When gamers think of a zombie movie franchise, one title comes to mind. And when zombie fanatics think of a video game, the same title comes to mind, as well. Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has frightened generations upon generations of gamers with its 20 year history, allowing it to reach almost all consoles since the first game came out way back in 1996.
The franchise was first fully about zombies, but recent titles have focused more on mutations caused by a virus from the evil Umbrella Corporation, which has been the vital part of the story since the first game. Thanks to the franchise, we have several iconic characters that have a special place in our hearts; or brains, like Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Chris and Claire Redfield, Ada Wong and of course, Nemesis.
Some fans believe that the franchise has lost its touch since Resident Evil 4, with most attributing the downfall of the games to the sudden change from survival horror to a more action-packed shooter starting with Resident Evil 5. Regardless of what fans think now, the franchise is still a must play for any zombie and video game enthusiasts. It’s also worth noting that Capcom might redeem the franchise soon with the upcoming Resident Evil 7, which promises to bring back the game to its horror roots.
With a 20-year history under its name, there are a lot of secrets hidden within the franchise and you’re in luck, as we’ve got 15 things you didn’t know about Resident Evil right here!
15 There Were Two Scrapped Characters In Resident Evil 1
Capcom had a drawing board for Resident Evil, as most games start out from scratch. This means Capcom had early versions of everything including a script, zombies and the characters. Early concept art of Resident Evil 1 revealed two characters that sadly never made it into the franchise.
The characters in question are Dewey and Gelzer. The furthest these two have come is in concept art and that’s it. They never made it as an Easter Egg or as minor characters in other Resident Evil titles. Based on their appearance, we have a guess as to why they were scrapped.
Despite being entirely about zombies, Resident Evil stays true to character design as all characters are basically common humans. That’s not the case with Dewey and Gelzer. Dewey is a very slim African-American character who was supposed to be used as comic relief. Gelzer, on the other hand, was this huge guy with a bionic eye.
14 Why Is Resident Evil 1’s Voice Acting Terrible?
Aside from the clunky gameplay mechanics and visuals (which were okay by standards back then), there aren't many negative comments that surround Resident Evil 1. The voice acting of the first game, though, was so horrible that fans just decided to think of it as one big joke. But there is a reason behind the game’s very poor voice acting.
The current voice actor of Albert Wesker, DC Douglas, revealed the reason why the game had such poorly written lines, said in a poor manner; the voice actors were apparently given the script, without any context or idea of the game’s story. Basically, the actors had no idea what emotion to convey. That’s the voice quality, but what about the corny lines?
Jonathan Klein from Capcom then explained that the Japanese developers picked the lines depending on what sounded good to them, and not the English speaker. Hence, the infamous “You were almost a Jill Sandwich” line.
13 The Unsung Hero Of Resident Evil 1 Made It To Two Other Games
Resident Evil 1 had a small cast of characters roaming around the mansion. One of them was Brad Vickers who was pretty cowardly for special force standards. He fled at the first sight of grave danger in Resident Evil 1, but he saved Jill and the crew at the end by coming back with a rocket launcher, which was needed to kill the last boss.
The only characters that were brought back into the series from Resident Evil 1 were Jill, Chris and Albert Wesker. What fans might not know was that Vickers made an appearance in Resident Evil 2… as a zombie and as an Easter Egg. One way or the other, fans will encounter zombie Vickers and although it wasn’t directly stated that it was him, it’s almost a given thanks to the zombie’s clothes.
Vickers’ death was a bit of a mystery until we saw it with our own eyes in Resident Evil 3. Upon entering the RCPD building, Nemesis is seen killing Vickers, a few moments before Jill enters the scene.
12 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Was Supposed To Be A Spin-Off
Speaking of Jill Valentine and Nemesis, the game they starred in was actually not the exact plan of Capcom. For those unfamiliar with the third entry, it was one of the most terrifying Resident Evil experience due to random encounters with the STARS hunter himself, Nemesis.
Game writer Yasuhisa Kawamura said that the third main entry was not about Jill and Nemesis up until Sony released the PlayStation 2. The third main entry was actually supposed to be a story about HUNK in a mission to retrieve a sample of the G-Virus in a cruise liner. It wasn’t actually supposed to be canon to the Resident Evil lore. Additionally, Resident Evil: Nemesis was planned to be a spin-off title instead.
Instead of pushing through with HUNK’s story, Capcom opted to make Jill Valentine as the main protagonist to make the game canon. Capcom also made the sad choice of allowing Raccoon City to be blown up at the end of the story. And as for the original plan, it turned out to be Resident Evil: Code Veronica for the Dreamcast.
11 George Romero Directed Resident Evil 2’s Commercial
The two names that are synonymous with zombies are Resident Evil and the famed director, George Romero. Thanks to Capcom’s Resident Evil and Romero’s several zombie flicks, the walking dead slowly made their way out of the graves and into mainstream media and pop culture.
With Resident Evil 1’s success, Capcom had to make sure that the next entry was going to be another classic. To help with this, Capcom employed the help of George Romero to direct the commercial for 1998’s Resident Evil 2. And as we all know, Romero and zombies are always a good match.
The result was nothing short of what’s expected to come from a famed director and a developer wanting a game commercial. Although it wasn’t as impressive as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, the Resident Evil 2 commercial was pretty good by video game trailer standards back then. On the topic of Romero and Resident Evil…
10 George Romero Almost Directed A Resident Evil Movie
The Resident Evil movies just don’t stand a chance against the video games. If the filmmakers decided to base the movie exactly off the story found in Resident Evil, then things would’ve turned out better. It would also have been better if Romero directed it.
We’re not bashing the makers behind the Resident Evil film franchise, but we believe that zombie films with big names should be left at the hands of George Romero only. Back in 1998, Romero revealed that he wanted to bring Resident Evil to the big screen and the story itself was about the events of the first game.
Sadly, the movie never came to be as Capcom dismissed Romero’s script because it “wasn’t good,” apparently.
9 Resident Evil 1.5 Came Before Resident Evil 2
The success of the first Resident Evil almost assured that a sequel would be in the works. In the case of Capcom, it was already working on another game but it wasn’t Resident Evil 2. It was a game from the same franchise, but things we’re a bit different and fans won’t hesitate to turn around if they hear you ask what Resident Evil 1.5 is.
Resident Evil 1.5 isn’t an early form of Resident Evil 2, but it was a different game entirely. It starred a new character named Elza Walker and that’s not all; the design and character models were different, zombies also acted differently and it also featured RPG elements that allowed the player to raise the stats of Elza. The game never materialized, but it hasn’t left the hearts of fans.
8 Resident Evil Was Supposed To Be A First-Person Shooter Game
The first Resident Evil games were played from a perspective set by fixed camera angles. Players not only had to face bullet and herb management to survive, but they also had to adapt to the game’s clunky mechanics that proved too troublesome at times. But the gameplay and experience are what made the franchise popular in the first place.
However, it wasn’t originally planned that Resident Evil was to be played the way we knew it to be. In fact, Capcom planned the game to be a first-person shooter instead. The plans change when Capcom thought that first-person wasn’t good enough for the game, and they decided to scrap the idea.
With Resident Evil 7 launching next year, Capcom is planning to go with the original plan of giving the game a first-person perspective. It’s not what we’re used to but how can we argue when Resident Evil 7 looks to be the most terrifying entry in the series ever?
7 There Was Actually A First-Person Resident Evil Game
Capcom eventually pushed through with the first-person plan with the release of Resident Evil Survivor back in 2000. The game was played from a first-person perspective from beginning to end, and it made us thank Capcom from scrapping the idea for the original title as Resident Evil Survivor isn’t very good.
Despite switching to a first-person perspective, Capcom retained the same stiff movement it had in past Resident Evil titles so the protagonist moved pretty slowly. Added to that is the fact that the game was obviously geared for a light gun; an accessory made for first person games which was never released outside of Japan.
Despite its shortcomings, the Resident Evil Survivor series went on to have three more sequels, which lucky for us, were a more revamped experience than the original title.
6 Resident Evil 1 For The Game Boy Color
After the success of the first Resident Evil game back in 1996, you can bet your brains that other gaming companies wanted a piece of the franchise. One of the companies aiming to bring horror to their home is Nintendo. With the aid of a little developing company called Hot Gen Studios, the original Resident Evil was planned to be rereleased for Nintendo’s Game Boy Color.
Now, there’s no one who wanted to stop the process especially after the success of the game but the problem was, Resident Evil 1 was too big for the Game Boy Color. The visuals and the sheer size of the game couldn’t fit in the measly cartridge of the Game Boy.
After several years of anticipation, it was officially revealed in 2000 that the port will forever be cancelled thanks to the limitations set by the Game Boy. Another Resident Evil title was released for the Game Boy called Resident Evil Gaiden but it’s clearly not the game fans were hoping for.
5 Capcom Cancelled A Surprisingly Good Fan Remake Of Resident Evil 2
Capcom has been busy recently and most of its work can be attributed to several remasters. It’s not only Capcom that’s busy with remaking the early Resident Evil titles as even fans decided to join in on the fun by remaking 1998’s Resident Evil 2, which was surprisingly very good based on released gameplay footage. It was a little group called InvaderGames that decided to remake Leon’s adventure, and fans were instantly excited for the final outcome.
Last year, Capcom spoiled the plan by asking the developers to halt development of the remake. But Capcom didn’t file any cases on InvaderGames. It didn’t even go to war with the developers. Instead, they asked InvaderGames to come to Capcom’s office for a meeting. This meeting might’ve been the start of something big as a much-requested remake for the Resident Evil 2 will finally launch next year.
4 Capcom Created The Most Successful Demo
Back at E3 2016, Capcom shocked fans by finally unveiling the next entry in the main series with Resident Evil 7. The reveal was followed by a release of a demo titled The Beginning Hour. The Resident Evil 7 demo was of course very short, but its length didn’t hinder the success it attained.
A few days after launching, The Beginning Hour became the most successful single-player demo for a game. Downloads came in millions despite being exclusively launched for the PlayStation 4 only. The demo channeled the like of another successful demo called P.T., which was for Konami’s Silent Hills.
The Beginning Hour is not as terrifying and as creepy as P.T., but it had more secrets. Fans went crazy over uncovering the secrets of the farmhouse and the demo was practically the talk of the town for the second half of June.
3 Devil May Cry: The Resident Evil That Never Was
One of the best received entry of the series so far is 2005’s Resident Evil 4. It also featured the biggest gameplay and visual jump for the franchise. After the success of the franchise on the PlayStation, Capcom finally began plans with bringing horror into the next generation of consoles.
There’s a short history in the development of Resident Evil 4 that fans may not be familiar with. The PlayStation 2 classic wasn’t originally thought out to be that way. The development team behind the title experimented with the game’s survival horror roots and came up with something totally different.
The developer then decided to just create a new title from the experiment instead of completely scrapping it, and with a few setting changes and story tweaks here and there, Capcom came up with Devil May Cry (which is also a successful series in itself, spawning several sequels and a reboot).
2 The Estranged Father Of The Series
When fans think of Capcom, Resident Evil almost always pops into their minds first. The survival horror series is what propelled the franchise into stardom after all. However, Resident Evil wasn’t Capcom’s first venture into scaring the wits out of gamers, as it released a little horror game several years prior to the 1997 classic.
In 1989, Capcom released the best Famicom horror game titled Sweet Home, which was based on a movie of the same name. The game was pretty eerie and scary and while gameplay differences between it and Resident Evil, both titles share a few things in common; namely, zombies, horror and survival.
The game never launched outside of Japan, which is a bit of a downer as the game was apparently good for its era. Without this title, we can assume that Capcom couldn’t have come up with Resident Evil and even if it did, it might not be the same.
1 That's A Lot of Zombies
The beloved series is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, since the launch of Resident Evil 1 back in 1997. With two decades worth of history, there’s no doubting that there’s a lot of content coming from Capcom for this franchise. So, just how many Resident Evil games are there?
Counting the remakes, spin-offs and upcoming titles, there are a total of 27 Resident Evil titles that spans several consoles including PlayStation, Gameboy, Gamecube and many, many more. While the franchise has indeed lost its touch, fans shouldn’t give up on in just yet.
The next main entry, Resident Evil 7 launches in January next year and it’s looking pretty fantastic. Some may argue that the entry will once again stray far from its roots, but thanks to the demo and the trailers, we might be in for one of the scariest games to date, courtesy of Capcom and Resident Evil.