Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that Sherry has yet to be officially confirmed.
Anyone who has followed Resident Evil’s development history can tell you that the series has had its fair share of scrapped ideas and completely scrapped game builds altogether. Most famously is with Resident Evil 2 & 4, where the games were over half-way completed but then were scrapped to ultimately make an almost entirely different game (these scrapped builds are known among the fan-base as Resident Evil 1.5, and Resident Evil 3.5). Capcom isn’t a stranger to taking scrapped ideas from past games and working them into future installments; Uroboros looks very much inspired by a scrapped monster from Resident Evil 3.5, Revelations seems to be expanding on an underwater element that was planned for Resident Evil 4.5 (RE5’s beta), etc. You can find our analysis of the scrapped concepts from Resident Evil 4 & 5 elsewhere on the site. Resident Evil 6, however, seems to really take the cake for scrapped ideas brought back to life.
After watching the trailer multiple times to recognize every tiny detail, it still surprises me how in this three-minute trailer they can stuff so many different ideas and details, and how many of these can be related to previous scrapped ideas. First and foremost we have what I like to call the…
According to the book, “The Art of Resident Evil 5,” which detailed a lot of scrapped ideas from Resident Evil 5 during its development, Wesker’s ultimate creation was not Uroboros but a new Tyrant. The Tyrant was supposed to be an expansion of the T-103 ‘Nemesis’ line of Tyrants, except enhanced with mechanical limbs and mechanisms to help make it more controllable, intelligent, and lethal. This build of Tyrant was supposed to go on to kill Excella, and be Wesker’s “pet project.” Wesker is out of the picture now, but this Tyrant build almost completely fits the bill of the scrapped ‘improved’ Tyrant model and even looks very similar to the concept art in the Art of Resident Evil 5 book, though the design has definitely been changed up and enhanced to look a lot more mechanical now.
Speaking of enemies coming back from the ‘dead’, zombies are back! However, it’s to note that these zombies have enhancements from how we’ve known them in past installments. These enhancements also seems to be from a scrapped build of Resident Evil 5…
In earlier builds of Resident Evil 5, zombies were in place of Majini as the common threat against Chris. But these zombies were enhanced, ‘evolved’ from zombies of old. There still were the slow and dumb zombies, sure. But there were to also be enhanced zombies and for some to be more ‘evolved’ than others. It seems some of these ‘enhanced’ zombies are being brought over from Resident Evil 5. The zombie seen in the RE6 trailer that performs an air lunge at Leon? There was going to be new faster zombies in RE5 that could dash and lunge at their prey by leaping. The big powerful zombie seen to pick up Leon? Powerful bigger zombies were an idea tossed around in RE5. The zombies in the trailer that are seen carrying objects and throwing them? Some zombies were to be more slightly intelligent in RE5 which involved interacting with objects in their surroundings, including picking them up and throwing them. It seems like the idea of zombie enemy variety is coming over from the scrapped RE5 build, but this isn’t entirely surprising. Through Resident Evil 5 and Revelations, Capcom has obviously been toying with the idea of bringing zombies back but in a way they can work well with the improvements in action and not seem like a major downstep from Ganados and Majini. Seems Resident Evil 6 is going to be the game to bring forth a new evolution of zombies for the series.
We have yet to see if some of the scrapped RE5 gameplay concepts come into play. In Resident Evil 5 there would be scenarios where you could board up places you would run into, or in some cases, have to manually removed barricades on doors yourself to enter. There was a segment where Chris would try to leap from a pillar to another pillar as zombies shaked the foundation of the structure and made it unstable, and another section where Chris wouldn’t be able to shoot zombies thanks to all the explosives around and would have to wade and evade them carefully. We’ll have to see if any of these scrapped scenarios, among others, make it into the game.
One Familiar Castle
Leon isn’t unfamiliar with castles; he’s had his fair share of romps in them. Still, the more I examined the brief sections of the trailer involving the castle the more I was struck with a sense of Déjà vu, like I’d seen it before. It took me a while to have it click, but I now realize all of the shots of the castle area are incredibly similar to the scrapped mansion-like castle seen in Resident Evil 3.5 (Resident Evil 4’s scrapped build) and Haunting Ground (which uses assets from Resident Evil 3.5). I’ve done a lot of design comparison between the snippets of the Castle we see in the trailer as well as the old Resident Evil 3.5 footage and screens, and I can definitely say that this has to be somewhat intentional. The outside shot you see above I’ve compared with a few shots we see outside of the ‘mansion’ in Resident Evil 3.5. The castle-looking area in Resident Evil 6 is located somewhere in a mountainous region and it’s dark, foggy, and raining. The castle itself is very artistically profound, set with cobblestone and what might be marble, through the interestingly shaped windows we can see a chandelier glimmering in a gloomy room. While there are definitely some differences, many of the objects look like replicas of the 3.5 objects in HD. You can check out some comparisons by watching this trailer:
Besides the cobblestone appearance, also note the lights at the entrance are exactly the same as the lights you can see 21 seconds into the trailer. The windows are similar to the tall windows in the “Possession” trailer for 3.5, various locations have similar design and color schemes, some objects look almost like carbon copies such as the pillars & candles, and most importantly they share similar artistic direction from everything to the exterior to the doors to the statues designing the location. I’ll let you guys be the judge if I’m crazy with this or not, you can see our analysis of Resident Evil 3.5 by clicking here, and compare it all to these shots below:
However, before I close my case I also want to bring up two more scrapped ideas from Resident Evil 3.5 brought to life in the form of two enemies you see very quickly in the trailer. The first one is the monster above, who has an almost reptilian face that breaks open to reveal a long tendril tongue. This first enemy might be more coincidence than intentional, but the idea behind the monster reminded me of something from 3.5. The Plagas from RE4 went through many radically different design changes, many of which ultimately didn’t end up in RE4. Early in the Plagas were more of a common enemy than the main enemy force in RE4, and were monsters that split out tendrils from themselves to attack Leon in a similar method that we see in the RE6 trailer. The monster seems to have a lizard-like face and a long spiked tongue. To be exact, it reminded me of a mixture of these two radically different concept pieces for Plagas you can see here:
These were beta concepts for the Plagas, which the director originally wanted to be like rearranged humans that break apart and attack with killer appendages. There’s another Plagas concept piece that involves a monster who’s face breaks open to reveal many tentacles but it seems it might have been lost with time. The RE6 monster having that human/reptilian appearance as well as it’s tearing apart nature and long attacking tendril from its face reminded me of these scrapped concept arts for Plagas, just kind of smashed together into one. This enemy might be a bit of a stretch that it’s a scrapped idea returning, but the next enemy is a dead ringer:
This thing appears in what seems to be the same room from the trailer that Leon exclaims, “Want to tell me what’s in there?”, to which Helena replies, “It’s better if I show you.” The angle of the shot suggests this takes place after that exchange. At first I was having a hard time making out what it was I was looking at. Was that liquid coming out of the Zombie in a very unnatural way, maybe motion blur? But running through the section many times, it’s something fog-like that seems to be engulfing the creature. This immediately brings flashbacks to Resident Evil 3.5, which was to have a huge focus on fog and was detailed from previews to have monsters and zombies who’s figures were disfigured by a fog that surrounded them. In RE6, the strange engulfing substance seems to be pouring from the zombies mouth and wounds, almost as if something inside of it is excreting this gas. What is left to be seen is if the fog has the same weakness as it is shown to have with the Hookman from Resident Evil 3.5, which is that the fog dispenses when a very bright light shines on it (ala Alan Wake before Alan Wake existed).
If that is indeed Sherry in RE6, is she going to have a role that may be similar to her role from Resident Evil 3.5, back when Leon was out to rescue Sherry? There was sure to be some revelations about Sherry in the original Resident Evil 4 concept, but unfortunately there has never been word on what was planned for her though some fans believe Ashley was originally supposed to be Sherry before the changes in the game’s plot and setting. There’s still so much to learn and many questions to ask but the announcement trailer for the game only wets our appetite. There are a lot of brief moments in the trailer that make suggestions of scrapped concepts maybe returning, but are too brief to say anything concrete yet.
A small section of the trailer shows Chris gripping his head as if he’s in pain though the other soldiers around him look fine. Later we see a normal solider flash into a dead corpse. A concept that was brought up in Resident Evil 3.5, and then later into 5’s beta was the use of delusions and sometimes having a hard time to figure out what’s real and what’s not. Chris is under a lot of stress in this trailer, but could he be experiencing delusions, a concept that Resident Evil’s scrapped builds have been toying around with since 4? A scrapped concept from Resident Evil 4.5 would be a scenario where you and a BSAA Squad would infiltrate a temple in the swamp and would have supportted fire power as they helped you blast open concealed areas and face a larger-than usual number of Majini. Is that type of scenario being replicated with the scene of Chris and a BSAA Squad infiltrating a sealed Chinese facility? One outfit worn by as-of-now mysterious character (mainly since we only see part of their jacket and hand) is even wearing the same jacket that Leon wears in Resident Evil 3.5.
There’s a lot of what-ifs to discover, but the trailer has already given insight into some previously scrapped ideas that could be brought back to life and the suggestion that others scraped concepts may be at work here as well. Resident Evil 4 & 5 were full of scrapped concepts, could Capcom be working to make some of these a reality while revisiting Chris and Leon in RE6? They say they want the game to be full of ideas and content and to be on the largest scale the series has ever seen; could they finally have the time, the team, and the skills to implement some of the ideas that previously eluded them? Only time will tell, but what do you think of Capcom pulling from its pile of scrapped ideas in new games? It definitely isn’t the first time, but do you believe this benefits Resident Evil 6? Hinders it? Resident Evil 6 seems to want to be many things. Let’s just hope the game doesn’t become a jack of all trades but master of none, that it can juggle these interesting horror aspects well with these more action-oriented sections.