With the Resident Evil 2 Remake finally coming out this Friday (which I will be streaming on my Twitch channel that night), I’ve been thinking about the series as a whole. The series that kickstarted the Survival Horror genre has so many games these days, each with their own amazing moments. Of course, there are also some really bad moments too – Chris punching a boulder comes to mind, for example. But if we ignore those, Resident Evil has featured some truly awesome scenes,
So, I wanted to go through my top 7 Resident Evil moments from the series so far.
7. The Resident Evil 2 Intro
We’re going to start off this list with a scene from my favourite Resident Evil game; Resident Evil 2 (the original version, obviously). Specifically, we are going to look at the intro scene of this amazing game. Whilst the first game started with a suspense-filled live-action intro, the second game in the series goes completely the other direction. Within just a few short minutes, our two heroes are speeding down the streets of Raccoon City before being attacked inside the car by a zombie. Then a truck that was previously driven by a man who was bitten, comes racing towards them after they crash. They jump out as it rams into their car, which subsequently explodes, separating them.
Straight away, you know you’re in for a very different experience from the first game. The scope of Resident Evil 2 is shown, as is the tension rather than suspense. This introduction video blew my mind as a kid, and has forever had a place in my head and heart because of it.
6. Meeting Nemesis
Whilst the Resident Evil 2 intro video threw you straight into Hell, with a constant sense of action, by the time we got to Resident Evil 3, we already knew what to expect from Raccoon City. That’s why the developers at Capcom needed to find another way to build up the tension. Enter Brad Vickers running away every time you see him. Then, when you finally catch up with him, he starts playing the “pronoun game” about something coming. Yet, up until that point, you had only seen zombies. In fact, for the next few areas, the only other enemies that you come across are Cerberus (the zombie dogs). So, in the back of your mind, you start questioning qhat Brad was talking about.
Then, you reach the police station. As you approach the building, a wounded Brad comes up behind you only to come face to face with the Nemesis. The hulking beast drops down out of nowhere, slaughters Brad in seconds and turns his attention to you. Suddenly, you’re left with the very first time you had to actively make a choice in a Resident Evil game. As a veteran on the last two games, you have no idea what to do. Yet, in the background, you can see the Nemesis moving ever closer to you. That panic-inducing choice, as well as the perfectly executed build-up to an otherwise unforgettable enemy is just too good!
5. Chainsaws and Barricades
Similar to the introduction of Nemesis, this next bit has one hell of a build-up. After all, getting the build-up correct can just make any moment all the more memorable. In Resident Evil 4, very early in the game, you find yourself in a village full of crazed villagers after your blood. So you have to start running around, barricading yourself in houses and doing your best to take out every last one of them. It’s a really tense moment where you don’t get to sit and relax for even one second.
Then, a cutscene plays… In that cutscene, a villager with a bag over his head starts up his chainsaw. From then, as you frantically try to seal all the entrances to the building you’re in, all you can hear is the rumbling of a chainsaw coming closer and closer. Suddenly, he appears, and cuts straight through your neck in one of the most gruesome death scenes in the series!
4. Fighting Birkin on the Train Lift
Boss fights in games should always be exciting and memorable. They should get the adrenaline pumping through the gameplay mechanics, monster design and music. The fight against the mutated William Birkin on the Train Lift in Resident Evil 2 manages to do just that! As soon as the battle starts, one of my favourite pieces of music from the original PlayStation era begins to play, and you find yourself in a true battle to the death (for you, at least). There aren’t any amazing mechanics to trip you up, but the simplicity of the enemy, along with how tough he is, actually makes it even scarier.
To this date, the William Birkin fight on the train lift is my favourite in the series. It was epic without the need for the boss to be a giant insect that you fight on top of a building (yes, I’m looking at you, Resident Evil 6). I will never forget that fight, and I cannot wait to see it in the Resident Evil 2 Remake!
3. It Regenerates!
Next, we move on to the most nightmare-fueled monster in Resident Evil 4, and I’ve quickly come to realise that most of this list involves the first time you see one of the enemies. For this entry, let me paint a scene. You’re playing as Leon, possibly low on health or ammo. You find yourself in a strange yet very cold area with body bags all around. As you keep moving through it, you notice that some of the hanging bodies don’t look quite right, but you continue on. Eventually, you find what you need in the area and turn around to head back. However, your ears suddenly pick up on a strange, husky noise. It sounds like something trying to breathe, but not really managing it.
The door behind you opens, and a horrific creature appears. It moves towards you, slowly but in a determined manner. You open fire on it, tearing it apart. Feeling safe, you take a deep breath, only to then notice that it is regenerating itself. Suddenly, it is back up, coming at you again! These are the Regenerators. Whilst their cousins, the Iron Maidens, are even scarier, that first time you see a Regenerator is truly terrifying.
2. Seeing Lisa Trevor and Learning Her History
Thus, we come to the penultimate entry in this list of my top 7 Resident Evil moments, and this one is a bit different; it’s technically a two-part entry coming from the Resident Evil Remake (originally released on GameCube in 2002). The first part is when you are in the cabin in the garden, just taking a look around. Then, all of a sudden, a huge enemy makes their way in. When your eyes find the creature, they open wide in horror and disgust at what this being is. You just met Lisa Trevor.
But that’s only the beginning. The rest of this, and probably the most horrifying part of it, comes when you are reading through the history of the Trevor family. Finding out that a young girl and her mother were taken as test subjects whilst the father was left to die in the catacombs is truly unnerving. But to that learn that the creature you have been running from is what has become of this poor little girl is a terrifying realisation. You find yourself both saddened and horrified, and that shows exactly why this moment makes it onto this list.
1. That First Zombie
This was always going to be in the top position of the list. I mean, if you got introduced to Resident Evil with the original version, then this will forever be embedded in your mind. It may not be right at the front, but deep in your subconsciousness, you’ll never forget that sense of dread and disgust as the game’s first zombie slowly turns around to face you. As with Nemesis, the build-up to the zombie’s reveal was handled really well. The overwhelming sense of the unknown invaded you as you moved through the dining room of the mansion.
Sure, the zombies would go on to be cannon fodder in future games, but the first time you saw it, a feeling of sheer dread overcame you. This was especially true if you were playing as Chris, as you quickly realised that you only had a knife to defend yourself! That fear-inducing simplicity is precisely why the first zombie’s reveal takes the top spot in this list of the best Resident Evil moments.
And That’s All Folks
Well, there we go. Those were my top 7 moments in the Resident Evil series so far. It’s such a great series with some many more great moments, so this was really hard to narrow down. I cannot wait for the Resident Evil 2 Remake – I expect a whole host of new moments that could be added to this list.
What are your favourite Resident Evil moments? Let me know in the comments below!