Tips Or Trivia- Silent Hill 2: James’s Monsters

Trivia

The Silent Hill series is full of body horror monsters. They’re creatures of nightmare fuel. Generally each monster is the way it is, due to the character it is hounding. The monsters represent something of importance to those trapped within the foggy town. This idea is lost or muddied in later games but in Silent Hill 2, the theme shines bright.

pyramid head
Wait till you meet his cousin, Rhombus Face

This is going to go into spoiler territory, so if you want to play this game at any point, I recommend you skip this trivia. Believe me, I would love for you to read my tantalising words but I would prefer it if you experienced the game before I ruin the story. And for a horror game it does have a good, weighty story. You’ve been warned. OK! In Silent Hill 2, James receives a letter from his dead wife saying she’ll be waiting for him at ‘our special place’. James believes this to be a hotel in Silent Hill. Along his journey through the mostly abandoned town, James encounters several kinds of repulsive beings. Two of the most seen are the nurses and Pyramid Head himself. Pyramid head is like a force of nature. Unrelentingly looking for James and almost impossible to stop. Why the fixation on James though? As for the nurses, they first appear in the hospital, where nurses tend to be. Their uniforms are more on the revealing Halloween costume scale than work attire. The clothing is sparse enough to show ample breasts and legs. Sounds sexy but if you saw one of these things up close you’d run the other way and straight into an open grave.  ‘My time on this Earth is done’. Like I said, the monster design isn’t just slapping limbs where limbs weren’t before. Even though, at times it looks like it.

James killed his wife. It gets revealed towards the end. His wife, Mary, was very ill and dying in a hospital. She was weak, frail and spent most of her time bedridden.  Mary and James argued during this time and James decided to spend a lot of his time elsewhere, because of this. This went on for a few years before it became too much for James. He didn’t handle this very well and in the end he smothered Mary with a pillow. It’s a twist I never saw coming. When you have that knowledge though, the world of Silent Hill 2 starts to make more sense. Pyramid head represents James guilt. To go from a loving, close relationship, to fighting and hardly seeing each other. And the times when you do see each other, you aren’t close. That resentment builds and that’s why James did what he did. He buries the murder deep within him and goes on with his life. When James arrives at Silent Hill, he is stalked throughout the town by Pyramid Head.  This is James’s subconscious want for punishment. Pyramid Head is here to dole out James’s sentence.

silent hill 2 nurse
Hey beautiful, where have you been all my life?

The nurses represent lust and desire. James is a man who was in a loving relationship. Rapidly that love and security dissipates and James is left with a husk of a relationship. He has feelings and needs. These aren’t being met but he tries to be a good husband and not to act on these sexual pangs. The nurse’s revealing clothes allude to his wants. The fact that they’re nurses is a smart design choice. James would have been visiting the hospital to see Mary quite often. He would have his urges and he would be in the presence of nurses. Most of whom will be women that he’ll see on a regular basis but will have no physical contact with, even though that’s what he desires.

And so, when you see Pyramid Head or nurses in other Silent Hill games or films, ask yourself if it suits thematically. These two monsters in particular are staples of the franchise now but most of the time they don’t have that connection with the protagonist, that the fantastic Silent Hill 2 had.

 

Tips Or Trivia- Resident Evil 4: Flash! Ahhhh *Dead*

Tip

In Resident Evil 4 you play as Leon S. Kennedy, a man who has a tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Usually on his first day of the job too. First, it was in Raccoon City with a zombie outbreak, it was Leon’s first day on the police force. Then his first mission for the US Government, was to track down the presidents missing daughter, Ashley Graham.  The Intel provided to Leon informed him that Ashley was taken to a remote location in Spain. Leon arrives and makes friends with the locals. And by that I mean he murders a bunch of farmers with pitchforks. Easy pickings for Leon who has previously fought zombies and other un-dead abominations and survived.

leon-s-kennedy
Psst, hey Leon! You might kill more if you had 20/20 vision. Maybe trim your hair a bit.

But come night time, these villagers develop a defence for Leon’s suplex-ing ways. Originally Leon could pop a peasant in the head and pile-drive his face into the dirt, no problem. It was like lifting a bag of shopping for super boy Leon. But under the cover of darkness a head shot could lead to an even more perilous situation. These villagers are housing squirming, biting and tentacle swinging parasites within their bodies. These parasites are vicious. Their host is under attack and so their fight mode activates. That easy villager is now a Alien lookalike with legs.  But why didn’t we see them during the daytime segment of the game. Well my fellow reader, like Dracula, they prefer to stay out of the light. Light makes them go pop like a weasel.

731850249_preview_468px-Flash_grenade
You forget to mention your best feature. Don’t be shy. Sell yourself, Flash Grenade.

Now, throughout the game, you have been picking up grenades. Flash grenade, flame grenade and…….well, grenade grenade. The kind that goes boom. If you were like me you would instantly favour the boom and flame types. They deal damage whereas the flash grenade just makes the villagers stumble about like they got chilli sauce in their eyes. In my first play through I sold the flash grenades. Stupid, I know. The light the flash grenade emits not only stuns villagers, it disintegrates the parasites. These parasites are resilient, they inhale bullets like its food at a buffet until they burst. One flash grenade and it’s bye bye face-hugger. That’s why I highly recommend keeping a few flash grenades on you. Pop a few skulls and keep the conga line of exposed villagers coming. Then toss a flash grenade and soak in that tan.

 

Tips Or Trivia

Halloween Edition

Spooky Time! I’ve decided to do smaller chunk articles along side my other features and reviews. I’ve always enjoyed reading background information about games and hearing how others have played games differently to me. And so, I’ve decided for the rest of this month, I will post a small read about individual games each day. Horror games I might add. For this is the season of frights. With it being Friday 13th I thought I’d get started today. Yup! I chose to do it today on purpose. It wasn’t like I didn’t think of this idea until only yesterday and saw that the day conveniently had scary connotations to it. 100% planned for weeks.