|Resident Evil character|
|First game||Resident Evil (1996)|
|Designed by||Isao Oishi (RE character design)
Jun Takeuchi (RE character models and motion)
Kenichiro Yoshimura (REmake)
|Voiced by (English)||Una Kavanaugh (RE)
Catherine Disher (RE3, MvC2)
Heidi Anderson (REmake)
Patricia Ja Lee (The Umbrella Chronicles, RE5, Mercenaries 3D)
Tara Platt (Pachislot Biohazard)
Kari Wahlgren (MvC3, UMvC3)
Michelle Ruff (Revelations, Operation Raccoon City)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Maya Okamoto (Apocalypse)
Atsuko Yuya (Apocalypse (BR), Afterlife, MvC3, UMvC3, Revelations, Operation Racoon City, Retribution, Project X Zone)
|Motion capture||Julia Voth/Hanai Takahashi (REmake)
Patricia Ja Lee (The Umbrella Chronicles, RE5)
Jade Quon (RE5 (stunts))
|Portrayed by||Inezh (RE live-action cutscenes)
Sienna Guillory (Apocalypse, Afterlife, Retribution)
Jill Valentine (ジル・バレンタイン Jiru Barentain?) is a fictional character in the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) horror franchise by Capcom. Jill made her debut appearance in 1996 as one of the protagonists of the original Resident Evil game, in which she is a member of the U.S. special police unit STARS trapped in a mysterious mansion along with her team partner Chris Redfield. During the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil: Revelations, she escapes from a city overrun by zombies and eventually becomes a founding member and key field operative of the paramilitary organization BSAA, reuniting with Chris. The games put her in a conflict against the shadowy company Umbrella Corporation and its splinter groups.
Jill has gained great popularity and was met with generally very favorable critical reception, being widely regarded as one of the most attractive women characters and best female protagonists in video games, and has also sparked some popular video game memes. The film series' version of Jill was portrayed by Sienna Guillory and based off the game character's various incarnations. She was introduced as a co-protagonist of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, made a brief appearance in Resident Evil: Afterlife, and returned as the main antagonist of Resident Evil: Retribution.
In video games
Jill Valentine first appears as one of two playable protagonists of the original Resident Evil game (1996), in which she is an explosives expert of Raccoon Police Department's Special Tactics And Rescue Squad (STARS) and a partner to Chris Redfield. Jill's family ethnic background is half-French, half-Japanese, and she is a former operative of the U.S. Army's secretive special unit known as Delta Force, where she was an explosives expert. Before the game begins, the STARS, including Jill's Alpha team, are deployed to investigate a series of bizarre murders in the Arklay Mountains, where they discover and enter Umbrella Corporation's Arklay Research Facility biological warfare site. Inside, with Chris missing, Jill initially works with Barry Burton, another Alpha team member, as they inspect the mansion and battle its undead residents. Eventually, she and Chris discover that STARS commander, Captain Wesker, had betrayed them. After defeating the monster Tyrant released by Wesker, Jill escapes the self-destructing mansion in Brad Vickers' helicopter along with Chris, Barry and the Bravo team's sole survivor Rebecca Chambers. She is also the sole protagonist in Resident Evil: Genesis (2008), an alternative-story version of this game.
Jill returns as the protagonist of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), where she is forced to side with a mercenary named Carlos Oliveira, member of the Umbrella Corporation's paramilitary force double-crossed by their employer. Through the game, Jill and Carlos cooperate to escape from the now-dead Raccoon City before it is destroyed with a nuclear strike by the U.S. government. Along the way, they fight Nemesis, a modified Tyrant super soldier sent by Umbrella to dispose of the remaining STARS members. After several encounters with Nemesis, Jill is infected with the zombiefying T-virus, though Carlos is able to procure a vaccine from the nearby hospital. Finally, Jill defeats Nemesis and Barry Burton returns to Raccoon City to bring her and Carlos to safety moments before the city's destruction. Jill is also featured as a playable character in the "Heroes Mode" multiplayer section of the non-canon spin-off game Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012).
Emerging alive from the Raccoon City outbreak, Jill becomes the founding member of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) under the United Nations. In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), she works with Chris Redfield to expose and destroy the Umbrella Corporation by raiding their research facility in Russia, defeating Umbrella's newest bioweapon creature, T-ALOS. Before the events of Resident Evil 5 (2009), Jill apparently dies while saving Chris during a confrontation with Wesker. During the game, however, Chris finds information suggesting that she may still be alive. Eventually, he discovers that Jill is under control of Wesker, who used Jill's DNA and the remnants of the T-virus within her body to perfect his new Uroboros virus. Chris and his new partner Sheva Alomar manage to subdue Jill and free her from Wesker's influence. Jill then works with a fellow BSAA agent Josh Stone, Sheva's mentor, to assist Chris and Sheva in defeating Wesker. Demand from fans wishing to play as Jill led to two additional DLC scenarios (also included in the Gold Edition of Resident Evil 5): Lost in Nightmares, showing the events leading up to Jill's disappearance, and Desperate Escape, showing her fight to escape the facility she was being held in. She is also one of the playable characters in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011), an action game based on "The Mercenaries" minigame from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.
In Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), set in 2005, Jill goes on a rescue mission to save Chris from the grip of the bioterrorist group Il Veltro, following a transmission from a luxury cruise ship Queen Zenobia, which turns out to be a trap set for her. Jill and her new partner, Parker Luciani, now out of contact and uninformed of the dire situation they face, find the ship infested with a new breed of leech-like zombies, infected with a new, stronger strain of the T-virus: the T-Abyss virus. Meanwhile, Chris and his new partner Jessica make their way to the ship to find Jill and some answers. Together, they slowly unravel a global conspiracy involving an earlier outbreak of the original strain of the T-virus at the city of Terragrigia, and a botched investigation by a rival agency, the Federal Bioterrorism Commission (FBC). During this mission Jill is exposed to the T-Abyss and receives an experimental vaccine.
Outside of the Resident Evil series, Jill appears as a player character in the crossover fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000), wearing her STARS uniform. She returns as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011), where her design is based on her appearance in Resident Evil 5, available as downloadable content. In addition, she also makes a guest appearance in Under the Skin (alongside Carlos and Nemesis) and has a character card in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series. She also appears as a playable character in the crossover tactical role-playing game Project X Zone (2012), wearing her costume from Revelations, and in the browser-based social game Onimusha Soul (2013), where she was re-designed to fit the feudal Japan theme.
Design and portrayal
During development of the original Resident Evil, Jill was conceived as physically weaker than the game's male protagonist Chris Redfield, but she was given more skills and weapons to compensate for this. The development team for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis commented that Jill was deliberately designed to make her "beautiful for everybody" and appeal to both male and female gamers, as males would find her physically attractive and females would see her as a tough role model.
For the 2002 GameCube remake of Resident Evil, Capcom producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi said the team wanted Jill to be "a little cuter" so that "her action and atmosphere has charm". Her facial and physical appearance from the remake onwards is based on Canadian model and actress Julia Voth, and her body was scanned into computers to make her look as much like Voth as possible. Character designer Kenichiro Yoshimura said that he "made Jill's face as much similar as I could to the model actress face." However, so that she remains a tough character, her body is designed to be "not skinny, more like muscular". Ten years later, Julia Voth recalled her audition in Tokyo, when she was still a teenager: "there were tons of girls there. They told us it was for a video game, but nothing more. ... I had no idea she would grow to the popularity that she did. I feel very blessed to be part of it. It really is such a great honor." Asked whether would she like to play Jill in a film version, Voth answered, "Where do I sign? I have always felt a connection to Jill, and more so always been very proud of the fact that people still love her and want to play her. It would truly be a full circle moment for me in my life and career."
On the subject of changes to Jill and Chris Redfield's appearance in Resident Evil 5, production director Yasuhiro Anpo said that he tried "to preserve their image and imagined how they would have changed over the passage of time" and so they "made a new design that retained their signature color—green for Chris, blue for Jill—to carry over the same look from the past. The facial structures are mainly based on the visuals of the Nintendo GameCube version, and we added various details to these in order to develop a realistic structure." Jill's character model was paler than usual in this entry to the series and her hair was blonde, both of which were explained in-universe as being due to a pigment abnormality sustained while her body was under experimentation. Capcom producer Jun Takeuchi said Jill's unlockable "classic look" STARS uniform from the original game was his favorite extra costume in Resident Evil 5.
Jill was voiced by Catherine Disher in Resident Evil 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Heidi Anderson voiced her in the 2002 GameCube remake of the first game. Patricia Ja Lee, who provided the voice and motion capture in The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil 5 and all of its later released downloadable content (DLC), and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, compared physical part of the auditions for the role to applying to the LAPD. Lee noted that while she did her research and "looked up the previous Jills", she was given a lot of freedom to reinvent the character due to the changes that Jill underwent in-universe. Kari Wahlgren assumed the role in Marvel vs. Capcom 3; Michelle Ruff lent her voice to the character in Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Ruff said about her role: "Jills's voice says a lot about her personality. I kept her in my lower register. She's all business and not 'girly' at all. Almost military-ish."
Jill was one of the first two player characters in the Resident Evil series. In the original game, Jill plays very differently to Chris as she runs slower, can take less damage and is less accurate with firearms, but has two more inventory slots and an access to stronger weapons (including starting armed with a gun, while Chris begins with only a knife). She also carries a lockpick capable of opening many doors and caches, knows how to play piano (which is useful in-game), and is aided by the overprotective Barry. In the game's 2002 remake, she has a taser as her personal defensive weapon. In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Jill will enter the "Live Selection Mode" during certain sections of the game, in which the player is prompted to quickly choose between one of two possible actions (the choice of action affects the direction of the game and story, including which ending the player receives). It was also during this game that Jill became the first character to be able to perform a quick 180-degree turn, which has since become a staple of the series. In Resident Evil 5, Jill runs faster than Chris. While the majority of her melee moves (kicks and acrobatic leg attacks) are the weakest of the four playable Mercenaries mode characters in RE5, they are also the fastest, and her exclusive Px4 handgun has the best chance of a critical hit (head shots resulting in an instant kill) of all the characters.
In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Jill is a very fast and agile character that is able to summon monsters to attack her opponent. She can also heal the player's active character if she is summoned as a support character. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, she was given a complete overhaul, her appearance and move-set being based on her Resident Evil 5 incarnation and using Wesker-like teleportation moves. In this game, Jill is available as a DLC character, but her character was reportedly found to be already present on the retail game disc.
Jill first appears in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), the second film in the live-action series. In this version of the series, Jill is a former STARS member (having been suspended for filing "false" reports about zombies) and a foil to the main character, Alice. Jill tries to escape Raccoon City along with a group of survivors and is one of the few to make it out. She was set to appear in the sequel, Resident Evil: Extinction, but Sienna Guillory had commitments to other work. Later, producers Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt decided to have an "another game heroine", Claire Redfield, appear alongside the film's lead, Alice. Jill returns in a costume based on her Resident Evil 5 suit at the end of the film Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), where she is under the control of Umbrella Corporation and leads an attack against Alice, Claire, Chris and the remaining human survivors. Guillory returned to the role of Jill as the primary antagonist of the fifth film, Resident Evil: Retribution (2012).
Sienna Guillory portrays Jill in the live-action films, where she is one of protagonists turned an antagonist. At first, the films' producer/writer/director Anderson chose Natasha Henstridge, but she was unavailable; he then considered Mira Sorvino. Guillory said she was "incredibly proud to be a part of this" and felt "there is no greater motivator than knowing you’re going to be squaring off against Milla Jovovich [Alice] in a cat-suit months after giving birth to twins," but she had problems with Jill's "boob-ament" mind control device prop during the fifth film's production.
Jill also appears in several novels based on the Resident Evil series, particularly in those by S. D. Perry. In the 1998 novel Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy, Jill is said to be the daughter of professional thief Dick Valentine and to having been his accomplice prior to her career in law enforcement (in apparent conflict with her supposed Delta Force background), explaining her unrivaled infiltration skills and "mastery of unlocking". She also appears in Lee Chung Hing's manhua adaptation of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, titled Biohazard 3: Last Escape (1999), as well as in the Marvel's comic series Resident Evil (1996–1998) and the comic book Marvel Vs. Capcom: Fate of Two Worlds (2011).
The character has been featured in various Resident Evil merchandise, including a range of RE3 Jill action figures released by Moby Dick Toys in 2001, and the action figures made by Toy Biz and NECA. In 2010, Hot Toys have released two detailed 1/6 scale figures of Jill based on her appearance in Resident Evil 5 (one in her BSAA uniform and one in her RE5 "battlesuit") with over 30 points of articulation, commissioned by Capcom to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Resident Evil. In 2006, a Jill statuette was released by NECA in 2006 for the 10th anniversary of Resident Evil. Other Jill statuettes were also made by other manufacturers, such as KIP, Vanilla Chop and Gaya Entertainment. Also produced were replicas of her beret and STARS badge from the original Resident Evil game. In 2011, Jill was featured as a character in Bandai's Resident Evil Deck Building Game and included as one of two pre-order promotional cards.
Capcom's theme restaurant Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S. opened in 2012 with a dish named S.T.A.R.S. Original Noodles (Women Only) "Jill Ver." in the menu. Halloween Horror Nights 2013, held at Universal Orlando, featured Jill as one the two main characters in a haunted house "Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City", based on Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
Jill Valentine has been received very positively as the Resident Evil series' main female protagonist and remains one of its most recognisable characters. In 2002, Jill was described by Duluth News Tribune as the "best super heroine this side of Lara Croft". GameDaily ranked her as their tenth most favorite Capcom characters of all time and used her as an example for the archetype "smart and sexy heroine". In the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition of 2011, Jill was voted the 43rd most popular video game character of all time. She was also recognized by Guinness World Records 2013: Gamer's Edition as "the first female player character in a survival-horror game".[note 1] That same year, Complex and GamingBolt both included her among the greatest video game mascots.
In 2005, Bonnie Ruberg of The Escapist called her "a classic example" of horror game female characters who fill the role of the heroine, as "she's tightly clothed, but not outrageously so, and she can shoot herself a mean zombie." In 2007, Jill was listed by Tom's Hardware among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history, describing her as "a true survivor and an elite fighting machine, not to mention a drop-dead gorgeous brunette." GameDaily listed Jill among the ten "babes who should meet your mom", where she was described as both noble and confident even as having a questionable fashion sense, as well as the "chicks who will kick your ass" (along with Ada, Claire and Sheva), and ranked her as 26th among the "50 hottest game babes". According to GamesRadar's Brett Elston, Jill has "emerged as perhaps the most sensible design of the period [of mid-to-late 1990s], being both tough and sexy without shedding her clothes at the first sign of trouble." In 2009, Elston listed her among the 11 heroines that "embody the best of videogame girls", also confessing that Jill was his first game crush for "her normal name, normal build and normal demeanor, trapped in the most abnormal of situations." In 2010, James Hawkins of Joystick Division ranked Jill as the second top "badass lady" in video games, chosen for her perseverance. In the 2011 "battle of the beauties" feature, Complex pitted Jill against Claire Redfield in the category "zombie killer", choosing her over Claire. In 2012, Nathan Misa of MMGN graded her the fifth top "hottest and modest" female protagonists in gaming, writing that in the original game Jill was "portrayed realistically and appropriately." That same year, Adam Dodd of Cheat Code Central chose this "sultry S.T.A.R.S. member" among "many capable women in the Resident Evil series" for his list of top ten "badass" women of video games, commentting that "Jill is a fan favorite for a reason, as she's an intimidating mix of brains and beauty, and it certainly helps that she knows her way around a gun." In 2013, she was ranked as 30th on the list greatest heroine in video game history by Michael Rougeau of Complex, while Tom's Guide's Marshall Honorof included her among top ten video game female protagonists, writing that "equally good at gunning down the undead and solving tricky puzzles, Jill set a high standard for heroines in survival-horror games: smart, capable and devoted to her partners." That same year, the "smart and resourceful" Jill was also similarly ranked as the tenth best female protagonist in gaming by the staff of GamesTM, who stated: "When you think of a lead protagonist for the series, your mind might jump to Chris Redfield or Leon S. Kennedy, but she’s the most consistent character throughout the series. When you need a gigantic genetically altered zombie taking down, she's the girl to do it."
One of the celebrated aspects of Jill's role in the series has been her ongoing partnership with Chris Redfield. James Hawkins of Joystick Division graded Chris and Jill as the fifth top duo in video game history, as "the two of them together make a force that cannot be slowed by even the most sophisticated undead forces." He explained why the partnership worked so well, saying; "Jill Valentine represents the more intellectual protagonist -- the kind that survives on a sharp mind, a thrifty expenditure of resources, and sheer cleverness [that] contrasts perfectly Chris Redfield's machismo In 2012, Brittany Vincent of Complex ranked them as the 15th "most a**-kicking" game duo saying, "Forget Chris and Sheva. Jill is where it's at", while PlayStation Universe stated that the duo together form "the nucleus" of the whole series.
Jill has been often regarded as one of most attractive female characters in video games by various publications. As such, she was included on the lists of nine "sexiest babes of action games" by The Times of India and of gaming's finest brunettes by GameDaily. In 2001, Omar Ali of Gaming Target included Claire and Jill together on his list of "all time favorite leading ladies in video games" as "two girls who made the dead rise up with their looks." In 2003, GameSpy ranked her as the seventh top "babe in games", adding that "even those of us who weren't big fans of the games" will remember Jill. UGO included Jill on the lists of top 11 "videogame heroine hotties" in 2007 (at third place) and among top 50 "videogame hotties" in 2011, noting her to be a core character of the Resident Evil series and citing her high popularity. In 2008, News.com.au named her as number one sexiest video game character of all time, noting her popularity with both male and female gamers for different reasons. That same year, she was also featured on the lists of top "video game game vixens" by Spike TV (at number nine) and top "game babes" by Virgin Media (at number seven); Chip ranked her as the seventh top "girl of gaming". In 2010, Videogamer.com included Jill on the list of top video game crushes, stating that "she sure as hell picked the lock to our heart." That same year, Joystick Division's James Hawkins ranked her as the fifth sexiest video game character, adding that she "has become the poster child for the Resident Evil franchise – she's smart, resilient, feisty, and remarkably beautiful," while AfterEllen similarly chose her as the fifth "hottest" female video game character. In the 2011 GameZone poll that asked "who would you rather?", Jill was pitted against Tomb Raider's Lara and won; to celebrate Valentine's Day 2011, Complex posted an article "Happy V-Day" with a gallery of her "hottest pics". That same year, K. Thor Jensen of UGO featured her on an all-media list of the 50 "imaginary women that really need to be brought to life by science somehow", also including her in their list of the 99 "hottest" fictional women of 2012. In 2012, Larry Hester of Complex ranked Jill as 43rd "hottest" woman in video games, adding that she "pulls it off with her badass army chick steez," while JoBlo.com placed Jill eight on their list of "hottest video game characters". That same year, ZoominGames ranked her at number five on the list of "the best in games" and Wirtualna Polska included Jill among the 20 "sexiest girls in games" of the year, in both cases for her appearance in Revelations. In 2013, Jill was ranked as the fifth most attractive female video game character by Scott Marley of Daily Record, as well as the sixth sexiest female video game character by Scarlet Clearwater of Soletron, while Steve Jenkins of CheatCodes.com declared her the 12th "hottest video game girl" of all time.
On the other hand, GamesRadar in 2008 placed her among the top 20 supposedly overlooked "game babes", stating that "her affinity for adolescent head gear gives her a Blossom vibe that the world has long since rejected for its lack of sex appeal," with Stephen Pierce calling her "like a big dirty solider [sic] but with slightly longer hair, no dick and a set of tits." GamesRadar also featured Jill from the 2002 remake game in the series about "powers that game characters forgot they had" for not being to able to shoot while moving in-game. Regarding her controversial Resident Evil 3 outfit, Jill was included among five worst-dressed video game characters for this "'slutty cop' Halloween costume" by 1UP.com in 2008, while GamesRadar in 2010 ridiculed it as "douche bag's girlfriend" but has also called it "simple yet iconic look" with "nothing wrong here" in another article which was making fun of the original PlayStation graphics by showing the differences between her character render and the in-game model.
Some also criticized Capcom for a perceived neglect of the character. In 2009, IGN's Jesse Schedeen named her as one of the characters in all media "who deserve better" due to her treatment in the films and lack of appearances since Resident Evil 3 until a small role in Resident Evil 5, her roles being "stolen" by Alice and Sheva. In 2012, Resident Evil 6 producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi 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."
A cheesy "You were almost a Jill Sandwich" line spoken by Barry Burton in the first Resident Evil sparked an Internet meme of the same name, which became popular in 2007. Another Jill and Barry-related meme is "Master of Unlocking" (which is based on a dialog line that was featured in the original game and was removed in the remake). UGO featured both of these "hilariously dumb" scenes on their list of the 25 worst cutscenes in gaming history in 2011, and Dave Cook of NowGamer ranked "Jill Sandwich" as the 14th greatest video game meme in 2014.
These memes were referenced by Capcom in the mobile game Resident Evil: Uprising and in the unrelated game Dead Rising (in 2012, Complex included Dead Rising's location named "Jill's Sandwiches" on a list of the best Easter eggs in video games), as well as in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, where there is an achievement "Master of Unlocking". A "Jill Sandwich" T-shirt was also made available by Capcom Store, released because "fans were screaming for" it, while Bandai included the "Master of Unlocking" (AC-011) card in its Resident Evil card game.
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