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YMMV / Silent Hill 2

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  • 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 Jerkass 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.
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  • 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:
  • 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.
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    • The Dog Ending certainly qualifies. Especially when the dog starts growling at something... hairy.
  • Better Than Canon: With the controversy surrounding the HD Collection and the increasing efforts from modders attempting to fix the ailing PC port of the game, many consider the fan-made Enhanced Edition project as a superior alternative to the HD Collection as it not only retains the game's original features, but also improve upon them and aims to restore missing elements from the PlayStation 2 version.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In the West the game is held in high regard and is considered pinnacle of the series as described above, it wasn't all well received in Japan and it, in fact, kind of bombed. This was mostly because Japanese fans were expecting a direct sequel to Silent Hill instead of what they deemed to be a spin-off with tenuous links to the first game at best. Silent Hill 3 did fare better in Japan due to having stronger links to the first entry, while in the West it had more of a lukewarm response since across the pond, the lore about The Order is generally considered one of the dullest aspects of the series.
  • Goddamned Bats: Lying Figures can get to be this (especially on Hard Mode), since some of them do not wait to be stomped before they immediately crawl away. They can do a surprising amount of damage if they crawl right into you.
  • Hatedom: You would be very hard pressed to find an older player who likes Laura. In fact, most avidly despise her due to her bratty nature combined with her antagonistic role. Not helping is that the clearly best ending of the game, the Leave ending, has James taking Laura with him, invoking the possibility that he will adopt her.
  • 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 Alternative Character Interpretation, 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.
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: While the voice acting in the original game was hardly bad all around (Mary's letter reading has been near-universally praised), it was noticeably less polished than the voice acting of the HD collection. Naturally, there were fans who preferred the former regardless.
  • It Was His Sled: James killed his wife. By extension is that Pyramid Head, the monster most persistent in chasing after and antagonizing James, is a physical embodiment of his guilt and desire to be punished for it.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Angela. Her rude and cynical behavior is because of her horrific past. In fact, due to said horrific past, she's more of a straightforward example of The Woobie.
    • Eddie counts as well, though there's more emphasis on the former part than the latter in his final appearance.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Eddie could count as a Jerkass Woobie up until he cheerfully brags about how he violently killed a dog and shot its owner's knee.
  • Narm:
    • "I hate bowling." "We didn't come here to play, you know."
    • "You...YOU FARTFACE!"
      • Laura in general, really.
    • "This town is full of monsters! How can you sit there 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.
    • The bizarre noise replacing the radio static to tell players monsters are present in Maria's scenario; while unnerving and loud at first, it quickly begins to sound like you're being pursued by Jet Jaguar.
    • And there's also Laura's little meltdown when James tells her he killed Mary.
    Laura: You killer! Why'd you do it?! I hate you! I want her back! Give her back to me! I knew it, you didn't care about her! I hate you, James! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!
  • Narm Charm: To fans, the awkward voice acting from the original releases made the characters much more believable as ordinary people. The new voice acting was so poorly received not because it was bad, but because it was too good; to wit, it sounded much more slickly dramatic and professionally acted, which fans believe undercut the verisimilitude of the game's story. Troy Baker, for instance, does an outstanding job voicing numerous gruff, badass characters, but James Sunderland is a decidedly non-badass Classical Anti-Hero and the "gravelly tough-guy" voice doesn't suit him.
  • Never Live It Down: James sticking his hand into a toilet without so much as a sound of protest or even 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.
    • Angela calling out James for his white-knighting near the end of the game. Her speech makes it clear that her problems go deep, and can't be solved so easily. Given James has just come to his own crushing realization, it's worse by the fact that even if she could be helped, James really isn't one who's suited to help her.
  • 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). Thankfully, by community efforts of various modders, this can be easily fixed on modern systems and then some.
    • 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.
    • While the Xbox version of the game plays perfectly on an original Xbox, playing it on an Xbox 360 turns it into this, as the emulation is imperfect. This leads to a lot of flickering/missing textures in the scenery.
  • 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.
  • Signature Scene: Plenty.
    • The introduction of Pyramid Head, both in the hallway and proper. He certainly leaves an impression.
    • The reveal that James killed Mary.
    • Angela's final scene in the burning staircase. Jesus.
    • On a much less depressing note, the dog ending.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: 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.
  • That One Boss: Eddie can be really annoying compared to the other bosses. Mostly due to using a gun.
  • That One Level: Getting to the Silent Hill Historical Society requires James to slog through long, very dimly-lit streets full of enemies, which slows the game's pacing to a crawl.
  • 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 antagonistic role, which to many feels too realistically like that of an aggressive, unpleasant brat. Not helping is when that brattiness manifests in ways that actively impedes James (such as when she kicks an important key away from James and stomps on his hand for trying to stop her) or even endangers him (as when she locks him in a room full of monsters). Whilst she does have her justifications for acting the way she does, which are revealed over the course of the game, and Word of God is that she can't see the monsters, this is revealed so vaguely in the game that, combined with her antics — especially her final scene where she rages at James at the worst possible time, which is the metaphorical final straw for many — many fans don't acknowledge (or care) that this is the case. Combine with the fact that the Leave ending, the only unambiguously good ending in the game, has Laura leaving Silent Hill with James and suggesting he's going to adopt her, and the result is that she has a prominent Hatedom.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: "White Noiz", the ambient track that accompanies the opening bathroom scene of the game.
  • The Woobie:
    • Angela definitely qualifies. The picture of her profound pain and misery and the horrible abuse she endured becomes clearer and clearer as you go on, but it's one line from her in her final appearance that cinches it: "Even Mama said it: I deserved what happened." Just... Fuck.
    • Eddie is revealed to have been mercilessly and viciously tormented for his weight and his apparent mental slowness. While he certainly didn't deserve to be treated that way, he ends up blowing his audience sympathy with how he deals with his issues: 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 and ignoring the lesson he needed to learn, which was that causing pain to others would never soothe his own. James is ultimately forced to kill him in self-defense because he refuses to accept that truth.
    • 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 and Angela's family 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. Although given that a few cutscenes show that Pyramid Head seems to be in constant pain due to his head/helmet, even he has at least one sympathy point.


Example of: