After the huge success of Resident Evil in 1996, Capcom went all in to create a sequel that topped the original in every way. There were plenty of roadblocks, and the game was even completely scrapped. The existence of Resident Evil 1.5 is widely known, as is zombie Brad, so it won’t be discussed here. But eventually, in 1998, Capcom released a true masterpiece with Resident Evil 2, selling over 5 million copies in the process. The 2019 remake was even more successful, selling over 6.5 million copies. Here are 10 facts you didn’t know about Resident Evil 2.
1. Leon’s Dog
In early artwork for Leon, a bloodhound can be seen beside him. It is unclear whether the dog was meant to play a part in the story or at least be referenced or scene in a cut scene or image. But it is likely this was scrapped early on, perhaps even before 1.5 was scrapped, due to the dog never being referenced in Resident Evil 2 or any other Resident Evil games.
2. The Street Fighter Reference
At the beginning of the A scenario when the player is running through the streets to Kendo’s Gun Shop, there is a store name “Arukas”, this was simply the word “Sakura” backwards. Sakura is a character from the Street Fighter series, first seen in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and most recently seen in Street Fighter V.
It is quite common for developers to scrap characters over the course of development, and Resident Evil 2 is no exception. It is widely known that Elza Walker was originally intended to be in the game but was later reworked as Claire Redfield. In Resident Evil 1.5, players can find another survivor in the RPD called Roy, who was also named DJ in earlier development plans. For unknown reasons, DJ was removed completely from the reworked Resident Evil 2 that was eventually released.
4. Kendo and Marvin
In the game’s A scenario, players encounter both Robert Kendo and Marvin Branagh early on. Kendo is seen during the second environment the player finds themselves in, Kendo’s Gun Shop, and Marvin is seen in the RPD. Both die shortly after meeting either Leon or Claire, although Marvin does hang on for a bit before becoming a zombie. In the original Resident Evil 2 story (Resident Evil 1.5), both Kendo (originally named John) and Marvin were set to have a much larger role in the story, and would both survive until the end of the game, or at least not be killed until closer to the end. Kendo would help out Elza Walker throughout the story and would have a large presence throughout the game, while Marvin would do the same for Leon and Ada. It also appears that Marvin was intended to be infected with the G-Virus, as opposed to Sherry. It is also a bit strange that Kendo was named John but had no interaction with Ada, considering Ada was apparently looking for her boyfriend John. It has never been confirmed whether this John is Ada’s boyfriend or not.
This one is really hard to spot. When the player first meets Marvin in the A scenario, he is resting against a locker. On the locker there is a name tag that reads “JoJo”, this is both a reference to the anime “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” as well as the game Capcom developed based on the anime, also called “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” which was released in 1998 along with Resident Evil 2.
6. The Secret Gate
In Resident Evil 3, Jill enters the RPD using a different method to Leon and Claire do in either scenarios. In the original Resident Evil 2, they enter the RPD through side entrances, whereas Jill uses the main gate which is also used in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Players can see this gate, but not enter it, by running up against the wall where it is out of frame after killing all of the zombies in the front plaza of the RPD. There are several zombies on the other side of the gate, but players can’t open the gate. It is still a fun little Easter Egg, though.
7. The Hunter
Resident Evil 2 introduced one of the most iconic enemies in the series, the Licker. But a classic enemy from RE1 was missing: the Hunter. However, one can be found in the N64 version of the game. In the B4F Culture Room, a dead Hunter can be found on the ground, making it the only Hunter to appear in the game.
8. The Elusive S Rank
Resident Evil 2 has a ranking system when completing the game, as do most RE games. In Japan, these range from S to D, whereas the US and European releases used A to E. However, the manual states that players can get an S rank, due to it being a direct translation of the original Japanese manual. This led to players trying many different ways to get an S rank, with no success. Thankfully, this was changed in the remake, and players can now earn an S rank in the West.
9. The Origins Of Tofu
Tofu was added as part of a secret game mode, basically being a knife-only version of HUNK’s 4th Survivor mode. The origin of Tofu and why he(?) was included in the game has always been a bit of a mystery. But Tofu was originally developed to test the game’s collision detection while the game was in development. Tofu even made an appearance in Resident Evil 2 Remake with the same knife-only 4th Survivor mode.
10. The Game.com Port
No, Game.com isn’t referring to a browser port of the game. Game.com was actually a handheld games console. For some reason, Resident Evil 2 was ported to the Game.com system. It did become the most-known game on the system though. The console, made by Tiger, has a basic black and white screen and doesn’t look very good. The game stripped the game down to its bare essentials, Leon was the only playable character and everything is just a bit more basic than the full release. The game was also ported to the Tiger 99x handheld, which was an even lower quality Game.com. It still baffles me that this game was actually released, but the Gameboy Advance port wasn’t greenlit.
11. The Gameboy Advance Tech Demo
Oh, go on then. I can’t mention the Gameboy Advance version and leave you hanging. A GBA port of Resident Evil 2 was pitched by Italian company Raylight Studios who used it to show off their Blue Roses engine. By 2003, Capcom had given up on Gameboy ports after the cancellation of the original Resident Evil port and the negatively-received Resident Evil Gaiden. This port actually looked good and had great potential, and it is a shame this never went ahead.
Did you know of any of these Resident Evil 2 facts? Are there any we missed out? Let us know in the comments.