Silent Hill: Downpour, the eighth game in Konami's Silent Hill franchise, follows the story of prison convict Murphy Pendleton and his visit to the best vacation town Hell ever conceived.During a routine transfer to a new prison, the bus transporting Murphy crashes and leaves him a free man. With a security officer from the transport on his tail, Murphy - desperate for an escape route and an escape from ever-worsening weather - follows a worn-down road through the woods and into the world's least desirable holiday destination ever: Silent Hill.Once he arrives, Murphy's luck changes for the worse: as supernatural monsters begin to assault him at every turn (including two symbolic ubermonsters in The Bogeyman and The Wheelman), an otherworldly force threatens to rip his body and soul apart when he stumbles into the Otherworld. He also discovers that he has more of a connection to the security officer trailing him than he ever knew - and that they each hold the key to the other's survival.Like other games in this franchise, the town of Silent Hill takes on a unique personality that preys upon Murphy's inner turmoil. This time around, Silent Hill becomes washed out in torrential rain - representing the prison showers where Murphy encountered a child molester, and the murder of his son - and electricity (Murphy's fear of execution for his crimes) arcs across the landscape whenever Murphy travels into the Otherworld. Murphy also sees a lot of fire during his trips to the Otherworld, as always symbolic of Hell.
Tropes specific to this game:
Adult Fear: Of the "Watch out for your kids" variety.
Bag of Spilling: There are a couple of points in the game where you will lose your weapon and flashlight.
When you cross the Point of No Return, you lose everything. Gun, flashlight, lighter, and any random crap you have in your pockets, even your clothes. The only thing you do keep is your journal, you have to re-find everything else.
Beat Still, My Heart: The Dead Man's Hand sidequest, in which you have to retrieve a dead man's still-beating heart that was savagely ripped out of his body. Emphasis on "still-beating", because the quest also employs...
Book Ends: The "Truth & Justice" ending. Murphy and Anne, having been freed from Silent Hill's influence, end up transported back to the wreckage of the prison bus. Additionally, the last scene of this ending takes place in Ryall State Prison.
Breakable Weapons: Employed reasonably realistically with the different weapons having varying levels of durability that are more or less in line with what you'd expect, like vases and bottles readily shattering, chairs and wooden sticks that'll splinter into smaller and smaller pieces, and sturdier items like hatchets and crowbars. Still, you might expect certain weapons to last much longer than they actually do, like the crowbar; it's not exactly easy to snap a solid metal stick in half.
Of course, if you wanted to, you could probably Epileptic-Tree some of it away by arguing that the town is purposely playing mind games by making those "sturdy" weapons break unexpectedly easily. Reality Warping and all that.
The game kind of plays with it, especially weapons needed to progress (like an axe). You might get to break a plank or two of a boarded up door with a pickaxe before it breaks (which is odd, especially when you just found it), whereas an fire axe is your safest bet on taking it down, without any breakage.
But Thou Must: Justified in game due to the strange nature of Silent Hill. This is lampshaded after DJ Ricks reveals he has a boat but someone stole the keys, Murphy replies that he will just hot-wire it. DJ Ricks says that it wouldn't work and that the town has some strange form of reality, and that it has rules. When DJ breaks them, he is overwhelmed by screamers.
The red "Void" which periodically chases Murphy is similar to the Red Light of Death from Silent Hill 3, which stalked Heather through a winding fun house. More so, the chase sequences it instigates are basically lifted from its predecessor, Shattered Memories, right down to the player being able to throw down obstacles and glance backwards at his pursuer.
Pyramid Head as well as two Bubble Head Nurses makes a cameo in the joke ending. Heather Mason, James and Mary Sunderland, and Laura make an appearance as well.
A painting of "Demon Samael" (i.e. the Incubus final boss from the first game), also in the Centennial Building.
One particular building (which you can't enter) will offer a horribly familiar metallic scraping sound when you pass by it.
A much appreciated aversion; While the stages are more open and sprawling than they've ever been, the amount of broken Locked Doors you'll encounter can be counted on one hand. Instead, doors that you can't go through are very clearly boarded up entirely, i.e. you no longer need to roam around testing every single door to find out which ones are unusable. And among the doors that are locked but can be opened, most just require you to break the lock with a metal item.
Portraits of Alessa can be found hanging on walls all over town.
There is a second boat anchored next to DJ Ricks' one, with the name Angela's Fire.
The "Mirror, Mirror" sidequest (especially the psychiatric report mentioning "the people in the mirror") bears some similarity to the insanity of Helen Grady.
Devil's Pit was run by the Gillespie Coal and Iron Company.
Which is all the more interesting when you consider that in Silent Hill Origins', Dahlia Gillespie burned her house down with her daughter in it.
Chekhov's Gun: The police badge found by the first set of clothing that Murphy changes into behind the motel. Although Anne seems to understand the significance of it after Murphy encounters her following the train ride, it isn't until the very end of the game that is is explained what it means: a mourning badge worn after the death of a fellow officer, representing the death of Frank Coleridge at Sewell's (or Murphy's) hands. The "Truth & Justice" ending has Anne accusingly throwing it at Sewell as she confronts him.
Clock Tower: Downpour's version of Silent Hill seems to be prominently sporting one. After the Centennial Building otherworld, you end up hanging from the clock face.
Closed Circle: Par for the course in Silent Hill. This time, done in subtle Mind Screw and Oh Crap type moments: When fleeing from the Void the first time, if you approach an open space in the wall, it may shut an iron door in front of you, leaving you to pass right by the Void. And when approaching an obstacle, it may melt away in front of you, as if it's letting you go on ahead.
Cluster F-Bomb: Compared to other Silent Hill games, there are a lot of curse words uttered. Special mention goes to Sewell - while he doesn't exactly swear every other sentence, he is probably the most foul-mouthed character in the series thus far.
Creepy Doll: One of the monster varieties in the game, aptly named Dolls. Only these appear to be of the sex doll variety.
A small, eerie-looking doll clutching a knife can be found in the monastery.
Crow Scare: Frequently and somewhat egregiously used in the earlier stages, though they do taper off in favour of other, more unsettling types of horror.
Makes a return in the Centennial garage, should you choose to inspect either of the cars.
Deal with the Devil: Sewell's habit of performing tit-for-tat favors for the prisoners under his watch. Officer Coleridge warns that these "favors" never work out well for the inmates.
Diegetic Interface: The state of Murphy's health is discernible only through the number of wounds on his person.
There is a health statistic viewable in the menu. Murphy's physical appearance still makes for a passable estimate, but the occasional case of Critical Existence Failure would take the viewer by surprise.
The light from his torch also becomes clouded with a bloody filter the more damage he's taken.
Drop the Hammer: The Bogeyman drops a very big one made from a metal rod with a concrete block at one end. Then you get to use it to fight Anne.
Early-Bird Cameo: Of the vocal sort: "Revenge is a long and treacherous road, isn't it, Mr. Pendleton? Where do you suppose it ends?" is heard in the opening. We don't find the voice's face or its significance until fairly late in the game.
Another vocal one, so subtle most may miss it. Just seconds after the Void's first appearance, a voice says "Murphy... RUN!". In either of the good endings, Frank Coleridge, who Murphy refused to kill, tells Murphy the EXACT same line (tone and all).
The Wheelman also makes several blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances before either it, Frank Coleridge, or any pieces of Murphy's backstory have been introduced.
Empathic Shapeshifter: The Bogeyman changes his appearance underneath the gas mask to match the viewer's idea of evil. In Murphy's case, he sees both Napier and himself. To Anne, she views Murphy as the Bogeyman.
Endless Corridor: When you first flee from the Void, you go down a short corridor. You approach the corner, then the corridor extends forward, doubling in length. It continues to extend forward as you flee the Void, then just randomly stops. An unusual example in that the corridor BECOMES 'endless' as you go through it, instead of being endless from the start.
Flunky Boss: The Wheelman starts telekinetically opening prison cells to unleash monsters on Murphy halfway through the battle. Later, Anne also opens cells to unleash Prisoner Juggernauts during the fight.
Ghostly Goals: The gramophone sidequest, where a family who appears to be stuck in limbo urge you to burn the picture of the father who murdered them.
Glasgow Grin: All the non-boss enemies except for Dolls have their mouths mutilated in some fashion.
Good Angel, Bad Angel: Officer Coleridge is the good angel to Murphy, giving him as much respect as his own family and motivating him to apply for parole, while Sewell is Murphy's bad angel, giving him the oppotunity to have revenge on Napier. Officer Coleridge honestly cares about Murphy, but Sewell only wants him to take revenge so he could use Murphy to get Coleridge for trying to have him charged with corruption.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: The "Full Circle" ending heavily implies that Howard Blackwood, JP Sater, and Bobby Ricks were all Heroes of Another Story but somehow failed or did something terrible, and became permanent residents of Silent Hill, trapped in their own loop. Said ending results in Murphy having this happen to him — meaning you'll have to play the game again to see another ending. Something similar happens to Anne in the "Reversal" ending.
Handshake Refusal: When Murphy and Howard first meet, Howard introduces himself and offers his hand to Murphy. Murphy actually takes a few steps back.
Humanoid Abomination: The monster designs are decidedly more humanoid in contrast to previous entries.
Human Shield: Well, maybe not human, but the cages you throw in front of The Void to stall it all have some... thing clearly biological and living inside.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted with weapons. Unlike in previous entries in the series, Murphy can only carry one weapon at a time. If he finds a gun, Murphy can holster it and carry a melee weapon. Played straight with regular inventory items.
And a most disturbing subversion; Murphy is tasked to find a rhyme that's explicitly stated to repel the Bogeyman, and when said baddie approaches a little kid, Murphy attempts to save him by reciting it by memory. The Bogeyman snaps his neck before Murphy can finish reciting it.
Institutional Apparel: Murphy's a freshly escaped con and starts out wearing a prisoner's jumpsuit. Later in the game, he can find a different outfit, and another if he does the "Stolen Goods" sidequest.
Insurmountable Waist High Fence: At times you might see certain spots around town that Murphy probably could feasibly reach without too much effort but are nonetheless off limits to the player. Usually you can sort of think of it as an unspoken implication that Murphy is automatically filtering out those unremarkable places for the player, although there is an instance where Murphy explicitly looks at a potentially viable pathway that's blocked by a foot-high tree trunk and proclaims he "can't go this way."
Aversions also exist where Murphy actually forces his way through certain trivial obstacles, such as smashing off padlocks and hacking through the loosely boarded door.
Also worth mentioning are those mysterious chasms and towering fences which are truly insurmountable and block off entire roadways.
Ironic Echo: The "Execution" ending, when Sewell asks him "Any last words?"
Murphy: Yeah, I'll see you in hell, cupcake.
Interface Screw: In the latter half of the game, every once in a while the loading screen quotes will change from your standard "Press X to jump" advice into... something a little more sinister:
It's in the room with you. You just can't see it.
Why are you lying?
They know you’re alone.
Just give up...
You can’t ignore it forever.
They never really loved you anyway...
We are all slowly dying.
They have no obvious connection to anything in-game, and no explanation is ever given.
Karma Houdini: Sewell gets away scot-free in every ending except "Truth & Justice".
Karma Meter: The game keeps a hidden tally of points, which increases or decreases based on whether you kill or spare defeated monsters and at certain points where you have to make moral decisions. Whether your score is positive or negative combined with your decision at the very end of the game determines your ending.
Karmic Death: Sewell is heavily implied to be shot by Anne in one of the endings.
Last Minute Reprieve: It's debatable whether or not wandering into Silent Hill was preferable to the alternative.
Light and Mirrors Puzzle: While it is a puzzle that does involve both lights and mirrors, it's not an entirely straight example; The lights are floodlights used to chase and trap monsters into cages, while the mirror (here a flooded floor) shows the entirely different plane of existence said monsters and floodlights reside on.
Lighter and Softer: Insane as it may sound about a game which opens with a serial pedophile killer, Silent Hill: Downpour is a game where things are significantly less malevolent. There's less gore, less extreme reactions, and a lot of people seem semi-justified in their actions. Killing your child's murderer is less severe than your wife, after all.
Minimalist Cast: There's less than a dozen characters populating the entire town, present day. All the dozens of houses, hovels, and residential areas are completely abandoned IN THE OTHERWORLD, in the real world the town is still thriving. However, between flashbacks, humanoid monsters, and the various well-fleshed out ghost personalities and backstories, it feels a little less desolate.
Missing Trailer Scene: Trailers released while the game was still in production featured footage not used in the game, such as a boss fight with Monocle Man (in the finished product, he was reduced to a one-line cameo) and a scene where Murphy accidentally shoots an inmate thinking he was a weeping bat.
Multiple Choice Past: Your actions determine whether Murphy killed Coleridge or was framed for it by Sewell. It's very similar to how The Suffering let you determine whether Torque was a murderer or framed by your actions.
They also determine whether or not you killed Napier and, in one ending, it was actually Murphy who killed Charlie.
Which ties nicely into the idea that the town itself is a sentient reality warping entity. If Murphy refuses to learn that violence and vengeance are wrong, then it RetCons him into being a murdering nutjob.
Murderous Mannequin: Played with in the Devil's Pit mines. At one point, Murphy comes across three eerie-looking miner mannequins, one of which suddenly falls over (and even changes position) should he get too close. Later, not long into the train ride, many more of these mannequins can be seen — then the lights flicker, and the mannequins not only change position, they get closer to Murphy. And they only get closer with every light flicker, until they're right inside the train, staring right into Murphy's face. Then the lights flicker again and they're back in their starting positions as if nothing had happened.
Not What It Looks Like: As Murphy kneels over the dead body of the boy The Bogeyman killed mere seconds ago, a little girl walks in on the scene. Naturally, she peels off as fast as her legs will let her.
After killing the Wheelman, Anna comes and reveals that he represented Frank, her father. In fact, the Wheelman is replaced by Frank, who is in the shower where Sewell (or Murphy) killed him. Then the cycle becomes full and she tries to murder you. Afterwards (if you spare her), it is revealed what really happened depending on you actions in the game.
Obstacle Ski Course: Well, Obstacle Slide Course, but there's a few of them in the Otherworld sequences.
Offing the Offspring: One of the side quests involves a missing little girl. Her mother made a route home for her from school by tying ribbons to posts, which she would always follow without hesitation due to her severe autism. You eventually discover that the mother had gotten so sick of living with the girl's condition that she'd deliberately altered the route so she'd walk right off a pier.
Murphy himself can end up as an example in the worst ending.
Oh Crap: Three in the span of one minute: When Murphy turns on the gas on a kitchen stove, it sparks and catches fire, and he reacts with "Oh shit!". And when he pulls the fire alarm, the world around him distorts into the Otherworld ("What the hell IS this!?"). And when the room is filling up with water, he notices it approaching an open breaker box...
Napier, too, has several in the space of a minute: When he realises he isn't alone in the showers, then when he realises Murphy is armed. Then he finds out the doors are locked. Then Murphy calmly reminds him that they used to be neighbours, and the realisation kicks in...
Orphanage of Fear: A letter you find in the Monastery written by a child states that they're being "hert" and the medicine they're given "makes them feel sick all the time". The letter comes with an angry note writtten by a supervisor, demanding that every sent letter must be screened and censored by her from now on. In other notes written by her she refers to the children with nothing but disgust.
Pacifist Run: You can go through the entire game without killing any enemies, though you'll still have to knock a few down to proceed. There's even an achievement/trophy for doing so.
Pædo Hunt: Murphy arranging to murder his son's killer, Napier.
Post Final Boss: After taking the gigantic Final Boss off life support in the game's climactic battle, you have one last fight with Cunningham. She falls in only one hit, and you can take a lot of damage, but you also move very slowly, which can make it difficult to catch up to her as she shoots and sends Prisoner Juggernauts after you. If you happen to lose, you get a special ending.
Precision F-Strike: Murphy's verbal reaction whenever enemies appear out of nowhere in front of him (specifically from the ceiling).
Pre-Order Bonus: Different retailers are offering different weapons for pre-ordering the game, which can then be accessed by inputting a code (included on your receipt for the game) into one of the lockers around town. Naturally, all of the codes were up on the internet before the game had been out even one day. Using a code opens all the lockers, though, so you can only have one set of bonus weapons each time you play through the game.
Prison Riot: Overlook Penitentiary was a site of a riot. It is suggested that it was instigated by Geroge Sewell in order to cover up the planned murder of Frank Coleridge by Murphy Pendleton.
Scenery Porn: Surprisingly for a SilentHill game, The Devil's Pit in particular feature many meticulously rendered mountain-scenes. And not just them either: the entire game has a LOT of little details in its environments, including but not limited to the Scenery Gorn elements. Hell, there's even a lot of detail in the areas where Murphy can't afford to stop and take a good look around (ie being chased by The Void in the Otherworld)
Sequence Breaking: Many of the game's puzzles require you to find a code to open a door. However, the numbers are the same each time, and the game will allow you to input it as soon as you find the door, bypassing the need to track it down in game.
Stylistic Suck: The fighting style in this game is slow and weighty, and most enemies have major, major advantages. Like the earlier games in the series, this is an attempt to preserve a sense of helplessness and fear between Murphy, who is very scared, and the player.
Town with a Dark Secret: Guess. However, this is the second game to suggest that the town itself is sentient, the first being Silent Hill 2. The town seems to capture people, putting them through tests to determine if they are worthy of redemption — if they succeed, they achieve some sort of closure, but if they fail, they die. When DJ Ricks tells Murphy about his boat and its missing keys, Murphy replies that he will hot-wire it; DJ Ricks responds that it wouldn't work and explicitly says that the town has some weird form of reality and that it has rules that must be followed. The town then demonstrates what happens when you try to break them, by sending a group of screamers to grab Anne and DJ Ricks but leaving Murphy unharmed.
Tranquil Fury: Murphy, when he's beating Napier to a bloody pulp.
Violation of Common Sense: For some of the side quests, the only reason the player would even know to do them is because Murphy jots the objective down in his notebook.
Upon finding a dead body with the heart torn out, Murphy somehow decides he'd better go searching for the heart in the creepy underground labyrinth so he can jam it back into the body.
After finding an urn full of someone's ashes, along with a photograph of a spot in town, Murphy speculates that the place was meaningful to the couple who lived there and decides he should take the ashes and scatter them at that spot.
Despite he himself running around the whole town grabbing all kinds of loose items, at one point he finds a stash of stolen goods and decides that he's supposed to return these particular items to their rightful owners.
After encountering some police cars inexplicably being driven around by monsters, Murphy decides to try to get rid of those cars by seeking out the police dispatcher and calling all the cars back. While it does makes logical sense on some level, it's still a rather strange solution to think up given the mysterious, supernatural context of the game.
For the endings: sparing the monsters. In most every Silent Hill game, leaving the monsters alive will only give them the chance to get up and kill you. You sort of need to search the area for clues so you killed them in those games. In this game, it affects the ending. So, in order to get the best ending, you have to let non-repenting monsters live. This isn't like Napier, this is legit self-defense and sparing them suddenly matters.
Vulnerable Convoy: The prison bus transporting protagonist Murphy Pendleton and other inmates from Ryall State Penitentiary to Wayside Maximum Security Prison takes a tumble and rolls off the road into woodland. Murphy wakes up and escapes the wreckage on foot, eventually arriving in Silent Hill.
Weirdness Censor: Played with, The Postman is seemingly oblivious to the strange occurrences of the town and continues his route, because he is a manifestation of the town and has been present since before 1867. DJ Ricks has been continuing his job as a Disc Jockey despite the town being in near ruins. (Note: just in the otherworld, the real world is fine and functional.) DJ Ricks, however, is actually very aware of the monsters, but is playing along out of fear. He states it as "This town has rules." He tries to contact Murphy several times to help him escape, but it backfires.
Wide Open Sandbox: Not quite a giant sandbox, but you have more areas to explore and some side-quests to complete; think "original Silent Hill" and some of its optional areas, as opposed to the more linear areas of later games.
Written Sound Effect: A truly bizarre example. In the Monastery Otherworld, there is a prison-hallway made entirely out of cardboard that contains a life-sized string-puppet version of the Bogeyman, LittleBigPlanet-style. A little cardboard Speech Bubble with the appropriate sound-effect written on it appears whenever it swings its hammer.
You Killed My Father: The whole reason Anne Cunningham chases after Murphy. Whether he did it or not depends on the ending you get.