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YMMV / Siren

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The original game's partial ending, which comes out of absolute nowhere and is guaranteed to confuse the absolute hell out of you. It's not the real ending, though.
  • Demonic Spiders: Even for a horror game with such a high difficulty level, there are a few enemy types that nearly every player dread to encounter:
    • The sniper Shibito in the first game, as they are blessed with such high range of sight that they are able to see you even in a dense fog. Once you are spotted, they are deadly accurate and can quickly kill you or your companion in two shots if you don't quickly take cover. The only saving grace is that the majority of them will never leave their post to chase you down, and will never alert other Shibito to your presence if they see you.
      • The evolved Fly Shibito are essentially much worse than the common sniper Shibito, as they are able to maneuver from one area to another by flying around, ensuring that you will inevitably get spotted by one scanning the area. Taking one out also requires a firearm, and it's difficult to shoot one down before it can retaliate due to needing to aim up and find the Fly Shibito before it finds you.
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    • Any Shibito armed with an automatic weapon in the sequel, since they have infinite ammo, are only slightly worse shots than in the first game, and will fire bursts of around 7-8 shots at you (in a game where around 4 kill you on Hard mode) and can be very persistent since they're usually Military Shibito, which have advanced AI (chase you for longer and investigate open doors). A good few levels give certain Shibito with automatic weapons special advantages, such as never needing to reload (Yorito's level at the apartments), always knowing where you are (Misawa's level at the apartments), or completely ignoring beartraps/distractions. It's worse in Yorito/Misawa's levels, as they tend to usually make up a good chunk of the enemies and it only gets worse on Hard mode where a single burst is death.
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    • The evolved Yamibito in Siren 2 are especially a pain to deal with as they somehow do not take any damage from the front, and must be attacked from behind in order to damage them. Because they don't always flinch to your attacks, they may end up turning to face you and become immune to further attacks, unless you stun them with the flashlight first and then try to get behind them. However, their ability to resist attacks from the front only works if have seen you, making it much easier to snipe them from afar, although the game doesn't tell you this.
  • Fan Translation: "Shibito" literally means "dead ones" or "dead people." Creative fan translations sometimes call them "deadites," after the Evil Dead franchise. "Yamibito" (yami meaning "dark") is sometimes creatively called "Darklings."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Remember what happened to Ichiko before the events of the game? Now look at what happened in South Korea about nine years after the game came out.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Butt-Monkey college student Yoriko Anno in Siren 1 serves intermittently as comic relief:
      • In the ending, Yoriko, having leveled up in badass after getting stuck in the other world, finally catches up with her beloved Professor Tamon. Tamon has finally found true happiness with the parents he lost, free at last after decades of suffering spent refusing to give in to the darkness and become Shibito... At which point Yoriko kicks through the wall and, seeing only desiccated corpses, not tortured lost souls and certainly not loving parents, clubs them with a baseball bat and drags the professor away.
        Yoriko: Professor! It's no time for playing happy families! Come on!
      • After collecting all the archive items, the game unlocks an alternate version of the scene where Tamon first catches a glimpse of Datatsushi just before the flood of red water bursts through the Nest... but from Yoriko's perspective. Turns out her odd appearance and distorted voice in the original cutscene were all in Tamon's mind, his perception warped by the red water. She can't see a thing without her glasses, but manages to make out the professor and runs toward him, waving and smiling... before the rickety floor gives way and she falls through a hole. Made all the funnier because it's the very last, decidedly unhorrifying cutscene of the game.
    • In Siren 2, dimwitted, wrongfully accused Soji Abe gets some of the silliest scenes... like blowing up the Spider's Thread entirely by accident by lighting a toilet on fire with a cigarette butt after a Potty Emergency, which in turn leads to a series of further explosions which finally hit the base of the tower and cause the whole teetering edifice to collapse. This is seemingly not just a joke ending, either; at the very least, no other explanation is given for the explosion, and the player has no control over Soji eating the fruit, which the game notes has laxative properties.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Spider Shibito have significantly higher awareness than other Shibito, move fairly quickly, and can climb around on the walls and ceilings where it's hard to hit them. Worst of all, they regenerate within seconds of being downed, meaning you often have to contend with them again and again. They also love hunting in packs, making taking them on a losing proposition. That said, they cannot open doors at all, meaning one can frequently escape by simply leaving the room and letting the door shut behind you.
    • Dog Shibito are the fastest enemies in the game, do fairly significant damage, and have more health than the average Shibito, which makes taking them on quite the nuisance. Like their Spider brothers, they also regenerate more quickly than normal (though not as dramatically so), and almost never fight alone. They also share the Spider's inability to open doors, thankfully, and are also stymied by ladders as they cannot climb.
  • Narm Charm: The British voices from the first game can be this for some. While the fact that all the characters are Japanese and obviously wouldn't be speaking English at all (never mind with British accents), the fact that the voice actors don't go so over the top like the English voice actors in, say, Blood Curse do (mostly because they were basically all anime voice actors) makes them sound more like real people than someone reading from a script.
  • Nightmare Retardant: If you're unfamiliar with Japan's gun lawsnote , Yoriko Anno asking "is that a real gun?" in response to Professor Takeuchi pulling a revolver from his bag can serve as this.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Yoriko Anno spends most of the early game whining about how miserable she is and bugging Professor Takeuchi or whomever else she gets partnered with. After she gets shot, however, and gets a blood transfusion from Kyoya Suda, she apparently gets a dose of his nascent badass-itude.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While the 'Sightjack' feature (being able to see through the eyes of any NPC character via a FPS camera) is generally well-received in the first and second game, the third game's variant attracted a number of complaints. You have to shuffle from one vision to another instead of manually finding one, and it now has a double-vision filter effect that not only reduces the framerate, but makes tracking enemies' movements more difficult to focus on. While the ability to split the screen into two and sightjack while still moving sounds great on paper, it's only useful if the player's TV monitor is widescreen (granted, not as big a deal as it would have been when the game first came out), and even then the double-vision filter effect is carried over in the gameplay screen as well.
  • Tearjerker:
    • The reveal that Tomoko has slowly been transforming into a Shibito is both terrifying and utterly heartbreaking, especially when her parents scream in terror at finding her in that state, and rather than breaking in and attacking them, she merely slumps her shoulders and walks away sadly.
    • There's a scene in Blood Curse where Seigo is approached by one of his nurses, Yuki, who is now a Shibito. However, instead of trying to attack him, it looks more like she's reaching out to him for help, almost begging, even. Seigo immediately shoots her in the head, and she looks utterly heartbroken before she collapses. And then Seigo kills himself.
  • That One Level:
    • Reiko escorting Harumi through the school in the first game, mainly thanks to a game 'feature' where collected items aren't kept if you die and continue, even from a checkpoint after having collected those items. Here, it's required that you use Harumi to grab an item just before the halfway checkpoint in order to proceed with the game, and so any deaths in the level will require you to start from the very beginning, lest you miss the item. Did I mention Harumi literally can't get anywhere near a Shibito without dying, or that her AI routine for this level (seek a hiding place whenever you get caught) sometimes causes her to run between you and an attacking enemy?
    • Bella having to sneak through a house occupied by a family of Shibito in Blood Curse, mostly for the same reasons. Being a 10-year-old girl, you have no options for self-defense other than finding a hiding spot and hoping none of the Shibito saw you getting into it. Despite this, the stage is actually relatively quick and painless... if you do a normal run through without picking up any archive items. Going for them all is what turns it into the single longest and most difficult stage of the game. This game fixed the earlier ones' issue where items aren't kept if you die and continue, but for some reason, this doesn't quite apply to the archive items from this stage: the actual archive items themselves stay, but they are also inventory items that Bella needs to end the stage with to unlock archive items later on, and those disappear and can't be grabbed again if you die after collecting them, meaning you have to do it all in one go and restart the stage entirely if you die. On top of this, a pathing issue causes two of the three patrolling Shibito to get stuck on each other in the first-floor hallway every other playthrough, which makes a normal run where you never have to go back down there even more trivial, but forces you to alert them and run like hell to get them free if you want another archive, which in itself also requires alerting one of them while hiding in the same room they spend most of their time in. Lastly, another two archives require you to actually get out of the house, then ring the doorbell when only one of the Shibito is on the ground floor and sneak back in to grab the one that's required for the other. The absolute worst part about all this, too, is that getting the archives sequentially makes the rest of the stage just that bit harder because the Shibito react to you messing with them and alter their patterns, mostly taking shorter loops that give you less time to move around, but one of them also extending their patrol to include outside the house after you grab the penultimate archive, which means if you don't wait for the right moment to head for the exit you can easily get stuck between her on patrol and Shibito Melissa hunting you down.
    • Soji's last level in Siren 2. You start with a weak melee weapon if you didn't find the nail and hammer for the nail bat in the last level, while there's an enemy with an assault rifle right at the start, who can and will shoot you right away on Hard mode. Taking him down for his rifle is pretty much only possible with the Nail Bat, and at the very end is Yambito Misawa who, if you don't shoot him In the Back before he gets alerted for extra damage, can take every single bullet from the assault rifle and still have a bit of health left, forcing you to rifle-melee him to death - and even then he revives in a second, forcing you to just grab his rifle and run for it. Oh, and if you alert him but escape? He combs every hiding spot in his section, which is almost impossible to avoid on hard mode. He's arguably the toughest boss in the game for this reason since, while taking him out is technically optional, it's very hard to avoid doing on Hard mode.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Although the female playable characters in Siren are generally weaker and run slightly slower than the males, in Siren 2 the female cast are notably even worse in many other ways. In Siren 2, they open/close doors slower, ready/lower their weapons slower, have terrible attack range and speed when using melee weapons, run at a snail's pace upon losing all stamina, and are unable to pick up and use rifles. Ikuko Kifune is a notable offender, as she has the lowest stamina overall, and her special ability to control an enemy via sightjacking also drains stamina, meaning that she'll get exhausted very quickly.
  • Uncanny Valley: Dear God, the faces in the original Siren game. This was long before Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire got it right with having motion capture points on the actors faces to add to the character models, so Siren had to film the actor's faces and layer them onto the character models' faces as essentially a flat texture. This, as you can imagine, looks borderline grotesque. That being said, it does make encountering the Shibito all the more terrifying due to how horrifically off they look compared to living characters, especially if it's a unique Shibito with a recognizable face. This may have been intentional — it's certainly deliberate in the case of Siren 2's hideously misshapen Yamibito.
  • What an Idiot!: Ostensible hero Mamoru Itsuki in the second game just can't resist a pretty face. Yuri acts like a typical damsel at first, but there's clearly something off about her, and especially around the time she starts having him breaking what she literally tells him are seals to the underworld, Mamoru really should have had a few more questions. If not for Ikuko stopping him, he would have singlehandedly freed Mother — as it is, he paves the way for Shu to do it instead.
  • The Woobie: A large part of the horror of Siren is the amount of suffering the characters endure, through no fault of their own, often in spite of, or because of, trying very hard to do the right thing. Many of the deaths result in shaggy dog endings at best.
    • Harumi Tomoda and her teacher Mrs. Takato in Siren 1 had very sad lives even before the game begins. Harumi is an innocent little girl who already lost her parents in a car accident (the car was struck by lightning) before being trapped in the village. Reiko Takato lost her own daughter a few years earlier, when a large wave struck the beach they were on. Separated by the wave, she managed to swim two other children to safety but couldn't find her daughter in time. The only reason the two of them were even at the school the night of the incident is because Mrs. Takato and kindly principal Mr. Nagoshi tried to start a stargazing club for Harumi, but nobody else joined. Mr. Nagoshi is turned into a Shibito early on, and Harumi and Reiko spend much of the game running from him — before a desperate Mrs. Takato finally lights a truck on fire in a Heroic Sacrifice, buying Harumi time to escape. Even as a Shibito, Reiko's final act is to tackle Mr. Nagoshi into a hole, giving Harumi the time she needed to escape Hanuda once and for all. Harumi ends up being the only survivor of the Hanuda incident in the present, wandering out of the ruins — though if Professor Tamon's long-lasting trauma after being found in almost the same circumstances thirty years ago is meant to serve as any indication, Harumi may not have the brightest future ahead of her.
    • Shu, Ichiko, and Shigeru in the second game. Also any of the women who are forced to become Mother's avatars.
      • As a child, Shu Mikami loses his father, his new mother figure Kanae, and the village where he grew up, as well going blind, all in one day. He grows up to become a famous author, but then returns to Yamajima to try and understand what happened to him — only to have to relive it all again. Hunted through the village, he loses his seeing-eye dog Tsukasa when the dog pushes him out from under a collapsing roof, and is 'reunited' with Kanae — who turns out to be part of Mother, who absorbs him, which allows her to free herself from the underworld and begin her bid to break through to the real world.
      • Schoolgirl Ichiko Yagura, or rather her Simulacrum, is also very pitiful. The real Ichiko turns out to have died when the ferry Bright Win was struck by a tsunami, where her drowned corpse was then used by Otoshigo to make a Simulacra in Ichiko's image. Ichiko's Simluacrum then wakes up inside the abandoned ferry and mistakes Ichiko's memories as her own, and is soon rescued by Shigeru Fujita. Then Otoshigo's influence slowly begins to take over the Simulacrum, starting with her murder of the kindly officer, driving the Simulacra into despair over what she had done. Eventually, the Simulacrum loses all sense of free will and goes on a mindless killing spree to find Mother, only to fail and fall off the tower she resides in as it collapses. The Simulacrum then collapses from her wounds and expires, but not before crying out to Mother one last time.
      • Perennially unlucky Shigeru Fujita, who left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a policeman, which caused the other residents to view him and his parents with scorn. His job with the police has seen him repeatedly demoted, to the point where in the present he's back to working a beat cop at the age of 52 and has had to take at least one pay cut to avoid being fired. His wife left him, and his daughter writes to tell him he's an embarrassment. The only reason he's on the island is to search for a missing woman — who he never actually finds. Instead he meets Ichiko, and spends most of his missions trying to get her off the island to safety... until she stabs him to death while under the influence of Otoshigo. His last words in life are apologizing to his daughter for disappointing her. In a sense his ending is still happier than Ichiko's, however — as he was born on the island, there's literally a stake with his name on it that can be used to kill his Kou Yamibito self, freeing his soul.


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