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Based on a true story?
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When Fatal Frame was first released in the US, the game arrived to the States with the never before seen slogan 'Based on a True Story'. These five words would strike such curiousity and interest in the series that even today, fans still debate on whether or not the slogan is indeed true.
The concept of the Himuro Mansion being an actual physical place has been hotly debated amongst fans from Japan, to the US, to Europe. While there are many similar tales and legends that have been cited as possible explainations to the origin of the 'true story', none have seemed to quench the fans' desperate search for the truth.
Tecmo's Official Press Release
Tecmo has unveiled the true story behind the scary Fatal Frame.
Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - From Tecmo's Official Press Release.
Tecmo released an online game trailer and revealed details about the true story behind its underground cult-classic video game Fatal Frame for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Fatal Frame is a thrilling survival horror game which has been critically acclaimed for its psychological scares by many of the top gaming press, as detailed in this gritty, terrifying promotional trailer: http://www.orangemarketing.com/tecmo/fatal/. The game’s frightening story is based upon two Japanese folk tales, both originating from the rural mountainous regions of the country.
Makoto Shibata, Chief Producer of Fatal Frame, described the inspiration for the game’s haunted house, "In an area outside Tokyo, there lies a mansion in which it’s said seven people were murdered in a grisly manner. On the same property, there lie three detached residences that surround the mansion, all of which are rumored to have ties to the mansion’s troubled past. It’s said there is an underground network of tunnels that lay beneath the premises, but nobody knows who made these tunnels or what purpose they served. Many inexplicable phenomenon have been reported occurring on the property. Bloody handprints have been found splattered all over the walls. Spirits have been spotted on the premises even in broad daylight. A narrow stairway leads to an attic where a spirit-sealed talisman is rumored to be locked away. Men have sought this talisman, only to be found later with their bodies broken and rope marks around their wrists. There’s a crumbling old statue of a woman in a kimono, but its head is missing. If you take a photo of a certain window, a young girl can be seen in the developed picture. These incidents have provoked fear in the people of Tokyo, and many believe that those who live near this area will become cursed. The deaths of those seven people are unexplained to this day."
As the player progresses through Fatal Frame, details about the Himuro Mansion’s disturbing past are revealed. One of the game’s subplots is directly based off of another folk tale. Shibata recounted the details. "In the same region, there’s a tree that is said to weep like a young woman. Many traffic accidents have occurred near this tree, and there have been many accounts of people seeing a young woman’s ghost. Two lovers used to meet at this tree every night. Although they loved each other very much, they were not allowed to see each other because of the difference in social standings. The young girl couldn’t stand the pain, so she hung herself from the tree. Ever since then, it’s said the tree weeps in sorrow. One day, a young man chopped down the tree, hoping that he could rid the area of the ghost and its cursed past. The youth shared the firewood from the tree with families in the area. Since then, those people are reported to have died with no medical explanation why. The young man who chopped down the tree has also disappeared without a trace."
Fatal Frame is a survival horror game which strives to break the mold by preying on the player’s fragile psyche. This is accomplished by grabbing the gamer’s undivided attention with a chillingly dark atmosphere, and then constantly pounding away with psychological waves of fear-inducing terror. Fatal Frame features a revolutionary new sound technology called ARNIS which simulates 5.1 surround sound, even if the player doesn’t own a surround sound system. Eerie floorboard creaks, muffled spirit moans, and unsettling background music are the instruments in this orchestra of terror, culminating in an unforgettable performance that still has people talking.
Locations of Known 'Hoax' Photographs
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Similar Japanese Tales
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