Resident Evil has had a long and interesting history.
Since the first game released in 1996, the series has grown to be one of the most successful horror franchises of all time. It’s undoubtedly a series that’s helped shape the survival horror genre into what it is today. And because the series has been around for so long, there’s a tonne of fun facts that many fans probably don’t know.
We’ve gathered together some of the most interesting Resident Evil facts that you may not know. Enjoy!
1It Wasn’t Originally Called Resident Evil
You might already know that the Resident Evil series is known as Biohazard in Japan – but you might not know why. Back in the 90s in Japan, Biohazard was launched to some pretty amazing success – but its name wouldn’t work in the west. Shinji Mikami, the game director for Biohazard, found that the name was incredibly challenging to patent; there was already a game and a metal band of the same name.
Instead, Capcom launched a little competition to see who could come up with a good name for the game. Obviously, Resident Evil won – even though some members of the team found the name to be pretty cheesy.
2Devil May Cry started out as a Resident Evil title
Outside of Resident Evil, Capcom has made incredibly popular video game series, including Devil May Cry. But did you know that Devil May Cry was actually meant to be Resident Evil 4? It’s true. The team in charge of the game wanted something really cool and action-packed for the fourth instalment.
After a while, however, the team made the decision for it to be its own franchise, as the style, protagonist and general feel of the game didn’t really fit in the survival horror genre.
3Chris and Claire’s Jackets are a Reference to Queen
Claire’s outfit in Resident Evil 2 is iconic. No human wears a bright pink body suit with workout shorts underneath. It’s just strange all around, but if you look at the design on the back that reads “Made in Heaven” it’s actually a reference to the final album from rock band Queen.
There are few other places where you can find Queen references in the Resident Evil games too, including Claire’s jacket in Code Veronica and one of Billy’s tattoos in Resident Evil Zero.
4Resident Evil 1 Holds a World Record for “Worst Dialogue”
No one in their right mind has ever said that the original Resident Evil game had amazing dialogue – but was it really so bad that it’s been deemed the worst ever? Absolutely. As part of the Guinness Book of World Records Gamer’s Edition, Resident Evil was awarded “Worst Dialogue”.
It’s a bit harsh, but with lines like “That was too close, you were almost a Jill Sandwich” and “It’s a weapon. It’s really powerful, especially against living things”, can anyone really blame them?
5There Was a Resident Evil 1.5 in the Works but it was Scrapped
And when I say, “In the works” I mean, more than halfway finished. The Resident Evil team started work on the second game only a short while after development for the first one had finished. The original version of Resident Evil 2 – or Resident Evil 1.5 as it’s known now – had players taking on the role of Leon S. Kennedy and, rather than Claire, a woman named Eliza Walker.
The reason it was scrapped was mostly due to disagreements among the team as well as Capcom bosses finding the the game to be lacklustre and not very scary. They scrapped it and started anew, and that’s how we ended up with arguably the best game of the series, the original Resident Evil 2.
6Code Veronica was Meant to be the Third Major Title in the Series
Due to consoles constantly evolving and changing, Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Resident Evil 3 were tied up in a bit of conflict. Many members of the team wanted Code: Veronica to be the third instalment released on PS1, but with PS2 on its way it caused a few notches in the road.
Unable to release Resident Evil 2 on the Sega Saturn as they had originally planned due to the Saturn not being able to run it optimally, Capcom still wanted to stay on good terms with Sega. And so, the company decided to release Code: Veronica as a spin-off for the Sega Dreamcast and leave Resident Evil 3 for the PlayStation 2, keeping numbered titles in the series as Sony only.
7George A. Romero Almost Directed a Resident Evil Film
George A. Romero is a legend in the world of horror, having created some of the best zombie films of our time, Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead. So it is only natural that Capcom would want Romero to make a Resident Evil film. And he really worked on one.
Unfortunately, Romero’s film was a pretty faithful recreation of the game, and Capcom was looking for something a little more original. But you can read Romero’s full script of the movie online, which is pretty darn cool.
More Resident Evil goodness
- Our 10 Favourite Resident Evil Moments
- Unlocking Resident Evil: An Interview with Writer Philip J Reed
- The Best Resident Evil Bosses of All Time
- Seven Resident Evil Games You Might Have Missed
- Childhood Nightmares and Finding Lifelong Friends: A Tale of Resident Evil
- Why Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a Love Letter to Horror