Whenever I think of Silent Hill, I can’t help but think about the unpublished game, P.T., or Silent Hills. P.T. is short for “playable teaser”, but was it ever meant to be more than that? Many fans speculate that the demo was part of an elaborate goodbye to fans. It certainly didn’t look like a traditional Silent Hill game, with the main character walking through the same hall repeatedly until it morphed into something grotesque. This could be symbolism for someone who hates doing the same tasks over and over again at a job that they don’t enjoy (trust me, I know).
Many fans have speculated that P.T.is Hideo Kojima’s elaborate, self-referential art digital art piece. When you consider the content, this doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
The character later looks into a filthy mirror to find his face obscured, which might be a way of stating how anonymous Hideo Kojima felt when working for a large company. There’s also a baby in the sink, this baby could be a reference to Metal Gear Solid, which is Kojima’s creation. There’s also a voiceover where the narrator says how boring his dad was. Many have claimed this was Kojima’s way of stating that he was bored with the company that he was working for.
While this theory is interesting, I’m more intrigued by the game we might have gotten. What if it wasn’t all an elaborate goodbye? There was a movie concept or trailer released before P.T. The trailer was much different than the gameplay we see featured in the playable teaser itself. It appeared to be set in what looks like a run-down orphanage. The children shown have awful things happen to them. There’s a monster shown that looks nothing like Lisa, the “alpha antagonist” in P.T.
The sounds of playing soon give way to sounds of terror and we watch the imagery become gruesome. A ball rolling into a hallway becomes a head. There are many worms and bugs, and the main monster we see eats children.
We finally step outside with an unnamed character played by Normal Reedus to find a new version of Silent Hill. The old storefronts have been replaced by modern buildings and the heavy fog of the previous games has been significantly lightened. How could this possibly be the same Silent Hill we know? Is this Norman’s Silent Hill? If it is, what horrors await us? Maybe P.T. was canon, and a young Norman survived the gruesome attack his father carried out on his family.
We’ve seen characters brought to Silent Hill to face their past trauma, so it’s not too far-fetched to believe that’s why Norman came back. The events of P.T. could have easily forced him to live out his childhood at an orphanage. Those events would also leave him with questions, such as why he was spared or what made his father murder his entire family. Someone with a background such as his could easily be suffering from mental illness as well. Maybe he would return to the town to see if his memories were correct.
Norman’s face being hidden could also mean that he’s not who he thinks he is. What if he was the father who slayed his family? We’ve seen a similar angle in past games, like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, where Harry is revealed to be a traumatized Heather. Norman could also be returning to the town because he had a family of his own or is planning to start one and afraid that the same thing may happen to him.
I can’t help but wonder what he would find. Maybe he was meant to be part of another ritual, which is something we’ve seen in multiple entries. Would he have seen the people as human, or monsters? What would he have discovered about the town itself? Sadly, we’ll likely never know the answers to these questions, and we can no longer investigate what P.T. might have been due to its removal from the PlayStation Store. Fewer and fewer people have access to the demo itself now, meaning that fans are becoming increasingly reliant on watching and analyzing recorded videos online. It’s truly fascinating — if a little heartbreaking — to reflect on P.T. and consider what Silent Hills could have been.
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