The Story So Far -- The Resident Evil Cast (Part 1)

The Story So Far: Delving into video game characters' complex stories. This issue - The Resident Evil Cast (Part 1).

Note: I have tried to keep this piece spoiler free but some of you may not agree that it is. You have been warned.

Resident Evil was one of the first games to introduce the feeling of survival-horror, not just horror. The scarce ammo, intense boss fights, overall atmosphere and clunky controls all formed together to create that perfect sense of dread and despair. Dying was common throughout the game, as was solving a plethora of puzzles, but as the series went on the Resident Evil platform moved into more of an action-horror hybrid, leaving little in the way of actual scares (along with the anguish of their fans).

Resident Evil

With Resident Evil 7 released recently, the team at Capcom definitely moved away from their failing formula, opting to go for a first person, survival horror theme in the vein of games such as Amnesia, Outlast and the like. This was a massive divergence from the series and either alienated long time fans or brought them reeling back in. As I was playing, I wondered how the hell this game actually ties into the Resident Evil universe and made me think of how we got to this. Where were our favorite characters from the last 25 years?

These questions eventually led me to go back and play all the Resident Evil games, from start to finish in chronological order. Don't ask me why but I felt like refreshing myself on the characters and stories from the previous games, in hopes that I could notice something that was at least related to the seventh installment. Two days later and I abandoned my current mission in favor of a better article, delving into the characters from the Resident Evil series and where they are now. Don't worry though, I'm still playing through all the games as I type this in hopes of eventually tying in Resident Evil 7...

Resident Evil, Directors CutThe game that started it all, Resident Evil.

Intro

The story starts way up in the Arklay mountains area near Raccoon city where the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Squad) members are sent on a mission. This mission was to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders in the locality.

Their leader, Albert Wesker (and one of the most prominent villains in the series), led them to the mission site; the infamous 'Umbrella Mansion'. However, unbeknownst to the team, Wesker was actually in league with the Umbrella corporation and was using the squad as a 'test' of some sort against Umbrella's biological weapons systems. A trained, military squad would determine the efficiency of these bio-weapons. Thus, the Resident Evil story begins.

Billy Cohen

Billy Cohen, Resident Evil

A former marine, Billy used his military expertise to help S.T.A.R.S member Rebecca Chambers escape a bio-weapon infected train that they both found themselves on. Aboard the Elliptical Express, trust between the two is lukewarm at best (since Billy is in Umbrella's custody as a prisoner). However, soon they are left with little choice.

Saving Rebecca's life multiple times garners some modicum of trust between them and after the ensuing chaos in Resident Evil 0, she allowed the former prisoner to go free and flee up into the mountains somewhere.

Current Status: Unknown

Leon Kennedy

Resident Evil, Leon Kennedy

Leon was a fresh-faced, rookie cop who arrived in Raccoon city on his first day to find that the area was completely overrun by zombies. Running into Claire Redfield during the first part of Resident Evil 2, they managed to navigate the city, find out who was responsible, and halted the spread of the G-virus (or did they?).

After this incident, Leon found himself as a special agent in the field working directly for the president. In Resident Evil 4, Leon navigates through towns in rural Spain and uncovers a horrible conspiracy, the bio-weapons were never stopped and have mutated beyond their original intent due to further experimentation.

Knowing that this is his life's calling (having no other experience but to drop bioweapons), Leon returns in Resident Evil 6 and crosses paths with many popular characters including working with Claire's brother, Chris Redfield, on their missions to eradicate this threat (and Umbrella) from the world.

Current Status: In the Field

Claire Redfield

Claire Redfield, Resident Evil

Chris Redfield's little sister arrived in Raccoon city just as Leon was heading to his first day of work in Resident Evil 2. Searching for her brother's whereabouts after the incidents from the original Resident Evil, Claire was roped into helping Leon stop the spread of the G-virus in Raccoon city.

After parting ways with the rookie cop, she was abducted by Umbrella (or was it?) and kept against her will in an undisclosed island location. Finding her way out of this mess was even more dangerous as she wasn't the only prisoner. Finding other prisoners and the ghastly experiments carried out was enough to give Claire her escape push in Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Fortunately, she found her brother even though it seemed as though she never would. Family reunions, am I right?

You'd think that these two incidents would be enough to get Claire to escape somewhere relatively safe and unknown, but our little daredevil just couldn't sit tight with all the bioweapons running loose in the world. The last adventure Claire found herself involved with her brother's friend and squad mate, Barry Burton, while trying to keep his daughter safe.

Waking up in yet another demented prison in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Claire learns that zombies and the bio-weapons she faced so far are nothing compared to what was being carried out here. Stuff of nightmares...

Current Status: In the Field

Carlos Oliveira

Carlos Oliveira, Resident Evil

A former mercenary and freedom fighter, Carlos was one of the few characters that I actually came to really like in the series (which is a shame that he wasn't used again). Due to his past, Carlos was recruited by Umbrella as a security officer and was deployed with his team to help defend and secure Raccoon city against the zombie outbreak in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Little to their knowledge, they were actually just cannon fodder for the Nemesis project.

As the Nemesis continued to decimate both S.T.A.R.S members and the Umbrella security team, Carlos teams up with Jill Valentine in her attempt to escape the city. During their living nightmare, the duo manage to find a cure for the T-virus just before they escape Raccoon city.

Current Status: Unknown

Steve Burnside

Steve Burnside, Resident Evil

A prisoner on the isolated Umbrella island Claire finds herself on, Steve was a plucky character whom I started to get fond of in Resident Evil: Code Veronica.

Helping Claire solve the mystery to the island and uncovering a sickening plot, with bio-weapons as the basis, Steve suffered the same tragic fate that many have in the Resident Evil series. He was infected with the virus and turned into a horrible, mutated bio-weapon himself. Claire had no choice but to put him down. Sad times.

Current Status: Dead

Sheva Alomar

Sheva Alomar, Resident Evil

Since the events of the first three Resident Evil games, the virus has run rampant across the globe. An elite operation was put together among the world's governments named B.S.A.A (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance).

Working for the African branch of the alliance, Sheva fights to keep bio-weapons out of her continent. In Resident Evil 5Sheva joins up with Chris out in the field, attempting to uncover the reasons behind the current outbreak in Africa.

While collecting pieces of the puzzle and fighting off hordes of much smarter, faster bioweapons, the duo run into an old friend from Chris Redfield's S.T.A.R.S days, Albert Wesker.

Current Status: Unknown

Rebecca Chambers

Rebecca Chambers, Resident Evil

 Rebecca Chambers is the sole survivor of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, in which Jill and Chris found her hiding, terrified, in a closet. After what she had just been through on the Elliptical Express with Billy in Resident Evil 0, you think she would've had more stomach for this kind of thing, but I digress.

Rebecca is a field medic and is capable in her own right, as proven in the prequel to Resident Evil but hasn't really been seen since those two installments. Could she be making a comeback? I highly doubt it...

Current Status: Unknown

Chris Redfield

Chris Redfield, Resident Evil

A brief member of the original S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team, Chris began his life mission to eradicate bio-weapons after the 'Umbrella Mansion' incident. Saving Rebecca's life alongside Jill Valentine and his squad, Chris cleared the threat from the mansion and went on the search for his sister, Claire.

After an intense search, Chris was finally able to locate his sister on an isolated island owned by Umbrella, taking place in the events from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Due to both his and Claire's efforts (let's not forget poor Steve too), they managed to reunite with each other and escape the island.

After everything he was put through, Chris has a massive chip on his shoulder against Umbrella and bioweapons. He takes the show on the road by enlisting in the B.S.A.A and continues to fight bio-weapons all over the world. There's also been some strange rumors that he was recently spotted in an Umbrella helicopter, assisting some stranger in redneck county. That can't be right though, can it?

Current Status: In the Field

Enrico Marini

Enrico Marini, Resident Evil

Not exactly too much to elaborate on here but Vice-Captain Marini was a member of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team who arrived first at the Umbrella Mansion. We find out that Albert Wesker is responsible for his death in Resident Evil by shooting him.

Current Status: Dead

Richard Aiken

Richard Aiken, Resident Evil

Another member of the S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Richard was attacked by a mutated snake bio-weapon in the Umbrella mansion during the events of Resident Evil. He was poisoned and needed an anti-venom to survive but unfortunately, Jill and Chris didn't make it back in time. Prior to his demise, Richard was the team's radio communication specialist. Alternatively, if you played as Chris, Richard meets his end trying to help Chris fight off carnivorous, mutated sharks. I don't know which one is worse...

Current Status: Dead

Edward Dewey

Edward Dewey, Resident Evil

The helicopter pilot for S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Edward is one of the first to meet his fate when the initial touchdown occurs in Resident Evil. Approaching the dreaded 'Umbrella Mansion' was the last thing Dewey would do and mutated, carnivorous dogs are the last thing he would see.

Current Status: Dead

Forest Speyer

Forest Speyer, Resident Evil

Yet another member of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Forest was already found dead in the 'Umbrella Mansion', much to the dismay of 'Alpha' team. They didn't have to wait long for a reunion, however, as Speyer came back from the dead to attack his former team mates as a bioweapon in Resident Evil.

Current Status: Dead

Kenneth Sullivan

Kenneth Sullivan, Resident Evil

Remember the guy that we found a fresh faced zombie eating in the beginning moments of the first Resident Evil? Yeah well, it's this guy. Poor Kenneth was zombie chow straight out of the gate, having been decapitated and eaten by Chris and Jill's first zombie encounter at the 'Umbrella Mansion'.

Current Status: Dead

Joseph Frost

One of the members of the second landing, Frost is the bandanna toting, wannabe bad-ass of S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team. Unfortunately those menacing mutated dogs were still in the area during Resident Evil and after finding Edward Dewey's half eaten corpse, he met his end the exact same way.

Current Status: Dead

Jill Valentine

Originally the explosives expert in S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team, Claire has a long and storied history in this franchise. She started her journey with Chris Redfield in Resident Evil, helping to destroy the G-virus and secure the area. After escaping from this initial nightmare, Claire finds that she is trapped in Raccoon City with a determined bioweapon hot on her tail, Nemesis.

She meets up with Carlos Oliveira in Resident Evil 3, during this time the two try to find an escape. The eventual destruction of the Nemesis bio-weapon allows her to obtain her freedom from Raccoon City before it is nuked to all hell.

Founding the global B.S.A.A, Jill retains her hands-on position as field agent and works once again with Chris Redfield to bring down an Umbrella facility in Russia during the events of Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles. All goes somewhat according to plan before she is kidnapped by Albert Wesker and implanted with a mind control device (in her cleavage). If this wasn't enough, she was then used against Chris and Sheva in Resident Evil 5. The duo managed to not only save their friend without hurting her, but also remove the implant. She carries out a few routine missions with Sheva's mentor, Josh Stone and Chris Redfield yet again.

Sometime after this, Jill hears word that Chris has been kidnapped by a bioterrorist organisation and sets off to help the man that saved her life more than once. Chris is being held aboard the luxury cruise liner, Queen Zenobia, in Resident Evil: Revelations but it turns out that this was a trap set to capture her. Her partner, Parker Luciani, does his best to help Jill in this situation but the evolution of much more powerful, leech type bioweapons infest the ship. During this time, Chris and his new partner, Jessica Sherawat board the same cruise liner in their efforts to locate Jill and figure out what the hell is going on.

Current Status: Unknown

Sherry Birkin

The child of Dr. William and Annette Burkin, Sherry has been involved in the bio-weapon incidents since she was a small child. Appearing for the first time in Resident Evil 2 during Claire's play through, Sherry is more capable than one would think. Not understanding much of what was going on, her father was mutated by the T-virus after Umbrella's security team attempted to execute him. This was the beginning of the end for Raccoon City (and most of the world).

Unfortunately for Sherry, William continued to stalk her and Claire so that he could infect young Sherry (as she was a viable host). The duo escaped from Raccoon City after destroying her 'father' and made it out just in time as the bombing began. While applying an antidote to Sherry's infectious situation, she managed to possess amazing healing properties instead of just turning into a bio-weapon. This allowed her to have a very storied future in the franchise.

After a decade or so of constant experimentation and protection from the U.S government, Sherry was finally able to transfer to the D.S.O (Department of Security Office) where she was an adept and useful agent. Landing in Edonia, Sherry was sent on a mission to find and secure Jake Muller, a mercenary who's blood was absolutely precious. His blood was sought after by the D.S.O due to the fact he had not mutated from the C-Virus he was injected with in Resident Evil 6. Working together to get out of this mutated war zone, Sherry and Jake run into fan favorites Chris Redfield (with the B.S.A.A) and Leon Kennedy as they fight the J'Avo, a new type of C-Virus bio-weapon. After being captured by the enemy and having more experiments carried out on them, Sherry manages to save Jake's life and get them both the hell out of there! A strong friendship grew between the two afterwards.

Current Status: In the Field

Mikhail Victor

Another of Umbrella's security force deployed with Carlos Oliveira and the rest of 'Delta' squad, Mikhail was a fine leader and soldier hailing from the crumbling U.S.S.R. Appearing in Resident Evil 3 meant that his job was to evacuate citizens and help curb the bioweapon threat from Raccoon City. As we all found out from Carlos' story, Umbrella had a much more devious plan in mind. To test out the bioweapon known as Nemesis.

As this monstrosity entered the tram car that the group (and Jill) found themselves in, Mikhail ordered them all to flee while he held off the Nemesis system. Due to his wounds, Mikhail wasn't going anywhere but he managed to pull the pin on his grenade, sacrificing himself for Jill and his squad, buying them more time to escape.

Current Status: Dead

Nikolai Zinoviev

Nikolai was yet another mercenary that was deployed in Raccoon City with Umbrella's 'Delta' security squad back in Resident Evil 3. Even though he is a member of the squad and is helping the others fight off the bioweapon menace, Nikolai was actually a secret member of Umbrella's group, named The Monitors. He already knew what the mission actually was and is ruthless in his mission to let the Nemesis kill off S.T.A.R.S members. Nikolai attempts to fake his death so that the others will leave him alone but fate actually had that in store for him as he is killed (off screen).

Current Status: Dead

Ashley Graham

Ashley is the president's daughter whom Leon Kennedy is sent to retrieve in Resident Evil 4. Kidnapped by a bioweapon terrorist cell, Los Illuminados, Ashley was being held among the towns of rural Spain and later found by Leon mid-game.

During this time, Leon and Ashley attempt to escape the nightmare situation they find themselves in with a new type of bio-weapon infecting the villagers. After learning that they have both been infected with the Plaga virus, the two searched desperately for a vaccine. Ashley continued to be taken away from Leon time and time again, but he was determined and eventually rescued her for good. They also managed to find an antidote and remove the Plaga virus from their bodies.

Current Status: Unknown

Ingrid Hannigan

Ingrid is one of the few characters who actually stays behind the scenes and assists other agents in the field via telecommunications. Appearing in Resident Evil 4 and then later again in Resident Evil 6, it seems that Ingrid is pretty much Leon's go to gal when it comes to radio assistance. A dedicated and honest member of the F.O.S (Field Operations Service), Ingrid does what she can to keep her agents alive in the field and also carries out further reason to her causes, such as finding out more about Simmons (an antagonist from Resident Evil 6).

Current Status: In the Field

That ends Part 1 of The Story So Far -- The Resident Evil Cast. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming very soon where we finish off the remaining, 18 cast members!

So what did you think? Did I miss anything in the character descriptions or explanations? Please leave a comment below!

Published Apr. 4th 2017

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