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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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Oops, double post. Sorry.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)

Missing since: 31 Oct 2009
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Tillerman wrote:
In fact, I'm only aware of 2 minor contradictions in the whole book (that they aren't sure which ending is canon and that they get the date of Mrs. Mason's death wrong.) I can overlook that.


They got the date of Mrs. Mason's death wrong? That's *trivial*. God help us if we discarded all of the information in a book simply because they made a typo.

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)

Missing since: 20 Jun 2010
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untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Then why were you arguing over it?


It is in my nature to correct factual inaccuracies when discussing an issue. However, it's clear that we aren't going to agree on this 'playing possum' hoo haa. And since it is a triviality, I see no need to pursue it further. You are welcome to educate yourself on the topic if you wish, and then report back explaining why you were in error.

Wow, someone has their knickers in a twist. ;) Might want to unbunch there. As for educating myself, I have. However, if I am "in error" then you would be too. All the information each person has presented hasn't been enough to convince anyone of anything because it seems to be open for interpretation. Therefore either we're both wrong, or we're both right. I don't particularly care about right anymore though. :P

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
And yet you said it was semantics yourself.


I said that the 'playing possum' issue is semantics. I certainly don't agree that all discussion regarding the God is/isn't Alessa is semantical. Although with the way transformation advocates argue, I could swear that they are attempting to redefine the entire English Language.

I don't recall saying that "God is/isn't Alessa is semantical". I did however agree that saying God was "playing possum" was semantical.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
I thought I already addressed this. *hand-wave*


Where? URL? Quotation?

This thread. All you need to do is read. It's not my job, or that of anyone else, to spoon feed already discussed things for people who are unable to read through a thread, however long or short it might be.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Experiencing something and understanding it are two different things.


True. But as Harry continues to experience Silent Hill, he proves himself to be quite perceptive. Furthermore, no understanding was required in regards to the 'demon disappeared, God reappeared' incident. All that is required was observation. Even if Harry were as thick as a brick, his powers of inference have no real bearing on what his eyes saw. Unless you now want to claim that Harry was visually impaired. No doubt he had impaired hearing as well, which is why he heard Cheryl's voice say Daddy, rather than Mephisto scream "I'm gonna anally rape you!"

Yes, Harry was visually and hearing impaired. Incubator actually screamed "I'm gonna anally rape you!" when handing the baby to him, but he simply didn't hear it.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Again, explain why you presumptively disregard Harry's eyewitness testimony that the demon disappeared, and the glowing woman reappeared. Explain why his observation is invalid, when he was standing mere feet away, and his observation corroborates that of the player's.

Without more information he could still have misinterpreted things that he experienced.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Perhaps "trust" was too strong a word. He didn't distrust her enough to not collect the flauros pieces and follow orders like a good little pawn though.


So you admit that Harry didn't trust Dahlia. Thanks. So he isn't a moron, as you previously implied, which restores credibility to his character that you attempted to detract from. Not that that would matter, because even if he was still as thick as a brick, his observations would remain reliable.

And yet he was so willing to run off to the lighthouse as instructed by Dahlia. He was also so willing to listen to her and find the Flauros pieces.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
He may have thought she was a crazy old woman, but he didn't suspect that she may have been up to something.


You can read Harry's mind now?

And you can?

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Quote:
It was obvious to the player (well, me at least) that there was something distrustful about her.


And Harry called her a crazy old lady, implying that he didn't put much faith in what she was saying. But as I re-iterated earlier, Harry had nothing else to go on. A lead is a lead, even if it comes from a crazy bint.

Listen to a crazy old woman babbling something about demons? That's not a very good lead. Cybil, Lisa, or Kaufmann would be far more reliable than some crazy old woman Harry finds in a Church. If my child was missing, regardless of the circumstances, I would be more inclined to listen to go to a police officer, nurse, or doctor for help than blindly follow a crazy old woman.


untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
I don't care for the Book of Lost Memories any more due to the mentioned inconsitencies. I was using it to see if anyone would get their knickers in a twist. You clearly did.


Indeed. I resent the cherry picking that has been exhibited by the transformation advocates on this thread. It reeks of intellectual dishonesty. "X is a valid source, except when it contradicts me" shows that the individual is arguing in bad faith. And why should I dignify someone who is arguing in bad faith with a response?

And yet you do anyway. Either way there is something to contradict each theory. Things that everyone is happy to ignore in order to push their own ideas. Of course, I expect a response along the lines of "where did I do that?" :wink:

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Soulless-Shadow wrote:
If Harry had said the Woman in White transformed into a demon we wouldn't be having this discussion.


Indeed. Isn't it fortunate that we, the player, have the benefit of seeing the demon emerge from the Glowing Woman's back, strongly implying that they are separate entities? And isn't it even more fortunate that we have a corroborating eye-witness account (ie. Harry) verifying that the glowing woman and the demon were separate entities?

I don't recall Harry ever saying they were separate entities. Link please. :)

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Gee, I'm starting to wonder why this discussion has lasted for so long.

Stubbornness from both sides combined with both sides ignoring the inconsistencies in Book of Lost Memories are what led to this circular discussion.

Tillerman wrote:
That's not a bad point, about switching from first to 3rd person. I hadn't noticed that. But I don't know if we should be reading any significance into that... it might just be that the writer (or translator) decided it would sound weird for her to say those particular details in 1st person.

That's just like saying Alessa/Cheryl gave Harry the baby due to...what was it again...? >_< Sentimentality on the writers behalf. Basically, it's speculation without anything to back it up with.

Tillerman wrote:
On the other hand, the fact that she uses 1st person at all does pretty strongly imply that she remembers those events, does it not? So when she says she is "trying" to remember, I think the implication is that her memories are still foggy, but some details are coming back to her. I think it's a logical assumption that what she says to Douglas are the details she remembers.

I think it's safe to assume she recalls the things she talks about in first person. But that was only the growing up in Silent Hill part (which I take to be a memory of Alessa's because Harry wouldn't raise Heather near Silent Hill after all that). But, don't you find it odd that she would speak about some memories in first person, as facts she remembers, and others as though they're stories she's repeating?

Tillerman wrote:
Of course, your interpretation that she is getting those details from Harry's journal could be correct, but it's very debatable.

Everything in this thread is debatable.

Tillerman wrote:
A better question is, why would the creators choose to do this scene this way? They at least implied that Heather is remembering some of Alessa's memories... which means they easily could have just had her remember and state the truth, whatever it is. If the writers intention with SH1 was that god was tricking Harry, it's extremely odd for them to turn around and contradict that with this scene in SH3, especially when there's no need to. They could've just had Heather comment something like "it's odd, I don't remember anything about giving a baby to Harry. Strange. Was it really Alessa?" The fact that they decide to have Heather directly contradict that theory in this scene is EXTREMELY strong evidence to me that the "god theory" was never their intention... it's probably something that never even occured to them.

She was only just starting to remember. It wasn't until near the end of the game that she appeared to remember everything.

Tillerman wrote:
This bothers me too. In the beginning of this thread, certain members were hammering that "image of god" page down our throats, claiming that it proved their theory, and anyone who doesn't agree is "thick." But when I bring up some information from the same book that contradicts the god theory, suddenly that book is "full of contradictions" and not trustworthy. That's truly cherry picking. It kind of reminds me of Reverend Lovejoy... "the Bible says a lot of things."

It contradicts both. Remember I said the original text no longer mentions Alessa in the ending analysis after she disappears? Instead it refers to her as "woman" or "girl". But then it says "Alessa/Incubator" in another section. As I said then, why would it stop referring to Alessa here, but not there? Again, as I already stated, now that I have gone through Book of Lost memories and it's translations in greater detail, I now no longer think of it as a good source of anything.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
They got the date of Mrs. Mason's death wrong? That's *trivial*. God help us if we discarded all of the information in a book simply because they made a typo.

Mrs. Mason's date of death is a big oversight, regardless of whether nor not anyone wants to admit it. As I stated, Heather has a memory of her. If one side can't ignore this inconsistency, then the other can't ignore that inconsistency.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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Soulless-Shadow wrote:
I think it's safe to assume she recalls the things she talks about in first person. But that was only the growing up in Silent Hill part (which I take to be a memory of Alessa's because Harry wouldn't raise Heather near Silent Hill after all that). But, don't you find it odd that she would speak about some memories in first person, as facts she remembers, and others as though they're stories she's repeating?


I dunno if I'd say "odd"... it is interesting, but I'm not sure if it's meant to convey that those are "stories she's repeating." I think that's too bold an assumption. But it is a good point, never the less. I'll concede that you could interpret the Heather-Douglas scene either way.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Tillerman wrote:
A better question is, why would the creators choose to do this scene this way? They at least implied that Heather is remembering some of Alessa's memories... which means they easily could have just had her remember and state the truth, whatever it is. If the writers intention with SH1 was that god was tricking Harry, it's extremely odd for them to turn around and contradict that with this scene in SH3, especially when there's no need to. They could've just had Heather comment something like "it's odd, I don't remember anything about giving a baby to Harry. Strange. Was it really Alessa?" The fact that they decide to have Heather directly contradict that theory in this scene is EXTREMELY strong evidence to me that the "god theory" was never their intention... it's probably something that never even occured to them.

She was only just starting to remember. It wasn't until near the end of the game that she appeared to remember everything.


Now you're the one ignoring my point, aren't you? Let's consider hypothetically that you are the writer of SH1, and that you intended for the ending of SH1 to actually be a clever trick. Now you're writing this scene for SH3 and you have a chance to reveal this clever mystery. (And you jumped at the chance to reveal the secret of the Seal of Metatron.) Would you honestly have Heather contradict it in this scene in such a matter of fact way? What about the journal, it's plausible that Harry could have figured something out after all those years... why not take that opportunity to reveal how clever you are?

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
It contradicts both. Remember I said the original text no longer mentions Alessa in the ending analysis after she disappears? Instead it refers to her as "woman" or "girl". But then it says "Alessa/Incubator" in another section. As I said then, why would it stop referring to Alessa here, but not there?


That's incorrect. It refers to the lady in white as Alessa twice in the ending summaries. Remember, I posted a picture showing where her name in Japanese is.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Mrs. Mason's date of death is a big oversight, regardless of whether nor not anyone wants to admit it. As I stated, Heather has a memory of her. If one side can't ignore this inconsistency, then the other can't ignore that inconsistency.


I think you're overstating it's importance, but yes, that's an oversight. However, mixing up timelines is exactly the kind of mistake I'd expect them to make. What I would *not* expect is for them to "accidentally" state that Incubator is Alessa fused with god, or "accidentally" call the lady in white Alessa twice in the ending summaries. To call that an "inconsistency" is an extreme understatement. Those are inexplicable mistakes.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)

Missing since: 31 Oct 2009
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soul wrote:
This thread. All you need to do is read. It's not my job, or that of anyone else, to spoon feed already discussed things for people who are unable to read through a thread, however long or short it might be.


Ahh yes, I see now. Tillerman even circled the Incubator/Alessa in the Japanese version of the guide. Well, I guess that settles it. Alessa is the Incubator. :lol:

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Yes, Harry was visually and hearing impaired. Incubator actually screamed "I'm gonna anally rape you!" when handing the baby to him, but he simply didn't hear it.


*chortle* No doubt incubator also stated that the "Incubator/Alessa" in the Japanese version of the official game guide was also an illusion. :lol:

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Without more information he could still have misinterpreted things that he experienced.


He was several feet away from where the demon disappeared, and the glowing woman reappeared. There isn't much chance for error there. It's not as if Harry was in an apartment on the other side of the road, looking through a passing train carriage, having just woken up without wearing the spectacles required for his myopia.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:

And yet he was so willing to run off to the lighthouse as instructed by Dahlia. He was also so willing to listen to her and find the Flauros pieces.


Again, he had no other leads. As the controller of Harry's actions, it seemed perfectly natural for me to take the Flauros and explore the Hospital District, if only because I didn't have any other leads. I didn't trust Dahlia, but it was clear that she was more clued in than myself and Cybil.

Perhaps you ought to explain what Harry *should* have done after the meeting in the church? Sit on his hands? Cry? Wander around aimlessly?

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
You can read Harry's mind now?

And you can?
[/quote]

Please answer the question first, thanks. Can you read Harry's mind? If the answer is 'No', then you should admit that your statement regarding Harry not thinking that Dahlia was up to something is 'conjecture'. That's if you want me to continue thinking that you are arguing in good faith, instead of just cherry picking.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Listen to a crazy old woman babbling something about demons? That's not a very good lead.


Given that Harry had just emerged from the Otherworld, where he had been assaulted by demonic children and a demonic lizard, talk about demons doesn't seem that far fetched.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Cybil, Lisa, or Kaufmann would be far more reliable than some crazy old woman Harry finds in a Church.


Haha. Harry hadn't even *met* Lisa or Kaufmann before he encountered Dahlia in the Church. Furthermore, Lisa, Kaufmann and Cybil (when you do meet them) make it very clear that they don't know what the fuck is going on. Dahlia's ramblings are the best Harry had to go on.

Again, I ask, what do you think Harry's response should have been? Sit on his hands? Cry? Wander around aimlessly?

Oh, I know. Go talk to Cybil, who is even less clued in than he is. What a great plan of action!

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
If my child was missing, regardless of the circumstances, I would be more inclined to listen to go to a police officer, nurse, or doctor for help than blindly follow a crazy old woman.


Listen to the police officer who knows jack shit, the nurse who has been hiding in the hospital, or the doctor who knows jack shit. Dahlia, despite her deception, clues you in more than these three, who give you, well... not much.


Soulless-Shadow wrote:
And yet you do anyway.


So you admit to arguing in bad faith? How disappointing.

Quote:
Either way there is something to contradict each theory.


Patently false. There is a mountain of evidence to contradict the theory you espouse, and none to contradict mine.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Things that everyone is happy to ignore in order to push their own ideas.


You have made a factual claim here. You have claimed that everyone (including myself) has ignored evidence that contradicts their theory. Please list the evidence that I have ignored. I am more than happy to list the evidence that you have.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Of course, I expect a response along the lines of "where did I do that?" :wink:


Right on. It seems that you know well how people respond to your trolling tactics.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
I don't recall Harry ever saying they were separate entities. Link please. :)


I don't recall ever saying that Harry said that the glowing woman and the demon were separate entities. Link please.

Soulless-Shadow wrote:
Stubbornness from both sides combined with both sides ignoring the inconsistencies in Book of Lost Memories are what led to this circular discussion.


If the book is inconsistent, then you are welcome to discard it as a source of evidence. It was not I who places my faith in it. I only refer to it because everyone in this thread treats it as Gospel (until they read something which contradicts their viewpoint, of course!) As I made clear earlier, I rely on in-game events. Such as when the demon emerges from Alessa's back, or Cheryl says 'Daddy'. In-game events should be sufficient to explain what the hell is going on in a game.

untamedbananaslug wrote:
Mrs. Mason's date of death is a big oversight, regardless of whether nor not anyone wants to admit it.


Instead of putting the date of her death as four years after Cheryl's birth, it is placed 4 years before. That's an easy error to make while editing the book, and we can quite easily establish it is an error by simply playing SH1. It's common for game developers to fuck up timelines once they have developed upteen sequels. Much like we don't discard the contents of an entire encyclopaedia simply because they fuck up one date, we shouldn't outright dismiss unrelated claims in the guide.

What isn't so trivial is the repeated referral to the glowing woman as Alessa, and the use of "Alessa/Incubator" in the Japanese edition. That's not an editing error, that's deliberate.

Of course, I don't hold the guide as Gospel, and am more than willing to disregard what is written as a blatant (although repetitive) error, if you can find in-game evidence to the contrary. I'm not unreasonable. However, the guide does reinforce my (and Harry's) observations. Which doesn't surprise me in the least.

But again, I stress. I don't need a guide book to tell me that I saw a fucking demon emerge from Alessa's back.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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Please pardon my resurrection of an old thread; I saw this posted in the "Favorite theories" thread and wanted to follow up, but only just now finished running through the whole ten pages.

One of the recurring things I've seen mentioned here is regarding Alessa's motivation to kill herself, which I think is a more complicated thing than we make it out to be; it seems we take it for granted that she's single-minded about destroying herself, when in reality, this decision is rarely easy for anyone.

I'm going to posit that, although represented as an in-game character, in the game's reality there is actually no god. God is only a construct of personal trauma, much like Maria in the second game; it may have some sentience and autonomy, but it exists because of a "real" character's suffering. The god changes forms so many times because it has no nature in itself; it's a projection of one or more people. So, while it may be stated as fact that the lady in white is god, this does not eliminate the possibility that god is also Alessa, Cheryl, Heather, Dahlia, Claudia, or any combination of them.

While the cycle of death and rebirth is a strong motif, the actual theme of Silent Hill 1 and Silent Hill 3--the meaning of the story, as I see it--is the way a girl deals with a history of ritual abuse. In addition to the supernatural phenomenon of poltergeists mentioned in-game, real-world effects of this type of trauma can include:

    Sudden dramatic emotional shifts
    Depression
    Feelings of worthlessness/self-blaming
    Thoughts of suicide
    Dissociative personality disorder (or split personalities, especially relevant here)

So, let's translate the three main incarnations of Alessa, as we understand them, to dissociative identities:

Alessa is the original victim, conscious of all of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Dahlia and the cult. She is the most prone to thoughts of self-destruction.

Cheryl is the regressive state: innocent, childlike, and oblivious to her trauma.

Heather is the functional personality, the one who still represses her memories at first, but is allowed to develop into a complete person, eventually recovering her memories and dealing with her abuse.

Where does that place the Lady in White/God? I think these are transitional states for Alessa, "moments of clarity," where her personalities confront each other and she is able to take decisive action. Because of her religious upbringing, and of Dahlia's conviction that this is a religious event, the form it takes is of a divine figure, because it is a demonstration of autonomous power. As incubator, Alessa is the pristine vessel that was defiled by abuse, and as the incubus, she is the representation of abuse, the part of her self that suffered. In the bad endings, these two are never separated, and her only release is to be killed by Harry. In the good endings, she is allowed to separate herself from her suffering, allow that to be destroyed, and start over as a "new" person, i.e, Heather. In short, it's the decision whether to kill yourself to escape your pain, or to bury your pain in the past and move on, the dilemma that many victims of abuse have to face.

So, if there is no actual god, or at least if the "god" seen in the games is not a true god, what's the point of the cult and the rituals its antagonists try to fulfill? I think they're just there to highlight the existence of religiously motivated abuse; the weird phenomena in Silent Hill aren't caused by a god, but they are attributed to a god by the cult because they have no other explanation. The real supernatural force in the town is caused by extreme suffering, and it's often suffering for which the cult is responsible, a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. The more phenomena are observed by the cult in relation to Alessa's power, the more defined their religion becomes; I'd argue that any "retcons" observed in later games are justifiable in the game world, because between 1 and 3 the cult retconned its own religion, recognising Alessa as a saint and even changing the gender of their god (Dahlia explicitly refers to the god as a "he," but god is depicted as female in the chapel paintings). The creation myth of the god even states that people existed first, that god was born from their suffering.

So, my thoughts on this thread are that both sides are basically correct: the Lady in White is Alessa, and the Lady in White is god, because god is just a representation of Alessa coming to terms with her traumatic childhood.

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 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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One of the recurring things I've seen mentioned here is regarding Alessa's motivation to kill herself, which I think is a more complicated thing than we make it out to be; it seems we take it for granted that she's single-minded about destroying herself, when in reality, this decision is rarely easy for anyone.


To be fair, it's pretty rare for anyone to be trapped by their own trusted authority figures into an unending supernatural horror of constant pain that can only be ended by the complete and total eradication of the human race otherwise.

Quote:
Where does that place the Lady in White/God? I think these are transitional states for Alessa, "moments of clarity," where her personalities confront each other and she is able to take decisive action. Because of her religious upbringing, and of Dahlia's conviction that this is a religious event, the form it takes is of a divine figure, because it is a demonstration of autonomous power. As incubator, Alessa is the pristine vessel that was defiled by abuse, and as the incubus, she is the representation of abuse, the part of her self that suffered. In the bad endings, these two are never separated, and her only release is to be killed by Harry. In the good endings, she is allowed to separate herself from her suffering, allow that to be destroyed, and start over as a "new" person, i.e, Heather. In short, it's the decision whether to kill yourself to escape your pain, or to bury your pain in the past and move on, the dilemma that many victims of abuse have to face.


I can sorta dig this interpretation. It doesn't really help that the God plans to destroy the world in basically all of its incarnations, though.

And how does this interpretation mesh with the Alessa side of Heather still pursuing Suicide, or that the God is still growing with hatred and omnicidal tendencies?

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 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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The idea of god cleansing (or destroying) the world and setting aside the righteous few to exist in paradise is common in a lot of monotheistic religions, so it's not surprising that it's part of the cult's beliefs. I don't think it's necessarily the god's own will that seeks this destruction, it's the beliefs of Dahlia and Alessa and the rest projected onto the entity that they call "god." Even if Alessa is antagonistic toward this idea of god, her upbringing still causes her to believe in it, and place destructive attributes upon it.

Regarding Heather, while I say she is the most functional of the aspects of Alessa, that doesn't necessarily mean she's completely healthy. As her memories resurface, so do her emotional reactions to them. The difference with Heather is, rather than relying on Harry to destroy her or rescue her, she's grown into her own person and is able to save herself, as when she confronts the Memory of Alessa and wins.

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--Thomas Ligotti


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That's all an interesting way to look at it. I basically agree, in a sense there is "no god." The way I look at it, Silent Hill is essentially a place that manifests people's fears / desires. I think that "god" only exists in the first place because the cult believed in it. It was their image of a god, and that image was made real. But in reality it was just an abomination like all the monsters in town. After all, as Heather says in Silent Hill 3: "I guess it wasn't much of a god if it could be killed by a human being."

I think that once you force out and kill that abomination in the good endings, you're putting an end to what represents "the desires of the cult." This allows Alessa/Cheryl to feel like they can start over as Heather. Later on, Claudia will reawaken those "desires of the cult" with her own intense faith, and start the cycle over again.

This is a little different from what you're saying, but I don't think our viewpoints conflict at all.

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Basically, yeah, although from the perspective of externalising emotional trauma, I see Claudia's appearance as triggering the resurfacing of repressed memories due to shared experience.

It's implied that Claudia and Alessa had a very similar upbringing, and that Claudia was abused by Leonard much like Alessa was tormented by Dahlia. Alessa managed to partially escape as Cheryl, and fully escape as Heather, but Claudia didn't have that option; she stayed with the cult and became fully indoctrinated. She is an example of what Alessa could have been if she didn't move on with her own life.

So, in a way, Heather might never have completely dealt with her past and outgrown her childhood trauma if Claudia hadn't shown up and forced her to confront them.

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“The sinister, the terrible never deceive: the state in which they leave us is always one of enlightenment. And only this condition of vicious insight allows us a full grasp of the world, all things considered, just as a frigid melancholy grants us full possession of ourselves. We may hide from horror only in the heart of horror."
--Thomas Ligotti


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Confusion about the god (spoilers)
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Aug 2012
Notes left: 186
Oh, I like this discussion. But I think people are just over thinking it.

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"Good people should love their enemies" - Seu Madruga


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