Thanks to the popularity of its films, the nurses of Silent Hill are now synonymous with the franchise. These voluptuous monsters first appeared as we know them in Silent Hill 2 as the Bubble Head Nurse. Now, it’s nearly impossible to imagine them any other way than with short skirts and ample bosoms. So, where did the design come from?
Team Silent Art Director, Masahiro Ito gave us some insight:
“About “Silent hill 2″ Bubble Head Nurse, my originally planned for its head is a semiliquid thing covered with a thin skin like a condom, and it bursts like a water balloon, when it’s shotten.” Ito explained over Twitter. “For the design of its uniform, I had these materials, pictures of the nurse in “The Exorcist III”, “Jacob’s Ladder” and bondage-inspired fashion’s one, and she wears stockings.”
I remember seeing the Bubble Head Nurse for the first time. Never before had a nightmarish creature bordered on sexy and repulsive with such grace. How wonderfully they reflect the repressed fantasies of James. To see their cleavage and suggestive movements was a stark contrast to my previous experiences in the town. The nurses in Silent Hill 1 were less stylized and wandered the halls of Alchemilla in agony. They were accompanied by equally grotesque doctors; a monster that has yet to return in the games. In Silent Hill 3, the nurses of Brookhaven are similar to those seen by James; but Heather’s monsters have dark hair and wield guns; something that horrified me to no end at first sight.
The Bubble Head Nurse as she first appeared has since been replaced by designs from the 2006 film adaptation by Christophe Gans. Developers have since imitated this design, using it in Silent Hill: Homecoming, Silent Hill: Origins and in the film’s sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. Even the manner of the nurses has changed; light now plays a more vital role in their interactions than ever before, whereas in their original appearance, they would still find you in the dark.
Despite their changes, Masahiro Ito’s original Bubble Head nurse design still holds a special place in my Hill Head heart. If you feel the same way, you can pick up your very own Bubble Head nurse statues at a comic/collectibles retailer near you.