Monster Party (NES)
Monster Party is a video game for the NES, released in the U.S. in 1989 by Bandai. It was and remains a relatively obscure platform game for the console, having a small following among some players. The game both plays homage to and parodies horror pop culture, alternately featuring enemies and locations based on classic horror icons, and parodic reinterpretations.
The story centers on a child named Mark who is accosted on his way home from a baseball game by a winged, gargoyle-like alien named Bert who seeks assistance in ridding “evil monsters” from his realm, “Dark World”. Being the first person he encounters, Bert tries to enlist Mark as his aid in battle. Mark is reluctant to help, but Bert explains that anyone will work, including a young “Batter” much like himself, showing him that his baseball bat can be easily enough a “weapon” to fight enemies. He quickly whisks him away, and on the way to Dark World magically fuses himself to Mark so that they are one being (with Mark able to transform into Bert for a limited time).
The bizarre premise and plot introduction sets up a game that is filled with variations on many traditional horror characters and themes (sometimes with ironic twists), as well as relatively novel characters all its own.
Another interesting tidbit is the game contained blood and the word “hell.” Those didn’t fly as well in 1989 as they do now. It’s also rather surprising that Nintendo allowed it, as they are a strong supporter of video game censorship.