Horror is one of the most common genres of fiction, with movies, books, poetry, and the like providing us with endless nightmare fuel. We love inducing fear because we know we’re still in control—it’s all fake in the end, making us feel safe enough to ignore our physiological journey or fight off the reaction. That’s why horror games were very popular in the past too, with unforgettable franchises like vampire And the memory lossand even some Non-horror titles Bring their own brand of ghosts to the table. But one series, for a while, has been above all else when it comes to how terrifying the game is: the silent Hill.
While the characteristic thick haze of the first game came as a happy coincidence after developers tried to address hardware limitations, it was in 2001 silent hill 2 (SH2) has really stuck in the minds of fans, which has led to him being widely considered the best in the series due to his harrowing story and, most importantly, the way he deals with self-reflection and trauma. But in order to truly understand terrorism SH2We must go back in time first. History lesson, anyone?
What is Silent Hill?
the silent Hill It was first released for the PlayStation 1 (PS1) by Konami in 1999, three years after Capcom’s huge hit, vampire. Since then, the two have been considered competitors in the survival horror game genre. Quite simply, every one the silent Hill The game has the protagonist – intentionally or unintentionally – connected to the fictional American town of Silent Hill. They are instinctively drawn to him, and once they arrive, they are forced to confront their darkest secrets and confront the sins of their past.
What begins as fun through a somewhat ordinary, albeit creepy city, soon turns into a terrifying attempt to survive as it periodically transforms into the “Other World,” a diabolical and twisted version of Silent Hill filled with violent and disturbing creatures. I’ll leave you with nightmares for weeks. The story goes that many years ago, the Underworld was created by a sect that still operates secretly within the city. Here the heroes must confront their own demons and uncover the truth about why they were drawn to Silent Hill in the first place.
Many terrifying fanatics consider it so the silent Hill As the strongest chain when compared to vampire Due to the fact that as the games progressed, the latter became more focused on action and lost the feature of horror. But over time, the roles were suddenly flipped –vampire He returned to his terrifying roots and the silent Hill He started losing his way. titles like Silent Hill: Homecoming And the Silence downpour hill You do not have what you did the first four previous games. As much as it hurts to admit, the once-in-a-day horror franchise has disappeared into the ether, with no new entry since 2012.
However, in 2014, a glimmer of hope for the series appeared in the form of a demo called PT (meaning operable trailer). Released on PlayStation Store and confirmed as new the silent Hill title name silent hills Headed by Hideo Kojima of Kojima Productions with the help of horror legend Guillermo del Toro and the walking Dead Actor Norman Reedus.
Unfortunately, only a year later, del Toro announced that he would no longer be part of the project, likely due to Kojima’s departure from Konami. a few days later, PT The demo was officially canceled and the demo pulled from the PlayStation Store, leaving many fans angry and upset. There was no new news the silent Hill surname since then.
Trauma and self-reflection
Now that you’re up to speed, let’s move on to the topic at hand: SH2and how to accurately portray the self-reflection and trauma of the protagonist, James Sunderland.
SCREENSHOT recently spoke to the silent Hill The fanatic Konstantin Kono, who shared his extensive knowledge of the way the game uses symbolism to illustrate Sunderland’s trauma and his inner feelings.
At the beginning of the game, we are introduced to Sunderland, a widower who travels to Silent Hill after receiving a message from his late wife Mary, whom he has lost to a violent and mysterious illness, telling him that she is waiting for him there. . Really scary.
A little further away, Sunderland spotted a radio that blew static – Kono believes this is our first encounter with the game’s symbolism. “One of the first hints we get is the radio at first, where we hear Mary’s voice for the first time,” he explained. “Her words are constantly interrupted by the constant sound of the radio, but if you listen closely you can hear her asking why he killed her.”
After this nerve-wracking scene, the protagonist encounters his first monster: the false figure. Their bodies are all covered in a mantle of flesh, with erect feminine legs and they wear what looks like a pair of high-heeled shoes wrapped in flesh. While they are quite a common enemy, they are an important enemy, as Kono noted, “The false figures symbolize the helplessness of Mary and James during illness.”
These pesky creatures attack by vomiting on Sunderland, and if we hold to the idea that they represent Mary, then, as Kono says, “she also attacks James with words full of hate.”
“It also resembles James’ disgust toward Mary,” Kono added, referring to one of the game scenes where Sunderland’s deceased wife can be heard saying, “I look like a monster.”
The False One stands next to a corpse that looks suspiciously like Sunderland, and while it’s not hostile, it triggers something in Sunderland that prompts him to kill the monster. Looking at what we just discussed, I think you can see what’s going on here…
As she progresses in the game and begins to reveal Sunderland’s backstory, she realizes that the city, and thus its monsters, are trying to guide him toward the truth he has so desperately tried to suppress.
“Most of the time, it’s subjective,” Kono told us. “The Hospital of the Otherworld, with its walls covered with filthy blankets, like Mary’s rotting skin, confronts James with his sin of being disgusted with his weak and lonely wife.”
However, the game does not freely give this information to Sunderland nor the player. As he fails to get the hints presented to him, it seems that the town is becoming more and more desperate to convince him of his guilt and his painful past. One of the best examples is the character of Maria. Jacob is forced to experience Mary’s death over and over again [the town] Allowing him to see her reflection in the form of Maria being murdered by Pyramid Head over and over again.”
“Then, the town charged him directly at Indigo’s tavern, and told him he had to die and he was going to hell,” Kono added.
Our game expert, in general, believes that Silent Hill Wants To support Sunderland and Wants To find the truth, albeit in a twisted and corrupt way. “A good example of this is the Pyramid Head,” he added.
Pyramid Head is probably one of the most famous horror monsters – with a huge metal pyramid-shaped object on its head, a giant rusty sword and a leather skirt, it is a manifestation of Sunderland’s desire to be punished for Mary’s death. Who knows, huh?
“Throughout the match, Pyramid Head was almost hostile towards him [James]. Sure, he could kill James, but most of the time it kind of guides him through town,” Kono explained. “In the first level, he clears the way for James to continue, or at the hospital where he kicked him off the rooftop, allowing the hero to get into a room he couldn’t get to from Before.”
Does the ‘SH2’ convey the imaged shock well?
While all the symbolism is present and very prominent throughout the game, it does raise the question, how does all of this translate to the player? Is it clear that it has to do with the Sunderland shock? Kono thinks so.
“I suspect SH2 It presents trauma in a very unique way – a kind of “show, don’t tell” way. The only way to understand the story is by observing and interacting with the environments and watching James’ reactions to them.”
This is what makes the game so much fun. It doesn’t give players everything they need on a plate. Instead, he makes you work for him, guides you when needed but doesn’t give up his secrets easily either. Even after two or three runs, there may still be parts that you missed before and are just starting to understand.
“You are forced to decipher the horrific hints the city is giving you, which is very disturbing but intriguing at the same time. Personally, I think that’s cool […] But it requires the player’s ambition to search for the truth.”
So, in essence, yes, the topics are translated, but only if you are willing to work towards that understanding – just like how The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask deals with different stages of grief. Inclusive, silent hill 2 It gets all the horror elements right, but it also highlights something that not many games have lived up to since: the story. Not only does it bring horror, but it also brings a sense of curiosity and mystery as it tells the heartbreaking story of a man coming to terms with the atrocities he committed against the person he loved more than anything else in the world.
21 years after its release, SH2 He still has a lot to give. It will scare you half to death and make you cry even more – which not many AAA horror games really live up to these days. One thing is for sure though, the silent Hill He may have lost his way, but the stories the series tells will stay with us forever.