Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a light gun game released in 2007 and set in the continuity of the Resident Evil series. The game consists of four stages ("files") that cover events either depicted or alluded to in Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as well as a new storyline set in 2003.
Each file does one of two things: it either replays (in a compressed and somewhat modified format) one of the original Resident Evil games or covers an "untold story" (events not shown during the original games that happened during the games' timeframe).
The four files consist of:
- "Train Derailment" — This file adapts the struggle of Billy Coen and Rebecca Chambers through the events of RE0. It contains the two chapter mini-file "Beginnings", which reveals Albert Wesker's actions after departing the makeshift lab he and William Birkin established.
- "Mansion Incident" — This file follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine through the events of Resident Evil. It contains the two chapter mini-files "Nightmare" and "Rebirth". Nightmare — set between the events of RE0 and REmake — cover Rebecca and Richard Aiken's attempt to discover fellow survivors of Bravo Team. "Rebirth" — set in the last minutes of REmake — follows Wesker (awakened from death by Birkin's prototype mutagen) as he fights his way out of the mansion and enters a running battle with the Nigh Invulnerable Lisa Trevor.
- "Raccoon's Destruction" — This file covers, in vastly abbreviated form, the events of RE3. It contains two one-chapter mini-files: "Fourth Survivor" adapts the minigame of the same name from Resident Evil 2, while "Death's Door" covers Ada Wong's escape from Raccoon City's imminent nuclear annihilation after saving Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from Mr. X.
- "Umbrella's End" — This file (the only one not based on an existing game) occurs in 2003, five years after the destruction of Raccoon City (and a year prior to the events of Resident Evil 4). It shows Chris and Jill's assault on the last known remaining Umbrella facility — a disguised oil rig somewhere within Russia's borders — that has fallen under the command of Sergei Vladimir. The mini-file Dark Legacy reveals who tipped off the organization Chris and Jill work for to the location of Umbrella's last outpost: Wesker, who uses the assault as a distraction to penetrate the facility for his own purposes.
Capcom released a sequel to this game, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, in 2009.
As well as many tropes from Resident Evil as a whole, The Umbrella Chronicles contains examples of the following tropes:
- Apocalyptic Log: Contains all of the files from the adapted Resident Evil games, as well as new files created specifically for the unique stories told in the game.
- Attack Its Weak Point: With most bosses, this is the only way to really inflict significant damage or even do any damage at all. Most enemies also have one spot where only pistol shots cause more damage. The most egregious example would be the Ivies - shoot them once with any weapon, then target the center of their flower/mouth to instantly kill them.
- Bandaged Babe: Ada. Justified, as her side story takes place immediately after her Disney Death in 2.
- Big Bad: Ozwell E. Spencer is, as ever, The Man Behind the Man, but it's Sergei who drives the plot.
- Boom, Headshot!: Toyed with in the game. Hitting a creature in the head will usually inflict more damage. Proper headshots, as the game considers them, can be inflicted on zombies, and only with the pistol. These require hitting a very small, specific part of the zombie's head, roughly on the center of their forehead; this alone scores a proper headshot, causing the zombie's head to erupt in a shower of gore and counting towards your total headshots for the end of level score. Hit the zombie anywhere else in the head, and it doesn't count.
- Canon Immigrant:
- Captain Obvious:
Jill: Watch out for those fangs. I'll bet they're poisonous!Chris: Either way, if that thing gets a hold of us, we're screwed!
- Several instances, but notably this exchange during the fight with Yawn:
Chris: This thing's tough!Jill: I know! Try aiming for its mouth!
- A couple of rounds later into said fight:
- Cherry Tapping: The handgun against bosses. Woe be to any single player who is unlucky enough to fight Nemesis without an ample supply of ammo for another weapon capable of staggering his attacks, or you may find yourself unable to win at all.
- Colonel Badass: Sergei is a former Red Army colonel.
- Continuity Nod: Ada fights the T-0400TP from Outbreak File #2 at the end of the "Death's Door" scenario. Said scenario also depicts how Ada came into possession of her Grappling-Hook Pistol from RE4.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Averted more or less. If you manage to find the one-per-level First Aid Spray, when you die, you will immediately be revived at full health to continue fighting. If you die again or never found it, then you have to start the level over from either the beginning or the last checkpoint.
- Destructible Projectiles: A rather humorous example: you can deflect globs of acid with your knife.
- The Dog Bites Back: Lisa Trevor attempts to get revenge on Wesker for experimenting on her. She fails.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Sergei to Spencer.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Prior to taking Birkin's mutagen, Wesker manages to battle an Ivan, a Mr. X with armor-plating and human intelligence, to a standstill. After he takes the mutagen, he manages to finally kill the Nigh Invulnerable Implacable Man Lisa. In Dark Legacy, he takes on two Ivans at once and destroys them both.
- Eviler Than Thou: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- Fake Difficulty: Zombies take a lot of damage unless you hit them in the head. Unfortunately, the game defines "head" as "directly between the eyes and nowhere else." If you hit anywhere else in the head, it doesn't count, and makes it harder to actually score a proper headshot with subsequent shots. In Raccoon's Destruction, on the Normal difficulty, zombies are strong enough to survive the blast radius from either of the two grenade launchers that you have at that point, though a direct hit will still usually kill them.
- Former Regime Personnel: As aforementioned, Dragon-in-Chief Sergei is a former Red Army colonel.
- Giant Spider: Tarantulas and funnelwebs in first person. Eep.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- The Heavy: Sergei drives almost all the behind-the-scenes events of the game.
- Implacable Man: Lisa and Nemesis.
- Injured Player Character Stage: Ada's scenario deals with her escape after the events of Resident Evil 2. The heavily wounded Ada begins the level in critical condition.
- Lazy Backup: If there's no "player two," your "partner" is perfectly fine with watching you get eaten alive/beaten to death. This is particularly awkward in Rebecca's side scenario, Nightmare. Like the other side scenarios, Nightmare is meant to be a one player scenario. Despite this, she still gets a partner, Richard, who is clearly seen following her with a gun at the checkpoints and yet does nothing until she gets attacked by crows in a cutscene before the boss fight with Yawn.
- Loophole Abuse: You can keep replaying the first mission over and over to gain enough star points to upgrade all weapons to maximum, regardless of what rank you obtain. You just have to play through the rest of the game in order to obtain stronger weapons in the first place.
- Mauve Shirt: Richard, who in the original game only got a couple lines of dialogue before dying, is upgraded to this in the "Nightmare" mini-chapter, where he gets partnered up with Rebecca.
- More Dakka: The automatic weapons tend to be the best guns in the game as while they may not pack much punch per individual bullet, the sheer volume of shots they can pump out can whittle an enemy's health away quickly, even grinding bosses down in sharp volleys. The "spray and pray" approach also works wonders for dealing with leaping targets. When their stats are all upgraded, they're even better.
- Mythology Gag: The HUNK chapter is called "Fourth Survivor", which is the name of the unlockable minigame where he appeared for the first time in Resident Evil 2.
- New Work, Recycled Graphics: The Umbrella Chronicles reuses assets from the GameCube installments (REmake, RE0 and RE4), as well as the Outbreak spinoffs. This is why the scenarios "Train Derailment" and "Mansion Incident" are relatively faithful adaptations of RE0 and REmake, whereas "Raccoon's Destruction" vaguely resemble the actual events of RE3. Since neither RE2 nor RE3 were remade until a decade after this game, and the original PlayStation versions were too outdated compared to the other titles, "Raccoon's Destruction" instead uses areas from several Outbreak scenarios, namely "Outbreak", "Underbelly", "Desperate Times" and "Hellfire". This is also the real reason why The Umbrella Chronicles glosses over the events of RE2 and only focuses on what happened to Ada and HUNK (since they already had character models in RE4). Only Carlos and Nemesis were remade completely for this game.
- Nostalgia Level: The Raccoon City segments, using the same maps as Outbreak, tend to bring back memories of said game. As are the mansion and the train segments, which use old parts from their games as well.
- One-Winged Angel: The hideous Tyrant that Sergei transforms into.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: The rockets fired from Nemesis' rocket launcher. He fires three missiles at you at a time, and you have to shoot them down to avoid taking damage. Realistically, the rockets would impact before Jill and Carlos even had time to react.
- Press X to Not Die: Not very common but does happen here and there:
- Usually, the only way to avoid being hurt by a boss is to shoot it and disrupt its attack. This makes it nearly impossible to beat certain bosses unless you have a weapon capable of disrupting attacks. For example, Nemesis has one attack that can only be avoided by disrupting it, one attack that will continue to choke you to death until you shoot him enough times to break free, and one attack that can be avoided only if you shoot all of the tentacles before they make their way to you. If all you have left is a handgun, it is impossible to survive the fight because of his first two attacks.
- Almost all chapters have at least one quick time event during a cutscene, which is telegraphed by an inverted-color fade-in. Missing has consequences ranging from heavy damage or having to fight another enemy, to an instant death that even a First Aid Spray can't avoid.
- Rank Inflation: As in the original games, the highest rank is S, which supersedes an A.
- Ret-Canon: Until this game, Red Queen was created exclusively for the live action movie series. This is the first and only time she has shown up so far in the games, so she does not impact the rest of the story too much.
- Rewarding Vandalism: Not only is "Objects Destroyed" one of the factors determining your end of level rank, it's the only way to find the files.
- Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: As aforementioned, in Ada scenario, she's in critical condition due to the heavy injuries she suffered in Resident Evil 2. Despite this, she manages to fight through hordes of zombies, the Tyrant R, and escape the city in one piece.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Gun Survivor spinoffs.
- Undying Loyalty: Displayed throughout by Sergei towards Umbrella as a whole, and Spencer in particular.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: Certain bosses cannot be beaten unless you have another weapon stronger than your handgun that can stagger attacks. If you're unfortunate enough to make it to the end of the level without very much ammo left, you may not be able to win. Even if you get the boss pattern down, they still have certain attacks that cannot be avoided by just shooting them with the handgun.
- Villain Protagonist: Wesker, since he serves as the narrator and most of the side-chapters involve him as the player character.