The Samurai Edge was a custom-made version of the 9mm Beretta 92F created for the Special Tactics and Rescue Service. It was sold in Kendo's Gun Shop, owned by Robert Kendo and designed/created by his brother Joseph. It was equipped as a standard Handgun by all S.T.A.R.S. members.
First commissioned in December 1996, the Samurai Edge was built on the request of the R.P.D. during the formation of the S.T.A.R.S. unit. The Samurai Edge was built under a very strict set of requirements:
- As the regular R.P.D.'s standard issue Beretta 92F, it had to be chambered for the same 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge.
- It had to have a magazine capacity of at least 15 rounds.
- It had to have fixed sights and dotted posts.
- It had to be capable of producing at least a 2-inch grouping within 25 yards, with no variation after 3,000 rounds.
- It had to be capable of double-action fire.
- It had to be ambidextrous.
- When unloaded, its weight could not exceed 35 ounces.
After almost a year of experiments and trials, Police Chief Brian Irons approved the Samurai Edge concept in Feburary of 1998. The prototypes were tested by select S.T.A.R.S. members, namely Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton, and Albert Wesker. After receiving a few further adjustments, the completed Samurai Edge was first issued in June.
The final version of the Samurai Edge hosted a wide range of features not present on the standard 92F. The wraparound grip panels were enlarged and extended below the magazine foot, and consisted of wood with synthetic recoil-absorbing inserts on the side panels and backstrap. This grip design also required replacing the hammer spring cap (which normally would have a lanyard ring on the end). Further modifications include a heavier Brigadier slide (allowing it to withstand the use of higher pressure rounds), target sights, an extended slide catch, and a stainless steel barrel. Kendo also emblazoned each handgun with the S.T.A.R.S. logo, placed upon the left side of the slide below the ejection port and on a medallion in the center of each grip panel.
After the Arklay Mountains incident, the Spencer Mansion incident and the viral outbreak/destruction of Raccoon City, most of the Samurai Edge handguns were presumably lost or destroyed. With the S.T.A.R.S. teams disbanded, these uniquely modified weapons would have no longer been utilized by any paramilitary group. However, surviving S.T.A.R.S. members may still have a Samurai Edge - Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers all lived through the incidents caused by the Umbrella Corporation, but it should be noted that Chris did not have his Samurai Edge once the S.T.A.R.S. team arrived at Spencer Mansion. It is reasonable to assume that he dropped it while being chased and was unable to retrieve it.
During Resident Evil 5, Wesker is still seen using this variant during various cutscenes. He saved it to kill his old comrade, Chris, who recognized the gun when aimed upon by it and gave Wesker an angry stare, remembering his treachery. Aside from this, he also sometimes uses it during his fight with Chris and Sheva on the takeoff platform. It is available to the player to use when playing as Wesker in his S.T.A.R.S. attire during The Mercenaries mini game and Versus Mode. Canonically, Wesker loses his Samurai Edge in the cargo bay of his bomber near the end of Resident Evil 5, and it is presumed that he did not retrieve it before the bomber crashed into the volcano. However, it was somehow retrieved and was made into the "Albert-01", which was later used by Ethan Winters during his final battle against Eveline, and shot plasma blasts instead of bullets.
In the events of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Barry used his Samurai Edge along with his Colt Anaconda and an Assault Rifle, proving that he kept all of his weapons in good shape in the course of 13 years. The current location of both Jill's and Rebecca's models is unknown as they were both shown to not lose theirs during the course of the series.
Different members of S.T.A.R.S. were known to add further customizations based on their personal preferences and their time in S.T.A.R.S. These details, as well as the history of the weapon itself, were outlined in the manual for the Marui Samurai Edge replicas. Unfortunately, this manual was only ever printed in Japanese, and all available translations reveal a heavy use of common, and often incorrect, technical terms, as well as several areas where the descriptions are almost incoherent. What follows is an interpretation of the information outlined in the manual, as well as other relevant information.
Chris ModelChris' Samurai Edge had been upgraded with a blued finish slide and a silver trigger. In addition, minor internal modifications were done to make it a competition-capable weapon, such as a medium-weight slide and adjusted trigger pull.
Jill's Samurai Edge has been upgraded with a standard sized slide-stop lever and the logo on the grip is a much brighter shade of blue.
Barry Burton had a heavily customized version of the "Samurai Edge." It fired .40 S&W caliber bullets and featured a longer barrel and compensator for increased accuracy and stability. In the remake, it is unlocked for Chris and Jill to use after completing the main game in less than 5 hours on normal or hard difficulty. It is also available to Barry as part of his weapon load-out in The Mercenaries Reunion in Resident Evil 5 as well as Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. It's noteworthy that this Samurai Edge is not based on a 92FS like the other versions of the weapon, but rather a 96F (although during The Mercenaries Reunion and Resident Evil: Revelation 2, it chambers the 9x19mm round instead of .40).
Wesker ModelAlbert Wesker's weapon is the most heavily modified Samurai Edge, with the exception of the Barry Model. Wesker's Samurai Edge has the lower frame and takedown lever replaced with Inox (stainless steel) parts, in addition to a skeleton hammer and Brigadier sights. Interestingly, Wesker is seen using this design throughout both the remake and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, with the exception to the opening cutscene to "The Mansion Incident" and during the player's first encounter with Sergei Vladimir. Wesker's handgun also features either an integrated Vertec style accessory rail on the bottom of the frame, as well as a beavertail horn—a feature that was introduced on the 92 platform (during the design stages of the 92 Combat), but never put into production.
The Samurai Edge manual also mentions that "A large removable silencer [which mutes sound sufficiently] can be mounted directly to the frame in a one-touch motion. The silencer type installs directly into the barrel, but accuracy doesn't worsen because a brake is not used on shorter recoil." Wesker used this feature in Dark Legacy (Silenced Handgun).
In Resident Evil 5, Wesker's Samurai Edge is seen with a Laser Aiming Module (LAM) unit attached to the frame. Wesker's Samurai Edge is also seen in cutscenes as he points the gun to Chris. This accessory is also seen on the Samurai Edge that comes with Hot Toys' 12-inch figure release of Wesker.
The only mention or use of the Samurai Edge in the Resident Evil films is in the most recent film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. In the final climax of the film Wesker is using his iconic gun as he holds Claire Redfield hostage, all though it is barely shown for a few seconds at a time it is used a lot in the final moments of the film, and is handled by multiple characters including Claire Redfield, and Dr. Alexander Isaacs.
Rebecca Chambers' Samurai Edge is unmodified past the original Kendo design. This is probably due to her having been in S.T.A.R.S. for less time than her teammates. However, it is possible for the player to modify Rebecca's Samurai Edge even further, since a scope attachment, which increases the chances of a critical shot, can be found in a duralumin case in the Umbrella Executive Training Center basement.
Other S.T.A.R.S. Members
It is presumed that the rest of the S.T.A.R.S. members also used unmodified Samurai Edges. It should be noted that during the intro movie of Resident Evil Zero, S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team (including Rebecca) all have lights attached to the frame of their Samurai Edges. However no such attachment is ever used or seen in game, nor does Alpha Team have this attachment during the intro of Resident Evil (remake). It should also be noted that during the REmake intro, Albert Wesker can clearly be seen holding a flashlight in his left hand while searching for Bravo Team. This is strange considering Wesker's Samurai Edge is one of the two in the series that has a confirmed rail.
- Tokyo Marui, an airsoft company, produced a "BioHazard" line based on Resident Evil that included Barry's Samurai Edge, Jill and Chris' Samurai Edges labeled as "Last Escape" models, and a "Samurai Edge Standard", the only one still in production. The general grip design has also been widely copied by other airsoft manufacturers, most notably by HFC for their "M190" pistol series.
- Another airsoft company, CYMA, also released several Samurai Edge airsoft replicas. One is a full sized, spring powered handgun that includes a plethora of accessories (many of which were never featured in Resident Evil), while the other is a "Super Deformed" version. Both are of notoriously poor quality.
- A new company (according to most online retailers, HK; others, WE) made full-metal Samurai Edge replicas of good quality and lower cost than Tokyo Marui's offerings. They have all the correct markings; with slight difference in the blue color in the logo on the grip panels. A silver-slide version is available as well as the normal unmodified Samurai Edge. Externally, the metallic slide (assumed to be aluminum until proven to be zinc alloy) and frame makes them superior to the Tokyo Marui standard Samurai Edge. They are also 100% compatible with Tokyo Marui parts, making it possible to install new parts to replicate the custom versions of Samurai Edge, or simply make the gun more reliable.