|“|| Fiona and I... are soulmates.
Hewie is the deuteragonist of Haunting Ground. He is a four-year-old white German Shepherd (Alsatian) who soon joins Fiona Belli on her quest to escape Belli Castle. Hewie becomes attached to Fiona after she saves him from cruel captivity by Riccardo Belli. He seems healthy and was apparently well cared for at some time. Hewie is fiercely loyal and will not hesitate to attack Fiona's pursuers when trained correctly. He is her only hope of escaping the castle alive.
Riccardo was exploiting Hewie for his Azoth; Riccardo, being an imperfect clone, required Azoth in order to prevent his abnormal maturity and slow down his aging. Riccardo had trapped nearby animals from around the castle area and extracted their Azoth. The animals possibly came from nearby villages or the woods. This is also hinted at by cages of various sizes covered in fur and feathers on the castle's grounds.
Hewie was captured by Debilitas from a nearby town/village and was brought to the castle, which explains why Hewie and his collar are found in the castle's basement where Debilitas is seen cutting meat to make some sort of a stew or soup. Riccardo had planned on letting Hewie die first so that he could extract his Azoth later, and left him in a dying state tied to a tree with a thick wire.
After Fiona wakes up from a nightmare, she hears a dog whimpering. She notices Hewie outside a window. Fiona interrupts Riccardo's plans by rescuing and caring for Hewie, who in turn aided her by fighting the stalkers attempting to kill her, protecting her from Debitilas and Daniella.
In Chaos Forest, Riccardo shoots Hewie's leg, causing it to bleed. If the player locates Hewie in the forest, Fiona says "You've been shot. You'll be all right. This will stop the bleeding." and seems to tie a bandage or part of her clothing around Hewie's leg, but it's unknown if she actually does so since Riccardo chases her at that moment. Hewie's comment afterwards suggests that Fiona did stop the bleeding.
Later, Hewie rescues Fiona and assists in their escape from the tower in which Riccardo keeps Fiona imprisoned.
- Ending A "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" (Latin for "Fortune helps the brave") - Fiona struggles to get the key into the lock. Hewie calms her fears and she manages to unlock the door. However, Hewie begins barking which catches Fiona's attention. From the double doors, Debilitas comes out with hedge clippers. In a tense and awkward moment, Fiona and Debilitas stare at each other. Debilitas then simply bows to Fiona, showing that he means no more harm to her, and possibly thanking her for sparing his life. With that, she and Hewie leave the castle. Debilitas looks at the overgrown trees in the garden and begins clipping them as he hums to himself. To get this ending, the player must defeat Debilitas using the chandelier. This does not kill Debilitas, but rather causes him to retreat and thus no longer pose a threat for Fiona during the remainder of the game. This is considered the best ending.
- Ending B "Ignis Aurum Probat" (Latin for "Fire tests gold") - similar to Ending A, except that Debilitas does not appear. As Fiona is opening the castle gate, she stares at the castle for a few moments, before turning and following Hewie into the forest. Hewie also runs ahead of Fiona, causing Fiona to say, "Hewie! Wait up, boy!" To get this ending, the player must have Fiona kill Debilitas.
- Ending C "Dona Nobis Pacem" (Latin for "Grant us peace") - similar to Ending A, except that Debilitas does not appear. Lorenzo calls out to Fiona not to go and falls down the stairs, loathing the fact that she has left. To get this ending, the game must be completed once. Debilitas must be defeated with the chandelier. Fiona must visit Debilitas in his hut, where he will give her the "Smudged Key" that opens one of the locked bathroom stalls, which reveals a hidden cellar. In that cellar, Fiona finds the key to the castle's main gate.
- Ending D - "Tu Fui, Ego Eris" (Latin for "What you are, I was. What I am, you will be") - Fiona wakes up in a glass box where Riccardo taunts her and says she belongs to him. She screams in her frustration. Fiona is likely raped off-screen - even more disturbing because Riccardo could be viewed as Fiona's uncle. Later, in a castle bedroom, Riccardo tenderly strokes Fiona's head and her bulging stomach, as she is now heavily pregnant. As he walks away, she wakes, gives a faint smile, and issues a hollow laugh. To obtain this ending, Fiona must have a bad relationship with Hewie when she faints in the forest. Hewie does not save Fiona, either due to dying from Riccardo's gun attack or out of apathy due to Fiona mistreating him. This is likely non-canon as Fiona seems to care for Hewie very much.
The right analog stick is used to command and communicate with Hewie.
- UP makes Fiona tell Hewie to "Go!", ordering him to search the surrounding area, sometimes resulting in Hewie finding hidden invisible items otherwise unattainable.
- DOWN makes Fiona shout out "Come on!" or say Hewie's name in order to get Hewie to come to her side while she is walking.
- RIGHT makes Fiona praise Hewie for doing something good ("Good boy!"), which can have a positive effect on Hewie's performance of praised action, making him do the action more frequently or more successfully. If Fiona is close to Hewie and the player uses RIGHT again, Fiona will kneel down and stroke Hewie's ears. If the right analog stick is repeatedly pressed during this, the action will last longer. Petting Hewie makes him regain stamina and help build up a relationship with him.
- LEFT is used for scolding ("No!") which will help Hewie learn what actions not to do and can help him to be more obedient. Scolding Hewie can also help him learn obedience to help build up a relationship so he listens to Fiona when she needs him to and when Fiona is being attacked. It the beginning of the game, Hewie tends to wander off a lot, so if Hewie suddenly begins walking away, Fiona should scold him.
- R3 (clicking the right analog stick down like a button) is used to make Fiona tell Hewie to "Sit!" or "Stay!", causing Hewie to sit down until Fiona moves too far away. If R3 is used again next to Hewie, Fiona will bend down, say "Shake!" and Hewie will put his paw in her hand for a second.
When an enemy is present, the commands are slightly different. Hewie will tend to growl in the direction an enemy will appear to warn Fiona of a stalker.
- UP ("Go!") will tell Hewie to attack the pursuer. If UP is pressed repeatedly while Hewie is biting, he will be encouraged to bite more, increasing the time of his attack and increasing the amount of damage given to the stalker or enemy.
- DOWN is used to tell Hewie to stop biting, causing him to retreat from the enemy. DOWN is good when Hewie is about to get punched away or kicked away when he bites the enemy's arm or leg too many times and angered them. If used well together with the extended UP, Hewie can attack the pursuer more and still be kept safe before the enemy attacks. This is most useful in Hard mode, where if Hewie is hurt enough and killed, the game is over.
- LEFT and RIGHT work the same way in both normal and battle mode.
- R3 orders Hewie to wait, causing his attack power to increase temporarily. Pressing UP when Hewie growls will cause him to ferociously attack, which is extremely efficient when Hewie is facing a stalker's back rather than front.
- There are many items in the game that can be used to restore Hewie's stamina and build friendship with him.
- When playing on Normal Mode, Hewie cannot die. However, in Hard Mode, if Hewie is slain by a stalker, it's game over.
- There are three occurrences in the game where Hewie can "level up" in terms of abilities:
- The first is by having Hewie hide in a hole by one of the castle gates which has crooked lampposts next to it. When Debilitas is near, have Hewie attack. Hewie will bite Debilitas' neck.
- The second is in the diorama room. One of the ledges is missing a fence. While Fiona is being chased by Debilitas, make Fiona run to the ledge. Hewie will bite Debilitas' arm, causing Debilitas to fall off the ledge. Hewie must be at full health to do this.
- Have Hewie hide in a bush in the graveyard in Daniella's area. When Daniella chases Fiona, Hewie will attack Daniella.
- When using DOWN ("Come on!") and Hewie isn't listening (he tilts his head or makes a small whining sound), a good way to get Hewie to learn what to do is to use LEFT ("No!" (scolding)) and then DOWN again. Repeat this until Hewie barks, which means he understood, and follow this with RIGHT ("Good boy!") to teach Hewie to follow. The "Action -> Scold when he doesn't understand -> Repeat until understanding -> Praise" is a very effective way to teach Hewie how to act.
- Making Hewie attack from behind (jumping up on the pursuer's back and biting their neck) is said to be the strongest attack. A recommended strategy is to use R3 to get Hewie to wait, then using Fiona as a "bait" to place the pursuer in front of Hewie with their back towards him, and then using UP to order Hewie to attack. Hewie will likely jump on their back, biting their neck (with increased attack power, and for a longer time if using the extended UP command). The attack from behind usually makes the pursuer incapable of hurting Hewie, so this tactic puts Hewie in even less danger than he's already in.
- Note: Due to objects in the game, the placement and direction of the pursuer, glitches, where Fiona is, or other interfering events, Hewie may fail to succeed in this attack. When failing this, Hewie will either attack the pursuer's hand instead (putting him in danger of the pursuer counter-attacking at some point, so be ready with DOWN) or making Hewie jump and bite the pursuer and then run away or run in a circle or half-circle to usually face the pursuer again. The jumping attack may miss, but it either way does not enable the pursuer to counter-attack.
- If Fiona has trained Hewie enough, he can hide in hiding places with her.
- There is a Training Ground to help Hewie improve his abilities.
Dog's Best Friend
When the game is finished once, a Secret Room is unlocked containing a mini-game where the player can, instead of controlling Fiona, control Hewie in a number of areas and events from the game. As Hewie, the player must guide Fiona to the exit of the level as quickly as possible. Possible fights are:
- Debilitas in Chaos Forest
- Daniella in Belli Castle
- Riccardo in Belli Castle (while he is invisible)
- Lorenzo Belli in Chaos Forest
- "You saved me.... Now it's my turn to help you. I won't forget this."
- "Someone as skinny as you should have been able to do this instead."
- "You said sit, so I did. So please... Don't leave me here."
- "Every time I bite that guy, the stink is terrible. It makes my nose curl and my eyes water. Yuck!"
- "Whenever I get pollen on my nose... I can't stop sneezing... Wa-choo! Makes it hard to snag those flowers."
- "It's dark and there's not much room. It's really damp, too. Come on, Fiona! Don't make me wait here!"
- "Jumping them from behind... Biting their neck... Now that's what I call doggie-style!"
- "Arf? He seems... different. Like he's not scary anymore. How bizarre."
- "Thought this might be a snack for a second there. Boy is it hard, though."
- "Doing this together is fun! What is the name of this game?"
- "I've smelled this somewhere before. It's definitely the smell of a vegetable that needs to shut up."
- "Didn't hit me! Can't hit me!"
- "ARF!!! I feel like I am really starting to connect with Fiona."
- "Fiona, why didn't you just try crawling through the peep window?"
- "Aww! You found my hidden treasure! Oh well."
- "Thank you, Fiona. But I still hurt. I probably can't move around for a while."
- "Where did you go? I looked all over for you."
- "Fiona? Why don't you start running? He's coming! He'll get us!"
- "Yay! I love playing games with Fiona."
- "We threw him off the edge. Goodbye, bad smell. Goodbye, Riccardo."
- "Whoa! Talk about a stinky odor! Moldy rotten wood is just the absolute worst."
- "He burned... He melted... He died."
- Hewie's movements are motion capture.
- Hewie's theme is Precious Hewie, and has a remix. A short piano part of it plays at the end of Endless Zero.
- The reason why Hewie was added was because the developers were concerned that having a sole female protagonist would detract from the game's popularity and sales, and that by adding a dog companion, it would boost appeal. While many players enjoy the Fiona-Hewie dynamic, the reasons for Hewie's inclusion could be seen as appealing to sexism in the video game industry. The same could be said for Fiona's breast jiggle and sexualized alternate outfits.
- In Hard Mode, Hewie will make comments instead of Fiona. They can be read in the menu.
- If Fiona abuses Hewie, he comments how sad he is. One of the play types is called "Dog Beater". Receiving it results in the comment "You are obviously not a dog person."
- Hewie's name is the first line spoken at the beginning of the game.
- There are 3 Hewie costumes in total:
- White German Shepherd, Hewie's default, makes him more loyal and obedient.
- Brown German Shepherd makes Hewie more aggressive, but harder to control. It is unlocked by completing the game once.
- Stuffed Toy makes Hewie invincible. It is recommended in Hard Mode, although the game must be completed on Hard in order to unlock.
- Hewie makes a cameo in Joe the Condor's ending in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, along with Fiona and Debilitas.
- A stray dog that resembles Hewie appears in Resident Evil 4, another Capcom game on PlayStation 2 made around the time of Haunting Ground. There are rumors that Haunting Ground was made using scrapped RE4 assets, and it's likely the two games share some developers. Leon Kennedy has the option to save him. If he does, it will help him during his first boss battle, a giant beast called El Gigante. Whether or not this is actually Hewie, or even a deliberate reference or a mere coincidence, has never been officially confirmed.