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Video Game / Geist

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A 2005 First-Person Shooter developed for the Nintendo Gamecube by n-Space and Nintendo, with this being their second ever M rated title they've developed/published. 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. 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. Or the character named Geist that appears in the video game Astal.

This game provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: When Raimi prepares to fight the demon one last time, he finds the child Alexander, implying that Volk hasn't been truly in control of his actions for decades.
  • Affably Evil: Despite knowingly and actively furthering plots to take over the world, despite conducting highly unethical experiments that literally rip the souls out of the test subjects, most Volk's staff appear to be otherwise 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.
  • Bad Boss: Rourke
    • Seems neglectful enough to have missed out on all the damage you caused throughout the game, according to a few security officers you can talk to.
    • Is stupid enough to try and force the dimensional rift open, despite one of the portal engineers clearing telling him why that is a BAD idea... right before Rouke shot said engineer, forced the other one to open the rift, then was surprised when a massive demon escaped.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Or rather, a ghost possessed bed sheet.
  • Big Bad: Alexander Volks. Although most details of the main Evil Plan were not what he had initially intended. The demon possessing him serves as a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Body Surf: The central concept of the game. The hijack power up in multiplayer lets you take hosts other ghosts are already "surfing", unless they have the "anti hijack" power up.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: What Volks' computer simulators do to ghosts. According to him, by the time the program is finished, the ghosts "won't even remember their own name".
  • Bullet Time: Being a bodiless ghost naturally slows time down; there are also battlesuits that can temporarily produce the same effect. Ghosts don't get bullet time in multiplayer though, for competitive balance.
  • Capture the Flag: Two multiplayer modes are "capture the host", where ghosts compete to possess a body and move it to a designated location or ghosts compete to get a body that can make use of Interchangeable Antimatter Keys to open up specific areas.
  • Censor Suds: In order to progress, Raimi has to possess a female doctor, of whom is in the shower with another woman. There's nothing stopping the player from gawking at the scene, however her naughty bits are covered.
  • Chef of Iron: The multiplayer Chef can kill you with an empty plate. In single player you merely have an Angry Chef, who is only so because you're possessing him.
  • Connected All Along: When Raimi finds an abandoned mansion while looking for his stolen body, he finds Gigi there, who tells him that she lived there with her aunt and brother. When she died her brother tried to bring her back, but he got a cursed brand on his face. Her brother's name is Alexander Volks.
  • Console Cameo: There's a Gamecube inside one of the lockers in the Medical level.
  • Convection Schmocvection: Averted, both with fire and with smoke.
  • Creator Provincialism: Despite being set in France, several American Accents, such as Dixie, Military Basic, Midwestern and Tidewater seem to appear.
  • Creepy Child: Gigi, mainly as a side affect of being one of the few ghosts who both speaks and can maintain a lasting existence without possessing anything.
  • 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: Subverted. After the first level of the game, the protagonist has their soul removed from their body. This gives them all the functions of this trope, but still leaves their body comatose, while they are still technically "alive".
  • 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.
    • For obvious reasons, this is averted in death match, where death of your host doesn't just lose you points, the host is still considered yours a few seconds after voluntarily relinquishing possession. So if you're planning on using the ghosts form's advantages to preserve your score, you'll have to plan for it ahead of time.
  • Death of a Child: What started off the whole plot. When Gigi was alive, she tried to climb up a tree to play with her brother Alexander, but when she tripped and died, he tried to resurrect her, but ended up possessed himself, setting the stage for Volks' demon to invade.
  • Deflector Shields - Orange shields reduce the amount of damage hosts take in multiplayer. Volks demon has rings that completely stop whatever Raimi can hit it with, but it needs to shed them to attack Raimi.
  • 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.
  • Demonic Possession: Fairly early into the game, Volks is possessed by a powerful demon who intends to hijack Volks' own world domination plan for his own ends.
  • Dying as Yourself: After defeating the final boss, Raimi watches Gigi and the ghost of the Child Alexander reuniting.
  • Easter Egg: Part of the Medical level takes place in a women's locker room. Inside one of the lockers is Samus Aran's helmet.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the final boss fight, Raimi get the ability to fire energy bursts in his spirit form. Justified, as he's fighting the demon possessing Volks in some kind of spiritual plane; obviously not bound by the rules of the real world.
  • 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.
  • Evil Laugh: Anti-Hero variant. While possessing the Volks' facility cook, Raimi serves the guards soup contaminated with rat poison, then smiles and chuckles as they each grab a bowl of the lethal meal.
  • Extra Lives: Only in multiplayer's "Hunt" mode.
  • Eye Beams: There are statues that can uses these on Raimi, blocking his way to Volks.
  • 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: Zigzagged. 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. You still cannot see your feet, tho any action (such as pressing a button, turning a valve, etc) allow you to see your hand as your character interacts with the object.
  • Flunky Boss: Volks can summons spec ops to harass you. He will do this every time you successfully redirect one of his rockets back at him, because the only logical conclusion is that you left your body unattended.
  • Fog of War: Ghosts can't be viewed by hosts in multiplayer, excepting hunt mode. And even then, only if the ghost is moving. Additionally, you can choose whether or not to allow radar and whether or not players can immediately identify possessed hosts in the multiplayer settings.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Raimi is undoubtedly the hero of the story, trying to stop 1, technically 2, world domination plots, but if his smug satisfaction of lethally poisoning some guards is any indication, he is rather enjoying killing the Volks' staff and guards.
  • Grand Theft Me: It reaches the point where ghosts try to kill you by inhabiting your body and killing yourself.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Variation, in that Cord is competent enough not to won't throw a grenade until it's about to explode, but if you shoot him in the arm when he pulls one out, you can possess it and cause it to explode near him prematurely.
  • 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. Granted, not all named characters are "heroic".
  • Heroic Mime: Mostly played straight. Raimi is almost completely silent throughout, even when possessing humans and trying to convince a friend it's really him. The only they speak is when possessing a dog handler, speaking through their host to gain the dog's trust.
  • Hospital Hottie: Anna, more, or perhaps less, so when Raimi is possessing her and rolls up most of the hospital uniform getting in the way of his escapade.
  • Infernal Paradise: The demon's plans for Earth.
  • Immune to Bullets: Ghosts. In the multiplayer death match this means that ghosts that don't take a host are almost invincible, but they can't score any points until they take possession of someone susceptible to bullets.
  • Improvised Armor: One monster covers itself in random bits of debris after its shell is broken.
  • In a Single Bound: Yellow arrow power ups in multiplayer allow hosts to jump higher.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Character
    • Towel girl in multiplayer, who attacks with a wet...towel, in a game with guns and invisible ghosts. That said, her towel is an instant kill if she lands it.
    • The same is true of the chef in multiplayer. His plates move slowly and can be wonky to hit with, but the porcelain he throws is way more lethal than any bullet you can use from another host.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Raimi, Volks and Anna in multiplayer, particularly heavy insistence on the lightning in the case of Volks. Raimi is notable though because unlike the other two his multiplayer incarnation doesn't have a sprint command, he's just that fast.
  • Living Statue: Two serve as the last boss before the fights with Volks and the Demon Lord.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: After Raimi is first separated from his body, Rourke and Volks try to recondition him into a soldier in one of these before being saved by Gigi.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Cord uses a shield to block your shots while throwing grenades in the first boss battle. Ironically, the next fight where he doesn't use these is harder.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Volks' Demon.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Possessing some characters results in subconscious desires and aversions that the player doesn't share. Some examples include the technician who cannot approach the machine, requiring you to move the part you need to him. Or Anna, who cannot approach the guards until she gets dressed. An inverse of this is the rats, who actively pull towards the mouse traps because of the cheese, requiring Raimi to quickly pull them away in order to avoid killing them and reaching his target.
  • Mini-Game: Among other examples, one area can only be passed after a literally riveting action sequence. Or one could just kill all the workers in the area.
  • Modesty Towel: After the "Censor Suds" situation, the girl Raimi scares will leave the shower and cover herself in a towel. After scaring her further, you can possess her. While you can leave the locker room, you cannot progress until she gets dressed as there are guards everywhere and, as one would reasonably expect from a mostly naked woman in the presence of strangers, she has an aversion to approaching the male guards without clothes.
  • More Dakka: Your bullets slow down just like everything else when using Super Speed, but you can still shoot more bullets in a shorter amount of time while using it. Normally this is just a waist of ammo, as the player should be used to aiming by the time they get access to super speed, but it is valid tactic against the helicopter and Living Statue bosses.
  • 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. There is rarely more than one solution to any given obstacle either.
  • Not Quite Flight: Your ghost form can float a little but not really fly until the end of the game.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. 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, showing that the mix of science and the occult that Volks is working on is well beyond his fields of study.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: In an odd variant, you possess his missiles and guide them back manually, but this is optional.
  • Quad Damage: Purple power ups increase the damage done by weapons and host attacks in multiplayer
  • Railroading: Generally if you find an item or person that you can possess, the game is designed so that you have to possess it. Many of the game's puzzles can be solved simply by looking around for what you are allowed to possess.
  • Recurring Boss: The first boss will be the one you see the most. Cord and the boss from the fourth chapter are fought twice.
  • Red Right Hand: Volks has a scar on the right of his forehead. It's later found out to be a brand that's controlling him.
  • Replay Mode: The game allows the player to replay the chapters of the game after its completion.
  • Rolling Attack: The boss of chapter four can roll up to regenerate its health and to roll over you. Luckily there is a hole in its shell, unluckily your bullets won't do anything even if it is shot there, you need to use grenades and time your throws carefully.(You can shoot its face when exposed but it will be shooting at you too when it is and will likely regenerate faster than you can do damage that way). The second time you fight it, it is always rolling, but it hasn't fully recovered from the first fight and you have the prototype weapons, which make a mockery of its Improvised Armor.
  • Run, Don't Walk: You probably will not be releasing that L button very much.
  • Secret Character: Extra multiplayer hosts are rabbits, Raimi, bats, Towel Girl, rats, Chef, roaches, Volks, imps and Anna. They have to be unlocked in the single player mode.
  • Shock Wave Stomp: The living statue bosses sometimes create shock waves, and there is nothing to be done about them except moving far away.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spirit Advisor: Gigi during the first six chapters of the game. Afterwards, when Raimi approaches the darker corners of Volks Corp, she's unable to go any further with him.
  • 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.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The player can only possess imps in multiplayer mode. The player can never use the guns that increase the speed of shots fired to match Super Speed when activated.
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The soldier possessed at the beginning that kills Raimi's team and gets him abducted is never seen or spoken of again.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: Multiplayer's "Hunt" mode has one team take the role of ghost hunters, and the other as the ghosts trying to make the hunters commit suicide through possession.
  • 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.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Rourke slaps Anna when she tries to administer medicine for Bryson.


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