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Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)
Remake trilogy
(An alternate timeline in the Prime universe)
For the Umbrella Corps map, see Village (map). For the village in Resident Evil Village, see Village (Village).


Background[]

Valdelobos (English: "Valley of Wolves") is a mountainous region of Spain. Valdelobos has culturally been isolated from the rest of Spain, being the centre of a pre-Roman city state and the home of Los Iluminados, a primal religion which survived Reconquista.

In the 20th century the region was populated by a strict Catholic and feudal society centred around a cluster of hamlets near Salazar Castle, with the economy primarily being built around farming and coal mining and maintaining a self-sufficient culture which shunned modern technologies when not needed. Around the Millennium, the region saw a radical shift in favour of Los Iluminados worship which resulted in the wholesale slaughter of Catholics and outsiders travelling through the mountains, with their actions being enough to attract attention from the Spanish government.

Following the 2004 discovery of bioweapons research in Valdelobos, Spanish authorities established a quarantine zone forbidding further travel in and out.

History[]

Since ancient times, Valdelobos was under the control of a contemporaneously technologically-advanced society who built-up a large city in the region's vast caverns. What became of this society is uncertain, though a pagan cult known as Los Iluminados had emerged in the Mediaeval Period which worshipped the Plagas, a species of parasitic organism capable of influencing the mind of the host. In the late 15th century, the region was subject to an intense crusade spearheaded by Salazar, a prominent nobleman who went on to rule over the village from a castle.[note 1]

Persecution of Los Iluminados followers was extreme; victims were known to be formed into a line and executed by the sword, or impaled on stakes and their bodies burned.[1] The surviving Plaga parasites were confined within the caverns; apocryphal sources suggest Del Lago was alive at this time and was sealed within an underwater cave in the lake.[note 2] Survivors of the cult remained in the region in secret; having formerly worshipped openly in a church, a makeshift shrine was fashioned in a cave system to the south of the lake, to be entered behind a waterfall. At least one castle was constructed above the ruins of the ancient kingdom,[note 3] from where Salazar was able to deny the survivors access to the Plagas.[1] A similar fort was built on a nearby island where the cult had also existed.

Over the following centuries, Salazar's descendants continued to oversee and enforce matters in the region as feudal lords and castellans. While Spain's political and technological climate changed radically over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, the region itself remained a time capsule, being in any case a remnant of the Spanish Old Regime. Possibly holding isolationist values, successive generations continued as though in a late 18th century mode of living, only using modern technologies such as trucks when it was essential for maintaining their otherwise self-sufficient community.[2][3]

Los Iluminados revival[]

By the end of the 20th century, the region fell under the control of the Ramón Salazar. Having inherited his titles as a child, Salazar was unprepared for the responsibilities expected of his family. While the villagers mythologised the deeds of their first lord, the eighth was despised.[4] Salazar, himself cut-off from the world, became the target of Prophet Osmund Saddler, who claimed to be the spiritual leader of Los Iluminados. After welcoming him into the castle, Salazar was easily manipulated into apostacy, renouncing his Catholic faith in favour of Los Iluminados.[5] To atone for his family's sins, he ordered the caverns beneath the castle be opened once more, described only as an excavation project to the villagers recruited as miners.[6] A team of geneticists led by Saddler examined the mummified remains in search of surviving fragmentary DNA to allow cloning. Several years following the initial dig, the miners began suffering from an illness defined by painful seizures. Upon closer analysis it was discovered they had inhaled live spores, which regenerated complete Plagas within their chests.[7]

As research continued, the Plagas were introduced to the wider population through proselytism. On the first Mass after the harvest festival, Fr. Bitores Méndez introduced the villagers to Saddler, who's charismatic persona charmed them just the same.[8] Over the following days or weeks, the converts submitted themselves to a baptismal ceremony where they were injected with a Plaga egg under the guise of their blood being purified of sin.[8] Others were compelled to do so by loved ones who had already taken part in the ritual.[9] Perhaps for those who refused totally, the village's abattoir became an execution ground for traitors.[10] Some may have fled the region entirely. In each case, within days the baptised suffered severe chest pains resulting in hematemesis, and in all cases the children suffered severe nerve damage resulting in violent seizures before death.[11] There is reason to believe there was violence committed by villagers who had suffered side-effects of parasitisation, though this is not conclusive.[note 4] Following the proselytising, the villagers, now Ganados, were compelled to follow orders by Saddler and his lieutenants - to kill outsiders.[12]

By 2004, the cult and its Plagas had become exposed to a limited degree to various organisations, placing attention onto the village. The Spanish government was aware at least that Los Iluminados was in control of the village, though may not have known of the murders committed by its followers. Following a leak by senior research Dr. Luis Serra, the "rival company" and Tricell were made aware of the Plagas and made plans to send in agents to retrieve samples. In the Autumn of that year Los Iluminados took part in the abduction of Ashley Graham, daughter of President Graham. She was smuggled into the village with the intent on baptising her and planting her with multiple eggs so that when inevitably rescued she would be able to parasitise influential congressmen, senior military officials, judges and company CEOs.[13] The intervention of the US government in tandem with the bio-weapons developers was not anticipated, and the villagers suffered heavy casualties as armed assailants attacked from different locations. As night fell, the survivors rallied to Salazar Castle where they tried and failed to halt the escape of Kennedy and Graham.

Following the successful evacuation of Graham from the region, the Spanish authorities were made aware of the situation. Though the subsequent involvement of the Spanish Army lead to the annihilation of the Ganados, they failed to eradicate the Plagas and instead placed the mountains under quarantine. How strict this quarantine zone was guarded is uncertain, and there are a number of reports of former residents illegally entering the zone intent on recovering their homes. Many of these people were subsequently found to have been parasitised and, until the illegal raid on the village by Umbrella Corps in May 2012, allowed to live out their lives in isolation.[14]

Geography[]

Riverside[]

The western footpath to the village begins just after a river crossing against don Jose's isolated premises. It goes downwards into a small valleyside where another river runs through on a dissimilar path. There are two sheds along this route, one of which was where a local villager was killed and left hanging inside. This area was booby-trapped with tripmines and bear traps.

Village centre[]

Village

The centre of Valdelobos itself features homesteads, a Farm compound, a Church with a cemetery, and a tall bell tower within the community itself. There appear to be several fortified Ganados encampments located near the village while an underground bunker complex has also been occupied and used to store weapons and equipment. Most villagers live in the village, although a few villagers tend to live further away from the main, central area of town. For example, the first house in the game seems to be closer to the border of the village, requiring a villager to take a path to the village and the outlying areas. An unseen villager also lives in a house next to the lake, when Leon kills Del Lago he passes out in this persons house. There is also an abandoned cabin across the bridge near the farm where Leon, Ashley Graham and Luis Serra take refuge in during a villager mob attack.

Old village[]

This path is beyond the farm, where a long curved hill leads downward to a tunnel with a bridge above (the bridge for the Northern path). On the other side lies a yard with tipmines and bear traps, and a lot of trees. The yard contains a run-down shed, a small house with a tightly nailed door and finally a large house, riddled with tripmines and at the end of the house is a room with a few cabinets and a closet where Luis Serra is being held captive prior to Leon's arrival.

Valley[]

The southern path leading away from the village leads to the homestead of Bitores Méndez, the village chief. An exit leading out of his bedroom in the rear leads to an underground corridor at the bottom of a well. The corridor eventually opens out in another valley, which was being used as a prisoner compound for Leon and Luis.

Lakeside[]

This easterly path is taken by traversing an underground passage from a small building in the village centre. It surfaces in the Church cemetery, where a short walk uphill and past the church goes much further. A walkway against a cliffhedge overlooking a large lake leads travellers easterly towards a flat, rocky plain with high wooden fencing blocking off the drop down the cliff. A mine against the upper-cliff was used for hiding away an "El Gigante" until its release was ordered. After this area is a shallow marshland with a raised, wooden walkway going down the rest of the area. After this is the shoreline of a smaller lake that feeds the larger lake below. Going south via the lake and down a cliffedge, a complicated machine for changing the distribution of the river water can be used to reveal an underground passage through the cliffs. This passage leads to another, underground lake where a boat can be taken back to where El Gigante is released.

Towards the castle[]

This path is north of the farm and where a bridge leads across to a cabin (as mentioned above). Followed by two routes, one is a compound where two towers are seen and it features an arena where Leon runs into the Chainsaw Sisters. Beyond that door is a compound with a basement in which a path is caved in, ahead lies the two towers and a pair of red double doors at the end. The other route, is a lengthy path leading to a pair of green double doors. An El Gigante is seen there in the game.

Afterwards, there is a porch near the latter of the two routes and a shed. Beyond there lies the gate leading from the village to Salazar Castle. To open it, one needs to use a False Eye possessed by the village chief. North of there is a lift that leads to a tunnel which at the end of it is a Yellow Catseye, a control room for the lift is also present next to the lift. Down the stairs leads to a gate, beyond it is a warehouse that possesses several supplies and it is the stage to fight the Village chief.

Further notes[]

  • Far more villagers appear in the game than the village and its surrounding areas can realistically hold, usually upwards of 300-350 enemies. The size of the village shown (including the outer areas) suggests it supports a population of around 50 at best.
  • The village also still uses Pesetas despite the fact that most places in Spain had swapped to the Euro by 2002. This may indicate the village had stopped trading with the outside world by then.

Gallery[]


Sources[]

notes
  1. The Salazar family's title is problematic. In "biohazard4", they are referred to as both Ryōshu (領主?) and Jōshu (城主?). While the latter (literally "castle lord") is consistent with the role of a Castellan - the governor of a castle running on behalf of a feudal lord - the former indicates they are noblemen. For the two to be consistent, the Salazars must be a feudal family who happen to be controlling Salazar Castle rather than genuine Castellans.
  2. An usused file in the 2005 game claims del Lago dates to Salazar's crusade, though it cannot be recovered in the game itself.
  3. The ruins of an old castle lie directly above the entrance and are part of the wider Salazar Castle fortress. Whether the castle pre-dates the fortress, or was even destroyed to allow mining, is uncertain.
  4. A plot point in Resident Evil 4 was to explain the origins of El Gigante as Ganados prone to fits of rage, ultimately leading to gigantism if not stopped. Some of these individuals would deceive their guards into letting them go after feigning being cured, allowing them to continue the violence. The files relating to it were cut out after the trial edition, and it is possible this plot point is no longer canon.
references
  1. 1.0 1.1 Resident Evil 4 (2004), file: "Castellan Memo".
  2. biohazard 4, "Prologue".
  3. biohazard 4 Incubate, p.4.
  4. biohazard 4 Incubate, p.8.
  5. Resident Evil 4 (2004), file: "Butler's Memo".
  6. biohazard 4 Incubate, p.7
  7. Resident Evil 4 (2004), file: "Luis' Memo 2".
  8. 8.0 8.1 biohazard 4 Incubate, p.12.
  9. biohazard 4 Incubate, p.13.
  10. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Village's Last Defense".
  11. biohazard 4 Incubate, pp.14-15.
  12. biohazard 4 Incubate, p.16.
  13. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Our Mission".
  14. Umbrella Corps (2016), level: "Village Where it All Started".
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