Jan 6, 2010
Konami is best known for creating complicated games (see Metal Gear Solid), and it’s no short surprise that Silent Hill takes the cake. A lot of the plot is open ended and confusing to the gamer, but in that process it’s allowing you to draw your own conclusions. However, many fans tend to grasp at straws and jump at shadows with some of their theory-crafting, and that’s why I’ve created this dapper definitive guide of everything Silent Hill.
If you have a question for me, or want to expand further on a point that you find interesting, feel free to reply! I’d love to know if I missed something, or if I’m completely off base.
This post is so spoiler heavy that it’s created its own gravitational pull of Spoil on planet Spoilathon. Read at your own risk. I tried my best to go chronological order per series, so the top starts with Silent Hill 1 and the bottom ends with SH: Homecoming.
Q: Is Samael the ‘God’ in Silent Hill?
A: Samael is just a name dropped by Dahlia in SH1 as she attempts to convince Harry that Alessa is spreading the ‘mark of Samael’ to further implement her evil. Dahlia says this so she can get Henry on her side, since she cannot reach Alessa due to Alessa’s power. Alessa, actually, was never in the wrong. She did not want to birth the God that the cult wanted, so she threw her subconsciousness into another world, separating herself from Dahlia’s ambition. The ‘mark’ was actually the Seal of Metatron, which is an angel of God. Samael is a demon, and in Jewish mysticism he can be likened to the ‘devil’, because his name means to poison. He is the direct opposite of what Metatron is, and yet they were once ‘one’, as Samael was once an angel of the same tier as Metatron. Basically they serve as a balance, and Dahlia saying otherwise causes confusion. A key point to her deception comes when she goes back on what she said, calling the mark by its rightful name of the Seal of Metatron. Dahlia knows exactly what she’s doing, and she manipulated. Harry for her own gain.
Furthermore, Samael is actually never pronounced as ‘God’ within the game. It may seem like it’s alluded to, and since Samael was name-dropped then it would be a likely conclusion, but it’s not. A book in SH3 disproves the theory that Samael is God.
Silent Hill’s Ancient Gods: A Study of Their Etymology and Evolution.
(There is also one rare example of the chief deity, Creator of Paradise or Lord of Serpents and Reeds, being dubbed with a demons name. Of course, this was not done by believers, but by their opponents.
So, there you have it. Samael couldn’t possibly be the God, or force, behind the shenanigans in Silent Hill.
Q: What is Metatron and what is so important about the Seal?
A: Metatron is an Archangel and Seraphim that serves God. He is the light, and voice of God. Metatron guides the pure hearted in the darkness that Silent Hill is burdened with, and he has been called to do battle against the evil there. His seal is seen throughout the town, marking his presence. One likely case that Metatron guides those without sin is what happened with Laura (SH2).
James sees nothing but demons and atrocities within the otherwise abandoned town. Laura, on the other hand, just sees this anxious guy with a 2×4. Since Silent Hill is in another world altogether, the place is abandoned, but cannot harm Laura since she is young. Basically Laura gets off on being an innocent kid. Likewise, she is unable to see Maria, because Maria is a figment of the town’s evil and James’ insanity.
Q: Who is Heather? Why is she so important?
A: With the events of Silent Hill done, Cheryl joined with her other half, Alessa. Together they formed a new child, who Harry took in and named Heather. If you have no idea what that means then I’ll explain.
Harry Mason and his wife found a child on the road near Silent Hill. Being without children themselves, they adopted her. That kid was Cheryl, and she is a part of another child. Alessa was conceived by Dahlia in hopes that she would eventually bear the incubus, and God would be born. Dahlia grew impatient overtime, seeing that nothing was manifesting into Alessa just yet, so she decided to coax it out. By setting the little girl on fire.
A nurse named Lisa took the child under her care, being paid hush money in the form of a drug called PTV. Or what is commonly known as ‘white claudia’, which is a hallucinogenic. The care began to take its toll on Lisa, however. She learned that another child would be conceived, and put through the same heinous acts that Alessa had been subjected to. So in a fit of desperation, she took the newborn, which was Cheryl, and set her on the side of the road.
At this time, Alessa is still bound to the hospital, recovering from the burns. It took years as she laid comatose, but the incubus inside of her had reacted. Lisa was murdered for her actions with the child Cheryl, but Alessa took her soul and put it in a dimension known as Nowhere, not wanting the nurse to be condemned to Hell.
As Cheryl comes of age, seven years later, she was called to return to Silent Hill in order to rejoin with Alessa. The game is set during the time period in which Cheryl tries to find Alessa, until their eventual union. Depending on your ending, you can receieve a newborn child from Alessa/Cheryl. With the two halves coming together, the full power of “God” can be manifested, which is what the cult had worked for. Heather, naturally, is what came out of it.
Harry tried to live a life with the new child, even calling her Cheryl. But cult members reached his home and in self defense Harry killed them. Both he and his daughter underwent the Witness Protection Program, and Cheryl’s name was changed to protect her identity. Simply put: Heather is the product of both Cheryl and Alessa’s souls becoming one, with the God laying dormant in her womb.
Q: What are the demons and why are they there?
A: You wouldn’t have a survival horror if you weren’t surviving some kind of… horror. Resident Evil has the T-virus and Silent Hill has cult activity. The demons, in question, are a myriad of things. In SH1, you fight beasties like rotting dogs, children with scalpels, mutated nurses, and bugs. Since the happenings of Silent Hill was wrought on by Alessa’s pain, you are seeing her fears manifested. She’s basically a little girl, and certain things frighten her. Since Alessa’s power was so great at this point, the stigma remained, and Alessa had the power to keep it from diminishing. Likewise, the evil in Silent Hill needs to feed off of negativity, and fear.
This brings up the subject of Silent Hill 2, which can basically be a stand alone game. There is no mention of cult activity, aside from a God known as Xuchilbara. Yet James and many of the other damned characters see demons. Their fears are manifested and played against them, urging them to react. Eddie and Angela gave in to the temptations of the town, with the former killing everything and the latter ending up in a suicidal state.
By SH3, however, it kicked a lot of prefered theories out of the door. Heather remarks to Vincent about how dangerous it really is. Vincent had been taunting her, saying that she was doing a good job of letting the unborn God in her womb feed on rage. He was equally disgusted by how she loved to ‘snuff their lives out’, seeming to enjoy killing ‘them’, meaning the demons. But the way he spoke implied something else, and it’s at this time that Heather notices he’s not even hurt.
Puzzled by this, Vincent asks one thing: They look like monsters to you?
He tries to cover it up but the damage is done. The God in her womb had affected the world she perceived so much. Heather had basically been killing HUMAN cultist members, believing them to be demons. Claudia also had a part in this, in an effort to ‘rebuild Paradise’. She needed Heather’s hand to be forced, and it would be justified to kill others if you are led to believe they wanted to kill you.
Conversely, there are actual monsters within Silent Hill that Heather faces. This may seem confusing, but it’s explained towards the end of SH3, when Heather is in the fun park. Because, basically, it all comes back to how this is Alessa’s doing in the first place. Read the message she leaves on the carousel: She wants to die. And not just herself, but everything. Alessa, however, cannot truly die unless God is dead. God will die if Heather dies.
Therefore, certain manifestations are created by Alessa–whom we know to have powers of her own–in order to kill herself.
Q: What is Pyramid Head’s purpose? Is he the ‘red devil’?
A: Contrary to popular opinion, Pyramid Head isn’t Xuchilbara. He is a manifestation of the executioners that killed Civil War prisoners. The purpose of Pyramid Head in SH2 is to torture James, since he feels guilty about the crime he committed against his wife, which was murder. Pyramid Head has become an iconic figure associated to Silent Hill, much like how Nemesis was to Resident Evil. He is unstoppable.
There’s a newspaper article that you can find idly in SH2, and it discusses the charges and eventual suicide against a man named Walter Sullivan. The paper leads you to believe he was insane, and inherently punished by a ‘red devil’. The events of SH4: The Room uncover the truth behind Sullivan. He was raised in an orphanage known as Wish House, but the children there were strictly children of cult members.
A sect of the cult worshipped the demi-god Valtiel, who watched over Heather in SH3 in order to make sure that God can be born. The leader of this sect was Jimmy Stone who was dubbed the Red Devil because he outfitted himself in a red, conical helmet. It’s easy to see where you’d think it was Pyramid Head, since he has a red helmet and is an ominous figure. However, Walter Sullivan’s story runs deeper than that and can be discovered as you read further into this guide.
Alex Shepherd encounters Pyramid Head in SH5: Homecoming, but it’s not in the same vein as it was so James Sunderland. It would appear that Pyramid Head was more an agent of the darkness in Silent Hill instead of a manifestation to haunt Alex. In fact, when the player encounter’s Pyramid Head in the hospital, he just moseys on his way, spreading cheer to other less fortunate souls. Alex refers to him as the Bogeyman to further mark how different this Pyramid Head is from the one in SH2.
Another instance with Pyramid Head popping up in SH5 is a puzzle. You have to acquire knives in order to further your path through the game, but one of them is the Bogeyman Knife, which is found in Alex’s father’s room. Mr. Shepherd is a dominating and menacing force in Alex’s life and it’s a clean correlation to assume that he is much like the Bogeyman. But don’t get your knicker’s in a twist about how the Bogeyman IS his father.
Alex’s father is alive further in the game and how you decide his fate will then determine one of the 5 endings to occur. In fact, it’s not surprising at all if you steer Alex into being a cold son, and only looking out for himself. One of the endings is Alex turning into a Bogeyman himself, giving into that rage and the evil of Silent Hill.
Q: Alright, so who’s Walter Sullivan?
A: You first hear about Walter Sullivan in SH2, through a newspaper article. It describes the grisly murder of two children, and the subsequent suicide of Sullivan in his jail cell. By SH4, it all becomes clear just who Walter Sullivan is.
What the newspaper didn’t explain was that Sullivan had commited a string of murders before his capture. Each victim had their heart removed, were sewn back up, and were carved with strange numbers. It went like this:
01121, 02121, 03121,
04121, 05121, 06121,
07121, 08121, 09121,
It’s actually a riddle. Sullivan had been raised in an orphanage that catered solely to the cult, and the kids were taught the edict of that particular religion. Sullivan showed signs of insanity from an early age. He grew fascinated with a certain apartment in a complex, believing it to be his ‘mother’. He had been left there as a child and felt safe in that room, which Henry Townsend eventually finds himself locked in when SH4 begins.
Knowing of dark arts, Sullivan performed a ritual known as the 21 Sacraments. In order for the room to manifest, he needed to kill 21 people. That is why the room experiences ‘hauntings’, and it’s imperative to ward them off for a good ending to happen.
So the riddle goes like 01/21, 02/21, 03/21, etc. The reason it looks like there’s another 1 carved in his victims is that Walter’s not very good at slashes. With his capture, he wouldn’t be stopped for anything, and he committed suicide. His bond was so strong in this world that he remained active, enabling him to finish the ritual. The former occupant of apartment 302 had this to say in a memo:
Red Diary – July 17 (under 302 door)
A few days after Walter killed himself in his cell, several residents witnessed a long-haired man with a coat here. Through his window, Richard Braintree in 207 saw the man moving something heavy and doing something in Room 302. Even Sunderland, the superintendent, saw the man with the coat hanging around Room 302, and confirmed there were signs of someone having been in there.
Years after his death, the killings started again. It followed the same exact MO, with numbers being carved, except this time the heart wasn’t removed. Police figured it was a copycat killer, trying to get media fame, but they were unable to find the perp. The man who left the memo investigates Sullivan’s gravesite, only to find 11/21 carved into an empty coffin.
Sullivan chose Henry and Eileen to be his two final victims. This is why the both of them were pulled into the alternate universe of Silent Hill. Eileen is even marked for death, as numbers were carved into her back after she was assaulted by Walter.
Q: Why was Henry dragged into Silent Hill?
A: Henry is basically a victim of circumstance. He doesn’t have anything routinely sinister about him, albeit the fact he had a hole that peered into Eileen’s bedroom. However, Henry has another, more unique, purpose to being involved. He ‘sees’ everything, and experiences it, which is why Henry is called the Receiver of Wisdom. So Henry is someone, like the gamer, that goes through the events to uncover what’s going on.
Q: What is Valtiel’s purpose in SH3?
A: I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but Valtiel guards Heather. He does not stalk her, like he’s another Pyramid Head. His job is to make sure that the God in her womb is born, so he must protect the vessal until then. It is Valtiel that sometimes controls the shifts between worlds, which can be seen in Brookhaven hospital. He is turning valves as Heather climbs a ladder, and you soon find out how the realms shifted into darkness once again.
Valtiel serves as a ‘mid-wife’ and there are undeniable instances where this comes into play. While at Alternate Brookhaven hospital, Valtiel can be seen with a bound woman behind a smoke filled room. He is seen spreading her legs apart and although it’s sexual in nature, because the anatomy of the demon is female, it’s more like Valtiel ‘practicing’ for when the God to be birthed.
In another scene, within the church, Valtiel is with a nurse who is far away from the hospital at this point. He is peering between her legs like before. It can seem confusing, at first, since such an act seems sexual in nature. But with Valtiel’s ultimate purpose in mind, as the Caretaker, it makes sense.
Since it is Valtiel’s purpose to guard God, once Heather ‘aborts’ the fetus, Claudia manages to birth the God. Valtiel then watches over Claudia, even seeming to make a slight motion of grievance by covering her monstrous face at her death. Likewise, if you die ingame, Valtiel will drag Heather’s body off into the shadows.
Q: Is the janitor in SH4 really James Sunderland?
A: He’s not James, but he is related to him. Sunderland is actually James’ father. A painting you can look in Henry’s apartment has Henry mentioning that Frank’s ‘son and daughter-in-law have gone missing for two years’ ever since they went to Silent Hill.
James and his wife Mary lived in Ashland, which is a neighboring town to Silent Hill. He was never close to his family, as evidenced by Mary even describing him as somewhat stoic and introverted. The disappearance has always been a mystery by SH4, but it does give a more precise timeline of what’s happening in the game.
However, an interesting fact should be noted. Mary Sunderland was admitted to St. Jerome’s hospital, located in Ashland. It was primarily a children’s hospital, but it was where Mary met Laura, and they discussed Silent Hill often. Nurse Rachel worked there and she was the nurse that aided them and you find out that Nurse Rachel is one of the residents in Henry’s apartment complex.
Q: What is the true ending to SH2?
A: Although the Rebirth ending with James consulting the occult to bring Mary back to life is a popular one, it’s not the true ending. James’ entire plight throughout the game is rife with sadness, and then guilt. There is no ‘up’ from where he dropped to, so the In Water ending is what actually happened. James commited suicide.
Q: What do the ghosts represent in SH4?
A: SH4 was a deeply involved game, but not many people enjoyed it. They wanted the same compassion to suffering that SH2 possessed, and Henry Townsend didn’t seem to have much character development. Despite these flaws, the victims represented in the game are a creative work of art. In order for Walter Sullivan to finish the 21 Sacraments, he needed 21 people to die.
Before the 21 Sacraments could be near completion, however, Sullivan needed to fulfill certain steps. He first had to complete the ritual of the Holy Assumption. In a secret area of 302 you find the decaying body of the real Walter Sullivan, surrounded by occult objects. Most importantly a white chrism vial, which is important in the steps toward ‘rebirth’. In SH2, both Ernest Baldwin and James use it in order to bring back a loved one from the grave.
One of the requirements to be permitted for this to work was that Sullivan needed 10 hearts from his victims. These are the victims leading up to his suicide.
Victim #1: Jimmy Stone
He was a Priest of Valtiel, which was a prefered sect of the cult that worshipped the ‘caretaker’ to the Holy Mother. Therefore it was the closest to God, and Jimmy Stone became head priest in order to mediate between the Holy Mother sect and the Saint Ladies sect. He was dubbed the ‘Red Devil’ because of the red, conical, helmet he wore. Stone was murdered by a gunshot wound to the back of the head and his heart was removed in order for Sullivan to gain 10 hearts. His body was found at the Wish House orphanage, which was run by the Holy Mother sect.
Victim #2: Bobby Randolph
He was a high school student with a fascination towards the occult. Particularly the dark history surrounding Silent Hill. His two friends were Sein Martin and Jasper Gein, and the three were avid into collecting details about the town. On the day he was murdered, Randolph reported that he was going to ‘look for the devil’.
Victim #3 Sein Martin
A friend to Bobby Randolph, he met the same fate in the exact same location. Both were strangled with their hearts removed by Sullivan.
Victom #4: Steve Garland
A relative of Lisa Garland (SH1), possibly her brother. He was manager of the pet shop ‘Garland’, and scenes of his murder can be seen in flashbacks. Garland was murdered by an Semi-automatic machine gun. On an interesting note: Twenty years prior to his murder, a young Walter dropped an animal cage and injured a kitten there. You can hear this flashback when you first enter the pet shop.
Victim #5: Rick Albert
Manager of the sport’s store ‘Albert’s Sports’ which was located in Ashfield. You can investigate the spot while in the Building world. He was a man who’s favorite hobby was golfing, and ironically, it led to his death. Albert was bludgeoned to death by a golf club and his heart was removed. His death came in succession to Garland’s death. Albert’s body was found because an assistant-manager came looking for him, wanting to discuss the news that Garland had been murdered.
Victim #6: George Rostin
Rostin worked as a Priest of the Valtiel within the Silent Hill cult. He was friend’s with Stone, and tutored a young Sullivan. He placed the ‘spirit’ of Valtiel within the boys unconsciousness, which explains the powers that manifested within Sullivan as he performed the 21 Sacraments. However, because of Sullivan’s warped agenda, the ritual was performed as it was not intended, and Rostin fell by Sullivan’s hand.
Victim #7: Billy Locaine
An elementary student who’s best friend was his sister, Miriam. He was murdered by an axe and his body was found in the front yard of the Locaine’s house. When Billy’s father came to retrieve the boy due to an impending storm, he found Billy amongst the bushes. His heart was removed.
Victim #8: Miriam Locaine
Sister to Billy, both of them being around the same age. As her father discovered her brother’s body, the mother came rushing outside only to find Miriam. Unlike her brother, Miriam was completely dismembered and brutalized. This can indicate Sullivan’s rage towards the female form, since he has an issue against women and his overall abandonment as a child.
Victim #9: William Gregory
Gregory was the owner of Watch and Clock, located in Ashfield. He was an older gentlemen that was murdered by his own screwdriver. Sixteen years prior to this event, Sullivan left Gregory a strange watch to repair. That night, Gregory was plagued by strange dreams which can you see whilst in the Building world. (upside down room, the volleyball, birthday cake and singing, etc.) The dream pertained to the deaths that would occur to each of the tenants in his building, including his own.
Victim #10: Eric Walsh
The last victim in which Sullivan needed a heart to complete the first step in the 21 Sacraments. Walsh was a bartender in Ashfield who was killed in his living room. After hearing of the murders, he was more than obliged to close shop early and head home. It was also his birthday, so he was surprised to find Sullivan waiting for him instead of his family. He is the same Victim you find in the Building world with the Sword of Obedience impaled through him, amongst party decorations and a pristine birthday cake.
Victim #11: Walter Sullivan
Commiting suicide in his jail cell, Sullivan became the victim of assumption. With the use of the ten hearts harvested by his former victims, and the occult items, Sullivan broke away from his mortal body. Confusion arose from several people because Sullivan’s body was found in the cell but taken to a cemetary. Yet, when Joseph investigated, there was nothing in the coffin. We’re led to believe that the ‘reborn’ Sullivan took his body and placed it in the back room of 302, because you find a corpse holed into the wall later.
Before I go on about the victims there has to be clarification about the ceremony being performed. Sullivan collected 10 hearts, using them effectively in order to be reborn in a spectral state. Another task had to be implemented, however. After his death, having escaped the mortal coil, he now needed a death that represented a sin or heresy to religious doctrine. These are the final steps in achieving the 21 Sacraments.
Victim #12: Peter Walls – VOID
He was another high school student, much like Randolph and Martin. While smoking marijuana in an alleyway, he climbed up a ladder that led to a roof of a hotel. Walls was never seen again, but he was reported as saying that he ‘saw God’. Walls’ affliction was that he was void of life, seeing nothing worthwhile about it.
Victim #13: Sharon Blake – DARKNESS
She was a wife to a cultist, and her children attended Wish House orphanage so as to learn the precepts. She had long since suspected that her family had been held captive to the cult, having been turned away whenever she came to visit. After reading Joseph Schreiber’s article about child abuse at Wish House (which can be found in SH3), she found the gravesite of her family. Blake fell into darkness and her body was found in the woods.
Victim #14: Tony Archbolt – GLOOM
A priest of the Holy Mother sect of the cult. After the mysterious deaths of the two priests within the Valtiel sect, the influence began to die down. Feeling like there should be ventures elsewhere, Archbolt became a sexual predator and sold marijuana to children. Hence, the theme of gloom.
Victim #15: Joseph Schreiber – DESPAIR
Schreiber was an investigative journalist, and he also went by the nickname of ‘J’. After interviewing supposed cultist members at the Wish House orphanage, he wrote a scathing report of child abuse that infuriated the members. Schreiber is an important character in SH4, having lived in apartment 302 before Henry. The opening sequence of SH4 is actually that of Screiber’s experience in the locked apartment, before his ultimate demise.
He is the theme of despair because Schreiber knew what Sullivan was doing. But he was unable to leave the room, had no way of contacting anyone, and was ultimately helpless.
Victim #16: Cynthia Velasquez – TEMPTATION/LUST
A hispanic female that uses her charm and body to have her way with people. She often dreamt in a lucid manner, unsure of what was real or not, so when she met Henry in the nightmarish world she just assumed it was a bad dream. Velasquez seemed to have had a connection with Schreiber, refering to the fact that they ‘needed to find Joseph’.
Victim #17: Jasper Gein – SOURCE
A friend of the previous victims, Gein was obsessed with the ‘mother stone’, a root development to the Silent Hill cult. He even spoke about how he knew that the Holy Mother was attending high school by now. Henry witnesses Jasper burn to death, but he can’t do anything about it. After the event and if you listen to the radio in Henry’s room, you find out police had found a burnt corpse. Eventually you’ll encounter a victim that has been set on fire. That’s Gein.
Victim #18: Andrew DeSalvo – WATCHFULNESS
He worked as a guard at Wish House and the circular Water Prison. His sin is that he knew about the abused children but didn’t do anything about it.
Victim #19: Richard Braintree – CHAOS
Braintree is a very aggressive man. As a child, Sullivan felt intimidated by him since Braintree would even threaten the child smugly by waving a loaded gun in his face. Because of his loud nature, and volatile behavior, Braintree seemed to be a huge commation inside of himself.
Victim #20: Eileen Galvin – MOTHER
Although she was nearly beaten to death by an adult Sullivan, her death was impeeded by the intervention of young Sullivan and Henry. Eileen is generally a very sincere and nice woman. As a child, she probably knew Sullivan and even gave him a doll. Because of her close proximity, and maternal qualities, she was a likely candidate to become a victim.
Victim #21: Henry Townsend – WISDOM
It’s been said before but Henry is the ‘receiver of wisdom’. He sees everything and knows what is going on, presumely more than what the other characters are led to believe. This is aided by his being ‘possessed’ by Joseph Schreiber, former occupant of room 302. Although Schreiber helps him in gaining the facts to what’s going on, it can be said that he was also leading Henry to his doom. In fulfilling the prophecy of ‘wisdom’, Henry only became fodder for Sullivan to finish the 21 Sacrements.
Q: Who is Alex Shepherd and why is he a stud?
A: Alex Shepherd is the lead character in Silent Hill 5: Homecoming. He believes that he was a soldier in the Army and that he had been gone for years after high school, fighting a war out in the desert. After his unit was ambushed, he was taken to a hospital and the opening scene of SH5 shows his coming into the hospital, but everything around him is descending into darkness and madness. After breaking from his restraints, he escapes to find out what’s going on.
Alex is a tragic character in that he created his own illusionary fantasy, much like James Sunderland. Unlike James, however, Alex was born into The Order, which is the cult based in Silent Hill that sacrifices to the old Gods. While traveling around Shepherd’s Glen, you’ll see an announcement for the town’s 150th Anniversary. This is actually a pre-cursor to the town member’s actual purpose, in that they sacrifice their own children to the Gods. Alex Shepherd was supposed to be one of those sacrificed, but the accidental death of his brother Joshua upset the order of things. Alex was the catalyst to his brother’s death, and blamed for it, and it drove him into madness.
Creating the illusion that he was a soldier, Alex spent several years in a mental hospital. The start of the game is actually Alex becoming lucid enough to ‘break out’ of the mental hospital, but he saw it as hellish place full of torture, blood and monsters. There, he encounters Josh but the climax of his exodus ends with him in a truck with another former character, Travis Grady (Silent Hill Origins), who is taking him to Shepherd’s Glen.
Q: What do the bosses represent in SH: Homecoming?
A: The four bosses that you encounter in the game are none other than the children that were killed, including Alex’s brother Josh. The ritual of sacrifice was performed by the founding member’s of the community: Fitch, Bartlett, Holloway and Shepherd. The Shepherd’s, however, failed to sacrifice Alex properly and were then shunned by the community. When you investigate the town hall, you’ll even see an empty space amongst the founding members, where the Shepherd’s once stood. How the children were killed is also demonstrated in the boss’ appearance that you face throughout the game.
Sepulcher is Joey Bartlett, who was buried alive, as was the Bartlett’s family method of sacrifice. Joey appears the dirt plot. Scarlet is Scarlet Fitch, who was dismembered and who does the same to Dr. Fitch. Asphyxia is Nora Holloway, who was strangled to death, as seen by the hands around the creature’s neck. If Alex hadn’t stepped in, Nora likely would have strangled Judge Holloway. Amnion is none other than Joshua Shepherd. Although he wasn’t a sacrifice he still represents his family’s method of sacrifice by vomiting sea water, since the Shepherds killed by drowning.
Amnion also has a bloated appearance that represents a dichotamy: He looks both pregnant and bloated like a drowned corpse, which is how Josh supposedly died. Conception and pregnancy is a big symbolism rolling around the Silent Hill series, and it’s true that Amnion does ‘birth’ Joshua Shepherd once you defeat it. In fact, here’s the dictionary term for what Amnion means: The amnion is a membranous sac that surrounds and protects the embryo.
Q: What does the opening scene of SH: Homecoming mean?
A: Not only is the opening scene an homage to the movie Jacob’s Ladder, it also throws incredible detail on what the player is about to face. Each room that Alex Shepherd is rolled past shows exactly how the various children were killed.
They’re short, and it’s nasty to watch, but it’s all there. As a side-note, the children all look like Josh, Alex’s brother. Just further denoting his guilt over killing his brother.
Q: Which is the true ending of SH: Homecoming?
A: We can’t know for sure on what’s canon right now until another game is released, with further information, or if the game developers themselves come out and say it. But with the trend of things, it seems to go by what the games hint at. Previous works showed that Cybil Bennet (SH1) was never heard from again, and that Henry was able to leave Silent Hill with the baby Cheryl, who then became Heather. Furthermore, SH: Homecoming explains that Douglas Cartland (SH3) survives, disproving the theory that Heather kills him at the end. He wrote a book detailing The Order, shedding light on what they really are.
With that being said, I’ll go into detail with the various endings so you can decide for yourself which one you prefer to end the day with.
Good Ending [Forgive Adam Shepherd and kill Lillian Shepherd] Alex emerges from the Underworld, being unable to save Joshua but coming to terms with what has happened. As he struggles onto the pavement, Elle emerges from the fog, unhurt. Previously, you’re led to believe that she was possibly killed, however she seems to be shaken but unscathed. She asks Alex what he found down there, and Alex replies that he found out what he needed to, denoting that he’s breaking from his fantasy and going to live his life.
Drowning Ending [Don't Forgive Adam Shepherd but do kill Lillian Shepherd] Alex wakes up in a bath tub, groggy and panicking. His father enters the room and says that his sacrifice will save Joshua and help him continue the family line. Adam Shepherd then proceeds to hold Alex down until he drowns. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding this ending, because how can Joshua continue the family line if he’s dead? Either it has skipped back several years, finally allowing Alex to become the sacrifice, or it’s meant to just be a bummer of an ending.
Bogeyman Ending [Don't Forgive Adam Shepherd, spare Lillian Shepherd, but don't save Wheeler] Alex awakens and finds himself strapped into an executioner’s chair. Out of the darkness comes the Bogeymen, which he had seen previously in the game, and is what killed his father. Two Bogeyman appear and approach Alex, and they put the conical red helmet on him. Alex is then transformed into a Bogeyman himself, giving into the rage and guilt of his deeds. One more soul to the call, eh?
Hospital Ending [spare Lillian Shepherd, forgive Adam Shepherd] Alex awakens in the mental hospital, strapped down on a table. He is told by the man standing over him, who sounds suspiciously like Wheeler, that he needs to take responsibility for his actions and accept reality (The one who stands behind him does suspiciously look like his father). He is then administered an electric shock. This reveals that throughout the game, the patient in Room 206 was in fact Alex.
UFO Ending [Don't forgive Adam Shepherd, spare Lillian Shepherd and save Wheeler] This wouldn’t be Silent Hill without a UFO in sight, right? Alex emerges from the Underworld and finds Elle. Before he can embrace her, a UFO appears above them. Both are transported up into the spacecraft as Wheeler approaches, saying that he KNEW that’s where the missing people were going.
If you made it this far: Thank you! I’ve been compiling this for years, often as I stalked forums and asked other eager gamers what their thoughts were. Once again, if there’s anything you’d like to be elaborated, of if you think I’ve said something wrong, just leave a reply and we’ll work from there.