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Vincent is a genuine member of the Order. Claudia is an insane heretic.
Look at how Vincent acts and how he talks to Claudia. He says he fears and adores God, but that he doesn't believe the Otherworld and the monsters are her handy work. He finds the idea of God being born horrifying, not just because it means an end to his hedonism, but because he considers it a blasphemy to force God into the material world, especially through such questionable means. Claudia, Leonard, and Dahlia both belong to the Sect of the Holy Mother, a heretical and insane offshoot of the actual Order, and Vincent clearly disapproves of their methods.
The "Happy Birthday" voice on the other end of the phone is...
The town itself. On many occasions the town is implied to be intelligent, and self aware, and creates the puzzles and such as a way of manipulating and toying with the protagonists, while at the same time subtly guiding them towards an eventual revelation. Compare this to the voice on the other end of the phone. It's giving her information, subtly telling her "you're older than you think you are". It also says "Happy Birthday Dear Who Are You?", a way of subtly pointing out "you don't know who you really are", and soon after gives her "birthday presents" which is essentially the town itself giving her them. Now with that in mind, listen to it again. Doesn't everything it's saying sound like something the town itself would know, and say, if it could speak?
Vincent's "joke" does not mean the monsters are actually people.
Isn't it strange how, if Heather really is killing people without knowing it, Vincent doesn't put in more effort to stop her? No, more likely it has to do with perception. Vincent said he finds the alternate world "fascinating," unlike Heather (and likely the player) who finds it terrifying, so it follows that he would see the monsters as fascinating creatures inhabiting/created by this world rather than bloodthirsty killing machines. Hence, "they look like monsters to you?" He retracts it when he sees it freaks Heather out. It didn't occur to her that Vincent saw the same creatures in a different light, so the thought crossed her mind that they were actually people. And rather than explain what he meant, Vincent thought it easier to say it was a joke and change the subject.
- I think there might be some truth to that. One idea I've considered that, since he knows the otherworld's coming from Heather/Alessa's powers and subconscious, he's startled that she thinks they're monsters. He'd been assuming that, however bizarre they look, they must make sense to her since she's the one creating them. Vincent has a bad habit of assuming that Heather already knows everything Alessa knew (such as thinking she'd know how to use the Seal of Metatron), and it takes him aback when he finds out she doesn't understand what they are. Then again, he says it in such a slow, dramatic tone that he could really just be messing with her.
- Downpour seems to confirm this — not only do other people than the protagonist see monsters, they occasionally see the same monsters — both Anne and Murphy see the Bogeyman, and Murphy briefly becomes the Bogeyman. So, either Vincent was lying or seeing things differently, or the town is a fan of mental tricks.
- Don't forget the one ending in Homecoming where Alex becomes Pyramidhead.
- Couldn't the shared hallucinations be simply due to similar fears/darkness being held in their hearts?
- Alternatively, he doesn't say that because he sees them as simply fascinating creatures. He asks the question because they are NOT monsters to the Cult. They are the angels of Silent Hill's religion. This is somewhat supported by some of the pictures and descriptions found in the Chapel. "God created beings to lead people in obedience to Her. The red god, Xuchilbara; the yellow god, Lobsel Vith; many gods and angels."
In Silent Hill 3, Heather is aware of the scenes that she doesn't show up in.
Thus explaining her "Was someone else here?" line to Vincent in the motel. Obviously, Alessa's awakening memories are causing her repressed powers to return, and she's getting visions of what's going on in other places.
Valtiel isn't a thinking creature at all, it just carries out orders directly from whatever is behind Silent Hill.
It is just a bundle of instinct, and most of that instinct is to follow the orders of the voice that sometimes talks in its head — or rather, the ideas it sometimes has just out of the blue, since a voice inside its head might be too abstract a concept for it to get. It dioesn't really understand what it's supposed to do, it just does it. Like a valet, in the traditional role of a servant, being a part of the House that gets things done when told. Pyramid Head, on the other hand, is a separate entity, and one that works toward its own gratification and release of boredom. They're both on the same level, but Pyramid Head is more of a "Silent Hill tells me to do this, sure, but I'll just mess around with my own stuff until I get the chance" and Valtiel is like a flesh-robot. With instincts and a way to input instructios, but no mind of its own. (It came to me in a dream, cliche though it is.)
In Silent Hill 3, Claudia and Vincent are siblings.
Well, it makes sense to me, at least. I mean, Vincent claimed to have the memory of Claudia's father beating her burned into his mind, so either he was a member of the household in some way, shape, or form, or really liked to stalk people. Also, it seemed to me like they had some sort of rivalry thing going on, but maybe I'm just weird.
- Vincent and Claudia don't share surnames, and Claudia is an only child. More likely, he just beat her in public, which as implied by some memos in the game is nearly canon. Even not going that far, maybe he abused her while Vincent was visiting some day.
- I honestly don't remember Vincent's surname ever being given, but I might just be stupid...
- I don't remember it being given either, but when Claudia and Vincent are talking after the hospital, Claudia refers to him as "my father," not our father, and I'm pretty sure Vincent either refers to him using his first name, which would be unusual for a child (although not unheard of, granted), and refers to him as "your father."
- My take on it was that Dahlia raised Claudia alongside Alessa, and that, as much of a Card-Carrying Villain as Dahlia was in the first game, she actually did rescue Claudia from her abusive father Leonard, which is why Claudia's so gung-ho about the cult's beliefs as an adult. Since Vincent was being groomed as a church leader too, he was around a lot and saw the fights and abuse that happened whenever Leonard showed up and tried to take Claudia back. He and Claudia probably do have a brother/sister dynamic, just from having grown up together.
Getting loads of dark points for forgiving the confessor at the Church in SH 3 has nothing to do with Heather stepping into the shoes of God as is commonly believed.
The real reason is because it shows that even after all she's been through — learning about how awful Claudia's past was, gradually gaining back Alessa's old memories which included a time when she'd loved Claudia like a sister — she still believes that murder excuses murder and revenge can be justified. Which is a belief that we know give the God a major boost in power since every time she starts raging at Claudia, it gets strong enough to make her keel over from the pain of it, and is what ultimately pushes it over the edge of the amount of strength needed for it to be born if she tries to kill Claudia at the end.
- An alternate theory isn't the fact that you're forgiving someone, it's the person you're forgiving... After all, a woman, sobbing her heart out about the "awful things" she did to her "own daughter", which however terrible were for "good intentions"? Heather may as well be saying "I forgive you, mommy."
Harry isn't really dead
Let's face it, the Missionary isn't a very difficult boss (this troper has played through the game about ten times and has been killed by him a grand total of once), and we know Harry wanted Heather to keep at least one weapon on her person at all times. Wouldn't he have done the same? And then there's the fact that he's tough enough to have taken care of the cultist that came after them years before, not to mention survived Silent Hill in the first place. At the very least, he should have put up a struggle. But the apartment, other than the chair and the blood trail, is completely untouched. Heather has already seen a number of dead bodies (one in the subway kind of reminds this troper of Travis, but all you can see is part of the legs and the feet) and she's obviously not back in the real world, because the street is blocked off so that she can't go anywhere but home. Perhaps Heather's fear that something would happen to her father and Claudia's hatred of him caused the Otherworld to produce a dead copy of him? While Heather's running around Silent Hill bent on revenge, Harry's panicking and calling the police because his little girl hasn't come home yet.
- Interesting. Then whose grave is Heather kneeling over, as shown in the credits?
- Vincent's, most likely. Jerk though he was, you can't help being fond of him, and he did try to help. It would make sense for her to visit his grave at least once. It could also be Claudia's, but that pose makes me think it's Vincent's.
- Well it's like you said, the Missionary did manage to kill you once. You got ten tries to fight him, Harry only got one, and one death is all it takes for Harry.
- But my point about Harry putting up a fight remains the same. Do you really think Harry would just sit there calmly and let it kill him? It's not like it could sneak up on him. And the apartment is cramped, which means it can't dodge around around the way it likes to in the boss fight, which would have made it an even easier target for Harry. (Besides, the only reason it did kill me was because I'd played through the game several times already and knew it wasn't a hard boss. That death was due to stupidity on my part, not the toughness of the Missionary.)
- If you take in account Ms. Wolff's obsession with making Heather freak out to speed up God's birth, it's quite possible that she either made the Missionary kill Mr. Mason on the roof and then she just dragged his corpse to his chair for Heather to find, or she just lied and told Heather the Missionary killed him so she could have a toy she could rage on and beat the crap of.
Pyramid Head and Valtiel are the same being (relates to both of the above theories that Pyramid Head is an independent manifestation of Silent Hill and Maria is the cult's God, and assumes both are true).
God's intentions towards James were to feed on his misery in order to regain her power, therefore her servant fulfilled the role of his "dark side", repeatedly killing a woman heavily resembling his wife and acting out his baser urges on the other monsters. Towards Heather, however, her intentions were to observe and guide her until she was able to be summoned into the world, a task again performed by a servant of hers, referred to in the Book of Lost Memories as "the God's attendant". That both Pyramid Head and Valtiel resemble humans far more than their contemporaries and resemble each other even more, the latter only possessing slightly less bulk than the former — which also exhibits limited ability to alter his form for specific objectives — is even more evidence to suggest, at the very least, a strong link between them.
- Pyramid Head's origins are implied in 2, and semi-confirmed in later supplements; the Cult used (their impression of) the image of Valtiel as the basis for the ritual dress of people who acted as punishers/executioners, adding the embellishment of a large, triangular red hood that covered their face completely. James saw a picture of these "punishers" during his initial visit to Silent Hill with Mary, in the Historical Society (when seeing the same picture during the game, he says he remembers it and that it gave him chills). They were known for using nooses (seen in the courtyard of the prison with a plaque with two PH's on it) and spears (seen whenever PH doesn't have his signature knife). As Pyramid Head is James' own guilt and self-hatred made manifest as a physical need to be punished — outright stated — his subconscious connection to the town took and made the already extant image of the executioners even MORE horrible by taking the hood and turning it into a heavy, painful metal helmet, and making him carry around a giant, cumbersome, but gruesomely effective knife because... it's a knife.
Cheryl/Heather is Alessa's Nobody.
From Kingdom Hearts. This is why Cheryl merges with Alessa at the end of the first game, and Heather is haunted by Alessa's Memory in the third.
Stanley Coleman is Valtiel.
Considering the human-to-monster transition that happened with Leonard Wolf and that both Valtiel and Stanley are very fond of stalking Heather...could be interesting. Looking back at the notes, it'd make sense if Stanley/Valtiel was already a monster and just gradually lost touch with his humanity (and sanity) until he couldn't write anymore. It'd also give reason for why we don't see Stanley (human) but do see Valtiel (monster) following Heather, since the notes suggest Stanley wants to be seen. What's more, Stanley was shut in the hospital by the Organization to make him forget something — what if they deliberately created Valtiel as an obsessive attendant to protect Heather from other monsters and, by connection, ensure the birth of God?
Vincent actually does want God to be born, but for his own purposes.
Consider that when Heather confronts them both at the end of the chapel, he encourages Heather to kill Claudia. Given his position in the Order, I find it unlikely that he wouldn't know that this would bring about God's birth. My theory: he wants to control God for whatever reason, and only had Heather get the Seal of Metatron to ensure God wouldn't just go on an unchecked rampage after Her birth. He sees Claudia, with her own, more far-reaching goals, as an obstacle to this, and figures he stands to benefit from her death anyway. He doesn't actually start wanting God not to be born until after Claudia stabs him, at which point it's more out of spite than anything else (e.g. "If I can't control God, nobody can!")
Dahlia Gillespie is Claudia's biological mother.
There are so many similarities between them that the only other explanation is that Claudia at least saw Dahlia as a mother figure and was heavily influenced by her. It would also make her and Alessa (and therefore Heather) sisters, which adds a whole new level to their complex relationship.
- This troper seems to remember the birthday card Alessa gave Claudia as reading "I love you as if you were my real sister", so being biological related seems unlikely. Someone earlier on this page did make a suggestion that Dahlia practically adopted Claudia, protecting her from her obviously unfit father, which would make a lot of sense.
Heather will eventually regain more of Alessa's powers.
In the beginning of the game, Heather has a premonition of the Amusement Park. This even saves her life. Although it's not canon, in the replays, Heather attains more Game Breakers than any other character in the series and is the only one to gain a special power. She also had the power to safely carry around "God" whereas Claudia was instantly destroyed by it. If you take the above theory about her heightened intuition as being true, it makes this even more likely.
- This troper interpreted Claudia's death as "The God is ready to be born now, and woe to the mother who bears the God". Indeed, remember that during the same event, if you try to kill Claudia, or wait too long to take the aglaophotis tablet, the God is born anyway and kills Heather. There wasn't anything special about Heather vs. Claudia at that particular moment; it was all down to the fact that the God was about to be born, and it didn't care which mother it was born from. I do admit the rest of what you have to say makes sense, though.
It's all time travel.
Every time Heather goes into the dark world she has to touch a symbol, usually on a mirror or reflective surface. She mentions it being the symbol "of the god of time" and it isn't really mentioned after this. In the dark world, any metal is rusted and corroded, paint is flaked off, wood paneling swells with ages of moisture. Every normal place now is barricaded up, chain mesh fences, steel plates welding rooms shut. What if some horrible invasion occurred, a mutagen that turned normal people into horrible monstrosities? Imagine a world after a zombie apocalypse, anywhere that wasn't trashed would be heavily fortified. Somehow, Heather has the ability to travel between the sane now and the seemingly insane then.
If Cybil had been saved in Video Game/Silent Hill 1; she would have still been around and would have saved Harry.
This version of Harry didn't get 100% Completion in the first game.
- Harry was able to give Heather the aglaophotis because he didn't use it on Cybil. (Yes, the Book of Lost Memories claims he got more "somehow", but this seems much more consistent.)
It could happen again
- At the end of the game, after Heather kills God, she turns her head around to look behind her, as if she noticed something. What she heard is the sound of a baby crying. This is supposed to imply the reincarnation of God into a new host.
Douglas killed his son.
- It may be a long shot, but he sees monsters, too, which apparently, in the Silent Hill-verse, only those guilty of some form of sin or with some deep connection to the town can see. He seems rather tormented himself, telling Heather, "Nobody's gonna cry over my grave anyway." Then there's his confrontation with Claudia, where he admits to having killed before, and finally, of course, his admission of his son's death to Heather. Which could be a reason why he left the police force and started working as a private investigator, as he couldn't cope with the guilt of having ties to what killed his son.