Resident Evil, known as Biohazard (バイオハザード) in Japan, is a highly successful franchise of survival horror and science fiction that started life as video games developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami. The games have sold over 30 million copies as of February 2006.
The series is often credited with popularizing the survival horror game genre. It is often miscredited with creating the survival horror genre, when in fact the genre was established by Infogrames' 1992 Alone in the Dark.
The success of this franchise has spawned several video games, several comic book series, novelizations, a Hollywood action film series, and a variety of action figures. While the games mostly adhere to a consistent storyline, there are enough deviations from the game plot within the films and novels to be considered alternate story lines.
The original Resident Evil revolves around a series of cannibalistic homicides that occur in the Arklay Mountains region, situated north of the fictional Raccoon City in 1998. The local police's Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) are commissioned to investigate the sources of these murders. When S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team, the initial team deployed to the area, fails to report back, S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team goes on a rescue mission to find them. They are led to a seemingly abandoned mansion, where the player, as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, encounters Zombies and other creatures, leading them to discover the remains of most of their comrades in the house. In the end, it is revealed that the house is actually a front for a top-secret laboratory owned by the international Umbrella Corporation, and that the creatures are the result of experiments with a bio-weapon called the t-Virus. The prequel Resident Evil Zero explores the cause of the viral outbreak and Bravo Team's ordeal prior to the events of the Mansion incident, following a S.T.A.R.S. member named Rebecca Chambers and her unlikely ally, a convicted murderer named Billy Coen who escaped from police custody and found himself in the thick of a viral nightmare.
The following game, Resident Evil 2, takes place two months after the events of the original game in Raccoon City itself. With S.T.A.R.S. unable to convict Umbrella for their wrongdoings, the company continues their experiments within an underground facility. However, a botched attempt to steal a former scientist's (Dr. William Birkin) work results in the t-Virus being leaked into the city's sewage. This results in most of the city's population being turned into zombies, leaving only a few survivors trying to find a way to escape the city alive. The game's focus is on Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop with the Raccoon Police Department, and Claire Redfield, who came to Raccoon to find her missing brother Chris.
The third game, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, takes place around this same time period, and features a similar premise. Also, a powerful monster known as the Nemesis chases Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira, a mercenary hired by Umbrella, around the city, which gives the game its name. The game concludes its story by depicting the city's ultimate destruction by a massive air strike.
Resident Evil CODE:Veronica depicts the previous games' survivors attempt to expose the Umbrella Corporation and sabotage their operations. Code: Veronica reveals the existence of a rival corporation, who employs Albert Wesker, the crooked leader of the Raccoon City S.T.A.R.S. team, also developing their own bio-weapons.
A scenario in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, set in 2002, details the efforts of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine on aiding the dissolution of the Umbrella Corporation.
A scenario in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, details Operation: Javier, when Leon Scott Kennedy, partnered up with Jack Krauser, are sent to investigate a region in the Amazon Jungle, where teenage girls have been missing, and are investigating the involvement of drug lord Javier Hidalgo, and his connections to the late Umbrella Corporation.
Set six years after the events of the previous games, Resident Evil 4 begins with the dissolving of Umbrella Corporation. When Ashley Graham, the president's daughter is kidnapped, the United States government sends in Leon Kennedy to rescue her. The focus is on a religious cult known as Los Iluminados that uses a breed of ancient parasites known as Plaga to turn victims into mind-controlled psychopaths known as "Los Ganados". The same Organization seen in Code: Veronica also plays a role in Resident Evil 4, by having two of their agents attempt to steal a master sample of the parasite for their disposal.
Resident Evil: Degeneration is a CGI movie that takes place within the canon Resident Evil storyline. As it begins, an airport is overrun by t-Virus zombies, Claire Redfield, reunited with Leon Scott Kennedy, must stop the threats from a new terrorist organization.
Resident Evil: Revelations takes place in the year of 2005, one year after an incident known as the Terragrigia Panic, Jill Valentine and her new partner, Parker Luciani, are sent to a ship called the Queen Zenobia, under orders from the B.S.A.A. (an organization dedicated to hunting down bioweapons and preventing their use in terrorism) director, Clive R. O'Brian, to look for Chris and his new partner, Jessica Sherawat, who have been reported missing, and have been traced to the ship, there, Jill and Parker are met with a new infection, brought upon by the seemingly-dead bioterrorist group called Il Veltro, using a new type of mutagen known as the T-Abyss.
Five years after the Los Iluminados incident, Resident Evil 5 catches up with Chris Redfield, now a member of the B.S.A.A., an organization dedicated to hunting down bioweapons and preventing their use in terrorism. When attempting to meet a contact in the African settlement of Kijuju, Redfield and his new partner, Sheva Alomar, discover that forces unknown have infested the local populace with Las Plagas, rendering them all Majini. Redfield and Alomar work together to discover the true plan at the heart of this madness, and stop Albert Wesker from attempting to take over the world with his newly made Uroboros virus.
Resident Evil: Damnation, a CGI movie sequel taking place after Resident Evil 5, takes place within the canon Resident Evil storyline like Degeneration before it. It deals with an ongoing civil war in the Eastern Slav Republic, with the usage of various Bioweapons, including Plaga Parasites. Leon S. Kennedy has to prevent the war from escalating.
Some time after the events of Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 took place when the NGO Claire Redfield is working with, TerraSave, is attacked by an unknown bioterrorist and his men. The bioterrorist took Claire and a young TerraSave member named Moira Burton to an island, when he used the two as test subjects against his B.O.W.s.
16 years after the Raccoon City Incident, Resident Evil 6 catches up with four protagonists; Leon S. Kennedy, who seeks to chase after a terrorist who turned tens of thousands citizens of Tall Oaks city into zombies, including president Adam Benford; Chris Redfield, who battles new species of B.O.W.s around the world; Jake Muller, a mercenary from eastern Europe who is revealed to be the son of Albert Wesker; and Ada Wong, who discovers that she has an evil doppelganger named Carla Radames, the woman who started a global outbreak in 2012-2013.
This franchise has been heavily influenced by George A. Romero's Dead movies, as well as the Alone in the Dark series of PC horror games, early seminal examples of the genre. It should also be noted that the Resident Evil series was inspired by a 1989 Capcom game, based on a Japanese horror movie, called Sweet Home. Most Resident Evil games carry over themes from Sweet Home such as of multiple characters, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and special items.
With the development of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom revealed their intent to make the Revelations title into a full companion series to Resident Evil. Revelations will be used to fill gaps and expand on already existing mythology while the main series pushes forward. Furthermore, producer for the Revelations series Michiteru Okabe has said that the main series will remain more action-oriented, wanting to reach a mass audience. However, the new Revelations series will be for the fans at the heart of the series. With promises of a stronger focus on the survival horror aspects that made Resident Evil so well-known to begin with, Capcom hopes to use the Revelations series to support their long-time fans and provide them with something closer to a classic Resident Evil experience.
Devil May CryEdit
When Resident Evil 4 was still in production, it went under many changes. Whilst still under the working title "Biohazard 3.5," one of its versions included supernatural monsters. The difference from the other games caused a completely new game to be made, and for RE4 to be rebuilt from scratch.
This game became known as "Devil May Cry".
Some enemies and locations still bear resemblance to Resident Evil enemies and locales:
- Phantom and Kyklops are giant spiders resembling Web Spinners;
- Marionettes are slow moving enemies similar to Zombies;
- Blades are reptilian enemies similar to the Hunters;
- Mallet Island bears some resemblance to the castle;
- Leon S. Kennedy, the lead protagonist for Resident Evil 4, bears a striking resemblance to Dante, the protagonist of the Devil May Cry franchise.