With Resident Evil Village out now and many having played through the game and gotten to its ending, we can finally talk about this- this is a momentous game, especially in terms of the implications it has for the series, its story, and its future. Resident Evil Village follows up on the story of RE7, and throughout the game, we make revelations and discover secrets that not only shed new light on the events of its direct predecessor, but also other parts of the series’ lore that go way, way further back in the timeline, while also setting up intriguing things for the future of the franchise. But what are those exactly? Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss.
Resident Evil Village’s final hour or so are quite dramatic. After spending the whole game beating the four Lords of the titular village, Ethan finally has a face-to-face encounter with Miranda, who, it is revealed, was able to use the powers of the megamycete (which is essentially the hive mind of all things Mold in the Resident Evil universe) to take the form of Mia Winters, capture the realm Mia, and take her place in the Winters household some time back. She did this to capture Rosemary, the Winters’ newborn daughter, and it was this fake Mia that was supposedly killed by Chris and his Hound Wolf BSAA squad in the beginning of the game. Of course, Miranda didn’t really die then, and while what Chris’ squad thought was her body was being transported, she attacked the squad, killing many of them, then took Rose and fled.
So why exactly does she want Rose? Well, Miranda, you see, is over a hundred years old. It is revealed that she used to have a daughter, a little girl named Eva, who died during the outbreak of the Spanish Influenza in the early 1900s. Miranda lost herself for a good while after that, understandably enough, but as luck would have it, she came up a secluded cave in Eastern Europe, where she found the megamycete. Using the powers of the megamycete and the Mold, she was able to experiment with things such as prolonged lifespans (pretty much to the point of immortality) and incredible powers and capabilities, and she realized that she could use these powers to bring her dead daughter back to life. For years upon years upon years, she conducted experiments on people, with or without their consent, turning many into mutated monstrosities (such as the lycans we fight throughout the course of Resident Evil Village). The four Lords of the Village were also her experiments.
What exactly was she experimenting with though? She was looking for “vessels”- bodies that she could use to resurrect Eva, and up until a certain point, even though a couple of the four Lords came close to being the vessels she needed for that purpose (especially Alcina Dimitrescu), none of them were really the perfect vessel she was looking for. And then she discovered Rose- Rose, as it turned out, was the perfect vessel, thanks to her parentage.
Mia Winters was, of course, infected with the Mold during the events of Resident Evil 7, but in Village, it is shockingly revealed that even Ethan Winters was. In fact, right at the beginning of RE7, when Ethan was captured by Jack Baker, he wasn’t just captured- he was outright killed, and then infected with the Mold. Ever since then, Ethan’s entire body, his very existence, has been a collection of the Mold working together to keep him alive and kicking. That’s how Ethan is able to take so much punishment, from losing fingers to getting hooks sliced through his hand to losing entire limbs and then miraculously being able to reattach them with just a few splashes of first aid meds. And as a naturally born child of two Mold-infected parents (one of whom is not just Mold-infected, but Mold-resurrected), Rose is the perfect vessel for Miranda to bring Eva back to life.
So back to Miranda and Ethan’s first face-to-face meeting- which ends rather prematurely, because Miranda, well, kills him by pulling his heart out of his body. At this point, you take control of Chris Redfield, who infiltrates the village with his Wolf Hound Squad. Chris, it is revealed, has gone rogue, no longer following the BSAA’s orders, and has been tracking down and trying to kill Miranda ever since the events of RE7. With his squad, he enters the village, and soon, he plants a bomb on the megamycete in order to destroy the Mold entirely once and for all, intending to detonate the bomb once he and his squad are out of the village. He still intends to kill Miranda though, so he proceeds further ahead, and soon comes upon the underground room that essentially serves as Miranda’s base of operations. Miranda isn’t there, of course- she is off at the ceremony city in the village where she intends to complete the ceremony and bring Eva back through Rose. But in this room, Chris makes several crucial discoveries.
For starters, it is revealed that Eveline, the little girl that was seemingly the origin point of the Mold virus in Resident Evil 7, was created in part because of Miranda. Miranda, you see, was working with The Connections in her continued attempts to bring her daughter back, but even though their experiment resulted in the creation of a girl who looked like Eva and had extremely impressive (and terrifying) powers, Miranda largely deemed the experiment a failure, and decided to move on from her collaboration with The Connections. But again, in a roundabout way, for her the experiment was a success after all, because Eveline would go on to infect both Mia and Ethan, who would, in turn, go on to give birth to the BOW-human hybrid Rose.
But the biggest secret that Chris discovers in this room is, of course, the origins of Umbrella Corporation. It is revealed that Umbrella founder Ozwell E. Spencer knew Miranda personally- years before he started experimenting with the Progenitor Virus, he was a student of Miranda’s, and she was where he not only started developing his ideas and ambitions that would lead to his pretty much messing the whole world up, but was also where he first started experimenting with and learning about the usage of viruses and parasites to “enhance” the physical human form. He did disagree with Miranda on one vital aspect though- while she wanted to use this knowledge to bring back only her daughter, Spencer, being Spencer, wanted to change and reinvent the entire human race. And so he left Miranda, but decided to pay homage to his time with her in a different way. He named his company Umbrella Corporation, after the symbol that is spotted in the caves in the village, which also serves as the crest of the four Lords of the village collectively.
As big of a revelation as that is, Chris obviously doesn’t have time to sit down and reminisce. He finds Mia in a cage in this room as well, and she reveals to him the truth abut Ethan- and at this point, it is also revealed that Ethan still isn’t dead. Somehow, the Mold inside him is keeping him going, even though his body is failing at this point. We take control of Ethan once again, track down Miranda, and engage in a final, dramatic boss fight with her. Ethan manages to kill her, and then with Rose, he and Chris begin making their way out of the village to Chris’ extraction chopper. But Ethan’s body is failing at this point, and Ethan also knows that once the megamycete dies, he won’t stick around for much longer. He hands Rose to Chris, takes the detonator from him, and forces him to leave him behind and go further ahead.
As Chris, Rose, and Mia fly away, Ethan detonates the bomb, sacrificing himself (which is unusual for a Resident Evil game, in that we’ve never really seen a recurring main protagonist ever being killed off in this series before), while also destroying the village and the megamycete. At this point, back in the chopper, one of Chris’ soldiers shows him the body of a BSAA agent from the squad that was sent by the organization to the village while his own operation was going on as well, and it’s shown that the dead soldier is very zombie-like in its appearance- the BSAA, it seems, is making and using BOW soldiers. Chris orders his soldiers to head for the BSAA’s headquarters, and he’s clearly pissed.
There’s more, however. Resident Evil Village’s post-credits scene jumps forward by 15-20 years, and we see a grown up Rose paying her respects to Ethan at his grave. After having a brief conversation with her father’s tombstone, she turns around and heads to a black van with a man in a suit in front of it. The implication, of course, is that Chris took her under his wing, and that she has been training under his tutelage and has become a super agent of sorts. The man in the suit teases Rose by calling her “Eva”, but Rose fails to see the humour in it, pinning the agent against the car and warning her that she’s got capabilities that even Chris doesn’t know about. A distant sniper with Rose in his crosshairs tells the agent in his ear that he has a clear shot on Rose, but the agent tells him to stand down, and then apologizes to Rose. Together, the agent and the Rose get in the car and drive away, with the words “The father’s story is now done” being shown on the screen. Interestingly enough, we also see a distant figure walking towards the car for a couple of seconds right before the scene fades to black.
So what does it all mean? Well, for starters, as a user on Reddit recently discovered, that distant figure may very well be Ethan Winters- use the game’s photo mode during the cutscene, and you can see that it’s Ethan’s model, which might very strongly be suggesting that he is still alive. How he is still alive (if he is) would be interesting to see, what with the megamycete and the Mold completely gone. Maybe he’s just a figment of Rose’s imagination. Of course, Resident Evil is not averse to bringing dead characters back to life (remember how many times Albert Wesker “died” before he actually, really died?), so maybe the series isn’t completely done with Ethan Winters just yet.
More importantly, what exactly is the ending setting up? Well, it could go in one of two directions. It’s setting up one story for Chris, in which the BSAA has turned into an evil corporation, Umbrella-style, and Chris is intent on bringing them down. And then it’s setting up a sequel where we play as Rose, with all her powers and regenerative abilities and what have you. The latter should be interesting, because logically, all of RE’s main protagonists will be old as hell at that point, so we might not be able to play as them anymore. Sure, ageing hasn’t really been a factor in Resident Evil games in the past, but come on- there’s a huge difference between being in your 40s and being in your 60s. Unless Capcom wants to go full Old Snake with with its protagonists, I don’t see the likes of Chris, Leon, Claire, and Jill returning as playable characters in this storyline set 15-20 years in the future. Or maybe Rose just has accelerated ageing, and the time jump is not that big.
Maybe Resident Evil 9 will put the spotlight on Rose, with Chris taking centrestage in an upcoming DLC for Village. Maybe Chris’ story will be picked up in a non-numbered sequel or spinoff. Maybe Resident Evil 9 will have both present and future storylines. It remains to be seen. Either way, with so many potential narrative threads to pick up and follow up on, the future certainly looks interesting for Resident Evil.
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