Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a Silent Hill spin-off exclusively for the Sony PlayStation Vita, and developed by American game developer WayForward Technologies, the same studio responsible for creating Contra 4 and LIT. The primary focus of the gameplay is on dungeon-crawling and cooperative multiplayer action rather than psychological horror.
The player-character receives a strange book on their birthday from an unknown sender. Howard Blackwood, the mailman, assures the player that the book was meant for him/her before he departs. The main character opens the book and finds that all of his or her memories are written in it. Curious, the player decides to change some of his/her memories before falling asleep. When they awaken they find themself in an Otherworld-like dungeon. After traversing the dungeon they locate Howard Blackwood, who appears to be running a general storewithin the dungeon. There, Blackwood introduces the player to a substance known as “memory residue” and explains that, in order to change the player’s past, the substance must first be collected. After the player completes the dungeon, they awaken the next morning back in reality however, after falling asleep the following night, the player finds themself back in the dungeon. When they awaken on the third day, the player realizes that what they wrote in the book has become reality. With this newfound power, the protagonist continues to rewrite recent past events at their discretion while each night they encounter a new zone within a particular dungeon.
In-game clues and notes suggest that the Book of Memories was created by the Order with the purpose of bringing their God’s will to Earth via its writings. Also worthy of note, is an alchemic journal page, detailing three elements considered to be the base of all things. “Light: borne by the Heavens; Blood: borne by this world; and Steel: borne by mankind, and the most powerful”. The rest (Fire, Water, Earth and Wood) are considered lesser elements.
Depending on the player’s karma meter, the characters affected by the Book’s powers will meet different fates when the player-character changes the past.The dungeons and their respective characters are as follows:
Fire Dungeon (Derek Copeland) – Derek is one of the protagonist’s co-workers who has recently beat them out for a job promotion. After the player rewrites their past, Derek is subsequently suspected of stealing money from the company and receives paid leave, allowing for the player character to receive a promotion and fill his position.
Wood Dungeon (Katie Collins/Matthew Collins) – The player-character has a chance encounter with an old high school crush. The player rewrites their past so that their crush, Katie or Matthew (depending on the player-character’s sex), breaks off their current relationship with Trent or Ashley, and instead asks the player character to go out with them.
Light Dungeon (Graham Reynolds) – Graham Reynolds, a police officer and family friend of the protagonist, appears to have been sitting in his patrol car outside the player’s parents’ house while they’ve been house-sitting it with their sister. This makes the player nervous, so in order to throw Reynolds off their trail, the player rewrites the past. It is revealed via notes that Graham and his wife Lorelai Reynolds have had a shakey relationship recently, and he has been having an affair. The player’s intervention either results in Graham’s wife filing for a divorce and taking their kids with her, or the two reconciling after Graham solves a major case. In both scenarios, the player concludes that Reynolds won’t have enough time to worry about them or their Book.
Water Dungeon (Trent Baker/Ashley Baker) – Trent/Ashley (the spurned lover) begins harassing the player-character out of jealousy and desperation. The protagonist decides to take care of the problem by writing in their Book. At one point it is revealed that Trent/Ashley was in posession of their own Book prior to the protagonist receiving their Book of Memories, but it was stolen in a mugging. After defeating theWater Guardian, Trent/Ashley stops calling the protagonist either because they suffer an accident that renders them amnesic, or because they find a new love interest.
Earth Dungeon (Jack Merrick) – The protagonist is attacked by a man who claims to have his own Book of Memories. The man, Merrick, threatens the player-character, informing them that he knows where they live and work, and that he intends to take their Book. It appears that the man is a convicted felon who has been arrested by Officer Reynolds in the past for attempted murder, among other charges. It also appears that Merrick has used his Book to aid him in his various crimes and to evade the police. At the end of the dungeon, due to the player’s intervention, Merrick is either severely beaten by law enforcement to the point of permanent brain-damage, or he is arrested and his Book is placed in an evidence locker.
Blood Dungeon (Shannon) – The protagonist’s sister, Shannon, has been pulling away from the player-character as of late, which causes them to worry. Notes imply that Shannon has been suffering from depression for an extended period of time, and it is revealed that Shannon was the woman that Graham is/was having an affair with. Depending on the karma meter, Shannon either sends the player a goodbye letter before attempting suicide, or she sends them a letter thanking them for always being there for her, and letting them know that she is optimistic about her future.
Steel Dungeon (Main Character) – The player realizes that their actions in the nightmare-worlds have had a direct effect on the past. They also realize that the Guardians they have been fighting represent the characters’ own wills and desires, and that by defeating them, they have been asserting their own will over the others. Regretting their interference in the others’ lives, the protagonist decides they must find their own Guardian before someone else does, and in doing so, find a way to undo the damage they’ve caused. In their trek through the dungeon, the player-character finds the rewrites they’ve made to their Book: “I wish I’d gotten that promotion,” “I wish Katie/Matthew and I were dating,” “Officer Reynolds needs a distraction to keep him off my trail,” “Trent/Ashley should just forget about Katie/Matthew,” “Whoever that guy is, he can’t EVER use his Book.”
Pure Light ending: “I use the Book to help others.”
Light ending: “I’ll make sure the Book never falls into the wrong hands.”
Neutral ending: “I have to make everything perfect.”
Blood ending: “I’m going to destroy this thing.”
Pure Blood ending: “I have the only Book.”
Joke ending: The joke ending is illustrated in a comic book-style format. A group of tourists, Matt (rocker male), Derek (bookworm male), Trevor (jock male), Kayce (rocker female), Katie (preppy female), and Becca (bookworm female) decide to meet up and spend their spring break vacation in Silent Hill. In the meantime they bump into characters from previous installments, such as Harry Mason, who asks them if they have seen a girl (his daughter). Heather Mason appears to be managing the Jack’s Inn where the characters stay, and mutters a sarcastic “tourists” under her breath while they check into their room. While in the motel, the creepy bellhop, Walter Sullivan, asks them if they are interested in room service. The women decide to head to Toluca Lake, on the way running into James Sunderland and Mary Shepherd-Sunderland. At the lake, Alex Shepherd appears to be supervising his brother, Joshua, while he swims. There, Katie asks Kayce about her recent nightmares. The men decide to explore the town, when they spot Lisa Garland passing by, and Matt, who is dating Katie, comments on her cardigan. Cybil Bennett arrests Trevor for checking her out, and he meets Murphy Pendleton in the back of the squad car.Travis Grady appears on the side of the street with a sign, asking for gas money, as the car drives away.