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Resident Evil is a 2002 survival horror video game developed by Production Studio 4 for GameCube.


Following the release of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in late 1999 and the decision to redevelop BIOHAZARD 4 as Devil May Cry, Production Studio 4 was temporarily without any Resident Evil games in development. Meanwhile, studios largely unfamiliar with the franchise were developing games such as Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. To fill this void, Studio 4's Executive Producer, Shinji Mikami, ordered the creation of two new Resident Evil games: a new Resident Evil 4 and a remake of the original 1996 game, with Mikami overseeing the latter project as a producer. Since the game had already been made before, development time could be sped up by copying the archived notes for the original game. Development began sometime around October/November with Hiroki Katou as the director, though he was replaced by Mikami himself at the end of December.[[1]


The software lead engineer, Hideki Motozuka, led the programming for the game. When their department was established in late 2000, they were immediately concerned about how to develop a game for the GameCube and whether it would require up to three discs to store the entire game. In early 2001, the team consisted of only four people who focused on learning GameCube programming and computer graphic animation engineering. To address this issue, Mikami enlisted the help of Nintendo programmers to teach his engineers. The team size fluctuated throughout the year, with one member leaving early in the year and others joining, reaching eleven people by the summer.

Motozuka recalled in an interview the team's enthusiasm during this year, such as wanting to make the bonus red Hunter three times stronger than the others and making the mother Neptune as large as the water tank itself. However, Motozuka instead focused on effects during mid-2001, specifically blood effects such as squirting and pools that appear after an enemy dies. These led to some disagreements with Mikami due to Motozuka's excessive use of blood, but their relationship was otherwise fine.[2]

Towards the end of 2001, game development became more serious as the team had to add enemy motion and traps to the game. Director Shinji Mikami even participated in motion capture sessions as a stand-in for white-shirted zombies.[citation needed] Until November, the game was being developed exactly the same as the 1996 Resident Evil. However, Mikami grew concerned when reviewing ROMs and realized that the game would be essentially the same with improved graphics. He insisted that changes be made to make the game feel new, such as adding new enemy designs or creating new areas. He communicated this to all department heads.[2]



Naoki Katakai, the art director, led the design of pre-rendered backgrounds for the game. However, Katakai had to comply with a rule imposed by Mikami to focus on provoking fear rather than beauty and was accused of being stubborn due to a slow realization of Mikami's intent. Art under Katakai aimed to be as realistic as possible on the GameCube, with the possibility of employing more absurd designs if realism became boring. To achieve realism, Katakai made sure the developers incorporated particle effects to give the impression of dust in the air and to create a good distinction between qualities of light, such as a bright light shining into an unlit room. This also led to objections from Mikami, who demanded re-designs if the amount of light or darkness did not fit his vision for the feel of the room.

Due to the stringent directing styles of both Katakai and Mikami, the art design team was seriously concerned that development would pass the deadline.[3]

Character design[]

Aside from Lisa Trevor, the cast in Resident Evil HD Remaster consisted of established characters, so the design phase was quicker compared to other games. The focus shifted to enhancing their realism without compromising their recognizability.[4] As face models in the gaming industry became more realistic, the team decided to acquire permission to use the faces of actors instead of copying famous people's faces without consent, which could lead to lawsuits.[5] Auditions were also held for body models.

Kenichiro Yoshimura led the creature and character designs, while Shimako Sato led the motion capture for characters and zombie wireframes. Tetsuya Matsui stood in for Chris Redfield for motion capture, and his arm muscles were increased multiple times to achieve a believable scale.[6] According to Shinji Mikami, Matsui's background in action films made him perfect for Chris' animations.[5]

Hanai Takahashi stood in for Jill Valentine, with Canadian actress Julia Voth as the face model. Yoshimura had several disagreements with Mikami about Jill's body shape. Yoshimura added a harness under her breasts to secure her shoulder pads and intended for Jill's chest to look like she was wearing a bra underneath her uniform. Originally, the uniform was all black to better fit S.T.A.R.S.' special operations nature, but it was later changed back to blue as in the original game. Some licensed action figures produced by NECA still used the black design. Yoshimura explained that the black uniform made her appear too sexy.[6] Issues arose regarding Jill's outfit when the developers insisted her default outfit from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis be included. A meeting was held to decide the color of her underwear due to upskirt shots in parts of the game, going from white to black to light blue and back to black.[7] Annoyed by the character designers' interest in Jill, Mikami had Katakai's team change several backgrounds to avoid upskirt shots.[5]

Daigaku Sekine was used as the body model for Barry Burton, but it took longer to cast his body model as Yoshimura had trouble finding someone who could resemble Barry. Yoshimura decided to make Barry fatter to properly distinguish him from Matsui's wire models.[5][6] Junichi Kawamoto was cast as the body model for Albert Wesker. Wesker's uniform was originally a black version of Chris', but it was later redesigned to a unique design. Yoshimura wanted to make Wesker appear more sinister, resulting in a face that resembled a reptile without sunglasses.[6]

Sumie Kaneshiro was chosen as the body model for Rebecca Chambers, with another unknown actress as the face model. Yoshimura faced considerable pressure to keep Rebecca's design close to her appearance in Resident Evil 0, resulting in the omission of her earrings and bandana featured in the 1996 game.[6] Other developers disapproved of Rebecca's more somber redesign, as they believed her mannerisms in the original game were the only true depiction of her.[5]

Creature design[]

REmake Footpath Zombie

A Zombie in the game. Note the attention given to the loosened clothing, bloodstains on the shirt and the injury to the left hand.

Creature design was handled by a team of artists and CG modelers under the supervision of Masaki Yamanaka, who collaborated with Mikami on various aspects. To take advantage of the GameCube's superior graphical capabilities compared to the PlayStation, creature designs aimed for "realism to a point," intending to evoke discomfort without resorting to gross-out horror.

Realism played a crucial role in the design of the zombies. Since most of them were humans mutated into zombies due to an accident, their appearance needed to be diverse, showcasing remnants of their past lives and displaying gory effects to portray their experiences during the outbreak. Every detail, from the sickly skin tones of each model to the design of their clothing, was carefully considered.[8][excerpt 1] Blood-stained garments and gore were created based on photographic research conducted on fellow developers, including Mikami, who wore clothing similar to the zombies and then dabbed with paints to simulate bloodstains. The research acquired the gore by purchasing meat from a market.[5] Ideas were presented in the game for exposed organs that might drop out of a zombie's body, but this concept was ultimately rejected.[8][excerpt 2] Yamanaka decided to give the zombies milky white eyes, finding it more unsettling and mindless than darker eyes, which he believed would make them appear more like predators. He intended for the zombies to appear to be looking at the player as a source of food rather than prey.[excerpt 3] Concerned that the zombies had been overexposed in the series, Yamanaka discussed reimagining them with Mikami. As a fresh take, it was decided that zombies could be knocked out instead of killed and then awaken to become far more powerful, leading to the creation of the Crimson Head.[9]

In the remake, the Neptune creature received much more exposure than in the original game. Yamanaka collaborated with Katakai's art team to create a new environment called the Aqua Ring for the Neptunes to inhabit, making them a genuine threat and providing a surprise for fans of the original game.[9]

Yamanaka discussed with Mikami on how to improve the depiction of the Tyrant fight in the lab from the original game. In that game, players quickly discovered that they could keep running in a circle around the room, shooting the Tyrant from a distance, and continue running. Yamanaka felt that there were similar issues with the helipad fight and wanted the Tyrant to be more aggressive towards the partner character, forcing the player to risk their life to protect them.[9]

Introducing an entirely new element, Yamanaka was tasked by Mikami to incorporate a new boss enemy. They revisited rejected content from the original game and decided that the new enemy would be connected to George Trevor, the architect of the mansion. Instead of featuring Trevor himself, the concept evolved into a woman in chains wearing a mask made from human faces. This character became Lisa Trevor, and a new subplot was created to intertwine her story with the game's narrative.[9]



Shusaku Uchiyama served as the lead composer and arranger for the game, with additional compositions by Misao Senbongi and Makoto Tomozawa. Uchiyama approached the composition process by dividing it into three categories: re-compositions of the 1996 score that remained faithful to the original, reimagined compositions that took on a unique identity, and entirely new compositions. To create an unsettling atmosphere in certain parts of the game, the team intentionally distorted the music to give it an unnatural feel, while the save room theme was deliberately designed to be relaxing as a contrast. Uchiyama believed that the music should accompany the player, mentioning in an interview that video games often overlook incorporating typical sounds such as wind and insects.[10]

A total of forty-four tracks composed for the 2002 remake were included in the Biohazard SOUND CHRONICLE album, although this was an incomplete collection. In 2015, a new soundtrack album featuring sixty tracks was finally released.

Sound effects[]

Atsushi Mori led the production of sound effects, which were outsourced to Soundelux. Mori traveled to Hollywood in 2001 to receive updates on the sound design. His goal was to create a variety of sounds for the enemies, each distinguishable by its unique characteristics, including idle sounds to give players a clue about the type of enemy lurking nearby. Hunters, for example, were given low-tone breathing and footsteps for their idle sounds, accompanied by higher-pitched shrieks when they spotted the player. Given that Chimeras were human-fly hybrids with maggots growing on them, their sounds were intentionally unpleasant. Recording the sound effects for the zombies took up a significant amount of time, resulting in Mori accumulating around a thousand audio samples for the ten different types of zombies in the game. Mori also wanted each zombie type to have a distinct voice, but he advised Soundelux's impromptu voice actors not to sound overly aggressive or comical.[11]

Voice acting[]

The 1996 game suffered from poor voice direction as the staff aimed for clear speech for the benefit of themselves and Japanese players. Recognizing this issue, Mikami appointed Shinsaku Ohara, a native English speaker, to oversee voice direction, as he would be able to identify unnatural speech patterns.


The production of cutscenes was led by multiple teams. Shimako Sato served as the director, working alongside Mikami, and they worked with storyboard artist Futoshi Nagata to visualize the cutscenes. Hidé Gondoh took on the role of cinematographer, ensuring the right camera angles were captured. Toshiya Kotani, the lead engineer, was responsible for programming both in-game engine cutscenes and pre-rendered cutscenes.

Kotani joined the team in January 2001 while still working on Devil May Cry and was assigned to oversee the engineering aspects of the cutscenes. He estimated that a team of thirteen people, including himself, two motion capture editors, and ten animators, could produce real-time movies for the game. At the time, approximately 70 minutes of cutscenes were planned, which proved to be a significant workload for Kotani's relatively small team. As a result, some of the work had to be outsourced to Links DigiWorks, a studio based in Tokyo.[12] Cutscene development was split between the two teams, with Sato and Mikami both taking on the role of cutscene directors. However, the differences in style became too apparent, leading to the decision to scrap the cutscenes and redevelop them. Professional cinematographer Hidé Gondoh was brought in to ensure the quality of the new cutscenes, although this decision resulted in a three-month extension to the team's deadline.[12] Kotani mentioned in interviews Gondoh's emphasis on lighting as a medium, while Mikami expressed a preference for top-down shots of the characters rather than eye-to-eye perspectives.[12] [13]


Since the game was initially intended to be more of an upgrade to the original rather than a complete reimagining, Mikami believed that the script by Iwao was serviceable and could be refined later. As a result, Flagship head Noboru Sugimura was not hired to handle the game. The translations were handled by Shinsaku Ohara, a native English speaker, who worked on creating more natural dialogue for the voice actors. Initially, Ohara was hesitant to make significant changes, as he was a fan of the original game's more campy translation.[14]


  • Alongside Resident Evil 0, the game was released for the Nintendo Wii on June 23, 2009, as part of the Resident Evil Archives. Similar to the Resident Evil 4 Wii edition, the game was equipped with Wii pointer controls.

In the 2015 HD remaster, several new features were added:

  • A Very Easy mode was introduced, which could be selected during the S.T.A.R.S. candidate personality test at the beginning of a new game.
  • An alternate analog control scheme, based on 2D or Modern Controls from later games, was implemented.
  • A 16:9 camera perspective was added.
  • BSAA costumes for both Jill and Chris were included and could be selected from the start.
  • Wesker's Report and Wesker's Report Ⅱ were remastered and added as unlockables in the game (Japanese release only).


  1. Excerpt from official website monster page: "ゾンビはバイオにおけるモンスターの基本形です。存在そのものが死への恐怖を象徴しています。肌の色1つをとっても、微妙な色合いが出るまで、考えられる色を全て試してから決めました。服の布を本物らしく表現するのにも、時間をかけました。"
  2. Excerpt from official website monster page: "これはゾンビの別タイプです。 生(なま)っぽさを出すために、気持ち悪くする事だけを指示していたら、内臓が飛び出したバージョンも作られたりしましたが、さすがにボツにしました。"
  3. Excerpt from official website monster page: "バイオのモンスターのポイントは、存在自体から発する恐怖です。ゲーム的に強いから怖いのではなく、近寄られるだけで嫌な感じ、戦う前に反射的に逃げてしまうような、生理的な怖さです。そこを追求した場合、どうしても嫌悪感が出てしまうので、倫理的なバランスを保つ事が、重要になってきます。安易に内臓を出したりしては、恐怖を感じる前に、ゲーム自体を嫌悪してしまうので、地道な部分から、恐怖を構築しなければいけません。具体的にゾンビを例にして説明します。ゾンビの黒眼を消しているのは、表情から意志だけを残し、思考を消したかったからです。黒眼を付けると、眼に焦点が生じるので、意志より先に、視覚で獲物を認識する過程が見えてしまいます。相手を獲物(生物)としてではなく、エサ(物体)としてあいまいにしか捉えられない死人の眼。獲物を倒す事を思考するのではない、食うという原始的な意志。表情の中にそれだけしかない事が、動物とか人間とは違う、別の存在である事を表現し、生理的な怖さを出します。それによって、単純な嫌悪感ではない気持ち悪さを出し、存在自体の恐怖を生み出しているのです。"