Originally posted on 23 April 2012
Source: Zero / Zero 2 Fanbook, page ?

Fatal Frame Fanbook: Minakami Village Concept Art Illustrations

Various concept images of Minakami Village, which has fallen into ruin. The foundation of the atmosphere brought to life in the game was constructed using these images.

The sense of fear fanned by Minakami Village's scenery

One of the elements that further brings out the fear from the "Zero" world is its atmosphere, which was carefully created. The scenery of Minakami Village, the Lost Forest, Kureha Shrine and other old abandoned buildings were focused on to the smallest detail to make them realistic.
Of course these days you don't see many old Japanese houses like the ones in the Zero series. While using old buildings for reference, we added various production effects. Things that would have the effect of making you wonder whether a ghost was going to pop out of the darkness - rotten paper screens and pillars on the verge of decay, collapsed ceilings and the like.
Perhaps it isn't an exaggeration to say that the atmosphere of Minakami Village, with its abandoned houses, is at the root of Zero's fear.

Misono Hill (御園~みその~)
On Misono Hill, right above the Hellish Abyss, is a stone in place of the Abyss that lies below. Covering the opening is a stone called the Sacrificial Stone, which takes the place of the sacrifice.

Mountain path to Misono 1 (御園への山道①~みそのへのやまみち①~)

Mountain path to Misono 2 (御園への山道②~みそのへのやまみち②~)

Path from Misono to Osaka house (御園から逢坂家への道~みそのからあいさかけのみち~)

Osaka House, front (逢坂家前~おうさかけまえ~)
The exterior of the Osaka house, which seemingly served the role of watching over Minakami Village. Miyako Sudo followed after her lover, Masumi Makimura, and was killed by that lover's hand here.

Kurosawa House gate (黒澤家外門~くろさわけがいもん~)
The front gate of the Kurosawa house, which governs the rituals of Minakami Village. On the other side of this gate is Whisper Bridge. Since the gate has no surrounding scenery, compared to the game screen it looks somewhat different.

Tsuchihara House exterior (槌原家外観~つちはらけがいかん~)
Generation after generation, the Tsuchihara family took control of places pertinent to the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual, such as the shrine and Misono. There is a storehouse on the premises of the house, where the village's criminals were imprisoned, and judgement was also passed on them.

Kureha Shrine (暮羽神社~くれはじんじゃ~)
Kureha Shrine has a large butterfly design on it. Inside the shrine, you can reach the Underground Passageway leading out of the village, but if you escape without saving Mayu you'll get the bad ending.

Path to Kureha Shrine (暮羽へ続く道~くれはじんじゃへつづくみち~)

Old Tree (朽木~くちき~)
The Old Tree is the place where the older sister of the Twin Shrine Maidens who survived the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual, was buried after death. The older sister was known as the "Remaining", and was imprisoned within the village's storehouse to live out the rest of her life.

Bridge behind Kiryu House (桐生家裏手の橋~きりゅうけうらてのはし~)
The bridge behind the Kiryu house leads to Kureha Shrine and Minakami Cemetery.

Pathway between Osaka/Tachibana houses (逢坂家・立花家の間の通路~おうさかけ・たちばなけのあいだのつうろ~)
The path between the Osaka and Tachibana houses, which is used often during the game. With the crumbling walls and the aspects of the abandoned buildings, it does well at conveying the atmosphere of Minakami Village.

Image of concept not included in the game
Intro Chapter (序ノ刻~じょのこく~)
A concept image that was planned to be used in the illusionary Intro Chapter. The details are these: as Mio and Mayu are chased from the forest into Minakami Village, they arrive at a rope ladder. Mio pulls Mayu up it, and the rope becomes entangled around Mayu's neck... It was supposed to show a scene hinting at their fate. In the actual game, the Intro Chapter plays out differently.