Can you truly play as Cybil Bennett in Silent Hill?
Welcome, dear readers, to another entry of Gamebusters, the segment in which we track down gaming myths and attempt to debunk them. This week we’ll be taking a break from the Mario rumors and instead be focusing on another game which successfully scared gamers back when it was first released. Note: There will be a spoiler in this article, so if you haven’t played the game yet for some reason and wish to avoid spoilers, stop reading here.
Some may see that we’re going to be doing a Silent Hill myth and believe that we’ll be talking about the rumored Ambulance ending. Those people are, however, incorrect (though we may decide to later). Instead we’ll be focusing on a rumor that isn’t quite as widespread, namely the ability to control/follow Cybil’s storyline in the game.
According to the rumor, you will be able to, after utilizing certain items in a certain way, proceed through the game as Cybil, thus following her storyline. Cybil’s storyline would take you through a different route in the game, showing you things and places that you would never discover as Harry.
Because you would be following Cybil’s story, the rumor goes on to suggest that Harry would be infected later in the game. You would fight Harry as you did Cybil in his storyline, and be able to save him the same way that Harry can save her.
Myth or fact? This particular myth is just that, a myth. That said, if things had turned out the way the developers had initially planned, it would be true (after a fashion). For those unaware, the developers had initially planned for the player to be able to take two different routes through the town of Silent Hill. The first route, Harry’s, became the PlayStation game in it’s entirety. The second route would have been Cybil’s.
It is reported that, due to the PlayStation’s limited capability, the developers had to scrap Cybil’s scenario. The scenario would be reborn later, however, in a game called Silent Hill: Play Novel, which was released only in Japan for the Gameboy Advance. This game was a Visual Novel, which, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a game in mostly static text and graphics. It will ask for the gamer’s input at key locations, and the decisions the gamer makes can affect the outcome of the game.
Silent Hill: Play Novel offered two main scenarios. The first was Harry’s, and once you managed to beat his scenario, you unlock the capability of playing the officer, Cybil. In this sense, you could say that the myth turned out to be true in the end, however since the original myth was focused on the PlayStation version of the game, we declare it to be nothing more than myth.
For those interested, Silent Hill: Play Novel also featured four additional scenarios which were made available as downloads in Japan. One of these involved a young boy named Andy, who just happened to be the neighbor of Harry and Cheryl. This download service was ended after a brief time, however.