Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
|Resident Evil – Code: Veronica|
North American Dreamcast cover art
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 4
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, known in Japan as Biohazard Code: Veronica (バイオハザード コード：ベロニカ Baiohazādo Kōdo: Beronika?), is a survival horror video game developed by Capcom and originally released for the Dreamcast in 2000. It was the first title in the Resident Evil series to debut on a non-Sony platform, in contrast to the first three installments which were originally released on the PlayStation. The story follows Claire Redfield, her brother Chris Redfield, and Steve Burnside in their efforts to survive a viral outbreak at both a remote prison island in the South Pacific and a research facility in Antarctica. The game retains the survival horror elements from previous installments in the series such as the use of puzzles and guns. Unlike the traditional pre-rendered backgrounds of previous games, Code: Veronica incorporates real-time 3D environments and camera movement for the first time.
Code: Veronica was developed in tandem with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Although not a numbered release, the developers describe the game as the true sequel to Resident Evil 2. Code: Veronica has received critical acclaim, and has been considered both among the best Resident Evil and Dreamcast games of all-time. An updated version of the game, titled Code: Veronica X (完全版 Kanzenban?, lit. "Complete Version"), includes new cutscenes along with mild graphical changes. This revision was released for the Dreamcast in Japan and for the PlayStation 2 worldwide in 2001, eventually being ported to the GameCube in 2003. A high-definition remaster was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011.
Code: Veronica is the first Resident Evil game in the main series to use 3D backgrounds instead of the traditional pre-rendered ones. Despite this, the camera does not follow the player around, but swings between semi-fixed angles and the skyboxes are pre-rendered. However, two weapons in the game can be fired from the character's point of view (the Sniper Rifle and the Linear Launcher). First person view mode is also available in the game's unlockable Battle Game minigame.
Gameplay remained largely unchanged from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (which was developed in tandem with Code: Veronica); features such as explosive oil drums and a 180-degree turn having been carried over to this game, though the dodge feature was removed. Items from Resident Evil 2, such as upgradeable handgun parts and "side packs" to increase carrying capacity are included, as well as new weapons such as bow gun arrows mixed with gunpowder and BOW gas rounds for the grenade launcher. A feature of Code: Veronica is the inclusion of various dual-wielding pistols, allowing the player to target two enemies at the same time. Some of the more subtle improvements include the addition of continues, allowing the player to retry a scene after a game over, and the ability to pick up and use a healing herb when the character's inventory is full.
Code: Veronica features two main protagonists, Claire Redfield and her brother Chris. In Code: Veronica the player controls Claire for the first half of the game and Chris for the second half. All of Claire's weapons and items in the item box are available for Chris to pick up in his half of the game. In addition, a third character, Steve Burnside, is briefly playable during the game's first half and Claire herself is playable during a short portion of Chris' scenario.
Like previous Resident Evil titles, there are hidden features that are unlocked after meeting certain requirements. After completing the main game, Battle Game is unlocked, in which the player can choose from one of four characters (Chris, Claire with her two outfits (Normal and Secret), and two unlockable characters, Albert Wesker and Steve), travel through a series of rooms, clear each area of monsters and eventually defeat a character-specific boss in the quickest time possible. Both the main game and the Battle Game feature unlockable weapons.
The game begins with Claire Redfield raiding an Umbrella Corporation facility in Paris in search of her brother, Chris. During the infiltration she is captured and imprisoned on Rockfort Island in the Southern Hemisphere. Soon after arriving she is knocked unconscious. After coming to, she is freed by Umbrella security guard Rodrigo Juan Raval who releases her from her cell in the aftermath of a T-virus outbreak on the island. Trying to escape from the contaminated island, Claire teams up with inmate Steve Burnside, at the same time being confronted with the island's commander Alfred Ashford. Alfred Ashford is shown to be a highly unstable character who has developed two personalities; himself and his twin sister Alexia. Meanwhile, Albert Wesker is on a mission of his own to retrieve a sample of the T-Veronica virus developed by Alexia. His unit is also responsible for the outbreak of the T-virus on Rockfort Island.
At one point during their escape, Steve and Claire are attacked by a zombie that is revealed to be Steve's father, a minor researcher who tried to sell information. He was found out and both Steve and his father were imprisoned, while Steve's mother was killed. Claire and Steve eventually escape via plane, but Alfred, still under the delusion he is Alexia, sets it to autopilot and flies both of them to another Umbrella facility in the Antarctic. There, Alfred hopes to free his sister from her 15-years-long cryogenic sleep she took after the injection of the T-Veronica virus, to counter the flaws of the virus. After another fight with Claire and Steve, Alfred is severely wounded and apparently falls to his death into a crevasse, stirring up a creature code-named 'Nosferatu', a creation of the T-Veronica virus. After fighting the creature, the protagonists attempt to escape the facility via a digger. Meanwhile, Alfred, who survived the fall, limps to Alexia. He witnesses her awakening moments before dying. Alexia, cradling her brother's corpse, summons giant tentacles and crashes Claire's and Steve's digger, recapturing them.
Chris Redfield arrives on Rockfort after having been contacted by Leon S. Kennedy. He learns from Raval that Claire already escaped the island. Raval is soon killed afterwards by a giant worm. Searching Rockfort, Chris has an encounter with Wesker, shocked to learn that Wesker had become faster and stronger than any normal person. Just as Wesker is about to finish Chris off, Alexia appears on a screen, laughing. Stunned by Alexia being alive, Wesker changes his mind and heads out to the Antarctic. Chris eventually finds his way there and is reunited with Claire, who sets out to find Steve. As she locates him, she discovers Alexia conducted an experiment on him, injecting Steve with the T-Veronica virus. Steve mutates into a reptilian monster and tries to kill Claire who escapes to a prison cell, where she is attacked by another of Alexia's tentacles. Still in his mutated form, Steve breaks through the cell and kills the tentacle. In retaliation, the tentacle drives into his chest and retreats. Steve mutates back to his human form, confesses his love for Claire, and then dies. Claire, now shocked and saddened by Steve's death breaks down in tears, and is left trapped in a cell.
At the same time, Chris and Wesker confront Alexia, who has the ability to create fire. Overwhelmed by her strength, Wesker escapes and leaves Chris to fight her. Chris temporarily defeats Alexia and activates the facility's self-destruct system to release all locks, freeing Claire from the prison cell. Later on, as he tries to escape, Alexia confronts him a second time, mutating even further into an insectile form. This time, Chris manages to destroy her with a plasma-based weapon. With Alexia dead, Chris runs to the emergency elevator and catches a glimpse of Wesker, whose men also retrieved Steve's body to use for further experiments, as he is now the only intact subject injected with a sample of the T-Veronica virus. Chris convinces Wesker to release Claire, who then runs to the plane to wait for her brother. Chris is again overwhelmed by Wesker in a fight, but before Wesker can kill Chris, both are separated by an explosion. Wesker vows he will satisfy his desire for revenge the next time they meet. Chris reunites with Claire and both set off just as the whole facility blows up. As they fly off, Chris swears they will take down Umbrella.
Code: Veronica was developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 in collaboration with Nextech and Sega. Project supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto officially announced the game for Sega's Dreamcast console on October 6, 1998. Although Code: Veronica was described by its developers as the genuine sequel to Resident Evil 2, it is not a numbered entry in the Resident Evil series. Okamoto explained this decision with the team's intention to use numbers for games on the PlayStation, and names on other video game systems. Code: Veronica was originally planned to be published in April 1999, but was postponed to the end of the year. It was eventually released in Japan on February 3, 2000. The Japanese version of Code: Veronica contained two difficulty settings ("Easy" and "Very Easy") in addition to the default "Normal" setting found in the American and PAL versions of the game. "Very Easy" starts the player off with an unlimited supply of ink ribbons in the inventory and a variety of weaponries plus ammunition in the chests. There were two versions of the original Dreamcast release in Japan: a standard edition and a limited edition. The limited edition came packaged with a red slipcase and features a different title screen, with Wesker's face visible on the background.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X is an updated version of the original Dreamcast game, released for the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast (only in Japan) in 2001 and GameCube in 2003. It is almost identical to the original in terms of gameplay. It also features nine minutes of additional cut scenes spliced into the main game, as well as mild graphical changes.
On March 23, 2011, high-definition remastered versions of both Code: Veronica X and Resident Evil 4 were announced to be in development for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as part of the Biohazard Revival Selection. This compilation was released as a retail product in Japan on September 8, 2011. In North America and Europe, Code: Veronica was published digitally for the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network service on September 27, 2011. The main differences include updated graphics, a new leader board system which was also used for the Dreamcast port of Resident Evil 3, trophies/achievements, hard drive use for saving, updated menus and new item placements. Some music seems to be remastered as well.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Resident Evil, and to summarize the events of the previous installments in the game series, Capcom released the fictional documentary Wesker's Report. It was written by Hiroki Kato, the director of Code: Veronica. Shinsaku Ohara translated Kato's completed script in three days, before the voice-over team recorded the narration in Canada. The actual direction of the video and the montage of game footage was handled by Takao Ogasawara, who completed the task on a tight deadline. Narrated by Richard Waugh in his role as Albert Wesker, Wesker's Report offers details on how the character returned after his death in the first Resident Evil, and how he came to be working alongside Ada Wong in a new organization.
A video version was available on a limited pre-order bonus DVD that came with the re-release of Code: Veronica in Japan. The disc included a director's interview titled Director's Hazard and was also packaged with the game compilation Nightmare Returns. Japanese text versions of Wesker's Report were later released on the official website and included in the Biohazard Collector's Box, while a standalone video version on DVD without the directors interview was made available in North America as a pre-order bonus and via the company's online store. A slightly revised video version was released as part of the Anniversary Special DVD that covered both the tenth anniversary of Resident Evil and the fifth anniversary of Devil May Cry.
|Author||S. D. Perry|
|December 1, 2001|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Followed by||Umbrella Chronicles SIDE A & SIDE B|
As with previous Resident Evil games, novelization of Code: Veronica was written by author S. D. Perry. Although the novel was first published on December 1, 2001, it is based on the original game and does not take into account the added events introduced in the later version of the game. As with the previous novelizations by Perry, the original character Mr. Trent appears as a mysterious stringpuller behind the plot.
Code: Veronica was also adapted into a manhua by Lee Chung Hing (who also did a similar adaptation of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis), published in Hong Kong during the original game's release. An English version of the comic was published as four collected graphic novels by Wildstorm in North America.
Code: Veronica was adapted into Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (Bio Hazard Gun Survivor 2 Code: Veronica in Japan), a first-person shooter released in 2001 as a co-production between Namco and Capcom. It is the sequel to the previous game, Resident Evil Survivor. The arcade version runs on the Dreamcast-based NAOMI arcade hardware. Gun Survivor 2 has no bearing on the plot of Code: Veronica and the events of the game are actually depicted as a dream in Claire's mind at the end of the game. A PlayStation 2 version of Gun Survivor 2 was released in Japan and the PAL region, where it utilised the G-Con 2 peripheral. Although often mistaken for a light gun game, the arcade version of the game uses a fixed machine gun that serves as a joystick that can be pushed in four directions and rotated left and right to move the player and rotate the view, as well as to fire the player's weapons. The game runs on a timer that counts down when an area is entered, and if time runs out, the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis will start pursuing the players and attacking them. Only certain arcade machines had 2 player support. The PlayStation 2 version of the game contained a "Dungeon Mode", which is a series of long levels that have to be completed within a 30-minute time limit. Claire Redfield, Steve Burnside, Chris Redfield and Rodrigo Juan Raval are playable in Dungeon Mode.
The Darkside Chronicles
The Dreamcast version of the game garnered critical acclaim: IGN giving it a 9.2/10, GameSpot giving it a 9.5/10, and GamePro giving it a 4.5/5. The updated release, Code: Veronica X fared well, garnering a 9.0/10 from GameSpot, and a 4.5/5 from GamePro. The GameCube version garnered average reviews, due to its unaltered, ported status, 5.0/10 and 6.9/10 on IGN and GameSpot, respectively. In Game Informer's "Top 100 Games of All Time", it was ranked as the sixty-ninth best video game. GamesRadar named Code: Veronica the 11th best Dreamcast game of all time, out of a list of 25. ScrewAttack placed Code: Veronica 4th on their list of the Top 10 Dreamcast Games. Video game review show, Classic Game Room, have stated on several occasions, including the original review, that this is their favourite Resident Evil game, and therefore the best.
Game Informer's Tim Turi gave the HD re-release an 8.5/10 and a Silver Award, writing "I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a challenging classic survival horror game. Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD rewards players armed with patience, resourcefulness, and plenty of ink ribbons with a harrowing but memorable trek through the series' heyday." He also praised the HD's "vividly gory" detail. In contrast, IGN's Richard George—while acknowledging that the game was "a step up for the RE franchise"—gave it a 5/10, criticizing "stilted, tank-like controls," "laughable" graphics, and "clearly archaic design".
Resident Evil Code: Veronica has sold 3.7 million copies worldwide with the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and the HD collection combined since 2013.
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I injected the virus I obtained from Birkin in advance. If I made Umbrella believe I was dead, it made it far more convenient to sell myself to the opposing corporation. ... To regain everything that I had lost in my new organization, I joined hands with Ada Wong, a female agent, who was also sent to spy on Umbrella.
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- Official website (Japanese)
- Official website (Complete Version) (Japanese)
- Official website (GameCube) (Japanese)
- Creature designs at Satoshi Nakai's personal homepage with commentary (Japanese)