Forbidden Siren 2, known in Japan as Siren 2 (サイレン２, Sairen Tsū?), is a stealth-based survival horror video game and the sequel to the 2004 game Forbidden Siren. It was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan Studio for the PlayStation 2. It was released in Japan, Europe, and Australia in 2006. However unlike its predecessor, Forbidden Siren 2 was never released in North America. In order to see Forbidden Siren 2 in it's entirety in North America, it is recommended by fans either to watch uploaded videos of it on YouTube, getting the Forbidden Siren 2 game along with a PS2 console and a television set from Europe or Australia, or by picking up the one PS2 hacked and buy the United Kingdom version in any sites for sales out there.
The game tells the story of several characters who become trapped on Yamijima Island, an island off the coast of mainland Japan. On August 3rd, 1976, an underwater cable was mysteriously cut, and all power to the island was lost. During the subsequent blackout, all of the islanders disappeared and the island became deserted. 29 years later, in 2005, a magazine editor called Mamoru Itsuki is visiting the island to conduct research for an article when the ferry he and a small group of other passengers are on capsizes, after it is hit by a blood-red tidal wave. Not long after he arrives, a group of soldiers crash land on the island after their helicopter has engine troubles. They must all find ways to survive the island's "monsters", the shibito.
The game is played through several character perspectives, each with his or her own strengths and weaknesses, through an overlapping timeline of the fateful night that alternates between the present and the past. The story can unfold in different ways with, in many cases, two or more different versions of a level, which will have slightly different objectives than the original. If the player is thorough and plays through these optional versions, the story and characters may develop even further than before.
The gameplay in Forbidden Siren 2 builds upon that of its predecessor with some significant improvements, namely the ability for characters to crouch-walk, a proximity alert that warns the player of nearby enemies, a hint system that guides the player to his current mission objective, three selectable difficulty levels, and an optional first-person mode. Context-sensitive interactions now require only a single button press when prompted, and bringing up the in-game menu for common interactions no longer pauses the game. The map now displays the player's current position, and important items remain in the inventory after restarting a scenario.
The sightjack system has been improved by allowing the player to automatically sightjack nearby enemies. Character-specific features have also been incorporated, such as Shu Mikami's ability to move while sightjacking due to his near blindness, Ikuko's ability to control sightjacked enemies, and Akiko's ability to reveal psychic impressions when sightjacking in certain areas.
In contrast to the mainly stealth-based tactics of the previous game, players can now freely choose between stealth and action. The new combat system introduces a 3-hit combo attack, with the third hit being the most powerful. Characters are also able to attack barehanded (although extremely weak and only effective to repel attackers in order to run away). Characters may also use guns as melee weapons, and some NPCs can similarly pick up weapons and defend themselves. Many more weapons are available for each character, with many of them being improvised or dropped by enemies. Firearms are improved slightly, with rifles having a handy zoom function.
The shibito are slightly faster, more aggressive, and more intelligent than they were previously. However, they are still just as easy to distract from their usual habits. Once defeated, they revive only when a shiryo (屍霊, shiryō?, lit. "corpse spirit") re-enters the corpse. The player can prevent a shibito from being revived by eliminating the shiryo with a weapon hit or flashlight.
A new type of enemy is introduced, called the yamibito (闇人, yamibito?, lit. "darkness people"), which, although much more resilient, aggressive, and intelligent than the shibito, function essentially the same way. They are also repelled by light, meaning that they can be weakened by focusing a flashlight on them or turning on the lights in a room. Like the shibito, a yamibito can be defeated, but is revived when a yamirei (闇霊, yamirei?, lit. "darkness spirit") re-enters the corpse. Eliminating the yamirei (which are also intolerant to light) renders the yamibito unconscious indefinitely. However, due to their improved intelligence and strength, yamibito will not fall for distractions that may have worked on shibito, and they are also much harder to defeat in combat.
The Archives catalog has been expanded to include additional media types such as audio, video, and other interactive supplements.
After a scenario is initially completed, it can be replayed in Time Trial mode, which challenges the player to complete it within a specified period of time. Extra points are rewarded based on performance, and a bonus cutscene is unlocked by successfully completing every Time Trial challenge. Time Trial is only available on Normal and Hard modes. The Link Navigator returns from the first game to function as the level selector. However, unlike the previous game, the Link Navigator no longer forces the player into a specific level, letting the player choose the direction of gameplay.
- Mamoru Itsuki (一樹 守, Itsuki Mamoru?)
A journalist for the mystery and science magazine "Atlantis", Mamoru is travelling to Yamijima to gather research for an article when his boat is capsized by a massive, blood-red tidal wave. Waking up alone on the shores of the island, he soon encounters Yuri Kishida and is tricked into helping her open the seven gates of the Underworld, releasing the yamibito. He escapes the Underworld with Ikuko Kifune, but is left alone soon afterwards. He resolves to find a way to correct his mistake by stopping the yamibito. He manages to destroy both Tsuneo and Tomoe Ohta with their Mekkoju branches. At the pinnacle of the Spider's Thread, he is sucked into Mother's dimension and defeats her with the help of Akiko, Ikuko, and the Annaki remains, erasing the creature's existence from the real world. He is the first true survivor of the game.
- Ikuko Kifune (木船 郁子, Kifune Ikuko?)
A dock worker and marine biologist with psychic abilities that allow her to possess the people that she sightjacks. Because of these abilities, she has painful memories of being taunted at school for being "different". She is also the estranged twin sister of Ryuko Tagawa, and a daughter of Noriko Kifune. She is on the ferry that is capsized at the beginning of the game, having been drawn to the island by instinct. She rescues Mamoru Itsuki from the Underworld and destroys the seven gates so that no more yamibito can be released. She separates from Mamoru soon after, preferring a solitary path. She liberates the soul of Shigeru Fujita and reunites with Mamoru on top of the Spider's Thread. Working with him, they defeat Mother and escape back into the real world. She is the second true survivor of the game.
- Yorito Nagai (永井 頼人, Nagai Yorito?)
A private in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces, Yorito crash-lands on Yamijima Island along with Takeaki Misawa and Hiroshi Okita, who dies on impact but is quickly resurrected as a shibito. Lacking in field experience, Yorito follows Takeaki until they are separated when the Siren sounds. When he next encounters Takeaki, the major has become mentally unstable, threatening to kill Ichiko Yagura. Yorito kills Takeaki in order to protect the girl, but his attempts backfire when the possessed Ichiko attacks him. He eventually joins up with Mamoru Itsuki in climbing the Spider's Thread, but falls off and is confronted first by the yamibito versions of Hiroshi Okita and Takeaki Misawa, and finally Otoshigo. When the red wave hits, he then falls into the yamibito dimension where he sees them walk around as if normal people. Unable to tell if this is reality or an illusion, he is driven insane and embarks on a killing spree.
- Takeaki Misawa (三沢 岳明, Misawa Takeaki?)
A major in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, Takeaki is in the helicopter that crash-lands on Yamijima Island with his comrades Yorito Nagai and Hiroshi Okita. Despite his razor-sharp demeanour, Takeaki is constantly plagued by the horrific memories of an operation where he rescued Harumi Yomoda, the only survivor of the original Siren game, from Hanuda. As events unfold, he becomes increasingly psychotic and homicidal, even more so after ingesting some hallucinogenic medicine. This culminates in his encounter with Ichiko Yagura, whom he threatens to kill because he finds her suspicious. He is shot from behind by Yorito Nagai, in order to protect Ichiko, and dies. However, he is resurrected as a kou-yamibito, and finally destroyed by Yorito.
- Akiko Kiyota (喜代田 章子, Kiyota Akiko?)
A clairvoyant who is able to see visions of the past while sightjacking. She is kidnapped by Soji Abe in an attempt to prove his innocence, but willingly goes with him to Yamijima Island as she senses that they will find their answers there. She is one of only two people to see Mother for the monster she really is, the other being Ikuko Kifune. After the Underworld is opened, she is contacted by the spirit of Shu Mikami and asked to free his father's soul by destroying his yamibito form and stabbing him with a sacred Mekkoju branch. After this act, she receives a final psychic flashback and realises that she is actually an avatar of Mother, just like Kanae was 29 years ago. This causes her to transform into Kanae. However, she fights the psychic control of Mother, and commits suicide by stabbing herself in the stomach with the Annaki remains. This act weakens Mother, allowing Ikuko and Mamoru Itsuki to defeat the monster. She reunites with Shu Mikami in the afterlife as Kanae, where they can be together forever.
- Soji Abe (阿部 倉司, Abe Sōji?)
A construction worker and flatmate of Ryuko Tagawa, the woman who is beaten to death before the events of the game. Soji is immediately suspected of murder, and kidnaps the clairvoyant Akiko Kiyota so that she may prove his innocence. He is on the ferry that is capsized by the blood-red tidal wave, and ends up on Yamijima Island with Akiko. Though he loses Akiko temporarily, he meets up with Shu Mikami, and together they descend into the Underworld. Earlier on, he guides Shu to the Underworld after he loses Tsukasa. Later, he aids Akiko in freeing the soul of Ryuhei Mikami, and reunites with Tsukasa, Shu's faithful seeing-eye dog. Together, he and Tsukasa survive the collapse of reality upon Mother's defeat, and emerge into a new reality where Mother – and by extension, Ryuko Tagawa – never existed. He is the third true survivor of the game.
- Shigeru Fujita (藤田 茂, Fujita Shigeru?)
A down on his luck police officer who grew up on Yamijima Island, before moving to the mainland to raise a family. Before the events of the game, in 1986, he requests a transfer back to his home-town to investigate rumours of a young woman being sighted on the supposedly desolate island. He is on the island when the blood-red tidal wave hits, and is caught up in the events. He rescues Ichiko Yagura from a horde of shibito on-board the Bright Win, and stays with her until the Siren sounds. He is then stabbed to death by the possessed Ichiko, and later resurrected as a shibito. He eventually becomes a yamibito, and is destroyed by Ikuko Kifune with the Mekkoju branch reserved for him at birth, thus freeing his soul.
- Ichiko Yagura (矢倉 市子, Yagura Ichiko?)
A 14-year-old schoolgirl attending Kameishino Prefectural Middle School. In the year 1986, she is on-board the ferry Bright Win with her school's tennis club when the body of Yuri Kishida is discovered in the ocean and pulled on-board. The Bright Win is then lost in a freak tsunami caused by Yuri. During the storm, Ichiko falls overboard and drowns, only for her body to be taken as a host by Otoshigo, the father of the Shiryo and Mother's mate. She regains consciousness in the hold of the Bright Win as the game's events begin to unfold and is rescued from the roaming shibito by Shigeru Fujita. When the Siren sounds, she becomes completely possessed by Otoshigo and stabs Shigeru to death. Regaining her senses and horrified at what she has done, Ichiko stumbles around the island until she encounters Takeaki Misawa, who threatens to kill her. She is saved by Yorito Nagai, but soon goes insane and becomes completely possessed. After her final transformation into Otoshigo, she is destroyed by Yorito.
- Shu Mikami (三上 脩, Mikami Shū?)
An up-and-coming novelist, whose most famous work is "The Mermaid's Tear", inspired by a story his father used to read to him as a child. He was born and raised on Yamijima Island by his father, Ryuhei Mikami. As a child, he discovered a young woman called Kanae washed up on the shores of the island. Kanae was taken into the Mikami household, and Shu became close playmates with her. After discovering the body of his murdered father, Shu attempts to escape the island with Kanae, only to be cornered by the villagers, intent on killing "the witch". They fall into the sea, and Shu manages to survive by climbing onto a drifting boat. However, the experience is so traumatic that he loses his sight and his memory of the incident.
Years later, he returns to Yamijima Island with his seeing-eye dog Tsukasa so that he can unlock his lost memories. He is on the boat that capsizes at the beginning, and returns to his old house to find himself at the scene of his father's murder- time has folded. He is separated from Tsukasa, but joins up with Soji Abe, and together they descend into the Underworld. Seeing the monstrous Mother as his lost playmate Kanae, he embraces her grip and is lost forever. Later, his spirit returns as a ghost to implore Akiko Kiyota and Soji to free the soul of his yamibito father, and to entrust Tsukasa to Soji. He is reunited with Kanae in the afterlife when Akiko commits suicide with the Annaki Remains.
- Kanae (加奈江, Kanae?)
An avatar of Mother, sent to open the seven gates to the Underworld and unleash the yamibito. She first appears in 1976, when she is washed up on Yamijima Island and found by a young Shu Mikami. She is accepted into the Mikami household, and sets about her goal to manipulate Shu into opening the gates for her. To this end, she murders Ryuhei Mikami so that she may have complete control over Shu, but her actions are witnessed by Tsuneo Ohta. Regaining her senses and evading the subsequent manhunt by the villagers, Kanae attempts to escape to safety with Shu. She is eventually cornered, and falls into the ocean. Mother is so enraged by the villagers' interference and Kanae's failure that she sends a tidal wave to wipe out Yamijima, causing a fold in reality.
Later, Akiko Kiyota - another avatar of Mother - is finally overtaken by the psychic power of the deity and transforms into Kanae. However, Akiko resists this control enough to commit suicide using the Annaki Remains, weakening Mother enough for Mamoru Itsuki and Ikuko Kifune to defeat her. Kanae joins Shu in the afterlife, where they can be together forever.
- Tsuneo Ohta (太田 常雄, Ōta Tsuneo?)
The head of a group of fishermen on Yamijima Island and also a sworn protector of the cursed island (Amimoto). He lived/lives there with his daughter Tomoe. In 1976, he becomes aware that Kanae has washed up on the island and, due to rumours and personal beliefs, he brands her a witch. On a fateful night, he orders his fishermen to watch Kanae, and he himself witnesses Kanae over Ryuhei's bloody corpse with a blood-stained knife in her hand. He and his followers (his daughter included) chase Kanae and Shu to the lighthouse, but a landslide causes the pair to fall into the sea. Tsuneo and company think it's over but a massive, red tsunami engulfs them all, causing a time fold.
Due to the time fold, he is encountered in the present by Shigeru Fujita and Ichiko Yagura. Tsuneo recovers but then promptly dies and becomes a shibito, pursuing Shigeru and Ichiko. Later on, he becomes a kou-yamibito and is destroyed with his Mekkoju branch by Mamoru Itsuki.
- Tomoe Ohta (太田 ともえ, Ōta Tomoe?)
Tsuneo Ohta's daughter, she longs to visit the city on the mainland. She aids in pursuing Kanae and, due to the time fold, later mistakes Yuri as her. She becomes dazed after the tsunami and wanders around the island, losing her hair ornament along the way, an important and expensive gift from her father. After being frightened by a shibito she panics and runs away, and is impaled on a spike after tripping on a ledge. She is resurrected as a shibito, and later becomes an otsu-yamibito. She causes repeated trouble, but is later destroyed by Mamoru.
- Ryuko Tagawa (多河 柳子, Tagawa Ryūko?)
Ikuko Kifune's twin sister and another avatar of Mother. She lived in Tokyo and somehow forgot her purpose, and lived as a normal human, using the surname of the manager of the restaurant at which she worked. Shortly after meeting Soji, Yuri Kishida arrives, explains that 'she must do this for Mother', and murders Ryuko. Soji is later blamed for Ryuko's murder, forcing him to elope to Yamijima Island with Akiko Kiyota.
- Yuri Kishida (岸田 百合, Kishida Yuri?)
Yuri is actually a real person who had the unfortunate luck to run into Mother's avatar, who kidnapped her, took her clothing and assumed her identity. 'Yuri' travels to Yamijima, to control Mamoru to open the Seven Gates of the Underworld. When she succeeds, she reveals her true self, which causes Mamoru to reel over in shock.
- Hiroshi Okita (沖田 宏, Okita Hiroshi?)
Yorito Nagai's best friend in his force. When he dies upon crash landing on the island, Yorito is overcome with grief, but quickly recovers when Okita gets up as a shibito and attempts to kill Yorito and Takeaki Misawa, the acting commander. Okita later turns into a yamibito and repeatedly tries to kill Misawa and Yorito. Yorito eventually kills him for good by ramming TNT down his throat and detonating it after saying a quick "Goodbye".
- Ryuhei Mikami (三上 隆平, Mikami Ryūhei?)
Shu Mikami's father, who moved to Yamijima Island after his wife died in the sea surrounding it. When Kanae arrived, he took her in as she bore a startling resemblance to his late wife. He carried out some research about the Annaki Remains with his acquaintance, Omito Takeuchi (Tamon Takeuchi's father from the first game). He is later murdered by a seemingly-possessed Kanae, in order for her to gain complete control over Shu. When Tsuneo arrives to catch Kanae in the act, Ryuhei becomes a shibito and scares Tsuneo off. Later transformed into a kou-yamibito, he is slain and put to rest by Akiko Kiyota before her discovery about Kanae and herself.
- Noriko Kifune (木船 倫子, Kifune Noriko?)
Ikuko Kifune's mother and Ichiro's supposed lover. In 1986, when she was 14 years old she, along her with her best friend Ichiko Yagura, was travelling on-board the Bright Win. It is rumoured she was pregnant with Ichiro's baby, but when Yuri's body was found and brought aboard the Bright Win, the tsunami caused her to fall overboard. This coincides with a Yamijima belief that all pregnant women who bathe in the Yamijima Sea will bear a cursed child. Noriko was found washed up on the shores of Yamijima Island and reported as the only survivor of the missing ferry. Later when the time fold is fixed and Ryuko never existed, her murder was replaced by Noriko killing Ichiro.
- Tsukasa of Jilldoll (ツカサ・オブ・ジルドール, Tsukasa obu Jirudōru?)
Shu Mikami's German Shepherd, whom acts as a guide dog to Shu. She can be sightjacked by Shu, to use her vision and allow him to find his way around. She later helps, and escapes with, Soji Abe after Shu's death.
- Ichiro Nakajima (中島 一郎, Nakajima Ichirō?)
Noriko Kifune's lover. Possible father to a cursed child, he is murdered by Noriko after Ryuko is erased from existence.
- Kyoya Suda (須田 恭也, Suda Kyōya?)
The main protagonist of Siren. At the end of the original game, he disappeared into the darkness to embark on a bloody massacre of the shibito with the holy sword Homuranagi. At the end of Forbidden Siren 2, he returns to continue his crusade against evil; this time against the yamibito. He still brandishes the Kajiro family sword and the Uryen.
- Nitaka Ichifuji (一藤 二孝, Ichifuji Nitaka?)
A secret character unlocked by completing Hard Mode, found in Takeaki Misawa's column. Nitaka is a soldier in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force who had the unfortunate luck to transform into a shibito when the red tidal wave hit the island. After Mamoru opens the Seven Gates of the Underworld and unleashes the Yamirei, Nitaka, a fellow soldier and a woman called Momiko are the only shibito survivors. His scenario involves retrieving Momiko's iron and escaping from the apartment complex whilst avoiding the yamibito.
Siren 2 Original Soundtrack was released on September 24 2008.
Forbidden Siren 2 received generally favorable reviews, averaging 74% on Metacritic based on 16 reviews and 74% on Game Rankings based on 14 reviews.