There are basically three different sizes of character in this game. There are differences in health and stamina between characters, even though they're in the same class, as there are some other differences too - this is just a brief categorization.
- Adult male:
- Characters: Kyoya, Tamon, Kei, Shiro, Akira
- Characteristics: Toughest player-characters, can climb things up to their own height.
- Adult female:
- Characters: Risa, Reiko, Tomoko, Naoko
- Characteristics: Second-toughest player-characters, quick 180° turn, can climb things up to half their height.
- Little kids:
- Character: Harumi
- Characteristics: Weak, slow running speed, low stamina, can nonetheless climb things half their height.
- (須田 恭也 ,Suda Kyōya)
An inquisitive teenager who is fascinated by urban legends. Sixteen-year-old Kyoya travels to the Hanuda area in search of an unnamed village where a massacre occurred many years ago. His relationship with Miyako Kajiro forms the central storyline of the game - the two meet early on when he helps her escape from her sister's fiancé Jun, and then spends most of the game trying to escort her out of Hanuda. Kyoya is the main character in the game, and the character who finally confronts Datatsushi in combat at the end of the game.
- (竹内 多聞 ,Takeuchi Tamon)
34-year-old Takeuchi is a professor in folklore and legends at a Tokyo university, and was born in Hanuda. He lost his parents as a child during the first attempt at the occult ceremony and the landslide that followed. He has returned to Hanuda, ostensibly to study local folklore, but searching for the truth behind what happened to his parents is his true goal. Takeuchi begins with his .38-caliber revolver as a starting weapon, which trades hands with several other characters by the end of the game.
- (安野 依子 ,Anno Yoriko)
Yoriko is a university student from Tokyo, and a pupil of Takeuchi's. She insists on accompanying him to Hanuda, and is caught up in the events that transpire. Yoriko is twenty-two years old, has a huge crush on her teacher, and is quite abrasive and hysterical at times. However, she has a good heart, and has a surprising reserve of courage when called upon to fight. In the ending of the game, she is reunited with her teacher, having been separated from him, and breaks into the Takeuchi house, beats his undead parents with a baseball bat and pulls him away.
- (牧野 慶 ,Makino Kei)
Twenty-seven-year-old Makino is a priest in the local religion and the twin brother of Shiro Miyata, with whom he has a frosty relationship as they were raised by different parents. He is killed by his brother late in the game's storyline. This is a matter of some confusion amongst players of the game, since Makino's death is never explicitly shown on-screen. In fact, before the scene in which his death takes place fades to black, Miyata has the gun to his own head, so the sound of the resulting shot gives the impression that he has committed suicide. Also, there are further levels playable as "Kei Makino" following this scene. Miyata takes Makino's place on these levels, dressed in his brother's robes.
- (宮田 司郎 ,Miyata Shirō)
The player is first introduced to twenty-seven-year-old Dr. Miyata when he awakens in the forest next to a shallow grave. He was having a relationship with a nurse named Mina Onda and, for reasons which are never fully explained in the game, strangled and buried her in the woods. However, the corpse turned into a shibito, and clawed its way out of the grave. Late in the game, following a tense confrontation, Miyata kills his twin brother and takes his clothes, assuming his identity as Kei Makino. Eventually, he gives his life to end the suffering of long dead corpses, the villagers who would not bend to the will of Datatsushi.
- (恩田 理沙 ,Onda Risa)
Risa is a weak and small twenty-one-year-old woman born in Hanuda, who has returned from Tokyo to visit her twin sister Mina. Caught up in the aftermath of the ceremony, she meets up with Shiro Miyata, and they head to the hospital to search for Mina. Later on, Risa is killed by Miyata while under the control of her shibito sister and turns into a shibito herself.
- (恩田 美奈 ,Onda Mina)
While Mina is not a playable character and is never seen as a human, she plays a large part in the game. She is the identical twin sister of Risa Onda. By the time she is introduced into a level of the game, Mina has become a brain, who stalks the hallways of the hospital looking for Risa and Miyata. The shovel she carries as a weapon is very likely to be the same one that Miyata used to bury her in the first place. Several levels in the game revolve around defeating or subduing her, and she is arguably the most powerful shibito in the game.
- (八尾 比沙子 ,Yao Hisako)
Hisako is the woman behind the legend of Yaobikuni, a nun granted immortality because she ate the flesh of a merman. Although she appears to be in her twenties, she is actually well over 1000 years old. When Datatsushi appeared in Hanuda in 684 AD during a great famine, Hisako was one of the villagers who ate his flesh as he lay dying. As a result, she was cursed by Datatsushi to live forever. Hisako initiates the ceremony that triggers the events of the game. Her advanced age has caused her to forget much of her real purpose, which explains her benevolent actions towards Kyoya in the early part of the game.
- (神代 美耶子 ,Kajiro Miyako)
This fourteen-year-old is the latest in a line of special girls born to the Kajiro family whose sacrifice is needed to resurrect Datatsushi. Miyako is eventually sacrificed by Hisako Yao as part of the ceremony to awaken her god, but her spirit continues to assist Kyoya as he attempts to defeat Datatsushi. She is blind, and can only see by sightjacking.
- (高遠 玲子 ,Takatō Reiko)
A twenty-nine-year-old school teacher from the local elementary school, Takato was conducting an outing (star-gazing) with her pupil Harumi Yomoda when the earthquake hit. She lost her own child in a terrible accident several years ago, and she sees Harumi as a surrogate daughter that she must protect at all costs. Takato eventually gives her life to save Harumi, but is resurrected as a shibito. She later chases her pupil out of the Tabori settlement, and attacks Takeuchi when he struggles with transformation. Even in death however, her protective instincts win out, and she saves Harumi once again from Eiji Nagoshi, the school principal turned shibito.
- (四方田 春海 ,Yomoda Harumi)
Harumi is a local ten-year-old schoolgirl gifted with a form of ESP related to sightjacking. She was on a school outing to study star constellations when the earthquake hit, and becomes trapped in the school along with her teacher Reiko Takato. Eventually, Harumi escapes the netherworld and ends the game as Takeuchi began it: wandering alone and orphaned through the aftermath of a natural disaster. Because her bloodstream is never exposed to any of the red water during the game's story, she is the only character who can return from the netherworld to the real world.
- (志村 晃 ,Shimura Akira)
Shimura is an old man of seventy years who has lived in Hanuda for his entire life. He lost his wife and son in the earthquake in 1976, and carries the pain of this loss, and his own failure to prevent the ceremony which caused it, even in his advanced years. A dedicated game hunter, Shimura carries a rifle with him at all times during the game. He knows much about the ceremony and his dislike of the local religion has made him a veritable hermit. He is quite gruff and cantankerous, but would go to any lengths to avoid becoming a monster. Faced with the endless red sea filled with shibito, and realising there is no way out of Hanuda, Shimura shoots himself to escape the horror of transforming into one of the undead. This is to no avail, however, and he later turns returns to life as a shibito
- (美浜 奈保子 ,Mihama Naoko)
Twenty-eight-year-old Mihama is a former model and current B-list celebrity who is in Hanuda filming a cable TV show called Occult Japan (Darkness Japan in the Japanese version). She is very vain and self-centered, and due to the fierce competition in her profession, will go to any lengths to preserve her youthful looks. Driven mad by the events, Mihama eventually submerges herself in the red water, in a misguided bid to stay forever young.
- (前田 知子 ,Maeda Tomoko)
Tomoko is a fourteen-year-old middle school student who has run away from home following an argument with her parents. Now, lost in the underworld of Hanuda, the disagreement is forgotten and she tries to find her way home to her family. Discovering that they are at the local church, having searched for her, Tomoko makes her way there (but not without difficulties). She finally reaches the church, but by then she has already become a shibito, and the sight of her rapping at the window with bloody tears running down her face terrifies her parents. They later join her as shibito, and the three take over an abandoned house to live "happily ever after" - going about their daily routines as the living dead in a hideous twist.