The Changing Utility of the Otherworld in the Silent Hill Series

The otherworld is a pretty crappy place to be.

One of the most distinctive traits of the Silent Hill series is its use of the Otherworld, a bleak industrial version of reality where night persists indefinitely and rusted metal and barbed wire are core components of most architecture. The Otherworld (sometimes referred to as nowhere) often reflects the layout and geometry of reality, but sometimes it the reflection is tenuous, as the Otherworld version of reality is usually twisted and confusing. The Silent Hill games contrast the Otherworld with the Fog World, a daytime locale which appears at first to be a perpetually foggy version of the real world but eventually proves to be something more sinister. The protagonists of the Silent Hill games all unwittingly step out of reality and into the Fog World, and eventually they progress into the Otherworld–this is part of the series’ formula. But the way these transitions from world to world work and the game design mechanics at play in each world differ from game to game. Every Silent Hill game has some version of these two worlds, but the use and meaning of the Otherworld and Fog World varies dramatically across the series. In this article I will discuss some of the ways that the Otherworld is used throughout the Silent Hill series. Be warned that this text is filled with spoilers about the series.

Silent Hill
In addition to the Fog World and Otherworld, Silent Hill 1 actually has a third world: the “Dark World.” This is a transition realm, a place that exists in between the Fog World and Otherworld. The Dark World replaces fog with limitless night, but like the Fog World it otherwise resembles reality. The progression from the Fog World to the Dark World and then to the Otherworld is used several times in Silent Hill for dramatic effect. At the very beginning of the game, for example, Harry chases his daughter Cheryl through the town (Fog), into an unnaturally dark alley (Dark), and finally ends up accosted by monsters in a blood-soaked cul-de-sac surrounded by rusty chain link fence (Other). Later in the game Harry must unlock three locks to travel through the back door of a home in Silent Hill, and when he does this he immediately transitions from Fog World to Dark World. His subsequent exploration of the school culminates in a crawl through the school’s clock tower that results in a transition to the Otherworld.

The Otherworld in Silent Hill is used as a plot device. The transition from the Fog World to the Dark World increases the level of tension felt by the player, and the Otherworld is introduced just as this tension peaks. It’s a system by which the designers can slowly crank the pressure on the player up and up and up, until finally, thankfully, they are released from the Otherworld and return to the relatively tame Fog World. Though the introductory sequence to the game flows very quickly from Fog to Dark to Otherworld without obvious transition points, subsequent transitions occur at extremely well-defined points in the game. Unlocking the back door in the Fog World is a “beat” in the narrative, a small crescendo in the experience. Another, larger beat occurs as Harry crawls through the clock tower and finds himself in the Otherworld for the first time. An even more dramatic crescendo occurs as Harry finally reaches the boiler room of the school. After this peak, the tension is released and the player is deposited back into Fog World. This three-stage building of tension though the transition from one world to the next repeats several times in Silent Hill, culminating finally in the end boss fight (and, in the good ending, the protagonist’s escape to the real world).

Silent Hill 2

An early hint that James may be more than a simple victim.

In the second Silent Hill game, the Dark World is dropped and focus is placed on the Fog World and Otherworld. I think the main theme in Silent Hill 2’s level progression is descent. James descends from the real world into the Fog World at the very beginning of the game by running down a long trail, and throughout the game he is required to descend deeper and deeper into the depths of the buildings he is investigating. In one memorable section, James must travel down an impossibly long staircase that stretches deep into the ground. James is also often asked to jump into holes or otherwise follow one-way paths into the depths. While the appearance of the Otherworld is still used as a peak in the narrative flow, the actual geometry of the Fog World and the Otherworld is responsible for much of the tension build-up. The repeated appearance of Pyramid Head also serves to ratchet the tension level higher, and when the Otherworld finally arrives, the spike in tension is less dramatic than in the previous title because the tension level is already incredibly high. Silent Hill 2’s brand of horror is a slow-burning one; the peaks in the drama may be slightly less noticeable, but only because the entire game is spent cranking up the pressure on the player at a gradual, linear rate.

There are other interesting things about the Otherworld in Silent Hill 2 that are not shared by the rest of the series. The story in Silent Hill 2 repeatedly suggests that Silent Hill itself, both the Otherworld and the Fog World, are a manifestation of the protagonist’s own personal problems. There are clues throughout the game suggesting this (such as a seemingly-innocent dressmaker’s mannequin wearing the same outfit as James’ late wife), but the idea is driven home in one specific scene where the players glimpse a version of the Otherworld experienced by another character.
Angela is another of Silent Hill’s troubled visitors, and in one brief but enlightening scene James meets her in a hallway engulfed in flames. The implications are that Silent Hill is a place where the problems of individuals may manifest in individual ways (Angela’s Otherword appears to be constantly burning), and that James’ Otherworld is a purgatory that is uniquely his. He is Pyramid Head, and the rusted metal and hobbling bag monsters he encounters are reflections of his own psyche. This interpretation imparts some meaning to the Otherworld, and makes it much more interesting than simply some fractured, alternate dimension created by an abused psychic child (as is suggested by the other games in the series).

Angela’s Otherworld appears to be perpetually ablaze.

The last thing that Silent Hill 2 does extremely well with its version of the Otherworld is that it plays with time and space in a way that the other games in the series do not. James visits an underground prison that probably does not exist any longer in the real world, but being the site of certain atrocities has left a scar upon the universe. Towards the end of the game, logical connections between doorways begin to break down, as doors that should lead into rooms instead mysteriously loop back into the same hallway. The message is that the Otherworld is mutable in terms of time and space; it may be a reflection of the real world (or perhaps of the Fog World), but it is under no obligation to follow the rules governing reality. This makes the Otherworld even more menacing, as the player no longer knows what to expect when he passes through a doorway. In the rest of the series, the layout of the Otherworld more-or-less follows the layout of the real world, but in Silent Hill 2 we are shown that no such consistency is required.

Silent Hill 3

The Otherworld in Silent Hill 3 is most similar to the one found in Silent Hill 1, which makes sense because the games have a related narrative. The appearance of the Otherworld is used to increase the tension felt by the player, and the game builds up towards these transitions over time. There are even a few Dark World bits (Heather’s progression to her father’s house, for example), though they are much less integral to the way tension is built than in the series’ first title. What is interesting about Silent Hill 3’s implementation is that the transition between the Fog World and the Otherworld (or indeed, the real world to the Fog World) is slow. Rather than simply passing through some special point and finding herself in another world, Heather transitions between worlds over a long period of time, with the menace of the other worlds slowly bleeding into reality. At the beginning of the game, for example, we watch as Heather slips so easily out of reality and into some other world just by traveling through a closed off section of the mall. At some points we can even still hear the voices of shoppers going about their business on the other side of a barrier, but we quickly learn that Heather is now separated from them by much more than aluminum siding. Heather’s Fog World and Otherworld overlap with reality gradually, and as she progresses through the game it is clear that she is moving further and further away from the boundaries of the real world.

The Otherworld seeps in through pipes and drains.

This theme of presenting the Otherworld as just below the surface of the regular world is expressed in several different ways. Mirrors are used throughout the game to foreshadow the onset of the Otherworld, and eventually we are explicitly shown what happens to people on the other side of the mirror (hint: it’s not good). The Otherworld also invades reality through drains and pipes, bleeding into the world like backed up sewage. Finally, just when we believe that the Otherworld can’t get any worse, Silent Hill 3 goes into high gear and makes the walls of the Otherworld literally come alive. At this late stage of the game, everything seems to be crawling with corruption and disease, much like we might imagine bugs living in the soil beneath our meticulously-maintained front lawn.

Silent Hill 4
Silent Hill 4 is dramatically different than the previous (and subsequent) games in the series. It began its life as a non-Silent Hill title, and one of the aspects that makes this lineage most clear is the implementation of the Otherworld. Silent Hill 4 does feature an alternative world that was probably created by the mind of a psychopath and is now home to a variety of monsters, but the appearance and function of this world is completely different than the Otherworld in other Silent Hill games. The fourth game in this series finds the protagonist, Henry, trapped in his apartment. Unable to leave through the door or windows, Henry eventually manages to escape though a large hole that appears in his bathroom. However, the hole deposits him in a place far more sinister than his apartment.

In Silent Hill 4, the apartment itself is its own little world. Though Henry can see through the windows and the peephole in his door, the entire apartment has been separated from reality. Notes passed under his door come out completely different, no amount of pounding on his door can be heard by people outside, and occasionally he is able to see things through his windows that other people cannot see. Eventually the environment of the apartment begins to degrade, and the facade of normalcy slides away. This isn’t quite the Fog World from previous games, but it’s something similar; a little area of the universe dedicated to looking like reality but in fact being its own, separate location. The apartment in Silent Hill 4 serves first as a traversal puzzle hub and safe room, and then later as a centralized location for plot progression and cut scenes.

The Otherworld in Silent Hill 4 is a twilight world.

When Henry travels through the hole in his bathroom, he arrives at a number of different Otherworlds. These are not generally as sinister as the Otherworld in previous Silent Hill games have been; in fact, they resemble some sort of middle ground between the Fog Worlds and Otherworlds used by the rest of the series. They are not overwrought with decay or rust, and while they are dark, many of the locales Henry visits seem to be in the perpetual gloom of dusk rather than an unrelenting nighttime. Interestingly, each of these worlds has a distinct theme. While they share many traits, all of them have some unique visual or design element that makes them much more like individual spaces than some interconnected hell world that spans the entire town.

Most interesting to me about Silent Hill 4’s implementation of the Otherworld concept is that unlike previous games, Henry can return to his apartment (and thus escape from danger–at first, anyway) at any time. This makes his apartment similar to a Resident Evil-style safe room; it’s a place where the player can find sancutary from the pressure of the surrounding environment, save their game, deposit items in a chest, and heal. While this is an interesting game mechanic (and used very well in the Resident Evil series), it damages the Otherworld dramatically because the feeling of oppression and claustrophobia is lost. The game loses its ability to stage transitions to and from the Otherworld to build tension, and as a result the title feels like it meanders along without any real build-up or payoff. There are elements added to the mix to try to increase this feeling of danger while in the Otherworlds (unkillable ghosts, escort missions, an unstoppable antagonist), but since the player understands that he can leave at will, the feeling of tension induced by the Otherworld is dramatically reduced.

Silent Hill: 0rigins
Though Silent Hill: 0rigins is in many ways a dyed-in-the-wool Silent Hill game, its use of the Otherworld is different and interesting. Though the game follows the look and feel of the Fog World and Otherworld familiar to the series, the way it transitions between the two changes the utility of the Otherworld considerably. In 0rigins, the player can switch between the Fog World and the Otherworld any time he happens across a mirror, and there is no penalty or cost to perform the switch. This allows the designers of 0rigins to use the Otherworld as a traversal puzzle: a path that is blocked in the Fog World will often be open in the Otherworld, so players must find a mirror to switch, cross the area that is blocked, and then find another mirror to switch back. Like the first and third Silent Hill games, the Otherworld in 0rigins generally matches the layout of the Fog World, so it’s quite convenient to use the Otherworld as a sort of back-alley by which the player can reach areas of the Fog World that are otherwise inaccessible.

Mirrors make the Otherworld part of the traversal puzzle in 0rigins.

However, giving the player the ability to invoke (or leave) the Otherworld at any time robs it of much of its dramatic impact. As in Silent Hill 4, the ability to leave the Otherworld at any time makes it seem much less dangerous and oppressive than in the other games in the series. And since the designers cannot schedule the switch to the Otherworld (the player has much more control over the pacing), the appearance of the Otherworld itself is not a dramatic beat in the narrative; it’s just another mechanic, another implementation of the key-item puzzles that pervade this genre.

That said, there is a section of 0rigins that I though made excellent use of the Otherworld. At one point Travis, the protagonist, finds himself in a theater. When he reaches the stage in the Fog World, he’s able to bring different set pieces from a play into the audience’s view. When the switch to the Otherworld occurs, these set pieces become physical components of a new space that mimics the appearance of the set. This is a really cool mechanic because it allows the player to construct different scenes using these set pieces (three possible scenes in all) and then switch to the Otherworld to find out what kind of things such a place would contain if it actually existed. In its mirroring of the theater set, the Otherworld creates new, twisted locations that previously did not exist. This sort of hints at the idea that the Otherworld is a constantly changing mirror of the real world (or at least, of the Fog World), rather than some static locale, which is an idea touched upon by previous Silent Hill games but never reenforced as strongly as in 0rigins.


The Otherworld is one of the many original ideas that sets the Silent Hill series apart from its competitors. The concept has everything you could want in a game mechanic: it fits the aesthetic and narrative goals of the series, it provides a method for pacing the player and steadily increasing the tension invoked by the plot, and it is mutable enough to serve very different purposes across a number of games. The fact that Konami has exercised this mutability is also noteworthy; rather than just leave the concept alone, they’ve attempted to further refine it by using it in different ways in different games. The existence of the Otherworld, and the rules by which the characters in the Silent Hill series transition to and from it, is one of the defining elements of the series, even though it changes dramatically from game to game.

33 thoughts on “The Changing Utility of the Otherworld in the Silent Hill Series

  1. Very nice article. I’m afraid I had to skip over the section for Origins for now because I haven’t had the chance to play it (I don’t have a PSP, sadly), but one day I’ll have to come back and read it.

    I really liked the analysis. I think part of why these games are creepier to me than ones like Resident Evil & Fatal Frame (just examples, I still really loves those games)is the way that reality is altered and it hits your that no place is truly safe, as you can be affected anywhere by the otherworld- Silent Hill 3 being the game that hits that home the best. I’m really looking forward to playing Origins and 5 whenever it comes out, so I hope they don’t disappoint.

  2. Nicely written and well thought out. This makes me appreciate the SH series more than ever.

    I thought the mirror mechanic in 0rigins would make the otherworld less scary, and maybe it did somewhat, but I did find that the act of choosing to go to the otherworld turned out to be fairly tense.

  3. Makes sense I like the way you went through each part and form of the worlds within Silent Hill. But can you do more things on Siren 2? I am about half way through and would like to know what you think of the game.

  4. I know I got here late, but I just got Origins a few days ago and I want to put my two cents in. I think the reason that the mirrors are the gateway to the otherworld in Origins is because…


    …Alessa’s power wasn’t at it’s strongest at that time, so the otherworld wasn’t fully formed and ready, so the only way it could manifest is through the reflection of mirrors. Once the power was greater, then the otherworld could manifest more readily and noticeably.

  5. …Alessa’s power wasn’t at it’s strongest at that time, so the otherworld wasn’t fully formed and ready, so the only way it could manifest is through the reflection of mirrors. Once the power was greater, then the otherworld could manifest more readily and noticeably.

    Er, can i disagree with u there, BigFattyPlus? i think the real reason of the mirrors was Travis’ memeories of his mother and her belief in the “mirror world”…

  6. That’s why the Silent Hill series is so good – it leaves enough material to thin off and to come off with any kinds of interesting interpretations.

    Cool concept!

    And really nice work, Chris!

    like your site. combines two of my biggest obsessions: horror and video games. i’ve only played the first silent hill and a little of the second, but i enjoyed this analysis. the bit about 0rigins was especially interesting.

    I both agree and disagree with your thoughts about SH4. While the apartment does allow you to cut the tension a bit in the early stages of the game, it eventually becomes the opposite with the random hauntings that start to show up. Once it degenerates into it’s “otherworld” version, the safety is replaced with the realization that comfort and safety are gone. I thought it was a nice tension builder personally.

    Great article by the way! Silent Hill is amazing in many ways.

    This is an article written by someone who truly “gets” what is so special about the Silent Hill Series. I’ve always like Silent Hill 2 best and I suppose that’s why I’m disappointed when the creatures in the “otherworld” don’t represent the protagonist’s inner demons. After reading this article, I can see some validity in the idea that the otherworld was intentionally used in different ways in each game.

    I don’t know if you go back and read these comments but I would like to hear your thoughts on Silent Hill 3 in regards to Vincent and his accusations of Heather. He accuses her of seeing the enemies in the game as “monsters” and of enjoying the snuffing out of their lives.

  10. Well, writing from the depths of an Argentinian cyber-cafe i must say that the otherworld is not so scary hahaha. This article is one the best i’ve ever read from a fan, i liked the way you avoided spoilers so far, i’ve been a fan of survival horrors since i could grab one, and i like the way you pay attention to small details, cuz i do the same. Keep writing man, your style improves everyday.

  11. Yeah, I always thought of the Otherworld as a sort of Bros. Quay film come to life. Also, with SH:O the Otherworld transformations still felt like punctuation or rising and falling actions. A few parts in the hospital come to mind, especially that last stretch where you run through the Otherworld streets.

  12. Ice doesn’t really seem creepy to me, but I’m yet to play Shattered Memories so I won’t judge. Red and other cool colors get the heart rate up, while cool colors actually calm you. One opinion I do have is that I think the only people who can create the same uneasiness Team Silent did with the otherworld is Team Silent themselves. Origins was still pretty faithful, though. And I think they did a better job at staying true to the roots than Homecoming did, since Homecoming merely ripped off what the movie looked like. If you look in the strategy guide, though- there’s still some very awesome artwork Double Helix made that very sadly never made it into the game. I think a cool otherworld style would be in sort of dim dirty yellowish lighting and faded walls. Or imagine standing in the middle of the street in the town in the otherworld, but it’s broad daylight. All the buildings are veined over, covered in some sort of rough beige-colored film and the streets have been cracked like there was an earthquake. Light brownish clouds fill the sky and flow aggressively, covering the sun. Then a light-colored straight jacket monster starts to walk to the character at normal speed, then suddenly teleports (like it keeps walking, but something adjusted its speed to an impossible level) right in front of the character. Creepy 0.o I don’t know, I’m a bit of an artist/visionary so it’s in my nature to envision random stuff. It’d be great to see a TRULY original Silent Hill game on the next gen consoles. But we all know that sadly Team Silent has broken apart and moved on elsewhere. It’s up to the west, now. Either Climax can get another chance or become the new official developer of the series (Hmm…) or something else. Considering what Silent Hill 2 was capable of I still think there is room for one more True Silent Hill game, in the “called to town” (or other, maybe even a local) theme of the second game. We’ll just have to wait…

  13. I’m glad you broke it down for everyone, because even after the movie spelled it out, a lot of people just didn’t understand the subliminal message embedded in the existence of these different worlds. I’d have to say, I thought there were three worlds in Silent Hill 2; the fog, dark, and other world, just as in the first Silent Hill. When James starts out, there is fog surrounding the streets of Silent Hill. But by the time he exits the hospital, there is perpetual darkness-much less of an intimidating puzzle, but a little more aggressive. Just as Silent Hill Shattered Memories implies, it is a Psychological game. Every installment seems to play more with the mind than it does with the reflexes. I mean, other than constant replay, that’s the only other reason I can think of for alternate endings!

  14. I truly love the Silent Hill series and this article is wonderful. You should write more articles like this about Silent Hill because you do a really good job of it.

  15. I hope you return to this article and update it to include Shattered Memories reimagining of the Otherworld(now renamed in the game as simply Nightmare relm) as an icy relm devoid of warmth where relentless unstoppable humanoid(the one time residents of silent hill?) monsters are consistently chasing you, and the Dark Relm(or perhaps Twilight Zone?) returning for the first time since the original, reimagined as a place halfway between the real world and the nightmare world, inhibited by shadowy ghosts. Eventually you realise that the real world in SH:SM is entirly located in the Psychiatrist’s office alone, and all three are slowly merging into one. The fog slowly returns, but is dominated by the consistent Snow and the general wintery feel.

    I hope you analyze this in the article.

  16. I’ve decided to continue my post here…

    In Shattered Memories, the otherworld also itself often initially acts as the Dark World itself, by giving you some breathing space until the relentless intelligent monsters show up. You’ll see the room you are in frost over, indicating the transition and the expectation that they are coming for you, but sometimes the monsters don’t show up until you’ve ventured into the open

    When harry leaves the fog, or more correctly here, the snow world and enters the dark relm(or Twilight Zone as i like to call it), he begins seeing ghostly apparations and hearing strange messages on his phone, either by photographing strange occurances, or flat out being suprised by shadows that happen to represent his daughter running. When that happens Harry’s reality is once again changed, and the player is alerted that the nightmare relm is about to appear soon. This occurs most occasions, but there are several occassions when the nightmare relm does not follow these rules and things can frost over at any stage in the game. Some memorable moments include when Cybil, having rescued harry from the lake, is wheeling him in a wheel chair in the hospital, the nightmare relm immediatly appears and Harry has to escape the hospital in the wheelchair. Or when Harry and Dahlia are driving across a bridge, only for the car to frost over and the nightmare relm to immediatly appear without warning, resulting the car plummiting into the lake and harry having to escape, leaving dhalia frozen at the bottom.

  17. well, this is by far the best review of a silent hill game ever, hving said that. What I was looking for when came across with a horror game i was able to find it by playing any of the silent hill games. i am sorry about the mispellingof my writing iam writing from a psp with half the screen broken

  18. Thanks for the website, as a fan of the genre and a analyst by hobby, I really enjoy it. Not many people have the interest to take a videogame and get so much information about varying things from it.Reading this writeup made me decide to play through at least one Silent hill game this winter, then I realised there are several S.H. games I havn’t played through! So I had to stop reading! The Room, Homecoming,Origins, and apparently 2 more are around the corner? (The kids have a Wii so I’ve played through Shattered Memories) Whoever you are, Mr Chris, but I appreciate you very much.

  19. Firstly, great article!

    Just wanted to mention that Silent Hill Homecoming’s transition into the Otherworld was pretty cool, similar to the films. It appears as though the world changes before your eyes, piece by piece, flakes of the Fog/Dark world peeling away to reveal the filth beneath.
    Pity the game wasn’t as good as it’s predecessors, really expected more than a visually beautiful game.

    Again, great article; you really have a keen eye when looking at these things guy!


  20. holy fuck… i have a feeling you have no idea what silent hill is about. there arent multiple worlds or dimensions you know. its just the games post 4 have no idea what the story was about and were trying to copy SH2.

  21. you seriously need to replay the games and pay attention to what characters are saying and what is happening in the game. there are no multiple worlds. “otherworld” is a misnomer on harry’s part. there is only ONE world, and it is the real world. i am seriously reconsidering your credibility and your understanding of silent hill/survival horror in general.

  22. > God of Horror

    Please, educate us: what is the real meaning of Silent Hill? Enquiring minds want to know.

    PS: I’ll run your ideas past Akria Yamaoka next time I see him, if that’s ok with you.

  23. there is ONE world in silent hill. there are no “dimensions”. everything is real, manifested by a real psychic girl who was tormented by a real cult and their real god. asking Akira Yamaoka would be pointless because he dosent understand what Silent Hill is either. he was a (talented) musician, not the writer or creator. maybe you should ask Hiroyuki Owaku, Takayoshi Sato and Keiichiro Toyama… then men who actually created and wrote the original 2 games. let me stress this again, Akira Yamaoka’s importance of Silent Hill is grossly overstated and he is not what constitutes a true Silent Hill game, he is just the composer.

    if you pay attention to interviews with the original team silent members, you would know that his role was very limited and he actually had very hands off role on silent hill’s story and themes… so much so i doubt he has even played the games he worked on because when talking about silent hill it becomes clear he dosent know what it is about. (neither do you for that matter)

    silent hill has always confused me how it has so many fans that hardly understand what it is about.

    all this “fog world” “nightmare world” shit dosent make any fucking sense.

    here- ill break it down for you with a song-

    so yeah, go ahead, and ask Akira Yamaoka about Silent Hill. you wont get a right answer because he dosent fucking know what the fuck it is.

  24. now go replay the original games and stop spreading lies.

    then update this entry, because it’s wrong and misdirecting.

  25. “Akira Yamaoka played a major role in the Silent Hill film adaptation by overseeing and approving specific aspects of the movie throughout its production.”

    lol, if this is true, then it cannot be more obvious that Mr. Yamaoka dosent know jack shit about silent hill, because that movie got EVERYTHING WRONG.

  26. obvious that Mr. Yamaoka dosent know jack shit about silent hill

    dude, I am dying here. Where do you get this stuff? Seriously I haven’t laughed this hard in a really long time.

    Please keep posting. This is great!!

  27. how about instead of dismissing my claim, how about you investigate it instead? in interviews the man gets facts wrong, frequently has hands off-involvement with the original team silent projects, and all the games post 4 havnt made any fucking sense at all.

    Hiroyuki Owaku, Masahiro Ito, Takayoshi Sato and Keiichiro Toyama are the ones who actually know what silent hill is because they wrote it. not Akira Yamaoka who only composed the music. Akira Yamaoka is not the end all- be all of silent hill.

    the fact that the games he has been involved with without the key-members have been complete shit and constantly contradict the original games is more proof than i need, yet here you are feeding these poor saps this buffet of lies.

  28. So basically, your argument that everybody in the world is wrong about Silent Hill except for some (but not all) of the original team members, and you. Is that right?

    Seriously, man, this is fantastic stuff.

  29. So basically, your argument that everybody in the world is wrong about Silent Hill except for some (but not all) of the original team members, and you. Is that right?

    give yourself a star.

    is it so unlikely? when you are dealing with a survival horror game that actually treats its players like an adult and doesn’t spoon feed you everything and has it’s own way of telling a story, you are bound to get all of the morons to misunderstand it.

    the only sources i need are the games themselves, and the words of men who actually wrote, directed and designed the games.

    and yes, the members of silent hill who actually wrote and designed the game are right because they wrote and designed the game, so my god yes… they are right and not the music composer who never had any ambition to be the producer and was never qualified to begin with, actually does not understand silent hill as well as the men who wrote, designed and directed the games. is that so unlikely?

    i actually care about silent hill. i have replayed these games multiple times and i payed attention to what characters say and how they say them. these games (the first 4 in particular) were made for adults and respect the player.

    as evidence by the games that came out post 4 and the interviews by Tom Hullett, he clearly didnt have an understanding either. which is why one cannot accept any of the games post 4 as an authentic silent hill game, despite what konami would have you believe. but this is another issue.

    i am not alone on this. there are others who actually understand the story of silent hill because not everyone who played them is a complete moron… especially since everything i have said can be backed up by the original 4 games, and by the words of the original team members who created it.
    your arrogance made you content to settle for your fan theories that make you look like a blithering-drooling mongoloid.

    what your should do is investigate.

    replay the original games, and actually pay very close attention.

    you care about survival horror? fucking act like it.

    If you’re wondering why I’m not taking your argument (which is still “I’m right and you’re wrong,” as far as I can tell) seriously, it’s because you’re acting like Angry Internet Guy rather than fellow horror enthusiast. Look, you can have any theory you want about this stuff, and you certainly don’t need to agree with me. But as long as your approach to discourse is the same one you employed when you are 11, nobody is going to take you seriously.

    Want to see what serious discourse about horror games looks like? Maybe read this:

    I don’t agree with everything Matthew writes, but his argument is careful, considered, backed by evidence, and compelling.

    Yours is just shouting into the void, Angry Internet Guy.

    Also, pro tip: if you’re going to claim that people who worked on the game don’t understand it as well as you do, you better be ready to bring some really goddamn compelling evidence. “I’m right because I say so” isn’t compelling.

    Tell you what. Why don’t you start your own blog about your ideas? Give it the same sort of treatment Matthew has given to his piece above: make an argument out of specific pieces of evidence, include quotes from interviews, basically do some actual fucking research instead of just yelling at people on the internet.

    Do that, and I’ll happily link to it. If that’s too much to ask, sit down and shut up, please. Nobody’s interested in talking to Angry Internet Guy, however amusing your posts may be.

  31. You stated in SH 4 about Henry safe room : since the player understands that he can leave at will, the feeling of tension induced by the Otherworld is dramatically reduced.

    I actually had played SH 4, never finished it since it’s really hard and frightening for me also my SH 4 game is lost and i still don’t bother to buy again.

    But let’s back to the topic, actually i am little disagree with you about Henry safe rooms. Because Henry can go back to his room anytime player wants, it does not means the tension is reduced when compared to other series.

    In fact it add shrill terror to our play through, namely because exist small haven namely the room itself whom provides shelter and sense of security in contrast with our other world with full pack of monsters (and ghost !) ready to chew Henry.

    So the player will trying to as much as possible get back to the room whenever in danger, thus make a possible result when a player refuse to leave Henry room for the sake of safety rather than progress !. Because thanks to the new mechanics : Immortal monster, most of monsters who can outrun Henry even when he is running and giving much portion to melee fighting rather than shoot from safety. All of this can force some players to sit in safe rooms rather than progress the game.
    Taking from my experience when in Subway level after Cynthia going to toilet, Henry immediately surrounded by those damned dogs, curious about Cynthia and my safety, I make a dash to toilet to find a hole in the wall. I examine it and when the option appear to give me chance for a ride to my room, I promptly agreed.
    The first thing I got when I am back to room is a feeling relief and yes that is. Never I thought I can get a breath for a while after meet two abomination hounds. So after make some preparations, I go into the hole again but when I am back at same exact toilet, I got an immediate chill vibe through my palms and body. It’s because those two dogs still waiting for me outside of toilet and getting a feeling “This subway is a nightmare why I must venture this again ?!”.
    The subway feelings is what I am talking about, the contrast feeling between the room and other world subway level can induce some fear to some players, making their movement become sluggish while playing and feeling about “ I want to go to my room” in every moment during the nightmare other world. And this feelings is one of the reasons I cannot advance to next level due to my cowardice.
    But sadly all of these things is not very greatly pulled by Konami, when I knew from magazines that Henry rooms will invaded by spirits in later levels, I got an impression it makes the contrast feeling won’t induce fear anymore and also SH 4 is somewhat not playing with darkness element which is very important to keep the horror like the first and second game.

    But after all it’s good game and nice post as always.

  32. Hey God of Horror guy!

    A bit highly strung there, aren’t we?

    When I mentioned “Otherworld”, I meant the change that happens in the world of Silent Hill from everything being normal to being batshit insane. I am not talking about physically different worlds.

    Maybe, just maybe, you’d like to take part in an engaging discussion where we can share views opposed to attacking someone for having an opinion.

    Anyway, hope you played P.T. or Playable Teaser for new Silent Hills! It’s creepy as hell, isn’t it?! Looking forward to that one, and looking forward to Chris dissecting it when it eventually drops 🙂

    Cheers guys!

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