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"Phoenix listens as April prattles on about how cool and glamorous it is to be questioned as a witness in a murder case, and even takes off to the bathroom so she can 'freshen up' and look hotter for her interview. Miss May, thinks Phoenix, clearly has a penchant for drama, much like his ex. But at least Larry doesn't have big fake boobies."
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Silent Hill : Part 3
By Kelly
Posted 02.17.07
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the words of the great Jim Anchower, hola, dear readers. I know it's been a long while since Auntie AG got off her ass and recapped, and I'm really, really sorry about that. Honest. I'm so sorry that I'm going to try to make this recap extra funny. Of course, if it isn't extra funny there's no money back guarantee or anything and if you send me emails telling me I wasn't extra funny, I'll just use them to point and mock. So, you're pretty much going to have to take my word for it that Mr. Blanton's and I are going to bring you a hi-larious time in the Land of Harry.

So, let's see, where were we? Over a year or so ago, I brought you the epic tale that was Harry's trip to Midwich Elementary School, and all the fun, excitement, and baby-killing one man can have with a lead pipe, a handgun, a knife, a shotgun, and some concentrated hydrochloric acid. Now that Harry's had a little time to take a breather, it's time we get moseying on to the church downtown. After all, poor little Quasimodo's been ringing those fucking bells all this time, and anyone's arms are going to be tired after that.

Harry leaves Midwich Elementary School, secure in the knowledge that no child was left behind in his murderous spree. It doesn't take him a terribly long time to reach Balkan Church, as Harry doesn't feel like dealing with any flying, flapping man-things, nor does he particularly feel like getting himself taken down by the ASPCA for killing more zombie dogs (yet), so he just runs like a little girl anytime one of the beasties approaches him in the static-y gloom.

Harry makes it over to Bloch Street relatively unscathed, and while my interest is piqued by the sight of the "Cut-Rite Chainsaw" store, I happen to know that I don't have another Silent Hill save on this particular memory card, thus the wonders of destruction that is the chainsaw will have to be lamentably lacking in this recap. It does, however, remind me of the time I helped a former co-worker of mine find the chainsaw in Silent Hill 2, only to have him try to feed that same "hint" back to me at a later time. Dude, just because I'm a twelve-year-old homo with a tiny penis, it doesn't mean that I don't love a good Texas Chainsaw Zombie Slaughter or can't be a froth-at-the-mouth game completionist like the next girl. Sheesh.

Anyway, back to Harry. He has arrived at Balkan Church and we have arrived at our first cutscene in this part of the game. The camera pans in to show us the lovely economy size crucifix hanging on the wall, no doubt running with oodles of bright red blood, which I'm given to understand from the churches in my neck of the woods is how you know that a church is a godly church instead of some Unitarian Universalist hippie church where our Lord and Savior is more apt to look like he's just come in from a nice game of golf. Below the crucifix is a woman, at least, I think it's a woman, though when she turns around her eyes have that freaky silvery look that just scream "mad demonic power in human form." Then again, my mom used to get that look in her eyes every time the school principal would call her in for a conference on my uncanny ability to be a smartass at the wrong time, so maybe it's just a mom thing. As luck would have it, this is Old Mother Tablerunner, who we last saw in the game's opening video.

And how are we today, Sister Mary Satan?

Harry, never one to let his train of thought be derailed by something like a weird woman wearing a tablecloth on her head standing in an abandoned church in an abandoned town after just killing most of the town's precious demonic schoolchildren asks Old Mother Tablerunner if she was the ones ringing the bells. Rather than steal Quasimodo's thunder, Old Mother Tablerunner tells Harry that she's been expecting him, oh my goodness yes, and that his arrival was foretold to her by gyromancy. For those of you too lazy to click on the handy-dandy link I've just provided for you, gyromancy is a method of divination where a person makes a big circle on the ground and inscribes the letters of the alphabet on the outer part of the circle. Then, they stand in the circle and spin around until they get dizzy and fall down. Whatever letter their head points to is either the answer to their question or a letter in the word of their answer. Goddamn, no wonder this woman looks like hell. Can you imagine all the spinning, dropping, and puking it must have taken her to spell out H-A-R-R-Y M-A-S-O-N? Just imagine if our hero had a name like Engelbert Humperdinck or something.

Old Mother Tablerunner continues to natter on, acting all otherworldly, though I'm pretty sure she's just got fluid on the brain. She finally tells Harry "You want the girl, right?" which leads Harry to jump to the not-too-far-out conclusion that she's talking about Cheryl. Of course, trying to hold a conversation with Old Mother Tablerunner is about as fruitful as trying to hold a conversation with the Bridge Guardian in Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, and makes about as much sense. There couldn't possibly be another girl Old Mother Tablerunner is referring to, could there? Nah! That's just crazy talk. Although, in Silent Hill, one must wonder what talk isn't crazy talk. I mean, asking someone about the weather in this town is liable to get you a conversation about the sins of the father and the need for ritualistic cleansing or some other such nonsense, so who knows what flights of metaphysical fancy asking about your missing, seemingly possessed darling daughter might inspire. Besides, Old Mother Tablerunner isn't done with the creepy non sequiturs. She tells Harry that she can see everything, then cautions Harry to stay back. Maybe one of the demon kids gave him spectral cooties or something. Or, we can chalk it up to Old Mother Tablerunner being batshit insane. Your call, folks.

Still, because she's contractually obligated to continue on force-feeding Harry unhelpful "clues", Old Mother Tablerunner starts going on about Harry following the Path of the Hermit, which has been concealed by someone or something called Flauros. I have to wonder if the game designers didn't just pick up the "Randomly Creepy and Slightly Esoteric Magnetic Poetry" set, and start flinging the pieces at the break room fridge willy-nilly to come up with this shit, right before the munchies got to them and they went on a leftovers raid. I mean, the path of Day Old General Tso's Chicken concealed by Raw Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough just wouldn't have the same vibe to it in terms of otherworldly instructions for enlightenment, and you'd probably have one hell of a stomach-ache to boot.

So, just what is the Path of the Hermit?
It's a reference to the Hermit card in the tarot deck, which as any student of the occult knows signifies great knowledge and power. Harry must follow the Path to find the great power in Silent Hill. I've written a half-hour presentation on it, see?
It's random creepy gibberish used to advance the game. And it sounds better than the Path of the Pretentious Asshole.
It's the few square feet of grubby but uncluttered carpet between the kitchen and the couch in any gamer's house.
Only the wizard knows.


Poor Harry is left in about the same state of confusion as I am as Old Mother Tablerunner goes on, even going so far as to ask her just what in the googly-fuck she's talking about. To illustrate her point, Old Mother Tablerunner grabs what looks like an old Pyraminx Rubik's Cube puzzle, only it's one that has just one color and one design. She tells Harry that this is the mighty Flauros, the "Cage of Peace" that will help him find his path and thwart the anger of the underworld. And I suppose if Harry's really bored, it will provide him with hours of brain-teasing fun and wonder, though I suspect solving that bastard once it's shuffled would be the most frustrating thing since Bobbing for Sugar Cubes was invented. Better get yourself a black magic marker and a set of those replacement stickers, Harry.

Doesn't this thing come with an instruction booklet?

Old Mother Table Runner ends her speech by telling Harry to get his ass down to the hospital, pronto, then like any other good delivery system of strange and portentous knowledge, she skedaddles. Harry collects the Flauros and the previously-unmentioned Drawbridge Key from the pastor's lectern then snoops around to see if maybe someone left something in one of the collection plates. There's no cash, but some kind soul did leave a health drink sitting around, and at the back of the church there's the notepad/save point thingy, which Harry makes use of before heading off to the hospital. I suppose in the literal sense this means that Harry has now been saved. Praise the Lord and pass the ammo!

Speaking of ammo, on his way from the Church to the hospital, Harry takes a detour to a nearby auto garage, where he finds a save point and a handy-dandy box of bullets on the ground. This is also where, I'm given to understand, you can pick up gasoline for the aforementioned chain-saw that we haven't in fact got. Buckfutter. Outside the garage, he finds a head-chomping zombie dog, bringing his kill count for this recap up to one. Way to go, Mr. Mason.

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