Series Silent Hill
Release date NA January 31, 1999
JPN March 4, 1999
EUR August 1, 1999
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ELSPA: 15+
Silent Hill is a video game, the first in the survival horror series with the same name.
The game was released in North America on January 31, 1999, Japan on March 4,
1999, and in Europe on August 1, 1999. It was released exclusively on the Sony
PlayStation. A movie adaptation based on this game has been made and was
released theatrically on April 21, 2006.
The goal of the game is to safely guide the player character, Harry, through the
dilapidated town of Silent Hill. A major threat to Harry's survival are the hostile
creatures wandering along the streets and inside buildings. Another problem is poor
visibility; Harry will almost always be surrounded by thick fog or darkness. He
locates a pocket-size flashlight early in the game, but the light beam only illuminates
for a few feet. For this reason, sound plays a large role in Silent Hill's gameplay,
as the player will often be alerted to the noises enemies make, rather than the actual
sight of them. Harry keeps a radio with him after picking it up in the 5to2 cafe
(a staple of the series) which alerts him to the presence of creatures by emitting
static, allowing him to detect hostiles before they can ambush him. The third obstacle
to Harry's success is his own fragility; being an ordinary man, he cannot sustain
many blows from enemies, and will gasp for breath when he has sprinted for
a large distance.
Silent Hill is typically shown from a third-person perspective. In pre-scripted areas,
the camera occasionally switches to other angles for dramatic or disorienting effect.
Because Silent Hill does not feature a heads-up display, the player's current status is
determined by a portrait of Harry in the pause screen. If Harry's picture is framed in
green, his health is at maximum. If the image is red, then Harry is wounded and
will die if he suffers further damage.
In order to navigate through a given area, Harry needs to locate a map, which is
collected like any other item. Once found, the player can switch to the map screen
at any time. The map interface is stylistically similar to a tourist map. Whenever
Harry encounters a point of interest, he will automatically highlight it on the map
with a red pen. Maps can be read while outdoors only if Harry has the flashlight
turned "On". Otherwise, he will be unable to cue up the map in any place with an
absence of light (as is the case in most areas).
Navigating through Silent Hill frequently requires finding keys or solving riddles to
progress. Unlike future Silent Hill installments, which feature fewer boss fights and
less emphasis on combat, the player regularly faces bosses in each area. Harry
defends himself with a number of melee weapons and firearms, including a steel
pipe, a handaxe, a pistol, a sawn-off shotgun, and a hunting rifle.
* Portishead have posters, seemingly advertising their sophomore album,
on a window in the 5 to 2 cafe.
* In the music room of the Midwhich School the sheet music on the piano is for
the piece "Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty" by The Moonriders.
* Genesis P-Orridge and one of his groups, Psychic TV, make appearances. The
bridge to Central Silent Hill is named "Orridge" and the drug being trafficked in
the town is called "PTV." A room in the Nowhere level contains boxes of the
drug labeled as "PSYCHICK TV." When harry comes to the shopping mall he
approaches an escalator then suddenly Cheryl pops up on some tv screens
and calls out to Harry, afterwards they show the same symbol shown in the
school earlier, among the symbols flashing across the screens is the Psychic TV cross.
* The original members of Sonic Youth have their names in the teacher directory
viewed at the Midwich Elementary school. Shortly after the level the player passes
through K. Gordon's house.
*** Special Greetings and THX flies to KeesKaas, have fun ***