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Silent Hill (franchise)

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"Silent Hill" refers to multiple subjects. See Silent Hill for other uses.
Silent Hill 2 logo

Silent Hill's logo in the style of Silent Hill 2. Many Silent Hill games have different logo styles.

Silent Hill (サイレントヒル Sairento Hiru) is a survival horror video game franchise developed and published by Konami. The series has received strong sales and critical acclaim. The success of the series has generated the franchise to expand and include various comics, two feature films, and several spin-off video games.

The first four games in the series were created by Team Silent, and were released between 1999-2004. Team Silent disbanded after the fourth game was released, with many members following different paths and working on separate projects. In 2007, the development of the series became western beginning with the release of Silent Hill: Origins by Climax Studios, Silent Hill: Homecoming by Double Helix Games, Silent Hill: Downpour by Vatra Games and Silent Hill: Book of Memories by WayForward Technologies.

The music crew of the series, which consists of Akira Yamaoka, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Joe Romersa, stayed with the series up until the release of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories when Yamaoka departed from Konami.

The series received its name from the fictional American resort town of Silent Hill, which is where most of the games are set. Those that aren't, such as Silent Hill 4: The Room and Silent Hill: Homecoming, are connected to the town through history, people and various events that occur within the other games. Some of these events and people are explicitly documented or named, whereas others are implied.

Video games

Main series

  1. Silent Hill (1999)
  2. Silent Hill 2 (2001)
  3. Silent Hill 3 (2003)
  4. Silent Hill 4: The Room (2004)
  5. Silent Hill: Origins (2007)
  6. Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008)
  7. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2009)
  8. Silent Hill: Downpour (2012)

Re-releases

  1. Silent Hill: Play Novel (2001)
  2. Silent Hill: Mobile (2006)
  3. Silent Hill HD Collection (2012)

Spin-offs

  1. Silent Hill: The Arcade (2007)
  2. Silent Hill: Orphan (2007)
  3. Silent Hill: Orphan 2 (2008)
  4. Silent Hill: Orphan 3 (2010)
  5. Silent Hill: The Escape (2008)
  6. Silent Hill: Book of Memories (2012)

Films

  1. Silent Hill (2006)
  2. Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Print publications

IDW Publishing comics

  1. Dying Inside (2004)
  2. Among the Damned (2004)
  3. Paint It Black (2005)
  4. The Grinning Man (2005)
  5. Hunger (2006)
  6. Dead/Alive (2006)
  7. Sinner's Reward (2008)
  8. Past Life (2010)
  9. Anne's Story (2014)

Konami comics

  1. Cage of Cradle (2006)
  2. Double Under Dusk (2007)
  3. White Hunter (2008)

Novels

  1. Silent Hill: The Novel (2006)
  2. Silent Hill 2: The Novel (2006)
  3. Silent Hill 3: The Novel (2006)
  4. Silent Hill: The Film Novel (2006)

Story

SH2PLOT

Cutscenes in Silent Hill 2.

The town of Silent Hill was once known as a sacred and holy place by Native Americans. When settlers from Europe arrived in the 1600s, the Native Americans were forced to abandon it. Even then, the land seemed to possess a mysterious power. As time passed, the power of Silent Hill appeared to increase, which in turn led to strange events such as disappearing citizens, misfortunes at Toluca Lake, and the mayor of Silent Hill suddenly dying. These would later serve to shape the events which occur in subsequent games and the lives of the characters involved.

Three of the games (Silent Hill, Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill: Origins) strongly relate to the first game's primary storyline, which tells of the attempted sacrifice of a young girl named Alessa Gillespie by the town's religious cult, the Order, in an attempt to bring about the rebirth of God.

Ordinary people with darkness (sins, guilt, or the inability to see the truth) in their hearts are "called" to the town where they witness the supernatural (for example: monsters that symbolize their hidden personas and subconsciousness and an alternate dimension known as the Otherworld). In other instances, people who are related to the town in some aspect are also called to the town and can witness the oddities. For example, Harry Mason's daughter is half of Alessa's soul, while Henry Townshend visited Silent Hill many times to take photographs.

While each game features characters unique to that story, many are in some way connected to others. For example, Silent Hill explores the story of Harry Mason, who is searching for his missing daughter, Cheryl. The third game is set a number of years later, and the player takes control of Harry's daughter, now named Heather. In the second game, the main protagonist is a man named James Sunderland, and in the fourth game a character named Frank Sunderland is implied to be his father. Likewise, many characters share surnames, but are never specifically singled out as being related (Mary Shepherd-Sunderland and Alex Shepherd, Lisa Garland and Steve Garland, etc.).

Psychological and emotional themes are included in many of the games. Many of the monsters in the series represent different things related to the characters themselves. Many characters often go through character development during the games, such as James realizing the truth about his wife, Mary, or Heather beginning to learn about her past and who she is.

Gameplay

BrookhavenOtherworld

Heather climbing a ladder in Silent Hill 3.

Common features in the Silent Hill games include survival horror and action-adventure elements, exploration of detailed and disturbing environments, in-depth puzzles and riddles, eerie sound effects and music provided by the series composer, Akira Yamaoka (from Silent Hill to Silent Hill: Homecoming) and Daniel Licht (Silent Hill: Downpour and Silent Hill: Book of Memories), and a complex storyline revealed through numerous cinematic cutscenes and in-game notes.

In contrast to the Resident Evil series, which features obvious items such as lighter fluid, batteries and key cards, Silent Hill features items that pertain to the theme of a puzzle, such as a volleyball, a stuffed cat, a shoe, a piece of hair and chocolate milk. Collecting these random items and trying to find a use for them is a large component of the gameplay. Much of the time, the actual use of the item goes against the item's intended purpose, such as a hairdryer being used to electrocute a tentacle monster or a juice box being used to dislodge a garbage chute.

Each game unfolds like a movie with several possible endings; the player's choices during the game determines which ending is shown. As such, there are no canonical endings for most of the games, the only exception being those few games with direct sequels (i.e., Silent Hill 3 unfolds from Silent Hill's Good ending). On average, games feature one Good ending, one Bad ending and a "UFO Ending", a joke ending whereupon aliens appear.

See also

Silent Hill games v · e · d
Main series Silent Hill · 2 · 3 · 4 · Origins · Homecoming · Shattered Memories · Downpour · 9
Ports and re-releases Play Novel · Mobile · HD Collection
Spin-offs The Arcade · Orphan · Orphan 2 · Orphan 3 · The Escape · Book of Memories
Production Konami · Team Silent · Climax Studios · Double Helix · Vatra Games · WayForward
Extras Inspirations · Features

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