In 1984, the ghosts started plaguing the city, being the first sign of Mandala working, and thus the sign of Gozer's coming. First, the two minions Zuul and Vinz Clortho were sent ahead to choose their appropriate bodies to possess, and together they would open the gate to release their master in New York. Peter discovered that Dana was being possessed by Zuul, and Egon and Janine were successfully able to hold Louis; who was possessed by Vinz Clortho. During this time, a man named Walter Peck switched off the Containment Unit, releasing all the captured ghosts which started to roam around, waiting for Gozer. Unfortunately for the Ghostbusters, Vinz was able to successfully escape and locate Zuul. Though the Ghostbusters were able to make it to the building, they were too late to stop Zuul and Vinz from completing their ritual and summoning forth Gozer, transforming the bodies of Dana Barrett and Louis Tully to the Terror Dog forms of their possessors in the process.
Gozer appeared out of the Temple of Gozer in the form of a female covered in strange slime-like clothes. The Ghostbusters (specifically Peter) sent Ray in to confront Gozer first, to which Ray ordered Gozer to cease all supernatural activity. Gozer asked Ray if he was a god, then started blasting the Ghostbusters when he said no. The Ghostbusters attempted to blast Gozer, but their streams were deflected. The "nimble, little minx" then vanished, causing the Ghostbusters to think they had won. But then Gozer demanded that the Ghostbusters "Choose the form of The Destructor!" - the form Gozer would assume to destroy them with. While Winston, Egon, and Peter were able to clear their minds, Ray accidentally thought of something, "...something that could never, ever possibly destroy us! Mr. Stay Puft!". But Gozer took this form and attacked the Ghostbusters as a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
While the Ghostbusters burned some of Gozer's new form with their beams, it wouldn't hold the creature back for very long. The Ghostbusters then crossed the streams and forced the gate closed, causing the entire top of the building to be consumed in a powerful explosion, incinerating the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and banishing Gozer back to its hellish realm. Zuul and Vinz Clortho went with Gozer and Dana and Louis were reverted to their human forms. Though the Ghostbusters had saved the city, the destruction that they caused got them kicked out of business.