Which games had the best ghostly companions?


[This week, Destructoid is made possible by Aksys and developer Lentera Nusantara’s spoopy new side-scrolling action adventure, Ghost Parade! This is a sponsored post.]

Ghost Parade features 30 unique and imaginative ghostly companions, each with unique abilities to help save their paranormal home from being destroyed for profit (man, even ghosts have to deal with late-stage capitalism).

This got us thinking about classic games that featured ghostly companions, and our top picks are below. Did your favorite make the list? Let us know in the comments! Winners will be randomly selected to win imaginary candy corn and strawberry wasabi Tootsie Pops (also imaginary)!

1. Okage (Okage: Shadow King)

This 18-year-old PlayStation 2 gem features a young boy who allows his shadow to be possessed by Great Evil King “Stanley Hihat Trinidad XIV,” aka Stan for short. Despite Stan’s overly ambitious plans of world domination and destruction (not necessarily in that order), he inadvertently helps quite a few people along Ari’s journey, much to his own dismay. Love him or hate him, Stan made for a unique and memorable companion.

2. The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)

Alma from the F.E.A.R. series isn’t quite a “companion,” otherwise she would have been numero uno on this list. But there is one equally memorable antagonistic apparition worth noting, and that’s the Joker himself from Batman: Arkham Knight. Before dying at the end of Arkham City, the Joker infected Batman with his own blood. Combined with an otherwise fatal dose of Scarecrow’s fear gas, this causes Batman to experience ongoing hallucinations of the Joker, who rides shotgun for most of the game, popping up when he’s least wanted to taunt Batman. The execution was superb, and an excellent send-off to the twisted relationship between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime.

Honorary mention goes to Handsome Jack from Tales of the Borderlands, who has a similar final arc after his consciousness is implanted into Rhys’ cybernetic eye.

3. Auron (Final Fantasy X)

This alcoholic ghost doesn’t even make a big thing out of the fact that he’s been dead for over a decade, as he puts the duty of protecting Yuna above all else. He does this presumably because he’s a huge fan of J-pop and could foresee Yuna’s destiny of hot pants and even hotter hit singles, but that’s just theoretical.

4. Your first family (The Sims)

You got careless with the woohoo and accidentally started a family before deciding you wanted a house full of cats instead. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? So you leave the stove on and delete all the doors and windows, then move a couple houses down with a slightly different haircut. Unfortunately, sometimes they come back, and in The Sims that means you either get a ghostly life partner who will lovingly tend to your garden, or possess inanimate objects and throw them all over the place in an undying fit of rage. It’s actually a pretty legitimate depiction of real marriage.

5-40. A LOT of Pokémon (Pokémon)

There are dozens and dozens of ghost-type Pokémon, and if the idea of being trapped inside a baseball-sized prison waiting for the chance to brutally fight other cute, enslaved creatures for the enjoyment and profit of random human children isn’t universally sad enough, ghost Pokémon take it to a whole other level. Buried deep in their Pokédex entries are some shockingly dark details, like how Yamask’s mask is literally its own face from when it was a human. Despite being human eons prior, it remembers its time as a human and can be found crying as it stares at its mask, longing for its prior life.

Or Mimikyu, whose appearance is so ghastly that one person who saw it literally died of shock. Because Mimikyu just wants to snuggle, it is always covered in a rag with a face resembling Pikachu drawn on. Due to the canonical popularity of Pikachu and its merchandise, Mimikyu chose it to mimic in an effort to make friends and be liked, yet never will due to the horrifying creature who lurks beneath. Wow, this list got depressing fast… Damn Pokémons!

41. Boos (Super Mario)

A simple but cute and instantly recognizable design matched with equally simplistic mechanics (they only attack when you aren’t looking at them), Boos are one of the all-time classic Super Mario characters. Just don’t read their Pokédex entry or whatever they have in the Mushroom Kingdom.

If you like ghosts and want to add a few dozen more to your virtual collection, check out Ghost Parade, now available for 20% off on Steam!