The hardest puzzles in Silent Hill games
Despite his age, the silent Hill The franchise remains both a visceral and unforgettable take on the survival horror genre. At its base, the silent Hill The series traps the protagonists in the desolate city of the same name, where beneath its famous fog lurks a disturbing story involving cults, various horrors, and a nightmare seemingly of the protagonist’s own design.
Speaking of design, surviving the silent Hill the experience does not require players to fight their way through ghouls and other monsters. Instead, players must rely on their wits and quick thinking to solve puzzles and move between areas. In fact, some silent Hill the games have become quite infamous for their inclusion of ridiculously difficult puzzles.
ten Handful of Fortune (Silent Hill 2)
When James Sutherland comes across the Toluca prison in Silent Hill 2, it must find its way back to the surface. To do this, he is told that he must find three items to form a handle – a lighter, a wax doll, and a horseshoe. While the Wax Doll and Lighter are easy to find, it’s the Horseshoe that is the most complex item as James must first find three tablets to access his immediate area.
However, there is no immediate way to know exactly how exactly these three elements can form a handle. It’s only when players burn a certain object and stick it into something that the handle forms and “solves” the puzzle. It’s quite an interesting challenge, as it strays from the series‘ usual logic puzzles.
9 Colored plates (Silent Hill)
During Harry Mason’s exploration of the Otherworld Alchemilla Hospital in silent Hill, he finds a door with eight cells, intended for the colored plates. He sees four plaques already inserted on the door, which means he must now search the rest of the hospital for the other four rooms. To unlock the door, he must insert the rest of the colored plates into the slots in the correct order.
Fortunately, there is a poem that gives a clue to the order of the plates. When analyzed, the lines of the poem each represent a color, which should be fairly easy to understand. However, hypervigilant players might stare at the poem so much that they might look for another clue as to the order of the plates when it’s literally already in the poem.
8 Burnt doll puzzle (Silent Hill 4)
Before Henry Townsend could venture into the other worlds of Water Sullivan in Silent Hill 4, he and his neighbor Eileen Galvin must solve a riddle concerning a burned-out torso mannequin sitting on a wheelchair. This is found among the remains of the burnt-out Wish House orphanage, alongside a memo that orders Henry, as a “receiver of wisdom”, to retrieve his body parts.
In order to find each body part, Henry must travel to the five wells scattered throughout Forest World. Unfortunately, the shafts are dark, which means the limbs are recognizable. And while Henry can carry a torch, players don’t immediately know that oil from the laundry room can make it last longer. What makes this puzzle frustrating isn’t the clue itself, but rather the difficulty of finding the dummy’s body parts in the dark.
seven Louise Box Puzzle (Silent Hill 2)
When James Sutherland finds himself in ward S14 at Brookhaven Hospital in Silent Hill 2, he will see a chest attached to a bed. Additionally, the box appears to be heavily secured, possessing four different locks that James must solve to fully open the box. It seemed to belong to an endearing person named Louise.
To open each lock, James needs two physical keys and two codes. The keys themselves can be found in different sections of hospitals. One of the codes is on a typewriter, while the other is only accessible from the roof of the hospital. It doesn’t help that there are rumors that the final code is hard to discern on higher difficulties. What’s perhaps frustrating about the puzzle isn’t its difficulty, but the sheer effort of opening up all those locks for a lock of hair. Yes, the hair.
While James Sutherland explores Blue Creek Apartments in Silent Hill 2, he sees a locked room 209 with a note where the house key is hidden. This leads James to room 105, where a drawer has a lock that can only be opened by inserting three coins into three of its five dashes. As with any puzzle, the clue to which the piece goes where in a puzzle. However, things may require a bit of tactical prowess to resolve.
On all difficulties, the Coin Puzzle is relatively easy to solve. After all, medium and hard difficulties only add more stanzas to the hint that hint at more movement between rooms. However, it’s in the extra difficulty that things go awry, as the puzzle will now have the pieces with new symbols on their other faces. This element, alongside an extended puzzle, affects the overall placement of pieces, with new faces being given new stanzas.
5 Brookhaven Locked Door (Silent Hill 3, Hard)
In a world where access codes are listed as poems instead of actual numbers, Heather Mason must solve another one of those riddles at Brookhaven Hospital in silent hill 3. The keypad numbered 1-9 unlocks the door to the second floor patient wing. Luckily, the easy and normal difficulties have a memo on the board and a journal on the stretcher to give hints regarding the number sequence. On easy difficulty, the clue relates to the direction of each tap, while normal difficulty provides a logic puzzle.
It’s the hard difficulty that makes it terribly difficult, as the clue is a rather gruesome poem that depicts graphic violence. It also doesn’t help that there is no mention of numbers. The only way to solve this version of the puzzle is to imagine a face resting on the keyboard as a grid, with body parts of the face representing a number.
4 The flame purifies everything (Silent Hill 3)
Heather Mason’s attempts to make sense of the world around her in silent hill 3 brings him to the Otherworldly Fine Art Gallery within the Hilltop Center. To continue the game, Heather must somehow burn a specific painting, called “The Flame Purifies All” which resembles a girl at the stake surrounded by onlookers. However, with only a bucket in hand, it seems Heather is out of luck finding ways to burn it.
On easy and medium difficulty, Heather can consult a nearby middle school chemistry book to solve the puzzle. However, said book is missing on hard difficulty. Regardless of the setting, this particular puzzle has become a real annoyance for players, especially those who simply overlooked the Combine feature in the tutorial. Without anticipating that they have to use this mechanic, players can spend hours looking for a lighter that doesn’t exist or a matchbox that doesn’t work as expected.
3 Zodiac Puzzle (Silent Hill)
When Harry Mason first enters the main hallway of Nowhere, he ends up in a set of locked double doors. To access this area, and the final level, from silent Hill, he must first locate the Key of Hagith. The Key itself is inside a locked Grandfather Clock, which he must break with the Time Stone. And to access the Time Stone, he must first get it from the top of a pillar in Nowhere’s Ophiel.
The pillar puzzle is simplistic, as it involves the 12 main astrological signs. There are symbols for each sun sign and a blank section to enter a number. However, the puzzle has drawn ire from readers for its misleading nature. The solutions – the numbers – have nothing to do with the order of the Sun Signs.
2 The piano puzzle (Silent Hill)
Before Harry Masok could get into Otherworld Midwich Primary School in the first silent Hill game, he must enter a clock tower, conveniently locked without two medallions. Upon obtaining the gold medal, Harry Masok will see a piano open a bloody keyboard. It’s already implied that Harry has to play the piano a certain way to access the silver locket, but the only clue he has is a poem on the class blackboard titled “A Tale of Birds Without a Voice”.
Without first observing the piano, players can get stuck just trying to hit random notes and gauge if the piano is referring to a song. However, what is even more frustrating for players is the fact that unlike other musical puzzles, the key to the piano puzzle is not based on sound.
1 Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle (Silent Hill 3, Hard)
Of all the most infamous silent Hill puzzles, maybe silent hill 3 had the most notoriously difficult – found at the start of the game. Protagonist Heather first encounters this puzzle when she enters the “My Best Sellers” bookstore inside the Central Square mall. To enter through the door behind the counter, Heather must place a four-digit code on the keypad, with clues pointing to Shakespeare’s books strewn on the floor.
Solving the puzzle on Easy and Medium is easy, as the clues on the keyboard memo were simple. It’s on Hard that things go wrong, because the memo now gives a poem in eight stanzas. When observed, each stanza is taken from one of five anthology books on the floor, all Shakespearean tragedies. What makes this puzzle notorious for fans is that players would need knowledge of Shakespeare to remember which books are referenced by the puzzle – a far cry from the game’s usual logic-based puzzle formula.
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