|Developer(s)||SCE Japan Studio|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Designer(s)||Keiichirō Toyama, Naoko Satō|
|Genre(s)||Survival horror, Stealth|
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Siren (サイレン Sairen?), known as Forbidden Siren in Europe and Australia, is a stealth-based survival horror video game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan Studio for the PlayStation 2 in 2003.
Rather than employ traditional facial animation methods with polygons, images of real human faces were captured from eight different angles and superimposed on the character models. This eerie effect is similar to projecting film onto the blank face of a mannequin, the same technique used to animate a severed head in Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction.
The most notable aspect of Siren's development is that it was co-conceived and directed by Keiichirō Toyama, who had previously directed the original Silent Hill. Other former members of Team Silent, Naoko Satō and Isao Takahashi, also had critical roles in Siren's creation.
Siren is set in a remote, rural Japanese mountain village named Hanuda (羽生蛇村 Hanyūda-mura?), which is described as being very traditional and particularly xenophobic. Following the interruption of a ritual ceremony in the forest near midnight and a subsequent earthquake, the village teeters wildly between time and space, with an infinite sea of blood-red water in place of the usual surrounding mountains. The crux of the story focuses on the efforts of Hisako Yao, the leader of a strange local religion, to resurrect or re-awaken a being known as Datatsushi through an occult ceremony.
The siren of the title is the call of Datatsushi, summoning the residents of Hanuda to immerse themselves in the red water, thus creating an army of subordinates called shibito (屍人 shibito?, lit. "corpse people"). The shibito then go about building a nest to house the corporeal form of Datatsushi once it is summoned, as well as killing and converting any living humans left in Hanuda. The story is told through the perspectives of ten survivors, some of whom are natives of Hanuda, and is presented out of chronological order over the three days in which the mystery takes place.