home bio blog armyofdarkness media projects contact

Newest Entries
Archives


Traipsing Through Silent Hill
Artwork Graciously Provided by the Incredibe Steven Luna

Part Two, or Impassive (adj)

  Welcome back! When we last left Travis, he had abandoned his rig with the headlights still on, couldn’t differentiate between fog and smoke, ran into a burning house to save a very Crispy Girl, and promptly passed the fuck out after making it to safety. That about brings us up to speed.

  Travis awakens during a very foggy day on a bench, as you do. Or, to be honest, it could be smoke. I’d have to wait for Travis to announce it one way or the other. He looks around at the paved streets before wandering to a very convenient tourist billboard with a city map. We are apparently in Silent Hill proper, right next to Alchemilla Hospital. Travis reasonably assumes that, if Crispy Girl was brought anywhere, it would have been there.

  Why he doesn’t realize that he would have been brought there to be treated for smoke inhalation and passing-right-the-fuck-out is anyone’s guess.

  It quickly becomes apparent that the street names are references to authors. For instance, Travis woke up on Crichton St. The hospital is on Koontz St. It’s a better alternative to, say, Ominous Foreshadowing Ave. and Jump Scare Lane.

  I am given control of Travis, and I decide to run up the road, because I feel like exploring. My hopes are dashed when the road is completely torn up, effectively blocking our way. And I don’t mean in the “well, shit, there’s construction,” kind of way. I mean in the “holy hell, the hand of god just punched a sinkhole into the earth!” kind of way. Travis doesn’t react to this. He just kind of dopily stares across the abyss like it is the most natural sight in the world.

  There is a general store next to the yawning, totally normal and not-at-all unnatural chasm. Thinking that I could buy flowers for Crispy Girl, or at the very least barbeque sauce for the worst case (though delicious) scenario, I try the door. Travis just yells at me to go right to the hospital so he can check on Crispy.

  Fine, Travis, ya goddamn baby. To the hospital, then.

  On our way there, we do not encounter pedestrians or cars. Everything is quiet and still, and Travis has nothing to say about it. I’m pretty sure all the buildings (including the general store) are empty, too—if they aren’t, people are doing a damn fine job of pretending to be ghosts. Even when he walks right into the hospital and sees it unstaffed without a soul waiting in the lobby, he apparently doesn’t care. What he does care about is stealing a public notice off the billboard. The contents of said notice talk about how the hospital’s second and third floors are under construction. He also swipes a map of the hospital, because he innately knows he’s in a video game situation.

  There is a television in the waiting room that is both on and tuned to static, so that’s indication that at least the power works. But more mysteriously, there is a red triangle plastered onto the wall. For me, this is a save point. For Travis… well, he doesn’t comment on it at all.

  This… this is starting to become a theme, isn’t it?

  We continue wandering around the hospital. The place is super disorganized and a complete mess, which I suppose could be explained with the construction notice, but there are also a fair number of broken windows. Did the construction crew do that? Or is this place just a shithole?

  Our puttering comes to an end when Travis runs into a business-suited man waiting for an elevator. In this situation, what would you think that Travis would ask?

  A) (desperate) “Were any victims of a fire brought here?”
  B) (concerned) “Where the hell is everyone?”
  C) (belligerent) “Hey! You a doctor?”
  D) (sarcastic) “Hey, you in charge of this hospital? Real clean, fella.”

  If you chose C, congratulations! You are precisely the same level of deranged as our hero.

  The first person Travis sees in the hospital—nay, the whole town—is shouted at as to whether or not he is a doctor. It turns out, the guy totally is. What follows is a fairly stilted back and forth between unnecessarily confrontational Travis and the super sketchy doctor (I know he’s sketchy, because the voice actor just oozes sleaze out of his lines). Our hero tells Dr. Skeeves that he’s looking for a girl that would have been admitted from a fire. The doctor claims that no new patients have been admitted in the last day or so, then (rightly) asks Travis if he is a relative or if he knows the girl’s name.

  Frustrated, Travis asks if there’s another hospital that he should check out, and Dr. Skeeves tells him to kindly fuck off and ask someone in reception as he disappears behind the elevator doors and vanishes to the second floor.

  Right away, we’re running into a slight issue here. Why doesn’t Travis mention how there’s literally no one else here? It’s the first floor of what appears to be the only hospital in that part of town. And, realistically, the map shows that this is a commercial area, so I’m sure Alchemilla actually serves a much larger area. No one’s working the front desk. No one’s in the lobby. The place is dead silent save for the television in the lobby spewing static. You could chalk this up to construction, but a) the public notice said they were trying to minimize the disruption, implying they were open to the public, and b) where the fuck are the construction workers telling you to clear out of their way?

  Travis, you totally dropped the ball on this one.

  Well, I’m determined to get to the bottom of this, so I have Travis head up the elevator to the second floor so I can punch Dr. Skeeves in the dick ask the good doctor some more questions. When I get to the second floor, it looks like the power’s been cut. Luckily for us, Travis, like most truckers (I guess?), happens to have a chest-pocket mounted flashlight. We duck out of the elevator vestibule (this is a really stupidly laid out hospital) and enter a hallway cluttered with construction equipment.

  And there’s a nurse with her back turned to us.

  She’s all twitchy. And glisteny.

  Travis asks if she’s okay, and she whips around to reveal that she’s covered in blood and doesn’t have a face. Instead, her head kind of looks like the head of a syphilitic penis. With a little nurse’s cap on top. I can’t decide if that’s hilarious or deeply upsetting. Regardless, it raises a pointy thing and lunges right for us!

  Travis sees a sledgehammer on a nearby bench (because construction). Instead of brandishing the weapon himself, he lets me do it for him. So, Travis, let’s take a look at what you’ve done for me lately:

  1) Ran into a burning house to rescue someone, then let me do the actual rescuing.
  2) Aggravated an unholy nurse and saw the means to defend yourself, but made me reach over, grab it, and put it in your hands.

  Travis, man, you gotta stop relying on me to save your ass. I know that it’s a video game, but I’d rather save you from my stupid decisions, thank you very much.

  Surprisingly enough, the nurse is easy enough to bludgeon to the floor, whereupon it starts squirming really unpleasant like. It takes a while to maneuver into position, but I am eventually able to administer a coup de grace, a move which looks suspiciously like I’m just hitting the monster in the ass with a hammer. But it’s dead, so hurray for me.

  After the battle, Travis has a small freak out over the fact that he beat something vaguely anthropomorphic and feminine to death. He slides down a nearby wall, desperately trying to… oh, wait, no. That didn’t happen. You know why? That would have made sense. Instead, Travis doesn’t even respond to bleeding pile of vaguely-humanish remains. I guess we now know something else about Travis: he has probably killed before.

  The taste of murder still on our lips, we wander into the only room that’s open. It appears to be an operating room of some sort (although the map refuses to identify it as such). There’s a hospital gurney with a lot of blood on it and what I’m assuming is a two-way mirror on the back wall. Either that, or it exists soley so Dr. Skeeves can watch himself flex as he shirtlessly operates on female patients.

  …

  You know what? Now I need a shower.

  Poking about eventually leads to a totally startling, not-at-all-telegraphed-by-the-creepy-dude-we-just-met revelation: a note reveals that a patient suffering massive burns was treated here. Do you have any idea what this means? Dr. Skeeves was lying to us! THIS IS NOT HOW YOU DEVELOP A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PATIENTS! DAMN YOU, SKEEVES!

  I also notice that the mirror is wrong. Not in the “lol, games can’t do reflections” manner of wrong, but literally wrong—it’s reflecting Travis in a far shittier and somehow even darker version of the room. And no, Travis doesn’t comment on this. Why would he? Soulless murder-men have nothing to bring to this conversation!

  When I try to leave, Travis spots that Creepy Girl has appeared in the mirror, but is definitely not in the OR. She puts her hand on her side of the mirror, and a bloody handprint appears. Ugh, fucking ghostly girls getting smudges all over the damn place. Travis approaches and recognizes her from the night of the fire. He puts his hand on the bloody handprint, causing his reflection to freak the fuck out.

  And suddenly, he is on the other side of the mirror. As in, he is now in the same operating room, only the décor has gone from “shitty hospital” to “bloody and rusty hospital of horrors”. Outside of commenting that he’s seeing things and that the situation “ain’t right”, he’s handling this change of scenery remarkably well.

  Before you ask, yes, once I got control back I hopped right back into the “real” world just to see if I could. Then I went right back through the mirror. I love how people immediately master some random power they’ve just been handed.

  This seems like a good place to stop for now. Join me next time for part three, Anatomy 325: Differences in Monster and Human Physiology.

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.

< PREVIOUS ENTRYNEXT ENTRY >

AdviceFictionGamingGeneral MusingsReviews