SP ITEM ANALYSIS FAQ James Clinton Howell I: Introduction II: Scenario Items A: Wild Things B: Underbelly C: Flashback D: Desperate Times E: End of the Road III: Character Items A: Kevin Ryman B: Mark Wilkins C: Jim Chapman D: George Hamilton E: David King F: Alyssa Ashcroft G: Yoko Suzuki H: Cindy Lennox IV: Conclusions V: Legal Disclaimer I: Introduction. The purpose of this FAQ is to document, cite, and describe the SP Items (Special Items) found in Capcom's 2005 release _Resident Evil: Outbreak, File 2_. In the first _Outbreak_, we found that the eight main characters' backstories were alluded to by their SP Items' descriptions. In this FAQ, along with the purposes stated above, I intend to comment when it seems relevant on the connections that a given SP Item has to the environment, the characters, and to the _Resident Evil_ mythos. While this FAQ contains obscenities, it only does so within the bounds established by the video game, _Resident Evil Outbreak, File 2_. Such obscenities occur within the documented portions of the game, and, when appropriate for the content of the concluding analyses, these same obscenities are cited. II: Scenario Items Following are lists of the SP Items that are particular to a given scenario. Usually, these items and their descriptions give a more detailed description of the locations and the Outbreak characters associated with those locations. A: Wild Things 1: SILVER SPOON (Elephant Restaurant) "A spoon with an elaborate design. There is an elephant pattern carved on it." 2: RESTAURANT COUPON (Back Alley) "A coupon for the Elephant Restaurant. It appears to be expired, though." 3: ADMISSION TICKET (South Concourse) "A special zoo ticket allowing for a family discount. It's already been torn in two." 4: "RACCOON SNACKS" (South Concourse) "'Brand new! Funky banana flavor.' Looks like some sort of animal food." 5: PLUSH LION (East Concourse) "A stuffed animal in the shape of the zoo's famous lion, Max." 6: PLUSH ELEPHANT (Office) "A stuffed animal in the shape of the zoo's most popular attraction, Oscar the elephant." 7: BIRD TIE TACK (Inner Office) "A tie tack in the shape of an Indian Hornbill. This has got to be one of the tackiest things I've ever seen." 8: SNAKE ASHTRAY (Supply Room) "An ashtray in the shape of a coiled snake. Quite a twisted little item." 9: PAY STUB (Supply Room) "A pay stub for a part-time job. At $12 an hour, the pay is clearly above average." 10: FEATHER PEN (Terrarium Dome) "A nice fountain pen fitted with a Hornbill feather. This wouldn't be a good pen to use at work." 11: HIGH TECH PLANTER (Terrarium Dome) "'Just push the GROW button on the front and watch your plants react!' This can't really work . . . can it?" 12: WETSUIT (Lakeside Area) "There are tiny holes opened up around the abdomen. It almost looks like a bite mark . . . ." 13: GATOR WASHBOARD (Lakeside Area) "A washboard in the shape of an alligator's back. Does anyone still use these?" 14: "EXPAND YOUR MIND" (Observation Deck) "'Become a true man through the teachings of the Han Dynasty!' Looks like a book of Austin's . . . ." COMMENTS: While Austin isn't given a lot of time on screen, his character (from the in-game file describing his excellence at game hunting) seems aggressive and masculine. 15: "POWER MANURE" (Stage) "'Now with 16 times the fertilizing power of ordinary home-use manures!'" 16: SUN VISOR (Front Gate Plaza) "A cheap-looking zoo souvenir for kids and people with bad fashion sense." 17: GREEN UMBRELLA (Front Gate) "An olive-colored umbrella emblazoned with a large Umbrella Corporation logo." 18: ALLIGATOR HANDBAG (Service Road) "A very expensive looking alligator skin handbag. Someone dropped this here in the zoo?" 19: SNAKESKIN TIE (Path In Front Of Observation Deck) "A slim necktie made of shiny snakeskin. I bet it'd be a hassle finding a shirt to match this." 20: TUSK KNIFE (Elephant Stage) "A letter opener-type knife with an imitation ivory handle. Must be a zoo souvenir." B: Underbelly 1: MANNERS POSTER (East Entrance) "A poster hung in subway cars reminding patrons to mind their manners." 2: "99 QUESTIONS" (West Entrance) "A trivia quiz book for kids sold at station kiosks." COMMENTS: I transcribed the item description exactly as it is found in the game, punctuation (or lack thereof) and all. Raccoon City sells kids at station kiosks?! 3: SILVER UMBRELLA (West Ticket Gate) "A silver umbrella emblazoned with a large Umbrella Corporation logo." COMMENTS: Further evidence that Umbrella had Raccoon City completely in its pocket. 4: "THE INQUISITOR" (West Ticket Gate) "A monthly gossip magazine. There's a story about the mayor on the cover of this issue." 5: TICKET BOOK (East Ticket Gate) "A booklet of 12 subway tickets featuring a drawing of 'Mr. Raccoon' on the cover." 6: COMMUTER PASS (East Concourse) "A 6-month subway commuter pass. The name 'Ben Burtolucci' is written on it." COMMENTS: At the top of the stairs to one of the Ticket Gate areas, you will find a briefcase whose contents are scattered across the stairs. The initials on the case read "B.B." Some have speculated that the initials indicate Barry Burton as the suitcase's owner. I expect, however, that the suitcase belonged to our favorite fated journalist, Ben Burtolucci. He seems to have been attacked in the subway before heading to RPD Headquarters. 7: EVACUATION GUIDE (West Concourse) "A pamphlet on emergency evacuation. The writing is faded and illegible." COMMENTS: This pamphlet might have been useful, if it hadn't been neglected. 8: TEST BOOK (West Concourse) "A book of questions for prospective subway employees. It's really thick." COMMENTS: My bet is that Jim aced this test. 9: ROAD MAP (West Concourse) "A comprehensive map of all the highways and byways in Raccoon City and the surrounding area." 10: WET MATCHES (Subway Car) "An emergency box of matches. It's wet, though, so the matches won't ignite." COMMENTS: Likely, the owner of these matches became caught in the deluge following the breach in the pipes in the Pump Room. 11: BUTTON (Subway Car) "A souvenir button with subway maps drawn on it. I hear there are collectors into these." 12: AD POSTER (Subway Car) "An advertisement for hanging in trains for 'Umbrella Noodles.' 'A full stomach at only 110 cal'!" COMMENTS: Umbrella seems to have a vested interest in full stomachs. 13: SUBWAY CAP (Break Room) "The cap that subway workers wear as part of their uniform. It's brand new and the nametag is still blank." 14: EMPLOYEE ID CARD (Break Room) "Looks like an ID card for subway employees. It's dirty, but the name 'Ricky' is still readable." COMMENTS: The card's owner is most probably Jim's friend, Ricky, who can be found dead on a toilet in one of the men's rooms. 15: EMERGENCY RATIONS (Storage Room) "'Ready to eat in only 3 minutes!' I bet it tastes like crap, though." 16: RULEBOOK (East Tunnel) "A book of rules and regulations for subway employees. Looks pretty dull." 17: "FEAR OF THE DARK" (Pump Room) "A book designed to counsel people who are afraid of the dark." COMMENTS: This SP Item, too, probably belonged to Ricky. The journal found in his corpse's breast pocket is clear about his fear of darkness. 18: RED ORB (Refuse Dump) "A glowing red crystal orb. When you look closely, a face is vaguely visible in it. Creepy." 19: "MOLEMEN ATTACK!" (Platform) "A cheesy horror novel about a race of 'Molemen' attacking the 'surface world'." 20: EMPLOYEE LIST (Control Room) "A list of employees of the city transit system. Jim Chapman's name is listed." C: Flashback 1: "TALK TO PLANTS" (Cabin) "'Plants have feelings, too!' This book is full of touchy feely nonsense like that." COMMENTS: Since it's found right beside Al's desk (along with his other paperwork), I expect that he identifies with the book as a way of strengthening his insane belief that the plant in Flashback is Dorothy. 2: RUSTY RING (Cabin) "A rusty and dirty ring. The inscription reads 'Eternal love'." COMMENTS: This is most likely Al or Dorothy's wedding band. This whole scenario has a very "Little Shop of Horrors" feel to it. 3: SKETCHBOOK (Cabin) "A patient must have left this behind. The drawings are very strange. Hard to describe . . . ." COMMENTS: Is this Dorothy's last attempt to express and communicate, as Umbrella's drugs incapacitated her? 4: GUIDE SIGN (In Front of Cabin) "A sign taken from a post in the forest. It's been rendered illegible by the vines covering it." COMMENTS: Apparently, Al has plotted the disorientation of hikers for a while, going so far as to sabotage trail signs, so the lost hikers would be at his mercy as a guide. 5: BAIT WORM (River Bank) "A worm used for fishing bait. It's alive, but it's barely moving." COMMENTS: Perhaps this SP Item suggests how Al keeps himself alive, in between slaughters. 6: FLOWER BOOKMARK (Suspension Bridge) "A bookmark made of pressed flowers. It smells sweet." 7: CRIMSON UMBRELLA (Hospital Back Gate) "A blood-colored umbrella emblazoned with a large Umbrella Corporation logo." 8: RUSTY NIGHTSTICK (Hospital Back Gate) "A metal nightstick used by night watchmen. It's so rusty, it looks like it could crumble." COMMENTS: This seems like an appropriate item to find near the derelict security post at the hospital's back gates. 9: PROTEST HANDBILL (Hospital Back Gate) "A flyer seeking participants for a protest by families of victims of malpractice." COMMENTS: Those who drew up this flyer probably reacted to the hospital deaths resulting from the use of patients as Umbrella test subjects. 10: PATIENT LIST (Reception Office) "The ink is smudged, so most of the names aren't legible, but I can make out the name 'Kurt'." COMMENTS: Apparently, Kurt was "admitted" to the hospital following his investigation. 11: "LAST MOMENTS" (Examination Room) "A book about making a patient's last moments before death comfortable. I'd rather not think about this now." COMMENTS: This SP Item is found in the exact same place where the FINE STETHOSCOPE item (below) is found. Apparently, whoever was being treated in this bed was important. It's also interesting that the patient room is boarded up, perhaps to protect from defilement. I expect that this is the room where Dorothy died, though I don't think it's common practice to treat a terminal patient in an examination room. 12: FINE STETHOSCOPE (Examination Room) "A stethoscope made of the finest materials. The head is made of titanium-infused gold." 13: NITROGLYCERINE (Pharmacy) "There are only a few pills left in this bottle of claustrophobia treating capsules." 14: MEDICINE BOTTLE (Pharmacy) "An empty prescription medicine bottle that's so old, it's label has been faded beyond legibility." 15: TORN NURSE UNIFORM (Locker Room) "A nurse's uniform that's been violently torn at the seams. Looks like it's been sitting here a while." 16: RUSTY STETHOSCOPE (Storage Room) "An old stethoscope that's gotten rusty from being left outside in bad weather. It's useless now." 17: EXAM POSTER (Main Building 2F Hall) "A poster promoting regular medical checkups." 18: NAMETAG (Room 201) "A nametag worn by hospital staff. The surface is covered in scratches that render the name unreadable." 19: OLD PILLS (Room 202) "This worn and dirty envelope contains prescription medicine for someone named Dorothy." COMMENTS: Apparently, Room 202 was one of Dorothy's dying haunts. 20: FLOWER BLOCKS (Room 202) "A set of children's building blocks with illustrations of flowers in place of traditional letters." D: Desperate Times 1: DONUTS (East Office) "A half-eaten box of donuts. The only ones left are low-fat sugarless ones." COMMENTS: OMFG T3H P1GG3H CAWPS! 2: RPD MASCOT (East Office) "This is a tiny keychain type toy of the RPD mascot. It's cute." 3: COMPLAINT LIST (East Office) "A dissatisfied cop has written all his complaints down in a numbered list. He seems really pissed." COMMENTS: Could this be a final word from Chris Redfield, angered at RPD's inactivity toward Umbrella? 4: KEVIN'S BOTTLE (East Office) "A small bottle of cheap gin. There's a note taped to it that says, 'HANDS OFF'!" COMMENTS: Kevin's poverty becomes more pronounced. This item is found in the employee refrigerator. Apparently, Kevin is quite protective of what little he can call his property. 5: IRON'S LIQUOR (East Office) "The Chief's secret stash of booze. Has he been drinking this at work?" 6: INDIGESTION PILLS (East Office) "Marvin takes these pills almost every day. Apparently, he suffers from gastrointestinal distress." COMMENTS: A few things are troublesome, here. First, Marvin's indigestion pills are found in the trash can. Second, Irons' liquor stash is hidden beside the PC on the East Office's private office's desk. Marvin's indigestion pills also share the trash can with the next SP Item, the New Recruit List. If the madness and the obsession with dark artwork weren't enough, I'd expect irritation with Irons' unprofessional approach to his officers' medical conditions and the new recruits would have gotten at least a few eyes raised. 7: NEW RECRUIT LIST (East Office) "A list of newly recruited police officers reporting for duty. At the top of the list is Leon S. Kennedy." 8: SKY BLUE UMBRELLA (Main Hall) "A light blue umbrella emblazoned with a large Umbrella Corporation logo." 9: MARVIN'S CARD (Police Station Front Entrance) "An ID card that all Raccoon City Police Officers carry. The magnetic strip on the back is worn down." 10: SEARCH LIST (Reception Desk) "A list of suspects who have warrants issued. Thankfully, there's no one I know listed." 11: MEMENTO PHOTO (Night-Duty Room) "A photo from a police shooting competition. Kevin stands in the foreground holding a trophy." COMMENTS: A police shooting competition? "Shoot five or more cops, and win five consecutive life sentences!" 12: "PLEASANT GARDEN" (Emergency Stairwell) "A book on home gardening. The name 'Aaron' is written on the inside cover." 13: EXPENSE REPORT (Witness Interrogation Room) "It says 'undercover supplies' and lists an expensive boutique." COMMENTS: Does Brian Irons have something in common with J. Edgar Hoover? 14: COLLAPSING BATON (Underground Parking Garage) "A button-operated nightstick that collapses for portability. When extended, it doesn't seem sturdy." 15: "SIT, STAY, BEG" (Kennel) "An instructional book dealing with dog training. Someone named Tony has written his name on the cover." COMMENTS: Tony is the RPD cop waiting in the Reception Office, just off the main room with the statue. (I wonder if he dog ears his pages.) 16: RPD BADGE (Autopsy Room) "A brand new Raccoon City Police Department badge." COMMENTS: When the badges of new RPD cops show up fresh and unstained in the morgue, you might want to reconsider your training procedures. 17: "RACCOON WEEKLY" (Holding Cells) "A weekly news magazine. The cover says, 'Fred, In His Own Words'." COMMENTS: This item is found right outside Ben's cell. Since he's one of the few reporters who are "in the know" regarding Umbrella's relationship with Raccoon City, the fact that he's reading a local magazine that gives voice to Raccoon City's political elite suggests that he's becoming restless. 18: AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Holding Cells) "The autobiography of Brian Irons. On the back cover is written 'The Power of Justice'." COMMENTS: This item is found outside the cell that holds the two prisoners. I guess they like keeping up with the higher up criminals. 19: PAPERWORK (Main Hall) "A bundle of old forms bound with twine. The one on top is titled 'Standards and Procedures'." COMMENTS: Notice that Irons' liquor is found where the paperwork should be. 20: CREDIT CARD (Underground Parking Garage) "It's cut in half and unusable. Must belong to a Police Officer." COMMENTS: Given Kevin's obsessions with gambling, drinking, smoking, and racking up bills, I think it's safe to assume that the credit card is in the name "Kevin Ryman." E: END OF THE ROAD 1: VIOLET UMBRELLA (Waiting Room) "A plum-colored umbrella emblazoned with a large Umbrella Corporation logo." COMMENTS: It may be in poor taste, but: since Umbrella evidently specialized in marketing umbrellas with their logos, would it be fair to say that the Umbrella corporation literally went over the citizens of Raccoon City's heads? 2: ATTENDANCE SHEET (Reference Room) "A table listing all the officers at the station along with photos. Half of it has been torn off." COMMENTS: I'm curious to know what sort of officers and station this item description refers to. Does it refer to RPD officers? Would the absent photos and names suggest that those officers have been eliminated, as per the STARS Bravo and Alpha teams? 3: LAUGHING GAS SPRAY "A spray canister of dinitrogen monoxide used by special forces to calm their nerves." COMMENTS: I wonder if this was left by one of the UCBS soldiers, or if it's a sedative for the individuals who undergo Tyrant transformation. 4: TORN ID CARD (Experimentation Lab) "Some sort of ID card. It's been partially shredded by some sort of claws." 5: MOVIE TICKET STUB (Observation Mezzanine) "A ticket stub to an action/horror movie. I think this one starred that actor from Raccoon City." COMMENTS: An Umbrella researcher attending a horror film reminds me of Hamlet's attempt to rouse Claudius into admitting treason by "play- acting" his father's murder in front of him. (Not for one second do I believe that this sort of parallel is intended on Capcom's behalf.) 6: HYPNO GLASSES (Observation Mezzanine) "Glasses whose lenses are covered with a swirl pattern like in cartoons." COMMENTS: It seems like that Movie Ticket Stub, the Hypno Glasses, and the Hurried Note all belong to Carter, the Umbrella Scientist who operated the Mr. X in "End of the Road." I guess Capcom is trying to convey his nerdiness. 7: HURRIED NOTE (Observation Mezzanine) "Looks like someone wrote this on the run. The handwriting is a total mess. I can't make out a word." COMMENTS: I expect that this is Carter's note. This item is found at the workstation in the Observation Mezzanine where you USE the MO DISC, after releasing the Tyrant. 8: DETECTIVE MANUAL (Nursery) "This booklet deals with the analysis of fingerprints. It's hard to grasp and not particularly well-written." COMMENTS: This book may have belonged to Linda, whose cooperation with Rodriguez suggests that she was not working in accordance with Umbrella's goals. Possibly, she was researching how fingerprints are traced, to avoid leaving any of hers behind on Umbrella's equipment. 9: SEALED EYE MASK (Drainage Area) "A mask used for blocking out light when sleeping. It's brand new and still in the package." 10: CAPSULE RING (Drainage Area) "The jewel mounted on this ring is actually a tiny compartment used to store medicinal capsules." 11: UNIVERSAL REMOTE (Underground Waterworks) "This handy remote control activates everything from home computers to automatic garage doors." 12: TEMP REGULATOR (Underground Waterworks) "This device is used to regulate and maintain body temperature in extreme cold. It's broken, though." 13: UCBS Vest (Behind the Residential Area) "A bulletproof vest used by Umbrella's special forces unit. It's covered in blood and bullet holes." COMMENTS: The bulletproof vest may have belonged to a UCBS soldier who turned into a zombie, and was then fired upon. However, the item's description may also allude to a gunfight between the UCBS units and the US Army units called in to handle Raccoon City's outbreak. 14: TOY SHOVEL (Behind the Residential Area) "This must have been dropped by a fleeing child. It's got blood on it . . . ." 15: DRIED FOOD (Break Room) "Dried rations designed to be eaten with no preparation. From the way it looks, I don't want to try it." COMMENTS: First: at this point, why would anyone consider eating anything found in an Umbrella research laboratory? Second: Umbrella seems to treat their employees badly. Considering the low budget they assigned to their employees' morale, the fact that an outbreak occurred in Raccoon City becomes less and less surprising. 16: DANGER LIST (Main Street North) "'All who oppose the organization must be dealt with . . . .' The list of names beneath is written in code." COMMENTS: I'm guessing that the names "Jill Valentine" and "Chris Redfield" (along with Greg's from File 1) were included in this list. 17: "LANDMINE TACTICS" (Main Street North) "A book about how to spot and deal with landmines. I'm glad that I don't have to deal with that, too." COMMENTS: This SP Item is meant to be found after the player enters the Main Street North area from the ladder. (Obviously, the "I'm glad that I don't have to deal with that, too" remark doesn't make sense if the character has just run through the minefield that bridges Main Street North with the sewers.) Given the presence of a large military chopper and automatic weapons around, though, wouldn't it seem logical to assume that, if the soldiers are worrying about landmines, they should worry about landmines, too? 18: BLOODY DOLL (In Front of Apple Inn) "Covered in blood and tears, this doll tells the tale of its owner's last miserable moments." 19: USS ARMBAND (Under the Highway Overpass) "A military armband with division and rank written on it. Maybe I could sell it to a collector." COMMENTS: I'm still impressed that Umbrella had an army. I mean, doesn't the fact that the company has been building up a private militia suggest that it's doing something that other people might not like? 20: "TRAPS" (Rooftop-Elevated Roadway) "A book detailing the setting of various traps. This could be dangerous in the wrong hands." III: Character Items Here, you will read names and descriptions of the character-specific SP Items. As before, comments suggesting connections between the SP Items and anything else in the Resident Evil mythos will be appended to the descriptions. Since the SP Items are organized first by character, then by scenario, I have put the character's name in parentheses after the name of the scenario, to make this document easier to browse. One note on the text of the character-specific SP Items' descriptions: the narrative perspective of the scenario-specific SP Items' descriptions is the same regardless of who examines them. The character-specific SP Items' descriptions have the narrative perspective of the given character. Each of the item descriptions that follow reflect the individual characters' biases, memories, and personal reactions. A: Kevin Ryman WILD THINGS (Kevin) 1: FLANNEL SHIRT (Supply Room) "A fantastic flannel shirt made of really soft fabric. This is part of a very limited run. Nice find." COMMENTS: Who knew that Kevin was a connoisseur of flannel? 2: SPARKPLUG LIGHTER (North Concourse) "For a guy like me who digs cars, this is a pretty cool item. Doesn't seem to work, though." 3: "MAKE UP FOR LOSS" (Inner Office) "'Improve your judgment, knowledge, work ethic, and more!' I certainly don't need this!" COMMENTS: Again, highlighting Kevin's non-introspective recklessness. 4: BALL CAP (Connecting Passage) "This is my favorite team. I sure hope we win the pennant this year . . . ." UNDERBELLY (Kevin) 1: BASKETBALL SHOES (Break Room) "The commercial for these shoes starred that big shot player. They're really expensive." COMMENTS: Since these shoes were found in the employee break room, and since Jim has a fascination in shoes, I wonder if these belonged to Jim. 2: CIGARETTE WARNING (West Entrance) "'WARNING: Smoking is hazardous to your health.' Yeah? I've got bigger fish to fry right now . . . ." COMMENTS: Seriously, the Marlboro Man's got NOTHING on a Tyrant. 3: BEER COUPON (West Ticket Gate) "From a famous brewery. This coupon offers all you can drink! Better use it before it expires." 4: PORTABLE ASHTRAY (Men's Staff Restroom) "A tiny, circular metallic ashtray so small, you'd forget you're carrying it. Too small to even hold a butt." COMMENTS: Remember, folks, Kevin is a cop who smokes and drinks, not as wholesome as S.T.A.R.S.'s very own Chris Redfield who, after some censorship of the original Resident Evil's opening footage, became a non-smoker. FLASHBACK (Kevin) 1: HAIRSPRAY (Storage Room) "It bleaches the hair as it styles. Maybe it's time to show the world my new look . . . ." COMMENTS: This is part of Kevin's set of SP Items that unlocks his new costume, "Lone Wolf '87." Quite clearly, Kevin wants to have been named "Corey" and wants to have starred in an angsty, teen-oriented movie about finding friendship among diversity. 2: DUSTCLOTH (Reception Office) "A dustcloth with soap built in. Even without water, it's perfect for washing cars and windows." 3: OLD BASEBALL (Room 201) "A filthy old ball coming apart at the seams. Reminds me of my childhood." COMMENTS: I wonder why the baseball is in Room 201. It may be an artifact of a former patient, or it may be a relic from one of Al's former victims. 4: KEY CASE (Room 202) "A stylish old leather key case. It's uniqueness and casual design suits me perfectly." COMMENTS: I wonder if this item is part of the remains of a police officer sent to investigate the murders in the hospital. After all, Alyssa has recollection of the place; why would Kevin, whose coworkers investigated the murders officially, not also have memories of the place? DESPERATE TIMES (Kevin) 1: VINTAGE JACKET (Night-Duty Room) "A really rare vintage leather jacket. It's in great shape, too. I'm feelin' lucky." COMMENTS: Kevin works with anyone whose belongings would be in the Night Duty Room of RPD Headquarters. I assume he knows the former owner of the jacket, and is pleased on some level that circumstances have arisen to divest the former owner of his jacket. 2: "HEDONISM" (East Office) "'Forget about always thinking of consequences and responsibility. Do what you want. Now!'" COMMENTS: What if what I want is to think of consequences and responsibility? 3: RACE POSTER (Reception Desk) "A poster advertising a car race. This is a big event. I can't wait to check it out!" 4: S.T.A.R.S. Badge (2F East Hall) "A badge from the legendary S.T.A.R.S. team. There's blood spattered on it." COMMENTS: Since Brad Vickers is the only S.T.A.R.S. member left who's been near the RPD Headquarters building since the Outbreak by the time that the "Desperate Times" scenario occurs, I presume that this S.T.A.R.S. badge belonged to him. Possibly, it was lost while he was being pursued by Nemesis. END OF THE ROAD (Kevin) 1: USED JEANS (Floodgate Control Room) "A pair of used stone-washed jeans. They'll make a nice addition to my wardrobe. What a find!" COMMENTS: Apparently, Kevin has been crossing his fingers waiting for a riot so he finally can afford to update his wardrobe to the fashions of 1987. 2: CAR AIR FRESHENER (Examination Room) "This smells really fresh and invigorating. It's got a big Umbrella logo on it, though." COMMENTS: Does it cost extra to order my custom Hunters scented pine? 3: STRONG GLOVE (Footbridge) "A heavy-duty glove designed to withstand the rigors of hard work, martial arts, and even fire." COMMENTS: This sounds like a power-up from a vaguely Engrish game for the NES. 4: "ULTIMATE CLEAN" (Special Research Room) "A book that details how to organize your belongings. I think I bought this. Can't remember where I put it." COMMENTS: "Ultimate Clean" as a title for a house-cleaning self-help book is so deliciously Engrish, I want to rip Japan right off the map and have it surgically bound to my vitals. B: Mark Wilkins WILD THINGS (Mark) 1: ARMY SHIRT (East Concourse) "This shirt is justice and patriotism woven into cloth. I used to feel that way when I was younger . . . ." COMMENTS: Mark's last comment in the SP Item's description suggests that he is disillusioned with America. 2: EZ COOKING 4 MEN (East Concourse) "'Your family will love you if you cook for them!' I'd like to try it, but could it really be that easy?" 3: SPECIAL DETERGENT (Show Animals' Boarding House) "This is the industrial use stuff that dry cleaners use. 'Makes your soul as clean as your sheets.'" COMMENTS: I guess if Umbrella can raise the dead, literally, they can market a chemical that will redeem the soul as well. 4: CLUB TICKETS (South Concourse) "I thought I'd taken my son along to get to know him better. There must be some way to connect with him . . . ." COMMENTS: Mark seems typical of many military fathers whose sons have not also joined the service. His manner of thinking is out of sync with a son who has a different understanding of authority, though he loves his son very much. UNDERBELLY (Mark) 1: ARMY PANTS (Platform) "A pair of well made military slacks. The fabric is breathable. Hmm . . . they look like they may fit." 2: SALE FLYER (West Entrance) "A flyer from a nearby butcher shop. Damn. I've never seen steak this cheap! What kind of meat is this?" COMMENTS: How can Mark still want to eat meat in the middle of Raccoon City's cannibalism? 3: FORBIDDEN RECIPE (East Concourse) "The super secret recipe of a famous chef. No outsider has seen this. I bet my wife would want this." COMMENTS: As may be seen in his physique, Mark loves eating. 4: AFRO WIG (Storage Room) "With this, even the most straight-laced person can feel a little soul. Dunno if it'd look good on me." FLASHBACK (Mark) 1: MEDAL (Suspension Bridge) "An Army medal to be pinned to the breast of a uniform. Actually, it's a convincing replica. How nostalgic." 2: LIQUOR AD (Hospital Back Gate) "An ad for a liquor store. What!? A 99 cent case of beer!? No . . . I can't give in to temptation!" COMMENTS: A few things are weird about this. First, Mark's line "I can't give in to temptation" suggests a past experience with alcoholism. So why would he have been in a bar during the "Outbreak" scenario of File 1? Second, he's getting excited about a 99 cent case of beer, on an advertisement found at a hospital that's been abandoned for five years. Temptation aside, I doubt that an advertisement that old would still be valid. 3: OPERA TICKETS (Administrator's Office) "A pair of tickets to a famous opera. Good seats, too. If I make it out of this, I'll invite the wife." 4: COOKING SET (Main Building 2F Hall) "A cutting board, knife, and a small crock pot. Cooking, huh? Maybe I should give it a shot." COMMENTS: Given what Mark's family's fate seems to be, he'd better start learning to cook if he wants to survive after surviving Raccoon City. DESPERATE TIMES (Mark) 1: ARMY CAP (East Office) "Made of a breathable fabric, this impressive hat looks pretty good on me. Dunno if that's good or bad." COMMENTS: As seen in Mark's "Mark: C" costume, the Army hat he acquires is an officer's hat. Who would have kept an Army officer's hat in the East Office of RPD Headquarters? 2: HAIR PAMPHLET (Night-Duty Room) "'We protect your privacy!' They all say that. As if you can't see my head already . . . ." 3: "CRIMINAL MIND" (1F Witness Interrogation Room) "A book on criminal psychology. This book makes you think about the motivations and meaning of crime." COMMENTS: This SP Item is appropriate to Mark's character. He seems preoccupied with issues of justice and law. 4: "JUSTICE" (Underground Parking Garage) "With a book this thick, you could understand everything and anything about justice. I guess." COMMENTS: The aloofness with which Mark comments on the contents of the book suggests that Mark finds experience a better instructor on justice than books. END OF THE ROAD (Mark) 1: LEATHER SHOES (Construction Site) "Brand-name Italian leather shoes. Shoes are important enough to spend big bucks on." COMMENTS: Or to steal during a biohazardous outbreak. Whichever. 2: ARMY GUIDE (North Waterway) "A booklet for those who've just entered the Army. Entry paperwork is attached. I don't need this." 3: Town Info Magazine (In Front of Apple Inn) "A magazine that introduces various restaurants and trends around town. Maybe I'll give this to my son . . . ." 4: NICE FLASK (Inside the Chopper) "A six ounce flask of polished silver. Bob would have loved this. I'll leave it at his grave." COMMENTS: Surprising that Mark would desire to honor Bob, still, after zombified Bob took a hunk of flesh out of Mark's shoulder in File 1. C: Jim Chapman WILD THINGS (Jim) 1: FANNY PACK (Elephant Stage) "I used to think only dumbasses wore these, but this one looks cool." 2: BASKETBALL TICKETS (Stage) "Oh, snap! This is for my team, yo! Damn! This is my lucky day! . . . Shit . . . . It's over a year old . . . ." COMMENTS: "Snap," "Yo," and "Damn" all connote hip blackness. Raccoon City may have died in the late 1990's, but it lived in the mid 1980's. 3: CHICKEN SNEAKERS (Path in Front of Observation Deck) "The name sounds stupid, but these are actually some good shoes--white with red and yellow stripes." COMMENTS: Go here for an image of chicken sneakers: http://www.geocities.com/logos_awakening/MiscImages/Chikken_Runnin.jpg 4: DEODORIZINE SPRAY (Front Gate Plaza) "'A 5 second spray lasts 5 hours! No odor too strong!' I guess I have been smellin' a little funky lately." COMMENTS: "A little funky?" The man's survival skill is his ability to pass himself off as a corpse. That sounds like more than "a little funky." UNDERBELLY (Jim) 1: BIKING SHOES (Warehouse 2) "The soles are flat so you can pedal faster. They look pretty tight." 2: CUSTOM SHOES (Warehouse 2) "A pair of shoes specially made for whoever ordered 'em. They ain't really mine but, whatever . . . ." COMMENTS: Every character in the Resident Evil Outbreak games is an unrepentant kleptomaniac. 3: MEMORIAL SNEAKERS (Breaker Room) "These were made when that famous basketballer retired. Only 34 pair were ever made. Nice find." COMMENTS: I love "basketballer." I know it comes from a Japanese mistranslation, but its compactness is Germanic. 4: WOODEN CLOGS (Refuse Dump) "Shoes carved from oak. I seen these on TV, but I ain't never seen nobody crazy enough to wear 'em outside." COMMENTS: Given that everyone who enters the woods in Raccoon City either turns up dead or reanimated, I'm surprised that the very presence of oak didn't make Jim scream like a girl. FLASHBACK (Jim) 1: WATERPROOF PARKA (Locker Room) "Damn! That's a nice parka! Thin and waterproof, with style to spare." 2: LIGHT-UP SHOES (Room 203) "Shoes that light up when you step. Maybe I'm just nuts, but even though they're for kids, I kinda like 'em." 3: CROSSWORD CARDS (Room 201) "A set of 128 crossword puzzle trading cards. A full set is pretty damn rare!" COMMENTS: Do these things exist in America, or is this SP Item Capcom's way of expressing Jim's skill with puzzles though Japanese card- collecting fads? 4: STOPWATCH (Examination Room) "A digital stopwatch. It says it's accurate to 1/1000th of a second. I could use it at work." DESPERATE TIMES (Jim) 1: RACING HELMET (1F Lobby) "A helmet molded from space-age plastic. I've been meanin' to pick one of these up anyhow." COMMENTS: "Space-age plastic?" 2: CYBER SHOES (Autopsy Room) "Disco-lookin' shoes that are a mix between futuristic design and 70's flair." COMMENTS: The fact that none of the zombies are wearing these shoes attests to the fact that no sane person even would be caught dead wearing them. 3: PERFECT DICTIONARY (Reception Desk) "'Everything from slang to dead languages! Includes blank pages to add new words!' What a rip off . . . ." COMMENTS: I had no idea that Jim, of all characters, had such high linguistic standards. 4: WRISTBAND (Kennel) "My favorite basketball player wears one just like this. Same color and everything." END OF THE ROAD (Jim) 1: RACING PANTS (Main Frame) "Pants for racin' bikes. The tag says 'No more sweat! No more fatigue!' Maybe I'll try 'em on . . . ." COMMENTS: "No more fatigue" sounds like a Japanese advertisement promising what can never be promised. 2: LUXURIOUS SHOEHORN (Waiting Room) "This is one classy item! Perfect for a gentleman like me!" COMMENTS: What quality classifies a shoehorn as "luxurious"? 3: "PUZZLE 100" (Main Street North) "'Ancient puzzles that take 100 years or more to solve.' Shit. Ain't nothin' I can't handle." COMMENTS: Apparently, Jim can solve the mystic dilemma of the Tao. 4: "SHOES MONTHLY" (Construction Site) "A magazine for crazy peeps like me who dig shoes." D: George Hamilton WILD THINGS (George) 1: EXAM SET (South Concourse) "A set of medical tools including a mask, gloves, and a cap. This isn't enough for proper surgery." 2: "WORLD MEDICINE" (Stage) "Doctors from Asia and the West collaborated to compile this book of medicine's pros and cons." COMMENTS: Some of George's character-specific SP Items raise questions of medical ethicality, and the various philosophies behind medical research. Even if the games don't comment on Umbrella's research practices, it's nice to see that they recognize that deeper themes are working in the games. 3: MR. RACCOON WATCH (Front Gate Plaza) "A children's watch of surprising quality featuring that sniveling brat of a zoo mascot." COMMENTS: If I remember correctly, Cindy thought that Mr. Raccoon was a cutie. Whatever their chemistry may be, this is one issue that George and Cindy clearly disagree on. 4: INSTANT PHOTOGRAPH (Front Gate Plaza) "A photo taken of a smiling young couple. Nostalgic . . . ." COMMENTS: I wonder if the "smiling young couple" in the photo is George and his ex-wife. I can't imagine why else it would make him feel nostalgic, unless the sight of a smiling young couple reminded him of happiness in his own marriage. UNDERBELLY (George) 1: SUPER STETHOSCOPE (Storage Room) "This is sensitive enough to hear the heartbeat of a flea. . . . Who the hell would want to hear that!?" COMMENTS: Especially when their hearts are each the size of a grown man's liver! 2: IMPERIAL WATCH (Control Room) "This watch was engineered in Switzerland by the famous watchmaker known as 'The Emperor'." 3: "LOST LOVE" (Platform) "'There are no second chances in love. Tell her now before it's too late.' Hm. What a biased book." COMMENTS: I don't think either George or the book's authors could have guessed that "too late" might include, of all things, ballistic missiles. 4: OLD MAGAZINE (Break Room) "A magazine sold at the subway station. It's been read so much that it's practically falling apart." FLASHBACK (George) 1: O. R. SCRUBS (Auxiliary Building 3F Hall) "A surgical gown used in the operating theater. On some level, it's almost like a battle uniform." COMMENTS: An "operating theater" is the recessed operating area where surgeons treat a patient, while students and other witnesses observe the procedure from a mezzanine. George's association of the scrub with a "battle uniform" both foreshadows the scrub's part in his "George: C" costume, and further suggests his fascination with heroism and valour. 2: RABBIT POCKET WATCH (Hospital Back Gate) "A pocket watch in a classic design. A rabbit wearing a tuxedo is carved on the lid." COMMENTS: The "rabbit wearing a tuxedo" is a fairly clear reference to the Playboy Bunny—one of whose coterie Cindy dresses as in her "Cindy: C" costume. I'm guessing there's some loose connection between her "role playing" a Playboy Bunny (a mascot who George seems to have no problem with at all) and George's taste in Playboy Bunnies as a gentleman's fetish. 3: CHIPPED SCALPEL (Administrator's Office) "It's still sharp, but the tip of the blade has been broken off. It's not a good idea to use a found scalpel." 4: NURSE'S WATCH (Reception Office) "A watch with alarms to remind one of shift changes, medicine distribution times, and the like. Convenient." DESPERATE TIMES (George) 1: LOAFERS (Witness Interrogation Room) "Though they look rather plain, this brand is famous for making easy to polish loafers. Function over form." 2: CLIMBING SPIKES (Underground Parking Garage) "A mountain climbing tool that attaches to the soles of your boots. I already have a pair." COMMENTS: George's physical endurance becomes somewhat more reasonable, the more we learn about his hobbies. 3: "OUTDOOR GUIDE" (1F Lobby) "A book for beginners that outlines the basics of camping and the like. Pretty dull for an expert like me." COMMENTS: Taken in combination with George's File 1 alternate costume (a Raccoon Forest Service jacket), George's roundedness as a man becomes more apparent. He's not only a doctor, he's a man of the woods. 4: EMERGENCY PENLIGHT (Substation Room) "A powerful Xenon bulb with a range of nearly 2 miles rounds out this handsome penlight." COMMENTS: The penlight fits with George's outdoorsman hobby. Such a light would be useful in the event that he were lost in the forest at night. END OF THE ROAD (George) 1: SPACE-AGE T-SHIRT (Experimentation Chamber) "This new fabric absorbs sweat as fast as your body can produce it. Too bad the design is so ugly." 2: "MODERN MEDICINE" "A nonfiction book dealing with the dark side of medicine. Intriguing, but how could it hold my interest?" COMMENTS: Capcom is really undermining its effort to pass off George as an educated man, here. 3: PILL CASE WATCH (Apple Inn Front Lobby) "Part of the face of this watch flips open to reveal a tiny storage space ideal for pills. Quite convenient." 4: LARGE WATCH (Nursery) "This burly and rugged watch bears an inscription of the name 'Enrico.' Perhaps it was a gift from someone." COMMENTS: This SP Item description raises not a few questions. To make the leap of narrative logic, we're being led to believe that (somehow) Bravo Team leader Enrico's wristwatch was found in an Umbrella lab. Was Enrico there? Was he alive when he was there? Was his body experimented on? E: David King WILD THINGS (David) 1: WILD COLOGNE (Service Road) "'This product combines musk with the proven power of tiger hormones.' I'll have to try this out . . . ." COMMENTS: Why would someone wear cologne tinged with tiger hormones around lions? 2: "SCHOOL SPIRT" (In Front of Elephant Restaurant) "An English translation of one of those Japanese comic books. Is this what Japan's really like?" COMMENTS: Much like Alyssa, David has a strange, fated relationship with the Orient. (By the way, the item is actually spelled "School Spirt." I presume that it's supposed to be "Spirit," and that the manga title is a play off the seeming millions of high school fighting manga in popular circulation.) 3: BEAST CLAW (Terrarium Dome) "A hand-to-hand fighting weapon that you wear on your wrist. Shouldn't use this without proper training." COMMENTS: Since many of David's SP Items have possibly violent uses, the SP Item descriptions offer an in-character explanation for why those SP Items aren't being used as weapons. It's curious that David has reservations against using the Beast Claw without proper training, yet he has no problem whatsoever firing rocket and grenade launchers. 4: BLOODY GOGGLES (Lakeside Area) "Looks like something a biker would wear. They're covered in blood. I doubt the owner's still alive . . . ." UNDERBELLY (David) 1: WILD BRIEFS (Break Room) "Tight around the waist with plenty of room down below, these are some nice briefs. I think I'll take 'em." COMMENTS: This SP Item validates the desire on behalf of male and female fans that David have big cajones. 2: 3 MINUTE CEMENT (Employee Passage) "Cement for emergency repairs. When mixed with water, it hardens in 3 minutes. Can't be strong, though." 3: SMALL FILE (Emergency Power Room) "A small metal file with a sharp edge. Might make a good weapon, but I've got too much class for that." COMMENTS: "Too much class?" Is this really an acceptable reason to abstain from using a weapon against zombies? Do zombies have a code of honor? When swearing by it, do they put their hand over their heart? "Place your hand over your heart and swear the zombie oath," a zombie might say to another. "Could you pass it to me? It's on the end table," the swearing zombie might reply. 4: LONG WRENCH (Platform) "At almost 2 feet long, this wrench gives good leverage. Pretty flimsy, though. Wouldn't make a good weapon." COMMENTS: One may question David's reasoning. If the material of a wrench is flimsy, its length won't improve its leverage, because leverage depends upon the lever's turgidity. FLASHBACK (David) 1: "BAREFOOT HEALING" (Room 202) "'Health begins in the feet. Shoes and socks are the cause of disease!' Gimme a break . . . ." COMMENTS: This is one of David's SP Items required to unlock his "David: C" costume. Most of the other characters' costume SP Items are the actual articles of clothing worn in the costume. Here, we see that David must acquire the literature that will convince him to run amok, barefoot. 2: LION WRENCH (Cabin) "A wrench with a roaring lion carved into the head. Nuts fit in the open mouth. Doesn't look very practical." COMMENTS: This follows the lion motif seen in David's File 1 SP Items. 3: NANOMEASURE (Storage Room) "A tool that measures distance in nanometers. The writing's far too small to make out, though." 4: MERMAID CLAW (Auxiliary Building 3F Hall) "A nail-removing claw with the image of a mermaid carved into it and inlaid jewels. What a waste." DESPERATE TIMES (David) 1: "THE BODY'S LIMIT" (Substation Room) "'The secret to maximizing physical strength is knowing your body's limits.' . . . Well, duh." COMMENTS: From the scars and marks on David's upper torso, visible in his "David: C" costume, it's safe to assume that David has given himself physical tests of endurance in the past. 2: LION WOODEN SWORD (Main Hall) "A Japanese souvenir of some kind with a lion crest carved into it. It feels good in my hand." COMMENTS: Possibly, this wooden sword is a "bokken," or wooden sword used in kendo training. (Kendo is a variation of martial arts.) The association of this SP Item with David suggests that his savagery somehow lends itself to the creation of a warrior in the Japanese tradition. 3: TOOL CLEANER (Autopsy Room) "'Revolutionary polymer technology makes your tools gleam like new!' This should be useful." COMMENTS: For all the illogical placement of many SP Items, others are placed in very plausible environments. A tool cleaner would be greatly useful in an autopsy room. 4: "SUPER PLIERS" (Holding Cells) "Pliers specially made to double the strength put into them. This is a nice little item." COMMENTS: This SP Item is found just outside the holding cell with two prisoners. It might have been intended to bend the bars or manipulate the lock. END OF THE ROAD (David) 1: SUEDE PANTS (Main Street North) "Whoa! These babies are nice. They fit loose enough to allow some hard core zombie ass kicking, too!" 2: CAMERA WRENCH (Special Research Room) "Who's stupid idea was this? How pointless. Why did I even bother picking this up?" [sic] COMMENTS: Someone on Capcom's development staff suffered strong doubts regarding the meaning of his job. 3: "SURVIVE!" (Under the Highway Overpass) "This book details ways of surviving fires and other disasters. You can only rely on yourself. Not a book." COMMENTS: David's reaction to "Survive!" is similar to Mark's reaction to the book SP Item "Justice." Both of them are skeptical toward the value of book-learned knowledge, and instead prefer to trust experiential knowledge. 4: JAPANESE JACKET (Tunnel) "It has Japanese writing on the back. I guess these are pretty popular these days." COMMENTS: I am curious about why Alyssa and David's SP Items try to link them to Japan. Both of them are the most individualistic, head- strong characters, and both of them have a magnetic affection toward Japanese culture. F: Alyssa Ashcroft WILD THINGS (Alyssa) 1: THERMAL UNDERWEAR (Show Animals' Boarding House) "A thermal top made of 100% cashmere. It's good for your skin and perfect for an active woman." COMMENTS: I think that the "thermal underwear" is a high-end sport's bra. 2: FANCY MEAL COUPON (Back Alley) "A special coupon good for two meals at a $1000 a plate restaurant. I'd rather have a burger myself . . . ." COMMENTS: Alyssa is trendily low-brow. 3: TREASURE MAP (Office) "An old treasure map written on what looks like sheepskin. It's gotta be a fake, but still . . . ." COMMENTS: Given Austin's penchant for hyper-masculine hobbies, I would guess that the map belongs to him. 4: HERBAL MEDICINE (North Concourse) "You mix this ancient Chinese secret in your hot tea, to revive the youth of your skin. Smells bitter." COMMENTS: I'm curious to know where Alyssa's association with the Orient comes from in her SP Items. To infer from her editorial comments, she doesn't understand the relationship either, though the game seems to insist that a relationship exists. UNDERBELLY (Alyssa) 1: FORGOTTEN GI (Storage Room) "Maybe a passenger forgot this. The name 'Arisa' is written on it in Japanese. Why can I read it?" COMMENTS: For those who don't know, a 'gi' is a traditional martial arts garb. 'Arisa,' besides being a fun Engrish version of 'Alyssa,' is also the Japanese romanji spelling of 'Alice.' This lends greater strength to the theory that Alyssa is a way of inserting an Alice-type character into the Resident Evil games. 2: CHIN PATCH (Women's Staff Restroom) "Available only through a special TV offer, this product sticks to your jaw and gets rid of double chins." COMMENTS: You may be able to get rid of those double chins, but how do you deal with the fact that now you have a patch on your jaw? 3: AUTO CARD CASE (East Concourse) "This business card case has a button on it that launches cards. What if it hit someone in the face?" COMMENTS: On the one hand, I didn't figure Alyssa to be the type to say, "You'll put your eye out with that!" On the other hand, she could be speaking from the perspective of a woman who sees a potential news story: "LOCAL MAN BLINDED BY BUSINESS CARD SHOOTER." 4: ANTI-FART PATCH (Women's Room-East) "This is supposed to combat gas if you stick it to your stomach. Isn't it easier just to blame the dog?" COMMENTS: Also, the rotting corpses? FLASHBACK (Alyssa) 1: JAPANESE CLOTH (Examination Room) "A bleached cloth that Japanese wrap around their body to increase moral. Whatever . . . ." COMMENTS: The grammar in the Japanese Cloth SP Item's description is transcribed exactly as it appeared in the game. I want to know if the translators were trying deliberately to make that sentence sound like Engrish, for irony's sake. 2: TEARS OF AGLAIA (Storage Room) "A beauty product that rejuvenates skin. I don't need this. My skin already feels like a baby's butt." 3: ROSE OIL (Room 203) "Lotion is made from rose extract that's supposed to tighten your skin. It sure smells good . . . ." COMMENTS: Contrasted with Cindy, Alyssa is deliciously flamboyant with her femininity. 4: ANTIQUE PEN (Auxiliary Building 3F Hall) "An old fountain pen that's stained with blood and sweat. The name 'Kurt' is written on the cap." COMMENTS: The ANTIQUE PEN SP Item, of course, was property of Kurt, Alyssa's former coworker. Its presence and its condition further attests to Kurt's diligence even in the face of imprisonment and suffering. DESPERATE TIMES (Alyssa) 1: BLACK BELT (Substation Room) "A cloth belt made to be tied around the waist and worn with a karate gi. It gives me a tense feeling." COMMENTS: Perhaps Alyssa's association with the Orient foreshadows her speech if you get her Good Epilogue after beating the "End of the Road" scenario. She says that physical strength is the only thing that matters, and on screen she is lifting weights, training. Perhaps, through her encounter with her SP Items, she comes to some awakening. 2: DIET PATCH (East Office) "A weight loss product that claims to make you thinner just by sticking a patch on your trouble spots." COMMENTS: Alyssa tends to react disapprovingly toward marketed, image- oriented products, and she tends to react with intrigue to found, ancient objects of self-improvement. 3: SUSPICIOUS FILM (Witness Interrogation Room) "It's labeled 'TOP SECRET,' but the case is broken and the film's been exposed. What was on it?" COMMENTS: By the way, she's a reporter. 4: SLIMMING NECKLACE (Emergency Stairwell) "A necklace that supposedly makes the wearer lose weight. I swear, people believe anything these days." END OF THE ROAD (Alyssa) 1: OLYMPIC BOOK (Maintenance Passage 2) "'How the secret strategies of the ancient samurai can break Olympic records.' . . . Huh?" 2: PAIN PATCH (Examination Room) "Some kind of medicinal patch that you apply directly to knees or other painful areas. A nap works for me . . . ." 3: BULLET LIPSTICK (Rooftop-Elevated Roadway) "Lipstick shaped like a bullet. Looks just like the real thing. I suppose it'll be a while before I can use it." COMMENTS: This SP Item is found in the truck that you hop into after the Nyx fight. I'm curious to know who in the UCBS was carrying lipstick incognito. (Carlos always did look a little too pretty.) 4: DIGITAL CAMERA (Footbridge) "A camera that saves pictures as data instead of using film. I'd prefer a higher resolution, but this is OK." COMMENTS: Not only is Alyssa destined for Oriental genius, but she's a technophile as well. G: Yoko Suzuki WILD THINGS (Yoko) 1: KUNG FU SHOES (Elephant Stage) "Comfortable, lightweight shoes used in Kung Fu. I'm not really interested in martial arts, but . . . ." 2: HEADACHE MEDICINE (Observation Deck) "The bestselling Umbrella-made pain reliever. I feel like . . . I'm about to remember something . . . But what? 3: TATTERED NOTEBOOK (Elephant Restaurant) "A notebook with the Umbrella logo on the cover. Was someone saving this? It brings back memories . . . ." 4: PRESCRIPTION SLIP (Terrarium Dome) "It's for animal tranquilizers. The ingredients are listed on the back. I have a bad feeling about this." UNDERBELLY (Yoko) 1: CHINESE CAP (Storage Room) "A small cap of woven cotton. It looks Chinese. I wonder how I'd look in it . . . ." 2: SALON PAMPHLET (West Concourse) "A pamphlet for a new beauty salon. 'Grand Opening Sale! 20% OFF!' Maybe I should change my hairstyle." 3: "GET OVER IT" (Break Room) "This book tells you to 'get back on the horse' when you fail. Should I read this?" 4: AD PAMPHLET (Subway Car) "A PR pamphlet for Umbrella. It talks about their contributions to nature. I don't know why, but I feel sick . . . ." FLASHBACK (Yoko) 1: KUNG FU PANTS (Cabin) "These comfortable pants are part of a Kung Fu gi. I wonder if they make me look strong. Probably not . . . ." COMMENTS: I hate Yoko for her low self-esteem. 2: MAKE-UP SET (Locker Room) "A make-up set for preteen girls. It's enough for me. I should use a cheap set like this to practice." COMMENTS: Yoko-loving pedophiles scream, "KAWAII!" 3: FLOPPY DISK (Room 203) "It says 'TOP SECRET' on the label. I wonder what's on it . . . . Probably just a virus . . . ." 4: YOUNG GIRLS' COMIC (Room 202) "A Japanese comic book about true love. I like novels well enough. Why not try this for a change of pace?" COMMENTS: It's significant, I think, that one of David's SP Items is the "School Spirt" [sic] manga (most likely an angst-fest, boy's fighting manga) and Yoko's is a girl's romance manga. The characters seem identified with both American stereotypes and figures within those stock manga genres. DESPERATE TIMES (Yoko) 1: KUNG FU TOP (Underground Parking Garage) "A plain martial arts top. Looks Chinese. I wonder if it'd make me look strong. I guess not . . . ." COMMENTS: I *really* hate Yoko for her low self-esteem. 2: FLOWERY YUKATA (Night-Duty Room) "A Japanese summer garment with a hydrangea pattern. It's a little big on me, but it's so nice . . . ." 3: "MAKING FRIENDS" (Main Hall) "'Read this book, and you'll be friends after only 3 minutes!' What if there's no one around?" 4: "BEING OPEN" (B1F West Hall) "'Don't believe only what you can see with your eyes! Love is invisible!' What a pointless book . . . ." END OF THE ROAD (Yoko) 1: "SIMPLE CHINESE" (Nursery) "A book of simple phrases for travel. 'Are you a martial arts master?' What a weird example sentence . . . ." COMMENTS: Come on. This is priceless. 2: OLD PHOTO (Observation Mezzanine) "Looks like it was taken in a lab. Is that Monica? And . . . me? I don't remember this being taken." 3: LAB UNIFORM (Reference Room) "Looks a company uniform. They're designed for quick changing. Why is this so nostalgic to me?" [sic] 4: GOLD GLASSES (Mainframe) "A pair of shiny gold-rimmed glasses. The name 'Greg' is engraved on the frame. Greg? Could it be . . . !?" H: Cindy Lennox WILD THINGS (Cindy) 1: ZOO COASTER (In Front of the Elephant Restaurant) "A coaster with that adorable rascal 'Mr. Raccoon' on it. He's so cute! I just love him to bits!" COMMENTS: I expect that if George and Cindy had met each other in a non-traumatic situation, they would have warred over Mr. Raccoon. On the other hand, perhaps George's curmudgeon ways are refreshed by Cindy's simple pleasures. 2: "SLEEPY RACCOON" (Office) "A storybook starring the zoo mascot 'Mr. Raccoon.' He always has the cutest little adventures." COMMENTS: Between Yoko's reticence and Alyssa's aggression, Cindy's enthusiasm is refreshing. 3: SHORT BOOTS (Office) "A pair of slim brown boots. The sound of the heals [sic] echoes. They don't look comfy, but I like them." 4: RACCOON COOKIES (Elephant Restaurant) "Cookies with that darling zoo mascot 'Mr. Raccoon' drawn on them. They're too cute to eat!" UNDERBELLY (Cindy) 1: LEATHER BELT (Women's Restroom-West) "A label says it makes you look thinner, but I don't buy it. Still, it's a nice belt." COMMENTS: Unlike Yoko who is unaware of her feminine looks (owing to the bliss of androgyny) and Alyssa who bullies people with them, Cindy is nervously aware of her feminine looks. Apparently, she thinks herself fat. 2: APHRODITE COSMETIC (Storage Room) "Silver and purple eyeshadow. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to try out a wild color like this occasionally." COMMENTS: Is this honestly what a person thinks about while being pursued by the walking dead? 3: DELUXE SUNBLOCK (Women's Bathroom-East) "'Blocks out 99.9% of harmful UV rays!' I've been looking for a way to protect my skin." COMMENTS: Cindy is so inappropriately cute. 4: CUTE APRON (East Ticket Gate) "A frilly apron with tiny roses embroidered on it. It's so darling! I want to rub it against my face." COMMENTS: . . . Does anyone know if it's a Japanese term of appreciation to want to rub something against one's face? This comment sounds a little out of place, here. FLASHBACK (Cindy) 1: TIGHT JACKET (Room 202) "A tight-fitting, designer leather jacket. And it fits perfectly, too! Must be my lucky day!" COMMENTS: God, this woman is optimistic. 2: PLANT FOUNDATION (In Front of Cabin) "Moisturizing foundation made with plant extracts. The label doesn't say what kind of plants are used." 3: ENERGY DRINK (Locker Room) "'Night Nurse's Best Friend!' Some kind of caffeine drink. Smells rotten, though." COMMENTS: For those who don't know, a "night nurse" is a barmaid. 4: BEAUTY CREAM (Main Building 2F Hall) "A brand new skin whitening product. 'Brand New Formula!' This just came out, and already a new formula?" DESPERATE TIMES (Cindy) 1: "BIKER GALS" (Main Hall) "A magazine for girls who ride motorcycles. I'll admit that I've been interested in this lately." COMMENTS: I think that this is less a comment on Cindy's wildness, and more a comment on the fact that her figure is pear-shaped. 2: CHANGING DOLL (Night-Duty Room) "A re-issue of a doll that I had when I was a little girl. She has a whole wardrobe of cute little dresses." COMMENTS: Since this doll was found in the Night-Duty Room, and since most of the police at RPD are men, I would suggest that the doll belongs to Rita. Cindy, if nothing else, is certainly girly. 3: "ACQUAINTANCES" (Witness Interrogation Room) "This book tells how to choose who will be your friend and who will be just an acquaintance. How cold . . . ." COMMENTS: Of course, Cindy's happy demeanor wouldn't allow the idea of favoritism to creep into her interactions with people. However, this book seems to foreshadow the lesson she learns with George. Whether the book recommends keeping, as friends, those who are within arm's reach as the nukes are falling is another issue entirely. 4: HERB TEA (East Office) "An instant tea bag made with a blend of many herbs. This would be great for relaxation." COMMENTS: Cindy is not only G-rated for her comrades, but she's G-rated alone, too. Her knowledge of herbal remedies even teaches her how to relax with something almost chamomile. END OF THE ROAD (Cindy) 1: LEATHER PANTS (Rooftop-Elevated Railway) "Shiny, tight-fitting leather pants. The waist looks awfully slim. I wonder if I they fit? [sic]" 2: BEAUTY JELLY (Experimentation Chamber) "Jelly that makes you lose weight. I don't recognize any of the ingredients on the label." COMMENTS: That, Cindy, is because "lies" are not food. 3: MOISTURIZER (Apple Inn Front Lobby) "It's made from camellia oil. Should I really be worried about my skin at a time like this?" COMMENTS: Atta girl. Focus on the faceless sniper outside. 4: HERB CREAM (Floodgate Control Room) "'Harness the power of the Blue Herb with this antibacterial cream.' Do those herbs kill bacteria?" COMMENTS: Cindy's identity as a well-intentioned airhead becomes more and more pronounced in this SP Item description. She's been using the blue herbs as an antitoxin, and now is curious about their antibacterial qualities? IV: Conclusions The block of information of the SP Items and their descriptions is interesting as trivia, certainly, but what does it mean as a whole? The Resident Evil series is a fine addition to popular culture, and it would be a mistaken use of intellect to view it in a deeper perspective than the games would support. Still, the locations and characters described by the SP Items are valuable, somewhat, as reflections of how Japan sees America. One of the more interesting aspects of the Resident Evil series is that the games depict American settings and characters, and that non- Americans create the games. In the same way that an American writer would need to effect the environment and culture of a regional setting that he has little to no direct experience with, the Japanese creators of the Resident Evil series must effect an American environment. Not all of the games are entirely alike, but many of them are variations upon the core setting of Raccoon City: urban and small town America. The most looming and consistent presence in the games is the Umbrella Corporation (though this is changed somewhat in Resident Evil 4). The marriage between the Umbrella Corporation and Raccoon City is a reflection of an aspect of America that causes stress, internationally. America's dependence upon and acceptance of mega-corporations (which we take for granted, living in a political culture that grants corporations the status of citizens, with all the rights of individuals) has allowed the circumstances to culminate in the viral outbreak that we, as players, have experienced in most of the Resident Evil games to date. (It is no coincidence, I think, that the Umbrella Corporation's main headquarters are located in both America and Paris, France; France is America's competitor for cultural arrogance, and was also America's cohort in revolution, historically.) American gamers often forget that, when America is depicted in video games, we are described by people to whom we are foreigners. The SP Items in Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 attest to our foreignness in the eyes of the developers. First, let's look at how the environments are described. In "Wild Things," the Raccoon City Zoo is described in terms both American and Japanese. The zoo markets its main attractions: Oscar, the elephant; Max, the lion; and the Indian Hornbill birds. Most zoos that I have visited operate similarly. The souvenir items are all themed according to the animals whose hides and plumes provide the items' materials. The wages of part-time employees are noteworthy at $12 an hour; I expect that this reflects the stereotype that all Americans (even poor Americans) are wealthy. Most of the souvenirs are described as tacky and awkward, suggesting that the average Raccoon City Zoo patron is like the stereotypical American at Disneyland: plastered in gaudy merchandise. Above all, the zoo and its patrons lack dignified taste; this lack of taste is a firm stereotype against Americans. Other aspects of the Raccoon City Zoo described in the SP Items seem more Japanese than American. The "Raccoon Snacks" SP Item, in particular, strikes me as very Japanese. Granted, American businesses market animal food according to the pleasure provided to animals by the food's taste, but the celebration of a "funky new banana flavor" for zoo visitors to enjoy throwing to animals seems ridiculously sensational. The characteristics of the mechanical side of the zoo, too, reflect contemporary Japanese culture more than they reflect contemporary American culture. Austin, the zoo manager, is described as a veritable man's man. He keeps his hunting rifle on the observation deck, and he is so engaged in asserting his virility that his performance as a zoo employee suffers. To advance his manhood, Austin reads a book on the Han Dynasty. The Han Dynasty was a period of Chinese history, during which China officially became a state whose government practiced and endorsed Confucian ideals. Austin enlarges his power by investigating the Orient, rather than looking to Western resources of masculinity and philosophy. Finally, the technology employed by the Raccoon City Zoo is described by its advertising in sensationalistic ways. I have worked on a grounds crew maintenance crew for one year, at a summer camp in southern Florida, and I am familiar with the advertising claims made by the manufacturers of maintenance technology. Advertising claims such as "just push the button" and "16 times the power of home manure" would fall dead upon the wallets of maintenance crew heads, who are practical men. In "Underbelly," the subway is described with some accuracy to American subways. I write from a limited perspective, though, not having ridden many American subways. The SP Items describe the peripheral trash one might find in any public transit station: gossip tabloids, cheap entertainment books for children, and bad literature. Even the presence of a souvenir of the subway (the souvenir button) is in character. However, I wonder if the tests for subway employees are as thick and difficult as described in the Test Book SP Item. The SP Items of "Flashback" reflect the scenario's backstory (involving Alyssa) moreso than they reflect the environment. Evidence of Kurt's investigation and fate turn up (his name is read on the Patient List SP Item). Evidence of Al and Dorothy's drama is found (Dorothy's sketchbook, Al's wedding band, and Dorothy's medicine are all found). Evidence of the police investigation at the Hospital Back Gate (the night watchman's rusty baton) and the beginning of public protest (the protest handbill) is found. Other SP Items suggest a preoccupation with dealing with terminal patients; most of the rest simply indicate that much time has passed since the events alluded to in the scenario's notes, Alyssa's flashbacks, and some of the SP Items' descriptions. Some SP Items (the Bait Worm and the Guide Sign, in particular) further illustrate Al's life as he's become a mad axe murderer. The main SP Item that suggests allegiance to a Japanese perspective is the Flower Blocks item. The description of the letters as "traditional" suggests that the letters themselves are traditional (as the Japanese kanji characters are differentiated from kana characters). Letter blocks are traditional tools used in both Japan and America to educate children on language. The SP Items in "Desperate Times" reflect some stereotypes about American police officers (such as the accepted presence of alcohol in the station and a preoccupation with doughnuts). Marvin's Indigestion Pills suggest that he is the station's work horse, between his officers' loose work ethic and his boss's insanity. I am uncertain why the magnetic strip on the back of Marvin's Card would be worn down; perhaps this detail suggests the level of authority he carries in the station. In Resident Evil 2, Marvin gave Leon his card and forced him out of the room at gunpoint; Leon proceeded to use this card to access the Main Hall computer and unlock some doors. Presumably, this SP Item is the same card Marvin gave to Leon. Kevin's loose character is described further, from the destroyed credit card to the Memento Photo, to the bottle of coveted cheap gin in the refrigerator. The description of the RPD Mascot item seems suspiciously Japanese. An American police station's mascot would be more likely described by qualities of toughness, aggressiveness, and security. These are character traits associated with masculine presence, in the Western mind; a fine example may be McGruff the Crime Dog, mascot for the National Crime Prevention Council. American and Japanese masculine expectations differ sharply, and a cute police mascot (rather than a strong police mascot) seems less in tow with Western expectations than Japanese. The remainder of the SP Items either describes the two officers surviving at the station (Aaron and Tony), or illustrates Brian Irons' poor management of the police department. The Expense Report SP Item provides and expensive boutique as the provider of "undercover supplies;" possibly, this suggests how Irons paid for the make-up and other materials needed to "preserve" his female victims. The weakness of the Collapsing Baton SP Item suggests that certain expenditures have been neglected in favor of Irons' "undercover supplies." Clearly, the city has not investigated the characters of its leaders, given Irons' glorifying autobiography. The "End of the Road" scenario completes a formula that Resident Evil games follow, by bringing the playable characters out of an interior setting into an open-air setting. In prior games, though, even the open-air setting has been somewhat enclosed. The first Resident Evil brings Chris and Jill into an enclosed helipad. The second Resident Evil brings Claire and Leon into the open platform of a train station, which is conjunct to the outside world at the end of the tunnel. Claire's story in Resident Evil: Code Veronica ends with the Nosferatu fight, which takes place atop a large, isolated platform. Even while the characters are in an open-air environment (even sometimes being out of doors), the environment always presents some sort of enclosure. File 2 plays upon this formula, but tries to diminish the sense of enclosure by showing Raccoon City from the perspective of some of File 1's locales, as well as adjacent urban areas. The latter SP Items clearly emphasize the presence of Umbrella's special forces, as well as the death resulting from the Outbreak. The "Toy Shovel" and "Bloody Doll" SP Items present one of the few instances in which children are implied as victims of the Outbreak. (With the exceptions of Sherry and Mark's son, there are few clear instances wherein children even exist in Raccoon City.) These SP Items are placed alongside the UCBS Vest and the USS Armband, showing the simultaneity of events: Raccoon City's destruction and the Umbrella mercenaries' missions. Previously, though, we see some more "indoor" items. The SP Items found in the sewer part of the scenario seem random, only joined together by the fact that they have all wound up in the drainage canal as trash. Individually, they seem to refer to aspects of both the scenario and Resident Evil's conventions in a broader sense. The "Universal Remote" suggests Carter's remote control. The "Temp Regulator" suggests the cryogenic freezing that almost all of Umbrella's creations undergo. The "Sealed Eye Mask" suggests the tyrants, and the means contrived to deprive their senses to reduce the chance that they will attack. The "Capsule Ring" suggests a miniature version of Sherry's pendant from Resident Evil 2. Yet, these are all references, and the SP Items do not seem to carry significance in themselves. The SP Items from the beginning of "End of the Road" suggest more about the subplot of Linda and Rodriguez's betrayal. The "Laughing Gas Spray" SP Item seems out of place (it is described as belonging to "special forces"), until it is remembered that Rodriguez and Linda are in cahoots, and that he most likely has just left the laboratory. The "Detective Manual" suggests that one or both of them were researching how to cover their tracks. (Presumably, neither knew about the bombs that would cover all tracks.) The three SP Items found in the Observation Mezzanine all seem to relate to Carter, who is hammed up as a real nerd. To the extent that Wesker was the "cool guy" and a genius with a BOW masterpiece, Carter is his opposite. The relationship between the SP Items and the scenarios is useful to get a better sense of the places of the scenarios. The character SP Items, though, are intended to convey the playable characters through their reactions to objects around them. When one looks at the characters through both their descriptions and their reactions to the SP Items, they more apparently become stereotypes. The curious aspect to these stereotypes is that they are Japanese stereotypes of Americans, given to the Japanese by both Japanese biases and American cinema. The qualities of the stereotypes may suggest, in part, the ethnic assumptions that the Japanese have toward the ethnic varieties of Americans. Please bear in mind, I am not arguing that the analyses I offer in this FAQ pin-point deliberate attempts at caricature, on behalf of the game's creators. I am arguing that the caricatures within the game reflect, to some extent, the stock ways in which American ethnic diversity is regarded by contemporary Japanese culture. Kevin Ryman is a stereotypical white boy, the stock optimist, and the expected carefree spirit. He likes cars. He likes sports. He is an unreliable spender, and his inability to take things seriously mars his potential, given his obvious physical talents. He almost carries a "frat boy" atmosphere to him, especially with his "Hedonism" SP Item, found in the "Desperate Times" scenario. Kevin seems to embody white American masculinity. His Kevin: B costume (titled "Six Shooter") puts him in cowboy fashion. As a globetrotter, I will attest to the fact that the "wild west" and the cowboy motif is one of the predominant images of white American masculinity, from non- American perspectives. (Once, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, I ate at a restaurant called "The Cowboy Pistol" that inside featured wall decorations depicting gaudy "wild west" Americana. In America, such a restaurant would be themed "western;" in Saint Petersburg, Russia, it was themed "American.") The image of the cowboy as an emblem of white American masculinity has spread internationally through popular American films. The Kevin: C costume (titled "Lone Wolf '87) reflects another aspect of white American masculinity, given cinematic depiction during the 1980's. Actors such as Corey Feldman and Michael J. Fox helped establish the "Lone Wolf '87" costume's appearance as identifying the white American male. The following links lead to images of 1980's male actors, dressed in fashions similar to Kevin's in his Kevin: C costume. Corey Feldman: http://www.westword.com/Issues/2000-11-02/music/music3.1.gif Another photo of Corey Feldman, whose face looks similar to Kevin's: http://www.westword.com/Issues/2000-11-02/music/music3.2.gif Michael J. Fox from (I think) Back to the Future: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/MMPH/12309.jpg Matthew Broderick in a poster from Ferris Beuller's Day Off: http://www.eazymerchant.com/bdposters/images/itemthumbnails/01-0467.jpg Kevin is a stereotypical White Male Protagonist. He is most naturally paired with David, who represents the Native American stereotype, again from American cinema and literature. David King's ethnicity is not explicitly stated in the game. However, he is connected with stereotypical Native American partner figures, such as Leatherstocking (from James Fennimore Cooper's stories) and the mythic presence of Sacagawea (from the Lewis and Clark journals). He bears character qualities similar to Native American stock characters, such as abundant savagery, reticence in speech, and resourcefulness. David's SP Items connect him with both resourcefulness and savagery. The items that connect him with resourcefulness are practical, involved somehow with tools or construction and repair materials. The items that connect him with savagery often do so through Oriental means. The "School Spirt" [sic] item associates him with violent boys' comic books, specifically within the "high school fighting" genre popular in contemporary manga. The "Beast Claw" item is a weapon used within Oriental martial arts. The "Lion Wooden Sword" item may be a bokken, or wooden sword used in kendo training. Other items (most specifically his costume SP Items) connect him with stereotypical Native American ideas of savagery. The "Barefoot Healing" item isolates David's bare feet, which were remarked upon by Caucasian Americans as being characteristic if Native Americans. David's loosened hair suggests the animal freedom attributed to Native Americans in American art. Mark Wilkins is a stereotype of an African American, who has lived through the Civil Rights movement, and who has experienced the successful side of racial integration. While some players on message boards have complained that his voice doesn't "sound black enough," this criticism is itself somewhat racist, implying that African Americans must speak with specific dialect and accents to be "black enough." The allusion to Mark's age is implied by his history as a Vietnam War veteran. In addition to filling the stereotype of the post-1960's Baby Boomer African American, he fills the stereotype of the war-haunted suburbanite. Both of Mark's roles create his character. His Vietnam War experience is referred to often through his ad libs. Also, his reactions to white characters in the presence of Jim and David are different, suggesting more hesitation to trust them. His relationship to patriotic and domestic objects (in his SP Items) suggests that he holds a conservative set of values. He doesn't cook, and leaves those tasks to his wife. He desires to share traditionally masculine activities with his son (as seen in the "Club Tickets" and "Town Info Pamphlet" SP Items). His reaction to the U. S. Army uniform reflects his loyalty; he describes it as "justice and patriotism woven into cloth." (It is interesting that Mark's reaction to the U. S. Army uniform reflects a primary loyalty to the American military. Most Americans raised within American political culture would reserve such idealistic praise for the American flag, as it is the symbol for American political ideals. The misappropriation of national loyalty to military symbols suggests a misunderstanding of American culture.) Jim Chapman contrasts Mark's character; possibly, he is the most striking stereotype in the game. The game creators obviously have tried to convince their audience that Jim is a black man "of the street." His language is strewn with slang interjections, such as "yo," "shit," "peeps," and "oh, snap!" His recreational interests (seen in the SP Items) are stereotyped: he is fanatical about shoes, basketball, and street fashion. The sole divergence from these stereotypes is his propensity for puzzle solving. Jim's character appears to be an updated, internationally made version of the stock Jim Crow character in minstrel shows during the early 20th century. The name "Jim Crow" has become part of American cultural memory through the segregation laws now known as the "Jim Crow Laws," and the laws derived their name from the stock character in racist minstrel performances. In such performances, the Jim Crow character was a happy-go-lucky character, farcically simple, whose happiness entirely resided in his comfort against primitive superstitions and the lucky circumstances that tended to surround his character in the stories. In short, the Jim Crow stock character was cowardly (to comedic effect) and relied upon luck, which tended to underline his carefree attitude. The actor Stepin Fetchit, a black actor of the early 20th century, took movie roles in the tradition of a Jim Crow stereotype. A comparison between his face and Jim Chapman's suggests that Jim Chapman's facial design may have been inspired by Stepin Fetchit's. George Hamilton's character attempts to create the presence of an athletic, educated, upper class white American. His name, also the name of a famous American film star, suggests an all-American sophistication. A genuinely educated member of the game's audience will recognize the superficial efforts to pass off George's character as sophisticated: incorrect attempts at perfect grammar, the preferred use of Latinate words, and an emphasis on rationality in the presence of chaos. His SP Items, also, attempt to give him an educated atmosphere. He is interested in watches; he has an erudite distaste for "Mr. Raccoon," the city's commercialized mascot; his association with the Playboy bunny, a symbol of "a gentleman's sexuality." As well, his familiarity with tools of outdoorsmanship implies his post- collegiate hobbies. George appears to have history in Raccoon City. In addition to the long-standing relationship he has with Raccoon University (shown in File 1), the "Instant Photograph" SP Item suggests that he spent time with his ex-wife at the Raccoon Zoo. His professional relationship with Raccoon City seems to have involved the Umbrella Corporation, but only peripherally. His costume SP Items allude to his profession as a surgeon. The two book SP Items ("World Medicine" and "Modern Medicine") suggest that he is unreflecting, philosophically, on his profession. He wonders what relevance meditation upon "the dark side of modern medicine" could have for him ("Modern Medicine," End of the Road) and seems passé toward a globally collaborative perspective on medicine ("World Medicine," Wild Things). George, as a doctor, seems to hold a stereotyped, Western attitude toward medicine: that all scientific advances in medicine cannot be anything but good, almost holy, and that the innate goodness of scientific progress absolves researchers from the need to reflect upon the uses to which their research will be directed. As I mentioned in the comment for George's "Rabbit Watch" SP Item, the association between the Playboy bunny and George connects him with Cindy, through her "Funny Bunny" alternative costume. Cindy, the barmaid with an irresistible smile, is an appropriate pairing for George. She is a stereotypical "single girl," relatively useless except for her marriageability and her domestic service. Her personal SP Items illustrate her as a "girly girl." She practically squeals over Mr. Raccoon's cuteness; she adores frilly domestic clothing (such as the "Cute Apron" SP Item); she reminisces about her girlhood, during which she played with dolls. She is maternal and subservient. She fusses over her appearance, and grows through the course of events in Files 1 and 2 to become more expressive, sexually. Her character is directed toward appealing to a man for marriage, since she has little to no hope of economic advancement, as a barmaid. Given this, her pairing with George lights upon an old sexist joke about women looking for doctors to marry, for their material security. She is a God- fearing Catholic girl, whose main relevant skills are that she is (1) a woman and (2) maternal. Alyssa Ashcroft is Cindy's opposite. She is an aggressive, masculine, sexually liberated woman. Her stereotype, from the perspective of traditional expectations of female behavior, is that of the "bitch- slut." In File 1, her SP Item "Small Massager" is the euphemistic presentation of a vibrator. If a player ad libs while sending Alyssa crawling through a duct, she may say, "I've spent a lot of time on all fours." Often, she will describe herself in terms of "having big enough balls" to handle her dire circumstances. Her SP Items elaborate upon these qualities. She reacts negatively to many superficial products that claim to result in lost weight and less gas. She is pleased to find the "Bullet Lipstick" SP Item, which seems symbolic of her combined aggressiveness and sexuality. Curiously, her character is expressed via mystical attraction to Japanese martial arts. Her character does not seem to find strength in femininity; rather, the emulation of masculinity (to the point of becoming a martial arts master, a traditionally male figure) is her primary means of self-expression. Yoko Suzuki is the most difficult character to describe. Many players view her as a foil to Alyssa, since Yoko is passive while Alyssa is aggressive. (On these grounds, many players also seem to have developed an unusual obsession with Yoko.) She is an amnesiac, and the game developers attempt to convey her amnesia by making her indecisive. Her amnesia is breached slightly in some of her SP Item descriptions, though the knowledge that awaits in memory is given only partially. The "Old Photo" SP Item alludes to Yoko's unknown prior relationship to Monaca, and her recognition of Greg's glasses in the "Gold Glasses" SP Item alludes to the revelation that occurs during her ad libs, in the "End of the Road" scenario. She is narrated as having "bad feelings" about Umbrella products, and she is portrayed as being in a state of constant anxiety. The anxiety, though, is conveyed through mere indecision. Insofar as the other characters are stereotyped, Yoko, too, is a stereotype. She is the only character, though, who may be slightly more than a stereotype. She is reserved, sexually uninterested, and depressed. Frankly, she is hideous; a more disinterested player may describe her as "merely plain." Her appearance is so androgynous, she appears almost as a boy. The SP Items seem to try to enforce the fact that she is, in fact, female; specifically, the items "Flowery Yukata" and "Young Girls' Comic" appear to no other purpose than to confirm that Yoko is, despite appearances, a teenage girl. The way in which Yoko may be slightly more than a stereotype involves her secret, revealed through ad libs in the "End of the Road" scenario. Apparently, her cells were used as incubators or test subjects for the T-Virus. She was so horrified by how her body had been used, Greg (the scientist working at Raccoon University, from File 1) surgically altered her brain so she would forget what had happened. It's interesting that the weakest character is Japanese, and that the weakest character has been exploited by Americans (and the Umbrella Corporation, AKA "Western Evil") to her and others' detriment. What conclusions can be drawn from these conclusions? From my perspective, Capcom of Japan has derived certain stereotypes of America, collected them in eight characters, and made "Resident Evil: Outbreak." Certain stereotypes (such as Jim Chapman) are so offensive, since they ask to be taken seriously, that one wonders if such a character would survive, legally, if created by an American company. We, as players, seem willing to accept racist stereotypes when given them by non-American sources. Some players even see the characters as plausible, realistic figures. The SP Items moreso concretize the stereotypes out of which Kevin, Mark, Jim, George, David, Alyssa, Yoko, and Cindy are derived. These cannot be anything but deliberate, yet the outrage against blatant typecasting is absent. V: Legal Disclaimer All of the stuff that's Capcom's is Capcom's. I didn't make the game "Resident Evil: Outbreak, File 2." Capcom made it, and all of it is legally theirs. The opinions and analyses found within this document are the work of James Clinton Howell, and they are not the opinions and analyses of either GameFAQs or Capcom. Portions of this document may appear published in a scholarly journal within the year, and it is forbidden to plagiarize this document's contents in any way, shape, or form. Such plagiarism may result in a civil lawsuit over publication rights.
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