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Ratings board reveals new details on the unannounced Silent Hill: The Short Message

Fresh details about a previously leaked but unannounced Silent Hill game have emerged via the Australian Classification Board (ACB).

Last September, South Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee classified Silent Hill: The Short Message, although further information about the project wasn’t confirmed.

Now, the ACB has revealed a host of new details about the game in its annual report, which was published on Monday.

According to the ratings board, Silent Hill: The Short Message is an “exploration‑based psychological horror game” that includes depictions of suicide and self‑harm. Its full text on the game, which includes some plot spoilers, has been republished in full below.

Following several leaks and plenty of speculation, Silent Hill publisher Konami officially revealed plans to revive the long-dormant horror series last October, when it announced that brand-new games were in the works alongside a Silent Hill 2 remake from developer Bloober Team.

The new games included Silent Hill Townfall, which is in development at Scottish studio NoCode and will be published by Annapurna Interactive), and Silent Hill F (pictured above), a “completely new story set in 1960s Japan featuring a beautiful, yet horrifying world”.

Silent Hill: The Short Message wasn’t one of the new games announced, but some of the details included in the ACB’s annual report match those included in another leak from May 2022.

Specifically, the ACB’s report mentions two characters, Maya and Anita, who were first referenced by reputable insider Dusk Golem, when they also published images supposedly taken from the game that were quickly removed in a copyright claim.

The images showed a messy room, a red corridor with notes covering the wall and a figure standing at the end, and a woman’s face that has been partially unpeeled with messages like ‘I hate myself’ and ‘minger’ exposed underneath her skin.

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After Konami announced plans to revive the series last year, Dusk Golem claimed “Silent Hill: The Short Message is not Silent Hill f but is connected to SHf, though I think most should’ve guessed that because they both have strong flower motifs going on. Short Message is sorta’ stand-alone, sorta’ a precursor”.

In response to the ACB’s report, Dusk Golem wrote today on Resetera: “For the record, that bit doesn’t actually spoil all of the Short Message, It spoils maybe like the first third or fourth of it. Without saying too much, the description here entirely describes events from the first section of Short Message of 3 sections in the game.”

Silent Hill: The Short Message details, via ACB:

Silent Hill: The Short Message—Strong suicide themes, horror violence and coarse language: an exploration‑based psychological horror game in which players control characters in an apartment building called The Villa in modern‑day Germany.

The player assumes the role of a young woman, Anita, who must explore The Villa through first‑person gameplay in order to collect clues and uncover what has happened to her friend. Anita is exploring a bathroom environment which features a bathtub filled with bloody water, blood‑splattered tiles and a razor blade on a bloodied sink. Upon examining a razor, Anita experiences a flashback.

In a cut‑scene depicted through a first‑person point of view, a voice yells, “This is all your fault! Bad things happen because of YOU!” and a hand holding the razor enters the frame. The character’s left arm enters the frame with horizontal scars evident across the character’s wrist. The scene cuts to a black screen before the razor makes contact with the character’s wrist. The following shot features an image of the character’s left arm with old and fresh scars.

In a cut‑scene depicted through a mixture of third‑person and first‑person shots, the player character stands on the edge of the building’s rooftop, looking down. It is implied that Maya committed suicide by jumping off the ledge of the rooftop. The player character, in a distressed state of mind, speculates that she will never compare to Maya. Echoes of her mother’s abusive tirades are heard in the background as Anita prepares to jump and says, “Maybe I can be like her… Here goes…” In a first‑person shot, her feet are seen near the edge of the ledge before, in a third‑person shot, she steps off and begins to fall.

Throughout the game, cut‑scenes depicting self‑harm and suicide are followed by black screens which feature white text encouraging players to seek treatment and help if they are at risk of self‑harm and suicide and to offer support if they see people around them struggling. In the Board’s opinion, depictions of suicide and self‑harm within the game occur in the broader context of discourse exploring issues revolving around mental health which encourages players to seek help or offer support to those in need. As such, the impact of the depictions does not exceed strong in impact and can be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification.