Capcom's immensely popular horror series, Resident Evil, has been terrifying gamers and sending controllers flying since its debut release back in 1996. In the intervening years over 62 million copies of the games have been sold, with the franchise even spawning 6 (SIX!) Hollywood movies.
But despite its popularity, there are still some secrets of the series you may not be privy to! As it was just recently Resident Evil 2's 17th anniversary, I thought I'd take the opportunity to run you through some of the lesser known back alleys of the franchise. But beware: this may well be zombie infested territory!
1. Before Resident Evil 2 there was 'Resident Evil 1.5'
After the surprising success of the first Resident Evil game, Capcom experimented with a number of different prototypes for a sequel, but none got as far as Resident Evil 1.5. This mysterious unreleased game was estimated to be 60-80% finished when the decision was made to throw everything out and start all over again!
In this alternate Resident Evil universe, you could play as a college student and motorcycle enthusiast called Elza Walker, but she was later changed to the now well-known sister of the series' protagonist, Claire Redfield.
Fans are currently working on releasing a public version of the long lost game! Maybe we'll finally find out what Capcom had been working on all that time.
2. Natalie Portman + Jean Reno = Zombies
The developers at Capcom were such big fans of the French actor Jean Reno that they named a difficulty mode in Resident Evil 4 'Professional' as a tribute to his movie Leon: The Professional. The game also features a gun called 'Matilda' - a reference to Natalie Portman's character in the film.
It's a nice little easter egg for fans of the movie, and a sweet gesture on Capcom's part. If only Leon was a playable character!
3. You can play as a pice of tofu
That's right - the Japanese developers certainly have a sense of humor!
The Tofu character model was originally created by Capcom in order to help them iron out the kinks in Resident Evil 2's collision detection system, but in the end they decided to give it its very own mini-game, 'The Tofu Survivor'!
The foul-mouthed piece of bean curd would swear in the Kansai Japanese dialect when hurt and would even say "farewell" in Japanese as he perished against the zombie hordes. How cute.
4. The Resident Evil composer was a big fat liar
Mamoru Samuragochi, the deaf composer who was allegedly behind Resident Evil's iconic soundtrack, was considered a modern Beethoven, due to his remarkable ability to continue working without his hearing! That was until he admitted that someone else had been writing the music for him the whole time. Err...oh dear.
Samuragochi's solicitor said he was "deeply sorry as he has betrayed fans and disappointed others." That's plagiarism kids. Don't do it.
5. Legendary director George Romero worked on the series
George Romero, the godfather of horror, actually directed some Japanese commercials for Resident Evil 2, one of which you can watch below:
Romero also penned a script for the movie adaptation, but in the end it was passed over for Paul W.S. Anderson’s version. Tragedy!
6. Resident Evil was supposed to be a first-person shooter
The franchise's trademark third-person perspective revolutionized the survival horror genre and has come to influence hundreds of other games in its wake, but it almost wasn't to be!
The original game's designers wanted to make it a first-person shooter, but the director Shinji Mikami thought that current technology wasn't up to the job, so he moved the camera behind the player character. The rest, as they say, is history.
7. Devil May Cry was meant to be a Resident evil game
It's crazy to think that the trenchcoat-wearing demon hunter Dante began life in the Resident Evil universe. I suppose it's testament to the variety of ideas Capcom had about expanding the series.
Resident Evil 4 was initially designed as a manic action combat game, but the developers were worried about veering too far from the series' roots. The project instead morphed into Devil May Cry; a fantastic game in its own right! Good on them for not killing it entirely.
Are you an expert on a video game or movie franchise? Tell us the craziest things that we never knew about it!