Resident Evil, originally released in Japan as Bio Hazard (バイオ ハザード Baio Hazādo?), is a survival horror video game developed and released by Capcom originally for the PlayStation in 1996. It was later ported for the Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo DS platforms. Resident Evil was very well received critically and commercially, and has been credited with starting the modern survival horror genre. Its success spawned a multitude of sequels and spin-offs in the Resident Evil series.
Originally conceived as a remake of Capcom’s earlier horror-themed game Sweet Home, development for the game was directed by Shinji Mikami, who took gameplay design cues from the 1992 game Alone in the Dark. Resident Evil establishes many conventions seen in later games of the series, such as the control scheme, the inventory system, as well as the iconic typewriter-based saving process.
The game introduces Resident Evil series mainstays Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as members of an elite task force known as S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service). At the start of the game, players select one of the two as they investigate the disappearance of their fellow team members on the outskirts of Raccoon City, and become trapped in an old mansion infested with zombies and other monsters. As players explore this mysterious place, they uncover clues and solve puzzles. Depending on the player’s actions, the game ends with different outcomes.
A remake, also called Resident Evil, was released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, featuring new graphics, music and voice acting, and many gameplay and plot changes. The events of the game were revisited in 2007’s Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. Its direct prequel, Resident Evil Zero, was released in 2002. A high definition version of the remake was released in January 2015 as Resident Evil HD Remaster.