Silent Hill: Promise is a Fan Sequel Silent Hill interactive web comic created by Greer-the-Raven, currently hosted on both on deviantART and its own website. An attempt to create a full-fledged Silent Hill "game," Promise uses the faux Adventure Game style of MS Paint Adventures to involve readers in deciding what the heroine should do next.
Vanessa Sunderland is asleep in her bed in the early hours of the morning when her cellphone starts to ring. Picking up the phone, she recognizes the area code for the vacation town, Silent Hill, and picks up, hearing static before the voice of her missing Uncle James crackles through the line. He had been gone for three years, most thought he was dead and the phone dies before she can figure out exactly where he is.
Knowing exactly that this is what she had been waiting for, she throws on her clothes and heads straight away to Silent Hill, taking along the old wedding photo he had signed for her as a good luck charm.
When she arrives, the town seems normal on the surface, but the darkness is always creeping in...
Promise was updated daily and has an archive of 1178 pages. It stopped updating in late 2015, but resumed updating in June 2017. The ending was released as a game on on Halloween, 2019.
Read it on DeviantArt or on its dedicated archive which is finally up again. A readthrough of the comic is also available on Youtube.
With Silent Hill: Promise concluded the creator has begun work on another interactive horror comic Black Ward: Empty Chambers.
Silent Hill: Promise provides examples of:
- Abandoned Area: The Otherworld of Silent Hill, with its thick fog and empty buildings. The actual town is actually pretty lively, as it is a tourist location with other hotels and stores.
- Adventure Game: The comic strives to imitate this, many options coming from “fight or flight” responses from the viewers who help Vanessa along.
- All Just a Dream: When Vanessa arrives in Silent Hill, the town is already covered in the thick, ashy fog. She is immediately cornered in a shop by two creatures when she tries to investigate, but is awakened in her car by an officer telling her she can't park there. She had fallen asleep.
- Amusement Park of Doom
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: After Vanessa gets through the amusement park and gets stabbed by Pyramid Head, we get to follow Evelyn.
- Art Evolution: The first few screens do not have colored backgrounds and have a sketchier art style. The more recent comics have fully colored background, massive detail and still look sketchy, adding to the style.
- Author Appeal: Vanessa has a somewhat curvy physique, although that could just be from eating too much cake.
- Bad End: Vanessa has suddenly 'died' quite a few times in her trip to Silent Hill. However, there is an 'autosave' function, lampshaded by the author after her first death at the hands of the Mannequins with half of their faces missing."What's a Silent Hill game without the character dying at some point?"
- Berserk Button:
- Vanessa doesn't like being told by Marissa that James didn't love her or that she won't be able to find him. Infuriating puzzles or Mind Screw also earn her ire.
- Evelyn doesn't like his name being talked about, taking even a curious question if it's seriously his name as an insult.
- Bag of Spilling: Almost everything Vanessa picked up in the hotel has disappeared with no explanation. This has happened a few more times since.
- Big "NO!"
- Call-Back: The wedding photo that Vanessa is carrying is starting to warp like the letter from Silent Hill 2. James' expression has changed, as has Vanessa's and Mary's, as well as the message on the back changing repeatedly.
- Canon Character All Along: As seen in the ending game, Marissa is revealed to be Maria. Who is also Alessa Guilespie, as well as the Order's God, who happens to be the spirit of Silent Hill itself.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: Vanessa's cell phone hasn't worked normally since she arrived in Silent Hill, with the exception of her mother calling to ask why she hasn't shown up for their lunch meeting yet. The only time its been of use is as an improvised flashlight and Marissa telling her clues how to get out of the hotel, while being a complete bitch about it.
- Character Portrait: Used for dialogue and inner monologue for every person. Marissa was a special case, as when she's seen she is too far away to tell details, so she starts as a pixel version of herself talking on the phone from when Vanessa could see her from the hotel. She's gotten a more detailed one now that her and Vanessa have actually met, though.
- Composite Character: The ending game reveals that Maria and Alessa Guilespie are the same person, and they're both the spirit of Silent Hill itself.
- Continuity Nod: Vanessa wears the same coat as her Uncle James. This is Hand Waved early in the story.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: In the Room Full of Crazy. All the writing on the walls is written in pink lipstick.
- Creepy Doll: The kewpie doll. Much to Vanessa's displeasure, they seem to be everywhere, especially at the carnival. Her acting violently towards them has only made things worse, even coming out of strange places like a popcorn machine.
- Creepy Cathedral: St. Stella Church
- Distracted by the Sexy: The gag ending where Vanessa promptly forgets all about her search and jumps Borje, leading to a long, satisfying relationship with him.
- Distress Call: A cell phone call years after her uncle's disappearance leads Vanessa to Silent Hill.
- Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Played straight when Vanessa, in a Non Standard Game Over, sorta forces herself onto Borje but he goes with it. Which is a fine bit of foreshadowing the Aversion in the backstory. Vanessa did a Bed Trick while drunk out of her mind on an equally drunk James. This is not treated in or out of universe as anything but a horrible act.
- Dream Ballet: Evoked when Vanessa pricks her finger and hallucinates that she is trick or treating as a literal ballerina.
- Eldritch Location: Where do you think?
- Evil Phone: See Cell Phones Are Useless.
- Expy: Borje is described as looking like a more attractive version of James, just like Maria was a Hotter and Sexier Mary. Probably just a coincidence.
- Eyeless Face: This is a trait for a few of the monsters, who seem to use their tongues or other limbs to find their way around instead.
- Fair Cop: Sergeant Vaan.
- Fan Sequel: A pretty large one, with how long it's been going on.
- Flaying Alive: This appears to have been the fate of a corpse Vanessa finds.
- Follow the Leader: The comic apes the "play" style of MS Paint Adventures, though not the plot style.
- Gender-Blender Name: Evelyn. He's touchy about it, getting really angry with Vanessa when she asked him if he was serious.
- Genius Loci: Par for the series, Silent Hill is alive and intelligent, directing everything. In the ending, it is revealed that Marissa is a voice for Silent Hill itself, incarnating as Mary over and over in order to "play house" with James Sunderland.
- Gravity Screw: The Room Full of Crazy hotel rooms is upside-down; when you leave, gravity reasserts itself (and erases the messages), leaving Vanessa with vertigo. When Vanessa returns and contemplates going back through the small door she came from, the room decides for her by turning on its side so she falls in.
- Harassing Phone Call: Vanessa is continually harassed by "Weird phone lady" in the hotel, who turns out to be a woman named Marissa, who wants her to leave town, being really snippy and cold towards her.
- Hell Hotel: The Lakeview Hotel from Silent Hill 2. When Vanessa arrives in the normal world, the place is burned down with its first two floors inaccessible. When she goes to investigate, she falls through the ground floor... And ends up on the third floor in the Otherworld.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted. There have been multiple mentions of Vanessa's pockets getting full. In a recent update, she even had to toss some of the things in her pockets to make a key fit in there.
- Though she does have infinite cigarettes now.
- Improvised Weapon: The first weapon she ever tried was a curtain rod. It didn't work too well, she ended up bending it, snapping that end off and using the pointy end to stab a monster one good time.
- Incest Subtext: Becoming more and more prominent with regard to Vanessa and James. Becomes less 'subtext' and more 'text' with the abortion document.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Vanessa visits a bar for a stiff one (or a few) after her horrible ordeal in the hotel.
- In the ending game, this is an option taking a drink forces you from any of the good endings to the neutral one.
- Insistent Terminology: Pages are referred to as "screens."
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time / Violation of Common Sense: The artist isn't above allowing some of the more outrageous suggestions, but will typically include a snarky comment mocking the protagonist for making such an absurd decision. More to the point, the action will usually be spun in a way that the story can still continue, such as kicking a locked door in frustration having the unintended consequence of knocking a key item off a shelf.
- Kill It with Fire: Vanessa's response to the booth at the amusement park that's full of kewpie dolls.
- Konami Code: In the hotel, Vanessa contemplates using this on a box near the elevator, but decides against it.
- Jammed Door: Vanessa faces these quite often, being locked out of several rooms she had to find keys for in the hotel (some being literally jammed, by the world and by an object), and the water park being locked up at the carnival.
- Lovecraft Country: See Where the Hell Is Springfield?, below.
- Male Gaze: The comic often gives a nice view of Vanessa's large chest or butt. Additionally, her character portrait is never shown wearing the heavy jacket she always has on.
- Meaningful Name: The "Weird Phone Lady"'s name is Marissa. Following the names of Mary and Maria from Silent Hill 2.
- Borje's name apparently means "help" or "save." James, who Borje suspiciously resembles, had his name's origin in a name meaning "may God protect."
- Mr. Fanservice: Borje, whose only appearance is him wearing a towel around his waist.
- Murderous Mannequin: In the Lakeview Hotel Vanessa comes across two Mannequins who need new halves of their faces and uses a porcelain mask that broke cleanly in two to solve a puzzle. One comes to life and tries to kill her after the other falls apart. They flee into the bathroom, her first death coming from opening the door and them dragging her in and violently murdering her.
- Non Standard Game Over: Yes really. Alternative ends and Bad Ends happen due to reader's suggestions. Though the Author will then allow the player to 'load a save game' to keep the comic going. Examples include kissing Borje and starting a very passionate relationship with him, getting killed by a boss, and pulling a Screw This, I'm Outta Here and just driving away.]]
- Nuns Are Spooky: There's something a little off about Sister Edith. It's hinted at that she is developmentally challenged. It turns out she can see into the Otherworld, where Evelyn and Vanessa get constantly separated into their own places and use her to communicate to each other. Why she can see into the Otherworld has yet to be revealed.
- Oh, Crap!: When Vanessa gets cornered by monsters and doesn't have a weapon or a way to fight back, her only option is to find a door and block it. Whether or not she's safe is debatable.
- When Vanessa's mother calls her to ask why she hasn't shown up for their lunch date yet.
- Ominous Fog: After falling through the floor in the hotel, Vanessa finds this to have descended over the town, despite it having been bright and sunny before.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: Swan Lake, which puts Vanessa on edge.
- Original Flavour: With the creepy monster designs, the symbolism and the shifts into the violent Otherworld, Promise tends to hit this for Silent Hill.
- Orphaned Series: In 2015, the series briefly had its own website and Patreon page, but both of these fell through, and the series stopped mid-storyline.
- Resumed as of 2017 on Deviant Art.
- Satisfyingly concluded October 2019.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Par for the course in Silent Hill, but special mention goes to the walking rotary phone/mother and fetus-based thing in the church.
- Patron Saint: Vanessa swears by an increasing number of saints, in different situations.
- One of the puzzles in the Otherworld church involves identifying four particular saints (although one of them isn't officially canonized as such) based on what they are the patron of.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Happens several times. In the tub of a hotel bathroom, chained to a wall, two curled up together on a bed....
- Point of No Return: Marissa warned Vanessa that if she didn't leave Silent Hill as soon as she escaped from the church, she wouldn't get another chance. Vanessa chose to ignore her and keep searching.
- Psychological Horror
- Reality Warper: The town itself. In a subtle case, it's starting to warp Vanessa's memories and a photo of James' wedding.
- More like making her confront her actions.
- Religious Horror: Shades of this in the church.
- Room Full of Crazy: Played with in that unlike most examples, the writing isn't blood, it's hot pink lipstick. Ruins the effect a bit.
- Second-Person Narration
- Ship Tease: A bit between Vanessa and Evelyn, especially in the Tunnel of Love at the amusement park.
- Shirtless Scene: We first meet Borje right after he's come out of the shower. It's quite distracting, both for Vanessa and the readers.
- Shout-Out: There's a Problem Sleuth poster in Vanessa's bedroom.
- Smoking Is Cool: Vanessa smokes Lucky Strikes. The supposed cool factor is Lampshaded, especially when commands are used.
- Solve the Soup Cans: Silent Hill is famous for this, so naturally the Fan Webcomic version would follow the same rules.
- Spooky Painting: The disturbing, twisted take on The Last Supper in the church.
- Survival Horror: Silent Hill, although it definitely seems the survival part is ramped up against Vanessa. She doesn't find many weapons on her own, most being handed to her by others or difficult to get.
- Tears of Blood: Both of the mannequins, once activated by their masks being put on.
- Town with a Dark Secret: It's Silent Hill.
- Un-Cancelled: Was abandoned in 2014, but Greer came back and restarted the comic in 2017, completing the story on Halloween 2019.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the ending game, you are allowed to solve all your problems with your gun. Doing so does net a bad ending.
- Walls of Text: The comic, like an old graphical text adventure, supplements the images with narration. Although how much of it there is tends to sway from two or three sentences to two or three paragraphs depending on what's going on.
- Wham Episode: Episode 1049-1050. Vanessa got drunk and pretended to be Mary in the dark. And got pregnant.
- Wham Line: ''James didn't really love you.”
- The final description of the ever-changing photo. "The photo has always looked like this".
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Silent Hill has no canonical location. The area code Vanessa sees on her cell phone puts it somewhere in upstate New York.
- Wolverine Publicity: Where would a Silent Hill fan comic be without Pyharmid Head showing up? More Justified as this is a fan sequel to Silent Hill 2. And by all accounts Vanessa does seem to want to be punished for her actions.
- World of Symbolism: From the items in the world, to the enemy designs, to scenes replicated by mannequins and puppets, it gives a slight perspective into Vanessa's backstory as revealed by Angela in Silent Hill 2, people in Silent Hill experience their own personal torment.