Nostalgia. The First Frontier.
These are the voyages of the Admin Lockexceles34. His eternal mission: To indulge in retro gaming like no man's done before.
OooooooWoooooooWoooowoooowoooowoowoo! *Imitates Star Trek Theme*
Star Date: January 2nd, 2014. Present Objective: Play Silent Hill.
I emerge from my Basement clutching a strange little item. A video game from the PS1 days called "Silent Hill." Ah, I remember Silent Hill. A game I feared as a child. I was never much into Horror Games growing up. Took one look at the zcreature on the box art of Resident Evil 3 once and had nightmares for a week. Always shyed away from these psyche challenging experiences.
But growing up, I found it an interesting little title. And I said to myself, I must explore this game, and finally combat the horror within. This is my quest. To conquer the haunted town known as...Silent Hill.
I popped the disk into my computer which is fitted with an emulator allowing me to play PS1 titles on a PC and loaded it up.
Immediately, the game gives me an disclaimer about violent and disturbing imagery in the game. Very reassuring I'm in for a pleasant experience. An eerie guitar piece plays. I'm absolutely enchanted. I've never exposed myself to the works of Akira Yamaoka, but I feel myself drawn into his music as this melody plays. I will have to find more of his works later on.
I finally hit the title screen and put the game on easy. Some find this a cowardly move. Me? I know I'm probably going to be scared shitless of this infamous title, so I wanted to make the experience less frustrating at least.
The game starts with some CG that I find quite impressive for the PS1. A man crawls out of a crashed vehicle and looks through the mist that has settled all around him. A disturbing moan from the music fills me with a shiver.
I walk through this fog blanketed town, wondering why the road is as wide as a football field. I take a moment to admire the snowflakes, and I suddenly come upon a little girl. This, the man calls her, is Cheryl. I deduce that this must be his daughter or some such.
She wanders into the mist, as if called by something. I give pursuit, wondering why a full grown well in shape man somehow cannot keep up with a child who legs are only as long as loaves of bread. I quickly realize the X button on my controller is for running. I pray to myself that B is not used for anything, recalling that I once spilled syrup on this controller and now that button stick on occasion. That was the day I vowed to never eat waffles and play video games at the same time again.
I follow her down the alley, wondering why there's no houses, but a million garages in this lane. I hear a gate snap shut. Cheryl must have gone through. The sigh upon the gate warns "Beware of Dog" a warning I find ironic as dogs will soon become the least of my worries. I stumble upon another alley, covered in guts and blood. I walk upon the bloodied ribcage in the middle of the alley, assuming this must have been the aforementioned dog.
The alley becomes strangely dark, and I pull a lighter from my pocket to aid my vision. A chill comes down my spine, as I wonder if I will soon happen upon the horrors that made this game famous, and must face the fears unarmed. I hear the creaking of an abandoned wheelchair. I never understood why the writers in Silent Hill insist that wheelchairs are scary. A section of bloody chainlink fences funnel me into a linear corridor, and an unsettling note plays in the background. My better judgement says I should turn around and be going back the other way, but if Cheryl came down this direction, I am not about to be outbraved by a goddamn five year old.
A grim scene lies before. Corpses everywhere. Corpses on the floor, corpses on the fence, corpses on Sunday Morning. I investigate the corpses and find it mummified and horribly mangled.
And then, suddenly, I am attacked! Creatures crawl upon me, and I struggle against them. Revolting beasts! Realizing I have no weapon to fight them off, I make for the exit! To my surprise, the exit is suddenly locked! I continue my vain attempt at escape, but I am soon overpowered. The screen goes black...
I awaken in what appears to be a diner, to find a police officer watching my unconscious body. Could that all have been a dream, I wonder? Accidentally, I hit the pause button and fuck myself out of what I assume was a plot relevant cutscene. Damnation! I will require the sage knowledge of Mateus to fill me in on this later, because just reseting the game and getting myself back to that scene is too much effort.
I come across several items. The first is a health drink, the second, a broken radio, and the third, a flashlight with a map underneathe. Beside it, a notepad. Ah yes, a save location, from the looks of it. Back when people were creative with these and didn't just make it a non-subtle flashing beacon of saveness. I admire the nearby poster for a while, taking it's heartfelt message of "STUDY, DAMMIT!" to heart for my adventure. Clearly, this must be some vital tip I will need upon my journey.
I learn how to open my inventory and find that there is a handgun from a person named Cybil in it. Must have been the cop, I ponder. Suddenly the radio begins to static and great scott,, a pterodactyl flies into the diner! Wasting no time, I fight it with the handgun, and defeat it swiftly. Oddly, the interference on the radio ceases as the fiend is slain. Interesting. It is as if the being's mere presence caused the interference. Maybe it could come in handy in the event more of these beings appear. I take it, and exit the diner.
The game directs me back to death-rape alley, but I instead get sidetracked and wind up back at my car. I find a health drink in it. I stumble upon a nearby store and find three more health drinks and a first aid kit in it. You know, for a game about survival horror, it sure just seems to be handing me an abundance of health items. I save my game, and continue on my quest.
Outside, a monster in waiting for me! I choose to conserve my ammo and flee, running down the street and safely away. I then realize the lack of music in this game sure makes for some unsettling vibes. Was that music in the game's intro the only part of the soundtrack?
What the hell is with all the giant chasms stretching into the abyss that are just in the middle of the road in this fucking town?
I find some handgun bullets sitting on a bench. I continue on.
I have returned to the alley after avoiding some skinless dogs. Clutching my controller tightly, I move on to the scene where I was earlier attacked. Boy, this haunted town possessed by the power of unholy demons or whatever sure is generous with ammo, as I find some more.
A message written in blood lays before me, as does the sketchbook this man (His names Harry, by the way) gave to his daughter on her birthday. A clue from her perhaps? I look at the message "To school". And now, I head to the school.
Or at least I would if there weren't pits blocking off every fucking street to it.
Running running running from the Skinless dogs. Where the hell do I go?
Star Date: January 2nd: 2014: Part Two: Back to School, back to school, to prove to the unspeakable horrors that haunt this town that I'm not a fool!
Wandering the town, I find more papers from Cheryl. Dog house. Levin Street. My next clue. I head to Levin St, and find a key hidden inside a dog house there. I use it and unlock the door to the house the doghouse sits in front of.
Finally, off the streets. I can take a breather from the constant monster attacks. I swipe another First Aid Kit, and investigate the house for anything useful.
I notice as I root through the house there is a rather noticable bottle that resembles Coca-Cola. It reminds me of another PS1 classic that was tied with the tasty beverage. Could there have been some kind of Coca-Cola Conspiracy in the days of the PS1?
I find a locked door and a map leading me to three locations in the town that have keys required to unlock it. Much to my dismay, I have to run all over this haunted hellhole for KEYS. Oh god, if this becomes a recurring thing, I think to myself, thoughts trailing off as I begin the search....
I head back out of the house, and eventually find the keys. Oh ha ha, Lion, Tinman, and the Scarecrow keys, yeah, Wizard of Oz references were clever like...never. Also, why the hell were these keys on the opposite side of town than the house?
Nighttime fell upon the town as I returned and exitted the house and made my way to the school. I shudder at the thought of what night could bring this accursed place. BUt for the sake of my daughter, I press on forward. More Health drinks lay upon a table.
I have found the school. A miserably silent building, filled with darkness. My flashlight illuminates my path forward as I begin my search, hoping Cheryl may be inside. I have to admit, fear overtook me as I began to explore this abandoned hall of education. I can hear things shambling about in the darkness. I need something to relax my nerves. I begin to sing Arrietty's song as I go about my task.
"I'm fourteen years old, I am pretty....
I'm a teeny tiny girl, a little lady..."
I'm immediately frightened. there are knife weilding child monsters everywhere! I quickly make my escape! They seem to be drawn to the light of my flashlight.
"s-sometimes I feel happy, sometimes I feel blue
Sometimes I wish I picked something else to play!"
I think to myself, is there anything creepier than an empty classroom at night? Well, maybe one with a knife weilding mutant shambling towards me. I draw my gun and fire three rounds into its face, silencing it. I have so much ammo at this point being conservative doesn't even register in my mind anymore.
I find a disembodied hand. It seems to be clutching something. My thoughts return to a note I had found before, mentioning the hand, and to trade the item it possesses for Sage water. A chemical of some sort? There seems to be a closet of lab equipment in the next room over. I decide to search there now.
A loud breathing fills the room. My radio is not making noise, but I still have the nervous thought there may be something in this room. My breathing tenses. I forget to blink, as cautious as I am in this room. Carefully, and with gun in hand, I scan the room. A chemical sits on the shelf. I grab it, and flee from the room before anything can pop out at me.
I return to the hand and burn it with the chemical, allowing access to the gold medallion it clutched so tightly in its grasp. I return to the reception desk of the building, and find other clues.
"A place with songs and sounds. A Silver guidepost is untapped in tongues. Awakening at the ordained order."
Hmm...A place with songs and sounds. According to the map, there is a music hall in the building. I begin to make my way to search there. A loud squeak jolts me from my chair. A black spirit, resembling the form of a child, appears to be following me. I panic, and run.
I lose the infantile poltergeist and continue to the music room. As the creatures that haunt this building are drawn to my light, I decide to switch off my flashlight. Yes, my vision would be lessened in the darkness, but at least it'll gain me a little safety.
A poem about birds is scrawled upon the chalkboard. A clue, maybe? I also notice a piano is in the room. Sadly, I cannot seem to interact with it.
Frustrated, and bored, I save my game, and turn off for the night.
Star Date: January 3rd, 2014: Go now, if you want it! An Otherworld awaits you!
Day two of my quest to find Cheryl. I return to the games with coffee and hot pockets in hand. However, despite my many saves, the option to load does not appear on the menu screen. I must sadly...begin again. That is my misfortune for deciding to play this on an emulator than my PS1. A string of violent obscenities escapes my lips.
(By the way, that cutscene with Cybil didn't really explain anything I haven't already mentioned before. Harry's name, Cheryl's his daughter, this town be seriously fucked up.)
Eventually, I make my way back to the school with ease this time, realizing the game does allow you to just skip the alley entirely and go directly to finding the keys for the house. Fight the grey children, run from the ghost kids, and pour the acid on the hand again.
I have just noticed that Harry's flashlight is not actually rendered, but is instead a floating white pixel with a glow effect around it. Seems a little lazy, but this is the PS1, I'll let that slide.
I begin to wonder if this game is patronizing me with the constant ammo and health drops. But I'd rather take this over constant tutorials that think I'm too braindead to figure out the controls on my own like one would see nowadays.
After consulting the Silent Hill Wik-I-i-i mean, after using my clever powers of deduction, I realize that the piano puzzle will not be accessible until I have placed this odd medallion in its rightful resting place. I head into the school courtyard, and locate a small clocktower. I ponder to myself, wondering why in this haunted town of skinless dogs, knife weilding children, ghosts, and other horrors, the one that has thus far struck me as odd in this town is why in God's name does an elementary school need a fucking clock tower? I recall passing like, 6 clocks inside the building.
Somehow, and I will never understand how, this opens the piano so I can do the puzzle required for it. I recall the order of the birds mentioned in the poem beside the piano, and find several keys that make no sounds. After memorizing the poem and finding out it's cryptic riddle, I press the keys in the supposed right order. As I finish, something falls from the wall, clanking upon the cold, wooden floor. A medallion, silver, but otherwise identical to the gold medallion. I take it back to the Clock Tower as well.
Nothing seems to happen, despite my placing the two medallions in there right place. So I go back into the school to investigate more. Eventually I come to a boiler which turns on the LOUDEST FUCKING CLOCK TOWER EVER and return to it. I find doors on the front, and I head in.
Inside, there is a ladder that descends in one I can only describe as the entrance to another plain. Nothing I've seen so far can compare to what I found below.
As I exitted the clocktower, I realized the world I knew was left behind. I had crossed into another dimension entirely. This was a mad realm, a rusted and blood coated world of despair and horror. Had I walked into Hell itself? It was a gruel, twisted form of the school I had explored earlier, and I shuddered. I had thought I was in Hell before, but it seems what I had wandered into was only the beginning. Only a taste of what awaited me here. I entered into the horrific place, trembling in anxiety at what was yet to come.
I entered to a room with a disturbing site. A slowly twirling fan, tainted with blood. I did not ask why it was covered in it. My only thought was I should not linger in this place. I grabbed everything I could, and hurried to find my escape.
Eventually I discovered a room where two hanged corpses lingered before a door like sentries guarding an entrance. An entrance to what, I wondered? I did not want to know, but I had to push forward. Cheryl could be in here....
I unlocked this horrifying portal to Oblivion, and entered. However, fate had decided to aid me in this nightmare. I found a shotgun, and I immediately took it. Definitely, this would come in handy.
I continued through the labyrinth to find a phone ringing. Odd, I recall someone saying that phones never worked in Silent Hill. A cutscene plays, but I accidentally press pause, skipping it. Well...shit. That was probably important. Time to consult the powers of Youtube to see if I missed something.