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

Part Twenty-Five, or SWEEEEEEET!

  On the previous episode of Traipsing Through Silent Hill, Travis murdered the weird noodle-monster that his father had become, retrieved the last piece of his Flauros, and promptly died in room 500 of the Riverside Motel. It was very shocking.

  But not as shocking as when he wakes up just fine in… um… a basement? Somewhere? The items in the immediate vicinity are a first aid kit and some Redeemer ammo, so… erm… we’re in a hospital storeroom? Maybe? Wandering about eventually finds a gurney that’s stained with soot and blood, which suggests that this Alessa was recently on it. I guess this means we are in a hospital, possibly. But we don’t know where they took Alessa after she was reported dead at the scene, and considering that this town consists of 30% assholes and 70% idiots, it’s just as likely that they dumped her body in a dumpster, really.

  Anyway, we eventually find another knickknack paperweight in the middle of a floor sigil—the present piece. Unlike the others, this one appears to be a central piece that all the others fit into. So it’s puzzle time! It’s not super hard to do, as you match up similar symbols on each piece to corresponding symbols on the core. You also have to spin the pieces to make sure they completely match up. It’s mostly an exercise in patience, although it does give me the opportunity to call bullshit on Travis’s assertion that the pieces were labeled in English on their bases, as they most clearly are not.

  Once Travis finishes reassembling the full majesty of the paperweight/Rubik’s tetrahedron, it starts radiating light and begins to fly. Then it knocks Travis on his ass, killing him instantly.

  Or knocking him out. Whatever.

  When he comes to, Alessa is there with him in the “real” world. She turns around to head out the door, throws a sigil on it, then walks through the motherfucker. It’s cool that’s she’s so powerful and all, but I’m sure the goddamn door handle is the easier option, Alessa. Save the magic without borders for when it’s warranted… like turning your evil mother into a twitching mass of blood and guts.

  Travis gives a very leisurely chase down the twisting corridors and up some stairs, and it turns out we were in Alchemilla the whole time! Well, color me shocked. We take the only route available and head out the back door. Travis runs into Dahlia, who starts scolding him about how he broke the spell. “Now she is free!” she shouts, ignorant of the fact that Alessa probably could have done everything herself without Travis’s help.

  Travis sticks up for himself, saying, “I just want to end this. I thought that’s what she wanted, too!” Oh, Travis, don’t blame Alessa for this. You weren’t tricked or anything. I mean, there is that whole piggybacking thing, but then are you going to get mad at me Travis? Not cool, bro.

  Ya know, I’m not entirely sure what that line is really supposed to mean… like, is he trying to ingratiate himself to Dahlia by pretending to be a victim? Why on earth would he do that? He knows she burned her daughter alive! Although Alessa hasn’t been the friendliest person in the world, she hasn’t lied to him, or attempted to kill him, or been presented as anything other than sympathetic. Well, to me, at least. It just seems like we missed out on a couple of major cutscenes when I wasn’t looking or something.

  Long story short, Travis, she really does want out… it’s just that she’s been severely charbroiled, rending her “out” vastly different from yours.

  Dahlia retorts with a condescending, “You want out?” followed by the funniest attempt at haughty laughter I’ve heard. She seriously goes “Haw, haw!” as though that isn’t the stupidest sounding thing one could do to prove one’s superiority. I wonder if the voice actress’s lines actually read “Haw! Haw!”, because Dahlia seriously chews the shit out of that laugh. It is amazing. Then she’s all “Even with your misguided help, it’s far too late now. The ceremony begins soon. Finally, she will birth god. Here she comes! Look upon what you have wrought!”

  What follows is the single most badass moment in all of Silent Hill: Origins.


I say again, though with more emphasis: SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!

  SIDENOTE: The world transitioning effect is a source of contention with a number of people, namely because it was pioneered by the godawful movie adaptation that took a silly plot and made it needlessly complex yet somehow incredibly stupid. But I maintain that it’s fucking sweet, and it’s by far from the stupidest transition from normal to nightmare world we’ll see. END SIDENOTE.

  Now Travis takes off running, because this is the first and only time he’s been pulled into the nightmare reality without a mirror working as a kind of gatekeeper. I would have liked to have seen Dahlia run the fuck away, too, to be honest. If anything, she’s the one who has a reason to fear Alessa’s newfound ability to destroy dimensional boundaries.

  Anyway, Travis is now is Silent Hill: Nightmare Streets Edition. There are a couple of goodies in the starting area, but the most important item to pick up is the child’s map, which is a crude rendering of the path we need to take to get… somewhere. The map itself helpfully has our destination circled with a “GO HERE” written on it. See, Travis, Alessa isn’t an antagonist at all—she is shepherding you through the darkness.

  She is your god now, Travis, and it would be best not to displease her.

  But I think Alessa will understand if we get sidetracked a little bit for when sweet, sweet loot is involved. Heading west on the adorably misspelled “Koonts” Street (what? pandimensional reality-murdering goddesses can still make endearing mistakes) nets us an awesome cache of goods. Other diversions are less than great, like the bullshit dead end on Sagan Street which has a box of AR ammo and a broken pole in a pram. Hurray. That’ll be useful, I’m sure.

  It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to know that there are a number of high-end monsters roaming the streets. Calibans, giant roadkills, and fuck-monsters all call the dark streets home, but they’re all super blind if you turn off your light and just patiently wait for them to go scuttling out of your way. They do have better perception than the nurses, however, in that they will actually respond if Travis bumps up against them.

  Honestly, after looting “Koonts” for its goodies, your best option is to slam an energy drink, turn off your flashlight, and take off running toward your destination, rushing your way past all the monsters. You’ll have something much better to spend your bullets on in a moment, I’m sure.

  I hope the last boss is Dr. Skeeves. I’d like to put a couple dozen rounds into his stupid fucking face.

  So we eventually release our destination, a place called the Green Lion. After descending some stairs, we end up in what looks like someone cluttered basement. It’s full of old furniture and generally useless garbage, save for a note which discusses our newly created Flauros Device. Oh, yeah, and it’s apparently the Flauros Device now.

  Apparently, it was originally talked about/invented about two thousand years ago by some dude named Chang Ch’ien joking about how he caught a demon in his “three-sided box”, which is stupid because if he’s referring to the Flauros itself, Travis will tell you that it’s a tetrahedron which means it has five-sides four sides (oops... damn you, hubris!). If he’s talking about the triangle you have to draw on the floor, he’s not talking about the device, now is he?

  The device surfaces in the late 18th century when a Lutheran monk finds it and uses it to amplify his thoughts or something. So, I guess it captures demons and amplifies thoughts? Does the demon do the amplifying? Or is it one of those goofy things where if you concentrate real hard, it totally helps you focus? Whatever. It’s stupid and I hate it.

  There’s a hole in the back of this place that looks big enough for Travis to fit through, so I send him in. What follows is an excruciating, 45-second long crawl, unbroken by anything save the nifty music. There’s no exciting imagery, no hazards… just Travis on his hands and knees shuffling his way forward. I’m a little torn about this… on the one hand, this is boring as fuck. On the other hand, it is kind of a neat way to try and build tension. I think it could have been handled much better, mind you—a different angle, some voice overs, the occasional hazard, a better designed/more interesting tunnel to crawl through—but I guess it kind of serves its purpose.

  When we emerge from the hole, we have the final non-boss room of the game. There are six save points stacked in a way to make a triangle, which is kind of neat. And I just realized that the save points themselves are triangular and I think are meant to invoke the triangular seals that appeared after we slayed each boss and the Flauros-piece appeared. I… actually think that was an intentional and coherent aesthetic. Well done, Climax.

  Anyway, if the save points weren’t enough of an indication, a short hallway leading to a massively oversized door should be enough to tell you that we’re about to encounter the last boss. At the moment, there’s nothing to do but whip out our horrible, racism-invoking Redeemer and run to our climactic showdown.

  Which will happen tomorrow.

  Because I’m terrible.

  But I’d also like to take stock of Travis’s endgame inventory just to give you an example of what I’m going into the last fight with. I think that this is very pertinent information, namely because everything I have is going to be implied to be on Travis’s person when we waltzes into the finale.

  My standard items are three in number: Travis’s flashlight, radio, and lucky quarter. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. Still find it a little strange that he had his radio on him and it was on from the get-go, but hey, whatever. A little convenience isn’t the end of the world, right?

  My supplies are where things start to get a little odd. Travis holds 7 health drinks, 4 energy drinks, 5 ampoules, and 2 first aid kits. I haven’t mentioned it, but I’m pretty sure both of those kinds of drinks also come in glass bottles, so… yeah.

  But that’s not all, my friends! Travis also holds 77 .22 caliber bullets, 18 shotgun shells, 46 .45 rounds, 48 rifle shells, 101 automatic rifle rounds, and 30 .44 caliber bullets.

  And you know what that means? Travis is carrying a .22 and a .45 pistol, a full-length double-barreled shotgun, a full-length hunting rifle, an AK-47 knock off, and a .44 magnum revolver.

  And then there are our melee weapons.

  Oh, are there our melee weapons.

  Travis has, apparently on his person as we wait upon the precipice of horrors, two large wrenches, two typewriters, two jagged pieces of wood, two iron weights, two portable televisions, two katanas, two screw drivers, three kitchen knives, two filing cabinets, a baton, three tire irons, three tool boxes, three broken poles, three crates, three shovels, three light stands, a motherfuckin’ spear, two cleavers, a meat gaff, and four pool cues.

  That seems like a lot of stuff! Like, a preposterous amount of stuff! And you’re absolutely right. But I pride myself on being a curious brand of crazy, so I went and I calculated how heavy said stuff is.

  The process was hardly scientific, but I looked for the weights of all the items across this merry internet of ours. Some items were low-balled, others were bumped up. In the case of bullets, I divided the 322 individual units of ammo Travis had on hand by fifty, then multiplied that number by the weight of a box of fifty 9mm rounds. Not all ammunition is created equal, I know, but the idea was that the heavier ammo (.44, shotgun shells) would be offset by the lighter rounds (.22 caliber).

  Also, I could only find the weight of a box of 9mm ammo, and even that was on a Yahoo! Answers board or some shit.

  Certain items were calculated using their shipping weight if I got the information on a seller’s website—the rationale being that Travis doesn’t have a backpack or anything on his person, so the extra weight works as a kind of discomfort buffer. What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes an item is light, but it’s difficult as hell to move because it just so happens to be really cumbersome as well. Also, certain items—the portable television, for instance—were selected based upon the items appearance in game and the closest item available in the time period.

  Still other items were calculated by finding the weight of similar tools and applying that to the item in question. In particular, the iron weights were from the theater, so I assumed that they would be of similar weight and function to sandbags. I could be wrong, but all being wrong does is add extra weight to something already silly.

  And then there were the health drinks, which I weighed by holding a glass bottle of tea while I weighed myself and subtracting my weight without it. It was intense. I also assumed the energy drinks were just slightly heavier, as they seemed to be a bit taller, so that was accounted for.

  As I said, it’s hardly scientific, but I did have a process. I discovered that the heaviest thing Travis is carrying is filing cabinet at 24 pounds. The wrench comes in at a close second, weighing in at 23 pounds (I used a pipe wrench for my calculation, seeing as how the weapon has more in common with a pipe wrench based on size and general look). The lightest item was the lucky quarter, coming in at .01 pounds.

  Anyway, the end result was that Travis is carrying a staggering 425.08 pounds of equipment with him. Friends, if we take nothing else from this, it is clear that Travis’s pockets are either bags of holding or the man is close personal friends with Hermione Granger. Or maybe Alessa was assisting him. Or maybe that’s why Travis was terminally short of breath.

  Or maybe it’s just a game, and people shouldn’t complain about Travis lugging around almost a quarter of a ton of stuff in a game about a psychic girl ripping reality a new asshole because a crazy cult is trying to impregnate her with a god composed of pain and contrivance.

  Join me tomorrow for the exciting climax of Traipsing Through Origins, Was That It?

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

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