It's been an emotional time for Silent Hill fans. This roller coaster of disappointments kicks off with developer Konami confirming Silent Hills is well and truly dead, though discussions are "underway" on new Silent Hill projects. Then we enter a corkscrew of P.T. delisting schigginagins. The playable teaser at first seemed destined for an early grave, only to defy all expectations and continue haunting the PS4... as long as you don't delete it from your harddrive. Because you're never getting it back. Ever.
Between the loss of Silent Hills and the now mythical status of P.T., there is definitely a pyramid-shaped hole in all our hearts. That's why I've compiled this list of the best Silent Hill fan-games developed by the community, as a way to help us all cope with our continued need to freak ourselves right-the-flip out. The next new Silent Hill game feels further away now than ever, but perhaps these entries will help the horror hit closer to home.
Silent Hill: Alchemilla (Half-Life 2)
By all accounts, Alchemilla General Hospital is a top-notch medical facility, provided you don't mind the bloody handwriting on the walls or the twisted faces of its caretakers. Running on Source SDK 2013, which you can find under tools in your Steam Library, Silent Hill: Alchemilla is a gruesome, adoring tribute to America's spookiest lakeside resort. According to the game's ModDB page, Alchemilla isn't a "remake of any game from the Silent Hill series, [but] a completely original story with its own secrets to solve."
True to its namesake, Alchemilla Hospital is the real star of the show. Within its decrepit labyrinth of hallways, players will encounter all the blood, rust, and uncomfortably sexy nurses they've come to expect from Silent Hill. The game is also played entirely in first-person, devoid of combat but with a heavy emphasis on puzzle solving, not unlike a certain playable teaser. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy before jumping into this one.
Silent Hill 1 (Left 4 Dead)
If you and three friends have a long weekend to kill, consider slumming it in scenic Silent Hill. This 11-map-mega-marathon transforms Left 4 Dead into a highlight reel of Silent Hill's best. And make no mistake, it's a beast to finish - especially if you want to see all four endings (including a UFO ending). Seeing the fog-choked streets of Silent Hill flooded with zombies doesn't exactly gel with the series' tone, but there are genuinely cool moments to be had such as seeing your first zombie horde charge out of the endless mist.
This mod comes by way of developer Leafo, who has also authored another Silent Hill collection for Left 4 Dead 2 titled Otherside of Life, which is more of an homage to Silent Hill. It draws visual inspiration from that sleepy town, but is very much its own adventure. Leafo is currently working on porting his original Silent Hill mod from Left 4 Dead to Left 4 Dead 2, promising "minor changes to more than the aesthetic part of the campaign."
Silent Hill (Fallout: New Vegas)
As if there wasn't already enough weird stuff happening in Fallout: New Vegas, someone had to throw Silent Hill into the mix. As the story goes - and there's a fair amount of story to be found here - the "great war" that devastated Fallout's world led to Silent Hill being "sealed away" underground. Naturally, the Enclave decided to do a little spelunking in this haunted town and suffered the consequences. And once you track the mysterious White Noise radio station to their dig site, you may end up meeting the same fate.
Fair warning: playing this mod takes patience. You get one quest early on stating "Enjoy your eternal stay in Silent Hill" and no quest markers. And because the quest starts with you being captured by the Enclave, all your fancy items and equipment get shelved for this outing. Hope you dropped some points in unarmed combat, because melee weapons are your lifeline in this ammo-scarce suburb, not unlike the real Silent Hill. Some extra ranks in sneaking will also save your life when you have to hide from a certain pyramid-headed horror.
A Letter from Silent Heaven (Minecraft)
A Letter from Silent Heaven finally answers the question: what would Silent Hill 2 be like if it took place on a sunny afternoon? The bright, colorful trappings inherent to Minecraft make this mod feel like more of a parody than a tribute. Instead of cautiously exploring fog-drenched alleyways and side streets, your avatar jauntily jogs down the road on a cloudless day. I'm shocked there aren't birds singing in the distance.
To be fair, there is a lot of creative effort on display in this mod. A Letter from Silent Heaven isn't just some Silent Hill-themed texture pack, it's a meticulous recreation of Silent Hill 2. There's no mining or crafting to speak of, just a dedicated survival adventure. "Countless hours of watching/recording in-game footage, navigating through level editors and texture viewers brought you this custom adventure map," notes author Vladimyr on the Minecraft forums. And it shows, right down to the look of the health drinks and the cries of the monsters. It's certainly a reconstruction unlike anything the series has seen before.
Too many to count (Little Big Planet series)
You wouldn't think the dark, violent world of Silent Hill would translate very well to Little Big Planet's cute, cuddly toy box, but leave it to the gaming community to make it happen. There are actually dozens upon dozens of fan-made Silent Hill-themed creations spanning the Little Big Planet series, far too many to parse through here. Some are nothing more than escape from a spooky hospital or run around in the fog, their only connection to Silent Hill a welcome sign or the iconic Halo of the Sun symbol.
Then there are ones that really go the extra mile, such as user MonkeyButler's stelar Silent Hill tribute for the original Little Big Planet. This 2D interpretation of the first Silent Hill is a sort of highlights reel from the game's opening hours, starting with your first visit to the other world through Midwich Elementary (and beyond). You can watch a very distressed Sackboy run through it here.
Soundless Mountain 2
Before making a name for himself with the 2D survival horror game Lone Survivor, developer Jasper Byrne created this NES-style remake of Silent Hill 2. Released as part of TIGSource's demakes competition in 2008, Soundless Mountain 2 is quite possibly the most adorable remake ever designed. The large heads and tiny bodies of its characters give the (limited) cast a sort of Charlie Brown-aesthetic, as if this were all just a really disturbing cartoon special.
As someone who enjoyed Lone Survivor, it's interesting to return to this game and spot the similarities. The 2D perspective, the look of the world, the way combat is handled: Soundless Mountain is just as much a trial run as it is a tribute. And unlike the other entries on this list, Soundless Mountain 2 isn't a mod for an existing game. It's a free standalone, which you can download from the developer's site. Too bad it was never finished, as the game abruptly ends once you reach the equivalent of Wood Side Apartments. A pixelated cutout of Pyramid Head in the credits teases what could have been.
Silent Hill: Defeated (Uno)
In keeping with the spirit of Silent Hill, I thought I'd end this feature with a weird one. It should come as no surprise that someone out there got the rights to produce Silent Hill-themed playing cards. By the looks of it, these are just your typical poker cards, but with spooky pictures of Silent Hill characters on them - specifically from 2008's Silent Hill: Homecoming. What is surprising is that a man named Don Riddle decided to create a fan-game using these cards called Silent Hill: Defeated that's sort of like a rust-colored, monster-filled version of Uno.
Looking over the rules, it actually doesn't sound half bad. Up to three players are dealt a hand of cards, with the black suits representing monsters and the red suits representing heroes (and their weapons). Players then take turns playing different combinations of cards on top of each other to defeat whatever the last person put down (again, sort of like Uno). The first player to run out of cards frees themselves from Silent Hill's clutches and escapes. Just make sure you don't shoot Cybil on the merry-go-round, otherwise you'll get the bad ending.
The silent connection
In my opinion, these are the Silent Hill fan-games that top the charts, though they are not the only fan-games out there. Amnesia Hill almost made the cut, though its haunted house-vibe and tenuous connections to the source material ultimately held it back. There are also about a million "atmosphere mods" for Resident Evil 4 if you really want to play that with 100% more fog. My question to you is: are there any goods ones out there I missed? Personally, I hope there are, and if you know one be sure to drop it in the comments below.