Originally posted on 27 March 2012
Source: Zero / Zero 2 Fanbook, page 24-25

Fatal Frame Fanbook: Fatal Frame II Hard Mode Ending

♦Chapter Zero: Hellish Abyss

With the final blow, Sae is pushed back into the Hellish Abyss. Sae falls into the Abyss. At that moment, Sae separates from Mayu, with whom she had overlapped.
The two fall towards the Abyss, still entangled.

(Mayu is falling again...)
That day replays in Mio's head. On that twilit path, I left her, and Mayu fell from the cliff. Maybe, back then, if I had just held onto her hand...
(This time, I'll save her!)

Mio drops the Camera Obscura and rushes over to the falling Mayu.
Mayu grabs onto Mio's outstretched hand as Sae drops with a shriek. "Mi...Mio!" Mayu calls out while clinging to Mio's slender arm.

Mio desperately tries to save her sister. However, Mio's tired body doesn't have the strength.

"...Whatever you do, you mustn't look inside it."

Mio suddenly hears Itsuki's voice close to her ear.
(That's right, this is the place that mustn't be seen...)

Mio's hand begins to slip, and she opens her eyes without thinking.
Time stops. All is silent. Mio's consciousness drops to the depths of the Abyss.

"Don't... look..."

As she thinks this, Mio's consciousness gradually sinks. Suddenly, from within the darkness, she sees a white mass. The moment she becomes aware of this mass, the image suddenly plunges.
This is the true form of the Hellish Abyss.

Infinite, innumerable people, covering each other, writhing around. In this world time doesn't flow, darkness is eternal, suffering, madness...

Those people simultaneously turn to Mio, and when she sees them the Abyss is seared into her eyes.

Mio, bathed in the depths of emptiness, is blinded. Mayu pulls her knee from out of the abyss and climbs up.
Blood flows from Mio's eyes.
"Mio! Mio!"
Mayu embraces Mio from behind.
She has no memories after this point.


By the shore of the lake under which Minakami Village is submerged.
In the languid sunlight of late summer, the two sit on a bench. Mayu leans against the shoulders of Mio, whose eyes are covered with a bandage, and cuddles close to her.

Mio has lost the light. But she was able to save Mayu. She regrets nothing.

...She is glad for the darkness.
It has removed the thorns that have been in the two's hearts since childhood.
Between the girls, who could talk about anything, only that day was never spoken of. These cares no longer linger.

Until now, Mio has taken care of Mayu, with her bad leg.
From now on, Mayu will take care of Mio, who has lost the light.
Mayu tightly grips the hand of Mio, who has entrusted her body to her sister.

Mayu looks at Mio through slightly-opened eyes, and a small smile appears on her lips. Everything rises to the surface in that facial expression.
"From now on, we'll always be together."
In her gentle whisper, their innocent childhood promise continues to echo.


♦Mayu's Smile

The Hellish Abyss ending concludes with Mayu's faint smile, but this smile has no clear meaning, and as such can be interpreted in many different ways.
Perhaps it may be thought of as a kind smile at being able to take care of Mio from now on, or a smile at obtaining her as a possession as she desired.
Or perhaps that it was not Mayu who Mio saved, but Sae... that actually, Sae and Mayu were still joined together...
These were the things we wanted to be stuck in the minds of the players, a smile like a lingering scent.

The developers speak about the things put into the ending...

Mayu's words when she and Mio face each other, before the Hellish Abyss ending...

I'm steadily falling... into a deep place... into a deep place... I'm melting... Mio...
Let's do it together...
Deeper... deeper...

Sae overlaps with Mayu, and Yae overlaps with Mio
Mio and Mayu were called to the village in order to perform the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual once more. Sae and Yae, whose ritual had not been completed, borrowed Mio and Mayu's bodies to perform the ritual again.
Mayu became melded with Sae from the time she was beckoned into the forest by a crimson butterfly, rushing through the forest as though being chased by the villagers, and Mio became one with Yae from when she saw Yae standing alone before the vanished village, crying. Not only are they the same twin, but Sae and Mayu shared the same emotions and desires.

●Sae's feelings
Sae's final words (the words heard while fighting Sae for the Hellish Abyss ending)

I waited for so, so long. In a dark place
Didn't we promise that we would always be together?
"Let's be together until the end", you said
But you left me
Why didn't you kill me?
Why did you run away by yourself?
I was happy when you said you wanted us to run away together
But just being killed by you would have made me happy
You didn't come. I was killed by the priests
And then the Repentance occurred
I kept waiting for the time when your hands would wrap around my throat
Since I was a child, I've always been thinking about being killed by you
Why wouldn't you kill me?
Why wouldn't you kill me?
So you've finally come. You've finally come
Kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me
kill me...

Sae, who wanted to be with Yae, was truly happy when Yae said that they should run away together. For a brief period she was elated by the dream of escaping the ritual and living together.
However, on the day of the festival, while running through the dark mountains, Sae began to think. If they continued like this and got away, they would live together. In a place without the fate of shrine maidens, or the ritual, they would be together forever.

But... would they really be together forever? Now, Yae was running ahead of her. Sae's body was weak, and she struggled desperately to keep up, but the space between them was gradually expanding. In Sae's heart, one thought was spreading like a stain. If we were ever to be separated... We were born together. And you promised that from now on we will always be together. But what if one day you break that promise? If one day we begin to lead separate lives, we will eventually die apart... That... that is inevitable. I know that. I know that, but... At the moment that truth, its pain, spread to her heart, Sae's foot slipped and she fell from the cliff.

Below the cliff, Sae was captured by the villagers. Yae will come back for me, she has to. She promised that we'd always be together. She believed this, but Yae never returned. Sae was killed by the hands of the priests, and the Repentance occurred.

Thoughts like "Why did Yae break her promise? Why didn't she come back?" swirled around inside Sae. But at the same time, she strongly wanted to die by Yae's hand rather than someone else's. Since Sae's childhood, she had been raised to become a shrine maiden who would be killed by Yae. Not only that, but she had been wishing from the bottom of her heart for Yae to kill her. The Crimson Sacrifice Ritual, in which the elder sister kills the younger. Not only anyone could kill Sae - it could only be the one person with true, strong love for her. The killing and being killed resembled a deeper, stronger means of intercourse more than some kind of act. And, as a mark of her own love, she would remain as a crimson bruise on Yae's throat, never vanishing.

So, while hating Yae for not coming back, she kept within the abyss for Yae to grip her neck. Mayu also thought of the same thing.

●Mayu's feelings
Mayu's final words (the words heard while fighting Sae for the Hellish Abyss ending)

I wanted us to be together forever and ever
Hey, Mio, did you realise that I fell from the cliff on purpose that day?
Back then, I was scared of being separated from you
That you would leave me, and go far away
Throughout the pain, that felt like I was being torn apart, I was just happy. Because then, you were mine
You are always by my side. You're always worrying about me
You see only me. You're always thinking about me
Since then, you've always been worried about me, haven't you?
Whenever my leg hurts, it makes me happy
You won't leave me again, will you? We'll always be together, won't we?
Let's do it together
Deeper and deeper...

Mayu, unlike Sae, was not trapped by the destiny of the shrine maidens. However, Sae and Mayu held the same feelings, and while they were melded together they waited in the Abyss.
One day during childhood, the two were hurrying along the path home on the twilit mountain path. Mio ran ahead while teasing her. Mayu desperately tried to catch up, but Mio was gradually getting further away. Then, Mayu knew it clearly. She and Mio were so intimate that they were the same in every way. Each day, they would promise each other to always be together. Someday that promise would be broken. Each person is alone. Whatever they feel, they can't become one. They will live alone, and die alone. It is sad, but cannot be helped. Once something has begun to fall, it can't go back to where it originally was, and in life you begin to leave the place where you formerly were.

Mayu fell from the cliff on an impulse. She didn't fall in order to spite Mio, but jumped out of desperation. It was similar to committing suicide.

"...I survived." That is what Mayu thought when she regained consciousness.

Since then, Mio has always been by Mayu's side. Mio worries about her injured leg. Mio is always worried about her. This made Mayu happy, but also only made her feelings stronger.

Even if people live in the arms of others, they will eventually die alone. That is the only thing all people in this world share - in other words, the only thing we are promised. So, while each day repeating the promise of always being together and pretending not to realise the truth, you become crushed and broken by it.

Mio vaguely realised that Mayu had fallen off the cliff on purpose back then. But Mio didn't know why she fell. Mayu wouldn't tell her. It was fine if she couldn't get through to her feelings. Mio said not a word... While spending each day together, the two both understood implicitly that it was forbidden between them to touch upon that subject.

While heading through the Underground Passage to save Mayu, Mio realised what Mayu had been thinking. It was the same as how she had come to know Yae and Sae's feelings.

●Mio and Yae's feelings
Sae and Mayu's words just before falling into the Hellish Abyss (the words spoken by Sae and Mayu simultaneously, so that it is difficult to know who is speaking)

We always promised, didn't we? That we would always be together...
But I understand now. However strongly I felt
We are different people...
We were born together... but we must live... and die... separately
So... it's okay...
Kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me...

Yae, who knew Sae's heart, accepted that they would continue the ritual. Yae finally granted Sae's wish, after Sae had waited and waited. Mio, who was descending into the Underground Path in order to save Mayu, had also accepted Mayu's feelings. Mio couldn't break herself off from Mayu's desires.

Perhaps it wasn't strictly said out of love, but Mio was fine with that. Because it was the first time she had been able to tell Mayu how she truly felt, something she had been holding back for so very long.

●Mark of the emotions
In the rhythm of the violent, seemingly mad ritual, Mayu guides Mio's hands around her neck. As her hands wrap around her neck, their souls intertwine. Twins are said to share pain. Mio also feels the pain Mayu experiences at the sensation of the hands on her throat. Her feelings flow through her hands. Their souls are mingling. This union seems to draw them together at last as they get closer to death, something that can only happen once. The two are returning to a deep place. Within the warm, sweet milky-whitness, they gradually sink into place where they were born, mixing together... The Crimson Sacrifice Ritual is complete. Mio's hands have impressed their marks upon Mayu's neck. From there, a crimson butterfly is born. The eternal night covering the village is dispelled, and the ghosts who had been bound to the village vanish in the morning sun...

Mio sits before the lake of the dam that has submerged Minakami Village.
As she watches the late summer sunlight sparkle on the water's surface, Mio is entangled in thought.


Mio and Mayu's hearts are too complicated, and the explanation would be too long and drawn out. Maybe each player will feel something different from the game. Perhaps this chapter was like throwing cold water on those people.

The two's feelings are told of in a story, but I think they could be inside anyone's heart. Mayu's feelings, and Mio who accepted them.

It is painful when people who have played the game feel sympathetic with this from somewhere within their own heart.

If she had rejected, maybe Mayu would have completely broken down. Even if they had managed to escape together, like this, Mayu might have vanished somewhere... Sometimes, Mio suddenly senses Mayu for a moment, in that ethereal, empty world.

"Didn't we always promise each other... that we would always be together?"

The promise they had always repeated to each other. Mio is always thinking over the hidden feelings in those words.