Let's Talk Gaming: Silent Hill Series
Now when you hear Silent Hill, what do you think of? If your answer is Pyramid Head or Bubble Head Nurses, you are correct on both fronts, but for only one game for one of them. We love to be scared, and Silent Hill in it's early days pack that scary punch that we looked for in a survival horror game. More like Psychological Horror, but you get my point. It all started with the first three games. Let's take a look shall we?
Silent Hill 1, or Original Silent Hill, is the Playstation game that started it all for a lot of fans of it's beginning in the 90's. This game had a few cheap scares but it also held the atmosphere relatively well. Even during the times of calm, this game kept you on the edge of your seat. You never knew when the next monstrous demon would poke out of the fog. The controls were cumbersome and rather tedious, but once you could get around that, it's a excellent gaming experience. It's a game where you use your ammo sparingly, and only fight when you need to.
Each location has it purpose and meaning but those meanings were not thrown in your face. The puzzles were difficult and so were some of the monsters you faced. One thing that is interesting is the hospital elevator puzzle. You have to check each floor till the '4th Floor' appears. This is not just thrown in, it's part of a Japanese myth that if a elevator has 4 floor, it's bad luck. It would make sense that the '4th Floor' that randomly shows up is the floor that lead to the Otherworld. There is little bad that can be said outside obvious things like the graphics and poor audio quality. It was the first game after all. Like a lot of first games, it'll be a bit lack luster. But one of the things that was unnecessarily overpowered was the emergency fire axe, otherwise known as the 'Epic Hammer'.
You heard me right, the Epic Hammer. It's a weapon that was rather popular to use after it was obtained. I can personally see why with some of the stronger monsters later in the game. Hell, the infected doctors took a hell of a lot of hits without the Epic Hammer in the Hospital section where you get the Epic Hammer.
What took the took the cake though was the finale of the game. It was a interesting part of the game where the decisions you made earlier in the game effect the final outcome. If you did everything right where you saved Dr. Koffmen and saved Cibel Bennet from the parasite infecting her, you'll get the Good + ending plus a battle with the Samael himself. Though the most notable mechanics to the final boss is when you enter the boss room with no ammo at all. If you fire blank rounds at the boss, the boss shortly after will just die or be defeated seeing that you have no ammo to fight.
Probably one of the most overrated in the beginning trilogy, Silent Hill 2 holds it's place as one of the best experiences you'll ever play on the Playstation 2. The atmosphere is laid on much more thickly than with it's predecessor. Not only that, but the there is a new batch of monsters that haunt the main protagonist. (Did I not mention in Silent Hill 1 that the monsters were of Alyssa's creation. My bad.) But by far it went a bit further to push the M rated envelop with sexually provocative enemies. The most notable being the infamous Bubble Head Nurse of Brookhaven Hospital. But one monster is more horrific than anything else in the game. This monster is senonimious with the series of Silent Hill. Pyramid Head.
Ah, yes. I could hear you fanboys & girls rejoicing over me mentioning him. Pyramid Head's debut was this game and he was the definition of horrifying. Also to note is that he is invincible. Nothing you do will kill him. All you can do in your first encounter with him when you are locked in the same room as him is run and survive. Once the siren sounds, you are safe from his wrath for now. He appears more times later in the game to haunt you and bring heart pounding fear into your heart. The last thing to note is that you can get Pyramid Head's Great Sword as a weapon later in the game. It's a instant kill weapon for most basic monsters, but it's a bulky and very slow weapon to use. Not recommended for bosses what so ever.
Back on the topic of sexually provocativeness, one of the most sexually provocative characters is Maria. She serves as a secondary character most of the game once you meet her. She will be separated from you in areas, especially for major dungeon segments. You'll find her both interesting and annoying really. But believe it or not, she herself is a demon. She is a succubus. A being that purposely misdirects you. She was created by James Sunderland as sexual incarnation of his dead wife Mary, who he is looking for. Depending what ending you get the final boss could be Mary or Maria. Go have a go at the game yourself to see what I mean.
Ah, if it isn't my fave of the Silent Hills. Silent Hill 3 is where the series hit it's peak. This continues the story from the first one, where you play as Heather, Harry's daughter. The story starts off where you are at a mall and a detective finds Heather saying that he is on a investigation and was hoping to speak with her. Like a good girl, Heather walk away having her suspicions of the man. Which leads us to believe he maybe trouble. That is far from true. This is where things get interesting as you roam the mall and it's puzzles before descending to the madness of the Otherworld once more.
Once again, with a fresh new game comes new monsters and old locations. The only returning monsters are the parasite nurses from the first game. The split head dogs are just a rehashing of the old dog enemies. But what makes the difference with this one is that you do not start in Silent Hill. Silent Hill's dark powers start off coming to you. There were later games that implemented this same thing.
Robby the Rabbit makes a proper game debut with this Silent Hill game and it brings a chill to know that he has become a mascot along side Pyramid head for the series. He makes later cameos in future silent hill games in obscure ways and in obscure locations. One of the most known being the peephole one in Silent Hill 4 The Room, where if you look at Robby enough times, he will point at you. A chilling thing indeed. What's more chilling that a good old stuffed killer rabbit? Mannequins.
Yes, the mannequin room of Silent Hill 3 is well known for being the most chilling and disturbing rooms in all the game. It feeds on the fears of many, despite being safe and harmless room. It was a a good tension builder room for sure, feeling like you are being watched. It's almost like something out of Nox Timore only the Mannequins do not follow you around.
The sense of finale with this game is pretty strong too. Especially after the fight with Alyssa, Heather's dark half in the carousel fight. The final area will have you running around in fear and confusion as new things unfold till you have a final conclusion with the Final Boss, Alyssa or 'God'. Endings are not to big an issue with this one, though there are two known ones. The good end and bad end.
So if you guys want to play Silent Hill in celebration of the new Silent Hills game, I would recommend the first three games in the series. They personify the series the best out of any of the games. So go pick them up and give them a try, and who knows, maybe you'll find what your looking for in the fog.