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George Trevor's Legacy

Other than Sega Saturn books and a series of leftover files, George Trevor has surprisingly appeared elsewhere. A few years ago, after being gifted some of the original Japanese strategy guides, I learned that he's mentioned in those, as well as subsequent guide books, mostly in the keyword sections. Later in the Resident Evil Archives books. There's also the mention in Resident Evil Revelations and more recently Resident Evil 7.
But why go through the elaborate effort to keep a deleted character in the series? And rewrite a series of notes for a limited edition book based on scrapped files from a game? And why rewrite those notes to be clearly inferior and lacking in details as compared to the originals? Did Capcom get cold feet, worried that these files revealed too many secrets about the Spencer mansion!? Welsh endeavoured to find out.

Hideki Kamiya, in response to a tweeted enquiry, confirmed to Welsh, that Lisa Trevor, George Trevor's 14-year old daughter, who was to later be included in the Gamecube version as a monster, wasn't devised as an enemy from the outset. That came later, with the GameCube remake, specifically, as a way for the planners of Production Studio 4 to create a deeper world view by having her be host to the G-virus. Recently, it was revealed in Crimson Head Elder's interview with Resident Evil 3 director Kazuhiro Aoyama, that G stands for Golotha, the site where Jesus Christ was crucified. This ties in nicely to her death being confirmed over three days, then being resurrected like Jesus. (Read Crimson Head Elder's Lisa Trevor article for more information).

Further clues came to light when a prototype of Biohazard with functional debug menu was released to the community. The Assembler website posted links to download it. The debug menu allowed players to investigate additional hidden features, and when a certain flag was activated, a file would appear on the table of the terrace where you discover Forests' body. Arguably, the terrace was to be one location of Trevor's Notes. Searching through video game magazine scans from the time of Resident Evil's development, it was shown in screenshots (see image below), that other files were supposed to appear - next to Kenneth's body, in the living room past the room with the suspended ceiling, in the bar, and on a shelf in the attic; and if the GameCube version is any indication, another was to been found next to Trevor's grave.

Unfortunately, the notes were scrapped by Janurary 1995, completely from the prototype and retail game, along with any textures that hint to their location, save for the one on the terrace. Curiously, the file images for Trevor's notes appear in the Director's Cut version, but not the original game.

Further utalising the debug prototype, in true 'George Trevor' fashion, Welsh was to stumble upon something surprising & unusual! After noticing differences in the text, and then dumping every version, it was discovered the piano room on the second floor contained a cryptic message from Trevor's grave stone. A translation of the Japanese text reads:

Trevor, my dear friend,
and architect of this mansion,
fell victim to his own creation,
and rests here forever.
December 5, 1967
Ozwell E. Spencer
Welsh contacted Capcom's Kenichi Iwao, who wrote the Biohazard/Resident Evil scenario. Iwao was responsible for creating the bulk of the narrative and character designs, including S.T.A.R.S. (originally SWAT), Umbrella (originally military), B.O.W. (originally B.H.W. for Bio-Hazard Weapon), but notebly not for the 'Trevor's Notes'. Iwao-san explained that while he wrote most of Resident Evil's files, another planner named Yasuyuki Saga wrote the rest, specifically Trevor's Notes. He also confirmed they were removed because their quality was substandard and affected the world view that he had established with files like the 'Keeper's Diary'. (For further details read Crimson Head Elder's exclusive Kenichi Iwao interview).

Welsh's passionate dedication (and persistence!) lead him to track Saga-san down to seek his assistence uncovering further secrets to the Trevor mystery. Saga initially refused having quit Capcom 17-years ago at that time, but soon relented upon a recommendation from a Capcom collegue and mutual contact, Kazuhiro Aoyama (Biohazard 3 Director).

On a side note, Aoyama-san mentioned that before Trevor's story was devised, the grave in the mansion belonged to a researcher. If you look closely at the extracted texture for the headstone, the engraving reads: 'FULL METAL HOUSE 1993-1994', possibly a leftover from the military scenario prior to the Umbrella narrative.

Parallels between the two, hint at inspiration for the Trevor family and their tragic backstory, being taken from the narrative of NES game Sweet Home; a forerunner in the development of the survival horror genre. Trevor clearly has much in common with Ichiro Mamiya, the genius painter who built the mansion in Sweet Home, for which Resident Evil borrows heavily from. In Sweet Home, the player discovers the letters, notes, and diary of Ichiro who lost his wife and child in a tragic accident 30-years earlier. Sound familiar? Ichiro's even suffered a terrible tragedy when his only child fell into an incinerator, and his wife Lady Mamiyato threw herself in to save the child. The baby died, Lady Mamiyato was badly burned and consumed by her grief, began to kidnap children from a nearby village, throwing them into the furnace which had taken her child, so that he could have playmates! She was eventually confronted by a mob of angry parents, leading to her comitting suicide. Curiously, her ghost in the film and game share a likeness with Alex Wesker from Resident Evil Revelations 2.

However, Saga-san revealed the major inspiration for the Trevors' was not Sweet Home, but 19th Century European books he was reading during that time, and a manga 'Poe no Ichizoku', that chronicles a family of vampires. (Crimson Head Elder interview with Yasuyuki Saga)

Saga-san further revealed that George Trevor worked in New York City on architectural construction and design, and Aunt Emma was very close to both Jessica and Lisa, which George knew well. He also confirmed that Aunt Emma wasn't really sick, and that Jessica's letter to George was indeed a forgery!

The most interesting piece of information came to light while discussing Trevors' public disappearance. Saga stated their deaths were faked in a yachting accident and the newspaper headline would have read: "FAMOUS ARCHITECT TREVOR AND HIS FAMILY DISAPPEAR IN ATLANTIC OCEAN - An investigation was conducted for several days, but no clue clues were found and the search was called off."

Trevor's notes must have been rewritten for the Sega Saturn companion release 'The True Story Behind Bio Hazard' by someone other than Saga because the puzzle elements didn't flow seamlessly into the retail game, as several changes were made after the files had been cut. This decision makes sense, but I wish the planners for the Gamecube version had gone back to the original files, and restored more of the backstory that doesn't appear in the Sega Saturn book, instead of just copying and pasting them.


"バイオ1 でも、仕掛けだらけの洋館に説得力をもたせるために、そうした洋館が作られた経緯を説明したファイルも用意してあったんだよね…ただ情報過多になってゲームの謎解きとの混乱を招くから、そうした裏設定的なファイルは開発途中でカットされることになった… "


"In Biohazard 1 in order to provide assistance into a mansion that was full of tricks, I created files that explained the background of the mansion. Because of developing complications, the series of files were cut .": Yasuyuki Saga (Crimson Head Elder interview with Yasuyuki Saga)

From the quotes of both men, (Shinji Mikami's can be read in the opening 9th paragraph of this article), these wonderful game-files, detailing a narrative that would have lent considerable historic depth and atmosphere to the Spencer mansion, were lamentably removed for more than one reason. First, the story unfolds differently depending on which character you select, therefore it would have been particularly difficult to properly implement the files into each game, since some events are exclusive to each character. Furthermore, Mikami-san wasn't confident in Saga's ability to write the files adequately. As a result, the number of files decreased from 26 to 18, and the file 3 folders was removed completely.

George Trevor, the 5th Survivor?

The Trevor family tragedy, the deaths of two loving parents, and their beloved daughter. Murdered at the hands of the tyrannical Spencer E. Oswell, through his pursuit of insidious viral, biological invention. The evidence of Lisa Trevor's demise will literally stare us in the face, and possibly rip it off! Her final release from Umbrella's servitude undeniably, unequivocally finalised upon the mansions explosive destruction, as she lay incapacitated, under the fallen chandelier (Resident Evil The Umbrella Chronicles).


The demise of a treasured wife, Jessica, is evidenced by Lisa's discovery of her mother's skeletal remains, and consequent body identification, corroborated in harrowing detail by her wailing, mournful scream "mutherrr...". Their fate, and questionably that of their tragic father, is most clearly, poignantly detailed in the following file:


Nov. 10, 1967 – Progenitor Virus administered


Jessica 

Administered virus: Type–A

Plasmolyzing of tissue during cell activation

Virus fusion: Negative

Action: Disposed


Lisa

Administered virus: Type–B

Plasmolyzing of tissue during cell activation

Virus fusion:

Positive but delayed fusion.

Body modification:

Observed constant results.

Status:

Continue protective observation.


George

action: Terminated (Nov. 30, 1967)


Resident Evil Remake: Family Picture & Notes


Is there any significance to be found in the differing terminology employed by Umbrella in defining the relative fates of husband and wife ? Jessica’s body is ‘disposed’ of, whilst George is afflicted with the term ‘terminated’, as his corresponding action. This may allude merely to differing times, and methods of death; Jessica executed, or more likely left to starve in her cell, whilst Trevor placed like a pawn, at Spencer’s command, to be tortured to death, by an inescapable labyrinth, within the mansion of his own design. However, I suggest, there is a more contentious question at the heart of this query.


Did George Trevor survive the mansion incident? Does the question even warrant asking? Some would say no, notwithstanding the lack of a discovered corpse by S.T.A.R.S. members upon their infiltration of the estate; Particularly surrounding the area of George's prematurely prepared grave. Had his demise occurred at this fateful location, with Umbrella staff collecting the body, then surely the action would be defined as disposed, rather than terminated. The argument that this term would not have yet been relevant, as George was still at Spencer's whim, wandering the mansion, {as a pose to Jessica's immediate disposal}, is relevant, but weakened by the lack of a follow up to this note, updating the defined action upon Umbrella's retrieval of George's body.


With no evidence of his corpse, or remains, the possibility of George Trevor‘s continued survival, post gravestone discovery, is much dependant on the weight of evidence lent to Resident Evil Genesis. If this mobile game can be considered canon, then the significance of the grim discovery of skeletal remains, alluded to as being the remains of George Trevor, must be determined, and identified. During Genesis, the clearest evidence that the skeleton found by Jill in the mansion’s basement belongs to George, is the fact that it lay decomposed in the corner of a cell, identified as his, corroborated with the discovery of his diary in that same location. That other prisoners were kept here, and hold identity to those remains is a strong possibility; the diary likely dropped, long ago, by a hastily escaping Trevor. 


The last entry in the Genesis version of Trevor’s diary suggests a final release for George, a more dignified end, at his own hand:


Nov 31, 1967. Resident Evil Genesis 

Here's where everything ends.  Forgive me Jessica, I didn't want it to come to this.  I'll die before I let them turn me into one of those...things.  With my last breathe, I will pray that you and Lisa are safe. Farewell.….George Trevor


There is a similar tone in the Remake version of Trevor‘s diary. At first glance, as with the Genesis journal, the 31st November entry in is an ominous day, George alluding to pitiful failure, with an another horrific discovery:


Nov. 31, 1967. Resident Evil Remake

It was a dark & damp underground tunnel. And another dead end. But even in the darkness something caught my eye. Carefully, I lit the last match, I had to see what it was. A grave! But deeply engraved into the stone was my name! ‘George Trevor‘. At that instant, it all became clear to me. Those bastards knew from the beginning that I'd die here & I fell right into their trap. But it's too late now. I'm losing it. Everything is becoming so far away. Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. Because of my ego, I got both of you involved in this whole damn conspiracy. Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety. George Trevor 


I do not believe that with these last, fateful dated entries, George purposefully sealed himself into his cell, leaving starvation as his only escape, or perished besides his pre-prepared grave. There were neither the means in his cell, nor the energies within him to do this. No, I propose, that this was a purposeful ruse, to lead his pursuers into believing that he had given up all hope; allow his diary to be found with this red hearing diarised within it, thus throwing Umbrella off his scent. He may have even planted a body in this cell, {later to be found as skeletal remains ~ Resident Evil Genesis}, an unidentifiable corpse, not hard to find in the Spencer mansion, that autumn of 1967. Trevor evaded the incarceration here, and he strove onwards, alluding capture.


Furthermore, one need not just rely on our imaginations to flesh out the details of George’s continued sanctuary. The success or otherwise of Georges survival during this later period may also be documented without the use of further conjecture. This precious time may have been documented for an additional seven days, if we hold the dates in George Trevor’s Notes, as compiled in The True Story Behind Biohazard, canon.


The journal continues, from the last dated diary entry within Resident Evil Genesis, of the 31st November, and onwards, to the 7th December, with a weeks worth of additional composition. However, the source only, merely puts forward the date of George Trevor’s inevitable discovery of his pre-named gravestone, being as it is, an effective replica of the concluding Remake entry of November 31st. It does not suggest a further, significantly differing path, as we are lead to the same tragic end; George Trevor’s prepared burial site. But that does not condemn the actual existence of further sanctuary, because the source for those arguably contentious days, may exist elsewhere, even if undated.


George Trevor’s continued survival, that he did not perish in his cell, or at his pre-prepared headstone (irrespective of that day being Nov 31st or Dec 7th) could be alluded to by an undated letter. Whether languishing within a cell {Genesis diary}, or standing fatefully over his pre-prepared gravestone {Remake diary & George Trevor's Notes}, Trevor continued to fight for his family’s survival, potentially evidenced by an un-dated, poignant discovery at the mock headstone. This undated letter, certainly alludes to the existence of further sanctuary, following the days of those last diarised entries:


There's something handwritten. It's not dated 

Nothing's changed. I never thought that this room I designed as an experiment would pay off like this. I can hide here safely for a while, because nobody knows about the secret behind this painting. Not even Sir Spencer. Painting of a mansion... In the back of the art room. (Resident Evil Remake)


So Spencer was not the all seeing lord of his manor, not the all knowing god of his world. A mere designer, an artisan from New York, had knowledge that not even the great & glorious Oswell E. Spencer possessed. In the back of the art room, hidden within the mansion that he solely designed, George Trevor enjoyed further, rare sanctuary.  Having already thrown the pursuers off his path, by purposefully dropping a contrived diary, alerting Spencer’s men to a rouse contained therein, falsehoods detailing he was resigned to dignified death, sealed by his own hand, within his cell, he heads for the art room. Now George lays incognito, off-radar, within this unique hiding place, that he alone knew of. His continued absence leading Spencer’s men to the false belief that he had already perished, and from this position he survived another day.


When contemplating the possibility of days following onwards from that position, one must ultimately have consideration for the last dated journal/letter entry; the very last date diarised for George’s survival ? As we have seen, his last letter, dated December 7th, in  The True Story Behind Biohazard,  is effectively  a copy of the  Resident Evil Remake diary entry of November 31st;  upon which day George Trevor discovered  his gruesome headstone.  However, irrespective of the date of that terrible discovery, our architect may have continued his bitter search, to an end that only he knows of. This argument solely relies  on  the  fact  that  this undated  note was written after George’s last known dated composition, and there is no date to suggest that his art room secret, harbouring retreat, came prior to the headstone discovery. If one accepts this note as the very last composition in existence, authored by George Trevor, then any fate that followed this potentially life saving, latter sanctuary, is to this day, still unknown...

Special thanks to Yasuyuki Saga, Mark Grass, Welsh, News Bot & BSAArklay.

SOURCES

Resident Evil Remake (Trevor's Diary & Undated Note)

Resident Evil Genesis (George Trevor's Diary)

The True Story Behind Biohazard (George Trevor's Notes)

Resident Evil : The Umbrella Chronicles (Jessica's letter & Lisa's Journal)

BIO HAZARD Taiken Ban バイオハザード 体験版 (Trevor's Notes)

Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles Art Of Arts

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