Pyramid Head, also known as the Red Pyramid Thing, is a monster (and in two cases, a duo of monsters) that debuted in Silent Hill 2 as arguably the main antagonist. Pyramid Head is one of the most well-known and iconic monsters in the Silent Hill series. It is likelier that Pyramid Head is a type of monster rather than a single entity.
In Silent Hill: Homecoming, a monster known as the Bogeyman closely resembles (or actually is) Pyramid Head, which furthers the theory that he has multiple incarnations and is frequently associated with feelings of intense remorse. The Child's Drawing also states the Bogeyman is also known as the Shadowed One.
He is in both of the Silent Hill films as Red Pyramid, and appears in other various Silent Hill media.
They are usually portrayed as, at the most basic, violent monsters. A deeper meaning given to them explains their existences as punishers and executioners. In Silent Hill 2, one Pyramid Head proves his acts of violence are not aimed solely at humans, as he has also brought harm to the other creatures that inhabit Silent Hill.
Masahiro Ito, the monster designer of Silent Hill 2 as well as most of the other installments, created art of a mechanical creature with a geometrical-shaped head while studying at the Tama Art University in 1995. This would later help serve to inspire Pyramid Head's design.
For Silent Hill 2, Ito wanted a monster with a hidden face to make it less human and more disturbing. His first idea was a monster with a mask, but he realized that it was nothing more than a human garbed in a simple facial disguise. He then took the concept further, giving the monster a head in the shape of a triangle with sharp right angles and acute edges that suggest the possibility of pain.
In all forms, Pyramid Head's appearance is that of a large, well-built human male, and typically is seen wielding the Great Knife or Great Spear. The appearance of the frightening monster is based off the executioners that plagued the juncture of lofty occult activity in Silent Hill's history.
In Silent Hill 2, they don a white robe-like outfit with no sleeves, seemingly rubber gloves and what appears to potentially be mostly fused fingers; however, under close inspection, his fingers are not entirely one mesh, as his thumbs are independent. Although his four other fingers are still vaguely discernible, the fact that they never separate in-between suggests the fused state (yet another possibility of affliction incarnated into the creature). Their iconic pyramid-shaped helmets look to be a rusty hunk of metal grafted onto their head, with a single hole drilled into the upper side. A tentacle or tongue-like appendage can snake out of this hole as he chokes James Sunderland.
In the films Silent Hill and Silent Hill: Revelation, Red Pyramid's appearance is somewhat different from the game. His helmet is a black and girded hexagon, 6-sided version instead of the 7-sided one in the game, and appears much more sharp. According to director Christophe Gans, the change is because it was impossible for the actor to wear the helmet from the game. Pyramid Head's hands are also different, showing individual digits as fingers instead of the fused palm in Silent Hill 2, and he also has no gloves. The basic design principle of the game's designers is still there: they wanted the helmet to appear painful to wear. However, he makes no struggling gestures with his helmet in the film as with the game. In the film, his apron is worn from the waist down, exposing his torso, and appears to be made of sewn human flesh.
The physical appearance of the Bogeyman from Silent Hill: Homecoming is largely based on the Pyramid Head featured in the film adaptation, with a few minor differences: his forearms appear to be soaked in blood, and his helmet is slightly lighter in color than the film version. The knife he wields is also serrated with a tapered point, so that it resembles an enlarged combat knife.
Silent Hill 2
Pyramid Head makes his first appearance in the Wood Side Apartments. After hearing a horrified shriek, protagonist James Sunderland finds him emanating an obscure, reddish aura standing behind a wall of bars that separates the two. He does not move or react to James in any way, but his presence causes the radio to emit static.
Pyramid Head is encountered again in Room 307, engaged in an aggressive act with two Mannequin monsters. Due to their positions, combined with how Pyramid Head is holding one of the monsters, this scene suggests a form of sexual violence, although no physical penetration is actually seen. Soon after, Pyramid Head releases his grip on the monsters, and both Mannequins appear to die in turn. Pyramid Head can then be seen dragging one of the Mannequins towards James, who is hiding in a closet. Pyramid Head stops briefly, only for the Mannequin to thrash with life, shortly before "dying" again. As Pyramid Head loses interest in the Mannequin, he clutches an edge of his helmet while he "senses" the area with his other hand; it is unknown whether this is a sign of pain, or if it is actually a manner of scanning the area. Either way, James, who feels his life is in danger, finds ammunition on a nearby shelf and begins firing his pistol at Pyramid Head. Pyramid Head cries out in an unnatural way, and then lumbers for the exit. James later identifies it as "that red pyramid thing" when meeting Eddie Dombrowski.
Later on, in the stairwell of the Blue Creek Apartments, he is carrying his signature weapon, the Great Knife, an over-sized blade not unrelated in design to Angela Orosco's knife (despite obvious size differences). During this encounter, Pyramid Head is seen holding a Lying Figure in a sexually suggestive, contorted position, while moans are heard. Once Pyramid Head sees James, he releases the Lying Figure, which dies on the spot, and immediately attacks James. The fight is cut short when a siren blares, prompting Pyramid Head to walk away, opening a door that James must follow him out of.
Pyramid Head makes his next appearance on the roof of Brookhaven Hospital, in which he seemingly appears from nowhere and pushes James through a weak fence. The next time he is seen, he has abandoned his knife in favor of a spear. He chases Maria and James through a fabricated underground corridor beneath the hospital, although his attacks are focused solely on Maria. James reaches an elevator at the end of the hallway unscathed, but its doors close on Maria, who is impaled and apparently killed by Pyramid Head's spear.
A macabre painting of Pyramid Head with a spear in hand and caged victims in the foreground, titled "Misty day, remains of the Judgment", can be observed in the Silent Hill Historical Society before entering Toluca Prison. It is unknown if the painting is real and intended to be part of the exhibit, or if it was manifested by the powers of the town as a part of James's subconscious. Upon examining it, James mutters, "It's him..."
Later on, Pyramid Head can be found patrolling two areas of the labyrinth, somewhere beneath the prison. Although he will attack James, he does not pursue him. James can steal the Great Knife, which is stashed in a small room within the labyrinth.
Pyramid Head makes his final appearance in the Lakeview Hotel, along with a second Pyramid Head symbolizing James's guilt for Maria's death. They kill a resurrected Maria for the third and last time before coming down to James's level and initiating combat. After taking enough damage from James, the Pyramid Heads impale themselves with their own spears, as they are no longer needed because James has overcome his desire to be punished. Both of them hold an egg which James needs to continue. One Pyramid Head holds the rust-colored egg, while the other holds the scarlet egg.
Silent Hill: The Arcade
Pyramid Head is featured as a boss in Silent Hill: The Arcade. His appearance is reminiscent of his Silent Hill 2 incarnation, but his knife has a white-edged blade.
He is just as strong as in the second game, but his attacks can only be avoided if a certain amount of damage is dealt to him before he strikes. His helmet acts as a shield and it is futile to shoot at it; the best place to shoot is just under the helmet or around the rim.
In Brookhaven Hospital, he will kill Jessie if Eric and Tina do not defeat him in time. If the player successfully defeats Pyramid Head, the Otherworld transitions back to the Fog World and Jessie is saved. Later on, he appears during a hallucination scene in Brookhaven Hospital, and then at the ruins of Wish House Orphanage.
Aside from his physical appearance in the game, a painting of him is present in the Silent Hill Historical Society, but is different from the one featured in Silent Hill 2, while a gold coin that the player can obtain by shooting him displays his image.
Silent Hill: Origins
A picture of Pyramid Head with a spear in each hand can be found in the burning Gillespie house at the dawn of the game. The mystery of why it was placed in the Gillespie house is never revealed, as Pyramid Head has never been associated with the family (excluding Silent Hill: Revelation). It is possible that the painting is simply an easter egg, with no meaning behind it. However, Travis Grady does comment upon examination that it makes him want to "stop and look".
There is also a child's crayon drawing of what appears to be Pyramid Head, complete with the Great Knife, on a wall in the female seclusion room of the Cedar Grove Sanitarium. There are multiple drawings all around the room.
Pyramid Head appears on the cover of the game's soundtrack. Masahiro Ito notes that this is not James's Pyramid Head, but rather another Pyramid Head in a different world.
Silent Hill: Homecoming
The Bogeyman has a minor, albeit important, role in Silent Hill: Homecoming. Much like the Pyramid Heads were to James Sunderland and the Butcher was to Travis Grady, his role is a physical manifestation of Adam Shepherd's guilt. He failed to follow through with a vital pact in Shepherd's Glen, and because of this, the town fell into ruin due to the wrath of the local cult's god.
Although unseen, the Bogeyman makes himself known to Alex Shepherd in the game's introductory level, Alchemilla Hospital. His first action is the murder of the doctor who wheels Alex into the operation theater. As the player progresses through the hospital, a grinding noise can be heard periodically. Presumably, this is the Bogeyman dragging his knife across the floor. As the first level ends, Alex enters an elevator, following his brother. As it comes to a stop, the Bogeyman's knife plunges through the still-closed elevator door toward Alex. The scene then transitions to a truck cab and an awakened Alex, revealing that he was dreaming.
The Bogeyman only appears physically twice to Alex. He is first encountered in a cutscene in the Grand Hotel in Silent Hill. Seen dragging his knife down a hallway and being trailed by insects (similar to the film), he turns to face Alex, who has hidden himself behind a pile of rubble. The Bogeyman turns away, and continues walking down the hall. Much later, within the Church of the Holy Way, he appears a final time and executes Adam, cutting him in half lengthwise right before Alex's eyes.
In the "Bogeyman" ending, Alex is seen bound to a chair, with Bogeymen approaching from both sides of him. Each bears a piece of helmet identical to their own, internally lined with long sharp spikes. Alex screams as they attach the pieces to him, transforming him into one of them. This may represent Alex embracing the darkness within him that the Bogeyman represents, as to obtain the ending the player must commit "evil" actions (refusing to mercy kill Lillian Shepherd, refusing to forgive Adam, and not healing Deputy Wheeler). With this ending, the Bogeyman costume is unlocked.
The Bogeyman is also mentioned in a series of child's drawings found throughout the course of the game. Each drawing has part of a gruesome poem on the back, which was possibly told to the children of Shepherd's Glen by their parents to cover up for the disappearances of their friends.
Silent Hill: Downpour
In Silent Hill: Downpour, Pyramid Head makes a cameo in the joke ending, showing up to cut the cake at Murphy Pendleton's surprise birthday party. He slowly walks into the room, dragging his Great Knife behind him and cuts the cake in half, but also slices the table the cake is on in half in the process. He is identical to his Silent Hill 2 appearance, although his Great Knife is noticeably smaller, which is probably due to Murphy's close proximity to the table in question.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Pyramid Head appears in Silent Hill: Book of Memories, a spin-off installment. In this game, Pyramid Head seems to be lifting his Great Knife waist height in front of him, carrying and swinging it with much greater ease instead of dragging it behind him. Both he and the Great Knife are noticeably bloody, instead of the rust-like, indeterminate stains from previous games.
Red Pyramid appears in the Silent Hill film, which is set in a different continuity from the games, where he acts as a tenacious antagonist encountered by Rose Da Silva while looking for her daughter, Sharon Da Silva in Silent Hill, West Virginia.
He later appears on the church steps and assaults Anna, lifting her up using only one arm, then tears off her dress, grabs her chest and tears off her skin in a single movement, tossing it at the church door directly behind Rose and Cybil.
Silent Hill: Revelation
Red Pyramid returns in Silent Hill: Revelation. Physically, he appears very similar to his appearance from the first film, although much more muscular. Christopher Da Silva writes that Red Pyramid is Alessa Gillespie's "guardian and executioner", and that he will kill anyone who tries to harm her.
Sharon Da Silva, now known as the manifestation of Alessa's goodness and purity, sees Red Pyramid in a dream. Later on, she finds herself trapped in Brookhaven Asylum, with hundreds of prisoners trying to drag her into their cells. Frightened, she screams for help, and Red Pyramid comes and chops at the arms to stop them from hurting her and then departs.
He later appears on the carousel at Lakeside Amusement Park, where he is chained to the carousel and turns it manually. When he senses that Sharon/Heather is being threatened by Claudia Wolf, he breaks his chains and rushes to her aid. He fights with Claudia's monster form, who stabs him in the stomach and rips his helmet. Finally, Red Pyramid decapitates Claudia with his Great Knife, takes a lingering glance over to Sharon/Heather, then wanders away.
The last scene of Red Pyramid occurs after the credits, in which he is briefly seen dragging his Great Knife.
Fukuro is a short 3-minute film that includes Pyramid Head. It features 3D footage from Silent Hill 2, along with other abstract imagery and sounds.
- Dying Inside - In Issue 5, Whately can be seen with a horde of Pyramid Head-like silhouettes standing behind him.
- Paint It Black - As Ike Isaacs helps a squad of cheerleaders escape Silent Hill, a trio of Pyramid Head-like monsters can be seen in pursuit.
- Sinner's Reward - When Finn Conway is about to kill Jack Stanton in retaliation for attempting to run off with his wife and allowing her to be killed, a Pyramid Head runs him through with a Great Knife. Tom Waltz, writer of the story, later regretted including Pyramid Head in the comic.
- Dead/Alive - Numerous Pyramid Heads wander the streets of Silent Hill as the Otherworld overlaps with the Real World.
- White Hunter - Pyramid Head serves as the title character in this short comic and looks very similar to his Silent Hill 2 counterpart.
Silent Hill 2
The Pyramid Heads serve as a manifestation of James's unfulfilled desire for punishment for Mary Shepherd-Sunderland's death. They could also represent the darker part of James's personality. Pyramid Head shows this by committing brutal acts that James has done or has thought about doing, such as murder, and his constant twitching could symbolize James's needs, emotions, and fears.
The Valtiel sect, which revered the angel Valtiel as being closest to God, wore red hoods and white robes in homage to him and acted as executioners. Pyramid Head's helmet bears a resemblance to the red hoods, referencing his role as an "executioner" of sorts. However, the helmet is also designed to appear extremely uncomfortable, acting as a torture device as well as a symbol of authority.
The Pyramid Heads' physical appearance is also influenced by Valtiel's existence. The Book of Lost Memories notes many physical similarities between Pyramid Head and Valtiel, such as their executioner garbs and gloves.
The reason why the Pyramid Heads murder Maria is to remind James that he killed Mary; James is in denial, and Maria is a distraction to keep James away from Mary. When James finally accepts what he's done, after Maria is killed the third time, the Pyramid Heads attack him and eventually impale themselves on their own spears because they have finally fulfilled their purpose.
It has been theorized that the second Pyramid Head, appearing late in the game, is James's manifested guilt for the death of Eddie Dombrowski, although the two Pyramid Heads can be found in the labyrinth instead of one, and this area is encountered before Eddie's death. Masahiro Ito stated that the second Pyramid Head represents Maria.
Pyramid Head allows James access to previously unreachable areas in two occasions: when he drains the water in the apartment stairwell, and when he pushes James off the roof at Brookhaven and into the special treatment area. This has led to the belief that Pyramid Head's goal is to lead him towards accepting the truth. As the other characters in Silent Hill 2 show a pronounced dualism in their behavior, so too does James, who wants to both suppress the memory of his crime and to face up to it.
The two Pyramid Heads, alongside most of the other monsters in Silent Hill 2, seem to be a representation of James's sexual frustration during Mary's illness. Their pyramid helmets are a symbol of being trapped, the Great Knife and Great Spear can be seen as phallic imagery, and on two occasions, he appears to be engaging in acts of rape with various monsters, Mannequins and a Lying Figure.
Pyramid Head's mode of searching for James when he hides in the closet in Wood Side Apartments supports that he is blind, possibly alluding to James being "blind" to the truth.
The Key is in the Park memo addressed to James by a mysterious author may suggest Pyramid Head can also appear to other individuals, as the author mentions they fled from "that thing", and Pyramid Head is also known as "Red Pyramid Thing".
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Alex and Adam
In Homecoming, the Bogeyman's origins aren't quite as explicit. While serving as Adam's executioner, he may not be a product solely of his mind. As Alex himself has made clear, he isn't fond of his father. It is possible that the Bogeyman serves the dual purpose of repentance/penance (Adam) and judgment/punishment (Alex). The Bogeyman may be Adam's desire for punishment and guilt for treating Alex poorly, and failure to sacrifice Alex in order to save Shepherd's Glen.
The Bogeyman doesn't appear to be hostile toward Alex. He may even represent Alex himself, similar to how the other sacrificed children have demons representing themselves. This is reinforced by the fact that, just as the other child-demons brutally murdered the parents that sacrificed them (with the exception of Judge Holloway, who escaped her death at the many hands of Asphyxia, only due to Alex's intervention), the Bogeyman kills Adam Shepherd. In addition, Alex becomes a Bogeyman in the Bogeyman ending.
He may represent Alex's anger at his father, instead of Adam's guilt, though this has been neither confirmed nor denied by Konami or Double Helix. The "doctor" in Alex's nightmare is actually Adam, making his demise here a prophetic glimpse at his true fate.
The creature is reminiscent of an executioner, with the blade supporting this image. His helmet, large and imposing, seems to be indicative of a great burden being placed on one's shoulders, or being forced to bear great pain. The Bogeyman's knife itself is a tool of punishment as well as a burden (judging by how the Bogeyman is slowed down by its sheer size and weight, despite his apparent strength). The knife is serrated and resembles an enlarged combat knife, a reference to Adam's military career and Alex's delusions of being a soldier.
Bogeyman and children
In Joshua Shepherd's drawings, the Bogeyman from Silent Hill is mentioned as a kidnapper of children, especially bad children who misbehave and are selfish.
Relation to Pyramid Head
Whether or not the Bogeyman is equivalent to the Pyramid Heads or related to them has been debated, though there are several hints which imply the Bogeyman to be the same as Pyramid Heads or a possible variation of them:
- There are visual similarities in the Bogeyman drawings alluding to Silent Hill 2.
- Mayan Escalante, senior artist of Homecoming, referred to the Bogeyman as Pyramid Head in concept art.
- Patrick J. Doody mentions Pyramid Head.
- Coding in the game's files refers to the Bogeyman as Pyramid Head.
- The BradyGames Homecoming strategy guide refers to him as Pyramid Head.
- In the Homecoming strategy guide, in the plot synopsis of Silent Hill 2, Bogeyman is used in place of Pyramid Head. For example, "James runs into Maria, who is being tortured by a group of Bogeymans."
- The Bogeyman figurine on Konami's merchandise was labeled "Red Pyramid Thing".
- Various interviews with developers.
Developer Tomm Hulett has said that whether or not the two are the same is up to, "[Each] player's interpretation."
The producers of the film have stated in the making-of features that since the creatures that appear in the Otherworld version of Silent Hill are punished human beings, Red Pyramid is being punished by having to wear the large, burdensome helmet. Director Christophe Gans has also stated that Red Pyramid's appearance is conjured from a female perspective on male brutality, i.e. Alessa Gillespie's. Gans has also stated that Red Pyramid is a basic metaphor for male violence.
Red Pyramid may be based on a painting Alessa saw in the Grand Hotel just before she was burned alive by the cultists, titled A Procession of Flagellants. It features men in cone-shaped hats and tan robes around their waists.
Another theory to Red Pyramid's origins is that he may be Alessa's incarnation of her "father" - a man unknown to her, wearing a mask that conceals his identity, an authoritative figure punishing those in Silent Hill that had punished her in the past.
During the scene in which he attempts to stab through a door to get to Rose and Cybil, Red Pyramid represents a rapist, with the director stating in the Blu-Ray commentary that Red Pyramid's knife thrusts represent a woman being raped, while the Creepers who pour through the door after each stab represent sperm. This is likely in relation to his location inside Midwich Elementary School at the time of the attack, where Alessa was raped by the school janitor.
For Revelation, writer/director Michael J. Bassett has stated that Red Pyramid serves as a "surrogate father" for Sharon/Heather when Harry/Christopher has been kidnapped, filling in for her need for a protective father figure. Red Pyramid appears twice to protect Heather.
- In some versions of Silent Hill 2, James can quickly defeat the Pyramid Heads by using the Great Knife in a corner.
- It has been theorized that Pyramid Head is "exclusive" to James and can only appear to James (especially by Silent Hill fans who dislike Pyramid's Head appearances post-Silent Hill 2), however, there is no proof of this.
- It can be theorized that Pyramid Head, Valtiel, the Butcher, the Bogeyman in Homecoming, and the Bogeyman in Downpour are the same entity, with different physical forms and names depending on the incarnation.
- It is unknown if Pyramid Head's metal helmet is really his head, or if there is some sort of face underneath the triangular structure. There are many theories, such as him wearing the face of the one whom he is manifested by, him having a face similar to Valtiel's, or him having a completely blank face. The Gecco statue has the underside of his helmet filled with a tumorous, visceral mass, implying that his head is a large fleshy triangle fused to his helmet. This idea was also contemplated, but dropped, for use in the films. None of these theories have been confirmed by Team Silent, and Masahiro Ito left no comment when asked about it.
- It is unknown how Pyramid Head can see because his helmet obscures all vision. However, when James is hiding in the closet, Pyramid Head puts his fingers in the hole of his helmet and moves his hand around in front of it, possibly a way of "seeing", or at least sensing for something. Another theory is that Pyramid Head uses a form of echolocation, which people believe "draws" an image into a person's mind of their surroundings. An earlier design for Pyramid Head had what appeared to be a bloody eye visible inside the rusted out hole in his helmet.
- In Silent Hill 2, when Pyramid Head attacks as he thrusts his spear, his grunt is identical to James's grunt when he is hit by an enemy.
- In an early trailer of Silent Hill 2, James is seen hiding in the laundry room from Pyramid Head as he drags his knife down the hallway. This was later removed in the final game, and the only time James finds Pyramid Head in the Blue Creek Apartments is during the boss fight.
- The Book of Lost Memories, as well as a painting in the Silent Hill Historical Society, refer to Pyramid Head as "The Judgment", the number 20 of the Major Arcanas in a Tarot Deck, most likely due to his role in the town and its mythology.
- Two figures that share a likeness to Pyramid Head holding spears can be found on the prison gallows. They could also represent members of the Valtiel sect, who wore triangle-shaped hoods.
- Surviving the fight against the two Pyramid Heads in the Silent Hill HD Collection awards the trophy/achievement "I Don't Need You Anymore".
- Pyramid Head makes an appearance in the game Krazy Kart Racing published by Konami as a playable character.
- A chibi Pyramid Head appears as a selectable character in the Nintendo DS title New International Track & Field. His design is more reminiscent of the Pyramid Head of Silent Hill 2, though the helmet seems to combine aspects of the original with those of his film counterpart. The game mentions that Pyramid Head was on "a brief but enjoyable killing spree" in Hollywood — a clear reference to the film.
- Pyramid Head could be purchased as a costume in the now-defunct Playstation Home. He was available with the Great Knife or without a weapon.
- In the behind the scenes for the 2006 film, the actresses explained that the Pyramid Head outfit had no covering on the back, and that the actor's buttocks were exposed. This was done intentionally, although the reason why has never been explained.
- In the first Silent Hill film, Red Pyramid's look consisted of fully applied prosthetic makeup which took three hours each day to put together. In the sequel, Red Pyramid is a full-body costume that is blended at the actor's wrists, requiring only 25 minutes of preparation for each scene.
- Silent Hill film producer Andrew Mason said of Red Pyramid in a Blu-Ray commentary, "I like Red Pyramid. He's cool. He's just a guy with a job."
- Roberto Campanella has stated that the helmet he wore for the Red Pyramid costume weighed approximately twelve pounds on its own. He also could not see in front of him or to the side due to the triangular grates that compose each side of Red Pyramid's helmet; therefore, Roberto could only see his feet and anything directly below him.
- In Silent Hill: Revelation, Pyramid Head wields two separate weapons: his classic Great Knife, and a giant cleaver that may have been a nod to the Butcher. He uses the cleaver in the hospital during the arm-hacking scene.
- ↑ Tom Waltz interview
- ↑ Book of Lost Memories
- ↑ Masahiro Ito
- ↑ Masahiro Ito
- ↑ Masahiro Ito, Twitter
- ↑ Patrick J. Doody interview
- ↑ Silent Hill: Homecoming BradyGames guide
- ↑ Red Pyramid Thing figure
- ↑ Jason Allen interview
- ↑ Tomm Hulett interview
- ↑ Masahiro Ito, Twitter
- ↑ Silent Hill 2 TGS 2001 Spring Trailer
Masahiro Ito artwork
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Silent Hill: The Arcade
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Silent Hill film
Silent Hill: Revelation
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