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Tecmo-Koei is a company that is either absolutely loved or reviled for some of the games they’ve produced. For instance, there’s their Warriors’ series, Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi which combines the two franchises together into one crazy mythos. The series is loved by many, but also hated by many and for the longest time was trashed by professional reviewers. There is the Ninja Gaiden reboot, of which the first two games of the series are critically acclaimed and considered some of the more difficult games in modern gaming. And there’s Dead or Alive, of which the fifth game of the series is one many are looking forward to. All of these are wonderful games, and well worth playing.
But if you love TK, you know there is one series developed by them that does not get the love and gold carpet treatment that it so rightfully deserves. That series is known as Fatal Frame. Yes, that Fatal Frame, a survival horror series that while niche, is beloved by most whom play it, and well received for breaking the mold of survival horror. While the Fatal Frame fanbase is small, it is incredibly devoted and very passionate. Those who have played the Fatal Frame games and absolutely loved them have gone on to tell others about their experiences with the franchise and have brought in either more fans to the series, or have brought people to the table whom want to check the games out.
What makes these games special? Well, as stated in the previous paragraph, the Fatal Frame franchise is different from other survival horror titles. No guns, gore or zombies here. Oh no, you’re dealing with a different type of undead. That in the form of ghosts. And your weapon of choice? A camera, or to be more specific the Camera Obscura as it’s known as in game, an old, flash camera that was created by a mysterious scientist. It is said to have the power to exorcise hostile spirits.
The story for all the games always takes place somewhere in Japan, and usually revolves around things of occult nature, including bizarre rituals that go horribly wrong with a disaster following shortly afterward that wipes either a mansion, a village, etc. off the face of the earth. Your protagonist then takes on the challenge of making things right, or not, depending on how things go. Now on paper this might all sound a bit boring, but when it’s executed in game, it is truly magical and at times very creepy. In most survival horror games, audio recordings and note reading are not what I would deem as the good bits, but in Fatal Frame? They are easily some of the best parts. The backstory of the mythos is genuinely twisted, and there are some moments within the games that will genuinely freak you out. That is what makes the series so special.
Many people had a mixed reaction when it was found out that Nintendo of all companies purchased partial ownership of the Fatal Frame license, considering the treatment of the fourth Fatal Frame title, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. A Wii exclusive that never left Japan. Many were upset, but instead of resting on their laurels, a team got to work on translating the game to English so those whom wanted to could play it. Regardless, some years later they did publish the spin-off Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for the 3DS in North America well before the European release date. However, the other half of the equation, Fatal Frame Deep Crimson Butterfly (as suggested by the now defunct magazine Nintendo Power) AKA Project Zero 2 Wii Edition, has not been released in North America of yet. This has made many fans and people whom are curious about the franchise extremely unhappy.
The thing that puzzles many is the fact that the IP is partially owned by Nintendo now, so to not release the game in all regions of the world would be a head scratcher. Why stymie the growth of a newly purchased IP? Perhaps they think there wouldn’t be enough money in order to invest in a North American release? That is where we are determined to prove them wrong, and this is where Operation Zero comes into play. The series deserves much more exposure and popularity than it has right now, and this is why Operation Zero was originally formed. The creator of it just didn’t have the time or energy to devote to running it, but deserves the credit as without her, Operation Zero wouldn’t even exist.
So our objective is clear, show Nintendo there is definitely a market here in North America, and convince them to release the game in this region of the world. Then show that there is growth and opportunity for the franchise to blossom on the Wii U as well. We’ve run overall a positive campaign and have brought in some devoted fanbases to the cause as well, including being mentioned by Destructoid and GoNintendo which actually caused a surge of new members to join.
We feel Nintendo of America has a golden opportunity here. Even with the impending release of the Wii U, they could release a few more great games for the Wii here in North America either later this year or early next year, considering they said they will be supporting the Wii even after the Wii U is launched, and advertise them as being fully compatible with the Wii U. This gem is one of them. It is a remake of the original Fatal Frame 2 Crimson Butterfly which was released first on the PS2, with an enhanced Director’s Cut for the original X-Box done a year later, and is hailed by many as one of the scariest games of all time, as well as the best selling and most popular game in the series. Who knows? Operation Zero remains hopeful and determined, not just for this game, but for the very future of this series.
For the full background of how Operation Zero came to be, you can check out the interview we had with Operation Rainfall here and to join you can either click on the banner at the top of the article, or just click here (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/pages/Operation-Zero/131582506953973).