Translation errors
Further notes

Development historyEdit

Initial versionEdit

Main article: BIOHAZARD 1.5
Resident Evil 1.5

In Resident Evil 1.5, players could control a female protagonist called Elza Walker. The zombies in this early version were less detailed, and the interior of the police station had a more modern design.

Development of Resident Evil 2 began one month after the completion of its predecessor in early 1996,[1] and the first footage of the game was shown at the V Jump Festival '96 in July.[2] This early build, later dubbed Resident Evil 1.5 by producer Shinji Mikami, differed drastically from the released version in its scenario, presentation and gameplay mechanics.[3][4] Its plot followed the same basic outline as that of Resident Evil 2, and featured a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City two months after the events of the first game. In this version of the story, however, Umbrella had already been closed down as a consequence of their illegal experiments.[5] The development team sought to retain the level of fear from the original game, and thus introduced to the narrative two new characters who lacked experience with terrifying situations: Leon S. Kennedy, largely identical to his persona in the final build, and Elza Walker, a college student and motorcycle racer vacationing in Raccoon City, her hometown.[4][5][6][7] Unlike the final version, the story paths of Leon and Elza did not cross, and each playable character had two support partners instead of just one.[6] Leon received help from fellow police officer Marvin Branagh and a researcher named Linda – an early version of Ada – while Elza was aided by Sherry Birkin and a man named John, who appeared in Resident Evil 2 as gun shop owner Robert Kendo.[6][8]

Real-world influences had an impact on several character designs by artists Isao Ohishi and Ryoji Shimogama. For example, Ohishi based Leon on his bloodhound, and Annette Birkin was modeled after actress Jodie Foster.[8] The police department in which Resident Evil 1.5 began had a more modern and realistic design, and was smaller than the final building seen in Resident Evil 2.[5][6] There were more encounters with surviving policemen, such as a superior officer of Leon called Roy.[6][8] The number of polygons used for enemy models was far lower than in the released version.[3] This allowed many zombies to appear on the screen, a method of invoking fear in the player that recurred throughout Resident Evil 1.5.[3][4] Furthermore, the game employed dynamic music, and frequently applied alterations to the pre-rendered backgrounds in response to events during the gameplay.[5] The playable characters could be equipped with gear, such as protective clothes that enhanced their defense and enabled them to carry more items.[9][10] The characters' polygonal models were altered by costume changes and by damage received from enemies.[9]

The development was carried out by a 40- to 50-person group that would later be part of Capcom Production Studio 4.[3][11] Director Hideki Kamiya led the team, which was composed of newer Capcom employees and over half of the staff from the original Resident Evil.[1][3][4] In the initial stages of development, producer Mikami often had creative disagreements with Kamiya, and tried to influence the team with his own direction. He eventually stepped back to an overseeing role as producer, and only demanded to be shown the current build once a month.[4] Believing the game's assets to be good individually, but not yet satisfactory as a whole, Mikami expected that everything would coalesce in the three months leading up to the projected May 1997 release date.[4][7] Shortly thereafter, however, Resident Evil 1.5 was scrapped at a development stage of 60–80 percent.[1][3][6][12] Mikami later explained that the game would not have reached the desired quality in the aforementioned period, and especially frowned upon the gameplay and locations for being "dull and boring".[1][3][4]


The story of Resident Evil 1.5, with which Mikami planned to end the series, was criticized by supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto, who found it to be too conclusive to allow for future installments. Instead, Okamoto proposed the creation of a fictional universe that would turn Resident Evil into a metaseries – similar to the Gundam and James Bond franchises – in which self-contained stories with common elements could be told.[4] During a period in which the team made no progress rewriting the scenario, Okamoto was introduced to professional screenwriter Noboru Sugimura, who was enthusiastic about the first game's story.[13] Sugimura was initially consulted on a trial basis, but Okamoto was impressed by the ease with which the writer came up with solutions to the problems that plagued the script, and soon asked him to compose the entire scenario for Resident Evil 2.[3][13] One fundamental modification to the story was the reworking of Elza Walker into Claire Redfield, in order to introduce a connection to the plot of the first game.[1] To fulfill Capcom's sales plan of two million copies, director Kamiya tried to attract new customers with a more ostentatious and Hollywood-like story presentation.[14] As Okamoto did not want to simply enforce the new direction, he had Sugimura discuss the plot revisions with Mikami and the development staff.[4] The planners redesigned the game from the ground up to fit the changes, and the programmers and other remaining members of the team were sent to work on Resident Evil: Director's Cut, which was shipped with a playable preview disc of the new Resident Evil 2 version in order to promote the sequel and to apologize to the players for its belated release.[3][15]

Only a few assets from Resident Evil 1.5 could be recycled, as the principal locations in the final build were made to look more extravagant and artistic, based on photographs taken of the interiors of Western-style buildings in Japanese cities.[3] These environments were created with a software program called O2, and each background took two to three weeks to render. The maximum number of zombies displayed on the screen at one time was limited to seven, making it possible to use 450 polygons for the comparatively detailed models of Leon and Claire.[1] The protagonists, instead of being given visible wounds, were made to limp slowly upon receiving heavy damage.[3] Apart from the graphics, one of the most important new features was the "Zapping System", which was partly inspired by Back to the Future Part II, a time travel-themed film sequel that offers a different perspective on the story of the original film. The voice-overs by the all-Canadian cast of Resident Evil 2 were recorded before the actual cutscenes were completed, with each of the actors selected from a roster of ten people per role.[4] Thereafter, the full-motion videos (FMVs) were created by filming stop motion animations of action figures, which were then rendered to completed pictures with computer graphics (CG) tools.[16] Ada's movie model could not be finished in time. Thus, she is the only main character not to appear in a pre-rendered cutscene.[4]

Several changes had to be made between the regional releases of Resident Evil 2. The North American version contains more violent "game over" screens, which were removed from the Japanese Biohazard 2. Resident Evil 2 was also made more difficult than its Japanese equivalent to prevent rentals from affecting U.S. sales.[1][16][17]



The music for Resident Evil 2 was composed by Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama and Shun Nishigaki.[18][19] The compositions were meant to convey "desperation" as their underlying theme.[1] In his role as lead composer, Ueda provided the motifs, while Uchiyama was responsible for the horror-themed music used for the investigation and movie scenes.[20] The main theme of the score, a versatile three-note motif, is utilized several times throughout the course of the story, being included in compositions such as "Prologue", "Raccoon City" and "The Third Malformation Of G". Various musical styles, ranging from ambient horror music to industrial pieces, are used to represent the different environments of the game. For example, the streets of Raccoon City are emphasized with militaristic percussion-based music, while the police department features ominous piano underscores.[21] Key events of the story are supported with orchestral and cinematic compositions – a move that was inspired by blockbuster films.[20][21]

Adaptations and sequelsEdit


Game designer and producer Jun Takeuchi said that Capcom has been considering a complete remake of Resident Evil 2.

The story of Resident Evil 2 was the basis for several licensed works and later games. Ted Adams and Kris Oprisko loosely adapted it into the comics "Raccoon City – R.I.P." and "A New Chapter of Evil", which were released in the first and second issues of Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine in March and June 1998.[22][23] The 60-issue Cantonese manhua Shēnghuà Wēijī 2 (lit. "Biological Crisis 2") was published weekly from February 1998 to April 1999.[24] A romantic comedy retelling of the game's story, centered on Leon, Claire and Ada, was released as the Taiwanese two-issue comic Èlíng Gǔbǎo II (lit. "Demon Castle II").[25] Resident Evil: City of the Dead, a 1999 book written by author S. D. Perry, is a more direct adaptation of the narrative, and was the third release in her series of Resident Evil novelizations.[26]

The mobile game Resident Evil: Uprising contains a condensed version of the Resident Evil 2 story, adapted by Megan Swaine.[27][28] Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, an on-rails shooter released for the Wii in 2009, includes a scenario named "Memories of a Lost City", which reimagines the original Resident Evil 2 plot while retaining key scenes from the game's four scenarios.[29] Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi, who had previously worked on the series as weapons designer and graphics animator, alluded to the possibility of a full-fledged remake of Resident Evil 2.[30][31][32]

The story arcs introduced in Resident Evil 2 were continued in drama albums and later game releases. Kyoko Sagiyama, Junichi Miyashita, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Noboru Sugimura, Hirohisa Soda and Kishiko Miyagi – screenwriters employed by Capcom's former scenario subsidiary Flagship – created two radio dramas called Chiisana Tōbōsha Sherry (lit. "Sherry, the Little Runaway") and Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (lit. "Ada, the Female Spy, is Alive"). The dramas were broadcast on Radio Osaka in early 1999, and later released by publisher Suleputer as two separate CDs with the common title Biohazard 2 Drama Album.[33][34][35][36] Chiisana Tōbōsha Sherry begins shortly after the events of the game. Sherry is separated from Claire while fleeing from Umbrella soldiers sent to kill all witnesses of the viral outbreak. Raccoon City is burned down by the U.S. Government and Umbrella in an attempt to cover up the disaster. Sherry seeks refuge in the neighboring town of Stone Ville, and later escapes to Canada with the help of a girl named Meg, who vows to help her reunite with Claire.[33]

Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada is set a few days after Resident Evil 2, and deals with Ada's mission to retrieve Sherry's pendant with the G-virus sample, which is said to be in the possession of HUNK in the backstory of the drama album.[35] Ada intercepts the delivery of the locket in France, and kills HUNK and his men. As a consequence of an accidental t-Virus leak in Loire Village, the destination of the delivery, Ada is forced to retreat to an old castle. Along with a unit of the French Air Force sent to burn down the village, she encounters Christine Henry, the Umbrella facility director who gave HUNK the order to deliver the G-virus to France.[35][37] Jacob, the leader of the airborne unit, is revealed to be Christine's co-conspirator. However, he plans to keep the G-virus sample for himself, and shoots her. Philippe, another member of the unit, convinces Ada to give him the pendant, after which he injects himself with the G-virus to give himself the power to stop Jacob. Ada escapes and realizes her feelings for Leon, deciding to quit the spy business and return to him.[35] The two drama albums are not acknowledged in later series releases. The characters' story arcs are continued differently: Sherry is taken into custody by the U.S. Government immediately after the events of Resident Evil 2, and Ada keeps the pendant with the G-virus and resumes her activities as a spy.[38][39] HUNK successfully delivers a separate G-virus sample to Umbrella.[40]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Hodgson, David (1997). Resident Evil 2 Survival Guide. Gamefan Books. pp. 106A–108A. 
  2. (in Japanese) Vジャン Vフェス'96ビデオ (Videotape). Shueisha Inc. October 21, 1996. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Resident Evil 2: New In-Depth Interview!". Tips & Tricks (LFP, Inc.) (37). January 1998. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 (in Japanese) Research on Biohazard 2 final edition. Micro Design Publishing Inc. September 1, 1998. ISBN 9784944000777. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Resident Evil 2: The Horror Continues". GamePro (IDG Communications, Inc.) (101): 36–37. February 1997. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Resident Evil Archives. BradyGames Publishing. November 9, 2005. pp. 218–220. ISBN 0-7440-0655-4. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedThe Horror Spreads in Resident Evil 2. Capcom Entertainment, Inc (November 25, 1996). Archived from [{{{url}}} the original] on January 20, 1997.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 (in Japanese) Capcom Design Works. Enterbrain, Inc. August 1, 2001. pp. 22–30. ISBN 4-7577-0412-7. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Pardi, Daniel. Resident Evil 2 Strategy Guide: Resident Evil Facts. IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved on August 13, 2010.
  10. "In der Mache: Resident Evil 2 – Das Böse kehrt zurück..." (in German). Das offizielle PlayStation Magazin (WEKA Computerzeitschriften-Verlag GmbH) (2/97). February 1997. "Noritaka Funamizu: Wir haben zum Beispiel verschiedene Anzüge für die Spielfiguren integriert. So gibt es einen feuerfesten Overall und einen speziellen Kampfanzug, der das Mitführen mehrerer großer Waffen erlaubt. / For example, we have implemented different suits for the playable characters. There is a fire-proof overall and special combat gear that allows you to carry multiple large weapons.". 
  11. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedProduction Studio 4 (Japanese). Capcom Co., Ltd. Archived from [{{{url}}} the original] on February 6, 2005.
  12. History of Resident Evil. GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc (November 2, 2004). Retrieved on August 12, 2010.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedOkamoto, Yoshiki (February 26, 2005). 訃報 (Japanese). Game Republic Inc. Archived from [{{{url}}} the original] on February 3, 2011. Retrieved on August 13, 2010.
  14. (in Japanese) Devil May Cry Graphic Edition. Kadokawa Shoten. December 2001. ISBN 9784047070714. 
  15. (in Japanese) Bio Hazard Perfect Guide: Inside of Bio-Hazard. ASCII Corporation. March 1997. ISBN 4893666592. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "An Interview With Shinji Mikami". Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine (Image Comics, Inc.) (3). September 1998. 
  17. "An Interview With Shinji Mikami". Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine (Image Comics, Inc.) (1). March 1998. 
  18. Capcom Co., Ltd; Angel Studios; Factor 5, LLC. Resident Evil 2. (Capcom Entertainment, Inc.). Nintendo 64. Scene: staff credits. (October 31, 1999)
  19. (2005) Album notes for biohazard SOUND CHRONICLE Best Track Box. Suleputer (CPCA-10104~09).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Greening, Chris (March 2011). Interview with Shusaku Uchiyama & Takeshi Miura: A History of Resident Evil Music. Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on March 26, 2011. Retrieved on March 26, 2011.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Greening, Chris. BIOHAZARD 2 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK: Review by Chris. Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved on October 17, 2010.
  22. Adams, Ted; Oprisko, Kris (March 1998). "Raccoon City – R.I.P.". Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine (Image Comics, Inc.) (1). 
  23. Adams, Ted; Oprisko, Kris (June 1998). "A New Chapter of Evil". Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine (Image Comics, Inc.) (2). 
  24. (in Cantonese)生化危機2 (King's Fountain Ltd) (1–60). February 1998 – April 1999. 
  25. (in Mandarin)惡靈古堡II (Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd.) (1–2). January 11, 1999; February 12, 1999. 
  26. Perry, Stephani Danelle (May 1999). Resident Evil: City of the Dead. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-02441-8. 
  27. Spencer, Spanner (November 15, 2009). Resident Evil: Uprising review. Pocket Gamer. Steel Media Ltd. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved on November 3, 2010.
  28. Capcom Interactive Canada, Inc. Resident Evil: Uprising. (Glu Mobile Inc.). Scene: staff credits. (September 8, 2009)
  29. Barnholt, Ray (November 17, 2009). RE: Darkside Chronicles Review. UGO Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved on November 3, 2010.
  30. Developer Interview 2008: vol01.Jun Takeuchi. Capcom Co., Ltd (September 30, 2008). Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved on February 7, 2011.
  31. Reed, Kristan (November 13, 2008). Resident Evil 5 Xbox 360 Hands On. Eurogamer Network Ltd. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
  32. Jun Takeuchi Interview II. GameTrailers. MTV Networks (February 27, 2009). Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
  33. 33.0 33.1 (1999) Album notes for Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Chiisana Tōbōsha Sherry. Suleputer (CPCA-1023).
  34. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedバイオハザード2 ドラマアルバム – 小さな逃亡者シェリー (Japanese). Capcom Co., Ltd (March 1999). Archived from [{{{url}}} the original] on December 11, 2004. Retrieved on November 4, 2010.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 (1999) Album notes for Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada. Suleputer (CPCA-1025).
  36. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedバイオハザード2 ドラマアルバム – 生きていた女スパイ・エイダ (Japanese). Capcom Co., Ltd (April 1999). Archived from [{{{url}}} the original] on December 14, 2002. Retrieved on November 4, 2010.
  37. Capcom Co., Ltd; Angel Studios; Factor 5, LLC. Biohazard 2 (in Japanese). (Capcom Co., Ltd.). Nintendo 64. (January 29, 2000) 指令書: ハンク特殊工作員に以下の指令を命ず: ラクーン市郊外にある我が社の研究施設に侵入し、ウィリアム・バーキン博士が所持していると思われるG-ウィルスのサンプルを奪取せよ。 ... サンプル入手後はロワール村にて受け渡しを行う。 ... フランス支部施設所長 クリスチーヌ・アンリ / Written orders: Special agent HUNK is assigned to the following orders: Invade the company's research facility on the outskirts of Raccoon City, seize the G-virus sample assumed to be in the possession of Dr. William Birkin. ... After the sample is obtained, it is to be delivered to Loire Village. ... French Branch Facility Director Christine Henry
  38. Capcom Co., Ltd. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. (Capcom Entertainment, Inc.). Scene: Epilogue Files. (November 11, 1999)
  39. Resident Evil Archives. BradyGames Publishing. November 9, 2005. pp. 120, 129. ISBN 0-7440-0655-4. 
  40. Resident Evil Archives. BradyGames Publishing. November 9, 2005. pp. 129, 137. ISBN 0-7440-0655-4. 

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