Resident Evil celebrates its 16th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Resident Evil!

It was on this very day 16 years ago that you gave us an experience that would go on to take the gaming world by storm. Your success was so profound that you made the survival horror genre mainstream, ultimately leading up to one of the most successful franchises in video games, with a multimedia presence that’s just as strong. And it all started with the mansion incident.

While the game’s REmake may be preferred by most fans, the original really should be just as loved. Personally, I love the original more than I do the coveted REmake. Call me crazy, but I just truly adore going back to it and replaying the nightmare in all its visually dated and cheesy glory over and over in between big game releases, and even more so during those drought periods (along with the other PS1 Resident Evil titles). The game holds a special place in my heart, though I do regret not getting into the series with it…

I remember the weeks I spent desperately tracking down a brand new copy of the Director’s Cut version of the game. I had already beaten the holy blue hell out of Resident Evils 2 and 3 and my youthful body was ready to play the one that started it all. But I didn’t want to settle for a used copy (I guess I’m picky like that), so it took me quite a while before I would finally get my hands on a factory-sealed copy after going to more than a dozen different GameStop locations.

So the game was mine and it was time to crack that sucker open and take its virginity! You know what I mean…After spending hours with the game–with some frequent breaks in between because of my juvenile self being afraid of certain parts (damn dogs!)–over several days, I made it to the end with Ms. Valentine and I conquered the mighty Tyrant! Now I have him as a trophy next to my bed. Did I enjoy it more than Resident Evil 2? No. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t as good an experience, and a scarier one at that (Resident Evil 2 saw a subtle boost in action).

The original is still a masterpiece in my eyes, with all its cheesy lines of dialogue and questionable story beats. Something about being trapped in an eerie mansion littered with the undead and other nightmarish creatures just greatly appeals to me. I love the characters, with Jill, Chris, and Wesker going on to become central figures in the series, and poor Barry keeping Billy company in Hotel Obscurity (bring Barry back, Capcom!). I also love the overall B-movie plot, with all its creepiness and disturbing expository content by way of memorable files and diaries (itchy tasty!) . Basically, when I think of survival horror, this is the first game that comes to mind, even after all this time.

Survival horror nowadays isn’t the beast it used to be, with the exception of some titles that manage to not lose sight of what made the genre popular in the first place. So it’s heartwarming to know that we can always go back to the original Resident Evil after all these years to relive our first trip into the world of survival horror. It’s a timeless classic, and will continue to be for the next 16 years!

Now it’s your turn. Share your own memories of the original game in the comments below! Will you be playing the game tonight to celebrate the occasion?

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  • merzitar

    Happy Birthday, Resident Evil! It doesn’t seem as though it has already been a year since Resident Evil 4 HD and Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD was first announced. I’ve been a huge fan of Resident Evil ever since I played Director’s Cut when I was seven-years-old. I’d also like to add that I prefer the original/Director’s Cut to the Remake… even though I still love the Remake to death (Xbox LIVE HD version, where are you?)

  • Benjamin May

    Can’t play Resident Evil tonight, since I need to be up early tomorrow. Tomorrow night (23rd) I shall be playing!

    My brother bought the very first release of Resident Evil (UK edition) from the airport, since we were going on holiday to Spain on the day it was released. So, he had to spend the whole holiday looking at the case, looking forwards to getting back home and getting stuck in. When I finally got a chance to have a go – I loved it! Loved the mansion setting and the spooky music. Even the sound it made when you chose your character was really creepy. I didn’t have a PlayStation though, so there was no point getting it for myself.

    I finally saved the money to get a console – and I finally got – a Sega Saturn! Don’t ask me why I did it – I was fucking crazy! I did get Resident Evil with it though, and so I was probably one of the few people who actually played the Sega Saturn version (with the Hunter variations and zombie Wesker in the battle game) all the way through.

    Still, a week later, I realised the Sega Saturn was dog-shit compared to the PlayStation, so I took the thing back to electronics boutique and paid the small extra amount of money needed to get a PlayStation. Couldn’t afford any games with it, so I just played the demos and my brother’s copy of Resident Evil.

    Then, I heard about the Director’s Cut being released, so it seemed more sensible to hold out for that release. Were were promised a colour intro and uncensored footage. They did not appear in the UK, but it was still fantastic to finally have my own copy of Resident Evil – at last! To have option of new camera angles and costumes was just pure bliss! My brother had long since lost the enthusiasm for Resident Evil as other games took his interest.

    As for me, I dread to think how many times I played and replayed that demo of Resident Evil 2 that came with the game during the long, torturous wait for the full game of Resident Evil 2 to finally emerge.

    I do prefer the Remake of Resident Evil, but I will never forget the impact the original version had on me, and I still play the original version as well as the REmake. It pretty much depends on what sort of a mood I’m in.

    Happy sixteenth birthday, RESIDENT EVIL!

  • StuntmanSnake

    Happy birthday Resident Evil!

  • First became aware of Resident Evil when a commercial for RE3 came on late at night during an episode of Mad TV. The Commercial came on and it showed the R.P.D. rushing the streets of Raccoon City and then a shot of the Nemesis. It was only 30 seconds long but from first glance I knew I had to play that game.

    Sadly I had no Playstation at the time and had to wait for a long time to ever play any Resident Evil. Luckily I was able to win one for Free at a School Raffle. It came with some crummy Pinball game. But I had my money Saved up and I knew what I was after any Resident Evil game could get my crummy little hands on.

    Up to that point I had only played RE2 on the N64 (played it untill the cartridge got steaming hot) . But when I went to go buy the first game at Toys R’ Us all they had was RE3. Well I wasn’t going to leave empty handed so I got Nemesis the game that had sparked my interest all that time ago.

    Finally after beating RE3 numerous times I was able to track down a copy of The Directors cut. RE3 may be my favorite in the series (I know everyone’s is always 2) But the original has always been the game that freaked me out. I never actually beat my original game that I started all those years ago. Mostly because the thing freaked me out soo much. I think it was the music that did it more than anything. Granted I have gone back and beat it on many occasions weither it be on the DS or the PS1. The first game is still the most atmospheric in the entire series.

    Recently I was able to track down a copy of the Original long box copy of the game. Now that version truly is scary from the music to the lack of any ammo or health itmes.

    These games are truly awesome and no matter how much they change I will always go and buy the next installment. no matter how bad or amazing they are.

    Happy 16th! RE

  • Sherman hakim

    happy birthday resident evil, many thanks to shinji mikami and his team

  • Kaine

    *Pats Resident Evil on the butt*

    Hey, happy birthday, kid. *Winks*

  • No happy birthday here. RE is dead. It is not scary and never will be any more….It died after RE4. R.I.P Resident Evil 1996-2005. Fanboy hating comments below.

  • Elyssa

    Happy belated birthday Resident Evil!


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