Fatal Frame, titled Zero (零ゼロ) in Japan and Project Zero in Europe, is a Japanese survival horror video game series created, published, and developed by Koei Tecmo (originally Tecmo). Debuting in 2001 with the first entry in the series for the PlayStation 2, the series consists of five main entries. The series is set in 1980s Japan, with each entry focusing on a location beset by hostile supernatural events. In each scenario, the characters involved in the present investigation use Camera Obscura, objects created by Dr. Kunihiko Asou that can capture and pacify spirits. The series draws on staple elements of Japanese horror and is noted for its frequent use of female protagonists.
The series was conceived by Makoto Shibata and Keisuke Kikuchi. After being introduced to the PlayStation 2 hardware and after the success of the Silent Hill series, the pair decided to develop a horror series inspired by Shibata’s own spiritual experiences and popular Japanese horror films of the time. Their main goal was to make the most frightening game experience possible. Later installments have refined the gameplay mechanics while also adding more complex narrative elements.
The series has received critical acclaim, being ranked alongside other horror series including the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series, and individual games have been ranked among the best survival horror games in existence. While the sales of individual games have never been high, the series as a whole has sold over one million copies worldwide as of April 2014. Multiple Japanese media adaptations have been made, including manga and a 2014 live-action feature film.
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