3 June 2013

Terror in the Depths of the Fog

I think I first encountered the Silent Hill series when I saw a trailer for Silent Hill 2 included with another game. (Maybe Metal Gear Solid 2?) This would have been sometime in the early years of the 21st century. I thought the trailer looked intriguing, but I wasn't sure about the gameplay. At that point I was still pretty new to action games, having for many years focussed mostly on RPGs. (Metal Gear Solid 2 was one of the first that showed me action games could also be truly awesome.)

Anyway, eventually I guess I ran into a cheap enough copy of Silent Hill 2 and decided to give it a chance (I don't remember exactly how this came about, since we are talking about, like, a decade ago). And it made a huge impression on me. Though the action may have been a little on the clumsy side, I really, really loved the atmosphere and aesthetics of the game.

And a huge part of the aesthetics was of course the sound of the game, created by Akira Yamaoka. It was like no game I'd heard before. Ambient, atmospheric noise, interspersed with melancholy melodies... It was both creepy and beautiful at the same time, in a weird and wonderful way.

As much as I love video game music, I've never really bought many soundtracks. Largely because, well, they're not exactly available on every corner. In recent years ordering stuff online has gotten much easier, but even so a lot of the soundtracks I'm most interested in are relatively rare and expensive... So I've had to settle for listening online. ('Cause naturally pretty much anything you can think of someone will have put online somewhere...)

But I finally decided the time was right to buy the soundtrack of Silent Hill 2. This, more than any Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid or any other game series I love, had become the soundtrack I most wanted to own and treasure. (Which is saying a lot.) I ordered it online, and at long last received it today. It cost a pretty penny, indeed (like, twice the price of a normal CD, at least). But I think it was worth it.

I'm listening to the soundtrack now, through headphones, as twilight falls on a quiet summer's evening. Because this, if anything, is music for night time. Despite the darkness and creepiness, I actually find it quite relaxing. Just sit back, at the end of the day, in a dark room, and enjoy...

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