Resident Evil: Code Veronica – Alexia Ashford’s true identity
Resident Evil has had its fair share of campy villians, but few more gloriously so than Alfred Ashford, the insane aristocrat who rules over his fiefdom of Rockfort Island. Alfred and his sister Alexia were created by the genetic experiments of their father Alexander Ashford. As a light prelude to his future unhinged nature, Alfred conspired with his sister to murder his father at the tender age of ten. Alfred only became ever more unhinged as time went on, creating a vast underground prison beneath his stately manor for the purpose of obscene genetic experiments.
During Code Veronica, Alfred loves nothing more than to swoon around, giggling madly at an eardrum-shattering pitch, shooting at Claire from balconies with a hunting rifle as casually as though he were shooting clay pigeons. His tendency to announce his full noble name and title at every opportunity also typifies his warped entitlement. He also has an unhealthy, borderline incestual fixation with his sister, Alexia, doting on her and idolizing her. Curiously though, him and his sister are never seen together. After Claire and sidekick Steve confront Alexia in her private residence, Alexia escapes into the next room after a bitter gunfight. As Claire and Steve are searching, they find a flowing blonde wig and a frilly frock lying around.
Just as the two of them are putting the pieces together, Alfred jumps out and attacks Claire. After being thrown to the side, Alfred catches sight of himself in the mirror, complete with mascara and lipsticked lips, and screams out in horror. It turns out that Alfred has a particularly severe case of multiple-personality disorder, and has been cross-dressing as his absent sister for the last several years. The real Alexia went into cryogenic suspension deep under the Mansion many years ago, but Alfred had convinced himself they were together the entire time. He’d even constructed a private residence where he could have conversations between himself and his Alexia persona, and had the construction crew who built it killed to stop word from getting out!
It’s this moment – where a campy cross-dressing psychopath has his fragile mind shattered with the realization he’s not actually his own sister – that really signalled a new, more silly, over-the-top direction that Resident Evil increasingly took from all entries onward. It’s a direction some people loved and some hated, but the moment that heralded it was equal parts disturbing and darkly hilarious.
Resident Evil 6 – Piers Nivens’ Heroism
*major spoilers for Resident Evil 6*
A lot of people thought that Resident Evil 6 was the ultimate expression of the series descending into Hollywood-esque cinematic excess. However, it was unique for telling the parallel narratives of three different gun-toting duos (with a seperate campaign for each) and how their lives and stories intertwine. One of these duos is the fresh-faced, idealistic Piers Nivens and the hard-bitten, long-running Resi protagonist Chris Redfield.
Chris starts off his story in Resident Evil 6 drinking and chain smoking in a bar, still shell-shocked and with partial amnesia after his unit being brutally murdered by Aya. He wants only to retire and leave life in the BSAA behind, but his young understudy Piers convinces him to go on one last mission to save the world once again.
At the end of the game, Chris and Piers are in an underwater base, under attack from the giant squid-like, god-like, pretty-damn-ugly-like final boss: Haos.
An errant explosion leaves Piers with his arm trapped under a pile of rocky debris. Knowing that Chris was is in danger, Piers’ practically tears his own arm off while he struggles free. Desperately weakened and wounded, Piers injects himself with the mutagenic C-Virus to heal himself and give the duo a shot at getting out of the underwater base alive. As Piers’ face becomes webbed with mutated slime, his eyes glowing with inhuman energy, he develops superhuman strength and the power to channel electric bolts. He uses his new powers to fight off Haos and fight his way to the escape pods with Chris.
Chris begs Piers to follow him into an escape submarine, but when his attention drifts, Piers shoves Chris into the craft and closes the door behind him. Chris cries and begs Piers not to launch the craft, saying that they can still both get out alive, but Piers knows that he cannot leave, because the mutation will eventually take over his mind as well. Chris’ escape pod is propelled out towards the surface, but Haos grabs the pod, gnashing his teeth, about to nom poor Chris in its translucent fangs. But from inside the base, Piers lets out one last blast of bio-electricity, destroying the base, Haos and himself in a massive explosion, freeing Chris to escape. When Chris gets to the surface, he is clutching Piers’ bloodied BSAA patch in his hand, thinking about the massive sacrifice his young friend has just made.
In the ending sequence for Chris’ arc, we see Chris in a bar once again. He’s contacted by a BSAA soldier who gives him his next assignment. However, instead of moping, griping and feeling bitter as he once did, Chris simply strides out the door into the sunlight, eager to take on his next mission. Piers’ heroism ends up reminding Chris who he was and really is, with Chris realising that duty and sacrifice to the cause are more important than his own personal vendettas and hang-ups. It’s this tragic, but beautifully well-wrapped up climax to a great story arc, combined with a staggering show of altruistic awesomeness from Piers’, that makes this a really special Resident Evil moment.