Fatal Frame

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This article is in reference to the first game of the Fatal Frame Series.
For more uses of the term see Fatal Frame (Disambiguation)

"It's a lot to ask, but I'd like you to find out about the legends or cases of
missing people similar to this one."

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Fatal Frame
Game Title Image
Zero ~zero~
Project Zero
Developer(s): Tecmo
Publisher(s): Tecmo
Distributor(s): Tecmo & Wanadoo (Euro)
Release date: 2001, 2002, & 2003; reissue (Japan) 2007; PSN (US) 2013
Genre: Survival Horror
Game modes: Easy, Normal, Hard, Nightmare, Fatal (Xbox version)
Ratings: Japan - CERO C (15+); USA - ESRB T (Teen); Europe - ELSPA 18+
Countries: Japan, US, Europe
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox

Fatal Frame is the first game in the Fatal Frame Series, released for the PS2 & Xbox consoles.


"I wonder how long it's been... since my brother and I... began to see things that other people couldn't see..."
Miku Hinasaki src

Nine days have passed since Mafuyu, brother of Miku Hinasaki, had disappeared.

It all began about a month ago.

The media reported that the famous novelist Junsei Takamine disappeared while gathering research for an upcoming novel. Mafuyu, an aspiring journalist, suspected that something was wrong. Why would his mentor simply vanish into thin air? Mafuyu decided to conduct a private search for his friend, with the investigation eventually leading to the grounds of a secluded mansion. The Himuro Mansion stands silent and imposing deep within the forest. It's said that years ago the mansion belonged to a powerful landowner who had absolute control over the area. But now it's a shadow of its former self, dilapidated and desolate...

As Mafuyu searched the mansion, he found scraps of paper left by Junsei and his staff throughout the mansion. The writings recounted a number of ominous events that happened in the mansion's dark past. Eager to find additional clues within the mansion, Mafuyu rushed in and suddenly realized that he wasn't alone...

Miku came to the Himuro mansion in search of her missing brother. But she had no idea what she was getting into...

- - -

- Opening description from the "Fatal Frame" Manual

Release dates

PlayStation 2

  • Japan - December 13th 2001
  • US - April 3rd 2002
  • Europe - August 30th 2002
  • Japan re-issue (PlayStation 2 The Best) - August 1st 2002
  • Japan re-issue (PlayStation 2 The Best) - November 11th 2007


  • Japan - February 6th 2003
  • US - November 22nd 2002
  • Europe - May 2nd 2003

PSN Store (Digital Download)

Main Characters

Miku Hinasaki (雛咲深紅) (17)

Miku is a high school/college girl (depending on the version you play) with a strong sixth sense. After her father died on an archaeological expedition, and her mother, Miyuki Hinasaki, soon after committed suicide, it's just been Miku and her brother, Mafuyu. The two siblings are very close, both sharing a sixth sense that they keep secret from others, so when Mafuyu doesn't come back after nine days of following his mentor into the 'haunted' Himuro Mansion, Miku goes after him. In the Japanese version of the game, Miku is listed as being seventeen years old.

Mafuyu Hinasaki (雛咲真冬) (21)

Mafuyu, twenty-one years old, is the elder brother of Miku and an aspiring novelist. Like Miku, he possesses a strong sixth sense. Since his parents died, Mafuyu has been taking care of his sister. Upon hearing that his mentor hasn't returned from doing research at the 'haunted' Himuro Mansion, Mafuyu himself goes to investigate, taking with him a special camera his mother left to him and Miku, and mysteriously disappears.


Himuro Intro
Strangling Ritual
Demon Tag
The Calamity

Regional & Console Differences


  • The main series name differs in Japan, Europe, and North America.
  • Voice actors.
  • Miku's character design was different in the original Japanese release. The new design is slightly more Anglicized, with lighter brown hair and different clothing. (In the original, she is in an outfit resembling a school girl uniform.) This design was carried over for the Japanese version of the Xbox port, but not carried over to any versions of Fatal Frame III: The Tormented.
  • After the game was originally released on the PS2 in all regions, it was ported to the Xbox with a litany of new features and a few other changes that will be detailed below. The Japanese version of the game uses the "Fatal Frame" series name instead of 零~zero~.
  • Another re-release of the PS2 version from the Best series was issued for the first three games in anticipation of the fourth game for the Wii console.
  • There are differences in unlock conditions between the Asian and worldwide releases.


  • The Xbox version contains additional notes and diaries, a new "Fatal" difficulty level with a new boss and a new ending ("Photograph") attached, extra costumes, and a few more hidden ghosts. The numeric puzzle dials were also changed from Japanese kanji to Roman numbers.
  • Only the PS2 version of Fatal Frame will result in a Miku Monster for Monster Rancher 4.

Box Art

Game Inspirations

Based on a True Story?

Main article: Based on a true story?

When Fatal Frame was released to the US & Europe (as well as the subsequent Xbox release to all regions), the tagline "based on a true story" was added to the cover. This caused a huge debate—that continues to this day—over what events (if any) in the game are actually factual. Taken from Tecmo's official press release concerning the issue:[1] "The game’s frightening story is based upon two Japanese folk tales, both originating from the rural mountainous regions of the country."

Suggested Inspired Sources

  • Ringu — while Kikuchi has continuously discounted any relation/inspiration to Ringu, Makoto Shibata has credited the movie's infamous 'ending scene' as inspiration for the up close and personal fighting style of the series.
  • Tsuyama Massacre in Kaio Village near Tsuyama in Okayama, Japan (suggested by fans).
  • Tōno Monogatari — stories by Kunio Yanagita, one includes a house that appears randomly in the forest (suggested by fans).
  • Otogiriso — a PS1 game series that has similar themes to the first Fatal Frame. The movie inspired by this videogame has often been confused as being inspired by Fatal Frame.


Misc. Info

  • The game's infamous tag line "based on a true story" was not used on the original Japanese release version of the game.
  • The PAL Xbox version of the game is NOT backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.
  • This game is now discontinued.
  • For a list of staff who worked on the game, see Fatal Frame Staff.
  • At the time of the original Japanese release, a lottery was held in which one thousand respondents to the survey enclosed in the game case were randomly drawn to receive a pair of Zero headphones.[2] Pictures can be seen here.
  • The game is set in 1986, as the staff wanted the game to take place in a time without mobile phones, to create a sense of isolation. Mobile phones began to be sold in Japan in 1987.[3]
  • When the Xbox Version is being played on a Xbox 360 after the backwards compatibility update some cutscenes are seen with a black screen and audio still playing.[4]
  • On the PS2 version Miku's Camera Obscura is the save icon for the game.
  • The first title for the game, as suggested by director Makoto Shibata, was "Reikoku" (a pun on the Japanese word for ghost, "rei"). The team finally decided to use the more simplistic title of "Zero".
  • The Japanese name Zero comes from the Kanji character which means "Zero", this character has two meanings, one is the word "Zero", whilst the other is the word "Rei" which means "Ghost".
  • The game sold 0.14m copies globally.[5]

Official Links

http://www.tecmo.co.jp/product/zero/ (PS2)
http://www.tecmo.co.jp/product/ff/index.htm (Xbox)
http://www.fatalframe.com/ (Currently not working)


  1. Tecmo unveils Fatal Frame's true story (April 10, 2002). Tecmo has unveiled the true story behind the scary Fatal Frame. Press Release. Retrieved on 2009-03-01.http://www.ps2fantasy.com/news/200204/1018460889.php
  2. Famitsu article (Japanese)
  3. Zero Perfect Guide
  4. [1]
  5. VG Chartz, retrieved October 21 2012.

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Fatal Frame Series
Fatal Frame - Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly - Fatal Frame III: The Tormented
Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse - Fatal Frame: Deep Crimson Butterfly - Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Fatal Frame
Player Characters
Miku Hinasaki - Mafuyu Hinasaki
Major Characters/Ghosts
Kirie Himuro - White Kimono - Lord Himuro - Kirie's Lover - Junsei Takamine - Koji Ogata - Tomoe Hirasaka - Ryozo Munakata - Yae Munakata - Mikoto Munakata
Minor Characters/Ghosts
Mr. Hinasaki - Masato Hinasaki - Miyuki Hinasaki -Tokitada Kyuki - Blinded Maiden - Bound Man - Broken Neck - Clock Boy - Crawling Girl - Female Head - Floating Face - Floating Woman - Former Rope Shrine Maiden - Girl in the Well - Hand From Floor - Headless Priests - Long Arms - Long Hair Woman - People Killed - Wandering Man - Wandering Monk
Blinding Ritual - Calamity - Camera Obscura - Ceremony of the Ropes - Demon Tag - Demon Tag Children - Demon Tag Ritual - Flashlight - Folklorist - Himuro Family - Hinasaki Family - Holy Mirror - Kagome, Kagome - Laceration Rope - Malice - Munakata Family - Overexposure - Rope Curse - Rope Shrine Maiden - Spirited Aways - Strangling Ritual
Abyss - Backyard - Blinding Room - Buddha Room - Burial Room - Cherry Atrium - Demon Mouth - Doll Room - Dungeon - Entrance - Fireplace Room - Fish Tank Room - Five Gods Shrines - Grand Hall - Hell Gate - Himuro Mansion - Koto Room - Library - Mask Room - Moon Shrine - Narukami Shrine - Rope Altar - Rope Hallway - Square Garden
Camera - Save points - Films - Flashlight - Lenses - Functions - Fatal Frame Spirit List - Health items
More Pages
Items - Nights - Notes - Photographs - Costumes - Endings