GHOST SMILE III is a 2016 Action RPG developed by Inora for The V². A sequel to GHOST SMILE, GHOST SMILE II, GHOST SMILE: Spooky Spirits, and GHOST SMILE: Block n' Boo!, the game is the culmination of the popular GHOST SMILE series and a solo title in the New Fantendoverse. The game was originally revealed in a very early state during the Fantendo Holiday Showcase 2015.
Following the last game's ending, Smile returns to his home, the Spirit Universe. Though things seem normal at first, the universe comes under siege during the visit of an important guest, and Smile, alongside new allies, must uncover the villain behind this plot and their dangerous motives that could threaten the Multiverse as a whole. Reception for the game has been (TBA).
Chapter 1: Homecoming
Things start off with a bang.
The game opens with an overhead shot of the Spirit Universe, which has clearly devolved into chaos, various ghosts running and hiding, a legion of robotic drones marching toward the Spirit Council's mansion, and a spaceship crashed into the building's rooftop.
- ???: Dude, please wake the hell up.
Inside a bar that's burning down in Spirit Central, we see a humanoid ghost with an Avenged Sevenfold shirt on standing over an unconcious Smile.
- Smile: W-who are you?
- ???: Ask me after we get out of here!
The player then gains control of Smile (as well as the other ghost if the player wishes), as they attempt to escape the bar. They head to the door, where something on the other side is blocking it from opening.
- Smile: Wreckage is blocking the door, help me out here!
- ???: On it, man.
Together, they open the door through brute force, introducing the teamwork feature. Outside, they see that the buildings around them are collapsing, and cautiously walk into the street.
- Smile: So, you are...?
- ???: Kurt. You're Smile, right?
- Smile: Unfortunately, yes. How did you know that?
- Kurt: You're kind of a celebrity around here, dude.
- Smile: Huh. Well, anyways, what happened?
- Kurt: You tell me. I was just getting a drink when those freaky robots showed up. I got everybody else outta here, when you decided to crash through the roof.
- Smile: Sorry about that...I need to get to the mansion. The Spirit Council is in serious danger. You stay here.
- Kurt: Hell no! This is my universe too, bro.
- Smile: Look...
A drone leaps off the roof onto Smile's back and attempts to choke him as a knife appears in Kurt's hand which he plunges into the drone's head, causing it to drop off and short out.
- Smile: On second thought, you should probably come along.
Kurt nods and smirks, the two running toward the mansion. Here, the player can get a handle on the controls as well as combat while the two fight through the hoard of robots blocking their way, ending with a puzzle involving Smile's Spirits and Kurt's knives in order to open the locked door. They open it, and the duo walk in, shutting the door behind themselves.
- Smile: It's just u-
A grumpy ghost leaps onto Smile and puts his longsword against Smile's neck. Smile looks terrified until Elder walks up next to the ghost and Smile lets out a sigh of relief.
- Elder: It's just Smile, Morris, let him go.
Morris gets off Smile and walks back towards a young woman with a glowing shotgun over her back, a humanoid spirit with tentacles, and the Spirit Council.
- Elder: Well then...I suppose some introductions are in order, before we continue.
Kurt and Smile nod, unnerved and confused, as the scene cuts to black quickly.
Before the next cutscene, a series of stain-glass paintings (which can be skipped through) recap GHOST SMILE, GHOST SMILE II, GHOST SMILE: Spooky Spirits, and GHOST SMILE: Block n' Boo!.
A SHORT TIME BEFORE...
The next cutscene shows Spirit Central, which is as hectic and busy as ever, before zooming out to show Smile sitting on a hill in the Spirit Universe's graveyard. He shows a small smile, the moonlight shining down on him.
- Smile: I guess some things don't change. It all looks the same as when I was last here. Looks the same as when I was a kid.
While taking a moment to relax, Smile sees what seems to be a meteorite shooting across the sky and looks confused.
- Smile: I've never seen a meteorite in the Spirit Universe and I've lived here for-
The meteorite then crashes into the graveyard, causing an explosion that knocks Smile off his backside and onto the ground. He groans in pain and stands up, flame and black smoke coming from the meteorite.
- Smile: What the heck?!
As the smoke clears, Smile sees that the meteorite wasn't a meteorite at all, but a futuristic looking pod. He stays back and opts not to open it, but the pod's door opens anyways and a spider-like robot exits the pod.
- Smile: Hey! Where did you come from?
The spider robot scuttles away, silently, and Smile decides to follow it. He chases it through graveyard until he follows it into Spirit Central, where the tiny robot escapes through a small crawlspace.
- Smile: I have no clue what that thing was...
- ???: Still haven't kicked the monologue habit?
Smile looks up to see Spirit Council member Fear standing in front of him, a smile on her face that doesn't exactly seem friendly or fake.
- Smile: Hey, Fear. You look...good, I think.
- Fear: Aww, how sweet.
Before Smile can respond, Fear hands him a newsletter that he takes and looks at, the name of the paper being Evening Blue. Smile has a surprised expression on his face as he skims through it.
- Smile:...Elder has a daughter?
- Fear: Man, imagine that girl's conception.
Smile makes a disgusted expression and shudders, not wanting to think about it, and Fear snickers.
- Smile: Looks like I decided to visit at a good time though, there's going to be a big festival and all for his daughter and granddaughter visiting...I could really use some celebrations, after the week I've had.
- Fear: Us normal ghosts can barely imagine all the heroism you must've pulled off in your three year absence.
- Smile: Do I detect a hint of jealousy?
- Fear: You detect sarcasm, Mopey, I like it just fine here.
- Smile: You make many friends, Fear?
- Fear: Do you?
Before Smile can come up with a witty retort, he sees the spider robot scuttle off towards the Spirit Council Mansion.
- Smile: Did you see that?
- Fear: No, mechanical spiders are commonplace here. Of course I saw it!
- Smile: Do we follow it?
- Fear: Please don't tell me that you brought it from wherever you came from.
- Smile: I did NOT bring that.
Fear rolls her eyes and runs off toward the spider robot. From here, Smile can explore Spirit Central, but must head to the mansion to trigger the next cutscene.
Inside the mansion, they see the spider robot sprint off towards the bottom set of stairs. Smile looks confused, while Fear looks afraid.
- Smile: I don't think I've ever seen you look scared.
- Fear: It's headed towards the catacombs...
- Smile: Well that sounds appropriately terrifying, but what's so special about that little guy going down there?
- Fear: The point is, we need to find the other Spirit Council members. I like this gig.
- Smile: I don't-
They then hear a loud boom and see a gigantic spaceship flying toward the mansion from the window. The two both stand there in awe.
- Smile: Get the others to safety, I'll go check it out!
- Fear: Not going to complain about that arrangement!
Smile runs outside while Fear runs up the stairs to get the others. He looks out to see the ship releasing several pods, full of drones, as it hurtles toward the mansion.
- Smile: My god.
Smile looks skyward as the ship drops bombs all over the Spirit Universe before crashing into the mansion. He tries to run away from the explosion, but a bomb falls next to him and explodes, sending him flying and knocking him out.
Chapter 2: Siege
Some introductions are in order.
Continuing off from where we left off with Smile and Kurt at the Spirit Council Mansion, we see the group all sitting down uneasily in awkward silence, a newly made makeshift barricade in front of the door. Elder decides to break the silence.
- Elder: So, Smile, who's the young man next to you?
- Kurt: Name's Kurt, dude. I mean sir. I mean, Mr. Elder. Sir.
Elder nods, looking mildly amused, and then looks to Smile, who seems pretty exhausted and confused.
- Elder: Would you like to know these people, son?
- Smile: Oh! Yeah, sorry, sure...
Elder points to the young woman, who seems rather unafraid despite the circumstances, instead looking almost angry.
- Elder: This is Isabella, my granddaughter.
Smile gets up and reaches out to shake her hand. She shakes his hand, rather hard, and he looks surprised.
- Isabella: Smile, huh? I've heard a bit about you.
- Smile: It's, umm, nice to meet you.
Elder then proceeds to point to Morris. Smile reaches out to shake Morris' hand, but Morris stays unmoving and silent.
- Smile: Sorry about getting off to bad start like that, I, just, uh-
- Morris: It's fine. I'm just doing my job.
- Elder: Morris is Isabella's bodyguard.
- Isabella: He can be a little overprotective and stoic, but...nobody I know is more loyal or noble.
Elder nods, Morris showing a small smile at the compliments, before the Spirit Council's leader points to the ghost with tentacles.
- Elder: This is-
- ???: Martin, Spirit Council officer. Eld and I are old friends...don't ask about the tentacles, it's a long story.
Smile nods and starts to say something, when Red interrupts him abruptly.
- Red: These hellos are all sunshine and fun, I know, but if we don't figure out a solution for this problem, we're dead. That barricade can't hold forever.
- Frown: Red's right...things seem hopeless...
Frown sighs glumly and Isabella rolls her eyes.
- Isabella: If things really are that bad, then there's no way I'm going to die here. I wanna die fighting.
- Morris: Mam, I'm sure there's a better solution then th-
- Martin: I don't think she's the type of woman you argue with.
- Isabella: What's that supposed to mean?
Isabella glares at Martin, who just shrugs.
- Martin: Hey, I'm just saying...
- Morris: Are you tr-
- Elder: Quiet!
Spooked by Elder's loud and agitated voice, they're all silenced and look to Elder, who seems to be back to his usual, calm nature after shutting them up.
- Elder: Arguing will do us no good. The Spirit Council and the people of this universe will work as they always have, together. Now then, we need to strategize. I can catch up Smile, Kurt, Morris, Martin, and Isabella on our opponent's motives...
- Red: I can take care of the bastards headed for the mansion, leave that to me.
- Frown: That ship crash caused serious damage to the mansion...I'll fix it up...I guess...
- Gaze: I'll calculate how much property damage this caused.
- Fear: Leave it to me to corral the people. It'll be FUN!
Elder nods, satisfied that everyone is going to be working hard to keep the Spirit Universe afloat, and then he looks to the other five.
- Elder: Now then...
Elder begins to walk down the stairs into the catacombs without a word. With a shrug, they all follow Elder.
In the catacombs underneath the mansion, players are able to control all five characters and get accustomed to the new character's abilities and weapons as they fight hostile ghosts inside of the underground passage. After some quick battles, simple puzzles, and platforming, they reach the deepest area of the catacombs, where darkness blocks their view from seeing any more.
- Isabella: Are the torches out on purpose?
- Elder: Hmm, I'd love to say it was done for some brilliant reason, but no...looks like they just went out.
Martin pulls out a lighter from his pocket and holds it up, igniting flames on both of the unlit torches, lighting the deepest part of the catacombs up and revealing a large door with no doorknob, but with eight circular slots.
- Kurt: You didn't strike me as the smoking type, Mart.
- Martin: Mart? Who the hell has a nickname like Mart?
- Kurt: Well, Isabella is Iz, Morris is-
Morris glares at Kurt, silencing him quickly.
- Kurt: Smile is-
- Smile: I'd rather I didn't have a nickname, thanks.
Kurt frowns and pouts a bit, prompting Martin to sigh before looking to him.
- Martin: Alright, fine, you can call me Mart.
- Kurt: Rad!
- Elder: Ahem!
They then all look at Elder, who points to the door. Everyone looks confused and a little creeped out by it's presence.
- Mart: So THIS is where they put the bodies.
Elder rolls his eyes and stands in front of the door, putting his hand against it.
- Elder: Have you all heard of Spectral Energy before?
Smile, Morris, Mart, and Kurt nod, while Isabella shakes her head. They all look at her and she shrugs.
- Isabella: Hey, I've lived with, well, the living for most of my life!
- Elder: It's no issue, Isabella. Spectral Energy is released when someone dies, or for ghosts that have already died, released when they ascend or descend from the Spirit Universe...it's the "soul" of all creatures, I suppose you could say. It's a green, glowing form of energy that is the strongest power source in the multiverse. With a large deposit in the wrong hands...the results could be catastrophic. It can power anything effortlessly for a long period of time.
Isabella nods, intrigued, and Kurt confidently puts his hand on the door.
- Kurt: So what's behind this bad boy is a bunch of Spectral Energy?
- Elder: More or less, Kurt, but a "bunch" is an understatement. Behind this door is a pocket dimension, one where all the Spectral Energy that hasn't been absorbed goes. Spectral Energy that goes back from the dawn of time, and not just the dawn of time in one universe...the Spectral Energy from ALL the universes.
Everyone looks very concerned at the thought of that, except for Isabella who's just focused on listening intently.
- Mart: I've seen some stuff in my day, but that...that's insane. Whoever had that would effectively have the power to destroy everything, or rule everything, or do WHATEVER they wanted to, WHENEVER they wanted to.
- Elder: Indeed. The Spirit Council realized this when it was first formed, so they sealed the portal to this source of energy behind a door, and decided to create eight keys for it, to make sure that no one would be able to open the door besides them in case of emergency. They deemed these orb-shaped keys the Stones of Spirit, and cast them across the multiverse.
Kurt slumps down, leaning against the door and ruffling his hair with his hand.
- Kurt: We're golden then, right? No one's gonna find the keys, even if they break in here.
- Elder: That's a nice thought, Kurt, but these drones are clearly scouting through the entire Universe. They'll eventually find the map to these artifacts.
- Smile: Why would they make a map?
- Elder: In case the future Spirit Councils needed to find them, of course.
- Isabella: Sound logic to me.
Smile groans and looks to Elder before putting his hand on his chin.
- Smile: Alright then, where's that map? I better find it before they do, even if I wasn't planning on going on another adventure today...
- Isabella: Hey, you're not going alone!
Smile looks to Isabella, annoyed, but she doesn't back up, moving toward him.
- Isabella: My whole life I've been told about all these monsters that would want to hurt me, protected by someone bigger or stronger than me. I finally have a chance to live up to the legacy my grandfather left behind, and I'm not gonna let anyone, not even a big shot like you, take it away from me.
- Smile: Morris, or Elder, please tell her that I can hand-
Smile stops talking when he sees that they're all standing behind Isabella. He proceeds to let out a loud, disappointed sigh.
- Elder: She's her own person, Smile. You're quite capable, I know that, but whoever finds those stones first has unlimited power. It might be time to accept some help.
- Morris: If Isabella insists on going, I can't stop her. I can only try to help her.
Isabella grins and Smile, without a word, turns around and rolls his eyes before starting to walk off.
- Elder: The map is in the Gothic Castle, by the way.
- Smile: Oh, great, that just makes everything SO much bet-
He looks behind him to see that Kurt and Mart are also following behind him.
- Smile: You guys, too?!
- Kurt: I'm in it for the adventure, man! This is awesome!
- Mart: It's my duty as an officer of the Spirit Universe to help. You're not getting rid of any of us.
Smile mutters to himself but reluctantly motions for them to follow behind him as he walks off, forced into a brand new adventure.
Chapter 3: Alliance
The team sets out to retrieve an important artifact.
Before the five head out to the Gothic Castle, the player is allowed to explore the Spirit Universe, buy some items, and grind for experience if they wish to do so. After the team has done all they want to do, they can head down the eastern path of the graveyard to advance the story.
- Isabella: So, Smile, how does it feel to be a celebrity?
As the five walk down the path to the ancient fortress, Smile shrugs and mutters to himself.
- Smile: It's not...not special, really. I'm not a social person...doesn't do anything for me.
- Kurt: Man, being famous sounds awesome! Free stuff! Popularity! Girls!
Isabella rolls her eyes and Mart chuckles, Morris and Smile staying quiet and focused on the task at hand.
- Mart: Kurt, we've known each other for a little less than an hour, but I think you've already made your personality very clear.
- Kurt: Hey, I'm deeper than you think! Don't tell me that you wouldn't like fame.
- Mart: I dunno...maybe when I was younger. I'm pretty confident in the life I have.
- Kurt: Oh, come on! Iz, back me up.
- Isabella: It's not about that stuff to me...when you're related to someone like Grandpa, you want to prove yourself. Prove that you're more than a spoiled girl who's part ghost.
- Kurt: Morris, please tell th-
- Morris: Quiet.
Kurt looks like he's about to respond angrily, when Morris points upwards and they see that they've all arrived at the imposing Gothic Castle, the old building casting a shadow over them.
- Morris: Be careful. We don't know what's in here.
- Smile: I know what's in there.
Everyone turns and glares at him and he looks away, whistling to himself.
- Mart: Well, who's going to bust down the damn door?
- Kurt: I volunteer!
- Morris: Now, regardless if one of us has been inside the castle, they could already be insi-
Isabella then interrupts them by blasting the door open with her shotgun. Inside the castle, drones who are searching for the map turn around and set their sights on the group.
- Kurt: Is it too late to take that back?
- Morris: Yes!
They dash into the castle's foyer and a scuffle breaks out between them and the drones.
After defeating the drones in the foyer, the five take a moment to breathe, standing there in silence.
- Kurt: Well, we kicked their butts.
- Mart: Those drones are nasty little twerps.
- Smile: They've beat us here. If we're going to get the map before they do, we'll have to hurry.
- Isabella: Let's get to it!
Morris nods and the newly formed group delve into the castle, the game's first full-sized dungeon. After solving various puzzles that heavily utlize teamwork, battling through the scout drones, and navigating the complicated structure, they reach the deepest room of the castle, where no one seems to be there.
- Isabella: Alright, tour guide, what's supposed to be in THIS room?
- Smile: A giant ghost dog named Puppeterror.
- Kurt: Cool!
- Mart: Are you messing with us?
- Smile: No...he...he should be right here. Last time I saw him, he was being mind-controlled, but I freed him....
- Morris: It's a dog, maybe he ran away. It wouldn't be too-
Suddenly, a blast of energy pulses out from the center of the room and Morris, Mart, Kurt, and Isabella are knocked unconcious. However, Smile, able to control his form, slinks to the ground and dodges the shockwave.
- Smile: Oh no. Ooooooooooooooooh, this is bad. So, so, so bad.
Smile leaps up from the ground and sees a few drones surrounding a large and imposing droid in the center of the room, where there used to be nothing.
- Smile: I've fought scarier monsters than you. Leave before I...uh...beat you up.
- ???: Kill them. I'll deal with the leader.
The drones nod and scuttle off to do their work, following the orders of the deep-voiced robot. Smile winces at the gravelly, metallic tone of his voice, but summons the Marksman Spirit and fires shadow bullets at all the drones with precise aim, destroying them all before they can hurt the others.
- ???: Hmm.
- Smile: The bullets won't work on you. You're not like one of those drones, you're a Doomuli.
- ???: Impressive knowledge. Nice aim, as well.
- Smile: I've never heard about you, though. You're not Grime, you're not Thai, you're...
- ???: Strike.
- Smile: I thought Doomuli were supposed to conquer planets, but...you're just ravaging an entire universe. Why?
Unwilling to divulge the information or tired of the conversation, Strike morphs his hand into a metal blade and slashes towards Smile, but Smile molds his hand into a slime sword at the last minute and blocks his attack.
- Strike: You statistically can't win. You're outnumbered. Even if you kill me right now, they'll always be more drones to fight. Always.
- Smile: I'll keep fighting. I...I always have.
Strike shakes his head and the two begin to swordfight.
DREADFUL, DEADLY DOOMULI
After a challenging but fair fight that teaches the player about Slime Molds, Smile defeats Strike, who kneels and looks down, breathing heavily.
- Strike: End it.
- Smile: I...I should. But...I have to be better than that. I have to b-
Strike suddenly slashes Smile's chest, sending him reeling back in pain, and uses the opportunity to back up and disappear in a blue flash.
- Smile: Oww! Jeez, gosh, oww, that hurt.
Smile looks around and then spots his unconcious allies and sighs.
- Smile: Better get them up and tell them about all that...
Smile walks over to them and taps his foot awkwardly, thinking of how to wake them up, when they all slowly begin to come to conciousness. Kurt rubs his head, Isabella yawns, Morris coughs, and Mart curses to himself.
- Kurt: So, what did I miss?
- Smile: The Doomuli are behind this.
The others look at each other, an uncertain expression on their faces, and then look to Smile.
- Smile: They're a group. A very...very...VERY big group. They conquer planets, mostly in the Mortal Universe, from what I know.
- Kurt: So why the heck are they here?
- Smile: I didn't get to talk much with the one they sent. His name is Strike, though, and he can...morph his body. And disappear. And teleport, too, I think?
- Isabella: Thanks for the multitude of information.
Smile is about to reply when he realizes she was being sarcastic and then he glares at her. She gets up and walks over to the center of the room, and the others follow behind her. A small crack seperates the spot from the rest of the room.
- Smile: Wait...stand back.
- Mart: What, are YOU gonna knock us out too?
- Smile: Not if you stand back.
Mart raises his arms and backs up and the others do so as well. Smile summons the Explosive Spirit and sets down a bomb on top of the crack.
- Morris: I hope you're not destroying ancient, important architecture for nothing.
- Isabella: Oh, calm down, Morris.
Morris nods and Kurt snickers, before Morris shoots daggers at Kurt, shutting him up. The bomb goes off as they all stand back, destroying the weak part of the ground and opening up a hole in the floor.
- Kurt: I'll go down.
They all nod and Kurt jumps into the dark room beneath the castle.
- Kurt: Kinda bummed that no one protested me going into a dark hole where anything could be lurking, but-oh!
They all look down into the hole and Kurt throws up a rolled-up scroll that is clearly very, very old, but still intact. Smile catches it and everyone gathers around him to look at it.
- Kurt: A little help, here, dudes?
Morris grunts and pulls Kurt up, while they all look at the map together. Kurt is stunned at Morris' strength, but soon snaps out of it as they all look to Smile for guidance.
- Smile: I've been to some of these places, but...not all of them. We've got a long way to go.
- Kurt: How are we gonna get there?
- Smile: Hmm...I can get there alone, but...
- Isabella: Wait, guys! That's how Morris and I got here. If we're connected to the person who used the shifty thing somehow, we'll go there too!
- Morris: She's right.
- Mart: Nice one.
- Kurt: Awesome! Let's go get ready!
Morris, Mart, and Kurt look impressed and run off to leave the castle and get back to the graveyard to prepare. Isabella and Smile stay back, though, slowly following behind them.
- Smile: Hey...uh...not bad with that idea.
- Isabella: Not bad with saving our asses earlier. Thanks.
Isabella runs off to catch up with the others and Smile shows a small smile before speeding up his pace and following them.
Chapter 4: Mirror, Mirror
The hunt for the first Stone of Spirit begins.
After gathering in the Spirit Universe's graveyard, they all stand in a circle, Smile at the front of it. He sighs and looks around at the group.
- Smile: First off, I say we go to the Mirror Universe. I'm familiar with it, and that'll give us an advantage over Strike. And in a fight like this...we're going to need all the advantages we can get.
Everyone nods, joining hands with each other. Smile backs up, looking a little uneasy.
- Smile: Are we sure we need to join hands for this to w-
- Mart: Oh, come on, 'ya wuss!
Smile nods and steps forward, taking Kurt and Morris' hands. Morris briefly snickers as Smile closes his eyes, focusing on using his power.
- Isabella: Well, here goes nothing.
From here, players are introduced to the Universal Shift feature, allowing them to travel to another Universe at any time with the console's scroll wheel. Once the player selects the Mirror Universe, the group disappear in a flash of light. They then reappear in the Mirror Universe's Town Square, in front of the Shattered Mirror.
- Kurt:...Whoa, that was trippy.
- Mart: Yeah, that sums it up pretty well. Never doing that crap again.
Isabella pats Mart on the back and smirks as Smile looks down at the old, raggedy map.
- Isabella: Too late for that.
Smile starts walking off without the others as they look confused.
- Morris: Where are we going?
Smile briefly looks back at them before heading off on his own and motioning for them to follow.
- Smile: A bar, come on.
Kurt, Mart, and Morris all quickly follow behind Smile as Isabella raises her hand to question him but simply shrugs and follows behind them.
- Isabella: Ehh, who am I to complain?
As the five walk away, an armored warrior steps out from behind the landmark. He opens his visor, as we see that he's made out of molten lava.
- Warrior: Hmm...they just appeared out of thin air...what witchcraft is this?
The warrior puts down his visor and discreetly follows the heroes.
From here, the group is allowed to explore the dreary and cold Mirror Universe. Once they're done, they can head to the Mirror Tavern to progress. Inside the bar, they all sit down on barstools in front of an old glass man with a mustache cleaning a glass. He looks over to see them and his dim eyes light up.
- Bartender: Oi, if it isn't Smile. Been years since I've seen 'ya, where've you been?
Smile shows a small smile and sets some gold down on the table as the bartender walks over to him, snatching up the money.
- Smile: Ehh, here and there. Nothing much has gone on, Bark.
Bark nods and sets down a mug of beer in front of him. The others look baffled as Kurt speaks up.
- Kurt: Why do they call you Bark?
- Bark: 'Cause I'm the barkeep. What from the press for the rest of 'ya?
Smile shrugs and Bark looks to the others.
- Kurt: Whatever Smile had.
- Mart: I second that.
- Isabella: Something strong.
Bark nods and heads over to the counter, beginning to fix them drinks. Smile sips his beer and Isabella looks over at him.
- Isabella: How old are you anyways?
- Smile: Old enough to drink this.
Isabella opens her mouth to reply when Bark sets down their drinks in front of them. She brushes it off as Bark puts his hands on the table, sizing them up.
- Bark: What brings you and your friends here in this fierce weather?
Smile sets the rolled up map down on the creaky wooden counter in front of them, unrolling it in front of the old man. He looks down at it, intrigued.
- Smile: We're looking for the Stones of Spirit that are marked down on this map. According to the map, one of them is in the area. You've got plenty of stories, ever hear of this one?
Bark looks down and strokes his chin in deep thought. He then shakes his head and looks down, wiping the counter.
- Bark: Alas, I'm not familiar with 'em. But...
Everyone's expression turns from dissappointment to intrigue. They all stop drinking for a moment, Morris wiping milk off from his upper lip.
- Bark: There's a man in this here place older than I. His name is Veteris, and he lives in an old church near the ol' temples. Knowledge like his is like hen's teeth, he might know somethin' about your map.
Smile grins and shakes Bark's hands as they all put down their finished glasses. He puts them all away in the cupboard as they begin to run off.
- Smile: Thank you for the help!
- Bark: Any time, old friend.
Bark shows a warm smile as the five burst out the doors of the tavern and look to each other.
- Kurt: The church dude sounds pretty smart.
- Isabella: What if this is nothing more than a waste of time?
Smile shakes his head and rolls up the map, storing it away.
- Smile: Bark's never lead me astray. This Veteris character is a pretty sure bet.
Mart shrugs indifferently and Morris nods, surveying the universe. Isabella sighs, but reluctantly nods in agreement.
- Isabella: That's where we're headed then.
Before they can leave though, the warrior walks out of the bar and puts up his visor, looking to the five. He narrows his eyebrows and pulls a firey spear out from a sheath at his side.
- Mart: Who are you and what do you want with us?
The warrior growls and points the spear at Smile's neck. Smile leans back, his emerald eyes wide.
- Warrior: The slime man said something about a Stone of Spirit. It's ours, and you won't interfere with our plan.
Isabella draws her shotgun, Kurt creates a knife in his hand, Mart's tentacles become rigid, and Morris takes his longsword from his sheath.
- Isabella: Back away from the slime man, jerk.
The warrior backs up but keeps his spear at hand as Smile gets ready for a fight.
- Warrior: None of you scare me!
The five then engage in combat with the brute, who is strong and durable but slow and predictable, allowing them to defeat him. He falls to the ground, near death.
- Warrior: There...are...more...
Dying on the ground, the warrior soon starts to cool as the icey wind blows behind them, causing him to take a glass form not unlike the other inhabitants of the universe. The heroes look disturbed and baffled, as Smile turns around, looking out to the temples and church in the distance.
- Smile: There's no time to question this. If there are more like him, we need to go.
The others nod in agreement before running off towards the massive church in the distance.
Chapter 5: Unraveling the Mystery
The group must endure trials to earn knowledge on the Stone of Spirit.
The group head off to Veteris' church in a hurry, walking past the dozens of glass temples around it. Once they arrive at the massive building's doors, they find it locked. Smile sighs impatiently.
- Smile: We have no time for this...
Mart's tentacles point to the door. They all look over at him, confused, and he shrugs.
- Mart: I know how to pick locks.
- Kurt: Whoa, that's awesome! But you're a cop, dude, how do you know that?
- Mart: It's a long story, I'll tell you later.
Smile shakes his head and surveys the area. Mart cracks his knuckles and Smile shudders.
- Smile: It won't work. I've seen these locks before, they're under a protection spell. Even if you were the best lockpicker in the unive-
- Mart: Multiverse.
- Smile: It doesn't matter! We're not going in through the front door.
Isabella hops up on a ledge and motions for the others to follow, a smirk on her face.
- Isabella: Go through the window. That's always the best way to get in.
- Mart: How would you know?
- Isabella: It's a long story, I'll tell you later.
The others sigh and follow, Morris looking a little uneasy at the height of the window. The five climb up the church, using ledges, window sills, and loose bricks to reach the stain-glass window.
- Morris: Don't look down, don't look down, don't look d-
Morris trips and falls, but Smile uses his stretchy arm to grab his hand and pull him back up. Everyone is silent, but Morris nods at Smile in gratitude.
- Morris: Hmmph...thank you.
Kurt taps on the window, trying to look inside the building. Isabella swats his hand as they look to Smile for further instructions.
- Smile: Hmm...I'm not sure how to get in without breaking this thing.
- Kurt: I can't believe we're all ghosts, but we don't know how to walk through something.
Isabella puts her hand on her chin and then raises it excitedly as she comes up with an idea.
- Isabella: Wait...Smile, your Universal Shift can take you anywhere, right?
- Smile: If I've seen it, yes.
She grins and points inside the church.
- Smile:...That could work.
- Mart: Well, why didn't we do that from the start?! I'm exhausted!
- Morris: Let's get this over with.
They all join hands as Smile closes his eyes, the five disappearing in a flash of light.
The five reappear instantly inside the church. Veteris is sitting in one of the nave's aisles, reading an old book with a red leather jacket, when he looks up at them. They're all staring in awe of the beautiful architecture.
- Veteris: You could've knocked, you know?
Veteris slowly gets up, using a glass cane to hold himself up. He walks towards the group, as they all analyze the massive building.
- Veteris: What brings you folk to the First Church?
Smile holds his hand out as the old man walks past him. Smile stutters and turns around.
- Smile: A friend of ours reccommended you when we asked about the Stone of Spirit.
Veteris looks shocked and raises his head, mumbling and stroking his chin. They all look to the wise man, who turns around and walks towards another room, motioning for them to follow behind him.
- Veteris: Ah, yes, the Stone of Spirit...this is dangerous business, far too dangerous for an old man like myself to handle. But since you young people asked...
Veteris opens a door and holds it, the five walking through into a large room full of bookcases. The books are ancient and wore down, as are the bricks that hold the ancient church together. On the wall, white lines have been painted in a pattern. As Veteris begins, we see watercolor paintings illustrate the story.
- Veteris: Long ago, the people of our world lived not on the icy surface, but in the tropical underground. And they were not made of glass, either, but of magma. A monarchy ruled the magma people, but another faction wished to overtake the crown. They both fought over an artifact given to the monarchy long ago by old friends, the Stone of Spirit you speak of.
The artifact is shown glisteningly brightly, the two armies on both sides warring against each other, dead bodies littered around it.
- Veteris: But as with all wars, it only ended in tragedy. Some of the survivors of the brutal war migrated above ground, where they slowly adjusted to the weather.
The paintings show a magma person slowly cooling down over time and eventually becoming a glass person.
- Veteris: Not all were so happy to leave, though, and surviving soldiers on both sides created the Magma Knights, looking to rule over the glass people and reclaim the universe as their own. My father, a religious man, built this church, and sealed the entrance to the underground in it. The Magma Knights have since lived underground, plotting their conquest. They have even recovered the Stone of Spirit...but I have lived for many years. And they still have not come.
We see Veteris' father slowly build up the church while more and more buildings are built around it until the universe resembles the modern Mirror Universe. Back in the church, Kurt scratches the back of his neck.
- Smile: Well, sir, we need...we kind of...we want to-
- Kurt: You gotta open the entrance.
Veteris raucously laughs as he rocks back and forth in his chair. He then suddenly realizes that they're all serious as they impatiently stand in front of him.
- Veteris: Why ever would you wish to unleash the Magma Knights on these people?
- Smile: Someone else is coming, sir, and they want the stone too. If they get it...not only will the Mirror Universe suffer, so will every other world.
- Isabella: Not to mention, a few of those knight guys have already escaped.
Veteris is startled to hear the news and slowly gets up, looking around at the group. He sighs and reluctantly nods.
- Veteris: Hmm...so it has already began, and I am too old to even know it. If we have no other choice...you must go, my young friends. But not even I know how to open the entrance...my father trusted no one with it, not even his family.
Smile looks around and shrugs, pointing to the bookcases. They all look to him.
- Smile: Well, we'll just have to solve the puzzle together then.
- Kurt: When's the fighting gonna start?
Veteris stares at the young man, baffled.
- Kurt: Kidding.
The five then get to work on how to open the entrance. To solve the puzzle, they need to move the bookcases to match the painted pattern on the wall. Once they do so, a panel on the floor slides open, allowing them to reach the underground.
- Morris: We need to get going.
- Smile: Thank you! We'll be back soon!
Isabella hops into the underground first and the others quickly follow her. Veteris sighs and looks at the open panel on his floor.
- Veteris: Well...what now?
Isabella falls onto the stone floor of a tower, the others falling on top of her. She grunts and gets up.
- Isabella: You could've gone a LITTLE slower, guys.
They all get up and look out to see a beautiful tropical world underneath the dreary Mirror Universes, majestic waterfalls, towering palm trees, and gorgeous South American-esque buildings all around. In the distance is a forboding, partially flooded castle.
The five all run forward towards the tower's spiral staircase, in a race to reach the castle.
Chapter 6: Lost Paradise
Smile and his allies head underground and face off with a firey foe.
Smile and his group run down the spiral staircase of the tower, which has clearly fallen into ruin. They need to do some platforming here to navigate the partially destroyed tower, and they find Magma Knights in their path once they reach the very bottom of the tower and the grassy ground.
- Smile: Look, we don't wanna fi-
- Magma Knight: Intruders!
The Magma Knights make a mad dash for the team before he can say another word, and Isabella gets out her shotgun, blasting them all down as they come running. Kurt high fives Isabella.
- Kurt: That was so cool! Holy crap!
Magma Knights then hop off of rooftops on both sides. Morris draws his longsword and steps forward.
- Morris: The rest of you, run. I can take care of them.
- Isabella: I don't doubt that, but we're not leaving you behind, Morris.
- Mart: Yeah, what the lady said.
Smile and Kurt nod as they get ready to fight. Morris reluctantly sighs and nods, and the two groups charge toward each other. After a tough fight, they defeat the Magma Knights.
- Kurt: Phew...that was a close one. They really think they're HOT stuff, huh?
The rest of them groan at his pun and walk away. He opens his mouth to protest, but simply shrugs and follows behind them.
- Kurt: It was pretty bad.
From here, they can explore the tropical paradise for optional collectibles and goodies or opt to make their way through the lush grass into the stone village and lastly the doors of the massive castle, fighting Magma Knights along the way. The doors are sealed shut, the moat around it overflowing with water. The entire place is clearly not well taken care of and being reclaimed by nature.
- Mart: Alright, Mr. Shifty, let's get in there.
Smile shakes his head and points up at the imposing fortress.
- Smile: I haven't seen inside it. I can't Universal Shift there...I have no clue what I might hit or run into.
- Morris: There has to be a way in...there always is.
Following the cutscene, the players regain control of the group. To open the dungeon's doors, they need to either use Kurt's knives, Smile's spirits, or Isabella's shotgun to break the chains holding the doors up. Once they do so, the doors come crashing down, acting as a bridge between the castle and the water beneath it.
- Smile: I hope everyone likes swimming...
Isabella runs into the flooded castle while the other four slowly and carefully enter the fortress.
From here, the five explore the game's second major dungeon, the Flooded Fortress. With the castle's staircase wrecked, the group need to solve puzzles and hit switches to raise the water level and ascend the dungeon's five floors using each character's unique abilities and tools. While Magma Knights are present in a limited capacity, the primary threats here are the aquatic enemies that become more numerous as the castle fills up. They eventually reach the throne room of the fortress, a magma person with a crown sitting in his throne, unfazed by the intruders and holding a Stone of Spirit in hand. He casually tosses it up and catches it.
- Smile: You're going to break it!
- ???: Don't tell me how to play with my toys, peasant.
Kurt steps forward and creates knives in both hands. He points them both at the king, who laughs.
- Kurt: No one calls my friends peasants.
- Morris: We're friends?
- Kurt: Well, I thought s-
The king slams his royal staff into the ground, creating a loud boom and silencing the group. He stands up, and grips the Stone of Spirit tightly.
- ???: I imagine the glass people sent you children to stop me. It's a cute thought. But no one, my young friends, can defeat King Calor and the Magma Knights.
Isabella impatiently charges towards Calor, who slams his staff into her side, knocking her to the ground. She growls and coughs while Morris protectively unsheaths his sword.
- Calor: Finally, one of you has some spirit! Those glass people disgust me...they're cowards, who ran away from the paradise we have built. They all live sad, little lives with no meaning. All of them, they're spineless. But once the Magma Knights reclaim their people, the world will be right once more.
Morris swings his longsword, and Calor blocks the attack with his staff. He sighs and slowly steps forward.
- Calor: You're not from here...but you might make for useful allies. Warriors fighting glorious battles for a king like myself...it would give you all true purpose. But I know your type...you won't back down.
They all shake their heads and Calor sighs, tapping the ground with his staff.
- Calor: Then you will die at the staff of Calor! It is an honor, and the last one you'll all ever have.
He then squeezes the Stone of Spirit and a golden aura surrounds him as he grows to twice his size. They all look impressed as the king towers over them.
- Smile: You think we can do it?
- Isabella: I sure as hell hope so!
They then charge towards the king for a climactic battle.
MONSTROUS MAGMA WARLORD
The five defeat Calor, causing him to drop the Stone of Spirit, which rolls towards Smile. The aura disappears in a flash, and the cruel king slowly reverts to his normal size. He groans in pain as they all step forward. Smile picks up the Stone of Spirit and looks at it.
- Isabella: Look, dude, I like fighting as much as the next gal, but they didn't leave because they're cowards. They left because they wanted peace. You're not interested in anything more than meaningless violence.
Calor reaches for his staff and moves to impale Isabella with it, but Morris strikes first, swinging his sword into the villain and knocking him out the window. They look out the window to see Calor fall into the water, dead, cooling to become a glass person like those he so hated.
- Kurt: How's that for irony? That's what irony is, right?
- Mart: Ehh, probably.
While the other talk and celebrate their small victory, Smile inspects the artifact. Isabella walks away from the festivities over to Smile.
- Isabella: Not happy?
- Smile: No, I'm glad, it's just...after so many times of collecting this after that, it's less exciting. It's not my first adventure, you know?
- Isabella: Well it's mine. I'm just glad I didn't die back there.
- Smile: Yeah...me too.
They both show small smiles while the others walk over to Smile. He hands the Stone of Spirit to Isabella, and rolls out the map of the treasures.
- Kurt: Alright, where next?
- Smile: According to this...the Western Universe.
- Kurt: Hey, that sounds cool!
- Mart: I always wanted to be a cowboy as a kid.
- Morris: Let's go then. Isabella, are you okay?
- Isabella: Never better.
Morris nods and they all join hands and in a flash of light, disappear, on to their next universe.
Chapter 7: The Good, the Bad, and the Ghosts
The five arrive in the Western Universe to find themselves unwelcome.
From here, players are allowed to control the group and explore the Universes they've been to thus far. After that, they head to the Western Universe, where they appear in the middle of a ghost town in a flash of light.
- Kurt: This is awesome! It's just like I imagined!
- Smile: Kurt...turn around...slowly...
Kurt looks confused and turns around to see Smile, Isabella, Morris, and Mart with their hands up, a group of bandits with their guns aimed at them opposite of the group. He hesitantly puts his hands up.
- Kurt: This is less awesome than I thought.
- Mart: Kurt...please shut up.
He nods and the leader of the bandits steps forward. He's a large and imposing man with a scar beneath his eye and a red bandanna over his chin.
- Leader: My name is Hank Jones...I'm the leader of these here fine men, the Spirit Huntsmen. We protect those afeared of your kind.
- Morris: Leave and run now.
Jones laughs to himself and draws his gun, pointing it at Morris. The bandits are all deathly silent as their leader slowly steps forward.
- Jones: I don't take threats from spooks.
- Isabella: Hey! Leave him alone!
He turns to Isabella, when the group all hear a man on horseback ride onto the scene. Everyone turns to the man, a handsome sheriff with his hand on his gun. Jones growls at the newcomer.
- Sheriff: You leave them alone, Jones. I mean it.
- Jones: If it ain't Sheriff Williams, the only gump I know who's got a badge on his shirt.
- Williams: Call names all you want, you'll leave these good people alone.
- Jones: Hmm, there's only one good way to settle this, Williams, with an old-fashioned duel.
Williams nods and the group move aside. He opens his mouth to verbally agree, but Jones already draws his gun and fires. However, the sheriff swerves out of the way and fires back at Jones, shooting him in the side.
- Jones: Rotten...fool...ugh...
The villain falls down dead as the Spirit Huntsmen all fire on Williams and the group, who flee. His horse rears it's front legs and Williams motions for them to follow him.
- Williams: Follow me, friends!
Smile, Isabella, Kurt, and Mart all hurriedly follow Williams, while Morris cautiously freezes. Suddenly, a gunshot breaks the window next to him, and Isabella tugs her body guard along.
The five follow Williams out of the ghost town, narrowly avoiding getting shot by their pursuers. They reach a narrow mountain trail, where five horses are waiting for them.
- Isabella: Were you expecting us?!
- Williams: No, these are for a pal, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind!
They all hop onto the horses except for Smile, who awkwardly climbs on top of it.
- Mart: Don't tell me this is your first rodeo?
- Smile: I'm a fast learner!
From here, players are allowed to control the riders across the narrow trail, giving them full control of the horses as they flee from the group, requiring good reflexes and horseback combat to escape and defeat the Spirit Huntsmen and reach a small desert town across the wide canyon. They leave the horses at the gates of town, having successfully evaded and defeated the group.
- Kurt: Thanks for that, Mister...Williams, was it?
Williams nods and pets his horse, walking off into the gates of town. The wooden sign marks it as New Haven, a fitting name for a peaceful, somewhat advanced place in the middle of the harsh desert.
- Williams: Robert Williams. You can call me Rob, though. Or sheriff, if you like.
- Isabella: Why'd you help us? Not afraid of ghosts?
- Williams: No, my mother taught me to respect all people, 'specially the ones that can haunt 'ya. Pay no mind to those Spirit Huntsmen, they're a superstitious lot after their buddies wound up lost in the Death Mine.
- Smile: Doesn't sound especially friendly.
Williams looks back at Smile and leads them into the saloon. The bar is abandoned, except for the tired old bartender who seems unfazed by the ghosts as he pours Williams some whiskey.
- Williams: You folk aren't from here...well, the Death Mine is an abandoned cavern. People went in there, hearin' rumors of the sort concerning all the gold you could ever like. But most everyone who went in never came back, 'cept for a kid 'round the age of fourteen who knew what was good for 'im. He told everyone who'd listen that ghosts were in there, and that they had killed the miners searching for it. Mr. Jones rounded up other vengeful outlaws, and they formed the Spirit Huntsmen, looking for your type of people.
- Morris: Hmm...you seem strangely comfortable with us. How do you know we're not like those ghosts?
- Williams: Well, I don't. But I'm the sheriff of this town...it's my duty to protect all sorts of people. And you can walk, you can talk, you can surrender, so I'd reckon it's my job to protect yal.
Williams chugs the whiskey and swipes his mouth. Smile looks lost deep in thought.
- Smile: Haunted by ghosts who protect the treasure there...could they be protecting the Stone of Spirit?
- Kurt: Dudes seem a little too into the job.
- Isabella: It's a theory worth pursuing. And I have no clue where else we'd head in this place.
- Mart: How scary can a Death Mine be?
Morris nods and Williams chuckles to himself, slapping down some cash onto the table and hopping off the wooden stool. The weary man takes the money while the sheriff puts his hands on his hips.
- Williams: You really wanna go there? You people really are crazy...
- Isabella: I've heard that one before, but how can we get there?
- Williams: Death Mine's far off New Haven...the fancy steam train here makes a stop at a station nearby the mine. That's your best bet, considering yal don't have horses.
Smile shakes Williams' hand and smiles.
- Smile: Thanks for the help.
- Williams: Anytime, pard. Talk to me next time 'yer in New Haven.
They all nod and burst through the wooden doors, Williams stroking his beard. The old man serves him another glass and he nods in gratitude.
- Williams: What a strange bunch.
Williams sits back down on the barstool and shakes his head, picking up the glass of whiskey.
Chapter 8: Headed West
On a train ride to their next destination, the group is confronted with an unexpected conflict.
From here, players are turned loose to explore. When ready to advance, they can go to the steam train station at the edge of New Haven. A small ticket booth is located outside the massive, bulky vehicle with a fresh bright red paint job. Inside the booth is an old, blind woman.
- Booth Attendant: Money, please.
Smile looks over at the group, who are all staring at him. He sighs and puts some money on the booth. The old woman grabs the money and hands them five tickets as they walk up into a train car near the locomotive's caboose.
- Kurt: Wait...guys, how did she know there were five of us?
- Mart: Who knows, Kurt, maybe she was psychic.
- Kurt: Psychic old lady...
Kurt shudders as Morris slides the door open for them. They walk in to find a rather nice train car with an ornate pattern on the carpet and four rows of seats. A wide window opposite of the door shows the hollow mountain tunnel ahead of them, as Smile and Morris sit in the corners of the car and the other three sit together.
- Kurt: Hey, guys, why not join us?
- Morris: I'm claustrophobic.
- Kurt: Reall-
Isabella shakes her head and Kurt stops talking, a wry smile on Morris' face. Smile is mumbling to himself, focused on the task at hand. Suddenly, they hear a screeching noise and see a puff of smoke fly past their window as the steam train starts up. As it's wheels click down the track slowly, Isabella looks out at the natural beauty.
- Isabella: What a view...
The train starts to speed up, crossing a small wooden trestle that connects the town with the tunnel, a waterfall off in the distance quietly running behind it.
- Kurt: You didn't strike me as a nature girl.
- Mart: Yeah, you're clearly city folk. I know 'em when I see 'em.
Isabella shrugs, keeping her eyes on the sights as they cross into the tunnel, darkness enveloping their view. She turns to the two, as Smile whistles, summoning the Solar Spirit who lights up the room, before going back to planning their next moves.
- Isabella: Sure, I grew up there, but...some of my fondest memories are with visiting my grandparents - on my dad's side, of course. They live way out, past the city, on a farm. I remember just...climbing trees and looking out at how open it all was. Especially at sunset or sunrise...those moments are what made me want to follow in Elder's footsteps. The city, a regular life, was comforting and easy...but living an easy life without any excitement or beauty to it isn't living any life at all.
Smile briefly stops and looks up, thinking about what she said. Kurt beams and nods feverently.
- Kurt: Yeah, man, that's why I'm coming too! Home is boring.
- Mart: I'm perfectly content with getting back, actually...
Isabella laughs and nods, a bright smile on her face. The others look happy as well, even Smile, who takes a break from his planning to laugh a little.
- Isabella: That's an apt way of putting it, Kurt.
Their happy moment is interrupted suddenly by a loud explosion that rocks the train. They all look out the window to see a stray missile fire past it. Smile stands up and looks to the door.
- Smile: I'll go check it out.
- Kurt: Don't leave us behind, man.
They all stand up and Smile, without second thought, nods and runs for the cabin door, his group following behind him.
The group jump from their car to another, an open train car without a roof or walls that's carrying crates of cargo. In the distance they see that the mid-section of the train has been decimated, and that the front and back of the trains are skidding down the tracks with no control.
- Morris: We're all going to die.
- Isabella: Oh, come off that attitude!
- Mart: Pretty sure they didn't have missiles in the late 1800s, guys.
Smile shakes his head as a missile is fired toward the group. Kurt generates and tosses a knife at the missile, causing it to explode harmlessly in mid-air.
- Morris:...Not bad.
- Kurt: I know, right?!
A spaceship, armed with two missile cannons, flies into view and releases Strikebots from a slot beneath the cockpit. Operating the controls is Strike himself, who narrows his eyes.
- Isabella: Smile, you kicked this guy's ass before, do it again. Leave the drones to us.
- Smile:...Got it.
Smile nods and runs to the next train car, where the spaceship is lurking above. While Isabella, Kurt, Mart, and Morris fight off the Strikebots, Smile confronts Strike's ship.
- Smile: I didn't want to have to see you again, Strike.
Strike turns on a microphone from within his pod and smirks.
- Strike: Mercy is a fool's errand, Smile.
- Smile: How do you know my name?
- Strike: The Doomuli know everything. Nothing is out of our reach...especially not the map and stone in your possesion. Hand them over or die.
- Smile: You already said mercy was for fools, Strike, we'll die either way! And I'd rather die fighting for something!
Strike lets out some deep, unsettling laughter and nods as Smile prepares for battle.
- Strike: I know how that feels all too well! You'll get your wish, Smile!
He then fires a missile at Smile, who just barely rolls out of the way in time, before the true fight begins.
Smile, using clever strategizing, defeats Strike and sends his warship plummeting out of the tunnel into the desert below.
- Strike: This isn't the end quite yet, Smile!
Using his artificial Universal Shift, Strike escapes death in the nick of time. Meanwhile, the others take down the hoard of Strikebots, but the back and front of the train are still on a path to crash into the train station at high speeds.
- Kurt: Whew, I'm feeling PUMPED!
- Isabella: No time for celebrations, Kurt, we're sort of going to die at this rate!
Morris sheaths his sword and Mart's tentacles shake their tips sadly. Smile puts his hand on his chin and thinks for a moment about what to do next.
- Smile: Morris, what if you slam your sword into the car's floor?
- Morris: Excuse me, what?
- Smile: Just do it! It'll slow the back of the train!
- Morris: What about the front, genius?
Smile grins and uses his Universal Shift, teleporting away. They all sigh and shake their heads, but Morris follows Smile's lead and slams the sword into the train car's base, which sure enough, causes the train car to screech against the tracks and slow down.
- Mart: My god...
Smile reappears on the front of the train car, the engineers inside knocked unconcious from the impact. He pushes against the car, but it still careens down the tracks at high speeds. When things look hopeless, the Greedy Spirit appears and pushes the train car back with him.
- Smile: Thank you!
The Greedy Spirit nods as the train begins to slow down, and right as it begins to dock in the station, Smile shifts back to the train car the others are on.
- Kurt: Dude! You're okay!
- Mart: Glad to see it.
Isabella smiles and Morris lets out a sigh of relief, shaking his head. The back of the train docks into the station next to the front, and the five step off the train.
- Smile: Yeah, I'm pretty glad too.
Engineers at the station rush to the broken mess while the group look out at the barren, dried-up expanse ahead of them. As tumbleweeds roll by, a sign identifies the expanse as the Last Plains.
- Kurt: Well, I think I can see the mine if I squint really hard!
- Mart: Kurt, that's a tumbleweed.
The group leave the train station and begin their long journey to the Death Mine.
Chapter 9: Digging for Gold
The group's search for the Stone of Spirit takes them into a mysterious mine.
The five set out on their quest to find the Death Mine somewhere in the middle of the seemingly endless Last Plains. Enemies and a few treasure chests are located in this maze, with sandstorms and dust blocking the group from seeing too far in front of them. To reach the Death Mine, they'll need to follow the various red tumbleweeds that roll by, but ignore the misleading regular tumbleweeds. Eventually, they reach the massive cave, a boulder blocking their way.
- Kurt: Jeez, can't we get in ANY dungeon without having to break something?
- Mart: Looks like the ghosts didn't want any more visitors, guys.
Isabella sighs and gets one of her shotguns off her back, when suddenly an explosion destroys the boulder, knocking them all back onto the ground. Dust clouds prevent them from seeing any further as they call cough.
- Smile: Well...that problem....is solved...oww...
- Morris: Grr...
They hop up to see three, bright red ghosts lit aflame. Isabella picks her shotgun up and aims it at the hissing monsters.
- Smile: These are Boomers, they have a natural talent for exploding...
- Isabella: Nerd.
Before Smile can protest, the Boomers are charging towards them, as they break into a fight with the group. Although the explosive attacks of the Boomers are powerful, the group keeps their distance and prevails over the trio.
- Smile: First of all, I am NOT a-
- Morris: Seems we're not welcome.
- Mart: Yeah, what kind of a greeting was that?
Smile shakes his head as they all look into the dark, rocky cave system ahead of them. Isabella throws her shotgun back on her back and raises her eyebrows.
- Isabella: Well, here we go.
- Kurt: It can't be that bad, right?
They all silently walk into the cave ahead of Kurt, who shivers and looks away as he reluctantly follows them into the blackness.
Inside the third dungeon, they find a massive, pitch black dungeon that has a labyrinth like layout. To advance through the Death Mine, they'll need to light the various torches scattered across the dungeon, and use small clues scattered across each room to help them find the correct path to reach the very back of the caves. They eventually reach the end of the mine, a massive, open cave with spikes on the ceiling and walls, in addition to a bottomless pit around the rocks. Smile picks up and lights a torch on the ground in the massive cave with the Solar Spirit.
- Mart: No gold as far as I can see. And definitely not what we're looking for.
Kurt groans and carefully steps forward, looking around the gigantic cave.
- Kurt: There's no way I conquered my fear of the dark for nothing.
- Isabella: Well, now your fears won't hold you back from living your life to the fullest.
He looks back at Isabella, an eyebrow raised, and she shrugs innocently.
- Isabella: I majored in psychology.
- Kurt: Huh.
They all go back to searching the cave for the second Stone of Spirit when the ground shakes underneath them. Smile looks down at the ground, concerned.
- Smile: The mine's going to collapse!
Smile begins to run for the exit, when he finds that they're not following behind him. He turns around to see a massive golem made out of rock and crystals, with the Stone of Spirit in the middle of one of it's massive palms. The others are staring at the guardian in awe, as Smile steps forward.
- ???: Who is the leader of those I see before me?
Isabella moves in front of Smile, a confident look on her face supressing the fear she feels.
- Isabella: I am.
The golem opens it's glowing, yellow eyes to see the five standing in front of him. He sets his giant hand down on the cave's ground.
- ???: I was expecting the foolish mortals...but all I see are ghosts. Why have you come here?
- Isabella: We were sent by the Spirit Council to collect the Stones of Spirit...we know that you have one.
- ???: Hmmph...I have been guarding this artifact for thousands of years...I cannot give it up so easily. Especially without proof.
- Isabella: How can we convince you to give it up?
The golem puts his hand on his chin, deep in thought. Morris impatiently taps his foot on the ground as Smile nervously watches Isabella negotiate for them. Meanwhile, Kurt and Mart are trembling in terror.
- ???: I, the mighty Hinun, will give you the Stone of Spirit. But first, you must defeat me in combat to prove yourselves.
- Isabella: Deal!
Hinun nods and backs up, raising his fist to prepare for a fight. Smile, Kurt, and Mart look towards the exit, but they shake their heads and charge into battle alongside Isabella and Morris.
GHOSTLY GUARDIAN GOLEM
Working together, the group defeat Hinun, who collapses onto the ground, hands first. He groans in pain as they step out of the way, exhausted.
- Kurt: Mr. Golem Guy, are you alright? We did kinda kick your butt.
Hinun slowly nods and motions for the five to come closer. They cautiously walk up to Hinun, who releases his grasp on the Stone of Spirit, sending it rolling off one of his rock fingers into Smile's hands.
- Hinun: You have done well...I wish you good luck on your quest, brave warriors. Ugh...
One of Hinun's hand slips off the ground as Isabella looks at him worriedly.
- Isabella: You look bad, Hinun.
- Hinun: No, no...it is a good thing...I have spent a long time guarding this key...now I can finally move on. Thank...you...
Hinun falls off the ground into the bottomless pit to his death, ending his guardianship of the stone. Isabella looks down into the abyss below them, as Mart and Kurt gather around Smile.
- Smile: That's two of them. Just...six to go.
- Mart: Six?! Oh, christ...
- Kurt: Come on, Mart, it'll be fun!
Morris walks up to Isabella, who's seated on the ground, her legs hanging over it. He looks down at her and reaches out his hand to help her up. She takes it, as Isabella contemplates Hinun's fate.
- Morris: Death comes for everyone, Isabella. Not even spirits are safe from that truth.
- Isabella: Yeah...yeah, I guess you're right. You always know what to say, Morris.
Morris nods, completely seriously, and Isabella laughs, looking over at the others, who are waiting on them. She brushes off her jeans.
- Morris: You've got a real skill for leadership. When no one else would step forward, you did.
- Isabella: Being a leader, yeah...I don't mind the sound of that.
She grins at Morris and runs off to catch up with the others. Morris smiles proudly to himself, as they all walk off toward their next adventure.
GHOST SMILE III builds on the previous games but keeps true to the heart of them. Players control Smile, alongside four other characters, and must explore various Universes, solve puzzles, complete side quests, and take place in strategic boss battles at the end of large dungeons. Basic control has stayed the same, you can still attack, walk, run, dodge, and preform context-sensitive actions. Five new maneuvers are present, blocking, rolling, climbing, sneaking, and counter-attacking.
The main new feature in the game are the multiple playable characters. Smile is still present and can use his stretchy limbs, collect Spirits, possess certain enemies, use the Universal Shift, and now use Slime Molds (taken from GHOST SMILE: SHADOWS), which allow him to shapeshift to an extent.
However, new characters Kurt, Isabella, Mart, and Morris are also present and have various collectibles and abilities of their own. Computers can control these characters and the main player can switch between them, or alongside 4 friends, you can now play multiplayer and battle enemies together. This is necessary to solve puzzles, reach certain areas, and take care of new stronger foes.
Old features are also back with new additions to fine tune the game just a bit more. Leveling up has the player collect Spectral Energy from battles, quests, and now the enviorment, giving you incentive to destroy various objects all around. As your level increases, your stats will be increased, and this game adds a feature where you can select one stat to give a boost to (ala Super Mario RPG). At certain levels, your Rank will increase. Ranks are shared by every character, and determine which shops and quests you can visit/take up.
Customizing your button layout has returned, and now there's even further control, allowing you to play however you like. The game's Z-Targeting is still present by default, but it can be turned off if you dislike it. Various optional trinkets are also scattered around, including concept art and other goodies, which makes the game good for both casual playthroughs and enjoyable for those who just love collecting stuff.
|This ailment drains your health continuously over time by small chunks. It won't stop until cured or if the character reaches only 1 health left.|
|The ailment drains your health for a short period of time by big chunks. It will wear off over time, but it can also be cured, which is a wise move considering it's power.|
|This ailment scrambles the controls and makes you do random things like walk in the opposite direction or attack your party members. It'll wear off after a short time, though no item can cure it.|
|This ailment freezes you solid, preventing all movement and actions. The ice will melt over time, but it takes a while, or the ailment can be cured by a partner by using an ability/item/simply breaking through the ice.|
|A slimy status that involves the character getting soaked in ectoplasm. You'll still be able to walk, but you can't do anything else until the ailment is cured. This sticky gunk will NEVER wear off naturally, so be careful.|
|Who knew ghosts could be scared? The Fearful ailment greatly decreases your attack power and your accuracy for a small period of time, or until it's cured.|
|A pretty self-explanatory status. It greatly decreases the character's defense power and speed for a small period of time, or until it's cured.|
|A nasty ailment that will drain your health, money, and steal items until it's scared off or attacked by a fellow party member.|
|A positive status effect. Yay! This status will increase your Luck stat for a small period of time. Duh.|
|This effect makes your characters TWICE as ghostly. Yeah. Twice. You heard me. This means that enemy's attacks will miss twice as often for a period of time.|
|It increases your attack. Not much else to say, honestly.|
|...You can probably guess what this effect does. No? Okay fine, it boosts your defense power for a while. That's all.|
|A rather nifty positive status effect, Healing will make the afflicted character heal over time until attacked or until the effect runs out naturally.|
|NEW GHOST||This is the default Rank.|
|SPOOKY SPIRIT||Reach Level 10 with one character to unlock this Rank.|
|SHADOWY SPECTRE||Reach Level 30 with one character to unlock this Rank.|
|NEW ORDER||Reach the level cap, Level 50 with all characters to unlock this Rank.|
- Special Attack
- Luck (The higher your luck is, the higher the chance is that enemy attacks will miss and you'll land powerful Critical Hits on foes. The Spirit Universe lottery will also be easier to win, as a small bonus.)
- Immunity (As Immunity goes up, negative status effects will last shorter and shorter and there will be a chance that you won't get them in the first place.)
- The game reuses assets from Strafe: Lethal Forces, another Inora game being developed and released around the same time as this game.
- After GHOST SMILE II, which was primarily all new content, the developers wished to incorporate more classic GHOST SMILE features as the request of players. The cancelled, non-canon game GHOST SMILE: SHADOWS actually featured some references to the old series before this game was even in the planning stages.