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Hideo Kojima
Hideo Kojima

A recent posting to IMDB has some Silent Hill fans very intrigued. The post claims that "Silent Hill 9" has been announced, and that it is directed by Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame). This post seems a bit premature, since I'm not aware of any official announcement - or statement of any kind - from Konami regarding another Silent Hill game, but rumors have been circulating on forums for months regarding the possibility of Hideo Kojima working (directly or indirectly) on a Silent Hill project.

Supposedly, Konami has approached Kojima to direct the next installment in the franchise. He's favorable to the idea, but admits that he may not be the best man for such a leading role:

"Honestly, I’m kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, so I’m not confident I can do it. At the same time, there’s a certain type of horror that only people who are scared of can create, so maybe it’s something I can do."
   - Hideo Kojima

This might make Silent Hill fans skeptical about Kojima's ability to direct or produce a game that lives up to the franchise's [now tarnished] lineage. However, it is worthwhile to point out that Kojima's sentiments very closely mirror the words of the original Silent Hill game's director, Keiichiro Toyama:

"I was really kind of a scaredy-cat, [...] I never liked the really bloody shock-fest sort of horror film, so I was kind of at a loss when we started out. What I am a fan of is occult stuff and UFO stories and so on; that and I had watched a lot of David Lynch films. So it was really a matter of me taking what was on my shelves and taking the more horror-oriented aspects of what I found. So I really didn't think [Silent Hill] was that much of a horror game, and it was kind of a surprise to me when people told me it was scary after it came out!"
   - Keiichiro Toyama (director, Silent Hill (1999))

Toyama's interest wasn't so much in horror as it was in just occult and paranormal subjects. Based on his statements, it seems like the horror was more of an emergent property of the subject matter and influences of the games that he made. Kojima is also no stranger to occult and paranormal influences in his games. Metal Gear Solid is loaded with paranormal content and pseudo-science, as well as government conspiracies and secret societies that closely mirror occultism. So Kojima might have a firmer grasp on the basis of Silent Hill's plot than he thinks - that is, as long as he doesn't go too far into anime-land...

I'm not so sure that Kojima's statements mean that he will actually direct the game. I think it's more likely that he would act in some kind of producer or supervisory role, and grant the dev team the use of his FOX Engine, which is used for Metal Gear Solid games. The first four Silent Hill games had used their own engines that were custom-designed by the team, and which helped to give those games their unique (and high quality) aesthetics. The FOX Engine is an impressive engine, and Metal Gear Solid games are known for always being on the cutting-edge of graphics. So even if Kojima's involvement is only to give the license to his FOX Engine, we can be pretty confident that the game would at least look very nice! Silent Hill games that have been developed by third parties have had a shaky history of ugly graphics and technical problems. Using a quality, in-house engine for the project would be a great first step in at least ensuring that the games are competent at a technical level!

"That said, I think Silent Hill has a certain atmosphere. I think it has to continue, and I’d love to help it continue, and if I can help by supervising or lending the technology of the FOX Engine, then I’d love to participate in that respect."
   - Hideo Kojima

My biggest concern isn't so much with Kojima. I'd be more concerned about who he decides to surround himself with in the project. I had read news blurbs about Masahiro Ito (the creature designer from Silent Hill 1-3) possibly returning to do artwork and design for the next Silent Hill game (unfortunately, I can't find the articles that said that anymore...). If Konami and Kojima can bring back some of the original creative minds, then this project will suddenly be much more interesting and promising! The original creators understand these games much better than anyone else, and I would love to see what their ideas for a sequel would include. It would also be exciting if a sequel were to put Silent Hill back on track and nullify a lot of the nonsense that was in Origins, Homecoming, and Downpour.

I'm looking forward to the potential of seeing some form of Team Silent reinstated (even if it is just a handful of people) and for the series return to its occult-based origins, which were grounded in real occultism and mysticism. I'm looking for the art and design to bring back the disturbing "what the heck?!" factor, instead of the dullness, blandness, and derivativeness of the post-Team Silent games. I'm looking forward to the stories and characters going back to being cohesive and thoughtfully-constructed. I'm hoping to learn more about the history and background of this universe as the original creators imagine it.

This next game may be tentatively called "Silent Hill 9", but I'm still waiting for "Silent Hill 5". Maybe now I'll finally get it!

Hopefully it doesn't end up being another reboot or "reimagining"...

However, if this doesn't work, it will likely spell the end of Silent Hill as a brand. The franchise has floundered in the hands of third-party developers, and everyone has been screaming for Konami to bring back the original team. But remember, the reason Konami disbanded the team and sought third party development was because the original team created Silent Hill 4, which (despite having a decent story) suffered from poor overall game design and just wasn't scary. The major creative influences on the series had apparently decided they didn't want to work on it any more (Silent Hill 3 effectively ended the series by closing the overarching story thread) and had already moved on. If third parties can't carry the torch, and members of the original team can't reignite the spark of genius that made the first three games so memorable, then Konami and gamers might just give up on the franchise and accept that it died a long time ago, and keeping it on life support is only doing everybody a disservice.

Comments (13) -

Márlon
Márlon
01/11/2014 01:15:00 #

they should call CLIVE BARKER do direct the game.

01/18/2014 12:54:55 #

Downpour wasn't bad. 2 & 3 will never be passed though.

SignoNymous
SignoNymous
02/05/2014 10:23:14 #

Hideo Kojima put the money and Keiichiro Toyama put the ideas, a reboot of Silent Hill, like Mikami-san did with Resident Evil. It´s the best way to bring a new fresh horror game perspective. If you want to play the same again and again just play the past games. Let the future begin.

Sticky
Sticky
02/07/2014 05:11:55 #

You guys are trippin team silent made good games silent hill 2 and 3 were awesome hope the rumors are true.

Maiden T
Maiden T
02/07/2014 22:37:51 #

The original Silent Hill series wasn't really about the "Occult", it was just the first and to an extent the third one that were. The best Silent Hill game is Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill, for me, was a series where every each instalment is a self-contained story about different characters, the only thing any of them sharing being the town of Silent Hill.

Silent Hill stories are repressed-memory morality tales, where the protagonist finds themselves in a nightmarish world haunted by creatures that represent their own psyche, unraveling a mystery that culiminates in them remembering what they did. As a comparison to movies, the movie that most closely resembles Silent Hill is The Machinist (and of course Jacob's Ladder). The exception in the original series is Silent Hill 4, where instead of the protagonist's psyche being the source of the creatures, it's that of a serial killer who is using the power of Silent Hill to continue their killings.

Homecoming dropped the ball when it tried to combine he self-contained repressed-memory storyline with both the storyline for the original game and the movie. They confused what Silent Hill is meant to be.

Downpour at least had the right approach to Silent Hill, they just did it really badly; the creature designs are terrible, and the story incredibly thin, and the multiple endings are just completely fucked, as each ending depicts a different version of past events, i.e in one ending the protagonist is a killer, in another ending he's not. This is completely fucked, in the previous Silent Hill games the protagonist was always guilty of whatever "sin" caused them to forget, the multiple endings only dictated what happened TO them. And in Downpour's multiple endings, the protagonist is either a saint, or a cunt, with no inbetween. And it doesn't make sense if he's innocent because then why the hell is the town reaching out to him. The game also appears to have two separate storylines, one to do with a prison officer, one to do with his son, with NO connection between the two story lines. I was waiting for them to connect, but they never do. The whole thing just feels confused.

If they do a new Silent Hill game, I hope they don't try to link it up to the original's storyline, or try to make the Silent Hill series a series about the occult, because honestly, I find that pretty boring.

Dylan Watson
Dylan Watson
02/14/2014 12:17:11 #

No silent hill without Akira Yamaoka

03/13/2014 04:49:19 #

@Maiden T:
Please see my response at www.megabearsfan.net/.../...ill-is-about-cult.aspx

@Dylan Watson:
Yamaoka is a musician. He does not single-handedly make the games good. He was involved in SH4, Origins, Homecoming, and Shattered Memories, and all those games ended up being mediocre at best, and insultingly-terrible at worst (depending on who you ask).

Brandon Delaney
Brandon Delaney
03/21/2014 08:52:48 #

I'm actually really excited for this. I love Team Silent, and hope they'll come back. But I'm also thinking about Kojima. He made Metal Gear Solid, and I'm curious what he'll add to the franchise. Stealth would be neat, though not silent hill-esque, it would really add to the scare factor. needing to sneak around the monsters combined with all the cool and creepy landscape Team Silent did in 1-3, that would sound pretty cool, but I still want to keep the feel of the game, I don't really want a "Metal Gear Silent." Personally, I'd prefer they use a custom engine like Team Silent did, stealth wouldn't really matter to me, but it'd be a thought. Either way, I'm pretty stoked!

03/24/2014 03:00:22 #

@Brandon,

Well, don't get too excited. This is all pure speculation and heresy at this time, and nothing (as far as I know) has been confirmed by either Kojima or Konami. Kojima is currently working on the next Metal Gear game, and wouldn't begin work on any Silent Hill project until that is complete. And that's assuming that Konami can pull him away from Metal Gear for long enough to commit to another franchise.

Carl
Carl
03/24/2014 07:18:55 #

Goddamn I hate rumors like these, such a teaser! Bet it wont happen anyway... Sounds too good to be true.

hiroyuki
hiroyuki
04/16/2014 21:36:16 #

I think the only way to make the best next sequel silent hill, is try to look at the past games. I am not saying team silent need to make a comeback. The reason they are not coming back it's obviously only the jobs reason. Either they got bored, they want to change the direction, salary not really fair, etc. I know this because I also work in the same industry in animation and CGI. And it's a tough one.

Anyway again look at the story back in the past of the game. The one and only problem the games have suffer and getting lost after Silent hill 4 is because most of other developers doesn't want to concentrate of what is become with silent hill itself. Who is the real antagonist for the silent hill through out the game? As we can see that from wiki story or real source silent hill is already occurs long time ago since the ancient of native who live there before it become occult and renounced it as silent hill town. But again, we as a gamers really want to know what is the real cost for it. This is what I see that the silent hill story is lost in the track after silent hill 4.

They should concentrate more to create what is become and how the player interact to finish it once and for all. Sure in the story say the "Gods" is the one who responsible to create different world of hell in silent hill, but again that "Gods" it's only a puppet which human create for silent hill and the occult who believe it to become the one who rule the world. Not the original source of evil.

SO this is the thing that I am sure it will interest the next developer (even maybe Kojima handle it or others) to be more concentrate deeper in the element of silent hill itself.

jeebus
jeebus
04/17/2014 08:27:32 #

Silent Hill is one of the best franchises out there, and the worst of all was silent hill 4 (I cant believe you even complimented it at all) and I believe it will carry on and silent hill 9 will be made by this guy or someone else.

BeatTheGG
BeatTheGG
03/04/2016 05:44:25 #

It makes me sad to come read through this article years later and see how things turned out in the end. In hindsight, I should have expected as much from Konami.

@jeebus
I know this post is old and all, but you're off your rocker if you honestly believe that. 4 Had some issues but I'd take it over the following games any day (that includes everyone's precious Shattered Memories and Downpour too.)

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