Version Differences

On this page we'll try to document and present major found differences between various demo and retail versions of the original Silent Hill.


Version Overview
Silent Hill US Demo Versions vs Final Game
Silent Hill Japanese and European Demos vs US Demo
Silent Hill US Trade Demo vs Final Game
Retail Version Differences
American Retail Version Variants
Japanese Retail Version Variants

Version Overview

Before the first Silent Hill game was released, several different demo versions had been issued:

Version [Region] Build Date  Catalog #
Silent Hill [US] E3 1998 Demo
First public demo. Shown at E3 1998 in Atlanta

Silent Hill [US] Playable Demo
Public demo. Sourced from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine #16 (Jan 1999)

1998.10.19  SCUS‑94278

Silent Hill [JP] Trial Version (Taikenban)
Press demo

1998.11.06 SLPM‑80363
Silent Hill [US] 75% Preview Version
Preview build

Silent Hill [EU] Playable Demo
Public demo. Distributed as part of Metal Gear Solid retail release in Europe (except Germany)

1998.12.16 SLED‑01735
Silent Hill [US] Review Version
Full-game press demo
1999.01.06 – (CD-R)

Silent Hill [US] Demo CD
Shop demo

1999.01.16 SLUS‑90050

Silent Hill [US] Trade Demo
Full-game press demo

1999.01.17 SLUS‑80707
Silent Hill [US] Russian Bootleg
A late prototype that is very similar to the North American retail version. Also known as Russian Bootleg as this build was used for early pirated releases in Russia.
1999.01.22 ?

Silent Hill [EU] Demo
Public demo supposedly distributed via magazines in Europe as well as Australia. Sourced from Australian PlayStation September #05

1999.06.16 SLED‑02186

For more information on demo versions see the Promos page.

The final game was released in three regions as follows:

Version [Region] Build Date  Catalog #

Silent Hill [JP]
First Japanese retail version. Asian release is probably identical to this one

1999.01.26 SLPM‑86192

Silent Hill [US]
North American retail version. Also used in all re-releases of the game (Greatest Hits)

1999.02.10 SLUS‑00707

Silent Hill [JP]
Revised Japanese retail version.

1999.06.02 SLPM‑86192

Silent Hill [EU]
European retail version. Used in all re-releases of the game (Platinum). Also sent to reviewers

1999.06.07 SLES‑01514

Silent Hill [JP]
Later Japanese retail version used in all re-releases of the game (Konami The Best, PSOne Books)

1999.06.16 SLPM‑86498

Silent Hill US Demo Versions vs Final Game

Author: Zorkiy

Versions compared:

Version [Region] Build Date  Catalog #
Silent Hill [US] Playable Demo 1998.10.19  SCUS‑94278
Silent Hill [US] Demo CD 1999.01.16 SLUS‑90050
Silent Hill [US] 1999.02.10 SLUS‑00707

The Playable Demo (OPM #16) was released in Jan 1999, but the files are dated 1998, so for simplicity, it will be referred to as the Demo '98. The SLUS-90050 Demo CD will be referred to as the Demo '99.

At the start of the Demo '99, the following information screen is displayed:

Instead of the usual "The fear of blood tends to create fear for the flesh" we see the following text:

The Demo '98 gets us to the main menu right after the Konami logo. Both demo versions give us three options: two game modes and Option:

The Option screen in both demos features just a few settings:

The first mode (Scene 1/Opening) allows us to play through the game's prologue. The soundtrack when Harry is leaving his car is missing in both demos. The inventory in the demos is opened with the Start button while the Select button takes you to the Option screen. Characters in the Demo '98 are not voiced over yet and the subtitle lines for the dialogues sometimes are different from the final variant. During the Cheryl cutscene in both demos, you can hear a bell-like sound. There are some different camera angles during the first nightmare sequence as well as when talking to Cybil. The blood is red in the Demo '98 and green in the Demo '99. Some game sounds are different (ex. Cheryl's footsteps, taking items, in the inventory). The knife is called the "Petty knife" in the Demo '98. Cafe seats are of different colors in the two demos.

The city maps are different in the two demos as well as compared to the final version. In the Demo '98 Finney St. is called Stanley St. and Bachman Rd. is called Pullman St.:

Even though the starting street is called Pullman st. on the Demo '98 map, the road sign reads Bachman ave:

After the cutscene in the cafe with the Air Screamer breaking the window the demo shows the "To be continued" text and an image with Dahlia:

The player is then taken back to the main menu.

The Scene 2/Battle mode lets you play through the school. The Demo '99 shows one more information screen when starting the mode:

The soundtrack in the demo and final version is different at the start of the episode. You also have some supplies and weapons in the inventory from the start.

The school map is different in all three versions:

The doors are locked differently in the demos so you need to find a different route. Some paths are blocked (ex. the boiler room or the roof). The children are making different sounds in all versions. The Demo '98 is missing the radio noise around monsters (the radio itself is present in the inventory). You also do not meet the Larval Stalkers.

The book with the bloody hints at the Reception has different illustrations compared to the final version:

The Chemical has a background image when taking it in the Demo '98:

You only need the two medallions to unlock the clock tower. The episode's goal is to try and exit the otherworld school using the Lobby key and then you are shown the Coming Soon screen:

Also, the game resources of the Demo '98 have some curious images including some naked Japanese women (!):

Silent Hill Japanese and European Demos vs US Demo

Versions compared:

Version [Region] Build Date  Catalog #
Silent Hill [JP] Trial Version (Taikenban) 1998.11.06 SLPM‑80363
Silent Hill [EU] Playable Demo 1998.12.16 SLED‑01735
Silent Hill [US] Demo CD 1999.01.16 SLUS‑90050

The Japanese Trial Version has a different title screen:

Gray Children are replaced with Clawfingers. The blood color is red:

The European demo also has red blood and that's the only essential difference from the US Demo '99.

Silent Hill US Trade Demo vs Final Game

Author: BrYaN55 (Quebec Gamers)

Silent Hill Trade Demo which was a full-game press demo is compared to the retail US version of Silent Hill.

Version [Region] Build Date  Catalog #
Silent Hill [US] Trade Demo 1999.01.17 SLUS‑80707
Silent Hill [US] 1999.02.10 SLUS‑00707

The Old Silent Hill map is missing some information.

The texture on the grey pipe is less detailed in the demo, look like they corrected it just before the final build.

There's a dog in the alley when you go back to check for Cheryl.

It says "Buffalo" on the crashed police car with the Key of Lion in its trunk. I think you can also see that detail in some other demos. The police cars in front of the police station are normal.

No tips after “Game Over” in the Trade Demo.

This is quite unique I think. In the Trade Demo, when you try to venture too far on the map, for example, if you try to go to the Gordon House BEFORE finishing the school level, you are assaulted by a bunch of Air Screamers, with some that are more resistant. I still have to double check this, as I am not 100% sure if this happend by venturing too far, or if it'd just happend anyway.

The teachers names are different, screw the Sonic Youth reference? Or maybe it is a reference to something else?

In the Library Reserve room, you'll find a Health drink instead of a First aid kit.

The key lands farther from the drain.

Before visiting the Church, I decided to explore the town a little and go to the drawbridge to collect some items. Then again, I was attacked by a bunch of Air Screamers, with some that were stronger. Again, I think maybe this is because I tried to go too far on the map that I needed to at this point.

Same thing happened here, instead of going directly to the police station or the hospital, I decided to go to the Antique Shop, then was attacked again.

Different to a police car met earlier, the two police cars in front of the police station don't have the "Buffalo" name on them in both versions.

Tables are on both sides of the street (Koontz & Simmons) at Sun Cafe in the Trade Demo. I don't know why they removed them as they gave more details and life to the place.

There is an extra space behind the stairs in front of the hospital. But you can't go in because of an invisible wall. That extra space is not in the "other world".

On the 3rd floor of the Alchemilla Hospital, you can see that there are two "Store Room". It was later corrected to "Storage Room".

No Health drink in the kitchen in the Trade Demo.

In the cutscene before the Floatstinger boss, you can see Harry doing a 360° before he finally sees the boss.

Slighty different item placement in the sewers. I think they changed the Handgun bullet position because you could see it through the wall.

Here, it may be totally random, I'll have to play again to be sure. At some point in the sewers, you come to a room and you can see cockroaches on the other side of the grate. In this same room there is also a Hanged Scratcher. In the Trade Demo I couldn't see the cockroaches on the other side of the grate, although when entering the room through the door they are there. There was also no Hanged Scratcher. It's the first time that I notice more enemies in the final version. Normally, it's in the Trade Demo that I notice this phenomenon.

This one is pretty cool. In the Trade Demo, the conversation between Harry and Kaufmann is fully voiced. I checked with the PAL and Japanese version, and in both, the last lines are subbed, not voiced by Harry.

When you go back on those steps, the camera angle is kind of confusing in the Trade Demo, and was corrected for a better angle later.

Where the Mumblers make their entry in the US version, nothing happens in the Trade Demo. You do meet some Mumblers later on though.

When Lisa dies, and you get back in control of Harry, he is looking away from the door. In the final version, he's facing the door, probably to imply that he dind't abandon Lisa completely, that you should go back to check on her.

If you return in the room with the Key of Ophiel stuck in the faucet, you'll be attacked by a bunch of nurses, but in the Trade Demo, there is nothing.

Small mistake in the Bird Cage Key description. «Bird cage with engraved handle».

When looking at the little girl's dress in Alessa chamber, Harry doesn't say «Six, maybe seven... Must be a kid about that age» in the Trade Demo. He just says «A girl's clothing hangs on the wall.» and that's all.

When saving in the antique shop, the save is named “Antique”, while in the final version it is “Antique shop”. The same goes for the save in Alessa's room which changed from “Child's” to “Child's room”.

In the good ending, there is more flames, and the blue light is nowhere to be seen.

The Trade Demo seemed more generous in the ranking system, and only has 203 items instead of 204.

Retail Version Differences

Grey Children

Because of censorship, more of which you can read in the Lost Memories, the Grey Children had to be replaced by the Mumbler (Clawfinger) creature who looked much less like a human child. The European version doesn't feature them as well and only the American retail version retains these originally planned monsters.

Newspaper from 7 years ago

A newspaper article about the PTV drug investigation as well as the fire in the Gillespie home can be found in Nowhere on the third floor. The exact conditions required to trigger its appearance are unknown. Moreover, it doesn't seem it is accessible in the US retail version.

American Retail Version Variants

There are two known SLUS-00707 builds which is the North American final version of the game:

  • Jan 22, 1999 (v1.0)
  • Feb 10, 1999 (v1.1)

The January 22 late prototype version is also known as Russian Bootleg as this build was used for early pirated releases in Russia. It is unclear how the pirates managed to obtain this version as all American retail prints seem to use a later Feb 10 build. All known retail prints of the American release seem to use the Feb 10 build of the game.

See the Jan 22 prototype on Hidden Palace

Cover differences

There are two release variants for the North American version with some subtle cover differences. The 1st print version was coated in a silver finish making the cover look shiny as opposed to the later common prints. You can see the detailed comparison on

Japanese Retail Version Variants

There are two known SLPM-86192 builds of the Japanese original release of the game:

The revised version fixes one notable glitch before the boss battle with Cybil which allows you to use the unknown liquid on the larval stalker in the Amusement Park instead of Cybil effectively skipping the whole boss battle. The later Japanese reissues also don't feature this glitch.

As for the other region versions, all American releases have this glitch while all European releases don't.