When you think of horror games, Resident Evil is always in the conversation. First in the gaming industry in 1996, it was an overnight success and the series now has 27 different titles under its belt, and has even spawned a movie franchise … but let’s not talk about them. While we all know Resident Evil for its tank controls and fixed camera angles alongside its stars (no pun intended) like Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, it wasn’t always designed to be the game and series we know today. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Resident Evil series.
1. The name was chosen from a competition
As most people will know, the Resident Evil series is called Biohazard in Japan, there is also a nod to the title with RE7 which is Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (the Japanese name is also Biohazard VII: Resident Evil), but that name is used shortly before launch for a DOS game. Then Capcom returned to the drawing board to think of a new name. They held a company-wide competition to create a new name and won Resident Evil.
Chris Kramer, Senior Director of Communications and Community at Capcom US, said: “I voted against the name, I thought it was super cheesy; I can’t remember what I felt was a better alternative, probably something stupid about zombies, but the rest of the marketing team loved it and were finally able to convince Capcom Japan and Mikami-san that the name fit. “
2. Originally he was supposed to be the first person
While the series finally went first person with Resident Evil 7, as well as Survivor and Chronicles games, the series has always been known to be a third person, but it wasn’t always the case.
The game was originally meant to be first person, with the gun in the center of the screen as DOOM (1993). There isn’t much information or footage from the original first person concept, but I think we can agree that moving to third person was the right choice.
3. There was a planned Gameboy Color port
In the late 1990s, after the great success of the original titles, a Gameboy Color port was planned, seemingly reaching 90% completion before being canceled. It is not known why the game was canceled because it is actually a really good port, considering the platform it is on. Although not perfect, at least he tried to be as accurate as possible to the original. A leaked rom released online allowing you to play it using an emulator, as well as vendors selling repro cartridges with the game, it’s definitely worth checking out to see what might have been.
4. Resident Evil was originally a remake of another game
The Resident Evil series has had its share of remakes, with 1, 2 and 3 all remade. But did you know that the original 1996 game was originally a remake of another game? In 1989 Capcom released the exclusive Japanese Sweet Home on NES, based on a movie of the same name. The premise of the game is for 5 filmmakers to explore a mansion that encounters ghosts and other paranormal entities. The original plan was to remake Sweet Home, but it was probably modified due to the game being based on a movie and possibly running into licensing issues, as well as players outside of Japan who didn’t know what Sweet Home is. This is probably where the idea for the mansion came from, as both games feature them, and apparently the ghosts were swapped out for zombies.
5. Multiplayer was planned
The original plan for Resident Evil was to have a cooperative multiplayer option, but this was scrapped due to hardware limitations. We saw the revised co-op feature in Resident Evil 5, but it’s interesting to think how it might have developed in the original game. While it would have been a lot of fun playing with a partner, the game would definitely have lost the horror factor by not having felt so lonely.
6. Other playable characters were planned
Resident Evil focuses on the main characters, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, as well as secondary characters such as Barry Burton and various members of Team Bravo. But there were also plans for 2 other characters that were later removed. Dewey was meant to be a comic relief character based on Eddie Murphy, and Gelzer was a huge man with a cyber eye. Looking at them was probably the right choice. It feels strange to say that Gelzer would have strayed from the realistic look, especially when talking about a zombie game.
7. The mansion was based on a royal house
Tatsuya Minami, Senior Product Planning Manager for Demonic resident, has admitted that the designs for the mansions used in the series are based on real-life mansions, specifically European mansions, as they further scared the Capcom team.
8. Resident Evil holds a Guinness World Record for worst dialogue
In 2008, Resident Evil was awarded a Guinness World Record, not for a great achievement, but for having the worst dialogue in a video game. Who can forget classic lines like;
Barry: It is a weapon. It is really powerful, especially against living things.
Barry: We should start from the first floor, okay? And, Jill, here’s a lock. It can be useful if you, the unlock master, take it with you.
Barry: That was very close! You were almost a Jill sandwich!
Barry definitely got the short end of the stick when it came to dialogue.
9. Players can find Zombie Wesker
* SPOILER ALERT * Towards the end of Resident Evil Wesker is revealed to be the villain before being killed by the Tyrant, then he can be found as a zombie. While this is not a canon because he participated in later stories, it is a fun Easter egg. Zombie Wesker can only be found in the Sega Saturn port in its battle game mode. Zombie Wesker is ridiculously strong and it’s great to see him on it. Most gamers will have missed this because the Saturn port is not as popular as the Playstation version.
10. The series has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide
After 24 years and 27 games, the Resident Evil series has sold a whopping 100 million copies, making it the 17th best-selling video game series of all time. The best-selling game in the series is Resident Evil 5, which represents over 12 million copies. The 5 best-selling Resident Evil games are;
- Resident Evil 5 – 12,840,000
- Resident Evil 6 – 10,931,400
- Resident Evil 4 – 8,728,067
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – 7,500,000
- Resident Evil 2 (Remake) – 6,600,000
Did you know of any of these Resident Evil facts? Are there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments.
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