The History of Resident Evil: The Beginning
- Posted March 17th, 2009 at 13:08 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 19 Comments
(continued from previous page) ...the transition to the final version, Walker ultimately failed to make the cut and was subsequently replaced by Claire Redfield, making 1.5 an all the more intriguing package.
Unlike the first game, 1.5 had both characters starting off in entirely separate locations – Kennedy would find himself on the roof of the Raccoon Police Department (R.P.D.), while Walker would start off at ground level. Regardless, the R.P.D. building represents one of the most significant areas where the game deviated from its successor. Whereas the precinct in the final build was converted from an old museum, 1.5’s cop shop boasted a distinctly modern aesthetic, featuring slick interiors dotted inconspicuously with fax machines, discarded coffee cups and related paraphernalia – a far cry from the final build’s marriage of dusty antiquities and grand halls. A few areas did manage to survive the transition to the retail copy, however, most notably the morgue, the basement weapons storage and the prison cells.
Nonetheless, many of the game’s latter stages – such as the sewer and factory – deviated considerably from their final incarnation in terms of overall layout, with only Birkin’s underground laboratory baring any resemblance to the final copy.
Speaking in a 1996 interview, Capcom’s Noritaka Funamizu commented: “Resident Evil 2 [1.5] is about one and a half times bigger than the original. The room sizes are about the same as before – there are just more of them. And there’s a far greater number of enemies too.”
1.5 also featured a number of familiar faces carried over to the final version, including Chief of Police Brian Irons, the Birkin family, gunshop owner Robert Kendo (a.k.a. John), R.P.D. officer Marvin Branagh and Ada Wong (then known as Linda), However, aside from the Birkin’s, the majority of the supporting cast had substantially different roles than in Resident Evil 2. Kendo, for example, would no longer perish at the hands of zombies at the beginning of the game and instead aided Walker in her quest, alongside Sherry Birkin.
Branagh on the other hand became a vital component in Kennedy’s scenario, and was playable for a short portion of the game, as opposed succumbing to the affects of the T-Virus in the final copy. Meanwhile, the unscrupulous and mentally unstable Chief Irons of Resident Evil 2 assumed a far more hospitable role in 1.5 and is encountered wounded in his office, though much of his involvement in the game remains unknown. Rounding out the prototype version’s cast is Roy, a fellow member of the R.P.D., though little is known as to what role he served in the game.
Elsewhere, aside from the ubiquitous zombie hordes, 1.5 boasted an impressive line-up of twisted monstrosities, including but not limited to zombie dogs, infected crows and giant spiders. More noteworthy, however, are the legions of beasts that failed to make it into the commercial release, including mutated gorillas, a human-arachnid hybrid known as the ‘Man Spider,’ and a slightly different take on the mutated Dr. Birkin.
“In Resident Evil all the zombies moved in the same way and at the same speed. This time each of the zombies has its own pattern, so some will move slowly while others will suddenly pick up pace and start running at you – it’s to keep the player constantly on guard, and accentuate the element of surprise,” noted Funamizu. “But, since we had to reduce the number of polygons allocated to each character almost by half in order to compensate, it’s been quite difficult maintaining the clarify and detail of each of the characters.”
Characters also boasted the ability to equip different types of clothing in order to bolster their defense against enemies, some of which limited or increased the amount of items you were able to carry. More emphasis was placed on depicting the effects of both your characters' and enemy’s attacks than the final version, such as blood splattering on the player’s clothes after blasting an enemy with the Shotgun in close proximity, to tears appearing in both Kennedy and Walker’s outfits after accumulating a certain amount of damage. Furthermore, 1.5 also featured a couple of weapons that failed to make the commercial build, including hand grenades an assortment of automatic ... (continued on next page)
- 2:08am EDT - March 17th, 2009
RE 2 was the best, with 2 discs, one for each character. But i did like the nemisis in 3, with the split second decsions you had to make when confronted by him.
- 2:19am EDT - March 17th, 2009
2 was the first one I got to play but my favorite had to be Code Veronica and the gamecube remake of 1. Who am I kidding? I loved all of them! I even order the collector's edition of RE5 that UPS will be delivering in about 4 hours. Yea...
- 2:29am EDT - March 17th, 2009
IGN posted this EXACT same thing 3 weeks ago.
- 3:53am EDT - March 17th, 2009
My favorite is still RE2, thats why i'm still hoping for a remake, it would be pretty cool if capcom released RE1.5 too
- 4:06am EDT - March 17th, 2009
Sadly it looks like Darkside Chronicles is the nearest we'll get to a RE2 remake at present, mate. Agree with you on 1.5, though -- would love to get my hands on that.
Part two will be up tomorrow and part three the day after. Unfortunately I had to leave out the sidegames like Gun Survivor and Outbreak but hopefully you guys enjoyed the stuff about Dash and 1.5, since they are often neglected -- especially the former. ;)
- 4:37am EDT - March 17th, 2009
- 5:08am EDT - March 17th, 2009
Looking foward to part 2. tho nothing new in here for me, being a rather active fan of the RE series, its nice to see such info made easly avaliable for more casual fans tho. As with some of the others i would love to get my hands on RE 1.5 . And this has to be said, the older games rock, the newer stuff (4,5) just arnt the same, no real zombies, no umbrella, change from bairly shoot at all to spend most of your time shooting, capcom has mangled the series. Tho the umbrella chronicals on the Wii was nice.
- 5:24am EDT - March 17th, 2009
I love them all but RE2 was more in depth and having 2 scenarios fighting Mr.X and G-type was awsome
- 5:32am EDT - March 17th, 2009
Awesome article. 2 reasons I love this site so much - the fair and well deserved support for Ps3 and the awesome articles and coverage of games.
1solidsnake | solid1snake67
- 6:14am EDT - March 17th, 2009
yes, re2 was my fav also and the first re game that i played, i still have the same game i bought from the ps1 days.
- 7:09am EDT - March 17th, 2009
The only resident evil I didnt get to play was RE3 (and the wii ones), I really liked RE zero and code veronica XD. RE5 is quite an amazing game but I still dont get bored saying that i miss my zombies, somewhat spooky moments, riddles and puzzles too.
- 7:28am EDT - March 17th, 2009
Correction - you meant precinct in the first part of the article, not prescient.
- 8:04am EDT - March 17th, 2009
my fav RE game is RE 1 directors cut. i loved it coz it was scary, now RE Series is just pure action.
- 8:34am EDT - March 17th, 2009
I could not sleep for 2 weeks after i rented RES 1 it was simply amazing
- 8:41am EDT - March 17th, 2009
the remake of RE: 1 was awesome good call. The one I played the most was RE: 3 though that game was awesome. btw RE: 4 and 5 are cool...........just different.
- 12:02pm EDT - March 17th, 2009
Except PSU has been working on this since last year. =)
- 12:47pm EDT - March 17th, 2009
Awesome stuff. I'm looking forward to the next part!
- 3:40am EDT - March 18th, 2009
Appreciate the feedback guys, cheers -- part two is now up! ;)
- 6:20pm EDT - March 29th, 2009
This is my favorite RE game to date! I loved the mansion, the puzzles, and the second area with the flooded basement was cool! RE2 was almost as classic as the first, but not quite.
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