Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) is a survival horror game by Capcom and is the first game in the Resident Evil series. It was originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation and has been subsequently ported to the Sega Saturn and PC, then re-released twice on the PlayStation in the form of a Director's Cut. In 2002, a remake of the game was released for the Nintendo GameCube featuring new graphics and voice acting among other significant changes. A Nintendo DS port of the original, with added modes and the subtitle Deadly Silence, was released in early 2006.
While not the first survival horror game, its success propelled the genre to new heights of popularity and was the first game to coin the term. Contents [hide]
The 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 have been attacked in their homes by a group of assailants with evidence of cannibalism. Local law enforcement sent in the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team. However, contact is soon lost. The Alpha Team are then dispatched to find Bravo Team and to continue the investigation. Alpha Team locates the downed Bravo Team helicopter, with only the body of the pilot, Kevin Dooley, inside and a severed hand still holding a handgun close by. Alpha Team is suddenly attacked by a group of Cerberus, which kill member Joseph Frost. They then flee into trees and find a nearby Mansion, believing it to be abandoned, (N.B. During the escape Chris Redfield loses his handgun, which is why players don't begin with it when they play as Chris). However it is revealed later in the game the building is The Arklay Research Facility, owned by the Spencer Family, and disguised as a mansion.
Trapped inside the mansion, due to the Cerberus keeping them from leaving via the front entrance, the four remaining Alpha Team members (Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton and Albert Wesker) split up and search the mansion for an escape route and clues to explain the recent murders. At this point the player takes control of either Chris or Jill and explores the mansion. One of the first discoveries to be made is a member of Bravo Team, Kenneth J. Sullivan, having been 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 had been carried on the premises by the Umbrella Corporation. The zombies and other monsters are the results of these experiments, which exposed humans and various animals to a biological weapon known as the t-Virus (N.B. 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 connected buildings on the site, Chris/Jill discover a secret underground laboratory (Arklay Research Facility) containing detailed records of the Umbrella Corporation's experiments. In one of the labs, Wesker reveals that he is a double agent working for Umbrella and releases the "T-002," a giant humanoid monster created through prolonged exposure to the t-Virus. Upon release, the Tyrant immediately impales Wesker on one of its elongated claws. Chris/Jill appear to slay the Tyrant using firearms but Wesker triggers a self-destruct program to cover up the experiments and destroy the laboratory. Chris/Jill call for the Alpha Team helicopter whilst making a desperate dash for the helipad. The Tyrant bursts through the floor of the landing pad, before the helicopter is able to extract Chris/Jill, and resumes its attacks. Seemingly resistant to small arms fire, the Tyrant is defeated when the helicopter pilot, Brad Vickers, drops a rocket launcher for Chris/Jill to use. Chris/Jill then escape in the helicopter before the mansion explodes.
The ending sequence varies depending on choices made by the player as he/she explores the mansion. So long as the player escaped with two teammates, the ending plays out as described above. Rescuing one or none of your teammates changes the outcome, in particular the fate of the laboratory and the Tyrant.
Interestingly, neither ending is the "true" one, as canonically, Jill, Chris, Barry and Rebecca all survived the mansion incident.
Unlike subsequent Resident Evil games, the first game has live-action cut scenes for the opening and ending sequences. The acting and dialogue in these scenes are often mocked (as is the general dialogue in the series), but some argue that the perceived deficiencies perfectly fit the mood of a B-grade horror movie, and that the actors were surely more entertaining than the CGI that would later permeate the series. The opening footage in the western releases was significantly re-cut to exclude most of the gore, using alternate footage. Capcom was supposed to include the unadulterated version of the intro in later revisions, but only the PC Version and the German and French PAL PlayStation Director's Cut contain the original scenes.
The gameplay environment consists of polygonal 3D characters placed over pre-rendered 2D backgrounds. As such, the game relies on pre-determined camera angles for view of the action instead of a real-time camera. As a result, the game uses a "tank-like" control scheme where the character controls in a first person manner. Instead of moving the character in the direction the player is pushing, the character moves forwards by pressing up and backwards by pressing down and turns the character on the spot by pushing left or right. Many Resident Evil detractors have criticized this control scheme, claiming it's unsuitable for a third-person action game, but many fans defend it, arguing that a conventional third person control scheme wouldn't be very feasible considering the various camera angles (and many have said that it added to the feeling of defeat and death that the game tried to influence on its players).
The player fights against enemies by arming their character with a weapon. The player draws their weapon by holding down the "Weapon Draw" button (usually a shoulder button, such as the R1 button) and pressing "Fire" (or X button) In the attack stance, the player character remains static in one place and can turn their character and/or tilt their weapon up or down. Initially, the only weapons available to the player are a combat knife and a Beretta 92FS, but later in the game, more weapons become accessible to the player such as the Remington M870 and a Colt Python. Ammunition for firearms is limited and is often recommended that the player save their strongest weapons for boss battles.
The player must survive by fighting against the various monsters that populate the mansion. The most common enemies in the game are zombies, which are slow-moving and easy to outrun, but hard to avoid in tight corners. During later sections of the game, the player must also fight against zombie dogs (known as "Cerberus'"), Hunters, Chimeras and Web Spinners, as well as small enemies such as crows, Wasps and Adders. Remember to take careful aim while fighting these pesky things, for they are small and you want to conserve ammunition. The player must also fight against bosses such as a giant snake (Yawn), a mutated plant (Plant 42), a giant spider (Black Tiger), a giant shark (Neptune), and the Tyrant T-002.
Health is restored by using First-Aid sprays or healing herbs. Of the two, healing Herbs are more common and restore a portion of the player's health, while first-aid sprays are scarcer, but will restore the player's health completely. There are three types of healing herbs available: the Green Herb (for restoring health), the Blue Herb (which cures poison) and the Red Herb (which can't be used by itself, but will triple the healing power of a green herb when mixed with one).
The player must navigate through the mansion by picking up various keys and items which are integral to the game's progress, while solving puzzles along the way. The player has a limited capacity for carrying items and thus, enforcing the need to carry only essential items while still having space for new items. As such, storage boxes are available, at predetermined points, for the player to store any item for later use.
The player can only save their progress by going to a typewriter and using Ink Ribbons to save the game. Ink ribbons are available in a limited quantity, forcing the player to think carefully on whether they have made enough progress to justify saving the game. This saving method has also been criticized by many, but designer Shinji Mikami defended it by arguing that it increases the tension in the game.
There are also various documents available to the player within the mansion which serves to provide the solutions to certain puzzles or simply to further divulge the plot to the player.
The game gives you control of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team members Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine as they look for another way out and try to locate the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team. The characters play out similar scenarios but they have different skills. Chris is assisted by Bravo Team medic, Rebecca Chambers (who becomes playable in certain portions of his scenario), while Jill gets help from fellow Alpha team member, Barry Burton. Jill's quest is easier because she has a higher item-carrying capacity (eight compared to Chris's six), can pick simple locks, and has a comparatively stronger team-mate. She also has access to a grenade launcher (although, Chris has very limited access to a flamethrower) and can complete certain puzzles by herself, while Chris needs Rebecca's help in certain areas. Chris's limitations make his quest arguably harder but he has more stamina than Jill, and can therefore sustain greater damage, and also runs faster.  Cast Protagonists Chris and Jill. From the GameCube version.  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 often follow this tradition of including a male and female lead, although in some, they aren't both available at the start of the game (i.e. Code: Veronica). Notably, Resident Evil Zero has players control both protagonists simultaneously.
* Chris Redfield - One of the protagonists 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. Chris also finds the flamethrower, a weapon exclusive to his scenario, but cannot acquire the grenade launcher. Chris' scenario is pretty much the "hard mode."
* Jill Valentine - One of the protagonists of the game. Jill's scenario is the simpler of the two, as she has a higher carrying capacity (eight items simultaneously) and has a lock pick 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 Magnum Colt python and is more helpful than Chris's Rebecca, as he eliminates the need for the broken shotgun (as long as the player hasn't picked up the armor key), and assists in fighting several of the bosses. Jill also gets to use a grenade launcher, a weapon exclusive to her scenario and capable of firing several types of rounds. However, these are offset by the fact that she is more vulnerable to enemy attacks than Chris. All in all, Jill has a much easier time than Chris and is the "easy mode."
The character who is not chosen becomes a prisoner of Wesker until 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 (which are apparently modeled off of GameCubes in the remake) located throughout the lab. The cell's door can only be unlocked by activating the self-destruct mechanism or by using Wesker's Master Key. Deciding whether to free them or not affects several of the ending cutscenes.  Supporting characters
* Albert Wesker - Leader of Alpha team and S.T.A.R.S., Wesker is also a member of Umbrella and plans to dispose of his team-mates and gather data on the Bio-weapons.
* Barry Burton - A S.T.A.R.S. member who assists Jill in her search, Barry is blackmailed into murder and the destruction of evidence by corrupt S.T.A.R.S. leader Albert Wesker.
* Brad Vickers - Alpha team's Pilot, Brad was a coward who left his team-mates behind after Joseph's death.
* Joseph Frost - Another member of Alpha team, Joseph was attacked and eaten alive by dogs.
* Rebecca Chambers - A S.T.A.R.S. member who assists Chris in his search. Rebecca is one of the survivors of Bravo team, whose disappearance prompted Alpha team's investigation. She is at playable for a short period of time at two points in Chris's scenario.
* Richard Aiken - A Bravo team member who is poisoned by a giant snake. Aiken dies before the serum has a chance to save him.
* Forest Speyer - Another member of Bravo team, Forest was killed by Crows when we searched the balcony.
* Kenneth J. Sullivan - Another Bravo team member, Kenneth was decapitated by a Zombie moments before Alpha found him.
* Enrico Marini - Captain of Bravo team, Enrico discovers that a member of Alpha team is a traitor, but is assassinated before confirming who it is.
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 re-animated corpse, while Richard can survive if given the serum within a certain amount of time.  Later versions Version Platform Date of Release Alterations Resident Evil PlayStation March-August, 1996 - Resident Evil: Director's Cut PlayStation September - December 1997 various enemy and item locations, Resident Evil 2 Demo, Easy mode Resident Evil: Director's Cut: DualShock Version PlayStation 1997 DC changes, dubbed intro (Japanese version), gameplay footage of "1.5" Resident Evil Windows December 1996 - September '97 Full-colour opening, better graphics, New weapons, New costumes Resident Evil SEGA Saturn July - October, 1997 Battle Game minigame, new costumes, new enemies Resident Evil (REmake) Nintendo GameCube March - September, 2003 large overhaul (see here for details) Resident Evil: Deadly Silence Nintendo DS January - March, 2006 "classic mode" (original), "rebirth mode" (REmake), Touch-screen enhancements, More enemies (Rebirth), More puzzles (Rebirth), 180 degree turn (both), First Person "Knife Battle" (Rebirth), Co-op mode (Rebirth) Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Wii December, 2008 - June, '09 REmake alterations, Wii pointer ability  Novelization Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy
Main article: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy
A novelization of the game entitled Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy, was written by author S.D. Perry as the first book in her series of Resident Evil novels. The novel combines Jill's and Chris scenarios into one narrative and features all five of the main characters (including Barry and Rebecca).
The book also takes liberty with the original source materials; the most notable difference being the inclusion of an original character named Trent, an insider from Umbrella who provides Jill with information about the Mansion prior to the events of the mansion incident. Since the book was written a few years before the GameCube remake, the novelization omits the presence of Lisa Trevor in the mansion. However, the book does allude to the original version of George Trevor's Journal from The True Story Behind Biohazard, as well as the short story it contained Biohazard: The Beginning, which involved the disappearance of Chris's friend, Billy Rabbitson. Another notable difference in the novels is moving the location of Raccoon City from the Midwest to Pennsylvania, apparently about an hour's drive from New York.  Reception [hide] Reception Aggregate scores Aggregator Score Metacritic PS1: 91% (8 reviews) MobyGames PS1 92% 
PC: 74% Review scores Publication Score
Further information: Resident Evil Walkthrough
* The inspiration for Resident Evil was the earlier Capcom game Sweet Home. Shinji Mikami was initially commissioned to make a horror game set in a haunted mansion like Sweet Home. In Sweet Home, the characters find a note reading "This is the house where evil resides."
* The idea of using zombies as enemies came from George A. Romero's Dead movie series. Earlier ideas for the game proposed paranormal enemies instead of living creatures.
* The design on the back of Chris's alternate costume is a reference to an album by the rock group Queen entitled "Made in Heaven." Other references to the album appear in Resident Evil 2, Code: Veronica and Resident Evil Zero. In Resident Evil 2, the "Made in Heaven" design is also seen on the back of Claire's vest. In Code: Veronica, the back of Claire's jacket reads "Let Me Live", the third track off "Made in Heaven." In Resident Evil Zero, Billy's tattoo reads "Mother Love", the fourth track off "Made in Heaven."
* In Resident Evil 2, Chris's brown jacket, part of his alternative costume from the first title, is seen hanging above his desk in the S.T.A.R.S. office. Since it is the same office, also appears in Resident Evil 3.
* The "Made in Heaven" design on Chris's jacket and sweater has 20 bombs. The one on Claire's vest only has 16. The style of the image is similar to airplane nose art, popular in World War II, and a reference to Chris's days in the Air Force.
The following details are from The True Story Behind Biohazard (1997, Capcom):
* Resident Evil was initially envisioned as a first-person shooter until it was decided that playing from a first-person perspective wasn't scary enough. Concept art for Dewey and Gelzer
* A series of documents, known as the "Trevor's Letters", were proposed for the original game, but not included in the final version due to the fact that they revealed too much of the game's plot too soon. They were later restored in the GameCube remake with a few differences due to the retroactive changes made in the new version.
* When playing as both characters, an early puzzle involves playing a song on the grand piano in the mansion's bar. The composition is Ludwig van Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."
* Two characters appeared in an early draft of the game's storyline as Jill's and Chris's supporting characters. Gelzer, a muscular Caucasian man with a cybernetic eye who was scheduled to hold an entire roof up at one point of the game, and Dewey, a thin African American man modeled after Eddie Murphy who would've served as the comic relief. In the finished version of the game, these two were replaced by Barry and Rebecca respectively. The name Dewey was then used for an unrelated member of S.T.A.R.S. (Edward Dewey). * As of July 2009 Resident Evil had sold over 6.4 million copies, more than any Resident Evil game to date. * The original Japanese release of the BioHazard was meant to have Japanese voice acting for its dialog. According to Mikami, the Japanese voice acting was removed from the game as he found the quality of the performances to be unsatisfactory, or in his own words "they were really lame". The video below show the remnants of the Japanese dialog found in a CD called BioHazard Symphony Op. 91: Crime and Punishment, Disc 2 has a track called "Character Voice 3" that contains some snips of the Japanese dialogue.
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