P.T. is an incredible example of game design done well. It’s probably one of Hideo Kojima’s best pieces of work, and it’s just a demo for Silent Hills that got canned as he was ousted from Konami. There are many reasons that it’s such a great game, but one of the most intersting is the work that went into the game that the player never sees. YouTuber Lance McDonald has been investigating hidden content in games for a while now, but their work on P.T. has revealed what I think are some of the best secrets in gaming.
Walk The Walk
In this latest video we get a look a the hidden aspects of a few different scenes in which Lisa, the antagonist in P.T. appears, but we can’t quite see what she’s up to. Firstly is the awkward way she backs off from the second floor of the endless looping corridor. It’s been made this way because it made the most sense for the developers, and removed Lisa’s assets quickly so as to allow for more power to be used to load the next section.
That next section is actually one of the more interesting ones. When players walk past a light in the hallway, their shadow becomes Lisa’s. This isn’t a developer trick, though it is tricky. Lisa’s character is literally stuck to the back of the player in this case, and that’s why their shadow becomes hers. Any checking to see if Lisa is there will be undone by the way she moves, attached to the player’s vision. Removing vision tracking allows the player to see her, and this is when I noticed a couple of things that weren’t touched upon.
Lisa is a tall woman, and I mean massive. I believe that she is meant to have been hung, after some other things have also happened to her, but hanging someone doesn’t make them seven feet tall. I think part of this is the fact that she never touches the floor, she floats. However, she doesn’t float in a graceful way, she floats as if she’s still hanging on a rope from the neck upwards, and it’s really quite unsettling. Finally, I also noticed that she’s wearing one high-heeled shoe. This isn’t a detail I’ve noticed before, but the last part of the video made me take note of it even more.
The end of the video is the best discovery. When the player is inside the bathroom, having just found the torch, Lisa closes and locks the door. She then enters the hallway from the far end, walks up to the door, and tries to get in. Instead of using sounds to replicate what the player thought was happening outside, the developers went one further. The towering figure of Lisa walks into the hallway, and staggers down to the bathroom. Here the door animation is separate, and Lisa disappears soon afterwards.
What you get to see here is just how the noise is created. Lisa’s single shoe is the only thing making a noise, and it’s a unique one because she’s stumbling on it, almost as if she isn’t used to wearing high heels. Once again, Lisa is huge in this scene, a physically daunting enemy that scared the crap out of me when I played P.T. originally. I would love to know why Lisa is so damn tall, and I’d also like to delve into why it’s so interesting that she can’t walk properly in that shoe. The game’s assumed story could be so very different to what we think it is, and I believe that Kojima knows that, but hasn’t said anything.