Sep 17

Weekly Update #423: Mask Of The Lunar Eclipse

A little while ago, the MegaMan Battle Network Legacy Collection was announced and, in celebration of that, I dedicated a blog post to the franchise in order to talk about what a huge impact it had on my life, how both SHINRAI and GENBA no Kizuna might not even exist without it, and where you can find its influences in our projects.

Although the Fatal Frame (aka Project Zero in Europe) series didn’t have quite as much of an impact on my life, it was another huge inspiration and you can find a lot of its influence in my projects as well. In fact, without it, SHINRAI would definitely have turned out quite a bit different. So, with the fourth installment of the series recently announced to officially come to the West at last, I thought that, today, I’ll talk a little bit about Project Zero IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse!

The game originally released all the way back in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii. Back then, I had already been a huge fan of the franchise and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! Sadly, it never released outside of Japan which was a ginormous bummer to say the least.
Thankfully, though, a fan project not only translated the entire thing into English, but also made it playable on non-Japanese Wiis and so I imported a copy of the game and, despite quite a few difficulties, managed to apply the patches and get it to run on my console!

That was in early summer of 2010 (which was right around the time we had started thinking about developing visual novels and about a year prior to when I wrote the original version of SHINRAI) and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The plot and setting especially! I would even go as far as saying that Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is my favorite entry in the franchise (next to the third)!

It was very inspiring to me and, as such, naturally found its way into my own projects, similar to its predecessors. If you’re familiar with Project Zero, you will undoubtedly have noticed how it played into SHINRAI. And not just in the form of little Easter eggs and references here and there. It directly affected the plot and it’s therefore no stretch to say that, without the second game in the series in particular (Crimson Butterfly), the mystery in SHINRAI would look rather different now (and so would Raiko‘s back story).

If you have finished our little VN, you will also have noticed a bit of a supernatural element in its epilogue, which will be expanded on further down the line. I don’t want to say much about it yet, but it’s another aspect that was born from my love for Project Zero.

Now, to get to the just announced remaster of the fourth installment… how does that one play into what we’re working on?

Well, in regards to SHINRAI, I do remember using the very cover art as a reference when I was drawing the background for the entrance to the Miyamoto Mountain Resort, so it definitely played a bit into the design.

(My original Wii copy <3)

That’s kinda how I always imagined the resort to look like. That aside, there isn’t really much influence from the fourth game in SHINRAI, though. As I stated above, the second installment had a much bigger impact there.

Now, as for GENBA, I’ll properly talk about this once it’s actually released, but a simple little thing I can share for now is that the naming convention for locations was directly derived from Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (or Tsukihami no Kamen as the original Japanese subtitle is pronunced). That’s where Tsukihami Metropolis stems from, along with Rougetsu City (Rougetsu being the name of the island in Mask of the Lunar Eclipse).

I guess the biggest impact will be found in one of the sub plots in Withering Without Hope, but alas… that’s also something I can’t really talk about yet. All I can say is that Project Zero (and its fourth installment especially) will continue to have a significant impact on the future of SHINRAI, so if you’re unfamiliar with the series, I’d highly recommend checking it out. It is, without a doubt, my favorite horror franchise, and I cannot wait to finally replay Mask of the Lunar Eclipse after all these years, without having to go through a bunch of hoops and loops just to get it to run!

Anyway, I guess that about wraps it up for today. There isn’t much progress to report for this week, since I was primarily focused on the script and can’t really share anything about that either, unfortunately, sooo… rather than just type one quick paragraph, I thought I might as well talk about another of my favorite gaming franchises, which ended up becoming a rather important factor in the conception of SHINRAI. I really tried to keep it short, but if you find this intriguing, I’d sure love to talk about it more some time!

But for now, it’s back to work for me, so please enjoy the rest of your weekend and, until next Saturday, take care :3