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The second game in the Resident Evil franchise. It was released for the Playstation on 1998 and has been ported to the Nintendo 64. It is directed by Kamiya_Hideki. The director of the first game, Mikami Shinji, produces. RE2 was the first game that Kamiya directed though, as a horror game, it lacks a lot of the over the top action and humor his later games would be known for. The story is written by Sugimura Noboru, the first time he was involved with the RE franchise. Music is composed by Ueda Masami, Uchiyama Shusaku, and Nishigaki Shun. Set two months after the first game, it details Leon and Claire's battle to escape from zombie-infested Raccoon City. The game has been adapted into comics, both English and Chinese, and drama CDs. It has also been adapted into a novel titled Resident Evil: City of the Dead by S.D. Perry.
It has the same basic gameplay system as the original, fixed camera angles, solving puzzles, and fighting or running from enemies. The game is notable for its 'zapping' system, which was inspired by the movie Back to the Future Part 2. The system is intended to give players a multiple perspectives of the story much like how Back to the Future 2 offered a different perspective on the original film's story. After picking which character you want to play with, you play the character's 'A' scenario. Upon beating it, you unlock the other character's 'B' scenario, where the same events are seen through the other character's perspective. The character's actions during the 'A' scenario affect the others' B scenario. There are four scenarios in the game. The canon path, however, is Claire A and Leon B.
The game also features several minigames like the 4th Survivor, which focuses on the character HUNK, Tofu survivor in which you play through 4th Survivor as a giant block of Tofu, and in some ports, Extreme Battle, in which the player must battle numerous enemies with limited weaponry and ammunition.
In Japan, two live action TV commercials directed by George A. Romero, whose Living Dead films influenced the Resident Evil series, were released to advertise the game. Romero even wrote a script for a Resident Evil live action film adaptation that ultimately wasn't used.
The game's story is retold in Darkside Chronicles, which combines the A and B scenarios into one narrative. Unlike the original, Claire and Leon are together for the entire adventure, which causes both characters to experience events that they were never present for in the original game. Annette Birkin's character and motivation is changed in that she attempts to eliminate William Birkin herself and make up for the mistakes she's made compared to the original game where she still feels loyalty to William and is much less friendly towards the heroes. Her relationship to Sherry remains the same. She is also painted as a comparatively more tragic and sympathetic figure and the game include voice tapes featuring frantic phone calls Annette made to Sherry right before Raccoon City descends into chaos. The canon status of the retelling is debatable, but it does explain how Leon became a government agent tying Resident Evil 2 more closely to Resident Evil 4.
The game was a massive critical and commercial success, with the original PS1 version selling 4.96 million copies.
The game is also known for having a playable prototype called Resident Evil 1.5 which has some similarities to the final game. Claire Redfield in this version of the game was a woman called Elza Walker and the game was at one point intended by Mikami to be the finale of the Resident Evil franchise. However, the developers were dissatisfied with the way RE1.5 was going and so this version of the game was scrapped and the original release date of May 1997 was pushed back. Supervisor Okamoto Yoshio disliked Mikami's original idea and came up with the idea of turning Resident Evil into a larger franchise/universe where many stand-alone stories can be told. Okamoto also brought in veteran screenwriter Sugimura Noboru (who loved the original game) and liked many of the ideas Sugimura came up with to the point that he allowed Sugimura to write the game's final story. Elza Walker was changed to Claire Redfield to establish a stronger connection to the original game. Many of the environments and gameplay elements were redesigned.
Series mainstays Leon_S_Kennedy, Claire_Redfield, and Ada_Wong debuted in this game.
The game received a remake that was released in January 29, 2019 for Windows, XBOX One, and Playstation 4. The remake adopts the over-the-shoulder perspective that has been the series norm since Resident Evil 4. It is also notably gorier than the already gory original with damage done to bodies rendered in much more realistic detail.
Other characters from this game include:
Resident_Evil_Umbrella_Chronicles reveals what happened to Ada at the end of the game.
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