Originally posted on 18 March 2012
Source: Zero Perfect Guide, page 156-159
Fatal Frame: Glossary
Terminology relating to the characters and various mysterious rituals that appear within "Zero". All of it will be explained in one go. Included are details with regards to the connections and secrets of Himuro Mansion's rituals that you may only have learned of in bits and pieces while playing. By fully understanding them, your enjoyment of the game should increase.
A mini-game that is unlocked after clearing story mode. It allows you to fight (one or two) specific ghosts. After clearing all missions, the special function "None" is unlocked.
The ritual to select the Rope Shrine Maiden would be performed once every decade, when the girls of the family aged 7 would gather together. The woman who served the role of "Blind Demon" would enter the same room and catch the girls, until finally the only girl not caught would be chosen as the Rope Shrine Maiden. The girl with the spiritual power to evade the Blind Demon was chosen. The first girl caught in the ritual became the Demon, and would wear the Blinding Mask on the day of the next ritual, chasing the girls.
One of the Camera Obscura's secret abilities. There are five auxiliary functions, from which only one may be selected and used at a time. However, the power of a Spirit Stone, which can be found around the mansion, is needed to use them.
The last Rope Shrine Maiden was Kirie. In Kirie's era, strict customs were becoming more lenient, and she was also allowed to leave the confinement room and walk around the mansion. At one such time, when Kirie was coming and going around the mansion she saw a young man and fell in love with him. Since the Ceremony of the Ropes was performed using laceration rope created from a shrine maiden who still had worldly connections, the ritual failed and the gates opened slightly, allowing the Malice to leak out. This was "The Calamity". Those who were drenched in the Malice that flowed out were gravely injured to the point of near death. Furthermore, the Himuro family master was engulfed by Malice and changed, performing the duty of the family master by stopping those touched by Malice from leaving the mansion, escalating until he began to massacre those inside the mansion. It is said that finally, in that day's tragedy, the mad family master wiped out the entire family.
Camera Obscura, The
An item left by Miku's mother. It resembles a normal camera, but can photograph things people can't see. In the hands of a person with spiritual power, it also has the power to seal ghosts away. However, the camera sears the ghosts into the mind, and the spiritual power gradually eats away at the user's soul. Miku's mother also had this camera, which gradually turned into a mental illness that tormented her. In Himuro Mansion, too, there are photos scattered about that seem to have been taken using the Camera Obscura, which makes it seem as though this is originally where the camera is from.
Ceremony of the Ropes
In order to seal the Hell Gate, the Himuro family performed the Ceremony of the Ropes. In the ritual, the Hell Gate was bound with special rope known as laceration rope, so that the gates wouldn't open.
A children's game passed down in this area. The "demon" is chosen using Kagome, Kagome, who chases and catches the others. The first captured becomes the next demon, and the last one remaining ends the game as the "princess". It appears as though this has its origins in the Blind Demon Ritual of the Himuro family.
By reading things, you can get all kinds of information. There are two sections in the file, notebooks and scraps - the former contains documents describing the events that occurred at Himuro Mansion, and the latter contains information needed to solve the mystery.
Film used with the Camera Obscura. By using it, it is possible to seal ghosts away in photos. There are four types of film - Type-14, Type-37, Type-74 and Type-90. Exorcismal power varies depending on which film is used.
Below Himuro Mansion, there exists remains that have been there for as long as anyone can remember. It is made up of solemn-looking stones, and seems to have been created to surround the Hell Gate. That gate is said in legends to be the gate to hell. It is said that when the gate opens completely, the worlds of the living and the dead will become joined, and all of the dead will return.
Since ancient times, the people of this region have both feared and worshipped the Hell Gate. The duty of protecting and sealing that gate fell upon the Himuro family.
Himuro Family Master
The final Himuro family master. He was a strict man regarding family precepts, but was adored by his vassals. He misread Kirie's feelings, and his murder of her lover caused the Strangling Ritual to fail, which brought about the Calamity. Although he was self-taught, he was a sword master. Due to the Malice that came from the Calamity, he turned into a madman and massacred all of his vassals. Afterwards, he committed suicide but was unable to rest in peace, and even now remains trapped in Himuro Mansion.
Miku's older brother. To Miku, who has lost both parents, he is her only family. He is the one person who knows of and understands Miku's ability. He has the same strong psychic abilities as Miku, and so can seal ghosts using the Camera Obscura. After his weak-bodied mother, Miyuki, committed suicide due to being unable to cope with the Camera Obscura's power, he found a notebook in which he and Miku's ability and the use of the camera were detailed, which is how he learned of it.
After the loss of his mother, Takamine, an acquaintance through work, saw his hardships and they developed a close relationship, both personally and professionally. He goes after the missing Takamine, following him to Himuro Mansion, but...
The game's protagonist. Since she has the blood of the Hinasaki family, said to have strong sixth senses, flowing through her, she can see things that other people can't. Though she is usually in the company of friends, she can't completely open up to them. The only one she can truly open her heart to is her older brother, Mafuyu, the only one who understands her power.
In the game, Mafuyu vanishes whilst following the missing Takamine, and Miku, who has lost all of her relatives, using the note he leaves behind as a clue, heads to Himuro Mansion, the setting of the story.
Miku and Mafuyu's mother. She has a strong sixth sense, and grew up in an unorthodox manner, and so was troubled by the thought of passing on her sixth sense to her children. Her body has been weak since birth, and she is prone to illness. A few years ago, Miyuki found herself unable to withstand the power of the Camera Obscura left to her by her mother Mikoto (Miku and Mafuyu's grandmother), and committed suicide. The Camera Obscura, a memento, was discovered on her person at the time.
Takamine's assistant and secretary. She herself would write, and while continuing to write for Takamine she made effort towards her goal of becoming an author in her own right. Her sixth sense, while not as powerful as Miku and Mafuyu's, is stronger than normal people's, and she had a bad feeling about the research at Himuro Mansion. In order to assist Takamine with his next work, she goes along with him to conduct research on Himuro Mansion's forbidden rituals. Then, she too disappears.
A special mirror called the Holy Mirror that was placed before the Hell Gate. The mirror reflects the Hell Gate, repelling the Malice expelled from it, and weakening the gate's power. As it were, the Holy Mirror is important for sealing the Hell Gate. However, the mirror shattered due to the impact from the Calamity, and broke into five fragments. For many years, the pieces of the mirror lay scattered about within Himuro Mansion. Perhaps simply gathering all of the fragments and returning them to their former state will close the gate again.
The last Rope Shrine Maiden. This is the Kirie from the time when she lost her life in the Strangling Ritual. Her regrets at getting her lover caught up in things and her memories of her lover connecting her to this world caused the ritual to fail. Due to this failure, the Calamity occurred and Malice engulfed her, turning her into an evil spirit. In order to inflict upon them the same pain she suffered, she tears off the limbs of all who visit the mansion.
A guest who was staying at Himuro Mansion. He pitied Kirie, who was burdened with the fate of becoming a Rope Shrine Maiden, and spoke about many things with her. Later, the two fell in love. This can be seen through Kirie's diaries. The Himuro family master, fearing he would get in the way of the ritual, ordered the priests to kill him and sink his body in the Abyss behind the mansion.
A still pure Kirie, from before she was chosen as the shrine maiden in the Blinding Ritual (or perhaps from the time she was chosen). Kirie's conscience, which cannot bear to see herself changed into an evil spirit and drawing people into the curse, appears in the form of a young girl, and tries to help those who come to the mansion. She tries to help Miku, and leads her towards the path she should take.
Ryozo and Yae's only daughter. She moved to Himuro Mansion when she was six years old, where she led a happy life, but when she turned seven (the age related to Himuro Mansion's rituals) she became caught up in Himuro Mansion's curse. She met with (little) Kirie while playing in the mansion, who gave her the Camera Obscura (the Camera Obscura used by Miku in the game), and after that all of the friends she was playing with were spirited away while she had the camera. However, aided by the power of the camera, she was rescued. After being rescued she lost all memory of Himuro Mansion. While she was missing, her mother committed suicide. Her father's whereabouts were unknown, so she was taken in and adopted by the person who was to become Miku's great-grandfather.
A folklorist. He moved to Himuro Mansion both for his own work and to take care of his wife, Yae. Initially he was investigating the area's customs, but he became drawn into the heart of the Himuro family and the rituals performed long ago, and relentlessly investigated the full story surrounding them. By nature he was a kind, family man.
Ryozo Munakata's wife. Her body has been weak since childhood, and she is prone to illness. She doesn't have a strong sixth sense, but doesn't have much experience having others as companions, and she has a delicate side. The reason Ryozo moved to Himuro Mansion, other than for research purposes, was so that Yae could recuperate from her illness. The Camera Obscura her daughter Mikoto finds awakens within Yae the power to see impossible things, She cannot endure the ghosts summoned by the camera, and commits suicide.
Story mode with a higher difficulty, which can be played during a second playthrough. If you start from the introduction and clear it, you will see the true ending.
緒方浩二 （おがた こうじ）
The head editor of a magazine written by Takamine. Unlike Mafuyu and Miku, he was a normal person with no special psychic abilities. He has a strong curiosity but is timid, and when the crucial moment arrives, however deep his interest is he becomes cowardly. In the game, he gives Takamine the information about the "forbidden ritual" passed down through the Himuro family. He accompanies Takamine to do research for the horror magazine he himself writes for, and vanishes. Now, he can only be seen within the mansion as a ghost, having transformed into one.
Along with the family master, the priests had an important role within the rituals passed down through the Himuro family. From childhood they were raised in accordance with the Himuro family's strict precepts, and only the chosen amongst them would become priests. In the Strangling Ritual, the four priests would each pull one of the various ropes attached to the arms and legs, moving the mechanism. The laceration rope created by this was used to bind the Hell Gate, tied by the priests' hands. However, in Kirie's generation the Calamity occurred and the ritual failed. They were then massacred by the family master, who had gone insane.
Items that recover health lost when injured by ghosts during battle. There are three types: herbal medicine, sacred water and stone mirror. Herbal medicine and sacred water can be used to produce an effect, but stone mirrors automatically take effect when a ghost's attack lowers your stamina to zero.
Rope Shrine Maiden
In order to create the laceration rope, a pure, unviolated shrine maiden was required. She was called the Rope Shrine Maiden, and was not allowed to set foot outside of Himuro Mansion, raised in a confinement room, in order to sever all of her attachments to the world of the living. This was repeated over and over. In accordance with her growth, both arms and feet were tied up with ropes until she reached the age of 17, at which point a rope would also be tied around her neck and the Strangling Ritual took place.
One of the Camera Obscura's secret abilities. There are five special abilities, out of which only one may be selected and used at a time. However, they cannot be used until the game has been cleared once.
An item required for the use of the Camera Obscura's auxiliary functions. Each Spirit Stone can be used for an auxiliary function only once.
A cruel ritual in which the Rope Shrine Maiden's limbs and neck were tied to a special contraption with ropes, then torn off. The unviolated maiden's spirit was trapped within the ropes, and they were intertwined to create laceration rope. Nothing but these ropes would seal the gate. In order to seal the Hell Gate, the Himuro family continuously sacrificed maidens.
A mystery novelist. He was previously quite a famous best-selling writer. Outside of mysteries, he tried his hand at a wide range of subjects such as non-fiction works, which brought him an opportunity to work with Mafuyu, with whom he kept company after having researched together. When Mafuyu lost his mother, he helped him out both personally and professionally in many ways. He was interested in the ancient rituals said to have been carried out at Himuro Mansion, and so went there to conduct research, but contact was lost with him after that and he went missing.