Fatal Frame, known as Project Zero in Europe and Australia as Zero (零, Zero?, this is a pun; this kanji is normally read rei, which can also mean "ghost") in Japan, is a survival horror video game series, so far consisting of four games and a spin-off. The first and second games in the series were released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, the third game is only available for the PlayStation 2, and the fourth game has been released exclusively for the Wii. The series deals with ghosts, exorcism, and dark Shinto rituals.
Created by Tecmo, Fatal Frame is one of the most well received survival horror games to date. The main object of the game is to solve a mystery which is linked to old Japanese superstitions. The player's main enemies are ghosts; a few are friendly, but most are not. The only form of defense is a camera obscura, which allows the player to exorcise ghosts by taking a picture of them and seal their spirit in the film.
Chief producer of Fatal Frame, Makoto Shibata, described the inspiration for the game’s haunted house, "In an area outside Tokyo, there lies a mansion in which it’s said seven people were murdered in a grisly manner. On the same property, there lie three detached residences that surround the mansion, all of which are rumored to have ties to the mansion’s troubled past. It’s said there is an underground network of tunnels that lay beneath the premises, but nobody knows who made these tunnels or what purpose they served. Many inexplicable phenomenon have been reported occurring on the property. Bloody hand prints have been found splattered all over the walls. Spirits have been spotted on the premises… even in broad daylight. A narrow stairway leads to an attic where a spirit-sealed talisman is rumored to be locked away. Men have sought this talisman, only to be found later with their bodies broken and rope marks around their wrists. There’s a crumbling old statue of a woman in a kimono, and then it has no head. If you take a photo of a certain window, a young girl can be seen in the developed picture. These incidents have provoked fear in the people of Tokyo, and many believe that those who live near this area will become cursed. The deaths of those seven people are unexplained to this day."[who?]
After having received no news for over a week, Miku Hinasaki goes into the Himuro Mansion to look for her missing brother, Mafuyu Hinasaki. She finds no trace of her brother save for her mother's old camera. Realizing that she is now trapped within the mansion, Miku continues searching for her brother and a way out. The game was later ported to the Xbox. The Xbox version included smoother graphics, more ghosts and an exclusive "Fatal Mode" that can be unlocked by completing the main game.