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  • 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.
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  • Cash Cow Franchise: Resident Evil is one of Capcom's most popular and successful franchises.
  • 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.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "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: Prior to the 2010s, the games are 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 later got averted when Chris, Jill, Wesker, Leon, Ada, and others received Japanese voice actors for the live-action films and 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.
  • The Other Darrin:
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    • Chris Redfield:
    • Jill Valentine:
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    • Barry Burton:
    • Rebecca Chambers:
      • 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  (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, Teppen)
    • Leon S. Kennedy:
    • Claire Redfield:
      • Alyson Court (Resident Evil 2, Code: Veronica, Degeneration, The Darkside Chronicles, The Mercenaries 3D, Operation Raccoon City)
      • James Baker (Revelations 2)
      • Stephanie Panisello (Resident Evil 2 Remake)
    • 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)
      • Unknown (Resident Evil Zero)
      • T.J. Rotolo (The Umbrella Chronicles, The Darkside Chronicles, Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil 2 Remake)
    • Sherry Birkin:
      • Lisa Yamanaka (Resident Evil 2)
      • Laura Bailey (The Darkside Chronicles)
      • Eden Riegel (Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil 6)
      • Eliza Pryor (Resident Evil 2 Remake)
    • Carlos Oliveira:
      • Vincent Corazza (Resident Evil 3)
      • Kim Strauss (The Umbrella Chronicles)
      • Gideon Emery (Operation Raccoon City)
      • Jeff Schine (Resident Evil 3 Remake)
    • Nicholai Zinoviev:
      • Roger Honeywell (Resident Evil 3)
      • Unknown (Outbreak)
      • Rick D. Wasserman (Operation Raccoon City)
      • Neil Newbon (Resident Evil 3 Remake)
    • Steve Burnside:
      • Bill Houston (Code: Veronica)
      • Sam Riegel (The Darkside Chronicles)
    • Alfred Ashford:
    • Alexia Ashford:
    • 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.
  • Referenced by...:
    • 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.
    • Plague Inc. has the Necroa Virus as a DLC, a highly mutagenic virus that induces a Healing Factor in it's victims strong enough to bring them Back from the Dead (sounds an awful lot like the T-Virus, doesn't it?). In it's American backstory, it's a bioweapon created by an unscrupulous pharmecutecal Mega-Corp that throws their considerable resources behind covering it up. Unlike Umbrella, said company has a Heel–Face Turn and uses it's Red Shirt Army to try and fix things. Eventually.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 North 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 
      • 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 
      • Joe Kendo was originally Ada's boyfriend John.note 
      • 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  As a continuity nod, the HD port of Zero features several DLC outfits for Rebecca and Billy, including Rebecca's beta Zero uniform.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Resident Evil Wiki.

2002 movie

  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Milla Jovovich became a massive fan of the games through her younger brother Marco, whom she used to play them with, and joined the film for cool it would be to be in Resident Evil.
    • 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 the Midwest, was shot in Germany.
  • Descended Creator: They were short on extras to play zombies, so several Capcom executives agreed to appear as such. As did the producers.
  • Distanced from Current Events: The first film would have the subtitle Ground Zero, but that was left out after 9/11 happened.
  • 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.
    • Milla Jovovich trained for three months to be able to do the stunt where Alice runs up the wall and kicks the dog in the head.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Paul W.S. Anderson's script began as a standalone film (though it was heavily inspired by the games), before getting integrated into what became the adaptation.
  • DVD Commentary: On the Deluxe Edition, Paul W.S. Anderson, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez crack jokes and argue about meaningless crap.
    Anderson: And in this scene we...
    Milla: Who cares about that, you can see my boobs! Look!
  • 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.
  • Executive Meddling: Subverted. The studio tried to make the film PG-13 but Paul WS Anderson insisted a Resident Evil adaptation had to be rated R.
  • Fake American:
    • Milla Jovovich as Alice is a borderline example. She's Ukranian by birth but has been in America since she was a child and thus doesn't have to fake an accent.
    • Colin Salmon, James Purefoy, Jason Isaacs, and Liz May Brice are all British. The Umbrella employees are played by a mixture of British and Irish actors.
    • Lisa is played by German actress Heike Makatsch.
  • Fake Nationality: JD's last name is Salinas, suggesting he's Hispanic. His actor Pasquale Aleardi is Swiss born, of Greek and Italian descent.
  • Follow the Leader: The success of this led to Doom, Max Payne and Silent Hill being greenlit.
  • Looping Lines: Milla Jovovich ended up redoing all her dialogue with ADR, as she was dissatisfied with her performance. In the ADR, she gave Alice a lower speaking register than before.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: The dogs kept licking the make-up and blood effects off themselves.
  • No Stunt Double: Milla Jovovich did all her stunts herself, except for when Alice's pipe jump in the sewer scene (her agent was afraid she'd be strangled by the hanging wires).
  • Real-Life Relative: Producer James Bolt's sister and girlfriend appear as zombies.
  • Romance on the Set: Anderson and Jovovich met while working on the movie; currently, they're married.
  • Throw It In!: The movie was not supposed to have the little nudity it did, according to the DVD commentary. Apparently, Milla Jovovich had a Wardrobe Malfunction twice in the same movie and it was left in.
  • Wag the Director: Paul W.S. Anderson had initially conceived the character of Alice as a full-on Damsel in Distress, with Rain being the only Action Girl in the film. When Milla Jovovich found about it, she went to Anderson and convinced him to change the character to a more action-oriented one.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 Anderson's script even though it's a much, much farther cry from Resident Evil.note  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. Romero's script was also partly rejected because it would likely get an NC-17 rating.
    • David Boreanaz was approached to play Matt but he turned it down due to Angel commitments. Hilariously, at one point, Sarah Michelle Gellar was set to star as Alice too. For a while he was in talks to star in a smaller role, but ultimately nothing happened.
    • 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). She would be the AI monitoring the Hive from Umbrella Headquarters, and jam the Red Queen's systems after the incident - explaining why the soldiers were able to enter the Hive so easily.
    • At one point Rain was going to die relatively early in the film - at the end of the failed escape from the Dining Hall. Apparently due to complaints from Milla Jovovich, this death was given to JD instead.
    • An ending that nearly got filmed had Alice and Matt being captured by Umbrella, but then being freed by the White Queen as the T-virus spreads throughout the world. They would be seen driving together through a deserted road, with the implication that they'd become lovers.
    • Another drafted ending still had Matt become a monster (but not Nemesis) and in the hospital room with Alice when she wakes up. The credits would roll there, leaving it ambiguous as to whether she got away. Another version of this ending had Matt just with memory loss but still helping Alice escape.

Novels

  • 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.


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