Silent Hill 2 – Monsters
The Abstract Daddy appears as two figures lying on a bed, covered in a “blanket” of putrid skin, with the two forms apparently having intercourse. The two figures seem to be trapped in a rectangular board, with the “male” or upper figure’s arms and legs dangling out the bottom. It moves on all fours, and the lower portion of the beast has the appearance of a bed with four posts.
It is a slow moving opponent, but it can take a fair amount of damage before dying. It attacks simply by rearing up and slamming its huge body against its potential prey, or by hopping on top of James and apparently suffocating him by forcing his head into its “mouth”, which resembles a vaginal opening. If James is being grappled by them, repeatedly tapping the /A button and wiggling the analog stick will get them off faster and lessen his damage. Once the player inflicts enough damage upon the creature, it will fall and deflate, finally dead. Due to the cramped conditions of the room, it is wise to run from end to end diagonally and fire at it with the Shotgun once, then run to the other end. Melee is highly difficult and should be a last resort only.
The monsters in the Lakeview Hotel are different from the boss version. These move much faster, but are much easier to kill, taking only 1 shotgun blast to knock down. They also do not attack unless provoked.
The figures that compose the monster at first represent Angela Orosco’s sexual abuse by her father and her overwhelming guilt surrounding her murder of her father, as it looks like a man towering over a child on a bed. It is noted the figure beneath screams in torment, which is likely another representation of Angela’s abuse. Their “mouths” resemble a vaginal orifice, also symbolizing sexual abuse. Later, they make an appearance at the Lakeview Hotel, which may be an indication/foreshadowing to the player that Angela is alive and that she may be in the hotel somewhere (i.e. James finds her in the otherworld hotel’s staircase).
They wear provocative attire, exposing cleavage and sporting miniskirts. Their heads face downward, appearing swollen and bloodied and covered in gauze, convulsing violently as they wobble toward James Sunderland. Their only visible facial feature are their bloody, exposed jaws and teeth. The Nurses move in an awkward manner, their legs carrying them in a shaky and crooked fashion, making them out to be slow opponents, yet they are surprisingly fast on the attack. While the Nurses in the fog world take on a pale white tone, most of the Nurses in the Otherworld have an orange-brown tone of color. These darker Nurses lack the bloody mouths; instead having what looks like a transparent film over the nose and mouth. They also have thin black spines coming out of the head and parasites on their backs, similar to the Puppet Nurses in the first game.
They emit shrieks and gurgles when approaching. These monsters carry their own melee weapons, usually pipes similar to James’. They are fairly aggressive and will surround James if he encounters more than one in an area. However, if they come in close contact with one another and decide to attack, chances are they’ll knock out one of their own close by.
The Nurses are manifested by the mind of James, combining his anxieties surrounding his wife’s terminal illness and the sexual deprivation that came with it, hence the risqué clothing worn by the monsters.
The Nurses’ lack of facial features could represent James’ unsure feelings about Maria, as they are encountered shortly after he meets her; it could also be linked to Mary’s illness.
The Flesh Lips is a monster from Silent Hill 2 that appears as a bloated, malformed mass of meat and flesh with human-like limbs jutting out from its top and bottom, suspended in a rusty metal frame. A pair of big, smacking lips appears on the bottom of the creature, and it attacks by strangling the player with its legs. James Sunderland encounters these monsters when Laura tricks him, locking him inside a room in Brookhaven Hospital.
A strategy is to blast them with the shotgun before they get too close. If James has no bullets, the steel pipe also works. If they are allowed to swing by James, they will grab and strangle him with their feet. Each hanger will die after about 2-3 shots each, depending on what difficulty level is being played on. After the two Flesh Lips are defeated, a third one will appear from the ceiling.
After defeating the 3 Flesh Lips, James will be transported into the Otherworld hospital.
Also called “Lustful Lips” in production documents (indicating vaginal imagery), they are smaller versions of the “Mary” monster, with the lattice representing a bed and the monsters themselves representing Mary Shepherd-Sunderland and James’ mixed emotions toward her during her time of illness. Masahiro Ito stated that the lips are symbolic of Mary’s, which would mouth cruel words towards James during her last days.
Lying Figures are skulking, humanoid creatures appearing in Silent Hill 2. The creature had been nicknamed Straightjacket and Patient Demon prior to the release of The Book of Lost Memories, which confirmed the official name.
The Lying Figure should not be confused with the Straight-Jacket in Silent Hill: Origins which shares many similarities, as the latter has some significant changes.
Trapped in what appears to be straitjackets made from their own flesh, they attack by spewing a spray of poisonous mist from an opening in their face. They are slow while standing upright; however, when knocked down, they can easily hit James Sunderland by skittering very quickly along the ground, easily outrunning the player. When moving along the ground they make a high-pitched noise that sounds like the scraping of metal against cement. They also appear to have platform shoes hidden underneath their flesh.
The Lying Figure is the first monster James encounters, after following trails of blood through town. He confronts it in a closed tunnel after retrieving the radio, where it is seen feeding on a corpse, and kills it with a wooden plank.
The Lying Figure symbolizes a hospital and/or mental patient squirming in agony, thus it is a manifestation of James Sunderland’s internal suffering. The creature’s curvy body and feet reminiscent of high heels may resemble Mary Shepherd-Sunderland in agony. It also shares Mary’s gray, mottled skin during the last days of her illness. Its main means of attack is spitting an acid-like liquid at James Sunderland; this is suggestive of vomiting, alluding further to the theme of illness. The way it sprays acid from its chest is suggestive of how Mary spat hateful words at James during her illness. The fact that the acid comes from the chest is also symbolic. The cavity is closest to the lungs, where Mary’s disease ran rampant, and closest to the heart-the people you love the most are also the ones that can hurt you the most. As the creature appears to have its arms restricted, it can be assumed that it represents James’ frustration from being unable to touch or hold Mary during her illness. The way that it skitters along the ground and screeches like grating metal also likens it to a pest. This could point to Mary being burdensome and disgusting to James.
The prevalent theme of sexual frustration ties in, as this beast is practically unclothed, writhing, and spews a spray from its chest, mirroring male ejaculation. In extension, the Lying Figure could also represent James’ disgust with his own growing sexual yearning in the face of Mary’s illness, and the figure symbolises this by having both of its hands thrust down its underwear (easily noticeable in the creature’s concept art).
They hang from the mesh grating floors, commonly found in the Otherworld, by the tips of their arms. They reach out to attack with tentacles that sprout from the lip-like openings in their arms. They are trapped below the floor and James Sunderland never encounters one above the floor he’s currently standing on. They appear to be distorted, female figures with grotesquely large arms, and a straight-jacket-like garment covering their upper body. Their legs dangle uselessly below them.
They are uncommon and not very dangerous. The only method in which to kill one is to use firearms, as James cannot reach them with any melee weapon. The best tactic to deal with them is to not waste much-needed ammo and to instead run past them. They are very easily avoided so long as the player doesn’t stand still above them for too long.
The Mandarins symbolize feelings of overwhelming, incomprehensible anguish and helplessness. They are doomed to hang onto the metal grating for eternity, and should they fall, they will disappear into the unknowable blackness below, much like how James’ psyche is hanging from the proverbial thread, and should he lose his remaining sanity and the will to live, he too will fall into the darkness (i.e. death) and never return. The fact that they are underground and only appear in places that are dark point to repressed emotions, more notably guilt. This is because, as the memory of Mary’s murder was suppressed, so was his guilt. The black tentacles that jut from their lips should James walk over them are really the pangs of his conscience, calling him to remember his crime.
Another possible explanation is that they represent perversion: men who stalk women, always underfoot and always peering under their dresses. Like most of the monsters in Silent Hill 2, the Mandarins also share the theme of sexual frustration, as their form is inherently female. They could also point to James desperately missing Mary. Their tube-shaped heads are similar to retractable lipstick cases, and their lips could represent how James misses Mary’s kisses. Their lips also emulate vaginal imagery, which touches more on his sexual frustration.
These monsters consist of a feminine human torso, clad in what looks like a leotard made from putrid skin, and legs, upon which rest two more legs standing upright, though they noticeably lack feet. The top pair of legs are used for striking while the bottom pair are used for walking. When on the attack, they rub their upper legs together like an insect’s mandibles.
The creatures stand completely still at plain sight, like statues, and react strongly to the flashlight, springing to life and attacking when the light strikes them from a relatively short distance. This is in contrast to most other creatures, which react to light even when they are far from the light’s source. A Mannequin will also come to life when James Sunderland steps within a radius of three to five feet around it, even with the flashlight off. Although they are not overly strong creatures, they may be hard to detect in dark environments due to their immobility, which can trick the player’s vision by making them blend in with the environment. Mannequins also have the advantage of stealth, as the radio will not emit static to warn the player of their presence until they start moving. They are commonly found in the apartment buildings and the hotel.
The Mannequin is a manifestation of James’ natural urges and inclinations, as frustrated by his wife’s ailment. Accordingly, Pyramid Head’s introductory cutscene has him sexually abusing two Mannequins. The Mannequin may also be an image of innocence and helplessness being misused or otherwise destroyed by an oppressive, masculine force—a symbol that is later touched on in Toluca Prison, where James finds the Tablet of the Oppressor.
Mary is the final boss of Silent Hill 2.
James Sunderland fights her after climbing a length of scaffolding in the Otherworld Lakeview Hotel. She appears as a version of Mary’s corpse; splayed in a metal frame, in this respect similar to another creature, Flesh Lips. Her arms and legs end in a series of short tentacles rather than hands or feet, and she is suspended in the metal frame, screaming and upside-down.
James encounters either Mary or Maria in the game’s final scenes, depending on the player’s actions throughout the game. If Maria, he rejects her and if Mary, she blames him for her death, she is angered by James and transforms into this creature, who proceeds to attack James, initiating the final boss fight.
Mary attacks by spewing forth a swarm of moths from her mouth in order to injure and delay James, as the insects are flesh-eaters. She can also hit James with the frame she rests in, or use her tentacle to strangle him, provided that he is within range. She takes quite a bit of damage before falling, so saving up ammunition for the encounter would be recommended, though it is not necessary; she eventually falls herself. It is very difficult to attack her with a melee weapon, because of the metal frame and tentacles. After she falls to the ground, one last blow to the now-helpless monster ends the fight, the helpless being saying James’ name before he kills it.
Mary’s form represents James’ conflicted emotions towards her during her final days. The metal lattice symbolizes Mary’s sense of confinement in being bedridden due to her illness. The moths are used to symbolize death as they do in Japan. Comparatively, Maria has a tattoo shaped like a butterfly which represents rebirth in Japan. Ironically, Mary can also use the tentacle to strangle James, similar to his asphyxiation of her.
Pyramid Head, also known as the Red Pyramid Thing, is the name James Sunderland uses in reference to a monster who is arguably the main antagonist of Silent Hill 2. In Silent Hill: Homecoming, a monster known as the Bogeyman is implied to be Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2, which furthers the theory that Pyramid Head is more than just a mere monster, being that he has multiple incarnations and is frequently associated with feelings of extreme guilt. He is in both of the Silent Hill films, and appears in other various Silent Hill media. Pyramid Head is one of the most well-known and iconic monsters in the series.
He is usually portrayed as, at his most basic, a violent monster. A deeper meaning given to him, however, explains his existence as that of punisher or executioner. He’s typically attracted to those who feel an extreme amount of guilt or have an overwhelming desire for punishment. His acts of violence are not aimed solely at humans, as he has also brought harm to the other creatures that inhabit Silent Hill, hinting at a neutrality or even no relationship at all to the town or the Order’s God, making him an individual being.
Masahiro Ito, the monster designer of Silent Hill 2, was looking for a monster with a hidden face to make it less human and more disturbing. His first idea was a monster with a mask, but he realized that it was nothing more than a human wearing a mask. He then took the concept further, giving the monster a head in the shape of a triangle with sharp right angles and acute edges that suggest the possibility of pain.
Pyramid Head’s appearance is that of a large, well-built human male. He wears a helmet, which is always hiding his face completely, and typically is seen wielding a Great Knife or a spear. He never speaks, but muffled noises can be heard from beneath his helmet on two occasions. He is very strong and can lift James off the ground with one hand. In hi Silent Hill 2’s first appearance, he dons a white robe-like outfit with no sleeves, and what appears to be rubber gloves with fused fingers. His iconic pyramid-shaped helmet appears to be a rusty hunk of metal grafted onto his head, with a single hole drilled into it. A tentacle or tongue-like appendage can snake out of this hole and impale a creature he has grappled.
Silent Hill 2 Appearence
Pyramid Head makes his first appearance in Silent Hill 2, in the Wood Side Apartments, standing behind a wall of bars, which separates him from James Sunderland, and bearing a red aura. He does not move or react to James in any way, but his presence does cause the radio to emit static. Pyramid Head is encountered again in Room 307, engaged in an aggressive act with two Mannequin monsters. Due to their positions, combined with how Pyramid Head is holding one of the monsters, this scene suggests a form of sexual violence, although no physical penetration is actually seen. Soon after, Pyramid Head releases his grip on the monster, and both Mannequins appear to die in turn. Pyramid Head can then be seen dragging one of the Mannequins towards James’ position, who is currently hiding in a closet. Pyramid Head stops briefly, only for the Mannequin to thrash with life, shortly before ‘dying’ again. As Pyramid Head loses interest in the Mannequin he can be seen clutching an edge of his helmet while he ‘senses’ the area with his other hand; it is unknown whether this is Pyramid Head clutching his helmet in pain, or is actually using his hand to scan the area. Either way, James, who feels his life is in danger, finds ammunition on a nearby shelf and begins firing his pistol at Pyramid Head. Pyramid Head cries out, and can then be seen heading for the exit. James later identifies it as “that red pyramid thing” when meeting Eddie Dombrowski.
Later on, in the stairwell of the Blue Creek Apartments, he is carrying his signature weapon, the Great Knife, an over-sized blade not unrelated in design to Angela Orosco’s knife (despite obvious size differences). During this encounter, Pyramid Head is seen holding a Lying Figure in a sexually suggestive, contorted position, while moans are heard. Once Pyramid Head sees James he releases the Lying Figure, which dies on the spot, and immediately attacks James. The fight is cut short when the siren blares, prompting Pyramid Head to walk away.
Pyramid Head makes his next appearance on the roof of Brookhaven Hospital, in which he seemingly appears from nowhere and pushes James through a weak fence. The next time he is seen, he has abandoned his knife in favor of a spear. He chases Maria and James through a fabricated underground corridor beneath the hospital, although his attacks are focused solely on Maria. James reaches an elevator at the end of the hallway unscathed, but its doors close on Maria, who is impaled and apparently killed by Pyramid Head’s spear.
A painting of Pyramid Head, with a spear in hand and caged victims in the foreground, can be observed within the Silent Hill Historical Society before entering Toluca Prison. It is titled “Misty day, remains of the Judgment”. Upon examining it, James mutters “It’s him…”. Pyramid Head can be found patrolling two areas of the Labyrinth, somewhere beneath the prison. Although he will attack James, he does not pursue him. James can steal the Great Knife, which is stashed in a small room within the Labyrinth.
Pyramid Head makes his final appearance in the Lakeview Hotel, along with a second Pyramid Head. They kill a resurrected Maria for the third and last time before coming down to James’ level and initiating combat. Like the fight in the apartment stairwell, this fight ends after a period of time. After the elapsed time, the Pyramid Heads impale themselves with their own spears, as they are no longer needed. Both of them hold an egg which James needs to continue.
Pyramid Head also allows James access to previously unreachable areas in two occasions: when he drains the water in the apartment stairwell, and when he pushes James off the roof at Brookhaven and into the Special Treatment Area. This has led to the belief that Pyramid Head’s goal is to lead him toward accepting the truth. As the other characters in Silent Hill 2 show a pronounced dualism in their behavior, so too does James, who wants to both suppress the memory of his crime and to face up to it.
Symbolism – Silent Hill 2
Pyramid Head is a manifestation of James’ unfulfilled desire for punishment for the death of Mary Shepherd-Sunderland. Pyramid Head could also represent the darker part of James’ soul. He shows this by committing brutal acts that James has done or has thought about doing, such as murder, and his constant twitching could symbolize his needs, emotions, and fears.
The Valtiel Sect, who revered the angel Valtiel as being closest to god, wore red hoods and white robes in homage to him and acted as executioners. Pyramid Head’s physical appearance was influenced by this incarnation of Valtiel. The Book of Lost Memories notes many physical similarities between Pyramid Head and members of the Valtiel Sect, such as their executioner garbs and gloves.
The reason why Pyramid Head murders Maria is to remind James that he killed Mary; James is in denial and Maria is a distraction to keep James away from Mary. When James finally accepts what he’s done, after Maria is killed the third time, the Pyramid Heads attack him and eventually impale themselves on their own spears because they have finally fulfilled their purpose.
Some fans have argued that second Pyramid Head, appearing late in the game is James’ manifested guilt for the death of Eddie Dombrowski. Other fans have argued that two Pyramid Heads can be found in the Labyrinth instead of one, suggesting that the second Pyramid Head may not be related to Eddie’s death at all. Masahiro Ito stated on his Twitter page that the second Pyramid Head actually represents Maria.