Continuities are the individual or series of Resident Evil media and the unique or spun-off universe they make up.
"Universes" in this case being used from a real-world perspective meaning entirely non-connected or not shared instances of lore. Not to be confused with as in-universe definition of "universe" where some popular fiction have the concept of alternate/other realities or timelines is recognized within the series itself, nor the concept of "canon vs non-canon" which would be applied to aspects of lore within a specific continuity.
Unlike other companies like Marvel and DC Comics, CAPCOM does not have an official listing of separate continuities.
In the early years of Resident Evil, Capcom had no real plan or intention for a canonical expanded universe and only saw the games themselves as part of the series canon. As consequence, third-party licensed material such as the S.D. Perry novels or WildStorm comics were intended from the start to be in a separate continuity. This concept was also applied to internal projects that were not video games, such as the radio plays, even if written by the game writers using the same story notes.
By the time of Resident Evil 4's release, Capcom changed their stance on continuity, and began plans for a canonical expanded universe. New licenses would require a Capcom producer, typically Hiroyuki Kobayashi, to veto any ideas conflicting with game plots or writing the developers into a corner. Starting with internal stories like biohazard4 Incubate and then Sony's Resident Evil: Degeneration, this method of directly overseen continuity has become the default in the franchise, with older licenses not being renewed. As of 2020, the only major projects set in an alternate universe are Constantin's reboot film and Netflix series, both derived from their 1996 agreement.
The Prime universe (tentative) is Capcom's official canon. It encompasses all console games bar Operation Raccoon City and Mercenaries 3D, and also includes the novel BIOHAZARD Wicked North Sea and the CGI films other than BIOHAZARD 4D EXECUTER, which is debatable. There are some fifty entries in the canon franchise, including guidebooks that contain in-universe documents written just for those books.
The Perry universe encompasses a series of seven novels written by S.D. Perry:
- Resident Evil: Zero Hour (2004)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy (1998)
- Resident Evil: Caliban Cove (1998)
- Resident Evil: City of the Dead (1999)
- Resident Evil: Nemesis (2000)
- Resident Evil: Underworld (1999)
- Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (2001)
The Anderson universe encompasses a series of six films largely both written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. There have been discrepancies over the years regarding Apocalypse, and it should now be considered that information exclusive to props is non-canon.
- Resident Evil (2002)
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
- Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
- Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
- Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
- Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)
The Reboot universe encompasses the untitled Resident Evil film produced by Constantin Film.
The DeCandido universe consists of three novelizations of the Anderson films, with a significant inclusion of original elements.
The Makino universe consists of his two-part Umbrella Chronicles novelizations and his two CGI film novelizations.
- Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles SIDE A (2007)
- Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles SIDE B (2008)
- Biohazard DAMNATION (2012)
- BIOHAZARD VENDETTA (2017)
The Shirley universe consists of a single entry, the movie adaptation of Resident Evil: Retribution. This universe is an amalgamation of the Anderson and DeCandido universes.
The Waggoner universe consists of a single entry, the movie adaptation of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
The WildStorm consists of four comic book series, encompassing nineteen issues in total.
- Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine (1998-1999)
- Resident Evil: Fire and Ice (2000-2001)
- Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (2001)
- Resident Evil Vol 2 (2009-2011)
The Marvel universe consists of a single comic which prequels the events of Resident Evil.
Earth-30847 (Marvel vs Capcom)
The Marvel Vs Capcom universe, officially known as Earth-30847 in accordance to Marvel's universe listing, is the Reality were the Marvel characters coexists with the Capcom characters. As part of the Resident Evil Multiverse and much like other Marvel realities, their events are canon only to their reality, and have nothing to do with the games primary universe, novels and such.
The Marvel vs Capcom universe consists of several cross-over games featuring Marvel Comics and Capcom characters.
- The Punisher (1993)
- X-Men: Children of the Atom (1994)
- Marvel Super Heroes (1995)
- X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996)
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997)
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (1998)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2002)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011)
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011)
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (2017)
The 1.5 universe covers Capcom's original idea for the "prime" universe prior to Noboru Sugimura and Flagship's involvement. It consists of:
Monolith Soft (Namco ✕ Capcom X Sega)
The Monolith Soft universe consists of numerous Capcom and Namco characters living in several interconnected dimensions. It consists of:
The Tinhangse Publishing (AKA SkyWalker Comics) universe consists of a number of comics:
- BIOHAZARD 3 LAST ESCAPE (1999)
- BIOHAZARD 3 SUPPLEMENTAL EDITION (1999)
- BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica (2000)
- biohazard 0 (2003)
Flagship Expanded Universe
Following production of Resident Evil 2, Noboru Sugimura collaborated with various tokusatsu writers to create the Prime Universe's story bible. The expanded universe stories, mostly audio dramas, were created to explain this universe to fans. However, they were officially non-canon and, while insightful, later game scripts were free to contradict them.
- Resident Evil (1996)
- The Doomed Raccoon City VOL.1 (1998)
- Resident Evil 2 (1998)
- BIO HAZARD The Wicked North Sea (1998)
- The Doomed Raccoon City VOL.2 (1998)
- The Doomed Raccoon City VOL.3 (1998)
- The Little Runaway Sherry (1999)
- Ada the female spy lives (1999)
- BIOHAZARD 4D-EXECUTER (2000)
Makoba Village Tragedy
The Makoba Village Tragedy universe consists of a single drama album which is the prelude to the events of the first Resident Evil game.
The Gaiden universe consists of the original Resident Evil game; Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Gaiden.
Operation Raccoon City
The Operation Raccoon City universe is compromised of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City only, which was developed by Slant Six Games before their close down. It is an alternate take on the canon story-lines of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, players can influence the outcome at the end of each scenario, with two choices per each. New additions in this alternate reality include the interfering Umbrella Wolfpack team and the US Government based Echo Six team.
Rose Blank was a fan fiction novel which won a competition to be officially published.
BIOHAZARD to the Liberty
BIOHAZARD to the Liberty was a fan fiction novel which won a competition to be officially published.
BIO HAZARD The Beginning was a licensed novel released in 1997 as a prequel to Resident Evil. Its heavily-altered English translation was used as a basis for S.D. Perry's novel series, including the characters Billy Rabbitson, and Priscilla and Becky McGee.
The Confidential Report consists the original Resident Evil game; Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Confidential Report, the mobile phone game. This game is rated T for Teen.
BAKAHAZA is a parody game based on the original game, but with the roles instead being played by the cast of Bakabon.
Bioroid is a 2000 musical parody of Resident Evil.
The Netflix continuity consists of a single entry, a netflix adaptation of Resident Evil.
- Resident Evil (TV Series)