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Solving Silent Hills' playable trailer

P.T., the playable trailer for the upcoming Hideo Kojima-produced Silent Hills, has been stumping players ever since its release on the PS4 on Aug. 12. YouTube user TheGrateDebate appears to have found the solution to the game's enigmatic final puzzle.

Players have stumbled on the game's ending — which results in a cinematic trailer for Silent Hills — but until now, no one knew how to get to the ending consistently. Using translated clues from the game, TheGrateDebate found a sequence of triggers that they claim to have reproduced "over 30 times," with consistent results.

So, how did they do it? Research, code-breaking, and good old-fashioned detective work.

Research, code-breaking, and good old-fashioned detective work

First, TheGrateDebate acknowledges what we already knew: that triggering a third "baby laugh" audio cue on the last "lap" of the game will cause the phone to ring. Picking up the phone triggers the ending cutscene, and signals completion of the game. But no one knew how to consistently trigger the third cue.

That's when TheGrateDebate started thinking about how the puzzles fit together. In the game, you can find pieces from a picture (they complete a portrait of a woman in the first hallway). When you find a piece, words from various languages appear onscreen. User Gods_Hand on GameFAQS translated those phrases into english.

P.T. ghostly writing

One of those phrases correlates directly to the ending sequence: "I believe I heard a phone." With that inspiration, TheGrateDebate was off and running towards the solution.

Using some deductive reasoning, TheGrateDebate arranged the translated phrases into the following order, which reads as an instruction list for nailing the final sequence of events.

1. During the inert waiting, I stopped moving.

2. I whispered his name.

3. Then he slid his index finger over my hand.

4. It was a cold hand.

5. My body was shivering.

6. I waited for it to pass.

7. Never moving a step, his hand in mine and fading through a fog of consciousness.

8. I believe I heard a phone.

Much of the above text is easy to interpret as instructions. "During the inert waiting" refers to the period after the first baby laugh, where players have struggled to predictably trigger the second laugh. "My body was shivering" refers to the controller rumbling after the second baby laugh. "I waited for it to pass" and "Never moving a step" refer to staying still waiting for they third baby laugh which, in turns, triggers the phone call. But what about that second instruction, "I whispered his name"?

We know her name is Lisa, but what's his name?

TheGrateDebate went down another rabbit hole to solve that one. The number 204863 appears multiple times throughout P.T. and, while most people thought this was a stand-in for Hideo Kojima's birthday (which is Aug. 24, 1963), the "0" stands out. TheGrateDebate starting thinking of the number as a code in which "the letters stood for numbers."

TheGrateDebate got the key from taking into account "7780," the name of the fake production company behind the game, and figuring out that the letters were a stand in for a four-letter word ... but what? There is a is a motif referenced prominently in the loading screen:

p.t. title screen

Did you get it? Tree! But the first two numbers repeat, so flipping them you get EERT aligning with 7780. If we flip 204863 and fill in the values, we get _ _ R _ T _. TheGrateDebate scanned lists of men's names but there were too many variables. But another message, in the second-to-last loop, revealed a clue:

P.T. glitch message

The message is signed "-J." Solving for J _ R _ T _ turned up one possible solution: "Jarith." While not the most common name around, the name has huge symbolic weight, as Jarith was a fallen angel in the Book of Enoch. It all fits like a glove, thematically.

Following these steps, TheGrateDebate figured that whispering "Jarith" at the appropriate time signals that second baby laugh, and then waiting for the third baby laugh causes the phone to ring, triggering the finale, the Silent Hills teaser we've all seen. Mystery solved!

Check out our playthrough of P.T. to watch us get stumped by it's bizarre puzzles and oppressive atmosphere.

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