Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse heads west in 2023

More than ten years later, the mask has returned.

Image via Koei Tecmo

Fatal Frame has been a cult classic horror series since its inception, with several eerie entries since its start in 2001. Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse made its debut on the Nintendo Wii in 2008, but it never released outside of Japan — ironic, since the game is actually set in Europe. It’ll finally be coming to the West 15 years later.

Announced during the Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2022, the fourth Fatal Frame game will be launching on Nintendo Switch, as well as PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam in “early 2023.” That’s what the reveal trailer ended with, though we don’t have a more specific launch date than that. Given the updated platform, it’ll certainly look better than the original release, but we don’t know about any potential Switch-specific features.

As for the original game, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse features the picture-taking mechanic the Fatal Frame series is known for. The Camera Obscura, as your weapon is called, snaps pictures of ghosts, dealing more damage the closer you are to the spirit. That’s what always made the games so spooky — you have to directly face your fears and get up close and personal with the poltergeists. Characters are also armed with a flashlight that can help you see through the darkness, and a special Spirit Flashlight even stuns the ghosts. The camera and flashlight could be controlled via Wii motion controls originally, so you should expect the same with the Switch and its Joy-Cons. Moving around the whole unit as if you were actually holding the Camera Obscura seems like a perfect fit.

Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is the fourth game in the Fatal Frame series, but it’s not the most recent release. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water first released on Wii U in 2014, but you can get it on a variety of current-gen consoles and PC these days. If you’re interested in playing that before Mask of the Lunar Eclipse arrives, be sure you know how Fatal Frame shots work.