Today marks another anniversary in the world of gaming. As someone who's been to hell and back with several titles over the years, probably one of the most series that capitalized on my hyper Playstation days was the entire Resident Evil franchise. Better known as "Bio Hazard" in Japan, Capcom sparked what would be known as the "Survival Horror" genre by creating a game that featured zombies, biological monsters, and an environment that seemingly had no intention of letting you survive. Better yet, you had protagonists players actually cared about, tooling them with all kinds of weapons you could scavenge around to help their chances of escaping and blowing off monsters without losing your head in the process. That was the endearing aspect of the games thus far, but one installment made you realize you couldn't just run-and-gun the way you want to. Capcom learned from Resident Evil 2's Mr. X that a predator stalking its prey was the ideal way to go, and for its next game, they blew the shit out of the fan by introducing a new monster that was just as relentless as the game's main protagonist.
This game does bring back a lot of memories for me. I actually played the import version since I couldn't contain my excitement any longer, and it was the very first Resident Evil/ Bio Hazard game to incorporate a feature not replicated in any other installment thus far. What I'm talking about is none other than main bad guy himself, aptly called "Nemesis". A Tyrant hybrid that was made using existing samples of the G-Virus, Nemesis is one guy you don't want to mess around with. He stalks Jill at every turn, and appears out of nowhere most of the time, breaking walls and doors by just ramming through them. The black trench coat he wears isn't just for show, for deep inside that oversized cloak of his houses lots of weaponry, primarily a rocket launcher he uses to try and blow Ms. Valentine to bits. Yes, Nemesis was one tough SOB to kill, but facing him and putting him down (provided you had the ammo for it) yielded lots of rewards, including some custom ammo for Jill to use in the game.
Ironically, Nemesis is also responsible for killing Brad "Chicken Heart" Vickers, the helicopter pilot from BH1 who mysteriously returned in BH2 as a zombie. Now we know how he bought the farm... what a way to go.
While the game was still primarily Jill's, players still had someone assisting them throughout the course of the adventure In this case, a man named Carlos Oliveira, a member of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasures Service (UCBS), was there to assist Ms. valentine when the situation called for it, even allowing players to control him when Jill was incapacitated for a few days. Other members of Carlos' UBCS unit also managedto survive, notably Mikhail Victor and Nicholai Ginovaef. The latter was, in fact, the villain of the game, and did a lot of dirty work in the shadows to eliminate evidence and get back combat data to Umbrella. These three soldiers are also playable characters in the unlockable minigame called "The Mecenaries - Operation: Mad Jackal", a great survival game that reaps a lot of rewards that can be used in the main game if one actually succeeds.
In the end, Bio Hazard 3 was another milestone achievement for the series 10 years ago, if not one of the best games in the series' long but well documented history. There were two endings one could get depending on the decisions made in the game, but the end result was the same: you got out alive. Upon completion, players got ahold of several items they could use in the next game, including a special key Jill could use to enter a shop early in the game that had tons of outfits she could change to and use throughout the game. Most notable among these is her original outfit from the original Bio Hazard, and another which has her dressed up as Regina, the protagonist from another Capcom game that also celebrates 10 years of existence: Dino Crisis. Yeah, there were lots of games produced by Capcom back then that were iconic, and to this day, many of them still are, including this one. Oh yeah, the game also inspired the plot of the second live action RE movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the second non-canonical Paul W.S. Anderson directed movie that stars Milla Jovovich. Jill and Nemesis were there too... talk about inspiring figures, hehehe. The game also saw subsequent rereleases for the dreamcast and gamecube, the former having just celebrated 10 years of existence earlier this month as well, whoo! Overall, Bio Hazard 3: Last Escape is a classic, and continues to serve as an inspiration to other survival horror games. One of them, Left 4 Dead, actually pays homage to the game via a mod that beautifully recreates the first area of the game. Check it out!
That was beautiful! Happy 10 years, Nemesis!
"You're An Amazon Jill!" - Brad Vickers to Jill Valentine as he drops the Rocket Launcher to kill the T-002 in the final battle of The Mansion Incident.