Video Game: Silent Hill Origins
Now play dead!
Jack says the town is located on
old "spiritual ground"...
will be blessed!
A prequel released for the handheld PSP and later ported to the Playstation 2, Origins
is a retelling of the events that happened seven years before Silent Hill 1
. It stars a trucker named Travis Grady, whose attempts to take a shortcut through Silent Hill get sidetracked by a figure running onto the road and a house on fire. After bailing a mysterious (and very, very crispy) girl out of her house, he passes out and awakes in the completely deserted streets of Silent Hill. His attempts to find out what exactly happened to the girl lead him all over the town and eventually get him embroiled in mysterious cult activity, as well as the troubled past
of his that appears to be a prerequisite for Silent Hill
faithfully sticks to the Silent Hill
formula for creepy atmospheres, nightmare worlds, and baffling puzzles, it introduces Breakable Weapons
and being able to switch over to the Otherworld
via mirrors—in practice, this just means twice as many areas (of which half are just a grimdark version of themselves) to explore.
Characters in Origins
, with the exception of Travis himself, are all younger versions of the characters found in Silent Hill 1
— Dahlia, Lisa, and Kaufmann. They wear different clothes and have slightly different personalities, but are ultimately the same. (Except for the fact that Lisa is a real person and not dead - yet.)
Tropes specific to this game:
- Actionized Sequel: While the game does feature "better" controls and a bigger emphasis on killing monsters, the combat was going to be similar to that of Resident Evil 4 with a close, over-the-shoulder camera view. There were also plans to introduce a laser aiming module for guns and a barricade system to block monsters from accessing certain areas. In October 2006, the U.S.-based team was sacked and production was moved to another studio in the U.K., and those plans were scrapped.
- Already Met Everyone: Travis, his family, and the Butcher are the only characters unique to this game.
- Berserk Button: For Travis, it's the idea of a parent abusing their child.
- Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: Travis stops his truck to avoid hitting a hooded figure. As soon as he gets out of the truck to check on this person, he sees Spectral Alessa in his rearview mirror and Silent Hill's signature fog starts rolling in.
- Big Damn Fire Exit: Travis has enough time to enter the burning Gillespie house and rescue Alessa from it, even if he takes his sweet time trying all of the locked doors (though he earns an accolade, an outfit, and an axe if he's fast enough). At times, the Halo of the Sun shows up to extinguish some parts blocked by flames.
- Big Damn Hero: Travis is possibly the most selfless and altruistic of Silent Hill protagonists yet. He willingly stays in town to help out the girl he just rescued from a burning building, while disinterestedly confronting his troubled past just because it's on the way.
- Big Red Devil: The Final Boss is this.
- Bloody Handprint: Alessa leaves one on the glass of a mirror; touching it transports Travis to the Otherworld for the first time.
- Book Ends: Travis leaving Silent Hill is an almost exact mirror of how he entered the town.
- Breakable Weapons: Having a large inventory of backup weapons is why you end up stuffing something like half a dozen TVs into your Hyperspace Arsenal.
- Buffy Speak: Travis, while holding up a piece of the MacGuffin: "Hey! I've got your... your THING for you!" Justified in that he had just faced the most traumatic event of his whole life. He wasn't exactly in the right state of mind. Plus, neither he nor the player (unless they've played Silent Hill 1) actually know what it is at that point.
- The Butcher: Travis, either literally or as his Shadow Archetype.
- Continuity Nod: The whole game, but specific callbacks to Silent Hill 1 include a redone version of Dahlia and Alessa's conversation shortly before the poor girl was sacrificed, a redone version of Dahlia and Kaufmann's conversation about the summoning spell to draw Cheryl back to Alessa, and the graveyard in which Harry and his wife find Cheryl.
- One of the memos Travis can find is a version of the "Manifestations of Delusions" article that Harry finds in the first game.
- Continuity Snarl/Rewrite: Much of the game contradicts events and references depicted inSilent Hill 1. Such as the burning house in which Alessa was found in by Travis. In the first game, there was no indication that the fire was part of the ritual and it was an accident in the boiler room. (Possibly caused by a Poltergeist.) Alessa was needed alive to perform the ritual and the fire would had surely killed her. Origins did not clarify the damage the fire has caused, as only the house itself was ablaze and nothing else.
- For that matter, why didn't the Cult members rush in to save her?
- The Otherworld and Fogworld are apparently parallel dimensions now, and not manifestations of the Cult's god influencing the world and taking over reality.
- Dark and Troubled Past: But of course! Nary a person steps into Silent Hill without one of those.
- Degraded Boss: Happens twice. You see the first (Straight-Jacket) and third (Caliban) bosses stalking the streets of Silent Hill not long after you first fight them.
- Demonic Dummy/Creepy Doll: The Ariels.
- Dramatic Irony: Near the end of the game, Travis angrily asks Alessa when they're gonna get to see what's in her sick little head. Oh, if he only knew...
- Episode 0: The Beginning: Its Japanese title.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Final Boss qualifies. It is entirely independent of Travis' psyche, which has so far inspired and codified the creatures inhabiting Silent Hill. All boss fights up to this point are unconsciously connected to Travis' past and feature as cathartic events, whereas the Final Boss really comes out of nowhere, has no relation to Travis or his personal history whatsoever, and is only explained through inference of the previous games' canons (it's Samael), rather than being mentioned or referenced by any of the characters or collectible documents.
- Hero Ball: At several points, Travis has no good reason to stick around the highly dangerous Silent Hill. His initial motivation of finding out what happened to Alessa is quickly resolved (he does believe it when he is told by Lisa that she is dead), and unlike the other protagonists of the series he has no personal investment in getting to the bottom of the town's mysteries, and his determination to so seems to be purely for the reason that there would be no plot otherwise.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Travis, like most other Silent Hill protagonists, can carry a lot of stuff on him.
- I Can't Reach It: Travis simply refuses to leave the demon-infested hospital before he finds the girl, who's probably already dead for all he knows.
- He also refuses to enter the pool at the Motel, despite there being an important item in there. You have to go to the Otherworld, where the pool is somehow drained.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Quite a few examples through the game, but the most prominent one is when Travis is blocked by a hallway chain he could easily step over.
- Interrupted Intimacy: At the motel, Travis walks in (or, rather, falls in) on Lisa and Kaufmann dressing after having had sex.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: "Here comes a candle to light you to bed. Here comes the butcher to chop off your head". Based on a real nursery rhyme called "Oranges and Lemons", which is totally innocuous up until the chilling last verse.
- Letters 2 Numbers: It's spelled "Silent Hill Zero-rigins," though you might get some strange looks calling it that.
- Market-Based Title: It's called "Silent Hill 0" in Japan.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Travis's mother became psychotic, tried to kill herself and Travis in a murder-suicide and was committed to a sanitarium and his father subsequently hanged himself while Travis was out playing.
- Dahlia, though it probably would have been better if she had just abandoned her daughter.
- Press X to Not Die: Just about every monster in this game has an attack that triggers a quick-time event. Only one is instantly fatal (and it gives you plenty of time), but it's still annoying.
- Silliness Switch: Many of the unlockable costumes. Play through the game with Travis as a spaceman! Or a Mexican wrestler outfit! Or in a Shiba Inu fursuit!
- Solve the Soup Cans: At the motel, Travis has to drain a pool in order to get a thing lying on its bottom. The thing is that the water level in the pool is barley waist-height so Travis could easily just climb down there and fish it out, but there is no prompt to make him to do so.
- Sprint Meter: Travis can't run very long (compared to other Silent Hill protagonists) before he gets winded unless he downs an energy drink or is wearing the Sprinter outfit. It's justified somewhat in that interactions with the game world reveal that Travis is a smoker. The fact that Helen tried to gas Travis and herself to death when he was a child could also be a factor.
- Theme Naming: The monsters in Artaud Theater (Ariel, Caliban) are all named after characters from Shakespeare's The Tempest, which is being staged when Travis drops by.
- The Two-Back monsters found in Riverside Motel refer to "the beast with two backs", a metaphor for intercourse coined by Shakespeare in another of his plays, Othello.
- Tragic Monster: Both of Travis's parents are incarnated as literal monsters during the game. Travis is not too pleased with Alessa about this.
- Travis in the Bad Ending, wherein it is implied he was The Butcher all along.
- Unwitting Pawn: Travis pretty much doesn't do anything or go anywhere unless directed to by the clues he finds.
- Spanner in the Works: He does ultimately end up blowing the Order's plans to hell for the next seven years, though.
- Non-Appearing Title: The first song played in the game is titled "O.R.T." This stands for Oral Rehydration Therapy - which is extremely relevant to Alessa, considering it's used used to treat burn victims. Of course, the song itself isn't about this type of therapy, and is never even mentioned.