Resident Evil 2

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The end result of driving under the influence of the T-Virus.

Resident Evil 2 is the second chapter in Capcom's Resident Evil franchise.

On the evening of September 29th, 1998 -- two months and five days after the Mansion Incident -- Leon Kennedy (a rookie cop late for his first assignment as a member of Raccoon City's police department) and Claire Redfield (the younger sister of missing STARS team member Chris Redfield) arrive in Raccoon City, only to discover it has a big problem: a T-Virus outbreak has spread throughout Raccoon City, leaving what few survivors remain in a living nightmare. Leon and Claire band together to fight their way through hordes of undead and bio-engineered creatures before eventually finding Umbrella Corporation's secret underground lab -- and learning exactly how Raccoon City's Zombie Apocalypse happened.

RE2 has two different "routes", depending on which character a player chooses first; this choice determines which side of the story is seen and results in numerous smaller changes, such as which room a particular boss is fought in, on both routes.

This game has a Shout Out page.

Tropes used in Resident Evil 2 include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Some of the corridors in the cavernous sewers were larger than the ones in the police station.
  • Actionized Sequel:
    • Compared to the first game, there's a lot of ammo laying around. A LOT. How much, you ask? If you played aggressively, and killed nearly everything you came across, you'd end the game playing as Leon with over 150 handgun bullets left over, 40-50 shotgun shells[1], and 60 magnum rounds[2] burning a hole in your pocket. This can lead to a very short final boss fight and crying once you realized that you've wasted your time chipping away at bosses for nothing. This game gave rise to the legend that Leon would be the perfect companion in a hostage crisis. Ammunition would start breaking through the ceiling to rain down on him.
    • Claire isn't far behind: by the same standards, you can finish the A scenario with 180 bolts, 100 bullets and at least 20 grenade launcher shells of all kinds.
    • There's some justification in this; whereas the first game was set in an abandoned mansion in the woods with low resources, Claire and Leon have an entire town and a sewere to explore, including a police station.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The Brad Vickers zombie, who only appears if the player reaches the police station without picking any item, possesses a locker key that allows the player to change Leon or Claire's outfit. Unlike other games in the series, there's no need to finish the game first to change clothes.
  • All There in the Manual: The official name of William Birkin's monster form is "G", but nobody in the game actually calls him that.
  • Air Vent Passageway: How Sherry gets around, most notably in the finale. Also averts Offscreen Teleportation - if you look closely at the areas she's seen disappearing into or out of, there's usually a vent or opening that Claire will note is too small for an adult. Also, Ada does it once with Leon's help.
  • Aloof Ally: Ada always gives off that feeling.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A crocodile about the size of a bus waits in the sewers, grown to humongous size by the T-virus.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Colt SAA's weakness isn't in its power, but in the fact that it can only hold six bullets and takes quite a bit more time to reload than a clip-loaded handgun. However, those six bullets fire much faster than any other weapon short of the submachine gun, meaning that it's excellent against single to dual enemies. Anything more than that, though, and you're screwed.
  • Back for the Dead: Brad Vickers shows up as a zombie, though it's easy to miss him.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Leon, a rookie police officer, and Claire, who can handle firearms just as well as he can despite being a college student.
    • Later works attempts to Hand Wave this by saying that Chris taught his sister some skills for self-defense.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Where are the toilets? Apparently Nobody Poops, so they obviously didn't bother to build any restrooms.
    • A cable car platform, behind the sewer, which you have to wade through sludge to get to? Check. A moving bridge that costs as much as, or more than, two separate stationary bridges? Check. An overhang in a cavern under the city's precinct, built there for no reason other than linking the chief's personal dungeon to the sewers? Check. A main fuse set in the middle of an access hallway? Check.
  • Bland-Name Product: Tons, one of which (the "Cool Soda" vending machines) got replaced in later versions for being a bit too close to infringing on Coca-Cola's likeness.
  • Body Horror:
    • William Birkin goes through five different forms, each one more horrific then the last.
    • G-Imago, or "Baby", the horrible pseudo-G form that erupts from a doomed NPC Alien-style courtesy of a Face Full of Alien Wingwong from Birkin.
    • Marvin's quick degeneration into a zombie.
  • Broad Strokes: Leon and Claire are running around the same police station, sewers and research facility at ostensibly the same time, yet only run into each other a couple of times before the ending. On top of that, they both have to explore the entire precinct, unlock every door and solve all of its puzzles, some of which are identical yet yield different items, some of which are completely different.
    • There is no overlap in items between the two characters despite there presumably being two copies of everything. They both restore power to the lab by building a new main fuse. And the first character you play as never runs into Mr. X even once or even witnesses any of the broken walls and ceilings he leaves behind despite him relentlessly stalking the scenario B character.
    • This is especially egregious when you remember that the idea that one of the advertised selling points was that you would have to be careful which character took what items, because they wouldn't be there for the other character. Aside from the submachine gun and inventory pack, no such choices need to be made.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Irons in his last scene.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Birkin's fourth form is a Lightning Bruiser capable of outrunning the player and killing them in about three bites if he's in the right mood. His fifth form is a gigantic blob that moves very slowly and can only attack at melee range.
  • Clown Car Windows
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Leon tries persuading Ben, who is in jail, with, "Look, if you wanna live, then you're gonna have to leave with me," when Ben thinks he's safe from monsters, unaware that Leon is "the only cop left alive" in the police department.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the first Resident Evil, players can find a file written by a researcher named John who uses his girlfriend's name as the password of a nearby computer - Ada. In 2, Ada Wong tells Leon that she's looking for her boyfriend John.
    • In the N64 version of this game, the player can find a report by Rebecca loosely describing the death of Billy Coen. This was years before Zero was released, which was still under development for the N64 before switching platforms to the GameCube.
    • One of the extra files in the N64 version mentions Hunk's boss "Christine Henri", who is actually an antagonist from a Japanese-only Biohazard audio drama starring Ada Wong ("The Ada the Spy Lives"). Since none of the drama CDs were ever released outside Japan, many players had no idea who Henri was supposed to be and thought it was just a foreshadowing for a sequel.
  • Dead Ex Machina: Ada Wong.
  • Dead Line News: Defied by Ben Bertolucci, who realizes what he's gotten into and locks himself in a jail cell for protection. It doesn't work, but at least the guy tried.
  • Demoted to Extra: Done literally to Marvin Branagh and John Kendo, who were both intended to be important supporting characters in Resident Evil 1.5, but were reduced to bit parts in this game.
  • Development Gag: Tofu was initially created to test the game's collision detection.
  • Dirty Cop: Police Chief Irons is this to the core, as well as a psychotic lunatic with several known cases of Domestic Abuse and was charged with rape in his college days. Not only is he taking regular bribes for Umbrella and working to cover their hides, but when the outbreak finally occurs he goes mad and deliberately screws up the efforts of the R.P.D. to try and save people to the extent of murdering some of the survivors himself. And when the mayor sent his daughter to the police station believing it would be safe, Irons uses the cover of the outbreak to kidnap, rape, and murder her.
  • Dull Surprise: Sherry at some points.
  • Easter Egg: Wesker's table in the police station is searchable. At first the drawer appears to net nothing but clutter. Search it 50 times, however, and you get a film reel, which, when developed, nets a picture of Rebecca Chambers (from the first game) relaxing after some basketball, wearing an appropriate RPD uniform.
  • Evil Is Hammy
  • For Want of a Nail: In the intro, Leon and Claire are attacked from the backseat of the police car they're driving. Depending on whether Leon crashes head-on or spins around and crashes in reverse (read: whose disc you put in first), the plot of the game takes some significant deviations.
  • Four Is Death: The main character of the 4th Survivor is HUNK, who's later revealed to have the nickname "Mister Death".
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Hunk's hit team.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Raccoon City is, according to later games, under military quarantine but somehow both Leon and Claire manage to drive right into town without even learning what's happening. Also, helicopters come and go with impunity.
  • Harder Than Hard: The unlockable scenarios. HUNK is given a very limited amount of ammo and healing items to slog his way through a very crowded police station, and Tofu is given only a knife.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted with Sherry, who can be killed by zombies or Cerberus hounds. Played mostly straight with the fact that you hardly ever find any zombified children.
  • Implacable Man: Birkin and Mr. X.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In the S.T.A.R.S. office, you can see a photograph of the entire team. At the lower left corner is an unidentified character who is, for no apparent reason, packing a mortar. He does not appear in any of the games and was eliminated from the photo in Darkside Chronicles.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Dying may result in a brutal animation of your character getting graphically killed by whatever baddie did you in. Spiders are a notable exception. This is only true for the original two-disc PlayStation game and the PC edition.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: First the secret underground research facility, then the train used to evacuate it, explode to contain biohazardous material.
  • Joke Character: You can play through HUNK's "4th Survivor" minigame as a giant, knife-wielding block of Tofu that wears Jill's beret. Crank the Crazy Awesome all the way Up to Eleven.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • The flame grenades are the second most powerful gun ammo Claire finds in the game. Naturally, they kill Ivies with one shot.
    • Leon can aquire a flamethrower that can kill two Ivies with the tap of a button.
  • Lady in Red: Ada Wong.
  • Last Kiss: In the Leon B scenario of this game, after dispatching Mr. X and getting mortally wounded herself, Ada shares one last kiss with Leon before she (apparently) dies in his arms. (She gets better a little later without any explanation, though.)
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Unlike Resident Evil 1, in which they separated on purpose, Leon and Claire are initially separated against their will by a big explosion. Still played straight as early on in each scenario they run into each other again, and promptly decide to split up and search for survivors.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • After spending the whole game as an Implacable Man Mighty Glacier, Mr. X turns into one of these for the final battle against him.
    • Birkin's fourth form. It is faster than the player, jumps all over the place, climbs on the walls, takes a hell of a beating, and can kill you in two or three bites.
  • Made of Iron: Leon takes a bullet through the chest and is back on his feet running at full speed five minutes later as if nothing happened.
  • The Many Deaths of You: The player death screens are the most elaborate Game Over screens in the series. See for yourself.
  • Man-Eating Plant: the Ivy B.O.W. is a humanoid plant-thing that sprays venom and lashes victims to death with its vine arms and can in fact bite your character's heads off. Its official name is "Plant 43", as it's a derivative of Plant 42. If you get any bright ideas to try and poison them, though, forget it. It just makes them poisonous. Naturally quite a pest to Leon who only has the Custom Shotgun, the Magnum and maybe the Submachine Gun to take them on with, unless he's found the flamethrower[3]. Of course, the B character can turn the sprinklers on him/herself, which means weakened Ivies with no poison.
  • Mama Bear: Claire, to Sherry Birkin.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Mr. X.
    • Birkin in his first form and his final form.
  • Mini Game: "The 4th Survivor" and "Tofu Survivor" scenarios. The Dual Shock Version added the "Extreme Battle" mode.
  • Multiple Endings: Two or four, depending on whether you consider the "A" scenarios to have endings or are fake outs for the true endings. Nothing you do in game changes the endings though, only which character you play first.
  • Never Smile At a Crocodile: Expecially if it's a giant, virus-mutated sewer Alligator.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Claire and Ada frequently talk over, shush or flat out ignore Leon. You can hear the poor guy's frustration building up as time goes on.
  • One-Hit Kill: Even after fully healing, first-form Birkin can charge a strong attack that instantly kills Leon or Claire with one hit.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Leon and Claire were the first ones to have this against Mr. X.

Leon: Game over.
Claire: You lose, big guy.

  • Red Girl, Blue Boy: The colors most notable in Leon and Claire are blue and red respectively.
  • Quake Elevators: The sliding doors in the laboratory facility.
  • Reality Ensues: If Brian Irons hadn't taken bribes from Umbrella, Raccoon City wouldn't be infested with zombies.
  • Room Full of Zombies: You open an unassuming door (in a save room, no less) and zombies shamble in.
  • Rule of Funny: The Tofu Survivor. Made even funnier because it's a Self-Imposed Challenge breed of Mini Game.
  • Say My Name: ADA, WAIT!
  • Shout-Out: Capcom used to draw upon a lot of movies for ideas in their games back in the day. Heck, most Resident Evil games, excluding the recent ones, are chock full of film references (mostly horror). Check the Shout-Out page.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Claire, the untrained college student, gets a lightning-throwing spark gun and a grenade launcher. Leon, the police officer, gets a customizable shotgun and a magnum. Either one can also pick up a submachine gun. You can even use a GameShark to give Sherry guns.
    • The New Game Plus mode also can give the players a huge gatling gun and a rocket launcher, depending on the rating they got when finishing the game.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Birkin abuses this.
  • Simple Yet Awesome: Sure, the monsters are scary, but one of the best Jump Scares in this game occurs in the Library where stepping on a certain spot on the balcony causes you to fall through the floor into the lower room. Far more memorable than anything else in that room.
  • Solve the Soup Cans:
    • The chess-themed lock on the Raccoon sewers.
    • The faux-Aztec stone lock in Irons' office.
  • Tank Controls
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The MP5s carried by HUNK's team cannot be picked up even though you can see them. Justified because by that point they've been sitting in dank sewer water for a week.
    • In fact, there is a MP5 weapon usable, but can only be obtained by Gameshark.
    • Hell, it does no damage to enemies. The only use that it has is playing the "Leon being hurt" sound clip.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Sherry, first and memorable example of this in the Resident Evil series.
  • Villain Protagonist: HUNK in the Fourth Survivor. Not only is his team partially responsible for the outbreak, but he makes sure to escape Raccoon City with a sample of the G-Virus. The ending text even notes "End of one nightmare, prelude to another..."
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: During the intro, a sign for "Grady's Inn" is visible, and it has a phone number with a 212 area code. 212 is exclusive to New York City, which Raccoon City is most definitely not modeled after.
  • What Happened To Daddy: William Birkin.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sherry. She gets mentioned a few more times after RE2 (namely in the epilogues in RE3 and in Wesker's Report), but isn't actually seen again until Resident Evil 6.
  • Wolverine Claws: Birkin grows a rather large set of them.
  • Worst Aid:
    • When Leon is injured, Ada dresses the wound... by wrapping the bandages outside his clothes. And she pulled the bullet out, they're in a sewer, and there's a Zombie Apocalypse occurring at the time.
      • The "bandages outside his clothes" is probably Rule of Perception. If Ada takes the uniform off, applies bandages and then puts the uniform back on, all off screen, the bandages will be invisible and the audience will be left wondering if she actually did anything.
      • "I finished bandaging your wounds, Leon," or perhaps a narrative text that says "Ada bandaged Leon's wounds, who then put his uniform back on."
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A much better fit here than in Resident Evil 1. The mansion had maybe a hundred or so people working in it. Raccoon City had a population of 100,000+, practically all of whom became zombies.
  1. And that's only because it will likely see the most use
  2. each of which, remember, is a One-Hit Kill on anything short of a boss
  3. Check the locker in the BOW Gas room.