Albert Wesker is difficult to miss, with his blond hair and the sunglasses he insists on wearing everywhere. Whether you know him from his sunglasses or his story, he's the overarching villain in Resident Evil, and for good reason. He's had his hands in just about every pie and is either directly or indirectly responsible for the events in every Resident Evil game.
Why Is He Such A Big Deal?
Wesker is a master manipulator. He's frighteningly intelligent and cunning, often using other characters to do his bidding or pitting them against one another. Even when he's not physically present, he has other characters furthering his plans on his behalf. Every scheme of his is to benefit him alone to the exclusion of everyone else. Wesker slowly becomes the primary villain over the course of the series, culminating in his attempt to eradicate humanity and set himself up as a god of a higher-evolved species. That's quite a jump, but he fully believed it was his right.
The Resident Evil Games Are A Result Of His Actions
When we're first introduced to Wesker in the original #ResidentEvil, he's the captain of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) team in Raccoon City, tasked with investigating a series of strange murders. The team investigates the Umbrella Corporation mansion, slowly being picked off by monsters, and discovers that the estate is the site of biological experiments. After experiencing the horrors of the mansion, betrayal hits hard, revealing that Wesker is a double agent and has been killing off his own team.
It turns out Wesker had been working for Umbrella Corporation for years, researching the T-virus and experimenting on human subjects. The S.T.A.R.S. team might have stood a chance against Umbrella, but Wesker was manipulating them and sabotaging their efforts, using mutants to wipe them out one by one in order to gather battle data. In Wesker's Report, it was revealed that he had planned to leave Umbrella Corporation and was using S.T.A.R.S. and the mutant weapon as an interview of sorts to move to another company. He led the S.T.A.R.S. team to slaughter to show his research's effectiveness.
Despite Wesker's best efforts, Resident Evil ended with several S.T.A.R.S. members escaping the mansion while Wesker seemingly perished in the subsequent explosion. However, he had secretly injected himself with the prototype virus, which granted him superpowers, and he survived.
In the sequel #ResidentEvil2, Wesker was seemingly absent but still manipulating events behind the scenes. His betrayal led surviving S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield to Europe to chase after Umbrella, which brought his sister Claire Redfield to Raccoon City in search of him. A secret sample of a newer virus survived, hidden by Wesker's colleague William Birkin in his daughter's necklace. Wesker hired Ada Wong to steal the G-virus sample for him from the now-mutated Birkin and his daughter. She succeeded and escaped the city, before a tactical strike nuked it in a bid to destroy its zombie population.
#ResidentEvil4 found more of Wesker's manipulations. A Spanish cult kidnapped the president's daughter, threatening to inject her with a mind-controlling parasite, another version of the virus. Wong showed up once again to do Wesker's bidding, this time trying to steal a sample of the virus. However, Wesker had been playing both sides. He had also hired the man who kidnapped the president's daughter in the first place, ensuring he'd get a sample from one of the two, no matter what.
In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Wesker returned as a formidable presence. Now part of a rival company, he attacked an Umbrella facility to gain a sample of T-Veronica, yet another deadly virus that was being developed by another Umbrella researcher. Claire Redfield, still searching for her brother, ended up in Wesker's purview and he used her to taunt Chris.
#ResidentEvil5 is where all of Wesker's machinations came to a head. After finding and confronting Umbrella's founder Oswell Spencer, Wesker discovered he'd been part of an Umbrella experiment himself, designed by Spencer to create a new and advanced race of humans. Wesker thought this was a grand idea, but he didn't need Spencer to do it, so he killed him and co-opted the plan.
During this confrontation, S.T.A.R.S. survivors Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine caught up with Wesker, though Jill sacrificed herself to save Chris. Now Wesker had a shiny new test subject for his genocidal virus research, which he managed to perfect enough to deploy on the world. Luckily for humanity, Chris Redfield caught up with him yet again, managing to kill Wesker through several fight sequences involving overdosage of the virus and dropping grenades on him inside a volcano.
Even Dead, Wesker Still Has Lasting Influence
Wesker's legacy didn't stop when he was killed. He inadvertently left part of himself behind in the form of a love child, though he didn't know it. At some point, Wesker hooked up with an Eastern European immigrant and formed a relationship with her. She fell pregnant and they broke up, though she never informed Wesker of her pregnancy. She returned to her home country of Edonia and gave birth to Jake Muller.
Jake grew up there and turned to mercenary work to support his ill mother in the absence of a father, leading to his involvement in #ResidentEvil6. Contrasting with Wesker, his son ended up on the good side, eventually defeating more terrorists with viruses and offering his antibody-infused blood as a cure.
Wesker's stratagems are still continuing in #ResidentEvil7, long after his death. His research and nefarious connections were responsible for the virus infecting Eveline as well as her creation. And Wesker makes a brief appearance in the form of an Easter Egg: The gun used to kill Eveline is an "Albert-01."
Wesker Was Destined To Be A Villain
Albert Wesker is not your average run-of-the-mill villain. He was destined to be one from the beginning. Umbrella Corporation created him, via Spencer's experiments on young children who were kidnapped and brainwashed to be an advanced version of the human race.
Wesker's moral compass was stunted from the start and made even worse when he injected himself with the virus he helped create. Ever since, his actions had been about furthering his research to create a master virus to wipe out humanity. No other threat has gotten close to Wesker's level of evil and his influence still lives on.