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Video Game: Ghost Trick
Now, I'm not the kind of guy who can just stand back and watch a poor woman get shot...
But I have just one little problem...

I'm already dead myself.
Sissel (opening monologue)

An adventure game from the minds behind the Ace Attorney series for the Nintendo DS.

In an abandoned junkyard, a ghost wakes up to see a blue-faced assassin training a gun on a young girl. Between them is a red-clad corpse which he identifies as himself. Realizing he can still manipulate the environment even as a ghost, he stops the assassin and teams up with the girl to try and recover his memories and find out why he was killed. However, he only has until the next sunrise to solve this mystery, or else he will completely cease to exist.

The game is focused on solving a variety of puzzles in order to prevent events from happening and save the people around Sissel (the ghost), while working to uncover the truth behind his death. It was released on January 11th, 2011 in the U.S. and on January 14th, 2011 in Europe under the name "Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective".

It is also now available for iOS on the iTunes Store; the free download includes the first two chapters, with the rest of the story locked behind purchases (either divided into three batches of chapters for $5 apiece, or the entire game for $10).

A word of warning: after a certain point, this game can be described as a pile of plot twists, so if you're reading this page but want to remain unspoiled, please step lightly.

Here's the English demo if anybody's interested. (Click the "Demo" button near the top.)

Tropes used in Ghost Trick include:

  • Aborted Arc: Beauty is introduced as someone who can sense Sissel's presence, and in her second scene she actually speaks to him, implying that she'll be an active antagonist. But that's the last time her said ability is ever mentioned, and she never appears again until the epilogue (which happens in a new timeline).
  • Aerith and Bob: Characters with names like Sissel, Memry, and Yomiel coexist alongside characters named Lynne, Emma, and Bailey. Jowd and Cabanela could also count, but it's possible that those are their last names instead.
  • The Alcatraz: The "Special Prison" for suspected ghost-possessed criminals.
  • Alternate Timeline: In a small way, what happens whenever Sissel goes back in time and averts someone's fate.
    • In the storyline at large there are three: The first one is what happens when the important characters die because Missile lacks the needed ghost tricks and Sissel refuses to assist him, too preoccupied with his own quest for identity. The second one occurs when the first timeline's Missile-Prime goes back 10 years via Yomiel's body and takes The Slow Path to the present, then, under the guise of Ray, making Sissel think he's Yomiel to trick him into saving Lynne and everyone else. The third one happens when Sissel, second-timeline Missile, Yomiel, and Detective Jowd save Yomiel from dying via Temsik shard in Temsik Park 10 years ago, preventing his Start of Darkness and the chain of events that lead to people dying.
  • Always Close: Completing some puzzles long before your time runs out still has you averting fate in this way despite the cause of death not arriving for another minute or so. The earliest this happens is when you save Missile. Many other puzzles can only be solved in the final seconds "until death".
    • It gets pretty ridiculous, considering that the way to prevent quite a few deaths is to wait until the absolute final milliseconds before a person's death, usually to swap a bullet that's hanging in midair centimetres from the victim's face. Fortunately, the player doesn't have to time these, as the game pauses automatically at the crucial moment.
  • Always Murder: Subverted. Although the first few deaths are murders, there's a fair share of accidents as well, including one case where the deceased died of a panic-induced heart attack.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The "foreigners" are identifiable by their blue skin.
    • Including the blue medical examiner, though you don't get confirmation until later in the game.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: When Lynne's portrait is facing left, her badge is on the left side of her shirt. When she's facing right, it magically migrates to the right side. Emma also switches which hand she holds her glass in when she turns around.
    • It gets especially obvious with Jowd. The blue and red paint-stains on his shirt switch places!
    • Characters holding items (like the night-visions guards or the minister's wife) always have their items facing the viewer. Oddly, however, there are animations that show them changing hands whenever they turn around.
    • Beauty, interestingly, is a subversion, as her hair is always in the correct place regardless of which direction she's facing.
  • An Aesop: Be good to your pets, and they'll be good to you.
  • Analogy Backfire: Sissel being instructed to possess a water nozzle and to "spray like your life depended on it!"
    Sissel: Uh, I'm dead, though...
    Yomiel: In that case... Make it spray as though your death depended on it!
  • Angst Aversion: In-universe example. While the justice minister doesn't become important until halfway through the game, Sissel can visit him at any point starting with the second chapter. Doing so results in Sissel listening to the man's self-loathing rants. At least twice, Sissel immediately desires to leave.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Ghosts can become these by manipulating inanimate objects.
  • Anime Hair: This is a creation of the same guy behind the Ace Attorney series, after all, though special mention must go to Emma, whose rosebud-shaped hair blooms whenever she gets mad. Also, how the HELL does Beauty's hair even work?! Seriously, just look at it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Considering Sissel starts off dead and most of the gameplay involves changing fate to save lives... yeah. A few even end up dying multiple times in the same evening, and one in particular dies five times over the course of one night, to the point the characters actually make jokes about it.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lynne doesn't believe in Beauty having a supernatural sixth sense, despite being a ghost at the time.
    Lynne: I don't believe in a "sixth sense". It's not scientific.
    Sissel: (...says the ghost.)
  • Arms And Armor Theme Naming: In Japanese, Kamila's name is Kanon, while her dog is named Missile. Ironic, since they're two of the sweetest and weakest people in the game until Missile dies and Takes A Level In Badass, at which point he's just one of the sweetest.
  • Aside Glance: Those talking directly (usually Lynne) to Sissel may look toward the player in order to speak to him. This is used to full effect in the case of those who know about the Powers of the Dead that you haven't reached out to.
  • The Atoner: Yomiel becomes one of these after he gives up his quest for revenge.
    • Many of the characters are these. Cabanela because his recklessness gave Yomiel a gun, which he used to escape custody. Jowd because he forced Yomiel into a corner, so he took Lynne hostage. And Kamila has a few shades of this since she built a device that ultimately killed her mother.
  • Back for the Dead: Although it seems like Missile will simply be a minor character, he comes back...just to die. Of course, this serves an important purpose, as he now has the Ghost Swap power to aid Sissel with.
  • Bad Future: What happens if Sissel doesn't save anyone. Ray hails from this timeline.
  • Badass Adorable: Missile. And Sissel.
  • Badass Boast: "I'm a top Pomeranian, you know!"
  • Batman Gambit: The ending reveals that Missile-Prime tricked Sissel into thinking he was the blond-haired man in red, as well as telling him that he would cease to exist after dawn. This misdirection causes Sissel to save Lynne and the others as leads to his identity, and eventually bond with them.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Jowd, when Sissel tries to erase his death. Granted, the guy wanted to die, but he doesn't have to be such a smartass about it.
    • The justice minister also has shades of this. Sissel even lampshades the latter.
    Minister: Maybe if you give him the water first he'll feel a little better.
    Sissel: (Wait, did he just say something constructive?)
  • Benevolent Architecture: The key to success is to make sure that inanimate objects come within three feet of each other. They often do. And sometimes other people help you with it, typically without knowing.
  • Big Bad: The Manipulator (AKA, Yomiel, Sissel's pet owner)
    • Bigger Bad: While it's nowhere near sentient, the Temsik Meteor is the cause of Yomiel's revenge scheme.
  • Big Good: It's technically Ray/Missile. A very effective one in the end.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The leader of the foreigners, aptly nicknamed "Eyebrowed Villain" by Sissel.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Yomiel, before his Heel-Face Turn. Also, Beauty and her sidekick, Dandy. Averted with Sissel, though as a cat, his hair is actually black.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Every death in the game, except the heart attack.
  • Book Ends: Sissel trying to hurl his body around the junkyard, with no results. Yomiel tries it in the climax, and succeeds.
    • The very first AND very last thing Missile is seen to do with his ghost powers is swap the park's heavy mascot with something else in mid-fall.
  • Break the Cutie: Defied. Sissel refuses to let a young Lynne die in the process of averting Yomiel's death, all to keep her from being traumatized.
  • Broken Pedestal: Cabanela for Lynne until this is subverted, revealing that Cabanela is actually keeping his spotless record in order to save Jowd. Logically, Jowd would fit this, except that Lynne doesn't believe that he murdered Alma, and rightfully so.
  • Burger Fool: The Chicken Kitchen. The uniforms are camp, yet the restaurant seems unusually expensive.
  • Butterfly of Doom: In some levels, you need to track down one of these and neutralize it to prevent MAJOR disasters. The spying bug in the chicken kitchen chapter is probably the best example.
  • Butt Monkey: Lynne, who dies a total of 5 times! Also the rat, who can't seem to catch a break.
  • Cassandra Truth: Bailey's worries are always right on the money, but never listened to.
  • Cats Are Mean: Sissel Prime was only interested in figuring out his identity, and refused to help Missile Prime save Lynne and Kamila. The second time around, Missile Prime manipulated this self-interest by giving him an artificial deadline which led to the game's Sissel developing a genuine interest in saving the people he meets.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: You don't know about the cat part until the end, but Sissel is quite the Deadpan Snarker.
  • Cats Are Superior: Sissel is a lot smarter than Missile, who often strolls over into Ditz territory. Subverted when a ten-year-older Missile from an Alternate Timeline is revealed to be The Chessmaster.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: Nine lives are saved in the game. (Lynne counts as one, regardless of multiple savings.) Lynne (5 times), Yomiel, Cabanela, Jowd, Pigeon man, Guardian of the Park, Missile, Detective Rindge and Justice Minister.
  • Caught on Tape: The end of Chapter 5 shows a junkyard security camera showing Lynne shooting Sissel. By Chapter 15, we learn that Yomiel intentionally manipulated Lynne into shooting his body in order to frame her for murder by this method.
  • Check Point: Whenever you alter the situation to give yourself more time, you get a new place to fall back to if you screw up (which you inevitably will).
  • Chekhov's Gun: The music box is the most obvious example. However, several "minor" things you see and run into near the beginning take on much more significant meaning as more is revealed. Particularly the Robinson-Goldberg device, Sissel's bag, and "the rock of the gods".
    • Two innocuous-seeming examples: Cabanela's pocket watch, and Sith's grape-peeling machine.
    • The van in the park has shades of this, given that it's possible to see it very early and not recognize its significance. For that matter, the mural/graffiti on Jowd's cell wall probably counts too.
    • Two really subtle examples: the rat (Sissel's general dislike of it, since he's a cat) and the chalkboard in Jowd's cell (cats can't read).
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the order you first see them: Ray, the black cat (which gets vignetted in Chapter 1, but is not commented on), and Pigeon Man.
    • And parodied, with Yomiel revealing that armed government agents constantly patrol Temsik Park. Sissel flashes back to the "Guardian of the Park".
    Sissel: Don't tell me that odd leaflet guy is one of them...?
    Yomiel: No, not him. He's just a plain old odd person.
  • The Chessmaster: "Ray"/Missile-prime.
  • City with No Name: The city the story takes place in isn't named, and the two countries that play into it are simply referred to as "this country" and "that country". See Where The Hell Is Springfield? below.
  • Cloudcuckooland: In some aspects, the country the blue people are from. In any case, they have rather odd applications of technology, like robot arms for feeding one Grapes of Luxury, flipping tables that have phones and fruit on different sides, and robotic manservants.
    • Even lampshaded by Yomiel, Jowd, and even Sith himself very early in the game.
    Servant: I am a remote-controlled robot, detective.
    Jowd: What?!
    (beat)
    Jowd: Your country's use of technology... is just plain "off"!
    Servant: We get that a lot, detective.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bailey, especially when doing the "Panic Dance", which he performs during emergencies but refuses to stop doing after the crisis has passed. Also, the "Guardian of the Park". Oddly, Bailey's outlandish fears almost always turn out right.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Sissel uses the powers of the dead, the world of the dead is red. When Missile uses them, it's green, and when Yomiel uses them, it's blue.
    • In-game example: Cabanela asks if the detective he's talking to over the phone is "the green one or the blue one", based on the suits they were wearing.
    • All the foreigners are blue.
  • Colour Coded Timestop: The above mentioned powers of the dead stop time when active, with the world being tinted in their respective colours. Plus, if you fail to save someone, time stops and a grayscale variation comes up.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After watching a death row officer throw the switch to test a faulty electric chair, causing it to explode before the condemned is even in it.
    Sissel: So this is an execution, huh? It seems to me there's gotta be a safer way to do it...
  • Complete Immortality: The Manipulator, Yomiel, due to being a ghost inhabiting his original body, which is kept from aging, dying, or being wounded by a meteor fragment lodged within it. In the ending, the past is changed so that Sissel ends up in this state instead.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Anything involving the Temsik Meteorite... and Sissel's true death.
    • The best example is when Missile dies the second time because he dies literally in just the right place for the plot to continue. Basically if that hadn't happened exactly where it did, everything would have hit a standstill and everyone would have been screwed.
  • Cool Shades: Sissel, of course. And also Yomiel, whose appearance Sissel accidentally stole.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Near-Sighted Jeego mentions Temsik to Lynne's face in her first scene, but she's too freaked out to remember that detail. If they had, it would have saved everyone about six hours of legwork.
  • Covers Always Lie: You'd know after the ending that that's not Sissel on the boxart. Though if you pay attention to what's actually written, it never claims that the figure on the front of the box is Sissel. Nevertheless, the fact that the bag containing Sissel's body is not behind the body is misleading. In the game itself, it's there (even if hard to see) and this is an important part.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Sissel is forced to do some pretty unfair things to a rat in Chapter 13. In fact, barring one case, you are pretty mean to rats in general. Then again, Sissel is a cat...
    • You're also forced to kill the two hitmen to stop them from killing Lynne early on. Of course, it's in defense of an innocent, and hitmen are Acceptable Targets.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In the apartment, Sissel helps Kamila find a music box she must bring to Lynne by possessing a musical Christmas ornament nearby. She leaves the apartment with it, and Sissel needs to follow her but remains stuck in the apartment. He could have possessed the box... but because of his Laser-Guided Amnesia, he didn't know what it was. You could easily see this coming by noticing the lack of a core to move to on the item.
  • Da Chief: Cabanela's boss, The Chief.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Inspector Cabanela, full stop. Done to comic effect with Bailey's conga-drum "Panic Dance."
  • Darkest Hour: All the principal characters trapped on the sinking submarine.
  • Deadfoot Leadfoot: The cause of Lynne's fourth death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sissel, Jowd, and the Pigeon Man.
    • Also Bailey's partner.
  • Death Activated Superpower: The ghost tricks of course, as it would be rather hard to have powers of the dead without dying. Except Yomiel, where the unique circumstances of his death let him have powers of the dead while still technically being alive.
  • Death from Above: Wrecking balls, crates, chickens, statues, vaults, meteors, footballs...
    • Zig Zagged: Yomiel is struck by a fragment of the Temsik meteor, "killing" him, but then putting his body in a state between life and death. The subversion is in that to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, Yomiel has to be saved from the meteor shard, and when it's deflected towards Detective Jowd, it shoots through his leg. Then it's Double Subverted when Sissel is shown to have been hit by the fragment, making him a literal Schrodinger's cat.
    • Death by Irony: A twist on the above trope. Lynne asks a waitress to hurry it up with her chicken dinner, and is crushed by a giant chicken wing.
    Sissel: Well, it seems you've escaped your fate of being hammered by a horrible hen!
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you run out of time while averting someone's fate, you can just restart from the beginning of that segment or a checkpoint. Amusingly, in-game the characters close to Sissel start to feel this way because they know he can just save them. This also applies in the few cases where you're trying to stop someone from dying in the first place (eg. you're still in the present) since if they do die, Sissel just jumps back four minutes anyways. In fact, there's no such thing as a "permanent" game over you'll need to reload from.
    • However, this is noticeably averted near the end of the game. When young Lynne is about to be crushed by the Mino statue, Yomiel suggests to his companions that they shouldn't worry; if they fail, they could just possess her corpse and rewind time. Sissel immediately shoots the idea down, however, and points out that that course of action would leave the young Lynne with the memory of her averted death, potentially traumatizing her.
  • Death's Hourglass: A spinning hourglass forestalls death — by 4 minutes, anyhow.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: You're rewarded for experimenting in the game, especially when it comes to transporting yourself over phone lines. Usually, this comes in the form of additional plot not attainable on a "perfect playthrough".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While the assassins may deserve what they get, it may seem excessive that the hard-nosed (if Affably Evil) kidnappers are blown up and Yomiel gets 10 years for escaping police custody after being falsely accused.
    • Also, Yomiel tries to get Lynne convicted of murder simply because she was in his path at the park 10 years ago, which gave him the idea him to take her hostage. Cabanela even calls him out on it.
    • Being mean to little girls is punished most severely in this universe!
    • Actually, escape from from police custody combined with child abduction and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon probably COULD net you ten years.
  • Diving Save: Lynne shoves a waitress out of the path of a speeding van. Later, Cabanela does this in an attempt to save Pigeon Man from getting blown up by TNT.
    • Cabanela's into this, as he attempts to stop Lynne's second death the same way, but he notices the sniper too late.
    • Lynne's last 'death' comes as the result of pushing Kamila out of the path of falling rubble.
    • Last but certainly not least, Yomiel possesses his own unconscious body to uproot itself from a spike, scoop up Lynne, and pitch her out of the path of the tumbling Mino statue right before being crushed himelf.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Police Chief, of all people. Apparently he has itchy toes.
    • Also the park's guardian. Which is more believable since he's a hippie and all...
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Well, more like the dog was the Trickster Mentor, but close enough.
  • Down in the Dumps: Where Sissel's story begins, literally and figuratively.
  • Dude Magnet: Lynne, and how!
  • Dummied Out: Several music tracks in the game's files are never used. Most are variations on the songs that are used, but an arrangement of "Tifa's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII is also inexplicably included.
  • Enemy Mine: Yomiel joins up with Sissel after he's betrayed by Commander Sith. This eventually turns into a genuine Heel-Face Turn on Yomiel's part.
  • Escort Mission: Chapters 9 (rescuing Jowd from jail) and 16 (helping Lynne and Kamila escape the submarine).
  • Eureka Moment: On the sinking Yonoa, Kamila wishes her father was there to save them. Lynne is inspired to strap Sissel into a torpedo and send him to find Jowd.
  • Everybody Lives: What Sissel is trying to make happen—besides himself. In the end, thanks to the Timey-Wimey Ball, everyone does. Even Sissel, in a sense.
    • Except Dandy and Beauty. They get blown up in the credits. Though it isn't explicitly confirmed if they really did die from the explosion, considering they were mere feet from 20 kilograms of TNT, it's a pretty safe assumption.
  • Everyone Is Related: Jowd believes that he, Lynne, and Sissel all met 10 years ago when the meteor landed in the park. He's more right than he knows: The man he thinks is Sissel was actually Yomiel, but Sissel was indeed present — as a stray kitten.
  • Funny Spoon: Detective Jowd's cryptic clue: "Head for the spoon."
  • Extremely Short Timespan: One night, just barely over ten hours, but a ridiculous number of shocking twists occur during them. Except technically, you take actions in a span of ten years.
  • Failsafe Failure: The cell doors inside the Special Prison automatically open during a power outage.
    • The torpedo that sinks the Yonoa. A rat somehow got inside the torpedo, and was happily perched right in the middle of the failsafe system, stopping it from activating.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: In the game, Sissel can turn a switch that drops a chandelier inside the Elegant Lady's room. He has to do this when the Elegant Lady herself is underneath it so she'll be trapped and her daughter can call the justice minister, though unless you get the timing just right, she dodges it like a pro.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How do you dispose of a ghost who has outlived his usefulness? Leave him stranded alone at the bottom of the ocean forever.
  • A Fête Worse than Death: A birthday party that resulted in the death of Alma, who is Kamila's mother and Jowd's wife.
  • Foil / Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sissel and Missile. They both have "similar occupations", both being pets and both having Ghost Tricks. At the start of the game, Sissel is more intelligent and realistic, while Missile is more naive and optimistic. Sissel is more concerned about finding out his own mystery, while even in death, Missile is only concerned with Kamila and Lynne. Sissel immediately informs Ray that he wants to use his Ghost Tricks on his own body, while Missile is willing to stay dead so that he can use his Ghost Swap to help Kamila and Lynne. Also reversed with Ray and Sissel. Sissel is impulsive and is constantly trying to do things, while Ray is more level-headed and intelligent and explains to Sissel that these things are impossible. Later on, it is revealed that Ray was far more intelligent than Sissel, reversing the Oni roles of Missile and Sissel, as Ray planned everything and Sissel was an unknowing puppet.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: International versions appended "Phantom Detective" to the game's title.
  • Foreshadowing: Too many examples for the main page. You can go here instead.
  • For Want of a Nail: The villains' plot would have gone off without a hitch, but for "One Step Ahead" Tengo's pointless cruelty: When he and Yomiel kick open the door to Lynne's apartment, Tengo shoots both Kamila and Missile-Prime. The crooks take what they came for and leave, unaware of the latent radiation emanating from Yomiel's body, which causes Missile to spring back to life as a ghost. He embarks on a murder investigation of his own, chasing after "the man in red", but finds himself at an impasse and travels back in time to enlist help.
  • Four Is Death: Sissel can rewind time to four minutes before a death he's trying to prevent. As can Missile, but not Yomiel. The latter admits that he would prevent Sissel from dying if he could—and by "Sissel", he means both the cat and his fiancée.
    • All the GameCenter achievements in the iOS version are worth 4, 44, or 444 points, and all the "do X a certain number of times" achievements follow the same pattern.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: If you're ever caught by Yomiel, he freezes time, looks straight at you, the player, and basically says that you can't stop him, before he causes a game over. Beauty does the same, though she obviously can't do much besides taunt the player.
  • Gambit Pileup: The entire reason for the plot.
    • Yomiel and Sith both want to kill everyone who knows about the Temsik meteorite.
    • Yomiel wants to get revenge on everyone who was involved in his arrest (and therefore his fiancé's death.
    • Sith wants to betray Yomiel to get the Temsik fragment and get rid of Yomiel and his body in case anyone goes to change the past.
    • Ray wants Sissel to save everyone, because he comes from a Bad Future where Sissel didn't save anyone.
    • Cabanela wants to protect Lynne and clear Jowd's name while saving Jowd from being executed.
  • Gambit Roulette: Missile-prime planned the plot, but nothing would have worked out if current-timeline Missile hadn't died on the meteorite's exact crash site.
  • Gas Leak Coverup: The new housing development in Temsik Park is a cover-up by the government to excavate the Temsik meteorite.
  • Genre Savvy: Sith deliberately locks Jowd and Yomiel's body in a room that he then shoots off a submarine that he's evacuating. The only other person in the room is a remote controlled robot who reveals that it was all done to deny even the slightest possibility of someone with the Powers Of The Dead getting to him to change fate. And it nearly works.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Upon death, people become "unconscious" Ghost Lights and will assume their true appearance once their memory is jogged. However, a ghost can take on someone else's form if they mistakenly believe they're that person. Ray's Batman Gambit hinges on this.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Yomiel.
  • Good All Along: Inspector Cabanela is initially presented as a ladder-climbing jerk, but he only rose in the ranks so that he could monitor the Manipulator case. He also spends much of the game trying to keep Lynne safe and Jowd from being executed.
    • Yomiel plays with this. When he was still human, he was thought to be a spy, but was innocent the entire time. Later, he reveals that he could've snuffed Sissel out a number of times, but wanted him to keep going. And then, he finally makes up for everything.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Or in Lynne's case, be brought back from the dead.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The prison guards' reaction whenever you open a trapdoor beneath them.
  • Green Rocks: Sissel's ghost tricks are a by-product of the Temsik Meteor. The same goes for any dead person in its radius. Yomiel was directly struck by it, turning him into a walking generator of Temsik radiation.
  • Group Picture Ending: The ending has a portrait of a lone Sissel at top of a group picture of the other main characters. Sissel jumps down the portrait into the picure, symbolizing him joining his new family.
  • Hair Color Spoiler: The color of the police doctor's skin. He's blue, like the other evil foreigners, but you don't find out he was an imposter intent on stealing Yomiel's corpse until far later in the game.
  • Handwave: When Sissel asks Ray how ghosts can go back in time and that it doesn't even make any sense, Ray just replies: "We're talking about the powers of the dead, here. It doesn't have to make sense."
    • Though, given how conversations between ghosts and the ghost world itself are out of time, it's not that much of a stretch to think they could go back to a previous moment.
  • Happy Birthday to You: The Rube Goldberg device plays the first five notes of the song using a ball that knocks five glass figures together.
  • He Knows Too Much: Sith and Yomiel have conspired to kill everyone who knows about the Temsik meteor.
    • Unfortunately for Yomiel, he and Sith have different ideas about the definition of “everyone”.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Kamila.
  • Healing Factor: Yomiel and later Sissel wind up with this, due to being frozen between life and death and constantly restored to the moment before they died.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Yomiel.
  • Heroic BSOD: Lynne has one after you rescue her the first time when she is just sitting in the rain, getting a little cold. Of course, it only takes a small jab to snap her out of it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Two of Lynne's deaths are on account of this.
    • Yomiel controls the body of his past self to throw Young Lynne out of the way of the Mino statue. Luckily for him, he doesn't die, but one wonders how he is able to ever walk again. Possibly justified by having ten years to heal.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Of a sorts with Sissel. Yomiel's mind control of Lynne is what caused Sissel to be accidentally killed. Since Sissel unknowingly antagonizes his former friend for the majority of the game, Yomiel's revenge plan probably would've at least succeeded up to the submarine just fine if Sissel didn't die. This is somewhat subverted by the fact that Sissel's interference ultimately leads to a happier ending for everyone, including Yomiel, so the accidental death worked out in his favor eventually.
  • Informed Ability: Yomiel is apparently the best computer expert in the country, which was why the secret service hired him for their top secret project, but we never see him touch a keyboard at all.
  • I Let You Win: Yomiel admits that he knew about Sissel's interference but chose not to stop him. For some reason, this doesn't make saving the superintendent or Cabanela from him any easier.
    • That was specifically referring to saving Lynne. He later elaborates on the general situation by explaining that he doesn't have time control powers, meaning that he couldn't keep up with you.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In the end, despite everything Sissel and Missile have accomplished, Lynne, Jowd, and Kamila would have all died if not for the Timey-Wimey Ball.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Anyone shot in the game dies instantly. Necessary for gameplay reasons, since Sissel's ability to go back to four minutes before their death would be useless if they died an hour later in the hospital or something.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Lynne and Sissel share a moment together before he possesses a torpedo about to launch.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Dandy's reactions to Sissel's ghost tricks? "Just my imagination." Sissel lampshades this.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Justified, as ghosts can't remember who they are or what they look like at first, so they'll tend to pick the shape of the first corpse they see... or, in Lynne's case once, the first detective she sees.
  • Jerkass Gods: While the "guardian of the park" doesn't seem to hate his gods, he's the one who calls them mischievous when the park's mascot statue miraculously zooms away from crushing Kamila, crushing him instead.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The entire plot is pretty complex, and there are some wicked twists the first time you play through. But don't worry, the NPCs will fill you in on everything and connect different loose ends just in case you can't figure it out first.
  • Justified Tutorial: Sissel learns about his "powers of the dead" from another spirit. One who was secretly manipulating him into saving Lynne and Kamila, in order to avert the events of his own timeline.
  • Kick the Dog: Incidentally, it actually doesn't show up until the end of the game — and in the alternate timeline you successfully erased, no less. Commander Sith's assassins show how cold-blooded they really can be by gunning down Kamila in Missile-Prime's timeline during their search for the music box. Mind you, they killed the only person she could have run to for help back at the junkyard, so killing her was just unnecessary (if they left her tied up, they'd be out of the country on their sub by the time anyone found her the next morning). A literal dog also gets "kicked" as well in this same scene.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: The real circumstances of Sissel's death, albeit unintentional; Yomiel had trouble manipulating Lynne into shooting him, and the first shot missed and killed Sissel in the bag. Yomiel admits that he would have saved Sissel if he had the power to rewind time and avert deaths.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Sissel possesses his first object, he actually expresses his disbelief that he's essentially that object now.
    Sissel: "So...what? Now I'm a crossing gate...?"
    • A lot of characters start thinking that Death Is a Slap on the Wrist since Sissel can just go back in time and prevent their deaths.
      Lynne: Ha ha! I died again!
      Sissel: ...
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Sissel via Ghost Amnesia, of course.
    • It's so bad he even forgot basic concepts, such as science, what a kidnapping is, and reading. In the end, it turns out that he didn't remember his life because he was living as someone else the entire time. When he finally did realize who he was, he remembered everything, revealing that he didn't remember so many basic concepts because he was a cat.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: This is Sissel's take on his fate at the end of the game; he gets to watch life happen all around him. It seems he adapts better to this life than Yomiel did. Though unlike Yomiel, Sissel does have plenty of people around to watch and interact with and seems to be content to do so.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Subverted. Immediately after one appears (and declared as such by an excited character), you go back in time and see exactly how it happened. Turns out to be a domino effect that the victim triggered.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Missile, Sissel, and the blue pigeon. Literally undyingly loyal, at that.
  • Loophole Abuse: Sissel is informed very clearly that you can only revive someone who's been dead for less than one day. They're able to revive Yomiel, who died ten years ago, because technically his body is frozen at the exact second before his death by the Temsik shard, until Commander Sith removes it.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: The Special Prison houses people who committed crimes under mysterious circumstances; so mysterious, in fact, that it's believed they may have done it under Mind Control or some other influence, so as a concession, they're granted a lot of liberties, like having their own rock band equipment or personal art studio.
  • Magic Meteor: It grants Ghost Tricks to people who die next to it.
  • Meaningful Name: Nearly everyone.
    • A prison guard named "Bailey".
    • Lynne's name is spelled in katakana as Rinne, a word that can refer to the Buddhist cycle of death and rebirth — fairly appropriate for a girl who keeps dying and coming back to life.
    • Temsik is a Sdrawkcab Name of "kismet", the Turkish and Urdu word for "fate". Fitting for a game all about fate reversal.
      • Same for the submarine's name, "Yonoa," which reverses the syllables of the Japanese term "ano-yo": "the other world," or, specifically, the world of the dead. Theme Naming? Perhaps. But then you remember that from the very beginning, Commander Sith had intended to scuttle it and have it become Yomiel's coffin for all eternity.
    • Yomiel comes from the Japanese word "yomigaeru", which means "to be revived." Fitting for a character whose body is constantly being revived by Applied Phlebotinum.
    • Jeego's name comes from 'jigoku', and Tengo's name from 'tengoku', Japanese words meaning 'hell' and 'heaven', respectively.
    • "Sissel" is a variation of the name "Cecil", which means "without sight". Now take a look at those shades... Also, his desire to be "looked at" and noticed in his backstory, where effectively everyone is "without sight" regarding him. On top of that, "Sissel" is is similar to "Sisal", which is a type of rope commonly used in cat scratchers. "Shiseru" also means "can die" in Japanese.
    • Jowd's name derives from Jōdo (Pure Land), a division of Buddhism.
    • Kamila is Missile's Berserk Button. Also, Kamila's Japanese name is "Kanon". Now think, "Missile and Cannon". Hmm...
    • Alma is Kamila's mother. In a Stealth Pun, this makes Alma "mater". Alma is also the Spanish word for Soul or Spirit.
    • Mino, the park's mascot, is a bagworm ("minomushi").
    • As mentioned above, Kamila's Japanese name is Kanon. Kannon is the Japanese form of "Guanyin", bodhisattva of mercy, who according to some legends, wished to help all beings escape the Wheel of reincarnation. There might be a connection.
    • Sith's name in Japanese is Shisu, which means "die".
    • Detective Rindge's name derives from the term rinjū, meaning "deathbed".
  • Mexican Standoff: Yomiel vs. Jowd, 10 years in the past.
  • Morality Pet: Quite literally Sissel for Yomiel, although it doesn't do much good until the end of the game when Yomiel does his Heel-Face Turn, Sissel most likely being a major reason for this.
  • Morphic Resonance: Yomiel constructs a mishmash body out of scrap metal. The 'head', however, is still pointy and wearing sunglasses.
    • After turning back into a cat, Sissel's feline eyes somewhat resemble Yomiel's glasses.
  • Motif: Theater. The levels are set up like they're being viewed from the Fourth Wall, the props, character designs, and animation are all supposed to be clearly "readable" from a distance (or on the DS's screen), the characters act campy and theatrical, spotlights appear during cutscenes when the game wants to draw attention to things, and the ability to rewind time is equivalent to rehearsals, which you keep doing until you get it "right". The art and speech bubbles add elements of the comic book to this.
    • Flashbacks and the previews before 4 minutes before death puzzles look like film strips relating to the fact that it's been "recorded" into the past.
  • Motivational Lie: Ray telling Sissel that he'll cease to exist at dawn turns out to be this, so Sissel would go to the right place at the right time.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: What kick-starts the plot.
  • My Greatest Failure: Yomiel's death is this for both Jowd, who was about to shoot him, and Cabanela, who gave him the desire and means to flee questioning. Also Sissel not helping Missile in the original timeline.
  • Mythology Gag: The game supposedly takes place in the Ace Attorney universe, and seems to contain several references to that series.
    • Kamila's dog is named Missile. This is the same name as the police dog in case 1-4. (Both are references to Shu Takumi's own Pomeranian, also named Missile.)
    • When seen from a distance, the bespectacled 'green detective' vaguely resembles Winston Payne, and the black-haired 'blue detective' resembles Phoenix Wright. Fittingly, they don't get along.
      • Blue Detective even briefly has an animation that looks like it might be similar to Phoenix's courtroom standard animation of his shoulders-slumped, sweaty and glum-faced.
    • In the sequence where Lynne flashes back to Cabanela and Jowd's friendly competition, Jowd makes his point by striking an "OBJECTION!" pose.
      • He isn't the only character to pull one of these...
    • Jowd's green trenchcoat and red tie are reminiscent of Detective Gumshoe. His pink painting smock also resembles Larry's "artist" attire from the third Ace Attorney game. And while the prison uniform he wears has the standard stripes, the colors match the one worn by Cody in his Street Fighter appearances.
      • The same blue-and-white stripes are used in Investigations 2.
    • Compare the "Four Minutes Before Death" music with the "Logic ~ The Way To The Truth" track from Ace Attorney: Investigations.
    • The Chicken Kitchen uniforms resemble the uniforms Maya and Mia wear in 3-2.
    • The helmet hanging on the bookshelf in the Super's office belongs to a mettaur, this being a Capcom game.
    • The phrase "dancingly descended" pops up in Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, but Phoenix notes that the person neither danced nor descended from anywhere. Now we have Inspector Cabanela, who dances everywhere, and the Blue Detective (who resembles Phoenix) dancing down a flight of stairs in an attempt to copy Cabanela.
  • Near Villain Victory: Let's put it like this: Sissel is only able to "win" by undoing the events of the entire game and stopping Yomiel from dying in Temsik Park in the first place. The situation he leaves behind is a complete failure.
    • Even if Sissel was able to save Jowd without going into Yomiel's body near the end, it wouldn't really matter as they likely couldn't get back to the submarine where Lynne and Kamila were. Sith also already had the meteorite fragment with him and it seemed even more unlikely for the protagonists to get to wherever he ended up.
  • Never Say "Die" / Nobody Can Die: Averted, obviously. However, when Sissel crushes each of the blue-skinned assassins under massive objects, he uses euphemisms rather than acknowledge their deaths. There may be room for doubt with the second one, but the first one is cartoonishly flattened; there's no way he could have survived. So he's either sidestepping a delicate issue, or else our hero truly doesn't kill them, despite "Mino" killing the "Guardian of the Park" in much the same way later on.
    • An optional conversation suggests it's the former. If Sissel admitted they were dead, he points out, he'd feel obliged to avert their deaths.
    • Sissel is a cat. He understands that people can die, but his only experience with it when this happens is when the person is already dead and he's seen the cause of death. The two assassins that you crush both die in a fashion that Sissel has never seen before, and they don't leave cores for him to Trick with. Ergo, he doesn't understand that he's actually killed them.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The guardian of the park.
  • New World Tease: You gain access to many areas before there's much to do there. Notably, the second location the plot makes you visit is the villain's headquarters.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: By removing the Temsik fragment from Yomiel's body and making it a regular corpse—and able to have its fate rewound—Commander Sith undoes his own victory.
    • Verges into Genre Savvy territory. Commander Sith nevertheless foresaw the "slight possibility", and did everything he could think of to keep Yomiel's body as far from a ghost as possible.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Sissel may view Missile as this until Sissel finds out that he is a cat.
    • So actually Sissel was this to Lynne.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Commander Sith is short, unimposing, and has goofy eyebrows, but he manages to betray Yomiel in the end and almost sends the cast to their deaths at the bottom of the sea.
  • Offscreen Inertia: The game is usually very good at averting this, but one case of this stands out: after averting Yomiel's original death, Jowd ends up taking the Temsik fragment through his leg before firing on Yomiel, who is offscreen at this point of the scene. Even taking into account the usual applications of Talking Is a Free Action, the bullet ends up hanging in mid-air a foot or so ahead of Yomiel's face for at least two seconds before Missile actually goes into the Ghost World to stop and swap it.
  • Oh My Gods!: Cabanela's "Ye gods!" Others can be heard saying "Gods in heaven!" or variants of it.
  • One Steve Limit: Invoked. There are actually three individuals who go by Sissel in the game. Yomiel takes "Sissel" up as an alias when planning his meeting with Beauty and Dandy at the Chicken Kitchen. As it turns out, it was the name of his fiancé (who is never seen) and the name he gave to his cat.
  • Only One Name: Nobody is given two names, leaving it unclear in many cases whether people are being referred to by their first name or last name.
  • Opposites Theme Naming: The two blue-skinned assassins are named Jeego and Tengo. Jeego's name comes from 'jigoku', and Tengo's name from 'tengoku', Japanese words meaning 'hell' and 'heaven', respectively.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Parasol Parachute: Subverted. A couple times in the junkyard, you possess an umbrella and open it to drift down to a lower level—but as a ghost, of course, you're weightless and it really doesn't matter. Of course, both times the umbrella lands exactly where you need it to.
  • Parrot Exposition: Especially in the early parts of the game when the controls are still being explained, but Sissel does it to some degree throughout the rest of it as well.
  • People Puppets: The Manipulator's (Yomiel) modus operandi, achieved by Sharing a Body with their victim (though said victim never feels their presence.)
  • Percussive Maintenance: Sith's masked henchman and his console.
  • Phrase Catcher: Memry. Odd girl.
    • I agree.
      • Me too.
    • You never know who might be listening.
      • Like me.
    • Regarding the blue peoples' country, their use of technology is just plain "off"!
      • We get that a lot.
  • Playing The Player: See Sissel up above? The guy in the red suit with the blonde hair? See how he's all over the game's advertising, he's the player character's image in-game, the first thing the player sees in-game, and even the picture of the Player Character in the manual? That's not him. That's the Big Bad. But you do play as someone resembling him for almost all of the game.
  • Plot Armor: With the twist that you're the one providing it.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Kind of expected when the very protagonist starts off dead. In the long run, the entire chain of events that lead to Sissel's current situation also starts with a death. Namely, Yomiel's ten years ago.
  • Plucky Girl: Lynne takes this trope to unseen levels. Laughing off five deaths (all of which she remembers) in one night and all...
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A minor case, involving the title of the game and what it means in the gameplay. The term trick is used to refer to different aspects of Sissel's power in English and Japanese. In Japanese, toritsuku—literally, "cling to" and written almost the same as "trick"—is used for his ability to stop time and possess static objects' cores. Obviously, since this play on words doesn't work in English, the translators renamed the latter ability to "ghost" in English, and "trick" has been repurposed for the power to manipulate those objects, simply ayatsuru (manipulate, control) in Japanese.
  • Psycho for Hire: The hitmen. They have no problem with killing unarmed women, little girls, and puppies.
  • Quest for Identity: Sissel's primary motivation. So much that, were it not for Ray guiding him toward the identity of the man in red, he would not have attempted to save Lynne and the others.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Sissel comments on this after being partnered with the ghosts of Cabanela, Pigeon Man, and Missile.
    "What a dangerous bunch..."
  • Rainbow Speak: Important words are highlighted in red, while Sissel's thoughts are in blue.
    • Bizarrely, certain letters in seemingly random places are consistently colored red as well. For example, the "Trick" button has a red letter C in the DS version — though not in the iOS version — and the "Trick Time!" prompt is always colored as such (in both versions).
      • Even the cover art for the Original Sound Track follows suit. Is CAPCOM sending hidden messages? Seems the cover one was false, but the DS button's Tri(C)k, the Sound Tr(A)ck, and the Trick (T)ime link up to the supposed message.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: When someone hands a gun to the Justice Minister to examine, he immediately proceeds to stare straight down the barrel. For most of the rest of the scene.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Zig Zagged to hell and back with Yomiel. When he, Sissel, Missile, and Jowd travel back in time to the Temsik incident (Yomiel holding Lynne hostage and at a standoff with Detective Jowd) to alter his fate, Yomiel decides he prefers Taking the Bullet to "living" like he did before. Missile, however, refuses to let Jowd become a murderer, and swaps the bullet with Lynne's sweet potato. All right, a subversion. But then the sweet potato knocks Yomiel into a sharp part of the fountain, which stabs him in the back. Okay, double-subversion. But he survives! No, wait a second, the Mino statue is about to fall on Lynne! Yomiel possesses his own body to grab Lynne and toss her into Jowd's arms. The statue falls on him instead, crushing his lower back. He survives, and completely recovers.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cabanela and Jowd, respectively.
    • Also, Lynne or Missile and Sissel.
  • Reset Button: Most of the game, you spend your time undoing deaths in that happened in the near-past and moving the story along with the character now not-dead. However at the end, Sissel notices that Yomiel's corpse now has a core due to Commander Sith removing the Temisk fragment from his body and putting his shell into "full death". With this, Sissel now has the power to completely avert everything that led to the events of that evening by undoing the death that started it all ten years in the past.
  • Retirony: Subverted. Memry, the waitress at the Chicken Kitchen, mentions that it's her last day working there. She is almost killed by a speeding truck crashing into the restaurant, but is saved at the last minute by Lynne pushing her out of the way.
  • Retro Universe: Although most technology seems to be modern (wireless headphones and plasma TVs) and a young woman is allowed on the detective force (suggesting modern social mores), everyone uses rotary telephones that still use the old station-extension phone number style. Wireless rotary phones, in some cases.
    • Which makes for some major Schizo Tech with the blue people, who have robotic arms, pimped-out information consoles, and remote-controlled robot manservants. Maybe this is an alternate universe where cell phones were never invented.
      • Note that Ghost Trick shares a universe with Ace Attorney,note  which has cell phones aplenty.
    • Inspector Cabanela is a regular Disco Dan.
    • The Chicken Kitchen is a glitzy, black-tie restaurant... which also happens to be a 50's nostalgia place, with a jukebox and roller-skating waitresses.
  • Revenge: Yomiel's stated goal.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The protagonist first figures out his name is Sissel when the foreigners refer to him as such while looking at an image of him. Despite the fact that Sissel was just a pseudonym Yomiel used when dealing with the foreigners, and the protagonist turns out to not be the man at all, Sissel really is the protagonist's name (because the man in red knew him while he was alive).
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Every ghost, as well anyone whose death has been directly averted by ghosts, remembers everything. They even remain connected to the World of the Dead enough to communicate with said ghosts.
    • This brings up something mentioned at the ending: It's clearly stated that, because their ghosts went back to 10 years ago, only Sissel, Yomiel, Jowd, and Missile will remember all the details of what happened in the game in the new present. This is proven when Jowd knows what to name the kitten he adopts, and Yomiel expresses his thanks to his cat for changing his fate. However, it appears that everybody else who was brought back through a Ghost Trick previously doesn't remember what has happened, as shown when Lynne is shown to no longer possess the core she received after being saved for the second time.
    • This is also what inspires the final puzzle: The gang could have rewound time if Lynne had been crushed by the statue to try and find some other way of stopping things, but that would leave a little girl with the memory of being crushed to death for the rest of her life, and Sissel absolutely refuses to let that happen.
      • Basically, you only get ripple-effect proofed if you were part of the Trick that caused the ripple.
  • Robotic Reveal: The Masked Muscleman.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: The game may as well be called Rube Ghostberg Contraption: The Game, though a literal example is seen as well. And central to the plot itself, as you later find out.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: How Yomiel offed Detective Jowd's wife, Alma.
    • A replica of it is also responsible for Lynne's third death.
  • Running Gag: Lynne dying. Even in the altered "final" timeline, she comes very close to it.
  • Rule of Cool: Every character has needlessly stylish movements and mannerisms.
  • Save the Villain: After his Heel-Face Turn, anyway. The villain in question even helps save himself.
  • Schmuck Bait: In Chapter 15, you have to swap a bullet already in motion with something of the same shape that wouldn't be lethal. If you don't do any other tricks before that point, there's a hard hat on the wall nearby that you can use. Ask yourself this: How would this object impact someone's face if it were traveling at bullet velocity? Ask Cabanela — it ain't pretty.
    Pigeon-Headed Man: That didn't go well.
    • As darkly humorous as that was, it gets inverted when Missile attempts to save Yomiel by swapping out another bullet for a sweet potato. The potato hits him with such force, he careens backward and gets impaled on a lamppost. Oops. (This particular bait and switch, however, is scripted.)
  • Schroedingers Cat: We find that Sissel ends up as a literal one in the epilogue. Kamila says that after all these years, he hasn't aged a day, and a Ghost World perspective shows that he still has ghost powers, due to getting struck by the Temsik fragment as a kitten.
  • Screw Destiny: Sissel can go back four minutes in time to stop someone from being murdered. This is called "Avert Fate" in-game. Naturally, it's the whole point of the game.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Temsik Park (and, by extension, the Temsik meteor) - "Temsik" is "kismet" backwards, an Urdu word meaning "fate".
    • "Yonoa" is a backwards version of the Japanese syllables of "ano-yo," a term referring to the world of the dead.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: The idea behind the Big Bad's ultimate plan to dispose of Sissel and all those involved with him in the Temsik Incident, as his ghost powers can't reverse the horrible slow death they are submitted to. Too bad it didn't work.
  • Sequel Hook: It's a foundation for a sequel, anyway. The ending reveals that in the new timeline, Sissel is a ghost inhabiting his own now-immortal body, as Yomiel was in the original timeline...so he still has his ghost powers in case he needs them in a sequel. Additionally, Commander Sith is still out there, and mentions a new "deal" in the epilogue.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The purpose of most chapters, when you attempt to avert fates. The Final Chapter is an attempt to do this 10 years in the past, creating an Alternate Timeline.
  • Shoot the Dog: Both literal and figurative. First, Missile the Pomeranian gets shot as a result of trying to protect his mistress(es). Next is the fact that Sissel uses a crane to crush not one, but two would-be assassins. While these "deaths" are somewhat humorous, it seems Sissel never goes out of his way to save the blue-skinned foreigners.
  • Shooting Superman: Poor Cabanela learns this the hard way after capping Yomiel in the head.
    • Though as it turns out, Cabanela knew damn well that it wouldn't kill him; the bullet had a tracker placed in it!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cabanela does a variety of Michael Jackson moves.
    • We've also got a Commander Sith.
    • Sissel obviously never watched Ghostbusters.
    • Quite a few to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The words "Hold it!" and "contradiction" are thrown about heavily, as well as Lynne asking Kamila, a little sister figure, to get a music box that no longer works which contains important evidence for a cast, mirroring Mia asking Maya to go get the Thinker for her. Also, (Spoilers for Ghost Trick and the last case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (The DS, American one, not the original one for the GBA)) Jowd going to prison to protect Kamila mirrors Lana pleading guilty to protect Ema in "Rise From the Ashes".
      • There's also the fact that Sissel repetitively says that he has to find something to "turn around" the situation, similarly to the whole theme of the Ace Attorney games.
      • Jowd's Detective attire bears a striking resemblance to Dick Gumshoe's, down to his signature green coat.
    • The Minister says something similar to Dracula's speech in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
    • Ray has to be a reference to Pixar's very first short film.
    • Bailey's dance HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN IN HIS FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS!!
  • Silly Walk: Just about everyone. Cabanela is the prime example, but even the guards get in on this with their absurdly formal marches.
  • The Slow Path: Missile was forced to take this after going back to ten years ago and then realizing that he couldn't do anything to avert Yomiel's death or any of the things resulting from it in the first timeline. Not especially long by the standards of the trope... but it's the better part of a lifetime to a dog.
    Sissel: So you waited and waited, these ten long years; all for the sake of your two ladies, Lynne and Kamila, eh?
    Missile: Of course! Because that's what doggies do!
  • Sneeze Cut: In the demo, but you'd have to play through the full game to understand why.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: It is a little jarring to see, in the ending montage, peppy music plays as the foreign couple gets blown to Kingdom Come, even if they were villains.
    • They only had themselves to blame for that, though.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Ace Attorney series. No pun intended.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call
  • Spoiled by the Game Box: You start off not knowing your own name. The back of the box says your name is Sissel. To be fair, you learn it in-game as early as the second chapter.
  • Start of Darkness: Yomiel was accused of espionage, of which he was innocent, but a young Inspector Cabanela pressured him into escaping with the handgun he accidentally left behind. Jowd chased him down into Temsik Park, where he took Lynne hostage and was suddenly struck in the back by a fragment of the Temsik meteor. Then he remembers his identity and tries to meet his wife Sissel, who had unfortunately committed suicide just before Yomiel could get to her, and he lacked the power to rewind time and save her life. This made him Go Mad from the Isolation and make him want to take revenge on everyone involved in the Temsik Park incident, save for a certain black cat...
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Several towards the end, to avoid gaining Yomiel's attention with your ghost tricks. Subverted, since despite what happens if you fail, he actually knew you were there all along, but didn't really want to stop you.
    • Chapter 9 has you trying to escape from a pitch-black prison with guards who wear night vision goggles. Even though ghosts can see through darkness in the "ghost world", it's harder than it sounds since you have to help a condemned criminal escape without making him enter the guards' field of vision.
  • Tap on the Head: The driver of the surveillance van is knocked out by a high-pitched whine from his headphones. Unbeknown to him, Beauty has torched his microphone with a cigarette lighter.
  • Take Your Time: The game always shows the precise time, but outside of four-minutes-in-the-past timed puzzles, it will never advance unless you trigger an event that forces it to.
    • Averted in Chapter 16, where although the time itself doesn't advance, if you wait too long to give Lynne a path up to the door, the water will raise up and drown her, though presumably Sissel revives her, since it lets you try again from an unheralded checkpoint if you got to one.
  • Talking Animal: Ghosts of animals can "talk" with people, as Missile demonstrates. As does Sissel.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Used whenever Sissel chats up the dead. Justified in that it appears to be some form of telepathy and the ghost world is explicitly stated as being outside of time. Or whenever you decide to talk to the spirit you're trying to save, no matter how pressed for time you are in-game.
  • Telephone Teleport: The game has this as a game mechanic. The main character and other ghosts travel to different locales via telephone. In order to learn new locations to visit, Sissel first has to listen to a conversation while the phone is in use.
  • Tempting Fate: Early on, Sissel tells himself that it can't be that hard to save Lynne, since how many times can she die in a single night? He later finds out... Five times, to be exact.
    • Much later:
    Sissel: So now all we have to do is...
    Lynne: ...get to that door, and we're safe!
    (submarine turns sideways)
  • Timed Mission: Each time you go back into the past, you only have four (in-game) minutes to save the victim's life. Additionally, if Sissel ever wants to know the full truth, he has to do it before dawn, when he'll truly cease to exist.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Ghost Trick to return four minutes into the past (for those who have the Tricks or anyone who follows said ghosts) to prevent a death. If the spirit is awake to see this occur, they will follow along the path to try to prevent said death. When the death is prevented, the event is erased and replaced with a new present, but the memory remains for those who were along with said Trick. At the end of the game, the Ghost Trick to 10 years ago results in a mild reboot: Sissel the kitten is killed by the Temsik fragment, thus taking Yomiel's place as the ghost possessing his own corpse, and is adopted by Jowd; Yomiel is alive and has recovered in the 10 years he's been imprisoned, thanking Sissel for what he did, and Missile-Prime has been erased in the reboot. However, all the events in the game still technically happened in that it's how the current present exists. And of everyone who'd died and remembered, it's implied that only Sissel, Jowd, Yomiel, and Missile remember the whole story, since they were amongst the final Ghost Trick.
  • Tinman Typist: The Masked Muscleman operates the submarine's machinery by hand, despite being a robot.
  • Title Drop: Done heavily in the first chapter.
  • They Fight Crime: Lynne and Sissel. Later in the game, Missile joins in on the action.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Lynne. Played for laughs, as Lynne doesn't really seem to mind that much that she died. Come to think of it, none of the ghosts freak out over their death.
    Sissel: Lynne wasn't dead when I got there. For once.
  • Those Two Guys: The Green Detective and Blue Detective. They even contrast each other, the blue detective talking big but immediately conforming to authority, while the green detective is a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Tomato Surprise: Several. In the end, it turns out that Sissel was a cat, the "manipulator" was the blonde guy whose body you thought was yours, and Ray was a time-traveling Missile from a timeline where he couldn't save anyone's life with his swap trick.
  • Tracking Device: The bullet Cabanela fired at Yomiel was a tracking device, which was honed in on by a special pocket watch which Cabanela gave to Jowd, who then gave it to Lynne.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Everyone's extremely into giant roast chicken. Extremely into it. Except for Cabanela, who eats a giant plate of spaghetti in the ending. Then there's the curry-loving prisoner.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Figuring out which phone calls to go through during the death aversions comes really close to this at times.
    • Chapter 10 is more or less this. For starters, the guy whose life you're trying to save receives a call from a kidnapper, knocks his heart attack medicine across the room, and spills a pitcher of water before dying of a heart attack. If your first reaction was to follow the phone call, you find out they don't have a hostage at the moment, and only have a tape recording of the Justice Minister's Daughter. If you jump to the medicine and get flung across the room, you find yourself without enough time to figure out what to do, much less actually perform the exact sequence of actions required to get the medicine back to the guy. The solution?
      • You have to use the flag to prevent the water jar from dropping, so the minister can take the water. That creates a Check Point. However, if you do that and do not possess the ceiling fan while the minister is drinking the water, you get stuck and will need to start all over again.
    • It could be said that this is really one of the game's main mechanics, as you'll rarely know what to do right from the start. The only way to know what most of the objects will do once manipulated is to try, and a lot of them can only be used once, so trial and error is really your only option. Fortunately, the game is designed with this in mind.
  • Tricked Out Time: At one point, you have to save someone from an explosion while making it look like they were caught in it. And then right after, you have someone shot by a gun without the shooter knowing the difference.
  • Trickster Mentor: Ray puts Sissel through quite an ordeal. Despite knowing the truth all along, he does not tell Sissel who he is, he tricks him into thinking he's going to cease to exist in the morning, thus causing a great deal of stress, fools Sissel into thinking he's Yomiel, and then vanishes halfway through the game, making Sissel think that he has ceased to exist. However, this causes Sissel to avert Yomiel's fate and learn the value of helping other people besides himself.
  • Undying Loyalty: Missile, quite literally. This is very apparent when after his second death, where he gained ghost tricks, he decides to stay dead specifically to better help Lynne and Kamila with his new powers. If that's not enough, the ending reveals that Ray is actually Missile from a Bad Future that couldn't save anyone, so he goes back in time and waits ten long years to become the Trickster Mentor for the black cat Sissel, thus he will be able to convince Sissel to save Lynne and Kamila.
  • Unit Confusion: Dandy's confusion of metric units ultimately leads him and Beauty to their explosive demise.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Characters frequently fail to notice things moving in the background, or consider them coincidences. Which leads to a bit of a shock when Beauty's "sixth sense" means she can figure out what's going on, and when the player tries a Trick in front of the guy manipulating Sissel's body and then the Manipulator immediately figures out what's going on, addresses the player, and causes a game over.
    Inspector Cabanela: Who WOULDN'T notice what you just did? You were practically shouting "Look at me," baby!
  • Verbal Tic: Cabaneeela tends to draw out his vooowels, baby.
    • As expected of a Shu Takumi game, many characters have their own verbal tics, while others seemingly transmit from character to character. Odd girl.
      • I agree.
      • Me too.
    • WELCOME!
    • "...like me."
    • Sith has a very wide range of vocabulary, his favourite being "Confound it!" Far more subtle, Ray tends to say "Now, then" a lot and Sissel says "eh?" quite frequently.
    • In one of the final scenes, Sith's servant talks to Jowd and always finishes his sentences by addressing Jowd as "detective", detective.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Lynne and Kamila are in the game to invoke this.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: There are at least two separate instances where you can alter a victim's fate so they die in an even less dignified manner than the original.
  • Weak, but Skilled: The main character is much weaker than a living person and can only move by jumping between objects no more than two or three feet away, but he uses what he can do to great effect.
  • Weird Moon
  • We Named the Monkey Jack: Both versions of the trope are used. Yomiel names his cat Sissel after his fiancé, and he later uses the name as an alias.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 17 and The Final Chapter.
    • Really, everything that happens after Chapter 14 can fit this trope, as well as Chapters 6, 11 and the later part of 13.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The epilogue shows what happens to everyone in the new timeline, even the most minor of characters...except Jeego and Tengo. Some people theorize they died anyway. The fake medical examiner is also unaccounted for.
    • Not so much a person as a plot device, but what's the deal with Beauty's sixth sense? It tries to be significant, but after finding out they've kidnapped Kamila, Sissel never sees the pair again and we never get an explanation for it.
      • It might be Foreshadowing to the fact that the foreigners know about ghosts and their powers. In fact, it's likely Beauty actually thinks it's Yomiel spying on them at that moment; maybe she doesn't even really have a sixth sense, just common sense (combined with the knowledge of powers of the dead).
    • The culprit in the hacking/leaking information case that Yomiel was falsely accused of was never explicitly revealed.
    • Literally in Chapter 16. There was a rat happily perched inside a torpedo that, thanks to you, didn't explode. Where did it go?
    • What happened to Sissel in the first timeline?
  • When It All Began: The incident in Temsik Park ten years ago.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Interspersed with the credits.
  • Where The Hell Is Springfield?: The setting is intentionally made ambiguous by including elements from several different cultures.
    • The ministries are vaguely Japanese, as are the references to gods (possibly Shinto kami).
    • There are European suits of armor in the Justice Minister's office, but the hats the guards wear don't seem to relate to those in any known country.
    • All of the characters have names from continental Europe, with the exception of the foreigners. Beauty, Dandy, and Sith are English, English, and Scottish; Jeego and Tengo are Japanese.
    • The prison still uses the electric chair, an execution device that has only ever been used by America.
      • In addition, the country is mentioned as having not used the death penalty for a long time, although it can still be given.
    • The rival country has futuristic technology where no-one else does.
  • Whip It Good: The thoroughly evil Beauty carries a bright red riding crop, though we never see her use it.
  • Whodunnit to Me
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Yomiel certainly doesn't because he has to deal with crushing loneliness after the death of his fiancée. Sissel inverts it and doesn't appear to mind that he's immortal in the ending timeline.
  • World of Ham
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the Bad Future that Missile-Prime is from, when Yomiel and One-Step-Ahead Tengo break into Lynne's apartment, they shoot Kamila dead instead of just tie her up like Tengo did in Sissel's timeline.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Subverted by Yomiel, who was genuinely innocent but got chased and killed when he fled interrogation. Cabanela references the subversion of this trope as his reason for preventing Jowd's escape when he points out that escaping from prison is still a crime.
    • Even in the "fixed" timeline in the ending, Yomiel is sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to escape from custody and taking a hostage.
  • You ALL Share My Story: At the end of the night, Sissel learns that everyone, in some small way, is connected. This is because Even the most insignificant side characters are connected with the case of the night.
  • You Gotta Have Colorful Hair
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Commander Sith strands Yomiel in a sinking submarine after getting the Temsik shard from him. Tellingly, Sith was so afraid of him that it was the only way to be sure.

Ghost MasterGhost FictionGhostbusters: The Video Game
Maximo vs. Army of ZinCreator/CapcomGiga Wing
Giana SistersUsefulNotes/Nintendo DSGolden Sun: Dark Dawn
Ghost Pirates Of Vooju IslandAdventure GameGray Matter
Game Dev Storyi OS GamesGlider
FUSEVideo Games of the 2010sGoat Simulator

alternative title(s): Ghost Trick Phantom Detective; Ghost Trick; Ghost Trick Phantom Detective
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