It might not currently be the spooky season, but Ghostwire: Tokyo didn’t care all that much about that as it grabbed and dragged us into a strangely deserted vision of Tokyo. Well, only sort of deserted. While all the people you might normally expect to be there are gone, the visitors remain. Turns out that Tokyo is currently filled to the brim with scary spirits and we’re here today to figure out just which ones are the scariest. There are certain plot relevant spirits that we won’t rank just to avoid any potential spoilers, but for the rest of them, we’re going to dive right on in. There are some of these spirits that are also somewhat similar to one another, so some are going to be grouped together just a bit. Also, your mileage is definitely going to vary for these. Those who value fear based on character design might feel completely different from those who base their fear on in game action. Fear is so so subjective. These are just our thoughts!
12. Forlorn / Forsaken
The Forlorn and the Forsaken are a pair that are a bit small, created from the emotions and experiences of poorly treated children. There is something creepy about them, much as there is for all the visitors who are wandering the Tokyo streets in the game. However, the biggest reason that they are placed at the bottom of the list is that they simply cannot hurt you. They wander around and if they spot you, call upon other visitors in the area to help them before they completely vanish. Inconvenient, yes, but at least they’re not coming at you like some of the others that we’ll encounter as we continue.
Their design is striking, though, the yellow raincoat really standing out in the darkened streets to make the Forlorn visible from a distance. The Forsaken stands out less as a result of the red coloring, but it does give them a more dangerous feeling and the tattering of the umbrella is a nice touch, almost giving the impression of them being a longer wandering Forlorn, even if they come about in different ways entirely according to the lore.
The Wanderers are some of the most listless enemies, merely floating about in the breeze, though they are often found high above the ground. Their projectiles are what make them particularly dangerous, especially if they use the height of their perches to their advantage and manage to knock you over the edge. Most annoyingly, they dance about just outside your reach, so their is no chance that you are going to be able to use your melee attack if you run out of ammunition. However, they’re a frail one, needing just a handful of direct hits before you can remove their core.
Their design is one of the simpler ones in the game overall, mostly resembling the sort of ghost you may picture as a child, the ever faithful blanket over the head of an invisible figure. Ghostwire does bring Japanese influence into it as well, though, giving each of these spirits the triangular forehead cover that so often denotes a ghost in media.
10. Paper Doll / Marionette / Passenger
These three visitors are all fairly similar at a first glance, feminine spirits that all fire projectiles at you when they notice that you’re there. In execution, the way these are fired ramps up as each of these figures is more aggressive to the next. However, they are visually very similar, distinguished by subtle differences in their animations. The real danger is when you get a group of these all in one place, surrounding you with projectiles to the point where you can barely move.
9. Rain Walker
The Rain Walker is a simple figure that many will likely compare to the internet’s favorite spook, Slender Man, in one way or another. Still, these are frightening in their own way. As one of the first enemies in the game, you’re going to see them a lot and know how to deal with them fairly quickly, which does make the scary factor tone down somewhat. However, that doesn’t mean that these aren’t scary at first. After all, the fact that they do not run at you and simply speed walk is pretty dang creepy!
8. Rage Walker / Rugged Walker
If the Rain Walker is the classic, then these two are the upgrade. They certainly look like they can take a hit, don’t they? That’s because they can. When we’re talking about spooky businessmen with umbrellas, these are the tanks. They can take a hit and they still move quick, coming on a little more aggressively than their slimmer counterparts. What’s more, they’re not even the apex of this type of enemy and they still soak up your attacks like nothing else.
7. Rain Slasher / Shadow Hunter
If the rage and rugged walkers are the tanks, then these two are the speedsters. They’re even more brutal than those who have come before, doing damage with nearly reckless abandon as they move quickly in on you and take a swing. The Shadow Hunter is perhaps the scarier of the two despite holding a blunt weapon instead of a sharp one. He’s able to just be on you in seconds. What’s worse, they’re rarely alone, so when you’re trying to deal with one of these, there’s a whole bunch of other smaller enemies chipping away at you as well.
6. Student of Misery / Student of Pain
While the walkers might focus on the pain that comes from the workplace, these spirits are a focus on the pains of student life and just the hells that sometimes come along with being a teenager. They’re also quite aggressive, coming at you with sharp kicks to the chest that are going to do more damage than they initially look like they might be able to do.
They’re also perhaps one of my favorite designs in the entire game, their headlessness emphasizing the way that the education system can sometimes make a student feel like they are losing their individuality or getting lost in a crowd. This is doubly amplified when looking at the Student of Misery. These visitors are mentioned to be born specifically from the anxieties of female students. The facelessness takes on a whole new dimension with that, calling attention to the anxieties teenage girls can often face regarding their appearance, highly relatable.
5. Kuchisake / Crimson Kuchisake
The Kuchisake is going to be one of the first times that you come into contact with an enemy that is beyond the more basic ones, but it is by no means the most powerful that you will face. It’s a gateway, a test to see if you are really ready before they start roaming the streets looking for you. It doesn’t help that that first encounter will be in a fairly enclosed space, leaving little room to run! The Crimson version is even more dangerous, which shows in just the design, giving a demonic face to what once was faceless. Of the two, the Crimson Kuchisake is the more frightening for plainly obvious reasons, however, the less powerful version with the hat provides a more striking silhouette.
4. Relentless Walker
This… This is the epitome of the Walker enemies in the game. It combines everything that made the past versions frightening. The Relentless Walker moves quickly, hits hard, and can take a hit even more than those that came before. It might not look like much at a glance, but it’s one that you’re going to need to be prepared before facing. It’s covered in signifiers that it’s special, a unique umbrella and that maul in it’s hand, like a poisonous animal colored brightly to warn you. The most standout element of the design, though, is that loose scarf, an element that seems so casual and carefree for something coming to kill you.
The bride left at the altar, is there nothing more dramatic? Well, perhaps when she’s coming after whoever left her there for revenge! This traditional Japanese bride is coming at you and quick. There’s nothing to do but fight. The scare factor from this one comes from her sheer size. She towers over you as the player, making her a nice big target to hit, but something so big can take a hit and roll with it pretty dang well.
2. Shrine Dancer
Shrine Dancers are, by far, the most frustrating enemy. In many ways, they are the upgrade to the Wanderer, coming around at high heights out of melee range and firing upon you with all that they have. The difference here is that the attacks are more relentless and quick, with multiple projectiles being fired at one time. Worse still, they move in packs and do indeed dance through the air. They are a pain in the way that flying enemies often are and sometimes, there’s just no way to run.
At first glance, they might seem like one of the cuter enemies in the game, all things considered. They’re clearly modeled after a Teru teru bōzu, a type of doll made of string and tissue or fabric that are hung up by children as a charm for the weather, right side up for good weather and upside down for rain. However, that’s what makes these visitors scary too. Those legs hanging out the bottom aren’t typical of these dolls and they’re small and skinny… The mere implication of this being a hanged child is what makes them so frightening.
The Lamentation is one of the more elite enemies in the game and their wild appearance is what makes them so frightening, half a body with wild dark strands of hair whipping around with every movement. These ones hang in the air, waiting for you to come along, but when they hit the ground, you had best be prepared to either stand your ground or run away as they hit hard and fast.
What’s worse is that they come from those who were left alone, cut off from family and friends. I could make a crack about quarantine leaving us like that, but this really isn’t the same. There’s a story about this enemy. Connection with others is what can often make us feel the most human out of anything so it’s no wonder that the shade born of loneliness is the one that is least human, almost feral. While most visitors in the game are merely lacking a face, the face of this one has been swallowed up by nothing but sharp teeth. It’s a devastating portrait.