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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:
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

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.
[link]

~~~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:
 
:icondatat-sushi:
Datat-Sushi Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Student General Artist
Perfect Symbolism...
Reply
:icondofkeefe:
DofKeefe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012
I think you really captured the spirit of the game with this. Well done.
Reply
:iconmeisterjay:
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!
Reply
:iconinvader-shi:
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!
Reply
:iconkuropaw88:
kuropaw88 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
this is just too gorgeous :D
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!!
Reply
:icondante6499:
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.
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, really? Thank you so much!!
Reply
:icondante6499:
Dante6499 Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Np ^_^
Reply
:iconavearia:
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!
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad to find another fan who appreciates the symbolism! Thanks so much!
Reply
:icongosimmons:
Gosimmons Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011
Amazingly well done, love the thought you put into it.
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconrosenknight:
rosenknight Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
this is pretty incredible!! I love the textures a lot. The expressions of the characters (both in face and body, as it seems one of them can only express the latter) were really well done. I wish I knew enough about the original source that I could appreciate the symbolism, but it still seems really well-thought out. Nice work!!
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had a lot of fun with the textures. I'm glad you appreciate the symbolism here too!
Reply
:iconheavyrainisfalling:
HeavyRainIsFalling Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Student General Artist
Okay so for some reason it won't let me see the image so I have to keep clicking download in order to view it >.> But wow very nice work, I love the amount of symbolism you have used, and how much inspiration you have taken from that source. I knew the game was full of depth but I had no idea that it was that in depth, but you really captured that in this picture. Great work :)
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, that's strange. Thank you though, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Reply
:iconheavyrainisfalling:
HeavyRainIsFalling Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Student General Artist
You're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconpuistink:
Puistink Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Student General Artist
This piece is very beautiful and well thought out, but also very depressing.
A lot like the game!

There isn't much art that focuses on Maria being the enemy and Pyramid Head being the truth-bringer. I wish there was more; especially if they would be anything like this!
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed, the game is beautiful, sad, haunting, and it works together so well.

I haven't seen much of that idea drawn either. I'm glad you appreciate it :D
Reply
:iconfirefiriel:
FireFiriel Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Neat dual composition... the textures and perspective make it feel interestingly gritty and yet unreal. Also creepy, but not over-the-toply so. :nod:
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!!
Reply
:iconjais6artist:
JAIS6Artist Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011
This is so gorgeously done! I love how we, the watchers (readers?) would want to go through Maria's door but it is actually the last thing you should do! And the article is excellent! So glad you left the link:) And you've done a really good job at describing the symbolizm. I can tell you really thought it through.

Five gory stars! Keep it up!
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so very much! I'm glad I could convey that and explain it well enough :D
Reply
:iconjais6artist:
JAIS6Artist Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011
You're very welcome:) Do the world a favor and keep up the great work!
Reply
:iconmedli20:
medli20 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Great work! I love the characterization and the contrast in this picture. :D
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much!!
Reply
:iconstormsworder:
Stormsworder Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Student Writer
Woooow, you've had a lot of symbolism in this one piece. XD Then again, there is a lot of symbolism in Silent Hill 2. XD Absolutely terrific job with how this came out, Zera ^^ *thumbs-up*
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so very much!!
Reply
:iconheitha:
Heitha Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really like this one! O.o
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!!
Reply
:iconjohannesviii:
JohannesVIII Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just love the symbolism you used here. Nice tribute to this amazing game. I can't believe it's 10 years old already.
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's amazing that it's a decade already, isn't it?
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconmahira-chan:
Mahira-chan Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
Amazing! I don't know a whole great lot about this game, but your description revealed the symbolism, and...wow, I'm in awe :D This is really great, and a great tribute to the game itself!
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so so much! I think that is one of the reasons I love the SH series so much, the symbolism.
Reply
:iconmahira-chan:
Mahira-chan Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
You're welcome! I can totally understand that :nod:
Reply
:iconneminder:
Neminder Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
"The door is unlocked...."
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:paranoid:
Reply
:iconshaboopee91:
shaboopee91 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
these textures you used are immaculate
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much :)
Reply
:iconshaboopee91:
shaboopee91 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
You buying the HD remake?
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nope.
I don't have a PS3, besides.
Reply
:iconshaboopee91:
shaboopee91 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
Good. It seems like an abomination
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to find someone else who agrees about that.
Reply
:iconshaboopee91:
shaboopee91 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
I'm not knockin Mary Elizabeth McGlynn too bad on it, but you seriously can't replace the voice of James Sunderland. Listen to the fans' feedback and change it back to the orginial goddamn voice. Better do that to Eddie too, he sounded like a pedophile rather than a maniac
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mary McGlynn does have a nice voice, but she sounds a bit too older for Maria and Mary (since she's supposed to be 25).
James and Eddie don't sound right to me at all.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjust-a-user:
just-a-user Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
this is so awesome! Pyramid Head looks much better and more realistic than Maria. But overall it is very good quality.

Actually Maria and Pyramid Head does not exist according to the game plot. They are just illusions in his mind and nightmares because the guilt he feels for murdering his wife. Silent Hill town is real, it is a normal peaceful town they used to visit with Mary. But after killing her (because he cant stand to see his wife in pain), that town turned into an evil form to punish him, thats why it invites James with an imaginary letter from Mary. He foolishly thinks he can reverse the things back, but near the end of the game when he sees Maria gets killed again and again, he realizes that it is impossible to save her and accepts that his wife is dead and he deserves this punishment. When Maria turns into a monster as an end boss, he is now sure that everything was a dream.
Reply
:iconspidervenom123:
Spidervenom123 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
pyramid head's popularity maid him a recurring character and a mascot for the franchise 
Reply
:iconzerachielamora:
ZerachielAmora Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!

Pyramid Head and Maria are manifestations of James' subconscious mind for sure, but they are made physical because of the power of Silent Hill. If it was all a dream, there would be no way he could leave and spend time with Maria, who was created by the town from his mind. If it was a dream, he would then wake up and nothing would have changed.

Silent Hill takes our nightmares and makes them real - that is why it is so scary. Things that are nothing more than thoughts are physical. James can be physically hurt by the monsters he encounters in the town, after all.

He's called there not only to be punished, but to come to terms with Mary's death and the circumstances surrounding it.
Reply
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