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Video Game / Spirits & Spells

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Spirits & Spells (known as Castleween in Europe and Mahou no Pumpkin in Japan) are a pair of Halloween themed games released in 2002 and 2003, the first for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube originally developed by the French companies Kalisto Entertainment and Wanadoo Edition and the second developed by Magic Pockets for the Game Boy Advance.

The player characters are a pair of trick-or-treaters who discover their friends have been turned to stone when they arrive at the house they were all supposed to meet up at. They are given the mission to save their friends by entering the world of the dead and freeing their friends' souls that have been stolen by the Bogeyman for his boss the Mad Scientist.

This game provides examples of:

  • Animated Armor: Alicia and Greg have to contend with decorative suits of armor taking swings at them in the haunted mansion.
  • Big Red Devil: The imps are red with horns, yellow eyes and batlike wings.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: To avoid rolling and falling boulders in the canyon the player must step into the alcoves along its sides at the right time.
  • Cranium Ride: On the broken bridge the only way to pass long missing sections is to ride a giant spider as it walks along its web.
  • Crouch and Prone: Alicia can disappear under her hat allowing her to enter low passageways she and Greg would otherwise be too tall to fit through.
  • Cute Witch: While Alicia starts out as a cute little girl dressed as a witch she starts picking up magic of her own very quickly.
  • Dem Bones: The first and most common enemies Alicia and Greg face are animated skeletons. As the game progresses the skeletons they encounter become faster and better armed.
  • Distressed Dude/Damsel in Distress: Alicia and Greg are saving all their kidnapped friends who won't be able to return to the living world if they're in the spirit world past Halloween night.
  • Dub Name Change: Alicia becomes Ann in the Japanese version.
  • The Faceless: Greg's face is hidden by his devil mask.
  • Forced Transformation: The other children were all turned to stone and Alicia gains the ability to turn the witches into frogs.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Greg and Alicia have to collect all of the souls trapped in the land of the dead.
  • Grimy Water: The water in the land of the dead is not clear at all and falling in it is deadly for Greg and Alicia.
  • Haunted House: Alicia and Greg have to work their way through a haunted mansion on their way to the Mad Scientist's laboratory.
  • Idle Animation: Alicia will start yawing, singing and playing with magic if left standing still and Greg will start twisting around and then jumping and practicing with his pitchfork.
  • Kill It with Fire: Greg can trigger fire magic and is completely immune to the effects of fire though it will kill Alicia if she touches it.
  • Kill It with Ice: Alicia quickly starts using ice magic and Greg and the imps can be killed by it.
  • Monochrome Apparition: The ghosts are a transparent bluish grey when visible and the children's spirits are white.
  • Silent Protagonist: Greg never talks.
  • Speaking Simlish: Alicia, Jack and the Goblin all "talk" in non-words with speech bubbles there for the player to read any relevant bits of the conversation.
  • Spot the Impostor: The witches and imps take a while to notice Alicia and Greg are imposters rather than a real witch or imp and this delays their attacks against them.
  • Taken for Granite: Alicia and Greg's friends were all turned to stone when their spirits were stolen.
  • There Are No Adults: Alicia, Greg and the other kids were apparently on their own for trick-or-treating.
  • Villain Teleportation: The bad faeries teleport in between attacks.
  • Weaponized Headgear: Alicia throws her hat for her most simple ranged attack and it returns to her like a boomerang.
  • When Trees Attack: There are eerie trees along the pathways that will strike out at the player as they try to pass them.
  • Wicked Witch: The hunched witch enemies who take a minute or two to realize Alicia is not actually a fellow witch but attack Greg on sight.