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Silent Hill 2: Endings, Explained

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  • Leave
  • In Water
  • Maria
  • Rebirth
  • Dog
  • UFO
  • Which Ending Is Canon?

Silent Hill 2 follows James Sunderland’s journey through the disquieting town of Silent Hill on his way to find his wife Mary, who died prior to the game’s events. Silent Hill 2 has four main endings and two joke endings that you can obtain based on your completion of the game and how you treat James as a playable character.

The story of Silent Hill 2 is one of its most interesting aspects. Its endings are incredibly powerful, discussing James’ grief revolving around Mary’s death and the guilt he feels because he is responsible for it. The endings also provide different interpretations of the story as a whole, as they’re so different from each other.

The "In Water" entry in this article contains references to suicide, so consider skipping that if the topic makes you feel uncomfortable.

Leave

To unlock this ending, you have to play the game in a way that ensures that James isn’t being too self-destructive. For example, you should heal James after he takes damage and attempt to keep your health bar in the green. You must also play the game with the intention of finding Mary in Silent Hill, checking her letter regularly, and listening to the conversations about Mary’s health by using the headphones, as well as in the hallway at the Lakeview Hotel.

In this ending, James confronts the guilt he feels for killing Mary and is able to leave Silent Hill alongside Laura. After Mary’s letter, you see them both walking through the graveyard, leaving Silent Hill behind.

This ending can be viewed as happy because James puts aside his grief to free himself from Silent Hill and presumably start a new chapter in his life. James has successfully combated his darker thoughts and come out on the other side, no longer feeling the need to punish himself. The ending is bittersweet – although James is free to live his life, Mary can’t do the same.

In Water

To get the In Water ending, you must play the game as if James has no respect for his life, taking damage recklessly and not healing often. As well as checking Angela’s knife, you should read the patient’s diary on the roof of Brookhaven and read the second message to James found in Neely’s Bar. Similar to the Leave ending, you’ll need to listen to the conversations in Lakeview Hotel.

If you get this ending, James takes his own life in recompense for killing Mary by driving his car into Toluca Lake with himself and Mary’s body inside.

James is unable to live with his guilt and, despite being punished by the horrors of Silent Hill, can’t forgive himself for his crimes. This ending is only obtainable if James exhibits self-destructive behavior, suggesting that he doesn’t value his life. The message in Neely’s Bar also taunts James with eternal damnation, implying that James has given up on reuniting with Mary, as he believes he won’t end up in the same place as her when he dies.

Maria

As the name suggests, the Maria ending is received if you favor Maria, making sure to stick beside her and shield her from the monsters. Unlike the Leave and In Water endings, you’ll need to avoid listening to the conversations in the hallway and when using the headphones.

If you choose Maria over Mary, James decides to leave Silent Hill with Maria, replacing Mary with a hallucination. This ending is a cynical outlook on James’ psyche, as he learns nothing from his experiences at Silent Hill and would rather live a lie than confront the truth of his situation.

It also has a sinister implication, as Maria coughs when they’re walking to James’ car, implying that she might also be suffering from the same illness as Mary. James then remarks, “You’d better do something about that cough,” suggesting that history may repeat itself.

Rebirth

You can get the Rebirth ending by obtaining a specific set of items on a second playthrough: the White Chrism, Lost Memories, Obsidian Goblet, and Crimson Ceremony.

If you collect these items, James puts Mary’s body into a row boat and travels across Toluca Lake to the Church of Rebirth with the intention of awakening the Old Gods residing in Silent Hill. James is unable to live without Mary and therefore hopes to resurrect her using this ancient power.

Desperate to reunite with his wife, James chooses to risk involving himself with the gods of Silent Hill, rather than laying Mary to rest. You never find out what becomes of Mary and James after he calls on the Old Gods, but considering James’ prior experiences in Silent Hill, it most likely doesn’t end well for this couple.

Dog

For the Dog ending to be achieved, you must pick up the Dog Key on a second playthrough, which you can use to unlock a door in the Lakeview Hotel. Behind this door, you’ll discover a cute Shiba Inu who was behind all the goings-on at Silent Hill, controlling the events from this room.

As this is a joke ending, it doesn’t have an impact on the story and is only a humorous what-if scenario available if you want to play the game a second time. If you get this ending, you’ll also be treated to the end credits music being barked by the dog, as well as a funny montage.

UFO

This ending is obtained by using the Blue Gem in three different locations – the Brookhaven Hospital garden, in front of the rowboat after fighting Eddie, and in Room 312 in the Lakeview Hotel.

This ending continues on from the first Silent Hill UFO ending, where Harry is abducted by aliens. The scene plays out like an old-school black-and-white alien movie, complete with monochromatic visuals and title cards to describe the dialogue.

Here, Harry and James cross paths, only for an alien to zap and abduct James while Harry watches on gleefully. This suggests that Harry is now in cohorts with the aliens and has abducted James to initiate him into their ranks.

Despite having no bearing on the plot of Silent Hill 2, the UFO ending is still an entertaining and absurd situation.

Which Ending Is Canon?

There have been no official statements from Team Silent, the developers of Silent Hill 2, that state that any of the endings are canon. Masahiro Ito, a designer who worked on Silent Hill 2, said on Twitter that, although many people consider the In Water ending to be canon (including himself), “there is not any such ending.”

It’s up to you to decide which ending is most befitting of James’ character development throughout the game, with each ending providing a completely different approach to his mental state at the game’s conclusion.

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