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Spoiler Blinded1


"My eyes...my eyes!""
This article contains spoilers, please read at your own risk.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
FFV cover
零 〜濡鴉ノ巫女〜
Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water
Developer(s)Koei Tecmo
Nintendo SPD Group No. 4
Shirogumi, Inc.
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Release date(s)September 27, 2014 (JPN, Wii U eShop)
October 22, 2015 (NA)
October 30, 2015 (EU)
October 31, 2015 (AUS)
RatingsCERO D (17+) (JPN)
PlatformNintendo Wii U


Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, known as Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water in Europe, and as Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko (lit. Zero: Wet Crow Shrine Maiden) in Japan, is the fifth instalment of the Fatal Frame series.

The game was announced in April 2014 and was co-developed by Tecmo Koei and Nintendo SPD Group No. 4 for the Wii U. It was published and released on September 27, 2014 in Japan by Nintendo. However, on the day of the Japanese launch, an official NicoNico stream featuring the movie actresses playing the first hour of the game featured an different English version of the game's title on its website - Fatal Frame: Oracle of the Sodden Raven

The game will release outside of Japan. The Nintendo Direct of April 1, 2015 officially announced that Fatal Frame 5/Project Zero 5 will be released later in 2015 for Europe and North America. During E3 2015 Nintendo of America released a video of the game with the official english title being Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water.[1]

OverviewEdit

FFV Image 10

In April of 2014, it was revealed through the Japanese magazine Famitsu that Koei Tecmo and Nintendo were partnering again to develop a Wii U entry in the Fatal Frame series. Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo introduced the game at a special live-streamed event in July 2014. The game focuses heavily on water and takes place in Hikamiyama, also known as the Mountain of Death, inspired by the fabled Aokigahara forest (also called the Suicide Forest) where many people go to commit suicide. The areas in the game are very open and the largest in the series. Players will use the Wii U GamePad as the Camera Obscura to capture ghosts.==

Following the game’s announcement, Team Ninja said that it makes use of some tech from their recent fighting game, Dead or Alive 5. A translation of the tweet reads:

While you may have noticed after watching the video, the latest Fatal Frame game that was announced the other day uses some technology from Dead or Alive 5!


StoryEdit

PlotEdit

The main character, Yuri Kozukata, works at an antique shop and is able to see the "shadow" of objects she touches and can bring people back from "shadow world." Yuri's gift is the reason she distances herself from other people but she also uses it to help others find lost items or missing people when they come asking for help.

One day, a girl called Fuyuhi Himino enters the store with a request for Hisoka Kurosawa to find a friend of hers, Haruka Momose, who has gone missing around the area of Mt. Hikami. Unfortunately, Hisoka was currently absent at the time, so Yuri takes up the request herself instead. People with such intentions enter the forest during the witching hour when the border between the world of the living and the hidden world of the shadows becomes blurred. It is said that those ending their own life there can die a clean, "proper" death and not become trapped as ghosts between worlds when committing suicide elsewhere.

Both Yuri and Fuyuhi enter the forest but at some point Yuri sees Fuyuhi standing across a river with a knife to her throat, seemingly cutting it as the screen fades to black. Presumably the shrine maiden mentioned in the title, Ouse Kurosawa, is causing trouble in the area.

Playable CharactersEdit

There are three main characters: Yuri Kozukata, Miu Hinasaki, and Ren Hojo.

Yuri Kozukata is able to see the history of objects she touches and brings people back from the spirit world. She goes out looking for the owner of the Kurosawa Antiques Shop, Hisoka Kurosawa, who has gone missing in the mountain area of Hikamiyama.

Miu Hinasaki goes to Hikamiyama in search for her mother Miku Hinasaki, who vanished when she was young.

Ren Hojo is an author who has known Yuri for a long time. He travels to Hikamiyama after hearing of a custom involving burial photos, to research for his new book.

Ayane is a playable character in a bonus episode of the game. She is requested to find Tsumugi Katashina, who disappeared at the mountain.

Non-Playable CharactersEdit

GameplayEdit

FFV Image 62

As many speculated since the Wii U's reveal, the game will utilize the Wii U GamePad's gyro-sensor to let it act as a real world analog to the Camera Obscura that the player can move around to capture ghosts in the game.

New to the series is a sprint-feature that should speed up the character movement when necessary as the slow walk-speed was often criticized in the previous games.

The three settings of the game are: Mikomori Onsen, Kurosawa Antiques, and Shirazu no Mori.

AbilitiesEdit

Mitori: Through Mitori, the player will be able to see how the person originally died when they manage to touch the ghost upon defeat.

Reihen: When a ghost takes damage, ghost fragments will appear around it. If players manage to photograph several of them together with the ghost, it will take extra damage. However, after a while these fragments will rejoin with the ghost and restore some of its health.

Psychometry (Zanei): Zanei is a gift used to track down people by following their past shadow. The character focuses on an object touched by the person in question which will reveal their shadow and lets the player follow their path and eventually find them.

Sprint Feature: New to the series is a run feature that should speed up the character movement when necessary as the slow walk speed was often criticized in the previous games. However, this does not mean players will be able to easily run away from every danger as water will provide a natural hindrance and slow down movement.

FFV Image 52

The wetness gauge icon displayed on the right side of the screen.

Wetness Gauge: As Koei Tecmo originally stated during the reveal, the game is heavily centered around the concept of water. This manifests itself not just in the locations and atmosphere but also in a gameplay mechanic referred to as wetness, indicated by the Wetness Meter on the screen. The wetter the character becomes, the stronger their spirit power and thus also their attacks with the Camera Obscura will be. However, this also means that they will encounter more ghosts and the player's defense is lowered, as well. Consequently, getting attacked by a spirit will also result in the Wetness Meter going up.

Purifying Flame: Wetness is a status that clears up over time but players can choose to instantly deal with it by using an item called the "Purifying Flame." Certain ghosts afflicted with the "yomi nure" status effect can transfer this status over to the player with an attack which will result in a lowered defense, reduced vision and gradual loss of health. This status can also be cured instantly by using a Purifying Flame or by defeating all ghosts in the area.

Bonus ChapterEdit

FFV Image 126

As a bonus, after completing the game, a special bonus scenario starring Ayane of the Dead or Alive series is unlocked. The basic premise is that she has come to the village in search of a missing girl named Tsumugi Katashina. Tsumugi, like Ayane, felt ignored while her half-sister was lauded with attention and care. She had previously tried to commit suicide, but after failing that, travelled to Hikami Mountain, where she disappeared.

The gameplay Ayane's chapter is radically different from the primary gameplay mode. Ayane is heavily injured, taking away her normal athleticism, she has no way to fight the ghosts, and thus must rely on stealth. If she gets too close to a ghost or starts to run, the ghosts will be able to see her.

Ayane can activate a cloaking spell associated with a tattoo on her back to hide herself from the ghosts' perception. Using an item called the Spirit Stone Torch, she can knock back and stun ghosts if they manage to catch her.

Responses regarding an international releaseEdit

On September 29, Koei Tecmo Europe gave a response through their twitter account, about the game's release outside of Japan. They stated the following:

And regarding #WeWantFatalFrame requests, as far as we know this title is JP release only. Back to the office tomorrow FYI. #KTfamily


English TitleEdit

FFV Image 12

The current common translation of the subtitle is The Black Haired Shrine Maiden or The Raven Haired Shrine Maiden but a more literal translation is The Wet Crow Shrine Maiden, likely referring to the game's antagonistic main ghost. The word Miko can also be interpreted as priestess.

The mix-up in title translations comes from the word 濡鴉 (Nuregarasu.) While the 2 kanji used to make the word is "wet" and "crow/raven," it is not calling the Shrine Maiden a "wet crow" or "raven-haired girl."

Nuregarasu is actually a word used to describe "beautiful" and "healthy" female black hair that has a slight blue, green and/or violet color infused in it's shine, much like crow/raven's feathers do when they are wet, hence the "wet crow." Other words to describe the same color infused black in Japanese are: 烏羽色 (Karasubairo, Lit. Crow wing color), 濡れ羽色 (Nurebairo, Lit. Wet wing Color), and 烏の濡れ羽色 (Karasu no nurebairo, Lit. Wet crow wing color.)

The closest translation out of the few titles going around would be the "Black Haired," as there is not a word to match the meaning for the original Japanese, although "Raven-haired" would probably be more apt.

Despite a statement on Koei Techmo's European twitter site in September, in response to fan questions about the game's possible localization, that the game would remain exclusive to Japan, there have been indications that a localization is being considered. During a NicoNico livestream to promote the game at release, an English message was displayed during the broadcast, describing the contents. It also referred to the game as "Fatal Frame V: Oracle of the Sodden Raven".[2][3]

Later, former Tecmo employee Tomonobu Itagaki stated on Twitter that Kikuchi Keisuke, the game's producer, would release the game in North America, instructing fans to "read between the lines" in the mean time.[4]

Finally, during Nintendo's June 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo events, the final English subtitle, "Maiden of Black Water" was revealed.

InterviewsEdit

Famitsu interviewEdit

In an interview with Shibata, Kikuchi, Ozawa and Ohtani (the new planner), it was stated the following:

They start off by asking why they chose the Wii U. Kikuchi responds that the first time he saw the gamepad, he thought it was made for FF. To make it a good combination they decided on two things: a story and worldview that would extend expression, and turning the gamepad into the Camera Obscura for a good play experience. Now Ohtani says that when he joined the team, they initially tried to think of a different kind of FF game not using a camera, for example having a gun or sword, or a sci-fi setting such as in Metroid, but decided the camera was better in terms of making you face scares up front.


Ozawa says that, since it was a brand new game on a brand new console, they specifically sought members for the team who’d not worked on an FF game before, to expand their borders. They took all of those new ideas and put them together. Kikuchi says the ideas they came up with were: a horror with lots of kinds of fear; places where you could experience realistic ghost spots; lots of beautiful girls; and the charm of the expression of being wet. The most important thing at its core was the story. Shibata chose black as the key colour and they made a bunch of things, turning it into its current form.


Ozawa says that, in preparation, they watched a lot of scary videos online, and got together lots of data about being wet and the light. Kikuchi says they adjusted the graphics as they went along; that they may look pretty, but you lose something from it, since the FF games are known for creating fear via the imagining of things you can’t see. For this reason, despite being told that the graphics were pretty, they edited the mitori movies to make them quite hard to see, and it took a lot of work. Shibata says that at first they only obscured the images a little, but with newer games they’ve ended up becoming clearer. You can see them well, but there are new effects in there to give them atmosphere.


Ohtani says that they made it as dark as possible, but sometimes making it too dark impedes gameplay, so it was difficult to adjust. Ozawa likes how clear the lighting from the torch on an HD console is. Shibata adds that, ultimately, playability won out over darkness.


Ozawa says that they spent a lot of time on the game for those who found the others too difficult to play. Shibata says that a movie, manga or novel has developments too, so they were careful to make it so that new people could play it easily as well. One of the concepts they thought of to help out new players was reihen, because you can do damage even from far away, and the second was zanei, to guide the player. You have conversations at the start and end of a mission as well, making the story easier to understand.


Shibata says that one of the things they wanted to try out, now that the Wii U can do it realistically, is water. When you’re outside you can run quickly, but water creates resistance that slows you down, so you can’t escape from ghosts. He’d normally want people to be looking behind them in fear, but the tempo of play is more like that of an action game to make it more suitable for first-timers.


The interviewer brings up how the clothes go seethrough when they get wet. Shibata laughs, because it’s something he wanted to do. Kikuchi says their clothes were designed to make them look sexy when wet. Their normally floaty clothes, says Ozawa, get stuck to them, and Shibata says that there’s a wet scene in the very intro, so look out for it. They also spent a lot of time thinking about how water drips when they stand up, for example from the collarbone to the chest. Ozawa jokes that Shibata spent a lot of time thinking about collarbones for this game.


They say that many parts of the game system are aimed at new players. Each of the three characters proceeds along from their own unique point of view, converging in the ending. However, on the other hand, a lot of things in the story are aimed at existing fans of the series. As well as the main characters, there are several partner characters of various types who accompany them.


In terms of costumes, each character has a few types. There are accessories, too, so you can pair them up as you like. They had a lot of glasses – for example, student ones to go along with a student outfit, because Shibata thought it necessary.


Ayane comes from Team Ninja’s Hayashi, who requested she be in the game. Everyone came up with ideas and decided not to make it a standard bonus, but make a proper episode out of it. You get to enjoy sneaking around, with a different weapon. Since it’s DoA, they’ve naturally made sure to bring out her beauty and sexiness. They spent a lot of time adjusting things like the wobble of her chest. Team Ninja gave them lots of advice.


They finish up by reiterating that the game can be played by both old and new players, and that the story is large and easy to understand.


Guidebook interviewEdit

An interview featured in the game's official guidebook, with Keisuke Kikuchi (producer) and Makoto Shibata (director), was published as below:




Kikuchi

Keisuke Kikuchi
Koei Tecmo Games
Software division, Ichigaya dev team 2 head
Producer of all Zero games, including this one, and father of the series. He was in charge of overall concept management and product management on the game.

ShibataMakoto Shibata

Koei Tecmo Games
Software division, Ichigaya dev team 2
Director of the entire Zero series, who has created it with Mr. Kikuchi. He was in charge of general creation, including system, story and characters.

IzunoToshiharu Izuno

Nintendo
Planning & development, software creation group 3
Has participated in development of the Zero series since Tsukihami no Kamen. Worked on the game's overall concept. Horror is one of his hobbies, and he seeks a fusion between substantial fear and fun.



Osawa

Tohru Osawa
Nintendo
Planning & development, software creation group 1
Joined the Zero series with Mr. Izuno for Tsukihami no Kamen. Has worked on many hits at Nintendo. Cooperated with Mr. Shibata on the game's story and ideas for world settings.

OhtaniAkira Ohtani

Nintendo
Planning & development, software creation group 3
Joined development on the Zero series with this game. Possesses dep knowledge of splatter and violent horror, and gave ideas about the game's scariness from a new perspective.

SakamotoYuki Sakamoto

Nintendo
Planning & development, software creation group 1
Joined the Zero series on this game along with Mr. Ohtani. Both he and others recognise his skill at drawing out the charms of female characters. Brings a new value to Zero.



We spoke with six of Nuregarasu no Miko's creators about events during development and their thoughts towards Zero. How did the potential of the two new additions change Zero?
A new Zero, capitalising upon the merits of the Wii U
―This is the fourth project to be jointly developed by Koei Tecmo Games and Nintendo. Please tell us about the events that led up to its development.







Kikuchi: A big part of it was new hardware, in the form of the Wii U, coming out. Just like when I saw the Wii when we were making Tsukihami no Kamen and I thought, "Well this is a console where we can have intuitive controls," when I saw the Wii U gamepad I felt as though it could be used as the Camera Obscura. I thought that if we used it in a game, it would allow us to create a scary experience full of realism. I wanted to realise the catchphrase, "delivering horror to your living room," and started discussing it.

Ohtani: We all began thinking from the fundamental point of whether we should really continue on with a "Japanese style" as the theme, and all kinds of ideas were presented, but we all arrived at the mutual consensus that what we should aim for with Zero was the absolute scariest game.

Izuno: The first thing I thought was that, instead of trying to get the game out to a broader, more general range of customer, we should make current fans of the series and people who like horror think, "This game is really scary!"

―So you narrowed it down to being aimed at enthusiasts.







Izuno: The Wii U is Nintendo's HD console, and I thought it would have to be the hardcore fans who would be the first to leap on board with such high-spec hardware, so we did narrow down the target.

Osawa: The so-called early adopters (people who are sensitive to the trends and are assertive at taking on board and purchasing new products), yes. I thought that the horror genre would be a good fit for the customers' image of the hardware, and appeal to them in various ways.

―Who made the initial approach: Koei Tecmo Games or Nintendo?







Kikuchi: Just like with Shinku no Chou, I was the one who made the proposal. It's sort of like, if it's something that seems like we can commercialise, then we'll begin planning from there and discuss it as it takes form.

Izuno: The way I produce games focuses on getting the merits out of the hardware, but the Wii U's gamepad really is a perfect fit for Zero's Camera Obscura, so I definitely wanted us to make it.

―Were there any things about the new Wii U console that you found troublesome, or contrarily found good?







Kikuchi: It was really hard to utilise the hardware's special traits and actually make it look like you're really taking photos with a camera, so every day was repetitive trial and error. However, with regards to the Wii U itself, its architecture is different to that of the Wii, but I felt like it was a simple and fascinating console to develop for.

―How about the fact that it's an HD console?







Kikuchi: Since the hardware's power of expression has increased, we had to pay quite some attention to how things look. Particularly how the water is shown, or the sexiness of a woman when her clothes get wet - everything was made with the utmost attention to even the finer details. If it's too clear, though, the scariness is lessened. Shibata and I met with everyone at Nintendo over and over again face to face to discuss things like the brightness and darkness that would give us a good balance between fear and realism, and did lots of fine-tuning.

Izuno: I really strongly felt that we couldn't simply use smoke and mirrors.

Osawa: The clarity of the image is not inextricably linked to the scariness. If you just outright show something, you take away the margin for imagination. Because of that, we had to carefully make scary things.

Shibata: Another thing we really struggled with was whether we should go on as we have so far, with Zero-ish anime-style, cartoonish looks, or make it realistic-looking. Eventually - as you can see by looking at the game - we kept the established balance, with detailed visuals. I thought it would be of more value not to change the game's taste.

Osawa: The theme for this game is "water", so we paid particular attention to how things change when they become wet, and went after it thoroughly. Like Mr. Kikuchi said before, that was the women's wet clothing and the water's surface. It's quite technical to make these things using CG, but the staff had a shared mentality that Zero would be the optimum title with which to challenge such a difficult issue.

―Speaking of the staff, Mr. Ohtani and Mr. Sakamoto were added for this game - did anything change with their addition?







Osawa: The sexiness and brutality, I guess (laughs).

All: (laugh)

Kikuchi: We got ideas for sexy elements from Mr. Sakamoto, and Mr. Ohtani proposed a lot of scary things. Highlighting feminine charm acts as a counter and makes the scariness stand out better. I also thought that it might show a new kind of charm to people who have played the rest of the series, so happily accepted the proposal.

Osawa: Izuno and I have something called the "Nintendo Horror Club", often going and seeing horror films together, and Ohtani is a member as well.

Ohtani: Yeah. I've had interest in Zero for a while now, so asked to join in as part of the Horror Club and was allowed.

Izuno: His preferences seem to lean towards splatter or violent horror, though.

Osawa; That's why he's "head of brutality" (laughs).

Izuno: Sakamoto was an advisor to draw out the characters' charms, and was also in charge of the technical side of things.

Sakamoto: The Zero series' games are also attractive because of the beauty and sexiness of their female characters, so I gave opinions on what's my specialist field.

Ohtani: Mainly "head of sexy" (laughs).

Osawa: Not a role you see often at Nintendo (laughs).

Izuno: I also wanted to put in an objective viewpoint that we hadn't had in Zero so far, so those two were added, and in the end I think the team became quite interesting.

Efforts to show visuals with an analogue feeling
―In contrast to the cleanness of the HD quality, I also saw many videos with blurry analogue quality; did you make them this way on purpose?







Shibata: We were quite conscious of it, yes. Opinion was divided at first, and some people said we should have rich videos with realism to them, but we used ones for movies of the past and Mitori scenes so in the end it has an even stronger analogue feel than ever before.

―What kind of solutions did you come up with to strengthen that analogue feeling?







Shibata: We created the base movies normally, but recorded them playing on a monitor using a digital camera, and performed dubbing at 3x mode using a VHS tape we bought at a 100 yen shop. Then we re-digitized it.

Kikuchi: We pulled the dubbed film out of the video tape and crumpled it up, then smoothed it back out and played it - all kinds of things.

Ohtani: Isn't it really, really important how you do it? You only get one shot at it.

Shibata: We tested it out one time, and once we had a feel for what worked we did it all in one recording.

Sakamoto: It's interesting that you didn't create an analogue feeling using digital methods, but actually created them in an analogue way.

Shibata: There's an item called the Spirit Stone Radio in Akai Chou, and to give that an analogue sense as well we made an actual crystal radio, sending the voices as radio waves that were picked up by the radio, and used that.

Osawa: You even made the crystal radio!?

Shibata: Yeah. We tuned the radio to the voice, and recorded from beside it (laughs).

―It takes a surprising number of methods and ideas to create just a sense of analogue-ness, doesn't it?
Seeking a scarier "Zero"







Izuno: I was the one who proposed Mitori videos as a new element to show scariness. When I was thinking about what would be the scariest thing to put into a Zero aiming to be the scariest in the series, I arrived at the conclusion that nothing could be scarier than the scene of someone dying. Moments of death that make you instinctively want to avert your eyes, something you don't want to see but end up looking at. Zero deals with the ghosts of people after they die, so I wondered what had happened to those ghosts in their dying moments. I wanted to show those in videos.

Shibata: We've been talking about wanting to have a game themed around a famous suicide spot since the start, and the talk of showing their moment of death settled it. You did say you wanted to play around with that more, though, didn't you?

Izuno: Things like the player themselves intervening in their dying moments, and perhaps saving them (laughs). There were honestly lots of other things I wanted to try, but we couldn't do them.

Osawa: The idea was to rescue people who had died in horrible ways from their situations and help them to be at peace.

Shibata: I did think, though, that situations shouldn't often be resolved in horror. If the situation gradually improves, you'll end up feeling like there are more and more safe areas. I think that taking things in a bad direction is more horror-like, so the idea was dropped.

Osawa: However, the keyword of "rescue" itself remained afterwards, and the role of searching for people who had gone missing was given to the protagonist.

Izuno: From the start, we had the general idea set up that we were going to use paranormal spots and spiriting aways as themes. There are all kinds of paranormal spots - like mountains, tunnels and lakes - aren't there? We thought of a system where each time you would go to a place like this, rescue someone and bring them back.

Osawa: Everyone is interested in paranormal locations, but doesn't want to actually go to one. That's a motif in this game, so I think it'll be interesting if you imagine which place you're supposed to be in as you play.

Ideas about the surveillance cameras
―The surveillance cameras were an interesting idea.







Shibata: That was an element that underwent quite a lot of reduction before it arrived at its current form. If we did too much of it it would become annoying.

Osawa: For a while, we tried to make a game that used only CCTV cameras. You would spend the whole time keeping watch, and when a ghost appeared you would go, "There!" and take a photo.

Izuno: We also had the idea of a game where you could look at other CCTV cameras and think, "This place is bad, so I should run over here."

―Were you aiming for a standalone game mode like Shinku no Chou's Haunted House Mode?







Kikuchi: No; it was supposed to come in the middle of the story, but still feel like a game, I suppose.

Shibata: There was a time, before the project began, when I was thinking of having a network mode.

Osawa: Maybe you might make one in the near future?

Shibata: It would be something like, if you go yourself you don't notice, but someone else can see it on the surveillance camera, and see where it is. I wonder if maybe it would be possible to make a game like that requiring cooperation.

Ohtani: In that case, I'd like to be able to play as a ghost and scare people.

Sakamoto: I'm the kind of person who wants to peek at hidden things, so I'd be on the surveillance team. You know, like watching someone be attacked by ghosts.

Izuno: What, you wouldn't help them!?

All: (laughs)

Osawa: Sakamoto's love is warped like that.

The "wetness" system, taking hints from DoA
―Could you please tell us about how you arrived at the "wetness" keyword?
Osawa: I think I was the one who suggested it... There's a system in Dead or Alive 5 where the characters sweat, but I wondered if there wasn't also a way to use it to express the scariness of water in a horror game.

Sakamoto: I liked Dead or Alive 5, and since it was also a game by Koe Tecmo Games I really wanted to use it to highlight the sexy elements. I had only thought of it as a kind of visual thing, but we thought we had to tie it to gameplay in the Nintendo way.

Shibata: We did quite a lot of talking about how to tie it into gameplay and make it interesting. All we really had at first, though, was simply getting wet, or making it much easier to encounter ghosts. I thought maybe we could do a bit more with it.

Osawa: I really thought we had to think about how to directly tie what happens when you get wet into the gameplay.

Shibata: At first, I'd thought so far as getting wet being the end - something like, you couldn't get in the water, and being wet meant death. So I hadn't thought of what would happen after you get wet.

Osawa: Yomi Nure is the remnant of that. You get all blackened and wet, and there's nothing good about it. We made it into a really brutal attack.

Shibata: But you did say you wanted it to have gameplay-related merits too, didn't you?

Osawa: Don't you think it would only be stressful if it was all bad things? If for example you have something like a drop in defence but an increase in attack power, or lots of enemies appear but you earn lots of points - I wanted a sort of balance like that. Then, when I was talking to you about giving it some kind of merits if it just involved normally getting wet, the staff around us agreed and got excited, and it was pretty much decided then and there.

Shibata: Come to think of it, we also had the idea of not drinking Sacred Water, but pour it onto yourself.

Osawa: We did. Something like, when you used Sacred Water you'd get the option whether to "pour" or "drink" it (laughs).

Deciding the backgrounds for the protagonists
―Three protagonists appear in this game; were their individualities decided from quite early on?







Shibata: We did switch things around a few times. The pre-development stage lasted for quite a long time.

Osawa: Yuri was the only one who was designed quite quickly.

Kikuchi: In the initial stages, we had already decided to put in one male character. Then we also decided upon having Yuri as a main character, and struggled with whether to make the last one Ayane or Miku Hinasaki. Even though we ended up putting both in.

Shibata: At first, the third one was Miku. But her story had already ended in a previous game, so...

Kikuchi: When I was first handed the data, the name read "Miu Hinasaki", so I thought, "What, did you typo the name of the heroine we've had since game 1 for 13 years now?" But when I took a closer look it had "Miku Hinasaki's daughter" written there, and when I asked, "Who's the father!?" I was told, "That's a secret." (laughs)

Shibata: A male character was put in because at first I wanted someone to film movies. Someone to look at the mountain from a different perspective. I was thinking that cameraman have a masculine image to them, when Osawa made the proposal, "I want them to have a relationship like Detective Akechi and Kobayashi."

Osawa: This game is about searching for people, and I thought, well, that's what detectives do, isn't it; how about Kogoro Akechi and Kobayashi? We thought over it a bit from there, and started talking about a character who, unlike Kobayashi, isn't a young boy.

Sakamoto: When we didn't know whether Rui was male or female, I said that both could work...

Izuno: What are you talking about? (laughs)

Osawa: When Sakamoto said that, I thought it was a good idea and got on board. It's quite cute to have someone putting on airs of the opposite sex, don't you think? It's quite nice for them as a person to try their hardest to suppress their own sexuality, under some kind of restraint, and quite patiently putting up with it (laughs).

Shibata: We haven't spoken anywhere yet about whether Rui is male or female.

Osawa: Back when the teaser video came out, there was quite a lot of talk amongst the fans about it. I'm perfectly happy with all of the fans making their own interpretations.

―Please tell us how Ayane was selected to be a collaboration character.







Izuno: I saw a picture of Ayane being used in Sakamoto's proposal, wanted to have her in Zero, and went to speak to Koei Tecmo Games about it.

Ohtani: It started with us thinking that maybe utilising a popular character from one of Koei Tecmo Games' titles might broaden the fanbase.

Osawa: Ayane is, even in Dead or Alive, a quite dark and shadowy character, so I did think she would fit Zero's worldview. There were other candidates, but I was sort of too indifferent to them...

Sakamoto: When Dead or Alive 5 came around, Ayane's model was updated, and I felt something really charming from it. I initially thought it would be nice to just use that model as-is as part of a collaboration with Zero.

Osawa: But in the end we made a new one from scratch.

The characters' costumes
―About the characters' costumes - there seem to be some people who say that no one would wear those outfits to a horror spot.







Kikuchi: You could say that about the whole series.

Osawa: You climb a mountain in this game, so we made her shoes into sort of hiking boots.

Shibata: Mr. Ohtani did say with regards to the outfit, "Why not a skirt?" She climbs a mountain, though, and she has her personal background, so Yuri ended up in hotpants.

Ohtani: It was settled by having a skirt as a bonus costume.

Osawa: She is wearing a top that has a similar fluttery feel to it in terms of design as a skirt. You do see the hotpants, though. Perhaps it still makes you happy to catch a glimpse of them? (laughs)

Sakamoto: Her hotpants are black and you can't tell their shape at all, so I put forward some opinions about putting light on certain lines to be suggestive.

Osawa: Look at all this care and attention (laughs).

Kikuchi: We retroactively designed the outfits in the game to make them look pretty when they get wet and cling to the body.

Osawa: When they're dry they flutter, and when they're wet they cling.

Shibata: When I think of it now, Yuri's bikini was at first really hard to obtain, but Mr. Sakamoto said, "We should make this unlock sooner," so we changed the unlock conditions.

Sakamoto: If it takes too long, or you make the unlock conditions too hard, only the really hardcore fans will get to see it, right? I was hoping that the topic of the bikini would start heating up about a week after release.

Shibata: Even if it actually started about three days afterwards (laughs).

Sakamoto: It was so quick (laughs). Miu's gravure bikini is a bit more difficult, but you would know that there was another one, so we upped the unlock difficulty here.

Osawa: One day, Sakamoto insisted, "We've got to change the difficulty!" The other staff agreed, so Izuno asked Ohtani and myself, "Can we change it?" and I thought, well, why not?

Shibata: Osawa specifically phoned me, so I thought we had no choice but to change it (laughs).

Kikuchi: It was around the time at the end of development when we should really stop making changes, so I felt like, "You want to change it now!? Are there other, more important things?" And it ended up being a case of, "No, it is important." (laughs)

Osawa: I was told that it was really important in the sense of creating a buzz around the game, so I agreed.

Shibata: We put a hidden goth loli costume in each game, so I wanted to put something into this one as well and was talking about it with the designer, and we ended up talking about how, since the theme was water, it should be a bikini, and after doing some discussing we ended up with the current design.

About the future of the Zero series
―Finally, if you could please each give a comment on the future of the Zero series.







Izuno: I've done some exploring to see if there's any other fun things we can use the gamepad for besides a camera, but couldn't incorporate it into this game, so I'd like to try out those things next time.

Ohtani: I have ideas about trying to change Zero. I'd like to have a think about what kind of a Zero we could make that would be played worldwide.

Sakamoto: I think there are lots of people who aren't so great with horror games and maintain a respectful distance, so I hoped that the emphasis on the sexiness in this game will have acted as a gateway that makes people think, "This is scary, but I want to give it a go." I hope to make another chance for people to find it fun to play if we make a sequel.

Osawa: Out of the things Mr. Shibata and I spoke about in the initial planning stages about what to do next, there are two things we didn't use in this game. If we do another, I'd like to make use of those unused things somehow. It would be quite different to the current Zero, though.

Shibata: This game began by destroying Zero, and was made with the hope that different customers to usual would be brought in, but I think upon reflection that maybe the crucial scariness of the ghosts was a bit lacking. I'd like one more time to use a system where you're scared but can avoid it to rework Japanese horror.

Kikuchi: We made the first Zero game in 2001, and the year after next it will welcome in its 15th anniversary. It's something that could be called Shibata and my life work, but with some new impetus... be it the appearance of a new console, or some kind of anniversary, with some kind of timing like that I hope we can start planning. We're starting to exhaust the ideas that have already been used as far as horror games go, so I'd like to keep stocking up on ideas to create a new fear.

―I've started getting excited for the next Zero game! Thank you all for your time today.


Media Tie-InsEdit

Along with the game, multiple multimedia franchise tie-ins were announced such as a Japanese movie, a novel, a manga as well as a Hollywood movie adaptation. Most of these were detailed and revealed along with the game during a dedicated Fatal Frame event on July 17, 2014.

Sales in JapanEdit

Fatal Frame V was released on September 27 at the price of ¥7.128.

Below is displayed the weekly results based on Media Create and Famitsu's software sales charts (number of sales vary depending of the chart):

Media Create Top 50
Week 39, 2014 (September 22 - September 28)

The game debuted at 7th place, selling 27.505 units and becoming the highest sold Wii U title of the week. Followed by Bayonetta 2, peaked at 12th place for selling 6.970 units in that week. [5]

Week 40, 2014 (September 29 - October 05)

The game declined 4 positions in the ranking, jumping from 7th to 11th place, selling 7.105 units (-74%) and still remaining the highest sold Wii U title of the week. Followed by Mario Kart 8, peaked at 16th place for selling 4.517 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous week resulted in a total of 34.610 units sold. [6]

Week 41, 2014 (October 06 - October 12)

The game declined 9 positions in the ranking, jumping from 11th to 20th place, selling 2.710 units, but no longer being the highest sold Wii U title of the week for staying behind Mario Kart 8, peaked at 16th place for selling 3.996 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 37.320 units sold. [7]

Week 42, 2014 (October 13 - October 19)

The game declined 2 positions in the ranking, jumping from 20th to 22nd place. [8]

Week 43, 2014 (October 20 - October 26)

The game declined 13 positions in the ranking, jumping from 22nd to 35th place. [9]

Week 44, 2014 (October 27 - November 2)

The game declined 10 positions in the ranking, jumping from 35th to 45th place. [10]

Week 45, 2014 (November 3 - November 9)

The game declined 1 position in the ranking, jumping from 45th to 46th place. [11]

Week 46, 2014 (November 10 - November 16)

The game didn't reach the Top 50. [12]

Famitsu Top 30
Week 39, 2014 (September 22 - September 28)

The game debuted at 7th place, selling 32.476 units and becoming the highest sold Wii U title of the week. Followed by Bayonetta 2, peaked at 11th place for selling 9.284 units in that week. [13]

Week 40, 2014 (September 29 - October 05)

The game declined 4 positions in the ranking, jumping from 7th to 11th place, selling 8.100 units and still remaining the highest sold Wii U title of the week. Followed by Bayonetta 2, peaked at 18th place for selling 4.128 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous week resulted in a total of 40.576 units sold. [14]

Week 41, 2014 (October 06 - October 12)

The game declined 4 positions in the ranking, jumping from 11th to 15th place, selling 3.162 units and remaining once again the highest sold Wii U title of the week. Followed by Mario Kart 8, peaked at 16th place for selling 3.160 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 43.738 units sold. [15]

Week 42, 2014 (October 13 - October 19)

The game declined 2 positions in the ranking, jumping from 15th to 17th place, selling 2.361 units and no longer being the highest sold Wii U title of the week for staying behind Mario Kart 8, peaked at 14th place for selling 2.734 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 46.099 units sold. [16]

Week 43, 2014 (October 20 - October 26)

The game didn't reach the Top 30. [17]

VGChartzEdit

Below is displayed the number of units sold in Japan according to VGChartz:

Japan: 0.06m (100.0%)
Rest of the World: 0.00m (0.0%)
Global: 0.06m

As of February 21st 2015, 0.06m units were sold. [18]

ReviewsEdit

The four reviewers of Famitsu gave the game 7, 8, 9 and 9 for a total of 33 out of 40.

The translated reviews were as follows:

Reviewer 1

The familiar attacking item of the series, Camera Obscura, is a good match for the Wii U GamePad. It feels like you are looking through a big camera. Taking photos by tilting the GamePad is fun and adds plenty of feeling to be there. The controls are sluggish being tuned to a horror game, but on the other hand, it does add the feeling of fear. The costumes which can be obtained while playing are quite radical so do they also have an effect to neutralize scariness!?


Reviewer 2

The mechanism to use the Wii U GamePad as a camera to take pictures is good in creating the sense of being there. The battle system is exciting and it involves capturing vengeful spirits by moving and tilting the GamePad at the right moment. The scenery which is influenced by water has good atmosphere and sexy elements like seeing through wet clothes are nice. Although the poor maneuverability of the character’s movement and viewpoint incites fear, at the same time it feels irritating.


Reviewer 3

The game makes great use of the Wii U’s GamePad. It is unique in the sense it is both your map as well as your camera. As the game is built around the potential failure to take a picture at the right moment, it adds a lot to the atmosphere and story. The player character stands out as a girl with sexy stances and beautiful expressions, and while this makes it less horrifying, it is something that those who appreciate horror movies can look forward to.


Reviewer 4

As a ghost may appear at any time and you don’t want to miss your chance to take the picture, it is necessary to have the Wii U GamePad ready in your hands. Since the GamePad is used as a Camera Obscura in fights, battles have greater sense of being there. There is an abundance of things that cause fear and that’s great. It is of course recommended to use headphones and if possible, play in a pitch black room, stare at the GamePad, and have a thrilling time!


TriviaEdit

  • Fatal Frame V is the game with the highest age rating in the series, earning a CERO D (17+) rating, unlike the previous games that earned a CERO C (15+) rating (except Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir that earned a CERO B (12+) rating).
    • This is probably because of the engine technology used, is from Dead or Alive 5 which features wet and dirt physics. For example, when Yuri becomes wet, her bra can be seen.
  • In an interview with Famitsu Magazine (September 24, 2014 issue), series director Makoto Shibata revealed the key color chosen for the fifth game was black.
  • Unlockable bonus character Ayane from Dead or Alive was put in the game as per Yosuke Hayashi's (Team Ninja) request.
  • The game uses some unspecified technology from Dead or Alive 5, as revealed by Team Ninja's Twitter account. Also characters facial design is similiar to characters from Dead or Alive series.
  • During the initial planning stages, the developers were considering not using the Camera Obscura in the game and potentially setting it in a completely different scenario such as science fiction or something with swords or guns.
  • They chose many employees who previously had never worked on a Fatal Frame-title before when assembling the team for this game to bring in new ideas.
  • The official main theme song "Higanbana" by Anju is available on Amazon.
  • Series veteran singer Tsuki Amano returns to provide at least one song for the game, titled "Torikago ~in this cage~."
  • The game takes up nearly 16GB of space, according to an official Nintendo page. Save data takes up another 32MB. The same page also confirms that the game only supports the GamePad. No other controllers work in the game.
  • In the NA and EU releases of the game some changes were made. Two bikini outfits have been replaced with that of Nintendo characters, Zelda and Samus (Zero suit). As well as this a scene was changed due to the lack of said outfits. Finally all the characters (including spirits) with breast physics have been toned down and are more subtle unlike the original version which appeared more similar to that of Dead or Alive.

GalleryEdit

SettingsEdit

VideosEdit

External linksEdit

  1. http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3349522/e3-2015-fatal-frame-maiden-black-water-haunts-wii-u-fall/
  2. http://nintendoeverything.com/koei-tecmo-twitter-says-fatal-frame-the-black-haired-shrine-maiden-is-a-japan-only-release/
  3. http://www.jbgnews.com/2014/09/fatal-frame-v-localization-hinted-at/371211.html
  4. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/02/09/devils-third-creator-hints-at-fatal-frame-v-localization
  5. [1]
  6. [2]
  7. [3]
  8. [4]
  9. [5]
  10. [6]
  11. [7]
  12. [8]
  13. [9]
  14. [10]
  15. [11]
  16. [12]
  17. [13]
  18. [14]

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