Playing the Game

This section includes tips, strategies, game concepts and basics to help any newcomer familiarize themselves with the game.

Note: This section was written with the Playstation 2 version in mind, thus you will see PS2 button inputs like "X" come up often. If playing on Xbox or PC, keep in mind your button inputs will be different.


01. Menus
02. Game Basics
03. Combat Strategies
04. Room 302
05. Items and Inventory
06. Health System
07. Controls
08. Difficulty Settings

01. Menus

Each menu in the game is a little different to use with various options available. This section covers all of them.

Main Menu

Opening Movie
This plays when you start up the game without a memory card save. It's essentially a trailer sequence showing various cutscenes plus some other bits that don't appear in-game. Another way to see it is to leave the controller idle at the main menu.

New Game
This is used to start a New Game where you'll first select your difficulty and dive right into it, but it should only be used during your first run as it will start an entirely new save file. To continue your save file and get more endings and unlockables, use the Load function and find your "A Brand-new Fear" save to start a New Game Plus.

After dying or exiting via a soft reset, this allows you to continue from the beginning of the last major area you entered. Any items found since entering will be reset. Using this option also adds a Continue to your ranking screen, reducing your score.

This takes you to the Load menu where you can find and load your current or past game saves (you can have up to 30 files), or start A Brand-new Fear run to keep all unlockables and endings while looking for more. To do so, load your A Brand-new Fear file, select your difficulty and begin. You can also use left and right on the D-pad to select All Weapons or One Weapon Mode after selecting the right file, but only if these modes have been unlocked.

Use this to access the Options Menu and change a whole assortment of functions listed below.

Options Menu

Here you'll find two pages of Options. Although things have been changed a bit, consider the first page the normal options and the second page what was called the Extra Options in the past. Note that there's an extra page in the PC version and a few of these options are mixed between pages. The following can be changed on PS2:

Option 1

Brightness Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Screen Position X and Y Coordinates
Language English, Japanese
Subtitles Off, On
Vibration Off, On
Sound Stereo, Monaural
BGM Volume |||||||||| (1-10)
SE Volume |||||||||| (1-10)

Option 2

Button Config Type A, Type B, Type C
Default Control Walk, Run
Noise Effect Off, On
Blood Color Red, Green, Purple
Head Motion Off, On, Slight
Hide Gauge Off, On
Hide Icon Off, On

Visit the Controls section for a rundown on these functions under Options 2.

Save/Load Menu

These are really two different menus, for saving and loading respectively, but they look and function the same way beyond the end result. To access the Save Menu, examine the notepad save point in your apartment's living room. Select one of the 30 slots and save. To access the Load Menu, hit Load at the Main Menu and select which file to load.

Saving and Loading
To save your game you'll have to regularly find and use portals to return to your apartment and use the notepad save point there. Once you start a new file, you'll have the option to overwrite or keep making new files. I'd recommend just overwriting most of the time unless you wish to keep a backup file in case you screw something up. You can totally just keep overwriting your file, even after completing every run, and finish all four endings and have every unlockable in one single file; just make sure you don't start a clean slate "New Game" and overwrite it.

If always playing A Brand-new Fear runs, overwriting will keep your file and everything unlocked as it should be. Note that in the load and save menus, the current location of each save file will be listed, or it'll say "A Brand-new Fear" if it's saved after game completion. You'll also find your play time at the right of the file, while at the bottom of the menu you'll see all the endings achieved in your file, with the last one seen highlighted.

Inventory Menu

Silent Hill 4 changes things up quite a bit with a limited inventory and new system after it was limitless and relatively the same in all the previous games. But now you can only hold up to 10 items at a time and can cycle through, use and equip items/weapons in real time in the new mini-menu. Use the D-pad to cycle between items and hit Square to use or equip anything.

The status screen has also been replaced with a health bar which can be turned on permanently or hidden outside of combat or taking damage. But there still exists a classic inventory menu where you can cycle through all items and read their descriptions like before. Press Select to view this menu and refer to the image below for a brief overview of it. The live inventory is very much the same but lacks the item name and description box.

Note the health bar in the top left which will update in real time as damage is taken or health is recovered, while the circle beside that is your charge up attack gauge. Fill it up by holding X with a weapon equipped (and aimed with R2) and release to unleash your special attack.

Item Chest Menu

Since your inventory can only hold 10 items, another new thing to The Room is an item chest in your apartment, which works a lot like the one featured in the Resident Evil series. It can hold unlimited items and can be used to store and retrieve items whenever inside Room 302. Take a quick look at the diagram below for an overview of its layout.

To place an item in the chest, press down to access your items where it's marked "PLAYER". Now select an item with X to put in the chest. To claim items from the chest, press up, find the item you want and press X to send it back to your inventory. Note that items are grouped by categories of weapons and items, which can be cycled with up and down. Items you will not need for a while should be dumped, while some may become relevant again later on and will need to be retrieved.

Scrapbook Menu

After collecting any of the 52 memo items featured in the game, it will be added to your Scrapbook. Press Triangle during gameplay to access this menu, where you can scroll through a list of all memos collected and read whichever one as desired. Note that the Triangle function is shared between the Scrapbook and Map. Pressing Triangle while looking at one will switch over to the other, while Circle backs out of both. Whichever of the two you left open before exiting last will appear first when you press Triangle again.

Pause Menu

Press Start to pause during gameplay and access this menu which isn't much of anything but a pause screen where you can also view the Options Menu by pressing Triangle. This is because Options have been removed from the inventory menu like in previous games. Note that the game timer will stop when the game is paused like this. On PC, there are a few more options here to view the Scrapbook, Map or quit to the title screen.

02. Game Basics

This section covers all the traditional basics of getting used to the game and its concepts.


There have been a few changes to how the camera works this time after it remained relatively the same in the previous games. Most often it will follow Henry from behind and maintain a certain distance, but L2 works more directly now. Instead of shifting the camera behind Henry, it changes it instantly and generally resets it to a closer position behind him. This includes reflecting his new direction if it's changed. So if you wish to see the other way, just turn Henry around and press L2.

Note that in some locations the camera will be set at an obscure angle or showcasing more of a full room than just Henry, but you can often shift it with L2. Additionally, L2 doesn't need to be held anymore to make small adjustments up, down, left and right. Instead, just use the right stick on its own this time, while L2 can reset your angle if needed.

Using Maps

As always in Silent Hill, the map is your best friend. A difference this time is that Henry won't have to find any maps but instead will draw his own as he goes along, which has its benefits and drawbacks. You can't quite plan ahead of time without knowing what's to come, but it saves you from having to locate a map to get a sense of where you've been. Henry will mark an "X" over areas that are inaccessible, squiggly lines for jammed doors, solid lines for locked doors, and arrows over unlocked doors. If ever stuck, always refer to your map to help you.

Game Concepts

Most of the time this will be the best solution to your problems. No, running doesn't make you a wussie but rather keeps you alive. The most important enemies to run from are Ghosts since they cannot be killed and will damage you just by being nearby. But even normal enemies, consider running by them if outnumbered to a high degree since it's never fun to be ganged up on. Sometimes your legs are your best weapons after all.

Ammo Conservation
Honestly, ammo conservation is no biggie in Silent Hill 4. Melee weapons have completely taken over here and are the primary weapons since there's so many enemies and such little ammo available. So I'd say go ahead and use your ammo however you like. I would suggest though, try using ammo as a backup for when facing multiple enemies where you may have a tough time going all melee. Wasting ammo on solo enemies isn't a big deal, but it's often unnecessary and better spent in areas with several of them. Do be smart with Silver Bullets, however. There are only two available (or three with insane backtracking), so use them wisely and only on Ghosts while ready to pounce with a Sword of Obedience.

Conserving Health Items
Health items are rarely found in the first half of the game because Room 302 actively charges your health in the same period. Always pick up health items in the field but try your best to store them for later unless you really need them to survive. If you can reach a portal, head back to 302 to up your health and consider dumping health items for later, or keep one on you for backup. In the second half once your apartment loses this recharge ability, you'll find a lot more health items around and you'll generally want to carry one or two on you to make sure you stay alive. Don't hesitate to return to 302 to grab one or two if you're running low. That is if you managed to save some earlier.

Melee Weapons
These things are finally front and center in Silent Hill after generally being backups to firearms in the past. I'd say you'll probably be using melee weapons 80% of the time if not more, especially on repeated attempts. That's not because firearms are ineffective, but rather there's not as much ammo and each clip takes up an inventory slot. So get used to getting down and dirty and up and close with your foes, and master your weapon's charge up attack which will serve you well in the long run.

Searching Areas
A majority of the game will be spent searching each area for items, memos or anything else interesting. Try to be comprehensive in your search by checking each room of each floor and pay attention to camera angle changes that may hint at certain objects or items. Also note that Henry will turn his head towards items and memos. Be sure to read memos carefully as they will often provide helpful tips or instructions on what to do next. Sometimes it may even help to return to Room 302 to find a new memo or use an item there to advance.

Checking Doors
As usual, a good chunk of doors in Silent Hill 4 are jammed and cannot be opened, but the percentage of accessible doors is probably the highest it's ever been. Be sure to check every door you find and refer to your map to recall any locked doors and where they were if you've since acquired a key.

A staple of the series, memos are now more important than ever and even reflect in your final ranking. There are 52 memo items to collect and store in your Scrapbook (like the Memos section from before). Around half of these will be Red Diaries (and a few others) found in your apartment, while the rest are on your journey in the outside world. Often big clues or keys to solve puzzles will be given in memos and some will even be required to advance, so be sure give them all a good read.

A few times you'll find either a code directly in a memo or one will give you a hint to find it. Keeping a notepad handy can be helpful for quick reference, especially for the ones not posted directly in these memos. Do note that in two instances you'll have to open your mind and get creative as to how you're going to find a code, although you'll be nudged in the right direction by a memo.

Revisiting Areas
Instead of having Nightmare, Alternate or Otherworld areas, Silent Hill 4 has you revisit the five main areas of the game. The overall appearance of these worlds doesn't change, although some things may be rearranged and some doors may be locked that were not before, and so on. Generally the first trip is more of a quick one while the revisit will be more in-depth with some type of puzzle to solve, generally to open up a new route for the injured Eileen. You'll also have more run ins with Ghosts, specifically the most powerful ones, so you may want to consider taking them down. Refer to the Combat Strategies section for details.

Escorting Eileen
In the second half of the game you will be tasked with protecting and escorting Eileen until near the game's end. Since she is injured, she cannot use ladders or jump down holes, and so often you will have to open up an alternate route to allow her to continue with you. Eileen cannot ever be killed but instead she will gradually become more possessed the more damage she takes and the more she's left alone, especially in areas with enemies.

Note that Eileen is a little slow due to her injuries and is easy to leave behind if not actively waiting for her, so you'll have to babysit her fairly often. If you neglect her too much, she may become dangerously possessed and slow you down even more, potentially inheriting some Ghost-like qualities that can harm you for brief periods. This will make it harder to receive one of the better endings at the end of the game. That said, you will find Eileen-only weapons to enlist her into combat and make her rather helpful.

Using the Torch
There's no flashlight this time (or portable radio for that matter), but in one area of the game you'll be tasked with using a Torch to see into dark areas and find key items. To use this Torch, you must first equip it and hold it like a weapon, which can also hurt enemies but is quite weak. Find a fixed flame and light it, burning your Torch for about 30 seconds. If you soak it in the oil found in your laundry room however, it'll burn for up to 3 minutes. Do note that it'll go out if you change weapons at any time however.

Soft Reset

As usual, Silent Hill 4 contains a soft reset function that lets you return to the main menu with a combination of button presses, since there's no way to do so in any menu (except on PC). To use soft reset, press and hold Start + Select + L1 + R1 + L2 + R2 at any time to return to the Main Menu. If you wish to return to the game after doing so, select Continue (which will add a continue to your stats), or load a save file. This is helpful if you've made a mistake and wish to try again by loading a previous save.

03. Combat Strategies

Within this section are strategies for killing each enemy and general fighting strategies, as well as important things to note.

Targeting Enemies
Just as always, hold R2 to raise your weapon, locking on to the nearest enemy for the most part. Press X to swing a melee weapon or shoot a firearm. Unfortunately in some cases with several enemies even in a line, the targeting system is very unreliable and will often aim at the wrong enemy, even if it's behind you. There's no real way around this but to let go of R2 and try again.

Kicking Enemies
As in the other games but perhaps even more so here, shooting or beating an enemy down just makes it prone so Henry can kick it. If you down an enemy and leave it, it'll almost always get right back up and continue to come after you. Some enemies stay down for longer than others, while some will get up almost immediately if you let them. Make it a habit to always stomp them as soon as they fall and you'll be better off.

Fighting Multiple Enemies
Fairly often in Silent Hill 4 you'll be put up against multiple enemies in the same room or area and things can go badly if you don't take caution. There's no Shotgun and ammo is limited this time so you'll have to find another way to control the crowds. To do so, turn to the more powerful weapons and their charge up attacks, which are capable of knocking down more than one enemy at once. That includes the Rusty Axe, Spade, Pickaxe of Despair and Aluminum Bat.

Try to focus on one enemy at a time and rush to kick it before anything else, then turn to the next one. Otherwise, while the Pistol can't be relied upon all the time with limited ammo and inventory space, it's a great backup weapon for when things get too crazy. Just pull it out and fire away. Always deliver stomps as quick as FedEx and repeat until things are clear. Otherwise if things are too bananas, just run away and move on.

Pushing Enemies
Sometimes you'll encounter enemies somewhat blocking a hall, path or door, or maybe you're surrounded. In these cases you can sometimes push enemies just slightly by running into them, clearing a way for yourself or perhaps just squeezing by. You'll need to be quick or you may be hit, but it tends to work with most enemies, even Ghosts, although perhaps not as well as in past games. Try to run at their sides where the biggest gap is for best results.

Let me guess, you've gone and done it... once again? You've completely surrounded yourself by enemies. Your strategy in these cases will be either to run or fight, depending the situation, your resources, or if you're escorting Eileen. If you can escape, always try to find a gap between enemies, even pushing to create your own if possible.

Otherwise, turn to the Pistol to quickly kill an enemy or two and go from there. Lastly, go with your best melee weapon's charge up attack to knock down two or more enemies at once, and always be quick to stomp or you'll just delay more trouble. Once you've handled at least one or two enemies you'll often be able to escape, or you can just stay and finish off the job.

Charge Up Attacks
A brand new feature in Silent Hill 4 is the charge up attack, a special move for melee weapons where you can charge your special meter and unleash a very strong attack, sometimes capable of knocking down an enemy in one hit. While performing this attack, you will also be invincible, allowing you to use it to your advantage even more.

At the top of your screen beside your health bar is the charge up meter. Hold R2 to ready your weapon and X to charge that meter, then release once it flashes. Note that you can even charge between regular attacks with efficient button pressing, making regular-regular-special an effective combo. With some weapons it's a 360 swing that must be performed from up close, while others have their own special style.

Some weapons have more powerful and useful charge up attacks than others, like say the Rusty Axe. Not only is it very powerful, it allows Henry to take a few steps first. This makes it fantastic to attack from a safe range and you won't take any damage while performing the attack. While most do have special attacks, some weapons like the Wine Bottle, Stun Gun, Bug Spray and Torch just have the one attack. But try to give every other weapon a try and see which special attack appeals to you the most.

Managing Unkillable Enemies
Silent Hill doubles down on multiple enemy types that cannot be killed as they hound you on the regular. Most common are Ghosts, which flash your screen and harm you just by being nearby. You can fight them with regular means to down them for brief periods, but it's not worth it.

Eventually you will find Swords of Obedience which you can use to stab them and keep them out of commission as long as they're pinned. Do note you'll usually need to knock Ghosts down several times before you can use these swords, at least by normal means. You'll also find Holy Candles which are multi-purpose but one use is to place one (or two) by a Ghost and watch it drop the Ghost to be stabbed without any other action.

Alternatively, a couple Silver Bullets can be found later in the game that will down Ghosts immediately but also only temporary. These are best saved for the toughest Ghosts and only if you have a sword to stab them. Otherwise, other unkillable enemies such as Wheelchairs (which damage you when nearby like Ghosts) and the Man with the Coat should be avoided entirely and cannot be taken care of in the same manner. They can however be downed and put offline for short periods but they'll never be gone for good. Learn to swallow your pride and run away while you can.

Switching Default Control
Previously called Walk/Run Control in the other games, this sets whether your default movement is to walk or run. With the default of Walk, Henry will walk in the direction pressed and you must hold Circle (instead of Square this time) to get him to run. Switch this to Run and Henry will always run without holding Circle. If you ever wish to walk with it set to Run, just hold Circle. I suggest switching this to Run since you'll be running for the majority of the game.

The previous three games had sidestepping and strafing with 3D control, however with Silent Hill 4's hybrid of 2D/3D you no longer have this as an option. There is however, a hopping function while holding a weapon. Before you start laughing, this can actually be pretty helpful to escape an enemy's range before a return attack.

To do so, press down and Circle while holding R2 to hop backwards, or left or right with Circle to hop to either side. If you sense an enemy is about to attack and you don't have much time to run away, or if you attack and miss, turn to this method for a quick escape. Give it a try and see what you think.

04. Room 302

This is where Silent Hill 4 differs from the previous games the most, and why it has "The Room" in its title. Rather than simply progressing through a series of traditional levels like before, Henry will return to Room 302 on the regular.

His main goal is to escape the room and he does manage long trips in the outside world, but ultimately Room 302 keeps serving as a hub to help him ultimately achieve his goal.

Despite being trapped within the room, it's also very helpful and serves as a safe haven in the first half by recharging your health, but also allows you to save, store and retrieve items, collect memos and observe many things happening in the surrounding building, hall and apartment next door.

This section covers everything you need to know about "The Room", otherwise known as Room 302.


First let's cover the basics of each room and what options you have in each.

Front Hall
This is perhaps the area with the most traffic, although shared with the living room. Red Diaries and other memos will constantly be slipped under your front door and you can often see scenes of your neighbours and the superintendent out the front door, amongst other rarer scenes. Unfortunately the door is locked and chained shut, so you won't be leaving anytime soon.

Living Room
Another busy area with lots to do. The living room contains the item chest to store and retrieve items, the only save point, the radio which can be used to listen to commercials and more relevant broadcasts, the windows which allow you to see what's happening outside or across the apartment building, and the wall peephole that allows you to spy on Eileen, found not immediately but still early in the game. A few memos will be located by the back shelf over the game as well.

Here you can open the fridge where you'll find a weak starter weapon and also some chocolate milk. You'll need to use it somewhere so don't forget about it. There's also a sink with running tap water, which you'll have to use at some point.

This is where the game begins and where you'll awaken every time after returning to 302. You can look out the bedroom window for a slightly different angle from the living room. Otherwise there's a few of Henry's photos around the room but nothing else.

Henry discovers a hole in the wall that works as his access point to the outside world. Every time you wish to return after a visit to 302, use the hole. Do note that something will happen around halfway that will change this room and Henry will need to take action in another room to be able to advance. Otherwise, the bathtub will become more... interesting at some point and will then be required to use at a much later point to advance.

Laundry Room
At first this is nothing more than a claustrophobic room of no importance, but it'll become a lot more relevant in the second half of the game. Some action may be required to do some redecorating. Also once the Torch is acquired, use it on the blue container of oil on the floor to allow it to burn for longer. Perhaps a bit sneaky, the final memo of the game will be found in this room, at a point when it's otherwise run its course.

Points of Interests

Front Door
Be sure to check your front door regularly for memos slipped underneath, plus your peephole for scenes that occur in the hallway, including neighbours and the super knocking or ringing your doorbell.

Item Chest
Probably the most useful thing in your apartment, which you'll absolutely need to use. The item chest stores all items that you can't fit in your inventory and will keep them for you to take back at a later time if desired. It's wise to store any health items found in the first half since the apartment will restore your health on its own. Read more about the Item Chest Menu in the Game Basics section above.

Definitely the most interesting thing in your entire apartment. At the beginning of the game, a hole is found on the wall of the washroom which takes Henry to the outside world in an attempt to escape this madness. You'll regularly be hopping back and forth between your apartment and the outside world and this will be your return point, at least until some things change around halfway (when that happens, turn to your laundry room). Use the item chest to store or retrieve any items, check under your front door for any memos and feel free to look out your windows or peepholes, then return through the portal.

These are also shut tight and won't open, but you can still use them to look outside your apartment and either into other rooms across the courtyard, other things at street level, or up on the buildings above. From time to time you may witness other things such as a terrifying sight floating by, as well as a certain hot air balloon up in the sky, serving as an easter egg. The billboard at the top left will become relevant at a later point. Note that you can look outside from your bedroom or living room.

Eileen Peephole
You'll discover this true peep of a hole fairly close to the beginning of the game after straightening a piece of furniture at the edge of your living room. It allows you to look straight into the bedroom of your next door neighbour, Eileen Galvin in room 303. You really don't need to check on her other than the first time, but you know you want to... Sadly, Eileen doesn't seem to have much of a life and spends most of her time looking bored.

On the living room bookshelf by the window you'll find a stereo. Sometimes it'll already be playing a broadcast when returning to 302, but at other moments it can be turned on to hear commercials and other announcements. Past halfway through the game the radio will begin to work somewhat as it did in previous games, emitting static when hauntings are present in the apartment. Not all hauntings are seen, so turn it on to check and if it's silent, you're all clear. The radio can also be used to play an optional cassette tape found in the game world.

Despite the cord being cut, the phone actually can be used to a certain extent. Henry will investigate it on his own to receive a call at the start and you'll receive another fairly early on that's required. There's also a billboard phone number outside which you can call and the telephone itself may become haunted later in the game. Otherwise, no prank calling tonight.

Raid the fridge! Unfortunately, you'll find that Henry doesn't seem to be a fan of food. All you'll find is chocolate milk and a bottle of white wine. The first is an item that must be used somewhere, while the latter can be used as a weapon but it's really not worthwhile.

Save Notebook
This notebook near the living room windows is the only save point in the game. Return to 302 whenever you wish to save.


Health Regeneration
In the first half of the game, Room 302 is a safe haven that recharges your health simply by being there. This allows you to conserve any health item you find in the outside world to use at a later time, at least if you can make it back to a portal. This is ideal because this recharging health will only last so long, ending once your living room fan breaks. So while it lasts, be sure to remain in your apartment until your health is full before returning through the portal.

There are 52 collectible memos in the game and around half are found in your apartment. Almost all of those will be under your front door, a few by the living room shelf and one in the laundry room near the very end. Collecting them will fill you in on story details, what you need to do or where certain items are, and the more you collect the better your end ranking will be. Refer to the Memos section for the locations and content of all 52 memos.

While your apartment will be your safe haven in the first half, it'll become a living nightmare in the latter. With the air feeling heavier, your health will no longer recharge and you'll begin witnessing hauntings that possess certain areas and objects, flashing your screen red and potentially harming you if near. To fight back and eradicate them you must use anti-spirit items (Holy Candles and Saint Medallions). Clearing them will ensure you get one of the better endings of the game while making your apartment safer in the process. Refer to the Hauntings section for more specific details.

05. Items and Inventory

This section deals all things item and inventory related.

Finding Items

Always keep on the lookout for items whenever entering new rooms or hallways. Pay attention to changing camera angles and where Henry might be looking if there's something offscreen or in a corner. Sometimes items may be hidden just around a corner normally out of sight, so it never hurts to be comprehensive.

Using Key Items

This includes keys and other important and required items on your journey. Keys are the most simple and are almost always used by just approaching the door it unlocks and pressing X, which will use it automatically. Some keys that aren't for standard doors, such as a locker or a cage will need to be used manually from your inventory by moving the item cursor and pressing Square at the intended target. The same goes for using other key items such as placards, coins, and so on.

Equipping Weapons and Reloading Firearms

Another big difference from past games is how weapons are equipped and reloaded. Press Square over any weapon to equip it, but note you can't unequip a weapon without equipping another or by dumping it in your chest. To reload a firearm, press Square over either the weapon or its ammo. The latter will need to be done to load a Silver Bullet into the Pistol. Weapons cannot be equipped or reloaded from the inventory menu this time. Note that Eileen's weapons can be equipped or unequipped freely, just as long as she's near you.

Equipping and Using Anti-Spirit Items

This really depends on what you're using but let's go through them all. Press Square over a Saint Medallion (to protect against Ghosts or hauntings, or exorcise the latter) to equip it until it breaks. Hit Square again to unequip it if you wish to save it for later, since it will eventually break.

To place a Holy Candle, find where you want to use it and hit Square. These can be placed in the outside world (effective for dropping Ghosts) but are best used to exorcise hauntings in your apartment. Sometimes they can be placed on objects like chairs and tables and other times you'll have to find a different spot, but they have a fairly large range and will melt away as they exorcise one or more hauntings together.

While the Pistol and a Silver Bullet are in your inventory, equip the Pistol and press Square over the Silver Bullet to load it into the gun. Now shoot as you would normally, but just make sure it lands.

For Swords of Obedience, Ghosts must first be knocked down multiple times with normal weapons, dropped once with a Holy Candle (or two), or shot once with a Silver Bullet before you can stab one in. When down, approach the Ghost and press Square over the Sword to stab it in. If it doesn't work you'll just need to knock it down some more until you can stick it in, which can be a lengthy process by normal means.

Using Supplies

Just like items, simply hover over a healing item and press Square to use it. Ammo works the same way when reloading your guns, although you can also reload by pressing Square over the gun itself if you have the extra ammo.

Inventory Management

For the first time in the series, managing your inventory is important and somewhat of an art, as it's always been in classic Resident Evil games. Generally you'll want to carry just one weapon, but sometimes having the Pistol and a clip or two as backup is a good strategy. You can generally avoid carrying healing items in the first half since you can just return to 302 for a recharge, but having one or two in the late game may be a safe approach. Just be sure to dump any items you don't plan on using.

Otherwise, just go about your business as normal and return to your apartment to dump items in your item chest when things get too cluttered. Also note that Eileen's items take up an inventory slot, and you can also only unequip it when near her. So if you plan to remove her weapon from your inventory, you'll need to unequip it before returning to 302.

06. Health System

Here we'll take a good look at the new health system in Silent Hill 4 and how to best take care of yourself.

Life Gauge

New to the series is a life gauge or health bar, although one was unlockable in Silent Hill 3. Rather than judging your health based on your status colour in your inventory you'll be able to see at all times what condition you're in. It's fairly standard so just pay attention and heal when needed. It'll display in blue until your health dips below 40% where it'll turn yellow and then orange as it nears empty, warning you to heal.

Normally the health bar is set to disappear offscreen when not in combat or taking damage. Just hit R2 to enter combat stance and see your status at any time, or visit the Options and turn off the Hide Gauge option to keep it on at all times.

Health Supplies

Although you won't find a ton in the first half of the game, there are three different health items that can recharge your status. That includes Nutrition Drinks, Portable Medical Kits and Ampoules, which recharge a quarter, half and all health respectively (or less/more depending on difficulty). The Ampoule specifically recovers a big chunk and then continues to heal over a brief period.

Recovering Health

You can always wait until your health dips below 75% before using a Nutrition Drink, or below 50% before using a Portable Medical Kit. Otherwise while in the first half of the game, try to save health items and return to your apartment to automatically regenerate health. To heal in your apartment, just stand around and watch your life gauge fill up. With health items, highlight one in your inventory and hit Square to use it. Always return to 302 over using a health item if you can, although it won't be an option anymore past halfway.

07. Controls

PS2 Controls

D-Pad Menu navigation, inventory cursor
Left Analog Stick Character movement, menu navigation
START Pause game, skip scene
SELECT Open inventory menu
X Accept, examine, attack, stomp or kick
Square Show inventory on screen, use item, equip or reload weapon
Circle Run, cancel, exit menu/puzzle
Triangle View Map/Scrapbook
R2 Ready weapon
L2 Switch camera to different angle
Right Analog Stick Adjust camera angle
L1 Sidestep left (first person)
R1 Sidestep right (first person)
R2 + Circle Hop backwards
R2 + Left + Circle Hop to the left
R2 + Right + Circle Hop to the right
Start+Select+L1+R1+L2+R2 Soft Reset

PC Controls

W Move Forward
S Move Backward
Q Move Left
E Move Right
A Turn Left
D Turn Right
Up Up
Down Down
Left Left
Right Right
Enter Enter
Space Action/Investigate
Esc Cancel / Skip Demo / Pause
B Ready Weapon
Caps Lock Evade
Tab Rear Camera
L Shift Run/Walk
U Scrap Book
M Map
R Ctrl Use/Equip Item
J Camera Left
L Camera Right
I Camera Up
K Camera Down

3D/2D Hybrid Control

You won't find this in any menu but this is Silent Hill 4's new control scheme, which is some weird mix of free movement and a hint of tank controls, at least for making sharp turns. Generally where Henry runs is dependent on how you push the analog stick relative to the camera, but rather than changing significant direction instantly, Henry will gradually begin to turn in an arc until going the other way. If you wish to turn around more quickly, consider stopping entirely and then going back.

To be frank, this control scheme is fine most of the time, but in certain situations it can be an absolute nightmare since its hybrid qualities remove any level of precision. It's very likely Henry will have a mind of his own in some situations and move as if drunk, doing something you really didn't want, but it's just something you'll have to adapt and get used to since there's sadly no other option in this game. Why? We'll never know. It was always great to choose in Silent Hill 2 and 3. The decision being made for you here is a real drawback, especially when it doesn't commit to being entirely 2D or 3D.

Extra Options

Below are all the options you can change in the Options 2 menu. While not called Extra Options in this game, it's the category they would all fall under in previous games. Note that on PC there's an Options 3 page with even more options, while some of these are mixed on both pages. Some of the extra choices in that version include the first person control inside your apartment, including inverted look and whether you sidestep or turn with the left analog stick moved sideways. All options below are changeable in the original PS2 release.

Default Control
The options here are Walk or Run, which controls what your character will do when the left analog stick is used. With the default of Walk, you must hold Circle to run. Changing it to Run removes the requirement of holding Circle, although it can be held to walk. I highly suggest changing this to Run to save you an extra button to hold for the majority of the game.

Noise Effect
While perhaps not as prominent as the previous games, Silent Hill 4 contains its own noise effect that floods the screen with light grain to simulate an old horror film. Go with whatever look you prefer, but I personally enjoy seeing the graphics at their most crisp by turning this off.

Blood Color
You now have only three choices for blood colour which are Red, Green or Purple, with Black no longer available. Perhaps Red is best for your first playthrough to keep things grounded, but you really can't go wrong here. Green looks great and Purple looks fantastic and doesn't at all break the immersion in my opinion.

Head Motion
This controls how much head bob you'll witness in first person view while in Room 302. To be frank, the bob is very subtle to begin with and I suggest just leaving it alone. But if the default of On is somehow bothering you, you can tone it down to either Slight or Off entirely.

Hide Gauge
This refers to the Life Gauge, which is normally set to disappear offscreen when it's not quite relevant. With On it'll come on whenever you're in combat (holding R2 and for a while after) or taking damage. If you wish to set it so it's always on no matter what, turn this to Off.

Hide Icon
By icons this means your inventory items at the bottom of the screen. Normally set to On, they will only show up while cycling through your inventory or using items, then fade away shortly after. Set to Off if you wish to keep it on all the time.

08. Difficulty Settings

After two games with separate difficulties for action and riddle level, Silent Hill 4 returns to having just one difficulty level. While two memos regarding one puzzle may change on Hard, this difficulty level instead only dictates all action-related aspects. Read about each level below.

Earning its namesake, this level ensures a relatively smooth ride through the game. Enemies are at their weakest, less aggressive and less responsive to your attacks, while fewer enemies will appear over the game. Each Pistol magazine holds 12 bullets and health items are slightly more powerful than normal.

The way the game is meant to be played with everything at default value. Enemies have a fair amount of health, capable of moderate attacks, are more aggressive and responsive to your attacks than Easy, while more enemies will appear. Each Pistol magazine holds 10 bullets and health items recover their default amounts.

Recommended for hardcore players and veterans of Silent Hill. Enemies are stronger and capable of inflicting heavy damage, are faster, more aggressive and responsive to your attacks, while appearing in abundance. Each Pistol magazine holds 8 bullets and health items recover slightly less than normal.

Recommended Difficulty Level

Returning players from earlier games will likely find themselves at home on Normal with a decent but not overly difficult challenge. Those new to the series may be best off starting on Easy to familiarize themselves, especially since this game introduces a lot of enemies and some that will constantly hound you. I'd recommend Hard only for series veterans who have been able to clear Hard in previous games, but I'd generally suggest at least beating it on Normal first to understand what it entails. Remember, it's a lot easier to die when you don't have every supply and weapon on you at all times.