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Elza Walker

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BIOHAZARD 1.5
(Rejected BIOHAZARD/Resident Evil sequel)

Elza Walker was a motorcycle racer who was enrolled at Raccoon University and ready to begin the semester.[3][4] She was the main female protagonist of BIOHAZARD 1.5, eventually being redeveloped into Claire Redfield in the final build of Resident Evil 2.[5]

BiographyEdit

Elza Walker had lived in a big city for most of her life and harbored a love of motorcycles, already owning her own red Ducati bike.[4][5][Note 2] She was also an avid motorcycle racer.[3][4] Leaving the hustle and bustle of the big city behind, Elza was planning to enroll at Raccoon University and live on campus in the dormitory.[6][4][Excerpt 1]

Raccoon City outbreakEdit

Following the events of the Umbrella incident in the Arklay Mountains, a leak from an Umbrella facility within Raccoon City had caused a t-Virus (Clay virus ε-strain) outbreak.[7]

Unaware of the current state of the city, Elza rode her bike into town ready to enroll at Raccoon University.[4] Unable to grasp the situation and seeking refuge from the chaos within the city, Elza fled to the Raccoon City Police Department.[4] She then crashed her bike into the main lobby.[Note 3] Elza is able to barricade herself inside of the police station after the crash.[8][Excerpt 2][Note 4] Exploring the west wing of the station, Elza encounters Roy, a wounded police officer who advises her to help the remaining survivors within the station.[Note 5]

At some point, Elza meets Sherry in the garage. They talk with each other through a security shutter.[9] In the station's prison block, Elza finds John who eventually leaves his cell. Back in the west office, Roy pleads to John—who is revealed to be his friend—to kill him before he transforms into a zombie. John hesitates before firing at Roy. Elza leaves to try to activate the communication system within the station.[9]

Elza finds the wounded chief officer, Brian Irons and a discussion takes place between the two, to which it's assumed that he aids her with her escape.[citation needed]

After several zombies break into the station, Elza and John make their way to the rooftop of the station and remove a blockade allowing them to find an entrance to the sewers.[9] The two reunite with Sherry, who has found her way into the sewers from the manhole in the station's garage. The trio make their way out of the sewers to the Umbrella factory.[9] At the factory, Sherry helps Elza and John find their way inside by crawling through a vent and unlocking the door.[9][10] Later, Elza defeats a mutated William who emerges from a cargo elevator. Elza, now accompanied by John and Sherry, take the elevator down into the laboratory. Recognizing the lab, Sherry runs off on her own to find her father. John and Elza follow behind.[9]

AppearanceEdit

Elza has light blonde hair, which is tied into a ponytail, and blue eyes with heavy lower eyelids.[11] Her outfit consists of a full body Raccoon University racing suit. She wears black gloves and black boots.

In her earliest appearance from the September 1996 build, Elza was sometimes depicted with a tighter ponytail where her bangs were pulled back as well. Her racing suit had red, white, black, and orange accents. In her finalized design, her suit also has blue and yellow accents along the sleeves and a much looser ponytail with her bangs let down.

Over the course of the outbreak, Elza also wears a black R.P.D. tactical vest and white U.S.S. upper body armor, both with a grey sidepack and a knife sheath fastened to her left forearm. As Elza takes damage, her appearance diminishes and she begins to appear bloody and disheveled.

A drawing done by Character Designer Isao Ōishi suggests that Elza normally likes to wear baggy clothing and owns a black leather jacket with flames along the sleeves.[5]

DevelopmentEdit

In its earliest stages, the cast of BIOHAZARD 1.5 was largely different.[12] Leon S. Kennedy was known as "Grant Bitman" and he was joined by an unknown cast of characters.[12] An earlier draft of Elza may have existed during this stage.

During Elza's initial development, Isao Ōishi left notes on his character sketches of Elza noting that her appearance was inspired by actresses Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone.[11][Note 6] This decision may have been inspired by the popular 1994 Aerosmith music video, "Crazy", where the two actresses have starring roles.

The first time Elza was formally introduced was in September 1996, along with the first known build of BIOHAZARD 1.5.[4] At this time, she was not shown in game. In the next known build, a model based on her initial artwork was shown which featured a different racing suit design and a shorter hairstyle. By November 1996, Elza's in-game model had been finalized with a more elaborate racing suit design, longer hair, armor, and damage textures.[9]

The idea of being able to play as Elza on her motorcycle was considered, had the city area been expanded (as in the final build of Resident Evil 2) and if they had developed the means to do so.[4]

In the first builds of 1.5, several placeholder sounds from Resident Evil were used for the game. This included character sounds for Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, which were assigned to Leon and Elza respectively. By December 1996, voice acting for the characters and title calling had begun and was being implemented in-game.[13][Note 7]

After BIOHAZARD 1.5 was scrapped, work began to transform Elza into Claire Redfield.[5] At the very early stages of this conversion, Claire wore many different variations of Elza's racing suit incorporated into various styles, such as a two piece skirt and jacket.[14] Despite the changes to the character, Claire largely retains Elza's backstory, personality, and hobbies. Her plot line in Resident Evil 2 is largely based upon Elza's plot as well. Elza's legacy continued beyond Resident Evil 2, such as in Resident Evil CODE:Veronica where Claire is modeled after Liv Tyler and wields a handgun that originally appeared in 1.5.[15][Excerpt 3]

Further notesEdit

  • Character designer Isao Ōishi has stated that he favors Elza's racing suit design over his design for Claire Redfield.[5][Excerpt 4]
  • Commentary from Ōishi suggests that Elza is not considered a unique character by the development team. Rather, she is just a prototype of Claire Redfield.[5][Excerpt 5]

GalleryEdit

Concept/promotional artworkEdit

Gameplay imagesEdit

MiscellaneousEdit

BibliographyEdit

SourcesEdit

Excerpts
  1. Excerpt from The PlayStation (Sep. 1996), p.49:
    大のバイク好きで、レースもこなす活発な女性。住み慣れた大都会の喧騒を離れ、ラクーン大学に入学するためにバイクに乗ってやってくるが、すでに死の街と化していたラクーン市。状況を把握できないまま、命からがら警察署内へ逃げ込むが、そこもすでに……。
  2. Biohazard Complete Disc, Movie no.1 description (Project Umbrella translation):
    Leon and Elza barricade themselves in the police station. (警察署にたてこもるレオンとエルザ?)
  3. Excerpt from Alyson Court interview on Brain Eatin' Zombie Babies: Behind the Scenes:

    "Initially in Resident Evil 2, when we saw the art for that, [...] I remember hearing that [...] Claire was rougly based on Neve Campbell. [...] But when they came to do Resident Evil CODE:Veronica, the model had changed significantly and at the time I remember them saying Liv Tyler was supposed to be the inspiration."

  4. Excerpt from CAPCOM design WORKS, p.29:
    (Designer's comment: まだクレアがレーシングスーツを着ているデザインのときのものですね。いやー懐かしい。個人的にはこちらのほうが好みでした。?)
  5. Excerpt from CAPCOM design WORKS, p.30:
    (Designer's comment: 上のものは人物対比表です。クレアはまだエルザという名前で、ウィリアムは「いい人」という設定の頃のものですね。アネットはジョディ・フォスターをモデルにして描いてました。?)
Notes
  1. On the BIOHAZARD 1.5 selection screen, it states that Elza was ninteen-years-old at the time of the Raccoon City outbreak in September 1998.
  2. Concept artwork of Elza drawn by Isao Ōishi in her casual clothing, which can be found in various sources such as CAPCOM design WORKS, features her alongside her Ducati bike.
  3. Elza's scenario begins in the lobby, next to a wrecked motorcycle. The glass doors at the entrance are shattered.
  4. A large security shutter covers the broken doorway inside of the lobby where Elza's scenario begins.
  5. Later, Roy is found inside of the west office. The map in the November 1996 build of the prototype shows that there are two small rooms linked to the office which matches other images of Roy inside of a small room. Roy's role closely mirrors Marvin Branagh in Resident Evil 2, making it likely that he wanted Elza to search for remaining survivors.
  6. The concept artwork lists the names Liv Tyler (リブ・タイラー ribu tairā?) and Alicia Silverstone (アリシア・シルバーストーン arishia shirubāsutōn?).
  7. The earliest instance that can be found of voice acting being added to the game is the footage on the CFC STYLE '96 VHS tape. It features functional battle grunts and the final title calling (which was kept for the final build of Resident Evil 2).
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 BIOHAZARD 1.5, finalized character selection screen.
  2. Resident Evil Archives, Main Character Comparison Image, p.218
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Saitō, Ayumi (ed.), Research, p.186
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 The PlayStation, Issue 35 (September 1996), PS PREVIEW - BIOHAZARD 2, p.48-51
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 CAPCOM design WORKS, Chapter 01, BIOHAZARD 2 (Initial Artwork), p.27-30
  6. BIOHAZARD 1.5, November 1996 build, selection screen textures.
  7. Inside of BIO-HAZARD, p.42-44
  8. Biohazard Complete Disc, Movie no.1 description.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 BIOHAZARD 1.5, November 1996 build
  10. Biohazard Complete Disc, full-motion video scene.
  11. 12.0 12.1 Youtube.com, GameCenter CX interview with Hiroyuki Kobayashi
  12. CFC STYLE '96 December, Video vol. 3.
  13. Resident Evil Archives, Concept Art, Resident Evil 2 Character Design, p.208-210
  14. Youtube.com, Brain Eatin' Zombie Babies Behind the Scenes Part 3 Alyson Court.

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