Silent Hill (PS1) emulation bugs


The original Silent Hill (my rom is NTSC) unfortunately has some bugs at least at the default settings:

  • Beetle PSX HW: menu-/area-transitions (screenshot below) and the startup loading screen motion blur are displayed incorrectly
  • Beetle PSX: Severe screen tearing
  • PCSX ReARMed: Black levels don’t look accurate (I have very limited experience with this core as Beetle is said to be the most accurate when running games at the default resolution)

The loading screen which shows Harry running is to my knowledge only displayed when first loading a save and therefore can be considered as a very minor issue. Broken transition effects (screen should fade into black) are considerably more problematic as you frequently open inventory and travel between scenes:

Which core do you recommend? Can the bugs be alleviated or resolved by editing core settings?


I should likely have posted to the “games” forum, sorry.


If you are not using the Vulkan driver, give them a try. There are several bugs with the GL drivers when using pxs-hw and this might be one of them.

If you are still having problems i would suggest switching to software mode.


I’m using OpenGL as it’s the default driver. Vulkan in the Beetle HW core does actually resolve both of the bugs. I initially wasn’t able to open the Retroarch menu (F1) when in-game, but restarting apparently solved the issue.


I’ve compared black level between OpenGL and Vulkan (Beetle PSX HW); OpenGL:



Both are captured using the 0/7 in-game brightness which looks the most neutral to me, at least in dark areas. I don’t really know how the game displays on PS1 and if the developers intended that the player should be able to see in complete darkness or not.

I will now complete the game in OpenGL unless I notice additional issues.


A lot of old games didn’t specifically intend on you being able to see in the dark, but often didn’t use full black for a variety of technical reasons. For example, the SNES’ luma=0 isn’t full black, and if you turn the brightness up even on old TVs, you can see garbage sprites during transitions in, for example, FF3/6.

Dunno if it has anything to do with it, but full black is also a special color in PS1 development that means “full alpha” used for transparency, so maybe they tried to avoid that by doing not-quite-black…?


As far as I can see the OpenGL screenshot has large areas of RGB 0 (which I certainly prefer), I also verified with Gimp’s color picker tool.

Which image would you expect being closer to the original hardware?


For me silent hill runs better on software mode, in hw the drawing distance is slighty farther so is the ilumination so instead of a smooth ilumination of the sorroundings when walking you can see a little far and notice the popup of the scenario, this for me kiils the original experience.


Have you compared to the game running on PS1?


This is a Mobygames screenshot from 2002 (did an accurate emulator even exist back then?), clearly pure black:

I haven’t looked at subsequent screens due to spoilers.