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The Original Resident Evil Intro That Only Hardcore Fans Know About

The influence of the original Resident Evil game continues to resonate into the present day. Resident Evil: Village, the eighth mainline entry in the series, has become one of the most hyped games of the year prior to its May 2021 release date. That said, the original Resident Evil isn't merely influential insofar as it inspired classic sequels. Rather, the entire survival horror genre as it stands now has a debt to pay to Resident Evil.


Thus, when players first booted up Resident Evil in 1996, it was a video game experience unlike much of what they had encountered before. While Resident Evil did pull from some key influences, the end result was a singular gameplay experience, the influence of which can be felt in numerous popular titles even today.

When players in the U.S. and Europe specifically first booted up Resident Evil and started a new save file, they were met with a gruesome black-and-white cutscene establishing the game's central cast and characters. That video wasn't the original introduction to the game, however, but an edited version of a longer cutscene that preceded the game as it was released in Japan.

The full Resident Evil intro was longer and bloodier

In both versions of the Resident Evil intro, members of special forces team STARS (portrayed by live actors rather than computer animation) encounter a zombified dog in a mountain range at which they've just arrived to investigate. The zombified dog kills one of their team members before chasing the rest of them into a mansion, which then serves as the game's primary setting. The dog even remains as the game progresses, appearing when players try to open the mansion's front gate.


The shorter black-and-white intro to the Western releases was just one of multiple ways the game was censored in its localizations abroad. The full slate of changes made to the original Japanese intro include multiple instances of cut footage of blood and gore and a series of newspaper clippings describing a number of dead bodies in lieu of showing them outright. The shift from color to black-and-white, too, was done to seemingly de-intensify the overall amount of violence as well.

When a new "Director's Cut" of Resident Evil was released in 1997, it was supposed to have removed all censorship. However, the black-and-white intro remained, angering some players who had heard of the full-color Japanese intro and still had yet to see it for themselves.


Now, of course, anyone can view the full intro online. It recently circulated among the Resident Evil fanbase after YouTube channel Project Ravenlight shared an upscaled version of the video in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Reactions from fans today range from surprise at just how much footage was cut to ironic appreciation of its stilted acting, one of the many outdated relics of the era in the nevertheless highly influential Resident Evil.