Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
is a light gun game
set in the continuity of the Resident Evil
series. Released in 2007, it consists of four stages or "files", covering events depicted or alluded in Resident Evil 0
, Resident Evil
and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
, as well as a new storyline set in 2003.
Each "file" does either of two things. It covers, in a compressed, somewhat modified format, one of the original Resident Evil
games. Alternatively, it covers an "untold story", something that happened during that period of time, but which was not seen during the events of the original game. This makes The Umbrella Chronicles
rather hard to place on the canon
issue, though a general rule of thumb could be to consider the files that cover original games to be examples of Adaptation Distillation
, with elements that can be considered "canon" if they don't contradict, and the new stories to be pragmatic adaptations
; the basic details of them are canon, but they probably didn't happen precisely that way (considering The Umbrella Chronicles
is a rail shooter and Resident Evil
as a whole is survival horror
Files consist of:
"Train Derailment" — adapts the struggle of Billy Cohen and Rebecca Chambers through the events of RE0
. Contains the two chapter mini-file "Beginnings", which reveals Albert Wesker's actions during this time after departing the makeshift lab he and William Birkin have established. Knowing that Birkin is activating the self-destruct for the former Management Training Facility, Wesker hurries to escape in order to rendezvous with S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team to carry out his mission, fighting his way through B.O.W.s, zombies, the T-001 Proto-Tyrant, and finally a face-off with his direct superior in Umbrella, Sergei Vladimir, who is not yet aware of Wesker's treachery, but 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" — follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine through the events of Resident Evil
. Contains the two chapter mini-files "Nightmare" and "Rebirth". Nightmare
is set between the events of RE0
, covering Rebecca and Richard Aiken's attempt to discover fellow survivors of Bravo Team, only to be attacked by Yawn. "Rebirth" is set in the last minutes of REmake
; awakened from death by Birkin prototype mutagen, Wesker fights his way out of the mansion, including a running battle with the Nigh Invulnerable
"Raccoon's Destruction" — covers, in vastly abbreviated form, the events of RE3
. Has two one chapter mini-files; "Fourth Survivor" is an adaptation of 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 S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from Mr. X.
"Umbrella's End" — set in 2003, five years after the destruction of Raccoon City (and a year prior to the events of Resident Evil 4
), Umbrella's End shows Chris and Jill's assault on the last known remaining Umbrella facility, a disguised oil rig somewhere in Russia's borders, under the command of Sergei. Though the seemingly inevitable bio-outbreak has occurred by the time they get there, the two survivors of S.T.A.R.S. are prepared and fighting alongside the troops of an anti-B.O.W. group, allowing them to penetrate deep 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. Shortly afterwards, Umbrella is finally found guilty of the destruction of Raccoon City, and officially finished. The mini-file Dark Legacy
reveals that it was Wesker who tipped off the organization that Chris and Jill have signed up with, using them as a distraction to penetrate the facility for his own purposes: to steal the collected data of Umbrella and deliver it to the Agency that he works for, as well as to kill Sergei. It was he who anonymously supplied the incriminating evidence to the media, for his own purposes.
A sequel, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
came out in 2009.
As well as many tropes from Resident Evil as a whole, this game provides examples of:
- 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.
- Bandaged Babe: Ada. Justified, as her side story takes place immediately after her Disney Death in 2.
- Badass Normal:
- Before taking Birkin's mutagen, Wesker manages to battle an Ivan, a Mr. X with armor-plating and human intelligence, to a standstill.
- Chris and Jill manage to destroy the Tyrant Armored Lethal Organic System through sheer guts and weight of bullets.
- Ada. Despite her heavy, heavy injuries suffered in Resident Evil 2, she manages to fight through hordes of zombies, the Tyrant R, and escape the city in one piece.
- Colonel Badass: Sergei.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Wesker after taking Birkin's mutagen. He manages to finally kill the Nigh Invulnerable Implacable Man Lisa Trevor, and in Dark Legacy, he takes on two Ivans at once and destroys them both. Arguably a Badass Longcoat during the opening cutscene for Dark Legacy. He goes to more of a Badass in a Nice Suit for that level.
- Big Bad: Ozwell E. Spencer is, as ever, The Man Behind the Man, but it's Sergei who drives the plot.
- 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.
- Canon Immigrant:
- 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.
- Continuity Nod: Ada fights the T-0400TP from Outbreak File #2 at the end of the "Death's Door" scenario. Said scenario also depicts how Ada came into possession of her Grappling-Hook Pistol from RE4.
- 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.
- Destructible Projectiles: A rather humorous example: you can deflect globs of acid with your knife.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Sergei to Spencer.
- Eviler than Thou: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- 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.
- Former Regime Personnel: Dragon-in-Chief Sergei is a former Red Army colonel.
- Giant Spider: Tarantulas and funnelwebs in first person. Eep.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- The Heavy: Sergei drives almost all the behind-the-scenes events of the game.
- Implacable Man: Lisa Trevor and Nemesis.
- 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.
- One-Winged Angel: The hideous Tyrant that Sergei transforms into.
- 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.
- Press X to Not Die: Not very common but does happen here and there:
- 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.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Gun Survivor spinoffs.
- 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.