What's behind Pyramid Head, nurses and fog? - symbolism in Silent Hill. Part one (Topic)

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What's behind Pyramid Head, nurses and fog? - symbolism in Silent Hill. Part one


Symbols are always a good indicator of whether creators are putting more than just a story into a game. When the game has depth, the more you want to explore it.

The classic Silent Hill four is just the Marianka Trench, which you can dive into for a very long time. Everything from the monsters, the looks of the character, and music are symbolic and have connotations. Today we will touch on what symbols of Silent Hill are hiding from us behind the faces of monsters and thick fog.

A bit of history

First, let's answer the question, why is Silent Hill the way it is? One of the messages of the series is that our fears and sufferings have energy, and if there is a large accumulation of it somewhere, there these very fears can materialize. And many people suffered in Silent Hill.


As early as the 17th century, the first settlers massacred the indigenous population of the city. Then they twice experienced a plague epidemic, in the city they built prisons, a prison camp during the war, as well as a Brookhaven hospital for the mentally ill. In it, the Order sect appeared, which was associated with mysterious disappearances and sacrifices. At the end of the 20th century, drug trafficking flourished in the city ...

The last straw in the bowl of suffering was the sacrifice of a small, very unfortunate girl Alessa, whose torment released nightmares into our world that engulfed the city and it became a place where phobias are real. Therefore, everyone who finds himself in this eternally foggy city meets in it his materialized fears, sins for which they blame themselves. If you went there, you would meet with something for which you hate yourself and for which you should be punished.

Symbols of Silent Hill (1999)

In addition to the usual Silent Hill, where you can meet monsters, the heroes during the game fall into its alternative version, and it is in it that the environment itself reflects the emotional and mental state of the heroes.

In the first part, in many ways we see not the fears of Gary Mason, but the girls of Alessa Gillespie, whom her own mother and other members of the cult were going to make a vessel for God and burn as a sacrifice.

Monsters in many ways personify Alessa's childhood fears: fear of worms, snakes, dogs, as well as pictures from the books she read. This is how, for example, the monster Airscreamer appeared, which Alessa copied from the pterodaclet of her favorite book "The Lost World" by Conan Doyle.


Children ghosts (Larval Stalker) who sob and disappear are Alessa's experiences at school, and ghosts with Stalker knives represent the girl's aggression against her classmates who bullied her.


Another fear of the girl is adults and worshipers. They are embodied by the monster Romper, who pounces on the player and tries to knock him to the ground - hinting at how the clergy used physical and sexual violence against Alessa when she did not obey.

Parasitized Doctor and Puppet Nurse - medical staff with parasites on their back - this is how the girl saw the doctors who, like puppets, limply listened to the clergy and kept her in the hospital.


Incubator (one of the boss warrants at the end of the game) is how Alessa perceived her mother as an incubator for God. Her white dress is the purity she acquired by dying in agony.


But the Incubus is a mixture of the three demons Bafael (demon of witches) Incubus (demon of fear) and Samael (God of death) - all this is a pure display of religious dogma, hatred, fear and Alessa's desire to kill everyone who hurt her.


In general, in the alternative city we see images that refer to the pain of burning: bandages, burnt monsters, wheelchairs, hospitalization.

Symbols of Silent Hill 2

The alternate world in the second part is directly related to violence and a sense of loneliness. Each of the heroes is tormented by their own demons. James Sunderland - memories of his wife's murder and sexual frustration, Angela Orsoko - sexual abuse by her father, and Eddie Dombrowski - psychopathic thoughts of bullying murder.

There are many holes, long corridors and stairs into which James descends in the game - all this is a hint of how he slowly sinks into the depths of his soul, where he knows that he is guilty of the death of his wife.

Nurses is a reflection of his sexual attraction to nurses in the hospital where his dying wife lay. Their faces are bandaged as when he looked at them, he felt guilty that he loved Mary, but she was not attracted to him. In every woman, he began to see a wife who disgusted him outwardly ...


Pyramid Head is a monster that personifies the male part of James, aggressive, domineering, who knows the truth and seeks to punish the protagonist for his atrocities. And Maria is the female part of his consciousness - the ideal woman whom he wanted to see his wife. But, as you know - the ideal cannot be loved.


Image of Mary - reflects how ambiguous the whole game is in its interpretation. The final boss of Mary is a contradiction in James's soul between the fact that he killed her and how sorry he is.


Abstract Daddy - Angela's demon shows how she is afraid of her father. In his image, we see a bed on which two figures lie - the lower one tries to escape and the upper one dominates.

We will talk about symbolism in Silent Hill 3 and The Room in the future.

The Topic of Article: What's behind Pyramid Head, nurses and fog? - symbolism in Silent Hill. Part one.
Author: Jake Pinkman