Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is a game that throws a lot of murderous ghosts at you. Just like in previous Fatal Frame titles, a terrible ritual left an entire island riddled with the spirits of the dead thanks to the presence of a strange illness known as Moonlight Syndrome. While most of these ghosts are scary and stressful to fight, some of them are just that little bit more terrifying. Whether it’s their appearance, their backstory or a uniquely difficult attack pattern, these ghosts are the scariest that Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse has to offer.
Editor’s Note: There will be Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse ghost encounter and plot point spoilers below.
Yuko Magaki was one of the patients at the Rogetsu Hall mental health facility. In life, he was a painter whose work got more disturbing as he succumbed to Moonlight Syndrome. Room 309, his room during his stay, is covered in these paintings, including a huge one on the floor of a faceless woman.
What makes him especially unpleasant to fight is how he’s always crawling around on the floor, swiping at your ankles. It’s also not clear why he refuses to stand up, making him that much more unnerving.
First encountered in the Haibara Infirmary, Shoji Katagiri was an assistant to the head doctor of the hospital. He specialized in experimental treatments, often involving medical headgear that looked more like a torture device.
If that wasn’t bad enough, his fights often include him attempting to blind you and him running screaming out of whatever wall is directly behind you. Sometimes in succession.
Most of the ghosts in Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse are scary enough being the right way up. Kyoko Kitazume decides that’s not good enough. She will crawl unpleasantly along the ceiling until she gets close, before hanging down like a bat to attack.
She’s first encountered in the basement of Infirmary, where an inaccessible room contains a hanging body. Documents suggest this is her body, hung from the ceiling as part of a bizarre treatment. What purpose did this treatment serve? The game simply refuses to elaborate.
Child ghosts in Fatal Frame are always some of the worst, but Ayako was a problem while she was alive. Several reports you can find around the facility describe her doing things like killing a bird with scissors. We also get to see a specter of her dragging a nurse down a hallway by her hair.
Her fight isn’t too unusual for Fatal Frame battles. What’s make it so unnerving is her room, where doll parts hang from the ceiling ominously. Ayako also sports a constant grim smile whenever she attacks, indicating her enjoyment of making you suffer.
Kageri Sendo and “Me”
Fatal Frame is no stranger to fights involving doll assistants, with some notable fights in Fatal Frame 2. Kageri Sendo in Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse takes it up a notch. She pushes an adult-size mannequin around Rogetsu Hall, representing her dead sister.
Whenever she and the doll are together, the fights are especially stressful. The doll will stagger towards you with robotic movements, not reacting to your shots even as she’s taking damage. Meanwhile, Kageri throws in an occasional attack while you’re distracted, or accidentally backing into her.
Not much is known about Takahisa Kozuki. An apprentice to the mask maker Soya Yomotsuki, he shows up without warning in a later chapter. One minute you’re pulling a charm off a mask, the next he’s behind you, charging you with one of his tools.
Abrupt introduction aside, he’s also terrifying because of how unpredictable his attacks are. He charges while also teleporting from side to side, making him hard to pin down.
The mask maker that served as Kozuki’s master. He’s also the father of protagonist Ruka Minazuki, adding a layer of personal connection to the horror. Due to Ruka’s amnesia, he always appears wearing a grotesque mask instead of his actual face.
He’s also fought multiple times in the final chapter of the game. He’s tough enough to fight as it is, often charging from behind, but in the cramped spaces of a lighthouse, he becomes even more stressful to deal with.
Vessel and Organs
Every Fatal Frame needs a horrible ritual that led to everyone dying, and Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is no exception. This time it’s a ritual dance, one where a woman – the Vessel – dances while five children – the Organs – play music. In the failed ritual that caused all the problems, all of these performers died in a mirror ceremony performed for tourists.
In the present day, you have to fight their ghosts. All six of them. At once. The Organs will often attack in pairs, one acting as a distraction to the other, who may even attack you through the floor. Meanwhile, the Vessel will constantly dance and swoop at you while you’re busy with the children.
As with all Fatal Frame games, there is one ghost that acts as a catalyst for all the others. In Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, that ghost is Sakuya Haibara. She was the real Vessel in the failed ritual, and the failure led to her Blossoming and taking out most of the island in the process.
She is encountered multiple times throughout the game, and most of the time she is invincible. All you can do is run away. One sequence in the later parts of the game has her chase Ruka through a significant portion of the level she just walked through. The final boss encounter also runs the risk of completely resetting if you fail to complete the game’s final puzzle in time, which adds to the tension of fighting her for real.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is available now for PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, Steam and Xbox.