Archives for posts with tag: Fatal Frame

Let’s face it, everyone has different opinions. I’ve been reading reviews and watching them on youtube and I’ll admit that I don’t always agree with what is said and/or written.¬† Everyone has played different games and has had their own relationships with the characters and story, that is what can make stories so wonderful because they are a different journey for each person.

I am a lover of sad stories. As a writer I bear a strong respect for anyone who can sway their audiences feelings. On this thought, I decided to give out my personal list of my top nine saddest moments in the video games I have played.

While our opinion may differ based on experience and different games played, we can still come together and dwell on the thought of what can make these moments successful.

Why NINE and not TEN?! Well, I am so picky that I wanted each sad moment to be from a different game and due to that and I could only find NINE. Also there are a lot of sad moments, but I want to concentrate on ones that actually made ME feel since I am the one writing this list.

It should go without saying but this is SPOILER CITY, so be cautious if you don’t want games spoiled for you.

Prepare to be sad.

NUMBER 9

Yume Nikki: The Ending

I don’t know how many people have heard of this game. I played this game through a download on my computer. Heck, you can download it right now if you want to. Just click here. Think it as a gift from me to you!

This game is TWISTED. You do not know what is completely going on and you should not ever expect to. You play as a girl named Nikki who won’t leave her room. When you try to leave her room she just shakes her head. She will only do two things: go to the outside balcony connected to her room (there is nothing to do but be there) or go to sleep.

When Nikki sleeps, the real gameplay starts. You wake up in a place that looks like your room but this time the character will actually leave her room. This is the dreamworld, there are 12 doors with worlds of the most bizarre nature.

This game should win a prize for surrealism. You navigate Nikki through her dreams to obtain 24 objects known as effects. These effects give Nikki different abilities and using the abilities in different places causes all sorts of odd things to happen. This game is incredibly easy to get lost in. I would be impressed with anyone who could beat it without the aid of a walkthrough. It’s all very psychological and you wonder what Nikki went through to have these dreams.

After exploring the dreams enough to get all 24 effects…this is what happens.

Nikki commits suicide off of her bedroom’s balcony. I had no idea how this game was going to end and just the simple…she jumps off the balcony THE END kinda hit me. I mean…the things you see in Nikki’s dreams are incredibly surreal, psychological, and can really make you think.

She would not go outside perhaps because she did not want to face a truth in her life? The people in the dream…are they reflections of people from her real life? What about the places? What was haunting Nikki into these dreams? Fans have many ideas, most of them very fascinating.

In all, this game is pretty depressing¬† and I’m not forgetting it.

NUMBER 8

Metal Gear Solid 4- The Mircowave Hall

Metal Gear is an amazing series. The writers are not afraid to make situations a little ridiculous to get the emotions of characters across.

The story is filled with characters that have dark pasts, mostly consisting of soldiers and scientists. Scientists that have created regrettable weapons, soldiers who use so much tech that they are barely human anymore, it’s all about war in this game. And war is not a happy subject.

Snake is an old man in this game, being a clone caused him to age faster. Yet throughout this game he pulls through battles and difficult situations.

The series is filled with deaths to the point where I am not using a death for a sad moment. No, I am using the microwave hall scene.

No scene defined how emotional and ridiculous this game can be like the scene when Snake goes into a hall with dangerous microwaves. Here it is.

Honestly the scene speaks for itself. The music, the GODDAMN BUTTON MASHING, and images you see in this scene are truly what this series has always been about. War.

NUMBER 7

Dark Cloud: Seda’s Story

This is a bit of an old game and they later created White Knight Chronicles which I slightly hate them for. (That game makes my eyes and ears bleed.) But there is just one part in this game that stuck with me for being really sad.

The scene does not happen till almost the very end of the game and with a character that is incredibly important to the plot…yet we only see him in the beginning and at the end.

You play as a character named Toan or you can change his name if you want to…he’s one of those silent main character types that you are supposed to see yourself in. He is put in charge of saving the world by the Fairy King. You are saving it from an evil Genie who is well…trying to rule/destroy the world. You travel a lot, restoring lands as well as finding a way to defeat the Genie. Toan restores lands by using a magical stone the Fairy King gave to him.

At the beginning of the game you meet a suspicious man named Seda. He seems to know what you are up to and wants the stone the Fairy King gave you. The man is calm and collected and only asks for the stone…at first. He seems to know more about the Dark Genie than you do and says he needs the stone more and you learn he’s a time-traveler.Then…out of nowhere he gasps in pain and his eyes glow red and he tries to kill you for the stone. He defeats you but has mercy on you and leaves.

You don’t see Seda again till the end of the game in the Dark Genie’s castle. He tells you that he is the reason the Dark Genie exists and he’s traveled in time to try to find a way to stop himself in the past. Before he can tell you the full story though, the Dark Genie tries to possess him and he creates a time-traveling portal for you before he kills himself.

In the portal you slowly learn pieces of Seda’s life. Well…this is what you learn. Followed by it is the sad moment that makes number 6 on my list.

Did you see Seda stab that man and throw him off the balcony?! This is an old game with no voice-acting, not so good graphics, but the emotion put into this scene was done well. That music-box tune is both sad as well as ominous, perfect for the tragedy that lead to the creation of the Dark Genie.

The exact moment this scene that turned it into one of the saddest moments was when Seda looks at Toan and says, “Have you come to kill me too?! Do you hate me too? Fine. Go ahead, kill me.” You don’t hear his voice but just be looking at the characters face and reading those words you feel shivers go down your spine. It’s not whiny and sorrowful like, “Oh Sophia is dead, please kill me!” Even without a voice you can tell that the words Seda said were utterly livid…and that livid feeling is what created the Dark Genie.

NUMBER 6

Fatal Frame: Mafuyu’s Choice

You know I’m a huge fan of this series if you read my earlier review. Of course most of the moments in this game are scary as shit but if there is anything besides scary…there is sad.

Every Fatal Frame game has it’s own special sad moment. If I had to pick what game had the most sad moment, I’d have to say the 1st one.

You are a young girl named Miku who is searching a haunted mansion for her big brother, Mafuyu. This girl goes through a TON of shit for her older brother. I question my sanity to pull through what this girl pulls through in order to find her brother. Having a sixth sense, taking photographs of ghosts in order to “kill” them, running like hell when faced with a invincible ghost.

The sad moment is in the end…when you finally beat the final boss and reunite with your brother.

This actually got a lot of people mad. Many gamers think Mafuyu to be selfish and stupid by abandoning his little sister after all she went through to get him back.

As a writer, I had to disagree. I felt for Kirie as Mafuyu did. In Fatal Frame, the ghost you are trying to defeat ALWAYS has a tragic back story and Kirie was no different. Seeing that poor woman getting hurt from that door is sad! That is no ordinary gate she is sealing, she is sealing the gates to hell itself! She is a martyr, doing something good with no reward in sight. Mafuyu recognizes her selflessness and wishes to give her peace by staying with her. I found that touching but that does not ignore the fact that his choice is a sad one.

NUMBER 5

Mass Effect 3- Earth gets Attacked

Bioware has some of the best writers. Each character is a jewel of it’s own and when they really know how to get you invested in the story.

The 3rd and last game of the series takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts. The entire galaxy is in peril from the Reapers, a part organic and part machine race of beings that has harvested all developed life in the galaxy every fifty thousand years.

You can play as female or male, but you’re always called Commander Shepard. It is your goal to defeat the Reapers. The reason you get so invested in this story is because it’s a role-playing game, you make decisions and face their outcomes.

This entire game is full of an essence of hopelessness. It is hard to choose a single scene for the sad moment.

I decided this one will do.

This scene is at the VERY BEGINNING of the game. This is only Earth being attacked too, you get to watch many more planets get invaded by the Reapers. Many of the characters you get to know so well die.

I just thought this should be on the list because it’s at the beginning of the game, and it can be a challenge to pull off a sad moment when things are just getting started.

NUMBER 4

Kingdom Hearts 328/2 Days: Axel Confronts Xion

I never got attached to the Kingdom Heart characters. To me, Sora was just a goofball, Riku had issues, and Kairi was a cliche damsel in distress. Not to say I did not enjoy them, but I never actually got the feelings at parts of the game I think I was supposed to feel and get sad about.

That was until 328/2 days came out on Nintendo DS. Roxas and all of the Organization 13 are incredibly sad and tragic characters when you stop to think about them. They are people who lost their hearts, they are not supposed to exist, yet here they are.They are called Nobodies, that itself is depressing.

Basic summary of your goals in the game, you play as Roxas who is Sora’s Nobody, created when Sora turned into a Heartless when he gave Kairi his heart in the first game. Unlike the other Nobodies, Roxas has no memory of his original self. You are the 13th member of Organization 13. As Roxas, you are trying to help Xemnas create Kingdom Hearts so you and all of your other 12 Nobody allies can gain hearts.

Seems like a good goal right? Well…it’s really complicated. You know if you played the other games that Xemnas is a bad guy who is full of false promises and lies and is using everyone as pawns.

At the beginning of the game Roxas is like a zombie with little to say and little to feel. Axel becomes Roxas’s mentor. For a guy without a heart, this guy has a lot of personality. Eventually you see Roxas be far less zombie-like and Axel becomes his best friend. Then a girl named Xion joins the Organization. She is very mysterious but eventually she warms up to Axel and Roxas and the three of them have a very strong bonded friendship. I grew to love this friendship, in fact, it’s probably my favorite friendship bond in all the video games I’ve played.

As you can imagine, this is when things begin to go downhill.

Roxas and Xion are not ordinary Nobodies. Both of them have the ability to use the keyblade, which Xemnas needs to create Kingdom Hearts. Both of them are parts of Sora. Roxas is his Nobody and Xion is Sora’s lost memories.

So what does this mean? Well, the GOOD guys from the other game tell Xion that she is not supposed to exist and she needs to go back into Sora. At first she denies them, but eventually she comes to terms with it and betrays the Organization. Roxas is also doing things behind the Organizations back and slowly loses this trust in their goals.

This puts Axel in a difficult position, being a long-time member of the Organization. He is sent to stop her, both for Xemnas’s evil reasons…but also for reasons of his own.

Thus, here is the saddest moment for me.

I imagine most people expect me to put in Xion’s “death” or Axel saying goodbye to Roxas when Roxas runs away but those did not hit me like this moment.

For Nobodies with no hearts, I think this scene in Kingdom Hearts is the one with the most heart! The emotion in Axel’s voice, Xion’s face as she states her sad but firm conclusion! You see how frustrated Axel really is and the position it puts him in.

Honestly, this entire game is a sad moment. But if I had to chose, this scene was the one that did it in for me.

NUMBER 3

Nier: Fyra’s Death

This entire game is a sad moment. Filled with tragedies. You tell some children you found their dead mother, set out on a journey to find an old man’s dog to find it died while trying getting him some medicine, and in the end it turns out that these shades you’ve been fighting have been the real humans from the beginning.

I would name many sad scenes, I teared up a lot in this game. But one prevailed over all the others.

Fyra’s death.

This girl was the sweetest little thing. You meet her when she’s a little child and later you find out she is getting married to the King. I knew the moment I saw this that something bad was going to happen. At this point in the game it was just sad moment after sad moment. This wedding was too happy.

Well…my prediction came true. It was more powerful then I thought it would be though. Here is how the wedding went….

You don’t even have to read what the characters are saying to feel the pain they feel. Just the way they saw the words is enough! The normally happy-go-lucky King is suddenly filled with sorrow and rage.

What most haunts me is even after this moment plays…Fyra’s blood stain is always there in front of the King’s palace.

This moment will always stick with me.

NUMBER 2

Shadow of the Colossus- Wander’s Price

One of my most favorite games of all time, Shadow of the Colossus is what makes a video game become a form of art.

You play as a man named Wander who brings a dead girl to a shrine. He strikes a deal with a mysterious and god-like being named Dormin. The deal is that you destroy 16 colossi and in return Dormin will bring the girl back to life.

The world is empty other than trees, water, landscape, and the occasional lizard, hawk, or turtle. All you have is your horse and a special sword that can kill colossi. You have NO idea who this girl is to Wander, how she died, or a single thing about Wander himself other than he really wants to bring this girl back to life…no matter the price.

As Wander beats each colossi you do begin to notice he is getting more dirty and beaten up looking. Even as you fight colossus, the way Wander fights these made me somewhat sad. The way he hung on to these colossi and stabbed their huge bodies as they struggled against him was in itself an action screaming with the emotion of a desperate and stubborn being.

The further in the game you got, the more exhausted Wander looked. From the beginning when Dormin said the words, “The price you pay may be heavy indeed” kinda haunted me from the beginning and stuck with me.

Well…after beating the final colossus, here is the price Wander had to pay.

Wander got used by this…this DEMON. Even when possessed he still reached out for the girl he did all this for, which broke my heart. As he gets sucked into the fountain he still hangs on in that stubborn and desperate way! It really is true love he felt for this girl and that was not shown in a specific scene, but the entire game.

This is not the full ending by the way, just the sad part of it.

NUMBER 1

Okamiden- Kurow’s Death

From my earlier review, you know how much I love the game Okami. So of course I played the Nintendo DS sequal, Okamiden. You play as Amaterasu’s son, a puppy named Chibiterasu. What are you doing? Saving Nippon of course!

You befriend different children who help you through your journey. Out of these children is Kurow, the kid who looks like Waka from the original game. Kurow is cocky, nervous around girls, and has a strong sense of justice. A character with both faults and strengths, one that is easy to warm up to.

You do eventually learn the kid has a dark side though. He does not believe in anything, including himself, and he thinks he has no real friends.

Eventually the normally charming game takes a very dark turn when Kurow actually betrays you for the evil spirit Akuro. This was incredibly surprising for me. That awesome kid just did WHAT?!

You have to fight Kurow to get to Akuro. When you defeat him he admits that he is a coward with no friends and that is why he sided with Akuro. Kurow waits for you to kill him but you pull no such action. Instead, Chibiterasu licks his face and leave to face Akuro.

Akuro possesses people, that makes him almost impossible to defeat. After defeating Akuro, the spirit looks for a new victim to possess and guess who offers Akuro their body?!

Oh wait! It’s not over yet! We still need to see the sad get more sad!

This is number one on my list because THAT PUPPY JUST HAD TO MURDER ITS BEST CHILD FRIEND! This is just so sad that it is almost borderline ridiculous.

Why is this number 1 on the list? The reason solely is that no one could have seen this coming. In all the other games mentioned, you could actually predict tragedy and sorrow. In Okamiden there was no way you could predict that you’d have to kill Kurow. This is an upbeat and colorful game! There could be a sad part or two but having to kill a child?! How old are these kids anyway? I think they range from 7 to 10 years old!

That ending scene had me crying. Chibi licking the tears off Kurow’s face just did it in for me. If you played this game and did not at least get teary-eyed at this part then something is wrong with you.

END

So that is it. I hope you got sad because I sure did and please, play these games…they are all really amazing in their own way.

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Feel like getting scared? I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite video games, a Japanese horror game series called Fatal Frame.

I love getting scared. I love hearing my own screams. So when my cousin told me about a scary ps2 game called Fatal Frame, I had to satisfy my curiosity. The game did not just satisfy, I bought the rest of the series and have played all of them multiple times (except Fatal Frame 4, which I’ll get into later).

This game is definitely not for everyone. I know this because when I hand the controller to one of my friends, they usually throw it back at me and/or play until a ghost pops up and then throw the controller at me. The game is not for people who do not get any enjoyment from being scared, and the mechanics aren’t for every gamer.

The Fatal Frame series consists of 4 games. I have things to say about each one. I’ll start with the first Fatal Frame I played that left me with a huge impression…Fatal Frame 2, Crimson Butterfly.

From what I’ve heard in the gaming community, it is Fatal Frame 2 that is the most popular in the series. You play as these two twin school girls, Mio and Mayu, who get spirited away to All Gods Village. You find the weapon that makes Fatal Frame well…Fatal Frame! Your weapon to defend yourself is a camera, the Camera of Obscura. And what are you going to be fighting? You are fighting ghosts.

I think out of all the things the world can throw at me to be scared of, I’m scared of ghosts and spirits. Murderers, insane clowns, zombies, and anything physical doesn’t really get to me. Things like those are just too human in mind and/or limitations. But put me in a room with the Grudge and I’m going to be flipping shits. Ghosts give me all the shits.

Fatal Frame 2 gave me countless scares. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paused the game because something freaked the hell out of me. The atmosphere is creepy, dark, and horribly quiet. You eventually learn to expect anything to happen at any moment you enter a new room. From the screaming ghost of a woman to tumble down the stairs, to a box shaking as you walk past it, to hearing the patter of feet running in the darkness, I was in heaven with how scared I was. The simple action of a doll falling off the shelf at the opposite end of the room made me and my friends scream and flinch because of the whole atmosphere the game gave.

Scares are not the only thing that make a game for me of course. What makes Fatal Frame different from all other horror games to me is the characters and story. Most horror games I’ve played…they’re stories never touched me, made me feel anything more than well…more fear. It’s like the horror game industry only wants to give fear to it’s audience. I guess that makes sense, but why not have more than that? The makers of Fatal Frame didn’t just make a horror game series, they create amazing stories and I actually get an odd attachment to the characters…and most of them are the ghosts I’m taking pictures of! As you explore, you learn more and more about why these people died, why you have spirited away here, and you learn their stories.

I’ll get into what specifically makes Fatal Frame 2 special out of the series. First thing is…the boss. Sae Kurasawa. Just watch this video of the first time you meet her in the game.

Sae’s laughter can haunt me at the worst times when I’m alone in a dark place. Her blood spattered white kimono, her obsessive clingy attitude towards you (she thinks your her sister that abandoned her). There are unforgettable ghosts you meet in the series, and Sae is definitely one of them, and she isn’t just a ghost…she’s the reason the entire village dead and is slowly possessing your twin sister!

Mio and Mayu

Another things that makes Fatal Frame 2 special is that you have a sister that follows you around. In all the other Fatal Frame games you are alone. If you ask me, “Is this a good thing or a bad thing?” I’ll tell you, “Your sister is a bad thing.” I mean…she can be useful in distracting ghosts while you take pictures, but she is another incredibly scary factor in this game. She is your sister who is slowly getting possessed BY SAE. Think about it.

Itsuki

A rare and beautiful thing in Fatal Frame games…is a friendly ghost. The Fatal Frame 2 character Itsuki is one of those such rare things. When I say friendly, I mean he does not do you any harm. Best of all, he actually talks to you! Unfortunately he doesn’t know he’s dead…and he’s rather depressing…but I enjoyed having one friendly thing to look at! His sister, Chitose, is also one of the most scary ghosts in the game. A little blind girl with a bell tied to her wrists, running around in the dark….has a habit of hiding in closets.

Chitose

If you have a problem with dolls, you don’t want to play Fatal Frame 2 (or the series in general but DEFIANTLY not Fatal Frame 2). There is a house you go through that is entirely dedicated to dolls. I’ll never forget when I walked into the first room…and saw three dolls hanging at their necks from the ceiling.

Let you tell you about combat in this game since it’s pretty special. You look through the camera when fighting ghosts (adding to the scary factor since you are in 1st person view). You use film and can find more as you explore. There is weak film and there is strong film, zero being the strongest (I always save those for the last battle). You may ask, “What happens if you run out of film?” and I’ll say, “That would suck but luckily the weakest film is unlimited so you never have NO film. Unless you’re playing Fatal Frame 1 but I’ll get into that later.”

Mio holding the Camera Obscura

You find spirit orbs as well as you battle ghosts and explore and with those you can power up certain powers on the camera such as Blast, Slow, and all those fun effects you can do to ghosts.

I think the camera is original and works. Most of my friends are too freaked out by ghosts and miss the photograph though. You see, the best thing in this game is that you HAVE to wait for the ghost to get close enough, face to face with the camera, for your picture to actually do any damage to it. Because of that you can’t run, you have to stand your ground and let the ghost come to you. Best horror game idea, so simple too!

Now the first Fatal Frame, when I played it I was horrified to see that if I ran out of film…I actually ran out of film. I did have problems with that.

Miku

In the first Fatal Frame you play a girl named Miku. You’re looking for your adorable older brother brother Mafuyu who wandered into a haunted mansion looking for his tutor and the tutor brought some editor and AH IT’S A WHOLE LINE OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR EACH OTHER.

I could see why Fatal Frame 2 was more popular when I played Fatal Frame 1. I think in Fatal Frame 1 the creators were just testing the waters of possibility. The game is still freaking incredible though. I’d say the characters and ghosts are not as memorable as Fatal Frame 2, but that didn’t make the story any less amazing and easy to get invested in.

Do not get me wrong. This game is scary. To prove it, here is a video of Brad from 4playerprodcast playing the 1st Fatal Frame getting scared 3 times in just 1 minute.

This is what Fatal Frame is like when it comes to scaring you. Things pop out at you, little things like doors slamming as you walk up to them…all that fun stuff.

Since it’s the bosses that make the game. Kirie is known as the rope maiden and she…is not as freaky as Sae. But still pretty freaky!

Kirie before she became scary. The man is someone she loved…and he looks exactly like Mafuyu

I’d say out of all the Fatal Frame ghosts, the main boss in Fatal Frame 1 is one of the ghosts that I felt most sympathetic for. The ending to this Fatal Frame is also my favorite ending out of all the Fatal Frames. Most endings kind of have a dark feel to them, but the one for this game felt sweet, a little sad, and hopeful.

Fatal Frame 3, The Tormented is when stories start getting really complicated. You play three different characters. Miku, from the first game! Kei, who is actually Mio and Mayu’s uncle! And Rei, whose fiance just died in a car crash.

The reason Fatal Frame 3 is so complicated isn’t because you play as three different people…but I still don’t quite understand everything about the plot and characters in the place you get spirited away to.

You don’t exactly get spirited away…rather…you go to this mansion in your dreams. Yep, Rei goes to sleep and wakes up in this creepy Fatal Frame mansion with ghosts and rooms to explore like that other games. The big difference this creates is that…you can wake up.

Your room in your house after you wake up.

This was very creative on the scare factor in this game. Your house seems like a nice happy place, modern, there is a cat, TV, nothing like the haunted mansion you explore in your dreams. Safe from being scared right? You would be dead wrong. The further in the game you get…the more your dreams start manifesting in the real world.

You wake up and a ghost is by your side on the bed. You see ghosts watching you through your windows. You open your closet to see a little girl ghost sitting inside! IT’S FREAKING TERRIFYING. The worst scare when once when you look at your mirror in your bathroom and it’s smeared with blood…and you walk up to it…AND OH GOD THE MEMORIES.

Kei

Negative parts of the 3rd Fatal Frame is that I actually think there is too much going on at once. Everyone, Miku, Kei, and Rei go to the Mansion of Sleep, Dreams, or whatever and it’s complicated. Kei looks like the bosses lover…he’s looking for Mio from Fatal Frame 2 who is dying from the dreams. Miku is looking for her brother. Rei is looking for her fiance. Oh look, it’s another big scramble of people trying to find each other.

The boss of Fatal Frame 3, is Reika, also known as the Tattooed Priestess.

Reika

Oh yeah, the dreams eventually kill you. If the boss, Reika, touches you , then you wake up with a tattoo that eventually takes over and turns you to ash. What spirits away people to the mansion of sleep? Well…survivors guilt. I am still unclear why. I am still unclear about a lot of things in Fatal Frame 3. But unforgettable ghosts, scares, I loved it.

Fatal Frame 4, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse isn’t sold in the United States. I do not know why but after getting so invested in the series I had to have it. I mean, LOOK AT THE AMAZING TRAILER!

Also…Fatal Frame 4 is for Wii while all the others are for ps2. But you know what? I still got it. A friend of mine went to Japan and owned a Wii. We downloaded subtitles and the game, like all the others, is AMAZING.

Unfortunately we still have the same complication of stuff going on like we did in Fatal Frame 3. You play as three different characters, a detective Choushiro (who uses a flashlight…to take pictures), a girl looking for her lost memories from when she was kidnapped named Ruka, another girl who is in the same situation as Ruka named Misaki. You play another girl named Madoka in the beginning but she doesn’t last very long.

Choushiro with the flashlight

Okay, the flashlight camera weapon was the coolest thing ever. Created by the same man who created the Camera Obscura, Dr. Asou. Every time you take a picture with your flashlight, it sounds like a gunshot and there is a bright light and it’s awesome.

I hate the Wii, that is why I don’t own a Wii. The controls made certain things really hard for me. Like playing the piano at the end. At the end of the game, at the final fight…you beat the boss and then play a tune on the piano. If you fail at playing the piano tune then the boss comes back and you have to beat her again! I had to beat her so many more times than necessary because of the Wii controls with that piano tune.

The game is more beautiful than any of the past Fatal Frames and more western. It actually takes place in an insane asylum where there are doorknobs and carpets rather than tatami floors and sliding doors.

There are unforgettable places and ghosts just like the other Fatal Frames. Ayako was a demon child who scared the shit out of me. No, what scared me the most was this woman ghost who wore a Victorian mourning dress and walked around rolling a crimson wheelchair with a human-sized doll sitting in it. When I saw that bright red wheelchair suddenly appear behind me, I freaked out.

Sakuya

The boss ghost is a woman named Sakuya, she doesn’t have a face as a ghost. We do have flashbacks where we see her real face. But there is something really strange. Everyone who lived in the asylum had a disease called Luna Sudata syndrome and that this thing called budding, them blooming. When people bloom, they don’t have a face and…it’s just confusing. There is a chance it was just bad subtitles but I think it’s like Fatal Frame 3, where too much was going on for everything to make complete sense.

You Haibara

Also Fatal Frame does not usually have a villain but that changes in the 4th game. The villain is You Haibara, the man who kidnapped Ruka, Misaki, and Madoka, and some other girls when they were little and used them for a ritual. What I love is that…you actually start to wonder if the man is freaking dead or not! When you play as Choushiro, the detective, You appears and does things that Fatal Frame ghosts don’t normally do. He taunts you and runs, he had this horrible sly smile while getting away too!

Anyway, now that the four games have been summarized…what do they all have in common?

I made a list of rules in the Fatal Frame Universe. Here they are.

1. All the bosses are women.

2. No Fatal Frame man survives.

3. You will feel sympathetic for the boss by the end of the game.

4. EVERYONE IS DEAD BECAUSE A RITUAL FAILED AND HELL BROKE THROUGH

The fourth rule of the Fatal Frame universe is actually really fascinating. The rituals made up for these games are unforgettable, disturbing, and are a large basis for the back story of most of the ghosts in Fatal Frame.

Every single Fatal Frame, the reason there are ghosts is because of the fourth rule.

In Fatal Frame 1, a girl is sacrificed by having her ankles, neck, and wrists bound in rope and pulled until her body breaks apart. Then those ropes are used for sealing a gate to Hell.

In Fatal Frame 2, one twin is forced to strangle the other in a ritual. The one that is killed gets thrown into a pit to Hell to pacify it.

In Fatal Frame 3, a Reika is tattooed and nailed down into a shrine to stop Hell that seemed to just be across a body of water. (we never see what’s on the other side of the mysterious shores).

In Fatal Frame 4, a Sakuya is forced to wear a mask that takes over your mind and dance to satisfy Hell, which by the way we see as A VORTEX PORTAL IN THE OCEAN.

These are only the main rituals of Fatal Frame, there are many many many. But the ones I just listed are the ones that failed and the ones that create Fatal Frame rules 1 and 3, the bosses are all female and you will feel sorry for them. Usually the reason the ritual fails is because of how the women felt as they died. Sae had too much anger and sorrow. Kirie was in love and was not ready to die. Reika also fell in love and was not invested in her “destiny”. Sakuya failed due to her fear and confusion and “blooming” (I still don’t completely understand blooming). It’s all really powerful stuff when you play the games.

Yes, NO MAN survives Fatal Frame. I won’t get into detail about that.

I’ve played all these games many times because the replay value is high. When you beat the game on certain difficulties, you unlock costumes and different endings. Also there are “passive” ghosts that you can collect on a ghost list. GOTTA CATCH THEM ALL.

Anyway, Fatal Frame has left a huge impression on me. Beautiful in every aspect, story, characters, atmosphere, and still can haunt me at night. Give it a try.