Written by AkumaPrince; PSHG WebMaster and Team Writer
Not sure how many people actually know this but the Silent Hill series is actually based on a real place in the world. Centralia, PA was the inspiration to the games and the movies of Silent Hill. Back in the 1960’s, Centralia was a major coal mining town in America until one fateful day. Over 1,000 people lived there at the time when a trash fire was lit near the entrance of a mine shaft. The fire traveled down and ignited a vein of coal that today is still on fire. There were many attempts to extinguish it with no results. It is said that the fires will eventually burn themselves out…in around 100 years give or take a decade.
In 1982, a 12-year-old boy was playing in his backyard when a sinkhole opened up and almost swallowed him up. Thankfully his father was nearby and was able to pull him to safety. With more sinkholes and the fumes/carbon monoxide emissions, the local government bought most of the property, but some residents refused to sell. Now most have moved with less than 10 people still living there regardless of the dangers.
Dangers aside you can actually visit Centralia. There are warning signs everywhere mostly saying “Go onto at your own risk!”, but other than that there is no one guarding the area. Videos of the area can be found on YouTube as well showing a short tour. At fist glance it seems innocent enough until you see the fissures with smoke and noxious gasses emanating from them. Sinkholes litter the landscape making traversing the town dangerous as the ground is mostly unstable. These and many other reasons are why Centralia was a great inspiration for the Silent Hill game series and movies.
This coming March you can re-experience the glory of Silent Hill 2 and 3, or experience it for the first time if you are new to the series. Konami remastered both titles in full HD and touched up the voice acting as well, to make it more enjoyable and just a little extra creepy.
Play as James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2 HD while he tries to both solve the mystery of Silent Hill and find his wife. Who, by the way, is supposed to have died years ago but somehow managed to send him a letter from the town of Silent Hill. She says that she’s waiting for him in their special place. As it would anyone, he’s very creeped out but at the same time curious as to what is going on.
Have your nerves shaken as you cross paths with all the nightmarish creatures of Silent Hill as James confronts his personal demons he has been running from since his wife died. With the help of Maria, a stripper you meet while exploring and looks a lot like Jame’s dead wife, certain questions will be answered while more disturbing ones arise. Explore, solve puzzles, meet other tormented souls and fight to survive as you unravel the mystery of why James is there and what happened to his wife.
Silent Hill 2 was a slight deviation from the story of the first title, but was picked back up again in Silent Hill 3 HD. In this story you play as Heather Mason, daughter of Harry Mason from Silent Hill 1 who has a kind of cameo in this title. If you played SH1 you will remember that one of the good endings is where you are given a baby because your daughter died. The baby, as you find out in SH3, is Heather and she is not Harry’s daughter. In a way she is kind of clone of the girl Harry chases around, she used her power to make another her before she died and gave the baby to Harry to raise being he lost his daughter.
That said he raised the child as his own and that is where SH3 comes in. Heather slowly finds out she is a copy of the original girl and that the cult from the town of Silent Hill is after her. They believe that she carries their “god” in her and her soul purpose is to give him life. She encounters monsters of all sorts in both the creepy town and in the nightmare world as she seeks the truth of who she is. All of which comes to a climatic ending and an epic battle of good and evil.
Also being released in early March is a brand new Silent Hill game called Downpour. It is technically Silent Hill 8, even though the last title for PS3 was SH5, because there was a PSP game and a PS2 title that came out after as well. Although the PS2 title was more of a remake of the first Silent Hill just told from a different perspective and the game play was very different.
Like SH2, Downpour’s plot will be unrelated to other events in previous SH games. Here you’ll follow a convict by the name of Murphy Pendleton after his prison transport veers off the road and crashes and finds himself stranded in the town of Silent Hill. Konami went with a sightly different direction with this installment by having the story revolve around Murphy rather than the town and its history. Also, another pleasant surprise is that the gameplay will take place in areas of Silent Hill that have never been explored before.
Other than that you can expect to see plenty of monsters, creepy environments, creepy music, both worlds of Silent Hill and of course the many puzzles you will encounter throughout the gameplay. There will be plenty of new characters to meet and interact with, here is a short list of character names:
- Murphy Pendleton – The protagonist of the story.
- Anne Cunningham – A policewoman. Early in the game, she may fall from a cliff as a result of the player’s choices, but may return as the story progresses.
- J.P. – The ex-tour guide of Devil’s Pit. Asks Murphy if he’s been to Silent Hill before. He wears a violet jacket and appears in some places throughout the journey.
- A little girl in a red dress – bears some resemblance to Alessa Gillespie.
- Howard Blackwood – an African-American postman who also appears in the comic Silent Hill: Past Life. Seems to be quite friendly with Murphy.
- Ricks – An African-American DJ of a local radio station WLMN FM. He is seen having a conversation with Murphy.
- Unidentified boy – Appears briefly in the trailer. Might be a younger version of Murphy, though it hasn’t been confirmed.
- Jorge Munoz – Survives the bus crash and can be found later in the story. He is seen taunting Murphy during the bus trip, suggesting that the two are enemies. In one instance he is seen hanging from a noose, and in another he is violently killing a Screamer and insulting it in Spanish. Murphy interrupts thinking it to be a woman and the mustachioed inmate gets his throat slashed by the Screamer. It’s unknown if he really dies multiple times or if his deaths vary with Murphy’s actions.
- Nun – Can be found in an unknown church in the town. Murphy goes into the church at some point in the trailer.
If you did not already know there is a second Silent Hill movie in the works that is due out sometime this year. No actual date is set yet but the movie is in post production so maybe this summer. The plot is going to be loosely based on SH3 with characters like Heather Mason making the big screen. Here is a list of characters from the movie with who is playing them and a plot summary as well, provided from IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base):
Credited cast: Sean Bean … Malcolm McDowell … Carrie-Anne Moss … Radha Mitchell … Kit Harington … Deborah Kara Unger … Martin Donovan … Adelaide Clemens … Heather Marks … Suki
Heather Mason and her father have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand, Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.
March is just about a week away and I do not know about all our readers but I am very excited. Debuts of two great Silent Hill games and many many others. One specifically comes out the same time as the Silent Hill games…Mass Effect 3. Just one of the many awesome games due out this year. You can bet that I already have my copies reserved of all these titles mentioned, I hope you do too. Happy gaming everyone!