Characters: Haunting Ground
The 18-year-old protagonist. Fiona was on her way home from college with her parents when their car was forced off the road. She later regains consciousness and finds herself alone in a cage, in the depths of an ancient castle, with only a bedsheet to cover herself. Though she has no recollection of how she wound up there, she quickly realizes her life is in danger and steps into the unknown in order to escape.
Hewie becomes her constant companion and her only line of defense against the dangers presented by the castle and its inhabitants... Fiona is a bearer of Azoth, the mystical essence of life. Everyone except Debilitas wants it for their own reasons, and they're more than willing to kill her for it. The mark on her back isn't a graphical quirk, but a symbol that shows that she has Azoth within her
- Actual Pacifist / Reluctant Warrior: "Why must I kill just to keep myself alive? I hate this place. I really do."
- Action Survivor
- Action Girl: A deconstructed example: Fiona's capable of defending herself, but in a very limited capacity due to her lack of athleticism. Her kicks are extremely weak (only strengthened by tougher boots) and shoving her pursuers tires her quickly, so fighting is best left to Hewie. To her credit, she eventually returns the favor when Hewie gets injured by Riccardo.
- A Girl and Her Dog: Both the game's narrative and the player's success hinge on the dynamic between Fiona and Hewie — covered in the Canine Companion and Relationship Values entries in his section.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Always maintains that pristine look, never getting sweaty or disheveled despite constantly running for her life.
- Beware the Nice Ones: "This time... you really are dead. You bastard."
- Blessed with Suck: Her body is full of Azoth, which is said to have many valuable uses, including eternal youth and immortality. Unfortunately, because it's such a precious substance, her captors also want to get their hands on it.
- Break the Cutie: She's kidnapped after her parents are run off the road in a fatal car crash and awakes to find herself locked in the basement of an old castle, where everyone and everything is either trying to kill her, or rape her, for her Azoth. Which she's never heard of and hasn't the faintest idea about. Then spends the entirety of the game running for her life, hiding in dark corners, and trying to protect her virginity. Thank God she's at least got Hewie to protect her.
- Damsel in Distress: Haunting Ground uses this as a gameplay mechanic, by making it so Fiona has to rely on Hewie as her primary means of defense. This is especially the case when she's in full panic mode and unable to move. And when she's being pursued, her only recourse is usually to run and hide until the danger's passed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not in any cutscenes, but some of her thoughts and comments throughout the game definitely have a snarky element to them.
- Fiona Grabs a Gun: She gets a six-shooter with her cowgirl costume, which changes her basic attack from a kick to firing shots. While this allows her to attack from a somewhat safer distance (it's only mid-ranged), the player has to take care not to accidentally shoot Hewie when trying to pet him.
- Girly Run: Hers is about the same as Yuna's.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Haunted Heroine
- Kick Chick: Fiona's basic attack. Gets stronger if she's wearing harder boots.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Is someone just trying to scare me?"
- Lust Object: Subverted. While Riccardo does desperately want to get between Fiona's legs, it's her Azoth that he's after, rather than her body. If he succeeds in impregnating her, she'll eventually give birth to his reincarnation. Daniella envies Fiona as a resultnote and attempts to Slut Shame her for it, by calling her vile (seen at 32:46-33:54)..
- MacGuffin Girl: As noted in her character summary.
- Ms. Fanservice: Fiona is one of, if not THE most intentionally sexualized character in all of gaming:
- Buxom Is Better: Jiggle Physics aside, Fiona is certainly the bigger between her and Daniella. The game will sometimes focus in on her chest, has Daniella groping it while Fiona sleeps, and it's large size is even acknowledged through thought dialogue, regarding how tight her clothing feels in the chest area.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Both her main costume and the hospital gown she wears near the end. The latter is so short that, at certain angles, you can see she's not wearing anything underneath it.
- Foot Focus: She's also clearly meant to appeal to foot fetishists, as many of the game's cutscenes feature close-ups of her bare feet. Such as the slow-motion sequence, during the opening cinematic (seen at 0:13-0:19). She's also barefoot near the end, while running around the castle in a hospital gown. The cutscene where she trips and falls, when Lorenzo comes after her, has another close-up of her feet as he reaches for them, and beating the game unlocks an alternate version of her default costume, which also leaves her barefoot. Meaning, you get to spend your entire New Game+ staring at her feet.
- Going Commando: Invoked twice, during the game. The first instance occurs at the beginning (noted under: Modesty Towel). The other is while she's wearing her "Under the Scalpel" costume. Justified since she'd been stripped down by Riccardo, while she was unconscious, so he could give her an ovulation test.
- Modesty Towel: She begins the game with only a bedsheet to cover herself. However, the "modesty" part is questionable, since it's semitransparent and if you pause at exactly 2:49 you can see she isn't wearing anything underneath. Making it the first of two times during the game.
- She's Got Legs: The camera makes sure you can't help but see 'em, especially during cutscenes where she's frightened and huddled on the floor.
- Nice Girl: Demure, polite, and certainly a kind pet owner.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Invoked during Ending "C", which is only possible with a New Game+ file. If Fiona spares Debilitas and visits him in his shack afterward, he'll give her the key to the main gate, which allows her to leave the castle early and effectively circumvent 2/3 of the game.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Fiona looks exactly like a younger version of her mother, Ayla◊.
- Took a Level in Badass: By the end of the game.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Optional at the player's behest, and doing so will lead to the worst ending of the game.
- Virgin Tension: Fiona's is constantly at risk, since Riccardo plans to rape her in order to impregnate her with himself. When he finds her unconscious in the forest, he even strips her down and gives her an ovulation testnote .
- When She Smiles: It's rare that you see it, given the circumstances, but it's almost angelic when she does.
An intelligent white German Shepherd Fiona found tied to a tree. Seeming well-cared for, he drives off Debilitas and becomes a valuable companion to Fiona. He is able to detect traps and nearby enemies, sniff out hidden items, and get items Fiona cannot reach. Like any pet, the more Hewie likes Fiona, the faster he'll respond to her call and commands. He is Fiona's main form of attacking and can be praised for doing good things and scolded for being disobedient. This ordinary dog seems to be Fiona's very key to escaping the castle.Being mean to Hewie will cause him to die and give you the worst ending in the game.
- Action Pet: White German Shepard that listens to you while ripping people a new one on demand? Yes please!
- Canine Companion: Hewie serves as Fiona's primary means of defense and is also required for solving many of the castle's puzzles. At other times, he's used to snag items that are in areas which are inaccessible for Fiona.
- Deadpan Snarker: His comments regarding Fiona or the situation tend to be rather hilarious and snarky, though they are viewable only on Hard Mode.
- Death by Newbery Medal: A requirement to get Ending D.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: He warns Fiona before Debilitas attacks. He'll also bark and growl if there's a stalker or death trap nearby.
- For Want of a Nail: Played with in the worst ending.
- I Will Protect Her: Proof that dogs can be a girl's best friend too.
- Killed Off for Real: This can happen, at least in Hard Mode, if you allow him to sustain too much damage without treating his wounds, which results in a Game Over screen.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Acts as this to Fiona.
- Pet Interface: As per the Canine Companion entry.
- Relationship Values: An important aspect of the game. How quickly and reliably Hewie responds to Fiona's commands depends entirely on how well the player treats him. However, if the player mistreats him, Hewie may ignore Fiona and, in extreme cases, he may even attack her, himself!
The mentally-stunted gardener of Belli Castle. He mistakes Fiona for a big doll and pursues her, but he harbors no murderous intent, he just wants to play. Problem is that he hugs her too hard
.Fiona can choose to let him live by dropping the chandelier on him during his boss fight, or she can end up killing him with Hewie and the stun bombs she finds scattered around the castle. On the second playthrough or beyond and if Fiona spared him on the previous cycle, using the chandelier on Debilitas will make him give you a castle key, which leads to Ending C
- Anti-Villain: Unlike every other stalker in the game, Debilitas is not out for murder and self-gain. He just likes playing with dolls, and seems to think Fiona is a much better toy than what he already owns. Think of him as a child who does not know his own strength, and has yet to learn how not to break his playthings.
- And Call Him George
- Bear Hug: This is how he kills Fiona if he catches her, hugging her until her ribcage snaps.
- Heel-Face Turn: Should Fiona spare him. He wasn't evil to begin with, though, just unable to understand the gravity of his actions.
- Defeat Means Respect: Happens if you drop the chandelier on him.
- Man Child
A maid with ethereal beauty, Daniella appears mostly emotionless and harmless to Fiona... at first.Daniella believes herself to be a homunculus, but is, in fact, a normal (though infertile) human woman. After being kidnapped at a young age, she was brainwashed into believing that her master, Lorenzo, created her to be the "perfect woman". However, she is unable to feel pain (which explains the blood on her fingers), has no sense of taste, and cannot feel pleasure. With feelings of being incomplete, Daniella is driven to insanity. She screams at her reflection, and wants Fiona's Azoth to be a complete being... even if it means cutting out Fiona's womb while she's still alive. She tends to swing back and forth between doing her duties as a maid, and has an extremely unnerving laugh.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: When she's not in Ax-Crazy mode (which she usually is), she'll behave like this mixed with Emotionless Girl.
- Ax-Crazy: She could quite easily be a contender for one of the most psychotic female characters ever in gaming.
- Become a Real Boy: Her ultimate goal. Except...she is already a real woman and not a homunculus as she believes herself to be, according to Word of God. And the most depressing part of Daniella's backstory is how, due to her upbringing, drug experiments, and abuse from Riccardo and Lorenzo, she never comes to realise that she was in fact human all along and didn't need to hunt down Fiona in a desperate attempt to be 'complete'.
- Broken Bird: Evidently became this after Lorenzo kidnapped her as a child. She can't remember her past, hates herself for being infertile, is implied to cut herself in an attempt to feel pain, and is used as a punching bag by the sadistic Riccardo. It's more than likely that these chain of events caused her to become The Stoic.
- Creepy Housekeeper: Before she goes bonkers, this is the impression one will get from her.
- Emotionless Girl: She appears to be this to a T at first, but she eventually subverts it HARD once she finally snaps and becomes full-blown Ax-Crazy.
- Homunculus : Or so we're led to be believe. She is, in fact, a normal human woman, odd tendencies and tears of blood or not.
- Giggling Villain
- Laughing Mad
- Mood-Swinger: After going full-blown Ax-Crazy, there are some places in her area where she will be completely uninterested in Fiona, having gone back to being an Emotionless Girl. The second you leave such an area, all bets are off.
- Not So Stoic: As Fiona will gladly tell you.
- Ojou Ringlets
- Peaceful in Death
- Pinocchio Syndrome
- Rage Against the Reflection: Really does not like mirrors, to the point where you can stun her by showing her one and causing her to stand still and scream for a bit.
- Statuesque Stunner: She appears to be very tall and she's very (eerily) beautiful.
- Uncanny Valley Girl: Oddly pale woman who neither smiles or moves naturally.
- The Unsmile: When she's not expressionless or Laughing Mad, she's somewhere between this and a Psychotic Smirk.
The hooded castle keeper, Riccardo is fully intent on making Fiona "his." He usually acts as Mr. Exposition
towards Fiona until......he reveals himself to be one of Lorenzo's many "failed" clones to be bearers of Azoth. Technically, he is Fiona's "uncle" and her father's "brother." His goal is to impregnate Fiona, so he can be 'reborn' with Azoth as a means to live forever. He succeeds in the worst ending.Lorenzo
An unseen figure who tries to help Fiona as much as he can. But what are his real intentions?Lorenzo is a genius (if mad) alchemist who made an elixir of life to cheat death. He tried to make clones of himself, all of them failing to produce Azoth except Ugo, Fiona's father. Ugo, against Lorenzo's wishes, married a woman named Ayla and left the castle, eventually fathering Fiona. Fate drew the family back towards Belli Castle, and the car accident sets the events of the game in motion. Lorenzo just wants to kill Fiona for her Azoth.
- Antiquated Linguistics: Calls Hewie a meddlesome cur when he attacks him. As he's in his young form at the time, it might be a subtle way to remind the audience that he's an immortal being from an earlier time.
- Big Bad: Lorenzo is behind virtually everything bad that happens to Fiona for the entire game - the reason the bastard's after her to begin with is because she was fathered by his only successful clone against his wishes. Disregarding Debilitas, every stalker after Fiona is his creation and has their sights on her because of the Azoth in her body.
- Bishounen Line: Goes through this when fought.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Dropped into a pit of lava. This takes several minutes to kill him.
- Devour the Dragon: A hidden cutscene after Riccardo's death shows Lorenzo dragging himself over to his body and sucking out Riccardo's remaining Azoth through the lips. This is why Lorenzo rejuvenates later, and if that amount of Azoth was able to turn a creepy dilapidated old man into a powerful young sorcerer, it's no surprise that he wants the Azoth bonanza inside Fiona's body.
- Dirty Old Man: He watches Fiona change through a peephole.
- Evil Redhead
- Expy: His old form looks remarkably like Ozwell E. Spencer.
- Immortality: Type X.
- Infernal Retaliation: After being defeated in his young form, he gets back up, while on fire (for the record, he's beaten by dropping him into a pit of lava). He then spends the next few minutes making a frenzied last-ditch effort to nab Fiona, killing her instantly if he manages to catch her. Fiona can't really do much except get the hell out of the castle and let Lorenzo burn himself out.
- Life Drinker: How he manages to stay alive. Used in conjunction with Devour the Dragon, as detailed above.
- Mad Scientist:
- Mysterious Informant
- Walking Spoiler: As one can see, it's very hard to say much about Lorenzo without giving a lot of the plot away.