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Survival Mode is a game mode only available on the Xbox Director's Cut version of Fatal Frame 2. It is significantly challenging compared to the normal game and contains a new boss, which was not available in the PlayStation 2 original. The mode requires the player to navigate through Minakami Village. Certain new costumes can be unlocked by clearing - or indirectly as a result of clearing - Survival Mode under certain conditions (see Unlockables section).
Survival Mode becomes available for purchase from the load menu after completing the main game and loading a cleared game save file, at a cost of 28,000 spirit points. Starting from Misono Hill, players guide Mio through The Lost Village in order to reach the final boss at the Hellish Abyss. The mode is timed, with a clock running in the bottom left corner of the screen. Along the route are many difficult combinations of ghosts, including multiple instances of the same ghost appearing simultaneously in groups, which will attempt to stop the player from progressing. A single hit from a ghost will kill Mio unless the player is in possession of a stone mirror, of which only one can be carried at a time, which takes the place of the normal health meter and is displayed on the right side of the screen. If Mio is attacked while in possession of a stone mirror, it will break and save her one time only. Any subsequent hits sustained before obtaining another stone mirror will cause a game over screen. No other healing items are present. Similarly to missions, the player is given a grade representing their performance after clearing the mode; ranks rage from E to SS (SE in the PAL version). Players are graded on clear time; completing the mode in less than 25 minutes will result in an SS/SE ranking. Film purchased from the in-game shop carries over to the Survival Mode inventory, which may aid the player.
- Masumi Makimura
- Limbo Woman
- Yoshitatsu Kiryu
- Man in Dark
- Woman in Dark
- Miyako Sudo
- Veiled Priest
- Azami Kiryu & Twin Doll
- Limbo Man
- Woman in Box
- Boy Playing Tag 1
- Boy Playing Tag 2
- Girl Playing Tag
- Fallen Woman
- Chitose Tachibana
- Sunken Woman
- Broken Neck Woman
- Kusabi (Can't be fought)
Some features can only be unlocked by completing Survival Mode:
- Zero 1 Heroine (Type E) - complete Survival Mode with a rank of S or higher
- Gothic Lolita (Type G) - complete the Spirit List
- Note: this may only be obtained after completing Survival Mode due to the fact that a Fatal Frame shot of Utsuro is needed to complete the spirit list.
- Blue/Red Bikinis (Type N) - clear Survival Mode with any rank
- Serial Lens - clear Survival Mode with any rank
- A Fatal Frame shot is required on the final boss in order for it to appear on the spirit list.
- The player is not required to fight every ghost that is encountered.