Ghosthunter

series=
engine=
version=

ratings= ESRB: Teen (13+)
BBFC: 12
PEGI : 12+
OFLC: M
platforms= PlayStation 2
media= DVD-ROM
requirements=
input=
resolution = 480i (SDTV)
480p (EDTV)
aspect ratio = 16:9 / 4:3

"Ghosthunter" is a video game based on ghost hunting developed by SCEE. The game was released on the Sony PlayStation 2 in Europe on December 05, 2003, North America on August 17, 2004, and Japan on September 02, 2004.

Plot

A new Detroit Police officer, Lazarus Jones, and his partner, Anna Steele, drive to an old school named Montsaye High. A few years previously, a science teacher named Professor Richmond murdered ten students and then vanished. The cause of death was unknown as there were no marks on any of the bodies. Upon arrival, Lazarus thinks this might be an initiation prank on him. He and his partner decide to split up and investigate. Lazarus takes the basement as Steele takes the top. Halfway down, Lazarus begins to hear strange voices pleading for freedom.

He discovers a strange laboratory and, while inspecting one of the machines, hits a button and releases a horde of ghosts, most of which fly past him. One spirit (most likely Astral) flies right into him, knocking him out cold.

Later, he awakes in a daze. His head is spinning, and he wanders next to a large monitor, which activates Digital Richmond, the computer "version" of Professor Richmond. Upon activating, it simply states that more power is needed. Jones goes in search of more power and as he enters a sewer he meets up with Steele, only to have her stolen by a medieval ghost. This alerts him to his new ability of second sight. As he continues his search, strange orbs surround him and form a revenant ghost. Using his police issued Glock 17 pistol he pushes the husk into two disconnected wires thus providing Digital Richmond with enough power to remain active.

Lazarus then returns to the lab. There Richmond analyzes Lazarus and finds that he is a perfect ghost hunter candidate. Lazarus then asks it about his partner but Digital Richmond is powerless to help him because only one doorway to the ethereal realm is open. Richmond informs Lazarus that if he captures the ghosts that he had set loose more doors might open.

So Lazarus’ training begins. After collecting his capture grenade and pulse rifle, he proceeds to rid the school of ghosts and collects his shotgun from the car. Along the way he finds out about Astral. Finally he confronts Hawksmoor but is stopped by his medieval soldiers. Lazarus defeats the soldiers but Hawksmoor escapes through the spectral gateway.

Lazarus meets back at the lab with Digital Richmond. Lazarus is given spectral binoculars and protective clothing, and then enters the spectral gateway. Lazarus finds himself in the old-fashioned town of Oakville. It used to be a mining town, but now all the inhabitants are dead. In the swamps he learns of a man by name of David De Montford who heroically tried to save a young country girl from a huge crocodile, but unfortunately both were killed. His mother was a rich and powerful owner of a local mine, but when she heard of the death of her only son she went insane and blamed the accident on the local rednecks. She then committed suicide with a shotgun.

Lazarus later meets the late Mrs. De Montford. She thinks he's an intruder from the redneck village but after Lazarus explains that he is a cop, she asks him to help her protect the children from the redneck bandits. He asks for a phone to call for back-up, only to find it broken. Lazarus proceeds through the swamps encountering snipers and crocodile men, finally reaching the redneck village. There are only three rednecks, but they can send out armies of ghosts using a crude form of astral projection. While Lazarus is in the redneck chief's home, a crocodile man sneaks up behind him and knocks him out cold.

Lazarus wakes up in a makeshift prison in the caves. He sends out Astral to find a means of escape but the redneck chief catches her. Surprisingly, he recognizes her as the "Professor's girl" and lets Lazarus go because "he's with her". He tells Lazarus that Mrs. de Montford has captured his daughter, presumably as revenge for the death of her son or to turn her into a ghost, and he wants her back. Lazarus goes to the mansion at night, and finds it twisted beyond recognition. He fights the dead forms of Oakville's children that had been killed by de Montford.

He goes into a second form of the mansion that is even more horrific than the last. He finds the redneck girl and they escape. Lady de Montford confronts them but Lazarus captures her and ends her evil forever. Or so he thinks. A huge crocodile bursts out of the water, accompanied by the giant zombie-like form of David de Montford. He had been bound to the crocodile that had killed him forever and now wanted revenge for his mother. Lazarus causes them to brawl and captures them both. The chief and his daughter are reunited, the swamps are safe and Lazarus gets to sock the crocodile man who knocked him out on the jaw.

On his return to the school, Digital Richmond informs him that he has gained sufficient power to unlock the new wing of the school. Hawksmoor and Steele are locked in the theate, and Lazarus cannot access it. He fights poltergeists that have taken over the science block and the library. The librarian mistakes him for a student and asks him to return two books. One is a book about the life of Hawksmoor, telling Lazarus that he was a medieval lord who had been favoured in the king’s court but his enemies had murdered him and his family. He had grown bitter in death, seeing those responsible for his death become powerful and rich. He, however, became powerful among the ghosts and commanded them.

The second book was the diary of Peter Richmond, a.k.a. Professor Brooke, the ghost hunter that the rednecks knew and the teacher who had vanished after the murders. However, the murders were not his. Hawksmoor, in retaliation for the capturing of his undead allies, had set a trap for him by killing students and capturing Astral. Richmond had tracked him down though and captured him along with his spectral soldiers. After recovering the books, the librarian gave him access to the theater. He tried to attack Hawksmoor but the ghoul set his minions on him then vanished. A new portal had been opened with the capture of the ghosts, however, and Lazarus set off through it.

Lazarus then appears on a British military ghost ship and fights ghosts of British soldiers. Along the way he meets Fortesque, the captain of the ship. Lazarus was about to fight him but Fortesque yelled 'wait' and asked Lazarus if he saw the 'beast' but he said no. Fortesque told him about the beast and said that it is feeding off the ghosts and he plans to use dynamite to defeat it. Fortesque also says he met Richmond and says he was a brave man who helped out Fortesque and his men before. Some of the beast's tentacles appears and takes away Fortesque's body leaving behind his head. Fortesque told Lazarus to help fight the beast and then the beast also took Fortesque's head away. Lazarus explores the ship and find several tenticles which he blasts away with dynamite. He listens to recorded messages and learns that a captain named Kraken had the 'Dagger of Poseidon' and it turned him into the beast and he ate some of his crewmembers. Lazarus soon meets Fortesque again and together they use dynamite to blast open the door that leads to the beast. Fortesque says he has a plan to trap the beast in the ship's ballroom and he asks Lazarus to use the Dagger of Poseidon to lure the beast to the ballroom. Lazarus looks for the Dagger and finds it. Soon afterwards Lazarus and the beast are in the ballroom and Fortesque appears in an army tank. Together they fight the beast and Lazarus catches the ghosts of Kraken's crewmembers which made Kraken return to his human form. Fortesque then captures Kraken and Lazarus then captures Fortesque.

Lazarus briefly returns to the lab and enters the portal again. He finds himself on a prison island (much like Alcatraz) and discovers that a man named Frank Agglini murdered his wife. While exploring the prison Lazarus sees the ghost of the murdered wife and then her daughter. Lazarus is then possessed by Frank and walks to the electric chair and sits in it but Richmond appears and rescues Lazarus. Lazarus soon realises than he finally met Peter Richmond but then Frank appears in the chair and Lazarus fights and captures him. Lazarus and Richmond make their way out of the prison and into the prison scrap yard. They encounter poltergeists and Richmond adjusts the goggles so that Lazarus can see poltergeists with it. The poltergeists create monsters made from junk but defeats them by catching the poltergeists.

Lazarus and Richmond return to the lab and enter the portal for the last time. They appear in a military base similar to Area 51. While making their way through the base Richmond mention the Zero Bomb, a weapon that can destroy ghosts. They eventually enter a large room but Richmond leaves the room and the door closes leaving Lazarus trapped. Hawksmoor and Anna then appear and Hawksmoor uses a machine to separate Astral from Lazarus. Hawksmoor then forces Anna to shoot and kill Lazarus. After Lazarus died Digital Richmond took control of a robot body and met Richmond and said he was disappointed that Richmon led Lazarus to his death. Digital Richmond then used the machine to get Lazarus' ghost out of his body. Lazarus and Digital Richmond met and they went to a machine that can turn ghosts back into living people and Digital Richmond used the machine to revive Lazarus. Hawksmoor tried to use the machine but Lazarus, Anna and Richmond shot at it and destroyed it before it could work. Hawksmoor was angry and attacked Lazarus but Lazarus weakened him. Digital Richmond sugested using the Zero Bomb on Hawksmoor. Richmond told Lazarus and Anna to leave and soon afterwards there was a big explosion. Lazarus and Anna returned to the lab and wonder if Richmond made it out okay. Lazarus also wonder what to put in his police report and what excuse he can come up with for being gone for three days.

Style

"Ghosthunter" is an unusual mix of horror, action, comedy and drama, blending these disparate genres together in a manner some critics have compared to the "Ghostbusters" films or the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series. While the action and horror aspects predominate throughout, some sections of the game - such as the "Redneck" aspects - are more comedic, while others - such as the later prison plotline - are dramatic and sometimes even rather tragic. Certain sections, such as Mrs. de Montford's mansion, contain highly surreal elements. "Ghosthunter" is also a relatively rare example of a game including the cinematic convention of the false ending: Lazarus is killed, apparently for good, and the game then brings up the title screen, inviting the player to start over and strongly suggesting that the game is over. But within moments, the action begins again...

Characters

Lazarus Jones
A newly promoted Detroit detective, Lazarus is young, idealistic, keen and headstrong as soon as disaster strikes - a natural skeptic who faces adversity with a quip. It's his first day in a new job in a new town, he has risen through the ranks and is eager to get to where he thinks the action is. He is an ambitious guy who has never been truly tested.

Anna Steele
A senior officer, Anna takes rookie cop Lazarus Jones under her wing to show him the ropes, test him on the field, and get a feel for his investigative technique - if he has any. On a routine inspection at the abandoned Montsaye High School, Anna comes face to face with adversity and her worst nightmares.

Professor Peter Richmond
Professor Richmond was the science teacher at Montsaye High School, a.k.a. Professor Brooke, who has a sheltered history. He once worked for the government in their supernatural department until he was apparently fired over a disagreement. He is a haunted man with a broken soul and will do anything to escape. He is the prime suspect in Detroit's famous Montsaye murders.

Digital Richmond
The Professor's greatest invention, a digital clone of himself, he is a guide to ghost hunters and is always cool and logical.

Sir William Hawksmoor
Sir William Hawksmoor is the ghost of a medieval knight, champion and right hand man of the king. He was labeled "Black Hawk". Caught in the political struggles of his time, he apparently witnessed his own family's slaughter before he was also killed. As a ghost, he waited for revenge but it would not come.....

They say that a ghost is a manifestation of a past injustice, taken before ones time and that when the wicked have been punished the ghost is free to move on to the "next life". One of Hawksmoor's chief frustration is that this was not the case for him. He had to suffer watching his killers enjoy their lives, part of Hawksmoor feels he has been cheated out of life and his expected rights as a ghost. He has wandered the earth and watched the living waste their lives all the while growing more deformed, bitter, and particularly, bored. His only desire: to become "flesh" again. Time is not immeasurable even for ghosts, and after centuries of waiting his time is almost up.

Kate Heller (Astral)
Astral is the spirit of Kate Heller. Lazarus can summon her with a spectral rift. Being a spirit she can not be harmed or even seen by ghosts. She floats instead of walking. As the player catches more ghosts Astral gains certain abilities, as follows, with the number of ghost needed to gain them.

# Revenant ability, she can be affected by gravity and can flip switches, 3 revenants.
# Poltergeist ability, she can blast apart objects, 7 poltergeists.
# Spectral ability, she can pass through slime patches on the wall, 6 daughters of oakville.
# Charming ability, she can lure nearby howlers to specific spots, 1 howler.
# Possession ability, she can possess ghosts and use their abilities, 5 prison guards.

As the player uses these abilities Lazarus will drain ghost energy, so it is not wise to use these abilities if Lazarus is low on ghost energy. His reservoir and Astral's are linked - if she runs out, he runs out.

Weapons

Glock 17
The 9mm handgun is your default weapon, it is given to you at the beginning of the game, the Glock is the standard issue firearm for the Detroit police department, it has unlimited ammo, but only a 10-round clip. This weapon can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, and reload time is minimal. The Glock is the weakest of all weapons, but it can save your life when all the other guns are out of ammo.

Pulse Rifle
The pulse rifle runs off ghost energy. Its reservoir holds 160 rounds of ghost energy and can fire 40 shots before reloading is necessary. Tapping the fire button releases single shots button. Hold it down for a charged shot that spends two rounds. It is easier and quicker to fire rapidly. The pulse rifle shares its store with the sniper rifle if you dip in the stock to reload the sniper rifle they're will be fewer rounds available for the pulse rifle and vice versa. Get this with grenade and then battle 2 Revenants in a row.

Shotgun
The 12-gauge pump-action shotgun is another police issued firearm but it does not begin in your inventory you can find it in the back of your squad car. You can hold as many boxes of shotgun shells you can find but it must be reloaded after firing four shells. All four shells can be shot in 2½ seconds and reloading takes a mere second. The shotgun is most effective at close range, but you must be choose wisely on whom to spend the shells on, shotgun shells are not very plentiful except for the swamp level and the prison level. Get this when you first get outside inside your car trunk. Also, get this at the end of first level.

Sniper Rifle
The sniper rifle is a high-tech weapon that runs off ghost energy, a full reservoir allows you to fire 10 rounds in the gun along with 23 extras. This pales in comparison to the pulse rifle, but for ground reason the sniper rifle is much more powerful and resourceful. While in first person use the left analog to zoom in and out, one head shot should finish any ghost. Get this at the end of the first level.

Grenade Launcher
This is a medium range, heavy duty assault weapon, it fires explosive grenades and Smoke grenades that can help you see poltergeists. Get this at the beginning of 3rd level

Spectral Lasso
This gun uses a long stream of energy or some kind of laser to damage enemies. It fires a continuous stream that not only damages the ghost, but collects and draws in the power ups it releases. It has the most ammo of all your guns, but it empties the quickest. Not only will it draw ghost energy from your reservoir, but it will also suck the juice out of your other guns. It is perfect for long range battles.

Techno Gun
This gun resembles the pulse rifle. It is the top of the line in ghost hunting technology. It has infinite ammo, a capacity of 100 and reloading time is quick. It has both single fire and rapid fire. Single fire is achieved by tapping the fire button. To use the stream hold the fire button down.

Capture Grenade
This device is the most important in the game. It has two functions - to anchor the ghost into the living realm making it susceptible to damage, and it captures a weakened ghost and sends it straight to the array (ghost vault). It is also used to pick up power-ups that are out of reach. Get this with pulse rifle

Spectral Goggles
These simply help you see ghosts better. Though after the battle with the electric guardian Richmond adjusts them so you can see poltergeists. Get these with Sniper rifle.

Ghosts

Revenant
These beasts are common and can manifest themselves into a mortal state. Killing them is easy at the beginning of the story, but becomes more difficult as you progress. They appear as large walking hulks of rotten flesh with long clawed arms that can swipe at you and cause damage. They can also travel as an orb-like object, which allows them to teleport from different areas quickly. When you throw a grenade they will not be afraid like other ghosts. They will continue to charge until they are captured. It is best to use the shotgun to weaken them. There are three different types of this creature - the normal brown one, the prison attire, and the red and dark brown one. The latter are not fought until later in the game.

Blue Spook
This is weakest of all ghosts, and though common, should never be underestimated. It fires a spitball-like blast and can fly through you. It becomes a bright blue T-shape when it is about to fly through you. It resembles a classic ghost - blue and with an evil-looking pointed face, two arms, but no legs just a smoky tail. It is surprisingly resistant to the capture grenade, sometimes it will even take off with it.

Crossbow Knights
You only encounter three of these once at the end of the first level. They are fairly easy to capture as they only stay on the upper level of the hall. They are positioned at different sides and fire their bows at a steady pace. They are dressed in armor with an open face mask.

Hammer Knight
There is only one Hammer Knight which you must capture to complete the level. He is fully armed and holds a heavy hammer and a full square shield. To capture him you must throw the capture grenade at an angle so it goes behind him. Then quickly move straight in front of him so when the grenade returns it gets lodged in his back then weaken him so he can be captured.

Howlers
These are not a threat in any way as they are scared of any living thing including Lazarus. There is no possible way of capturing them apart from when they fall asleep in their nests. They appear almost dog-like and fly rather than walk. You should use them to your advantage as they can open doors. To do this you must keep out of sight or they will become spooked and return to a hideout. They have an annoying habit of digging up blue spooks although they can also dig up health and ghost energy.

Redneck Snipers
Hidden in shacks and in old buildings these ghosts shoot from long distances and cannot be captured only eliminated. They are almost invisible, appearing only faintly. You can easily see them by using the spectral goggles. They are dressed in masks, light body wear and black cape. They can easily be killed with your sniper rifle or shotgun at close range. If in a situation with a lot of snipers, simply take shelter and take them out one by one. They are eventually revealed to be humans using the Professor's technology to temporarily become ghosts.

Crocodile Man
These ghosts appear in the swamps and near the ghost town of Oakville. They can become a big problem because they are difficult to eliminate. Like the Redneck Snipers, you can't capture them with the grenade. To defeat them use the shotgun as is weakens them fast. They are armed with a chainsaw that can cause you harm, but their worst attack is the body slam as it leaves you with a small percentage of health. They wear bloodstained apron and gloves with a crocodile head covering their head. They resemble Leatherface in many ways such as their mask, chainsaw and apron. They are eventually revealed to be humans using the Professor's technology to temporarily become ghosts.

The Daughters of Oakville
If they are threatened these ghosts manifest into their favorite toy. The manifestation turns them in to a mutant teddy which will attack by swinging the ghost girls body or by jumping at you. At first form they look harmless and run away if approached. But once threatened, they change to a mutant teddy, that moves slowly with stuffing falling out of its belly. It has a round head with eyes and a half zipped mouth.

Liquid Beasts
These ghosts look like flying squids with a sharks mouth filled with teeth. They can be weakened at a normal rate and don't pose as a big problem. They are mainly found near water and attack by diving towards you, which is similar to the Blue Spooks attack. One is released from a well after completing the sound puzzle in the Redneck Village.

The Sons of Oakville
Often wandering alone in Lady De Montford's Mansion, these ghosts at first sight look simple enough to capture but when they see you it all changes. They turn into a swirling twister that will pursue you until they become tired. While in twister form, you can't capture them. You will have to capture the ghost in their first form. They are small and wear a shirt covered by a grey waistcoat, red shorts and pulled up socks with brown shoes.

Mutant Teddy Spectral Form
They are the same as the mutant teddies above but do not start off in their first form and cannot be captured by the capture grenade, they are only eliminated by gunfire. They are found in Lady De Montford's Weird Mansion.

Poltergeist
Poltergeist are invisible to the human eye and spectral goggles until you meet Professor Richmond. They resemble gargoyles and their main attack, is to throw things at you, they are also revealed in smoke and mist.

Death Angels
Seen during the New School level, and in later levels, they are the big brother to the Blue Spook and are tougher and harder to kill than the Blue Spooks, they are easier to see with the Spectral Goggles.

Ship Soldier
Still fighting for king and country, decades after the Second World War ended, the bloated carcasses of Colonel Fortesque's men have been condemned to the seas, eternally fighting Captain Kraken or The Beast.

Prison Guard
These undead prison guards still guard Devil's Scar Island from escapees and those who are not supposed to be there. There are two types of these creatures, one with guns and the other with a spiked club.

Ghosthunters
Seen during the final chapter, they resemble S.W.A.T. team members and carry Pulse Rifles or Techno Guns. They only shoot at you, not at Professor Richmond. They have the same tactics as the ghost ship soldiers and their dead bodies are found everywhere.

Bosses

Swamp Mutant
The twin ghosts of David de Montford and the Great Crocodile have fused into one. David hides inside the croc's stomach most of the time, and emerges from its mouth when he's on land. In their fused form, the crocodile has bitten down on David's arm and he uses it as a makeshift club. When they are separated, they are likely to weaken each other by fighting. David can also leap great heights and shoot ghost energy out of his mouth. To beat them later, let them wrestle and shoot the croc when it comes near. Also, get in a small doorway place.

The Beast
When Captain Kraken was stabbed with the legendary Dagger of Poseidon, he carried on living. As each of his crew members died, he absorbed their souls and became more monstrous until he transformed into an octopus-like giant that had tentacles reaching far into the ship. His tentacles acted as his eyes and ears (literally), and also grabbed the ghost soldiers to feed himself. He could turn into his human form and back at will, suggesting he was not entirely out of control of his body, but preferred his octopus form. He was eventually defeated when the souls of his crew were extracted from him, and he became human again. Look behind him for lost souls.

Electric Guardian
The ghost of Frank Agglin. A former police officer that was driven by Hawksmoor to murder his wife, he was consigned to the electric chair at Devil's Scar Island. However, his ghost killed the prison guards and he took over. He controlled electricity, due to the manner of his death, and still took orders from Hawksmoor. Lazarus and Richmond joined together to defeat him.

Hawksmoor
The ghost lord found the Resurrection Engine at the military base and used Kate Heller to power it. When it was destroyed, he sent legions of ghosts at Lazarus but the cop banished them with the Techno Gun and destroyed the Machiavellian schemer once and for all.

Trivia

* Rob Paulsen voiced the lead character, Lazarus Jones.
* Sir Michael Gambon voiced Hawksmoor.
* In early screenshots Lazarus had a patch on his jacket which resembled the Ghostbusters logo.
* During the prison level, Lazarus Jones makes his way through an underground maze featuring steam-pipes that fire hot steam jets and giant spinning cogs. After completing the maze he emerges in a shower-room surrounded from above by gun-wielding ghost guards. This is very similar to the underwater Navy SEAL incursion sequence from the 1996 action film "The Rock".
* It's one of the few games that Greek language can be chosen.

External links

*
* [http://ghosthunter.namco.com/ Ghosthunter "Official Site"]


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