In context: PT was released over five years ago, and some people are still playing it. That says a lot for a game that was really just a short Playable Teaser (PT) for the later canceled Silent Hills that was supposed to be co-directed by Guillermo del Toro.
In PT, the short, albeit very creepy. demo has players continually exploring a small part of a house. If they can make it through to the end, they escape out the front door and get a very fleeting glimpse of the town of Silent Hill.
Modder Lance McDonald recently figured out a way to break free of the house and thoroughly explored the outside areas, which are surprisingly large and very detailed. As we reported a few months ago, McDonald was the one who discovered that the ghost in the game, named Lisa, continually follows right behind the player throughout the demo.
Analyzing the programming revealed that the single hallway that you explore over and over is actually multiple maps with slight changes made to them, each with a unique call code. McDonald noticed that the outside had its own map ID. So he altered the program so the first door you open referenced the outside map instead of the hallway. As you can see, it’s not a hack that just anyone can do, even if they still happen to have the now unattainable game.
Fortunately, McDonald made a video showing what he found outside the house (above).
Interestingly, once he stepped out, he found there is no collision detection. So initially, the character just fell through the ground. Instead of falling forever, like you may have experienced in other game glitches, Kojima Productions (7780s Studio at the time) programmed Lisa to kill the player if, for whatever reason, they fell outside the evionment's boundaries. This resets the game, so McDonald added a bit more code to make the playable character float.
The outside is surprisingly complete with litter, abandoned cars, and even other buildings. The street goes on for several blocks before coming to a dead-end at an abyss.
Even though the game engine renders the final (uncontrollable) cutscene in real-time, it is surprising that Kojima included this much detail. After all, the player can only see s short distance down the street. The need for objects that are far beyond the player’s view in the cut scene seems excessive. For example, there is a bridge down the road just before coming to the abyss. This structure cannot be seen in the cut scene, not can the small weeds growing from the sidewalk.
Perhaps Kojima intended to have a short playable sequence outside, but nixed the idea without removing the code? More than likely, they just used a portion of what they already had built for Silent Hills, but who knows? However, it is interesting to view areas in the game that we were never intended to see.