Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
|Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective|
North American box art
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (ゴースト トリック Gōsuto Torikku ) is an adventure game developed by Capcom for the Nintendo DS and iOS. Ghost Trick's story centers on the protagonist Sissel, and his ghost's struggle to discover who he was when he was alive and who killed him. The player assumes the role of this ghost, who has the ability to perform various Ghost Tricks to solve puzzles and navigate the world around him.
The lead development was handled by Shu Takumi, creator of the Ace Attorney franchise. The game is published by Capcom and was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan on June 19, 2010, in North America on January 11, 2011, and in Europe on January 14, 2011. A version for iOS was released in Japan on December 16, 2010 and the rest of the world on February 2, 2012.
Ghost Trick is an adventure game where players control Sissel, a ghost that must use his powers to save lives. During gameplay segments, players can swap between the Land of the Living, where time flows naturally, and the Ghost World, in which time is stopped, at will. In the Ghost World, Sissel can travel between objects within a certain radius. These objects are represented by blue cores, and in the Land of the Living, Sissel can animate these objects to perform actions, known as "Ghost Tricks", that open new paths or influence the characters around him. For example, moving a tray of donuts will prompt a character to change where he/she is currently seated, as well as giving Sissel access to new areas.
Much of the plot is driven by Sissel's ability to possess corpses. When he does this, he can return to the time four minutes before the corpse's death. In these four minutes, Sissel can attempt to use his Ghost Tricks to alter the situation, and ultimately change the future by saving the persons life. He can also communicate with the ghost of whoever he is saving, but only if the ghost is conscious. If the player fails to save the victim in time, he may choose to go back to the beginning of the four minutes, or return to a checkpoint created when the player manages to alter fate a little. Later in the game, players can switch control to Missile, the ghost of a small dog. Missile's spirit has a longer reach than Sissel, and has the ability to swap the position of two objects that are of the same shape. The majority of Ghost Trick's gameplay segments consist of the puzzles that make up these scenarios.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2013)|
Sissel, the spirit of a recent murder victim, wakes without memories. His only lead is a young detective, Lynne, killed by an assassin. Ray, another spirit, explains their "Ghost Tricks". They can possess inanimate objects, and travel four minutes before a person's death and alter their fate.
Using these tricks, Sissel rescues Lynne, who was investigating something big happening this night, and suspected of murder. Ray warned him his soul will disappear come dawn, so Sissel teams up with Lynne. Sissel continues to save Lynne several times, along with Missile, a dog. Eventually, security-cam footage shows Lynne seems to kill him. He continues to help her out anyway. Lynne asks Sissel to help Jowd, a detective put on death row after an incident concerning his daughter Kamila led to the death of his wife.
Sissel delays Jowd's execution. Jowd's daughter Kamila was kidnapped by the organization that targeted Lynne and arranged for Jowd's execution. They also learn of a "manipulator", who allegedly caused the death of Kamila's mother. While saving people and rescuing Kamila, Sissel meets Missile again. Missile died again but used the Ghost Trick of swapping similarly-shaped objects, and helps rescue Kamila. They find Sissel's apparent body walking around, also with Ghost Tricks. This new body took Lynne hostage ten years ago while escaping from Jowd, but was killed by a strange meteorite shard radiation that bestows Ghost Tricks, his being to manipulate living beings.
Sissel, Missile, Jowd and Lynne go to a submarine where the mysterious man tries to possess Kamila and attack Lynne, but is betrayed by Sith. The organization leader steals the meteorite inside his body and tries to sink the submarine with everyone in it. After getting Lynne and Kamila to safety, Sissel once again encounters the manipulator, now known as Yomiel.
Yomiel wanted revenge. He was suspected of being a spy, and arrested by Jowd, but he took Lynne hostage and escaped. When the meteorite hit, a shard lodged in his body, killing him and giving him Ghost Tricks. He went to the morgue where his body was being kept, only to find that his lover had committed suicide to be with him. He possessed his body and swore to get revenge, making a deal with the organization (giving them the meteor fragment in exchange), manipulating Kamila's machine to kill her mother, and framing Lynne by possessing her body to shoot his.
Refusing to give up, Sissel and Missile ride a torpedo to an escape pod where they find Jowd and Yomiel dead. They travel back 10 years to the four minutes before Yomiel's death. The three combine Ghost Tricks to stop Yomiel from being killed by the meteorite, thus rewriting everyone's future.
Sissel is revealed to be Yomiel's pet cat, named after Yomiel's fiancée. He was possessed by Yomiel after the meteorite hit, and later became his pet. However, when Yomiel manipulated Lynne to shoot at him, Lynne resisted and the bullet missed Yomiel and hit Sissel instead. The second bullet hit Yomiel, but Sissel's spirit could not see his body in the cat carrier, so he believed that Yomiel's body was his.
Ray also appears and reveals himself to be an older version of Missile from an alternate future in which he was unable to change anyone's fate, but managed to travel back in time and teach Sissel about his Ghost Tricks in order to set things right. He also reveals that he lied about "disappearing by dawn" so that Sissel would solve the mystery in one night, before Yomiel was to be trapped at the bottom of the sea, at which point it would have been impossible to reach Yomiel and stop his death.
Sissel returns to a new present, in which he is a happy cat living with Jowd's family, but still is a kitten and has Ghost Tricks due to the meteor fragment from 10 years embedded in him after Yomiel's fate was changed, and is soon reunited with Lynne, while Yomiel finishes his prison sentence, going back to his fiancée.
Development was handled by the creator of the Ace Attorney series, Shu Takumi. "I first thought of this idea about five years ago," Takumi told Famitsu magazine. "We were working on the third Ace Attorney and figured it was time to start thinking about the next thing. So I came up with a plan to make a new type of mystery, something different in style from Ace Attorney." The game was originally titled as "Ghost Spy", and was later renamed as "Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective". Following a release on NDSL in Japan on December 2010, the iOS version was released for the rest of the world on February 2, 2012. The first two chapters are available for free, with additional chapters costing extra.
In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine in 2013, Takumi said that he'd love to make a crossover video game between Ghost Trick and his other series, Ace Attorney, speculating that Phoenix Wright could be killed, while his killer would be prosecuted by Sissel.
Ghost Trick was the second best-selling video game in Japan during its release week at 24,000 copies. It dropped to number nine the following week with an additional 20,000 copies sold, and then to number 22 for its third week. Capcom has listed the game as a contributor to the low sales of its first quarter of its 2010 fiscal year. Results from a poll conducted by Dengeki showed that Japanese gamers found Ghost Trick to be the 13th most interesting game for the first half of 2010.
Ghost Trick has received mostly positive reviews, with an average score of 9.0 out of 10 on GameStats, an average score of 85% on GameRankings, and a current Metascore of 83 out of 100. 1UP.com editor Justin Haywald rated the game an A, praising Ghost Trick's puzzles and story. But he points out that, "The concept is novel and fun, though you might feel occasionally frustrated by the trial-and-error process to get at a solution." Ultimately, the story's quick "concise plotting and entertaining puzzles" helped elevate the overall experience. Famitsu gave the game a score of 34 out of 40. IGN gave the game a score of 8.5 and an Editor's Choice award, praising the game's mechanics and animation, although notes that it "gets a little wordy sometimes." GamesRadar gave the game 8 out of 10, praising the gameplay and characters while criticising some trial-and-error and some frustrating puzzles. GameTrailers gave the game a score of 8.5 out of 10. GameSpot gave the game a score of 9.0 out of 10, praising unique gameplay and memorable characters.
The game was nominated for Best DS Game of E3 2010 by GameTrailers, though lost to another Capcom game, Ōkamiden. GameSpot gave Ghost Trick the awards for "Best Handheld Game" and "Best Game No One Played," while also nominating it for the "Best Puzzle Game" and "Game of the Year" categories. The game also won the award for "Best Nintendo DS Game" of 2011 from GameTrailers. Ghost Trick has also been nominated for an Annie Award in the "Best Animated Video Game" category, alongside another adventure game Catherine. GamesRadar included Ghost Trick in its list of the top 25 Nintendo DS games of all time. GameTrailers nominated Ghost Trick for the "Best Story" award. GameZone gave it the "Nintendo DS Game of the Year" award.
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- Official website (Japanese)
- Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective at iTunes Preview (Japanese)
- CAPCOM-Unity page