|Siren: Blood Curse|
SCE Japan Studio (Project Siren)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Siren: Blood Curse, known in Japan as Siren: New Translation, is a stealth-based survival horror video game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan Studio for the PlayStation 3. It is a re-imagining of the original Siren with many alterations to structure and content, along with most of the gameplay improvements introduced in Forbidden Siren 2.
The story begins on August 3, 2007 and focuses on an American television crew that arrives in Japan to investigate and document the legend of Hanuda, a "vanished village" where human sacrifices are said to have taken place thirty years prior.
The Link Navigator from previous games has been removed in favor of a more linear narrative, divided into a series of twelve chronological episodes that each contain parallel and intersecting scenarios for multiple playable characters. There are no secondary mission objectives to unlock.
The sightjack system now operates in an automated split-screen mode that allows the player to see through the eyes of others while continuing to play normally. The default in-game camera is in a fixed over-the-shoulder perspective, and common interactions are each assigned to a button on the D-pad. Stages contain randomly placed objects that can be accidentally knocked over, calling the attention of nearby shibito. Characters can brace doors to prevent shibito from entering, and also move while in an attack stance. Some weapons can now be used to perform finishing moves that will instantly disable a shibito.
The Archives catalog has been expanded to include all of the audio and video document style from Forbidden Siren 2 as well as the weapons that can be found throughout the game.
In 1976, the remote mountain village of Hanuda, Japan, is destroyed in a cataclysmic landslide. Decades later, an American television crew visit the abandoned village to investigate unsubstantiated reports of paranormal occurences. Along with other survivors, the humans try to survive in the nightmarish village amid the summoning of an alien god and vicious monsters known as the Shibito.
- Howard Wright
Howard Wright is the main protagonist of Siren: Blood Curse. Howard is 18 and was born on July 30, 1989. With the help of Miyako, he defeats the god that is resurrected by Amana. His role is similar to that of Kyoya Suda's in the original game. Howard is drawn to the village by an e-mail from Sam Monroe which Sam has no recollection of. Upon arriving in the village, Sol and Melissa witness him intervening in a sacrificial ceremony, after which he is pursued by a shibito policeman. He is subsequently shot after apparently defeating the policeman and is found by Amana, who helps him escape. Eventually, Howard meets Miyako and escorts her throughout the village. However, she is taken when Amana recalls her memories and Howard sees her burning corpse in the Nest Core. He is guided by Miyako's spirit and successfully kills Kaiko.
Howard has a personal website, in which the address can be found in the game.
- Sam Monroe
Sam Monroe is a college professor, folklore expert, and member of the TV crew that went to visit Hanuda. He is the ex-husband of Melissa Gale and the father of Bella Monroe. He discovers some drawings in Irazu Valley Church that hint that the events of the game have been foreseen. He transforms into a spider shibito until time rewinds halfway through the game. Back as a human, he discovers the real cause of Hanuda's curse and ends the game on top of the mudslide that covered the village in 1976. However, the archives reveal that he is eventually found dead in his old age in the forest. Just before the events of the game, the Sam that went back to 1976 sends Howard an e-mail to ensure that the events are repeated. His role is similar to that of Tamon Takeuchi's in the original game.
- Melissa Gale
Melissa Gale is the presenter of the TV crew that went to visit Hanuda. She is the ex-wife of Sam Monroe and the mother of Bella Monroe. She later searches for Bella at the hospital and meets Sam and Seigo there. He directs them to Irazu Valley Church where Bella knocks on the window as a shibito. Melissa, mentally shattered, makes it to the Nest Core and shoots Howard to get away from Bella. She then embraces her shibito daughter. When time rewinds, she manages to rescue Bella from the hospital and the pair make it to Karuwari, where she sacrifices herself in order to stop a maggot shibito from attacking Bella. In doing so, she becomes a shibito herself. However, using the last of her human sense, she eventually saves Bella from Sol, who has been a shibito for the majority of the game. Her role is similar to that of Reiko Takato in the original game.
- Bella Monroe
Bella Monroe is the daughter of Sam Monroe and Melissa Gale. After getting separated from Sol, she calls for help over the hospital tannoy but Sol, now a shibito, pursues her. She escapes to Karuwari, only to be slowly transforming into a shibito, knocking on the church window at her parents. When time rewinds and Melissa helps her escape, Bella makes it to an abandoned house but sneaks out when a shibito family inhabit the house. As she escapes, shibito Melissa chases her daughter. Bella finds Seigo and follows him to the hospital with an unconscious Howard. After making it to the Nest, Bella is separated and goes back in time hundreds of years earlier. It is later revealed that she grows up to become Amana, eating the dying body of the god and was cursed with eternal life. Her role is similar to that of Tomoko Maeda and Harumi Yomoda from the original game.
- Seigo Saiga (犀賀 省悟, Saiga Seigo)
Seigo Saiga is a doctor and an adopted member of the Saiga family. At the very beginning of the game, he is seen performing the sacrificial ritual, but later on, he ends up helping Howard, Sam, and Melissa. Towards the end of the game, he gives Howard the Uryen and confronts him, apparently so the power of the object can be unlocked and to join his companion, Yukie, in the afterlife. Before time rewinds, Seigo commits suicide by putting his gun to his mouth. After time rewinds, he saves Bella from some Shibito and helps Howard regain consciousness. He then goes to Mount Gojaku and uncovers the Uryen. His role is similar to that of Shiro Miyata, Jun Kajiro and Akira Shimura from the original game.
- Sol Jackson
Sol Jackson is the cameraman of the TV crew that went to visit Hanuda. For the majority of the game, he is a shibito, although he briefly appears in his human form later on. The archives reveal that he is secretly in love with Melissa. Sol later becomes a spider shibito and causes repeated trouble for the Monroes.
Amana (full name unknown) is blonde caucasian woman living in Hanuda who appears to be in her early twenties, fairly tall and slender. She is very religious, and her appearance is quite conservative. She wears red and usually has her hair french-braided into a symmetrical, conservative up-do. Her role in the village is as a traditional spiritual advisor and leader, a role often translated as 'nun' in English.
Although she seems at first to be helpful, such as in aiding Howard Wright to learn sightjacking and to evade early-stage shibito, she is revealed to be far more menacing. It is she who takes Miyako and burns her in ritual sacrifice, unleashing her God into Hanuda. It is probable that her early benevolence is due to a form of amnesia.
The only person who discovers Amana's true identity is Sam Monroe. After he is swept back into the 1970's in Hanuda's ruins, archives show that he realised - too late - that Amana is his own daughter, Bella. In the same way that Sam was taken three decades into the past, Bella was taken back centuries. She found herself alone and hungry in a strange and empty land, and in desperation ate whatever she could. One of those things was the fallen 'God' Kaiko. Unfortunately for her she did not realise that her sushi was not dead; and the sight of the child eating it alive filled the being with so much hate that it cursed her to live always and bear its curse. This means she is simultaneously both the cause and the effect of the paradox that repeats endlessly within Hanuda.
Amana is analogous to the character of Hisako Yao in Siren, and both characters are a re-interpretation of the benevolent Japanese folkheroine Yaobikuni, or Happyaku Bikuni, which translates as '800 year-old Buddhist nun'.
- Miyako (美耶古, Miyako)
Miyako is named after a priestess, the village's previous god and so has special blood that can withstand the village's curse. However, this means Amana needs her as a sacrifice to summon Kaiko, the new god. She confides in Howard for much of the game. In the abandoned house, Miyako cuts herself and Howard to meld her blood with his, preventing Howard transforming into a shibito. When she is eventually sacrificed her spirit helps Howard defeat the god. Miyako seems slightly different in blood curse, she is remarkably older and is no longer blind. Unusually, this version of Miyako seems to have no friends or family whatsoever within the village; none are mentioned, and none are shown.
Siren: Blood Curse has received generally favorable reviews, averaging 78% on Metacritic based on 42 reviews and 77% on Game Rankings based on 39 reviews. IGN has given the game a highly favorable 8.4/10.0 mark.
The American release of Blood Curse contains a slightly edited introductory scene, where a ceremonial stabbing is obscured by excessive camera shakiness.
The European release of Blood Curse includes an exclusive making-of documentary titled Behind the Curtain of Terror, which is accessed via the PlayStation 3's XMB Video menu.
SCE Japan Studio has released a Siren space for the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, PlayStation Home. This space features the Saiga Hospital level called "Ward of Despair". In "Ward of Despair", users can play a mini-game of the same name where the user must search the hospital for various items trying not to get killed by a shibito. If a user makes it through successfully, they get a reward. There are three different scenarios for this mini-game, each with different rewards depending on the scenario the user has entered and what items are needed to be collected. The rewards are a SIREN male and female t-shirt, a Doctor's outfit, a Nurse's outfit, Miyako's outfit, and the Alcove set. It is currently available to users of the Asian, Japanese, European, and North American versions of PlayStation Home. It was released for Japan on December 11, 2008, Asia on February 12, 2009 and North America on May 7, 2009. A very interesting feature of the space is that at 12 am CT, a siren goes off and the area outside the hospital goes red and three shibitos come out from the woods for about three minutes. However, due to playstation home's closure on April 1st 2015, this and many other worlds and hubs are no longer available.