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Retro Replay: Silent Hill (PSX) - Then the full series replay thread...


Romier S
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I’ve been in the worst mood to revisit the original game that started it all and started to do so about a week ago. I finished the game off last night and plan to post some thoughts and off screen shots of it running on a 27in Sony FV300 Trinitron via component very soon.
 

In the interim, after I completed the game I took out the manual and started to flip through it and came upon this little time capsule hidden in the pages....

 

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I was 21 years old.....:sadfleck:

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I vividly remembering buying this game at Toys-R-Us when it came out. Had a hankering for something new and different to play, and the cover art and description on the rear intrigued me. Had not even heard of the game before seeing it in the store. Upon playing it, the atmosphere sucked me in right away. It's still one of the most scary and creepy videogame experiences. SH2 is a better game, but the original remains more horrific and frightening.

 

Still disgusted over what Konami allowed to happen to the series.

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Don't cross Romier! He keeps the receipts.

 

I don't know if you remember this, but you bought me my own copy of Silent Hill the first time we met in person back in 2004. I still have that copy. I think you said it set you back $10 or something like that. You didn't ask me to pay you back. For that, I thank you. However, it was a green-tagged PlayStation Greatest Hits edition of the game, so I'm not that grateful. 😀

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45 minutes ago, JFo said:

Don't cross Romier! He keeps the receipts.

 

I don't know if you remember this, but you bought me my own copy of Silent Hill the first time we met in person back in 2004. I still have that copy. I think you said it set you back $10 or something like that. You didn't ask me to pay you back.


The asshole sent me Silent Hill 2 on xbox too. WHAT AN ASSHOLE!

 

Keep firing, assholes!

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3 hours ago, JFo said:

Don't cross Romier! He keeps the receipts.

 

I don't know if you remember this, but you bought me my own copy of Silent Hill the first time we met in person back in 2004. I still have that copy. I think you said it set you back $10 or something like that. You didn't ask me to pay you back. For that, I thank you. However, it was a green-tagged PlayStation Greatest Hits edition of the game, so I'm not that grateful. 😀


Wow, years just go by like a blur. I have no memory of this but it’s awesome to have that kind of story/memory attached to a game. Glad I could add a little more Silent Hill to your life in 2004. Even if it was just the green label version.:)

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So I have to say that I just had an absolute blast revisiting the original game. You guys may remember that I revisited Silent Hill 2 last year in this thread:

 

https://www.lcvg.com/topic/16404-retro-revisit-silent-hill-2/?tab=comments#comment-596441

 

That game is (as you all know) one of my favorite games of all time. It also gets a bulk of the attention in the gaming press and YouTube world along with Silent Hill 3 and the more controversial Silent Hill 4. The original, for some reason is always a bit overlooked which is sort of mind blowing having now revisited it. The game is so utterly forward thinking and it’s a testament to how damned good it is that its direct sequels only made mild additions to the overall gameplay structure. That statement is not meant to be a defamatory one towards the second and third games in the series at all but it’s amazing the consistency of gameplay shared by all three with little variation.

 

Warning: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
 

At a time when Resident Evil was living in a world of tank controls, stand still and shoot and pre-rendered backgrounds, the original Silent Hill was building a fully 3D explorable world. It had the ability to move and attack. It had freedom of movement with analog support. It provided a quick turn button combination and a wide array of weapons each with their own damage models and affects on certain enemy types. Yes it’s 3D world was crude by today’s standard with a metric ton of dithering and limited view of the world that was explained rather brilliantly within the narrative (the fog). Something that became a series staple. Despite these short comings - looking at the visuals now, I’m just stunned by the technical achievement that is Silent Hill. The detail in the building that line the town streets and the broken down alleys are a sight to behold considering the power of these consoles in 1999.
 

My enjoyment of the games visuals is in no small part due to how I experienced this game. That is on a CRT. Specifically the 27inch Sony Trinitron Model FV300 via a PlayStation 2 using component cables. This particular set is a step down from the highly sought after FV310 which is the pinnacle of Sony consumer CRT’s before they went HD with their CRT technology. It provides amazing 240p and 480i support and in 240p mode, the scanlines and black levels are just glorious to behold. So much so that it’s really pushed me to buy a quality Sony PVM (professional video monitor) like the 14L5 or 20M4U in the near future.I have a few bids on some Ebay listings as we speak in fact. 
 

Obviously, I can’t do direct capture off of the set but I took some off screen shots of the game and while it doesn’t convey exactly how wonderful it looks, it gives a nice approximation....

 

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That last picture is right before the final area in the game and is Alessa’s bedroom. Fans of the series will recognize it from Silent Hill 3 as well where it is recreated with next generation visuals.

 

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The game still retains much of its inherent creep factor 20 years later. The enemy design is still strong and one thing that the original game does better than its sequels is that these baddies are actually dangerous. When the world finally goes full nightmare, Silent Hill becomes a harrowing game of cat and mouse as the denizens of the town are too numerous to waste ammo and health on. It’s legit nerve wracking as you continually bring up the map searching for refuge only to find a dead end and realize you have to go back the way you came.
 

Other than that, the Midwich Elementary School and Alchimella Hospital are the games finest set pieces. The atmosphere is unmatched and the game pulls out every trick in the book to scare you. Ghostly figures in the dark, children crying, indescribable loud noises and fucked up phone calls that will give you the chills. Some of this stuff is considered a trope in the genre today but so much of it was finely tuned and crafted in this game. It’s yet another example of how forward thinking it was to effectively realize these cinematic tools in a videogame.

 

The story is still effective if a bit less cryptic thanks to the exposure the game has gotten over the years (especially with the first movie). The voice acting actually holds up surprisingly well all things considered. Yes, some of the delivery is off and even a bit uncomfortably funny at times but I maintain that it adds to the “weird” vibe the game has always had. No matter how amusing you may find some of the dialogue, there’s no denying the game hits its mark big time when Lisa finally meets her end. It’s an emotional and depressing scene considering she’s been the only consistent “friend” Harry has throughout the adventure aside from Cybil who isn’t as prevalent until later in the game. Oh and goodness the music...that sweet sweet music...

 

 

While I would argue that the soundtrack for the original is less iconic than its sequel, it’s extremely experimental and much more “mechanical” lacking much in the way of melodies. Which is why the scene with Lisa works so well. It’s a fantastic soundtrack but primarily because of how different it is than that of the other games while at the same time establishing what the series would sound like thematically going forward if that makes sense.

 

I managed to get the “best” ending surprisingly. I actually remembered to get the empty bottle and fill it with the red liquid in the hospital (which you use on Cybil when she is possessed to save her). I also did the drug sub-plot as part of regular exploration in the resort area of the town which allows Kauffman to intervene while Alessa/Cheryl is birthing god. That finale is the canonical ending that lead right into Silent Hill 3 which is now on my revisit list for pretty obvious reasons.:)

 

The original Silent Hill remains a landmark videogame in so many ways. It’s a true classic that will stand the test of time even when I’m long dead and buried. It’s a travesty that this series is basically relegated to history as there is so much more potential and amazing game experiences that could be garnered if it were in the right hands. In the interim, we’ll have to settle for reliving the legendary games that brought the series it’s reputation. When it’s very first game is this strong - you quickly understand why the series is so beloved.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m gonna make this the one all Silent Hill series replay thread. I don’t know when I’ll get them all some but that’s the plan. Yes including all of the mostly shitty Western entries.

 

With that, having recently completed the original game, I felt the need to replay Silent Hill 3 - it’s direct sequel. I finished the game off about 10 minutes ago and will do a Christmas afternoon post with my thoughts. I last replayed the PC version years ago so this is the first PS2 version replay I’ve done since that generation ended. I played half the game on my TCL via the Framemeister and the second half on the new Sony BVM. I’ll post some thoughts on that, too.

 

This will have been my 37th game completed for the year.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

The Completionist plays Silent Hill for the first time.

 

 

Apparently this is his first time with the series (aside from P.T. if you want to count that). It'll be interesting to see if he moves on to Silent Hill 2 next.

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