Since 1996, Capcom has been creating genre-defining horror games through their Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) franchise. The series has birthed 8 main title games, with multiple remakes of earlier titles and just as many spin-off games. It seems self-evident that Capcom can be considered the original survival horror creators. The studio’s most recent title has just arrived as Resident […]
Since 1996, Capcom has been creating genre-defining horror games through their Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) franchise. The series has birthed 8 main title games, with multiple remakes of earlier titles and just as many spin-off games. It seems self-evident that Capcom can be considered the original survival horror creators.
The studio’s most recent title has just arrived as Resident Evil Village. Village is the 8th main title in the series, and it follows the protagonist Ethan Winters from the previous game. Village plonks him down in the titular village, and what comes next is a journey of epic proportions as he fights through werewolves, vampires, zombies, and even more horrors than he can count on his broken fingers.
While proceeding through the game, players might recognize many references to classic horror tropes teased in all four of the game’s main bosses. This article seeks to identify the numerous references to different films, books, and other media presented within these encounters. What follows will of course include spoilers for the game’s campaign.
Lady Alcina Dimitrescu
Most people who have seen any footage or spoke to people online about Resi 8 have heard of Lady D, she’s a 9’6” woman with exquisite taste in clothing and a rather insatiable taste for blood. Yup she’s a vampire, or at least she exhibits the same features of a vampire: pale skin, incredible strength and the appetite of human blood. She also lives in a massive castle with her three daughters.
Why does this all sound so familiar? Because she is a very obvious reference to Count Dracula. Tall, beautiful, pale, even the 3 daughters are an homage to Dracula’s 3 wives. There are hints that the castle is in Romania too, since the name Dimitrescu is of Romanian origin. The references are too many to deny similarities and are a brilliant nod to one of the most famous literary horrors in history.
Donna Beneviento and Angie
The largely isolated and quiet Donna lives in a small family estate nestled in the mountains. Donna is a humble doll maker and hardly speaks when you meet her, but that’s not to say she is quiet. She uses her doll Angie to make up for all the lost conversation. Donna is able to manipulate Angie and her other creepy porcelain dolls to assault the protagonist in a manner that brings to mind many different killer dolls in films.
Chucky from the Child’s Play films and Anabelle are some of the more recent additions to the killer toy genre of horror icons, and Donna with her menagerie of terrifying dolls echoes this well. There is a sequence where the player must engage in a macabre game of hide-and-seek in an emulation of so many horror movie sequences, and Angie’s terrifying visage and movements cement this as one of the most terrifying sections of Resident Evil Village.
Hiding in a large self-made lake Moreau is a hideous fish monster who consumes any poor soul that ventures into his home. Although he has the ability and the strength to harm, it seems that all Moreau wants is to be left alone to his experiments. It’s unfortunate then, that the focus of his experiments is in combining human and the cadou organism to create new life. This, if readers haven’t already guessed, is a direct mirror of the titular Dr. Moreau from the story ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau.’
Even from the scraps of information you can glean around the lake, it seems that Salvatore used to be a doctor before his gruesome transformation. There is even a sign showing the surgery – or, as is more likely, the remains – of his ‘patients,’ and the nod to this classic character from the developers is wonderful to see.
A genius in engineering, Heisenberg hides away in his factory and uses his ability to manipulate metal objects with his mind to create new mechanical monstrosities. The engineer takes the recently deceased from the town and melds them with mechanical parts in a horrific resurrection that allows him an army of monsters.
The similarities to the infamous Victor Frankenstein are too numerous to count, from taking dead bodies and creating new life with electricity and metal to the fiery demise of his creations, Capcom obviously took a huge page from this character and created a terrifying opponent. In reading about the experiments that Heisenburg has performed on all of his creations, it shows how gruesomely dedicated the doctor is to creating he perfect weapon, and how dangerously single-minded his pursuit.
Heisenburg even creates a monstrosity know as Sturm, replacing the torso and head of a human body with a plane engine that utilizes chainsaws for propeller blades. This monstrosity pursues and terrifies players throughout the factory and really epitomizes the connection to Frankenstein as both men seem to have no care for human life, and experiment on bodies with the same level of madness.
Even though they don’t have the same level of attention, there are several more horror icons present in Resident Evil Village. As soon as Ethan steps foot in the titular village he is attacked by werewolves, later in the game zombies rise from their graves to attack you which is a nice staple of the Resident Evil Franchise, and even giants are encountered later on calling back to the El Gigantes from Resident Evil 4
It’s actually incredible the sheer amount of horror monsters that Capcom managed to get into this one game. Every second of the game was thrilling, and the variety of antagonists featured spoke to a true adoration for the horror genre. Hopefully Capcom continues hitting it out of the park with their installments in this famous franchise.