Resident Evil Zero, known in Japan as Biohazard Ø, is a survival horror game that was developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo GameCube and released in 2002.
It is the eighth game in the Resident Evil series by release order, and was the last of the main titles to use the original Resident Evil gameplay system prior to the release of Resident Evil 4. The game's storyline serves as a prequel to the first Resident Evil, covering Rebecca Chambers' ordeal a day prior to the Mansion incident.
The game was ported to the Nintendo Wii in Japan and the U.S. retitled Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero.
The main gameplay feature of Resident Evil Zero, dubbed the "partner zapping" system, is unique in the series in that instead of choosing a single character to play through the whole game, the player controls the two main characters, Rebecca Chambers (S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team's medic, seen in the original Resident Evil) and Billy Coen (an escaped convict) simultaneously through the entire game. Both characters can travel together, with one character being controlled by the player and other by the computer, or split up and search separate areas each at the same time. This dual control is central to solving some of the puzzles in the game.
The difference between both characters is that Rebecca can acquire chemicals with her mixing kit and can get into tight spaces, but is more fragile to enemy attacks. In contrast, Billy can handle heavy objects, has an oil lighter and can sustain more damage than Rebecca, but cannot mix herbs (in contrast from previous games, in which any character could mix herbs).
The game also does away with the use of "item boxes" placed in fixed locations for the player to store items in. Instead, the player can now drop items on the floor to make room for new ones, which they can later retrieve for future use. The locations of dropped items are displayed on the player's map.
- Rebecca Chambers
- Albert Wesker
- William Birkin
- Enrico Marini
- Billy Coen
- James Marcus
- Edward Dewey
- Kevin Dooley
- Albert Wesker - (HD only)
- Mimicry Marcus
- Queen Leech
- Stinger - A massive golden scorpion encountered in the Ecliptic Express' dining cart, in which it breached the ceiling of the train's bar and confronted Rebecca and Billy.
- Infected Bat - A large vampire bat infected with the T-Virus, seen inside the cathedral above Umbrella's Management Training Facility. These bats were created through exposure to the T-virus through the leak caused by the newly revived James Marcus. Although typically the only sign of infection was increased aggression, one bat in particular mutated to an enormous size. The mutation took a heavy toll on its body, causing multiple muscle tears in its enormous wingspan. This infected bat also had the ability to spawn multiple offspring at an alarming rate. It was seen again in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
- Eliminator - Simian test-subject for the B.O.W. project. With amazing athletic prowess, these apes can perform astoundingly swift attacks using the walls and ceiling. Eliminators often surround the prey as a group, attacking from all sides with an instinctive strategy.
- Plague Crawler - Insectoid B.O.W.s that prey upon their victims with scythe-like forelimbs, attacking the head region with their mandibles. They sometimes crawl along the ceiling in dark places, dropping down suddenly to strike. Since their eyesight is extremely limited in lighted areas, they much prefer the shadows in a fight.
On July 23, 1998, S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team is sent in to investigate a series of grisly murders in the Arklay Mountains region outside of Raccoon City. On the way to the scene, Bravo's helicopter malfunctions and is forced to crash land in the forest. Luckily, there are no fatalities. The team soon discovers an overturned Military Police transport truck, along with the mutilated corpses of two officers. The team soon splits up and Bravo team's field medic, rookie member Rebecca Chambers, stumbles upon a train suspiciously stopped in the middle of the forest...the Ecliptic Express. Soon thereafter, she discovers that it's infested with zombies. Rebecca begins to wonder what she has gotten herself into. After a little exploration, she teams up with the man the Military Police were escorting to his execution; former Marine Billy Coen, and the two of them face off against a band of zombies, swarms of strange leeches, and a mysterious individual with possible links to the disaster. As with previous installments, the two characters visit various locales through the course of the story, including a train, a research facility, a laboratory and a factory. Umbrella's underground facility from Resident Evil 2 is briefly visited by Rebecca at one point of the game as well.
Other recurring Resident Evil characters present are Alpha Team leader Albert Wesker and Umbrella scientist Dr. William Birkin. The two make appearances in a few cutscenes, but never interact with the main characters. The game also introduces Dr. James Marcus, one of the three founding members of Umbrella and the true creator of the T-Virus.
Originally Resident Evil Zero was supposed to lay the groundwork for the Progenitor Virus, which was to be the viral agent in Resident Evil 4 before the game was radically changed and the story re-written from scratch.