|Resident Evil character|
Claire Redfield's render from Resident Evil 2
|First appearance||Resident Evil 2 (1998)|
|Created by||Noboru Sugimura|
|Designed by||Isao Ohishi (Resident Evil 2)|
|Portrayed by||Adrienne Frantz (Resident Evil 2 commercial)|
Ali Larter (live-action series)
|Motion capture||Lori Rom (Degeneration)|
Ananda Jacobs (Revelations 2)
Stephanie Panisello (Resident Evil 2 remake)
|Family||Chris Redfield (brother)|
Claire Redfield (Japanese: クレア・レッドフィールド Hepburn: Kurea Reddofīrudo) is a fictional character in the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) horror franchise by Capcom. Claire is the younger sister of Chris Redfield, an American special police officer 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 vigilante. She returned as an abducted activist in the video game Resident Evil: Revelations 2 after being absent from the main series for a decade and half since Code: Veronica.
Claire has also appeared in various other media, including several additional video games, the computer-animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration, and the non-canon live-action films Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as well as in the promotion and merchandise for the franchise. She was very well received by critics and became one of the most popular Resident Evil characters.
Claire Redfield 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 S.T.A.R.S.. 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. In the game's epilogue, Claire leaves to continue her search for Chris, while Leon and Sherry are rescued by the U.S. military.
Claire, still searching for her brother, is a playable 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 Steve Burnside. Claire manages to discover the whereabouts of her brother and send a message to Leon. Claire, Steve 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 the antagonist 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 their final battle with Alexia, which costs Steve's life, and the siblings escape from the facility via the transport airplane he used to get there. During the game's ending they vow to put an end to the Umbrella Corporation. In the PlayStation 2 version, Veronica X, Claire also has a brief encounter with the series' main villain Albert Wesker that would have resulted in her death had Wesker not been called away by his associates.
Claire returned as a protagonist in the episodical game Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015), set between the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. Claire is now a member of TerraSave, a non-profit humanitarian aid and protest activism organization. The game follows her and Barry Burton's daughter Moira as they get kidnapped and find themselves trapped in a mysterious abandoned prison island. There they fight Alex Wesker and the "Afflicted" creatures. In the end both of them survive the events along with Barry, who arrived to look for them, and a little girl named Natalia Korda.
Claire is playable in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009), which retells the events of Resident Evil 2, Code: Veronica, in Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica (2001), the entire plot of which is actually just her nightmare dream after the escape from Antarctica in the original Code: Veronica, and in Resident Evil: Uprising, a mobile game version of Resident Evil 2. She is a further playable in the non-canonical spin-off games Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011), and in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012) where she is also one of the game's bosses in the game's main mode. In addition, Claire is 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. She is an unlockable bonus character in sports game Trick'N Snowboarder (1999), and in 2013 she has been added to the browser-based social game Onimusha Soul, for which she was redesigned to fit the feudal Japan theme. She returned in Resident Evil 2 (2019), a remake of the 1998 game.
Behind the scenes
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, rewritten by Noboru Sugimura, 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 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 S.T.A.R.S. knife from Chris. These changes that occurred were done to connect Resident Evil 2 to the original game.
Code: Veronica producer Shinji Mikami said "Claire became a lot tougher than I Imagined. I thought she should look the same, but the game director made her that way because she had such an experience in Resident Evil 2, she could handle any situation now!" For Revelations 2, the now hardened and aggressive Claire was redesigned to be a contrasting character to the young, immature and easily scared Moira Burton, who was defined as a purely supporting character, and they both serve different roles in the story and have different functions. The game's producer Michiteru Okabe said: "Really, only after did we look back and say, 'Oh, I guess they are both girls.' Which is good, because it means we’re treating them as whole characters and not just as their gender. What we settled on is the idea that you have different roles -- it isn’t two against the world, it’s one against the world with a helper." Okabe also cited Claire's "great popularity with fans" and the game's writer Dai Satō being "a big fan of her personally" as factors that led to Claire's return.
For the remake of the original Resident Evil 2, the "modernized" Claire has been redesigned and modeled after Canadian model Jordan McEwen. Her hair style is different and her hair is no longer brownish red; instead, she is a more generic brunette. Her wardrobe was also redesigned, with her original hotpants replaced by jeans trouses and the jacket now being long-sleeved.
In Paul W. S. Anderson's series debut 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. A live action spin-off featuring Claire as the main character has also been suggested. 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 (2012), where she, Chris, and K-Mart are presumed dead but were captured by Umbrella. She returned in the sixth and last film in the series, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), where she teams up with Alice and the Red Queen to save the remnants of humanity.
The character of Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil live-action universe did not exist in the early drafts of Extinction, as Jill Valentine was supposed to re-appear from her debut in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004). Later, Anderson and producer 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 Extinction version of Claire has no connection to the video game character and her look was redesigned. Since Afterlife, however, Larter was dressed in the outfit more resembling Claire's costumes in the games and she is red-haired in the follow-up films. Her design in The Final Chapter for instance was inspired by that from Revelations 2.
The video game series' Claire plays a major role in the computer-animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008), reuniting her with Leon S. Kennedy. The film is set seven years after the events of Resident Evil 2 and Claire has become a prominent TerraSave member. In it, Claire and the police officer Angela Miller are rescued from a bio-terrorist incident at the Harvardville Airport by Leon. Together, the three of them survive a zombie outbreak at the WilPharma Corporation's research complex, and eventually expose and arrest the corrupt scientist Frederic Downing.
A romantic comedy retelling of the story of Resident Evil 2, centered on Claire, Leon and Ada, was released by Chingwin Publishing in the two-issue Taiwanese comic Èlíng Gǔbǎo II in 1999. Claire is also prominently featured in S.D. Perry's 1999 novels Resident Evil: City of the Dead (a novelization of Resident Evil 2) 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 1998–1999 manhua Shēnghuà Wēijī 2 ("Biological Crisis 2"), and in the comic book adaptation series Resident Evil by Capcom (1998) and Resident Evil: Code Veronica by WildStorm (2002).
In Perry's 1999 original-story novel Resident Evil: Underworld, Claire, Leon, Rebecca Chambers and several S.T.A.R.S. officers infiltrate an Umbrella facility in Utah to uncover their secrets. She is also one of main characters in Naoki Serizawa's manga Biohazard: heavenly island, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine in 2015, in which she is a TerraSave investigator on an isolated South American island.
Claire appeared in George A. Romero's Japanese TV commercial for Resident Evil 2 and in a viral marketing video to promote Resident Evil 5 (despite her not appearing in actual game). In 2000, a 1,800-unit special "Claire Redfield red" limited edition series of the Dreamcast game console was released in Japan. 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 released by Dragon in the Kubrick's Resident Evil line, while Vanilla Chop produced a resin kit. 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.
The character of Claire Redfield was very well received by critics and general public alike for her good looks and survival prowess. Readers of German magazine Mega Fun voted her as #2 "Video-Babe" of 1998. She was one of the seven nominees for the Nintendo Power Awards 1999 in the category "Best New Hero" for Resident Evil 2 (the Nintendo 64 version), placing third by popular vote, and the staff of Eurogamer nominated her for the Gaming Globes 2000 awards in the category "Female Lead Character". Claire was chosen as one of the 20 "muses" of video games by Brazilian magazine SuperGamePower in 2001. Rob Wright of Tom's Games listed Claire among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history in 2007 and CHIP ranked her as 16th on their 2008 list of top "girls of gaming". Her guest appearance in Trick'N Snowboarder placed fifth in GamesRadar's 2010 list of best character cameos and in 2015 Entertainment Monthly placed Claire Redfield and Steve Burnside among the top ten tragic relationships in video games. In 2017, Inverse's Jessica Famularo ranked her as the third best character in the series: "She’s feminine and stronger for it — Claire is definitely an example of the sort of female protagonist games need." Retrospectively, Famitsu included her among the best Japanese video game characters of the 1990s.
Several publications included Claire among the most attractive video game characters. Dreamcast Magazine ranked this "gun-toting, zombie killing, foxy babe" as the fifth top "girl on the Dreamcast" in 2000, while Dreamcast Das Offizielle Magazin opined she is more beautiful than Lara Croft. Omar Ali of Gaming Target included Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine together in his 2001 list of "all time favorite leading ladies in video games" noting them for being "two girls who made the dead rise up with their looks." In 2008, she was included in GameDaily's list of top "hottest game babes" (ranked 42nd) and in UGO's list of top "videogame hotties" (ranked 46th). 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%. That same year, Rich Knight of Complex pitted the video game version of Claire against Jill Valentine in the feature "Battle of the Beauties", category "zombie killer", but chose Jill over her. Lisa Foiles of The Escapist ranked Claire as the third "cutest redhead" in video games and Brazilian GameHall's Portal Play Game ranked Claire as the 56th best-looking video game woman ever in 2014. There was also an urban legend-style rumor of a nude code for Claire in Resident Evil - Code: Veronica.
GameDaily featured her among the "chicks who will kick your ass" listed alongside Ada Wong, Jill and Sheva Alomar, and Jesse Schedeen of IGN chose her as one of the characters to recruit for an ultimate counter-zombie strike force. 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 (a little girl dressed in a Japanese school uniform in RE2) "couldn't be more different." 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." In 2015, The Guardian's Holly Nielsen listed Claire among the attractive female characters who in her opinion "were intelligently written and who were not overtly sexy" and Gita Jackson of Paste wrote an article about Claire Redfield's wardrobe, which "shows us that femininity, emotionality and practicality aren’t exclusive from each other." Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) retrospective on RE2 opined Claire and Leon both "demonstrat[ed] the absolute apex of apocalyptic fashion."
IGN included Claire among the characters they would like to see returning for Resident Evil 6, with Schedeen calling Claire "leagues above that walking bag of useless called Sheva." PSU.com too chose Claire (in her original 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, RE6 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 in 2013: "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." Reacting to Claire's return in Revelations 2 IGN's Mitch Dyer wrote: "The Resident Evil series places women in prominent, powerful, playable roles. Jill Valentine, Rebecca Chambers, Sheva Alomar, and Ada Wong, to name a few. Still, they're often opposite a male lead. This is the first time a Resident Evil game has revolved around the story of two women. It's fun to get to play as Claire again." According to a CVG preview of Revelations 2, "she's older, calmer and more capable, but she still retains everything that made her compelling in the first place. Where Rachael from the first Revelations was part centrefold, part melted-ice cream, Claire feels distinct from many women in the Resi universe in that there's more to her than lady-lumps and lycra. She's the perfect choice for the game's brand of isolated horror."
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