Silent Hill 2: Strangers in the Night
Certain reports of the dealings in the town indicate that the transition to the Otherside is punctuated by the sound of siren, which is detectable no matter where in town a person may be. This siren is beneficial, as it gives travelers a chance to brace for the worse. Siren sounds seem to be another variable in the town, so not all are fortunate enough to benefit from it.
Every town and city has a dark side, an underneath that people only see when they know where to look. Silent Hill shares this quality, but instead of remaining hidden, the dark side shows itself in a very literal way. Sometimes, it a black cloud rolls out, digging its polluting tendrils into the town. Other times, the traveler is shunted into a living nightmare.
In either case, the world around the traveler decays, and almost bleeds. The first to change is almost always the walls. Replacing bricks and paint is rusted, wire mesh, with blood oozing down. Following that is the floor, which is replaced with a thin grating, or rusted, riveted steel plates, suspending the traveler above a bottomless dark. Instead of normal items, this nightmare is decorated by mutilated bodies hung from meat-hooks and viscera.
While all these accouterments do not manifest in every location, the grating seems to be consistent. Much like the monsters, however, the town twists itself especially for each traveler. The specifics of the transformation also change depending on the location. Should an atrocity have been committed nearby, the Otherside will echo it.
The Otherside is not inescapable, and many thank God for that. Sometimes, just as it arrived, it will recede, the world returning to normal with the darkness’ passing. Travelers are not always so lucky. The Otherside sometimes seems to require a task to be complete before it will release its grip. Such tasks can be anything from slaying a powerful monster to finding a certain key or opening a certain entrance.
The Otherside seems to cover all of Silent Hill, even the ‘normal’ roads of the town, which are, instead replaced with the thin grating. While dwelling in the Otherside, darkness is prevalent. Few sources of light exist there, so any light-producing equipment will prove indispensable in the Otherside.
Besides the profound darkness, the corrupting touch of the Otherside has other, far-reaching consequences. Temporal distortions are worst in the Otherside, and time ceases to have any meaning. Space, too, malfunctions. Travelers can travel for hours in the Otherside, take an elevator up to the place the started, even though that should be impossible.
The Otherside behaves by rules that are unknowable, and travelers are forced through such a place. They can only hurry through and pray that their stay won’t be long.
Otherside manifestations include much more than just warped versions of existing environments. It also contains places that do not exist in ‘normal’ reality. Buildings that should have only 3 floors have 4 instead. A building that has only one basement will grow a second in the Otherside.
Such locations are called ‘Unplaces’ because they do not correspond to any real-world space. Often, the monstrous, hidden history of a place is exposed in its Unplace. While Unplaces usually exist as extensions to buildings in ‘normal’ Silent Hill, sometimes an entire structure may exist only as an Unplace. One traveler reported that he entered an old-time prison underneath the Toluca County Historical society. Despite the building’s entire destruction in the early 1900’s, he claims to have explored the prison at length, which means that it was surely an Unplace.
Entering an Unplace can be done through a number of means, and certain actions will open the way, even if the Otherside is not currently manifested.