Playing the Game
This section serves as a guide to learning the basics of the game, from navigating menus and changing options to learning gameplay concepts and understanding the health system.
This section explains all the options and features of the different menus found in the game.
This is the menu you see what saving or loading your game, although they are technically for different purposes. Your save file will state your current location and time played, or if you've unlocked a Hyper Blaster upgrade. Scroll up or down to see all the save files on your memory card.
Saving and Loading
Normally, your save location will be written in white, while it will turn to yellow or gold writing with "Next fear" written after a completed playthrough. Loading one of these saves will act as a sort of New Game Plus where you will keep any unlockables, unlock more and receive more endings in your file. Next Fear also ups the difficulty by one until the max of Hard is reached. If you ever start a regular New Game, that file will lose all unlockables. Be sure not to overwrite your Next Fear file with a standard one, or just avoid starting a fresh New Game or keep them separate.
Several options can be changed in the Options menu, including:
Press L1, R1, L2 or R2 to view this hidden menu from the Options menu, where the following can be changed:
Note: View Mode, specifically the Self View option, must be unlocked by completing the game once. Bullet Adjust is unlocked the same way, whereby x1 and x2 will be available. Each new ending received after that will unlock the next level up to x6.
The inventory is a key tool that you will be required to use throughout the game to view and use key items, equip weapons, view your status and use health items, and so on. Refer to the image below for a breakdown of the menu, with detailed explanations of each option below.
02. Game Basics
Here we'll cover basic concepts that are important to the game.
Now a staple of the survival horror genre, Silent Hill uses a variety of camera angles from different perspectives to craft its horror experience. It often restricts what you can immediately see, so you'll have to adapt and learn to shoot enemies approaching from offscreen or the side rather than from the front. That said, you have an override control of the camera by holding L2, which generally shifts the camera behind Harry or at least adjusts it to look forward when possible. Use it to your advantage to get a better sense of your surroundings, while also paying attention to angle shifts that may provide hints. Alternatively you can try the Self View option under View Mode in the Extra Options, which shifts the camera behind Harry's head when L2 is held.
Often found near the entrance of buildings or starting points of outside locations, the map is your best friend and most valuable tool in the game. Make regular use of it to track where you've been and where to explore next by pressing Triangle to bring it up during gameplay. Harry will update the map as he goes, marking open, locked and jammed doors with arrows, solid lines and squiggly lines respectively, plus other points of interest with circles, arrows or brief notes. Don't ever feel ashamed for checking your map too often since it's exactly designed to help you with your surroundings.
Using the Radio and Flashlight
Harry finds both a Flashlight and a Radio in the cafe at the beginning of the game, both invaluable tools on your adventure. The Radio will emit a droning static whenever enemies are nearby to warn you of their presence, while the Flashlight will be key to illuminate dark areas to see what you're doing and allow you to pick up certain items. Both these items can, however, alert you to the enemy. Turning off the Flashlight with Circle for brief periods will help you slip by enemies. Also consider turning off the Radio in your inventory to remain even more discreet if desired.
Memos and Codes
Like most survival horror games from the era, there is no menu or regular option during gameplay that allows you to quit to the main menu. This is where soft reset comes in, which is a combination of buttons that when pressed does just that. At any time while playing, press and hold Start + Select for a couple seconds to return to the main menu. This is helpful if you wish to reload your save file in case you messed something up.
03. Combat Strategies
This section deals with all things combat and how to survive the enemy threat. For more specific strategies for each enemy, refer to the Enemies section.
Fighting Multiple Enemies
Escaping Grapple Attacks
Switching Walk/Run Control
Silent Hill is all about locating and using items, and this sections covers all the basics.
Make use of your map to explore every open room and search every corner looking for any item that stands out, usually brighter in colour than the background. Also pay attention to any camera angle changes that may hint at anything. Note that in dark areas you will need the Flashlight on to see and pick things up.
Normally this may be common sense but there are different ways that certain items are used, either in your inventory or just by approaching a door. Read more below.
Additionally, in some cases you may need to use two items in a certain order. Say if you want to burn something but may require an additional liquid to start it. In later games the Combine function was added to make things easier, but here items need to be used individually. Same for placing multiple objects in a puzzle. Lastly, some items have no locational use by the player, such as notes, a receipt, or a certain pyramidal object, so don't worry yourself too much if you're unsure about some items.
05. Health System
This section covers all things health-related, such as interpreting your status, and finding and using supplies.
Refer to the tables below for a full list of controls and functions, while below we'll go into detail about control types and other control options that can be adjusted.
Silent Hill uses 3D control for movement, otherwise known as tank controls. This means that holding forward will move your character in the direction they are facing, regardless of where the camera is aimed. Use left and right to turn your character accordingly, always relative to where they are facing, independent from the camera. It may take some getting used to for first timers, but it's relatively easy to operate otherwise.
This is a hidden menu that is accessible from the Options menu by pressing L1, R1, L2 or R2. Several different options that affect gameplay can be changed here. If there's one thing I recommend it's switching Walk/Run Control to Reverse. Read about each function below.
07. Difficulty Settings
A difficultly level must be selected upon starting a new game, most notably affecting health and attack damage of enemies and bosses. All puzzles will be unaffected since they have fixed solutions no matter the difficulty. Consider your choices carefully and choose the difficulty that sounds most appropriate for your first time.
Suggested Difficulty Level
For players completely new to the Silent Hill series, it's smart to go with Easy. If you're not familiar with this style of the game, it's not uncommon to die a lot or really struggle with health even on Normal, so that's why Easy is recommended. Otherwise, survival horror fans or those who have survived another Silent Hill game should be able to manage on Normal, while Hard should be reserved for a later run or for those who have proven skilled at other Silent Hill or survival horror games. Be warned, it gets pretty crazy at times. Unlocking bullet adjust first is also recommended.
After completing the game once and saving, you will see your current save titled as "Next Fear". This works as a type of New Game Plus where you can play the game again using any obtained unlockables, which you'll usually have to find first. Note that Next Fear also ups the difficulty once each time. So if you beat the game on Easy, your first Next Fear will be Normal, and the next after that will be Hard. Each successive run after that will remain as Hard and there's no way to lower the difficulty without starting a fresh New Game and losing all unlockables.
|by Andrew Haffenden aka Conquerer (Silent Hill FAQ/Walktrough)