YMMV: Silent Hill 2

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: There is still a tremendous back-and-forth argument on the correct way to interpret James. Many see him as a heartbreakingly sympathetic man put into a terrible situation and who ended his wife's suffering as a result, while others see him as a selfish misogynist who murdered his wife to move on with his life. However, the fans aren't the only ones, as James himself is unsure of which is really true, and his exact motivations for killing Mary vary depending on the ending you get.
    • Silent Hill (the town) only tries to lure in people who have really poor control over their legs.
    • Beyond pursuing the protagonist, what Pyramid Head's exact purpose is is a matter of debate amongst the fandom. Theories range from a demon brought to existence to torture James for his perceived prior sins to being a personification of James' repressed sexual desire.
    • Despite what the main page would suggest, there is actual debate as to whether or not Pyramid Head really is a rapist. As this fan eloquently argues, it's plausible to instead believe that the infamous assault on a Mannequin scene is actually a re-enactment of James' smothering his wife.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Pyramid Head. When you first meet him, you'll just have to evade his attacks till he leaves. Near the end of the game, you encounter TWO Pyramid Heads. You'll have to repeat the same process, then they'll just spontaneously kill themselves.
  • Awesome Music: Theme of Laura
    • Betrayal, for the final confrontation with Pyramid Head.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The radio "game show" that takes place in the hospital elevator. Maria simply asks "What was that?" and nothing more is made of it in the story. From a gameplay standpoint, though, it might be good to pay attention. The correct answers are the code to open a chest in one of the storage rooms of the hospital with a nice amount of supplies. Get the answers wrong and you get a face full of acid.
    • The Dog Ending certainly qualifies. Especially when the dog starts growling at something... hairy.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: It's often held up as the pinnacle of the series and one of the best examples of the Survival Horror genre. However, most of its acclaim was focused on its story, atmosphere and visual design, with many critics less impressed by its awkward, repetitive combat and nonsensical, unintuitive moon logic puzzles. Interestingly, the game actually featured an option to disable its combat altogether, allowing players to experience the game solely for its story and puzzles.
  • Even Better Sequel: The first Silent Hill was well-received, but Silent Hill 2 is not only considered the defining game of the series, but also one of the greatest achievements in video game horror (and indeed video game narrative in general), primarily thanks to its more psychologically compelling and complex storyline.
  • Freud Was Right/Faux Symbolism: When and where these tropes get applied depends on your Alternative Character Interpretation of choice.
  • Fridge Brilliance: When the game begins, James is looking in the mirror. He then spends the rest of the game searching for his true self.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • Dog ending. Lighthearted as it may seem , it also makes it absolutely clear that the town is under Mira (the dog)'s control, everyone inside included. No one is free anymore.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Silent Hill isn't totally silent: various ambient sounds throughout the game- scraping, moaning, footsteps, whispers- add to the paranoid ambiance of the game. The sound of Eddie vomiting into a toilet might count as well, if only because it sounds so realistically gross that even those with strong stomachs might feel like barfing themselves.
    • The utterly inhuman scream that the Mannequins make when you attack them. Their feminine appearance only makes it worse.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the secret UFO Ending for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, James is voiced by Troy Baker. Guess who voices him in the HD collection?
  • Ho Yay Shipping: You'd be surprised, what with the many Alternate Character Interpretations, that James was gay all along and that Pyramid Head is the physical manifestation of his pent-up emotions, people tend to pair them up A LOT.
  • It Gets Better: It can take awhile for players to get into the game. The first two hours or so of the game aren't particularly scary, as the player mostly faces unchallenging and easily avoidable enemies in a single fairly dull apartment building, culminating in an anticlimactic Hopeless Boss Fight against Pyramid Head who is effectively incapable of harming the player. This section of the game is also light on story too: the only real plot developments are the introduction of James, Pyramid Head and three secondary characters. The story starts to get going shortly afterwards once James meets Maria, and thereafter the game starts to become much more frightening, with the deeply unnerving hospital sequence, more challenging enemies and the Mind Screw-y Psychological Horror elements to the game becoming more prominent.
  • It Was His Sled: James killed his wife.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: Angela. Her rude and cynical behavior is because of her horrific past.
  • Magnum Opus: Considered one by many a Silent Hill fan as the greatest game in the franchise.
  • Memetic Mutation: Try image-googling "rape clock" (may or may not be NSFW).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Eddie could count as a Jerkass Woobie up until he cheerfully brags about how he violently killed a dog.
  • Narm:
    • "I hate bowling." "We didn't come here to play, you know."
    • "YOU FARTFACE!"
      • Laura in general, really.
    • "How can you sit here and eat pizza?!"
    • "Eddie, have you gone nuts?"
      • LET'S PARTY!
    • Some of the voice acting in general can be called this, due to awkward cadence, tone, and inflection.
  • Never Live It Down: James sticking his hand into a toilet without so much as a sound of protest or evem rolling up his sleeve. Not only do the sequels love to make fun of it, but it's a fairly common Shout-Out for the series.
  • Nausea Fuel: Meeting Eddie while he barfs incessantly into the toilet. You don't see anything, but the sound effects are more than enough.
  • Player Punch:
    • Pyramid Head suddenly appearing behind James without any warning and giving chase is utterly terrifying and made gutwrenching when he murders Maria while James looks on from an elevator, helpless.
    • If that wasn't bad enough, Maria comes back to life and is killed at least twice more.
    • Although the plot twist has fallen into It Was His Sled territory, the reveal that James killed his wife is still quite devastating.
  • Porting Disaster: While not exactly a disaster, the PC version has a few issues. Music skipping can be solved with a fan patch, and the game isn't designed to run on multi-core machines so you get voice de-synching and other issues if you don't manually set it to run on one core (CTRL+ALT+DEL>Processes>Set Affinity).
    • The Silent Hill HD Collection due to Konami's loss of the original source code, renders SH2 and 3 this. Technical issues include voice acting that lags slightly in cutscenes (inexcusable considering they recorded new voices for all the characters for this release), the removal of graphics that were used to cover up incomplete graphics in the original game, and slowdown in the PS3 version whenever the HDD is accessed. The collection also made several changes to the game's visual style, such as making the colours more vibrant and effectively removing the series' iconic fog, which were very poorly received by fans.
  • Shrug of God: The game's creative director has explicitly stated that, regardless of Silent Hill 4's effort to force his hand, there is no official "canon" ending to the story, leaving players to choose the one they personally feel gives the best closure.
  • That One Boss: Eddie can be really annoying compared to the other bosses. Mostly due to using a gun.
  • Tough Act to Follow: While most fans like part 3, there aren't many who prefer it over this one. As for 4...
  • The Scrappy: Laura. Fans hate her for her seemingly unjustified attitude (especially when she kicks an important key away from James and stomps on his hand). It turns out that it is justified, particularly from a child's point of view, when you come to understand what's really going on.
  • The Woobie:
    • Angela definitely qualifies. Eddie tries to invoke this trope but fails miserably. The end to his arc, unlike Angela's quiet, suicidal desperation, involves him gloating about slaughtering a dog and crippling a bully that was mean to him, blaming all of his cruelty on being bullied without any Silent Hill induced self reflection at all.
    • Maria might qualify if you play Born From A Wish. At the end she comes to realize she's just a torture implement created by the forces of Silent Hill and considers committing suicide.
    • Pretty much all of the characters with the exception of Pyramid Head count really. Whether they hang on to it all the way through or not depends, but every one of the main characters will have your sympathy at some point.