Myk’s Monday Memory – Silent Hill (PSx)

Front Room
The Flat
Newcastle
Late 1999

Having played to death since launch the sequel to the original Resident Evil, the imaginatively titled Resident Evil 2, I was looking for another thrill and another excuse to ignore my girlfriend for extended periods of time (which turns out to be the way to make a relationship work… fifteen years later and we still ignore one another!). Having read a review about the new survival horror from Japan, Silent Hill, I decided that a quick trip to Blockbusters with £3 in my pocket (excluding bus fare of course, at that time in my life I was extremely lazy…. not like now where I can go roughly a hour before needing a cat nap) would help cure things.

“Have you read much about Silent Hill?”, asked the manager of the store. Thing is apart from the review, I had deliberately avoided any spoilers for the game even though there was part one of a game walk through in the same magazine. The less I knew about the game the better (says the person who bought the game guide to Resident Evil 2 at the same time as the game), as after all knowing what was round the corner would lessen the “horror”…

I explained this to the rather overzealous manager, and he only got the hint when I stuck my fingers in my ears and started humming, so once I had paid for the rental he decided to impart one final piece of advice…

“BEWARE THE LOCKER ROOM!”

Git! I didn’t want any spoilers! Still, what exactly could be so cautious about a locker room? Or even scary? Lines and lines of metal lockers are perfectly non-frightening… and it’s not as if there would be any corners to worry about… could there? That review did mention something about scares, was a biggie associated with the locker room? I wonder if I should check out the first part of the walkthrough when I get home just to be on the safe side…. but isn’t that going against everything you believe in? Well, yes it is but I would prefer not to have to change into clean underwear after playing a game…

And to think the rest of my journey home was filled with contradictions, conversations and strange looks from people wondering why I was arguing with myself… as if that was something new!

“BEWARE THE LOCKER ROOM!”

Where’d that come from? Oh bugger, this memory is starting to take a life of it’s own – which in a way makes me jealous as mine has seen better days. Perhaps I could part ex this life with that? Or am I just dribbling away like a hippo with a lobotomy?

Skipping up the stairs in the block of flats that I lived back then (which were demolished a few years ago and now a school resides there – just hope that when they demolished the flats the residents were still living in them) I suddenly realised that I would have to wait until all the soaps and other stroppyinesses were finished before I would be allowed to play the game…. my fault really for living with my soap addicted girlfriend.

“BEWARE THE LOCKER ROOM!”

Huh? Just because there was a pause before playing the game in the past doesn’t mean that this story needs additional “scary” quotes to keep things flowing, after all I’m not Stephen King and therefore am verbally capable of coming to the conclusion of the story without droning on about a totally irrelevant piece of scenery, which actually does look a little bit like Randall Flagg…

“BEWARE THE LOCKER ROOM!”

Okay… okay I get the hint!

Finally managed to boot the game up, but due to my rather forgetful nature (i.e. I don’t learn from experience especially when it comes to survival horror games) not only were the lights turned out but Susan had taken herself off to bed…. The atmosphere around the giant 21 inch telly could have been cut up and served with crackers, yet I still turned the sound up (in retrospect I believe that turning the sound up was my minds way of disguising the inevitable girlie scream that would find it’s way from my vocal chords).

Start was pressed…

Lovely intro….

Creepy town and for some reason I’m being lead down this alleyway, which we all know normally ends with the protagonist getting killed… oh!

“BEWARE THE LOCKER ROOM!”

That is actually me typing this time, just in case you were wondering (or not)…

Thing was those words echoed throughout my head during the initial game, and yet it wasn’t until I found the school that the hairs on my arms started trying to detach themselves. This was it!

I could go into everything about how unsettling it was just walking through the school with a flashlight, the imagery encountered and how it made me shiver – but no I’m sticking with the cat! For those of you that have not played the game then count this as if it had spoiler tags, otherwise I hold no responsibility for bad nights, nightmares or dodgy kebabs…

You see there was a locker room (the game is based around an American town so the schools had to have them in) which made a noisy when you first got into the room…

Rattle rattle rattle rattle bang!

Rattle rattle rattle rattle bang!

Rattle rattle... oh you get the picture, it was creepy. So to help keep our sanity (where applicable) I’ll gloss over the incident. Needless to say that aforementioned cat and creepy locker were in it together and that I did need a underwear change… only after climbing down from the ceiling and explaining to Susan that the girlie scream was in the game and NOT me (which I don’t think she bought).

Demon children, twisted bodies, giant worm type creatures and psychotic nurses – not a problem.
Cat in a locker – change of underwear and turning the volume down to zero!

“BEWARE THE KITCHEN CUPBOARD!”

Of course this little ditty doesn’t end there… oh no. You see when I moved in with Susan, I also moved in with her cats… foul horrible creatures (and they thought even less of me). It was also not too long before she got wind of my… well jumping out of my skin because of such a simple yet effective fright…

“What’s that banging? It’s coming from the kitchen cupboard… are you going to check it out?”

With hindsight, that should have warned me as to what to expect, after all Susan had taken great pleasure in ribbing me about my reaction to the game. So I went into the kitchen, opened the cupboard only to find….

NOTHING!

The cow! I’ll get her back (disclaimer – I have yet to get her back, and have about as much chance of doing so as a whale having carnal relations with a woodlouse)…
Still, why is it that the food cupboard door is moving a bit? Just a little bit, so it must be a draft. Probably best if I leave it alone, but I am getting a bit peckish so really I need to get into that cupboard…

MMMEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!

Uh oh… need to find some more underwear….

– Myk

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