Silent Hill: Townfall is one of four new Silent Hill games Konami announced during its flooded showcase earlier this week, and perhaps the most mysterious. Details were scarce outside of a short teaser trailer featuring a cryptic voice over and harrowing music, but fans think they may have unlocked a clue hidden inside the video’s audio file. And their minds are running wild with the possibilities.
A spin-off by No Code, the studio behind the excellent Observation and Stories Untold, and published by indie art-house label Annapurna Interactive, Townfall is apparently influenced by the original Silent Hill but also potentially a departure from the third-person action footprint of the beloved horror series. In the trailer, a man is talking to someone and describing mysterious but terrible events that follow them wherever they go as dread builds on the screen of a handheld portable CRT.
Fans might have been content to digest it and move on from there, but creative director Jon McKellan hinted that there was more to the trailer than meets the eye. Enter Reddit user MilkManEX (via IGN) who ripped the audio from the file, converted it to an MP3, and found a hidden message in the resulting spectrogram:
“Whatever heart this town had has now stopped,” reads the full coded phrase.
Creepy! And also extremely vague. “What has stopped though?” wrote one fan on the subreddit. They point out that elsewhere in the trailer, there’s the subtlest sound of a woman’s voice possibly saying something like, “Wow, is that really Alessa?”
They go on to hypothesize that the man speaking in the trailer could be K. Gordon, Alessa’s teacher. “The key is extremely similar to the classroom key but not close enough that I would feel comfortable saying that it is for sure,” they go on. “In any case I feel they are speaking to Alessa herself.”
Alessa is at the center of the first Silent Hill and a pivotal recurring character throughout the series, so it would certainly fit with the rest of the trailer. Elsewhere Morse code was translated to “SOS,” another ominous but generic clue. Hmm, anyone else getting strong Silent Hill vibes from all this?
While the fan theories are still in their infancy, the mere existence of the clues has energized players for what they hope will be an intense augmented reality game (ARG) leading up to Townfall’s release. “im literally so hyped for townfall because the format looks a lot like vhs type ARG (suspicions correct, thank u OP) that would be something you’d find on the dark side of yt AND I LOVE IT, works so well with the theme of silent hill, genuinely cannot wait,” wrote one player.
This is all in keeping with No Code’s past work. Observation was a sci-fi adventure game thriller about controlling a spaceship AI trying to uncover the mystery behind its disappeared crew. Stories Untold, meanwhile, was an episode horror series set in the 1980s in the vein of Black Mirror. Both focused on action and puzzles mediated by screens, and the haunted CRT in the new trailer points to a possibly similar approach for Townfall. It’s clear for fans the real game has already started.