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"Monsters? They looked like monsters to you?"
Silent Hill 3 is the third game in Konami's Silent Hill franchise; whereas Silent Hill 2 featured a story divorced from Silent Hill 1's, SH3 picks up seventeen years after the first game's story (which ended with Harry Mason escaping from Silent Hill).
Heather, a seventeen-year-old girl, is walking through a typical suburban mall when she is approached by a shady detective called Douglas, who wants to talk to her about her past. Heather shuns Douglas as a stalker and tries to slip away from him, but suddenly finds herself trapped within a hellish otherworld populated by grotesque monsters.
Heather struggles to return home and make sense of what is happening to her, stalked by the mysterious otherworld that seems to corrode her surroundings wherever she goes. During this she is "helped" by two people: Claudia Wolf, a strange girl who urges Heather to "remember who she really is"; and Vincent, an enigmatic preacher with an agenda of his own.
Whereas SH1's otherworld was based on hospital trauma and SH2's on guilt and lust, SH3 (loosely) preys on typical teenage fears such as unwanted pregnancy — and like previous games, SH3's story and mood embrace a theme related to these fears (in this case, helplessness). There are also several forms of symbolism related to rape — and the fear of rape — which make more sense when players discover Heather's status as the unwilling carrier of the fetus of the cult's God.
This game has a Shout-Out page.
Tropes specific to this game:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Vincent offers an in-universe example as seen in the quote at the top of the page. One ending more or less makes this real.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: By completing the game under certain conditions, you get passwords that you can input in the game to unlock new outfits for Heather.
- Apocalypse Maiden: Heather, by virtue of carrying the cult's unborn god.
- Book Ends: Not only does the nightmare at the beginning give you a preview of the last area (at least, the last area before you wind up in "Nowhere"), it happens to also be the same place that Harry ultimately wound up in during the last part of Silent Hill 1. Additionally, Silent Hill 2 concluded at a hotel that was just around the corner from the Lakeside Amusement Park, so all three more or less ended in the same general place.
- More specifically, all three ended with the main character getting to the other side of Toluca Lake by either walking aroung it or by boat, a journey which pretty much cuts them off from the rest of the town, and any help they may have.
- Call Back: The save points in Silent Hill 1 are in the form of notepads Harry finds lying around the town and the narration says that he's leaving notes of his experiences in case anyone ends up in the same situation. Towards the end of the game you find one of these notes.
- Calling Your Attacks: The
HeatherHEZZAH Beam/Sexy beeeeeam.
- Camp: Vincent has a bit of this (e.g. criticizing Claudia's "decorations"), though nothing over-the-top.
- Chekhov's Gun: Heather's pendant
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Vincent
- Confessional: Seen in the alternate Church.
- The Danza: Heather is named after the actress who voiced her. Her last name is not given in the credits, giving an impression of the character as herself, to the point that early promotional materials had her character name listed using the actress' full one — Heather Morris. Justified in that listing Heather's real last name -- Mason (as in, Harry's daughter) -- would have spoiled a fairly significant plot point that comes about halfway through the game.
- Dead Weight: Insane Cancers
- Deadpan Snarker: Heather. She starts out mocking Douglas when most would be intimidated by his "gruff detective act," but when things start going to hell, this aspect of her personality diminishes a bit, since she's (with good reason) scared out of her wits. As time goes on and she starts accepting the madness around her, she starts up again, in particular snarking directly to the face of God herself.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: As noted in the introduction, there's a lot of symbolism in the game which is very overtly sexual, ranging from towering enemies with heads resembling male genitalia, to Slurpers, whose attack animation is unsettlingly reminiscent of some form of molestation. There's also lots of symbolism pertaining to the idea of how frightening it would be to have an obsessive stalker, and how Heather has a fear of this, ranging from her distrust of Douglas, to the disturbing, and often violent, "love letters" from Stanely Coleman, and Valtiel, who follows Heather throughout the game, always watching, and occasionally appearing in positions which appear very voyeuristic. See Skirts and Ladders.
- Empty Room Until the Trap
- Evil Brit: Claudia, which is strange, since Silent Hill is in America and her own father has an American accent.
- Evil Twin: Heather is attacked by Alessa's Memory on the merry-go-round, the same place where Harry fought a possessed Cybil in Silent Hill 1, and Alessa's Memory uses the same weapons that Heather has been using throughout the game. Yes, this includes the steel pipe and the submachine gun.
- Fetus Terrible: The god in Heather's womb. After she spews it up, Claudia grabs it and swallows it herself. Yummy.
- Fission Mailed: The playable Nightmare Sequence at the beginning of the game. It ends when Heather is run over by a runaway roller coaster. Of course, that sequence was All Just a Dream. However, the player should take note to do something about it later in the game when Heather reaches the amusement park for real; otherwise, the exact same thing occurs, with a more permanent outcome this time.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: Claudia
- Game Over Man: Valtiel drags away Heather's body if you die.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted. Evidently, every time Heather dies, it's actually Valtiel who resurrects her.
- Gorn: The clue for the hospital's keypad puzzle on hard mode, describing in extremely graphic detail a person mutilating and eating another person's face. Which is supposed to be a metaphor for which buttons you press on the keypad.
- It's also a love letter! Directed at Heather...
- Guide Dang It:
- The infamous Shakespeare puzzle on hard mode. Even if you know your Shakespeare, it's still a Moon Logic Puzzle.
- The puzzle of "Who Killed Cock Robin?" It requires you to know a specific fact about a species of bird, a fact that most players have never even heard of.
- While there are a few hints as to what's really in Heather's pendant, there's not really any way to know when it's supposed to be used without consulting a guide.
- In the hospital level, the security door's combination are near impossible and will result in just guessing.
- Harder Than Hard: The Extreme difficulty levels, of which there are a total of ten.
- Have a Nice Death:
- Valtiel can be seen dragging Heather's body to parts unknown after certain deaths.
- If Heather attacks Claudia, Heather births the god.
- Honest Axe: The gold and silver pipes, though neither is particularly useful.
- Infernal Paradise
- Katanas Are Just Better: You find a katana in an office building, and it's the most effective standard melee weapon in the game. It's justified because of the improvised nature of Heather's other weapons (the knife and pipe aren't designed for combat, the maul is slow and heavy).
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
"Is this the end? Time to roll the credits."
- Living Memory: The Memory of Alessa boss fight.
- Magic Feather: Vincent makes a big deal out of Heather getting the Seal of Metatron, thinking it's the key to killing "God." Turns out the seal does nothing, and Heather had the power to beat "God" all along.
- Magical Girl: Parodied with Heather, who during a replay game can find a wand and, after invoking a Transformation Sequence, shoot Frickin' Laser Beams at the enemy.
- Meat Moss: Toxic meat moss. There is a bloody room with a mirror that will kill you once it covers your reflection in blood.
- Mirror Boss: Heather faces off against Memory of Alessa in the amusement park, who is essentially an Evil Twin. Alessa uses your own weapons against you, which is especially painful when she pulls out your submachine gun.
- Moon Logic Puzzle: Nearly all the puzzles in the game on hard riddle mode. Even some of the stock puzzles that are present regardless of difficulty are this. On hard riddle mode, however, the final puzzle in the game is a truly bizarre puzzle featuring a riddle involving deciphering an almost incomprehensible cipher revolving around Roman numerals.
- More Dakka: One of the unlockable weapons is a submachine gun with unlimited ammo. Very useful for taking down the particularly annoying monsters.
- Mythology Gag: If you have Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 save data on the same memory card, you can get a prompt to check a certain toilet. This results in a short cutscene where Heather turns directly to the camera and tells you off, which is a nod to James and the infamous disgusting toilet scene in Silent Hill 2. She also comments on how there's no mail, not even a letter from a dead wife, in her mailbox if you check it at her apartment, along with a few less jokey things.
- Never Found the Body: Vincent's body mysteriously disappears after Claudia births God.
- Not Even Human: Leonard, who appears as a giant aquatic monster. The fact that he's got a totally normal human voice just throws more fuel on the fire caused by Vincent's little "joke", if it was a joke.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: The final boss battle features this in the soundtrack.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: In the Borley Mansion:
- Railroad Tracks of Doom: The subway train and the roller coaster.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Heather pulls herself together and doesn't roar or rampage, but the player certainly feels this way after Heather finds Harry's corpse.
- Harry (and James) carries out one on the town in the UFO ending.
- Sadistic Choice:
- A woman of the Order confesses to Heather and begs for forgiveness. Remaining silent makes you feel like you did something wrong, but forgiving the woman gives you a tremendous number of Dark Points (and is what most people do in order to gain the Bad ending). It's pointedly worded to be uncomfortable, and the true nature of the sadistic choice element isn't really obvious on a first playthrough; you're not choosing whether or not to forgive the confessor and soothe her fear and guilt — you're choosing whether to accept the responsibility of forgiving her or not, which Heather, as Saint Alessa, has the divine right to do.
- Though you don't actively choose, the birthday call is essentially this along with a heaping helping of Mind Screw.
- Shaggy Dog Story: You explore the freakiest and longest stage in the game, the hospital, on a quest to get the Seal of Metatron. When you try to use it on Claudia, she laughs at you because the seal is a useless trinket. All the undead nurses you killed were for nothing.
- Schmuck Bait: That door with the red light above in the subway has the lock broken, and when you check it, it spawns 3 monsters behind you while the train approaches to kill you.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: "Shut your stinking mouth, BITCH!"
- Sinister Subway: It's pitch-black down there! It's also a direct reference to Jacob's Ladder.
- Skirts and Ladders: Played for Squick. When the hospital is changing to the Otherworld, Heather must climb a ladder, and Valtiel is behind it, turning a valve. He is also positioned in a way that would allow him to see straight up Heather's skirt. Given the plethora of other disturbing sexual symbolism, this was most likely intentional.
- Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: The first game where enemies make a different sound than the "hurt" cry when killed.
- Stalker with a Crush: Stanley, who turns Heather off to dolls afterward.
- Stuffed Into the Fridge: Harry. *sniff*
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Harry
- Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Twisted into something truly sinister. At one point, you get a rather bizarre phone call about receiving a birthday gift. "Would you like to give pain or receive it? You can have whichever you hate the most." Turns out this translates to "you get more bullets if you're low on health, or more health packs if you're low on bullets".
- Subverted in that you can easily miss it before fighting the boss that comes shortly after.
- Tarot Motifs: One puzzle requires the use of five tarot cards — the Fool, the Hanged Man, the Moon, the High Priestess, and the Eye of Night (created exclusively for this game as card XXII).
- Took a Level In Badass: Let's just say Cheryl is all grown up and is ready to take some names.
- The Unfought: Valtiel never directly interacts with Heather (unless she dies, anyway). He just watches.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: See Shut UP, Hannibal.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Claudia. Of course, just how "well" her intentions are depends on who you ask. She says that she doesn't expect to be a part of Paradise, since she spilled too much blood to be worthy of it.
Further supported when you read her diary, lamenting all of the evil and suffering in the world, and her desire to help end it. She readily admits that what she did was horrible, but she did it for the greater good.
- Weirdness Censor: Douglas seems oblivious to what's going on. When the mall changes, for example, he remains unaffected. One would think being attacked by monsters would shake him up a bit. Did he not encounter any of the creatures, or was he taking a nap? Maybe Vincent was right....
- Not necessarily. He seems pretty shook up when Heather first runs into him, asking "Claudia did all that?!"
- You Are Number Six: The fate of Stanley. Worse is that he very faintly moans out "Heather..." if you go near him.
"He's...underground now... His new name is number seven."
- You Killed My Father: Heather