"The White Shadow" gameplay description

(The following gameplay description is an example of one of many possible approaches to completing a later level of the game. At this point, Shin has acquired most of his spirit powers and has upgraded SUIT’s effective hacking range. The gameplay description below will incorporate both aggressive and non-lethal playstyles throughout the level, though it is possible to complete the mission undetected and without harming a single enemy. Player controlled actions and abilities are CAPITALIZED.)

Shin arrives in the megacorp district of Neosaka to find swarms of Astral Corp. armored cars and agents patrolling the vicinity of ShiroKaz Tower. He quickly HIDES in cover, then COMMANDS SUIT to scan the area and create a real-time map of his surroundings. She informs him that there are several ways to enter the tower. Deciding on a stealthy course of action, Shin waits for Astral Corp. patrols to move before DASHING to new cover. Encountering a pair of agents who remain in their positions, Shin calls upon spirits to HAUNT the guards, leading them away to a nearby alley as Shin RUNS past their vacant station. Deciding to have a little fun as he nears the entrance to ShiroKaz, Shin SNEAKS close enough to a guard and COMMANDS SUIT to override the electronic safety mechanism on his grenade belt. He then openly RUNS away and the agents spot him and start to pursue. They don’t get very far as the grenade explodes, killing the group. As Shin MOVES away from the scene, the guards stationed at ShiroKaz Tower’s back entrance move swiftly to investigate, and Shin SNEAKS past.

Pausing at the back entrance, SUIT informs Shin that Astral Corp. has shut off power completely to the entryway systems in this sector, mysteriously diverting the tower’s energy supply to a central point near the CEO’s chambers far above. She suggests Shin use one of the afore-mentioned alternate routes. Shin refuses, and closes his eyes. He RETRIEVES the white katana instantly, and the world around him distorts into a hazy purple version of itself. This is the spirit world. Shin GHOSTWALKS to the powered-down entryway and SUMMONS the kami spirit that resides within it. He COMMANDS the spirit to open, and so in the spirit world, the crack between the door and the wall widens so Shin can PASS through.

Deciding to RECHARGE his spirit energy once inside, Shin PHASES back into physical reality. Shin RUNS through the halls of the immense ShiroKaz headquarters. He’s never been in this part of the building before, and he QUESTIONS SUIT about the thousands of dusty cubicles he passes to learn what he can. Their conversation is cut off, however, as an Astral Corp. patrol enters the immense hallways, scanning for Shin. Shin decides to fully engage these agents in combat, and GHOSTWALKS behind one agent then PHASES back and RETRIEVES his katana, right through the agent’s heart, KILLING him instantly. The other agents are startled, then remember their training and open fire. Shin PHASES to the spirit world to AVOID DAMAGE from their gunfire. Running low on spirit energy, Shin PHASES back, HIDING behind the best cover he can reach. The agents fan out to search for Shin. As one nears, SUIT informs Shin that the weapon the agent carries has an electronic signal and can be jammed. Shin COMMANDS her to do so, and then enjoys a moment in the open as the agent fumbles with his gun. Shin SLICES the confused agent’s throat. While in the spirit world, Shin noticed a pair of vengeful spirits haunting this forsaken office. Remembering their presence, he calls upon them to HAUNT a agent nearby while REMAINING in cover. The tormented agent thrashes at the air, confused. His partner, the last man in this patrol, comes to his aid, but is gunned down by the confused agent. Shin WAITS until this spectacle ends, then uses his last remaining spirit energy to JUMP-DASH from cover behind the tormented guard and RETRIEVE the katana straight into man’s neck, killing him.

Shin MOVES through more hallways, all of which are powered down in this section of the tower. The besieging patrols from Astral Corp. have completely locked down the area, and Shin has no means of gaining entry to the floors above to save his boss, Tatsuhiro, from the assaulting agents. He GHOSTWALKS and encounters several lingering spirits of the dead who are not vengeful like those in the previous room. TALKING to these cryptic spirits, Shin learns of a passage nearby through the spirit world, which will take him to a long-abandoned elevator shaft. ENTERING the shaft, Shin SUMMONS kami of wind and air that swirl at the bottom of the shaft to JUMP straight up a hundred stories to nearly the top of the tower. At the moment of maximum height, more kami spirits catch him and safely put him down at an elevator bank.

Finding a stairwell nearby, Shin MOVES through an alternate way to Tatushiro’s chamber entrance. TAKING COVER, Shin sees where all the power in the building is being diverted. Astral Corp. engineers, led by the cyborg Zercos, have brought a heavy cutting laser and are scrambling to assemble it. Engineers throughout the room have plugged in remote stations to syphon power to the laser, which is pointed directly at the immense steel doors beneath the ornate Torii gate that protects the reclusive ShiroKaz CEO, Tatsuhiro. SUIT tells Shin she could overload the laser and cause an explosion, killing everyone instantly once it has acquired enough power. He would also need to SNEAK close enough, meaning he would have to remain hidden long enough for them to complete the power transfer. Alternately, if he SNEAKS close to the engineers, one by one, she can hack their consoles and end the sequence. Or, Shin brags, he could simply SLICE them all to pieces. Ultimately, because of Zercos’s presence – a swordsman who already beat Shin once – Shin decides to try and be stealthy and spare the lives of the non-combatant engineers by hacking their individual consoles.

Shin GHOSTWALKS, thinking he can remain undetected, as always, but soon discovers that Zercos is also present in the spirit world. Being a cyborg, his spirit is only loosely connected to his body, essentially rendering him half dead at all times. With the added challenge of avoiding a patrolling Zercos, Shin JUMP-DASHES from cover to cover when Zercos is not looking, PHASING back to physical reality at times to RECHARGE his spirit energy and COMMAND SUIT to HACK an engineer’s control console. With each successful hack, Zercos approaches the bewildered engineer and SUIT reminds Shin of the imminent countdown as the laser powers up. Shin SNEAKS toward the final engineer. Zercos is no fool, he knows something is happening, and so he is more readily patrolling the area and catches Shin.

Zercos and the engineers attack Shin. Shin does his best to DEFLECT and DODGE Zercos’s skilled sword attacks while DISPATCHING the weaker enemies. There are no spirits to HAUNT or COMMAND in this area (the Torii gate keeps them at bay), and so Shin nearly depletes his spirit energy JUMP-DASHING between engineers to KILL them. Without any spirit energy left, he is left to a one-on-one fight with Zercos, which proves to be a losing battle. Shin DIES and his soul is forced to the spirit world, but there is no escape here, either.

After a cutscene in which the twin-dragon Oni spirits emerge from the cyborg’s frame. These Oni haunt Zercos and represent the White Shadow’s lost memories. Yasuro Shiromatsu, The White Shadow, likewise emerges from the white katana. While The White Shadow and Zercos’ spirit are locked in combat, Shin FIGHTS the twin Oni, JUMP-DASHING to DODGE their onslaught until he can STRIKE some significant blows. When one spirit has suffered enough damage, it dissipates into the sword and the battle ends as Shin collapses into a dream state. The other Oni and Zercos escape. 

Shin MOVES through more hallways, all of which are powered down in this section of the tower. The besieging patrols from Astral Corp. have completely locked down the area, and Shin has no means of gaining entry to the floors above to save his boss, Tatsuhiro, from the assaulting agents. He GHOSTWALKS and encounters several lingering spirits of the dead who are not vengeful like those in the previous room. TALKING to these cryptic spirits, Shin learns of a passage nearby through the spirit world, which will take him to a long-abandoned elevator shaft. ENTERING the shaft, Shin SUMMONS kami of wind and air that swirl at the bottom of the shaft to JUMP straight up a hundred stories to nearly the top of the tower. At the moment of maximum height, more kami spirits catch him and safely put him down at an elevator bank.

Finding a stairwell nearby, Shin MOVES through an alternate way to Tatushiro’s chamber entrance. TAKING COVER, Shin sees where all the power in the building is being diverted. Astral Corp. engineers, led by the cyborg Zercos, have brought a heavy cutting laser and are scrambling to assemble it. Engineers throughout the room have plugged in remote stations to syphon power to the laser, which is pointed directly at the immense steel doors beneath the ornate Torii gate that protects the reclusive ShiroKaz CEO, Tatsuhiro. SUIT tells Shin she could overload the laser and cause an explosion, killing everyone instantly once it has acquired enough power. He would also need to SNEAK close enough, meaning he would have to remain hidden long enough for them to complete the power transfer. Alternately, if he SNEAKS close to the engineers, one by one, she can hack their consoles and end the sequence. Or, Shin brags, he could simply SLICE them all to pieces. Ultimately, because of Zercos’s presence – a swordsman who already beat Shin once – Shin decides to try and be stealthy and spare the lives of the non-combatant engineers by hacking their individual consoles.

Shin GHOSTWALKS, thinking he can remain undetected, as always, but soon discovers that Zercos is also present in the spirit world. Being a cyborg, his spirit is only loosely connected to his body, essentially rendering him half dead at all times. With the added challenge of avoiding a patrolling Zercos, Shin JUMP-DASHES from cover to cover when Zercos is not looking, PHASING back to physical reality at times to RECHARGE his spirit energy and COMMAND SUIT to HACK an engineer’s control console. With each successful hack, Zercos approaches the bewildered engineer and SUIT reminds Shin of the imminent countdown as the laser powers up. Shin SNEAKS toward the final engineer. Zercos is no fool, he knows something is happening, and so he is more readily patrolling the area and catches Shin.

Zercos and the engineers attack Shin. Shin does his best to DEFLECT and DODGE Zercos’s skilled sword attacks while DISPATCHING the weaker enemies. There are no spirits to HAUNT or COMMAND in this area (the Torii gate keeps them at bay), and so Shin nearly depletes his spirit energy JUMP-DASHING between engineers to KILL them. Without any spirit energy left, he is left to a one-on-one fight with Zercos, which proves to be a losing battle. Shin DIES and his soul is forced to the spirit world, but there is no escape here, either.

After a cutscene in which the twin-dragon Oni spirits emerge from the cyborg’s frame. These Oni haunt Zercos and represent the White Shadow’s lost memories. Yasuro Shiromatsu, The White Shadow, likewise emerges from the white katana. While The White Shadow and Zercos’ spirit are locked in combat, Shin FIGHTS the twin Oni, JUMP-DASHING to DODGE their onslaught until he can STRIKE some significant blows. When one spirit has suffered enough damage, it dissipates into the sword and the battle ends as Shin collapses into a dream state. The other Oni and Zercos escape.