The Silent Hill HD remake for consoles is one of the most famous muck-ups in gaming history. Konami rushed the project out the door, despite not telling consumers that they’d outsourced the up-rez’ing and — most upsetting of all — worked from incomplete files. Somehow, Konami misplaced the finished code for the original games, so it was left up to an understaffed team to replace art assets for two of the most beloved survival horror titles of all time; with a fandom that really, really notices when things aren’t done right. Mistakes like… forgetting to include fog in Silent Hill 2.
Our friends over at Rely on Horror have an interview they published today with an anonymous source about what went wrong in the HD remake. We also have some links to resources for HDifying the PC versions, if you want to do Silent Hill right.
The interview itself is a mix of fairly shocking lapses in judgment and fairly standard problems that arise from being over-budget and under-staffed and under-…. what’s the word for when you don’t have large chunks of the code that you needed?
The takeaway is that Hijinx Studios (who had only made a slew of licensed titles based on the TV show Glee) were suddenly thrust into rebuilding Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. They were missing art files and sound files and did their best to fill in the gaps as best they could. It’s basically the Mr. DNA sequence from Jurassic Park. Immediately after the game’s release, the studio went under.
It is worth it to read the entire interview here.
So why not just run the PC versions of the original Silent Hill titles? Well, they stopped receiving official support a decade ago, but luckily the modding community has come up with a few simple wrappers that keep these classics running beautifully on modern systems. If you’re firing up these games again, or going back to dive in for the first time, here’s some resources for doing it right.
You can download the mods from GitHub: Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3, Silent Hill 4. Be sure to keep up to date on any new mod advancements for these classics by bookmarking the NeoGaf thread dedicated to the topic as well.