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YMMV / Silent Hill 3

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • While Vincent claims he has a lot of materialistic reasons in opposing Claudia (he lives quite well on the Order's budget and doesn't want the world to end so he can keep doing that), there are a couple indications that he has ideological disagreements with her as well. While money is a major factor, he still does seem to worship the same entity and finds Claudia's ideas for their God too out of line with what "should" happen.
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    • Vincent's "They looked like monsters to you?" is one of the game's Signature Scenes and one of the most quoted lines from the franchise. To this day fans are divided endlessly as to whether he was telling the truth about just joking or if he was lying about that as well.
    • Is Claudia a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants what she thinks is best for mankind by bringing God into the world, or, as Vincent suggests, is she a Psychopathic Womanchild desperately searching for love and acceptance, all while trying to justify her actions as being for the greater good? There are indicators for both, with the former being her genuine guilt for her sin against Heather and realization that she won't be saved, and the latter is her naïve belief that despite all the horrors of the Otherworld, she desperately wants to believe that God has ultimately good intentions.
  • Awesome Music: As is to be expected from Akira Yamaoka, the music is excellent. The individual tracks range from harsh industrial drones to chilled out trip hop to catchy alt-rock, and all of it is good.
    • "You're Not Here", the opening theme. Harsh, discordant and unnerving, but a powerful and pulse-pounding piece of alt-rock all the same.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The ghost in the subway and the Happy Birthday phone call in the hospital.
      Unknown caller: Happy birthday, dear... I'm sorry. I forgot your name.
      Heather: Who are you?
      Unknown caller: Oh... okay. Happy birthday dear "Hooaryou"...
    • On subsequent playthroughs, in the sewers you have the option to drop the steel pipe into the water. This spawns a fairy who presents two pipes, one made of silver and another made of gold. If you refuse both you get to keep both and you get your steel pipe back. There are no future references to it other than Heather thinking about pawning the gold pipe. It only happens in New Game+, so it's really just a shout out to an old legend that's been referenced by pretty much everything ever.
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  • Contested Sequel: Nowhere as severe as other entries in the series especially since it’s been Vindicated by History as one of the best Silent Hill games, but still there. Some view this game as an Even Better Sequel to the series, praising the improved graphics and controls, as well as appreciating the decision to make it a direct sequel to the very first game with the return of The Order, and the reveal of Heather being Cheryl/Alessa. Other fans, meanwhile, feel it suffers Tough Act to Follow, especially coming after the universally beloved Silent Hill 2, criticizing certain parts of the game as being too difficult to consider fun or scary, thought it dragged on for far too long before actually going to Silent Hill and found said return of the cult story to be weaker and less interesting thematically compared to dealing with personal demons, believing the Silent Hill series never needed a direct sequel in general. Then there’s others who enjoy both 2 and 3 and agree that they’re great games in their own way.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Slurper enemies, which are fond of repeatedly knocking Heather to the ground and crawling on top of her for damage.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Considering he doesn't actually appear except his body, there is a surprisingly large number of Stanley Coleman fanfics on the net.
    • Vincent. A lot of fans found him to be one of the most interesting psychos in the series, with his dry humor and Smug Snake attitude. The fact that he is your ally of sorts doesn't hurt.
    • Although he's a very minor monster who doesn't even attack the player, Valtiel is very much memorable in the fandom.
    • Less of a character and more of an ad poster, but the Minmo cat food ad (and the cat that appears in the ad itself) has an increasing number of fans due to its hilariously awful design.
  • Game-Breaker: The Unlimited Sub Machine Gun. Sure using it reduces your endgame ranking in proportion to how much you use it, but it's the next best thing to God Mode and requires little thought to use. It isn't even difficulty to unlock; simply land a killing blow on the final boss and it's yours soon after staring a New Game+ and leaving the starting bathroom (it's on a stack of boxes at one end of the alley).
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • It's possible to force the Missionary Boss into a corner, making him much easier to fight.
    • Nurses can sometimes get stuck near corners making it hard for them to hit you but easy for you to hit them.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Douglas' already bittersweet declaration "Nobody's gonna cry over my grave anyway," in response to the risk he is about to take, driving Heather to Silent Hill. His actor, Richard Grosse, died three months after completing his dialogue and two months before the game's initial release.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Having Heather run around the hellish landscape of Silent Hill in her Magical Girl costume is pretty amusing since the popularity of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • Idiot Ball: There's a point where Heather must set a painting on fire in order to proceed but this seems convoluted when Heather's pocket knife or even the kitana she found earlier would likely make short work of that canvas. Even lifting the painting off the wall to set it aside isn't an option.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: It’s less that "it’s short" and more "it’s oddly-paced": Heather takes nearly half of the game to find her motive for coming to Silent Hill, making the rest of the game seem short by comparison. That said, the relative shortness of the game was a major criticism of some reviews, such as the one for the unofficial PlayStation Magazine (PSM).
  • It Was His Sled: Good luck finding anyone who doesn't know that Heather and her father are Cheryl (the second) and Harry Mason from the first game.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Claudia may be a psychotic religious fanatic, but her father used to beat her so badly that memory of it was burned into Vincent's brain somehow. Then her best friend when she was a little kid disappeared, as did the woman who rescued her from her father.
  • Memetic Badass: Heather is noted for her Deadpan Snarker personality and for being the bravest protagonist in the series. Fandom will sometimes exaggerate it to make her a badass katana-wielding One-Man Army against the hordes of monsters and cultists.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "It's bread."explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Claudia becomes completely unforgivable this when she murders Harry. She's seemingly aware of this in-universe as well, believing she does not have a place in Paradise because of it.
    • Alternatively, messing with Heather in the chapel in order to get her to birth God. The Vincent-stabbing was justified, though, what with the whole backstabbing and all.
  • Narm / Nightmare Retardant: Joe Rybicki of the Official PlayStation Magazine found the Closers to be this in his overall positive review of the game, dismissing them as giant sock monkeys and wondering how he was supposed to be afraid of them.
    • In general the Closers can be this. Whether they're sock monkeys or Taokaka, many players have considered it to be the least scary monster in the game.
    • The Insane Cancers may not have the intended result of scaring the player, given that they're not the most mobile and their obese figure may make them hard to take seriously. Even if you are creeped out by the Dead Weight aspect of their appearance, the fact that they deflate like an air mattress once killed is almost objectively funny-looking.
    • Heather receives a bizarre "Happy Birthday" call with a creepy tone to it and by the time it's finished, all she can say is "'s not my birthday..."
    • The song "Letter From the Lost Days" on the soundtrack can fall victim to this. While the musical and vocal performances are very good, the lyrics can come across as overly sentimental and cheesy for a game like this, and seem to suffer from a case of Gratuitous English due to the awkward phrasing. Thankfully this doesn't detract much from the quality of the song as the performance is still great, and it's barely noticeable in the game itself due to the song being played in the background of one of the game's darker scenes.
  • Narm Charm: "SHUT YOUR STINKING MOUTH, BITCH!" Stupid as that line may be, it's delivered so passionately it crosses over into awesome.
  • Paranoia Fuel: "They looked like monsters to you?" ...Oh no. Though possibly subverted in that Douglas flat-out states at the end of the Mall level that he also sees the monsters.
    • Yet, killing too many monsters pushes you towards the Bad Ending...
    • Valtiel. He never attacks you, and is always just out of reach, and just... watches. He's a thoroughly disturbing reinforcement of the stalker theme that Stanley represents.
  • Player Punch:
    • Harry's death. Doubly so for those who played the first game.
    • The infamous Wham Line of the game. Almost makes you think twice about the enemies you've faced. Sure, Vincent immediately follows it up by saying he was kidding, but he's so creepily smug about it, you almost expect that he's lying about kidding.
    • Vincent's death is this as well. Yes, he was a greedy, slimy, slippery bastard; and he deserved the end he got. Still, though...
  • Porting Disaster: The HD Collection release, much like Silent Hill 2, used an unfinished beta for the port. Not only does it look darker than its PS2 counterpart with a murkier color pallet, but it’s prone to slowdown on many occasions making it unplayable at times. It also has a habit of crashing and freezing sometimes for doing something as simple as entering another room or picking up items and at one point the fog is colored cyan blue.
  • Signature Scene:
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: A common criticism many take from the game is that it takes about the halfway point before the characters actually go to Silent Hill. The first half is spent getting Heather back home, and while there are some hints at her past by characters from the town, nothing of real importance happens until she gets home.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "You're Not Here" in the main-menu idle trailer sounds very similar to "New Year's Day" by U2, albeit probably by coincidence.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For a PS2 game the visuals of this game is both excellent and horrifying, allowing for very memorable and detailed Otherworld locations and overlay effects on both enemies and the scenery. The character models have also improved from Silent Hill 2, allowing for more expressive facial animations and detailed clothing and hair.
  • Vindicated by History: Silent Hill 3 garnered mixed reception at release, due to it being overshadowed by its predecessor Silent Hill 2, to the point where some felt it just couldn't compare. Following some more divisive games, it's considered a good game in its own right, especially for its character models and soundtrack.
  • The Woobie: Heather for a good chunk of the game. Her character design was made to make it seem like she was constantly slightly teary-eyed, which fits for the first portion of the game where all she wants is to get home and get away from the hellish surroundings. It gets worse when she finds out her father has been murdered.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Amanda Winn-Lee’s re-dubbed performance as Heather in the HD Collection was met with this reaction. Like Silent Hill 2 voiceover changes it’s not that she’s a bad actor, more so she sounded too old to be playing a spunky teenager.


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