Nemesis (Resident Evil)
|Resident Evil character|
Nemesis in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
|First game||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis|
|Voiced by||Tony Rosato|
|Portrayed by||Matthew G. Taylor (film)|
The Nemesis, also called the Pursuer or Chaser (追跡者 Tsuisekisha?), is a fictional character in Capcom's Resident Evil franchise. It appears in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as a titular main villain before later emerging in other titles and cameo roles. It is also featured on various merchandise and in the 2004 film Resident Evil: Apocalypse. The character is voiced by Tony Rosato in the game, and portrayed by Matthew G. Taylor in the film.
Since the Nemesis' introduction, the character has received a positive reception, and has come to be regarded as one of the series' most popular characters. Some publications have praised its role as an intimidating villain, while others have noted it as one of their favourite and most terrifying monsters in video games.
Conception and design
Introduced in Resident Evil 3, the Nemesis was designed under the concept of a "huge, overpowering monster that could use weapons and intelligently track you anywhere". During development, many different designs were considered. Although some elements remained constant among them, the early designs featured several different degrees of surface damage, as well as different options for clothing such as a protective vest instead of a coat or a nude design similar to the original Tyrant from Resident Evil.
In the series' story, the Nemesis is the result of infecting a Tyrant — a humanoid bio-weapon created to be the ultimate lifeform—with a parasitic organism designed to increase its intelligence. Upon infection, the parasite takes control of the Tyrant's nervous system, forming its own brain and enabling it to follow precise instructions and make decisions without a need for constant direction. Clothed in black trousers, an overcoat, boots, and gloves, the Nemesis is armed with a rocket launcher mounted on its left arm. To emphasize its design as a prototype, the game developers left exposed muscles on its body and added stitches to cover the right eye. Upon spotting its target, it says the target's name out loud and attacks.
The secretions from the parasite give the Nemesis massively heightened regenerative abilities, which result in the creature being almost impervious to damage; although it can be put down with enough fire from small arms, eventually it will repair itself and resume the pursuit of its targets. However, this resulted in unexpected side effects, including damage to the skin and the emergence of additional tentacles, as well as unpredictable mutations caused by further attacks. In Resident Evil 3, the creature's survival instincts eventually override Nemesis' programming, causing the host's body to reject the parasite and transform into a giant digestive organ. Featuring large central bone protrusions and elongated tentacles, it crawls looking for prey, yet continues trying to complete its mission despite its now diminished intelligence. This design proved to be the most difficult for the game's development team, as they worked to try to make it appear as unique as possible.
In video games
The Nemesis, named after the Goddess of Vengeance from Greek mythology, first appears in the 1999 PlayStation game Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as the game's title character and primary antagonist. The product of years of research, the prototype is deployed by the Umbrella Corporation to hunt and kill the STARS police team as a field test, and as revenge for the destruction of the original Tyrant. The game’s protagonist, Jill Valentine, first encounters the Nemesis outside Raccoon City’s police station where it kills Brad Vickers and then pursues her, uttering "STARS..." on sight. The Nemesis continues to stalk Valentine throughout the game, attacking with physical blows and grabs, and later, armed with a rocket launcher. After losing its overcoat as a result of heavy damage, the Nemesis mutates, and gains the ability to attack with long, extendable tentacles. Despite later being doused in acid, the Nemesis continues its pursuit, and mutates into a much larger monster after absorbing a dead Tyrant, gaining the ability to spew poison. Jill finally defeats the Nemesis using a rail cannon, and then depending on the choice of the player, she either kills it once and for all by unloading her weapons into it, or leaves it to die in the nuclear explosion that destroys Raccoon City.
The Nemesis also appears in Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica, chasing the player if they fail to complete a level before the time limit expires and killing them instantly if it hits them; it can also be fought as a secret boss armed with a rocket launcher if the player has met the proper conditions upon completing the game. The Nemesis returns for the Resident Evil 3 chapter of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, in which it pursues Jill in the same manner as the original game and mutates into its secondary form as a boss. Alongside Jill, the Nemesis also appears in the Capcom title Under the Skin, and serves as a boss the player must steal coins from in a Raccoon City-inspired level. Character cards for the Nemesis additionally appear in SVC: Card Fighters' Clash 2 Expand Edition and its Nintendo DS sequel. In an interview, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds producer Ryouta Niitsuma stated a desire to use the Nemesis in the title as a "monster-type" character from the Resident Evil series, but was dropped after considering it too "grotesque and disgusting" and in consideration of ESRB ratings. The character would instead appear briefly in the game's ending sequence for the Hulk. However, despite the initial concerns about his inclusion, the Nemesis appears as a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, an updated version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The Nemesis also appears in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. In the game, the Nemesis' programming is damaged and the USS is tasked with finding a parasite to repair it. Once the parasite is found, the players must defeat the Nemesis and inject it with the parasite. The Nemesis in the game uses a gatling gun for the fight and is mainly based on his film counterpart, however once the mission is completed, the Nemesis awakes to find his rocket launcher and utters his famous line, "STARS..." The Nemesis also appears in the tactical role-playing game Project X Zone as a rival unit.
The Nemesis is featured in the 2004 film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, portrayed by Matthew G. Taylor. The character's design was left relatively unchanged, brandishing a rocket launcher and similar attire, but with the addition of a forearm-mounted rail gun, modeled after a heavily modified minigun. Director Paul W. S. Anderson noted that the gun's addition was inspired by the idea of the Nemesis "walking around with a gigantic, powerful weapon in each hand and almost indecisive as to which one to use". The costume for Nemesis was created by Kropserkel Inc. and PJFX Studios, and stands roughly 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m) tall, weighing nearly 100 pounds (45 kg). After production of Apocalypse was completed, the costume was restored and put on display at Kropserkel's offices.
While The Nemesis' design remained similar, the character itself was expanded upon, now portrayed as a tragic villain. Formerly Matt Addison (portrayed by Eric Mabius), a survivor of the events of the first film, he was infected with the T-virus after being scratched by a Licker and later captured and experimented upon by the Umbrella Corporation. Transformed into the Nemesis, it is sent to kill the surviving members of STARS, but remembers its humanity after fighting Alice, and fights alongside the protagonists towards the film's conclusion. The Nemesis is eventually crushed beneath a crashing helicopter, and is later killed by the nuclear explosion that destroys Raccoon City.
In printed adaptations
The Nemesis appears in a 1999 Hong Kong manhua adaptation of Resident Evil 3 by Lee Chung Hing, Biohazard 3: Last Escape, which is named after the game's Japanese title. The 27-issue series adds to the Nemesis' backstory, detailing its origin by showing the infection and transformation of the original Tyrant by the Nemesis parasite. Some elements are changed for its design, such as the Nemesis retaining both eyes initially, and then losing the right eye and gaining cranial staples only after an encounter with Jill. The comic also introduces characters from Resident Evil 2 into the storyline, which results in a face-off between the Nemesis and the mutated William Birkin towards the end of the series.
In 2000, Simon & Schuster published a novelization of Resident Evil 3, written by S. D. Perry. Though left unchanged for the most part, the Nemesis is immediately recognized as a modified Tyrant in the novel, which Jill Valentine dubs the "Nemesis" after thinking about why it hunts her. Instead of mutating due to having taken damage, the Nemesis transforms voluntarily towards the conclusion of the story in its pursuit of Jill, with its second form from the game being its actual appearance beneath the coat.
A novelization of Apocalypse was released in 2004, written by Keith R. A. DeCandido. In the book, Matt and the Nemesis act as separate personalities in the same body, both aware, but with the Nemesis dominant. Matt eventually regains control after his body is impaled on a metal shard while fighting Alice, by showing the Nemesis his memories of Umbrella's experimentation upon "them". The Nemesis is later mentioned in the 2007 novelization of Resident Evil: Extinction, in which antagonist Doctor Isaacs considers the Nemesis both his greatest success and his greatest failure, hating mention of it and blaming its defection and destruction upon Umbrella's desire to immediately field test it.
Promotion and merchandise
Nemesis appears on the cover of every version of Resident Evil 3, and is mentioned prominently on flyers for Resident Evil: Survivor 2. Capcom has also released commercial products modeled on the character, such as an adult size Halloween mask, and later a silver ring modeled after Nemesis's head available for purchase through their Japanese online store. Palisades Toys used its likeness to create a posable action figure, which was released alongside several other Resident Evil-based action figures, packaged with a base and equipable rocket launcher. Moby Dick released its own line of Resident Evil action figures bundled in pairs of a playable character and enemy. Included in the series were Nemesis's first and second form, with the first form featuring an alternate head and equipable rocket launcher. Each set additionally includes a part of an action figure of Nemesis's third form, which measures 24 inches (60 cm) long when completed.
Following the game's debut in 1999, the Nemesis became one of the most recognizable and popular characters in the Resident Evil series. G4's Filter named the Nemesis one of the top ten videogame villains of all time as selected by viewers, placing fifth on the list. IGN noted it as their favorite aspect of Resident Evil 3, stating, "The point is, he's a bad-ass, and he's got plenty of surprises in store for you besides just fast feet and a big gun". In another article, IGN noted the Nemesis as one of their favorite video game monsters of all time, but felt disdain for its presentation in the film. They also named him one of the series' best bosses, calling it "what may be Umbrella's most fearsome creation ever" and comparing it to Terminator 2: Judgment Day's T-1000, and later one of the top 100 video game villains of all time, placing 59th and described as horrific not for its appearance or attacks but its persistence. 1UP.com named the battle against the Nemesis one of the "25 of the Most Badass Boss Fights of All Time", saying "There are plenty of bosses worth mentioning from the Resident Evil series... but the one that to this day most people point to as the biggest badass of the bunch is Nemesis [sic]".
GamePro ranked the Nemesis 29th on their list of the "47 Most Diabolical Video Game Villains of All Time", noting the character "made RE3 memorable even among the other, superior installments in the series". It ranked fourth on Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Top Ten Badass Undead" article, which described its role as a simple, yet effective villain. GameSpot featured Nemesis in a "Reader's Choice" edition of their "Top 10 Video Game Villains" article, placing eighth on the list and noting the character's high popularity among fans when compared to the Tyrant. He has also been voted by GamesRadar's readers as the 99th "most dastardly ne'er-do-wells" villain in video games in their "top 100". GameDaily listed it as one of their favorite Capcom characters of all time, stating "The Resident Evil series has a slew of memorable bad guys to choose from... but Nemesis is our favorite." The Nemesis additionally ranked fifth on their list of "Top 25 Scariest Video Game Monsters".
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Official name: Nemesis Type T. A parasite was successfully added to the Tyrant model bioweapon who stalks STARS
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