CRIMSON HEAD ELDER

Survival Horror Community & Podcast

RESIDENTS FORUM

Post Reply
Forum Home > THE RACCOON PRESS > Complete Series Playthrough

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087



For many survival horror enthusiasts, Resident Evil 6 was further evidence that the series was now unrecognisable from the format that had once pulled us in with such emotional force. Many within our community that felt this have become despondent, with no enthusiasm for the series future. The ridiculous & bloated narrative of Resident Evil 6, coupled with the gradual, and continuing omission of those ingredients that had created survival horror perfection, omissions that started with RE4, and now culminating with the this latest instalment, has caused many to loose all faith with Capcom. But why look to the future and despair ? We have such a rich back catalogue to see us through the hard times, until a return to past survival horror glories.


In partnership with resident TheBatman who is posting a series playthrough diary at our main affiliate Project Umbrella, I will also be posting here, my experiences as I progress on a full & complete series playthrough ~


RESIDENT EVIL ZERO ~ RACCOON FOREST JULY 23rd 1998

Sheena Island mentioned in the opening dialogue, so satisfyingly bestowing canon status upon the much maligned, and criminally underrated Resident Evil Survivor.  But the questions asked in this slightly odd dialogue are not exactly answered and the opening scenes do not ‘go back to the beginning’ as promised. By the time we see a cross between Morpheus Duvall and an Italian Castrato Resident Evil Zero is now beyond the point of no return, and the fantastical mimicry 're'-incarnation of James Marcus derails any route to those destinations mentioned in the opening dialogue... and those leeches don’t look particularly dangerous or terrifying, they look like... leeches.


With BRAVO team we’re back on track... the murders they’re investigating were clearly committed before Billy’s transportation was presumably hit by the leeches. Enrico examines the recently deceased that were transporting Billy, so he was clearly unrelated to the past murders being investigated by Bravo team. So the sudden direction taken of a murder hunt for a convicted soldier is not what I wanted, and I am not appreciating this line of inquiry when I want Umbrella history. We should be getting an Enrico Marini to co-op with, not an unrelated character with a back-story irrelevant to the questions posed in the opening dialogue about Umbrella & its history, and the 'uncovering of the origin of this faceless corporation'. And how did Marcus know abut the plans to re-open the facility, and to be so conveniently positioned to release his leeches onto the train taking the first Umbrella employees to re-enter the facility ? More unnecessary questions are being posed, as the ones we want answered remain unanswered. We could have followed the path & deaths of BRAVO team members, but instead we get a Billy. a man with no history relevant to our interest.


Whilst a train setting has its flaws, the claustrophobia of the Ecliptic Express is perfect for survival horror, but is an unwanted distraction from the training facility, and its inclusion deprives us of the much more satisfying option of a larger training facility to explore, with more opportunity to throw up historic files detailing the early days of Umbrella and the power struggle between its 3 founding members. I adore the training facility and the tense rise in levels of sinister & insidious, as its explored deeper and deeper which makes me yearn for no train & more facility. Having said that, the Ecliptic Express is perfect for an opening act in a survival horror presentation, and the slashing rain outside, hitting the windows that look out over Raccoon Forest, creates almost as much intensely emotive atmosphere as the lightning that pierces through the Spencer Mansion.


The files on The Ecliptic Express compound the frustration that we are missing out on reading the secrets behind Umbrella’s birth & development and the events that lead to them being responsible for the terrible things referenced in the opening dialogue, as we read instead of a recent reclamation project by Umbrella. If we are to be taken to the historic Management Training Facility why not have the game centre on the events that caused it to be shut-down in the first place, rather than the unsuccessful attempt to reclaim it a few days before the mansion incident? So we get rather boring files on the train, compared with those in REmake, like the Passengers Diary & Investigation Orders – both dealing with the same basic plot line and did not need to be split into 2 separate files. The Passenger’s Diary is just employee moaning and a clue to the fight with the scorpion, which I think can be argued is the B.O.W catalogued in the file as Type-Y139. I've been reading the PU translation of the Passengers Diary, and there are that many parallels between the research observations made by this file's author and the anatomy & weakness of the Scorpion B.O.W for me to be more comfortable with the theory that they could be one & the same; the crustacean reference is not so inconsistent with the similar physical anatomy of a scorpions hardened outer body. In REmake we get far more interesting insights into the Umbrella employees that frequented the facility we are now exploring years before we arrived. Compare The Passenger’s Diary with The Keeper's Diary.


The save room music is beautifully melancholy and almost does the impossible task of matching its counterparts in REmake, RE2 & RE3. I think its effect would be even more poignant if it were being played in the very similar looking room next door with the slime covered corpse, with that room being the save room instead.


Unfortunately the transmission from Enrico that keeps cutting out, about Billy Coen, lacks any of the tension of the similar transmission by Brad in REmake because we know this guy is going to be our co-op partner and so however shady his past, we’re working together and we ain't going to befall the same fate as those men he supposedly killed. We soon find out that Billy is not in fact a serial murderer, and his character becomes even less interesting.


The cut-scene with Rebecca's first discovery of the mimicry Marcus does all the right things to begin with but descends into farce, with the illogical way Billy saves her & defeats the leeches, and then with the even more ridiculous sight of the Queen/Original mimicry Marcus (is that the right terminology, as this was not a biologically exact regenerated Marcus of his younger self ?)  looking like a Morpheus Duvall tribute act performed by a Castrato. We get another rather silly scene with the leech attack, as Rebecca is re-connecting the power cables, as suddenly they have engulfed her, but as she falls into the carriage below they are gone without reason, or a fight ! They may have been there to stop the re-connection, but why retreat when they failed ?


The scene on the train’s roof with the elements beating down as the Ecliptic Express races through Raccoon Forest is the first big departure from anything we could compare with Remake in terms of environment, and it’s inclusion is one of the many little but significant touches that gives RE0 a stand-alone personality to match REmake. But I do not agree that the pre-rendered backgrounds when compared with REmake are better graphically or contextually – in some places they are actually less detailed and more sparse.


The benching of item boxes for the new mechanic of just dropping items is an unforgivable omission, that just takes tension & strategy out of the game, replacing those vital elements with nothing, but the ability to litter. Remember that desperate, so very potentially fatal, but f*****g necessary trip to the save room item boxes in REmake that meant you had to return to that marauding Hunter with precious  little ammo ? The developers of Zero would not afford their game that luxury of survival horror gaming, and shame on them for that.


Unfortunately many of the Ecliptic Express areas cannot provide the insidious creepiness of similar counterparts in REmake – compare the kitchen on the lower floor of the Mansion with its worryingly unidentifiable rotting meats, with the kitchen on the train. This is where the train fails to provide the best overall potential for a survival horror setting and again makes me yearn for a larger management facility and no train.


I’m on Hard mode, having just escaped the Ecliptic Express and my tip for conserving bullets & never using the shotgun shells until you enter the training facility is as follows – just trigger Billy’s scene with the first mimicry Marcus encounter by simply trying to leave the room without shooting (yes be a pussy), don’t bother shooting any zombies that frequent the passenger carriages as they just re-spawn for your final run through when solving the emergency brake puzzle (you can use the knife and/or rely on the more frequent herbs & sprays rather than deplete invaluable bullets), and the knife is actually easier to use to make a strike on the Scorpion than the most frustrating, pathetic, & pointless weapon ever featured in an RE game – the Hunting Shotgun, so don’t sully your shotgun shells by even dreaming of placing them in the barrel of that abomination of a weapon.


I'm now leaving the Ecliptic Express which gets a 7 out of 10 for survival horror, and I'm about to enter the Management Training facility.....

August 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

fletcherc
Moderator
Posts: 222

Wow. Nice write-up there, GT. I have not that many complains about Zero though. For example I didn't miss the item boxes. That's maybe because I managed to create the necessary back tracking scenarios by dropping important items at the most inconvenient places imaginable. At least on my first playthrough when I didn't know which items would come in handy again ;-)

Some of the BOWs I found a bit ridiculous (like the Stinger or the Leech Blob in the end) but others almost had me s*** my panties. Those leech guys that pop up every now and then were scary and there was that one scene in the Training Facility where you exit a room and there's this zombie standing in the hall. Completely still, just standing there. I don't know why but that one guy is scary as hell.

I wish I had time to join you guys in a complete walkthrough. I'm trying to get through Revelations at the moment and will write a little review when I did. But I'll leave the grand tour to you big guys ;-)

--

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
When you're good at something, never do it for free ...
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

August 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Vito
Moderator
Posts: 109

Great read.

August 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087

I'll leave the Umbrella Executive Training School (Umbrella Research Center) for other residents playing through Resident Evil Zero, and I will move on to Resident Evil REmake, and the Spencer Estate ~


RESIDENT EVIL REMAKE ~ RACCOON FOREST JULY 24th 1998
JILL VALENTINE'S STORY
ONCE AGAIN (HARD MODE)


Raccoon Forest gives me the f***ing creeps.....it reminds me of the tree sparse, sinister woods often found in Hammer House of Horror vampire films, like Captain Kronos : Vampire Hunter, particularly when faced with the immense fear induced by a lunatic chasing pack of infected Dobermans, as their pace increases faster, and faster.....I'm the hunted. I'm being hunted down by my worst nightmare, Dobermans with murderous intent, and I've got no chance, stranded out here in this desolate forest that appears to be the last resting place of my colleagues in Bravo Team. I suddenly hear the clear & intense voice of Wesker coincide with the sight of him miraculously saving Chris, just a split second away from the jaws of these decaying hounds of hell. The isolated mansion in the distance that we make for, is one of the most iconic sights of our series, and it’s exciting & daunting in equal measure to know that this sanctuary from Cerberus is an extremely limited one. I have a couple of seconds in the time it takes to make the desperate sprint for survival, to contemplate the horrors that I know so very well are lurking within. I’m reminded of a similar residence from my youth, which bears a name that would equally befit the Spencer Mansion; the illustrations from Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone 'Fighting Fantasy' RPG book 'House of Hell'.


The eerie silence of the mansion, broken only by our echoing footsteps on the marble floor is in stark contrast to the howls we have just run from. And the atmosphere is cranked up further as I enter the infamous Dining room with Barry. The sound of the grandfather clock is extremely haunting and I can’t stop thinking of the famous dinner date that took place here over two decades ago, in 1967 between George Trevor and Spencer. This is the room where he was told of his wife & daughter’s absence, as Trevor gazed up at the female statue that stared down at him. I soon find myself alone, and with options to explore. I’m immediately reminded how much this open world exploration is missing from the post Dead Aim instalments. I used to get lost in this mansion. Not now of course, I know its every nook & cranny better than my own home, I could walk round it blindfolded, yet it still feels less linear than RE4,5,&6. I’ll never tire of this game because the odious atmosphere the mansion oozes is deeper & more intense than anything ever evoked in any other video game. I know its sorrowful history, from that fateful night for Lisa & Jessica in 1967, to this very night, and the fatal dangers that await Jill, as I guide her down those claustrophobic, creepy corridors, dripping in history, that have become the benchmark for survival horror.


The peridot, has only been in my possession for mere minutes, and already I feel like I’ve experienced more intrigue & emotion than most video games can offer in their totality. Having just played RE0  I notice just how superior Remake is in its use of static camera angles when Jill first enters a room, and the also superior use of light & shadow; The tension this provokes is palpable. The shadows of the trees outside are cast onto the mansion walls through insecure looking, ancient sash windows. Jill’s shadow can also be seen cast across the walls as she heads down another narrow corridor, creating even more tension.


The music on the first floor, the open flamed torches, the intermittent flashing of lightening, the mirror casting my reflection back down the corridor towards the groans of an undead that I’ve miraculously just squeezed past without disturbing, all induces a deep, living atmosphere, heightened even more by the mystery that pervades every inch of this mansion. Where is Chris ? Where is Wesker ? How are we going to escape with our lives ? I take the peridot with me as I make for the mansion’s graveyard, and with the mournful sounds of howling in the distance, is there a more insidious location in video gaming history ? I kill the zombie by the hidden shotgun shells and I just stand there, motionless, listening to those howls, and seeping in this beautifully melancholic atmosphere. The howling can still be heard as I grab The Book of Curse. The inscription’s creepiness is not out of place with its location which has the dark mystique of the graveyard above, cranked up tenfold with those symbols of death carved into stone and seen to almost move by the flicker of flames. I remember the first time I was here, and took my first mansion key from the back of this book’s ornate, gothic encasing; I had never played any game like this before, and I would never again. I already had so many questions and intrigue to satisfy, and I was so perturbed by the overwhelmingly sinister atmosphere and unnerving suggestions provoked by each mysterious discovery.

August 31, 2013 at 5:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

Haha great stuff, i'll keep an eye on this. Hope you enjoy playing through them as much as I am! 

September 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087

[STARS]TyranT at September 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Haha great stuff, i'll keep an eye on this. Hope you enjoy playing through them as much as I am! 

Cheers [STARS], looking forward to reading your play-through too sir.


BIOHAZARD 3 ~ RACCOON CITY SEPTEMBER 28th 1998

HARD MODE

PART 1 ~

Farewell to my life farewell to my home...


After the mayhem of the opening scenes I'm looking out of a window onto the streets that are now deserted & quiet. There are 2 of us here, but only 1 prepared to fight our way out. I leave that pour soul to the sanctuary that will soon be his grave if starvation gets him before the undead.

Running through the streets of Raccoon City Downtown is like re-visiting the scene of a hurricane. There are zombies everywhere, and I seem to be the only one left alive. I've not seen any of my STARS comrades since Brian Irons through out our claims of a deadly outbreak in that Arklay mansion, and my only priority now is to escape out of this nightmare. I'll head to the RPD first as it would have to be the most likely & successful place that could offer any semblance of safety from the hoards of walking dead that now lay claim to the streets.

Just when I thought I was the only person still alive, a terrified Brad races out from a side door with 5 chasing undead on his tail. They spot me, allowing Brad a safe passage, but I've now become the hunted, with odds of 5-1 against. I can't believe my luck as with my very last bullet, the last zombie falls from a fatal shot.....these guys may be slow, but they take a lot of punishment before they finally fall & remain motionless, save for the occasional nauseating twitch. But now I have an empty gun, and I've not even made it to the RPD building. The next time I meet such a numerous pack, I'm dead unless my knife skills improve dramatically or I find more ammo. The value of ammunition just shot up tenfold.

From every victim there is opportunity for another, and my chance of survival has just increased immeasurably with my latest grim encounter; with his guts ripped out (dear god I hope he was lucky enough to die before that happened) a dead RPO can give up his shotgun to me. I'll take this lighter oil too, it’s bound to come in handy....

Things are, albeit temporarily I'm sure, improving by the second, as I stumble upon not 1, but two green herbs....That will surely calm my nerves a bit. Back onto the Downtown streets and it's business as usual. Streets deserted of life, but infested with the undead. The howling wind that has had exclusivity on sound aside from the zombie groans is suddenly broken by the cries of a fleeing Brad. I rush to follow those harrowing cries, but deviate quickly to rush up a fire escape to grab another 2 vital green herbs. That proved to be folly as upon my return to street level I find a frenzied group of zombies, 6 of them, arms outstretched, desperate to break past the wooden crates mercifully stacked at the bottom that divide us, and are miraculously keeping me alive. Like bees round a honey pot they swarm, no intention of going anywhere else, and my frustrations rise as I realise these were the 6 I had just skillfully outmaneuvered, keeping my health at 100%, before my greed for the herb overwhelmed my loyalty to Brad. I have no choice, and I jump into the group, taking a couple of bites, and pushing them off, as I continue to follow Brad, whose frantic running is relentless. We finally meet up at a Bar Jack and my worst nightmares are realised. These undead have overwhelmed the city, and we may be the only 2 left alive.  The RPD has been overwhelmed, their inexperience to such a extraordinary event the casue of their downfall. Before I can get any further answers from Brad he becomes almost delirious with panic, and runs off, frantically stuttering about a fatal pursuer.

After a suspiciously short encounter with that terrifying stalker, I've finally made it alive to the RPD station. Inside it’s deathly quiet & completely deserted. The east & west doors are both barricaded. I wonder if there’s any surviving officers behind them ? Those officers that I do come across are either the walking dead, or half eaten corpses.

Racing into Grill 13, past the posters for Biohazard 4, and I reassuringly find a public pay phone….fuck the line seems to be disconnected. FINALLY a survivor, but before the elation of this can kick in I find out the cruel irony….he works for Umbrella ! No time to even contemplate the moral ethics of working with this fellow survivor and unbelievably the pursuer is upon me again.. I soon forget this mercenaries choice of employer as the second confrontation with this relentless stalker is now slightly weighted more in my favour & I watch him pump submachine gun ammo into its chest.

Not long after and I’m back on my own again, isolated on these zombie infested streets, littered everywhere with the signs of destruction; Carlos having inexplicably run off without affording me the opportunity to answer his question on whether we should stick together….I had wanted to !

Alone again and I decide to head to the Raccoon City Press office, where I may find useful information to aid my last escape. There are flyers outside claiming exclusive information on the uncovering of the Arklay Mountains incident. The inside of the Press office matches the streets outside - mess, destruction, death and the undead. Files on the bizarre incidents are scattered everywhere, but the grimmest discovery is photographic evidence of what I had already begun to depressingly accept - the entire RPD has been destroyed; a reporter’s memo near by fleshes out the grim details, but it only serves to confirm what I already now knew – when the police fell, the Raccoon City citizens fate was sealed; they had no chance.

A reunion with Carlos & two further UBCS reveals a real hope that I can make my escape on the helicopter called to extract their decimated platoon, but it won’t be straightforward and I’m going to have to go back onto those streets to find the means to fix this cable car. As I leave the hopefully temporary marooned chance of survival, and step back onto the streets of Downtown Raccoon City, I hear the now familiar sound of the undead groaning; fuck I'm very low on ammo, save for some hardcore freeze rounds I'm saving in case that pursuing nightmare finds me yet again...

More horrendous evidence of the human tragedy that has swept across this City overwhelms me at every turn; the last laments of an unfulfilled novelist, the great Dario Rosso, who finally decided to come out of his locked sanctuary (I wonder why, perhaps starvation?), and the screams of a young girl, dressed in a yellow jacket, that I just glimpse, as she races off in terror, gone before I can offer my aid, disappearing into the pedestrianised maze of RC Downtown, with what may be her last screams ringing in my ears.

I’m becoming adept at dodging the plague of undead, the zombie transformed citizens of RC, Dobermans, and then the revolting looking plague crawlers. A couple of miraculously placed oil drums & a strategically placed bullet spreads thick clumps of flesh from these repulsive abominations explosively all over the graffiti covered walls of thE buildings that claustrophobically box me in.

A further 2 confrontations with the ever pursuing Nemesis, both of which were considerably easier than our first encounter outside the RPD building, now that I’m armed with Freeze rounds; I always exclusively use Gun Powder only to make sets of 3 C’s so I only ever make Magnum rounds normally, but this time on the advice of TheBatman (see Project Umbrella Podcast #17) I premier with Freeze Rounds.

Myself and the 2 UBCS survivors are now travelling safety on the tram towards the Clock Tower destination. Again though, just when it looked like nothing could stand in our way, secure as we were on this motorised, speeding sanctuary, and my Nemesis unbelievably appears yet again. All previous punishment that I have unleashed upon him on all previous apparently victorious encounters just seems to have no effect on this ever reincarnated beast, and those short-lived victories now feel extremely hollow. "I could be wasting vital ammo" is the last thing that I remember contemplating before a selfless Mikhail sacrifices himself to an earlier death than the one inevitably awaiting  him quite soon with  the wounds he was carrying, as he takes both himself out & my Nemesis with his last grenade. The ensuing explosion also takes out our speeding safe haven and I awake from unconsciousness miraculously within the grounds of the Clock Tower, surrounded by a wreckage of twisted, flaming metal.

I’m not afforded the time to search for Carlos as a pack of infected crows attacks me from out of the dark skies, and I’m running again, into the hopeful safety provided by the Clock Tower. I’ve successfully made it to the extraction point alive; my last escape is tantalisingly close. When I do mercifully find Carlos alive, he’s an absolute mess, mentally weak, and almost hysterical. Again he runs off, but this time I’m no where near as concerned as I was the last time he did this, outside Grill 13; I’m mentally strong and his mental weakness is a liability.

Jesus f*****g Christ, giant tarantulas; aside from that obsessive, mutated hit-man they’re my worst nightmare. Fortunately they’re the easiest infectants to avoid, and I quickly dodge past them, but it’s still an unnerving manoeuvre that sends shivers down my spine. Some basic find & fetch puzzles see me close to my final objective; to set off the Clock Tower’s large bell, thus signalling the extraction ‘copter to my location, so as to make my last escape, and finely leave this nightmare behind. A combination of ingenuity with the tower’s blinding spot-lights & my ample supply of Freeze rounds, temporarily sees off what now seems like a never ending cycle of Nemesis encounters.

Another devastatingly tragic & depressing site awaits me on the other side of this door that provides safety from those disgusting, spine chilling spiders. The rotting corpse of yet another UBCS mercenary, this one bravely shielding the body of another victim; he failed to save her, and I don’t want to believe this is the same girl I failed to save this morning on the streets outside Bar Jack. There is a small sliver of hope & opportunity as I read in the mercenary’s pocketbook the existence of an antidote to this hellish virus. I must tell Carlos…

Another very straightforward puzzle and I can almost feel myself climbing into that helicopter, being flown to safety, as I grab the Chronos key and make may way to the Clock Towers’ summit. Relentlessly the pursuer rises, and I skilfully dispatch him once more, Freeze rounds style, my ammo of choice & thus running dangerously low.

With Raccoon City’s Clock Tower bell heralding my victorious survival and consequent aerial rescue I race back down to street level, and wait to be picked up. But then, out of nowhere, that relentless beast suddenly & shockingly casts his silhouette menacingly across the horizon, as he stands tall upon his rooftop throne, missile launcher held aloft, monstrous teeth seemingly grinning with pure evil, and vehemently spiteful eyes fixed on my now vulnerable saviour. It’s all over in mere seconds; missile launched, inevitable explosion, and my chances wiped out with the death of more innocents.

My heart is absolutely sunk, but before I can even contemplate the futility of my situation, he’s once more upon me. This time my Freeze rounds are not enough; not enough to protect me from a fast protruding contaminated tentacle, that strikes me before I’m afforded the time to dodge it’s attack. I stay confident with my Freeze rounds, and once more appear, temporarily I’m sure, free from further onslaught, as the Nemesis pitifully skulks off to avoid further freezing punishment. But before I can allow myself a short breath of relief the pain & effect of my recent infection overwhelms me and I lose consciousness….


TOTAL PLAY TIME: Irrelevant, this is survival horror.

GAME MODE: HARD
RANK: (see part 2 after the RE2 play-through)
NUMBER OF SAVES: 1
NUMBER OF DEATHS: 0

--

Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety.

September 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BIOHAZARD 2 - 29TH SEPTEMBER 1998

PART 2 - CLAIRE B

 

So here we go! Same time! Time Place!

 

We start, brilliantly on the other side of the tanker explosion. I've always loved the idea of the B Scenario, and for the most part this game uses the idea very well. I always love seeing the same events from a slightly different angle or perspective.

 

We meet Claire Redfield properly at last, and it's not long before we too find ourselves in the RPD. This time though all the items are switched and the objects we need slightly changed. Straight away we are introduced to the Tyrant dropped from a helicopter, and the first time I played Biohazard 2 I remember feeling not so confident about Claire's route through the game. Mercifully though, Claire has all the right tools to fight the T-103 throughout the game, with acid rounds proving to be his foil. His arrivals are genuinely frightning, jump-scare moments, as he only ever attacks sporadically enough for you to nearly forget he's even there. A brilliant monster, and for this series playthrough we of course recognise his appearence (although the T-103 is considerably less goofy in appearence than the Sergei's Ivans).

 

We eventually run into Police Chief Brian Irons, and he is a deliciously evil character, and thanks to the backstory we've uncovered in Desperate Times and such, we know this guy is an utter creep, but we weren't privvy to his 'habits' such as taxidermy or rape, until now. I wonder how the Mayor ended up leaving his beautiful daughter with perhaps the worst person in the entire city.

 

Straight away the creepy chief disappears, taking the body of the Mayor's daughter with him. (I hate how over the top Iron's is in Darkside Chronicles, his character is subtle and dark here without being ridiculous (maybe i'll stuff her...! - ergh).

 

We then run into the mystery girl Leon glimpsed at the end of his scenario when he jumped on the train. Little Sherry Birkin making her debut apperence. It's at this point we learn a little bit about her parents, and that they both work at the Umbrella 'chemical plant', as Sherry calls it. Their conversation is all too brief and the roar of a large creature causes Sherry to run off.

 

Following the routine of the RPD again, but being mindful of the Tyrant, we end up finding Iron's again, and as he starts to spill all the information of the G-Virus, he is dragged through a nearby trapdoor and visciously dismembered, leaving only a torso and a head. Heading into the trapdoor as our only means of escape, we come across William Birkin, but much earlier than when we encountered him in Leon's scenario. Here he looks reasonably human, and wielding a large steel bar he makes an attack. Thankfully the acid rounds fell him too, and he falls over the edge of the gantry we were fighting on. I rush back to get Sherry, being mindful of not showing her what has befallen her father.

 

We reach the sewers, when the Tyrant makes another appearence. Thankfully we slip away unnoticed, but at that moment Sherry is swept away from a nearby floodgate opening.

 

(It's here the biggest departure from the Claire A scenario takes place. Sherry is never infected by William, and as a result makes this varient of Biohazard 2 slightly less canon than the other. I will stress again though, that is my much preferred way of telling the game, and I feel aside from a canonicity issue, Leon A/Claire B is a considerably better telling of Biohazard 2 than the alternative).

 

Claire frantically tries to find Sherry, and already the strength of their bond is becoming apparent. A bond that will sadly be told mostly behind the scenes over the next few years, only baring its revelations in files in Biohazard 6. That feels like a long time ago from now, but it feels like Sherry is being built over this game for very big things, particularly with the infection arc she is given. We discover an injured Leon in a scene we didn't get to see playing as him. He describes the attack on himself and Ada at the hands of Annette. He pleads Claire to find Ada. We run onward, not expecting what to find, and almost immediately we run into Annette emerging out of the water below.... Of course, Ada just moments ago knocked her in! The way these scenarios link up is absolutely genius.

 

Annette and Claire have a common goal, and it's interesting to see an-almost-co-operative side from Annette as they search for Sherry. Claire manages to meet up with Sherry near the cable car, and Sherry is fine and they both make their way to the Factory/Marshalling Yard, for what will be - chronologically - our last visit.

 

This is even more recognisable to the places Rebecca investigated, as we go into the monitor room where Birkin and Wesker watched Rebecca and Marcus from, and there we briefly fend off the Tyrant one more time (in a wonderful, scary moment with a CCTV camera). As the train is returned and we too descend into the lab to join Leon, Birkin makes another apperence. Now a truly frightning four-armed beast. Claire takes the spark shot and has an almight battle on the train as it lowers into the lab. I completely miss time a couple of dodges and Birkin devestates me, and I only just manage to consume a mixed herb to save my life. Blasting Birkin further with the spark shot he retreats for now.

 

The train comes to a stop mid floor, and as Claire gets off to investigate, it resumes, seperating herself from Sherry again. An all too brief, slightly different run through the lab causes us to run into Annette again, and both she and Claire spy Sherry on the verge of being attacked by the Tyrant in a large room. Annette finally reveals that a sample of Birkin's G-Virus is inside Sherry's pendant and Claire races to the scene of the attack.

 

Once there, Claire gets the pendant from Sherry and throws into the molten steel below. The Tyrant makes a lunge and falls in, defeated, but not before some serious damage has been done to the room they are in, causing the lab self-destruct to kick in. Claire catches up with Annette, who by now has been mortally wounded in Leon's scenario. She dies finally admitting she has been a terrible mother to Sherry.

 

Claire takes Sherry to the train platform below the lab, and there Sherry is left on the train. Claire races to get the train going, but as the lights dim as the train powers up, a huge creature appears before Claire. It's the Tyrant, evolved from its trip in the steel, and now shedding its coat has grown two huge claws and presents itself on fire. Claire narrowly survives the relentless attack, and the Tyrant seems impervious to all harm, when suddenly a sillouette of what looks like Ada drops us a rocket launcher, which dispatches the Tyrant in style. As the train gets finally going, Leon emerges and enters with the lab blowing up behind us.

 

It's here the game extends itself, and what transpires is that Birkin is still alive, and he's also on the train. But he's now a huge, unrecognisable blob of a creature, with only the G-eyes to help us assume it's Birkin. The train engages a self-destruct of its own and Claire is trapped outside the car with Leon and Sherry in. She climbs into the roof of the train, while Sherry enters the drivers cabin with Leon forced to escape through a grate and hang beneath the speeding train.

 

With the guidance of Claire, Sherry engages the emergency stop and the three exit the tunnel. Birkin's G-eye squints as he notices the timer reach zero, and with a gigantic explosion is finally killed.

 

The three sit in the daylight at last, but for Claire there is no rest. She gets up immediately and vows to find Chris.

 

Where are you Chris?

 

-----

 

So we have our first survivors at last from the horror of Raccoon City, which is now utterly lost to the monsters and the zombies. The stakes have definately been raised, but at last things have started to be explored. Birkin has now finally died with his G-Virus all but stopped before it truly has a chance to get going. I wonder if will turn up again in the series?

 

Leon and Claire prove to be two wonderful heroes, and both now seem poised to head the offensive on Umbrella in the STARS absense, and there appears to be much more than meets the eye to Sherry, at least for now.

 

But still, we have no resolution to Sergei or Wesker. We are still none the wiser to what will happen to Jill. And who was the mystery woman at the end throwing the rocket launcher down? Is Ada still alive?

 

And what did happen to HUNK? Will we ever learn what happened to him?

 

But Biohazard 2- what a fucking masterpiece.

 

TOTAL PLAY TIME: 2:15:56

GAME MODE: Normal

RANK: A

NUMBER OF SAVES: 2

NUMBER OF DEATHS: 0

September 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

fletcherc
Moderator
Posts: 222

A little more than 2 hours? Oh wow. Now I know why I never get an A Rank ...

This has been a very good read, from both of you. 

--

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
When you're good at something, never do it for free ...
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

September 6, 2013 at 2:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

I'm not trying to convince anyone, like I say I accept that it's the less canon of the two. It was a personal preference for choosing it for the playthrough, as I'm trying to capture the feelings I experienced when I first started with the series.


BIOHAZARD - THE UMBRELLA CHRONICLES

THE 4TH SURVIVOR - 30TH SEPTEMBER


We are thrust straight into the eyes of someone emerging from the sewers. MIraculously, a week after the initial attack on Birkin, HUNK finally emerges from the sewers seemingly okay.


The 4th Survivor is a very cool retelling of the minigame from Biohazard 2. It follows more or less the same route through the game, although a section is missing. It's a short but ultimately sweet little cameo for Hunk.


Hunk contacts Nighthawk, the helicopter pilot who has been evidently waiting around all this time to retrieve him. Night Hawk notes how that once again, only Hunk is the survivor, and calls him Mr Death.


Hunk blasts very quickly through the station in a race to the helipad, and it's here I finally realise that this the last time we are going to see the RPD, (save one more little moment). All the stories that have been told here, all the death that has happened here and now the wonderful locale finally bows out of the games. The zombies here are very very tough in this scenario, soaking up a lot of damage before falling. The momentum through this scenario is also subtly different, as Hunk seems to peer around corners before jumping round, Capcom did a good job with this short scenario.


To Hunk's frustration there is a lot of interference on the radio as survivors from various radio stations are broadcasting, clearly being driven mad by the isolation and the horrors that have befallen them the previous week. The radio throughout the scenario is a really nice touch. We have gone from the intial chaos of the first few days, to the dead calm, isolation that Biohazard 2 and 3 explored, and now we are literally left with the last few people and the battle of attrition they have faced. There's not many people left in Raccoon by now, and we can here for more than a few the mental toll has been too much.


We nearly reach the top, when suddenly the lone female from Hunk's team gets on the radio, Goblin-6, is still alive asking for help, but Hunk cruelly tells her that survival is her responsibilty. We emerge onto the helipad, where after a small attack of hunters, the helicopter arrives. As Hunk finally unmasks himself, we see a glimpse of his face as the camera fades, in the glass of the G-Virus sample he has successfully reclaimed for Umbrella.


I quite like this scenario, but I've always felt that Capcom have messed up with the date. It's just not plausable to think that Hunk has literally been in the sewers for a week. Doing... whatever. It could work in the sense that no matter what happens to him, he always survives, and it makes his survival seem that much more unlikely, but the addition of Goblin-6 over the radio damages this somewhat, and leads you to believe that it could just be a day after the Birkin attack. Nonetheless, Capcom HAVE dated it, so this is where it goes.


TOTAL PLAY TIME: 9:53

GAME MODE: Normal

RANK: B

TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS: 0

----


BIOHAZARD - THE UMBRELLA CHRONICLES

DEATHS DOOR - 1ST OCTOBER


It suddenly feels that the Raccoon City chapter of this saga is working toward some kind of conclusion. We've had Leon, Claire and Sherry escape. We've finally learned of the fate of HUNK, and now we join a fatally wounded woman, staggering through the sewers.


It's Ada Wong's turn to have some resolution, and straight away in her opening narration, she explains that her meeting with Leon changed her, and almost blames that change as the reason why she let her guard down and was injured as a result.


Ada staggers through the sewer, and straight away there's something familiar about this location, as we emerge through a nearby manhole, we come to find ourselves outside the Apple Inn. It turns out that Ada is meeting with a contact from her organisation to drop off a tissue fragment she has aquired from Birkin, containing the G-Virus. Ada is initially very wounded during the beginnings of this chapter so great care is needed to fend off the hunters and cerberi attacking.


As Ada enters the Apple Inn, she quickly makes her way to the contact. This scenario is a bit of a stretch of believability but I do quite like it. It's Ada after all. We learn that the contact has killed himself for whatever reason or another, but on a nearby computer screen, is none other than Albert Wesker, and it's here a great revelation is played as we learn that Ada and Wesker's organisation are, for the time being, one and the same. Wesker reluctantly agrees to help Ada in exchange for the tissue sample, and in a very nice touch, gives her her iconic hookshot that she'll still be using 15 years from now. I like the exchanges we get between Wesker and Ada, you always get the feeling that these are two characters keep both their cards very close to their chests. Neither trust each other, it's clear straight away, but it's fascinating watching how they play each other off all the time. Wesker also reveals to Ada that the destruction of Raccoon City is immenent thanks to a government controlled missile!? Her way out is an Umbrella helicopter fleeing the city as they speak.


What?! Raccoon City is to be destroyed?! But JIll?!


Ada races out of the hotel, but not before wondering what would happen if the G-Virus go out and an outbreak occured (foreshadowing perhaps?), and using the hookshot for the first time, heads to a motorway overpass.


Here, bizarrely it appears a large Tyrant is in the area, and attacks Ada almost immediately, after a small brief battle the Tyrant collapses, but not defeated.


Ada notices the helicopter she needs and firing the hookshot, hits the container it is carrying. She winches herself up and finds the container reads UMF.013.


On board the helicopter is Sergei Vladmir. Who is escorting an Umbrella executive out of the city, as well as the Red Queen computer system of Umbrella. Sergei muses that with UMF013, the restoring of Umbrella can happen.


The missile detonates above the city, and everything fades to white.


In a single mission, we have the escape of Ada, the reveal of the relationship with herself and Wesker, and a small part of the overall plan for Sergei. He is intending to carry on Umbrella after the Raccoon City calamity.


For the first time we know that Raccoon City is going to be destroyed, but we were denied the actual sight of it happening here. Will Jill ever escape this danger? We now know 1st October is the last day for Raccoon City.


What has happened to the Outbreak survivors? And where did that Tyrant that attacked Ada come from?


TOTAL PLAY TIME: 9:22

GAME MODE: NORMAL

RANK: B

NUMBER OF DEATHS: 0

September 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BIOHAZARD OUTBREAK FILE 2

END OF THE ROAD - 1ST OCTOBER

 

The series races back to see how the Outbreak survivors are doing. Yoko Suzuki is leading the way through the main Umbrella facility in the city.

 

Straight away we see a sequence of Linda, an Umbrella scientist, and a rogue USS member Rodriguez, they are gearing up to leave the city, but Linda needs to go back to retrieve a capsule which contains a potential cure for the t-Virus. Rodriguez reluctantly agrees, and gives her a limited time frame to accomplish her mission.

 

The initial section of End of the Road takes place through the same-looking corridors of the Umbrella facility, which is being besieged by Hunters at every turn. In desperation to survive, Carter (another Umbrella scientist) releases a dormant Tyrant (a prototype T-0400TP) to defend them, so everyone can make their escape.

 

It's not long before the Tyrant turns, and kills Carter. It also knocks Linda into the sewers and destroys the capsule before she leads the survivors to safety. The survivors then set about a rescue attempt and head into the sewers.

 

I really struggled with this scenario, dying almost straight away against the hunters, then getting killed by the Tyrant, twice. On attempt 4 I finally made it into the sewers, and after exploring the labyrinth of tunnels eventually found Linda. (On the way I grabbed a detonator for an explosion device that the Tyrant has, as a failsafe incase it turns - I put it in Yoko's backpack for now).

 

As we reach Linda, she admits that the capsule with the cure has been broken, and that providing she can safely escape the city, she can potentially recreate it. However, a sudden rush of water floods the sewers and takes the survivors away.

 

They emerge in the sewer system just below the Apple Inn, and as we get to the ground level, Linda is shot in the leg by a UBCS sniper named Arnold, she seeks refuge in the Apple Inn, where I eventually go and meet her. I saved the game in the Inn, and then braced myself for what would be an utterly horrible few minutes. I died a total of 9 times in this scenario, and all bar 4 were as a result of being shot by Arnold. It is for lack of a better word and absolute twat of a section, requiring perfect timing of supporting Linda, and using the animation to miss the bullets. It's awful design, and even worse - the entire area you need to move Linda through is mined with explosives. Whoever thought this section would be fun needs to seriously question their game design.

 

We eventually make it to a building, where a timer begins as Tommy Neilson, an Umbrella executive confirms to Arnold that Raccoon City is to be destroyed imminently. Rodriguez meanwhile decides to give it 3 minutes waiting for Linda before fleeing.

 

I knew by letting the timer expire, a door way in the building I took refuge in will open and allow us to escape via the roof. I simply let the timer expire, not summoning the Tyrant on the main street. As Rodriguez takes off in his helecopter, Nielson uses a stinger missile launcher and manages to hit the container he is taking away. The container falls on a nearby highway and a team of UBCS members surround it. They are all brutally killed by a wave of tentacles, and in a delightfully icky scene, all the bodies are slowly dragged into and absorbed by the large fleshy creature inside.

 

During this the Tyrant emerges from the sewers, and molts into a Super Tyrant, or Tyrant-R, looking exactly like the one in Deaths Door. I know a few don't support the idea that the Death's Door Tyrant and the End of the Road Tyrant are the same, but I've always liked this little cross over, irrespective of whether they are the same or not, I like to think they are.

 

A door in the building falls over, allowing Yoko and Linda to escape to the roof, but unbelievably the door hits Yoko and being on Danger, causes her to hit the floor. With no-one to help her up and no healing items, I die again. That was death number 9. I couldn't believe it. A bloody falling door.

 

Reloading, I get Linda through finally, and with enough healing items make my way to the roof. At this point, the Tyrant - wounded from Ada's battle re-emerges and is immediately absorbed by the creature we know as Nyx.

 

With the Tyrant now stuck inside, I remember the detonator and grab a nearby rocket launcher from an army truck. I use the detonator to blow up the Tyrant's explosive device, and as the Nyx drops to its knees, explosing it's vulnerable core, fire a rocket and destroy it.

 

It's here I totally lost my bearings and were unable to find the way to get Linda across the gap to the highway, and idiotically got into a vehicle looking for the panel to create Linda's bridge, ending the scenario.

 

That'll be a reload then.

 

I did everything the same, finally dispatched Nyx, and found a panel to allow Linda to get to me, and escaped the city with Linda. Linda vows to rebuild, while Yoko stands knowing what she needs to do, as she looks at the ruin of Raccoon City.

 

Yoko's ending shows her with Linda in a courthouse, standing trial with regards to Umbrella. I wonder what will happen to Umbrella now that people are starting to testify against them?

 

----

 

End of the Road is not as a good as a scenario as I remember it. The section with Arnold and all the mines is absolutely awful, and the locations are just so clumsily put together the whole thing feels a bit of a mess. I like the Tyrant and Nyx, and I enjoy seeing the UBCS and USS characters, but the whole scenario is just so inconsistent. Whether I feel like this just because I struggled so much may be the case, but I feel it's actually one of the weaker and most bland scenarios of them all.

 

I do enjoy the missle attack from the perspective of the command center. As the General guy looks on as all the missiles are confirmed it gives a very cold and remote feeling. It's just a shame the missile attack and the nuclear missile aren't consistent with each other. A real shame.

 

So with some survivors finally out, we've another handful left. Rumour has it some stayed within the RPD, I think George was last seen making his way to the parking garage.....

 

TOTAL PLAY TIME: 54:26

GAME MODE: NORMAL

RANK: C

NUMBER OF SAVES: 3

NUMBER OF DEATHS: 9

September 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BIOHAZARD OUTBREAK

DECISIONS, DECISIONS - 1ST OCTOBER

 

From the lacklustre End of the Road, to the sublimely brilliant Decisions, Decisions. After hearing of the struggle Yoko had at the Umbrella facility, Kevin Ryman decides to lead the last of the survivors to the Raccoon Univesity, where George has been summoned by a Peter Jenkins.

 

We are also introduced to a Greg Muller (Mueller?) who gives us an extraordinary speech about mass production being ridiculous. He notes that one masterpiece is enough, and before him stands a large Tyrant creature known as Thanatos. Thanatos' eyes open....

 

Starting in the university I was stunned by how much I couldn't remember about this scenario, despite playing it to death when Outbreak first came out. I knew first of all I needed to get the red and blue gems to put in the moose head in the main hall, so I set about finding them. After a brief tour, and thinking how marvellous a location it is, I inserted the gem and descended down a hidden stairwell.

 

We find the now dead Peter Jenkins, but about are various files and memos that tell of a potential cure for the t-Virus called 'Daylight' and the ingrediants needed to create it. Also in the room is a memo with the code to activate the university elevator so the lower sections can be reached.

 

Wasting no time we run to the elevator and headed down. We arrive at level B4F and not long after I'd entered I realised I had gone the Emissions tower route, which I've only ever done once or twice. I reluctantly carried on, but my confidence dropped, and after running around in circles totally forgetting the way to go, I was eventually killed by wasps, as the poison I had recieved earlier drained me down to danger for the wasps to do an easy finish. I was pretty annoyed at this point.

 

So racing through the initial university sections again (I have the original USA version which didn't allow you to save mid-scenario) I opted this time to go to the B2F floor and go via the water treatment plant. However, I completely forgot I had needed to open a door much earlier in the treatment plant section, and while I was backtracking, a recently released Hunter Gamma knocked me into a large underground pool of water, and promptly ate me whole. I was raging by this point, so angry that my memory was failing me.

 

So attempt # 3 then. Raced through the university and went through the treatment plant, this time executing every Hunter I came across thanks to a couple of grenade launchers Kevin found on the way there. With the P-Base ingrediant aquired we left the treatment plant and ended up in the square outside the university building.

 

Outside was a small platoon of UBCS troops, trying to the stop the Thanatos, and above out of the way of the main battle is a white haired UBCS soldier, and we know all to well who it is. Nicholai is apparently still alive! So he survived the zombie attack at the pharmacy after all. (This series playthrough is brilliant, things get revealed differently and yet they still work).

 

He fires a device which hits Thanatos, and extracts its blood, however this act causes the Tyrant to become enraged and it utterly decimates the UBCS team and flees. Nicholai then mentions something about setting something up, and then leaves.

 

The Thanatos appears as the survivors re-enter the University and chases us throughout the many halls. Eventually I arrive at a loose power cable and flicking a switch blasts the Thanatos with a large bolt of electricity, allowing us to retrieve another ingredient of the Daylight vaccine, the T-Blood.

 

We quickly race down to the B4F, where one of the survivors had just aquired the V-Poison and with all the ingredients ready we head to the top floor of the university, and after putting the ingredients into a mixing machine it suddenly stops and a door unlocks.

 

We go through and soon meet Greg Mueller himself, who says that Umbrella cannot have Daylight, and that the survivors will become good test subjects for his masterpiece, however Nicholai is in place in a vent above him, and executes him in a hilariously violent scene (if you've not seen it look it up on youtube). Nicholai looks at his watch and says it's 'Almost time.' Accessing Greg's computer the survivors restart the Daylight machine, and discover that the university has been rigged to explode. They each in turn take some Daylight and are the first people to be successfully vaccinated against the virus. Racing out the university is destroyed behind them.

 

The explosion draws the attention of two fire department officers, doing one last sweep of the area via a helicopter. They tell the survivors to head a nearby square for extraction. However, on the way an evolved Thanatos arrives, having grown considerably in size, it relentlessly attacks the survivors. Thanks to a large amount of grenade rounds I had stockpiled I quickly laid waste to the Thanatos. I checked my inventory, I had one Daylight capsule left.

 

With the Thanatos defeated, the survivors head over a canal to the nearby square, and once there the Thanatos rises to fight one last time. A huge final battle begins, but we spy an ampule shooter and load the Daylight into it, and bring incredibly careful to not waste my only Daylight shot, fire it into Thanatos, causing it to be destroyed once and for all.

 

As the survivors are extracted, the missiles rain down onto the city, leaving nothing but a huge rising fireball in their wake. After a long and hellish week. The Outbreak survivors have finally all escaped.

 

A final epilogue shows at some point in the future, a team of scientists will establish a base in the ruin of Raccoon, and run some tests, noticing something is alive, far beneath the ruins....

 

--------

 

Decisions, Decisions is absolutely brilliant. It's full of everything that is quintiessentially Biohazard. The puzzles are superb, there's a good varienty of monsters (the spiders in Outbreak are the series' best), the Thanatos is well designed, the cameo of Nicholai is great and the music and atmosphere are amazing. The '3rd Times a Charm' track that plays during the final Thanatos battle is in my opinion, the best boss music of the entire series.

 

This is exactly the example I use when I say Biohazard could make a bloody brilliant episodic downloadable series, just featuring short, wonderfully designed self contained stories that you pay a small fee for. Decisions, Decisions is my favourite Outbreak scenario of them all, and it's totally original in setting.

 

Chronologically we have confirmation that there is a t-Virus vaccine, we now know Nicholai is alive and well. With so many people leaving the city, I can't help but wonder how our hero is...

 

Where are you Jill?

 

TOTAL PLAY TIME: 43:04

GAME MODE: NORMAL

RANK: A

NUMBER OF SAVES: 0

NUMBER OF DEATHS: 2

September 7, 2013 at 3:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BIOHAZARD 3 - THE LAST ESCAPE

PART 2 - 1ST OCTOBER

 

As the Raccoon City chapter of our series playthrough draws swiftly to a close we finally return to Jill Valentine. We know the city is to be destroyed very very soon, but when we last saw Jill, she was badly wounded and infected at the hands of the Nemesis.

 

We resume to the sound of falling rain, and Carlos vows to try and help Jill now she has woken up. He makes off to a nearby hospital.... Which looks very, very familar. Of course! It's the Outbreak hospital, which should now be more or less clear of leeches since the Outbreak survivors destroyed the queen leech.

 

Thankfully the hospital is indeed clear of such obstacles, but in their wake are a new type of Hunter, the Beta. I completely messed up and on red caution found myself swiftly decapitated by the second of the two hunters you fight. Laughing to myself, I reloaded and headed back to the hospital. Using Carlos' M4 assault rifle I quickly laid waste to them this time, and searched the hospital for Jill's salvation. It's not long before we run into Nicholai, the revelation of him being alive already shown in Decisions, Decisions moments before, he brutally attempts to murder Tyrell Patrick, but not before Tyrell activates a grenade, causing to NIcholai to leap from a 4th story window. Dead? I think not this time.

 

We spend an all too brief adventure in the hospital, but it's great to see some rooms nearly as they appeared in The Hive, and it's interesting that both games showed different floors. As Carlos finally assembles the all important vaccine, as he returns to Jill he finds the hospital has been rigged to explode, with less than 5 seconds remaining makes it clear as the hospital collapses behind him. There was a hospital there, but it's gone now.

 

Racing back to Jill, the vaccine is administered, and our hero returns to the fray fully recovered. But Nemesis, having lost his coat, returns also and stalks Jill yet again for these closing stages of Raccoon City.

 

Jill enters Raccoon Park in the pouring rain. This is one of my all time favourite Biohazard locations, as they just absolutely nailed the atmosphere perfectly with the rain. We eventually take Jill through a small graveyard, and have a wonderful creepy moment as the recently buried dead start to rise from their shallow graves. Entering a small cabin, Nicholai appears again, but this conversation is quickly interrupted by the arrival of the Grave Digger. Armed up with a plethora of acid rounds, Jill wastes no time destroying it (and for the first time did it without frying it with the street light).

 

Escaping the Park at last we reach the final destination of our chapter in Raccoon, the Dead Factory. I remember to get the specific outcome I want at the end of the game I need to jump from the bridge and escape the Nemesis that way, which takes us a much different route into the Dead Factory. We quickly run into Carlos who confirms a missile strike will occur at dawn.

 

I complete the water purification puzzle almost instantly to my surprise, and quickly get the door to Nemesis unlocked for the penultimate battle. Using freeze rounds again, we have an embarrasingly easy fight as Nemesis literally couldn't get a single attack off. His head fell off and body slid into the treatment plant waters below.

 

Grabbing the rocket launcher from the weapons locker, we made it to the tower where Nicholai has stolen the chopper, and attempts to kill Jill one last time. I aimed the rocket launcher and blew the helicopter out of the sky (this can work two ways, if Nicholai did indeed die in Raccoon then this outcome works, if he didn't die he bailed at the last second - I wish Capcom would confirm this).

 

Carlos arrives and both he and Jill recieve communication from someone coming to retrieve Jill. Who could it be I wonder? As they begin their Last Escape, Jill comes up to a large chapter with the bodies of many Spec Ops soldiers all over, along with the corpses of some T-103's, not unlike the one that stalked Leon and Claire some 24 hours before. This room hints to us a great story never truly told, and it is absolutely hilarious how awful Slant Six's attempt to show this legendary battle is.

 

There is a large rail cannon in the room, and as Jill is powering it up, the Nemesis appears one last time to try and complete its mission. Feeding from the corpse of a super Tyrant, it rapidly mutates, the incredible music begins, and the final battle commenses.

 

The rail cannon fight against Nemesis is excellent. One of the best final bosses in the series in my opinion. After the rain cannon has blasted it to bits, it shuffles after me one last time, but Jill has long had enough and taking a loaded magnum from the floor, blasts the Nemesis with a vengeance. It finally dies.

 

Jill then arrives outside where the rescue chopper collects Carlos and herself. On board is none other than Barry Burton! As the three of them watch the missile strike the city, the mushroom cloud rises and Raccoon City is wiped from existence.

 

Jill quietly says to herself that Umbrella is going down, and we end the Raccoon City chapter with a news report that confirms the Government had arranged the missile strike, and that the death toll is in the 100,000 mark. How this singular event will create ripples that will still disturb the water all the way into 2013, show how significant this disaster was....

 

Goodbye Raccoon City.

 

-------

 

What struck me with this series playthrough was how personal Jill's story is, and how it doesn't really move the story forward at all really. All the game did was essentially destroy Raccoon City, but in terms of actual damage to Umbrella, it seems Claire and Leon have done considerably more than Jill. In fact after the REmake, and up to this point the involvement of STARS has been very minimal. Indeed it's not until we get the epilogues does some actual scraps of information surface.

 

We know Chris has left for Europe, and that in looking for him Claire has got herself captured.

Barry sends his family away, and then never returns to the series again.

Leon has to make a choice, of which we learn the consequences of soon. The person asking him the question will be revealed to be Adam Benford.

Ada decides to leave the name Ada behind, but subsequently chooses to keep it. Whether this was ever an intention thing is unknown.

Sherry is approached by an army official who we now know is Derek Simmons.

Rebecca is (and still be some 15 years later) MIA.

Carlos also now vanishes from the series without a trace.

 

So although we end a few arcs, such as the William Birkin angle, we know Wesker and Sergei are still very much the scenes. Ada is set a big return. Indeed all the characters bar Hunk and Barry that recieved Epilogue files in Biohazard 3 will be followed up and feature in the series again.

 

For the most part the Raccoon City chapter is the golden age of Biohazard, and it's now we move toward the fantastical hinted in Zero even further. As one chapter ends, another begins as the series slowly starts to build momentum toward the Bio-Terrorism angle.....

 

But before we do, there's a couple of chapters to learn of. An island that would become the second Raccoon City.... Sheena Island...... And another, Rockfort Island.... Where are these stories hinted at in Biohazard Zero?

 

Sheena Island....

 

TOTAL PLAY TIME: 4:25:00

GAME MODE: HARD

RANK: D

TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS: 2

TOTAL NUMBER OF SAVES: 7

September 9, 2013 at 6:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Survivalist
Moderator
Posts: 104


Resident Evil: Survivor

 

This is my least played Resident Evil, completed once on release, so I am in a similar position to our protagonist, who wakes up with amnesia on a certain Sheena Island…

 

“My head aches, and I can’t remember…anything…”

 

A promising start. Wolves howling, wind blowing. I have apparently fallen from a helicopter, and bashed my head hard enough to forget everything. A man in white lies motionless before me, grasping something with the name “Ark” on. So who is this Ark? And is this something to do with me? I am in the open; and hope to explore. I take little time in adjusting to the fairly clunky controls and similarly clunky visuals, but these are a non –issue. I am keen to search, delve, discover. It is not long before I encounter zombies, and I genuinely enjoy watching them stumble about for a short while, before killing them. I pick up a clock part, hoping that this is a sign of things to come. The next 30 minutes or so sees me progressing through a series of key-fetches interspersed with gunplay. Having an HDTV seemingly renders my GunCon useless, but I make do with the controller. I have no complaints here; skill is required for the initial hit, and this is rewarded by a subsequent auto-aim on the target; an asset when facing multiple enemies, dogs in particular. I stop. Beautiful music; tight clusters of notes channelled through those unmistakable and evocative synth sounds. This aspect is genuine, and I appreciate it immensely. I absorb the despondent, discordant swathes for a moment, and then continue.

 

I grow quickly accustomed to the zombie physics as I shoot them. Dispatching them quickly becomes perfunctory and lacks jeopardy, but then again, how important is this? And I just know that enemies of a more grave nature will probably cross my path soon; I relish the prospect. I can instantly say that this game has aged well; that is to say, it feels something like going back in time, to the era when the series was in the ascendancy and consumed my mind. Graphical issues have always been a secondary, perhaps even tertiary consideration, after story and game design. And a strong aesthetic is not necessarily directly proportional to strong graphics. Is that the faint, beating heart of Sheena Island that I can hear?

 

A mysterious phone call: “The phone hang up”. I access my map for the first time and get a strong sense of ambivalence. The wonderful sounds are there, but am I playing what I know is, at best, a sub-par Resident Evil game, or am I playing a game masquerading as Resident Evil? Subjectivity aside, they are slow and unresponsive, and do not allow me, for instance, to combine items with a swift series of button presses as I am used to from other instalments. But this is a minor issue…

 

My first licker fight occurs, and it’s good. They pose a threat, but if you are careful, you can still deal with them with the handgun. Shooting them out of the air and executing them on the floor is especially satisfying. I wander through various rooms, which differ significantly enough so as to justify their existence, though these journeys are largely in the interest of key-retrieval. I learn that Sheena Island is an Umbrella stronghold and is purpose-built for employees and their families. Visiting an arcade, I encounter some truly impotent, ridiculous creatures, released by a Hunk-lookalike. Slouching, humanoid forms in black attire fumble towards me before each being permanently silenced by my singly-dealt handgun rounds. They dissolve, and I resent their inclusion. They even perform ridiculously redundant forward rolls, which in fact raised a laugh. But I don’t want to be amused; I want to be anxious…

 

Through piecemeal information, I become aware of a certain Vincent, and have reason to believe that I am he. I also read of the imprisonment of and experimentation on human guinea pigs, imported from around the world. It is Vincent, me, who is responsible, and I am apparently a vicious and cruel individual. But this can’t be me, can it?

 

I am soon in the sewer. Further notation progresses the story a little, although I can’t help feeling that the development is too measured. The letters tell us the information explicitly; there is no need for inference, and very little grey. Whoever this Vincent is, he is not a complicated character. The chain of notes I am reading are too laterally conceived, and the emotions expressed lack dimension. They serve the plot too deliberately, in stark contrast to the writings in the other games, which can, at times, be startlingly affecting, and often pleasingly tangential. Conversely, the authors of these pragmatic inscriptions are, in essence, vehicular.

 

The arrival of a sprightly cockney lad, Lott, improves things a little; he is well acted and refreshingly British. He runs off straight away, and I know he can tell me something about myself, help me understand. So I must find him. After a matter of mere minutes in the sewer I am above-ground again, and facing a building named “Paradise”, which on entry turns out to be ironically-named. Things are ticking over OK inventory-wise, although I am yearning for something a little more potent than my handgun C, having already collected a number of shotgun rounds. I genuinely hope I haven’t missed it. I swiftly locate the “prison cell key”.

 

An encounter with more zombies in a room dominated by a table, which triggers frustration (I’d rather it were panic). This is compounded when on re-entry I discover they have respawned. Respawning is not Resident Evil. Approaching the cells, I pick up some rope. The rope, together with the cells, triggers a satisfyingly bleak notion; one which I doubt is deliberate on the game’s part, but one which I enjoy nonetheless. The background sound comprises a lone pair of dragging feet, and those fantastic chord sequences. These situations, at times, relate such a level of melancholy that I find myself temporarily but profoundly affected. I try to interact with pixelated text stuck to the wall in an attempt to further deepen the experience, to no avail…

 

Outside the cells, I halt a group of marginally more stubborn skinned zombies, wondering if they are prior inmates. I then discover that the inmates will remain in their cells, never to see release; they are (apparently) suicides, throats cut. The purity of the situation arrests me, and I don’t even care the inmates’ bodies are identical, this is desperate, and this is great.

 

I pick up the shotgun in a nearby shower room, and shoot a zombie there. Sadly, I am unable to blow the head off, and there is no spread, but I see that it is powerful enough. Past more dogs in the yard, up a tower and my rope lets me safely down the other side. Incidentally, a minor problem I have with this game is that I am not required to use the action button as I would like. Instead, walking into a door takes you through, walking into an item picks it up, and you don’t have to access the inventory to use items in the environment; this is automatically done for you. A little credit…

 

Straight ahead, a grimly familiar shape moves purposefully towards me, down a narrow passage. After a few futile rounds I recognize my assailant, run and turn down a passageway, but not before receiving a double handed blow from the T-003. This excitement is curtailed by a group of those squealing, ineffective creatures. The fact that they shoot at me too is annoying. In Resident Evil, I have the gun, not them.

 

A large, official Umbrella edifice towers before me now, and I hope to be able to flesh this game out a little inside. After a very short while, another T-003 diverts me for a while. I take advantage of his laconic pace, the relatively generous amount of space, and my unlimited handgun ammo. His demise yields shotgun shells, which is always a good feeling. I am presently privy to a voice, the incredibly badly-acted mother of Vincent, reprimanding him for doing what he’s doing. This delivery cannot be put down to idiosyncrasy, and cannot be enjoyed through skewed interpretation (unlike, for example, Chief Irons). It is just too caricature-like.

 

Lott’s sister, Lily, is the one playing this recording, and her brother comes to her defence. They really are scared of me, and I still don’t know why. They run off, leaving me more confused. Out the door, and another T-003 appearance, this time as I wait for an elevator. The encounter is inexpensive and easy. This time, I get grenade rounds. I exit the building slightly nonplussed, save for the grenade launcher on the bonnet of a lone car in the parking lot, which offers some compensation for a largely inadequate experience. I suppose there’s got to be a facility of some sort round here…

 

Outside again, I spot the elusive siblings and follow them down a waterway. I get a double whammy; first hunters and then giant spiders. The former is a fiasco, which seemingly seeks to punish evasion attempts by simply relocating the creature directly in front of me. An encounter with a foe where you are almost guaranteed damage no fun.

 

I find Lott’s house without trying and similarly find his sister hiding in a closet. We make friends and I am assigned the task of locating Lott in the nearby factory. The music in the house is great. I procure a red herb from the bedroom and am mildly pleased with the zombie that clambers to his feet. Somehow it’s more convincing when they’re alone, and for some reason the bedroom hosts him well. These little details matter. I go outside back into the night air, again to the sound of wind and wolves. And I can still hear the wonderful theme from the house in my head…

 

A cable car to the factory is positioned far too conveniently outside the house, and I resent the fact that I did not get to explore the civilian areas more. Even if I wanted to, an annoying game mechanic has prevented me returning to previous areas. I have been funnelled here, without even illusory freedom. I fall from a cliff-side, and then ascend a winding rocky path in a short and almost dreamlike sequence where several T-003’s seek to block my way. Again this is a backdrop of simple, beautiful music. Survivor, I feel, has an often fantastic soundtrack. Entrancing, it on occasion dramatically augments the experience, particularly the more despondent sequences. I know this ascent-sequence will stick with me. Hunters next (where I die for the first time) and dogs, and I’ve arrived.

 

If the factory is the final area, then everything so far seems to amount to an extended transition sequence, similar to, but not as good as that between Resident Evil 2’s police station and factory. Or, perhaps, a pared-down version of the structure of Resident Evil 3. Lott’s shout (which reminds me of “Steve is suffering” in its apparent proximity but actual distance) urges me on. Two more T-003’s advance, vying to thwart my progress upwards on a lift. I now feel somewhat desensitized to them, and wonder if my next experience of Resident Evil 2 will be at all diminished as a result. The T-003 is a character, not merely an enemy. A band of skinless zombies in a large industrial room through the next door reminds of past glories and I feel a heady wave of nostalgia. What follows, much to my disappointment, is a highly standardized sequence incorporating power-supplying, shutter-opening, and ID card usage. An enormous room filled with mass-produced T-003’s lies ahead, and I have to get through another T-003, and a hunter, to rescue Lott. It is now that I discover the truth about my identity, I am the reporter Ark Thompson, and I am a good person. I’ve also learnt that Vincent (the man I mistook for Ark at the start) released the virus on the island after an uprising, caused in turn by his brutal murder of test subjects after their failed escape attempt. A deliberately-enunciated mention of “my friend, Leon S. Kennedy” does little for me; make no mistake, this is an isolated, spin-off game. Cue an awkwardly vocalized self-destruct sequence, and after a matter of seconds I have obtained the mandatory master key from a Tyrant specimen room and have already armed my magnum in readiness. The Hunk-character appears and mumbles something almost entirely inaudible before being skewered by the Tyrant (a pleasingly classic example; a Hypnos-T type). The first manifestation is easily stayed, but I know there’s more, and I just used my last mixed herb….

 

Lott and Lily usher me towards the train and I get on. Off the train, and beguiling music disguises the anticipated showdown with Hypnos-T. While the young pair hide away inside a helicopter (thankfully our man has a licence) I enjoy a surprisingly gratifying face-off, which is difficult and exciting. I die the first time due to reloading issues, but am wiser second time and use my accrued flame and acid rounds to see him off. A very short-lived FMV sees me flying myself and my new foster children into the future…

 

I’m left feeling a combination of disappointment, nostalgia, but also satisfaction. It feels a bit like meeting an old friend who has fallen on hard times. You could say it recycles too much, or you could say it is sincere and resourceful. There is a lot to be said for economy and restraint; concepts which Capcom have sadly since abandoned. The knowledge that I missed some areas/situations/endings, certainly counts for a lot, and could perhaps add some belief. And I know that using the GunCon would have further enhanced the playthrough. In the end, I feel like I’ve visited Sheena Island, albeit fleetingly. The game, pleasingly, does not have ideas above its station. There is moreover, a sense of conviction here, and within the constraints of experimentation, there is a definite level of authenticity which diminishes a lot of my complaints. This was, after a fashion, Resident Evil, and I’m glad I played.


Game mode: Normal

Rank: B

Continues : 2

September 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Survivalist
Moderator
Posts: 104

Ahem, T-103...

September 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087

Some very attention grabbing commentaries by [STARS]Tyrant and Survivalist . I have just completed Leon's A scenario, which is posted below; when I get to Clare B, and part 2 of Resident Evil 3 I would like to refer back to [STARS]Tyrant's commentary on these for some comparative observations, and I will also do the same with Survivalist's commentary above, when I come to Resident Evil Survivor.


RESIDENT EVIL 2 ~ RACCOON CITY SEPTEMBER 29th 1998

PART 1 ~ LEON A


A frantic start on the streets of Raccoon City, as Leon is thrown immediately into the action. This was the first Resident Evil game I played, on the N64, and I have to check that this is the GameCube version I've fired up, as the graphics, compared to the Resident Evil 3 GameCube version I've just played, look ropey in comparison, with pre-rendered backgrounds looking comparatively inferior as to their detail clarity. I've never noticed this difference before.


Unlike Jill, Leon meets a civilian survivor almost immediately, and I make it here to Kendo Gun Shop without incident & unscathed. I'm reassured that he’s 'keeping a close eye on things', so I take this opportunity, whilst someone else stands guard, to check this gold mine for ammo supplies. Well that didn't last long....I'm back on the streets and the gun shop needs a new proprietor!


I'm heading for the RPD station but I'm becoming very concerned as to what condition its inhabitants are going to be in, as not only are all the citizens that I now find zombies, but many of them are RPD officers. I manage to dodge the ones that don't directly block my path, and try to dispatch those that do block me with my knife; this proves not to be as straight=forward as I'd hoped, as it seems to take a never ending amount of put-downs, for these undead to STAY down.


I make it to the RPD with only a minimal amount of health depleted from over reliance on average at best knife skill. There are a worryingly high number of RPD officers that make up the plague of undead outside the RPD, and as I rush past a marauding group whose daily meal of raw human flesh I’ve just disturbed, I quickly glance back to see it’s actually a large zombie group made up exclusively from RPD officers. I then regret my curiosity as to who is lurking in the underpass outside the station. It’s a S.T.A.R.S member, wearing camouflaged combat trousers, he slopes irregularly from side to side, groaning in perpetual hunger; I put him out of his misery, he would have been a brave man standing strong for S.T.A.R.S, and he deserves better I'm sure...


And now one of the most memorable moments in my video gaming history, beginning in 1978 with Space Invaders; memorable because of how it made me feel with its immediate over-bearing haunting & intriguing atmosphere, and the nature of the many questions it immediately provoked. Before I tool even a single step in the sorrowful, iconic RPD building, and before a surprisingly well Marvin Branagh implores that I save my comrades in the other rooms, I was already feverishly scanning the enormous RPD entrance hall for all doors leading off. Worryingly though both the East & West doors that had previously been securely barricaded the day before, (when Jill had safely made it here too), and had thus afforded the RPD officers behind them some semblance of safety, are now unblocked. From what I saw on the streets I’ve just left behind, the plague of undead are no less in number this following day, and I just cannot imagine a situation that would have seen the officers inside taking down these barricades; I wonder whom or what did…


An unnerving dripping sound from high above, down into a pool blood on the floor, unsurprisingly next to a headless corpse alerts Leon to immediately look up at the ceiling above, and cue one of the most, if not the most iconic and memorable FMV cut-scene in the RE series history; cue Licker. Having pumped all but one of my bullets into zombie Brad I decide at this stage to rush past it, deciding to deal with this signature RE infectant when I’m more confidently tooled up.


The first mention of Brian Irons, and he’s making a decision that at best seems naive, and at worst negligent to the point of intended recklessness. David Ford, an RPD officer whose written commentary casts light on the massacre that appears to have taken place here, records what happened to the now destroyed barricade, seen by Jill the previous day, as safely secure – the sheer numbers of these infected Raccoon City civilians seems to have overwhelmed all defences available to RPD officers fighting a loosing battle. And for the first time Leon discovers it’s nit just humanoid zombies that those who fell before his arrival in this nightmare had to contend with, and which he now has to face, but grotesque mutations of those zombies.


By the time I read the second Operation Report, chillingly requiring a second author, the first one having perished, I am close to death myself, my health on red danger having made a complete hash of my battle with the four zombies roaming outside the first sanctuary save-room. In their desperation the RPD officers and their Chief have scattered all useful ammo & items around this death-trap station, making my next objective, escape through the sewers, seemingly a suicide mission. 


Three more RPD walking dead equates to an empty H&K VP70. And no more parabellum replenishment, so it’s a major relief that I’ve made it, albeit only just, alive to the iconic STARS office; under usual circumstances it would be a reasonable hope that it harbours a small amount of ammunition or firearms, but then again these are not normal circumstances….


I am a persistent forager and although I’m yet to find any ammunition. I’ve found a roll of film that may contain photographic evidence of what happened, so I decide to take it. Finally my personal armoury moves forward from a small pistol and infrequent bullets; I’ve found a shiny, compact Remington M1 100-P,M which should improve my current poor conversion rate of number of bullets to one dead zombie.


And this is why RE2 is pure genius, or evidence to my dim witted mind, or both…. having just run past the RPD Briefing room for the 1000th time in my gaming life and being grabbed by the undead outstretched arms that burst through the barricade windows genuinely makes me jump in surprised fright…. still sending shivers down my spine 15 years on.


Another Police report, more questions thrown up, this time concerning a mysterious individual found lurking around my intended destination of the sewers, whose choice of items, C4 plastic explosive, detonator, parabellum rounds & Infra-red scope, arouse much suspicion as well as further questions. Why would somebody want to take explosives to the area around these sewers; maybe I’ll find out if I finally make it there alive.


FUCK ! Was almost decapitated by that licker whose continuing presence I’ve allowed is proving to be a mistake, as its viciously clawed sinewy arm misses my jugular by a millimetre. I’m going to have to deal with that soon otherwise it’s going to keep depleting my health each time I make the necessary trip down that corridor it patrols with deadly intent.


The journal entries of Chief Irons’ personal secretary  critiques not nativity as previously thought, but an insidious character, passionate about suspiciously expensive art, depicting some very sinister & disturbing images. Does his choice of subject matter for a now substantially expensive collection illustrate the true nature of this man’s character ? Hopefully he will be one of the very rare survivors, along with Marvin, and I can at least get some answers from him regarding the location of any of his men who may have miraculously survived.


Running around the RPD is a haunting and exhilarating experience, as both the graphic evidence of past tragedy, and the curious items to uncover new exploration co-exist.
I’ve just used the Heart key for its one & only door, and find myself on the far eastern side of the RPD building. A long corridor with half a dozen smashed windows running along it is further stark evidence of a station under siege, and overwhelmed by  zombie horde.


Up to this point and the narrative has not progressed further than the tragedy of a police force being massacred by the undead, and Leon’s attempt to not be part of that decimation, as he escapes with Clare & any other survivors. But all that is about to dramatically change with the arrival of Resident Evil’s most illusive, mysterious, and controversial figure ~ Ada Wong. Her own clandestine investigation pulls Leon in, and from his first Ada driven encounter, with Ben Bertolucci, he learns, and then hears the ferocious roar, of a far worse foe than the zombies.


Taking control of Ada Wong is both underwhelming and uneventful, and knowing how her role in the series will explode after Resident Evil 2, this feels contradictory to her status. I also notice the picture in her inventory and wonder if it’s just another part of the uniform that creates her disguise of the searching girlfriend.


Back in control of Leon, and I’m reading  The Watchman’s Diary, which is Keeper esque  and lends further weight to the argument that there is definitely something insidious about Chief Irons’s motives. The next file I read ‘Mail to the chief’ progresses & develops the narrative of RE2 more than any other, and falls into my hands in a way that is both grotesque & shocking. In a scene that is pure Ridley Scott’s Alien, Ben Bertolucci is cut in two, by the ‘offspring’ of a further infectant, even more fearsome that the Licker, and capable of impregnating its victims. There is even further shocking discovery with the uncovering of a conspiracy between Chief Irons, and a newly introduced William Birkin. We’re starting to get an insight into the bigger picture, politics, & personal individuals surrounding the virus that causes such havoc within the Spencer Mansion, and also into the increasing danger that S.T.A.R.S has exposed itself to by pursuing answers into that incident. Suddenly Resident Evil, as a series, has become larger than just a foray through a claustrophobic, creepy mansion…it’s become a survival horror suspense drama with clear potential to expand into further instalments.


With seemingly no more survivors left Leon heads for the sewers, with Ada still looking for John as she heads towards the Chemical Plant. Leon’s first boss battle is over half way through the game, (an easy ride compared to Jill’s first day in Raccoon City with Nemesis), and poses no particular problem; this mutated parasite that had been both involuntarily ingested & regurgitated by Bertolucci is quite weak, and easy to dispatch.


The second time I get to control Ada Wong is considerably more eventful & narrative significant than the first; the interaction with Annette Birkin is a legendary moment in the series, as we get to see the rodent source of the outbreak in Raccoon City and the magnificent battle between a pre & post G virus mutated William Birkin and Hunk’s extraction team. These short moments with Ada, and Annette and the corresponding cut-scene are some of the most monumental in the series. They take the series further forward than could have been imagined from within the narrative confines of a mansion, and thrust it forward confidently and ambitiously into conspiracy between Chief of Police and the creator of the world’s most potent biological viral weapon base, and  murderous power struggle within a clandestine & criminal pharmaceutical company, to add to the already compelling survival horror facing Leon & Clare as they fight their way to safety.


Back in control of Leon, and another very easy boss battle with an infected alligator, with such simplistic design of being nothing more than oversized, which is a tad unimaginative, even with consideration of the fact that it is t-virus infected, as that doesn’t preclude mutation of a deformed design  – never been a fan of secondary infectants that are no more in design than larger proportions.


Just as I was thinking this section of the game lacked just a little of the atmosphere of the RPD station and I step off the tram carriage to the sound of (in my opinion) Resident Evil 2’s most haunting and mood setting theme – The Marshalling Yard (The First Half) – it is right up there with the save room (Secure Place), and RPD entrance hall (Front Hall) themes for atmosphere, being just as emotive and imagination stirring; it’s pure ‘lonely, desolate zombie apocalypse’, and it’s beautiful.


I’m coming towards Leon’s game A end and it has been emotionally exhilarating with varying levels of difficulty. Having played Resident Evil 3 on Hard mode up to Jill’s infection I would have liked Resident Evil 2 to have had just slightly less ammunition and much less first aid sprays. Having just faced William Birkin’s G formation for the first time in direct confrontation, I feel that for such a momentous battle I should have been tested & challenged far more.


The Ivy have to be one of my least favourite B.O.Ws in the series; I do not find them interesting, challenging or frightening and I am a huge fan of Day of the Triffids ! Thankfully their appearance in this section of the laboratory Basement 5, goes hand in hand with the  terrifying sound of heavy, rasping breathing that can be heard from an out of sight Licker, hidden by a survival horror static camera angle. The frequency with which these two very different enemies appear makes this section one of the most challenging so far, more so than any of the past individual confrontations with Bertolucci’s gestated, mutated G parasite, the t-virus infected alligator or William Birkin’s first G transformation.


Annette’s Leon A fatal injury scene is very weak and poorly directed. It’s soon forgotten by the legendary confrontation between Ada & Leon on the walkway. I’ve always much preferred Ada’s Leon A exit although accompanied by Leon’s reckless stupidity in throwing the G-virus into the unknown. The confrontation with Birkin’s next G formation is the toughest to date, but still not yet scaling the heights of Jill’s battles with Nemesis. And as Leon says goodbye to Ada neither does this Leon A ending scale the heights of the completed Leon B ending.

--

Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety.

September 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BIOHAZARD SURVIVOR - 25TH NOVEMBER 1998

 

The events of Raccoon City have been heavily discussed on Sheena Island, with many of its residents worried about a potential t-Virus outbreak on their island. Unfortunately for them, Sheena Island is soon going to suffer the same fate.

 

We join the game as a simple man with no memory as a result of a helicopter crash. Near the crash site is a body of a person who also fell from the helicopter, holding a dogtag with the name Ark Thompson on it. We are armed only with a Glock 17 pistol, and set about our survival from this seemingly hellish island.

 

Straight away it feels like we are back in Raccoon City. Zombie moans fill the streets, and there doesn't seem to be any signs of survivors anywhere. We stumble into the back entrance of a little cafe and after raiding the wine cellar and refrigerator, find the key for the cafe itself. Zombies absolutely litter the area, and through the diarys we collect through our adventure learn that Umbrella own the entire island, and everyone who lives/lived on the island works for them. The cafe managers diary for example mentions about how he needs to get out of town before the events of Raccoon City occur at Sheena.

 

As we escape the cafe, we soon find ourselves the victim of a couple of prank calls, and the unknown caller claims that we are Vincent.... A murderer! Wasting no time we spy a nearby hospital and seek refuge inside. At this time, the man who also fell from the helecopter is shown to be alive, and tells no-one in particular that he will not allow 'Vincent' to escape.

 

There's seldom any life in the hospital here either, and as we travel through the empty rooms, blasting all the zombies on the way we eventually find an elevator that leads down to the lower levels. However, impeding the elevator access is a large trenchcoated man... which we recognise as the same monster that stalked Leon and Claire through Raccoon. A Tyrant? On Sheena?

 

Thankfully not many bullets later the Tyrant falls to the floor and the escape via the elevator is made. After a quick trip through a sewer where we meet a young boy named Lott, who promptly runs off, we end up outside a place called 'Paradise', which we soon learn to be is anything but.

 

Paradise is a prison for all the children that Umbrella is collating from all around the world. It seems that every so often, children are sent to the nearby Umbrella Factory, and are never seen again. A diary reveal that some of the children attempted to conduct an escape, but were stopped by Vincent, and brutally executed for their efforts. Bodies of teenages also litter the cells, their throats cut. Biohazard has explored some pretty grim places, but the childrens prison on Sheena is easily one of the darkest of the entire series.

 

Eventually we reach the main Umbrella building, and inside are attacked by a couple more Tyrants. Or are they the same one? It appears not as every twist and turn there is another waiting to strike. 'Vincent' seeks a retreat on a nearby rooftop but is ambushed by a group of odd, humanoid-gas-masked-gun-wielding assailants, who upon being shot bleed green and exaporate.

 

Moving swiftly on, we eventually find Lily, who turns out to be Lotts younger sister. As they both run off, clearly frightened of 'Vincent', Vincent gives chase and finds Lily hiding in her cupboard at her house. She mentions that Lott has used a nearby cable car and headed for the factory, and that they have both lost their mother and father. Ark vows to save them both and makes for the cable car himself after Lott.

 

After a few brief attacks from Hunters, Lickers and another Tyrant, 'Vincent' arrives at the base of a small hill, and with three choices takes a mountain road. It winds and twists, and under a hail of gun fire and laser sights from more of the odd 'cleaners' finally reaches the top. A huge building rests there, and deep beneath it as we quickly learn, is a large facility where they appear to be mass producing Tyrants. So THIS is the mass production that Greg Mueller was referring to?

 

The Tyrants can be created efficiently by extracting a fluid from a teenage brain when it is under extreme stress or fear. This is done by the Umbrella scientists while the subject is still very much alive, and without any kind of pain relief. The skull is sliced into and the fluid extracted. This is without doubt the darkest place Biohazard goes to in the series and it was actually quite an eye opener properly reading the files again. The fact that genuine horror comes from a (to the masses) disposable spin-off lightgun game is a travesty. There's an incredible story screaming to get out of this game.

 

As more Tyrants fall to 'Vincent', we eventually find Lott, who kind now informs us that we are infact Ark Thompson, and that Vincent is actually the person seen at the beginning of the game, (also the chosen antagonist of this playthrough because I chose the hospital route). Ark has been sent to the island by none other than Leon to investigate Umbrella. At this time the self destruct for the island sounds, giving Ark and the children 10 minutes to get clear. They plan to make their escape via an underground train, but as Ark grabs the master key from a room housing a new type of Tyrant, the Hypnos, he is confronted by the actual Vincent, who claims Ark has ruined everything. Typically, the Hypnos has already escaped and much like Wesker, impales Vincent. Ark guns down the Hypnos easily and makes for the underground train.

 

As the train arrives at the nearby heliport, the Hypnos attacks one last time. Ark uses all the weapons assembled and blasts itoi down easily, but it soon molts into a much large and ferocious creature. Leaving nothing to chance, Ark fires grenades, magnum rounds and shotgun shells into the Hypnos and it finally falls.

 

Ark, Lily and Lott enter the chopper, and take off leaving Sheena Island to explode behind them. But the Hypnos hasn't finished yet, as it clambers up the side of the chopper, Ark fires a rocket from the heli into it, causing the Tyrant to launch off at speed, Ark then fires the second rocket into destroying the Hypnos once and for all. Lott and Lily ask what they will do now, and Ark simply replies that they will fly as long as they still have fuel.

 

------

 

So what have we learned? Chronologically Raccoon City is already becoming a thing of legend as many speculate about what happened there.

 

Leon has wasted no time in mobilising his friend Ark, who appears to be a private investigator, to the island to learn what secrets Umbrella may house there.

 

The loss of a Tyrant mass production facility must be a bitter blow to Umbrella, and another thorn in their side.

 

Ark Thompson is a great character and I'm sure we'll see him again (!).

 

------

 

For a spin off, Survivor storywise is absolutely bloody brilliant. I can't actually believe to my knowledge no fans or anything have tried to remake this title. As I mentioned before there is a truly great game and superb story and concept behind this admittely hopeless presentation. It would have made a brilliant section in a Chronicles game.

 

Like I said in the Podcast, I'm surprised how confident the game is with its story. It's admittely told very badly at times, but it still shines through. It's a fun game to play even now.

 

So Sheena Island is now destroyed, and the only place left that was mentioned in Zero was Rockfort Island....

 

What will we find at Rockfort? Is it time to jump back into the main cast again? Of the characters from the REmake, we still are yet to catch up with Chris Redfield and Rebecca Chambers, but Rebecca not having an Epilogue in Biohazard 3 is worrying. Maybe then, it's time to learn about the search for Chris, and subsequent capture of Claire as a result of that search.

 

Next destination... Rockfort Island.

 

TOTAL PLAY TIME: 1:34:02

RANK: A

GAME MODE: NORMAL

NUMBER OF DEATHS: 0

September 10, 2013 at 6:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Survivalist
Moderator
Posts: 104

Really enjoying these.


George Trevor, Resident Evil 2 was my introduction to the series, and I will never tire of the experience. "Nostalgia" does no justice...

 

I agree with you, [STARS]Tyrant. I do find Survivor quite satisfying in spite of its deviation, and the story is pretty robust. Like you say, its self-assuredness is quite appealing. With this foundation I do feel that Ark could quite easily be canonized. However, I imagine Capcom would consider it too great a risk to utilize him again after this "embarrassment".

 

I too am once again on Rockfort Island, although I won't be detailing my experience here. Looking forward to yours though...

 

September 12, 2013 at 10:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

[STARS]TyranT
Moderator
Posts: 32

BONUS - WESKERS REPORT - CIRCA END OF 1998

 

We all know that there's been much made of this small video, originally released as part of the 5th anniversary. Timeline purists will know the video that accompanies the narration is hopeless and distinctly non-canon, but a lot of the dialogue works well. I was intrigued to see how, and indeed IF it still holds up today. For a long time, this was the only information we had regarding Wesker's resurrection until Umbrella Chronicles, and subsequently 5.

 

To my surprise it mostly fits... There's a couple of moments that aren't entirely in sync with what we know of the series, but it actually holds up pretty well. Things such as Wesker and Ada getting a sample from Birkin's body is mentioned, as is how Wesker 'had to save Ada's life'. (Death's Door fits this very well). Wesker mentions his virus, but doesn't elaborate on it too much.

 

He also implies that Hunk's sample is retrieved from the one Leon threw away.... That kind of works, even explaining somewhat why Hunk takes so long in the sewers.

 

It does falter at the end sadly. Although Capcom retconned the ending by removing the line about Sherry in the re-release that came out a few years ago, Leon joining the anti-Umbrella organisation doesn't work simply because he's recruited straight away into the government. (Although the recent Gaiden relevation will effect this). Remove those last two lines and Wesker's Report holds up much better than we perhaps give it credit for.

 

Impressive Capcom, you almost have me thinking you'd planned all this.

 

September 12, 2013 at 5:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087

RESIDENT EVIL 2 ~ RACCOON CITY SEPTEMBER 29th 1998

PART 2 ~ CLAIRE B



The expanded structure given to this game with the 2 corresponding character scenarios & the ability to play them in differing sequence is genius, and from the opening 2 screens with Claire I feel like I’ve loaded up a second separate Resident Evil title, acting as a sequel to a previous one bought. Already the slightly superior Resident Evil 3 is feeling very short.

The grand revealing of what befell the derelict helicopter is one of the best FMV cut-scenes in Claire’s game. It’s kept short, and fast, and shocks, concluding in shocking tragedy. Without any nonsense we’re immediately thrown into the despair and danger that engulfs the RPD building, and shown in no uncertain terms what likely consequences wait for those that can still fight to stay alive.

Not long in to Claire’s survival and I’ve had to dispatch 2 lickers in close combat, and then simply stand by and admire the unrivalled entrance that only Mr X can make. It’s an imposing and unnerving physical menace that bears down on you, and the effect is to quickly ramp up the pressure Claire finds herself in, which feels far more intense at this early stage of her game, than the pressure building for Leon at his corresponding early stage.

Hearing the screams emanating from Chief Iron’s office, their poignancy and horror is considerably more shocking when it’s finally revealed that they came from the Mayor’s daughter before she fell victim to Iron’s vile & murderous appetite. Right after the screams and another icon entrance, this time the third Licker to confront Claire, as it spectacularily smashes through a glass skylight , cascading glass following the beast, all crashing to the floor direvtly in front of Claire.  Elza Walker, without Claire’s weaponary skills would be mince meat by now.

There are zombies everywhere, far more it feels like than when Leon trod this path.

Brian Irons’s office ~ The direction of this scene is smart. The first site is of an unknown, young female victim, sprawled out across the Chief of Police’s desk, with an unknown figure seated behind it, but with their back to the player. The dialogue is fatalistic, with a rather sinister reference to taxidermy ! There is a starkly contrasting encounter with a terrified Sherry Birkin, who takes the role of Ben Bertolucci in her progression of the narrative from slow marauding zombies, to an altogether quicker and more relentless pursuer. Cue Birkin roar, and Sherry disappears a la Ada Wong.  The placement of the Secretary’s Diary B is important here as it also progresses the sinister plot line of Brian Irons just after our recent encounter with him. The tone of this file adds an additionally unnerving undercurrent to Irons’s past dialogue concerning the mayor’s daughter.  I would have liked to have read descriptions of the infamous,  insidious paintings that adorn his private rooms, but alas there are none, just the paintings themselves which are disappointingly non-descript. On my return to his desk, the Mayor’s daughter & Irons have vanished, my god I wonder what he’s going to do with & to her body….it doesn’t take long to find out, as a reading of The Chief’s Diary tells all that is needed to know about his true significance in the catastrophe that befall his officers & his plans for the girl’s body.

Controlling Sherry Birkin is not equal to the Ada counterpart play. And now for the most annoying animation of all time in a Resident Evil title - Sherry Birkin attempting to climb up steps; is it me or is this not the most excruciating boredom offered to us as part of the survival horror experience ? I also think that to not have even a small cut-scene with William Birkin ruthlessly searching for this little girl, who has just become a playable character, is a missed opportunity to crank up the tension in her gameplay, which as it stands, is rather dull and feels a pointless deviation just to access the Club Key.

Another 2 lickers in the Autopsy Room rather than the slow, amblings zombies that faced Leon, and I’m beginning to think that Claire B has had a much tougher time in the RPD building than Leon A.

MR X’s sudden, and even after all these play-throughs, surprise smashing entrance into the conference room with the gold cogwheel, is a superb use of shock tactics, and takes the window smashing Cerberus to another level. Shame he can’t use the same hole he’s just created, rather than giving me another near coronary, as he makes light work of another section of this now, quickly eroding brick wall. Putting him down for a second time, I make the mistake of heading BACK into the conference room to check out those two holes from the other side (why I just don’t know!) , and upon my return back into the east hallway, he reanimates for a third time…and again…and again, each time I leave & re-enter this corridor !

Just about to take all stones to Irons’s office, and another unwanted , ammo sapping appearance from the ever youthful Mr X; who the fuck does he think he is… Nemesis ?

I’m soon heading down to see Iron’s last stand, and some of the worst voice acting in the game to date. The demise of Irons in this scenario  is clearly far inferior to the death scene we get with Claire A, which is even gorier than Ben Bertolucci’s death by parasite. The proceeding confrontation with an early G formation Birkin is one of my favourite Birkin battles, as we see him looking in mostly humanoid form, and then the eye mutation is beautiful revolting.

Bollocks I’ve just taken the wrong turn after meeting up with an injured Leon, and I’m back in the RPD where Ben was hold-up ! Back into the sewers ! Soon I have Sherry by my side, which to put it politely, is a major fucking annoyance. That, and the frequency of the zombies in the Vacant Factory proves challenging.

The surprise television debut of Mr X is a shocking treat, and a smart little addition. Consistently this game pulls little extras out the hat to keep the tension continually cranked up, so just when I’m in the midst of solving a puzzle and on the verge of considering the pace may have slowed, from out of nowhere comes another zombie horde / special cut-scene / plot-point / licker bursting out from a ventilation shaft to kick my complacent arse. These game devices keep the narrative moving, so even when I’m running around in circles, I always feel like I’m moving forward.

WHY am I expected to schlep about large cube shaped crates ? It is excruciatingly boring to the point of causing actual physical pain and mental torment, and WHY does it move back to its original spot when I leave the room, making that last 5 painfully long minutes it took to move it a fucking waste of my time I will never get back !

Claire’s disposal of the G-virus is at little more strategic & intelligent than Leon’s tantrum fuelled lob, and it serves as a smart way to finally put down the relentless Mr.X in a scene reminiscent of one similar, in Carry on Screaming… “Frying tonight!”……



WAIT there’s a mutated arm rising up… you’ve got to be kidding me ! However, this last final, stand of the big guy is worth it, just for the satisfaction of sending multiple pieces of Mr X spraying across the screen.

Two very tedious puzzles and the train is eventually moving, with a returning Leon joining the surviving party… but their celebratory reunion is cut short as William Birkin, now completely unrecognisable, except for his G formation eye, makes his final in-game appearance. This battle can look daunting at first due to the sheer size of this final form G monster, but it’s size is it’s weakness, as this enemy is nothing more than a large surface area, slow moving target. It’s last in-game death scene is slightly anti-climactic and slightly revolting; this is of course rectified by the glorious end sequence, in which all three protagonists work together, and miraculously destroy Birkin once and for all, whilst managing to escape clear from danger themselves. A truly glorious finale to a horrifically magnificent game.

TIME : Irrelevant, this is survival horror
RANK : B
NUMBER OF SAVES : 2
NUMBER OF DEATHS : 0

--

Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety.

September 13, 2013 at 5:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1087

RESIDENT EVIL 3 ~ RACCOON CITY ~ 1st OCTOBER 1998
PART 2 : HARD MODE


I am now in control of Carlos, a much more exhilarating & interesting experience than being Sherry Birkin, or even the game-play attached to Ada Wong in Resident Evil 2. So far I have always put down Nemesis on each of his appearances, and to earn my bonus weapon reward I’m going to have to take him down again, this time with Carlos. So I’m going to have to keep my Assault Rifle at 100%, and try and obtain the vital red herbs in the Hospital lobby without killing those Hunters… this is going to get interesting…

The Director’s Diary is pure Resident Evil ‘file story-telling’ at its best. Diary entries are a great vehicle for bringing the human tragedy alive, off the canvass of those beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds and directly into the forefront of our minds; the emotion becoming more concentrated; and they are ideal for providing a commentary of insight into the worsening day by stages of life with the t-virus – reading each entry, each one painting a worsening scenario as the week progresses, is poignant and tragic.

Evading the Hunters all over the Hospital as I’m determined to conserve ammo for the Nemesis encounter is physically unnerving, and mentally terrifying; this is why I love Resident Evil. Twice now I've been instantly decapitated; I've died more times with Carlos than with Jill over the entire game.

I just adore the Raccoon City Hospital section. It is the perfect setting for survival horror. It’s Resident Evil in its pure form, symbolic of everything  that makes up survival horror. The Hospital is a desperate environment, with memories of the dead everywhere, and evidence of horrific tragedy strewn across its battered rooms. There are many peaks of adrenalin, fear, and satisfaction on tap in this haunting building that is second only to the RPD in terms of most iconic Raccoon City location - as I desperately run from two fearsome Hunters and then within seconds quick turn to face both & the wall mounted explosive just behind them, shooting it with one shot & spraying charred Hunter meat everywhere, I feel a combination of terror, relief and exhilaration together with the aforementioned satisfaction.

Now for the delicious decision of which weapon to partner up with my infinite bullets I’ve just prised from the frozen corpse of Nemesis, my reward for whipping his arse with Carlos’s Assault Riffle. My freeze round pumping grenade launcher, or the magnum… it’s always the magnum no matter how reliable & successful my freeze rounds have been so far… I just cant get enough of those satisfyingly efficient one-shot decapitations !

The full extent of the treachery hanging over UBCS is made clear in the file Written Order. It’s almost matter-a-fact tone in detailing the true mission of the Supervisors is cruelty to the extreme.

Zombies groaning as they rise from the gravestones that silently stand is a rain soaked graveyard – is doesn’t get much better than that.

I’ve always found the Gravedigger battle challenging, one of the more difficult in the game, and this night is no different, as with even unlimited magnum bullets, I have to consume two green & red herb mixes before this overgrown worm lies in a crimson sludge at my feet.

Back running through the Raccoon City park, the haunting hoot of an owl, and I totally agree with Neptune, these outside sections can promote survival horror to a new level, and Resident Evil should venture into these creepy outside areas more often.

I’ve never understood why being a coward on the bridge deserves the better, bonus ‘Barry’ ending ?!

And now for, what is for me, the most excruciatingly frustrating puzzle in the entire Resident Evil series – the Water sample puzzle ! My brain just has a mental blockage when it comes to matching the sample.

The Manager’s Diary is another journal with entries that become more desperate by the day, diarising the inevitable outbreak within the Dead Factory as the ever increasing numbers of infected to be disposed of overwhelm  the limits of its capacity. The Dead Factory is another of those Resident Evil buildings dripping with emotion, tragedy, and danger; it’s a perfect setting for the repulsive plague crawlers, one of my favourite B.O.Ws in the series, and this factory is teaming with ‘em.

A countdown & voice over a la Alien and I know the game is almost at its finale, just a penultimate Nemesis battle, the easiest one of the game for me, and a quick diversion to grab the Rocket Launcher for a non-canon destruction of Nikolai and his copter !

The last battle with an unrecognisable Nemesis with a repulsive choice of diet is a little anti-climactic but still one of the better boss fights in the series. The final choice event is a non-brainer – refuse the option to finally eliminate this relentless pursuer ? I don’t think so ! And with that I’m flying into the sunset with a familiar bearded friend, as the streets of Raccoon City below are obliterated. As the last remaining monsters and buildings of this doomed city are wiped off the map, I can’t help but feel slightly emotional, and also that Raccoon City’s end should have been the end of the series, and to a certain extent it actually was.

The Raccoon City menace has come to its ultimate conclusion. Nevertheless, as long as their insidious research continues, the terror of Umbrella Inc. shall live forever….. well at least 3 months until we visit… Sheena Island…


TIME : Irrelevant, it's survival horror.

RANK : C

NUMBER OF SAVES : 4

NUMBER OF DEATHS : 3

--

Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety.

September 14, 2013 at 6:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.