Silent Hill: The Arcade is an arcade game based on the survival horror series Silent Hill. The Arcade was first revealed at the 2007 Japan Arcade Operator's Union trade show by Konami. The game was eventually released in Japan in August 2007, and later in Europe in 2008. It is one of the few arcade games that operates with a 5.1 surround sound cabinet system.
Silent Hill: The Arcade deals with two young adults, Eric Lake and Tina, who have entered the town of Silent Hill and must battle monsters in order to survive. The following is translated from the official Japanese website for Silent Hill: The Arcade.
In the center of Silent Hill is Toluca Lake, one of the town's main tourist attractions. However, this beautifully clear lake has another side; many deceased people sleep at the bottom of the lake. Their countless hands reach toward the surface when boats cross the lake. Perhaps they are seeking their long lost companions.
In November of 1918, a very sickly girl and her mother were traveling on the boat. The girl was enjoying the sightseeing, but her mother had other thoughts.
"Hanna..." Immediately after the mother called the name of her daughter, the boat's captain witnessed a miserable end. The boat, the Little Baroness, never returned. The crew and passengers, numbering at 14, met a horrible fate. There were no survivors or bodies found.
Seventy-five years later, in 1993, Eric, Tina, Bill, Jessie, Ryan, and George, members of their university's occult club, head to to Silent Hill for its many stories, particularly about the bodies sleeping beneath Toluca Lake. Having a strong interest in the rumors, they took the weekend holiday and went to Silent Hill. They stayed at Jacks Inn and Eric experiences a terrible nightmare. The next morning, Eric exits the inn and discovers Bill wounded with the rest of the occult club missing. Eric and Tina search the town for answers.
After waking up to discover their friends are missing, Eric and Tina are told by an injured Bill to search for Jessie. They go to Brookhaven Hospital, and as they enter, they encounter a blonde-haired girl very similar to Tina's friend Emilie Anderson, albeit named Hanna. Eric and Tina chase her through the hospital. A boat's fog horn transitions the hospital to the Otherworld, and Eric and Tina discover Jessie being assaulted by Pyramid Head. They successfully defeat Pyramid Head and head to the roof, where they discover Emilie being guarded by a flying monster, Tuberculosis. They defeat it and the world transforms back. Emilie and Tina embrace, and Emilie tells her that she lost her mother on the way to Toluca Lake.
Emilie brings Eric and Tina to the Silent Hill Historical Society, which her father, Frank Anderson, manages. Inside, Eric reveals to Tina that his great grandfather used to be the captain of the Little Baroness. The fog horn occurs again, and the group is sent to Toluca Prison. In the prison's gallows, Eric pulls down a body-bag which transitions the prison courtyard to Toluca Lake. They defeat the Split Worm, and when the world transitions back, Eric and Tina discover their rescued friend, Ryan, in the body-bag. Continuing on, the group reaches the Labyrinth and defeat a marionette monster known as Mama, saving their friend, George.
The group emerges at Toluca Lake. Emilie hears her mother's voice calling to her, and she runs to the shore and enters the Little Baroness. Eric and Tina chase Emilie into the ship, only to discover that it has transformed into Central Square Shopping Center. They enter Hazel Street Station, which is connected to the mall, and make it to Lakeside Amusement Park. Upon reaching the Happy Carousel, a flashback occurs where Emilie reveals that her mother has been haunting her dreams and has been calling her to the lake. Eric and Tina are transported to Brookhaven Hospital, where a radio transmission reveals Emilie's mother was murdered during a burglary, and then to Silent Hill's woods where they defeat Pyramid Head again.
Eric and Tina find themselves at the Spiral Staircase, called "19181993", symbolizing that they are being transported through time to the year 1918, when Hanna was alive. Upon reaching the bottom of the staircase, Eric and Tina board the true Little Baroness, where Emilie and Frank are. Emilie hugs Hanna's mother, Lorraine, who she believes to be her own, but her father reveals to her that isn't her mother because her mother is already dead. Lorraine's hands go through a monstrous transformation and she throws Emilie overboard into the lake while a flashback reveals Hanna's mother did the same to Hanna, and right after drowning her daughter, the Little Baroness sank. Eric and Tina dive into the lake and at the bottom, encounter a grim-looking Hanna who transforms into a powerful monster known as the Phantom.
- Good Ending - The Phantom is finally destroyed, and Emilie reappears. Tina goes to check if she's okay, as Eric notices that Phantom's arm is starting to sink into the lake. Emilie awakens and hugs Tina, while Phantom's arm fades away to reveal the arm of Hanna. Eric grabs hold of Hanna's arm, and manages to pull her out of the water. Hanna tells Eric that she was trapped in the water for a very long time, and Eric assures her that the nightmare is over now, and comforts her she cries on his shoulder. The scene changes to show Hanna back on the boat, crying as the captain goes to comfort her. Hanna reunites with her mother, and Eric sees his grandfather, the captain of the boat, nod to him just before the Little Baroness sails away, vanishing into the mist. Eric and Tina look over at Emilie who has reunited with her father, and Tina asks Eric if she thinks Hanna was able to find her mother, to which Eric replies: "Of course." The player gets this ending if they shoot all the hands of Phantom and manage to save all of the friends they have to rescue throughout the game.
- Normal Ending - The Phantom is destroyed, and like in the good ending, both Emilie and Hanna are saved. However, when the Little Baroness sails off, Eric does not see his grandfather. Tina asks Eric where everybody is, but Eric doesn't answer. The captain comforts Hanna on the Little Baroness and Hanna reunites with her mother. The player gets this ending if they shoot all the hands of Phantom, but fail to save all three of the friends they have to save throughout the game.
- Bad Ending - The Phantom is destroyed, and Emilie reappears. However, Emilie does not awaken as Tina calls her name, and Eric watches as Hanna's arm sinks into the lake, fading away before he can reach her. Eric finds himself in a foggy area where no one else seems to be around. He picks up a radio laying nearby, and hears Hanna's voice: "Why didn't you rescue me?" The player gets this ending if they do not shoot the hands of Phantom during the final boss fight.
- UFO Ending - In the UFO ending, Eric is greeted by his great grandfather, Captain Lake. Captain Lake says that the UFO is his new ship, and that if Eric and Tina want Emilie and Hanna back, they will have to chase him... to the end of the universe! Eric and Tina set off in another ship and chase after Captain Lake. The player then sees Robbie the Rabbit playing Gradius, in which Eric and Tina are flying after Captain Lake's UFO.
- 1-1: Jacks Inn, Streets of Silent Hill
- 1-2: Brookhaven Hospital
- 1-3: Brookhaven Hospital (alternate)
- 2-1: Silent Hill Historical Society
- 2-2: Toluca Prison
- 2-3: Labyrinth catacombs
- 3-1: Toluca Lake, Central Square Shopping Center, Hazel Street Station
- 3-2: Lakeside Amusement Park
- 3-3: Spiral Staircase
The following are official Japanese map layouts for The Arcade, listing all pauses for monster fights, items and weapons, and UFO sightings.
The gameplay in Silent Hill: The Arcade, like most arcade shoot-em-ups, is a rail-shooter, where the players use light-guns to aim and shoot enemies while the characters' movements are mostly prescribed and directed by the game. Silent Hill: The Arcade was the first in the series to include a multiplayer element, offering the player the choice between playing as Eric Lake or Tina.
The mechanics closely resembles those of the popular The House of the Dead series, where players have to shoot outside of the screen to reload their weapon, as well as target bosses at their specific weak points for increased damage. Instead of the more commonly used 'life-point' system, in which damage incurred causes the player to lose a life point, the player starts with 100-150 point life meter, which drops by different values depending on the severity of the damage impact. The life meter is designed as a heart monitor, showing a weaker heart-rate as the players receive a significant amount of damage. Being a rail-shooter, it requires the players to be strong on reflexes, as the camera may turn away at any point to focus on a more immediate threat that only offers a short time frame for attack.
The game is divided into chapters to track progress, with each chapter divided further into stages, normally with a boss to defeat at the end of the third stage. Most boss battles incorporate a time limit to defeat them in order to save a friend of Eric and Tina. Failing to save Eric and Tina's friends affects the overall outcome of the game, and is more than likely to affect the overall grading system.
Alternate routes are also provided in some areas, and can sometimes lead to easier routes or stronger weapons. These alternate routes are decided at brief intervals, where the player must choose the route before the time limit expires. The alternative routes do not offer a substantial variation in the gameplay, with players likely to seek the more viable route each time to attain quicker progress, or a better score. Overall, the gameplay is pretty standard for the usual style associated with rail-shooters.
Different items can be used throughout the game:
In Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan), a special E-Amusement Pass can be used, which includes Internet Ranking and allows the player to skip stages on which they had previously played.
Connection and continuity
- The Little Baroness was first mentioned in Silent Hill 2 in a newspaper found in Toluca Prison.
- Since Pyramid Head is fixed as the symbol of punishment, he could be a representation of someone else's guilt and not the main characters'.
- The Spiral Staircase first appeared in Silent Hill 4: The Room as a representation of Walter Sullivan's inner mind.
Overall, the game was considered enjoyable as a classic shoot-em up game, though considered 'out of place', when compared with the style of gameplay the main series of games had used; replacing subtle and psychological horror with aggressive gun action. Use of the various locales and bosses familiar with the fans, and with the inclusion of the Otherworld, was one of the game's main highlights, as well as the expansion to the story of the Little Baroness. The game's strongest criticism was with the scripting and voice acting, which was said to feel rushed and robotic.
Although the arcade game would center on gameplay as opposed to storyline, general responses from the communities of fans were still eager to learn more about the Silent Hill world, and were generally displeased with the voice acting.
|Silent Hill games|
|Ports & re-releases|
Silent Hill: The Arcade
|Eric Lake - Tina - Bill - Jessie - Ryan - George - Emilie Anderson - Frank Anderson - Michelle Anderson|
Hanna - Lorraine - Captain Lake - Scott Fairbanks - Greys
|Creeper - Double Head - Greedy Worm - Gum Head - Insane Cancer - Mama - Mothbat - Numb Body - Nurse - Phantom - Pyramid Head - Robbie the Rabbit - Scraper - Split Worm - Tremer - Tuberculosis|
|Brookhaven Hospital - Central Square Shopping Center - Hazel Street Station - Jacks Inn - Labyrinth - Lakeside Amusement Park - Silent Hill Historical Society - Spiral Staircase - Toluca Lake - Toluca Prison|
|Flashlight - Fog World - Little Baroness - Monster - Otherworld - Radio - Real World - Siren - Welcome Sign|