Saturday, 24 March 2012

Feature: 16 Years of Resident Evil

16 Years of Resident Evil: Counting down the fifteen most frightening moments of Capcom’s successful zombie franchise.

Sixteen years ago, Resident Evil shambled onto the scene, and is ever-popular. Fans love the creepy, often terrifying feel. Here are fifteen of the most frightening moments in the series’ history.

15. Mr X Smashes the Camera. (Resident Evil 2, 1998)
Just when you thought that the enemies in your immediate proximity had been cleaned out, you stop to view a live camera feed, just to check. Of course, something is lurking there; the gigantic Mr. X. As he gets closer to the camera, you realise that it is actually the corridor just around the corner from yourself. Confrontation is inevitable, so cue the panic!

14. Unexpected Zombie in the Train’s Refrigerator. (Resident Evil: Zero, 2002)
Walking through the train, a zombie suddenly breaks out of a refrigerator to the side of you. Fan Lewis Terry, 23, stated that “it’s made me jump on every single play-through of the game”, a sure sign that even the briefest of moments in Resident Evil retain their scare factor time and time again. 

13. Dogs Jumping Through the Corridor Window. (Resident Evil 1, 1996)
A tactic used regularly throughout the series, the sudden enemy appearance routine works incredibly well in the moment where some infected dogs jump through the corridor window in Resident Evil 1. Snarling, ravenous and horrific, it’s hard not to jump when they smash through to face you.

12. Appearance of Doctor Salvador in the Village. (Resident Evil 4, 2005)
What’s not scary about Doctor Salvador? Not only is he shambling towards you wielding a chainsaw, but his sack face is somewhat disconcerting. Fan James Stayte, 30, agrees that the scariest moment for him was “whenever you heard the chainsaw man coming in the Resident Evil 4 mercenaries’ missions, where he appears in giant form, wielding two chainsaws.

11. The First Glimpse of Nosferatu. (Resident Evil-Code Veronica X, 2001)
Nosferatu is the mutated form of the Ashford Twin’s father. Held captive for 15 years, he manages to break free when Claire Redfield and Steve Burnside are escaping the building.

The duo makes it to the helipad to escape, but Nosferatu unfortunately arrives just in time to stop them from leaving, resulting in one of the series most intense showdowns.

10. The First Appearance of the Executioner. (Resident Evil 5, 2009)
The Executioner appears towards the beginning of Resident Evil 5, when the locals become hostile towards Chris and Sheva.

What the Executioner lacks in agility is made up in his hulking physique and silent movements. Panic rises rapidly when he appears, and the terror is created by the constant need to evade his gigantic axe and vice-like grip.

9. Encountering Rachel. (Resident Evil Revelations, 2012)
Rachel works as a cross between Lisa Trevor and Nemesis, two previously terrifying enemies from past titles. This combination creates a laughing, lanky and hardy antagonist. You can often tell when Rachel is about to appear by the sudden creepy laughter, which gets louder the closer you get to her.

8. Birds in the Gallery Corridor (Resident Evil 1, 1996)
Birds may seem rather tame when compared to many of the others who have made this list, but they provide one of the most chilling moments of Resident Evil 1. Perched along the top of the gallery corridor, players had to press the buttons under parts in chronological order to unlock the puzzle. Make a wrong choice and these birds attacked the player. Being attacked by these birds was very frightening, and left many players dreading the moment they may go wrong.

7. “May Day!”- The Creepy Distress Call. (Resident Evil Revelations, 2012)
Jill Valentine and her partner hear a faint voice repeatedly saying “may day”. As you get closer, you realise that the voice turns loud, distressed and increasingly deranged, until finally, you reach the shaking, bolted door in which the voice emanates.

At this moment, the fear comes from the inevitably of conflict once you realise that the “person” inside will be released.

6. The First Zombie of Resident Evil. (Resident Evil 1, 1996)
The infected are crucial to the franchise. There is no forgetting that moment when players encountered the first ever zombie in Resident Evil 1. Fan Michael Powis, aged 47, said it was “the view of the first zombie feasting on fresh meat and turning to face me” that really instilled some dread into him. I’m sure that most Resident Evil fans will look back at this moment and agree with him.

5. First Encounter with a Licker. (Resident Evil 2, 1998)
First encounters with an enemy can also provide some of the scariest moments in the series. The Licker encounter is by far one of the most disturbing first introductions. Lickers are agile, strong and incredibly creepy.

4. The First Appearance of Nemesis. (Resident Evil 3, 1999)
The Resident Evil 3 antagonist, Nemesis is sent to Raccoon City to take down the surviving the members of the S.T.A.R.S team. Nemesis claims S.T.A.R.S. pilot Brad Vickers as his first victim. Cornering him outside the front doors of the Raccoon City Police Department, Nemesis impales Vickers through the mouth, breaking his neck as Jill Valentine watches in terror.
From then on, Nemesis appears regularly. He’s a tough enemy to defeat, uses rocket launchers, and breaks the boundaries set in Resident Evil 1 and 2. Shudder.

3. Beating Crimson Heads. (Resident Evil: Directors Cut, 1997)
Crimson Heads are much more powerful than normal zombies. They take more ammo, are quick, deadly and disturbing. Crimson Heads distil a sense of dread in even the most experienced players of Resident Evil.

2. Lisa Trevor. (Resident Evil: Directors Cut, 1997)
Lisa Trevor becomes a lot more terrifying when you have heard her back story. As a 14 year old girl, Lisa and her parents are captured by Umbrella and tested on. Separated from her parents and with help from the drugs, Lisa’s sanity deteriorates, and she becomes a walking corpse. Wearing the faces of her parent’s look-a-likes, sent in an attempt to subdue her, Lisa becomes increasingly violent.

She re-appears several times before she is finally defeated, but her appearance is scarier than her persistence. Not only is she wearing the flesh of her victims, she is horribly disfigured by years of virus tests, and is genuinely scary to encounter.

1. Encountering the Regenerators. (Resident Evil 4, 2005)
Regenerators take the top spot because they are utterly creepy. The terror comes first in hearing their ragged, shallow breathing get increasingly closer, leaving players to wait for their appearance. Their first appearance is by far the most terrifying, as the horrid breathing paints a picture in the players mind of what to expect. Imagination sometimes is a far scarier tool than the reveal itself, and this is certainly true here. Regenerators are incredibly hard to kill, and will often deal significant damage. A form of regenerator is now present in last month’s Resident Evil Revelations, which proves that these horrible creatures are just as scary as they were back in 2005. 


  1. I need to agree with you about the scariest moment. I re-played RE4 a month ago, having played it for first time when it came out, and I hated those monsters the same as the first time I saw them.

    Nice blog, I read you quite often. Keep up the good work :)

  2. I haven't played much Resi Evil. What game do you think should be my first?


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