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Zero Snopes

Fatal Frame Series Rumor Locations Dr. Asou Ruri

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#1 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

This started as me trying to find wiki sources for some of the persistent scraps of info that keep circulating fandom without anyone seeming to know where they come from, and I figured I'd share what I find (or don't, in many cases), and we can all pool our wisdom and google-fu.
 
Credit to Chelsea for her amazing translations, without which we'd all still be in the dark! ^_^ Also for drawing attention to a lot of this stuff in the first place, because I probably would have kept repeating it without a second thought otherwise.
 
If you've found a source for any of these rumours, please say so and I'll add it! Also, feel free to use this thread to ask if there's any info you've seen around and wondered where it came from, whether on the forums or the wiki or elsewhere.
 
Fatal Frame

  • There is a real Himuro Mansion.

:icon_flutter: Dubious.

 
Origins
The US version of Fatal Frame famously claims that it was "Based on a true story". Several years ago, an article was published on a paranormal website claiming to have found information about the "real" Himuro Mansion haunting. As you can see from the comments, there are plenty of people willing to claim that they've heard about it, or even been there themselves, but there's very little concrete information.
 
Truth
This is one of those things that's really difficult to get to the bottom of, because it's been repeated and reposted all over the place, and a lot of discussion about it was lost when the old forums were deleted. What is certain is that the Japanese and European marketing did not include the "Based on a true story" tagline. I haven't managed to find a source for the Makoto Shibata quote in the article linked above - anyone know where that's from?
 
I find the "Himikyru Mansion" legend extremely dubious for one very simple reason: Himikyru is not a Japanese word and can't even be written in Japanese. Personally, before I accept any "real Himuro Mansion" story, I'm going to want a bit more than a made-up word, a possible location covering a very large area, and a few photos showing examples of common Japanese architecture and interior design. A Japanese shrine in a wood at the top of a long staircase is about as singular as a small village church with a graveyard and a steeple in rural England - it's not even unique within the series.
 
However, until someone goes to Japan and gives us a certain answer one way or the other, I will grudgingly admit that it's difficult to say for sure that this is false.

  • There was supposed to be a subplot about Dr. Asou in Fatal Frame, but it was removed during development.

:icon_blinded: Unconfirmed.

 
Origins
I'm not sure where this one came from. It's been around a lot longer than I've been in the fandom. I've seen it attributed to "interviews", but I've never seen anything more specific than that.
 
Truth
I really never questioned this until I went looking for a citation to add to the wiki and couldn't find one. It's entirely possible I missed something. I hasten to add, this is not an implausible rumour and nothing contradicts it - Tamashizume, Seijiro Makabe's book in the Zero Akai Chou Complete Official Capture Book definitely mentions that Dr. Asou disappeared after going to investigate Himuro Mansion, and his camera had to have arrived there somehow. I can quite believe that the FF1 subplot rumour is true, but until a more definite source turns up, I have to categorise it as unconfirmed.
 
Fatal Frame II

  • The Tsuchihara family had their power stripped from them by the Kurosawa Family.

:icon_blinded: Unconfirmed.

 
Origins
This is another one that predates my arrival in fandom, so I'm just guessing at its source. It was commonly believed that this information was included in the fanbook, but I know Chelsea's been combing it for any mention of the Tsuchiharas for ages and hasn't found anything yet.
 
Truth
The only information given about the Tsuchiharas, aside from the one or two bits we get in-game, comes from Tamashizume in the Zero Akai Chou Complete Official Capture Book again. They're mentioned in connection with the Storehouse in the House of the Secret Festival chapter, but there's nothing about a fall from grace in there. Like the Asou subplot rumour, until someone can dig up a definite source, this has to be considered an unconfirmed bit of fanon.

  • Chitose starved to death.

:icon_flutter: Dubious.

 
Origins
This is an oddly persistent idea, but I'm not sure where it came from. The best I can find is a really old Chitose fansite which posits a theory that she managed to escape the Repentance by hiding, but then couldn't get out of the closet and starved to death. However, the author never claims it's anything more than a theory.
 
Truth
The game never says exactly how Chitose died. There's no way to be sure that she didn't starve to death, but I don't think there's really any reason to think she did, either.

  • Twin Shrine Maidens undergoing purification before the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual took the name "Futago".

:icon_fallenwoman:  False.

 
Origins
This was always linked to the Zero Shisei no Koe Comic Anthology, specifically the Crimson Dream chapter, but the chapter doesn't actually use any different vocabulary from Fatal Frame II. The confusion arises because in Japanese, the word 家 (house) can refer to both the literal building and the household, the family living inside it. (The same is true of the word "house" in English, if you think about it!)
 
Truth
Both Fatal Frame II and Crimson Dream refer to twins moving into the Twin (Futago) Houses before the ritual. Neither say anything about a Futago family.
 
Fatal Frame III

  • Ruri is Miku's cat, and was given to her by her parents.

:icon_kiryu:  Conflicting information / :icon_fallenwoman:  False.

 
Origins
It's obvious enough where the idea of Ruri as Miku's cat came from - Ruri spends so much time hanging out in Miku's room, and there's even a picture of Ruri in Rei's notebook entry about Miku. So that's an understandable assumption to make.
 
As for the second part, though, about Ruri being a gift from Miku's parents, I haven't a clue where that started. I know it's been on the wiki since early in 2008, but I've never seen a source for it, not even a vague one like the oft-repeated "Tsuchiharas in the Fanbook" legend.
 
Truth
From what I can find out, Ruri is Rei's cat, who was named by Miku. (Source, Translation.) A second page on the website also identifies her specifically as Rei's cat. (Source, Translation.)

 

ETA: Okay, the FF3 Complete Official Capture Book actually does say on page 5 that Ruri is Miku's cat. So there is definitely conflicting information about who Ruri belongs to, and I think Ruri, being a cat, would probably want to belong to the person who feeds her. Still haven't tracked down the claim about Miku's parents, though.
 
Spirit Camera

  • Spirit Camera's Japanese name is "Shinrei Shashin".

:icon_fallenwoman:  False.

 
Origins
I was here for this one, and I know exactly where it started! Way back in August 2011, before the official Spirit Camera announcement, there was an article about it in Famitsu, and the blog that brought it to everyone's attention mistakenly gave the name as "Shinrei Shashin" (the original seems to be gone now, but here's another blog post linking to it), and pretty soon it was everywhere. The mistake is understandable, since "shinrei shashin" is an established phrase referring to spirit photography.
 
Truth
Spirit Camera is "Shinrei Camera" in Japanese.
 
Deep Crimson Butterfly

  • DCB's theme song is called "Kurenaru".

:icon_fallenwoman:  False.

 
Origins
This one seems to have died a death now, fortunately, but I decided to include it just in case. This is a simple misreading of the rare character , wi, as the much more common , ru. Tsuki Amano even talks in interviews about why she chose to use that particular kana in the title (one such interview can be found on pages 54-57 of the DCB guidebook, Translated here), and it's easy to check official material to see which spelling she uses.
 
Truth
DCB's theme song is "Kurenai", which means "Crimson".

 

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Those are the ones I could think of, but I'm sure there are more. Like I say, please feel free to contribute sources, argue with my conclusions, etc. ;) And if there's anything you've seen that you'd like a source for, post here and we'll try to help!


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#2 OFFLINE   BatCountry

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

Thank you for all that information!
I always thought
Ruri was Miku's cat, and was given to her by her parents
:)


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#3 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:04 PM

Haha, I just edited the Ruri section, because the FF3 guidebook does in fact say that Ruri is Miku's cat, in contradiction of the website. Which just goes to show why it's important to be clear about where you're getting your information! If I'm wrong about anything, I hope someone will correct me, because I'd rather be proved wrong than go on believing something that isn't true. That's why I wanted to have a thread like this - I've repeated most of these rumours at some point or another, believing they were true, so I'd be a total hypocrite if I blamed anyone else for doing the same. I just want to try and get to the bottom of it all and figure out what's true and what isn't.



#4 OFFLINE   Homuranagi

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:44 PM

I haven't managed to find a source for the Makoto Shibata quote in the article linked above - anyone know where that's from?

 

Here.

 

Obviously it never actually mentions any kind of Himuro Mansion (though it DOES specifically refer to them as folk takes, not actual true stories), nor is the content even all that similar to the game. And while Himuro really isn't all that common of a name there, if you were going to make a game about it, surely you would change the name anyway?

 

It's about as concrete as calling FF2 a true story because it takes elements from the Sugisawa incident - in fact, FF2 is probably closer to a true story than 1 is (and still not even remotely close to true). Just more sensationalist marketing. Great job, Old Tecmo.

And I'd hardly call the outskirts of Tokyo "rural"... How far out do you plan on going?

 

The Ruri thing is strange, too, because Famitsu also referred to her as Rei's cat in one of their issues... But I have absolutely no idea where the parents thing came from, even after going through every single bit of material and Fami article that has ever existed to humanity (or at least internet archives), so if anyone knows or has any idea how that little tidbit got into circulation it would be nice to know. Same for the Tsuchiharas. "Someone told me it's in the fanbook!" isn't going to work - if it DOES exist and I've not found it by now the chance of me doing so is minuscule, so if you have any idea of where any of these things supposedly are you're going to need to point me to it so I can have a look. If the Tsuchiharas were powerful enough not only to be given their own crest but to be entrusted with the most important role in the village besides actually presiding over the rituals, they must have done something absolutely terrible to be stripped of power like that. There is all kinds of theorising that could be done with regards to this, but that is all they are - theories - until someone identifies precisely where all of this comes from.

 

Aaaaaanyone?


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#5 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:29 PM

Oh my god, you found it! That's amazing. I dub thee Plucky Girl Detective!

 

It is interesting, though - the settings of all three PS2 games are said to have been inspired by real places, but it's only Himuro Mansion that gets this kind of focus with people thinking it's real, which makes it seem like it really is just the "true story" tagline propelling the rumours.


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#6 OFFLINE   NightWynx

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:53 PM

Whoa, I always thought Ruri was given to Miku by her parents. I even included it in a fanfic somewhere :[ I can't remember where I get the info though

 

Thanks for compiling these snopes :) 


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#7 OFFLINE   Hex

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:35 AM

Nice work.  o7  After seeing these rumors floating around again, I'd like to add two more, if that's okay:
 
Fatal Frame III
  • The Tattooed Priestesses were forced to perform the ceremony.
            :icon_fallenwoman:  False.
Origins
God knows.
 
Truth
Almost every written note about the priestess describes her "accepting" the pain of other's, and we learn from Reika's diary that she was visited by an escort from the shrine and decided to help people.  In fact, excluding the Handmaidens, it seems almost everyone was willingly recruited.  I'm a bit confused on how this rumor came about, to be honest.
 
Deep Crimson Butterfly
  • The butterflies in the Shadow Festival and Frozen Butterfly endings are Mutsuki and Mio respectively.​​
              :icon_kiryu:  Conflicting Information /   :icon_fallenwoman: False
 
Origins
Translation error?
 
Truth
Though I doubt this is the source of the rumor, I think it's worth addressing.  In the European version of Deep Crimson Butterfly, the spirit list says that Mutsuki "became a crimson butterfly at his elder brother's hands" which we know to be false.  Both Itsuki and Chitose acknowledge their brother couldn't become a butterfly as the ritual failed, making the one seen during Shadow Festival with Itsuki the spirit of another twin.  Similarly, the one in Frozen Butterfly cannot be Mio as the ritual wasn't performed correctly and the Repentance is still active.

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#8 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

Ooh, yes, good ones. I can understand wanting to play "identify the butterfly" in those endings, but it doesn't really make much sense, since a butterfly is the result of a successful ritual, and obviously neither of those were (if you can even call what happened in Frozen Butterfly a ritual).


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#9 OFFLINE   Emi

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:53 AM

I love how well thought out and put together these are. Amazing work.

I can add a little insight to a few. (On mobile ATM so sorry for horrid structure here)



Himuro mansion - Chelsea just linked the article. It was a press release from tecmo USA.

Himirikyro was a name that I kept running into when I was trying to research the facts and fiction (original purpose of bcl) years and years ago. I was only starting to use Japanese so I added it. But as far as the mansion, I have read many stories etc, but none of them possess the same scenario. A house / place disappearing and reappearing - yes (from To no Montagari) a man (usually in a leader role) who goes mad and kills his family and or servants etc - this theme shows up a lot in japanese stories, media, games - inuyasha comes directly to mind - and urban legends. Lord Himuro (who ran a fatal frame forum prev to this one) said he had been to a dojo in Machida (sp?) That had a similar story. There *is* a mansion in Japan where the infamous screen hallway picture is yanked from their website. (And it looks like it from the back). Unfortunately the pictures if they still exist are on one of many old hard drives ofine. :( And I can't remember the name save for Daich something. (Which might not be close) but that house - to my knowledge - did not have ghost hauntings attributed to it.) It was simply architectural inspiration for the game. (As many places in Japan are)

Also the story of the girl waiting for her lover (in the article)- that ghost story is a common one. In fact, I have been told that same story when visiting the Mrytles Plantation in Louisiana.


Dr. Asou subplot - this was told to me by .. I am really blanking on names today... Fan who was translating a lot of things when ff3 came out. (This is also the source where Ruri given to Miku by her parents came from). I had no reason at the time to disbelieve the fan, so at the time that was my source on it. So I am to blame for that dibacle.

Tschuihara twins - the original source for this was a fan who originally had about three fan sites to the ff games (back when doing a site about one character was cool). She was occasionally around and had been telling myself and other fans about the contents of the new fatal frame fanbook that had come out.

The reason it was believed BC you have fans who are translating or active in the fandom, who I felt wouldn't make up stuff.

(This is like Chelsea telling me she can't find the translation. I know her dedication and appreciation for this fandom. I completely believe her.)

So that was the source for tschuihara and I am extremely sorry for my part in spreading that misinformed and incorrect information. :(

#10 OFFLINE   MacabrelleEnvy

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:53 PM

Oh my god, you found it! That's amazing. I dub thee Plucky Girl Detective!

It is interesting, though - the settings of all three PS2 games are said to have been inspired by real places, but it's only Himuro Mansion that gets this kind of focus with people thinking it's real, which makes it seem like it really is just the "true story" tagline propelling the rumours.


I always attributed this to the intent to sell the game outside of Japan because that's the kind of tagline that attracts Americans >.> and the "true" part always end up being that there was a creepy house and somebody disappeared, the end. Haha

I never realized that the Dr. Asou subplot might be rumour though! I always accepted that as concrete fact and I could have sworn that I did in fact read an article about that at one point... But honestly it's probably just my imagination supporting something I want to believe to be true. I especially thought so when I heard that Spirit Camera was supposed to be called "Dr. Asou's Spirit Camera". I thought we might finally get our extra little storyline and info about him.





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