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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a Light Gun Game set in the continuity of the Resident Evil setting. Released in 2007, it consists of four 3-chapter 'files', each of which has a number of 'sub-chapters', all of which are set in the timezone of either Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, or a unique timezone set in 2003.
Each 'file' does either of two things. It covers, in a compressed, somewhat modified format, one of the original Resident Evil games. Alternatively, it covers an 'untold story', something that happened during that period of time, but which was not seen during the events of the original game. This makes The Umbrella Chronicles rather hard to place on the Canon issue, though a general rule of thumb could be to consider the files that cover original games to be examples of Adaptation Distillation, with elements that can be considered "canon" if they don't contradict, and the new stories to be Pragmatic Adaptations; the basic details of them are canon, but they probably didn't happen precisely that way (considering The Umbrella Chronicles are a rail shooter and Resident Evil as a whole is Survival Horror).
Files consist of:
Train Derailment -- adapts the struggle of Billy Cohen and Rebecca Chambers through the events of Resident Evil 0. Contains the two-chapter mini-file Beginnings, which reveals Wesker's actions during this time after departing the makeshift lab he and William Birkin have established. Knowing that Birkin is activating the self-destruct for the former Management Training Facility, Wesker hurries to escape in order to rendezvous with S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team to carry out his mission, fighting his way through B.O.Ws, zombies, the T-001 Proto-Tyrant, and finally a face-off with his direct superior in Umbrella, Sergei Vladimir, who is not yet aware of Wesker's treachery, but dispatches his bodyguard, the Ivan model Tyrant, to teach Wesker the consequences of failure. Wesker fights Ivan to a standstill, then vanishes when the first explosions start ripping the facility apart.
Mansion Incident -- follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine through the events of Resident Evil 1. Contains the two chapter mini-files Nightmare and Rebirth. Nightmare is set between the events of Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil 1, covering Rebecca Chambers and Richard Aiken's attempt to discover fellow survivors of Bravo Team, only to be attacked by Yawn. '"Rebirth is set in the last minutes of Resident Evil 1; awakened from death by Birkin prototype mutagen, Wesker fights his way out of the mansion, including a running battle with the Nigh Invulnerable Lisa Trevor.
Raccoon's Destruction -- covers, in vastly abbreviated form, the events of Resident Evil 3 Nemesis. Has two one-chapter mini-files; Fourth Survivor is an adaptation of the minigame of the same name from Resident Evil 2, while Death's Door covers Ada's escape from Raccoon City's imminent nuclear annihilation after saving Leon and Claire from Mr. X.
Umbrella's End -- set in 2003, a year before Resident Evil 4 and five years after the destruction of Raccoon City, Umbrella's End shows Chris and Jill's assault on the last known remaining Umbrella facility, a disguised oil rig somewhere in Russia's borders, under the command of Sergei Vladimir. Though the seemingly inevitable bio-outbreak has occurred by the time they get there, the two survivors of S.T.A.R.S are prepared and fighting alongside the troops of an anti-B.O.W group, allowing them to penetrate deep into the heart of the facility, kill the infected, and destroy Umbrella's last hope of revitalising themselves as a bio-weapons supplier; Project T-A.L.O.S. Shortly afterwards, Umbrella is finally found guilty of the destruction of Raccoon City, and officially finished. The mini-file Dark Legacy reveals that it was Wesker who tipped off the organisation that Chris and Jill have signed up with, using them as a distraction to penetrate the facility for his own purposes: to steal the collected data of Umbrella and deliver it to the Agency that he works for, as well as to kill Sergei Vladimir. It was he who anonymously supplied the incriminating evidence to the media, for his own purposes.
As well as many tropes from Resident Evil as a whole, this game provides examples of:
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Birkin is shown to be furious and saddened over Wesker deciding to leave Umbrella when it looked as though Umbrella was finished in Beginnings. In the scene the opening of said level was adapted from, Birkin was more accepting of Wesker's decision to leave Umbrella, although nevertheless refused to leave at that time mostly because he hadn't even finished the G-Virus yet. It also omits Marcus's direct role in causing Birkin to cause the training facility to self-destruct (outside Wesker's narration at the beginning of the chapter), and instead had him doing it in order to eliminate evidence due to Rebecca and Billy Coen possibly uncovering Umbrella's dirty secrets.
- Adaptational Heroism: Really downplayed example with Wesker. He's still depicted as a villain overall, including deeply considering supplying a You Have Failed Me to Ada before she revealed she had retrieved the G-virus sample. However, his hatred for Chris post-Mansion Incident is significantly toned down in the game to such an extent that you really wouldn't have even thought he had any negative views of him at all, as he instead seems to blame Sergei and Red Queen more for his failure to steal Umbrella's data. Probably the only hint at his hating Chris for the failure was during the first Rebirth level where he sarcastically mentions looking forward to his, Chris, and Jill's "tear-filled reunion" before laughing evilly, as well as Chris indirectly mentioning his encounter with Wesker shortly after taking out T.A.L.O.S..
- Adaptational Villainy: Wesker gets this in the novelization for the game in Umbrella's End/Dark Legacy, where it reveals that he was the reason why the Umbrella facility in Russia had an outbreak. The game itself strongly implies with Sergei Vladimir and Red Queen's conversation around the time Wesker infiltrated (and confirms in side media such as the manga Prelude to the Fall and Wesker's Extra Report) that Umbrella's biohazard outbreak in the region was entirely of their own doing due to gross incompetence, with Wesker not only playing absolutely no role in the outbreak, but said outbreak if anything is what tipped him off on there even being an Umbrella facility in the area in the first place.
- He also gets this in the Jill chapter of the same novelization, where he is shown to control the various B.O.W.S., including even Nemesis itself, via telepathy to try and target Jill. In both the original RE3 as well as the in-game chapter for Umbrella Chronicles itself, nowhere is it even implied that Wesker had ANY involvement in Nemesis's activities, or for that matter any of the other B.O.W.s.
- Apocalyptic Log: Contains all of the files from the adapted Resident Evil games, as well as new files created specifically for the unique stories told in the game.
- Attack Its Weak Point: With most bosses, this is the only way to really inflict significant damage or even do any damage at all. Most enemies also have one spot where only pistol shots cause more damage. The most egregious example would be the Ivies - shoot them once with any weapon, then target the center of their flower/mouth to instantly kill them.
- Bandaged Babe: Ada. Justified, as her side story takes place immediately after her Disney Death in 2.
- Badass Abnormal: Wesker after taking Birkin's mutagen. He manages to finally kill the Nigh Invulnerable Implacable Man Lisa Trevor, and in Dark Legacy he takes on two Ivans at once and destroys them both. Arguably a Badass Longcoat during the opening cutscene for Dark Legacy. He goes to more of a Badass in a Nice Suit for that level.
- Badass Normal:
- Before taking Birkin's mutagen Wesker manages to battle an Ivan, a Mr. X with armor-plating and human intelligence, to a standstill.
- Chris and Jill manage to destroy the Tyrant-Armored Lethal Organic System through sheer guts and weight of bullets.
- Ada Wong. Despite her heavy, heavy injuries suffered in Resident Evil 2, she manages to fight through hordes of zombies, the Tyrant R, and escaping the city in one piece.
- Colonel Badass: Sergei. During the Nightmare scenario, Rebecca and Richard briefly witness Sergei leaving with a container (implied to contain T-ALOS), only for him and his Ivans to encounter a pack of Cerberus (presumably the same one that gave the S.T.A.R.S. unit a lot of trouble in the beginning). He merely gives a smirk before managing to defeat them off-screen.
- Big Bad: Ozwell Spencer is, as ever, The Man Behind the Man, but it's Sergei Vladimir who drives the plot.
- Boom! Headshot!: Toyed with in the game. Hitting a creature in the head will usually inflict more damage. "Proper" headshots, as the game considers them, can only be inflicted on zombies, and only with the pistol. These require hitting a very small, specific part of the zombie's head, roughly on the center of their forehead; this alone scores a 'proper' headshot, causing the zombie's head to erupt in a shower of gore and counting towards your total headshots for the end of level score. Hit the zombie anywhere else in the head, and it doesn't count.
- Canon Immigrant:
- Continuity Nod: Ada fights the T-0400TP from Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 at the end of the "Death's Door" scenario. Said scenario also depicts how Ada came into possession of her Grappling Hook Pistol from Resident Evil 4.
- Cut and Paste Environments: The level geometry for Train Derailment and Mansion Incident is lifted from the Gamecube versions of the games they're based on. Raccoon's Destruction uses models from the Outbreak games, which may go some way towards explaining why it deviates so far from what happened in RE3- the actual environments the story took place in were too low quality to recycle, being from a PS1 game, so they just grabbed random bits of the city instead.
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Averted more or less. If you manage to find the one-per-level healing spray, when you die you will immediately be revived at full health to continue fighting. If you die again or never found it, then you have to start the level over from the beginning or the last checkpoint.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Sergei Vladimir to Ozwell Spencer.
- Eviler Than Thou: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- Fake Difficulty: Zombies take a lot of damage unless you hit them in the head. Unfortunately, the game defines "head" as "directly between the eyes and nowhere else." If you hit anywhere else in the head, it apparently doesn't count, and makes it harder to actually score a proper headshot with subsequent shots.
- Former Regime Personnel: Dragon-in-Chief Sergei Vladimir is a former Red Army colonel.
- Giant Spider: Tarantulas and funnelwebs in first person. Eep.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Wesker vs. Sergei.
- The Heavy: Sergei Vladimir drives almost all the behind-the-scenes events of the game.
- Implacable Man: Lisa Trevor and Nemesis.
- Lazy Backup: If there's no "player two," your "partner" is perfectly fine with watching you get eaten alive/beaten to death. Particularly awkward in Rebecca's side scenario, which, unlike the main game, is meant to be one player and one player only -- she still gets a partner, Richard, who is clearly seen following her with a gun at the checkpoints and yet does nothing until she gets attacked by crows in a cutscene before the boss fight.
- More Dakka: The automatic weapons tend to be the best guns in the game as while they may not pack much punch per individual bullet, the sheer volume of shots they can pump out can whittle an enemy's health away quickly, even grinding bosses down in sharp volleys. The 'spray and pray' approach also works wonders for dealing with leaping targets. When their stats are all upgraded, they're even better.
- Mythology Gag: At one point in the first Rebirth level, Wesker while attempting to escape the about-to-self-destruct Arklay laboratory ends up getting ambushed by a Chimera only to end up effortlessly killing it with a single kick. In the original game, a Chimera was implied to have killed Wesker off-screen shortly after he activated the self-destruct system.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Had Umbrella's remnants just laid low in Russia and not resumed bioweapons development in the region, neither Wesker, nor Chris and Jill, would have even arrived to put the final nail in the coffin for them. Wesker even lampshades this in Wesker's Extra Report.
- Nostalgia Level: The Raccoon City segments, using the same maps as Resident Evil Outbreak, tend to bring back memories of said game.
- One-Winged Angel: The hideous Tyrant that Sergei transforms into.
- Press X to Not Die: Not very common but does happen here and there:
- Usually, the only way to avoid being hurt by a boss is to shoot it and disrupt its attack.
- Almost all chapters have at least one quick time event during a cutscene, which is telegraphed by an inverted-color fade-in. Missing has consequences ranging from heavy damage or having to fight another enemy, to instant death that even a First Aid Spray can't avoid.
- Rank Inflation: As in the original games the highest rank is S, which supercedes an A.
- Ret Canon: Until this game, Red Queen was created exclusively for the Anderson film adaptation of Resident Evil.
- Rewarding Vandalism: Not only is "Objects Destroyed" one of the factors determining your end of level rank, it's the only way to find the files.
- Undying Loyalty: Displayed throughout by Sergei towards Umbrella as a whole, and Spencer in particular.
- Villain Protagonist: Both HUNK and Wesker are playable in a few missions.
- The extra story involving Rebecca and Richard that elaborates on why he was near death when Chris/Jill encounter him in the first game/its remake
- specifically, the original version of the Barry Lives scenario of Jill's storyline