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Video Game / Fatal Frame II

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The Japanese cover, featuring Mayu and Mio

Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is the second entry of the Fatal Frame Survival Horror series created by Tecmo.

Twin sisters Mio and Mayu Amakura pay a final visit to their favorite childhood playspot in Minakami, which is soon to be destroyed in construction. Mayu follows a crimson butterfly, leading both of them trapped in an abandoned village. As they explore, they are attacked by hostile ghosts, and Mayu later goes missing. Mio discovers that she and her sister are forced to relive the events of the village's final day and becomes determined to rescue Mayu.

The game was released on the PS2 in 2003, and was given a Director's Cut onto the Xbox in 2004. The Director's Cut added a new ending, more costumes to unlock, and a higher difficulty.

The game was remade for the Wii in 2012, and released in Japan and Europe under the subtitle Deep Crimson Butterfly. The remake included updated graphics and took over the motion control-based camera mechanics from Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, while also refining those mechanics. It includes two new endings, accessible areas, and an optional mission mode called Haunted House that was run by Lady Kureha, a new character added for that mode.

Fatal Frame II contains the following Tropes

  • Age Lift: Deep Crimson Butterfly aged Mio and Mayu from 15 to 17.
  • Always Identical Twins: All of the twin pairs in the game are identical twins, not fraternal. Mio and Mayu have their different outfits and hair parts as their Identical Twin ID Tags.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • The PS2 version has 8 costume unlocks for Mio and Mayu: Sets A (pink and blue yukatas) and B (navy blue and black butterfly yukatas) for beating Normal Mode, Sets C (mini yukata) and D (twin shrine maiden kimonos) for beating Hard Mode, Sets E (recolored default outfits) and F (school uniforms) for clearing Mission Mode with all S+ ranks, Set G (gothic lolita outfits) for clearing Mission Mode, and Set H (black and red leather outfits) for beating Nightmare Mode. The game was also the first to include unlockable accessories: glasses for Mio (beat Normal Mode) and Mayu (clear Mission Mode).
    • The Xbox version kept all the original unlocks, but changed up how they were unlocked: Set D was locked behind Nightmare Mode, Set E was locked behind the new Survival Mode and getting an S+ rank, Set G was locked behind completing the Spirit List, Set H was locked behind Fatal Mode. This is in addition to adding 4 more accessory sets (visors, Halloween masks, fox masks, and a hachimati for Mio and a kabuto for Mayu) and 6 more costume sets: Set I (blue and pink bikinis) for beating Normal Mode, Set J (Deception-based costumes) for beating Hard Mode, Set K (Dead or Alive-based costumes) for clearing Mission Mode, Set L (flower bikinis) for beating Nightmare Mode, Set M (silver and gold bikinis) for beating Fatal Mode, and Set N (blue and red bikinis) for beating Survival Mode.
    • Deep Crimson Butterfly has it's own separate sets of costumes and accessories, but the unlock methods are vastly different than the older versions: only the Bunny Ears accessory is unlocked by beating the game on Hard difficulty; getting the Crimson Butterfly ending unlocks the Summer Uniform costume and the Crimson Glasses, Titanium Glasses, and Pastel Shades accessories; the Shadow Festival ending unlocks the Crimson Yukata and Shadow Yukata costumes and the White Fox Mask and Crimson Fox Mask accessories; the Frozen Butterfly ending unlocks the Crimson Bikini and Blue Bikini costumes and White Lily Hair Ornament and White Plumeria Hair Ornament accessories; the Hellish Abyss ending unlocks the Crimson Bikini & Skirt and Blue Bikini & Skirt costumes and the Eye Patch accessory; getting over 100 of the Spirit List spirits unlocks the Maid's Tiara and Maid's Headdress accessories; getting over 150 of the Spirit List spirits unlocks the Black Stockings and White Stockings costumes; and getting the Promise ending unlocks Mario and Luigi costumes.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The flashlight doesn't work in the Kurosawa House, but it's the most well-lit location in the entire game, so the player isn't forced to stumble around in the dark.
  • Ascended Extra: Yae Munakata was a hostile ghost in Fatal Frame, having committed suicide at Himuro Mansion. Her importance was nominal, at best. This game gives her a much larger role, revealing her to be Yae Kurosawa, the twin sister of Sae.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sae and the Kusabi were the ones to release the pain of the Repentance onto the village.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Promise Ending allows Mio to grab Mayu just before she falls into the Abyss, and the two leave the village together.
  • Body Horror: The Mourners have their eyes sewn shut.
  • Bowdlerized: As per usual, the European release of Deep Crimson Butterfly removed the bikini costumes.
  • Bugs Herald Evil: Inverted Trope for the most significant matter, the twin-killing ritual, but as a whole played straight—the ritual is done to appease the Hellish Abyss and presumably keep it from killing people.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The major theme of the game. The Crimson Butterfly ritual involves the human sacrifice to be choked to death, and being reborn as a crimson butterfly.
  • Creepy Doll: The Kiryu House is filled with dolls, as Yoshitatsu Kiryu was a dollmaker.
  • Creepy Twins: Surprisingly, for a game about twins destined for ritual sacrifice, three of the four pairs seen in game are just normal people. But the one set of creepy twins more than makes up for that. The Kiryu twins are the youngest known girls to have performed the Crimson Sacrifice at about eight years old and are seen dressed in dark grey kimonos with greyish skin and long black hair hiding most of their faces. But what really sets them apart is that one of them is a life-sized doll, created for the surviving twin to help her cope but it became possessed by a spirit that compelled her to murder her father.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The ritual to create a Kusabi involves the chosen sacrifice to be cut over and over, with the intent of keeping them alive that way as long as possible, before throwing the still-alive sacrifice into the Abyss. It's specifically stated that the more painful it is, the better the Kusabi.
  • Cutscene Incompetence. Mio drops the Camera Obscura while being chased by Sae, and leaves it behind for a while. She's never this clumsy for the rest of the game, even when violently shaking off a ghost.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: A trailer showed Mio running after Mayu at top speed. Her running speed in-game is a light trot, at best.
  • Dead All Along: Minakami Village is filled with nothing but ghosts, so the revelation of Itsuki being dead is not really surprising. But it's noteworthy because of the way it's presented to the player.
  • The Dragon: The Kusabi slayed the villagers on the behest of the Repentance, and plays second-fiddle to Sae. However, he's the final boss for several difficulties and endings.
  • Driven to Suicide
    • Yae and Sae's mother committed suicide because she couldn't stand the thought of living with the knowledge that one had to kill the other.
    • Itsuki committed suicide while imprisoned, believing to have failed everyone.
  • Dual Boss
    • The Kiryu twins are fought together, except that the doll cannot be harmed with the camera. But attacking her does provoke Akane to attack, and she has to be defeated to win against both.
    • Mission Mode offers a mission where Sae and The Kusabi are fought together.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The Frozen Butterfly ending added in Deep Crimson Butterfly performs a twist on the canon ending, making it one of the more frightening ones. And it's one of the hardest endings to achieve, since it requires the player to trigger specific events during a short section of the game, and beat Sae without entering Dark Return.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
    • The Hellish Abyss ending was the nicest of endings in the original version, being the only one that allowed both twins to survive. In order to achieve this ending, the player had to complete the game on Hard or Nightmare mode. The Xbox version required the player to finish the game on Fatal mode. And Deep Crimson Butterfly changed the requirements to having triggered the events, manage to defeat The Kusabi within 5 minutes, and having to beat the True Final Boss with a Fatal Frame shot in the middle of Dark Return.
    • The Promise ending added for the Xbox version was the happiest ending, letting the twins survive, letting Mio keep her eyesight and giving closure to Yae and Sae. To achieve the ending, the player still had to play in Nightmare mode, but also had to defeat The Kusabi within a minute. Deep Crimson Butterfly had the same requirement with The Kusabi, but the player mustn't have viewed any of the specific events.
  • Escort Mission: Mayu accompanies Mio for half of the game. She cannot defend herself against the ghosts, merely cowering in fear while hostile spirits are around. She's mostly invulnerable to ghosts, as she can be defeated on higher difficulties. However, she's also an excellent excuse to get Fatal Frame shots from ghosts, if they choose to attack her.
  • Event Flag: Deep Crimson Butterfly added four scenes the player can trigger during Chapter 8, as long as Mayu is still with Mio. Watching or not watching these can alter what ending the player obtains.
  • Eye Scream
    • The Mourners have their eyes sewn shut.
    • Anyone who looks into the Hellish Abyss gets blinded.
  • Fright Beside Them: When Mio and Mayu first enter the abandoned village, Mayu's hand emerges from Behind the Black to give Mio a reassuring shoulder squeeze. Only after Mio squeezes back does Mayu walk past her from several feet away. By the time Mio turns around, there's no one there...
  • Ghost Butler: One slams the door shut when Mio enters the Kurosawa House.
  • Guide Dang It!: There are a great deal of ghosts who appear during small timeframes in places that you have no reason to return to. The small sidequest involving Masumi is easy to complete, but starting it requires to revisit a part of the Osaka house after you've already done everything story-relevant there. Then there's the ghosts that don't make the filament react (only showing static on screen) , or those only available on later playthroughs with Sense activated. In short, you will need a guide to catch every ghost in this game.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Mayu is the twin sister the player needs to protect, and the game makes it clear that she needs help because she's weaker and slower than Mio from an old knee injury. While Mayu is a little tedious to deal with due to her slow speed, she can be used as bait for getting the best shots against ghosts, so she does help out. And Mio blames herself for Mayu's injury although Mayu purposefully fell to keep Mio bound to her through an injury and guilt. Near the end of the game, if you choose to abandon Mayu in the final chapter and escape the village alone, it results in a Game Over. The game won't even let this count as an actual ending.
  • Hellgate: The village sits on top of one and almost every one of the rituals you come across in game are done to keep it sealed.
  • Hereditary Twinhood: Ryokan Kurosawa was a twin who has twin daughters of his own. However, due to Minakami Village having a ritual based around One Twin Must Die, he was the only one left by the time said daughters were born.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Crimson Butterfly ending has Mayu urge Mio to kill her, to prevent the Repentance from happening again.
    • The Shadow Festival ending has Mio choose to stay by Mayu's side, too late to stop the Repentance.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: In the Promise ending, Mayu is terrified of growing distant from her twin, while Mio assures her that the two of them will never part.
  • Honor Before Reason: Minakami Village considers it an honor to be chosen for the Crimson Butterfly ritual. Itsuki disagreed.
  • Hope Spot: Chapter 8 has Mio unlock the Underground Passageway in the old shrine, which leaves her and Mayu free to escape the village. Several villagers catch up to them and grab Mayu before they reach the shrine.
  • Hourglass Plot: Mayu's knee injury has led her to become dependent on Mio. In the Hellish Abyss ending, Mio's blindness leads her to become dependent on Mayu.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • The Crimson Butterfly ritual requires one twin to kill the other, turning them into a crimson butterfly and appeasing the Abyss.
    • The Kusabi ritual involves horrendous torture being done to an outsider, as an alternative to the above ritual. The longer and worse the outsider has to suffer, the better the resulting Kusabi and appeasement.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: There are some small difference between Mio and Mayu. Mio’s hair is short with her bangs swept on the side with a gap, her skirt is white and she wears dark leggings. Mayu has slightly longer hair with a straight fringe, doesn’t wear leggings and has knee-high boots. Mio also runs faster than Mayu due to Mayu suffering from a leg injury.
  • Incest Subtext: The Yandere like feelings Mayu reveals to have towards Mio in some endings qualifies. Also Sae seems really excited to "become one" with her twin sister Yae.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Mio picks up a flashlight in the Osaka house, which never runs out of energy. It doesn't work in the Kurosawa House because of the malevolent energy within, but it's the most well-lit location, so the flashlight is not needed.
  • Jiggle Physics: Deep Crimson Butterfly added some bounce to Mio's and Mayu's breasts.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The Shadow Festival ending in Deep Crimson Butterfly has Mio be too late to stop the Repentance from occuring at the Abyss.
  • Laughing Mad
    • Sae has an iconic, deranged laughter. Whenever she's around, she's more noticeable because of her constant cackling and laughing.
    • Deep Crimson Butterfly proves that Mayu has one as well, particularly in the Frozen Butterfly ending.
  • The Load: Mayu is slower than Mio because of her injured knee, and she has no means to defend herself against hostile spirits. She helps on a few, rare occasions where she stands on switches, but she keeps disappearing as soon as she leaves Mio's sight. The latter is justified, as she's possessed by Sae.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • The first entry of the Violet Diary, written by the Kiryu twins, which has "Why kill? Why kill? Why kill? Why kill?" The Deep Crimson Butterfly version has "WhydoIhavetokillherWhydoIhavetokillherWhydoIhavetokillherWhydoIhavetokillher"
    • The fourth fluorite crystal has Sae chanting "Kill me, kill me, kill me..."
  • Memento MacGuffin: Certain ghosts leave behind gemstones that include their messages and final memories.
  • Mistaken Identity: Every ghost thinks Mio and Mayu are Yae and Sae. Even Itsuki calls them nothing but that.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Non-Standard Game Over: In the Lingering Scent / Long Road Home ending, Mio leaves the village without Mayu, but sees Sae closing in on her. She wakes up in the forest as if everything was All Just a Dream, but Mayu is nowhere to be found and remains in the village, waiting for Mio.
    • Downer Ending: In the Crimson Butterfly ending, which is the canon ending, Mio arrives at the Abyss and ends up influenced by the atmosphere and the village's spirits, leading to her strangling Mayu as part of the Crimson Butterfly ritual. Mayu dies and turns into a crimson butterfly, with Mio running after her and begging for forgiveness.
    • Bittersweet Ending: In the Hellish Abyss ending, Mio manages to defeat Sae, but she is now permanently blinded from accidentally looking into the Hellish Abyss and becomes dependent on Mayu. Deep Crimson Butterfly requires the player to have seen all the event flags and defeat the True Final Boss in Dark Return with a Fatal Frame shot.
    • Golden Ending: In the The Promise ending, which was first added in the Xbox version, Yae and Sae leave Mio and Mayu's bodies and complete the ritual themselves. The ritual is completed, allowing all the spirits of the village to move on. Deep Crimson Butterfly requires the player to not have seen the event flags, and to defeat The Kusabi within a minute.
    • Together in Death: In the Shadow Festival ending, which is exclusive to Deep Crimson Butterfly, Mio arrives at the Abyss and sees Mayu, who is sad that time has run out. The Repentance cannot be stopped and will take place within seconds. Instead of escaping, Mio and Mayu choose to be together and relive memories of being at a summer festival. The two remain as spirits in Minakami Village.
    • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In the Frozen Butterfly ending, which is exclusive to Deep Crimson Butterfly Mio defeats Sae, but Mayu is still intent on going through with the ritual. When Mio refuses, Mayu strangles her. In The Stinger, Mayu is seen applying makeup to Mio's head in the doll room.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Itsuki's plan to have Yae and Sae escape Minakami Village before they have to go through with the ritual was well-intended. He wanted to prevent the two of them of having to go through with the ritual, and save Yae the guilt of having to kill her sister, as Itsuki did with his brother. It almost worked, but then Sae fell behind and was forced to do the ritual alone because Yae wasn't there, causing the ritual to fail and the Repentance to be unleashed.
  • Nostalgia Heaven: The Shadow Festival ending in Deep Crimson Butterfly shows Mio and Mayu having a vision of a summer festival they visited when younger. Mayu got separated from Mio in the crowd, which likely sparked her obsession of being 'together' with her sister.
  • One-Hit Kill
    • Getting touched by The Kusabi when he's in the great hall room in Chapter 3 results in a Game Over.
    • Getting touched by Sae when Mio doesn't have the Camera Obscura in Chapter 7 results in a game over. When reaching the True Final Boss, the player must quickly take a Fatal Frame shot of Mayu in order to force Sae to appear and be fought, as being touched also spells instant death. This is averted for the actual battle against Sae, who doesn't have a one-hit kill, though she can deliver enough damage for one on Nightmare mode. Deep Crimson Butterfly altered the battle against Sae, with her now having a one-hit kill, regardless of difficulty.
  • One Twin Must Die: The Crimson Butterfly ritual occurs every ten years in Minakami Village. One twin must kill the other, in order to appease the Hellish Abyss. The previous ritual with Itsuki and Mutsuki failed, forcing Yae and Sae to have to step up sooner than expected. Since Yae wasn't there for the ritual, Sae was forced to do it alone. The ritual failed and the village was destroyed.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Mayu will beg Mio to not run too far ahead. She also mumbles this while she's temporarily stuck in the Repentance cell. Mayu's accident was her purposefully falling off a cliff, to burden Mio with enough guilt to make her never leave Mayu.
  • Red String of Fate: In a non-romantic example with the Crimson Butterfly ritual, the twins are dressed in white kimono that are joined by a thick, red sash at their waists. It's meant to symbolize how they were one person born as separate people, but will 'become one' through the ritual. Flashbacks to Sae's ritual, and Sae herself, depict her with a broken, red sash.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The main symbol in the game are red butterflies, which are supposed to be twins previously sacrificed to watch over the hellish abyss. If you look closely at Mio and Mayu’s blouses, you’ll see they have red ribbons, which look like red butterflies.
  • Run or Die: Mio loses the Camera Obscura in Chapter 7, forcing her to flee and dodge any hostile ghosts until she manages to return to the spot and pick it back up.
  • The Scottish Trope: The Hellish Abyss is never named in in-game documents, only being referenced with a red splat symbol, due to its corruptive influence.
  • Senseless Sacrifice
    • Itsuki performing the ritual with Mutsuki. Their ritual failed, meaning Mutsuki died for nothing.
    • The Crimson Butterfly ritual turns out to be a temporary solution. Had Yae and Sae gone through with the ritual and succeeded, a new set of twins would have had to carry out the ritual after ten years. That being said, Itsuki's reason to have Yae and Sae flee the village was because he didn't want the two of them to suffer his situation, not that he thought it would stop the ritual for good. And he ends up committing suicide upon realizing that his plan only made things worse.
  • She Will Come for Me: After being caught by the villagers, Sae was convinced Yae would return for her. Unfortunately, by the time Yae realized Sae had been captured, she could not find her way back to the village.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog
    • In the Crimson Butterfly ending, both twins end up falling under the influence of the village's spirits and perform the ritual, with Mio killing Mayu. The entire game was pointless because everything Mio went through was to protect Mayu, only for it to not count for anything. Even finding the Camera Obscura wouldn't have helped, as the same events would have occured, had both been possessed by spirits upon entering the village.
    • In the Frozen Butterfly ending in Deep Crimson Butterfly, despite Sae being exorcized from her body, Mayu insists on going through with the ritual. Mio refuses and Mayu kills her. Now Mayu is stuck in the Minakami Village, with her sister's corpse as company. At least Mayu seems happy...
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sleep Cute: The final shot of the Shadow Festival ending shows Mio and Mayu resting together underneath a golden kimono. They're dead.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • Every Remaining twin ends up feeling guilt over having gone through with the ritual. Itsuki knows that his love for his brother made the ritual end in failure, meaning Mutsuki died for nothing. Akane was heartbroken over having killed her twin, to the point that her father had to make a life-sized doll to shake her out of her stupor.
    • Yae's survivor's guilt was so strong, she ended up repressing the memories. Her spirit can be seen crying at the gate to the village, horrified that her escape attempt, and failure to have gotten to Sae in time, indirectly caused the Repentance.
  • Theme Song Reveal: Mayu admits to falling off the cliff on purpose when you're battling Sae, but this requires listening closely to the BGM and figuring out who is talking.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Yae and Sae both use the character "serious" (e) in their names. Itsuki and Mutsuki both have the character "moon" (tsuki) in their names.
  • These Hands Have Killed
    • Mio's horrified reaction upon completing the ritual.
    • Itsuki says this verbatim.
      "Yae, the reason I am imprisoned here is because I have sinned... with these hands."
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Minakami Village looks peaceful at first. They have the Hellish Abyss underneath it and perform human sacrifices to it in rituals, to appease it for some time. The biggest rituals being the Crimson Butterfly ritual, where one twin must kill the other, and the Kusabi ritual, where an outsider gets subjected to cold-blooded torture as long as possible.
  • True Final Boss: Fulfilling certain requirements leads to Sae being the final boss, after the Kusabi.
  • Turns Red: Deep Crimson Butterfly gave hostile ghosts the ability to enter Dark Return. They become surrounded by a purple aura, become much faster and stronger, many gaining One-Hit Kill abilities.
  • Twins Are Special: Essentially the entire premise of the game. The Crimson Butterfly Ritual is based on this due to the belief that twins are actually one person born in separate bodies, and therefore are unnatural, thus the death of one allows their spirits to become one again.
    • All of the twins are shown to have deep bonds with one another to their own detriment, in most cases:
      • Akane had a mental breakdown and lost touch with reality after killing Azami.
      • Itsuki and Mutsuki cared more about each other than serving the village. This is why their ritual failed.
      • Sae has an unhealthy obsession with Yae and looks forward to 'becoming one' with her, so they never part.
      • Mio makes her way through the dangerous village to make sure Mayu is safe, while Mayu is worried that her sister will grow apart from her, and they will no longer share the closeness of when they were children.
  • Twincest: Overlaps with Incest Subtext since no characters actually act on it, but the obsessive feelings Sae has for Yae and Mayu is revealed to harbor towards Mio can qualify.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Yoshitatsu Kiryu was devastated to see Akane lifeless after Azami's death, and he created a life-sized doll in Azami's image to pacify her. The doll ended up possessed by a malevolent spirit, stealing Akane's soul, and killed Yoshitatsu when he tried to dispose of it.
  • Vanishing Village: Minakami Village came out of nowhere, even called The Lost Village. When Mio leaves the village, with or without Mayu, it disappears again.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The objective of the game is to ensure Mayu leaves with Mio, safe and sound.
  • Video Game Remake: This is the only Fatal Frame game that has received a remake, so far. Deep Crimson Butterfly was made for the Wii, taking over a lot of Fatal Frame IV's mechanics.
    • The graphics have been updated, featuring more detailed environments and redone cutscenes. Several of the costumes have also been redesigned to be more detailed and elaborate in the back because of the new camera position.
    • It uses an Always Over the Shoulder camera orientation, compared to the previously fixed camera angle.
    • Refined motion control for using the camera, and holding a button to pick up items. This was to include the mechanic of a potential ghost attacking, while Mio is reaching for an item.
    • An unlockable Haunted House mode, where the player proceeds down a determined path in first-person perspective, with various objectives included, like capturing pictures of ghosts or obtaining items.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yoshitatsu created a life-sized doll of his dead daughter to help Akane deal with the trauma of having killed her. It helped for a while, but then a malevolent spirit possessed the doll, stole Akane's soul, and killed Yoshitatsu.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 8 turns the tables on all expectations. Mio believed that she would end up killed at the ritual, since she's the younger twin. But the village is using the old-fashioned way of counting twins, believing that the older twin "allows" the younger twin to be born first. Mio isn't supposed to be killed. Mayu is.
  • Wham Line: When Mio rushes off to find a key to free Mayu from the Repentance cell, Mayu drops this.
    "Dear sister, are you leaving me again?"
  • You Are Worth Hell: The Shadow Festival ending has Mio choosing to remain with Mayu as the Repentance occurs, knowing they cannot outrun it. They choose to suffer through it, as long as it means they're together.

Alternative Title(s): Fatal Frame II Crimson Butterfly