[MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SILENT HILL 2]
"I GOT A LETTER. THE NAME ON THE ENVELOPE SAID… MARY"
Mary is the least present of the characters in Silent Hill 2. She is a fridged woman, a plot device to move James’ story forward, but she permeates the narrative in a way most fridged women don’t. James’ story isn’t about avenging Mary or even really about finding her. It’s about understanding her and, through her, himself. Yes, Mary’s death drives James’ emotional journey, but that journey doesn’t vindicate or reward him for his actions. Instead, James’ quest to discover what truly happened to Mary completely overturns his understanding of the kind of man he believes himself to be.
Though she is dead by the time the game begins, Mary’s unpresence fills Silent Hill 2. The game opens with her words – or, as we discover later, the tiny scrap of her words James managed to remember – and Silent Hill is her special place. And it is through her beloved Silent Hill that James must journey to uncover the truth about himself and their relationship.
[content warning: discussion of child and animal abuse, as well as MAJOR spoilers for Rule of Rose]
I’ve been reluctant to discuss Rule of Rose, not because I don’t love it (it’s easily one of my favorite games of all time and right up there with Silent Hill 2 when it comes to storytelling through suggestions and symbols), but because Rule of Rose Mysteries exists and has already dissected much of the game in brilliant detail.
But I love the game enough to risk being a bit redundant. In this post, I’ve decided to focus on a character who doesn’t get as much attention as her role in the narrative deserves. And while she’s a tough character to get an emotional or intellectual grip on, understanding her is essential to understanding Rule of Rose.