(known in Japan as ) is a survival horror video game
series and media franchise
consisting of comic books
, three films
, and a variety of collectibles
, including action figures
, strategy guides
and publications. Developed by Capcom
and created by Shinji Mikami
, the series has sold 34.5 million games as of February 29, 2008.
HERRO! The original Resident Evil
made its 1996 debut on the Sony Playstation. It was a critical and commercial success, leading to the production of two sequels, Resident Evil 2
in 1998 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
in 1999, both for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. A port of Resident Evil 2
was released for the Nintendo 64
. In addition, ports of all three were released for Windows
. The fourth game in the series, Resident Evil Code: Veronica
, was developed for the Sega Dreamcast
and released in 2000, followed by ports of 2
. Resident Evil Code: Veronica
was later re-released for Dreamcast in updated form as Code: Veronica Complete
, which included slight changes, many of which revolved around the story cutscenes. Code: Veronica
was later ported to PlayStation 2
and Nintendo GameCube
under the title Code: Veronica X
Despite earlier announcements that the next game in the series would be released for the PlayStation 2, which resulted in the creation of an unrelated game titled Devil May Cry, series' creator and producer Shinji Mikami decided to make the series exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube. The next three games in the series: a remake of the original Resident Evil, the prequel Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil 4, were exclusive to the GameCube, although 4 was later released for PS2 and Wii. In addition, the GameCube received ports of the previous Resident Evil sequels. The remake of the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero were both released in 2002. Despite this exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo, Capcom released several Resident Evil titles for the PS2 that were not considered direct sequels.
A trilogy of GunCon-compatible light gun games known as the Gun Survivor series featured first person gameplay. The first, Resident Evil: Survivor, was released in 2000 for the PlayStation and PC, but received mediocre reviews. The subsequent games, Resident Evil: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (2001, Arcade/PlayStation 2) and Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003, PlayStation 2), fared somewhat better. Dead Aim is actually the fourth Gun Survivor game in Japan, with Gun Survivor 3 being the Dino Crisis spinoff Dino Stalker.
Resident Evil Outbreak is an online game for the PS2, released in 2003, depicting a series of episodic storylines in Raccoon City set during the same time period as Resident Evil 2 and 3. It was followed by a sequel, Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2.
Resident Evil Gaiden is an action-adventure game for the Game Boy Color featuring an RPG-style combat system. It was developed by now-defunct British-based M4 Limited. Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton feature in the game, and it is notable for its cliffhanger ending that has not yet been explored in later games. There have also been several downloadable mobile games based on the Resident Evil series in Japan. Some of these mobile games have been released in North America and Europe through T-Mobile.
|| Original Platforms
|| Ported/Remake Platforms |
| Resident Evil
|| PC, Sega Saturn, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Mobile Phone, Wii |
| Resident Evil 2
|| PC, Game.com, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube |
| Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
|| PC, Dreamcast, GameCube |
| Resident Evil Code: Veronica
|| PlayStation 2, GameCube |
| Resident Evil Zero
|| Wii |
| Resident Evil 4
|| PC, Wii, PlayStation 2, Mobile Phone (Japan only) |
| Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
|| None |
| Resident Evil 5
|| PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
|| PC |
In addition to video games, the plot of Resident Evil
has also been adapted into officially licensed materials such as films, comic books, and novels.
There are currently three Resident Evil
films, written by Paul W. S. Anderson
. Though acclaimed horror film director George A. Romero
was hired to write a script for the first film, it was ultimately rejected in favor of one penned by Anderson. As Romero's script was a close, but not full, adaptation of the game, Capcom believed fans would feel that the movie had been altered too much from the game, and that newcomers would dislike the premise. Sony released a revised synopsis that referred to Extinction
as "the third and final installment" of the Resident Evil
film series. The movies were mostly panned by critics, but reaction from fans were mixed. Some praised the movie for bringing the series to a mainstream audience, while others criticized the fact that it was a confused adaptation of the Resident Evil
Despite the criticism, the films have been financially successful enough to encourage the approval of a trilogy. Released films are as follows:
Capcom has also created two Biohazard films:
The earliest Resident Evil novel was a novella titled Biohazard: The Beginning by Hiroyuki Ariga. It was published in 1997 as a portion of the book The True Story of Biohazard, which was given away as a pre-order bonus with the Saturn version of Biohazard. The story serves as a prelude to the events of the original Resident Evil, in which Chris investigates the disappearance of a missing friend.
S.D. Perry has written novelizations of the first five games, as well as two original novels taking place between games. The Perry series is: The Umbrella Conspiracy, a novelization of the first game; Caliban Cove, an original novel set after the first game; City of the Dead, a novelization of Resident Evil 2; Underworld, another original novel set after Resident Evil 2; Nemesis; Code: Veronica; and Zero Hour. The novels often took liberties with the plot of the games by exploring events occurring outside and beyond the games. This often meant that the games would later contradict the novels by taking the story in a different direction. One notable addition from the novels is the character of Trent, who often served as a mysterious behind-the-scenes string-puller who aided the main characters. Perry's novels were translated and released in Japan with new cover arts by Wolfina. Interestingly enough, Perry's novels stated that Brian Irons was attempting to run for mayor, which was something mentioned in Biohazard: The Beginning.
There was also a trilogy of original Biohazard novels in Japan. was published in 1998 and was written by Kyū Asakura and the staff of Flagship. Two additional novels were published in 2002, To the Liberty by Suien Kimura and Rose Blank by Tadashi Aizawa. While no official English translation of these novels has been published yet, the last two books were translated into German and published in 2006.
Novelizations of the three films, titled Genesis, Apocalypse, and Extinction were written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Extinction, the novel, was released in late July 2007, several months before the film's release. There was also a Japanese novelization of the first film, unrelated to DeCandido's version, written by Osamu Makino.
In 1998 Wildstorm
began publication of a monthly comic book
series based on the first two games titled Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine
, which lasted five issues. Each issue was a compilation of short stories that were both adaptations of events from the games (alluded and depicted), as well as related side-stories. Like the Perry novels, the comics also explored events occurring beyond Resident Evil 2
(the latest game during the series' publication) and thus were contradicted by later games. Wildstorm also published a four-issue mini-series titled Resident Evil: Fire & Ice
, which depicted the ordeal of Charlie Team, a third S.T.A.R.S. team appearing only in the comic.
There has also been a few officially licensed (as well as unlicensed) Biohazard manhua series published in Hong Kong. One of these comics, an adaptation of Code: Veronica by Lee Chung Hing, was translated into English and published by Wildstorm.
Over the years, various toy companies have acquired the Resident Evil
license and each producing their own unique line of Resident Evil action figures
or models. These include, but not limited to, Toy Biz
, Palisade Toys and Moby Dick (in Japan only). NECA
and Hot Toys currently holds a license. Originally the company was only producing figures based on Resident Evil 4
, but extended the line to include characters from previous installments. Tokyo Marui also produced replicas of the guns used in the Resident Evil
series in the form of gas blow-back airsoft
guns. Some models included the S.T.A.R.S. Beretta
featured in Resident Evil 3
, and the Desert Eagle
in a limited edition that came with other memorabilia in a wooden case, along with the Gold Lugers
from Code: VERONICA
"Samurai Edge" from the Gamecube Resident Evil
remake. Other merchandise includes an energy drink called "T-Virus Antidote".
Resident Evil Archives
) is a reference guide of the Resident Evil
series written by staff members of Capcom. It was translated into English and published by BradyGuides. The guide describes and summarizes all of the key events that occur in Resident Evil 0
, Resident Evil
, Resident Evil 2
, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
, and Resident Evil Code: Veronica
. Along with the main plot analysis, it also contains character relationship charts, artwork, item descriptions and file transcripts for all five games. While one of the few video game-based reference guides that was translated into English, the translation was criticized by fans for inconsistencies with the original Japanese version , as well as inconsistencies in the official translations provided by the games themselves .
Utilizing heavy horror
elements, puzzle solving, and a lot of action, most of the games in the main Resident Evil
series have been released to positive reviews. Many of the games, notably Resident Evil 2
and Resident Evil 4
, have been bestowed with multiple Game of the Year
honors and frequently placed on lists of the best games ever made. A common criticism of the series is its odd placement of puzzles. When speaking of Code: Veronica
, one critic wrote that the game is "still largely a puzzle-driven (as opposed to plot driven) experience."
Capcom has been commended, however, for making an attempt to phase out and better integrate the puzzles, with IGN
writing that the puzzles of Resident Evil 4
are "not so obscure that they can't be figured out, and indeed many of them are downright clever."
The success of the Resident Evil series has resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 8 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include Most Live-Action Movie Sequels, Action-Adventure Game with the Most Novelizations, and the dubious honor of Worst Game Dialogue Ever for the line "Here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you".
In other games
Due to Resident Evil's
popularity, Capcom has incorporated references to the series and even actual crossovers with the characters in some of their other titles. Other companies, such as SNK Playmore
, have also incorporated references to the series.
- Pocket Fighter (1997) - A super deformed fighting game starring Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters. In one of her combos, Chun Li is dressed as Jill Valentine in her S.T.A.R.S. outfit. Akuma's ending in the game also featured a scene in which he fights zombies dressed like those from the original Resident Evil.
- Breath of Fire III (1998) - There is an enemy in Caer Xhan that is called "Plant 42".
- Trick'N Snowboarder (1999) - A snowboarding sports game for the Sony PlayStation, featuring Leon, Claire, and a zombie cop from Resident Evil 2 as unlockable characters.
- Dino Crisis (1999) - A survival horror game directed by Shinji Mikami. Umbrella logos are visible on certain crates.
- SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash (1999) - A card game-based video game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Card Fighters Clash featured various trading cards based on Capcom and SNK games, including characters cards of Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and a zombie from the series, as well as an Action Card called "Escape", which pictures Sherry Birkin fleeing from the mutant G. The mansion from the first game is adapted into a theme park attraction within the game, featuring various references to the series (including two characters named "Chris" and "Mikami"). The sequel (Card Fighters 2: Expand Edition) added two new character cards depicting Chris Redfield and Nemesis. The upcoming Card Fighters DS will feature an Ada Wong card.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000) - A popular fighting game that has been ported to several home consoles, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 featured an extensive roster of characters from both Marvel Comics and Capcom. Resident Evil's Jill Valentine was one such character. She is armed with most of the weapons she equips in the original Resident Evil and can summon some of the enemy creatures of the series for special attacks, including the rocket launcher and Tyrant respectively.
- Under the Skin (2004) - One level in this sci-fi comedy PlayStation 2 game takes place in a parody of Raccoon City, and features several characters from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, including Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira, as well as the Nemesis itself.
- Namco x Capcom (2005) - A strategy RPG for the PlayStation 2. Bruce McGivern and Fong Ling from Resident Evil: Dead Aim are featured.
- Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (2005)- Contains a level based on the Resident Evil series, featuring music and enemies from the games, and pictures of villains dressed as Jill, Carlos, Claire and Steve in the background.
- Dead Rising (2006) - A Capcom game involving zombies. This game contains several Resident Evil references. The most obvious of these is a sandwich restaurant named Jill's Sandwiches in reference to Barry's infamous line in the original Resident Evil.
- Mega Man Legends 2 (2000) - Depending on one's progress in the game; the general store will have a "Game Cartridge" item for sale. The game's title is "Resident Evil 43".