The Top 7… Playable ghosts

2. Mario Boo

Haunted the living in: Super Mario Galaxy

Boos have been chasing Mario since the shy specters made their debut in Super Mario Bros. 3. (We’re not too sure whose souls the Boos represent – maybe the millions of Goombas Mario has stomped over the years?) There are several examples over the years of Mario copying powers from his enemies, like Hammer Bros and Lakitu clouds, but it wasn’t until Super Mario Galaxy that he took on the powers of the iconic ghouls.

Once Mario heads to his first haunted galaxy, which includes a haunted mansion and Goombas wearing festive (and protective) Jack O’ Lanterns, you’ll find the Boo Mushroom. The creepy ‘shroom turns Mario into a friendlier, mustachioed version of the ghosts we’ve come to love. Although we’re not sure if Mario becomes clinically dead while using the power-up a la Michael J Fox in Frighteners, he gets most of the Boos’ abilities. He goes through walls, floats with ease, and even inspires other Boos to follow him, but he also has the same vulnerability to light, which reverts him to his normal state.

Boo Mario was pretty much confined to Mario Galaxy, making only a brief appearance in Galaxy 2. Also of note is the irony involved in Luigi using the power-up. Should you jump through the dozens of hoops to make Luigi playable in Mario Galaxy, you can then have a Boo Luigi, while at the same time the game continues to play up Luigi’s intense fear of ghosts. You’d think spending some time on the other side would calm his nerves at least little bit.

1. Sissel

Haunted the living in: Ghost Trick

Despite his amnesia (and despite, you know, being dead), Sissel still has a bigger personality than most people with a full set of memories. It's tough to talk about what makes Sissel so great without giving away some major Ghost Trick spoilers, but we'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, especially since it's still worth playing if you haven't already.

Sissel only has one night to solve the mystery of who he is and who murdered him, for he's told that when the sun rises, he'll cease to exist completely. He vows to devote his final hours to tracking down his killer, but ends up getting caught up using his newfound ghost powers to save the lives of people around him instead, even though it could cost him never knowing the truth about himself. By rewinding time to the moment before a person's death, then possessing nearby inanimate objects and manipulating them – turning lights on and off, pushing objects off shelves and so on – Sissel manages to prevent several murders, including that of an adorable dog named Missile, who’s brutally killed early in the game by an assassin with a shotgun.

Sissel and frequently murdered detective Lynne begin the game as strangers, but throughout the course of a single night, forge a bond like family, all because of Sissel's dogged determination to help her. Even when Sissel witnesses with his own ghost eyes (early in the game) that Lynne herself seemingly fired the shot that killed him, Sissel still stands by her because he believes in her in his heart no matter what the evidence indicates. When the full truth of Sissel's life and death is finally revealed, it's one of the most touching game moments ever. 

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Halloweek Top 7


  • Mike3one5 - November 1, 2011 9:44 p.m.

    No Auron?? Or Tidus for that matter?
  • EBAX1 - November 1, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    I thought of Paxton Fettel from F3AR
  • 510BrotherPanda - November 1, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    MISSILE WAS NOT KILLED BY A SHOTGUN. "Near-sighted Jeego" killed Lynne in the introduction with one. "One-Step-Ahead Tengo" killed Missile in Lynne's apartment with a SNIPER RIFLE. Also, was Princess Zelda from Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks excluded because it was just here still-living spirit, and not a dead ghost? I thought she got more "playability" time that Boo Mario...
  • GameManiac - November 1, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    Yeah, I expected Boo Mario. Glad I saw Sissel from Ghost Trick. I really need to play that game, since I'm hearing quite a lot of praise.
  • NanoElite666 - November 1, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    I remember once when I was a black phantom. Wound up catching the guy who's world I invaded literally with his pants down. Had absolutely no gear equipped when I ran across him, so needless to say the poor bastard didn't last very long at all.
  • Mechamorbo - November 1, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    YES!! I've been waiting for ages for Polterguy to be mentioned in any capacity on the site. I friggin LOVED this game as a kid. There were definitely flaws to the design, and the developers didn't really seem to hone in on what made the game FUN (my favourite objects to hop into were the ones you could control, like some of the kid's toys or the dishwasher, but there were only two or three of these per house), yet it was still loads of almost-sandbox-game type fun to be had. It's too bad they didn't ever make a followup to it, since there were a ton of great ideas in there that could have been fixed. Also, the backstory in the game's manual says that Polterguy blames the father for his death because he was knowingly selling cheap and faulty skateboard wheels. When they fell off his board, it caused him to careen into traffic and get hit by a truck. His kids are actually just little sh*ts and his wife is a bitch, so it's fine to scare them too. The end of the game reveals the dog to actually be a demon that you have to face in a final dungeon. It was the only part I could never beat, but I hear that once you defeat him, you someone win back your life... only to almost immediately die again for another stupid reason, I don't remember what. But Polterguy is all like, "F*ck it", and goes back to scaring the Sardinis
  • Darkshine34 - November 1, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    FFX. That is all.
  • Dmancapri - November 1, 2011 6:42 a.m.

    Wow. I really thought the Deku, Goron and Zora masks from Legend of Zelda Majora's mask would be on here. I mean you play a song and watch these guys die, then trap their spirits in masks!
  • Turboash - November 1, 2011 6:12 a.m.

    Ummmm... Lego Star Wars!?
  • macrodeath - November 1, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    Astral from Ghosthunter is the sexiest ghost in any videogame ever.
  • OtterPopAfterbirth - November 1, 2011 4:14 a.m.

    Does anyone else think that being able to drink a "ghost potion" in the sims to make a "ghost baby" sound suspiciously like an abortion?
  • Dmancapri - November 1, 2011 6:44 a.m.

    yes. Yes it does
  • Nap1400 - November 1, 2011 4:05 a.m.

    Hey, where's Spirit Tracks Zelda? She was awesome! But otherwise, I agree with this list.
  • GrandmasterB-Funk - November 1, 2011 2:54 a.m.

    as soon as i saw this, i was like, Ghost Trick better be at least mentioned, or i'll kill someone then as i started going, i was like, wait no, Ghost Trick better be first, or else i will kill someone luckily no one has to be killed! but yeah, ghost trick is amazing, i almost cried at the end it was so touching
  • CitizenWolfie - November 1, 2011 2:52 a.m.

    I know I pointed out Monkey Island in your classic Skeletons article but how about Guybrush Threepwood in Tales of Monkey Island?!? Although I guess he plays the same as when he's alive... I bet the Ghost Pirate LeChuck would be fun though.
  • codystovall - October 31, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Wow so underused, developers should hop on it.
  • Jdub9064 - October 31, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    Completely forgot about Geist, never got around to playing that
  • shawksta - October 31, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    Awesome list, YAY Ghost Trick is aknowledged, Sissle was an awesome ghost. its hard, every great moment in Ghost Trick is eventually a spoiler, too many plot twists.
  • GhostbustTyler - October 31, 2011 7:55 p.m.

    I honestly think that Boo Mario should be lower and John Rami should at least be number 2 (haven't played Ghost Trick so I have no idea how awesome it is). Boo Mario conrolled clunky and wasn't as fun as it promised to be, not to mention the rarity of the power up. John Rami in Geist is pretty much everything you'd want to do as a ghost, scare people, and then possess and kill people. Now i admit that the plot and even some parts in the game are batsh*t crazy (like the possessing a motorcycle to help your friend get away)and the controls can be extremely frustrating at times, but it's still a great ghost game and provides more of a whole experience then Boo Mario ever did.

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