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Survival/Secret Guide by BMcKay

Version: 1.5 | Updated: 11/14/00

SILENT HILL SURVIVAL AND SECRET GUIDE, v. 1.5
By Brian Mckay
Copyright 2000
Brianmckay@home.com
http://Members.home.net/brianmckay

1.1: Updates
1.2: What the FAQ?
1.3: Staying alive - survival on the streets of Silent Hill
1.4: Knowing your enemy - the monsters of Silent Hill
1.5: The right tool for the right job - The best weapons, how to get and use
them
1.6: This is the end, my friend . . . or is it? - Various endings and the
reward
system.
1.7: "Hmm, didn't notice that before." : Interesting discoveries made around
town.
1.8: "Stop me before I play again!" : What makes this game so frightening yet
addictive.
1.9: Silent Hill 2 - the wish list.

1.1: Updates
10/17/00, NINfreak given permission to update faq, and struggle for new info.
begins;)

11/14/00, v. 1.5 finished and sent to Gamefaqs. revisions are slight, new
findings in section 1.7, and update for Silent Hill 2.

1.2: WHAT THE FAQ?
	
	"Okay," you're thinking, "There are a dozen other FAQ/WALKTHROUGH guides
for this game out on the net. Why should I read yours?" Good question. This is
basically dedicated to the strategy of surviving the game, and focuses in depth
on combat and weapons tactics. It is not a comprehensive walkthrough or puzzle-
solving guide, since there are plenty of those out there that would be better
than mine. Nor are there any gameshark codes here. If you need walkthroughs or
codes, go to: http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/game/20324.html

This faq is designed to help people who are struggling with the actual fighting
portion of the game. Expert players shouldn't need such advice, but if you're a
beginner, or an intermediate player (like myself), these tips might come in
useful.

Also, I've included a trivial section of "discoveries" that other players and I
have made - little things found in the game. Some are amusing, others creepy.
And lastly, I've included an essay about why this game stands out from the
usual
survival-horror fare (including the Resident Evil series). Not an exploration
of
the plot itself, as in President Evil's FAQ, but rather just an observation of
the game's use of lighting, atmosphere, sound, and visuals to create what is
probably the most amazing horror experience ever. I also decided to add a list
of what I'd like to see in SH 2.

Okay, enough of that. Let's get down to business.


1.3: STAYING ALIVE ON THE STREETS OF SILENT HILL

These are some rules I've formulated after playing the game thorough a half-
dozen times or so that should greatly increase your chances of survival.

Rule #1) Walk, don't run.

Okay, I know Silent Hill is a big town for one guy to cover on foot.
Consequently, we tend to run through most of it (my average running stats at
the
end of each game are something like 15 kilometers - no wonder Harry's always
out
of breath.). Most of the advice I've seen for surviving out in the open is "Run
like hell". This is probably not bad advice, but that seems to take all the fun
out of the game for me. I'm one of those guys who hates the "speed run-through"
approach to gaming. I like to take my time, explore the environment, and most
importantly, KILL EVERY MONSTER THAT DARES TO CROSS MY PATH!

Running saves time getting across town, but often you end up running into a
pack
of monsters in the process. When you hear that radio start to hum, slow down
and
ease forward. Often you can spot the monster or pack of monsters before they
spot you, and then decide whether to go around or fight through them. This is
least effective with air screamers (winged monsters) who tend to appear out of
nowhere, but sometimes you can sneak up on them when they're perched and take
them out without too much trouble.

Rule#2) Flashlight = Monster magnet - observe blackout conditions whenever
possible.

One of the coolest things about this game is the flashlight, and the lighting
effects the game uses in darkened areas. Most players, including myself, run
through all the dark parts of the game with the light always on the first few
tries. While this helps you see better, it also draws every monster in the
vicinity to you like bugs to the porch light. I've learned the hard way that
knowing when and how to use the light makes a BIG difference in the game
strategy, and can greatly increase your chances of survival.

Turning off the light makes it more difficult to navigate outdoors in the dark,
but you should be able to see enough detail to make your way along. You can
always stop and turn it on long enough to look at the map (so long as your
radio's quiet).  Use your radio to locate enemies in the dark, as the sound
will
change in pitch and volume the closer you get. You can see better in the dark
than most of the monsters (if you can't, adjust your screen brightness in the
options menu to a level you're comfortable with), and if you can see them
first,
you can get the drop on them. Get close enough to be sure your shot will hit,
then turn on the light and open fire. Once they're dropped, turn it off and
move
away from that spot before an air screamer can lock onto you.

In buildings like the school or hospital, it's best to turn the light off every
time, just before you open the door to a new room. This is most helpful in a
room full of demon kids. They usually won't spot you unless you're close to
them. Sometimes they'll come very close to you, even right towards you, but
don't panic! Unless they make that little moaning noise first, they haven't
spotted you yet. They tend to move around the rooms in patterns, so wait until
they're spread out and then pounce on the closest one. The others might hear
you
and come looking for you, but half the time they'll wander past you in the
dark.
It also helps to get one of the desks between you and them, so you can smack
them over the head with a pipe or katana without them lunging at you.

Giant Cockroaches are more of a nuisance than anything. They don't do too much
damage, and they don't move around, so they're easy to sneak up on and smash in
the dark. The hardest part is spotting them. I usually use the first person
view
(which you get after playing the game through once, in the secret options
screen
- press L1,L2,R1,andR2 at once while in the normal options screen for the
secret
screen). As you walk down a dark hall in first person view, Harry will look
straight ahead until he gets close to a roach. Then the view will shift
downward
toward the floor, enabling you to spot the roaches.

(one side note about the secret options screen - There is a "bullet adjust"
feature that allows you to increase the ammount of ammo you get with each box.
This factor increases with every game you play, but you have to go into the
secret options screen to enable it. You should never have to worry about
running
out of ammo in the game with this feature. Running out of first aid, however,
is
another story)

Doctors and nurses are easier to kill than the zombie kids, especially in the
dark. They don't move around much, are easier to hit, and there are usually
fewer of them per room. Often their backs will be to you, and they won't turn
around unless you turn the light on, so give them a nice sledgehammer to the
back of the skull.

The one place I usually leave the light on the whole time is in the sewer,
because I use the first-person view mode (L2) to look ahead and see where the
monsters are hanging from the ceiling so I can shoot 'em. I'm not sure how well
they can see in the dark, and since the radio won't work down there, I like to
have as much advance warning as I can. Also, the sewers have less ambient light
than any other part of the game, so it's almost impossible to manuever down
there without the light on.

With the light off you CAN:
--still see the enemy
--fight accurately with melee weapons
--open unlocked doors, or tell that doors are locked or jammed.
--Shoot and hit a target if you are very close, or at medium distances with a
shotgun.
--still see the location of power ups

You CAN'T:
--take power-ups or items.
--Unlock doors or use keys on doors.
--Look at the map


1.4: KNOW YOUR ENEMY - The monsters, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

Some monsters are tougher than others, harder to hit, etc. Here's a quick
rundown.

1)Winged monsters (air screamers) - the first ones you encounter in the game.
They are a huge pain in the butt because they seem to come out of nowhere and
one big shortcoming of the game engine is that Harry can't look UP. He can aim
up, if his weapon is pointing in the direction of the target, but he can't look
up very high to see what direction they're coming from. They have two attacks,
the claw and the beak (beak is the worst), and they can locate you fairly well
in the dark by sound if you make a lot of noisy gunfire. There are a couple of
strategies that  work against them. If you have a good target lock on them and
keep pumping rounds into them, they can't attack you, even if they're right on
top of you. If you hear one swooping down on you, run in circles or figure-
eights until he shoots past (he almost always misses if you're moving in
circles), then you can track him once he's gone past and shoot him when he
comes
in on his next strafing run. Also, if there are any recessed doorways or
awning-
covered businesses close by, try to take cover in one of them. That way he can
only attack you from one direction.  You'll generally run into these things one
at a time, but occasionally they will come and attack in packs of 3-6. This
usually happens at certain locations, mainly on the way to the drawbridge or
amusement park, but also at other locations - usually at the "ends" of the
streets, where the chasms are. This is probably a good time to run like hell,
but, stubborn me, I like to stand my ground and take them on. The best thing to
do is to keep moving and firing, standing still as little as possible. Be
prepared to go through a couple of health drinks, though. Don't even think
about
trying to use hand weapons against these things.

2)Dogs - Not as tough as the winged monsters, but they tend to roam in packs of
2-3. They are fairly easy to sneak up on in the dark or fog, but once they spot
you, you'd better be ready to shoot. The best time to fire is when they're in
mid-leap, or when their side profile is exposed. If they're on the ground and
facing you, the pistol tends to miss unless you're in very close.  You can use
hand weapons, but you will take a lot of damage at first until you learn to
time
their attack. I have killed them with the katana, but it's hard to time the
attack just right. Too soon, and you'll miss them, too late and they'll already
be in your face and biting. Ideally, you want to smack them in mid air. Best
stick to firearms unless you're feeling cocky.

3)Demon children - I hate these guys. They are small, hard to hit, tough, and
usually hunt you in packs. Plus they are creepy as hell. I'm always more than a
little afraid of these punks, and with good reason. I've already discussed my
tactics for fighting them in the dark, and most of the time they work quite
well. Sometimes they will spot you and gang up on you anyway. Don't let them.
If
you can get past them down the hall or to the other side of the classroom,
you'll have time to catch your breath and plan your next attack. Plus you might
lose them in the dark. The main idea is to not let them gang up on you. One of
these guys can do enough damage with the lunge attack where he grabs your legs.
If the others start stabbing you as well, you're toast. Try to use the fast-tap
attack with hand weapons and hit them just before they get into lunging range,
otherwise they will lunge in under your swing and grab you with that evil
little
laugh of theirs.

4)The big lizard in the basement - this was the toughest boss for me at first,
because he can kill you in one bite. Don't let him back you up against the
wall,
or you're gone. The best tactic I've found is to stand in the middle of the
room, close the little iron fence around the flame. He will come around that
and
try to charge you. Don't let his head get past your body or he'll bite you as
you try to back up. Keep your body positioned in front of his snout. He'll try
to back you up to the wall, but stand your ground, even if he nudges you. As
soon as his mouth starts to open, start backing up and shooting. Always stay
close to the center of the room, so you have plenty of room to back up.

5)Nurses and Doctors - I've never found these guys too much of a challenge.
They're slow on the attack and fairly easy to kill. They're usually alone, or
far enough apart that they can't attack you together. Occasionally, they will
attack you in pairs, and one will grab you while the other one stabs. That can
be bad news, but they're so slow they're fairly easy to get away from. Always
use a hand weapon on these guys and save your ammo.

6)Simians - those ape men that jump you on the street. Their attack pattern is
similar to dogs, and they can also be hard to hit, even with a gun. Again, you
can try to use a hand weapon, but I wouldn't recommend it if there are more
than
one of them. The good thing is that once they're on the ground, they take a
little time to get up, so you can finish them off quickly.

7)Sewer dwellers - these are the ceiling hangers,  and the teddy bears with
Freddy Krueger claws. If they're on the ground, the hand weapons are fairly
effective. The Teddy bears will lunge like the demon children do, and they have
a longer reach and do more damage. They can be killed fairly easily one at a
time, but if two of them gang up on you it's a real pain to get them off of
you.
Remember, "Use a gun, if more than one" (preferably a shotgun).

8)Specters - near-invisible demon children. I HATE these guys. You can beat
them
with a katana or hammer, but it's hard to judge the distance since you can
barely see them, and be ready to down at least a few health drinks to keep from
dying. Best bet is the shotgun. It can hit things, even in the dark,  and
hopefully hit more than one of them at once. Thankfully, you only run into them
in a few rooms toward the end of the game. Good thing the school isn't full of
them!

9)Giant worm/moth. - In the worm stage, it's easy to avoid taking damage. Just
stand in place, don't run around trying to dodge it. It'll usually come up
behind you, so as soon as you hear it, dart forward so its poison spit misses
you. Then turn around and blast away at it as it burrows into the ground.

The moth is a little tougher. He takes a lot more hits, and will both shoot
poison at you and hit you with his stinger. The best bet is to run up to the
part of the roof where the water tower is, then walk backward around the tower
as you fire at him. This is kinda hard to do, but the main thing is to not
stand
still or too close, so he can't sting you too often. Use the shotgun on this
guy
(or hyperblaster if you've got it, since you can't use the rifle and walk
backward at the same time.

10)Alessa/Samael - Hmmm. This final boss isn't too tough to kill, but the
lightning attack does a lot of damage. The most common tactic I've heard is to
run around in a circle to dodge the lightning. This hasn't worked very well for
me, so I just keep healing after each hit and shooting. If you've played well,
you should have at least half a dozen first aid kits left by the end of the
game, which should be more than enough to finish it off. You can't get too
close
to Alessa since there's a barrier there, but she's easier to hit since she's on
the ground. Samael has no barrier, so you can get right under him. Supposedly,
if you do, his lightning can't hit you, but I haven't tried that yet. Best
advice is make sure you have plenty of ammo for the big guns and at least those
five or six medkits by the time you reach the final battle.

Supposedly if you're out of ammo, the game will automatically let you win in
the
final showdown. I don't know if this works on hard mode, though, or if you have
a hyperblaster.

Note that with most of the monster types, some seem to be tougher than others.
Sometimes the average flying monster or zombie kid will go down with 1-2 hits,
and other times, the thing will take 6-7 hits or more and keep coming. I think
part of it depends on how solid of a hit you get with your weapon, but other
times they are definitely tougher than their counterparts.


1.5: THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB -What weapons to use and how to get them.

The game gives you plenty of weapons, but knowing when to use which ones makes
a
big difference between living and dying. Here's a quick breakdown.

FIREARMS:

1)Pistol - most commonly used, but also the least accurate. Sometimes it misses
even at close range with a non-moving target! This generally gives you poor
shooting statistics at the end of the game (I think my highest so far has been
0.40% accuracy). The good thing is you can move while you shoot. It can hit
targets in the dark at point-blank range as well. Most effective against:
flying
monsters, dogs, simians, doctors/nurses. Least effective against zombie kids
and
sewer dwellers. Given to you by Cybil in the diner.

2)Shotgun - decent weapon that's effective against all monsters, although some
take more hits than others. It's about the only weapon that can hit anything in
the dark at medium range, and it also lets you move while you shoot. It's found
in the girl's downstairs bathroom in the alternate school.

3)Rifle - It won't let you move and shoot at the same time, but it packs a
decent punch. This weapon is best used for picking off the ceiling-hangers in
the sewer levels, or for the final bosses. This is found in the pit where you
face the big worm.

4)Hyperblaster - The best firearm in the game. The shots are not as powerful as
a rifle or shotgun blast, but it has a higher rate of fire and unlimited ammo.
The laser sight makes it deadly accurate, and it rarely misses (unless in the
dark). The only bummer is, none of your hyperblaster shots count towards your
final shooting stats, so if you use it the whole game, you'll get 0.0 across
the
board. I guess that's a small price to pay for unlimited firepower, though.

This weapon is tricky to get. You can probably find out how to get it in any
walkthrough, but I'll give a quick rundown of the steps here.

You'll have to finish the game once to get the channeling stone (or use a
gameshark to put the channeling stone into your inventory). I suggest you get
the bad+ ending on purpose so that you can hopefully get the katana too. On
your
second run through, you'll find a "channeling stone" in the convenience store.
If you use this at the following locations, you'll get the UFO ending, where
Harry is abducted by aliens (as if this friggin' town isn't weird enough). You
will get a next fear game with the hyperblaster already in your inventory. Use
the channeling stone here:

1) On the rooftop of the alternate school
2) In the courtyard where the hospital front door is, just before you fight the
giant moth in alternate Silent Hill.
3) In the parking lot of Norman's motel, in the resort area.
4) In the control room of the boat, on the way to the lighthouse
5) on top of the lighthouse, after Alessa vanishes.

There are cheat codes to get a ten star ending, which will give you a souped-up
hyperblaster with a green beam (as opposed to the usual red). This weapon is
extremely powerful and almost makes the game too easy. The codes are supplied
by
a guy named FloydFan who has posted the link to them on the Game Shark Code
Creators Club bulletin board. Here's the link, though, in case the post is
gone:
http://community-2.webtv.net/BatStrat/GSCODES/


HAND WEAPONS:

When using hand weapons, it's important to remember that there are two attack
modes. A fast double tap of the X button makes the weapon swing from side to
side with two strokes. Holding down the X button makes Harry swing the weapon
in
an overhand attack. This is more powerful than the fast attack, but also takes
more time. However, this is the only move that will work on a creature who is
on
the ground injured, or who is lunging to grab your legs. Learn to time your
attack with the monster's approach and choose the appropriate attack mode.
Also,
you can hit more than one monster with one blow, if they are close together.

1) Knife - Don't even bother. You're better off just running like hell.

2) Hand Axe - see #1, ha ha. This is more powerful than the knife, but still
pretty useless. I hit a demon kid with this thing several times in hard mode
and
he wouldn't even fall down, much less die. The only good thing about these
weapons is that you can walk while using them, but they still suck. Don't even
bother, but if you want to try it, it's in the antique shop in Central silent
hill.

3) Steel pipe - A decent, if unglamorous, weapon. It's a little slow, but packs
a fair punch. Not my first choice, but it'll do in a pinch. You can't move and
use it at the same time, so be ready to stand your ground. Found in the alley
when you look for Cheryl.

4)Sledge hammer - probably the best of the conventional hand weapons. It packs
a
good punch, and best of all, when you knock a monster down with it they tend to
twitch and go into some kind of seizure before they die, which is kind of fun
to
watch. I usually like to have Harry kick them in the head or between the legs
for good measure. Man that looks like it would hurt! This weapon found in the
generator room in the hospital basement.

Special Hand Weapons:

1) Chainsaw - found in the cut-rite chainsaw store in old Silent Hill. You need
to find gas in the gas station to use it first, and you won't get gasoline
until
you've played through at least once. Not a bad weapon, but it takes twice as
many hits to kill something as with the hammer or katana, and it's a bit too
slow, giving the enemy time to stab you between your slashes. If you have dual
shock, the controller shakes in your hand for as long as you have it turned on,
which is kind of cool except that you can't tell how much damage you're taking
from the vibration warnings.

2) Rock drill - found in the storage room beneath the drawbridge control tower.
Also needs the gasoline. This weapon is basically good for letting enemies run
straight into it as they charge you. I don't think it has a fast attack mode
and
it's also kind of slow, so I generally wouldn't recommend it, especially
against
more than one enemy.

3) Katana- Oh, how I love this weapon! I played the game various times trying
to
get it, and finally broke down and used a game shark. It's the most difficult
weapon to get in the game, and several people claim to have gotten it with
different endings, difficulty modes, and rankings. However, most people seem to
have gotten it with the bad+ ending (where you save Cybil, but do not save
Kaufman - If you want a better explanation, look below or read a full
walkthrough), and that was the only ending I ever got it on (in hard mode)
without using a game shark.

The room where you get it is in the house on Levin street, with the locked door
inside. If you see the katana on your prize screen, that door will be unlocked
on your next game. I thought it would just be a closet you find it in, but the
room it's in is actually kinda cool. It's small, but it looks like a little
dojo
with Japanese-looking architecture and art on the walls. In the far corner is a
small bench, and a stand with two swords on it. The katana is the big one, and
the only one you can take. If you get to this room, give yourself a big pat on
the back. This weapon was my holy grail in this game for a long time, since I'm
a big fan of games like "Tenchu: Stealth Assasins," "Soul of the Samurai" and
any other game involving Japanese swordplay.

Using the katana is a bit tricky at first, but it's very fast,
graceful-looking,
and pretty deadly. When you hold the aim button, Harry will hold the weapon at
his left side. Fast attack mode, he'll double-slash the enemy with a diagonal
upward slash, followed by a downward slash. This can be repeated a couple of
times until the bastard falls down and is so fast that they usually can't stab
you in return. The second attack mode will make Harry raise the sword high over
his head and slash downward. This weapon is pretty effective against the demon
kids, but you have to be careful and not let them gang up on you. It seems to
work best if you can sneak up on them from behind and get them with an overhead
blow. That will sometimes kill them with one shot, even on hard mode. If you
have two or more coming at you, use the fast slash on the first one. As soon as
he falls down, release the target button and then hold it down again. This will
lock you onto the next one in line. If you forget to release the target button,
Harry will still attack the one laying unconscious on the ground, giving the
other one time to lunge and grab you. Make sure you attack the upright ones
only
at first, then go back later and finish them off when they're all down.

Also keep in mind that this weapon makes you lunge forward a bit when you use
it. Remember that, when judging the distance between Harry and the target. If
you get solid hits, you can even lunge forward between swings and strike down 2
or 3 monsters in a row. This weapon is best used in one on one situations and
on
monsters that you encounter indoors. Nurses and doctors are especially easy
prey, and after you kill them, they just stand there for a moment before
falling
over dead, like in those old Kung-fu/Samurai movies. Pretty cool.

The Katana really makes the game a lot more fun and is the best hand weapon in
the game hands-down, although the sledge hammer is a close second.


1.6: THIS IS THE END, MY FRIEND . . . or is it?

There are five endings to Silent Hill, each with it's own cinematic sequence
and
reward given afterward. I won't go into detail on the cinematic sequences,
since
I don't want to spoil it for the new people. However, I will list the endings
and what you need to do to get them. Briefly, they are:

Bad:
-Do not go into Annie's bar in the resort area and save Kaufmann
-Do not save Cybil at the merry go round with the red liquid you found at the
hospital
Reward: Not sure, Possibly a channeling stone or a gas can for the chainsaw or
rock drill, depending on your stats.

Bad+
-Do not go into the bar and save Kaufman
-Do save Cybil at the merry go round by using the red liquid on her.
Reward: The katana, and possibly any or all of the previously mentioned items
as
well.

Good
-Save kaufman and find the red liquid hidden in the motorcycle at the motel
-Do not save Cybil at the merry go round with the other red liquid from the
hospital
Reward: Probably a channeling stone and gas for the gas-powered weapons

Good+
-Basically, save both Kaufmann and Cybil, and find the red liquid in the
motorcycle
Reward: Channeling stone and gasoline for weapons.

UFO: This quirky little ending only lets you get about two-thirds of the way
thorugh the game before making you start over. However, once you get to your
next game, you will have the hyperblaster, guaranteed. Note that this is the
only way to get a working hyperblaster. If you try to use a gameshark cheat to
put one into your inventory, There will be a gun in Harry's hand, but he won't
be able to aim or fire it. Kinda sucks, huh? Thank the programmers at KCET for
that one.

There is also an insidious rumour flying around the net about a sixth ending
where, after driving an ambulance and a boat around parts of the game, you get
to a different ending where you find Cheryl and live happily ever after. This
is
most likely a prank, however there are certain things in the game which lend a
small ammount of  believability to this story. As far as I and others have been
able to determine, this ending does not exist on the commercial version of the
game, but only on an advanced beta copy released in CD-R form before the final
version was released. However, I have spoken to a couple of people who have
that
version and have still not yet been able to find it. At this point, the jury is
still out, but it most likely does not exist. If anyone actually proves
otherwise, drop me a line at y2mckay@hotmail.com because I want a copy of it!


1.7 : "HMMM, DIDN'T NOTICE THAT BEFORE . . . Interesting discoveries made about
town.

Silent Hill is a game that is extremely rich in atmosphere and pays a lot of
attention to detail. From the businesses and street signs, to residential
streets and alleys full of trash cans, it looks and feels like a real town.

Most people will recognize right away that there are many tributes to horror
writers, movies, and stories incorporated throughout the game. For instance,
almost all the streets are named after horror or sci-fi writers. The owner of
the motel in the resort area is named "Norman", after Norman Bates of "Psycho"
fame. And the school is appropriately named "Midwich Elementary", Midwich being
the name of the town from the "Village of the Damned" movies. Also the game
seems to borrow heavily from the atmoshpere of two Stephen King stories in
particular: "The Mist", a short story about a town being enveloped by, you
guessed it, a mist that is swarming with weird monsters. And, the feeling of
snowbound isolation found in "The Shining" is re-created extremely well in this
game.

However, there are many little "discoveries" that I and other players have made
that the casual observer might not notice. Some of these are funny, while
others
are just puzzling or downright creepy. I decided to include a list of them
here.
Some of these were first pointed out from other players on the message board at
http://silenthill.evil-online.com  (Props to you all), which is probably the
most active Silent Hill board I've seen by far. Several others were ones I
found
on my own, after deciding to make an exhaustive search of the game's
environments and look at EVERYTHING along the way. So here it is, and if you
have any you'd like to add, mail me or post it to the board. Keep in mind that
many of these will be impossible to spot unless you use the first-person view
(which you have to finish the game at least once to get), and get up close to
look at them.

OLD SILENT HILL:

1)In the diner, there are posters next to the pinball machine that say "Study
Dammit" with some hippie-looking guy pictured on them. He reminds me of Charles
Manson, which may have been intentional.

2)If you look closely at the newspaper vending machines about town, the
headlines say "Bill Skins Fifth". I think this is a reference to Buffalo Bill
from "Silence of the Lambs", and that the same headline appears in the film.

3)One of the many quaint little businesses in Silent Hill is named "The Horned
Moon Dance". Sounds like some kind of new-age pagan hang out to me. Or maybe
one
of those "adult botique" shops.

4)Another business is simply named "Crabs". On the wall next to Crabs are
posters for the movie "Pet Semetary".

5)There are a couple of businesses in town that cater to the hispanic
population, one of them being "Virginia's Bodas: Servicio Completo de Bodas"
(Complete wedding services). I thought this was very cool because it made the
town feel that much more real to me, since in most American towns you will see
a
few businesses with spanish names that represent the Latino population. It's
little touches like these that make the town feel like a real place, much more
so than in any other game.

6)Just north and west of the gas station, across the street from it, is a
business called "JIM BEAM". The logo for the business is the label from the Jim
Beam bottle. Too bad Harry can't go inside for a quick snort. Also, the gas
station itself is called "Hell" instead of "Shell", and the logo is a snail's
shell. Pretty funny.

7)On the garage door just east of Jim Beam, the word REDRUM is written in blood
(From "The Shining," MURDER spelled backwards, of course).

8)There are posters for what appear to be various bands scattered about town,
such as PORTISHEAD, THE BIG BEAT, ULTRA, HYPE, etc. (Portishead is the only one
I've heard of).

Update: Found by NINfreak. The Big Beat is a music magazine, where you can find
this magazine, however, I am not sure.

9) contributed by "MSH":

"Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact location (but I'm reasonably
sure it's near the church, or at least in the section of Silent Hill after
the first boss) . . ."

Actually, it's on the Southeast corner of Finney and Bachman in the beginning
of the game.

". . . but there's a business labelled "Metropol". The sign is
the exact same sign (font and all) as the Metropol theatre sign from the
film "Demons". (a famous Italian cult-classic about a theatre that
becomes possessed with demons and traps all the audience within) Just
another little tidbit of info in this elaborately detailed game"

Also, one thing I noticed when I went to take a closer look, there are posters
all over the walls outside Metropol with a really demonic-looking woman's face
on them. According to a reader review of the film on IMDB, a woman in the movie
puts on a demon mask in the theater and becomes a real demon

MIDWICH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:

1)There are some posters about that say "Dog Kill (third word unreadable)". The
picture of the dog below, however, looks more like a teddy bear, possibly the
same ones that attack you in the sewer later on.

2)There is a poster that asks "Who are you?" in some of the classrooms. It's
kind of creepy, for some reason.

3)There is a picture of a kid holding something over his head (or maybe hanging
from a tree branch). His eyes are blacked out. Also creepy.

4)There are some pictures that are very hard to make out, but they look like
someone either carrying a cross, or being raised up on one.

5)In the alternate school, there are several blue posters on the walls that say
"NOTICE: HELL IS COMING". (one player on the message board saw one that said
something like "NOTICE: . . . AND HELL CAME AFTER", but I haven't spotted it
yet.)

6)There are green posters throughout the game with faint writing that looks
like
"THE MARTIANS HAVE LANDED". Possibly a tribute to HG Wells' "War of the Worlds"

7)In the Library reserve, there is a poster that says "A WOMAN CAME DOWN FROM
THE PLANET VULCAN". Some people have thought it said "Klingons" instead of "A
Woman". It is badly pixelized and hard to read. It looks like it says "Woman"
to
me, though, since there is also a woman's face below the text.

8) This was brought to my attention by Darkmage, CRS and others:

When you go into the stall in the girl's bathroom in the alternate elementary
school, the one where you find the body and the shotgun, look at the writing in
blood on the wall to the right. It says "Leonard Rhines The Monster Lurks".
This triggers an event in the game where when you go to the library reserve
later in that level, you will find a book by that title which talks about young
girls generating poltergiest activity. This is a reference to Dean Koontz's
"Phantoms", in which the main characters discover a message left behind in an
abandoned town that says "Timothy Flyte the Ancient Enemy". This turns out to
be the name of an author and book as well. Whether Leonard Rhines is a real
person, or yet another literary reference in and of itself, is not yet known.

9) Contributed by NINfreak. In several rooms, there are numbers scattered
around the walls. 9109 is just one of the many combinations, the letter A also
seems to have the #9 superimposed in it at times.…what could it mean?

10) Contributed by “Pierce”. In one of the rooms, there is a picture of a demon
with the word “mom” above it. This may be because Alessa thinks of her mother
as a demon.

CENTRAL SILENT HILL:

1)There is a theater marquee that is hard to read because it's high up and
there
are trees in the way, but it seems to say "SHOOT" on the east side of the
marquee (appropriate title for this game). In the center panel of the marquee
it
seems to say "EZEKIEL", possibly the theater's name?.

2)In the police station, there is a poster that says "DRUGS" and shows a man's
face that is half normal and half-skull. Kind of creepy looking, and
reminiscent
of the final scene in "Psycho" when a skull is superimposed over Norman Bate's
face.

3)Across from the antique shop there are movie posters on the wall for
"CARRIE",
another Stephen King reference.

4)Also across the street from the antique shop is a place called "MUSHNIK'S
FLORIST". If you look in the window, there is a little sign that says "Look on
the PHANTASTIC new plant Audrey Junior". At first I thought this was a cryptic
reference to the "White Claudia" drug that you see mentioned throughout the
game. However, Daisy Sunshine from the silenthill.evil-online board pointed out
that this is a reference to the film/play "The Little Shop of Horrors", which I
had never seen before. "Audrey Junior" is apparently the name of the giant
venus
flytrap in the play.

5)This is kind of easy to spot, but I just thought I'd mention it. In the
hidden
room of the antique shop where you find the altar, the words "NO GOD" are
scrawed across the wall.

6) Also easy to spot, but there is a KONAMI BURGER joint just west of the
hospital

ALCHEMILIA HOSPITAL:

1)One of the posters seen throughout the hospital looks like a breast cancer
self-exam poster. There seems to be a woman with an exposed left breast, her
hand covering her right one.

2)The poster of the nurse has text that is very hard to read. I can't make out
the middle word at all, but the first and third words seems to say "Last," and
then "Life" or "Live" or maybe "Alive". This may be a cryptic message referring
to Lisa, who is a nurse and the last one left alive in the hospital. Or maybe
I'm just reading waaaay to much into these things :)

update, found by NINfreak: I presume the text says, "Lust for life", the title
of an Iggy Pop song featured on the "Trainspotting" OST. The "outtakes" at the
end of the game give you the clue that the designers were fans of the film.

3)There is a calendar, with a picture of what looks like a little girl with
short dark hair. Possibly a reference to Cheryl/young Alessa

4)Sometimes when you fight with and kill the posessed doctors, they let out a
little grunting sound that reminds me of comedian Tim Allen from "Tool Time".
You know, that little "Uuuungh?" sound he makes. I just thought that was very
funny.

5)This was first pointed out by "EtherGhost":

"The (hospital) 4th floor was quite spooky, mostly because I thought: what? I
can't enter any of the 3 floors? ok, I'll go down to check out what I am
missing and suddenly there was 4th button. I thought: what is THIS doing here?
and it scared me a lot because I remembered that THERE IS NO 4TH FLOOR IN JAPAN
because 4 sounds like "dead" in Japanese and I thought: oh my God, something
really bad is going to happen after pushing this button."

I'd never heard of this Japanese superstition before so I did a little
searching on the web. Sure enough, I found the following:

"The number four: The number is pronounced "shi". The word for death is
pronounced the same. One should not give presents that consits of four pieces,
etc. In some hotels and hospitals the room or floor number four does not
exist."

Interesting that they would mention Hospitals.

RESORT AREA:

1)There is a place called SOUTH PARK on the map - the one town in America that
is possibly more bizarre than Silent Hill.

2)In Norman's Motel, there is a poster that looks like one of the old Farrah
Fawcett poster that used to grace every boy's wall back in the late seventies.

3)When you look at the newspaper on the table, take a close look at the
magazine
beneath it. It looks like a porno mag, and, if I'm not mistaken, there is a
nude
woman kneeling on the cover.

4) I originally thought that Kaufman’s motel room (#3) was the same one Janet
Leigh got stabbed in in the film "Psycho". However, I’ve since learned that it
was actually room #1 in the film. However, if you do look in the tub in
Kaufman’s room, it says "Nobody inside". It would have been cool to find a
trickle of blood in there  or something. Or maybe find a grey-haired wig on the
bathroom floor, like the one Norman wore when he was pretending to be mother.
(If you’ve never seen Psycho, my apologies. I recommend you rent the original,
although I guess I just gave away an important part of the plot).

NOWHERE:

1)Before you go through Alessa's room and into the final battle, there is a
ghostly scene you watch in the room just across the hall, where Dahlia
Gillespie, Kaufmann, and two others are standing around Alessa's hospital bed
and discussing their evil plans. What I find funny about this scene is that one
of the other characters sounds almost EXACTLY like the Doctor Mephisto
character
from "South Park". (If you don't watch Souh Park, my apologies since you'll
have
no clue what I'm talking about).

2)In Alessa's room, at the foot of her bed, there are two creepy looking dolls
that look like a cross between Alien greys (the kind that abduct you on the UFO
ending) and the little white hooded demon children from the school.

3) This was pointed out by a very keen "Doctor Fell":

"Yes, I did pick up on the 'Psycho' reference in the motel room in the resort
part of SH.
But...did anyone else notice another, perhaps more subtle, reference to the
same Hitchcock film, namely the ghostly scene Harry witnesses just after he
exits the child's room in Nowhere(just before he battles Samael in the end)?
When he closes the door behind him he finds himself in a second floor hallway,
a door on the left, another one before him on the right, stairs leading down to
Samael. Anyone who has seen 'Psycho' should recognize this hallway's uncanny
resemblance to the second story landing in Norman Bates's large house. It's the
scene in which the insurance investigator slowly walks up the stairs, only to
be slashed by Norman's 'mother'. SH got this hallway eerily spot on, even the
downward camera angle."

4) Contributed by “1 Lost Silent Hill Tourist”. In the room that is identical
to a classroom in the school, a picture on the wall looks similar to the
raising of a cross (crucifixion?) –note-NINfreak-this is also seen in the
Midwich school rooms.

That's all I've seen so far. One of the many things I love about this game is
that I seem to spot something new every time I play it. I'm probably going to
have to take a hiatus from Silent Hill once I finish my current game, but if I
find any more I'll be sure to add them.

1.8: "STOP ME BEFORE I PLAY AGAIN" -- Why this game makes us afraid.

I've always enjoyed horror movies and novels. My only problem is that although
I
enjoyed them, very few of them really scared me at a gut-level. Some of my
early
favorites were John Carpenter's "the Fog", "The Shining" (both book and film),
and "The Changeling" with George C. Scott.

I was also a big fan of the Zombie movies, primarily George Romero's "Night of
the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead". I had never even considered buying a
playstation until I saw somebody playing "Resident Evil 2". I  then went out
and
bought the PSX and the game and played it for weeks. I've also played the
prequel and the sequel, and can safely say that no game has captured the spirit
of Romero's films as well as the "Resident Evil" series.

But as much as I loved those films and games, none of them ever really SCARED
me. Oh sure, there are a few tense moments in the movies when you cringe,
wondering if the zombies are going to grab someone. And in the games, there are
a few parts where zombies or boss monsters jump out of nowhere to say "Boo".
But none of them have ever made me afraid to watch or play them alone in a dark
house, or look over my shoulder for Zombies.

Then I decided to rent Silent Hill one day, knowing nothing about it in advance
except what I had read on the box. I was immediately sucked into the game's
atmosphere, and impressed by how realistic, and even normal, the town of Silent
Hill looked (except for monsters, chasms where streets should be, and complete
abandonment of human life, of course). My one problem with the game my first
play through was the plot. It made little- to-no sense to me, and the ambiguous
ending (I think I got "bad" on my first try), left me puzzled and frustrated.
Although I've played the game a number of times since then, and the story has
become more comprehensible to me, it is still fairly ambiguous - but I have
grown comfortable with the ambiguity. It is that ambiguity, like the atmosphere
itself, that makes the game so intriguing. One is always left wondering is this
real or illusion? Is Harry in a coma and imagining it all? Did he somehow get a
dose of White Claudia and is now hallucinating everything?

The only movie in recent memory that had the ability to scare me was "The Blair
Witch Project". That film works on several of the same levels as Silent Hill.
Like the town of Silent Hill, the woods outside of Burkitsville (formerly
Blair)
present a dark, eerie setting, and a past full of mysterious legends. There is
also an ambiguity about the plot, and its resolution, that still creates
controversy today. What happened to the three students? Were they killed? Was
it
a big prank on their part? Was there really a witch that got them? Rustin
Parr's
ghost? Rednecks? WHAT? This isn't the kind of movie that necessarily scares you
while you're in the theater. It scares you after you've left the theater and
your friends have gone home and you're laying in bed at three in the morning
looking up at the ceiling and thinking about those ghostly kids' voices outside
the tent, and wondering "What would I do if I heard something like that?" and
the next thing you know your imagination is running wild and you're hearing
sounds that aren't really there from somewhere in the house.

THAT'S the kind of scared I'm talking about, and the kind of fear that Silent
Hill evokes. I can't tell you how many times I've had dreams of walking down
dark corridors and seeing faceless, hooded creatures with knives moving toward
me out of the darkness. It's an instinctive, pulse-pounding fear, and it's
addicting. And it's more visceral than what you get from a movie, because
you're
in it, and whether the character lives or dies depends on your actions.

The reason the game is so effective at creating that fear is that the creators
know how to effectively build tension. Harry wakes up in a town that is
virtually abandoned, except for the few other characters he occasionally meets.
It's quiet, foggy, and cloaked in mystery. As he moves about the town, he has a
radio that hums white noise when a creature is close. This is useful tool in
the
game, but more importantly, it is a plot device used to heighten the tension,
because when you come around a corner in the street, or you step into a dark
classroom, and you hear that sound, your adrenaline level and heart rate go up.
It's reminiscent of the film "Aliens" , when the marines' motion detectors
would
go off and the little dots on the screen got closer. Those were the most tense
moments of the film, and that kind of tension is recreated here.

The game also uses lighting and darkness masterfully to enhance the tension.
Even in the daytime, Silent hill is a mist-enshrouded, creepy-ass place. But
when it gets dark, and the only light is coming from your little pocket
flashlight, things start to get really interesting. Then the surroundings start
changing, until all that you see is darkness and blood-flecked, rusted metal.
Just when you think you can't stand this opressive darkness for much longer,
the
game throws you back into that misty daylight again. Not that it's really any
safer than the dark areas of the game, but if feels a bit safer somehow, and
you
almost breathe a sigh of relief. Well, enjoy it while you can, because it's
going to get darker soon, and by the end of the game there is no light left but
your own.

This is a nightmare world, under the thin veneer of an average american resort
town. Yet it's one the player will feel drawn to again and again. It is a fear
that you learn to face, but never quite conquer completely. Even though I've
played this game half a dozen times, I always feel creeped out every time I
step
into that elementary school or the sewers. I don't imagine that fear will ever
completely go away, nor do I want it to. If it does, I know I'll never want to
play the game again afterward.

1.9: SILENT HILL 2 - The wish list.

Good news, there is going to be a sequel this year. At least, that's the rumor
going around. And since it will most likely be for the PS 2, the graphics and
lighting effects should help enhance the atmosphere even more. So far, I
haven't
heard any details about the story, setting, or characters. I can only hope that
they will bring Harry and Cybil back, and maybe even Lisa.

Update: The sequel will be released in 2001, the characters will be different,
although, the setting will be the same. Here is a brief description of what's
to come.

Konami has revealed first details and screens of Silent Hill 2 for the Sony
PlayStation 2. The characters and plot will not be related to the first game,
but the sequel is set in Silent Hill. The story begins when James Sanderland
receives a letter from his wife, who passed away three years ago. The letter
mentions that she wanted him to meet her at Silent Hill, the resort he had
promised to take her to. After arriving at the resort, he meets a female
character named Maria. Although Maria has a different hairstyle and mannerisms,
she closely resembles Sanderland's dead wife.
Info. taken from ZDnet.

If Harry and Cybil do return, I would like to see that game use a plot device
similar to Resident Evil 2. In that game, you could play as either Claire or
Leon, and each character would occasionally run into the other. That gave the
game high replay value, with at least four different intertwined stories as
each
character went through a different story with different objectives. I would
like
to see the same kind of thing done with Harry and Cybil's characters. It would
also make it interesting for each of them to have a different array of
weaponry.

I would also like to see more of the Town of Silent Hill and learn more of it's
history. Granted, going back to original buildings and streets would just be a
rehash. But it would be intersting to see new parts of the town and its
outskirts as the heroes try to make their way out of the alternate reality the
town is stuck in and back into the real world. Some of the settings I would
like
to see along the way are:

1)An abandoned Drive-In theater - Every small town seems to have one (assuming
it hasn't been torn down for a new Walmart, that is). In case you haven't
noticed by looking around my website, I'm a big fan of the drive-in. It would
be
great for Harry to find one full of abandoned cars, with dogs and monkey men
stalking him in the dark, not to mention getting jumped by demon children at
the
playground beneath the screen. And as cool as the scene in the Silent Hill mall
with all the TV screens was, imagine how much cooler it would look on a big
drive-in screen (right before some big boss monster tore through it).

2)A kids' summer camp, by the lake - also usually found outside of small towns.
So many horror movies have taken place at summer camps, it would be a fitting
tribute to put one in this game. Besides, what better place for the demon
children to play? I'd like to see Harry step onto a softball field, see some
demon kids coming toward him, raise his Katana, and say "batter up".

3)A factory or lumber mill - One aspect that would be cool to have in the game
is that of luring monsters into traps, rather than just having to shoot it out
or run away all the time. A setting like this would give Harry all kinds of
access to power tools and heavy equipment that he could use.

4)A cemetery and mausoleum - Can you imagine how creepy this would be in the
Silent Hill universe? I don't know if any of you have ever been to a place like
the Forest Lawn mortuary in Los Angeles, but a place like that would be damned
scary in the dark. A big, dark Mausoleum would add a nice "classic haunted
house" element to the game.

5)What would be really interesting is if the characters stumbled upon the ruins
of Ancient Silent Hill -- the town which first existed back in the 1700's or
1800's. One of Stephen King's most popular novels was "Salem's Lot". However,
he
also wrote several short stories about "Jerusalem's Lot", the pre-colonial town
that Salem's Lot was built over. The same kind of idea was used in "The Blair
Witch Project", with Burkittsville being built over the abandoned site of
Blair.
It would be fascinating to see that kind of element put into this game, and
give
the player a chance to learn more of the town's dark history.

I'm sure there are many other great locales that could be thought of as well.
Whatever the creators decide to include, I hope it will be at least as creepy,
but realistic, as it's predecessor.

As far as the Gameplay itself, I would like to see a few small improvements.

1)Give Harry the ability to look UP. The only thing that made the game feel
two-
dimensional at times was the fact that you could never see anything that was
more than a few feet higher than your head. This made it hard to see those
damned winged monsters, much less dodge them. A look-up feature would certainly
be nice.

2)A better variety of weapons would also be good. I'm not saying this should
turn into Quake 2, with chainguns and rocket launchers. But I would like to see
Harry get a better, pump-action shotgun, some kind of tri-burst assault rifle,
and maybe even dual pistols. Perhaps a compound bow as well. I'd love to shoot
arrows into those dogs or demon kids.

As far as hand weapons goes, I'd like to see Cybil get a PR-24 (that's the cop
baton with the handle sticking out of the side) that could be used for blocking
as well as attacking. Maybe a nice double-bladed woodsman's axe for Harry. And
of course, the Katana MUST remain in the game. I would also like to see a few
more attack modes added for this weapon. I'm not saying Harry should become a
Samurai warrior all of the sudden. But some kind of thrusting attack to run
your
opponent through with would be nice. And, when using edged weapons, it would be
really nice to have the three D's - DISMEMBERMENT, DISEMBOWELMENT, and best of
all, DECAPITATION. Not that the game has to turn into a total gore fest like
Resident Evil. But let's face it, the game is already pretty gory. Why not let
a
few heads and limbs roll now and then?

Well, that's all for now. I'm looking forward to the sequel, as I'm sure most
of
you are. I'd like to say thanks to Konami and KCET for giving us a great game.
Here's hoping the next one will be even better.

Brian Mckay
http://members.home.net/brianmckay

Copyright 2000


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