Video Game: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a light gun game released in 2007 and set in the continuity of the Resident Evil series. The game consists of four stages ("files") that cover events either depicted or alluded to in Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as well as a new storyline set in 2003.Each "file" does one of two things: it either replays (in a compressed and somewhat modified format) one of the original Resident Evil games or covers an "untold story" (events not shown during the original games that happened during the games' timeframe). Since this approach makes The Umbrella Chronicles hard to place on the canon issue, fans came up with a general rule of thumb: consider anything that covers the original games as examples of Adaptation Distillation (with elements that you can consider "canon" if they don't contradict existing canon) and the "untold stories" as pragmatic adaptations (the basic details count as canon, but they probably didn't happen precisely that way).The four files consist of:
"Train Derailment" — This file adapts the struggle of Billy Cohen and Rebecca Chambers through the events of RE0. It contains the two chapter mini-file "Beginnings", which reveals Albert Wesker's actions after departing the makeshift lab he and William Birkin established. When he figures out that Birkin will activate the self-destruct for the former Management Training Facility, Wesker hurries to escape so he can rendezvous with S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team to carry out his mission. Wesker fights his way through B.O.W.s, zombies, the T-001 Proto-Tyrant, and his direct superior in Umbrella, Sergei Vladimir. Sergei doesn't yet know of Wesker's treachery, but he dispatches his bodyguard, the Ivan-model Tyrant, to teach Wesker the consequences of failure. Wesker fights Ivan to a standstill, then vanishes when the first explosions start ripping the facility apart.
"Mansion Incident" — This file follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine through the events of Resident Evil. It contains the two chapter mini-files "Nightmare" and "Rebirth". Nightmare — set between the events of RE0 and REmake — cover Rebecca and Richard Aiken's attempt to discover fellow survivors of Bravo Team (before Yawn eventually attacks them). "Rebirth" — set in the last minutes of REmake — follows Wesker (awakened from death by Birkin's prototype mutagen) as he fights his way out of the mansion and enters a running battle with the Nigh Invulnerable Lisa Trevor.
"Raccoon's Destruction" — This file covers, in vastly abbreviated form, the events of RE3. It contains two one-chapter mini-files: "Fourth Survivor" adapts the minigame of the same name from Resident Evil 2, while "Death's Door" covers Ada Wong's escape from Raccoon City's imminent nuclear annihilation after saving Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield from Mr. X.
"Umbrella's End" — This file (the only one not based on an existing game) occurs in 2003, five years after the destruction of Raccoon City (and a year prior to the events of Resident Evil 4). It shows Chris and Jill's assault on the last known remaining Umbrella facility — a disguised oil rig somewhere within Russia's borders — that has fallen under the command of Sergei. Though the seemingly inevitable bio-outbreak has occurred by the time Chris and Jill arrive, the two ex-S.T.A.R.S. members have come prepared to fight alongside the troops of an anti-B.O.W. group; this allows the duo to find their way into the heart of the facility, kill the infected, and destroy Umbrella's last hope of revitalising themselves as a bio-weapons supplier (Project T-A.L.O.S.). After the destruction of T-A.L.O.S., the media reveals Umbrella's role in the destruction of Raccoon City, which officially finishes the company off for good. The mini-file Dark Legacy reveals who tipped off the organization Chris and Jill work for to the location of Umbrella's last outpost: Wesker, who uses the assault as a distraction to penetrate the facility for his own purposes (stealing the collected data of Umbrella, delivering said data to his new higher-ups, and killing Sergei). He also leaked the information about Umbrella's role in the Raccoon City Incident to the media for his own purposes.
As well as many tropes from Resident Evil as a whole, The Umbrella Chronicles contains examples of the following tropes:
Actor Allusion: During Train Derailment 1, Billy jokingly calls Rebecca "princess", to which she retorts "Don't call me princess!" Rebecca's voice actress also voiced Natalia in Tales of the Abyss, who happened to be a princess (albeit a fake one.)
Apocalyptic Log: Contains all of the files from the adapted Resident Evil games, as well as new files created specifically for the unique stories told in the game.
Attack Its Weak Point: With most bosses, this is the only way to really inflict significant damage or even do any damage at all. Most enemies also have one spot where only pistol shots cause more damage. The most egregious example would be the Ivies - shoot them once with any weapon, then target the center of their flower/mouth to instantly kill them.
Boom, Headshot: Toyed with in the game. Hitting a creature in the head will usually inflict more damage. Proper headshots, as the game considers them, can be inflicted on zombies, and only with the pistol. These require hitting a very small, specific part of the zombie's head, roughly on the center of their forehead; this alone scores a proper headshot, causing the zombie's head to erupt in a shower of gore and counting towards your total headshots for the end of level score. Hit the zombie anywhere else in the head, and it doesn't count.
Captain Obvious: Several instances, but notably this exchange during the fight with Yawn:
Jill Watch out for those fangs. I'll bet they're poisonous!
Chris Either way, if that thing gets a hold of us, we're screwed!
And a couple of rounds later into said fight:
Chris This thing's tough!
Jill I know! Try aiming for its mouth!
...at which point the player is probably one bite away from death if they haven't figured this out already.
Cherry Tapping: The handgun against bosses. Woe be to any single player who is unlucky enough to fight Nemesis without an ample supply of ammo for another weapon capable of staggering his attacks, or you may find yourself unable to win at all.
Cut and Paste Environments: The Umbrella Chronicles reuses assets from the GameCube installments (REmake, RE0 and RE4), as well as the Outbreak spinoffs. This is why the scenarios "Train Derailment" and "Mansion Incident" are relatively faithful adaptations of RE0 and REmake, whereas "Raccoon's Destruction" vaguely resemble the actual events in RE3. Since neither RE2 nor RE3 were remade, and the original PS1 versions were too outdated compared to the other titles, "Raccoon's Destruction" instead uses areas from several Outbreak scenarios, namely "Outbreak", "Underbelly", "Desperate Times" and "Hellfire". This is also the real reason why The Umbrella Chronicles glosses over the events of RE2 and only focuses on what happened to Ada and HUNK (since they already had character models in RE4). Only Carlos and Nemesis were remade completely for this game.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Averted more or less. If you manage to find the one-per-level First Aid Spray, when you die, you will immediately be revived at full health to continue fighting. If you die again or never found it, then you have to start the level over from either the beginning or the last checkpoint.
Fake Difficulty: Zombies take a lot of damage unless you hit them in the head. Unfortunately, the game defines "head" as "directly between the eyes and nowhere else." If you hit anywhere else in the head, it doesn't count, and makes it harder to actually score a proper headshot with subsequent shots. In Racoon's Destruction, on the Normal difficulty, zombies are strong enough to survive the blast radius from either of the two grenade launchers that you have at that point, though a direct hit will still usually kill them.
Lazy Backup: If there's no "player two," your "partner" is perfectly fine with watching you get eaten alive/beaten to death. This is particularly awkward in Rebecca's side scenario, Nightmare. Like the other side scenarios, Nightmare is meant to be a one player scenario. Despite this, she still gets a partner, Richard, who is clearly seen following her with a gun at the checkpoints and yet does nothing until she gets attacked by crows in a cutscene before the boss fight with Yawn.
Loophole Abuse: You can keep replaying the first mission over and over to gain enough star points to upgrade all weapons to maximum, regardless of what rank you obtain. You just have to play through the rest of the game in order to obtain stronger weapons in the first place.
More Dakka: The automatic weapons tend to be the best guns in the game as while they may not pack much punch per individual bullet, the sheer volume of shots they can pump out can whittle an enemy's health away quickly, even grinding bosses down in sharp volleys. The "spray and pray" approach also works wonders for dealing with leaping targets. When their stats are all upgraded, they're even better.
Nostalgia Level: The Raccoon City segments, using the same maps as Outbreak, tend to bring back memories of said game.
As are the mansion and the train segments, which use old parts from their games as well.
Painfully Slow Projectile: The rockets fired from Nemesis' rocket launcher. He fires three missiles at you at a time, and you have to shoot them down to avoid taking damage. Realistically, the rockets would impact before Jill and Carlos even had time to react.
Usually, the only way to avoid being hurt by a boss is to shoot it and disrupt its attack.
This makes it nearly impossible to beat certain bosses unless you have a weapon capable of disrupting attacks. For example, Nemesis has one attack that can only be avoided by disrupting it, one attack that will continue to choke you to death until you shoot him enough times to break free, and one attack that can be avoided only if you shoot all of the tentacles before they make their way to you. If all you have left is a handgun, it is impossible to survive the fight because of his first two attacks.
Almost all chapters have at least one quick time event during a cutscene, which is telegraphed by an inverted-color fade-in. Missing has consequences ranging from heavy damage or having to fight another enemy, to instant death that even a First Aid Spray can't avoid.
Rank Inflation: As in the original games, the highest rank is S, which supersedes an A.
Ret Canon: Until this game, Red Queen was created exclusively for the live action movie series. This is the first and only time she has shown up so far in the games, so she does not impact the rest of the story too much.
Rewarding Vandalism: Not only is "Objects Destroyed" one of the factors determining your end of level rank, it's the only way to find the files.
Undying Loyalty: Displayed throughout by Sergei towards Umbrella as a whole, and Spencer in particular.
Unwinnable by Mistake: Certain bosses cannot be beaten unless you have another weapon stronger than your handgun that can stagger attacks. If you're unfortunate enough to make it to the end of the level without very much ammo left, you may not be able to win. Even if you get the boss pattern down, they still have certain attacks that cannot be avoided.
Villain Protagonist: Wesker, since he serves as the narrator and most of the side-chapters involves him as the player character.