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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]

Missing since: 04 Nov 2009
Notes left: 43
I've noticed more than a few topics just on the front page alone regarding problems with the PC versions of various Silent Hill games. Well, it so happens I own 2, 3, 4, and Homecoming on PC, and I've encountered what seems like the majority of known issues with them.

More importantly, however, I've personally resolved those issues, and assisted numerous friends in doing so. And as such, I'd like to submit the following, for the community's benefit.


The Nature of Ports
I'd like to start by explaining what a PC port actually is, beyond the obvious "game X on PC". A PC port of a console game is typically undertaken by a third party; a subdeveloper contracted specifically for that purpose. This creditation to this third party is often missed, but if you compare the credits from the original console version to the PC version, they will stand out.

Silent Hill 2 (PC) was ported by Creature Labs
Silent Hill 3 (PC) was ported by Konami TYO (the only one ported by Konami themselves)
Silent Hill 4 (PC) was ported by Vivendi
Silent Hill: Homecoming (PC) was ported by Double Helix themselves.

Furthermore, Silent Hill 2 (PC) is based on the PS2 Director's Cut edition, Silent Hill 3 & 4 (PC) are based on the original PS2 versions, and Silent Hill: Homecoming is based on the Xbox360 version.

A port is accomplished by creating a software shell which enables the PC to mimick the running processes of the original console in order to open and render/process the original game content. Porting is essentially a form of emulation, a legal form of emulation.

However, it is due to this nature that ports are often glitchy by comparison to the original product (the original console version). And that's the end of the long-winded part.



Silent Hill 2 (PC)

Issue: The textures are all messed up / everything looks wrong / some objects are invisible or incomplete.

Explanation: The PC version of Silent Hill 2 hates anti-aliasing. This doesn't appear to be an issue for ALL people, certain graphics cards (mostly newer ones) appear to bypass this issue entirely. The game also dislikes Nvidia chipsets in particular.

Sollution: Disable anti-aliasing through your graphics card's configuration software/control panel. If possible, set it to "application contolled" wherever applicable to minimize potential for graphical errors. If you own a Nvidia card in particular, and the above steps do not help, seek out the "Silent Hill 2 Nvidia patch" (that term in a search should locate it fairly easily).


Issue: The game locks up / lags horribly / there's an insane delay between pressing buttons and actions occurring.

Explanation: The PC version of Silent Hill 2 hates multi-core systems, passionately.

Sollution: Alt-tab out of the game before proceeding past the main menu. Go into your taskmanager, and locate the "sh2pc.exe" process (in the processes tab list, not the applications tab list). Right click on it, and select "Set Affinity...". If you have a dual core processor, uncheck CPU 0. If you have a triple core processor, uncheck CPU 0 and CPU 2. If you have a quad core processor, uncheck CPU 0, CPU 2, and CPU 3. Leaving only CPU 1 checked in each case. Alt-tab back into Silent Hill 2, and it should run perfectly from then on. (you will need to do this every time you fire up SH2).


Issue: The sound locks up / loops infinetely in an odd way / seems off...

Explanation: There isn't an exact explanation as to why this occurs. It's associated with the multi-core problem, but why exactly it happens is unknown.

Sollution: Ensure the above process for multi-core systems does not resolve the issue. If it doesn't, do a search (via google, for example), for "silent hill 2 pc sound fix", to find the sound patch that should correct the problem for you.


Issue: I did everything necessary for [Insert ending here], but got a different ending...

Explanation: Either you messed up somewhere, or you've just encountered one of the most obnoxious glitches in the PC version of Silent Hill 2; the ending bug.

Sollution: Try again. Sorry, but that's all you can do. The ending bug is completely random, and I've never discovered any way to fix it short of simply starting a new game and going for it again. It doesn't seem to occur twice in a row, if that's any conselation.



Silent Hill 3 (PC)

Issue: Every time I try to load a save, the game crashes!

Explanation: There isn't one. This is one of the most random glitches there is. It can happen to a copy of SH3 that has worked fine for an existing period of time, and it can happen off a clean install.

Sollution: I cannot discuss specifics without disrespecting the rules of this forum. All I will say is: find yourself a cracked exe for the game. It solves the problem, for some curious reason.


Issue: The graphics are majorly messed up / The graphics look horrible / The graphics are glitched

Explanation: SH3 has numerous graphics settings. As a rule, the game dislikes widescreen resolutions, hates being windowed, and despises the texture resolution being set higher than 2048x2048.

Sollution: Avoid playing windowed if you can. Try to stick to letterbox resolutions, but if you want/need to go widescreen, adjust the texture resolution to suit (1024x2048 works best).

Alternate: There are known cases of the PC version of Silent Hill 3 simply not liking certain graphics cards. This is true of most games, but less prevelant with games that aren't ports. If you own a high-end graphics card/system in general, go nuts: set the AA and ASF to 16X, and Ambient Occulasion on. You can do some impressive things with SH3's graphics if you push it.



Silent Hill 4 (PC)

Issue: The game crashes when I try to pick up the Temptation Placard / Activate the Cynthia Cutscene.

Explanation: There are 3 versions of the PC Port of Silent Hill 4; the US version, the European version, and the multi-region version. For some peculiar reason, the US version is prone to this glitch. But it has been known to happen to the multi-region version as well.

Sollution: Once more I cannot go into specifics in order to respect the rules of this forum. Simple answer; get a cracked exe. It fixes the problem for some curious reason.


Issue: The controls are HORRIBLE!

Explanation: Vivendi -fail- at porting console games. It's that simple.

Sollution: Play the game with a controller if you can. Else grin and bear it, I'm afraid. One thing however; if you find that the first-person segments are PARTICULARLY annoying, turn down your mouse sensitivity. It helps.


Issue: The game seems to be running slow, but I know my system is at or above spec.

Explanation: Vivendi + porting console games = fail. Gameplay runs at proper speed but the cutscenes always seem to have the slightest element of slowmotion going on.

Sollution: There isn't one. Curiously, not everyone actually gets this either. It's incredibly random, as a matter of fact, even when you do get it, it doesn't effect every cutscene in the game.


I've saved what is easily the biggest headache for last...



Silent Hill: Homecoming (PC)

Issue: Black screen on startup or immediately after initial loading screen.

Explanation: This issue is particularly preveleant in the downloaded (Steam) version of the game. No one is precisely sure WHAT it's problem is, on this one.

Sollution: Window mode. If you're in Window mode and it happens, switch back to full-screen mode. For some reason, that's all it takes to fix. Some people can run the game windowed, some can run it full-screen, some can run it both. The damn game seems to like changing it's mind.


Issue: How do I run SH:H in windowed mode?

Explanation: Not necessary

Sollution: Go into the "Engine" folder of Homecoming, and open the file "vars_pc.cfg" in a plain text editor (notepad is the best). Look for the line that says "Fullscreen=true" and change true to false (it shuld read "Fullscreen=false". Save the file (not save as, ensure the .cfg extension is not changed). The game is now in windowed mode. Reverse the process to full-screen it again.

Extra: I do not recommend running the game in windowed mode if you can avoid it. Windowed mode seems to attract EVEN MORE problems. On the other hand ... it also seems to fix certain problems. You really can't win with this game's issues.


Issue: The bookshelf in the Alex's bedroom is making me want to hurt children.

Explanation: The PC version of Homecoming has particularly bad issues with mouse-coordinate tracking. That is, the game has trouble recognizing that the mouse cursor is actually where the on-screen graphic indicates it to be.

Sollution: Persistence and guess-work. This applies to almost all puzzles in which the mouse must be used. Where you have to click to actually hit/drag certain objects doesn't always make sense in the context of the on-screen image; for example, to drag the books, you sometimes have to grab them in a specific (and yet random) spot, and sometimes even move the mouse up or down before you can drag it across. Sometimes it works first try. This problem is quite random.

Extra: The switch that is revealed by moving the books is even worse. You typically have to click beside it to actually hit it.


Issue: The game locks up at seemingly random intervals before continuing, but the sound/dialogue continues.

Explanation: Homecoming uses a combination of on-demand loading, and area-transition loads. The on-demand loading ... doesn't always work right. What's worse is that the lag-effect it creates actually increases over time. This issue seems to be particularly attracted by windowed mode and alt-tabbing. However, I've seen it happen in fullscreen mode as well. There is no reliable way to fix it.


Issue: I loaded my game in the church and my plates have all gone wrong!

Explanation: The plate puzzle in the Church is PAINFULLY bugged.

Sollution: Do NOT save with any of the plates in your inventory. Save before attempting the puzzle, and/or after, not in the process of it, or this is almost certain to happen to you; and yes, you have to start your game over again if it happens (unless you have a seperate save near the church).


Issue: Alex keeps dodging in the opposite direction I tell him.

Explanation: Alex was dropped on his head as a child. Often.

Sollution: There is no ideal sollution to this problem. Try not to be holding a direction when you dodge, Alex usually auto-dodges the right way.


Issue: Firearm shots seem to lag / shots dont always fire when I pull the trigger

Explanation: Homecoming's mouse code is REALLY bad.

Sollution: Lower your double-clicking speed (the setting itself, in your mouse options, through the windows control panel). Or consider using keys for attack buttons. Or use a controller, for that matter.


Issue: I woke up in a jail cell and I cant get out!

Explanation. This is actually a normal part of the game. You are automatically released from the cell after a moderate length of time (or a shorter period of time if you actually inspect everything in the cell). Ironically, however, there is also a bug that can rarely occur here, where Wheeler never actually enters the room.

Sollution: Re-load your save prior to this point. It never happens twice in a row, thankfully.



That's about all I can think of, off the top of my head. I hope it helps folks out there. But if you have any other issues, by all means, drop me a line in here and I'll add the problem and sollution for you (if I know it, at least; can't promise I know them all. I can't even remember them all off the top of my head :p)


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Jul 2009
Notes left: 3531
This is what I do to fix most of the problems:

Right click on each .exe, navigate to the properties make each one run under "Windows XP". Then press save/apply, right click on the .exe again and make sure each .exe is "Run as Administrator".

It also helps to get patches and game fixes for each one. I already covered this in another thread :roll:

Anyways, thanks for sharing this!


Last edited by simeonalo on 15 Jul 2010, edited 1 time in total.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 16 Jun 2009
Notes left: 125
I for one find it useful, at least people will know why their game is glitching that way and what can be done.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
Thanks for posting this, I'm glad I'm not alone in finding the SH4 PC controls truly horrible... Though I actually find the first person view easier to control than the 3rd person.

I only 'acquired' the game yesterday, had been planning on buying a PS2 version on ebay for some time but can't really afford it right now. My expectations were pretty low for the gameplay but I was still surprised at just how bad it is (I know it'll probably get better with time though)

Admittedly the sound is AMAZING and without it this wouldn't feel like a Silent Hill game AT ALL. I don't mind much about graphics but they do seem kinda meh, some of the textures seem more like PSX or N64 than a PS2 port.

I found after I changed the default movement control from 'walk' to 'run', it was much less of a hassle getting around corners etc.

I will try changing the mouse sensitivity too now that you've mentioned it.

Sorry, got a bit off track there (Didn't think it was worth posting a thread in the SH4 forum just to complain about it, I'm sure it's been done haha)

[Useful portion of post]

When I tried to play it, I got an error message about "This game requires a video card with 32MB VRAM and vertex/pixel shader support" or something like that. I only have a fairly basic Intel graphics card so I thought I was not going to be able to get it work at all, but I downloaded 3D-Analyzer and used the settings I found for SH4 on a different forum, saved a batch file and now it works perfectly!

[/useful portion of post]


Edit: About 24 hours later, I'm starting to really get into SH4 now that I've gotten used to the gameplay and controls somewhat. I'm still only at the start of the game (subway world) but I've seen enough cool stuff happen to make me wanna keep playing to see how everything unfolds. I think I will actually buy this on PS2 in the near future, there's something about it that I really like now..


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Missing since: 15 May 2008
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If you didn't buy it then ho exactly did you 'acquire' it?

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Jul 2009
Notes left: 3531
Illegal downloads and/or borrowing the game from a friend.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
I googled it and found a torrent... But I am REALLY liking it now and have decided that I'm going to buy it on PS2 at some stage. I still like the first 3 games more overall, but the story has gripped me far more than the SH3 story did and there are lots of other things that I like about it.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
AAAAAAGH! Yesterday I was using the PS2 to PC adapter that I bought but was having a bit of trouble with it for some reason (on menu screens it was just scrolling down automatically and I couldn't stop it), so while I was 'distracted' with that problem and a bit disoriented (lol) I somehow saved over my saved game that was at about 3:20 with the first save file that i'd accidentally loaded which was at about 0:30, so I deleted about 3 hours of gameplay. I'm retarded, you see.

I really can't be bothered replaying the start of the game anytime soon... Karma for downloading it I guess :(


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Missing since: 15 May 2008
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Last seen at: Right behind you
No love for you for stealing from the people who make the games I love. If they're worth playing, they're worth paying for. don't have the cash? That's not the developer's problem.

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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 20 Apr 2008
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Last seen at: England.
Well, it's not particularly useful to me personally since I don't use the PC versions of the games, however thank you for posting this nonetheless. It was very considerate of you to type all that out to help others.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
paladin181 wrote:
No love for you for stealing from the people who make the games I love. If they're worth playing, they're worth paying for. don't have the cash? That's not the developer's problem.


If I was buying SH4, I'd have to buy it on ebay as it would be nearly impossible for me to find (where I live) without ordering it online. So the developers wouldn't receive a cent either way.

I bought SH1/2/3 online last year for my birthday, all on ebay, and I bought Homecoming at a local shop as it's the only SH game that was actually available there.
I bought Silent Hill 1 and 2 after I'd already downloaded roms and PC versions of both, because they're my favourite games ever, and I fully plan on buying Silent Hill 4 for PS2 whenever it's most convenient.

I'm not going to feel guilty over this - your blanket statements and value judgments aren't worth taking seriously.


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Hey. Don't take me seriously. I'm just a jerk who tells it like it is. I don't sugar coat things, never have. If I wanted you to feel guilty, I'd preach about starving children who could be fed with your purchase blah blah blah. I was merely stating I don't like thieves, and I won't offer help to someone who has no problem stealing entertainment. It's not even a necessity. Just entertainment... I made no blanket statements, unless you count my personal dislike of thieves.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
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LOL, what a cool guy.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 02 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Issue: The game locks up / lags horribly / there's an insane delay between pressing buttons and actions occurring.

Explanation: The PC version of Silent Hill 2 hates multi-core systems, passionately.

Sollution: Alt-tab out of the game before proceeding past the main menu. Go into your taskmanager, and locate the "sh2pc.exe" process (in the processes tab list, not the applications tab list). Right click on it, and select "Set Affinity...". If you have a dual core processor, uncheck CPU 0. If you have a triple core processor, uncheck CPU 0 and CPU 2. If you have a quad core processor, uncheck CPU 0, CPU 2, and CPU 3. Leaving only CPU 1 checked in each case. Alt-tab back into Silent Hill 2, and it should run perfectly from then on. (you will need to do this every time you fire up SH2).


Thank you so much for this tip! Now my computer won't fry, and SH2 won't freeze!

You saved me a lot of trouble :)

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*shudder


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]

Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
Notes left: 12
Awesome thread, But my problems aren't listed here D=

Silent Hill 2 Saving Error (each time I try to save, it says "unable to save game" and then "Save Game Broken"
Silent Hill 2 "de-Synch" (each Time a Cutscene start (Not the ones with Great GFX)I'm getting Slowdown and the Voices go before the the text)

I'm having an ordinary Laptop (Windows Vista)


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]
     
         
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Missing since: 15 May 2008
Notes left: 1537
Last seen at: Right behind you
prince700 wrote:
Awesome thread, But my problems aren't listed here D=

Silent Hill 2 Saving Error (each time I try to save, it says "unable to save game" and then "Save Game Broken"
Silent Hill 2 "de-Synch" (each Time a Cutscene start (Not the ones with Great GFX)I'm getting Slowdown and the Voices go before the the text)

I'm having an ordinary Laptop (Windows Vista)

The best solution when using Vista is a new operating system. >.> Ok ok. I assume it's Vista 32 bit.

Make sure you have UAC turned off (I hate turning it off, but as you probably installed to the /Program Files/ folder it's the easiest and most foolproof way around the UAC's obstacles).

Also right click the SH2.exe, go to the compatibility tab and ensure that you're running in compatibility mode WindowsXP SP3. Also click run as administrator on this tab.

Did you do a full install (I'm not 100% sure SH2 has a minimum or partial install, but if it does, make sure you choose the largest install size possible)? If not, reinstall. This will keep the game from accessing the disc most of the time, except for DVD checks.

If your computer has a multi-core processor, make sure to assign it affinity (this can be done via batch file, or with a program such as runfirst).

The UAC is the most likely obstacle to saving the game, as the game does not have permission to edit files in the /Program Files/ Folder and it's possible you're reading the cutscenes from a disc, and the disc is damaged or something. I'd suggest a disc back up with a nocd exe, but I won't tell you where to get or how to use this because people here are touchy about piracy (even though it's perfectly legal to backup your own copies of these games), and this method could CERTAINLY be used to pirate the game.

If none of those solutions help, please post back with more detailed system specs and we will further troubleshoot. To get more complete specs, click the Orb, then type dxdiag in the run bar. That will have complete system specs including your GFX adapter, processor and RAM.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]

Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
I finally bought Silent Hill 4 (on ebay) yesterday! I liked the first 35% of the game that I played on a PC so I think I'll really like the PS2 version. I've read that the game gets better towards the end so I'm glad I didn't waste my first playthrough sitting at a PC! The worst thing about the game was the controls but I assume it'll be much easier with an actual controller..

And I bought Forbidden Siren 2 in case SH4 fails to scare me the way the first 2 (and the third to a lesser extent) SH games did.. I'm hoping Siren 2 is scary?


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Sep 2010
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Thank you very much for this, I would never be able to get Silent Hill 2 to run properly without your help ^_^.
However, I don't suppose anyone else gets strange lines in peoples hair and on walls and stuff? It's most evident in Maria's story, when you first meet the dude locked in his room (I have no idea what his name is anymore :P). It's not majorly annoying, just weird.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]
     
         
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Missing since: 27 Jul 2009
Notes left: 3531
supperhater wrote:
I finally bought Silent Hill 4 (on ebay) yesterday! I liked the first 35% of the game that I played on a PC so I think I'll really like the PS2 version. I've read that the game gets better towards the end so I'm glad I didn't waste my first playthrough sitting at a PC! The worst thing about the game was the controls but I assume it'll be much easier with an actual controller..

And I bought Forbidden Siren 2 in case SH4 fails to scare me the way the first 2 (and the third to a lesser extent) SH games did.. I'm hoping Siren 2 is scary?


1) Nobody cares (what does this have to do with the thread?)
2) You contribute to company downfalls. Well done.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Problems with a Silent Hill game on PC? [Sollutions]

Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 79
Yeah, I contribute to company downfalls by buying all their games! Shame on me.


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