Ghosts ‘n Goblins creator Tokuro Fujiwara recently shared a mind-blowing factoid from the development of Capcom’s fiendishly hard platformer: Arthur’s iconic heart-patterned boxers are actually covered in strawberries. OK, maybe it’s just mind-blowing to me.
“There’s one very important detail I need to share with you that people might not know: the pattern on his underwear is actually strawberries,” Fujiwara told Polygon. “Arthur has this air of ruggedness when he has his armour on, but on the inside, he gets a little fancy and wears his favourite boxers.”
Since Ghosts ‘n Goblins made its arcade debut in 1985, players have widely accepted that Arthur’s underclothes throughout the series were patterned with hearts. But much like the White Mage’s robes in Final Fantasy III, hardware limitations probably contributed to this discrepancy between what the developers intended and what players interpreted on the screen.
Looking back, the tiny, red blobs on Arthur’s boxers could be just about anything, and it’s only in concept art that the strawberry pattern becomes obvious. It certainly didn’t help that Capcom used heart boxers in 2001’s Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, a spiritual successor to the classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, and its 2003 sequel Maximo vs. Army of Zin.
Funnily enough, the truth has been out there for some time. Arthur’s bio in both Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 from 2011 mention “strawberry-print boxer shorts.” They can even be seen during gameplay after his Golden Armour super runs out, but those games are probably a little too chaotic to be paying close attention to something so minor.
“However, his underwear isn’t simply just something that he likes to wear,” Fujiwara explained during his Polygon interview. “It was actually a gift from the princess and acts as a ‘charm’ to protect Arthur in battle. It’s probably safe to say the strawberry design was something the princess was fond of.”
Oh, and in case you were wondering, there’s no question that Arthur’s boxers are patterned with strawberries in Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, a storybook-style remaster of the 1985 original launching on Switch on February 25. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought of them as hearts for so long that I’m not sure what to make of the truth. If you need to talk, I’m here.