PlatinumGames co-founder and Resident Evil 2 (1998)director Hideki Kamiya has taken to Twitter to reveal some personal anecdotes about the creation of the original Resident Evil 2. Hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 2 Remake, these tidbits give players insight into the game’s history and how certain beloved elements came into existence.
The Tweets were first published on February 10 but have gained prominence thanks to Japanese blogger Hachima Kikou who collected the small bits of information on their site. In just under 20 posts, the game director explains how character names were created, why the city was named after a raccoon as well as outlining his vision for the game’s original ending.
Kamiya fondly recalls the input from story writer Kenichi Iwao, who also played a role in the creation of the first game years beforehand. According to the Tweets, Iwao had wanted to name the fictional Raccoon City after an animal because America often names its towns after animals and the writer wanted to ensure Raccoon City felt authentically named. Kamiya playfully links to a directory of American towns named after ridiculous animals in the same post.
He then goes on to note that Iwao’s creative mind is present all throughout both Resident Evil titles, giving him credit for naming series mainstays the “T-Virus,” “Umbrella Corporation,” and “Tyrant.” Perhaps Iwao’s greatest accolade, however, comes in the form of a short diary entry from the first Resident Evil game, the now-iconic phrase “Itchy, tasty”.
Unfortunately, Iwao parted ways with Capcom during the writing of Resident Evil 2, leaving the completion of the story up to Kamiya and his new partner Noboru Sugimura, the game’s scenario writer at the time. Sugimura’s influence on the game’s narrative came from a very different perspective, given that he had only played the first Resident Evil from a fan’s perspective and not a developer. Kamiya attributes this outsider view with the creation of Ada Wong’s infiltration mission and the decision to make Claire a Redfield sibling, thus creating a stronger link to the first game.
Sugimura is also directly responsible for the continuation of the Umbrella Corporation as the series’ primary antagonistic force up until Resident Evil 4. According to Kamiya, he wanted to have players destroy Umbrella at the climax of Resident Evil 2 to give them a sense of completion but Sugimura argued against this. From his perspective, the ongoing threat of Umbrella would be akin to James Bond’s life long conflict with the shadowy S.P.E.C.T.R.E. organization and ultimately the choice was made to follow Sugimura’s advice.