Murphy lived in Brahms. Presumably, in the left house that we see in the Cinemas Verite depiction. Patrick lives in the right house. Murphy and Carol were divorced and custody rights are unclear, but we assume Charlie lived with Murphy. Charlie goes missing walking home from school and no one can find him. At some point, the body of a child is pulled out of the water behind Patrick's house. Murphy witnesses this, but we never find out if it is Charlie or not (note that there are two cut scenes of this event depicting it happening different ways). We are actually led to believe that the body pulled from the water is Daniel, who Patrick was convicted for the molestation and murder of and sent to Ryall State. Murphy goes stupid and gets himself locked up at Ryall State where Patrick is. There he meets Frank who can see early on that Murphy shouldn't be there and does what he can to look out for Murphy. Frank sets up the work release program for Murphy and tries to get his parole hearings pushed faster. Sometime before Murphy arrives at Ryall State, Frank has already sent his report to the warden about George. George is mad and is looking for a way get Frank out of his way. At some point George finds out about Murphy and proposes a deal, coincidentally, on the same day that Frank shows up with Murphy's approved parole papers. Murphy takes the deal and kills Patrick. George finds out that Murphy is going to be released and has a little talk with him to make sure he isn't backing out of his end of the deal and walks away singing 'Born Free'. George instigates the riot where Murphy finds Frank in the showers and is not sure what to do next. At which point George 'kills' Frank while Murphy watches. Murphy is blamed for Frank's death which is how Anne knows who to go after and she makes sure Murphy gets a transfer to Wayside Max where she works.
Purpose of Characters:
- Carol: Murphy's ex-wife. She isn't important to the story, but gives us some insight into Murphy's emotional and mental state and background story. She seems to have honestly loved Murphy and Murphy thought the world of her but for some reason they divorced. After Charlie went missing she writes Murphy a scathing letter of hate placing all the blame on Murphy.
- Howard: Howard serves little purpose to the game except to give us perfectly clear direction on where to go to advance the story. His presence after that is no longer required and so he doesn't appear again. Although, parts of his dialogue can be used to help support other concepts in the game.
- John P. Sater: John shows a few aspects that we should look at. First off, he doesn't believe he murdered anyone, but he does believe his actions caused people to be hurt. He still can't live with it and commits suicide. We also see that John calls the media, of which Murphy sides, and opinions from others around town liars and John mentions what it is like to live in someone else's lie. This parallel's Murphy being blamed for Frank's death even though he didn't do it, with the one ending exception, and not being able to change what people think about it. If you taunt him, Murphy says, "That's right, take the easy way out. That's what cowards do right?" To which John replies, "There ain't nothing easy about being a coward, Murphy. You should know that." He's referring to when Murphy sat and watched Frank get killed.
- Bobby (DJ) Ricks: Bobby serves the same style of purpose that Howard serves. There is a small amount of parallel connection between him and Murphy. One of Murphy's comments (I cannot find it now for the life of me) mentions the small difference between action and inaction and Bobby didn't do enough acting. This comment displays exactly what Murphy didn't do in the showers when George 'killed' Frank.
- Nun: The nun helps introduce us to the concept of Bogeyman being the child of Murphy. She makes a few comments that imply some interesting concepts that might be useful in understanding the story. She mentions that monsters must run in the family, that Murphy has been so blind he couldn't see what he really was and she welcomes him home when he picks up the freedom key.
- Orphanage Girl: She isn't important to the game as we see it. Yes, she shows aspects of Anne but overall she doesn't add much more depth. She sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on a few occassions which is a direct analogy of Murphy's plight and she mirrors some of Anne's lines. She is supposed to be the driving factor for Murhpy traversing the St. Maria Otherworld, but Murphy would have had to do that anyhow.
- Orphanage Boy: The boy is a representation of Murphy and Charlie. He represents Murphy the first time we see him and hints that Murphy's tunnel vision with killing Patrick, his unwillingness to open up to people trying to help him and his indecision are what caused him to become trapped in a nightmare of guilt and self destruction. The boy represents Charlie the second time we see him. The purpose was to make Murphy understand that, even with all the tools at his disposal, he still can't stop what happens. He can also represent Murphy the second time in that he is so focused on his toy that he doesn't realize he's left himself no where to go and his fears are closing in.
- George Sewell: George is needed to construct the main support story for Murphy and Anne's adventure. He doesn't provide any symbolism or overarching themes to the story though other than the 'Born Free' reference.
- Frank Coleridge Frank is needed, like George, to construct the main support story. We also have to know the type of person Frank was to understand the driving force behind Anne and, part of the driving force behind, Murphy's actions.
- Wheelchair Man: So, it's Frank and not Frank. It's an entity based on the memories of Anne and Murphy of Frank. Murphy blames himself for Frank's death even though it wasn't all his fault. It is constantly setting the 'stage' for every place that Murphy goes, but doesn't seem to actually try to bring Murphy harm. Wheelchair Man uncovers bits and pieces of things Murphy has chosen not to remember or pay attention to all the while forcing Murphy to follow a pre-determined path of self-discovery and choice. The reason wheelchair Man may look deformed to Murphy, we assume the same to Anne, is because whenever Murphy remembers Frank he associates it with his guilt and pain at what happened and when Anne remembers Frank she associates it with anger and sadness. These have warped Frank's memory into something it shouldn't be an thus his physical embodiment.
- Charlie Pendleton: He's not really an important character. He helps us to understand Murphy's motivation. We see him in some memories and once in St. Maria's talking to Murphy. He is a projection of Murphy's memory. There is some importance to note that after St. Maria's we no longer encounter Bogeyman as Charlie states, "You killed him. You killed the Bogeyman." He also tells Murphy, "It's not your fault," alluding to Charlie's death.
- Patrick Napier: A character vital to the sub-story supporting Murphy, but not very important. His character helps show Murphy's initial motivation for being in prison and what 'locked' him into his current adventure.
- Anne Cunningham: Anne is required for the current story to unfold. She provides the catalyst for the events that she and Murphy find their selves involved in and could be seen as the reason Silent Hill 'activated'. We keep thinking that the rain and storms are a part of Murphy's mind, but they are more in line with Anne's. She has held on to and fanned the fires of her anger for years and Silent Hill could be manifesting it as a great storm. She believes Murphy killed her father and see's him as a monster for it and does some "sick shit" to get him transferred to the prison where she works. Anne was, or still is, a kind, gentle and caring person at heart, all things she learned from Frank, who became 'broken' after what happened to Frank. She let hatred and anger change who she was.
- Murphy Pendleton: The main character of the story, can't have this story without him. Murphy appears to be kind, gentle, slightly introverted and self-absorbed and headstrong. Murphy seems to make decisions without weighing the costs and jumps to conlusions easily. His name may be derived from Murphy's Law. He mentions that his past had a lot of screw-ups and Carol still married him despite that. Murphy seems fond of this era of his life, he was happily(?) married and had a son, who he loved beyond anything else. Things were going good for Murphy it seemed. Before he knew it he was divorced, his son was 'dead', he was in prison and he saw his only friend in the place killed right in front of him. After Charlie died I'm sure Murphy felt he had nothing else to live for except to get revenge for himself and his son and his walking that road trapped him in his nightmare that just kept getting worse and worse.
- Bogeyman: Bogeyman is an idea. A projection of emotion and thought. He represents that thing that we fear. The thing that haunts our dreams and turns them to nightmares. That is it. The things Murphy feared were Patrick and himself. Patrick's fear was the type of retaliation Murphy brought to him (I don't want to confuse anyone to thinking Murphy was his fear as that is not the case). Anne's fear was the person that murdered Frank, whom she believes to be Murphy. Bogeyman's look is most likely different for each person, but the game has to keep one look for the concept otherwise players might not get the idea. We really only see Bogeyman in a few places and never in physical form outside of the Otherworld. But, just because something scares us doesn't mean it is bad. As far as we know, Patrick didn't kill Charlie, Murphy believes it and may have killed an innocent man. Anne sees Murphy as Bogeyman even though Murphy is innocent of Frank's death (with the exception of the one ending). I'll be the first admit that, even though this theory is the most consistent one I can find, it doesn't explain Bogeyman's apparent hindering of Murphy's progress in the St. Maria Otherworld while he is chasing the Orphanage Girl.
- Void: The void seems to represent truth. Before the first Void chase in the diner Frank tells Murphy to run. This seems to be because Murphy isn't able to face the truth like that in his current state. After the first Void chase in the Centennial Building Frank says, "Truth is like the sun, boy. You can shut it out, but it ain't going away." After the Void chase in St. Maria's Frank says, "You won't find yourself, Murph. Until you face the truth." Before the Void chase in Overlook Penitentiary Frank says, "You can't outrun yourself Murphy." Murphy keeps believing that he isn't a bad guy because he never hurt anyone who 'didn't deserve it.' The Void is what Murphy really is and tries to force Murphy to realize it. The Void doesn't actually destroy the world Murphy is in, it does suck things up and they 'disappear' (I say this because some things have come back, but that could just be a glitch on the PS3). What the Void wants is Murphy and takes as direct a path as it can to get to him. It's something like fire, the ability to purify, bringing light to darkness, truth to lies and leaves no where to hide.
- Born Free: A song we only ever here George singing and yet, it shows up so often in Otherworld episodes. Just judging by the lyrics this song says that we are all born free and can do what we want, living free keeps the world beautiful and interesting, stay free by not shutting parts of yourself away and that life is only worth living because we are free. It's alluding that we are the only ones that can take away our freedom through our own actions. It is a subtle hint to Murphy that not forgiving himself and coming to terms with the things that have happened to him are just keeping him locked up and unable to do what he wants.
In short, Murphy and Anne go on a little adventure of discovery. The memory of Frank still seeks to help Murphy along every step of the path and even at the end becomes something of a 'self-sacrifice.' Murphy deals with the death of Charlie and what he had become and subsequently did to Patrick. Ultimately, he is given the choice to become a monster or redeem himself by either killing or sparing Anne. Of course, we all know where inaction leads.