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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Laura and Her Otherside

Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
Notes left: 2368
..and why she can play the piano in Restaurant Lake Shore.

There have been several speculations as to what Laura sees in the otherside. More interestingly, though, there have been some debate on how she is able to play the piano at "Lake Shore", when the hotel itself is supposed to have burned down before James and she arrived in Silent Hill. What is it that she sees in Silent Hill, and could it be that she was somehow sucked into James' own delusional otherside, and is seeing the otherside through his eyes?

I have a slightly different take on this.

I do believe that Laura is seeing Silent Hill and Lakeview Hotel as it was three years ago just like James, but I do not believe she was sucked into his world. The difference in view is that James' version is distorted by his own darkness that he holds within his subconscious. If we are to assume that James didn't hold any darkness in his heart, then it is my speculation that he would see the hotel as it were exactly three years ago. And this is what I believe Laura is seeing herself as well: a version of the hotel from three years back.

Laura has never been to Silent Hill, or at least we are never told that she has been to Silent Hill. We would assume that she would be ignorant of her surroundings, but surprisingly, she manages just fine. Her knowledge of her surrounding may seem uncanny, and this is one of the reasons why people were quick to speculate that Laura may not be human afterall.

Yet, I think it's understandable that Laura knows of her surroundings given the circumstances.

In my opinion, the clue to why Laura can play the piano, and ultimately why she is so knowledgable of her surroundings is given in none other than Lake Shore itself.

Laura: Me and Mary talked a lot about Silent Hill. She even showed me all
her pictures. She really wanted to come back. That’s why I’m here.
Maybe you’ll get it if you see the other letter... The one Mary...
huh?


If Laura's otherside is based on the pictures that Mary showed her and the stories that she told her, then we can guess what Laura is seeing in the otherside: a version of the town that Mary visited three years ago with James, where Mary lasts remembers being happy. Also, if we assume that a certain photo was taken in Lake Shore, then we can also guess why Laura can play a piano in a restaurant that is supposed to have been burned down.

It's true that Laura does not see monsters. A possible explanation that Silent Hill Chronicle gives is because Laura holds no darkness in her heart, but, in my opinion, more importantly, Laura does not see any monsters (and has no reason to) because Mary always talked about how a wonderful place Silent Hill was. Afterall, she really wanted to go back. Such a place would be devoid of monsters.

Manifestations from pictures isn't a new concept in Silent Hill 2. Specifically, it's been widely accepted that "Misty Days, the Remains of the Judgment," the picture of Pyramid Head that we are so familiar with, is the source of James' executioner.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
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Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
well it must have been a beutiful place devoid of monsters at some time. so maybee thats the version of the town that shes sees. since she has no darkness in her heart to trigger the otherside she never sees it. instead only sees normal silent hill. interesting theory burning man

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Thanks, but it's a common mistake that people make when they connect darkness to triggering the otherside. It's true that the appearance of the otherside can morph because of the darkness, but darkness is not a necessity for one to enter it.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
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Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
thats interesting. laura was entering the otherworld through feelings of hope and hapiness.

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Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.


Last edited by King Crimson on 11 Sep 2007, edited 1 time in total.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 18 Jul 2004
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I'm basically inclined to agree with you. I've never doubted Laura was human - Mary did tell her all about the town after all, so it's not beyond reason that she could navigate it - but it's clear that she's not in reality in the hotel.

Considering that James, Eddie and Angela all see Silent Hill differently based on their experiences, I completely agree that Laura has no reason to see Silent Hill as anything other than a beautiful, peaceful, safe place. She has no guilt, and is strongly influenced by her beloved Mary.

"well it must have been a beutiful place devoid of monsters at some time"

Silent Hill isn‘t infested with monsters in reality. The monsters exist in 'Foggy' and 'Dark' Silent Hill. In SH2, there was clearly construction work going on and the game shows upgrades in technology between the titles (computers replacing typewriters), which indicates the town is still inhabited on a normal level.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 12 Jun 2007
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Last seen at: I don't remember.
Quote:
Laura has never been to Silent Hill, or at least we are never told that she has been to Silent Hill. We would assume that she would be ignorant of her surroundings, but surprisingly, she manages just fine. Her knowledge of her surrounding may seem uncanny, and this is one of the reasons why people were quick to speculate that Laura may not be human afterall.

I've heard tale that Mary stayed in Brookhaven.

Is it possible that is where she met Laura? Perhaps the reason Laura is able to, say, lock James into a room in the Hospital, is because she knows her way around and also knows he doesn't. We know she knows he never visited Mary in the hospital, at least, not much, and that she met Mary in the Hospital and became friends with her long enough for Mary to consider adopting her.

She stole a letter from a nurse's locker. Obviously, the hospital she stayed in she was quite familiar with. Even enough to take the keys?

As for walking around Silent Hill... "She even showed me her pictures." Well, there we have her way of knowing where to look for her and having landmarks to go by.

And for "Laura's Silent Hill" I agree with you. She sees no monsters because she wouldn't in the place where her friend wanted to go. A "Quiet, beautiful" place.

Monsters aren't really quiet/beautiful... but there is something I wonder of...

For having no darkness in her heart... she sure did hold a grudge against James... Did some highly dispicable things to him too. Not that he didn't deserve it, but she didn't know that. I've also heard/believe that Laura's backstory was fairly dark and tragic...

Have you heard this? I'm curious to find out what you think, because your theory looks pretty good. And, if she's actually visiting a memory of a dream of Silent Hill, then the darkness wouldn't matter at all, right?

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 29 Jan 2007
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Mary met Laura in Ashfield. Mary was later transferred to Brookhaven without Laura knowing. Laura then gets a letter from Mary saying she is already in Silent Hill, that is why Laura goes there, to look for her, not knowing she was already dead by that time.

If I'm not mistaken, Laura has never been to Silent Hill before.

Btw, Burning Man, nice theory you got there.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 18 Jul 2004
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She met Laura at St. Jerome's, in Ashfield. As has been mentioned, she'd never been to Silent Hill before. Mary only stayed at Brookhaven very briefly.

"sure did hold a grudge against James"

Yeah, sure - a child's grudge. She didn't really want him maimed and dead and tortured. She was just mad and childish, as children are.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 09 Mar 2004
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Last seen at: Pits of Hell
So, when she locks James inside that room at the hospital, and kicks the key at the Apartment Buildings she is only playing childish pranks. She would never imagine that she could kill James by doing those things.

I always wondered what she meant when James asked her "What's a little girl like you doing in a place like this?" and she responds "Hum? Are you blind or something?"
If she sees a place without monsters, what does she see? An abandoned town? Does she see people in there? How could a little girl adventure herself in an abandoned place?


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
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Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Burning Man, this might be a little awkward but I'm pretty sure I love you. Thank you very much for posting this.

I always said that Laura saw Silent Hill as an uninhabitable place because she really didn't have any "darkness" or "evil" to project onto it, being only an eight-year-old girl. Then I had an idea that maybe that's what was in her heart--loneliness and abandonment. But the notion that she sees exactly what she was told of the place is very apropos, I find.

Thanks again.

>Is it possible that is where she met Laura?

As previously stated, they met in Ashfield. I find it impressive that Laura could manage the "half-day's" (according to Henry in SH4) trip from there to Silent Hill by herself. I think this is indicative that she can move around and find places just well enough on her own--hence her exploration of the town and Brookhaven in complete darkness (her little mini flashlight and teddy-bears was kind of adorable, I must say).

>I always wondered what she meant when James asked her "What's a little girl like you doing in a place like this?" and she responds "Hum? Are you blind or something?"
If she sees a place without monsters, what does she see? An abandoned town? Does she see people in there? How could a little girl adventure herself in an abandoned place?

Scarlet: Maybe she asks the question because, to her, Silent Hill looks wonderful--it's a beautiful resort town, exactly like Mary told her. When asked the question Laura wouldn't understand WHY someone wouldn't want to be in the town, or why it would be odd for her to be there. Y'know, I think Burning Man's interpretation of how/why Laura sees the town as she does puts that awkward piece of dialog into a better light.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 11 May 2006
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Those are some really good connections. Thanks for your thoughts.

I just wonder though, what Laura's view on her surrounding turned to after James admits his actions. She is indeed filled with hate as she runs out of the room.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 09 Mar 2004
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Scarlet: Maybe she asks the question because, to her, Silent Hill looks wonderful--it's a beautiful resort town, exactly like Mary told her. When asked the question Laura wouldn't understand WHY someone wouldn't want to be in the town, or why it would be odd for her to be there.

Agree with you, but as you previously stated, Silent Hill is an uninhabitable place.
If you think that James asks Laura "What are you doing in a place like this" not referring to any monsters but to the fact that the town doesn't have anyone, I believe this is a fair question.
What would Laura do in such a place? What would be the purpose of her trying to find Mary in a deserted place?
Do you believe that Laura is able to see people there? I know she can see Eddie, but, is Eddie the only person she can see there?

If we think about the theory that states that each person has a different view of the world, can we say that worlds can be mixed? Can some people be able to live in one place and at the same time pass behind the "curtain" and be in two place at the same time? Alternate realities can mix?


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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It would make sense that Mary's stories of Silent Hill would mix with what Laura understood those stories as.

And it strikes me that Laura loves Mary too much to care whether or not the town was abandoned. She'd make note of it, maybe think it was weird or creepy, but press on.

Or maybe she does see Silent Hill with people. It would make sense, considering James and Mary went there during a busy time of the year. Even if Mary wouldn't mention the people, Laura would probably assume there would be people anyway.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Great theory as always, Burning Man. As for the more recent posts, I always assumed that Laura didn't see anyone except for James and Eddie due to Otherworld manifesting her loneliness, maybe.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Laura and Her Otherside
     
         
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Missing since: 19 May 2004
Notes left: 146
Burning Man wrote:
...


I must say your theory is very interesting, and I tend to agree with you on many aspects of it.

But there is one thing that got me thinking, the part of Laura playing the piano in Lakeview Hotel, to be precise. As I have understood it, there was a great fire in the hotel, but did it really incinerate the entire building? In pt. 2 of the Hotel scenario, when James' illusion is shattered, he walks through the hotel perceiving it as though it has been badly damaged by both moist and fire. Some areas are destroyed, but for the most part the hotel seems intact. Can it not be, that the dining room and the piano is still there, at least somewhat undamaged? Or is the partly destroyed hotel we see just a representation of James' illusion being shattered? Does it look the way it does merely for practical reasons (i.e. to let James proceed further along his quest)?

Well, one does not really rule out the other, seeing as according to your theory, Laura sees the hotel based on pictures showed by Mary, and also stories told by her.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 27 Jun 2007
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Great theory. Somehow, I totally missed that detail playing through SH2 and now it seems so obvious that something was out of place in that scene. It makes perfect sense that Laura would use pictures Mary showed her as her map.

But after reading, I was wondering the same thing Ghettoblaster asked about certain areas of the hotel being completely destroyed and other areas that were, at the least, intact. I remember reading something that described the fire in little detail but I don't think it ever mentioned just how much damage the hotel specifically took in that fire, only enough to make it uninhabited afterward.

I suppose it's possible the piano was still in decent condition but it doesn't make much of a difference since we're not asking whether the piano was actually there or not. Either way, the theory works and I agree completely.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Thanks, guys. Granted, originally, I was thinking of adding more stuff into the theory, about Laura's possible manifestations and what-have-you, but I decided to keep it short for simplicity sake.

DarKerry wrote:
I've also heard/believe that Laura's backstory was fairly dark and tragic...

You're probably talking about "No Langauge But a Cry" by Richard Anthony D'Ambrosio, whose main character (Laura Meyers) was whom Laura was based off of. It's about a girl who was cooked in a frying pan by her parents.

To my knowledge, there's no official backstory for Laura known to the public besides what's been explained in the game. There is that Silent Hill 2 novel, of course, but I have yet to read it, so I don't know if Laura's story is expanded there.

Scarlet wrote:
I always wondered what she meant when James asked her "What's a little girl like you doing in a place like this?" and she responds "Hum? Are you blind or something?"

The dialog in Silent Hill 2 was written so that there are two meanings within the dialog. This was to mirror the concept of two alternate worlds that we see.

As the child character, Laura's thought patterns are entirely one-dimensional.

Laura simply takes the question as it is: what she is doing on top of that wall. To her it should be obvious what she's doing there. She's reading a letter. If she thought about it for a bit, then she'd understand why James asks her that question, but her mind is clouded by her hatred toward James.

The ulterior meaning behind "Huh? Are you blind or something?" acts more of a message from the scenario writer to the audience that there's something James is not seeing (or as we later find out, that he is being reluctant to see). It acts as a hint to the audience that something's not right with this man that seems otherwise normal.

Quote:
If she sees a place without monsters, what does she see? An abandoned town? Does she see people in there? How could a little girl adventure herself in an abandoned place?

According to Akihiro Imamura, the town looks abandoned and we see monsters because we are looking at the town through James' eyes. So there's room for speculation as to what Laura sees. (It's strongly suggested that Angela does not see any monsters either as she is paired with Laura during that explanation by Imamura.)

The discussion has always been whether Laura sees the town abandoned or if she sees normal people. However, the term "normal people" is mostly used to refer to people in the real world.

In my opinion, though, Laura sees other people whom were sucked into the otherside. We are never given a real indication of just how many people got sucked in. Yet, the interaction between Eddie and Laura suggests that if there were other people, then they would see them as well. This is important when we consider whom or what Eddie may have actually killed. The moderate explanation is that he killed manifestations that took the form of people mocking him. The more frightening explanation is that he killed people that got sucked into the otherside just like he was.

Krist. wrote:
I always said that Laura saw Silent Hill as an uninhabitable place because she really didn't have any "darkness" or "evil" to project onto it, being only an eight-year-old girl. Then I had an idea that maybe that's what was in her heart--loneliness and abandonment.

I still think that is a valid interpretation. If I were to support that idea, then I could say that Laura took Mary's mentioning of a Silent Hill being a quiet place, literally, and that Laura's Silent Hill was fully manifested by her loneliness, and that it looks mostly abandoned.

Ghettoblaster wrote:
Can it not be, that the dining room and the piano is still there, at least somewhat undamaged?

Well, the piano is a very delicate instrument; anyone will tell you that. I find it a little hard to believe that the piano would survive all the fire and water and time of neglect.

Yet, even if we were to take that leap of faith, and assume that the piano somehow survived, you have to ask yourself why Laura would want to look for Mary in a hotel that's been burned down (assuming, of course, she sees it for what it is). Why would she believe that Mary would be staying inside a burned down hotel?

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Any usage outside of the aforementioned forum is strictly prohibited.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 09 Mar 2004
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Burning, that explanation made all sense. To be honest I never thought about the possibility of other people being there. But if Angela and Eddie were sucked into that place, why not others? Thanks a lot for the theory. It is great!


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
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>But if Angela and Eddie were sucked into that place, why not others?

I guess there's a lot more to the corpses we see around town then we thought...? I'm reminded of Douglas's "missing person case," and him going to Silent Hill because of it. I'd risk to say that more than a few people end up wandering into Silent Hill for one reason or another, and not many come back out. If this is the case it would stand to reason at least one detective or search would be sent out for him/her in that place.

Quote:
Laura simply takes the question as it is: what she is doing on top of that wall. To her it should be obvious what she's doing there. She's reading a letter. If she thought about it for a bit, then she'd understand why James asks her that question, but her mind is clouded by her hatred toward James.

The ulterior meaning behind "Huh? Are you blind or something?" acts more of a message from the scenario writer to the audience that there's something James is not seeing (or as we later find out, that he is being reluctant to see). It acts as a hint to the audience that something's not right with this man that seems otherwise normal.


For all the time spent on wondering at that question, and Laura's answer-question, I don't think I even thought of this idea. I'm kind of embarrassed now--it makes total sense. She's a child, she's not going to think of it in broad terms like "Why are you in town?" Dammit, Laura.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 05 Jul 2005
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This is a very interesting theory indeed and makes a lot of sense in every directions. As to the "malicious" childish pranks that Laura does, I was just trying to connect the Brookhaven scene with any relevance, towards the fact that you have a boss battle afterwards, by knowing what the hangers symbolize (that I can´t remember right now other than the "caged" feeling). But there´s probably no relevance, it´s just a sequence of events, and doesn´t have any connection with Laura being there.

I just wonder, if Laura was never (and that can´t be proven of course) in Silent Hill before, what dragged her into the town other that the feeling of trying to find Mary. What was she really doing there, or how did it get there. The questions are a bit silly, and most of them are only based on my confusion towards, why Laura was there at the same time as James. Probably because the town needed her to "help" James remember "it", not necessarily bringing her (like Burning Man stated and very well) to the Darkness that the town holds, but sort of in a paralel dimension, where she sees things as Mary told her.


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