Silent hill 2 is a personal favorite of mine. It has, in my opinion, the most beautiful story ever witnessed in a video game. the story is intentionally very ambiguous as the plot itself is basically one big puzzle. It requires the player to think pretty deeply into it in order to "fit the pieces together" (for example, there is a lot of symbolism that requires careful analysis to correctly interpenetrate. ) it took me a few plays through to pick up on all of the metaphors as well as just some of the more subtle plot points. However, I know that personally, once I fully understood the game, I was blown away.
It Includes some very complex characters. each character's perception of the town is different depending on there own personal demons. ( this is a major plot point that most people don't realize right away because it isn't made blatantly obvious, but its key in fully understanding the game.)
Years of scorn have filled Eddie with rage. He’s come to Silent Hill to deal with that hate, one way or another. Instead of seeing a town full of monsters, he seems to see it as a place where people taunt and insult him. Silent Hill is a place filled with either stangers or people from Eddie’s own past who tear him down. Perhaps this is a reflection of his childhood. Perhaps his own journey was to see if he could find forgiveness for these people, or to learn what it is about himself that makes him so unpopular. Perhaps he could learn that he hurts others as much as they hurt him. We don’t know what his problem was.
However, Eddie’s jouney is a failure. He lashes out and starts slaughtering everyone. His rampage ends when he meets a real person (James) and is killed.
Angela is filled with self-loathing. She was abused by her father and evetually ended the abuse by killing him. However, this didn’t cure the self-loathing. Like many abuse victims, she had been taught to believe the she was worthless and unlovable. With her father dead, she can no longer hope that one day he will repent, apologize, and say that he loves her. (It doesn’t matter that he was probably never capable of this. From her point of view, that was the one thing she could hope for that would heal her, and by killing him she also killed that hope.)
So she comes to Silent Hill to choose between life and death for herself. The first time she and James meet, she’s sitting in the graveyard. Later she’s in a (more or less normal) bedroom, staring at a knife. James manages to talk her into giving up the knife, but he’s pretty confused himself and is in no shape to offer Angela real help.
Later James rescues her as she’s being menaced by a monster. We see a big monster shaped like (I’m not kidding) a black door, but Angela repeatedly calls it “daddy” during the fight. At the end, she joins in the killing of the monster. This is another clue as to how the town works. She was probably re-living a moment with her father when James came in and intervened. She saw her father, but all we saw was a freakish monster.
On their final meeting, he finds Angela at the inn. She’s standing in a burning hallway. (Note that this is an interesting twist. When you go into another room away from Angela there is no fire, no smoke, and no sounds of fire. The fire only exists when Anglea is near. So she sees the inn buring to the ground, and James sees it as he sees everything else: damp, rotting, and cold.)
James says, “It’s hot as hell in here.”
Angela, “You see it too? For me, it’s always like this.”
He finally makes a try at talking her into choosing life, but it’s hopeless. He hasn’t expressed any real empathy for her until now, and it’s too late to start. She walks into the flames, embracing death.
Laura seem confused when James speaks of the town being dangerous. James: "I cant believe you haven't gotten a scratch!"
Laura: "Huh?... Why should I!?" Most likley, for her, there aren’t any monsters. She sees Silent Hill as a big empty town. She never shows any signs of fear. She’s innocent, and unlike the others she doesn’t seem to be here to face any personal demons. She doesn’t even understand what the others are going through.
At one point early in the game James finds Eddie and Laura hanging out at the bowling alley and enjoying a pizza. This is interesting. In James’ Silent Hill, there is nothing but decay, and the idea of finding food is ludicrous. But for Eddie and Laura the town is normal enough that they can get their hands on a fresh Pizza.
This might have been Eddie’s chance at redemption. Laura spent time with him, which could have been a catalyst for Eddie to help give him some sense of empathy or gentleness, but it didn’t seem to work.
In one ending of the game James gets his act together and leaves with Laura. In the other endings we don’t see what happens to her, but it’s safe to assume she turns out fine. The town is no danger to her, and she can probably leave whenever she wants.
Unlike the other three, I think Maria is not a real person. That is, in many ways she’s just another monster James has to face. She comes back from apparent death, which isn’t something the other characters ever do. She doesn’t seem to have her own view of Silent Hill, as the town remains unchanged when she’s around and in fact she seems to see things as James does.
She also defies real-world reasoning. It doesn’t make sense that a woman who looks exactly like Mary would just happen to be waiting in the park when James goes there, or that the woman would happen to have such a similar name. And later of course, she has access to some of Mary’s memories.
The only conclusion is that Maria is another demon sent to torment James. The other three characters never see or mention her. In fact, she avoids encountering Eddie and Laura at the bowling alley, prefering to stay outside. It’s possible that if she were to go inside, she would appear differently to the others, much like the way Anglea saw the “door monster” as her own father.
There is no question that Pyramid head is a monster, but he’s different from the others. We see PH doing awful, awful things to the other, lesser monsters in the game. Furthermore, every time Maria is killed, it’s Pyramid Head doing the killing. The player usually has a real grudge against PH the first time through the game.
But once we learn what James has done, we can see that PH is reflecting James’ own crime. His repeated killing of Maria is there to force James to face his own murder of Mary.
Another Note about PH is that he is invincible. The player never, ever harms or defeats PH in any way. James survives his encounters with PH by running. At the finale he is forced to fight PH for a while, but in the end PH just stops fighting and impales himself on his own spear. James never really harms him. PH is the Grim Reaper. You can’t beat him in combat.
The question is: Are these other people (Laura, Angela, and Eddie) fellow travelers who have come to Silent Hill? Are they real, or are they more like Maria: Entities created by the town itself to help or hinder James on his way?
Silent hill 2's main character. A recently middle-aged man that believes his wife died from an ilness 3 years ago. at the end of the game we learn that James had been suppressing the memory that he had actually killed his wife out
of selfishness, to have his life back. He couldn't stand the fact that she was sick and ending his happiness
He is not a two-dimensional character, nor a serial killer. He
is just selfish, he just wants what's best for himself. He murdered once for reasons of his own, that we are not supposed to judge, but simply understand. He did treat his wife as an object, but didn't realize that until she got sick. He realized Mary was not as perfect as he would like.
After he killed her, he hid that gruesome personality behind this kind man, who would do anything to be with his
* WHY IS HE IN TOWN?: He is in Silent Hill to receive punishment. He subconsciously felt guilty for what he did - even though he wanted to kill her - and deserves to learn the truth. James created this wrong new personality
of a man that is not selfish and just wants his wife back... and
Silent Hill will uncover this personality as he advances in the story and realizes what he did. James is ashamed of his true self.
To make it short, James is in Silent Hill to receive punishment from murdering his wife. Plus, he needs to remember two things: that he commited that act of murder, and that this personality he is showing is false.