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BSAArklay
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Posts: 776



Biohazard Locations and Inspirations

I keep coming across these and then forgetting about them so I wanted to start archiving them and the forum seems like as good as place as any to compile these so I will be updating more as they come to me. Please feel free to add to this compilation so that we may archive in one place such finds.


Tama River & Chichibu Tama National Park

In an interview with Kenichi Iwao and Shinji Mikami both developers stated that the opening CG movie for the original Biohazard 1996 was shot at the Tama River, Japan. 86 miles long and located in Yamanashi, Kanagawa and Tokyo the river is also nearby to Chichibu Tama Kai National Park which looks very similar to Arklay Mountains.

We also know that Capcom scouted Western styled buildings and landmarks during their research for Bio1/2/3 to give them inspiration when creating the Mansion and Raccoon City. So it is not hard to see similarties in some areas/buildings in Osaka which is Capcom's headquarters.

Here is a shot of Mount Kongo in the National park which is on the border of Osaka, Japan. Is it possible that Capcom used this area as home town inspiration when creating Arklay.


The treeline, peaks and valleys I feel is a pretty close match to Arklay and right on Capcom’s door step seems like a likely inspiration. The National Forest even experiences high altitude fog much like Arklay.

Here is a closer shot of the woodland noting the same points as given above.

Here is a shot of Tama River running through the National Forest.

If you check out the Making Of video for the CG cut scene for Biohazard 1 you can see the surrounding area in a few shots:

Now let’s take a look at several areas of the Tama River and you can imagine even some of these shots many have been the very location where Capcom filmed their opening cutscene.

Notice the Bull reeds in the image below, Chris and Jill are searching through similar vegetation in the opening cut scene movie. Not to say there aren’t hundreds of areas like this near the Tama River but just pointing out that this particular area has things in common and it is on the outskirts of the city so they wouldn't have had to travel too far outside the city to get their shots.



The Bank of Japan Old Osaka Branch

Staying with hometown inspirations for Raccoon City take a look at this former Osaka Bank.

Taken from a Famitsu Interview in January 1998:

"Famitsu: Did you travel to the Northwest region of the United States?

Matsunami: Can I say this (asking the others)?

Takeuchi: About illegal data gathering?

Mikami: Yeah, you can say that. We researched here in Japan.

Takeuchi: We found a very old, Western-style building somewhere close."

See Takeuchi's sentence above^ a Western-style building somewhere "close". This bank is in Osaka, it has a remarkable resemblance to the RPD. There is a high possibility that this is said building.


Now this one could go one of three ways first of all compare it to the Mansion.


Now let’s look at the RPD.

And finally Operation Raccoon City’s, City Hall. You could easily imagine it inspired any one of those three, or maybe even all three.


Resident Evil 7 Baker Plantation

Taken from the Biohazard 7 Document File this plantation is referenced by the staff as being an inspiration for the Baker plantation. The name of this specific house is not given only that it is somewhere in Louisiana. I have spent many hours searching through image host sites for abandoned plantation homes in Louisiana however cannot locate this specific one. I don’t know if it has been demolished since Capcom visited there or refurbished or just nobody online has documented it yet, Capcom staff visited Louisiana to research the area and took refference shots of the environment to use when creating the game so it's possible this one just isnt available to see online.

The closest I can find is the Belle Grove plantation. This one seems to match up with the side of the home shown in the picture above. Found a few other close matches but Belle Grove has more in common than all the others.


However Belle Grove was demolished in 1952 so it's certainly not the plantation in the first image above, however I still think that Capcom could have used Belle as an inspiration combining it with several other plantations to make a mixture/combination of them. So I wouldn’t totally rule Belle out as being an inspiration as there is many photographs online of the Belle Grove plantation and it is one of the most infamous.


Queen Zenobia Main Hall

Taken from the Revelations Complete Works guide; this entire area was carefully crafted upon its real life inspiration. Palasis Garnier an opera house in Paris, France.



Château de Gudanes

All credit on this one goes to Distant Memories for making me aware of this location. An excellent find with remarkable similarities. Distant Memories is one of the top fan fiction writers in the RE community along with our own Oracle Dragon. You can find Distant Memories on Twitter @DistantMemory96 (https://twitter.com/DistantMemory96) to follow his work and find out more.

This French Château has a striking resemblance to the Arklay mansion as seen below.


Not only does the frontal exterior highly resemble the Arklay Mansion.

But the Chateau also is surrounded by fog much like in Arklay woods as well as being located in the mountains.

You will also find that its interior also has similarities to the Arklay Mansion such as the chapel style ceilings.

As seen in my Real Life Raccoon City location article I reference there how many inspirations have come from France. Such as the street style which is similar with its claustrophobic streets/alleys, the outdoor cafes and even sign posts taken straight from statues located in France.

Staying with the interior similarities let’s take a look at the mansions dining room.

Very similar to Arklay with the dining table and a fire place situated at the end of the table.

Finally while the following was created for Resident Evil 4 and to test the game’s engine, you may also see a similarity with this spiral staircase.


Comparisons of Streets of Paris, France to Raccoon City

If you are reading this and have yet to check out my Real Life Raccoon City mini-article then please head there now, https://www.crimson-head.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13484369

I have many theories in that article about which cities mostly resemble Raccoon and I believe that France or Paris in particular offers up many inspirations to Raccoon, such as the buildings architecture, narrow streets, outdoor cafes and so on. So I wanted to make some comparision shots to add here to show people just how similar Raccon is to some of the smaller more narrow streets in the city of Paris.


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"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"

July 26, 2019 at 2:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

BSAArklay
Administrator
Posts: 776

Caerphilly Castle Door & Shield from Bio4

While some of these are theories and possibilities this one is straight up factual. Thanks for advice and help from Welsh I visited the largest Castle in Wales and while I found a few possible inspirations such as the front bridge:

https://imgur.com/daac472e-7dfd-4ef1-bf79-b32bc56787b1" />

It is in fact undeniable that this door and shield were taken straight from the castle and used by Capcom to create their textures for the game Resident Evil 4.

While I have seen other similarities within the castle such as corridors that are similar to LIN, windows, walls and arch ways we have not yet been able to make any exact matches.


James A. Garfield Monument San Francisco

Another excellent find from a community member, LeigiBoy (Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaComoPigna). LeigiBoy tweeted this out back in May 2019. An excellent find and thanks to Leigi for sharing, I recommend following his Twitter account for excellent updates regarding his modding of the Resident Evil games, where he has been doing some excellent work.

This photo of Rebecca which was found on Albert Wesker’s desk after some serious searching by the player is a shot of Rebecca Chambers sat in front of the James A. Garfield Monument which is located in San Francisco.


--

"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"

July 26, 2019 at 3:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

BSAArklay
Administrator
Posts: 776

Mombasa is Kijuju

So I have been looking at the textures from Resident Evil 5 ever since I ripped the game last year. There are so many real life locations and store names in the textures yet I could not seem to locate a city. However I finally found a lead for at least several of the stores/building textures that appear in Resident Evil 5. Not to suggest the entirety of buildings/stores in RE5 came from the city I located however there does seem to be a large portion of them all from this same city. Here are some comparison shots below. See in the red square below for the name of the city.

Mombasa is a seaport city in Kenya East Africa. The city Mombasa appears many times throughout the textures as well as an abbreviation for it “MSA”.

Just taking a look at some of the shops you can already start to see similarities with the signs and building styles. I also think that the area below has a great resemblance to the beach area in chapter 2-1.

Below is a building from RE5’s textures.

Now here is a real life building in Mombasa, referring to the building on the right handside. The building layout itself is not an exact match up but perhaps it is the side or back of the building.

Another RE5 texture. Note the black writing on the door.


Not an exact match but this is very close. Also both shops are computer/electrical services. Perhaps Capcom modified the textures so they aren’t exact matches and it has been over a decade now so things change.

You can see a lot of these styled paintings throughout Mombasa. Couldn’t find the same one yet. This one is from a real life photo.

And this one is an RE5 texture.


--

"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"

July 26, 2019 at 3:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

BSAArklay
Administrator
Posts: 776

Osaka City Central Public Hall

I came across this article by PCGamer which states that " This is the Osaka City Central Public Hall, one of the city's most beloved buildings and part of the inspiration for the Raccoon City Police Department in Resident Evil 2."

View the article here: https://www.pcgamer.com/the-making-of-resident-evil-2-remakes-raccoon-city-police-department/

This again confirms and further cements that Capcom used Osaka extensively when creating Raccoon City. Using such Western style buildings in their home city of Osaka to inspire and create areas of Raccoon.

As you can see from the exterior shot there are many similarties aside from the colour of the building there are many resemblences.

In this hall area aside you can also see a resemblence to the pillars and multiple floors.

Finally this staircase also has the RPD staircase style which would not surprise me that Capcom used this real life staircase and recreated it with some differences.


Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library

Just for reference here is the exterior of this old Western style building.

Here is another quote from Famitsu’s 1998 interview with Capcom:

“Matsunami: Well, we kinda snuck in and took pictures. The cameraman got caught and was scolded. But because of these pictures, we were able to create buildings with [the right atmosphere].

Kamiya: In Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya, there are a lot of old Western-style buildings. We just rushed in and took pictures.”

While they are talking about development for Biohazard 2 I think this could still apply to something they did when researching on Mansions or environments for any Biohazard title. See the stairway in this museum which looks very similar to the mansion in Lost in Nightmares. Originally I thought it was similar to the Arklay mansion however Welsh pointed out to me that it was closer to LIN infact it seems like an exact match.

Notice the top of the railing with the rounded shape. Notice the ball in the wooden beams that support the railing, notice the colour of the wood and finally the bottom step on both staircases over hangs away from the railing like an extension.

--

"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"

August 2, 2019 at 2:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TheOracleDragon
Administrator
Posts: 370

Seeing the real life locations that inspire and gave design to the various locations in Resident Evil more of a sense of familiarity. Real locations give great inspiration too cause of their designs and I love seeing the places that inspire. Great work collecting and sharing this with everyone, some of those locations and buildings are amazing and pretty cool. 

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'The screams, the shouts, the pain, the nightmares...they'll never leave me, that asylum will never leave me...I suffer from it every passing night...what does Umbrella want of me?' - Shane Burns

August 3, 2019 at 5:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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