Two words: Ghost Ship.

I admit to not being the most well-versed video gamer in the world (I couldn't land a guest spot on Beat the Geeks or anything), but I've played my fair share of RPGs and have noticed that one crucial element to developing an RPG is to be sure to include a ghost ship. It's right up there with say, the princess who hides her identity, or the amulet that seems like a regular family heirloom but somehow holds great power. I mean, come on, what's an RPG without a ghost ship? You and your party of brave adventurers come to some distressed fishing town whose ships have mysteriously gone missing... GHOST SHIP TIME! Or, you finally get your own ship and set sail for some other continent, but suddenly while you're travelling, the air gets misty... GHOST SHIP TIME!

I haven't played a lot of RPGs lately, what with having a life and all, so if anyone has any additions to my limited list then let me know. Also, I know that the ghost ship cliche bleeds far into other game genres that I neglect, so again, be sure to let me know. This is just from my memory and the input of a few fellow ship-watcher friends of mine.

Video games with a ghost ship:

Lots of other games have almost-ghost-ships, like Final Fantasy VI's phantom train, but I guess those don't count. I think it's funny how the response from the characters is always the same... complete surprise. Well, I know that if I ever go on a quest to save the world, the ghost ship sure as hell isn't going to catch me off guard.