Posts Tagged ‘Fatal Frame’

During hot summer nights, it is Japanese tradition to tell horror stories to take their minds of the heat. All of these stories have similar elements: girls with long hair, Shinto priests and/or bizarre rituals.  And though none of us (the people who own this blog) are, or ever will be Japanese, the chill from being immersed in an authentic Japanese horror story isn’t exclusive to the Japanese anymore. It has been almost 10 years since the first release of the console game Fatal Frame, and since I’m in the mood for some horror, I’ll give you a snapshot of how this game will make you scared to look into a camera frame.

There are 4 games included in the Fatal Frame series, and all of them are available in Playstation 2  and Xbox Gaming Consoles.

They all follow the same premise — The main character comes to a desolate haunted location in search of something, or someone; they slowly discover the secrets of where they are and they fight of their enemies with a camera, the Camera Obscura. The camera has the ability to capture images of beings from another dimension (or ghosts) and prevent them from harming you any further than they possibly can.

Despite having similar premises, each game has its own captivating plot. And because I haven’t played the other two yet, I will only post the trailers for some of them.


Fatal Frame


Plot: Mafuyu Hinasaki has not returned home for 9 days. Because of this, his younger sister Miku decides to follow him to Himuro Mansion to check up on him. The Himuro Mansion is a secluded mansion deep in the forests that was built during the Edo era. As she enters the mansion, Mafuyu is nowhere to be found, but she does find their mother’s antique camera, the Camera Obscura.

As she continues to search around the mansion, she finds out that that her mother’s camera has the ability to harm and capture the ghosts that are trying to attack her. By using the notes from different people, her brother included, she slowly pieces together the mystery of the Himuro mansion and why it is the way that it is.


– – –


Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly


Plot: Mio and Mayu Amakura are twins who have an affinity to the unknown. While they were visiting the forest where they used to play in when they were younger, Mayu follows a crimson butterfly and disappears deep into the woods. Mio hurriedly follows her and they find themselves in a mysterious abandoned village.  There, they find the Camera Obscura and learn about the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual.

Using the Camera Obscura, Mio must save her sister from being possessed by a vengeful spirit and get them out of the village before they become the next sacrifices.


– – –


Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented


– – –

Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse


– – –


What I Didn’t Like About the Fatal Frame Series:

While I was typing the premise of the whole game, I had to stop myself for a bit because the premise really did sound stupid: “Take good pictures and the ghost will disappear.” Though I personally think the game play is exciting, I have to admit that using a camera as a weapon doesn’t really make for an exhilarating gaming experience; it’s kind of anti-climactic.

What disappointed me the most about the game was the minimal improvement in the game graphics through the 4 games. In terms of game play, there’s not much difference between the first and the fourth one; there’s also minimal improvement in character design. Though Mayu and Mio are supposed to look alike, it doesn’t make sense why Miku, Rei and Ruka all look the same. There must be another way to portray a Japanese girl with a sixth sense right?


What I Liked About the Fatal Frame Series:

Though all of the background stories included rituals for human sacrifice, the main plot per game was highly varied. All of them were interesting enough to keep me hooked despite the fact that all of the games were dark and terrifying. I’ve onlyplayed the first 2 games of the series, but I was still very curious as to what the other stories were about.

Another thing that I appreciated was the fact that the gaming area expands per game. The first game was set in a mansion, the second one was in a village, and the third one has a complex setting wherein you are exposed to two different worlds.

The thing I liked most about this game was the entire gaming experience. Yes, it was frightening but it was just enough to give you the chills without the nightmares. There’s minimal violence because of the weapon used in the game, and it’s just an entirely different experience from just shooting zombies. There’s really something about how the story combined with the game play that created something entertaining and unique.

Ultimately, I like Fatal Frame because it sparks a certain interest in me that probably won’t be achieved by a horror movie with a better plot. It really takes you into the world and makes you experience it in its full glory — isn’t that the reason we play video games in the first place?