This is a sequel to the Resident Evil 3 retrospective told in The Tingling and Tasty Resident Evil Story. Last time we talked about how the background appeared for the continuation of the numbered part of the series and the creation of the spin-off Resident Evil 1.9, which later grew into Resident Evil 3. Today we will tell you the continuation of the story of the creation of Resident Evil 3.
The most prominent element is the creature known as Nemesis, the main antagonist of the game. Japanese gamers often refer to him as a stalker. It was originally intended to be an amoeba-like creature, similar to the 1958 film Pea.
Nemesis was able to overtake the character, behave more aggressively and scream in an alarming monstrous voice. Nemesis challenged some of the established tropes of the series: unlike other enemies, Nemesis could go through all doors to chase the player, going against the expectations that in a safe haven. Although not invincible, Nemesis was extremely powerful and, under the right circumstances, could instantly kill a player.
While the first two games featured a variety of different boss fights, the lower budget and shorter time frame set aside by Resident Evil 1.9 meant that Aoyama's team didn't have the opportunity to create different bosses and different fights with them. To compensate for this, Nemesis pursues the player, appearing numerous times throughout the scenario. Some appearances are pre-recorded and others are randomized, further contributing to a tense atmosphere. Aside from Nemesis, there is only one other boss, the giant worm, which became the second boss in the game, while its predecessors had more.
From spin-off to full sequel
Since the project was a spin-off and did not claim to be a sequel, no one concentrated on the old characters. Thus, Aoyama and Kawamura focused on new heroes.
Early concept art contains illustrations of the characters who would eventually become Carlos Oliveira, Nikolai Ginovaf, and Mikhail Victor. They were all mercenaries working for Umbrella but otherwise unrelated to STARS or heroes from Resident Evil 2.
However, halfway through development, the team was informed of an important change. As a result of new facts brought into the history of Resident Evil CODE: Veronica, which at the same time was being developed by another team, Kawamura was allowed to introduce Jill Valentine from the first part into the story of his game.
“Originally, the story of Resident Evil 1.9 was supposed to be just the story of an escape from the infected Raccoon City. But after many conversations with Mikami and Aoyama, it was decided to introduce Jill Valentine as the main character of the game, "explained Kawamura.
The change immediately added more weight to the game given Jill's popularity among Resident Evil fans. It also benefited the game by giving it a direct link to the original game that didn't exist before. Along with Nemesis, Jill will be the defining element of the game's identity, but the biggest change was yet to come.
Development of Resident Evil 1.9 avoided the problems that plagued the first two games in the series. Aoyama's vision was to make Resident Evil, which was orthodox in some respects, but unique at the same time. Thanks to the familiar Resident Evil 2 engine combined with focused vision, the game has never been in danger of being canceled or conceptually reworked. However, unlike the first two games, Resident Evil 1.9 underwent very significant changes when its development was due to be completed in the summer of 1999.
As it evolved, Kawamura created the story of RE 1.9 as a prequel to RE2 during the first half of the game, and then rescheduled the action in the second half after Claire and Leon had fled the city. Thus, the project was named Resident Evil 1.9 + 2.1.
Of course, Resident Evil 1.9 + 2.1 was difficult to sell with that name, so in early 1999 the team settled on new definitive titles: Biohazard: Last Escape for the Japanese version and Resident Evil: Nemesis for North America and Europe ... Capcom believes the subheadings accurately reflect the content of the game. The subtitles "Nemesis" and "The Last Runaway" refer to two different but related themes in the game's history. The former refers to the game's iconic villain, while the latter subtitle refers to Jill's “final” escape from zombie-infested Raccoon City [in the sense that Jill will never be able to return to town again].
The subtitles were different because Capcom localizers were concerned that "Last Escape" didn't sound like an attractive or natural phrase, while "Nemesis" was not used to refer to an antagonist in Japanese localization. In fact, the name "Nemesis" was largely unused by Japanese gamers until the release of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City in 2012.
Soon, in the spring of 1999, Aoyama was summoned to meet with his bosses. At the meeting, his superiors dropped a bomb on his head, which Aoyama did not expect. The discussions took place over three days, but the end result was the decision to reassign and expand the conceptual scope of Resident Evil: Nemesis. Among a number of changes, it was decided to add the number "3" to the name of the game, and rename it to the final version of Biohazard 3 Last Escape in Asia and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in the West.
Aoyama recalls being completely caught off guard by the rebranding:
“This game was supposed to be a spin-off, so I stuck with that idea during development. I didn't expect it to become Resident Evil 3 at all. Mikami, who had little active involvement in the creative elements of the game but watched the project from a distance as a producer, explained that the main idea was to create an “independent Resident Evil game.”
Aoyama's game was meant to target hardcore Resident Evil fans who didn't care if she was weird or not, ”Mikami said.
The number in the title implies that the game will become the main game in the series and Aoyama and Mikami feared that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was too short and different from what fans expected from the main game of the Resident Evil series. If Capcom is not careful, it could backfire, especially when compared to the huge commercial success and critical acclaim of Resident Evil 2.
Regardless, it was too late to restart the game, and Aoyama's team only had about two months left in the summer to add enough content to expand the game's capabilities.
"Okamoto asked us to add more content to make the game bigger," Aoyama explained.
It is noteworthy that the game was originally supposed to end at the Clock Tower after one final encounter with Nemesis. It could take the average player two or three hours to reach this point in the game. As a result, Aoyama's team added new locations such as Raccoon City Park and the Factory. Other existing locations have been expanded with new rooms.
The content of the game hasn't changed much as a result of these additions, but it has made the game longer than expected. Aoyama estimated that the game received about 30 minutes of extra play time. It was the best the team could do in two months.
Anything more could have resulted in delays that Capcom would like to avoid, given that other Resident Evil games were to be released later in 1999 and early 2000 [most notably Resident Evil CODE: Veronica]. Capcom hoped the modest additions made to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis would help allay fears that the company was releasing a sequel to Resident Evil that offers significantly less content than its predecessors.
Aoyama has one theory as to why Capcom decided to turn their spin-off into the next Resident Evil game:
“If I remember correctly, Capcom wanted to be a listed company in fiscal 1999. Capcom needed a title to gain investor confidence. They thought the new numbered Resident Evil game would help them achieve their goal more easily. ”
Kawamura says that much was outside the direct control of his team. Kamiya's team was simultaneously developing the original Resident Evil 3 for the PlayStation 2, but progress has stalled due to significant directional changes.
“Kamiya and his people were forced to go back to the very beginning of the development of the game for the PlayStation 2. This meant that PlayStation fans would have to wait several years for the next sequel, a scenario that Capcom wanted to avoid. On the other hand, it would be unacceptable for the game they developed to be less than perfect in quality, and furthermore, it would be unthinkable to rush to develop a game for new hardware such as the PlayStation 2, ”says Kawamura. p>
After Aoyama's project became Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Kamiya's title was subsequently renamed Resident Evil 4. In the following, Kamiya's game will be renamed again, this time to something completely different - Devil May Cry. This change of radical and conceptual overhaul that the game experienced made it unsuitable for release under the Resident Evil brand. Devil May Cry was eventually released for the PlayStation 2 in August 2001, and the full-fledged Resident Evil 4 was released for the Nintendo GameCube under Mikami in January 2005.
Indie ambitions, AAA sales
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was finally released on September 22, 1999 in Japan. While the first two games were released in Japan and North America almost simultaneously, the North American release of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was pushed back to November to allow time for Dino Crisis, which came out in the West in August.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has become a commercial and critical success for Capcom. In Japan, it followed in the footsteps of Resident Evil 2, selling over a million copies in its first week. It also enjoyed success in the west, selling over two million units in the US and Europe. Given the game's origins as a low-budget spin-off title, the game's huge success took Capcom by surprise.
“Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was probably Capcom's most grossing Resident Evil title at the time. We only expected to sell 1.4 million copies, but instead sold 1.8 million. It's incredible! " - says Shinji Mikami.
According to Capcom, the game has sold 3.5 million copies worldwide. While it was slightly lower than the 4.9 million copies of Resident Evil 2, the third installment far exceeded Capcom's expectations given its shorter development time, smaller budget, and original plan as a spin-off. Okamoto's decision to turn the game into a numbered body was very well calculated in the end. The game received 88.21% of its 100 points on GameRankings.com. In the following years, ports of the game were released for the Dreamcast, PC, and GameCube.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has also made its mark on gaming pop culture like no other game in the series. With her unique costume, Jill Valentine has become an iconic female videogame character, alongside Tomb Raider's Lara Croft, Street Fighter's Chun-Li, Metroid's Samus Aran, and even Princess Peach from the Mario series.
Nemesis has also become an icon and is fondly remembered for his aggressiveness and terrifying personality. Since 1999, Nemesis has appeared on the list of the best playable characters in history. He went on to appear in many future Resident Evil games, alongside crossovers such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Project X Zone 2. And there is always the possibility that at gaming exhibitions you will always encounter at least one cosplayer as Jill or Nemesis.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is also the only installment in the series whose content has been reproduced in movies. In 2002, the first live Resident Evil movie was released, which was directed by Paul Anderson with Milla Jovovich in the title role.
The film was successful enough for Sony and Screen Gems that they immediately began production of a sequel that was released in 2004 titled Resident Evil: Apocalypse. The second film was a fairly close adaptation of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, featuring the same plot, setting, characters, and enemies.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse has grossed $ 129 million worldwide on a $ 45 million budget. It was a strong and profitable result when compared to other video games released at the time.
“I'm really glad to be responsible for making a game like this. I never thought it would affect the gaming culture. I'm grateful for that, ”commented Aoyama over the legacy and success of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
After the release of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Aoyama left the series for good, switching to other games such as Onimusha: Warlords for the PlayStation 2 and Dino Crisis 3 for the original Xbox as a system scheduler. Aoyama worked at Capcom until 2004. For family reasons, Aoyama decided to leave Capcom and move to Ishikawa Prefecture on the west coast of Japan.
Unlike Tokyo and Osaka, Ishikawa was calmer. Aoyama is currently working on other games, performing the same tasks as the Resident Evil system scheduler, this time for pachinko games. Despite not being involved with Resident Evil since 1999, he still has fond memories of working on the series at Capcom.
This is the story of the original Resident Evil 3. And we just have to play a remake of this cult game.
The Topic of Article: Looking back at Resident Evil 3 and its creation. Part two.