_____ _ _ ____ _ _ _____ _ _ _ _ _ / _ \| || | | __|| \ | ||_ _| | | | || || | | | | | |_|| || | | | | \ | | | | | | | || || | | | | \___ | || | | |_ | \ | | | | | |_| || || | | | \___ \| || | | _| | |\ \| | | | | _ || || | | | _ \ || || | | | | | \ | | | | | | || || | | | | |_| || || |__ | |__ | | \ | | | | | | || || |__ | |__ \_____/|_||____||____||_| \_| |_| |_| |_||_||____||____| _ _ ___ _ _ _ __ | \ | / \ | | | / \ | | | | \ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |_ |_/ | | | | | _ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |__ \_/ | \_/ \_/ _ |_/ |__ VERSION 2 AN EXPLANATION OF THE COMPLETE PLOT OF SILENT HILL Uncopyrighted material 2000 President Evil ======================================================================= 1. Table of Contents ======================================================================= Chapters 1. Table of Contents 2. Updates 3. Introduction 4. Topic 1: Alessa and Cheryl 5. Topic 2: Silent Hill 6. Topic 3: Harry, Dahlia's Pawn 7. Topic 4: Paging Dr. Kauffman 8. Topic 5: Lisa 9. Topic 6: Cybil Possessed 10. Topic 7: The Endings 11. Frequently Asked Questions 12. Credits You can always find the newest version of this guide at the following locations on the web: GameFAQs - www.gamefaqs.com DanBirlew.com - www.danbirlew.com NOTE: Silent Hill 2 is covered in a separate document. This file covers only the first game, Silent Hill by Konami. ======================================================================= 2. Updates ======================================================================= March 1, 1999 - Version 1.1, posted at GameFAQs.com and at Central Silent Hill. April 1, 1999 - Version 1.2, Added Updates and FAQ section. Added to Credits Section. April 19, 1999- Version 1.3, Cleaned out FAQ section. Added logo at the top. Added Analysis section to formally state my opinon. January, 2000 - Version 2, Supplemental guide to first version. Sept. 12, 2000 - Updated contact and where to find info. January, 2001 - Updated contact and where to find info. Corrected minor typos and deleted some extraneous sentences. Updated FAQ section. July 28,2005 - Updated contact info, removed thanks to individuals who no longer exist, no longer deserve thanks. ======================================================================= 3. Introduction ======================================================================= The first version of this guide was a very in-depth study of the game Silent Hill by Konami. It described the entire plot and then attempted to explain it. Due to the continuously high volume of emails I continue to receive regarding the plot, I consider the first version to be a failure. I am not putting myself down, nor is this a personal problem. There just comes a time when an author must evaluate whether or not his work achieved the goal for which the entire project was conceived. The first version fulfilled several smaller goals that I had in mind, but it did not achieve all that I desire from a full Plot Guide to Konami's second greatest game. (Metal Gear rules!!!) In this new version, I believe I have attained the goals I should have been striving for in the first place. This is not about self-criticism, nor is this about contempt for those who're still in the dark even after reading my guide. Truly, I do appreciate all the email I have received regarding Silent Hill and this guide. This is merely an attempt at personal and professional growth. Also, I have grown a great deal as a guide author. This is mainly due to my recent good fortune to become a freelance strategy guide author for the illustrious BradyGames. You can pick up copies of my guides for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and SaGa Frontier II at any store that specializes in videogames. My experience with BradyGames taught me three things about guides: They should be concise and to the point, easily referenced, and the player should be able to read the guide before OR after playing the game and not have the plot ruined. So how do you write a plot guide that doesn't give away the plot?!?!??! The Silent Hill Plot Guide has now been completely rewritten so that it only covers topics that are left unanswered when you finish the game. Players who have finished the game will know exactly what parts and characters of the game the guide is referring to. For those who haven't played the game yet, this guide offers points to look for in the game, so that you are not confused while you are playing it. I will admit that in describing characters and certain events, this guide still gives away some major plot elements. But people who've played the game don't care, and people who haven't will probably be able to enjoy the game better than the hundred of people who've emailed me in frustration, "I've finished Silent Hill. What the hell was THAT all about?!?!?!?" To see the original version of this guide, please come to my website, listed above. There's also a "runthru" that's very cool to look at as well. ======================================================================= 4. Topic 1: Alessa and Cheryl ======================================================================= The answer to the most frequently asked question about the plot of Silent Hill, and the first thing that occurs in the game, concerns the disappearance of Cheryl. Where is Cheryl, and who is Alessa? The answer, for all its complexities, is that Alessa IS Cheryl!!! (Just like Darth Vader IS Luke's father.) This revelation at the end of the game threw me for a loop too, but it is clearly stated by Dahlia at the end. To figure this out, you have to start with the ending and think backward through the last hour or so of the game. At the end, Harry enters a dark area inhabited by three others: Dahlia, a person wrapped from head to toe in bandages and seated in a wheelchair, and the girl Alessa, seated on the floor. When Harry demands to know where Cheryl is, Dahlia replies that Cheryl is sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, that she has been there all along. The girl seated on the floor has been seen throughout the entire game. She IS Cheryl. Harry has been running into Cheryl through the entire game. So why didn't she ever talk to him, let him know who she really was? Because Cheryl never really existed. In fact, neither did Alessa. Both of the girls are only conjurations of Dahlia's cult. See, the cult wanted to bring their lord Samael to the mortal world, so that he could take control of the universe. But for the cult to benefit they would have to be able to control Samael. The only way to do this was to summon Samael into an unborn fetus, a child that the cult could raise and teach to control its powers, all for the benefit of the cult, of course. Dahlia conceived the child somehow, with the help of Dr. Kaufmann. (He either inseminated her, or had intercourse with her. Eeeuuggh!!!!) But when the child was born, only half of Samael's Dark Soul had been summoned into the child. To prove this, I will refer to two ghostly flashbacks of sorts that Harry is witness to on his way to the final confrontation with Dahlia and the two Alessas. The scene prior is the one that I believe occured first. Alessa and Dahlia are struggling in an upstairs area of Dahlia's house, seen previously only from an exterior shot in the intro sequence. (Yes, the house where Cheryl seems to be trapped.) Alessa refuses to do what Dahlia says. Dahlia wants Alessa to use her latent powers for Dahlia's evil interests. Alessa is not cooperating with the cult's interests. She only wants to be a normal kid, with a normal mother. Somehow, this reveals to Dahlia that in order to summon the other half of Samael, she must have another child. This is how there are two children. What happened to the first Alessa? Think back to the scene Harry witnesses in the Hospital basement. The cult members are all standing around the horribly burned child. One of the members has some kind of perception that tells him that only half of the Dark Soul is contained in the child. The cult has failed, temporarily. Burning the child has placed it into a coma, where the power within can be tapped by the cult, but only in a minimal basis. This is when Dahlia begins to reveal that she knows how to summon the second part of the Dark Soul. But the scene cuts away. They burned Alessa on purpose!!! The fire that Lisa refers to in one of her scenes, which she says consumed half of Silent Hill and put an end to the cult activities in town, occured seven years ago. Cheryl is seven years old. Alessa looks like she's a teen- ager, about fourteen maybe. In the second flashback, she looks like she's about seven. So let's add it all up, starting from the beginning. Fourteen years before the events of the game, in neither Silent Hill that exists in the game, but the REAL one, Dahlia and the cult performed a ritual to summon their dark God Samael into material form. This way, they could control him, and together they would all rule the cosmos. Nice plan. Then they performed a ceremony similar to the one you can read about in Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby. (Hence, the street named Levin St.) But the ceremony only conjured a child that contained half the soul of their dark god, and so it only remained dormant within the child. That child was Alessa. For seven years, the cult and Dahlia tried fruitlessly to teach the stubborn child to tap into the power she carried, and to come to terms with her true purpose for living. The girl continued to refuse. So the cult locked her in her bedroom, and set fire to Dahlia's house. This is the fire that spread, and nearly burned up half the town, which Lisa refers to. Every- one in town knew that Dahlia had a little girl, but the story was that she died in the fire. The cult knew that the power within the girl's body would prevent her from dying. The cult members thought that by doing this, they would be able to use the power within Alessa without having to coax her into compliance. This is when the scene in the hidden rooms in the hospital basement occurs. The cult realizes something that Dahlia has known for some time, that Alessa only contains half of the Dark Soul of Samael. The power can be used now that Alessa can't get in the way, but it is very weak because it is only half there. This is when Dahlia begins to reveal her idea to the cult, the one she'd had previously, about conceiving a second child. So the ritual was performed again, and the second child was born. It contained the second half of the Dark Soul, and this is Cheryl, essentially. So you've got two identical creatures, containing two halves of a Dark Soul. Since both girls share the same dormant soul, both girls are the same girl, in essence. This is why Cheryl disappears. When she and Harry crash, notice how the jeep seems to go right through Alessa???? Think of it in metaphor. This symbolizes Cheryl crashing into herself, her REAL self. Also, think of the fact that there are two Alessas at the end of the game as being a metaphor for there being two halves of the Dark Soul. So there was metaphysically only one girl, conjured one half at a time. Two half-girls, two half-Dark Souls. One demon god. Samael. It's a metaphysical equation written across the entire game. It has taken me almost a full year, but I have cracked it. Why does Cheryl, who now appears as Alessa throughout the game, conjure such horrible monsters to try to kill the man who raised her and loved her for seven years? This will be answered in the Topic 3: Harry, Dahlia's Pawn. The only other question I have left to answer is, how did Dahlia lose the second child? How did Harry and his wife find her on the roadside during one of their vacations in Silent Hill? The answer I will give involves the videotape item found in the Darkside Hospital and the scene of Lisa and Kaufmann fighting, which occurs in the intro movie, but never in the game. When finally viewed without static, the videotape reveals that Lisa was the nurse forced by Dr. Kaufmann to care for Alessa after the fire. The horror of the situation was too much for Lisa to bear. But she was forced to go on, since her Diary indicates that she was addicted to White Claudia, a drug manufactured by the cult to bring the citizens and tourists of Silent Hill under their power, to make them do what they wished. Lisa's videotape appears to be shot in Alessa's very room, where she was confined for many long years in burning torment. She knew that Kaufmann and his creepy cult friends were somehow involved. Now the theory that I can easily form from all this information, and the only one that makes sense, is that somehow, Lisa realized that her patient was Dahlia's daughter, burned alive. When Dahlia produced a second child, Lisa would have surely assumed that the second child was also in danger. Being the truly caring person that we see throughout the game, she finally stands up to Kaufmann (as seen in the cinema) and takes the child. Perhaps she only got as far as the highway, before she fell victim to her drug addiction, and turned back. Rather than take the child back, perhaps she figured it was a lesser fate to be abandoned on the side of the road than to be left in the clutches of the evil cult. I'll bet anything that Lisa is one of the townspeople who died under strange circumstances, as mentioned in the article clipping Harry finds as well as by Lisa herself. So why doesn't she remember any of this when she talks to Harry? Because the Lisa that Harry meets is only her ghostly memory, created by what Alessa remembers of her. And Alessa, being trapped in her hospital room deep under the Hospital, wouldn't know about Lisa's abduction of the second child, or of Harry's finding and raising the girl, or of Lisa's fate. For more explanation on why Lisa isn't the REAL Lisa, refer to Topic 5: Lisa. ======================================================================= 5. Topic 2: Silent Hill ======================================================================= The next question posed to me most often is, why does Silent Hill keep going back and forth between the snowy, misty town and the dark, treacherous one? What is real, and what is false, here? First of all, let's all admit it, Silent Hill is a town in a videogame, it is not real, per say. Now let's approach the subject from an abstract view, for the rest of this guide. Let's explore Silent Hill as if it WERE real. How would such a situation occur? Why is the game so mysterious and vague in many aspects of the plot? The developers had to be vague, since the ESRB would never allow a game with blatant satanistic elements to be published in the continental US. So the story had to be left vague on purpose, only hinted at, to give the reader the clues they need to figure out the basics. The problem is, the plot is broken down into clues that must be deciphered by the player. And your average videogame player is 10-26, which means that half of them are going to have a rough time putting the fragmented pieces together. So the final product is a game that not only has many puzzles, but the entire game is one big puzzle. So now, hopefully you get the impression that I am attempting only to solve the big puzzle. Am I wrong? Is there another explanation that is more plausible? The only explanation that makes any sense, if you sit down and analyze the whole thing for a few hours, is this: the developers have a very deep love of the more irreverent aspects of American television programs and films. Take for instance the streetnames of the town. This is a dead giveaway. All the names refer to various sci-fi and horror authors, and also to the bandmembers of KISS, Sonic Youth, etc. The intro is also another clue. All the cross-fading between scenes we have yet to see, and scenes that've already occured. The whole intro is like watching the beginning of an episode of the short-lived David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks. The viewer wonders, what will happen to Harry this week on "Silent Hill". What new and strange events will occur this episode? What new insights will be revealed? How will it all end this time? Will Harry finally escape from the tragic loop he seems to be stuck in? So all these irreverent influences on the game, where did they come from? Read, watch and listen to the works of the people who are referred to in the game. Many of the streetnames refer to authors and artists who are the favorites of the developers, obviously. For instance, as previously explained, the whole conceiving-a-demon-in-a- child element was taken from Ira Levin's novel, Rosemary's Baby. And his last name is a street name in the game. Richard Bachman is the pseudonym of Stephen King, and we all know what a great horror writer he is. But a couple of years ago, King release a title called The Regulators under his old pseudonym. If you read this novel, you will understand that the ability of a child to conjure a world all his own and physically draw other people into it, is a major theme that has been drawn from the novel and used in the game. Read the other authors' works, and try to figure out what influence they had on the game. I can also tell you that Carl Sagan subscribed to and wrote about the theory that there are infinite worlds layered on top of one another. He expanded this from one of Einstein's theories, that time exists in layers, and that one might be able to puncture through the layers to a previous time, or to a world that never existed. Sagan concludes that in this case, there would be infinite worlds, all derived from the possiblities of the decisions of each individual. Say that you make a choice. According to Sagan, there exists, somewhere in time, an alternate universe where you made a different choice, and the entire world is different because of it. I will also add two other references which I feel are obvious in the game, but are not referenced to by author names. One is the film Jacob's Ladder, in which Tim Robbins is a character dealing with weird and sometimes nightmarish shifting realities, exactly like Harry Mason in the game. Also, the existence of a Misty or White Silent Hill versus a Dark or Black Silent Hill reminds me of the concept of alternate universes from Twin Peaks, where they were named "The White Lodge" and "The Black Lodge". Even if you don't understand right now, keep the above perspective in mind as you continue to read. It will help clarify things and allows me to be less redundant, more concise. The town of Silent Hill would seem to be caught between two worlds. One is the world where it is foggy all the time, a light snow is falling in the middle of the summer tourist season, and monsters are crawling out of the mist. (And no, the mist is not there as a convenient way to help the game render more easily!!! Look at games like Tomb Raider and Shadow Man, which have similar game engines, and you can see almost miles away. The developers wanted to promote a spooky and mysterious atmosphere!!!)Strange events have occured before the game starts. The whole town has been sealed off by what looks like cooling magma, and certain streets have been cut off by large, impassable chasms. This the world where you can easily get around with the help of the tourist map, using the streetnames which are easily visible on all the streetsigns at every intersection. This is the world where you always meet Dahlia. This is also where you find clues and are told where to search next. Make note of that for later. Then there is the other world of Silent Hill, which takes over from time to time. This is a world of utter darkness, a world where it is raining, not snowing. The Mark of Samael can be seen cropping up with greater and greater frequency. The only way to get around is with the help of a flashlight, and there seems to be alot more monsters hunting you. This world shows signs that it is quickly decaying. Before long, the paved streets are replaced with iron mesh platforms, which seem to be standing over a bottomless void. Buildings and areas, which seemed perfectly normal, now shows signs of interior and sometimes exterior decay. Frightening and gigantic monstrosities seek to destroy Harry. This is the world where you will meet a nurse named Lisa, and you will also see a young girl named Alessa from time to time. Make note of that for later. Misty Silent Hill fades into Dark Silent Hill. And Dark Silent Hill returns to Misty Silent Hill when one of the gigantic boss monsters is defeated. So what does this shifting between worlds mean? Let us assume, since there are monsters and strange things in both Silent Hills, that NEITHER version of the town seen in the game is the REAL Silent Hill. Both are metaphysical recreations of the real town populated by monsters and such. So then let's say that there is a real world, where there is a REAL Silent Hill. What happened to it? My answer would be that it is still there. So we are dealing with three Silent Hills, Misty SH, Dark SH, and Real SH. What power conjures these fake Silent Hills? Since Dahlia always appears in Misty SH, it is safe to assume that she somehow controls Misty SH. Since Alessa only appears in Dark SH, she somehow controls Dark SH. How? In Alessa's case, it is obvious. She has half of a power within her that if united, could take over the entire physical universe. If the second girl was somehow able to tap into the power of the first, then the united power would reasonably be all that you need to conjure an entire world. If Dahlia possessed such a power, she would be able to tear away Alessa's world and find the second girl, easily. So the only logical answer is simple. Alessa has conjured a fake Silent Hill to hide herself in, so that Dahlia does not find her. But Dahlia is crafty. She has an arcane device called the Flauros, which can bend alternate universes. She says as much when she tells Harry at the Church that he just needs to follow the path through the darkness, as illuminated by the Flauros. Since the Flauros has the power to subdue alternate universes, Dahlia can use it to subdue Alessa. Problem for Dahlia is, Alessa has hidden herself so deeply in this alternate world that she cannot get close enough to the girl to use the Flauros without Alessa sensing her, and getting that much further away. Dahlia needs to stay relatively hidden herself, yet somehow get the Flauros close to Alessa so that it can work. This is where Harry becomes Dahlia' pawn in the game. In seeking to find Cheryl, he is really looking for Alessa. This is perfect for Dahlia, and this is why Harry is brought into Alessa's conjured universe. So let's sum up what we've got so far: Alessa conjures an alternate Silent Hill to hide in. How better to hide than in a dense fog, with many streets blocked off by deep schisms? So now, Dahlia can't get to Alessa. But she has a device which can alter or affect the world that Alessa is hiding in. She can conjure herself into it, but like I said, Alessa controls this world, and would know where Dahlia is at all times. So Dahlia forms a plan to use Harry, Alessa's surrogate father, to get the Flauros close enough to Alessa so that the device can subdue the girl and dismantle her world. She needs a pawn, what appears to be an insignificant person, who she can move across this supernatural chess board and checkmate Alessa. So she uses the Flauros to physically draw Harry into Alessa's world. This is not the real Harry though, but Harry doesn't know that. Thus if Harry THINKS he is dying in Alessa's world, he dies in the real world. We see this evidenced in the Bad Ending, where Harry dies in the wreckage of his jeep, where he has been all along. But the Harry that exists in Alessa's world is still a mental manifestation of the real Harry. So he can act and affect objects in this world, since he has been 'programmed' into it by Dahlia. If you don't quite get what I'm saying in this theory about Harry in the game not being the real Harry, rent the movie The Matrix. You'll quickly see what I mean. Alessa becomes aware that Harry has been brought into this world. So she brings on a scary dark side, where she changes Silent Hill into a Hellish nightmare world in the hopes that Harry will not want to proceed. But Harry doesn't know what is going on, he is just looking for his daughter. He continues on. So Alessa generates monsters that overwhelm and kill Harry's form. No problem. Dahlia simply regenerates Harry in a safer area, the cafe. If you still don't know where I'm getting this, see The Matrix. This may go on an infinite amount of times. In fact, the ending of the game may not be the ending. Think about it. If Alessa and Dahlia are engaged in a tug-of-war over this conjured reality, where each of them have the power to bend that false reality to some degree, then even when the false reality falls apart during the Good+ Ending, Alessa could simply conjure it all up again, and Dahlia could 'hack' into it again using the Flauros, just as she did before. Thus you, the player, are trapped in a no-win situation. You can never win the game, because you were never the player. You have been played. How do I substantiate this? By the endings, and the ensuant replay games. But now we're getting into another topic. Go to Topic 7: The Endings to read more along these lines, if you don't already under- stand what I meant. Things should be clicking for you as I discuss the issues. The point of this topic has been to define the world you are playing in in Silent Hill, and I have explained as best I can. ======================================================================= 6. Topic 3: Harry, Dahlia's Pawn ======================================================================= In the struggle between Dahlia and her daughter, Alessa, Harry is the pawn Dahlia is using to checkmate Alessa. Why Harry, specifically? Why doesn't Dahlia just go find and regain control over Alessa herself? The answer was unclear to me for a long time. But as I continued to think of the game in the metaphysical sense, I think I've come up with a solid answer. Think of the game you are playing as a game within a game. Your game is about running around, collecting keys and items, learning what you can about where to go next, and getting there without getting killed. Your game is contained within a larger, more meta- physical game between Dahlia and Alessa. Think of it as a chessmatch, Alessa on one side Dahlia on the other. Both are moving their pieces across the board toward each other. But Alessa is the one who created the board, so she has ALL the pieces. Her advancement across the board is signified by the Mark of Samael. Dahlia has only two pieces, herself and the Flauros. The Flauros is the piece she needs to checkmate Alessa with, but Alessa controls all the other pieces on the board, the monsters throughout the game. As Dahlia tries to penetrate Alessa's defenses, Alessa loses pieces here and there. But Alessa can conjure more pieces, and play can go on infinitely. Dahlia uses the Flauros to create a new piece, and uses the soul of a man who was Alessa's unknowing surrogate father for seven years. She hides her Flauros piece inside of the Harry piece. This allows her to move Harry, without actually being on the board herself. Thus, she is free to conjure weapons and items that will help Harry. She also creates images of Cheryl in danger that will spur him on, make him want to find her that much faster, when the person he is really seeking is Alessa all along. With the weapons and items left in weird and illogical places, Harry is able to remove Alessa's pieces from the board, and continue moving before she has time to regenerate new ones. Alessa generates the Lisa piece, from her memories of the dead nurse. She uses this piece to try to block Harry's moves, but Harry has the determination to find his daughter. If Harry is removed from the board, or dies, the whole game just starts over again. But when Harry checkmates Alessa with the Flauros, Dahlia is able to move in and take the piece that represents Alessa. This is why the conjured world of Silent Hill goes suddenly out of control, and why Lisa attacks Harry instead of only trying to block him. Then Dahlia turns the board around, since Alessa is no longer in control, and reunites the two girls into the one being they were meant to be. The piece that is Dahlia is consumed by the intensity of the magic, but she is laughing, indicating that she is not really there at all, but controlling the board from outside. When Harry squares off against Alessa or Samael and wins, he is only removing another piece from the board and doesn't realize it. The truth is, Alessa and Dahlia both lose, yet they both exist outside this board that I'm talking about. So all they have to do, is start another game. This is when Harry regenerates in the cafe in a Next Fear game. So why did Dahlia use Harry? Because he was a surrogate father to Cheryl for seven years, who was really Alessa. Dahlia perhaps hopes that Alessa will have enough love or sympathy for Harry that she won't wipe him off the map. Tough luck, though. Alessa alters her conjured Silent Hill, so that Harry is forced to travel horrifying areas, and pierce a terrible darkness. The girl conjures horrible and weird monsters to stop Harry, hoping that the man will give up in some way. But he does not. So she uses a majority of her power to force Harry to meet giant and powerful monsters, more terrifying than the rest. But because all Alessa'a attention is bent toward this conjuration, she cannot prevent Dahlia from aiding Harry. Thus, he is able to find weapons, placed within the conjured world by Dahlia, no doubt, which help him to dispel Alessa's creations. Thus, Alessa's attention is consumed by her attempts to stop or kill Harry, while Dahlia is able to provide Harry with the items he needs to destroy Alessa's creations. To what end? Harry finally admits to Cybil that Cheryl is not his real daughter, that he and his wife found her on the side of the road seven years ago. He never told Cheryl. Either that, or he never had a chance. It is only then, when he is ready and willing to admit his fault in the whole affair, that Cheryl appears to him. But she appears in her true form, as Alessa, so Harry doesn't understand that she has allowed him to find her. Who knows what would have happened, had the Flauros not kicked into action right there? Maybe Alessa, touched by her father's final honesty, was prepared to tell him the nature of what was going on? This would make sense, as to why she allows herself to be found by Harry. Perhaps she had something to say, but was cut short by the abrupt intervention of the Flauros, which subdues her powers. So why doesn't the world Alessa has conjured fall apart, right there? My guess is that the Flauros somehow is able to bind Alessa's will to it, so that Dahlia, who controls the Flauros, now controls Alessa. If that's the case, then she most likely controls the power within Alessa as well. But the conjured world does fall apart, to some degree. Notice how Harry suddenly finds himself back in the hospital with Lisa? See how twitchy and weird Lisa has suddenly become? Notice how the layout of the hospital, which the player was able to fully explore earlier, has suddenly become rearranged? Elements from the entire game are evident, but in new and twisted ways. Suddenly, Harry is going down into the basement of the Hospital, when before, the door wouldn't even open. In the basement, he finds himself in a class room from the Midwich Elementary School!!! The world is indeed coming apart, as Alessa is slowly losing control of it, and of herself. Caught in circumstances that he never truly begins to understand, Harry loses his daughter, again. Thus, Harry never achieves a truly happy ending, only what passes for one. This is due to his limited understanding of the events transpiring. Thus, Harry's perspective becomes ours, and the only way to set Harry free of this never-ending nightmare chess match is to quit playing Silent Hill. Strange, neh? Thus, Harry's role in the entire game is defined. What the player thinks of as the hero, the protagonist, the man who's going to get to the bottom of all this and explain everything, never does. The most startling revelation of Silent Hill is that the hero has been working for the wrong side all along. He is NOT the hero, he is nothing but a pawn. And therefore, so is the player. We've all been duped, and it is Konami who is cackling madly at us all. So how does Harry get out of this situation, this never-ending loop in time and space? He may never be able to. The answer may reside in another character in the game, an outsider of sorts. I'm talking about Cybil. Yes, indeed. If there's going to be a sequel to Silent Hill, a very good idea for one would be to play the exact same game from a different perspective, of one who's not looking for a daughter or loved one, but for a doctor with an extremely dirty nose. Cybil explores other parts of Silent Hill while Harry is reliving events planned by Alessa and Dahlia. In this, she is an outsider, and she may be able to get to the bottom of everything. Harry is Dahlia's pawn, and thus he has no power to alter the main events taking place, nor to stop the never-ending loop he's stuck in. ======================================================================= 6. Topic 4: Paging Dr. Kauffman ======================================================================= What is Dr. Kauffman's involvement in all of this? What is the nature of his concoction, Aglaophotis? Why does he resist helping Harry, when it seems to be his intention to stop Dahlia, all along? Kaufmann is perhaps the most puzzling figure in the game. So little is known about his involvement in the events which transpire during the adventure. I'm not totally sure why he's even present in the game. If my theory about neither Silent Hill being real is true, then what variable is Kaufmann in the equation? Maybe by sorting out the pieces of this part of the puzzle, I'll be able to figure this out, right here. So let's start at the beginning, and recap everything we know about Kaufmann. Harry first meets Kauffman in the hospital. Kauffman has been shooting and killing Alessa's monsters, trying to make sense of the situation he's been drawn into. When he is discovered by Harry, he tries to shoot him. This is because Kauffman probably realizes that everything is not real. He says as much to Harry when he starts pointing out the characteristics of the phenomenon. How does he realize that Harry is real? Maybe it's something that Harry says or does, or maybe it's the way Harry pleads not to be shot. Notice how Kaufman abruptly says he has things to do and leaves, when he finds out that Harry is looking for his daughter? Perhaps Kaufmann is as confused about his presence in the conjured world as we are. Maybe the true importance of this scene lies in the fact that Kaufmann is starting to put all the pieces together. So what's in the briefcase, Doctor? At the end of the game, we see Kaufmann pull the Aglaophotis out of his bag, and throw it at Alessa. But previously, Harry discovered this weird mixture hidden in the gas tank of a motorcycle, parked in the garage of the Motel. So does Kaufmann have the Aglaophotis in the briefcase during the Hospital scene? My answer is no, since Harry finds it spilled on the floor of the good Doctor's office. This leads me to believe that Kaufmann had come to the Hospital to get the sample of the Aglaophotis out of his desk. Something happened, and the glass bottle was spilled. Now, Kaufmann has to make his way over to the Motel, where he has a backup sample stashed. Harry encounters Kaufmann next at Annie's Bar. Kaufmann is being attacked by what looks like a Teddy Bear from Hell, and Harry saves him. Kaufmann is thankful, but his business presses him onward. When Harry finds the Aglaophotis in the gas tank of the motorcycle, as I previously mentioned, Kaufmann finds Harry and takes the sample. His gruff answer to Harry's queries is to "stop screwing around" and to "take care of business". Kaufmann is next seen in a weird flashback moment, when it is Harry who is experiencing Alessa's flashback, in a sense. Kaufmann, Dahlia and two others stand over the burned and bandaged form of Alessa. The powers of the Dark Soul have slipped through their fingers. Dahlia comes up with an answer. Then Kaufmann appears at the end of the game, in the Good+ or Good Endings, which I'll get to in a moment. So what is Kaufmann doing? If we add all these pieces up, plus a few other facts that I have yet to mention, we'll see that Kaufmann is one crooked dude. I'm sure most of you suspected that, but let's try to get to the truth and find out just HOW crooked he is. Lisa mentions that there was some cult activity in Silent Hill seven years ago. From the "flashback", we can determine that Kaufmann was part of the cult that Lisa mentions. Dahlia was also a part of this cult, and so were two others. Why don't the two others appear in the game? Because I don't think Alessa had ever seen them before. She only heard their voices, as they stood around her hospital bed. That's why the man standing at the head of the bed has no face. Alessa knew who Kaufmann and Dahlia were, that's how they are so well represented. Anyway, to continue: Kaufmann is in with this cult for personal status and power. He is the director of the Hospital, since it is in the Director's Office that we see Kaufmann's Aglaophotis spilt. He most likely attained this position through the cult's influence. We've already discussed that the goal of the cult was to summon the blind hebrew archangel, Samael, into the body of an unborn fetus. Thus, the cult could raise and teach the child to do what they want, and therefore be able to rule the world through the power contained in the child, which they would control. But the child proved uncontrollable, and Dahlia burned Alessa alive. The girl was unable to die because of the power her body contained, but because of the wounds, the power went dormant. Then, Dahlia reveals her plan to have a second child by the same means as the previous ritual, and it would contain the rest of the power of their dark god. Meantime, Alessa needs to be kept someplace safe. Dahlia's house is gone at this point, burned down in the fire. Since Kaufmann is the director of the Hospital, he can keep Alessa in a basement storage room, seal off the entrance, and keep her a secret for many, many years. Only problem is, Alessa's wounds will never heal, and the bandages have to constantly be changed. Alessa needs around- the-clock care, and Kaufmann needs a nightwatchman. This is where Lisa comes in. Now I have to diverge a bit, to bring Lisa into the whole sordid affair. One of the ways the cult gained status in the town was to create an entire drug-smuggling operation. The drug that they were manufacturing and selling, to locals and tourists alike, was produced from a flower that was indigenous to the region called White Claudia. Now they probably passed this stuff off as some other drug, like Heroin or Cocaine. But the difference with this drug is that it was often used in magical rituals, and had hallucinogenic properties. Thus, once the drug was introduced into someone's system, that person was able to be affected or commanded by the cult. Kaufmann and Dahlia had an entire drug operation going in the resort area, so that the drug could be given to the tourists. This brings up a question for me, which I hope one of you will answer: Wasn't Harry a tourist, and had visited here many times in the past? Had he been given the drug, or had he bought some? An e-mail I get over and over on this one is that Harry is really hopped up on White Claudia this whole time, and is hallucinating everything. I don't think this is true, since too much of the game makes too much sense, especially in a very deep way. It's not something a hallucinating drug-user would come up with, it's far too complex. But it certainly is an interesting theory to entertain, I just stopped entertaining it, is all. No, Silent Hill is ABOUT SOMETHING, we just have to figure out what. To continue investigating Kaufmann: He and Dahlia are described in the journal kept by the convenience store manager, which is found by Harry. The drugs were dropped off by Kaufmann and Dahlia, and picked up by another. Harry finds the drugs in the store safe, so Kaufmann is obviously not after the drugs. And the purpose of using White Claudia in the drugs and selling them to the tourists was to try to spread the influence of the cult. This way, when Samael's power was made manifest through the girl Alessa, a whole world of uninitiated followers would suddenly do the cult's bidding. This wasn't an invisible operation. The local police were investigating it (as Harry discovers at the Police Station), and Cybil's department in Brahms was also investigating, independently. But no leads could be gained in the case, since everyone involved wouldn't say anything. Any officers who investigated too well ended up the victims of bizarre heart-attacks and deaths. The cult had a perfect money-making operation, and no one would mess with it for fear of retaliation. As Lisa's Diary describes, she was addicted to Kaufmann's drug. Naturally, she became the only one Kaufmann could use to care for Alessa. Her drug addiction prevented her from doing anything about Alessa. There's a scene in the intro of the game where Lisa and Kaufmann are fighting. I'll bet anything that this is the last that the real Lisa was ever seen or heard from. Kaufmann and the cult probably caused her an "accident" or an overdose at some point after that. It seems that Lisa was ready to make trouble for the cult, if in fact she wasn't the one to abduct the second child from Dahlia and leave it on the side of the road for Harry to find. When Harry returns to Silent Hill, and the second child remembers who she is and creates a false reality to hide in, how does Kaufmann get sucked into that? As the videotape confession of Lisa proves, the nurse had some regrets and feelings about Alessa. I'm sure that Alessa appreciated the sentiments, and was angered at Kaufmann for using the poor nurse in such a way. Alessa probably wants revenge for Lisa, as is evidenced when she conjures up the fake Lisa to drag Kaufmann down to Hell at the end of the game. So she has dragged Kaufmann into this nightmare world so that he will be killed, just as Dahlia dragged Harry into this nightmare world to be her pawn. That is the only answer that makes any sense to me. I will continue to read and think about the hundreds of emails I get to the contrary, however. What in the world is the Aglaophotis? Well, you got me. It seems to serve dual purposes, and doesn't seem to be very well thought out, in my opinion. But here's what is clear, if we add up everything I've brought up thus far: Kaufmann is trapped in Alessa's conjured world, so that she can have revenge for Lisa's death, at some point. At first, when Harry first meets him, Kaufmann really doesn't know what is going on. I believe him when he says that he fell asleep, and woke up in this situation. Harry is also unconscious, and probably so is Cybil, so that is how they all got pulled into this conjured world. (That's why there was no body at Cybil's crash site, when Harry passed it.) But Kaufmann is more informed than either Cybil or Harry, so he should be able to put the pieces together right away. The cult was attempting to gain control of the universe by channeling a power into a young girl's body. The pact was that the cult would control the child, and thus the universe, together. But Lisa abducted the second child, containing the other half of the dark soul, and the cult's work was ruined. It's possible that the cult even disbanded. But then the second child is returned to Silent Hill, and the reunited power conjures a fake reality full of monsters and mist to hide in. As an added bonus, Alessa pulls Kaufmann into this fake world, so that she can kill him when the time is right, for what he did to Lisa. When Kaufmann sees the strange things going on around him, he has to realize that somehow, the power has broken loose from its dormancy. When Harry tells him that his daughter is missing, Kaufmann must realize that the second child has been returned to the town, and that she is causing all of this. The Aglaophotis, according to how Kaufmann attempts to use it in the end, must be some kind of supernatural concoction that takes control of a person's mind. Thus, Kaufmann was attempting to get his Aglaophotis sample to use on Alessa, when something unknown happened. Either he was attacked by a monster and dropped it, or Dahlia had gotten there before him and smashed the sample, so that Kaufmann wouldn't be able to use it. But Kaufmann kept a backup at the Motel, in case Dahlia ever turned on him. Smart man. The problem for Kaufmann is, Harry finds Alessa much faster, and the Flauros allows Dahlia to take control of Alessa and the power inside her. Needless to say, Kaufmann feels that Dahlia is attempting to screw him over, in the nicest way I can put it. By what he says at the end, he's certain that Dahlia intends to control the entity within Alessa all by herself. Maybe the Doctor is just paranoid, and maybe not. He hurls it at Alessa in an attempt to usurp the control of Dahlia over the the entity within Alessa. But what happens instead is, Samael's power breaks free of the Aglaophotis. United, the power cannot be contained by the mixture. Only, Samael has to manifest in order to break free. That's why Alessa transforms at the end of the Good or Good+ ending (Kaufmann appears in both). When Samael is dispatched forcibly by Harry, and Alessa returns to her natural form, she conjures her version of Lisa to return and drag Kaufmann off. To a fate worse than death, we can imagine. So I think I've pretty much nailed down why Kaufmann is in the game, and what he is doing throughout. What a loser! ======================================================================= 7. Topic 5: Lisa ======================================================================= Lisa is perhaps the most tragic character of Silent Hill. She is really nice to Harry when he meets her in the Dark Silent Hill Hospital. But she serves a higher purpose in the game (or should I say, a Lower purpose). The only time Harry meets Lisa is in the Dark version of Silent Hill. She is in the Dark version of the room Harry first met Kaufmann in. If we agree that Alessa is in control of the Dark version of Silent Hill, as I've stated in previous Topics, then that means that Lisa must be under her control as well. But to what end? Previous Topics have discussed Harry's purpose in the game due to Dahlia's manipulations of Alessa's conjured world. He is Dahlia's pawn, her Trojan Horse, sent to find the girl he thinks is his daughter, but is really Alessa, who is trying to hide from Dahlia. Along the way, Alessa must figure some part of this out, and keeps plunging the conjured world into darkness and decay, featuring awful creatures that should cause Harry to pause in continuing his search for her. But he loves the girl he thinks is his daughter, and keeps chasing her. Lisa is Alessa's OTHER strategy for stopping Harry. Lisa is nice to Harry and concerned for his safety. If he continues searching, he won't be safe. If he leaves Lisa, she won't be safe. She displays terror and anguish at being left alone by Harry. Truly, she doesn't want him to continue searching. This is actually what Alessa wants. Notice how these scenes with Lisa happen almost as dreams. Harry is suddenly "awakened" from each one of them. The first time he meets Lisa is after searching the entire Darkside Hospital. When Harry meets Lisa in the Darker side of the room he met Kaufmann in, he gets to know and like the young nurse (as do we all). Abruptly, in the middle of the conversation, Harry wakes up in the Misty Silent Hill version of the room he met Kaufmann in. The last time Harry was in this version of Silent Hill, he was in an elevator going between floors. So how did he get back here? Simple. Dahlia used the power of the Flauros to manipulate the conjured world. Thus, Dark Silent Hill Hospital becomes Misty Silent Hill Hospital. Now that we're back in Dahlia's territory, she steps in and gives Harry some further guidance. Thus, Dahlia knew that Harry was being persuaded to give up the search and stay with Lisa, and she stepped in to salvage the situation for herself. Notice how she's kinda angry with Harry? This sort of thing continues throughout the game, with Lisa appearing and disappearing, continually failing to keep Harry from persuing his quest to find his daughter. But once Harry confronts Alessa with the Flauros, and Dahlia regains control of her daughter, Harry wakes up in the room Lisa is always in. But now, Lisa is kinda twitchy and aggitated. She doesn't seem to have any control over herself. That's because she NEVER HAD ANY. She has been controlled by Alessa this whole time, and now that Alessa is no longer in control of the conjured world, Lisa begins to revert to being the same as the other conjured creatures. She runs away from Harry, who she has been programmed to be nice to, this whole time. But now that her programming has gone haywire, she begins bleeding uncontrollably and goes after Harry. He then uncovers her diary, in which she confesses to be a drug addict. She didn't want to go back to the hospital, because she was creeped out by her undying patient. But she needed the drug, which was why she had to go back to the Hospital. Who was at the Hospital, who was supplying her with the drugs? Kaufmann. Who was in charge of the Hospital, and the patient kept secret in the sealed-off basement. Kaufmann. Who is Lisa seen arguing with at the beginning of the game? Kaufmann. Then there's the videotape, with Lisa's confession. If such a tape ever existed, then Kaufmann and the cult surely would have killed Lisa for taping a confession. (Notice how the tape has blood on it???) Lisa showed signs of compassion for Alessa, and horror at her situation. She also threatens to do something about it, toward "them". So this leads me to believe that Lisa knew that Kaufmann was involved in something weird involving this child and a cult that Kaufmann was in. If by chance she ever caught site of Kaufmann and Dahlia together, which is highly probable, then she probably figured out for herself that her patient was related to Dahlia. The fact that Alessa's body was kept locked away in the Hospital basement goes to show that Kaufmann and Dahlia were trying to hide her. That must mean, to Lisa, that they had something to do with the girl's unfortunate situation. Then one day, maybe Lisa hears that Dahlia has had another child. It's a small town, so it's possible that word gets around. Lisa can't bear to think that they might do the same to another child as what she's seen that they did to Alessa. So if there is one person in the game who might've stolen the second child from Dahlia and left it by the side of the road for some strangers to find, it was Lisa. She's the only one with any compassion in the situation. Now here's the thing: These events had to have occured seven years ago. Kaufmann surely would've been able to figure out who abducted the child. Maybe this is when he tries to confront Lisa in the Hospital corridor, only to have her throw wild accusations in his face. After all the other people that the cult silenced, they certainly wouldn't have let Lisa live, after that. So I'm thinking that Lisa was most likely killed seven years ago. The Lisa who appears in the game is only Alessa's fondest memories of her caregiver. Remember, the tactic is to keep Harry in the Hospital, to convince him to stop searching. Only a really nice person could do that, and the only nice person Alessa has ever known is Lisa. So I believe that the Lisa who appears throughout the game is only an enhanced construct of Alessa's. Yet at the core, she is just like all the other psychotically mutating nurses and doctors in the Darkside Hospital. She is a monster, but under Alessa's control, she takes on the form and aspect of the horribly burned girl's former caregiver. When Alessa loses control of the conjured world, she also loses control of her Lisa. Dahlia is probably in control of everything in the game at this point, so Lisa is suddenly reprogrammed to attack Harry. The conflicting controls are probably what cause her to go berserk. I think that when we see Lisa begin to bleed from every pour, not only is it in homage to the '70's horror film The Fury, but it is a metaphor that the Lisa facade is falling apart. ======================================================================= 8. Topic 6: Cybil Possessed ======================================================================= Cybil is the police officer from Brahms, the next town over. Harry first sees her on her motorcycle, speeding toward Silent Hill. She's responding to a call to see what is happening there. Previously, all communications to the town were cut off, and the neighborly Brahms police force became concerned. Cybil has been investigating other matters in Silent Hill previously, so probably she was the best candidate to investigate the communications failure. Cybil passes Harry and Cheryl as they are driving to Silent Hill for a vacation, and she and Harry seem to make some eye contact during the intro. The intro then makes it seem as if some few minutes have passed, and then Harry passes Cybil's wrecked motorcycle. Her body is not seen. Because Harry is looking for the officer, he turns around just a moment too late to see the figure we would later identify as Alessa, standing in the middle of the road. Harry next meets Cybil in the Silent Hill Cafe. Previously, he has had a strange experience, which he thinks is a dream. He "dreamed" that he was chasing Cheryl through the streets of Silent Hill, and that the world transformed into a nightmare. He found himself running from murderous dwarven creatures, all carrying butcher knives. He was closed in with them and they stabbed him until he died. But then Harry wakes up in the Cafe, as if from a nightmare. Cybil Bennet walks into view, and introduces herself. In the scene that follows, Harry comes to the conclusion that he was dreaming. After talking to Cybil, he finds out that parts of his dream were somewhat accurate; The misty town seems deserted, and a light snow is falling, out of season. All the radios don't work, and all the exits from town have been cut off. So while Harry was unconscious, Cybil has been doing some investigating of her own, it seems. She leaves Harry in the Cafe with her gun, and tells him to be careful. So what is Cybil doing here? Well, I'm not completely sure. I do know that in the structure of a normal drama, Cybil would be considered the classic "Confidant", a character who's main purpose in the narrative is to allow the main character to question the situation of the plot, and together they reason it all out. The problem in Silent Hill is, Cybil does not seem to experience the same things that Harry does. This makes it impossible for them to sort out what is happening to Harry. When they next meet, in Dahlia's Antique Shop, Harry learns that Cybil is not experiencing the menacing "other world" that he has experienced. The fact that she denies it needs to be addressed for a moment, because when this situation occurs, it is indeed dark outside. This seems to confuse many players, "How can she deny it when she's FRICKIN STANDING IN IT!?!?!?!" The difference is, this is not yet the Dark Silent Hill. This is only Misty Silent Hill, at "night". When the player pilots Harry out of the Antique Shop, it is indeed dark and there are monsters about. But the streets are still streets, the buildings are still pretty normal, and there is snow falling, not rain. When Harry leaves the Town Centre, after encountering the Larvae, yes, that is Dark Silent Hill! I hope I cleared that up for many of you, and that maybe a few light bulbs and bells went off. I hope that they are going off all the while you are reading this. But if not, you'll be given the chance to get further answers. Don't worry, I won't leave you... IN THE DARK! So now, to return to Cybil's purpose in the game. She is a Confidant, but not a perfect one. The conversations between her and Harry do let us know that whatever Harry is experiencing, this "Dark Silent Hill" as it were, it is only happening to him. This reinforces the whole Alessa/Dahlia powerstruggle theory, and that Harry is the pawn in the entire milieu. Since Cybil is not experiencing Dark Silent Hill, she would seem to have no use in the struggle between Dahlia and her daughter. Why, then, is Cybil even here??? Is it because Cybil just happened upon the situation, as Cheryl was returning to Silent Hill and gradually remembering who she really was? Did the officer get sucked into this situation by accident??? Maybe so, even though Cybil is later used against Harry. The officer spends most of the game as a normal person, and as Harry's ally. Only after Cybil assists Harry, by telling him that she saw a young girl crossing the lake, does Cybil become important in the power struggle between Dahlia and Alessa. By giving away Alessa's hiding place in the conjured world, Cybil has focused Harry on where he needs to search. Up till this point in the game, he has been searching entirely the wrong areas. But Cybil has provided assistance to Harry, and that makes the officer an inconvenience to Alessa. Soon afterward, Alessa takes control of Cybil by attacking her with a parasite, to be discussed later. Cybil follows Harry through the concealed tunnel in the Antique Shop, to the altar where Samael was worshipped regularly by the cult. But Harry has been sucked into Dark Silent Hill by Alessa. Previously, she had been investigating near the town lake, and saw a young girl walking on the air across the water, toward the Resort area. This was most likely Cheryl, in Alessa's form. So SHE HAS seen something weird, but just doesn't know how to process it, maybe. Harry uses this to question Lisa about the Resort area, and finds an alternate route to the Resort through the Silent Hill sewer system. If Lisa is under Alessa's control, why does she give Harry this valuable information, which leads Harry to Alessa? I don't know, I find it to be a plothole in the game, if all my other theories are to be accepted. Cybil is next seen in the same sewer system, looking around a corner in a frightened manner. Something hits her from behind and knocks her to the ground. Whatever it was, it caused alot of red liquid to splatter. What happened to Cybil??? This is the question that I have to be the most vague about answering. The only affirmative answer is, "I don't know". And neither can any of you, because not even Cybil herself can explain it later. What we all do know happens, is that Cybil is somehow "possessed", or taken control of, by the dark forces of Silent Hill. With blood-filled eyes, Cybil goes after Harry in a slow and creepy manner, and begins shooting at him. She moans and bends over several times. If Harry runs far enough away, she won't pursue him. Several times, Cybil turns, as if to show Harry the red patch on her back. These behaviors are quite a bit like those exhibited by the evil doctors and nurses in the Dark Alchemilia Hospital, who all had strange humps on their backs, containing wriggling shapes. Now the player has the choice of either fighting to the death with Cybil, in which case she dies and Harry laments, or if the player is extremely keen(and I mean EXTREMELY KEEN) they might attempt to prevent Cybil's death by curing her, using the medicine scooped off of the floor of Kaufmann's office. This second method causes Cybil to collapse, and a smoking parasite of some kind crawls out of her back. So how did Cybil become possessed? Obviously in the previous cinema, where we saw the parasite slam into her back. Many have written to me since the publication of the Silent Hill Plot Guide, addressing this issue. Many seem to feel that Kaufmann uses the Aglaophotis to turn Cybil into this. I do not agree. Where, then, did this THIRD Aglaophotis sample come from? And please don't email me with your imaginative extrapolations, saying "Well, there's plenty of parts of the town we don't get to see, where Kaufmann might have other stashes of Aglaophotis". Fine, if you want to believe that, don't let me stop you. However, I will stick to what is presented in the game. Something... something UNSEEN attacks Cybil. This much is clear to me. Something smashes into her back with a either a great enough force to cause her blood to splatter, or with such a splatter that it goes everywhere. What I will accept is that the spine, in the back, is depicted in this game several times as the doorway to possession. Mother Alessa (the full-grown version of Alessa seen only at the end of the game, in the white gown)is possessed by Samael. Samael rises out of Alessa, through her back. This is the same as all the doctors and nurses of the Hospital, controlled by the parasites squirming around in their backs. Were these the actual staff of the hospital, at one time? Perhaps. I certainly do think so, for myself. I think Alessa had to suck ALL of the staff into her nightmare world, just to draw Kaufmann in as well. When she had drawn them all in, she asserted control over all but Kaufmann by creating parasites that attacked and "possessed" all the staff. Then, she transformed one of these possessed creatures into the likeness of her old nurse, Lisa. Along these lines, I will assess that while trying telepathically to remind Cheryl of who she was, that Samael accidentally allowed Cybil to slip into the conjured world. And like everyone else who was accidentally drawn into this world, one of Alessa's parasites finally seeks out Cybil and takes her over. Now, Cybil becomes another of Alessa's tools to stop Harry, and maybe the most powerful one yet, since Harry has recently become acquainted with the cop and has sided with her. Only when Harry twists "possessed" Cybil around and uses the Aglaophotis on her back is Cybil reclaimed from the clutches of evil. The next time we see the Aglaophotis used is when Kaufmann hurls it at Mother Alessa, and Samael then pours out of her back. So the purpose of the Aglaophotis seems to be that it can extract the demonic element in possession of any person in the game. My only problem with this is that you can't use the Aglaophotis on any of the Doctors and nurses at the Hospital, and you can't use it on Alessa yourself during a Bad Ending (an ending in which Kaufmann does not appear, and Harry must fight and defeat only Mother Alessa). This gives me some pause in fully endorsing this theory, but then I remind myself that it's just a videogame, and not everything is planned for. Plus, this is the only near-conclusive theory I can attain from what is presented in the game. Now I will recapitulate from what has been previously stated to make my assertions regarding Cybil and her role in the game clear: 1. Cybil is drawn into the conjured world by accident. As an incidental and unimportant piece in the chessmatch between Dahlia and Alessa, she does not experience the same shifting-reality experience that Harry has. She is free to explore on her own, and incidentally catches sight of Alessa, telling Harry where he can find her. 2. Perhaps because Cybil helps Harry draw closer to Alessa, Alessa creates a parasite that possesses Cybil, just like she did previously to everyone else who was accidentally drawn into the conjured world. Now, Cybil is under Alessa's control. 3. Alessa positions "possessed" Cybil to fight Harry. But in a + ending scenario, Harry thinks to use the medicine from Kaufmann's office on her. This causes the supernatural parasite to be extracted from Cybil's back. 4. True to form, the Aglaophotis extracts the demon Samael from Alessa, but probably not with the results the doctor expected. Samael is freed momentarily to wreak havoc on the universe. Well, I admit it's not the most conclusive part of this analysis, but I have basically explained Cybil's role in the entire game as best I can, using the skills I was trained to use in years of Plot Analysis, while studying Dramatic Structure in my screenwriting classes at college. ======================================================================= 9. Topic 7: The Endings ======================================================================= What confuses most players is that Silent Hill does not wrap itself up at the end in a nice, tight little package with a bow, like most other games. Not everything is explained, and the player is left to question what actually occurred during the game. This is usually the case for most players, even after replaying the game enough to get all five endings to the game. So let's examine these endings, to find out what happens. THE BAD ENDING This is what occurs in the final area if you did not use the Aglaophotis on Cybil, and if you did not find Kaufmann's stash at the Motel. Harry is in a conjured version of what seems to be Dahlia Gillespie's house, on the second floor. After experiencing another psychic image from Alessa, he runs downstairs. This room is very similar to the Dark Midwich Elementary School Boiler Room, where Harry encountered the Lizard. But now, the room is inhabited by three others. They are, from left to right: Dahlia; Alessa #1, seated in a wheelchair, burned from head to toe and wrapped in dirty bandages; and finally, Alessa #2, who was Harry's adopted daughter Cheryl for the past seven years. Harry demands to see Cheryl, and Dahlia explains to him that Alessa #2 IS Cheryl. Then Dahlia magically combines the two girls into one being, whom I call the Mother Alessa since Dahlia proclaims, "My daughter will be the mother of a god!" The Mother Alessa bears the full and vibrant power of the demon contained within her, Samael. She releases her power now, and destroys Dahlia. Then, she tries to destroy Harry. Harry runs around and shoots her until she dies. Then he collapses to the floor, sobbing in grief. Alessa's fake world crumbles around him. Then the credits begin to roll, but the best is yet to come. With this ending only, a song with lyrics plays. In all the other endings, we get to see bloopers of sorts, featuring the CG-rendered cast messing up scenes from the intro and the game, and acting all kinds of silly. But not in the Bad Ending. This time, there is only credits scrolling over darkness, and the sad song playing. After the credits, there is one last shot. Harry is still seated in his crashed jeep. Blood runs from a wound on his forehead. He is dead. THE BAD + ENDING This is what occurs in the final area if you used the Aglaophotis on Cybil, but you did not find Kaufmann's stash at the Motel. Harry is in a conjured version of what seems to be Dahlia Gillespie's house, on the second floor. After experiencing another psychic image from Alessa, he runs downstairs. This room is very similar to the Dark Midwich Elementary School Boiler Room, where Harry encountered the Lizard. But now, the room is inhabited by four others. They are, from left to right: Dahlia; Alessa #1, seated in a wheelchair, burned from head to toe and wrapped in dirty bandages; Alessa #2, who was Harry's adopted daughter Cheryl for the past seven years; and finally, Cybil, who's somehow beaten Harry here, and has her gun trained on Dahlia. Dahlia uses her power to knock Cybil away. Now Harry steps forward. He demands to see Cheryl, and Dahlia explains to him that Alessa #2 IS Cheryl. Then Dahlia magically combines the two girls into one being, whom I call the Mother Alessa since Dahlia proclaims, "My daughter will be the mother of a god!" The Mother Alessa bears the full and vibrant power of the demon contained within her, Samael. She releases her power now, and destroys Dahlia. Then, she tries to destroy Harry. Harry runs around and shoots her until she dies. Then he collapses to the floor, sobbing in grief. Alessa's fake world crumbles around him. Then the credits begin to roll, but there is yet a final shot afterwards. Cybil gets up, and limps over to Harry. She grabs him, shakes him, and finally slaps him to bring him around. "Harry," she yells. "Go!" THE GOOD ENDING This is what occurs in the final area if you did not use the Aglaophotis on Cybil, but you did find Kaufmann's stash at the Motel. Harry is in a conjured version of what seems to be Dahlia Gillespie's house, on the second floor. After experiencing another psychic image from Alessa, he runs downstairs. This room is very similar to the Dark Midwich Elementary School Boiler Room, where Harry encountered the Lizard. But now, the room is inhabited by three others. They are from left to right, Dahlia, Alessa #1, seated in a wheelchair, burned from head to toe and wrapped in dirty bandages, and finally, Alessa #2, who was Harry's adopted daughter Cheryl for the past seven years. Harry demands to see Cheryl, and Dahlia explains to him that Alessa #2 IS Cheryl. Then Dahlia magically combines the two girls into one being, whom I call the Mother Alessa since Dahlia proclaims, "My daughter will be the mother of a god!" The Mother Alessa bears the full and vibrant power of the demon contained within her, Samael. But now, Dr. Kaufmann enters the room. He is quite certain that Dahlia has betrayed him, that she assumed control of the power within Alessa for herself. He produces the medicine he took from Harry in the Motel garage, which Dahlia identifies with some horror on her part to be "Aglaophotis". Kaufmann hurls the liquid at Alessa. The substance causes the giant, winged demon, Samael, to be extracted from Alessa. The demon turns on Dahlia, and destroys her form. Then, the demon tries to destroy Harry. Harry runs around and shoots the monster until it screams in agony, the scream of a young girl. Behind him, the monster that Alessa had disguised as her former nurse, Lisa, rises out of the floor. She sneaks up behind Kaufmann and grabs him, dragging him down through the floor, to a fate we can safely assume to be worse than death. Harry turns to Mother Alessa, who has collapsed on the floor. The conjured world is crumbling around them. Alessa produces a small bundle containing an infant, and gives it to Harry. She then points to a bright light off in the distance. Harry runs. After the credits roll and are done, a final shot occurs. Harry emerges from the conjured world, and finds himself running down the highway at night. He is carrying the small baby. He stops, looks around. His expression is one of confusion and anger. THE GOOD + ENDING This is what occurs in the final area if you used the Aglaophotis on Cybil and you found Kaufmann's stash at the Motel. Harry is in a conjured version of what seems to be Dahlia Gillespie's house, on the second floor. After experiencing another psychic image from Alessa, he runs downstairs. This room is very similar to the Dark Midwich Elementary School Boiler Room, where Harry encountered the Lizard. But now, the room is inhabited by three others. They are from left to right, Dahlia, Alessa #1, seated in a wheelchair, burned from head to toe and wrapped in dirty bandages, and finally, Alessa #2, who was Harry's adopted daughter Cheryl for the past seven years. Harry demands to see Cheryl, and Dahlia explains to him that Alessa #2 IS Cheryl. Then Dahlia magically combines the two girls into one being, whom I call the Mother Alessa since Dahlia proclaims, "My daughter will be the mother of a god!" The Mother Alessa bears the full and vibrant power of the demon contained within her, Samael. But now, Dr. Kaufmann enters the room. He is quite certain that Dahlia has betrayed him, that she assumed control of the power within Alessa for herself. He produces the medicine he took from Harry in the Motel garage, which Dahlia identifies with some horror on her part to be "Aglaophotis". Kaufmann hurls the liquid at Alessa. The substance causes the giant, winged demon, Samael, to be extracted from Alessa. The demon turns on Dahlia, and destroys her form. Then, the demon tries to destroy Harry. Harry runs around and shoots the monster until it screams in agony, the scream of a young girl. Behind him, the monster that Alessa had disguised as her former nurse, Lisa, rises out of the floor. She sneaks up behind Kaufmann and grabs him, dragging him down through the floor, to a fate we can safely assume to be worse than death. Harry turns to Mother Alessa, who has collapsed on the floor. The conjured world is crumbling around them. Alessa produces a small bundle containing an infant, and gives it to Harry. She then points to a bright light off in the distance. Cybil gets up, and the two of them run for the light. After the credits roll and are done, a final shot occurs. Harry and Cybil stand in the same spot Harry and his wife stood at seven years ago. Harry picks up the baby in the bundle from off the ground. Cybil plays with the baby, and there is a look of happiness exchanged between Harry and Cybil. Now here's the strange thing, when you start up a new game and watch the intro, the scene with Harry and his wife finding the baby has been replaced with the same scene, with Cybil instead of Harry's wife. And it will remain this way through every subsequent game, no matter which ending you get. THE UFO ENDING During a Next Fear game, a replay of Silent Hill, Harry might be able to find a new item called the Channeling Stone at the Convenience Store near the beginning of the game. As the game progresses, access the inventory menu and Use the Channelling Stone at the following areas: 1. The rooftop of the Midwich Elementary School 2. In the courtyard of the Hospital, right before going to fight the Giant Moth. 3. In the parking lot of the Motel 4. In the cabin of the Boat, right after Dahlia leaves. 5. At the top of the Lighthouse, after Alessa disappears. With each use of the Channeling Stone, Harry will see more and more UFOs in the sky, for a greater duration each time. When the stone is used at the top of the Lighthouse, the UFO Ending suddenly occurs. The UFOs land, and Harry approaches them. Aliens emerge from the UFOs, and Harry waits for them to speak. But they say nothing. In confusion, Harry apologizes, awkwardly. Then he asks, "Say, have you seen a little girl, about seven, short black hair-" One of the aliens whips out a Konami Hyper Blaster (a real lightgun product, usable with the Sony PlayStation) and fries Harry with it. They pick up the stunned and groaning man, drag him into the spaceship and zip off. Then, the credits roll, but like the introduction at the beginning of a Star Wars film. The theme music is really weird, like a twelve year old is playing with a synthesizer, and some guy keeps repeating "Silent Hill, Silent Hill!" Very humorous!!! So what does it all mean? In my opinion, you have to experience and add up ALL the endings in order to understand what happens. And even then, any player can only interpret for him- or herself. When I add all the endings together, I noticed a great many things. The notes that I made helped me to interpret the entire plot of the game, and to create this guide. All of the endings are unsatisfactory, in that the nature of the power held by Alessa and the real plot of the game are not explained. In this much, I agree with everyone. Why would the developers spend a small fortune on the development, packaging, and marketing of a game, when it fails to have a tell-all, conclusive ending? If we look at the works that inspired the game to start with, the answer is clear. How do we know what works inspired the game? The streets of Silent Hill are all named after famous authors and musicians. Many of these authors have put forth works which have themes and situations adapted directly into the story of Silent Hill. A list of all the works that I agree have had an influence on the plot of Silent Hill follows: 1. The Regulators, a novel by Richard Bachman (Stephen King's pseudonym) A young child is possessed by a powerful and irreverent evil, which materializes the child's toys into reality, and turns an entire neighborhood upside down. Life-sized versions of the toys invade the streets, and anyone standing outside is killed. Those who are left cannot call for help or leave the neighborhood, because the evil entity has sucked them all into a conjured world, from which there is no escape but to play this thing through. 2. Rosemary's Baby, a novel by Ira Levin, a film by Roman Polanski Rosemary and her actor husband, Guy, move into a swanky and expensive apartment in Manhattan. Their elderly and intrusive neighbors, the Castavetes, are actually the leaders of a Satanic Coven. Guy makes a pact with Roman, the leader, to get a lead role in a very promising Broadway play. In return, the Coven is allowed to summon Lucifer, who impregnates a drugged Rosemary with the Antichrist. Rosemary tries to get away, but the conspiracy reaches so deeply that she cannot. She gives birth to the child, and eventually accepts that she is the mother of the Son of Satan, and to make the best of it. 3. Phantoms, a novel by Dean Koontz Two sisters are en route to a small town. When they arrive, the entire place seems deserted. Then they stumble across the corpses of several people, who all seemed to have died suddenly of some sort of virus. Others seem to have been butchered so suddenly that they were stopped in the middle of menial tasks. Arming themselves, the girls suddenly run across a Sheriff and his two deputies. These men are from the next town over, investigating what is going on in town after the local Sheriff called them for backup. They hear screams coming from a local inn, where seven guests were previously registered, but only one body is found. After searching the entire premises, they find words written in red lipstick on a bathroom mirror, "The Ancient Enemy by Timothy Lyte". Suddenly, the body they found is missing. They return to the sheriff's station, and attempt to radio back to their town. But the transmission is cut off by terrible interference. They are suddenly attacked by a large, mothlike creature, who kills one of the deputies. This is where most of the simularities to Silent Hill ends. The rest of the story is about an ancient creature, who has fed every couple hundred years on a small town or village, causing the whole population to mysteriously disappear. Roanoke Island in Virginia, and an ancient Aztec city are two instances. This thing wants Timothy Lyte, and expert on mass disappearances, to come to the town and see it, to tell the world to submit to its appetite. 4. Something Wicked This Way Comes, a novel by Ray Bradbury The novel relates the tale of an evil carnival that comes to a small town, in the fall, out of season. Two young boys discover by accident that the carnival people and their devious leader, Mr. Dark, are luring several townsfolk into giving up their souls and becoming slaves to the carnival. The carnival's main attraction is a carousel, much like the one that appears in Silent Hill, except that those who ride on this one are aged or made younger, depending on the direction the ride is spinning. Several instances occur where Mr. Dark is able to convince the boys that they are someplace that they are not, and that they are being attacked by spiders that don't exist. These are the only simularites that I notice between the two plots. 5. The Midwich Cuckoos, a story by John Wyndam This classic science fiction/horror tale is the basis of the Village of the Damned films, in which children have terrible powers to alter reality and attack adults. The Midwich Elementary School in Silent Hill proudly steals its name from Wyndam's book. 6. Sphere, a novel by Michael Crichton Another Crichton work that may be an influence on Silent Hill is the famous Jurassic Park, in which dinosaurs roam the planet once again. I only mention this due to the pterodactyl-like flying demons in the game, maybe they were influenced by the book. But even more of an influence on the game, I feel, is the novel Sphere, which just recently became a movie. This story plays with reality and the reader's head in ways that remind me of Silent Hill. Also, one of the main concepts of the book involves thought becoming reality, no matter how illogical those thoughts may be. Monsters are generated simply because one person unknowingly wills them into being. This is how I developed my theory that Alessa is controlling reality in Silent Hill with her mind, and that she is generating all the monsters in the game sheerly out of pure thought. Notice how, when the monsters are killed, they fade away after some time? I've seen it happen!!! Just back away from any enemy you kill, until it is lost in fog or darkness. Count to three, and then run back to it. You might catch a glimpse of the dead enemy fading away. This fading of monsters happens in Sphere as well. 7. Hell House, a novel by Richard Matheson Matheson Street in the game is named after the author of many horror, sci-fi, and mystery novels. Matheson also wrote classic episodes of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. Needless to say, reality is not a firm concept in any of his works, and irony in the situation of characters is mainstay. This is especially true in Hell House, where a team of paranormal detectives travels to a notorious house to investigate. Upon first arriving, they discover a secret room which seems to have been used for Satanic rituals, and the sacrifice of living children, many of whom seemed to be burned to death. But things are not what they seem. Luckily for Matheson readers, the author is a bit more generous about explaining things at the end. I strongly suggest that all Silent Hill lovers read this book, you should be able to find it at the library, or a book collector's shop. You also might enjoy his other work, I Am Legend, which was the basis of the film Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston. And there are plenty others, from the other authors reference to in the game by name. Here are some works which I personally feel were influences on the game, but are not referenced to directly in Silent Hill: 1. Jacob's Ladder, a film by Adrian Lynne This is a truly disturbing film, and it's obvious to me, and most Silent Hill players who view it, that it was a big, BIG influence on the game. Tim Robbins plays a Vietnam veteran who was exposed to some kind of nasty gas during a fire-fight in the jungles. Now he is a postal worker in the states, but he has some severely disturbing flashbacks, and some very hellish hallucinations involving demons. The big question is, what part of his experience is reality? One sequence involves Robbins' character, named Jacob, being forcibly wheeled into a hospital against his will. As he is taken on a gurney further into the hospital, the doctors and patients take on disturbing and twisted shapes. The walls are covered with chainlink fencing and mesh, and everywhere there are bloodstains and rust. The setting is quite visually similar to what is encountered in Dark Silent Hill. We find out at the end of the film that NONE of what has been seen was real. This helped me to form the theory that neither Misty Silent Hill nor Dark Silent Hill are the Real Silent Hill. 2. Twin Peaks, a television series created by David Lynch. Twin Peaks involved alot of weird and unexplainable events connected to the murder of a local high school girl named Laura Palmer. The main plot of the show, during its first season, revolved around the attempts of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and local sherrif Harry S. Truman to figure out who murdered Laura Palmer. The only good clues in the case were of a metaphysical nature, mostly derived from Agent Cooper's strange dreams. Eventually, Cooper and Truman learned that the murderer was Laura Palmer's own father, who acted under the influence of a demonic entity known as "Killer Bob". This evil spirit possessed Leland Palmer since he was a young boy, and only manifested occasionally, like a second personality. Leland had no knowledge of Bob or what the entity caused him to do. Killer Bob hailed from a place called the Black Lodge, an alternate reality that Agent Cooper had visited many times in his dreams. In tracking down a deranged FBI agent named Windam Earl, Cooper was forced to enter the Black Lodge and confront Bob, among other entities. After Cooper was found unconscious in the woods, he began acting strangely. The very last shot of the series showed Cooper slamming his head into a bathroom mirror, causing himself to bleed. Laughing hysterically, he began making fun of things he had said previously, while pretending to be Agent Cooper. You see, Killer Bob had taken possession of Agent Cooper. This much was not clearly explained, or spoon-fed to the viewers, and many had trouble understanding what had occured. I myself had to watch this episode several times before I understood. Seems like the makers of Silent Hill devised their ending along the same lines. Notice also how the intro is kinda like the opening of a television series? The viewer is shown clips that they may have seen and clips that are yet to come. (Even if you've played the game five times, you still haven't seen all the clips in the intro.) The theme music is very experimental, and the music that occurs in the game, (low, quiet, ominous, more noise than music) is very similar to the music of Angelo Badalementi during some of the more disturbing parts of Twin Peaks. Also, Twin Peaks was chock full of irreverent humor, which may explain the inclusion of the hilarious yet offbeat UFO Ending. I consider Twin Peaks, which I watched enthusiastically from its premiere to its closure, to be all the warm-up I needed to be able to tackle the plot of Silent Hill. Now that we've got all that information under our belts, I feel a little safer trying to explain my interpretations of the endings to the game. Listed hereafter are the several theories that I entertain, regarding the meaning of the endings of Silent Hill. THE "IT'S ALL IN HARRY'S MIND" THEORY The developers went to some lengths to make the Bad Ending Stand out from the rest. This much is clear, in that there are no "bloopers" during the credits, and there is a ballad that is played. After the unique credits are concluded, a shot of Harry in his jeep, dead. I think that these occurances have been highlighted by the developers to hint that this is the most important ending, and maybe the most telling. The implication is that Harry has been in his jeep this whole time, teetering between life and death, witness to images of heaven and hell. Viewers of the film Jacob's Ladder will recognize this concept right away. I'm going to go ahead and spoil the ending of that film, so that my concept of the ending can be illustrated better. I would suggest that any of you who want to view that film, and don't want it spoiled, rent it before you read any further. In the end of Jacob's Ladder, we learn that none of what Jacob has experienced has been real. He has never even left Vietnam. All of what he has experienced has happened only in his mind, as he fell in and out of consciousness. Previously, we saw how Jacob was seriously wounded in the jungle during a fire-fight. The events of the entire film are only the hallucinations that he has while dying. He must make amends with his past, forgive himself for the death of his son, in order to save his soul from the horrors of Hell. His hallucinations vary between nightmarish visions, full of demons, and moments of bliss, where he has survived the war and lives a peaceful life. All of the hallucinations that Jacob experiences occur while he is being extracted by helicopter from the jungle and flown to a medical base, where doctors operate on him to try to save his life. In the end, Jacob makes peace with himself, and with death, and goes into the heavenly light. The doctors who tried to save his life finally give up, and Jacob dies on the operating table, where he has actually been for most of the film. The Bad Ending, and the way that it is highlighted, say to me that none of what has happened during the game is real. What is real is that Harry has been in a car accident, and that the events of the game are no more than his guilt-ridden hallucinations before death. Perhaps at one point, he regained consciousness just enough to become aware that Cheryl was gone. I think his hunt for her, throughout the game, is really a metaphor for his inability to forgive himself. He's going to die, and he never got to tell Cheryl that she wasn't his real daughter. What is the meaning of the other endings, then? In the Bad+ Ending, Harry has rescued Cybil, and therefore has the opportunity to confess his sins to her, not telling Cheryl that he wasn't her real father. In this manner, perhaps the true purpose of Cybil's existance in the game is revealed. She is Harry's confessor, his priest, and therefore, his angel. Hence, Cybil is beautiful and kind. She becomes evil when Harry is still reluctant to admit his guilt. But she is returned to angelic status so that Harry can confess what he feels to be his major sin. But these are both still the Bad Endings, and for good reason. Notice that at the end of both, there is no exit tunnel, with a light at the end. The game ends with Harry being stuck in the Dark conjured world, and flames are raining down upon him. If Harry has admitted his guilt, then why is he confined to Hell at the end of the game? I think it is because he has failed to cause the circumstances that allow the demon to be extracted from his daughter. Thus, at the end of the game, when Harry kills the woman who represents his own daughter, he has failed to see her as anything but a monster and the bane of his existence. Sometimes, when people can't admit something to the people they love, they begin to see those people in a resentful fashion. Hence, Harry resented his daughter in real life because he couldn't admit the truth to her. So in the hallucinatory world within his mind as he lay dying, Harry must not only admit that he was wrong not to tell his daughter, whatever her real name may be, that he wasn't her real father, but he must also stop resenting her for it. Thus, when the demon is extracted from Harry's daughter, and he defeats it, this is all a metaphor for Harry finally being able to admit his wrong and conquer his own inner demon, who was not his daughter, but another entity all along. Only then is the long tunnel with the light at the end available for Harry to run to. Only then does Harry achieve everlasting peace and a final happiness. Otherwise, he condemns himself to Hell, and the entire game has only been a metaphor for the choice he has had to make. He has experienced Hell, and maybe Heaven, just like Jacob did in the film that I have compared it to. Seem a little deep? Watch the film, Jacob's Ladder, and then see if this theory makes any sense. But this leaves out the final shots of the other three endings. What are their secret meanings? If we hold the previous theory up, then the other endings are merely Harry's mental explorations of all the possible outcomes. If he confesses his guilt and stops seeing his daughter as his personal demon, then he goes to Heaven and is finally happy with his angel, Cybil. If he doesn't confess his guilt, but still quits casting his daughter as his demon, then he still gets to go to Heaven, but it's a much emptier place. If he confesses his guilt, but still resents his daughter for his own crimes, he is condemned. And if he does neither, then he becomes aware that he has died and committed himself to an eternity of grieving over his mistakes. THE "TWILIGHT ZONE" THEORY Many episodes of the television series The Twilight Zone, including one written by referenced author Richard Matheson, related the tales of individuals who are stuck in limbo, doomed to repeat the same events, never realizing from one repetition to another that they are stuck in a continuous loop of time. My other theory about the meanings of the endings of Silent Hill are drawn from this plot formula. Remember the theory I stated previously that the whole game is a game within a game, a chessmatch between Dahlia and Alessa, with Harry as the pawn? Here is where that theory comes into play. If nothing in the game is real, but has all been set up by a girl with supernatural powers, who in turn controls everything about this reality, then she must also exist somewhere outside this reality, in order to control it. Thus, we have Alessa, burned to a crisp, wrapped from head to toe in bandages, lying in a hospital bed in the basement of the Hospital, througout the whole game. She conjures the illusion that there is someone standing in the middle of the road, so that Harry has an accident. The appearance of Alessa reminds Cheryl who she really is, thus the expression on her face is not just of horror, but of the horror of recognition. After the crash, maybe she gets out of the jeep, leaves the dying man who pretended to be her father all these years, and goes to find her other half. When the two are reunited, the power that has lain dormant within both of them is also united. But there is danger, that the evil mother of the girls will seek to find them, to regain control over them and the power they contain. So they use their power to conjure an alternate reality, in which they can hide. Dahlia must enter this reality in order to find the girls and reclaim them, but the girls have total control over the conjured world. They mentally generate demons and monsters to stop Dahlia, to kill her. Dahlia comes up with a plan, to use the man who in reality is about to die. Instead, she uses a magic device called the Flauros to alter the conjured world, to "program" Harry into it, so that he will carry the Flauros to Alessa, where it will take control of the conjured world from her. Now let's step back and examine this model. We have two worlds, the Real Silent Hill and the Conjured Silent Hill. Alessa is no longer in the real world, she is only in the conjured one. Dahlia is in the real world, and can only mentally project herself into the conjured world. And then there's Harry, who is unconscious in his wrecked car, dying from his injuries. But he doesn't know it. So Dahlia magically inserts the essence, or mental spirit, of Harry into the conjured world. She makes him think that he has awoken in Silent Hill and his daughter is missing. Harry loves his daughter, in spite of the fact that he's never told her that she's not really his. Dahlia knows that Harry will be driven to find Cheryl, who is really the active and capable second half of Alessa. Alessa must sense that Harry has been brought into the conjured world by Dahlia, and she probably figures out that the purpose is to find her. Her main motive is to hide from Dahlia, and Harry never told her the truth anyhow. So she alters the world she's created so that it's dark and scary. Then she generates little demons that quickly overcome and kill Harry. But remember, this is only a magical projection of Harry. The real Harry is still comatose in his wrecked jeep. So Dahlia merely starts over. She reinserts Harry at a safer spot, so that he can get a better grip on what is happening in the conjured world. To help him do this, Dahlia inserts Cybil in this world as well. The cop doesn't remember that she also wrecked near Silent Hill, and that she is also comatose somewhere on the highway. She thinks she is in Silent Hill, and that she needs to go for help. What causes her to give Harry her gun? Perhaps she never does. After all, she shows up with another gun later, where did she get that one? Maybe Dahlia, working her magic on the conjured world, only makes it SEEM like Cybil gave Harry a gun. At least that way, he would be able to fight through the monsters Alessa was hiding behind. Dahlia then generates more weapons, and sets them in Harry's "path", so that he will be able to thwart Alessa's creations. This "path" is generated by Dahlia's device, the Flauros. As soon as Harry has proven himself capable of handling and dispatching Alessa's monsters, Dahlia projects herself into the conjured world and gives Harry the Flauros. She needs him to keep searching for Cheryl, who is really Alessa. Whenever he begins to falter in the quest, Dahlia takes control of the conjured world and kicks his butt back into gear. Alessa continues to run from Harry, in spite of his being her loving surrogate father for seven years. Alessa knows that Dahlia is using him to get to her, and also he never told her that she wasn't really his daughter. Perhaps Alessa has trouble forgiving him for that. So she devises a trap to make him sorry. She takes control of his new friend, Cybil, and turns her against him. Harry is forced to either kill her or cure her. If he kills her, then perhaps Alessa becomes sorry for how she has anguished Harry. If he saves Cybil, he finally admits that he should have told Cheryl that he wasn't her real father. Either way, Alessa allows Harry to find her. The Flauros automatically kicks into action and strikes Alessa down. At this point, Dahlia gains control over Alessa and the conjured world. Harry winds up in a horribly disorganized and rearranged version of the Hospital where Alessa's first half was kept. As he is travelling through it, the ghostly scenes he is witness to are mental cries of help from Alessa. When he finds Dahlia and the two Alessas, Dahlia tells him that Alessa is his daughter. Harry is in disbelief at this. Whether or not he accepts that Alessa was his daughter is dependent on whether or not he sees the demon Samael get extracted from Alessa. The extraction depends on whether or not Kaufmann was able to get his sample of Aglaophotis back. Remember, the "path" of the Flauros is laid out for Harry, NOT Kaufmann. In order for Kaufmann to be able to reach the Aglaophotis, Harry must forge the path over there first. If Harry failed to show up at the Motel then Kaufmann was never able to get his Aglaophotis, then Harry will never see it used on Alessa, and he will never see the demon as a separate entity from her. Only when the demon is separated from Alessa and Harry gets the chance to kill it, then and only then has Harry truly accepted that Alessa was not the evil behind all of this, that she was probably his daughter. Then and only then will Alessa allow Harry to pass on, into the Light, into happiness. Of course, this doesn't turn out the way Dahlia wanted. If you remember the model as I have set it up, the Dahlia that is burned up at the end is only a mental projection of Dahlia, projecting herself into the conjured world. That's why she isn't screaming as she's burned up. She's laughing, she can't actually die in the conjured world. So if things haven't turned out her way, perhaps she is able to "reset" everything, just as she was able to when Harry was killed the first time by Alessa's demons. So if things don't go her way, all she has to do is start over. This is signified in many ways. The scene with Cybil replacing Harry's wife in the scene indicates a certain repetetiveness in the events of Harry's life. Suddenly, he finds himself on the side of the road, scooping up a strange baby, admiring it with a woman he thinks rather fondly of. They take the baby home to Harry's house. Maybe they raise it together. In a few years, maybe they forget about what happened in Silent Hill, and they start vacationing there again. Maybe Cybil develops a strange illness and dies, leaving Harry to raise the child alone. And maybe, one night seven years later, when Harry is returning to Silent Hill for a planned vacation with his daughter, a figure will step out into the middle of the road. Or maybe Dahlia resets the conjured world, so that Harry wakes up in the Cafe again, with no memory of how things turned out the previous time around. After all, this is how the next game you play starts. Not at the crash site, but in the Cafe, where everything was reset to the first time. So what you're left with is an eternal struggle, where a dying man is drawn into a situation over and over, with no memory of the previous times he's lived out these exact same events. Doomed to search for a daughter that he lost through dishonesty, exploring every possible outcome of this stalemate chessmatch between two players with the supernatural powers to control alternate universes. Welcome to the neverending nightmare of Harry Mason, age 35. A writer who just wanted a simple vacation with his adopted daughter, but instead, he took a wrong turn, into the Twilight Zone. ======================================================================= 10. Frequently Asked Questions ======================================================================= Hopefully, The Silent Hill Plot Guide, Version 2, has put all your questions and confusion to rest. If it is not, feel free to send me a query at www.danbirlew.com. Fill out the form on the Contact page. I will not reply directly to email regarding this guide anymore. (It's time to move on with my life!!!) If you have a good question or a good point about this guide, then I will post it in this section and try to answer it. I've written this guide to the best of my abilities, and I refuse to rewrite it over and over in responses to the hundreds of emails I receive. Just try reading the guide again!!! The one question I have not tried to answer here, out of all the emails I get, is this one: QUESTION: Is it true that there might be another ending, where Harry finds Cheryl? ANSWER: Maybe there once was, in a previous, unreleased version of the game. There are certain pieces of evidence and certain messages that Harry receives when he tries to pick up certain items or examine certain areas, which would indicate that they might some use at some point. Alas, these items can never be picked up, and all hope of finding a hidden sixth ending as a result is lost. My thanks go out to an individual who posted a theory at my board that has cleared all this up. When Silent Hill was first announced, press releases indicated that there would be two playable characters with different scenarios, like Resident Evil 2. But we all know that the retail version has only one playable character, Harry. Evidently, Cybil was originally intended to be a playable character, and maybe another side of the story was viewed from her perspective. Items that Harry has "no use for right now" may have been essential in Cybil's adventure. But Cybil's scenario was not completed or it was scrapped, and not all the clues were taken out of Harry's scenario. I have exhausted every possibility of finding another, more conclusive ending. I even created a forum at my personal page for a while called "Silent Hill Workshop", where myself and a team of volunteers attempted every trick in the book to find it. We even applied gameshark codes to certain situations, but to no avail. So I am content with the theory that another scenario for Cybil was once planned, which would have tied up the loose ends in the story and made use of certain objects Harry cannot use. But when this scenario was scrapped, the developers left Silent Hill largely incomplete and confusing, and thus the need for this plot guide arises. ======================================================================= 11. Credits ======================================================================= Special thanks to the following: To KCET, for making one of the greatest horror experiences ever, and I mean it. SILENT HILL is scarier than any horror movie in Theaters or on video right now. Let's hope some Hollywood exec's are taking notes.... To Victor Quimson at Konami, for replying to my ridculous demands for an advance copy of the game and for answering all my questions before and after the game's release. To "Chris Redfield". Where ARE you, buddy? To "buttcaptain" for his weird e-mails, containing the strangest jokes I've ever read, and for being kind enough to read my synopsis only partially contained herein and explaining how Carl Sagan's theories apply to the story of SILENT HILL. To Gunsmith, author of the SILENT HILL Walkthrough at www.gamefaqs.com and many other sites, for replying to my whiny e-mails and trying to help me find the stupid katana. To everyone who e-mailed me with every kind of question imaginable and forced me to update this guide. To everyone who sent me really nice letters complimenting me on this guide and thanking me for writing it. Thanks to your encouragement, I will definitely write more guides. Keep an eye out for them. To BradyGames, for giving me fantastic games to write guides for. Find my offical strategy guides for games at your favorite gamestore. SPECIAL THANKS to my wife, Laura, whom I love very deeply and who has read everything I've written and corrected all my grammar and spelling mistakes. If she were trapped in Silent Hill, not 6000 Winged Demons could keep me away. And thank YOU, for reading this.
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