Search FAQ

Login | Register


All times are UTC [ DST ]


It is currently 17 Nov 2018




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message

Just Passing Through
 Post subject: The greatest story ever told in a video game?

Missing since: 07 Mar 2010
Notes left: 17
Hi Silent Hill fans!

It's rare that a game touches me so much that I feel the need to go to a fan board to post, but this game has blown me away so much that I just have to let it out.
There is probably a lot of theories on how things work and why they are, but I wanted to share mine for whoever cares. Some of it may have been said before, some may be new, but, really, this game is quite possibly the best story in a game I have ever seen. (Which pleasantly surprises me!)

I will assume on the spoiler board that everyone has beaten the game. As such there will be huge spoilers here as I try and understand the world that the designers have put forth.

What most understand and agree on, is Harry is not real. The person sitting in the psyciatrist chair is Cheryl. What I am going to propose is that the entire town and people within it are not real.
My theory plays on the fact that the whole game is played inside Cheryl's head, and the point of it jumping between Kaufman and the chair is he is directing the story as she explores the tragedy that is her life.

To begin this explanation, let us look at the characters.
I theorize that there are only 4 participants in the story. Kaufman, Cheryl, Harry, and Dahlia.

Kaufman comes in a number of forms at the start, but he settles on being Cybil.
I don't know if anyone noticed, but doesn't the bartender and the owner of Levins Street houses wife look remarkably like Cybil, except in a slightly different form? At the same time, the male owner of the house actually looks like a rugged Kaufman.
I theorize that this represents Kaufman talking to Cheryl and trying to find a way to relate to her. He tries different tactics with different persona's, but then settles on the cop whos appearance is based on what Cheryl values the most from the initial assessment.
The point of Cybil is to lead Harry around the world. Harry only moves to different places in two ways. He either gets directed or taken there by Cybil, or he is forced there from a nightmare world (more on that later).
Cybil is always leading Harry around, as if the real man is directing the thought patterns of Cheryl to focus on various painful areas of her life. He directs her to the Levins Street house, but Cheryl doesnt want to go, (nightmare scene forces her through), and he explores what the house means to her.
Then Cybil picks her up and takes her out to the forest, where she essentially dumps Harry into the area. Cheryl tries to escape the forest, but a nightmare scene forces her south to the school where Cybil once again directs her to go to the gym.
Cybil takes Harry to the hospital, she fishes him out the water at the lighthouse, she challenges Harry's and Cheryls existence continually, almost as if the voice of Kaufman in the 'real world' is challenging Cheryl to think about the fantasy she has created.

Cheryl is represented in 3 forms.
- She appears as the shadow girl. This is the 'Cheryl' that 'Harry' is looking for. The problem is, Cheryl doesn't want to be found. Because if Harry finds her then the illusion is shattered.
- Cheryl also is played by Lisa. This is the version of her life that she sort of believes should have happened were her father still around.
Lisa is a very tragic character. It's funny that she has been in a car accident, because I think in Cheryl's head she feels that her hopes and dreams died with Harry.
Unlike other characters, Lisa is the only character that actually deters Harry from his search for Cheryl. Every other character he interacts with is either helping him find her, or is forcing him away against his will.
Lisa is the only character whose clothes dont change. This is important. She comes across as rather plain, almost smaller than the other characters. This is because quite often we tend to view ourselves as insignificant amongst our peers. She doesn't see herself as anything special.
She's a nurse, this could be because she had dreams of being a nurse when she was small. It could also represent the fact that she is constantly medicating herself and building her own solutions to her problems. I find it interesting that she is found injured IN A HOSPITAL, yet she decides to go home and self help.
On the journey home, she speaks to Harry a lot about his Cheryl. She questions the quirks and little things she does, almost as if she is testing him. Yet being the super dad he is, he sticks up for her.
In her apartment she mentions how she has not had a man there for a long time. She comes across as really sad and lonely, and its almost heartbreaking. She puts her faith in Harry to help and protect her, even though she does not know him.
I theorize at this point Kaufman is telling Cheryl that this isn't really, and he wants to go and explore her Mall experiences where the echoes state that she killed a guy.
Harry wanders off to the mall, and just as he is about to enter he is pulled away by a frantic phonecall from Lisa. It is almost as if she is frightened for him to go, she doesn't want him to explore the mall, and she can't be without him.
He races back to her and finds her as she dies (a death scene as if she has just been in a car accident). Again, this strange symbolism that the real Cheryl died with Harry is touching.
What is funny is that who shows up at the end of this scene? If it isn't Cybil Kaufman! She really lays into Harry in this one, you can almost hear hims creaming at Cheryl about how false this reality is. She puts the blame on Harry, and just as she is about to reveal some home truths, the world freezes up!
This scene is possibly one of the sadest scenes in the game, because its so terribly symbolic and representative of the real Cheryl behind the mess that her life has become.
- The final incarnation of Cheryl is the monsters inside the darkworld. I will go onto that later.

Harry comes in two forms.
- The fist is the main character. This is the fictitious super dad that Cheryl has built him up to be. She feels safe around him and as result Kaufman is using this Harry to get Cheryl to open up her past as they have their session.
- The second version of Harry is John (Michelle's boyfriend). I believe that Michelle and John are actually how Cheryl views her parents should be. It's ironic that if those two split up, it is John that ends it, possibly hinting it was Harry that eventually left Dahlia, despite the fact that its apparent Cheryl holds her mother responsible.

Dahlia also comes in two forms.
- The first time you meet Dahlia is Michelle.
Its very noticable that Michelle and Harry get along really well. They have a lot in common, and Michelle even shows concern for helping Harry find Cheryl, even though she doesn't even know him.
When they are on their long walk, Michelle spends most the focus on Harry, almost flirting with him. When he tells her he lost his ID to a cop she just takes him in anyway, seemingly unconcerned with the fact he may be dangerous. Michelle also often texts Harry to find out how he is doing.
I believe Michelle is Cheryl's built up perception of what she wishes or thinks her mum should be.
- The second incarnation of Dahlia is the Dahlia herself.
This is a very twisted version and puts the woman down quite a lot. It's interesting that in the club, Michelle and Dahlia switch. It's almost as if Kaufman is talking to Cheryl as she relates the story and telling her that Michelle isn't her mum, so she substitutes her in for this horrible perception of what she sees her mum as.
Another interesting thing about Dahlia, is that she is the complete opposite of whatever Michelle turns out to be. If you get the refined slutty red dress Michelle, Dahlia ends up in the conservative brown suit. The fairy princess prom queen Michelle turns Dahlia into an almost goth grungy headbanger, whilst the brown dress conservative Michelle breeds a slutty blonde Dahlia who looks like she would bang any meat up an alley at any time if it was up for grabs.

So those are the characters, lets move onto the world.
The world is split up into 2 forms. You have the normal world which is Cheryl's fantasy. This world takes place in various areas of the town and is full of echoes that come in various forms.
I believe the idea behind this is that Kaufman is trying to explore the tragic events in Cheryl's life. It's widely accepted that the echoes are all versions of Cheryl's memories.

There are 3 forms:
Text messages - For me these tend to be thigns Cheryl is almost making up, or the most abstract edges of her thoughts as she tries to twist around the important parts.
Voicemails - These are things that I believe Cheryl has witnessed or believed. Most of them are things she has overheard, but I believe a number of them are images of her parents, Dahlia and Harry, on significant events in their lives that she has been told about.
Ghosts - these are the most powerful images she has. Basically things she has witnessedwhich have disturbed her or burnt the image in her head. If Cheryl herself is not depicted in the picture, I believe she is actually the one that is behind the camera.

What makes the echoes and the momento's interesting, is there is no chronology in how they come. This is already turning out to be long, so I won't go into a theory on every image, but lets just take the woods:
There are a number of stories going on her.
- The first is the boy dying in the sewer. I believe this is an early image when she was a young child. She was likely playing in sewers with a friend and his brother got trapped there. She was witness to this boy dying, which is pretty disturbing. You see the text message in the woods about the brother dying there from guilt. Whether this is real r not is questionable, it's possible the boy did die, but she invented the reason why. Either way, she witnessed the ghost, but the text message is her view.
- Another story in the woods is the one of the party. The picture of her lying in the dirt is a chilling one. I suspect that this is from a late teen party which got out of hand, and she either ended up OD'ing or getting raped. Obviously she is not dead, but it's quite apparent that something bad happened to her, while her voicemails and textmessages are her thoughts on what the boys thought or did to her.
- There's the story of the boy becoming a hunter. This again is very abstract, it could be an early boyfriend, or it could be another young image of a childhood friend. What has disturbed her is the fact that while in the house she has seen this deer strung up on a hook. For a young girl especially, this can be a really disturbing image, which is why its such a powerful ghost to her.
- The final story in the woods is the parents vacation. This is one of the most powerful scenes, and it is only revealed during the nightmare scene. This is where Kaufman is trying to get deep into her head. Its almost as if he realizes that she is making excuses for why shes screwed up, then as Harry is about to escape the woods he freezes them over and forces her back to face the true nightmare of the splitting of her parents.

The other world is the nightmare itself. There is arguable gameplay elements wthat frustrate people in this world, as well as disappointment for the lack of rust, but I don't think they could do the nightmare world any other way.
Everytime the nightmare world comes is when Cheryl is trying to get away from a memory. It's almost like Kaufman is shattering her world and turning it into this nightmare that he wants her to face.
At the same time there is only one route through the ice world. It's almost like Kaufman is forcing her down this path and blocking off any other means of escape.
There are times in my life where I want to talk about a traumatic event, but I just cant. I cant explain why, but something holds me back. I believe the ice world is supposed to represent this mental blocks, because the meories are so powerful and scary.
The reason why cannot run around beaten the enemies back with a nail on a stick is simple. The bad guys are Cheryl. These are her subconscious thoughts trying to find and hold Harry back. If Harry were to attack them it would break her illusion on him as he would be assaulting her.
It's also notable that the bad guys are not trying to kill Harry. They don't swipe at him, or throw their fists at him. They jump onto him, and try and drag him down.
There is no more powerful scene to represent this than the last run on the frozen lake. You can't avoid getting caught by them and you see as one by one they pummel in and jump on Harry in one last desperate attempt to protect him (and herself) from the truth.

One of the amazing things about this game is if you actually look deepely into all the momentos, messages, and pictures, you will be able to actually sculpt an entire timeline of significant events in Cheryls life after her Dad's death.
You get to see her working at the strip club (a chilling scene when you hear the abuse from the customer that realizes her age, and I like how there is a flashback of Harry talking to her when she was younger and saying how cute she was with pigtails), you get to see how she killed the security guard, her affair with the principle, how she witnessed a friend commit suicide, how her dad killed her dog. This is just a really really powerful story.

Her parents
Personally, I don't think either of her parents were great. I think that they were both rather rebellious school kids that fell in love. They ended up having a kid (probably on that boat trip) and the result was Dahlia grew up, while Harry didn't. This made them incompatible, because Dahlia no longer interested Harry, while Harry frustrated Dahlia because of his lack of responsibilities.
You get to see a lot of their lives as Cheryl goes around town. Both parents appear to love her a lot, but for some reason she blames the mum and makes her look to be the worse. This is most likely because Harry comes across as a rather weak playful guy, who everytime he screws up, pampers his kid to make it up to her and clear his conscience.
In Cheryls mind this makes him a loving father, while the mum trying to give discipline comes across as cruel and cold.
One of the facts you can't deny, she probably gave her mum a lot of stick, yet her mum is still standing outside the clinic waiting for her when she leaves. To me that shows exactly what Dahlia is really like, and how unfair that Cheryl's perception of her is in her visions because she blames her for Harry's death.
Most the time you see Harry, he is made out to be great, but he is actually lousy.
Look at the vacation scene. Cheryl is sitting on the couch, playing with her toy. All she hears is her mum complaining about being there and ignoring her. What she doesn't see is Harry standing in the back with a broken bottle of booze on the ground. The reason Harry likely doesn't speak in this scene is because he is totally plastered, while at the same time you can sympathize with Dahlia when you hear the full phone conversation after finishing the puzzle.
You have that comic scene of Harry killing her dog and then replacing it with an identical one. Again, he screws up. I suspect Cheryl was probably in the back seat when he killed it. Not only does he kill the dog, but he's flirting with another woman right in front of her! But all innocent Cheryl sees is her hurt dog and that daddy manages to replace it for her and fix it.
In the hospital you see Harry pampering her and her mum badmouthing him. What I suspect happened, was Harry was the cause as to why she was in the hospital in the first place. But again, Cheryl blocks these ideas out because she's so focused on her safe dad.
One of the most touching scenes was the final swan one. Here ghost Cheryl is running around like crazy trying to escape Harry. When you hear the full scene play out, it almost feels like Harry and Dahlia are finding their spark again. But then what happens? The ride shuts down, and why? Because Cheryl ran onto the track! This simple innocent idea of a girl that loves her parents, yet she can twist it around to make out like she was the cause for their break up.

The endings:
The big question in any game with multiple endings, is which one is real?
What I think, is they all are. Each ending represents a different view on how Cheryl comes out of her Therapy.
The good ending is one that shows she accepts her parents drifted apart. Harry still looks the ass, as again he doesn't want to talk to Dahlia, and lets face it, who tells their kid after a breakup that mummy and daddy dont love each other anymore?
The drunk ending comes if Cheryl twists her view from idolizing her dad to despising him. I think it was a real scene, and it's a tragic enough one to make people think twice about becoming alcoholics, but at the end of the day its the 'bad dad' ending.
The fight scene is the bad mum ending. This likely comes if Cheryl ends up still believing her mum is the root cause of everything. I can see Dahlia kicking the bejeebus out of Harry in an effort to wake him up and make him more mature. But I think that the scene is twisted in a nasty way in how Cheryl is interpretting what she sees.

The final ending, and this is the one that totally crushes me, is the one with Harry cheating.
This is a horrible scene showing a man who is recording over his daughters tape to brag to his friends on his manliness. Its even more disgusting when it throws in the mention of dedicating the books always to his family.
I smiled a lot at comments on youtube about people pimping Harry up and glorifying him, when those poor people failed to see the deeper meaning behind the scene.
I believe this is the story the designers intended, and if you believe anything I've written, look at this scene from Cheryls perspective.
This is her dream scene, and in it, she doesn't see her dad cheating. She see's her perfect dad, smiling on the bed. And then in from the left comes her perfect mum. Then in from the right comes herself. And they all fall back on the bed happy as a perfect family. And that just kills me a little inside.

Personally I think this is one of the greatest stories ever told. If this were a true life rendition in a book it would be an instant classic. But you couldn't get the full effect of what the tragic story this game is telling without the chase scenes as Cheryl struggles to try and keep Harry back and bolt up her memories.
This game is every bit SH2's equal, and anyone who praises SH2 for how deep it is and belittles this as modern day trash is oblvious to what their looking at.
It's the purest form of horror, because it's a true life horror that sadly a lot of innocent people can end up getting caught within thanks to the actions of others they hold dear around them.
It really is a beautful yet disturbing story, and that's my take on it.

Thank you for reading if you got this far.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 May 2006
Notes left: 63
WOW!!! You should stick around. I have yet to play the game (financial reasons) but I will soon. What you said makes a lot of since, and is really driving me crazy for this game. Yeah, I hate people that try to turn him into a pimp or even think that being a pimp is cool. People these days don't care about anyone but themselves now. Its a dying society I suppose, or the beginning of a new Dark Age. I have been reading up on the game a lot lately, and never thought that this whole ordeal was a story of her past.

_________________
Image


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 17 Nov 2009
Notes left: 275
Last seen at: Pleasant River
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the very informative post! :D


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Hey, Venoid, welcome to the forum! This is a kickass first post, but I'm going to comment on some specific parts if you don't mind!

Quote:
Lisa is the only character that actually deters Harry from his search for Cheryl. Every other character he interacts with is either helping him find her, or is forcing him away against his will.


You know, when you say this, it IS true on a superficial level in Cheryl's little narrative here, but when you think about it, do any of the characters actually help Harry along? Cybil ditches him in a police car and, no matter how you wait, she never comes back. She tells him to wait in a Gym and keep put, even if Cheryl isn't there. Then every other time, she tries to arrest him or something! Michelle means well, certainly, but she disappears outright or runs off in a fit whenever she starts making progress with Harry, and Dahlia, well, when she finally starts driving on a bridge, she stops driving and decides to pick an argument, and then later, when they're on the boat, look closely: She claims that they'll be at the lighthouse in a few minutes, but not only does more than an hour probably pass during their little sex romp, but the boat is also facing sideways away from the lighthouse! It's not going in that direction at all.

Quote:
- The second version of Harry is John (Michelle's boyfriend). I believe that Michelle and John are actually how Cheryl views her parents should be. It's ironic that if those two split up, it is John that ends it, possibly hinting it was Harry that eventually left Dahlia, despite the fact that its apparent Cheryl holds her mother responsible.


I'm going to point out that in some variations, it's Michelle that breaks up with John. It's not always John that causes it. Anyway, I don't think Michelle represents Dahlia; Michelle claims to be a school friend of Cheryl's (which she's not), and not only that, but as John says, "You don't love me, you love the John in your head!" Now, if John is Harry, who's the one character that idealizes him? Also, where do we meet Michelle a second time? Why, Cheryl's bedroom of course!

Quote:
- The second incarnation of Dahlia is the Dahlia herself.
This is a very twisted version and puts the woman down quite a lot. It's interesting that in the club, Michelle and Dahlia switch. It's almost as if Kaufman is talking to Cheryl as she relates the story and telling her that Michelle isn't her mum, so she substitutes her in for this horrible perception of what she sees her mum as.
Another interesting thing about Dahlia, is that she is the complete opposite of whatever Michelle turns out to be. If you get the refined slutty red dress Michelle, Dahlia ends up in the conservative brown suit. The fairy princess prom queen Michelle turns Dahlia into an almost goth grungy headbanger, whilst the brown dress conservative Michelle breeds a slutty blonde Dahlia who looks like she would bang any meat up an alley at any time if it was up for grabs.


While you make a good comparison here, (and it's indeed a common psychological dissociation for children to split parents into their good and bad halves), you can get any form of Michelle with any form of Dahlia; there's no connection between their forms. However, even Michelle at her worst and Dahlia at her best are as different as night and day, so it doesn't make much difference does it? Lol.

Anyway, as for Dahlia herself, there's many people who've presented good theories as to why the young Dahlia is actually a representation of Cheryl. I'm not going to go into it here, because there's LOADS of threads on it, but the theory is kind of dependant on Cheryl possessing an Electra complex.

Quote:
You get to see her working at the strip club (a chilling scene when you hear the abuse from the customer that realizes her age, and I like how there is a flashback of Harry talking to her when she was younger and saying how cute she was with pigtails)


I hate to break it to you, but that's not Cheryl being praised by Harry for having cute pigtails. That's not Harry's voice, it's outside of the high school, and Cheryl never wore pigtails as a child....that's...the same customer pretending they're father and daughter as part of his weird fetish play as he drives her back to school...after work....*vomit*

Just another connection between Cheryl going after guys who remind her of her father.

Quote:
Her parents
Personally, I don't think either of her parents were great. I think that they were both rather rebellious school kids that fell in love. They ended up having a kid (probably on that boat trip) and the result was Dahlia grew up, while Harry didn't. This made them incompatible, because Dahlia no longer interested Harry, while Harry frustrated Dahlia because of his lack of responsibilities.


Hm, I dunno. Making them both rebellious school kids makes Cheryl's depiction of Dahlia more "real" than I think we're supposed to take it. They also seem pretty wholesome in all their "real world" depictions. I do agree that Dahlia matured and Harry didn't, though.

Quote:
In the hospital you see Harry pampering her and her mum badmouthing him. What I suspect happened, was Harry was the cause as to why she was in the hospital in the first place.


I imagine she was probably in the hospital from the incident with the broken glass in the woods.

Quote:
The endings:
The big question in any game with multiple endings, is which one is real?
What I think, is they all are. Each ending represents a different view on how Cheryl comes out of her Therapy.


The problem with this is that the videotapes represent reality, and aren't subject to Cheryl's delusions. That's why she keeps rewinding the videotape: So that she didn't see the part that came after. What represents how Cheryl deals with her therapy is represented by her "final moment" with Harry, not the tapes.

I personally believe all four tapes are real and equally "true", but that's a whole other debate for several other threads.

Quote:
Personally I think this is one of the greatest stories ever told. If this were a true life rendition in a book it would be an instant classic. But you couldn't get the full effect of what the tragic story this game is telling without the chase scenes as Cheryl struggles to try and keep Harry back and bolt up her memories.
This game is every bit SH2's equal, and anyone who praises SH2 for how deep it is and belittles this as modern day trash is oblvious to what their looking at.
It's the purest form of horror, because it's a true life horror that sadly a lot of innocent people can end up getting caught within thanks to the actions of others they hold dear around them.
It really is a beautful yet disturbing story, and that's my take on it.


I completely agree. I actually find this to be superior to SH2, and is currently the best Silent Hill. I'm not so sure if it's the greatest story ever told in a video game, but it's certainly up there.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Jun 2009
Notes left: 3837
Last seen at: i'm sick of these monkey fighting snakes on this monday to friday plane.
Ehh its a great story but far from the greatest story ever in a video game. I actually wasn't that shocked when i found out that harry was dead and it was all in cheryls head. But the story is still executed pretty damn well. I would say its easily one of the best stories in a video game of 2010.

_________________
Image


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
You know, Springs, there's more to a story than the twist or ending.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Jun 2009
Notes left: 3837
Last seen at: i'm sick of these monkey fighting snakes on this monday to friday plane.
^Very true but those are still a big part of the story IMO especially the ending.

_________________
Image


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:

Missing since: 07 Mar 2010
Notes left: 17
The fact that the story is such a strong relation to real life is what strikes me the most. There has not been a videogame which has ever made me think so much about it after I completed.

Though there have been some games that have brought me to tears (very few, and all very good), most of them are because of what they symbolize, whereas in this ne you can actually feel abd believe the Cheryl character is someone who lives down your road. That's whats scary to me.

One thing I never commented on was the music. Some of the scores are just brilliant in this game, and set the undertone really, really well.

Btw, thanks for the detailed reply AuraTwilight. I will respond to it just struggling to find time atm :p.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
No problem, take all the time you need (I agree entirely with your most recent post there, btw).

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:

Missing since: 07 Mar 2010
Notes left: 17
AuraTwilight wrote:
You know, when you say this, it IS true on a superficial level in Cheryl's little narrative here, but when you think about it, do any of the characters actually help Harry along? Cybil ditches him in a police car and, no matter how you wait, she never comes back. She tells him to wait in a Gym and keep put, even if Cheryl isn't there. Then every other time, she tries to arrest him or something! Michelle means well, certainly, but she disappears outright or runs off in a fit whenever she starts making progress with Harry, and Dahlia, well, when she finally starts driving on a bridge, she stops driving and decides to pick an argument, and then later, when they're on the boat, look closely: She claims that they'll be at the lighthouse in a few minutes, but not only does more than an hour probably pass during their little sex romp, but the boat is also facing sideways away from the lighthouse! It's not going in that direction at all.


This is why I don't think any of the characters acrtually exist. It's likely they are all real people, but they are not playing themselves, Cheryl is just imprinting their images into her mind to play the role they symbolize to her.
They can't be real people because they can see and interact with Harry. The game determines at the end that he is only in Cheryl's mind, mainly because Dr Kaufman is completely oblivious that he has just barged into their session.

Quote:
- The second version of Harry is John (Michelle's boyfriend). I believe that Michelle and John are actually how Cheryl views her parents should be. It's ironic that if those two split up, it is John that ends it, possibly hinting it was Harry that eventually left Dahlia, despite the fact that its apparent Cheryl holds her mother responsible.


Quote:
I'm going to point out that in some variations, it's Michelle that breaks up with John. It's not always John that causes it. Anyway, I don't think Michelle represents Dahlia; Michelle claims to be a school friend of Cheryl's (which she's not), and not only that, but as John says, "You don't love me, you love the John in your head!" Now, if John is Harry, who's the one character that idealizes him? Also, where do we meet Michelle a second time? Why, Cheryl's bedroom of course!


I didn't know that the breakup scene can vary, so my bad. Both times I've done it so far it was John that broke up with Michelle. This is interesting, because it means that Cheryl's perception of how her parents broke up can change.
I still believe that John and Michelle are Cheryl's ideal of what her parents were.
I would dispute that Michelle is a real life friend of Cheryls, mainly because of the ending where Harry is cheating with Michelle. If we are to believe that is a realistic ending, that's impossible, because at a time Cheryl is 7 or under Michelle is still 18.
I don' think Michelle actually says she is Cheryl's friend, she just says she recognizes her from the school. And why not, because Cheryl's picture is actually on the billboard at the school reunion :p.
I believe Michelle and John pick Harry up from their home because they are now representing the family trip to the amusement park. They drive Harry out there almost as if Cheryl is now Harry sitting in the back watching them. I believe it is likely that Harry and Dahlia split up during that Amusement visit.
Another strong point that indicates Michelle is Dahlia is the club scene. They literally do switch places. When Harry comes out of the bathroom Dahlia treats him like she was going to drive him in the SUV the whole time. She doesn't even know who Michelle is. And the sort of personality Michelle gives over doesn't lead you to believe that she would ditch Harry with Dahlia, in fact a later text message even states John has not picked her up yet so she has no reason to leave the club.

Quote:
While you make a good comparison here, (and it's indeed a common psychological dissociation for children to split parents into their good and bad halves), you can get any form of Michelle with any form of Dahlia; there's no connection between their forms. However, even Michelle at her worst and Dahlia at her best are as different as night and day, so it doesn't make much difference does it? Lol.

Anyway, as for Dahlia herself, there's many people who've presented good theories as to why the young Dahlia is actually a representation of Cheryl. I'm not going to go into it here, because there's LOADS of threads on it, but the theory is kind of dependant on Cheryl possessing an Electra complex.


The opposite clothing I'll admit was a guess :p. Again I only played the game through twice and that's what happened so I put two and two together.
The idea tht Dahlia is representation of Cheryl is interesting. I'll have to think more on that.
I'm still convinced it is more her mother though. Mainly because of the switchover at the club and the fact that Dahlia does seem to be in a love hate relationship with Harry. But this again could support the idea of Cheryl fighting her own oppinion of him.
I would turn away from the Cheryl Dahlia comparison mainly because of the love scene on the boat. I think that it is likely this is where Cheryl was conceived. If it's not then it takes the story into a whole twisted area where Cheryl is so infatuated with her father she sees herself together with him.

Quote:
I hate to break it to you, but that's not Cheryl being praised by Harry for having cute pigtails. That's not Harry's voice, it's outside of the high school, and Cheryl never wore pigtails as a child....that's...the same customer pretending they're father and daughter as part of his weird fetish play as he drives her back to school...after work....*vomit*

Just another connection between Cheryl going after guys who remind her of her father.


I don't think there is any evidence she was going out with the guy. If she was, then he would not be so surprised that she was wearing a wig now would he?
Also, if she is working at a strip club then it is unlikely she is still going to high school. The guy comes off as someone looking to bang a young girl. It becomes a rather twisted fantasy if he then drives her to a school and makes out like she is his own daughter to let her out afterwards, in fact, if its any sort of reputable strip club, it wouldn't allow a customer to leave with an employee.
I still think the school echo is one where Cheryl remembers her father talking to her like that. This makes the strip club scene all the more devestating, as it sort of enforces in her mind that she is no longer the girl she used to be in her fathers eyes.

Quote:
Hm, I dunno. Making them both rebellious school kids makes Cheryl's depiction of Dahlia more "real" than I think we're supposed to take it. They also seem pretty wholesome in all their "real world" depictions. I do agree that Dahlia matured and Harry didn't, though.


The key echo of the parents is the one outside the gym with the heart shaped balloon. That sounds to me like it is Harry and Dahlia speaking. This is likely a story Cheryl has heard on how her parents met or fell in love.
I don't think Dahlia was quite as bad as Cheryl depicts her, but at the same time I think she was more outgoing and on Harry's level which is why they worked so well. Their both very young, and it would not surprise me if Cheryl was not a planned child between them.

Quote:
In the hospital you see Harry pampering her and her mum badmouthing him. What I suspect happened, was Harry was the cause as to why she was in the hospital in the first place.

[/quote]
I imagine she was probably in the hospital from the incident with the broken glass in the woods.[/quote]

This is brilliant! I was actually looking through the hospital scenes a lot trying to find the hint of what caused Cheryl's accident in there, but I had forgotten about the woods scene.
The question now is, where did that broken glass in the woods come from? Could it have been from the broken bottle on the floor that it seems Harry dropped? :p
It's these scenes that can really make you see why Cheryl has this depiction of her mother and father.
She is on a holiday that was obviously Harry's idea. She's playing with her toys and all she hears is her mother badmouthing it on a phone with a friend. She goes and gets hurt on glass that is near her mother. Then Harry takes her to the hospital and pampers her rotten to ease his own guilty conscience.

Quote:
The problem with this is that the videotapes represent reality, and aren't subject to Cheryl's delusions. That's why she keeps rewinding the videotape: So that she didn't see the part that came after. What represents how Cheryl deals with her therapy is represented by her "final moment" with Harry, not the tapes.


I do agree with this, obviously only one of the tapes actually occured, but all that signifies is that is the image that was actually recorded on the tape.
The videotape is based on the PI you have the most for Harry? This would make sense because the PI translates to Cheryl and its feasable to think that she is trying to follow in her fathers example based on the last images she has of him.
I still think that it's not a coincidence that the endings are so starkingly different. Because I believe they are all real, it is likely the designed intended you to get all four and put together a true image of how Cheryl is thinking and her family actually was.
But then maybe that is my deluded idea that everything they put in this game was very carefully done with a deeper meaning than it possibly has.


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 25 May 2009
Notes left: 276
To me, this game was far from having the best story ever told in a video game. It was mostly predictable and run of the mill. The actual presentation of the story was good, but that actual plot, no sir.

I would consider SH2 and 4 as having the best stories.

_________________
Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it. - Jules Renard


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
This is why I don't think any of the characters acrtually exist. It's likely they are all real people, but they are not playing themselves, Cheryl is just imprinting their images into her mind to play the role they symbolize to her.
They can't be real people because they can see and interact with Harry. The game determines at the end that he is only in Cheryl's mind, mainly because Dr Kaufman is completely oblivious that he has just barged into their session.


I agree; I'm just saying that all in all, the characters don't help Harry all that much, and in most cases are actually counter-productive.

Quote:
I would dispute that Michelle is a real life friend of Cheryls, mainly because of the ending where Harry is cheating with Michelle. If we are to believe that is a realistic ending, that's impossible, because at a time Cheryl is 7 or under Michelle is still 18.


I know, I was specifically citing Michelle's "role" in Cheryl's fantasy. I should've clarified.

Quote:
I believe Michelle and John pick Harry up from their home because they are now representing the family trip to the amusement park. They drive Harry out there almost as if Cheryl is now Harry sitting in the back watching them. I believe it is likely that Harry and Dahlia split up during that Amusement visit.


That IS an extremely good point, but I imagine that if this was the case, they would've driven up right to the Amusement park, y'know? The game keeps a good job of keeping Cheryl's memories in the actual places they occur in, overall.

Could it, perhaps, be BOTH? After all, Cheryl seems to make her "Young Dahlia" construct represent both herself and the negative side of her mother. Could she have split her mother into one part Michelle and one part Dahlia (along with all of Old Dahlia), and then split herself into one part Michelle, one part Dahlia, then all of Lisa?

Quote:
Another strong point that indicates Michelle is Dahlia is the club scene. They literally do switch places. When Harry comes out of the bathroom Dahlia treats him like she was going to drive him in the SUV the whole time. She doesn't even know who Michelle is. And the sort of personality Michelle gives over doesn't lead you to believe that she would ditch Harry with Dahlia, in fact a later text message even states John has not picked her up yet so she has no reason to leave the club.


Yea, but then this could've just been a total mindfuck, to demonstrate that this is a completely broken narrative. Or even further, this could be Cheryl, uncomfortable with the idea of Harry spending so much time with this Michelle bitch, and then just dropping her with no explanation and writing in Dahlia (who represents Mom, who Dad should be with, and herself, who she wants Dad to be with).

Quote:
I'm still convinced it is more her mother though. Mainly because of the switchover at the club and the fact that Dahlia does seem to be in a love hate relationship with Harry. But this again could support the idea of Cheryl fighting her own oppinion of him.
I would turn away from the Cheryl Dahlia comparison mainly because of the love scene on the boat. I think that it is likely this is where Cheryl was conceived. If it's not then it takes the story into a whole twisted area where Cheryl is so infatuated with her father she sees herself together with him.


That's exactly where some people take it. After all, Cheryl has an abnormal sexuality, and has A HABIT OF SLEEPING WITH MEN WHO REMIND HER OF HER FATHER, and Lisa (who is Cheryl) even says that people who look like her dad are what she goes for!

It's called the Electra Complex, and it actually happens.

Quote:
I don't think there is any evidence she was going out with the guy. If she was, then he would not be so surprised that she was wearing a wig now would he?


We don't actually know if he was surprised about the wig or not. He may have made her wear it himself, then it fell off and he irrationally lashed out at her, or he knocked it off while hitting her and his rage is totally unrelated to the wig itself.

Quote:
Also, if she is working at a strip club then it is unlikely she is still going to high school. The guy comes off as someone looking to bang a young girl. It becomes a rather twisted fantasy if he then drives her to a school and makes out like she is his own daughter to let her out afterwards, in fact, if its any sort of reputable strip club, it wouldn't allow a customer to leave with an employee.


But it's NOT a reputable strip club, it's a brothel. "Her obedience is guaranteed." As sick as it is, whether she was still going to High School or not, the guy's fetish (and his money), lets him take Cheryl/Pig Tails Mystery Hooker to the school, has his little scene, and then romps her.

Quote:
I still think the school echo is one where Cheryl remembers her father talking to her like that. This makes the strip club scene all the more devestating, as it sort of enforces in her mind that she is no longer the girl she used to be in her fathers eyes.


It doesn't even sound like Harry, though. It's not the same voice actor, and Harry's never used that tone of voice. It doesn't even sound real. That, and the fact that it's the same voice and same tone of voice as the customer, makes the connection all the more rocksolid.

Quote:
The question now is, where did that broken glass in the woods come from? Could it have been from the broken bottle on the floor that it seems Harry dropped? :p


Yea, Dahlia even says so. "Oh my god, there's blood! Was that your glass?"

Since you only played the game twice, I think you'd benefit from going to Whitney's SHShatteredMemories website. She has logs and sound bytes of just about every variation of every echo and message and such.

http://shshatteredmemories.com/

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:

Missing since: 07 Mar 2010
Notes left: 17
I'm listening to a lot of them :p.

Question for you. If you play the Prom Balloon sound bytes, who do you think is speaking in them? Personally I think it is Harry and Dahlia. If you listen to the voice of the male, he actually DOES sound very similar to the person in the car, because in both situations the voice is sincere. I don't personally think the voice of the man in the cat house is the same as the one in the car, especially the one where he gets angry, he actually almost sounds like the grandad teaching his son or whatever to deer hunt.

I spent a huge amount of time at work today thinking about the Electra Complex theory. I think its an interesting theory, and I can see why a lot of people think it, but there are a number of things that no matter how I look at it don't add up.

For the Electra Complex to work, that would mean that Cheryl is playing herself in her fantasy in three roles. Lisa, Michelle, and Dahlia.
This for me seems rather extreme, considering all 3 of them have vastly different personalities. In fact it would almost indicate that she has a sense of schitzophrenia going on.
You have Dahlia who is going out and screwing everyone.
You have Michelle who is running a steady relationship.
You have Lisa who hasn't touched a person not in a coma for god knows how long.

The second problem with the Electra Complex, is that it insinuates that Cheryl has had sex. I posted in the teacher thread (and its where I got the ideas from so thanks for that) why I don't think that is the case.

The third problem with that theory, is assuming that Cheryl is played by Michelle, that would indicate that she has had or is within a long term relationship. Yet John is actually the same age as Michelle. Even if you pretend that John is Harry, you cannot explain the fact he is the same age as Michelle.
Furthermore, I think the split scene they have happening outside the Amusement park is very significant. There is a reason why it happens there. There is no explanation for that reason in the Electra Complex theory, just like there is no explanation as to why Michelle and Dahlia switch personae's in the club.
It also makes no sense as to why they are breaking up. Why is it that John sometimes breaks up with Michelle? If the scene signifies that Cheryl is getting over Harry and coming around to the session, then why does she instantly then go and have one last fling with him on the boat.

It's an interesting theory, but there is a lot of things that don't make sense unless you go by the term that Cheryl is suffering from delusions. The theory also completely eradicates her mother from the most of the story, and makes it rather strange when the old Dahlia appears on the bed in the home, with no explanation whatsoever.

I don't know. Maybe its my perception of Cheryl that biases me. I don't see her as sexually active, I actually see her as a repressed child.
I don't think she ever grew up. Like how her mind freezes over, I think her life froze when Harry died, and she's a child living within an adults body and struggling with the complexities of adult life.

I do love how so many things in this game can be interpreted in so many different ways though. It's a real credit to the writers. In fact I don't think there is a single thing within this game that hasn't been carefully put in there to represent something in the bigger picture when you then look back at it.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
Question for you. If you play the Prom Balloon sound bytes, who do you think is speaking in them? Personally I think it is Harry and Dahlia. If you listen to the voice of the male, he actually DOES sound very similar to the person in the car, because in both situations the voice is sincere. I don't personally think the voice of the man in the cat house is the same as the one in the car, especially the one where he gets angry, he actually almost sounds like the grandad teaching his son or whatever to deer hunt.


We've gone over this, the person in the car isn't Harry. Also, a lot of NPC voices have shared voice actors.

I imagine the two at the prom bench are Caitlin and Mike, since Caitlin shares the same voice actress as that girl.

The redneck hunter sounds nothing like the guy in the brothel, you must have hearing problems. O_O

Quote:
I spent a huge amount of time at work today thinking about the Electra Complex theory. I think its an interesting theory, and I can see why a lot of people think it, but there are a number of things that no matter how I look at it don't add up.

For the Electra Complex to work, that would mean that Cheryl is playing herself in her fantasy in three roles. Lisa, Michelle, and Dahlia.
This for me seems rather extreme, considering all 3 of them have vastly different personalities. In fact it would almost indicate that she has a sense of schitzophrenia going on.
You have Dahlia who is going out and screwing everyone.
You have Michelle who is running a steady relationship.
You have Lisa who hasn't touched a person not in a coma for god knows how long.


You know, it's not that hard to roleplay different roles, especially when all three characters have plotholes, avoid going into detail, contradict themselves, and so forth.

Michelle and Lisa both state they like guys who look like their dad, by the way, so I think it's pretty obvious they represent Cheryl to some degree, and Dahlia behaves identically to Cheryl's worst attributes, and knows the most about what's really going on, it seems.

Quote:
The second problem with the Electra Complex, is that it insinuates that Cheryl has had sex. I posted in the teacher thread (and its where I got the ideas from so thanks for that) why I don't think that is the case.


What? No it doesn't. Even if Cheryl is a virgin, she can still have sexual attraction to her father (Freud said all children had Oedipus/Electra complexes in their early youth, so it's kind've implicit to it), and even if Cheryl is a virgin, she's still hooking up with people who look like her father.

Quote:
The third problem with that theory, is assuming that Cheryl is played by Michelle, that would indicate that she has had or is within a long term relationship. Yet John is actually the same age as Michelle. Even if you pretend that John is Harry, you cannot explain the fact he is the same age as Michelle.


You keep adding these strawmen that aren't necessary. Cheryl playing Michelle doesn't require Cheryl to have been in a long term relationship anymore than it requires her to have dated a Lawyer named John. The entire point is that Michelle loves a person in her head that doesn't actually exist, and the reality of that person is something she has to eventually accept. This describes Cheryl perfectly; it's the crux of both their characters. I would say that Michelle has no other role except to personify Cheryl's attachment to the past.

The ages don't matter. Michelle claims to have been Cheryl's underclassman, but the person Michelle is based off of fucked Harry when she was seven.

Quote:
Furthermore, I think the split scene they have happening outside the Amusement park is very significant. There is a reason why it happens there. There is no explanation for that reason in the Electra Complex theory, just like there is no explanation as to why Michelle and Dahlia switch personae's in the club.


There's plenty of explanation. John and Michelle break up because the fantasy is almost fully come apart, and it's a good excuse to keep the two from driving Harry all the way to his destination. Michelle and Dahlia switch because, under the theory, Dahlia is Cheryl's more direct avatar (and who Harry is meant to be with) and so she's switched in. If Michelle is also Dahlia, why bother switching them at all? Another thing is that Michelle wouldn't of fought with Harry and caused things to be jumbled up more, so it was a move necessary to preserve the Narrative. Keep in mind that everything Cheryl does is to keep Harry ignorant and away from her.

Quote:
It also makes no sense as to why they are breaking up. Why is it that John sometimes breaks up with Michelle? If the scene signifies that Cheryl is getting over Harry and coming around to the session, then why does she instantly then go and have one last fling with him on the boat.


John can also be an avatar for Kauffman. "You don't love me, you love the John in your head."

Also, people are multifaceted. Just because part of her accepts reality doesn't mean all of her does; if there wasn't a part of herself fighting to accept the truth, Cybil and most of the echoes wouldn't exist.

Quote:
It's an interesting theory, but there is a lot of things that don't make sense unless you go by the term that Cheryl is suffering from delusions. The theory also completely eradicates her mother from the most of the story, and makes it rather strange when the old Dahlia appears on the bed in the home, with no explanation whatsoever.


You're not thinking about this fully. Cheryl IS suffering from delusions (She's been telling herself Harry is a different person and is still alive, after all), and you're not looking through this with the lens that the constructs in Cheryl's fantasy can represent more than one thing (like Maria is created from both James and Mary). Take Young Dahlia: Not only is she a representation of Cheryl's own bad side and lust for her father, but she also represents a demonization of her mother, along with denying that Dahlia is even a family member ("I know OF her!")

It's actually quite common in child psychology, which is why it's even more messed up that the 25-year old Cheryl is still doing all this.

Quote:
I don't know. Maybe its my perception of Cheryl that biases me. I don't see her as sexually active, I actually see her as a repressed child.
I don't think she ever grew up. Like how her mind freezes over, I think her life froze when Harry died, and she's a child living within an adults body and struggling with the complexities of adult life.


The two aren't mutually exclusive. Cheryl does have apprehensions about normal sex and relationships with other people, and she does childishly demonize her mother, but she also seeks out the warmth and love of her father, and perhaps sex is the only way she knows how, vicariously through other men.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 04 Jan 2010
Notes left: 66
For me, the story is one of the best I experienced so far. I think, stories can only be very good, if they don`t explain every single bit of the plot, but if they challenge your imagination and make you think, scratch your head and discuss. It`s that strange thrill I always get when I play a Silent Hill or watch a psychological, surreal film à la Lynch. The thrill to be forced by myself to find out, why that sympathtic character that I see or play and who I like, suffers so badly. The thrill gets even greater, because I know that there will always be questions that`ll stay unanswered. It`s a special feel of magic that`s hard to explain....


Top
   
 

Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
Notes left: 1399
It is an amazing story. I didn't like the gameplay or world half as much as the previous Silent Hill games but the story rivals SH2's, certainly!

I also loved the Perfect Blue-like way every time Harry opened his eyes it seemed like everything around him had changed, even the people, and his grasp on reality slowly fell further and further away.

_________________
Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air.


Top
   
 

Moderator
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
Notes left: 11052
Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
Ever since I finished it the first time, about three days ago, two things have been constant:

1: My desire to replay it and see what changes
2: My inability to stop thinking about the goddamn thing when I'm not around it

By the way, tremendous first post.

_________________
Image


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 May 2006
Notes left: 1937
Looking at the thread's title as I scrolled down the index, my first thought was that we're finally getting a SH installment featuring Zombie Jesus.

_________________
Deviantart account
My SH fanfic novel l Monster design set 1 l Monster design set 2 l Monster design set 3 l Bosses design l Commission design l Manga sample pages


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 06 Jan 2004
Notes left: 3941
Last seen at: Naaarwich, UK
I haven't read the entire thread but I just wanted to say that I've just finished the game and thought the story was good, brilliant twist ending, but it's far from amazing. Everyone seems to be going MENTAL about the story but I just don't get it at all.

_________________
Image
Music created by the fans, for the fans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11380
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Have you played the game through a second time yet? Most of the ingenius aspects comes from retroactively applying information.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: