_____ _ _ ____ _ _ _____ _ _ _ _ _ ______ / _ \| || | | __|| \ | ||_ _| | | | || || | | | / ____ \ | | |_|| || | | | | \ | | | | | | | || || | | | |_| | | | \___ | || | | |_ | \ | | | | | |_| || || | | | / / \___ \| || | | _| | |\ \| | | | | _ || || | | | / / _ \ || || | | | | | \ | | | | | | || || | | | / / | |_| || || |__ | |__ | | \ | | | | | | || || |__ | |__ / /___ \_____/|_||____||____||_| \_| |_| |_| |_||_||____||____| |________| _ _ ___ _ _ _ __ | \ | / \ | | | / \ | | | | \ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |_ |_/ | | | | | _ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |__ \_/ | \_/ \_/ _ |_/ |__ VERSION 1 AN EXPLANATION OF THE COMPLETE PLOT OF SILENT HILL 2 AND SILENT HILL 2: RESTLESS DREAMS A videogame by Konami Computer Entertainment c2001, 2002 President Evil ======================================================================= 1. Table of Contents ======================================================================= Chapters 1. Table of Contents 2. Updates 3. Introduction 4. Regarding the town, Silent Hill 5. Mary and Maria 6. Angela 7. Eddie 8. Laura 9. Pyramid Head 10. Four Endings, Four Meanings 11. Maria's Adventure (XBox Sub Scenario) 12. Frequently Asked Questions 13. Credits You can always find the newest version of this guide at the following locations on the web: DanBirlew.com - www.danbirlew.com GameFAQs - www.gamefaqs.com SILENT HILL and SILENT HILL 2 are copyright 1998, 2001 Konami Computer Entertainment Company of Tokyo. All of the characters, situations and events described in this document are the property of Konami, and no copyright infringement is intended in their discussion herein. This document is copyrighted in the year 2001 by Dan Birlew, a.k.a. "President Evil". No portion of this document may be used or reprinted without the express written permission of the author. Release or use of this document on or before September 25th, 2001 is expressly prohibited!!!! ======================================================================= 2. Updates ======================================================================= September 25, 2001 - First version posted at Silent Hill Sanitarium on the day that the game is released. September 27, 2001 - With some reluctance, I cave in to the overwhelming demand for the analysis of the endings. The section has now been added to the Plot Guide, so enjoy. I've also corrected several dozen grammar and spelling mistakes. The main text of the guide is now finished. October 23, 2001 - Corrected some grammar with the help of Steven Newell. Added an FAQ section to answer the overwhelming number of emails received. Thanks for the support! December 21, 2001 - Added new section to cover Maria's new sub scenario on the XBox version of PS2. More questions answered in the FAQ section. January 6,2002 - More questions answered in the FAQ section. ======================================================================= 3. Introduction ======================================================================= I can't argue that life has been extremely good to me since I wrote my SILENT HILL PLOT GUIDE in early 1999. Since then, I started writing strategy guides for Bradygames, and my career has really taken off from there. When my publisher licensed the rights to SILENT HILL 2, that's why I became nostalgic about the old FAQs that I used to do, and decided to do another. The idea to write a plot analysis of a videogame originated in the amount of confusion I perceived at many gaming messageboards across the net. Everyone certainly enjoyed the first SILENT HILL, but no one seemed to be able to agree on what the game was about. The first attempt to write a plot guide about SILENT HILL was really just a gathering of all the best theories concerning the story of the game. It was hardly the most coherent thing I've ever written, but I didn't think anyone would want to read it or want to know what I thought this game was about. Was I wrong! The response to the SILENT HILL PLOT GUIDE was completely overwhelming. To this date, I've been asked around 6,323 questions regarding the plot of SILENT HILL, and about the plot guide that I wrote. Considering how many people were reading and responding to the material, I decided to put a little more effort into the organization and writing in the file. And that second version is now available online if you want to go back and read it. When SILENT HILL 2 was announced just this time last year, I received about a hundred e-mails asking if I was going to "update" the plot guide. Well, I don't think that is necessary. The SILENT HILL PLOT GUIDE is as complete a source as I am willing to collect on that particular game. And now that I've played SILENT HILL 2 nearly ten times, I cannot agree that these two games can even be analyzed in the same document. SILENT HILL 2 has a much better developed story line than the first game did. Also, the nature and environment of the game is so much different. Sure, we still have cool swirling fog effects and a flashlight has to be used to get through most of the game. The scene shifts from decrepit and abandoned buildings to outright blood- soaked, rust-coated walls, but not as frequently as in the first game. The story is much simpler, much more understandable, and frankly, this plot guide is hardly necessary. But a writer likes to keep the tradition alive... The first thing you'll note is that this document is much shorter than the plot guide for the first game. This analysis is written in the vein of reflection, in the assumption that you, the reader, have played SILENT HILL 2 at least more than once. The plot elements discussed herein are named only briefly, so that I can discuss the scene which you and I have both witnessed and we both know what I'm talking about. So if you just bought the game and you haven't even finished your first clear, then you are reading the wrong document. I'd recommend you purchase the SILENT HILL 2 OFFICIAL STRATEGY GUIDE by Bradygames, because I wrote it and it is the most complete walk- through source you need for the game. This plot document is something of an expansion upon that guide, dealing mostly with the story elements. So while I'm saying that the game is simpler to understand than the first game, that doesn't mean that this game is a walk in the park either. Frankly, I do not blame you for turning to this guide, and I hope that what I discuss herein helps tie up any loose ends of the game that you didn't really understand. I've developed this guide after speaking at length with developers and testers at Konami Computer Entertainment of America, and this really is the definitive version of what happens in the game. My plot guide for the first game is fully my own speculation, and it will remain so. I have never put that guide up as the definitive explanation of what happened, and I have always encouraged everyone who has read that guide to conclude for themselves what takes place in SILENT HILL. I have never tried to put it forth as the only explanation. This is not the case with this plot guide. This time, I know exactly what Konami has developed for us, and I'm just here to clarify a few points in the game that might remain mysterious to some folks. I'd be perfectly happy to discuss the story of SILENT HILL 2 with you. If you are looking for puzzle solutions or boss strategies, do not bother. Ask one of the guys that write the free online FAQs, or look in the Bradygames Official Guide because it's all there. So if you do read this entire FAQ and something is still not making sense, please contact me. I will answer any questions that I feel have not been answered in this document, and I'll most likely add an FAQ section to this if there are a lot of queries. However, I don't think we'll have that problem, considering how much less complex the sequel is than the original. ======================================================================= 4. Regarding the Town, Silent Hill ======================================================================= Probably the main things in common between both games are the setting and the visual design of the game. I would argue that the games have little in common story-wise. Perhaps the first game is meant as a launch pad for several games all revolving around the supernatural powers found in this quaint American town. Silent Hill is still a town that almost seems trapped in time. The deserted streets are filled with a swirling fog that prevents seeing more than 20 feet in any direction. As James proceeds down the nature trail into the south portion of town, strange noises emanate from the woods around him. When he reaches a small graveyard, he meets a young woman who was also drawn to Silent Hill. She seems as confused as to why she is here as James is. She too is looking for someone she has been out of contact with for some time. Silent Hill seems to be a spiritual sort of place, which calls out to people who are lost. But Angela also warns James of something that he will find out for himself all too soon; "There's uh,... There's something WRONG with this town." Upon reaching the eastern part of the South Vale neighborhood, where James will spend most of the game, he spots a disturbing figure moving north. Blood splattered gore painted in long streaks on cement seems to lead him to a construction site blocking access through the tunnel under Nathan Avenue. He hears a strange noise as he gets closer, and finds that all that static is emanating from a small pocket radio that doesn't seem to work correctly. As he examines the portable device a bizarre abhorrence rises behind him. It looks like a patient from a mental hospital, only its straightjacket of flesh has been pulled over its head. James grabs a board with nails and bashes the creature until it seems to be dead. Yes, there is indeed something very wrong in Silent Hill, and James has only seen a small glimpse of what is to come. The story behind the town of Silent Hill is much better developed in this sequel than in the first game. Silent Hill is meant to be a small getaway town, someplace quiet and quaint that you might read about in a romantic novel or a child's storybook. And while the locals have been able to sell the town to visitors as a quiet resort community built around the large Toluca Lake, Silent Hill has had a much longer and much darker history than anyone cares to mention. The history of the town is revealed in many ways. The paintings at the SH Historical Society and the sealed underground area indicate that the Brookhaven Hospital was originally built to house victims of the plague. This means that an awful lot of people died in that particular location, and why they would want to build a hospital at the site of such horror and suffering is unfathomable. Also, the paintings in the area under the museum depict the origin of the Toluca Prison Camp in the 1820s. Much nastiness also occurred there, it seems. Many Civil War prisoners were transferred to this prison, during a sinister period of US history called the Reconstruction. During this time, thousands of captured confederate soldiers were allowed to starve and become sick in poorly maintained prison camps. Ruthless executions were carried out without decision of court. In Toluca Prisons, the inmates were actually given a choice to be hanged or "skewered", which is exactly what happens to Maria near the very end of the game. The executioners are clearly depicted on the base of the scaffold in the Toluca Prison yard. They wore tall, pointed helmets and carried large spears for skewering. The monsterous Pyramid Heads are these executioners, still carrying out false sentences indiscriminately. This is how Pyramid Head and the painting called "Misty Day, Remains of the Judgement" affect Silent Hill's history. Also building upon the history of Silent Hill are the statues and memos found around town. On the lakeside of Rosewater park is a monument to the victims of a ship that mysteriously sank in the harbor ages ago. This incident is also mentioned in the local magazine James finds in the front office of the Prison. The ship was called the Little Baroness, and it actually disappeared without a trace in November of 1918. The ship was carrying tourists. Apparently in 1939 something even stranger happened in Silent Hill, but the rest of the article has been ripped out to prevent us from knowing what it pertains to. After learning in the first game that bizarre drugs were being sold to tourists in Silent Hill, you get the idea that something about this town really doesn't like outsiders. A supernatural anti-tourist sentiment seems to be something brewing in the series, and maybe we'll see where it goes if further games are released. Also in Rosewater Park is a partially-illegible plaque on the "praying woman" statue. In documents I obtained from Konami, the inscription on this plague is supposed to say that the monument stands in honor of Jennifer Carroll, "victim of persecution by the Christians". Obviously Silent Hill once had its bought of witch-trials, and this lady stood accused and was executed. Perhaps these incidents festered a grudge against God among the spirits inhabiting the area? It's just a thought. The problem with this is that the town seems to have been founded around 1820, which means that if the Christians were still persecuting anyone by then, it was an extremely late occurrence in history. Next on the list is the first monument found on Lindsey Street, which is mostly illegible. But it is also the most revealing when you figure out what it says; "The x meters of land surrounding this monument were originally swamp, but were later filled in. From long ago, the swamp was nicknamed Blood Swamp because the executioners poured the water used to wash the execution tools in here. Perhaps it's for that reason that many people claim to have seen ghosts in the area." This is the most obvious indicator of Silent Hill's haunted past and its long history of bloodshed. James Sunderland and Harry Mason (the main character from the first game) are not the first people to see strange things in this town. This inscription also ties together the travesties and weird rituals that occurred at the Prison with the bizarre events currently taking place around James. But quite possibly the most telling piece is the Book of Lost Memories, available to find only in a replay game. In this book, the unknown author vaguely ties together the entire mythological and historical history of Silent Hill. The town once had a different name entirely, and the land was stolen from its true inhabitants by the people who founded that town. Those early inhabitants were most likely Native American tribes, judging by how the book is written and the spirituality involved. They called this land "The Place of the Silent Spirits", believing that the spirits of their dead ancestors lived here in harmony with the spirits of nature. Powerful rituals were performed here to honor the dead and the spirit world, but then settlers arrived and chased off the tribes. Sometime after establishing a small town here, the residents abandoned the area for unknown reasons. This is when new settlers must have founded Silent Hill, sometime in the early 1800's. This story resembles the premise of many classic horror stories, where the ignorant white man is besieged by the spirit ancestors of the Native Americans who were wronged so long ago. The current state of Silent Hill was triggered in the first game, of course. If you want to know more, play the first game and then read my plot guide for it if you don't understand the story. But even at the end of SILENT HILL, when Alessa is granted a second chance as a new infant and Harry escapes Silent Hill with Cybil, the town is left in a perpetual state of fogginess. Obviously the mark of Samael was spread at least far enough that the Old Gods now hold complete autonomy over the Silent Hill region. The town remains abandoned, much like it did centuries ago. Certain persons are compulsively drawn to this mysterious place, for reasons they probably don't understand or don't want to accept. James received a letter from his dead wife, asking him to meet her in their "special place" in Silent Hill. While he runs around trying to figure out what the letter means, James runs into others who have been drawn to this town for other reasons that have nothing to do with him. But one similar thread runs through the back-stories of the three main characters, James, Eddie and Angela. The common factor for all these folks is an overwhelming sense of guilt about things they did in the past, things that can't be undone in the real world. Silent Hill is a place where reality is not what it used to be, and it might be possible for the guilty to find a second chance to gain forgiveness from the dead... Or to finally find the condemnation they so richly deserve. By the time we reach the "special place", which ends up being Room 312 inside the Lake View Hotel, we know what sin James is guilty of. This explains to us why he has seen the things he's seen, and why he has been forced to watch helplessly as Maria dies over and over again. In Silent Hill, the driving force of nature is perspective. Silent Hill is what you bring to it, and the demons that have plagued James' soul have taken physical form and now are seeking vengeance. Through the next several sections, the meanings of various scenes will be discussed and James' story will be unraveled as the town of Silent Hill is seen through the eyes of all the other characters in the game. ======================================================================= 5. Mary and Maria ======================================================================= By examining the strange similarities between James' dead wife Mary and the mysterious girl James meets in Silent Hill, who calls herself Maria, we will also be examining James' own story and his deep-seated guilt. The premise of the story is that Mary died three years ago from a horrible and disfiguring disease. But one day, James Sunderland receives a letter that seems to have been written by her. Mary says she's waiting for James in Silent Hill, in their "special place". Still looking for some resolution to his troubled past, James drives to Silent Hill. Arriving at the very south side of town, he encounters a strange fog that appears all at once. A bit further down the road, he finds that construction has blocked the underpass on Nathan Avenue. He stops at a nearby bathroom for a moment, and figures out that he must enter Silent Hill on foot. Navigating the nature trails along Toluca Lake and the empty Wiltse River bed, he arrives at the east side of the South Vale area. Before the town was recently abandoned, the South Vale area had begun a total remodeling, to attempt to compete for the tourist trade which was thriving across the lake near the Lakeside Amusement Park. Several areas of east South Vale are blocked by the barriers of the construction crews, and still other roads seem to have been obliterated by strange cave-ins. James starts encountering monsters almost immediately, and he must fight for survival. James decides to try to reach the park where he and Mary spent an entire day. To do so, he must go through an abandoned slum where a monster with a conical head stalks him. After a horrendous encounter with this "Pyramid Head", James reaches the west side of South Vale and the park. Standing at the dockside, staring out over the lake is a young woman who could be Mary's twin. There are enough differences to separate the women, such as hair, clothes and attitude. But the woman tells James that her name is Maria, which is certainly a creepy coincidence. James explains to her what he is doing in Silent Hill, and why he first mistook Maria for his dead wife. Through their conversation, James realizes that the park wasn't the best place to look. He asks about the Lake View Hotel and Maria does acknowledge that it's still across the lake. Maria tends to joke by making many sexual connotations about James and his late wife. At first, James really doesn't appreciate this and starts to leave her. But Maria begs and pleads to go along with James, and then resorts to outright seductive tactics. "I look like Mary, don't I," asks Maria. "You loved her, right?" Her tone abruptly changes, as if incensed by something about James. "Or maybe, you HATED her." James is ticked off again, but Maria begs to go along with him and he agrees. Maybe because Maria is so much like Mary, he likes having her around. Obviously, over the course of the next hour of the game, she does grow on him to some extent. Nathan Avenue, the only road that heads around the lake toward the hotel, is blocked off because the bridge has fallen out. A clue from a dead tourist's map points James back to a bowling alley. There, he encounters Eddie and Laura, and chases the little girl. Maria isn't able to keep up with the little girl either, and Laura leads James on a merry chase. In a back alley, when James is confronted with a locked door, Maria pulls out three keys to unlock it. The building they have to pass through to catch up with Laura ends up being the Heaven's Night bar. A person wonders why Maria would have the keys to a strip club handy? She is certainly dressed like a seductress. Maria and James follow the little girl into the Brookhaven Hospital. After the two search the building for a while, Maria gets tired and lies down in an old patient's room. She medicates herself with pills, and claims she's only suffering from a hangover in spite of her cough. James continues searching the hospital for Laura alone. Eventually, he finds her playing with her toys. After the little girl locks James in an Examining Room full of weird ceiling creatures, James experiences the kind of "reality shifting" that lovers of SILENT HILL games have come to recognize. After the shift, James finds that the hospital seems to have been redecorated in a much more sinister manner. The sense of dilapidation in the place has progressed sharply, from the previous sense that the building was perhaps a hundred years old to the feeling that the hospital is now centuries old. Doors that could previously be entered are now broken and not openable, and doors that were previously broken can now be entered. As James progresses through the hospital a second time, he learns that Maria has disappeared from the room where he left her. If memory serves correctly, there are so many empty pill bottles near the bedside that it seems Maria has been in this room for days suffering from her "hangover". Proceeding through this "new" hospital, James eventually finds clues and keys that lead him down to the basement level. After finding the entrance to a secret room beneath the storeroom, Maria suddenly enters the room. She is quite angered that James left her behind, and that he has again mistaken her for Mary. She clutches desperately to James, insisting that he is "supposed to protect" her. She also wants to find Laura very badly, claiming that she feels compelled to protect the little girl. Maria continues to accompany James, but in the unmapped corridors that wind their way beneath the hospital they encounter Pyramid Head yet again. Running from the horrifying creature, James jumps onboard the elevator just in time. But the doors close before Maria can get inside safely. James tries desperately to get the elevator doors open, but to no avail. As he watches helplessly through the tiny crack in the doors, Maria is slain by the monster. The elevator carries James up to the first floor, where a sense of overwhelming sadness has obviously over- taken him. In his mind, he compares the situation of Maria dying to Mary dying, realizing that he was helpless in both cases. He resolves to find Laura and to find Mary, if she really is in this town waiting for him. After fighting his way through several levels, James enters a surrealistic labyrinth of corridors and caves. Quite suddenly, he discovers a cell inhabited by none other than Maria. Reasonably confused, he attempts to ask her how she is still alive and why she is imprisoned here. Maria seems not to remember the incident the same way that James does. She claims that they were only "separated" in the long corridor. She then elaborates, remembering how James was always so forgetful. She remembers the videotape that James made at the hotel, and then he accidentally left it there. But naturally, there is no way that she could remember these things, because they didn't happen to her. These would logically be the memories of Mary, but logic seems to have fled the situation long ago. When James tries to determine if she is really Maria, she vindictively hisses that she is not Mary. She is Maria... if James WANTS her to be. When James becomes angry over these riddles, Maria again resorts to seductive tactics in order to win him over. He agrees to navigate the labyrinth further in order to save her. But alas, the labyrinth is long and full of wrong turns, and James arrives at Maria's cell too late. The poor young woman is definitely dead this time, having suffered massive trauma to the face and head. Her pasty condition would seem to indicate that she has been dead for some hours, not the few minutes that it seemed to take James to reach her. What can be the meaning of Maria dying over and over again? When James finally reaches his destination, the Lake View Hotel, he catches up with Laura at last. The little girl has a letter of her own from Mary, which indicates that James' wife wanted to adopt Laura as their own, and that Laura's birthday was coming up soon. The little girl confirms that her eighth birthday was only a week ago. This is something of an astonishing revelation in itself. James has been wrong all this time about Mary's death. She has not been dead for three years. If she really is dead, she has only been gone for about a week or so. Another strange occurrence in the hotel is one you might have missed. Upon entering the hotel, if you use the Examine command on Mary's letter you will see that the stationery is now completely blank! In fact, considering the memory lapses James has obviously been having, this blank page now draws into question whether James ever really received a letter from Mary at all. If the letter was only a figment of James' imagination, then what brought him to Silent Hill? Perhaps its because Silent Hill was the last place where he and Mary were truly happy. James finds the videotape that he left in the hotel, and when he inserts it into the VCR in Room 312 we can see that Mary really loved this little town. She wanted James to promise that he would bring her back here, but he never did. Her illness consumed her quickly thereafter, and no more happiness was ever to be had. But what happens next on the tape is the most revealing truth of all. After some static interference, resembling what happens when you record something new on an old tape at a different playback speed, we see a scene that no one could have possibly been around to video- tape. James comes to Mary's deathbed and kisses her lovingly on the cheek. Then he snatches the pillow from behind her and smothers her to death. The view switches to Mary's blurry perspective, as she watches her husband euthanize her. James hasn't come here to find Mary. He's been running from what he did, hoping to forget his horrible act of selfishness. He didn't want to watch Mary suffer under such a horrid disease, but he also didn't want her to be around anymore. The disease made her disgusting to look at, and her resulting mood swings were violent and abusive. Mary was no longer the woman that he had married, and he couldn't stand the pain that her slow and deliberate death was bringing him. Silent Hill, as I said before, is a place that calls out to the damned. And the damned on earth are those who suffer from the weight of their deeds. That's why James thought he received a letter from Mary. That's why he came here, and why he met Maria. The dark forces of Silent Hill knew that he wanted to suffer for what he'd done, and have tricked him into coming here. Maria represents everything that James wished Mary could be: charming, seductive, and pleasant. Silent Hill created Maria to fill James wish, so that he would remain there with her forever. That is why Maria's goal seems to revolve around making James stay with her and Protect her. But Silent Hill is also what you bring with you. Just like when James stares into the mirror at the very beginning of the game. Being in Silent Hill is like staring into a dark mirror, only the person's inner demons are manifested and made real. In Silent Hill, the past is not something you can forget, it is made physical and it can bite you in the ass. That is why James has been fighting monsters, and why all of the puzzles he's been solving and all of the memos he's been reading seem to bear personal messages for James alone. Quite frankly, James is the only character that has seen monsters, and he is the only one that has seen Maria. Notice how Maria is never around when James runs into Laura? This is probably because the little girl either wouldn't have been able to see Maria, or she would have seen that she was only a cheap and hideous facsimile of Mary, created to entrap James. Maria is someone for James to love, who will love him back. In all respects, she is a perfect copy of Mary. She even has many of the same memories. But she is also here to haunt James, and that is why he is forced to watch her die repeatedly, while he remains helpless. Just like what happened with Mary, Silent Hill is determined to make James suffer for what he's done, and to make him face the fact that he is a murderer just like Eddie and Angela. The entire town is like a perfect reflection of the past, where things that you don't like are changed to suit your liking. But the intentions are purely evil, since the forces in control of the town hail from the Satanic realm. The dark secrets a man hides in his soul are the food that the demons of Silent Hill crave, and this town has tricked him into returning here so that it may compound and feast upon his misery. How James deals with Silent Hill is determined by his actions during the game. What steps he takes to resolve the injustice he did to his late wife is played out in one of four endings, all with separate meanings. Those four endings and their meanings are discussed later on. For now, I'll expand on the reflective principles of Silent Hill by quickly examining the side stories of the supporting characters. ======================================================================= 6. Angela ======================================================================= The first other real person that James meets in Silent Hill is Angela. Wandering the graveyard on the outskirts of town, Angela seems somewhat confused and disoriented. She is looking for her father and brother, and thought that they were in the graveyard. The first question that comes to mind is, are the father and brother visiting too or are they interred here in the graveyard? We will eventually find out the answer. For now, all Angela can remember is that her mama might be here, and that there is something wrong with this town. She can't quite remember what. Considering the "blackouts" suffered by characters in the first game, I begin to wonder if Angela is actually a resident of Silent Hill? I am more inclined to believe that she has returned here after living else- where in the country for some time. When we find out her circumstances later, it becomes plausible that she is a teen runaway who has returned here to reunite with her family. She is looking for her mama - I mean, her mother. But I can't figure out if she was here when the supernatural forces took over. Moving on, the next time James encounters Angela, she seems to have already abandoned her quest to find mama. Laying on the floor inside a decrepit apartment building, she studies a knife so intently that her thoughts are obvious. Out of natural human concern, James tries to talk her into handing over the knife. "I don't know what you're planning," he tells her, "but there's always another way." "Really?" she replies sarcastically. "But... You're the same as me. It's easier just to run. Besides, it's what we deserve." James is quick to remove himself from her statements, for whatever reason. "No... I'm not like you." Angela's voice changes noticeably, taking on a mocking tone. "Are you AFRAID?" Then she quickly apologizes, as if she's shrugging off some sort of spell that suddenly came over her and quickly dissipated. James changes the subject, asking if Angela found her mother, and if her mother used to live in this town. Angela is quite shocked that he knows this, but he admits that he was just assuming as much from their conversation. So he tries to start over, asking Angela why she's here. She abruptly reverses the question, and James shows Mary's picture to her. He admits that he really shouldn't be searching for Mary, since she is actually dead. This makes Angela extremely uncomfortable, and she moves to leave. James talks her into turning over the knife. But when he goes to take it, she is alarmed by his sudden movements. Quickly she apologizes and runs. A few things about Angela have become apparent from this conversation. I'm not a psychiatrist, but I believe that Angela suffers from a split- personality disorder. Her sudden mood swings and constant changing of the subject suggest either a deep concentration problem, or that little switches are turning on and off in her head as her personality rides a roller coaster around inside her skull. She too is a person suffering from a deep internal guilt, and we just have to find out what it stems from. The photo James can find on the floor in the bedroom immediately afterward hints at part of the explanation. The photo depicts a family, torn in half. Specifically, the father's part of the picture has been ripped away from the daughter and mother. This picture shows that Angela's problems are rooted in her family's history. Angela does not appear again until extremely late in the game, in the bizarre Labyrinth. In case you were wondering, Konami does agree that this area exists wholly outside of time or reality. If you can fathom it, the evil forces of Silent Hill are manufacturing this area as James moves through it! Returning to Angela, her story picks up again when James finds a newspaper on the floor in the Labyrinth. The text is only partially legible. Here is what the document originally said, before it was obscured: "The body of a man later identified as Thomas Orosco (Lumberjack, age 39) was discovered in the middle of his room lying face up. The probable cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the front of the neck and the left side of the torso by a sharp edged weapon. The estimated time of death was somewhere between 11:00 p.m. and 12:30 midnight. Due to signs of struggle in the room and the lack of a murder weapon, police are considering this a homicide and have opened a murder investigation. Furthermore, given the fact that the cash in the room was untouched and Mr. Orosco had a history of drunkenness and violence, the police suspect that the motive was not robbery but some sort of crime of passion." Moving into the next corridor, James hears a horrible scream from Angela: "No, Daddy! Please don't!" James rushes into the room to find Angela and a bizarre creature that seems to grow out of a door. While Konami documents refer to this creature as "Angela Papa", I thought it more appropriate and less of a spoiler to rename this creature type a Doorman in the OSG. While Angela sits transfixed in the corner, James proceeds to fight it out with the creature. Provided the player survives the encounter, a scene occurs afterward. In a fit of violent rage, Angela stands and lifts a heavy television set. She smashes it over the creature's head, and exerts an extreme amount of overkill on the monster. Then some dialogue occurs between she and James: James says "Angela! Relax!" "Don't order me around!" she yells back. "I'm not trying to order you," replies James, with a logical tone. "So what do you want then?" asks Angela. She proceeds with sarcasm and venom. "Oh I see, you're trying to be nice to me, right? I know what you're up to. It's always the same. You're only after one thing." James is naturally appalled. "No, that's not true at all." Angela continues in her rant. "You don't have to lie. Just go ahead and say it. Or you could just force me. Beat me up like he always did. You only care about yourself anyway. You disgusting pig." Angela then falls to the floor. Shaking with the violence of her emotions she becomes nauseous and starts to dry-heave. After a moment of recovery, she goes after James again. "You said your wife Mary was dead, right?" James admits, "Yes, she was ill..." "Liar! I know about you.... You didn't want her around anymore. You probably found someone else!" Angela turns and runs out of the room, fleeing once again. James is left to reflect to himself. "That's ridiculous..." he tells himself, "I never..." But the truth is, the object of this portion of the game is to reach Maria's cell in the Labyrinth. Maria's final words to James contained an implied promise of sex. So in effect, Angela is right. However, her rash emotional state and illogical nature only cause the player to discount what she is saying at this point. We have been watching James' story all this time, and he repeatedly announces that his main goal is to try to find Mary somewhere in Silent Hill. But has he been reaffirming his goals, or only trying to convince himself of something that isn't true? By examining Angela's story and her neurosis, we are examining an aspect of James personality as well. With Angela, there is no denial, there is no escaping the truth. All she can do is just keep running from it, as she has obviously been doing for a very long time. When we finally learn James' secret, we realize that he has been denying the truth all along, and that crazy old Angela has actually been right about him! Also notice that Angela has a habit of unleashing furious or volatile emotions at James, and then she quickly runs away. This is a major clue which confirms that Angela is guilty of the murder of her father. While we don't know exactly what happened between Angela and the monster in the Labyrinth room (even Konami members won't speculate), we do know that for whatever hideous reason, from Angela's perspective that monster was her father come back to haunt her. Remember that Silent Hill is what you bring with you... Angela's true purpose in the game is finally revealed in her final scene. After learning the truth about himself and Mary, James encounters Angela inside the alternate version burned-out Lakeside Hotel. Entering the basement stairway, James finds himself at the bottom of a much different scene. The stairway rises upward into total black, as if the stairs never end. Everything is on fire, the walls, the stairs, the roof. In spite of the consuming chaos whirling around her, Angela stares at a bizarre artwork on the wall. In my interpretation, it depicts a woman's body rendered as a sacrificial object. Noticing James' presence, she turns to him: "Mama!" she yells. She runs to James and embraces his face in her hands. Her delusion lasts another full minute. "Mama," she cries, "I was looking for you. Now you're the only one left. Maybe then... Maybe then I can rest." James pulls away from her. Angela's delusion suddenly fades, just like all her other spells. "Mama, why are you running away? Wait, you're not Mama! It's you... I'm sorry." James indicates that it's alright, but Angela's not accepting his kindness anymore. "Thank you for saving me, but I wish you hadn't. Even mama said it... I deserved what happened..." James protests, but Angela continues. "No, don't pity me. I'm not worth it..." The insane woman's personality switches over again. She is now the Angela who mocks James as a despicable man just like her father. "Or maybe you think you can save me? Will YOU love me? Take care of me? Heal all my pain?" She waits momentarily for an answer, but James only bows his head. "That's what I thought," she says. "James, give me back that knife." When James refuses to give the utensil back to her, she accuses him of keeping it for himself. Weekly, he denies any suicidal thoughts. Perhaps he's been having them after all. Lastly, Angela turns and begins to ascend the burning staircase. The flames engulf the path between her and James. There is no saving Angela. James has finally learned that she is resigned to her damnation. "It's hot as hell in here," he mentions in passing. Angela turns back momentarily. "You see it too?" she says. "For me, it's always like this." There can be absolutely no doubt that Angela's story reinforces the idea that Silent Hill provides a dark reflection of the guilty to themselves. Her perception of events in Silent Hill has been completely different. Angela doesn't see twisted hulking demons that want to kill her. She sees the face of the man who molested her and whom she ultimately murdered for revenge. She sees the mother and brother she left behind, while fleeing from her horrible deeds and her maniacal past. Angela's fate represents the suicide ending of the game, since if James examines her knife or reads the suicide diary the "In Water" ending is achieved. Angela has never really denied what her family did to her, and what she did back to them. Her vain search for her mama has really been an insane attempt to make peace with the dead before she joins them. She has been in Silent Hill longer than James, and her quest is just coming to an end as James begins his. She has already found her answer by the second time James encounters her, and his interference only delays what she has finally resolved to do. But in the end, Angela realizes that James cannot save her, and she cannot find the dead to make peace with them. Silent Hill has taught her that her only escape from her guilt is suicide, and it is an answer that Silent Hill will teach to James also if the player decides to follow Angela's example. ======================================================================= 7. Eddie ======================================================================= Eddie Dumbrowski is an overweight simpleton with rather harsh values. James first encounters Eddie in the South Vale apartment buildings, where he has been leaving marks all over the place. In the room where James finds the Handgun, for instance, someone has been randomly shooting the walls and floors like an obsessive madman. In the room where the clock puzzle is solved, James returns to find that a person has just been shot execution style in the back of the head. Finally, James enters a first floor apartment and discovers a newly dead person stuffed into the fridge. The sounds of someone getting violently ill emanate from the bathroom nearby. Inside the bathroom, Eddie is hunched over the toilet, puking his guts out. From the amount of retching, he's either eaten something very foul or he's suffering what a lot of soldiers and first time killers have reported; killer's guilt syndrome. When James tries to see if he's okay, Eddie leaps to his own defense. "It wasn't me! I didn't do it!" he declares. "Do what?" asks a confused James. "I didn't do anything! I, I swear. He was like this when I got here..." James makes no real indication whether he believes Eddie or not. Still, he introduces himself and Eddie follows suit. When James finally asks about the dead guy in the kitchen, Eddie continues to defend himself. James finds that he must switch the subject. "You're not friends with that red, pyramid thing, are you?" It's a feeble and illogical question, but James must form alliances with whom- ever he can. Eddie is confused by the question. "Red pyramid thing? I don't know what yer talkin' about. Honest. But I did see some weird-looking monsters. They scared the hell outta me, so I ran in here..." James seems somewhat relieved that someone else is seeing monsters too. "Well, I guess this place isn't too safe either." he says. "What happened here anyway?" "Uh I, I told ya I don't know. I'm not even from this town. I just, I just..." James knows the answer. "You too, huh? Something just brought you here, right?" "Umm... yeah. You could say that..." James advises Eddie to forget about it and leave town. But when Eddie poses the same advice back, James cannot yet agree that he's going to leave. At this point, he still has an overwhelming need to find Mary. Although we don't have confirmation until somewhat later in the game, Eddie is indeed running around Silent Hill murdering people. Who are these people he's killing, and why hasn't James seen them? James' perspective is different than Eddie's, and so he doesn't see humans. He only sees the monsters from within his soul made manifest. In Eddie's perspective, the monsters are actually people who are laughing at him. So when James sees these murdered people laying around, he is seeing the monsters from Eddie's perspective in that moment. Eddie has come to Silent Hill because he has determined that no one is going to make fun of him or laugh at him anymore, and he'll do whatever it takes to stop them. This evil town welcomes someone like Eddie with open arms, and allows him to practice and perfect the arts of randomized murder. Eddie's psychological state is echoed by the newspaper article which relates the story of Walter Sullivan, who suddenly and viciously murdered two children with an axe in Silent Hill one day. The evil forces behind the town convince simple-minded fools that it's alright to kill people at will. Do what thou wilt is the mantra of the Devil, and it's a motto made into method in Silent Hill over and over again. What is Eddie's purpose in the story? His personality displays the idea that murder is something you can't take back. In Eddie's mind, you can't absolve yourself from hurting others, you can only get better at it. For Eddie, murder is the solution to all life's problems now, and he's ready to keep doing it just to prove that he's a worthwhile individual. Through his encounters with Eddie, I believe that Silent Hill is posing this idea to James, as a kind of temptation. But when he balks at it, Eddie determines that James is also laughing at him. With grim resolve, he decides to engage in a shooting match with James which he will ultimately lose. Unlike the fake monsters he's been shooting which appear to be human, James is a real person and is more capable of defending himself. But the main idea behind Eddie's appearances in the game is that Silent Hill is trying to show James that he too is a murderer, and that this is a place where murder is alright. Unfortunately James will not accept these things until he is directly reminded of his own atrocity committed. While James condemns Eddie's actions, the oafish young man does bring up a good point which will ring even more true at the end of the game: "Don't get all holy on me, James," screams Eddie. "This town called you you, too. You and me are the same. We're not like other people." Then, incredulous at James' ignorance, he adds, "Don't you KNOW that?" While Eddie is one of the more dangerous bosses in the game, his entire purpose in the design is to make James see that he is a murderer too, that the misguided man has no business condemning Eddie's resolve. But we just don't get what Eddie is hinting at until James views the tape. ======================================================================= 8. Laura ======================================================================= The mischievous little girl who taunts and harasses James throughout the first half of the game turns out to be a friend of Mary's. She too was deathly ill, and spent time in the same hospital as James' late wife. She also has her own letter from Mary, which indicates that the sick woman loved Laura very much and wanted to adopt her if the illness passed. However, as Mary's health continued to decline and the end became inevitable, Mary wrote a letter to Laura begging her to be patient with James. Laura also mentions another letter, which seems to have vanished. Funny, that's exactly what James seems to be experiencing right now. Is there some other force at work in Silent Hill, which wants to bring Laura and James together? Laura's purpose in the game is wholly different than the other characters. She doesn't have any hidden guilt or secrets, she's too young. There are no demons in her soul to be reflected or made manifest in Silent Hill. So from her perspective, the town is just an empty place where Mary might be waiting for her, and James is a grumpy old fartface. She also further proves the idea that Silent Hill is a place where the darkness inside a person bites them in the ass. When James finds her in the Brookhaven Hospital, he's amazed that the monster have left her alone. "This is no place for a kid," he says to her. "There are all sorts of strange things around here... I can't believe you haven't even got a scratch on you!" Laura replies innocently, "Why should I?" She doesn't see the monsters and the horror that James sees. She only sees an empty town where she had hoped to find her lost mother-figure. Laura proceeds to search for Mary under the assumptions that James didn't love his sick wife as much as she did. Apparently, James rarely came to visit her in the hospital. This is the first indication that James is wrong about Mary, because his current feelings of longing for her don't jive with his past actions. Also, Laura's letter proves that James' memory is false. In the letter, Mary wishes Laura a happy 8th birthday. The little girl confirms that she turned 8 only last week. James realizes that Mary couldn't have died three years ago as he wanted to believe. This is how she could still be alive, and waiting for him here... When Angela accuses James of not loving his former wife, he can't take her seriously because of her apparent mental problems. But through the innocent way Laura provides information to James, we learn things about his personality that even he must come to accept. This is the role that the young girl plays in the story line. She represents the undeniable truth. ======================================================================= 9. Pyramid Head ======================================================================= Some debate is sure to occur over the appearances of the ominous boss monsters that James lovingly refers to as "Pyramid Heads". But actually, this monster is probably the easiest element of the story to explain. One of these monsters stalks James as he navigates through the abandoned apartment buildings, which leads to a tense confrontation at the exit. When James has shot the creature enough times, an alarm sounds in the distance. The Pyramid Head staggers away, but one gets the distinct impression that it retreats only because of the signal and not because James is wounding it at all. Pyramid Head is next encountered at the Brookhaven Hospital, where the creature executes Maria by impaling her with a long spear. If James was afraid of the creature before, he must now harbor a terrible grudge. The next appearance of Pyramid Head is at the Silent Hill Historical Society. The largest of the wall paintings inside the museum depicts Pyramid Head standing near a scattering of his victims, all rigged and ready for skewering. James instantly recognizes the villain. The title of this hideous artwork is "Misty Day, Remains of the Judgement". Is it possible that Pyramid Head is somehow tied into Silent Hill's past? The answer is yes. As James heads toward Toluca Prison, he finds more paintings and photos that depict the atrocities that were committed against inmates there so long ago. And in case you didn't notice it, there is an execution scene depicted at the base of the scaffold in the Prison yard. Two Pyramid Heads are shown on either side of a executed prisoner. At the end of the game, James watches in helpless horror as two Pyramid Heads execute Maria. Then he must fight the both of them. After the battle has gone on for some time, the two monsters suddenly turn and move to the center of the room. They impale themselves on their own spears! In a sense, James hasn't defeated them, they have obeyed the silent commands of a much higher power. What are Pyramid Heads? They are indeed the very same executioners whose heinous killing spree at the Toluca Prison back in the 1800's caused the town's swampland to run red with blood. They are the diabolical men who carried out public skewering and hanging of Civil War prisoners, and celebrated their atrocities with crimson and white banquets. The horror they created here has scarred Silent Hill forever, and added to the gruesome legacy of this town. Their acts of evil and butchery have earned them a special place among the ranks of Hell, and they continue to carry out their cold and malicious work under direction of the dark forces now in control of Silent Hill. Pyramid Heads exist solely to execute, to dispatch any and every creature that comes in their range. Even the other monsters of Silent Hill are not safe from them. Why is Pyramid Head after Maria? It has to do with James' perception of himself and the murdering of his own wife. As indicated in previous sections, Silent Hill confronts the guilty with dark reflection of the things they don't want to face. James hasn't wanted to admit that he mercy-killed his wife, and so the evil forces of Silent Hill called him back here to stand trial for his crimes. That is why Maria has been made to look so much like Mary. When James watches her die, over and over again, he is really watching a reenactment of what he did to Mary but is unwilling to admit to. No matter what resolutions or changes he attempts to make, Silent Hill has pronounced him guilty, and the Pyramid Heads have been dispatched to execute James for his crimes. ======================================================================= 10. Four Endings, Four Meanings ======================================================================= After James defeats the two Pyramid Heads in the nightmare version of the Lakeside Hotel and moves on, his actions during the game are added up and an ending is determined by the game's program. But before we move on, I'd like to point out something rather interesting. Anyone who has played the first game wouldn't miss this, but someone who hasn't might like to know. If you look closely at the carpet in the Hotel Lobby before or during the Pyramid Head Duo boss fight, you'll notice two very feint circular designs on the carpet. This is the infamous Mark of Samael, imported directly from the first game! For those of you who haven't played SH1, I'll explain briefly: A little girl named Alessa was conceived through a magic ritual to bear the demon seed of an ancient god named Samael. Due to her wounds received in a suspicious fire, she remained in a coma for seven years. During this time, the evil powers inside Alessa's immobile body had time to develop and grab a foothold in the real world. When her soul-mate younger sister was returned to Silent Hill by her clueless adoptive father, the power within Alessa burst forth and took over the town, causing all the residents to disappear. Under the psychic control of Samael, the soul-mate younger sister adopted Alessa's teenage form and began magically spreading the mark of Samael all over the town. By spreading this sigil, the demon god was able to exert more power and more influence over our dimension. The mark was spread far enough that even when Alessa was defeated, the town remained in a perpetual state of fogginess. When the mark appears in the Lakeside Hotel's lobby, it is a clear indication of who is really behind all that is going on in this town. Further proof of Samael's rule over Silent Hill is indicated in the secret book, the Crimson Ceremony. More about this book and its other meaning in the game is explored in the description of the "Rebirth" Ending. I wanted to point all of this out to clarify things to folks who haven't played the first game, and to show everyone what the true connection between the two games is. Now on to the endings. "MARIA" ENDING This is the ending I got first, and I think most people will. This ending occurs when you spend a lot of time with Maria, protect her from harm, and do exactly what she says. At the end of the game, James hears a replay of the final conversation with Mary before she died. If you go through the corridor and exit through the other door before the dialogue ends, you will get the "Maria" ending. In this ending, James confronts Mary. He must apologize for taking so long to find Mary, and for spending so much time with Maria. Mary is not willing to let James move on and have a happier life. She transforms into the most repulsive demon seen yet, and the final boss fight ensues. After the battle, when James finally executes Mary, he returns to the pier by the lake. Not surprisingly, Maria shows up. You just can't keep a good slut down, I suppose. =) She attempts idle conversation, noting that James decided to kill Mary again. James has come to a resolution, which he suddenly springs on Maria. He has decided to accept a life with Maria, and he wants her to leave Silent Hill with him. As a reward, she hands over Mary's true letter. It allows James to let go of the past, and to carry on in a new life with Maria. Together, they head back to James' car parked by the highway. But wait, isn't Maria just a fake replica of Mary? That's right. And according to Konami, James has decided to accept the lies and false promises of the dark forces in Silent Hill. He has decided that there is more hope of a happier life with a fake Mary than to remain suffering for what he did to Mary for the rest of his life. When he fought Mary during the final battle, she was really just a representation of his inner guilt and doubts made manifest. By "killing" his guilt and doubts, James decides that he can't keep punishing himself. He rewards himself by severing his obligations to his dead wife and putting his faith in this newer and more pleasant facsimile of her instead. James has succumbed to Maria's temptation. But the promise of a new life with Maria is an empty one. In the final scene of this ending, as Maria and James reach his car, she lets out another of her wracking coughs. Ultimately, James will have to watch Maria die just as he watched Mary, and the entire cycle of guilt and despair will begin again. But James will at least be happy for the short term. "LEAVE" ENDING By spending as little time with Maria as possible, and by keeping himself healthy and moving quickly through the game, James proves that he has really returned to Silent Hill in order to find Mary. This ending is also reinforced if James stops and stares at Mary's picture every once in a while, and re-reads her letter often. The "Leave" Ending is perhaps the more satisfying ending of the game, and I'll explain why and what it means. In the final boss fight, James rushes to the final area and assumes that he has found Mary. But actually it is Maria, pretending to be his dead wife. This is more proof than ever that Maria is really just an evil facsimile of Mary. When he realizes what Maria is, he casts her aside. Maria won't be tossed away so easily, and the final battle begins. Maria reveals her horrible true form at last. After James has executed the Maria demon, he finds himself at Mary's bedside once again. Now he is speaking directly to the person he holds so deeply in his heart. For one brief instance, she is alive again. James holds nothing back. Sobbing with grief, he apologizes for killing her, for wanting her misery to end. He admits wanting to end his own misery as well. And finally, Mary forgives James and bids him to go on with his life. She gives to him her real letter. As the letter is read and we come to understand Mary's final wishes, James and Laura leave Silent Hill together. The little girl runs ahead of James, as they head through the lakeside graveyard back to James car. This ending indicates that James is leaving Silent Hill with the closure and resolution that he came here for. He can let go of his guilt, cast off the demons that have plagued him, and begin again with Laura. "IN WATER" ENDING By far the most depressing of the four endings. If James examines Angela's knife, reads the suicide diary on the hospital roof, listens to the conversation on the headphones, and runs around wounded for long periods without healing, then the game determines that he is acting in a suicidal manner and this ending is achieved. Through his behavior, James indicates that he wants to end his life. When he confronts Maria's true form in the final scenes, she realizes that he plans to kill himself in order to be together with Mary in death, and she wants to prevent him. By murdering him herself, perhaps Maria can drag James down to Hell so that he can't be with Mary. By defeating Maria's demon form, James finds himself back at the moment of Mary's death. Rather than kill her again, he apologizes for what he did to her. Despite her pleas for him to go on with his life, he cannot. James picks up Mary and carries her back to his car. He drives into the lake, and drowns in the murky depths. Most people will find this a rather disturbing and unsatisfying ending, and it's meant to be that way. The developers are trying to encourage the player to seek out Mary more diligently. "REBIRTH" ENDING This ending is only available in a replay game, by collecting the four new ceremonial items that appear at various locations throughout the game. By collecting these items, James holds the keys to communicating with the evil powers in control of Silent Hill. He determines that he can possibly reunite with Mary by enlisting the aid of the old gods, and resurrect his dead wife from the dead so that they might live together forever in Silent Hill. After James casts off Maria and defeats her true form, he gets back in the boat and rows to an isolated island in the middle of the lake. We are privy to his final thoughts, and it is clear that James intends to use these ceremonial items to perform an ancient ritual to appease the dark spirits which are so readily manifest in Silent Hill. He believes this is why he was drawn here, to learn that such powers do indeed exist. It is as if he has revived the cult of Samael, which was wiped out in the first game. The key to performing the ritual is the book called the "Crimson Ceremony". As if written by Samael himself, this book clearly legitimizes the ancient god's influence in Silent Hill: "Speak. I am the Crimson One. The lies and the mist are not they but I. You all know that I am One. Yes, and the One is I. Believers hearken to me! Twenty score men and seven thousand beasts. Heed my words and speaketh them to all, that they shall ever be obeyed even under the light of the proud and merciless sun. I shall bring down bitter vengeance upon thee and thou shalt suffer my eternal wrath. The beauty of the withering flower and the last struggles of the dying man, they are my blessings. Thou shalt ever call upon me and all that is me in the place that is silent. Oh, proud fragrance of life which flies towards the heart. Oh Cup which brims with the whitest of wine, it is in thee that all begins." Yeeesh, chilling stuff! The purpose of the book is to clarify the usage of the Obsidian Goblet and the White Chrism, two other secret items that can only be found in a replay game. By collecting these items and viewing the "Rebirth" Ending, it's obvious that James has decided to become a follower of Samael. By engaging in the dark ceremonies, he has come to the insane conclusion that perhaps he will be able to resurrect Mary from the dead by joining with and utilizing the powers of evil. "DOG" ENDING I'm not sure I even want to go into this one! This is merely an inside joke on the part of the developers. By viewing all three endings or the Rebirth Ending alone, the DOG Key appears along with the little doghouse in the space behind Jack's Inn on Nathan Avenue. It's good to know the practice of finding keys in doghouses of Silent Hill hasn't changed. After finding the key, use it to unlock the "Observation Room" on the third floor of the Nightmare Lakeside Hotel, right after James views the tape. What happens inside is just too hysterical! The hilarity continues as the credit rolls. What is the meaning of this bizarre ending? Perhaps the developers are poking fun at us for trying to find meaning in SILENT HILL 2 at all! ======================================================================= 11. Maria's Adventure (XBox Sub Scenario) ======================================================================= Much to the lament of PlayStation2 owners everywhere, Konami announced eariler last year that the XBox version of SILENT HILL 2, subtitled "RESTLESS DREAMS", would have an additional scenario where the player gets the chance to play as Maria and search all new areas of Silent Hill. Well, all of these statements are true. But considering that the whole sub scenario can be beaten in under six minutes without learning anything really new should be a sign to PlayStation2 gamers that they aren't missing much. In the XBox version, James' main scenario is titled "Letter from Silent Heaven", while Maria's sub scenario is titled "Born From a Wish". The whole of Maria's short little story takes place directly before her first meeting with James at the lake. So the scenario is indeed a prequel, a device which is so popular these days. What follows is a complete description of this short scenario. A significant amount of spoilers are contained in this section, so reader beware. My objective is to give PS2 owners the full SH2 experience, without feeling cheated. NOTE: A great deal of the plot of this short story is derived from the Rebirth ending and the ceremonial items. If you don't understand, then replay the game and look for the four ceremonial pieces, and read the description of the Rebirth ending above. The scenario starts with Maria in her dressing room at the Heaven's Night dance club. She sits in a chair, mulling obsessively over a revolver. The gun has only one bullet, is it meant for her? Maria weighs this option heavily, and we are privy to her thoughts. Much the same as the characters in SILENT HILL 1, Maria comments that when she "woke up", the whole town was infested with monsters and everyone is gone. She doubts that she herself has a reason to continue living, but she is afraid of pain and dying. She wonders if it would be better to go and see for certain if she is really the only person left. Exiting the dressing room, Maria finds that she can only exit the club by going past the bar. Someone has embedded a Chinese meat cleaver into the countertop, and Maria decides to take it as a secondary weapon. Leaving Heaven's Night, Maria crosses south on Carroll Street to Rendell. It seems to be daytime, but everything is covered in a hazy fog. The mists are quite a bit thicker than James ever experiences. At the north end of Munson Street, Maria finds a partially open door. The site is marked with heavy splatters of blood, as if something quite nasty has just entered before her. Slipping through the doorway, Maria finds herself in a quaint little patio area. After putting down a few demons, she finds an anonymous dead body laying on the cobblestone. She enters the house. Inside the massive foyer of the dwelling, Maria finds all of the doors locked except for the double doors leading into the living room. Here, she finds a map of the mansion, titled "Baldwin House". There is a fireplace in the room that has been sealed up with a metal plate, on which is written the warning, "DO NOT USE FIREPLACE!" Proceeding north and up a staircase, Maria tries to open a locked door. Someone on the other side quickly pulls the door shut. Although obviously startled, Maria knocks on the door and tries to talk to the person anyway. "Is somebody... there?" she calls out. No one answers. She decides to try harder. "Open up," she says. "Hello?" Finally, a male voice answers from the other side of the door. "Stop it," he says. "You're disturbing me." But Maria keeps trying anyway. "Whew, thank god," she says. "I finally found somebody. Can you open the door?" The reply is a firm no. "Buy why?" begs Maria. The man behind the door sighs. "Is it really necessary for me to answer all your tedious questions?" "Yes!" Maria replies sarcastically. "Oh, I didn't know that," whines the man. "I want to be alone. Other people just irritate me." Maria waits for a few moments, then tries being openly honest with the defensive person. "I just want to see another human face," she says. "Do you know what's happening in the this town? There's no one here... just monsters." There is a moment of silence. Then, from behind the door, "Yes, I know." The voice changes tone, from sympathy to apathy. "But so what?" he continues. "It has nothing to do with me. No one here means there's no one to disturb me." Maria becomes incredulous. Of all the luck, to be so lonely in such a frightening place, and the only person she finds doesn't want her around. She yells at the door, "You want to be alone in this insane asylum?" The man behind the door almost laughs. "Yes, exactly," he says. "But how can you say that it is this town that is insane? Perhaps it is we who are insane. Both of us... hopelessly insane. Are you satisfied? Would you leave me alone?" Maria is finally giving up, but she still has one question. "My name is..." she thinks for a moment. For a brief instant, she is actually trying hard to remember her name! "...Maria." she says finally, "What's your name?" There is a long moment of silence. Just when it seems that there will be no answer, one finally arrives. "Ernest," says the voice behind the door. "Hemingway?" asks Maria, jokingly. "Baldwin!" barks the man behind the door. He sounds rather tired now. Maria starts moving away from the door. "Ernest... I'll be back." Continuing to search the upper level of the north wing of the house, Maria finds a white board that is punched through with square holes. On the front is a design, like a small white vial. On the back is an inscription: "When the White Breath is found, I shall dedicate this thing. Oh Spirit of the Mist, Grant us fortune eternal." So it is obviously a ceremonial piece. Those who have played through the main scenario will recognize the vial design on the front as the White Chrism, a ceremonial item that James can find in a replay of his part of the game. Maria soon finds that all doors are locked to her, and she can only return to the first floor. On the way downstairs, a loud clatter can be heard from the Living Room. Upon arriving there, Maria finds that the metal plate over the fireplace has fallen (or been ripped) off. Upon examination of the fireplace, she finds a ladder going up the chimney to another opening. Climbing to the top, Maria finds herself in a pretty little floral area, a secret garden that would be perfect for a child. But this place is a shrine of sorrow it seems. At the rear is a small tombstone, and on it is carefully engraved: "Along with you died joy. All that remains is despair and a future of meaningless tomorrows. But I will never give up. One, to see your beautiful smile again. One, to beg the blessing of the Gods. I wait for that day. When the boards cover all All sadness too will be covered But until my dreams return to reality I will have to swallow all the pain." There's a key firmly embedded in the stone beneath a square depression. Lying around the garden, Maria also finds a black board which bears the unmistakable design of the Obsidian Chalice. On the back is the following engraving: "When the Dark Grail is found, I shall dedicate this thing. You who deny Death, Grant us fortune eternal." There is also a red board lying beneath the gravestone. The design on the front is that of a red book, and on the back is inscribed: "When the Crimson Words are found, I shall dedicate this thing. Oh you Gods deep in slumber, Grant us fortune eternal." These three boards must be inserted into the tombstone so that the solid parts overlap all the holes punched in the boards, and none of the grave marker shows through. It's a relatively easy puzzle to solve, and when Maria figures it out she receives the rather simple looking Acacia Key. The key and the boards all have a greater significance in the plot of SILENT HILL 2, which will be explained in the summary at the end. Maria uses the Acacia Key to unlock a door leading to the north wing of the second story of the house. The second door along the corridor opens into a little girl's room. Some matches are found on the night stand beside the bed. When Maria examines other features of the room, we are privy to her thoughts. On the wall behind the door is a calendar from ten years ago. The month displayed is November. The significance of this will realized later. Moving to the right, Maria examines a row of stuffed animals on top of a small bureau. "Oh, is this a teddy bear?" thinks Maria, "It's not very well-made, but it's sort of cute anyway. I bet Laura would love it. She loves bears." Quite suddenly, Maria interupts her own thoughts. "...'Laura'??" she wonders. "Who the hell am I talking about...?" For those of us who have played the regular scenario, there is no mistaking whom Maria is talking about. Memories of Laura have drifted into her mind, and she has caught herself remembering a person that she has never known. This is yet another allusion to the fact that Maria is a dark reflection of James Sunderland's dead wife, Mary. In this prequel scenario, we are shown the first signs that Maria is slowly regaining the memories of a dead woman, and learning her true purpose in Silent Hill. But that's all still a few pages away.... Exiting the child's room, Maria continues along the corridor and finds herself in an attic. As she mounts the steps, the sounds of frightened voices in panic emanates from the room above. "...she fell out the window!" someone screams. But when Maria reaches the top of the stairs, she finds only a dark and empty storage room. Using the matches to ignite a candle, Maria sheds some light on her surroundings and notices something tucked under a nearby chair. It is a birthday card, drawn in large crayon strokes and a child's handwriting. It reads, "TO MY DEAREST DADDY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! FROM AMY BALDWIN" Realizing that Ernest might want to have this, Maria heads back downstairs. While descending, she thinks she hears a child's voice say "Give it..." But another search of the attic proves that there is still no one up there. When Maria turns the doorknob to leave, the ghostly voice finishes: "...to my daddy," it says. Give it to my daddy. This is a clear indication that it's time to confront Ernest face to face and find out what happened in this house. But Maria finds that the door behind which the man was hiding is now unlocked, and the room is empty save for a book on the coffee table. Init, there is a decription of Acacia: "Acacia A genus of evergreen trees of the mimosa tribe of the pea family. Its tiny flowers are yellow or white and grow in clusters. Common varieties include the 'gum tree'. The Acacia Tree is a potent symbol in many religions across the World. In Christianity it represents eternal life and mortality. In ancient Egypt it represented purity and rebirth, while in ancient Babylonia it was thought of as the tree of the Goddess Ishtar and was a symbol of Life. It was also a holy tree to the Ancient Jews who built the sacred Ark of the Covenant from it and for whom it signified a peaceful death and a release from grief." The pieces are all coming together now, but the analysis will wait until the end. Meantime, Maria continues navigating through the massive dismal house until she finds herself in a study. Alone on a table is a certain volume wherein is described the following about cultism: "Lost Memories I have the strongest trust - you may even call it faith - in the miracle called 'Ressurection of the Dead'. "Upon the hill where the light descended, the Beast intoned his song. With words of blood, drops of mist and the vessel of night, the grave become an open field. The people wept in fear and joy at the reunion, but my faith in the salvation of Xuchilpaba did not waver. "It is also spoken of in the ancient legends. The original worshippers did not believe that death was the end but that it was simply the path by which the deceased returned to nature. They also believed the process was reversible." There is something scribbled at the bottom of the page. Maria wonders if it is Ernest's writing: "Blood = Red, Mist = White, Night = Black" Obviously, Ernest is attempting to interpret the requirements needed for the ritual of returning the dead to life. His notes indicate that he is looking for a red book, a white liquid and black drinking cup. Most of you veterans will recognize these ceremonial items from James' scenario. Maria tries the door in the study. Ernest has locked himself inside. "Do you know a little girl named Amy?" Maria asks through the door. Ernest sighs, troubled. "Why do you ask me that?" Maria takes out the birthday card and reads it. "It's from a girl named Amy Baldwin," she says. Then gently she asks, "You're 'DADDY'?" Ernest sighs heavily again. "Yes," he mutters. "Where did you find that?" "Up in the attic," says Maria. Ernest lets out a sorrowful groan. "What a fool...!" he curses from behind the door. "Now... when it's too late, I finally understand why. Why she was there...! Why she was holding that empty envelope when she... when she fell...." Maria steps back a little from the door. "Ernest, Amy... She isn't...?" She's too afraid of being insensitive to finish her sentence. "I'm sorry," says Maria, dropping the subject. "I'm sorry I reminded you." Ernest starts to speak in his lightest tone yet. There is a new vulnerability and a frailty that is unmistakable. "No need to apologize," he says. "You didn't remind me. I've never forgotten... "Maria," he continues, almost affectionately. "Some things we forget and some things we can never forget... It's funny... I'm not sure which one is sadder. It's been 10 years, but I still..." Maria needs to break in. "Ernest... I'm sorry. I didn't know." Ernest understands. "No, it's fine," he says. His tone becomes stronger. "Maria, that letter..." "I'll leave it here," Maria finishes. She crouches and slides the birthday card under the door. Ernest thanks her. After a brief pause, he suddenly gasps, "Maria? So you must be...." After he breaks off momentarily, he resumes as if thinking out loud to himself, "That's why! That's why you could see me! So perhaps that means that I can hope for a miracle as well?" Maria is naturally confused. "What do you mean?" Ernest assumes a braver and more commanding tone. "In the apartment building next door, there is a bottle containing a white liquid. I don't know exactly where it is, but I know it's in there somewhere. I must have it." Maria doesn't understand the request. "Why don't you just get it yourself?" she wonders. Ernest sounds like he almost wants to giggle. "If I could, believe me I would. But I..." After a long moment, Maria doublechecks on the color. "White?" she asks. It is also an agreement to go look for the stuff. "I'll open the stairway door," says Ernest. "Ernest, do you really believe it will work?" asks Maria. "I don't know..." admits Ernest quietly. But Maria just shrugs. "Well, that's okay. I don't mind fightin' for an impossible cause. Anyway it beats just giving up and doing nothing." Ernest thanks her fondly, and Maria leaves. Returning to a previous corridor where she found that the door was locked, she now finds that it has mysteriously opened. Maria follows the stairs down into an underground passage. Another small marker bears witness to the tragedy that was the death of Amy Baldwin. The roach-infested concrete tunnel leads into a nearby deserted residence. Following the short corridor to the exit, Maria emerges into another small courtyard. Graffitti on the small house from which she has emerged reads "KEEP OUT OF HAUNTED MANSION". Maybe there is some truth to those words... Fighting her way across the patio, Maria enters the Blue Creek Apartment building. Those who've been here before as James Sunderland know that the map of the building is located on the upper landing. The "white liquid" that Ernest desires is located in room 105. Maria finds it on top of the locked covered desk. When Maria returns to the study inside the Baldwin House, Ernest seems to know already that she found what he is looking for, without emerging from his room. "Thank you Maria," he says sincerely. "That's the only item I couldn't get myself. By the time I found out about it, I could no longer leave this house. (It's been) so long..." Maria looks at the chrism full of white liquid, doubtful of its power. "Yes, but will it-" Ernest knows what she's thinking. "Maria, the Gods ARE here. You know it too. You were born in this town." Maria laughs. "I'm not sure 'God' is the right word." She sets the white liquid on the table by the door. "Do you believe in Fate?" Ernest asks her through the door. Maria replies that she does not. "That's fine then," finishes Ernest. Maria takes hold of the doorknob. "Ernest, can I open this?" Ernest replies, "This is a dead end. There's nothing beyond here." Maria releases the knob. "I know," she mutters weakly. After a long thoughtful moment, she becomes curious. "So... What if I had said I believed in Fate?" She gets the answer that Ernest would have given her. His tone takes on a menace that is too chilling to describe. "That James, he's a bad man." Maria is confused. "James...?" she wonders. But little by little, the past of another woman returns to her. Slowly she remembers the wrongs that were done to her in another life. Gradually, she remembers who James is. "Y,yes... I know," she mutters. "He's looking for the you that isn't you," continues Ernest from behind the study door. "Because he's kind," realizes Maria. She is remembering more and more about James each moment, since her past-life memory was triggered by Ernest. She decides to bring things into the light. "Do you... KNOW something?" She asks, and Ernest starts to tell her. But she interrupts him immediately, raising her hands to defend herself from the truth. "Anyway that's just what you think!" she says, raising her voice. It's as if the spell is broken. "You don't really know anything," she says through the door. "That's fine," says Ernest calmly, "Okay." After a long moment's hesitation, Maria seizes the doorknob and opens the door to the room Ernest is in. She finds an empty room, where only a small table stands. On the table is the birthday card from Amy, delivered ten years too late. With great effect, the realization of what has been going on hits Maria. After a moment of frustrated consternation, she drops her head sadly. In the final scene, Maria walks up the alley behind the apartment building. She reaches a wall that is covered with a child's innocent drawings. She looks at the revolver in her hand. Very slowly, she brings up the gun and places it against her temple. She closes her eyes. For a very long and sad moment, it really does seem that she is going to end it all. But then she open her eyes and lowers the gun. She doesn't look any less saddened, but her countenance now also includes a kind of bitterness. She turns and flings the revolver over the wall. After a moment where Maria appears to be biting back tears, she continues up the alley toward the pier overlooking Toluca Lake. It is the place where she will meet Fate face to face. She mutters the name of the man who holds her destiny, "James". We hear the familiar lines of Maria and James, meeting for the first time. Those first awkward moments where he mistook her for his dead wife. As the credits roll, all of Maria's moments in James' story are relived. Maria has finally found her purpose, and met Fate face to face. *ANALYSIS* After reading the rest of this plot guide, especially the section about Maria, I think that the XBox exclusive scenario should make all the sense in the world. But anyway, here's your analysis: Point 1: Maria is born. According to Konami, Maria is brought into existence just shortly before the scenario starts. They offer no explanation as to where the gun came from. Maria was originally a demon that has been transformed by the greater powers in Silent Hill into the woman that James Sunderland desires. But at this early time just after her incarnation, she has no memory of James and no knowledge of the cosmic purpose of her existence. During this scenario, Silent Hill shows Maria who she is and her purpose for living. Point 2: Maria desperately needs to find another human being. Now that Maria is a human with human feelings and desires, and not a monster anymore, she wants to hang out with other people. We mortals are an exclusive group. :) But the truth is that Silent Hill has instilled Maria with a deep-seated desire to be with humans. In a way, it is a supernatural infiltration tactic! Point 3: The body outside the front door of the mansion. I don't have a solid answer on this. My favorite theory is that this is Ernest, dead at the hands of the demons for just a few hours. Point 4: Ernest says that they are both insane. Maybe and maybe not. Maybe everyone in the game in just insane, including James, Eddie and Angela. It's not a far leap to make that assumption. But to keep this analysis firmly grounded, let's say that the supernatural is the central factor rather than insanity. With this statement, Ernest is just messing with Maria's developing mind to some degree. But he is also conveying that he may have his own delusions of reality, but so does Maria. Maria's delusions will be stripped away at the end of the scenario. Point 5: The puzzle pieces represent the ceremonial items. Following the tragedy where Ernest lost his daughter, he came across some knowledge that Silent Hill is a place where the Old Gods still lurk in the shadows. Through his research, Ernest determined that if he were to obtain three items listed metaphorically in the descriptions of rituals performed here long ago, then perhaps there would be a way to bring his dead little girl back to life. But until he found the required items, he needed a way to seal away his sorrows. He locked up the little girl's wing of the mansion, and sealed the key in a gravestone he erected in the secret garden. He fashioned the boards that unlocked this puzzle in such a manner so that they were carved with the likenesses of the items he sought for the ritual. As Ernest continued his research, he managed to find the Crimson Ceremony and the Obsidian Goblet. But his life ended before he obtained the White Chrism. This is why the Red Board and the Black Board can be found right in front of the gravestone, whereas the White Board, representing the White Chrism that Ernest had yet to obtain, is found in another part of the house. The puzzle represents Ernest's story. The three ceremonial items are the keys to ending Ernest's sorrow. Thus, two of them are extremely easy to find, whereas the White item is more elusive. Since Maria finds all three boards and symbolically releases Ernest's sorrow, this is why he is more open to speaking with her the next time they meet. Maria unknowingly proves her worthiness by solving the puzzle, and so he knows that he can ask her to go get the White Liquid. Point 6: Maria remembers Laura Well, only vaguely. As I pointed out above, if you search the child's room on the second floor, Maria will share her thoughts about the dolls on the shelf. She mentions that Laura would like them. But then she realizes that her mind has wandered, and she has never even met the person she is talking about. This is just a sign that gradually but surely, Maria is learning her purpose. In order to be the perfect woman for James, Silent Hill has imbued Maria with all of Mary's fondest memories. They are just now starting to slip up to the surface. As a result, Silent Hill has also imbued Maria with Mary's love of Laura. We see this again in the main scenario when Maria tries desperately to explain to James that she feels the need to protect the little girl, but she doesn't know why. Point 7: Ernest knows who Maria is He realizes this when she brings him the Birthday Card. Her act of kindness has caused him to consider her presence here more deeply. Let's just keep things simple for the moment and say that although Ernest has spent ten years in this house, he is very attuned to the plots and machinations of the dark forces in Silent Hill. He has some sense that a man named James Sunderland wishes that his wife Mary was alive again. The meaning of the name Maria suddenly hits him. "That's why! That's why you could see me!" he says. Please accept that this is something of a translation error. From what Ken explained to me, it would be clearer if Ernest had said, "That's why you could VISIT me!" Since Ernest is dead, Maria is only able to speak to him in this house because she is also a creature of the supernatural. Both of them are empowered by the evil of Silent Hill. The appearance of Maria, in answer to the wishes of James Sunderland, gives Ernest hope that he has been right all along about being able to resurrect Amy. Even now that he is dead, Ernest still wants to bring her back, so that at least she is in the same place he is... even if they live together in Hell. Point 8: Ernest knows who James is This point continues from the point above, so go back and read it if you skipped down for some reason. As I've been saying, Ernest is already dead, and now inhabits his mansion only as a ghost. Because he has spent ten years seeking out the objects of evil rituals, he has become attuned to the dark forces of Silent Hill. That attunement is even stronger now that he is part of the spirit world. So to find out who Maria is and the fact that she was created solely to fulfill the wishes of James Sunderland, all his spirit has to do is consult with the infinite know- ledge base that obviously exists within the legions of demons. Since she has not yet realized her true purpose, Maria is the naive and kindly type of person that Mary Shepard-Sunderland used to be. Ernest knows that he can ask Maria to do him a favor, and that she will most likely do it for him. So when Maria is good enough to bring back what Ernest most desires, Ernest tries to return the favor by stirring Maria's memories of James... and what he did to her. Otherwise, Maria would probably wander about town forever, a lonely soul that doesn't know why she is here. Point 9: The room that Ernest was in is empty As I mentioned previously, Ernest has been dead this whole time. Because his research was unfinished and his collection of ritual items incomplete, Ernest's ghost continued to haunt the mansion after his demise. Although confined to the house until his quest is completed by some cooperative individual, he now has a direct connection to the powers of evil dwelling in the town. Through this connection, he is able to find out who Maria is, why they can have conversations, and what Maria's connection to James is. Ernest wants what he wants, and Silent Hill has its own desires. There's a bit of dark bargaining at work here. Silent Hill allows Maria to easily go and obtain the white liquid that Ernest wants. All he has to do in return is stir Maria's latent memories of James, so that she will realize who she was/is, and what purpose Silent Hill created her for. Point 10: Maria almost kills herself When she learns that Ernest is really a ghost, and that she is still all alone in this town full of evil, Maria is understandably hurt. The ghost has reawakened memories within her that she didn't want to deal with. Silent Hill has used this situation to bash her over the head with the true purpose of her existence. So now the question remains, does she become the tool of evil, or does she blow her brains out and resign her commission? This is what Maria's sub-scenario is all about. It's a long way of depicting how Maria became such a conflicted villainess. But the sub-scenario also reveals how Silent Hill works, in a way. ======================================================================= 12. Frequently Asked Questions ======================================================================= Q: Now that SILENT HILL 2 is out, don't you think you should rewrite your plot guide for the first game? A: What if I told you that you had to repeat the fourth grade? That's exactly how I feel when people tell me this. But I'll let you in on a little inside info that I probably shouldn't. When I was working on the SH2 OSG, I was able to ask questions of Konami US and Konami JP staff directly. I asked many plot questions regarding the game, and that is how this document you are reading was formulated. I also tried to ask questions about the first game. After writing a plot guide for it, naturally I was curious to see how close my interpretation was. When I asked questions about the first game, my queries were answered with abstract, short statements such as "There is no relation between the situation of the first game and the new game Silent Hill 2." Another answer was "The focus is the game at hand, which is not similar to the previous product." And sometimes, if I was extremely lucky, the answer to my theory about the story of the first game was "That is an accurate description." So my attempts to get solid info about the first game's plot ran into some difficulties. I think most of this has to do with translation, since my emails had a forwarding trail a mile long. Also, Konami has obviously reworked the premise of the games and they are trying not to look backward too much. So until I get some more positive proof of what the original SILENT HILL is really all about, I will leave that plot guide speculative as is. ---- Q: So when did Mary really die? Three years ago, or a week ago? A: The answer is vague, I'm afraid. It is for certain that Mary didn't die three years ago. James learns this from Laura near the end of the game. In his subconscious attempts to block his crime out of his mind, James has confused the facts a little bit. Konami pointed me toward the taped conversation with the doctor. I realized that on the tape, the doctor tells James that Mary might have only three years to live. So this is how the "three years" time frame got stuck in James' mind. Since Mary wishes Laura a Happy 8th in her letter, and Laura turned eight only last week, this is meant as an indication to James that Mary didn't die when he thought she did. The information leads him to believe that maybe she didn't die at all. That is the new idea that this shift in the story is supposed to ignite inside the player - the chilling thought that maybe Mary is still alive and really is waiting for James in Room 312 upstairs.... ---- Q: Harry Mason appears in the UFO ending. Is this the TRUE ending? A: After the seriousness in which the rest of the game is presented, this ending can hardly be perceived as anything but another joke ending. Please stop trying to 'correct' my SH1 plot guide. That document contains nothing but my views and speculations, and I've never presented it as anything but exactly that. If you have your own views and speculations about SH1, I encourage you to write an entire plot guide. I wish more people would. The UFO ending is just Team Silent's way of including an easter egg in a videogame, so that the value of the product matches other popular games on the market. And it looks like there's going to be one of these in every SILENT HILL game. So just enjoy it, and stop thinking so much! =) ---- Q: What is the creature that can be heard moving on the floor above the prison cells? What is it saying? A: I don't have a answer for you. I can definitely tell you that it is there to creep you out. It gives me chills every time I run through those rows of cells! I've also heard that you can aim at it and shoot it when it's in range, and even kill it. This is one of the last questions I asked the testing squad over at Konami, and they had no true answer either. They said that it is one of the Doormen monsters, programmed to "speak" on idle. As to what it is saying, I have no idea and neither did the Konami US folks. ---- Q: Why didn't you describe the DOG Ending? Please tell me what happens. A: I could describe moment by moment what happens, but you wouldn't get it at all. The DOG Ending is a joke ending, and it's a total sight gag. So even if I went to the lengths of describing it, it wouldn't be funny. It really is something that has to be seen in order for you to laugh at it. When Ken Ogasawara described to me over the phone what happens in the DOG Ending, he was totally cracking up. And although he described it well, I just didn't get it. However, when I played the game and got the DOG Ending myself, I started laughing so hard that tears were rolling out of my eyes by the time those silly credits had finished. So that is one aspect of the game that I am not capable of ruining, and I'm not going to try. ---- Q: I saw the "In Water" Ending, but I don't remember James carrying Mary out to the car. Also, I heard a car crash but didn't see anything. Is there something wrong with my game? A: There's nothing wrong, that's exactly what happens. My description of it includes all that is implied by the dialogue, noises and the final image underwater. That's as close as you can get to depicting a suicide in a videogame released on a Sony game console. Otherwise, Sony would never approve it for release on their system. ---- Q: Thank you for writing this guide. A: You are all sincerely welcome. I do it for love of the game, and to share that love with others. It's a self-serving need at heart, but I am definitely glad that you got some benefit from reading my writing about SILENT HILL 2. If there's any other games that you need help under- standing, give me a holler. If I've played them, I'll tell you what I think happened and what was lost in the translation. I do it on a lot of games, I just don't write FAQs about it all the time. I had to interpret the whole Final Fantasy movie for my family. C'est le vie. ---- Q: At Neely's Bar, what does the first graphiti on the wall mean? A: "There was a HOLE here, but it's gone now." I didn't ask what this meant. My interpretation is that someone else has noticed the shifting realities in Silent Hill. For some other guilty traveler in town, the alternate version of the bar has a pit in the room. So when James comes back later and the whole town is pitch black, the player has the idea to return to the bar to see if a hole has appeared. But instead, there is a new and very threatening graphiti on the other wall. It's a way of getting the player to search the Bar a second time to see if something new has appeared. I think it might also refer to the kind of holes that James encounters later. Each time he jumps into a pit, James is trans- ported to some other reality or some other location. In this interp, the graphiti is forshadowing the reality-bending nature of the holes in the game. ---- Q: I'm confused. Was there a letter from Mary or not? A: That is the question you are meant to ask. And there is no one answer, you are encouraged to come up with your own. Did a supernatural force bring James back to Silent Hill, or only his own guilty conscious? My plot analysis would seem to indicate a little of both. The makers of the game really want you to decide those kinds of things for yourself, in searching for the truth to the mystery. ---- Q: What is the whispering in Room 209 that you mention in the OSG? A: No clue. Hope you have some loud-ass speakers hooked up to your set, cause you'll need them to hear that voice. Probably just gibberish, and it's definitely just there to freak you out. ---- Q: If the monsters represent James' guilt, then why do they take on the shapes that they do? A: I originally intended to impart some information I received about interpreting the monster designs. But the text I wrote just sort of fell out of the flow of narrative, and so it didn't make it. Also, Konami's descriptions just aren't very deep, some of them even cheapen the whole game. So I didn't want to go that route. The appearances of Nurses and Patients are easy to interpret, since Mary was sick in a hospital for a while. But if you look at the final boss of the game, Maria's true form, you realize that she is an amalgamation of all the enemies in the game! All the regular enemies are deformed females, except for Pyramid Head. And since Pyramid is decidedly male, he represents James as a murderer. This explains all the scenes where Pyramid Head is killing other monsters. It is a reenactment of James killing Mary! ---- Q: I think you missed something. That dead body in the chair in front of the TV is James! A: Nope, I didn't miss that. But when I talked to Konami about it and what it might mean, Ken Ogasawara blew off any plot significance. He says it's more likely that the team didn't want to model a whole new character's head, and just used James' texture and then ripped out the face to simulate the gun blast damage. ---- Q: Will you do a plot analysis like this for METAL GEAR SOLID? A: As far as I'm concerned, METAL GEAR SOLID completely explains itself. If you don't believe me, just sit through all those Codec conversations and really listen. You'll realize that absolutely every plot element that could possibly be discussed is already analyzed right there in the game, with extreme overkill. If you don't have the patience to listen to all the cinemas and codec talks, I can't help you there. If you want help understanding METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, then all I can say is good luck. That plot has so many holes and cliches and inconsistencies, I wouldn't touch it with a 40 foot pole! Not to mention the fact that the whole game focuses on a purely cookie-cutter videogame character who has no basis being in a Metal Gear. Ugh, don't get me started... ---- Q: How did you become a writer for Bradygames? How do I get a job like yours? A: Develop a section of strategy guide sample. Write a character section and a portion of a walkthrough for your favorite game, and submit it to a publisher who specializes in strategy guide production. Attach it to an email along with a general letter of query. In the query, tell the publisher that you want to write strategy guides for the rest of your natural life, and that you're willing to work like a slave 18 hours a day and never spend any time with your wife except on rare holidays. If you can accept all those sacrifices and write them in a query, then you're well on your way. To find a publisher's address, buy one of their books. The Library of Congress insists that publishers list their address on the same page that all the legal information appears. ---- Anything else? http://www.danbirlew.com ======================================================================= 13. Credits ======================================================================= Special thanks to Ken Ogasawara and the rest of the team at KCET and KCEA for providing most of the information that is provided in this plot guide, as well as complete dialogue and text transcriptions. It really is satisfying to write a plot guide that isn't all guesswork this time! Special thanks to Akihiko Imamura, not only for his input here but for striving to stretch and improve the scope and quality of the Silent Hill series. Those of you who played the first game will definitely like the improvements in the second! Special thanks to David Waybright and Leigh Davis at Bradygames, for choosing me to do the Silent Hill 2 Official Strategy Guide. After being such a big fan of the first game, it was a true honor. Thanks to everyone who read the plot guide I wrote for the first Silent Hill game, and who visited my various Silent Hill websites over the years. You can now visit me at http://www.danbirlew.com. Special thanks to my wife Laura, for being an extremely patient and beautiful person. The final decision to go ahead and write this guide was made with her encouragement. If you have any questions or comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I feel that your questions have not already been answered by this guide, I will include them in an FAQ section in future updates. REQUESTS FOR PUZZLE SOLUTIONS OR GAME STRATEGIES WILL BE IGNORED.