Calling (video game)

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Calling
Calling.jpg
Developer(s) Hudson Soft
Publisher(s)
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)
  • JP November 19, 2009
  • NA March 9, 2010
  • EU March 19, 2010
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Wii Optical Disc

Calling, or Calling: Kuroki Chakushin (CALLING~黒き着信~?, lit. Calling: Dark Message) in Japan, is a survival horror video game developed by Hudson Soft exclusively for the Wii console. The game was released in Japan on November 19, 2009,[1] in North America on March 9, 2010[2] and in Europe on March 19, 2010.

Gameplay[edit]

From a first-person perspective, players explore the Mnemonic Abyss' haunted locations such as a doll-filled houses Shosei school, an internet cafe, a hospital, a bedroom, and a hair salon. Players use the Wii Remote's pointer function to interact with objects and move around. The controller also acts as a mobile phone in which ghosts speak to the player character via the speaker. In addition, the player can also use the phone to warp around to different locations, as well as take pictures and record ghostly voices. Also, the game has secrets as well, but it only can be devised by face on the Lady in Red that appears in some parts of the game.

The ghosts also confront the player in featured "fright events". The player has to fight the ghosts off by swinging the Wii Remote and following button commands.[3]

Plot[edit]

Rin Kagura, Shin Suzutani, Chiyo Kishibe, and Makoto Shirae visit "The Black Page", a website with only a counter that is said to show the number of people who have died after visiting the website. Rin is drawn there because six years ago, she promised a little girl in a hospital over an online chatroom that she would come visit her. When she got there, the girl wasn't anywhere to be found. Rin thought "The Black Page" might hold answers. Shin loves the supernatural and was drawn to "The Black Page". After Chiyo Kishibe's grandson bought her a laptop, she heard rumors of "The Black Page". She thought she might be able to meet her late husband. Makoto Shirae's friend died under circumstances considered mysterious by him. He investigated the death, which resulted in him being led to the website. After entering a chatroom on the website, Rin, Shin, Chiyo and Makoto are soon drawn into a void that lies between life and death, which manifests the memories of the dead and is known as the Mnemonic Abyss. Using their mobile phones, these people must try and escape from it.

Shin is the first to end up in the Abyss. He wakes up in the home of a man who became obsessed with doll-making. After finding Chiyo unconscious on the floor and several of the dollmaker's creations (which are alive), he flees back to the point where he began. He gets a call from a little girl who tells him "Gotcha". Losing his composure, a ghost of a little girl holding a black cat doll soon appears and attacks him.

Rin is next to enter the Abyss. She finds herself in a school after having a dream that she has not had for a long time. Wandering through the school, she hears something in the janitor's office, but lacks a key to gain entry. While searching for a key, she sees a scared person run into a bathroom; she unsuccessfully attempts to get him out of the stall. After finding the key, Rin encounters a live black cat that runs away. Following it, she finds she is no longer in the realm of the living. On a computer, she finds the Black Page website. Shin soon runs in, hiding from a ghost. Exchanging pleasantries, both of them observe the website until a ghost that is different from the other ghosts scares Shin away. Following the ghost, she meets Makoto. He shares all he knows of where they are, the connection between the Abyss and the Black Page and the fact that people who lose hope become spirits. He tells Rin of his worry for Shin, for his worried condition may cause him to become a spirit. The phones they possess can be used as teleporters. The ghost that led Rin to Makoto is really Makoto's dead partner, Sadao. As Rin tries to leave, the door closes and a voice says "Just you stay here forever...with me...". The voice belongs to the ghost of the little girl who attacked Shin. She grabs Rin, but lets go, saying "You're a liar..." before disappearing. Rin meets the black cat again and follows it through the school. Rin meets up with Shin in the nurse's room. Rin tells Shin that they can use their phones to teleport to another, but the phones switch places, meaning, if you had two phones, and teleported to the other, you'd teleport to the other phone, but you'd have the phone you teleported to, not the one you used. Rin tells Shin that you can't phone your own number, but before being able to tell Shin that it'll kill you, Shin phones himself, having a stroke and vanishing. Rin takes his phone, and uses it to teleport between a crack in a door. There, she learns about the black page, and sees a phone-number. Then, a ghost summons the three-schoolgirls' ghosts that've been attacking Rin and Shin, but Rin teleports away with the phone-number. She appears to be in a room full of dolls - the same room where Makato was. There, she meets Chiyo - an elderly woman who has no idea how she got there. Rin hears a phone, and tells Chiyo to stay there until she comes back. After finding the phone, she is attacked by Shin's ghost momentarily, it pleading to be "helped". Rin shoves Shin away, and he disappears. She makes it back to the doll-filled room, encountering a ghost staring at all the dolls he made. Instead of attacking Rin, he states that his dolls make him proud, before disappearing. Chiyo sees a ghost of a mailman, and follows it into a void, which leads into a hospital, where she was meant to get hospitalized before she found "The Black Page". Rin comes back, finding a note in Chiyo's place, having a phone number on it. She teleports into what looks like a 2-story house, and wanders around until she finds another number. She later gets into the hospital, where she sees Kuroneko's ghost. Kuroneko is a sweet young girl who was bitter inside because she never had much friends. When she tried to kill herself by jumping out a window, a nurse, who she became quite close to, tried to stop her but failed. Rin wanders around, looking for a way to apologize to Kuroneko for breaking their promise: her coming to visit her in the hospital. Eventually, Makato contacts Rin, telling her that she can contact ghosts: with her phone. She talks to Kuroneko, telling her that she didn't break their promise, and that she got in an accident, and their beds where right next to each others. She explains that she, too, will be a part of this world soon, so they could be friends again. Kuroneko walks away, to the third-floor, with Rin chasing after her. There, she tries to jump out the window again. Rin tries to stop her by grabbing her, but falls right through her, falling to the ground and dying, closely followed by Kuroneko jumping face-first, causing a snapping sound, supposedly indicating her death.

Chiyo wakes up in hospital, surrounded by her family, waking up from the nightmare.

Then time rewinds itself just when Rin gets to the hospital, but rewinds itself completely for Makato. He wakes up in what looks like an anime-obsessed man's room, to a barber shop, to the school, until he meets his deceased partner, Sadao. Sadao kills Makato, deciding that they can be "partners" again. Meanwhile, Rin meets Kuroneko for the second-time. She apologizes over and over. And, this time, whilst Rin is running after Kuroneko, she isn't saying that it'd be better if she never existed. They get to the part where Kuroneko jumps, also showing what the nurse did when she and Kuroneko were still alive. Except Rin grabs onto Kuroneko and hugs her, them both falling down, and down, and down as the credits play. Kuroneko eventually disappears, her soul being fulfilled, the screen going white, and after about 7-seconds, Kuroneko says, "Thank you", before disappearing completely.

In a post-credits scene, Rin, still alive, wakes up in her bed and finds Kuroneko's cat doll on her bed. She takes it and hugs it quietly, mourning Kuroneko's death.

Development[edit]

The game was originally unofficially unveiled when gameplay footage was leaked on to the internet in October 2008. Hudson reported that the footage was stolen from a PR company's servers.[4] The game was officially revealed in Famitsu in July 2009.[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 51.40%[5]
Metacritic 49/100[6]
Review scores
Publication Score
IGN 3.5/10[7]

Calling has received mostly mixed reception from critics. Based on 28 reviews, Calling holds a Metacritic score of 49/100[6] and 51.40% on GameRankings based on 20 reviews.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]