Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many versions are there of Silent Hill 2 and what are the differences?

A: Many, but it mainly boils down to two: the original version and the extra content version which is known by many different names. This version contains an extra short scenario with Maria as a playable character with new weapons and a new area to explore, plus a new ending for the main scenario and apparently enhanced lighting and graphics, however minimal the difference may be.

Q: What are the different versions of Silent Hill 2?

A: Refer to the chart and its legend below as there are different names for them depending on the platform and region.

  North America
Silent Hill 2 NEC NEC NEC
Silent Hill 2 (Special 2 Disc Set) NEC
Silent Hill 2 (Greatest Hits) EC
Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut (Platinum) EC
Silent Hill 2: Saigo no Uta EC
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams EC
Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears EC
Silent Hill 2: Saigo no Uta EC
Silent Hill 2 EC
Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut EC
Silent Hill 2 HD (HD Collection) EC EC EC
Xbox 360:
Silent Hill 2 HD (HD Collection) EC EC EC

NEC = no extra content / EC = extra content

All versions of Silent Hill 2 on Xbox and PC regardless of the title have the extra content, but there was no PC release at all in Japan.

To clarify the PS2 versions, the original release is simply titled "Silent Hill 2" in all regions, with Europe receiving an exclusive "Special 2 Disc Set" with the base game, a "Making of Silent Hill 2" DVD and some art inserts, all wrapped up in a special folding-case. The game disc does not include any extras, nor does the standard PAL release with a regular case (but similar cover art) and just the game disc, which released at a later time.

In Europe, the extras version was branded as "Director's Cut" and is only available as a Platinum release. In North America, the extras version came in the form of a Greatest Hits release with the exact same covert art and standard title (but the back describes the extras).

In Japan, the extras version was released as "Saigo no Uta" ("Poem of the Last Moment" or "The Final Song"), which was later repackaged in two platinum-like formats, "Konami The Best" and "Konami Dendo Collection", but with the exact same content.

Additionally, all versions of the HD Collection contain all extras in every region, although the 360 version doesn't exist in Japan.

If you are ever confused which versions have the extras, simply remember any subtitle at all (Director's Cut, Restless Dreams, Inner Fears, Saigo no Uta, or even HD) means it has everything. The only exceptions to this are the non-subtitled Greatest Hits PS2 version and PC version in North America which include all extras.

Q: So just tell me straight, what version should I get to have everything?

A: PS2: Greatest Hits for NA, Director's Cut for EU, Saigo no Uta for JP. Xbox: Restless Dreams for NA, Inner Fears for EU, Saigo no Uta for JP. PC: Silent Hill 2 for NA, Director's Cut for EU.

Q: Which version is included in "The Silent Hill Collection" PS2 release?

A: The original sadly, so no extras or Maria sub scenario.

Q: How is the version in the Silent Hill HD Collection?

A: Not very good. It does have all the extras, but overall it's a buggy mess with poorly redone visual details, horribly enlarged CG movies, many music, looping and sound effect issues, and regular frame rate slowdowns. And even though the new voice track is optional, it sounds overproduced while completely missing nuances in the dialogue like the original. Even the "Original Voices" track still replaces some small roles like the elevator game show host, which was full of character and layers of insanity but now reduced to a one-dimensional performance. It is nice to otherwise see the game in higher resolution, but it comes at quite the cost of other drawbacks that certainly do hurt the experience. Especially as your first experience, I would avoid this version at all costs (SH3 is even worse), unless it is truly your only option to play the game. And if so, do understand that you are playing the clear worst version of the game, so judge the experience and overall game within that limitation since noticeable flaws may not exist in the original. Otherwise, read below for a far superior way to play this game in HD which I cannot recommend enough.

Q: Which version provides the best experience today?

A: Without a doubt the Silent Hill 2: Enhanced Edition for PC, which is a series of free-to-download mods to install alongside the base PC version, which you must already have. These mods work to enhance and preserve all aspects of the game in a more high-definition future, providing HD and 4K resolutions with some seriously impressive work by hardcore Silent Hill 2 fans. Google it to find more information. If not a PC gamer, I totally understand but neither was I. It works fantastically well when connected to a TV via HDMI and can even be played with a modern controller via USB. If this version is not an option for you, I'd simply recommend the original PS2 releases, which are incredibly polished compared to all others and come straight from the original development team, exactly as they were intended to be played. The only single drawback is being held back by PS2 resolution.

Q: How long does it take to beat this game the first time?

A: On average about 8 hours, ranging from 6-10 for most players depending on your play speed, commitment to exploration and ability to solve puzzles. It took me about 8h40m my first time around and I explored a fair bit, but I've heard of a few others taking over 10 hours.

Q: How long does it take to beat Maria's sub scenario?

A: Probably around an hour your first time. It's fairly short. It can even be completed in less than 10 minutes if you know exactly what you're doing on subsequent playthroughs.

Q: Who is on the cover of the game?

A: Angela's face features on all North American versions (specifically from the mirror room scene) while it's Laura's eyes in the narrow window in the European versions. Meanwhile Japan's original release features the Nine Red Squares near the game's end but Saigo no Uta features James and Maria along with some Nurses and Mannequins in the PS2 release while the Japanese Xbox version uses a close-up of Maria lying on the Heaven's Night stage.

Q: How many endings are in this game?

A: In the original version there are five. In the extras version, there are six, along with a new scenario where the ending is always the same.

Q: Is it worth it to play the first Silent Hill if I like this game?

A: Absolutely. It may take some getting used to the blocky graphics and rougher controls, but SH1 is a must for any SH2 or horror fan. Keep in mind it may be pricey to find in physical PS1 form as it's a game still held very highly in terms of significance and value. But it can also be found for cheap on PSN for PS3 and can also be transferred and played on PS Vita.

Q: Can I load my original version file of SH2 in the Greatest Hits/Director's Cut version?

A: Well, you can load your file and the game will recognize everything in the file such as endings received, total time, items unlocked, etc. However you cannot load and continue a game currently in progress. So yes, you can load the data itself to keep your endings and extra items, but you will have to start a new game to keep the file going.

Q: How do I load my data from the original version while playing the Greatest Hits/Director's Cut version?

A: If your memory card is inserted into slot 1 of your PS2, it will recognize it by default. Just start a New Game, which should be highlighted in yellow.

FAQ/Walkthrough Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I noticed that several times in the FAQ you mention Greatest Hits/Director's Cut version only. Does that mean only those two versions specifically and not others like Restless Dreams, Inner Fears, etc.?

A: It means all extras versions. Greatest Hits, Director's Cut, Restless Dreams, Inner Fears and Saigo no Uta, plus the PC version. Greatest Hits/Director's Cut are simply the most common versions and it's more convenient to list them than all versions every single time.

Q: What do you mean by "examine"?

A: Go up to whatever is mentioned and press X (or A). However, if mentioned in the context of your inventory, find the item mentioned and select the "Examine" option in the inventory menu.

Q: I am playing on Xbox/PC and I keep seeing "press X" in your walkthrough but it seems to be the wrong instruction for me. Is this for PS2 only?

A: The walkthrough is specifically written for the PS2 version, yes, but everything beyond button inputs applies to all versions. If playing on Xbox, press A instead of X, and on PC press whatever your action button is set to, which is the space bar by default.

Q: I can't find a certain item. Can you help me?

A: Check the Item List, although every item location and where used is also clearly described along with the maps in the walkthrough.

Q: I can't solve a certain puzzle. Can you help me?

A: You will find every puzzle thoroughly explained for each difficulty in the walkthrough.

Q: I need to find the nearest save point. Can you help me?

A: Check the Save Point Locations section.

Q: Do you ever describe where ammo or health items are in the walkthrough?

A: Yes. All the necessary health and ammo items are pointed out, plus even stuff out of your way will often be mentioned if it interests you.

Q: I'm not too great at this game and I die pretty easily. Do you have any tips for me to get better?

A: Read the Playing The Game section for a whole ton of tips and strategies to help you throughout. I guarantee you will become a better player if you give it a good read and apply some of those techniques. Additionally, check out the Enemies section for strategies and recommended weapons for dealing with each specific enemy.

Q: I noticed a few times that you said you need to beat the game to unlock something. Does this mean the entire game – both scenarios?

A: No, it just means the main scenario. Whenever referring to the sub scenario, I'll specifically address it.

Q: Why do you call the patient/straitjacket creatures Lying Figures? They're not always lying on the ground.

A: That's the creature's official name by Team Silent, the developer of the game. Whenever I say Lying Figure, I'm referring to the creature by its name, regardless of its position.

Specific Locational or General Gameplay Questions

Q: Where is my health bar? How am I supposed to know when to heal?

A: Instead of a health bar, you have a status screen in your inventory that is a screenshot of your in-game position. Depending on your health, it may be tinted green (good health), clear (okay), or red (bad), with varying levels of static. Use this screen to judge when it's time to heal, along with the vibration of your controller warning that you are low.

Q: Why does the game look so grainy? Is there any way to fix it?

A: That's a very intentional noise filter to imitate the visual look of an old horror film. You have to beat the game at least once to unlock the ability to turn it off via Noise Effect in the Extra Options.

Q: Where's the exit of the washroom at the beginning of the game?

A: Just to the right and behind James' initial position by the mirror. Move around the corner to exit.

Q: I found a memo that's partially-illegible. Is there any way I can read the full contents?

A: It was perhaps intended as an unlockable but not properly implemented into the game. The full versions can however be read in the Memos section alongside their original versions.

Q: I can see a Handgun in a shopping cart in room 301 of Wood Side Apartments but I can't pick it up... why not?

A: You must have the Flashlight and it must be on (press Circle or B) since James' vision is limited in dark areas. If you don't have the Flashlight, grab it from the mannequin in room 205 on 2F.

Q: When I try to enter room 109 in Blue Creek Apartments, the door won't open but it's not locked and I need to get in there. What's wrong?

A: You need to see Eddie in room 101 of the Wood Side Apartment 1F north building (first accessed from the Courtyard). If you remember seeing him there and the door still won't open, perhaps you died or loaded your game from previously, so you must see him again. It's a bit of a silly reason, but meeting Eddie is required to advance the game.

Q: I'm in the apartments and can't find the Old Man Coin, but I have the others. Where is it?

A: It's stuck inside the garbage chute on the second floor of Wood Side. To knock it loose, you'll need the Canned Juice that's in front of room 107 1F. Once you've got it, stand in front of the chute on 2F, enter your inventory and use the Canned Juice. Now head back down to 1F, exit back through the lobby doors and you'll find the coin amongst the loose garbage at the bottom of the chute around the corner to James' left.

Q: I only have three coins for the coin puzzle in the apartments. Where are the other two?

A: There are only three. You must place them in the appropriate slots as explained in the riddle.

Q: I heard some whispers in room 209 2F of Blue Creek Apartments. What do they say?

A: The whispers are hard to understand but most of the sentence is decipherable. From what I can make out, it says: "See my dead wife, come home, load some laundry to escape me, and take two crimes to the (undecipherable)'s face." The undecipherable name sounds something like "Timson". This still stands as an unexplained mystery and this is only my own interpretation.

Q: I'm in the hospital and can't read the bloody code on the wall in the Special Treatment Room cell on 3F. Can you help me?

A: The numbers are random each time, so scroll down to that section of the walkthrough and you'll find a very detailed guide to get through it. It's called the "Louise" Box puzzle.

Q: I'm playing on PC and no numbers appear for the typewriter code. What am I supposed to do?

A: Well, my best advice would be to reinstall the game. First, copy the save data folder and put it somewhere else, then reinstall it. Once this is done, paste the save folder back where it should be (or just the save files) and load up the game and try it again. If this doesn't work then you'll have to do it the old fashion way: keep guessing combinations until it opens. Have fun.

Q: I entered an elevator by accident and can't get out on the same floor. Is it possible to do so?

A: Yep. Just like a real elevator, press the open doors button with the arrows facing outward (<>) rather than the floor button.

Q: Help! I'm trapped in a well! What do I do?

A: Search the brickwork inch by inch to find an area that's "different", then whack it with the Steel Pipe or Wooden Plank until it breaks (two to three whacks). From where you land in the well, the "different" spot is approximately 135 degrees to the left (3/8ths of a full turn). If you can't find it, just keep hitting X (or A) while slightly moving to the next part and you will eventually find the different description.

Q: I'm stuck in a cell in the prison – it won't open! What do I do?

A: Keep trying to open the cell door. You weren't that determined to get out, were you?

Q: What is that invisible monster in the prison and what is it saying?

A: It's just an invisible unknown creature. It sounds like it's saying "ritual". Perhaps irrelevant, it also sounds like "are you sure" said backwards. But do go ahead and aim and shoot at the thing and it will take damage, scream and eventually die. You can even whack it with the Steel Pipe.

Q: I found a locked briefcase and a picture of its code in the hotel, but the code is covered with marker. What do I do here?

A: The code is random every time, so you'll need to use the paint Thinner to erase the ink. If you don't have it, the Thinner is in the open elevator on B1F.

Q: I missed the music box outside the hotel and now I can't get back outside. The entrance doors won't open, so what am I supposed to do?

A: That's because you're trying the wrong entrance. The main entrance in the Lobby is not where you entered from and won't open. You entered from the back entrance at the south of your map. You'll always be able to go back and get it if you missed it.

Q: An alarm keeps going off when I try to enter the employee elevator in the hotel. What do I do?

A: Check the elevator panel and you'll notice a note on weight allowance. Examine the nearby shelf and put all your items in it and you will be able to use the elevator.

Q: I can't put my stuff on the shelf by the employee elevator in the hotel. What gives?

A: You need to read that weight allowance note on the elevator panel first for James to know he needs to use it.

Q: Why are there two hotel maps?

A: One is for guests and the other is for employees. The guests map doesn't cover employee-only areas and the employees map does, along with everything else. So the guest map becomes obsolete and is replaced by the employee map.

Q: I can't find the Dog Key. Where is it?

A: First, you need to receive the In Water, Leave, and Maria endings in the same file, or just the Rebirth ending. Make sure this file is loaded up and start a New Game. When you're exiting Rosewater Park for the first time, keep going straight and you should enter an open lot with a doghouse with the key inside it. If it's not there, you don't have the required endings in your file or you haven't loaded or saved properly. The open lot is just west of Jack's Inn.

Q: How do I know which endings I've received in my file if I don't remember or I'm unsure?

A: Go to the save/load menu and use the D-Pad by pressing left or right until a bunch of letters show up at the right of the column where your play time normally is. Each letter represents an ending you've received:

  • L = Leave
  • M = Maria
  • W = In Water
  • R = Rebirth
  • D = Dog
  • U = UFO (Greatest Hits/Director's Cut only)
  • X = Born From A Wish (Greatest Hits/Director's Cut only)

So if one or more of these are not showing up, you have not received that or those endings yet in your current save file.

Q: How do you unlock the Blue Gem?

A: You must have the Greatest Hits/Director's Cut version. Beat the main and sub scenarios in the same file. Then play the main scenario after loading that file and it will be on the ground by one of the stalls in the opening washroom.

Q: Is the Purple Hyper Spray a myth? Does it actually exist?

A: I half wondered that myself at some point, since the internet seems to believe it requires a ranking of under 4 stars. But while testing it I personally verified it requires under 2 stars and can certainly confirm that it exists. And surprisingly it's far better than the White and Yellow sprays, perhaps as a reward for players who went through the immense struggle of getting such a bad ranking to obtain it. If interested in more details about it, refer to the Hyper Spray Upgrades segment of the 10-Star Ranking Guide, including a quick Sub 2-Star Ranking Guide at the end.

Q: I heard that you can make James perform a battle cry with the Chainsaw. How can I do this?

A: Kill a few enemies with the Chainsaw, then stand over a corpse and simply wait without pressing anything (the Chainsaw should not be idling). He should do it in around 10 seconds.

Q: What is this "New Game Plus"?

A: It doesn't have an official name in SH2, but it works the same way. Once you beat the game once, New Game becomes highlighted in yellow in the main menu. By selecting this, you are continuing your save file and can obtain unlocked extras, whereas starting a normal New Game without a memory card or a completed save file, you'll be starting a brand new game without any extras and you won't be continuing your file to unlock more extras and keep your clear stats.

Q: What's a "grate floor"?

A: Think of a fence with metal strips holding it together, but situated on the ground. So you can walk on it but also see through it.

Q: Can you run up steep staircases any faster without slowing down?

A: Yes, there is an exploit where you can keep James' 100% speed rather than him taking a few quick steps and slowing down before repeating. To do this, run along the side wall of the staircase at a 50-60 degree angle. Once you find the sweet spot, he'll run at a consistent speed. Again this only works for steep staircases like at the end of the game. Another alternative is strafing sideways up stairs. These are only small tricks mostly unnecessary but may help with speed runs or if you're a bit impatient.

Q: Which song plays in the credits for each ending?


  • Leave - Overdose Delusion
  • Maria - Promise
  • In Water - Angel's Thanatos
  • Rebirth - The Reverse Will
  • Born From A Wish (Maria Sub Scenario) - Love Psalm

The Dog and UFO endings aren't on the official soundtrack but can be found online if you desire - see Silent Hill 2 Complete Soundtrack Ultimate Edition as the best complete soundtrack for the game.

Q: I heard someone talking during The Reverse Will, the song that plays in the Rebirth ending credits, but I couldn't understand it. What is being said?

A: It's Laura's prayer from the 2001 Tokyo Game Show trailer of Silent Hill 2, playing in reverse and repeated in jumbled excerpts. This is what Laura says in full: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." This is presumed to be a prayer said before putting the children to bed in the orphanage Laura stayed in.

Q: What is this "Baldwin Mansion" place in the walkthrough? I didn't find that area.

A: That's the walkthrough for the Born From A Wish sub scenario in the Greatest Hits/Director's Cut version. The Baldwin Mansion is a playable area in this scenario only.

Q: I saw some clips in the opening movie that I didn't see in the game. Did I miss something?

A: No. They are deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut or they exist purely for the opening movie.