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For other uses, see Resident Evil (disambiguation).

Resident Evil (バイオハザード, spelled Baiohazādo or simply Bio Hazard in Japan) is a survival horror game developed by Capcom and is the first game in the Resident Evil series. Originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation, it has since been ported to the Sega Saturn and PC. It was then re-released twice on the PlayStation in the form of a Director's Cut. A Game Boy Color version of Resident Evil was planned for release in 1999, but Capcom later canceled it, citing poor quality of the port. Instead, Capcom released a new game in the series for the platform, titled Resident Evil Gaiden. In 2002, a remake of the game was released for the Nintendo GameCube, featuring new graphics, voice acting, and other significant changes. A Nintendo DS port of the original, with added modes and the subtitle Deadly Silence, was released in early 2006.

While not the first survival horror game, Resident Evil's success propelled the genre to new heights of popularity, and it was the first game to coin the term “survival horror”.


Playable characters[]

Resident Evil gives players the choice between two playable characters, S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. The differences between the two characters go beyond the superficial, as they have varying abilities, items, and even supporting characters, resulting in slightly different scenarios for each protagonist. Later titles in the Resident Evil series often follow this tradition of including a male and female lead, although in some cases, both characters are not available at the start of the game (e.g., CODE: Veronica). Notably, Resident Evil 0 has players control both protagonists simultaneously.

  • Chris Redfield – One of the protagonists of the game. He is much stronger and faster than Jill, making him more resistant to enemy attacks and giving him more options to avoid them. However, to compensate for his strength, his scenario is more challenging, especially for inexperienced players. He faces more enemies compared to Jill, and the enemies in his scenario also have more health than in Jill's. Chris can only carry six items and starts with only a knife. To make things worse, he needs small keys (called old keys in the REmake) to unlock places where Jill can simply use her lockpick. Chris's supporting character is Rebecca. While she will not rescue him as much as Barry would for Jill, she can heal all of Chris's wounds at certain stages of the game, depending on Chris's actions. Chris also finds the flamethrower, a weapon exclusive to his scenario.
  • Jill Valentine – One of the protagonists of the game. Her scenario is the simpler of the two, as she has a higher carrying capacity (eight items simultaneously, compared to Chris's six) and has a lockpick that serves as a substitute for the small keys in Chris's scenario (as well as the Sword Key in the original game). Jill's supporting character is Barry. He wields a powerful .357 Magnum Colt Python and is more helpful than Chris's Rebecca, as he eliminates the need for the broken shotgun (as long as the player hasn't picked up the Armor Key) and assists in fighting several of the bosses. Jill also gets to use a grenade launcher, a weapon exclusive to her scenario capable of firing several types of rounds. However, these advantages are offset by the fact that she is more vulnerable to enemy attacks than Chris due to her lower health and is less likely to escape from them since she is slower.

The character who is not chosen becomes a prisoner of Wesker until the end of the game. To unlock the passage leading to the cell, the player must collect three MO disks and then insert them into terminals located throughout the lab. These terminals are apparently modeled after GameCubes in the REmake. The cell's door can only be unlocked by activating the self-destruct mechanism or by using Wesker's Master Key. Deciding whether to free the imprisoned character or not affects several of the ending cut-scenes.

Supporting characters[]

  • Albert Wesker – Leader of Alpha team and S.T.A.R.S., Wesker was also an undercover spy of Umbrella and plans to dispose of his former teammates and gather data on the Bio-Organic Weapons.
  • Barry Burton – A S.T.A.R.S. member who assists Jill in her search. Barry is blackmailed into murder and the destruction of evidence by the traitorous S.T.A.R.S. leader, Albert Wesker. During Chris's storyline, Barry goes missing after the opening cutscene, with Wesker presuming him to be dead, but it's never proven. Barry is not seen or mentioned again after that.
  • Brad Vickers – Alpha team's Pilot. Brad was a coward who left his teammates behind after Frost's death. He then later assists the player by giving them a Rocket Launcher to kill the Tyrant.
  • Joseph Frost – Another member of the Alpha team. Joseph was attacked and eaten alive by a pack of Cerberus just outside the mansion.
  • Rebecca Chambers – A S.T.A.R.S. member who assists Chris in his search. Rebecca is one of the survivors of the incident, whose disappearance prompted Alpha team's investigation, and is currently the only one alive from the Bravo team. She is playable in Chris's scenario twice at the most. Rebecca is not seen or mentioned in Jill's storyline.
  • Richard Aiken – A Bravo team member who was bitten and injected with venom by the Yawn. Aiken dies before the serum has a chance to save him. In the GameCube REmake, Richard can live if you give him the serum in time but is then killed either by the Yawn or the Neptune, depending on your character choice. When he dies in either of these scenes, you acquire the Assault Shotgun from him, a more powerful shotgun with a higher rate of fire and capacity.
  • Forest Speyer – Another member of Bravo team. Forest was killed by a flock of crows on the balcony of the mansion. In Resident Evil: Director's Cut and in the REmake, he is revived as a zombie.
  • Kenneth J. Sullivan – Another Bravo team member. Kenneth was eaten and decapitated by a Zombie in a hallway after straying off from the dining room moments before Alpha team found him. In the REmake, the player finds a film on his dead body which shows his last moments.
  • Enrico Marini – Captain of the Bravo team. Enrico discovers that a member of the Alpha team is a traitor but is assassinated before confirming it to the player.

Most of the other members of S.T.A.R.S. make minor appearances throughout the games, usually as victims of the monsters. In later versions, Forest appears as a re-animated corpse, while Richard can survive if given the serum within a certain amount of time.