Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

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Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Game Title Image
零~月蝕の仮面~
Zero ~Tsukihami no Kamen~
Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Developer(s): Tecmo & Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Distributor(s): Nintendo
Release date: Japan - July 31 2008
Remaster - Early 2023
Genre: Survival Horror
Game modes: Easy, Normal, Hard & Nightmare
Mission Mode
Ratings: Japan: CERO C
Regions: Japan
Platform(s): Wii
Switch
PS4
PS5
Xbox Series X|S
Xbox One
Steam

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is the fourth game of the Fatal Frame Series. It was released in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii console, but for many years it remained available only in Japan. In September 2022, a remastered version was announced for release early the next year.[1]

Storyline

"If no one remembers it, does that mean it never happened?"

Rougetsu Kagura is a festival held once every ten years on Rogetsu Isle in southern Japan. During the festival, five girls mysteriously disappeared. The girls were rescued by a detective, but all of their memories were lost.

One of the girls that disappeared mysteriously, Ruka Minazuki, had a faint memory of a single melody...

- Girls playing instruments surrounded by masked people, and a masked woman dancing in the moonlight as though possessed. -

The melody repeats and hastens... and then the memory ends abruptly. What happened that day...? Ruka has lived with that thought in her mind ever since.

Ten years later, two of the girls that mysteriously disappeared were killed one after another. They were found with their faces covered, in a tragic demeanor.

Determined to solve the mystery of their friends' deaths, the remaining girls, Misaki and Madoka, agree to travel to Rogetsu Isle.

Ruka decides to follow them to the island. Will they find out what lies beyond their lost memories?

Release dates

Original (Wii)

  • Japan - July 31st, 2008
  • US - Not scheduled for release.[2][3]
  • Europe - Release cancelled.[4][5]

Remaster (Switch, etc)

  • Japan, Asia, US, Europe - March 9, 2023

Development

Initially, Fatal Frame for Wii was envisioned as a standalone spinoff rather than a sequel, designed mainly to make use of the Wii remote as a flashlight.[6] As Makoto Shibata was busy with another project at the time, Tecmo approached Goichi Suda to ask whether Grasshopper would be interested in helping develop the game. Suda was initially reluctant, but with the encouragement of his wife, a horror fan, he eventually agreed,[6] and came on board as a director.[7]

The game was privately announced at 2007 Tokyo Game Show, and Tecmo publicly announced the game on January 30th, 2008 at their winter press conference.[8] It was released on July 31st, 2008 in Japan for 6800yen.

Story

The writing process was distributed between Shibata, who wrote Ruka's chapters, Suda, who wrote Choshiro's, and Masahiro Yuki, who wrote Misaki's,[6] with Shibata overseeing the story as a whole. Suda's contributions were delayed by his work on No More Heroes. When he finally submitted his complete draft, Shibata found it "shockingly violent" and out of keeping with the tone of the game. In fact, he writes, "I was so outraged that I ran the printed pages of writing through the shredder. I deleted the email from Mr. Suda and expunged it thoroughly from my harddisk."[6] After he had calmed down, however, he reconsidered Suda's vision, and reworked it to fit Fatal Frame while keeping some aspects, including the ending. Despite their different approaches, both Shibata and Suda were satisfied with the final product.[6] Keisuke Kikuchi even mentioned that he considered Mask of the Lunar Eclipse the best game of the series yet.[9]

Gameplay

For the Wii, the viewpoint was shifted from a fixed overhead camera to an over-the-shoulder viewpoint, so that players would feel as if they were exploring the environment themselves.[9] The change in viewpoint encouraged them to create a main setting that blended Japanese and Western features, since traditional Japanese furnishings tend to be low to the ground and would be below the player's line of sight.[9] The characters' movement speed was also adjusted to account for the new viewpoint.[9]

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was scored by Masafumi Takada and Etsuko Ichikawa.[10] The game has two theme songs by Tsuki Amano, NOISE and Zero no Chouritsu.

Fan Translation

For reasons that remain the subject of rumour and speculation, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was never officially released outside Japan. An unofficial translation project by fans, replacing Japanese text and subtitles with English, was completed in January 2010. A Spanish fan translation was completed on August 28th, 2010, and a French fan translation on September 2nd, 2011. An English voice track for players to use instead of the original Japanese track was also in the works; however, the dub team disbanded and the project was cancelled due to creative differences.

2023 Remaster

FF4 Remaster Box Art.jpg

In 2022, Nintendo and Koei-Tecmo announced that a remastered version of Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse would be released on 9 March 2023, including in Western regions. The 2023 version will be available on Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam.[1] It will have improved graphics, new costumes, and a Photo Mode. To accompany the remaster, Koei Tecmo will release an original soundtrack for the game and an artbook (both of which will be available digitally as well) and two clear files. The art book, entitled "Rogetsu Isle Reminiscences" (朧月島追想録), will contain original setting materials and a short story about a Fatal Frame IV character.


Main Characters

Rukabio.jpg

Ruka Minazuki 水無月 流歌 (age: 17)

The main heroine of Fatal Frame IV. Several years ago, Ruka (a previous native of the island) and four other girls were rescued by a detective after being kidnapped as a child. Now, the remaining two girls have left for the island of Rougetsu, where it all started. In search of her lost memories, Ruka too heads out for the island.



Misakibio.png

Misaki Asou 麻生 海咲 (age: 17)

One of the surviving kidnapped girls, Misaki is a strong-willed girl who has to have her way. Led by the vision of a girl in black who appears in her memory, Misaki heads towards Rogetsu Isle. However, soon after arriving at the island, Misaki, lead by her curiosity, abandons the cowardly Madoka.




Madokabio.png

Madoka Tsukimori 月森 円香 (age: 17)

One of the surviving kidnapped girls, Madoka has a timid personality. Upon Misaki's urging, Madoka follows her to Rogetsu Isle. Soon after arriving at the island, Madoka begins to have second thoughts, and suddenly finds herself separated from Misaki. Madoka is the first character you play in the game.



Choushirobio.png

Choshiro Kirishima 霧島 長四郎 (age: unknown)

The detective who rescued Ruka and the other girls from Rougetsu island several years ago while in the pursuit of a suspect. Now just a private eye, he travels back to the island, upon the request of Ruka's mother, to find Ruka and her friends.



Chapters

咲き触れ / Blooming Touch ???
音連れ / Musical Accompaniment
共鳴 / Resonance
忘日 / Forgotten Day
空身 / The Empty Body
双面 / The Masked Pair
月守歌 / Tsukimori Song
無苦 / Without Suffering
朔夜 / Sakuya
帰来迎 / Kiraigou
殘桜 / Lingering Cherry Blossoms
月蝕 / Lunar Eclipse
零域 / Zero Stage

Book

Box Art

Misc Info

  • The theme song is Zero no Chouritsu by Tsukiko Amano.
  • The ending song is NOISE also by Tsukiko Amano.
  • The game's official image color is yellow.
  • The keywords are moon, mask, and memory.[7]
  • The theme is 'Feeling fear with your body'.[9]
  • There are three main glitches in the game, one of which will freeze gameplay.
  • Unlike previous games, this game was developed by the newly created Team TACHYON, instead of the Project Zero team (now disbanded).
  • This is the first Fatal Frame game for the Wii console.
  • The game sold 0.08m units globally.[11]

Official Links

2008 Original

2023 Remaster

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Announcement Trailer, Koei Tecmo America, 13 September 2022.
  2. (April 10, 2009) Fatal Frame Shuttered in US, EU. Gamespot.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-06 from [1].
  3. Casamassina, Matt. (April 8, 2009) Fatal Frame Never Coming to America?. IGN.com. Archived by the Wayback Machine.
  4. (May 29, 2009) Sorry guys, Fatal Frame IV isn't coming to Europe either. GoNintendo.com. Archived by the Wayback Machine.
  5. (May 30, 2009) Les fantômes n'effrayeront que le Japon. LiveWii.fr. Archived by the Wayback Machine.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen, Suda51 Official Complete Book Grasshopper Manufacture & Human Works, p133-135, 172-173. English translation.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gantayat, Anoop. (January 30, 2008). Fatal Frame Wii Revealed. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-01 from http://uk.wii.ign.com/articles/848/848539p1.html
  8. Tecmo 2008 Winter Press Conference (January 30, 2008). 零~月蝕の仮面~. Press Release. Retrieved on 2009-03-01 from http://www.tecmo.co.jp/special/conf2008win/index.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Fatal Frame IV: Creator's Voice, Nintendo Website. Archived by the Wayback Machine. (English translation)
  10. Fatal Frame IV Preview (2008, April). Games TM Magazine, 52.
  11. VG Chartz, retrieved October 21 2012.
Fatal Frame Series
Fatal Frame - Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly - Fatal Frame III: The Tormented
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse - Fatal Frame: Deep Crimson Butterfly - Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water


Characters
Player Characters
Ruka Minazuki - Misaki Asou - Madoka Tsukimori - Choushiro Kirishima
Major Characters/Ghosts
Miya - Ayako - Sayaka Minazuki - Yo Haibara - Sakuya Haibara - Shigeto Haibara - Souya Yomotsuki - Dr. Kunihiko Asou
Minor Characters/Ghosts
Hospital Staff
Fuyuko Shiratsuki - Isolation Ward Nurse - Shie Sonosaki - Shoji Katagiri - Tsubaki Tono
Hospital Patients
Asagi Hizuki - Iori Aiba - Himiko Kiriya - Kageri Sendou - Katsuhito Kariya - Kazuto Amaki - Kyouko Kitazume - Natsuki Shiono - Sanae Houzuki - Tadayuki Kaido - Takashi Aiba - Tomoko Hinuma - Yoriko Sonohara - Yuukou Magaki - Yuuzou Takemura
Islanders
Masanobu Fuchiki - Michihiko Ikushima - Miyoshi Tsukigase - Sato Mizunoe - Souan Yomotsuki - Souetsu Yomotsuki - Takahisa Kouzuki
Others
Kaoru Sendou - Marie Shinomiya - Tomoe Nanamura - Watashi
Terms
Asou Family - Blooming - Camera Obscura - Face-Cutting - Flashlight - Getsuyuu Syndrome - Haibara Family - Hōzuki Dolls - Kanade - Kidnapped Girls - Kiraigou - Lunar Eclipse - Lunar Melody - Rougetsu Kagura - Shrine Guards - Spirit Stone Radio - Spirited Aways - Spirit Flashlight - Tsukimori Shrine Maidens - Utsuwa - Yomotsuki Family
Locations
Amakore Bay Police Station - Haibara Clinic - Haibara Hospital (List of Rooms) - Kusanagi University - Lunar Eclipse Hall - Lunar Underworld Hall - Moonbeam Well - Rougetsu Hall (List of Rooms) - Rogetsu Isle - Rougetsu Tunnels - Tsukuyomi Beach - Tsukuyomi Peninsula Lighthouse - Yomotsuki House
Gameplay
Camera Obscura - Misaki's Camera Obscura - Spirit Stone Flashlight - Save points - Blue Crystal - Red Crystal - Spirit List - Lenses - Spirit Stone Radio Recordings - Functions - Films - Flashlight - Health items
Music
Tsukiko Amano - Zero no Chouritsu - NOISE - Tsukimori Song
More Pages
Items - Notes - Photographs - Costumes - Choushiro's Handbook