||Lower Corridors||5||Haunted Chair||N/A|
|4||Embassy Ballroom||15||Blob, Zombie, Skeleton, Ancient DJ Mummy||One Breed (Zombie, Skeleton)1|
|5||Conservatory||20||Ninja Imp||Find the Key|
|6||Boathouse||15||Zombie, Skeleton, Imp, The Reaper||One Breed (Zombie), Time Limit (35 seconds)2|
|7||Lighthouse Store||10||Medusa, Spider, Zombie||Find the Key|
|8||Lighthouse Living Quarters||15||Zombie, Haunted Television, Zombie Pirate||N/A|
|9||Lighthouse Lantern Room||10||Big Head Imp||N/A|
|10||Lighthouse Living Quarters||10||Zombie, Haunted Television, The Reaper||Number (7 Zombies), Time Limit (60 seconds)|
|11||Lighthouse Store||10||Medusa, Spider||N/A|
|12||Boathouse||45||Hunchback, Imp, Spider, Spooky Granny||One Breed (Hunchback)|
|13||Dining Room||30||Zombie Pirate, Zombie Pirate Captain, Skeleton, The Munching Cavalier||One Breed (Zombie Pirate, Zombie Pirate Captain)|
|14||Embassy Ballroom||15||Ancient Mummy, Skeleton, Zombie, Haunted Chair||One Breed (Zombie, Skeleton)1|
|15||Lower Corridors||5||Ninja Imp||N/A|
|16||Scullery||25||Zombie, Imp||One Breed (Zombie), Don't Defeat (Imp)|
|18||Ffffreezer||15||Zombie Pirate, Ancient Mummy, Imp, Zombie||N/A|
|19||Garbage Yard||20||Spider, The Reaper, The Munching Cavalier, Blobbelda the Guard Dog||One Breed (Spider), Weapons Only|
|20||Wood Shed||3||Flying Imp, Spider, Spooky Granny, Medusa||N/A|
|21||Farmyard||35||Imp, Zombie Pirate, Zombie, Flying Imp, Ninja Imp, Skeleton, The Reaper||Defeat All, Time Limit (1 minute)|
|22||Chicken Shed||15||Chickens, Vampire Chickens||Survive (1 minute)|
|23||Farmyard||5||Ninja Imp, Big Head Imp, Vampire Chicken, Skeleton, Blobbelda the Guard Dog||N/A|
|24||Workshop||30||Skeleton, Ancient Mummy, Cursed Mummy, Vampire Chicken, Spider||Find the Key, Number (Any Breed, 8)|
|25||Lower Corridors||10||Haunted Chair, The Reaper, Hag, Grasping Hand||Don't Get Hit|
|26||Pantry||15||Haunted Coat, Imp, Haunted Door, The Reaper||1. One Breed (Haunted Coat)|
2. One Breed (Haunted Door), Don't Defeat (Imp)
|28||Grand Hallway||20||Skeleton, Haunted Painting, The Reaper, Skeleton Maid, Spooky Grandpa||No Damage|
|29||Cloakroom||30||Haunted Coat, Ancient Mummy, Flying Imp, Hag, The Reaper||One Breed (Zombie, Ancient Mummy, or Flying Imp),|
Time Limit (40 seconds)
|30||Sitting Room||15||Haunted Chair, Zombie, Skeleton, Freaky Monk, Spooky Grandpa||Next One Different (Skeleton, Zombie)|
|31||Music Room||10||Skeleton, Zombie, Ancient Mummy, Hag, Mingella||N/A|
|32||Walled Garden||5||Skeleton, Zombie Pirate, Flying Imp, Fire Imp, Vampire Imp, Vampire Chicken, The Reaper||Don't Get Hit|
|33||Study||10||Jessie & Clyde, Haunted Telephone, Hag, Imp, Ninja Imp||Find the Key|
|34||Music Room||30||Ninja Imp, Cursed Mummy, Hunchback, Skeleton, Hag||1. One Breed (Ninja Imp, 30), Survive (45 seconds)|
2. One Breed (Hunchback)
|35||Sitting Room||15||Haunted Painting, The Reaper||Limited Attacks (15), Defeat All|
|36||Cloakroom||5||Imp, Hag, Spider, Medusa, The Reaper||No Damage|
|37||Grand Hallway||20||Haunted Door, Skeleton Maid, Freaky Monk, The Reaper||One Breed (Haunted Door), Weapons Only|
|38||Kitchen||30||Fire Imp, The Munching Cavalier, The Reaper||Defeat All, Time Limit (1 minute, 30 seconds)|
|39||Cellar||15||Zombie Pirate, Skeleton, Spider, Mingella, The Reaper||Don't Get Hit, Find the Ghouly Key|
|40||Ye Olde Archives||40||Ghoulie Amber, Spooky Grandpa||N/A|
|Chapter 3: The Riddle|
|1||Grand Hallway||1||Vampire Chicken, Zombie Pirate, Cursed Mummy, Ninja Imp, Medusa, Freaky Monk||N/A|
|2||Housekeeping Store||20||Haunted Television, Imp, Cursed Mummy, Ogre Head, Tentacle Terror, The Reaper||Don't Defeat (Haunted Television), Find the Key|
|3||Crivens' Quarters||30||Flying Imp, Haunted Television, Haunted Telephone, The Reaper||Weapons Only, One Breed (Flying Imp)|
|4||Housekeeping Store||10||Warlock, Ogre Head, Tentacle Terror||One Breed (Warlock)|
|5||Grand Hallway||5||Haunted Painting, Skeleton, Zombie Pirate||N/A|
|6||Upper Corridors||1||Haunted Painting, Ancient Mummy, Haunted Telephone||N/A|
|7||Bathroom||25||Haunted Coat, Skeleton, Ninja Imp, Imp, Medusa, Spooky Granny||No Weapons, Defeat All|
|8||Schoolroom||10||Medusa, Imp, The Reaper, Spooky Grandpa||No Damage, Time Limit (1 minute)|
|9||Infirmary||15||Zombie, Jessie & Clyde, Medusa, Haunted Chair||One Breed (Medusa), Survive (1 minute)|
|10||Dunfiddlin Cottage Garden||15||Zombie, Zombie Pirate, Vampire, Blobbelda the Guard Dog||N/A|
|11||Greenhouse||15||Vampire, Vampire Chicken, The Reaper, Hag, Spooky Granny, Grasping Hand||No Damage, Find the Ghouly Key, Limited Attacks (12)|
|12||Potting Room||30||Vampire, Vampire Chicken, Skeleton, Hunchback, The Reaper||1. Number (Any Breed, 6), Next One Different|
2. One Breed (Hunchback)
|13||Greenhouse||10||Ninja Imp, Grasping Hand, Imp||N/A|
|14||Dunfiddlin Cottage Garden||15||Spider, Worm, The Reaper||Find the Ghouly Key, Time Limit (1 minute, 20 seconds)|
|15||Dunfiddlin Cottage||25||Warlock, Flying Imp, Zombie, The Reaper||1. Limited Attacks (20), One Breed (Warlock)|
2. Number (Any Breed, 6), Weapons Only, Next One Different
|16||Workshop||15||Skeleton, Cursed Mummy, Spooky Grandpa, The Reaper||No Weapons, Survive (1 minute, 30 seconds)|
|17||Farmyard||15||Jessie & Clyde, Imp, Worm, Blobbelda the Guard Dog||N/A|
|18||Foundry||25||Ancient Mummy, Haunted Coat, Fire Imp, Haunted Door, The Reaper||1. Find the Key, Don't Defeat Any|
2. One Breed (Haunted Door), Time Limit (50 seconds)
|19||Stables||20||Fire Imp, Spider, Blob, Spooky Granny, The Reaper||Don't Get Hit, No Damage, Time Limit (1 minute, 30 seconds)|
|20||Foundry||20||Skeleton, Ancient Mummy, Imp, Cursed Mummy, The Reaper||Number (Any Breed, 6), Next One Different|
|21||Farmyard||5||Grasping Hand, Jessie & Clyde, Blobbelda the Guard Dog||N/A|
|22||Wood Shed||15||Medusa, Worm, Vampire, Vampire Chicken, The Reaper||One Breed (Vampire Chicken), Time Limit (45 seconds)|
|23||Garbage Yard||20||Haunted Chair, Ancient Mummy, The Reaper, Ogre Head||One Breed (Haunted Chair), Weapons Only, No Weapons|
|24||Ffffreezer||10||Imp, Zombie Pirate, Ancient Mummy, Skeleton, Zombie, Bony Arm||Number (Any Breed, 9), Limited Attacks (10)|
|25||Kitchen||5||Medusa, Fire Imp, The Munching Cavalier||N/A|
|26||Laundry Room||15||Jessie & Clyde, Warlock, Worm, Ninja Imp, Spider, The Reaper, Spooky Granny, Tentacle Terror||Don't Get Hit, One Breed (Warlock)|
|27||Servants' Dormitory||20||Jessie & Clyde, Flying Imp, Haunted Painting, Worm, Skeleton, Zombie, Haunted Telephone, Haunted Door, The Reaper||One Breed (Haunted Door), No Weapons|
|28||Servants' Bathroom||20||Haunted Coat, Zombie Pirate, Skeleton, Imp, Worm, Cursed Mummy, Spooky Granny, The Reaper||Time Limit (20 seconds), Survive (1 minute, 20 seconds)|
|29||Attic||5||Tentacle Terror, Haunted Television, Spider, Flying Imp, Haunted Chair, Haunted Painting, Ogre Head, The Reaper||Time Limit (45 seconds)|
|31||Experiments Chamber||15||Warlock, Skeleton, Imp, Spider, Worm, Zombie, Zombie Pirate, Haunted Coat, The Reaper||1. One Breed (Warlock), Time Limit (15 seconds)|
2. Weapons Only, Number (Any Breed, 8)
|32||Krackpot's Lab||30||Jessie & Clyde, Worm, Vampire, Skeleton, Spooky Granny, Haunted Telephone, The Reaper||Next One Different, Find the Ghouly Key, Find the Key|
|33||Experiments Chamber||10||Skeleton, Ninja Imp, The Reaper, Bony Arm||N/A|
|34||Grand Hallway||10||Grasping Hand, Haunted Door, Imp, Mingella, The Reaper||1. Limited Attacks (10), One Breed (Haunted Door)|
2. Defeat All, Time Limit (20 seconds)
|Chapter 4: The Reckoning|
|1||The Baron's Quarters||50||Baron von Ghoul, Skeleton, Zombie, Worm, Zombie Pirate||N/A|
|Chapter 5: The Race|
|2||Bathroom||Hunchback, The Reaper||One Breed (Hunchback), No Weapons|
|3||Conservatory||Worm, Spider, The Reaper||Number (Any Breed, 20), Limited Attacks (5)|
|4||Dunfiddlin Cottage||Haunted Television, Zombie, Imp, Vampire Chicken, Bony Arm, The Munching Cavalier, Freaky Monk, The Reaper||One Breed (Haunted Television), No Damage|
|5||Dining Room||Zombie Pirate||Defeat All, Weapons Only|
|6||Pantry||Grasping Hand, The Munching Cavalier, Mingella||N/A|
|7||Relic Store||Ancient Mummy, Cursed Mummy, Zombie||One Breed (Zombie, Cursed Mummy), Next One Different|
|8||Laundry||Tentacle Terror, Zombie, Skeleton, The Reaper||Number (Skeleton, 3), Next One Different|
|9||Walled Garden||Spider, Skeleton, Ninja Imp, Jessie & Clyde, Fire Imp, The Reaper||Number (Any Breed, 4), Limited Attacks (4), Don't Defeat (Skeleton), Next One Different, No Damage|
|10||Cinema||Haunted Television, Zombie Pirate, Ancient Mummy, Haunted Coat, Haunted Door, The Reaper||One Breed (Haunted Door), Weapons Only|
|11||Lower Corridors||Haunted Chair, Haunted Painting, Haunted Telephone, Grasping Hand||N/A|
|13||Front Gate||25||Imps||One Breed (Imp)|
Grabbed by the Ghoulies began as simply a name. According to the game's Tepid Seat, various Rare employees were talking one day and "someone mentioned being 'grabbed by the goolies'" and they thought it sounded like "a great name for a game."
The game's development spanned just about three years, originating as a large, non-linear platform game for the Nintendo GameCube, and being moved to the Xbox after Microsoft's buyout of Rare. However, a simpler design and simpler concept were adopted due to the Microsoft buyout and increasing time constraints. After Microsoft's purchase of Rare, the studio re-affirmed their "simple design" of the game so that players would be able to easily adapt and devote less commitment to it. In a retrospective interview, Mayles stated that the change from GameCube to Xbox was difficult and required a lot of changes as Grabbed by the Ghoulies was "an original game that started life as a Nintendo product".
According to Mayles, Grabbed by the Ghoulies was not inspired by Rare's similar-themed Atic Atac. The cel-shaded art style and design of the characters in Grabbed by the Ghoulies were inspired by Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and the various character personalities were based both on historical figures and people from Mayles' childhood. Antagonist Baron von Ghoul was "a mix" of the Red Baron and British aristocracy, whereas supportive characters, such as Ma Soupswill, were loosely based on staff from a school. Mayles considered the conversion of the game to the Xbox to be one of the hardest challenges during development, as Rare had less than a year to finish the game after its conversion.
During the development of the game, some of the more risqué things in the game were cut out in order to maintain an "E" rating with the ESRB. Some of Fiddlesworth's interjections were cut; for example, "measure my marrow!", "rub my radish!", "choke my chicken!" and "sow my seeds!" Additionally, the name of a town near Ghoulhaven Hall was changed from "Neede-in-the-Nuts" to "Ghoulsville-in-the-Gloom." Neede-in-the-Nuts was to be the subtitle and main location of a possible sequel to Ghoulies. Had the sequel happened, it would have been different and far more "open-world," rather than following the linear style of Ghoulies. Members of the team have stated that if the game sells well on Xbox Originals, they would love to make a sequel.
Pre-release and unused content
Upon its release, Grabbed by the Ghoulies sold poorly, and the game had no advertising to promote it. The poor sales of Grabbed by the Ghoulies was referenced a few times in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, most notably in the level Banjoland, where several unsold copies appear in the giant trash can, filled up to the brim. The low sales of the game has been acknowledged on Rare's Scribes.
Critical reception to Grabbed by the Ghoulies was average upon release, although it has also since been regarded negatively; for example, appearing on Game Informer magazine's "The Wrong Kind of Scary: Worst Horror Games Ever" list. The game currently has a 66/100 on review aggregate website Metacritic and a 70% on aggregate website GameRankings. Many were also confused about Grabbed by the Ghoulies's simplistic design, controls, and lack of level and music variety which previous Rare titles were renowned for. The criticisms and low sales appeared to have a lasting impact on Rare, who has not managed to return to their former critical and commercial success.
- IGN: 7.0/10
- GameSpot: 6.5/10
- GameSpy: 2/5
- 1UP: C+
- TeamXbox: 7.6/10
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
| Grabbed by the Ghoulies - Trailer shown privately at E3 2001. It is also an in-game unlockable.||0:16|
| Grabbed by the Ghoulies - The game's E3 2003 trailer||1:05|
| Grabbed by the Ghoulies - Television commercial||0:30|
- System Use - Xbox Originals: More Information (Wayback Machine)
- ICMX.net - INTERVIEW: Rare Studio Head Craig Duncan discusses Rare Replay, E3 2015 and more (Wayback Machine)
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies manual, page 19.
- Why Rare's supposedly worst, least popular game is actually my favourite - GamesRadar
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies Video Interview - IGN
- Retro Gamer issue #84
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies Tepid Seat (Wayback Machine)