Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard, is a survival-horror franchise that started life as a video game series developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami. The series is credited with popularizing the survival horror game genre. This franchise has been heavily influenced by George A. Romero's Dead movies, as well as the Alone in the Dark series of PC horror games, early seminal examples of the genre.
The games have sold over 30 million copies as of February 2006.The success of this franchise has spawned several video games, a comic book series, novelizations, two Hollywood action films (two more have been announced), guides, collectibles, publications, and a variety of action figures. While the games mostly adhere to a consistent storyline, there are enough deviations from the plot within the films and novels to be considered alternate story lines, non-canonical.
The original game opens on the evening of July 24, 1998 in the fictional Raccoon City where a number of grisly murders have taken place on the outskirts of town. Victims were attacked in their homes by a group of assailants with evidence of cannibalism. Local law enforcement sends in the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team. After contact is lost, the Alpha Team is sent out to find Bravo Team and to continue the investigation. Alpha Team locates the downed Bravo Team helicopter, but there is no sign of survivors; only a severed hand is found. Alpha Team is suddenly attacked by ferocious dogs (called cerberus), which kill member Joseph Frost in the process, and they flee to nearby Spencer Mansion, believed to be abandoned.
The opening scene from Chris's scenario in the original PlayStation version
Trapped inside the mansion, the four remaining Alpha Team members (Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton and Albert Wesker) split up and searched the mansion for a way out and clues to explain the murders. At this point the player takes control of either Chris or Jill and explores the mansion with him or her. One of the first discoveries to be made is a member of Bravo Team, Kenneth J. Sullivan, being eaten by a zombie. The mansion turns out to be full of secrets and anything but abandoned. Scattered documents and computer discs suggest that a series of experiments were being executed on the property by the Umbrella Corporation. The zombies and other monsters are the results of these experiments, which have exposed humans and various animals to a biological weapon known as the T-Virus (hence the Japanese title, "Biohazard").
The opening scene from Chris's scenario in the original PlayStation version.
The same scene from the GameCube remake.After navigating a series of tunnels, passageways, and other buildings on the property, Chris/Jill discover a secret underground laboratory containing detailed records of the Umbrella Corporation's experiments. In the lab, Albert Wesker reveals that he is a double agent working for Umbrella and releases the "Tyrant T-002," a giant humanoid monster created through prolonged exposure to the T-Virus. Upon release, the Tyrant immediately impales Wesker on its elongated claws. Chris/Jill apparently slays the Tyrant using firearms and triggers a self-destruct program to ensure an end to the laboratory and the experiments held there. After Chris/Jill calls for a rescue chopper, the Tyrant bursts through the roof of the lab onto the chopper landing pad and attacks. Suddenly resistant to bullets, the Tyrant is finally slain when the chopper pilot, Brad Vickers, drops a rocket launcher and Chris/Jill uses it to completely destroy the creature. Chris/Jill escapes into the chopper and the game ends.
The ending sequence varies depending on choices made by the player as he/she explores the mansion. So long as the player escapes with both teammates, the ending plays out as described above. Rescuing only one or neither teammates changes the outcome.
Playable characters ;
Resident Evil gives players a choice between two playable characters (one male and one female): S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. The differences between both characters are more than superficial, with differences in abilities, items and even supporting characters (resulting in a slightly different scenario for both characters). Later Resident Evil titles would follow this tradition of including a male and female lead, with very few exceptions, although in some, they aren't both available at the start of the game (i.e. Code Veronica & 4). Notably, Resident Evil 0 has players control both protagonists simultaneously.
Chris Redfield - The hero of the game. Chris is much stronger than Jill, making him more resistant to enemy attacks, but to compensate for his strength, his scenario is made more problematic, especially for the inexperienced. He can only carry six items and starts with only a knife. To make things worse he needs Old Keys to unlock places where Jill can simply use her Lock-pick. Chris's supporting character is Rebecca. She will not rescue him as much as Barry would for Jill, but she is useful and can heal all Chris's wounds at certain areas of the game.
Jill Valentine - The heroine of the game. Jill's scenario is the simplest of the two, as she has a higher carrying capacity (eight items simultaneously) and has a lockpick that serves as a substitute for the old keys in Chris's scenario (as well as the Sword Key in the original game). Jill's supporting character is Barry. He wields a powerful .44 Silver Serpent Magnum and is more helpful than Chris's Rebecca. Jill also gets to use a grenade launcher, a weapon exclusive to her scenario; however, this is offset by the fact that she is more vulnerable to enemy attacks than Chris.
Rebecca Chambers is also playable for certain portions of Chris's scenario.
The character who is not chosen becomes a prisoner of Wesker at the end of the game. In order to unlock the passage leading to the cell, three MO Disks must be collected by the player and then inserted into terminals located thorought the lab. The cell's door can only be unlocked by activating the self-destruct mechanism or by using Wesker's Master Key.
Barry Burton - In Chris's scenario, Barry only appears in the opening scene and disappears in the beginning, with Wesker presuming him dead. In Jill's game, Barry helps throughout the game. Barry often shows up whenever Jill is in need of help to get her out of trouble. He, for instance, kills the first zombie seen in Jill's scenario, and gives her ammo on two occasions. He also allows Jill to get a shotgun very early in the game by saving her from a trap that is set off when the shotgun is taken (in Chris' game, he must find a broken shotgun to replace the working one in order to prevent the trap from being sprung). Wesker threatened to kill Barry's family unless he killed the other STARS members (Jill). In the original version, depending on the player's trust on Barry (such as waiting for him to replace a lost rope or seeing Enrico with him), Barry survives to help Jill at the end of the game or gets killed by one of the monsters. In the GameCube version, Barry aims his revolver at Jill on one occasion, but she thwarts his attempt, and, depending on a choice made by the player, may or may not give him his gun back (the latter option results in his death). If the player gives him his gun back, Barry helps out with the subsequent battle as well as the final battle with the Tyrant. However, if the player does not give the gun back he is thrown by Lisa Trevor into a bottomless pit, dropping a photograph of his family. The photo is intended to make the player feel guilty for making this latter's option.
Rebecca Chambers - A sub-character who appears only in Chris's scenario. Chris meets her either: when she is attending to a wounded Bravo team member Richard (in both the original and GameCube version), or when Chris first enters the Mansion's infirmary (in the original version only). Rebecca appears during portions of Chris's scenario which calls for her intellect such as mixing chemicals or playing the piano. She also becomes a playable character when Chris needs her help in one time of the game; she either goes to get Serum for Chris, or she mixes chemicals to weaken a boss which ensnares Chris. Rebecca also needs Chris's help occasionally; for instance, when she is cornered by a Hunter and is out of ammo, Chris must go to her aid, though the player can choose not to, which results in Rebecca's death (however, certain actions in the original will determine whether or not this scene will occur). If Chris saves her, Rebecca continues to help Chris. Wesker shoots Rebecca, and he believes to have killed her, but Rebecca in fact had a bulletproof vest on. Rebecca, if alive, helps with the final battle with the Tyrant in the GameCube remake.
Albert Wesker - A supporting character in both characters' scenarios. Wesker only makes sporadic appearances through the game, usually to advance the plot. In Chris's scenario (especially in the GameCube version), Wesker takes the place of Barry on a few occasions. He helps him in the third battle with Lisa Trevor, whereas Barry helps Jill. Wesker also leaves Chris ammo on one or two occasions. Wesker is in fact Chief of Security at Umbrella and one of the company's top researchers. He is the one who unleashes the Tyrant on the main character. After unleashing the Tyrant, the monster apparently kills Wesker.
Most of the other members of S.T.A.R.S. make minor appearances throughout the games, usually as victims of the monsters. In later versions, Forest appears as reanimated corpse, while Richard plays an extended role in both characters' scenario (if the serum is given to him in time). Though in the game only Rebecca or Barry will make it out alive, in the canon of the series, it is known that both were involved with and survived the mansion incident.
The following is a list of creatures the player faces during the course of the original game. The main enemies in the game are known as Bio-Organic Weapons or B.O.W.'s, creatures that were infected with the T-Virus and transformed into ravenous monsters as result. There are also creatures in the game (such as crows and adders) that underwent secondary mutation (a considerable growth in size and/or aggressiveness) as a result of the viral outbreak in the mansion, although they're not technically considered B.O.W.'s. This includes the infected research and security personnel wandering the mansion, as human T-Virus hosts have been deemed ineffective as weapons due to their slow movement, lowered intelligence and lack of any natural defensive strengths such as claws or fangs.
Zombie - Standard enemy. Previously members of Umbrella's Arklay research team, but infected by the T-Virus during the course of their activities. Hosts show complete loss of memory, extremely heightened aggression and severe tissue/organ deterioration.
MA-121 Hunter - Emerging after the player returns to the mansion from the residence building; these enemies bear an appearance described by some as a "skinned gorilla". They are extremely fast, strong and aggressive, making them one of the most dangerous enemies in the entire game.
MA-39 Cerberus - Dobermans injected with the T-Virus. These creatures were deemed a major success by the Umbrella Corporation, due to their increased strength, speed and aggression. The Cerberus poses a serious threat when attacking in pack numbers.
Crows - Regular crows that inhabit the Arklay Mountains. These crows have been infected with the T-Virus and, as a result, have become extremely aggressive. Their strength lies in their large numbers. They are difficult to shoot and dangerous if the character is already critically injured, but otherwise present only a minor threat to an armed opponent.
Infected Plant - A mutated plant that was infected with T-Virus contaminated water. Found within Spencer Mansion's greenhouse. Not particularly dangerous, the plant will simply strike out at detected movement. It can only be killed by pouring herbicide into the water pump. Not to be confused with the far deadlier 'Plant-42'.
Web Spinner - Large tarantula-based B.O.W.'s, noted for their ability to jump and spit venomous acid. The Web-Spinner was deemed a failure, due to the fact that it couldn't be properly adopted to a specific mission profile.
Adder - Poisonous snakes that infest the area surrounding Spencer Mansion. Much like the infected crows, the snakes are another accidental byproduct of the T-Virus leak. These snakes are poisonous, aggressive, difficult to shoot, and will drop down from the trees to surprise the character. When encountered, fleeing the area is generally recommended, although the combat knife can be useful against this opponent.
Wasp - Created when a nest within the mansion's rear guardhouse became infected with the T-Virus. These wasps are about the size of a fist, extremely aggressive and produce toxins within their abdomens. The wasps can be eliminated via the destruction of their nest.
Shark - Sharks that underwent infection with the T-Virus. Found in the Guardhouse Basement/Aqua Ring beneath the Residence, these sharks have not responded to the effects of the T-Virus as positively as Neptune. That fact aside, they have nevertheless been deemed a successful creation by the Umbrella Corporation. Note that Neptune is much larger than its standard counterparts. Neptune is about 12 feet in the original, and about 25 feet in the remake.
Chimera - B.O.W.'s located in the underground lab. Created by combining T-Virus-infected human DNA with T-Virus-infected fly DNA. Although capable of incredible agility, the Chimera was deemed a failure, due to its extremely weak profile. The Hunter, with similar abilities and far greater physical strength, was officially chosen to replace the Chimera. Referred to as a 'Skinned Gorilla' in the original game.
Crimson Head (GameCube remake only) - An unforeseen side effect of prolonged T-Virus incubation within a human host. After a zombie is supposedly killed, the virus within the host's body continues to mutate until the brain receives a "jolt" (from brainwaves), and the zombie is revived. Once revived, the zombie's muscular tissue is reinforced, allowing it move at incredible speed. The extremities also mutate, creating claws on the hands and feet. The host becomes even more aggressive and capable of sustaining massive damage. The Arklay research team labelled these mutations as 'Crimson Heads', due to the obviously severe blood seepage through the host's skin that becomes apparent after mutation. The incubation can be stopped via destruction of the head or by burning the corpse before the T-Virus can further mutate.
Yawn - A giant python-based B.O.W. with venomous fangs. It earns its name due to the fact that appears to be yawning before biting its prey.
Elder Crimson Head (GameCube remake only) - The first Crimson Head created by the Arklay research team, the first Crimson Head subject was found to be severely more aggressive than the Crimson Head creatures that followed it, killing several researchers. It was sealed inside an elaborate puzzle-lock, in a coffin beneath Spencer Mansion's cemetery.
Fi-3 Neptune - A shark-based B.O.W. Much larger and stronger than its counterpart specimens. The Neptune has responded incredibly well to the T-Virus.
Plant 42 - A giant carnivorous plant that was created by Henry Santon. It occupies two entire rooms of the mansion's guardhouse, and its roots have grown into every inch of the building.
Black Tiger - A giant Web Spinner, six times the size of its infected counterparts, that has responded far better to the T-Virus. The Black Tiger is able to capture large prey in its webs.
Lisa Trevor (GameCube remake only) - The daughter of Spencer Mansion's architect, George Trevor. Lisa is a living testament to the cruelty of the Umbrella Corporation. She was taken prisoner alongside her mother, Jessica, and both were infected with numerous incarnations of Umbrella's various viral weapons. Jessica succumbed to an early version of the Progenitor Virus, while Lisa mutated into a horrific creature capable of only limited intelligence. She is encountered three times, and is completely invulnerable to the player's firearms until the last encounter. If Lisa is encountered, escaping the area is highly recommended.
T-002 Tyrant Umbrella's most prized Bio-Organic Weapon. The Tyrant is the driving force behind the Umbrella Corporation's continual T-Virus research. A controllable, agile and extremely powerful B.O.W. that rogue S.T.A.R.S. operative, Albert Wesker, unleashes on the player in the latter stages of the game. The Tyrant will mutate into a 'Super Tyrant', increasing its threat profile significantly, after undergoing its 'limiter release' phase.
Bayonet - A close-quarters military combat knife, and Chris Redfield's only available weapon at the beginning of the game. Although the player can save ammo by using this weapon, the character has to be within attacking range of the enemy, and thus it's generally considered a useless weapon. Some players try to do 'knife runs', where the game is completed using only the combat knife. It is recommended this weapon be disposed of as soon as possible, as it is almost impossible to properly utilise to any significant effect. In the "Deadly Silence" remake, the knife can be used pressing the "L" trigger just like in Resident Evil 4 and does not count as a carried item, which makes it a lot more useful than it was in the original gameplay.
Beretta M92FS - A 9mm Parabellum handgun available as Jill's initial weapon and can be found shortly after the beginning of Chris's scenario. While it is effective against zombies and dogs, most of the tougher monsters will take many rounds before going down. The remake of the original game sees the 92FS replaced with the S.T.A.R.S. customised "Samurai Edge" sidearm. This weapon is essentially the same 9mm pistol, slightly altered for licensing purposes.
Remington M870 - A pump-action shotgun. Can blow a zombie's head off if aimed at the head and is effective against virtually all enemies due to its power and wide range. The GameCube remake of the original version also offers the player improved firepower with the inclusion of Richard's Remington M870 Tactical shotgun. This weapon will become available to both characters after Richard is killed.
Colt Python - A revolver that uses high-caliber .357 Magnum rounds and is one of the game's most powerful weapons. Since magnum rounds are scarce, it is generally recommended by expert players to save this weapon for tougher enemies (particularly bosses). In Resident Evil's remake, the Colt Python is replaced with the "Silver Serpent", which is a renamed version of the performance center M629. This weapon is slightly stronger than the Python, and is almost identical to Barry's .44 Magnum.
Colt Anaconda - Barry's absolute favourite sidearm. This weapon has become a signature piece amongst Barry's comrades and all are familiar with Barry's attachment to his prized sidearm. Barry has, on numerous occasions, rejected the use of more modern and conventional weaponry in favour of the Anaconda, due to its extreme power. This weapon will be seen in Barry's hands for most of his appearances during gameplay. The gun is available to Jill if a player refuses to give back the gun to Barry during the fight with Lisa although the Colt Anaconda has no replacment ammo, it can kill almost every enemy in a single shot (excluding bosses).
Milkor MGL Mk.1 - Also known as the Grenade Launcher. A weapon exclusive to Jill, it can fire three separate kinds of ammunition. In addition to standard explosive rounds, it can also launch flammable napalm rounds, as well as sulfuric acid rounds. The grenade launcher is considered a good alternative to the shotgun, although ammunition is far more difficult to come by. In the GameCube remake of Resident Evil, there is a glitch that allows nearly unlimited rounds, although this glitch was fixed in the PAL version of the game. The Grenade Launcher can be found beside the corpse of Forest Speyer.
Flamethrower - A weapon exclusive to Chris, the flamethrower has a decent range and is effective against most enemies. However, it cannot be reloaded once it runs out of fuel (since replacement ammo is not available) and is needed to unlock certain doors in the underground passage. It is recommended this weapon be used against the giant 'Black-Tiger' arachnid located within close proximity to the flamethrower.
M202 FLASH - Simply called a Rocket Launcher in game, it is provided by Brad Vickers to use against the Tyrant at the end of the game. The Rocket Launcher is the most powerful weapon in the game, able to kill any enemy in one shot. However, it cannot be aimed at high or low angles. The Rocket Launcher at the end of the game is provided with four rockets pre-loaded, but no replacement ammunition is available. However, a version of the Rocket Launcher with unlimited ammo can be unlocked with a cleared file after finishing the game in less than three hours. This weapon is difficult to use, and it is highly recommended that the character be positioned far from the enemy, especially agile opponents such as the Hunter, to properly utilise it without taking damage. This version is physically completely different from the M202 used against the Tyrant, and more closely resembles an anti-tank rifle than a rocket launcher.
Stun Gun - This is a defensive weapon available only to Jill Valentine in the GameCube remake of Resident Evil. The Stun Gun sends an electrical charge through the body of the enemy, causing considerable damage and instantly incapacitating the opponent for a short period of time. This weapon will often kill smaller opponents, such as the Cerberus, and must be charged with a battery after each use. The batteries required to charge this device are rare, and it is recommended this device only be equipped when facing the most dangerous opposition (specifically the Hunter and the Crimson Head).
Stun Grenade - This is a defensive weapon, exclusive to Chris Redfield, for the GameCube remake of Resident Evil. The Stun Grenade, or flashbang, is most commonly used to disorient an assailant by unleashing blinding light and a deafening explosion with no permanent damage or side-effects. When attacked by an opponent, Chris will lodge a Stun Grenade into its mouth. The grenade will then explode, instantly killing the enemy. Chris can use his pistol to shoot the grenade, although this is generally considered a waste of ammunition, as the timer will automatically detonate the flashbang after several seconds. Obviously, the flashbang can only be used once, although Chris can obtain several of these items which are sporadically located throughout the Spencer Mansion.
Dagger - The Dagger is a defensive weapon available to both Chris and Jill in the GameCube remake of Resident Evil. When equipped, the character will thrust the Dagger through the head of an opponent, causing it to stagger or collapse. The Dagger is almost never fatal to an enemy, although it will provide adequate time for the player to escape, reload, use healing items, etc. A dagger will normally stick in the head of the enemy once used, but may be recovered with the use of a stun grenade by Chris or by a headshot by either character. However, Daggers are much more common than their exclusive counterparts, and should be used against regular opposition, such as the Zombie and the Cerberus.