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.
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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