Following the recent release of Resident Evil Revelations on home consoles, it got me thinking about the best Resident Evil moments that have left a lasting impression on me through the years, so I thought I would compile my top 5 moments for you lovely WW4G people. But this is not your ordinary top 5, oh no! Y’see you lucky WW4G readers are getting two writers for the price of one today, as I have enlisted the help of everyone’s favourite Editor in Chief and all-round Resi enthusiast – Rebecca Foran. We’ve picked our top 5 moments that have stuck with us through this 17 year-old franchise, moments that have kept us both coming back for more again and again. So without further ado, let’s nab a first aid spray and jump right in.
El Gigante – Resi 4
An aptly-named boss, El Gigante was huge, and the first sight of him in Resident Evil 4 was special for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly his size – as previously discussed – was immense and akin to final bosses of previous games such as the Tyrant from the original Resident Evil. To meet a boss this size on Chapter 2 demonstrated that this game was taking things seriously, and that in itself imbedded a fear in me unlike other bosses in Resi history. The other thing that El Gigante demonstrated – along with Del Lago before it – was that Resi 4 was a step change for how to deal with bosses in Resi games. Not only did you have to do the normal “shoot to damage” piece, but you had to run up his back to deliver the final blow. It provided a much more satisfying takedown than simply depleting a boss’s health.
An utter beast, this larger-than-life troll like creature was a surprise – not merely because of his size, but because of just how uncontrollable he was, mindlessly trying to attack everyone, even the villagers that unleashed him for his first battle with Leon. With this kind of mind-set in place so early on in the game, it left me totally amped up for other bosses later, how deadly they would be and how much they differed from bosses in previous titles. Adding in the finishing move provided gamers with a new challenge – finding strategies for enemies was not previously unheard of, but this added something fresh into the mix.
Yawn in Resi 1
How do you top a creepy mansion full of zombies and dogs? Well with a giant snake that can swallow you whole of course! Yawn’s appearance in Resident Evil 1 epitomises what is great about the Resident Evil series. First of all, when you first meet him, it’s literally the last thing you expect to encounter, and you meet him in a cramped dusty corner of the mansion where there’s not a lot of wiggle room for you and him so that keeps the challenge high. And even in these conditions, if you decide to fight, you only end up wounding the beast before he limps off for the inevitable second encounter later on. And whilst you know that final battle is coming at some point, it’s done at a time that is unexpected, and is grand in scale, which just makes Yawn a truly memorable boss.
This giant snake was a shock at the time, to be sure, but it’s a tribute to the series that looking back now, it doesn’t seem out of place in the Resident Evil franchise. Being able to wrap itself around players and squeeze, dealing damage and holding you in position was frustrating. But the most memorable part of Yawn’s attacks for me, was how they often poisoned you, meaning you needed to have the right herb in your inventory in order to survive for long – even managing to beat this over-grown reptile didn’t guarantee survival as I would often forget I had been poisoned and would end up dying soon after whilst wandering around the mansion. It meant that the fight for survival could go on after the battle was “over”, which added to the suspense and fear factor that Resident Evil is famous for.
Nemesis in Resi 3
There’s something undeniably impactful about a boss that’s immensely powerful and nigh on indestructible. Couple that with the fact that the Nemesis is constantly on your trail and armed with a rocket launcher no less, and you soon begin to realize that Nemesis really does stay true to his name. To add to this already memorable challenge, was that the game would occasionally provide you with a Live Selection Mode on Nemesis’ arrival giving you a limited amount of time to make a call on how to proceed. The choices you made affected the outcome of the game, and taking too long on a call could see you take damage or even die. It meant that throughout the game, you were always on your toes, trying to pre-empt the next Nemesis attack, a well-executed dynamic, and an excellent addition to the Resi series.
I remember frantically panicking every time the Nemesis turned up during this game as I was utterly terrible at dodging his attacks with the controls being so fiddly, therefore every appearance meant certain death for me. Being built like a brick shit house and having a homing beacon for all S.T.A.R.S members equals serious trouble – especially in confined spaces, which was often the case in Resi 3. Even when Jill had some back up from other characters, he was still a very tough enemy and often managed to grab and throw players around the place like a child with a rag doll. If that’s not a formidable foe worthy of a fair bit of distance, ruthless preparation and the Resident Evil franchise name, then I don’t know what is.
Licker intro to Resident Evil 2
The Licker is the only ‘regular’ enemy to feature in our top 5 Resident Evil moments, and that is down in no small part to its cinematic introduction to us way back in Resident Evil 2. Having just discovered a headless corpse on the ground, you take a couple of further steps down the corridor and slowly look up towards the ceiling, to be greeted by a slobbering scalp-less being with a tongue that could clean out a U-bend. Back in 1998, this was some scary, impactful stuff, and it’s no surprise that since then, Lickers have become fairly regular enemies throughout the Resident Evil franchise. A mixture of their power, speed and reach – thanks to that lovely tongue – meant you had to go into a battle prepared, and never was this hammered home better than in our first encounter back in Resi 2.
Being near enough a child when this game was released, the Licker entrance made a real lasting impression on me, and to this day, has to be one of my favourite enemy creatures in any game ever. Having a love/hate relationship with these grotesque mutants has followed me for years – I am utterly terrified of them whenever and wherever they pop up, be it game or movie, but I enjoy how my heart beats faster as I become fuelled with adrenaline – it brings me back to the pure fear I felt as a kid when first playing Resi Evil 2.
Village Intro in Resi 4
My personal favourite moment in Resident Evil history has to go to this opening section in Resident Evil 4. Things start off fairly slow, with a lone villager trying to tear you a new one, before you approach the village properly. You use your binoculars to spy a look at what’s going on, but before you know it you’ve been spotted and the entire village’s inhabitants are baying for your blood. You spend the next few minutes frantically running around, taking out villagers, and looking for safe spots so as not to get surrounded. The pace is incredibly high tempo, and it doesn’t let up until an ominous bell is rung, and the villagers stop attacking you and mindlessly wander off. It sets an excellent scene for the rest of the game in what is a perfect example of how to combine fear and adrenaline in a Resident Evil game. It’s something that future iterations of the series have tried to do (Resident Evil 5 has a similar scene near the beginning of the game), but they have failed to live up to the pinnacle of this moment in Resi 4.
The build-up preceding the full on village attack was a nice touch – an empty, desolate forest, with only the sound of Leon’s feet crunching on the woodland floor and paths, searching for signs of his objective which eventually lead to what seems to be a ghost town. A fantastic rise that gradually increases the level of apprehension and made me wonder – what the hell is going on? Followed by an all-out attack from multiple sides that totally caught me off guard, it had me running blindly into dead ends, cornering myself inside buildings and generally buzzing and out of breath by the end of the ordeal. A perfect way to set up the tone for the rest of the game – a great balancing act between the franchise’s new input of action based gameplay and their classic horror style.
So there you have it, our top 5 moments of Resident Evil laid bare for you all. Do you agree with them, or are there some other moments in the series that stick in your minds more than the above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section, so let us know below. All that’s left for me to say is thank you to Rebecca for sharing her pearls of Resi wisdom with us, and ask you, the readers, to stay-tuned to WW4G Gaming for more Top 5s coming soon.