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Video Game: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

The third game in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (also known as Biohazard 3: Last Escape), first released for the PlayStation in 1999. Capcom originally intended to make a Gaiden Game within a short development cycle using the Resident Evil 2 engine, but revamped the project into a numbered sequel when the scale of the next numbered game in the series (which eventually became Devil May Cry) proved too ambitious for the current generation of consoles. Capcom then decided to cap off the PS1 series as a trilogy. Like its predecessor, Nemesis was eventually ported to the PC, Dreamcast, and Nintendo GameCube.

The story takes place within hours of Resident Evil 2, after the now-defunct Raccoon City has transformed into a true city of the dead. S.T.A.R.S. members Barry Burton, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers have all resigned from the police and fled town, while Jill Valentine chooses to stay behind and help the survivors; as a result, she finds herself staring at Hell's gates when a firestorm erupts and conditions deteriorate.

Her mission is complicated by a new biohazard: Umbrella's newest Tyrant, codenamed "Nemesis", set loose for the sole purpose of eradicating any survivors of the Mansion Incident. Carlos Olivera, a hired gun for the company's "Biohazard Countermeasure Service", stumbles upon the last remaining S.T.A.R.S. officer and helps her out of a tight scrape with Nemesis. After regrouping with Carlos' squad, Jill and the hapless Umbrella mercs agree to bury the hatchet and escape before the U.S. Government deploys its last-ditch measure to contain the virus: a tactical nuclear strike.

Resident Evil 3 eschewed the multiple protagonist system from the previous two games by making Jill the only playable protagonist, but still featured multiple paths — including real-time selection scenes where the player must make a choice in time or suffer the consequences. Other new features include an ammo-creating tool, a dodging maneuver, and a quick turn move. RE3 also features the first iteration of the minigame titled The Mercenaries, which would become a mainstay in later installments of the franchise.


Resident Evil 3: Nemesis contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Carlos' mission sees him poking around Raccoon General, looking for something to stem the tide of Jill's virus. As chance would have it, the basement conceals an Umbrella laboratory where they keep T-Virus vaccines.
  • Action Girl: Jill seems to have gotten even better at surviving since the Mansion Incident, managing to survive outnumbered against tens of thousands of zombies.
  • Actionized Sequel: This was the first Resident Evil where a button press wasn't necessary to navigate stairs, plus Jill could craft her own ammunition using a kit in her inventory, and she had a dedicated dodging move. And of course, there's the fact that Nemesis could follow her from room to room.
  • All There in the Manual: A dedicated explanation of exactly what Nemesis is could only be found in the Wesker's Report mockumentary produced by Capcom, plus subsequent material like the Archive books. He's actually a combination of an Umbrella-developed parasite plus one of their factory-line Tyrant models, meaning he can be programmed with more sophisticated orders.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The most bonus outfits of the series to date. One of them being Jill's old RE1 uniform and another being a Regina cosplay.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The portable railgun. Sounds cool, right? Wrong. The U.S. Army had to set up a room for this and lost many people luring Tyrants in front of the railgun to destroy. It takes minutes for it to charge and a while to fire. And by portable, we mean "would need a forklift to transport".
    • The Mine Thrower, while a cool weapon and powerful to boot, is practically ineffective. Not only does the weapon only fire the mines in a straight line (making it possible to miss), the mines don't explode until some time has passed. There's also barely any ammo for the weapon to begin with. However, if you've gotten the infinite ammo case from Nemesis and combine it with the Mine Thrower (or bought the Infinite Ammo upgrade from Mercenaries mode), the mines not only get more powerful, but they explode on contact, pierce through enemies, and have homing capabilities.
  • Badass Normal: Both of the main characters, and the surviving members of the U.B.C.S. How many times should Nicholai have died, but didn't?
    • What makes Nicholai such a great example is that he is probably the most normal villain in the entire series. No cross-dressing, opera singing, elaborate robes, kooky traps or magical viruses. He is just a man who wants to escape the city and get paid.
  • Bait and Switch Monster: A lone zombie walks out from behind the hospital counter. Carlos shrugs at it. Then the zombie's head gets decapitated, and in jumps a Hunter. Suffice to say, many players did ruin their underpants at that moment.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Carlos gets a minor one in an optional cutscene should you jump off a bridge instead of shoving Nemesis off. Jill gets surrounded by zombies, in waist-deep sewage water, and then Carlos blows them all to hell without hitting Jill.
    • If you blew up Nicholai and his helicopter, Barry Burton shows up at the end with no warning to airlift you to safety before Raccoon City is bombed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Could be seen as a Downer Ending as well considering that Jill, Carlos, and Barry escape Raccoon City while the rest of the citizens perish in a mushroom cloud, Umbrella would go on to avoid being blame for the incident for years to come until Albert Wesker testified against the company in court with the information he acquired about them, and even then subsequent games have shown that all the worst creations of Umbrella except for Nemesis still exist.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • "He's after S.T.A.R.S. members! There's no escape!"
    • "It is not enough to make the device to work."
    • "They're coming! Fire! Fire! Stick together!"
    • "A dried pumpkins is placed here."
    • The official spelling of Nicholai's last name, "Ginoveaf", is actually a mistransliteration of the Russian surname "Zinoviev".
  • Body Horror: Nemesis.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Completing Operation Mad Jackal with Nicholai is definitely the hallmark of a master Resident Evil player, but if you're trying to unlock stuff, the cash rewards you get for doing it aren't much higher than using the easier Carlos or the much easier Mikhail.
  • Brick Joke: Not played for humor. The first actual survivor Jill meets in the warehouse rants about how he lost his daughter in the outbreak. The player later finds the corpses of a mercenary holding a girl, with a prompt describing how "he looks as if he was trying to protect someone's daughter" at the Clock Tower.
  • The Casanova: Carlos is a firm believer. "All the foxy ladies love the accent"... which he seems to lose every third line.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: Nemesis' final form, which is not only slow, but its ranged acid attack is fairly weak.
  • Clown-Car Grave
  • Combat Tentacles: Nemesis, particularly after its badass longcoat gets burned off. Actually, he's already had it from his first appearance in front of the police station, as poor Brad Vickers's face finds out the hard way; it just takes him a while to be able to extend it further from his hand.
  • Continuity Snarl: The police station has a few doors barricaded in order to prevent Jill from exploring areas that she doesn't need to visit. Funnily enough, most the barricaded doors were just locked electronically in RE2, meaning that there was no point having them barricaded in the first place. This is justified in that players may have wasted time trying to find a way to unlock these doors. So much for the Master of Unlocking...
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: No matter how badly he's beaten in the first six encounters, Nemesis won't die, and will show up good as new the next time. Jill can only kill him permanently the seventh and final time.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Many assets from RE2 are recycled here. Even Chief Irons (or more precisely his character model) appears as an Umbrella executive at the end of "Operation: Mad Jackal" whose face is obscured by shadows.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The way the shotguns, submachineguns, and assault rifles wielded by both the RPD and UBCS forces barely even faze the zombies in the opening cutscene would've been a real problem had it actually translate into the actual gameplay.
    • Cutscene Power to the Max: On the flip side, the zombies in the opening cinematic casually soak up bullets without even slowing down.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Carlos.
  • Difficulty By Region: The enemies have more strength and durability in the export versions.
  • Dummied Out: Tofu of The Tofu Survivor fame is technically in this game too, but he can't be accessed without a GameShark.
  • Early Game Hell: Let's just say that you will stockpile health, weapons and ammo as the game goes on even if your skill level is just average, and Nemesis can't catch up, but he does start off a mile ahead of you.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Mercenaries minigame makes its debut here, but the rules are a bit different from the later incarnation featured in RE4 and onward. The objective here is to go from the cable car in Uptown Raccoon City to the office at very beginning of the main campaign before time runs out. Killing enemies here merely serves as means to extend the time limit, rather being an objective itself, while additional ammo and recovery items can only be obtained by saving civilians.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing on easy starts Jill off with an assault rifle, an ink ribbon with unlimited use, and a box with 3 first aid sprays inside. However, you won't have access to the items Nemesis drops when you knock him out or some of the unlockable content.
  • End Game Results Screen: The result screen at the end varies depending on whether Jill and Carlos escape Raccoon City by themselves or with Barry's help.
  • Exploding Barrels: The red barrels dotted throughout the game explode when shot at, which can help clear out a cluster of enemies or put the hurt on Nemesis. Naturally, being too close to the blast yourself can severely injure you even outright kill you. There are also bombs planted on some walls that function the same way as the barrel.
  • Genre Savvy: Jill tries to make it a point to stick to back alleys and other less populated areas in her scramble out of the city, and whenever she does get surrounded by a large group of zombies, she hightails it via cutscene rather than risk taking them on.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Jill delivers a painful slap to Carlos when he nearly gives up after reaching the Clock Tower.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Nemesis's specific origins have never been explained in any canon medium, which is weird because just about every other creature Umbrella has ever thrown at you has some kind of documentation or a plot point revealing what it used to be or how it was created. The closest one there is to an explanation is that it's a Tyrant imbued with an NE-T parasite developed by Umbrella's French division. Interestingly, Nemesis does get an origin story in the related film series.
    • A giant worm called the Grave Digger shows up with very little foreshadowing and almost zero explanation. The closest thing there is is when an earthquake heralds its arrival and Nicholai shouts out "another mutant!" in response before running off.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Occurs when Brad Vickers is killed by Nemesis.
  • Handicapped Badass: Mikhail was pretty hurt, but he fought like he wasn't.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Playing on Hard gives you a chance at accessing items that Nemesis drops if you defeat him in one of his encounters. Items include boxes containing 3 First Aid Sprays, gun parts that can create a custom handgun and shotgun, rare ammo, and, should you go out of your way to defeat Nemesis every time he shows up, a box with infinite ammo that gives one of your guns infinite ammo for the remainder of the game. It's the only way to legitimately use infinite ammo outside of unlockables.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Mikhail against Nemesis by way of Taking You with Me.
  • High Voltage Death: After collecting an item from the power station needed to advance in the game, the player will then see a cutscene of a group of zombies trying to break in via the front gate. The player is then given two options, either escape through the back door or redirect power to the gate electrocuting the zombies and killing them.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The three Mercenaries in the Operation Mad Jackal minigame due to their respective loadout.
    • Mikhail is the easiest, since he wields a shotgun, a magnum revolver and a rocket launcher.
    • Carlos is moderately difficult, wielding a sub-machine gun and a custom handgun.
    • Nicholai is the hardest, since he wields only a standard handgun (which can use enhanced bullets, if he's lucky enough to find them) and a knife.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Brad's head, courtesy of one of Nemesis' combat tentacles.
  • Implacable Man: Nemesis. Even more so than his "cousin" Mr. X, he just will not stop.
  • Impossible Item Drop: There are seven encounters with Nemesis throughout the course of the game where you have the choice to either fight or evade him. If you opt to take him out on Hard Mode, he drops a special item case, which contains a different item based on how many times you've knocked him out over the course of that specific run through the game. The rewards include the parts for the Eagle 6.0 handgun, a scoped 9mm with a better chance of delivering a critical hit, and the M37 Western Custom lever-action shotgun, which fires faster than the standard Benelli and lets Jill do the one-handed flip-cock reload from Terminator 2. There is no other way to get either gun, although Carlos wields the Eagle in Operation Mad Jackal. Nemesis can also drop First Aid Boxes, which allow you to hold 3 First Aid Sprays in one item slot. The best reward is saved for last: an Infinite Ammo upgrade which can be combined with any one weapon. Incidentally, it's probably the one item drop that best fits this trope.
  • Interface Screw: The mandatory battle against Nemesis in the Clock Tower has him infect you with the T-Virus, causing your health indicator to show as such and can no longer display your actual physical condition. On top of this, Jill is always limping during the fight.
  • It's The Only Way To Be Sure: The United States government decides to obliterate Raccoon City with a nuclear missile to stop the infection.
  • Japan Doubling: Most people will notice that the streets of Raccoon City don't really seem terribly large and the layout is fairly wonky even for a Resident Evil game. It makes a lot more sense when you realize that the city's layout was most likely modeled after the layout of Japanese cities as opposed to American ones, American features notwithstanding.
  • Karma Houdini: Nicholai can survive the events of the game, depending on which path the player takes. The canon ending appears to be the one where he lives.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Due to the hazardous quality of its duties and its high death toll, the U.B.C.S. is comprised entirely of the most ruthless mercenaries and convicted war criminals from around the world, most of whom have been hired with the promise that Umbrella would get them out of whatever punishments they're facing. For example, Carlos was an anti-government guerrilla who was hired by Umbrella after his original team was slaughtered, and one file is written by a merc who falsely confessed to war crimes.
  • Let no Crisis Go to Waste: For a company that's sweating ice over being implicated with the T-Virus, Umbrella is going hog wild with its bioweaponry here. The U.B.C.S. is deployed into the city under the guise of assisting the police, but in truth, they have no intention of stopping the spread of the virus. Quite the contrary; the mercs are here to destroy evidence and gather samples from the bloodshed. Once the town is marked for destruction, the company sets loose more B.O.W.s into the city to see how they perform. Unsurprisingly, this little stunt didn't impress the Dow Jones.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Nemesis is always able to run faster than you. He gets faster. His last form doesn't run.
    • Most of his attacks, specifically his right hook, can be easily telegraphed and evaded without resorting to the dodge button (since he's using his right hand, just run past his left and his fist will miss you entirely). However, on occasion, he will suddenly hit you with a left hook without warning. His running attack is also a bit trickier to dodge.
  • Made of Iron: A minor case with Nemesis. Has an added healing factor to make up for it.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Although Jill just incidentally wears one.
  • Minigame: Operation Mad Jackal, otherwise known as the first iteration of The Mercenaries minigame, although this earlier version has more in common with the Extreme Battle mode from RE2 than the later incarnations featured in RE4 and onward. The objective is to reach the goal before time runs out. Killing enemies and rescuing hostages will increases will extend the time limit, and the latter also provides additional ammo (or healing items) for the player.
  • Mission Pack Sequel: The game was made on a modified version of the RE2 engine and even some of the areas from the Police Station are recycled.
  • More Dakka: The Minigun. It has infinite ammo and a rate of fire to take down anything in your path with ease.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Subverted in the main game with Mikhail. He's unquestionably a badass (fighting a swarm of zombies and winning while heavily injured bears that out nicely), but he's shown to be a very compassionate man who feels deeply guilty over the fact his men have all died and he tries his hardest to help the remaining survivors get out of the city, to the point of making a suicide attack on Nemesis to save Jill and Carlos. Played straight with Nicholai, who's a right cold-blooded bastard through and through.
    • Literally applies in Operation Mad Jackal, both are stronger than Carlos and Mikhail even has a better weapon loadout.
  • Noodle Incident: Later games established that the outbreak in Raccoon City started on the 22nd of September, a full six days before the start of RE 3. What Jill did during that period remains a mystery, although it could readily be assumed she held out in her apartment for that period of time.
  • No One Could Survive That: Nicholai is in the same room as a gas station explosion that levels a city block and consumes it in fire, but shows up later unscathed and offering no explanations.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: This game takes place both before and after RE2. The introductory level is set in Sept. 28, shortly before Leon and Claire arrive on the scene. Jill's ordeal continues after she is infected with the T-Virus by Nemesis and passes out, which puts her in critical condition for 6 days.
  • Nuke 'em: How the military decides to solve the problem. Though they never actually call it "nuclear".
  • Oddly Named Sequel: The only numbered entry in the series released with a subtitle, both in Japan and abroad, a result of the game originally designed as a sidestory.
  • One-Hit Kill: If Jill gets thrown to the ground by Nemesis and fails to get up before he grabs her again, the results aren't pretty.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Carlos is Hispanic, except when he isn't.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: It takes place during the same incident as in RE2, only from Jill's perspective.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Right before making Nemesis see stars:
  • Press X to Not Die: Not exactly, but certain points in the game prompt the player to choose between two options, they majorly involve deciding whether to fight Nemesis or flee. Or you can let the timer run out and gamble on a much more advantegous position.
  • Recurring Location: Jill end up traversing a sizable portion of the R.P.D. headquarters towards the beginning of the game.
  • Remixed Level: You'll find yourself backtracking through parts of the city (even to the very beginning of the game) and you might think these revisits aren't going to be as bad. It's probably worse than when you first ran through. Zombies and dogs will bust out of windows in previously cleared areas.
  • Redshirt: Nicholai/Carlos encounters a fellow U.B.C.S. operative (Murphy Seeker) who is about to become a zombie inside one of Umbrella's offices.
  • Redshirt Army: The R.P.D. officers and Umbrella mooks in the opening cinematic. By the time the game properly begins, 5 of the original 120 mercenaries are still standing; their numbers are slowly whittled until only Carlos remains.
  • Rule of Sexy: Why is Jill dressed like a streetwalker? Who cares, it's hot!
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Jill finds herself having to work alongside three U.B.C.S. members — Nicholai, Mikhail, and Carlos. Guess which one doesn't end up dead depending on your actions and routes taken.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: This game is brutal. Even on Easy mode, the zombies can take more hits, and there are much, much more of them. You can farm lots of handgun and shotgun ammo via the gun powder mixing mechanic... but you could be missing out on ammo for more powerful guns. Not to mention Nemesis is stalking you the whole time — sometimes relentlessly so — and healing items are precious. And if you're on Hard Mode and want the gun parts that he drops, you'll have to be especially good at dodging zombies (and Nemesis' punches) long enough to claim them.
    • Ammo itself isn't so generous compared to the previous game. While you can find handgun and shotgun ammo easily, the rest has to come from gunpowder. Ammo for the grenade launcher that is not regular rounds and magnum rounds are almost non-existent and can only be created through mixtures of different gunpowder.
  • Shout-Out: See here.
  • Similar Squad: The U.B.C.S. closely mirrors the original S.T.A.R.S. lineup. They're even being led around by duplicitous leader who's trying to get them all killed. Further similarities arise in the Mercenaries minigame: Nicholai is both the toughest and least-equipped character, just as Wesker is in Code: Veronica.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: Jill makes clear in her opening narration that there's no stopping the outbreak, and that Raccoon City is finished. She expresses some bitterness at her fellow citizens for being too timid to challenge Umbrella.
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: This is almost entirely thanks to the presence of Nemesis, though, since the game rains down even more healing items, weapons and ammo on the player than its predecessor did, and you'll need every bit of it to put Nemesis down.
  • Tank Controls
  • Title Drop: In Japan, the game is subtitled Last Escape, the two words Jill ends her opening monologue with.
    "This is my... last escape."
  • Too Awesome to Use: Strongly averted. Grenade freeze rounds and magnum ammo are pretty rare and are serious overkill against the vast majority of enemies you'll face, but they actually make for a fair fight against Nemesis, so you will want to use them. Aside from dealing significant damage, they can make Nemesis stagger with each hit.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dario, in the midst of telling Jill to screw off, says he'd rather starve than be eaten by the zombies before locking himself into a shipping crate. Upon returning to the warehouse after going to the police station, guess who got eaten by zombies?
  • Turn in Your Badge: At some point after the first game, Jill leaves the RPD, likely because of Brian Irons.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Strangely, Jill never comes across any Lickers in her travels. Instead, we get the old assortment of RE1 enemies that were previously wiped out at Arklay lab: Chimeras, Spiders, and Hunters. These particular ones were flown over from Umbrella Europe for field testing.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Jill is dressed in a miniskirt and a tube top and later on gets a harness which adds inventory space. Yet she can somehow carry more than Carlos, her erstwhile ally who is dressed in military fatigues loaded with pockets. Her alternate outfits don't explain it either.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If Carlos dies while he is under AI control, it's Game Over.
  • We Have Reserves: Following the completion of their objectives, the U.B.C.S. mercenaries are left to rot. Even with the utter annihilation of the U.B.C.S., the mission is considered a resounding success due to the combat data collected from their deaths. Only the unit commanders are let in on the true nature of the mission, which is why said commanders were recruited from the absolute worst of Europe's war criminals.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Carlos is completely MIA since the end of RE3.
    • Resident Evil: Survivor, which is set after the events of RE3, features a file written by Nicholai and The Umbrella Chronicles confirms Nicholai's survival in a letter from Sergei Vladimir addressed to him dated a few months after the events of RE3. Other than that, the character hasn't been featured in another game since then (outside Outbreak and Operation Raccoon City, both which are set during the RE3 time period).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Carlos responds to a comrade asking him for a mercy kill by unloading an entire magazine into his chest. Bonus points in that he completely missed the poor man's head; guaranteeing that he will come back as a zombie.
  • Where Are They Now: The "Epilogues" that you unlock after beating the game detail what certain characters from both this game and previous games did after the events of the game. You unlock a new epilogue each time you beat the game, in this order: Chris, Jill, Barry, Leon, Claire, Sherry, Ada, and HUNK. Yes, that's eight times that you have to beat the game just to unlock those epilogues.
    • A Winner Is You: The reward for beating the game nine times is a congratulatory message that will only appear that one time, and unlike the prior eight Epilogues, cannot be reloaded again.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Jill makes it to the clock tower with Carlos and signals the evacuation helicopter, but Nemesis blows it out of the sky with his rocket launcher.
  • Zerg Rush: The R.P.D. didn't stand much of a chance against these guys. The zombies simply ignore their machine gun fire and march straight through the blockades.
  • Zombie Apocalypse

Resident Evil 2Mature RatingResident Evil 4
Resident Evil 2UsefulNotes/The Fifth Generation of Console Video GamesRival Schools
Resident Evil 2Nintendo Game CubeResident Evil: Code: Veronica
Resident Evil 2Zombie StoriesResident Evil: Code: Veronica
Resident Evil 2Video Games of the 1990sRevolution X
Resident Evil 2Franchise/Resident EvilResident Evil: Code: Veronica
Resident Evil 2Survival HorrorResident Evil: Code: Veronica
Resident Evil 2Sega DreamcastResident Evil: Code: Veronica
Resident Evil 2Play StationResident Evil Gun Survivor
Resident Evil 2IBM Personal ComputerResident Evil 4

alternative title(s): Resident Evil3; Resident Evil 3 Nemesis; Resident Evil 3
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