A reader goes back to the very first Resident Evil and picks out some lesser known examples of the game’s famously bad dialogue.
Ever since the Resident Evil 4 remake announcement there’s been a discussion of how much cheese should be retained in the new version. I decided to return to the very first game in the series, to take a trip down memory lane and re-experience some of my favourite moments during this masterpiece of madness.
There are plenty of contenders. From Jill being The Master of Unlocking and a ‘Jill sandwich’, to Chris saying, ‘Ladies first… go first Jill’, to a voice actor reading the script too literally and saying ‘Ouch’ with no hint of emotion.
All are classics. I’ve gone for a few others though, which contain cinematic errors or just baffling dialogue, and which I think are often underappreciated.
5. Simple answer
Barry sees Jill and says, ‘Jill… you’re here too?’
Jill, ever alert to a witty retort, replies: ‘Yes… you’re here too?’
A perfect example of Resident Evil’s magical charm.
4. Weapon of death
Playing as Jill, you stumble upon Barry in the safest part of the mansion outside of a save room. However, he warns you that ‘Whoa, this hall is dangerous’ and emphasises the dangerous aspect by saying that there’s got to be a back door somewhere. Before leaving he tells you he found something.
It’s a weapon he found and it’s really powerful… especially against living things. Which is paradoxical as you’ve probably never heard of a weapon that’s great to use against non-living things. You are in a game chock full of undead monsters though, which need to be made either more dead or err… more living. Barry I’m really confused now.
3. The noxious odour cut scene
Barry and Jill are safe and on their way back to normality onboard the chopper. The actor playing Barry speaks to Jill and looks at the photo of his family and then (I think) attempts to portray an emotion we might call apologetic. However, he grimaces as if he has unfortunately released a deadly toxin in his undergarments. I still have no idea how this was viewed by Capcom without noticing Barry’s hapless misfortune.
2. Using the rope
This is all to do with timing. The interactive section is a boss fight. Jill has finally vanquished the deadly foe and the game goes to a cut scene. The door opens. Barry enters and calmly asks, ‘Have you found anything interesting?’ It’s completely off however as he, without so much as a flinch, walks over to the deadly foe… a 20ft poisonous zombie snake that is rapidly dissolving into a corrosive acid on the floor.
The proceeding conversation about using a rope, where he tells Jill that he has a rope and she says that she will go down a hole whilst using it, only for Barry to then drop it, defies all common sense.
1. Forest for the trees
This is Movie Error 101. Where script, storyboard, and frame composition sit uncomfortably together. Jill enters out onto a balcony where she meets Barry. The cut scene starts and after a short exchange of beautifully written dialogue he says she should, ‘Just take a look at this’. The camera flips and shows a panoramic shot where Barry points out that it’s their fallen comrade, Forest.
‘My god,’ says Barry. A saddened Jill responds, ‘It’s awful.’ Barry then says ‘I’m going to find out what happened to Forest. It looks like he was killed by a crow… or something’. All normal in written dialogue. Unfortunately, the composition of the frame has the two of them obscuring the view of their fallen comrade and instead they are looking out to the background which is… literally a forest.
So it looks like Barry is worried someone has killed an actual forest, and that it was probably a crow. For me, that is quite possibly Resident Evil’s finest moment.
Probably never to be topped, unless we discuss Goldman and his protection of the life cycle from The House Of The Dead 2.
By reader Wonk
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