A word of warning for completionists
Ghostwire: Tokyo has begun regularly popping up in PlayStation Store and Steam sales, and given the less-than-stellar reception it got at launch, plenty of people are only now cracking into this supernatural action-adventure game. I’m one of them! I recently finished the story, but try as I might, I cannot shake this game off. I refuse to delete Ghostwire: Tokyo from my PS5 until I finish out my 100% completionist goal, and there’s one annoying issue standing in my way: slow-spawning parades, known in-game as Hyakki Yako.
Consider this a friendly heads-up that may or may not come in handy one day.
Without getting too deep into the actual story, a big part of the game is saving stranded souls in Tokyo after a supernatural event — 240,300 souls, to be exact. You don’t need to rescue everyone, and you’ll eventually get tools to make the initial (phone-booth-depositing) collection process less of a chore. Many of the spirits are found out in the open, whether that’s on the sidewalk, on rooftops, or in alleyways. The open-world map is broken down into easier-to-manage zones that track how many spirits you’ve accumulated. That said, even if you get 100% in every area, your work isn’t done.
Some spirits are found underground (which you can thankfully revisit later in the game), some are trapped in randomly-appearing Containment Cubes (which you can free by defending them from an enemy onslaught), and some poor souls — arguably way too many — are tied to the frustratingly rare Hyakki Yako events. They’re a pain to find.
Strolling along the (wonderfully detailed) city streets, stumbling across a parade of umbrella-holding fiends, and getting pulled into a fight — it’s a cool idea!
The problem is, Ghostwire: Tokyo doesn’t do a particularly good job of explaining up front that you’ll want to engage with these parades as often as possible. The crowd can look intimidating from afar, so unless you have a gamer’s sixth sense, it’s easy to outright avoid them in your open-world exploration until you’re in post-game cleanup duty.
I didn’t set out to collect every spirit, but Ghostwire: Tokyo became a fun, not-too-stressful podcast game for me, and things snowballed. Now I’m just missing about seven thousand spirits, but they’re all tied to the Hyakki Yako, and they sure are tricky to find when you need them most. If you’re thinking of picking up Ghostwire: Tokyo, keep an eye out for parades the whole way through. That’ll help cut down on mindless grinding later.
Where to look for the parades
Some players have tried to brute-force the parades into appearing by fast-traveling to known locations again and again, but it’s kind of a losing battle. From everything I’ve seen online, the parades have a real-time-based spawn rate, and there are a number of confirmed locations to check out. I’ve had the best luck semi-casually running up and down the main streets rather than trying to be super meticulous with a checklist.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if there were more events in Ghostwire to keep you occupied, but after a certain point, the combat stops evolving, and the world feels static.
On the Ghostwire subreddit, a player named GeminixDragon had similar advice:
“I found the easiest way to get them to spawn is to walk up and down the large streets that spawn them from one end to the other twice, until I hit the fog or it becomes a smaller street. Usually traveling north to south and back (except the street under the overpass south of Kuo shrine which goes east to west) and if they don’t spawn then, move to the next spawn point in the order you first found them, walking along the large streets when possible. Doing this I managed to get five of them to spawn in two and a half hours. I did not fast travel but rather walked everywhere.”
Officially, Bethesda says the “Hyakki Yako will reappear after a set interval of time — even with reloaded save files.” The developers recommend that players “explore Tokyo or dive into some missions for a while and the event will return after a little while.”
Is it worth the grind? Not really. But that’s not going to stop us.
Ghostwire: Tokyo isn’t the (horror) game I thought it would be — and it feels either too trimmed down or too bloated, depending on how you look at it — but I admire the cultural attention to detail a whole lot, and that has made it worthwhile. It’s a game you play for the setting — the all-out vibes — more than anything. Not a bad price-slashed pickup.
As more curious players check it out over the years, I hope this tip helps.