Digital Culture –| 2008

electronic art, technology and culture

Bio Hazard, and zombies

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For this week I’m going to talk about one of the world’s most famous game franchise: Resident Evil. It is originally named as Bio Hazard in japan, and still is at this day. But due to an issue that a metal band with the same name exists. The game has to be renamed as Resident Evil for countries outside of Asia. The creator of this franchise is the Japanese game company called Capcom, the orgin of many other great game franchises.

The first game appeared in 1996 on the Sony Playstation console and marked a huge success, thus from the year forward, numerous sequels has been created. The game’s concept is to deliver the sense of survival in a critical situation. Such as stay in a no-man’s mansion and been surrounded by virus infected zombies and creatures. The game’s setting is much alike another horror game that’s been made in 1992: “Alone in the Dark”. But the Director Shinji Mikami rejected that idea and stated that the concept of the game is original. Yes or no, the game indeed expanded the survival horror genre to a new level. Much more successful than Alone in the Dark itself. AND, it is the first and only one game in the franchise to feature live performance curing opening and ending cutscenes(although the dialogues are a little bit cheesy). 😀

Uncut American version opening sequence

The 2002 Remake for the original Resident Evil on Nintendo Gamecube(check the differences)

Original Playstation Boxart

Original Playstation trailer

Trailer for the sequel, Bio Hazard 2, released in 1998 on the Playstation

Oh and here’s a commercial video for Bio Hazard 2 that’s been shown only in Japan, directed by George A Romero himself, the godfather of the zombie horror genre

Bio Hazard 3 opening cg movie

Bio Hazard created some of the very first settings of the survival horror genre, such as dual characters system, player can experience different stories based on which character they choose. Future games advanced further that even the item and enemy placement are different for both characters. It became more and more popular that is easy to think for the audience that the company adapted the idea into a film. Three films has been created: Resident Evil, Resident Evil Apocalypse and Resident Evil Extinction. Although the films are financially successful, the plot of the films are loosely based on the game’s universe, pretty much stand alone, and has been criticized by fans of the games. So that Capcom decided to create yet another movie but this time, it will stay true to the franchise, even included the msot popular characters from Bio Hazard 2: Leon S Kennedy and Clair Redfield. It is due to release in Japan in October this year and December for North America.

Poster for the first movie

Trailer for the first movie

Trailer for the newest movie: Bio Hazard Degeneration

The franchise has become a huge expansion on the zombie horror theme, and a successful market example for the game developers. The game has been backed up with a huge background story setting(virus outbreak in an underground facility, and infected the nearby town into a living hell), and colorful characters(self confident and ambicious scientist and mastermind, Albert Wesker), these are the essential elements that made the franchise so popular around the world. Zombies are always famous in modern popular culture, all thanks to George A Romero’s 1968 film: Night of the Living Dead.

There are also social influences caused by zombies, zombie walk is one of them. Organized people are dressing as various types of zombies and march into the city streets. Numerous cities have held this kind of event, including Melbourne and Sydney. Here’s a video for the Sydney event:

References

Resident Evil series on Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(series)

Capcom Global

http://www.capcom.com/

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Written by superdioplus

October 6, 2008 at 9:19 am

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