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Stop Getting Resident Evil Wrong

Stop Getting Resident Evil Wrong

Games journalists are not perfect. We’re not. It might be hard to believe at times, we know, but we make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s okay. We can live with that. But when so many people make the same mistake over and over again, it does make us shout. To ourselves. On our blog.

So it’s particularly annoying to see 99.9% of Resident Evil 6 speculation out there making the same four mistakes time and time again when they’re not even the sort of oversight that’s easy to miss but something easily fixed with a few seconds of research. Such as:

1. Ashley Graham Has NOT Been Confirmed

The amount of people reporting that it’s Ashley Graham in the trailer, even a full week after the trailer surprised everyone, is embarrassing. If you were caught up in the desperate need to chew up the trailer and barf all the information online ASAP, then fine. That’s almost – almost – excusable because the rush to get the information online often overtakes accuracy, which is then amended at a later date. Nature of the beast. But with a week to reflect and research, there’s no excuse for saying the blonde girl in the trailer is Ashley Graham when no-one has said as much yet.

  • No official Capcom material everywhere has stated that Ashley Graham is the blonde girl. It’s highly likely due to several reasons – the President angle, the appearance, the similar voice – but no-one is saying ‘it’s likely to be Ashley Graham’, people are just out and out saying it’s her, as though it is a given.
  • The President dies, not Ashley’s father. In Resident Evil 4, you have to rescue the President’s daughter, who is Ashley Graham. The Resident Evil 6 trailer kicks off with the President mutating, so people put two and two together and figured – the President turns undead, Ashley is the President’s daughter, thus the blonde character must be Ashley because she wants revenge or to save him. Resident Evil 4 took place in Autumn 2004. Resident Evil 6 takes place in 2013 (possibly 2008, until Capcom clears it up). US Presidents serve a maximum of two terms, at four years each. Long story short – the President in the Resident Evil 6 trailer is not the same President who was Ashley’s father in 2004, as he would have had to have stepped down in 2012. There are ways around this – a President can be elected to two separate terms – but it means Capcom would be relying on unlikely circumstances to stretch the scenario far enough to fit the President-is-Ashley’s-father angle. Resident Evil doesn’t strictly adhere to realism, obviously, but it does mean that it’s not a given the President seen turning undead is Ashley’s father.
  • Ashley Graham’s voice actress has said Capcom hasn’t contacted her. Carolyn Lawrence, who voiced Ashley in Resident Evil 4, has only updated Twitter twice this year – once to say Happy New Year and once to say that she’s not reprising the role of Ashley in Resident Evil 6. It could be another voice actress but when her only voice actress to date says she’s not playing her, why continue blindly assuming that Ashley Graham is definitely that blonde girl?
  • IGN is reporting Sherry Birkin is that character. There’s no reason to believe them besides a worryingly ambiguous ‘our sources say’ credit – our sources say Play’s very own Steve Burns is the blonde character, so why not believe us? But the fact that this is being reported (Sherry Birkin, not Steve Burns) and that a major website is pinning their flag to that mast underlines Ashley Graham is not confirmed anywhere as the blonde character.
  • It could still be a new character altogether. Why does it have to be Ashley Graham or Sherry Birkin? Helena Harper is new. Jessica Sherawat of Resident Evil: Revelations is new. Sometimes, Capcom makes new characters. So does it have to be someone we already know?

Now the chances are that it will be Ashley Graham and ho ho ho, won’t we look like fools! And so on. We’re fine with that. We’re not annoyed at the fact that people are saying it might be Ashley. We’re annoyed at the people saying it is Ashley, despite plenty of evidence that proves with as much probably and as much credibility that it is not her.

2. Wesker Doesn’t Have Any Clones…

Who is the mysterious third character? We have Leon, we have Chris, we have…

“One of Wesker’s clones!” say far too many people online, because why not, it could be one of Wesker’s clones, why wouldn’t it be one of Wesker’s clones, he has lots of clones and something something something blood.

No. No no no no no no NO.

NO.

Wesker does NOT have any clones. This is a big misconception that’s been spread by word of mouth over the years. There’s nothing wrong with that as no-one recalls exact plots within a series with 100% accuracy but there is something wrong with that when you’re writing something about Resident Evil and getting everything wrong. Especially when it’s easily cleared up by looking it up on that research tool we sometimes like to use known as ‘the internet’. It takes no longer than 30 seconds to find the relevant information but we’ll make it even faster by copying and pasting the relevant line from Albert Wesker’s Resident Evil Wiki page:

He and dozens of other children of his caliber were collected and raised as components of the Wesker children project by the Umbrella Corporation and given the surname “Wesker”

Children collected for the Wesker project. There. No clones. Again – children collected and raised for the Wesker project. Obviously copying and pasting from Wikipedia and relying on the internet on gospel is a dangerous practice with its own pratfalls waiting to happen but that’s not the point here. Knowledge shouldn’t be assumed. Especially when you have the tools to check.

3. …And Even If He Did, It Wouldn’t Be Plural

It’s a shame that the same handy research tool that clarified Wesker didn’t have any clones can’t also clarify how many other Weskers there are in Resident Evil.

Oh hey, guess what.

“Almost all of the Weskers died outright due to the exposure, though there were a few survivors… only Albert (specimen no. 013) and Alex Wesker (specimen no. 012 and later the chief researcher of the project) were still alive.”

So not only is talking about Weskers clones wrong because he doesn’t have any clones but even if that was technically correct, it wouldn’t be plural anyway. The only other Wesker is Alex Wesker. The other Weskers died. It’s not even as though this was something mentioned right back at the beginning of the Resident Evil series – Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition sheds light on Alex Wesker through Spencer’s notes.

4. Token Umbrella Reference

Admittedly, this mistake isn’t as common, but it seems to be an all-too-frequent hangover from those who played the earlier games in the series while ignoring the latter games. There’s too much oooh-what-will-Umbrella-be-up-to-this-time pondering from those who apparently haven’t played a Resident Evil game beyond 3.

There’s been some confusion over when Resident Evil 6 takes place, as we’ve discussed here before – Capcom has stated both 2008 (’10 years after the Raccoon City incident’) and 2013 – but regardless of what year it falls, Umbrella is still no more. The Resident Evil timeline saw Umbrella destroyed in 2003. Resident Evil 4 had you rescuing Ashley Graham (CONFIRMED!) while Resident Evil 5 saw Tricell fit the traditional ‘evil company’ role in the series, with Umbrella not playing a part in either games.

Umbrella is gone. Could they come back for Resident Evil 6? It’s possible. But it’s also highly unlikely and if you want to really be smart with your speculation, what about the organisation Ada Wong was working for in Resident Evil 4 when she recovered a Plaga sample? That would involve playing a Resident Evil game beyond 3, though, so perhaps not.

So everyone, please – stop getting Resident Evil wrong.




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  • Rhys

    Yeah your right, Wesker doesnt have any clones, just other superior humans who were given the experimental virus, and yeah hardly any others survived… but hey, they should never have killed him off in the first place. (in my opinion ofcourse)

  • shaun

    BRING BACK WESKER, BRING BACK WESKER, i mean one of his clones. no wait does wesker have clones? im not sure if you laid it out clear enough ryan, im still confused,
    I know lets bring back a wesker clone that works for umbrella and he kidnaps Ashley Graham. yes thats great im going to write that up right away and call it fact for resi 6, ill even write Ashley Graham CONFIRMED next to it to make it look more authentic. annoyed yet?

  • Frank

    Read the book from the game that states there is wesker clones. Now insert foot in mouth.

  • Ryan King
  • Steve Matthews

    Okay fanboys, let’s not hang Ryan King just yet. Sure the article was a bit down his nose at all us stupid Resident Evil fans. Sure his tone was more holier-than-thou than some parts of the Bible. He was trying to be helpful. And it’s not that we don’t appreciate said help, Ryan…..it’s just your delivery method that sucks.

    Let’s look at something you said from a more relaxed point of view, hardliner. You said that people keep mentioning Umbrella, even though Umbrella is dead, and has been since before Leon saved Ashley Graham’s provocative little bottom in RE 4. I’m not disagreeing with that at all, by the way, but I will inject that the reasoning behind this is that Capcom will not let Umbrella die. Umbrella gets mentioned in BOTH RE4 and RE 5 (Re 4 for SURE, and RE 5 I believe it gets mentioned in a conversation between Chris and Sheva at the opening of one of the levels.) So, while I’ll cop to the implication (loose as it is) that you were being helpful, Ryan, and not just making four excuses to jump down our throats about things that should only really bother people who care way too much about fictional characters, settings and stories.

    Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to write an article. Lord knows you have more experience with it than I do. I will, however, relate an old maxim. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And if you don’t know what that means, well, you know how to use the internet, obviously. My point in this is that this article could have been a nice, lively, and informative ‘debate’ for those of use who peruse your articles instead of the ‘go to your room’ it turned out to be. Perhaps you had a bad day, and it bled through into your writing. I don’t know, and it’s not particularly important. There is a way to communicate information without being a dictator about it. And unless you write on a voluntary basis, you should feel obligated to write in a manner that inspires reader loyalty to those that employ you. So, for as much as you looked up correctly about the Resident Evil series, you seem to lack something when it comes to communicating with readers. A bit of advice about your communication?

    Stop getting it wrong. 😉