The baloon extraction mechanic is goofy as hell but damn have the games become intrincate.
The baloon extraction mechanic is goofy as hell but damn have the games become intrincate.
Resident evil “1.5” is the lost development version of what eventually became resident evil 2, one of the best entries in the series.
The game was apparently almos 80% done when they decided to scrap it and start again. Biker chick Claire Redfield replaced Elza Walker (Another biker chick but one with a more realistic biker outfit – frankly a more practical one when there are zombies about too). The gun store owner who dies at the start of Claire’s arc was apparently going to be a recurring character with more participation. Can’t say I missed him since he was rather creepy.
An interesting view into what could’ve been.
Resident Evil ( Biohazard) is a survival horror video game by Capcom and is the inaugural title in the Resident Evil series. It was originally released in 1996 for the Sony PlayStation and has subsequently been ported to the Sega Saturn and PC. A Director’s Cut was also released.
In 2002, a remake of the game was released for the Nintendo GameCube featuring new graphics, voice acting and many significant gameplay changes. A Nintendo DS port of the original was released in early 2006.
It was the first game to be dubbed a “survival horror”, a term coined by Capcom to promote the title. Whether it was the first game in the survival horror genre is disputed.
The original game opens on the evening of July 24, 1998 in the fictional Raccoon City where a number of grisly murders have taken place on the outskirts of town. Victims were attacked in their homes by a group of assailants, who left evidence of cannibalism. Local law enforcement sends in the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team. After contact is lost, the Alpha Team is sent out to find Bravo Team and to continue the investigation. Alpha Team locates the downed Bravo Team helicopter, but there is no sign of survivors; only a severed hand is found. While searching the area for further clues, Alpha Team is attacked by ferocious dogs, which kill one of the team’s members, Joseph Frost. Alpha’s helicopter pilot, Brad Vickers, suddenly lifts off and abandons the team. Pursued by the violent dogs who killed their colleague, Alpha Team is forced to seek refuge within a nearby mansion, believed to be abandoned.
With the dogs roaming the outside of the building, the four remaining Alpha Team members (Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton and Albert Wesker) are besieged within. A gun shot rings out, to which the player’s selected character moves to investigate. At this point, the player takes control of the character and begins to explore the mansion. One of the first discoveries to be made is a member of Bravo Team, Kenneth Sullivan, being eaten by a zombie. The character eventually finds the mansion to be riddled with puzzles, traps and horrors; anything but abandoned. Scattered documents and files suggest that a series of illegal experiments and criminal activities were being undertaken on the property by a clandestine research team, under the authority and supervision of pharmaceutical conglomerate Umbrella Incorporated. The creatures roaming the mansion and surrounding region are the results of these experiments, which have exposed the mansion’s personnel and various animals and insects to a highly contagious and mutagenic biological agent known as the “T-Virus” (hence the Japanese title, “Biohazard“).
The opening scene from Chris’s scenario in the original PlayStation version.
After navigating a series of tunnels, passageways and buildings, the player discovers a secret underground laboratory containing detailed records of the Umbrella Corporation’s experiments. In the lab, Albert Wesker reveals that he is a double agent working for Umbrella and releases the “Tyrant T-002”, a giant humanoid monster created through prolonged exposure to the T-Virus. Upon release, the Tyrant immediately impales Wesker on its elongated claws. The player then apparently slays the Tyrant. A self-destruct program is triggered soon after. After the player calls for a rescue chopper, the Tyrant bursts through the roof of the lab onto the chopper landing pad and attacks. Suddenly resistant to bullets, the Tyrant is finally slain when the chopper pilot, Brad Vickers, drops a rocket launcher and the player uses it to completely destroy the creature. The player escapes in the chopper and the game ends.
The ending sequence varies depending on choices made by the player as he/she explores the mansion. So long as the player escapes with both teammates, the ending plays out as described above. Rescuing only one or neither teammates changes the outcome.
The same scene from the GameCube remake.
Unlike subsequent Resident Evil games, the first game had a live-action opening and endings in the style of a B-grade horror movie. The opening footage in Western releases was significantly re-cut to exclude much of the gore. Although Capcom had intended to include the complete and uncensored version of the intro in the later releases, only the PC, some North American and European Sega Saturn releases, and the German and French PAL PlayStation Director’s Cut releases contained the original FMV.
The gameplay environment consists of polygonal 3D characters placed over prerendered 2D backgrounds. As such, the game relies on pre-determined camera angles as opposed a real-time camera. As a result, the game uses a “tank-like” control scheme. Instead of the player moving the character in the direction pushed on the control stick, the character instead moves forwards by pressing up, backwards by pressing down and will turn on the spot by pushing left or right directional buttons. Many of the series’ detractors have criticized this control scheme, claiming that it is confusing and unsuitable for a third-person action game. Fans, however, defend it, arguing that a conventional third-person control scheme would be limited and unwieldy when used in conjunction with the prerendered camera angles prevalent in the majority of the series’ titles.
These often imaginative camera angles are used to convey an ominous, cinematic feel to the player, claimed by the developers to have been impossible to achieve with standard 3D technology of the period. The prerendered backgrounds would also allow the developers to add a level of detail previously impossible for 3D technology of the time.
The player fights enemies by arming the character with a weapon. When attacking, the player remains static and can turn their character and aim their weapon level, up or down. Initially, the only weapons available to the player are a combat knife and a Beretta 92FS, but later in the game, more weapons become accessible to the player such as the Remington M870 and a Colt Python. Ammunition for firearms is severely limited.
The player must survive by fighting against the various monsters that populate the mansion. The most common enemies in the game are zombies, which are slow-moving and easy to outrun, but hard to avoid in tight corners. During later sections of the game, the player must also fight against zombie dogs (known as “Cerberus”), Hunters, Chimeras and Web Spinners, as well as small enemies such as crows, wasps and adders. The player must also fight against bosses such as a giant snake, a mutated plant, a giant spider, a giant shark, and the Tyrant.
Health is restored by using first-aid sprays or healing herbs. Of the two, healing herbs are more common and restore a portion of the player’s health, while first-aid sprays are more scarce, but will restore the player’s health completely. There are three types of healing herbs available: the Green Herb for restoring health, the Blue Herb, which cures poison, and the Red Herb, which can’t be used by itself, but will triple the healing power of a green herb when mixed with one. The player can mix herbs for up to six usable combinations.
The player must navigate through the mansion by picking up various keys and items which are integral to the game’s progress, while solving puzzles along the way. The player has a limited capacity for carrying items and this enforces the need to carry only essential items in order to have space for new items. As such, boxes are available for the player to store any item for later use.
The player can save progress by locating a typewriter and using an ink ribbon to save gameplay data. Ink ribbons are available in a limited quantity, forcing the player to think carefully about whether they have made enough progress to justify saving the game. This method has also been criticized by many, but designer Shinji Mikami defended this aspect by arguing that it increases the tension in the game.
There are also various documents available which provide the solutions to certain puzzles or simply further divulge the plot.
Resident Evil has the player take control of either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine. There are differences in abilities, items and supporting characters, resulting in a unique scenario for each character. Successive Resident Evil titles utilized a similar template, including a male and female lead in each release with few exceptions. Notably, Resident Evil 0 has players control both protagonists simultaneously.
The character who is not chosen vanishes mysteriously early into gameplay, leaving the player to explore the mansion alone. In order to unlock the passage leading to the cell, three MO Disks must be collected by the player and then inserted into terminals located throughout the lab. The cell’s door can only be unlocked by activating the self-destruct mechanism or by using Wesker’s Master Key.
According to the original Resident Evil instruction manual, Barry is very much a ‘family man’, and in one scenario presents to Jill a photograph of himself with his wife and children. He has experienced family troubles at home, which explains the stress he often exhibits throughout Jill’s mission. He also utters some of the game’s most infamous dialog; he claims that Jill is the “master of unlocking”, and when Jill is almost flattened by a descending ceiling from which Barry helps her escape, he claims that Jill was almost a “Jill sandwich”.
Most of the missing Bravo Team members will make minor appearances throughout the game and are often critically injured or already dead. In the Director’s Cut release, the GameCube remake, and Deadly Silence, Forrest appears as a reanimated corpse. In the GameCube release, Richard Aitken plays an extended role in both scenarios if the serum is delivered to him before his death. Although only Rebecca or Barry will escape with the player character, in the canon of the series, it is known that both survived the “mansion incident”.
The following is a list of creatures the player faces during the course of the original game. The main enemies in the game are known as Bio-Organic Weapons or B.O.W.s; creatures that were infected with the T-Virus and transformed into monsters as result. There are also creatures in the game (such as crows and adders) that underwent secondary mutation as a result of the viral outbreak in the mansion, although they’re not technically considered B.O.W.s. This includes the infected research and security personnel wandering the mansion.
The PlayStation game was a best seller in North America. The game received mixed reviews from critics. For example, GameSpot praised the game   while Computer Gaming World gave a more mixed review for the PC version (in which the violence was unedited, see below) in explaining that they “tried to hate it with its graphic violence, rampant sexism, poor voice acting and use of every horror cliché however…it’s actually fun.”  In total, according to Capcom’s Investor Relations website, the original Resident Evil has sold 2,750,000 units. 
Concerning the GameCube remake of Resident Evil, it has managed to sell 1,250,000 units in total.  GameSpot said about the remake: “Capcom has nearly perfected its craft and created the best Resident Evil ever”  And IGN mentioned at the time that the remake was “The prettiest, most atmospheric and all-around scariest game we’ve ever played” 
A scene from the uncut intro. Chris smokes a cigarette.
The original PlayStation version of Resident Evil featured several considerable changes between its original Japanese release and its English-language counterparts. Many of the more violent scenes (such as an image of half-eaten corpses, and Joseph being mauled by the Cerberuses) from the live-action FMV were removed, including scenes featuring Chris Redfield smoking a cigarette. These were done so to comply with SCEA’s censorship standards. The original Japanese PlayStation version also featured two vocal themes performed by J-Pop artist Fumitaka Fuchigami that were not in any other versions of the game. The game’s difficulty setting was also increased in its English release in order to make it harder to complete the game in a single rental. The auto-aiming function was disabled and the numbers of ink ribbons found by the player were reduced. Capcom also planned to eliminate the inter-connecting item boxes for the North American version and this was actually implemented in review copies of the game, but was eliminated due to negative feedback from play testers and game reviewers. This feature was brought back in the GameCube version as an unlockable difficulty setting known as “Real Survival”.
Japanese voice acting for the game was recorded, but ultimately unused. The released Japanese version uses English voice acting with Japanese subtitles, as does every Biohazard sequel released in Japan.
An updated version of Resident Evil for the PlayStation, titled Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, was released in September 1997, 18 months after the original release. Director’s Cut was produced to compensate for the delay of the sequel, Resident Evil 2, and was originally bundled with a playable demo of that game.
The main addition is the inclusion of an ‘Arranged’ mode featuring new camera angles, different item and enemy placement, a more powerful handgun and new default outfits for Chris and Jill (as well as Rebecca). The original game is included as well, with a new “Beginner” setting where the amount of ammunition uncovered by the player is doubled. One of the new features in the Director’s Cut, a zombified version of Bravo Team member Forest Speyer, was later kept in all later re-releases and in the GameCube remake.
A second release of Director’s Cut (known as the Dual Shock Version) was released in Japan and North America. The Dual Shock Version featured support for the Dual Shock controller’s analog controls and vibration functions, as well as a new symphonic soundtrack by Mamoru Samuragouchi, replacing the original soundtrack by Makoto Tomozawa, Akari Kaida, and Masami Ueda. The Japanese version of the Dual Shock Version came packaged with a bonus disc that contained downloadable save data and footage of the Japanese dubbed version of Resident Evil and gameplay footage of Resident Evil 1.5 (the canceled version of Resident Evil 2).
The North American and European releases of Director’s Cut were marketed as featuring the original, uncensored footage as seen in the Japanese releases. However, the FMV sequences were unchanged from the previous western releases and were still censored. Capcom claimed the omission was the result of a localization mistake made by the developers and offered the uncensored intro as a free download from their website as an appeasement. The French and German PAL versions of Director’s Cut feature the uncensored FMVs, in colored versions.
PlayStation 3 users can purchase and download Resident Evil: Director’s Cut for play on the PSP. As of April 2007, the game is only available in Japan, Hong kong and Taiwan stores.
Ports of the original Resident Evil were produced for the Sega Saturn and PC, each version containing platform-specific exclusive content.
The Sega Saturn version added an unlockable Battle Game minigame in which the player must traverse through a series of rooms from the main game and eliminate all enemies within them with the weapons selected by the player. This minigame features two exclusive enemies not in the main game: a zombie version of Wesker and a gold-colored Tyrant. The player’s performance is graded at the end of the minigame. The Saturn version also features exclusive enemy monsters, such as a re-skinned breed of Hunters known as Ticks and a second Tyrant prior to the game’s final battle. Exclusive outfits for Jill and Chris were added as well. Some Sega Saturn versions in North America and Europe contained the uncut full-color intro, Kenneth’s head scene, and the original bad ending for Chris. 
The PC version features the uncensored footage from the Japanese version, but the opening intro is now in full color rather than black and white. Support for 3D accelerators was added as well, allowing for much sharper graphics. Two new unlockable weapons are added, a MAC-10 for Jill and an FN Minimi for Chris. New unlockable outfits for Chris and Jill are added as well.
A Game Boy Color version of Resident Evil was planned, but cancelled by Capcom, citing that the port was of poor quality.
In 2002, the original Resident Evil was remade for the Nintendo GameCube as part of an exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo that spanned three new games (which also included Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil 4). Shinji Mikami has stated that the remake is “70% different from the original.”.
The game is notable for its nearly photo-realistic environments, all of which are pre-rendered. The remake features all-new graphics and sound, and also incorporates gameplay elements from the later installments (such as the use of body language and the 180-degree turn), introduced a new running style which was also used in Resident Evil 0, and several new areas and rooms were also added to the game, including a graveyard and a cabin in the woods. The overall plot remains largely unchanged. The original live-action FMV segments are replaced by CG versions, and the voice acting was completely re-recorded with new actors. The script was rewritten to have a more serious tone and improved translation, as opposed to the cheesy B-movie dialogue and “Engrish” script of the original. Gameplay mechanics are largely the same although most of the puzzles have been changed and the player can equip a defensive weapon that can be used when seized by an enemy.
Additionally, the remake features many unlockable modes, secrets, and various endings not found in the original. It also restores the George Trevor subplot, and splices other main characters of the Resident Evil plot, such as William Birkin and Edward Ashford into the game’s story.
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
An enhanced Nintendo DS port of the original Resident Evil, titled Resident Evil: Deadly Silence was made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the series. Deadly Silence includes a “Classic Mode”, the original game with minimal enhancements and touch-screen support, as well as a “Rebirth Mode” containing a greater amount of enemies and a series of new puzzles that make use of the hardware’s unique features.
The game makes use of the dual screen display with the top screen used to display the map, along with the player’s remaining ammunition and health (determined by the color of the background); while the bottom screen displays the main gameplay, and can be switched to show the player’s inventory. The graphics were mildly enhanced, and the game also include updated play mechanics from the later games; the 180-degree turn first introduced in Resident Evil 3, along with the knife button from Resident Evil 4. The updated controls are applicable to both Classic and Rebirth modes. Dialog and loading screens can be skipped as well. The live-action footage was still censored (even in the game’s Japanese release), however the scene showing Kenneth’s decapitated head was kept.
In “Rebirth”, new puzzles are added which make use of the system’s touch-screen to solve them. “Knife Battle” sequences, viewed from a first-person perspective, are also added in which the player must fend off incoming enemies by swinging the knife via the stylus. One particular puzzle requires the player to resuscitate an injured comrade by blowing into the built-in microphone. The player can also shake off enemies by using the touch screen and performing a melee attack.
The game also includes wireless support (LAN-only) for up to four players with two different multiplayer game modes. The first is a cooperative mode in which each player must help each other solve puzzles and escape the mansion together. The other is a competitive mode in which the objective is to get the highest score out of all the players by destroying the most monsters (with the tougher monsters being worth more points). There are three playable multiplayer stages and nine playable characters (all STARS members are playable, with the exception of Joseph, Edward and Brad).
The following details are from The True Story Behind Biohazard (1997, Capcom):
Article courtesy of Wikipedia