- In the room where you rescue Angela from the Abstract Daddy, the walls have this weird kind of decoration up near the ceiling. There are these holes up there, and they have some kind of peg-like mechanism going in and out of them. After you defeat the Abstract Daddy, Angela reveals to James that her father raped her. .
- James' delusional fantasy takes shape at the moment the game begins, as he is gazing at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. In the Born From a Wish scenario, Maria, a manifestation from James' mind, comes into existence at this exact moment some distance away, and she, too, is introduced to the player as a reflection in a mirror. Expanding on this, James originally comes to town intending to commit suicide, an urge which (possibly, temporarily) is suppressed by the invention of his quest to find Mary. When Maria is introduced, she is openly contemplating suicide herself.
- James' version of Silent Hill often shows buildings decrepit with water damage, and water is a constant motif for him, from the flooding damage in every building, at the end of the apartment segment with Pyramid Head, the floors of the prison (which is under a lake), and the final sections of the hotel. Along with this, distorted breathing sounds are constantly used throughout the game in the soundtrack and as ambience. These both reference:
- Mary's death by suffocation. Water is used as a motif due to the claustrophobia of drowning and being suffocated. The breathing sounds are obvious. Both also reference the weakening state of her body as she slowly succumbs to sickness. But for the most part, the water represents suffocation.
- James' desire to commit suicide via the lake. Water and flooding there to constantly remind him that he came here to end his life.
- The voice acting may seem terrible, but it starts to make sense for some of it to seem so forced and artificial once you learn how screwed up almost everyone in the cast is and just how normal they are trying to seem out of denial of their traumas and sins. They have all had specific traumas that make it difficult for them to adjust socially, and almost everyone has some dark, terrible secret to hide.
- This article focuses on this, also pointing out that it fits the surreal. dream-like nature of the game, similar to David Lynch.
- When James is using the Great Knife, the attacks James performs with it are almost exactly the same as when Pyramid Head uses them. Considering what Pyramid Head represents, there's a very good reason for this.
- James always sees Silent Hill as being a waterlogged, collapsing mess, Angela sees it constantly on fire. It makes sense for a lot of reasons (James is "drowning" in guilt, Angela is "burning" with anger) but considering the more Freudian motifs at work in the story, it carries another meaning. James has the capacity to be a rapist, driven by sexual frustration (as evidenced by Pyramid Head's behavior), while Angela is a rape victim, driven by shame and anger. They're two sides of the same coin.
- While Pyramid Head being a representation of James' guilt is made explicit by him declaring he doesn't need him any more, the seemingly encaged form Maria/Mary takes during the finale is eerily reminiscent of the earlier painting◊ of Pyramid Head and his victims, making the parallels even more explicit, as Mary was James' victim, regardless of the reasons he did it.
- The painting that depicts Pyramid Head is called "Misty day, remains of the Judgment", which is a subtle clue that Pyramid Head is one to carry out judgment against sinners. Once you learn that James killed Mary, it's not hard to put two and two together...
- Angela's behavior in the first scene in the graveyard is weird and somewhat childlike; she calls her mother "mama" and then immediately corrects herself, and she mentions she's looking for her father even though, as we find out later on, that he raped her. It clicks when you realize that Silent Hill screws with its victims' memories. Angela is physically a young adult, but in her mind, she's probably regressed back to the age when her father started abusing her, but doesn't actually remember it the same way James doesn't remember killing Mary. More importantly, she insists she isn't lying when James doesn't take her warning about the town to heart; many, many sexual abuse survivors are accused of lying about their experiences. It's a very early clue as to what Silent Hill really does to the people it summons.
- James reaching into things to get items. It's gross and awful and not something a normal person would do, to the point that Heather comments on it in Silent Hill 3. But of course James has no problem sticking his hand into various holes to get what he wants.
- James' behavior for most of the game is near borderline suicidal and many of a Violation of Common Sense; he sticks in hand into a toilet and holes without even thinking about what dangers lurk beyond them, jumps into holes in the floor without a second thought, hides in the closet with see-through doors from Pyramid Head while leaving the flashlight on, asks a clearly mentally unstable person with a gun if he has gone nuts, and from the beginning of the game, tells Angela that he doesn't care whether or not Silent Hill is dangerous. While first time players may assume he is doing all this just to find his wife, James is actually trying to hide the fact that he killed Mary and his suicidal tendencies is his way of trying to punish himself. This can reach its natural conclusion in the Water ending where James commits suicide via drowning.
- In fact, the way to get the In Water ending is by acting suicidal. Examining Angela's bloody knife and remaining in low health are a few of the conditions towards achieving it.
- The game itself seems to be constantly teasing this notion. Many bodies laying around are dressed unnervingly like James himself. As mentioned above, flooding and water damage in buildings seem to be a poignant part of James's Otherworld. The other people James encounters seem to have a similar disregard for life in general, between Angela's desire to die and Eddie's lashing out due to hating how his life is being tormented by others. And later on, there's the descent into the open grave that is actually James's in the prison. Silent Hill is evidently aware of James's desire to die, and appears to be constantly teasing him with it, regardless of what he says to anyone else.
- When the game begins, James is looking in the mirror. He then spends the rest of the game searching for his true self.
- The other characters James meets all seem representative of a particular aspect of James himself. Angela is consumed with self-hatred while Eddie is lashing out at abuse from others. James, depending on your interpretation of him, lashed out at Mary from her abuse to get his life back and serves as one of his reasons for killing her, yet the action has left him with intense self-loathing and a feeling of deserving the punishment and hell he's going through. That only leaves Laura. Laura however is unable to perceive the monsters and thus the horror of the town, and therefore could represent ignorance. For about 85% of the game, James seems to be ignorant of the true cause of Mary's demise and thus doesn't understand the horror of what is happening, possibly out of shock.
- Noted on the Nightmare Fuel page, but when James leaves Brookhaven after Maria's brutal death, he starts thinking of Mary and begins to wonder: "Are you...really waiting somewhere for me? Or is this your way of taking...?" It's implied here that James thinks that everything he's going through in Silent Hill is Mary's vengeance against him. But then that begs the question of why Mary would be pissed off enough at James, who up to this point has seemed to be little more than a fairly awkward and a little rough but reasonably gentle guy, that she'd want to cause him hell. That's because this small, seemingly throw-away line is the player's first clue that James murdered Mary and is desiring punishment.
- The Endings. To a first-time player, it may be a little confusing how to get them. However, though difficult to decipher, several of them are actually hinted at in game:
- Maria: After the Abstract Daddy boss battle, Angela asks James if Mary had died, but immediately calls him a liar and accuses him of replacing her with someone else. Sticking by Maria and essentially transferring his "love" onto her by protecting her from all harm and listening to her directions allows you to get this ending.
- In-Water: During James's last encounter with Angela, she demands he give her back her kitchen knife. When he refuses, she somewhat sarcastically asks him if he's saving it for himself. Repeatedly examining the knife and acting overly suicidal by remaining in low health triggers the In-Water ending where James commits suicide.
- 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.
- The graffiti in the bar ('There was a HOLE' here but it's gone now') is actually a reference to James' sexual frustration. He was able to have sex with his wife, and then she got sick and couldn't or wouldn't have sex with him; there was a hole, now it's gone..
Fridge / Silent Hill 2