My most cherished zombie moment is playing Resident Evil 2 on PlayStation in 1998. I was 10 years old and this game simply blew my mind. I had grown up on many horror classics like The Thing, Hellraiser, The Fly, Critters…the list can go on, but this was actually my first ever zombie experience, from what I can remember anyway.
During this time, I had unfortunately missed out on playing the first Resident Evil in 1996, but luckily RE2 doesn’t really require you to play the original, as it explains all that you need to know during it’s introduction.
I was simply in awe over everything about this game, the graphics, the story, the characters, the action and the violence, it had it all – it even began with a scene warning you that this game contains scenes of explicit violence and gore, how bad ass is that right?!
What really pulled me in about this game is that there are 2 lead characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, and each have their own playable sides of the story, extending the games lifespan and adding so much more depth into the game. It came on two disks, crammed with so much content.
When I first played the game, I chose to begin the game with Claire Redfield. Her introduction sequence has forever remained in my memories!
She arrives at Raccoon City on her motorbike, unknowingly during the aftermath of the virus outbreak, looking for her brother, Chris Redfield – who was the hero of the first game.
Claire arrives at a diner, and as she enters, there is no one to be seen in sight. She walks around the diner looking for someone to serve her, and she stumbles upon a corpse being devoured by a zombie. I remember well how the zombie slowly turned his head to face the screen, I was so excited!
He creeps towards Claire, as she slowly backs up toward the entrance. The windows are full of zombies trying to creep inside. She is unarmed and tries to convince him that she wants no trouble. As he gets closer to her, the entrance door bursts open, and Leon shouts ‘Get Down!’ and unleashes a bullet to the zombies head, immediately taking him down. He grabs her hand and they run out into the zombie infested streets.
They run towards Leon’s police car, and get the hell out of there. As they exchange names and a few details, a zombie jumps out from the back and causes them to crash, which sends the zombie flying through the air, straight through the front window and into a post, almost bent backwards from impact, it’s certainly a sight to see, so funny!
Just as they think the carnage is over, a truck with a recently infected driver comes plummeting towards the police car which results in them both leaping out each end of the car and each getting separated; planning to meet at the police station.
This is where the game picks up, and it really is a hell of an experience to play through, one of the most influential games and living dead stories ever.
The diner scene is certainly my earliest, and most fondest memory of the living dead, and will always have a warm place in my heart no matter how dated it might appear these days!