How to HDify Silent Hill the wrong/right ways

sh32016-08-1719-28-486wuzg

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.

12 Comments

  1. Halk says:

    Umm… is the embedded video supposed to tell us that we can have a messed up version of the game on PC too?

  2. drkeiscool says:

    I didn’t watch the video, but from what I’ve researched, the PC version with mods is a close second to the PS2 version. For most people, it’s probably the most reasonably accessible at this point, unfortunately.

    • Ratio44 says:

      The PC version of SH2 is being improved significantly. The only thing the PS2 version does better now is soft shadows.

  3. MightyCake says:

    You might want to change the links to Silent Hill 2 fixes.

    sh2proxy is no longer under active development, I recommend you use ThirteenAG and Aero_’s Widescreen Fixes Pack instead (which includes the fixes from sh2proxy along with some others) as it’s more actively supported: link to thirteenag.github.io

  4. Ratio44 says:

    It’s important to share this link as it guides you on all the proper steps to bring SH2 PC to HD standards:

    link to widescreenfix.townofsilenthill.com

  5. Lukyz says:

    IMHO best way to play SH2 these days is original PS2 version using PCSX2 emulator on PC – best of the two worlds.

    • Angstsmurf says:

      I dunno. Have you tried the patched-up Windows version?

      • Lukyz says:

        Of course I tried but shadows and fog isn’t still like in a PS2 version. In PCSX2 you can fire up texture filtering, resolution up to 8k if you machine can handle it + I know its a cheat but there is a quick save/load option.

        • Angstsmurf says:

          You’re probably right. I guess it is because I played the Windows port first, but to me they seemed pretty equivalent apart from the PCSX2 stuttering sometimes.

  6. weloveme says:

    If you want to play Silent Hill at its finest then I suggest PCSX2 emulator. Runs fine though you will need a tough(ish) system. SH2 was tailored specifically for PS2 hardware where as port-overs failed like the PC & Xbox release. The HD Collection absolutely ruined SH2 & 3.

    Soo yeah PS2 emulator and check on the wiki to make the right adjustments to make it run at its best.

    • dethtoll says:

      This is pretty much the correct answer, short of owning the game and a PS2 like I do. (Sadly it looks like ass filtered through butt on modern HD TVs, but still.)

  7. hijuisuis says:

    I’m playing silent hill 1 on a PSTV at the moment. For anyone who hasn’t played it, it’s a digital PSN download or easy emulation.

    It’s absolutely fantastic, creepy as hell, and I can highly recommend playing it. The controller rumble ads to the atmosphere so playing natively is better I think.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>