Silent Hill Heaven
http://silenthillforum.com/

Canon or no?
http://silenthillforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=10765
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Author:  AuraTwilight [ 07 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

I have. I'm sorry, I fucked up, for a bit I got you and Cyrus confused.

Author:  SHF [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

As to whether Origins is canon or not, I think that some parts of it is, but others aren't.

Such as Alessa being ritually immolated in Dahlia's house is not aline with what really happened.

Origins makes it look like Alessa was intentionally burned for the ritual, but in Silent Hill, it is stated that it was an accident.. you even see Alessa ( teenager?) only partly burned in Silent Hill, but in origins she is entirely scorched... makes no sense..

Author:  The Adversary [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Stop listening to TwinStupid. Alessa was deliberately burned—the ritual uses fire—but the Order used its connections to falsify reports regarding the fire. The reports even claimed Alessa was killed, and we know she clearly wasn't.

Author:  AuraTwilight [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Don't listen to Adversary. That n00b doesn't believe that Alessa is a Frankenstein undead risen by Robot Dahlia.

Author:  SHF [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

At the end of Silent Hill, we see an older Alessa sit up in her bed.. she is partly covered in bandages, not burned to a crisp like in Origins... it doesn't make sense.

Can this be explained?

Author:  AuraTwilight [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

That's Alessa's astral projection. It's also Cheryl. Basically the one in the wheelchair is her body, pregnant with the God, and the other is Alessa's completed soul. Alessa's half and Cheryl's half reunited pretty much exactly at the car crash.

Author:  SHF [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Oh yeah you are right, I remember her true self being in the wheelchair at the end of the game now, thanks for correcting me.

Author:  Cyrus Hanley [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

AuraTwilight wrote:
Alright, so remind me again how the 'summoning ritual' is apparently a plothole, or why you brought it up in the first place? I'm confused now.

I thought it would make for an interesting discussion seed.

Cyrus Hanley wrote:
That retcon seems a lot more significant and context-altering than whether or not Alessa was immolated in the basement or the second floor of the Gillespie House.

Author:  mikefile [ 12 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

^ And would you mind planting some more seed on how you interpret the fact that it is a plothole as AuraTwilight previously asked (for the sake of the discussion, of course)?

Author:  The SH Champion [ 14 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

I don't like origins anymore. It messed up the beautiful plot that the first four so brillantly crafted.

Author:  AuraTwilight [ 14 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Hardly. Origins can at best be accused of not really contributing anything, but it doesn't really effect any of the original games in any meaningful way.

Author:  Kenji [ 16 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

I still find it kinda funny how Japanophilia demands we lump that abysmal fourth game in with the other three, just because it's Japanese. However, to say that it's connected to the other three, like there's some grand overarching plot or theme?

Author:  five5sixers [ 16 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Abyssmal's a pretty rough way to describe it. I'm still really surprised how utterly split down the line people still are about The Room and it was my favorite of the games for a really long time. Still one of my top tiers for story.

Author:  mikefile [ 16 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Yes, Origins doesn't really contribute to anything but to itself. And the Travis story is responsible for it. It's really interesting how the aspect of 'main protagonist' can be ambiguous in the case of Origins. It's hard to say whether it's about the first lines of Alessa's otherworld formation by using Travis' baggage or the developers really wanted to delimit Travis' story and Alessa was just a nice way to insert the mental development of a lil'ol' trucker. If James' story was put inside the context of Alessa's world, would it be considered as a standalone story or just an addition to Alessa's universe?
I believe that Alessa's plot is the formal facet of Origins as it contributes to the time, place, development and a punch line- formation of Alessa's Otherworld before the splitting and the real 7 years suffering. Travis's plot, even though a random circumstace, is more concentrated inside the game and draws more attention.

I see it as typical, traditional story: "This a stroy about a watch that saved a man's life"; the development of the man's life; ending: "And this is how a watch saved a human life."
Origins could go the same way: "This is the story of the first tract of a girl's otherworld and its formation."; develoment of a trucker's story (slahing, shooting, finding clues and killing monsters); ending: "And that is how the first formation of the girl's otherworld emerged".

Author:  Ryantology [ 16 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

xoxsnoof wrote:
Abyssmal's a pretty rough way to describe it. I'm still really surprised how utterly split down the line people still are about The Room and it was my favorite of the games for a really long time. Still one of my top tiers for story.


I wouldn't quite call it abysmal either because there's a good story at the core of the game. Unfortunately, that's really the only good thing about it. The gameplay is terrible and I hated how the bulk of the story was delivered through the files and documents. It felt like a violation of the cardinal rule of storytelling: show, don't tell. Why did we need Henry the uninvolved observer when we could have had the (much more interesting) story of Joseph Schreiber driving the plot?

Honestly, I feel the same way about Silent Hill 4 as I do about Final Fantasy VIII. The latter, to me, is a miserably uninteresting story populated with unlikable and uninteresting main characters set in a gameplay system that was dull, repetitive and broken. Underneath all that was the story of Laguna and his friends, who had far more attractive personalities and underwent trials which were far more interesting and really should have been the primary focus of the game.

Author:  mikefile [ 18 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Ryantology wrote:
The gameplay is terrible and I hated how the bulk of the story was delivered through the files and documents. It felt like a violation of the cardinal rule of storytelling: show, don't tell.

I find your statement somehow objectively incoherent. I really liked the medium that SH4 used to deliver the story. In practice, the narrative was brought to us throughout the whole game: little by little, we would find something new in Walter's world that would indicate some tracts of his mind. However, these tracts are insufficient inside of these worlds as the main purpose of Walter's kingdom is to lead Henry to various death occurances and to show him the reason behind the "why" of the ritual. However, we are not given enough information about the "origin" of the "why", that is, what lead Walter to act like this (except for the otherworld effects, of course, that manifest his delusions, even though he is not directly in control of it). So there was the character of Joseph that served the purpose of narrator of the story as Walter's kingdom was a bit "unwilling" to show us the the origins of Walter's life.
As to your statement about the 'cardinal rule'- I see it as a typical false prejudice, as much as it concerns Silent Hill. That same 'cardinal rule' philosophy was the one that made the series go down some wrong paths, such as Homecoming or e the film. History proves that the omission of some cardinal rules leads to some brightest moments of the series, such as Silent Hill 2 and Shattered Memories. SM also used the medium of voice messages, rather than staging story elements that would be fundamental to the plotline and became one of the greater hits after SH2. Did that also make you hate the delation of the bulk of the story?

Author:  Ryantology [ 18 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

The problem I have with the way the story is delivered in the fourth game is not that it utilizes memos as part of the storytelling process but that it relies on memos almost exclusively to tell the story. Silent Hill 2 uses memos and Shattered Memories uses text messages and voicemail but they are supplementary to the cutscenes and visual clues throughout the games. Silent Hill 4 made a cake entirely out of icing. Almost everything you learn about Walter and the 21 Sacraments comes by way of someone else's experience. That's lazy storytelling no matter what medium.

Author:  mikefile [ 19 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

OK, you say it's lazy storytelling. However, it's not by accident. What I'm trying to say is that there is no other way for you to learn something about Walter's life than outside his worlds.
The truth is that the story presentation aspect in SH4 is somehow different from the rest of the titles. How? Two main aspects coexist in the otherworld. The first one is the aspect of 'dream'- the world ruled by the subject that manifests an ideal place, a wish that it is used to control something. However, the true, and more known aspect of the traditional Otherworld is the aspect of 'nightmare'. Someone's dream turned into nightmare. It is the 'nightmare' aspect that permits us to uncover the truth of the subject's life, rather than the 'controlled' aspect.
In Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3 the otherworld is ruled by Alessa. But in the same time we have Dahlia and Claudia influencing it. Therefore, in SH1, even though Alessa wanted to control everything as much as she could by repudiating Harry away, Dahlia was there to aggravate her every move, thus reduce her control and aggrandize the nightmarish otherword that would eventually defeat the girl. In Silent Hill 2, the otherworld was rather controlled by nobody, as it regards the guilt machine system. In SH2, it is rather the town that equally controls each of the subject's otherworld. In Silent Hill Origins it is Alessa, again, the one that completely dominates the otherworld. Moreover, it is a perfect example of how you don't learn almost anything during the whole game (by analyzing Origins from a microcosmical approach) about the subject, and by subject I refer to Alessa. Silent Hill Homecoming illustrates a common otherworld, therefore, every aspect of every person's life is mostly described (this is the lazy storytelling if you ask me). As much as it regards Shattered Memories I must disagree with you. Rip the cellphone out of Harry's hand and I believe that, till the end of the game, you'll have absolutely no clue about what the fuck was going on the whole time.
And finally, there is Silent Hill 4. It is surely a common fact that SH4's otherworld is very different from the rest. It is also one of the reasons why it is considered the black sheep of the series. The biggest reason of why it differes itsef so much from the others is because of Walter's greater control over the world unlike Alessa, James, Travis and the SG community. In SH1 we've got Dahlia screwing up with Alessa, in SH2 there's the most intense power of the town, SH Origins presents Alessa, uncovering every single piece of Travis' psyche, etc... In SH4 there's no one else to screw up Walter's dream world than himself. It's even logical by the Book Scrap principle: "Through the Ritual of the Holy Assumption, he built a world. It exists in a space separate from the world of our Lord. (…) a world only he can control.” It's oblivous that in SH4, except the eternal fraction of the town's power, it is Walter the boss of his world. It is also why the "formal" name for SH4's otherworld is Walter's Kingdom, divided from Alessa's otherworld/otherside. Walter controls intensively his little Kingdom as there is no Caludia nor Dahlia to bust his balls. That's why we don't get much information inside the worlds, because Walter simply blocks it.
Even by Foucalt's suggestion his victims are “the object of information, never a subject in communication” . And that's why we need Joseph and his letters. Joseph is, in fact, the previously mentioned 'nightmarish' aspect of the otherworld that eats away Walter's dream and control. The otherworld's homework is to make Walter's delusions come to life. And how better could it do it than by sabotaging his plan with letters, sent to us by a previous, more experienced victim. This also why we need Henry, the uninvolved observer as you say, driving the plot.

PS. I apologize. I bypassed the topic "a bit".

Author:  Ryantology [ 19 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Are we even talking about the same thing? I got lost about a quarter of the way through that giant boulder of text. Would you mind breaking that down a little bit?

Author:  Kenji [ 19 Mar 2012 ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon or no?

Regarding "abysmal," I have two reasons for using that. The first is to drive home the likelihood that the series would've declined no matter which side of the ocean it was on. The Room, with all its faults, was a sign of things to come.

The second is 'cuz I seriously considered dropping Silent Hill after The Room (combined with Siren being so satisfying, in comparison). Of course, I didn't know that Siren 2 would never come to America (and that the series would end right there) or that Silent Hill would literally be the only game left in town for this kind of horror.

Thankfully, my sticking around seems to have been decently rewarded by Shattered Memories and maybe Downpour. They ain't SH1 or 2, but they sure as hell ain't The Room.

mikefile wrote:
OK, you say it's lazy storytelling. However, it's not by accident. What I'm trying to say is that there is no other way for you to learn something about Walter's life than outside his worlds.

I'm doomed to run into this fallacy forever, aren't I?

The story didn't descend from Heaven and force the developers to mold a gameplay experience around it. The story, presentation, and gameplay were all equally malleable from start to finish, and it was the (addled) decisionmaking of those involved that produced what we got in The Room.

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