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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Aug 2010
Notes left: 1587
^ That makes sense in regards to how Heather freaked out much more than Harry or James. Earlier on, she didn't have a mission of any kind. Later on, once she did and had her mission of revenge, she became much calmer. As for Henry, well he was just stoned.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 25 Sep 2007
Notes left: 945
Doctor Eggnog wrote:
^ That makes sense in regards to how Heather freaked out much more than Harry or James. Earlier on, she didn't have a mission of any kind. Later on, once she did and had her mission of revenge, she became much calmer. As for Henry, well he was just stoned.


early on, she had the mission to get home to her dad

as far as Henry goes, well I have no idea, maybe he did just pop a lot of pills or smoke a lot of weed


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Hope House Careworker
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 27 Nov 2009
Notes left: 698
Last seen at: Room 312
^ Could have been both actually


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Jun 2009
Notes left: 3855
Last seen at: i'm sick of these monkey fighting snakes on this monday to friday plane.
Henry was supposed to be in a dreamlike state though i think. The only protagonist who's actually reacted realistically to monsters is heather.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James

Missing since: 04 Jan 2010
Notes left: 14
I always assumed the reason the characters in silent hill are emotionless is because you as a player and the town itself are expressing his emotions. You can see his emotion in the town around him, to have him be more emotional in the game would detract from that.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Jun 2009
Notes left: 3855
Last seen at: i'm sick of these monkey fighting snakes on this monday to friday plane.
^I've heard that and i always thought it was kind of a cop out.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
Notes left: 1241
I always thought Alex reacted the best to the situations around him....i think heather reacted that one time in the elevator, and that discovery of what happened with her father, but other than that, i would've liked a bit more out of her...yeah i know because of her past she's a bit immune to it, but still....later on in the game, the comments she makes,...it's like she's not even bothered by any of the madness at all.

As far as james goes....i think he's in a delusional/confused/depressed state....and that could be the cause for his somewhat lack of emotion...even when maria is around him, it's like she has to egg him on to get something out of him...the game actually eases you into james state of mind early in the game with the letter from mary...his voice displays an array of emotions...which i thought were on the negative side...he sounded unsure of himself, desperate, unconfident and passive....add those to the other emotions i listed, and james was on an emotional rollercoaster spiraling downward....


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 10 May 2006
Notes left: 4658
Last seen at: My Slinky! My cuddly little pet Slinky! *sobs*
ofidian wrote:
I always assumed the reason the characters in silent hill are emotionless is because you as a player and the town itself are expressing his emotions. You can see his emotion in the town around him, to have him be more emotional in the game would detract from that.

You make an interesting point about his psyche being portrayed through the world around him- one that I really like, actually- but with exception of the most hardcore SH lovers who'll notice that sort of subtle expression, I don't think the majority of gamers would pick up on that. Which is why it would hardly detract from the game to see James emote his own feelings. There's a reason we study facial expressions and actively seek a face, even in inanimate objects and animals: we need to see that the emotions we feel are recognized and felt in other people, because that's how we connect to others. It'd just be too subtle to see them expressed only in the world around James.

Even assuming this to be the case, a good game doesn't rely solely on the player to "get it," nor should they. What if movies were to do that? What if the actors simply read the lines without emoting, but physically acted out their parts? That would be like only half the movie was made- it would be a thoroughly bizarre performance. Even books will describe how the characters speak, act and move. The author has a specific image in their mind when they write, be it script or book, and a good author will paint that image so clearly it can't be missed. The same goes for a video game.

You can't identify with a piece of cardboard stand-in of a character. You need to feel like this is someone with motivation, feelings, thoughts. Would you relate to this person? Could you? Could you feel his pain, his fear, his despair? We relate to other human beings, living things we can empathize with. Unless we feel compelled to empathize with the character, the character fails, and a game that forces you to hang around this failed character for hours on end is a game you're not gonna want to play for long.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James

Missing since: 17 Jul 2010
Notes left: 24
Last seen at: Somewhere you don't know
Well I guess the reason why james loves jumping in holes and lost the sense of fear was because before he was a salesclerk he was a proffesional skydiver.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2010
Notes left: 2249
Last seen at: The Rabbit Hole
ofidian wrote:
I always assumed the reason the characters in silent hill are emotionless is because you as a player and the town itself are expressing his emotions. You can see his emotion in the town around him, to have him be more emotional in the game would detract from that.


Well, we know they purposefully made Henry like that so the player would transfer their emotions onto him, so I guess it's happened in a Silent Hill game before. Something kinda like it, anyway.

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viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21367&p=674128#p674128


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 10 May 2006
Notes left: 4658
Last seen at: My Slinky! My cuddly little pet Slinky! *sobs*
Quote:
Well, we know they purposefully made Henry like that so the player would transfer their emotions onto him,
  1. You mean "project," not "transfer." In terms of psychology and emotion, transference is reacting to one person as though they were another, and it's a very bad thing. Projection is identifying your thoughts and feelings as someone else's, figuratively projecting yours onto them.
  2. I've never heard that they did that with 4. Where did you hear that?
  3. It that's true, then jesus christ did they ever go down in flames with their attempt.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 29 Jun 2009
Notes left: 2301
James shows a good amount of emotion in the game.
Shows concern for angela. And eddie. And Laura. Oh yeah, and maria.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2010
Notes left: 2249
Last seen at: The Rabbit Hole
I must've misunderstood something in this interview then.
http://archive.videogamesdaily.com/feat ... _sep04.asp
I had it with my SH4 bookmarks for some reason, and I have no clue why anymore. Hmph.

Oh, and did they go down in flames? Abso-fuckin'-lutely. I still remember how pissed everyone was after they first played 4. Jesus....

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viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21367&p=674128#p674128


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 31 Aug 2010
Notes left: 467
Last seen at: Marioland
^ I wasn' t. Henry was living a lonely and isolated life even before locks appeared on his flat door. I immediately assumed his apparent numbness to events was a trait of character. Need I remind you that at first he thinks it' s all a dream ? That in fact his dreams indeed were parasited by Walter (for god knows how long) ? That when Walter "wins" or when a ghost gets close to Henry he seems to experience intense headaches ? I think Henry is a loner AND that everything' s fuzzy in Walter' s realm.

As for James reaction to the lying figure it seems realistic too : 1 : Holly shit (the disgusted gasping), 2 : no time to think, time to react (looking around for a weapon and trashing the monster with it). What more did you expect ? A big monologue directed to the walls ? Or worse, to the monster (hi heather) ? Don' t you get those kind of lines are just B-movie tradition ? As Lain said it' s the audience who needs (or rather wants) the whole thing to be "explained out loud", but in the real world the whole WTFOMFG monologue would take place in your head, you wouldn' t say it out loud (unless of course you have a habit of talking to yourself, who' s the loony now ? ^^).

Quote:
You make an interesting point about his psyche being portrayed through the world around him- one that I really like, actually- but with exception of the most hardcore SH lovers who'll notice that sort of subtle expression, I don't think the majority of gamers would pick up on that. Which is why it would hardly detract from the game to see James emote his own feelings. There's a reason we study facial expressions and actively seek a face, even in inanimate objects and animals: we need to see that the emotions we feel are recognized and felt in other people, because that's how we connect to others. It'd just be too subtle to see them expressed only in the world around James.


I had no problems projecting my feelings on the characters and looking around for clues about their mood. I like it much better that way, I think it' s smarter that way, it allows immersion. I play videogames since the 8bit era and I read books so I have no problems imagining what' s not directly stated. Come on, Harry and Lisa had zero expressions and yet nobody complains. Furthermore most players realized that the monsters were linked to James psyche. The clues are everywhere, so what' s the problem ? Did some of you lost their imagination the moment the PS2 was released ?

Quote:
I always thought Alex reacted the best to the situations around him


I really have a hard time understanding how HC could seem more realistic. Alex is nicely done and has good facial expressions, but almost all the other characters are very badly done. The contrast is so huge that for all I care they could have just been Playmobils. Also, Alex is a character who talks a lot to himself, as if he was staring in a TV show. I always thought that Resident Evil was the American B-movie and that SH was just the opposite, all in subtlety. Homecoming turned the table on that, it' s just as subtle as RE5 :
[Reveal] Spoiler:
-The last Judge Holloway scene is almost hilarious : she' s reciting the plot à la James Bond bad guy instead of killing Alex. Like she cares what he thinks ! If the drill she' s holding didn' t focus all my attention I think I really would have laughed my ass out seeing such a dumb plot exposition scene. Drop the mask Wesker, I recognized you !!!
- There' s the Wheeler scene too : "OK I believe you, quick, get out of your cell I' ll give you a shotgun" ... huh, sure (facepalm).
- When the first boss appears my first instinct would be to search for an exit instead of throwing a "you sick fuck" punchy line (drop the mask Leon). I could go on and on and on ...


Honestly, between "it' s subtle and up to the player" or "we state everything out loud in the good old American (bad) TV show fashion" my heart was set a long, long time ago in a faraway galaxy.

PS : no matter what I do my spoiler tag doesn' t appear. Am I the only one who can' t see it ? Or does it just not work ?


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Dec 2010
Notes left: 158
I think it helps build the atmosphere into an unsettling dreamy state when the characters are emotionally detached. To me, all the protagonists (from 1 - 4) acted somewhat realistically throughout their journeys. There isn't a typical "Ah! A monster!" like you see in movies. The characters seem to have a hard time differentiating dreams from reality, and are unsure if they are insane or not. They could be freaking scared out of their minds, but they are trying to suppress it in order to stay rational and survive. Besides, they don't know if they are just imagining things. I think the beginning of SH3 heavily demonstrates this. It's this bizarre, unexpected, and surreal artistic direction that I think makes the SH games, and its protagonists, so compelling, and is a unique special factor that the more recent American-made games have been lacking.

As the poster above me said, being too literal, direct, loud, and explaining everything is NOT what Silent Hill has been all about. It needs to be subtle, slow, ambiguous, creepily mysterious, and, of course, "silent". That's what helps makes the games so scary. But there is even more to it than that.

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Wolfwood: That depends entirely on you.
Vash the Stampede: Some mantra...

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 09 May 2008
Notes left: 507
Yeah. the reactions didn't seem to bother me that much. I think that it's like being in your own dream... you don't react the way you would normally, and that's the same way SH effects people.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Dec 2010
Notes left: 59
Don't blame James - you play the part of James in the game. If he does things like jump into crazy holes, that is your decision. Or you could wander aimlessly around Silent Hill forever. And just because he doesn't SHOW emotion very much doesn't mean he doesn't FEEL it deeply. Some people are like that, either by nature or because of experience. People say the same about me, that I don't show emotion and things don't affect me, but they really have no idea how deeply I feel things. Concerning Heather, she gets used to all the horrible things going on as that is normal where she is, and she says if she let herself get freaked out at everything she would go crazy.

James doesn't even HAVE to stick his hand in that filthy toilet. So if he does, that's entirely your decision. ("Who would even think of doing something so disgusting?")

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 09 May 2008
Notes left: 507
You can't blame James' actions on the player. haha. His sub-conscious put those holes there. The ballad of James can't be told without toilets and holes and a cast of kooky characters.

He's messed up, but the suffering makes him... relatable?

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And that.
And that.
And that.
...
...and that.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James

Missing since: 11 Sep 2005
Notes left: 231
Dunno if anyone has said this yet but I pretty much believe that the James we control in the game is the "good guy puppet" version... Which basically means, it's what he wants (us and everyone else) to see. Like someone had mentioned before, it's an innocent James that outwardly wants to be the hero and good guy, that wants to find Mary... Constantly dissociating himself from Eddie and Angela and even Laura.

The stuff he'd never do (murder, commit suicide, abandon his wife, drink, show anger, have lust etc.) are things that we find out about James from the world within Silent Hill via imagery like in Brookhaven or the Prison, characters that punish him like Pyramid Head, or Maria herself... and tidbits of information from diaries, recordings, and later on are things that he finally admits. These are all a part of James, to me. The endings, Leave, Maria, and In Water show different facets of James too, and the parts of his persona that are kind of at war... I also think the three patients in Brookhaven all show different facets of James' character. The whole numb, mind shuts down thing is right in the respect that it's outwardly apparent, but the town itself is reflecting what is in James' heart so that we (and he) can see it. Otherwise it wouldn't be half as interesting *_*

I also believe that the places he goes fit very well with his personality and all tell a story about his relationship with Mary, his breakdown, and what inevitably happened.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Emotionless James
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Dec 2010
Notes left: 158
Hey, all of those are very plausible theories. I really like the idea that the different endings represent different parts of James' personality. The Leave ending represents a man who has accepted reality and continues to live. The In Water ending represents a man who can not take much more of his guilt and is driven by suicidal thoughts. The Maria ending represents a man who continues to live in delusion and lust. And I don' really have anything to say about the Rebirth ending. That one seems the most ambiguous to me. Is it moral to bring back someone from the dead? Does it mean James stays in his delusion because he can't accept that Mary is dead?

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Wolfwood: Oh yeah, I almost forgot. "Go with the grace and protection of the Lord." It's the usual mantra for the big hero.
Vash the Stampede: Does it work?
Wolfwood: That depends entirely on you.
Vash the Stampede: Some mantra...

-Trigun


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