The Haunted Mansion (GameCube, 2003)

Back into the virtual world we go!  Parkeology continues to deliver hard-hitting coverage of video games based on Disney theme parks, and YOU ARE THERE.  Too bad for you.

Today we move far beyond the primitive reaches of 1990’s Adventures in the Magic Kingdom and jump a full three Nintendo consoles ahead.  The year is 2003, and GameCube is the cat’s meow.  I even hear tell of two fellows from North Carolina who are working on some kind of flying contraption!  It’ll never work.
Sorry, sometimes I devolve into making fun of the Carousel of Progress script.

That year, an abomination hit the screen in the form of an Eddie Murphy movie.  Okay, that could be any year that an Eddie Murphy movie hits the screen.  But you Disney fans know of what I speak.  Yes, that was the year of Eddie’s awful screen translation of Kitchen Kabaret.

And in the same year, he released this pile of Bantha poodoo

Capitalizing on what was sure to be a runaway hit, Disney dropped a Haunted Mansion game on us just in time for the holidays (it was also available for other platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, Gameboy, and DOS Text Adventure.)

What, no Jennifer Tilly?

It was billed as a three-dimensional puzzle game in which we explore that famous Disney landmark.  Little did we know that it was actually based on Ghostbusters.

A much more intriguing three-dimensional puzzle game, and one that I wish I had played.

Yes, in this game, your job is to capture ghosts using your lantern.  The game leads you through room after room where you have to sweep up all the lost souls that are hiding there before you can move onto the next.  If you somehow manage to capture 999 of them, the EPA will shutdown your containment facility, Gozer the Gozerian will land on your apartment building, and Slimer will eat your hotdog.

Okay, that doesn’t happen.  If it had, we might not be looking at this game with scorn.

It should come as no surprise to you that except for the title, this game bears virtually no resemblance to the Disney attraction.  I’m not even sure what the plot is.  Something about you being a janitor in a Southern style mansion?  (the Disneyland version, I guess.)

Stanley Spadowski in the Haunted Mansion?  I’d play that.

Even more annoying is that it is apparently the exact same idea as that awful Haunted Mansion level from Adventures in the Magic Kingdom!  Kill x number of ghosts with your candle and beat the stage!  There is a willful disdain of the source material.  You have an attraction with an awesome number of potential levels – an endless hallway, a ballroom, a corridor of knocking doors – and the part I remember most is being stuck in a haunted kitchen.

The Bride?  Cousin It?  That creepy kid from The Ring?

I never did beat this game, even though I got pretty far.  I finally made it to a weird room where the walls pushed in and out like the Death Star garbage compactor, and just gave up.  It’s not like there aren’t any other janitor jobs out there.

Sweet dreams, kids!

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Comments (8)

  1. Lennox, I was hoping somebody would mention WDW Racing; that one is my favorite. Wonder what Epic Mickey will be like.

    Shane, nice work including Stanley Spadowski in this post… I am very much enjoying this series.

  2. The only game that seemed to get Haunted Mansion right was Walt Disney World Racing: Magical Quest of Unnecessarily Long Names.

    Too bad you had to spend the whole time zooming through in your Doom Buggy.

  3. VH-1?!?

    What the heck was I thinking…. well it was a typo actually… who could ever forget the Weird Al masterpiece that is UHF. Um, well, except for the million upon millions who have never heard of it. But what would Parkeology be without obscure references and snarky comments? Well I guess it would be Laughing Place then maybe? Not sure though.

  4. And FigmentJedi, I think that the southern belle thing would add a whole new twist to the ride. “Fiddle de dee, it’s time to respond. Y’all give us a message from somewhere yonder”…

  5. Teev, I will stop calling you when you get your Weird Al movie title right! It’s “UHF”, not “VH1”! But I do admit, the severed horse head in your bed was uncalled for.

  6. Some of the backstory with the ancient conspiracy was kinda cool, but goddamn was Leota’s voice out of place. If there’s one thing Leota is not, it’s a Southern Belle.

  7. Shane coming in with a VH-1 reference… nice…

    And yes Shane, I know you are mad about the complete and total lack of posts on my end but PLEASE stop calling at 2:00 in the morning… I’m working on it!

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