Episode 2: Resident Evil The Umbrella Conspiracy – Part 2

Episode Synopsis

In this episode, Kevin and Phil continue intrepidly recapping and reviewing S.D. Perry’s novelization of the first Resident Evil game, titled Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy. Our protagonists are lost in the mansion, with very little hope to escape! We also learn that Wesker is less of a Captain of the Alpha’s and more of a Captain of the Douche’s (nailed it.)

Automated Transcript

NOTE: This transcript is generated by an automated service. We will be going back and correcting them/cleaning them up as time allows. For now though, please forgive any oddities you find below and enjoy!

Kevin Erhard 0:01
You’re listening to pixelate because the only thing better than playing a video game is reading about one. On today’s episode we’ll be discussing up through chapter eight of Resident Evil, the umbrella conspiracy. As a general content warning, there will be spoilers and discussions of depictions of Gore, and now on with the show. So, Hey, welcome back to pixelate everybody. My name is Kevin and with me as always is, is my good friend Phil,

Phil 0:30
we’re here to talk about books that are like video games.

Kevin Erhard 0:34
You know, keep your expectations low and always be delighted. So anyway, we’re in chapter five ish of this book. Resident Evil, the umbrella conspiracy. Right. conspiracy. That’s, that’s the title. Yes.

Phil 0:48
Yeah. The umbrella conspiracy

Kevin Erhard 0:50
by St. Perry, who, Phil, I believe you’ve been in contact with now?

Phil 0:57
Yes. Because it’s not enough to read an old book and get all excited about it. And junk, I had to go ahead and reach out to the author and see if she wanted to join us at some point on the show. she she she admitted that she’s terrified of podcasts themselves. I don’t know what that means. But with that kind of fear. You don’t want to pry. She said that she’d love to answer any questions we might have. So I’m going to be collecting these questions because obviously, we’ve been kind of musing out loud on certain aspects of this.

Kevin Erhard 1:34
Right.

Phil 1:34
And so it’ll I think we’ll, we’ll have to put together a bonus episode, something like that. So that we can, we’ll see if we’ll read her answers. We’ll

Kevin Erhard 1:44
throw some questions to her and read her answers on a on a bonus episode. Look forward to that in the future with some of our questions being answered. Yes. So let’s, let’s jump back into it with chapter five of Resident Evil, the umbrella conspiracy. And we were just about at the scene change in chapter five, where it changes perspectives back to to Jill and Barry and Wesker, who are waiting for Chris to come back from his little scouting report.

Phil 2:16
They’re hearing gunfire off in the distance, which alarms them, rightfully so I would say Barry and Jill actually ended up going after Chris to rescue him or at least see what’s going on. And Wesker insists on staying behind and you know, holding down the fort there

Kevin Erhard 2:37
Wesker super brave, just you go. I’ll stay he’s wide open space. That seems pretty safe right now.

Phil 2:46
I think if there’s one thing that we can take away from this book, it’s that Wesker is a hero who will never at any point in the storyline betray us.

Kevin Erhard 2:56
He’s never going to betray us. I have complete and utter faith in a man of his caliber.

Phil 3:03
Absolutely.

Kevin Erhard 3:04
He is he’s the captain of the stars Alpha team for that very reason. He’s not beta. He’s an alpha. And it’s two episodes in and I don’t think we’re gonna I feel like we got another few more episodes of that joke to

Phil 3:19
we I’m not I don’t know if we’re shaking it, man. I really don’t. All I know, is that whiskers, no cuck. That’s all I know. All I all the only thing I can truly rely on in this world is the steadfast knowledge that Wesker is a real alpha male. Based on wolf science. That doesn’t make sense,

Kevin Erhard 3:43
based on 100%. Accurate wolf science that is totally accurate and not false in any way. And it would be a shame if, if anyone out there in the world base their entire worldview upon the 100% totally real wink, wink nudge nudge wolf science,

Phil 4:04
that the only the only thing, the only thing that I’m more certain about than Wesker being a non cuck hero, is that that science makes perfect sense. There are no leaps in logic, and there certainly has not been a rescinding of that scientific information from the actual scientist who brought it up.

Kevin Erhard 4:27
Certainly not. And snores there’s that. So yes, we’re on the same page. There’s a such thing as betas, alphas and I believe, I believe there’s a new one. It’s like an Omega male. It’s like, it’s like sigma. Yeah. So anyway, West none of that is in any way a waste of time. So anyway, Wesker the alpha non cuck is waiting in the waiting in the lobby and Barry and Jill go To help Chris because there’s there’s ambos loose well they don’t know their samples a foot very in jail don’t know that yet. They don’t know that there are zambo is afoot. They just know that nurse skinless dogs running around. But rice is very well aware of the zombies skittering about the the mansion at this point. He’s dealing with them in a very physical way. At this point, they talk about how Joseph is dead and they refer to Vickers as chicken heart again. Now this plays out like the opening of the game.

Phil 5:28
That was actually what I wanted to ask at some point because I as I said, I have I never played the originals this,

Kevin Erhard 5:34
I believe if you play the game as Jill, it starts the game. After that opening cinematic, it starts in the lobby with Jill Berry and Wesker. And you hear gunshots off in the distance. And you Jill and Barry go check it out. And that’s where the line comes in. There’s a famous line read from Barry, where he finds a puddle of blood in the dining room. And it’s it’s something like what blood? I hope this isn’t Chris’s blood?

Phil 6:11
What was the story behind that? With the actors they chose? So

Kevin Erhard 6:16
yeah, not to get off on too much of a tangent. But you know, we’re here. For here. It’s that time, it’s your time. And I swear, ladies and gentlemen, and ladies and gentle times we are going to we’re gonna get past a few more chapters tonight. Don’t you worry. But we’re not we’re not this is as far as we go. I’m gonna go off on a little tangent here, the voice actors in the original Resident Evil, they actually were not necessarily bad voice actors. So what happened was these English speaking voice actors were hired to read lines in the voiceover booth. And they were provided the lines with zero context. So basically like just a spreadsheet that was printed out and hand it to them. And they just sat there and they read all the lines. And they did a bunch of different tapes with a bunch of different inflections for each line. And then it went to Capcom and audio edit audio engineer that works for Capcom, started editing the lines together. The thing is the audio engineer didn’t speak English. So what he did is he started editing the lines together, how it sounded to his ear. So he was trying to like make the coolest sounding read of the line. So he would take multiple different takes, and splice them together. So that’s why you have these these sentences with these really weird inflections. So you would have blood. I hope this isn’t Chris’s blood. And that was the story behind the voice actors in Resident Evil because the guy who was the voice actor for Wesker was actually a voice actor who worked in the gaming industry after that for some years later. And I believe it was either the second or third voice actor for Wesker was was actually talking about that at a panel once and that’s where I got kind of a lot of this information. Was there as a panel where this question was asked about hey, what it what was the deal with the voice acting embrace evil one. And finally, the curtain was lifted a little bit that it wasn’t just some really obscene Lee terrible voice actors that stumbled into the booth and forgot how to speak like normal human beings.

Phil 8:36
Right. And, and fortunately, we don’t really have that issue here. But I do think it’s funny because I didn’t you know, you don’t have to have played through all the video games, you just have to have a working knowledge of video game culture, to know those references, the bad voice acting all that stuff. And it’s still a little jarring when you’re reading these characters, you know, in a novel, and it’s, it’s not not played up for the camp

Kevin Erhard 9:05
that you’re kind of knowing is coming in the in the first video game. And just as another aside, resume evil, the first one, there hadn’t been a ton of games that had voice acting in them up until that point. So this was 1996. I would say voice acting really came in in the previous maybe three or four years. And it wasn’t super common yet. So that it was it was an early voice acted game. There were a bunch of other games adventure games that were had amazing, phenomenal voice acting. But most of those were American companies. And with English speaking, audio engineers listening to English speaking actors, and English speaking voice, voiceover directors, and they were all on the same page. There wasn’t kind of that cross lingual issue that you had with residential They

Phil 10:00
have full access to all the context what the hell was going on all the context was was provided. Exactly and that’s and that’s why you didn’t have those kind of reads in Monkey Island or or salmon max they have the technical you know all voice acted and

you know a dimension any number of FMV games exactly there which which were corny and cheap but for different reasons and completely different reasons so anyway, that brings us back to our heroes they end up in the corridor looking for Chris they don’t find Chris what they do find is the dead body of the stars. Bravo team member Chris had caught yeah getting chomped on Kenneth being Angela zombie as I seem to recall I thought it was Yeah, cuz my reading comprehension skills are badass.

Kevin Erhard 10:59
Oh, geez, it’s Ken Kenneth. Oh, geez. It’s can one of the best field scouts Barry had ever known. And a hell of a nice guy. There was a gaping ragged wound in his chest chunks of partly eaten tissue and guts strewn about the bloody hole. So we get like, we get some nice like, Oh, yeah, he was he was one of the best. Here’s a nice guy. Yeah, he’s my favorite characters. He’s he was the best. He is the favorite character of the characters that are alive.

Phil 11:29
Yes, yeah. They’re really gonna miss him and you’re gonna have to take their word for it.

Kevin Erhard 11:37
His left hand was missing and there was no weapon nearby. So his he got his hand completely ripped off. It’s never really described. Like, obviously, they mentioned earlier there earlier in the book. His hand was found. I believe in the game. This that might have been the opening FMV it was them finding his hand. I’m just wondering, logistically How did he make it that far into the mansion by himself anyway? Like why

Phil 12:05
is well you know these stars agents. They’re they’re built tough. They’re built tough. They’re built to go solo. But

Kevin Erhard 12:11
why was Kenneth the one missing a hand? Not with anybody else? Did they? With his hand? Why was in a knot with his hand but be why wasn’t? I don’t know. Is there a medical expert on the team? We’ll find out later.

Phil 12:26
Yeah, fun. I’m sure they’ll let us know. The young man he was a chemist. Or can he was I like this part can had been a quiet, decent sort did a lot of work and chemistry. He had a teenage son who lived with his ex in California. And I think that they’re planting the seeds for SQL here.

Kevin Erhard 12:44
I think his teenage sons going to come back with vengeance. That would have been a good resin evil two is so and so solid and coming back for revenge revenge on the Umbrella Corporation. Now,

Phil 12:56
I will say I will say that to be fair, the whole point here Barry’s thinking all he ends up thinking about the guy and his daughters at home and he’s a father and all that stuff. And that’s that is more for Barry than anything else. It’s setting yourself as a family man. Right?

Kevin Erhard 13:11
It’s it’s a nice little transition to it’s an exposition transition.

Phil 13:16
Yes. The best kind. Oh, yeah, they and they find the, what they they’re still thinking of as a cannibal killer. It’s a corpse in the same area, and they realized that that must be a figure. That’s, that’s probably Chris’s handiwork. But Chris isn’t there.

Kevin Erhard 13:32
I’m actually I was actually a little in this particular scene. I think I kind of lost track of which room Chris was supposed to be in. Like for most promo scenes, I could actually keep a good mind’s eye as to where each character was in the mansion based on the fact that I’ve played the first Resident Evil game so many times. But in that sequence, I feel like I just lost track of where Chris ended up.

Phil 13:59
This is this is a running theme with me in this book I because what happens a lot, you see this pattern of like one person goes into a room, checks it out, does something in the room, and then leaves and then another person eventually will come into that same room, see the change or recognize something that the person from before may have done? And go Oh, and make kind of an observation keep going, which is which is an interesting idea, but I lose track of where the heck everybody is a lot. This book. What this book presupposes is maybe he didn’t. Sorry, I just had to work a Royal Tenenbaums reference in there. When I spoke presupposes that you played the game. Right? Right. And that becomes clear as it goes along. I’ll tell you who isn’t in the room you’re expecting at this point. That will be Wesker. They go back to the fancy ass atrium of the estate and Westar is gone.

Kevin Erhard 15:00
Loud chord plays this is just a reminder for later future Kevin, make sure you cut it out. Insert a loud MIDI chord being played. Thanks, man. Future Kevin, here you are. You’re you’re doing God’s work my friend. Yeah, he’s he’s a really great guy. And he’s 100% for sure. Going to cut all this back and forth about the MIDI chords out chapter six.

Phil 15:30
Chapter Six, which starts off like, it’s, it’s them, you know, it just picks up right where we left off, obviously the same characters, Barry here, and Jill, they’re looking for the guy, they’re worried, especially now that they’ve seen, you know, a bunch of a, they’ve seen a, you know, zombie, some and to one of my more perplex that I think one of the more perplexing quotes in this book. They’re kind of trying to figure out how to deal with what’s happening. And they and they’re, they’re, you know, in disbelief that zombies are what they’re dealing with. And Jill thinks to herself after a lifetime of reading trashy novels about serial killers, is a cannibal zombie so hard to swallow, to which I respond. Yeah. That is, that is a perfectly reasonable stance to take Joe?

Kevin Erhard 16:27
Yeah. You can always draw the line at zombies. Oh, by all means, by all means. Before, we know that serial killers are real. Oh, we’ve caught them. We’ve the FBI has a whole division dedicated to them. We got pictures of them and everything. We’ve got pictures of them. Several of them have been executed by the federal government. We’re not going to get into whether the federal government has right to do that on this podcast. But we know they’re there. We know they’re around. We know they’re around. They’re not Bigfoot. Zombies are more like Bigfoot. Yeah, so you probably even less plausible than then Bigfoot because we have photos of Bigfoot.

Phil 17:03
Also less friendly. Yeah. Like Bigfoot like find found out Bigfoot was real tomorrow, I’d be kind of pumped. I found out zombies were real tomorrow. I I don’t. I don’t I wouldn’t feel good. I’m not feeling good thinking about it. Right now.

Kevin Erhard 17:18
There’s the line. And it was that creature The last thing Becky and Chris saw. And I think that was it was like a nice little tie nice little callback, that it’s really bold to say like, Oh, these little kids, these little girls that she knew went missing. And then like, tie it back to like, the gore of zombies and all that stuff. Oh, yeah.

Phil 17:42
It was grim. Like, that’s actually a really grim moment. It’s a really grim moment. Yeah. And that’s the thing with these books, you know, I think we all any of us, I don’t know, I don’t know if this is how it works for kids nowadays. But back in these days, if you if you have the kind of parent who wasn’t going to let you play violent video games, and you didn’t have any friends who had it, or something like that, there was probably a pretty good chance that you could at least find the comic book or novel that it was based on or something and get a kind of a similar sort of thing. Yeah, you know, like, I was reading the Aliens vs predator comic books. Long before I was able to sneak away and watch either of those films.

Kevin Erhard 18:28
There was a lot of, of kind of, using different forms of media to, to sneak around the the parental consent.

Phil 18:40
Yeah, yeah. And that’s kind of what this book is, in a way. Yeah. You know, if this if this is, you know, I don’t think that’s its main purpose. But that’s certainly how people, you know, who were 13 1412, whatever, you know, when they found the book, that’s how they would have used it probably, if not just to supplement their own, you know, addiction to this franchise they liked. I don’t know if kids do that nowadays. It feels like maybe, I don’t know if you can keep anything from kids nowadays. But yeah, I

Kevin Erhard 19:11
think it’s, I think it’s a little bit easier nowadays. I mean, I had I had a I had a group of friends, these these four brothers, I would always go over to their house. And you know, we would walk walk the mile over to the local video store and just grab a, you know, grab the goriest horror movie we could find, and it was, it was relatively like, you know, their parents didn’t want them watching it, but their parents also weren’t necessarily on top of them. Like attention to what we were watching upstairs.

Phil 19:52
Everyone had the one friend too. Yeah, they’re the parent was a little too cool, where the parents just weren’t really paying that close attention. Engine right. And I got to play Wolfenstein 3d with my friend because his parents that I’ll never forget this. He got to play it. And there was no issue I wasn’t allowed to play it. And, and I and his dad, I remember saying, well, we trust him to know the difference between a video game and, and real life, which is a pretty forward thinking way of going about that. But we were like in fifth grade, so I don’t know, man. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 20:27
I mean, right around that time we had people calling Wolfenstein 3d and doom and the like, murder simulators. Right. But that’s that’s probably for another day when

Unknown Speaker 20:38
that’s that’s when we can

Kevin Erhard 20:42
we can talk about moral panics on a bonus episode or something like we and let’s face facts, we probably will. Yes.

Phil 20:49
I will. Now at this point, Barry gives Gil news this is and here’s a reference to the video game that I knew no matter what. He gives her an old set of lock picks that I presumably she linked to him at some point like he had. He had expressed an interest in learning how to pick locks. And obviously she’s the daughter of this well known gentleman thief. I don’t know if they ever use that term that stuck in my head now. headcanon is now a gentleman thief. Yes, he’s got a badass mustache. And you know what? a monocle I’m just gonna say it.

Kevin Erhard 21:24
He’s got a monocle. He wears. He has a monocle. He has a little bowler hat. He, he wears all black, but it’s a nice refined knit black turtleneck.

Phil 21:34
So he he’s he’s got these lockpicks on him. She doesn’t have any, I suppose. But he he lends them to her because guess what? They’re gonna split up, because that’s what stars do.

Kevin Erhard 21:46
stars. They they’re there on their own, by the way, but he doesn’t say the line, which is take this Gil. It’s a lockpick you should use it because you are the master of unlocking.

Phil 22:05
And it’s deeply I tell you what, I gotta tell you. This is another last episode, we talked a little bit about the difference between it just like how this book just screams like 90s action kind of thing to me. Right. And that that is ironically enough. That is not the time when they would have made a reference to that in an adaptation writes is they want to be cool, you know? Yeah, if, if this was written nowadays, you bet your ass they would have given her like some two paragraph thing like back in the old days, they used to call her the mask like just go

Kevin Erhard 22:45
totally. Let’s justify her being called the master of unlocking for 30 minutes.

Phil 22:49
And it might have been it might have been tongue in cheek or it might have been deadly serious but they absolutely would have done it we cannot resist ourselves nowadays we’ve got to explain every detail and put every easter egg on prominent display for all to see. So that that’s I don’t even and that’s the thing I bring it up not because I think it’s a missed opportunity. But I kind of appreciate the fact that it was kind of okay with it.

Kevin Erhard 23:19
You know what I you know, we really are missing out on the is what is a is a David Foster Wallace adaptation of the first recipe Evil game. I think

Phil 23:32
it’s like it’s like a four four page long footnote explaining the master of I’m lucky.

Kevin Erhard 23:39
I think we need that we also need maybe a James Joyce version of the book, where up through the magic age up through arriving at the mansion is one sentence.

Phil 23:54
Yeah, I think that makes it just like this, you know, stream of consciousness. Insanity, you know, and I’m just the man to write it I think like that.

Kevin Erhard 24:04
I think I think you could actually channel your inner James Joyce and, and make it work.

Phil 24:13
We’ve seen a lot of weird slash fiction over the years and a lot of mashups and that kind of thing, but we have never seen choice and resonant evil Joyce

Kevin Erhard 24:24
Joyce fiction i think is a is a do I think that should be a new growing niche of the fan fiction market is gonna make it I haven’t. What? Let’s let’s take a story about Mega Man and how James Joyce tells us.

Phil 24:40
I love it. I love it. The James Joyce version of shadow of Colossus is really the thing I’m looking the most forward so yeah, actually that when I feel like that wouldn’t be that bad. Actually, you know what? You say it out loud. You’re like, Well, you know, actually might not probably give that a Go so they

Kevin Erhard 25:00
do what you’re supposed to do and every good horror story and they split up. Jill takes out the little mini computer. Yes, that mystery man Trent. And yeah, what’s hilarious about the mini computer is now that once once she gets to like looking at them the map of it, it’s literally describing how the map looks in game. Yeah, and I was like, Yes, she got the typewriter in there. She got she got the lockpick in there and she got the she justified having the mini map from Resident Evil the or the pause menu map from Resident Evil actually in the book and really my hat’s off to SD Perry on is that it’s impressive. That is top notch fan service. Right?

Phil 25:52
Is it there’s there’s the word for a fan service perfect. And it leads to By the way, like this message this this that is the most resonant evil thing in the entire book so far. We’re about we’re almost 75 pages into the book and she finds this she Oh, she turns on the little mini computer and the quarters beneath it was a single line a message as enigmatic as she could have expected for Mr. Trent Knight keys, Tiger eyes for crests gate of new life, East Eagle, West Wolf and I was just like holy crap that is about as Resident Evils.

Kevin Erhard 26:34
Like as Resident Evil as it gets and what I love and it I in an upcoming chapter, we’re actually going to get a little bit of like self reflection of these things. Well, we’ll get to it in a moment but I do like that that she took the moments like the author speaking through a character to kind of call out like silly and contrived a lot of this yeah for

Phil 27:04
and for for anyone who’s listening who by chance, never played Resident Evil or anything like that, and you don’t know what the whole one of the whole major conceits of resin evil There are basically two. The first one is zombies. I think you’ve picked that up by now. The second one is weird Alison Wonderland style puzzles, you know, keys with symbols that match up with with key holes with the same symbol it’s like basically taking if you ever played an old eight bit video game, and you had to find the star key to open the star door or something along those lines. That’s what Resident Evil did. Yeah, but it’s in the midst of this horrifying zombie disease breakout and it’s it’s such a strange conceit. But it’s really addictive at the same time. It’s a wonderful take some

Kevin Erhard 28:00
of the I’d say moon logic of Sierra OnLine and and Lucasfilm games, adventure games point and click adventure games, and then mixes them mixes that with an action. An action shooter set in a harsh environment. And oh, by the way, there’s also and this is strictly in the game. There’s also inventory management, which is Oh, yes. Which is a whole separate thing. But yeah, it’s it’s like basically, three different genres kind of jammed together. And there’s zombies. Yeah. So yeah, that’s that, that that that bit of text is super Resident Evil. If we were writing things on a scale of, of 10 of zero to 10 and 10 being the most, the platonic ideal of Resident Evil like Plato would look at it and say, that is as Resident Evil as something can be. Yeah. And why am I still alive? And why am I still alive? And the answer would be zombies. T virus zombies. It’s an exact checkmate. Everything gets explained checkmate atheists

Phil 29:16
that the section of the chapter here ends with Jill basically recognizing that the terror that the city is going through it absolutely is coming from the Spencer state that this is this is this is the mystery to be solved that they are in the right place. And boy, howdy

Kevin Erhard 29:43
have they got a ways to go. They do have a ways to go and then we slam cut to Chris back to Chris in Napa Chris in media rez, he’s in the middle of the action shoot zombie in the gut a couple times and on the following page, there’s a There’s just this wonderful a wonderful description. festering necrotic wet. I’m so good. So good. It’s so good. I love it. So. So I, there’s always at least there’s always like multiple descriptors, so he felt it’s hot, fitted breath against its fate against his face. I love all that I eat all that up. I mean, if you’re the only thing

Phil 30:30
that you’re not going to really get from the video game. Yeah, yeah, that’s like we talked about before. You’re not gonna smell the rotting corpses? Yeah, I really if you’re if anyone’s out there developing that. Please stop. Please do not do

Kevin Erhard 30:43
that. Please stop. Do not do. No, no, thank you. Oh, no, we’re No, no, no, we’re not asking for that. And boom, finally, after his his hallway and zambo encounter, up and down, we get a brand new character. That’s right. Can you tell me a little bit about bowed? Rebecca chambers?

Phil 31:07
Right. They are the first thing they tell you about Rebecca chambers. By the way, the very first sentence tells you that she is 18 years old. And really, that’s that there’s a really strong bullet point put on that one. is Rebecca chambers. Is that is that Canada, she 18 years old in the game? I mean, like she is

Kevin Erhard 31:24
so it really is up in the air as to what is or is not canon. I don’t I’m not sure that that is specifically said anywhere in the game. But where it is said and so might as well be canon is in the instruction manual. And let me take a moment to talk about instruction manuals in the 1990s. Beautiful instruction manuals back in the day. I mean, games nowadays do not have instruction manuals. Usually those the contents of what would have been an instruction manual is found within the program itself. And that’s fine. It doesn’t matter. Sure, instruction manuals, though were useful for for several things. First and foremost, they were useful to read on the car ride home after renting the game at blockbuster.

Phil 32:10
Oh, yes. So you get yourself nice and pumped up, you get you get some of the instructions, you figure it out,

Kevin Erhard 32:15
you know, you knew those controls before you even turn the game on the list. They would also provide instruction manuals or provide story context. So for example, and the Legend of Zelda, the very first Zelda game, there was a little bit more story context, and there was a whole bunch of artwork in the instruction manual. That is, it’s not seen anywhere else, I’m sure. I mean, I’m 100% sure that that’s been collected into Zelda art books nowadays. But back in the day that was like that was your view into what the world of Hyrule really looked like beyond the eight bit limitations that you were, you know, the facsimile that you were playing. In the game itself. This was an artist’s rendition of the world of high rule, and it could really spark the imagination provide a little bit more context. So for resolutely evil. One of the things that the instruction manual had was had several pages of like a little dossier of each of the characters in the each of the stars in the game, and one of them is Rebecca chambers listed at 18 years old as the youngest of the stars. Now that keep in mind, all the other stars are, are ridiculously young to except for Barry. So I believe Chris is only like 22 years old who

Phil 33:41
is is just infirmed old, just the ripe old age of Phil’s age. Absolutely. just disgusting. incontinent. 19 Great, great. grandbabies. What the hell is he doing out there? Should he dead he should be dead at least. Yeah, he’s just he’s using of resources.

Kevin Erhard 34:06
He is definitely too old for this shit. This is ridiculous. So anyway, yes, instruction manuals, they were great back in the 90s. And they provide a lot x additional context. And for if you wanted to, you could definitely consider them as part of the Canon experience alongside the video game because it was this supplementary material. I do. I mean, plenty of people reference that stuff. Yeah, so so Becca chambers, she is 18 years old.

Phil 34:35
She’s hiding you know, and she’s she’s, she’s got herself a big old can of bug spray.

Kevin Erhard 34:41
Which is actually exactly how Chris meets her in the game. Always that’s okay, good. So it’s good to know as you go into the room, you get sprayed in the face with bugs spray by Rebecca drivers. And I

Phil 34:55
and it leads to it leads to a another great quote here. He She sprays him in the face with this with this stuff and she realizes immediately a mistake. And then in the book she’s it says the alpha dropped his hands face read and she finally recognized him. It was Chris Redfield, only the most attractive guy in the stars, not to mention her superior. And I think this is one of the most important moments in the book, because it informs us that Chris Redfield is a dream boat. He’s just adorable. You want to put them in your pocket or meriam get your fanfictions ready?

Kevin Erhard 35:40
I mean, honestly, there’s already been don’t I mean, there’s already plenty of fanfictions about

Phil 35:46
wish we had a we had a quick moment with Jill. Now we’ve got Rebecca swarming all over him. He’s breaking hearts. He’s killing zombies and breaking hearts. He is he’s he’s not just breaking hearts. He’s stomping on them. Literally. Yeah, he’s taking them out, man. Like he’s just, that is what he is here to do.

Kevin Erhard 36:05
She’s just happy that she can’t. He can’t see the blush on her face.

Phil 36:10
She found she’s found a key with a sword engraved on it. Ah, and we just found a sword door. I wonder if these two things are interconnected. And that brings us to our first random ass Resident Evil puzzle piece. It’s, it’s gonna be a theme. We’re not going to ever I don’t think we ever see someone actually solve the puzzle. Because people there’s so many moving parts in this book. So many people coming and going. Yeah, that inevitably someone arrives upon a puzzle that was that was basically it’s inferred that it was solved by one of the A somebody elsewhere in the in the house and the book exactly, that actually does a decent job.

Kevin Erhard 36:58
SD Perry did a decent job kind of setting the reader up for we’re gonna cut, we’re gonna cut to these characters in the middle of stuff. And it kind of just, it’s fine. It gives that that appearance of while you’re reading following Jill’s point of view. Chris is still doing stuff.

Phil 37:19
Right? Right. And it makes sense. It keeps it clipping along with no one actual we don’t actually need to see someone take the key, put it into the lock and turn the key like it’s fine. Exactly. We can we can trust it on that one. Yeah. And by the way, she’s she’s she’s in this file room. And there’s this huge open trunk. There’s full of stacks on stacks of papers. And she explains she’s she’s that they’re mostly chemistry, brain chemistry stuff, right? And lets us know that this 18 year old secret agent is also a a has a background in biochemistry. His show recently

Kevin Erhard 38:02
graduated and stars was her first job. She is a she’s a wunderkind so to speak. So she’s she graduated college at 18, I believe,

Phil 38:15
and leads to another quote that just baffled me. So she’s there. She’s just talking about her background, internal monologue about her background, getting a little information on it. And basically, she says she goes she went through basic training, got some field experience. No one else had shown much interest in hiring a whiz kid. What are you what? I mean? I’m not saying that there aren’t 18 year olds out there with massive backgrounds in biochemistry, that stuff does happen. Absolutely. Most of them are on the tick tock. Yeah. Which is the oldest thing I’ve ever said. There are a few of them. There are a few of them out there that that really do get their shit done. But they tend to get picked up. You know, don’t get me wrong, they do tend to get picked up by evil corporations. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 39:08
that’s there’s actually a real easy way to jump to like, why didn’t umbrella hire her? Right?

Phil 39:19
This this this crazy evil corporation that wants as many people to help them with their bio weapons that they wouldn’t want to lose her kid like me yesterday

Kevin Erhard 39:32
that say specifically shown interest in you know, later in later games in the series. They have all sorts of like, teenagers and whatnot doing things. And you’re 18 they wouldn’t have to pay you as much and we know that they’re into that. They’re they’re in Yeah, they’re who they are. They’re cheap. They’re as cheap as they are evil. And why do you think

Phil 39:55
stuff keeps happening? It’s not because they put a ton of money into security. resort at some point, they

Kevin Erhard 40:01
realized that the cleanup was cheaper than just securing it properly in the first place. Exactly.

Phil 40:09
Umbrella Corporation, forgiveness is better than permission. You know, that’s just there all over it, man. I

Kevin Erhard 40:18
think that’s gonna i think that that line is gonna start the episode. That makes sense. That makes sense. So yeah, she says, she she gets into the brain chemistry stuff. And she says brain chemistry, but these numbers are all screwed up. The serotonin and norepinephrine are too low. But look here that dopamine is off the chart. And this is this is where it’s like kind of cringy 90s because you you can’t say this anymore. We’re talking big time skits. Oh, and right. And I’m, I’m just I’m just reading what’s in the text. I do not condone using the term schizo. Oh, it is a it’s kind of insulting way to. It’s, it’s terrible. It’s don’t don’t. And it’s and it’s and it’s of its time, you know, it’s some of its time in the 90s calling somebody who you didn’t like and who might have acted irrationally, schizo was very common. Right? There are other words that I am not going to repeat that were often used to mock people’s intelligence.

Phil 41:27
It is it is just kind of jarring to hear it from someone who’s like a professional biochemist. She’s a matter what way you slice

Kevin Erhard 41:34
18 year old biochemist, so it felt a little felt a little weird, but it also is like, just remember, this is 1990. This is supposed to be like sure of you six.

Phil 41:44
It makes me think like, I went to the doctor once. And it was one of the first times I’ve ever worked with this doctor, and he was a younger guy. And I was much younger than I that I am now. And I think he wanted to like put me at ease or something like that. And I was concerned about I don’t even remember where it was but I was concerned about something that he said and he said something like, so your your balls hurt. And I think it was like I was I was worried that i’d i don’t think it was anything as dramatic as like finding a lump or anything. Right? And I’d run that I’d remember. But he was like checking symptoms for stuff. They get it. So you know, I would expect a doctor even a young one to go. So was there discomfort in your testicles? Your balls hurt. I’m like you don’t. Please don’t do that.

Kevin Erhard 42:28
Please. Don’t try to relate to me on that level. Just Riley’s be the professional that I am. I’m paying you way too much money to be.

Phil 42:39
Yeah, yeah. It’s like I’m, I’m the idiot. Here. Please, please be as square as you possibly can. In this moment. I’m begging you. Yeah. So that that is a jarring thing to hear. Whether it’s 2021 or the fact that she is a you know, biochemists say that. Yeah, little odd. It does. The chapter does end in a funny way where it’s like he’s found her in this in this little room. And she sprayed him in the face. And then he goes, Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and use this key you gave me and leave you here. Good luck. It all works out.

Kevin Erhard 43:24
He was. He was 100% the cool jock just giving the brush off to the nerdy freshmen. Right. We’re cooking now We’re on chapter seven. And the mastering we’ve we’ve made so much progress. So much progress. I think we’re going slower tonight. Then we even did on the other other episode, but we weren’t 100% are Yes. If you’ve played Resident Evil and you know, you’re going down, I believe it’s East east wing of the building. There’s this hallway that kind of hooks to the left. It’s a very famous scene. You’re just walking, walking down the hallway and bam, right through the window comes to dogs. It’s one of the earliest jumpscares in the entire game. And it’s very, very iconic. So a crash the window behind her explodes in Word Life Center. We form lunging into the hall growling and snapping. Love it and we get it we get a dose muting those jumps in. And you know it dies after she wastes a ton of ammo on it. A lot of

Phil 44:49
like, yeah, they the Resident Evil player in me was like, Oh, just just run, just run. But she does but she does get rid of it. She takes care of it and she actually gets to kind of get a closer look at it. Because this is the first time that she’s been dealing with a dog where she didn’t have to also be running from it at top speed and, and so you know, I like the quote here her initial impression wasn’t changed. It looked like a skin dog was

Kevin Erhard 45:14
like Okay good. Later we got that contract confirmed the field experiment there on the dogs a little bit.

Phil 45:20
She finds our first our first like riddle door here and it has when the sun sets in the west and the moon rises in the east, stars will begin to appear in the sky, and wind will blow toward the ground, then the gate of new life will be open. And she remembers the list from Trent’s computer. So,

Kevin Erhard 45:47
that’s a brother. That’s another 10 out of 10. Now the Resident Evil scare.

Phil 45:53
Oh, big time, being time, you know, pray to god yeah, platonic. Just like what the hell yes, that is that is a stretch. It’s like a riddle. That’s not really a riddle. It’s like no one had to sit down and really parse this one out. Right? I was like, oh, right there, Chris. I gotta find them and put them in the right thing. It’s

Kevin Erhard 46:14
like, it’s like, Is there a word for that? Like a riddle? It’s like something that seems like is there a German word for that? Something? That seems like a riddle to me?

Phil 46:23
Yeah. a riddle. Not a riddle, but a great impression of a riddle. It’s

Kevin Erhard 46:26
great impression. It’s, it’s literally just a four piece puzzle. Right?

Phil 46:32
Yeah, that’s it. And if you could find the four pieces, you’d probably find that’s the key. It’s not the poem slash riddle isn’t the isn’t the tricky part. It’s going all over this damn house and finding the four different crests and popping them into place. That’s the key, right, literally. Yeah, so she’s, she’s kind of taking that all in and then starts hearing the howl of dogs in the distance and, and realizes that, you know, she’s, she wastes a lot of ammo. They’ve got more of those things coming. And she’s just gonna have to, because this is the exit out the back of the house, right. And as much as she wants to use it to get the heck out of there. She can’t do it until they found the crests, put them in place, and then she can run off. But in the meantime, they are trapped.

Kevin Erhard 47:29
In the meantime, they are trapped and we are going to cut back to Chris. And he is he is making his way back towards that door that he got the key for and I I highlighted a little thing here. As I mentioned earlier, apparently headshots were the best way to kill a zombie, just like in the movies. And if he just and he just claps himself on the back over this every sorry, every time every time he is he makes something that is it makes a connection to zombie movies. He’s immensely proud of it. So he gets he gets the the sword door the key works. Oh, yes, he is in my favorite room of all time. He is in the room of he tasty itchy, tasty? I love itchy, tasty, itchy, tasty? Jim Sterling. James Stephanie Sterling. They had a entire segment on their show years ago called itchy Oh tasty. And it is a reference to this exact moment. And I love, love, love, love that St. Perry. Put in the exact word for word diary pages that you find in this page. It’s actually one of the blamer really, it’s really it’s really one of the best found like diaries ever and because of the way it kind of the writing of it kind of disintegrates over time. I love it. So yeah, it’s it gets really good. Yeah, yeah. So it starts out with like, normally, I’m not gonna read the whole thing, but it basically starts out normally with a guy recapping his like Poker Night. And just talking about the new experiments. There’s a little bit of foreshadowing with the new experiment that looks like a skinned gorilla. And, and we haven’t we haven’t seen those yet, but they are going to they’re going to eventually show up. But they’re coming. They’re coming. Oh yeah, they’re coming. So and that’s it may 11. Basically shit hits the fan and the T virus gets out. They have to put on their their suits and everything but it’s too late. It seems like they’re infected. The guy starts talking in detail about how his skin feels how it’s swollen and itchy. At one point talks about how just like a lump of his skin fell off. It is it gets into really grotesque detail, but also the guy’s brain starts to deteriorate, his mind starts to deteriorate. And so the penultimate entry is on May 19. And after a lapse of three days, and the guy wrote fever gone, but itchy, hungry, and eat doggy food, itchy, itchy, Scott came ugly face so killed him. Tasty. And then there’s one more entry, undated that just says, itchy, tasty.

Phil 50:46
It’s, it’s so good. It’s so it’s so good. I love it. I love it. How often does that how often do you actually get the zombie thing from the perspective of the person turning into the zombie? It’s it’s usually such an outward thing, you know, right. It’s our horror reacting to someone so that I think that’s a great touch. We’re in chapter eight and chapter it’s a quick chapter but an important one.

Kevin Erhard 51:19
Jill and Barry went their separate ways. And we we really get into the mind of Mr. Albert Wesker we find Esker how misogynist

Phil 51:33
he’s a really shitty person all the way around. This is a huge piece of shit. It really is. And I and I, for one was deeply shocked to find that out. I did not see that coming. I’m still shocked. I’m still not sure they aren’t setting us up for a double double cross here. Because he was just so clearly the hero.

Kevin Erhard 51:58
He is he’s clearly I mean, he was he was Iceman he was Val Kilmer. And right what now he’s the villain.

Phil 52:05
I mean, we can eventually we’ll be able to ride his tail anytime. But for now,

Kevin Erhard 52:11
for now. Now he’s really proud to think he’s the best he has talked himself out of the shirtless volleyball game. Yes, he is no Val Calabar, sir.

Phil 52:22
But basically this chapter is where revealing whiskers truth he is he’s known since the beginning. He’s

Kevin Erhard 52:29
known since the beginning and this is actually I misspoke. This is not the chap the Wesker chapter with the misogyny. This is just the general shittiness the misogyny has yet to come. Oh, okay. Yeah, he took it. He has a lot of moments, a lot of moments. And it’s like, it’s almost jarring. Because there’s like, he just seems like this even keel like, you know, he’s he’s got a tie and tight haircut and he’s got his his, his his aviator glasses on and he just seems like he just seems normal. He just seems like an officer. And the moment you get inside his head. He his mask off the shittiest person in the bill. Yeah.

Phil 53:13
Yeah, the moment you’re in his internal monologue, it’s just, he is the most nakedly evil bad guy. Like he might as well be twirling his mustache. It’s absurd.

Kevin Erhard 53:25
And so in this chapter, he comes up with the plan of blackmailing Barry, in order to get Barry to to help him with his plan. Now, he hasn’t actually enacted this yet. He’s just talking about Barry though. Barry Burton was a family man. And both Jill and Chris trusted him. And then it the final line of the chapter is this might actually turn out to be fun. She’s right, Christ, man.

Phil 53:56
It is just it’s like he’s it’s it’s interesting because he is he’s decided he he knows the important thing is you find out that he knows all about this place. He knows about the conspiracy. He’s here to cover up the incident that lead to Raccoon City, getting you know, doused with zombie making gas. And he’s he’s here to help cover that up by himself in front of a team apparently. And he decides he’s going to blackmail Barry and he’s just going to use everyone cuz he knows about all the puzzles that are coming up in the weird carnival ride that this house is and rather than do it all himself he’s basically just gonna kind of quietly follow everyone around Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 54:41
and this you know, take advantage I think this is this is really opportunity that that the author SD Perry takes, she takes this opportunity to kind of comment on the house. Three Wesker where I’m finding finding the line Spencer was bad, no two ways about it. And he had had the house built with all kinds of tricky little mechanisms, a lot of that silly, silly spy crap that had been so popular in the late 60s. Spy crap that’s going to make this job twice as hard as it needs to be hidden keys secret tunnels. It’s like I’m trapped in an espionage thriller, complete with mad scientists and a ticking clock. So like, Oh, it’s like, Wesker you speak for ourselves, like acknowledgement that like, Yeah, no, this house is weird that it was it was designed like this. This is not this is not a common thing. Except when it becomes a common thing in later Resident Evil. Okay.

Phil 55:40
Like, right, when it’s just the world we live in, right? Yeah. Thoughts on the first eight chapters so far, I think that the cool thing about the book so far is that it shows you both the advantages and the disadvantages of writing this out as a book, as opposed to a video game, right? Like, you get those cool moments, you know that that Vici tasty moment, for example, it’s in the video game. Yeah, yeah. And you can really take your time with that. But I guarantee you that most people who played the game don’t work don’t necessarily remember that. Because they were just trying to get they weren’t necessarily picking up all the puzzle, you know, reading the journal entries and all that stuff. So whether you’re, if you’re willing to sit down and read a book on it, well, then that’s a totally different experience, and you’re going to be able to better appreciate something that maybe you didn’t notice in the game.

Kevin Erhard 56:39
Yeah, you can, you can, you can jump into the little details, the little lore building nuggets that are left around in the game, but a lot of players are just going to flip through and you know, move on. Right,

Phil 56:52
right. And and you get things like we talked about before, smells and experiences that you’re not going to get in the video game. On the other hand, the puzzles. puzzles are already already and we’ve barely and that’s the thing at this point. 100 pages in, we really haven’t done a lot of puzzle stuff just

Kevin Erhard 57:15
yet. No. And it’s like, I already have the Resident Evil experiences, puzzles.

Phil 57:19
And the puzzles are the best part of the game, as far as I’m concerned,

Kevin Erhard 57:23
just impossible to write around. You know, it’s like POS How do you write something thrilling? about somebody solving what outside of the context of a game is extremely contrived?

Phil 57:37
Especially when it’s these styles of puzzles? Like we said, it’s not a riddle, you know, it’s like saying what you want about For example, The Da Vinci Code, you know, say what you want about the writing of that or anything but it had actual puzzles in it that they would explain to you and you’d work your way through and right it was like a mystery in that sense. Well, it was a mystery but you know what I mean yeah. And and so for SD Perry based on the source material you just got cash and it feels like she’s still got to use the source material the the armor key, the sword key, the crests all that crap, she’s still got to use it and those aren’t really thrilling to read

Kevin Erhard 58:22
about now. And and what’s amazing is that and we’ll get to it soon but she does a decent enough job kind of fast forwarding through some of

Phil 58:32
Yes, yes and we are definitely going to talk about that because it is you know, I’m as a writer, it is one of those things that I will look at it and go Good choice Good choice there were some good choices maybe

Kevin Erhard 58:45
there was some solid edits to to the source material here. And so that that that about does it my my final thought on the first eight chapters is that it would have been really neat if this if they had given her the opportunity to turn this into a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Rather than

Phil 59:03
Oh, no, that would be fun. Wouldn’t that be fun? That would be far Hold on. I’ll look that up. I refuse to believe all done. Choose Your Own Adventure. Why don’t I say it that way? All right, now there is one apparently there is one can you escape Resident Evils Choose Your Own Adventure Halloween dungeon? I guess it was like a social media thing that you could play in the in a browser or something. So not quite. It wasn’t a book. Yeah. Lame. But But I think you’re absolutely right. The same era a little earlier in this, but like classic Choose Your Own Adventure novels within the Resident Evil franchise.

Kevin Erhard 59:49
A Super Mario Brothers book from probably five years four years before this. That was a Choose Your Own Adventure book and it feels like it’s like That would be a great way to translate a game to to prose format.

Phil 1:00:05
Oh my god. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Because it still has the gamification aspect of it. But you can still what you’re reading so you can get a little more of that literary unfed of it. That’s really interesting. I wonder if that ever got pitched or anything like that. And I guess by this time, choose your own adventure books were kind of on their way out. Yeah, completely out by then. I think they might be making a comeback. We’ll see. I think they are now like Nowadays, people are kind of like getting in that and stategic mode. And so I’m buying. I’ve been every now and then I get really drunk. And I will drunk eBay like you do. And lately, one of the drunk eBay things that I’m constantly looking at is finding the old Dungeons and Dragons choose your own adventure. That sound because I had a bunch of those when I was young. Yeah. And they’re out there, man. They’re just kind of you can find them at if you can find them at a reasonable price. They’re out right. But yeah, that would be I love that they’re coming back. It’s it’s really well, if

Kevin Erhard 1:01:08
anybody should pitch it, I think it’s you and I my friends.

Phil 1:01:12
Yes. Since then, that’s what this podcast is really all about guys. We’re just we’re announcing our resident evil. Choose Your Own Adventure book. Coming to coming to an Amazon line, contingent near your vine

Kevin Erhard 1:01:28
booksellers near you. And that’ll do it for this episode. Good night day or wherever you are everybody. Thank you for listening to Episode Two of pixel. If you haven’t already, subscribe and leave a five star rating. We’ll be back in two weeks with episode three of our dive into Resident Evil the umbrella conspiracy. Until then, follow us on Twitter at pixel at fog for updates. Where bookmark our website pixel at pod calm. Take care

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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