Silent Hill 2

The fucking bug room. You know the one. You get locked in a goddamn room with bugs. I mean… come on.

I recently acquired a Free McBoot memory card for my PS2 (and fancy component A/V cables!) so I’ve been playing through this game (again). I’ve been at the hospital area probably at least 6 times in my life, but somehow I always fail to finish the game. This time, though, I’m all the way up to the Lakeview Hotel and still going strong. There are a lot of things about this game that make all other “horror” games feel woefully inadequate, but I was actually more struck by how similar this feels to contemporary From Software stuff, particularly the atmosphere and combat of Shadow Tower (PSX, 1998). There are areas in SH2 that feel almost straight out of Shadow Tower.

Anyway, I’m only a decade-plus late to this party, but damn, this game has one hell of a soundtrack, huh?


I’ve played SH2 all the way through at least once. I don’t remember which ending I got but I had a really good experience with the game. I remember being really impressed with the fog effects at the beginning.

I can’t remember the bug room but I remember that one room near the beginning in the hospital with the mannequins that later come to life. I’ve had a dreading suspicion of mannequins ever since.

Now I want to go and play it again but I don’t want to play any HD ports or emulated versions. I would have to find a copy of the original PS2 game and play it on the CRT in the garage. Kind of worried that if I did replay it I might notice stuff that would bug me or take me out of it since it’s so old now and I would ruin my good memories.

Emulating the game is not a bad route. Accuracy is about 99%. There are minor issues with FMV cutscenes. You can go ahead and launch the HD “remasters” into the goddamn sun, though.

As far as the game being too old or not holding up, don’t worry about it; it’s still (sadly?) better than every horror game released since.

Actually now I’m thinking for Silent Hill I should probably play one of the ones I never actually finished like the first one or The Room, or play SH3 which I never played at all.

I will probably never do any of this. Glad you’re having a good time though!

the fog effects are still amazing. I don’t think I’ve yet seen a game with better looking fog. I don’t know how they did it.

the game has not aged well in terms of playability and controls and the player animations are kind of bad. but it’s still worth playing through strictly for atmosphere. I recently got ahold of an old broadcast monitor with an s video input and SH2 looks amazing on it.

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I actually find the controls are pretty great once you get used to them. I had a low opinion of them recently while emulating the game, but playing it again on PS2…

Can anyone confirm whether or not the game responds to pressure sensitivity on the face buttons on PS2? I feel like I can determine whether or not I’ll do a full downstroke or a sideswipe with the melee stick by varying my pressure. I know it’s not just a matter of held/not-held, because I seem to be able to lightly hold to do a continuous sideswipe. This might be placebo, but I can’t deny it does make the game feel a lot more dynamic than I recall.

Sidebar: Did the XBOX have pressure sensitive face buttons? If so, was this functionality (if it exists outside of my imagination) ported to XBOX for SH2? If not, how was it handled? Ditto for the HD ports.

I would also like to sincerely mourn that newer games tend to not allow you to spoof the left analog with the d-pad, as was favored by many if not common in the PS2 era.

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I always set the conrols to “2D” or whatever they called it, in the options menu, and then swapped “hold square to run” to “hold square to walk”.

This way controlling James is like a car, hitting the “brakes” whilst inadvertently running into Pyramid Head is a different and worthy experience.


Also, I recall that replaying your completed game save file reinstates information that is otherwise “scratched out” or whatever. Specifically the writing on the gravestones where you meet Maria which is otherwise incoherent. Little touches like this made me run through the game a number of times.

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I recently found out that the bungled HD port uses Comic Sans for the ranch sign. That’s a whole new level of stupid.


I love the bug room. I find that the game makes you feel trapped in a few occasions, and lets the feeling sneak up on you rather than making it too direct.

The game has aged well. The camera is still good, the game handles tight indoor places exceptionally well. Something like the much more modern Silent Hill Downpour feels much more claustrophobic. Usually you’re looking way too close at walls and things like that.

Actually, the camera in SH2 will even swing around and look at the main character in an accusatory way sometimes. Like he’s in these weird places, putting his hand in strange openings and willfully doing odd stuff, so while he’s a victim he’s also a willing participant. It’s a mysterious game.


Has there been a game since that replicates the nuance and utility of the L2 button in SH2? Hearing a noise, quickly holding it down and scanning a dark, foggy, grainy street scene still gives me chills. It fulfills the function of a first-person view (think of Super Mario 64’s clunky solution, for example) without breaking the immersion or feeling particularly “gamey”.

The HD versions are again garbage because the SH2 “port” was based off beta code of the PC port. But they are really really fucking bad. The SH3 port is actually beautiful but like the new VAs less. Like the Silent Hill parts actually look right in 3.

It does make me angry when I think about how bad the ports are.

the PC version of sh2 luckily scales up to 1080p really well

holy fuckkkkkkkkkkkk

just finished it

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there’s a scene that emphasizes the accusatory camera and the disturbing nature of the place in which james finds himself simultaneously near the end of the game in the lakeview hotel and i think i will have a nightmare about that shot tonight

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Which ending did you get? Without trying I always end up with ‘water’.

I couldn’t get the PC version to run for the life of me. It’s certainly an issue with it being a single core game but I couldn’t figure out how to properly specify the game run on one core in Windows 7. Anyone know how it fairs with wine under linux?

it’s picky about compositors (won’t work under Ubuntu’s default desktop but otherwise okay). You should be using the “squizzy” launcher to unlock resolution anyway though; I think that fixes the Windows 7 issues.

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yeah, I got the “In Water” ending with four stars. I finished the game in just a tick under 9 hours. My only “yellow” stat was 107 enemies killed with melee weapons compared to 7 killed by firearms.

I have no idea what any of that means or what the stipulations are for getting a different ending, but I’ll probably play through the mini-scenario on the Greatest Hits version (and XBOX version, for that matter) soon and then maybe jump back into the game at a harder puzzle and action difficulty (was playing on Normal for both this time).

Nice. I really enjoyed Born From A Wish, it’s subtle and serves as a nice companion piece.

The criteria for different endings are quite bizarre but tonally consistent with the game. It’s been a long time, but I recall that for ‘In Water’ you need to examine Angela’s (is that her name?) knife a few times, keep checking the letter from your wife etc.

Last time I played, me and a friend sped through the entire scenario in a night and got a totally different ending, I think by cutting off Maria’s monologue in the hotel and not examining many items.

I’ve never tried a harder puzzle difficulty but apparently they really crank it up.

Thanks for this thread, I might just boot it up once I’ve finished the MGSV drudgery.