Resident Evil is a survival horror game developed by Capcom and first released in 1996 for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. A critical and commercial success when released, it paved the way for several sequels spawned across multiple platforms, novelizations and even movies. It also popularized the term "Survival Horror" when Sweet Home invented it.
In 2002, Capcom decided to revamp the original game for the Nintendo GameCube. The GameCube being more powerful than the original PlayStation, the developers at Capcom were able to upgrade the game in such a way that over ''75%'' of the final product was different than the original game.
Resident Evil is credited for coining the term "survival horror" and popularizing the genre. GamePro listed Resident Evil among the 20 most important games ever made. Game Informer also referred to the original Resident Evil as one of the most important games of all time.
Overview & Controls
Resident Evil is a classic survival horror game of the era, similar to the Alone in The Dark series, mixing in third-person combat, exploration, and puzzles. Like most survival horror titles, Resident Evil limits the player character's capabilities beyond the norm and ammunition for their firearms is generally scarce, intended to force players to use their supplies wisely and to choose flight rather than fight when possible.
While the game follows a linear pattern of major events, the player is allowed to explore most of the beginning mansion at will. Many of the puzzles and necessary key items required to move on can be solved/collected in any order.
Utilising the notorious ''tank controls'', players move via a third person perspective throughout a number of pre-determined camera angles. Characters also cannot move and fire their weapons at the same time, and instead the character will 'perch' themselves to the ground when aiming.
The story is largely portrayed via in-game cutscenes, however there are also a number of Files (diaries, memos ect.) players can collect. These will often provide additional insight into the goings on across the overall narrative, but some are more vital as they will provide information pertaining to solving puzzles or maybe hinting as to where to go next.
Resident Evil offers up two different characters--Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine--to select from. Each offers up a different take on the same narrative, though what separates them the most is the gameplay implications, as Jill Valentine's version of the game is significantly easier and more accessible than Chris'.
Jill has more inventory space to carry items; she can potentially find an additional weapon exclusive only to her story, being the bazooka; she has with her a lockpick that can open locked drawers and doors that would ordinarily require the Sword Key; and many more such examples. Chris' one primary benefit is that he is somewhat sturdier than Jill and can withstand more damage before succumbing to death.
Each character also has their own unique supporting character that they will often encounter and interact with during the game. Jill Valentine has with her fellow STARS Alpha team member Barry Burton, whereas Chris has the rookie medic of STARS Bravo team, Rebecca Chambers. Both Barry and Rebecca will sometimes have to help the player character from a perilous situation, though Barry will always be an NPC. During Chris' story, however, players may take control of Rebecca Chambers on two separate occasions to help save Chris from dying of poison, and to kill the mutated plant monster Plant 42.
Depending on which character the player chooses, they will either have six (Chris) or eight (Jill) inventory slots in total. Each type of item requires only one slot, however. Besides the character's inventory, there also exist a number of item boxes where players can store unwanted items. Item boxes are often located within save rooms (though not always) and items will persist throughout all item boxes across the game.
All items and weapons can be examined by the player, allowing them to get a closer look and turn the object around. This can sometimes change the properties of certain key items, such as unlocking/opening a key item to reveal another inside, or may at least change the title to reflect the item's true identity.
Health & Herbs/First Aid Sprays
A character's health can be seen via the inventory menu, with an Electrocardiograph Machine showing a character's status. The different statuses are:
- Fine - The character is in good-to-moderate health.
- Caution - The character is roughly at half health.
- Danger - The character is approaching death.
- Poison - The character is poisoned and their health will slowly deplete.
Characters can use a small variety of herbs to heal themselves and cure poisons. First Aid Sprays are also available, though they only have the singular purpose of healing the character fully. There exist three herb types, all of which can be combined in some way for different degrees of healing:
- Green Herb - On its own will restore 25% of health.
- Blue Herb - On its own will cure poison, though will not restore any health.
- Red Herb - On its own does nothing.
- Green + Green Herb - Mixed will heal the character by roughly 50% of health.
- Green + Green + Green Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely, though not of any poisons.
- Green + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character 25% of health and cure any poison.
- Green + Green + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character 50% of health and cure any poison.
- Green + Red Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely, though not of any poisons.
- Green + Red + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely including poisons.
- Red + Blue Herb - Mixed will do nothing.
Resident Evil requires that players find one of the many typewriters located throughout the environments to save, and must also have at least one ink ribbon item in their character's inventory.
One of the two main playable characters, Chris is the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team point-man, and is an exceptionally skilled marksman having won trophies for his skills with handguns. Having also served in the US Air Force before his time with S.T.A.R.S., Chris has some experience with combat. However, none of any such prior encounters could have prepared him for the nightmare he is about to endure.
The second of two main playable characters, Jill is the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team's machinery expert. Couple her expertise handling such tools with her experience as apart of the US Army's Delta Force training program (specialising in bomb disposal) despite only being 23 years old, Jill has managed to gather an already impressive array of skills.
One of the oldest and most experienced S.T.A.R.S. members, Barry is apart of Alpha team and is also the unit's weapons specialist. A close friend to Chris Redfield serving in the same Air Force unit, Barry is the man who managed to persuade him to join S.T.A.R.S. once he left the air force. As a family man with a wife and two daughters, despite Barry's expertise, he is actually a very friendly and trusting individual.
The youngest member of S.T.A.R.S. at only 18, Rebecca is the team's medic assigned to Bravo team. Downtrodden after the majority of her comrades have died, she is now more than ever determined to aid the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members and use her medical abilities to help as much as she can. Outside of such horrific situations, Rebecca is a chirpy and highly motivated individual who is both more mature and capable than her age and rather petite size may suggest.
Alpha team Captain and the founder of the entire S.T.A.R.S. unit, Wesker is a well respected officer of the law and is looked upon with admiration by his fellow S.T.A.R.S. members, such as Chris Redfield in particular.
July 24th, 1998. Raccoon City. There have been several reports of murder within a small town in the midwest. Each victim is attacked by a group, leaving signs of cannibalism. The local law enforcement dispatches S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team to investigate the circumstances. Bravo Team, however, swiftly disappears and it's up to the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team to investigate both the grisly murders and find their missing counterparts.
While flying over a small patch of forest along the outskirts of Raccoon City, Alpha Team spots Bravo Team's helicopter, smoldering on the forest floor. After landing, members of the Alpha Team head out to check the damage while the pilot, Brad Vickers, stays behind. It is quickly discovered that there are no signs of survivors at the crash. Shortly after the investigation starts, a severed hand is found, clutching a handgun. Soon, Alpha Team is ambushed by strange, powerful canine assailants. While fighting them off, Joseph Frost, one of the Alpha Team's members, is taken down and eaten alive. Vickers quickly fires up the helicopter and takes flight, leaving his team members to the horrors below. Chris Redfield spots a large mansion and orders the team to make for the doors.
Alpha Team has been narrowed down to only four members within a large, strange mansion and surrounded by undead dogs outside the large double doors. While taking a status report, the team hears a gun shot from another room. Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, depending which character the player chooses at that point, moves on to check the source. Kenneth Sullivan is discovered overtaken by a zombie as it tears his head off with a vicious, hungered bite. After dispatching the shambling, living carcass, the player character is thrust into a mansion filled with several mind-bending puzzles, a few deadly traps, and dozens upon dozens of zombies with all hope of finding a living being lost.
The mansion, while not completely abandoned, still hosts several files and diaries that catalog the events leading up to the manifestation the Alpha Team has discovered that evening. It is soon realized that the Umbrella Corporation, a powerful bioengineering pharmaceutical company, has taken control of several illegal experiments somewhere within the mansion. The results of which are the walking dead, animals, insects and all other living forms infected by the highly contagious mutagenic biological agent, the T-Virus.
After traversing and solving the secrets of the mansion, Chris and Jill find themselves within an underground laboratory, the source of Umbrella's scientific research. One of the surviving members of Alpha Team, Albert Wesker, reveals himself as a traitor, working for the Umbrella Corporation all along. He then releases Tyrant T-002, one of Umbrella's more clandestine experiments, created with intense exposure to the T-Virus mutigen. The Tyrant soon turns on Wesker and knocks him out cold. Then it's up to Chris and Jill to destroy the monster and evacuate. A self destruct is issued, sounding an alarm through the entire laboratory.
Chris and Jill make their way to the heliport to call for Vickers' chopper. As the helicopter flies into view, the Tyrant tears through the heliport, returning with a vengeance. After a brief battle, the pilot drops a rocket launcher to Chris and Jill, who quickly use it to blow the Tyrant to shreds. The surviving members of Alpha Team (and Rebecca Chambers, the sole survivor of Bravo Team) climb aboard the helicopter before the mansion and laboratory are completely destroyed.
Not only depending on which main character the player chooses, the endings of the game can also be determined by specific choices made throughout the game based on which characters manage to survive.
During Chris' story, he can meet Rebecca chambers under a couple of different circumstances. The most common introduction is in the first floor medicinal save room. Once introductions are established, Rebecca asks Chris whether she can explore the mansion with him. If players choose yes, Rebecca won't actually tag along with Chris but this will affect certain scenarios later on. If players choose no, she will reside within the save room and players can visit to have their health fully healed up to three times.
If players allowed her to travel freely in the mansion, whence returning after exploring the Residential building, Rebecca is forced into an encounter with a Hunter and screams for help; if the player can't reach her quick enough, she will die. If she was told to wait in the save room, Rebecca is assured to survive. If she survives, then Rebecca will be able to set the bomb to destroy the mansion, triggering the resurgence of Tyrant on the Helipad.
Jill Valentine can also be left behind (and potentially killed for certain if Rebecca is still alive by that point) if the player isn't able to find the 3 MO discs required to unlock the door to her cell, and vice versa when playing as Jill herself.
During Jill's story, in order for Barry to survive players must establish a sense of 'trust' with him. This is firstly done by waiting for him to 'get another rope', during when Jill rappels down in the hole after killing Yawn. Afterwards, players will encounter Barry again in the underground caverns and he will ask to tag along with Jill. If Jill allows him to accompany her, this will then result in Barry returning to thwart Albert Wesker and safely escaping the mansion. If these requirements are not met, he will be found beaten and bloodied near the Umbrella Laboratory emergency escape and will die of his wounds. If Barry survives the encounter, which sets in motion the outcome of Wesker escaping and setting the Mansion to self-destruct, this triggers the ambush by Tyrant on the Helipad.
Overall there are technically eight endings in total dependant on which combination of characters managed to survive the Mansion Incident.
- Chris, Rebecca, and Jill survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
- Chris and Jill survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
- Chris and Rebecca survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
- Chris survives; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
- Jill, Barry, and Chris survive; Albert Wesker escapes; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
- Jill and Chris survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
- Jill and Barry survive; Albert Wesker escapes; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
- Jill survives; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
The canon ending of Resident Evil is again made up of varying factors across both stories, including the survival of Chris, Jill, Barry, and Rebecca, the destruction of the Mansion, and the hatred Wesker grows for Chris.
Considered to be a last resort tactic, the knife does very little damage and has dangerously small reach. Because of its low effectiveness, it is usually best for the player to just run or attempt to avoid the enemy rather than combat it. Chris and Jill each wield their knife differently, though there are otherwise no differences speaking for their effectiveness.
Jill Valentine's starting handgun, which Chris Redfield also eventually procures as his pistol as he lost his in the forest. The beretta is the weapon of choice to handle lesser enemies such as zombies and Cerberus dogs.
A reliable pump-action shotgun. While it'll ordinarily take three shots to kill a zombie, players can alternatively aim up and shoot when the zombie is close enough to destroy the head killing it completely. Acquiring the shotgun can differ slightly between Chris and Jill. Because collecting the shotgun will instigate the ceiling trap, Chris therefore requires the Broken Shotgun item to trade in its place. However Jill may potentially be able to collect it without the need for the Broken Shotgun.
Should Jill collect the shotgun, Barry will then arrive to save her from the trap. Though only if the player didn't meet Barry prior when finding the corpse of Forest Speyer, otherwise Jill will then require the Broken Shotgun item.
An incredibly powerful magnum-revolver, most recognizable as Barry Burton's weapon of choice. Simply massive in size, the Python is the second most powerful weapon in the game behind the Rocket Launcher. It can kill all lesser enemies with just one shot and is a reliable contender against boss battles. Though as one may expect, ammunition is terribly scarce.
A weapon exclusive to Jill Valentine, the Bazooka is a powerful and diverse weapon that has access to a small variety of grenade types. There are the regular explosive grenade rounds, which do a sizeable amount of damage against just about anything; flame rounds, which while powerful, are especially effective against such creatures as Plant 42; and acid, which is the most powerful variant and is especially useful against Hunters.
Only find in Chris's campaign, the flamethrower functions as both a weapon and a puzzle item, as the player requires it to trigger the unlocking of certain doors in the underground caverns. When used as a weapon, it's decent at staving off Hunters as the continuous spray will cause the Hunter to rapidly flinch. Fuel quickly depletes, however, and no more can be found. A second flamethrower is also conveniently left outside the area where the player faces against the giant spider queen, Black Tiger. Once the player moves on from the underground sections, they cannot take the flamethrower with them as it is required to unlock the way out.
Initially only available during the final encounter against the T-002 Tyrant, it can also be unlocked with infinite ammo if players complete the game under 3 hours. As one may expect, the Rocket Launcher is able to kill every enemy and boss (minus the Tyrant during the helipad fight) with a single shot.
The staple of the older Resident Evil games, zombies are of course as prominent as ever in the original Resident Evil and make for the primary combatant . Slow and sluggish in movement, but dangerous up close, zombies are durable enough against gunfire that they can prove to be extremely dangerous even just in small numbers. When encountered on their own, however, zombies can be dispatched relatively easy so long as the player has enough ammunition to spare. As per usual, zombies are best dealt with the pistol or sometimes the shotgun, which can kill a zombie with a single shot if the player aims directly at its head once close enough, or can at least reduce the zombie to a literal crawl by destroying its legs.
Zombies attack by grabbing and biting the player when close, but will also puke out acid instead if they can't quite reach the player. Some zombies will be encountered lying on the ground, seemingly pretending to be dead, and will grab at a character's leg should the player get close enough. However, the leg bite does little damage and will always result in the character killing the zombie with a single stomp or kick. The sure way to note that a zombie, or any other enemy, is definitely dead is the pool of blood that forms from underneath the corpse.
Should a zombie fall to the ground and then proceeds to get back up, they will be completely invulnerable to all attacks during the animation period of such an action.
Alongside regular zombies, some sort of iteration surrounding infected dogs have persisted across nearly every Resident Evil game to date. Starting at the beginning, the Cerberus Dogs of Resident Evil are infected Doberman breeds, purposely engineered to be a form of B.O.W. Cerberus dogs retain the same agility and tenacity as a regular dog, though with a massive increase in aggressiveness, brutality, and stamina.
Like zombies, Cerberus dogs are best left for lesser weaponry like the pistols and shotguns. Running past is always an option as well, as both Chris and Jill are just ever so slightly faster than the canines.
As always, crows prove to be more of a nuisance than a genuine threat. They are always found to be in a large number, however, and can be very hard to avoid. They only have one attack by way of pecking at the player, which while does little damage will keep the player stuck in a short animation of trying to wave them off.
Giant, hairy spiders, the Web Spinners are a tenacious foe across Resident Evil, though they primarily appear only briefly within the Residential building. They can crawl along walls like any other spider, and will often try to charge forward and bite players when given the opportunity. However, their greatest weapon is their poison spit, which they will routinely spray; it has a fairly long reach of attack and has a high chance of poisoning the player, though the base damage it inflicts isn't quite as alarming.
Web Spinners have surprisingly tough hides and are most susceptible to the Bazooka - specifically when equipped with flame rounds. They will also often strafe once they've been shot and attempt to counter the player as such. If a Web Spinner is killed with its sack intact, a large multitude of baby spiders will seep out of the corpse and attack the player. Though their damage is even less than that of a crow and should the player leave the area, they will return to find them all gone.
First appearing once players return to the Mansion after investigating the Residential building, Hunters will then replace the common zombies of the game and will be encountered throughout in most areas where the zombies originally populated. Hunters are extremely dangerous and one of the most antagonising enemies throughout the franchise, let alone Resident Evil. They attack using their sharp claws and their most common source of attack is to leap through the air and slash the player; they are also invincible during the animation of leaping through the air. Their other attack is to simply slash at the player, though while the damage it does isn't quite as dramatic as the leap, it can be difficult to avoid. The speed of the attack could also result in players consecutively falling prey to the attack.
Should the character's health be in the Lime Green Fine state or lower, however, the Hunter's leap will be replaced with a swift cleave which will decapitate the character killing them instantly. Hunters take one, sometimes two, shots from the Colt Python, which makes for the most suitable weapon. Otherwise the Bazooka, and even the shotgun, can do the job if there's enough distance between the Hunter and the player. However Hunters are almost always encountered in groups of at least two.
Encountered only within the secret underground laboratory, Chimera are wretched creatures made up of both human and fly DNA. Like Hunters, these too were artificially created by Umbrella themselves, though they apparently proved to be unreliable and not as effective as the Hunter B.O.W. They primarily function like a cross between Web Spinners and Hunters; Chimera's can scuttle across flat surfaces, and will usually try to slash the player from above, but will also land into the floor and give chase. From this stage, Chimera's may possibly leap onto the character's back and slice them from there.
They can be relatively easy to avoid, however--especially if they've following whilst on the ceiling--and are rather weak as well, taking only around 2-3 shotgun rounds. Though much like the Hunters, Chimera are rarely encountered alone and they will sometimes attempt to swarm the player by attacking from two different directions.
Highly aggressive poisonous snakes, Adders can be found throughout the Mansion garden and will drop from the trees landing in front of the player. The damage they do is minimal, though there's a chance they can poison the player and there's often a large number of them at that. Running past them is the best option, though if combat should come into it, they will die by but a single handgun shot.
Found in the Residential building, a sizeable wasp cocoon has formed within. The wasps themselves do very little damage and die with at most 2 shots from a handgun, however they will spawn within the room indefinitely.
Yawn Part I
A monstrously huge snake that resides within an attic, Yawn will surface once the player enters in search of a crest. This battle is completely voluntary, however, as the player can attempt to just collect the crest and escape. Because of the snake's size, this can sometimes prove difficult to maneuver throughout the environment. If the player is bitten there's a high chance that they'll be poisoned. If the player is poisoned, the character will pass out once they escape the room.
As Jill, she will pass out and fall to the ground, with Barry arriving soon after who will take her to the first floor save room. This is all done instantaneously amidst a black screen, however, and Jill will wake up to find Barry gone. As Chris, he too will pass out just as he leaves the area and will be greeted by Rebecca Chambers. However in this occurrence, the player may have to take control of Rebecca to then go and collect the serum from the first floor medicinal save room for Chris. This must be done within around 7 minutes, otherwise he will die and the game will be over. Rebecca may alternatively arrive and the game will fade to black, with Chris waking up in the first floor medicinal save room, though this is only if players tell Rebecca to stay in the save room as opposed to exploring the mansion. Fighting Yawn can be tricky because of its size, though it only takes four shots from the shotgun to force it to flee.
Yawn was named as such because of how it was said to resemble a yawn with the way its mouth opens as wide as it does.
Yawn Part II
Yawn will be faced a second and final time in the second floor room locked behind a Helmet Key lock. Inside is a blue piano, and upon investigating Yawn will slither out of the empty fireplace and attack, creating a hole in the floor in the process.
The battle functions much like the first bout, only this time Yawn must be killed and requires a considerable amount more punishment to beat. If the player is poisoned this time they are left to carry on without any assist. Though by this point blue herbs to cure the poison are now accessible and can be found throughout the mansion. Any of the damage inflicted on Yawn previously will have no effect for the second battle.
A vicious, great-white infected shark. Neptune is the most uneventful 'boss' as fighting it is completely optional and the overall encounter is extremely short-lived. Upon entering the aqua tank, Neptune and two lesser sharks will begin to swim towards the player and attack. Though while the player character's movement is subdued due to the knee high water, players could easily reach the room that'll drain the tank while barely coming into contact with Neptune.
Once the tank has been drained Neptune and the other sharks will be left to flail about on the floor and are now completely harmless. Players can choose to mercy kill them--a single attack from any weapon will kill them--however it is not necessary. When encountered in the water the sharks are invincible.
For some reason when playing as Jill, there is a cutscene depicting Neptune's point-of-view as it swims towards her. This does not occur when playing as Chris and Neptune is encountered as is without any formal introduction.
A huge and incredibly hostile plant that has been infused with the T-Virus. Dubbed Plant 42 for being located within ''Point 42'', the carnivorous plant has entrenched itself within the Residential Building and uses its vines to attack its prey throughout the building via small holes in the floors, walls and ceiling. If the player nears any of these holes, the plant's vine will attack and attempt to strangle the player until they waggle it off by mashing on the buttons. Once the body of the Plant has been located, this initiates the boss battle. Large in size, reaching the ceiling at around 12ft in height, it primarily attacks by using its vines to squirt small droplets of acid, though it will also attempt to attack the player by swiping them with its vines as well should they get close enough.
The best strategy is for the player to continually stay on the move to avoid the droplets of acid, while also taking some time to shoot the Plant in between. After enough damage, it will recede only to quickly sprout back out. As Jill, once this occurs Barry will arrive conveniently equipped with a flamethrower and will lay waste to the creature killing it. If players choose to first make the V-Jolt poison and administer it to Plant 42's roots before hand, this will then automatically start the fight off in phase 2 during when Barry would ordinarily arrive.
As Chris, players may have to fight against Plant 42 on their own until it's killed, as Chris doesn't know how to handle chemicals. However, if the player told Rebecca to stay in the medicinal save room, then as soon as Chris enters the room he will quickly be grabbed by the creature, just as Rebecca arrives on the scene. Chris will then throw her a file to help in creating the V-Jolt. Now controlling Rebecca, the player is to head to the nearby chemistry room and make the concoction. With the V-Jolt made, the player must then find the roots within the building located in the aqua tank and administer the V-Jolt, which will weaken Plant 42 as before, releasing Chris. Though this won't have killed it completely and will still require the player to finish it off as Chris.
A gigantic tarantula, even by the giant spider standards of the game, the appropriately coined Black Tiger is colored in shades of black and grey. It functions like its smaller kin of spiders, though its poison spit is more ferocious and will actually shoot three splashes at once with a greater range. The environment is relatively small, which allows the player to run around the creature to keep out of its poison distance. The shotgun, Bazooka and magnum work as expected, though Black Tiger is especially weak to flame rounds. As Chris, the player will have a flamethrower available which can be effective, however its short range may prove to be a liability.
Once killed, a multitude of small spiders will begin to seep out of its corpse, though leaving the area and returning will remove them from the area.
Tyrant T-002 Part I
After Wesker's betrayal is revealed, he (or Barry, accidentally) will release Tyrant, where it will then proceed to slowly walk towards the player. The battle itself is relatively simple as it will only walk towards the player, though it won't flinch against any gunfire. Keeping Tyrant at a safe distance, while circling the large lab equipment, the player should be able to down the monster without taking any damage so long as they have enough ammo. During this first fight Tyrant only requires four magnum shots to down.
For the Sega Saturn version, players must fight against two T-002 tyrants simultaneously.
Tyrant T-002 Part II
The final battle of the game, this second encounter with Tyrant is only triggered should the player have Barry or Rebecca alive, otherwise this battle will be skipped altogether and Brad Vickers will arrive to pick up the remaining characters.
Should the player's supporting character be alive to set the self-destruct sequence, Tyrant will erupt from the ground on the heliport and its gameplay design has now been drastically altered. No longer content in steadily walking towards the player, Tyrant will now routinely break into a quick sprint and swipe with its massive claw at the player dealing a fair bit of damage, while also knocking them away a fair distance. After Tyrant has received enough damage, or the timer that is ticking down has reached around 20 seconds, Brad Vickers will drop down a rocket launcher the player must use to kill Tyrant. One shot is all it will take to kill it.
Upon completing the game with the 'Happy' Ending, which involves all three main characters surviving the story, players are gifted a special key for any following playthroughs with their completed save file. The key can be used to unlock a closet, located behind the locked Armour Key door in the main hall, which houses an additional costume for Chris and Jill.
If players complete the game under 3 hours, they will find a rocket launcher with infinite ammo in their inventory for any following playthroughs with their completed save file.
For the Director's Cut version, completing the game's advanced mode regardless of the time will gift the player a Colt Python with infinite ammo in their inventory for any following playthroughs
Resident Evil came about at the request of Capcom for Shinji Mikami to develop a game set in a haunted house like their earlier Famicom title, Sweet Home. Due to the popularity of shooters at the time, the original version of the game was in first person. Later, Capcom requested the game have a fixed camera style with a third person perspective like the earlier survival horror game, Alone in the Dark.
Mikami originally wanted Resident Evil to be a game about fighting ghosts but he decided to make it into a zombie game instead, thinking it would be much more exhilarating than fighting with evil spirits. For the first six months of development, he worked on the game on his own without anyone's assistance. Mikami managed to increase the workforce by fifteen personnel and from that time on, the team gradually increased in number until, towards the end of development, he had more than fifty people working on the game. Among those people were Hideki Kamiya, Hiroki Kato, Jun Takeuchi, Motoi Fujita, Ippei Masuda, Yasuhiro Anpo, Katsutoshi Karatsuma, Kiyohiko Sakata and Ippo Yamada.
The development was a shaky process and Capcom showed little faith in Mikami's game. Thinking it would not sell well, Capcom decided to cancel the project but Mikami defended it hard until they decided not to. In the end, Resident Evil sold really well and became a household name throughout the western world, much to Mikami's surprise.
During the concept stage of development, Resident Evil was originally intended to be a co-op game, but due to technological constraints it was not possible at the time. Some of the elements that were originally intended for co-op eventually became the zapping system in Resident Evil 2, and to a more advanced extent Resident Evil 0.
The soundtrack, titled Biohazard Original Soundtrack Remix, was composed by Makoto Tomozawa, Akari Kaida, and Masami Ueda, except The Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was released on August 7, 1996.
Total Time: 66:05
- Terror (Darkness Lives) 0:57
- At The Deep Mountains and Dark valleys, the Night Begins 5:02
- The One Who Survives 2:59
- Fatal Bite 0:34
- Wandering About 3:07
- A Testator 0:22
- The Moonlight Sonata 4:25
- Yawn 1:17
- Piece of Mind 2:42
- Dismal Field 1:31
- Ivies Domain 3:22
- Vacant Flat 3:04
- What You Hear Is... 1:52
- Flooded Corridor 3:24
- Plant 42 1:09
- Deception 1:29
- Unexpected Crisis (The Nimble One) 0:44
- Queer Structure 4:11
- Sigh of Relief 1:30
- Narrow and Close 1:14
- Trust or Not 1:05
- Requiem 1:50
- Concealed Passage 1:51
- Black Tiger 1:28
- The Depth (Far from the Sun) 2:03
- Disclosed Secret 0:34
- Concrete Bound 2:15
- Double-Crosser 0:53
- Treat to Awful Fright 1:56
- 10 Minutes until Explosion 1:04
- Finally the Two Met 0:29
- 5 Minutes until Explosion 0:51
- Tyrant 1:39
- Still Dawn 3:12
Total Time: 66:05
The PC version featured the uncensored live-action intro and it was in color instead of black and white. The graphics were much sharper and new outfits for Chris and Jill were added as well. Since it was made for Windows 95, playing it on current operating systems may be difficult due to compatibility issues.
The original Japanese PC version published by NEC in December 1996 supported their PowerVR graphics accelerator card and 800x600 resolution, but this was downgraded to Direct3D and 640x480 resolution in the 1997 Western releases published by Virgin Interactive due to legal issues with NEC.
The Sega Saturn version, released in July 1997, featured an unlockable Battle Game minigame, which later became standard in sequels, as well as special costumes for Chris and Jill.
An updated version of Resident Evil was released on September 1997. It featured Advance mode where it changed camera angles for each area, shuffled enemy and item positions and added new costumes for Chris and Jill.
Dual Shock ver.
The Dual Shock version was an exact same game but featured dual shock support as well as new symphonic soundtrack. The Japanese Dual Shock version featured a bonus disc that contained downloadable save data and footage of the Japanese dubbed version of the opening cutscene and other footage, along with gameplay footage of the cancelled Resident Evil 1.5.
Game Boy Color
A Game Boy Color version was planned but it was cancelled, cited by Capcom to be of poor quality.
A remake of Resident Evil was made in 2002, featuring new graphics, gameplay elements, environments and story details. Shinji Mikami stated that the Gamecube version is 70% different from the original. In 2015, a HD remastering of the GameCube remake was released on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the series, Capcom made a Nintendo DS port titled "Resident Evil: Deadly Silence." It featured Classic Mode, the original game with little enhancements, and a Rebirth Mode, containing more enemies and new puzzle elements that utilized the touch screen capabilities. Multiplayer was also included where up to four players can participate the coorperative mode and the competitive mode.
Resident Evil Director's Cut Dual Shock Ver. was ported to the PlayStation Network in Japan on November 22, 2006 and in the US in 2009. The Director's Cut version was released on EU on March 23, 2011.