Ganbare Goemon (がんばれゴエモン, “Go for it, Goemon!”), known as Goemon and Mystical Ninja internationally, is a video game series created and produced by Konami. Etsunobu Ebisu is the joint producer of the franchise.
These games revolve around the main character, Goemon, and his exploits. His character is loosely based on Ishikawa Goemon, the noble thief of Japanese folklore. While the early games of emphasized Goemon as a noble thief, he eventually becomes more of a standard video game hero character. His trademarks are his blue bushy hair and weapon of choice, the kiseru. The games are set in a cartoon-like, mystical Feudal Japan, with many references to Japanese folklore. Although the series has its roots in action adventure, the Ganbare Goemon series has features from genres including role-playing, puzzle video games, and board games. Ganbare Goemon is popular in Japan. The series consists of video games, with its success spawning a wide series of merchandise and an anime and manga series.
Konami has generally regarded the Goemon games as too specific to the Japanese market to be released worldwide. However, five of them have been released overseas: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for the Super NES, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and Goemon’s Great Adventure for the Nintendo 64 and two titles for the Game Boy.
In 2002-2003, a mobile phone was released for the titled Ganbare Goemon: Tsūkai Game Apli series.
The latest original game of the series was Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengu ri Kaeshi no Maki, released in Japan for the Nintendo DS in 2005. Since then, the series has been used primarily as themes for Konami’s pachislot machines.