Panicky gamers that sprint from save point to save point may be able to beat the original Silent Hill, but they’ll miss out on all the little details the game has to offer.
Besides creepy touches like rusty wheelchairs and bloody basketball backboards, the developers at Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo crammed heaps of literary, movie, and music references, as well as spoofs on commercial brands and general weirdness, throughout the game.
Check out the images below to see how many details you missed. When you’re done, click here for a visual comparison of Silent Hill: Revelation and Silent Hill 3.
Cafe 5to2, where protagonist Harry Mason meets the police officer Cybil Bennett, is named after the café from the film Natural Born Killers.
Later on, Harry finds a store called Cut-Rite Chain Saws, which is named after a similar store from the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
Keys for eclipse
To gain access to the western side of Silent Hill, Harry must collect three keys labeled “lion,” “woodman,” and “scarecrow.” This is a reference to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz‘s cowardly lion, tin man, and scarecrow.
Like Harry, Dorothy accidentally travels to another world full of bizarre creatures.
Be cool, stay in school
A wall inside Cafe 5to2 has a poster of a man holding a shotgun with the words “Study, Dammit!” That same poster was published in The Maine Campus student newspaper in 1970 while writer Stephen King was studying at the University of Maine.
The list of school teachers at Midwich Elementary School, one of the locations in Silent Hill, includes Moore, Ranaldo, and Gordon. These happen to be the names of Sonic Youth members Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Kim Gordon. Rock on.
Have an old friend for dinner
Newspapers across Silent Hill have the cryptic headline “Bill skins fifth.” This is a reference to the novel/movie The Silence of the Lambs, where serial killer Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb murders five women, skins them, and wears their flesh as suits.
The renaissance of pinball
The pinball machine in Cafe 5to2 is modeled after Williams Electronics’ Medieval Madness. Great table, by the way.
Hell can wait, come to Eight
A convenience store simple called Eight looks a lot like 7-Eleven. Too bad you can’t have a foggy Slurpee.
End of the road
Every street in Silent Hill is named after a famous author. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Richard Bachman, pen name of Stephen King (The Running Man, Thinner)
- Carl Sagan (Cosmos, Contact)
- Robert Bloch (Psycho, American Gothic)
- Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park)
- Dean Koontz (Watchers, Phantoms)
- Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, Sliver)
- Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes)
- Francis Paul Wilson (The Keep, Reborn)
- Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles, It Came from Outer Space)
- Jack Finney (The Body Snatchers, Time and Again)
- Dan Simmons (Hyperion, Ilium)
- John Sandford (Rules of Prey, The Fool’s Run)
Gotta have it
The citizens of Silent Hill can’t tell the difference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi either.
Harmony of dissonance
A park bench has a poster with the words “Gangusta Paradise.” This could be a reference to the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the movie Dangerous Minds. Coolio in Silent Hill … now that would be frightening.
It’s a jungle gym out there
Midwich Elementary School is modeled after the school from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop. Seriously. Many of the posters decorating the walls inside the school are ripped straight from the film as well.
The message above appears the first time Harry saves his progress. It is very similar to a line from Stephen King’s novel, The Mist, which reads:
“There is a restaurant here, a typical HoJo restaurant with a dining room and a long, horseshoe-shaped lunch counter. I am going to leave these pages on the counter and perhaps someday someone will find them and read them.”
The city will be your tomb
A theater called Metropol comes right out of Dario Argento’s Demons. Around the building you can spot posters depicting one of the film’s disgusting demons.
The horror is driving him crazy
Looks like The Shining‘s Danny Torrance has been playing around Silent Hill. A garage door has the word “Redrum” (“murder” spelled backwards) written in blood — or lipstick. Bratty kid.
I’m loving it
Mega fast-food chains McDonald’s and Burger King have not opened any restaurants in Silent Hill yet, so locals were forced to built cheap knockoffs like MecBurger and Queen Burger.
Silent Hill’s movie theater is currently showing two films you can’t afford to miss: Shoot and Crusher Dan. I’ve never heard of them, but their posters do seem slightly familiar.
Even more knockoffs
The gas station is called Shell, but the S is faded and reads like “hell.” Scary.
Boxes inside the store The Indian Runner have a Fedy-X logo on them.
A box of Jelly Belly jelly beans in a Silent Hill game? Almost.
Hey, this whiskey poster actually says Jim Bean, so it’s not a knockoff. Score!
Stephen King’s influence shows up once again in the form of Carrie and Pet Sematary posters.
Someone at the police station is either French or is a big fan of the 1889 World’s Fair held in Paris.
Seeing posters advertising the British tabloid Daily Mirror is not odd since everything in Silent Hill belongs in a tabloid newspaper, but I did not expect to see The Beatles.
Don’t give away the ending
A picture inside The Indian Runner store in Silent Hill shows the grand opening of Norman’s Motel, a clear reference to the Bates Motel from Psycho.
Harry has never been to a Virgin Megastore, but he has shopped at Vestal Gigastore. Close enough.
Feeling hungry? How about grabbing some ribs at the Boston Market? I mean, Poston Market. My bad.
The character of Alessa Gillespie may have been based on The Legend of Hell House‘s Florence Tanner, played by Pamela Franklin in the film adaptation. The resemblance is remarkable.
I want to believe
A poster that reads A Woman Came Down from Planet Vulcan could be a reference to Star Trek‘s Spock, who comes from a planet named Vulcan.
Another poster says “The Martians have arrived,” and the game even has a secret ending where aliens abduct Harry. So, anything goes in Silent Hill.
More movie locations
One of the buildings in Silent Hill has a sign with the letters FAA and a pig’s head above a door. This is a reference to the film 12 Monkeys. The FAA (Freedom for Animals Association) is the secret headquarters of the Army of the 12 Monkeys.
Mushnick’s Florist is the name of the store from the film The Little Shop of Horrors. It’s hard to read, but the sign on the window says Audrey Junior, the name of the carnivorous plant.
What an excellent day for an exorcism
A room where Alessa was apparently tortured has scribbles on the walls. One of them reads “help me.” This could be a reference to The Exorcist film. The same phrase appears on Regan’s abdomen during her exorcism.
God is not here
Signs on medical supply shelves at Alchemilla Hospital in Silent Hill read “Hell is coming.” Nice. That’s exactly what I want to think about while I recover from surgery.
As you eat at Cafe 5to2, you can stare at a picture of the Virgin Mary shedding bloody tears. Check, please!