Itsuki is perhaps one of the most memorable characters from the second Fatal Frame game,
and the story of his life and how he came to be in the game is no less tragic than any
of the others also trapped there.
He becomes a vital part of solving the mystery, and for many, one of their favourite characters
from the entire game.
But who is he, and why is he locked up in a cell when you first meet him?
This week were going to be looking into the tragedy of Tachibana Itsuki.
You first run into Itsuki fairly early in the game when some crimson butterflies lead
Mio to the storehouse Itsuki is locked up in.
He acts as a guide from this locked room and helps you with puzzles and furthering your
progress throughout the game.
Hes a bit of a mystery, but the further you delve into the village and the more you
discover of its history, the more we learn of Itsuki himself and the tragedy that befell
Itsuki was 15 years old when he and his brother Mutsuki were chosen to be the altar twins
for the upcoming Crimson Sacrifice ritual.
This ritual was performed to keep the Hellish Abyss beneath Minakami Village closed, and
it required the elder twin to strangle the younger twin to death.
The younger twin would then turn into a crimson butterfly while the elder lived on as a Remaining.
Occasionally this would cause the remainings hair to turn white from the stress of killing
their own twin.
As per the ritual, Itsuki and Mutsuki were taken to the Twin Houses and separated from
each other for a year.
This was to prepare them for the task as hand, because if the twins were still too attached
to each other, then the ritual was doomed to fail.
Itsuki, being the eldest by the villages reckoning, was destined to kill his brother,
but he recognised beforehand that it was likely to fail.
He simply loved his brother too much.
And he was right.
Itsuki strangled his brother, successfully killing him, but it had no effect on the Hellish
The brothers loved each other too much, and although the shock of the ritual turned Itsukis
hair white, the ritual itself failed.
Mutsuki was dead, and all for nothing.
Which could mean only one thing: next up would be Sae and Yae.
In life, the Tachibana brothers made a promise to help Sae and Yae escape if they failed,
and Itsuki intended to keep that promise.
In fact, knowing that the Kurosawa twins would be chosen next if the Tachibana twins failed
was what kept the boys from running away themselves.
Itsuki sent word to a former childhood friend of his, Munakata Ryozo, now an apprentice
to the folklorist Makabe Seijiro.
Munakata visited Minakami Village as a child with his father, a travelling salesman, and
became friends with Itsuki and Mutsuki.
In fact, it was visiting this village that made him want to become a folklorist in the
first place thanks to their rich customs and traditions.
Even after he left, the boys kept in touch via letters, and it was in one of these letters
that Itsuki informed Munakata of the upcoming ritual.
He requested that he and Makabe visit the village to save Sae and Yae.
They were going to die if he didnt.
Munakata convinced Makabe and the pair visited the small village.
This wasnt hard to do because Makabe was fascinated with their secret rituals and wanted
to learn more.
Itsuki heard news that the two men had arrived, but not only that, they had been very warmly
welcomed, and this worried Itsuki.
He feared both men would be used as kusabi sacrifices in the lead up to the full Crimson
Although he invited him to the village to save the Kurosawa twins, he now needed them
to get out of there as soon as possible, otherwise Munakata and Makabe would die as well.
During this time, Itsuki was free to roam the village as a Remaining, and he worked
quietly behind the scenes to help facilitate Sae and Yaes escape.
Naturally, things didnt quite go to plan and Itsukis deception was discovered.
He was locked in the storehouse for interfering in the ritual, and despondent, he took his
own life, thinking that he had not only killed his brother but doomed Sae and Yae to the
same fate as well.
Although Yae escaped, Sae was discovered and brought back to the village.
She visited Itsuki one last time before the ritual, but she was too late and discovered
his dead body hanging from the rafters.
Sae in turn blamed herself for his death; if she hadnt run, then Itsuki wouldnt
have killed himself.
In any event, she was forced to carry out the ritual alone, and naturally it failed.
This unleashed the Hellish Abyss upon the village and it consumed Itsukis soul, along
with everyone elses there, trapping them forever in the villages confines.
When Mio found Itsukis spirit trapped in the storehouse, the same place he took his
own life, he mistook her for Yae and continually referred to her as such.
He helps her because he thinks her to be one of the Kurosawa twins and he can possibly
still save her.
Depending on the ending you get, Itsukis fate can change slightly.
Most endings dont feature him at all, but the Promise ending from the Xbox version of
the game sees him reunited with both his brother and their younger sister as they watch the
crimson butterflies fly away.
In the Deep Crimson Butterfly remake, the Shadow Festival ending shows Itsuki still
in the storehouse with a crimson butterfly as the Darkness erupts once more.
Considering that Itsuki has never shown up in another game since, its unknown officially
what happened to his spirit, but if we go with the good endings, then he was likely
reunited with his family.
As an interesting aside, Itsuki was initially going to be a woman.
Shibata had a dream about a woman in a white kimono with white hair in her 20s.
This sad, softly-spoken woman seemed to have given up on life and said to him, Dont
become like me.
Shibata envisioned her as Mio in the future, and after killing Mayu, she would lock herself
away in the storehouse.
He even considered a time loop where young Mio would run into old Mio in the storehouse,
not realising that it was actually her in the future and they were constantly reliving
the same night of terror over and over again.
But in the end he ditched that and decided to make Itsuki male instead.
The idea was never entirely abandoned though, and the white-haired woman in the white kimono
actually made an appearance in the Deep Crimson Butterfly remake as Kureha, basically taken
from Shibatas dream as-is.
And thats the story of Tachibana Itsuki, the boy who loved too much and potentially
doomed an entire village because of it.
But what do you guys think of this one?
Are there any other lore videos youd like to see?
Let me know in the comments below and Ill see you again next time!