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Video Game: Geist

A 2005 First-Person Shooter developed for the Nintendo Gamecube by n-Space. Geist is the story of John Raimi, a scientist hired by a counter-terrorism unit to help them investigate a biochemical corporation. They have good reason to be suspicious. The Volks Corporation has apparently been developing chemical weaponry, according to information gathered by the unit's inside man (and Raimi's mentor). But even this is far from the truth, as one of the soldiers seemingly kills the rest of the team against his will, and Raimi awakens to discover that he is now a ghost, and the only way to survive and discover the truth is to possess others...

This game is hardly your stereotypical FPS. While the gameplay never leaves the first-person perspective except for cutscenes, the gameplay varies widely from sequence to sequence. Some areas demand standard shooting and platforming skills, while others take the form of puzzles and resource management.

Critical reception was fair to good, as critics praised the concept but not the execution. The graphics were greatly outdated (resembling Nintendo 64 graphics more than anything else), the game didn't give the player any alternate solutions to its puzzles, and the like. A playthrough can be found here.

Not to be confused with MD Geist, which is a So Bad, It's Good OVA from the 1980s. Also not to be confused with the New World of Darkness game, Geist: The Sin-Eaters.


This game provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Most of Volk's staff appear to be nice people who genuinely care about each other.
Remember, Friday is Hawaiian shirt day!
  • Air-Vent Passageway: You're a dog that appears to be a boxer at the time, and you still have to crouch to get through. No one notices barking or paws clicking.
  • American Accents: Dixie, Military Basic, Midwestern and Tidewater all seem to appear despite being set in France.
  • Bad Boss: Rourke being cruel, dumb and neglectful seems to have missed out on all the damage you caused throughout the game according to a few security officers you can talk to.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Or rather, a ghost possessed bed sheet.
  • Big Bad: Alexander Volks.
  • Body Surf: The central concept of the game.
  • Boss Bonanza: In the final level, Raimi fights two giant statues, Alexander Volks and the demon who is possessing him. One after another in a row.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The turret guns and the prototype weapons in the main single player mode.
  • Bullet Time: Being a bodiless ghost naturally slows time down; there are also battlesuits that can temporarily produce the same effect.
  • Convection Schmocvection: Averted, both with fire and with smoke.
  • Creepy Child: Gigi.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Watch those jumps you cannot duplicate, watch those weapons do a lot less damage when you finally get to use them!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Raimi is a Heroic Mime, but descriptions of his surroundings, archived here, reveal that he makes some snide observations. "This is where all of the important faxes come to the morgue", "This [gurney in a morgue] must have been difficult to get down the stairs. At least the passengers don't mind the bumpy ride", "Thanks for the pants" [to a dead guard whose pants he stole] are the most notable.
  • Dead to Begin With: Well, after one level...
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If the host Raimi is currently possessing has the life meter depleted, and is an expendable host, Raimi's soul simply leaves the body so he can look for another one. But if the deceased host is key for the mission, or no more hosts remain, then it's a definitive Game Over.
  • Demonic Invaders: Behind your human antagonists is a demon and in fighting them you let more crossover. They have apparently invaded the world in the past too, based on the first one's dialog.
  • Escort Mission: A bizarre one; you help a friend escape by possessing any and all useful objects in the vicinity, including the escape vehicle. Before that happens there's a more standard escort mission, but fortunately the unarmed Bryson is too weak to run out ahead of you and the enemies don't really focus on him.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog Dogs can tell if you're possessing a soldier, and will bark. This sets off the alarm and causes every soldier nearby to start shooting at you immediately.
  • Faux Action Girl: Anna is an average nurse who only turns into a gun-toting Action Girl because you are possessing her at the time. After you leave her, she keeps the outfit and weapon, but not the competence.
  • First-Person Ghost: Perhaps because of the obvious pun, single player only partially uses the trope by containing a full model of your current form in the corner, to give you an idea of what your actions look like to anyone who may see you.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The game perpetually oscillates through first-person shooter, survival horror, puzzle and action-adventure. This is justified by the game's premise (spiritual possession), as the gameplay mechanics can change according to the current host character.
  • Gender Bender: You possess several women.
  • Grand Theft Me: It reaches the point where ghosts try to kill you by inhabiting your body and killing yourself.
  • Hacked by a Pirate: Ghost Raimi can possess a computer and cause it to flash the skull-and-crossbones, pretending to be a virus to scare a technician.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Few named characters will be wearing any and none of them will be full faced.
  • Heroic Mime: Raimi is completely silent throughout, even when possessing humans and trying to convince a friend it's really him. For that matter, so are all the other ghosts made at Volks except for Gigi. So this might be a Justified Trope as a side-effect of being separated from the body. Also, might be an unintentional Downer Ending in that even after Raimi recovers his body he doesn't speak, so he might not be able to do so again.
    • Although for that matter, he says nothing in the beginning, and he speaks twice late in the game, as a parrot and an animal trainer. The separation process rendering ghosts mute makes a lot more sense, all things considered.
  • Hospital Hottie: Anna. Damn.
  • Infernal Paradise The antagonist's plans for Earth.
  • Informed Ability: Raimi's supposed to have knowledge on chemical and biological warfare. A scientist. But descriptions have him looking at control panels and thinking "Hmm... looks complicated", and finding equations incomprehensible.
  • Immune to Bullets: Ghosts
  • Improvised Armor: One monster covers itself in random bits of debris after its shell is broken.
  • Just Eat Him: One boss swallows one of your allies whole, but spits him back up later.
  • Justified Tutorial: A computer specifically designed to train new ghosts.
  • Last Name Basis:
    • No one but Bryson calls you John.
    • Likewise, Gigi (and the Demon Lord, for a brief moment at the beginning of Chapter 5) are the only two people who call Volks "Alexander". The former makes a little more sense, given that he's her brother.
  • Living Statue: Two serve as the last boss before the fights with Volks and the Demon Lord.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Possessing some characters results in subconscious desires and aversions that the player doesn't share.
  • Mini-Game: Among other examples, one area can only be passed after a literally riveting action sequence.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Trying to keep Bryson from being hit by the separation procedure and possibly driven mad, Raimi destroys the machinery that's keeping the rift stable. This does result in Bryson being taken down and sent to the medical wing, but it also means that a huge incorporeal demon can pass through and start making everything worse. Though it can't be solely blamed on Raimi - after the machinery was destroyed, one of the technicians insisted that the rift be closed down lest something escape, but Rourke orders it forced wide open, and when he gets argued with, he gives the engineer a present from his gun to the head to convince the other engineer to open it.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: For a game with a fundamental point of scaring people to control random guards, there is only one direction you can ever go in any given situation whatsoever, going back is never an option, as the game will never let you reopen some doors, not that there's a thing to find besides multiplayer content and life upgrades (that come with extra story details) anyways.
  • Not Quite Flight: Your ghost form can float a little but not really fly until the end of the game.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: In an odd variant, you possess his missiles and guide them back manually.
  • Railroading: One of the game's biggest faults is the limited amount of freedom given in progressing through the game.
  • Recurring Boss: The first one, will be the one you see the most.
  • Replay Mode: The game allows the player to replay the chapters of the game after its completion.
  • Run Don't Walk: You probably will not be releasing that L button very much.
  • Shout-Out: John Raimi.
  • Spirit Advisor: Gigi.
  • Splash Damage: In multiplayer, using this on themselves is a common tactic hosts use to get rid of ghosts.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Rats and cheese.
  • The Social Darwinist: Volk's demon, to the point it is disgusted by the idea of peaceful resolution.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Repeatedly, up to and including a space shooter.
  • Very High Velocity Rounds: Averted for the player, too bad for you. Your enemies only use them in one section of story mode though.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: As usual it has a good damage output but a pathetic range. It does have a longer range secondary fire, that is shared with two other weapons found in the same area. Better than most video game flamethrowers but still much worse than a real one.
  • Voice of the Legion: Volks gets a bit of this in his speech at the end of Chapter 7.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Half of a level is spent setting up a situation where you can take advantage of The Dragon's fear of dogs.

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alternative title(s): Geist
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