Ghostwire: Tokyo Draws Inspiration from Japanese Folklore and Urban Legends

PS4 & PS5

Ghostwire: Tokyo tells the story of one of the last remaining humans to survive an apocalyptic event where almost all of Tokyo’s population disappears in an instant. The Ghostwire: Tokyo population is replaced with paranormal Visitors from another world, and Bethesda has revealed how Tango Gameworks has been drawing inspiration from Japanese folklore, urban legends, superstitions, and yokai in their creation.

Who are the visitors in Ghostwire: Tokyo?

Ghostwire Tokyo

The Kuchisake is a hostile visitor. The masked woman armed only with a rather large pair of scissors is based on an urban legend of the kuchisake-onna (Slit-Mouthed Woman). The legend goes that she would ask people if she was beautiful before revealing a disfigured grin. When asked again, if they lied and said she was pretty, she would inflict similar scarring. If they told the truth, she would kill them outright. Not exactly a win-win situation. There are two versions of the Kuchisake in the game, the second dressed in red clothing and based on another unrevealed urban legend.

Shine Dancers are based on the teru teru bōzu charms traditionally hung from the eaves of buildings to ward off evil spirits. The problem is these Visitors will ambush players from the air. There’s also the Tanuki, raccoon dogs with shapeshifting powers that are based on traditional Japanese folklore. If players can catch them, they’ll give worthy rewards.

On the other hand, the bird-like Tengu yokai can be used as grapple points to reach new places across Tokyo’s skyline. Their clothing is based on a spiritual hermit known as a yamabushi, while they take the bird form because the real-life Tokyo is full of crows. Their ability is based on an old tengu story where people could be transported from one place to another at the blink of an eye. Another yokai is the Kappa, an amphibious creature with a head platter and turtle shell. These have Magatama that can be used to learn new skills but they’re difficult to catch, even with bait.

Finishing the list are the game’s less-traditional shopkeepers, the Nekomata. This two-tailed cat will offer supplies like provisions and ammunition, but players will need to complete quests to earn Meika to trade for them. Nekomata will also send players on errands to fetch special items for further rewards. Players will get to meet all of these characters when Ghostwire: Tokyo is released on March 25.

In other news, Supermassive Games has teamed up with 2K Games for The Quarry, a teen-horror narrative game featuring a stellar cast of Hollywood talent. The game will launch on PS5 and PS4 this summer. Elsewhere, Hogwarts Legacy took center stage at today’s State of Play show and finally got a holiday release window.

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