Silent Hill 3
|Silent Hill 3|
European box art featuring the main character Heather Mason
|Developer(s)||Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo|
Silent Hill 3[a] is a survival horror video game published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 and developed by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. It is the third installment in the Silent Hill series and a direct sequel to the first Silent Hill game. It was released in May 2003, with a port to Microsoft Windows released in October of the same year. A remastered high-definition version titled Silent Hill HD Collection was released for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 on March 20, 2012.
Set seventeen years after the events of Silent Hill in which Harry Mason defeats the god of the town cult and is given a baby girl to care for, Silent Hill 3 focuses on Heather Mason, a teenage girl raised by Harry in Portland. She discovers that the cult plans to use her to birth their god, and becomes caught in a conflict within the cult.
Silent Hill 3 was mostly well received by critics, especially in its presentation, including the environments, graphics and audio, as well as the overall horror elements and themes that are continued from past installments. Its plot was loosely adapted into the 2012 film Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.
Gameplay in Silent Hill 3 resembles closely that of its two predecessors, the three main gameplay elements being combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving. Combat, as well as exploration, takes place in third-person view, with the player able to equip weapons found throughout the game. Heather may also block and perform side-step maneuvers to avoid enemies. As series staples, the flashlight and radio return, the latter of which crackles when monsters are within close proximity.
Players can set the difficulty of both the combat and puzzle elements of the game separately. In the case of the puzzle difficulties, there is a large difference between the "medium" difficulty level and the "hard" difficulty level; one of the puzzles on the "medium" level requires only simple pattern recognition, while the "hard" difficulty level version of the same puzzle requires knowledge of Shakespeare plays to complete. The game also features unlockable weapons and costumes.
Setting and characters
Silent Hill 3 is set in the fictional universe of the Silent Hill series. Seventeen years before the start of Silent Hill 3, in the year 1983, Harry Mason defeated a god brought forth by the resident cult of Silent Hill and at the ending, was given a baby girl to care for. The protagonist and player character of Silent Hill 3 is Heather, the teenaged adopted daughter of Harry. Claudia Wolf, the cult's priestess who plans to bring about a paradise on Earth, serves as the game's antagonist. As Heather attempts to unravel the reasons why the cult of Silent Hill is pursuing her, she encounters a private investigator named Douglas Cartland; Vincent, a member of the cult who detests Claudia; and Leonard Wolf, Claudia's abusive father.
At the beginning of the game, Heather awakens at a shopping mall, having fallen asleep while dining at a burger joint; she had been dreaming of being trapped in a demented amusement park, forced to follow roller coaster tracks in her flight from monstrous creatures and subsequently being run down by the roller coaster. Before she can leave the mall, a private detective called Douglas Cartland confronts her, claiming to have information about her birth. Heather evades him and discovers that the mall is mostly abandoned except for monsters. She encounters Claudia, who hints about Heather's fate. Heather finds herself in the Otherworld version of the mall — monster-filled and decaying — and is eventually restored back to the original shopping mall where she encounters Douglas, who confesses that Claudia had hired him to find her. Heather leaves the mall and resolves to take the subway home. Having arrived at her residence, Heather discovers that her father has been killed by a monster under the orders of Claudia, who tells her that she will be waiting for her in Silent Hill and leaves.
Heather resolves to go to Silent Hill, intent on killing Claudia. She meets with Douglas in her apartment and accepts his offer to drive her there. On the journey there, Douglas explains that Vincent left him a message, telling them to look for a man named Leonard, while Heather reads a memo left by her father before his death, which reveals that she is the baby girl that was left to her adoptive father, Harry Mason, at the conclusion of the first game, after he defeated the god birthed by Alessa Gillespie. Claudia seeks Heather to birth the cult's god, since Heather is Alessa's reincarnation.
Upon arriving in Silent Hill, which is abandoned and fog-shrouded, Heather checks Brookhaven Hospital for Leonard. After discovering that Leonard is Claudia's father, Heather meets a transfigured Leonard, who attacks her after discovering that she is not a cult member; Heather defeats him. She eventually meets Vincent, who directs her to a church via a local amusement park, purportedly at Douglas' request. Heather arrives at the amusement park, where she finds Douglas wounded. She reaches the church and confronts Claudia, who kills Vincent. After swallowing a substance within a pendant that her father had given her, Heather vomits out the deity in fetus form. Claudia swallows the fetus and dies after birthing the deity; Heather then fights and defeats the god.
Three endings appear in the game. The "Normal" ending, which is the only ending available on the first play-through of the game, sees Heather and Douglas survive. The "Possessed" ending sees Douglas having been killed by Heather. The "Revenge" ending, which is a joke ending accessible by performing certain in-game actions, sees Heather talking with Harry, and UFOs blow up Silent Hill. According to Silent Hill: Homecoming, the "Normal" ending is the canon one as one of Douglas' files can be found in the game.
Tarot Card Puzzle
The player is supposed to find five Tarot cards in the game in order to solve a crucial puzzle. Each card triggers a cut-scene. When collected, they are arranged in a nine-pane grid to solve the puzzle. The difficulty level determines what clues are given and what order the cards need to be laid out.
The cards are Marseilles Tarot-style depictions of O. The Fool, II. The High Priestess, XII. The Hanged Man, XVIII. The Moon, and XXII. The Eye of Night. The latter card is fictional, as there are only twenty-two cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot Deck (including The Fool, the "zero card").
Silent Hill 3 was created by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. Development on the PlayStation 2 version began after the release of Silent Hill 2 in September 2001, and was carried out almost simultaneously with development of another Silent Hill title that was intended to explore a different direction for the franchise and not be part of the main, numbered series; known as Room 302, this game would eventually become integrated into the main series as Silent Hill 4: The Room. The development team for this iteration was smaller than that working on Silent Hill 2, with around 40 people working on the game, made up of the core team from the second title and some newcomers. A smaller group of Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo staff later developed a port for Microsoft Windows.
Like all Silent Hill games, one of Silent Hill 3's influences is the film Jacob's Ladder: one of the subway platforms is named Bergen Street Station, the station Jacob was inquiring about at the beginning of the film. The developers also cited horror writer Stephen King as another of their influences. Silent Hill 3 incorporates references drawn from real life actors and actresses. Douglas Cartland's name came from American actor Douglas Fairbanks. The developers stated that his name "just seemed to suit him" and that there was no true connection to his namesake. During the sketching process, his character was modeled after actors Giancarlo Giannini and Ian Holm. It was noted that even during the concept designs that Cartland was designed as a middle-aged detective. Claudia Wolf's character was considered the most difficult to design. Early sketches revealed that the creators wanted to dress her like a holy woman, and at one point she had a shaved head, with her body covered with tattoos, however, the creators thought that this way of showing her malevolent side was too obvious. Eventually, the creators decided to model her on Julianne Moore, and then remove her eyebrows, so that the appearance was slightly skewed. She was first named "Christie", but it was deemed too "cute" and the character was eventually named after Italian actress Claudia Cardinale. Vincent's name originated from actor Vincent Gallo in connection with his unshaven look. Early designs were based on actor Ethan Hawke and focused on capturing a look of "derangement and moodiness."
The soundtrack for Silent Hill 3, composed by Akira Yamaoka, was released in Europe on March 25, 2003 and in Japan on July 16, 2003. The song "You're Not Here" was included in the PS2 port of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, and is also included in the Silent Hill Experience UMD media pack. The game's soundtrack is the first using vocals prominently. Most of the vocalized tracks are performed by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (credited as Melissa Williamson); one song features vocals by Joe Romersa.
Silent Hill 3 received positive reviews, garnering an 83.77% rating at GameRankings for the PlayStation 2 version, and a 71.15% rating for the PC version. Its Metacritic rating for the PlayStation 2 version is 85/100, while the PC version has a rating of 72/100. The PC version fared less well, with some reviewers drawing unfavourable comparisons to other combat-based games found on the PC platform, while others highlighted some technical issues, such as poor gamepad controller support.
Positive reactions were given to the general horror and atmosphere of the game, including "truly horrifying sections," it "packs some genuine scares" and "the feeling of eeriness and doom is almost overwhelming." The story told as part of the atmosphere was also received positively, making for a "satisfying, coherent sequel," although its status as such meant that "it may be a little tough to follow for people who haven't played the first game", despite "a laudable effort to help people catch up." In addition, the graphics, audio and production values were all credited with adding positively to the atmosphere.
Negative criticism largely stemmed from the lack of any innovations in gameplay; the game "doesn't do anything major that the series hasn't done before", "does little in term of innovation" and "doesn't offer much beyond the other titles in the series." Also criticised was the game's camera and control system which, despite having been improved from previous games, was described as "awkward, disorienting, and motion sickness-inducing." Some criticism stemmed from the length of the game, as it "can be easily beaten in a handful of hours."
A film adaptation of Silent Hill 3, titled Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, was released on October 26, 2012, by Open Road Films. The film is a sequel to the film adaptation of the first installment in the Silent Hill series. Directed by Michael J. Bassett, it starred Adelaide Clemens as Heather, Kit Harington as Vincent Cooper, Sean Bean as Harry Mason, Carrie-Ann Moss as Claudia Wolf, and Malcolm McDowell as Leonard Wolf. The film received a five percent approval rating from review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with a general consensus: "Mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D features weak characters and an incomprehensible plot with a shortage of scares."
- Silent Hill 3 (サイレントヒル 3 Sairento Hiru Surī?)
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- Heather: After the god died, the girl reappeared. She was holding a baby in her arms. Before she died, she gave the baby to my father. He loved me just like I was his very own daughter.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: But in the end, that god was killed by a single person: my father, Harry Mason. I guess it wasn't much of a god if it could be killed by a human being. But I think Claudia is trying to do the same thing again. And I've been chosen as the sacrifice. / Douglas: You've got some kind of power in you too? Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: Hey, wait! What's going on? Where is everybody? Those weird monsters... / Claudia: They've come to witness the Beginning. The rebirth of Paradise, despoiled by mankind. Heather: What are you talking about? Claudia: Don't you know? Your power is needed. / Heather: How should I know? / Claudia: I am Claudia. / Heather: So what? / Claudia: Remember me, and your true self as well, also that which you must become. The one who will lead us to Paradise with bloodstained hands... / Heather: Claudia, right? Did you do all this? / Claudia: It was the hand of God.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: Heather, I need to speak with you. My name is Douglas Cartland. I'm a detective. / Heather: A detective? Really? Well, nice talking to ya. [...] / Douglas: This is very important. It's about your birth. / Heather: I'm not interested. Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: And who are you? / Vincent: The name's Vincent. Don't forget it, OK? I'm on your side. / Heather: So you say... But how do I know you're not with her? / Vincent: Her? You mean Claudia? Please, don't lump me together with her! She was totally brainwashed by that crazy old hag.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: Who are you? / Leonard: Leonard Wolf. I'm sorry. I thought you were my daughter. / Heather: Claudia is your daughter? / Leonard: Oh, so you know her, do you?Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- [Heather enters the caged elevator to the Otherworld mall, where she spots a monster on the other side of the wire.] Heather: Is this a dream? It's got to be! ... Not even a kid could believe in this. But when am I gonna wake up?Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: What? It's the shopping mall just like before. Am I back?Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: You're in on this with that Claudia, aren't you? / Douglas: Claudia... What about her? She asked me to find you. That's all.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: Where are you going? / Heather: I'm taking the subway home. / Douglas: What should I do? / Heather: Hell if I know.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: Did you do this? / Claudia: You're late. / Heather: But why!? Why!? / Claudia: Revenge for 17 years ago for one thing. If not for him our dream would have come true! And then, he took you away from us. / Heather: I'll get you for this! / Claudia: There is another reason — to fill your heart with hatred. It must be this way. One day you will understand.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Claudia: Besides, he killed your father. I merely gave the order. (A monster can be seen in the darkness.) So, what will you do? I'll be waiting, where all begins: in the town of Silent Hill.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: What'll you do now? / Heather: I'm going to Silent Hill. [...] I don't know what kind of hell is waiting for me there, but I've got no other choice. I don't care about God or Paradise... If that's what she believes in then fine. But she won't get away with what she did. When I find her, I'll kill her myself. / Douglas: Revenge doesn't solve anything. / Heather: Maybe not, but that's what I'm going to do. / Douglas: I'll give you a ride.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: I just met a guy named Vincent... / Heather: Vincent? / Douglas: He's a friend of yours, right? / Heather: I'm not sure. / Douglas: He said when we get to Silent Hill to look for a guy named Leonard. And he gave me this map.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: A woman named Dahlia, she tried to summon the ancient god of the town. She offered up her very own daughter. / Douglas: That's crazy. / Heather: Maybe so, but it worked. The girl gave birth to a god.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: I'm gonna head for that Leonard guy's house. You check out the hospital.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Leonard: Don't play innocent with me. You can't fool me anymore. The seal is mine. God has appointed me to be its guardian. The only thing you'll get from me is a gruesome death! Leonard appears in the form of a monster. / Heather: Leonard, is that you? / Leonard: Death to all who turn their backs on God!Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Vincent: Don't you want to know what the message is? / Heather: Yeah, what did he say? / Vincent: "The church is on the other side of the lake". / Heather: Church...? I wonder what he meant by that. / Vincent: You don't understand? That's where Claudia is. Across the lake, on the north side. If you're going you'd better go through the amusement park. It's probably the only way in now.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: Douglas! / Douglas: You're late. / Heather: Are you hurt? / Douglas: I can't move my right leg. I think it's broken.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Looking inside her pendant, Heather sees the substance. Heather: Dad... / Claudia: What are you doing? Heather swallows the substance and vomits.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Claudia: Alessa, what have you done - what did you swallow!? Heather vomits the fetus onto the floor. / Heather: Looks like God didn’t make it. Heather goes to step on the fetus. / Claudia: Stop! God is...! / Heather: Claudia...! Claudia swallows the fetus. / Claudia: Alessa, you cannot kill God. I will... I will birth God... If you can’t do it Alessa, I will...Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Douglas: Is it really over? / Heather: Not yet. You’re still alive. She approaches with her knife, but starts laughing. Just a joke. / Douglas: You’ve got terrible taste. Heather: I’m sorry. / Douglas: Heather. Did you... / Heather: You don’t have to call me that. I’m not hiding anymore. / Douglas: You want me to use your real name? What was it again... / Heather: Cheryl. The name my father gave me. / Douglas: You gonna let your hair color go back too? / Heather: I don’t know. Don’t you think blondes have more fun?Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
- Heather: I’m home, Dad. Listen.... Something crazy is going on. / Harry: Cheryl, you’re back. What happened? / Heather: Well, it’s like this.... Some time later... / Heather: And that’s about it. / Harry: Oh, my poor little Cheryl. I can't believe that! I'm going to Silent Hill, and I'm gonna bust some heads! / Heather: Oh, Dad! You’re the coolest.Konami (Team Silent) (2003-05-23). Silent Hill 3. PlayStation 2. Konami.
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