These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Resident Evil
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Note: This is for series-wide YMMV tropes. Individual games' and movies' disputable examples go on their own page.
Acceptable Targets: The evil megacorporation doing research into biological weaponry, and with contacts in the government, Umbrella. The government does drop the hammer on them rather magnificently, though.
Arc Fatigue: The mystery of who or what Ada Wong is has been dragged on for several games, with no concrete answer being given. Supplemental materials and Resident Evil 4 stated that she was part of an Anti-Umbrella organization. Come 6, due to the death of Umbrella, we still are no closer to any answers about the character, causing some people to just stop caring about the character and the mystery behind her. The fact her portrayals are inconsistent hasn't really helped.
What makes it worse is despite the fact that Ada is very mercenary and acts in her own self-interests, Capcom seems quite adamant on portraying her as a Badass Anti-Hero and in a sympathetic light, though her actions in the games are in no way heroic, and based upon her choices and her lack of loyalty to anybody, you probably shouldn't be feeling any sympathy for her. The lack of reveal about her past or her motivations also makes Leon's feelings for her come off as incredibly superficial, as he knows virtually nothing about her, including her real name.
Note how this entry serves to reinforce the entry for Base Breaker below.
There is an extreme divide between fans of the earlier survival horror games (0-3, Code: Veronica and Revelations) and fans of the later action-oriented games (4-6 and ORC). Publicly announce that you prefer one and expect angry tirades from fans of the other, although there is a subset of fans who will only accept RE4 out of the above "actionized" titles, seeing everything else that came after as the point where the series went downhill. And don't think you can get off easy by claiming that you like the merits of both the "classic" and "modern" games; certain fans will put you on blast for this, too.
Cliché Storm: The games proper manage to avoid it; the dialogue, on the other hand, can get pretty bad. Especially any game with Leon in it, whose every other line is some kind of Cliche.
Complete Monster: Albert Wesker has the worst case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder in the entire series. In RE1, he sets up his own team, the STARS, to be killed as test subjects for bio-organic weapons, then resurfaces in Code Veronica to make another attempt on the life of surviving member Chris Redfield. In Umbrella Chronicles, he kills Sergei Vladimir in order to secure control of the Umbrella Corporation's data, and in RE5 he really goes to town, killing Ozwell Spencer (the man behind the project that led to his birth), transforming Excella Gionne (his would-be girlfriend) into a mutated monster, and brainwashing Jill Valentine into fighting her partner, Chris, before trying to kill ninety percent of Earth's population with his new Ouroboros virus, all as part of a scheme to become god of a new world. And that's without getting into the revelations that he murdered his mentor Dr. Marcus (RE0), or the expermients that he and William Birkin conducted on Lisa Trevor (REmake). Wesker's essentially ambition and treachery made manifest, all wrapped up in a trenchcoat and designer sunglasses.
Alexia Ashford. Not even her own twin brother is exempt from her monstrous schemes.
Creator's Pet: Rebecca Chambers in S.D. Perry's novels, who is the Alice of her books, especially Caliban Cove.
Draco in Leather Pants: Wesker, obviously, but William Birkin gets a bit of it, too. Both men are utterly amoral sociopaths who spent half their lives perfecting bioweaponry by testing it on human subjects, and Wesker goes on to become a megalomaniac bent on elevating himself to godhood over the mutated remnants of humanity. Both characters have a heavy following in the shipper and slash communities, and Wesker in particular gets redeemed an awful lot, usually by his star-crossed love for Chris or an OC. It's not unheard of for the same thing to happen to Jack Krauser.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Rebecca Chambers, Billy Coen, Barry Burton, Jack Krauser, HUNK, Nicholai, the "Pirate Merchant Guy", Ada Wong, Josh Stone, Manuela, Nemesis, Jake Muller, and Piers Nivans.
William Birkin. There's tons of fanart all over the internet of him drawn by swooning fangirls, even for his mutated forms.
Fanon: George Romero's unused screenplay for Resident Evil has Chris as half American Indian. This seems to have leaked into the fan community somehow, and a lot of fanfic authors will depict Chris and Claire as such. The name Redfield is Scotch-Irish, and Claire going full redhead by Code: Veronica seems to support the notion that she and Chris are entirely Caucasian.
There are a lot of supplementary sources of information on RE's settings and characters that can be found in translated design documents and obscure interviews, some of which never make it into a game's narrative. This includes Jill being French-Japanese (this was apparently intended by the original designer, but was quietly abandoned around the time Julia Voth became her face model) and Ada's background (there's a Japanese audio drama that gives a version of her backstory where she's Vietnamese). Whether or not these make it into fanworks usually comes down to individual preference.
Foe Yay: Chris and Wesker. Tons of it, especially in RE5.
The reason behind the Nintendo exclusivity — Capcom wanting to have all of the core franchise playable on one console — on two counts. Firstly, Resident Evil 5 hasn't been released on a Nintendo console; and secondly, despite their desire to have all of the core entries playable on the same console, Resident Evil 0 and the REmake remain Nintendo exclusive, and are the only two core games that can't be played on a PS3, thanks to the launch models having Backwards Compatibility and the Resident Evil: Revival Edition featuring HD Remakes of RE4 and Code: Veronica X.
In the Saturn version of the first Resident Evil's battle mode, the final zombie to face is a zombified Albert Wesker, implying that he was infected with the T-Virus. Let's just say that while the battle mode itself was not canon, Wesker being infected with a virus certainly was, and it actually made Wesker even more dangerous than before.
Wesker might have been the basis for Master Miller's current look (assuming it isn't a coincidence) in Metal Gear. In Resident Evil 6, Wesker is revealed to have a son. His name? Jake Muller, which is two vowels away from "Miller."
Inferred Holocaust: As the series goes on, the events of most of the games have been accompanied by increasingly severe amounts of ecological damage that the series has yet to address. The "mansion incident" and Raccoon City outbreak both introduced a hefty dosage of T-Virus into the forests and rivers of the American Midwest, Rockfort Island remains heavily infected, the Spencer Rain went down with a full complement of infected passengers and crew in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the T-Abyss is loose in the Mediterranean Sea, Javier Hidalgo released the T-Virus into the South American rainforest, and the sixth game concludes with a massive C-Virus spill in a city on the Chinese mainland. It's easy to presume that there are probably people working to minimize the damage, but it's very likely that much of the game world's ecosystem has already been warped beyond repair.
Betty and Veronica: The fandom tends to see Claire and Ada as this for him, though there is no canon attraction between Claire and Leon.
Jill is probably the female counterpart. She's usually paired with Chris, but it's not hard to find fans who support her with Wesker, Leon, Claire, Rebecca, various members of the STARS team, Carlos, Sheva, Excella, or any of the monsters. In fact, it's difficult to find a femmeslash pairing in RE fandom that doesn't involve Jill.
Wesker's arguably as bad or worse than Leon. He's practically asexual in the games, but gets more ass than a toilet seat in fandom; virtually every major character has a reasonably popular pairing with Wesker, including characters that he's never met such as Leon or even Jake.
Albert Wesker is responsible for most of the events of the Resident Evil universe and manages to win every single game (even when he appears to lose). He is, quite understandably, pissed when he realizes that all his schemes, his activities, his Social Darwinist beliefs — in short, the entire pattern of his life — were programmed into him from the beginning by Oswell Spencer, an even bigger bastard.
Rebecca, but only in S.D. Perry's novels, since Rebecca is clearly the author's favourite character. She saves the entire world almost singlehandedly in Caliban Cove, in which most of the other characters seem to exist to conduct lengthy interior monologues about how cool she is. As if to compensate, however, she spends a big chunk of Underworld lying unconscious with a life-threatening head injury.
According to the internet, HUNK could take on every zombie in the universe. And Wesker. And every protagonist. At once. And still win.
The Claire fangirls tend to overemphasize Claire's "rawr girl power" factor, despite being the only major character (excluding Outbreak) that has had no formalized training.
It would be a sin not to mention Albert "Why Haven't I Died Yet until RE5?" Wesker.
Leon and Chris jumped to this level thanks to their respective outings in 4 and 5. It's hard to link Leon to a singular moment, but Chris was most certainly defined by one scene and one scene alone: the Boulder Punch.
One gets suspicious that Capcom has caught on that the voice acting and dialogue from the first game was bad, and are now doing it on purpose. Dead Rising suggests that a couple of the more infamous lines were thrown in just because of how B-Movie horror flick terrible they sounded.
Barry Burton's lines in The Mercenaries: Reunion in RE5 are his old Narmful lines from the original campy Resident Evil, as well as having "HERE'S Barry!" (to address RE1!Jill's question of his whereabouts) and a melee attack called Barry Sandwich.
The live action B horror intro to the original Resident Evil is sorely missed in this day of CGI.
Portmanteau Couple Name: Given the loads and loads of characters, in addition to the loads and loads of shipping, there are some permutations of this in the fandom.
The Scrappy: Ashley and Sheva; neither are well liked by fans nor are they high on anybody's shipper's list when concerning characters like Leon or Chris respectively.
Sheva is also arguably a victim of the racial controversy of the 5th game. Mostly being hated on by two opposing groups, and for different reasons. But let's not get into it.
Values Dissonance: The use of green herbs as healing items. In Japan and other Eastern countries, this is a staple of traditional medicine. In America, the most common medicine associated with this is illegal in 37 states. Cue tons of weed jokes at the expense of the characters — and sometimes the developers.
Woolseyism: The series' Japanese name "Biohazard" was changed to "Resident Evil" when first localized in the United States because the Western localizers at the time could not copyright "Biohazard" as that was already done by an unrelated rock band. The name change is actually somewhat fitting in the initial game, as the game took place inside a residential area (specifically a mansion) with stuff that, until a certain point in the game, was initially believed to be supernaturally evil.
Critical Dissonance: Despite being presented as universally reviled and an affront to God himself by critics and fans of the original series, so far all of the movies have sold very well.
Critical Research Failure: Hair and nails don't keep growing after death. This wouldn't be so bad if one of the human characters said it, but a supercomputer making the same mistake is a different story.
Designated Hero: Some of Alice's actions put her towards this. She almost never displays any emotion of any of the numerous people dying around her, has no problems using the masses of clones of her in a Zerg Rush and displays no emotion over their deaths, and in Retribution murders hundreds of clones that don't even pose a danger to her.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans who don't hate Alice tend to ship her with guys from the first movie, usually Matt Addison. Virtually nobody ships her with Carlos Olivera, despite the fact that he is the closest thing she has to a canon love interest.
The mass-infection in The Hive could have been prevented if the laboratories had isolated air circulation systems.
The infection of Raccoon City, and by extension, the world, would have been prevented if the Red Queen AI had informed corporate headquarters that the lab was now crawling with zombies.
Considering that they sent in a team to shut her down, they probably wouldn't have listened anyway. One still wonders why they apparently didn't have any remote monitoring systems in place. There is no way the lab could be run without some sort of telecommunications to the outside world, even if only Umbrella HQ.
Mary Sue: Alice, who's sort of a combination between the God-Mode Sue and the Black Hole Sue. With every new film, she has a major power boost, starting off as a Badass Normal in the first film, which is soon elevated to Empowered Badass Normal with the introduction of superhuman strength and speed at the end of the first film. She then gains telekinetic powers at the end of the second film, and then an army of clones at the end of the third film. It was one of the reasons Sienna Guillory refused to come back for the third film as she didn't like getting overshadowed by Alice (the one scene where she could've gotten a badass moment, the match flicking scene, was typically hijacked by Alice). She only appears in Afterlife because by that point it's the end of the film when Alice has done all she has and she's a (albeit mind controlled) bad guy by then. She gets her revenge in Retribution, first by torturing Alice with painfully high-pitched noises, and then beating the crap out of her at the end, becoming the only character in the series to defeat Alice in a one-on-one fightnote (Technically, Wesker beat her at the beginning of Afterlife, but Alice was momentarily weakened, and in no shape to fight. In the Retribution fight, Alice and Jill are evenly matched). She would have killed Alice too, had her mind-control device not been ripped off.
This becomes more obvious whenever a fight scene happens with a canon character from the video games. In every fight, Alice comes in to make the save, even when she doesn't need to.
Averted in Retribution; while Alice does end up saving everyone's ass a couple of times, the Strike Team and Ada both kick a fair amount of ass without her help.
Moral Event Horizon: Alice herself crosses this in Retribution when she destroys the cloning facility and all of the clones in it, even though she kept one of the clones, a little girl, with her, but apparently considered the rest of them worthless.
Video Game Movies Suck: Zig-zagged; they're disliked by critics and many fans of the games, but they do well enough at the box office. In addition, some fans of the games have a soft spot for the movies in spite of how loosely-based they are on the games.
Villain Decay: The Nemesis suffers from this HARD. Whereas it was The Juggernaut in the game, in the movies it loses after a short fistfight with Alice where it goes down from nowhere near what it takes to kill it in the game. Wesker is even worse, as in the games he could survive rocket propelled grenades going off a few inches in front of his face, in the films he's beaten by a shotgun loaded with coins, which according the Mythbusters wouldn't even hurt a normal person that badly.