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Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen

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Price: $63.90
This item is currently sold out and unavailable
Item Number: RVL-P-R4ZJ
Publisher: Nintendo
Jan/UPC Code: 4902370516715
Update: July 31, 2008
«©NCSX» Tecmo's Zero (Fatal Frame) franchise returns with a new adventure that takes place on the spooky and misty island of Rougetsu. On that island sits an equally spooky mansion which has its own multi-table dining room and a museum dedicated to Kunihiko Aso who invented the Camera Obscura. A few years ago, five girls were brought to the island against their will but a detective named Choushiro Kirishima tracked them down and brought them all home. In the years since the ordeal, two of the girls died of mysterious circumstances. Years later, the three remaining survivors return to Rougetsu island to determine what exactly happened and come to terms with their traumatic ordeal.
The Camera Obscura remains the weapon of choice in the new Zero game which is controlled by the Wii Remote. The nunchuk is used to maneuver the heroines in the game as they explore dank areas haunted by vengeful spooks. Early in the game, players will learn how to perform a quick swivel move by swishing the Wii Remote in a jerky motion. To look up and down, the remote is tilted in the direction you wish to view for an intuitive control scheme that allows for fluid movements, sightings, and ghost busting with the Camera Obscura.

View the back cover and screenshots on the main NCSX website.

Relevant Link(s):
Zero: Crimson Butterfly - Best Reprint PS2

Region Lock-out
Please note Japanese Wii games will not boot on USA or European Wii consoles due to the inherent region-lockout on Japanese Wii game discs. A Freeloader is required.

NCS Game Notes & Spoilers
» Please note that Zero will force a firmware update on your Japanese Wii to 3.3J. The update is mandatory in order to play the game. Be advised that Freeloader functionality is broken with the 3.3J firmware update.

» Press "A" on the title screen and the following selections appear:

● NEW GAME / Start a new game in either Normal or Easy difficulty
● LOAD GAME / Restore a game from save data
● ALBUM / View images from the game [Requires unlocking]
● OPTION / Adjust sound volumes and screen brightness

» The default screen brightness is fine but you can ratchet it down darker if you wish. You can also lighten it up as well but we didn't think it was necessary.

» When the game begins, two girls named Madoka Tsukimori and Misaki Asou are already inside the mansion and exploring the first floor. Misaki holds a flashlight and speaks to Madoka. Their voices have a hollow-sounding quality to them. Misaki walks ahead while Madoka hangs back and is seemingly nervous. She experiences a flashback and when she looks up again, Misaki is nowhere to be found.
» Control is handed over to the player at this point. You're in Madoka's shoes and your job is to explore the mansion and figure out where Misaki went. The nunchuk is used for movement - to speed up the pace of walking, hold the Z button when moving. When interactive points in the manse are near, an "A" button icon will appear on the lower-right corner of the screen.

» When Madoka runs, she takes baby steps so she doesn't cover a lot of distance which is slightly annoying. We wanted her to gallop.

» To wheel around quickly, swish the Wii Remote to the side or up and down and the Madoka will spin around to look the other way. To look up and down and all around, move the Wiimote in the direction that you wish to look at.

» Further ahead, Madoka will find the flashlight on the ground - it's still lit. Misaki who was holding it earlier is gone. Once the flashlight is in hand, you can swivel it in the direction desired to light up a part of the room. A short cut scene will play after you've picked up the flashlight that shows Misaki going into a room up ahead but when you try to enter it, the room is locked.

» Throughout the game, the camera will cut away from your present location to show different situations as they happen elsewhere in the mansion.

» The interior of the building is spooky with just the right amount of background sound effects to lend a sense of drama as the heroine wanders through the dark and foreboding house. The slow pace at the outset of the game also helps to increase the sense of dread as the Madoka searches for her friends and discovers new things.

» The game is linear. There's a stairway in the first room but if you attempt to scale the stairs, you'll be warned off. It's only after you explore the first floor that you'll be able to return to the stairs and go up to the next floor. Before scaling the stairs, she'll spy a person or maybe a spirit ascending the stairs in the distance. Follow and a cut scene will play which shows the "ghost" going through a door. Continue following and you'll enter a room that's darker than usual and you'll get a glimpse of the ghost's face who's a nurse with black eyes and a fearful look on her face.

» Items that gleam in the game may be grabbed by going near them and pressing and holding the "A" button. The heroine's hand will then reach out and take the item into possession. Enter the room where the "nurse" was in and there are two items in located on two desks. One is a key that opens a door on the first floor. Upon exiting the room, a speaker on the wall plays discordant music which is highly disconcerting. Run away from it and eventually the volume lessens.

» The key that you've found opens a room on the first floor in which the Camera Obscura is stored. The camera is your weapon for stopping the spirits in the house. There's a ghost waiting in the room who seems intent on hurting someone. To aim the camera, press the "B" button and then maneuver the Nunchuk to spot the spook. When it's time to do some camera damage, press the "A" button to snap out the hurt. If you're too slow on the draw, the ghost will grab a hold of Madoka. Shake it off by wagging the Wii Remote to the left and right.

» If you attempt to exit the room, a spirit will grab your hand and stop you. Other spirits also surround the heroine which causes her to slump to the ground and apparently faint. First chapter is over and you'll be given the chance to save your progress to memory. A total of five slots are available for data storage.

» To view a map of the area you're in, press the "+" button. To access menu commands, press the "-" button.

» The second chapter begins with a piano performance by a third girl named Ruka Minazuki followed by a recollection of a spooky ritual. She wakes up and finds herself aboard a ship going back to Rougetsu island where she was once held against her will. The second heroine also runs with baby steps and she enters a building that's apparently adjacent to the Kunihiko Asou Museum according to a sign on one of the walls. The door to the museum is locked however. She'll also get a glimpse of some ghost children early in the minutes of the game.

» You'll be able to save your progress by running up to the floor light near the stairs. Press the "A" button and a save data dialog box will pop up. There's a gate at the top of the stairs so you won't be able to progress further that way but run back down to the door that leads to the museum and it can be opened now. If you open the first door to the left, you'll recognize it as the room where the Camera Obscura was found in the first chapter. You'll find two newspaper clippings and a small notebook in the room. If you go near the display case on the right side of the room, you'll find the Camera Obscura on the floor. It's still functional and still the best weapon against discarnate entities.

» To get the most powerful attack from the camera, watch the blue line as it circles the perimeter of the reticule and then fills up both the bottom and the top circle so that they're white. Once both are whitened, take the snapshot to do massive damage to a target ghost.

» Once the nurse ghost is destroyed, run to the front of the hotel where the stairway from the first chapter is located. You'll see a ghost boy run through a door. Follow him and you'll enter a dining room with candles that are burning on each table. Walk to the piano and you'll find a note which contains additional background details on the story. Behind the piano, you'll find a lens. Four other objects are scattered around the room - another key and two crystals of some sort. One of the crystals is located on a dining table. Once all the objects have been picked up, walk up to the food dispensing area where the hibachi grill is located and you'll see the specter of a dead sushi chef. Next, walk back to the end of the room where four masks are hung on the wall. Press "A" and an event will be triggered where the ghost boy from earlier runs in front of you and disappears into the two wooden doors. They can be opened now so follow the boy and exit. You'll be back in the earlier room with the stairs that lead to the gates upstairs. The key you found opens up the door underneath the stairs. Inside the room, there's a body wrapped in mummy bandages and another newspaper clipping. A stuffed eagle is on a desk opposite the body. When you pick up the clipping, the mummy will shake a little which elicits a gasp from Ruka.

» Whenever you find a key, the game will show you exactly which door it opens by showing you on the overhead map.

» Our general consensus is the latest Zero is a smoother gaming experience than its series predecessors. We're attributing it to the great Wii controls. The atmosphere instills a sense of dread on players and the screen isn't so dark that you can't see anything which was our complaint about Siren NT. Overall, not bad and we'll be investing more hours into this one instead of tossing it to the side like many of the other recent games we've tried.

This document and photos are ©NCSX 2008. All rights reserved. No reproduction in whole or in part of this document may be made without express written consent of National Console Support, Inc.

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