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 85% of the final product was different than the original game.
Resident Evil has quite a basic premise: the player must solve puzzles while battling several monstrosities which roam the manor. At the very start of your playthrough, you are prompted to choose from two available characters: Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. Each character has his and her perks, and the game varies depending on whom you choose. Jill will start out with a lock pick after receiving it from Barry and contains two extra inventory slots. Her lockpick allows her to skip some puzzles that Chris has no choice but to do, but Chris can take more damage than Jill. He begins the game with a single Combat Knife.
Enemies range from your typical zombie to infected animals and insects, and more dangerous mutants such as the hunters. To aid you in your quest, you can find weapons and items scattered across the many rooms. Weapons range from the standard pistol to the shotgun, and all the way up to the insanely powerful rocket launcher. Should the player get injured, healing herbs and first-aid sprays are there to heal your wounds.
New to the remake are the auto-defense items and the crimson heads. Auto-defense items are basically weapons that you can use should the enemy gets a hold of you. Both Characters get daggers, but Jill gets batteries for her taser, while Chris gets to use stun grenades which can be used to decapitate a zombie with one well placed shot. When used at the right time, they can prove to be real life-savers. Crimsons heads are what you would call "super zombies". When you kill a zombie, instead of completely dying he'll simply fall unconscious for a set amount of time. When you get back to the room some time later and should you walk too close to the zombie, he'll get back up faster and stronger than before. There are two ways to bypass this mutation: either decapitate the zombie (blow either his head or his legs) or burn him. Scattered throughout the mansion are gasoline tanks which you will need paired with a lighter if you want to set a zombie on fire (provided you "killed" him first); both of these are highly recommended during the later difficulty settings.
True to Resident Evil custom, many things can be unlocked by completing the game in a certain way. These bonuses include additional costumes, game modes, weapons and even a special thank-you letter from the Resident Evil team. There are also multiple endings for the player to unlock.
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.
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.
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.