Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is the fourth installment in the survival horror series created by Tecmo.
Rougetsu Island used to be a lively place and home to many people. But it's also the place where Ruka Minazuki was kidnapped by You Haibara, alongside Misaki Asou, Madoka Tsukimori, and two other girls, with the intent to have them participate in a ritual called the Kiraigou. While they ended up rescued, they have repressed the memories of this event.
That was a decade ago, and the island has become abandoned and haunted by spirits of the island's inhabitants. Misaki and Madoka return to the island, having seen their friends die of an illness called Getsuyuu Syndrome and worry that they'll be next. They hope that their investigating of Rougetsu Island will unlock their memories and hopefully save them from their friends' fate.
At the same time, Choushiro Kirishima, the private detective that rescued the girls, has gone back to the island. He returned because he heard that You Haibara has gone back himself, and he's intent on bringing Haibara to justice.
Meanwhile, Ruka Minazuki returned to the island because she wants to unlock her own memories. Her goal is not to recall the details of her kidnapping, but because she hopes it will allow her to remember her father's face.
The game was released on the Wii in 2008. Currently, it's the only game of the Fatal Frame series that has not been released outside of Japan. It was also co-developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, and is the first of the Fatal Frame games after Nintendo became a partner in developing the franchise.
There's a fan-made English patch that translates the game's text into English.
Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse contains the following Tropes
- Abandoned Hospital: Has an abandoned hospital and abandoned sanitorium to explore.
- Arc Symbol: The moon. It's everywhere, from its relation to Luna Sedata Syndrome to a good chunk of the cast having the kanji for moon (月; tsuki/getsu) in their surnames.
- Masks are also present throughout the game and play an important role in Rougetsu Island's culture, especially where the Kagura Dance is concerned.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Sakuya sees Ayako as very different from how she's portrayed. Though it's implied that Ayako is Sakuya's daughter, so she might be biased."That child goes around with an air of evil and fear around her, but I know she is really very gentle and vulnerable."
- Artistic License Engineering: The Spirit Stone Flashlight can take pictures, just like a camera.
- Artistic License Medicine: Luna Sedata Syndrome's symptoms are more akin to mental illness note , but it's depicted as a terminal infectious disease that only infects other people under specific circumstances. In other words, it's a mental illness that can not only spread to other people, but only on Rougetsu Island and it will also kill its victims once it progresses to the "Blooming" stage.
- Big Damn Heroes: The final cutscene of Fatal Frame IV has Ruka trip and fail to place the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse on Sakuya. Choushiro's spirit appears and places the mask in her stead, appeasing Sakuya and breaking the curse.
- Body Horror: 'Blooming' is portrayed as a person's face melting and distorting.
- BrotherSister Incest: It's implied that Ayako is the daughter of You and Sakuya Haibara.
- The Cameo: The game includes a Luigi and Zero Suit Samus costume.
- Creepy Doll: Kageri's twin-sister doll, Watashi. While she looks human, she has no eyes and the paint on her skin is chipped in places. She stumbles around and approaches the player while fighting Kageri.
- Darker and Edgier: This game ramps up the scare factor from the previous games. Nearly every enemy ghost now sports one hell of a Nightmare Face thanks to Art Evolution, and are a lot more threatening this time around.
- Dead Man Writing: One of the notes found begins this way."When you see this, I will no longer be in this world."
- Decoy Protagonist: Madoka gets killed off after about fifteen minutes of gameplay.
- Disappeared Dad: Ruka left the island with her mother, with her father staying behind. She cannot remember his face anymore. When Sakuya bloomed and roamed the island, Ruka's father was among those killed. Ruka has a momentary reunion with him, after breaking the island's curse.
- Discovering Your Own Dead Body: Fatal Frame IV has Choushiro Kirishima's story involve reliving the events leading up to their death and ending when they come across their corpse in the same location they first woke up in.
- The Dragon: Souya Yomotsuki, the creator of the titular mask and Ruka's father. He was among those at fault for the last Kiraigou to have failed, and has to be defeated before facing Sakuya.
- Dual Boss: Kageri Sendou and her twin-sister doll Watashi. Although Kageri is the actual target that needs to be defeated, with Watashi mostly acting as a very aggressive distraction that attacks the player.
- Dub Name Change: Getsuyuubyou can be translated as tranquil moon disease. The English patch chose to call it Luna Sedata Syndrome.
- Dying as Yourself: Some patients with advanced Getsuyuu Syndrome have chosen to commit suicide, wanting to die while they still retain some semblance of their self.
- Easy Amnesia: Justified, as amnesia is a symptom of Getsuyuu Syndrome.
- Enfant Terrible: Ayako. She is really cute, but also very cruel and insane.
- The Faceless: Any ghost that Blooms. Special mention goes to Sakuya, who constantly blooms.
- Fate Worse than Death: Blooming continues postmortem, as shown on multiple occasions.
- Four Is Death: There are four stages of Luna Sedata Syndrome: Budding, Breaking, Resonance and Blooming. Victims typically die in the Blooming stage.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Ayako has nothing but more cruelty on her inside.
- Jiggle Physics: Ruka gets jiggle physics on her butt when wearing the Zero Suit.
- Kick the Dog: Ayako is a walking example of what she does.
- Left Hanging: Misaki's fate remains unanswered, unless the player gets the Photograph ending.
- Lighthouse Point: The final location to visit and where Sakuya gets fought.
- Like Father, Like Son: Sakuya and Ayako love dolls very much.
- Madness Mantra:
- Several can be heard when exploring the basement at Rogetsu Hospital.
- Then there's this part of an Apocalyptic Log:It hurts!!!So much fun!!/It hurts the fun much hurts/The surgery is fun It hurts/I the surgery fun/fun nn it hurts ss/hate fun nnn/hurts ss/ssss...
- Multiple Endings
- Canon Ending: Beat the game on any difficulty. Ruka manages to calm Sakuya enough with the Tsukimori song, but cannot place the Mask onto her. Kirishima's spirit appears and puts it on Sakuya instead, allowing her to channel all the spirits into the netherworld. Kirishima leaves with them, and Ruka manages to see her father's spirit and remember his face, before he leaves with the ghosts, too. Ruka calls out after him.
- Photograph Ending: Beat the game on Hard. The events are the same, but the credits add photographs to them. They show what happened to Misaki, after she was last seen having fainted upon remembering Sakuya and the real identity of 'Miya'. Madoka's spirit appears before Misaki and smiles at her, before she leaves with the other ghosts.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
- Dr Haibara wanted to perform the Kiraigou, the forbidden version of the Kagura Dance, because he wanted to study the intricacies of the Getsuyuu Syndrome, in the hope that it would allow him to cure his diseased daughter. Unfortunately, the Kiraigou ended up failing and caused the simultaneously-playing, usually safe Kagura Dance to fail, too. The dancers of the latter ended up dying, his daughter Bloomed and fell into a comatose state, and it eventually resulted in a second Day Without Suffering occurring two years later.
- Souya Yomotsuki believed that the first Day Without Suffering occurred because the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was flawed and not done properly, which he was actually correct about. He set about re-creating the Mask as best as he could. He failed to realize that the Kiraigou required not only a decent Mask, but also for a descendant of the Tsukimori clan to perform the Tsukimori song during the ritual. Without the right mask and song, the ritual was bound to fail.
- Nightmare Face: Blooming distorts a person's face beyond recognition. And it's so bad that a person afflicted with Getsuyuu Syndrome worsens upon merely looking at someone who is Blooming.
- Nearly every enemy ghost in the game sports an incredibly terrifying face as they try to attack you.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: The Dead All Along Choushiro appears just in time, as Ruka tripped and failed to put the mask on Sakuya. He then succeeds in doing so.
- Obvious Beta: The game contains a Game-Breaking Bug that was never fixed, and it also has a broken Ghost List that is impossible to complete, without hacking the save-file.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Said by Madoka's spirit when fought.
- Room Full of Crazy: Every patient's room in Rogetsu Hall except for Sakuya's room, and that of the various protagonists. It's believed that the symptoms of Getsuyuu Syndrome can be lessened, if the patient is allowed to indulge in their obsessions. Which included coffins and mannequin parts for some.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Any death caused by the failed Kiraigou. Since nobody was supposed to die during this ritual, merely sending the dead spirits onward.
- Some Dexterity Required: This game introduced motion controls to the series, with the camera now being controlled by the WiiMote, and swinging it vigorously leading to the character turning around.
- That One Case: Kirishima is determined to bring You Haibara to justice. It costs him his life.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Rougetsu Island used to be known for its festivals, particularly the Kiraigou, which was a dance ritual that sent the spirits of the dead on to the netherworld. However, when the Kiraigou failed and created the Day Without Suffering, it became forbidden to perform and even mention it. A more casual Kagura Dance was done instead. The island is also the place where Getsuyuu Syndrome appears, an illness that deteriorates the diseased mentally before eventually killing them. In the Haibara Hospital and sanitarium, the doctors are performing some inhumane experimentations to figure out more about the Getsuyuu Syndrome. And Dr Haibara was the one to plan the forbidden Kiraigou to be performed again, eventually creating the second Day Without Suffering.
- Turns Red: Ghosts that don't wear masks can Bloom when their health is low. Their face becomes distorted and a faint violin shriek is added to the soundtrack. Blooming ghosts are unpredictable and much stronger than before.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: The Ghost List has 233 entries, but six ghosts cannot actually be photographed because of a glitch, meaning the list remains incomplete with a total of 227 entries. This results in the Festival lens being unobtainable, as it unlocks upon completing the Ghost List.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Souya Yomotsuki was willing to help perform the Kiraigou again, having believed to have figured out what went wrong the last time. He forgot that a Tsukimori descendant needed to perform the Tsukimori song during the ritual.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Haibaras performed unethical experiments on their patients, and many ended up dying from them. But it was in an attempt to learn more about the Getsuyuu Syndrome and hopefully cure those afflicted with it.
- Zombie Gait: Watashi stumbles around towards the player while hostile.