Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Douchuu from Konami is the world's first hybrid brawler/RPG. It stars the folk hero Goemon, who's a noble thief. You explore an open map, talk to NPC's, and buy items. When you hit the streets, the game becomes an incredibly simple beat 'em up. This game never left Japan although some of its sequels were brought over under the "Mystical Ninja" moniker.
This game was also released on the MSX, one of Konami's favorite systems.
Ganbare Goemon would later make an appearance in Konami's Wai Wai World on the Famicom.
I'm not crazy about the original Goemon. You only fight two enemies at once, and most of the time it's with a projectile. The stages focus on finding surprisingly well-hidden items rather than combat, and there are no bosses. The graphics have a little personality but are otherwise unappealing.