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Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

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Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
FF4 Cover
零~月蝕の仮面~
Zero ~Tsukihami no Kamen~
Developer(s)Tecmo, Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Release date(s)July 31, 2008 (Jap.)
CANCELED for US
CANCELED for PAL
RatingsCERO C (15+) (Jap.)
PlatformNintendo Wii


Zero ~Tsukihami no Kamen~, known as Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse to players of the fan-made English language translation patch, is a Nintendo Wii exclusive japanese survival horror game and the fourth installment in the Fatal Frame series.

It was the first game game of the series to not be developed and/or published by Tecmo,  the first to not be released to a PlayStation console and was never released outside of japan, being developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Nintendo on July 31, 2008 in Japan.

A new page for the series, Fatal Frame IV employed a brand new story and gameplay elements exclusive to the Nintendo Wii.

The game centers around the motifs of the moon, memories and masks, and the dominant color throughout is a vibrant yellow, alluding the brightness of the moon against a dark sky.

SynopsisEdit

Ruka piano1

Ruka contemplates her memories while playing an old song she remembers on the piano.

Ruka Minazuki looks towards Rougetsu Island as she approaches it from a boat. She travels to the island, her old childhood home, in hopes of uncovering memories she doesn't recall. She finally journeys to the island herself after two of her friends, Misaki Asou and Madoka Tsukimori, went themselves and have yet to return. The three girls are the only survivors of a kidnapping incident that occurred on the island ten years ago, however they have no recollection of the incident. They were rescued by a detective named Choushiro Kirishima, who found them underground, on the eve of the island's ceremonial Kagura dance. Shortly after the incident, the five kidnapped girls and their families were taken to live away from the island. However, a mysterious incident occurred on the island two years later, and none of its inhabitants were left alive.


Now two of the kidnapped girls have died, and Ruka, Misaki and Madoka have taken it upon themselves to find the truth behind the island's mysterious deaths and their lost memories.

PlotEdit

For more details see: Fatal Frame IV Chapters

EndingsEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Tecmo, developer of the previous titles in the series, revealed the game was to be released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii console. This signals a major break for the series, with the previous three titles having been released on Playstation 2 and eventually, Xbox. Whether the game will eventually be ported to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 systems has not yet been determined.

It was revealed the game would be developed with the help of Grasshopper Manufacture.

The project was delayed, apparently to make way for Grasshopper's No More Heroes, which was subsequently released toward the end of 2007.

Adding confusion and speculation about the game's development, in January 2008, it was revealed that Nintendo will play a heavy role in the game's development, with directorship roles shared between Shibata Makoto, who has previously been involved in the direction of the Fatal Frame series and Goichi Suda (commonly known as Suda 51) from the previously mentioned Grasshopper Manufacture. Although the game appears to joint effort between Tecmo, Grasshopper and Nintendo, it was revealed that the game will be published under the Nintendo banner, further fueling speculation that Nintendo has purchased the Fatal Frame franchise from Tecmo.

Release IssueEdit

The game was released to the Japanese audience in July 31, 2008, however release outside of Japan has been canceled. Reasons for the game being canceled overseas have not been clearly stated, as Tecmo has referred fans to Nintendo, and vice-versa

Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America spoke in an interview with MTV Multiplayer concerning the game's publishing rights:

We are not the publisher of that title in the Americas. So I can’t comment on it… I don’t know if it has a publisher.

[1]

Project zero 4

Early PAL cover of the game

Tecmo has also responded to fan inquiry with the following statement:

Nintendo holds the publishing rights to 'Fatal Frame Wii,' which was developed by Tecmo LTD. and Grasshopper Manufacture and released in Japan on July 31, 2008. Nintendo of America has since then decided not to publish the title in North America – consequently, the title will not be released in this territory. As the owner of the IP, Tecmo feels very unfortunate that the fans of the series in North America will not have a chance to play the game, but respects the final decision made by Nintendo of America.

[2]

Currently, the title will not be published in any territory outside of Japan.

Glitches and BugsEdit

  • Coded Memo Glitch
After receiving the Encrypted Memo (暗号のようなメモ) in the Third Chapter, going immediately to the Doctor's Lounge on the 2nd Floor will cause the game to freeze. To avoid this glitch, be sure to go to the Director's Office on the 1st Floor and enter the three-digit code (276) on the intercom first.
  • Ghost List Glitch
It is impossible to get every single ghost on the FFIV ghost list (there are 233, but you can only obtain 227 of them). Completing the Spirit List is supposed to unlock the Festival lens, but the Festival lens is unobtainable through normal means due to the glitch. However, through the use of Ocarina codes or using a hacked save file with the lens unlocked, it is possible to obtain the Festival lens without completing the ghost list.
Spirit List entries affected: Numbers 32, 101, 107, 176, 182, and 211.
  • Spirit Points Exploit
Because of the above glitch, the six affected ghosts can be photographed repeatedly for their full points value. This makes it possible for players to earn several thousand points per ghost.
  • Item Glitch
After clearing the game, there is an "unlockable" item on the Extras menu that cannot be unlocked.

Fan Translation PatchEdit

Fatal Frame IV patch splash screen1

The loading screen that appears when playing the patched game. On it is information about the patch's creators and website.

In response to Nintendo and Tecmo's statements regarding the overseas cancellation of the title, a group of dedicated fans decided to create a patch that would allow imported copies of Fatal Frame IV to be played with any Nintendo Wii system.[3] The patch is designed to bypass the console's region-locking feature and allow physical copies of the game disc to be played. In addition, the patch team translated in-game text into English and efforts to translate into more laguages are currently underway.

The patch was released on the team's website for free download on January 17, 2010.

English Dub ProjectEdit

Another team of Fatal frame/Project Zero fans were working on a English-Dub project however, this has been cancelled and will not be released anymore.

Sales in JapanEdit

Fatal Frame IV was released on July 31.

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's Top 50Edit

Week 31, 2008 (July 28 - August 3)

The game debuted at 7th place, selling 33.456 units and becoming the highest sold Wii title of the week. Followed by Wii Fit, peaked at 8th place for selling 32.201 units in that week.

Week 32, 2008 (August 4 - August 10)

The game declined 13 positions in the ranking, jumping from 7th to 20th place and no longer being the highest sold Wii title of the week.

Week 33, 2008 (August 11 - August 17)

The game remained at 20th place.

Week 34, 2008 (August 18 - August 24)

The game declined 17 positions in the ranking, jumping from 20th to 37th place.

Week 35, 2008 (August 25 - August 31)

The game declined 10 positions in the ranking, jumping from 37th to 47th place.

Week 36, 2008 (September 1 - September 7)

The game rose 19 positions in the ranking, jumping from 47th to 28th place.

Week 37, 2008 (September 8 - September 14)

The game declined 20 positions in the ranking, jumping from 28th to 48th place.

Week 38, 2008 (September 15 - September 21)

The game didn't reach the Top 50.

Famitsu's Top 30Edit

Week ??, 2008 (July 28 - August 3)

The game debuted at 7th place, selling 29.869 units and becoming the highest sold Wii title of the week. Followed by Wii Fit, peaked at 8th place for selling 26.067 units in that week.

Week ??, 2008 (August 4 - August 10)

Coming soon.

Week ??, 2008 (August 11 - August 17)

Coming soon.

Week ??, 2008 (August 18 - August 24)

The game jumped from ?? to 24th place, selling 5.352 units.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 54.663 units sold.

Week ??, 2008 (August 25 - August 31)

The game didn't reach the Top 30. It sold 3.763 units in that week.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 58.426 units sold.

Week ??, 2008 (September 1 - September 7)

The game made it back to the list, peaking at 19th place, selling 5.063 units.

The number of sales combined with the previous weeks resulted in a total of 63.489 units sold.

Week ??, 2008 (September 8 - September 14)

The game didn't reach the Top 30.

TriviaEdit

  • The game's official image color is yellow.
  • The main themes in Fatal Frame IV have been specified as "moon," "memory" and "masks."
  • The game's main theme is Zero no Chouritsu by Tsukiko Amano, and its ending theme is NOISE, also by Amano.
  • This is the first game in the Fatal Frame series to not be released for the PlayStation 2.

Promotional imagesEdit

VideosEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. MTV Multiplayer's interview with Reggie Fils-Aime regarding Wii sales and third-party games, April 2, 2009,
  2. Tecmo's statement released via IGN and associated websites, April 8, 2009
  3. Fatal Frame IV Fan Translation Patch website

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