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Parvatii

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Parvatii on Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:15 am

I think Silent Hill really needs this. Neon Genesis Evangelion (Another uber passion of mine that stems earlier than SH.) fans have taking it upon themselves to make a generalized thing about canon in the universe. (NGE is as much of a mind fuck as SH series is.) You can find it here. Silent Hill desperately needs a evidence/canon tier because honestly, there is so much wrong on the SH wiki it's ridiculous.

One of the difficulties in analyzing Neon Genesis Evangelion is the large number of secondary sources, some of which seem to be contradictory. Just how does one determine what is and is not canon? A very handy rule of thumb was invented for this purpose by Shin-seiki, a frequent poster at the Anime Nation and Eva Monkey forums. This tool is known as Shin-seiki's Tiers of Canonicity and is a proven system, both simple and effective, for resolving contradictory statements among various sources.

    1.The anime itself and its scripts and storyboards. The Director's Cuts are the final or official version and take precedence over the On Air version in the event of any theoretical contradiction.

    2.Statements made by the show's creators, principally Hideaki Anno.

    3. Official supplemental sources such as theatrical programs, Newtype Filmbooks, and Cardass Cards.

    4.The Manga, which is actually its own continuity. At best it can be used to support the anime when they are in explicit agreement; it should never be used to contradict the anime.

    5.Statements made by those responsible for adapting Evangelion for release outside of Japan. In the English speaking speaking world this would be representatives of ADV or Manga Entertainment.

Lower tiers are canon only if they do not contradict the evidence presented in higher tiers. Info from lower tiers should also be treated with somewhat more skepticism than higher tiers.

This system is a widely accepted method in evangelion discussion circles and is therefore accepted as guideline for presentation of material on this wiki.

The following are some examples of each tier.



In this vein we can also apply this to SH. Especially when we concern the classic games. ;)

1. The games themselves, storyboards, files, and scripts. This includes "director's cuts" such as Silent Hill 2 Greatest Hits and Silent Hill 2: Restless Dream take precedent over the original copy of the game that doesn't include the Born from a Wish scenario or extra endings. These are considered primary sources. I think further clarification needs to be here concerning the classic Silent Hills, that at least with the Japanese script vs the English, we should give the Japanese script the precedent. Unless shown, as the shift in SH1's script vs SH3, although I believe theories rectify this.

2. Statements about the games given in interviews. For the original games the people Toyama, Owaku, Ito, Sato, etc should be considered priority over people such Huelett, with the exception of the games that team worked on. I.e. Huelett worked on Downpour not Sato, so therefore Sato is not a primary source on the Downpour game unlike Tomm.

3. Tier three is about the time the evidence needs to be more thoroughly examined. These are the sources such as official supplemental material. Most of this evidence is usually made in conjunction with the creators. So, it's likely reliable. (Example: The Book of Lost Memories.) However, we cannot relent about examinations. If it does not match what has been said or what is presented in the games, then we should be able to examine it critically.

4. Extra sources such as the Play Novel, which is done by team as SH1, but exists within it's own canonicity. A note in the PN mentions that there is a belief that God would be descended into an object, which correlates to the beliefs of the Holy Mother's sect and what happened in SH4. Therefore, it must be true. But the neighbor kid Andy hiding in the trunk and experiencing the nightmare is not canon to the main game. This should be the same caution applied to the written novels of Silent Hill from Japan or the Cage of Cradle manga.

5. Statements released from those who distribute Silent Hill outside of Japan. This would include people who haven't worked on the classics first hand but still work for Konami. As stated in the Eva wiki: " It's evident, in fact, from some of their statements that the people at ADV and Manga Entertainment have a less than perfect understanding of Evangelion, sometimes giving credence to some of the most infamous "theories" that have sprung up in the on-line community." This is also true for Silent Hill. Dan Birlew was given access to Konami and worked with them to make the official guides for SH2 and 3. It has since been shown that Konami not only lied about certain information, that it's also demonstrably false according to the source material. This is where information gets real shaky. As the wiki states " In short, statements from these sources need to be taken with several grains of salt: they are fans of the series, and they've watched it a great deal, but they do not know significantly more about it (as in access to "behind the scenes information") than basic fans do. "
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Gauss

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Gauss on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:36 am

This looks good. I think it is needed on SHC. This could probably be added to the best threads or a sticky (I don't know what needs to happen for something to become sticky worthy).
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Parvatii

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Parvatii on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:38 am

That's a good idea. We'll vote on it. What do you think Nur?
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devil hunter

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by devil hunter on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:59 am

Yeah, I agree with fromelmstreet, this is some good stuff. If SH ever had something similar to "forum rules" we have here, I think it would look similar to this.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ren of Heavens

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Ren of Heavens on Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:48 pm

This looks like a really good idea. I'll be looking foreword to this.
 
 
 
 
 
 

PMS_Akali

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by PMS_Akali on Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:11 pm

The "Canon" of Silent Hill was always messy and uncomfortable to me. But I like this a lot and am definitely alright with this idea.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Otherside on Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:51 pm

I like this idea too, and if this thread goes accordingly, it should definitely be sticked on the top.

And starting the discussion... I think anything that doesn't contradict canon, should be canon too, even if it came from an outside source. For example, if Andy's prsence in the Play Novel doesn't create any plot-holes in the original story(I don't remember if it does), he should be considered canon. And the same for anything else in the PN.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Parvatii

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Parvatii on Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:45 pm

It would go against substantiated canon because it's unsubstantiated.
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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by jam6i on Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:25 pm

As long as it is established that Vincent is, in fact, a high school cool guy who wears cool guy leather jackets like a cool guy.

F*ck that dumb game Silent Hill 3's portrayal of Vincent. The film got it right. Revelations understands Silent Hill

Anyway, this seems like a daunting task. I wish whoever ventures into it a warm good luck. I think i'll pass on sorting it all out, it's just too much.

I'll stick to organizing my sock drawer. All 2 socks.
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PMS_Akali

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by PMS_Akali on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:59 pm

I never thought of that. Someone needs to tell the next developers that make a Silent Hill that the movies are not actually canon. I'm tired of story elements from the movies in my games.
 
 
 
 
 
 

what

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by what on Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:26 pm

It is my opinion that it is very strange to insist that there can only be one canon in a series where one of the most fundamental elements is the idea that reality is never concrete or immutable.

Shattered Memories isn't non-canon. The movies aren't non-canon. They are separate canons with rules unique to them. That alone proves that multiple realities are a thing in Silent Hill. The first game, the Play Novel, the first movie and Shattered Memories represent four distinct realities. In much the same way, the four endings of Silent Hill 2 represent not four possible outcomes of a single starting point, but four distinct realities in which James, and his motivations, are different in very small, very subtle, and very important ways.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by jam6i on Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:58 pm

Well, at the very least you can say there are two official canon-timelines, with the second one consisting solely (so far) or the bad ending from SH1 and SM.

We've just gotta admit that there are more than one canon-timeline. SM conflicts with the info from the 1st timeline because it exists in it's own split universe.

I'm not a fan of the zelda series, but I also know that Nintendo have created such a convoluted mess of chronology and split timelines it gives even the AVGN a headache.

And I feel that if Silent Hills is what I feel it wants to be, there could be many more split timelines to come.

So enjoy the simplistic nature of 2 canon universes. It's probably going to get worse.

(i don't consider the films canon in the game universe since, you know, they are films. I don't feel compelled to care about the film canon since I don't care about the films. I only care about the games and comics).
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Parvatii

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Parvatii on Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:02 am

what wrote:It is my opinion that it is very strange to insist that there can only be one canon in a series where one of the most fundamental elements is the idea that reality is never concrete or immutable.

Shattered Memories isn't non-canon. The movies aren't non-canon. They are separate canons with rules unique to them. That alone proves that multiple realities are a thing in Silent Hill. The first game, the Play Novel, the first movie and Shattered Memories represent four distinct realities. In much the same way, the four endings of Silent Hill 2 represent not four possible outcomes of a single starting point, but four distinct realities in which James, and his motivations, are different in very small, very subtle, and very important ways.




I thought own canoncity was pretty much addressed in the OP, and the link.
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what

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by what on Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:28 am

Yeah, I was more or less commenting on that.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Venithil on Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:32 pm

As long as nobody decides In Water is canon (or, worse yet, "cannon") this is a perfectly admirable thing to include.
 
 
 
 
 
 

what

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by what on Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:50 pm

I like to think that all of the endings, except probably the +endings from the first game, each establish their own canon. Most of them are very short canon, since few of them specifically advance the meta narrative beyond their own climaxes, but still.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Lain on Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:08 am

Purramid_Head wrote:It would go against substantiated canon because it's unsubstantiated.


I thought the idea of the tiers was that if something in a lower tier doesn't contradict something from a higher tier, then it's acceptable as canon, albeit with less merit than stuff shown to be canon in higher tiers.

So basically, not unsubstantiated... more like less substantiated.

As regards to the concept of "tiers of canonicity", I like it. What what says about multiple canonicities is valid, but I think what this idea is about is determining canonicity within the original work's canon, whether it be the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series or Silent Hill Number 1.

In which case, I don't think the tiers are entirely correct. Older games should take precedence over newer games. The way the tiers are set up now makes it seem like a newer game can contradict an older game yet still be canon since it still meets the criteria for the top tier. Unfortunately due to the nature of the beast, I think that applying the tiers of canonicity to SH will require more granular tiers since it's not as clear-cut as even NGE. In particular, I think we need a tier 1 and 2 for each main game entry in the series. Like so:

1a. Silent Hill (#1) itself, storyboards, files, scripts, etc. Director's cut, so on and so forth.
1b. Statements made about Silent Hill (#1) by its creators
2a. Silent Hill 2 itself, storyboards, files, scripts, etc. Director's cut, so on and so forth.
2b. Statements made about Silent Hill 2 by its creators
3a. Silent Hill 3 itself, storyboards, files, scripts, etc. Director's cut, so on and so forth.
3. Statements made about Silent Hill 3 by its creators
..
2a. Silent Hills itself, storyboards, files, scripts, etc. Director's cut, so on and so forth.
2b. Statements made about Silent Hills by its creators

Although obviously, if a work proves itself not to be canon, it should not be included in the tiers of canonicity. For example, if Silent Hills comes out and claims Harry was a girl and that Walter Sullivan was James Sunderland's father, it no longer is a valid reference of canonicity... therefore if a Silent Hills 2 ever came out, it wouldn't matter if it contradicted anything in the first Silent Hills since that one has already been established as being non-canon (in reference to the original canon).
 
 
 
 
 
 

Parvatii

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Parvatii on Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:20 am

It's Konami that expands on their own mythos. If we do that then it would make SH1 substantially more canon than everything else and would make some stuff about 3's script skewed. Rather, the tiers are set up that every game is equal and precedent is given to those who worked on. It's also questionable because SH Origins expands on 1.

It would make Play Novel > Silent Hill 2.
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PMS_Akali

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by PMS_Akali on Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:52 am

I don't know if Origins should count as canon. At least some of it. I'm not really a fan of someone taking someone else's work and changing it. That, and for whatever reason Origins assumes the movie was canon.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Theory and Analysis: What Is Canon?

Post by Alex Townshend on Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:36 pm

Purramid_Head wrote:there is so much wrong on the SH wiki it's ridiculous.

In regards to what?

It's a wiki, you can edit it too, you know, and raise up points.

There are fans out there who asked me to delete all the Origins/Homecoming/Downpour stuff off the wiki. >_>

While I don't truly consider them part of the Team Silent canon, I don't believe in censoring either and deleting entire installments just because some fans don't like the material.

There are actually lots of things I like about the series post SH4.
 
 
 
 
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