The Resident Evil series is universally loved for its healthy mix of survival horror, puzzle-solving, and copious amounts of action to get your blood pumping. It's also responsible for more than a few instances of shocking, heart-stopping moments that linger long after you turn off the game...and creep right into your nightmares, for that matter. In honor of Resident Evil 6's official announcement last week, we've rounded up five of the most thrilling Resident Evil moments, guaranteed to keep you awake at night. Whether it's the first time you encountered a Licker or your first meeting with Nemesis, your skin's about to start crawling. Let's take you back to those very instances that stopped you in your tracks, shall we?
Need More Kibble
Don't you dare laugh. You know you jumped straight out of your chair during your first RE playthrough after some particularly menacing demonic dogs burst through that infamous window, glass shattering and flying everywhere, your heart jumping up in your throat. It was a cheap jump scare, thinking back now, but one of the most well-placed and easiest to spring on the player. When you remember your first Resident Evil, you know this is the first thing you think of – at least in the beginning, right? It may be an overused tactic in films and video games these days, but back then it was as effective as reaching out and grabbing you by the throat. Hey, for the right person, it still is. Excuse me while I put my mother on the game...
Say Hello to My Little Licker!
Looking back now, this wasn't so much as thrilling as it was an annoyance after the enemy's initial introduction in Resident Evil 2, but back then it was terrifying. After the fated hallway scene you knew to check every room and every corner, as these sneaky beasts could appear out of nowhere and whip their tongues back and forth like a mutated Willow Smith. The rather claustrophobic hallway left little breathing room for defending yourself quickly or leaping out of harm's way. And let's not forget the ceiling was actually bleeding. At that point in time, especially if you played the game upon its initial release, you hadn't quite experienced anything like it before, making the gangly Lickers a force to be reckoned with. Things didn't improve in subsequent releases, especially when the particularly foul monsters made an appearance in Resident Evil 5. But we'll never forget popcorn flying through the air as we scrambled to figure out just what in Leon's name those abominations in the hallway were.
Where's Everyone Going? Bingo?
Though Resident Evil 4 was chock-full of its own signature moments, the beginning of the game took the cake. After making the then-shocking leap to action-horror rather than the tried-and-true format from the previous games it was already a drastically different departure from the rest, and its first few moments certainly didn't disappoint. When you're tasked with making your way through the village populated with the ravenous Las Plagas, the atmosphere can be more than a little intimidating, especially if you haven't yet acquainted yourself to the new control scheme right away. And what's that coming up? A man with a chainsaw? And you say he's capable of cutting Leon's head clean off? No way, man, we're outta here! Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Not even a roof could save you from the villagers' wrath. That's about the gist of things. The continuous onslaught of baddies in the unfamiliar environment coupled with the “newness” of it all acted as one of the most thrilling bits of Resident Evil 4, and one we continue to look fondly upon, even after we've played it in one of its several incarnations.
Meeting Your Nemesis
Before Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, most enemies could be usurped within a reasonable amount of time. During the famed series' third installment, Jill Valentine found herself in a bit of a tight spot, right outside the Raccoon City police station. After massacring Brad Vickers, the menacing then-unknown behemoth known as Nemesis continues to pursue Jill, with the eerie muttering of “STARS.” Talk about spine-tingling. After that very moment, if it weren't intimidating enough, throughout the entire game Nemesis stalks Jill throughout a smattering of locales, during all of which he cannot be harmed. Append Nemesis to the already long list of baddies creeping around Raccoon City, and you've got yourself a recipe for one of the most thrilling moments of Resident Evil history: coming face-to-face with the seemingly invincible juggernaut that will seek you out throughout the rest of the entire game. Even acid couldn't stop Nemesis from lumbering toward you. That's the mark of a tyrant that won't quit, and one of the reasons Nemesis continues to stick with us.
Mr. X-amine That Wet Spot on Your Pants
One moment Claire is turning faucets and lighting fires, just minding her own business in Resident Evil 2. Solving puzzles, you know how it is. Suddenly, out of the middle of nowhere, a T-103, also known as Mr. X, bursts through the middle of the wall. If you didn't wet yourself just a little during that scene you have a bladder of steel and/or reliable adult undergarments that you can't feel the wetness through. Either way. The lumbering creeper seemed impervious to bullets, and if that weren't enough possessed regenerative powers. So much for peppering him with handgun ammo. Get too close and you found your head being stomped to a pulp. He was the stuff of nightmares, and the reason we've been trained to stay hyper-aware of our surroundings when it comes to survival horror. That and the way normal areas seem to devolve into heinous, rusty cage-like hells when we're in places known as Silent Hill.
Which Resident Evil moments get your blood pumping?
Brittany Vincent is a freelance writer who routinely eviscerates virtual opponents and tempts fate by approaching wayward Zoloms. A connoisseur of all things bloody and bizarre, she's available to chat via Twitter @MolotovCupcake, and is always ready to take on new projects. You can peruse her archived work at PfhortheWin.com