Voiced by: Guy Cihi (original), Troy Baker (HD)
A store clerk who comes to Silent Hill after getting a letter from his deceased wife, Mary. The plot kicks off when he arrives in town to solve the mystery behind said letter.
- Accent Relapse: When James yells at the twin Pyramid Heads near the end of the game, his voice sounds very English. Sunderland is an English name, so…
- Action Survivor: He's a store clerk. He survived Silent Hill. 'Nuff said.
- Unless you count the In Water ending.
- Anti-Hero: According to certain interpretations.
- Anti-Villain: According to others.
- Classical Anti-Hero: He's sweet, but nervous, underconfident, and emotionally tormented.
- Covert Pervert: The town is using it against him by combining it with his guilt.
- Crusading Widower: His reason for coming to Silent Hill, though his single-minded fixation on his wife's death makes more sense after the player finds out he killed her.
- Dark and Troubled Past: James can't move on from Mary's death. Mostly because he's responsible for it.
- Determinator: He will find where his wife's letter came from, monsters and common sense be damned.
- Despair Event Horizon: The video tape. Both the core motive for what he did in it and quite possibly what sends him careening over the edge in the In Water ending.
- More specifically, seeing Mary (or at least an image of her) die all over again mid-conversation is what really dooms James' chances of coming to terms with his actions and brings his suicidal tendencies back to the forefront in the In Water ending.
- Driven to Suicide: One possible ending (In Water), and the Book of Lost Memories suggests that it's the real reason he came to Toluca Lake, before the town's influence kicked in.
- Drowning My Sorrows: When examining a crate of liquor bottles, James goes off on a tangent, during which he admits that he "drinks a fair bit. To get away from the pain, the loneliness..."
- Dull Surprise: From time to time, though he mostly manages the right reactions.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He slumps to the ground in grief after Maria dies (for the first time), has a smaller BSOD after killing Eddie in self-defence, and later has a much more severe one after remembering that he in fact killed Mary.
- Idiot Ball: James decides to ask the clearly mentally-unstable and paranoid Eddie if he has gone insane, while Eddie is armed with a gun.
- Inferred Survival: He believes Mary's just missing at the beginning of the game. She's not.
- James himself. It's mentioned in Silent Hill 4 that his father hadn't heard from him after he went to Silent Hill, but that can be supported by all endings in this game.
- Love Makes You Crazy: He comes off as more than a little unhinged; his desperation to find Mary leads him to believe that she might somehow miraculously be waiting in Silent Hill (she's not), and his fear of losing her and inability to see her suffer, before that, was so extreme that he killed her.
- Mercy Kill: To Mary, though whether or not the town believes him depends on your actions throughout the game. It is strongly implied that James himself struggles with severe doubt about whether or not he was in the right, and that is this feeling that made him susceptible to Silent Hill's influence.
- Only Sane Man: While the supporting cast appears mostly-there at first glance, James is the one who manages to keep a grip on himself for the longest (albeit through rampant self-delusion).
- Parental Substitute: The "Leave" ending seems to imply that he may become one for Laura.
- Sympathetic Murderer: He killed his wife after three years of having his life taken over by caring for her and being subject to emotional abuse thanks to her mood swings. Though by that stage of her sickness, James considered it a Mercy Kill. That being said, how sympathetic he is depends upon the player's interpretation and actions; some endings, like "Maria", cast him in a much less sympathetic light than others.
- Tragic Hero: Hard to get more tragic than discovering your entire quest was born out of a delusion.
- Unreliable Narrator: His wife didn't actually die three years earlier like his narration says...
A disturbed young woman with suicidal tendencies.
- Abusive Parents: Her mother and father. Her father sexually assaulted her on a regular basis. Her mother knew and did nothing to stop it, going so far as to tell Angela she deserved to be abused.
- Broken Bird: Pretty obvious by her second appearance.
- Curtains Match the Window: She has brown eyes to match her brown hair.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crossed it long before she met James.
- Does Not Like Men: Due to being sexually abused by her father, and, in the novelization, her own brother as well. Not that she's especially fond of women, either.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She bristles at James' attempts to comfort her, believing that he can't possibly mean any of it.
- Driven to Suicide: James' final meeting with her in her Otherworld feature her ascending a fiery staircase with the implication she burned herself alive to escape the pain and anxiety lingering from her childhood.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: This is Angela's Otherworld — everything consumed in fire (and extremely disturbing pictures on the walls). Her dialogue suggests she believes she "deserves" hell and thus the town shapes itself to what she imagines hell to be.
- Harmful to Minors: Her past is an example of this.
- Hates Being Touched: Flips out when James even starts to get close to her, even threatening him with a knife at one point. The sexual abuse she suffered might have something to do with that.
- Knife Nut: In her second cutscene, she's admiring a kitchen knife that she later hands to James. The usual subtext of Knife Nuttery is absent, however; Angela doesn't wish violence against others any more, only herself. Examining the knife often enough in James' inventory will see him Driven to Suicide as well.
- Manslaughter Provocation: She killed her father in self defense after years of being sexually and physically abused by him.
- Mood-Swinger: Calm, almost ethereal and timid at some points and then hysterically frightened and angry at the drop of a dime.
- Rape as Backstory: Basically her entire childhood was this, with a helping of victim-blaming from her mother.
- Sympathetic Murderer: She killed her father after being sexually abused by him for years.
- Woman Child: She exhibits plenty of childish behavior, her abusive childhood having severely stunted her maturity.
- Younger Than They Look: She is actually 19 years old, but her facial features, especially her worn-out, tired eyes, makes her look quite a bit older.
Voiced by: Jakey Breckenridge (original)
An annoying little girl who seems to have a special hatred for James.
- Bratty Half-Pint: She acts rudely to both James and Eddie. Subverted when it comes to Mary, however; she refers to her very fondly.
- Break the Cutie: She doesn't take the revelation of Mary's death well, especially when she finds out that James was the one who killed her.
- Children Are Innocent: It's implied she's the only one in town who doesn't see it as a nightmarish hellscape, as she's never committed any sins.
- Conveniently an Orphan: The game never mentions what happened to her parents.
- Hair Decorations: She uses a pink scrunchy to hold her hair up.
- Happily Adopted: Implied in the "Leave" ending.
- Invisible to Normals: She's the only one who doesn't see Silent Hill as a monster-infested hellhole.
- Skip of Innocence: When she's not bolting away from James she tends to skip around without a care in the world.
Voiced by: Monica Horgan (original), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (HD)
A beautiful woman who bears a striking resemblance to James's late wife.
- Anti-Villain: See Tragic Monster below.
- Big Bad: Arguably of the second game.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: She has one tattooed on her hip. Possibly a symbol of her being Mary's "replacement".
- Death Is Cheap: She dies many times throughout the game, but reappears later quite alive and usually without so much as a Hand Wave. This is, of course, exactly what she is intended to do.
- Despair Event Horizon: Upon discovering her true purpose at the end of "Born from a Wish", she seriously considers suicide for a long moment. Of course, she decides against it (and pulling the trigger likely wouldn't have worked anyway).
- Fate Worse Than Death: Her very existence.
- Final Boss: She can be this in three out of four endings.
- Multicolored Hair: She has blonde hair with pink highlights.
- Mood-Swinger: She frequently switches moods between nice, mean, or clingy and fearful, mirroring Mary's behaviour after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- One-Winged Angel: She reveals her true, monstrous form in most of the endings.
- Replacement Goldfish: She becomes one in the "Maria" Ending, complete with Incurable Cough of Death.
- Tragic Monster: The Born from a Wish bonus prequel scenario reveals that when she was first "created", Maria was actually a pretty nice person, just like Mary. However, her experiences in Silent Hill eventually turn her into a willing minion of the town's forces, with the goal of seducing and tormenting James.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: She keeps a key there, along with one in her boot and one in her skirt.
- Voiced by: David Schaufele (original), Liam O'Brien (HD)
A seemingly harmless young man whose many, many issues only serve to remind the player that James isn't exactly the epitome of sainthood, either.
- All Are Equal in Death: A big part of the reason he takes to shooting everyone who gets in his way.
- All There in the Manual: The game's never entirely clear about Eddie's crimes, but the Book of Lost Memories reveals that the "he" who "had it coming" was a bully. Eddie shot and killed the bully's dog in a fit of rage, and then shot the bully in the leg before fleeing.
- Ax-Crazy: In his final showdown with James, laughing about how easy it is to kill and coming at him with a gun.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Eddie starts off as the friendliest character in the game. This also happened before the game even started, but, like James and Angela, he didn't remember it at first.
- Berserk Button: Once he's gone crazy, do not ask him if he's gone crazy.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Eddie's Otherworld resembles a frozen meat locker.
- Fat Bastard: He is one of these, he just doesn't remember yet.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Began as a fat, disgusting piece of shit, as he describes it, ended as paranoid Serial Killer.
- Man Child: Eddie has a very childlike personality and fashion sense, and he's implied to be somewhat mentally slow.
- Motive Rant: He gives one to James once he's gone completely over the edge.
- Nice Hat: A silly-looking baseball cap.
- Not So Different: Invoked during his Motive Rant.Eddie: Don't get all holy on me, James. This town called you too. You and me are the same. We're not like other people.
- Older Than They Look: He seems younger than his 23 years of age. His strangely juvenile fashion sense doesn't help.
- Sanity Slippage: It happens throughout the game and before he came to Silent Hill.
- Serial Killer: Sort of. James discovers the corpses of lots of people killed by Eddie - although it is implied that these "people" are Eddie's monsters.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: When James first meets him, Eddie is being violently sick into a toilet.
- Voiced by: Monica Horgan (original), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (HD)
- All Take and No Give: She admits in her goodbye letter that her relationship with James had become this by the final stage of her illness, unable to pay him back for all of the time, money, and emotional burden he put into caring for her and instead lashing out at him while begging him to stay.
- Anti-Villain: In the Maria Ending.
- Final Boss: In one of the endings, at least.
- Ill Woman: She died of a terminal illness years before the game... or so the players are led to believe. In actuality, she was killed around a week before James' arrival in the town.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Though this isn't the only sign of her illness- she also developed a very unpleasant-looking rash and became too weak to stand up.
- The Lost Lenore: James is literally incapable of moving on from her emotionally even in the Maria ending, where he chooses a facsimile of her.
- Mood-Swinger: In some of her flashbacks, though being afraid to die and in constant pain can do that. James later says that, though his killing her at her request was an act of mercy, there was an element of anger in it that he's ashamed of, and that the town's feeding on.
- One-Winged Angel: She takes on a monstrous form in the "Maria" ending.
- Parental Substitute: To Laura.
- Soap Opera Disease: Whatever her terminal illness is supposed to be, it is extremely vaguely defined.
A strange man-like figure with a giant headpiece that hounds James and Maria.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: The encounter with him in the basement of the hospital.
- BFS: Despite being called the "Great Knife" it's more than large enough to be considered a sword.
- The weapon which, interestingly, can be picked up by James.
- Being Watched: James' first encounter with it is unsettling to say the least. Pyramid Head does what he does best: wordlessly observing James from a safe distance.
- Blade on a Stick: He also carries a spear, which is more light-weight (and subsequently less iconic).
- Blindfolded Vision: The helmet does not have eyeholes, but he can see just fine. (Assuming there even are eyes under it.)
- Blood Is the New Black: Positively sticky with the blood of the things he's maimed.
- Body Horror: Very, very subtle, but there. The underside of his helmet is made of flesh, not metal, meaning that Pyramid Heads's head is shaped like his helmet.
- Breakout Villain: His popularity has made him something of a "mascot" for the franchise, appearing in multiple games and both movies, something the developers never intended.
- Buffy Speak: James call him Red Pyramid Thing.
- The Cameo: In Origins, Homecoming, and Downpour.
- Chained by Fashion: Occasionally seen struggling with his oblong helmet, such as when James unloads his pistol at him in a cutscene, though PH's reaction is more irritation at being thrown off-balance than pain.
- Combat Tentacles: If he manages to grab you, he'll lift you up and stab you with his "tongue" that'll come out from a small hole on his helmet.
- Cool Mask: His pyramid-shaped helmet. Though not exactly a pyramid per se, since it has 7 sides. In fact, it may not even be a mask, given how it's fused to him. For all intents and purposes the pyramid is his face.
- The Dreaded: Even other monsters are afraid of him! If James equips the Great Knife and switches off his flashlight, any monster will flee from the scraping noise.
- Dual Boss: Before the final boss fight. One wears a red helmet, the other brown.
- Enemy Without: Subtle, but he shares the same general size and build as James. Whenever Pyramid Head thrusts his spear in the final bout, their grunts are identical, too.
- Fitting, since Pyramid Head is the physical manifestation of James' guilt. However his appearances in later games seems to embody of all of his victims.
- The Heavy: He drives most of the plot.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The first encounter and the final encounter with him end when they end, not when you kill him.
- Humanoid Abomination: Humanoid, certainly - arms, legs, torso, head - but he is an aspect of Silent Hill and James' mind, not an independent being.
- I Have Many Names: The Executioner, Red Pyramid, and The Bogeyman.
- Iconic Item: The Great Knife.
- Immune to Bullets: The helmet gets in the way — As well as James's inability to aim at his exposed body or legs instead. Expect to hear a lot of "ping pings" before this thing is over.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A favored attack when he uses a spear. Also a favorite method of suicide.
- Institutional Apparel: Wears a grimy white smock. In later incarnations, he is shirtless.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Implied to be one by artwork in the museum. And he follows through by executing Maria and tormenting James. A second one appears after James kills Eddie in the meat locker.
- The Juggernaut: Win, lose, or draw, it's because he wishes it.
- Monster Lord: He emits louder radio static than most other monsters, and they appear to hold him in esteem. He has a lot in common with SH3's Valtiel, and the "original" Pyramid Heads (hood-wearing members of the Circle) were members of the Valtiel sect. While not quite in the same league, they're near the top of Silent Hill's hierarchy.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's positively cat-like when the story calls for it, even capable of moving fast while underwater. On the harder difficulties, you can and should stock up plenty of ammunition to slow his advances, especially in the hospital chase.
- The One Guy: He's the only masculine presence amongst this game's otherwise superficially feminine monsters.
- One-Hit Kill: He has a number of moves and attacks that could kill you in one hit. The most prominent is his overhead slash using his Great Knife.
- The player can do the overhead slash as well when he acquires the weapon. It does massive damage to anything it hits but it won't always guarantee a death blow especially towards bosses. Hitting Pyramid Head with his own weapon would only stun him for a while.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Arguably a personification of the concept — not rape, but rape as a crime with no possible absolution and deserving of specific and extremely harsh punishment.
- Series Mascot: He has become the franchise's mascot. Appearing in many game instalments, spin-offs, and cameos and guest appearances in other games and even from other source materials like comics and the movies. He also has a number of knockoffs like Origin's Butcher and Downpour's Bogeyman.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His appearance in Homecoming is minor but it's significant as Adam is punishing himself and in one of the endings turns Adam into one of him.
- Recurring Character: Appeared in most games both in the franchise and outside games 12 at least, two movies, and five comics that's quite an impressive streak.
- Sinister Geometry: Hence the name. From the front, he resembles some kind of hooded executioner or Grand Wizard of the KKK.
- Sinister Scraping Sound: The sound of the Great Knife scraping across the Otherworld's rusty metal floors is a sign that Pyramid Head is coming.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Gloves aren't, though.
- Sword Drag: Pyramid Head often drags his Great Knife behind him when he walks. The damn thing is huge and heavy.
- Threshold Guardians: It's the job of the Pyramid Heads to lead James toward the truth.
- Unexpected Character: One of the most infamous rapists in gaming history paired with many child-friendly mascots in Konami Krazy Racers, that's how popular ol' Pyramid Head is for you.
- The Voiceless: He never speaks. He only makes muffled noises.
- Weapon of Choice: Most often his signature weapon, the Great Knife, though he does carry a simple spear from time to time.
- Especially when you steal the Great Knife from him. You can acquire his weapon in a room later in the game. Getting it will make Pyramid Head resort to the spear instead the next time you meet him which makes him fasternote and gain a longer attack reach. Oops.
Voiced by: Ward E. Sexton (original), Travis Willingham (HD)An enigmatic shut-in that Maria encounters in the "Born From a Wish" sub-scenario. He refuses to see her directly, only communicating through doorways.
- Dead All Along: Ernest finally agrees to let Maria into his study, but when she opens the door, the room turns out to be empty.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Well, more like "Voice With A Demonic-Forces-Controlling-The-Town Connection." After she helps him, he reveals he knows Maria's purpose and gives her the info to nudge her toward meeting James. (With genuinely helpful intent, so she won't be lost and alone anymore.)