Taken from Blog
Fatal Frame 4Tecmo have unveiled a spooky new trailer from the fourth installment of Fatal Frame, exclusively for Wii.
Primarily in development by Tecmo, with help from the legendary Suda51 who I love. His team at Grasshopper Manufacture, aims to inject a cold chilling dose of horror into the bright and colourful world of the Wii.
Fatal Frame IV follows the story of five girls who were held hostage 10 years prior to current events. Eventually they all came out safe and sound, rescued by a detective known as Choushiro Kirishima. However, several years later two of the girls mysteriously died and now the 3 remaining lasses return to where they were held captive to find out what happened.
The official Japanese Nintendo site has an interview with the creators Makoto Shibata and Keisuke Kikuchi,
Details from the interview above translated in English:
- When writing the prototype for the original game, Shibata wanted to include two main ideas. Firstly, he wanted the game to be set in traditional Japanese houses, as he intended to use the numerous dark, hidden places these buildings usually contain to waken profound fears within the player. Secondly, he wanted to include ghosts, as well as a unique system to confine them via a camera. Why a camera ? Well, he explains that the ghosts are supposed to be so scary to look at directly, that he thought a ghost-trapping camera would be a good way to allow the character to fight the ghost without actually looking at him directly [basically, by putting a camera lens between the apparition and the character].
-Kikuchi was opposed to the camera idea at first. His vision of the way a character should fight a ghost in a Japanese-style horror story was a bit more "ceremonial" and involved something like the character shooting an exorcising arrow as well as casting some charm on the ghost to defeat it. However, he later found out that this camera idea was quite fitting for this project, and ended up approving it.
- This new game takes place on the fictional Rougetsutou island, within a half-western half-Japanese hotel, which served as a sanatorium in the past. On this island, a mystical ritual was performed every ten years by the autochthons as a Moon worshipping ceremonial, until the rituals stopped one day for mysterious reasons. Coincidentally to this, five young girls were abducted on the island, and later retrieved to safety by a detective. However, since the 5 victims had lost all memories related to these events, the case was closed.
The story of the game actually begins several years later, when the each of the 3 remaining victims choose to go back to the island to try to remember what happened to them many years ago. These 3 young women are the main characters of the game.
- About the subtitle "Mask of the Lunar Eclipse" : in this game, it's actually the name of a mystical mask used during an ancient Moon worshipping ritual, and which is able to break apart people's memories.
- the basic concept of the game remains unchanged, but the gameplay has been "dramatically improved".
- Move the character with the nunchuk, direct the flashlight with the remote. Seems like it doesn't use a pointer at all, just the motion sensors, so you just have to move/incline the Wiimote up, down, right, or left to control the flashlight. After multiple experiments, they found out that this is the control scheme that better replicates the sensation of holding an actual flashlight. Works pretty well apparently.
- Third Person, behind-the-back view. You can walk or even run while moving the Wiimote to look around with the flashlight.
-About the stage design -> while the previous games in the series were taking place mainly in old traditional Japanese houses, this new game takes place in a mansion that blends Japanese style as well as Western style. The reason for this ? It's that while the traditional, Japanese livehood was usually just above the ground (and below the usual line-of-sight), the western-influenced livehood tends to place everyday objects higher from the ground )and closer to the line-of-sight), which they found out was a more practical level design for a 3rd person, behind-the-back game (basically, so the character shouldn't have to constantly look towards the ground to advance and explore...) , which is why they choosed to design the main level of the game around a type of building that is sporting this Western-influence.
- it might seem like a detail, but they actually adjusted very carefully the speed at which the character moves. They took into account both the complaints stating that the previous games were a bit too slow, and their belief that the character should move in accordance with the setting and the type of game it is in. See also this video.
- The theme of this project was "Feeling the fear with your body".They effectively endeavoured to use the intuitiveness of the controls in many ways to allow for more immersion. They also made use of features such as the Wiimote speaker, or the vibrations to enforce the immersion.
- Seems like they are pretty happy with the Nintendo-Grasshopper-Tecmo collaboration, although Kikuchi admits that it was a bit of a mess to take into account of the opinion of each and every one. They don't give many details on the roles of each company, but it sounds like Grasshopper in particular took care of defining the characters' actions/controls and overall personality, while Nintendo acted as an executive producer (they actually had a producer on the project).
-In conclusion, Kikuchi calls it pretty clearly the very best of the series in term of fear-inducing atmosphere, in term of volume, as well as in term of overall enjoyment. The game is apparently full of bonus content, which they declined to reveal for now (could we expect crazy stuff Made in Grasshopper ?...).
Looks pretty fucking awesome huh?
The game is due out in Japan on July 31st 2008.
I am in the process of grabbing more video that is available on the Japanese site, I will be sure to post it here when I am done,