Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
FF5 graphic.jpg
零 ~濡鴉ノ巫女~
Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water
Developer(s): Nintendo / Tecmo-Koei
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Distributor(s): Unknown
Release date: 27 September 2014 (Japan)
20 October 2015 (US)
30 October 2015 (Europe)
28 October 2021 (Remaster)
Genre: Survival Horror
Game modes: Unknown
Ratings: Japan: CERO D (17+)
Europe: PEGI 18
Regions: Japan
US
Europe
Platform(s): Wii U
Switch
PS4
PS5
Xbox Series X|S
Xbox One
Steam

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is the fifth main entry to the Fatal Frame Series. It was released on 27 September 2014 in Japan for the Wii U. A remastered version for multiple platforms was announced at E3 2021, for release on 28 October 2021.[1]

Release Dates

  • Japan - September 27 2014
  • US - October 22 2015[2]
  • Europe - October 30 2015[3]

Remaster

  • Japan, US and Europe - October 28 2021[4]

Storyline

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is comprised of three interconnected stories that converge to uncover the truth behind a recent string of tragic deaths in a forest marred by a history of suicides. As one of three people with the power of the Camera Obscura and the ability to see the shadows of those spirited away, you’ll explore the ruins of an eerie inn, a shrine filled with life-size dolls, and a lake full of dead priestesses. Each shadowy location is connected by a stream of water flowing throughout the mountain, and this once holy water is tied to the darkest mystery of all—the history of death and darkness on Mt. Hikami.[5]

Main Characters

Yuribio.png

Yuri Kozukata (不来方夕莉)

Since her whole family died in an accident, Yuri has had the ability to see that which cannot be seen, and sense an object or person's secrets with a touch. She works in Kurosawa Antiques Shop and uses her ability to bring back people who have been spirited away. She is asked to go to Mount Hikami, a mountain visited by those who have chosen death, to find a missing person.




Miu Hinasaki.png

Miu Hinasaki (雛咲深羽)

A girl searching for her missing mother, who vanished when she was a child. She's never known the love of parents and feels empty. She heads to the mountain believing her mother is there.




RenHojo.png

Ren Hojo (放生蓮)

A struggling author who has known Yuri for a long time. He's quite whimsical and is scolded by his assistant for it. He hears of a custom involving burial photos, and goes to the mountain to research for his new book.




Development Info

The game was announced in April 2014 as part of the 2014 Media Mix. It was jointly developed by Nintendo and Tecmo-Koei. The story does not have any connection to the manga, the novel that was published in August, or the film adaptation released on 26 September 2014,[6] but all share some thematic elements, notably the importance of water.

On 13th June 2014, a shadowy image of the main character was released, along with several promotional images from the movie.[7] On 17th July, the game was introduced during a Nico Video live stream, which also featured information about the movie and manga.[8] During the stream, Keisuke Kikuchi presented a game trailer and information about the game's storyline. Several screenshots were published concurrently with the stream.[9]

In a Famitsu article on 28 August, it was revealed that the game's format would be changed. Rather than playing out through chapters as in previous games in the series, the game is arranged into missions. On the first playthrough, completing a mission unlocks the next, and thereafter they can be played in any order. Each mission's ultimate goal is to find a missing person on Mount Hikami.

The Wii U gamepad is used as a map during normal gameplay, and as the viewfinder of the Camera Obscura during battles. The touch system and ghost hands from previous Wii games reappears in Fatal Frame V.[10]

In an interview for Famitsu on 24 September 2014, the developers talked extensively about the planning phase, remarking on the game's themes and new gameplay elements. They created the gameplay systems and story with new players in mind, trying to ensure that it would not be too difficult, and even considered scrapping the Camera Obscura altogether and replacing it with more traditional weapons. It was also revealed that, at the request of Hayashi from Team Ninja, Ayane, a character from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, was to appear in her own side mission. She is able to track people with a special ability of her own, and stun ghosts using a Spirit Stone Flashlight, but overall the mission concentrates on stealth rather than combat.[11]

2021 Remaster

FF5 Remaster.jpg

At E3 2021, Koei Tecmo announced that a remastered version of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water would be released for multiple platforms, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fatal Frame series. It was published in late October 2021.

The remaster features upgraded visuals, new costumes, and a Snap Mode[12] allowing the player to freely photograph ghosts and characters in various locations. The spirit list was expanded to include "Specters" (浮遊霊, fuyuurei) and "Traces" (残影, zanei).[13] The Digital Deluxe Edition includes a 20th Anniversary Celebration Digital Artbook, which contains design sketches, high definition renders, promotional material scans, and full music soundtracks of all four globally released titles. With the Steam edition, these soundtracks can be extracted from the game's files.[14]. This edition also includes costumes from Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame II and Fatal Frame III for the three playable characters. An Atelier Ryza costume for Yuri was also available as an early order bonus.

In Asia, physical copies are available for Nintendo Switch and PS4. All other editions and regions are digital only. An official English-language patch was released for some platforms in November 2021.

A list of PlayStation trophies can be viewed here.

Chapters

The chapters are called "drops" (雫, shizuku), in keeping with the watery theme.

水籠 / Lurking in the Deep
残影 / A Vanishing Trace
日上山 / Mt. Hikami
弔写真 / Postmortem Photography
影見 / Shadow Reading
神隠シ / Spirited Away
マヨイガ / The Veiled House
永久花 / Immortal Flower
逢世 / Maiden of Black Water
大禍刻 / The Witching Hour
柩籠 / The Sacred Casket
幽婚 / Ghost Marriage
夜泉子 / The Shadowborn
彼岸船 / To the Other Side
禍津陽 / The Dark Sun
夜泉ノ花嫁 / Bride from Black Water

Regional Differences

Note on the Title

The title is difficult to translate into English. "Nuregarasu" is an idiom literally meaning "wet crow"; it describes a particularly lustrous black hair which seems to shine with tones of blue and green, like the iridescent feathers on a crow's wing. The translation "Raven-Haired" was in use on Zero Wiki and Beyond the Camera's Lens, in an attempt to incorporate at least one aspect of this imagery, but "The Black-Haired Shrine Maiden" was also in use on multiple gaming websites. Another version, "Oracle of the Sodden Raven", appeared in the description of a Niconico stream prior to the game's release, and was adopted by many sites as an official English title. In Chapter 7 of Shadow Priestess, "nuregarasu" is translated as "raven slick".

The translated name for the Western release was announced as Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water at E3 2015, June 16th 2015.

Release

Fatal Frame V was the first game in the series to be available only as a digital download in certain regions. It was available exclusively on Nintendo eShop in North America.[15]. The physical release in Europe consisted of a Limited Edition bundle, but was otherwise available only through the eShop, with no standard retail edition. The 2021 rerelease was likewise only available digitally outside Asia.

Other Differences

  • Two costumes from the original game - Yuri's bikini and Miu's gravure bikini - were replaced with Nintendo-themed Samus and Zelda costumes in the 2015 European and North American release. An in-game cutscene, which showed Miu wearing the bikini while working as a model, was edited to show her default costume instead. In the 2021 remaster, none of these four costumes were included, and all regions had the same unlockable costumes.

Supplemental Material

Box Art

Misc. Info

  • Imagery of flowing water is a central motif for the game.
  • The image colour is nuregarasu, a glossy black colour like wet black hair or raven's feathers. It is a complex and shifting colour that changes depending on the angle from which you view it, like the different feelings Ren and Yuri see from Ose Kurosawa.[16]
  • The theme song is Higanbana, performed by AnJu.
  • A new song by Tsuki Amano, 鳥籠 -in this cage-, also features as an ending song when Yuri's kimono is equipped.
  • According to Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Ren's Japanese voice actor, the game's dialogue was recorded in a studio behind a cemetery for authenticity. He recalls: "During the recording, there were many mysterious mechanical problems, unfamiliar voices, and strange phenomena. The staff were very pleased with the results."[17]

Gallery

Links

Original

Remaster

References

  1. Official website, retrieved 28 July 2021.
  2. Nintendo Direct, April 1st 2015 and Nintendo Everything, August 24th 2015
  3. Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water - Limited Edition Trailer and Nintendo Europe Twitter, April 1st 2015
  4. Official website, retrieved 28 July 2021.
  5. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water official site
  6. Fatal Frame/Project Zero Horror Game Gets Live-Action Film, Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  7. Announcement (Japanese), 4gamer.net. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  8. Nintendo Twitter.
  9. 4Gamer article
  10. BCL forums
  11. BCL Topic: Famitsu 24/9
  12. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Announcement Trailer, Koei Tecmo America, 15 June 2021
  13. 【TGS2021】『零 ~濡鴉ノ巫女~』で2つの新要素が発表 (『TGS 2021』 Two New Elements Announced for "Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko), gamewith.jp, 2 October 2021. (Japanese)
  14. 20th Anniversary DLC Digital Soundtrack Extraction, Steam Guides, 26 September 2022
  15. Nintendo Everything, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water confirmed as an eShop-only game in North America, 24th August 2015
  16. Series History - Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Concept Colour, Zero Nuragarasu no Miko official website, (Japanese), 14 October 2021. "コンセプトカラーは濡羽色です。別名「濡烏」とも言われ、濡れた黒髪や鴉の羽のような艶のある黒色です。複雑な反射をする色ですが、見る角度で色が変わって見えるというのが、夕莉と蓮が見た逢世の想いが違うというようなストーリー設定にも合ったカラーとなっていました。"
  17. Tweet, @ta2hisa_suzuki, 29 July 2021. (Japanese)
Characters
Player Characters
Yuri Kozukata - Miu Hinasaki - Ren Hojo - Ayane
Major Characters/Ghosts
Dr. Kunihiko Asou - Hisoka Kurosawa - Fuyuhi Himino - Haruka Momose - Kazuya Sakaki - Keiji Watarai - Kyozo Kururugi‎ - Miku Hinasaki - Ose Kurosawa - Rui Kagamiya - Shiragiku - Tsumugi Katashina
Minor Characters/Ghosts
Akari Narumi - Akira Oinuma - Chiaki - Emi Mikomori - Flamekeepers - Funeral Celebrant - Guardian - Hiori Magabuchi - Hiromichi Kashima - Honoka Mikomori - Inori Mikomori - Kirika Reizen - Koji Kakimoto - Koto Okudera - Kyoko Narumi - Mafuyu Hinasaki - Masaki Tsujiura - Mizue Fukatsu - Nao Migiwa - Natsuho - Pale Mistress - Sachi Iyama - Shadow-touched - Shino Kururugi - Shion - Shiranui - Shizuku Mikomori - Shizuma Amaki - Shrine of Dolls Priest - Tadahito Koizumi - Tall Woman - Tomoki Harakawa - Tsuyuno - Twisted Guardian - Wedding Celebrant - Yukiho Tomine - Yurine Uno
Terms
Asou Family - Black water - Boat of Passage - Bridegroom - Children of the Shrine - Dark Sun - Forbidden Flame - Effigy - Ghost Marriage - Hinasaki Family - Immortal Flower - Kurosawa Family - Maiden of Black Water - Mikomori-san - Netherworld - Returning to Water - Pillars - Postmortem Photography - Pure Water - Reliquary - Shadowborn - Shadow Reading - Tokens
Locations
Mount Hikami
Hall of Fire - Hikami Tunnel - House of Joining - Forbidden Valley - Lake of the Departed - Mikomori Hot Springs - Mikomori Pond - Mount Hikami Cable Car - Pool of Purification - Rear Shrine of Dolls - Shadowspring - Shrine of Dolls - Shrine of the Ephemeral - Shrine on the Water - Twilit Peak - Unfathomable Forest - Watarai Residence - Womb Cavern
Elsewhere
Hojo House - Kurosawa's Antiques - Mikomori Region - Mount Kagiroi
Gameplay
Ghost Hands - Glancing - Purifying Embers - Spirit Fragments - Spirit List - Tainted - Traces - Wetness
Music
Higanbana - Song of Memories - Torikago -In This Cage-
More Pages
Chapters - Costumes - Endings - Game Notes - Items - Memo - Zero Media Mix
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