Silent Hill Games, Never Played, My Chronology
Jokes on all of you. I’m a horror journalist who has never sat down and played a Silent Hill game to completion. Most of my knowledge of these games comes entirely through cultural osmosis. What is cultural osmosis? Cultural osmosis is when you have some knowledge about a piece of media, without ever having experienced it. For example, I can roughly tell you the plot of all the Harry Potter books, though I’ve only read five. My brother is a huge Harry Potter fan, and through his insane ramblings, I’ve gleaned quite a bit of Harry Potter knowledge. So I present to you, the chronology of the Silent Hill series, as envisioned by me, even though I’ve only actually played two of them…and finished none. Note: I’ll only be covering mainline entries as I don’t want to write a novel about how much I don’t know about Silent Hill. Also, if you think it’s weird that I’m not covering PT well, it doesn’t count but I love it. There was even a whole-ass collection inspired by it.
8. Silent Hill: Origins
I don’t know much about this game. I figured because it has the subtitle of “Origins” that it would be the logical place to start the Silent Hill series. My memories of the game are hastily formed throwaways. When I was dating my now-current wife, she rented this game. I watched her play for a bit before she told me it was, “too scary” and handed the controller off to me. I have memory of that event, but not of playing the game. From memory, I’ll say that the main character was Travis Mason and he was a long-haul trucker moving some cargo through the spooky town. That is probably completely wrong. I need you to please get used to my wrong, because there’s going to be a lot of it on this list.
7. Silent Hill
Ok, now we’re cooking with gas. Years of being a PlayStation owner and horror lover has prepared me to talk about Silent Hill. Of course I’ve never, ever played it. I still think I still have a pretty good grasp of the story. Harry Mason goes to find his daughter. He is joined by a motorcycle cop. There is a school in the game based off of Kindergarten Cop. He eventually finds out this his daughter is being used to power the town to keep it foggy and obscured. There is a cult that runs everything and they have to switch out human power cells once in a while. I know. I nailed it. Please congratulate me later. I never played this game because I was too busy playing Resident Evil.
6. Silent Hill: Homecoming
Hey! I’ve actually played this one! It’s been quite a few years, so let’s reminisce. This game’s main character is Alex Mason. He’s a vet who just returned from a war. This is, in my opinion, the best Silent Hill game. It has a heavier focus on combat. This focus instantly makes it more like a series that is superior in every way: Resident Evil. I liked Alex as a character. He just wants to save his little brother, whose name I forget. Either way there are nurses running around. I didn’t finish this game, but it was kind of on track to be an awesome story about a brother just trying to do right by his brother. I’ve ranked it 6, because in the chronology, I figure it’s maybe a side story that kind of backdoors into Silent Hill 2, because it also has nurses.
5. Silent Hill 2
If Silent Hill: Homecoming is a prequel (i really think it is), then it makes sense to have Silent Hill 2 next. It’s about James Mason. I assume that the Mason family factors heavily into the lore of Silent Hill. This is the big one. Everyone knows Silent Hill 2. I even played some of it. It is the second Silent Hill game that I have played. Having played Homecoming beforehand, I feel like it’s themes can be tied into Silent Hill 2. The nurses are back in SH2, with the addition of fan-favorite pyramid head. I know that pyramid head is extremely popular. He has a big sword and a metal pyramid for a head. It doesn’t seem like a deep design decision, but I respect the hustle. So James has to save his wife. I think she is being used similarly to Harry Mason’s daughter – as a battery of sorts for the town.
4. Silent Hill 3
I know quite a bit about this game. The main character is Heather Mason. She gets kidnapped from an amusement park and dropped into Silent Hill. A mysterious man on the phone who may be her dad – Harry Mason – instructs her on how to get out of the titular town. Using her wits and a crafting system (a first for the series!) she has to move through the town and find a way to escape. The nurses aren’t there this time. Instead, they’re replaced by giant sock monkey things. I cannot think of a single other enemy in this game. Due to this, I’m going to have to assume the sock monkeys are the only enemy. Chronologically, this is a direct sequel to Silent Hill 2.
3. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Gonna be honest here: I don’t really recall anything about Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. It may have been the ice-based entry that was released on the Wii. If it was, I know that in the beginning of the game, you’re at a therapist’s office. By answering questions that the therapist asks you, the game adjusts it’s scares accordingly. I think that is honestly a cool addition to the series. The main character is once again Harry Mason. He is looking for his daughter (not Heather) in Silent Hill again. This time, the town is completely covered in ice. I don’t know anything beyond that. I don’t hear people talk about it that much. Chronologically, I think the return of Harry Mason would happen after the events of Silent Hill 3. That’s why it’s in this spot.
2. Silent Hill: Downpour
This is the prison bus one! In this entry, a prisoner being transported to…prison, is in a wreck in the town of Silent Hill. The main character is Grady Mason, the nephew of Harry Mason. The hook in this game is that the rain itself is evil. You have to stay out of the rain, while trying to clear you name. During this time, you’re slipping in and out of a strange hellworld. There is a lady cop chasing you, and maybe you eventually befriend her? I don’t know if Harry Mason is involved, but I have to assume he is. The theme song was written and performed by nu-metal band Korn, which I guess places it squarely in the realm of modern times. Because of this, it’s the second most recent in my chronology.
1. Silent Hill 4: The Room
I’m going to avoid the obvious joke here. I could say, “oh hey, The Room! This is a game about Tommy Wiseau’s terrible movie!”. I’m not going to do that. I know a bit about The Room. The main character is Henry Mason, brother of James and Harry Mason. The hook of this game is that he’s always lived in the town. He doesn’t think anything is wrong with it. That is, until the town chains his door shut. After he’s chained-in, he finds out that his neighbor has been captured by the cult that runs Silent Hill. He is fond of his neighbor so he has to find a way out of his apartment and save her. This game is a mixture of escape room and Silent Hill horror. Your apartment will change based on what’s going on in the game. I read last year that it was available on Windows, so there is a high chance I might check it out. In the chronology, I’d say this one happened most recently.
So how did I do? Was my cultural osmosis strong enough to overcome the lingering dread of Silent Hill? I’d love to know. I can’t wait to see what adventures the Mason family gets up to next, even though I’m probably not going to play it. I’ll be over here revisiting classic Resident Evil games if you need me. Say what you want, but Capcom sure isn’t moving their business to pachinko machines.