The horror of Silent Hill is the fact that the creatures are all in your head. This is the core of all the games: Silent Hill is a representation of the dark aspects of the protagonist’s mind. It is true that there are common enemies across the series (e.g. the Pyramid head) but at its very essence, Silent Hill is scary because you are inevitably fighting your own demons. It is psychology taken to the extreme; where “evil” is defined by what you’ve done.
The second game in the series is considered by many fans to be the epitome of inner horror. More of a remake than an actual sequel, Silent Hill 2 takes you further into the protagonist’s past than the first game. Producers of the game still give us the creepy factor, but there is something inherently unnerving as to how the game shifts depending on your actions. There are three different endings (and a bonus one if you complete all three in a single game file) based on key decisions you do throughout the game. Like with real life, the endings and subsequent clues are based on the past.
What is truly unnerving about this game though is that the alternate endings are not an assured thing. The game does not unlock a specific ending just on what you did, but how you did it. The game shifts to the protagonist’s state of mind. Thus, the ending is a mere representation of how you handled the situation.
I find the entire game incredibly sinister, but also somewhat cathartic. It can be taken as is, as one hell of a creepy game, or as something deeper than that. It makes you question your own life and how you ultimately create the life you lead. The game emphasizes little, seemingly inconsequential actions, as having profound effects in the future.
Diana Wylde loves computer games in all its various forms, regardless of platform, age, or genre. There is always something to be learned from these games, and I like to write about them and post them on Twitter On days I need a break from my games, I daydream of the charming cities of Goleta, Santa Maria, and Solvang, in Santa Barbara, CA.