When you think of horror games, Resident Evil is always in the conversation. First gracing the gaming industry back in 1996, it was an overnight success, and the series now has 27 different titles underneath its belt and has even spawned a movie franchise…but let’s not talk about them. While we all know Resident Evil for its tank controls and fixed camera angles along with its stars (no pun intended) such as Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, it wasn’t always designed to be the game and series that we know today. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Resident Evil series.
1. The Name Was Picked From A Competition
As most people will know, the Resident Evil series is called Biohazard in Japan. There is also a nod to it with the RE7 title, which is Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (the Japanese name is also Biohazard VII: Resident Evil), but that name was used shortly before release for a DOS game, so Capcom went back to the drawing board to think of a new name. They held a company-wide competition to create a new name, and Resident Evil won.
Chris Kramer, Senior Director of Communications and Community at Capcom US said “I voted against the name – I thought it was super-cheesy; can’t remember what I felt was a better alternative, probably something stupid about zombies – but the rest of the marketing crew loved it and were ultimately able to convince Capcom Japan and Mikami-san that the name fit.”
2. It Was Originally Meant To Be First Person
While the series eventually went first person with Resident Evil 7 (as well as the spin off Survivor and Chronicles games), the series has always been known for being third person, but it wasn’t always that way.
The game was originally intended to be first person with the gun in the center of the screen like DOOM (1993). There isn’t much information or footage of the original first person concept, but I think we can agree that moving to third person was the right choice.
3. There Was A Gameboy Color Port Planned
Back in the late 90s after the huge success of the original titles, a Gameboy Color port was planned, apparently getting to 90% completion before being cancelled. It is unknown why the game was cancelled, because it is actually a really good port, considering the platform it is on. While not perfect, it at least tried to be as accurate as possible to the original. A leaked rom was posted online which allows you to play it using an emulator as well as sellers selling repro cartridges with the game. It is definitely worth checking out to see what could’ve been.
4. Resident Evil Was Originally A Remake Of Another Game
The Resident Evil series has had its share of remakes, with 1, 2 & 3 all being remade. But did you know that the original 1996 game was originally a remake of another game? In 1989, Capcom released the Japanese exclusive Sweet Home on the NES based on a movie of the same name. The game’s premise sees 5 filmmakers explore a mansion, encountering ghosts and other paranormal entities. The original plan was to remake Sweet Home, but it was likely changed due to the game being based on a movie and potentially running into licensing issues as well as players outside of Japan not knowing what Sweet Home is. This is likely where the mansion idea came from, as both games feature them, and seemingly ghosts were swapped out for zombies.
5. Multiplayer Was Planned
The original plan for Resident Evil was to have a co-op multiplayer option, but this was scrapped due to hardware limitations. We saw the co-op feature revisited in Resident Evil 5, but it is interesting to think how it could have played out in the original game. While it would have been lots of fun playing with a partner, the game would have definitely lost the horror factor by not have you feeling so alone.
6. There Were Other Playable Characters Planned
Resident Evil centers around the main characters, Chris Redfield & Jill Valentine, as well as the side characters such as Barry Burton and various members of the Bravo Team. But there were also plans for 2 other characters that were later removed. Dewey was intended to be a comic relief character and was based on Eddie Murphy, and Gelzer was a huge man with a cybernetic eye. Looking at them, it was probably the right choice. It feels weird saying that Gelzer would have taken away from the realistic aspect, especially when talking about a game with zombies.
7. The Mansion Was Based On A Real House
Tatsuya Minami, Senior Manager of Product Planning for Resident Evil, has admitted that designs for the mansion’s used in the series are based off real life mansions, specifically European mansions because they creeped out the Capcom team the most.
8. Resident Evil Holds A Guinness World Record For Worst Dialogue
In 2008, Resident Evil was granted a Guinness World Record, but not for a great achievement. Instead, it was for having the worst dialogue in a video game. Who can forget classic lines such as;
Barry: It’s a weapon. It’s really powerful, especially against living things.
Barry: We should start from the first floor, okay? And, Jill, here’s a lock pick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you.
Barry: That was too close! You were almost a Jill sandwich!
Barry definitely got the short end of the stick when it came to dialogue.
9. Players Can Find Zombie Wesker
*SPOILER ALERT* Towards the end of Resident Evil, Wesker is revealed as the villain before being killed by the Tyrant. He can then later be found as a zombie. While this isn’t canon due to him playing a part in later stories, it is a fun little Easter Egg. Zombie Wesker can be found only in the Sega Saturn port in its Battle Game mode. Zombie Wesker is ridiculously strong, and it is cool to see him in it. Most gamers will have missed this due to the Saturn port not being as popular as the Playstation version.
10. The Series Has Sold Over 100 Million Copies Worldwide
After 24 years and 27 games, the Resident Evil series has sold a huge 100 million copies making it approximately the 17th best selling video game series of all time. The best selling game in the series is Resident Evil 5, accounting for over 12 million copies. The top 5 best selling Resident Evil games are;
Resident Evil 5 – 12,840,000
Resident Evil 6 – 10,931,400
Resident Evil 4 – 8,728,067
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – 7,500,000
Resident Evil 2 (Remake) – 6,600,000
Did you know of any of these Resident Evil facts? Are there any we missed out? Let us know in the comments.
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