Ghostbusters: The Video Game DS Review

The flowers are still standing.

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The amount of enjoyment you’ll get out of Ghostbusters really depends on how well you take the good with the bad. Red Fly Studio obviously put a lot of heart into the game, and while the concepts, script, engine, graphical efforts, depth, RPG elements, and humor all work great, there are still a lot of issues holding the game back. This title lacks polish and refinement though, and it comes into play when trying to blast ghosts on a very full, almost claustrophobic bottom screen, random pop-in ghosts that knock the whole team down for seconds at a time, some rough driving sections with unforgiving collision that stops you dead in your tracks, and some annoying invisible wall areas in on-foot missions that keep the team from running around the room with ease. With that being said, I was always having fun while playing Ghostbusters, and while some of it is fan service for sure – blaring the Ecto-1 siren while hearing the Ghostbusters theme is essential, and included – there are also a huge list of great ideas and designs that make Ghostbusters feel fresh and entertaining despite some touchy gameplay. If we see a sequel for any of the games – or a quick re-up sequel set on Wii and DS… seems to make sense given the audience – I’ll be more than happy to dive right back into this world. I said it earlier as well, but it deems repeating: If Red Fly took this engine and delivered an original IP off of it (Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon-inspired would work perfectly) it could be killer. The concepts, overall design, and multi-character system works great. It’s just a bit too rough all-around for this first Ghostbusters endeavor.

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Ghostbusters: The Video Game [DS]

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The Ghostbusters on a mission

"If there's something strange, in the neighborhood ... Who you gonna call?" "Ghostbusters" has been a pop culture phenomenon ever since the first film dropped in 1984, and recently the franchise has seen a resurgence. Following the exploits of a band of zany ghost-hunters (long before "Ghost Hunters" was even a thing), the original "Ghostbusters" is one of those movies that still influences the paranormal comedy subgenre to this day, and we won't complain about it. Aside from the catchy tune, those awesome proton packs, and the stylish Ecto-1, there's a lot to love about this franchise as a whole, even counting the missteps along the way. 

Though the original Ghostbusters left us for a few decades, they (mostly) officially returned to the big screen in 2021 with the advent of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," a revival sequel in the spirit of the original. And that's not all. The adventures of the Ghostbusters, both new and old, are set to continue in 2024's "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire," which looks to be upping the ante when it comes to high supernatural stakes. But whichever set of films is your favorite, it's clear that "Ghostbusters" can be a bit confusing at times. With that in mind, we're here to help sort through all the ectoplasmic cobwebs and get a better grasp on the workings of the "Ghostbusters" universe.

It all starts with Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler

At some point before the events of the 1984 film, Doctors Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) meet after discovering a shared interest in parapsychology. As revealed in 2019's IDW-published "Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary: Ghostbusters" comic — which may or may not technically be official canon — the friendship between Venkman and Stantz goes back years . First meeting in the mid-1970s, the duo soon hit it off during Professor Tonick's Esoteric Literature class at Columbia University in New York City, where they would one day teach together.

Spengler comes in a bit later during the "Ghostbusters: Year One" series — which again, is debatable as far as the canon goes — published in 2020 in anticipation of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." The second issue explains that Venkman introduces Stantz and Spengler, who soon hit it off. The three of them begin working closely together, and upon securing teaching positions at Columbia University, use their collective PhDs to research paranormal phenomena. While Venkman isn't as into it as the other two, he too starts to believe after encountering a ghost of his own.

Establishing the Ghostbusters brand

After they're canned by Columbia in 1984, the first "Ghostbusters" movie shows the trio turning to the private sector in order to further their research (and make a profit). Realizing that paranormal activity is on the rise in New York, Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler establish Ghostbusters, a ghost-fighting force capable of trapping evil spirits. It doesn't take long before the Ghostbusters become a phenomenon, with many claiming that the trio are simply con artists rather than heroes. Of course, with all the damage they leave in their wake, it's an understandable accusation. But because of the high degree of spooks and specters out there, the Ghostbusters are forced to expand. 

Adding additional members to their team, new Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and secretary Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), the original Ghostbusters finally begin making real waves around New York. Eventually, the gang catches the attention of the "d***less" Walter Peck (William Atherton), an EPA inspector who wants nothing more than to shut the whole operation down. But before he gets his chance, the Ghostbusters first uncover a dastardly and otherworldly threat coming to Earth through the refrigerator in Dana Barrett's (Sigourney Weaver) apartment.

Ghostbusters, meet Dana Barrett

After being haunted by evil spirits, Dana Barrett calls the Ghostbusters , and Venkman takes an immediate (albeit creepy) liking to their client. In their first official gig, Dana hires the Ghostbusters to deal with her haunted home after  a demonic dog-like creature appears to her ominously chanting "Zuul." While other hauntings get in the Ghostbusters' way of promptly solving Dana's case, they eventually discover that Zuul is a demi-god in service to the even more dastardly Gozer the Gozerian, which means that this isn't over. Soon, Dana herself is possessed by Zuul, and though Venkman attempts to do something about it, he's unsuccessful.

The team also discovers that Zuul is only one half of the duo that can bring Gozer into our world. Zuul is the Gatekeeper, and the Key Master is another entity named Vinz Clortho, who ends up possessing Dana's overly-friendly neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). Despite trying to keep these two separate, it becomes impossible, though that's not entirely the Ghostbusters' fault. It turns out that a cultist named Ivo Shandor (played by J.K. Simmons in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife") is the one who constructed the NYC apartment building that Dana and Louis live in, and as a result, it acts as an open door for Gozer to walk through, provided its servants do their jobs.

The Ghostbusters save New York City

Unfortunately, Zuul and Vinz Clortho do their jobs all too well, and the doorway for Gozer (Slavitza Jovan in the original film; Olivia Wilde in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife") is opened. The only ones standing in the gap between our world and the apocalypse are the Ghostbusters, and they've been shut down by Peck's poorly-timed investigation. But, as he always does, Venkman is able to talk their way out of being shut down, and once the mayor realizes their need for the Ghostbusters, the team is sent off again to do what they do best: bust some ghosts. Once our four heroes get there, Gozer stares them down and releases her champion.

Taking the form of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (thanks Ray), Gozer's destroyer begins to wreak havoc across New York City. Thankfully, the Ghostbusters decide to think quickly on their feet and do the one thing they vowed never to do in case it results in the destruction of our world: cross the streams of their proton packs. As they do so, the dimensional doorway is forced shut, leaving Gozer out in the ether and freeing Dana and Louis from their demonic forms. With that, the Ghostbusters officially save New York City, Venkman gets the girl, and all is well. At least, for a time.

Vigo the Carpathian arrives

In the years following Gozer's defeat, the Ghostbusters go out of business. Taking place five years after the original film, "Ghostbusters II" reunites the cast in 1989 after being shut down by a lawsuit concerning "destruction of property" — not that we didn't see that coming. In the interim, Stantz opens his own occult bookstore and works with Zeddemore as a birthday party attraction, while Spengler works in a lab (shocking) and Venkman hosts his own talk show, which seems just like him, doesn't it? This all changes after Dana — who split from Venkman years earlier, got married, then divorced, and now has a son named Oscar — comes to the team for help after her baby is nearly killed by a ghost.

The culprit behind this one isn't Gozer, but rather the spirit of a dead tyrant/sorcerer named Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg) whose ghost resides in a portrait that Dana curates at an art museum. Once Vigo comes to life, he enslaves Dana's boss and gets him to hand Oscar over so that he might enter the land of the living once more. But during their investigation, our heroes are arrested and forced to quit once again, that is until the judge is haunted by ghosts from his own past and needs them busted too. Once they save him, the Ghostbusters are back in business, just in time to stop Vigo.

Saving New York City, again

Using a river of slime to influence all of New York, Vigo attempts to claim Oscar as his own once more, all but throwing Dana back into Venkman's wide-open arms. As these two get back together, Vigo uses his magical influence to attack the city on New Year's Eve, causing mass pandemonium. Though the Ghostbusters try to warn the mayor, his assistant Jack Hardemeyer (Kurt Fuller) tosses them into the psyche ward. Thankfully, their stay isn't permanent (you'd think these guys have been through enough) and they soon get back out there to tackle Vigo.

Since Vigo's slime feeds on negative emotions (resulting in him using the Statue of Liberty as a weapon), the Ghostbusters fight with the power of positivity. Somehow it works, weakening Vigo for a short time. But once he gains corporeal form, the Carpathian attempts to sacrifice Oscar once more, but between the positivity of NYC citizens singing "Auld Lang Syne" and the Ghostbusters' own efforts, he's defeated and once again trapped inside the painting, with our heroes replacing him on the canvas. Yeah, it's tacky, but "Ghostbusters" has never been the most serious movie franchise out there.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (sort of) bridges the gap

For years, "Ghostbusters III" (subtitled "Hellbent") was in development hell, and nothing ever fully materialized. The script — by "Ghostbusters" scribes Aykroyd and Ramis — eventually leaked online in the early 2000s, revealing that the project would have taken place in 1991 (and probably led to Venkman's death). Obviously, the movie never happened, which is no doubt leaving you wondering why we're even bothering to mention it. Well, eventually the story was used as the basis for 2009's "Ghostbusters: The Video Game," which reunited the original four Ghostbusters for one final time (sadly, it was Ramis' last time playing Egon Spengler before his death in 2014 ).

"This is essentially the third movie," Aykroyd told Now Gamer back in 2009. "If you have an appetite for the third movie, then the videogame is it." So what happens in the game? Well, the Ghostbusters find themselves dealing with a threat meant to merge the real world and the Ghost World on Thanksgiving where they relive some of their greatest hits. But it's not just a nostalgia-fueled throwback; the series adds additional character development, such as Zeddemore getting his PhD, and expands on characters like Ivo Shandor, who decides he wants to be Gozer himself. It's certainly not a perfect continuation, and its official place in the canon is a bit iffy, but "Ghostbusters: The Video Game" was a great placeholder until an official third film could continue the story into the 21st century.

Spengler goes rogue

In 2021, a new "Ghostbusters" movie continuing the original saga was finally released. Directed by Jason Reitman, the son of original film director Ivan Reitman, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" picks up over three decades after "Ghostbusters II," where it's revealed that Egon Spengler retreated to the remote small town of Summerville, Oklahoma. Somewhen between "Ghostbusters II" and "Afterlife," Spenger had a daughter named Callie (Carrie Coon), who in turn had two children of her own, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). Though the identity of Callie's mother is uncertain, many believe it's Janine Melnitz, who appears to be a friend of the family (and had a thing with Spengler back in the '80s).

Out in Summerville, Spengler spends the remaining years of his life preventing something big, something he's been on the verge of uncovering since mysteriously leaving the Ghostbusters and letting the group crumble to dust. Gozer's return is imminent, but following his discovery of Ivo Shandor's mining operation in Summerville, Spengler dies of a heart attack after being attacked by a ghost. This sends Callie and her children to Summerville to start anew, and hopefully find some closure concerning their estranged patriarch.

The Spengler family arrives in Summerville

Arriving in Summerville, Phoebe soon begins exploring, eventually encountering and befriending the ghost of her grandfather. Though he isn't seen, he leads her to his work underneath the barn where he's hidden his original Ghostbusters equipment, including the Ecto-1. After Phoebe shows a ghost trap to her teacher Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and her new friend, who for some reason goes by Podcast (Logan Kim), Gary realizes that Phoebe is the granddaughter of an original Ghostbuster and reveals to her the legacy she's stumbled upon. After Spengler's ghost helps Trevor fix up the Ecto-1, he takes Phoebe and Podcast for a ride where they capture their first ghost, Muncher. 

In true Ghostbuster fashion, they cause a ton of damage around their small town, and their equipment is seized by the local authorities. Thankfully, Trevor has a crush on the Sheriff's daughter Lucky (Celeste O'Connor), who ultimately helps get their stuff back. In the meantime, Phoebe attempts to get Ray Stantz to come and help, but he explains that the Ghostbusters are long gone and that he feels somewhat betrayed by Spengler for leaving in the first place. The new crew doesn't have time to dwell on that, as Ivo Shandor is revealed to be alive in his coffin and helping dismantle Spengler's safeguards, allowing Gozer to finally cross over — but only after Zuul and Vinz Clortho possess Callie and Gary, of course.

The original Ghostbusters are reunited

Becoming the new team of Ghostbusters, the Spengler grandchildren, Podcast, and Lucky decide to take matters into their own hands. Luring Gozer and its minions into a trap at the Spengler homestead, they successfully free Callie from Zuul's grip, weakening the Gozerian. But Gozer is smarter this time around and when the trap fails, Zuul instantly possesses Lucky instead. But before our heroes can despair, the original Ghostbusters return to save the day, with Venkman, Stantz, and Zeddemore all accounted for. Spengler is finally able to manifest a visible form himself (via CGI) and helps his old teammates (and his granddaughter) to save the day, just like they did all those years ago.

Finally at peace with his friends and his family after a heartfelt reunion, Spengler disappears into the, well, afterlife. Though it's unclear where exactly Spengler's spirit goes upon death (somehow he wasn't sucked into one of the ghost traps), his family and friends are comforted knowing why he disappeared all those years ago. With that, the original Ghostbusters head back to New York for further adventures, and the new team continues their lives in Summerville, though they'll never be the same.

After decades, the Ghostbusters are back in business

"Ghostbusters: Afterlife" ends with the revelation that Zeddemore, himself a wealthy businessman with a family of his own, bought back the original Ghostbusters firehouse and has returned the Ecto-1 to its rightful home there. After meeting with Janine, Zeddemore seems intent on rebuilding the Ghostbusters name, and as the post-credits scene reveals, there are always more ghosts that need busting. According to the 2022 sequel video game "Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed," Stantz and Zeddemore have officially reopened Ghostbusters, which follows the adventures of new hires to the group (it remains unclear if this game is considered canon).

Additionally, we learn at the end of "Afterlife" that Peter Venkman and Dana Barrett got married sometime after the events of "Ghostbusters II." While we don't know much about their life together (other than that they seemingly live in New York City), Venkman is seen taking the same EPS shock test that he used to perform on his students back at Columbia, only with Dana pulling the trigger. We don't know what's become of Oscar or if they ever had any children of their own together, but after all these years they're happy, and that's the best ending for these two we could hope for.

The Ghostbusters multiverse is strong

Of course, there are other "Ghostbusters" projects out there worth referencing. In 2016, director Paul Feig attempted an all-female reboot of the franchise with a film that's come to be known as "Ghostbusters: Answer the Call." Though some of the original cast members make cameo appearances, they aren't playing the same characters from the original film series. Overall, the movie was deemed a disaster, and while some have tried to defend it in recent years, Sony and their Ghost Corps. brand have recognized that sequels to the originals are really what folks want. There is, however, a 2018 comic book crossover between the two teams titled "Ghostbusters: Crossing Over" that is mostly entertaining.

Additionally, though the Ghostbusters became incredibly popular through the cartoon series "The Real Ghostbusters," this animated series and its sequel, "Extreme Ghostbusters," don't take place within the original film series continuity either (though some events may cross over). Nevertheless, the animated shows gained an impressive cult following over the years, with many citing "The Real Ghostbusters" as their definitive interpretation of the team. If that's you, note that Seasons 1-4 take place after the 1984 film, while Seasons 5-7 and "Extreme Ghostbusters" occur after the events of "Ghostbusters II."

What's next for the Ghostbusters?

After the success of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," the trailer for the upcoming sequel dropped in November 2023 . Titled "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire," the "Afterlife" follow-up returns the action to New York City as the old and new Ghostbusters reunite again to tackle a new foe. This time though, the threat isn't just some standard world domination game: this evil spirit — which Ray calls "the death chill" — wants to freeze all of New York in its icy tendrils as it scares folks to death, which looks to be a bit more intense than the previous installment.

While Egon Spengler is seemingly gone for good, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore are coming back for more, as are the Spengler grandchildren and their mother's boyfriend Gary, who looks to finally live his dream of becoming a Ghostbuster. With March 29, 2024 set as the release date, the confirmation that a follow-up is coming is an exciting one as the world of "Ghostbusters" only continues to grow. In a franchise once again rife with potential, "Frozen Empire" better knock our socks off if we want more.

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Ghostbusters 5E: Equipment (First Pass)


Armor and Shields Generally speaking, the only armor most Ghostbusters are proficient with are their padded jumpsuit, which is little more than a janitorial jumpsuit with heavy boots, elbow- and knee-pads, and thick protective gloves. Police and military units may have more advanced armor, and there are certainly plenty of reports of ghosts clanking around ancient castles in haunted plate mail. Training in armor proficiency costs $500 and takes six weeks per armor type (or uses the appropriate feat).

Ballistic Armor Armor with the “ballistic” property (B) is designed to protect against bullets. In game terms, it provides resistance against piercing damage. Note that the Tactical Vest and Riot/Combat Gear armor also provide resistance against slashing damage (S).

Weapons Weapons range from fists to Mark IV proton packs with dark matter projectors. Although statistics for guns are provided here, Ghostbusters almost never use them– the stats are provided for NPCs such as police officers who might carry them. Guns and some other weapons use the ammunition, burst fire, and reload properties from page 267 of the Dungeon Masters Guide .

The weapon proficiency groups for Ghostbusters are simple melee weapons, sidearms, longarms, proton packs, and slime blowers. Anything more exotic than that requires its own proficiency. The medieval-style weapons of D&D exist, of course, but are so rarely used that they require their own proficiency.

New Weapon Qualities Capture. A weapon with the capture quality can be used to catch ghosts or other “trappable” creatures. Weapons with the capture quality can affect creatures on the ethereal plane from the material plane (and vice versa), but creatures on the other plane only take half damage (as if they had resistance). When the wielder of a capture weapon successfully hits a ghost with ½ its maximum hit points or less or is incapacitated that is in line of sight, they may attempt to capture the creature as a reaction. The creature must attempt a DC 15 saving throw against its Constitution or Charisma (whichever is higher). On a success, the creature is unaffected. On a failure, the creature is grappled and restrained (even creatures normally immune to such conditions, such as phantasms). The creature may attempt a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns to escape the capture effect. The wielder of the capture weapon may move the captured creature up to 15’ as an action on their turn. Capture weapons must maintain line of sight, or the capture effect is immediately broken.

Slime. Against corporeal creatures, weapons with this quality impose the slimed condition. When used against ghosts or other non-corporeal creatures, each successful hit imposes a level of exhaustion (even in creatures normally immune to exhaustion, such as specters). Corporeal creatures subject to mind-affecting influences (including possession, fear, or confusion) may immediately make a saving throw with advantage to throw off the effect. Corporeal creatures hit by the slime weapon must also make a DC 15 Wisdom save or fall into a sappy euphoria that emulates the effects of charm person for one hour. Slime can also be used to create psychokinetic effects in inanimate objects, using 1 shot for a tiny or small object, 3 shots for a medium object, 10 shots for a large object, 30 shots for a huge object, or 90 shots for a gargantuan object. Slime weapons can also close black slime portals, using the same shots/size ratio.

Splash. When a target is hit by a weapon that does splash damage, every creature within the splash radius must succeed a DC 15 Dexterity save or also take the indicated amount of damage. Large creatures who are hit by the initial weapon are also subject to the splash damage if they are within the area of effect and fail the Dexterity save.

Stasis. When a creature is hit by a stasis weapon they must make a DC 15 Constitution save. On a success they are unaffected. On a failure, their speed becomes halved, they take a -2 penalty to AC and Dexterity saving throws. The creature may attempt another save at the end of each of its turns to remove the effect. If the creature is hit by another stasis effect during that time, they become paralyzed as well (even creatures normally immune to paralysis). A successful save ends both effects.

Tracking. A weapon with the tracking quality automatically hits a creature which has previously been hit by another weapon which marked it for a certain number of times. For example, a creature that has been hit by the meson collider of a Mk IV proton pack is “marked” for the overload pulse of the same proton pack. The next three uses of the overload pulse will automatically hit that target. This effect can go around corners and does not require line of sight, but will not penetrate barriers.

Other Ghostbusting Gear Ecto-Goggles ($350) These goggles give the wearer truesight 60’, but impose disadvantage on Dexterity and Charisma checks and saving throws and halve the wearer’s movement speed as they can’t really see where they’re going while wearing them and look dorky as hell. They can be put on as a bonus action on your turn and removed as a free action as long as you have a free hand.

Ghost Trap ($500) When a ghost trap is activated, every trappable creature within the same 5’ square as the trap must make a DC 15 saving throw on their Dexterity or Charisma (whichever is greater). Any trappable creature that begins their turn in the area of effect must also attempt the save. On a failed save, the creature is restrained and paralyzed (even if it is normally immune to such conditions), and when the trap closes the creature is pulled in and held in an extradimensional space with properties similar to the “Minimus Containment” option of the imprisonment spell. On a successful save, the creature is unaffected. Most susceptible creatures will not hang around in the area of ghost trap, so you’ll probably need to use a capture stream to hold them in place for it. A trap can be placed in any spot you can see within 15’ as a bonus action. Opening a trap can be done as a bonus action or reaction, and closing the trap is a free action. Recovering a closed trap requires an action in the space where the trap is located or can be done by using 5’ of movement. Ghost traps have battery power to last up to five hours, after which time any creature still in the trap automatically escapes.

PKE Meter ($250) This hand-held device detects and tracks psychokinetic energy (PKE) disturbances. Although its readings are often little more than “warmer/colder” in nature, a successful Intelligence (tool proficiency) check with the PKE meter can identify previously-scanned creatures or effects, or be combined with use of Ecto-Goggles to reveal information about a particular creature, including details about its origin, abilities, or weaknesses, at Ghostmaster discretion.

Franchise Upgrades Motorcycle ($15,000) Zippy, looks cool. Minimal cargo capacity.

Sports Car ($25,000) Also zippy and gives you cool points. Only carries two people and gear or three people without gear, and they keep bonking their knees.

Station Wagon or SUV ($25,000) Less zippy, but can still look badass. Station wagon can carry up to five people and their gear in relative comfort; SUV can only carry three people with gear (or four people without gear) but is much better suited for off-road or hazardous conditions.

RV or Work Van ($35,000) The ultimate in non-zippiness. Big, bulky, awkward, dorky. But it can carry a team of six with all their gear plus a portable lab (purchased separately).

Work Boat ($50,000) Like a work van that can go on water. Makes endearing “chug-chug” noises.

Helicopter ($150,000) Your team acquires a GBI-branded four-passenger helicopter, how friggin’ cool is that? It comes with a small radar unit (that’s actual radar, not “Ecto-radar”), a winch and paramedic-style rescue platform, and six parachutes. You might want to make sure someone has proficiency before you take off.

Mini-Sub ($250,000) Your team acquires a GBI-branded four-passenger mini-sub, for underwater exploration. Haunted wrecks can be very profitable.

“Ecto-1 Equipment Package” ($5,000) “Ecto-radar” PKE sweep, recharge package, first-aid kits, GPS, integrated cellphone, roof-mounted video and infrared camcorder, and VHS/DVD player (satellite radio not included). This requires a vehicle of station wagon size or larger.

Muon Trap “Super-Slammer” ($3,000) A vehicle-mounted ghost trap with 5’ radius area effect centered on the top of the vehicle, the Super-Slammer has a capture DC of 20 instead of 15 and can capture any number of creatures at a time. It requires a vehicle of station wagon size or larger.

Gadget List Gadgets ($500 per prodigy-level gadget slot, $750 per genius-level gadget slot) Don’t have an inventor on your team? No sweat. With time and money, anyone with basic ghost-busting experience can cobble together new equipment. After all, that’s what the original team did! One nice thing about this option is that once the item is bought, it stays around forever (or until you lose or break it, this is why we can’t have nice things).

Workshop ($5,000 per skill benefitted) A workshop contains tools, reference materials, spare parts, and whatever else you might need to make life easier for someone working on a particular type of task. When making skill or tool proficiency checks, you have advantage in a workshop, and it takes half the usual time. The workshop types available are Electronic, Mechanical, Science, Parapsychology, and Arcana.

Staff Upgrade ($20,000) Most GB franchises have a NPC secretary/receptionist who books jobs, does light accounting, and will empty their own wastebasket, but that’s about it. This upgrade gets you the services of a regular cleaning staff, an on-call lawyer/accountant, and a vehicular mechanic (negating up to 3 RP of environmental damage or other associated costs per session as appropriate).

Stuff You Can Buy Online (varies) Camcorders, laptop computers, Elvis’s autograph? Prices may vary.

Whattya think? Next time… The Gadget List.

-The Gneech

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‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Director Talks Even More Cameos — Who’s Back?

in Movies & TV

Lois Tully (Rick Moranis) encountering Slimer (Robin Shelby) in 'Ghostbusters 2'

While it will hardly go down as a sci-fi comedy classic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) is still a solid entry in the main series of Ghostbusters films — even if it plays things annoyingly safe by relying on nostalgia like a Ghostbuster would a proton pack in any given supernatural situation, with its need to feature as many legacy cameos as possible being its worst crime.

But Afterlife wasn’t the first film in the series to shoehorn in several franchise veterans  — the widely hated reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) featured Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Annie Potts, despite the fact none of them played their respective characters from Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989).

Slimer in the new 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer

Related: How ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ May Hint at Cross Over With Reboot in Next Sequel

And with Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) shaping up to be the most populated installment so far, as it combines the Afterlife ensemble with all the legacy characters from those first two films, which gives us a ten-strong team of paranormal investigators and eliminators, there might not be any room left for any other familiar faces to show up.

As for future sequels beyond the upcoming film, director/writer Gil Kenan recently told SFX Magazine , “There are a lot of characters in the three preceding  Ghostbusters stories,” adding, “We already have a lot of story and characters to juggle, and it was really important for us that when characters come back they’re able to have a real story, real arcs.”

Walter Peck (William Atherton) in the new 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer

Related: Is the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Getting a Sequel?

“So, if anybody’s not featured in this film [ Frozen Empire ],” he went on, “it’s only because this particular story wants to make full use of the characters that we do bring out.” He added, “We’ve got more stories to tell in the future. Nothing is off the table. We had a duty to make those legendary characters integral to this story rather than just feature them in cameos.”

Kenan’s comments sound slightly odd considering Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) , and Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett) barely get any screentime in the 2021 sequel, showing up in fleeting scenes that have very little impact on the overall film. But perhaps the filmmakers have learned a few things since then.

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ May Have Recast a Fan-Favorite Character

So, whether the director is keeping his cards close to his chest for Frozen Empire (mid-credits and post-credits scenes are inevitable) or he’s saving some of the franchise’s most beloved characters for a future sequel, who else might we see return? Well, there are plenty of Ghostbusters characters who are yet to be given the “legacy character” treatment.

Dana Barrett — Ghostbusters , Ghostbusters II , and Afterlife

Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett AKA Zuul the Gatekeeper in 'Ghostbusters' 1984

Last year, Sigourney Weaver told Collider she hadn’t been asked to appear in Frozen Empire . Though a lot might have changed since then, she was only given the honor of appearing in Afterlife ‘s mid-credits scene, which is so inconsequential it could have easily been left out of the film. Obviously, we’re glad it wasn’t, but Weaver deserves a lot more.

Dana Barrett may return in Frozen Empire  because, as her Afterlife cameo suggests, she’s still in a relationship with Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), despite the fact their romance was very off-and-on in the first two films (which was all part of the charm). Will the “Gatekeeper” return? Well, if she does, it had better not be another mid or post-credits cameo.

Related:  First Part of ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Revealed

Louis Tully — Ghostbusters and  Ghostbusters II

Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) in 'Ghostbusters II'

Ghostbusters fans have been dying to see Rick Moranis reprise his role as Louis Tully in the Ghostbusters franchise since Ghostbusters II was released in 1989. While the bumbling accountant has since returned in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters (1986 — 1991) and the IDW Publishing comic book series , Moranis himself has yet to return to the fold.

It’s common knowledge that Moranis retired from acting in the early ’90s following a personal tragedy. However, the 70-year-old actor is expected to reprise his role as Wayne Szalinski in the upcoming Disney+ series Shrunk (TBA), which is based on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movies, so he may also return as the Keymaster in Ghostbusters  one day.

Related:   The 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot May Be 100% Canon, After All

Kylie Griffin — Extreme Ghostbusters

Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) in 'Extreme Ghostbusters' 1997

There are several Ghostbusters characters yet to get the silver-screen treatment, and perhaps the most notable character from the animated side of the franchise is Kylie Griffin, one of the four leads in the dark and edgy animated series Extreme Ghostbusters (1997), in which she’s voiced by Tara Strong. But is Griffin finally set to make her live-action debut?

Like many other characters, Griffin became a regular in the IDW Publishing comic book series as both a Ghostbuster and assistant at Ray Stantz Occult Bookstore. As it reintroduces the store, Afterlife missed the perfect opportunity to feature her , so let’s hope that Frozen Empire rights this wrong and brings the blue-haired icon back into the fold.

Related:   All 13 Ghostbuster Characters (Including a Guest of Honor!) Ranked Worst to Best

The 2016 Reboot Crew — Answer the Call

'Ghostbusters: Answer the Call' character poster

While the 2016 reboot Answer the Call is a reviled film that many fans pretend doesn’t exist, Sony Pictures may not be done with it just yet. With Multiverses continuing to trend in film , there may be room for some of the film’s characters to return, and there’s nothing stopping that from happening in Frozen Empire or a future Ghostbusters sequel.

We know what you’re thinking — why would Sony risk sabotaging future Ghostbusters films by associating the main timeline with that of the reboot? Well, stranger things have happened in other franchises. That said, the 2016 film has some salvageable parts , with Kristen Wiig’s Erin Gilbert and Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann wielding plenty of potential.

Check out the domestic trailer for Frozen Empire below, per Sony Pictures :

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Trailer Breakdown

Per the official website , here’s the synopsis for the film:

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.

Frozen Empire stars Carrie Coon (Callie Spengler), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), McKenna Grace (Phoebe Spengler), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor Spengler), Celeste O’Connor (Lucky Domingo), Logan Kim (Podcast), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), William Atherton (Walter Peck), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), James Acaster ( Lars Pinfield ), Patton Oswalt ( Dr. Hubert Wartzki ), Kumail Nanjiani (Nadeem Razmaadi), and Emily Alyn Lind in an undisclosed role.

The film will be released in theaters on March 22, 2024.

The firehouse being frozen over in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer

Related:  All the Main Villains in the ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Over on the animated side of the franchise, the first issue in a brand-new, four-part comic book series titled Ghostbusters: Back in Town (2024) from Dark Horse Comics, which bridges the gap between Afterlife and the new film, will be released on March 27, while a  Ghostbusters animated series and a Ghostbusters animated movie are in production.

Here on the live-action side of things, Ghostbusters is expected to return to Universal Studios theme parks , and later this year, the original Ghostbusters will return to theaters in front of a live orchestra.

Which legacy characters would you like to see return in the Ghostbusters franchise? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Screen Rant

Why ghostbusters: frozen empire will be "scary" explained by director.

Director Gil Kenan comments on the tone of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, explaining why there are some genuine scares in the upcoming sequel.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Director Promises Original Characters Are "Integral To This Story"

  • Director Gil Kenan reveals that Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is " scary " but that it still has humor.
  • According to the director, swings in tone between scary and funny help both be more effective.
  • Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will likely be rated PG-13, meaning the sequel won't be delving too far into horror territory.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire director Gil Kenan explains why the upcoming movie has some genuinely " scary " moments. Serving as a sequel to 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife , the upcoming film sees newcomers like Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Mckenna Grace team up with original Ghostbusters cast members like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson to take down a new enemy in New York City. Trailers for the film have teased the arrival of the "death chill" phenomenon and a sinister new villain called Garraka, but they've also confirmed that there will be plenty of jokes.

As the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire release date approaches, Kenan addresses the movie's tone during an interview with SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar ), revealing that there has been a conscious effort to up the scares this time around. The director assures that it won't be all scares, however, and that humor plays just as important a role. Check out Kenan's full explanation regarding why both are crucial below:

"This is a scary Ghostbusters movie, I set out to go for the thrills. As a big-screen experience, I think it’s going to play like a scary, funny movie. The secret is that the scarier a scene is, the funnier the next joke is going to play. That’s the way that the pendulum swings with tone. Twisting that lever to make sure that the scares land is a way of making sure that the jokes are funnier."

How Scary Will Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Actually Be?

Why audiences shouldn't be too worried.

Bill Murray lifting his glasses up as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

So far, trailers have teased that the upcoming movie's antagonist means business. The death chill seems like it will genuinely kill people and wreak havoc across the city, speaking to the movie's higher stakes. Past Ghostbusters movies, however, suggest that the new sequel won't be delving too far into horror territory.

In an early teaser, Aykroyd's Ray Stantz describes how the death chill kills its victims, saying that " your veins turn to rivers of ice, your bones crack, and the last thing you see is your own tear ducts freezing up. "

Every installment in the franchise so far has balanced humor with thrills , with ghostly action usually always accompanied by a quippy line from Murray or a physical gag. The Ghostbusters: Afterlife ending is arguably the biggest deviation from the franchise's tone thus far, with the climax leaning heavily into nostalgia and emotion, playing the original Ghostbusters' return and Egon Spengler's sendoff as an incredibly earnest affair. Judging from the trailers for the upcoming sequel, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will still be mostly consistent with the franchise's overarching tone .

It's worth mentioning, too, that Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is essentially guaranteed to be rated PG-13 . This rating will ensure that nothing too terrifying makes its way on screen in the upcoming film. While there may indeed be some scares in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire , it's likely that these moments will be more truly scary to younger audiences than to those well-versed in the franchise.

Source: SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar )

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire Poster Featuring the Crew Steppingout of Ecto 1 and Facing Ice Creatures in New York

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire continues the story of a new generation of ghost hunters composed of Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Podcast (Logan Kim), who received help from the original team in the previous movie. Paul Rudd returns as Gary Grooberson and franchise co-creator Ivan Reitman returns to write and produce.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Director Explains Why "This is a Scary Ghostbusters Movie"

Although Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will have the franchise's usual brand of humor, fans should be ready for some geniuine scares.

  • Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire delivers old and new - classic cast and humor with fresh scares and thrills.
  • Blend of horror and humor accentuates scares and makes jokes funnier in the movie.
  • PG-13 rating promises thrilling Ghostbusters experience without being too intense for younger fans.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is gearing up to deliver on the success of 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife , with a brand-new adventure that will see the original team of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore back in the fray and taking on a new wave of spooks and specters. With the movie set for its debut next month, director Gil Kenan has promised that the latest addition to the franchise will be both funny and definitely scary, just like the 1984 original.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Following the warm reception of Afterlife , the new installment not only once again reunites the beloved original cast members—Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson—with the fresh faces from the previous film, including Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Mckenna Grace, but it also introduces a chilling new threat to New York City, aptly named the "death chill" alongside a sinister villain, Garraka.

Speaking to SFX Magazine , Kenan explained that this time around there was a conscious effort to deliver those unexpected scares that are all part of the Ghostbusters legacy. While noting that there will still be enough humor to counter the darker moments of the movie, Kenan explained how pivoting from one to the other will be the most important part of the film’s success.

"This is a scary Ghostbusters movie, I set out to go for the thrills. As a big-screen experience, I think it’s going to play like a scary, funny movie. The secret is that the scarier a scene is, the funnier the next joke is going to play. That’s the way that the pendulum swings with tone. Twisting that lever to make sure that the scares land is a way of making sure that the jokes are funnier."

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is Delivering For Long-Term Fans

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire Magazine Close up with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts-1

The trailers for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire have done an excellent job of teasing the comedy and horror of the movie, with the appearance of several chilling – pun intended – spooks being countered by the droll one-liners of Bill Murray’s Venkman. This balance has been a staple of the franchise from its opening library scenes in 1984, with each subsequent installment adeptly mixing ghostly action with memorable one-liners and slapstick humor. Ghostbusters: Afterlife notably leaned into nostalgia and emotion, especially towards the climax, and it seems that Frozen Empire will continue to offer some smile-raising callbacks to the original movie, but will also deliver a new villain and story that also takes cues from The Real Ghostbusters animated series .

Slug, Sandman, and Boogieman from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon show

10 Ghosts from The Real Ghostbusters Cartoon We’d Love to See in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Naturally, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is expected to gain a PG-13 rating, meaning that the scares will not be too much for younger fans of the franchise, but may give them a couple of sleepless nights all the same. However, this is exactly what the Ghostbusters franchise does best, so sticking to that format is almost certainly guaranteeing that the sequel will perform well at the box office, something that is in short supply right now. Exactly how well the movie does is still something that cannot be predicted, but we don’t have too much longer to wait to find out.

Ghostbusters: Fallen Empire will arrive in cinemas on March 22, 2024.

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Ghost-Catching Equipment (D20 Modern Equipment)

From d&d wiki.

In conjunction with the arrival of Shadowkind to Earth, paranormal activity has spiked upwards dramatically. Several organizations have sprung up across the globe that are seemingly devoted to catching ghosts; many are charlatans, but a few are sincere. Adventurers and Shadowkind with knowledge of ghosts and the paranormal may be able to make a very good living off "busting" ghosts, either with their current arsenals or with equipment specially designed for the job by an American scientist.

  • 1 Proton Pack and Proton Pack Mk. II
  • 2 Ghost Trap
  • 3 PKE Meter
  • 4 Ghost Containment System

Proton Pack and Proton Pack Mk. II [ edit ]

Though the jury is still out on how exactly it works, what it does is well-known. The Proton Pack is a backpack-like object with a nozzle attached- it vaguely resembles a flamethrower. In order to be used, it must be powered up first, which takes one attack action. When fired, it emits a stream of charged protons that do significant damage (1d8) to most everything, but it is particularly effective against ghosts. The original version does no damage, but immediately renders the ghost immobile, drags them to a point 20 feet from the user, and allows the user to move them in whatever direction they like. Every turn that a ghost is caught in the beam, the user must make a DC 10 grapple check or lose the ghost. The Mk. II also features the original proton beam, which is useful when a ghost needs to be captured rather than destroyed, but it also has a second setting. This setting simply does 2d8 of damage to whatever ghost it targets, every turn the ghost is in the path of the beam.

Proton Packs of both versions require no ammunition (technically, they have a power pack, but since the half-life of that is 5000 years it's probably not going to require change anytime soon), but must be recharged in a wall socket every 24 hours. Each pack comes with a step-up wire to be plugged in between the pack's plug and the socket- attempting to charge the pack without using this step-up wire will completely destroy the socket.

It is not advised to let two proton beams of any type cross. This is known as "crossing the streams", and doing it will completely end life on the user's current plane. As I said, not advised.

Proton Packs come in several forms, each of which uses a slightly different method to produce the charged protons. The differences are not noticeable, though, and none of them can be bought or sold.

Craft DC: 30 (mechanical). Requirements: 20 Knowledge (technology), 20 Knowledge (physical sciences).

Ghost Trap [ edit ]

A ghost trap is a small (12 inch by 2 inch), boxlike device that can hold captured ghosts. It is fitted with small wheels on the bottom, and can be rolled up to 20 feet away from the user with a move action. It is activated using a foot switch attached by a 22-foot wire to the trap, and activating a trap is an attack action.

An activated ghost trap immediately opens a cone of effect directly upwards for 15 feet. Anything paranormal which is caught in the cone is immediately sucked into the trap and secured there with no possibility of escape. The trap activates for 30 seconds or until shut off with another press of the foot switch.

Ghost traps can hold up to five ghosts in size from Fine to Small, three ghosts in size from Medium to Gigantic, or one Colossal ghost. Traps are reusable, but if full they must either be emptied into a proper containment system (below) or be opened again, which will release the ghost into the environment in an aggressive state. Traps weigh five pounds and are colored in a hazard pattern (alternating yellow and black stripes).

Like proton packs, ghost traps cannot be purchased or sold at any store, though ghost-catching groups may trade or sell such equipment among themselves.

Craft DC: 25 (mechanical). Requirements: 15 Knowledge (technology), 15 Knowledge (arcane lore).

PKE Meter [ edit ]

Most types of paranormal entities give off a type of energy similar to that of psionic emissions. The PKE Meter, which is a Tiny hand-held object about the size of a walkie-talkie, is able to detect these emissions and thus help locate a ghost which has made itself invisible, though it cannot identify the precise source. Use of a PKE Meter requires two hands and one attack action, but adds a +4 to all paranormal-related Spot checks.

PKE Meters cannot be bought or sold at any store, and require D-batteries to work.

Craft DC: 25 (mechanical). Requirements: 20 Knowledge (technology).

Ghost Containment System [ edit ]

A Ghost Containment System is a large-scale version of the Ghost Trap, intended for prolonged containment of paranormal entities. This device is so large that it usually has to be built into a building while the building is being constructed, though with sufficient skill one can be built into an existing structure.

There's no exact template for these systems, but there is always a port for inserting a Ghost Trap to transfer any ghosts in the trap into the system. While there is technically no real limit as to how many ghosts can be held in a GCS, things tend to get dicey if more than two hundred are packed into one at once.

A GCS draws a lot of power, and thus is usually built in a place with ready access to heavy power supplies, such as a large city. Personal generators tend to not provide enough output to run such a system. But, should an occupied GCS be suddenly deprived of power and shut off, any and all ghosts in it will be released in an aggressive state, into a circle about 1000 feet in diameter. Depending on the number of ghosts, the circle of effect may be wider or smaller.

GCS' are, quite obviously, not able to be bought or sold, and making one is not easy.

Craft DC: 30 Craft (mechanical). Requirements: 30 Knowledge (technology), 20 Knowledge (arcane lore), 20 Knowledge (physical sciences).

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Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, and Kristen Wiig in Ghostbusters (2016)

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the other... Read all Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat. Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

  • Katie Dippold
  • Ivan Reitman
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Kristen Wiig
  • Kate McKinnon
  • 2.5K User reviews
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  • 60 Metascore
  • 5 wins & 24 nominations

International Trailer #2

  • Erin Gilbert

Kate McKinnon

  • Jillian Holtzmann

Leslie Jones

  • Patty Tolan

Zach Woods

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Ed Begley Jr.

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Charles Dance

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John Milhiser

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Ben Harris

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Steve Higgins

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Dave Allen

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  • Trivia Although Harold Ramis passed away in 2014 and thus could not make a cameo alongside his fellow castmates, there is a bust of Ramis' head just outside of Erin's university office near the beginning of the film. The bust was later donated to the Harold Ramis Film School at Chicago's Second City, where Ramis began his career.
  • Goofs When you see the second shot of the outside of the Chinese restaurant/Ghostbusters base of operation (right after the subway train encounter), you can see the Ecto in the garage...this is before they even got the car from Patty. However, this mistake was digitally removed for the Blu-ray release.

Patty Tolan : [about Rowan's huge transformation] What part of "small and friendly" did he not understand?

  • Crazy credits In the post-credit scene after the credits are over, you see the girls in their lab. Patty has on a headset and is listening to an audio tape, repeating one section several times. Erin asks if she has something. Patty answers, "What's Zuul?"
  • Alternate versions Extended BluRay version is 2hs 13 mins long.
  • Connections Featured in The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Zooey Deschanel/Kelly Clarkson/Paul Feig/Bonnie Raitt/Stephen 'tWitch' Boss (2016)
  • Soundtracks Ghostbusters Written and Performed by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) Courtesy of Raydio Music Corp.

User reviews 2.5K

  • Dec 14, 2019

Reboots & Remakes

Production art

  • July 15, 2016 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official Site
  • Ghostbusters: Answer the Call
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Columbia Pictures
  • LStar Capital
  • Village Roadshow Pictures
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $144,000,000 (estimated)
  • $128,350,574
  • $46,018,755
  • Jul 17, 2016
  • $229,147,509

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 57 minutes
  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Atmos
  • IMAX 6-Track
  • Dolby Surround 7.1

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