Maria (Silent Hill)

Maria (Silent Hill)

General CVG character

series="Silent Hill"
firstgame="Silent Hill 2"
voiceactor=Monica Horgan
inuniverse=Silent Hill character

Maria is one of the main fictional characters in the videogame "Silent Hill 2". She meets up with the player's character James Sunderland quite early in the course of the game's storyline (in the Rosewater Park area) and travels with him sporadically after that. She is physically identical to James' late wife, Mary, although her appearance and personality is said to be more sexually extroverted. Maria is a very enigmatic character, and she could be seen as some sort of reincarnation or ghostly form of Mary, as a supernatural and possibly sinister creature of unknown origin, or some combination of these. At times she seems to channel Mary's memories, and, like Mary, she suffers from an unspecified illness. The booklet accompanying the game describes her as the opposite of Mary, "cheerful and energetic," but she is actually a rather dark and moody character and as the game goes on her illness makes her less energetic.

Her personality is highly unpredictable: sometimes she is fearful and clingy, at other times she speaks tenderly to James, and at other times she is more teasing or even cruel. She seems consistently concerned about Laura, the little girl who is running loose in Silent Hill. Through the game James is both attracted to her and fearful of what Maria might represent, and he struggles to understand her. Maria appears to be some sort of phantom created by James' desperation to see Mary again, an idea arguably supported by the title of the "Silent Hill 2" minigame, "Born From a Wish". The minigame suggests that, in the beginning at least, even Maria isn't really sure who or what she is, but by the time she first encounters James she is beginning to "remember" him somehow. When she learns she's not a real person and was created for James, she briefly considers suicide but ultimately decides to go see James.

Born From a Wish

Chronologically speaking, the "Born From a Wish" minigame serves as Maria's introduction in the "Silent Hill" universe, although this prequel game was created after "Silent Hill 2's" release. The Maria we see in "Born From a Wish" is much less sassy and confident than in the main game, and it is suggested that she has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there, furthering the ambiguity of the character's origins.

Maria wakes up alone and frightened in the "Heaven's Night" club. After pondering to herself about what she should do, she eventually decides to try and find someone else in the town. She begins to wander through the streets of Silent Hill until eventually she enters Baldwin Mansion, an area out of bounds in the main game. Here she meets the owner of the mansion, Ernest (although she never actually sees him; all their conversations are shared between a locked door). Ernest speaks in a strange monotone, and asks her to find him the "white liquid" to help him bring back his dead daughter. Maria helps him with this, even though it may not work, stating, "I don't mind fighting for an impossible cause." After Maria brings back the "white liquid" to Ernest, he reveals slightly more about Maria to her, and tells her about James. This seems to stir something in Maria, who begins to remember something about him. Ernest then warns Maria that James is a "bad man," and that he's looking for the "you that isn't you." Nevertheless, this cryptic message fuels new hope in Maria, and she leaves Baldwin Mansion with her focus on finding James. Ernest, meanwhile, turns out to have been a ghost all along.

ilent Hill 2

Maria's story with James begins when James stumbles across Maria in Rosewater Park; seeing her in the fog, he mistakes her for Mary. He is taken aback by how much she resembles Mary, and her response is seductive and somewhat mocking. James is about to leave when she then turns clingy, pointing out that there are monsters everywhere, and she asks if she can stay with him. He agrees. James and Maria eventually make their way to Pete's Bowl-O-Rama' from Rosewater Park. When James is about to enter, Maria stays behind. James then goes into the building alone.

When he returns, after an encounter with the mysterious little girl Laura and the man he had met earlier, Eddie, Maria says she saw Laura emerge and she insists that James help look for her. After James follows Maria to the path she says Laura headed off in, they eventually end up in an alley, which only leads off to a very narrow wall and a locked door. Maria points out to James that Laura crawled through the wall and out to the other side. Seeing as there is no way either James or Maria can fit through it themselves, James asks Maria if there is any other way. Maria says there is, and points to the locked door again, where she unlocks it with a key she had been carrying herself. Inside the building is the backstage of a seedy strip club called "Heaven's Night". After exploring the club briefly, they both exit and eventually find the same route Laura followed again.

The trail leads them to Brookhaven Hospital, which Laura has entered herself. Fearing for her safety, they explore the hospital together until Maria becomes sick and asks to rest. James leaves her in one of the hospital rooms. Eventually, James returns to the room, to find Maria is nowhere to be found. Fortunately Maria soon bumps into James again but grows angry at James' lack of concern towards her, and his devotion to Mary. While running through the hospital's basement Maria is apparently impaled by Pyramid Head in front of James as he escapes. After witnessing this, James is very upset, explaining that once again he couldn't do anything to help a person he cared for.

Later on James stumbles in on Maria, much to his surprise, locked behind a cell wall, but very much alive and seemingly unscathed from the earlier attack by Pyramid Head. She starts to confuse James talking to him in a very peculiar manner and behaving in a way similar to Mary's personality. She then reverts back to her old self and tries to seduce James very suddenly, hinting at sexual favors if he gets her out of the cell. Desperate and confused, James promises to return once he's found a way to rescue her from the cell, but when he does finally return, Maria is dead again. This time she seems to have been beaten to death.

Toward the end of the game James finds Maria alive again, this time strung up and being tortured by the Pyramid Head. Maria calls out for James to help, but he can only watch as one of the Pyramid Heads impales Maria in front of him with its spear. It's then though, he realizes that Maria isn't real, she is just another soulless creation of the town, made from James' desire to see his wife and his frustrated lust. He also understands that the Pyramid Head kept killing Maria as a punishment for him killing Mary.

Maria's Fate

There are two very different outcomes for Maria, depending on the ending achieved. They are as follows:

In the In Water, Leave and Rebirth endings, At the end James goes up to the platform, Maria is there, although she is disguised as Mary, as a final, desperate attempt to make him stay with her. However, James tells her he no longer needs her, as she could never be a substitute for the true love he shared with Mary. Angered at this, she transforms into a monster and tries to kill James, and the player must defeat her as the final boss. Even though Maria comes from an unknown place, she looks exactly like Mary in the last storyline, possibly meaning that she was some form of a copy of Mary, meant to lure James into Silent Hill.

In the Maria ending, when James climbs the platform at the end he meets Mary (or at least a representation of her). He tells her that he doesn't need her any more, stating that she was a burden when she became ill. Disgusted with James, Mary tells him she will never forgive him for what he did and transforms into the final boss. After she is defeated, a cutscene shows James looking out over the lake from Rosewater Park, where he first met Maria. Here, he reunites with Maria, who is once again alive and apparently well and they leave Silent Hill. As they leave Silent Hill, however, Maria starts coughing, hinting that maybe she will come down with the same disease Mary did, if she is even real at all. Enforced by this is James' last words in the ending: "You better do something about that cough."

The ending achieved is partly based on subtle aspects of how the player treats Maria during the game. For instance, visiting Maria frequently while she is feeling sick at the hospital is likely to get the "Maria" ending. The creators of "Silent Hill" have said that none of these endings are the "true" one; each is meant to be true for the individual player.Fact|date=December 2007

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