Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Interview – Director Discusses Remaster & Possibility of a New Game

Twinfinite interviewed director Makoto Shibata about the remaster of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water for PS5, PS4, Xbox, Switch, & PC.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

The remaster of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (Also known as Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water in Europe) is about to be released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the horror franchise.

To hear more about the game, Twinfinite had a chat with series director Makoto Shibata.

Of course, we also asked him about a possible future for the franchise, with Shibata-san mentioning that he’d like to consider a possible new game given the positive response from the fans.

Giuseppe: What determined the decision to develop a remaster of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water?

Makoto Shibata: As it’s the 20th anniversary of the Fatal Frame series, we all really wanted to express our thanks to our dedicated fans so we decided to bring Maiden of Black Water, the latest entry in the series, to all of the current platforms.

Giuseppe: Is there any reason why the series has been dormant for seven years?

Makoto Shibata: Yes, this is because the director and myself have been involved in the development of other titles.

Giuseppe: Could this remaster pave the road for a new Fatal Frame game?

Makoto Shibata: This title was prepared for the 20th anniversary of the series, so we don’t have any plans at the moment. The reactions we have received from all of the fans have exceeded our expectations, so I’d like to consider this moving forward.

Giuseppe: The game includes quite a few new costumes. Of course, you couldn’t include the old Nintendo-dedicated ones, but how did you select the new ones?

Makoto Shibata: For this remaster, we prepared some costumes that showcase the personalities of the characters. For the Goth ensemble, we prepared a black one for Yuri and a white one with Japanese patterns for Miu. In addition, there’s a triathlon suit that Yuri wears when she goes cycling, which is her hobby. Also, Ren has a groom’s outfit which is related to the story.

Giuseppe: More and more Koei Tecmo and Gust games include a photo mode nowadays. Did you include anything special in this one?

Makoto Shibata: In addition to the settings that other games generally include, such as screen effects, we have added the ability to adjust the depth of field, focal length, and aperture. If you acquire the Psychic Lens, ghosts from past entries in the series can appear on the screen depending on the location or time.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Giuseppe: Is it challenging to do a remaster like this without being tempted to change more of the original game?

Makoto Shibata: While it varies depending on the title, that does tend to happen sometimes. For Maiden of Black Water, we wanted players to experience the story and horrifying elements of the original, so we have not changed anything.

Giuseppe: Having worked on this remaster, did it give you any ideas for a hypothetical new game in the series?

Makoto Shibata: While I am constantly thinking about the Fatal Frame series, my new ideas generally come up when I’m working on games for other series.

Giuseppe: Are there any other games from your past that you’d personally like to bring back to modern platforms?

Makoto Shibata: While we do not have any concrete plans currently, personally I would like to make new titles for all of the series I’ve worked on.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Giuseppe: Is there anything else you’d like to say to western fans of the Fatal Frame series and perhaps to those who have never tried the series?

Makoto Shibata: I think that people outside of Japan perceive and react to Japanese horror in many different ways, the way the story is told and the feeling that a ghost may appear but ultimately doesn’t can be seen as a new kind of horror experience. Battling ghosts using a camera is also something not seen in other games, so I would be really pleased if many new players could try this out for themselves.

If you’re unfamiliar with Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, you can watch the latest trailer.

The game releases for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC via Steam on Oct. 28.

About the author

Giuseppe Nelva

Proud weeb hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long-standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality), MMORPGs, and visual novels are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans on Earth of the flight simulator genre.