Game

The making of Silent Hill 2: “The wavelength of fear is actually the same wavelength you have when you are relaxed”

Silent Hill 2 is one of the most critically acclaimed horror games of all time and is known for one of the best soundtracks in the industry. Retro Gamer talks to famous composer Akira Yamaoka about working with games, his methods and how easy it is to create madness.

David Lynch said that the sound of a movie is at least as good as the picture, and sometimes even better. We wouldn’t normally listen to who made Dune. But given his incredible work on psychological horror and his enormous impact on Silent Hill, we’ll ignore that statement. The fact that he is absolutely right doesn’t hurt either. Sound can seem like its poor cousin in the world of visually obsessive video games (how many people have huge TVs but not great speakers?), but they can turn a good game into a great one.

No one knows this better than Akira Yamaoka. The Japanese composer’s work on the Silent Hill series is legendary. Especially the second part is gloriously eerie and fearless. As with most games in the series, the protagonist is an ordinary person looking for a loved one amidst the strange mists and decaying worlds of Silent Hill. But unlike others, it didn’t focus on the Lodge and the cult. It’s a personal story of sadness, love, desire, and loss, and if played right, has a fatal twist. So every day.

grotesque valley

Silent Hill 2

Yamaoka Akira

This series is all about understanding what scares ordinary people, and Yamaoka knows exactly what “it” is, and it’s normal to be abnormal. Yamaoka says, “The most effective way to express a feeling of roughness or anxiety is to use something that gets in the way of your day-to-day life.”

“We used sounds that we instinctively dislike for no reason, such as the creaking of a blackboard, the sound of a drill on a construction site, or the sound of a bicycle braking. I put them together to create this disturbing, mysterious sound.”

Fears begin to grow when James Sunderland, a widower, beheader of Leon S. Kennedy, and generally a good man, heads into town to find an explanation for why his dead wife is writing him a letter. The roads are closed and the fog makes Tyne look like a Seychelles, and there’s a disturbing job of bizarre creatures stalking (and chasing in some cases) every turn.

Silent Hill 2

“Most of Japanese culture that can be seen abroad, such as kimono, ukiyo-e, and zen, is created from the sense of ‘ma’, which is learned naturally by being born and growing up in that culture without consciously thinking about it. I created this soundtrack with originality in mind, using the nuances of ‘ma’ in music.”

fear and disgust

Silent Hill 2

“Basically, the fear is accepted by the body and the brain actually knows that it is not in danger. I can say that people know it’s okay because it’s fiction. The music that evokes this ‘fear=relaxation’ state and the ‘instinctively disturbing noise’ mentioned above seem to create a strange feeling of insecurity.”

Yamaoka’s soundtrack helps make Silent Hill 2 very memorable. His job takes all the good (read: terrifying) against the environment and facing enemies, instilling fear in the player even when there is no immediate threat. Do not recall that the pyramid head will draw a large sword. When listening to industrial music. Just like the game itself, the real strength of the soundtrack is that it can be easily diverted. Theme Of Laura is a guitar-based track that kicks off the game. A little creepy, but not too crazy either.

Silent Hill 2


This feature was first implemented in Retro Gamer 108. Subscribe to Retro Gamer Magazine More features like this here, delivered directly to your home.


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The making of Silent Hill 2: “The wavelength of fear is actually the same wavelength you have when you are relaxed”

Silent Hill 2 is one of the most critically acclaimed horror games ever made, and is equally famous for having one of the best soundtracks in the industry. Retro Gamer talks to famed composer Akira Yamaoka about his work on the game, his methods, and how easy it is to create insanity.
David Lynch once said that sound was at least the equal of visuals in a movie, sometimes even more so. We wouldn’t usually listen to the ramblings of a man who made Dune, but given his amazing body of work in psychological horror – and its huge influence on Silent Hill – we’re going to let that one slide. That he’s also absolutely correct doesn’t hurt either. Sound may seem the poor relation in the world of visuals-obsessed video games (how many people have enormo-televisions but poor speakers?) but it can turn a good game into a great One.
No-one knows this better than Akira Yamaoka: the Japanese composer’s work on the Silent Hill series is legendary, particularly the second instalment, which is magnificently eerie and absolutely fearless. Like most of the games in the series, the protagonist is an everyman searching for a loved one amidst the peculiar fog and decaying otherworld of (the otherwise quaint) Silent Hill. Unlike some of the others, however, it doesn’t focus on secret societies and cults: it’s a personal story of grief, love, lust and loss, with a killer twist if you play it right. Everyday stuff, then.
Uncanny valley 

Akira Yamaoka

The series is about understanding what gives ordinary people the fear, and Yamaoka knows exactly what ‘that’ is, and it’s the normal becoming abnormal. “In order to depict the emotion of feeling gross or fearful, it is most effective to use something disturbing in our daily lives,” Yamaoka says. 
“I used certain sounds that we dislike instinctively without any reason or logical explanation, such as the scratching sound of scraping down a blackboard, the drilling sound of construction sites, and the braking sound of bikes. I’ve combined them to create these unsettling enigmatic sounds.”
As James Sunderland – widower, Leon S Kennedy hairstyle copier and generally all-round nice bloke – heads into the town to try and find an explanation for why his dead wife would be writing him a letter, the fear begins to mushroom. The roads are out, the fog makes the Tyne look like the Seychelles, and there’s the unpleasant matter of grotesque creatures haunting (and in some cases hunting) his every move.

“Most of the Japanese culture seen abroad, such as Kimono, Ukiyoe or Zen, is created by the sense of ‘ma’ that we learn naturally, being born and raised in this culture without even consciously thinking about it. I created this soundtrack while keeping in mind the creation of originality, by utilising this subtle sense of ‘ma’ in music.”
Fear and loathing

“Basically, the fear is received by the body and the brain actually knows that they are not in danger. You might say that people know that it’s okay because it’s fictional. I believe the music that induces this state of ‘fear = relax’, and combined with the aforementioned ‘instinctively disturbing sounds’ creates that weird unsettling feeling.”
Yamaoka’s soundtrack gives Silent Hill 2 an edge that helps make it so memorable. Dialling into everything that was good (read: terrifying) about the environments and the enemies you face in them, his work succeeds in giving players the fear even when there’s no imminent threat: try not to be reminded of Pyramid Head dragging the great knife when listening to some of the industrial pieces. Like the game itself, the true strength of the soundtrack is its ability to skip effortlessly between moods. Theme Of Laura is a guitar-driven track that opens the game: a little eerie, sure, but nothing too crazy. 

This feature first ran in Retro Gamer 108. You can subscribe to Retro Gamer Magazine here and get more features just like this one delivered straight to your doorstep. 

#making #Silent #Hill #wavelength #fear #wavelength #relaxed

The making of Silent Hill 2: “The wavelength of fear is actually the same wavelength you have when you are relaxed”

Silent Hill 2 is one of the most critically acclaimed horror games ever made, and is equally famous for having one of the best soundtracks in the industry. Retro Gamer talks to famed composer Akira Yamaoka about his work on the game, his methods, and how easy it is to create insanity.
David Lynch once said that sound was at least the equal of visuals in a movie, sometimes even more so. We wouldn’t usually listen to the ramblings of a man who made Dune, but given his amazing body of work in psychological horror – and its huge influence on Silent Hill – we’re going to let that one slide. That he’s also absolutely correct doesn’t hurt either. Sound may seem the poor relation in the world of visuals-obsessed video games (how many people have enormo-televisions but poor speakers?) but it can turn a good game into a great One.
No-one knows this better than Akira Yamaoka: the Japanese composer’s work on the Silent Hill series is legendary, particularly the second instalment, which is magnificently eerie and absolutely fearless. Like most of the games in the series, the protagonist is an everyman searching for a loved one amidst the peculiar fog and decaying otherworld of (the otherwise quaint) Silent Hill. Unlike some of the others, however, it doesn’t focus on secret societies and cults: it’s a personal story of grief, love, lust and loss, with a killer twist if you play it right. Everyday stuff, then.
Uncanny valley 

Akira Yamaoka

The series is about understanding what gives ordinary people the fear, and Yamaoka knows exactly what ‘that’ is, and it’s the normal becoming abnormal. “In order to depict the emotion of feeling gross or fearful, it is most effective to use something disturbing in our daily lives,” Yamaoka says. 
“I used certain sounds that we dislike instinctively without any reason or logical explanation, such as the scratching sound of scraping down a blackboard, the drilling sound of construction sites, and the braking sound of bikes. I’ve combined them to create these unsettling enigmatic sounds.”
As James Sunderland – widower, Leon S Kennedy hairstyle copier and generally all-round nice bloke – heads into the town to try and find an explanation for why his dead wife would be writing him a letter, the fear begins to mushroom. The roads are out, the fog makes the Tyne look like the Seychelles, and there’s the unpleasant matter of grotesque creatures haunting (and in some cases hunting) his every move.

“Most of the Japanese culture seen abroad, such as Kimono, Ukiyoe or Zen, is created by the sense of ‘ma’ that we learn naturally, being born and raised in this culture without even consciously thinking about it. I created this soundtrack while keeping in mind the creation of originality, by utilising this subtle sense of ‘ma’ in music.”
Fear and loathing

“Basically, the fear is received by the body and the brain actually knows that they are not in danger. You might say that people know that it’s okay because it’s fictional. I believe the music that induces this state of ‘fear = relax’, and combined with the aforementioned ‘instinctively disturbing sounds’ creates that weird unsettling feeling.”
Yamaoka’s soundtrack gives Silent Hill 2 an edge that helps make it so memorable. Dialling into everything that was good (read: terrifying) about the environments and the enemies you face in them, his work succeeds in giving players the fear even when there’s no imminent threat: try not to be reminded of Pyramid Head dragging the great knife when listening to some of the industrial pieces. Like the game itself, the true strength of the soundtrack is its ability to skip effortlessly between moods. Theme Of Laura is a guitar-driven track that opens the game: a little eerie, sure, but nothing too crazy. 

This feature first ran in Retro Gamer 108. You can subscribe to Retro Gamer Magazine here and get more features just like this one delivered straight to your doorstep. 

#making #Silent #Hill #wavelength #fear #wavelength #relaxed


Synthetic: Vik News

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