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Video Game: Resident Evil
Welcome back to the world of survival horror. Good luck.
"Itchy. Tasty."

Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan) is a horror-themed action-adventure game released for the PlayStation in 1996; it is also the first game in the Resident Evil franchise. Shinji Mikami conceived the game when his superiors at Capcom wanted an updated version of their cult horror-themed Famicom RPG Sweet Home. With graphics and game design inspired by Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil spawned one of Capcom's most iconic franchises, which now includes several video game sequels and spinoffs as well as other media tie-ins. This game also gave us the term "survival horror".

The events of the game take place outside the fictional American town of Raccoon City in July 1998. Residents have fallen into a panic over a series of horrific murders in the nearby Arklay Mountains that have targeted residents and tourists alike — murders where corpses were found partially devoured. Bravo Team, one-half of Raccoon City's elite Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) squad, flies out to investigate the area; when they make no radio contact a day after their departure, Alpha Team deploys to find them.

Alpha Team discovers upon its arrival to the scene that Bravo Team's helicopter has crashed; they find only the now-mutilated pilot. As Alpha Team searches for their missing comrades, a pack of partially-decayed dogs attacks the group. The savage beasts kill one teammate and chase the others into a seemingly-deserted mansion. Alpha Team's remaining members — team leader Albert Wesker, weapons specialist Barry Burton, Chris Redfield, and Jill Valentine — decide to explore the mansion in an attempt to call for help. The group separates to investigate the situation regardless of character choice — and soon after they split up, the shit really hits the fan.

The mansion has numerous death traps scattered throughout its many rooms, but they don't present nearly the same kind of omnipresent threat as the bio-engineered killing machines shambling down the mansion's hallways and hungering for human flesh. As Chris and Jill contend with their own limited resources and explore the mansion for both surviving Bravo Team members and a way out of their hellish situation, they stumble onto secrets hidden away by pharmaceutical corporation Umbrella and its leader, Wesker.

Players control either Chris or Jill, and their choice determines which characters will help them during gameplay: Chris will run into surviving Bravo Team medic Rebecca Chambers in his story, while Alpha Team's Barry will accompany Jill. To heighten the terror, the game limits how much ammunition and how many healing items players will find during the game; on top of that, players can only carry a limited amount of items at a time. Those limitations turn item management and knowing when to fight or flee into skills essential for finishing the game.

In true Capcom fashion, the original Resident Evil received numerous re-releases after its original release. In 1997, the Sega Saturn and PC both received ports of the original game (both versions had exclusive new content), while the PS1 received a revised edition titled Resident Evil: Director's Cut (which added a new difficulty setting with different item and enemy placements and came packaged with a playable demo of Resident Evil 2). Capcom released a third edition for the PS1 in 1998 (Resident Evil: Director's Cut: Dual Shock Edition) that added vibration and analog support for the DualShock controller as well as a different soundtrack. The Nintendo DS received its own version of the game — Resident Evil: Deadly Silence — in 2006; this version added a ReBirth difficulty setting, numerous touch screen puzzles, and multiplayer game modes.

In 2002, Capcom produced a completely revamped version for the Nintendo GameCube in an effort to bring the main series to Nintendo's new home console. This new version — known amongst franchise fans as the REmake — featured revamped character models set against full-motion backgrounds, CGI cutscenes (which replaced the full-motion cutscenes from the original), a brand new soundtrack, wholly redone voice acting, updated play mechanics, and storyline revisions which bring it in line with the sequels released up to that date. Capcom has kept REmake a Nintendo exclusive since its initial release, as its only re-release is a Wii port from 2008. Resident Evil 0 — also released in 2002 for the GameCube — serves as a prequel to REmake.


Resident Evil (and its various re-releases) contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Jill, Alpha Team's B & A specialist and a Master of Unlocking, stated in some material to be a former member of the Delta Force.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sort of. Chris canonically has brown hair, but the actor who plays him in the original game's live-action sequences is a redhead.
  • Always Night: The game begins sometime in the evening and finishes at dawn.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie
    • In both Resident Evil: Director's Cut and the GameCube version, Forest Speyer comes back from the dead after being pecked to death by T-Virus infected crows.
    • A zombified Wesker appears as an enemy in the Saturn version's Battle Mode.
    • Taken literally with the letter to Ada Wong from John, who was turning into a zombie.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: After completing the game by saving both of your partners, you can restart the mission with the closet key in your inventory, allowing your character to change into casual clothing. Later versions of the game feature other sets of alternate outfits as well.
    • The PC version featured different casual clothes for Jill and Chris in addition to the ones that were in the PS1.
    • The Saturn version has a different set of alternate outfits that are just redesigned versions of the default S.T.A.R.S. uniforms.
    • The Director's Cut version has the same outfits from the original release, plus new default outfits (not just for Chris and Jill, but also Rebecca) for the Arrange mode.
    • The DS version has a ninja outfit for Chris, a policewoman costume (complete with sexy miniskirt) for Jill and a cheerleader suit for Rebecca.
    • The GameCube version has an entirely new set of alternate costumes, including Jill's tube top and miniskirt ensemble from Resident Evil 3 and Chris' new S.T.A.R.S. uniform from Code: Veronica.
  • Anime Theme Song: The original Japanese PS1 version had two. One was an opening theme titled "Kouri no Manazashi", meaning "Icy Gaze" and an ending theme titled "Yume De Owarasenai", translated to "I Won't Let This End as a Dream". Other versions, including the Japanese re-releases (such as both Director's Cuts and the Saturn port) use the instrumental "Still Dawn" instead. Both Shinji Mikami and Hideki Kamiya admitted that the songs were only included in the Japanese version due to a contract Capcom had with a record company. The developers were actually opposed to their inclusion.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Tons of these are scattered around to provide backstory, clues, and general atmosphere. Also, the saving mechanism consists of using ribbons on a typewriter, technically making an apocalyptic log of the player's exploits. 4// Itchy. Tasty.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • The Web Spinners are infected spiders that have grown to the size of a pony, and there's an alpha spider, the Black Tiger, that's about two or three times their size. Possibly justified, at least in the Black Tiger's case, as Umbrella was trying to create a bio-organic weapon out of them, as with Neptune (a giant shark).
    • This does not explain Yawn, an infected snake that's grown to about the length of a bus.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Flamethrower that Chris can get is indeed awesome, but it burns through all of its fuel very quickly. It is really only useful in one boss fight and even then you have to get right up to the boss and risk getting hurt, and there are no refills for the fuel.
  • Badass: All of the main characters. Greatly supported by this live action cast intro sequence.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: While playing as Jill, the very first zombie the player encounters can be killed while still in the hallway, but he will always be revived and follow Jill into the dining room for Barry to kill. In the GC version, after the he is killed by Barry, the zombie will get back up and return to the hallway, where he will still be walking or lying dead depending on whether Jill killed him earlier or not.
  • Big Bad: More directly in this game, Wesker.
  • Bigger Bad: The Umbrella Corporation who is responsible for unleashing the various abominations.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The mansion could be considered a more "mundane" version of this. No ghosts, just zombies and some other critters.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The first casualty of Bravo Team found by the player is Kenneth J. Sullivan, the only black member of S.T.A.R.S. However, Joseph Frost is the first character to be killed on-screen and before that, Alpha Team finds the disembodied hand/mutilated corpse of Bravo Team's pilot (implied to be Edward Dewey in the PS1 version, but later explicitly shown to be a different character named Kevin Dooley in the GC version).
    • If put in canonical order, the deaths are: Kevin Dooley, Edward Dewey (as shown in Resident Evil 0), Joseph Frost from Alpha Team, Kenneth J. Sullivan, Richard Aiken, and Enrico Marini (Alpha Team's helicopter pilot, Brad, gets killed off in Resident Evil 3). According to supplementary materials, the gunshot heard in the first in-game cutscene was shot by Kenneth, so by this, the black dude died fourth.
  • Bland-Name Product: While the original PS1 version used real brand names for the firearms used by the player (Beretta, Remington and the Colt Python), the GC version changed them to generic names instead (the Colt Python in particular became the Silver Serpent).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The original PlayStation version is notorious for its bad translation and Z-grade acting (both, in the live action FMV and in the actual game's voice acting). Subsequent games, and the GameCube version, toned this down, mainly due to better budgets. Some lines actually become iconic and were kept as continuity nods.
    • What's more ironic about this is that apparently they didn't have someone on-staff for the original game to provide a proper translation. They just wrote the dialogue in Japanese and translated it into English as best as they could. Adding to the irony was that the game used English voice actors throughout the game and yet the voice actors read from a script that obviously had improper English.
  • Body Horror: The zombies, the B.O.W.s, and Lisa Trevor from the REmake.
  • Bold Inflation:
    • Barry is particularly prone to this.
    • Even Wesker gets a moment of this earlier on, where he seems to be channelling Barry:
    Wesker: STOP IT! Don't OPEN that DOOR!
  • Boring, but Practical: With the Handgun in the REmake, it can actually be better to aim downwards at the knees of zombies when shooting them than at their heads. The chance to blow out a kneecap seems to be slightly better than getting a headshot, and (somehow) this also instantly kills them and prevents Crimson Head transformation.
  • Bowdlerize: The intro cutscene was heavily censored and altered by taking out scenes with blood in the Western releases. The PC version, some PAL releases of Director's Cut, and some copies of the North American Saturn version contained the original FMV. Notably, Chris' intro and ending were altered which originally has him lighting a cigarette.
    • There's also a brief snippet of the first game's zombie dropping Kenneth's severed head when Chris/Jill finds him. This is cut from the international releases.
    • Another, smaller edit was to make severed heads and limbs instantly vanish on hitting the ground. Originally, they were to remain visible (this leads to a much scarier effect when a Hunter beheads the player and you can clearly see it holding its newly-acquired trophy). This was even taken out of the original Japanese retail version, so only the Japanese demo version and the PC edition left this detail in.
  • Broad Strokes: How this game's events are taken by the rest of the series. Canonically, Jill, Chris, Barry, Brad and Rebecca all survived, but it's impossible to get this outcome while playing the game since Barry never makes it to the mansion in Chris' scenario (leaving his fate ambiguous), while Rebecca is completely absent in Jill's. The novelization actually does its best to try and reconcile all of the members of S.T.A.R.S. being in the mansion at once.
    • Even the revised ending in Jill's scenario from the GC version, where Wesker survives and escapes isn't consistent with the sequels, since Wesker doesn't get gored on the Tyrant's claw, ergo failing to explain Wesker's revival, his infection with the prototype virus, and especially his future vendetta against Chris (but not against Jill and Barry).
  • But Thou Must: Attempting to leave the mansion from the front door will just invite in a zombie dog. The PS1 version just shows an FMV scene where the dog stick its head into the door and the player character hurriedly closing it. In the GC version, the dog manages to invite itself in. After disposing of the dog, the player character will refuse to open the door from that point on.
  • Captain Obvious: "It's a weapon. It's really powerful - especially against living things!" Why, thank you for that very insightful observation, Mr. Burton, but that's sort of the definition of a weapon. If it was for non-living things, it'd be called a tool. Although, Barry probably meant that the acid rounds would be more effective against Yawn and the Hunters rather than the undead (as in "non-living") zombies and dogs.
  • Clown-Car Grave: Zombies will sometimes pop up in rooms after you have already cleared that room and even any surrounding rooms. Where are they all coming from?! Yes, they can open doors in the REmake (well, a few can in the PS1 version), but there are still instances where Chris/Jill will come from a completely zombie free area, and then have a zombie come into the room from right behind them! There are also instances of Clown Car Hunters.
  • Console Cameo: In the REmake, the computer terminals for the MO Disks are GameCubes. This was retained in the Wii version.
  • The Danza: Subverted with Barry's original FMV/voice actor, Barry Gjerde; the actor's real name is Oddbjorn Egil Gerde.
  • Descending Ceiling: The origin of the immortal "Jill Sandwich" quote. Jill can grab the shotgun and escape with Barry's help, whereas Chris (who has no backup up to this point) will have to replace the shotgun with a replica, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style.
  • Difficulty By Region: The Japanese version of the original game has an auto-aiming function, more ink ribbons, and more ammo available. The overseas versions were made harder so that less players could complete it in a single rental.
  • Disc One Nuke: Using the Grenade Launcher glitch in the GC version can make the game very easy.
  • Distressed Damsel: Rebecca, a new recruit to Bravo Team, who is almost completely helpless and even has a scripted event where she gets killed off by a Hunter if you don't arrive in time. This is slightly rectified in the GC version.
  • Doomed by Canon: The GC version allows the player to save Richard by delivering the serum on time, but this conflicts with the fact that all the Bravo Team members (except for Rebecca) died during the Mansion Incident. Because of this, the game simply kills off Richard at a later point.
  • Drone of Dread: The REmake's soundtrack has a number of these, such as "Lost in Darkness" (second floor), "Narrow and Close" (basement), "The Encounter" (Lisa's cabin), "Ivy's Domain" (guest house), and "Rush of Horror" (second floor revisited). That last example is especially creepy with its use of near-infrasound low frequency drones. Also present to a lesser extent in the original, such as in the revisited mansion and the underground areas.
  • Enter Solution Here
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The live action opening and ending sequences in the original PlayStation version. They were redone entirely in CGI in the GameCube version in order to bring it in line with the rest of the series.
    • This is also the only game in the series where there are no automatic weaponsnote  or weapon upgrades, although given the setting, it wouldn't make much sense. This game also lacks the "near-death" animations (i.e limping) that appears in some form in every other game, had very limited ammo (again, sensible for the setting), and oddly enough, it probably has the most enemies that can inflict poison on you (and it's still not a lot).
    • The game also lacks a proper physics system for pushing zombies off you when they bite you. You shove them away, but they slightly stagger back and can potentially latch onto you yet again. It wasn't until Resident Evil 2 that pushing zombies can knock them back quite far, onto the floor, or even get shoved into other zombies and make them stagger at the same time.
    • The "check" function for items allows you to examine the item as a 3D model with some flavor text. This feature was dropped in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, but was brought back in Code: Veronica and the REmake.
    • All weapons, except for the Rocket Launcher and the Bazooka/Grenade Launcher, are labeled with real life weapon names. The sequels gradually shifted gun names to be the standard generic names (Handgun, Shotgun, etc.) and then shifted towards the A.K.A.-47 trope to avoid licensing issues.
    • The game is also the only one to have difficulty based on characters; Jill=Normal (8 inventory slots, lockpicking desks and certain doors Chris needs a key for, and an exclusive weapon) and Chris=Hard (6 inventory slots and a flamethrower that has limited use and must be used to unlock some doors) Jill also has less health than Chris. The REmake keeps the original gameplay design of the characters as well. The rest of the series made all characters equal in performance and inventory space.
  • Easter Egg: In the REmake, beating Invisible Enemy mode in less than 5 hours will unlock a secret photo, a special message from Shinji Mikami and a gallery of unused costume designs.
  • End Game Results Screen: Resident Evil might had not invented this, but they sure helped popularized, with Jill's and Chris' campaigns each ending with a different results screens showing the player's completion time.
    • The Director's Cut added different results screens for Chris' and Jill's arranged campaigns.
    • In the GameCube version, the results screen shown changes depending on the outfit wore by Chris or Jill.
  • Elite Mooks: Hunters appear inside the mansion once you've explored the Residence, replacing many of the (much slower) zombies.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Chris is an ex-USAF Fighter Pilot and Jill is ex-Delta Force. S.T.A.R.S. itself is essentially the Raccoon Police Department's equivalent of a SWAT team.
  • Even Genetic Freaks Love Their Mamas: Lisa is still wandering through the catacombs, looking for her mother.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Whether you choose Chris or Jill, you still spend most of the game running around on your own. Whenever you find another member of your team, they're almost always either dead or dying (except for each other and Rebecca/Barry). You can end the game with the playable character being the only one that survives as well.
  • Everything's Worse With Bees: In the guardhouse/dormitory, one of the rooms is infested with mutated bees and you have to approach a beehive in order to get the key underneath it. Luckily, the bees barely do any damage with their sting and serve as nothing more than a minor annoyance.
  • Evil Is Hammy
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Famously, the first zombie encountered in-game.
  • Facial Horror: Lisa stitched together the faces of her assorted victims, wearing them like as a mask. In later playthroughs, you do get a brief peek at her real face.
  • Fake Difficulty: Though still demonic spiders in every appearance, Hunters are at their worst in the original version for one major reason: they are completely invincible when leaping at you for the entirety of their attack animation. Note this is, in fact, an example of malice on the developers' part and not a programming bug, because the Japanese demo does allow you to shoot Hunters out of the air in mid-leap, meaning the ability was deliberately taken out of the final version just to make things harder.
  • Fake Nationality: The actor who portrays Barry in the original FMV sequences (and in-game; he's the only actor to do both the FMVs and provided a in-game voice) is Norwegian, while the in-game voice for Jill (Una Kavanaugh) is Irish.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the original game, you could not save Richard. The only difference getting the serum to him on time makes is whether you get his radio or not. In the REmake, you can save him, but he suffers a plotline death shortly afterwards.
  • Faux Action Girl: Rebecca.
  • Final Death: Losing Rebecca in Chris' scenario or Barry in Jill's scenario is permanent.
    • If you leave Rebecca alone for too long after saving/not saving Richard, a Hunter kills her.
    • In the original game, splitting up with Barry in the sewers outside the lab (answer "no" twice to the two questions he asks) will result in him being killed by a Hunter as well (he'll live if you answer any other way).
    • In the REmake, if you don't give Barry back his gun during the Lisa fight, she'll knock him off the platform and into the abyss. Even if you do give him his gun back, it's still possible for him to be knocked off the platform and killed if Lisa decides that he's more worth going after than you (which isn't often, but it can happen). Interestingly, the same thing can also happen to Wesker during this boss fight if you are playing Chris's scenario, but unlike Barry, he still shows up later in the laboratory anyway.
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: In the REmake, zombies have a chance of turning into Crimson Heads after dying and leaving their corpses behind. The best way to make sure they don't is carrying around a flask of kerosene and a lighter to burn bodies. However, your kerosene is limited. If you're willing to use the ammo for it, you can also use the flame rounds in Jill's Grenade Launcher to kill a zombie instantly with fire and prevent it from becoming a Crimson Head at the same time.
  • Foreshadowing
    • Chris' and Jill's S.T.A.R.S. membership cards at the character select screen have Brian Irons' (the police chief from Resident Evil 2) signature on them.
    • A note left for Ada Wong can be found in both versions, but in the original game, the password to unlock the laboratories is MOLE.
    • The REmake adds a file that mentions Alexia Ashford and the G-Virus.
  • Game-Favored Gender: Played straight to a degree in regard to Jill's scenario. Her only major flaws are the fact that she runs slower than Chris and can take fewer hits. Some re-releases (such as the PC version giving both Chris and Jill automatic weapons) and the R Emake tones down the discrepancy. Her advantages, on the other hand, include:
    • Eight item slots; Chris has six.
    • A lockpick as her personal item, which allows her to bypass a few doors and access to any locked drawer. Chris needs to find small keys for these, which is a hassle with his smaller inventory space.
    • Starting off right away with her gun; Chris loses his, and he has to find the zombie eating Kenneth and report it back first (Jill's gun will be on the floor for him to take).
    • Can get the grenade launcher. This is probably her biggest advantage.
    • If you take her to get the shotgun right after finding the first zombie, she doesn't have to detour and find the fake shotgun first (the shotgun weighs down a ceiling trap); Barry will rescue her.
    • She can avoid directly fighting Plant 42 with Barry's help; depending on your actions, Barry will also instantly come to her rescue if Yawn poisons her (although she can also be left to find the serum on her own).
    • Barry himself is far less prone to danger than Rebecca is. The only time he falls into trouble is if you (optionally) split up with him in the sewers (original game)/don't give him his gun back when fighting Lisa Trevor (R Emake)
    • On a meta level, in the original game, if you feel squeamish about visiting the first zombie, you can try to leave the dining hall, and the zombie will come in for Barry to kill. Chris will always have to see the zombie and either fight or run from it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Black Tiger. A giant Australian funnelweb spider.
  • Giant Spider: They make their first appearance in the Watchhouse then take up residence when you return to the mansion. The Director's Cut had a surprise in that it added more, and the REmake kept the huntsman\tarantula\wolf design for the normal variety and reskinned the Black Tiger into the highly venomous and aggressive funnelweb.
  • Gosh Hornet: In one segment, your character must get an important item that somehow wound up under a giant hornet's nest. In the REmake, you have to kill the nest with insecticide first.
  • Grenade Launcher: Jill gets one from Forest's corpse.
  • Guide Dang It
    • Knowing exactly when to fire the rocket at the second Tyrant boss fight.
    • When you encounter a fountain with hollows on its east and west sides that contain carvings of an eagle and wolf respectively. By now, you've already obtained the Last Book Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 but have no clue what to do with them. It turns out that you have to examine them in the inventory screen and rotate it at the right angle to open them, revealing the needed medals.
    • The multiple endings also count towards this. Depending on your actions and where you explore, you could have your support character killed off either early in the game or near the end and it's not always easy to tell what actions lead to which scenario. For example, the trap that triggers when you take the shotgun requires a broken shotgun in the display case so that it holds down the levers to stop the trap. However, when playing as Jill, it's possible to get the shotgun without needing the broken shotgun in its place due to a scene where both doors in the trap room are locked and Barry comes in time to save Jill. To even see this scene, after Jill and Barry split in the main hall, you have to go directly to the east side of the mansion and get the shotgun. If you go somewhere else first and meet Barry in a different spot, then this scene doesn't trigger.
  • Hand Wave: Chris, Jill, Barry and Rebecca all survive the Mansion Incident. This is 100% accepted canon in the sequels. However, in every iteration of RE1 available (the original, the Director's Cut, REmake, Deadly Silence and the RE1 scenarios of The Umbrella Chronicles), it is impossible to have Barry and Rebecca in the scenario simultaneously, and Capcom has never offered a concrete explanation for what happened in their surviving aside from, "They just did." A pachislot adaptation of the game exist that finally features all four of them together at least.
    • Funnily enough, having Rebecca die/disappear during the Mansion Incident would not have changed the following story at all, because she was never mentioned again post-RE2 (Barry cameos at the end of Resident Evil 3 and is mentioned in that game's epilogue).
    • A comic book adaptation of the game took a mind screw approach. During a recap with all four S.T.A.R.S. members present, Chris states that he found Jill in a cell in the Umbrella lab. When Jill tries to correct him, he cuts her off.
  • Harder Than Hard: REmake's Real Survival mode. Auto-aim is disabled, and item boxes are no longer linked which means if you leave something in one box, you have to trek all the way back to said box to retrieve it. This is especially painful with Chris as he can only hold six items at a time, so planning far ahead what and what not to take is absolutely critical. Oh, and the difficulty is also locked on Hard, which means much less ammo and health pickups all-around. Good luck.
    • Invisible Enemy mode also qualifies. You'd better have memorized the positions of every enemy in the game, as they're now completely invisible (except when hitting you) and auto-aim is also disabled. One saving grace is that unlike the mode above, item boxes are still linked and you can choose your difficulty.
    • To a lesser extent, One Dangerous Zombie. A zombified Forest chases after you at a lot of set points, can match your running speed, and the bandolier of grenades he's wearing means shoot him once and they go boom and kill you too.
  • Hidden Supplies: The save points in the game are mostly hidden, out-of-the-way places with good lighting and calming music where your supplies are stashed. After you've been battling zombies for a while, finding a safe place to relax can be an incredible relief.
  • His Name Is...: Enrico is shot by an unseen assailant (Wesker) moments after he reveals there's a mole.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Chris is much larger than Rebecca and Barry is much larger than Jill.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In the original game, selecting your character affects the game's difficulty. Jill can carry more items (eight instead of six), has an exclusive weapon (the grenade launcher), earlier access to some rooms thanks to the lockpick and can completely skip at least one boss battle thanks to Barry. On the other hand, Chris can sustain more damage than Jill and has Rebecca around to heal him, but Jill's advantages outnumbers Chris'. The difficulty of each character are actually shown in the Japanese version from the get go (Jill = Easy, Chris = Hard), but they're not as obvious in the overseas versions unless you've played the game before. A much more traditional example occurs in the GC version, in which the game's Easy and Normal modes are labelled "Hiking" and "Mountain Climbing" respectively when you start a new game for the first time.
  • Implacable Man: Lisa and Forest in New Game+ mode in the REmake. The latter is particularly irritating as attempting to defend yourself against him will trigger an instant Game Over.
  • Infinity Minus One Gun: Jill's Grenade Launcher is this. You can find a good amount of ammo for it (assuming you only use it on boss monsters or tough enemies like the Hunters) and you'll probably be using the weapon far more often than the Magnum due to ammo for it being very scarce. Most people save the Magnum for the final boss. For Chris, most people get more milage out of the Shotgun (since the Grenade Launcher isn't available to him) while still saving the Magnum for the bigger nasties.
  • Infinity Plus One Gun: The Rocket Launcher. It's needed to kill the Final Boss and beating the game within 3 hours or less lets you start a new game with the weapon plus infinite ammo for it. Most enemies will die in a single hit because rockets are just that damn powerful and explosive.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: One of the doors in the REmake is so rickety that the knob falls off if you go through too many times, but the combat boot wearing protagonists will never kick it in. It's a blatant game lengthener. In Real Survival mode, that doorknob never breaks, though.
    • Or, knowing that it's about to happen, the character will never do anything so bold as leave the door open to allow unrestricted access, considering the fact that it's a very useful shortcut.
  • It's The Only Way To Be Sure: The laboratory has a self-destruct device, though whether it is intended to prevent the virus from spreading or to destroy the evidence is uncertain.
  • Kill It with Fire: In the REmake, after you kill a zombie, unless you used a flame round with the grenade launcher or managed to get a headshot you need to use a flask of kerosene and a lighter to burn the corpse (you can also try blowing its knees off). Otherwise it will remain where you dropped it until it transforms into a Crimson Head.
  • King Mook: Crimson Head Prototype 1 in the GC version, who is the only Crimson Head needed to be killed to complete the game.
    • Forest (a.k.a. the One Dangerous Zombie) can match the main character in running speed, hits harder, and intentionally pops up at the least opportune times. He is also covered in grenades and if you shoot him, it is an instant Game Over.
  • Large Ham:
    • Barry 'WHAT IS THIS!' Burton.
    • Wesker in all versions.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Wesker is a mole working for Umbrella. It is sort of hard to avoid knowing this now, especially since he is the Big Bad of Resident Evil 5, and appears in a villainous role is Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Three of the S.T.A.R.S. make it to the mansion together then promptly decide to split up. Seems like a bonehead move until you remember that it was Wesker's order and he's working against the others.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: There literally is a piano in the Spencer Mansion, and Jill and Rebecca use it to melodically play Moonlight Sonata.
  • Lost Forever: In the REmake, once the self-destruct in the laboratory is triggered (only if Barry or Rebecca are alive), a Point of No Return is created due to the entry elevator being disabled which prevents you from backtracking to the mansion and other areas. If you missed the MO Disk in the tiger statue and you saved your game at this point, then rescuing your partner becomes impossible. In Real Survival mode, all items in item boxes not in the laboratory also become inaccessible when the self destruct is triggered.
  • Made of Explodium: The REmake has an unlockable mode where a certain zombie has a ton of explosives strapped to his body and one bullet to him will instantly kill you and destroy half the mansion.
  • Made of Iron: The most basic attacks involve zombies trying to chew out Chris or Jill's throat, and it still takes three to five hits to kill them.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Mostly in a platonic sense, but there are a few deathtraps, ridiculous puzzles and secret passages scattered around.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Plant 42 was contaminated and mutated when the Neptune tank was broken, flooding one lab with T-Virus contaminated water. It managed to devour several researchers in the confusion before people figured out what was going on. Fortunately, it's immobile. Unfortunately, it covers most of the Residence and its main bulb takes up most of a room.
  • Master of Unlocking: Jill, given by Barry.
  • The Medic: Rebecca.
  • Minigame
    • The Saturn port was the first title in the series to feature a minigame in the form of Battle Game, later resurrected and refined in RE2 and Code: Veronica. Said minigame featured a few unique enemies such as a zombified Wesker and a golden Tyrant.
    • The DS version added "Master of Knifing" mode and two multiplayer minigames. This is notable because this is the only time in the series where the other Bravo Team members besides Rebecca are playable characters.
  • The Mole: Wesker, who turns out to be an Umbrella employee leading the S.T.A.R.S. team to destruction to test the B.O.W.s.
  • Multiple Endings: There are seven different outcomes, albeit all of them end with the players escaping via helicopter:
    • The best two endings has the chosen player (Chris or Jill) save both their partner (Barry for Jill, Rebecca for Chris) and the other protagonist (the one who was not chosen spends most of the game in a prison cell), and the mansion is destroyed.
    • The second endings have either Chris or Jill save only their partners (not the other protagonist), and the mansion is destroyed.
    • The third ending (the only one that's the same for either scenario) has only Chris and Jill surviving and not saving their partners, and the mansion remains intact.
    • The worst endings have only the chosen player character survive, and the mansion remains intact.
    • For the Dual Shock Edition of the game, the ending music is triumphant when the mansion is destroyed, and tragic when it's intact. It seems weird having that music play when Jill realizes that Chris was in that mansion that was recently blown up.
    • In the REmake, the player's partner will assist the protagonist during the final battle with the Tyrant. It's possible for the partner to die during this battle, resulting in an alternate ending where the mansion will blow up and only Chris and/or Jill escape without Barry or Rebecca.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The original was released in 1996, and takes place in 1998. By the time the sequel (which takes place two months later) came along, it was 1998, so the whole near-future angle was dropped from the series (at least until Resident Evil 6).
  • Nitro Express: The REmake has you refuel the laboratory's power generator, which requires you to walk slowly while carrying the fuel to avoid exploding.
  • No Body Left Behind: Played straight, with the exception of regular zombies in the REmake, whose corpses remain unless you destroy their heads or use fire to burn them; they later revive, turning into Crimson Heads, heavily bleeding zombies with nasty claws and gaseous breath. You have limited amounts of fuel with which to burn them, too. This served to heighten the tension in the game by making it unsafe to backtrack unless you meticulously burned every zombie you could.
  • One-Hit Kill: In the original game, Hunters can decapitate you by simply swatting at your head. The Hunters in the GC version are notably weaker, but can still slit your throat (resulting in game over) if they get close.
  • Personality Blood Types: The intro for the original includes small character bios, including blood types. Interestingly, most of the villains in the series, Wesker included, have Type O blood.note 
  • Personal Space Invader: The zombies grapple you and try to chew you. In the REmake, you're even able to find items that allow you to avoid taking damage by instead ramming a small knife in their head, tazing them, or ramming a flashbang grenade into their mouth which promptly blows their head up due to them biting it Chris pulling the ring.
  • Plotline Death: Richard is doomed to die. In the original game, he would die whether you gave him the serum or not and doing so or not only decided if you'd get his radio or not. In the REmake, if you give him the serum, he'll survive, but consequently get himself eaten by either Yawn (in Jill's scenario) or Neptune (in Chris's scenario). However, if he dies in this way, he leaves you his assault shotgun, which is a much better weapon then the ordinary shotgun you found.
  • Raising the Steaks: The zombified dogs are a series mainstay. Justified in that they were one of the experimental lines of B.O.W. being created in the mansion.
  • Respawning Enemies: The Chimera. If the player kills one, another one will automatically pop out of a vent. There is only one Chimera that the player needs to kill in order to beat the game.
  • Reviving Enemy: In the GameCube remake, zombies that aren't completly destroyed via decapitation or Kill It with Fire come back as Crimson Heads after a while (making simply avoiding them a better option sometimes).
    • Many zombies also revive a few seconds after you "kill" them the first time.
  • Say My Name: REBECCAAAAAAA!
  • See You in Hell: Wesker doesn't take kindly to getting winged by Barry's revolver.
    Wesker (REmake): Jill and Barry, together...in hell!
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The mansion is rigged to explode in order to either prevent a major biohazard outbreak or destroy evidence. Naturally, it gets triggered at the game's end.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: In the REmake, Richard as he about to get gulped down by Yawn.
    • The first appearance of the Hunter in both versions.
  • Shout-Out: See here.
  • Skippable Boss
    • In both scenarios, you can skip the first fight with Yawn by madly running around him and getting the item you need. He'll still be there until his second appearance, though.
    • In Jill's scenario, you can skip the Plant 42 boss fight under certain conditions. When you enter its room after poisoning it, Barry will burst in and destroy it with a flamethrower.
    • When it comes to the fight against the Black Tiger, you can skip the fight by burning the cobwebs blocking the doors with Chris' flamethrower or using Jill's flame rounds in her bazooka/grenade launcher, and then leaving since there's nothing important in the boss room. If you don't have ammo for either of those weapons, you can try to use the knife, but it will take longer and you'll leave yourself open to the Black Tiger's attack.
  • Smoking Is Cool: In the original PlayStation version, Chris smokes a cigarette during the uncensored opening cutscene. A haphazard attempt at censoring this in other versions merely overlays footage of Chris from the intro over a still of Chris jsut standing there.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The game is notorious for its bizarre puzzles, which often require several components scattered all over the mansion. An handwave is offered by explaining that the owner was an almost otaku-like devotee of old spy and horror movies. He was wealthy enough to hire an indiscriminating architect to design the place to live up to his dreams.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Japanese PS1 version features an alternate ending credits in which a montage of character deaths are shown while a triumphant J-Rock song is played.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Sweet Home. This ad even used some music from Sweet Home.
  • The Starscream: Wesker is an inversion. Wesker is the leader of the entire S.T.A.R.S. unit, and Enrico is the second in command to Wesker. Wesker ends up gunning down Enrico down in cold blood while the latter is distracted. From behind, no less.
  • Sleep Cute: Any of the endings where Jill and Chris survive together has Jill sleeping on Chris' shoulder.
  • Suicide Attack: The One Dangerous Zombie (i.e. Forest). Upon unlocking him, Forest chases you around the mansion while wearing a grenade-covered vest.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Wesker. Apparently simply for rule of cool or to establish his badass credentials.
  • Super Soldiers: The whole point of the Tyrant and, indeed, the B.O.W. program in general.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The subtitle of the DS version (Deadly Silence).
  • Survival Horror: Originator of the term. Also popularized the genre.
  • Taking the Bullet: Poor Richard. Even if you manage to cure him, he ends up shielding Jill from a giant snake or shielding Chris from a giant shark, getting devoured in the process. Rebecca does not take it well.
  • Tentacle Rope: In the REmake, Plant 42 uses these to pull the player into its bulb-chamber from the flooded ring even if they used the V-Jolt on it (in the previous editions, the V-Jolt would automatically killed Plant 42).
  • Threatening Shark: The Neptunes, mutated great white sharks.
  • Tortured Monster: Lisa is a twisted mockery of a woman who's been trapped in a constantly-mutating, undying body for thirty years, and was driven insane by her ordeal a long time ago.
  • Tragic Monster: The REmake's Lisa.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: If you examine the hole in one of the giant snake rooms right after you've killed it, Barry will walk into the room, possibly walk through the giant snake's dissolving corpse, and ask "Jill, have you found anything interesting?"
  • Updated Re-release: Director's Cut and Dual Shock Edition on PlayStation and Deadly Silence on DS. Then there's the GameCube remake, which is an entire remake with all-new graphics and play mechanics. The GC version was later released for the Wii and there's also ports of the PS original for the Saturn and Windows PC that added new content too.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: It's possible to get Rebecca killed, but it involves ignoring her for over 10 minutes, much longer than most players will. A much easier way is to exit the room once you find her without killing the Hunter, which will immediately kill her the moment you leave.
    • In the REmake, you can refuse to give Barry his revolver back, which gets him killed by Lisa. However, it is highly recommended to not do so in a speed run as you will not have to fight the final boss (saving a few minutes), and his magnum is the second-most powerful weapon in the game capable of killing almost anything with one shot, including the Tyrant (again, saving a minute or two).
  • With This Herring: You start out with a loaded pistol, maybe one extra clip of ammo, and a knife. And that's just for Jill. Chris doesn't even start out with a gun at first despite having one in the intro. Justified in that you're a cop who wasn't expecting to be locked into a house crawling with bio-engineered horrors and you just ran a marathon to escape a pack of killer zombie dogs, firing wildly at them in an effort to avoid being eaten.
  • What Happened To Mommy: Lisa.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Rebecca is a supporting character for Chris's game and a main character for Resident Evil 0 yet hasn't been mentioned since, save for a report about what happened seen in Resident Evil 2.
    • She did get some expansion in The Umbrella Chronicles, but it's an interquel showing how she got from the Training Facility at the end of 0 to the library where Chris meets her in this game. She does appear in RE5's Mercenaries Reunion DLC, but that is non-canonical.
    • In Chris's game, Barry disappears soon after the opening and is never seen or heard from again. Wesker heavily implies that he's dead, but he is never brought up again by anyone.
  • Where the Hell Is Raccoon City: "Somewhere in Midwestern America"... except the high, mountainous terrain doesn't really match that region of the country. Fanon sometimes puts it in Pennsylvania or Colorado instead.
  • Worst Aid: When Rebecca offers to treat Chris's wounds in the REmake, the cutscene basically consists of her looking at Chris's sleeve, a brief blackout, and then her telling him he's all better now.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: When playing Chris, you can get a flamethrower to fight Black Tiger which you can then use to burn through the webbing holding the door closed. Jill has to settle for chopping it down with her knife or unloading on it with an Incendiary round.
  • You're Insane!: The REmake treats us to "Wesker, you've become senile!"
  • Zombie Gait: Played straight, including with the ability to occasionally make a Deadly Lunge. The REmake's Crimson Heads, however, avert it, being capable of running constantly and moving even faster then the player can.

Resident EvilIBM Personal ComputerResident Evil 2
Rayman 1995Sega SaturnRise of the Robots
Resident EvilUsefulNotes/The Fifth Generation of Console Video GamesResident Evil 2
    Franchise/Resident EvilResident Evil 2
Red Steel 2WiiResident Evil 0
Resident EvilVideo Games of the 1990sResident Evil 2
Resident EvilPlay StationResident Evil 2
Resident Evil 0Mature RatingResident Evil 2
Reign of FireNintendo Game CubeResident Evil 0
Rainbow IslandsNintendo DSRetro Game Challenge
Resident EvilSurvival HorrorResident Evil 2

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