The Let's Play Archive

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

by Haifisch

Part 1: Dead.

(Music: Prologue ~ The Beginning of the "Night")

???: Welcome to the Ghost World, the land of the dead.
: (A voice in my head?!) Who are you?!
???: No time for introductions now. You have to save her! I know you can do it! All you have to do is use your powers.
: Huh? (Me? Save her? Uh, how?)
Get buckled in kids, because this first update is basically a massive tutorial with a few unanswered questions sprinkled in.
???: Take a look at your corpse.

: A core...? (Hmm. Just looks like a railroad crossing gate to me.)
???: Look, the best way to understand it is just to try it.

And now we get a brief tutorial on jumping from core to core - you just drag your soul from one core to the other. Pretty simple stuff. Once that's dealt with...

: What? But how?
???: In a moment, time will start to flow normally again. That will be your chance. Listen, when the man pulls the trigger, the woman dies, right? So before that happens, you have to use your powers to stop it!
: H-hey! Wait a second! I still don't know what you're talking about!
???: Heh heh. You'll see. You'll see. Now, then. Time will start to flow again...

At this point, a button pops up. Press it, and...


...we flip the gate up and knock the gun out of the assassin's hands. Alas, the redhead's escape is cut short by the fact that she doesn't run away very quickly.

: Uh, what just happened?
???: That was one of your powers at work, a "ghost trick."
: You mean, I made that crossing gate move?
???: That's right. You manipulated that object with a power of the dead, a ghost trick. And all you have to do to perform a trick like that is touch the button. Now the woman's fate has changed! Albeit, just a little...
: Yeah. She still kind of has a gun pointed at her...
???: Yes. Hmm...that's not good, is it? But at least now you're starting to figure out how to use your powers.

And then we go back to the ghost world to try to find a different core.

Our range isn't infinite - the core of that wrecking ball is just out of reach. Many of the puzzles in this game involve figuring out how to get from one place to another given your limited range, but this isn't one of them. Instead, we have to settle for possessing that guitar.

???: I see....a guitar then, is it? Ahem.

: I would have preferred that giant wrecking ball--that would solve the problem real quick, I bet! But I guess I can't reach cores that are too far away.
???: Well, I guess we'll see what you can do with that guitar. Let's set time in motion again and find out.

Playing the guitar with startles Mr. Blueskin, and...

The redhead gets to escape(again) and get caught(again).

: Hmm. Looks like I'm gonna have to come up with something more. Let's see. What core is close enough to possess from here? I guess all there me.
???: I like your attitude. It's admirable, truly. But...
: But what? If I can manipulate objects...then I oughta be able to manipulate my own corpse, right?
???: Well...tell you what. Why don't you just try it and see? Go ahead and possess your corpse.
(after doing that) ???: All right. Now we'll set time in motion.


If ghosts could move their own corpses around that easily, then dying wouldn't be a very big deal, now would it?

???: Exactly. Sad but true, I'm can only manipulate non-living things. Corpses, even if they aren't really alive anymore, aren't really just ordinary "things."
: You gotta be kidding! Wait, what about the woman?! What's happening to her?!
???: Let's take a look, shall we?

Sliding the screen back to the action shows that things are going...poorly...for the redheaded woman.

: Two things are looking pretty dim right now. My eyesight...and your future!

Welp. Oh well, surely she wasn't that important, right?

Then a phone rings.

Payphones? When is this, 1950?

The assassin goes to answer the phone, and on his way there...

Well, that was rude.

: I'm on my way.

: In the end, it looks like her fate remains unchanged. So what good are these "ghost tricks" of mine? But just as I was thinking this...

(Music: Ray ~ A Beam of Light)

: Not very well, I imagine. A terrible tragedy, what happened tonight...
: ......
: Ah, ignoring me, are you? It's a little too early for you to be so stiff and cold, I'd say.
: Ah, so it was you. You were that voice in my head, right?

Yes, the mystery voice was a goddamned lamp.

: Well, I wouldn't say "voice," exactly. The dead don't have voices, you see. It's more like my thoughts were being beamed directly into your mind. That's another little "trick" ghosts can do.
: It looks like my ghost tricks didn't do much good...

:That's true. For now.
: "For now"?
: I still have more to teach you about the powers of the dead -- your "ghost tricks".
: Who exactly are you, anyway?
: Before I answer that, I think we should save this young lady.

: But what can I do? She's already dead.
: Time for more ghost lessons for you, my friend. First of all, I'll have you possess me.
: Possess you, eh?
: Once you've done that, I'll tell you about another one of your powers.

And with that, it's...

That bubble with the X's in it is a thought bubble. Touch it, and...

A conversation will start. In this case, it's just the lamp telling you how they work, and reaffirming the fact that the dead only communicate through thoughts.

Then we're told how to use the button to get back into the ghost world.

Figuring out how to take roundabout routes to cores just out of your reach is a staple of this game's puzzles. In this case, we go up to the cot that's above us, and...

The lamp points out that the top screen shows what, if anything, we can do with the object we're currently possessing. In this case...

...we can unfold the cot, which puts us within reach of the lamp. If only all the puzzles in the game were this simple.

: Huh, that's funny...
: What is?
: My corpse and her corpse...

: That's're special.
: What's that supposed to mean?
: Not everybody who dies gets special powers, you know.
: (So those waves are because of my "powers of the dead", eh?)
: Anyway...congratulations. You passed.
I wasn't aware that this was a test, but eh, who's counting.
: Well, what do you know. What prize do I get?
: A new power. What else?
: Another one?
: Now, let's review. You can possess objects and manipulate them, right? Now what do you suppose will happen if you possess a corpse?

: True, you don't have the ability to manipulate a corpse. However...

: Oh yeah? What's that?
: Why don't you try it and see?

This may well be the shortest Trick Time in the game, because all you do is go possess the woman's corpse.

But possessing her corpse causes happen.

(Music: The World of the Dead)

: Can you hear me?
: ......
: Wait a minute. What's going on here?

: It looks like she's unconcious, poor thing.
: Unconcious? But she's dead.
: Yes, but think back. Remember when you died? When you came to your senses, you'd been unconscious too.

: And while she's resting, we can save her life.
: Oh sure, you make it sound so easy.
: And it IS easy. When you use your powers on a can go back to the past, to a time four minutes before that person's death.
: Are you serious?! Back through time?!
: That's right, but there's a catch. It only works on "new corpses", corpses that have been dead for less than one day. And she's still well within that limit. You might want to give it a try, before it's too late.
: But this is crazy! None of it makes any sense!

: Now, then. Let's go, shall we? To the time four minutes before this woman was murdered!
: H-hey! Wait a second! I still don't know what you're talking about!
: Heh heh. You'll see, you'll see.

Time traveling ghosts. Just go along with it, it'll make your life easier.