||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
|Resident Evil character|
Albert Wesker in Resident Evil 5
|First game||Resident Evil (1996)|
|Designed by||Isao Ohishi and Jun Takeuchi (RE)|
|Voiced by (English)||Sergio Jones (RE)
Richard Waugh (C:V, RE0, RE4)
Peter Jessop (REmake)
D. C. Douglas (TUC, RE5, TDC, MvC3, UMvC3)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Jōji Nakata (MvC3, UMvC3)
Fumihiko Tachiki (Extinction)
|Motion capture||Junichi Kawamoto (REmake)|
|Portrayed by||Eric (RE live-action cutscenes)
Jason O'Mara (Extinction)
Shawn Roberts (Afterlife, Retribution)
Albert Wesker (アルバート・ウェスカー Arubāto Wesukā?) is one of the central characters in Capcom's Resident Evil series (Biohazard in Japan). He is first introduced in the original Resident Evil game, in which he is the captain of US police team STARS. His character is further explored in subsequent installments, which feature Wesker as a recurring character within the series extensive narrative.
Initially introduced as a supporting character in the first game, he has been one of the primary antagonists throughout the series, where he usually manipulates story events behind-the-scenes. He was written by Kenichi Iwao, the scenario writer of the first game. Power-hungry, knowledgeable and infinitely cunning, he was a man who sought to replace the entire human race through mass extinction and forced evolution, believing humanity to be an evolutionary dead-end. To this end, he was affiliated with the Umbrella Corporation as one of its most promising researchers, and at the same time participated in illicit activities by going undercover as Captain of S.T.A.R.S. in Raccoon City. Through the course of much betrayal of his allies to further his own plans, Wesker faked his death, gained superhuman powers from an experimental variant of the Progenitor virus (by definition, a "t-virus"), and worked alongside both Umbrella's mysterious rival company and their successors in the field of B.O.W. development, TRICELL, Inc. He would eventually enact a plot to transform the human race into powerful superhumans like himself, and be a god to rule over them in a new age. Wesker was the main antagonist for much of the series, surpassing even Oswell E. Spencer. The film version of Wesker is played by Jason O'Mara in Resident Evil: Extinction and Shawn Roberts in Resident Evil: Afterlife and Resident Evil: Retribution. He has a son named Jake Muller who is introduced in Resident Evil 6.
In video games
Wesker made his first appearance as a non-playable character in the original Resident Evil game, assisting the player character against Lisa Trevor in the remake. In that game, he is the commanding officer of Alpha team of the Special Tactics And Rescue Service (STARS). It is eventually revealed that Wesker is a double agent working for the Umbrella Corporation; ordered by his superiors to lure the STARS into the Spencer mansion to be used as test subjects against the mutated creatures to gather battle data. Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and the others come to learn of Wesker's true motive, but after releasing the Tyrant monster, Wesker is seemingly killed. The Sega Saturn port of Resident Evil features a Battle Mode minigame where the player can fight a zombified version of Wesker.
However, this is part of an even bigger plan. In the special giveaway fictional documentary titled Wesker's Report (rewritten in 2003 to include details from Resident Evil 0 and the Resident Evil remake), Wesker reveals that he planned to sell the Tyrant to Umbrella's rival company in the B.O.W. field as a means to buy his way into a high position, and he deployed the elite S.T.A.R.S. against it in order to obtain combat data to prove the Tyrant's effectiveness to the company. However, his plan was ruined after the Tyrant was destroyed by his former subordinates, and he survived his apparent death in the first game by injecting himself beforehand with an experimental variant of the t-virus, provided by his former Umbrella colleague William Birkin, that revived and augmented him with superhuman strength, speed and regeneration, but at the expense of his humanity. Wesker returned in Resident Evil Code: Veronica, augmented with superhuman powers and working as an agent for "H.C.F." (Hive/Host Capture Force), a Special Forces unit of the rival company opposed to Umbrella. He orchestrates a raid on Rockfort Island in order to capture Alexia Ashford, creator of the t-Veronica virus who now holds the only remaining sample of the virus within her body. When Chris Redfield knocks his sunglasses off during a brief struggle, Wesker's orange, almost reptilian eyes are seen for the first time. He confronts both Chris and Alexia and he took the corpse of Steve Burnside in order to extract the t-Veronica virus. In the expanded release, Code: Veronica X, he briefly confronts Chris' younger sister Claire and nearly kills her in order to torment Chris, but is called away by his associates and thus chooses to spare her life.
Wesker then appeared alongside William Birkin in Resident Evil Zero, a prequel to the original game where it is revealed that he attended the Umbrella Executive Training School as a prospective executive, and later in Resident Evil 4 as a conspirator manipulating events from behind the scenes, where he would issue orders to Ada Wong. He is also unlockable in "The Mercenaries" scenario. He is also the protagonist of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and a playable character in several of the game's scenarios, expanding upon events alluded to in early games, as well as his involvement in Umbrella's downfall after the events of Code: Veronica and his development in Resident Evil 4. In the end he kills Sergei Vladimir, a loyal Umbrella executive.
Wesker returns in Resident Evil 5 as the main antagonist conspiring with the pharmaceutical division of the TRICELL conglomerate as a means to create the "Uroboros virus", an enhanced virus derived from the Progenitor virus, with which he ultimately plans to release into the Earth's atmosphere. Before being killed by Wesker, Oswell Spencer reveals that Wesker was the survivor of a Progenitor virus variant administration experiment - the "Wesker Project." (It is stated in the RE5 downloadable content "Lost In Nightmares" that another Wesker, Alex, survived as well). Chris and Sheva Alomar prevent the worldwide infection and ultimately kill Wesker inside a volcano at the end of the game. Masachika Kawata, the game's producer, confirmed that Wesker perished in the game's finale. Some concept artwork for Resident Evil 5 also indicated that Wesker was to have been in his human form while in lava and then blasted with missiles from a F-16 Fighting Falcon, before eventually being shot in the head on the landing platform by Chris and Sheva.
Wesker appears in the spin-off title Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D as a playable character along with various other Resident Evil characters. Albert Wesker's voice is heard on the 15th anniversary special video narrating the events.
Wesker appears in the crossover fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds as a playable character and a key character in the game's plot, in which he joins forces with Doctor Doom as the two build an army of supervillains, attempting to merge the two dimensions in the hopes of conquering both. During the final battle, if Wesker is not one of the playable characters, he will also be revealed to be one of Galactus' heralds along with Doom, the Marvel villain Dormammu, and a fellow Capcom villain Akuma. He also makes a guest appearance as an unlockable character skin in Lost Planet 2.
Wesker's character was adapted for the 2007 live-action film Resident Evil: Extinction. Played by Jason O'Mara, this version of Wesker is the head of the Umbrella Corporation, as opposed to Wesker's role in the games as a renegade high-ranking Umbrella researcher. He runs Umbrella's operations from behind the scenes, holding meetings via hologram with his underground board of directors in Tokyo. Shawn Roberts took over the role of Wesker in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife, where the character is closer to his Code Veronica and especially his Resident Evil 5 incarnations, complete with superhuman abilities and glowing red eyes; he even wears the same outfit as in the latter game. Wesker says some of his lines from the game as well. He later appears in Resident Evil: Retribution as a defector from Umbrella, who sends Ada Wong to rescue Alice from an underground Russian Umbrella outpost run by the Red Queen who has taken over the rest of Umbrella. He is set to return in the sixth film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
The character of Albert Wesker has been well received by video game publications. In 2006, IGN ranked Wesker number three on their list of most memorable villains, claiming that "Res Evil fans know that whenever Wesker shows up, trouble isn't far behind," and also ranked him as the 14th best video game villain in 2010. In 2008, GamePro ranked Wesker as the 40th most diabolical video game villain of all time. An IGN article from March 2010 titled "Big Boss of the Day: Resident Evil's Albert Wesker" discussed his appearances across the franchise, comparing him with other video game villains including Bowser and Sephiroth as well commenting it is strange to have a Resident Evil without him. GameSpot featured him in the "All Time Greatest Game Villains" poll, where Wesker lost to Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda. In 2009, GamesRadar listed Wesker as one of the top seven characters who never stay dead, describing him as the "proverbial man behind the curtain" in the Resident Evil series. Similarly, 1UP.com also placed him number eight in their article "They is Risen" in response to his apparent resurrection in the Resident Evil series. GamesRadar gave praise to Wesker's death in Resident Evil 5 as it showed the character's strength due to the requirements to defeat him while D. C. Douglas's performance as the character also received positive comments during the self-bloopers from the series. According to PlayStation Universe, "From his perpetual shades, stoic persona and swanky haircut, Wesker has all the makings of an iconic – albeit somewhat stereotypical – videogame villain." In January 2010 issue, Nintendo Power named Wesker the ninth best villain in Nintendo history. GamesRadar also praised Wesker's role as an antagonist, putting him in their 2013 list of the best villains in video game history at number 13. In 2013, GamesRadar staff included him among the 30 best characters in the three decades of Capcom's history and wrote that with his appearance as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, "even after his death in RE5, Albert Wesker shows no signs of stopping, which is just the way we like it."
On the other hand, Play listed such fight as the third worst boss fight in the PlayStation 3 games, emphasizing how many times the player had to fight him until he is defeated. 1UP.com also ranked him as the top thing in the series that Resident Evil 5 "could do without" prior to its release. The PlayStation Official Magazine shared this opinion and ranked Wesker as the ninth worst PlayStation boss fight ever. In 2012, Complex ranked him as the second "douchiest" video game character, stating, "Wesker has a following, yes, but there’s something very Agent Smith about him that makes us shake our heads."
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