Was the Haunted Hotel really haunted?

Dionysos

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...Remember this place?​


Before we start, we need to remind ourselves that the Gold Saucer is a weird place. It is shaped like a giant beanstalk and is built on top of Old Corel (which is now a creepy prison town which gives off Western vibes). Even if we forget about all of that, we can never forget that the park forces its visitors to jump into little tubes and slide their way into each zone.

The owner, Dio, is an unhinged lunatic.

(Send your thanks to Dio for the Gold Saucer's madness)


Now that we have placed the Gold Saucer in this context, let us consider the Haunted Hotel.

Functionally it serves the player as an inn to spend the night and recover HP/MP, and (as with many inns in FFVII) a number of conversations between party members occur there.

But we most likely remember the hotel for the cute little ghosts playing chess in the lobby, or for the sinister devil face near the stairs, or for the Egyptian mummy in the backroom which every now and then gasps for breath… And let us not forget Mr. Hangman (who has truly earned his name), an employee of the hotel, who greets you and offers his service to the party.

This hotel is a little bit strange. We like ‘haunted’ attractions in theme parks in our real world (ghost trains, haunted house walkthrough scare experiences, etc).

I wonder, are the characters that we see in the haunted hotel real ghosts and monsters? Or are they a rather elaborate combination of actors, mannequins, and special effects such as those that we sometimes have in horror attractions in the real world?

Is Mr. Hangman a ‘real’ re-animated hanged corpse, or is he an actor pulling off an elaborate prank?

Ghosts and monsters do exist in the FFVII universe to an extent. We see (and fight) ghosts of the Gi Tribe, and the Nibelheim Manor House (aka the Shinra Mansion) is filled with ghosts, demons, and undead creatures.

Had Dio been mad enough to go out and employ the undead to work in the Gold Saucer? He comes across as an egomaniac with a lot of grand ideas (combined with the wealth to carry them through to completion). Would he go that far?

Discuss!
 

Flower Bell

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Before we start, we need to remind ourselves that the Gold Saucer is a weird place. It is shaped like a giant beanstalk
8(
How have I never noticed this before :lew: It's either a beanstalk or a mushroom tree hybrid






Here's some sketches to see everything more clearly:





(The bedroom is an entire callback to the satanic film Matropolis)

Now that you mention it... I'm not sure. I always thought they were just pranks/items that the INN owners made to look like it was haunted. But you're right. The ghosts and the vampire behind the counter could be real since we see the same monsters in the Shinra mansion. You have me shook with this :lew:
 

Shaissa

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We all know it is haunted for this reason alone


:mokken:


But in all seriousness, I never thought the place was haunted, in fact I just thought they were all people dressed up or just decorations. I mean I guess he does have a monster arena and a place that sends people to prison, but even with that I don't think this place is haunted, just another weird theme place in the Golden saucer world.
 

Dionysos

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8(
How have I never noticed this before :lew: It's either a beanstalk or a mushroom tree hybrid






Here's some sketches to see everything more clearly:





(The bedroom is an entire callback to the satanic film Matropolis)

Now that you mention it... I'm not sure. I always thought they were just pranks/items that the INN owners made to look like it was haunted. But you're right. The ghosts and the vampire behind the counter could be real since we see the same monsters in the Shinra mansion. You have me shook with this :lew:
But in all seriousness, I never thought the place was haunted, in fact I just thought they were all people dressed up or just decorations. I mean I guess he does have a monster arena and a place that sends people to prison, but even with that I don't think this place is haunted, just another weird theme place in the Golden saucer world.
I had always thought this too. I just automatically suspended my disbelief and assumed that the haunted hotel was just a joke.

Now, the more I think about it the more I wonder if we should take it more seriously. Joke or not, it is there in the game just like the bee-themed prostitutes at the Honeybee Inn. They're silly, but they exist.

The ghosts and mummy might be special effects, etc. But Mr. Hangman? Is he an actor? If so, does he survive hanging himself by wearing a special knot?

Or is he really undead?

It's an interpretation I've never had before, and I'm finding it interesting to roll with it for a while to see if it is plausible.
 
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