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Is Chris Redfield Okay

Illustration for article titled Is Chris Redfield Okay
Screenshot: Capcom

Chris Redfield is an amorphous blob. The veteran Resident Evil protagonist seems to fill whatever shape Capcom needs at the time, resulting in several drastically different appearances across the franchise. With yesterday’s reveal of Resident Evil Village, we’ve been treated to a glimpse of how Chris will be carrying himself in the next game and, wow, the developers really don’t know what they want this guy to look like.

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Chris was first introduced in the original Resident Evil as a clean-cut member of S.T.A.R.S., the Raccoon City police department’s special forces unit. He was just a normal 25-year-old dude, far removed from the horrors that awaited him both in that game and future installments.

This generic look would largely carry over to Chris’ next major appearance, Resident Evil CODE: Veronica.

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After some time away, Chris would reappear as a major character in Resident Evil 5. The nine years between games apparently gave him time to hit the weights, because he was absolutely beefy during this African romp. And thanks to the fifth installment’s focus on melee attacks, Chris was able to put those muscles to good work. Resident Evil 5 even culminated in a sequence where the former S.T.A.R.S. agent punches a boulder to get it to move. It was truly amazing.

Again, Chris stuck with this look for a few games, including Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil 6.

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Even with his massive body work, Chris was at least recognizable from game to game up until this point. But things really took a turn with Resident Evil 7. After beating the game, players were rewarded with a short ending cutscene in which Chris approaches the main character and introduces himself, teasing the “Not A Hero” add-on that would focus entirely on Chris’ mission.

But who the hell was that?

Chris Redfield (supposedly) in Resident Evil 7.
Chris Redfield (supposedly) in Resident Evil 7.
Screenshot: Capcom
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That is objectively not Chris Redfield. Why is his head so long and thin? What’s going on with that facial hair? And why is he so scrawny? Players were so surprised by the new look that a popular theory emerged that this was a different Redfield—he only referred to himself by his last name—or some sort of clone due to his affiliation with a new, reformed version of the Umbrella Corporation.

But no: The “Not A Hero” expansion would eventually confirm that he was Chris Redfield. The Chris Redfield. Believe me, I don’t like it either.

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Which brings us to Resident Evil Village. While the next game in the series focuses again on Resident Evil 7 protagonist Ethan Winters, big boy Chris Redfield can’t help but make the scene. The short glimpse the reveal trailer provides shows Chris brutally shooting someone close to Ethan, who I assume to be Ethan’s wife Mia.

Illustration for article titled Is Chris Redfield Okay
Screenshot: Capcom
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Well, let me rephrase that. Capcom claims the character in the above screenshot is Chris Redfield, but come on. We’re all just supposed to go along with the idea that Chris has transitioned from global bio-terrorism agent to turtleneck-wearing assassin? He looks like someone’s henchman in a British crime comedy written and directed by Guy Ritchie. And he’s so damn stout! Is that what happens when all your free time is spent trying to get Leon Kennedy to procreate with your sister? I can’t help but think Chris alters his body almost as much as a method actor fishing for an Oscar.

I don’t know what’s going on with Chris Redfield, but I hope he’s okay.

Staff Writer, Kotaku

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DISCUSSION

Capcom’s insistence on redesigning (and recasting VA roles) with almost every other game in the series really makes it hard to get immersed in this universe, no matter how batshit crazy the story and timeline becomes.