A rant about Fatal Frame II

I’ve tried to speak in general terms here, but the following is a wee bit of a spoiler for the final fight in Fatal Frame II, so you might not want to read on if you’re like me and still have games from 2004 you haven’t played through and are trying for the first time.

OK, if you’re still with me.

Dear Tecmo Developers:

When designing a game where the main character picks up, over the course of the game, lots and lots of healing items and occasional items that will miraculously step in and revive the character in the event of their untimely death:

Do not wait until the last boss to introduce an enemy whose touch is a one-hit kill, which kills you even if you DO have one of the rare items whose sole purpose is to restore you to the land of the living.

Furthermore, after designing a game in which combat is deliberately slow paced and consists of dodging attacks while waiting for the correct opening, do not wait until the last boss to introduce an enemy who regenerates unless constantly attacked, especially not when the only way the player can attack is by provoking the boss into attacking and then trying to riposte incoming, invariably fatal, attacks.

Lastly, if you’re going to do both of those, don’t put the last save point so far away from the last boss fight that every death and retry involves 3.5 minutes, at a dead run, of navigating a rather nondescript corridor so you can get back for another attempt.

To be fair, thank you for two small concessions to sanity you have made:
1) Thank you for letting me fight everything up until just before the last boss fight, then go back and save.  Not having to go through a bunch of small fights every time is very appreciated.

2) Thank you also for making the penultimate cutscene skippable.  That in itself is probably the only thing keeping me banging my head against this particular wall instead of just going to Youtube for the ending and calling it good.

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