Many of us love Resident Evil. We play the games, collect the merchandise, rank our favorites and argue with Silent Hill fans about which series is better, but did you know about the secret games? The ones that were scrapped before they made it to the shelves or turned into other titles?
The Resident Evil Games That Were Never Made
Previously on #HistoryOfHorror, we talked about why spiders are everywhere in games, why we love and hate jump scares and appropriately enough, about the game Sweet Home, which would later be remade as Resident Evil. But today, we're going to take you through the Resident Evil games that never quite made the cut.
Resident Evil 1.5
Before our beloved Resident Evil 2 came to be (in my opinion, one of the best in the series) there was an earlier version. This sequel, now dubbed Resident Evil 1.5, was started as soon as the first game launched.
It shared many narrative similarities with the finished game, but there were a few key differences. Leon Kennedy was in as a playable character, looking pretty much how he does in #ResidentEvil2, but Claire Redfield was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a character named Elza Walker was the second playable character; she was a bad-ass biker and university student who ran around dressed in full motorcycle gear—shame she never made a cameo in later games!
The game was also originally intended to completely finish the Raccoon City and Umbrella Corp plot-lines, as Capcom wanted Resident Evil to work sort of like the Final Fantasy series, with new worlds and stories and only minimal continuity between any games. With how crazy things got in some later installments, it might have been a good idea.
The biggest difference outside of the plot and characters was the setting, models and backgrounds were lower-poly, which meant there were often a lot more zombies on the screen at once. The city and police station where the game took place were also a lot more modern-looking, rather than the more gothic and creepy design that was eventually chosen. Would you have liked to play it?
'Resident Evil 1' Almost Came To The Game Boy Color
After the release of the Game Boy Color, Capcom decided to take their first foray into a mobile Resident Evil, which I guess would make it Mobile Home Evil. They decided to attempt to port the entire first game over to the Game Boy Color in a 1:1 transition, replacing polygons and pre-rendered backgrounds with crude, blocky sprites.
Suffice to say, it didn't turn out looking as good as they hoped it might, and the whole endeavor was scrapped after a few early builds. At least the crude beeping sounds of the early Game Boys would have spared us from that Resident Evil 1 voice acting.
Samurai Evil: The Resident Evil Set In Medieval Japan
In 1997 Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto had the bright idea to create a spin-off of the Resident Evil series, which would be called Sengoku Biohazard. The spin-off would be set in Sengoku Japan (the feudal civil war era) and involve a katana-wielding protagonist facing off against demons and spirits.
The idea was scrapped as a Resident Evil game, but actually ended up getting produced as its own series called Onimusha, which went on to become one of Capcom's most popular series.
Resident Evil Lost: Leon Vs. The Fogman
While it took a while for Capcom to decide on their turn to a more action-packed style of gameplay with RE4, the early builds of the game were looking for a totally new angle for the series. One scrapped version of #ResidentEvil4 involved Leon exploring a mysterious, spooky airship, pursued by a creepy 'fog virus' monster that couldn't be put down permanently.
The idea was scrapped after early production because producers felt that it would be too much of a departure for the series to completely remove anything that remotely resembled zombies from the game, although it did give us Leon's snazzy new bomber jacket look.
Resident Evil 3.5: Leon The Ghostbuster
Before the final build of Resident Evil 4, another early attempt at pushing the series in a new direction got surprisingly far into development. This version had the series's more familiar fixed camera gameplay and took the games back to their roots by placing Leon in a spooky abandoned mansion.
The big change though was that this time there weren't any zombies, not virus-based ones anyway. The mansion would be haunted, and Leon would have to face off against ghosts, spirits and other supernatural monsters, including a possessed man wielding a hook as a weapon. A lot of fans were excited by this scrapped idea, to the point where there's even a recreation in the works that has a playable demo.
Resident May Cry
Possibly the most interesting scrapped version of Resident Evil 4 was an early build that took the series in an even more action-focused direction than the final product. This version of the game would star Leon as a monster hunting bad-ass with twin pistols, who could leap, roll, jump and carve through enemies with ease— he even had superpowers granted to him by a mysterious source.
The idea was scrapped, again for taking things a bit too far for the series, but fascinatingly the assets weren't wasted. The game was rebuilt using the ideas and mechanics they'd already built into a new title, one you might know. That's right, #DevilMayCry was originally meant to be a Resident Evil game! Explains why Leon and Dante share the same floppy hair.
I wonder if we'll find out about some juicy scrapped versions of Resident Evil 7 in the future...
Do you wish some of these games had made it to the shelves? Let us know in the comments!