|“|| Did you see those monsters? Have you ever seen such aberrations? Ever even heard of such things? You and I both know, creatures like that don't exist!
Dr. Michael Kaufmann is a character in Silent Hill. He is also featured in Silent Hill: Origins, a prequel to the first game, as well as in the first game's re-imagining, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
He is the director of Alchemilla Hospital located in Central Silent Hill. While he refers to himself as someone who works at the hospital, Dr. Michael Kaufmann is the director of the medical staff at Alchemilla Hospital.
While at first seeming like a mere civilian, he is a close associate of Dahlia Gillespie and the Order. Kaufmann has an alliance with her centered around drugs. Kaufmann arranged Alessa Gillespie's medical care after her immolation at the age of seven and oversaw her nursing. Kaufmann dealt the hallucinogen PTV, derived from a local plant called White Claudia. Kaufmann worked alongside his colleague, Norman Young, selling PTV and receiving a considerable profit in the process.
The Order was responsible for the dispersion to tourists as well as Lisa Garland, one of Kaufmann's nurses. Lisa was forced to care for Alessa in the hospital basement against her will, under threat of drug withdrawal. During the introduction sequence of Silent Hill, Lisa is shown arguing with Kaufmann after he initially tries to grasp her arm as she walks away.
After Alessa split her soul, as she was horribly burned during the cult's ritual to birth the god of the town, her mother Dahlia took Alessa to the hospital to be kept out of sight until the other half of her soul returned so she could give birth to the cult's prime deity; Kaufmann is shown in a flashback as having been displeased with this task. Perhaps in mistrust, he kept samples of Aglaophotis, a substance capable of aborting the "god" within Alessa, in his office and in the gas tank of a motorcycle parked in Norman's Motel. A substitute body was also left at the scene by Kaufmann.
Silent Hill: Origins
Upon entering Alchemilla Hospital near the start of the game, Travis Grady encounters Kaufmann near the elevator. Travis questions Kaufmann on the condition of Alessa, whom he rescued from her immolation, but Kaufmann denies any knowledge of the incident. Tiring of the conversation, Kaufmann leaves in an elevator, taking it to the second floor, the only floor accessible at this time. Upon entering the lift following Kaufmann leaving 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, upon entering the Otherworld, Travis hears evidence of a sexual encounter between a man and a woman through a hole in a motel room. Jumping through a cavity above the room, Travis finds 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 run-ins with one another. Once alone in the motel room, inspection shows the presence of white powder, likely the drug PTV that Kaufmann deals in, in the bathroom and on a mirror in the bedroom.
Kaufmann makes another appearance before the game's final boss, in which he gasses Travis before he can interrupt the cult's ceremony. Upon the defeat of the boss, when the Flauros separates the baby (Cheryl) from Alessa, he is seen escaping the room.
Kaufmann's final appearance in the game is a voice conversation between him and Dahlia. Kaufmann questions Dahlia over the next stage of the plan. Dahlia informs him the other half of her daughter will return some day; after Kaufmann suggests it could take years, Dahlia responds with, "We can wait."
According to the novelization, just before the events of the first game, Kaufmann learned of the Order's treachery, and he planned on fleeing to another country. When he discovers Dahlia came to the hospital to smash his Aglaophotis vials, Kaufmann rages and vents. He wouldn't be needing clothes and there was no time for gathering unnecessary possessions, so he forwent a bulky travel bag in favor of sorting essentials in an unassuming attaché case. He packed two passports, one with his actual name and a counterfeit bearing a pseudonym, a stash of gold and wadded bills taken from his safety deposit box, a 9mm handgun and two boxes of ammunition, and an emergency set of medical supplies.
When Harry Mason first finds Kaufmann in Alchemilla Hospital, he is in a state of disbelief, sitting in an examination room with a gun in his hands. He stares down at an Air Screamer he has just shot, which lies in a puddle of blood at his feet. As Harry tries to confront him, Kaufmann fires a warning shot, returning to a state of "normality" when Harry is able to persuade him not to shoot. Knowing his vial of Aglaophotis has been shattered by Dahlia, he immediately sets out for the other sample located in a motorcycle in Norman's Motel.
Kaufmann's fate determines the game's ending. Depending on the player's actions, Kaufmann is either overwhelmed by a Mumbler inside Annie's Bar at the Resort Area (resulting in the Bad/Bad+ routes), or rescued by Harry (resulting in the Good/Good+ routes). If saved, Kaufmann is thankful, but his business presses him onward. If Harry finds the Aglaophotis in the motorcycle stash (the Kaufmann sidequest), Kaufmann reappears and angrily snatches it away. Because the canon route is the Good route (since Harry doesn't receive a baby in the Bad/Bad+ paths), this means Harry must have saved Kaufmann and completed the tasks related to Kaufmann's secret business.
At the conclusion of the game (following the canon Good route), Kaufmann appears unexpectedly as Harry confronts Dahlia and Alessa in Nowhere and shoots Dahlia. Kaufmann demands she make everything normal again, and promises that she will regret using him. Wounded but still gloating, Dahlia tells Kaufmann that his usefulness is over. Kaufmann responds by retrieving a bottle of Aglaophotis from his pocket, catching Dahlia off-guard; she hadn't counted on him keeping another sample. Against Dahlia's protests, Kaufmann throws the Aglaophotis at Alessa, which shatters and causes her to expel the Incubus, apparently not an effect Kaufmann had intended. After the demon incinerates Dahlia, Kaufmann inexplicably disappears while Harry battles the demon in a final boss fight and then reappears after its defeat, having apparently been inexplicably knocked unconscious to the floor off-screen.
Following the final boss, Kaufmann reawakens and sees Alessa creating a glowing portal for Harry to escape through. Kaufmann makes a motion to follow after him but is dragged back at the last moment by a bloodied Lisa Garland, who crawls up through the floor grating. Lisa latches her arms onto the screaming Kaufmann, and the two of them fall backward into an unseen pit.
|“|| His name is a combination of the names Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, two Troma Studios producers known for many B-movies such as The Toxic Avenger. There isn't a particularly deep significance.
Silent Hill: Origins
- "Can I help you? A girl? We've received no new patients in the last day or so. Was she hurt? Are you a relative? What did you say her name was? I'm sorry. Perhaps someone in reception could help you. I have urgent business to attend to. Goodbye."
- Kaufmann: "You have a habit of popping up where you're not wanted, Mr. Grady. Isn't it time you left town?"
Travis: "I can't."
Kaufmann: "Try harder."
- "She's really worked you over, hasn't she? I'm surprised to see you. We had assumed you'd just leave. Well, time to put her pawn to sleep... Goodnight."
- "Don't worry, Dahlia. With him out of the way, she has no conduit for her power."
- "Half the soul is lost, the seed lies dormant. It will take time."
Cage of Cradle
- "Get back to work!" (to Lisa)
- "Thank God. Another human being. I'm Doctor Michael Kaufmann. I work at this hospital."
- "I really can't say. I was taking a nap in this staff room. When I woke up, it was like this. Everyone seems to have disappeared. And it's snowing out, this time of year. Something's gone seriously wrong."
- "She's missing? I'm sorry. But with all those monsters around, I highly doubt that she's... Sorry, I didn't mean to alarm you. Your wife, she's here with you? I see. I'm sorry. Well, I'd better be going. I can't just sit around here doing nothing."
- "I'm beat. I thought I was a goner there. So, how'd it go? Did you find a way out?"
- "It's too soon to give up. This craziness can't go on forever. A military rescue squad should be here any time now. If they come through the town, we're home free."
- "I'd better get going. This isn't the time to stand around flapping our gums."
- "Give me that! Instead of messing with that, how about coming up with a way to get out of here? You shouldn't be hanging around here goofing off! What do you think you're doing? You want to get yourself killed, get out of here! Unless you want to die, keep your mind on business, got it?"
- "Are you trying to say it won't work? That wasn't our agreement!" (to Dahlia in a flashback)
- "Quit screwing around! Return things to how they were before! Did I ask for this! Nobody uses me! You won't get away with this!" (to Dahlia)
- "My, aren't we getting cocky? Bet you can't see this and keep your cool." (showing Dahlia his Aglaophotis)
- "All I had to do was plant it somewhere for you to find. You all, well, it kept you busy. Ha! You're easy! And there's more where this came from!"
- 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's investigation.
- In German, "Kaufmann" means "seller", "dealer", or "businessman", which perfectly describes his drug-dealing work. 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. This could relate to it being medicinal, alluding to Kaufmann's position in Alchemilla.
- It is possible Alessa may have turned Lisa into a monster only to punish 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 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 adorned with a double-faced mask, one half bearing a stern expression, the other displaying a despaired expression, its 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 injected 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.