Silent Hill 2 Timeline

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

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MistahJ
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Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by MistahJ »

Didn't see any new post about this, so I figured I'd start one. Apparently recently Masahiro Ito stated that Silent Hill 2 takes place in the late '70s or early '80s and not in the '90s. You can read more from this article: https://www.pcgamesn.com/silent-hill-2-time.

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Does this mess up the current timeline when considering the other games in the series?
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Droo »

Huh. That's strange. I thought the going accepted theory was that the events of SH1 amplified the town's inherent supernatural power, allowing the events of SH2 to take place.

SH1 took place in 1983, so Origins is 1976. If SH2 is happening in the late 70s or early 80s, then it's possible it took place before SH1. Is that possible? We know Origins happens before the first game, obviously, but I thought that was because Alessa was still whole. If she's already been split into two, can SH2 still take place?

I'd be interested in hearing from Tommy on this.

Side note: Damn, does it ever feel nice to have something new to theorize and debate over again.
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I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

If I remember correctly, we got the 90s date from expanded Homecoming materials. Sounds like they made some assumptions. Since the original games don't give any exact dates I think it's going to be one of those things where some people choose to go with what Homecoming stuff says and some will go with what the original dev's intentions are.

Though, yeah, I'm definitely curious to see if the intention was for SH2 to be set before SH1 or not. I never personally felt too passionate about the idea of Alessa making Silent Hill stronger.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Droo »

Even outside of Homecoming (certainly not the most well regarded entry to be considered steering the ship) I thought Tommy and others had deduced the 90s as well for SH2.
"Oh yeah, I've been here before
I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
Lives in the mirror"
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by The Adversary »

>If I remember correctly, we got the 90s date from expanded Homecoming materials.<
Nah, I had SILENT HILL 2's date before HOMECOMING was released, I just can't remember exactly how right now. I'll have to go through my notes when I get home.

We know SILENT HILL 4: THE ROOM has to occur in 2001 due to Walter's diary. The year can be determined by looking at calendar dates (they're all written on Sundays) and that coincides with '01, because it has to occur after SILENT HILL 3 because of the Joseph Schreiber's Wish House investigation.

Official supplementary material from THE ROOM—think the Silent Hill Chronicles of its time—confirms THE ROOM occurs around 10 years after SILENT HILL 2. As I recall, other supplementary material indicates SILENT HILL 2 occurs approximately 10 years after the original game, but I'll need to look into that. I'm sure I have it somewhere.

But placing SILENT HILL 2 in the late '70s/early '80s doesn't work with that aforementioned official material. That would put the ROOM in the late '80s/early '90s, and Toby Archibold and co. would have been killed by Walter long before SILENT HILL 3. And, again, as I recall, the fracturing of the Order began shortly before SILENT HILL 3, not nearly a decade.

EDIT

Okay, my brain still works.

The aforementioned SH4:TR supplementary material noted that SH2 occurs approximately 10 years after the original game. The official THE ROOM strategy guide also states SH4:TR takes place 18 years after the original. And because THE ROOM has to take place within a year of SH3 (Toby Archibold/The Order stuff), that put SH4:TH at 2001, SILENT HILL in 1983, and SH2 in 1994.

Granted, strategy guides aren't the most reliable source. However, when compiling this much data, you have to use as much information as you feasibly can—that doesn't outwardly contradict itself—and as often as you can.

So, we can't have SH2 occur "around 10 years before" THE ROOM and before the first game.

And, not to be that guy, the last development team, Climax, and its head writer used the timeline I established to write canonical material for the series. Strange for Masahiro Ito to come out and say this after all this time.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

I think your timeline is good work. It's worth it to have a timeline that considers every piece of released information like guidebooks to create something comprehensive. I do now also remember someone official using your timeline (was it Climax, though, or Konami staff? There were two games after the last Climax one).

I don't think Masahiro Ito considers any of that, though. Someone asked him about contradictions with the information released alongside Homecoming and his only response was that he didn't work on that game so he doesn't know what they did. I imagine he would have a similar response to most of the sources used since he didn't work on SH4 either, and certainly not any guides for it. Ito is mostly active on twitter so it's also possible our forum and your timeline are too old for him to be aware of now. I'm not sure exactly when he started being more active with the fanbase.

Ultimately I think Ito is only concerned about the information contained within the games he worked on directly, not outside guides or later games. So this new information doesn't really invalidate your timeline as something covering everything released, in my view. Though I do find it interesting to know that this was the original intention. I wish Hiroyuki Owaku and Masashi Tsuboyama were also around to give insight on these sorts of things.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by The Adversary »

Tom Waltz has said he wouldn’t go anywhere to write without a copy of my timeline.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

Tom Waltz, yeah, that's who it was! Started with some of the comics and then was brought on to co-write Downpour. He seemed like a really cool guy. And like I said, I think it makes sense for newer entries that want to count the whole series to reference your timeline. It's the most comprehensive one.

But them using your timeline also kind of proves the point that once the staff started to change around, there was nothing in-house for them to reference for what the intention was. Masahiro Ito only worked on 1, 2, and 3. He can only speak for what the intention was behind those games. Since that information wasn't made clear within the games themselves, developers of later games had the ability to add their own take on it.

I think it's interesting at the very least. If we want to count every entry and find a canon that includes it all, then your timeline works within that. But that timeline is not what the original devs intended. The fault lies in them not keeping proper company-side documents for series consistency, so later games and the guidebooks and info around those games go against that original intent.

Edit: Also, https://twitter.com/adsk4/status/1356525913320476683
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by The Adversary »

So now SILENT HILL is in the late '60s/early '70s?

Okay, how about this. Let's adjust my timeline to fit this new narrative.

Let's just say SILENT HILL 2 is set in 1979. That's 15 years earlier. In keeping with my traditional timeline, using as many sources as possible to corroborate the time between events, we'll subtract that from the games.

SILENT HILL: ORIGINS — 1961
SILENT HILL — 1968
SILENT HILL 2 — 1979
SILENT HILL 3 — 1985
SILENT HILL: THE ROOM — 1986
SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING — 1992
SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR — 1996

Sure, it's fine. Kinda.

Except we know, based on Walter's diary that it had to have been written in 2001, unless 1986's calendar's Sundays also coincide with the appropriate dates. In 1984, 21 October, the date of Walter's entry discussing Sundays, occurred on a Sunday. That would work, except then THE ROOM would have happened one year before SILENT HILL 3.

Suppose we moved SILENT HILL two years further back from SILENT HILL 2. So, 1966. That could maybe work. Except then ORIGINS is in 1959 (unlikely) and SILENT HILL 3 is in 1983 (also unlikely).

We'd also have to find a year in which Columbus Day occurred on a Monday, October 10th to establish DOWNPOUR's year, unless it stays in 2011, which it likely would considering Vatra used my timeline.

There a lot of new discrepancies in following this "new/alternate" timeline, and, sure, Masahiro Ito is an original member of the team, this just doesn't make sense.

EDIT: Added some information from my earlier post regarding dates in effort to make this work.
Last edited by The Adversary on 02 Feb 2021, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Droo »

Downpour was Vatra, not Climax.

Also, are there any observed technology or vehicles that rule out this new timeline?
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by RedPyramidScheme »

No offense to anyone, but there is some misinformation in these threads.

The western games don't really align with the continuity of the Team Silent games, so trying to make those fit is going to take some retconning. But that aside...

1. Although the Red Diary places SH4 ten years after Walter's death, Walter's Diary (the memos in the forest), Another Crimson Tome, Another Red Diary, and the Victim Files don't place SH4 in 2001 or any specific date.

2. SH1 unambiguously takes place before SH2. This was confirmed in both Lost Memories and (today on Twitter) Masahiro Ito.

3. " I thought the going accepted theory was that the events of SH1 amplified the town's inherent supernatural power, allowing the events of SH2 to take place." - This isn't a theory, it was outright stated a few times in Lost Memories. Alessa projecting her nightmare onto the town in SH1 via her psychic abilities is what caused other characters to start experiencing their individual nightmares manifested in the sequels. Before that, Silent Hill just had a spiritual power over it tied to dead bodies in the lake.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by The Adversary »

Everything is pretty outdated all around, really. But that always seemed to be what the developers were going for.

I'll tinker some tomorrow to try and make it work. But I know THE ROOM's proximity to SILENT HILL 3 is gonna be difficult to realistically make sense of.

>Walter's Diary (the memos in the forest), Another Crimson Tome, Another Red Diary, and the Victim Files don't place SH4 in 2001 or any specific date.<
Walter writes in his diary on Sundays, and 21 October, 2001 is a Sunday. The game also began development in 2001. It's always made the most sense.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

The Adversary wrote:There a lot of new discrepancies in following this "new/alternate" timeline, and, sure, Masahiro Ito is an original member of the team, this just doesn't make sense.
It doesn't make sense because Masahiro Ito had no involvement with any game beyond SH3 and the people who were involved in those games clearly didn't get the memo on when they intended them to be set.

Ito clearly also doesn't have any specific year set in stone, so I don't think they put too much stock on calendars used in their games or anything like that. It looks like they were just going with something like:
SH1 - Late 70s/Early 80s
SH2 - A Few Years After SH1
SH3 - 17 Years After SH1

That kind of vague "it's around this time frame" is pretty normal for fictional works but goes completely against the idea of a solid year by year timeline.

So, with that said...
The Adversary wrote:I'll tinker some tomorrow to try and make it work.
I don't think you should. Or at least I don't think you have to. Knowing the original intention behind when the original games are set is interesting information. But they didn't put that information into the games or any official guides or interviews. Later games added stuff to the timeline, and for everything that has come since then to work together, the original intent of "Late 70s/Early 80s" no longer works to the series overall.

Masahiro Ito isn't concerned with how his original intentions fit with later developers intentions, and it's perfectly reasonable for him to feel that way. But if we want a comprehensive timeline, we have to be concerned with everything, and I personally think there's merit in both approaches existing.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by MistahJ »

Droo wrote:Side note: Damn, does it ever feel nice to have something new to theorize and debate over again.
Yeah as soon as I saw this article I was like "oh thank God, something to talk about again" lol. I know everyone here, including me, has been kinda down with nothing new regarding the supposed Silent Hill game leaks.

And I guess with the whole timeline thing, we can always have two? Adversary's is fantastic for covering all the games. A separate timeline just for the first 3 games and when they were intended to take place could at the very least give us some insight into design choices and what not. Though I am curious to see how this new information could possibly work on the current timeline.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Droo »

NanayaShiki wrote:
The Adversary wrote:I'll tinker some tomorrow to try and make it work.
I don't think you should. Or at least I don't think you have to.
He may not have to but Tommy lives for this kind of thing. ;)
"Oh yeah, I've been here before
I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
Lives in the mirror"
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by The Adversary »

>I don't think you should. Or at least I don't think you have to.<
It sounds like you've forgotten precisely who I am 'round here.

Kidding.

But, for real, my timeline has always been (arguably) the most accurate and comprehensive, and the first, and the one on which everyone else's is based, so I'm not gonna let one little tweet ruin everything I've worked on. Even if I've forgotten most everything having not played any of the games in . . . eight years . . . and have to start from scratch. I'll do it. Don't tempt me with a good time.

I'll even go back to my all-encompassing Silent Hill Compendium I was working on back in the day that I still have in my desk drawer.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

I mean, I'd be interested in seeing what you can come up with, at the very least.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Ryantology »

Well, I'll tell you what, nobody was recording home movies on VHS in the late 1970s, since the first camcorder didn't debut until 1983.

your move, ito-san.
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by Droo »

Ryantology wrote:Well, I'll tell you what, nobody was recording home movies on VHS in the late 1970s, since the first camcorder didn't debut until 1983.

your move, ito-san.
*mic drop*

Well, that pretty much settles that!
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I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
Lives in the mirror"
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Re: Silent Hill 2 Timeline

Post by NanayaShiki »

Well he did say late 70s or early 80s. 83 is still early 80s. Clearly the real takeaway here is that James is an early adopter of new technology.

Evidence for this: Mary seems slightly annoyed that James is "taping AGAIN", which is the sort of thing someone who just got a camcorder for the first time is known to do.
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