I, like many other gamers, enjoy scaring myself shitless every now and then with a bit of Silent Hill. For those of you don’t know, it’s a horror series focused on many different people’s experiences in one town. In this town are their deepest feelings and mutilated… things mauling their necks. I’m sure you’ve heard of it at least, especially this guy. So I thought that I’d share some interesting facts from the first three games with you, because every deep and complicated game needs to get that little bit deeper, right?
1. When you visit the school, you find three teachers on the register. Although this fact could easily be about how three teachers can run such a massive and deadly school, it’s actually their names that are intriguing. Moore, Ronaldo and Gordon are not only teachers, but also the three main members of the band Sonic Youth. You also pick up a “K. Gordon” key and head over to Kim’s house! Looks like they have a good fanbase then.
2. As well as being fans of bands, Konami are huge fans of sci-fi and horror writers. Take a look at your map next time you’re playing. Every road you see is named after one of these writers. For example, you have Bachman road – Richard Bachman (a.k.a. Stephen King), Bloch – Richard Bloch (author of “Psycho”), Matheson – Richard Matheson (author of “I Am Legend”) and Bradbury – Ray Bradbury (author of “Something Wicked This Way Comes”)
3. In keeping with the horror writer theme, there’s a little easter egg around the town. If you find a garage with something written in blood, take a closer look and you’ll see that it says “redrum” which references Stephen King’s book The Shining. For those who don’t know and don’t mind a spoiler, read it backwards!
4. When the game was first announced, you were set to play as two characters; Cybil and Harry. This was so that you could play the same story through again but from a different perspective, just like Resident Evil 2 did (boy do they take inspiration!). Although this didn’t happen in the end, you can still find little clues around the town. On your map, some places are marked in dark pink – these would be Cybil’s main areas to visit. As well as this, a door to a diner next to Norman’s Motel is only locked, not jammed, yet you never find the key. The last interesting clue is in the chemistry lab at
school, where you find ingredients to make bombs, yet Harry refuses to take them. Spoilsport.
5. If you live in America or somewhere that doesn’t use PAL format, you’ll be aware of the deformed children in the school. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to own the European or Australian version, these will be missing and will be replaced by the clawed monsters that you’d usually only meet later on. What’s wrong with deformed children Europe?
6. On to Silent Hill 2; my personal favourite. Each time you play this game using a completed save file, many things will change within your game. One quite intriguing one is a magazine that you can find in the apartment building. The text keeps changing each time in order to give you hints on how to receive a different ending to the game. If you can figure out the hints of course…
7. Although this next one isn’t really hidden from anyone, it’s quite often missed by players. As soon as you get to the hotel looking for you wife, her letter to you will be completely blank. I think the mannequins are playing tricks on you James.
8. Speaking of mannequins (real ones, not the monsters!), think back to when you found the flashlight. The clothes that the mannequin was wearing where exactly the same as Mary’s. I think the game just got creepier…
9. The third game in the series has many references to the second. Around the mall, you can see posters advertising it as well as many little easter eggs if you have a SH2 save file. At one point, you’ll come across a dirty toilet and Heather will turn to the camera and ask they player why anyone would stick their hand in there (yeah James, this girl has sense!). You can also find a mailbox which will trigger the witty comment from the protagonist about having no mail, not “even from a dead wife”. Awkward!
10. As well as referencing SH2, the third game brings back areas completely identical to parts of the very first game, down to the camera positions and caption. There will even be notepads (the save points from the first game) dotted around with notes from
Harry. At least someone’s trying to be helpful.