The 'real' ending of this game explained! (SPOILERS!)

#1dudupupuPosted 10/8/2008 8:35:18 PM
i just posted this in another thread, but i figured it deserved its own place seeing as how it's one of the biggest qualms people have with this game.

first of all, to achieve this hidden ending, you have to find all the photos scattered throughout the game by the time you reach the game's conclusion. (NOTE: please don't follow the sticky guide as you'll undoubtedly miss the 11th photo by the missing persons flyer).

Following the credits, a scene will play in which Alex follows a trail of water up the stairs of his home to his brother's bedroom. Upon reaching the bedside, Alex finds Joshua sitting on his bed holding a camera, a puddle of water beneath him.

This ending represents self-contentedness for Alex.

In the tragic accident, Alex's childish actions caused his brother to drown, incidentally pushing his family life into the depths of hell. His mom became a vegetable, constantly grieving for her lost son, and his father's name was ruined by all those in the town of Shepherd's Glen.

Alex, for the entire duration of the game, struggles to realize his sin, traversing to the depths of hell itself to find answers that constantly evade him.

To me, the ghost (for lack of a better term) of Joshua came back to give peace of mind to Alex. This interpretation is akin to something like that found in Jacob's Ladder, when Jacob's son comes down the staircase to greet him and give him solace. Whether the figure of Josh is truly there or not (isn't this the case for all things in Silent Hill?) is irrelevant--Alex can use this instance to reward himself with self-forgiveness and peace of mind.

The staircase (thanks to my sister for pointing this out) is a HEAVY METAPHOR and represents the ascension to truth (also depicted in this way in Jacob's Ladder).

The whole adventure can be seen as an arduous climb up the purgatorial ladder to realization of truth and forgiveness. Joshua being at the top of the ladder asking Alex to smile is the end to this mean, and the literal intent behind this request is for Joshua's living brother to be happy once again and give up his demons.

The photos represent Joshua's scattered attempts to give Alex cognizance on the hell unfolding before him; if you notice, each picture carries with it very important implications for the surreal events taking place in SG/SH.

In conclusion, this ending is the true ending of Silent Hill: Homecoming. Alex doesn't simply escape from hell, find it was all a dream, or discover aliens behind the madness--he can relieve himself of the hell altogether because his angel (Joshua) has given him ultimate insight.

ANyone want to add anything?
---
One does not just grow facial hair, no. You must wait and hope that the facial hair accepts you as a man and merges with your face. ~FridgeBeard
#2Outspoken666Posted 10/8/2008 8:39:32 PM
Makes scene... kinda
#3mayatolaPosted 10/8/2008 8:49:50 PM
Just want to point out (purely from an observatory standpoint -- I don't want to go into metaphors since you've already done so), that scene ends with Joshua taking the photo of Alex, and it's the photo of Alex that you find in the attic (the 11th photo in the journal, the one that shows Alex all looking surprised). The caption of the photo is something like, "A photo of me. What am I doing?"

I'd like to know people's thoughts on that. I mean, so he's clearly surprised to see Joshua, and the photo is real right? Er, am I missing something or is this all in his head? Was Joshua really alive afterwards or what? I'm still trying to wrap my head around that scene...
---
Gamertag: kakugo82
PSN & Steam ID: mayatola
#4dudupupu(Topic Creator)Posted 10/9/2008 7:04:10 AM
no one cares?
---
One does not just grow facial hair, no. You must wait and hope that the facial hair accepts you as a man and merges with your face. ~FridgeBeard
#5Bladerunner140Posted 10/9/2008 6:19:50 PM
I think part of the reason why there isn't so much chatter is because you've said a lot of what there is to say. It is interesting seeing that ending, thinking of it as a "true" ending seems right to me, what with how you have to actually go above and beyond the normal decision points to get it.

What really interests me is how it really has to be the real ending, especially because of that photo you end up getting that he takes at the end of it, the one you get in the attic... Is he really a ghost then if the photo actually existed to be picked up?
---
So from such an innocent sin as this, a world of eternal punishment came into existence.
#6VolkzorPosted 10/9/2008 7:36:57 PM
You have a pretty strong defense for the good ending. However I believe that thematically, the PH ending is just as strong as the Smile ending.

Alex doesn't like his father. Years of neglect and unfavorable treatment have caused him to snap and accidentally kill his brother. After he is hospitalized, Alex becomes delusional and creates a fantasy world where he is a Soldier, just like his father wanted him to be (Diary on the website). But while he hides behind the comfort of this made up world, subconsciously he feels the guilt for killing his brother and the hate that he feels for his father. These emotions manifest themselves in his dreams.

In these dreams, Josh always demands things from Alex but seems fearful of him and runs away when Alex gets closer. This aspect of the dream causes great distress to Alex and is a way he punishes himself for killing Josh. The PH on the other hand is Alex's darker part. He represents Alex’s need to punish his father for driving Alex to murder Josh. Alex visualizes how he'd take that revenge in great detail. The final aspect of the dream is Alex’s death by PHs hand, or his inner rage destroying his humanity.

Once Alex enters the Otherworld, his guilt and rage continue to haunt him.
The presence of Josh and PH in the hotel building show how both sides can coexist.

Throughout the game, Alex shows incredible sadistic tendencies as he deals with the monstrous denizens of the Otherworld. His concern for those close to him seems to be offset by his cruel treatment of his enemies. His refusal to release his mother from her pain and to forgive his repenting father furthermore shows how his darker part becomes stronger throughout the game.

When Alex encounters his father and realizes why his parents treated him with such disdain and coldness the darker side once again manifests itself. His inner rage is so great that it takes shape of PH. PH executes his father the same way Alex visualized in his dream.

Alex has one loose end, his guilty conscience. He battles his brother and lays him to rest.

With the guilt associated with the murder gone, his darker side is the only thing left remaining. He is then transformed into the embodiment of his emotions, a PH.