Dear Silent Hill 2,
Thought you had me beat, eh? Well think again! Your nine year reign of terror over me has finally been ended! I have bested you, friend. Let it be known from this day forth that no PS2 game shall make me hide in fear!
[DISCLAIMER: Ecco: The Tides of Time for the Sega Genesis, however, will forever terrify me like so many scorpions covered in razorblades. Damn you, ocean terror! Damn you to hell!]
It’s fun for you to think back to that day, isn’t SH2? All those years ago when I saw you on the rental shelf. Thinking to myself “I’m a brave guy. I played me some Resident Evil. I’ve killed me some zombies. What’s to be afraid of?” You knew. You knew how foolish I was. Such a young lad with so many hopes and dreams before him. Dreams you were ready to corrupt with your Pyramid Heads and mannequin rape!
There I was, a young boy of howeveroldIwas, simply wanting a good, spooky time. A boy whose parents seemingly encouraged him to embrace things gory and ridiculous. There I sat in my room, ready to mow down whatever hordes you had to offer me. Whatever creatures that went bump in the night, I was ready to face. If I could sit through the entire runtime of Beaches, I could beat you.
About twenty minutes in, I slowly turned off the PS2 and entered the fetal position I would remain in for about a decade.
You had won. How you mocked me with your parade of horrors so unspeakable and pixelated devil-fog. I could not return you to the local Blockbuster quickly enough. And that’s the way it would stay. You lording over me with your superiority for a lifetime to come.
That is…until that fateful day at the bargain bin.
There you were, taunting me with your cover. The girl on the front teasing me with that sensual look. Granted, I would later find out that she’s actually contemplating suicide, but c’mon. Desperation’s a little sexy, right?
So I bought you. For all of six dollars. A price so low, how could I resist? It had been many years since we last tangled. I had grown older, bolder. I mean, I legally watch R-rated movies now. What power would you have over me!?
And so, last week, we began our second and final dance. It was rough going, at first, but the stark, primal terror gave way to compelling characters, and intriguing psychological dispair. You frightened me, yes, but you also moved me in ways I hadn’t been moved by a game in years. At least not since Superman 64 (a game I have convinced myself is some greater treatise on the existential loneliness of man and the ultimate futility of life).
No longer would I let your creepy, sexy nurse demons and aural scare tactics deprive me from a deeply immersive story about a man’s journey into the darkest parts of his soul. I had my way with you. I made you mine. But not in a rapey kind of way.
Now I sit, having finally beaten you after all these years and think of the next step. With you in my wake, surely Silent Hill 3 should be no problem?
What’s that? 3 starts off in an abandoned amusement park?
Oh screw that, I’m gonna go play me some Kingdom Hearts.
Keep on truckin,