Having recently played Resident Evil 6 with Chris on the channel (you can watch the series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4p1uU059GM) I found myself reminiscing on the franchise as a whole, particularly the early titles – although that’s probably because I personally remember the earlier titles much more fondly. What with Resident Evil 7 on the horizon and Halloween just behind us I thought I would use my blog entry to list my top favourite scary moments from the Resident Evil games. Minor spoiler warnings blah, blah, let’s do this hoopascotch!
10) The First Zombie (RE1)
Looking back nowadays this one seems more amusing than scary but boy, oh boy was it terrifying at the time. I remember back in the summer of ’96 being huddled around a small TV set at a neighbour kids house playing this game and, if I remember correctly, having subsequent nightmares for about a week.This was the first glimpse we got at a zombie; an eerie first-person FMV that slowly approached an unknown figure knelt down beside a still body. As the camera approaches the creatures turns around and we get a look at it’s rotting face. To this day I can still hear the sound of the flesh being torn away as the zombie takes a bite – brilliantly done.
9) The First Licker (RE2)
Resident Evil 2 is my personal favourite in the whole franchise and features probably my favourite video game characters of all time too Leon S. Kennedy, what a guy! Not long after arriving in the police station in the “A” campaign of this game you take a turn in to a handy room with a storage crate and not a lot in your way. So, like most people, I went charging through it all gung-ho until I turned a corner and WHAT. A strange creature slinks it’s way past the window – and this is where the fixed camera style of resident evil really comes in to play – I just stood there unsure what to do. I knew that it was going to be waiting for me in the next room because that’s the direction it went, so what the hell do I do now? Go through the door, take a slow and cautious walk around another corner and when the FMV triggered I knew shit was about to get real (somewhere Mike is jizzing his pants that I wrote that).
8) The Keepers Diary (RE1)
I’m sure a lot of people reading this… all 4 of them to be exact, will be thinking “Andy, are you on glue?”. Well no, no I’m not. One of the things I enjoyed most about the Resident Evil games was the various literary pieces you found on your travels which, upon reading, would give you insight in to the events leading up to the story, different perspectives or even foreshadow something along the way. As cheesy as this particular reading was, it was also unnerving and chilling – it told of the start of the infection in the mansion on a very personal level to one particular dog keeper. Following him right up until the point where he presumably turned. Itchy. Tasty.
7) The Village/Chainsaw Ganado (RE4)
Surely you knew this one was coming? Probably the most iconic installment in the franchise, coming at a time when it needed redeeming more than anything, Resident Evil 4 blew us all away. It was well made, full of amazing quotable lines and had that theatrical charisma we all expect in modern games today. Hey, it even brought back my boy Leon S. Kennedy, forging his legacy in iron. Let me ask you; what’s scarier than a village full of people who don’t speak your language, seemingly possessed and angry as hell turning on you? A big, masked guy with a chainsaw joining the party. Holy hell. Need I say any more? Was that too many rhetorical questions for one paragraph? Worth a mention here is that Capcom cleverly programmed this set piece to trigger the Chainsaw Ganado only if you took shelter in one of the houses in the village, a great example of interactive gameplay if you ask me. “Hey, you feel safe in that house do you? Guess again, bitch.”
6) The Dog Corridor (RE1)
This one would be higher up in my list if we are talking scare factor, but in order to get the next one on my list I kinda need to cover this one first. Whilst making your way through the creepy mansion you come across a long corridor with large windows on the one side, nothing too unusual as the scene fits in very well with the opulent decor of the mansion. As a result I found myself charging down it with little worry as the game clearly shows you through camera and audio that there are no visible threats, no zombies, however halfway down BAM some pesky mutts come smashing in through the windows to piss all over your no-zombie parade. Boner killer.
5) The Arms (RE2)
I’m a sucker for a clever jump scare and this moment in Resident Evil 2 left me clinging to the ceiling (no Licker pun intended). There’s a long, narrow hallway in the police department that you have to run through to advance in the game. One side is a solid wall, the other side has boarded up windows in it. Those of us who played Resident Evil 1 could still remember the dog jump scare so it was only right we would approach this situation cautiously, hugging the wall farthest from the windows in anticipation of something similar. Strangely enough, nothing happened, we managed to make it by unscathed. Phew! That is of course until you have to back track through the corridor at a later time and BAM arms come crashing through to try and drag you away. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well goddammit.
4) Nemsis (RE3)
STAAARRRSSS. The main antagonist and, in my opinion, best part of Resident Evil 3 is a huge, rocket launcher wielding viral weapon called Nemesis.I got chills just writing that. He’s big, unnerving and always one step behind you throughout the game. You never knew when he was going to come crashing through a wall to ruin your day. I always loved that during key fights with him you were presented with a choice – fight or flight. During which time would slow down and the screen would flicker inverted colours just to add to the pressure whilst you sat there panicking at the thought of fighting this behemoth. But if you could stomach it, Nemesis would drop increasingly useful goodies each time you defeated him in a bout. I also need to give a shout out to whoever composed the theme for this character, which always used to give me goosebumps when I heard it, because then I’d know he was primed and ready to pop out whenever he goddamn felt like it.
3) Salazars Right Hand Man (RE4)
I think most of the boss fights in this game used to put me in a bad mood, that being said I seem to remember this guy as being the clear winner for his scare and panic factor. Every time we meet Salazar we see his “henchmen” who generally stand around not doing much, as a result we almost don’t see them as a viable threat. So when he makes the call and his right hand man comes after you it makes it all the more nerve wracking. This boss fight is memorable for the way it is built up – firstly by a first person FMV of him quickly closing in on your position, then by him menacingly swiping at you as you try to navigate the tunnels and finally by him confronting you. Although I know now that you can actually defeat this guy, at the time I didn’t know that! So I rushed to call the elevator to get me the hell away from him only be to be told I had to wait and survive until it arrived. Not cool.
2) The First Hunter (RE1)
Again this is a moment which hasn’t ages particularly well I will admit but at the time this was a big deal. Having successfully fought through most of the mansion and feeling like you had a good grip on the enemies lurking around the corners Capcom decided to throw something new in to the mix. This one was especially scary because, as fans of the franchise will know – zombies, dogs, birds and other nasties can’t open doors! So it’s no surprise that after walking down a corridor and going through a door it was definitely not cool for the game to hard-cut to a first person FMV of a creature following you and opening the damn door you had just been through. Not cool at all.
1) The Regenerators (RE4)
The number one spot on this list was easy for me, this moment will live in infamy in my memory forever. Right around the time when Resident Evil 4 starts getting much more horror-esque in it’s style we are brought in to a laboratory type facility with gurneys sprawled about the place, each other showing mutilated corpses with various plagas deformities and general unpleasantness. In a certain area our attention is drawn to a particular creature in it’s own sealed enclosure. Massively foreshadowing. When it eventually gets up and breaks out of it’s room and corners you in a dead end your natural instinct is just to unload your gun at it until it goes down, at least that’s what I did. The thing is, it’s not dead. You can’t kill it. You actually can not kill this thing. So when I managed to blow it’s legs and arms off and bring it down I was absolutely wrong in assuming I could just run past it. It lunged at me and, in a flurry of sheer fear, I jumped so hard I kicked my Playstation 2 causing the game to freeze on an image that is forever burned in to my memory. Later in the game you learn that the only way to kill these creatures and stop them from regenerating is to use a thermal scope to destroy the plagas within their body, a scope that you do not have at this point in the game. These creatures make this portion of the game actual hell as they slowly stalk you, making one of the most unnerving and spine curling noises I think I’ve ever heard in a video game.Worth a mention is the Regenerators counterpart, the Iron Maiden – picture the exact same thing but with giant spikes sticking out of it.
And there you have it, my personal scariest moments from the Resident Evil franchise. Don’t agree? Think I’ve missed anything? Or just want to chat about some of your personal favourites? Drop us a comment below or on Facebook. You’ll also be glad to hear that at some point very soon we plan on visiting the old Resident Evil’s on the channel, so get subscribed and keep your eyes peeled!