This article contains spoilers for Silent Hill 2, including some of the game’s endings.
In my restless dreams I see that stupid, selfish parking pig James Sunderland. That’s not quite how Silent Hill 2 goes, but I can’t stop thinking about protagonist James’ awful, awful parking.
As with many things, this disturbing revelation started with Twitter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played konami and team is silent‘s famous survival horror, but I’d guess it was double digits. In all that time, I never gave a second thought to how James exited his car as he rode across a space clearly intended for a larger vehicle.
But thanks this tweetArguing that the recently announced remake “fixed James’ awful parking in the beginning”, I absolutely can’t get over it and it’s sent me down a mental rabbit hole that’s every bit as grim as the foggy streets of Silent Hill.
Granted, bad parking is something that really pisses me off. As Alice Cooper sang, “It’s just the little things that drive me crazy,” and my instinct when I see a car parked over the markings is to park close enough that they can get through the Have to squeeze passenger door in.
Is that ridiculously petty? Yes. Does it leave me with a warm, fuzzy glow? Also yes. So when that revelation came to mind, I began to see James in a different light. My hatred started small, but the more I thought about his disrespect for others, the more it grew and grew.
Forget any pillow related transgressions he may have committed, bad parking was the actual offence. Perhaps the real reason Pyramid Head was chasing James was because he wanted him to move his car. He just couldn’t balance his Traffic Warden cap on his pointy head.
With this new knowledge and a lot of resentment, I decided to play Silent Hill 2 again just to make sure I wasn’t getting overly excited. It didn’t help. I’d forgotten that James had left his car door open, so I had something else to think about as I left the lookout rest area and headed down the forest trail.
Normally I would wonder if this would be the point where something would jump out of the woods at me despite playing the game to death. Instead, I internally grumbled at James’ recklessness. Yes, James was reportedly grieving – but I was still baffled by the train of thought that would lead to this type of parking accident.
“Wait a minute…” you might be thinking… “Isn’t Silent Hill completely deserted?” You might think so, but what is known is that Silent Hill is still very much inhabited. Foggy Silent Hill and Otherworld Silent Hill are the stuff of nightmares, but there’s also a regular, populated Silent Hill.
And since the Maria ending of Silent Hill 2 shows James’ car in a fog-free Silent Hill, there’s at least one scenario where it exists in the normal world. Perhaps a family of four pulled over, longing for a break, only to find there was no space for their RV. Forget the Silent Hill 2 episode Born From a Wish, how about an addon where I can wander into town, find a garbage truck and park right behind his car? Take this, you guilt-ridden moron.
At least that’s how I saw James’ selfishness and/or lack of parking skills. Either he was so inept that he couldn’t park in the regular lots, or he chose to actively be an ass. I even imagined James crashing through someone’s boat at the end in the water before landing in Toluca Lake.
But then I remembered something. What if it wasn’t that I’m considering the situation, I just didn’t read nearly enough into it? Finally, Silent Hill 2 is full of small details. Some are designed to unsettle you, while others give clues as to what’s really going on with James.
Pick up the corpse you encounter in the Wood Side/Blue Creek Apartments. On the face of it they took their own lives, another lost or guilty soul summoned to Silent Hill. But the body covered in blood belongs to James. Then there’s the symbolism of the various monsters you encounter. Summoned, or at least shaped, by James’ subconscious, they reveal more about James than he cares to admit. What if his space hogging is just as meaningful?
The ending in the water is the generally accepted canon ending, which is certainly reminiscent of Silent Hill 4. So on some level he knew he wasn’t going to use his car much anymore. And if it hadn’t been there when he returned, he would have found another way to end his life.
So James’ careless parking can literally be that – he doesn’t care, and not just because he’s grieving for his wife, Mary. Though he doesn’t admit his guilt until much, much later in the game, he subconsciously feels like he deserves to be judged. He doesn’t plan on coming back, not really. Actually, I’m really thinking about it now, assuming he’s a total jerk is the less depressing option.
Whether I overestimate or underestimate James Sunderland’s crime against parking, it will at least bother me until the Silent Hill 2 remake comes out. As for the remake, despite what @Shanksspeare claims, there’s still a diagonal overhang that raises questions of its own. Is it just coincidence? Or has Bloober decided to emulate the original Silent Hill 2’s parking lot atrocities to a lesser extent? Anyway, I can already feel my eye twitching.
https://www.vg247.com/i-cant-unsee-silent-hill-2-wonky-parking Whether it’s the original or the remake, I can’t take my eyes off Silent Hill 2’s rickety parking