Thursday, 17 September 2015

SILENT HILL: THE ARCADE


For 15 years, Silent Hill has proudly remained on the creepier end of the survival horror spectrum. It is also one of the most successful, despite what Konami's woeful cancellation of the highly promising Silent Hills may tell you (did you get the Playable Teaser on PS4 before they took it down?). In 2007, they brought the series to the arcades with this light gun shooter.

Light guns shooters come with their own tropes and design staples which are the antithesis of what a survival horror aims to be. When playing Silent Hill, you are constantly on edge, waiting for that inevitable ghoul to jump out. All the while you're worrying if you have enough elusive ammo to survive such an encounter. You spend more time fearing the fight that actually fighting it. You also juggle a lot of keys.

Add a gun and a loud, busy arcade and this slow pace won't fly. Because of this Silent Hill: The Arcade has a very different feeling. There's no limit on the ammunition, there's no room for exploration with such linear paths and those hideous encounters are so frequent and unmenacing they will no longer haunt your dreams. These games are meant to be filled with frenetic quick-play action which leaves room for very little else.

Another step backwards is in the voice acting. Resident Evil may be known for its Jill sandwiches, the master of unlocking and other vocal gems that are just a cheesy, but Konami's misty town had far more thought and talent put behind it's acting and script. At a time when truly bad acting in FMV games were a thing, this made it stand out, elevating it to one of the scariest interactive experiences even to this day. The arcade game didn't care so much for the acting or dialogue, perhaps believing that it's expected of games of this type. What it actually does is make it feel more like SEGA's B-movie inspired The House of the Dead than the psychological horror of Silent Hill.

Silent Hill: The Arcade may suffer something of an identity crisis, but that doesn't mean the game itself isn't any good. I had a lot of fun playing through the game however, there's nothing here that hasn't been done better in SEGA's seminal series. By including the franchise's signature heavy fog, it has a side effect of making the game much easier. No monsters can be too far away or else they'd be rendered invisible. Instead, they pop up in front of you covering nearly the whole screen like some poorly dressed carnie on a cheap haunted house ride. Originally this mist was a way to hide any graphical glitches due to the technical limitations of the original PlayStation, but here it just makes these areas look a little dull and ugly.

Nevertheless, it does have a dedicated fanbase. Konami, in an earlier example of why they hate their audience (see the Kojima controversy), wouldn't ever bring it to any home system. In 2014 a talented group of people known as Insert More Coins (more details here) did what its makers would never do: port it to the PC. For a freely distributed amateur effort, it does a superb job of recreating the arcade game whose sightings in the wild become ever more infrequent. The resolution may be limited to 480p (they're working on that) but impressively there's no noticeable slowdown or graphical glitches. You can even repurpose your Nintendo Wiimote as a makeshift light gun (though it takes some technical know-how). The only major negative about this port is that it is single player only, a function that would take more time and skill to implement than this talented team would have for the time being.

Due to there being very little documentation on this game, I thought I'd take a moment to describe the controls. They're just as basic as any other PC port of such games with the mouse and its left button acting as your gun. The right mouse button will pause the game, with the space bar acting as a turbo switch. Once your done, press ESC to exit. In a similar way to House of the Dead, there are different routes you can take and a multitude of ending - including the hidden WTF ending that's become a series staple since the second instalment.

If you press start without any conception of what a Silent Hill game should be, you may find a lot to like about this entry that seems destined to be forgotten. It's a fun, short diversion and a curious attempt to do something different with a named franchise. It's just so disappointing that there's nothing new beyond this.


To download the game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber will run natively on modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
  12.04.2019 - Ver.2 - Added patch to work on Windows 10 (thanks to anonymous commenter)
                       (Version 1 can be downloaded here)

File Size: 1.97 Gb.  Install Size: 3.04 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Silent Hill: The Arcade is © Konami
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


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26 comments:

  1. Thank you for this ... some viewer ask me about this ... hehe , never knew this existed

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome hfric. I'd not heard of it until I found it on a random page. It's a shame it's not working too well under Windows 10. Thankfully I enjoyed a playthough before updating.

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  2. Can you post instructions on how to get it working on Windows 8?

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    1. I'm afraid since upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7, I've not been able to get this to work (and I've tried). I've never had Windows 8, but I guess it's the same problem. Unlike older arcade games that can be emulated through MAME, this uses a Windows based PC that's custom build for this specific game. The majority of more modern arcade games do this. Since my original post, I've come to learn that playing it on your home PC is very much dependent on the type of PC you have.

      Sorry I couldn't be more help.

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    2. You can find more info on this game at the Silent Hill community.

      http://silenthillcommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=3341&t=436115&sid=05f0b06cf34eaefdafbd2ef9ce05380e&start=20

      Delete
    3. That's a real shame. Every time I've tried starting it up, my entire screen turns blue with a message box named ahk0.ahk saying something about "TODO: has stopped working". It leaves me no choice but to reset my computer and the mouse cursor is a crosshair.

      Delete
  3. hi, i liked this game, but ever i in the mission of the hospital i have a bug. Someone can help me to this??

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  4. I cant see the monster. just only shadow :((

    can you help me?

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    Replies
    1. Hello. I'm afraid I can no longer provide help for this game. It was designed for a specific Windows set up (like most modern arcade games) that was compatible with my previous rig. I can no longer play it at all and I suspect the issues you are facing is down to this reason.

      You can find more info on this game at the Silent Hill community.

      http://silenthillcommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=3341&t=436115&sid=05f0b06cf34eaefdafbd2ef9ce05380e&start=20

      Delete
  5. No Chance to get it Work on Windows 10 x64? I testet it on Vm Virtualbox Windows 7 32bit, but its not startet, too.

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  6. Wouldn't work right on Windows 7 either. Not your fault, I know. Tried the official release of it and set it up manually and still the exact same problems. Eventually just run into invisible and invincible enemies that just leave you unable to advance. Oh well. Someday someone will release a proper version of the game maybe.

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    Replies
    1. The problem with this one is that it needs a very specific PC to run - one I just so happened to have when I played it (but no longer). It's an arcade game designed for an exact PC rig so any deviation from that and it sadly won't work.

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    2. @Biffman 101 ..running fine on Win10x64, just needs the dll-patch listed in the description of this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whouS2toluE

      Fix SHAdll_W10-64_v1.7z (Password: MOHKERZ)
      Enjoy!!

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    3. Oh hell yeah! It works well and everything. I'm going to clean up the installer and get an update.

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    4. I've just updated to version 2. Thanks for the info!

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  7. It says press Start nothing does anything only Esc kills the game!

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    Replies
    1. config.bat use 1-9 keyboard keys for all things

      THANK YOU!

      Delete
  8. Wish can pause >.< Enter service menu and starts over

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    Replies
    1. Just crashes in the hospital w/e route!

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  9. I knew that patch was too good to be true. I've looked around and it looks to be a codec issue, but I've yet to sort it out. All the suggestions I found didn't work - at least for me.

    http://www.emuline.org/topic/337-arcade-pc-silent-hill-the-arcade-konami-ttx/?page=4

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yo. Trojan:Win32/Tiggre!plock is setting my antivirus off. It's in Game Loader All RH.exe of the game. False alarm? Sounds like it's not working well anyways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a false alarm, and one I only encountered recently with the second repack. I keep going round in circles with this game. 1 step forward and 2 back - like I'm in my own Silent Hill-like pergatory.

      Delete
  11. The game crashes to desktop in the Brookhaven Hospital, around 5:16 is exactly where it crashes for me(video is a reference) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Oc5CljxHE. Also their's an issue with the mouse cursor being on the screen always in busy mode ( I used the no cursor exe).

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    Replies
    1. I'm using windows 10 X64

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    2. UPDATE: I used the K-lite Codec Pack and it seems to work past the post it previously crashed at. If their's anymore issues I'll report it.

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