Geist is a first-person shooter and puzzle game developed by n-Space for the Nintendo GameCube and published by Nintendo. The title was the subject of extensive delays during development, but was finally released on August 15, 2005. In the game, the player takes control of a government agent that has had his spirit separated from his body through an illegal scientific experiment. In order to eventually recover his body and stop the people responsible, the player must possess a variety of people, animals, and physical objects and use them in order to set things right.
The story of Geist centers around John Raimi, a government agent sent in to investigate a secret facility that the Volks Corporation, a company that is known for supplying terrorist cells around the world, currently utilizes in southern France. John is brought in because he specializes in biological and chemical warfare. Thomas Bryson, a personal friend of John's, is a secret agent deep undercover in the Volks Corporation. Bryson has recently relayed information about several high-priority projects that have been in development in said facility. However, after Raimi arrives, one of his teammates is possessed by a non-corporeal assassin, leading to his entire team being captured or killed, and John soon becomes the latest test subject. After his soul is forcibly separated from his body, John is run through a testing simulation created by the Volks Corporation to brainwash him and make him the best assassin possible. However, half way through training, after teaching him about his abilities but before brainwashing him, a mysterious ghost, a little girl named Mimi, arrives and releases John into the Volks building.
As the story unfolds, Alexander Volks, leader of the Volks Corporation, tries to open a portal to another dimension; what he did not anticipate however, was that this other dimension was Hell. Going through with the experiment anyway, Volks unleashes the forces of Hell upon the facility, where they threaten to spill out and destroy the entire world. It is up to John to rescue Bryson, retrieve his own body, escape the facility, and keep the forces of Hell at bay.
The game employs a unique blend of puzzle solving and first person shooting. As Raimi's immortal soul, players freely wander the Volks facility, noting that for some reason time passes slower in 'ghost mode'. An unfortunate side effect of not having a body is that the player's spiritual energy drains constantly; if it empties, the spirit will dissipate and pass on to the afterlife. This energy is refilled whenever the player possesses something or someone. Because the spirit is unable to phase through solid objects such as locked doors or walls, they are forced to either find cracks in the wall to squeeze through or find a way to open a door. Gameplay generally consists of locating a possess-able inanimate object, which can be almost anything, including mirrors, vending machines, cans of paint, and even toilets. This object is used as an 'anchor', a safe spot for the player to return to after exploring for a while to regenerate their energy. To really accomplish anything, however, they must possess a living creature.
Raimi is able to control any animal from a human to a dog to a bat - but only if their brain patterns are in a specific state. Appropriately enough for a ghost simulator, this state is terrified. In his ghost form, Raimi is able to see auras around living creatures that tell him their state of mind. if the host is white it means he is unafraid, if yellow, the subject is slightly frightened, and if red, the host becomes frightened enough to be possessed. Several puzzles consist of the player scaring a hapless human in order to take control of them, so that Raimi can perform a task requiring a physical body. As an example, players can cause phones to emit creepy noises or cause mirrors to display horrifying imagery to scare humans into the red fear zone.
Combat, generally started when the player possesses a soldier, is fairly simple; each weapon-carrying host only has one weapon, and while each functions differently, all guns have unlimited ammunition. Generally, these sequences are made even easier by removing the threat of "death". When one of Raimi's hosts is killed, they simply die, and Raimi is ejected from the body harmlessly. In this situation, most of these sequences will spawn a terrified soldier towards the beginning of the area, meaning that the player is never far from a fresh host. However, boss fights do increase the difficulty by sealing the player in alone with the boss, and because there are no 'spare' hosts around, the death of the current host skips straight to Game Over.
Boss fights often require the player to use all of their abilities to maximum advantage; for example, one early boss is a man who hides behind a bulletproof riot shield and tosses grenades at the player in between bullet salvos. To defeat him, players must wait until he throws a grenade, then leave their host, possess the grenade, and roll it along the floor towards the boss before it explodes; this causes minor damage and stuns him, allowing players to return to their host and shoot him before he gets his shield back up. Most bosses require specific strategies such as this to triumph over them.
Geist has 3 different kinds of multi-player: Possession deathmatch, Capture the Host, and hunt.
Possession deathmatch is a point based deathmatch, for each kill a player gets, he receives a point. Whoever gets the most points wins.
Capture the Host
In capture the host, each player is responsible for capturing a host and returning him to a drop point before the host is killed. If returned to a drop point, the player will earn a point. However, if the host is killed the person who killed the host will get a point.
In hunt, two teams are used. One is made of humans that use anti-ghost weapons to be able to track and kill the enemy ghosts. The ghosts on the other hand try to control the human hosts and force them into hazards such as spikes and fans. The humans are able to eject the ghosts when the A button is tapped rapidly. The first team to deplete the lives of the other team is the winner.