With a history stretching back almost 25 years (a big celebration of that milestone is on the cards), Resident Evil, as is true for any long-running franchise, has had its fair share of ups and downs. No one individual deserves all the credit for the survival horror series’ continued success, of course, but were it not for the ideas put forward by a then relative newcomer to Capcom, the company’s flagship IP likely would never have existed at all.
As the director of both the original Resident Evil, its remake and Resident Evil 4, Shinji Mikami, now a genuine industry legend, oversaw development of what are today generally considered to be the two biggest landmark entries in the series. Especially the latter, which has often been credited with popularizing several modern gaming conventions, most notably the revolutionary over-the-shoulder third-person perspective.
Like all creatives, though, Mikami has often drawn inspiration from the works of others to bring his own to life, and has now revealed those that influenced him during his time at Capcom.
YouTuber Archipel Caravan’s documentary, Shinji Mikami, the birth of the survival horror game, features an extensive interview with the video game auteur that looks back at his entire career in the industry, with Resident Evil, in particular, being a popular topic of discussion.
Mikami states that he had originally conceived of the series as a first-person affair and only swapped to third-person after seeing Infogrames’ Alone in the Dark. It would ultimately be this experience, he reveals, that would inspire the use of pre-rendered backgrounds in RE1. Likewise, the horror aficionado also cites films such as Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as influencing certain elements of the original, including the reptilian Hunters, and more specifically, how they take the player unaware, similarly to Leatherface, by appearing almost spontaneously out of nowhere.
Both fascinating revelations, then, but we won’t spoil them all. Check out the documentary for yourself by hitting the link below!