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In this blogpost I will talk in detail about how I came up with the idea for my character John Valentine and the idea to write my very own Resident Evil 6. How the idea started, what the influences and inspirations were and why I am not shying away from playing with the main chars of the franchise.
Even though my RE 6 is a fanfiction by definition, I AM treating this 100 % like canon and like a real Resident Evil 6. So this character I created to me is totally canon just like Alex wesker is canon even though we never heard of him/her prior to RE 5. I am basically treating it like RE 6 introduces the revelation and the character of John. Like RE 6 could introduce a family member of Jills or Leons or one of the parents of Chris and Claire. The idea of John was born out of 3 things:
1. I really LOVE Jill, so by creating a character who is in love with her and would do everything for her I could express that love towards that character.
2. bc I love Jill, it bothered me that we never knew who that mysterious guy on the photograph on her desk in the STARS office was. It obviously was NOT chris (Claire would have recognized him) so I was haunted by the questions "who was that guy" and "why didnt Jill even attempt to make sure he is safe when Raccoon City was infested with the T-virus? Why didnt she try to escape TOGETHER with him?"
I only came up with three possible answers to that: Either he was a family member who lived outside of Raccoon City, he was a boyfriend of hers who lived outside of Raccoon City OR it was either a boyfriend or family member who she had lost. And that last concept I liked the most cause it was the most dramatic.
3. I wanted to create a really cool fighter who would have similar abilities like Wesker (cause I just love Weskers style in RE 5) but who isnt THAT powerful bc I didnt want to undermine how special the Wesker children were. I am also a big fan of Devil may Cry and I thought it would be mightily cool to have a guy in a coat who fights off Zombies with guns and swords and skills beyond a normal human being. I also LOVE katana swords, they are my most favorite weapons ( I collect katanas myself). So the character became an amalgamation of all of these elements: he was wearing a black coat (due to the story that came out of this I later also gave him a black mask), had superhuman skills like advanced speed, strength and healing (above the level of every human but not on the level of Wesker) and as weapons he used 2 katana swords and two golden pistols. The two golden pistols I chose bc I loved it when Nicolas Cage was using them in the movie Face/Off. That was such a cool image. For the image of firearms and katana I was inspired by the DC Comics supervillain Deathstroke who is a former soldier and later possesses superhuman speed, strength, healing, wears a mask and uses guns and katana as weapon. Which was a great image for my character.
It also gave me the idea to make him a former soldier which then worked very well with combining him with Jills past since she used to be in the military as well. First I considered making him her lost brother )to explain him as the guy from the photograph) but I thought this wasnt very original since we already had the brother/sister thing with Chris and Claire. I didnt want to copy that. And bc I have so much love for Jill it was much more emotionally exciting and satisfying to me to make him her long lost love. Besides stuff like this - cliche or not- always makes for great emotional storytelling. Thats also why I made him her fiance. Losing your boyfriend is bad but losing the man you wanted to marry? Now that REALLY hurts.
So then I had the basic concept: Jills lost love, former soldier who then comes back with superhuman skills and kills zombies and BOWs in the coolest way possible with golden guns and katanas. But then I thought, how cool it would be to not just link this character to Jill emotionally but to Chris and Claire,too (My other two favorite chars) ? Making them their older brother made the most sense to me. And it gave a new dynamic to the Chris and Jill relationship. Thats why Chris always cared so much about her from the start: she was his brothers love. Thats not the only reason he cares about her ofc, he is really close to her we all know that but I thought this is why she is even more special to him. She is also the only thing he has left from his brother. Thats also why in all those years there was never anything romantic between Chris and Jill. She still loved John and Chris would never think of disrespecting his brothers memory like that. Jill was his friend, partner and like a sister to him - and she would have been his sister-in-law if John hadnt "died". But to Chris Jill always has been his sister-in-law. It would make this story emotional and dramatic for all of my favorite chars. Then I had to come up with some details. Why did John die? How did he come back? Why does he have these new powers? And I didnt want to copy Wesker too much so I decided that John didnt really actually die, Umbrella just made everyone believe he did and then kept him for themselves. Then I came up with the idea that John basically could be a second Lisa Trevor. Umbrella uses him to experiment with progenitor and t-virus but I did not want to copy Lisa Trevor so i decided that with John the outcome would be vastly different. he did not mutate at all, instead I made his DNA absorb the viruses giving him a superior DNA. And then it hit me that this was the PERFECT idea for explaining the origin of the experimental virus that Wesker injected himself with in RE 1. This virus was derived from Johns new superior DNA. It contained both t and progenitor virus, thats why most Wesker children died of it. And it explained Weskers superpowers who were similar to Johns just a lot more powerful (because the virus was a highly advanced version of Johns DNA). It all made sense to me. And ofc the irony of it was just too awesome. Weskers great power came from the dna of Chris and Claires brother and Jills love. I thought that this was just so damn cool. And then once all of this was established the story automatically evolved from there.
Ofc I was aware I was playing with almost all of the main characters of the series here. That it was bold. But I didnt care. Its those characters after all that I love and that make me so invested in the RE-series. I always wanted to tell my story with these characters bc thats what excites me. And this was supposed to be Resident Evil 6 after all.
But from the very start I always wanted it to be canon cause I hate non-canon stuff. I hate it if people go against the rules or established facts and events of the story. I know most fanfictions do that bc its just fan-stories but I never wanted that. I wanted it to be canon. And so I am working hard that it doesnt go against established canon. What I WANT to do however is to reveeal and include new things that fits in the canon, that changes the story retroactively in a way that you see events differently now (Much like RE 5 did), that it becomes bigger and expands, especially on a dramatic and emotional level. But I am very adamant about not going against established canon and trying to use whatever loopholes I can find (i.e. things that have never really fully explained or detailed) to include and reveal new stuff. and combining this with the story of the main characters and getting them emotionally involved with it and revealing new things about them - thats exactly why this excites me and why I am doing this.