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|“||Have you ever seen such aberrations? Ever even heard of such things? You and I both know, creatures like that don't exist!||„|
|~ Doctor Michael Kaufmann expressing his disbelief to Harry Mason after killing an Air Screamer monster in Silent Hill.|
|“||I want you to know, this will be different. We take this at your pace. No notes. No drugs. No theories. We go back to the start - understand what happened.||„|
|~ Dr. Michael Kaufmann (also called "Dr. K") beginning his therapy in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.|
Dr. Michael Kaufmann is an anti-hero/supporting protagonist of the hit survival horror videogame Silent Hill and one of the two main antagonists in the prequel Silent Hill: Origins (along with Dahlia Gillespie), and in the remake Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, in a way he is the main antagonist of the game. He was the staff director of Alchemilla Hospital in Central Silent Hill part of the northeastern town of Silent Hill, Maine. He was an associate of Dahlia Gillespie, the leader of the local religious cult known as The Order.
He was voiced by Jarion Monroe in the original Silent Hill game, and John Chancer in Silent Hill: Origins.
Kaufman was involved in trafficking a hallucinogen named PTV made from "White Claudia", a local plant, in order to fund The Order. How much Kaufmann knew about the religious cult's involvement is unknown.
After Dahlia severely burned her daughter Alessa in a successful attempt to impregnate her with the cult's God, Alessa split her soul in half, rendering the birth of the god nearly impossible. Dahlia cast a spell that kept Alessa alive but prevented her wounds from healing, keeping her in intense pain. This intense pain would draw the other half back to Silent Hill, but this took seven years to occur. Meanwhile, Kaufmann hid Alessa in a secret room in the hospital's subbasement, where she was attended to by a 16 year-old trainee nurse named Lisa Garland (with whom he was having an affair), who was disturbed by the uncontrollable manifestations of Alessa's power and by her inability to heal. Kaufmann gave her PTV to help her cope, but also to keep her where she was, and she became addicted.
Also, Alessa's subconscious was still active and due to her intense pain and the power of the deity within her, created two alternate worlds, which were basically physical manifestations of Alessa's torment, both of which resembled Silent Hill. Both worlds were populated by monsters that were manifestations of Alessa's fears, imagination, and so on. Kaufmann and the others involved in the immolation were pulled into these worlds for reasons that are not entirely clear, but may be due to Alessa wanting retribution for the act of cruelty inflicted upon her. They were all unaware of how they got there.
Kaufmann was situated in the Fog World, an almost normal, fogbound Silent Hill. Lisa, on the other hand, had been killed by Kaufmann shortly prior to this event when she became uncontrollable. Alessa loved her for her care, and kept her reanimated and alive in the Otherworld version of the hospital, without her traumatic memories.
Harry Mason, who had picked up the infant which the other half of Alessa's soul had manifested as, named her Cheryl, had raised her himself when his wife died. When she was 7 years old, they went on vacation to Silent Hill, Cheryl having been drawn there by Alessa's pain. They were involved in a car accident just outside of Silent Hill, in which Harry was knocked out.
When he woke up, he was in the Fog World and Cheryl had disappeared. Dahlia began to use him to help her trap the other half of the soul for her, but he did not know what he was doing. Kaufmann briefly encountered him in Alchemilla Hospital, as did Lisa, although she encountered Harry more often. Kaufmann was later saved by Harry Mason from being killed by a monster in Annie's Bar. This, and a related sidequest, is one of the requirements to achieve a "good" ending to the game.
Dahlia eventually managed to trap Alessa with Harry's assistance and brought the soul and the body together in order for them to fuse and give birth to the "God", worshipped and praised by the Order, in its beatific and heavenly form, the Incubator. This succeeded but just as the god was born, Kaufmann entered. Blaming the presence of the dark Otherworld and Fisty World on Dahlia, he wounded her with a pistol, then flung a vial of aglaophitis, a substance that forced demonic spirits and parasitic monsters out of their victims, onto Incubator. This backfired when it caused the god transform into a twisted, winged demon, the Incubus. Kaufmann was knocked out, and Harry fought and killed the god. The God in an act of self preservation, reverted back into its original form and created a new reincarnation of Alessa and Cheryl as a baby girl, which she gave to Harry, and opened a portal for him to escape from the collapsing Nowhere before she died. (She impersonated Cheryl so Harry would think Alessa was giving the child to him). Kaufmann awoke and attempted to escape as well, but was held back and presumably killed by Lisa, who had begun to decay and remember her death when Alessa's power was caged by Dahlia.
Silent Hill: Origins
Upon entering Alchemilla Hospital after Alessa nearly died the in the fire at her house, Travis Grady encounters Kaufmann near the elevator. Travis questions Kaufmann on the condition of Alessa, but Kaufmann denies any knowledge of the incident and the hospital didn't admit any patients with burns. Tiring of the conversation, Kaufmann leaves in an elevator, taking it to the second floor, the one of two floors accessible at this time. Upon entering the lift after Kaufmann leaves it, clues indicate the girl was in the hospital, such as a gurney in the lift with fresh blood on it.
Later when Travis reaches the Riverside Motel, after entering the maintenance tunnel, Travis hears a "sexual encounter" between a man and a woman through a hole in a motel room. Jumping through a hole above the Rose Suite, Travis stumbles upon Kaufmann and Lisa Garland, both of whom appear to be in the midst of finishing redressing. Kaufmann then voices his impatience at seeing Travis still in Silent Hill, having recommended he leave during previous encounters. Once alone in the motel room, inspection shows the presence of white powder, possibly the ingredient of the same drug that Kaufmann deals in, within the bathroom and on a mirror in the bedroom.
Kaufmann makes another appearance before the emergence of a demonic being, in which he gasses Travis before he can interrupt the Order cult's ceremony in their secret church found at a local antiques shop. Upon the defeat of the entity, when the Flauros separates the baby from Alessa, he is seen escaping the room as this occurs.
Kaufmann's final appearance in the game takes place as a voiceover in which a conversation between he and Dahlia is played. Kaufmann questions Dahlia over the next stage of the plan. Dahlia informs him the other half of the god will return some day. After Kaufmann suggests it could take years, Dahlia responds with "We can wait.".
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Dr. Michael Kaufmann, otherwise known as Dr. K, is a character in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. A psychoanalyst, his role is radically different from the incarnation of the original game, as he engages Cheryl Heather Mason, in a psychiatric evaluation in an attempt to help her overcome the death of her father 18 years prior.
Cheryl's identity is anonymous to begin with, leading to the false illusion that the player is controlling Harry Mason during these sessions. The purpose of these tests, aside from progressing in the story, are to engage in personality shaping exercises which alter the way the game progresses. Choices made in therapy and the different exercises can also affect the game's ending.
In a way, he can be considered the main antagonist of the game, as he tries to help Cheryl accept her father's death, while she wants to remain in her fantasy.
- In German, "Kaufmann" means "seller", "dealer" or "businessman", which perfectly describes his drug-dealing business. It may also reference his "businessman"-like appearance.
- In Silent Hill: Homecoming, it is possible to get an achievement called Kaufmann's Handiwork after finding one Serum.
- In both the normal scene and the leaked scene in Silent Hill: Origins, Kaufmann appears to holding one of the Order's masks in his right-hand, presuming that he was one of the cult's members but that has never been confirmed.
- Kaufmann is the first antagonist from the Silent Hill series to redeem himself, the second being Vincent Smith, the third being Valtiel, the fourth being Anne Marie Cunningham.
- Despite being a relatively important character to the plot of Silent Hill, Kaufmann is absent in the Silent Hill film. The closest character in the film Kaufmann could be compared to would probably be Thomas Gucci, since he aids Christopher Da Silva (Harry Mason in the sequel), knows the truth of Alessa's burning, and consequently hides this truth from Harry/Chris and tries to impede Chris' investigation.
- It is possible that Alessa may have turned Lisa into a monster only to punish Doctor Kaufmann, since he mistreated and neglected her state and condition at the time she was in the hospital. Alessa may have used Lisa's sadness and hatred against Kaufmann to prevent him from fleeing the town when Harry defeats the twisted God's demon form the Incubus. It is also possible Kaufmann may have been responsible for Lisa's death since he provided Lisa with PTV, and she may have overdosed.
- Throughout earlier stages of development in Origins, Kaufmann was originally to orchestrate many of the game's events while disguised as a character known as "Mr. Twilight", an Order cultist ardorned with a double-faced mask, one half bearing a stern expression, the other bearing a despaired expression, it's mouth agape. Development notes describe him as "always at the sidelines, but Travis can never seem to catch up to him in time". In the finale, Travis would charge Mr. Twilight and "peel" his mask off to reveal Kaufmann, whom he had also encountered throughout the course of the game. Kaufmann hurls a plume of White Claudia into Travis' face, the original cause of what knocks him out before he faces Alessa's Dream.
- Respectively, traces of Mr. Twilight can still be seen in the final product, such as the cultist running in front of Travis' rig during the intro, as Mr. Twilight was originally intended to. The cultist seen looking in on Travis during the Bad Ending was initially to be Mr. Twilight as well. Kaufmann was to have intected Travis with White Claudia for an experiment, as Alessa dies beside him. It was revealed that Travis wiped out the denizens of Silent Hill in a White Claudia induced killing spree, as he sinks into a deep fugue on the operating table and transforms into the Butcher while Kaufmann takes notes. The Bad Ending and prototype "Common Ending" are almost identical in style, although the story is changed. The cultist from the beginning may be the same one seen in the Bad Ending, although it is impossible to say, as they don't show their face in the final versions.