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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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Climax's writers consciously contradicted what is written in Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition.

Oh...So they knew they were going against the original story and they thought that was a good idea? Why? I've always disliked SHO mainly because the nightmare world's existence in the game and how the mirrors are used to pass between the "real" and nightmare worlds.


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RESPECT
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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>Why?<
That's the million dollar question.

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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krakalackin wrote:
I haven't played the game in a while so forgive me if I'm wrong but doesn't the "Alessa" that Travis rescues help Travis get out of the house by clearing a path for him through the fire? And doesn't the burned Alessa open her eyes in the house?

Travis receives some sort of magical assistance, though we can't say with any certainty where it's coming from. Since Alessa was able to send an astral projection miles away to appear before Travis on the road, it's not the least bit far-fetched to say she could affect the fire at a different location within the same house.

There are several reasons I can't believe that the girl Travis encounters is alive/Alessa:

    1. The child is completely burned, despite the fact that the fire has not yet reached her location.

    2. The child is completely still and does not move, cough, or cry out, despite the fact that Alessa was apparently able to scream earlier.

    3. When the child "speaks," her mouth does not move. In the same cutscene, Travis's does. This fact, combined with the quick flare of the seal beneath her body, leads me to the conclusion that the very brief communication ("Let me burn") is magical in nature. I believe Alessa is trying to communicate with Travis from a distance; telling him in shorthand (since this communication appears to be limited to about one second) that he should leave this girl here and either find the real Alessa or get out.

    4. When Travis picks her up, the child remains completely limp and silent. All signs of life are restricted to the one second when the seal was glowing. The girl gives no indication of pain or even consciousness as Travis works his way through the house, even during the cutscenes when she's supposedly working her magic on the fire that blocks Travis's path.

    5. In an interview with William Oertel (Producer) and Tomm Hulett (Associate Producer) at the Konami headquarters in El Segundo, CA conducted by SHHF representative The 8th Aspect (questions and answers found here), William Oertel stated that while "it may appear that we may be breaking continuity" by having Travis find Alessa upstairs, "There’s deliberate reasons for certain things that may or may not be readily apparent." In the same interview, William and Tomm state that yes, they were aware of the other girls used by the cult as rejected vessels for the god, but they refused to comment on whether such information was incorporated into Origins.

So, as far as the burning girl is concerned, the creators have strongly implied that they did not break continuity and there was no oversight or retcon. It was a deliberate action, and the reasons for that action are not something that will be obvious the first time you play. If I take their word for it and assume that Origins and the supplemental material are both equally valid, then the girl Travis finds cannot be Alessa. When I consider that we've been told a substitute body was prepared for Dr. Kaufmann to declare dead (at the scene, according to the unaltered part of the police report), it seems perfectly logical to me that that this is the girl on the upper floor, and it suddenly makes perfect sense that she should be covered in burns before the fire reaches her.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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^I love that theory, but who's body did Travis rescue? Why would there have been a a burned body in the house the same size as Alessa?

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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According to the Silent Hill Official Guidebook (you can read a translation here), Dr. Kaufmann prepared a substitute body as part of the effort to fake Alessa's death. This information was available long before the release of Origins. I'm merely asserting that this substitute body—probably one of the previously rejected vessels for the god burned by the cult—was in the house at the time it was set ablaze. This is supported by the unaltered part of the police report you can find in Origins (which I quoted on the previous page) which states that Dr. Kaufmann actually declared Alessa dead "at the scene." The ruse would be much easier to pull off if he had a real corpse to load into an ambulance rather than trying to swap bodies out at the hospital.

Size is pretty much a non-issue as far as I'm concerned; it's not a noteworthy coincidence that two young girls of roughly the same age might be roughly the same size.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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Nice theory, but three things I don't get:
1. The body that Travis finds is circled by a Halo and candles. Why go through that trubble if that wasn't Alessa? The whole purpose of it was to make a scam, and the scam was about making others believe that Dahlia's girl got burned in a fire accident, not killed by her in a ritual. Right? So why the candles and Halo?
2. In the end of the the game we see the same body at the altar worshipped by the members. I think it's obvious that the body found in the Gillespie house is the same as the one at the altar. And if that wasn't Alessa, why worship the damn thing?
3. burns degree- The body found at the beginning suffered 4th degree burns [skin: black, charred with eschar] (which by that theory is correct- the rejected vessel of another girl's body was completely destroyed- D.E.A.D.) while Alessa's body was in fact damaged by 3rd degree burns [skin: stiff and white or brown ] (SH3- the video with Lisa).

And if we scart the second and third fact (that the two completely burned bodies in the intro and end are the same and belong to another girl) there's still left the question about the Halo and candles sorrounding the body of the nothing worthly girl. You may say that it is comprehensive 'cause of the fact that the substitute body was also killed in a ritual, but the thing happened long time ago, and it surely didn't happen at Dahlia's house, and if it did it certainly wouldn't be left there to rot.

I also like the sound of the substitute body theory, but there are still some ambiguities.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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mikefile wrote:
2. In the end of the the game we see the same body at the altar worshipped by the members. I think it's obvious that the body found in the Gillespie house is the same as the one at the altar. And if that wasn't Alessa, why worship the damn thing?

I wouldn't say they were worshiping her, maybe performing another ritual... I do agree that the body looks to be the same one Travis removed from the house. When I played the game I assumed both the body at the Gillespie house and at the altar were both Alessa.
I know this doesn't agree with the Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition (which I agree with). I honestly believe the developers screwed up.


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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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mikefile wrote:
1. The body that Travis finds is circled by a Halo and candles. Why go through that trubble if that wasn't Alessa? The whole purpose of it was to make a scam, and the scam was about making others believe that Dahlia's girl got burned in a fire accident, not killed by her in a ritual. Right? So why the candles and Halo?

The cult didn't have to worry about making it look like an accident. They had someone who could alter police reports, after all.

As for why the dummy body would be surrounded by ritualistic trappings, I simply consider it a masterful bit of misdirection on the part of the developers. Once we see the Halo of the Sun, of course we'll assume we're seeing Alessa. We'd have assumed it anyway, but the absence of any elements of the important ritual we think we're seeing might have made it too obvious that this wasn't Alessa. Only when we think carefully and critically about what we've seen can we appreciate the deception.

Quote:
2. In the end of the the game we see the same body at the altar worshipped by the members. I think it's obvious that the body found in the Gillespie house is the same as the one at the altar. And if that wasn't Alessa, why worship the damn thing?

The body seen at the end is clearly Alessa's. We see the creation of Cheryl and we know the cult was working to complete the descent of their god through the only surviving vessel: Alessa. I maintain that this girl is not the one Travis retrieves. You might think it's obvious that she is, but you're being fooled by your first impression and the assumptions that it formed. Both girls are little more than charred skin with no identifying hair or clothing. However, close comparison reveals that Alessa is significantly shorter than the body found upstairs.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


Quote:
3. burns degree- The body found at the beginning suffered 4th degree burns [skin: black, charred with eschar] (which by that theory is correct- the rejected vessel of another girl's body was completely destroyed- D.E.A.D.) while Alessa's body was in fact damaged by 3rd degree burns [skin: stiff and white or brown ] (SH3- the video with Lisa).

Now that you mention it, Alessa's body, seen at the end, does have patches of white skin. I had initially thought it was reflected light, but I never bothered reading up on burn severity. Thanks.

Quote:
I also like the sound of the substitute body theory, but there are still some ambiguities.

I hope I've cleared most of them up. :)


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Moderator
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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I personally believe that if all that is necessary to explain why she's upstairs when previously she was supposed to be in the basement, I think I like the idea that it's just an oversight much better than this highly unnecessary deception, because whether or not she was upstairs can't have any relevant bearing on events that follow. It's not so grievous an oversight that it requires elaborate explanations to fix.

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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Well, one of the fan complaints against the entire concept of Origins is that it doesn't bring anything new to the story. We don't really learn anything we didn't already know. If I'm correct, then now we can see that Origins gives us further insight into how Alessa's death was faked, so it's not unnecessary at all. It fleshes out the story a bit, and I appreciate that, especially since the information is only available to those willing to look that much closer; a Silent Hill hallmark.


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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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And, you know I'm always the first to go along with that... it's just that it seems really convoluted. Her faked death could have been something as simple as "Kaufmann forged the death certificate" and the same effect would be achieved. I

Besides, Origins is really about Travis, anyway. Alessa's involvement is entirely superfluous.

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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If you believe it's "just" an oversight, you believe that:

*The developers made a mistake that could easily have been avoided if they read the publicly available materials they are practically guaranteed to have read as research for a major project.

*They lied about making that mistake when interviewed about that particular scene.

*They were too lazy to attribute any sustained signs of life to a burning child, even in cutscenes, even after it's supposedly established that she's conscious.

*When they do get around to having Alessa speak, they went with the inexplicable option of giving her an echoing whisper for a voice, rather than the coughing, breathless gasp one would expect from a burning girl.

*They couldn't be bothered to come up with a plausible scenario for Travis to rescue her while she's actually burning, so they decided to have the flames char Alessa's skin black from six feet away.

*They had the graphics team model two different burned bodies for shits and giggles.

Now that's what I'd call convoluted. ;) I give the developers a bit more credit than that.

Quote:
Her faked death could have been something as simple as "Kaufmann forged the death certificate" and the same effect would be achieved.

But we know from the Silent Hill Official Guidebook that there was a substitute body. It's really not that big a leap to suggest that it was placed in the Gillespie home.


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RESPECT
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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That image doesn't prove they're different bodies. The blue/green bars are on the leg further from the other leg, so the perspective is different. Same with the head size.

The text suggests the "substitute body" was prepared at Alchemilla Hospital—especially by the use of the semi-colon—so the body could be said was Alessa and buried.

How did the "substitute body" wake up on the Halo of the Sun and light all of the candles around her when she says, "Let me burn"?

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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*They couldn't be bothered to come up with a plausible scenario for Travis to rescue her while she's actually burning, so they decided to have the flames char Alessa's skin black from six feet away.


That's actually a really smart aversion of ConvectionSchmonvection! You can most certainly char without directly contacting a heat source.

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RESPECT
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I've done it myself by sitting too close to a bonfire for too long, and now I have a two-inch scar directly below my knee where I literally cooked myself. Even Silent Hill: the Movie got it right.

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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alone in the town wrote:
That's actually a really smart aversion of ConvectionSchmonvection! You can most certainly char without directly contacting a heat source.


The Adversary wrote:
I've done it myself by sitting too close to a bonfire for too long, and now I have a two-inch scar directly below my knee where I literally cooked myself. Even Silent Hill: the Movie got it right.

Was there heavy furniture between you and a bonfire six feet away? 'Cuz there is pretty much a solid barricade of furniture keeping that area around the body temporarily clear of flames. With regards to the movie,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Cybil
was positioned directly above the bonfire. Heat rises, as I understand.

The Adversary wrote:
That image doesn't prove they're different bodies. The blue/green bars are on the leg further from the other leg, so the perspective is different. Same with the head size.

The head size is actually the same (at least in terms of distance from crown to chin), I just circled them both to indicate there wasn't a scale difference. But you're right, the far leg was a poor point of reference. I can do the same thing with the near arm, though:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


The girl in the second picture actually has her arm bent at the elbow a little, so her arm is even longer than it appears by drawing a line from shoulder to wrist. Plus, I scoured the entire burning house cutscene, but I couldn't find any of the patches of white skin seen on Alessa's body in the lefthand picture.

Quote:
The text suggests the "substitute body" was prepared at Alchemilla Hospital—especially by the use of the semi-colon—so the body could be said was Alessa and buried.

And Origins states that Dr. Kaufmann declared Alessa dead at the scene. I doubt he was the only person there who would have recognized signs of life if the body was really Alessa. If a firefighter or medic notices Alessa cough or move, Kaufmann can't declare her dead. It's an unnecessary risk. If the girl is already dead, however. . .

The text doesn't definitively state where this body was prepared, just that Kaufmann was involved in the conspiracy by preparing the body beforehand and performing the "autopsy" after the fact.

Quote:
How did the "substitute body" wake up on the Halo of the Sun and light all of the candles around her when she says, "Let me burn"?

She didn't. As I've suggested, the glowing of the Halo indicates that Alessa's communication with Travis seems to be magical, which would explain the echoing whisper we hear in place of any normal sound a burning person might make. If you really believe this girl is awake, why isn't she trying to get away from the fire? Why doesn't she cough or gasp or do anything but hang like rag doll from Travis's arms?


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RESPECT
 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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>If you really believe this girl is awake, why isn't she trying to get away from the fire?<
She does more than communicate. She opens her eyes, raises her chest, and collapses.

>Was there heavy furniture between you and a bonfire six feet away?<
There are flames all around the body. Furniture is not in her way. She was also in the fire long enough for the entire house to be engulfed. I also don't see how Alessa knew there was a "substitute body" in the first place.

According to Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition, Dahlia carried out the ritual "impulsively." This is corroborated by the scene in Silent Hill in which Dahlia and Alessa are arguing in the hallway. This is when she decides to perform the ritual. She did it alone, and I doubt she had a "substitute body" in one of her closets just in case she wanted to impulsively carry out the ritual.

Your argument suggests there had to have been a lot of planning, a lot of strategy, a lot of string-pulling. This contradicts SHOGCE. Unless she impulsively carried out the ritual and had a spare body already in the house, it doesn't work. It's one or the other.

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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The Adversary wrote:
>If you really believe this girl is awake, why isn't she trying to get away from the fire?<
She does more than communicate. She opens her eyes, raises her chest, and collapses.

Only for as long as it takes to deliver Alessa's message. A scant second. Where are those signs of life afterwards? Why wouldn't the developers at least show her coughing or clenching in pain, especially during the cutscenes when she's supposed to be using her powers to help Travis escape? It's an obvious thing to animate, so it must have been left out deliberately.

Quote:
>Was there heavy furniture between you and a bonfire six feet away?<
There are flames all around the body. Furniture is not in her way.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


Quote:
I also don't see how Alessa knew there was a "substitute body" in the first place.

If she can know that Travis is driving on a nearby road and reach out for his help, there's no reason she shouldn't be aware of his actions and discoveries once he's inside the house.

Quote:
According to Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition, Dahlia carried out the ritual "impulsively." This is corroborated by the scene in Silent Hill in which Dahlia and Alessa are arguing in the hallway. This is when she decides to perform the ritual.

Yes, that's when she decides to perform the ritual. Impulsively is not the same as immediately. I do think that there was a minimal amount of planning required. Dahlia may not have bothered involving the rest of the cult in the immolation ritual, but a substitute body was needed, and I doubt she could have counted on Kaufmann producing a body to suit her needs with no advance notice. That's another giant unnecessary risk. So Kaufmann had to know beforehand, I don't see how that constitutes a particularly great deal of planning/strategy/string-pulling.


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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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"Dahlia was confident that she would be able to summon the malevolent deity if Alessa was the surrogate mother; therefore, as it was not necessary to choose a location, she impulsively carried out the ritual in her own basement."

You don't plan to do something impulsively. That's not impulsive. That's the exact opposite. As far as I'm concerned, this word totally breaks down your theory. There's no way to reconcile the fact Dahlia realized she could use her own daughter as the surrogate mother, dragged her to the basement and performed the ritual, and called Kaufmann over with a substitute body, set everything up upstairs, and set the house ablaze all on impulse. It requires planning. That's not acting on impulse as Dahlia is said to have done. You don't impulsively climb a tree tomorrow.

>Where are those signs of life afterwards?<
Alessa was left in a coma for seven years, "trapped in an endless nightmare from which she never awakens." She doesn't have to move except for this one instance telling Travis to let her die.

>If she can know that Travis is driving on a nearby road and reach out for his help<
Does she. . . ?

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 Post subject: Re: A point that Fungo brought up...*spoilers*
     
         
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She shows up in his side mirror as an astral projection. I think it's safe to say she was reaching out.

As far as that one word that apparently undoes my theory, there's not a time limit that I'm aware of that separates impulsive actions from non-impulsive ones. What matters is Dahlia's lack of consideration for everything but the success of the immolation ritual. It was impulsive of her to burn her own house down rather than contact the rest of the cult and prepare the place they normally used. That's all that the guidebook says. She was driven by the belief that she could succeed where the Order had failed for as long as they'd been sacrificing kids, and she wouldn't allow any delays except one that was necessary: the preparation of a body that could be declared dead. At the scene.


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