The depiction of the town of Silent Hill in its titular game has lead to a lot of confusion and over-analysis from many casual and some hard-core Silent Hill fans. The stories of the first few games are told in very indirect manners, with the player often being shown the story through the acquisition of clues and context, rather than being directly told what is going on by an objective character or outside narration.
This will be my second in a series of analysis and interpretation articles related to the Silent Hill franchise. The first article addressed my opinions on Pyramid Head’s status as a “rapist”.
I will admit right from the start that many of the points presented on this blog are borrowed from Twin Perfect’s “The Real Silent Hill Experience” documentary by DerFuzhwar, Fungo, and Rosseter and it’s supplementaries. Hopefully, these guys aren’t too upset with this, but it’s their own damned faults for making such rock-solid points. Specifically, I reference their arguments associated with the antique shop dream sequence, the role of Vincent, and interpretation of some of the documents found in the games. Despite the duplication here of previous arguments, I hope this blog still provides some new and interesting insights into the debate.
The Otherworld is an “Other world” myth
One of the most common misconceptions about the games is the idea that the “Otherworld” in Silent Hill (also called “Nowhere”) is some kind of “parallel dimension” that exists in conjunction with, but separate from, the “real world”. Alternatively, some fans claim that the games utilize some kind of “parallel perception” mechanism, in which everything that happens in the games that is even remotely supernatural is all just happening inside the character’s mind, such that separate characters can be in the same place at the same time, but see things differently. These interpretations have lead to many misunderstandings about other elements of the town and events, such as Alessa having hostile motivations, the residents of Silent Hill being turned into monsters, or that the people who visit the town can never truly leave.
These ideas are all fallacious, and they are derived from fundamental misunderstanding due to how the game presents information, or by a reliance on out-of-game information that presents a false picture of what is happening in the games.
What’s worse, these misguided ideas have become the defacto explanation given in the Silent Hill wiki and have even found their way into “official” Silent Hill material, including the motion picture and all of the post-Konami-developed games in the series.
The antique shop dream that leads to so much confusion
A cutscene midway through Silent Hill seems to suggest that the player is transported into a parallel dimension or dream world:
The controversial Antique Shop Otherworld transition cutscene.
This cutscene in the first game (along with another similar cutscene later in the same game) seems to be the only place in the first three games where it is explicitly suggested by the game itself that the Otherworld exists in some parallel dimension. In every other instance, characters always talk about the otherworld as “invading” reality, and outright stating that it is “not” a dream.
This scene is often used as the crutch argument of parallel dimension theorists (as well as the entirety of Silent Hill 4 – more on that later). But this scene does not necessitate that a parallel dimension exists. Instead, it actually refutes it. These visits with Lisa in the hospital are visually and stylistically distinct from all other transitions into the Otherworld. These scene are presented in such a way as to imply that Harry is not, in fact, in reality anymore. This is also the only time this occurs. This event is unique, so using it as a description of all the other Otherworld incidents in the franchise is not valid.
For this one instance, I am actually going to concede to an “other dimension” existing, if by “other dimension”, you mean “inside Alessa’s mind/dream”. Skip to 6:20 in the video to see when Harry first appears in the hospital. Notice that the game now has a fuzzy sepia filter and sound echo applied to it. As if this sequence were a hallucination or a dream. The two scenes in which Harry is “transported” to the hospital to talk to Lisa are the only times in the game where this effect is applied. This implies – and almost outright states – that this scene takes place in an alternate reality! In Alessa’s dream, in fact. Harry even asks “Was that another dream?” as soon as he is returned to the antique shop.
In fact, in the first sequence, Lisa tells Harry that he was already dreaming (during the time between his initial encounter with her and the run to the Antique Shop). So which is the dream? Either? Both? Or neither?
Harry meets Lisa in the Otherworld hospital.
No dream filter here!
Harry is transported to a dream world hospital with fuzzy sepia filter and sound echo.
So in this instance, Harry is plucked out of reality and transported into a dream world. It is the only time prior to Silent Hill 4 that this happens though - except, of course, for Heather’s dreamed trip to the Amusement Park in the intro to Silent Hill 3.
The illusion of the “Fog World”
Before I go into detail discussing the Otherworld itself, I want to first dispel the rumor that there is a “fog world” and a “dark world” that are both alternate dimensions as well. They are not. You only need watch the opening cinematic of the first game to demonstrate this.
A ghost of Alessa causes Harry to crash the jeep outside of Silent Hill, and beyond the reach of the fog!
The car accident that strands Harry in Silent Hill is caused by a manifestation of Alessa appearing on the road outside of the town and beyond the reach of the fog. This right here suggests that Alessa and/or the God can manifest things in the real world. Thus, there is absolutely no need to assume that the fogified town is in a different dimension.
Furthermore, the idea that Laura in Silent Hill 2 exists in the real world, in which Silent Hill is still an active resort town, is not credible due to the fact that we are given no indication from Laura that the “version” of the town that she experiences is not deserted. Thus, she is in the same Silent Hill that James, Angela, and Eddie are all in.
Myth busted! Now I can move on to discussing the Otherworld proper.
Transitions to the Otherworld from game to game
We also witness the transformations of the real (“fog” or “dark”) worlds into the otherworld in every game. And in every game, it is different.
Transitions presented in Silent Hill
In Silent Hill, transitions to the Otherworld usually happen when Harry enters a door or corridor that leads to the Otherworld. We also see occasional alterations and rearrangements of geography in both the real world and the Otherworld. This happens under the clock tower in the Midwhich Elementary School courtyard (where you travel in a linear circle) and in the sudden manifestation of a fourth floor of Alchemilla Hospital (which doesn’t actually exist) - followed by the the stairs back up to the fourth floor suddenly being blocked off by a solid wall. If the otherworld is in a parallel dimension, and the real world is not being altered, then how does the fourth floor button just appear on the elevator?
But we also see the otherworld transition occur in (more or less) real time.
At the very beginning of the game, Harry passes through an alleyway that becomes more and more like the otherworld as he travels through it.
The opening sequence of Silent Hill features a more gradual transformation.
After passing through a fence, the night comes, and when Harry lights a match, the alleyway is different (although this may just be a trick of the match light). The alleyway then progresses from a dark, but otherwise normal alley lined with brick and mortar walls to the bloody, fenced-off industrial Otherworld. If the Otherworld and real world are just two discrete dimensions, then does this mean that Harry is traveling through several “intermediate dimensions” during his trek through the alley? Or does the Otherworld just naturally contain pockets of real-world scenery despite being a completely separate reality?
We also see the world “fade” into the otherworld in both the “other church” under the antique shop and on the bridge connecting South Park to the resort area on the north side of the lake.
The real-time transition to the Otherworld while crossing the bridge.
Here, Harry mentions that this transition seems different:
“Rather than shifting from reality to a nightmare, this is more like reality becoming a nightmare.”
- Harry Mason (Silent Hill)
This would seem to lend credence to the parallel dimensions theory. Except that having already accepted the parallel dimensions theory would mean that you would also have to accept that this transition is “different”, and that in this case, the real world is, in fact, being altered. This would mean that is possible for the god to influence the real world - even before Alessa has been captured by Dahlia. But the belief that the god can’t influence the real-world is (as far as I can tell) the whole basis for the necessity of the theory to begin with. This would also make it unclear as to which instances of the Otherworld are real and which ones occur in the parallel dimension. In any case, the actual difference that Harry is referencing is that instead of just moving from an area of reality to an area of “nightmare”, reality around him is becoming a nightmare.
But we need not accept Harry’s previous explanation anyway. When Harry meets back up with Cybil on the boat, he confesses that his previous understanding of what was going on was clouded by his belief that he was losing his mind.
“[…] I thought I was losing my mind. But now I know I’m not. It’s not me. This whole town… it’s being invaded by the Otherworld. By a world of someone’s nightmarish delusions come to life… Little by little the invasion is spreading… Trying to swallow up everything in darkness.”
- Harry Mason (Silent Hill)
This monologue should be the clincher. From a meta-game design standpoint, the whole reason that Cybil is even in the game is so that Harry has someone to talk to about his experiences (someone who is honest and whom he can trust). If the designers and writers wanted the game’s meaning to be open to interpretation, then they wouldn’t have made Harry have these conversations at all, and Cybil wouldn’t even have been necessary to include in the game to begin with. Alternatively, if the designers wanted the player to be doubtful of Harry’s final explanations, then they would have given us some reason to doubt his mental competence, or they would have just let Dahlia explain the nature of the Otherworld, since her character is outright dishonest and untrustworthy within the game!
But since the above monologue is such an important milestone of the game’s narrative, I guess people just aren’t paying attention to it. So I’ll go on with further examples from the other games.
Silent Hill 2’s Otherworld overlap completely debunks the parallel perception theory
There is one major corollary of thinking that the Otherworld exists in parallel dimensions that are separated from reality: the dimension has to be separate! But they aren’t.
During the course of Silent Hill 2, James’ Otherworld overlaps with the other characters’ when they are in proximity. At the end of Silent Hill 2, James witnesses part of Angela’s Otherworld manifestations at the same time that he is in his own. He is also able to continue to encounter the Doorman/Abstract Daddy monster while Angela is not present, even though these monsters are unique to Angela’s psyche.
James witnessing Angela’s personal manifestations first-hand.
If the dimensions are parallel, but separate, then James and Angela should be able to occupy the same space at the same time without having any idea that the other is present and James would never even have seen the Doorman/Abstract Daddy monster, let alone have to fight about a dozen of them over the course of the hotel level
In the Silent Hill movie, the Otherworld is clearly depicted as a parallel, but separate, dimension that exists on a different level of reality as our own. For this reason, Rose and Chris can occupy the same area at the same time, despite having unique surroundings, and without being aware of each other.
We also see a small bit of Eddie’s Otherworld. It’s a bit more subtle than Angela’s, but the freezer full of meat wearing Eddie’s clothes seems to be something designed by the town to poke fun at Eddie’s weight - which he’s apparently very sensitive about. It also has the effect of camouflaging Eddie in his encounter with James, but mostly it’s just an element of his self-consciousness being pulled out of his mind.
Are you calling Eddie fat?.
Laura complicates matters a bit. After Harry’s teleportation to the Otherworld hospital, Laura’s presence in Silent Hill 2 is probably the next biggest piece of “evidence” in favor of multiple dimensions/perception. But this is also a bit of a reach. It is true that Laura does not see the monsters or experience anything supernatural because she is innocent. But notice that whenever she is around, nobody else notices these things either. There are no monsters present when Laura and Eddie are hanging out in the bowling alley, nor do any monsters show up when James is with Laura in the hospital or hotel. It’s not just a matter of Laura not seeing the monsters. They just aren’t manifested at all when she’s around.
Even when Laura locks James in a hospital room and he is attacked by the Hanging Men, Laura is separated from James and the monsters by a door. Yes, there’s a window, but she can’t see through it, nor does she attempt to look through it. She is oblivious to what is happening to James on the other side of the door. So it is not the case that Laura is there and just doesn’t see the monsters. She’s not actually there to see them. That’s why they are able to show up!
The monsters cannot appear until Laura has left the room. This is because if she were in the room, she’d see them. Because they’re real!
Once again, this demonstrates that there is no “foggy world” or “dark world”, because if that were the case, then Laura would not even be able to talk to James through the door because she and James would be in different dimensions. Thus, Laura, James, and the hanging men are all present in the same reality at the same time. They are all real!
And if the town only pulls people who are “guilty” into this parallel dimension, then why is Laura even there to begin with? I think we can all agree that - other than her annoying propensity to to step on people's hand (while he's reaching through bars that shouldn't exist in Laura's “real world” for a key that shouldn't exist in Laura's “real world”), and to lock people in rooms with monsters - Laura is an innocent.
But what about the town itself?
Even more evidence is provided within Silent Hill 2 to suggest that the alterations to the area in and around Silent Hill are all happening in the real world. As James explores the town, he finds walled-off sections of road lined with construction scaffolding and fences. These are present all over the town, and since James rarely (if ever) comes across a road with an exposed hole in it (as Harry often did in Silent Hill), the player is left to assume that all such roads have been covered up, blocked off, or repaired. This implies a massive construction and rebuilding project being undertaken in the town (more on this in a later blog).
Repair efforts seem to be going on in Silent Hill following the events of the first game.
And in fact, despite all the roads being blocked off or destroyed in Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2, Douglas, Claudia, and Vincent are apparently able to drive into town without any problem! And check into a hotel! This just further reinforces the idea that the town is undergoing gradual repair.
Now, you might argue that reconstruction efforts are being taken in the real world, and so the parallel dimension is also manifesting those elements of the real world. But if the parallel dimensions hypothesis is correct, then why would there be massive reconstruction projects underway in the real town to begin with? If the alterations being made in the parallel dimension do not overflow into the real world, then those holes in the road would not be appearing in the real world, and the real-world residents would have no reason to reconstruct them.
In some areas in Silent Hill 2, the transformations to the Otherworld often happen gradually (if at all) as James travels through different rooms and hallways in an area. The shift is most apparent in the Lakeside Hotel. When he first arrives, the hotel looks fairly normal. One could easily mistake it for an active hotel that is just closed. But over time, the hotel becomes darker, grimier, more dilapidated. Once the hotel starts transforming, he goes through several transitions to the hotel being even more unstable. In the basement, the hotel even appears to be burnt and is flooded, as if it had experienced a fire, even though there was no evidence of a fire in the upper levels prior to the transformation.
*THE REMAINDER OF THIS SECTION SECTION CONTAINS ERRONEOUS INFORMATION*
The burnt-out appearance of the hotel basement is not an example of Otherworld overlap between James and Angela. It's actually likely the real hotel. However, the points about the transition do remain valid.
An interpretation of the Lakeview Otherworld is now available here.
This is an example of reality being altered to conform to the individual’s expectations. Angela’s subconscious created the fire. James experienced this fire because the fire is being physically manifested in reality. Upon leaving the room that Angela was in, James no longer experiences the fire because it is not a part of his psyche. But because the fire is now part of his experience and recent memory, the world has been transformed to conform to Jame’s expectations associated with remembering that there was just recently a fire. The world is transformed into a state that James recognizes as the aftermath of a fire, right down to the presence of police tape.
|[Top Left] The (relatively) normal Lakeview Hotel. [Top Right] The slightly more rustic Lakeview Hotel.
[Bottom Left] The flooded basement of Lakeview Hotel. [Bottom Right] The burnt-out remains of the Lakeview Hotel’s basement.
If the Otherworld is a parallel dimension, then that dimension is being altered in a relatively small amount of time as James travels back and forth between the rooms and halls of the apartments and hotel. Or is each state of the hotel a separate dimension? How many different “Otherworlds” must James be travelling through in this one area in order for parallel dimension theory to hold up?
I also want to stress that the results of Angela’s fire and James experiencing a burnt-out manifestation of the hotel is possibly a different phenomenon than James witnessing the evidence of repair going on around town. In the case of the repairs: the holes in the town were possibly manifested as a result of Alessa’s nightmare in the first game (or possibly by a perfectly natural disaster of some sort that happened prior to the first game), and are possibly being repaired by the residents to make the town liveable again. The holes and repairs are not necessarily manifestations of James’ (or anybody else's) subconscious. So don’t think that the presence of police tape in the burnt-out hotel basement has to be related to the blocked off areas in the rest of the town. One may be the result of real-world activities. The other is a manifestation of an individuals’ mind.
The Otherworld literally leaks into the real world in Silent HIll 3
In Silent Hill 3, we see transformations similar to the first and second game, but we also see a new type: the otherworld literally “leaking” into the reality.
Heather witnesses the Otherworld leaking into reality.
This is not a case of a character passing through a portal into another dimension. This is a clear example of reality being altered in real-time. Or is Heather already in the Otherworld before it leaks in through the tub? If so, why does the Otherworld have these pockets of real-world-like scenery in it? If it’s a completely independent parallel dimension, shouldn’t the whole dimension be Otherworldly? And even if it’s not, then we still have clear evidence of one of the realities being altered in real time. So if whatever power is in charge in Silent Hill is capable of altering an parallel environment, why can’t it alter the real world?
Silent Hill 4 doesn’t count
So Silent Hill through Silent Hill 3 stayed pretty consistent with regard to how the world worked, and their depictions all support that reality is being altered.
But then Silent Hill 4 comes along and manages to confuse matters even more than the antique shop of the first game. In a cutscene in Silent Hill 4, Henry steps through a hole in the wall while escorting Eileen, and arrives at another location with Eileen missing. When he meets up with her again, she says she didn’t see a hole and that Henry just disappeared into the wall. This would seem to support the idea of parallel dimensions. Or at least the idea of parallel perception.
Eileen can’t see or travel through this portal. As far as she is concerned, Henry just disappears into the wall.
Sorry, but this piece of evidence doesn’t count.
This game breaks from the previous Silent Hill games by heavily implying that the characters are interacting with each other in some kind of dream state. Kind of similar to the “other church” sequence in the first game, except that they’ve all been pulled into Walter’s dream rather than Alessa’s. So we can’t really compare it directly with the first three games because the context is so different.
So unless you can convince me that the Otherworld in Silent Hill 4 is comparable to the other games’ Otherworlds, I’m going to dismiss the events of that game as simply being a different situation.
Dr. Kaufman and Vincent seem to know what I’m talking about
If you’re not convinced by Harry, James, and Heather’s understanding and experience of the Otherworld, then perhaps you’ll believe Dr. Kaufman and Vincent in Silent Hill 1 and 3 respectively. Both of these characters are actively involved in the cult. Both appear to be in charge of the finances of the cult during the time period of the respective games. Both of them reference how they spend money and collect money to operate the church.
They both seem to have a fairly clear idea of what is going on.
And neither one of them seems to think that they have left reality.
Both of these characters’ ability to make money is dependent on them existing in the real world, where there are people. Kaufman is a doctor, and so could probably easily fund the church’s activities through his own paycheck, but he’s a greedy son of a bitch and instead decides to run a drug smuggling operation on the side. If he’s stuck in a parallel dimension where there are no people (and no escape from Silent Hill), then who is he selling the drugs to? Now, this alone is not evidence enough to prove that Silent Hill takes place in the real world, since the nightmare world may not even be created until Harry and Cheryl arrive. This would mean that Dr. Kaufman already has all the money, and so the disappearance of all the people is a non-issue.
Enter: Vincent. He fills the same role as Dr. Kaufman did in the first game. He is still collecting money and running the church’s finances. And he’s found that running a tax-exempt church is quite profitable indeed! So he doesn’t want to “bring about paradise” because he’s found his own corrupt paradise already. He specifically tells Claudia:
Vincent confronts Claudia and at the end of the game, as well as provide insight into what is happening.
“I know about the pleasures of this world. And I want to find my happiness while I’m still here.”
- Vincent (Silent Hill 3)
He’s referring to the real world. The one in which recruiting new church members, charging tithes, passing around collection plates, and fund-raising have provided him a steady flow of income. And this is in contract to the "paradise" world that Claudia believes God will create. Later, in the Otherworld church, Vincent argues with Claudia, referring to the Otherworld as "[Claudia's] own personal nightmare, just like Alessa's 17 years ago," and then goes on to call this church his home - the church he built with "the power of money that [Claudia] scorns."
But if he’s trapped in a parallel dimension (in which there are no other people other than himself and Claudia), then where is all this extra money coming from? Who are all the people who are giving money to this church? And more importantly, if he understands that they are in a parallel dimension, then why is he so adamant about trying to sabotage Claudia’s plans?
Miscellaneous corroborating evidence
The Book of Lost Memories repeatedly refers to elements of a person’s mind being physically manifested in reality, and that the Otherworld lies within the human mind, allowing it to manifest at any location (i.e. Ashfield, Sheperd’s Glen). Documents within the games also corroborate this interpretation; the Manifestation of Delusions article in Midwich is a prime example.
The doctor’s journal in Silent Hill 2 references other realities in the minds of the patients (which he calls “the other side”) and is often referenced as opposing evidence in favor of parallel dimension theorists. But this isn’t a reference to the person physically existing in another reality, but rather it is an analogy to James’ subconscious creating a false reality in which his wife may still be alive. It’s purely psychological until it gets manifested in reality.
Vincent's tape recording in the Otherworld church showcases the cult's revisionist apologetics.
We also have the existence of the documents and tape recording in Silent Hill 3 that provide apologetic, revisionist-history explanations for the failed God-birthing from Silent Hill. This is an example of the cult trying to re-define it’s beliefs to accommodate irreconcilable real-world events (the death of Sameal) by adopting a worship of Alessa. In order for the cult to do this, they would have to have known about what happened in Silent Hill. But since Dahlia, Kaufman, Lisa, Alessa, and the god are all killed, and Harry, Cheryl/Heather, and (maybe Cybil) escape, then there would be nobody left to tell the cult what happened.
As far as the cult would be concerned, Dahlia and Kaufman would have just vanished, Dahlia’s magical spell to summon Alessa’s other half must have just not worked, and the God-birthing attempt never would have taken place. Unless it all happened in the real-world, in which case the cult would have the evidence that these events transpired, and would need to start creating revisionist history to explain them.
Creating a Paradise on Earth
Last but not least, there is Dahlia and Claudia’s end objectives. These two characters want to rebirth God so that She can create an eternal “paradise” on earth. But if the God doesn’t have the ability to alter the real world, then what is the point in rebirthing Her to begin with? If all She can do is create a parallel dimension, then why do they need to rebirth God at all? Why not just let themselves be taken to the parallel dimension – which (according to the parallel dimension theory) already exists and which they are already able to enter as soon as the first game starts?
That isn’t the way it works. Dahlia and Claudia need to rebirth the God so that She can grow to have the power to reshape the entire world as a paradise, rather than just channeling herself through specific individuals to project their nightmares or psyches onto localized areas. In fact, Claudia specifically states that “the world needs God.” She doesn’t say that everybody needs to be taken to God’s reality.
That’s kind of the whole point of the games.
It is possible that Dahlia and Claudia are just misunderstanding what’s going on, and the God is only going to create a parallel dimension “heaven”. But if that’s the case, then the entire game series becomes pretty much moot. Why would the designers create a horror game in which the villains’ goal is no real threat to the characters or the outside world?
The “birthing of God” at the end of Silent Hill 3 gives us yet another clue as to the God’s true power. As Heather is “aborting” the God by swallowing Aglaophotis, the God manifests physical transformations on Heather’s own body. Her skin becomes bloody and red, mimicing the texturing of the Otherworld walls seen in many places earlier in the game. Granted this occurs in the Otherworld, but Heather’s body is an object from the real-world! So this tells us that the God most certainly has the power to alter real-world objects.
The God-fetus manifests physical changes on Heather’s own body. Heather comes from the real-world; thus, the God can manifest changes to real-world objects.
The final contradiction inherent to parallel dimension theories, and another invocation of Occam’s Razor
But even if you don’t agree that any of those arguments prove that the entirety of the first three games takes place in the real world, then there is still a contradiction in the belief that there is a parallel dimension. If (for the sake of argument), the God did not have the power to reshape the world and could only create a parallel dimension, then in order for the game’s events to happen, the God would have to pull the characters out of the real world and into the parallel world. Removing a person from the real world and putting them in another world is, in effect, a change to the real world. Thus, the God does have the power to affect the real world. Thus, why do we need to make the leap to saying it’s a parallel dimension to begin with? If you can accept that the God can yank Harry, Heather, and Henry out of reality, and manifest an imaginary letter from James’ dead wife, then why can’t you also accept that it can also physically alter the world itself, and manifest actual physical monsters in the real world?
Remember, in the universe of Silent Hill, gods, demons, spirits, psychic powers, and black magic all exist and and have real effects! So why propose a complicated explanation that involves multiple, parallel dimensions being affected by gods and magic, when a simpler explanation involving a singular dimension (the real world) being affected by gods and magic works just as well - if not better? The parallel dimension theory only adds confusion, creates contradictions, and necessitates the inclusion of exceptions to the rules in order for the game’s logic to remain consistent.
Why are only certain people being pulled into the parallel dimension? Why (if each person’s dimension is separate) do characters always explicitly experience the same events in the same way (i.e. James and Angela witnessing each other’s Otherworld simultaneously)? Why doesn’t Laura interact with any real-world people other than James, Maria, and Eddie if she’s actually somehow existent in a parallel real-world dimension in which the town is still populated? All of these questions (and others) create irreconcilable contradictions in the games’ internal logic, or necessitate the ad hoc creation of new rules that make exceptions to the general rules of parallel dimension theory.
So, in summary, we have one example in the entirety of the first three games that might suggest that there is some kind of parallel dimensions (or perception) thing going on, as well as one scene from the fourth game which corroborates that idea. But both are taken out of context (as those scenes are explicitly set in a dream-ish state), and there are dozens of examples that showcase an actual, physical transformation of the real world. We have a handful of quotes from Harry himself stating that “this is not a dream!”, “it’s like reality is being invaded”, and “someone’s nightmarish delusions come to life”. The interactions between different characters (particularly in Silent Hill 2) heavily suggests that changes are taking place in the real world. And finally, the concept of a God that can only create parallel dimensions instead of being a threat to the "real world" just makes the whole game series moot and sucks out some of the fear, so why adhere to that belief?