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 Post subject: A VCR. It's Old But Usable: New Insight On The Timeline

Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Upon replaying SH1 for the millionth time, something jumped out at me that concerned me a little about the timeline of SH: The "old but usable" VCR in Alchemilla Hospital.

Silent Hill 1 takes place in 1983. I wondered to myself: Were VCR's available and widely used in 1983? Had they been out long enough for one to not only be owned by Alchemilla in 1983, but had they been around long enough for someone to examine one and say that it's old?

We also know that Alessa's burning took place in 1976. Lisa was apparently roped into looking after her almost immediately after this, as her presense in Silent Hill Origins is quite pronounced. We will not know this for sure until Origins is released. My point here is: if Lisa started looking after Alessa immediately in 1976, when would she have had access to a camera and videocassette to tape her confession? This question perhaps holds the key to answering the question of how long she realistically looked after Alessa. There are some who argue she couldn't possibly have lasted seven years looking after Alessa, and therefore must have died some time ago. There are some who argue that she looked after Alessa right up until shortly before SH1.

Considering this was before I was born, I had no idea of the answer to the VCR/VHS question. It turns out that VCR technology has been around since the mid-50s, but was so expensive that generally no one owned it. It was not until the late 70s that VHS was introduced and VCRs became affordable and widespread. So, it is indeed possible that Alchemilla acquired a VCR in the late 70s, making it possible for the one Harry finds in 1983 to be "old but usable". This of course also seems to indicate that Silent Hill as Harry sees it is indeed manifested in the present, and not a manifestation of the past, as it would not be feasible to say that a VCR was old if Silent Hill as we see it is the 1976 version.

This then brings us to the Lisa question. While Alchemilla could have had a VCR in 1976, when Lisa started looking after Alessa, it is not realistic to say that Lisa could have recorded her confession anywhere near that time period. Besides the damning evidence of Lisa's aging between Origins and SH1 (her hair is longer and her face looks mid-20s in SH1. Also note that her hair is its present length in the videotape), there is also the problem that video camcorders were not available in the 70s.

It was not until 1982 that JVC introduced the VHS-C format. This led to the home camcorder boom in the 80s. In 1983, Sony released the first Betamax camcorder, and JVC released its own VHS-C camcorder a few months afterwards. It would appear that Lisa would not have easy, affordable access to a camcorder to make her confession until 1982 or 1983, the same year Silent Hill 1 takes place.

It seems, then, that it's likely that Lisa did, indeed, look after Alessa for seven years, right up until the events of SH1. If, as has been hypothesised, Lisa was the one who took Cheryl to the side of the road in 1976, she was not discovered and murdered by Kaufmann immediately. Again, note the appearance of Lisa in her argument with Kaufmann in the opening montage. If Lisa did this, she was not discovered to have been the culprit. It becomes unlikely that Lisa did this, as I presume Kaufmann and Dahlia were keeping a very close eye on her. It is therefore likely that it was either Alessa herself or Travis O'Grady who is responsible for Cheryl making her way to the highway.

This brings up more troubling questions. Lisa is visibly distressed by the uncurable condition of Alessa when she records the videotape. If we agree, based on this discussion, that Lisa recorded the confession in 1982 or 1983, and Origins takes place in 1976, this brings two problems to light. First of all, Lisa absolutely must survive Origins for it to be canon. Second of all, and perhaps most troubling, consider this. Lisa is seen in the early shots of Origins in the abandoned movie theatre, in Foggy Silent Hill, interacting with O'Grady. If Lisa is present in Alessa's alternate realities in 1976, and intertwined in the horrors of Origins, why does she seem so distressed years later by Alessa's condition? Presumably she either comes to learn a great deal about Alessa in Origins or at the very least experiences things in Origins that would make the entire "blood and pus oozing through" issue pale in comparison. There's also the issue of why Lisa is commenting on this seven years after beginning her coerced treatment of Alessa. Something about it just doesn't sit right.

Origins must therefore be extremely delicate in its usage of Lisa in 1976 for many things in SH1 to remain consistent.

That all said, there still remains the very plausible possibility that Team Silent didn't know exactly when they wanted SH1 to occur when they originally released it, and that the 1983/1976 dates were retconned into the timeline after the fact. This may allow for some inconsistency in the technology and timeline of Origins and SH1. Without going back and remaking SH1, there's nothing they can do to remove any parts of SH1 that, after 2-4/Origins are released, conflict with the timeline.

Discussion?

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


Last edited by Droo on 19 Oct 2007, edited 1 time in total.

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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
Notes left: 19401
Last seen at: #lfk
Well, my timeline isn't official. The length of time between games, however, is as official as they can be made with the provided information. Of course, all of the history--specific dates, that is--is fact, but the character's birth dates are only based on the years I've placed the games' occurrences.

That said: If Silent Hill 1 occurs, say, in 1990, it wouldn't make much of a difference, except that Silent Hill 3 would be set in 2007, and Silent Hill 4: The Room in 2011.

Over all, though, my timeline is as correct as it can be, and as close as to the actual years as I can determine based on as much official information as possible.

Anyway. Anachronisms aren't that unusual in video games--especially not the Silent Hill series. After all: There are Portishead posters round the town, and they didn't form as a band until the '90s.

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This post is the property of its author and is not to be used elsewhere without explicit permission from the author.

. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
... Or the video tape could very well be like the tape you find in SH2, which doesn't actually have the contents of James [spoiler]smothering his wife[/spoiler] on it. Think of The Ring, how images/memories were burned into the tape itself: I think that's a very similar instance with the two instances of video tapes in the series. I don't think the video tape is real, honestly, but is a very simple, concrete way to "watch" someone's thoughts and memories without going through a long, drawn out explanation involving supernatural juju and what-have-you. Don't forget we can still "see" the contents of the tape in SH3, in another hospital, years and years after SH1, without the use of the tape or even a VCR.

So I guess what I have to contribute to this discussion is that it's okay if the VCR is presumably old, or the technology was so that only certain individuals or companies could have it, because I don't think the tape is even real to begin with.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Don't forget, though, that the videotape itself in SH2 existed. James and Mary did record a videotape when they were in Silent Hill. It may not have had the images we see on it in reality, but a tape did exist.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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May I also point out that most hospitals would probably have recorders to tape some autopsies, and the police definitely would?

Can we be sure Lisa taped her own confession, or was this actually an official tape? Or maybe Lisa just borrowed some of the technology she was constantly around, just to set the record straight for the future....?


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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
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>Or maybe Lisa just borrowed some of the technology . . .
That one.

Although, to be honest, I think Krist. is right in this case: It's not necessarily a real tape--the contents, that is--but rather the imprint of Lisa's emotions and memories onto something palpable. Something similar occurs in an Haruki Murakami novel--an immediate influence by Team Silent--but I can't remember which one.

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This post is the property of its author and is not to be used elsewhere without explicit permission from the author.

. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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... The Japanese REALLY like the idea of emotions-burned-on-modern-media don't they?

Not that I don't blame them. Makes for some kickass stuff. I just think it's an interesting combination.

I still vote for Lisa pulling shenanigans and hijacking some official equipment, since she's got access to it.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Drewfus wrote:
Don't forget, though, that the videotape itself in SH2 existed. James and Mary did record a videotape when they were in Silent Hill. It may not have had the images we see on it in reality, but a tape did exist.


I didn't forget. I clearly specified some of its contents couldn't have been there.

I think the only medium Lisa had as far as confessions go was that "diary" we found--another unlikely thing. Strange how it just turns up, eh?

And if that tape was real, I'd like to know how an image of it appeared, magically, on the wall of Brookhaven seventeen years later.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
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Well, the image didn't show up, it was the memory of it that did.

How is the diary an "unlikely thing"?

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This post is the property of its author and is not to be used elsewhere without explicit permission from the author.

. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
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Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Unless Lisa had it on her person when she disappeared, and it didn't "die off" with her, I'm just curious how that got there as well. It's not really vital or important information-wise as it only gives us inklings that Lisa's hopped up on drugs, so it makes me wonder if that's similar to the video tape messages in both 1 and 2, "memories" or echoes of the person shared in such a way that's clever (e.g., Tom Riddle's diary).

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I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
... The Japanese REALLY like the idea of emotions-burned-on-modern-media don't they?


The idea of recording emotions and memories onto some sort of medium has been in Japanese culture for thousands of years. Modern Media is just the next step up, just like how in the West ghosts went from haunting just graveyards and houses to haunting trains, cars, planes, and even computers.

The ability to record one's emotions or thoughts onto a medium, modern or otherwise, is known as Nensha.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nensha

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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THAT, Aura, is some awesome info right there.

Never heard of that. Thanks!


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 26 Dec 2004
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Last seen at: Insomnia land, where I am Queen!
Agreed. That was an interesting article, Aura.

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The Anime Cauldron is taking a nap.
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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
It's basically the same power utilized by Sadako Yamamura/Samara Morgan of the Ringu series, really.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 26 Dec 2004
Notes left: 2560
Last seen at: Insomnia land, where I am Queen!
I really like The Ring movies. After watching the first one, I was in The House of Care because I had an appointment the next day, and my mom left her white robe hanging on a chair. I woke up and the moonlight was illuminating it and it freaked me out!
Here's a theory, and feel free to tear it apart, but perhaps Lisa didn't know she was being recorded. Maybe a cult member set up a camera somewhere hidden to capture things she said or did to Alessa to keep tabs on her. It would explain why the camera cuts her head off for the most part.
I really like the theory of Nensha though. I can't remember exactly how Lisa was positioned in the video. Was she at a table, or was she by Alessa's bedside? It may well have been a stamp from Alessa's memories from her point of view.

_________________
Image
Gaming For Honor, playing video games to raise money for Wounded Warriors Project.
The Anime Cauldron is taking a nap.
Peachy's Predictions on Tumblr
Peachy's Predictions. on LiveJournal


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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I think Lisa was at a table, almost as though it were some kind of debriefing.

I dunno why, but I always felt that the Otherworld looked like a sort of dystopian future, with the way that everything looks old. In SH1, this seems especially apparent with the appearance of strange machines and chunks of asphalt that have fallen out of use in the Shopping District, almost as though Alessa were imagining a future where God reigns over all.

The futuristic feeling fades with each successive installment, though. That said, I do find myself, whenever I hit the mall medical room in SH3, trying to peer through that stained window to see what's outside. All I can make out is a red sky and a couple of buildings... maybe a fence?

Anyway, perhaps this may have something to do with the VCR seeming old.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 26 Dec 2004
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Last seen at: Insomnia land, where I am Queen!
I never thought of it that way, Kenji, but that is an awesome thought! Perhaps that is exactly the way Alessa pictured the future if God were born. Not a utopian paradise or whatever, but that the future would be locked in the past. Cool. :)

_________________
Image
Gaming For Honor, playing video games to raise money for Wounded Warriors Project.
The Anime Cauldron is taking a nap.
Peachy's Predictions on Tumblr
Peachy's Predictions. on LiveJournal


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: A VCR. It's Old But Usable: New Insight On The Timeline

Missing since: 13 Mar 2007
Notes left: 32
Last seen at: England
Drewfus wrote:
This then brings us to the Lisa question. While Alchemilla could have had a VCR in 1976, when Lisa started looking after Alessa, it is not realistic to say that Lisa could have recorded her confession anywhere near that time period.


I agree with what most people are saying here. I don't believe its a real, recorded tape. It could have the Ring thing gojng on, but Lisa doesn't even move in the video, its a still image, which I think is another indicator.


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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
The fact still remains, that for Alessa to manifest a VCR and videotape, the technology must be available. Fprtunately, in 1983, it was.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 26 Dec 2004
Notes left: 2560
Last seen at: Insomnia land, where I am Queen!
The scene in question
You know, BlackDahlia, good point. I forgot she doesn't move. That would be more of an indication that it was more of a Ring-type transfer than an actual movie. Her words are probably words Alessa heard her say at her bedside, possibly recording some notes about her patient.

_________________
Image
Gaming For Honor, playing video games to raise money for Wounded Warriors Project.
The Anime Cauldron is taking a nap.
Peachy's Predictions on Tumblr
Peachy's Predictions. on LiveJournal


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