Being a teenager is hard enough. But when Heather Mason finds herself at the center of a cult’s plot to resurrect a dark god, midterms are the last thing on her mind. Fortunately, she has all the markings of one of the best protagonists in horror game history.
Silent Hill 3’s Heather Mason Is Still One of Horror’s Best Protagonists
20 years ago today, Silent Hill 3 was released, adding another iconic game into the Silent Hill series. Like its predecessors, Silent Hill 3 was marked by an intense atmosphere of dread, iconic monsters, and a plot full of complicated knots. But its protagonist, seventeen-year-old Heather Mason, is easily the best protagonist the series ever made.
Horror protagonists tend to fall into two silos. You’ve got the broody anti-hero, on a path of redemption and the action hero, here to pump a few shotgun shells into every monster’s face. Heather Mason manages to stride the line between both, while adding that essential human component.
That’s not an easy thing to achieve, especially for a teenage girl who’s in way over her head. Many characters who find themselves at the center of a cult’s plot will do everything in their power to escape. But Heather isn’t most people. Driven purely by grief and love for her father, she dives straight into a hellish Otherworld so she can personally curb stomp baby god and the cult leader herself.
But Heather Mason is more than just her snappy quips and impressive arsenal of weapons. She’s deeply flawed and multi-faceted, full of fear and courage, confidence and vulnerability, and a purpose that she’s chosen for herself. It’s her ability to encompass all these things that makes her such a realistic character.
“She’s deeply flawed and multi-faceted, full of fear and courage, confidence and vulnerability, and a purpose that she’s chosen for herself.”
It’s so easy to see yourself in Heather as she struggles to understand the nightmarish reality she finds herself in. And that’s really the whole point, isn’t it? Horror is a medium used to understand and cope with the worst aspects of the world. Heather encounters injustice, abuse, cruelty, and loss. And yet, she preserves with courage and cleverness, while embracing her own fear.
Even at the very end, still marked by the blood of the god she killed and the weight of everything that’s transpired, she’s capable of laughing. But more than that, she’s capable of accepting who she truly is. The good and the bad.
For that reason, Heather Mason of Silent Hill 3 is still one of the best horror game protagonists ever.
Silent Hill 3 was a terrifying game with monsters full of sinister symbolism. But which of these abominations reigns supreme when it comes to the fear factor? Check out our ranked list here: The Most Terrifying Monsters in Silent Hill 3, Ranked.