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A novel? AH! ....Man, I should check my facts better before posting >.<

About that "Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward" thing up there though....Wow. That little snippet of art there actually looks great....and very heavily reminds me of Silent Hill 3, what with the reddish-orangeish tones throughout the picture..

Not to mention, if that really is the writer of the comic right there (Sorry, in the internet it pays to be suspicious, hehehe - no offense whatsoever :) ), then that's quite an honor for us :) ..So far Tom, it looks very promising!

The rest of the IDW comics though...well, they get mixed reactions, but I for one am always willing to give them more chances, especially when more people are involved to diversify them and give each comic its own distinctive touch :)

Thank you though for the heads' up, and the picture! I'll keep my eye out on this one for certain.

*prays to have gotten the facts right*

Nulion--

Yep, it's really me, and thanks so much for the kind words!

And, truth be told, I'm honored to have the chance to play in the Silent Hill universe and to share my adventures will all my fellow SH fans. We're ALL in this together, as far as I'm concerned -- I was a huge fan before I came a SH creator. This is a dream project for both Steph and myself and nothing makes us happier than to share the creative process with every person in this world who loves SH as much as we do.

Thanks again!

Best,

Tom Waltz

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Very cool :)

Got to love that about the whole SH series, that pretty much anybody can contribute to it and enhance it, as long as they have the right mindset, the talent, and the determination to do so. It's all so open to interpretation, and that's really the beauty of it.

I'm curious, have you seen the short movies "Silent Hill: No Escape"? ( http://noescape.rateofinjury.com/downloads.htm )

They're an amazing set of fan-made videos, I believe there's five or six chapters to the story....but for being made by just one guy (Who has also posted on this thread :) ), it's enormously impressive.

I'm always looking forward to anything SH-related, as are a lot of people here, and I for one really appreciate you coming around to let us know about this :)

Although if you didn't, I'm positive ifirit would. When he comes around, you might enjoy a chat with him; practically nothing seems to escape that guy's notice, and he's always letting us know about whatever it is that's going on :)

Have a good one Tom, and thanks again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Silent Hill 0rigins Update:

Silent Hill 0rigins Demo Leaked via Torrent Distribution; Reviews & Media Posted:

On Sunday, August 19, 2007, a pirated version of the demo for Silent Hill 0rigins was leaked across the internet via torrent distribution. The demo version of the game is suggested to be the final version to be displayed for the upcoming German Games Conference in Leipzig next Thursday, however, based on screen captures and videos, the demo appears to be the same one in the IGN.com preview, which was also shown to the press at this year's E3 conference.

As mentioned, players have captured various screenshots and videos from the demo. In addition, players have also posted reviews of the demo and are rating about the same as many of the press who played the demo during E3. If you would like to know more about the demo, please go to the thread on Silent Hill: Origins.

As an affliated member of Silent Hill: Origins, I must warn OCR forum members that the demo is a pirated version and if you so choose to download it, you do so at your own risk. WARNING: Downloading pirated materials is illegal. As such, I must also warn members that the demo is only available as an ISO file, which means that it is only operational on a custom firmware PSP, i.e. downgraded PSP. Also note that if you choose to downgrade your PSP, you do so at the risk of destroying (or "bricking") the system. WARNING: Downgrading your PSP firmware runs the risk of destroying, or bricking, your PSP system. The current custom firmware versions successfully tested are versions 3.52 M33 and 3.40 OE-A.* Please do not attempt to install a custom firmware onto your PSP without proper instructions.

(EDIT: Due to new information, the demo version that was leaked has been confirmed to contain the full version of the game.** The demo restricts access to the full content files when played normally, but because it was presented as an ISO file, hackers have cracked those restrictions and accessed the full game, including cut-scenes and music. Please do not download the cracked demo of Silent Hill 0rigins.)

*Footnote: Currently, the demo is only playable on the PSP on a custom firmware. There are no PSP emulators available, nor is the file playable as a PSX emulation file. (Personal Note: So don't ask.)

**Footnote: Although Climax Studios claims to not have released or leaked the demo of SH0, the fault of releasing a demo that contains the full game within the coding is still their responsibility. However, that does not give free-reign for players to take advantage of this situation.

Silent Hill: Origins - News - Silent Hill 0rigins Demo Leaked?

Silent Hill: Origins/Silent Hill V Forums - Silent Hill: Origins - Silent Hill 0rigins Demo

GameSpot Forums - Silent Hill 0rigins - Just finished the demo... Little review here! / Silent Hill: Origins - News - Silent Hill 0rigins Demo Summary

YouTube.com - Silent Hill 0rigins Demo

MegaUpload.com - Silent Hill 0rigins Demo Images [.zip file / .bmp files / 2.05 MB]

Introduction Song Ripped from SH0 Demo:

In addition to players ripping videos and screenshots from the game, a full version of the introduction song from the demo has been recorded and placed online for download. Please note that this song is the full version of the one featured in the Tokyo Game Show 2006 Trailer. Many thanks are given to 2nd_gig from Silent Hill: Origins for ripping and posting the song online.

The song can be downloaded from the thread in the Silent Hill: Origins forum, but I'll also provide a mirror.*

The song is still currently untitled, but never-the-less fans insist on giving it one.** The lyrics are posted below.

Is it lonely where you are?

In there?

Dad...

Does the darkness know your name?

Does Mom?

What's it like...?

Can you feel

she said

her blood

turns to ash?

Laughing...

Dad, do you know

what you've done

this time

to me?

Huh?

Burning eyes,

can't forgive you.

Lonely moon

drives on.

And...

Deep in me,

your illusion.

What you see

in me...

is...

Did you have that dream again?

Release...

Breathe...

You're receiving what you said,

said she...

...Never mind.

Emptiness,

dead eyes,

and lost

what you've found.

Maybe...

There on the edge

is your hope,

but you don't

look down.

Why?

There you go,

saying nothing.

Is my mind

unclear?

Or...

Could it be

maybe something

has a hold

of me?

Lie.

*Footnote: Please note that the audio recording is not of the highest quality and that there is both some hiss on the track and dampening of the audio output.

**Footnote: Previous fan titles for this song have included, "Hope," "Hope of me" and "Lonely." Currently, fans are titling the track, "Lost in Here" and "Alessa's Theme." No titles are yet official, as a release of the official Silent Hill 0rigins/Silent Hill Zer0 soundtrack is planned for release around the time of the game release. (Personal Note: Neither of the current fan titles seem appropriate considering that the nature of the emotions expressed in the song seem to reflect Travis' feelings rather than Alessa's.)

Silent Hill: Origins - News - Silent Hill 0rigins Akira Yamaoka Vocal Track Extended

Silent Hill: Origins/Silent Hill V Forums - Silent Hill 0rigins - 0rigins Akira Yamaoka Vocal Track Extended / [MegaUpload Mirror] / [.mp3 file / 4.04 MB]

EDIT: There's like some new SH5 scans and all posted up somewhere. Liek check it out, y'alls.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha, hell yes! I just got the EGM in the mail the other day myself...but it's great someone posted that.

Honestly, looking at those screenshots just dissolved whatever worries I had about an American developer doing Silent Hill V; it looks *amazing*, if I say so for myself.

....

And as a footnote....I don't even know if I'm allowed to say this, but somebody has managed to rip the full soundtrack of Silent Hill 0rigins, and has posted a link to it over on the GameFAQ's forums.

I'm not going to post the link here, as I know that IS forbidden...but go on over to the GameFAQ's message boards for Silent Hill 0rigins, and you'll find it.

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Silent Hill 5 Update:

Silent Hill 5 Article posted in EGM Issue #220:

The article posted in the October issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (Issue #220) was released on Monday, September 4, 2007. The article provided the first major details about the development of the game as well as details about the game itself. In addition, the article hosted a number of new concept drawings and models of the game's monsters, lead character, and environments.

The article states that The Collective was able to obtain the development rights to the newest title in the series by creating a playable demo of their vision for the game, noting that many other developers were also in the running. That demo convinced Konami executives to choose them for the development. The article also stated that Akira Yamaoka, who had previously been confirmed to record the music soundtrack for SH5, will be the Konami consultant for the overall LOOK and FEEL of the game.*

In terms of details about the story, the article details the introduction of the story, quoting, "he's a 22-year-old veteran who's recuperating from a war wound in a military hospital when he has a premonition that his little brother, Joshua, is in trouble. He returns to his New England hometown of Sheperd's Glen to find his mother nearly catatonic, his father and brother missing, and a creepy pea-soup fog blanketing everything."

The article also announced the appearance of a new character in the game, an old female friend, Elle. Although, the article did not mention if she was a playable or non-playable character, they do mention that she will play a critical role in the development of the story, citing that, "she definitely has a heart, and she's trying to warm [Alex] up to the town's plight." The article notes that the creators are trying to create very multi-dimensional characters with their own strengths and flaws, in a similar vein as Silent Hill 2.

This is where the article transitions over to the discussion on the visual aesthetics of the game, noting a use of both HD-quality detail in combination with the traditional use of noise and grain filters. The creators will attempt to utilize various types of filters and grain effects depending on the situation and environment. As a result, the game will adjust the visual static based on the actions of the player. The camera controls will be wider than in previous titles allowing players to see more of the environment. In addition, the transition into the alternate universe will retain the visual aesthetic of the film, where the environments will crumble and fall away, revealing the rusted Otherworld underneath. The article states that this transition will occur in real-time gameplay showing off the new technology, with the intension of creating a very unsettling effect. Lighting and shadow manipulation will play an important role in the visual style of the game as the creators' philosophy lies on seeing less being more.

Also, the game will utilize the Havok physics engine to create realistic interactions with objects and items in the environment. "So now, when you accidently bump into a chair, it might collide with a table, noisily knocking junk to the floor... which may alert nearby enemies of your presence." While the game will also include fog and other atmospheric effects, the demo presented for the article had a significant lack, due to the visual aesthetic not being quite up to par as the rest of the visuals. The creators hope to remedy this in future months, stating that they want the fog to be completely immersive.

In terms of the combat system, as the lead will be more capable of fighting, the gameplay will reflect it in the area of combat. Alex will be capable of new moves and fighting techniques that will keep the game from being the traditional awkward, jerky bash-fest that the creators find stagnant for the series. As a result, the monsters will also be more capable of fighting back against Alex with significant upgrades in the A.I. The developers have yet to reveal the shooting mechanics of the game, but have stated that like the combat improvements to the game, firearms will also see an upgrade, though keeping the gunplay short of being a third person shooter.

The article also released a short list of monsters and their respective traits. These include the film version of the nurses, the Schism, the Smog and the Siam. While these creatures were available in the demo version presented for the article, it cannot be certain that they will appear in the release version of the game. The monster animations will include motion capture technology in combination with the traditional hand-animations. In addition, the creators hope to create incredibly grandiose boss battles in the game, citing that they hope to "outclass those in past installments."

The article stated that the appearance of puzzles and multiple endings will also appear in this sequel, though did not give much specific information about the two.

All-in-all, the article helped to provide for fans the information that they were hoping to obtain on the game's announcement, but which was not released. The development for the game has only just begun, but the game already looks to have a good headstart.

The game is expected to release in the fall of 2008 on the PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360 consoles.

egmfrontpageot2.png

1up.com - Electronic Gaming Monthly October Issue 220 Site

Silent Hill 5.net - Silent Hill V Magazine Scans

EGM Scans [ifirit Mirrors]:

Cover / Article Page 1 / Article Page 2 / Article Page 3 / Article Page 4 / Article Page 5 / Article Page 6 / Article Page 7 / Article Page 8

EGM Releases New Interview and Gameplay Videos on 1up.com/GameVideos.com:

Electronic Gaming Monthly has also released several gameplay samples, an interview with the SH5 staff and a two-part retrospective with Akira Yamaoka on 1up.com (hosted on GameVideos.com) on Thursday, September 7, 2007. The videos provide viewers with the first real look at the game and its creation. In addition to this, EGM takes a look at the series as a whole with Akira Yamaoka as he gives his perception of things. The interviews (with both the SH5 staff from The Collective and Akira Yamaoka) were conducted by EGM executive editor Shane Bettenhausen.*

The interview with the staff from The Collective (Lead Artist - Brian Horton, Lead Designer - Jason Allen, Lead Scripter - David Verfaillie) discusses much of the same content as the printed article in the October Issue of EGM, but also elaborates more on the specific details of each aspect. For example, while talking about the new combat system, lead scripter David Verfaillie talks about the specific combat moves that they incorporate into the gameplay and the seer versitility becomes apparent how staggering it is to accomplish. The lead artist Brian Horton elaborates about how the team wishes to create an experience that is more than simply the summation of its parts, because the game was established a tradition of emotional and intellectual involvement on part of the players.

The discussion on said emotional involvement is highlighted by the lead designer Jason Allen, who talks about the need to establish certain connections between the story and the characters. Yet, what the Team seems most excited about is the way they have implemented the technology in the engine to create the various effects and imagery seen in the demo/gameplay videos.**

The gamplay videos show off the atmosphere, Havok physics midware, and transitions between the alternate and otherside versions of Silent Hill/Shepard's Glen. The videos are very short, but still impressive.

Lastly, the retrospective interview with Akira Yamaoka conducted by Shane Bettenhausen discusses Akira Yamaoka's experience with the series with each individual title and then as a whole. While fans who've kept a close note of Akira Yamaoka's interviews won't be surprised, the interview does give things a better perspective as a whole.*** It becomes clear how the development of the series changed from Yamaoka-san's account, but only because of the continued changes in the development staff. A good interview to watch for retrospective purposes.

GameVideos.com - 1up.com /The 1up Show - Silent Hill 5 "Exclusive First Look"

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill 5 "Continuous Gameplay" HD

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill 5 "Transition Gameplay" HD

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill 5 "Mood Gameplay" HD

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill "Akira Interview" (1/2)

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill "Akira Interview" (2/2)

*Footnote: Please ignore all of the stupid sounds that Shane makes as he pulls out each of the titles during the Akira Yamaoka Interview. (Personal Note: I get the feeling that the interview was just an excuse for Shane Bettenhausen to just show off his collection of Silent Hill materials. Pay particular attention to his T-shirt.)

**Footnote: Please note that the engine created for the game will use a variety of middleware software, because the entirety of the game will be constructed completely from the ground up. (Personal Note: This is a very risky decision on Konami's part, since they are having an established series developed for a relatively new platform and without technical consultation from Team Silent. Yes, Akira Yamaoka is a consultant from Team Silent, but as has been stated numerous times in the article on the LOOK and FEEL of the game, not it's construction or technical detail. As such, the transition into Otherside Silent Hill occurs much too quickly and loses any sense of sublty needed to establish a psychological fear. OMG, what have they done to Robbie?!)

***Footnote: The interview does a great job of explaining certain details about the previous games' development, such as how SH2 finally came together and the real reason why SH4 was such a departure and experiment for Team Silent. (Personal Note: It seems that because the core staff was involved with SH3 during the initial development of the game, that SH4 was created as the new director's [suguru Murakoshi] personal vision of the game. The game was originally SUPPOSED to be a Silent Hill game from the start! I was right!)

Silent Hill Mobile Announcement:

Silent Hill Orphan Announced for Mobile Devices:

Announced at this year's German Games Conference in Leipzig, Germany, was a new mobile game set in the Silent Hill universe. Although little as been revealed about this new title, the basic premise of the game is that players will play as one of three new characters who will explore an abandoned orphanage. The gameplay will consist of point-and-click puzzle solving and exploration from a first-person perspective.

The game was demo-ed at the German Games Conference in Leipzig, but there are currently only screenshots of the gameplay. The game, along with other Konami titles, were said to release this autumn, but whether this is a regional release or an international release is uncertain. More news to follow...

Blog Guardian - Keith Stuart - Console giants get mobile at Leipzig

Silent Hill: Origins - Silent Hill General News - Silent Hill goes mobile again

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133180026c2685fded0jk8.jpg

133180037e6e6bc704bvg5.jpg

In other news, I've been added to the team at Silent Hill: Lost Memories, a Russian and Lithuanian Silent Hill fan site, for the opening of their new English Branch. I've been signed on as a reporter and English consultant.

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Good to hear about the new job, ifirit. They made the right choice, I'm certain!

Now I skimmed the article and saw the mention of the havok physics engine and my concern with is how the bodies will react to falling. If you've ever played Oblivion or any other game that incorporates physics engine (such as Half-Life 2 or even a few strategy games) I'm sure you'd notice that the bodies seem to lose all weight the character/creature dies.

So, for instance, a finishing move in Oblivion has sent a dead enemy spiraling up into the air and flailing like a rag doll. Literally. Nearly every game that using the engine seems to have this problem and I hope they avoid it. Nothing could seem sillier to me than blasting a monster in the face with a shotgun, killing it, and watching its body can spiraling upwards into the air.

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Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Update:

Silent Hill Zer0 Appears at TGS2007; New Trailer & Music Released:

On Thursday, September 20, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltm. gave a press conference before their attendence at this year's Tokyo Game Show discussing the appearance of games at the event, among which is Silent Hill Zer0 (Silent Hill 0rigins) for the PSP. Konami discussed the release of the game, which is planned for a North American (Region 1) and European release on Wednesday, November 6, 2007, with a Japanese release on December 6, 2007.

Although the event did not post any new information about the title, a new trailer was released via the official Japanese website. The trailer is streamed from the official site, but can be downloaded (albeit with a watermark) from GameVideos.com. The new trailer also features a newly released song* from the original soundtrack composed by Akira Yamaoaka featuring vocals from Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (a.k.a. Melissa Williamson). Lyrics** for the track are posted below. Enjoy.

Swear at the walls,

they make fun of me;

Day after day,

eyes that follow me.

Is it you again?

Endless ????? forever.

Sing for ya eyes,

Child's heart that cries;

Raven flight flies,

and the meaning dies.

As it was before,

it will be no more.

Time does that...

"Say it again,

like you said";

does it sound like you?

Where are you now?

Does the young one

know you're here?

Breath on the grass

Once again,

feel 'em pull you in.

Nobody leaves;

You won't let you...

You're affected...

*Footnote: This song is newly, officially released; yet for those who've downloaded the ripped soundtrack, this song is featured on that tracklist. (Personal Note: I really love how this new song is a call back to the song "She" from the original game and how this trailer is set up similarly to the E3 1999 trailer shown just before that game's release.)

**Footnote: I've transcribed the lyrics from the trailer, but I cannot, for the life of me, accurately transcribe the lyric in the second verse. (Personal Note: Possible lyrics are "endless feeling forever" or "endless pedaling forever.")

WARNING: Possible Silent Hill 0rigins Spoilers

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltm. - Silent Hill Zer0 - Official Japanese Site / Direct Stream [.asx file (Windows Media Player) / 29.8 MB]

GameTrailers.com - Silent Hill 0rigins TGS 2007 Trailer

GameTrailers.com - Silent Hill 0rigins TGS 2007 Trailer (Quicktime Video) [.mov file / 16.2 MB]

GameTrailers.com - Silent Hill 0rigins TGS 2007 Trailer (Windows Media Player Video) [.wmv file / 17.2 MB]

GameTrailers.com - Silent Hill 0rigins TGS 2007 Trailer (MP4 Video) [.mp4 file / 10.6 MB]

GameVideos.com - Silent Hill 0rigins "TGS 2007" Trailer [.wmv file / 29.8 MB; .mov file / 32.3 MB]

New Silent Hill 0rigins Box Art:

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. has released a new box art cover for SH0 on their website. The new box art image is currently exclusive to North America, though has not been set as the official box art. Again, Silent Hill 0rigins will release on November 6, 2007 in North America.

silenthilloriginsofficialboxart.jpg

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. - Silent Hill 0rigins

Silent Hill Mobile Announcement:

Silent Hill: The Escape Announcement for Mobile Gaming Devices:

In addition to the announcement for Silent Hill 0rigins/Silent Hill Zer0, Konami's Online Contents executive producer Kazuya Takahashi announced a new game for mobile gaming devices (i.e. cellular phones) called "Silent Hill: The Escape." Hot off the trails of Silent Hill: Orphan announced at this year's German Gaming Conference in Leipzig, Silent Hill: The Escape will be available for most cellular devices.*

The game will be a mostly combat-based adventure-horror title, whose gameplay has been noted by the implementation of something Takahashi calls "gesture technology." By using the mobile device's built-in camera, the game will be able to use motion-imaging feedback for input commands. Although the details are still unclear, early reports suggest that this will be used for character actions, such as in-game movement, camera-orientation, and firearms aiming.**

Silent Hill: The Escape is among three games that will be available for mobile gaming devices to be released this autumn. (Announced so far are Silent Hill: Orphan and Silent Hill: The Escape.) Information on this game is scarce, but I'll post more as it becomes available.

*Footnote: Although Konami stated that the game will be available for mobile cellular devices, the implementation of their "gesture technology" makes it very unlikely that the game will see a North American release, as most cellphones and content providers cannot meet these technology demands. (Personal Note: While I can say that my cellphone could probably handle the game's performance, the game itself would probably take up more room than I have available on my SIM card.)

**Footnote: Most of the reports about this game agree that the "gesture technology" will be used for aiming and firing ranged weapons, but there are conflicting reports about the other aspects of the game, such as camera-orientation and character movement. (Personal Note: Although I think this would greatly help to overcome the sense of awkwardness of playing a combat game on a cellphone, it seems that in practice the idea of having to walk, change directions, and swing your phone around in real life would be more awkward.)

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltm. - News Release - Konami Lineups for Tokyo Game Show 2007

1up.com - News - TGS 2007: Konami Loves Cell Phones

Wired.com - Blogs - Game|Life - Konami Press Conference: The Live Blog

Silent Hill Mobile Update:

Silent Hill: Orphan Leaked via Forums; Information and Media Posted:

On the Silent Hill 5.net/Silent Hill: Origins.com forums, an official version of the mobile game, Silent Hill: Orphan was leaked. The game, which is a point-and-click puzzle game, with bits of combat scatter about, set in the first person perspective, is set to release in late September.

The game allows players to play as three characters (Ben, Moon or Karen), each played in succession, similar to the Silent Hill: Play Novel. The game is set in Sheppard's Orphanage and takes place 30 years after an event.* Each of the direction buttons are used as well as the number pad to explore and interact with the environment.

Although, the game is going to be released for purchase/download from Konami Mobile Games distributors this month, the game was leaked onto the internet this week. And, fans have gone crazy with it. The game is relatively short, as would be expected for a mobile game. As such, gameplay videos and walkthrough guides have already been created for the game. There are also plot analysis guides as well.

Like the leak with the Silent Hill 0rigins demo, if you choose to download the leaked version of Silent Hill: Orphan, you do so at your own risk (i.e. WARNING: Downloading pirated materials is illegal). As such, in order to play the game, the file is compatible with certain phone models; yet, the game is also compatible through emulation with MidpX software.**

You can find various images, walk-throughs, plot guides, and videos available from the thread on the Silent Hill 5.net forums.

*Footnote: The event that is mentioned in the game is an event within the game's story (which is a spoiler), not an event occuring in another game's plot. (Personal Note: The game is very heavily influenced by the SH film and as such derives it's story that way. So, for those looking to play this game, note that the story is not canon, despite being produced by William Oertel, who claims he does follow canon.)

WARNING: Contains Silent Hill: Orphan Spoilers

Silent Hill 5.net/Silent Hill: Origins.com Forums - Silent Hill General - SH Orphan - on cellphones? (Original Thread)

(Video Walkthrough 1)

(Video Walkthrough 2)

Silent Hill Fan Projects Announcement:

Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album Released for Public Download:

Liminal Records, formerly United Composers (Unicom-Music), has released a Silent Hill inspired fan album of music for public download, called Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album. The release, which occured on September 9, 2007, contains a two-CD collection of music inspired by the games' music composer, Akira Yamaoka. The label has collected a number of artists and musicians from various Russian forums, where the project originally began. As a collective, they created some very outstanding music that is both respectful to the sources and highlights the individuality of each of the artists featured here.

Liminality* contains 35 tracks of music ranging from the very dark and tense atmospheric style to more rhythmic and melody-driven songs. It is available in .mp3 format, recorded at 192 kb/s, and runs 2:00:41. The album was constructed under a theme of what it feels like to travel around the deserted town, attempting to form a whole that flows well together, while also highlighting the variety of styles present. Each song clearly displays the traditional style of the series' music, yet also manages to bring a little something more to the mix.

The artists featured on the album include (in alphabetical order) Clinic Brothers, Er| Naem, Fellirium, Gasgruel, KAVver., Mr. Somnabula, Os1R!s, SinFearSilence, Soaring Man, Technology of Silence, Wialenove, and Y-Ring. The album lasts just over the two hour mark and, like it's counterparts, The Silent Hill Fan Soundtrack and Broken Notes (R.I.P.), is great at creating a classic Silent Hill mood.

Many thanks are also extended to Silent Hill: Lost Memories for hosting the track-by-track album.

various_-_liminality_the_silent_hil.jpg

*Footnote: Liminality is a Latin word meaning "threshold." (Personal Note: The title seems appropriate considering that it sits on a threshold between arranged and inspired influence.)

Silent Hill: Lost Memories.net - Music - Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album [.mp3 files / total: 166 MB]

Liminal Records - Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album (Disk 1) [.rar file / .mp3 files / 88 MB]

Liminal Records - Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album (Disk 2) [.rar file / .mp3 files / 74 MB]

Silent Hill 5.net/Silent Hill: Origins.com Forums - Silent Hill Music - Liminality: The Silent Hill Inspired Album

Now I skimmed the article and saw the mention of the havok physics engine and my concern with is how the bodies will react to falling. If you've ever played Oblivion or any other game that incorporates physics engine (such as Half-Life 2 or even a few strategy games) I'm sure you'd notice that the bodies seem to lose all weight the character/creature dies.

So, for instance, a finishing move in Oblivion has sent a dead enemy spiraling up into the air and flailing like a rag doll. Literally. Nearly every game that using the engine seems to have this problem and I hope they avoid it. Nothing could seem sillier to me than blasting a monster in the face with a shotgun, killing it, and watching its body can spiraling upwards into the air.

Watching the video from the "continuous gameplay" video from The 1up Show, it looks like the Havok software is already being integrated into the game (watch the chair as it rolls down the stairs). Like other games that use the engine, there is little account for momentum or resistance on the objects that are bumped into or moved. And as you said, it's all very silly looking. Yet, I think the developers are aware of this detraction in using ragdoll physics.

Reading again through the article, it states that the game will also use motion-capturing in the creature actions, which will more-than-likely include deaths and attacks. So, although Havok is a great physics engine, it sounds like the game will use a mixture of middleware to create the correct actions and reactions in the game. (For this, I know Akira Yamaoka will be used to determine the correct level of reaction.)

All-in-all, the game looks to be doing very well for being in the priliminary draft phases. So, in terms of an announcement for Silent Hill 5 in regards to the TGS, all that has been released is that the game will appear in the fiscal year 2008 (meaning after March of 2008 ). Don't expect to hear any real news until Konami Gamers Day 2008 in San Francisco, CA.

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I usually just stay away from these parts of OCR, but to be honest...

...no wait; screw that.

I've played SH 2, 3 and 4. I'm rather annoyed about this subject, because I dropped playing the 4. I really liked the beginning. The plot was well written, monsters well palanced and the game play easy enough. Pluzzes were a let down, really. No challenge and mostly just to stretch the game. At some point I'm starting the just to end. Now I got this hospitalized chick following me around and offering me more headache than Friday night while I'm fighting my way through these stupid ghosts that you can't kill and just trying to make to the final boss. But no; the bastard just won't show up. Suddenly I'll find myself back from the burned orphanage and find out that I'll have to gather 5 pieces of bodyparts to start some kind of ritual that'll probably take me to prison/other-kind-of-child-holding-tower-thingy-building-thing where I'll have to fight against even more ghosts and one of those murder victims (which I'm really starting to loath, especially when my crippled side-kick gets stuck at beating them with what ever weapon I've been able to arm her with). But yeah, I'll have to get five body parts while this flame-ghost-hill-billy-murder-victim tries to kill me and my better side while the murder fellow follows me around and tries to shoot me. Frigging shoot me. It's a surival horror game. Enemies don't supposed to have guns! I can't even run away from him, because you know who will stick with him and try to hit him with a purse or whip or whatever. It's just grazy! And I can't heal myself in my apartment any more now that the fan has come down. At least I was able to get rid of those stupid spirits with my candels, but I'm just not enjoying this game anymore. It just pisses me off that I can't (or more like don't want to) finish the game.

I really liked the 2nd and 3rd, but this is just beating yourself with a +2 flail.

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Omega, I and a lot of other people will agree with you about the low points of Silent Hill 4....and really, it wasn't anywhere near the best game in the series, but oddly enough the game is still enjoyable once you get all the way through it. I actually did like the endings, but the problem was that I didn't enjoy *getting* to the endings. Things like the unkillable ghosts and Walter with his pistols coming out of nowhere (Although that was scary!), and the fact that you never once set foot inside the actual town of Silent Hill were really bothersome for most people. Despite all of that though....really, there are MUCH worse games out there :)

Annd....I'm kinda shocked nobody's said anything about those two *NICE* pieces of artwork up toward the top of this page courtesy of Mr. Tom Waltz. Really, those are great...The first picture of the main character, oddly enough, reminds me of Harry from the first game. Seems to have slightly similar clothing, although he does also seem to have a more determined and angry air about him...

The second picture, really is also great stuff. It has a real strong SH2 vibe, as I see it. That real dilapidated look stuck in the pea soup fog, as if it was just a rotten urban corpse...Very impressive :) I also really wonder who that woman is...Guess we'll find out, hehe. Kudos to you guys, I hope the comic turns out well!

The other comics, though, have been....well, they were difficult to follow. The Dying Inside series didn't seem to be too well-received, since it was just so.....so *weird*, and hard to follow. The one I have seen that I loved though, was Silent Hill: Hunger that came bundled with the Silent Hill Experience UMD that was released along with the movie awhile back; that was terrific, and it stayed very oddly true to the atmosphere of the series, which is always the most important thing.

This one does look more like Silent Hill: Hunger though, and that's a great thing :)

Anyway, keep up the nice work, and thanks so much for sharing this with us! When is the comic due to release, by the way? This might have been mentioned, but....I'm lazy ._.

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So, I've beaten the Silent Hill Mobile game (AKA: Silent Hill Orphan, but they don't call it that in the game) and as I promised, I'll go through a bit what it's about and write a short non-spoiler review. If you don't want to read the spoilers, then scroll past the next part.

WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! WARNING!!!

You play in an orphanage, assumed to be in Silent Hill but it's never confirmed, and you start out as Ben. Ben used to live in this orphanage, but hasn't for the last 30 years. 30 years ago, every child in this place was murdered in their beds, except for three. Ben was one, and then two girls called Moon and Karen. As Ben you explore the small orphanage, and you occasionally here a voice talking to you, but you don't recognize it. Ben also has a great fear of the showerroom in the basement, for that was where he hid when all the other kids were slaughtered. He won't go in there, but the door opposite to this is a storeroom, and inside is Karen, trapped for some reason. None of them know how they got to where they are. You try to get her out, but you can't. After a few puzzles you can unlock a toiletbooth in the bathroom, and inside there is the mark you used for saving in SH3. When gazed upon, you change into the otherworld. The mark exists there aswell, so you can change back at any time. The otherworld looks like it usually does. Barred "prison"-doors, burned and torn walls etc.

Here you meet your first enemies, and get to do a few more puzzles. You keep hearing the voice more and more, and eventually it tells you to enter the showerroom and confront what happened back then. You do so, and the screen goes black. Suddenly, you're back in the room you started in, but no longer as Ben. You now play as Moon, the other girl to survive that horrible night. All the puzzles and progress that you made with Ben is still done, but you don't have his stuff. Moon also starts hearing the voice, and eventually it tells her to go to the showerroom aswell. You enter, and find the bloody corpse of Ben. You also find his backpack with all his items. You take the ones you need automatically, and then move on. Do some more puzzles, while the voice keeps telling you about that day. When entering the otherworld, there is a toiletbooth that is closed, but you won't open it because it is too disturbing. (NOTE: I believe this is where Moon hid during the night of the murders. You will know why, later on.) There is also a hole in one of the booths with bloodtraces and clawmarks, as if someone's been dragged down there.

Explore some more, do some more puzzles and finally you are told by the voice to go back to the bathroom. (I'm not saying anything about their journeys through the orphanage because it's mostly just puzzles, enemies and cryptic messages from the voice that won't tell you much)

When you arrive at the bathroom, the same thing happens as when Ben entered the showerroom.

You now start as Karen in the storeroom. First you hear the strange voice, and then you talk a bit with Ben through the ventilation system (same conversation as before) and after realizing there is no way out of this room, you choose to take a nap. When you wake up, the door is open. You now start where Moon left off. The voice keeps talking to you, and reveals herself as Karens sister. She also reveals herself as Alessa! So, she is Alessas sister. After some exploring and some disturbing findings (I won't tell you what) and going to the completely bloodcovered otherworld-bathroom, you find Moon's backpack. The disturbing booth is now open, and Moon is nowhere to be found.

Alessa keeps telling Karen about how she found the safe place, the good place. After reaching this room, Karen is told and also realizes that she was the one who killed everyone 30 years ago. You shoot some monster that is somehow connected to Alessa, and then Alessa is disappointed in you. She says some cryptic things, and the game says "To be continued...".

END OF SPOILERS!!! END OF SPOILERS!!!

Now, for the review. Without any music, and very few soundeffects, the atmosphere isn't very Silent Hill-ish, but it does actually get creepy from time to time. Puzzles can be a bit difficult at times, but that is mostly because it can be hard finding the required objects as they are sometimes very small and hard to spot.

The interface and controls work, and they do so by having a cursor and when clicking something a meny comes up with four buttons. Look, Use, Speak and Inventory. These are really all you need, and make it simple enough to advance through the game. Fighting controls can be a bit clumsy, but they are okay. You press a button to change the cursor into a crosshair, and when you put it over the enemy it will turn red, and then you should shoot. If you don't wait until it is red, you will miss.

The story of th game is a bit thin, and confusing if you've played the other games in the series, but it is still exciting and worth playing, although it is short.

Those are my two cents.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to post a quick report before bedtime.

Warning Possible Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Spoilers

Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Update:

Figurine Pre-Order Bonus with Silent Hill Zer0 from KonamiStyle of Japan:

KonamiSyle of Japan is offering a free figurine with pre0rders of Silent Hill Zer0 on their website. The figurine is an exact scale model of a new creature from the game, called "The Butcher." The figurine will be a block of crystal/glass with the design of the "Butcher" laser-etched inside.* The measurements of the figure are 40mm (length) by 60mm (height) by 40mm (width), approximately 1.5"x2.33"x1.5". The cost to pre-order Silent Hill Zer0 from KonamiStyle is 4,480円 YEN (~39.10 USD), 4,704円 YEN after sales tax (~41.05 USD), almost $10 more than the pre-order price available from KonamiSyle of North America.

The figure will be shipped with pre-order purchases on December 6, 2007, the game's Japanese release date. Currently, the offer is only available in Japan through the KonamiStyle website.**

sh0preorder.jpg

itemVP045-J1p3_1.jpg

*Footnote: The description indicates that the actual figure will not be exactly as shown on the website. (Personal Note: I'm expecting that the figure will likely be much more like the in-game model of the "Butcher" than the sketch shown in the drawing on the webpage.)

**Footnote: The figure is likely to be a bonus for the Japanese market, for which the game will be delayed from the official worldwide release of November 6, 2007. Many other sites and forums speculate that a similar offer will be made for the North American and European releases, yet the possibility of said offer being an official Konami bonus is unlikely. (Personal Note: I'm expecting to see a pre-order offer for SH0 from a large North American game distributor like EBGames or GameStop, since previous North American pre-order offers in the US were not available from the Konami store itself, but from EBGames.)

KonamiStyle of Japan - Silent Hill Zer0 - SILENT HILL ZERO」 予約開始

KonamiStyle of Japan - 【特典つき】SILENT HILL ZERO (PSP)

EDIT: For those looking to purchase the SH0 preorder offer from KonamiStyle of Japan with the figurine, I've found a source.

KonamiStyle Pre-Order Offer Available from PlayAsia.com:

PlayAsia.com, an online Japanese videogame and anime importer, is offering the limited edition preorder bonus of Silent Hill Zer0 and the "Butcher" figurine to North American buyers. However, it comes with a hefty price. The offer includes the game Silent Hill Zer0 (the Japanese version) for the PSP along with the laser etched glass figurine for $69.90 USD.*

The Japanese version of the game is encoded in Region 2 format, but offers no region protection, which means that PSP's in other regions may still play the game.** The item is expected to be in stock on December 7, 2007 and will ship out from then on. Shipping in the US will cost $3.10 USD.

*Footnote: This price is nearly double the cost of the same offer in Japan, and more than double the cost of the game itself. (Personal Note: If you feel you are an avid collector of all things Silent Hill, and live outside Japan, this offer may be just what you've been waiting for, but don't put yourself into debt because of it. For rabid fans only.)

**Footnote: Please note that although PSP games are not region protected, there may be problems in the PSP reading the coding, which could lead to various gameplay problems and possibly even hardware problems. (Personal Note: I strongly advise players to refrain from playing the Japanese version of the game on non-Japanese PSP's, until proper testing reveals a stable interaction.)

PlayAsia.com - Buy Silent Hill Zero [Konamistyle Edition w/ Crystal Art Butcher]

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  • 2 weeks later...

WARNING: Possible Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Spoilers

Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Update:

Silent Hill Zer0 To Be Shown at Games Japan Festa 2007; Sub-Site Opened & New Media Posted:

On November 5, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. opened their main site for Silent Hill Zer0 officially announcing information and details about the game, in correspondence with the Games Japan Festa 2007.* The site features standard areas of information about the game, such as the premise, Silent Hill background, and the Tokyo Game Show 2007 Trailer.** In addition, new gameplay images and a new box art cover for the Japanese market were released.

The box art is a painted cover that features the image of a young Alessa Gillespie in the Otherworld from the E3 2007 Trailer. The game will retail at 4,980円 (YEN), 5,229円 (YEN) after taxes. The game is set for a Japanese release on December 6, 2007.***

AP_silent_pac.jpg

*Footnote: The site was originally posted on November 2, 2007, which linked from the original SH0 site: http://www.konami.jp/gs/games/sh0/. Yet, Konami did not officially post the link to the site via the main page (http://www.konami.jp) until November 5, 2007.

**Footnote: The official Tokyo Game Show 2007 trailer for SH0 that can be viewed from the Japanese site or Konami's Tokyo Game Show page is an editted version of the full trailer which contained spoilers from the game and was thus editted. The full trailer can be viewed or downloaded from GameTrailers.com. (http://www.gametrailers.com/player/25374.html)

***Footnote: Previously reported was that the worldwide release was expected for November 6, 2007. However, this information was inaccurate, as the North American release of the game will occur on November 6, 2007, with a European release on November 16, 2007 and lastly a Japanese release on December 6, 2007. (Personal Note: Sorry about that, guys. I'm really sorry about that to any of the European readers who were thinking that they'd get the game today.)

Additionally, the box art for the European version of the game has also been released.

000361698.jpg

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. - Products - Silent Hill Zer0

Silent Hill: Origins.com - News - New Silent Hill Zero minisite and Japanese boxart

Silent Hill Rumor Control

An Unusual Message Left on the SH0 Japanese Website Hints at Another Supplemental Silent Hill DVD:

When reading through the Japanese website for Silent Hill Zer0/0rigins, if one clicks on the fifth tab in the sidebar, you'll see a list of announcements regarding the game. The newest announcement made on November 5, 2007, says in its 0riginal Japanese, "新作ガイドにて紹介。付録DVDにてなんと映像も収録!" Roughly translating this into English, the message says, "New production introduction/referal tour guide. Supplementary DVD [something] image compilation!"

The information could be interpreted from the site as suggesting that a new The Art of Silent Hill DVD is coming out sometime soon.

Yet, I don't believe that this is the case, as the section under which it's posted is in the press page, as a statement from Electro Shock PS2 Magazine (http://www.mediaworks.co.jp/), a sister publication of Dengeki Magazine. This is further evidenced by the other listing also being Japanese gaming magazines, with quotes regarding their reviews.

Konami Digital Entertainment Co, Ltd. - Products - Silent Hill Zer0 - Press

EDIT:

Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Update:

Official SH0 North American Site Opened:

On November 6, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. officially opened the North American version of the Silent Hill 0rigins website. The site is a Flash-based page with a deserted building motif and allows visitors to view different information about the game by clicking on the various doors in the main hallway. These sections include "About Silent Hill 0rigins," "The Game," "Downloads/Videos" (Coming Soon), and "Gallery." Each section contains additional subsections of information. A flowchart is displayed below to show what sections and subsections are contained on the site.

- About Silent Hill 0rigins

---- Synopsis

---- Features

---- Press

- The Game

---- Characters

---- Monsters

---- Weapons

- Downloads/Videos (Coming Soon)

- Gallery

---- Screenshots

---- Concept Art

While the site information is fairly standard fare for most promotional sites, what the North American site offers is additional artwork*, newly released CG images**, and new concept art previously unreleased.*** Also included on the site is a complete list of the monsters in-game with corresponding images, allowing visitors to see all the creatures from the game before playing, possibly spoiling some of the surprise. A list of the characters is also shown, but is lacking the spoiler characters for obvious reasons.****

The site will also feature downloads and videos in the near future from the game, which will be reported when added.

As a final note, the North American Silent Hill portal site (http://www.silenthillusa.com) has been shut down (if permanently, is yet unknown) and the exclusive media that was on the site available to registered members is no longer available. So, if you missed it, you'll have to track it down from one of the various Silent Hill fan sites. I suggest Silent Hill: Lost Memories.

*Footnote: The additional artwork released includes images of all the characters, monsters, and weapons usable in the game. (Personal Note: The images are much more impressive than any of the artwork images released so far, though they still contain some measure of retrograde appearance to maintain the visual style of the PSP graphics.)

**Footnote: The newly released CG images are used in many parts of the background on the various sections and are much more consistent with the visual style of the CG videos from the game than the in-game style. (Personal Note: The CG images are a much improved take on the original interation of the game, seen when the game changed development offices to the European braches of Climax Studios. It's too bad that the game couldn't have been further developed in this style.)

***Footnote: The concept art contained on the site contains a revised version of the one of the original concept art images originally posted on the North American Silent Hill portal site. This image was of the girl in the white dress on the steps of a large building. Also, the stetches featured in the concept art sub-section are storyboard drawings from one of the pivotal cutscenes in the game. (Personal Note: While I understand the purpose of having storyboard images for the development of a game, what I don't understand was why these very stetchy images were posted in lue of the earlier painted concept images which contained a greater level of detail and expression than the ones used for the promotional site.)

****Footnote: While recurring characters like Alessa, Dr. Kaufmann, Dahlia and Lisa have some level of spoilers expressed, the characters that relate to Travis' personal dilemma are more of a spoiler for the game itself. (Personal Note: What the deal is up with the character descriptions, particularly of Lisa Garland? "...fliratious, and innocent." Not only is that an oxymoron, but it's also a grave misinterpretation of the original character who's life was consumed by verbal abuse, small-town pressure and drug addiction. Personally, I found Lisa neither flirtatious nor innocent. Also, Dr. Kaufmann is noted as being a "cold and scientific man," which I, too, find to be a misinterpretation of the character, since Kaufmann showed quite a bit of emotion in the first game, mostly anger and frustration, yet always with a passionate demeanor. Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll shut up now.)

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. - Silent Hill 0rigins

Silent Hill Cross-Overs Announcement:

The Red Pyramid Thing to Appear in Konami's New International Track & Field (NDS):

At this year's German Gaming Conference in Leipzig, Germany, Nintendo announced the development of a new title for the Nintendo DS portable gaming system called, "New International Track & Field." The game would act as an updated version of the original arcade/NES game, Track & Field. Among the list of characters announced via the game's website was Silent Hill 2's Red Pyramid Thing (a.k.a. Pyramid Head).

Featured in the revised design from the film Silent Hill, the Red Pyramid Thing will be playable in all 24 competitions and events in the game. The design for New International Track & Field displays the Red Pyramid Thing in the helmet from the film with the traditional ceremonial robes from the cult of Silent Hill (ruined to match the original concept) and shown holding a javelin in place of the traditional spear.*

The bio for this character is quoted as:

Pyramid Head is the ‘nickname’ of the most fearful creature from a small town called Silent Hill. Recently back from a brief but highly enjoyable killing spree in Hollywood, Pyramid (to his friends) loves nothing more than to strangle or wield his ‘Great Knife’ at anything living! His identity completely anonymous, Pyramid’s only language is the grunts and moans that emanate from inside his helmet. A fearful competitor and a very sore loser, Pyramid Head has been sent from the depths of the hell to compete against mankind and show that demons can go for gold!

Age: Timeless

Home: The depths of Nightmare

Likes: Torment and Execution

Dislikes: Everything you hold dear

Skill: Strengh

New International Track & Field is scheduled to release in 2007 for the Nintendo DS.

pyramid_head.png

InternationalTrackField-RedPyramidT.png**

*Footnote: Although the appearance of this character in any setting outside of the context of Silent Hill 2 is considered non-canon by fans, the design and treatment of the character within this game is much more faithful to the original than first speculated, though still beyond what is considered canonical. One such example is the depiction with the javelin, similar to the traditional spear, in place of the Great Knife (which was an invention of James' mind not of the town's history of the executioners of the Toluca Prison Camp). (Personal Note: Although, many people haven't taken much notice of it, one of the traditional events of track & field include target skill with firearms, notable a rifle or shotgun. Needless to say, the idea of having the Red Pyramid Thing using a firearm, even out of the context of SH2, doesn't sit well with me. Also, am I the only one who finds the descriptions of this character to be incredibly morbid for a title targetted towards the family demographic? They might as well say that the character is a euphamism for the act of committing rape. :S)

**Footnote: There are additional images available of the New International Track & Field version the Red Pyramid Thing, but these forums only allow 4 images to diplayed in one post. Check out the rest on the site.

Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH - New International Track & Field

Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH - New International Track & Field - Characters

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  • 3 weeks later...

Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Update:

SH0 Official Soundtrack Announced, Pre-Orders Accepted:

On November 16, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. announced the release of the official Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 soundtrack. The soundtrack, which contains 30 tracks from the game, will be released on January 25, 2008 from KonamiStyle of Japan. The soundtrack will be sold in a new "tall case"* which will feature an exclusive cover jacket and comic book, designed specifically for this release.** The soundtrack was, of course, directed/composed/performed by Akira Yamaoka, with lyrics by Joe Romersa and vocals by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (a.k.a. Melissa Williamson). Unfortunately, a tracklist is not available, but it will likely feature all the music from the game.

KonamiStyle of Japan is currently accepting pre-orders for the soundtrack, which cannot be bundled with pre-orders for the game. The soundtrack will retail on KonamiStyle of Japan for 2,400円 (YEN), 2,520円 (YEN) after sales tax. The soundtrack will be a limited edition release, with no plans to reprint or re-release the album once quantities are sold out.*** The catalogue number for the soundtrack is: LC1627.

*Footnote: Currently, detailed descriptions of the supposed "tall case" are not available. However, the description suggests that it will be large enough to contain the limited edition comic book bundled with the package. (Personal Note: The design of this special case seems to me that it will be the width of standard CD jewel cases with a height of standard DVD jewel cases.)

**Footnote: Again, currently, the information regarding the content of the limited edition comic book are unknown. However, the site suggests that the content will be exclusive to the soundtrack and feature content based on the new game. (Personal Note: My suspicions lead me to believe that the comic will feature content regarding Travis' journey in Silent Hill as opposed to something regarding the town's history. I also believe that this will NOT be a reprinting of the Silent Hill Cage of Cradle or Silent Hill Double under Dusk digital mangas written by Hiroyuki Owaku and illustrated by Masahiro Ito. Sorry, if that disappoints you.)

***Footnote: KonamiStyle of Japan is offering this soundtrack bundle as a limited edition offer. As such, KonamiStyle cannot accept cancellations of orders once they are placed. In addition, KonamiStyle has no resale schedule for this soundtrack bundle once quantities are sold out, so get it before it's gone. (Personal Note: Because KonamiStyle is not promoting this offer as a "bundle" but as the official soundtrack, it can only be assumed that Konami does not plan to release the soundtrack in any other physical form, which suggests there will not be an international release of the soundtrack as a physical CD. Likely, Konami will release the soundtrack via digital distribution on their iRevo/iTunes, Rhapsody or Napster pages.)

itemLC1627p1_1.jpg

bs_sh_zero.jpg

KonamiStyle of Japan - Silent Hill Zer0 & Original Soundtracks

KonamiStyle of Japan - Silent Hill Zer0 Original Soundtracks

Addendum: If you are looking for a way to import the soundtrack CD from Japan, a number of japanese importers are also currently taking pre-orders for the Silent Hill Zer0 soundtrack. The best recommendation would be with PlayAsia.com, who have the soundtrack retailing at $34.90 (USD), with shipping at $2.60 (USD).

PlayAsia.com - Video Game Soundtrack - Silent Hill Zero Original Soundtracks

Also, to get you guys excited about the soundtrack, here are samples of the four vocal tracks from the game.

YouTube.com - SH0 - Vocal Track #1

YouTube.com - SH0 - Vocal Track #4

--------------------------------

SH0 Official Konami Strategy Guide Announced, Pre-Orders Accepted:

On Tuesday, November 27, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. announced the release of the official Konami strategy guide, Konami Official Books: Silent Hill Zer0 Official Guide. The guide will be released on December 20, 2007 and be an exclusive available on KonamiStyle of Japan.

The guide will feature character and monster profiles, maps, puzzle hints and solutions, and ending guides. It will be published in A5 format and be 160 pages long. The ISBN is: 978-4-86155-210-6, with a catalogue number of NK0210. The book will retail at 1,238円 (YEN), 1,300円 (YEN) after taxes.

*Personal Note: If you've ever purchased a strategy guide from Konami, you'll notice the clear difference between it and those published by other third party publishers, like *cough*BradyGames*cough*, who own the publishing rights in North America. The Konami guides are always published with a separate cover on glossy paper. The guide itself tends to have higher quality images (CG, in-game and concept) with occassionally unreleased images as with the SH4 Complete Guide and the SH3 Ushinawareta Kioku.

nk0210.jpg

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. - Silent Hill Zer0 - Official Guide

--------------------------------

SH0 European Website Official Launched:

On November 16, 2007, Konami Digital Entertainment Gmbh launched the official European site for Silent Hill 0rigins.

The site is flash-based with an HUI designed like the PSP. Visitors can view the various sections of the site by pressing/clicking on one of the glowing buttons (Square, Circle, Triangle, or Cross) and using the directional buttons to scroll through images or rewind/fast forward through the videos. The site features both the IGN trailers released in April of this year (listed under the "Trailer" and "Gameplay" buttons). The "Packshot" button shows an image of the UMD packaging and the "Screens" button shows screenshots from the game in Widescreen format.

Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH - Silent Hill 0rigins - Microsite

--------------------------------

Interviews with Silent Hill Staff:

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn Focus Panel at Anime Expo 07:

At this year's Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was honored as one of the few English speaking focus panel guests. While the majority of the focus panel pertained with her anime work, she did begin the presentation with a sample of her work on the Silent Hill 0rigins soundtrack with a brief discussion about her collaboration with Akira Yamaoka. This is one of the only interviews/discussions where she discusses her experiences in the creation/performance process.

While the first part of the series of videos is the only part that discusses her work on the Silent Hill soundtracks, you can view the rest of the series of videos to hear about her and her works in anime. I'll post them all just in case.

(<---- This one has the Silent Hill music discussion.)

Additionally, in a written interview with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, she manages to talk a little more about the music of Silent Hill, particularly with the recording process and with the song "Waiting for You." She explains that Joe Romersa is the contact between Akira Yamaoka and herself, and that Joe Romersa is the one who writes the lyrics for the songs. Additionally, she reveals that "Waiting for You" is indeed a studio recorded song and not live public performance. However, they also bring up the idea of having a concert of Silent Hill music performed at the next Anime Expo in 2008. (Hmmm... Meet up, anyone?)

TokidokiJournal.com - Mary Elizabeth McGlynn Interview

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A concert of Silent Hill music...? Ohhh man, what I'd give to be able to go to THAT.

Sadly, money is an obstacle :(

Thank you again for the great info, ifirit :)

While I'm babbling on about nothing, has anybody here beaten Origins? What're your thoughts? I'd beaten it myself, twice, and have yet to beat it a third time so I can attempt getting the UFO ending. It's a small game, maybe half as long as other SH games, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, it had a much greater scare factor, in my opinion, than SH4 did.

There's tons of funny, great extras, too; the costumes alone are a lot of fun, especially the one unlocked by the Konami code.

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A concert of Silent Hill music...? Ohhh man, what I'd give to be able to go to THAT.

Sadly, money is an obstacle :(

It was just a suggestion. But, of course, there would have to be a definite announcement saying that said concert would take place. I'm sure that if the concert were to be held, bands across California would be lining up for auditions. You'd hope those people running the event would pick the best one. But, that's completely in the realm of speculation.

While I'm babbling on about nothing, has anybody here beaten Origins? What're your thoughts? I'd beaten it myself, twice, and have yet to beat it a third time so I can attempt getting the UFO ending. It's a small game, maybe half as long as other SH games, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, it had a much greater scare factor, in my opinion, than SH4 did.

There's tons of funny, great extras, too; the costumes alone are a lot of fun, especially the one unlocked by the Konami code.

Yep, I've played it and beaten it, several times, and have been dying to post a review of the game. Especially since every review posted so far doesn't really evaluate the game with much depth. Being so, I'd like to post my thoughts.

Warning: Minor Silent Hill 0rigins/Zer0 Spoilers

First off, a part of me really, really wanted to hate this game. I wanted it to be so bad and so wrong that development would have had to be handed back to Team Silent. But, I couldn't hate it. It's just a very solid game. The atmosphere and level design is very deep and familiar. (At times, perhaps a little too familiar.) The mood and tension created by the environments and sound design are gripping and, when taking the suggestion to play it in the dark and with headphones, will creep you out to no end.

The environments do a great job of combining the aesthetics from the first game and the film; it's a subtle application used throughout the entirety of the outdoor environments. An example would be the incorporation of the light fixtures from the film replacing the normal street lamps of Central Silent Hill. Another example is the use of textures and motifs from the film's sets filling in areas that were too blurred in the original, such as building walls, trim and store windows. You'll notice the film motif used throughout the design of the exterior of the streets of Central and New Silent Hill.

However, when it comes to the building interiors, the use of the film's motifs are much more subtle restricting their usage to posters and objects added in the environment. The otherworld on the otherhand does not imploy much of its inspiration from the film, opting to focus on the look created by the four main games, yet adding a bit of reinterpretation throughout. (In particular, are the use of living plants and various fluids dripping from above to give the environments a more "living world" feel.

One of the most unusual aspects of this design, however, is that these things are sectionalized between the different "levels." The SH1 Otherworld motif is very apparent in the Motel level, while the SH2 Otherworld motif is confined to the Theater level. The SH3 motif is restricted to the Hospital level and the SH4 motif to the Sanitarium level. (Yes, just when you thought they couldn't add another hospital in Silent Hill, they did.) This adds a very distinct flavor to each level, but makes the interpretation of the game on an overall sense somewhat muddled. (Actually, I mean to say that this design makes it difficult to establish an overall concept for the Otherworld in SH0 since the representations of it change throughout the game.)

If you're looking to compare the size of the game with that of previous games, SH0 is just physically, slightly smaller than SH2, but larger than SH1. SH0 and SH2 both contain the same number of levels with roughly the same amount of space on the interior. However, the exterior environments are smaller than SH2, but only because SH2 made use of extendedly long hallways and streets. SH1 can be beaten on a speedrun of about an hour, SH2 in about just over 2 hours and SH0 can be beaten on a speedrun of just about an hour and a half. The only reason why SH0 seems shorter is that the game has virtually no retraversal of the environments. The game basically leads you all over the map, but you rarely ever have to cross the same areas twice. (I'm counting the Alternate and Otherworld maps as separate parts of the levels, since the game has separate maps for each.) It's this type of level design that really makes the game feel linear, because it's not really a maze, so much as a path with branch off sections. (I'm particularly disappointed with this simplification of the level design.)

Having gone over all the general aspects of the environments, let's look at the combat and gameplay. First off, the game starts you out with the two key items that have always been essential gear in a Silent Hill game, the flashlight and the radio. These two items are considered to be your lifelines in the game, since they help your survival. Well, guess what, you don't need either. In previous installations, you had to use the flashlight in order to pick up items in the dark and the need to use the flashlight to search for items in the presence of enemies added to the tension. Well, don't EVER bother turning on your flashlight, because every item in the game can be picked up without it. In addition, using the flashlight only draws monsters to you. It's no longer a double-edged sword, only a dull blade.

Second, the radio, which was the only guide in previous games that let you know the general presence of monsters in the environment. Leave it off, between the sounds emitted by the monsters, the visual static effect and the use of QTE (Quick Timing Events) you'll always know where the monsters are. Well, you think, "what's the big deal? You've got two items you don't need to use, they're sectioned out for you anyway. It's not like you'll have an endless supply of useless items, right?" Well, you're wrong.

Weapons in the game are breakable, limiting their use and lifespan. The game provides you with enough weapons in every room to never be without and the use of your fists means that even when a weapon breaks, you're never unequipped. But, here's the deal. 60% of the weapons in the game suck. Either the weapon is too weak to fight enemies with promptly, or the lifespan of the weapon won't last through a single fight. Also, because of the weapons breakable status displayed on each weapon, the game will not filter weapons as multiples, so you can end up with a dozen pieces of broken wood planks, all of which you can't rely on, taking up space to switch over to the one good weapon you have which gets shuffled to the end of the list. Throwing weapons aren't much use either since they have no range when tapping the attack button and no accuracy when used as a charged attack. In addition, because of a glitch in the QTE, if a throwing item is used and a QTE follows, the weapon will simply break causing no damage to the monster.

You'll find that there are a number of glitches that occur when playing the game. One of the most apparent is the fatigue glitch. SH0 revives the stamina feature used in SH3, where your stamina determines Heather's ability to run, fight and block attacks. When your stamina reached zero, you had to find a place to rest to recover. However, in SH0, when your stamina reaches zero, the stamina gauge automatically returns to 100%, so the need to recover is not needed and you can essentially outrun any monster. The developers had also added in an energy drink which could be used to immediately recover stamina, but with the glitch, they're essential useless outside of tight corners.

So, once you've found a good weapon to fight with and used the stamina glitch to avoid the hard to fight monsters and walked past the monsters with the flashlight turned off, fighting is still reduced to the ackward bash-fest that it had been in the previous games. Because you can only do 1-2 combos, you'll have to hit once or twice, backup, avoid the monster attack and repeat. This NEVER changes, even with bosses. However, with the large variety of monsters in each area, you don't really get bored with the attack pattern until your third playthrough. But, by then, you'll hopefully have gotten the special weapons making fights last only a few seconds.

The puzzles in the game are suprisingly good, but simple for any returning Silent Hill fan. The variety is good, ranging from the traditional collecting items to place in corresponding locations, to matching and memory puzzles, to even algebraic problems. Sadly, there are no word puzzles or cryptic poems to interpret. (This kinda takes out the lyrical, poetic nature of the past games.)

The acting and cutscenes in the game are only so-so. While the acting is more fluid than in the first, which numerous references to SH1 are made in the dialogue of SH0, there are not as many memorable scenes as previous games. Encounters with recurring characters are so stripped of the original personalities, you have to really look hard at these scenes to draw out what personality there is, especially since there are so few cutscenes in the game. One exception regards a particular nurse in red, with which it eventually goes nowhere. But, the acting never really gets past its rigid, scripted form, which at times can be ackward. ("I could be a STAAAR!!!!" is one particular reference. "Dr. Kaufman wants to meet me..." is another.)

My biggest problem with this is that the story regarding Travis' background is really, really good, with hints given both in the scenes and throughout the game itself. However, the small number of cutscenes and character interactions cause the story to develop too slowly and it gets trailed off near the end. The part that I am particularly referencing is the climax, where there is a confrontation between Travis and the girl in blue, that is ultimately dropped in order to bring the story back to the Alessa arc. This brings me to another point, because at this point, the game seems to be trying to wrap everything together so quickly that it feels rushed or forced. The Good Ending is a particularly good example, since it doesn't explain how the characters even got out of their situation at the final battle and relies on the interpretations made by the film to explain the bridge between this game and the first game.

As a final sentiment, I can only summerize the game as having the polish, sheen and soul (i.e. Akira Yamaoka) of past games, but lacking the breadth and depth.

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  • 1 month later...

I finally beat the game for the first time this morning, and I must say I'm really pleased with it. My biggest fear was that it would be too short, but it wasn't. It could have been longer, but it didn't need to be. I really liked the story, the mood, the enemies and locations. It all felt very much like Silent Hill should. Reviewers all complain about the fighting system, but I think it worked really well. Doesn't really matter if a weapon broke, because you always had a shitload of others (it could get a bit ridiculous at times, but that's the way it's always been). The only thing that really bothered me was the great lack of healing items, and the overabundance of ammo as a compensation.

I'm looking forward to getting all the endings and extras. I can probably play this game over and over and over again!

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I just beat the game the other day, too. I really liked it. It's on a portable, so there are some limitations, and it doesn't play very deep or complex, but it's a nicely built game. For the first time since SH3, I felt that familiar sense of "hey, I am uncomfortable, this is Silent Hill. I know this place, it makes me uneasy, but I want to keep going and exploring." Some great level environments, too.

I was very impressed that the chill and scare factor was present when I played with headphones in the dark; kudos to Climax. Overall, it's not the best SH game, but it's a nifty little time killer with some nice touches. My favorite moment in the entire game was

when I went to the Otherworld Motel and glanced through the peep hole into the room I HAD JUST COME OUT OF and saw the Butcher standing in the doorway just not even moving. That just creeped the fuck out of me.

I don't think you can be disappointed if you're a SH fan, especially considering the game was in the hands of a development team halfway around the world with no previous SH experience.

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