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Video Game / Silent Hill: Homecoming

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"Dysfunctional family" doesn't even begin to describe the Shepherds.

"So difficult to remember.
"The warm sunlight dancing on the water, the smell of cotton candy in the air, and the sound of wind blowing through the trees."

Silent Hill: Homecoming is the fifth main title in the Silent Hill series, which swung back and forth between Silent Hill V and Silent Hill: Homecoming before settling on the latter. It is the second Silent Hill game to be produced by an American company, this time Double Helix Games.

The main character this time around is Alex Shepherd, a Special Forces soldier who has been discharged from the hospital and sent home after being wounded in battle. Arriving in his hometown of Shepherd's Glen, he finds that all is not right with the world: the town is covered in fog, people (including his younger brother Josh) are disappearing, his father has left to look for his brother, and his mother is catatonic. The dark forces of Silent Hill soon infect the town proper, transforming it into a nightmarish otherworld where Alex must struggle to survive against hordes of monsters and waves of increasingly obtuse symbolism... as well as a group of mysterious cultists who seem to bear a grudge against him.

Joining Alex on his quest is Elle (a childhood friend who is trying to survive) and Wheeler (the sheriff's deputy who just wants to get to the bottom of things). Along the way, Alex encounters several more characters — including an Expy of everyone's favorite monster, Pyramid Head.

This installment is tied in several ways to the series's roots: it does away with inventory limitations (except for a cap on ammunition), it has unbreakable weapons, and it also features other characteristics of the more recent games. It has a similar atmosphere to Silent Hills 1 and 3 (straight up horror without the lingering melancholy of the second game), and it continues the series tradition of multiple endings (at least one of which is as absurd as you would expect). Alex's military past makes the combat more complex, with melee combos and dodging attacks being a major element of the gameplay. Unlike previous series protagonists, Alex can also actually aim firearms, which comes in handy.

This game has a Shout Out page.

Tropes specific to this game:

  • Abandoned Playground: There's one near the Shepherd's home.
  • Abandoned Hospital:
    • Alchemilla Hospital, which first appears in Alex's nightmare as an asylum and then in the real world as a more conventional medical facility.
    • Dr. Fitch's office is just a tiny medical clinic, and when you transition to the Otherworld within it, you find yourself descending a series of rusty staircases that look nothing like a hospital even in general layout. However, you find many signs and instructions on the walls that you'd see in a hospital, including things like "You may be required to provide a urine sample" or visiting hours times.
  • Abusive Parents: It's blatantly obvious that Alex's parents loved Joshua more and constantly treated Alex like dirt. This is because Alex was to be sacrificed and they didn't want to become attached to a doomed child. It is also revealed that they both did genuinely love Alex, in spite of their attempts not to. Many of the other parents could also qualify, although they don't really have a choice about killing their kids. Judge Holloway, however, is perfectly happy to hurt both her children.
  • Accidental Murder: Alex's argument/fight with Josh over their family's signet ring indirectly led to the latter's death.
  • Actionized Sequel: At least a downplayed example. Compared to the four original games, Homecoming has a much more developed melee combat system, including combos, a powerful dodge move, and a lock-on camera that turns every fight into a one-on-one duel. This (plus stronger healing items and propensity of enemies to get stunlocked) makes melee combat pretty viable by itself, whereas the previous games favored fleeing or using up precious ammo. Enemy encounters are still spaced out evenly and the game's overall pace is still pretty slow and brooding.
  • Adaptation Distillation: More accurately, a distillation of what worked in a previous adaptation. The "flaking off" effect used in the Silent Hill film adaption to depict the transition to the Otherworld was lifted to be used in this game, as were a few Gas Mask Mooks and the Nurses. The Bogeyman also resembles the film's version of Pyramid Head.
  • Alien Geometries: Hell Descent, fitting with the name, is a continuous descent, even when it shouldn't be possible to have gone down as far as one does, with various dead ends, strange pathways, and torn walkways that make no logical sense.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • The "Hospital" ending.
    • The Mind Screw teleportation to Silent Hill that Alex makes where he visits the Grand Hotel. The sequence & stage boss is played out as if Alex loses consciousness and his body is moved to Shepherd's Glen Jail while he's experiencing a trip away from Shepherd's Glen, but everything that Alex experiences is presented as if it really does happen.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Shepherd's Glen police station being invaded by Schisms, and the Order attacking and abducting the townspeople.
  • And You Were There: The electroshock specialists in the "Hospital" ending are Adam and Wheeler.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Of the "parental love" variety: Lillian finally tells Alex she really does love him before she dies.
  • Animal Motifs: Spiders. Every boss you fight and nearly every enemy resembles one in some way. There's a reason for it.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you die and get sent back to an autosave checkpoint, the game will restore you health to 50% if it was below that amount at the checkpoint. This prevents the game from being unbeatable if you end up checkpointing at almost no health with no healing items left.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Certain areas are littered with creepy notes left behind by doomed patients and inmates. Unlike most other Silent Hill games, you can't actually collect these. You do get to collect mysterious photographs and disturbing children's drawings.
  • Arc Number: 206. It has a variety of appearances throughout the game, being the solution to certain puzzles, the number of rooms important for progression, and all of the clocks you find in-game are stopped at 2:06, and Alex is revealed to be patient 206 in a certain ending. As for why it's this number in particular, Joshua died at 2:06 AM when Alex accidentally made him fall from a boat, drowning in the lake.
  • Artifact of Doom: A variant in that the artifacts don't become deadly until they achieve proximity to certain people in the Otherworld. Items that were once held dear to the children Joey, Scarlet, Nora, and Josh are at various points exposed to the people who killed them, summoning the kids' vengeful spirits as the game's boss monsters. They're not happy and make their displeasure known.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Axes can be very difficult to use effectively because their recovery times make you very vulnerable to counter attacks. That being said, if one finds a way to impeccably evade counter attacks, an axe can rack up damage quickly, it's just that the recovery time from the finishing swing leaves you wide open, especially if you're outnumbered.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Everyone but Alex, Elle and Wheeler seem to know something about what's going on in Silent Hill, but refuse to give any helpful advice to Alex. It's ultimately justified, in that Judge Holloway and Curtis are behind the dissappearances, while the other founding families are too broken after the deaths of their children to care.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Good ending. The Order and their plans are defeated, Alex and Elle escape alive, and Alex has come to terms with his past actions, but Joshua is still dead, several other people from the town have died in front of him including his parents, the missing people from Shepherd's Glen are not found and are likely dead, and Shepherd's Glen itself is likely a total loss. Depending on your actions at the end, Wheeler may or may not be alive.
  • Body Horror: All of the monsters, in true Silent Hill fashion. Lurkers, Siams, and Asphyxia come to mind.
  • Bowdlerise: The Australian release (after initially being banned) had several scenes altered in an attempt to make them seem less violent. During the torture scene, a hospital bed is placed in front of the camera, obscuring the drill penetrating Alex's leg. Shortly after, when Alex shoves the drill through Judge Holloway's jaw, the screen is changed to black with only the sound left intact. In addition, when Holloway falls to the floor, the drill is missing entirely. Also, when Adam is killed by the Bogeyman, the gory remains vanish altogether.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This is the goriest of all the Silent Hill games.
  • Boring, but Practical: For all the numerous weapons and techniques Alex has access to, the easiest way to take down most enemies is equipping the knife and spamming light attacks at them until they drop.
  • Call-Back: This game has a lot of references to other games in the series, especially Silent Hill 2:
    • For killing a Siam, you get a trophy called "Shade of James". Siam looks like two people having sex, and James had major issues with his suppressed sexuality.
    • After killing a feral, a dog-like monster, you get a trophy called "Eddie's Legacy". Likely a reference to Eddie Dombrowski, who killed a dog.
    • The woman you meet in the hotel may be a reference to Mary, James' wife. If you ask who would leave her there, she says not to blame whoever left her. She continues to say it's hard to watch someone die; Mary from Silent Hill 2 was dying and her husband suffered watching her die.
    • If you choose not to forgive Alex's father you get the trophy "Angela's Choice". Angela murdered her father for all the abuse he heaped on her, thus she didn't forgive him.
    • Part of the Apocalyptic Log from the second game is quoted verbatim in the Nightmare Sequence; specifically the part about enemies being attracted to light.
    • The boss Scarlet, who is a doll, is likely a reference to Alessa's doll Scarlet that you find in Alessa's room from Silent Hill 3.
    • The newspaper article of Paul Russell Douglas, child serial killer, is an expy of the newspaper article about Walter Sullivan in Silent Hill 2.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Alex to Adam when they meet in the Church, where one drops a serious Wham Line and begs for forgiveness before ultimately being killed.
  • Cassandra Truth: Thankfully averted. Wheeler believes Alex when he tells him that a monster killed Mayor Bartlett, as Wheeler has run into monsters himself.
    Wheeler: "...So, you've seen the creatures too..."
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: As in previous entries in the series, nearby monsters cause interference with radio signals, manifesting as static. In previous entries, the radio carried by the protagonist was noted as "broken" (and therefore only useful for monster detection), but this time Alex is carrying a working two-way radio that he occasionally uses to communicate with others. At least once, Alex actually loses contact with someone because a monster gets too close and disrupts the signal. Interestingly, the Order members are not counted as monsters (as they seem to actually be human), and so do not interfere with the radio.
  • Chainsaw Good: A portable circular saw but it's the same general concept. It's Curtis Acker's signature weapon and available to the player on a second playthrough in the Shepherd's garage.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The ceremonial dagger. Alex uses it to open Adam's hunting room and other places, as well as to cut Amnion open to get Joshua's body.
  • Cluster F-Bomb/Sir Swears-a-Lot: Not to a ridiculous extent, but Alex is definitely the most foul-mouthed Silent Hill protagonist so far — not that anyone can blame him.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Deputy Wheeler is one of these. In one ending, he's correct.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The initial cut-scene of the Nightmare Hospital, getting arrested, and the struggle against Judge Holloway.
  • Creepy Basement: Averted with the Shepherds' basement, which is flooded and inhabited by a nasty creature or two but positively well-lit compared to other areas of the game.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Asphyxia is a centipede composed of human female torsos, possibly a Shout-Out to The Human Centipede.
  • Creepy Cockroach: This game has a variation with the Swarm, a leech/roach hybrid. And they do more than look creepy — upon spotting Alex, they latch on to him to drain health from him and will keep doing so until either they die or Alex does, as their introductory cut-scene shows.note 
  • Creepy Child: Josh, Alex's missing brother who's always running away whenever he sees him and acts rather hostile to him during the few times he speaks. Of course, this being a Silent Hill game, we can't always trust what we see to be real; by most accounts, every time we see Josh in a flashback or some such, he's a pretty nice kid. The Josh we see in-game is a manifestation.
  • Creepy Doll:
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Alex's mother will suffer a particularly nasty death if the player doesn't select the option to shoot her and put her out of her misery. The former's fate isn't easy to watch even if one does select that option, but at least then she's already dead when the nasty part happens.
    • Adam is slowly sliced in half by the Bogeyman.
    • Judge Holloway ends up with her own drill shoved through the bottom of her jaw, though Alex can suffer a similar fate if the player fails the Press X to Not Die prompt.
    • All of the deaths of the children are downright nasty, but poor Scarlet was dismembered alive.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The "Hospital", "Boogeyman" and "Drowning" endings all have completely different twists that put the whole game in a new light. Compared to the earlier revelations in the game that are foreshadowed, these minute long scenes come across more as a last-second punishment for your cruel actions.
  • Cutscene Boss: Downplayed with Judge Holloway; this boss "fight" is a sequence of two Press X to Not Die prompts (of the button mashing variety) back to back.
  • Dark World: The Otherworld, a recurring element of the series.
  • Death by Falling Over: The entire game is kicked off because this happens to Josh. Though, watching the cutscene closely shows that he seemed to have hit his head on the way down.
  • Death of a Child: All the children died before the story begins in really nasty ways.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The laser pistol that you get after the UFO ending, found in Alex and Josh's bedroom. It's got unlimited ammo and makes heads explode upon contact, making the rest of the game pretty easy.
  • Distressed Damsel: Elle Holloway.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Alex does this with the shotgun after Wheeler gives it to him as they prepare to fight their way out of the police station.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Wheeler in the Hospital ending is incredibly harsh to Alex, administering highly-painful electroshock therapy. It's implied that, since Alex is the patient in room 206, he's fed up with Alex by now and the electroshock is a last resort for a particularly troublesome patient.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The various designs of the Otherworld and the monsters within it evoke gashes, genital pain, and Vagina Dentata, a mark of the main character's being marked for death since birth. Schisms, given their behavior in Hell House, also likely represent the broken state of the Shepherd family.
  • Downer Ending: The "Drowning", "Bogeyman", and "Hospital" endings do not end well for Alex.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Subverted. You don one of the miner outfits, but you're recognized very quickly.
  • Easily Forgiven: This can happen in the Church if Alex chooses to forgive his father for all the things he has done. Silent Hill, on the other hand, isn't as forgiving.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In the Grand Hotel. There's a reason someone just happened to drop a box of ammunition in there.
  • Escort Mission:
    • Alex escorts Elle through the sewers of Shepherd's Glen and the bunker of the Church of the Holy Way.
    • Inverted for the Shepherd's Glen Police Station and the Otherworld version of the Overlook Penitentiary with Deputy Wheeler, where he blows away any monsters that get near you.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Sepulcher, Scarlet, Asphyxia and Amnion.
  • Elite Mooks: Needlers and Schisms are encountered later in the game and are noticeably tougher and more aggressive than the Nurses, Ferals, Lurkers, and Smogs you initially fight. Needlers are fast in melee and can block attacks and even bullets with their blade arms, while Schisms deal heavy damage and can even instant-kill you if they grab you.
  • Eye Scream: Just lose the second struggle with Judge Holloway and see what happens.
  • Fan Disservice: Pretty much a staple of the series, with many monsters resembling naked women with some...less desirable qualities. The Nurses obviously qualify, but there's also the female half of the Siams and Asphyxia who go straight into Body Horror territory.
  • 15 Puzzle: Shows up a couple of times. Unfortunately it's randomized, so walkthroughs won't be of any help.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Joshua collected spiders. If you remember back to the photo you pick up in the playground, you might recall that it showed... a giant spider fighting a toy soldier.
    • Shine a light on the nurses, look at their stomachs. They're pregnant, foreshadowing the final boss, which is pregnant with Josh's corpse.
    • Look at a certain picture in Town Hall early on, and Alex states that Elle and Margaret wrote him letters while he was in the army. If you pay attention to the things Elle says when you meet her, it's heavily implied that she has no idea where he's been since he left town, giving an early clue that Alex is an Unreliable Narrator.
    • In the Town Hall, four paintings of the four founders of Shepherd's Glen are seen, however only three of them, Holloway, Fitch, and Bartlett, are on the walls. The last one, Shepherd, is hidden away in another room, and Alex wonders why it isn't hung with the rest. It's because the Shepherd family failed to hold their end of the bargain when it came to the town's ritual sacrifices to appease the Order's god, and is therefore mostly responsible for what's happening to the town.
    • Every clock in the game is stopped at 2:06, and the number also serves as the solution for some puzzles. Joshua died at 2:06 AM, as is shown during The Reveal.
  • Four Is Death: Four founding families of Shepherd's Glen, four children intended to be sacrificed every fifty years to the Order's god.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: So, so many glitches and bugs are found in this game, especially the PS3 version. These range from amusing to making the game unwinnable, and aren't fixed upon resetting the game, forcing you to either reload an earlier save, or start the whole game over. Here's just a few found in the game:
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Order Soldiers.
  • Giant Mook: The Siams are much larger and tougher than other enemy types and essentially serve as Boss in Mook's Clothing encounters.
  • Giant Spider:
    • The final boss of the game, Amnion, is a horribly twisted version of this trope, most likely symbolizing Josh's love of spiders. See Foreshadowing above.
    • Scarlet becomes vaguely spider-like in her movements during the second half of the fight against her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Near the end of the game, if you don't save Elle in time, you get one of these and a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Groin Attack: The heads of Needlers are between their legs. A headshot kills one instantly, so...
  • Guns Are Worthless: Zig-Zagged. Guns are generally a lot stronger than melee weapons and significantly mitigate the risk of getting Alex hurt in melee, but this strategy doesn't work every time. Needlers can block bullets, forcing players to get into melee and learn the timing for attacking and defending unless they're really good shots. On the other hand, trying to deal with a Smog in melee is guaranteed to end in you getting owned, so guns are pretty much enforced.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • If a Schism manages to grapple and overpower Alex, it will slice him in two with a cruel swing of its bladed head.
    • Right after Alex's gurney ride in the intro, you can see through the windowed door the gurney-pusher being impaled and sliced in half by a gigantic blade. Even though you don't see the one using it, it's clearly the Bogeyman's blade, and later in the level, you see the halved man's body in two different locations. The Bogeyman also graphically cuts a more important character in half later in the game.
  • Heart Container: Serums. They not only fully heal Alex; they also give him a permanent boost to his maximum health, so it's always best once you find one to use it the next time your health is almost empty averting Too Awesome to Use. Albeit, the item's description saying it will "boost my health" may come across as ambiguous when "increases my maximum health" would be more clear.
  • Hell Hotel: The Grand Hotel in Silent Hill.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: Judge Holloway cares very little for her faith, and more about the power it brings her, and how it allows her to exercise her sociopathic desires. For example through the order, she rules Shepherd's Glen like a despot and murders, or has murdered, anyone who crosses her. She even attempts to have Elle killed, because she won't obey her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Judge Holloway is killed with her own electric drill.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Scarlet, one of the bosses, falls under this considering that she has the most human but still very wrong appearance.
  • Human Sacrifice: When Shepherd's Glen was founded, these had to be performed every 50 years to appease the Order's god. The major monsters in the game are the vengeful spirits of several children who were murdered by their parents for this reason, and the entire game happens because Alex's parents reneged on their part and refused to do the same to him.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Alex's mother is strapped to a torture contraption set up by the Order. Before it activates, she begs Alex to kill her so she won't have to feel being ripped apart. The choice is in the player's hands, and affects the ending.
  • I Have Many Names: It's specifically stated that the Bogeyman is known by many names.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Judge Holloway's death by drill.
  • Implied Death Threat: A rather chilling one, if Alex doesn't forgive Adam. Though his intentions go uncommented on, as it's more true than he realized.
    Alex: I promise you, whatever hell awaits you, it won't be long before you see it.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune:
    • The first time you enter the playground behind Alex's house, some unseen Creepy Child can be heard singing in the distance. The actual words are a random phrase from "Ring Around the Rosie".
    • There's also the Bogeyman Nursery Rhyme, an original written by Tomm Hulett.
  • Joke Ending: If you manage to don't forgive Alex's parents, but manage to save Wheeler, you get the UFO Ending; Alex reunites with Elle, but then they both get abducted by aliens. Wheeler runs out, but he's too late to interrupt the abduction, shouting how he knew aliens were responsible for the disappearances.
  • Karmic Death: Mayor Bartlett and Doctor Fitch are killed by the vengeful spirits of the children they sacrificed. A third character narrowly escapes this, but is later killed when she gets her own power drill turned on her by Alex, after she had attempted to kill Alex with it.
  • Kill the Ones You Love:
    • In order to have a chance at getting the good ending, you have to kill Alex's mother in order to stop her suffering.
    • Mayor Bartlett and Doctor Fitch were forced to sacrifice their own children as part of the pact. Judge Holloway did the same; however, unlike the former two, she didn't feel guilty about killing Nora.
    • This is notably defied by Adam and Lillian Shepard. They treated Alex like dirt his whole life in order to not get attached to him, as he was always planned to be sacrificed, and instead focused all their love on Josh who was meant to survive. Ultimately, however, it did not work.
  • Medal of Dishonor: A rather bizarre twist on this. A document notes that Alex's father received a Good Conduct medal, a Purple Heart, and a Silver Star during his time in the Army. A puzzle shortly thereafter requires Alex to pin the medals on a uniform. However, the actual puzzle exists in the nightmarish "Otherworld", and the awards are turned is dark spin on normal American military honors. They contrast Adam's excellent military service record with the lousy way he treated his family (particularly Alex) as well as Alex and his actions:
    • The Heart of Darkness (Purple Heart) is for "permitting others to suffer" for allowing the townspeople of Shepherd's Glen to be kidnapped, killed, and brainwashed by the Order and Alex allowing others to suffer because of his actions.
    • The Vile Acts (Good Conduct) award is for "atrocities committed", is for treating Alex poorly and Alex killing Joshua. It even looks like Pyramid Head's helmet.
    • Fallen Star (Silver Star) is for "dereliction in the line of duty" is for failing to sacrifice Alex and Alex not fulfilling his role as the sacrifice.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Smog is slow, but very sturdy and does a lot of damage with its attacks.
  • Moment of Weakness: Despite Adam's attempts to drive them apart, Alex is generally a loving brother to Joshua from what we see of them. However, his resentment of his little brother's favoritism from the parents eventually boiled over and caused him to lash out, with fatal consequences when it happened at the wrong time.
  • Mood Whiplash: It's quite possible to accidentally achieve the UFO ending on your first playthrough of the game. It's so off-key with the tone of the overall game that it can potentially spoil the mood, and might leave the player experiencing any number of unintended emotions.
  • Mook Chivalry: For whatever reason, an enemy at your back will rarely attack if you're whaling on an enemy to your front.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Lurkers, as well as Scarlet's monstrous form.
  • Multiple Endings: As per Silent Hill tradition...
    • Good Ending: Alex defeats Amnion, is reunited with Elle, and leaves Silent Hill. While Wheeler is not seen in this ending, it's implied he survives and leaves, as well.
    • Drowning: Alex awakens in the bathtub in his house. His father walks in and pushes him under, reassuring him that with his death, Joshua can carry on the family legacy.
    • Bogeyman: Alex awakens strapped to a chair and is transformed by two Bogeymen into one of them.
    • Hospital: Alex awakens in the mental hospital, where he is told he must accept reality and responsibility for his actions, then he is administered electroshock therapy. It is revealed that he is the patient in room 206.
    • UFO: Alex defeats Amnion, is reunited with Elle, and they are abducted by aliens. Somewhat controversially, it is actually quite possible to stumble upon this ending during a first playthrough of the game, where previous games in the series only allowed for it in New Game Plus.
  • Mythology Gag: Just as you get into the Shepherds' backyard, you see a little abandoned doghouse, and Alex will wonder where the dog is. Guess what the next enemy type is.
    • Alex has to reach into a sinister-looking hole in the wall to get an important key item, just like James in Silent Hill 2. This time, though, there's something else in there.
    • There's also a point at which Alex has to jump down a hole, and another where he descends a long staircase into darkness, which are also things James did in his game.
    • Quite a few references to the movie abound as well, so much so that some have dubbed this Silent Hill the Movie: The Game. The cutscene that introduces the Smog enemy looks identical to the introduction of the Armless Man from the movie, the Nurses look like they did in the movie, the Bogeyman resembles the movie's version of Pyramid Head, and the church is the same as the church from the movie. The Otherworld transition also looks identical to how it was depicted in the movie.
    • Some of the achievements are also these, including Shades of James (Defeated 1 Siam), Eddie's Legacy (Defeated 1 Feral), Kaufmann's Handiwork (Found 1 Serum), Alchemilla's Finest (Defeated 1 Nurse) and The Old Gods Haven't Left This Place (Complete game on HARD difficulty).
  • Neutral Female: Due to the particulars of gameplay, the only thing Elle will help with is lifting gates. Alex can be swarmed by cultists, and she will just stand by.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: The "Child's Drawing" items scattered throughout the game are full of Joshua's messy crayon depictions of injury, torture, sickness, and death. On each is scrawled a different verse of a nursery rhyme about the "Bogeyman", who punishes naughty children.
    And while good children live, bad ones cannot escape their fate. For once you hear his screeching wail, it's already too late. So do not cry aloud at night, stay hidden in your bed... or the Bogeyman from Silent Hill will come chop off your head.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • As always with this franchise, some of the most unnerving moments are where you're just exploring the desolate areas rather than fighting monsters. In fact, many of the Otherworld areas in Homecoming are surprisingly monster-free. Hell Descent in particular has very, very few monsters in general.
    • In regards to the soundtrack, "Shores of Silent Hill" is just the sound of wind blowing, while "Whispers" is, of course, a bunch of whispering. Both are ridiculously unnerving, in the game and out of it.
  • Offing the Offspring: The game is basically a study of how abuse destroys the family and how a cult's twisted demands tore it apart even further. The entire game is set off by the fact that parents are required to kill their children in specific ways every 50 years for the continued survival of the town.
  • Ominous Fog: Another Silent Hill staple, as well as the ominously static-filled screen in darker areas and the Otherworld.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Alex has no problem walking and running as normal after Judge Holloway shoves a drill through his leg. Strangely, he's clearly having trouble supporting his own weight in the good ending, after fighting several elite mooks, a crazy guy with a power saw, and the final boss.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Homecoming is rife with monstrosities that crawl, drag, run, slither, and scurry for a chance to rip our protagonist limb from limb. A few examples:
  • Out-of-Character Alert: This is the first canon appearance of Pyramid Head since Silent Hill 2, where James manifested him to punish his sins. The fact that Pyramid Head clearly spots Alex at one point and not only doesn't antagonize him, but ignores him, is a serious hint that he's there for someone else.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Pyramid Head is back, with available notes expanding him into a Bogeyman figure used to terrify children into obedience. He serves the same role as in Silent Hill 2, punishing wrongdoing and sin...but never harms Alex, in fact walking right past him on one occasion. He can be seen in the Grand Hotel, and his Great Knife can be heard scraping across the ground in Hell Descent and the Overlook Penitentiary, hinting that he's nearby. As revealed with his only kill, Adam, he's there to punish the parents who murdered their children. The problem is, Alex (and artifacts that summoned the kids' vengeful spirits) got there first.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: One smashes through the ceiling in the prologue and swings wetly to and fro, suspended by cables wrapped around its legs. While the typical Scare Chord is absent, it's more shocking given that it happens in a hallway you navigated in peace just a minute before.
    • Luckily, this scene becomes hilarious if the graphics glitch.
  • Press X to Not Die: Quite a few cases, though at least one in Hell Descent is a subversion—you get the prompt, and to continue you do need to press the button, but no matter how long you wait, you don't actually die if you fail to press the button.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: That trucker who gives Alex a lift in the intro? That's Travis Grady from Silent Hill: Origins; older, wiser, and presumably no longer being haunted by the Fog World.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Where's. My. BROTHER?!"
  • Rain of Blood: Either type 2 or 3, depending on your interpretation. Upon entering the Otherworld side of the penitentiary, you'll notice that the ceiling in the solitary confinement wing drips blood. You'll know why.
  • Religion of Evil: Notable in that this is the first and so far only game where the Order actively sends Mooks to fight the protagonist rather than watching from the shadows.
  • The Reveal: Alex was never a soldier. He was a normal guy who went insane after accidentally killing Josh while out on Toluca Lake. In addition, Joshua was never intended to be the one who was sacrificed, it was Alex.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Several places, most notably in the prison where almost every single cell is covered with graffiti ranging from the cautionary to the unhinged. Sometimes comes in the form of a Madness Mantra:
    she's not here she's not here she's not here she's not here
  • Sadistic Choice: This is the only entry in the series where the God of Silent Hill has basically already won. Rather than a plot to bring God into the world, the plot in this game centers on people who are already aware of how evil Silent Hill's God is and have made a pact to keep it at bay. That pact enforces murder of a child by their parent every generation. Fail to murder your child in a specific manner by a specific date, and your hometown becomes Hell on Earth with no way to bring it back. And no, the child who died by accident won't suffice.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's implied that Alex is one. No, he's crazy for a different reason. The soldier delusion was actually a cover for his mental illness.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: All of the 19th-century graves in Rosewood Heights Cemetery have mournful woes etched into their placards, except for Bruce Norwood.
    Nobody laughs, nobody cries
    Where he goes, how he fares
    Nobody knows, nobody cares.
  • Stepford Suburbia/Subverted Innocence: Exaggerated and made a lot Bloodier and Gorier; Shepherd's Glen is a town where family comes first... and then, as you begin learning more about the lives of the families of Shepherd's Glen... you make discoveries which can be considered unpleasant.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: How Alex starts off the game.
  • Stopped Clock: All the clocks in the town are stopped at 2:06, the time that Joshua died.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Shortly before the final boss fight, the game provides Alex with three health drinks in the same room. Nope, not suspicious at all.
  • Third-Person Flashback: Averted. All flashbacks are in first person.
  • This Is a Drill: Judge Holloway's torture implement of choice.
  • Token Minority/Uncle Tom Foolery: Deputy Wheeler.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Averted thanks to the inventory limitations. Because you can only carry a loaded clip and two clips in reserve for each of your guns, you'll end up passing up ammo if you don't actively use your firearms. Ammo is still scarce, though, so it make sense to use melee weapons when you can.
  • Truth in Television: An unsettling example with the implied lobotomy surgeries in Alex's nightmare of the hospital. Many a Shell-Shocked Veteran with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was lobotomized in the wake of World War II, though this practice faded out well before Alex's time.
  • The Un-Favorite: Alex had a horrible childhood. By his father's own admission: "I reduced fatherhood to a chore: fed him, clothed him, and put him to bed on routine. Then when God blessed me with a second son, he might as well have been a stranger sleeping in our house...I treated the dog with more respect." The reality was far worse, as Adam was both physically and mentally abusive in a variety of ways. He is shown in flashbacks to explode at Alex for the slightest of reasons, and made up rules on the spot just to lash out. He eventually forbade Josh and Alex from becoming friends, deliberately driving a wedge between them. His mother wasn't much better as she silently tolerated everything. This was because Alex was chosen as the sacrifice for the Shepard family, and they didn't want to get attached. Still they never even told him why, or what he was. Meaning one day they were just going to drown him and call it good.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Alex, as it turns out.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Alex is unable to pick up the weapons wielded by the Order's soldiers.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Alex, overlaps with Spanner in the Works. When the founders left Silent Hill to found Shepherd's Glen, The Order made them swear to perform a human sacrifice every 50 years to appease their God. In the case of the Shepherd family, it was Alex. However, when Alex accidentally kills his brother Josh, his parents couldn't bear to lose him too, and refused to sacrifice him. This broke the pact, and caused Silent Hill to invade Shepherd's Glen; triggering the game's events.
    • Alex giving Judge Holloway her necklace back allows her to figure out that Elle stole it from her. This is the final straw between Elle and her, and promptly orders Elle's death.
  • The Voice: Carol Doyle, the mysterious woman in the Grand Hotel who asks Alex to return her "memories", is heard but never seen, hidden inside a locked room.
  • Vagina Dentata: The Lurker, and the toothed cavities that Alex slashes through. It symbolizes Alex having been marked for death since birth.
  • Wham Line: Adam gives a big one that reveals just how unreliable of a narrator Alex is.
    Adam: You were in the hospital.
    Alex: I know. I was wounded in battle.
    Adam: No... A mental hospital.
  • Wham Shot: Examining the list of sacrifices for the Shepherd family reveals that it was Alex, not Joshua, who was supposed to be sacrificed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In the good ending, you don't find out what happened to Wheeler if you chose to save him near the end of the game.
    • What happened to all the townspeople? The Order kidnapped them, and then what? Are they dead? Locked up? While it seems likely that they were killed by the Order to appease their god, in the end the characters never find out the truth, leaving their fate ambiguous.
  • Who Forgot The Lights?: This is easily the darkest Silent Hill game in terms of actual image brightness. Even with the flashlight on, seeing anything can be a troubling task.
  • World of Symbolism: It is a Silent Hill game.
    • Many of the enemies are based on bugs and spiders, or have spider and bug-like movements, symbolizing Joshua's love of bugs.
    • Water plays a heavy role in a variety of the game's puzzles and environments, and some enemies can only be found in water. Twofold symbolism on this. Firstly, it can symbolize Alex's originally intended fate, to be drowned as a sacrifice. Secondly, it can symbolize Joshua's death by falling into the lake after hitting his head.
    • Pyramid Head, a.k.a. the Bogeyman, wields a massive knife as per usual. Unlike his original appearance, this knife resembles a combat knife, symbolizing Adam's military past. This can also apply to Alex, but in his case it's just his own delusion.
    • Each of the boss monsters symbolize the founding families' sacrificed children and how they each were murdered.
      • Sepulcher symbolizes Joey Bartlett, who was buried alive by his family and had a love for plants and nature. It takes the form of a giant, malformed humanoid creature melded with plantlife.
      • Scarlet symbolizes Scarlet Fitch, who was dismembered and had a love of dolls. It takes the form of a large, slender porcelain doll with disjointed limbs.
      • Asphyxia represents Nora Holloway, who was asphyxiated. It takes the form of a human centipede whose hands are always groping at its body, with two more keeping its mouth closed to it cannot breathe.
      • Amnion represents Joshua Shepherd, who was accidentally killed by Alex when he drowned in the lake. It takes the form of a bloated, pregnant corpse with an umbilical cord in its mouth attached to a variety of rusted metal spider legs, fitting with Joshua's love of bugs.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The entire reason the game's plot happens. Each of the founding families of Shepherd's Glen made a pact with the Order's god to sacrifice their children every fifty years. One family, however, did not uphold their end of the bargain, leading to the town being taken over by Silent Hill's influence. The family in question? Shepherd.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Alex's reaction to encountering a Needler for the first time.
    Alex: Oh, you've gotta be shittin' me!
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: If you shut the flashlight off just before your first encounter with a monster, it will be back on when the cutscene introduces it, and in-game after, forcing you to fight it at this disadvantage.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: One of Alex's possible responses to Deputy Wheeler's question about how Mayor Bartlett died. Wheeler insists on hearing the real story, though, and Alex has to tell the truth anyway. Thankfully, Wheeler's seen enough that he actually does believe the story.


Video Example(s):


Silent Hill: Homecoming

The main character this time around is Alex Shepherd, a Special Forces soldier who has been discharged from the hospital and sent home after being wounded in battle. Arriving in his hometown of Shepherd's Glen, he finds that all is not right with the world: the town is covered in fog, people (including his younger brother Josh) are disappearing, his father has left to look for his brother, and his mother is catatonic. The dark forces of Silent Hill soon infect the town proper, transforming it into a nightmarish otherworld where Alex must struggle to survive against hordes of monsters and waves of increasingly obtuse symbolism... as well as a group of mysterious cultists who seem to bear a grudge against him.

Joining Alex on his quest is Elle (a childhood friend who is trying to survive) and Wheeler (the sheriff's deputy who just wants to get to the bottom of things). Along the way, Alex encounters several more characters â including an Expy of everyone's favorite monster, Pyramid Head.

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Main / SurvivalHorror

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