Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has had a strange run. It was thrown together at the last second to replace a canceled game, and it was made by an inexperienced team in a relative hurry. Despite that, it inexplicably went on to become a best-seller and one of the best-known games in the core Resident Evil lineup. You can poke fun at a lot of its idiosyncrasies — who hides a car battery in a secret compartment in a mayoral statue? — but the Nemesis alone is an all-timer in video game enemy design.
With the RE3 remake (“RE3make”?) coming out in two and a half months, here are nine things from the original game that I can’t wait to see revisited. Capcom’s earned a lot of goodwill with how it handled the “RE2make,” so it’s going to be interesting to see how it refines the much messier RE3.
You have to be a big RE nerd to know Dario’s name at all. He’s the angry survivor from the warehouse at the start of the game, who locks himself in a trailer rather than follow Jill back out into the city. If you revisit the warehouse later, you find Dario dead at the hands of a couple of zombies.
In 2019’s RE2, the developers somehow got some real pathos out of Robert Kendo, who had even less screen time than Dario did. With a higher budget and better actors, it’s likely that Dario may end up as one of the definitional tragedies of the new game.
Both Raccoon City and the disaster that leveled it got increasingly more complicated as more games came out, with the Outbreak series retroactively adding a lot to both the city and the disaster's timeline. By the time File #2 came out in 2005, the Raccoon City outbreak’s start had been pushed back to September 22, a full six days before the start of RE3.
While Jill probably spends a lot of that time holed up in the warehouse with Dario, that’s still a big blank canvas for Capcom to do almost anything with. I'm looking forward to seeing what they've thought of to add to the game.
One of the biggest scares in 1999’s RE3 is when, on your way out of the police station, the Nemesis leaps out of a window at you. He’s back, he’s got a rocket launcher now, and unlike the Tyrant in the previous game, he can follow you from room to room at a dead sprint.
The remade RPD is already a claustrophobic Hellhole full of shadows and blind turns. Fighting Mr. X anywhere in its hallways was bad enough, but the new Nemesis is going to bring his own brand of sheer hell with him.
Once you reach the cable car in RE3, you have to set back out to find the parts to repair it. This is low-key one of the tensest parts of the game, as downtown Raccoon is a maze, and the path you take determines what happens next. You can run into several different encounters based on where you go first, including this rare scene between Carlos and the doomed UBCS agent Murphy, and the Nemesis can show up several times during the trip.
The original Raccoon City design in RE3 made it look like a cramped Japanese city, full of tiny side streets and cramped alleys. There’s a lot of potential in the area once it’s been redesigned, especially if your objectives stay open-ended.
Brad, the last member of STARS, is a punching bag in RE2 and RE3. He’s famously the Nemesis’s first onscreen victim, and he shows up as a zombie Easter egg in RE2 if you make the initial run to the RPD without picking up any items. That's what he gets for panicking and leaving the STARS team to die at the start of the first game, I suppose.
We’ve already got confirmation that Brad’s role in the RE3 remake has been expanded. Much like Dario and Kendo, I’m curious to see what the developers have managed to do with a one-note coward like Brad, and if he still goes out like a chump this time around.
In retrospect, Carlos’ visit to the hospital in Raccoon City is one of the bigger missed opportunities in the original RE3. You’d expect a hospital in a major urban area after a zombie apocalypse to be a nightmare festival, but instead, much of the building simply looks abandoned. It’s almost clean. Even in the hospital level in Outbreak, "The Hive," the Raccoon Hospital is weirdly empty for a major medical facility during a disaster.
With the successful upgrade to environmental storytelling that we saw in RE2’s RPD, I’m hoping to see a darker, more dangerous hospital sequence in the RE3 remake, especially once the Hunters start showing up.
RE3’s endgame begins here, as Jill follows Nicholai’s trail of bodies across the park to a secret Umbrella monitoring station.
Unlike the hospital, the park is one of the most atmospheric locations in the original RE3, with a gentle rainfall providing a dramatic counterpoint to sudden possible ambushes by zombies, Hunters, and dogs. It all culminates in an attack by the Grave Digger worm that destroys an entire cemetery around you. I can’t wait to see it brought up to 2020’s standards.
This is a little inside baseball, but the final fight against the Nemesis inserted plot details into the Resident Evil series that didn’t pay off for another 13 years. When you reach the final room of the Dead Factory, you find the scene of a massacre, where two Tyrants and a U.S. Special Forces team have killed each other, leaving behind an experimental particle cannon for you to use against the Nemesis’ final form.
The Special Forces team is never explained in-game, but its presence is part of a series of hints in RE3’s back half about how much the U.S. government knew about Umbrella's activities and what its involvement actually was. This would eventually form some of the background for 2012's Resident Evil 6, but it's really just the tip of a possible iceberg for future installments of the series, and now is as good a time as any to revisit this long-abandoned plot thread.
For my money, this is the most intense moment in the original RE3. Up until now, and after this point, you actually have a lot of outs when the Nemesis shows up. You never have to fight him, and in fact, can knock him out a couple of times without firing a shot.
When he shoots down the chopper at the clock tower, though, all bets are off. You’re out of allies, tricks, and time. It’s the single time in the game where you absolutely must fight the Nemesis, and if you don’t have the ammunition for it, you are simply out of luck. In a lot of ways, this is the real final boss fight of RE3, and it’s exciting to imagine what it could look like, and how it’ll be designed, on today’s hardware.
The Resident Evil 3 remake is set to release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 3. IF you're picking the game up on Steam, be sure to check out the game's recommended systems requirements.