Bingo, Kromy. I tried explaining this concept for a long time now, but it's rare that people understood it from a western point-of-view. Only a few were open-minded enough to understand this. (Well, you know how many people are busy to make fun of Walter for believing that Room 302 was his mother...) I know St.Aatos understands this, and I'm relieved to see that you understand it as well, Kromy.
The concept of a [shintai] ([go-] is simply an honorary prefix) was used since the first Silent Hill. Alessa was used as that [shintai] as were attempted on many other girls. The Play Novel has a memo that explains the concept and its practice in the cult.
Awesome, I didn't know I'd stumble onto something that major! *hehe, watching animes might be more useful than I thought ^^* Anyways, that makes perfect sense, and now that you're saying it's been used since the first game... guess I need to read some stuff about Shinto, because to tell you the truth, I've been seeing lots of references to it in animes and other games that I always thought would fit with the concepts of SH, but my major take was that Japanese developers/creators like to "borrow" ideas from one another (you know what I mean =) -- now I clearly see that it's not so and they actually all lead to Shinto!
Hmm, I translated one of Tsuboyama's explanation a few years back. Here's what he said about the 'victims':
The victims that are wondering around this world have been deprived of "death" and are forced on everlasting pain. In the ancient Japanese paintings of hell, the strong visuals will easily steal your attention away, but I feel the true horror is that one cannot die regardless of how much pain he receives. To the ghost, would this world certainly be hell and horror? The thought of wanting to escape from this world is what would have made them attack the main character. Being pierced by the *"Sword of Obedience," and helplessly struggling; its appearance could be presented only by a ghost that could not die.
Yeah, very interesting, and it's all about Shinto which, as I see it now, was a major inspiration nor only for the religion in SH but even for some basic concepts as well!
BTW, maybe you should read the full version of that comment from the anime -- surprisingly, it has so much in common with Tsuboyama's explanation:http://i162.photobuc...-Spear/Text.jpg
"He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light."
It makes me think about the "Light Illuminating the Darkness" and "Light to the Future" pictures, and it's like if the "3328
" is a combination of both -- the depiction is quite similar and it also has something to do with Light... so there's certainly some strong suggestion.
I just thought of something, doesn't the "3328
" picture remind this:
For some reason I think it does: for one we have two PHs surrounding "a female figure" put onto a torture/sacrificial device (might be a censured version of a cross) and also the fact that the picture was made before SH2, so...