Rowing On Toluca Lake

James got a letter. From a dead person. Oh dear.

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fatica9
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Rowing On Toluca Lake

Post by fatica9 »

The first time i played through silent hill 2 i was amazed by the rowing scene. i have never experienced something similar in a game before. i guess i would describe it as a calm before the storm feeling. often when you progress in games you can view the environment changing in grandiose ways. (ascending steps to a tower to fight a boss, viewing darker environments to symbolize greater evil, etc.)

what i believe makes the lake segment different is the tranquility of the water. while playing through the first time i was extremely nervous something would come out of the water or i would be attacked in some way. when i reached the other side of the lake i was relieved i had made it across safely.

has this been done in a game before and if so what game?

does anyone think that james rowing across the lake symbolizes anything?
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Re: Rowing On Toluca Lake

Post by Burning Man »

fatica9 wrote:does anyone think that james rowing across the lake symbolizes anything?
I don't think James rowing across the lake itself symbolizes anything, but the fact that he is rowing towards a light. Moving toward the light has many meanings in various religions.

At any given moment, he could abandon ship and sink to the bottom of the lake. There's a reason why the suicide ending is called In Water. But to me, the fact that he is rowing toward a light means that he is willing to seek the truth, and come in terms with what he has done instead of taking the easy way out.

I think there's sort of a contrast when we see James rowing across the lake again in the Rebirth Ending. It's not truth that he's seeking that time. In a sense, I could say he is rowing toward darkness.
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Post by crucifix »

unfortunately for me, i'd been reading about SH2 for a long time before actually getting the game, so i already knew that nothing was going to happen while rowing. it totally ruined the event for me... at least, some of it.

but anyway, i've never experienced a scene like it either. i think it's a really awesome part as well. i like burning man's explanation.
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Post by The Adversary »

>does anyone think that james rowing across the lake symbolizes anything?
Lakeview Hotel is ultimately his final "stage"--where he learns the truth about Mary, where he believed Mary to be. The first time we get a glimpse of James' memories of Mary are in Woodside Apartments--where he happens her dress wearing the flashlight.

Mary is his Guiding Light, from beginning to end.
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Post by phantomess »

Despite reading about it earlier in the game, I never expected something to reach up and grab me. I was just concerned with getting wherever the hell I was supposed to go- and wondering why it was taking so long. The first time I played, I didn't turn to see the light, so just rowed in a random direction for... a while.
One time that I was playing SH2 at this part, my sister- who's never played it- came into my room for whatever reason, saw me rowing the boat for a minute, and said "...This is a weird video game!"
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Post by LanceS133 »

It was great indeed, however I wish there was more to it. Idk what exactly just something more...maybe if you just sat there long enough you'd here the people from the ship wreck or actually get pulled under. That would've been great.
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Post by Scanman22 »

After reading about The Little Baroness disappearing in Toluca Lake, I was almost positive something was going to try and sink me, but behold, nothing. . . .

I find this part to be boring actually. I wish you could explore more. Like maybe have docks that you could get off at on different parts of the lake instead of just the one at Lakeview. Definately we should be able to go to the island in the middle with the chapel erected upon it.
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Post by alessas angel »

I felt nervous the entire time. I thought something was going to jump up and try to pull me overboard. Like maybe a hand from when the Baroness sank. I thought it was an eerie touch to the game and loved every nerve wrecking minute of it! :mrgreen:
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Post by bryansurvive »

So besides making it to the light there really was nothing more to explore?
I was hoping something would happen like the lake would start to turn red or something haha. Just like the hallway before you kill eddie. Anyways just like scanman said. It was a boring and dissapointing part of the game.
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Post by LanceS133 »

You guys are just unappreciative of the simple things.
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Post by bryansurvive »

No I'm not! I love walking around a deserted town. Just looking for a sign. The water was just the water.
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Post by ZombieLADY »

Scanman22 wrote:After reading about The Little Baroness disappearing in Toluca Lake, I was almost positive something was going to try and sink me, but behold, nothing. . . .

Ahhh, yes yes. I was scared out of my wits after i found this out!

I thought it was visually pleasing, myself. Defiantly the calm before the storm...quite eerie if you ask me. But my first time playing through, didn't think there was any symbolism in it. Hearing this makes me want to think more about it.
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Post by Droo »

The town throws water imagery at James the entire game, from the puddles of water in the apartments (including the one that prevents him from escaping the Pyramid Head battle) to the water flooding the Labyrinth. It's all a big hint to James to drown himself. Forcing him to cross the lake by boat is just another opportunity for him to kill himself, which he doesn't do (yet).

I also always interpeted the crossing of Toluca Lake to be a reference to the crossing of the river Styx.
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Post by AuraTwilight »

It's worth noting that in Japanese mythology, crossing running bodies of water at night/fog is thought as venturing into one's very own mind.
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Post by Scanman22 »

AuraTwilight wrote:It's worth noting that in Japanese mythology, crossing running bodies of water at night/fog is thought as venturing into one's very own mind.
Huh? What does that mean? So if I cross the Mississippi at night with fog, I'm venturing into my mind? I don't get it. . .
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Post by Droo »

It means that the Japanese historically used that image to represent venturing into one's own mind.

So, yes, if you crossed the Mississippi at night with fog, the Japanese would be more likely to interpret it as that.
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I can see it with eyes closed
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Post by AuraTwilight »

The Japanese always had an old folk belief that one's mind was a literal inner plane, so it could be physically traveled to. Darkness and fog (you don't need both) are often thought of as blurs between the worlds, where it's easier to cross over.
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Post by David01 »

Yes that kinda makes sense.. in a since it's like swimming toward your subconscious.. I dunno but I do kinda agree with Aura on that point..even though I know nothing about japanese mythology :lol
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