E3 2015: Zooming In on Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Nintendo’s Treehouse Live @ E3 stream has saved some of the best for last. Today, the stream showed off Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. The latest installment of Nintendo and Koei Tecmo’s cult survival horror franchise had a trailer uploaded on Nintendo’s YouTube channel and a link on their E3 site, but little else. Now, we finally get some English footage of this creepy game.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Smile

Smile, you’re on camera!

The presenters not only dimmed the lights on stage, in keeping with the tone of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, but prefaced the gameplay footage with a disclaimer regarding its Mature-rated content. And, indeed, there was much in the way of that in this stream. The main setting of this game, Mt. Hikami, is based on what is known to be a prime suicide spot in Japan, the cutscenes did not shy away from graphic gore, and the Fatal Frame series is known for being quite scary to begin with.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Knife

See what I mean? I’ve spared you from the most graphic bit here, but this is just fine for the kids…

In the footage presented, Yuuri, one of the three main protagonists, searches Mt. Hikami for more clues on the disappearance of her cohort Hisoka, as well as a girl named Fuyumi. There wasn’t much in the way of story detail other than that, but the stream did show off some of the new gameplay tricks in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. One of the new ways a ghost can hurt your character is merely by way of you attempting to pick up an item. Also, there is a lot of rain on Mt. Hikami, and the water is not exactly ordinary—if your character gets too wet, their defenses will be lowered when attacking ghosts.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Hand


Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water uses the Wii U GamePad as the Camera Obscura, the ghost-killing device that serves as the hallmark weapon of the Fatal Frame series. The combat system looks to be quite intuitive, as the GamePad’s gyroscope lets players aim squarely at the ghosts to get a Fatal Frame, that eponymous final blow. As in previous installments of the series, survival horror plays a prominent focus, and this means that recovery items are strictly limited. In addition, the main characters in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water can wear special costumes that have different status effects, which can be unlocked throughout the game.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water - Maiden

She’s moving quie fast.

From the footage in this stream, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water looks to be worth the wait for survival horror fans looking for something new. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will release sometime this fall in North America and Europe.

About Will Whitehurst

Will joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign soon after news broke of that infamous French interview about Xenoblade. Subsequently, he got actively involved and became a staff member in July/August 2011. He is currently the head of the Japanese translation team, and loves to play, discuss, debate and learn more about games. Will gravitates towards unconventional action games and RPGs, but plays pretty much anything except Madden. He is also currently attending college, honing his Japanese skills and preparing for medical school. (Coincidentally, Trauma Center is one of his favorite game series of all time.)