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As reported by Destructoid, Masahiro Ito, the art director of Silent Hill 2 and 3 (as well as the background and monster designer for Silent Hill 1), has taken to Twitter to clarify that the first game’s setting is showered with falling snow, not ash like many fans believe. He also attached a definitive screenshot from the game as proof - the evidence has been there all along.
Take a look at the concept movie for the cancelled game Silent Hills below.
“The white dots in the sky in the game are not ash. ‘It's snowing out’,” Ito tweeted. “I get tired of saying that tbh.”
I get tired of saying that tbh.— 伊藤暢達/Masahiro Ito (@adsk4) July 20, 2022
Given that there’s a scene in the game which literally lays out the fact that it’s currently snowing, it begs the question of how this mixup could have even happened in the first place, but we can blame the 2006 movie adaptation for that. As Destructoid writes, it's thought that screenwriter Roger Avary took inspiration from a real town in Pennsylvania, called Centralia, which suffered from a fire in an underground coal vein. Therefore, in the movie, the fictitious town was also shown to be affected by ash and smoke from a coal seam fire.
“Many people still claim that the town of the SH1 (not the film but the original game) was inspired by Centralia and they boast the headcanon is the canon,” Ito tweeted. “They persistently question me as to the inspiration. This is the reason for this tweet. I just tweeted the truth.”
Many people still claim that the town of the SH1 (not the film but the original game) was inspired by Centralia and they boast the headcanon is the canon. They persistently question me as to the inspiration. This is the reason for this tweet. I just tweeted the truth. https://t.co/oP0NdrVPWw— 伊藤暢達/Masahiro Ito (@adsk4) July 21, 2022
This isn’t the first time that this has been clarified - in an interview with PlayStation Magazine from 1999, series creator Keiichiro Toyama was asked why a small US town was chosen as the game’s setting, and if there was a “real Silent Hill”, to which he answered: “If you like modern horror novels, it would be easy to understand, but it's the situation that you can't miss. In this game, the modern horror novel atmosphere was the hook, so we decided to choose a small U.S. town for the setting.
“Of course, Silent Hill really does not exist, and we have not allocated a certain place or time in the game. We deliberately did not use an actual place, since it might cause inconsistency with the real thing. However, with the name Silent Hill, we got a hint from a real place in Japan.”
There’s no arguing with that. So please, stop calling it ash. Even if only for Masahiro Ito’s sake.
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