|Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse|
Zero ~Tsukihami no Kamen~
|Developer(s)||Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.|
Nintendo SPD Group No. 4
|Publisher(s)||Nintendo Co., Ltd.|
|Release date(s)||July 31, 2008 (Jap.)|
CANCELED for US
CANCELED for PAL
|Ratings||CERO C (15+) (Jap.)|
Zero ~Tsukihami no Kamen~, known as Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse to players of the fan-made English language translation patch, is a Nintendo Wii exclusive, Japanese survival horror game and the fourth installment in the Fatal Frame series. It is the prequel to the original Fatal Frame.
It was the first game of the series to not be developed and/or published by Tecmo, the first to not be released to a PlayStation console and also the first game of the main series to never be released outside of Japan. Fatal Frame IV was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Nintendo on July 31, 2008 in Japan.
Fatal Frame IV employed a brand new story and gameplay elements exclusive to the Nintendo Wii.
The game centers around the motifs of the moon, memories and masks, and the dominant color throughout is a vibrant yellow, alluding the brightness of the moon against a dark sky.
Ruka Minazuki looks towards Rougetsu Island as she approaches it from a boat. She travels to the island, her old childhood home, in hopes of uncovering memories she doesn't recall. She finally journeys to the island herself after two of her friends, Misaki Asou and Madoka Tsukimori, went themselves and have yet to return. The three girls are the only survivors of a kidnapping incident that occurred on the island ten years ago, however they have no recollection of the incident. They were rescued by a detective named Choushiro Kirishima, who found them underground, on the eve of the island's ceremonial Kagura dance. Shortly after the incident, the five kidnapped girls and their families were taken to live away from the island. However, a mysterious incident occurred on the island two years later, and none of its inhabitants were left alive.
Now two of the kidnapped girls have died, and Ruka, Misaki and Madoka have taken it upon themselves to find the truth behind the island's mysterious deaths and their lost memories.
- For more details see: Fatal Frame IV Chapters
- The story set in 1980. in the beginning of the game, Madoka Tsukimori and Misaki Asou were seen wandering around Rougetsu hall, an abandoned sanatorium built for the Luna Syndrome sufferers. Madoka was separated from Misaki and forced to wander on her own. She encountered visions of spirits on her way and managed to enter the Asou museum,where she found the Camera Obscura. Using it, Madoka defeated her first spirit but later succumbed to the curse itself and was spirited away.
- After an unknown amount of time passed, Ruka Minazuki, a friend of Madoka and Misaki as well as one of the original five children who escaped from the island, was seen playing piano and recalling some memories; two of her friends, Marie and Tomoe had died by an unexplained cause of death and Madoka and Misaki went to the island and never returned. She also remembered the time when her mother was ill and told her not to visit the island. Wanting to uncover her memories, as well as to find Misaki and Madoka, Ruka returns to the island and to Rougetsu hall
Tecmo, developer of the previous titles of the series, revealed the game was going to be released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii console. This signals a major break for the series, with the previous three titles having been released on Playstation 2 and eventually, Xbox.
It was revealed the game would be developed with the help of Grasshopper Manufacture.
The project was delayed, apparently to make way for Grasshopper's No More Heroes, which was subsequently released toward the end of 2007.
Adding confusion and speculation about the game's development, in January 2008, it was revealed that Nintendo would play a heavy role in the game's development, with directorship roles shared between Shibata Makoto, who had previously been involved in the direction of the Fatal Frame series and Goichi Suda (commonly known as Suda 51) from the previously mentioned Grasshopper Manufacture. Although the game seemed to joint effort between Tecmo, Grasshopper and Nintendo, it was revealed that the game was going to be published under the Nintendo banner, further fueling speculation that Nintendo has purchased the Fatal Frame franchise from Tecmo.
The game was released to the Japanese audience in July 31, 2008, however, release outside of Japan has been canceled. Reasons for the game being canceled overseas have not been clearly stated, as Tecmo has referred fans to Nintendo, and vice-versa.
Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America spoke in an interview with MTV Multiplayer concerning the game's publishing rights:
|“||We are not the publisher of that title in the Americas. So I can’t comment on it… I don’t know if it has a publisher.||”|
Tecmo has also responded to fan inquiry with the following statement:
|“||Nintendo holds the publishing rights to 'Fatal Frame Wii', which was developed by Tecmo LTD. and Grasshopper Manufacture and released in Japan on July 31, 2008. Nintendo of America has since then decided not to publish the title in North America – consequently, the title will not be released in this territory. As the owner of the IP, Tecmo feels very unfortunate that the fans of the series in North America will not have a chance to play the game, but respects the final decision made by Nintendo of America.||”|
Currently, the title will not be published in any territory outside of Japan.
Glitches and Bugs
- Coded Memo Glitch
- After receiving the Encrypted Memo (暗号のようなメモ) in the Third Chapter, going immediately to the Doctor's Lounge on the 2nd Floor will cause the game to freeze. To avoid this glitch, the player must be sure to go to the Director's Office on the 1st Floor and enter the three-digit code (276) on the intercom first.
- Ghost List Glitch
- It is impossible to get every single ghost on the FF IV ghost list (there are 233, but it can only be obtained 227 of them). Completing the Spirit List is supposed to unlock the Festival lens, but the Festival lens is unobtainable through normal means due to the glitch. However, through the use of Ocarina codes or using a hacked save file with the lens unlocked, it is possible to obtain the Festival lens without completing the ghost list.
- Spirit List entries affected: Numbers 32, 101, 107, 176, 182, and 211.
- Spirit Points Exploit
- Because of the above glitch, the six affected ghosts can be photographed repeatedly for their full points value. This makes it possible for players to earn several thousand points per ghost.
- Item Glitch
- After clearing the game, there is an "unlockable" item on the Extras menu that cannot be unlocked.
Fan Translation Patch
In response to Nintendo and Tecmo's statements regarding the overseas cancellation of the title, a group of dedicated fans decided to create a patch that would allow imported copies of Fatal Frame IV to be played with any Nintendo Wii system. The patch is designed to bypass the console's region-locking feature and allow physical copies of the game disc to be played. In addition, the patch team translated in-game text into English and efforts to translate into more languages are currently underway.
The patch was released on the team's website for free download on January 17, 2010.
As of March 13th, 2010 the official website appears to be offline but alternative links to download patch content can be found in the 4.3 guide linked below.
Wii users with a 4.3 menu need to follow special instructions to get the patch to load properly. The official one on the Patch site seems to have vanished but a new one has recently come into existence. Fatal Frame IV 4.3 English Patch Guide
English Dub Project
Another team of Fatal frame/Project Zero fans were working on an English-Dub project, however, this has been cancelled and will not be released anymore.
Keisuke Kikuchi (producer) and Makoto Shibata's (director) thoughts about the game:
Sales in Japan
Fatal Frame IV was released on July 31.
Below is displayed the weekly results based on Media Create and Famitsu's software sales charts (number of sales vary depending of the chart):
Below is displayed the number of units sold in Japan according to VGChartz:
Japan: 0.08m (100.0%)
Rest of the World: 0.00m (0.0%)
As of February 21st 2015, 0.08m units were sold. 
- The game's official image color is yellow.
- The main themes in Fatal Frame IV have been specified as "moon," "memory" and "masks."
- The game's main theme is Zero no Chouritsu, performed by Tsukiko Amano, and its ending theme is NOISE, also performed by Amano.
- This is the first game in the Fatal Frame series to not be released for the PlayStation 2.
- Chronologically speaking this is the first game in the series, taking place in 1980, 6 years before Miku Hinasaki stepped into the Himuro mansion
Fatal Frame IV Mask of the Lunar Eclipse trailer (subbed)