Welcome back to another instalment in PSU’s Resident Evil 15th anniversary celebrations. Our latest entry focuses on a chap who has become as synonymous with the RE brand as the zombies and B-grade movie dialogue. Yup, it’s blonde-haired baddie Albert Wesker. Here, we present the enigmatic villain’s best bits, as picked by yours truly.
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Wesker’s treachery uncovered
Did Wesker really look all that suspicious? Sure, he’s a bit of a stoic chap, loved to wear sunglasses indoors and buggered off when the brown stuff hit the fan, but was he really that blatant of a bad guy? Note: sentence contains hyperbole. Okay, so the revelation that the then-S.T.A.R.S. Captain was secretly working for Umbrella may not have come as a surprise to most players, but it still didn’t make his role any less compelling when he laid bare his dastardly plans to an unsuspecting Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. Perhaps more shocking was Barry Burton’s role in the whole affair, who Wesker unscrupulously manipulated under pain of having the bearded man’s family permanently silenced. It all comes to a head in the Tyrant’s laboratory, however, with Wesker waffling on about how he plans to steal Umbrella’s research and the mutant monstrosity for a rival company. Everything’s been meticulously planned out and running like a well-oiled machine, save for one minor detail—Tyrant skewers the poor bugger like a stuck pig. However, Capcom later decided they didn’t want Wesker dead, so they brought him back to life with super-human powers.
Instead, what was previously a shocking death for the blonde-haired baddie at the climax of Resident Evil ended with a twist in Remake, with Wesker scarpering in the ensuing Tyrant battle, disappearing off to lick his wounds before rocking up on Rockfort Island in Code: Veronica. Indeed, the moment when Wesker lays it all on the table is riveting stuff, not only from a narrative point of view, but more so due to the myriad of ways the scene is played out based on the decisions you make through the game. In some, you’ll witness a scuffle between Wesker and Chris, others you’ll see Barry put a cap in Wesker’s shoulder with his trusty magnum. Or if you particularly loathed the arrogant bugger with a passion, you could soak up the satisfaction of Tyrant clobbering Wesker round the temple or eviscerating the S.T.A.R.S. head honcho from behind. My favourite’s always been in the original RE, though—Barry smacking Wesker round the back of the head with the butt of his revolver. Classic.
“Long time no see, Chris”
If, like me, you’ve been cacking your pants since Resident Evil’s inception back in 1996, then Wesker’s shock reappearance half-way through Code: Veronica should easily rank among the most unexpected plot twists in the series’ history. That is, unless you found yourself inexorably drawn to the deluge of spoiler-heavy RE fan sites on the web back in early 2000. Regardless, the moment when Chris Redfield comes face-to-face with a man who by all rights should have been blown to bits in the aftermath of the Mansion Incident certainly ranks as one of those “OMFG” show-stoppers. Ah, the wonders of the recton.
Unfortunately, Redfield doesn’t have much time to ponder the intricacies of how the former S.T.A.R.S. Captain manage to cheat death – Wesker’s too busy choking him at the time. After waffling on about his plans to acquire a sample of the T-Veronica Virus (which ultimately fails spectacularly), Wesker moves in for the kill only to receive a meaty punch to the chops, ridding the blonde bad guy of his perpetual shades and exposing his evil cats eyes. Either that, or Wesker’s got himself some creepy contact lenses. Indeed, those immortal words, “long time no see, Chris,” will no doubt forever strike a chord with RE aficionados’ for years to come.
Chris Redfield vs. Albert Wesker – Round 1
Chris Redfield and Albert Wesker have been bitter rivals since the ex. S.T.A.R.S. agent scuppered Wesker’s plans during the infamous Mansion incident, so it was inevitable that the pair would have a punch-up somewhere along the lines. And they didn’t fail to deliver, either. Their first proper scrap takes place at the climax of Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, after Wesker eggs Redfield on by briefly kidnapping Claire. After releasing Miss Redfield, the pair square up to each other, with Chris seemingly suffering from acute memory loss based on the fact he’s willing to go toe-to-toe with a bloke who a few hours ago effortlessly flung him about like a rag doll.
Unsurprising then, that Wesker clobbers his former subordinate here without so much as breaking a sweat, even brushing off multiple attacks with an iron bar (bending it just to show he’s well ‘ard) and surviving being flattened by a pile of scaffolding. An iconic battle marred only by some toe-curling dialogue (Wesker’s obviously been spending his down time watching Austin Powers judging by his Dr. Evil-style cackling), the scene establishes an on-going subplot that would ultimately take an excruciating eight years to conclude.
Wesker bites off more than he can chew
Who is stronger: Albert Wesker or Alexia Ashford? As the great Harry Hill would say, “there’s only one way to find out—FIIIIGHT!” Still, someone should have warned Wesker that feisty females capable of barbequing a fellow in the blink of an eye shouldn’t be messed with. Mr. Perpetual Shades learned this the hard way in Code: Veronica, when an attempt to extract a sample of the T-Veronica Virus from a scantily clad Alexia Ashford resulted in him getting a dry slap that Frank Butcher would have been proud of. With Chris Redfield bagging himself a ringside seat out of harm’s way, we’re treated to a quick brawl between Wesker and Alexia in a fine demonstration of their T-Virus augmented abilities, though in what may possibly be the only time in the series, the former comes off second best.
Despite some flashy foot work—including a Matrix-style run-up-the-wall-into-leaping-power punch—the blonde bad guy barely causes the stoic Ashford chick to flinch, and gets his posh military clobber flamed-grilled for his troubles. Realising he’s probably bitten off more than he can chew, Wesker takes the time to taunt rival Redfield before making a hasty retreat, proverbial tale tucked between his legs. Unfortunately, it’s left to poor old Chris to tidy up Wesker’s mess once again, though realising going hand-to-talon with Alexia may not be the best idea, unloads his Magnum into her face, dropping her like a led zeppelin.
Wesker lays the smackdown on Chris & Jill
Having gone underground in the years following Code: Veronica, Wesker finally popped up again for a rematch with rival Redfield and partner Jill Valentine in the spooky halls of Oswell E. Spencer’s European sanctuary. Of course, all this is before he ruthlessly dispatched Spencer with a quick fist-through-the-chest movement, leaving the poor chap a bloody, wrinkled mess on the floor. Pity, you can bet that Flash will never get those claret stains out of the carpet. Not long after that, Redfield and Valentine come steaming into the room as if by miraculous coincidence, having been searching the posh gaff for Spencer in order to question the old boy Wesker’s whereabouts.
Unfortunately for them, they needn’t have bothered. What unfolds is a scrumptiously realised punch-up between three iconic Resi characters, as the blonde baddie—decked out in Morpheus-esque clobber – dexterously duffs up his former subordinates as they try valiantly to topple their super-powered adversary. After dodging a salvo of bullets, Wesker engages our heroes in a bout of fisticuffs, which culminates in Jill kissing cold hard glass and Chris waxing Spencer’s dining table with his arse. Then, just when it looks like the muscle-bound ex. S.T.A.R.S member is about to kick the bucket, Valentine launches at the pair, pile-driving Wesker out of the window to what seems like certain doom. Cue dramatic close up of Redfield’s mug as he utters his partner’s name as the duo plummet into the abyss, out of sight. Of course, this wouldn’t be the last we saw of Wesker, or Jill for that matter.
After dispatching numerous B.O.W’s, exploding countless infected villagers’ heads with his meaty fist and shouting “gimme a ‘erb” for the past few hours, tenacious Chris Redfield and partner Sheva Alomar finally catch up with Wesker in the bowls of his water-bound abode. The on-screen tension is so thick you could almost lean forward and cut it with a knife. Unperturbed by Redfield and Alomar’s persistent meddling; Wesker taunts the surviving BSAA members before lobbing his sunglasses at Chris, inaugurating yet another mass brawl.
Still, having obviously been scoffing nothing but protein shakes for the past few years and now sporting arms that look like they could curl small buildings, Chris’s bulging biceps should at least afford him a half-decent chance this time, right? Not exactly. In yet another crushing defeat, Wesker—who at this point is just showing off—creams the duo as they attempt to assault the flashy bugger with a series of swift punches and kicks. Chris does manage to rugby tackle Wesker, though his triumph is short-lived as the trench coat-wearing villain chucks Mr. Muscles aside as if he were a blow-up doll.
Join us again tomorrow as the Resident Evil 15th anniversary festivities continue here at PlayStation Universe.