Hello, and welcome to the first entry in our Games Horror Icon series.
Now, it was tough to decide who should get this honour. There are so many great horror games out there, with even greater characters. Our series will cover both sides, as we can appreciate a strong survivor, but we are also partial to monsters, in every sense of the word.
However, things are going to kick off with a look at a true monster. You can not mention the horror genre, and not have your thoughts automatically swing to this antagonist – well, mostly an antagonist.
Introducing…drum roll please…eerie music…Pyramid Head! One of the most recognisable enemies to be found within the genre. This horror icon made his first appearance in Konami’s Silent Hill 2. Stalking and hunting protagonist James Sutherland, as he searched for his deceased within the town of Silent Hill.
It doesn’t take an overly long time for James to see Pyramid Head, and when he does, the poor guy realises just how much trouble he is in, for the giant hulk of a villain is actually sexually attacking two mannequins. However, if you were to take a deep psychological dive into Silent Hill 2, you would discover that this could be down to James himself and his sexual desires.
In fact, the humanoid creature has been created out of James Sutherland’s guilt. As such, Pyramid Head exists within Silent Hill 2 to force James to remember his actions and face up to what he has done.
Pyramid Head is intimidating. He certainly looks the part of the game antagonist.
Throughout Silent Hill 2, the creature will show up to ruin James’ day. So, unsurprisingly, there are boss fights to be had. One of which could be classed as one of the best boss fights in the Silent Hill series. James finds himself stuck in a small space with Pyramid Head, and his giant sword, all the guy can do is try to survive.
Anyway, the story progresses, and it turns out there are multiple Pyramid Heads, though the boss fight against two of them is actually less intimidating than taking on the original from before.
Speaking of multiple Pyramid Heads, perhaps now is the time to discuss Silent Hill: Homecoming, another entry where the monster makes an appearance. However, the backstory of Pyramid Head has changed. In Homecoming, he is not the manifestation of James’ dark desires. Instead, he simply exists to exact punishment upon those he deems worthy.
Furthermore, he does not actually ever actually attack protagonist Alex. Instead, he can be heard scraping his sword along the floor in certain areas, and is spotted a couple of times throughout the game.
However, there is an ending in Silent Hill: Homecoming, in which Alex becomes a Pyramid Head. Interestingly, to reach this ending, the player must take on Silent Hill with a black heart. In essence, they must make evil decisions – do not kill your mother, do not save Wheeler and do not forgive your father.
Should players embrace Alex’s evil side, then they will see their punishment in the form of becoming a punisher for Silent Hill. In this ending, the protagonist failed to account for their own sin and thus have been rewarded with a never-ending cycle where they must punish those that follow the same path they did.
While I personally prefer the background in Silent Hill 2, nobody can deny how interesting the concept is in Homecoming.
Of course, the legend of Pyramid Head goes far beyond a couple of games appearances and cameos. The humanoid monster has appeared in both movies, proving to be just as brutal in each entry.
Except, in the films, he was created to protect Alessa and in turn save Shannon who goes on to become Heather Mason in Silent Hill: Revelations.
Furthermore, he has made a number of appearances in Silent Hill comic books and other media. Most recently, a version of Pyramid Head, known as The Executioner was added to Dead By Daylight, alongside Cheryl Mason and a new map.
There is no denying that Pyramid Head is an icon of horror; he is who we all fear. For if you do not face your fears, if you do not meet your sins, he will exact brutal punishment upon you. If your heart is so evil, who knows, perhaps you will become precisely what you feared.