One of two original protagonists for the series, Chris Redfield is the iconic recurring hero of the Resident Evil franchise. According to series lore, Chris is a veteran of the United States Air Force, an expert marksman, a firearms expert, and a trustworthy partner, having served alongside other series heroes Jill Valentine and Barry Burton on several missions before the events that take place in the franchise’s first game. After the Arklay Mountain Incident that serves as the basis for the original Resident Evil plot, Chris devotes himself to both stopping the Umbrella Corporation’s nefarious schemes and fighting bio-terrorism on a global scale. But not all versions of Chris Redfield feature him in a starring role or as a playable character.
Though Chris starts as a more traditional (albeit skilled and capable) law enforcement officer, his later series of appearances gradually transform him into a super-solider of sorts. Between his series return in Code: Veronica through his latest appearance in Resident Evil Village, Chris continues to become perpetually more central to the franchise’s overarching lore and now is a figurehead of sorts within the franchise. Given the events that play out in Village, it will be interesting to see where the series takes him next, potentially concluding his story once and for all in the eventual Resident Evil 9.
What Counts as an Appearance
Rather than include all of the various cameos and spin-off appearances Chris makes throughout the franchise and in other Capcom titles, this list focuses solely on his unique features across the series’ mainline entries. That means his cameos in Marvel vs Capcom 3, Resident Evil: Survivor, Project X Zone, and other titles are not included here. Additionally, since his appearance in the Resident Evil remake from 2002 is strikingly similar to that of the original from 1996, this list only includes the PS1 original as the canon introduction of the character.
Resident Evil (1996)
In Chris’ original appearance, he is one of two playable protagonists in the first Resident Evil. Players have the option to choose between Chris and his partner Jill Valentine as they investigate the disappearance of the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team and take over their response to the bizarre murders occurring on the outskirts of Raccoon City. Chris’ campaign is slightly more difficult than Jill’s thanks to having two fewer inventory spaces and only starting with the Combat Knife, needing to find a pistol within the mansion to defend himself. Chris eventually comes across S.T.A.R.S. rookie Rebecca Chambers, and the two can successfully stop Albert Wesker, rescue Jill, and escape the mansion.
Following his original appearance in the series’ first game, files players find in both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 give some hint as to Chris’ whereabouts following the Arklay Mountains Incident. After realizing that the Umbrella Corporation is behind the genetic experimentation and horrors within the Spencer Mansion, Chris heads to Europe to investigate their headquarters and main research facilities, causing his sister Claire to follow in pursuit.
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica (2000)
Following the events of Resident Evil 2, in which Chris’ sister Claire and rookie Raccoon City Police officer Leon S. Kennedy barely escape with their lives, Chris befriends Leon and learns of his sister’s investigation and attempts to track him down. By the time he gets this information, Claire is already being held prisoner at Umbrella’s Rockfort Island facility. Chris heads to Rockfort Island in an attempt to rescue her but learns that she has escaped. Afterward, Chris comes face-to-face with his former commander Albert Wesker, and finds himself shocked to see that the villain is still alive. After showing off his superhuman abilities courtesy of the T-Virus, Wesker informs Chris that Claire is now at Umbrella’s Antarctic Research Facility. Accordingly, Chris heads there in hopes of rescuing his sister.
The two reunite only to then have to face off against the mutated form of Alexia Ashford. After Wesker is unsuccessful in defeating Alexia and claiming the t-Veronica Virus for himself, Chris can defeat the BOW. As the facility begins to crumble around them, Chris heads off in search of an escape vehicle, leaving Claire to both defeat Alexia’s final form using the Linear Launcher and ultimately get kidnapped by Wesker. Chris can catch up to the pair, eventually challenging and defeating Wesker in hand-to-hand combat before he and Claire escape the facility using a stolen jet.
Resident Evil 5 (2009)
After nearly a decade away, Chris Redfield returns front and center to the Resident Evil series as the protagonist of Resident Evil 5. This is the first game where players begin to see his transition from S.T.A.R.S. member into a B.S.A.A. super-soldier, having undergone significant training to deal with the various BOW threats now popping up all over the globe thanks to Wesker’s black market dealings. Chris arrives in a wartorn African nation to link up with fellow B.S.A.A. agent Sheva Alomar, and together the two aim to uncover the mysterious “Uroburos” BOW threatening to impact the world at large.
Once again, Chris uncovers that it’s none other than Albert Wesker who is behind Uroburos, with his former partner Jill Valentine under mind control and acting as an adversary rather than an ally. Chris successfully defeats Wesker and breaks Jill’s mind control, but with the threat of apocalypse looming, he must face off against his former commander in a final battle to determine the fate of the world. Chris fights Wesker, punches a boulder into smithereens, and finally defeats the series’ key antagonist using a rocket launcher before heading off to his next mission in service of combating bioterrorism.
Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
Resident Evil: Revelations actually takes players back to a time before the events of Resident Evil 5 despite releasing several years after it. At this point in the Resident Evil chronology, Chris and Jill are both working for the B.S.A.A. and players assume control of Chris as he responds to a cataclysmic event that becomes known as the “Terragrigia Panic”. Following this event, players split their time between Chris’ investigation of the causes of the event (and the people behind it) and Jill’s investigation of the ship the Queen Zenobia. After Jill gets stranded on the ship, Chris must race to find a way to prevent it from sinking.
Despite it taking place before the events of Resident Evil 5, this version of Chris is very similar to the same one that appears in that game. Following extensive training under the B.S.A.A., Chris transforms from a veteran-turned-law enforcement officer into an elite special forces operator in the service of fighting bioterrorism. Chris and Jill eventually reunite, and the two of them go on to complete several successful operations together for the B.S.A.A.
Resident Evil 6 (2012)
The next time players would see Chris Redfield would be via one of the three separate campaigns featuring in Resident Evil 6. Chris’ campaign, which has the veteran anti-terrorism agent leading a team through the Chinese city of Lanshiang, is one of the more action-heavy of the three and a continuation of the character’s “super-soldier” tendencies from the later games in the series. Along with Chris is his protegee and fellow B.S.A.A. agent Piers Nivans, and together the two successfully quell the BOW attacks in China only to shift focus to tracking down rogue operative and Resident Evil super-spy Ada Wong.
The duo eventually track down Ada, running into Leon Kennedy and his partner in the process, and Leon stops Chris from shooting Ada. Unfortunately, this allows Ada to escape, and Leon gives chase while Chris and Piers continue to respond to the BOW attacks in the area. Piers eventually loses his life at the hands of a massive BOW but also helps to prevent a global catastrophe in the process. Chris continues to serve in the B.S.A.A., continually rising within its ranks thanks to his combat prowess and leadership ability.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
Though Chris Redfield doesn’t feature as a playable character in the campaign of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, he is one of the unlockable characters players can use in the game’s Raid Mode. Raid Mode in Revelations 2 is an expansion of the same mode from the first Revelations game, where players customize their equipment in a central hub area before fighting successive waves of enemies. Players can unlock Chris Redfield as one of the several playable characters for the mode, and he retains his iconic B.S.A.A. operative uniform players see him don in Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6, and Resident Evil: Revelations.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
Chris Redfield’s next series appearance comes courtesy of a cameo at the end of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. As new series protagonist Ethan Winters fights the BOW Eveline, Chris Redfield makes a surprise appearance and tosses Ethan a handgun capable of defeating the mutant. The “Not a Hero” DLC for Resident Evil 7 sees players actually get to control Chris in an epilogue scenario where the B.S.A.A. operative tracks down his missing unit members within the salt mines near the Baker homestead. As it turns out, Chris and his team were sent by the B.S.A.A. to investigate the Baker family and happen to arrive right as Ethan Winters is in the midst of battle with the nearby BOW.
Chris ventures deep within the salt mines and eventually comes across the sole surviving member of the Baker family, Lucas. Lucas kills one of Chris’ squad members and then taunts the hero to pursue him further into the mine. Chris eventually kills Lucas and successfully catches up with Ethan and his wife Mia. Later, he oversees giving extensive B.S.A.A. military training to Ethan if the two become a target of bio-terrorist attacks again.
Resident Evil VIllage (2021)
Chris first shows up in Resident Evil Village as a villain of sorts, storming into the Winters household and killing Ethan’s wife Mia before kidnapping him and his infant daughter Rose. The convoy transporting the two of them is attacked, resulting in Ethan escaping and heading off in search of his daughter. In the meantime, Chris and his unit are preparing to launch an all-out assault on the nearby village where Ethan is fighting against a group of bio-terrorists to stop the Mold bio-weapon once and for all. Unknwon to Ethan is that his wife, Mia, was actually a sentient BOW, which is why Chris and his unit show up to kill her and rescue Ethan and his daughter.
Players actually get to briefly fight alongside Chris and his B.S.A.A. unit in the thrilling climax of Resident Evil Village before Ethan ultimately sacrifices himself to save the world. The game ends with Chris Redfield giving a briefing to the now-adult Rose as she visits her father’s grave, implying that she now works for the B.S.A.A. This most recent appearance of Redfield shows that he has risen to the highest ranks fo the B.S.A.A. despite not fully trusting them, using the agency as a vehicle to uphold what’s right, regardless of the group’s intent.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Gameplay screenshot.