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Silent Hill: Downpour is the eighth game in Konami's Silent Hill franchise, released on March 13, 2012.
Murphy Pendleton is a prison inmate being transferred to a new penitentiary via transport bus. Murphy escapes following a nasty crash and takes shelter in the woods while being pursued by a security officer overseeing his transport. Desperate for an escape route and an escape from ever-worsening weather, Murphy follows a worn-down road into what appears to be a vacated town, then ducks into a run-down apartment complex -- but he finds no safe haven there, as he is soon assaulted by forces both physical and supernatural in nature.
Like other games in this franchise, the town of Silent Hill takes on a unique personality which preys upon Murphy's inner turmoil. This time around, Silent Hill becomes washed out in torrential rain, and electricity -- representing Murphy's fear of execution for his crimes -- arcs across the landscape whenever Murphy travels into the Otherworld. There's also a lot of fire in the Otherworld, possibly reflecting a fear of Hell.
Tropes specific to this game:
- Adaptation Distillation: The game takes bits and pieces from all over the series, mostly from the fan-favorite first 2 installments.
- Adult Fear: Of the "Watch out for your kids" variety.
- Ancient Tomb
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The finale puts Murphy in the shoes of Bogeyman.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes
- Bag of Spilling: There are a couple of points in the game where you will lose your weapon and flashlight.
- Beat Still My Heart: The Dead Man's Hand sidequest, in which you have to retrieve a dead man's still-beating heart that was savagely ripped out of his body. Emphasis on "still-beating", because the quest also employs...
- Heartbeat Soundtrack, effectively turning it into the most macabre game of Hot & Cold ever.
- Big "Shut Up!": Anne Cunningham to Murphy. "SHUT THE HELL UP!"
- Breakable Weapons: Played with in that wooden weapons such as chairs break apart with prolonged use, but metal parts such as from a shovel can be picked up afterward and used as a more durable weapon.
- Although even solid iron crowbars will break to splinters if smacked into an enemy enough times... much to my own consternation and abject horror the first time i discovered this "structural flaw". I believe my exact words were "What... OHSHITOHFUCKOHSHITOHFUCKOHSHIT....
- Which is probably Silent Hill's doing, if you think about it enough. What better way to ramp up the horror and fear when weapons break much easier than they would normally? Alternately, the monsters could be much sturdier than they appear. Or possibly both.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: See Interface Screw below; some of the loading-screen hints address you directly:
Are you sure you're alone?
- But Thou Must!: Justified in game due to the strange nature of Silent Hill. This is lampshaded after DJ Ricks reveals he has a boat but someone stole the keys, Murphy replies that he will just hot-wire it. DJ Ricks says that it wouldn't work and that the town has some strange form of reality, and that it has rules. When DJ breaks them, he is overwhelmed by screamers.
- Call Back/Easter Egg: Several references to previous Silent Hill games appear:
- The music tracks "Silent Hill", "Magdalene", and "Please Love Me...Once More" can be heard playing on radios at certain points in the game.
- The Centennial Building has pictures of the "Welcome to Shepherd's Glen" sign and the Shepherd family house.
- Elsewhere in the same building a book mentions a member of the Shepherd family who was among the first settlers of Silent Hill.
- Perhaps the biggest one, you can find Henry Townshend's apartment room, complete with chained door in the south part of town.
- The red "Void" which periodically chases Murphy is similar to the Red Light of Death from Silent Hill 3, which stalked Heather through a winding fun house. More so, the chase sequences it instigates are basically lifted from its predecessor, Shattered Memories
- Pyramid Head as well as two Bubble Head Nurses makes a cameo in the joke ending. Heather Mason, James and Mary Sunderland, and Laura make an appearance as well.
- A painting of "Demon Samael" (i.e. the Incubus final boss from the first game), also in the Centennial Building.
- One particular building (which you can't enter) will offer a horribly familiar metallic scraping sound when you pass by it.
- Quite early in the game you will find that ever-present wheelchair tipped on the side with its wheels still spinning. Turns out it's somewhat of a subversion as it's actually Foreshadowing...
- A much appreciated aversion; While the stages are more open and sprawling than they've ever been, the amount of broken Locked Doors you'll encounter can be counted on one hand. And among the doors that are locked but can be opened most just require you to break the lock with a metal item.
- Cardboard Prison: A quite literal one in the Monastery Otherworld.
- Clock Tower: Downpour's version of Silent Hill seems to be prominently sporting one. After the Centennial Building otherworld, you end up hanging from the clock face.
- Closed Circle: Par for the course in Silent Hill. This time, done in subtle Mind Screw and Oh Crap type moments: When fleeing from the Void the first time, if you approach an open space in the wall, it may shut an iron door in front of you, leaving you to pass right by the Void. And when approaching an obstacle, it may melt away in front of you, as if it's letting you go on ahead.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Void more or less ignores the laws of reality, while you have to deal with closed doors and corners. Justified in that it's a reality-distorting sentient black-hole type monster.
- Convection, Schmonvection: Averted. When Murphy accidently starts a fire early on by turning off a leaking gas valve, he starts coughing, like anyone would in a smoke-filled fire situation.
- Creepy Doll: Appropriately, the Doll enemies.
- Crow Scare: Frequently and somewhat egregiously used in the earlier stages, though they do taper off in favour of other, more unsettling types of horror.
- Makes a return in the Centennial garage, should you choose to inspect either of the cars.
- Deal with the Devil: Sewell's habit of performing tit-for-tat favors for the prisoners under his watch. Officer Coleridge warns that these "favors" never work out well for the inmates.
- Death Faked for You: The ending "Forgiveness" has Anne declaring to the police that Murphy died to let him escape.
- Diegetic Interface: The state of Murphy's health is discernible only through the number of wounds on his back.
- There is a health statistic viewable in the menu. Murphy's physical appearance still makes for a passable estimate, but the occasional case of Critical Existence Failure would take the viewer by surprise.
- Driven to Suicide: JP Sater jumps off a cliff no matter what you say to him.
- Murphy tries this in one of the bad endings. It doesn't work.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: DJ Ricks doesn't last long once you finally meet him.
- Drop the Hammer: The Bogeyman drops a very big one made from a metal rod with a concrete block at one end. Then you get to use it to fight Anne.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Of the vocal sort: "Revenge is a long and treacherous road, isn't it, Mr. Pendleton? Where do you suppose it ends?" is heard in the opening. We don't find the voice's face or its significance until fairly late in the game.
- Another vocal one, so subtle most may miss it. Just seconds after the Void's first appearance, a voice says "Murphy... RUN!". In either of the good endings, Frank Coleridge, who Murphy refused to kill, tells Murphy the EXACT same line (tone and all).
- The Wheelman also makes several blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances before either it, Frank Coleridge or any of Murphy's backstory have been introduced.
- Empathic Shapeshifter: The Bogeyman changes his appearance underneath the gas mask to match the viewer's idea of evil. In Murphy's case, he sees both Napier and himself. To Anne, she views Murphy as the Bogeyman.
- Endless Corridor: When you first flee from the Void, you go down a short corridor. You approach the corner, then the corridor extends forward, doubling in length. It continues to extend forward as you flee the Void, then just randomly stops. An unusual example in that the corridor BECOMES 'endless' as you go through it, instead of being endless from the start.
- Fan Disservice: Napier, in only a towel at the very beginning. Seriously...
- Fan Nickname: A couple monsters developed some fan nicknames, before their real ones were revealed. We have a platinum blond monster with a plastic sheen to it, this one is called Barbie (real name: Doll). Another one is a monster that is able to speak to Murphy, though always with a snide tone. Because of its monocle and somewhat snooty appearance it was labeled Aristocrat (real name: Monocle Man).
- Gas Mask Longcoat: The Bogeyman.
- Genius Loci: It wouldn't be Silent Hill if the town wasn't actively trying to kill you in some way.
- Ghostly Goals: The gramophone sidequest, where a family who appears to be stuck in limbo urge you to burn the picture of the father who murdered them.
- Glasgow Grin: All the non-boss enemies except for Dolls have their mouths mutilated in some fashion.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Officer Coleridge is the good angel to Murphy, giving him as much respect as his own family and motivating him to apply for parole, while Sewell is Murphy's bad angel, giving him the oppotunity to have revenge on Napier. Officer Coleridge honestly cares about Murphy but Sewell only wants him to take revenge so he could use Murphy to get Coleridge for trying to have him charged with corruption.
- Groundhog Day Loop: The "Full Circle" ending heavily implies that Howard Blackwood, JP Sater and Bobby Ricks were all Heroes of Another Story but somehow failed or did something terrible, and became permanent residents of Silent Hill, trapped in their own loop. Said ending results in Murphy having this happen to him - meaning you'll have to play the game again to see another ending.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom / Hell Is That Noise: It isn't explicitly stated, but the dedications are apparently an indication of monsters. DJ Bobby Ricks receives calls to his radio station asking him to play songs with dedications to Murphy, which he obligingly does. When Murphy hears these dedications, there are seemingly always monsters nearby. When Bobby finally meets Murphy and begins to discuss his plans to escape Silent Hill, he gets another call for a dedication... for himself. He doesn't react well, and his next line to Murphy is "They're coming."
- Heroic BSOD: A small understated one:
Murphy "I... I can't believe he jumped"
- Hero Stole My Bike: Murphy stole a police-car and proceeded to lead the cops out on an extended car-chase, all to get himself jailed together with Napier.
- Hobos: Just the one, he provides you access to the subway network in exchange for favours.
- Hollywood Darkness: Frequently averted.
- Humanoid Abomination: The monster designs are decidedly more humanoid in contrast to previous entries.
- Human Shield: Well, maybe not human, but the cages you throw in front of The Void to stall it all have some... thing clearly biological and living inside.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted with weapons. Unlike in previous entries in the series, Murphy can only carry one weapon at a time. If he finds a gun, Murphy can holster it and carry a melee weapon. Played straight with regular inventory items.
- Infant Immortality: Downpour turns dancing on this tropes' grave into a freaking sport. In fact, with one possible exeption, every kid either shown or referred to in-game ends up dead before the end, making it somewhat of a running theme. Examples include:
- Charlie Pendleton's death and defilement by a Complete Monster.
- In the sidequests, a father who axed his wife and children to death in a fit of rage, and a mother who is heavily implied to have indirectly caused her severely autistic daughter to drown.
- A past accident in the Devils Pit that claimed the lives of eight children.
- A young autistic boy who succumbs to archaic mental procedures.
- And a most disturbing subversion, Murphy is tasked to find a rhyme that is stated to repel the Bogeyman. When said baddie approaches a little kid, Murphy attempts to save him by reciting it. The Bogeyman snaps his neck anyway.
- Institutional Apparel: Murphy's a freshly escaped con and starts out wearing a prisoner's jumpsuit. Later in the game, he can find a different outfit, and another if he does the "Stolen Goods" sidequest.
- Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Played with; there are indeed fences covering most of the town, but they're far taller than waist-high, covered in boards and sometimes barbed wire. It's like everybody in Silent Hill decided to blockade themselves one day.
- Ironic Echo: The "Execution" ending, when Sewell asks him "Any last words?"
Murphy Yeah, I'll see you in hell, cupcake.
- Interface Screw: In the latter half of the game, every once in a while the loading screen quotes will change from your standard "Press X to jump" advice into... something a little more sinister:
It's in the room with you. You just can't see it.
- They have no obvious connection to anything in-game, and no explanation is ever given.
- Jive Turkey / Large Ham Radio: DJ Bobby Ricks.
- Jump Scare
- Karma Meter: The game keeps a hidden tally of points, which increases or decreases based on whether you kill or spare defeated monsters and at certain points where you have to make moral decisions. Whether your score is positive or negative combined with your decision at the very end of the game determines your ending.
- Karmic Death: Sewell is heavily implied to be shot by Anne in one of the endings.
- Last-Minute Reprieve: It's debatable whether or not wandering into Silent Hill was preferable to the alternative.
- Let's Play: From Two Best Friends Play
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle: While it is a puzzle that does involve both lights and mirrors, it's not an entirely straight example; The lights are floodlights used to chase and trap monsters into cages, while the mirror (here a flooded floor) shows the entirely different plane of existence said monsters and floodlights reside on.
- Magical Negro: Blackwood.
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Officer Coleridge.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The Screamers.
- Minimalist Cast: There's less than a dozen characters populating the entire town, present day. All the dozens of houses, hovels, and residential areas are completely abandoned. However, between flashbacks, humanoid monsters, and the various well-fleshed out ghost personalities and backstories, it feels a little less desolate.
- Mirror Monster: In the mirror sidequest, should you fail.
- Multiple Choice Past: Your actions determine whether Murphy killed Coleridge or was framed for it by Sewell. It's very similar to how The Suffering let you determine whether Torque was a murderer or framed by your actions.
- They also determine whether or not you killed Napier and, in one ending, it was actually Murphy who killed Charlie.
- Multiple Endings: Downpour continues the tradition.
- My Greatest Second Chance
- Mythology Gag: Devil's Pit was run by the Gillespie Coal and Iron Company.
- Neck Snap: The Bogeyman does this to the little boy you meet in the monastery.
- Nightmare Face: Monocle Man.
- Not Quite Dead: If you go for a Pacifist Run and only knock out enemies, there's a slight chance that they will get back up again and attack you from behind.
- Not What It Looks Like: As Murphy kneels over the dead body of the boy The Bogeyman killed mere seconds ago, a little girl walks in on the scene. Naturally she peels off as fast as her legs will let her.
- Obstacle Ski Course: Well, Obstacle Slide Course, but there's a few of them in the Otherworld sequences.
- Offing the Offspring: One of the side quests involves a missing little girl. Her mother made a route home for her from school by tying ribbons to posts, which she would always follow without hesitation due to her severe autism. You eventually discover that the mother had gotten so sick of living with the girl's condition that she'd deliberately altered the route so she'd walk right off a pier.
- Murphy himself can end up as one in the worst ending.
- Oh Crap: Early on, Murphy finds his current room being flooded with water, approaching an electric breaker... he appropiately reacts with horror, struggling to reach it. But when he manages to do so, draining the water, it turns into the Otherworld... and his reaction is "What the hell IS this!?"
- One-Scene Wonder: Monocle Man, who's basically a High-Class Glass Eldritch Abomination, a giant draped face with a monocle in its left eye. He is encountered at the climax of the cavern train ride whose only words is asking if the player enjoyed the hellish ride. He only appears once in the entire game, but there is no doubt his image will always stick in the minds of the players.
- Orphanage of Fear: A letter you find in the Monastery written by a child states that they're being "hert" and the medicine they're given "makes them feel sick all the time". The letter comes with an angry note writtten by a supervisor, demanding that every sent letter must be screened and censored by her from now on. In other notes written by her she refers to the children with nothing but disgust.
- Pacifist Run: You can go through the entire game without killing any enemies, though you'll still have to knock a few down to proceed. There's even an achievement/trophy for doing so.
- Paedo Hunt: Murphy arranging to murder his son's killer, Napier.
- Papa Wolf: Murphy Pendleton.
- Point of No Return: DJ Ricks' boat. When you enter it Silent Hill and all its sidequests and items are all Lost Forever until you start over.
- Post Final Boss: After taking the gigantic Final Boss off life support in the game's climactic battle, you have one last fight with Cunningham. She falls in only one hit, and you can take a lot of damage, but you also move very slowly, which can make it difficult to catch up to her as she shoots and sends Prisoner Juggernauts after you. If you happen to lose, you get a special ending.
- Precision F-Strike: Murphy's verbal reaction whenever enemies appear out of nowhere in front of him (specifically from the ceiling).
- Preorder Bonus: Different retailers are offering different weapons for pre-ordering the game, which can then be accessed by inputting a code (included on your receipt for the game) into one of the lockers around town. Naturally, all of the codes were up on the internet before the game had been out even one day. Using a code opens all the lockers, though, so you can only have one set of bonus weapons each time you play through the game.
- Properly Paranoid: A sidequest tasks you to clear a haunting by arranging a room till it matches its Mirror Universe counterpart. But if you fail to do it in the proper order, a monster only visible in said mirror will spawn. When you complete it, you will find a psychiatrists case file on the previous owner of the house, driven totally mad by having to do the same routine of rearranging the room every day, "or else the monsters in the mirror will hurt me!".
- Quick Time Event: Occasionally show up, though not to the extent that Homecoming had them, and all but a few of them only consist of waggling the left stick.
- Revenge: This is a major theme in the game.
- Revenge Before Reason: Murphy and Anne.
- Scenery Porn: Surprisingly for a Silent Hill game, The Devil's Pit in particular feature many meticulously rendered mountain-scenes.
- Self-Inflicted Hell: Anne in the "Reversal" ending.
- Shock and Awe: The Otherworld's water and electricity motif, which includes the likes of an engulfing fog of electricity that pursues Murphy.
- The bus crash and Murphy's subsequential escape is more than a passing nod to The Fugitive.
- Word of God states that the water slide sequence is a homage to The Goonies.
- The reward for complete the Cinema Verite side-quest is the Golden Gun from the James Bond movies. The caption even says "Just like in the movies."
- Shows Damage: Murphy's health is determined by the state of his clothing and the injuries on his back.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Andy Williams' "Born Free".
- Stylistic Suck: The fighting style in this game is slow and weighty, and most enemies have major, major advantages. Like the earlier games in the series, this is an attempt to preserve a sense of helplessness and fear between Murphy, who is very scared, and the player.
- Survival Horror
- Terms of Endangerment: Sewell addressing Murphy as "cupcake."
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: For a game that actively deals with the death of children, naming the recurring baddie "The Bogeyman" was probably not an accident.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Guess. However, this is the second game to suggest that the town itself is sentient, the first being Silent Hill 2. The town seems to captures people, putting them through test to determine if they are worthy of redemption, if they succeed they achieve some sort of closure, if they fail they die. When DJ Ricks tells Murphy about his boat and its missing keys. Murphy replies that he will hot-wire it, DJ Ricks responds that it wouldn't work and explicitly says that the town has some weird form of reality and that it has rules that must be followed. The town then demonstrates what happens when you try to break them, by sending a group of screamers to grab Anne and DJ Ricks but leaving Murphy unharmed.
- Trapped in TV Land: The Cutting Room Floor sidequest.
- Video Game Caring Potential/Video Game Cruelty Potential: How nice or mean you are basically determines your ending:
- You can ignore Anne or try to save her when she's about to fall down the hole;
- You can console or taunt JP when he's about to jump;
- You can kill or spare enemies that you knock to the ground;
- And finally, Bogeyman!Murphy can kill or spare Anne after defeating her.
- Vulnerable Convoy: The prison bus transporting protagonist Murphy Pendleton and other inmates from Ryall State Penitentiary to Wayside Maximum Security Prison takes a tumble and rolls off the road into woodland. Murphy wakes up and escapes the wreckage on foot, eventually arriving in Silent Hill.
- Waking Up At the Morgue
- Weirdness Censor: Played with, The Postman is seemed oblivious to the strange occurrences of the town and continues his route. because he is a manifestation of the town and has been present since before 1867. DJ Ricks has been continuing his job as a Disc Jockey despite the town being in near ruins. DJ Ricks however, is actually very aware of the monsters but is playing along out of fear. He states it as "This town has rules." He tries to contact Murphy several times to help him escape but it backfires.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: No mention of DJ Bobby Ricks is made after the attack at the radio station.
- Whispering Ghosts: Frequently, sources including but not limited to Frank Coleridge.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Not quite a giant sandbox, but you have more areas to explore and some side-quests to complete; think "original Silent Hill" and some of its optional areas, as opposed to the more linear areas of later games.
- Written Sound Effect: A truly bizarre example. In the Monastery Otherworld there is a prison-hallway made entirely out of cardboard that contains a life-sized string-puppet version of the Bogeyman, Little Big Planet-style. A little cardboard Speech Bubble with the appropriate sound-effect written on it appears whenever it swings its hammer.
- You Killed My Father: The whole reason Anne Cunningham chases after Murphy. Whether he did it or not depends on the ending you get.
- Implied to be coming from Silent Hill itself