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  And we return once more to the underworld! It is I, Jonathan Charles Bruce, and you are you, my loyal traipsers! When last we left Harry, he had blundered into the nightmare version of Alchemilla, exterminated all the doctors with extreme prejudice, taken an item called the Plate of “Queen”, and… um… went into the morgue. We also won the game by picking up the emergency hammer, a device of terrible retribution that will seriously fuck up anything that looks at us funny for the rest of the game. Unless they’re flying… but even that may not save them.

Map!
Map!

  Our first stop is the second floor’s west wing. Outside of testing whether or not the parasitized nurses are any more or less allergic to bullets than their MD-possessing brethren (they aren’t), there isn’t a whole lot going on here. It does turn out, however, that there are some practitioners of evil intent that will fall to the floor after two hammer blows and require a boot to end. The vast majority only require two, though. I regret my earlier overzealousness in reporting the weapon’s stupidly awesome power.

  I also discover that the nurses (and in my easy mode run, the doctors) are quite a bit twitchier when they perish if you’re bludgeoning the last two years of medical school out of their skulls.

'You gonna stop that any time soon?' 'Nah, I'm good.'
"You gonna stop that any time soon?"
"Nah, I'm good."

So there’s that.

  Quite a number of rooms in the hospital are locked, so rather than bore you with the constant attempts to jiggle open broken doors, just imagine that every hall I am running through contains the sentence “So then Harry started checking the doors to figure out which one the designers arbitrarily decided would open.” You may have to do so multiple times.

  Also, there are nurses prowling the main hallways. Like, all of them. If I don’t mention them, it’s because they died too quickly to be of note.

  Anyway, room 201 has a nurse taking a smoke break, which is totally against hospital regulations. I remind her of that fact with the pointy end of the hammer. As the clearly still-human-but-with-a-sentient-lump-of-evil-on-its-back has the last bits of consciousness pooling on the floor, Harry steals the lighter the nurse left behind. So I guess that’s going to be important at…

  Wait a minute.

  Harry already has a lighter.

You may recognize it as the moment I said he lit his hand on fire.
You may recognize it as the moment I said he lit his hand on fire.

  Did he lose it in murder alley? Did he never actually have it? Well, that can’t be the answer, as he seemed unsurprised at its presence in his pocket. Did it happen to run out of gas as he lay dying in the gutter, dick hacked apart by demon children? Or did the developers just not give a shit about this particular bit of incongruity?

  None of these questions (and more!) will be answered!

  Despite how silly this room is, I will be the first to admit that it has a pretty sweet moment if you wait long enough at the entrance.

Goodnight!
Goodnight!

  Room 201 sufficiently plundered, we move onto room 204 and HOLY JESUS WHAT.

... well, this is the silliest thing I've seen here today.
... well, this is the silliest thing I've seen here today.

… what? What am I looking at? Noodles? Leeches? Worms? It does look like their asses (oh, lord, I hope those things are face-first) connect to some larger organism in the wall or something like that. So… um… I got nothing. Except the blood on the floor—they’re probably carnivorous, which is always a fabulous thing to run into. Oh, and look at that—there’s a plate on the wall behind them.

  Wonderful.

  Drawing near the noodles causes them to freak the fuck out hilariously.

To be fair, beating the shit out of them probably doesn't help.
To be fair, beating the shit out of them probably doesn't help.

If we attempt to power through them, Harry is knocked back and takes a bit of damage. We can attack the noodle-beast, but it proves to be ineffective. I tried the red liquid I found earlier, and that does nothing. So the only thing we can do at the moment is leave.

  Back in the hall, I discover that there is a plaque at northern end.

... um... why?
Pointless. Nothing more than that.

Harry… Harry’s kind of a weird guy.

  The main door into the eastern half of the building is locked, but there is another funderful plaque.

Most hospitals would just have a list of donors, but I guess this works. Morbid as all hell and completely eliminates my faith in your insitution, but it works.
Most hospitals would just have a list of donors, but I guess this works. Morbid as all hell and completely eliminates my faith in your insitution, but it works.

…’kay. I guess this may be linked to something. What, I’m not entirely sure. If we arrange the names in ascending order of age (hey, the opposite of what we did in Origins!), the first initial of each forms the word ALERT. Other variants do not work in any way—TRELA is not a word, and the last names all begin with consonants. If there’s something more to this, I don’t know what it is.

  And no, Harry doesn’t say a thing about this. What are you, nuts?

  In order to get into the eastern wing, we’d have to divert our path into the nurse center (which sounds like it should have been a shitty ER/Grey’s Anatomy knockoff—“Watch Nurse Center, this fall on NBC, premiering after Riverside Motel and The Grady Bunch!”). Here, we encounter everyone’s favorite moment of any Silent Hill game: amateur poetry night! And the fact that it appears to be written on one of Cheryl’s sketchbook pages is already a pretty bad sign of things to come.

QUOTE

        Clouds flowing over a hill.
        Sky on a sunny day.
        Tangerines that are bitter.
        Lucky four-leaf-clover.
        Violets in the garden.
        Dandelions along a path.
        Unavoidable sleeping time.
        Liquid flowing from a slashed wrist.

END QUOTE

Why, no, Harry doesn’t comment on the poem being written on his daughter’s notebook paper. Why would he? That’s just silly. Is it written in her handwriting, too? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!?

  But seriously, I’d be so worried if I found this on my seven year old’s desk. Not even joking.

  So, this wonderful bit of prose is in reference to the nearby door, which is locked. Set upon the door are four color-coded plates, along with four missing ones.

It's a good thing the nightmare reality didn't invest in screendoors. Just imagine how quickly we'd burn through this game.
It's a good thing the nightmare reality didn't invest in screendoors. Just imagine how quickly we'd burn through this game.

This means that the hunk of red rock carved with the design of the Red Queen from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Harry recovered in the last entry is a fancy key.

  Welp, we finally have a destination for the first half of the hospital. At least it showed up relatively quickly *cough cough* Cedar Grove Asylum *cough cough*.

  Harry runs up to the third floor to begin his wanton theft of anything and everything not nailed to the floor. Room 301 has an empty birdcage to greet us. Yes, that’s it. No, there’s not a whole lot to it other than that. Oh, if we examine it we get this:

... Fuck you.
... Fuck you.

  Seriously, dude. Of all the weird shit you’ve seen today…

  Room 302 gives us some welcome shotgun shells. It also contains a VCR, which will come in handy the moment Harry stumbles across taped copies of Cagney and Lacey.

  Speaking of lady officers of the law, where the fuck did Cybil go? We were in the same area she was, and the only way out was through the house of Levin Street. Did she climb the embankment by Harry’s car? It didn’t seem like that big of a slope, so I bet it’s doable. But we all know that Silent Hill won’t let you go if someone doesn’t want you to. So, I ask again—where the fuck is Cybil?

  Room 304 has a steel plate screwed into the wall. That’s it. I mean, there is a soon-to-be-dead nurse and a health drink, but apparently there’s a plate screwed into the wall which is simultaneously useless and nondescript but of grave importance… somehow. It’s yet another thing that is wholly unremarkable, but Harry’s inability to discern important from non-important shit drives him to commentate on it.

Seriously, Harry, not a single comment on the fucking parasites but THIS is worth your time?
Seriously, Harry, not a single comment on the fucking parasites but THIS is worth your time?

I really, really miss Travis.

  Upon breaking into the men’s room, we discover a blue Plate of “Turtle”, yet another reference to Wonderland-related silliness. This, specifically, is referring to Mock Turtle, a character that is so utterly beloved in Lewis Carrol’s books that just about no one I asked has ever heard of him. So don’t feel ashamed if you have no idea who the hell this is; I didn’t before this.

  No, I’m not screenshotting the other plates. Go to Wednesday’s entry and look at the Plate of “Queen” and make it green. You’re done. Move along.

  On our way out of the room, there’s also yet another “breaking item off camera” sound effect that is slowly starting to move from “annoying” to “infuriating”. Did anyone think to question why we went from Midwich’s relatively sparse jump scares to like three in five minutes? Anyone?

  I discover later that the door to the east wing is not locked, but for whatever reason I’m programmed to believe it is. As such, I duck into the linen room. In here, we discover Alchemilla’s darkest secret: they have five dryers and not a single washing machine. Harry, capable of determining such things at the merest glance, divines that the dryers are all useless now and must be told.

I'm so glad I could do this for you, Harry.
I'm so glad I could do this for you, Harry.

Fuck every other egregious health violation in the regular hospital or the holes leading to the abyss, this is where our hero draws the line.

  I just realized that, since the main door to the east wing is indeed unlocked, this room is entirely superfluous other than allowing Harry to make a comment about the broken dryers. Take a moment to let that sink in. Enjoy it. Let it linger that someone felt it was important to add a room dedicated to the sole purpose of having our hero insult a handful of dryers.

  With that, we get to explore the east wing! The main hall has a couple of nurses slouching in the darkness. They aren’t of any real concern at the moment, so we head to the nearest door that will give us entry; the storage room contains a box of bullets, a first aid kit, and a blood pack—all three which are shoved without a problem into Harry’s pockets. There are also bottles filled with drugs that our protagonist won’t take, yet he will happily inject any random ampoules he finds.

  Silent Hill!

  Back out in the hall, one of the nurses is now close enough to be a threat, so I make sure that she is nullified before darting by the last remaining enemy in the area and heading into room 306. We round out our limited edition collector’s plate set with the Cheshire Cat’s yellow thinger. Since I’m so busy gawking at my new find, I stumble back in the hallway and get Harry knifed in the ear for my generosity in letting that one nurse live.

  You know who loses in the game rock-paper-knife-hammer? Whoever doesn’t throw hammer.

  There’s only one plate left to pick up, and that’s allllll the way back in room 204. A hop, skip, and jump later, we plop the blood pack on the floor, successfully distracting the whatever-the-hells and giving us access to the green Plate of “Hatter” that some idiot has left stapled to the wall.

  We conclude today by solving the puzzle in the nurse’s center. Based on the poem, the solution rests with the color as opposed to the things actually represented on the plates themselves. I mean, the other idea—requiring abstract thought—requires a lot of console horsepower and the PSOne just couldn’t handle such events so close together.

  Anyway:

  Clouds=White
  Sky=Blue
  Tangerines=Orange
  Clover=Green
  Violets=Purple
  Dandelions=Yellow
  Whiny Seventh Grader’s Attempt to Reference Death=Black
  Overwrought Reference to Blood=Red

It only takes a glance to realize that you just set the appropriate plates in a clockwise direction. Honestly, the only thing that could perhaps stymie anyone’s attempt to solve or understand this “puzzle” would be if they happened to be playing on a black and white television. And, at that point, it has nothing to do with how the goddamn thing was designed.

  And yes, you can start popping plates into place before you know anything about the puzzle. Huzzah!

  Successful completion unlocks the door, which grants us glorious access to the second floor’s east wing, which has… um… something important in it… maybe… perhaps. Will it be justification for referencing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Probably not!

  And with that, we are done for the day! Join me next time for Golly, Earlier Acquisition of Redundant Items Sure is Helpful.

BONUS: I encountered a glitch the likes of which I have never encountered before. After picking up the hammer, I took the elevator to the first floor, killed the doctor, then ran to the second floor. This resulted in Harry somehow losing his arm.

Well... that's inconvenient in the best of times.
Well... that's inconvenient in the best of times.

That's right, Harry. You rage. You rage against the bastards that took your arm.
That's right, Harry. You rage. You rage against the bastards that took your arm.

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

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