UPDATE 2.30pm UK Silent Hill’s Masahiro Ito has now added, via Twitter, he was referring to “the background setting” of Pyramid Head as “the executioner in the town” from Braveheart – although the design itself comes from his early art student designs, as shown below.
ORIGINAL STORY 11.45am UK:
Silent Hill is an unsettling series across the board, there’s no denying that – and the silhouette of its fan-favourite Pyramid Head is enough to induce nightmares.
Now we know more about how this monstrous humanoid came to be, at least in terms of his conception – and it turns out he was inspired by background characters from the 1995 film Braveheart.
Sharing this titbit on Twitter, Silent Hill 2 director Masahiro Ito revealed the film’s executioners that pop up when Mel Gibson’s William Wallace is being hung, drawn and quartered, were the “inspiration for the background of Pyramid Head from [Silent Hill 2]”.
“I remembered the film [and the people] who put a bag on their heads [and] then I looked the [people] up in books,” the director elaborated, saying he eventually settled on the idea of “an executioner of the old town” for the character of Pyramid Head.
The director accompanied this little nugget of information with a still from the film, which, with fresh eyes, does show how these two sets of executioners bear a striking resemblance to each other. The hoods worn by Braveheart’s executioners, while clearly not being pyramids, certainly add a certain amount of unease to the scene, even if they were only worn to protect an executioner’s identity.
Aft I designed P-Head based on the 1st image in this tweet, I started thinking the background. I remembered the film/that ppl who put a bag on their heads & then I looked the ppl up in books. I finally came up w/ the idea of an executioner of the old townhttps://t.co/kexramQXrb
— 伊藤暢達/Masahiro Ito (@adsk4) October 13, 2022
Ito has previously stated he wanted to give Pyramid Head some sort of face covering to make him less human, but he did not think a simple mask would be enough on its own. And thus we now have the imposing and instantly recognisable look we all know and… err, love?
As for the Silent Hill series itself, there have been multiple headlines about this franchise and its rumoured upcoming games over the last several months.
Back in May, concept art for a Silent Hill game was leaked. This featured a woman’s face seemingly made of post-it notes with hurtful phrases written on. Fans have speculated, through the language, that the game may be set in the UK. There’s also an apparent remake of Silent Hill 2 rumoured, which may or may not be the same game Bloober Team is making.
Meanwhile, YouTuber Dan Allen recently outed himself as being behind a series of leaks of multiple games and admitted fabricating Silent Hill rumours. However, a rating for a new Silent Hill game called The Short Message has since been spotted in South Korea.