Silent Hill 3, spoilers boxed

Well I picked it up yesterday, but due to some unfortunate circumstances I didn’t get to play it until well after 10PM, which only gave me about an hour’s worth of play.

Still. Yikes. Already this is a major improvement over the SH2. Already I’ve seen more monsters than I would have in SH2 (ok, I’ve seen two, but still, that’s more than SH2!). I felt the tension I originally felt in SH1 all over again: standing there, knowing I only had 20 bullets, with my radio going off. Eesh! I can’t wait to get further. I saved the game at the first save point and played through for quite a bit only to let myself die. I’ll go back and redo it hoping to conserve a few more health drinks :wink:

Like SH2, this installment allows you to configure the difficulty of the riddles as well as the difficutly of the monsters. I think that is a very good feature, but really I played through SH2 riddles on hard and was never really stumped. Still, it is a good idea, I won’t complain there.

The game comes with its own soundtrack CD. Awesome! I had to rip all the ones from SH1 :wink:

Finally, the one spoiler I really have:

Cheryl! I don’t even know where to begin speculating on that one.

Okay, I only played the second one for a little while, but apparently they use the same little detector in this one, so…what’s up with the radio? How/why does it pick up the creatrures’ presence?

In all the plot summaries of the first game I read, or came up with one my own, or all the ponderings I did on the second, that question has, to my knowledge, never actually came up.

Stranger yet, at least in the first two, if you didn’t have your flashlight on the monsters couldn’t see you, so for a rather terrifying experience you could play through most of the game without even the flashlight on and avoid almost all combat (of course you couldn’t see to pick stuff up, either). But in doing this, you could leave the radio on, monsters didn’t detect whatever it was about them that caused the radio static.

The radio was also quite directional. If you were facing toward the monster the radio sound got stronger than if you faced away, whereupon it would go completely dead.

PLOT POINTS FOR THE FIRST TWO GAMES UN-SPOILER-BOXED

Why the radio works… well, I think to answer that (or to create an answer!) we’d have to agree on an interpretation of the events that happen in Silent Hill. For the first one, the general consensus that I’ve found is that the town is a manifestation of the mind of the girl Alessa. Why she could do this is largely because of the powers she had inherently or was given during birth in order for the gyromancers (cult that practiced in the town) to bring forth the demon Samael. While Alessa was in fact trying to use these powers to avoid the very thing she was more or less created for, the one gyromancer Dahlia was trying to carry on with the plan.

What all this means is that the horrific nature of the otherwise sleepy vacation town is, in the first game, mostly the cause of Alessa. All the frights in the game are largely things that would have frightened her, and her nightmares about the wicked doctors and nurses created wicked doctors and nurses, and we all know that children can be mean to other children, hence the mutant-kids-with-knives in Midwich Elementary School. And so on. Mostly everything in that game can be taken from a child’s mind, or exptrapolated to be taken from the mind of a child who has suffered a rather tragic fate (been burned in a fire and kept in a state of permanent pain in order to incapacitate her until the ritual of the gyromancers could be complete).

The issue gets more complicated with the second installment of the series, or more simple, depending on your thoughts. All the characters we meet in the second installment find things in Silent Hill that are the subject of their guilt and/or fears, those anxieties and such that lie deep in the mind. The main character largely fights distorted nurses and maniquin-monsters that only have parts from the waist down, but others in the town don’t see monsters at all. One woman ends up fighting what she thinks is her father (or rather, the main character fights it) and ends up walking into the flames she set so many years ago. Eddie sees enemies everywhere, just like he always had, only now he could have his revenge on all the “monsters” that called him fat or stupid or whatever. The little girl, Laura IIRC, sees none of this, in fact she’s mostly innocent (she does see James, the main character, though… interesting, maybe? :slight_smile: ). Unlike the first game, where the main characters from the start or eventually ended up seeing the same twisted town, in the second installment the town was like an empty canvas that they collectively painted their fears onto.

In both cases, the town is a manifestation of fears. I don’t know where the third one is going yet, but I’m certain it will be something similar, loosely based on the fact that the town itself is or has been a source of evil over the years, that dark powers have gathered here (think Twin Peaks, its forest, and ‘The Black Lodge’, if that helps) and are a source for witchcraft (the gyromancers) and other forms of evil mischief (the second installment, which seems to be both the town and the people in the town).

Given this interpretation, it seems the radio could be a few things. One, it could be that the monsters themselves are some sort of psychic-energy-type thingies (heh) which cause them to trigger a device like a radio (or television, or phone) as the case may be. Another is that the radio itself is sort of a link between the agent (whoever the character in the town it) and his psyche, sort of an element that the character is familiar with. Like in dreams (the SH series can be said to be character’s nightmares) one always seems to “know” things without having an actual reason why (like something is over there, or chasing me, or whatever), and the idea of a radio as a source of such information could be said to have been dragged up from the mind.

Of course, the silly explanation is that it provides the gamer to know where monsters are, and increase their tension knowing that something is near and generally “over there” but not being able to see it because of lighting and so on, but that’s no fun! No, I think Konami put a lot of thought into these games and have built a mostly-interpretable and consistent story there, so I like the idea of all the things the characters come across as useful as being a part of the sort of psychic manifestations that litter the place. Everything is what it is, but not quite. Hospitols have hospitol beds, but under the sheets are bloody corpses. Telephones are everywhere, but there’s no one to talk to but yourself anyway. Gas stations obviously should be “SHELL” but instead are “HELL”. And the newspaper stands in the first game inform us, “Bill Skins Fifth!” (A nice ‘Silence of the Lambs’ reference.) A fireman’s axe is a regular item one might see, but the use it has in Silent Hill (smashing mutant-demon nurses) is something different entirely. In summary…

END PLOT POINT SPOILERS

In this way, the radio is an everyday object integrated into the nightmare world, but its purpose, like everything else integrated into the SH world, is somewhat different, twisted, and darker. MHO. :smiley:

As to the spoiler,the answer is a lot closer than you would think ;).