Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
|Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles|
North American box art
|Engine||MT Framework (lite)|
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, known as Biohazard: The Darkside Chronicles (バイオハザード／ダークサイド・クロニクルズ Baiohazādo/Dākusaido Kuronikuruzu?) in Japan, is an on-rails shooter video game for the Wii developed by Capcom and Cavia. The game was released for the Wii on November 17, 2009 in North America. It serves as a prequel to Resident Evil 4, setting 2 years before its events. It was released in Europe on November 27, 2009 bundled with the Wii Zapper accessory.
The game's plot revolves around the personal stories and tragedies in the series. Its main focus is retelling the events of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and a new chapter is featured. For the Resident Evil 2 segment, the player takes control of protagonists Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, with Sherry Birkin acting as an escort character in one chapter. The Code: Veronica chapter features Claire, accompanied by fellow Rockfort Island prisoner Steve Burnside and later her brother Chris Redfield.
- Operation Javier
In 2002, somewhere in South America, Leon S. Kennedy and his partner Jack Krauser are searching for Javier Hidalgo, an ex-drug lord who had been reported to be approaching Umbrella Inc. However, when Leon and Krauser reach the nearby village, they discover that the people there have been turned into zombies. Some zombies have the Sacred Snakes indentation, meaning that they worked alongside Javier. Leon and Krauser find their guide who, before he dies and has his body taken away by a water-bound BOW (bio-organic weapon), says that the girl (Manuela) "brought devils to this village." Fighting their way past more BOWs and hungry piranhas, Leon and Krauser eventually find the girl, but have to face the creature that took their village guide.
They successfully chase it off after Leon shoots the bell tower which causes it to fall on the creature. Krauser asks Leon to tell him everything about how he first encountered the BOWs. The scenario resumes after Resident Evil 2. Due to rising water levels, the survivors make their way to the water dam, where Javier and his BOWs await. Javier releases the monsters to attack Leon and Krauser while attempting to retrieve Manuela. It is revealed by Javier that Manuela is his daughter and that he had been tampering with the T-Veronica virus.
Leon tells Krauser the "Game of Oblivion" incident from Resident Evil Code: Veronica to give him the knowledge of the virus. Both of them also discover that Manuela has been receiving regular doses of the T-Veronica virus to contain her illness. At this point, Krauser finally pledges to Leon that he will view Leon as a worthy partner. Soon after, they learn that the reason Javier has been kidnapping young girls is because he was trying to extract organs to perform transplants in order to cure Manuela. Almost immediately, they are confronted by the gigantic monster that ambushed them back at the church, who they soon learn is actually Manuela's mother.
Having the same illness as Manuela, she mutated due to the failure to keep the virus in check. Right before dying, she shoots out spikes from her body, one of which pierces into the arm of Krauser, wounding him. After defeating Manuela's mother, Javier injects himself with the T-Veronica virus. He begins to mutate and attacks Leon and the injured Krauser. Manuela assists Leon and Krauser in the battle against her father by using T-Veronica, at the risk of turning into a monster herself. The three survive, and are rescued by helicopter. The U.S. government takes care of Manuela, and Leon and Krauser's story continues in Resident Evil 4. An alternate non-canon ending occurs if the player takes too long to defeat the final boss, where Manuela loses too much blood from the fight and fades into embers in the helicopter.
- Memories of a Lost City
This scenario re-tells the events of Resident Evil 2, leading up to when Leon and Claire destroy 'G' (a mutated William Birkin). Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy have just arrived in Raccoon City, when they learn that the city has been infested with zombies and other monsters. They decide to go to the police station, hoping to find answers and discover Umbrella's involvement in the ordeal. Birkin's own daughter, Sherry, becomes his target and Leon and Claire must protect her from becoming mutated by his G-virus. All the while stalked by the powerful Tyrant and dealing with the mysterious agenda of Ada Wong.
- Game of Oblivion
An abridged re-telling of Resident Evil Code: Veronica, where Claire Redfield and Steve Burnside remain together and attempt to escape Rockfort Island in a seaplane, while having to contend with the psychotic Alfred Ashford, and eventually, his sister Alexia. Claire and Steve are eventually separated and Chris arrives to help her find him, before taking on Alexia. In this iteration of the story, their father Alexander Ashford makes his first physical appearance, in a video, prior to becoming the monster known as Nosferatu.
- Darkness Falls
"Darkness Falls" is a hidden scenario in the game that focuses on Jack Krauser during Operation Javier. Krauser narrates his thoughts as he helps Leon Kennedy battle their way through Javier’s headquarters. After a fierce battle with a BOW, Krauser severely injures his arm and is forced to rely on Kennedy’s assistance for survival. They ultimately defeat Javier, but Krauser is deemed physically incapable of continuing his military service. He becomes infatuated with the idea that Umbrella’s mutagenic viruses can grant unlimited power, and leaves the government to seek out Albert Wesker.
There were also some gameplay changes from The Umbrella Chronicles; for example, head shots were made easier for players to perform and a status screen was implemented. The players health bars are now separate, players can pick up and use Green Herbs to replenish their health meter at the push of a button. However there is only one First Aid spray per-chapter and it is automatically used when the players health meter hits zero, completely replenishing both health meters at the same time. Players can now customize each of their weapons from Power, Rate of Fire, Capacity, Reload Speed & Stopping Power. The Handgun is now fully customizable as well. The game automatically adjusts its difficulty, depending on the players' skill level. Other new features include online leaderboards and a system to tell the players' reticules apart from each other in a co-op session.
The development of The Darkside Chronicles as an rails shooter was decided because Kawata considered it the best way to retell the scenarios that could not be included in the previous game. With this title, he wanted to put a much bigger emphasis on horror, employing a camera system that will try to convey a sense of actually being in the game. To research realistic camera shaking in hectic situations, one of the team members went out in town for a day to make motion tests with a camcorder. Another important aspect to create the game's atmosphere was achieving high-quality graphics, which Cavia used all their resources for. Kawata was very satisfied with the result and went on to say that the only thing really setting the visuals apart from next-generation consoles is the lack of HD display, also mentioning that there is a plethora of attractive content to use for more games in the Chronicles series and the decision of their development would largely depend on Cavia's future involvement.
As the game's development began before the production of Degeneration and because of the different timeframe, Kawata ruled out connections to this CG film and Resident Evil 5, though he hinted at the appearance of new characters and the exploration of the Birkins' and the Ashfords' family ties.
For the music of The Darkside Chronicles, series veterans Shusaku Uchiyama and Takeshi Miura have been brought back to compose and arrange tracks for the retellings of the games they originally worked on, with Uchiyama being responsible for Resident Evil 2 and Miura in charge of Code: Veronica. Part of the soundtrack has been recorded with a group of over 40 musicians known as Tokyo Shitsunaigaku Kyokai Co., Ltd. and a chorus of 30 singers. The orchestral arrangements were done by game and anime composer Yoshihisa Hirano who is also highly experienced with classical music.
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IGN gave The Darkside Chronicles 8.1 out of 10. Compliments were given to the graphics, music, playability, and longevity of the title, but the camera was said to be mildly distracting and the story can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the Resident Evil franchise. GameSpot gave the game a 6.0 out of 10. They stated "The only thing scary about this light-gun game is the dreadful shaky camera."
The Darkside Chronicles placed at number 151 on NPD Group's year-end 2009 sales ranking. In Japan, the game began as the third best-selling game in the region at 73,000 units sold. In France, the game sold 16,000 units during its debut.
In November 2009, Capcom was forced to defend the game from the allegations from the Christian Church of the United Kingdom, which said that it glamorizes violence and promotes the occult, with spokesperson Leo Tan stating: "This is scaremongering and typical religious hysteria. You cannot blame society’s ills on video games. It’s just absurd." However, the website totalvideogames.com states that, in an interview with the clergymen in question, that he never commented on the game, and the whole incident was a misunderstanding. TVG.com further goes on to say this was all likely a PR stunt.
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