Justin Counts Down To Halloween Day Fifteen: If Casper Was Scary

As we round out the third week, I want to bring a major horror series today. I’m using a picture from the sequel at the top, but all of the series should be here. Why not start with the first? The second one just has cooler imagery!

While it’s not as big as your Resident Evils and Silent Hills, it deserves to be up there among the greats. I remember playing this game for the first time, working at Blockbuster. I brought it home one night, had a bunch of friends over, and as we played through it, there was this one moment after the Prologue where you see a corpse hanging from the ceiling, and then out of nowhere, the power went out in my parents’ house. That experience stuck with me so much and scared the hell out of me, so it was only this year that I went back to finish the first game in the series and started running through the rest of them. So without further ado, today’s game is…

Fatal Frame!

Fatal Frame, what an interesting game. It follows Miku searching for her brother Mafuyu after he goes missing in the Himuro Mansion while searching for a famous novelist. The story is mainly told here through Resident Evil-style notebooks and end-of-chapter cutscenes. The game takes place over three days, with the spirits chasing you through the mansion, getting more fierce every night.

Fatal Frame is probably most known for its offensive weapon, the Camera Obscura. A camera with film that can exorcise spirits that are captured. While the story is based on this creepy ass cult, each ghost you come across has some form of attachment to it. For example, the Blinded Maiden is someone who had the misfortune of being blinded by the cult. So she haunts the halls screaming for her eyes… its really terrifying, and along with it, each ghost has its own way of acting. So, for example, again, the maiden can’t see, so if you plan your feet, you can bring up your camera, and she won’t hear you.

The gameplay is like Resident Evil, searching the mansion for clues and solving puzzles. Most of which conclude in having to take pictures or moving tablets around in a specific order. While the tank-style controls are a little janky, I love the Camera gameplay; you can bring it up and charge your shots to do more damage. You stun it and earn extra points when you do this or get “zero shots” as the ghost is attacking. You can use this to upgrade your camera to be faster and do more damage.

It really is a great game that deserves more. Thankfully, we are getting ports of the later games, so here’s hoping we will eventually have a way to play the original on modern consoles.

For more interviews, reviews and features, stay locked to DreadXP and, if you can, pick up Maiden of Black Water, a later game in the series, but at least it’s available on current hardware.