Fatal Frame IV: EXPLAINED! Finally! Part 1: The Very, VERY Beginning
Articles Blog

Fatal Frame IV: EXPLAINED! Finally! Part 1: The Very, VERY Beginning

August 24, 2019

Hey guys, its Exorsizzle! I’m finally here to talk about Fatal Frame
IV, the most confusing game ever. This game literally makes me want to kill
myself. I’ve probably been working on just trying
to figure out how to explain everything for 2 months now
because its that complicated, at least to me, maybe I’m dumb, but I’m pretty sure no one has any idea what
is going on in this game. Nobody. A big reason for that is that the game was
only ever officially released in Japan. I believe the main reasons it wasn’t shipped
overseas were that 1) NoA at least didn’t want it because it was too buggy and Nintendo is a “family
console” and 2) previous Fatal Frame games didn’t sell enough
overseas to warrant a translation team and new voice actors. It was just a really shitty situation for
the Fatal Frame series at the time. This led to the creation of the English translation
patch by a large group of dedicated Fatal Framers. I am very grateful for the patch because otherwise
there’s no way in hell I could ever play this game, but at the same time I don’t think they got
everything right in their translations. My reasoning for this is that the game made
pretty much zero sense to me even after playing it 4 or 5 times
until I watched girlgamergab’s playthrough where she translated everything herself. GirlGamerGaB is a Dutch woman living in Japan
as a professional translator between Japanese, Dutch and English. Prior to translating Fatal Frame IV, she translated
the fifth game before it even came out and she got pretty much EVERYTHING right. It made just as much sense as the official
translation and in some ways was even BETTER. You can disagree with literally everything
I say in this video, this is just the way the game makes the most sense to me. I’ll be using mostly GaB’s translations with
some of the translation patch mixed in as well to fill in some blanks. So to begin with, lets first talk about the
ancient Kiraigou or Homecoming, one of Rougetsu Island’s oldest and most mysterious
rituals. The homecoming has been going on since around
300 years ago, possibly even longer ago than that if the Yomotsuki family weren’t the ONLY
mask makers ever. Or maybe the Homecoming didn’t even involve
masks until Souan, the first Yomotsuki to get involved made the first Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. There is no evidence for this as far as I
know but it is possible. Five girls around 7 years old were chosen
by the Tsukimori Shrine Maidens, yet another semi-ancient
ritualistic family on the island to become accompanists, or Kanade in the translation
patch, based mostly on if the girls had a strong
lunar melody or not. If someone has a strong lunar melody, it generally
means that they have a really good grip on reality and that they have spiritual power of some
sort because they’re actually closer to the afterlife than the rest of us. I’ll come back to lunar melodies in a minute! First lets talk about what a vessel is. A vessel, or utsuwa was a woman chosen for
her psychic abilities. She would meditate with her five accompanists
in the Hall of the Unconscious Mind for 100 days
to purify herself. She would forget everything, returning her
to Area Zero, the place of origin and in a way, the afterlife. This actually caused some vessels to contract
Getsuyuu Syndrome, but we’ll get to what that means. The second purpose of meditation was for everyone
to become one with their masks and maybe even for everyone to become in tune with the main strongest
lunar melody, or Tsukimori Song. The vessel would wear the Mask of the Lunar
Eclipse, the most special mask of all, and the accompanists would wear one of 5 masks
based on what instrument they were in charge of during the ritual. As far as I know, there wasn’t really a method
to deciding which girl got which instrument. Either because they were listening to the
Tsukimori song every time they meditated or because the masks were really just that hypnotizing, the girls eventually learned how to play the
Tsukimori Song perfectly and used it to open the door to the Hall of the Afterlife where the Kiraigou
was performed once every 10 years on the night of a total lunar eclipse. During the Homecoming, the accompanists stand
in the same circular formation they had meditated in previously
with the vessel in the middle and play their respective instruments. By playing the Tsukimori song, the girls guide the island’s excess spirits
into the vessel. If the vessel properly meditated and managed
to return to Area Zero while still maintaining her sanity and therefore her connection to earth, she
acts as a medium through which all the dead souls can return to
the point of origin, or the other side. Area zero. Heaven. Whatever you want to call it. Apparently the otherside is a hole in the
ocean though and this still confuses me to this day. I have looked up and down for an explanation
for why this is, but i couldn’t find anything in game. the only one I could find was on the zero
wiki without a souce. Here’s the quote: “The reflection of the dark moon on the sea
becomes a hole through which the souls of the dead depart guided by the successful utsuwa,
who becomes the channel through which they all flow.” If there is a note on this, GaB missed it. Let me know if you know where it is! By sending the spirits back to Area Zero,
the lunar noise surrounding the island is cleared and everyone can hear their own lunar
melody again, giving them back their sense of self and most
of the time curing their Getsuyuu Syndrome. Getsuyuu syndrome is caused by too many lunar
melodies layering up on top of each other to the point where nobody can hear
their own lunar melody anymore. A lunar melody basically represents a person’s
soul. The sound will change in pitch depending on
what the person is feeling, but the underlying melody never changes. Here’s an example: -really high pitch version of the song-
-really low pitch version of the song- Even though most people can’t consciously
hear lunar melodies, not being able to subconsciously hear your own lunar melody does cause a person
to slowly lose their sanity and sense of self. Its kinda weird, but this is the best example
I can think of: Imagine if you could hear literally everybody
both living and dead talking over each other 24/7. If we’re going on humans alone thats supposedly
108 billion people, so first of all I’m pretty sure you’d go deaf if they were condensed enough but more relevant
to this example, you literally wouldn’t be able to hear your own thoughts or think straight. You’d lose your fucking mind or in this case
your “soul!” Thats how Getsuyuu Syndrome starts, and thats why the Kiraigou MUST be performed. The Yomotsukis continued making the various
sacred masks for the Homecoming for 7 generations until Souetsu,
possibly the greatest asshole of all was born. He was actually a really great mask maker, and became the pride and joy of the island;
he even got to present a mask to the Emperor! The Emperor! Unfortunately, something really terrible went
wrong with Souetsu’s Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. The game is really vague on why this is, but
this is what Souya says: “He made a mistake when making it and then
used it in the forbidden area.” This translation is a little weird, GaB wasn’t
100% sure on it but still says its better than the patch, but this leads me to believe that Souetsu’s
mistake when making the mask was putting it on himself in order to reach the forbidden area, area
zero. If this is true which it may not even be, then that means he was probably driven crazy
and that explains why the mask came out so awful. Maybe wearing the mask convinced him that
the Day without Suffering would actually be best for everyone and thats why it ended up occuring. If he didn’t put the mask on, then something
went wrong in the process of making it so here’s what we know
about how to make the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse from the very few notes we find laying around. The main ingredient is the face of a dying
person who has not yet bloomed but has budded, meaning they have minor Getsuyuu syndrome
but they’re not quite completely gone yet and they’re still not contagious. I think the reason its this stage in particular
because at this point part of the dying person’s soul is here on earth, and part of their soul has returned to the
afterlife in a way, so theres a connection already embedded into their body and therefore their face,
allowing for an even stronger mask. After the face was cut off, it was brought
to the Hall of the Concious mind to bask in the moonlight for one night so that it could dry out and get purified. The game specifically states that you CANNOT
take the face out early which seems pretty obvious so maybe
thats a hint that this is what Souetsu messed up? After the skin was dried out, the mask was
supposedly painted black to reflect both the Lunar Eclipse it was modeled after, as well as the hole in the ocean leading to
the underworld. I’m not sure what was used to make this black
paint, but it would not surprise me one bit if it
was the blood of a dying person who had budded but not yet bloomed. The only notes in the game mentioning this
black paint are notes based on Souetsu’s failed mask, though, so I’m not really sure if this was something
they used to do before Souetsu’s time or if this was something Souetsu was the first person to do, in which
case maybe this is ANOTHER thing he messed up. We really don’t know unfortunately. Personally, of the theories listed above,
I believe that the most likely one is that Souetsu put on the mask and was hypnotized. We see the mask hypnotize many different people
in the game, convincing them that they want to put on the
mask and forget everything they’ve ever known. They want to forget all their pain. When Dr. Haibara writes about the Mask for
the first time, he pretty much says that he might be better off wearing the mask and forgetting his wife’s suicide and daughter’s
sickness, even though I’m pretty sure he knew that if you put on the mask it could
really REALLY mess you up. Dr. Haibara’s assistant, Shoji Katagiri, writes, “Whenever I see that mask, I feel like I’m
losing my mind… I think I even want to try it on myself.” This is some pretty strong evidence in my
opinion that Souetsu put on the mask, but I’m still not entirely sure how that messed
the mask up. The game does explicitly state that no one
is allowed to go to Area Zero while alive BUT the maiden wearing the Mask of the Lunar
Eclipse, buuut it doesn’t necessarily say that you
MUST be a maiden. It also doesn’t say anything about men partaking
in wearing the mask, just that you must have a lot of spiritual
power to be able to maintain your soul on earth while still visiting Area Zero. If you’re confused on how the selected vessels
or mask wearers visited Area Zero while still alive, think about it as dying for a few minutes
and then coming back to life. Your body didn’t leave, but your soul might have left and then it
came back to you, maybe only a fraction of what it once was, as is what probably happened in Souetsu’s
case. This seems like it would be very appealing
to some people, even without the hypnotic powers the mask already had to begin with, and I feel like the people it would most appeal
to are people that work closely with the afterlife and the human soul, making Souetsu a strong
contender. Anyway, the worst thing about Souetsu is that
after his mask messed everything up, most of the islanders decided to go around
and burn literally anything relating to Souetsu that they could find. They didn’t find everything of course but
they found enough stuff to put a serious dent in our understanding of who he was. Its bad. So, with that in mind, here is my conclusion:
I believe that Souetsu put on his own Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
and either tainted it with his non-maiden not spiritually sensitive soul, or he just went crazy and decided to do stuff
to the mask he wasn’t supposed to do. I really have no idea which one of these things
it is, like I can see it being either one. Personally, I’m leaning towards he just went
crazy and did random stuff to the mask, I don’t think he tainted it, cause that doesn’t necessarily make sense…
but maybe it does… I don’t know, let me know. Something about him tainting it just doesn’t
seem plausible to me… But, Allison, why is this important? What did Souetsu do to the island, and what
happened afterwards? We’re still like 200 years back in time from
1980 when the game takes place, why are you leaving us hanging, Exorsizzle? Well, I will answer all of those questions
in the next part hopefully! I think that the Fatal Frame IV part of this
series is going to be split up into 3 or 4 parts. Its a huge hecking game, its very very complicated. Hopefully I can get it down to 2, but I don’t
like my videos to go on for more than 10 to 15 minutes. I’m really sorry I have to split it up like
this. Hopefully I’ll be back within a week or two
since these videos are shorter than regular ones, Sooo make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss
the next part! Like and comment! Let me know what you think! (not about these
subs lolol theyre so bad pls forgive me) Let me know if this made sense! Let me know if you still have other questions
and things you want me to cover in future videos! I don’t know what to explain in Fatal Frame
IV because there’s so much. hecking. stuff. I cannot tell you how much stuff there is
in this hecking game. Oh my god. Tell me what is confusing you and I will try to figure it out because I
am probably just as confused as you are. Anyway, I love all of you, I hope you’re all
having a fantastic day and goodbye! Remember! You can only suffer (you’ll besuffer? be supper?)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. i think the mask lost its earthly conection thanks to Souetsu wearing it, if it is necesary to make a new mask every ritual then they must be one-use only so Souetsu wore the mask but when it was reused during the ritual the mask had already lost its power

  2. Yes, I love evelien! She is a great translator. Also I love your fatal frame videos.

  3. No offense… But the story isnt that complicated. It just takes a lot of attention to detail and talking out why something happened. I understood the story after my 2nd playthrough. The story is extremely interesting, and it is fun to bounce ideas and theories off of friends and other people that have also played the game. The English patch translated everything correctly, and left it to the player to shift through what information was actually useful. While playing through the game a 2nd time, you start to catch hints and meanings behind otherwise useless letters or mumbles on the phone. All it takes is a bit of time and a lot of concentration and the story behind the game really comes out.

    If you're ever interested in bouncing theories and ideas, let me know.

  4. As for the portal on the ocean I might be able to shed a little bit of light on the concept. So here is my story, I studied Shintoism as a religious study while in a collage in Japan. My teacher, who was also foreign, was explaining the concept for "Yomi" or the Shinto afterlife. She believed that there might be a connection of Tsukiyomi's name being Tsuki like moon and Yomi being the afterlife spoke to the nature of the god Tsukiyomi and explained that there are some that believe that the moon is connected to the afterlife some going so far to believe that Yomi is on the moon. Very few believe that however because it would counter with the Kojiki's description of it being deep in the earth. I feel like the developers might have tried to represent the idea of the moon's connection to Yomi by it's eclipse acting as an opening to Yomi rather than the moon being Yomi itself. The only source I could find to back up this connection in a quick search is on the Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto Wikipedia page which refers to it as a pun.

    Now as a post script I'll say that this belief doesn't appear to be common especially as Shintoism in Japan is less concerned with death rather than with life itself. My professor going so far as to speak with as many Shinto priests as she could about these subjects and only finding a few that would entertain the ideas. I'm also not overly knowledgeable about the subject since it wasn't my main focus of study in collage.

    I just powered through all of your videos and I'm looking forward to more. I'd say doing side stories of fatal frame would be a good idea for videos like Spirit camera and maybe even the Fatal Frame movie. If you need there are always the novels as well.

  5. I played the english patched version and understood the story, i agree that some parts are confusing though. Gg gab's walkthrough helped me in some points, thank you for linking her channel
    the updated patch can be kind of tricky to find btw, there are quite a few files floating around and the links i found to the latest patch to use with the disc were taken down, i only found the final, most stable version in a .wbfs file.
    out of curiosity, did you use the modded save with the buggy ghosts unlocked?

  6. I think I may know why the souls go into the hole in the sea! During the real japanese Obon festival, the spirits of the dead are invited back to dwell with the living for a time and when it's over, commonly processions are led by the people, (with priests and lanterns) to send them BACK to the afterlife, out to sea. If you google obon you'll see a lot of pictures of people using floating lanterns going down rivers, or out to the ocean, I believe this is a similar motif used for the departing path the souls take in this game. hope that helps and thanks for the hard work<3 ^^/

  7. Wow am so grateful for this series! After watching two playthroughs of this, I had no idea what was happening in the game or why…thank you! New sub!

  8. For both part 1 and 2 i loved,loved,loved,loved the parts about Sakuya! Also,I think I just broke the replay button.

  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Heavenly_Kings

    Small lil note, there is some history to instruments being linked to gods in Asian literature, this is really applicable to Majoras Mask (The four giants / the 4 instruments / the 4 areas), but I bet it can be applied to this game in terms of who is playing what instrument, and why.

    Overall though awesome, I've always wanted to play theses games and couldn't so awesome to see it explained like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *