Much like ‘Resident Evil’, ‘Silent Hill’ has become more famous for its decline in quality with every new game. It is very easy to forget that it was a true revolution in the survival horror genre when it was released and while the games have undoubtedly gotten worse there are several things that have never had their quality questioned including the fog, the atmosphere and the creature design.
The latter is certainly something that, if anything, has improved game on game. And has given us some truly memorable (if haunting) monsters to avoid and kill.
Here is my five favourite mutations in the franchise.Grey Child
This was a creature so disturbing that it was completely censored out of the European release of the game and replaced with the altogether less disturbing teddy bear with knife monster. The reasons behind the censorship were outlined on the following:
- The monster’s name
- The monster’s stature, setting and sounds were all linked to children and you cannot kill children in an interactive medium.
I remember acquiring an American copy of the game (that I played in black and white because I had no scart lead) and it was incredibly disturbing to see child-like creatures attack me; and get killed by me. Their death throe noises sounded like a bizarre childish laugh. All these allusions to the child were undoubtedly the developers intention, the subversion of the institution of school was hugely successful – to this day Midwich Elementary is one of my least favourite in a horror game.
I find it hugely disturbing.
Asphyxia is one of the more sexual monsters in the franchise, at first glance she has the appearance of a naked woman but when you analyse the form more closely there are several ways in which Konami has subverted the female form.
- She has two torsos with two sets of breasts
- She has altogether too many hands, which are all of different sizes (some of which are child like in size) and cover her sexual organs
- The skin over her face has been stretched to completely remove all distinguishing features.
- She has a centipede type appendage that culminates in a human ass.
She is incredibly Giger-like in design and while her form is enough to give you nightmares, the most disturbing part of Asphyxia is the noises she makes throughout the fight – I cannot adequately describe these and will instead link to a video;
She is truly gruesome.
Another initially human-like creature but one whose very existence is a hellish experience, minute after minute. This creature is made to live life trapped in a strait jacket made entirely of their own skin – this means that they are always fighting a battle to get free of their restriction that they cannot possibly win; writhing in a pain and anguish for eternity.
Off screen the lying figure will either be lying on the ground or slowly shuffling around a small area, once it catches sight of the player though they turn into an incredibly quick (shockingly so) assailant that will run straight for – spewing a poisonous gas from their chest.
I’m not lying (figure) when I say that this monster gives me chills!
The needler is on a whole other level of disturbing from the others in this list! It is a twisted vision of childbirth, here we have a creature who is giving birth to itself! The simple act of moving the head to between the creatures legs has subverted what should be a miracle and the ultimate expression of love and happiness and turned it into a nightmare and a vision that is truly gruesome and unsettling on the most basic level of the human psyche.
The needler is incredibly disturbing in still photos but in-game he moves in a manner akin to a crab/spider hybrid and is incredibly aggressive – this creature is utterly grotesque.
Another grotesque creation from the twisted minds of ‘Silent Hill’. Twin Victims are a pair of conjoined girls wearing an outfit we normally associate with witches, abnormally long and adult arms, and finally their faces are more porcelain than human. The Twin victims also traverse the world on their arms and can move incredibly quickly, this monster is perhaps the best subversion of what we expect a human child to look and act. This is no ordinary child and is possibly a demon child – a fear that Hollywood was (and still is) keen to drive home on audiences.
Twin Victims are also unwilling to attack the player in-game, they merely point towards Richard and proclaim “receiver”. This alone is incredibly disturbing, what do they mean? And why is there a monster in this game that doesn’t attack unless provoked? And when they are fell by the player they act in an incredibly childish way, they will sob and kick around before regaining composure and attacking – playing on our instinct of helping a distressed child. Genius.
Being a new dad has perhaps made this monster more disturbing than any of the others – damn you Konami!
What do you think of my choices?
Do you agree or disagree with any?
Who would you choose?
Tell me in the comments below!