Resident Evil EP3: Meet Scott Umbrella

By Shamus
on May 22, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I don’t watch a lot of horror movies, so I’ll crowdsource this question and see what we can find: Has there ever been a time in a movie / game where a male protagonist has backed slowly away from a threat, fell on his ass, and then stared helplessly as the threat overcame him, when all he needed to do was stand his stupid ass up and walk away from it? Because that happens a lot in movies, I only see it happen to women, and I think it has the opposite effect the writers intend.

It’s clearly supposed to heighten the tension. Get up! Run away! Hurry! It’s going to eat / dismember / suck the brains out of / stab you. And you know what? The first couple of times, it worked. But after a couple of decades of this I find it really annoying. Whenever I see someone sit of their ass instead of fighting for their survival, I kind of feel obligated to let Darwin have his way with her. No offense lady, but I don’t want your lack of intelligence and survival instinct to get spread around the gene pool.

Does this make me a horrible person? Probably. Although bear in mind we’re talking strictly about fictional women. I like to think I’d be more charitable to someone real.

I will say that Jill Valentine spends entirely too much time screaming for help and gawking at things trying to kill her. I give her a pass for her first encounter, but somewhere around zombie number ten its time she got with the program and stopped being so surprised. Particularly since she’s supposed to be a capable police officer or whatever she is.

So that’s Resident Evil. It’s an interesting specimen and even though I don’t care for the franchise, it’s the great-grandsire to a bunch of stuff I really love.

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From the Archives:

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    I admit to being familiar with the Resident Evil series primarily through the LP series written by TheDarkId, which is the greatest thing ever, and can be found here, intended to be read in reverse order of release from 4RE to the original.

    In his LP of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, he maintains a running “Jill Ass to Floor” tally. Also, randomly falling off of/through things, which tends to result in the former.

    My own experience with the series is limited to Resident Evil 4, which I loved, though I think it’s aged quickly and poorly, and Resident Evil 5, which was so bad I was genuinely shocked and angered, despite my already low expectations of it.

    • Shamus says:

      That was a magnificent rant. Bravo.

    • Ventus says:

      To totally hijack your comment, but to anyone who has not played or read anything about Drakengard… You owe it to yourself to read TheDarkId’s LP of that series (including Nier) because it hilariously bat shit insane. Seriously, go do it, it’s amazing.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        TheDarkId’s Let’s Play of NieR convinced me to by that game for myself, and play to to pieces. It stands firm as one of my favorite games, and certainly one of the oddest.

        Whenever someone brings up the argument of LP’s affecting the sales of narrative-based games, I’m always quick to hold NieR up as an anecdotal counterexample. I knew everything there was to know about it before putting money down for it, and I’ll never regret it.

        • Syal says:

          I had the same reaction to NIER (…well, not the buying part, but the wanting to buy it part).

          Really I recommend all of The Dark Id’s LPs; he doesn’t make them all look good but he makes them all look entertaining.

          Except Limbo of the Lost. Even in screenshots that game caused me physical pain.

      • BeamSplashX says:

        while i still think they’re pretty good to read, there are definitely more than a few jokes that would come off as being really uncool.

        that said, it helps knowing that he’s a better guy these days!

        (also, i would definitely recommend skipping out on the nier lp outside of the handy quest flowchart and playing it yourself, but i played drakengard and can heartily recommend not playing that if you love yourself. such brilliant barrages of middle fingers to its players that i love but can’t wish on anybody else.)

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      That Was a good, Rant. The only thing you missed by my account is that if you give the partner any sort of machine gun they will only ever fire one bullet at a time. Since this weapon type’s power is in volume, and bullet per bullet they are the weakest weapon, this means the AI actually does less damage with a MACHINE GUN than they do with a pistol.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        Well I fail to understand what difference it could make if all those bullets are destined to find your own character’s back. Ugh, don’t get me started on that game.

        You wanna hear the worst part of it? I played through that game twice. I can’t offer any explanation. I’m ashamed of myself.

        • Tmacnt08 says:

          I feel your pain. I too am ashamed to have played through it twice. The first time I played it alone and shared every sentiment of your magnificent rant. HHowever, my cousin who is a year older than me was a huge Resident Evil fan. I tried to talk him out of playing it. I explained how god awful and atrocious it was. But nothing could sate him. I could not bare to force him to suffer through that companion AI as I had so I forced myself to play the game with him. Needless to say he deeply regretted it, apoligized, admitted he was wrong and has never talked about Resident Evil or Capcom since as it destoryed his love of the RE franchise. Never before has being right felt so horrible and painful.

    • Michael says:

      Well, if it makes you feel better… RE6 isn’t as bad as RE5. It’s even further into the, “no, really guys, we’re a third person shooter” range. It’s still loaded to the gills with QTEs… but, you know. It’s not a Resident Evil game, except as deranged fan service.

      Honestly, I’m not sure if RE4 was really as self aware as people seem to think it was. The entire franchise blundered along on moon logic until someone said, “we need to make this appeal to western audiences.” And, then we got all of the modern games.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Josh has a soul?!

  3. Benjamin Hilton says:

    While I do think Shamus is right in how nonsensical the resident evil series is, the stories have always been able to draw me in somehow.

    I like how the characters age in real time, both physically and emotionally. Yes it is funny that Chris got so much bigger, but in all fairness once you survive Zombies your going to want to beef up, and you’ll be armed to the teeth at all times. In RE6 Chris’ whole character arc is that he’s recognized that no matter how much he does and how many friends are lost the fighting never comes to an end, and he is just tired of it and needs to find a reason to continue on. Leon, has slowly gotten less comedic and even slightly jaded as he ages as well.

    They also recognize that having the characters age means they won’t be around forever, and have started introducing new or previously young characters such as Jake, Moira, and Sherry for the torch to be passed too.

    Lastly I like the sidekick characters. In many games I often find it silly how only the hero of hero’s can do the job. I think that surely there must be someone else in the area who would also have the skills to survive. And to this series’ credit they do just that. In every game there is at least one, possibly more characters like Billy Coen, Carlos Olivera, and Josh Stone, that get caught up in events and manage to survive and help.

    Do these things make the stories good? Not necessarily. But I have always found these little touches and story choices interesting at the least.

  4. ehlijen says:

    The infamous Trolls 2 answers your request, Shamus.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyophYBP_w4

  5. Andy_Panthro says:

    Everyone laments the lack of a new Silent Hill game, and all I’m doing is waiting for a decent Alone in the Dark game… Surely it can’t be that hard to make one? Even an HD remake of the very first game would be nice (RE1 gets two remakes and AitD gets none? not fair!).

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    @7:00
    Nice old man cackle youve developed there.

    @Ending
    Was Chris doing that intentionally?

  7. Tizzy says:

    Hmmm… Is Campster OK? What happened?

    • The Rocketeer says:

      I think Campster let his father take over the end as a joke. I can just imagine Mister Franklin, with his World War I mustache and tailcoat, bellowing his brazen voice into the microphone as Chris stifles giggles and feeds him lines to say.

    • BruceR says:

      I honestly thought Campster was doing a bit of schtick at the end, pronouncing sonorously and slowly on the deep meaning of RE, until I realized he didn’t know how he sounded. Classic SW moment.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        This reminds me of whenever I go onto Skype and connect my USB webcam to do a video and/or voice chat – when I enter, there’s a 90% chance that the other person starts laughing and asking me why I sound like a chipmunk.

        So to fix that, I have to leave the chat, close Skype, then disconnect my webcam and reconnect it, then go back in to the chat, where it will stay fixed until I reset my computer, then it’ll come up again.

        • Tmacnt08 says:

          Guys isn’t it obvious? Scott Umbrella clearly put subliminal messages in his puzzles. It effected Chris before the others and now the Umbrella corporation possesses his soul. That was the demon inside Chris taking over. That’s Resident viEl for you though. Oh and Scott Umbrella is secretly Josh.

    • kunedog says:

      It sounds like he suddenly inhaled sulfur hexafluoride (except his voice was slower too, not just deeper).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG16s1SAmiI#t=170

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There is only one good thing in the whole resident evil movie series:The soundtrack in the first movie.

    Also the fact that you can use the movies to troll fans of the games.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ive seen men freeze and wait for the monster to eat them.It was common in old tv shows.

  10. Alex says:

    I’m more charitable than you are, Shamus. I’m still not going to feel kindly about people doing things that are blatantly stupid (see World War Z), but I’m not going to fault an individual for not being emotionally cut out to confront an Outside Context Problem like “dead people are trying to eat me.”

    • The Rocketeer says:

      For Jill in particular, it’s not necessarily that it happens at all, but how often it seems to happen. I can’t speak for this game, but as I mention above, I’ve read an LP of RE3: Nemesis that kept a count of how many times Jill falls on her butt, and I think it ended up to be seven or eight.

      Which is odd, because I can’t recall it happening to Claire, one of the two leads of RE2 and main lead of Code Veronica, or Rebecca, co-lead of RE0. Maybe once or twice, but nothing like Jill’s anomalous posterior gravity.

    • MrGuy says:

      And that would be fine, but it makes for a crappy game.

      Because if the main character of a game couldn’t deal with the idea of zombies, they’d quickly succumb and get eaten.

      In most games, after then first 10 minutes, we’re plowing through these guys like a well-oiled machine. We’ve mowed them down by the dozen. So having a cutscene 3 hours in where we’re still saying “O, my god, what are those things?” or staring at them with powerless horror feels wrong. Because we’ve spent the last few hours proving that THIS person CAN deal with this particular out-of-context problem.

      It’s not that the reaction is invalid taken on its own. Even a police officer who’s seen some crazy stuff on the job could wig out and lose it if the dead come back to life. It’s the pacing, timing, and context in which they show us the character having that reaction.

      You can even lampshade having a bad delayed reaction to the insane – adrenalin kicked in, you didn’t have time to think, and now that you do have time it floors you. That takes good writing and careful effort to pull off, but it can work (once).

      But Jill shows no signs she’s been barely holding it together all this time until now. And this is far from her first encounter with the zombies. Why does it make sense for her to go all to pieces NOW in the game? I think the only answer is “because it’s plot convenient for it to happen now,” and that’s a pretty terrible answer.

  11. ChristopherT says:

    I say this in good fun. I’m glad we got our dumb player moment with Josh not knowing where to go to get “serum” when the map opens itself and shows you exactly what room to go to.

    Also, not sure if I should be happy or sad we got out before Yawn. That could have been the moment the guys tear the game apart and laugh in its face. In the direction they were heading not sure if they would be able to accept it as goofy dumb and move on.

  12. Phantos says:

    I think you’re allowed to be paralyzed with fear over something, even if it’s something you’ve faced before. Even if you’ve survived it.

    Yeah, I can make fun, but I say that from the comfort of not being in a zombie apocalypse. Maybe I’d be the guy who’s frozen in place in terror over something that would seem goofy to me if I were seeing it on a screen.

  13. kunedog says:

    If you’d like to see a hilarious LP crew play the game to the end (at least they say they are), check this out:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLm14Eceh-GqURVFF8OPieENIrThXAg3ng

    It’s from some guys who do a MST3K-type show that rivals the real deal. And they are huge Resident Evil fans, which IMO helps a lot (the whole skeleton plot of their show is that the lead riffer is a member of a S.T.A.R.S-ripoff squad holed up with a couple of robots in an abandoned theater during the zombie apocalypse, instead of a janitor shot into space with a couple of robots on a satellite).

    Also, I expected Shamus to link to Superbunnyhop’s review of the remake/master (maybe he did and I missed it):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df_ET25Z-EQ

    • tmtvl says:

      If we’re gonna be doing recommendations of LP’s of RE games…

      I love Kikoskia’s LP’s of RE1 and RE:Gaiden. Especially the “zombi? …no” bits.

      The Necroscope’s LP’s of the first 3 RE games are also fun, primarily because he mocks it in Rocky Horror style.

    • Alex says:

      Thanks for the recommendation. Now the only problem is waiting for the next episode.

  14. somniorum says:

    The scene at the start of this video, where the zombie comes down the stairs and through the door you’re going through, was much better in the original… assuming I’m not misremembering.

    I believe, in the original, you just went to open the door, it went to the door-opening load screen and when the door swung open the zombie just appeared there *in the loading screen* and came through. Nothing like that had happened before, or happened afterwards, it was a nice bit of playing with your assumptions based on the mechanics of the game.

    PS: Chris went through double puberty!

  15. Ringwraith says:

    Something 6 actually sort-of addressed with its ridiculous flexible-but-not-explained combat controls, you could shoot from a sitting/lying position, and even back up slowly while doing so.
    You’re still vulnerable, but not utterly helpless, and can delay standing up again until you have the breathing room to do so.
    It’s also something you’ll probably self-inflict by doing by the backwards-diving-to-shoot-things-behind-you manoeuvre, which can be both useful and look like you’re just showing off attempting to be stylish.
    Basically the combat engine in 6 is nuts, and the campaign(s!), dreadful.

    • Thomas says:

      I like the sound of Resident Evil 6 a lot tbh, it seems like the developers just gave up and threw in the first thing that came into their heads.

      It might not be great but it doesn’t sound boring.

      • Ringwraith says:

        The combat systems are advanced into the faster action style, most notably you don’t have stand still to shoot (which is something I actually liked as a tactical decision), but they’re really solid for what they’re trying to do.
        Of course you probably only will get to properly enjoy them in the the score-attack Mercenaries mode, as the campaigns are full of bad design decisions like shonky one-off sections and instant-deaths, also way too many quicktime events.

        Though really, I played a lot of 5’s Mercenaries, and I don’t even like those kinds of modes generally, simply because the actual shooting and hitting things is so enjoyable.

  16. Christopher says:

    “So that’s Resident Evil. It’s an interesting specimen and even though I don’t care for the franchise, it’s the great-grandsire to a bunch of stuff I really love.”

    Like Bloodborne.

    Chris sounding like a monster at the end there is killing me.

    • Phantos says:

      I don’t see the connection between Resident Evil and Bloodborne. RE is survival-horror. Bloodborne is not survival-horror. Hell, it’s not even Castlevania. It doesn’t even rise to those levels of Spoopy.

      It’s got more in common with God of War or Double Dragon than a slow-paced game with resource management and puzzle-solving.

      • IFS says:

        What defines a survival horror game though? Personally I’d say atmosphere, not slow pacing (though certainly slow pacing can contribute to atmosphere) and Bloodborne has atmosphere coming out of every pore, beginning with gothic horror and transitioning into lovecraftian. Personally Bloodborne had some of the tensest moments of any game that I’ve played, even making me take breaks from it at times because the atmosphere was starting to wear on me, and the fast paced action can and will induce panic in the player with some frequency especially early on. Combining this with the creeping horror of discovering and realizing the truths of the setting makes for a game that in my opinion is very much a survival horror experience.

        • Syal says:

          Survival Horror means heavily limited resources. Bloodborne’s weapons never break, health drops are plentiful and you can make new bullets yourself. Plus infinite lives. It fails the ‘survival’ part. It’s Action Horror.

          • IFS says:

            Bloodborne’s weapons do break, health vials are only plentiful in the early sections of the game (though granted you can grind for more, as with bullets though you have to sacrifice health to make more bullets) and all supplies get more expensive to purchase as you make progress. Besides any game with a save system has technically infinite lives, I’ll grant that it is more action than survival, but I think it does still have some roots in the survival horror genre which certainly seemed to me to be what Chris was alluding to with his calling RE the grandfather of Bloodborne.

          • Phantos says:

            Except for one part in the Upper Cathedral Ward section, I’m not sure I’d classify any part of Bloodborne as “horror”.

            Which is too bad, because I think the game could have been better if it had gone for more of a survival-horror slant. But I guess that just doesn’t meld with the fast-paced controls and combat they were going for.

      • Christopher says:

        Yeah, I didn’t think too hard about that joke, I just thought it was funny that Shamus used the same expression about it as Chris did many times in relation to Bloodborne. Presumably Shamus meant games like Tomb Raider 2013. Maybe even Arkham? It’s hard to tell how influential a camera positioning is.

  17. Mersadeon says:

    I think the reason why we are so much harsher with fictional characters here is that we, as an audience, always know this is fake. I think if someone in real life had to see these things, I wouldn’t fault them for still being immobilized by horror even though it is the fifth time. But that’s really a problem artists have to work around – you can make horror and shock palpable enough so that the audience does not get angry at the character.

  18. ChristopherT says:

    With this being the last I expect of Spoiler Warning playing a Resident Evil game, some thoughts on the series if I may(this will be long, sorry)…

    Female characters. While Jill may fall down a few times early in the game, she’s still capable at killing these monsters. She fights against spiders taller than her, and doesn’t cry, she doesn’t pout, yet she’s still vulnerable without being useless or even less useful than the guys. And she’s not the only one in the series; Claire, Ada, Rebecca, Sheva, Jessica, Moira, Sherry, and the ladies from Outbreak.

    One of the things I’d like to point to also is Revelations 2(the latest Resident Evil), where the story focuses on the playable characters of Claire Redfield (in her early 30s), Moira Burton (early 20s), Natalia (9), and Barry Burton (male, in his 50s) with a female antagonist. Further, Moira has a fear of guns and refuses to use them, in a survival horror game, I find that pretty interesting.

    While the Resident Evil series is long and has had many releases it hasn’t failed to try new things. Many various ideas have been tried…

    In Resident Evil 2 they tried adding a second part to the story, the A and B scenarios. And in the N64 version there was a control option for the game to play like it does in the extra control scheme Josh used in these videos. Resident Evil 2 also introduced an enemy that could break through walls (scripted).

    In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis they added a dodge feature, the ability to mix gun powder to make ammo, and Nemesis as a threat that once appeared would chase the player through multiple rooms, which I believe was incredibly rare at the time. Also introduced Mercenaries mode, which at the time was named because the characters playable in it were hired mercenaries. It played differently than the versions in 4 and 5, in this one a timer was also given counting down, but the goal was to get to the end of the single map before time ran out, getting bonus time based on monster kills.

    In Resident Evil Zero they tried getting rid of the item boxes and uses a system of dropping items and being able to pick them up later, as well as controlling 2 characters at once, where the second character would follow the player controlled character, OR one character could be moved with the left control stick as per usual and the second character could be moved with the right stick(c-stick), this was back on the Gamecube over a decade before Brothers: A tale of two sons.

    In Survivor they opted for a first person experience, with systems similar to an on rails shooter, though you could control the character in this. Survivor also used the story of Children being kidnapped to then be put in cells and experimented on.

    In Dead Aim they returned with the Survivor and Survivor 2 first person system, and added a feature where when the player gets a head shot on a zombie the zombie launches backwards through the air and smacks against the wall.

    In Outbreak, for the PS2, they tried multi-player over a set of smaller maps, not too different from the basic idea of Left4Dead. Though in Outbreak there were multiple characters to choose from and each had a certain special ability they could bring to the game, for instance one had a backpack so they could carry more, another had a small pouch that was exclusive to putting herbs into, others started with guns and abilities to increase damage (steadying aim, or powered up melee attacks), another had a lock pick (of course), and one could make special items like a sledge hammer made out of a hunk of concrete, a pole, and duct tape. One character’s special ability was he could pretend to be a zombie. These characters also ab-lib like in Left4Dead. Outbreak File 2 also had plant zombies for one level.

    In the Remake they tried Defense items, and the Crimson Heads, which while one was present in the videos here, I think were missed/overlooked. In the REmake, if a zombie was not finished off with a head shot or later set on fire (with lighter and canteen) the zombie would go through a mutation becoming a Crimson Head, they’d then get back up and be stronger, faster, and harder to kill, once killed they’d then finally stay down. They also added a mode for Invisible Enemies, and Real Survivor mode, where the item boxes spread throughout the game are NOT connected to each other.

    Resident Evil games with child characters – 2, Survivor, Revelations 2, Gaiden.

    While Resident Evil 4 has the unusual character of a midget Code: Veronica has the unusual Alfred who cross dresses as his sister.

    Kind of also the main antagonist from Dead Aim, who seems very much like a guy, but when he uses his super virus on himself grows breasts.

    Before it’s all over just wanted to post some Resident Evil things. Just random thoughts. Please Forgive

  19. Neko says:

    Are we specifically doing Zombie survival horror for this (awesome) Spoiler Warning interlude? Because watching Jill go up and down some of those stairs reminded me a lot of Fatal Frame / Project Zero, which is ghosts, but still a really neat spooky survival horror style game.

    • ChristopherT says:

      Fatal Frame is so good. I’ve only played Crimson Butterfly through to completion, rented the first over a decade ago and played through night one, and last year had to stop playing The Tormented because it started to freak me out a bit too much. I think it was the added heartbeat vibration to the controller that i wasn’t ready for, I can’t remember if that was new or not, but I really was not ready for it.

      Great mechanic of the closer the enemy is and the longer you hold your camera on them the more damage you do, meaning in order to provide the most damage to a ghost you have to become that much closer to taking damage yourself. Added with I just really like the idea of the camera used to hurt/disperse ghosts as the old wives tale/superstition of cameras capturing ones soul.

      Falling ghosts have always gotten me in those games. They get right down to my spine.

  20. Ya ever find out what happened with Chris’ mic?

  21. Chris says:

    Pretty cool game, even if it felt like a door-opening simulator half the time..

    Anybody else think the scariest part so far is that this re-re-mastered game, being played by Josh, has exhibited -no- bugs. Feels like they should keep going until a bug shows up.. Chris’s voice doesn’t count.

  22. Spammy says:

    So you mentioned how Resident Evil went through a bunch of games and then jumped into a less serious, more actiony, more body horror direction with 4. Personally I do kind of love the goofiness of the modern Resident Evil.

    But I would like to remind everyone that Alone in the Dark did that in one sequel. Alone in the Dark 1 was mysterious with odd monsters and Lovecraftian overtones. Alone in the Dark 2 has you dressing up like Santa Claus and shooting zombie pirates with a tommy gun. And it has a midget zombie chef.

  23. 4th Dimension says:

    So, all this time we thought Josh was the one, but it turns out it was Chris who was the Resident Evil in the crew, all along.

  24. karln says:

    Would kinda like to see you guys do Eternal Darkness. If the technology could be managed. It’s a game I liked and care about way more than Bioh..errr..Resident Evil.

    Too much reliance on on-screen text, you say? Why that’s just another way of saying ‘Rutskarn needs to do dramatic readings of this game’.

    Yeahhhh it’s not really going to happen is it? Any chance of any Silent Hill games, at least?

  25. bloodsquirrel says:

    It sounded like Chris was trying to talk through a yawn.

  26. Mailbox says:

    Let’s clear this up:

    Resident Evil (PSX) – 1996
    Resident Evil: REmake (GameCube) – 2002 March
    (was not HD. No console was HD in 2002)

    Eternal Darkness (GameCube) – 2002 June

    Resident Evil: REmake REmastered HD (Xbone, 360, PS4, PS3, PC) – 2015
    (HD resolution re-release of 2002 RE: Remake)

    A huge number of changes went into the making of RE: REmake that made it largely different from the original. As a result most of your comparisons of other games to the 1996 version don’t reflect well when you are playing the 2002 version.

  27. Mailbox says:

    Josh is getting a lot of ribbons because he is playing on Easy.

  28. eaglewingz says:

    I’m watching the red fountain water kill the writhing plant and thinking, “I’ve seen that somewhere before.”

    I scoured the ol’ memory banks and game lists without luck, but I remember that exact puzzle from a (S)NES title. It was more fantasy adventure, but the sequence and appearance were the same.

    There’s no new puzzles under the sun, I guess.

  29. (paraphrased)
    Josh: That’s on the other side of the mansion.
    Shamus: That’s no problem, you killed all the zombies.
    Josh: That’s not the way this game works.

    That made me laugh.
    But it brought up a good point.

    So many games respawn enemies. Many RPGs too.
    I can’t recall any games where you can travel freely to any areas and enemies will stay dead (I know they exist, I just can’t recall them right now).

    There are even fewer games that let you kill everything (and once it’s all dead no respawn) and the bodies will remain.
    I think there are Skyrim and Fallout 3/New Vegas mods for stuff like that.

    Bodies vanishing and foes out of nowhere always irks me.

    Somebody once said that “but the save file would be huge”.
    Not that huge really. You only need x,y,z coordinates stored a npc type id and a variant id/seed. The x,y,z is obvious, the type id is for the description text, the variant is for the looks.

    Once you kill the enemy it’s normal, once you leave a certain distance the body is swapped “The body of what looks to be a bandit, animals has began nibbling at it and the body is picked clean of items.”

    Later “The remains of what looks to be a human, there is little more than bones left.”

    Now if certain items are desired to remain on the body/near it then that would only take 1 id per item (more or less).
    So that’s 5x32bit values and lets add/round that off to 8x32bit (overhead/just in case I underestimated stuff to track). And as 32bits take up 4 bytes, that”s 32 bytes total.

    1MB (1048576 bytes) would be enough to keep 32768 bodies/cadavers/skeletons in a game world.

    That’s not a lot. And 3MB would be enough to track 1 million bodies.

    And here’s the thing. Even in a game like Skyrim (which “never truly ends”) yo would never track that many bodies. And here’s why:

    Animals and monsters will drag off bodies in the forest/woods/caves sometimes. Bandits/thieves/cannibals (hey Mumbles) may drag of with bodies near roads.
    Townspeople/guards/whatever will either burn bodies, bury bodies or remove bodies that are found along roads, in towns.

    A house who’s owners had died will not remain forever, the bodies will be removed and the house “sold” or give to somebody else.
    In a big city bodies would be taken care of quickly, in a little hut out in nowhere it may remain for a long time.

    So the visible body count would never get high enough to be a issue for savegame sizes (in the past the savegame size was a issue, but not these days).

    What games out there do keep track of the bodies?
    And do they diminish the enemy count as the body count go up? (no respawn)
    I’m curious!

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Enemies respawning in (some) rpgs is a good thing,because it lets you grind until you are comfortably strong to beat the next challenge.It also makes sense in a game like this,where you have to worry about your constantly diminishing resources.Where it is just a nuisance is in games where the enemies level up with you.

      • Phantos says:

        I feel like Dark Souls 2 hit an interesting compromise:

        Enemies have lives. You can level grind by respawning enemies at checkpoints, but they run out. So the game gives room for grinding if you’re having trouble, but you can’t use it as a crutch forever.

        I wish more games did the whole permadeath thing with enemies though. I feel like that would force the devs to get more creative with the kinds of enemies they create and their placement than if they just have an unlimited supply.

    • ChristopherT says:

      So many games respawn enemies. Many RPGs too.
      I can’t recall any games where you can travel freely to any areas and enemies will stay dead
      =======================
      Resident Evil. I know how it seems from this short series, but enemies do not respawn in this game, or in most old school Resident Evil games.

      Three events happen in this game regarding enemies.

      1) Zombies do not stop until they bleed out. They will drop a lot of the time, but you have to make sure to stay until you make them fall down and bleed, or they will just keep getting back up.

      2) If a zombie is not finished off properly with either an RNG head shot or burning and is left bleeding, after some time it will mutate into a super zombie (Crimson Head) which takes a lot more damage and is much faster.

      3) There are set times and locations in the game where new enemies will spawn. But only under certain set conditions. For instance the hallway with the cracked glass and where the zombie dogs will jump through, they will only ever jump through if you walk down the hallway moving towards the main entrance. If you only ever walk from the entrance towards the bathroom the dogs will never jump in from the windows. And once they jump in, you kill the two, that hallway is clear of enemies, and is safe to travel.

      The zombies outside of the plant room, smash through the glass, then when killed there will not be any zombies in that hall again. There’s a few of the incidents that happen. Including when a new enemy type spawns throughout the mansion. But once an enemy is defeated they do not respawn. In the older RE games there is a very set amount of enemies.

      The older Resident Evil games have a very strong sense of risk vs reward. Each time you choose to fight an enemy it costs ammo, maybe health, however it can mean having that enemy out of the game and making a hallway/room safe.

    • Syal says:

      Well… Nethack did it. There’s a finite number of enemies, and all the corpses stick around until they rot away or someone eats them.

      I don’t know if the NES Diehard kept track of the bodies, but there was a finite number of enemies you had to kill.

      Outcast had respawning patrols, but if you did a quest the enemies would stop spawning. (Made it really boring when I was wandering around lost trying to find an item.)

  30. John says:

    One thing that this game clearly demonstrates is that art style can make a big difference. I would bet that the ridiculous puzzles seemed much less ridiculous when coupled with less sophisticated–or, to look at it another way, more abstract–art. If the world depicted in the game doesn’t look like the real world, then the player will not expect it to behave like the real world. Video game conventions like “green herbs” are acceptable in something that looks like a game, but much less so in something that looks like, say, a movie.

    • Patrick-who-is-Hector says:

      No, it really wasn’t any more believable then. In fact, as with most things distinctive about the Resident Evil series, it became a sort of early internet meme. These things never made sense, and were accepted because it’s a videogame.

      • John says:

        Yeah, that was basically my point. Nobody ever complains about insurmountable waist-high fences in, say, an NES Final Fantasy, but they would drive people nuts in a game with graphics like Skyrim. The reason is that the Final Fantasy game looks like a game, and you expect it to behave like one.

  31. @23 min mark regardingg FAQs and “help me solve this game” buttons.

    Some game do this. And text adventures (that try to be accessible) try to do this.

    It’s best to provide game hints in stages.

    So going into the menu and pressing help will give a vague hint: Want a hint? Y/N
    “That square hole, looks like something might fit in there.”
    The second time the player press help: Want another hint? Y/N
    “Maybe there’s something in the living room.”
    The third time the player press help: Want another hint? Y/N
    “Wasn’t there a statue in the living room?”
    The fourth time the player press help: Want another hint? Y/N
    “The hilt of the sword of the statue looks square and about the right size.”

    Unless I’m mistaken the Monkey Island enhanced re-release does include hints (can’t recall how the UI/interface was for the hints though) but I think it gave you more and more details.

    It’s a nice way to avoid spoiling anything and let players figure things out.
    The issue is when/how to present it. For quests logged in a journal then pressing H could prompt if you want a hint or not.
    But for other games a Codex or Bestiary could also work.

    Other ways to do it would be to make it part of the world so maybe you could ask a NPC (and need to pay gold or do them a favor) for help.
    So getting hints would be a quest i itself and not all NPCs would have an answer for everything.
    Going to a library and finding the right book might also be a way to give hints.
    One could also use time in two ways. Have the player “spy” an enemy or location and learn things as they watch it for say a few days (might notice a NPC using the secret back door).
    If a game is focused around thinking smart like this then it will become a natural part of the gameflow for a player as they’ll spy on people/locations to learn more, visit libraries to study, pay off or help NPCs that might have info, ask a beggar outside a house to keep an eye out for things for you (come back a few days later and see if he noticed something).

    I can see it now. A simple 2.5D game with a sarcastic detective in a shitty world where he seems to be the only logical one. There is no voiced dialog in the game, except for the narrator (the detective) which is voiced by Rutskarn (or at the very least written by Rutskarn).

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      Off the top of my head, Telltale’s Back to the Future series did this, as did the non-open-world Scribblenauts games. Zak & Wiki’s hint system was similar, except that the pricing on the hints ramps up every time you buy one :/

      EDIT: Talking specifically about your first idea of progressive hints. That was a long comment :)

  32. guy says:

    So, on games that wouldn’t have been possible: I have a somewhat out of date computer, and I fired up GalCiv 3 and went to play on one of the larger map sizes, and it just outright told me no because I didn’t have enough RAM.

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