The Bubble Head Nurse is a female monster that James Sunderland encounters in Silent Hill 2, and is suggestive of Mary Shepherd-Sunderland's hospitalization. They appear frequently in Brookhaven Hospital and in the streets of Dark South Vale.
Bubble Head Nurses also appear as a frequent enemy in the spin-off game Silent Hill: Book of Memories.
They wear provocative attire, exposing cleavage and sporting miniskirts. Their heads face downward, appearing swollen and bloodied and covered in gauze, convulsing violently as they wobble to their target. Their only visible facial feature are bloody, exposed jaws and teeth. When inspected closely the last four fingers of their hands seem to be fused.
The nurses move in an awkward manner, their legs carrying them in a shaky and crooked fashion, making them out to be a slow opponent; yet they are surprisingly fast on the attack.
In Silent Hill 2, the nurses in the Fog World take on a pale white tone, while most of the nurses in the Otherworld have an orange-brown color. These darker nurses lack the bloody mouths, instead having what looks like a transparent film over the nose and mouth area. The Otherworld nurses also have parasites on their backs and right shoulder, similar to the Puppet Nurses in the first game, as well as thin spikes lodged into their faces.
They emit shrieks and gurgles when approaching him, and carry their own melee weapons, usually pipes similar to James's. They are fairly aggressive and will surround James if he encounters more than one in an area. However, if they come in close contact with one another and decide to attack, chances are they will knock out one of their own close by.
It is advised to fight them from range either with the handgun or the shotgun, as a blow from a pipe can do quite a bit of damage. In the hospital, it is preferred to use the shotgun, due to the narrow corridors, and because they tend to travel in groups. Melee is not the best option for fighting them, but if the need arises, the steel pipe is the favored option due to its range.
The nurses are likely manifested by James's mind, combining his anxieties surrounding his wife's terminal illness and the sexual deprivation that came with it, hence the risqué clothing worn by them. The nurses also die with their legs widely spread apart, a very provocative scene that further contributes to the game's sexual theme.
The bubble, "condom", type head of the nurse is representative of suffocation. This references the events when James killed Mary by suffocating her with a pillow; hence, the reason why their heads convulse violently like somebody trying to break free from being suffocated.
Bubble Head Nurses may represent James' frustrations towards the (American) health care system, which was unable to identify or cure Mary's fatal illness. When Mary fell ill, James expressed anger towards her doctor for "letting Mary die". Mary also expressed frustration, feeling the hospital was profiting off her suffering. The term "bubble head" is an insult used to call someone foolish and stupid, and could symbolize James feeling Mary's nurses were incompetent. James asks Laura, "Who's Rachel?!" implying he didn't bother or care enough to familiarize himself with Mary's nurses, possibly because he already lost faith and hope in them.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
In the spin-off game Silent Hill Book of Memories, they are simply called "Nurses", as opposed to their full name, and are one of the first enemies to be encountered in the game, appearing in the first zone onwards. The player can encounter light, blood and steel versions of the nurse.
Armed with a steel pipe, they usually attack in groups, are fairly fast, and will attempt to surround the player; however, their attacks only cause a small amount of damage and they are fairly easy to kill, especially from range. They also have a weakness to the steel pipe, the same weapon which they wield.
If the player has the Expansion Pack, they can also wear Bubble Head Nurse masks, called the "Creature Head".
Silent Hill: Downpour
Bubble Head Nurses only appear in the "Surprise!" ending, attending Murphy Pendleton's surprise birthday party, along with James, Mary, Laura, Heather and all the other characters from Silent Hill: Downpour.
- Masahiro Ito drew inspiration for the design of the nurses attire from The Exorcist III, Jacob's Ladder and bondage-inspired clothing.
- Originally, Ito's concept for the nurse was to have the head be a semi-liquid bubble with a thin skin very much similar in appearance to a condom. When the monster got shot, it would simply burst like a water balloon, but this never came to be due to the technical limitations at the time. The weapon also changed from Ito's original design. In the initial stages the idea was for the nurse to have an IV stand with blood packets to attack with, but instead Ito armed the nurse with a steel pipe.
- From the artworks by Masahiro Ito at the gallery below, the Bubble Head Nurses originally comes in different types such as the acid and twin-tail version, but this idea was ultimately scrapped.
- Similar nurse monsters appear in the Silent Hill film and Silent Hill: Revelation, referred to in the credits as "Dark Nurses". As nurses of Brookhaven Hospital, they take a similar appearance to the Bubble Head Nurse.
- A Bubble Head Nurse costume could be purchased in the now-defunct PlayStation Home.
- ↑ Book of Lost Memories
- ↑ Masahiro, Ito (adsk4). "This tweet is 'the Bubble Head Nurse' in SH2 is suffocated by covering her head with a vinyl like condom...." Tweet.
- ↑ Masahiro, Ito (adsk4). "It's representative of suffocated invalid Mary's swallen head. The nurse in SH2, she shakes her head like struggling to shake off the covered vinyl..." Tweet.
- ↑ Masahiro, Ito (adsk4). "About Silent Hill 2 Bubble Head Nurse, my originally planned for its head is a semiliquid thing covered with a thin skin like a condom, and it bursts like a water balloon, when it's shotten...." Tweet.