The third game in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (also known as Biohazard 3: Last Escape) was originally released for the PlayStation in 1999. Intended to be a sidestory developed on a small timescale using the Resident Evil 2 engine, the project was revamped into a numbered sequel when the scale of the next numbered game in the series (which ultimately eventually ended up being revamped into Devil May Cry) was too ambitious for the current generation of consoles and Capcom wanted to end the series on the PS1 as a trilogy. The game's plot is set roughly around the same time period as Resident Evil 2, starting a few days before the events of the previous game and ending a few days after they've already transpired. Like its predecessor, Resident Evil 3 was ported to the PC, Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube.Jill Valentine, who survived the Mansion Incident, chose to remain in Raccoon City after resigning from S.T.A.R.S. (unlike former teammates and fellow survivors Barry Burton, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers). She consequently found herself staring at Hell's gates when Raccoon City's T-Virus outbreak began. Having experience with this sort of thing, Jill tries her best to save as many people as possible, but eventually becomes a lone survivor who decides to escape Raccoon City before becoming another victim of Umbrella's heinous actions.Jill's mission is endangered when she discovers a new biohazard: a new type of Tyrant (codenamed "Nemesis") has been inserted into Raccoon City, and it's programmed to seek out and slay any surviving S.T.A.R.S. members. Carlos Oliveira — who leads a band of mercenaries hired for (and set up by) the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service — finds and helps Jill during an encounter with Nemesis, then tries to aid Jill in finding a way to defeat Nemesis and escape Raccoon City before the U.S. Government tries a last-ditch effort to contain the outbreak: a tactical nuclear strike.Resident Evil 3 eschewed the multiple protagonist system from the previous two games by having Jill as the only playable protagonist. Instead, RE3 features multiple paths similar to the first game, including real-time selection scenes where the player must make a choice in time or suffer the consequence. Other new features includes an ammo-creating tool, a dodging maneuver and a quick turn move. RE3 also features a minigame titled The Mercenaries: Operation Mad Jackal, which would become a mainstay in later installments.
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.
And Then John Was a Zombie: 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.
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 gotten the infinite ammo case from Nemesis and combine it with the Mine Thrower, the mines not only get more powerful, but they explode on contact and pierces through enemies with homing capabilities.
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.
Barry Burton shows up at the end with no warning to airlift you to safety before Raccoon City is bombed.
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.
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.
Cut and Paste Environments: Many assets from RE2 are recycled here. Even Chief Irons (or more precisely his character model) appears as a faceless Umbrella executive at the end of Operation: Mad Jackal.
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.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Nemesis' 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 its 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.
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 and it's the only way to legitimately use infinite ammo outside of unlockables.
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.
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.
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 modelled after the layout of Japanese cities as opposed to American ones, American features not withstanding.
Jossed: RE3 contradicted many plot elements that were present in other media tie-ins such as the S.D. Perry novels and the Biohazard 2 audio dramas that were produced by Flagship (the same company that wrote RE2). Particularly, the cause of Raccoon City's destruction was changed from a fire that spread across the entire town to a nuclear missile launched by the U.S. government.
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 can 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 wiped out, and one file is written by a merc who was forced to give a false confession to war crimes.
Lightning Bruiser: Nemesis is always able to run faster than you. He gets faster. His last form doesn't run.
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 hostage will increases will extend the time limit, the latter also provides additional ammo 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 feels deeply guilty over the fact his men have all died and who 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.
Fighting a swarm of zombies and winning while heavily injured. Oh yeah, he's strong.
In Operation Mad Jackal, both are stronger than Carlos and Mikhail even has a better weapon loadout.
Nintendo Hard: This game is brutal. Comparing it to Resident Evil 2, the zombies can take more hits, and there are much, much more of them. 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, and healing items are precious. You can get a lot of handgun and shotgun ammo, through the gun powder mixing mechanic...but you could be missing out on ammo to some major firepower. Not to mention Nemesis is stalking you the whole time, sometimes relentlessly so. And if you're on Hard Mode and want the gun parts that he drops, you'll have to be good at dodging zombies for a majority of the game.
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.
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: Considerably harder than RE2, even on the easy setting. 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.
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.
Title Drop: In Japan, the game is subtitled Last Escape, the two words Jill ends her opening monologue with.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Where Are They Now: The "Epilogues" that you unlock after beating the game detail what certain characters from both this game and previousgames 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.