The Silent Hill series is known for its isolation and monstrous creatures. The series has been persistent with these themes, especially in the early games. One other big element ties the early releases together, and that is the endings. Yes, when you finish Silent Hill 1, 2 or 3 you are treated to one of several endings. Nothing peculiar about that, a lot of games have a good or bad ending. But Silent Hill has gone one step further and added UFO ending to the list.
In this ending, which I might add is a cartoon ending similar to a comic book slideshow, the protagonist Heather, returns home to be greeted by an odd scene. Her father (Silent Hill 1 protagonist), Harry is at a dinner table with an alien. The grey classic alien look. There is also a man hiding behind a curtain which is James Sunderland, Silent Hill 2’s protagonist. Heather explains to her father the strange events that have been happening to her. Her dad flips out and does a sick kick to a piece of wood that James was holding.
Harry proclaims, in a warbled voice, that he is sick of Silent Hill’s shenanigans and that he’s going to destroy Silent Hill. Cut to a bunch of Alien spaceships laser beaming Silent Hill into dust and then flying off into the night sky. The credits then roll and the happy Silent Hill song starts playing, lyrics included. The beginning of the songs is this:
Come on, kiddies! Gather around!
Now, tell me, everyone,
Aren’t you sick and tired of that ol’ UFO ending?
That’s right! Be honest!
Honesty helps you grow big and strong!
Okay, you fine youngsters, let’s sing the Silent Hill song!
And it continues from there, singing about the characters from Silent Hill 3. It’s a surreal ending to a bleak game but this is a grand tradition in Silent Hill games. The UFO ending is a fan favourite easter egg. Usually the ending has to be unlocked by performing certain actions in the games. For example, in Silent Hill 3, the player has to unlock a weapon called the Heather Beam. To do this, the player needs to kill 333 monsters in several playthrough’s of the game. Then when you start a new playthrough, you need to kill at least 30 monsters with the Heather Beam before entering Harry’s flat. If done correctly you will be treated to the absurd UFO ending. Here is the ending for your viewing pleasure:
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem released on the Gamecube in 2002. The game is a 3rd person, survival horror that features elder gods and controlling multiple characters throughout history. The game itself is more remembered for its sanity effects. As you control characters, you will be attacked by Eldritch horror-esque monsters. When your character encounters these monsters, they will have a dip in sanity. Their sanity can be regained by killing the enemy with a finishing move but sometimes this just isn’t an option without risk of death. There are also monsters that focus primarily on attacking your characters sanity. More than likely as you progress as this character their sanity meter will deplete quite a bit.
This leads to some scary, unnerving, goofy, confusing situations. Whilst, your character is losing their marbles you will hear them muttering to themselves things like ‘This can’t be happening’. And, when you transition to a room there is a chance of a sanity effect taking place. These can include:
- Your character shrinking to child size
- Their head suddenly exploding, followed by the limbs too
- Walking on the ceiling of the room
- Swarms upon swarms of monsters attacking you, making you hope that it is a sanity effect and not a steep spike in difficulty
- The character will attempt to reload their gun but will accidentally shoot themselves in the stomach, causing their death (not really but in the sanity effect)
- Bugs suddenly appearing on your TV screen and eventually covering it with creepy crawlies. This one got me the first time, I was sure there was fly’s on my TV
- Your inventory will be empty of ammo and health
- When you save your game a message will pop up saying ‘Would you like to delete your saved game?’, picking yes or no results in a message saying your game has been deleted
- Your screen will go black and you will hear the sounds of your character being attacked or eaten. Making you believe that the video output is faulty but the game is still playing
Other grim effects involve finding a man hanging from the ceiling or your character finding themselves in a bathtub of blood. There are loads more sanity effects too and it really helps to set the game apart from others. I would find myself purposely trying to lower my sanity just so I can see more freak out moments. A great horror game, just a shame the planned sequel never came to fruition. I’ll never forget the mini heart attack, thinking I just deleted my save data. Good times.