Herbs are both a lore concept and the primary healing items in the Resident Evil series. Every game to date includes herbs, with some having no in-univse explanation.
This species of herbs grow native in the Arklay Mountains, the region of the American midwest where Raccoon City was located. Each kind of herb has a distinct color and medicinal quality. Green herbs recovers physical strength, heals fatigue, helps to strengthen the natural healing process so that wounds heal faster, and has an active immune function that helps fight viral infection. Blue neutralizes natural toxins, and red has no effect by itself.
By 1998, botanists researched and documented the fact the red herbs could be mixed with others would magnify their effects. Herbs became popular in Raccoon City and were being used in various products and home recipes such as in Herb Pie, and Herb Cream.
In early games, such as 'Resident Evil', 2, 3, and CODE:Veronica, herbs are found most commonly as decorative plants in flower pots scattered about the environment, although they sometimes appear in trays. When dropped by enemies in some later games, such as Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6, they appear independent of pots, as though they had been plucked. Once in a player's inventory, herbs typically appear free of pots. In some games, such as Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the inventory sprites show the roots of the herbs. When herbs are mixed together, they appear as smears of color or mounds of powder on squares of paper in early games (up to CODE:Veronica), or in vials (Resident Evil 4 and 5).
In early games, up to Resident Evil CODE:Veronica and Resident Evil 4, herbs are used through the inventory screen, with no associated animations. An exception is Resident Evil Outbreak and its sequel, in which Cindy Lennox applies the herbs by hand to other characters. In Resident Evil: Revelations, the character uses herbs without accessing an inventory screen, but the effect is instantaneous and has no animation. In Resident Evil 5 and Revelations 2, herbs are employed as sprays. In Resident Evil 6, herbs are taken in pill form.
In games where partner characters must be kept alive, herbs can be used directly or indirectly to heal other characters. In the Outbreak titles, herbs may be given to other characters for them to use, or Cindy Lennox may use them directly to heal other characters. In Resident Evil 4, Leon may use herbs on himself or on Ashley. In Resident Evil 5, herbs used by the player produce a spray that also heals the partner if in close proximity; in Resident Evil 5 and 6, a player may also use an herb to heal a character who is in mortal distress.
The Outbreak titles includes an additional mechanic allowing George Hamilton to convert herbs to medicinal pills. These pills often have effects different from those of the herb; for instance, green herbs are converted to a poison antidote that does not restore health on its own.
Types of herbs
Although every game has green herbs, some games have herbs of other colors. In the earliest games, up to CODE:Veronica, herbs came in green, red, and blue. Beginning with Resident Evil 4, the blue herb was dropped, although a yellow herb appears in that game alone. Some later titles also dispense with the red herb as well. In games with multiple herb types, the green herb can usually be combined with other herbs (including a second green herb) to multiply effects, add new effects, or (in Resident Evil 6 and Revelations 2) to multiply the quantity of green herbs.
The green herb appears in every game and is the most common herb type. It heals a small amount of health. For most of the games, it will restore health by one rating (yellow caution to Fine, etc.). It can be combined with any of the other herbs, though only three herbs of any type can be combined at once (two in Resident Evil 5, 6, and Revelations 2). When the user is in danger or critical health level, a single green herb by itself will be much more effective than it would be otherwise sending the user back to Yellow Caution. In Resident Evil: Revelations, it fully restores vitality. George can use green herbs to make antidotes with his medical set.
Blue herbs are used to cure poison. As Resident Evil 4 and later games lack a poison mechanic, blue herbs have not appeared in these games. Some creatures in early games, most notably the Yawn in Resident Evil and Nosferatu in CODE:Veronica, have poison that cannot be cured by a Blue Herb. These poisons require a special serum. Resident Evil 5 and 6 also don't feature Blue Herbs due to the lack of venomous enemies. George can use blue herbs to make recovery medicines with his medical set.
In most appearances, red herbs have no effect on their own; instead they must be mixed with green herbs to produce a fully healing mixed herb. Exceptions include the Outbreak games where they stop infection temporarily, and Resident Evil: Gaiden, where they heal heavy damage. In later games, combined red herbs restore health completely. George can use red herbs to make hemostats with his medical set.
Resident Evil 4 features a yellow herb to increase Leon/Ada or Ashley's maximum life condition. Yellow herbs are only usable when combined with a green herb or both a green herb and red herb But increase for Ashley's maximum life condition more than Leon and Ada.
Resident Evil: Gaiden did not employ a mechanic for mixing herbs. It introduced the purple herb to take the place of blue and green mixed herbs. It has the ability to remove the poison effect and heal 25% of the users health.
In Resident Evil 0 a Pink Herb was to be featured but was removed early in development. Its intended purpose is unknown.
Herbs can be combined in order to increase variety of effect, as well as saving inventory slot. Only 3 herbs can be combined in one slot. In terms of appearance, mixed herbs are ground to powder, and is contained in a piece of paper.
|Green+Green||Double the healing effect of one Green Herb|
|Green+Green+Green||Health fully restored|
|Green+Blue||Healing effect of one Green Herb, plus cures poison|
|Green+Green+Blue||Double the healing effect of one Green Herb, plus cures poison|
|Blue + Red||
Cure poisons, but mainly use for Anti-virus pills producing.
Increase Contitutions. [REmake 2]
|Green+Red||Health fully restored|
|Green+Red+Blue||Health fully restored plus it cures poison effects|
|Green+Yellow(RE 4)||Healing effect of one Green Herb, plus a small increase to max health|
|Red+Yellow(RE 4)||Does nothing: needs to be combined with a Green Herb|
|Green+Red+Yellow(RE 4)||Health fully restored plus a small increase to max health|
- In games 1-3, as well as 0 and Revelations, herbs were described as being native to Raccoon City and the surrounding mountains, yet they still appear at Ivy University, at Rockfort Island, in the Antarctic Base, Spain, Kijuju, Edonia, Dulvey, and even China.
- ↑ Resident Evil (1996), file: Botany Book
- ↑ Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), file: Botany Plants with Medicinal Properties - 3rd Edition