The first Resident Evil was a landmark game for a multitude of reasons, chief among them was that it got a new generation of young people to finally start taking the possibility of a zombie outbreak seriously. With each successive game in the series, we learned more and more about what to do: how to heal ourselves in the case of a bite, what the proper zombie combat attire is, how to navigate through complex building layouts, and how to avoid eccentric rich families...the list goes on. All of this is highly practical information that will...aw, screw it. Resident Evil is RIDICULOUS. Here are Five Reasons Why.
Number Five: Herbal Essence
Video game healing mechanisms are easy targets for us practitioners of logic, as serious medical emergencies require treatments above and beyond gourmet mushrooms, hiker-level first aid kits, and simply "walking off" multiple gunshot wounds. In almost all cases, we accept the "it's just a game" argument and enjoy ourselves. Resident Evil's herb system, iconic as it has become, deserves a spot in the upper echelon of gaming quackery.
Defined no further than "green herb" and "red herb," these little miracle plants are responsible for keeping you alive during a zombie outbreak. But is there real science to it? The Internet site eMedicinal.com believes there might be, offering herbal remedies for the following undead-related conditions:
- Skin Troubles, Acne, Eczema, and Bad Complexion
- For Dropsy (swelling of soft tissue as a result of pooling fluid from maintaining an upright position)
- To Calm Nerves
- Prevention of Nightmares
- Carinative (relief of gas and bloat)
Missing from this list are "profuse bleeding from the leg" and "missing chunks of neck," which, sadly, no amount of juniper berries or German chamomile can heal. Unless perhaps they're in a spray form.
Number Four: Dressed to Get Killed
The blue tube top flatters as it allows for maximum mobility and provides for proper perspiration. The thigh-level skirt is a little revealing and inappropriate for the job at hand, but what it lacks in practicality, it makes up for by attracting any able-bodied male survivors to join the fight. The knee-high boots just as easily stomp on zombie skulls as they do zombie hearts, and the entire ensemble says "I might die a horrible, fiery death tonight, but at least I'll look good doing it."
But Jill, honey, that wrap-around sweater has got to go.
Number Three: Honey, I Lost My Keys...
The Resident Evil games would be over pretty quickly if Raccoon City's architects abided by sensible design philosophies. For these highly-trained law enforcement officers, getting to the most vital areas of buildings like the mansion or RCPD headquarters would be as simple as walking down the hall, or at worst, waiting a few seconds for an elevator and then kicking down the appropriate doors.
But noooooooooo, in order to get anywhere, there's gotta be an elaborate riddle to solve -- usually involving the placement or rearrangement of old things. It's no wonder that Umbrella Corp. consistently ranks in the lowest tier of American companies for workplace efficiency. (And this is before Facebook.)
Number Two: Family Affairs
Remember Resident Evil: Code Veronica? Yeah, the Dreamcast was a long, long time ago. But besides the awesome opening sequence, the thing that lingers the most was the creepy subplot involving the aristocratic Ashford family. See, Alfred Ashford and his twin sister Alexia torment Claire Redfield and Steve Burnside throughout the game. Only...Alexia is in long-term cryostatic sleep so that she can awaken as a walking biological weapon. Before you say “whaaaa?” consider this:
Alexia is in cryostatic sleep. So who’s that tormenting them? Take a sec and think about it. Alfred’s that creepily obsessed with his sister. When the two finally reunite at the game’s finale, it’s about as uncomfortable as watching any given character turn into a giant sputtering orifice monster. Oh, and they turned their dad into a disgusting level boss.
Give these characters a reality show, stat.
Number One: Masters of Unlocking
Resident Evil games aren't scary scary, they're campy scary, and that's why we love them. RE4 and RE5 tried to be more serious (and mostly pulled it off), but the series' legacy will always be cheap gotcha moments and hammy voice acting, highlighted by Barry Burton's famous possibly-botched pick-up attempt to Jill Valentine: "Jill, here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you." Even RE4's merchant and his frequent inquiries into your spending habits became part of RE's lovable lore.
What am I buying? I'll take a Jill sandwich. Extra cheese.
What Resident Evil foolishness are ya selling? Give your ideas in the comments...