InspirationThe tagline of the North American release of Fatal Frame is "Based on a True Story." In an interview, the producer of Zero, Makoto Shibata, explains the story that inspired the game:
In an area outside Tokyo, there lies a mansion in which it’s said seven people were murdered in a grisly manner. On the same property, there lie three detached residences that surround the mansion, all of which are rumored to have ties to the mansion’s troubled past. It’s said there is an underground network of tunnels that lay beneath the premises, but nobody knows who made these tunnels or what purpose they served.
Many inexplicable phenomenon have been reported occurring on the property. Bloody hand prints have been found splattered all over the walls. Spirits have been spotted on the premises… even in broad daylight. A narrow stairway leads to an attic where a spirit-sealed talisman is rumored to be locked away. Men have sought this talisman, only to be found later with their bodies broken and rope marks around their wrists. There’s a crumbling old statue of a woman in a kimono, but its head is missing. If you take a photo of a certain window, a young girl can be seen in the developed picture.
These incidents have provoked fear in the people of Tokyo, and many believe that those who live near this area will become cursed. The deaths of those seven people are unexplained to this day."
Considering how this tagline does not appear on any other region's release, and how the only mention of the story appears online after Fatal Frame's release, this story was likely fabricated by TECMO's marketing division.
LawsuitThe developer of Fatal Frame, Tecmo, was quickly sued by the movie company behind Ghostbusters, claiming that the idea of capturing ghosts in a camera infringed upon the concept of Ghostbusters. The case was later dropped.
NovelThere's a novelization of the game. It's told from the viewpoint of Mafuyu Hinasaki and it's storyline is a little bit different. Unfortunately, its only in Japanese. It is called Zero: The Novel, ISBN 4840220654, available on The Japanese Amazon website.
Version differencesThe European and American versions of the game differ from the Japanese version. The main character, Miku's appearance and outfit have been changed to represent more Western people rather than Japanese.
Information also contributed by Daedolon, Donatello, j.jones and Lain Crowley