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The creation of Albert Wesker was the result of a radical change in the production of Resident Evil in 1995. Originally, director Shinji Mikami was responsible for the story, and considered a game with little internal plot outside of the cast, four cybernetically enhanced police officers, investigating a mansion full of monsters. The arrival of writer Kenichi Iwao to the project greatly expanded the plot, and required the creation of new and replacement characters, designed by character artist Isao Ōishi. Since then the character has gone on to appear in a number of other games, with various alterations made to the character in terms of appearance and story role.

Resident Evil

As mentioned above, the Wesker character was the result of a new approach made to the game to focus more on plot. Wesker's role became that of a spy for Umbrella, who was to lead S.T.A.R.S. to the Spencer Mansion to both eradicate the escaped monsters and record the effectiveness of these monsters on his unit. This was one part of his wider plan, which was to destroy the laboratory and recover bio-weapons samples to return to the company. Towards the end of the game, it is revealed he intends to betray Umbrella as well and hand over the data to a third party. At the end of the game he is killed by the Tyrant, or by escaped Chimeras. When the sequel, which became BIOHAZARD 1.5, was in development it was once considered that Wesker's bodily remains would become part of the final boss, Golgotha, possible fought within the mansion's ruins.

Iwao considered a wider role for the character, revealed in Famitsu and the Inside of BIO-HAZARD guidebook. Wesker's position within S.T.A.R.S. would be justified in his previous service to the US Army as a biotechnology specialist, which was itself a hint at the US Army having its own illegal bio-weapons research group beyond Umbrella. This was never mentioned in the game, however.

Flagship era

When writing Resident Evil CODE:Veronica in 1998, the newly-formed Flagship creative writing team decided to bring back Wesker as the game's secondary villain. To accomplish this, Flagship established Wesker as a mutant, having been infected with a virus at some point before the Tyrant attacked him and allowing him to cheat death while appearing dead to the S.T.A.R.S. members.

In CODE:Veronica's story, Wesker has successfully joined The Organisation, a group identified in Resident Evil 2 as Ada Wong's group and, therefore, the rival that Wesker was to sell the bioweapons to in the original game. He leads the attack on Rockfort Island with H.C.F., The Organisation's paramilitary group, to recover the sought-after t-Veronica Virus, as a replacement for the bio-weaponry he had failed to provide from the Arklay Laboratory.

During production of CODE:Veronica, Flagship also began writing the script to Resident Evil 0 in 1998. Wesker was at one point the villain, and would send a bio-weapon to eliminate Bravo Team. Over the next few years the story evolved to revolve around one of the Umbrella founders, James Marcus, as CODE:Veronica did Edward Ashford, with other Flagship stories incorporating the Beardsley and Henrys. Wesker remained as a supporting character, but commenting on the story rather than directly interacting with it. It was here he was given a connection to William Birkin, one of the characters of Resident Evil 2, with the two as former students at Marcus' executive training school. However, due to the long delay in Resident Evil 0's production, it was the Wesker's Report DVD that provided the first mention of a connection in release order.

Resident Evil 4

Though H.C.F. were to appear in the "Castle" build of Resident Evil 4, the first known involvement of Albert Wesker in the game came with Shinji Mikami's version, released in 2005. Initially this was a brief mention by Leon S. Kennedy that Ada is working for Wesker, and a further cutscene establishing Jack Krauser as loyal to him. Wesker's first appearance was in the PlayStation 2 port, where he was introduced as a major supporting character in Separate Ways. In this storyline, he is shown to be Ada's senior, and giving her orders that explain her role in the main game. Separate Ways' ending introduces the plotline that he is ready to betray The Organisation and plans to give them the Dominant Species Plaga Ada has orders to obtain. This subplot served as a set-up to Resident Evil 5, which had already begun production.

Resident Evil 5

Though it was established Wesker was to gain employment with "S", a number of changes were made in the development of Resident Evil 5. Initially, Wesker was to take a junior role in Seashell's activities alongside Excella Gionne, the Seashell CEO's secretary. Over time this was changed to him being the dominant partner in a three-person operation, though technically working below Gionne in 'Tricell Africa'. His abduction of Jill Valentine was always planned, though it went from her merely being a captive to her being a brainwashed junior partner in a now four-person operation. Though his role changed, his eventual demise at the hands of the BSAA was always planned in some way. In one early idea, Sheva Alomar was to shoot him in the head with her handgun; in another, Chris Redfield and Alomar were to fire missiles at him from an aircraft. Finally, it was decided he would be infected with the experimental Uroboros Virus and be killed by rocket launchers.

Concept storyboard artwork depicted an alternate version of Wesker's death: Wesker is in human form within magma, and Chris and Sheva then launch some missiles at Wesker while he is in the lava pit. Another concept art also indicated that Wesker was to have been shot in the head by Sheva on a landing platform.[1]

In the released version, the Wesker character went through a noticeable change in his character development. 2007's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles had already worked to better explain his survival at the hands of the Tyrant by giving him an experimental t-Virus provided to him by Birkin. However, Resident Evil 5 placed Wesker within a wider plot put together by Oswell E. Spencer, where it is revealed he was sculpted into having a degree in virology and believing in eugenics, with him being one of thirteen such children raised on Spencer's orders to eventually be infected with a perfected t-Virus strain to become superhumans that would influence human society towards Spencer's ideals. Similarly, Wesker's plans with Uroboros are shown to be the ultimate eugenics experiment, wiping out all humans not adaptable to his virus, rather than developing a weapon specifically to kill anyone.

Sources

  1. http://www.residentevilcenter.net/matnopubl.html.
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