Originally posted on 21 October 2011
Last edited on 9 August 2015
Source: Official website

Fatal Frame III: Column #3 - 28 July 2005

Night 3, 28th of July

—Today, I'd like to ask you about the characters who appear in Fatal Frame .

Kikuchi (producer): The characters of the Fatal Frame series are popular as well, aren't they?

Shibata (director): I'd also like to add in some behind the scenes stories, if that's possible.

About Rei Kurosawa, the protagonist

—The protagonist of this game is quite a lot older than the one from Fatal Frame 2.

Shibata: That's right. One of the themes was a tattoo that creeps across the skin, so we made her an older woman so that she would suit the tattoo. She's 23 years old. We made her a gloomy character who gives the image of struggling against the pain of the tattoo. Rei's keywords are cool, adult and gloomy.

Kikuchi: Rei is quite well received, since her appearance fits a serious horror game.

—She also has a mature style.

Shibata: It's not that sensual, though, is it? She has the slender-limbed figure of a model, so I think she preserves that "Fatal Frame-ness" of slender lines.

Kikuchi: I do feel like she's kind of exposed, though...

Shibata: That's to show off the tattoo as it expands! That's why her design has an open back!

—Now that I think of it, her being a photographer by trade is also really Fatal Frame-y.

Shibata: This game's main character is an independent woman with a boyfriend, so she also has a job. The home where she lives in reality also serves as a workplace, so it has a darkroom.

Kikuchi: When I think about it, in the very early ideas stage of Fatal Frame 1 the main character was a photographer as well. It was the kind of game where you would survive your way through the mansion, taking spirit photos and using them to figure out what had happened.

Shibata: We took that element and made it happen in this game. You can learn new things in the real world based on the photos you take in the dream. Though I guess you could also say that I just wanted to have "something" That shouldn't be there appearing on the photographic paper when you develop it in a dimly lit darkroom...

—Does Rei have a sixth sense?

Shibata: She does, but this is the first time she's ever seen a ghost. This means that unlike the previous games you get to experience the vivid reaction to encountering a ghost, more like the average person. Miku seems to hold her breath and tense up when she meets a ghost, but this time it's a bit different. I wanted to put a game between her normally being cool, but being afraid when she sees a ghost. I hope people see this.

Kikuchi: She is voice acted by Junko Minagawa. Even though she was scared by the images, she gave an enthusiastic performance.

Shibata: Ms. Minagawa has the image of Ryoma from Prince of Tennis, but she normally has a sexy voice like Rei. Something unbelievable actually happened while Ms. Minagawa was recording, but I'll talk about that later.

About Miku Hinasaki

—Miku, the main character of Fatal Frame 1, also appears in this game, doesn't she?

Kikuchi: That's right. Miku, whom those who played Fatal Frame 1 will be very familiar with, is in this game as well. Two years have passed since then, making Miku 19 years old, and she lives with Rei as her assistant.

Shibata: Miku is the character I have the most personal affection for, after all. She has spiritual power and is strong in battle, so she also is quite active in the game, so I thought maybe I should make her the protagonistb here...

Kikuchi: No, no. That's not right.

Shibata: Miku has been living as a normal girl since then, so her personality is a little brighter. It's as if she's starting to get used to life as an assistant.

Kikuchi: She also runs more quickly now.

Shibata: Right. We've upped the movement speed for this game. Miku has a small body, so maybe she feels a bit too speedy. I think everyone moves at a stress-free pace this time around.

Kikuchi: We've also refined her outfit.

Shibata: Her outfit for this game is based on the one from Fatal Frame 1. Miku's hobby is collecting Japanese-style accessories, so her room is full of them, and her innerwear has a Japanese-style design.

Kikuchi: But... what I really wonder about is Miku's nighttime outfit. I didn't remember there being anything like that?

Shibata: I'm sorry... Miku's nightclothes were... all my own personal interest, so please forgive me. I really just wanted her to wear them...

—We'll see what kind of outfit that is in the game. Did Miku have any character keywords?

Shibata: Miku hasn't changed all that much. "Japanese-style", "a slightly mature cuteness" and "brother", maybe.

Kikuchi: I guess that would be about right...

About Kei Amakura

—This is the first time that Fatal Frame has had a male main character, isn't it?

Shibata: Since the previous game we've had people saying they want a male protagonist, so we introduced one. He is the younger brother of the mother of the Amakura sisters from Fatal Frame 2 - in other words, he's their uncle, Kei Amakura.

Kikuchi: And he was also a friend of Mafuyu, Miku's older brother. This links them together a little bit.

Shibata: When you put in a man, they always end up seeing belligerent. This isn't the kind of game where you punch ghosts, so we worked hard to stop that happening as much as possible. He's slender but not a feminine character, so he's the kind of male character who fits in with the Fatal Frame world.

—How does Kei get involved?

Shibata: He's a non-fiction author, and he's looking into urban legends. As he chases down the rumours of spiriting aways, he gradually becomes involved.

Kikuchi: I've heard from people watching the testers who played Fatal Frame 1 that when a ghost popped up they would be scared and tap the shutter button, so he's a character geared towards those kinds of players.

Shibata: He can only store up one point of spirit power, so all you can really do once you get the ghost in the viewfinder is snap as many photos as you can.

Kikuchi: That's when the amount of film you have becomes key.

Shibata: He's the kind of character who uses up film quickly. However, he can't drive back strong ghosts no matter how many photos he takes, so it's also important for him to hide. When a roaming ghost appears, you can hide in the shadow of a screen or something like that and pick up items. For example, the ghost's treasured hairpin...

Kikuchi: He's a total thief!

—Does he have any keywords?

Shibata: Kei is the only one who has no keywords for his appearance, but rather from his ability. His keywords are "rapid fire", "hiding" and "unlucky with women". Even as he hides and explores, he's constantly clung to by female ghosts.

Kikuchi: That last one isn't an ability!

Shibata: All of the women in the house go after him. It's this scary but happy situation of being earnestly pursued with a, "I won't let you go..."

Kikuchi: Why would you be happy about that!?

Shibata: There are three protagonists in this game, so we have the cool and mature Rei, the Japanese-style and cute Miku, and Kei with his woman troubles, which I think keeps the balance.

Kikuchi: I don't know about the woman troubles thing, but each of the three characters have their own unique gameplay styles, so I think you will feel a freshness when you play as each of them.

—Thank you. Next time we will be talking about the sound, one of the important elements of the game. Thank you for your time.