silenthillac.jpgTo preserve the feel of horror or to stop people from watching the game Silent Hill: The Arcade has a unique cabinet. You have to step into a mess of hanging streamers before you can grab you the gun. In the first level you step outside into a thick fog. Like other light gun games you’re “on rails”, which means you don’t move. You sit back, wait for creatures to pop out of the fog and start shooting. The most pressing threat is a monstrous dog that quickly runs towards screen. A quick burst of bullets will finish off one of these.

 

As you move through the stage you enter Silent Hill and you meet the familiar zombie nurses. Most of them have to walk to the front of the screen to latch on to you or smack you with a crowbar. However, a few stand in the back armed with handguns. Right around here Silent Hill: The Arcade pulls in a cheap trick. In a wide open room zombie nurses carrying crowbars slowly walk towards the screen. Naturally, you open fire and start to shoot them. But these aren’t the threat you need to worry about. Out of nowhere a zombie nurse will pop up from the bottom of the screen and you need to immediately focus your attention on it.

 

The first boss battle pits you against Pyramid Head who slowly walks towards the screen clutching his giant blade. You need to shoot him at a weak point, but unlike House of the Dead you aren’t told where that is. It’s not the head for sure! I tried that and switched to shooting his chest, then the hand holding the sword. Nothing worked and Pyramid Head closed in to slice off nearly half my life. Ouch. Instead of standing in one place Eric and Tina run away. Pyramid Head phases through a wall to chase them and fills the screen floor with insects. Some of the bugs jump on the screen and you need to shoot them off. While you’re busy blasting the bugs Pyramid Head gets ready for a second slicing attack. I didn’t push him back either and my life bar got wiped out. I continued the game, shot some more bugs, but I didn’t put a dent into Pyramid Head at all. During what looked like a killing blow (and the use of another continue) the characters were whimsically teleported to the real world. I survived, but Pyramid Head still lived.

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