It’s Friday the 13th! While some may dub this day as extremely unlucky, it’s the total opposite for me. I love the number 13 and every time it hits my favourite day, Friday – my luck increases up to 200%. And because it’s Friday the 13th, to scare the wits out of you dear readers, allow me to share my all-time favourite game which you MUST play tonight – given you have a Play Station 1 or 2. *Insert evil laugh here*
Ever heard of the game, Fatal Frame? Did I see you nod, “no”? Well, here’s all you have to know. Basically, it’s a role playing game where you simply take pictures of ghosts. Yes, you read that right, ghosts. Nope. You won’t find any other weapon here but the Camera Obscura – used to exorcize ghosts by simply taking a picture of them. There are three games in the series (fourth if you count the Fatal Frame game created for the Xbox 360).
In Fatal Frame I (girl on far left of image), you control the girl named Miku who searches for her brother, Mafuyu Hinasaki in the Haunted Himuro Mansion. The twist? Miku gets stuck inside the house and you have to help her search for Mafuyu and a way out using only the camera and a small flashlight. For Fatal Frame II (Crimson Butterfly), the gameplay is exactly alike but this time you control two individuals which in this case are twins (image in the middle). There are three alternate endings (For the Play Station Game): one you leave your twin behind; two you kill your twin to get out of the mansion alive; or three you and your twin both escape alive. Peachy, isn’t it? As for Fatal Frame III (The Tormented), all three games are tied up together and this time you control three different people namely Miku from Fatal Frame I, Kei (cousin of the twins) from Fatal Frame II and Rei (girl on the far right). The game has two endings, one: all three characters come out alive and two: Rei is the only character left.
It’s a total scream fest for some parts. CG animation and the background music is enough to keep you glued to the chair in fear of Fatal Frame ghosts actually appearing beside you. Try turning up the volume, placing the controller on vibrate mode and play the game with the lights off to get yourself into the mood – which I did, oh and yes, by myself. *insert evil laugh here again*
And if you’re thinking this game is pure fiction, think again. The game was actually based on a real life event that happened in Japan. Even the name of the mansion in the game exists in Japan.
The Himuro Haunted Mansion is known as the most haunted spot in Japan. Located just outside the busy city of Tokyo, is the Himikyru Mansion. According to urban legends, it was home to the most gruesome murders in modern Japanese history. The family, who lived there, the Himuro family, participated in twisted rituals, Shinto or Strangling Ritual, to allegedly seal off bad karma within the earth.
Tale is, every December bad karma would emerge from the ground. To prevent this, a maiden was chosen by the master of the household and was isolated within the house. This isolation would cut off all ties from the outside world to make the ritual actually work. If however, the maiden has ties with the outside world then the ritual would be jeopardized.
During the last recorded Strangling Ritual, it was said that the maiden had fallen in love with the man who tried desperately to save her. This “tie” to the outside world caused the ritual to become impure thus jeopardizing the whole thing. The master of the household found out about the maiden’s love affair and to “save” his family from karma, he brutally murdered all his family members before finally committing suicide.
It is said that souls of the murdered family continuously roam the mansion in attempts to repeat the failed ritual using WHOEVER enters the abandoned mansion. Splashes of blood were reportedly seen on the walls while some have reported figures completely dressed in white roaming the grounds.
Still don’t believe it exists? Well, here’s a quote from Makato Shibata, Chief Producer of Fatal Frame about the Himuro Haunted Mansion.
“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 rumoured 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 phenomenons 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 rumoured 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.”
Now, who wants to come with me to Japan and take a quick tour of the Himuro Haunted Mansion? *Grin* Anyways, don’t be a baby and try out the game tonight or whenever you please. Take a look at the game trailers below (just to give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into)