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Resident Evil: City of The Dead is a novelization of the video game Resident Evil 2 published in May 1999 by S.D. Perry. It is the third Resident Evil novel written by Perry and the fourth novel in chronological order.

It was re-published in 2012 by Titan Books.[3] In 2005, the book was published in Japanese by C・NOVELS with new artwork by Wolfina.[1]

Plot summary[]

Bring on the Night

Leon Kennedy: an energetic and eager rookie cop looking forward to starting a new life in Raccoon City, only to find the town strangely deserted... the eerie evening silence broken only by an occasional footstep in the shadows, and the faint, unearthly moan of something close by...

Claire Redfield: the resourceful but reckless younger sister of Chris Redfield, one of the missing former members of the RPD's special S.T.A.R.S. unit. Claire has come to Raccoon to find Chris at any cost, and to learn what really happened the night her brother's team stormed an isolated mansion deep in Raccoon Forest. But what she uncovers will raise only more questions, and put Chris's fate in doubt...

For on this night, Raccoon City has become a necropolis. In a secret lab far beneath its once-bustling streets, a botched attempt by the Umbrella Corporation to retrieve a devastating mutagenic weapon has resulted in a horrifying viral outbreak, transforming every man, woman, and child in the city into one of the living dead. And all of them are hungry.

Claire and Leon have one chance to save themselves: get to the RPD headquarters and find some means of escape. But others have sought refuge in the precinct as well, and not all of them are on the same side..."
— Blurb


Through a series of newspaper clippings, it is established that Raccoon City has been free of T-virus related deaths for the past month, though the curfew is expected to last until September. Committed to solving the cannibalistic murders of early Summer, Police Chief Brian Irons and Mayor Devlin Harris agree to expand the police force with 10-12 new recruits. The local S.T.A.R.S., disbanded for "gross mishandling" of the investigation, has been reported as missing; the media interprets this as proof they do not care about the local crisis. The expansion of the force and lack of recent killings makes Irons more popular to the townspeople, and talk arises of him running for Mayor in the upcoming election. In other news, the Umbrella chemical plant near Downtown Raccoon City is reportedly due for a major overhaul to support greater demand for vaccine synthesis in its laboratories. With the Raccoon City Police Department finishing its own renovation and the closing down the street in front of the main gate due to mysterious cracks in the pavement, Umbrella spokeswoman Amanda Whitney assures readers Umbrella will not cause problems for commutes. On September 21 a young woman named Shanna Williamson is attacked by a drunk transient matching the general description of the cannibal killers. Fear of the serial killings returns to Raccoon City.

Later, on September 26, Jill returns to her apartment for the first time in weeks, finding it ransacked by Umbrella. Since the attack on Barry's house and their actions in Maine, the S.T.A.R.S. survivors (sans Rebecca) have been hiding out at Brad Vickers' house. Hearing about two attacks over the week, Barry suspects it to be a PR stunt by Umbrella, who would save the day and end talk of the Mansion Incident once and for all. Jill is skeptical however, and considers that Umbrella is very bad with containing outbreaks.Ready to investigate Umbrella at their Austrian headquarters (though suspecting Umbrella's "real" headquarters to be elsewhere), Jill reunites with Chris and Barry and they set off for their plane in New York.

On the night of October 3, rookie police officer Leon Kennedy is driving to Raccoon City from New York, not having been there since his grandparents were alive. Expecting the traffic to be bad, he made sure to call the desk sergeant the night before, but got no reply. With the traffic ruining his Afternoon, he has no time to check out his apartment and will have to start his shift immediately. Thinking about the murder reports, Leon is confident that Irons will assign him to the murder case when he finds how professional he is. A Lost in his thoughts, he nearly has an accident ten miles from the city as a zombie dog runs in front of his jeep on an eerily deserted stretch of highway. As he arrives in Raccoon City, he notices that the city is seemingly abandoned, going straight through a street with a number of bars and no one around. He is comforted when he sees two men shamble down, believing they must be drunk. Leon puts the brakes on his car when he sees a murder of crows surrounding some roadkill. Looking closer, he recognises it as a partially devoured woman. After examining the woman, he hears groans behind him, and is surrounded by zombies. Eventually admitting that they are zombies, Leon is forced to escape on foot, bullets having little effect and being separated from the car.

Meanwhile, Claire Redfield is on her way into Raccoon City, looking for her brother, Chris. With him dropping out of contact the previous month, she finally started calling the RPD and Chris' friends Barry Burton and David Ford. With none of the three answering, she had decided to drive to Raccoon City straight from college. Arriving in the city, she notes the city is abandoned as well, though sees a large group of apparently-drunken people walking down a road. She stops at Emmy's, a diner where she and Chris usually met. Entering, she finds the diner empty - this is odd given it is an all-night diner and isn't even 9PM. As she's about to leave, she hears a grunt in the corner. The grunt is revealed to be coming from a zombie as it devours a headless waitress. Claire tries to flee, but sees more zombies assembled outside the front door. As she runs through the back door, she meets Leon. They run to a police car as zombies increase in number, speeding down the streets. Unbeknown to them, a zombie is in the backseat, Leon purposefully crashes the car to keep it from biting Claire. As they recover, they see a truck speeding toward them, both escape by mere seconds before they're separated by the resulting explosion. Leon tells Claire to head to the police station and that they'll meet up later. Both make their way to the Police Department. Leon reaches the police department via the streets behind a gun shop, whose owner has been recently killed by zombies.

At the end, the S.T.A.R.S. Exeter, Maine branch arrive and evacuate the survivors.


Differences from Resident Evil 2[]

  • It follows the scenario Leon A - Claire B, where Claire is pursued by the T-00 (whom she refers to as "Mr.X" as well as "Dr. Evil") and Leon fights William Birkin.
  • Being released before Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, it has some continuity errors with it. Namely, the official Resident Evil 2 storyline starts on September 29.
  • The book follows pretty close to the game scenario listed above, but almost all of the puzzles and keys needed are ignored entirely, or worked around to save time. The book also explains that Ada Wong has either solved most of the puzzles, or already had the keys beforehand. This in turn also explains how she was able to travel through the areas effortlessly. Ada's relationship with John Howe is further explained as well.
  • This novel introduced Marvin's surname, "Branagh" to the English-speaking fanbase. It was later used in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
  • Instead of starting with the VP-70 (which Claire picks off of the Deceased Brian Irons), Leon begins with the custom Desert Eagle. This was later referenced by the airsoft manufacturer Tokyo Marui, who included a replica of the custom Desert Eagle with the name "Leon" engraved on the grip in their Biohazard line. It was later canonically used in the film Resident Evil: Vendetta as Leon's secondary weapon.
  • Leon finds the Shotgun in the RPD ammo storage instead of the 3 locations in the game; none of the others including Claire's Grenade Launcher are found or mentioned by the other characters.
  • When Leon enters the Kendo Gun Shop, the owner is already dead.
  • HUNK is never mentioned, nor has any role in the story, but his team is only mentioned as "the men in the gas masks" by Annette. This is the only reference of them in the entire book.
  • The events of this novel only follow those of the original 1998 game, as such, any new content and story elements introduced in the 2019 remake are not apparent in this novelization.


  1. 1.0 1.1 バイオハザード3 死者の街
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named C・NOVELS
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2