Author Existence Failure: With the death of writer Noboru Sugimura, Capcom refused to provide an actual conclusion to the cliffhanger which saw Wesker raise an army armed with advanced B.O.W.s in order to kill Umbrella security officers, allowing him to steal research data and samples to gain influence with black market terrorists. The original conclusion was the 2000-2002 "Castle" version of Resident Evil 4, in which Wesker's army attacks Umbrella's headquarters and mutually destroys Leon's organization, US-STRATCOM (introduced in Dead Aim), who have also attacked the base. Later games acknowledge that Wesker became rich on the black market and indirectly caused the terrorism throughout the series, but what happened to H.C.F. is left a mystery.
Doing It for the Art: One scene in the remake has a closeup of Wesker's boot, which shows that the top buckles are not laced up. In the same game, the character select shows that for Chris' police ID, a coin is stuck in the clear plastic where the photo is. He'll also fire a shotgun from the hip but when fighting bosses decides it's time to stop monkeying around and shoot properly from the shoulder instead.
"The Resident of Evil Creek," taken from a hilariously out-of-touch judge's opinion on the First Amendment rights of video games.
Some fans have dubbed Alfred's "Alexia" persona as "Alfrexia."
No Dub for You: The games were only voiced in English for quite some time, being released with subtitles for different regions but without the corresponding voice tracks even in Capcom's native Japan. The trend was subverted when Chris, Jill, Wesker, and Leon received Japanese voice actors for Crossovers like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and the Project X Zone games. Revelations marked the first time players could choose between Japanese and English audio and 6 released a free DLC update which provided a Japanese voice track. Degeneration also had dual audio, but the direct sequel Damnation surprisingly only has the original English dub.
Rebecca Chambers: Linda Rodrigueznote Credited as "Linda". (FMV scenes)/Lynn Harris (Resident Evil); Hope Levy (REmake); Riva Di Paola (Resident Evil Zero); Stephanie Sheh (The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil 5, The Mercenaries 3D); Erin Cahill (Vendetta)
Albert Wesker: Eric Piriusnote Credited as "Eric". (FMV scenes)/Pablo Kuntz (Resident Evil); Richard Waugh (Code: Veronica, Wesker's Report, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 4); Peter Jessop (REmake); D.C. Douglas (The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil 5, The Darkside Chronicles, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, The Mercenaries 3D)
Claire Redfield:Alyson Court (Resident Evil 2, Code: Veronica, Degeneration, The Darkside Chronicles, The Mercenaries 3D, Operation Raccoon City); James Baker (Revelations 2)
Ada Wong: Sally Cahill (Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4, The Darkside Chronicles, Retribution); Megan Hollingshead (The Umbrella Chronicles); Courtenay Taylor (Operation Raccoon City, Damnation, Resident Evil 6)
William Birkin: Diego Matamoros (Resident Evil 2); T.J. Rotolo (The Umbrella Chronicles, The Darkside Chronicles, Operation Raccoon City)
Sherry Birkin: Lisa Yamanaka (Resident Evil 2); Laura Bailey (The Darkside Chronicles); Eden Riegel (Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil 6)
Carlos Oliveira: Vincent Corazza (Resident Evil 3); Kim Strauss (The Umbrella Chronicles); Gideon Emery (Operation Raccoon City)
Nicholai Zinoviev: Roger Honeywell (Resident Evil 3); unknown (Outbreak), Rick D. Wasserman (Operation Raccoon City)
Steve Burnside: Bill Houston (Code: Veronica); Sam Riegel (The Darkside Chronicles)
Alfred Ashford: Peter Oldring (Code: Veronica); Richard Cansino (The Darkside Chronicles)
Alexia Ashford: Leila Johnson (Code: Veronica); Karen Strassman (The Darkside Chronicles)
Billy Coen: David Webster (Resident Evil Zero); Steve Van Wormer (The Umbrella Chronicles)
Playing Against Type: A surprising number of characters throughout the series (particularly in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, and Resident Evil 4) are voiced by actors who previously only appeared in children's entertainment.
Last Empire: War Z, a Zombie Apocalypse base-building game for Smartphones, has an item that looks identical to the T-Virus samples-ie, a glass jar with a double-helix decoration down the middle, capped with a metal plug on each end, filled with green liquid. To really ram it home, the item is called "Virus Stock" and is used to manufacture zombie-based Super Soldiers-basically Tyrants and other B.O.W.'s.
The original game didn't originally have the auto-aim mode, and its item boxes weren't interconnected. Both these features were added to the game due to criticism from play testers (through the original American release didn't have the auto-aim). However, the "Real Survival" mode from the remake removes those options again, bringing the game back to how it was originally planned; something that the mode's unlockable message lampshades.
The original versions of RE2 and RE4, known as Resident Evil 1.5 and 3.5, respectively. Both versions were scrapped due to the developers being unsatisfied with the direction they were taking. One of the scrapped Resident Evil 4 ideas had Leon going through a castle fighting living dolls. Which was deemed too "supernatural" for a series based on science. The two versions of Resident Evil 4 before that got retooled into Devil May Cry (the "Stylish" build) and Haunting Ground (the "Castle" build), respectively. At one point, according to an interview with the actor who played Leon, Leon was actually supposed to be killed as a result of the virus mutating inside of him, but this tested poorly even among Capcom executives and the idea was scrapped (Paul Mercier was kept, much to his delight, however).
Resident Evil 2 went through a slightly less drastic rewrite, but nonetheless the only elements which really stayed the same were Leon's inclusion as a police officer and the main antagonist being Birkin. To whit:
Claire was another character named Elza Walker.note Who is blonde but has lots of Claire's traits; this change was made as without Chris and Claire's relation, there's no tie between the first two games.
Leon would've already been in the RPD and would've begun his scenario trying to rally the rest of his devastated force to combat the zombies, Chief Irons would've filled the role of Marvin Branagh.note Heavily wounded, heroic authority cop figure.
Joe Kendo was originally Ada's boyfriend John.note It's not clear what role Ada filled at this point; John was one of Elza's support characters.
There were beta versions of what appear to be the Eliminators from Resident Evil Zero, an infected gorilla which could swing from the ceiling in gorilla-like fashion.
Birkin constantly cried Sherry's name.
It would have featured some kind of human/spider hybrid monster.
In addition to the trusty Remington 870, the player also would've gotten a SPAS-12 semi-auto shotgun, a Ruger Redhawk, there was an armor system, an assault rifle, more than one melee weapons, and grenades.
The game's models are less detailed but as a result the game can make better use of the PlayStation's processing power, as more zombies were visible on screen at a time, they had more variants, and could be gibbed in much more varied ways.
Leon had a different voice actor at this stage; what dialogue was recorded (grunts of pain) using this actor was recycled for Chris Redfield in the PC port's Extreme Battle Mode.
The overall design of the game also changed, with the RPD building going from an ultra-modern police HQ to the renovated art museum it was in the final version.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was originally going to be a side story set in Raccoon City, involving civilians trying to escape. A game titled Resident Evil 3 was in development at the same time by Hideki Kamiya's team, and involved HUNK on a cruise ship (following from RE2's story). The escape story then got an upgrade to a main game and Jill was added as the main character, while Kamiya's "RE3" got scrapped and he and his team moved onto what would become the first version of Resident Evil 4. This meant that the number 3 was now free for Jill's game and the game was titled Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, just in time before being released as Resident Evil 1.9 instead.
In 2001, Capcom announced that the Resident Evil franchise was going to be exclusive for the Nintendo GameCube. In addition to straight ports of Resident Evil 2, 3, and Code: Veronica X, a total of two new games, one of which was the REmake, were released; Resident Evil 4 was also announced as a GameCube exclusive before Capcom decided that due to poor sales of Zero and the REmake, they would release the game on the PlayStation 2 as well.
Resident Evil Zero was originally supposed to be one of the final N64 releases, still making it an exclusive Nintendo title. Not much is known about this game apart from Rebecca sporting a drastically different uniform (complete with a hat), and a fully-playable demo was released. Capcom later released more information in the run-up to a re-release of the finished game, including they'd at one time planned for two-player co-op.note Something the main series didn't implement until Resident Evil 5, a full eight years and two console generations later. As a continuity nod, the HD port of Zero features several DLC outfits for Rebecca and Billy, including Rebecca's beta Zero uniform.
Milla Jovovich did the film because she and her younger brother were hardcore fans of the games while growing up.
Michelle Rodriguez told her agent to let her know the second a Resident Evil movie was greenlit, because she would accept any role available in order to be in it. Sure enough, she ended up cast as Rain.
California Doubling: The film, set in an indeterminate part of middle America, was shot in Germany.
Creator Cameo: Producer Jeremy Bolt has a cameo as one of the zombies.
Doing It for the Art: Paul W.S. Anderson wrote the script for the film specifically because he wanted to ensure that Resident Evil got a decent cinematic adaptation, and the next films are loaded with winking little references to the games.
Dyeing for Your Art: The actress who plays the scientist that revives underwater in the first film, Anna Bolt, learned how to scuba dive for her One-Scene Wonder role. Likewise all the actors playing commandos, as well as Jovovich and Eric Mabius, had to undergo a week's training with a Navy SEAL.
George A. Romero wrote a screenplay for and was to direct the first film. It was thrown out entirely when he was kicked off the project. Capcom thought that, while Romero's script was close, it wasn't a full adaptation of the game, and they believed fans would complain about the changes while newcomers would dislike the premise. But confusion sets in when they approved Paul W.S. Anderson's script even though it's a much, much farther cry from Resident Evil.note In as few words as possible, Romero's script was a rough adaptation of the first game and included all of the main characters, while Anderson's was a completely original story that featured all new characters, and whose only connection to the games was Umbrella, the T-virus and zombies.Word of God is that Capcom didn't want a direct adaptation, out of fear that fans would stop playing the games in favor of watching the movies.
The White Queen from Resident Evil: Extinction would originally have appeared in this film (one of the older scripts for the Alice version, not the Jill and Chris one).
Overtook the Manga: The fourth S.D. Perry novel (Underworld) was set after the events of RE2 and featured plot elements that diverged from what was revealed in later games. Perhaps the biggest offender is the original character "Trent", who is the son of the scientist team who created the T-Virus and were murdered for it and who thusly serves as the Man Behind the Man for all of the good guys (including Ada) out of his desire to bring Umbrella down, being quite effective at helping because he's secretly working amongst the upper echelons of Umbrella.