Pokémon X & Y are rather happy-go-lucky games — that is, with the exception of a mysterious ghost girl that managed to freak players out last November. You'd think that by now, almost a year after her discovery, we'd know what her deal is... but no. She's still somewhat of an enigma.
Some background, in case you're not caught up with this: last year, players discovered that if you enter a certain building in Pokémon X & Y's Lumiose City, the music will stop, the screen will flash, and a creepy-looking girl with a strange walking animation will float by. No matter what, she will always say "no, you're not the one" right before disappearing. Pretty eerie, right?
Players had plenty of theories about the ghost girl — like the idea that she was looking for a specific trainer ID, or that she was tied to some other characters in the franchise. This is not the first time Pokémon games have featured a ghost girl of sorts, after all. But so far, none of the theories have proven true, and most players remain stumped as to what ghost girl's actual purpose is. But no matter what, people seemed sure that she would do something, and that she wasn't included in the game just to mess with players.
Last week, I got a chance to speak with Junichi Masuda, a producer on X & Y. Surely, I figured, Masuda might have a clue as to what was going on with ghost girl? When I asked him if he knew about ghost girl, he was puzzled. "We didn't put anything like that in the game," Masuda claimed.
So I showed him the video, which he watched intently — and once the ghost girl came on screen, he sort of laughed and went "oOoOoOoO." In fact, he said "oOoOoO" multiple times during our exchange, sort of with a smirk, but he didn't say more about it.
Looking into ghost girl later, I have the distinct feeling that Masuda was pulling my leg. Maybe he personally had no hand in ghost girl's appearance in the games, and maybe he genuinely doesn't know what is going on with her. But recently, players have found a certain clue that makes it seem like ghost girl is an intentional inclusion, and not just some random thing that a programmer sneaked in or something. If you visit the Japanese Pokemon website, there's a page where the ghost girl appears. In fact, this errant page seems to be entirely about her.
The page also throws an interesting wrinkle to the mix. It features a screenshot of a character you find in a haunted house by Pokémon X & Y's route 14 — you might recall him as the person that tells you a scary story. If you'd like to watch said scary story, skip to the 15:40 mark of this video:
The story this character tells does not seem to be about ghost girl — rather, it's about a person who sees "a horde of faceless men." Here's the interesting tidbit: after this guy is done telling you the story, he asks for a tip. He says that if you refuse, you will see something really scary:
People didn't really connect this character to ghost girl a year ago, but now his appearance on the Japanese website begs the question: might he be speaking of the ghost girl? Is this the character responsible for siccing her on us? If so, that would be hilarious: Pokémon players apparently refused to tip this guy en masse, so everyone is seeing the ghost girl as a result of being stingy. But, like many things surrounding ghost girl, that's just a theory. It would be cool if someone could test out whether or not tipping this guy means you never see ghost girl. Personally, I didn't tip him on my playthrough, and I saw ghost girl.
I asked Brian Ashcraft, our resident Japanese expert, if he could translate the Japanese ghost girl page for me. After reading it, he says that the page claims you can only meet this girl once — which leads us to think that maybe it is teasing an event of sorts. The timing would certainly work, given that we're in October, and it's almost Halloween.
As of this writing, Game Freak hasn't announced anything for the west about ghost girl, though there is an unrelated Halloween event that grants players a special Pokémon. It is entirely possible that something might be announced later in the month. For now, the particulars of what ghost girl's actual deal is remain a mystery — though there's a lingering hope that perhaps we'll find out more about her soon enough.