"Sucks to be Harry... that could almost be the title of this game." - Dena Natali
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, a 2009 re-imagining of Silent Hill 1, keeps the underlying story the same: following an accident that leaves his car totaled, Harry Mason searches for his missing daughter, Cheryl, in the seemingly-abandoned town of Silent Hill.Numerous new elements were introduced to the series in Shattered Memories, including a much-touted psychological survey that tells players the game will "get in [their] head". This survey — as well as a player's actions throughout the game — will alter accessible areas, character appearances, and even characters' attitudes. Shattered Memories also alters nearly all the audio files and notes players find during the course of the game in subtle ways — while the context of these "flashes" will generally appear the same, the content will have subtle (but significant) alterations, even on repeated playthroughs.As part of a new emphasis on "psychological" horror over "survival" horror, the combat system was removed, leaving a player with three options upon encountering a monster: run, find a flare (which wards off the monsters for a short time), or hide. The success of this new setup can vary, but numerous reviewers welcomed this "refreshing change" in the genre (as opposed to the jump-scares utilized in Doom 3 or the "fire into hordes of zombies and hope you survive" direction Resident Evil has taken in recent years).This game has a Shout Out page.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories contains examples of the following tropes:
Actionized Sequel: Inverted, as there is no combat whatsoever, far less action, and more focus on story and atmosphere than either of the previous two games.
Actual Pacifist: Kind of invoked. Harry never makes any effort to fight the Raw Shocks, though in his case it's because he was explicitly told that he has no way to kill them, as opposed to being a moral thing. The enemies are dealt with by running, hiding, or temporarily warding them off with flares, and the closest thing to combat you see in the game is Harry defensively shoving them away.
Adult Fear: A major focus of the game, so much so that the overtly occult elements of the plot are cut out entirely.
Body Horror: The Raw Shocks all exhibit more or less of this, especially depending on how you play.
But Thou Must: A variation during the Kaufmann sessions in that he'll screw with you no matter how you answer. For instance, he'll ask you "Never cheated on a partner? Really?", and it's vague if the answer is "yes, that's true" or "no, I haven't". Also, during the session of "who's dead and who's sleeping," Kaufmann will tell you they were all either sleeping or dead depending on which side has more photos. If you place all the photos on only one side, he simply laughs because you thought it was a trick question.
Downer Ending: It turns out that Harry died in a car wreck when Cheryl was a little girl. The Harry that the player has been controlling is actually a figment of an adult Cheryl's imagination created to help cope with his death. And then, depending on how you play the game, additional scenes may also reveal that the real Harry was an abusive drunk, a coward, or an adulterer who slept with hookers.
Being trapped in the car. If you drown, it just skips the cutscene between you and Kaufmann's next test.
The last nightmare chase actually has two instances of these. First, no matter how hard you fight them off, the Raw Shocks WILL eventually wear you down. It looks like this is the end...until the ice breaks, and the Raw Shocks fall in the lake and drown. You then begin swimming towards the lighthouse, but no matter how fast you press the buttons, Harry WILL run out of energy and drown, only to be hauled onto the shore by Cybil.
555: Every number Harry can call except the one Easter egg with Konami Customer Service, seeing as it's part of their real world phone number.
When Harry drops the framed photo of himself and Cheryl, the glass shatters right over his face.
John's lines. "You don't love me, you love the John in your head."
Many of the mementos contain foreshadowing on brilliant levels of subtlety.
There's the Modern Prometheus memento, which is a Frankenstein's monster toy. In his last scene, Kaufmann says that what Cheryl thinks of Harry is a Frankenstein's monster made of memories.
Voice messages near the start of the game are of various people, such as a woman complaining about her wedding video being recorded over and a father and son out hunting. About halfway through, messages start focusing on two distinct character groups, one of a family of three (father and mother who fight a lot and their daughter) and one of a mother and rebellious teenage daughter. This is indicative of how Harry is no longer around once Cheryl becomes a teen.
Insurmountable Waist High Fence: The snow piles that block you are at least two feet taller than you, but judging by their formation could definitely be climbed over. A bizarre example is when Cybil takes you to the cabin in the woods, there's a knee high snowbank in front and behind the car you got there in and it apparently formed in the fifteen seconds it took for the car to park and you to get out (if you invoke Gameplay and Story Segregation by moving as quickly as possible rather than trying to wait for her). Given that Silent Hill is more or less a malevolent Genius Loci...
In the art room, the three paintings are of Harry from the original Silent Hill.
There is a sketchbook lying on the ground in the first area, which Harry will comment upon inspection that it isn't Cheryl's. It's a reference to the first game where Harry first tracks Cheryl with images from a sketchbook.
Of course the UFO ending is full of this, being a Silent Hill tradition.
Call the Toluca Lake Resort number on your cell phone and the pre-recorded message on the phone encourages you to make the hotel your "special place".
One introduction to Lisa has Harry encounter her near a crashed car, while Lisa is weeping with a bloody face.
When Harry looks up Cheryl's high school records at Midwich, her full name turns out to be Cheryl Heather Mason.
I Need a Freaking Drink: Kaufman. Psychiatric therapists are not supposed to have alcohol affecting their judgement when treating a patient.
Playing The Player: Deliberately, as part of the psych profile system and regarding how Cheryl is the one undergoing therapy. The beginning of the game actually has a warning screen for this, saying that the game plays you as much as you play it.
Schrödinger's Question: Kaufmann's therapy sessions, such as the picture you color in will be what the house and couple in the next cutscene look like, and the subjects you enter for your perfect school day will be the ones on the mural in the high school's courtyard.
Set Piece Puzzle: Generally to obtain a key. Most keys are found right next to the locked door, even.
Shaped Like Itself: In the Brady Games player's guide, its explanation on the monsters in the game on page 41 has this as its first line:
"The strange creatures you see are creatures."
Shrug of God: Producer Tomm Hulett initially introduced the game as being set in an alternate continuity from the rest of the series; he later retracted his statement, instead saying that that might or might not be the case. As for the question of whether Harry's a Living Memory interacting with real people, or the whole adventure is inside Cheryl's mind, his answer is that whatever interpretation the player relates to better is the right one.
Spooky Photographs: Your camera phone ends up with a lot of these depending, of course, on whether you take them. A few of them, however, are required. The first one of Cheryl on a swing is to show the player how to take photos, and later, finding three photos is the only way to end the Nightmare sequence.
The town of Silent Hill, known for its crazy and psychotic settings, has a high school, Midwich High. Its mascot? The cuckoo.
Stylistic Suck: Graphic design elements for many of the game's in-universe flyers, posters, etc. tend to mimic what the average person would make; hence the familiar, badly-put-together, honest layouts with a liberal, liberal amount of Comic Sans.
The whole game looks like a VHS recording. Various scenes can blur with snow. Opening doors are very jittery, just like Playing and tape from Pause, Rewind, or Fast Forward.
Surreal Horror: The effect is somewhat more subtle than in previous games, however.
Through the Eyes of Madness: Eventually the whole game, though for one specific example, what objectively happens when Dahlia replaces Michelle in the Balkan. Harry later tries to find out how Michelle perceived that situation, but his question gets interrupted.
Tomato Surprise: The therapist's appointments lead you to believe you are either in control of yourself or Harry, but the camera is always in the first person. After the twist, the camera turns to see who has been sitting in the chair - it's Cheryl, looking like a dark-haired version of her SH3 self.
Trick Twist/Wham Episode: Reaching the final stage of the game to find out that you, Harry, have been Dead All Along, and that some (if not all) of the things you encountered while exploring Silent Hill were all experienced by Cheryl! Climax Studios earned its name with this one!
Too Dumb to Live: Lisa, who, instead of having her injuries from a crash tended to, went home, took some pills, and went to sleep. Anyone who knows about concussions knows that sleeping alone without someone to monitor you isn't a very good idea. As a nurse, she especially should have known this. Then again, Cheryl might not have known this.
Video Game Remake: It's a "re-imagining" of SH1 with the same premise but is otherwise handled in a completely different fashion.
Walk It Off: There's no health meter. Instead, the more hits Harry takes from the monsters, the more he stumbles about. Given enough time, he can recover. Justified by the fact that the monsters are not actively hitting him; they are lowering his body temperature, basically making him freeze to death.
What Happened to the Mouse?: After the first nightmare chase, Harry is picked up by Cybil. She drives him to a remote cabin in the woods, then gets out to find a phone because the road conditions are bad and vanishes. She leaves you in the car, goes into the cabin, and isn't seen again until after the bridge incident, which is about halfway through the game. She does call you directly after the next nightmare chase, but it's never explained where she went or why Harry couldn't find her.