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September 14, 2011
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10 Years of Silent Hill 2 by ZerachielAmora 10 Years of Silent Hill 2 by ZerachielAmora
"He who is not bold enough to be stared at from across the abyss is not bold enough to stare into it himself."
~Silent Hill 2 Memo

Finally, I have finished it! This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of Silent Hill 2. Therefore, I made this tribute to one of my favorite games of all time. Here we have Pyramid Head and Maria standing at different doors. They lead to different fates for the main character, James Sunderland.

I decided to use a lot of new brushes for this piece. Grunge ones are a lot of fun I must say. Here are my credits.

Brushes Used in this Picture:

I also decided to include a fair amount of symbolism here, but since going into further detail results in spoilers, here's for all of you who have not played the game and don't want it to be ruined. If you haven't played and don't mind spoilers, go right ahead.

~~~Warning: Full explanation of the picture below. Spoilers included.~~~
Each door represents the character standing next to it.

Maria is surrounded by an elegant wallpaper and a clean door. Note that the wall on Maria's side is similar to the one you find in the apartment with the flashlight ([link]).
Her door is open and looks very inviting. She accompanies James for a portion of the game, and helps him a few times. It seems natural to choose her path. However, she is an incarnation of Mary and a manifestation of James' desires and delusions. Leaving with her will only have events repeat themselves. This is especially true since she coughs a lot in the Maria ending, which means she has Mary's disease and James' actions that landed him in Silent Hill will happen again. With Maria, James chooses to live in his fantasies instead of accept the truth of how Mary's life ended.

The Otherworld is awaiting behind Maria's door, along with the blank letter his mind fabricated to believe that Mary called him to the town. This symbolizes James's doom to repeat himself and possibly end up back in Silent Hill. Maria's door is deceptive, pulling you in because of its appearance, when it only leads to destruction.

If we look to Pyramid Head's door, it looks anything but inviting. It is surrounded by decay and what appears to be dried blood. The door is even broken down, to suggest that something dangerous may be lurking inside. There, the monster stands guard and looks intimidating as ever. However, James learns through his journey that Pyramid Head is not his enemy. Near the end of the game, he says, "I was weak. That's why I needed you…I needed someone to punish me for my sins."

Certainly, Pyramid Head doles out punishment, but his true purpose is for James to come out of his delusion and accept the truth. As the monster kills Maria over and over in the course of the game, does James see himself killing his wife over and over. These acts also reveal what he must do to free himself of the delusion, which is destroy the manifestation of them - he must destroy Maria himself. By doing so, he breaks out of his mind's chains.

Inside the broken door is a bright light, symbolizing the truth. The outside appearance of the door conveys Pyramid Head's first impression as a villain, and the fact that unraveling the truth (as well as the nature of truth itself) can be upsetting and uncomfortable. Inside the door is nothing speculator, as the floor is plain and the wall is still ugly. Even though escaping our delusions will set us free, it is not always pretty and easy.
As spoken by the Lord of the Dead in King's Quest VI: "Truth is indeed a terrible thing."

If James chooses Pyramid Head he has a struggle before him, but it is for the better. The two eggs in the doorway are the ones also given by the two Pyramid Heads at the end of the game. They symbolize the duality of Maria/Mary, but eggs are also known to represent new life. Here James has a new life awaiting him.

He also has Mary's full letter, as shown lying on the fallen door. He will remember his crime, come to terms with it, and move on. This door represents either the In Water or Leave Endings (I personally support Leave).

There is an article on the website "Letter From Silent Heaven" that describes the two roles of Maria and Pyramid Head much better than I can.

~~~End Spoilers.~~~

If you want to get the full effect of this image, you might want to listen to the game's soundtrack. I recommend Theme of Laura, Promise, and Promise (Reprise). Any remixes of Promise (Reprise) work too.

I hope you enjoy what I put together here. Happy Anniversary, Silent Hill 2!
Add a Comment:
Datat-Sushi Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Student General Artist
Perfect Symbolism...
DofKeefe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012
I think you really captured the spirit of the game with this. Well done.
MeisterJay Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maria: I'm here because I'm meant to look like Jame's wife who he killed and I will be repeatialy killed to remind him of his sins what are you here for?
PyramidHead: I'm the guy that kills you
Maria: God damnit!
Invader-Shi Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012
I love this picture. Everything about it, I just love it. The symbolism you put into it, that's just brilliant!
kuropaw88 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
this is just too gorgeous :D
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!!
Dante6499 Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is one of the most amazing fanart of this game I've ever seen.
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, really? Thank you so much!!
Dante6499 Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Np ^_^
Avearia Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012
Very beautiful. i love it when people pick apart the symbolism of Silent Hill 2 (there are so many people who just don't GET the game, I'm shocked) It's true, the overlying message of the game seems to be guilt and redemtion, that you have to go through hell and face the darkness inside of you in order to move past it.

You captured that very neatly in your picture, well done!
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