Can I practice a bit of radical honesty here for a second? The first time I tried to play Resident Evil: Biohazard, sitting on a friend’s couch way back in ancient times (2018), I didn’t last more than a few minutes. I took one look at the first dangling mobile of animal bones hanging from a tree, put down the controller, and said, “Let’s play Super Smash Bros. instead.”
But recently, now that the passage of time and a playthrough of Resident Evil: Village helped toughen me up significantly, I found myself tempted by that most alluring of siren songs: the game went on sale. I can’t resist a good bargain, and with a hearty “screw it,” I decided to take advantage of the deal and trudge into the murky swamps of Dulvey once more. This time, I would stick it out, no matter how many dread-induced stomach aches I got.
As the game booted up, I remembered with a cold sweat the media coverage of Resident Evil: Village. That game, supposedly, had been toned down to compensate for the relentlessness of the scares in Biohazard. Great news for those with a slightly stronger constitution than I, but as I quickly discovered, Village was still extremely scary actually. I don’t know who sees haunted dolls, mutated fetuses, and snarling werewolves and thinks “meh,” but I couldn’t possibly relate to them less. To put it mildly, Village scared the absolute hell out of me. (It also taught me how to love again with the sight of that tall drink of blood, Lady Dimitrescu. But mostly I was just scared.)
Unfortunately, I have to admit that the media coverage was right about the relative fear factor of each game. If Village was like a walk through a seasonal haunted house, then Biohazard was like being chased through a corn maze by a chainsaw-wielding killer wearing a mask made of human skin. Definitely a way to get the heart pumping, but I also saw my life flash before my eyes.
Whether you’re a fellow coward looking to commiserate, or you just want to laugh at my suffering, you’re here for one thing: 13 of the best moments in Resident Evil: Biohazard that made me scream out loud and worry my roommate. So, let’s get into it.
13. A crow flew at me and cawed 🙁
The game’s opening sequence sees Ethan Winters traveling to the rural town of Dulvey, Louisiana, after hearing from his missing wife, Mia, for the first time in three years. Her note is short and to the point: “Dulvey, Louisiana. Baker farm. Come get me.” When he reaches the farm, Ethan parks his car on the dirt road and begins to explore.
Right away, the vibes are distinctly off. No one answers when he presses in the intercom at the main house’s gates, there are bones hanging from the trees, and some ominous graffiti urging anyone who reads it to “accept her gift.” The scene is set perfectly for a sense of dread to stew, tension to build bit by bit until—CAW! A crow flies right at the player’s unsuspecting face. Surely this is a great sign, that the game has me this nervous before anything scary has even happened. It can’t possibly go downhill from here.
12. What’s for dinner?
After narrowly escaping the crow’s vicious talons, I was able to make my way into the Baker family’s guest house. As soon as the player enters the new location, it becomes apparent that no one has lived in this house for quite some time. I don’t mean to judge—I’ve left my fair share of half-empty coffee cups around my room—but this place is a mess. Trash covers the ground, doors and windows are haphazardly boarded up, and the cabinets and fridge are full of, um, stuff. But if the player hasn’t managed to lose their appetite by the time they get to the kitchen, there’s a pot on the table, filled with what at some point in time was probably stew? Lift the lid, and a cockroach comes crawling out and onto Ethan’s hand. Honestly, not the worst thing to happen to his hand in this game.
11. Finding Andre’s Body
While exploring the guest house, the player comes across a tape from an ill-fated film crew that scoped out the derelict house for their tv show. As for how that went… well, you probably wouldn’t be watching their tape in an abandoned house if it all turned out okay for them. One of the crew, Andre, is seen at the end of the footage standing in the corner of the basement Blair Witch-style before collapsing onto the cameraman, blood pouring from his eye sockets. If you follow a secret passage down into the same basement and wade into some murky water, Andre’s bloated corpse bobs to the surface like the world’s most grisly pool noodle. Sorry about your whole everything, Andre, but also get the hell away from me.
10. My Wife!
When Ethan and Mia are first reunited, something seems a little bit off about his long-lost love. She’s disoriented, frightened, and keeps rambling on about how “Daddy” is going to come back soon. Still, after three years in a cell in the basement of an abandoned house, you can’t expect her conversation skills to be particularly sharp. Ethan follows her out of the basement, through a collection of secret rooms, before she disappears. Not again! While searching for Mia in an upstairs hallway, the player suddenly hears loud, desperate knocking coming from the other side of a door. The door opens to reveal a darkened staircase, and Mia climbing up the stairs on all fours like something straight out of The Exorcist before she attacks with an animalistic scream. This is not my beautiful house, this is not my beautiful wife!
9. Take My Hand
Ethan’s limbs just can’t catch a break in these games. Just when the player has gotten away from Mia, she pops back up with apologies and promises of reconciliation. It’s a trick, obviously, and soon her face twists into that demonic snarl again. Then, she takes a screwdriver, nails Ethan’s hand to the wall, and heads offscreen. When she comes back, she’s brought a little friend: a freaking chainsaw, which she uses to chop Ethan’s hand right off. This sequence perfectly exemplifies the ruthlessness of Biohazard as the initial jumpscare gives way to a sense of absolute helplessness as the chainsaw slices through flesh and bone, and all you can do is watch.
8.Welcome To the Family, Son
Mia’s boss fight in the guest house attic is stressful as hell, forcing the player to unload a handgun into their zombified wife’s face before she chops you into hamburger with a chainsaw. But at least when she’s finally down for the count, you can have a chance to catch your breath and escape to safety.
Just kidding! There is no peace in Biohazard. There is only pain. Just when you think the danger has momentarily passed, you’re introduced to the pestilent patriarch of the Baker family, and the “Daddy” that Mia was referring to earlier, Jack Baker. He grabs Ethan by the shoulder, spins him around, and delivers his iconic line before punching Ethan’s poor little lights out. And you thought meeting your in-laws was stressful.
7. Officer Down
Oh, Deputy Anderson. If only you’d just listened to Ethan when he told you to get out of here. Maybe then you could have avoided a horrible death by shovel to the head. But of course he didn’t, and it was never going to be that easy. No one gets out of this game unscathed, after all. So, Deputy Anderson asked Ethan to meet him in the garage, Jack Baker sliced off the top of his head with a snow shovel while Ethan watched in horror, and I jumped so hard I spilled my cup of coffee all over my pants. We all lost something important to us.
6. Heeere’s Johnny!
While the player is darting down a hallway to get away from Jack, he breaks straight through the solid wall like some kind of nightmare Kool-Aid man. Just steps right through the damn thing to come get you. Up to that point, Jack has been a pretty messed up guy, but still pretty much just a guy. This display of supernatural strength is an early indicator that something is truly wrong with the Baker family, aside from the homicidal tendencies.
5. You’re about to see something wonderful
Oh, what? Did you think that blowing Jack Baker up would be enough to stop him? Honestly, at first I let myself hope that it might be, and for that I am truly a fool. Obviously Jack comes back, ready to do more terrifying antics and deliver another one of the most quotable lines in the game. He grabs Ethan’s gun, fires off that ominous statement, then shoots himself in the head. I don’t really like Jack but I didn’t want to see him go out like that. I wanted to be the one to do it. Not only is it horrifying to watch, it serves as yet another demonstration of Jack’s apparent indestructibility, because he comes back from that headshot with some good old fashioned mold-induced regeneration.
4. A Bug’s Life
But enough about Jack, the man of the house. What about his lovely wife, Marguerite? You know what they say, behind every powerful man is a woman with the unnatural ability to control all things creepy crawly and turn her Marguerussy into a nightmarish insect hive. When Ethan gets a little too close to some sensitive material, namely the shrine Marguerite built around a briefcase with a D-Series head inside, she deals a surprise attack and does her best to use her powers to squish him like a… well, you get it.
3. Hide and Seek with Marguerite
Throughout the game, Ethan finds various VHS tapes that offer a look into other characters’ memories, and clues about what lies ahead. One of the tapes, belonging to Mia, gives the player one simple objective: hide from Marguerite, and do not let her catch you. Perfect, I love creeping through the dark trying to avoid the most horrible woman in the world, knowing she could pop out of the shadows at any moment.
This sequence masterfully builds tension, with the sound of Mia’s heavy, panicked breathing as she tries to keep out of sight imbuing the player with her sense of immediate danger. It’s possible to make it through the tape without being caught, but it’s tricky, and failure to pull it off results in the sudden appearance of Marguerite’s face before you’re dragged away to untold horrors that only CAPCOM in its infinite wisdom knows.
2. Why the long arms?
Jack Baker can bluster and yell and break as many things as he wants, but it’s Marguerite’s boss fight that stands out as the scariest part of the entire game. I do love to see a girlboss winning, but unfortunately I have to draw the line when she starts laying nests of insects from her abdominal hive. I didn’t like typing that phrase any more than you liked reading it.
Battling Marguerite comes with enough jumpscares to put my blood pressure into what my doctor calls “the uh-oh zone,” but only one of them got me to make a sound that startled my cat out of her nap: walking by the window. When the player approaches the window, Marguerite bursts through, grabbing at Ethan with long, long arms that would make Slenderman uncomfortable. Not only did I scream, I physically recoiled from my screen. That’s girl power.
1. Why Does Everyone Hate Me?
Savvy players tend to notice that often, just before the mold really hits the fan, Grandma Baker is there, watching the chaos unfold from her chair. But what’s her deal, exactly? Surprise! That old woman isn’t at all what she seems. She’s actually Eveline, whose body ages at an accelerated pace if she doesn’t receive her medicine on a regular basis. For the final confrontation, Ethan faces Eveline as an old woman, gazing plaintively out of sunken eyes and asking, “Why does everyone hate me?” Oh, I don’t know, maybe because you kidnapped my wife, made her cut off my hand, and infected everyone with a mutating mind control mold. It’s hard to be a kid, but maybe next time we try therapy first?
All jokes aside, Eveline’s story is deeply tragic. As an artificially engineered bioweapon, she was doomed from the start to a life of pain and loneliness. All the player can do at this point is put her out of her misery and inject her with the E-Necrotoxin before she destroys any more lives. She screams in pain, spewing black gunk onto Ethan as she wails, “It hurts! It hurts!” I’ve never felt so guilty and so grossed out at the same time. But, don’t feel too guilty, because she gets in one more horrific transformation and boss battle before the military and Redfield swoop in to help Ethan finally take her out for good.
In spite of the endless parade of heart-stopping terror and me shrieking loud enough to wake up my neighbors, I absolutely loved this game. It borrows from several of my favorite genre flicks, from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Wrong Turn, and puts its own perfectly nasty spin on them. It’s deeply immersive in the best (and worst) possible way.
The gameplay is breathlessly tense from start to finish, but it also understands another one of the most vital parts of successful horror storytelling: you have to make us care about the characters. Ethan and Mia provide a strong emotional core to a nightmarish journey, reminding the player from time to time that this game isn’t just scary—it’s also devastating. Two types of suffering for the price of one! It turns out the true bargain was pain we felt along the way. All in all, it’s easy to see why this installment is a fan favorite, and why the Baker family have earned their place in the annals of truly terrifying horror villain history.