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(Ariga's prequel to Resident Evil)
Resident Evil: The Book (known in Japan as Biohazard: The Beginning) was the first novella written for the franchise, by Hiroyuki Ariga. It was originally published as a portion of the book BIO HAZARD The True Story Behind BIO HAZARD, which was given away as a pre-order bonus with the Saturn version of Biohazard, but was given its own book in the English localization and sold alongside the PlayStation version.
The full transcript can be found here
Chapter 1: Midnight Call
- Original Japanese title
- Midnight call (ミッドナイト・コール)
Chris is woken up in the middle of the night by the phone ringing. Having received a late-night call five years ago informing him of his parents' death, he has since been concerned that there's some bad news on the other end. He picks it up to hear the voice of his best friend, Billy Rabitson, which he finds startling since Billy has supposedly been dead for the past three months. Billy had gained employment with the Umbrella Corporation as a researcher, and was believed killed in a plane crash as an Umbrella-charted plane took off for Chicago. Though the thirteen of the twenty-one occupants were never found, the case was closed when it was concluded they had sunk to the bottom of one of the Great Lakes.
Chris is angry at the man on the phone, believing it to be a prank call, but Chris was forced to acknowledge that he definitely sounded like Billy. Asking how he survived the plane crash, Billy explains that he wasn't on the plane at the time; it had landed twenty-minutes after take off and he was quietly driven back to Raccoon City. Chris is confused as to why Umbrella would bother putting him on a plane in the first place, but Billy assures him it was all planned to make him disappear. He tells Chris he has been made part of a terrible mistake, and knows the true cause of the murders that have been plaguing Raccoon City. He refuses to tell him the cause in case the line has been tapped. Instead he offers to meet Chris immediately at Victory Lake to the north of the city. Since it's only 1AM, Chris would prefer to go back to bed, but changes his mind when he hears someone might be after Billy.
Chris gets into his AC Cobra and drives out for Victory Lake, hoping to get there within forty minutes of his phone call. He speeds through a country route at 110 mph and arrives in the area after only five minutes. Driving through a sharp curve in a mountain road, a woman appears in front of his headlights. Still going at 75 mph, Chris drives his car off the road to avoid hitting her. Colliding with the bank, the engine stops running. Chris gets out to check on the woman, who has now collapsed onto the road. As he approaches, he sees her body covered in wounds, with bones sticking through her skin and arteries torn apart. She tries to call out to him, but Chris finds that her throat has been cut. Inspecting her mangled body more, he finds her stomach has been torn out, with internal organs strewn across the road.
Chris hears a scream coming from a convertible fifty feet away. Aided by the moonlight, Chris sees some sort of animal jump into the car. He initially thinks it is a Newfoundland, but realises this animal is twice the size. The creature attacks the driver, who then goes quiet. Chris runs towards the car with his Beretta; the creature stares back at him with piercing red eyes. Initially scared by its cries, Chris works up the courage to shoot it in the head, only to find the bullet did nothing. He uses up an entire magazine before the creature gets bored and leaves for the woods. Chris heads for the convertible and finds the driver ripped apart just like the woman with half his face missing and an eyeball pulled out. Unwilling to just leave the bodies out in the open, Chris elects to wait for the police to arrive before taking off for Victory Park again.
Chapter 2: The Necklace
- Original Japanese title
- Raccoon City Police Department (ラクーン市警察)
Chris arrives at Victory Park half an hour late, finding it abandoned. Wondering if Billy was hiding, he takes out a flashlight and combs through the nearby woodland. Remembering how the two of them played at a nearby boathouse in their youth, Chris goes to check there after an hour. While he finds no one in there, Chris notices a gold necklace on the floor with a coin attached; Chris recognises it as one of a pair of necklaces he bought for Billy and his fiancée Rose. Given Rose's hydrophobia, Chris deduces it is Billy's, and considers it proof he survived the accident.
Chris drives back to the animal attack scene he had witnessed, finding five police cars parked around it. He finds Brian Irons, the Police Chief, waiting for him. Irons interrogates Chris on why he abandoned the scene. Not wanting to admit to Billy, Chris claims to have been chasing the attacker. When asked to describe the incident, he admits to having seen some sort of dog. Irons hypothesises a rabid dog is related to the attacks, but Chris debunks this with the fact he shot the vicious tempered animal multiple times - rabies doesn't make a dog bloodthirsty and unkillable. Tired, Chris ignores a journalist and drives home to bed. With Billy still missing, he is now adamant he is crucial to solving the murder cases.
Chapter 3: S.T.A.R.S. special forces
- Original Japanese title
- S.T.A.R.S. special forces (特殊部隊スターズ)
In the S.T.A.R.S. office, Captain Wesker and Barry Burton argue over solving the case: with five death, Barry wants both S.T.A.R.S. teams to work on solving it immediately, but Wesker refuses since Irons hasn't given the order. Jill and Joseph express their own agitation - Wesker has been refusing them for the past six months. Jill offers Chris to tell the team what he saw the other night. When he hides the part about Billy, Jill notices something is missing in his account and asks him in private. Chris continues to hide Billy and suggests Jill is overanalysing the story. Chris notices that Jill is upset, having recently seen the bodies of Becky and Priscilla, her neighbour's children, at the morgue.
Chapter 4: Billy disappears
- Original Japanese title
- Billy disappears (消えたビリー)
Chris starts investigating the Umbrella Corporation itself in hopes of finding information on Billy. He drives his AC Cobra towards company's branch headquarters on the city's east side, passing its many factories and labs. Chris notes that Umbrella is responsible for the city's success. By 1998, the north outskirts were popular with hikers, and the south side underground constant development with palm tree-lined main roads, a new hospital and a city hall. This boom has led to the city's population quickly reaching as high as 300,000.[note 1]
Chris arrives at a sixty story city block used as Umbrella's local headquarters. Posing as the executor of Billy's estate, Chris inquires about his corporate insurance policies and retirement plans, and is directed to the General Affairs Department on level 36.[note 2] Along the way Chris takes interest in an oil painting entitled "The Bathing Nymphs",[note 3] which reminds him of Oswell E. Spencer's international prestige as an art collector.
Arriving at the General Affairs Department, Chris is introduced to Mr. Johnson,[note 4] the head of the department for all Raccoon facilities. Chris inquires as to why Billy's charter flight was allowed to take off despite the weather warning. Johnson is suspicious of Chris' questioning, having already sent the relevant information to his relatives. Chris brings up the recovery of bodies, asking why only eight bodies were recovered from a plane that held twenty-one passengers. At this point Johnson starts to suspect something, and Chris quickly notices this too. Johnson responds that the eight bodies were identified based on clothing and personal belongings being with their corpses.
Chapter 5: Uneasiness
- Original Japanese title
- Uneasiness (胸騒ぎ)
Chris returns home for a snack and finds a newspaper waiting for him, written by the journalist he met earlier. It reads "STARS OFFICER STUMBLES ON MURDERS". Having refused to provide the journalist with anything, Chris finds he got his own back by portraying him as an incompetent, having stumbled onto a murder and let the killer escape. Annoyed by an interview with Brian Irons which reads like a Mayoral acceptance speech, Chris stops reading the paper. Checking the answering machine, Chris notices that Captain Wesker gave him a call earlier. Getting the sense of being watched, Chris instinctively reaches for his shotgun as he hears a window smash. Shocked by the person's appearance akin to a corpse, he is grabbed. Chris grabs a bottle of Jack Daniels and smashes its head in.
Hearing a second sound, Chris aims his Remington to find Jill. Her Harley having broken down a mile down the road, she was forced to walk to Chris' house through the woods. Unwilling to tell her he was attacked by a zombie, he avoids her question as to the smell. Eventually he relents and offers to explain everything to her in his car. Asking Jill why Wesker called him, she explains that his refusal to give Chief Irons the whole story has put Wesker in a difficult situation, and the Umbrella HR manager filed a harassment complaint in regards to Chris' warrantless investigation. With Jill concerned over her own career, Chris agrees to tell Jill the truth if she helps him with the unofficial investigation.
Chapter 6: Another Piece of the Puzzle
- Original Japanese title
- Mountain cabin (山小屋)
Chris and Jill drive up to the mountains to check out a cabin Billy owned. Breaking in, Jill notices beer cans which see to be fairly recent. Checking both floors, they see nothing, but are soon overwhelmed by a smell. They hear several creatures moving outside, soon revealed to be zombies. It is at this point that Billy arrives on the scene and instructs Chris to shoot them in the head. Chris shoots a zombie wrestling Jill, distracting him from three more cornering Billy. Billy's neck is slashed and begins to bleed out heavily. The zombies are cleared out and Chris attends to his friend. Knowing he will not survive much longer, Billy reveals he was the sole survivor of a research lab in the mountains which had been developing the T-virus, which is responsible for the humans. Chris considers that the people who covered up Billy's death had been tracing his phone call with Billy and had planted his necklace at the lake to bring Chris into the open. When Billy dies, Chris and Jill run out of the besieged house and back to the car.
Chapter 7: Reunion and sortie
- Original Japanese title
- Reunion, and sortie (再会、 そして出撃)
Chris and Jill return to the S.T.A.R.S. office to find their communications expert, Richard Aiken, calling out to S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team on the radio and receiving nothing back. Captain Wesker shows Chris a map of Raccoon City with circles around the murder scenes. With the circles all being in the north-west, Wesker offers it as the hideout to the suspected gang of killers, focusing on an old building in the centre of that area. With three hours having passed since Bravo Team's mission began, Wesker expressing his concern. Chris declares the killers to be zombies and finally admits to his Captain the things he has learnt, with Jill offering support. Finally, Wesker gives the orders for Alpha Team; Chambers; Frost and Vickers to the helipad. Their mission is to continue Bravo Team's investigation with better equipment. Ten minutes later, the team flies above an old dilapidated mansion. They land in the front lawn, hearing strange groaning noises from the building.
- Chris Redfield - The protagonist.
- Becky and Priscilla - The children of Jill's neighbour. They were the first victims in the killings, dying on a camping trip after wandering off.
- Billy Rabitson - Chris' childhood friend and an Umbrella researcher.
- Rose - Billy's fiancée, known to be scared of water.
- Brian Irons - Chief of Police and the original commander of S.T.A.R.S.. Brian is known for his exaggerates opinion of his own policing skills and openly criticises S.T.A.R.S. in their investigation. He previously attempted to run for Mayor.
- Captain Albert Wesker - The mysterious new commander of S.T.A.R.S. as of 1996, described by Jill as a "control freak".
- Lieutenant Enrico Marini - Leader of the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team under Wesker.
- Barry Burton - S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team's weapons expert. He recruited Chris into the organization.
- Jill Valentine - A member of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team. Jill is respected by children as a local heroine for her policework, which has given her TV acclaim several times.
- Joseph Frost - A member of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team, serving as the Vehicle Expert.
- Richard Aiken - A member of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team, serving as a communication expert.
- Reginald Johnson - Head of Umbrella's HR department in Raccoon City.
- Rebecca Chambers - A member of S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team, serving as the Medic.
- Brad Vickers - A member of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team, serving as the Pilot.
- In Chapter 1, Chris describes how the first murders took place six months prior. Later games confirm the murder spree only began in May, just over two months before the S.T.A.R.S. investigation.
- In Chapter 1, Brian Irons (here called Brian Iron) was established to have been the S.T.A.R.S. Captain before Albert Wesker took command. Later games revealed that Wesker had in fact been the founder of the team.
- In Chapter 7, Rebecca Chambers and Richard Aiken were among Alpha Team, when in the game, they were actually among Bravo Team and among the missing members.
- In addition, the ending implies that Alpha Team landed in close proximity to the Spencer Mansion, when in the game, they were actually a ways off from the mansion.
- Wesker was also shown at the S.T.A.R.S. Office contemplating the disappearance of Bravo Team. In later games such as Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, he had actually been at the Umbrella Executive Training Center at the time of their disappearance.
References in later works
The backstory behind Chris' and Claire's parents being killed was reused by S.D. Perry in notes given to her by Capcom, along with Billy himself. S.D. Perry also derives Irons' Mayoral campaigning and his original S.T.A.R.S. command from this novella. Jill's subplot in The Umbrella Conspiracy, involving Priscilla and Becky was also from this novella.
The translator for the book took a number of liberties in the story's localization, as can be seen in a number of places. One of the more striking examples is the inclusion of frequent product placement throughout; in the Japanese version only the car model is named, but in the English various products Chris eats and drinks are named.
- ↑ The population is given as 100,000 in the English version.
- ↑ The room Chris is directed to is the Human Resources Department on level 12 in the English version.
- ↑ That it is an oil painting may indicate this is supposed to be "Diana Bathing with her Nymphs with Actaeon and Callisto", by Rembrandt.
- ↑ Johnson is given the first name "Reginald" in the English version.
- ↑ The True Story Behind BIOHAZARD. Resident Evil Collectors. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
- ↑ Resident Evil The Book. Resident Evil Collectors. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.