Resident Evil‘s arrival on the PS1 in the spring of 1996 would end up making it the game responsible for the coining of the term “survival horror”, spearheading a renaissance of horror games in the process. As a spiritual successor of sorts to Capcom‘s lesser-known Famicom game Sweet Home, Resident Evil began its development as a title for the SNES before eventually transitioning to the PlayStation thanks to the platform’s ability to craft more realistic environments and allow for full-3D gameplay. The title would go by Bio Hazard in Japan but change its name to Resident Evil for the localization due to copyright infringement with the NYHC band Biohazard.
Producer Tokuro Fujiwara, the designer behind such Capcom classics as Commando and Ghosts and Goblins (among others), conceived the idea for Resident Evil as a remake of his game Sweet Home. However, with the arrival of other popular early survival horror games like The 7th Guest and Alone in the Dark, Fujiwara, and director Shinji Mikami would switch gears for the title to blend action along with puzzle-solving, taking inspiration from the films of George Romero (in particular, Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead).
Resident Evil is one of the first early killer apps on the PlayStation, selling just over 4 million units roughly a year after its release and spawning one of video games’ most successful and enduring franchises. Following the release of the game on PlayStation, Capcom would port the title to PC, the Sega Saturn, and, later, the Nintendo DS. The original would also receive a complete ground-up remake for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, inspiring the style and tone of Capcom’s more recent Resident Evil remakes of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th games in the series.
Resident Evil Premise
Resident Evil takes place from a third-person perspective utilizing fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds. As one of the first games to popularize the use of pre-rendered backgrounds with 3D assets, Resident Evil is one of the primary titles acting as a pioneer for one of the most popular graphical styles on the PS1. The game also utilizes the now-infamous “tank-controls”, which have the player moving characters on a fixed forward/backward path using the Up and Down keys of the D-Pad, and rotating the angle of movement using the Left and Right keys of the D-Pad.
Though players have plenty of weapons at their disposal for taking out the game’s many threats, part of the tension of Resident Evil‘s gameplay comes from its limited inventory space and need for resource management. It’s not possible to shoot and kill every enemy that the player comes across, instead needs to prioritize when to safely engage in encounters or avoid them entirely in favor of conserving ammunition. The title features plenty of puzzles that require the use of key items that players discover and carry with them throughout their exploration of Resident Evil‘s many maps — the Spencer Mansion, the Guardhouse, the Catacombs, and, finally, the Lab.
A heart rate monitor in the inventory screen communicates player health, changing in gradient from green with a “Fine” indicator all the way to “Danger!” with a red heart rate. To heal, players must collect green, red, and blue herbs that they can combine in various ways to produce different effects. In addition to the zombies that the player initially encounters in the mansion, there are undead dogs, reptilian monsters called Hunters, and a series of intimidating large foes that act as bosses, including a massive living plant.
Resident Evil Main Characters
One of the things that make Resident Evil somewhat unique for its time is giving the player the choice between two playable characters, each with their own advantages and disadvantages and slight variations to the game’s main quest. The original game in the series sees players choose between Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, both of whom are members of the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad, or, S.T.A.R.S. Main characters in Resident Evil include:
- Jill Valentine: Jill is a member of the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team and partner to Barry Burton. Barry proclaims her to be the “master of unlocking”, hinting at her ability to skillfully use lock picks. In addition to starting with a pistol, Jill has more inventory space than Chris.
- Chris Redfield: Chris is a fellow member of the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team and a skilled marksman. Accordingly, Chris deals more damage to enemies but has less inventory space. He will encounter the events of the game in a slightly different order than Jill.
- Barry Burton: Jill’s partner and the most veteran member of S.T.A.R.S, Barry goes back far with Chris, having completed several successful missions together. As a result, he refuses to give up on the search for Chris when he goes missing.
- Rebecca Chambers: The newest and youngest member of S.T.A.R.S’ Bravo Team, Rebecca Chambers is a young medic that encounter Chris during his time in the Mansion. Interestingly, she is the star of Resident Evil Zero, which details the events of how Bravo Team would end up in the Spencer Mansion.
- Albert Wesker: Albert Wesker is the commander of the S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team and the main antagonist of Resident Evil. He is secretly a top-level researcher for the pharmaceutical giant Umbrella.
Games in the Resident Evil Series
In addition to now having 8 mainline entries, the Resident Evil series features more than a dozen spin-offs and several remakes. Since the launch of the Resident Evil 2 remake in 2019, the series alternates between new mainline entries and remakes of classic games all done in a similar style, culminating in 2023’s Resident Evil 4 remake that reimagines one of the most popular and impactful games in the series. Games in the Resident Evil franchise include:
- Resident Evil (1996)
- Resident Evil 2 (1998)
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)
- Resident Evil: Survivor (2000)
- Resident Evil – Code: Veronica (2000)
- Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica (2001)
- Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
- Resident Evil (2002)
- Resident Evil Zero (2002)
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2 (2004)
- Resident Evil 4 (2005)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
- Resident Evil 5 (2009)
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
- Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
- Resident Evil 6 (2012)
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
- Umbrella Corps (2016)
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
- Resident Evil 2 (2019)
- Resident Evil 3 (2020)
- Resident Evil: REsistance (2020)
- Resident Evil 8: Village (2021)
- Resident Evil Re:Verse (2022)
- Resident Evil 4 (2023)
Resident Evil Cheats and Cheat Codes for PlayStation
Though there are no actual cheat codes that Resident Evil officially supports, there are several unlockables and secrets for players to discover as well as a large number of GameShark codes that make the game significantly easier. As one might expect, having either a GameShark peripheral or using emulation software with a cheat code function to input the GameShark codes is necessary for using them.
Secrets & Unlockables
- Alternate Costumes: Beat the game by saving either Chris or Jill before escaping the Mansion. Afterward, load the complete game file and start a new adventure. You will have a special key in your inventory that can be used to unlock the door in the 1F room with the large mirror. Both Chris and Jill have alternate costumes available.
- Infinite Rocket Launcher: The ultimate unlockable! To start the game with a Rocket Launcher in your inventory with infinite ammo, you must first beat the game in under 3 hours. After starting a new game using the clear file, players will have the Infinite Rocket Launcher waiting for them in the item box the first time they visit one.
- Infinite Handgun: Similar to the Rocket Launcher, players that beat the game in under 5 hours will have the Samurai Edge in their item box after starting a new game. This pistol has infinite ammo and is a great replacement for Jill’s 9mm Beretta.
|Timer is always 00:00:00
|Chest Has All Items
|Save Anywhere (Press L1 + X)
|All Doors Unlocked
Resident Evil Cheat FAQ
How do you get infinite ammo in Resident Evil?
The only official way to get infinite ammo in the game is to beat it in either under 5 or under 3 hours, unlocking the special infinite ammo weapons on a clear save file for a subsequent game. Alternately, players can use the GameShark cheat for infinite ammo.
Why is ammo so scarce in Resident Evil?
Ammo scarcity and resource management are the key mechanics that support the “survival” portion of the game’s survival-horror genre, making each shot critical and forcing players to learn their environments, figuring out ways to use the map to their advantage in avoiding encounters and not wasting ammo.
Where is the shotgun in Resident Evil?
The Shotgun is on the first floor of the mansion in the room just past the hallway where the hounds burst through the windows. Taking the Shotgun off of its display triggers a trap, causing the ceiling to fall and crush whoever is inside. As Jill, Barry will come to the player’s rescue. However, as Chris, players will need to first acquire the Broken Shotgun to replace the working Shotgun on the display in order to surpass the trap.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Cover art.