Headscratchers: Silent Hill
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Nope, no monsters here, everything's fine!
- It's a minor thing, but the absence of any indication on Harry's part that he notices there are A. Monsters and B. a Dark World when talking to Cybil, Dahlia, and Lisa (okay, Lisa probably doesn't need convincing, and he likely won't bring it up so as not to upset her, but she at least wouldn't think he was crazy if he brought up the subject). Does Harry suffer from short term memory loss when switching to and from the Dark World, that makes him doubt what he saw? Or is he merely trying to seem sane to Cybil by keeping it quiet? I just think a lot of good paranoia mileage could be wrought from Harry trying to broach the subject progressively more to Cybil as she slowly freaks out at his potential insanity.
- My guess is he is trying to appear sane to the nice police officer, she seems like the type to knock the crap out of him anyway if he told her that stuff up front.
- In one cutscene, Harry mentions that his head goes fuzzy when he returns to the 'real' world, and he expresses doubts as to whether he is sane or not. Shortly before he enters the dark world via the chalice in the boutique, he does try to tell Cybil, but presumably feels foolish and gives up.
- Harry does try to tell Cybil about the other world, as noted above, but she brushes him off by saying he's exhausted. The next time they meet, the otherworld's overtaking the town and she admits that he was right. As for the monsters, everyone he's met already knows about them. Kauffman has a monologue about them, and one of the first things Cybil says when they meet for the second time is "things are worse than I thought, this town is dangerous".
Writer Trumps Cop?
- I'm fine with Cybil giving you (a civilian) her gun, given the circumstances, but why does she follow your lead, and generally act like a secondary character, when she's the trained professional, and you're some random guy?
- Gameplay and Story Segregation?
- Maybe Cybil only exists in Harry's imagination? Or because she believes in him? Or maybe cause he saw a cop pass him on a motorcycle, and made up a backstory so he could defend himself against the monsters. Isn't that how the Seal of Metatron works?
- She originally wanted to take the lead, implying that at any cost that Harry should just shut up and wait in the diner. But as the game goes on and Harry makes more progress than her, she just accepts it as it comes and follows his lead.
Fear of the what tends to what now?
- What exactly is the significance of the introductory line? Yeah, it's creepy, but it doesn't seem to mean anything.
- It was an attempt to make some profound statement about people fearing death, but ended up sounding weird.
- Also, this was the PS1 era. Localizations weren't exactly the best at the time.
- "The fear of blood tends to lead to fear for the flesh." Taken literally, it just seems like a Captain Obvious statement; if you're afraid of your blood being spilled, then you're obviously going to be afraid of your flesh being hurt, too.
- I always thought it was pretty poignant about the game's expression of horror. Remember, Silent Hill practically pioneered survival horror as a genre (Resident Evil came first, but it emphasized action over atmosphere and it contributed more to zombie action horror than psychological thrillers). Most of the blood in the game is completely harmless because it's part of the aesthetic and doesn't come from anywhere; pooled in gurney sheets or splattered on the walls rather than gushing from open wounds. Even Lisa doesn't suffer any actual damage, she just starts bleeding from nothing. The message isn't "being afraid of being hurt means being afraid of being hurt", it's "The presence of blood implies a physical threat". Stephen King's IT does the same thing: the blood that Pennywise splatters all over the place doesn't come from anywhere in particular (adults can't even see it), but the fact that it is blood makes its presence terrifying.
- I figured it was a statement about the whole "mother of god thing" (especially after the third game). If blood could be taken as menses, then flesh could be babies?
- When Kaufmann and Harry are talking in Annie's Bar, Kaufmann says that a military squad is on the way to Silent Hill to rescue them. But no such squad ever shows up, and this is never mentioned again by Kaufmann, Harry, or the others. In addition, later games show no indication that the U.S. military checked the place out. So what's the deal? Was Kaufmann just lying to Harry? Granted, he's certainly not particularly trustworthy, but it doesn't make sense for him to just randomly tell Harry they were going to be rescued when they actually weren't.
- Kaufmann was just guessing that a "military rescue squad" would be coming through sooner or later based on what he's seen of the town's condition. Even if the town really is cut off and devastated, that's a pretty generous assumption on his part (that'd still take a long while to happen, if it happens at all), but some of the later games seem to go with the idea that the town's not really in ruins at all, but the characters are all in another dimension.
- He meant cultists on his side?
- Possibly a reference to The Mist, since the military does intervene in the novel.
The Magic Bullet?
- In the first scene with Kaufmann, he shoots at harry at point-blank range and misses. But Harry didn't move until after the shot was fired, meaning that the bullet should've hit him. How did the bullet miss?
- I think, PS1 graphical limitations aside, Kaufmann was supposed to have jerked the gun away at the last second or aimed over Harry's shoulder once he realized Harry's not one of the monsters, or is otherwise that bad a shot.
Where is your God now?
- So this entire cult has tried decades to summon this almighty God to change the entire world as we know it forever. But when it gets summoned, some random hick with a shotgun kills it in minutes. Why the hell is this 'God' so horribly weak? How can it change the world when it can't beat even one man, let alone the armies of all nations? The 'God' in 3 and Homecoming was just as weaksauce. Sure, in all cases the births were flawed, but would it really weaken them that much? They don't seem to really be able to harm anyone or affect life as we know it outside of Silent Hill. Where's the tension?
- When in Alessa's room in Nowhere one of the doctors mentions that the power will be almost nothing compared to what they would have had if everything went according to plan. Flawed births are that bad, even for the baddies it seems.
- In SH 3, Harry states in his little notebook that it was Alessa who truly "defeated" God by pushing it back down (he mentioned "conscious resistance"). I think the idea is that there's a sort of IT-esque battle of wills going on behind the scenes. At the end of SH 1 is the most powerful incarnation of God that we get to see, and it took Alessa's mental powers to just bring it back down and not even "kill" it. And this one wasn't born properly. In SH 3 the birth was beyond screwed. God wasn't done, and then got born premature by a woman that wasn't half as powerful as Alessa. Plus She was just waking up.
- It was just born, an infant, as an example, take a tiger cub, it can grow up to be a massive killing machine, but just born, it's a blind, feeble sack of flesh. Ditto this god, the fact it takes as many shotgun blasts to the face as it does proves it'd be pretty goddamn powerful were it to mature.
- Even if it was an infant, the thing took 7 years to be born. Before the battle, Dahlia says "This is the day of reckoning". So, it's pretty unbelievable that something that took full 7 years to be born is considered an infant, let alone maturing in a matter of hours to wipe out the entire world.
- The cult believes that their god is actually a deity, but there's a pretty decent chance that it doesn't even objectively exist outside of whatever is behind the town giving it life. The cult believes it's real, so it comes into being when they summon it. The fact that it has at least three different known potential appearances depending on who's summoning it would seem to support this. It has no more power than a regular monster because they don't believe that their summoning ritual worked properly, or because there's a practical limit to what the town is capable of creating.
- Two reasons: One, it was still premature. Two: It's a manifestation of their God, it's what they think God will look like, but in truth, it's just a really powerful monster.