Video Game / Silent Hills

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"'My voice, can you hear it? This sign, can you read it? I'll wait forever if you'll just come to me.' Her words - To where do they lead? Be the first in the world to find out." (Avoid playing if you have a heart condition.)
— Game Description

Silent Hills was a short-lived horror-themed video game collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, featuring an unnamed protagonist voiced by (and modeled after) Norman Reedus. The game was developed by Kojima Productions.

Silent Hills was originally announced at Gamescom 2014 as a new Horror IP called P.T., made by a new developer called 7780s Studio, with a demo made available on the PlayStation 4 directly after the announcement. Players who completed the demo got to watch a cinematic teaser for Silent Hills, which revealed P.T. to be a "Playable Teaser" for a long-rumored new game in the Silent Hill series.

Thanks to the falling out between Konami and Kojima Productions, distribution of P.T. ceased on April 29, 2015. Konami officially cancelled Silent Hills soon after, then rescinded all digital licenses worldwide for P.T., making the game impossible to re-download (and near-impossible to play) regardless of whether someone had previously downloaded it. Needless to say, fans got pissed — and started an online petition to convince Konami that it should put the game back into development. Kojima, Del Toro and Reedus at least would re-partner for Kojima's first project after leaving Konami, Death Stranding.

You can still watch the teasers for P.T. and Silent Hills, as well as tons of in-game footage of P.T., on YouTube. (For now.)

P.T. and the Silent Hills teaser contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear:
    • The news broadcast on the radio talks about a family being murdered.
    • The crying baby sound can really get to somebody who's currently taking care of a baby. Or anyone, really.
    • Losing one's job and remaining jobless for nearly a year.
    • One of the loops has a baby locked in a fridge dangling from the ceiling, crying out in fear/agony, with blood pouring out of the fridge. Nothing can be done to save it.
    • Fear of being sexually harassed in one's workplace, or of a loved one suffering the same.
    • Your significant other is pregnant and the father is potentially someone else.
    • The horrifying location the PT teaser is set? An ordinary-looking suburban home.
  • And Starring: At the end of the playable teaser, after listing the two main creative minds behind the project, the game reveals Norman Reedus as the voice actor for the protagonist.
  • Arc Number: Near the end of the teaser, a mysterious voice constantly repeats "204863." note 
  • Arc Words: "Watch out. The gap in the door... it's a separate reality. The only me is me; are you sure the only you is you?"
  • Bring My Brown Pants: During the Gamescom interview, Kojima joked that he may have to include a pair of trousers in the Limited Edition.
    Kojima: Originally, we were thinking of making a game that would make you pee your pants. Now we are aiming for a game that will make you s—- your pants.
  • Driven to Suicide: As the loops continue, the game reveals that one of the fathers hanged himself after killing his family.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: “You got fired, so you drowned your sorrows in booze.”
  • Eldritch Location: The house in which the demo takes place. Time seems frozen at the stroke of midnight, the door in the cellar opens out to the front door in an endless loop, and the whole place slowly goes to hell as the player continues.
  • Evil Laugh: There's a particularly creepy woman's laugh once you cleared the "I can hear them calling me from HELL" puzzle.
  • Eye Scream: A recurring motif in the demo. One puzzle even requires you to gouge out the eye of a woman in a picture. The creepiness intensifies when a gooey substance emerges from the socket.
  • Fetus Terrible: At one point in the demo, there's a creepy deformed baby in the bathroom sink.
  • Foreshadowing: When the protagonist is first waking up, you can just barely see Lisa peeking out from the other side of the door, long before any of her more obvious Jump Scares.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
  • Genre Shift: The demo shifts from previous Silent Hill titles' third-person survival gameplay to first-person exploration similar to such segments from Silent Hill 4: The Room.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: No matter how long you play for or how many doors you pass through, you will always be in (a variation on) the same hallway and the time will always be 23:59 or 00:00.
  • Guide Dang It!/Moon Logic Puzzle: The final puzzle requires you to do a number of odd things. The only clues to these are 5 different messages that flash on the screen in Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese and English whenever you collect a photo fragment:
    • After you enter the room, wait until you hear bells chime, signaling midnight.
    • Take ten steps in any direction and you'll hear something behind you. Stop moving, you will hear a baby laugh. (“Non mi mossi più nell’attesa inerte.” / “I stopped moving, waiting motionless.”)
    • After the noise stops but the radio is still on, speak into your microphone. The baby will laugh again. (“Sussurrei seu nome, mas o vento da noite levou sua voz embora.” / “I whispered his name, but the wind of the night took his voice away.”).
    • Your controller will start vibrating (“Poi il suo indice scivolò sulla mia mano.” / “Then his index finger slipped onto my hand.” — “つめたい手でした からだがふるえました” / “It was a cold hand. My body was trembling.”)
    • Continue to remain still till the vibration stops and the baby laughs a third time. (“Never moving a step, his hand in mine, I waited for it to pass.”)
    • The phone will ring. Examine it, then leave the hallway as usual. (“Und durch Nebel schwindenden Bewusstseins glaubte ich, ein Telefon zu hören.” / “And through mists of fading consciousness, I thought I heard a phone.”)
    • Aside from this, finding the picture pieces is largely straightforward - except one is hidden in the options menu, requiring the player to stay in it for a little bit after picking up a few pieces already.
    • You need to say "JACK" in the PS4 controller to end the P.T. demo.
  • Haunted House: The demo takes place in a suburban house being haunted by a dead family.
  • Hell Is That Noise: More than jump scares or creepy imagery, the P.T. demo is built on this. The most constant is the whining groan of the swinging lamp, but there's gurgles, groans, the odd noises sometimes coming from the radio. Notable separate instances include the screaming from the fridge, the blood from it hitting the ground, the sink-fetus's breathing and the sounds from the vision in the shower.
  • The Hidden Hour: The clock is always at 23:59, or eventually 0:00, no matter how long the player wanders the halls.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Norman Reedus bears a large resemblance to the main character (he was modeled after him).
  • Interface Screw:
    • Part of the game, resulting in messages seemingly left by an indie dev team for internal use.
    • If you stand below the blood pouring from the fridge suspended in the air and look up, your vision will get blurry as if there was actual liquid being poured on your face and eyes.
  • Interface Spoiler: Meta ones:
    • The loading indicator is a reference to the Halo of the Sun symbol from earlier Silent Hill titles.
    • The options menu resembles that of Kojima Productions's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.
    • Of course, there's the use of the FOX engine itself.
  • Ironic Hell: One interpretation of PT: you're playing as one of the fathers who murdered his own family, trapped forever in the house where you killed them.
    • This is reinforced by the fact that during the red-hall speed-run loop, after reliving the murder, the voice on the radio is revealed to be the fetus in the sink, who mentions that the main character's wife had gotten a job at the grocery store 10 months back, and only because the manager there liked how she looked in a skirt. So the odds are even higher that in that case of Pater Familicide, it was because the man's wife had gotten pregnant from an affair with said manager, and the fetus in the sink was the manager's rather than the husband's.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: It's evident that the teaser has a plot, but players will have to figure it on their own using subtle clues from gameplay.
  • Jump Scare:
    • Lisa (the hostile ghost in the playable teaser) contributes almost all of the game's jumpscares.
      • She will often appear behind you to attack you.
      • If you fail to do a step in the final puzzle correctly, you'll see Lisa standing and convulsing at the back of the hall. If you get close to her, she'll suddenly walk through and past you.
      • If you try opening one of the corridor's doors, she'll pop up from inside and shut the door.
    • The large decoration that comes loose and falls onto the ground suddenly with the loud noise of glass smashing.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The final dialogue in the demo almost seems to be the Silent Hill franchise itself talking, discussing "boredom of doing the same thing over and over" and "coming back with new toys". Doubles as a Take That! to the developers of the entries who have attempted to "re-capture" the magic of earlier entries, particularly Silent Hill 2.
  • Left Hanging: We'll never know exactly what significance any of this has, as the game has been all but confirmed cancelled.
  • Mind Screw: Courtesy of a number of visual effects and the "Groundhog Day" Loop gameplay.
  • Minimalism: P.T. crams the maximum amount of creepy into two hallways, a bathroom, an entryway, and a tiny dark room. There's not even a "use" button, at most you can usually just zoom in on something.
  • Meaningful Name: The "s" in the fictitious 7780s Studio supposedly stands for "Shizuoka", or what Silent Hill is referred to as in Japan. Googling "7780" results in the area for the actual Shizuoka, which is 7780 square kilometers.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The ubiquitous flashlight and radio are both present and accounted for.
    • The roaches aren't new to the series, though they aren't the giant kinds seen in the first few games and they don't attack the player.
    • The creepy baby in the demo looks like one of the aliens from the joke endings in earlier Silent Hill games.
    • Decrepit bathrooms, a staple of the Silent Hill series, return.
    • Ominous red lights appear, as well as subtle sounds of a siren in the background.
    • Similar to previous entries, the teaser features a lot of subtle scares in an empty, mundane setting with things slightly off, suggesting something much more terrifying is going on.
    • At the very end of the demo once you complete it, the Silent Hills title is shown while the Silent Hill theme song plays.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Much of the PT demo is walking through an empty hallway, not knowing who or what might ambush you.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: The screen glitches throughout the teaser, especially near the end.
  • Red Herring: Not all of the things you experience in PT affect your ability to progress. For instance, your flashlight will glow different colors just to mess with you, or the ghost will start to appear at midnight in random locations.
  • The Reveal: Built into P.T. After completing the "final loop", you find out that you've been playing a "Playable Teaser" for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro's new Silent Hill game.
  • Scenery Gorn: The increasingly decaying home is impressive.
  • Scenery Porn: The few shots that we see of Silent Hill's streets are gorgeous.
  • Schmuck Bait: Don't look behind you when the radio man tells you to or the witch will get you.
  • Self-Contained Demo: PT was meant to be this to a new Silent Hill game. However the game ended up being cancelled and eventually PT itself was pulled from the Playstation Store.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The baby found in the sink strongly resembles the baby from Eraserhead.
      • Speaking of David Lynch: the style of the long, narrow, and sparsely-lit hallway bears a striking resemblance to the AXXoN N set from Inland Empire, especially when the lights become dimmer, are removed, or change to less traditional colors in later loops.
    • There are a few references to Junji Ito's work, including the spiralling eyeball paintings. Ito is, unsurprisingly, a friend of Hideo Kojima. It was eventually revealed that Ito had been one of the game's principal artists.
    • There's references to the historical War of The Worlds broadcast in a radio message, although everything you hear is in Swedish.
    • This isn't the first time a Hideo Kojima product has initially pretended to be a Survival Horror game from an unknown developer.
  • Signature Style:
    • The demo ends with a phone call on a black screen, identically to every Metal Gear game Kojima has developed since Metal Gear Solid in 1998.
    • The use of radio as a means of communicating to the player is a staple of the Metal Gear series.
      • Doubly fitting since a radio to indicate the presence of monsters is a Silent Hill staple.
    • Kojima is known for screwing with the graphical interface in his games. One even results in a black screen, stating "these bugs must be fixed before the final game is released", and then the player restarts.
  • Spooky Painting / Spooky Photographs: The teaser features paintings and photographs all over the hallways, that later turn into animated spiraling eyeballs.
  • Surreal Horror: The demo has you looping through a slowly degrading suburban home over and over again, talking to a mutated paper bag, and other strange things. Some of the best scares in the demo come from the sheer oddness and weird, almost uncomfortable surroundings.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The teaser has you being hunted by Lisa, a stringy haired female ghost that haunts various areas of a house.
  • Stylistic Suck: One of the weirdest ever — in a tweet, Kojima explains that he intentionally capped the framerate for P.T. at 30fps to make it seem like an independent game.
    • Additionally, the amateur photo that appears when you go to download the teaser was a photograph of an employee's backyard. Kojima used it to give off the impression that the teaser was from an indie developer.
  • Theme Song Reveal: At the very end, "Hometown" — the theme of the Silent Hill franchise — starts playing.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The P.T. trailer has scenes from P.T.'s stinger that reveal it to actually be a teaser for Silent Hills.
  • Twist Ending: The teaser. A total of 4 major swerves if you had no idea what the teaser was going into it. And they are:
  • Villain Protagonist: Hinted at first, revealed in the end.
    • Pater Familicide: The radio broadcast mentions two different men who both murder their families.
      • Asshole Victim: Your wife, son, and unborn child have a good reason to haunt you. Amazingly, your daughter doesn't seem to hold a grudge.
    • ...unless of course, you aren't actually the father. In which case, everything above (except Pater Familicide) is a Subverted Trope. We don't (and may never) know for sure.
  • Wham Shot: Norman Reedus' face reveal at the very end.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: You start P.T. waking up in a dingy cement room, and will return there each time you "die" in the Haunted House loop.


Alternative Title(s): PT

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/SilentHills