OK, I have to cut Tecmo a little bit of slack now about that fight in Fatal Frame II.
More spoilers for the game follow. You are warned.
After a few attempts on my own, I went looking for FAQs, and found about half-a-dozen, mostly for the PS2 version.
Every one of them commented on the fact that the last boss – the last boss on “normal” difficulty, anyway – could kill you in one hit and so on and so forth, but each and every one of them seemed to think that the fight was kind of a throwaway, that just getting to the boss was much harder than the boss itself.
Now, I pride myself on one thing: I don’t go to a FAQ for minor setbacks.
I may take games and set them to “easy”, but at least I try things for myself several times before giving up.
This means that, by the time I have to go to a FAQ about something in a game, I’ve usually gotten to the “nasty difficult bit” that EVERYONE has trouble with.
See also: “Meat Circus”.
This fight didn’t match my typical pattern. It was, apparently, EASY.
I was very confused
Then I saw something that was almost an offhand comment in one of the six FAQs:
“shoot the boss in the head”
This made the lights come on.
See, I have the habit, and I’m not sure where I picked it up, but in FPS games, I aim for center-of-mass.
So, I went back for another go, and forced myself to aim just a little higher than I normally would, and, uh, won on my next try. It wasn’t even a fight.
So, yeah, it’s easy. That is, it’s easy once you know that, no matter how good your timing is, the boss can’t be killed by shooting it in the chest.
I’m tempted to give the game another go and see if the same tactic makes a difference with other ghosts; it’s possible that I made the game a lot harder than it actually needed to be.
Follow-up to the above follow-up: I’m going to at least give Fatal Frame II a chance in hard mode, especially since, upon beating it for the first time, I unlocked these for the girls:
Pardon the poor quality screen shot.
Fatal Frame II : Now Even More Relevant to My Interests.