Category: Silent Hill

Silent Hill 2: Who was Maria and what was her purpose in the game?

Silent Hill 2, despite being more than 15 years old, is arguably one of the best old school psychological horror games ever developed with a solid, well written and highly engaging storyline. I could go on for hours at a time trying to dissect every aspect of the game’s twisted plot and I’d still be merely scratching the surface!

Below is a spoiler filled article which mainly talks about Maria and her role in the game. Bare with me as I try my best to explain who she was and, more importantly, who she was to James, the main character of Silent Hill 2.

Silent Hill 2: Introduction

Silent Hill 2 Director's Cut CD Cover For PC

The game begins with the main protagonist, James Sunderland, 29, arriving in a town called Silent Hill after receiving a letter from her wife who apparently has been dead for the past 3 years.

In the first scene we can see James talking to himself in front of a mirror in a run down public restroom. Naturally he is confused about the letter he got from his supposedly dead wife, but at the same time he’s hopeful that perhaps Mary (the name of James’s wife) is in fact alive thanks to some sort of a miracle. And so James begins his journey to find out exactly what happened.

Maria from Silent Hill 2Who is Maria?

Maria, a 25 year old former dancer at a club called Heaven’s Night, is the second most important antagonist in the game alongside James’s worst nightmare, the Pyramid Head (more on that later).

When James first meets Maria in a local park, he is stunned by how similar she looks to his late wife, Mary.

At this point it’s worth noting that the town (Silent Hill) draws upon the psyche of its visitors and ultimately creates alternate versions of itself for every character.

The fact becomes more clear later in the game when James meets a runaway teenager, Eddie, who experiences all of the same creatures that James sees as horrific monsters, as people laughing and taunting him towards violence.

Maria’s personality

While Maria is almost identical to Mary in every way (physically speaking), she has a much more sexually extroverted personality. She dresses in bold and revealing clothing and is found flirting with James throughout the game. She’s sensual, caring and more dependent than Mary.

Silent Hill 2 Maria Sensual Pose

In fact the game’s instruction manual describes her as being the complete opposite of Mary: a more fun, energetic and overall cheerful woman, albeit with a more clingy and intrusive personality which eventually leads James to reject her later in the game, at which point she tries to kill him by transforming into the final “boss” monster.

But… is she even real?

When you consider all of these personality traits in Maria and the fact that occasionally she seems to possess Mary’s memories of James and her being together, it becomes apparent that she is in fact a manifestation of Jame’s lonely subconscious mind that is desperately looking to fill the void left behind after his wife passed away.

In many ways Maria seems to be a “better” version of Mary, at least from a guy’s perspective, as she is much more easy-going to downright slutty, for lack of a better word.

Furthermore, we never actually see her around when James interacts with other people who are also lost in Silent Hill and coupled by the fact that she is desperately trying to remind James how “real” she is, all confirm the theory that Maria doesn’t exist in the first place.

For example when James first meets Maria in Rosewater Park, she says: “I don’t look like a ghost, do I? See, feel how warm I am”.

And then later, after being killed in front of James and then miraculously resurrected, she tells James that “It doesn’t matter who I am. I’m here for you, James. See? I’m real.”

She also happens to know James’s name almost immediately after meeting him for the first time even though he never told her his name. Of course James, being completely engulfed in his own delusion, doesn’t seem to notice it.

Not your typical “monster”

Silent Hill 2 Maria Smiling EerilyMaria, even though considered to be one of the two main antagonists in the game, is not necessarily malicious towards James (except for the part where she tries to kill him in the end), but she is definitely trying to keep James from leaving Silent Hill.

For example, in the Rebirth ending (yes, the game has multiple outcomes depending on your actions throughout the game) Maria says to James:

What?! But I’m what you wanted! Mary’s dead. Don’t you understand? She’s not coming back! But I can be yours… I’ll be here for you forever… I’ll never hurt you like she did! So why don’t you want me?!

Is she trying to keep James from learning the truth?

In the beginning of “Born from a Wish”, a prequel to Silent Hill 2, she mentions that she’s scared of being left alone and afraid of being in pain and in the main game seems to be highly bothered by the fact that James is more interested in finding out what happened to her wife instead of protecting and taking care of her.

At one point she lashes out to James and accuses him of being rude and selfish for only caring about his dead wife and not her by saying:

Why didn’t you try to save me? All you care about is that DEAD WIFE of yours!

Maria’s purpose in the game

Before we can start to understand the purpose of Maria in the game we have to dig a little deeper and figure out exactly what’s going on with James because, believe me when I say, It’s not all what it looks like!

James’s guilt

As James ventures deeper and deeper into the “rabbit hole” he eventually comes to terms with the fact that he was directly responsible of Mary’s death by suffocating her using a pillow some time after the doctors said there was nothing they could do to cure her illness.

Pyramid Head Abusing and Raping Two Helpless MannequinsSo he’s a hero then? No. James didn’t do it out of compassion. Instead he killed his wife mainly due to sexual frustration. There are subtle hints about this throughout the game, for example the infamous scene where Pyramid Head is seen abusing two mannequins.

Another reason for killing his wife was, of course, the sickness itself as it gradually changed Mary’s personality. In the end she was having constant mood swings and she would lash out at James in bursts of anger for no reason.

As Mary’s illness progressed, James started to resent her in almost every way, yet he still felt love towards her which in turn lead him on a downward spiral of self destruction and self pity. It took James 3 years to finally snap and end Mary’s life.

James’s delusion

After losing his wife, James’s life took a turn from bad to worse as he was now in complete denial of having killed Mary and so he created a story in his mind that she had been dead for 3 years because of her illness.

It’s very likely that the letter he received, which led him to Silent Hill in the first place, was just a hallucination and because of his numerous irrational and reckless actions throughout the game, it’s safe to assume that James was, in fact, suicidal and went to Silent Hill to kill himself.

Maria’s purpose becomes more clear

When you consider all of the above, it would make sense that Maria, being a figment of Jame’s imagination, was there mainly to provide comfort.

I guess, deep inside, James knew that he had killed his wife, but because what he did was so awful, he chose to ignore it and instead created Maria in the image of Mary so he could be together with her, oblivious to reality.

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Silent Hill 4 (The Room) Apartment 302’s Living room in Virtual Reality

Silent Hill 4 – The Room is one of my favorite installments in the Silent Hill series and if you’re a true fan like me, you have probably dreamed of what it would be like if you had the chance to actually step inside the game– literally.

Well, guess what? Thanks to Oo-FiL-oO from Deviantart who extracted and converted a 3D model of Henry’s living room, I managed to mash up a Virtual Reality experience! All you need is the dirt cheap Google Cardboard headset and a regular smartphone to step inside Apartment 302 for the first time.

Apartment 302 in Google Cardboard

Apartment 302 Hallway

You’ll find yourself standing in the main doorway, looking at the other end of Henry’s apartment. There are a couple of chairs further away and beside the TV set you will notice a familiar chest where you used to store all of your items.

Unfortunately everything’s completely rusted shut in this alternate dimension, so I’m afraid you can’t open any cupboards or drawers at this point.

Apartment 302 Kitchen

I’m sure you’ll recognize Henry’s kitchen to your left. If you look closely, you might notice there’s blood in the sink. I wonder whose blood is that?

Apartment 302 Living room

Turn around and walk into the main room with a comfortable couch. You can rest your legs here if you feel like it. Oh no! The television set… it doesn’t seem to be working.

By now you’ve probably noticed Room of Angel playing in the background as you walk around Apartment 302 in this dark, alternate reality. How does this make you feel?

You can use the stereo on the bookshelf to switch between three different music tracks.

How to walk around

You can move around the entire living room by pulling the Google Cardboard’s magnetic trigger once. Now just look towards the direction you want to go and you’ll slowly keep walking until you pull the trigger again.

I haven’t tested it myself, but if you happen to have a newer Cardboard model, the trigger button should work fine on that too. Let me know if you run into problems!

Not the whole apartment, sorry

Since Oo-FiL-oO’s 3D model didn’t include the rest of the apartment, I only managed to do the living room, so there’s a big, rather poorly textured wall right where you’d normally go into the hallway that connects the toilet and Henry’s bedroom. I hope you’re not too disappointed.

You can’t interact with drawers, the fridge or any other items at this point (except for the stereo and couch). It’s just a simple VR experience where you can walk around the Apartment 302’s living room, but I think you’ll have a blast looking at things from a completely new perspective.

On top of that, Room of Angel is playing in the background so it should give the overall atmosphere a nice finishing touch. Think of this as an interactive music video!

Easter egg?

I’m not sure if you can call it an easter egg, but if you look closely, you should be able to find it. I’ll give you a hint: there’s an object in Henry’s living room that doesn’t belong- I took it from Unity’s asset store because it wasn’t included in the 3D model of the room. Can you find it?

Download Room of Angel (Apartment 302) VR Game

Note: Room of Angel was the original name for this app, but it has since changed. The official name from this day forward shall be Apartment 302! I had to make the change in order to comply with Google’s tough policies on impersonating someone else. In this case, Konami. And just in case you’re wondering, Konami is totally fine with this.

You need to make sure your phone’s security settings allow apps from unknown sources. Don’t worry, I’m a nice guy and would never do anything evil to your phone. You can download the installer here:

RoomOfAngel.apk (31,6 MB)

Or from the Play Store

Currently the game will only work on Android devices and because it uses a Cardboard viewer, you’ll need a phone that will fit in the headset.

It should work with a wide range of mobile phones, but so far I’ve only tested it on my own Samsung Galaxy S2 that’s running Android version 4.1.2 so I can only guarantee it will work flawlessly on that phone.

*EDIT* Looks like it’s working fine on Sony Xperia Z5 Compact as well, but only after the Cardboard headset was paired with the phone using Google’s Cardboard Viewer app. It’s actually a great app to get rid of double vision in most VR games out there.

I’m very much interested in finding out on which phones this works so please send me some feedback and if you like what I’ve done, make sure to share it with your friends!

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