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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Jill no better than Brad? Is she a Pragmatic Hero for understanding the city's now overrun by the monsters and past the point of no return? Or an Unscrupulous Hero bordering on Jerkass for coldly monologuing about the civilians being "judged", repeatedly stating how important her own survival is and no one else's? Showing no remorse or shock for witnessing several people running before being eaten alive in front of her? In her defense, she has a virtually-unstoppable killer solider pursing her. But so too did Leon and Claire, the form of both Mr. X, and G-virus malformation that was once William Birkin. And the former was a rookie cop, the latter a civilian with none of the training or experience of STARS, yet they managed to save Sherry. Jill didn't save one single resident of Raccoon City, nor made any attempt to look for survivors, when at the time she fled her apartment, several characters seen in RE2 were still alive and could have been rescued.
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  • Awesome Music: The ending theme.
  • Ass Pull: Umbrella having a computer system that anticipates and announces an alarm for when the U.S. Army should ever launch a nuclear missile at the research center in Raccoon City. It really is a suspension of disbelief that the company would be Crazy-Prepared to this level when most outbreaks they cause either were the result of a betrayal they never anticipated or simply started with the word "oops". One can interpret, perhaps imaginatively, that the entire outbreak was orchestrated by the pharmaceutical giant, for science. However, this is all contradicted by Resident Evil 2's backstory, where the virus was accidentally released by Birkin while hunting down HUNK's crew. A simpler explanation is that the missile tracking program was installed during the Cold War, when the threat of a nuclear strike was a serious possibility.
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  • Catharsis Factor: Finally killing Nemesis for good in the Final Battle after he's been chasing you this whole game is one of the biggest examples of this in the series.
  • Complete Monster: In the Biohazard 3: Last Escape & Supplemental Edition manhua, "Boss" is a senior executive at Umbrella placed in charge of the T-virus program. Capturing innocent people and having their families murdered, Boss transforms these people into Tyrants, seeking to expand on William Birkin's scientific studies. When one of his scientists, Leo, tried leaving Umbrella, Boss had his friends murdered and imprisons him for decades. Once Nemesis/The Sniper invades Umbrella headquarters, Boss casually lets his cohorts get killed and escapes in a helicopter. Seeking to make more profit, Boss decides to clone various people and sell them for money, ordering Claire's death once he's been found out.
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  • Demonic Spiders: Hunter Betas. They aren't quite as hardy as their Alpha cousins, but they're twice as decapitation happy and they don't always wait until you've hit "caution" before they swat off your noggin. They also have an infuriating habit of appearing in groups nearly every time they're encountered and are damn near impossible to sneak up on, as you could often do with the Hunters in the first game.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Nemesis is one of the series' longest standing popular monsters. He is highly regarded as the best thing about the game and for contributing a Paranoia Fuel feel to the game that was unlike the series ever had before.
    • Nicholai is surprisingly popular with a great deal of the fanbase. Sure he's a huge jerkass, but he's also a deliciously Large Ham and extremely Russian. He also has the distinct honor of being like HUNK as the only surviving Umbrella operative.
    • The game itself. Despite being a last-minute replacement title that was made in a relative hurry, Resident Evil 3 has gone on to become one of the most recognizable entries in the franchise. It's the only game in the series that received anything close to a live-action adaptation in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Nemesis is one of the franchise's most recognizable monsters, to the point where he is playable in two games in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and it is one of the most referenced of the classic-style games. Its popularity is quite telling when, after the announcement of the Resident Evil 2 remake, fans were already clambering for an RE3 remake before RE2's even came out.
  • Evil Is Cool: Nemesis. The difficulty in fighting him didn't stop fans from loving him for the threat he poses.
  • Genius Bonus: The railgun, "Paracelsus's Sword," is named after the pseudonym of a Swiss alchemist from the 1500s who is considered one of the pioneers of Western medicine during the Renaissance, to the point where some historians call him the father of toxicology.
  • Goddamned Bats: Crows, of course, but the baby spiders are even worse, as their attacks cause next to no damage, but still interrupt Jill and Carlos's ability to attack, leaving them vulnerable to the far more dangerous webspinners.
    • To address balancing issues created by giving Jill to ability to dodge/shove away zombies, Capcom made the undead a little more aggressive than in RE2 and they have a nasty tendency to run after you when all you're trying to do is avoid them to conserve ammo for Nemesis.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The "corner bug" when fighting the eponymous Nemesis. Throughout the game, it's possible to lure Nemesis into areas where he'll get stuck on either the wall or any objects in his path. Not only does this keep him just out of range to attack (unless the player is standing with the knife readied to attack and even then he'll only attack on his initial charge), but it allows the player to attack him without getting hurt, even with their knife. He will eventually get unstuck but he can be lured back into the wall or object and this bug can be repeated until he's dead. As shown here, this is probably the only way to defeat Nemesis without using too many healing items.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A bit of an obscure one. In the Versus Books Perfect Guide for Resident Evil 3, the author, as a joke, pointed out the various similarities between Nemesis and Sagat from Street Fighter. At the end he hoped that "Street Fighter vs. Resident Evil happens someday soon!" Fast forward to 2011 and Nemesis is one of the playable characters in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Narm: Listed here.
  • Older Than They Think: Nemesis is actually a rejected design for the earlier Tyrant that would go on to become Mr. X.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Nemesis runs on the stuff. He can appear just about anywhere at anytime to ruin your day, and there's little you can do about it. You can run, but you'll have a hell of a time getting away because of how insanely fast he moves. You can fight if you got the ammo to spare, but even if you defeat him, it'll only provide a temporary reprieve before he gets back up and resumes his hunt for you. Hearing the ominous groan of "S.T.A.R.S." in the darkness will usually be your cue to panic, but even sounds of offscreen destruction like shattering glass can mean he's very close and ready to strike, but you won't know until he actually does.
  • Polished Port:
    • Like the second game, the Dreamcast port of this one provided support for the VGA box and some additional bonus costumes, as well as using the VMU as a health monitor, all for a discounted price at launch.
    • The GameCube port doesn't have the two extra costumes of the PC and Dreamcast versions, but its FMV cutscenes are of the highest quality of any version of the game, running at 60 FPS.
  • Porting Disaster: The XPLOSIV version for Windows XP, which features glitches not seen in other versions of the game, removes the Mercenaries mini-game (due to a mistake from the programmers), which now blocks the player from ever unlocking the infinite ammo for every weapon and the infinite weapons, and it can't detect a completed file, which means that you can't unlock any epilogue or costume. It is possible to obtain Mercenaries mode for this port, but only as a separate .exe file, meaning unlockables still can't be carried over to the main game.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Carlos shares a voice (Vincent Corazza) with Tuxedo Mask and Zexion.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Your main source of ammunition in the game is gunpowder, together with the reloading tool. The bottles come in three varieties, A, B and C (and the last one is only available after already mixing the first two together). This can be a huge pain in the ass to manage. Not only do you have to do more inventory shuffling than before, keeping track of the combination mixes, but the game randomizes the location of pick-ups. You can find yourself easily screwed over if the game decides to be stingy and not give you any gunpowder needed for magnum ammo. What's more, the game does not allow you to combine double or triple A and B powders together to make double or triple C, even though the number of ingredients is exactly the same. You always have to combine single A and B together to make C and then combine those.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Jill's short text narrations where she talks about how Umbrella took everything from her, including her home, are pretty sad.
    • Dario Russo, the crying fat guy at the start of the game who watched his daughter get eaten by zombies. You can go back after you are done in the police station to find him eaten alive by zombies. He may have been a complete Jerkass to Jill in his only scene, but you can hardly blame him.
    • Brad's Cruel and Unusual Death via Nemesis. As if getting bitten by zombies to the point of infection wasn't enough, one must remember that Brad's a pilot, not a soldier, meaning he's not as experienced as Jill, Chris, or Barry when it comes to combat. Just for his troubles, he gets to meet the business end of Nemesis's tentacle arm, and as implied by Jill's horrified reaction, it wasn't pretty. This scene reveals how Brad became a zombie in RE2.
    • Mikhail's Heroic Sacrifice to stop Nemesis especially if one recalls how Mikhail grieved for being the sole survivor of his squad moments earlier. Even Jill, who was initially doubtful of the Umbrella mercenaries, was visibly saddened.
    • The diary entry of the mercenary found in the Clock Tower with the girl he was trying to protect. At the end, he says he wanted to do the right thing. He did.
    • After the fight at the Clock Tower with Nemesis, Carlos, if he didn't destroy Nemesis's rocket launcher, will appear and prove that He Really Can Act by begging Jill to wake up.
    • The ending. Seeing Raccoon City being decimated with all those helpless people turned zombies as Jill, Carlos, and Barry Burton watch from their helicopter is absolutely heart-wrenching. Not to worry, it gets much worse. We are then treated to a still of a large mushroom cloud following the nuclear explosion as we are fed a news story informing us that other than Jill, Carlos, Leon, Claire, Sherry, Alyssa, Kevin, Cindy, Mark, David, Jim, George, Yoko, Linda, Ada, Barry, HUNK, and Nicholai, there were no other survivors. Yep, all 100,000 people vanished. All while this heart crushing track is played in the background. This is followed with even further heartbreak with this sad, but beautiful track.
  • That One Boss: Nemesis in general can be really nasty if one is going to slay him for the weapons, if only because he'll pick fights with you in hallways where you're at a disadvantage in fighting him. On top of that, you're rarely ever given any indication when Nemesis is gonna show up, meaning that it's entirely possible for him to pop up when you've either got little ammo, little health, or both. There are also a few specific examples that stand out:
    • Taking out the big guy in the first encounter outside the Police Station should only be attempted, if you are a glutton for punishment. You are practically naked at this early point in the game, with little ammo and herbs. Be prepared to die and die, and die. The only reason most players should stick around is not for the fight itself, but to get Brad's ID card so you can stay away from another monster-infested part of the police station.
    • The fight with Nemesis at the Clock Tower is one of the toughest boss battles in the game. You have a very limited space in which to fight him in, and he will often knock you down, then pick you up and do a One-Hit Kill move. Plus, you can't see your health indicator anymore.
  • That One Puzzle: That godawful water treatment puzzle. Even after you figure out the "gimmick" to solving it (all three meters combined = pattern on bottom), you'll still need to be very meticulous in visualizing exactly how each meter should line up, and it's randomized.note 
  • Vindicated by History: An interesting example between this game and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica. They were released within a year of each other, with Code: Veronica being hailed as redefining the series and the true sequel to RE2, while Nemesis was regarded as a mere side story, despite the numbered title. Nowadays, critical and fan reception has swung the opposite direction, with Nemesis seen as being a fresh take on the classic Resident Evil formula, while Code: Veronica is regarded as good, but just another RE game.

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