This year marks the 20thth anniversary of the release of the chilling horror series Koei Tecmo Fatal Frame. To celebrate everything that happens at night, renowned video game producer Keisuke Kikuchi, a game developer who has worked on beloved franchises from Tecmo Bowl to Ninja Gaiden, thought it was finally time to remake one of his favorite games – Fatal frame: Maiden of Black Water…
“It’s time to scare the next generation of gamers with next-generation consoles,” laughs Kikuchi. Kikuchi, who has worked as a producer on Fatal Frame since the franchise’s inception in 2001, can’t wait to scare players to death as they encounter ghosts through the eyes of a character who not only sees dead people, but also haunts them. memories too.
Here’s what the producer said about his upcoming game, about capturing spirits, and why he doesn’t recommend running this game in the dark.
Koei Tecmo: What makes the Fatal Frame franchise different from other horror games?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The Fatal Frame series has two main defining characteristics. The first is “horror that boggles your imagination.” For example, when it seems like a ghost will appear, but it is not, we convey a sense of fear by preparing sections in which “nothing scares.” By using sound, we limit the amount of information the user has at his disposal by creating scenes in which he cannot properly see the area around him or hear what is happening. Thus, we stimulate the user’s imagination and pay great attention to this, since this is one of the aspects that define Japanese horror.
The second point relates to your weapon, Camera Obscura. This camera allows us to present the player with a frightening dilemma in which he is forced to approach frightening objects at very close range and photograph them in order to continue.
Koei Tecmo: What’s the storyline of the game?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The scene of this name is Mount Hikami, a place known as “welcome death.” The main character, Yuri Kozukata, has the ability to see people who have died, as well as their memories and thoughts. As part of her work, she travels to Mount Hikami to help find the missing person. Writer Ren Hojo is researching the customs of posthumous photography, and Miu Hanasaki hears about a clue that might help her find her missing mother, so they both head to Mount Hikami as well. These three characters will come into contact with ghost marriages, disappearances, and the rituals and secrets surrounding Mount Hikami.
Koei Tecmo: How will players defeat these ghosts?
Keisuke Kikuchi: Using a camera-like device known as Camera Obscura, you can photograph and damage ghosts. This robs them of their spiritual power and you can seal them. To do even more damage, you will need to photograph ghosts very close to them, as well as photograph them at a specific time, which acts as a special kind of attack. In addition, you can take pictures with their faces or weak points in the frame to deal more damage as well.
Koi Tekmo: Virgin of Black Water introduces Photo Mode to the franchise? How it works?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The addition of Photo Mode is the first in the Fatal Frame series. The concept behind this mode is to allow players to create their own ghost photos. By pressing a specific button during the game, you can enter the photo mode. You can place ghost characters and people, set their poses, adjust their position and photograph them. You can also customize the lens and frames for your photo, and take advantage of the photo capabilities of the platform equipment and save your screen images. I really look forward to seeing all of the unique photos that everyone will take after launching the game.
Koei Tecmo: What are the coolest photos you managed to create in Photo Mode?
Keisuke Kikuchi: This version includes new costumes. Virgin of Black Waterand I think they will be a great addition to Photo Mode. Yuri’s triathlon suit and black and white ensemble Cutesy Goth showcase the personalities of each of the characters, and you can have fun photographing these suits in scary places to make those places a little less scary. For example, players can assemble a common everyday scene with Yuri and Miu during a friendly chat, and then add one ghost to the picture. They can also have fun recreating scenes from their favorite horror movies, or make a difference by scaring ghosts by surrounding them with human characters.
Koei Tecmo: So when it comes down to it, do you prefer to create creepy or silly pictures in photo mode?
Keisuke Kikuchi: Personally, I prefer to make humorous shots, and the director likes to shoot frightening ones.
Koei Tekmo: What else was photography important to Fatal Frame?
Keisuke Kikuchi: A pinhole camera can be used to reflect ghosts through photographs, but also allows the player to find clues by photographing thoughts that are left behind. Wandering ghosts lurking around the map can also be recorded with a pinhole camera, which can assist you in your exploration.
Koei Tecmo: What’s the scariest thing about Fatal frame: Maiden of Black Water you?
Keisuke Kikuchi: Japan has many famous haunted sites all over the country, several in each prefecture. V Virgin of Black Water, we have collected it all in one place: on Mount Hikami. I hope everyone can experience this sense of realism in this location by playing the game. By playing the game on your own and controlling the character as he walks through the area, you can experience a sense of dread unique to video games.
Koei Tecmo: So you’re telling everyone to play with the lights on?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The director recommends playing the game with headphones in a dark room, but personally I’m scared. I feel like playing with lights is the best way to play Virgin of Black Water… I think anyone who is easily intimidated by horror games should play with a group of friends. I hope everyone can tweak this depending on who they are playing with to have some fun … and of course a good scare!