home bio blog armyofdarkness media projects contact

Newest Entries
Archives


Part Title

  Welcome back to the penultimate episode of Traipsing Through Silent Hill! Last time, we killed the malevolent deity Samael by shooting it a bunch with a hunting rifle. Alternately, we killed the malevolent deity Samael by just kind of running in circles until it tuckered itself out and died. It… wasn’t particularly climactic. What followed, though, was pretty sad—a dying Cheryl/Alessa gave Harry a new baby to fuck up with take care of as the nightmare reality dissolved around them. Harry and Cybil escaped while Dr. Skeeves was pulled back into the self-destructing void by Lisa.

  Upon completion of the credits, we get two additional sequences that come from this particular ending. The first is a shiny remake of Harry and his wife finding an abandoned road baby.

She bit me!
"She bit me!"

Hurray! That’s… a thing! It also permanently replaces that sequence in the opening FMV with the Cybil-tastic one. Why? I don’t know.

  Although… um… you know how I made a joke about how Harry either dropped Cheryl and was picking her up or he is picking her up from almost tripping over her? Yeah… uh… there’s pretty much only the one way to look at this sequence, now. Oops.

  The next set of clips are from, oddly enough, a gag reel.

Lisa

Well, shit, Lisa’s laughing. It’s going to take forever to get another take.

Kaufmann

Dr. Skeeves lives up to his name by showing us a bit of his totally sweet moves.

Cybil

Cybil gets the short end of the stick—she just walks and points to someone off camera, and that’s it. Maybe she was the consummate professional out of all these boobs and is just yelling at someone for bobbing around behind the camera. Or maybe she was legitimately angry with the fact that Harry got more attention than literally every other major character and squandered it by being an unlikable fuckwit.

Cheryl

Oh, hey, Cheryl. We haven’t see you since the first update, unless we count your appearance at the mall. Which I don’t. Ah, you’re okay, kid. Run along, you scamp.

Alessa

Alessa’s looking well for someone who was pulled out of a fire and suffered through an eternal nightmare. Unless this is post-recombination Alessa. Or Cheryl-as-Alessa. I don’t know. Either way, thumbs up for reasons!

Dahlia

Dahlia tries to kiss the camera. That’s… totally expected, to be honest. One might say I knew this day would come.

Harry

True to form, Harry hogs his fair share of the screen time. At the same time, though, good ol’ Harry Mason bashes his stupid soft skull against a table and probably forgets all of his lines because of it. So I kind of win in the end, don’t I?

  You can watch the gag reel in its goofy, doofy entirety right here.

  I really love the gag reel. It adds a lot of personality to the experience. I adore the little touches they put in there for authenticity, too. Like Dahlia looking like she overshoots her mark, debates whether or not to “save the scene”, and then just decides to go in for the kiss. Or Lisa not quite sure how to process the mistake with her co-actor until she busts out laughing. Sure, it’s not “real”, but it feels that way and I love it. It also serves to remind us that there was a period of time when the game was more than a little self-aware. I wish the other games in the series remembered this was a thing and maybe did something other than the UFO ending. But alas, we’re stuck with grimserious for the most part.

  This isn’t the only way to end our Silent Hill experience, though. What we achieved was the Good+ ending, which I guess is the closest to an A+ we can get in terms of overall warm fuzzies or whatever. As mentioned in earlier updates, the two people we can save—Cybil and Skeeves—have an impact on what happens when we get to the Gillespie residence in Nowhere. Saving Dr. K will net us both of the good endings, as his presence is required to douse Alessa/Cheryl with Alphoneslorraine and cause a very angry abortion to try and kill us. Cybil’s presence just determines whether our sundae comes with fudge AND caramel, or just the fudge.

  Since she’s dead in the Good ending (that came out wrong), she’s not there to attempt shooting Dahlia in the face. So the cutscene leading up to the boss is not all different—it’s just the stapled on beginning is cleanly removed.

Dr. K still dies and Harry runs off with a new baby in tow. It’s basically the same ending, with some interesting differences. Alessa/Cheryl doesn't have to intervene to stop Harry from dying and the post-credits sequence is a bit bleaker. Not a whole lot—just Harry running down the road at night and coming to a stop, looking at this new life that has been (mistakenly) entrusted to him. Although the baby looks a little… off, if we’re being totally honest.

Can I get a trade-in?
"Can I get a trade-in?"

At the end of the day, though, it's still largely the same finale. Just not as affecting.

  Now, if you don’t save Dr. Skeeves from moleman related shenanigans, the way the run up to the boss plays out is somewhat different. I’m embedding the scene without Cybil, because it’s the same as it was in the Good+ ending. If you can’t remember, that’s okay—it wasn’t really all that important anyway. Just imagine Cybil telling Dahlia to freeze, shooting, and then getting knocked the fuck out.

As you can see, without Skeeves to unleash Samael, Alessa is either possessed with the monster/gumption and proceeds to flash-fry Dahlia. This is hilarious. This also leads to Harry having to shoot Alessa/Cheryl in the face to save the world. He does so, and it is very sad.

  If Cybil is alive, then you get the Bad+ ending.

Sure, Harry gets decked in the face, but what do I really get out of it? Cybil and Harry presumably die in the nightmare, and that’s that.

  Now, if Cybil is still melting peacefully on the carousel, we get the Bad ending.

That additional clip at the end plays at the end of the credits, implying that it was all a dream of a guy dying in his car. You know, that bullshit cliché that completely undermines and devalues the journey that we just had by saying everything didn’t actually matter.

  See, just like with the Butcher ending of Nullrigins, the Bad ending implying that Harry’s hallucinating these things as he dies is a big so what. Unlike Zerorigins, which served to just not make a lick of sense while simultaneously managing to retroactively destroy the narrative, this nullifies the entire experience. Cybil, Dahlia, Alessa, Kaufmann… they were all figments of Harry’s imagination. So what’s the big fucking deal? Why play? Since there are sequels, it’s clearly non-canon, so why even do that at all? But even before the decision to make sequels was made, why give the middle finger to the players by telling them that all their struggles were literally the dying embers of thought?

  Anyway, as I mentioned with Origins, there are really only two endings, each with a slight variant on them. Either Harry lives or he dies. Although I can appreciate the way that the game tries to up its replay value, the fact that there is so little substantial variance between endings makes it a bit moot. Sure, Good+ is the richest and most emotional, but it's not like Good isn't hitting the same notes, just a bit flatter. And, of course, both Bad endings are non-canon. But whatever—people seem to like it.

  In the end, I can’t be too hard on it. After all, I also had multiple endings for Otherworld that didn’t do a whole lot in the way of actually changing a thing. Novelty has its place, I suppose.

  Now, with all that out of the way, we get to another thing that Silent Hill does—judging you for how well you play it!

Yea!
Yea!

As you can see, I… huh. You know, I can’t claim to actually fully understand this. The stuff in gold is considered good, and I have a lot of good marks, but I also have what I believe to be 58 out of 100 possible stars. Maybe I didn’t run around enough… or I ran around too much… or I spent too long shotgunning moths on post office roofs. Long story short, I apparently kind of suck at this game.

  You can also see that stuff floating around back there. When you beat the game once, it will ask you to create a “NEXT FEAR” save file—Silent Hill’s version of New Game+. Load it up, and you can find a container of gas at the gas station just after you clear Midwich Elementary and break into K. Gordon’s house. With this, you can either head west to Cut Rite Chain Saw and pick up the chainsaw, a terrible weapon with no knockback, or head east to the drawbridge tower and acquire the rock drill, a terrible weapon with knockback but takes forever to kill anything. Both are demonstrably worse than the emergency hammer, which you can get without completing the game and will turn mild-mannered Harry into Harold, Destroyer of Moths.

  The other item of note there is the Channeling Stone. Located in the trashed convenience store just east of murder alley, this handy doodad will trigger the game’s UFO ending. Unlike Travis’s joke ending, though, this one works by using the Stone in five locations: the roof of nightmare Midwich, the gated entrance area in Alchemilla after you wake up in the nightmare version of the Green Lion, the motel courtyard, the houseboat, and the lighthouse. Do this, and…

Harry gets shot in the dick for his trouble. But this is the price we pay for greatness. Also, there’s a good chance that Travis is driving the lead spaceship, and that just makes me so damn happy.

  Don’t you dare take that away from me.

  Getting the UFO ending gives you the Hyperblaster, which is basically an infinite range pistol that never runs out of ammo. It’s… not as useful as it sounds.

  The last unlockable is the katana. This is received after playing the game a minimum of twice and getting the Good+ and Bad+ endings on the save file. The katana is found in the Levin St. house’s side room, which proves that the architecture in Silent Hill is fucked. The weapon is super awkward—Harry lunges forward with almost every swing, meaning that you can not only slide across a room while swinging (Harry’s feet don’t move during this process), but you can also attack an enemy, miss, and get stabbed in the dick for your trouble thanks to Harry’s newfound teleportation ability. Hurrah!

  Honestly, all the unlockables are various degrees of shit. The single best thing is something the game doesn’t tell you—when you complete the game and go into the extra options screen (OPTION on the menu, then hit R1), you can increase the number of bullets you get per pickup. Every time you complete the game, you get another optional multiplier—up to a total of 9 times. Now, the game is already criminally easy, but getting even 30 handgun bullets from every box turns the game into a farce.

  Just like last time, I’d like to take the opportunity to go to the Silent Hill wiki and figure out what the “official” names for the monsters are in comparison to my own. Also, there’s the fact that this page is full of baseless conjecture and general silliness that I’ll be pointing out. All commentary is based on the 12/17/2014 version of the page.

  Without further ado…

Have you been helped?
Have you been helped?

  Demon Children are actually Grey Children. Sure, why not? They also go by “demon children” according to the wiki, so hurray. I guess these are the result of Alessa’s perception of her classmates being massive dickwaffles. Since they appear in murder alley, the school, and the amusement park, it makes sense. What child doesn’t love to spend their days in an alley, preying on the weak?

Room service!
Room service!

  Demon Birds are hilariously called Air Screamers, because they… um… fly and make noise, I guess. Supposedly, they are from The Lost World, which is one of Alessa’s favorite books. I’m docking the wiki a billion points for wild speculation. We’re never told this, guys. Maybe Alessa was a fan of Land of the Lost or the Godzilla monster that looked like a Pterodon. There was one of those, right? Ever think of that, smarty people?

Who's a good dog, indeed.
Who's a good dog, indeed.

  Demon Dogs are Groaners. They exist because apparently Alessa was afraid of dogs, although we’re never told that. Also, they may represent Alessa’s deteriorating condition, what with being burned alive and pregnant with horrors. But once again, this has no substantial basis in much of anything outside of a desperate need for everything in this game to have deeper meaning™. So I will instead suggest that “quick animal enemy” is probably the only reason the demon pups exist in this game.

Ugh, it's like something out of LKH fiction.
Ugh, it's like something out of LKH fiction.

  Molemen are Mumblers. They are supposedly derived from the fairytales that Alessa read. Sure, those fairytales about sewer-dwelling mole critters who eat people’s crotches. It’s German.

A B
Simultaenously the creepiest and goofiest monsters on the list.

  Doctors and Nurses are Puppet Doctors/Nurses. The symbolism inherent in this monster design is actually pretty self-evident.

D'awww.
D'awww.

  The giant lizard is actually Split Head. It is inspired by the fairytale that Harry reads in game. This, naturally, means that there is evidence to suggest that this is where it comes from. Hurray for evidence leading to a conclusion rather than a conclusion searching for whatever evidence it can!

Take that, ceil-OH GOD, WHAT
Take that, ceil-OH GOD, WHAT

  The sewer lizards are… um… Hanged Scratchers. Because they… um… sometimes… hung from the ceiling?

What... what am I looking at?
What... what am I looking at?

  Ivisi-kids are apparently Stalkers, because if you’re going to name something stupid, you might as well make it bland as well.

1  2
Once again, someone thought this was a great idea to include in a horror game.

  The larva is the Twinfeeler, while the adult giant moth is the Floatstinger. These are stupid names and whoever came up with them should be ashamed of themselves.

This'll kill it in about thirty seconds.
This'll kill it in about thirty seconds.

  Samael is called the Incubus, which is a type of male demon which raped women in their sleep. Alessa, if you happen to fight her, is referred to as the Incubator, devaluing her agency and turning her into just an angry, lightning hurling womb with legs. That’s more than a little fucked up. What am I saying? The entire fucking thing is fucked up.

  Cockroaches are Creepers. For real? Did you even try?

  Anyway, apparently Alessa doesn’t like bugs that aren’t butterflies. Sure, whatever. Go with it.

  The nightmare-world upgrades to the demon dogs are called Worm Heads, which seems really lazy to me. It’s still better than the upgrade to the demon birds, which someone insists are called Night Flutters.

  Two things that don’t cause terror:

  1) Moths

  2) The word “flutter”

When tickling turns deadly.
When tickling turns deadly.

  Finally, demon apes are apparently officially known as Rompers. Because nothing strikes terror into the hearts of players worldwide quite like naming a faceless, demonic entity after an activity that children do. Rompers. To romp. Jesus, it’s something they do in Disney films.

  And that’s all for today, Traipsers! I’ll be returning next week for the very last update for Traipsing Through Silent Hill, Exploring Other Narrative Options. Until then, remain yourselves my lovely Traipsers!

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

< PREVIOUS ENTRYNEXT ENTRY >

AdviceFictionGamingGeneral MusingsReviews