12 Features

Retro Vault: Turtles, MGS 3, WWF Wrestlemania

Plus: Fatal Frame and a terrifying FIFA screenshot

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed the last Retro Vault you can read it here.


March 2002 - Fatal Frame magazine ad

For many gamers, the scariest video game ever wasn't Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but those hours spent as Miku Hinasaki trying to find her missing brother Mafuyu in the haunted Himuro Mansion.

Fatal Frame (known as Project Zero in Europe) was unique in that it forced users to look directly at the ghosts pursuing them instead of running away. A special camera called the Camera Obscura was the device used to see and capture the ghosts, making for plenty of jump moments when spooks lunged toward the viewfinder.

There's still some controversy as to whether Fatal Frame was indeed "based on a true story", as the western advertising claimed (it was never sold as a true story in Japan). These is a real Himuro Mansion, and it's said a Japanese family was murdered there a few decades ago, but according to series producer Makoto Shibata the game was based on two different Japanese urban legends and ghost stories.

Either way, Fatal Frame because a cult favourite among survival horror fans, leading to three sequels and a 3DS augmented reality spin-off, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir.

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