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Silent Hill 3 – The Mirror Room

Game Analysis

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In late 1980s, the duration of games has expanded and game designers came up with the idea of ‘save&load’ function in games, in order to make the player save their progress and load in a particular moment in case they fail at some point. Consequently, they wouldn’t start from the beginning after playing a couple of hours. This is actually what makes games very unique and exclusive: The ability of the player to save and re-load that scene again.  So, the player is literally able to crystallize the time and save it as a file. Most of the games allow the players to reach the past records of their experiences. Save files in games play a role of recorded memories.

Silent Hill 3, a 2003 game published by Konami makes a very unique approach to this feature. This game has a special room in an hospital. When the player enters that room, he/she encounters with a big mirror, covering completely a wall of the room. The player is able to see his/her avatar on that mirror, “in Bergsonian terms, the real object is reflected in a mirror-image as in the virtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envolops or reflects the real: there is a ‘coalescence’ between the two” (1). However,  the coalescence between real and virtual is broken by the interruption of growing blood in the scene. Few seconds later, room literally starts to bleed and the player tries to ignore this symbolic universe by escaping the room. But this is where the player understands the fact that there is no escape and the player has to face the events.

Initially, we see the blood on the reflection of room’s floor. After that, this blood intervenes to the ‘real’ room that our avatar is present. So, the blood attacks to the player by surrounding the room along with the body of player’s avatar. When the blood completely covers the body of the player, the reflection of player on the mirror freezes.

Normally, the mechanics of this game lies on interactive movements and research of the objects. Player has to find keys and objects in order to open doors and overcome struggles. Though, the end in this room is inevitable.  There are no objects that player can use to solve the problem and escape this situation. That’s where this binary relationship between the mirror room and the rest of the game are emphasized. A problem intervenes the scene, yet the controller that the player holds for interaction signifies nothing, it loses its basic function. The reflection on the mirror does not work anymore. Every attempt to get out of it have no value. And it is satirical that the game puts the player in that sort of situation.

This scene ends with the inevitable death of the player.  When the lights go out (when there is no resource to perceive ourselves) the player dies. Just before the lights go out, we see that player is inside a bloody room with a clean body, on the other hand the reflection of the avatar is covered with blood in a clean room: Another binary relationship of virtual and real objects. But a third actor is also present: The screen itself. The screen is also a mirror for the player. Avatar’s movement on the screen has a function of ‘mirror’ for the player as the player can receive feedback from the screen when he/she pushes the buttons on the joystick. And the screen loses this functionality when the screen goes completely black. The player has to continue the game from the last saved part. The game enforces player to load the last saved scene.

Reference: 1)  Deleuze, Gilles, 2005 (first published in 1985). Cinema II. Continuum. P. 66

this post için 3 cevap
  1. Posted on 01 Mart 2019 by SkrtSkrt

    Well this is nice to know. ._.,

  2. Posted on 18 Nisan 2020 by Jeff

    You can escape the room. You must wait for the mirror’s reflection of the main character to freeze. At that point, the player has no more than a few seconds to escape.

    • Posted on 12 Ağustos 2020 by admin

      I’ll definitely give this another shot. Thank you for the heads up!

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