Does Silent Hill 2 Have a True Ending?

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Silent Hill 2’s “Leave” Ending Is The Closest This Game Comes to a Traditional Happy Ending

Silent Hill 2’s “Leave” ending can be seen by doing all you can to demonstrate a will to live and desire to come to terms with what James did. That means you have to keep your health high, avoid becoming obsessed with Maria, and take time to pay Mary the proper respect through acknowledging her pain as well as your own. 

If you make the right decisions, you’ll eventually encounter a figure you believe to be Mary who is actually Maria. Soon thereafter, Maria literally turns into a monster who James must kill. After doing so, James “meets” Mary again and the two have a pretty nuanced conversation about what James did and whether or not he should continue to live his life burdened by the incredible guilt of it. We then cut to a cemetery, listen to Mary narrate the letter she left James, and watch as James and Laura (a girl he met in Silent Hill) walk through a cemetery.

For all intents and purposes, this is Silent Hill 2’s “good” ending, which is noteworthy not only because it’s the game’s only clear good ending (depending on your interpretations) but because other Silent Hill game’s “canonical” endings are typically variations of their good endings. 

It’s also very much worth noting that there are hints throughout Silent Hill 2 that suggest James is not somehow “doomed” to be punished for the rest of his life. Indeed, there are multiple points in the game where it’s strongly implied that James is indeed seeking redemption and can achieve it if he is able to find a way to forgive himself while still demonstrating atonement and a will to live. Well, that’s what the player must do to trigger this ending. 

The Laura factor is also interesting. A popular theory suggests that Laura is one of the only “real” people in Silent Hill 2 and that she doesn’t view the town as a punishment. Indeed, it’s implied that she doesn’t see any of the horrors in the town and may instead see it as a joyful, rewarding place. If Laura is a manifestation of James’ psyche, then it’s strongly implied that she could be seen as the daughter that he and Mary never had. In either case, Laura seems to represent innocence, possibilities, and the start of something new. 

Furthermore, it’s been said that Elee from Silent Hill: Homecoming was originally supposed to be an older version of Laura who was going to wear James’ jacket. That would tend to suggest that the Homecoming team may have considered building upon the ending in which Laura and James escaped (though that isn’t the only possibility that would help explain how Laura got the jacket). 

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