Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is guaranteed to send chills down your spine
This year marks the 20thth anniversary of the chilling horror series Fatal Frame by Koei Tecmo. To celebrate all the things that happen at night, famous 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 remaster one of his favorite titles: Fatal Frame: Blackwater Maiden.
“It’s time to scare the next generation of gamers on the next generation of consoles,” says Kikuchi with a laugh. Kikuchi, who has worked as a producer on Fatal Frame since the franchise’s inception in 2001, can’t wait to scare players as they encounter ghosts through the eyes of a character who sees not only dead people, but also their own. concerns. memories too.
Here’s what the producer had to say about his next game, Spirit Capture, and why he doesn’t recommend shooting 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 would be “horror that appeals to your imagination.” For example, when a ghost appears to appear but does not, we are conveying a sense of fear by preparing sections in which “nothing that happens gets scary.” Using sound, we restrict the amount of information that the user has at their disposal by creating scenes in which they cannot correctly see the area around them or hear what is happening. By doing this, we are stimulating the imagination of the user, and we put a lot of emphasis on this as it is one of the defining aspects of Japanese horror.
The second point relates to your weapon, the Camera Obscura. This camera allows us to present a scary dilemma for the gamer where he is forced to approach scary things at a very close distance and take photos of them in order to continue.
Koei Tecmo: What is the story of the game?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The setting for this title is Mount Hikami, a place known for “welcoming death”. The protagonist, Yuri Kozukata, has the ability to see people who have died and people’s memories and thoughts. As part of his job, he heads to Mount Hikami to help find a missing person. Writer Ren Hojo is working to investigate the custom of postmortem photography, and Miu Hanasaki learns a clue that could help her find her missing mother, so the two also head to Mount Hikami. These three characters will come into contact with ghost marriages, disappearances and the rituals and mysteries that surround Mount Hikami.
Koei Tecmo: How will players defeat these ghosts?
Keisuke Kikuchi: Using a device that looks like a camera, known as Camera Obscura, you can take pictures of ghosts and cause damage to them. This takes away their spiritual power and you can seal them. To cause even more damage, you will need to take photos of the ghosts at a very close distance from them, and also take photos of them at specific times, which acts as a special type of attack. Also, you can take snapshots that include your face or weak spots in the frame to deal more damage as well.
Koei Tecmo: Black Water Maiden introduce Photo Mode in the franchise? How does it work?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The addition of photo mode is the first time it has been added to the Fatal Frame series. The concept of this mode is to allow players to create their own ghost photography. By pressing a specific button while playing the game, you can enter the photo mode. You can place ghost and human characters, set their pose, adjust their position, and take pictures of them. You can also adjust the lens and frames for the photo, and use the photographic capabilities of the platform’s hardware and save images from your screen. I’m looking forward to seeing all the unique photos everyone takes once the game launches.
Koei Tecmo: What are some of the best images you’ve been able to create in Photo mode?
Keisuke Kikuchi: New costumes are included in this version of Black Water Maiden, and I think they will be a great complement to photo mode. Yuri’s triathlon suit and black and white Cutesy Goth ensemble showcase the personalities of each of the characters, and you can have fun taking pictures of these costumes in scary locations to make those locations a little less scary. For example, players can put together a normal everyday scene with Yuri and Miu while having a friendly conversation, and then add a ghost to the picture. They can also have fun recreating scenes from their favorite horror movies, or reverse the situation by scaring ghosts by surrounding them with human characters.
Koei Tecmo: So when it comes down to it, do you prefer setting spooky or ridiculous images in photo mode?
Keisuke Kikuchi: I personally prefer to take humorous pictures, whereas the director loves to take scary pictures.
Koei Tecmo: How else has photography been important to Fatal Frame?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The Camera Obscura can be used to repel ghosts through their photography, but it can also allow the player to find clues by taking pictures of thoughts left behind. Wandering ghosts that haunt the map can also be recorded with the Camera Obscura, which can aid your exploration.
Koei Tecmo: What’s the scariest thing about Fatal Frame: Blackwater Maiden for you?
Keisuke Kikuchi: In Japan, we have many famous haunted places throughout the country, with some in each prefecture. On Black Water Maiden, we have condensed all this in one place: Mount Hikami. I hope everyone can experience this sense of realism in this place when playing games. By playing the game yourself and controlling the character while walking through this place, you can experience a sense of fear that is unique to video games.
Koei Tecmo: So what you’re telling everyone is that they should definitely play with the lights on?
Keisuke Kikuchi: The director recommends playing the game with headphones in a dark room, but personally it scares me. I feel like playing with the lights is the best way to play Black Water Maiden. I think anyone who is easily scared off by horror games should play with a group of friends. I hope everyone can adjust this based on who they’re playing with so they can have a lot of fun … and of course, have a good scare!