RPG Inspiration – Silent Hill

The third instalment of my RPG inspiration series.

This time, I will be discussing a Wii Game, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I have to be honest, I have yet to finish the game, so I might add more to the article when I do so, but I have come up with a couple of things while playing it.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Silent Hill Shattered Memories

This game was released in 2009 by Konami, as a remake of the original Silent Hill. It was released on the Wii, PS2 and PSP. I have only played the Wii version (and have yet to get around to finishing it)

Psychology Warning

Silent Hill Psychology Warning

When you start the game, you see a psychology warning, stating that “this game plays you as much as you play it”. This very warning seeks to get you wondering about what in particular the game is monitoring.

As a GM, you could do the same thing, perhaps by warning that players that you will be using what you know and learn about them in the game to tailor the game. If done right, this could be very effective, as the players will think that you are using the things they show you (regardless of whether you actually are)

Of course, trying to do this can also backfire horribly, as your players don’t take your warning seriously, or decide that they really do not like to play that way.

Setting the Tone at Character Creation

The start of the game is like most video games, in that you have to set up your profile, and pick a save name. The fact is that this takes place against the background of a family video, and the menus are done like the menu on an old handheld camera. This serves to reinforce the theme of family and memories throughout the game.

In an RPG, it is a good idea to try to set the feel from character creation. This could be done in several ways, the most obvious one being the design of the character sheet. But also, things such as lighting in the room, and the GMs speech can be used.

Psychological Evaluation

Silent Hill Shattered Memories Therapy Form

At the start of the game itself, you are in a therapist’s office, and he hands you a form to fill in.

So, I had the thought that you could use a psychological evaluation form as the basis of a character sheet. This could be something that actually exists within the setting as well, or it could be purely for the players benefit.

If the characters are in an army unit of some sort, perhaps this is the evaluation form by their officer, including notes on their skills and personality. This could work well with FATE, since the skills are graded with adjectives, and the Aspect could be notes added by the superior officer, such as “disrespects authority” or “too friendly with the locals.”

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