It should be no surprise that Resident Evil is one of the largest horror franchises in the world. With 10 core games and nearly 30 games altogether, there’s a lot of lore to get through.
After Capcom’s first RE release in 1996, the world has expanded out into films, comic books, novels, TV shows, and plays. To get a better look into the world of RE, this article is going to be a quick brief of the main Resident Evil games. This includes the original Resident Evil 0-7, Village, and Code: Veronica.
Resident Evil (1996)
The date? July 24, 2998. The location? A Midwestern town called Raccoon City. The problem? A series of strange murders on the outskirts of town. The S.T.A.R.S. teams are sent to investigate. But upon contact, the elite Special Tactics And Rescue Service is blindsided. The Bravo team has lost contact and Alpha team must find their crash site. But after an attack by a pack of truly monstrous dog-like creatures, the team – Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker, and Barry Burton – seek safety in a nearby seemingly abandoned Spencer mansion. However, depending on who you play as, either Chris or Barry will get separated from the group. The team comes to the decision to search for their missing teammate.
As the team searches the mansion, they encounter horrifying creatures lurking around each corner. They soon find out they are experiments of the Umbrella Corporation. The creatures have exposed the mansion staff, animals, and even insects to a contagious mutagenic biological agent called the T-virus.
After navigating the mansion and ending up in the basement, which houses the secret underground lab, players find out that Wesker is a double agent. Wesker reveals he wants to use the Tyrant (a humanoid supersoldier) to kill the S.T.A.R.S. members. Except, during the altercation, Wesker is allegedly killed and the team defeats the Tyrant. Then, after initiating the self-destruct system, the team manages to get to an extraction point.
Resident Evil 2 (1998)
Two months later, we see that essentially everyone in Raccoon City is now a zombie due to the T-virus. It’s also Leon S. Kennedy’s first day of work. Leon meets Claire Redfield who searches for her brother, Chris. They discover the RPD has been killed and Chris has left to investigate Umbrella. Leon briefly comes across Ada Wong (who searches for her Umbrella researcher boyfriend) and Claire meets Sherry Birkin (who was being chased by a monster).
Meanwhile, Chief Brian Irons has been hiding evidence of Umbrella’s experiments on the outskirts of town. Irons tries killing Claire, but is killed by a G-virus mutant. Claire takes Sherry to escape through the sewers but becomes separated. In the sewers, Ada finds Sherry’s gold pendant necklace as the child runs away.
Ada reluctantly regroups with Leon. Soon, they come across a woman, Annette, who fires at Ada. But Leon jumps out and takes the bullet for her. Leon is left behind as Ada follows Annette. Annette is Sherry’s mother and wife to William Birkin, the Umbrella scientist who invented the G-virus. William injected himself with the virus to prevent Umbrella agents from getting it. The mutated William is now chasing Sherry through the sewers for her ‘genetic makeup’. However, Annette realizes Ada has Sherry’s pendant, a fight ensues and Annette goes over a railing. Ada opens the locket and realizes it contains a sample of the G-virus. Ada returns to Leon.
Claire and Sherry reunite and Claire finds out that an embryo was implanted into Sherry. Claire, Sherry, Ada, and Leon navigate through a connected underground Umbrella research facility but encounter William. With a wounded Ada, Leon searches for help. Leon comes across Annette who reveals Ada’s relationship with the Umbrella researcher happened because she was hired by a company to steal the G-virus. The Tyrant interrupts and Annette flees. They fight the Tyrant and leave a seemingly mortally wounded Ada behind.
During Annette’s escape, William attacks. As she is dying, she tells Claire how to stop the embryo inside Sherry. Leon and Claire rendevous at an emergency train and inject Sherry with the vaccine. But, during the escape, Ada escapes with the G-virus.
Leon makes it his mission to take down Umbrella and Claire goes on to search for Chris. However, one of the Umbrella agents survived, taking the G-virus with him.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)
Let’s backtrack here. Nemesis takes place 24 hours before RE 2. Jill Valentine reunites with Brad Vickers on the way to RPD. But Brad is killed by the Nemesis T-type, a bio-organic weapon whose goal is to kill the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. After escaping Nemesis, Jill meets members of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.) – Carlos Oliveira, Mikhail Victor, and Nikolai Zinoviev. Nikolai tells Jill they can get an evac out if they make it to the Clock Tower.
During their trek, Nikolai is presumed dead, Mikhail sacrifices himself, and Jill and Carlos become separated after their train crashes near the tower. Jill sends the signal for evac but is attacked by Nemesis and infected with the T-virus. The temporary win leaves Jill unconscious. Carlos rescues Jill and injects her with a vaccine days later.
Once conscious, Jill goes to meet Carlos in a factory near Raccoon Park. Here, Jill finds Nikolai and discovers he was sent to get data on Umbrella’s bioweapons. During Nikolai’s escape, Jill is stopped by the appearance of the Grave Digger. Jill defeats the massive T-virus-exposed arthropod and meets up with Carlos.
Carlos reveals that the government plans to launch a nuclear missile at Raccoon City to prevent the spread of the T-virus. After reaching the factory’s control tower, Jill learns the missile strike has started.
For the last time, Jill confronts Nemesis and defeats him using a railgun prototype. Jill reunites with Carlos and escapes via helicopter. Jill swears vengeance on Umbrella.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000)
Back to the present. Three months after Resident Evil 2, Claire raids a Parisian Umbrella facility searching for Chris. However, she is captured and imprisoned on Rockfort island.
Some amount of time later, one of her captors releases her. Claire discovers that a T-virus outbreak is sweeping through. Claire meets up with another inmate, Steve Burnside.
Through the duo’s attempts to escape, they come across the island’s commander, Alfred Ashford. The mentally unstable Alfred begins switching between two personalities: his and his twin sister, Alexia. Claire and Steve find a seaplane and escape, but Alfred pursues and redirects their autopilot to Antarctica.
After arriving at the Umbrella facility, the duo finds out that the facility experienced a similar outbreak. Through their attempts at escaping, they fight and defeat Alfred. Before he dies, Alfred releases Alexia from cryogenic sleep. Alexia, who injected herself with a T-Veronica virus the Ashford’s developed, awakens and recaptures Claire and Steve.
However, Chris has arrived to Rockfort after receiving a message from Leon. During his search, he comes across Wesker who is looking for the T-Veronica virus. They discover Alexia is alive and has Claire. The two make their way (separately) to Antarctica. Chris frees Claire and finds that Steve was experimented on with T-Veronica. The mutated Steve tries to kill Claire but turns on Alexia. Before Steve dies he admits he loves Claire. Chris and Wesker fight Alexia. Wesker manages to escape and takes Steve’s corpse to conduct his own experiments. Chris and Claire escape before the facility self-destructs.
Resident Evil Zero (2002)
It’s July 23, 1998. An Umbrella Express train is attacked by a swarm of leeches. S.T.A.R.S. is sent to investigate cannibalistic murders in the mountains outside of town. Remember the helicopter crash from Resident Evil? Well, one of the survivors, Rebecca Chambers finds the Express and discovers its passengers have become zombies. Rebecca meets and teams up with Billy Coen. Billy’s inmate passenger van crashed somewhere in the area after being run off the road by strange dog-like creatures.
The duo notices a strange man before the train suddenly starts moving again. Rebecca and Billy manage to stop the train outside an abandoned Umbrella facility. The two discover that the co-founder of Umbrella, Dr. James Marcus, created the Progenitor virus, which he later combined with leech DNA to create the T-virus.
As they search the facility, Wesker decides to leave Umbrella for a rival to continue researching T-virus. In the decision, he fails to convince William Birkin to join him since he wants to complete his G-virus research.
Rebecca gets separated from Billy but finds Captain Enrico Marini, who tells her about the rendevous at the Spencer Mansion. Instead, Rebecca chooses to stay behind to search for Billy. The Tyrant attacks Rebecca and she temporarily defeats it. She reunites with Billy and together they defeat it and head toward a water plant.
Rebecca and Billy find the leech-controlling man, Dr. Marcus’ last experiment, Queen Leech. The T-virus outbreak was caused by Queen Leech wanting revenge against Umbrella. The duo escape and eventually kill it before the facility explodes.
Rebecca notices the Spencer Mansion and heads to it. But before she leaves, she tells Billy that the police report will list him as a casualty of the train accident.
Resident Evil 4 (2004)
It’s 2004. Leon is sent to rescue Ashley Graham, the President’s daughter. The cult who abducted her resides in a rural village in Spain. However, the villagers are infected by a mind-controlling parasite called Las Plagas.
In the village, Leon is captured by their chief, Bitores Mendez, who infects him with Las Plagas. Leon finds himself held captive with a Los Iluminados researcher Luis Sera. The two work together to escape but separate after.
Leon finds Ashley and rescues her. The leader of Los Iluminados, Osmund Saddler, reveals his plan of infecting the President via the parasite they injected in Ashley. Thus allowing him to start his quest for world domination.
After killing Mendez, Leon and Ashley try to hide in a nearby castle but are attacked by more Iluminados by Ramon Salazar’s command. Meanwhile, Luis searches for a pill to slow Leon and Ashley’s infection rate and a sample of Las Plagas. The two get separated by Salazar’s traps. Luis brings the items to Leon, but is killed by Saddler, who then takes the sample. During their mission in the castle, Leon comes across Ada, who helps him. Leon fights his way out, killing Salazar in the process.
Later, Leon travels to a nearby island research facility to find Ashley. Leon encounters Jack Krauser, a former training comrade, who is responsible for Ashley’s kidnapping. Ada, Krauser, and Wesker are working together to get a Plagas sample. Saddler orders Krauser to kill Leon. After Leon’s victory, he rescues Ashley and removes the Plagas from their bodies. Leon fights Saddler with Ada’s help and kills him. But, Ada takes the sample from Leon and escapes.
Leon and Ashley escape the island on her jet-ski as it explodes in the distance.
Resident Evil 5 (2009)
Chris and Sheva Alomar are sent to Kijuju to catch Irving before he sells a bio-organic weapon (BOW). After arriving, they discover the locals have Las Plagas. Chris and Sheva are rescued by Captain Stone (Sheva’s mentor). Chris gets a sneaky peek into Stone’s data and sees a picture of his presumed dead partner, Jill. The trio fails at capturing Irving who escapes with a hooded figure.
Chris and Sheva go to an oilfield where the handoff is to occur but discover the intel was bad. When the duo return, they find the Delta team was killed by a BOW. With the exception of a missing Stone.
Chris and Sheva head through a marsh and find Stone and track Irving. Irving injects himself with Las Plagas and mutates into an octopus-like creature. They defeat him, and following Irving’s last words go to a nearby cave. The cave houses a flower Umbrella uses to create viruses, as well as a new strain called Uroboros. The two also find evidence that Tricell took over the lab and continued the research. Amongst the capsules of human subjects, Chris finds Jill’s empty pod.
Before they leave, they find out that Wesker has been plotting with Tricell’s CEO, Gionne, to launch missiles containing Uroboros across the world. Wesker would be one of the few remaining to rule over the mutated human race. Chris and Sheva pursue Gionne but are stopped by Wesker and the hooded figure. The hooded figure is none other than a brainwashed Jill Valentine. Gionne and Wesker escape to an oil tanker, they remove Jill’s brainwashing mechanism and the chase continues
In the pursuit, Gionne drops several syringes and Sheva takes them. Wesker infects Gionne with Uroboros, which Chris and Shiva then defeat. Jill tells Chris that Wesker has to take precise amounts of the drug, or he could poison himself. Sheva works with Chris to inject Wesker with the drug. Wesker tries to flee on a bomber but crashes it after Chris and Sheva disable it. Wesker exposes himself to Uroboros to kill them. A helicopter, piloted by Stone and Jill, comes for extraction. As they leave, they kill Wesker via RPG.
Resident Evil 6 (2012)
DSO agent Sherry Birkin extracts Jake (Wesker’s son) from a bio-terrorist attack to create a vaccine for the C-virus. But, they are taken by Ustanak.
A BSAA team led by Chris and Piers goes to combat the local infected. But they are attacked by the leader of the Neo-Umbrella who calls herself Ada. ‘Ada’ infects everyone but Chris and Piers. The botched extraction leaves Sherry and Jake to be captured and held in Lanshiang by ‘Ada’.
The President tries to expose the Umbrella’s bioterrorism. However, the venue is attacked, infecting the President. Sole survivors DSO agent Leon and Secret Service agent Helena Harper come across the real Ada. Ada reveals that National Security Advisor, Simmons, is a Neo-Umbrella and organized the attack.
Leon and Helena pursue Simmons to Lanshiang. Meanwhile, Jake and Sherry escape from their captivity. Chris forms a team with Piers and arrives in Lanshiang. However, Chris is out for revenge against ‘Ada’. When Chris and Piers confront ‘Ada’, Leon stops them. The trio follows ‘Ada’ to a carrier with C-virus-filled missiles. Jake’s identity is revealed, Leon and Helena corner Simmons, and Sherry and Jake get captured.
Chris warns Helena and Leon that a C-virus missile is on-route. Leon tells Chris about Jake’s father and has him go to an oil platform to rescue them. Leon and Helena, with Ada’s assistance, kill Simmons.
Under the platform, Chris and Piers free the two. Wounded, Piers injects himself with the C-virus to fight against the bioweapon, Haos. Piers sacrifices himself, Chris gets out, and Jake and Sherry leave via a rocket-powered lift and kill Ustanak.
“Ada” reveals herself to be a scientist called Carla. Ada kills Carla and destroys the clone lab. Leon and Helena return to duty, Chris stays with BSAA, Sherry continues with DSO, and Jake goes to fight BOW’s.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
Ethan Winters goes to a plantation in Louisiana by instruction from a message from his wife, Mia, who has been missing for three years. Ethan finds Mia, but Mia becomes distressed because she did not send the message. In their escape, Mia turns on Ethan, forcing his hand and killing her. Ethan receives a call from a woman named Zoe who offers advice. Mia attacks Ethan again and cuts off his left hand. After subduing Mia, Jack Baker captures him. Jack takes them back to the house where Zoe reattaches the hand. Now held captive by the Baker family – Jack, his wife Marguerite, Lucas, and an elderly woman.
Ethan escapes by destroying half of Jack, who previously shows off his regeneration abilities. Zoe calls Ethan again and reveals she is Jack’s daughter. She also says the family and Mia have the same illness but there is a cure. Only thing is, Marguerite has it. Ethan takes the serum and kills her. Suddenly, Ethan has visions of a little girl. Meanwhile, Lucas takes Zoe and Mia and hides them in a trap-filled barn. Ethan saves them and Zoe makes two doses of the serum with the ingredients he found. A mutant Jack attacks Ethan, who uses a dose to kill him. Ethan then has to choose to save Mia or Zoe.
Now, there are two paths here but they will come back together.
Option A: Zoe. Mia is heartbroken about the decision even with Ethan’s promise to come back. As the duo passes a tanker, Zoe states that Mia came with Eveline. It was only after their arrival did the Baker family get sick. Eveline stops their escape by killing Zoe and Ethan is knocked off the boat by a creature. Option B: Mia. As Ethan and Mia take off on the boat, they come across the tanker, and the creature attacks.
Back to the story. Mia searches for Ethan while seeing visions of Eveline. Mia gets her memories back and remembers she was an operative with The Connections. The Connections developed Eveline as a bioweapon. Mia and another agent were escorting Eveline when she escaped from her confinements and infected everyone (including Mia) on board. Mia finds Ethan and gives him a sample of Eveline’s genetic material. If you chose Option A, Eveline controls Mia and attacks Ethan. Ethan kills Mia for good. Option B leaves Mia enough time to seal Ethan out to hunt Eveline.
Ethan discovers a lab inside a salt mine and learns Eveline can infect people via a black psychotropic fungus. The fungus allows her to control her victims, mutations, regenerative abilities, and transform them into the Molded. Ethan learns about Eveline’s obsession with family, causing her to infect the Bakers and Mia. Lucas was immunized against the infection to observe them. Ethan creates a toxin to kill Eveline and returns to the Bakers. Ethan injects Eveline with the toxin and reveals she was the elderly woman from the beginning. Eveline took medication to keep her young.
Eveline mutates. But a military squad led by Chris Redfield kills her. If players chose to save Mia, she will be in the helicopter during extraction.
Resident Evil Village (2021)
Chris arrives to Ethan, Mia, and their baby Rosemary’s cabin. Chris and his team (Hound Wolf) murder Mia and kidnap Ethan and Rosemary. Ethan wakes up near a crash site but is caught by Mother Miranda.
Ethan escapes into Dimistrescu’s castle to look for Rosemary with help from The Duke. He goes on to kill Dimitrescu and her daughters before finding a flask with Rosemary’s head inside. The Duke tells him about the ritual and that they can still save her. After killing Beneviento and Moreau, Ethan passes Heisenberg’s test, collecting their flasks of Rosemary. Heisenberg suggests they kill Miranda. After learning Heisenberg plans to weaponize Rosemary, he refuses and escapes.
Ethan comes across Chris who reveals that Mia wasn’t his Mia, but Miranda’s mimic. Chris and Ethan destroy the facility and kill Heisenberg. However, Miranda kills Ethan after revealing her plans of taking Rosemary as her own.
Chris leads his team to save Rosemary while the BSAA distracts Miranda. Chris enters a cave under the village and finds the source of the mold, the Megamycete. He plants bombs and finds Miranda’s lab. Chris discovers she’s able to live longer due to the fungus. Miranda’s failed experiments to revive her dead daughter include the lords, Lycans, and Eveline. Mia, who has special abilities from her parents, would have been the perfect host. Chris rescues Mia from imprisonment and finds out that Ethan is still alive.
The Duke brings Ethan to the site to revive Rosemary. Ethan kills Miranda. As the Megamycete emerges, Ethan sacrifices himself by detonating the bomb. Chris gets Mia and Rosemary to safety. Chris discovers that the BSAA soldiers were organic bioweapons and leaves for the BSAA HQ.