Resident Evil is the game that marked the beginning of the survival horror genre, and its popularity has spawned live-action films, TV shows, and books, never mind a whole host of copycat video games, remakes, and sequels. The game has been a fixture of the console and PC gaming world since the 1990s, giving players yet another reason to warm up to the Playstation back in the day. Since then, it’s been ported to virtually every platform, from the PS4 and Xbox One to the iPod Touch.
Considering the popularity of the games and their related lore, there are still a few mysteries surrounding two of the main characters, Chris and Claire Redfield. This sibling team has been with the franchise since the first two games, and most of the major storylines throughout the franchise revolve around one or both of them. Chris and his partner, Jill Valentine, explored the infested mansion in the very first game. Claire teamed up with rookie officer Leon Kennedy of the Raccoon City PD to uncover Umbrella’s schemes in the sequel. The rest is video game history, soon to be appearing on the small screen thanks to Netflix.
10 They’re Orphans
There’s not a lot of backstory material for either character to be found in the games, other than the fact Chris and Claire are brother and sister. An obscure comic that was sold as a bit of promotional material with the Japanese version of the original game for the Sega Saturn gives some rare insight into their family backstory.
In The True Story Behind Biohazard by Hiroyuku Ariga, there are details about their past before the first game, including that their parents died in a car accident when they were still children.
9 Chris Versus the Hulk
It’s not exactly a secret that Chris Redfield is featured as a playable character in the crossover fighting games made by Capcom. What many people don’t know, however, is that he was one of two characters featured in the game’s first cinematic trailer.
Chris was pitted against the Hulk in the promotional fight, which an interesting choice considering that it doesn’t seem very balanced—but is it? How would the Hulk fare against the monsters that Chris has faced down? Maybe that’s not such a crazy idea, after all.
8 Claire Has Appeared in Various Adaptations
Claire has been in most of the games and live-action adaptations, along with appearing in promotional material and on an array of official merchandise. Her repertoire goes beyond conventional media and also includes non-canon movies directed by Wes Anderson and a computer-animated film from Japan.
Claire Redfield has appeared in all three of the movies starring Mila Jovovich, which are just loosely based on the games. Instead of looking for Chris, however, she’s leading a group of survivors. The stop-motion animated horror film, Resident Evil: Regeneration features a story that includes her and Leon teaming up again to fight a T-virus attack in the Harvardville Airport.
7 Claire’s Jacket is a Real Thing
It was just a design quirk initially, but it was a detail that certain fans noticed, especially those with an eye for both style and music. A few years later, and this jacket is now a real article of clothing that can be found at a variety of outlets. Not just upscale tailors or gaming merch stores, either, or as part of a cosplay set, but a real motorcycle jacket like Claire had in the games. This jacket is now mass-produced to be affordable and found easily in online stores like Amazon.com.
6 Chris Got Buff for RE5…
Chris got a reputation early on as part of a zombie killing post-apocalyptic survivalist team. He quickly became one of the video game world’s most popular hunks, boasting a military-grade physique and lacking the usual sleazy or rude personality that often goes with a militaristic leading man.
His physique seemed to get better with each game, and the jump between RE 4 and RE 5 was so dramatic that it became a bit of a joke. This was somewhat deliberate, however, as the designers explained that Chris had put himself through some vigorous training to be a better zombie and monster fighter between the two games.
5 …But Let Himself Go in RE6
Nobody’s perfect, and even Chris’ most ardent fanboys have to admit that their favorite Resident Evil character has his flaws. The new, gritty design of a troubled Chris had a purpose, as he was ravaged by alcoholism and post-traumatic stress after a mission went wrong. The changes actually generated a fair amount of controversy. This also could have been a reaction on the part of developers to some of the criticism Chris faced in RE5 for being ridiculously jacked to the point of apparent steroid abuse.
Those who liked the clean-cut, amiable Chris from the previous games were vocal about their distaste for the character’s new look, but there were others who appreciated the realism. A decade of fighting hideous monsters and watching your friends and co-workers die, or live on, in gruesome ways, is going to affect your mind, body, and personality.
4 Gaming Gods and Video Babes
Both Chris and Claire have their own respective titles when it comes to their popularity as opposed to being legends as part of the Resident Evil franchise. In 2009, when he was one of the main characters in virtually every adaptation and a popular character for crossover fighting games, Chris was named by Game Zone as “One of the Top Five Gaming Gods.”
Claire had already reached a similar level of name recognition ten years previously. In 1998, a German magazine called Mega Fun ranked Claire as the second-best “Video Babe” of the year.
3 Claire Faced Wesker And Survived
A shout out to the Playstation 2 fans who had a copy of the game that included this obscure cut scene before it made its way on the internet. The version of Resident Evil: Code Veronica for the Playstation 2 was known as Veronica X. It included a cut scene in which Albert Wesker, the main antagonist throughout most of the franchise, confronts Claire in a tense scene that would likely have ended in her death. Luckily, he isn’t alone, and, when one of his associates calls him away, she manages to escape.
2 Both Are on IGN’s “Ultimate Zombie Strike Team”
In 1998, there weren’t a lot of other games that players could compare to Resident Evil. Now that survival horror is a thing, there are plenty of games that have used the same basic plot points, setting, style, and character archetypes. These days, there are enough fictional zombie killers to create a virtual army of warriors that can fight against the undead.
In 2012, IGN assembled the names of the ideal zombie defense and strike team should the apocalypse descend. Claire and Chris share a spot on this list right next to their friend Leon Kennedy and a few spaces away from Sgt. Blazkowicz of the Wolfenstein franchise.
1 Claire Had a Different Name
In the earliest versions of the plot, her name was ‘Elza Walker, and she wasn’t related to Chris at all. Although the game was always intended to have a female lead, which was a popular trend at the time with characters like Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame, the character that players recognize as Claire evolved after the game had been in development for a whole year.
Once the storyline of the first three games evolved to the saga of two siblings looking for each other as they battled the mutated denizens of Raccoon City, Elza Walker was changed to Claire Redfield.
NEXT: Resident Evil: The 10 Most Terrifying Scenes In The Film Franchise
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