Silent Hill 3 designer went to real-life ruins to find inspiration for the horror game - but they found Robbie the Rabbit's inspiration in a literal mascot

Silent Hill 3
(Image credit: Konami)

Silent Hill's now-recognizable Robbie the Rabbit was inspired by a designer seeing a rabbit mascot handing out balloons to kids from atop a train station in Japan.

Konami's senior chief designer, K.Y., was interviewed by GameSpark about the origins of the now-ironic Robbie the Rabbit, who originally appeared in Silent Hill 3. As translated by Automaton Media, the veteran designer recalls how he was tasked with creating Silent Hill 3's haunting backgrounds, and it was from this that Robbie the Rabbit was born.

K.Y. did what anyone would do when they're looking for solemn inspiration, and decided to visit real-life ruins in Japan to gather reference material for Silent Hill 3. Robbie the Rabbit wasn't born from any real-life ruins, though, but from K.Y. seeing a Japanese rabbit mascot character handing out balloons to kids from atop a train station.

The Konami designer took this inspiration and worked to portray "the abnormal within the normal" through Robbie the Rabbit. Mascot characters aren't all that uncommon in Japan, but the sight of a giant rabbit handing out balloons from on top of a train station in the midst of a surrounding cityscape is admittedly pretty abnormal.

So Silent Hill 3's creepy animatronic rabbit, with its bloodied face and dull, dark eyes, wasn't born from anything overtly creepy in nature after all. K.Y. also reveals in the interview that he's "positively surprised" by fans' adoration for Robbie the Rabbit, and how the mascot has become a very common sight among Silent Hill merchandise around the world.

Robbie the Rabbit isn't returning anytime soon (for now, at least), but Silent Hill 2 is back with a remake later this year on October 8. Konami recently revealed that it wanted to make more changes to the Silent Hill 2 remake, but thanks to developer Bloober Team, the horror remake is more in line with the original game. That could be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on who you ask.

Take a look over our upcoming PS5 games guide for an overview of all the other exclusives coming to Sony's console in the near future.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.