Silent Hill 4: The Room is a survival horror video game developed by Team Silent and published by Konami. It was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC on June 17, 2004 in Japan; September 7, 2004 in North America; and September 17, 2004 in Europe.
The game follows protagonist Henry Townshend, an innocent man who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time—he finds himself padlocked and thus trapped in his apartment of South Ashfield Heights, with nobody able to hear or see him, and his only escape is to enter a mysterious and extensive tunnel that appears out of nowhere in his bathroom. The exit of this tunnel changes nightly as Henry soon discovers, and each night he will arrive in a new self-contained, nightmare-like worlds, where he encounters other people that have also become trapped in these worlds as well as have to fight off demonic creatures and ghosts of previous victims of a notorious, yet deceased, serial killer from Silent Hill known as Walter Sullivan.
On the first night, Henry finds himself in the Subway World, based on the nearby subway that he can see outside of his window. Here he meets Cynthia Velasquez, who is the one who convinces him that these worlds are just a dream. She is more interested in finding an exit than speaking with Henry but insists that once they find their way out they can "have fun", as she is so certain that this is all a dream. Unfortunately, the two become far too separated along the way and Walter chases after Cynthia. Before Henry can reach her, she is fatally wounded by the killer and Henry must watch her perish, giving her hope that it is all still just a dream. He notes a number scrawled into her chest: "16121".
The second night, he is taken to the Forest World, based on the forested area surrounding the Wish House Orphanage where Walter grew up, part of the surrounding Silent Hill Woods. Here he meets the mentally unstable Jasper Gein, who seeks the "Red Devil" that killed his friends some years ago. As Jasper's car is broken down, the two must travel by foot towards the orphanage, keeping both the ghosts and Sniffer Dogs at bay. Upon reaching the old, abandoned building however they find it locked but Henry finds a way to unlock it. They enter and split up to explore the structure, but as Henry tries to travel upstairs he hears Jasper shrieking in agony. Running downstairs he finds Jasper has been immolated, though that he is disturbingly happy about the situation as he finally met the "Red Devil". He watches in horror as Jasper carves "17121" into his own chest and collapses, dead.
The next night Henry finds himself again returning to Silent Hill, this time to the horribly dilapidated Water Prison World, based upon the Water Prison that was located in Silent Hill's Toluca Lake and that housed the disobedient children from Wish House. He meets Andrew DeSalvo, a former employee of the prison trapped in a cell and must work his way through the prison to try and free him. He eventually frees DeSalvo and the two soon after encounter a young child as well, which spooks Andrew. He continues on on his own again, and Henry eventually finds him drowned in the torture chamber hidden deep within the prison with the number "18121" carved into him.
The fourth night, Henry is sent to the Building World, which is based upon the buildings and businesses that Henry can see from his apartment windows. He encounters Richard Braintree, a man he actually already knows about as they live in the same apartment complex together. Richard does not trust Henry and refuses to team up with him, going his own way. Not long after, Richard meets and recognizes the little boy that Henry had seen in the Water Prison and gives chase. Again Henry hears the man cry out for help later, and again he is too late, finding Richard being electrocuted with "19121" carved into his forehead. He watches as the child points out a window and then disappears into thin air but is unable to prevent Richard's execution, being shocked himself in the process.
The sixth night goes differently, to some extent. Henry finds himself awakening in the Apartment World, based on his and Richard's own apartment complex. Henry encounters Walter here, knocking at Henry's neighbor Eileen Galvin's door. He begins to wonder aloud if the victim this time will be Walter or Eileen herself. Unfortunately he soon learns, and when he passes by Eileen's door he can hear her being beaten up but he is unable to enter. However he eventually finds his own room key that, surprisingly, unlocks Eileen's door and upon entering finds that the young child has stopped the beating caused by the man. Thanking the child, she then she slips into unconsciousness.
After a week of tormented "dreams" that turn out to be reality, Henry next travels to the Hospital World, based on St. Jerome's Hospital while he attempts to rescue Eileen, who he has learned had survived her injuries. He encounters Walter dissecting a female patient's corpse but manages to flee to relative safety. He does find Eileen, but when she wakes up she is disoriented and like Braintree before her, does not trust Henry and his story he tries to tell her. Luckily, she eventually recalls Walter's assault upon her and apologizes. The two choose to stick together to find a way back out of this Otherworld. He leads her to the tunnel he used to enter and crawls through but upon exiting on the other side realizes that Eileen is nowhere to be found; she cannot travel through the tunnel with him. She explains the story of the previous tenant of Henry's apartment, a journalist named Joseph Shreiber who had disappeared six months before Townshend had moved in. Unable to escape in this manner, they decide to take the fight to Walter, instead.
To do this, they travel through the various Otherworlds, which are connected via a giant spiral staircase. Henry realizes that all the victims he failed to save have now come back as ghosts like all previous victims, albeit in a more dangerous fashion. Each starts out bound to their own respective world but afterwards leave to continue pursuit of the protagonists. They successfully traverse these Otherworlds despite the dangers, yet when they reach the Building World, Walter kidnaps the child, revealed to be the spirit of his younger self. They are forced to fight a giant monster known as The One Truth but after doing so find a path open up into a past iteration of Henry's Room 302, where the spirit of Joseph Shreiber resides. Unlike the other ghosts he reveals himself to be benevolent to Henry's cause, and reveals that both Eileen and Henry are the intended final victims of Walter's ritual, the 21 Sacraments. He then discovers that his apartment is larger than it previously appeared to be when he finds a secret path through one of the walls and stumbles upon a gruesome scene—Walter's self-crucified corpse. He finds the keys to the chains in his apartment and uses them to finally unlock his door and presumably re-enter the real world. This is not to be however as South Ashfield Heights has been transformed here, as well.
Eileen and Henry regroup and continue forward. They make their way to the superintendent, Frank Sunderland's apartment. Townshend finds that Frank has kept an umbilical cord in a box for decades, apparently belonging to Walter. He is suddenly slammed with flashbacks to Walter's childhood and collapses. Although Eileen tries to comfort him she decides to find the Young Walter on her own and leaves Henry's side.
Returning to Room 302 alone, he finds that Walter's corpse has disappeared and in its place sits a black abyss. Entering the abyss he finds an impossibly large chamber with a spiked, spinning mechanism at its center surrounded by a pool of blood. A giant monster also remains trapped in the room. Here, Walter has taken possession of Eileen and intends to force her to walk into the trap and sacrifice herself to complete the ritual and tries to prevent Henry from stopping the process. Walter is initially invincible but using the umbilical cord and eight spears strewn about the level allow him to kill the chained monster and cancel Walter's immortality, leaving him to kill the serial killer.
- It is notable for being the first Silent Hill game to not actually take place in Silent Hill, though with the exception of a small portion of the game which does take place in the town. The next game to follow this idea would be Silent Hill Homecoming, the fifth game in the series.
- It is also the first game in the series to feature use of a first person perspective, utilized while walking around in your apartment between worlds.