Everything We Know About The Resident Evil 7 Demo So Far
What a week this has been.
With Monday’s announcement of Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, and the subsequent demo releasing on PS4, we’ve had our hands full with new info exploding from every corner of the internet. The demo itself is worth a thousand words, as fans the world over are working together to try and solve the greater mystery behind it, if there even is one. I’ve done some digging, and I’ve put together a list of everything that’s been discovered about the demo thus far- anything from what may be glitches, to positive leads, to maybe just giving up altogether. It’s all over the place right now, and there really isn’t any way of knowing which track is the right one to be on (if any of them are).
To start off with, here’s what we know for sure about the demo, and the endings that have been discovered so far:
1.Ending A, in which you wake up, collect the Bolt Cutters, collect the VHS tape and watch it, unlock the secret passage, collect the back door key, get “Family’d” as the internet is putting it (the game’s game over state, in which the presumably infected owner of the house, Jack Baker, giggles, says “Welcome to the Family, son”, and punches your lights out.
2.Ending B, in which you open the secret passage before watching the VHS tape, collecting the Fuse, using the Fuse to open up the third floor, answering the telephone, and getting “family’d” afterwards- the only notable difference is that Jack, the “Family Man”, doesn’t giggle before saying his line.
3.You can collect a Dummy Finger almost immediately after exiting the starting room (with the TV in it), but there is currently no known use for it. It is described as being made of Celluloid when examining it, and it appears to have a black substance on the tip, but whether this has any greater meaning or purpose is unknown). There are three inaccessible doors inside the house, two are boarded up, and a third with a broken knob, and the knob appears to have the same black residue on it that the Dummy Finger has.
4.In the “VHS world”, you can pick up a lockpick and unlock a drawer in the kitchen- when back in the “present”, you will now find the drawer unlocked, with a small axe inside of it. This axe will then be automatically equipped as a weapon and can be swung around and aimed as such with L2 and R2. You can also find a pair of either headphones on the table on the second floor in the “VHS world”, although you cannot interact with them.
5.There are multiple lines of dialogue that can be heard when answering the third-floor telephone. They all begin with a woman saying “I know who you are”, and the player character responding “Who are you?” After that, there are three possible answers from the woman on the other end of the line: “Memories hold the truth. Don’t let appearances mislead you.”, “You will have to say goodbye eventually. But will you be ready?”, and finally, “You have the power to choose. But the outcome of that choice, may not be what you expect.”.
6.There are a number of things that can be interacted with, but they seem to have no purpose other than to give us more to do: the fridge in the kitchen can be opened and closed, the microwave in the kitchen can be opened and closed, the pot on the kitchen table can have it’s lid taken off, and the drawer next to the one that the axe spawns in can be opened- but it’s empty.
7.There are seven appearances of a “ghost girl” in the “VHS world”, who appears and disappears almost instantly in seven different locations: Just outside the house before entering, just inside the house, hanging upside-down above the doorway to the entry hall, standing outside the window in the kitchen, on the stairs leading up to the third floor, in the room under the stairs leading to the third floor, and finally, watching you descend the ladder to the basement. It is unknown what exactly triggers her appearances, and if there is any concrete way of seeing her all seven times in one run-through of the “VHS world”.
After that, it’s sort of the wild west. There’s a million and one theories, clues, you name it. Nothing else from this point on is 100% concrete. There are a number of things that have been noticed about the demo as well that may or may not have any significance at all, mostly having to do with the number seven. It is Resident Evil 7 after all, and the number shows up all over the demo. The two boarded up doors (one on the first floor, in the room below the stairs, and one on the third floor, in the hallway past the Telephone room) are boarded up with seven boards apiece. There are seven voodoo dolls hanging in the room under the stairs, the number seven is written near the TV, and even Pete, the weekend sub, says variations of fuck and fucking seven times. It’s probably nothing more than having fun with the fact that the game is RE7, but still.
Fans have played the crap out of this demo- which is indeed a demo and is likely to have bugs and other issues since it’s not representative of the final game, and several have already been discovered- although the answers these bugs give us are interesting. The most “bug” like ones are that several objects that can be moved around (the kitchen chairs, boxes, all but the three mannequins on the second floor), but will de-spawn after a short period of time or when trying to move them into the TV room. I even tried dragging a chair all the way into the TV room, only to have it disappear once I got it through the door. Someone actually managed to get through the back door due to a bug- although what they found was incredibly telling.
As you can see, there’s nothing outside. Just a very flat treeline texture, as well as just enough of the exterior of the house is modelled that you can see it when you crack open the door during ending A. So, yeah, we aren’t meant to escape through this door. It’s clearly only had the most basic work done and was never meant to be seen by the player. There is no way to escape through the back door. Now the thing that’s most interesting about this is what it means for another bug that was discovered in regards to the third floor boarded door. A player made it up to the third floor and, amazingly, the door behind the boards hadn’t spawned yet, allowing him to see beyond.
Unlike the back door area, this room has been fully designed, with lighting and high-quality textures. We are meant to be in this room at some point. You might wonder why the room also seems to have nothing in it, no clutter or objects in general besides the walls, floor and ceiling. Considering that a bug allowed us to see into this room, most likely anything in there wouldn’t have spawned yet. Opening the boarded door, or finding some other way in, may be the only way to trigger these objects spawning. The other thing that gives credence to the idea that we must be able to find a way in is that the trailer and E3 presentation show this room. There’s a very, very brief shot of the Family Man throwing us to the ground, and stomping on us– which may be another game over screen.
Next, some avid fans have created a map, detailing (as close as they can) what the layout of the Resident Evil 7 demo’s house is like on the inside, based on the rooms we have access to (the room behind the boarded door is not included). This map shows where everything is placed (the axe, finger, etc.).
The thing that’s interesting about this is that, well… the map makes no sense. Considering how tiny the second floor would appear to be, the third floor seemingly floats in the air above the first floor. Another user on Reddit mashed the three floors together, and the layout fits together almost perfectly in every other way, meaning that either the devs just didn’t care- or there’s a considerable amount left to be explored.
There’s a theory going around that the Family Man, as well as the Ghost Girl, are in no way supernatural (something that Capcom’s own comments would seem to support, stating that they understand why it would seem that way, but that the actual story is much more Resident Evil in origin. There’s a reason the game’ subtitle is Biohazard in the west), and are in fact getting around the house via secret passageways. We already know about one of these, the small crawlspace where we can descend into the basement in the “VHS world” and get the Fuse/Key in the “present”. This is why the Family Man and Ghost Girl seem to appear and disappear from sight instantly, they’re ducking away into these secret passageways, which may be anywhere, in the walls, floor, or even the ceiling (as the falling doll, right where Ending A happens, would suggest). If this is the case, it could explain the huge gap in between the first and third floor- it’s a whole area just for the Family Man and Ghost Girl to spy on us, play with us, keep us in line. This is the sort of twisted cat-and-mouse game you’d see in one of the Saw films, or actual history with the infamous Murder Castle built by H.H. Holmes.
Now, with all that in mind, let’s scale back a bit and remember that this is just a demo, and it’s a demo that has had hundreds, maybe thousands of hours played since it was released all over the world last Monday night. With all of this information supporting the possibility that there may be more to uncover- we have to also play devil’s advocate and talk about what might not be going on. NeoGAF user Futaba layed out a pretty detailed explanation of why they don’t think there’s anything more to find. Simply put, we’ve tried everything. Every possible combination, every possible way of going through the demo, everything everything everything. While there are a lot of unanswered questions in the demo, mostly surrounding the finger and the axe, as well as the boarded up door, it seems incredible that no-one has found an answer in the five days since it released. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Silent Hills Playable Teaser, or P.T., was solved in under 24 hours. Now, P.T. was a very different beast, as well as having been solved by accident during a live stream. The actual way to complete P.T. wasn’t discovered and locked down until weeks later. It’s possible that Capcom wanted to very deliberately avoid the same outcome, and made the puzzle ten times as complex, although that said, it’s worth noting that Capcom has gone on record as saying that P.T. is not an inspiration for Resident Evil 7, and development began before that game ever came out.
Now, one possibility that could answer both questions: 1. is it possible to beat, and, if not, 2. what’s with all the useless stuff then? There may be a chance that the demo will receive an update of some kind, or perhaps even a second part released later on. The demo has been confirmed to be coming to other platforms at some point, perhaps it will be a full version of it with all the pieces in place to solve it, or maybe even just a second demo that continues from where this one left off. There’s actually a few things that support this idea.
First of all, Resident Evil 6 had two demos. One was exclusive to people who purchased a copy of Dragon’s Dogma, and a second one was released a few months later for everybody. They were two completely seperate demos, and from two completely different sections of the final game. Now, Resident Evil 6 is pretty much nothing like Resident Evil 7, and those demos where actually from the final game, whereas RE7‘s demo is not. But it’s a possibility that Capcom may repeat something similar. The “Begining Hour” demo may be something special, just for PlayStation Plus subscribers, and a second demo will be released later, completing the story for PS4 PS+ users, as well as everyone else. Capcom has also gone on record as saying that this demo was designed just to showcase that horror was back, and that RE7 is going to be scary. It does not showcase much more than that, with very little item management, no combat, and no other items that are already confirmed to be in the final game, such as herbs.
What if this potential second demo, or continuation of the first, is actually showcasing everything else? The first trailer for Resident Evil 7 showcases footage almost exclusively from this demo, and ends with a few shots that are either built just for the trailer, or are from the main game. The trailer is also interesting titled “Tape 1: Desolation.” Now with that in mind, it would seem obvious that the next trailer will have a similar title, and considering how much of the current trailer relates to the demo, and not the final game, there are two possibilities for the second trailer. It will be all from the main game- or it will link to a second demo. On top of all of that, the Live From PlayStation app actually refers to it as Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Demo 1. That could be nothing, but it’s interesting never the less.
No matter what the real answer is, I’m absolutely blown away by the information we have so far- the demo was amazing and frightening to go through, and I’m anxious to find out more. Hopefully real answers are on their way soon.