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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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AuraTwilight wrote:
The doors are probably fucking indestructible.


No, that can't be true. Indestructible would never do that, he has higher standards than to sleep with a bunch of dirty doors!

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2006
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Fucking hell. I come back to this place after a break and I come back to find myself essentially where I left.

Tillerman - your entire argument seems to be 'It's a game! People's choices and replaying should come into account'. This is a bit of a weak argument, don't you think? For Harry it is first go or nothing, in his world if he dies he dies.

To say Team Silent thought of reply value affecting cannon is to ignore everything about what makes fiction work. We may guide Harry, and protect him, but in the important parts every decision Harry makes within the world is his and his alone. There is, for example, no way to tell Dahlia to go blow a fat one on a replay.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Lemex wrote:
Fucking hell. I come back to this place after a break and I come back to find myself essentially where I left.


Well, okay... first of all, you're not. There's only one piece of evidence that's really relevant to this discussion, but it's a VERY strong piece... the fact that in the guidebook, they call the Good ending the orthodox ending that Silent Hill 3 is based on. That's the only piece you need, and if it weren't for that other little contradictory quote it would be an open and shut case. And depending on how you interpret that other quote, it still is for a lot of people. So, if your goal was to establish that the Good ending was likely to be a canonical ending, it's very easy and very simple to argue that.

The other arguments about red liquid are nonsense. It's the result of someone examining a game far too closely and using creative thinking to justify a preconceived notion. And that's silly, because you don't even need to do that.

Lemex wrote:
Tillerman - your entire argument seems to be 'It's a game! People's choices and replaying should come into account'. This is a bit of a weak argument, don't you think? For Harry it is first go or nothing, in his world if he dies he dies.

To say Team Silent thought of reply value affecting cannon is to ignore everything about what makes fiction work.


This makes no sense, for a few reasons:

1. At the time they were making SH1, there was no "canon" to worry about. They didn't even know there would be a SH2. There were just trying to make a good game.
2. When they did get around to making SH2, it had nothing to do with SH1. This would seem to indicate that at this point, they were taking the tact of having each Silent Hill be it's own separate story. So if that's the case, they wouldn't be thinking about "canon."
3. IIRC, with SH3 they only decided to revisit SH1's storyline due to popular demand. It's very likely that this is the first time they ever thought about the series' "canon."

Team Silent didn't think about replay value "screwing up canon" because at the time, there was no canon to screw up, and there was no reason to think there would be. Try looking at it from their point of view: a developer who is just trying to make a good game.

Now answer this question honestly: Is the red liquid solution obscure because it's meant to be a clue to indicate canon? Or is it obscure to add replay value? Which is more likely?

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2006
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Tillerman wrote:
The other arguments about red liquid are nonsense. It's the result of someone examining a game far too closely and using creative thinking to justify a preconceived notion. And that's silly, because you don't even need to do that.


If you are referring to the idea that the red liquid wasn't used on Cybil Bennett then how is that line of thought 'nonsense'? I don't get it. That seems entirely logical to me for reasons gone over a few months ago. It's about character, and creating a convincing one. Now Harry Mason in SH1 may not exactly be Charles Darnay, but in the cut scenes he shows himself to be a character capable of realistic thought - even if it's only slightly realistic. Using the red liquid on Cybil is not realistic in his situation.


Quote:
1. At the time they were making SH1, there was no "canon" to worry about. They didn't even know there would be a SH2. There were just trying to make a good game.

This is irrelevant.

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2. When they did get around to making SH2, it had nothing to do with SH1. This would seem to indicate that at this point, they were taking the tact of having each Silent Hill be it's own separate story. So if that's the case, they wouldn't be thinking about "canon."

So is this.

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3. IIRC, with SH3 they only decided to revisit SH1's storyline due to popular demand. It's very likely that this is the first time they ever thought about the series' "canon."

So is this

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Team Silent didn't think about replay value "screwing up canon" because at the time, there was no canon to screw up, and there was no reason to think there would be. Try looking at it from their point of view: a developer who is just trying to make a good game.


I would have agreed until they started forming a canon that they built from SH1; and then they seemed to pick the most logical ending for the canon which is the Good ending. Even though, this may not be the real reason they did it, it could just be that they couldn't get Cybil's voice actor back, but it doesn't matter. If you replay it and die in the school, or get one of the Bad ends, or UFO ending, that still doesn't change the fact that SH3 exists and that Cybil is strangely absent. And it still doesn't change the fact that Good is the most logical.

You might have missed this from my last post: 'We may guide Harry, and protect him, but in the important parts every decision Harry makes within the world is his and his alone. There is, for example, no way to tell Dahlia to go blow a fat one on a replay.'

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Now answer this question honestly: Is the red liquid solution obscure because it's meant to be a clue to indicate canon? Or is it obscure to add replay value? Which is more likely?


What a meaningless question. But to answer, it seems to be replay value, because everyone loves a nice happy ending. This however, does not mean that for Harry there are replays. Otherwise, how many times in real life have you died and just pressed a metaphysical 'replay' button.

Besides, why have more than one ending if they didn't know they where going to make a equal? Seriously? What non-DLC, direct sequels have been made for Fallout 3?

Now I know you'll say 'But it's a game!' but for Harry it isn't. Just like Charles Darnay can't just suddenly decide to stop being a character, and stop having his character in the middle of A Tale of Two Cities.


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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Quote:
The other arguments about red liquid are nonsense. It's the result of someone examining a game far too closely and using creative thinking to justify a preconceived notion. And that's silly, because you don't even need to do that.


I don't, and I shouldn't, because this thread is about which ending is canon and gameplay mechanics have absolutely nothing to do with that subject of which ending is canon. What is important is that it's not a solution Harry can figure out by following clues, and it's about as far from intuitive as one could possibly get, both for the character in-universe and the player.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Lemex wrote:
I would have agreed until they started forming a canon that they built from SH1; and then they seemed to pick the most logical ending for the canon which is the Good ending. Even though, this may not be the real reason they did it, it could just be that they couldn't get Cybil's voice actor back, but it doesn't matter. If you replay it and die in the school, or get one of the Bad ends, or UFO ending, that still doesn't change the fact that SH3 exists and that Cybil is strangely absent. And it still doesn't change the fact that Good is the most logical.


What's "logical" is irrelevant. I don't think you've been reading my posts very closely, so let me go back and re-explain this. I believe "canon" only has meaning when it is determined by the author. Therefore, it is defined as whatever they say it is, without regards to logic. For example, if they decided that the UFO ending is canon, then it would be canon, logic be damned.

So to look at one moment of a branching story and say "well, this moment doesn't seem very logical to me, so I'm going to decide that it's excluded from canon," is pointless. You don't get to decide what is canon, it's the author's story and IMO their right to decide.

Lemex wrote:
You might have missed this from my last post: 'We may guide Harry, and protect him, but in the important parts every decision Harry makes within the world is his and his alone. There is, for example, no way to tell Dahlia to go blow a fat one on a replay.'


I find this idea very confusing. You're saying that every decision Harry makes is his alone? So when he decides to investigate Indian Runner or just to run straight to the lighthouse, that was his decision? Not my decision as the player? That doesn't make any sense. What exactly are you trying to say here?

Lemex wrote:
Quote:
Now answer this question honestly: Is the red liquid solution obscure because it's meant to be a clue to indicate canon? Or is it obscure to add replay value? Which is more likely?


What a meaningless question. But to answer, it seems to be replay value, because everyone loves a nice happy ending. This however, does not mean that for Harry there are replays.


That's completely irrelevant. The question has nothing to do with a fictional character... it's a question about the developer's intentions. If you're saying that you believe that the developers *did not* intend for the red liquid puzzle to be a clue towards the canonicity of the ending, then you're agreeing with me that the red liquid puzzle sheds no light on thier intentions as to what's canon.

As I said before, I believe that canon is determined by the authors. In trying to find out what is canon, you're trying to find out the author's intention. If the red liquid puzzle sheds no light on this, then it's irrelevant. Pure and simple.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't, and I shouldn't, because this thread is about which ending is canon and gameplay mechanics have absolutely nothing to do with that subject of which ending is canon. What is important is that it's not a solution Harry can figure out by following clues, and it's about as far from intuitive as one could possibly get, both for the character in-universe and the player.


I still don't get why you think that's important. It seems to me that it doesn't matter whether it's intuitive or not... that fact sheds no light on the author's intentions whatsoever, in which case it has no importance. So I really can't follow your thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Quote:
I still don't get why you think that's important. It seems to me that it doesn't matter whether it's intuitive or not... that fact sheds no light on the author's intentions whatsoever, in which case it has no importance. So I really can't follow your thinking.


If I create a scenario and design it such that it has no practical chance of occurring naturally, that, to me, is a shout of intent: I have made this outcome possible, technically, but it is not the one I intend to be correct. If I wanted it to be correct, I would have either allowed the narrative to account for the alternate outcome, which would have been as simple as including just one clue suggesting it should happen, or I would have just forced that outcome by not making it optional.

That's my take as a writer. I have no doubt this is why it was decided not to follow Good+ when writing Silent Hill 3. To base future narratives on an outcome so sketchy would have been bad writing.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2006
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What's "logical" is irrelevant.

What!

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I don't think you've been reading my posts very closely

Not a dig or anything, but surely your job is to make your points explicit, not relying on flowery interpretation because you are making an arguement?

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so let me go back and re-explain this. I believe "canon" only has meaning when it is determined by the author. Therefore, it is defined as whatever they say it is, without regards to logic. For example, if they decided that the UFO ending is canon, then it would be canon, logic be damned.

So to look at one moment of a branching story and say "well, this moment doesn't seem very logical to me, so I'm going to decide that it's excluded from canon," is pointless. You don't get to decide what is canon, it's the author's story and IMO their right to decide.


But we know the canon, because of facts which point to Good. I don't see what you are trying to say here, besides 'We shouldn't talk about this, in obvious ambiguity in fiction we just have to shut up and accept it'.

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I find this idea very confusing. You're saying that every decision Harry makes is his alone? So when he decides to investigate Indian Runner or just to run straight to the lighthouse, that was his decision? Not my decision as the player? That doesn't make any sense. What exactly are you trying to say here?


I'm pointing out that in the game cut scenes Harry is shown to be rational - or at least capable of realistic thought, so his actions outside of cut scenes must logically reflect this when otherwise we take over to protect and guide the guy. Because it's a game. We know that, for whatever reason, Harry went into Indian Runner during the story of the game because you can't get anything more than a Bad ending without doing so.

Quote:
That's completely irrelevant. The question has nothing to do with a fictional character... it's a question about the developer's intentions. If you're saying that you believe that the developers *did not* intend for the red liquid puzzle to be a clue towards the canonicity of the ending, then you're agreeing with me that the red liquid puzzle sheds no light on thier intentions as to what's canon.


I don't see how this alone is relevant, we need to look at the things that are relevant: Cybil's absence from SH3 the huge trouble she would have had after SH1 if she survived - this has all been discussed.

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As I said before, I believe that canon is determined by the authors. In trying to find out what is canon, you're trying to find out the author's intention. If the red liquid puzzle sheds no light on this, then it's irrelevant. Pure and simple.


So any and all discussion on this is pointless and we can just stop? Try saying that to David Lynch.

Quote:
To base future narratives on an outcome so sketchy would have been bad writing.


Agreed.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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Ryantology wrote:
If I create a scenario and design it such that it has no practical chance of occurring naturally, that, to me, is a shout of intent: I have made this outcome possible, technically, but it is not the one I intend to be correct. If I wanted it to be correct, I would have either allowed the narrative to account for the alternate outcome, which would have been as simple as including just one clue suggesting it should happen, or I would have just forced that outcome by not making it optional.

That's my take as a writer. I have no doubt this is why it was decided not to follow Good+ when writing Silent Hill 3. To base future narratives on an outcome so sketchy would have been bad writing.


You really think so? Yeah, I tend to disagree. Personally, I would wager that they didn't even notice the part you call "bad writing." Rather, I think it's far more likely that Cybil doesn't appear for one of these reasons:

1. Story economy, they couldn't think of anything useful for her character to do in the story.
2. They decided to go with Douglas, a new character, rather than re-use an old one, and Douglas basically fits the role Cybil would have played.
3. Even if they'd just included her as a corpse in Harry's apartment, that would have required too much explanation (since you're technically not even supposed to know that the father is Harry until this moment) and they wanted the player just to focus on Harry's death.

I could be wrong, but I'm a writer myself, and those are my guesses as to why Cybil isn't used in SH3. Of course, we can't say for sure without going into the developer's heads.

And anyway, by creating Silent Hill you've already created a scenario that has no practical chance of occuring naturally. Harry's been set up as a normal guy. He shouldn't have the stamina to make it past all those monsters, regardless of whether he's fighting his way or running past them. He's not ex-military nor is he an ex-football player, so neither is realistic. Either way it's another flaw in the writing, if we don't excuse it as simply being part of game design.

Lemex wrote:
Not a dig or anything, but surely your job is to make your points explicit, not relying on flowery interpretation because you are making an arguement?


No, you're right. That's a fair point. But you know how it is in web discussions like this with multiple people, sometimes you forget which points have been explained already. I don't actually expect you to read all my previous posts carefully, there's a lot of them after all.

Lemex wrote:
I'm pointing out that in the game cut scenes Harry is shown to be rational - or at least capable of realistic thought,


Yes, but how does Harry's rationality reveal anything about the creator's intentions? Is that in itself some sort of clue?

Lemex wrote:
So any and all discussion on this is pointless and we can just stop? Try saying that to David Lynch.


Well when you invoke the name of my hero David Lynch, you're just gonna get me to like you more!

But no, that's not what I'm saying. Of course you can discuss it. But just keep in mind what you're discussing... Cybil is not a real woman. Her corpse is not out there, no matter how much you investigate you can't find it. What we're talking about right now is "canon," so we're talking about what was the author's intent when writing this story. Investigate it in that proper light. Anything in the games could potentially be a clue as to what their intent was, it all depends on your interpretation.

So Lemex, is the red liquid a clue as to the author's intent? For the record, Ryantology believes it was, which is what I'm discussing with him right now. He believes they would have recognized it as a writing flaw. I don't agree with him, but at least he's taking a valid position. IMO, it never would have even occured to them that the red liquid puzzle was a "writing flaw," rather I think they simply saw it is a game element and made the solution obscure to add replay value to the game. If that is the case, then it has zero relevance to what's canon. Now, that's just my opinion. What's your opinion on the matter?

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Quote:
Yeah, I tend to disagree.


You certainly do! :mrgreen:

Quote:
Personally, I would wager that they didn't even notice the part you call "bad writing." Rather, I think it's far more likely that Cybil doesn't appear for one of these reasons:

1. Story economy, they couldn't think of anything useful for her character to do in the story.
2. They decided to go with Douglas, a new character, rather than re-use an old one, and Douglas basically fits the role Cybil would have played.
3. Even if they'd just included her as a corpse in Harry's apartment, that would have required too much explanation (since you're technically not even supposed to know that the father is Harry until this moment) and they wanted the player just to focus on Harry's death.

I could be wrong, but I'm a writer myself, and those are my guesses as to why Cybil isn't used in SH3. Of course, we can't say for sure without going into the developer's heads.


All of that is beside the point. If they used Good+ as the jumping point, they would have to explain the logic behind how Cybil was saved (since the first game itself provides none), and it would have had to involve either the dreaded deus ex machina such as how the novelization justifies it, or an outright retcon. Or, I guess, they could have just ignored the discrepancy, which would have been sloppier. Going with the Good ending presents no such difficulties. It is the path of least resistance.

Quote:
And anyway, by creating Silent Hill you've already created a scenario that has no practical chance of occuring naturally. Harry's been set up as a normal guy. He shouldn't have the stamina to make it past all those monsters, regardless of whether he's fighting his way or running past them. He's not ex-military nor is he an ex-football player, so neither is realistic. Either way it's another flaw in the writing, if we don't excuse it as simply being part of game design.


How is it a flaw in the writing? The number of monsters seen in the game is in no way important to the story. Some time back I pointed out that my novelization drastically reduced the number of monster encounters for the sake of flow. When Silent Hill became a movie, the writers did exactly the same thing; Rose engages in nowhere near as many individual monster encounters as any character does in the game. The number of monsters in the game is high precisely because it is a game, and as such can be entirely disregarded when discussing the story.

Quote:
I think they simply saw it is a game element and made the solution obscure to add replay value to the game.


I can't imagine the obscurity of the solution has anything to do with replay value. If you encounter Cybil and there's a bright neon sign reading "USE THE RED STUFF HERE STUPID", you'd get the Good+ ending and then the replay value would be "what happens if I ignore the sign and kill her anyway?". You'd still have the same number of endings.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2006
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Tillerman wrote:
No, you're right. That's a fair point. But you know how it is in web discussions like this with multiple people, sometimes you forget which points have been explained already. I don't actually expect you to read all my previous posts carefully, there's a lot of them after all.


Oohh, I feel the burn. :) But anyway, I did read the earlier posts, but I guess I didn't read them with the care I am reading current replies. So that is, I guess, another fair point.

Quote:
Yes, but how does Harry's rationality reveal anything about the creator's intentions? Is that in itself some sort of clue?


Of course it is. That's like saying 'Does Macbeth being a bit of a pushover have anything to do with the overall plot?'. Why? Because it's about character motivations for their actions. Even without SH3, the most valid and logical outcome would still have been the Good ending.

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Well when you invoke the name of my hero David Lynch, you're just gonna get me to like you more!


Well, if your hero is David Lynch then you are a friend of mine.

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But no, that's not what I'm saying. Of course you can discuss it. But just keep in mind what you're discussing... Cybil is not a real woman. Her corpse is not out there, no matter how much you investigate you can't find it. What we're talking about right now is "canon," so we're talking about what was the author's intent when writing this story. Investigate it in that proper light. Anything in the games could potentially be a clue as to what their intent was, it all depends on your interpretation.


Of course Cybil isn't real - of course Silent Hill isn't real, but that still leaves us with a story created by humans, who can reason. And they can reason a way to build a canon, which they clearly did. What is being argued here is that, regardless of their initial intention, we have a sequel which doesn't feature a character from the original story for whatever reason. And since there is no full, official answer then there is no reason not to rationalize and use logic to determine what happened to that character given the diverging circumstances she is presented in toward the end.

There is everything to support Good being the canonical ending, nothing to support Good+; nothing to even suggest it beyond it being a feature of the game, and this, as others have shown, is faulty.

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So Lemex, is the red liquid a clue as to the author's intent? For the record, Ryantology believes it was, which is what I'm discussing with him right now. He believes they would have recognized it as a writing flaw. I don't agree with him, but at least he's taking a valid position. IMO, it never would have even occured to them that the red liquid puzzle was a "writing flaw," rather I think they simply saw it is a game element and made the solution obscure to add replay value to the game. If that is the case, then it has zero relevance to what's canon. Now, that's just my opinion. What's your opinion on the matter?

I don't see it as the author's intent, personally; because it's just too obscure, and the game could function without it. Contrary to what I wrote before I don't think it's really replay value either unless they thought about people using the internet to find out about what the heck you use the red liquid for, and then that information is coming from outside sources that Harry himself isn't privy too (Ryantology argued this one pretty well) but it being more of a feature, like the UFO crystal and the bad endings. Besides, with this paragraph are you not misrepresenting his position?

And here the conversation is not reaaly about what is canon anymore, it's a conversation about a game feature. I don't see the point personally because a story is a story, regardless of medium.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Ryantology wrote:
Quote:
Yeah, I tend to disagree.


You certainly do!


Yeah, I'm stubborn when I'm sure I'm right. Probably too stubborn.

Ryantology wrote:
All of that is beside the point. If they used Good+ as the jumping point, they would have to explain the logic behind how Cybil was saved (since the first game itself provides none),


Yeah, but I don't think anyone's saying that they used Good+ as the jumping point. I think the two major possibilities are:

1. Is the Good ending the jumping point?
2. Is it meant to be ambiguous?

Ryantology wrote:
Going with the Good ending presents no such difficulties. It is the path of least resistance.


I agree with you here. From a writing standpoint there's a whole bunch of good reasons to not have Cybil in SH3.

Ryantology wrote:
The number of monsters in the game is high precisely because it is a game, and as such can be entirely disregarded when discussing the story.


Now you're sounding like me. You can either analyze the entire game as a narrative, or you can excuse the elements that are there for the purposes of game design. You can't have it both ways.

Ryantology wrote:
I can't imagine the obscurity of the solution has anything to do with replay value. If you encounter Cybil and there's a bright neon sign reading "USE THE RED STUFF HERE STUPID", you'd get the Good+ ending and then the replay value would be "what happens if I ignore the sign and kill her anyway?". You'd still have the same number of endings.


I think you're missing the point. The point of having obscure things in games is precisely so that the player won't be able to find everything the first time through. The idea is that the player will find out about it later, either from a strategy guide or talking to their friends, and say "oh I never knew that was in the game, cool!" Or maybe they'll find it themselves after playing the game multiple times and trying everything... if the game's good enough people will want to do that, and lord knows practically every inch of Silent Hill has been combed over and revealed at this point. Anyway, this is not an uncommon phenomenon in game design, there's a lot of games with obscure secrets.

Lemex wrote:
Oohh, I feel the burn. :) But anyway, I did read the earlier posts, but I guess I didn't read them with the care I am reading current replies. So that is, I guess, another fair point.


No no, don't get me wrong. It wasn't meant to be a burn at all. There's no point in me attacking you, I don't like to turn discussions into arguments because then the already slim chance that you'll see my point of view will drop to zero. I'm actually serious when I say that I don't expect you to read all my posts carefully, I think it's discourteous of me to demand that you research this entire thread, when I could easily just tell you what I said. So if there's anything else you need to be updated on from our lengthy, twisty conversation I'll be happy to do it.

Lemex wrote:
Of course it is. That's like saying 'Does Macbeth being a bit of a pushover have anything to do with the overall plot?'. Why? Because it's about character motivations for their actions. Even without SH3, the most valid and logical outcome would still have been the Good ending.


I dunno about that... I think if we put SH3 aside, the most logical outcome is easily the bad ending.

Lemex wrote:
Well, if your hero is David Lynch then you are a friend of mine.


If it weren't for him some of my favorite games wouldn't exist, including Silent Hill and Deadly Premonition.

Lemex wrote:
Of course Cybil isn't real - of course Silent Hill isn't real, but that still leaves us with a story created by humans, who can reason. And they can reason a way to build a canon, which they clearly did. What is being argued here is that, regardless of their initial intention, we have a sequel which doesn't feature a character from the original story for whatever reason. And since there is no full, official answer then there is no reason not to rationalize and use logic to determine what happened to that character given the diverging circumstances she is presented in toward the end.


Well I agree, but I think the logic we should be using is to determine the author's intentions. When you talk about the red liquid puzzle, I think the question we need to ask is: why is it obscure? If it's obscure because of replay value, that's a game design reason. Then we shouldn't use it to evaluate the story. On the other hand if it's obscure because it's meant to be a clue to what's canon, then you have a point.

But when evaluating this, we have to keep in mind that this was decided when they actually made the game. So we need to discount SH3 for this question.

Lemex wrote:
I don't see it as the author's intent, personally; because it's just too obscure, and the game could function without it. Contrary to what I wrote before I don't think it's really replay value either unless they thought about people using the internet to find out about what the heck you use the red liquid for,


They may have. Or maybe they thought people would hear about it from friends. Even though it's obscure, if you play through the game enough I think it's the kind of thing you'll eventually find. After all, it's easy enough to find that red liquid, and people are obsessed with any item in a videogame that seems important but doesn't seem to have a use.

Lemex wrote:
Besides, with this paragraph are you not misrepresenting his position?


I honestly don't think so, but if I am I would certainly like him to correct me. Anyway, I only summed up his position for your convenience, take with a grain of salt as it came from me and not him.

Lemex wrote:
And here the conversation is not reaaly about what is canon anymore, it's a conversation about a game feature. I don't see the point personally because a story is a story, regardless of medium.


But since we're talking about a story inside a video game, the two can't be so easily separated. The gameplay influences how the story plays out, and vice versa... that's just a undisputable fact. There are certain things you can analyze as pure story elements, such as video and cutscenes... but anytime something happens as a part of the game, you have to face the fact that it exists in two different mediums simulteneously. To try to seperate them out and analyze it as only a piece of narrative, or only a piece of gameplay, is simply wrong.

I'll give you a simple test. When analyzing the red liquid puzzle solution, you have to ask yourself... does this exist for story reasons? Or for gameplay reasons? If you answer yes to one of those questions, then you can't discount that element in your analysis. If you answers yes to both, then you can't discount either element. The answer to both those questions is clearly a big YES.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

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I dunno about that... I think if we put SH3 aside, the most logical outcome is easily the bad ending.


Haha. You are right. My mistake.

Quote:
Well I agree, but I think the logic we should be using is to determine the author's intentions. When you talk about the red liquid puzzle, I think the question we need to ask is: why is it obscure? If it's obscure because of replay value, that's a game design reason. Then we shouldn't use it to evaluate the story. On the other hand if it's obscure because it's meant to be a clue to what's canon, then you have a point.


As Ryan points out, it's still too obscure on a replay, so this makes little sense; unless the developers thought players would use FHQs, but there is no way of actually knowing this

Quote:
But when evaluating this, we have to keep in mind that this was decided when they actually made the game. So we need to discount SH3 for this question.

Not really, because SH3 exists it's vital. As you yourself pointed out, the best ending for SH1 without SH3 would maybe be a bad ending. I'm speaking from prejudice to be honest, Bad+ is the first ending I got.


Quote:
They may have. Or maybe they thought people would hear about it from friends. Even though it's obscure, if you play through the game enough I think it's the kind of thing you'll eventually find. After all, it's easy enough to find that red liquid, and people are obsessed with any item in a videogame that seems important but doesn't seem to have a use.


Maybe after multiple playthroughs this would be true, but this still doesn't address the fact that for Harry, on whatever playthrough you are on, the game is a life or death situation.

Quote:
But since we're talking about a story inside a video game, the two can't be so easily separated. The gameplay influences how the story plays out, and vice versa... that's just a undisputable fact. There are certain things you can analyze as pure story elements, such as video and cutscenes... but anytime something happens as a part of the game, you have to face the fact that it exists in two different mediums simulteneously. To try to seperate them out and analyze it as only a piece of narrative, or only a piece of gameplay, is simply wrong.


Yes, but there is a a divergence (I will not use the word ambiguity) in the story, not in the game play.

Quote:
I'll give you a simple test. When analyzing the red liquid puzzle solution, you have to ask yourself... does this exist for story reasons? Or for gameplay reasons? If you answer yes to one of those questions, then you can't discount that element in your analysis. If you answers yes to both, then you can't discount either element. The answer to both those questions is clearly a big YES.


My answer is oddly No to both. Maybe related to the story, but not a vital part of it anyway. I suppose I should explain myself: When I first played the game I was 9 and I didn't even notice the liquid. When I played it again a few years later I got the red liquid and thought almost nothing of it. I knew I didn't need it in the Hospital part, but since I got it in the Hospital I thought it was used there for something; so I thought little of it past the Hospital, presuming I'd just missed a small feature. Like the video tape, I thought it would just introduce another small bit of back story.


Last edited by Lemex on 17 Jan 2012, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Tillerman wrote:
Yeah, but I don't think anyone's saying that they used Good+ as the jumping point. I think the two major possibilities are:

1. Is the Good ending the jumping point?
2. Is it meant to be ambiguous?


I don't know how we got this far off course, but whether or not Good+ is the jumping point is precisely at the root of this thread.

Tillerman wrote:
Now you're sounding like me. You can either analyze the entire game as a narrative, or you can excuse the elements that are there for the purposes of game design. You can't have it both ways.


Why can't I?

The difference between my assertions and yours is that the number of monsters really does have nothing to do with the story. If there are six monsters or six hundred, it is irrelevant to the narrative. Thus, that's the sort of thing which can be ignored.

The red liquid is not merely a gameplay mechanic. The outcome of the entire game changes significantly depending on whether or not it is used at a particular point. A character's life depends on it. The narrative has only four branches and this decides half of them. The number of monsters, the ammo, the health drinks exist only as gameplay features. Aerith dies a hundred times throughout Final Fantasy VII in random battles and you can use a Phoenix Down or a Life spell to revive her, but when the narrative kills her off, it's permanent. The red liquid is of vital importance to the narrative. In fact, its primary purpose in the game is to determine the ending. The only effect it has on gameplay is that it lets you skip a single boss fight.

You can excuse elements that are purely for gameplay purposes. You incorrectly assert that the red liquid is one of these elements.

Tillerman wrote:
I think you're missing the point. The point of having obscure things in games is precisely so that the player won't be able to find everything the first time through. The idea is that the player will find out about it later, either from a strategy guide or talking to their friends, and say "oh I never knew that was in the game, cool!" Or maybe they'll find it themselves after playing the game multiple times and trying everything... if the game's good enough people will want to do that, and lord knows practically every inch of Silent Hill has been combed over and revealed at this point. Anyway, this is not an uncommon phenomenon in game design, there's a lot of games with obscure secrets.


I don't see how my scenario doesn't exactly fit in with what you just said. All I did was switch around the obscurity of the two results--if saving Cybil is the obvious solution, on a replay you might be curious and try killing her to see if anything changes. You have to play the game at least five times to see every ending anyway. Two of those endings are obscure because the solution for the Plus endings only make sense after viewing the Good ending.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Lemex wrote:
As Ryan points out, it's still too obscure on a replay, so this makes little sense; unless the developers thought players would use FHQs, but there is no way of actually knowing this


As obscure as the good ending is to find, the UFO ending is even more obscure. Even just getting the good ending itself is not easy without an FAQ, I certainly got a bad ending my first time through, and I'm sure many others did. And think about how hard it is to find some of those bonus weapons, even with an FAQ it's difficult to unlock the Katana. The point is, the SH1 developers seemed to have a penchant for hiding things in the game. IMO, that's actually one of the coolest things about it.

Lemex wrote:
Not really, because SH3 exists it's vital.


Don't misunderstand me. Sure, it's important to the overall question of what is canon. But in this particular case of the red liquid, it's irrelevant. Again, the question we are dealing with is this: why did the developers make the red liquid puzzle obscure? There's a reason for it, and that reason was decided long before SH3 ever came out. And it's not like they were planning to make SH3 all along, either.

Lemex wrote:
Quote:
I'll give you a simple test. When analyzing the red liquid puzzle solution, you have to ask yourself... does this exist for story reasons? Or for gameplay reasons?


My answer is oddly No to both. Maybe related to the story, but not a vital part of it anyway. I suppose I should explain myself: When I first played the game I was 9 and I didn't even notice the liquid. When I played it again a few years later I got the red liquid and thought almost nothing of it. I knew I didn't need it in the Hospital part, but since I got it in the Hospital I thought it was used there for something; so I thought little of it past the Hospital, presuming I'd just missed a small feature. Like the video tape, I thought it would just introduce another small bit of back story.


Well, that is odd... sorry, I'm having a little trouble following you here. Putting aside story for now, how can you possibly say that there are no gameplay reasons for the red liquid puzzle to exist? It is the gateway to two branching endings... so it obviously serves a purpose relating to the game.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't know how we got this far off course, but whether or not Good+ is the jumping point is precisely at the root of this thread.


Oh, perhaps you're right. Well on that much, we agree. I'm not saying it's proven to *not* be the jumping point... but I think we can all agree that there's no evidence supporting it as the *only* jumping point.

Ryantology wrote:
Quote:
Now you're sounding like me. You can either analyze the entire game as a narrative, or you can excuse the elements that are there for the purposes of game design. You can't have it both ways.


Why can't I?

The difference between my assertions and yours is that the number of monsters really does have nothing to do with the story. If there are six monsters or six hundred, it is irrelevant to the narrative. Thus, that's the sort of thing which can be ignored.


Yeah, this is where we disagree. You're saying that if certain gameplay sections are "important to the narrative," that means we can analyze them under a different set of rules. Whereas, I think that you need to choose one set of rules for the entire game, and be consistent with how you apply them.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2006
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As obscure as the good ending is to find, the UFO ending is even more obscure. Even just getting the good ending itself is not easy without an FAQ, I certainly got a bad ending my first time through, and I'm sure many others did. And think about how hard it is to find some of those bonus weapons, even with an FAQ it's difficult to unlock the Katana. The point is, the SH1 developers seemed to have a penchant for hiding things in the game. IMO, that's actually one of the coolest things about it.


And those things, you'll notice, do not affect the story. ;)

Quote:
Don't misunderstand me. Sure, it's important to the overall question of what is canon. But in this particular case of the red liquid, it's irrelevant. Again, the question we are dealing with is this: why did the developers make the red liquid puzzle obscure? There's a reason for it, and that reason was decided long before SH3 ever came out. And it's not like they were planning to make SH3 all along, either.


Since this is a conversation about the canon, there is no good reason why the red liquid would be so obscure; Indian Runner may be obscure, but since SH3 exists we know Harry went inside. But because it is a part of the game, we can at least assume that Team Silent wanted there to be a number of endings. Since I don't know, and can't ask the former Team Silent I wouldn't like to hazard a guess to be honest. But since a canon was later built, and we know - or at least can safely assume that Good is the ending the canon is built on. I don't see why you are bringing this up to be honest.

Quote:
Well, that is odd... sorry, I'm having a little trouble following you here. Putting aside story for now, how can you possibly say that there are no gameplay reasons for the red liquid puzzle to exist? It is the gateway to two branching endings... so it obviously serves a purpose relating to the game.


Yes. but when I first played it getting the Red Liquid I had no clue of it's use. At all, and I quickly forgot about it after the hospital, but briefly remembered in in Nowhere (the video tape made me think of it to be honest), and tested it on a few things but nothing worked, and I didn't know at the time that when I was in Nowhere it was already too late. I just assumed it was something small, a bit of back story that I missed, just like the tape, since it wasn't vital to the two endings I first got: 'Good' and 'Bad+'. I didn't even make the connection between the Red Liquid and Bad and Good+ because I don't have psychic powers. I didn't know how to get the Bad ending (which I presumed existed) but I didn't link it to the Red Liquid in any way; and I can't remember even being aware of Good+.

That's why I said No to both. Not strictly story, because the story works without it, and Not strictly game play either because it's just too darn obscure.


Last edited by Lemex on 19 Jan 2012, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Yeah, this is where we disagree. You're saying that if certain gameplay sections are "important to the narrative," that means we can analyze them under a different set of rules. Whereas, I think that you need to choose one set of rules for the entire game, and be consistent with how you apply them.


Videogames are unique because they are interactive, and certain aspects have to be tailored to satisfy interactivity. The term on TVTropes is Gameplay and Story segregation. Any game which places emphasis on both gameplay and story must separate the two elements at times. Otherwise, any attempt to establish logic in a game's story is almost certainly going to be a failure if you have to account for all the illogical things a player can do... unless the game takes great pains to craft its gameplay elements in such a manner that they present no logical contradictions. Silent Hill, with its hundreds of monsters, characters carrying a dozen weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammo, and supplies scattered randomly and without explanation, does not bother to do this. It clearly keeps most of its gameplay elements separate from the story.

When it comes to movies or books or such, it is quite necessary to analyze in the way you describe. Interactivity, however, tends makes such a method of analysis fundamentally useless. It would lead to crazy things like forcing you to rationalize characters running around in circles and grinding levels or item drops when analyzing an RPG. Grinding is an important gameplay feature in many RPGs but I can't think of a single one which attempts to explain it as an in-universe phenomenon.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Lemex wrote:
And those things, you'll notice, do not affect the story. ;)


Right, but that doesn't matter. The question is not whether any given scene "affects the story," it's "why does this exist: for story reasons or for gameplay reasons?" If it's only for story reasons, then it's okay to examine it as just a piece of a narrative. If it's only for gameplay reasons, then it's okay to look at it as just a piece of game design. However, if it's seems to be for both types of reasons, then you can't ignore either of those things in your analysis.

Lemex wrote:
That's why I said No to both. Not strictly story, because the story works without it, and Not strictly game play either because it's just too darn obscure.


Exactly. No one can say it's "strictly" story or gameplay... and that's my point. It's both.

Ryantology wrote:
When it comes to movies or books or such, it is quite necessary to analyze in the way you describe. Interactivity, however, tends makes such a method of analysis fundamentally useless. It would lead to crazy things like forcing you to rationalize characters running around in circles and grinding levels or item drops when analyzing an RPG. Grinding is an important gameplay feature in many RPGs but I can't think of a single one which attempts to explain it as an in-universe phenomenon.


You're exactly right. And that's exactly the reason why you shouldn't read too much into the red liquid puzzle. It exists for gameplay reasons. When you ignore that and try to analyze it as simply a piece of narrative, you come to silly conclusions in exactly the same way as trying to rationalize a character running around in circles grinding.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?

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Tillerman wrote:
Right, but that doesn't matter. The question is not whether any given scene "affects the story," it's "why does this exist: for story reasons or for gameplay reasons?" If it's only for story reasons, then it's okay to examine it as just a piece of a narrative. If it's only for gameplay reasons, then it's okay to look at it as just a piece of game design. However, if it's seems to be for both types of reasons, then you can't ignore either of those things in your analysis.


I don't ignore it, don't get me wrong. I just don't take it into account when I consider what the game points to in terms of story. Regardless of why it exists, because the canon works without it and points to its non-use being canon. Because the canon is what is being discussed here (that's the nature of the thread) I don't see how you can say the Red Liquid about the story since it works without the Red Liquid, and neither (really) about gameplay, because of it's obscurity.

So like I say: I don't ignore it but I also don't see how it's really relevant.

Quote:
Exactly. No one can say it's "strictly" story or gameplay... and that's my point. It's both.


So it's both and neither?

I'm sorry, what is your ultimate point? Are you still disputing the proposition that Good is the only possible ending? I honestly can't work out what you are arguing right now.


Last edited by Lemex on 19 Jan 2012, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So which ending is canon?
     
         
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Tillerman wrote:
You're exactly right. And that's exactly the reason why you shouldn't read too much into the red liquid puzzle. It exists for gameplay reasons. When you ignore that and try to analyze it as simply a piece of narrative, you come to silly conclusions in exactly the same way as trying to rationalize a character running around in circles grinding.


But, I'm not ignoring its application as a gameplay device.

In a story sense, Harry will never know he can save Cybil with the liquid. In a gameplay sense, a person playing blind, which is the intention, will be just as ignorant as Harry.

I think you want me to admit that it has more to do than with just the story. I've never argued otherwise, but I don't see why that's relevant and why we're still talking about it.

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