Darkness spreads across the secluded island with a twisted past and horrid secrets. Are you prepared to unchain the memories left behind and solve the mystery within the abandoned village? Here’s everything you need to know before falling into Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse.
What is arguably one of the most decisive franchises in the video game horror genre. Fatal Frame boasts five titles in its main series as well as to spin-offs. Since 2002 American audiences have been running and snapping photos of some of the creepiest and well-designed Japanese themed horror. Right around the corner, we have a Japan exclusive finally about to be localized in Mask of the Lunar Eclipse.
Before warned that due to the connected nature of the games, there may be spoilers ahead involving the other entries in the series: including Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame II: Crimson butterfly, and Fatal Frame III: Tormented. Spoiled sections will be marked, but proceed at your own risk.
The gameplay of Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. What you need to know
Fatal Frame as a franchise has always had the same style of gameplay. You are a slow to medium speed protagonist armed with nothing but your wits and a magical camera. The Camera Obscura is a unique piece of equipment that allows you to exercise spirits. Overtime you will be able to upgrade the camera in various ways in like film and lenses.
What is unique to Mask of The Lunar Eclipse in its original release was the Nintendo Wii Remote. It allowed for a far more realistic and Hands-On control of the camera viewfinder. With the new release being on major platforms, it will be interesting to see how they handle this fluidity of controls for standard controllers.
Beyond selfies with the dead the majority of gameplay is going to be puzzle solving and avoiding death. Outside of maybe a flashlight you don’t have much to defend yourself with. Running and hiding are going to be the better option if you cannot banish them with the camera.
The lore of Fatal Frame
WARNING! Spoilers for Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, and Fatal Frame III: Tormented below!
The Fatal Frame series has always sort of revolved around aspects of childhood trauma and Amnesia. The first game involves a haunted mansion, and a sister looking for her lost brother. During this search she uncovers a horrible occult ritual and the many spirits hoping to enact it upon her. Every room of the mansion pushes you further and further into the mystery. And closer than closer to meeting your end.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, takes place 2 years after the events of the first game. Instead of a haunted mansion we are instead trapped in a haunted town. We play as a young girl looking for her lost twin sister. Said sister is following a mysterious Crimson butterfly and leads the two of them into an abandoned town. The spirits of the former residents of the town remain there, cursed for taking part in a forbidden ritual.
Fatal Frame III: Tormented, takes a different approach to the format. We follow a young woman who recently lost her fiancé, and is now visiting a manner in her sleep in hopes of finding him. These actions have dire consequences however, as she is attacked by a ghost in the dreams, and when she wakes up she has similar tattoos to that of the ghost. Her assistant happens to be the surviving girl from the first game, and with her help they try to uncover the dark rituals within the manner before time runs Out.
Everything we know about the plot of Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
WARNING! Spoilers for Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse below!
Keep in mind that this game never received an official English port on its first release, so information might not be 100% accurate.
Taking place years before the events of the first Fatal Frame, the events of mask of the lunar eclipse take place a decade after tragedy. Five girls disappeared during a festival on an island off the coast of Japan, and once rescued had no memories of the event. No memories except that of a melody playing and a masked woman dancing in the moonlight. 10 years later, two of the girls are found dead in strange poses and covered faces.
This prompts the remaining three to travel back to the mysterious island to solve the mystery of their friend’s death, and hopefully regain their memories along the way. Eventually they come across the village they once called home, Now mysteriously abandoned by the town’s Folk. But as is always in the situations, spirits remain, dark rituals are uncovered, and the true nature of what happened is brought to a horrifying result.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is slated to release tomorrow on March 9, 2023 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.