Friday, June 12, 2015

Our Eulogy for Silent Hills



Remember that Childish Gambino video Sweatpants where he was wandering through the same restaurant over and over but it kept getting more surreal?  Well Konami released that in video game form, only instead of dope lyrics from La Biblioteca it was filled with demon fetuses and effective zombie-lady jump scares.  It was called PT and we wrote about it here (with just as many annoying hipstery music references).

That Playable Teaser ended with a trailer for a new Silent Hill game; the sort of cocktail of internet culture that could only have been dreamed up in some magical subReddit.  Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) would make the game with Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labrynth), and it would star Norman Reedus (Walking Dead).

Unfortunately our revelry was cut short and the actors, spirits, melted into air.  Kojima gave Konami the middle finger (as far as I can tell reading through the corporate doublespeak) starting a domino effect rendering Silent Hills a no more, and Konami, the once great console video game company something that now will focus solely on mobile games.

Nobody knows if Silent Hills would have been incredible, but in the nature of all cancelled projects that look excellent on paper, it was clearly going to be the best, most amazing game that ever existed or ever would.  For fans of a little PS1 game about a dad looking for his daughter that made them jump in the middle of night, what is lost is a chance that a once great series could return to the top.

But maybe this is better.  Maybe in a world where we are getting another Jurassic Park and Star Wars, where Evil Dead, Poltergeist, and Halloween need to be remade, it's better that Silent Hills can live on in our memories as this great perfect thing that almost was, rather than see the light of day as a mediocre cash grab.

That's either "too-cool-for-school" snobbery, or I've moved from denial and anger onto bargaining.

PT is no longer downloadable.  As this was probably the best horror video game experience in the past handful of years, it's the most tangible tragedy out of this entire mess.  There's an online petition to get it back, to rekindle the Silent Hills game, and to solve the Israel/Palestine conflict. For now those of us who experienced PT will have to wither, making sure we don't delete it and simply cling to memories of being terrified.

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