Haunting Ground. known in Japan as Demento (デメント), is a 2005 survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom Production Studio 1 for the PlayStation 2. It was originally designed to be part of the Clock Tower series of horror games, but this was scrapped early into its development. Because of this, the game shares many similarities with Clock Tower 3.
Fiona, the player-character, must be guided through Castle Belli, its surrounding grounds and outbuildings until she find a way to escape. Along the way, players must solve puzzles, unlock doors and evade or hide from the castle's inhabitants. Fiona is accompanied by Hewie, a white German Shepherd Dog. The two must work as a team to solve certain puzzles and to outwit their pursuers.
During the game, the castle's inhabitants chase and attack Fiona, and if evaded long enough will cease for a set interval. While it is possible to retaliate with kicks, Hewie's bites or alchemically created weapons, the game's focus is on the player evading enemies long enough to find a hiding spot. The castle's staff chase Fiona individually until defeated in a boss battle, after which a different enemy will pursue Fiona. Two enemies exist in addition to the castle's keepers, neither are dangerous to Fiona but can alert Fiona's pursuers to her location and cause panic. The first are small floating orbs of blue light known as Luminescents, which follow Fiona and emit a loud noise if they come into contact with her. The other enemy type are fetus-like disfigured homunculi, who attach themselves to Fiona's legs while letting out a piercing yell.
Hewie joins Fiona early in the game, following different player-issued commands to perform actions and barking or growling when he detects a trap or threat. He can be commanded to stay, follow, attack, fetch and to shake hands. In order to maintain a good relationship with her new companion, Fiona must issue commands to Hewie, praising or scolding him depending on whether or not he obeys. Playing shake hands or healing him when he becomes injured also maintains his interest. Hewie will ignores Fiona's commands and wanders off if not given enough attention, if repeatedly mistreated he may even attack Fiona. On easier difficulty settings, Hewie can be knocked unconscious from sustaining too many injuries but can be revived. On the hard difficulty setting, he is slain after receiving the same level of injuries, causing the game to end.
When faced with certain scripted events or prolonged enemy attacks and chases, Fiona becomes fearful. If allowed to remain fearful for too long she will enter panic mode and run. Panic mode causes blurriness of the screen, saturation of the surroundings and a freeze-frame effect, the control pad vibrates in the effect of Fiona's heartbeat. The player is unable to stop Fiona running and must try to prevent her from running into walls and objects. Running into scenery causes her to collapse and crawl away, at this point any attack results in game over. Hewie can only be called for help during panic mode, encouraging him to attack any pursuer and prevent Fiona from being killed. If enemies are avoided long enough panic mode ends.
- Fiona Belli
- Lorenzo - an enigmatic figure who remains in the shadows for most of the game, Lorenzo is revealed to be Fiona's wheelchair-bound grandfather. He is seeking the Azoth in order to gain immortality, and serves as the ultimate antagonist of Haunting Ground.
Fiona Belli has somehow found herself in a strange castle, which appears to be somewhere in northern Italy. She has just been involved in a car accident; her memories of this accident, however, are vague and incomplete. When she awakes, she finds herself in some sort of large butcher's room. Noting that the cage that keeps her prisoner was left unlocked, she steps out but is startled by a large, fierce animal snarling and then running past her. She quickly begins searching for some answers and a way out of the castle. Along the way, she befriends the large animal that initially frightened her, who happens to be a white German Shepherd named Hewie and who turns out to be a valuable ally. As Fiona's predicament gets more and more disturbing, she learns that she is the carrier of the Azoth, which is what the castle's residents are after.
The first enemy is Debilitas, who thinks Fiona is a big doll. Debilitas chases Fiona around the Castle and is stopped by Riccardo. Fiona meets Riccardo and Daniella and finds letters and memos given to her by a man named Lorenzo who wants her to escape the Castle. Fiona and Hewie are chased by Debilitas to the Chapel. The way in which the player ultimately eliminates Debilitas influences the outcome of the endings.
Soon after Fiona has rid herself of Debilitas her new enemy, Daniella is brought back into the game after her short appearance in the games first couple scenes. Daniella becomes jealous that Fiona can smell, taste, touch or "experience pleasure" which she later suggests means she cannot engage in sexual intercourse during the scene leading up to her boss fight. Daniella wields a large shard of broken glass (unless the player approaches Daniella while she is kneeling near a fire place which then replaces the glass with a hot poker which deals double the damage).
After Fiona kills Daniella by impaling her with a large shard of glass broken from the ceiling, the third villan is re-introduced, Riccardo. For a majority of the game Riccardo keeps his face hidden under a hood and wields a hand gun. Riccardo reveals his face and his plot to Fiona after cornering her in the woods. He has the same face as Fiona's father, Ugo, and reveals that they are clones and that he is the original. Riccardo murdered Ugo after attempting to kill him in the car crash as revenge for leaving the castle and marrying Ayla, Fiona's mother. He plans to use Fiona (by means of her womb and use of her Azoth) to help him be reborn so that he may live forever. Hewie rescues Fiona and assists in their escape from the tower which Riccardo keeps Fiona imprisoned in.
The final boss of the game is Lorenzo, who takes on Fiona in several different forms. The player first meets Lorenzo as an old, crippled man who after seeing that Fiona is finally his, rids himself of his wheelchair and crawls on the floor in order to chase Fiona. After crushing the elder Lorenzo in a machine, Lorenzo returns to Fiona as a more youthful version of himself and has the ability to teleport. Fiona eventually, with the help of Hewie, causes Lorenzo to fall into a pit of lava. Soon after defeating young Lorenzo, the castle begins to shake and collapse, Lorenzo returns a final time as a flaming skeletal version of his former self. He chases Fiona, but finally dies as she and Hewie escape the castle.
Ending A Edit
Fortes Fortuna Juvat ("Fortune Favors The Brave") - Fiona struggles to get the key into the lock. Hewie calms her fears and she manages to unlock the door. However, Hewie begins barking which catches Fiona's attention. From the double doors, Debilitas comes out with hedge clippers. In a tense and awkward moment, Fiona and Debilitas stare at each other. Debilitas simply bows to Fiona, showing that he no longer means any harm. With that, she and Hewie walk into the forest. Debilitas looks at the overgrown trees in the garden and begins clipping the trees. To get this ending, the player must defeat Debilitas using the chandelier. This does not kill Debilitas, but rather causes him to retreat and thus no longer pose a threat for Fiona during the remainder of the game. This ending earns the player the Texas Cowgirl alternate costume for Fiona.
Ending B Edit
Ignis Aurum Probat ("Fire Tests Gold") - similar to Ending A, except that Debilitas does not appear. As Fiona is opening the gate out to the forest, she stares at the castle for a few moments, before turning and following Hewie into the forest. To get this ending, the player must have Fiona kill Debilitas, either by using Hewie or repeatedly attacking him with several explosive chemicals and minerals she encounters.
Ending C Edit
Dona Nobis Pacem ("Give Us Peace") - similar to Ending A, except there is no Debilitas and there is a special scene at the end. Lorenzo calls out to Fiona not to go and falls down the stairs, loathing the fact that she has left. To get this ending, the game must be completed once. Debilitas must be defeated with the chandelier. Then, Fiona must go visit Debilitas in his hut, where he will give her a key to one of the locked bathroom stalls, which reveals a hidden cellar. In that cellar, Fiona finds the key to the castle's main gate. This ending earns the player the Fiona The Frog alternate costume.
Ending D Edit
Tu Fui, Ego Eris ("What You Are, I Was. What I Am, You Will Be.") - Fiona wakes up in a glass box, where Riccardo taunts her and says she belongs to him. She screams in her frustration. The scene cuts to her castle bedroom, where Riccardo enters the room and tenderly strokes Fiona's head and her bulging stomach, as she is now heavily pregnant. As he walks away, she wakes, gives a faint smile, and issues a hollow laugh, having gone insane. To obtain this ending, Fiona must have a weak relationship with Hewie. Hewie does not recover from Riccardo's gun attack in the Chaos Forest level, and hence does not rescue Fiona, thus ending the game. This is likely non-canon as Fiona seems to care for Hewie very much, also it happens before meeting Lorenzo the main antagonist.
- Haunting Ground has some similarities with another PlayStation 2 exclusive game, Rule of Rose; both protagonists are English female blonde orphans (Fiona and Jennifer respectively) in their late teens and also have a demure personality. The protagonists rescue a dog (Hewie and Brown) that will help them during the rest of the game, which assists them by finding hidden objects, barking at enemies and also attacking the enemies.
Box Art Edit
Merchandise and Advertisement Edit
External Links Edit
- Official Japanese site (archive)
- Clock Tower wikia article - for a more in-depth look on the game.