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Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterly [Director's Cut]
Writen by MaruDashi
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 06:33:15 pm


(cover art for the American release Xbox version of Fatal Frame 2)

Basic Info

Genre: Survival Horror [single player]

Release: 2003 for PS2, 2004 for Xbox [director’s cut]

Rated: M

Other names: Zero: Akai Cho [Japan], Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterflies [Europe]


Mio Amakura and her older twin sister, Mayu, find themselves trapped in “The Lost Village” [also known as Minakami Village, which translates to ‘All God’s Village’]. Armed with only the ‘Camera Obscura’ the girls must battle through the dark village, against the malicious spirits who once inhabitant the village, and try to find a way out.


The Amakura twins Mayu [left] and Mio [right]


You control Mio in the game who is trying to track down her butterfly-chasing sister Mayu. There are a few points in the game where you will take over Mayu, however these don’t last very long and are in place to help clue the player in on where to look next. You must go through the village in search of clues to help you and your sister escape, as well as having to find your sister at several different points during the course of the game.

During your investigation, you will be confronted by several hostile ghosts, using the Camera Obscura [a camera that ‘captures’ spirits in its film] to defeat them. As the game progresses, you learn the history of the village including why it is covered in eternal darkness, the importance of twins to the village, and its ritual and sacred sacrifices.

Battle System

Along side your health bar will be a ‘filament’. This will glow red for hostile ghosts [attacking ghosts] and blue for hidden ghosts [ghosts that are needed for the spirit list]

Once in camera mode, the player will notice the ‘capture circle’. When being attacked, the circle will load, generally based on how close the ghost is to Mio. The higher the load the capture circle fills, the more damage the shot will do. There are also instants where the ghost will move in a certain way, thus causing the capture circle to turn red. A shot taken at this time is known as a ‘zero’ shot, and does a good deal of damage. If timed correctly, waiting a few seconds when the capture circle is red will [in most cases] cause the small bulb above it to flash repeatedly, indicating that the ghost is extremely hostile at this point. Taking a shot when the light flashes gives you a ‘fatal frame’ shot, which does roughly the same damage as zero, and allows you to [given that its timed right] hit the ghost again an additional 2-times [in other words, a fatal frame is a combo attack].

Power ups:

The player can use ‘spirit orbs’ collected in the game along with points earned from photos to power up their camera. This allows film to load faster, inflict more damage, and allow shots to be taken from a greater distance.

The player can also find power up lenses that will also give a boost to the damage inflicted on the ghost, under the circumstances that they are equipped and are charged up.


Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly was placed in ‘The top 10 scariest games of all Time’ in the following publishings/sites:

Gametrailors: number 2

X-Play: number 3

GameInformer: number 1

PS2 vs Xbox

The original PS2 version came out 2003 and was released as the ‘Director’s Cut’ for the Xbox in 2004 with several new features. The features included:

-FPS mode

-Survival mode

-Additional unlockable costumes

-New ghosts

-Additional ending

-Additional difficulty mode

-Item shop

-Enhanced graphics

Personal Opinion

After having played the game on *numerous* occasions [I have a game file with +7 game plays] this game never gets boring. There is just about always something to do, especially with the Director’s Cut version of the game. Once the game is beaten, the player has the option to go to Mission Mode [of which 25 missions are given, usually along the lines of “beat these 6 ghosts in under 2 minutes” or “get the best shot possible”], Survival Mode [where you have to get from the start of the village to the ritual spot without being touched by a ghost], or move onto the games harder modes [for the Xbox version, they are normal, hard, nightmare, and fatal. Fatal is not on the PS2 version of the game and starts with easy rather than normal]. Even if everything is completed, the player is still given the challenge of earning a high rank and completing the spirit list. These two are no easy task. Of course, the rewards for completion are well worth it.

The downside of the game is that it can get a bit slow or tedious at times, but no game is perfect. Theres also the frustration of coming to rescue Mayu only to find that shes no longer in the spot you left her. Ive also *personally* grew accustomed to the much faster-paced ghosts of the first and third games of the series, so the ghosts in 2 seem to be a bit slow and sluggish, however making it ideal for someone whose just getting into the series as opposed to the first game.

The controls are fairly easy to use and can be changed if the player isn’t comfortable with them, the only downside would be for those who are used to the PS2 settings as opposed to the Xbox settings.

The story is extremely well written and is backed up with some very nice cut scenes. Theres also a few ‘side quests’ that allows you to learn more about a few ghosts and their involvement with the village. The ghost themselves are very creative and well made [although some argue about a certain ghost being a rip/tribute of The Ring’s Sadako] and have very well thought movements to enhance the games creep factor. Compared to other survival horror games Ive played [Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Doom 3, Dead Space, Siren, Alone in the Dark] Fatal Frame takes the cake as the best of the bunch. The FPS option on the Xbox version amps it up with the inability to see all your surroundings as you would in TPS.

Overall, I give the second installment of the Fatal Frame series a well deserved 9.5/10

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