Resident Evil 6: Remembering the Past

Whatever the details are, there is one thing that cannot be disputed at this time. Resident Evil 6 is at the top of the pile in terms of media attention. The highly anticipated next installment in Capcom’s increasingly successful franchise is on the way, and much sooner than anybody would have guessed.

The debut trailer for RE6 which can be seen below, depicts many things which throw both newcomers as well as classic fans into a barrage of questions as well as heated debates. When it comes to the world of Resident Evil, most belong to one of two groups. They either have been with the franchise since the beginning era, or they came over in the massive overhaul Capcom brought to us with the widely loved RE4 which released on Gamecube and later on the PS2 and Wii.

There has since been what I personally refer to as a “civil war.” While there surely are those who love the franchise from beginning to end, there are definitely two defined groups representing both classic and modern styles that believe the series is better directed to their side of the proverbial coin. We here at ROH felt it would be a great time to address some of the possibilities in RE6 based on classic story elements that the new Resident Evil fans may not be aware of, and perhaps caught off guard. So come along and let us discuss what comes to mind.

So here is a bit of information on things we feel the fans should know while heading into RE6. From possibilities to directly effect RE6, to general knowledge of the past that isn’t widely known to anybody but the long time fans.

Sherry Birkin

Appeared in: RE2, Darkside Chronicles, RE3 (Epilogue Only), RE6(?)

Daughter of the brilliant scientist William Birkin, Sherry was subject to a lonely childhood. Being alienated with her mother and with her father being so enveloped in Umbrella’s best interest, viral experimentation. That was only the beginning of her struggles.

Sherry was stuck right in the middle of the Raccoon City outbreak in 1998, at the age of 12. During the “ClaireA” and “LeonB” scenarios of RE2, Sherry was actually hunted down by her mutating father who released into her body an embryo with the purpose of creating a G-Virus offspring. This was possible because her and William were compatible on a cellular level because of their direct blood relation. She was eventually vaccinated.

Sherry was reported to have been taken into government custody after RE2. We later see in “The Wesker Report”, what would seem to be that Wesker may have been behind it or made a move to obtain her at one point as he claimed she “is in our hands.” She has been one of the most highly demanded characters to return as the fans want continuity or closure.

Why we need to know:

In the RE6 trailer. We see a blonde woman whose identity is currently– officially– unknown. While some people claim to have sources, there has been no official word of any form. One of the more notable debates happening right now is centered around the identity of this woman. Many people are claiming she is Ashley Graham, many of which have no idea who Sherry Birkin is. And, of course, many are in anticipation while maintaining hope that this is indeed Sherry. It is anybody’s guess as to who this is and while I have my own opinion, we are all waiting to know.

Speaking under the possibility that it may be Sherry, we need to know what it could mean to Resident Evil 6. There is a high possibility that with Sherry’s past with RE2 and the G-Virus, as well as being in Wesker’s web of tactic; Sherry may be infected on some extremely minor level. Although the G-Virus was “vaccinated”, who is to say there is no possibility of the virus’ genetic material still laying dormant within her body? The government agent who speaks to Leon in Darkside Chronicles, claims she does indeed still carry a remnant of some sort. Even the vaccine has the make of what to attack, thus giving a blueprint for the G-Virus. Also, Wesker himself said “I would never underestimate Birkin, there is something about this girl” when speaking of Sherry. Who’s to say the G-Virus, or another viral candidate wasn’t given to her beforehand by William, or later on with Wesker? All it takes is one cell to infect a host.

Plot-wise, Sherry can still retain information that can be important to the franchise. Again laying back on the fact that she is who she is. Being the daughter of two key figures of Umbrella, victim and witness to the outbreak, holder of knowledge about wherever she was captive/victim to Wesker, presumably. This could lead into RE6 in a variety of different ways if it is indeed her. She could be free, actively fighting in the cause against the viral superpowers, be under influence and following another person’s ambitions or even an unwilling victim caught in another nightmare while trying to escape her past which keeps catching up to her.



Just some eye colour comparison for debate. Looks like the unidentified female has blue eyes. Ashley clearly has brownish eyes. Sherry’s look blue also.

Steve Burnside

Appeared in: RE:CV/X, Darkside Chronicles.

Steve Burnside is a troubled young man who was a prisoner on Rockfort Island as a result of his father being exposed for selling Umbrella’s secrets while an employee. His mother was also killed because of these actions. During the attack on Rockfort Island by H.C.F., Steve escaped. Unfortunately, so did the T-Virus.

Steve soon met up with Claire Redfield who was also freshly sprung by the generous Rodigo Juan Raval. They met up and struggled together through Rockfort Island and ultimately ended up in Antarctica where Steve met his ultimate fate at the hands of Alexia Ashford and the T-Veronica Virus. He spouted one last breath to tell Claire he loved her, then he met his demise.

Why we need to know:

With the end of RE:CVX, we are faced with a showdown between Chris and Wesker. Before the face-off commences, Wesker expresses that he is no longer concerned with Alexia being dead, because he now has Steve to work with. He even taunts the possibility of Steve being revived and able to see Claire once again.

This has always caused debate in the RE universe. With “Operation Javier” taking place in 2002, Wesker is said to have a sample of the T-Veronica that he had taken from Steve’s body for Manuela Hidalgo. This is about four years after Steve apparently died. Now there are certainly many different factors that can come into play. And the term “Steve’s Corpse” has been thrown around a lot. But with no 100% confirmation of his final fate, one can assume it wouldn’t be hard to bring him back. The viruses in the RE universe have quite a tendency to make the dead walk.

Other theories that have been thrown around are the possibilities that Steve is either “the mercenary” or the big monster in the RE6 trailer chasing that same mercenary. Many of these people also believing the blonde woman is also Sherry since both would have some sort of entanglement. Afterall, they were both part of Wesker’s web. They likely met at one point in time if they were captive in the same facility/area that we have not seen yet. The theory for “the big monster” is based on the blonde woman primarily being Sherry, and the very present hair on the enemy. The Mercenary theory actually has more of a evidential approach with what would seem to be the same hair colour, facial marking and somewhat same facial structure.

One thing is for sure. If the sample itself can survive that long and be intact, Steve’s return at some point is certainly a possibility.

Barry Burton

Appeared in: RE1, RE3(ending)

Barry Burton was one of the three reported surviving members of the STARS Alpha team that entered the mansion. He was an unwilling Judas in setting up Wesker’s game to kill the Alpha team and gain BOW test Data. Wesker had used the lives of his wife and two daughters against him to do this. Following the mansion incident, Barry took his family and left to Canada to ensure their safety the best he could. He then left to assist his comrades.

Why we need to know:

Barry has been one of the most requested characters since RE1. Making a cameo in RE3 and various mercenaries game modes are still not enough to quench the thirst of his fans. While Capcom has told us that they have not forgotten Barry, we still have yet to see him front and center. A recent post on “NoHopeLeft.com” got people talking. There is no knowledge as to whether or not this was a fan, or rather a clue to his return.

Billy Coen and Rebecca Chambers

Appeared in: RE Zero, Umbrella Chronicles, RE1(Rebecca only).

Two characters that newer fans of the RE franchise have more than a minimal chance of never hearing of. Billy and Rebecca were central figures in the events before the mansion incident in RE:Zero. Billy was on the run as after he escaped his transfer on his way to a death sentence via court martial. Rebecca was the sole survivor of the STARS Bravo team by the time the mansion incident ends. These two accomplished very much and uncovered secrets of Umbrella’s origin. They were exposed to a lot of information and can contribute to the series’ plot and fans would much welcome their stories to be continued.

Why we need to know:

These two characters are simply beloved. Most people sense it is only a matter of time before we see one or both of them. Billy is rumoured to be the mysterious shadowed man in the “RE: Damnation” trailer. And Rebecca has no remaining story elements at all. With such a strong fanbase, new fans should go back and experience what these two went through. It may serve them very well in the future.

Ada Wong

Appeared in: RE2, Umbrella Chronicles, Darkside Chronicles, RE4.

Ada is no stranger to either new or old Resident Evil fans. She needs little pointed out to make her presence felt all over the RE franchise.

Why we need to know:

Although Ada’s past is shadowed in darkness, we are aware of enough information to know that she is a force of ambition. She has yet to fail her primary objective, despite the direct intervention of many formidable foes and worthy RE characters. Krauser was an elite character in the RE franchise and she dispatched him with ease and grace. Combined with her ties to “The Organization,” everything comes together into one gigantic character.

Friend, or foe? Both? Her true ambitions give a sense that they yet have to be unveiled. But rest assured, when they do, she will likely have already won the battle. Her activities before the outbreak involved infiltrating umbrella’s intelligence circle through John Clemens. In the outbreak, she was tasked with obtaining the G-Virus and did not disappoint. In RE4, fate would have Ada achieve her goal once again. Successfully deceiving everybody who trusted her and escaping with the Plagas sample. There was however, a very distinct feeling of emotional attraction to Leon, during the outbreak. A kiss was shared as well as some caring words. We could see this come to light again since Ada and Leon have yet to meet under any circumstances warranting much discussion between the two. RE6 looks to be no different, but these two will no doubt find some closure at one point. Good or bad? Only time will tell.

Viral Origins

It is important to know the potential viruses that could be returning in RE6. From the trailer, there is evidence to at least consider two or more of the previous viruses could be returning. These go hand and hand with panic, outbreak and top of the line suspense. Whichever virus we see will have to have an original distribution into the new environment and create new plot devices or deepen our character cast further.

Why we need to know:

Viruses are the heart of Resident Evil. With every game we get, there are outbreaks, catalysts and reasons to pay attention. The history of the T-Virus actually began with the Progentitor virus. The Progenitor virus was a very difficult thing to obtain in the first place. Coming from a flower, the Progenitor virus was only produced in a biological harmony between the flower and a certain surrounding environment. Otherwise, it could not be produced and lead nowhere. After being extracted successfully, Marcus then combined the Progenitor virus with leech DNA and the T-Virus was created. With Birkin and Wesker both present for his death via assassination, Birkin assumed research and all credit for the T-Virus and continued its research. The G-Virus was the pet project of William Birkin.

The G-virus was widely regarded as the ultimate biological weapon with the ability to create superior offspring with compatible DNA. The T-Veronica virus is a strain of the Progenitor virus that a young Alexia successfully combined with the DNA of an ancient queen ant containing what is called the “Ancient virus.” Alexia achieved complete assimilation without uncontrollable mutation by going into a controlled state of sleep within a hibernation capsule for nearly 15 years. What emerged was something as deadly as any foe, with complete mental control by Alexia and her will.

It is important to everything about these viruses and their origins to understand what is to come. Check these links to the RE wiki below for the most in-depth information.

Tyrant Virus (T-Virus)
G-Virus
T-Veronica Virus

Atmosphere

In the beginning, Resident Evil changed the way we look at video games by defining the genre of “Survival Horror.” It has since gone on quite a ride.

Why we need to know:

One thing that differs in Resident evil with each subsequent title is the atmosphere. Even through the classic installments, the compact feel changed into many other things.

The RE1 mansion created an atmosphere that took the world by storm. The closed-in exposure to monsters and surprises lurking through every door, made it a sure adrenaline pumper and had everybody on edge. Little room meant little time to react, every encounter was a critical one and any monster has more than enough capability to end your game. Moody music and a solitary feel really heightened the emotions of the players and put everybody on edge. RE1 relied more on this than an in-depth plot and did a great job executing that. Many were scared and thrilled. This kept us all coming back for what turned out to be a sequel which has stood the test of time with ease.

Resident Evil 2 took everything we had in the first game, and at least doubled it. Moving from a solitary mansion to having an entire city to chew through in what proved to be a masterpiece of a game. Primary available scenarios doubled, having two variations of each character’s experiences. Extra bonus scenarios were added. Great CG inclusions as well. Hell, there were even double the viruses in RE2.

Everything was ramped up and while we all retained the dim feeling of hopelessness, it wasn’t so much of a horror title as the pioneer which was RE1. Bigger spaces, epic cut-scenes escalating in size. It was the horror genre, taken one step up into an epic survival thriller. Widely regarded as the best installment in the series to date. Entire groups of fans (including myself) are ambitiously awaiting the day that Capcom decides to remake this game after seeing how amazing the original RE1 remake was. It is a flame that will never die.

Many people believe that the essence of RE2 will be the game most resembling to RE6. With the trailer hinting at both horror and action, RE2 was a game to combine both in a very natural fashion. The fundamental elements of a widespread outbreak are something that new RE fans are likely not to know anything about. Sure, we shot down Ganado and Majini in RE4 and RE5. But there are feelings of what can only conjure the word “frantic” in a massive viral outbreak. RE2 and RE3 captured this perfectly right from the start. There were next to no survivors in the sea of viral mutations that were bombarding the city.

It’s one thing to strategically eliminate a Ganado with a series of precise shots, but what if you weren’t given the time to make these shots? What if a door opened and a crowd of zombies are to be taken on all at once? A sudden feeling of fear and the need to run is what comes to mind. Many CG depictions through classic RE games had many of the helpless victims of Raccoon city and beyond, struggling to live through the first hours of the outbreak. It is very overwhelming to think that even a single person could escape the city. With RE6 coming faster than we could ever have anticipated, a blend of horror and action are expected. RE2 remains one of the few titles to successfully pull this off in the market of today. Which lead Capcom to follow it up with something that did so in a more direct way.

RE3 took what RE2 did and hyped up the progressive feel. Combining area movement with the newly constructed atmosphere of near death as the Nemesis hunted you. Every door was no longer a safe haven as the Nemesis could follow you through them. You never felt safe and often jumped off the couch while running for a door with the Nemesis closing the distance time after time with death in hand. Few stopped to fight him. those who did, rarely made it out alive. Then again, Most who ran were also no strangers to death. Capcom had you struggling from the beginning of the game and terrified the whole way. the RE6 trailer presents us with a new third protagonist who is no stranger to this. He himself is being hunted relentlessly by a foe that not unlike the nemesis. Capcom aims to bring these feelings and fears back through RE6. Drawing from games that did the job is no mistake. These atmospheres are key to this games success in the eyes of critics and classic fans.

We can expect elements from all three of the original installments in RE6, that much is for sure. This still doesn’t touch upon the timeline debate that is going on which can only add to the relating emotions here. Nobody is sure exactly when RE6 takes place in relation to RE5 with the “10 year” mark after the outbreak being a date of which falls only 6 months before Chris and Sheva’s arrival in Kijuju. These numbers can be vague.

Is Chris’ vendetta(mentioned in RE6 trailer) because this is before RE5 and he believes a certain fate became of Jill? Does this game perhaps take place both before and after RE5? If that really is Sherry and not Ashley, what became of her while in Wesker’s possession? How did she become free? When? Would we assume it happened after RE5 when we all know what happened at the end. There is evidence to lead one to believe in either direction. Only time will tell. Feel free to discuss any of these in the comment section below.

Closing Comments

With RE6 sure to bring back many classic feelings and settings with Tall Oaks and viral struggle, there are great possibilities that we are going to see subjects and characters from the origin of the RE roots. Although Capcom would recognize this and surely present the information for newcomers to the series so they can understand and jump on board, it does not necessarily mean that we should turn a blind eye. There are many current debates about timeline, character identities and possible plot twists. Much is sure to change between now and release, but we can only gain more knowledge and appreciation for the classic gems of RE by taking the time to learn more.

There is a substantial amount of depth to the classic RE franchise as RE: Zero all the way to RE: Code Veronica X all took place within five months of each other. There is a web of overlaying story that even seasoned fans have yet to know it all off the back of their hand. Let us have fun speculating while we can. There are so many opportunities that RE6 can bring to the table, who is not to enjoy it? I look forward to what the coming months will bring leading up to the demo (accessed through the purchase of Dragon’s Dogma). All the way up to the launch of Resident Evil 6 on November 20. RE6 is currently planned for release on the PS3, Xbox360 and PC. I for one, am very Excited.

               
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