|Resident Evil character|
Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
|First game||Resident Evil 2 (1998)|
|Created by||Noboru Sugimura|
|Designed by||Isao Ohishi (Resident Evil 2)|
|Voiced by (English)||Alyson Court|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Yūko Kaida (Degeneration, Operation Raccoon City)
Hiroe Oka (Extinction)
|Motion capture||Lori Rom (Degeneration)|
|Portrayed by||Adrienne Frantz (RE2 commercial)
Ali Larter (Extinction, Afterlife)
Claire Redfield (クレア・レッドフィールド Kurea Reddofīrudo?) is one of the most important characters in the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) horror franchise by Capcom. Claire is the younger sister of Chris Redfield, an American special police officer who is a protagonist of the first Resident Evil game, and is herself a protagonist of the video games Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica, where she is a zombie outbreak survivor turned a vigilante.
She also appeared in various other media, including several additional video games, the computer-animated anime film Resident Evil: Degeneration, and the non-canon live-action films Resident Evil: Extinction and Resident Evil: Afterlife, as well as in the promotion and merchandise for the franchise. The game series' version of Claire was well received by critics and became one of the most popular Resident Evil characters.
In video games
Claire first appears in Resident Evil 2 (1998), which revolves around her search for her missing brother Chris, an officer in the local police special force STARS. Claire arrives in the Midwestern United States town of Raccoon City to find it overrun by zombies. She soon meets up with a rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy, but along the way she is separated from him. The rest of the game focuses on Claire's struggle to escape from the city alive. She maintains radio contact with Leon and teams up with a young girl named Sherry, while fighting against the various undead creatures infesting the Raccoon Police Department building, including the mutated scientist William Birkin. Claire eventually escapes from the city through the Umbrella Corporation's underground research complex along with Leon and Sherry, after the three of them manage to destroy Birkin. As revealed in the epilogue of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Claire left to continue her search for Chris, while Leon and Sherry were rescued by the U.S. military.
Claire, still searching for her brother, is the player character for the bulk of Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000), set three months after the events of Resident Evil 2. After an unsuccessful infiltration of Umbrella's medical branch in Paris, Claire finds herself imprisoned on Umbrella-owned Rockfort Island. She escapes following another viral outbreak caused by a rival corporation of Umbrella's and teams up with fellow ex-prisoner named Steve Burnside. Claire manages to discover the whereabouts of her brother and send a message to Leon. Claire and the arriving Chris escape from the island, only to find themselves in another of Umbrella's secret labs, this time in Antarctica, before they are taken captive by Alexia Ashford. The second half of the game follows Chris trying to save his captured sister from Umbrella. Chris finds his way into the Antarctic lab and rescues her before the final battle with Alexia. The siblings escape from the facility via the transport airplane Chris used to get there. During the game's ending they vow to put an end to the Umbrella Corporation.
Claire is also playable in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009), which retells the events of Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica, and in the uncanonical spin-off games Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011) and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012). Claire is also one of two playable characters in Resident Evil: Zombie Busters, which started as a browser game in the Capcom Party line and in 2011 was converted for mobile phones, and in Resident Evil: Uprising, which is a mobile game version of Resident Evil 2. In addition, she is an unlockable bonus character in the unrelated Capcom title Trick'N Snowboarder (1999), and appears in the browser-based social game Onimusha Soul, where she is re-designed to fit the feudal Japan theme.
In Paul W. S. Anderson's film Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Claire is the leader of a convoy of zombie apocalypse survivors who, at the end of the film, go to Alaska in search of a safe haven. In Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Claire is ambushed by the Umbrella Corporation and manipulated by a device that controls her and impairs her memory by injecting a drug into her bloodstream, before she is rescued by Alice and reunited with her brother Chris. Together, the three manage to defeat Albert Wesker with the help of convoy survivor K-Mart, who had been a close friend of Alice and Claire, and find themselves preparing to fend off an attack by Umbrella led by a device-controlled Jill Valentine. Claire did not return in Resident Evil: Retribution, where her absence was explained by the character being captured by Umbrella, but Anderson confirmed that Ali and her character "are still in the franchise." According to Gamasutra, a live action spin-off featuring Claire as the main character has also been suggested.
Claire plays a major role in the CG-animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) alongside Leon S. Kennedy. The film is set seven years after the events of Resident Evil 2. In it, Claire is now a member of TerraSave, a non-governmental organization which handles search and rescue at chemical and biological attacks. She and Angela Miller, a police officer, are rescued from a bio-terrorist incident at the Harvardville Airport by Leon. Together, the three survive a zombie outbreak at the WilPharma Corporation's research complex, in the end exposing and arresting WilPharma's researcher Frederic Downing.
The video game series version of Claire is featured in the 1998–1999 manhua Shēnghuà Wēijī 2 ("Biological Crisis 2"). A romantic comedy retelling of the story of Resident Evil 2, centered on Claire, Leon and Ada, was released by Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd. in the two-issue Taiwanese comic Èlíng Gǔbǎo II in 1999. She also appears in S.D. Perry's 1999 novels Resident Evil: City of the Dead (a novelization of Resident Evil 2), Resident Evil: Underworld (an original story) and Resident Evil Code Veronica (a novelization of the game of the same title and the last book in the series), as well as in the comic book series Resident Evil by Capcom (1998) and Resident Evil: Code Veronica by WildStorm (2002).
Claire appeared in George A. Romero's Japanese TV commercial for Resident Evil 2, as well as in a viral marketing video to promote Resident Evil 5 (despite Claire not appearing in actual game). Several action figures of Claire were released by various manufacturers, including one by Toy Biz in 1998, as well as two by Moby Dick Toys, two by Palisades Toys, and one by Volks in 2001. A Claire block-style figure was also released by Dragon in the Kubrick's Resident Evil line, while Vanilla Chop produced a resin kit. In addition, one of costumes for the character C. Viper in the fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was inspired by Claire's iconic look in Resident Evil 2.
Design and portrayal
Claire Redfield was originally known as 'Elza Walker', the female lead in the original version of Resident Evil 2 (in 1997, after a year of work, this version of the game was scrapped by the development team and is now widely referred to as "Resident Evil 1.5"). In the released version of the game, Elza Walker, a blond college student and motorcycle racer, was changed into Chris Redfield's sister named Claire. Her appearance and background remained mostly unchanged, but she was given an explanation for her skills with firearms and other weapons and her reason for coming to Raccoon City was to search for Chris, as opposed to trying to recruit fans at Raccoon City university to form a racing team back in her hometown. She was also given physical features which more closely resemble her brother, her signature jacket with "Made in Heaven" printed on the back, and a sheath for a standard-issue STARS knife from Chris. These changes that occurred were done to connect Resident Evil 2 to the original game.
Claire is voiced by Alyson Court in the games and in Resident Evil: Degeneration (her Japanese voice actress in the Japanese version is Yūko Kaida), for which she was motion-captured by Lori Rom. In the Resident Evil 2 commercial she was played by Adrienne Frantz. The book Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design called Claire a "perfect example" of the theme "opposites attracts", as she and her fellow Raccoon City survivor Sherry Birkin (a little girl dressed in a Japanese school uniform in RE2) "couldn't be more different."
The character of Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil live-action universe did not exist in the early drafts of the film Resident Evil: Extinction, as Jill Valentine was supposed to re-appear from her debut in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Later, producers Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt decided to have a separate game character appear alongside the previous film's lead Alice: "We thought, rather than bring Jill back, put her with another game heroine." The film's Claire has no connection to the video game character and her look has been completely redesigned. According to Claire's actress Ali Larter (dubbed by Hiroe Oka in the Japanese version of the films), in the sequel to Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Afterlife, she was dressed in the outfit that Claire wears in "the videogame".
The character of Claire Redfield was very well received by critics for her good looks and survival prowess. The staff of Eurogamer nominated her for the Gaming Globes 2000 awards in the category "Female Lead Character". In 2001, Omar Ali of Gaming Target included Claire and Jill together on his list of "all time favorite leading ladies in video games" for being "two girls who made the dead rise up with their looks." In 2007, Rob Wright of Tom's Games listed Claire among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history. CHIP ranked her as 16th on their 2008 list of top "girls of gaming". Featuring her in their 2009 list of top nine greatest video game heroines of all time, Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle chose Claire as an example of a positive female game character that "Brandi Chastain would be proud of," while GameDaily featured her among the "chicks who will kick your ass" (listed alongside Ada Wong, Jill and Sheva). That same year, Jesse Schedeen of IGN chose her as one of the characters to recruit for an ultimate counter-zombie strike force.
Several publications included Claire among the most attractive video game characters. In 2008, she was included in GameDaily's list of top "hottest game babes", ranked as 42nd, as well as in UGO's list of top "videogame hotties", ranked as 46th. In 2011, Rich Knight of Complex pitted her against Jill Valentine in the feature "Battle of the Beauties", category "zombie killer", but chose Jill over her. In 2011, Peter Rubin of Complex ranked the live-action version of Claire as 15th on the list of "hottest women in video game movies" and rated Ali Larter's likeness to the character at 56%. Lisa Foiles of The Escapist ranked Claire as the third "cutest redhead" in video games.
Claire's guest appearance in Trick'N Snowboarder placed fifth in GamesRadar's 2010 list of best character cameos. IGN included her among the characters they would like to see returning for Resident Evil 6, with Jesse Schedeen calling Claire "leagues above that walking bag of useless called Sheva." PlayStation Universe also chose Claire in her outfit from Resident Evil 2 as one of the five characters they wanted to appear in Resident Evil 6's Mercenaries mode as she "is long overdue a canonical appearance in the series." In 2012, Resident Evil 6 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi wrote they have "heard a lot of love for Jill and Claire recently and people asking if they’ll be in the next Resident Evil." Including Claire among the 30 best characters in the three decades of Capcom's history, GamesRadar staff commented: "Sadly she's fallen into the background of the series, which makes sense she avoided work as a government zombie hunter, but we hope Capcom has plans for her in the future. Here's a suggestion: a co-op focused RE that teams Claire up with the almost as underused Jill. It's your move Capcom."
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