In Defense of the Maria Ending

James got a letter. From a dead person. Oh dear.

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Soulless-Shadow
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Soulless-Shadow »

flipain wrote: Yeah, James didn't killed Mary in cold blood, I see it now, and he still do some heroic things, at least one, that is saving Angela from the doorman, but still he did what he did, I can't trust him entirelly, we are speaking about killing an innocent human being, it something too serious for me.
The point of the game was to be serious. They wanted to touch upon things that would make the player uncomfortable.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by flipain »

Ok folks, now I'm going to summarize the situation and my thoughts.

First, I exposed my opinions about James. Then a lot of people get pissed because this opininon was hurting their good, noble, and heroic image of James, so they started to analize every word I had said.

Then some people started to refute my arguments with documented facts.
These people immediately started to call me a liar.

I evaluated the situation, and realized I had committed technical errors in the way I had expresed myself, (and I'm not shielding myself in english not being my native language, I'm speaking of commiting errors inside the terms of Psycological language), along with forgetting some things about Psychology pathologies, due to me not working with such terms everyday, but still knowing
about them.

Then I proceeded to explain my backstory and my flaws, faults, and fails.

Then, people bashing on me, proceed to continue bashing me, even after I have recognised my faults, and starts to insult me personally, for example, claiming me to be a "toy". And that,said by someone who supposedly understand human behavior and tries to help other people.

Then I get mad, and I insult that person in return.

Then an admin appears, supporting the person who started the personal insults, but finally manages to calm down the situation.

Ok, that's pretty much the situation. Regarding me, I have to said that I have studied an university course of psycology, finally selecting Industrial Psycology/Human Resources, for 6 years (I repeated one year due that my real interest was Graphic Design, as I said), I have met good friends, I have had good moments, and bad moments, and, bealieve it or not, despite my human fails, I have learned a lot about human behavior and the way humans thinks, and I'm speaking about normal human behavior, not necessarily pathologic human behavior of which I know too.
So, if you folks like to think another thing, you are welcome, because
that aren't going to change a damn thing in my life.

Now, back to SH2, and its polemic protagonist, I have to say that you guys have been victorios in changing my mind. I entered this forum bashing James the same way you have been bashing me, and I have understand that I'm not one to judge nobody. I can't judge James, I can't say he is a cold blood
murderer. In fact, now I don't think he is a cool blood murderer, because even if he knew what he was doing, he did that under an enormous emotional pressure
with contradictory feelings. But, he still did what he did. Killing an inocent and helpless human being. This lead me to think that James is unstable.
Not necessarily a bad person per se, because he is still capable of love, regret,
and even do at least an heoric thing (saving Angela from the doorman), but still very unstable, and for that, inpredictable.

If I would enconuter James in SH, even knowing what he did, I wouldn't try to
beat him, kill him, or something like that, I don't even hate him anymore, I would ever save him the same way he saved Angela the first time (I still think he didn't tried very hard the second time, in the staircase to damnation)
But I wouldn't trust him either. Instead, I would try to survive for myself, and wouldn't feel comfortable if James was around.

And in the Maria ending, going back to topic, James shows psycopathic traits. He isn't a psychopath, even in this ending, but he do show psycopathic traits, like the abscence of remorse for killing Mary, and the fact he seems to be changing Mary for Maria as if they were toys (fun enough). This is clear with his phrase:
"It doesn't matter anymore (Mary being dead, and killed by him, no less), I have you."

So, in the end, I don't judge James anymore, I no longer support that he is a cold blood murderer, I don't hate him, but I still don´t like him, because is extremely unstable, and maybe even dangerous under certain
circumstances, (I guess he is not the first man with a terminal ill wife, and i guess not all of that men killed his wifes) and I wouldn't trust him.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by B5160-R »

flipain --
For future reference: If you feel like anyone has insulted you then click the report button, and it will be dealt with.

Now let's please move on.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by lain of the wired »

flipain wrote:In fact, I selected Industrial psycoloy/human resources over clinical psicology/therapist because I think that in order to actually try to help someone as a therapist you have to want to become a psycology wholeheartedly, and that weren't my case.
We called you a liar because you contradicted yourself and improperly used technical jargon in ways that even a layman could tell made no sense whatsoever. You said you don't have training in clinical therapy, so stop playing at clinical therapist. If you don't know the terminology, look it up before you decide to use it. That's basic, not only of the ethics of psychology, but also in simple communication between individuals: if you're not sure what a word or term means, you look it up before you use it, otherwise you risk looking like an ignorant asshole or insulting someone.

Also, when I call you "toy," it means I find you adorable and enjoy playing with you (I'm guessing you have no idea what a "toy" is- again, look words up before you start slinging badly misspelled insults). Of all the shit I said about you, for you to get all butthurt over that tells me someone's insecure. Anyway, now you've gone and called me a RETARDED, deeply cutting me to my very core, so now I'm all hurt and pouty and plan to go cry. : (

\/Just explaining what he seemed to have misunderstood- no name-calling involved. Not from the end that understood the names thrown about, anyway... Image
Last edited by lain of the wired on 17 Feb 2011, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by pink_isnt_well000 »

Please move back on topic or we will close this. Refrain from name calling or warnings will be given.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Joseph »

If we were forced to but some labels, I would put the Maria ending as the Bad one, the In Water as the Bad+ and Leave as the Good one. Rebirth's results are ambiguous and it's also a bonus ending, so I'd rather not characterize it. Besides, it is the nature of SH2's story that makes us understand it's rational for it not to have a Good+ ending.
If one achieves the Maria ending, then I believe James has actually failed because:
-He kills his wife. Again.
-He lives trapped in a harmful fantasy (it would be different if he just moved on, but now he actually creates a new 'realtionship' with Maria that makes him unable to develop any other kind of interaction with new women).
-He enters a never-ending circle (Maria coughs and we see them leaving from the point where everything began; an ironic statement that, both iconically and psychically, James has gone back at the beginning).
-He supposedly left Mary behind, but inside his heart he will always feel guilty for killing her, because he never gets the chance to have this special "last conversation" between them two, where she explains, forgives and lets go.

It is a severe failure to the lesson the town tried to teach him; and he returns home with the hardest kind of "homework" - revision.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Ryantology »

Rebirth's results are ambiguous
Every ending's results are ambiguous. We are only ever shown James' first few steps down any given path. His ultimate destination on any of these paths is completely open to speculation, outside of the fact that we know he never returns home or contacts his father. Any could result in something good for him, any can result in utter disaster.

This game does not lend itself as well to labels as the first game did, and if you apply labels, they reflect your speculation rather than serve as actual predictions.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by PoemOfTheLastMoment »

It was heartbreaking to see James' fate in the 'Maria' ending..to go through all that and still be in a state in limbo..doomed to repeat his actions and suffer it's consequences
Now I Know, The Real Reason Why I Came To This Town....I Wonder....What Was I Afraid Of? Without You..I've Got Nothing...Now, We Can Be Together Again.....Mary.....
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Oddish »

QUOTE: Every ending's results are ambiguous.

Well, In-Water is pretty clear. Death or... death. But you're right otherwise. In Leave, James's future is like everyone's: not set. Does he go home? Does he vanish? Is Laura with him? And in Rebirth, all we know is that James is planning to try some mysterious ritual to bring Mary back. Whether anything will happen, how completely the ritual will succeed, and what price James will have to pay are unstated.

Maria also presents a number of possibilities. Here's my take on it:

James leaves town with Maria. Maria coughs.

JAMES: “You’d better do something about that cough.”

Fade to black. Subtitle: “3 Years Later”

James is standing alone in a poorly furnished room, a bottle next to him. Violent coughing emanates from the room next to him. We can’t see who’s there, but we know. James pours a double shot of booze, slugs it down, puts the glass down. Then, he resolutely reaches down and grabs up a pillow and walks unsteadily into the next room. We don’t follow, but there are sounds of a struggle emanating from the room. The struggles fade, then an ominous silence prevails.

Cut to a country road, with a green sign next to it reading “SILENT HILL - ½ MILE”. James’s familiar blue car speeds down it and vanishes into the descending mist. Fade slowly to black: nothing more need be said.



As I said in a previous topic, I see very little to defend the Maria ending. It generally only occurs if the player is trying to get it (Leave and In-Water seem to be the two most common for first-time players). It makes the least sense based on James's overall behavior, most notably his apparent disinterest in Maria's advances. And it seems to be activated by essentially decent behavior: protecting a woman who is alone and scared, and checking on her when she needs to rest. Moral behavior and strength of character triggers the ending in which James is at his weakest and most immoral. The only explanation is that James must know, on some level, that Maria doesn't really exist.

I do not consider James's actions in the Maria ending to be evil or foul-minded. He is suffering, possibly hovering at the point of suicide, and all he can do is escape into an elaborate fantasy. And in a sense, he is better off than he is in "In-Water": death is irreversible. succumbing to madness is not. In any case, I do not condone his actions, but I understand them.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by AuraTwilight »

Well, In-Water is pretty clear. Death or... death.
Heaven or Hell. Afterlife or Nothing. Redemption or Escape. Atonement or Selfishness.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Oddish »

QUOTE: Heaven or Hell. Afterlife or Nothing. Redemption or Escape. Atonement or Selfishness.

Another point to Aura. I stand corrected. Well, actually, I sit corrected. If I was standing, I'd be all bent over to type this, and I'd have a killer backache.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by AuraTwilight »

Victory is mine again. Bwuahahahaha.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Squarehead »

Oddish wrote:QUOTE: Heaven or Hell. Afterlife or Nothing. Redemption or Escape. Atonement or Selfishness.

Another point to Aura. I stand corrected. Well, actually, I sit corrected. If I was standing, I'd be all bent over to type this, and I'd have a killer backache.
No, you were right the first time. Being dead is pretty definite, at least compared to the other endings.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Ryantology »

In a series in which the ghosts and memories of the dead frequently manifest, I think death is maybe not always such a sure thing in Silent Hill.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by AuraTwilight »

And reincarnation, and resurrection rituals, and death-defying time loops...
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Oddish »

QUOTE: Heaven or Hell.
Don't forget Limbo or Purgatory. Or simple annihilation. Or haunting Silent Hill for all eternity. :shock:

Redemption or Escape.
Must disagree. Redemption consists of doing something right to balance off one's wrong. In suicide, there is no redemption: two wrongs don't make a right.

Atonement or Selfishness.
That's not an either-or thing. James might think he's atoning for what he did, but in fact he's just miserable and wants to stop being miserable, which is an essentially selfish act.

And reincarnation, and resurrection rituals...
There's a thought... Mary is reincarnated as a cat. James is reincarnated as a mouse. Mary kills and eats James. Karmic justice and revenge have been served! 8)

and death-defying time loops...
There's a thought for the next SH game... "Silent Hill: Groundhog Day". We'll get Bill Murray in a blond wig to play James. :lol:
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by AuraTwilight »

Must disagree. Redemption consists of doing something right to balance off one's wrong. In suicide, there is no redemption: two wrongs don't make a right.
Depends on your Silent Hill cosmology. If the Gods of Silent Hill, and their very barbaric laws, exist, then it just might.
That's not an either-or thing. James might think he's atoning for what he did, but in fact he's just miserable and wants to stop being miserable, which is an essentially selfish act.
See above.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Oddish »

Depends on your Silent Hill cosmology. If the Gods of Silent Hill, and their very barbaric laws, exist, then it just might.

An interesting argument, but it stretches the parameters of right and wrong so far that they essentially don't exist anymore. For all we know, the barbaric deities in question would have liked it if James had raped and tortured Angela, skinned Eddie alive and turned his hide into a suit, then sacrificed Laura as a burnt offering. The only way the discussion can be coherent is if we limit said parameters to either the traditional definition, or the character's. In James's case, they're the same. Mary's death was, perhaps, a wrongful act. ames's suicide was the same.
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by AuraTwilight »

An interesting argument, but it stretches the parameters of right and wrong so far that they essentially don't exist anymore.
Not really. If deities exist, and they mandate morality in an Objective, cosmic sense, then Right and Wrong are probably more 'real' than they do in the real world, and such deities have laws that treat sin and retribution as concepts with weight and metaphysical existence. Indeed, in the Bible, before the sacrifice of Christ, righteous men had to atone for their sins with physical sacrifice of livestock, which is why Jesus is called "The Lamb of God."

It is perfectly acceptable and reasonable to imagine that the Gods in control of the Silent Hill universe find James' repentant suicide a worthy atonement for the murder of someone he loved.
For all we know, the barbaric deities in question would have liked it if James had raped and tortured Angela, skinned Eddie alive and turned his hide into a suit, then sacrificed Laura as a burnt offering. The only way the discussion can be coherent is if we limit said parameters to either the traditional definition, or the character's.
No, not at all. Not even close. There is no moral justification for raping and torturing people or turning them into suits or burning children alive as an offering for forgiveness. The sacrifice of one's own life, which belongs to you alone, is more morally ambiguous. Especially as done in the act of redemption. This exists in real life in, say, Japan.

Not only that, but there is the matter of consent. James is willingly taking his own life. It is ultimately his own choice, and therefore it can be argued that interfering with that choice, or condemning it, is morally incorrect, depending on your ethical framework. However, no system of morality will justify an aggressive attack on a non-consenting individual who bears no benefit from the act (such as euthanasia).
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Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Post by Oddish »

As long as morality is adjusable, we should perhaps consider what James did in the first place. Mary was going to die. She was in great pain, and was probably going to be in far more before her body finally gave out. If you saw an animal lying by the side of the road with its guts strewn around it, far beyond help but still awake and in agony, the most decent thing to do would be to put a pistol to its head and end its suffering cleanly and humanely. It could easily be argued that James was, rather than a murderer, a physician of last resort: the woman he loved was suffering, and he put an end to it. If morality can be adjusted to the point that suicide is a worthy atonement, then it can be adjusted to the point that euthanasia is an act of kindness. Either one can lead to a slippery slope, but that is a discussion for another time.

However, regardless of how you regard it, I do not see either atonement or redemption in James's final act. Redemption is obvious, since it is best defined as doing good to balance the scales for one's prior evil. A good example of both lies in the story of Frank Abagnale, the famous con-artist whose life was dramatized in the movie "Catch Me If You Can". Upon his capture, Frank was thrown in a French prison, where he served six months in conditions best described as hellish. You could have put a sign on the front of his cell: "This man was confined for the crime of forgery and swindling. Justice and revenge have been served." That is atonement, enduring a certain form of suffering to "pay for" your wrong. Contrastingly, upon his release, Abagnale went to work for the government and various banks, developing technology and methods to make forgery-resistant checks. That is redemption, renouncing the evil path you were on and doing good instead. Obviously, James did not do that: he committed another destructive act, this time on himself. It has been stated (by me among others) that if James were to leave Silent Hill, adopt Laura, and raise her lovingly as his own, that would qualify as redemption. Whether I think it happened in "Leave" is irrelevant, it doesn't happen in either "In Water' or "Maria".

So, redemption is out. But what about atonement? To answer that question, examine the words of Mary herself: "You killed me, and you're suffering for it. It's enough, James." In other words, Mary declared that honor was satisfied, that James misery and guilt were sufficient atonement for his actions. If the offended party says it's enough, it's enough. Additionally, consider what James says next: "Without you, Mary, I've got nothing... now we can be together", which clearly states his motivations. He believes that he has lost everything, and has no reason to go on. He hopes to be reunited with Mary in death, though the warning in Bar Neely's suggests that it may not happen.

To conclude, and hopefully get the topic back on track, "In Water" and "Maria" are similar in a number of ways. Most notably, they both involve James seeking escape from reality. In "Maria", he chooses delusion. In "In-Water", he opts for death. There is no atonement or redemption in either.
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