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Jack says the town is located on
old "spiritual ground"...
will be blessed!
A prequel released for the handheld PSP and later ported to the Playstation 2, Origins is a retelling of the events that happened seven years before Silent Hill 1. It stars a trucker named Travis Grady, whose attempts to take a shortcut through Silent Hill get sidetracked by a figure running onto the road and a house on fire. After bailing a mysterious (and very, very crispy) girl out of her house, he passes out and awakes in the completely deserted streets of Silent Hill. His attempts to find out what exactly happened to the girl lead him all over the town and eventually get him embroiled in mysterious cult activity, as well as the troubled past of his that appears to be a prerequisite for Silent Hill protagonists.
Although Origins faithfully sticks to the Silent Hill formula for creepy atmospheres, nightmare worlds, and baffling puzzles, it introduces Breakable Weapons and being able to switch over to the Otherworld via mirrors--in practice, this just means twice as meany areas (of which half are just a grimdark version of themselves) to explore.
Characters in Origins, with the exception of Travis himself, are all younger versions of the characters found in Silent Hill 1 -- Dahlia, Lisa, and Kaufmann. They wear different clothes and have slightly different personalities, but are ultimately the same. (Except for the fact that Lisa is a real person.)
Tropes specific to this game:
- Actionized Sequel: While the game does feature "better" controls and a bigger emphasis on killing monsters, the combat was going to be similar to that of Resident Evil 4 with a close, over-the-shoulder camera view. There were also plans to introduce a laser aiming module for guns and a barricade system to block monsters from accessing certain areas. In October 2006, the U.S.-based team was sacked and production was moved to another studio in the U.K., and those plans were scrapped.
- Already Met Everyone: Travis, his family, and the Butcher are the only characters unique to this game.
- Berserk Button: For Travis, it's the idea of a parent abusing their child.
- Beware of Hitch-Hiking Ghosts: Travis stops his truck to avoid hitting a hooded figure. As soon as he gets out of the truck to check on this person, he sees Spectral Alessa in his rearview mirror and Silent Hill's signature fog starts rolling in.
- Big Damn Fire Exit: Travis has enough time to enter the burning Gillespie house and rescue Alessa from it, even if he takes his sweet time trying all of the locked doors (though he earns an accolade, an outfit, and an axe if he's fast enough). At times, the Seal of Metratron shows up to extinguish some parts blocked by flames.
- Big Damn Hero: Travis is possibly the most selfless and altruistic of Silent Hill protagonists yet. He willingly stays in town to help out the girl he just rescued from a burning building, while disinterestedly confronting his troubled past just because it's on the way.
- Bloody Handprint: Alessa leaves one on the glass of a mirror; touching it transports Travis to the Otherworld for the first time.
- Book Ends: Travis leaving Silent Hill is an almost exact mirror of how he entered the town.
- Breakable Weapons: Having a large inventory of backup weapons is why you end up stuffing something like half a dozen TVs into your Hyperspace Arsenal.
- The Butcher: Travis, either literally or as his Shadow Archetype.
- Continuity Nod: The whole game, but specific callbacks to Silent Hill 1 include a redone version of Dahlia and Alessa's conversation shortly before the poor girl was sacrificed and the graveyard in which he leaves Cheryl.
- Degraded Boss: Happens twice. You see the first (Straight-Jacket) and third (Caliban) bosses stalking the streets of Silent Hill not long after you first fight them.
- Dramatic Irony: Near the end of the game, Travis angrily asks Alessa when they're gonna get to see what's in her sick little head. Oh, if he only knew...
- Episode Zero the Beginning: Its Japanese title.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Travis, like most other Silent Hill protagonists, can carry a lot of stuff on him.
- I Can't Reach It: Travis simply refuses to leave the demon-infested hospital before he finds the girl, who's probably already dead for all he knows.
- Technically speaking, he could skip town at any moment during the game. That he chooses not to confirms him as the blandest character yet in the series.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: "Here comes a candle to light you to bed. Here comes the butcher to chop off your head". Based on a real nursery rhyme called "Oranges and Lemons", which is totally innocuous up until the chilling last verse.
- Letters 2 Numbers: It's spelled "Silent Hill Zero-rigins," though you might get some strange looks calling it that.
- Market-Based Title: It's called "Silent Hill 0" in Japan.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Travis's mother became psychotic, tried to kill herself and Travis in a murder-suicide and was committed to a sanitarium and his father subsequently hanged himself while Travis was out playing.
- Dahlia, though it probably would have been better if she had just abandoned her daughter.
- Press X to Not Die: Just about every monster in this game has an attack that triggers a quick-time event. Only one is instantly fatal, but it's still annoying.
- Sprint Meter: Travis can't run very long (compared to other Silent Hill protagonists) before he gets winded unless he downs an energy drink or is wearing the Sprinter outfit. It's justified somewhat in that interactions with the game world reveal that Travis is a smoker.
- Theme Naming: The monsters in Artaud Theater (Ariel, Caliban) are all named after characters from Shakespeare's The Tempest, which is being staged when Travis drops by.
- The Two-Back monsters found in Riverside Motel refer to "the beast with two backs", a metaphor for intercourse coined by Shakespeare in another of his plays, Othello.
- Tragic Monster: Both of Travis's parents are incarnated as literal monsters during the game. Travis is not too pleased with Alessa about this.
- Unwitting Pawn: Travis pretty much doesn't do anything or go anywhere unless directed to by the clues he finds.
- Spanner in the Works: He does ultimately end up blowing the Order's plans to hell for the next seven years, though.