Silent Hill 2: Exploring the Canon of Multiple Endings
Since its release in 2001 on PS2, fans of Silent Hill 2 have enjoyed debating which of seven different endings is canon. Two endings, “Leave” and “In water,” have been the focus of these discussions. In the “Leave” ending, considered the game’s happy ending, James confronts Maria and leaves Silent Hill with Laura. The “In water” ending, on the other hand, presents a sadder conclusion where James confronts Maria and commits suicide in the Silent Hill lake alongside his wife’s corpse. However, the game’s artistic director, Masahiro Ito, believes that even the comedic ending involving a controlling Shiba is also considered canon.
Multiple Endings in Silent Hill
The Silent Hill series has always aimed to provide multiple endings, allowing each player to have a unique experience and take ownership of their game. In Silent Hill 2, the choice of ending depends on various factors, such as whether the player prefers to flee from monsters or face them, their treatment of Maria, and their attention to detail. To enhance the game’s uniqueness, amusing and out-of-context endings are available after unlocking all the main endings. This serves to emphasize that the goal is not simply to unlock all the endings, comparable to finding all 999 Korok seeds in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which rewards players with a golden turd.
Everything is Canon
During debates on Twitter, Masahiro Ito, the art director of the first three Silent Hill games and creator of Pyramid Head, responded to fans by stating that all endings are considered canon, and that each player’s favorite ending is just as valid as any other. Whether players choose to have James survive and rebuild after the tragedy, have him decide to kill himself, or believe that a controlling Shiba was behind everything from the start, it is all up to them.
The Legacy of Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is often regarded as one of the greatest horror games of all time, with a score of 89/100. It was released on November 23, 2001, in Europe for the PS2, and later on February 28, 2003, in Europe for the PS2 and PC in its Director’s Cut version. A remake has been announced in October 2022, developed by the Bloober Team, the studio behind Layers of Fear. The game is being developed using Unreal Engine 5 and is initially planned for release on PS5 and PC.