The Goemon series is one of my favorites. Mystical Ninja it’s the perfect alias. Goemon isn’t gone, Maybe he’s got some passport or visa issues that he can’t get over to North America and he’s stuck in Japan. Wonder if it has something to do with that company that’s gone all crazy….oh Konami. Although the series is not dead or finished it remains to be seen what will happen and if we will ever see a Goemon game again.
Let’s go back to a simpler time, 1999 to be exact. To the day you are reading this blog (writing this it’s January 8th 2019) 20 years ago was the last time North America had received a Goemon game. Goemon’s Great Adventure on the Nintendo 64. It was released a year earlier in Japan. I remember renting the game way back then from the video store. That was all folks. That was the last time Goemon released a game in North America.
The last game in the main series of Goemon was released way back in 2005 in Japan on the Nintendo DS. The most recent use of anything Goemon related was in 2011 in Japan for a Pachinko machine. 2003 a spin-off series Goemon was last used in mobile gaming. Last time for a console was a spin-off on the original PlayStation. A year previous though a spin-off game was released on the PlayStation 2 making it the most recent console a Goemon game has appeared on. The last of the main series to have made it on console was in 2001 on the PlayStation.
Goemon is animated as a humorous adventure action type of game. It’s silly in it’s own way but hey if that makes the game fun then why not. With a smoke pipe in hand as his weapon Goemon started his life in the games as a famous thief from Japanese folklore. Goemon later on though changes his persona to that all loving hero that most of us North Americans came to know. The series stays true to it’s Japanese origins, and how Japanese anime is usually perceived. Sticking with it’s roots that’s why it was so beloved in Japan. So you may ask what happened to Goemon?
Honestly I have researched here and there. So the most possible answer I can come up with from a North American standpoint is that most of the western culture either doesn’t understand the game, have little to no interest (due to what is associated with “odd” ideas of a game), or that it just doesn’t fit in at all with gaming in the western culture. It’s unfortunate because it add’s variety to a library of games that in a lot of ways these days is a bit stale at times for me. All that for another time but to me the more variety the better I think. As for what happened in Japan I can’t really find anything other than Konami has quietly pushed it away somewhere and has seemingly forgotten about the series, Other than for it’s use with gambling and Japanese slots games, Goemon has all but vanished from the gaming world.
Further research and reading since we didn’t really know much about what happened with the series out in North America, In Japan is where they may have lost it. Konami who with the Castlevania franchise in the mid 2000’s changed things a bit, So Konami changed up Goemon a bit. Well it didn’t work out as they wanted it and instead of going back and just fixing it up Konami dismissed it. When the games were released in North America a lot of the translations (you would of had to do some research to see the original character names and such from the Japanese version) the names of Goemon’s friends/partners. Their gambling machines have made them more profit than the games nowadays though so the chances of seeing Goemon back in a game don’t look very good. Goemon in North America again isn’t even remotely in the picture at all sadly.
While Goemon had graced us in the past with their brief stint of games back in the past it left an impression on some of us. Once a beloved character in a world of video gaming consumed by a greedy and mismanaged company whose only interest now is to put the beloved in gambling machines for the greater of profit. Oh Goemon like me there are others out there that hold some hope in any revival of a Goemon game to be bestowed upon us in North America once again. It would help to add some more variety within games again also. Will we ever see Goemon again?