Resident Evil 5 Beta (4.5) – Pt. 2

While it might be pretty obvious by looking at the title, this article contains a lot of spoilers for Resident Evil 5.  So if you’re one of those people who still hasn’t gotten around to playing Capcom’s latest entry in the series, turn back now.  Unless that is you want to have the story spoiled.  In that case, take a look at our Resident Evil 4.5 special, which includes Pt. 1 and Pt2.  The story will be ruined to your heart’s content.

A lot of fans were left wanting when it came to Resident Evil 5.  The initial teasers released years before the game was released promised of night-terrors in the middle of the day.  Fear you can’t forget.  Alas, when the release of Resident Evil 5 finally came about, there were more than a few disappointed fans out there.  The bright environments and over-emphasis on action rather than dark and spooky atmosphere really clashed with previous entries in the series.  Many were quick to bash Resident Evil 5 as the worst in the series.  It’s a shame, because Resident Evil 5 had some great potential to it.

As was explored in the Resident Evil 4.5 Pt 1, the original concept for Resident Evil 5 featured an arguably better story than what was finally decided upon, different locales and would have (in hindsight) probably let for a better experience for the player (the fan at least).  We don’t hate Resident Evil 5–we just wish it was more…different.

Be sure to click on the various images for larger ones.

Character Concepts

Chris Redfield

What people immediately notice about Chris Redfield is his enormous biceps.  Almost to the point that they’re ridiculous. There were several different sets of outfits that were supposed to be available for Chris in the concept stage, but most of them were scrapped.  That’s a shame–we really would have enjoyed playing the game in a giant BSAA barrel.  But, it’s got limited effectiveness compared to a cardboard box, that’s for sure.  It’s true that his biceps were supposed to be bigger, but were toned down a bit before the game was released. It’s really hard to tell in the concept images however.  His knife was placed on his back, where it could clearly be seen, as it’s his trademark weapon from the series.

The team had professionals come in to check the location of holsters, suspenders and belts to make sure that Chris Redfield, BSAA looked authentic.  Well, aside from the gigantic arms.  To add to the appearance that he’s suffering from some demons, the team gave him unkempt hair and facial hair.

Sheva Alomar

As was previously mentioned and probably well-known by now, Resident Evil 5 was set to be a single player experience.  During the development time however, the team behind the project decided that Resident Evil 5 was to be a multiplayer game.  Originally to be an NPC, Sheva’s character was upgraded to ‘dependable second-banana.’  It’s no coincidence that she’s African, as the decision to include her as the co-op partner was no doubt related to allegations of racism in the game.  We’re sure that the racism was unintended, but it nonetheless changed the outcome of the game for better or worse.

Yamagata, a character designer for Sheva wanted her to be able to stand out amongst the generally muted colours of the rest of the series’ cast.  Her clothes are bright, and the final colour decided upon for her was lavender.  Obviously, the biggest obstacle for Sheva would be the fact that she’s not Jill, the fan-favourite.  It almost appears as if the design team wanted the rivalry between the two.  This is evident in the original concept drawings, one such notation being that her breasts are smaller than Jill’s.

…Really guys?  Does it even matter?  Her character is supposed to be 23 years old–and how old is Jill?  Whatever.  Sheva’s character blends what gamers (wherever you might be) think of when we think of Africa.  Arm bands, jewelry, blended in with her BSAA military equipment.

The tattoo that Sheva has is Swahili (which a lot of the game’s different names come from) for Hero.  Considering her backstory, it seems quite fitting.

Jill Valentine

The original concept for Jill’s dark-blue Battle-suit was a closed-neck design.  The mind-control device was originally supposed to be placed on her head, right next to her temples.

However, during the development stage, it was suggested that the mind control device be placed on her chest, that way her chest could be open and with a bunch of men on the team do you really need to ask how quickly it was approved?  Nah, didn’t think so.  The tight-fitting Battle Suit is supposed to indicate that she was experimented on while she was being held captive by Wesker.  There’s no explanation of why they chose her bird-like costume before her final (and expected) reveal.

Yamaogata states that he accentuated features already present in the game.  Raccoon-like features.  This equates to having big, round eyes, a large nose and pouty lips.  Maybe that’s also why she appears to have dark rings around her eyes in the game, too?

Excella Gionne

Imagine if Apple was secretly making bio-weapons and inserting them into iPods.  Steve Jobs would be the real-world equivalent of Excella.  Her final concept, that is.  The original concept was for her to be a secretary (or super-close assistant) to a male CEO.  The original idea was for her to operate covertly with Wesker, but along the way, the sexy secretary M.O was dropped and she became a celebrity-like CEO of Tricell’s Africa Division.

Her wardrobe didn’t change a whole lot between the transformation though.  Even as a secretary, she was always imagined as outgoing and suave–a celebrity type. Original concepts had her with a pink-coloured mini-skirt with several open buttons.  The team experimented with different hairstyles, long, short, and done up.  One image shows the final character with her hair either up or down.  She always hangs onto the gaudy jewelry however…

Ricardo Irving

Despite the rotten treatment his character got in the game, the development team expressed a real love for Ricardo Irving.  And really, with how things turned out for him, you can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for him.  A villain who can’t quite seem to get things right.   His initial concepts reflect that, some images even showing him with a black eye (from being beaten up by lesser thugs we presume).  Some of his speech in the final game reflect that he gets the ball rolling and keeps the funds rolling in, but nobody really respects him.  A business-man with standards.

Original concepts include him in a dark suit, as sort of a Mafia-thug.  That is before he made his final transition to Hawaiian wear.  And also before being turned into a massive BOW.  It was always the intention to have him turn into a BOW–several concepts were thrown around indicating that he might have been experimented on as well–but the end design showed him taking the shot of his own free will.

One of the more interesting concept images, as it was done before the Urobros design was finalized–Irving, after overdosing on the drug, transforms into a hulking beast, not unlike what Steve Burnside turned into in RE: Code Veronica.

Enemy Concepts

The Executioner

Originally, what turned out to be the Chainsaw Majini was supposed to be The Executioner.  However, a skinny-guy like the Chainsaw Majini just wouldn’t do swinging around a gigantic axe.  A gigantic Majini that towers over the player, several different designs were used before they set on something specific.

Initial designs appear to resemble the tyrant-like boss in the Lost in Nightmares DLC, and it’s probably where they got the idea for that enemy from.  Each piece of concept art is of a partially or fully masked individual, and artists toyed around with different ways to show that The Executioner could torture himself.  They experimented with knives, bars, meat-cleavers and butcher’s knives before finally deciding on having a bunch of nails hammered into his head.  Ouch.

Uroboros

The gist of Uroboros design is that it takes over the host body and sprouts a bunch of dark tentacles.  According to Fukui of the development team, Urobros (or Wriggles as he’s affectionately called amongst the crew) was the most difficult to model and animate.  Apparently the technology that was used for Uroboros is so new, that the team is working on getting a patent on it.  Nice.

The virus grows in the core chest area of the body–you can see this on several victims when they’re being infected.  Their skin develops dark patches, and the intention of the artist here was to show that Urobros was destroying its host from the inside out.  The virus coarses through the body just underneath the skin before finally breaking out.

Lastly, if you’ve ever taken a really good look at this monstrocity in-game, you’ll notice that there are still some human remains left in-tact.  Well, almost.  The top of the skull and lower-jaw can generally be seen in the Uroboros Mkono battle in the Experimental Facility.  Most people might think of the lesser Urorboros-monsters to be pretty tame, but seeing a lower jaw in your face after a quick-turn tends to be a pretty big gross-out.  If you’ve never seen it in-game, the picture here demonstrates.

Adjule

Adjule were brought into the game when it was originally supposed to feature zombies.  The team went through several different models for the dogs that attack Chris and Sheva throughout the game.  One of the initial designs was to go with the Doberman style of earlier games.  Probably would have been a better idea, too–there’s something just so adorable about a dog with big, floppy ears.  Especially a shaggy dog!  More African elements were thrown into the mix as well–in the end product, there are a few hyenas that have been infected.  Another design was based off of a Rottweiler (not shown).

As we can see in the images, several different styles of skin-texture were used to produce the most frightening image.  We still prefer the classic Cerberus style Doberman.  They look mean enough without having their flesh falling off.

Licker Beta

One of Resident Evil’s oldest and most iconic enemies makes an appearance in Resident Evil 5.  The original Licker (in RE-lore) was a convict who’d had his eyes removed and had been experimented on–the result being the Licker cannot see, but has an advanced sense of hearing.  The Licker Betas of RE5 really have come a long way from the Lickers of RE2.  Several concept designs exist for the Lickers in RE5, some of them show black eyes on the front of the head, others no eyes at all.

Several show clawed Lickers and crested Lickers, others show Lickers with no claws at all.  The team experimented with many different styles with many different attack styles and gimmicks.  Anpo was going to remove the claws all together, but aside from its tongue, the Licker’s trademark feature would have to be its gigantic claws.  They were thrown back in, but ideas floated around on how to best put them back into the game instead of on its fingers.

Some images show claws on its chest, others on its back, in Reaper-style stances.  There’s one image that we don’t quite know what to make of…it almost appears like a mix of a Hunter and Licker with a horrible underbite.

Wesker

Wesker’s human appearance hasn’t much changed from previous entries in the series.  The design of his clothing was apparently sci-fi inspired, being able to reflect small shrapnel yet being light-enough to actually wear all the time.  With how fast he moves, not that he’d really need his clothing to be all that protective…hmm.  He’s not bulging out of his suit because the virus was what gave him his strength, not pure boulder-crushing workouts.  Out of the entire cast, he is the one who appears to have changed the least in this iteration.

The sketch here was created when the team was playing around with the idea that Uroboros could be controlled by its host, and not the other way around.  It was always clear that Wesker’s consciousness would still permeate through, which was why he wasn’t turned into a creature entirely.   It could be theorized that it’s due to his altered genes.  It wasn’t until later, when the game became co-op that the metal shards from the Uroboros missile were thrown in for good measure.

Like in the previous post, the images and information are referenced from The Art of Resident Evil.  All images are copyright of Capcom–RoH does not make claim to any ownership thereof.  If you really want to learn more about the art behind Resident Evil 5, and all the cool stuff that the team had planned, you can pick up the book (or order it, rather) through Amazon. It’s a really interesting read and is sure to satisfy any hardcore Resident Evil fan.

   
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COMMENTS

  • MWH

    good information, thanks for the effort.

  • chaoskid225

    wow awsome info

  • Citizensnips

    Great to see the concept art

  • Elyssa

    hahaha, barrel chris..

  • Sam

    These two articles are very comprehensive and well done. It was great to learn this much about the developement process of RE5. Since you seem to have done your homework about the history of the game, I wanted to asked you about a thing I heard.

    A friend told me that in a very early concept of the game, the plot wasn’t even about Chris searching for Jill, but about Chris and Claire searching for Sherry. Do you know if this is true?

    • Thanks, Sam! As for your question, I’m not entirely sure about aalll of their scrapped ideas, because there were certainly a lot of them. Initially, the game was supposed to be just single-player and a lot of the artwork reflects that, but then there are a lot of secondary character placeholders, too, some for Sheva and some for Jill, depending where in the production they were. There are a few key concept images of Chris finding and resuscitating Jill and the two of them working together, ‘and’ working with Sheva. But nowhere in the images that we saw did we see Claire, and it wasn’t referenced in any of the material we looked through. But perhaps they just purposely tried to cover it up because it was so early in the game’s production? In the book “The Art of Resident Evil 5″ they pretty much skipped over the fact that there was any racial controversy in the game at all, and we all know that happened.”

      That would definitely be interesting, though, and it would end the RE tradition of using a character one time and then sentencing them to the abyss. I’m definitely one of the people that would like to see what happened to Sherry brought up in game.

  • Sam

    Thank you for answering so fast, I actually tought I would wait a few more days. I’m kind of new to the site, but I’m thrilled by the style of writing and the atmosphere around here. Add to this that the writers keep close contact with the readers, I think i’ll stick around.

    I totally agree with you in the fact that Capcom have this habit of “one use characters.” It would be great to see what’s going one with Sherry now that she should have grown up, and also Claire and Leon. The last new chapter I saw of them was in Degeneration, and that wasn’t even a game. I really hope Resident Evil 6 continue their story, we’ll have to wait and see what Capcom has to say about that…

  • The biceps of Chris were not ridiculous, he became a bodybuilder but with exegerate biceps. The only ridiculous things in RE5 were Wesker (and finally is dead) and the fact that it was the same to the crap RE4…no terror, no horror, no agony, no fear..no zombies, but in oppose to RE4, the 5th had a nice story and plot and some puzzles. I bought it because of Chris because they made him gorgeous, in RE6 he is even greater! And abou the barrel costume…You would be the only one who would enjoy to play with this crap in this game. The barrel costume would be perfect for Wesker to hide his skinny body and his ugly face. Chris was, is and will be the Resident Evil, Capcom respect him and love him and thats why they make him gorgeous each game! ^.^

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