YMMV / Resident Evil

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     The series 
Note: This is for series-wide YMMV tropes. Individual games and movies' examples go on their own page.
  • Acceptable Targets: The evil mega corporation 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 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 Resident Evil 6, due to the death of Umbrella, we still are no closer to any answers about the character. This has caused some fans to stop caring about the situation. The fact her portrayals are inconsistent hasn't really helped. What makes it worse is despite the fact that Ada acts in her own self-interests, Capcom seems quite adamant on portraying her as a sympathetic badass anti-hero, 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.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rebecca is either a character who deserves another game or a completely annoying Scrappy whom some fans are glad was never seen or mentioned after the first game.
    • Fans are very divided on whether Ada is an Ensemble Darkhorse or The Scrappy. Capcom doesn't help with their inconsistent portrayals of her.
    • There are fans who want Steve back from the dead in a sequel. But a lot of fans also find his whiplashing moods, brashness, and oftentimes his voice rather obnoxious and annoying.
  • Bizarro Episode: One of the stories in Wildstorm's anthology comic series based on the games had the S.T.A.R.S. team taking on a werewolf. Not a B.O.W. that resembled a werewolf but an actual one.
  • Broken Base:
    • The series' trademark "tank controls" have been a divisive issue for gamers for years (case in point: see article and comments section, here). Some defend the controls because they work in conjunction with the series use of pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera angles. Others couldn't understand why Capcom stubbornly refused to allow for normal 3D controls, until almost 20 years later, when Capcom finally relented in the HD remake of the original Resident Evil.
    • There is an extreme divide between fans of the classic style games (0-3, Code: Veronica and Revelations) and fans of the 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.
    • The announcement that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will be returning to the franchise's Survival Horror roots has been almost unanimously well-received. It's also going to be a first-person horror game, and that part has had a decidedly mixed reception.
  • 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 cliché.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Albert Wesker has the worst case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder in the entire series. In the first game, he sets up his own team, the S.T.A.R.S., 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 The Umbrella Chronicles, he kills Sergei Vladimir in order to secure control of the Umbrella's data. In Resident Evil 5, he really goes to town, killing Ozwell E. Spencer (his creator), transforming Excella Gionne (his 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 (Resident Evil 0), or the experiments 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.
    • In The Darkside Chronicles, Alexia Ashford no longer had love for her brother as a part of her personality, the way it was in Code: Veronica, and her evil is cranked up a few notches higher. A Child Prodigy who joined Umbrella at the age of twelve, Alexia was also an entitled sadist with a serious god complex. She aided her brother in murdering and experimenting on their father, tortured a classmate to death (and recorded the session) for being almost as smart as she was, and eventually injected herself with the T-Veronica virus, which she planned to use to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Reawakened from cryogenic sleep in her twenties, Alexia kills her brother for not waking her up on time, transforms Claire Redfield's Love Interest, Steve Burnside, into a monster and forces him to fight her to the death, and tries repeatedly to kill Chris and Claire. She reveals that her plan is to infect the world with the T-Veronica virus, enslaving most of humanity to her will. When asked why, Alexia just gloats about how, as a superior specimen of humanity, she deserves to be Queen.
  • 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.
  • Evil Is Cool: So cool that Word of God states Albert Wesker is the most popular male character in the series because of it.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Wesker, Alexia, and Excella.
    • 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.
  • Fountain of Memes: Barry Burton, Wesker, and Leon.
  • Genius Bonus: The Black Tiger does exist as a form of Australian Wildlife, a snake. Its pattern is similar, and the spider's design is based on the Sydney funnelweb.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Saturn version of the original Resident Evil's battle mode, the final zombie to face is a zombified Albert Wesker, implying that he was infected with the T-Virus. 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.
    • The reason behind the Nintendo exclusivity — Capcom wanting to have all of the core franchise playable on one console — on two counts. Firstly, almost all of the subsequent games after Resident Evil 4 weren't released on Nintendo consoles; and secondly, despite their desire to have all of the core entries playable on the same console, every game that was supposed to exclusive would eventually be re-released for other consoles.
  • 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.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The debate as to whether or not 4 and 5's direction is a good thing rages to this day.
    • The movies to fans of the game and vice-versa.
    • Criticizing the Tank Controls doesn't end well either.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Fan reaction to the GameCube ports of Resident Evil 2, 3, and Code: Veronica fell under this, as they came after the REmake and happened to be straight ports of the initial PlayStation and Dreamcast releases. Releasing them at full price instead of making them budget titles, without changing anything about them, did not help either.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Leon seems to get all of the action. Of course, his canon lover is Ada, but he also can be found paired with Alfred, Angela, Ashley, Chris, Claire, Hunnigan, Jill, Kevin, Krauser, Luis, Steve, Manuela, Mendez, Mike the Helicopter Guy, Saddler, Salazar, Sherry, Wesker, a Licker, Ganados, an Iron Maiden/Regenerator, a Tyrant, and even in one slightly disturbing story, Mr. X. 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 S.T.A.R.S. 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 as bad or worse than Leon. He's practically asexual in the games, but gets more ass 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.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • 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 E. Spencer, an even bigger bastard.
    • Ada outsmarts everyone. Including Wesker.
  • Memetic Mutation: Not surprising, considering the series is almost filled to the brim with Narm.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • 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.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • 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:
    • Valenfield: Jill/Chris.
    • Cleon: Claire/Leon.
    • Cleve or Staire: Claire/Steve.
    • Creva: Chris/Sheva.
    • Leona: Leon/Helena.
    • Nivanfield: Piers/Chris.
    • Vestiani or Paray: Raymond/Parker.
    • Shake: Sherry/Jake.
  • 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 a victim of the racial controversy of Resident Evil 5.
  • 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 (and all 50 at the time of the first few games' release). Cue tons of weed jokes at the expense of the characters — and sometimes the developers.
  • The Woobie:
    • Stoic Woobie: Leon. Almost everyone he likes dies or betrays him. No wonder he's so mopey.
    • Rebecca. Poor girl went through quite a lot of crap in both RE0 and RE1.
    • Sherry Birkin. Her entire life story is basically things going From Bad to Worse for her. The sheer horror this girl goes through would be enough to drive one insane.
    • Poor Jill who sees her entire home nuked in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and in the three years before and during Resident Evil 5 is in an And I Must Scream state, being forced to work for Wesker under mind control and aware of it the entire time.
    • Steve. He meets Claire at Rockfort Island and starts to develop feelings for her. Unfortunately, Steve dies after he finally tells Claire that he loved her.
    • Manuela. The circumstances surrounding the attempts to cure the disease that she and her mother had is tragic.
  • Woolseyism: The series' Japanese title Biohazard was changed to Resident Evil when first localized overseas 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.

     The Paul W.S. Anderson movies 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Red Queen: Homicidal AI on the fritz or brutal but effective AI trying to contain the T-Virus outbreak at all costs? You decide.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The writers have made a few attempts to rein in their more absurd twists and turns, such as removing Alice's story-breaking super powers in Afterlife and quietly ignoring the ludicrous "T-Virus dries up the planet" scenario in the previous movie (wisely, too, seeing how that film forgot this plot point before the credits even rolled).
  • Cliché Storm: The films are one long-lost father away from hitting every major cliché in the book.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite being reviled by critics and many fans of the games, the movies have done well at the box office.note 
  • 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.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine in Apocalypse was very popular with fans despite her otherwise limited screen time.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: LJ, who is a stereotypical black guy in Apocalypse. Thankfully, he drops this in Extinction.
  • 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 Oliveira, despite the fact that he is the closest thing she has to a canon love interest.
  • First Installment Wins: The general consensus is that the first movie is the only one that manages to be decent, due to a variety of reasons. To name a few: Alice wasn't ridiculously overpowered, the movie didn't go overboard on action, there was virtually no relation with the games' canon and yet it managed to do a pretty faithful job of capturing the spirit of the games. Apocalypse throws all that out of the window and imports several characters from the games and makes them unrecognizable, makes Alice an unbeatable superhuman who steals all the spotlight and tries to connect with the games' canon by basing itself on RE3's storyline.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • 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.
    • Umbrella as a whole runs on this with their goals and aims being borderline unfathomable; especially with their virus rendering the world a parched, dying desert... And meanwhile they're still expending resources on Alice clones and holding board meetings like an actual trading company. They then expend untold billions (Or possibly trillions) of dollars on perfect replicas of cities, fully staffed with perfectly-cloned humans implanted with artificial memories, for the sake of unleashing zombies on them and using the footage as advertising for their T-Virus— even though marketing those miraculous technological wonders could have made the company incredibly wealthy without any need for bioweapons at all.
  • 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. She also apparently never sees the potential in a cloning factory where you can manufacture an infinite number of normal people and give them whatever skills, personality or knowledge you desire, like say, maybe restarting human civilization?
  • Narm:
    • The first movie reaches its peak of silliness with the infamous wall-running, Doberman-kicking scene.
    • The action sequences in Apocalypse try just a bit too hard to be spectacular, to the point that the storyboarding feels like it was done by an overcaffeinated fourth-grader. Each subsequent movie then tries twice as hard to top the previous one. RedLetterMedia's Half in the Bag analysis of the series includes several clips of Mike, Jay and Rich reacting to these scenes with raucous laughter.
  • Narm Charm: If you don't take the over-the-top action seriously, it becomes absolutely hilarious.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: L.J. drops his Modern Minstrelsy shtick in Extinction and becomes an actual character rather than a "street flava" joke-dispensing device. Unfortunately, it's only then that he gets killed off.
  • The Scrappy: Alice is one for the entire Resident Evil franchise due to her status as the Creator's Pet to a degree where she essentially makes the main characters of the games play second fiddle to her.
  • Sequelitis: The first film does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the franchise albeit with its own original characters. Aside from a couple bits of baddassery, the characters' abilities are pretty realistic and the film generally focuses on the dreadful atmosphere the games are known for. After that, Alice gets increasingly more powerful, killing off any potential drama, becomes pretty much the only character who gets to be a badass, and the series ramps up the action to exaggeratedly cartoonish levels, basically ripping off the physics-defying stunts in The Matrix without any of that film series' in-story justifications. The critical response to the films dipped after the first movie as well.
  • Signature Scene: The entire ending of the first film.
  • Signature Song: Even though it is only heard in the marketing of the second film, Not Listening definitely counts.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Licker in the first film, particularly when it breaks out of its crate. Almost all the CGI in Retribution is this, but especially the mandibles on the Majini.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Sienna Guillory spent ages studying Jill's movements and mannerisms for her role in Apocalypse and as such is one of the better things about it.
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: Zigzagged; they're disliked by critics and many fans of the games, but they do well 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. The first film in particular is generally regarded to avert this.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/ResidentEvil