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Schism

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Schism
NewSchism
The Schism
Other names
None
Debut
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Other appearances
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Health
Medium
Locations
Shepherd's Glen Police Station
Streets of Shepherd's Glen
Otherworld Shepherd House
Streets of Silent Hill
Church of the Holy Way
Earth Dungeon, after Zone 13
Weapons
None
Attack methods
Slicing

The Schism is a tall, pale, gangly, humanoid monster in Silent Hill: Homecoming. Alex Shepherd first encounters them in the Shepherd's Glen Police Station.

Schisms also appear in the spin-off game, Silent Hill: Book of Memories.

Appearance

Its most distinct feature is its elongated head, which ends in a cruel blade. Its mouth runs down its entire head and splits vertically, much like several other monsters in previous entries in the series. It has a set of dull teeth that run down the length of its head, and when its mouth opens, its tongue flails about. However, it usually just uses its bladed snout and wicked claws to attack.

Character

Schisms have great speed, so the wisest approach is usually to run away if possible. Schisms are seemingly blind, given that they have no eyes and cannot find Alex if he is entirely silent, flashlight off, and remains motionless. However, when Alex is forced to face a Schism, the best option is to use the shotgun or some other firearm. If forced into a melee situation, it is best to attack a Schism with the knife or the pipe, which are faster than any of Alex's other weapons. If possible while in combat, try to attack from the side or the back, similar to when fighting against a Needler. Overall, put all effort into evading a Schism attack, seeing as they are one of the most devastating monsters in the game. As a matter of fact, they can drain just about half Alex's life if they use their pendulum-like blade to slice at his neck. The player can predict this attack when the Schism lifts its head, growling slightly while it briefly builds up power behind its blow.

Symbolism

The Schism could represent duality because its head is split in two. Given that the head is shaped like a pendulum, a medieval clockwork torture device designed to elicit a confession from a prisoner by dropping a swinging blade incrementally toward their flesh over the course of hours, it could represent Alex's fractured mental state and his slow, steady realization of guilt. The image is even stronger as the Schism stands idle, letting its head swing side to side as it hangs downwards.

The Schism has a boxlike object on its genitals that, coupled with the general phallic shape of the monster's head, may symbolize sexual tension.

Another quality to note is that the Schism's right hand is double jointed and facing backwards, whereas its left hand faces forward. This further symbolizes a dual nature.

As with the Lurker monster, the Schism has a set of dentures running on the inside of its "mouth". This is reminiscent of vagina dentata, enforcing the possibility of gynophobia.

The Schism may also represent the split of the founders of Shepherd's Glen with the Order in Silent Hill. Since the pact was broken, monsters appear to punish the town for its actions.

Finally, the split head could represent Alex's insanity, as he is separated from reality and his mind is split, similar to the mental disorder schizophrenia (from Greek: split mind). This also links to the ending where he undergoes electroconvulsive treatment, which can treat schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

Trivia

Headbut of Doom00:18

Headbut of Doom

Alex's death scene.

  • If Alex fails to release himself from the Schism, it will cut him in half. To avoid this, the player must wait for a button to appear on the screen and mash it as fast as possible, which will cause Alex to kick the Schism away, giving himself a small amount of time to either escape or attack.
  • Four Schisms are found in the Otherworld version of Alex's home, three in the attic and one in the basement. Each Schism represents a member of the Shepherd family and how they felt about the alienation that Alex suffered due to his sacrificial destiny:
    • One Schism comes at Alex aggressively, representing Adam Shepherd.
    • One Schism hides crouching in the corner, and seems to be crying. This Schism represents Joshua Shepherd.
    • One Schism lies hopelessly on the ground, seemingly having given up on life. This Schism represents Lillian Shepherd.
    • The fourth Schism is found in Adam's hunting room in the basement. This Schism, representing Alex, has already been beheaded, perhaps representing the lobotomy that Alex underwent in the Hospital Ending. Otherwise, it might be a foreshadowing of his sacrifice.
  • When wandering the streets of Silent Hill, if the player reaches the edge of the fractured road, Schisms will climb out of the abyss and chase after the player, but only after first encountering them in the police station.
  • Defeating a Schism for the first time will award the player the achievement "Split Personality", perhaps referring to Adam Shepherd's kindness to Joshua and cruelty to Alex. It could also refer to Alex's schizophrenic tendencies. Back when schizophrenia was still largely misunderstood, many referred to it as a "split personality," not to be confused with multiple personality disorder.
  • The name "Schism" may refer to the term used in a religious sense: a split/division between organization members, or even between the organization and their connected religions. Although it's easy to see why physical attributes of the Schism could be linked to their name, it may also refer to the broken pact between the people of Shepherd's Glen, the Order and their god, seeing as the Shepherds were unable to fulfill their end of the pact with a sacrifice. This could reinforce the connected symbolism.

Gallery

v · e · d
Characters
Main Characters
Alex Shepherd - Joshua Shepherd - Elle Holloway - James Wheeler - Margaret Holloway - Curtis Ackers
Other Characters
Adam Shepherd - Carol Doyle - Lillian Shepherd - Nora Holloway - Sam Bartlett - Joey Bartlett - Martin Fitch - Scarlet Fitch - Travis Grady - Order Soldier - Nash - Robbie the Rabbit
Families
Bartlett Family - Fitch Family - Holloway Family - Shepherd Family
Monsters
Amnion - Asphyxia - Bogeyman - Feral - Lurker - Needler - Nurse - Scarlet - Schism - Sepulcher - Siam - Smog - Swarm
Weapons
12 Gauge Shotgun - BlueSteel Shotgun - Chrome Hammer Pistol - Ceremonial Dagger - Circular Saw - Combat Knife - Crowbar - Fire Axe - Laser Pistol - M14 Assault Rifle - Mk 23 Handgun - Police Marksman Rifle - Pulaski Axe - Steel Pipe
Locations
Alchemilla Hospital - Boiler Room - Central Silent Hill - Church of the Holy Way - Dargento Cemetery - Dr. Fitch's Office - Grand Hotel - Hell Descent - Lair - Overlook Penitentiary - Rose Heights Cemetery - Salvage Yard - Sewers of Shepherd's Glen - Shepherd House - Shepherd's Glen - Shepherd's Glen Town Hall - Shepherd's Glen Police Station - Silent Hill Docks - Toluca Lake - Toluca Lake Offices - Toluca Lake Water and Power - Toluca River - Dog House
Terms
Bogeyman Knife - Flashlight - Fog World - Map - Monster - Otherworld - Real World - Siren - The Order - Walkie Talkie - Manifestation - UFO Ending - Great Knife - Welcome Sign - Sexuality - Halo of the Sun
Archives
Keys - Puzzles - Soundtrack - Secrets and Unlockables - Items - Memos
v · e · d
Characters
Major Characters
Ashley Baker - Derek Copeland - Graham Reynolds - Howard Blackwood - Jack Merrick - Katie Collins - Matthew Collins - Protagonist - Lorelai Reynolds - Shannon - Trent Baker
Other Characters
Alex Shepherd - Cybil Bennett - Emma - Harry Mason - Heather Mason - James Sunderland - Jason - Joshua Shepherd - Lisa Garland - Mary Shepherd-Sunderland - Mira - Murphy Pendleton - Travis Grady - Walter Sullivan
Monsters
Air Screamer - Blood Baby - Blood Guardian - Blood Mama - Bogeyman - Bubble Head Nurse - Butcher - Double Head - Earth Guardian - Fire Guardian - Flesh Lip - Ghost - Grey Child - Insane Cancer - Light Guardian - Needler - Mother - Pyramid Head - Raw Shock - Tremer - Schism - Steel Guardian - Swarm - Valtiel - Water Guardian - Wood Guardian - Wood Sapling
Weapons
A. Y. Guitar - Assault Rifle - Baseball Bat - Bare Hands - Beam Saber - Bogeyman's Hammer - Chainsaw - Circular Saw - Crossbow - Crowbar - Dagger of Melchior - Earth Sword - Fire Axe - Fire Sword - Flamethrower - Great Cleaver - Great Knife - Great Spear - Grenade - Guitar - Handgun - Hyper Spray - Katana - Knife - Maul - Meat Cleaver - Laser Gun - Pickaxe - Pillow - Pipe - Princess Heart - Robbie Doll - Rock Drill - Shovel - Shotgun - Steel Sword - Stun Gun - Sword of Obedience - Submachine Gun - Television - Torch - TV Remote - Water Sword - Wine Bottle - Wood Sword - Wood Plank
Locations
Howard's Shop - Library - Forsaken Room - Armory - Otherworld
Terms
Monster - Flashlight - Accessories - Artifacts - Karma Meter - Book of Memories - Welcome Sign

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