Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Come here to talk about the Book of Memories.

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JuriDawn
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by JuriDawn »

I can use "goth" as an adjective to describe a manner in which I occasionally like to dress (when I'm not restricted by a dress code at work) without declaring that I am a melodramatic sad-pants who writes bad poetry about suicide. Nor have I ever dyed my hair black. Yet for the sake of summing up a fair number of my tastes and interests, the word "goth" will do in a pinch. I don't feel the need to establish my goth cred by playing to stereotypes, but it's a convenient descriptor. These categorical adjectives don't bother me in the least.
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thy_butcher
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by thy_butcher »

I think the class-labels work ok.
My view on it however is that a lot of people might not want to choose "Jock" or "Nerd" because they sound a bit derogatory.
I understand the classifications; but I don't know how many people will like to choose a label like that.

But then again, it's a video game, so perhaps it wouldn't be a big deal for most like I feel it would.
And maybe I don't know people as well as I'd like to think.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by JuriDawn »

thy_butcher wrote:I think the class-labels work ok.
My view on it however is that a lot of people might not want to choose "Jock" or "Nerd" because they sound a bit derogatory.
I understand the classifications; but I don't know how many people will like to choose a label like that.
If they view it as merely an adjective rather than a label, it should be far less of an existential crisis. ;)
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by chounokoe »

I kinda get both sides of the discussion. I do agree on being open for change and development, but I have some problems with the arguments that were raised in the very article that started this thread.
Imagine this utopia: Konami could even go so far as to have the ‘Silent Hill’ name could act as an umbrella for a number of experimental pseudo-indie games, guaranteeing each a base level of financial success, and thus a safe space for devs to experiment.
That is the only problem I have with possibly being too open minded. Final Fantasy is an example where this could basically work (and in many cases has worked), but that is because the series never (or rarely) tried to create coherency between its titles.

I cannot agree with the claim of the author that Silent Hill has no continuing storyline, because it has. What it does not have is a large abundancy of apparent continuing plotlines, apart from SH1 and 3 (Origins could also be inserted here, though it doesn't establish much that we did not already knew), each game can basically be enjoyed on its own. Still the overarching story is that of Silent Hill, a place of mystical power, and its various influences on people throughout all the world and time. On this level the story has coherency and I think allowing anything under the umbrella of "Silent Hill" would water that story down. The only thing that bothers me about new entries is, if it actually hurts the story and disrupts what Silent Hill carries beyond its plotlines.

Is BoM going to do that? I can't say that because I haven't played it yet. And know what? I'm going to write something even more horrible...
I think so far no Silent Hill game has strayed so far. Sure 4 was very obviously created as a spin-off. Sure Origins had some problems with breaking continuity, Sure Homecoming was way too literal in some areas. And Downpour was plagued by trying too hard to be like the old times.
Still none of these games were created without at least a basic understanding of what Silent Hills story is about. If you want to search for that look at some of the comics.

OT: Phew after I lost all my log-in data from several places I kinda didn't come back here, though I don't know why. So new user account, but hopefully I'll be allowed to step back into the game.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by Yuki »

chounokoe wrote: That is the only problem I have with possibly being too open minded. Final Fantasy is an example where this could basically work (and in many cases has worked), but that is because the series never (or rarely) tried to create coherency between its titles.

I cannot agree with the claim of the author that Silent Hill has no continuing storyline, because it has. What it does not have is a large abundancy of apparent continuing plotlines, apart from SH1 and 3 (Origins could also be inserted here, though it doesn't establish much that we did not already knew), each game can basically be enjoyed on its own. Still the overarching story is that of Silent Hill, a place of mystical power, and its various influences on people throughout all the world and time. On this level the story has coherency and I think allowing anything under the umbrella of "Silent Hill" would water that story down. The only thing that bothers me about new entries is, if it actually hurts the story and disrupts what Silent Hill carries beyond its plotlines.
I disagree. I'd rather see something that attempts psychological mindfuckery--even if it's in a new way--than something that has to stick to the cult, that has to stick to the exact town of Silent Hill, or similar things.

I'd not want it to go to, say, a first-person shooter such as Halo, but even a first-person Silent Hill could be good.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by DirtyNorris »

I cannot agree with the claim of the author that Silent Hill has no continuing storyline, because it has. What it does not have is a large abundancy of apparent continuing plotlines, apart from SH1 and 3 (Origins could also be inserted here, though it doesn't establish much that we did not already knew), each game can basically be enjoyed on its own. Still the overarching story is that of Silent Hill, a place of mystical power, and its various influences on people throughout all the world and time. On this level the story has coherency and I think allowing anything under the umbrella of "Silent Hill" would water that story down. The only thing that bothers me about new entries is, if it actually hurts the story and disrupts what Silent Hill carries beyond its plotlines
Did I say the series doesn't have a continuing storyline? (scurries away to check...) Blimey, I did didn't I? Sorry, that was wrong. Honestly, I was probably a little blinded by bias when I wrote that. The series does have a running storyline. It's just that I fucking hate it.
Is it okay if I go off on a bit of a tangent here (although I think it's still fundamentally on topic)? I have never, ever understood how the cult/demon/god stuff became the centre of this series. Well no, I do- it's obviously the main explanation for the series existing at all, and that's pretty damn significant- but it's astonishingly dull. It lacks (interesting or believable) human drama, it's messy and convoluted, and again, deathly, deathly dull- but that's fine. It's fine as backstory, which is what I always thought it was meant to be- a hastily scribbled bit of exposition to explain all the interesting stuff that makes up the rest of the series.
But then the cult somehow became the central focus, and for me it just doesn't work. In fact I'd argue it doesn't work for the majority of people. No, I'm not calling that as fact, but I'm guessing that small scale character studies resonate more with people than dense mythology. In fact the only times the cult has held my interest have been when the devs take a quick glance aside at the damage it has done to the townsfolk i.e. human fucking drama.

I'm drawn to the series because the struggles of its characters (Cheryl and James in particular) have touched far too many raw nerves. Life's often difficult but rarely dramatic, and it's frustrating when its severity is undermined by being outwardly mundane and unremarkable. Silent Hill takes someone's grief, guilt, self-loathing etc, and magnifies it to the level that we feel it. I've always seen the series as being, by its nature, extraordinarily empathetic and down to earth, and it's so refreshing to have a videogame series like that. It's outwardly just as bombastic as the rest- but all its nightmarish surrealism stems from people, giving everything warmth and humanity.
People relate to people, the cult storyline feels cold and clinical, and I don't want its petty continuity getting in the way of the stories of more characters being told.

(for the record I'm not aiming any vitriol at you or anything, and I know you weren't talking about the cult specifically- I just used your post as a jumping off point for a different argument)
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by AuraTwilight »

I agree with DirtyNorris about 100% in that post, and would like to add that aside from the other problems mentioned with the cult, it's also just silly. In SH1 it started off with Dahlia's madness being an exception to the rule and that she was a heretic, and now we're at the point where the Order does everything short of having an automated assembly line that takes babies out of pregnant women and throws the infants right into wood chippers which sprays the remains into a magic ritual circle that symbolizes God's gorn boner or something.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by Arsenic13 »

It's a goofy spinoff, I don't see the harm. Which one of us haven't thought about what it would be like being in the town ourselves? I don't intend to make a weird looking character (like I do in other custom character games). I want to make myself as close as possible, run around fighting the monsters I am familiar with, and then kill some time with a friend or two via coop.

As long as the game is fun to play, I can easily see myself loving it once it's out.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by mikefile »

I'd like to link to the cult issue for a moment. I'm thankful that someone finally brought up such fact. I know it's kind of a massive shit for the fandom, but I could argue that it's true.

I always tried to cover it by focusing on peeling off the layers of the BURN-THE-GIRLS-TO-POSSIBLY-BRING GOD plots and the LET-S-TORTURE-PEOPLE-IN-"HOSTEL"-AND-"SAW"-STYLE-CAUSE-THEY-DON-T-HAVE-FAITH storylines just to find the parts that actually adjoin with the actual real life problems throughout the real life emotions people deal with.

And I still keep doing it, hoping that the cult thing is merely a very camouflaged Silent Hill-esque way of bringing the true problems that the story deals with. And, in many occasion I succeeded in finding what I was looking for, but still, stories of down to earth individuals are the ones I find most compelling. In SH2 and SM I can find what really matters. I'm able to relate to James' and Cheryl's pain. Hell, even Walter's one somehow comes to me very compelling in a way, despise the CULT-CHILDREN-TORTURE-BUILDING scenarios that can't measure with other, previously mentioned characters.

While detecting chunks and sometimes concrete implications of the individual's honest human struggle in the Order's plots, it never completely seems to me that it reached the level of what 'individual' titles achieved. However, I'm not entirely condemning the general CULTwise element, as a part of me still believes that IT may simply be a much thicker symbolic camouflage than the one we're used to to see from non-cult plots.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by Yuki »

I honestly don't mind the cult parts as backstory. SH4 was all about Walter--less so the cult, to me--and SH1 was all about Alessa.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by clips »

I don't mind the cult backstory either...it's part of the series but i don't think the franchise needs to be defined by it. My main issue with Bom is that will it muck up the overall SH universe with all of these monsters being spawned in one place from different games?

Yeah i get that anything can happen in the SH universe, but there are some things that should be absolute,..like creatures staying in specific games and belonging to specific individuals..and i'm not just talking about PH etc..i mean all of the monsters.

It's true that i don't know the full story behind Bom, but assuming it has something to do with this apparent book of memories, we'll just have to see how well it's crafted and if it affects the SH universe in a detrimental way going forward. By detrimental i mean SH games that completely jump the shark by having the Boogie man,PH, Valtiel all in one traditional SH game....not saying they would do that, but you get the point.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by chounokoe »

DirtyNorris wrote:Did I say the series doesn't have a continuing storyline? (scurries away to check...) Blimey, I did didn't I? Sorry, that was wrong. Honestly, I was probably a little blinded by bias when I wrote that. The series does have a running storyline. It's just that I fucking hate it.
I just wanted to grapple that point one more time, before everybody else (apparently except you, thank you :wink: ) thinks that I meant the cult-plotline as the continuing storyline. Because I also only like certain elements of the cult-plot, the whole execution (especially in later titles like Origins and Homecoming) is way too over the top and begs more questions than it answers. I'm almost 100% with you on that subject.

But for me the cult is still nothing more than what I said in my original post, a plotline. The overarching storyline for me is exactly what you mentioned, human drama and its (meta)physical/psychological distortion. The origin of the distortion has always somehow been Silent Hill, sometimes only working as agent (SH2), sometimes only creating ideals (SH4) and sometimes actively taking part (SH1).

To take SH3 as an example. For me it was all about Heathers difficulties of processing her own growth into adulthood, remnants of memories where she came from holding her back, her father modeling her into something he saw right but did so out of love, Claudia (a part of her old life) trying to win her back, Vincent (the seducer) trying to mold her to his own selfish ideals, etc.
And on the other hand Claudia served as a mirror image to Heather. Her father hated and abused her for not fulfilling his ideals, she always tried to live for something greater and buried her own desires so long until they exploded.
The whole cult story was a narrative frame that worked for me, because it gave a good conclusion to the Alessa arc, but I stopped seeing SH3 as a simply continuation of SH1.

This is why I have no problems with elements like this:
My main issue with Bom is that will it muck up the overall SH universe with all of these monsters being spawned in one place from different games?
The mythology of SH was always murky, even though it gave us clear indications how certain governing rules appeared to work for the people who lived with them and/or used them. I think SH as a series allows for these elements to happen, as long as they are properly inserted into established frames.
But that is also the problem I had with the original statement that I criticized. If we stray to far from Silent Hill and its mythology, completely casting it aside, there has to be proper replacement which has to be established. Despite some of their internal failing, most of the later titles work because they are still part of the overarching storyline, allowing us to use gathered information on these titles as well without having them spelled out in their entirety within the game itself.

If we move so far from this storyline that a new basis has to be established every time, there is in my personal opinion no need to use names like Silent Hill as umbrella terms, because it reduces the name to a simple marketing tool.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by mikefile »

About BoM gleaning some of Silent Hill's classic material- I don't have a feeling it is going to hide a refined complex scheme behind the PHs and Boogeymans presence- 'cause it would be a to complicated task and it would only make it far fetched and difficult to conceive, especially for an irrelevant little spinoff in contrast with the canon series. But I do think they're gonna make it work in a non-strict way so players could ascertain the familiar universe with an epic and nostaligic feeling.

And regarding the cult plot, I want to point out that I never stated the basic design was out of place or not belonging to the series. I was merely stating that for me at least, it was a bit difficult to grasp the essence of the previously mentioned values.

That is, I will always sympathize with Heather's or Alessa's pain, but not in a way that will make me reflect and grasp the core of the emotional disturbance.

Let me put it this way. I can detect the value of the presentation of James' suffering. Moreover, I can see the true nature that caused it:
PRIME_BBCODE_SPOILER_SHOW PRIME_BBCODE_SPOILER:
- confusion and massive emotional turmoil that appeared after killing his sick wife.
With Heather, I can detect the value of the presentation of her suffering. Moreover, I can see the true nature that caused it:
Confusion and massive emotional turmoil that appeared because--- a lady once burned her child that had magical powers, unprovoked, so she could fail at bringing God by confronting with the girl's spliiting, and later merging, which presence after a while will be detected by a magical vision of an abused woman.

And the important fact is that I don't even mind the final part. I mind that I'm not able to see clearly the realistic core that caused the more clearly realistic drama that we all sense during the game.
Last edited by mikefile on 12 Aug 2012, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by HeartlessBastard »

Man, I'm starting to love this forum. I've been here for like, three day, and I already feel like home :D
The main reason I love Silent Hill ( aside from the art aspect. I'm Masahiro Ito's #1 fan ) is the human element. The "drama", the sadness and guilt that the characters feel takes me back to the ancient Rome, where all of the fictional work where dramas and depressing stuff.
SH2 and Shattered Memories almost made me cry. SH2 because of the massive emotional weight, and Shattered Memories because I can relate Harry Manson to my father in so many ways (He has, at the same time, an alcoholic, the best loving father ever, an womanizer, and confronted by my mother for wasting his money with his "friends").
The human aspect that Silent Hill have is unique, because it show us the darkness the lurks within us, even if we try to deny that ourselves.

I didn't mind the cult at the start, because, in the first game, that cult was there to support Alessa's main storyline. Not to mention that Dahlia is basically a mixture of Mrs. Carmody with Margaret White (From The Mist and Carrie, respectively).
SH3 was OK too, cuz it closes Alessa's storyline.
SH4 was just trying to tie in with the rest of the games, besides, the main aspect of the story is Walter's struggle.
But I think that's enough already. I'm tired of the town's cult. Is just a bunch of stupid people doing stupid stuff. But like a wise old man once said,
Vlad the Impaler wrote: The same could be said of all religions.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by PyramidFace »

clips wrote: Yeah i get that anything can happen in the SH universe, but there are some things that should be absolute,..like creatures staying in specific games and belonging to specific individuals..and i'm not just talking about PH etc..i mean all of the monsters.
Here's the thing though - that was never true. Not even in the originals. You can compare 1 - 3 in "Lost Memories" and see things like "these bugs enemies are in SH2 because they were in SH1" While SOME creatures have significant psychological purpose tying them to the main characters, MANY do not. We just like the fact some do so we project that quality onto the entire series and every creature in it.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by AuraTwilight »

Well, in fairness to those bugs, they were born from Alessa's mind. It's just that she kind of founded the damn place so her influence is infinitely pervasive.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by thy_butcher »

BoM won't "kill the series."

But what I'm worried about is; will the Vita kill BoM? :(
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by JuriDawn »

Unfortunately, I suspect that will be the case. Ordinarily, I would never buy a game system solely because of my interest in one game, but since I've gotten a raise at work (yay!) I'm actually planning to bite the bullet and buy a Vita so I can play Book of Memories.

I may wait a while though, just in case it gets ported like Origins.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by thy_butcher »

Maybe it could be put on PSN & support cross-platform multiplayer between Vita & PS3.
That'd be neat.
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Re: Why BoM WON'T kill the series

Post by Number 7 »

^I like this idea. I'm willing to give any Silent Hill title a chance no matter how it looks, the problem this time around is that it's unavailable to me because I have no intention of getting a Vita.
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