In this corner, Fatal Frame II's producer Kikuchi and director Shibata will tell us what went on behind the scenes on development.
―Fatal Frame II's image song, "Chou", was first unveiled in front of fans at Tsukiko Amano's live show Osaka Summer Camp.
Kikuchi: It was held at BIGCAT, a bar in Osaka, on 30/7, and it was so exciting.
Shibata: I wanted to go too...
Kikuchi: Anyway, it's unfortunate that we can't let you all hear the song right away.
Shibata: I wanted to hear the song live...
Kikuchi: When "Chou" came on, there was a blizzard of crimson confetti and it was really pretty.
―Getting straight to the point, what exactly went into the creation of this song?
Kikuchi: I've wanted the game to have an image song since the first one. If the song stays with those who hear it it'll make the game give a stronger impression, and there's just power in the human voice. What I wanted for this game was a powerful song that would make anyone turn around the instant they heard it.
Shibata: I wanted a song that would show the worldview of Fatal Frame II. Even if I say so myself, it's quite unique, or I guess special...
―Had you decided from the very start to use Tsukiko Amano?
Kikuchi: We had all kinds of candidates, but Shibata had noticed her already from her time doing indies, and so after he recommended her over and over we ended up asking Tsukiko Amano to do it.
Shibata: I've been a fan of hers for quite some time. I thought she was perfect. Her first single was Hakoniwa, and when I heard the song I knew it had to be her. But at first, Kikuchi wouldn't trust me. He thought that having Hakoniwa by Tsukiko Amano as the image song of a Japanese horror game would be too much. "You just made that!"
Kikuchi: Anyway, I just listened to her CD like I was told.
Shibata: Then the gradual brainwashing began.
Kikuchi: He's kidding, but I listened to it once and was really surprised by the lyrics. It's strange you say that your eyes go to the lyrics when you listen to a song, but the worldview was so interesting. Her voice had such an impact, and the song got stuck in my head.
Shibata: That's right. It's a good song, so it's easy to listen to, but if you listen to the lyrics you'll be hit by this sudden scary feeling. There are, of course, other songs that are cute, venomous, intense and beautiful, but Ms. Amano's worldview already resembled Fatal Frame's.
Kikuchi: She has her own worldview as a singer-songwriter... I began to imagine having her create a song for Fatal Frame II in her own world, and wondered if she would be able to make the song I was looking for if we asked her. Thinking about it now, it was totally the right answer.
―So is the song a complete original by Ms. Amano?
Shibata: First of all, I sent her material like Fatal Frame II's world settings and a plot summary so that she could get a grasp of the game. She expanded on the song's image based on that.
Kikuchi: She also beat Fatal Frame.
Shibata: It made me happy when she told me it was scary.
―Was there lots of hard work after that?
Kikuchi: No - maybe it was because Ms. Amano's songs' worldview is close to Fatal Frame's, but at the very first presentation she showed us lyrics and melody we had no complaints with whatsoever.
Shibata: I thought we'd have a bunch of issues to deal with, but in no time at all she brought us this thing, saying, "...This is okay, right?"
Kikuchi: When I asked her afterwards, I learned from Ms. Amano that she'd had loads of trouble with it.
―Finally, please give your message to the people viewing this page.
Shibata: It's a really great song. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to die if you were listening to this song.
Kikuchi: Do that once the game's done, would you? Right now we're working on the game with all our effort, and making preparations to let you all hear "Chou" as soon as possible. It's dramatic and beautiful, but also scary. It's a great fit for this game's worldview as well, so please look forward to it.